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SECTION 14

PREMPTION OF INNOCENCE (1) ARTEMIO CASTILLO, plaintiff-appellant, vs. FILTEX INTERNATIONAL CORP., defendant-appellee. [G.R. No. L-37788 September 30, 1983] ESCOLIN, J.: This appeal, certified to this Court by the defunct Court of Appeals, challenges the decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal which dismissed the complaint of appellant Artemio Castillo for reinstatement and payment of back wages, and ordered him to pay defendant Filtex International Corporation, hereinafter referred to as FILTEX the sum of P1,000.00, as attorney's fees, plus costs. The facts culled from the pleadings and the stipulation of facts entered into at the pre-trial are as follows: Artemio Castillo, an employee of FILTEX and a member of the Samahan ng Malaya Manggagawa sa Filtex (FFW), SAMAHAN for short, was charged together with others in the Municipal Court of Makati with the offense of slight physical injuries, for his alleged involvement in a mauling and shining incident which ed sometime in July 1964 at the height of a strike called by the SAMAHAN. During the pendency of the case, Castillo was suspended from his job. On July 8, 1964, FILTEX and SAMAHAN entered into a "Return Work Agreement", paragraphs 3 and 4 of which read as follows: 3. That all employees of the company who struck and committed violence and other unlawful acts and against whom court cases are filed or to be filed, shall be suspended by the company upon filing of such cases by the fiscal with the proper courts for as long as the said cases shall remain pending in court; 4. That in the event the employees referred to in the preceding paragraph are found innocent. by the courts then the COMPANY agrees to reinstate them to their respective jobs with back wages minus whatever earnings they earned during the period of suspension; otherwise, if found guilty they shall remain dismissed; After trial, the Municipal Court of Makati rendered a decision, convicting Castillo of slight physical injuries. However, on appeal, the Court of First Instance of Rizal dismissed the case in an order dated November 28, 1966. Thereafter, Castillo asked for reinstatement to his former job and payment of back wages. When FILTEX paid no head to his demands, Castillo instituted the corresponding action in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, claiming that the dismissal of the criminal case justified his reinstatement and payment of back wages, pursuant to paragraph 4 of the "Return to Work Agreement." FILTEX filed a motion to dismiss on grounds of lack of cause of action and want of jurisdiction of the court, the case being allegedly within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations. Upon denial of the motion to dismiss, FILTEX filed its answer. At the pre- trial, the parties defined the principal issue thus: Is the plaintiff entitled to reinstatement and back wages after the dismissal of the charge against him in accordance with paragraph 4 of the "Return to Work Agreement."? On the bases of the parties, memoranda and the facts stipulated at the pre-trial the case was submitted for decision. Thereafter, the lower court rendered the aforestated decision, dismissing the . It ratio its judgment as follows: The plaintiff in this case was found guilty by the Municipal Court of Makati. With the dismissal of the case by the Court of First Instance of Rizal, could it be inferred that the plaintiff was found innocent? The Court cannot but rule otherwise in view of the fact that the dismissal of the case was only because of the failure of the complainant to appear at the scheduled trial. It must be noted that the agreement to reinstate an employee in the category of the plaintiff expressly states that there must be a finding of innocence by the courts. It did not stipulate that the case should be dismissed. Hence, this appeal.

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We find the appeal impressed with merit. While it is true that appellant was convicted in the Municipal Court of Makati of the offense of slight physical injuries, it is undisputed that on Appeal, the Court of First Instance of Rizal dismissed the case for failure of the witnesses for the prosecution to appear. Section 7 of Rule 123 of the Rules of Court, the rule in force at the time of the perfection of the appeal, reads as follows: Trial de novo on appeal. — An appealed case shall be tried in an respects anew in the courts of first instance as if it had been originally instituted in that court. Applying the foregoing rule, the judgment of conviction rendered by the municipal court was vacated upon perfection of the appeal, to be tried de novo in the court of first instance as if it were originally instituted therein. The phrase "to vacate" applied to a judgment means "to annul, to render void." 1 Since the criminal case was ultimately dismissed, the constitutional presumption of innocence 2 in favor of the appellant should be applied. The following disquisition on this constitutional guarantee in People vs. Dramayo 3 is enlightening. Thus: 'It is to be admitted that the starting point is the presumption of innocence. So it must be, according to the Constitution. That is a right safeguarded both appellants. Accusation is not, according to the fundamental law, synonymous with guilt. It is incumbent on the prosecution to demonstrate that culpability lies. Appellants were not even called upon then to offer evidence on their behalf. Their freedom is forfeit only if the requisite quantum of proof necessary for conviction be in existence. Their guilt must be shown beyond reasonable doubt. To such a standard this Court has always been committed. There is need, therefore, for the most careful scrutiny of the testimony of the state, both oral and documentary, independently of whatever defense is offered by the accused. Only if the judge below and the appellate tribunal could arrive at a conclusion that the crime had been committed precisely by person on trial under such an exacting test could sentence be one of conviction. It is thus required that every circumstance favoring his innocence be duly taken into account. The proof against him must survive the test of reason; the strongest suspicion must not be permitted to sway judgment. The conscience must be satisfied that on the defendant could be laid the responsibility for the offense charged; that not only did he perpetrate the act but that it amounted to a crime. So it has been held from the 1903 decision of United States v. Reyes. It seems needless to state that the innocence of the appellant need no longer be proved, since under the fundamental law his innocence is presumed. But the appellee argues that the Return to Work Agreement requires an express finding of innocence by the court in order to entitle an employee to reinstatement and back wages; that no such finding of innocence had been made because the criminal case was dismissed on a mere technicality, i.e, the failure of the prosecution witnesses to appear at the trial; and that the interpretation of said agreement should not be stretched to include a "mere presumption of innocence under the law." The argument is incompatible with the basic tenet embodied in the constitutional provision on protection to labor. 4Cognizant of this State policy, this Court is constrained to interpret the agreement in question in favor of the claim of the laborer and against that of management. As emphasized by Chief Justice Fernando: If it were not thus, there is no fealty to the truism that the state exists to promote the welfare of al. It is to be judged then, to paraphrase Laski, by the extent to which it contributes to the substance of man's happiness. Necessarily, the whole citizentry is included. It follows likewise that those who are less fortunate in terms of economic well-being should be given preferential attention. For if such be not the case, then the policy marks itself as failing in its basic objective. Negligence on its part to do so may well cause a tear in the fabric of unity that binds a people together. It is easily understandable then why there should be this state policy. It dispels any doubt that in weighing the claims of labor as against that of , management, it is to be preffered. ... The obligation to protect labor is incumbent on the state. It is a command to live up to. In the final analysis, it is as simple as that. That is the welfare state concept vitalized. Upon these premises, We declare that appellant Artemio Castillo is entitled to reinstatement and payment of back wages. ACCORDINGLY, the judgment appealed from is hereby set aside. Let the records be remanded to the Labor Arbiter of the National Labor Relations Commission for determination of the amount appellant is entitled to as back wages. SO ORDERED.

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(2) CORAZON C. GONZAGA, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (FIRST DIVISION), THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, and THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCA PETITION CULTURE AND SPORTS, respondents. [G.R. No. 96131 September 6, 1991] PADILLA, J.: Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari are two (2) resolutions of the Sandiganbayan, dated 10 September 1990 and 30 October 1990, respectively, rendered in Criminal Case No. 14404, entitled "People vs. Corazon C. Gonzaga" (For: Malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code). The resolution dated 10 September 1990 granted the prosecution's motion to suspend accused-petitioner', pendente lite, from her position as school principal of Malabon Municipal High School, Malabon, Metro Manila. The resolution dated 30 October 1990 denied accused-petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the 10 September 1990 resolution. Petitioner alleges in her present petition 1 that a complaint for malversation of public funds was filed against her, in her capacity as School Principal of the Malabon Municipal High School, Malabon, Metro Manila. The complaint was filed before the Ombudsman by the Municipal Administrator of the Municipality of Malabon, based on the audit report of the Commission on Audit, wherein petitioner as an accountable officer is alleged to have incurred a shortage of P15,188.37; that an information 2 dated 2 March 1990 was thereafter filed against petitioner before the Sandiganbayan for the crime of malversation of public funds under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code; 3 that before she could be arraigned, accused-petitioner filed with respondent court a motion for re- investigation, which motion was denied by said court in its resolution dated 2 July 1990; 4 that on 17 August 1990, accused-petitioner pleaded not guilty to the crime charged; and that on the same date, the prosecution filed a motion seeking to suspend, pendente lite, the accused as school principal of the above-named school, 5 on the basis of Section 13, Republic Act 3019 ("Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act"), as amended by Batas Pambansa Blg. 195. 6 The resolution dated 10 September 1990 granted the prosecutions motion to suspend the accused, pendente lite, the dispositive portion of which reads: IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, accused CORAZON GONZAGA is hereby suspended pendente lite from her position as Principal of the Malabon National High School, Malabon, Metro Manila and from such other public positions that she maybe holding, effective immediately upon notice hereof. Let a copy of the Resolution be furnished to the Secretary of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, Intramuros, Manila for implementation thereof and to inform this Court of the action he has taken thereon within five (5) days from receipt hereof. 7 Petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the above-quoted resolution was, as aforestated, denied by the respondent court in its resolution dated 30 October 1990, dispositive part of which reads: Considering the mandatory character of Sec. 13 of R.A. No. 3019 and the various decisions of the Supreme Court upholding the validity of the same, accused Gonzaga's Motion for Reconsideration of the resolution of this Court dated September 10, 1990 suspending her pendente lite is denied. 8 In the present petition, petitioner questions the validity of the suspension imposed on her as school principal of Malabon Municipal High School by the aforestated resolutions of the respondent court. We find merit in the petition. It will be noted that in the questioned resolutions, respondent court imposed on petitioner an indefinite period of suspension, pendente lite, from her mentioned office, on the basis of Section 13, Rep. Act 3019, as amended, earlier quoted. Petitioner at the outset contends that Section 13 of Rep. Act 3019, as amended, is unconstitutional as the suspension provided thereunder partake of a penalty even before a judgment of conviction is reached, and is thus violative of her constitutional right to be presumed innocent. We do not accept the contention because: firstly, under Section 13, Rep. Act 3019, suspension of a public officer upon the filing of a valid information is mandatory. 9 What the Constitution rejects is a preventive suspension of indefinite duration as it raises, at the very least, questions of denial of due process and equal protection of the laws; in other words, preventive suspension is justifiable for as long as its continuance is for a reasonable length of time; 10 secondly, preventive suspension is not a penalty; 11 a person under preventive suspension, especially in a criminal action, remains entitled to the constitutional presumption of innocence as his

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culpability must still be established established 12 thirdly, the rule is that every law has in its favor the presumption of validity, and that to declare a law unconstitutional, the basis for such a declaration must be clearly established. 13 The issue in this case, as we see it, is not whether Section 13, Rep. Act 3019 is valid or not, but rather whether the same is constitutionally applied in relation to the surrounding circumstances. 14 It is worthy to note that even prior to the cases of Deloso (1988) and Doromal (1989), to be discussed shortly, pronouncements had already been made by the Court in the cases of Garcia (1962) and Layno (1985) 15 to the effect that a preventive suspension lasting for an unreasonable length of time violates the Constitution. In the more recent cases of Deloso vs. Sandiganbayan, and Doromal vs. Sandiganbayan, 16 suspension under Section 13 of Rep. Act 3019 was held as limited to a maximum period of ninety (90) days, in consonance with Section 42 of Pres. Decree No. 807 (otherwise known as the "Civil Service Decree"). 17 We see no cogent reason why the same rule should not apply to herein petitioner. In fact, the recommendation of the Solicitor General (counsel for public respondent) is that, inasmuch as the suspension mentioned under Section 13 of Rep. Act 3019 is understood as limited to a maximum duration of ninety (90) days, the order of suspension imposed on petitioner, having been rendered on 10 September 1990, should now be lifted, as suspension has already exceeded the maximum period of ninety (90) days. All told, preventive suspension is not violative of the Constitution as it is not a penalty. In fact, suspension particularly under Section 13 of Rep. Act 3019 is mandatory once the validity of the information is determined. 18What the Constitution abhors is an indefinite preventive suspension as it violates the due process and equal protection clauses, 19 and the right of public officers and employees to security of tenure. 20 Henceforth, considering that the persons who can be charged under Rep. Act 3019, as amended, include elective and appointive officers and employees, and futher taking into account the rulings in the Deloso and Doromalcases, the ninety (90)-day maximum period for suspension under Section 13 of the said Act shall apply to all those who are validly charged under the said Act, whether elective or appointive officer or employee as defined in Section 2(b) of Rep. Act 3019. 21 To the extent that there may be cases of indefinite suspension imposed either under Section 13 of Rep. Act 3019, or Section 42 of Pres. Decree 807, it is best for the guidance of all concerned that this Court set forth the rules on the period of preventive suspension under the aforementioned laws, as follows: 1. Preventive suspension under Section 13, Rep. Act 3019 as amended shall be limited to a maximum period of ninety (90) days, from issuance thereof, and this applies to all public officers, (as defined in Section 2(b) of Rep. Act 3019) who are validly charged under said Act. 2. Preventive suspension under Section 42 of Pres. Decree 807 shall apply to all officers or employees whose positions are embraced in the Civil Service, as provided under Sections 3 and 4 of Id Pres. Decree 807; 22 and shall be limited to a maximum period of ninety (90) days from issuance, except where there is delay in the disposition of the case, which is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, in which case the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of suspension herein stated; provided that if the person suspended is a presidential appointee, 23 the continuance of his suspension shag be for a reasonable time as the circumstances of the case may warrant. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the questioned resolutions of the respondent Sandiganbayan, dated 10 September 1990 and 30 October 1990, are hereby SET ASIDE. Petitioner may re-assume the position of school principal of the Malabon Municipal High School, Malabon Metro Manila without prejudice to the continuation of trial on the merits of the pending case against her in the Sandiganbayan, unless there are other supervening legal grounds which would prevent such re-assumption of office. SO ORDERED.

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to SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS. 1966. On March 1. As a warehouseman. 1984] MELENCIO-HERRERA. he was promoted to warehouseman effective April 1. 1963.658 cavans and 38 kilos of corn valued at the sum of P75. dated August 26. with allowances for shrinkage and predators (Exhibit "1").656.658 cavans and 38 kilos. in the City of Cotabato. a difference of 4. unlawfully and feloniously. and sentencing him to an indeterminate penalty of TEN (10) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY of prision mayor. to the damage and prejudice of the Philippine Government in the said sum of P75. of Malversation of Public Property under Article 217 (4) of the Revised Penal Code. No. he no longer had any stock on hand. the present Information was filed against him. the ACCUSED was sent a letter demanding the restitution or payment of the shortage. 4 of RCA warehouse No. THE HON. Shipped out in the months of April to November 1964 were 109. vs. the Trial Court. to pay a fine of P75. and as such. "E-1" to "E-50". 8 A liquidation report showed that the ACCUSED had incurred a shortage of 4. FOUR (4) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY of reclusion temporal as maximum.24 per cavan (Exhibits "MM". misappropriate. as affirmed by the then Court of Appeals. "F-1" to "F-6".656.94. is responsible for all the stocks of corn. found that "the huge shortage could not have been possibly caused by the alleged shrinkage and predators" for the reason that: têñ. Philippines. "C-1" to "C-50". respondents. rented by the RCA from Lam Sam Trading. the ACCUSED acknowledged the shortage of 4. and upon recommendation of Branch Manager Vicente Caballero.94 at the prevailing market price of P16. 6 For the months of March to August 1964.94. L-36513 October 23. "G-1" to "G-50"). petitioner herein. to suffer perpetual special disqualification. 1964. he was appointed shipping clerk. or by the weigher-classifier. an audit of the ACCUSED's transactions was made based on the records furnished by him. 2 Upon arraignment. Instead. 3 The ACCUSED was employed by the Rice and Corn Administration (RCA). the said accused.£îhqw⣠That in or about the period from March 14. with grave abuse of confidence.658 cavans but requested a re-liquidation. two security guards and laborers on a piece work basis. to indemnify the Rice and Corn Administration in the sum of P75. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. an Information for Malversation of Public Property was filed against the ACCUSED. 1964 to May 4. 1965. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 8 operated in the City of Cotabato by the Rice and Corn Administration. the ACCUSED was dismissed for cause on June 8. or sometime prior thereto. as minimum. the ACCUSED was authorized to purchase corn grain from farmers and deposit the same in the warehouse (Purchases).R. 1965. In a letter. By the end of November. being then the warehouseman (bodeguero) of the Warehouse No. 1965. convicting Ramon Albores (ACCUSED). embezzle and take away from the said warehouse 4. or a period roughly of eight (8) months. 8 located in Cotabato City. RCA did not answer. Assisting the ACCUSED as warehouseman were a weigher-classifier. alleging: têñ.077 cavans and 43 kilos from the said stock (Exhibits "A". belonging to the Philippine Government.: This is a petition for review of the Decision of the then Court of Appeals affirming that of the former Court of First Instance of Cotabato City. In convicting the ACCUSED. Philippine Currency. On May 31. "A-4" & "OO"). Northern Cotabato Branch. J. the ACCUSED pleaded not guilty.656. "A-1".736 cavans and 25 kilos of corn grain. the Tally Sheets signed by the ACCUSED. showed that the ACCUSED had in his custody 113.94. to receive on deposit from other RCA warehouses transfers of stock (Transfers-in) and to ship out stock in his custody upon orders of his supervisor (Transfers-out) 5 All transactions were evidenced by tally sheets and/or receipts (Exhibits "B-1" to "B49". 1964.94. however. [G.656. purchase invoices. namely. stored in the said warehouse by reason of his said position did then and there wilfully. which. 9 Having failed to make good the shortage. addressed to the RCA Chairman-General Manager. a Philippine Government instrumentality. "OO"). in 1962 as weigher-classifier.658 cavans and 38 kilos valued at P75. 1 On May 25. and to pay the costs. which he appropriated and converted to his own personal use and benefit. trucking receipts. 7 In May. bills of lading and monthly stock report. the weigher's tally sheets.(3)RAMON ALBORES petitioner. "D-1" to "D-50". 1965 (Exhibit "LL"). or. 1965.£îhqw⣠Page 5 .656.

two or three months. Q What was your comment? A Well. Guerras testimony on his advice to the ACCUSED follows: têñ. two months or three months. Q Why do you say that 'you were not given shrinkage allowance? What prompted you to tell that to him? A Based on the liquidation report. I found it myself and I saw when he brought it. testified that there was no report of any anomaly having been committed by the ACCUSED 13 The ACCUSED himself voluntarily submitted the records by which the auditors established the shortage. I mentioned about shrinkage allowance because during my experience as RCA employee since the NARIC time. Vicente Caballero. it will depreciate or there will be shrinkage or loss in weight after storage of one. for example corn weighing one hundred kilos. then the RCA Agency Manager and his immediate supervisor. the ACCUSED consulted the Branch Manager.. xxx xxx xxx . 8 until they were shipped out. being an agency in-charge.I know that the liquidation is also one hundred kilos. the claim for tolerable allowance asserted by the accused in this particular case is rather vague and speculative. The failure of the accused to make good the demand created a prima facie evidence that the accused misappropriated the shortage. for a period of one month. 14 When informed of the shortage by the auditors.. pay or otherwise explain the shortage in a letter dated May 27. 1965 sent by Field Auditor Jose O. . the Chief of the Accounting Department. did you make any comment on that statement made by Ramon Albores to you expressing his surprise why he should be found short? A Yes. and of course. ATTY. 12 Mr. So there was no shrinkage allowance given to you. Yuse to the accused to make good the demand.. I told him: You were found short in the liquidation made by the auditors because you were not given any shrinkage allowance. CAMELLO: Q You mentioned of a shrinkage allowance. The ACCUSED was the one who requested that his accountability be liquidated because he wanted to transfer to another office. 16 6 . Say.Indeed.£îhqw⣠ATTY. 11 In the instant case. Arsenio Guerra. I used to make a survey of private rice mills here in the City of Cotabato and tried to ask them: 'Do you think that the corn being stored in your bodega. 10 Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code does provide that it shall be prima facie evidence of malversation when a public officers fails to have duly forthcoming any public funds or property for which he is chargeable on demand by any duly authorized officer. Arsenio Guerra.. 15 This conduct of the ACCUSED in consulting his superiors we find consistent with good faith. say. That presumption of guilt is founded on human experience and is valid However. and the Agency Manager. will depreciate or will have any loss in weight ? Q And what was the result of that survey that you made? Page A They told me: 'Yes. sir. the ACCUSED has presented evidence which engenders reasonable doubt in our minds as to his culpability. Formal demand upon the accused was made to restitute. What do you mean by shrinkage allowance? A Well. of course. who informed him that he was found short because he was not given any shrinkage allowance. The accused failed to establish in evidence the quantity and amount of losses incurred in each of the various purchases and transferring of corn grains stored in Warehouse No. CAMELLO: Q You said Ramon Albores asked you why he was found short. the accused can present evidence to rebut it.

in a communication dated July 26.Thus it was that Agency Manager Guerra advised the ACCUSED to write the Head Office in Manila to ask for a re-audit. It was because the ACCUSED was taking time asking for advice from his superiors that he did not answer the demand letter. Crucial to the determination of The culpability of the ACCUSED is the question of whether he is entitled to the allowance for "shrinkage" and "predators" that he had officially requested but was denied him. xxx xxx xxx A warehouseman Therefore. the pertinent portions of which read: têñ. It was also because of his inability to verify from his own records that the ACCUSED refused to sign the Statement of Daily Purchases of Corn Grains (Exhibit "A"). the Statement of Transfers-Out to Cebu Branch (Exhibit "A-4") and the Summary of Accountability (Exhibit "OO") 18 as required by the examining auditors. Assistant to the Chairman and Manager for Operations of the Rice and Corn Administration. but should pay the purchase price only for the weight of 56 kilos. his recorded receipt of 59 cavans purchased should be considered only as 56 kilos upon liquidation of this stock accountability. This simply indicates that RCA warehouseman are given allowances for shrinkage due to the moisture contents. stocks depredation. Grains Economics. as specified in Supreme Court Resolution dated June 4.£îhqw⣠(e) Allowance for shrinkage. sometime in 1966. Upon liquidation of his stock the warehouseman should be made accountable only for the weight of 56 kilos per cavan and not the original buying weight of 59 kilos per cavan. de Dios. the Acting Director. The allowable rates are proportionately graduated according to the length of storage and quantity of stored cereal stock handled. depreciation and spillage of stocks while store(d) in his (their) warehouse. Mateo B. among others: têñ. from the Field Auditor.£îhqw⣠xxx xxx xxx Per quoted excerpts from the memorandum of Mr. dated May 27. of stocks on storage. who purchases a cavan of corn grains with a moisture content of 15% should receive the cereal at a buying weight of 59 kilos. besides the fact that he was asking for copies of his reports so he could verify the alleged shortage. de Dios. wherein he requested for shrinkage allowance and allowance for predators (Exhibit "1"). Assistant to the Chairman & Manager for Operations. 19 Asked by this Court to comment on said Memorandum. and not out of a feeling of guilt as intimated by the prosecution. Presented in evidence by the defense was a Memorandum to the RCA Board of Directors from Mateo B. In other words. birds and other pests. the Statement of Transfers-In from Midsayap (Exhibit "A-1"). etc. Evaluation of tolerable allowances given to RCA warehouseman is based on a case to case basis and to clearly assess the tolerable allowances given to a specific warehouseman. an RCA warehouseman may accept for storage corn grains with moisture content of 15% and a weight of 59 kilos per cavan and would only be accountable for 56 kilos per cavan on liquidation. Aside from the above allowance for the loss of moisture content of stored cereal the defunct NARIC management has provided tolerable allowances based on intensive studies and experiment made for losses due to depredation caused by insects. spillage. 20 Also presented in evidence by the defense was a standard form of an Agreement for Purchase and Sale of Corn between the RCA and Contractors. 1973. which corn is procured say a few days or weeks after harvest the kernels contain high moisture ranging from 20 to 30 percent. who are bonded warehouseman. but these reports were no longer made available to him. 1965. but the same remained unheeded. addressed to the Chairman-General Manager of RCA. moisture content should be about 14% or slightly lower.£îhqw⣠Records of studies of the defucnt NARIC and the present management shows that. stated: têñ. respondents. providing for. To be safe for storage. 1965. 17 The ACCUSED did so in a letter. 1973. This shows that from the time the corn is harvested to the time that tie grain is safe for storage a great deal moisture is lost. the need for a liquidation report is imperative. Such studies provides an allowance not exceeding 2% of stocks stored for one (1) year. (Exhibit "4A") Page 7 . dated August 26. ordinarily. National Grains Authority.

077 cavans and 43 kilos of stocks shipped out by the ACCUSED (Exhibit "OO").£îhqw⣠Q So. therefore. if a cavan of corn is 56 kilos and you store that in one month's time. how much shrinkage would a cavan of corn would have suffered? A The minimum shrinkage should be more than three kilos every three months. The correct deficiency would.736 cavans and 25 kilos of the total stocks received by ACCUSED and 109. a loss of 2 kilos per 1 cavan if storage is 1 month. if the corn grains is stored in the bodega for three months. that you buy from the time you buy them up to the time you dispose of them? A Well basing on my experience in the business that we have in storing corn grains inside.736 cavans and 25 kilos. Q How many kilos would be the shrinkage if the storage is for two months? A The very very conservative shrinkage should be more than two and a half kilos. testified that it is customary in the business that. we do. which is the deficiency between 113.077 cavans and 43 kilos is actually an erroneous computation. to have the warehouse chemically treated and sprayed. the General Manager of Lam Sam Trading. Caballero. The Information alleges that the ACCUSED is liable for malversation of 4. Vicente F.037 cavans and 41 kilos and not 109.5 kilos per cavan can be attributed to shrinkage. Converting this into cavans by dividing the same by 56 kilos a cavan is equivalent to 56 kilos) the quotient should be 110.037 cavans and 21 41 kilos from 113.While the agreement is with a contractor. upon request of the ACCUSED (Exhibit "2"). sir.077 cavans and 43 kilos as it appears in Exhibit "OO". however. the difference after deducting 110. Notwithstanding the foregoing considerations.5 kilos per 1 cavan if storage is 2 months.£îhqw⣠Q And in your experience as businessman in this particular fine of business. what can you say about the percentage of shrinkage of corn that you buy? How much was the percentage of shrinkage of the corn. and 3 kilos per cavan if storage is 3 months. Robert Lu who had been engaged in the business of rice and corn since 1953. it serves to confirm that it is normal in the business of storage of corn to provide for allowance for shrinkage. the evidence likewise discloses that the stock of corn under the custody of the ACCUSED was attacked by weevils sometime in August and September 1964. it becomes 54 kilos. Q And if it is stored for two months? A It should be more than two kilos. be only 3. for the period of one month the shrinkage will be more or less two kilos per cavan. I would say the moisture contents of 17 percent is due to shrinkage of corn. 2. to write the Branch Manager of RCA in Cotabato City. therefore. Following is his testimony:têñ. if any. Q Now.113 kilos (Exhibit "A-4").658 cavans and 38 kilos of corn. xxx xxx xxxtêñ. The latter figure of 109. the tolerable allowances given to RCA warehousemen were not accorded the ACCUSED for some unexplained reason except for the statement that such allowances are given on a "case by case basis". is that correct? A More or less. xxx xxx xxx 21 Aside from shrinkage due to loss of moisture content. based on your testimony. since the total grain shipped out was 6. is allowable on the accumulated stock of corn grain. Page 8 . This attack by weevils would account for further shrinkage. have you been buying corn using that accepted commercial practice? A Yes. Additionally. 22 Considering that an allowance of 2.698 cavans and 40 kilos. prompting Agency Manager Guerra.162.

the quotient would be 5. upon reasonable doubt.736 cavans by 2. SO ORDERED. the accused Ramon Albores is hereby acquitted of the crime of Malversation of Public Property.340 kilos. but it closed its evidence without said testimony. 23 The prosecution submits that the shortage is too great to be attributable to shrinkage. an inexperienced warehouseman.340 kilos into cavans by dividing it by 56 kilos. the Chief of Warehousing and Billing Department of the RCA to testify on shrinkage. Costs de officio. The evidence on record fails to convince us that the shortage herein was due to misappropriation or embezzlement or conversion by the ACCUSED. The deficiency of 3. Converting 284. of the compensable stock in his custody for his own personal use.698 cavans and 40 kilos or even if we consider the computation of the RCA auditors of 4. that consideration is neither sufficient to convict. It promised to present as rebuttal witness. Page 9 .077 cavans — representing the tolerable allowance for shrinkage. we multiply 113. Even if so. spillage and predators.658 cavans and 38 kilos.5 kilos and the result would be 284. The prosecution did not present evidence contrary to the defense of the ACCUSED. WHEREFORE. would be well within the allowable shortage.spillage and predators.

. Jr.000. 19. We resolved "(a) to require the respondents to file an ANSWER thereto. it was held that "[r]espondent Judge unfortunately assumed that thereby a defendant was thus conferred a fundamental right to ignore the terms of the bond posted by him in accordance with his constitutional right to bail. It is the submission of private respondent that the above constitutional provision grants him absolute right to absent himself from the trial of the case filed against him despite the condition of his bail bond that he "will at all times hold himself amenable to the orders and processes of the Court.R. The prosecuting fiscal moved that respondent Rodolfo Valdez. (Emphasis supplied) After his arraignment. and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel. as principal therein will appear and answer the charge above-mentioned in whatever Court it may be tried. and will at all times hold himself amenable to the orders and processes of the Court. can he compelled by the trial court to be present during the trial of Criminal Case No. We resolved to give due course to the petition and to decide the issue. The present Constitution certainly has made a dent on the traditional and correct concept of a bail as given to allow the Page 10 . Rodolfo Valdez. 1983 of respondent judge be annulled and set aside and (3) that private respondent Rodolfo Valdez. Plaintiff. without requiring memorandum from the parties. alias Niño.. Accused. Pangasinan. URDANETA.000. U-3439 with murder before the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. versus Rodolfo Valdez. et al. No. to have a speedy. as bondsmen. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. et al. and (b) to ISSUE effective immediately and until further orders from this Court. 2. this petition for certiorari with prayer. Jr." Hence. On August 10. Aquino. He is out on a P30. Jr." of the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Jr. FIRST 'JUDICIAL REGION. Jr. vs. manifested orally in open court that he was waiving his right to be present during the trial. (1) that pending the resolution of this case on the merits. Jr. [G. Rodolfo Valdez. U-3439. entitled "People of the Philippines. 1983.. allowing the accused. be compelled to appear and be present at the trial so that he could be Identified by prosecution witnesses. petitioner. L-64731 October 26. BRANCH XLV. despite its waiver of his right to be present.00 bail bond which contains the following conditions — The aforenamed." In the case of People vs. Jr. J. Section 19 thereof provides — SEC.RIGHT TO BE HEARD (4) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1983. Branch XLV at Urdaneta. Sr. 1983] RELOVA. vs. JR. Rollo) Private respondent filed his answer to the petition and. and if convicted.. 84 SCRA 198. and render himself to the execution thereof. dated April 15. and RODOLFO VALDEZ. be compelled to appear during the trial of Criminal Case No. and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf.. a writ of preliminary injunction be issued to restrain respondent judge from enforcing his Order dated April 15. In all criminal prosecutions. trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustified. 17. is charged in Criminal Case No. will appear for judgment. PANGASINAN. However.. Jr.. and not to move to dismiss the petition. the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. 1983. hereby jointly and severally undertake that the above-mentioned defendant. impartial. as to whether or not respondent Rodolfo Valdez. to totally waive his presence during the trial of Criminal Case No. U-3439 whenever required to do so by the trial court. 63 SCRA 546.00) .. Respondent judge in his Order. to meet the witnesses face to face. Prieto. THE PRESIDING JUDGE. Branch XLV in Urdaneta.: Private respondent Rodolfo Valdez. and public trial. be Identified by the witnesses for the prosecution Article IV of the 1973 Constitution. sustained the position of private respondent who cited the majority opinion in the case of Benigno S. (2) that said Order dated April 15. First Judicial Region. Military Commission No. thru his counsel. and held that "he cannot be validly compelled to appear and be present during the trial of this case. among others. U-3439 so that he car." (p. after deliberation. 1983. respondents. after arraignment. within ten (10) days from notice hereof. a TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER enjoining the respondent Judge from enforcing the Order dated April 15.. or that if he fails to perform any of these conditions will pay to the Republic of the Philippines the sum of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30.

Upon failure to do so. vs. the witness is referring to him and to no one else. the late Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro. Military CommissionNo. Jr. I might agree to the proposition of 'total' waiver in any case where the accused agrees explicitly and unequivocally in writing signed by him or personally manifests clearly and indubitably in open court and such manifestation is recorded. the 1973 Constitution now unqualifiedly permits trial in absentia even of capital offenses. 2. in his concurring and dissenting opinion. Reason for requiring the presence of the accused. if allowed to be absent in all the stages of the proceedings without giving the People's witnesses the opportunity to Identify him in court. et al. of respondent judge is hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. and the restraining order enjoining said respondent judge from enforcing his appealed order is made permanent.. ACCORDINGLY. is. in Aquino. 63 SCRA 546. is entitled to an acquittal. the warrant of arrest previously issued can be a sufficient justification for his confinement further. that whenever a prosecution witness mentions a name by which the accused is known. the petition is granted and the assailed Order. or provided he unqualifiedly admits in open court after his arraignment that he is the person named as the defendant in the case on trial.release of a person in the custody of the law on condition that he would appear before any court whenever so required. provided that after arraignment he may be compelled to appear for the purpose of Identification by the witnesses of the prosecution. clearly stated that "the accused may waive his presence in the criminal proceedings except at the stages where Identification of his person by the prosecution witnesses is necessary. it is possible that a witness may not know the name of the culprit but can Identify him if he sees him again. 1983. he may in his defense say that he was never Identified as the person charged in the information and. Page 11 . therefore. dated April 15. in which case the latter's presence in court is necessary. SO ORDERED. Furthermore. despite his waiver." Stated differently.

He deposited a cash bond for his provisional liberty. On February 3. except when he is to be identified. Nevertheless. 1987. Section 19. his absence will be deemed as express waiver of his right to be present. petitioner was charged with malicious mischief before the Municipal Trial Court of Malabuyoc. 1990] GANCAYCO. Upon his arraignment he manifested orally in open court that he is waiving his right to be present during the trial. The defense counsel justified petitioner's absence in that the latter's presence can no longer be required as he already filed a written waiver of appearance.R. the confiscation of the cash bond. In all criminal prosecutions. 1985 and a subpoena was issued to petitioner who failed to appear on said date. to meet the witnesses face to face. petitioner. Hence. Cebu City. Military Commission No. 2 2 where a similar issue was presented. six justices were of the view that petitioner may waive his right to be present at all stages of the proceedings. A motion for reconsideration thereof having been denied. the said trial court denied the same. the municipal judge issued an order dated May 27. respondents. 4 the accused was charged with murder before the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. waives his further appearance during the trial can be ordered arrested by the court for non-appearance upon summons to appear for purposes of identification. 3 In People vs. However. he admits that he could be identified by witnesses who are testifying at the time that said accused was not present. 1985 the prosecution moved for the recall of its principal witness for the purpose of identifying the accused-petitioner who was not then present. GENEROSO A. impartial and public trial. VICTORIA CATOSTOS. However. In Aquino. and HON. 1986 ordering the arrest of petitioner. Hence. the herein petition for review on certiorari questioning the dismissal of the petition by the trial court and submitting for determination the issue of whether or not petitioner can be compelled. he entered a plea of not guilty and thereafter he filed a written waiver of appearance dated May 14. Presiding Judge. 1983. [G. and the Honorable Court may proceed with the trial of his case as if he were present. (Emphasis supplied) SO ORDERED. the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. 40. to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him to have a speedy. The issue is not new. 1 It is the proper interpretation and application of this constitutional provision on which the resolution of this petition depends. JUABAN (Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. No. At the hearing on August 14. to show cause why no judgment should be rendered against the bondsman. In this connection. and at the same time ordering the bondsman. who is the petitioner himself. J.: The issue in this case is whether or not an accused who. 77542 March 19. petitioner elevated the matter to the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City through a petition for certiorari and prohibition. vs. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1984 which reads as follows: IN COMPLIANCE with the Letter of Institution No. 19. this Court made the following disquisition: Page 12 . The prosecuting fiscal moved that the accused be compelled to appear and be present at the trial so that he can be identified by the prosecution witnesses. This court sustained the position of the accused on the strength of the ruling of this Court in Aquino. Upon arraignment. to be present during the trial for purposes of his identification by the prosecution witnesses in a complaint for malicious mischief despite his written waiver of appearance. and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. after arraignment. In an order dated January 28. and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel. on pain of being arrested and his cash bond getting confiscated. the hearing was re-scheduled on October 9. after arraignment. vs. Branch VII). Jr. the undersigned accused hereby waives his appearance during the trial or any stage thereof and he agrees that in case he fails to appear for trial despite due notice. 1972. Article 4 of the 1973 Constitution which was then in force provides as follows: Sec.(5) ELIAS CARREDO. The result was that the order of the respondent military commission requiring his presence at all times during the proceedings before it should be modified in the sense that petitioner's presence shall be required only in the instance just indicated. dated November 10. while five justices were in agreement that he may so waive such right. trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustified.

6 this Court reiterated the rule in Aquino that the accused may waive his presence at the trial of the case his presence may be compelled when he is to be identified. the petition is DENIED without pronouncement as to costs. He cannot therefore seek the benefit of the exception recognized in Presiding Judge. It is important to state that the provision of the Constitution authorizing the trial in absentia of the accused in case of his nonappearance after arraignment despite due notice simply means that he thereby waives his right to meet the witnesses face to face among others. if allowed to be absent in all the stages of the proceedings without giving the People's witnesses the opportunity to identify him in court. Jr.. 2. in People vs. What is stated in Presiding Judge as an exception is when the accused "unqualifiedly admits in open court after his arraingment the he is the person named as defendant in the case on trial. in his concurring and dissenting opinion. Prieto. WHEREFORE. 84 SCRA 198. it was held that "[r]espondent Judge unfortunately assumed that thereby a defendant was thus conferred a fundamental right to ignore the terms of the bond posted by him in accordance with his constitutional right to bail. is. 63 SCRA 546." no more no less. Furthermore. Military Commission No. the witness is referring to him and to no one else. Presiding Judge. or provided he unqualifiedly admits in open court after his arraignment that he is the person named as the defendant in the case on trial. argues that he should not be ordered arrested for non-appearance since he filed a written waiver that "he admits that he could be identified by witnesses who have testified at the time that said accused was not present" following the ruling of this Court in People vs." Further. The aforestated statement in the waiver of appearance of petitioner that he admits he could be identified by the witnesses for the prosecution even in his absence is not such unqualified admission contemplated in Presiding Judge. vs. Sr. such waiver of appearance and trial in absentia does not mean that the prosecution is thereby deprived of its right to require the presence of the accused for purposes of identification by its witnesses which is vital for the conviction of the accused. He did not admit that he is the very person named as defendant in the case on trial. SO ORDERED. The present Constitution certainly has not made a dent on the traditional and correct concept of a bail as given to allow the release of a person in the custody of the law on condition that he would appear before any court whenever so required. therefore. I might agree to the proposition of "total" waiver in any case where the accused agrees explicitly and unequivocally in writing signed by him or personally manifests clearly and indubitably in open court and such manifestation is recorded. however. despite his waiver. Petitioner. it is possible that a witness may not know the name of the culprit but can identify him if he sees him again. in which case the latter's presence in court is necessary. the warrant of arrest previously issued can be a sufficient justification for his confinement. clearly stated that "the accused may waive his presence in the criminal proceedings except at the stages where identification of his person by the prosecution witnesses is necessary. 7 The accused may waive his right but not his duty or obligation to the court. the late Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro. Upon failure to do so. that whenever a prosecution witness mentions a name by which the accused is known. An express waiver of appearance after arraignment. is entitled to an acquittal. However. the 1973 Constitution now unqualifiedly permits trial in absentia even of capital offenses." Stated differently. provided that after arraignment he may be compelled to appear for the purpose of identification by the witnesses of the prosecution. as in this case. 5 Thus. Page 13 . In the present case petitioner only admits that he can be identified by the prosecution witnesses in his absence..Presiding Judge. Such waiver of a right of the accused does not mean a release of the accused from his obligation under the bond to appear in court whenever so required.In the case of People vs. he may in his defense say that he was never identified as the person charged in the information and. His admission is vague and far from unqualified. is of the same effect. in Aquino. The reason for requiring the presence of the accused. et al.

Binayoh. however. it is at that stage where in the mode and manner required by the Rules." 14 It could then conclude: :Verily the records clearly show that petitioner was not arraigned at all and was not represented by counsel throughout the whole proceedings in the respondent City Court. This notwithstanding respondent Judge Senining proceeded with the trial in abssentia and thereafter. even of his life.. Thereupon.. L-45667 June 20. a graveabuse of discretion. 4 Ther was thus. and three documents were offered in evidence after which the prosecution rested its case. the offended party herself.7 speaking through Justice De Joya and following the language of the American Supreme Court. 5 when asked to comment. he must be fully informed of why the prosecuting arm of the state is mobilized against him. with an opportunity to be heard. With his counsel by his side. It is true. the complaint or information may not be worded with sufficient clarity. 1976 petitioner that the failure to arraign him is violative of his constitutional right to procedural due process. ROMULO R. 2. as set forth in the comment of the Solicitor General. MENDOZA.(6) MANUEL BORJA. vs. As noted. Those are rights which he must assert himself and the benefits of which he himself must demand. found him guilty of such offense and sentenced him to suffer imprisonment for a period of twenty days of arresto menor. respondents. 2 It was then alleged that without any notice to petitioner and without requiring him to submit his memorandum. . at the very least. without petitioner being present. and a judgment awarded with the authority of a constitutional law. 3 more specifically of his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him and of his right to be heard by himself and counsel. An equally fatal defect in the proceeding had before respondent Judge Senining was that notwithstanding its being conducted in the absence of petitioner. 1977] FERNANDO. Castillo. He may move to quash. December 14. It was shown that after one postponement due to his failure to appear. An arraignment serves that purpose. The Solicitor General. He is not even required to do so immediately. on its own motion. It is not useless formality. It is imperative that he is thus made fully aware of Possible loss of freedom. respondent City Court set the promulgation of the decision on December 28. The plea of petitioner to nullify the proceedings had in the criminal case against him finds support in the procedural due process mandate of the Constitution.R. in People v. petitioner. an appeal was duly elevated to the Court of First Instance of Cebu presided by respondent Judge Mendoza. SENINING. much less an Idle ceremony. It is thus a vital aspect of the constitutional rights guaranteed him. 3. a decision on the appealed case was rendered on November 16. upon notice to him. on his demand. . " 9 Its importance was stressed by Justice Moreland as early as 1916 in the leading case of United States v. Identified due process with the accused having "been heard in a court of competent jurisdiction. RAFAEL T. and only punished after inquiry and investigation. [G.. 40.. the case was reset for hearing. in a decision promulgated on August 18. 1973. is laid on the court with regard to the rights of the accused which he may be entitled to exercise during the trial. he was convicted. Moreover. certain others. Senining of the City of Cebu which was not remedied by respondent Judge Rafael T. is granted the opportunity to know the precise charge that confronts him.. "there is a duty laid by the Code [now the Rules of Court] upon the court to inform [him] of certain rights and to extend to him. to be convicted only on a showing that his guilt is shown beyond reasonable doubt with full opportunity to disprove the evidence against him. It requires that the accused be arraigned so that he may be informed as to why he was indicted and what penal offense he has to face. The comment was considered as answer." 11 To emphasize its importance." 15 It is indisputable then that there was a denial of petitioner's Page 14 . agreed that the procedural defect was of such gravity as to render void the decision of the City Court affirmed by the Court of First Instance. Thereafter he is no longer in the dark. he added: "No such duty. J. with the case being submitted for decision. "allowed the prosecution to present its evidence invoking Letter of Instruction No. he is thus in a position to enter his plea with full knowledge of the consequences. 1 Thereafter. in the arraignment the court must act of its own volition. must perform. Judge of the Court of First Instance of Cebu (Branch VI) and HON. 1976. who was accused of slight physical injuries. for the first time." 13 Procedural due process demands no less. What is thus evident is that an arraignment assures that he be fully acquainted with the nature of the crime imputed to him and the circumstances under which it is allegedly committed. No. although his bondsmen were notified. This duty is an affirmative one which the court. Judge of the City Court of Cebu (Branch I)." 12 In the terse and apt language of the Solicitor General: "Arraignment is an indispensable requirement in any criminal prosecution. Only one witness testified. unless waived. At the very least then. depending on the nature of the crime imputed to him. Mendoza of the Court of First Instance of Cebu in this certionrari proceeding was the absence of an arrainment of petitioner Manuel Borja. When that date came. duly taken note of in the comment of the Solicitor General. Nor is it only the due process guarantee that calls for the accused being duly arraigned. He would be in a much worse position though if he does not even have such an opportunity to plead to the charge.. In other words. and proceeded against under the orderly processes of law. respondent Judge. 1973.: The jurisdictional infirmity imputer to respondent Judge Romulo R. thus calls for the grant of the writ of certiorari prayed for. 6 This Court. 10 He pointed out that upon the accused being arraigned. 1. the sentence to be imposed in such a case is to be in accordance with a valid law." 8 An arraignment thus becomes indispensable as the means "for bringing the accused into court and notifying him of the cause he is required to meet . an accused. Respect for the constitutional rights of an accused as authoritatively construed by this Court. HON.

The provision in the present Constitution allowing trial to be held in absentia is unavailing. but here there was no such waiver. Without the accused having been arraigned. It cannot justify the actuation of respondent Judge Senining. finding the accused guilty of the crime of slight physical injuries. 1976. the absence of an arraignment can be invoked at anytime in view of the requirements of due process to ensure a fair and impartial trial. trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustified. People v. As categorically affirmed by Justice Ozaeta for this Court in the leading case of Abriol v. and.constitutional right to be heard by himself and counsel. the appeal itself is tantamount to questioning those defects. Homeres: 16 "It is the constitutional right of the accused to be heard in his defense before sentence is pronounced on him. Specifically. 5." 20With the violation of the constitutional right to be heard by himself and counsel being thus manifest. the decision of respondent Judge Rafael T. the petition for certiorari is granted. it becomes academic to discuss the applicability of this exception to the basic constitutional right that the accused should be heard by himself and counsel. considered the appeal taken by the petitioner as waiver of the defects in the proceedings in the respondent City Court. whether express or implied. Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of the law. Nor did the appeal to the Court of First Instance presided by respondent Judge Mendoza possess any curative aspect. Thus: "However. is nullified and set aside. after arraignment.. 1973. commentaries and the rules to bolster his position. 4. Likewise. Page 15 . 19 where the then Chief Justice Moran emphatically took note of the importance of the right to counsel: "In criminal cases there can be no fair hearing unless the accused be given an opportunity to be heard by counsel." 18 There is no doubt that it could be waived. particularly in the rules of procedure. it is mandatory. Senining dated December 28." 17 He added further that such "constitutional right is inviolate. The case is remanded to the City Court of Cebu for the prosecution of the offense of slight physical injuries. Its language is clear and explicit.." 22 WHEREFORE. it is easily understandable why the Solicitor General agreed with petitioner that the sentence imposed on him should be set aside for being null. the Memorandum in support of the appeal unmistakably raised as error the absence of petitioner at the arraignment and cited jurisprudence. starting with the arraignment of petitioner. The right to be heard would be of little avail if it does not include the right to be heard by counsel. he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence. affirming the aforesaid decision of Judge Senining. It suffices to refer to another leading case. with due respect and observance of the provisions of the Rules of Court. without counsel. Holgado. the indispensable requisite for trial in absentia is that it should come "after arraignment. Mendoza dated November 16. Precisely." 21 As pointed out then by the Solicitor General. What is more. The decision of respondent Judge Romulo R. is nullified and set aside. To quote anew from the comment of the Solicitor General: "Respondent Court of First Instance ." The express mention in the present Constitution of the need for such a step emphasizes its importance in the procedural scheme to accord an accused due process. In fact.

1994. xxx. abuse of authority and rendering unjust and erroneous interlocutory orders and judgment in connection with Criminal Cases Nos. Veneracion for gross ignorance of the law. 6. 1994 with ‗no bail recommended‘. SP No. the pertinent portion of which reads: ― xxx 1. and that respondent Judge abused his authority when he issued the June 8. Accused-complainant filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus. 7 and 8. MANILA. which led to complainant Parada‘s ―premature incarceration‖ at the Makati City Jail and Muntinlupa National Penitentiary. the notice of hearing dated April 27. Judge Ortile inhibited himself from trying the said case and thus. 1994. Bo. xxx Furthermore. Respondent Judge likewise assigned a counsel de officio. Thus. Jesse Tiburan of the Public Attorney‘s Office (PAO) as counsel for the accused. On February 8. Parada filed with this Court the instant complaint dated March 11. 1994. 3. BRANCH 47. et. that the order of his arrest with no recommendation for bail was erroneous. VENERACION. 93-121385 to 88. Makati. respondent. 7 and 8. Makati. [A.M. the case was re-raffled to the sala of respondent Judge Lorenzo Veneracion. On June 4. JUDGE LORENZO B. On the hearing of June 8. That the herein Judge acted in good faith in the trial of the said cases. inter alia. 93-121385 to 88.: The case before us stems from a verified complaint filed by Danilo B. 37340 entitled ‗Danilo Parada vs. Judge Lorenzo B. 1994. The undisputed facts of the case as found by the Office of the Court Administrator are as follows : ―Complainant herein is the accused in the aforementioned case for four (4) counts of estafa which were initially raffled to Branch 30. RTJ-96-1353. March 11. a decision was rendered convicting herein accused-appellant of the crime and the decision was promulgated despite his absence. Parada against respondent Judge Lorenzo B. 1994 was sent to complainant‘s former address and that for failure of accused -complainant to appear on June 3. Accused-complainant was arrested and brought to the Makati City Jail. Metro Manila. 1994. Apparently. 93-121385 to 88.‖[1] Subsequently. RTC. On August 18. vs. Veneracion.. Page 16 . He alleged. 1996. and per order of April 26. 1993 he also notified the Manager of the bonding company of his change of address. On November 25. a warrant of arrest was issued on June 3. after having been informed that the private complainants merely borrowed from ‗loan sharks‘ the money given to the accused Danilo Parada and that they are only interested in compelling said accused to return their money. That the herein complaint is purely and plainly a ‗harassment suit‘ arising from the Decision rendered in the case of Peop le vs. respondent court issued orders noting the failure of the petitioner to appear and proceeded with the trial in absentia. al. ordering the confiscation of the bond and a trial in absentia was conducted. complainant. PARADA. Atty. 1994. the hearing of the case was set for June 3. respondent ordered the arrest of herein accused-complainant. 1994 order denying the motion of Parada‘s counsel de oficio to allow him to present his evidence upon his arrest. On October 27. 1996 against the respondent Judge Veneracion in connection with the decision and interlocutory orders rendered by the latter in Criminal Cases Nos. entitled People vs. No. Complainant is also duly bonded with the Eastern Assurance and Surety Corporation (EASCO). San Isidro. that the respondent Judge is guilty of ignorance of the law when he did not follow the legal requirements of a valid trial in absentia which led to his conviction and premature incarceration. Metro Manila to 2412 Nobel St. That the charges therein are denied because they are not based on the facts and of the records of the case. Certiorari and Annulment of Judgment with prayer for immediate relief with the Court of Appeals and was docketed as CA-G. 1993 complainant notified said court formally thru counsel of his change of address from 219 Cityland Condominium. 1995. 1997] TORRES. the Court of Appeals promulgated a decision declaring the decision dated November 25.‘. Buendia Extension. was denied and further held that the ‗failure of the accused to appear is a waiver of his right to adduce evidence‘. the herein Judge merely acted with compassion upon receipt of the records of these cases from another sala. 1995 of respondent court null and void and further ordering the case to be remanded to respondent for further proceeding in order to afford accused-complainant the opportunity to rebut the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and documentary evidence against him as well as present his evidence.(7) DANILO B. the Office of the Court Administrator received the respondent Judge‘s comment to Parada‘s complaint. JR. On October 23. 2. not in sending said accused to jail. the Office of the Court Administrator on the contrary held that: ―xxx Respondent‘s general denial of the allegations imputed to him does not belie any of the facts which lead to the incarceration of the complainant. Parada thus prayed for the dismissal from service of the respondent Judge and that the latter be barred from railroading the subject Criminal Cases Nos. On June 6. Danilo Parada. his failure to deny each and every specific allegations can be construed as admission on his part. J. Danilo Parada for estafa.‖[2] Unfazed by the foregoing assertions of the respondent Judge. 1994. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. Manila presided by Judge Senecio Ortile.R. the motion of counsel de officio of accused-complainant that defense be allowed to present evidence upon petitioner‘s arrest..

he would have surely noticed the change of address.00 with a warning that a commission of the same or similar infraction shall be dealt with more severely. his official address remains to be that of his address of record. The rule is clear that unless charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua and the evidence of guilt is strong. the Office of the Court Administrator recommended that respondent Judge Veneracion be fined in the amount of P10. Concomitantly. the sending of notice of hearing to his former address is an invalid service and cannot in any way bind Parada. In so doing. A violation therefore of any of the rights accorded the accused constitutes a denial of due process of law. Page 17 WHEREFORE. 1993. 1994 hearings is justified by the absence of a valid service of notice of hearing to him. respondent denied complainant his right to due process. His failure to appear therefore in the June 3. This circumstance could not have escaped the attention of the respondent judge when he issued on June 3. It is worthy to stress that due process of law in judicial proceedings requires that the accused must be given an opportunity to be heard. (2) he has been duly notified of the trial. 1994 is a downright violation of Parada‘s constitutional right to bail. respondent judge exhibited that degree of ignorance so gross which the Court can not countenance.[4] In the subject criminal cases. [6] It is undisputed that Parada‘s counsel filed a notice of c hange of address on October 23. 1994. In this case. which eventually led to Parada‘s unwarranted deprivation of liberty. Incidentally. Judges. The circumstantial setting of the instant case as weighed by the basic standards of fair play impels us to so hold that the trial in absentia of Parada and his subsequent conviction are tainted with the vice of nullity.00 for disregarding Parada‘s right to procedural due process and for showing gross ignorance of the law. He has the right to be present and defend in person at every stage of the proceedings. and his questioned orders. [7] No less than the Constitution provides that no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. all persons detained.[5] Accordingly. the respondent judge should have already taken cognizance of the new address when it sent the notice of hearing dated April 27.Moreover. respondent Judge Lorenzo B. by the very delicate nature of their functions in dispensing justice.[10] They are called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules.‖ [3] On the basis of these observations. Section 14 (2). 7 and 8. Notice to a party is essential to enable him to adduce his own evidence and to meet and refute the evidence submitted by the other party. Clearly. It is thus unwarranted for the respondent judge to still send the notice of hearing to the old address of Parada‘s counsel because it is not his official address nor his address of record. requisite numbers two (2) and three (3) of a valid trial in absentia are clearly wanting. it is imperative that he be conversant with basic legal principles. Parada had not been duly notified of the trial because the notice of hearing dated April 27. they should endeavor assiduously to ascertain the facts and the applicable laws. . notices to counsel should be properly sent to his address of record and unless the counsel files a notice of change of address. arrested or otherwise under the custody of the law are entitled to bail as a matter of right. where a party appears by attorney in an action or proceeding in a court of record. should be more circumspect in the performance of their duties. with a STERN WARNING that a repetition of a similar act in the future will be dealt with more severely. Article 3 of the Constitution provides. the right to a hearing carries with it the right to be notified of every incident of the proceedings in court. could not have been precipitately iss ued. xxx Respondent issued a warrant for the arrest of the accused-complainant with no ‗bail recommended‘ despite the fact that the crime charged was bailable and denied the motion of his counsel for the acc used to adduce evidence upon accused‘s arrest.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct to be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence. that trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable. It should be noted that the crime with which Parada was charged is estafa[9] which is undoubtedly a bailable offense. As a rule. Had respondent judge carefully and diligently studied the records of the case. Judges are required by Canon 3.000. the warrant of arrest with no recommendation for bail that was issued by respondent Judge on June 3. Veneracion is FINED P10. Likewise. and (3) his failure to appear is unjustifiable. for evidently Parada was denied due process of law. complainant was never notified of any hearing from the time he changed his address up to the promulgation of the decision despite the fact that he notified the court and his bonding company. all notices required to be given therein must be given to the attorney of record. The requisites then of a valid trial in absentia are: (1) the accused has already been arraigned. 6. 1994 the order of arrest of Parada with no recommendation for his bail.[8] In resolving matters in litigation. inter alia. trial in absentia may proceed only if the accused failed to appear at the trial without justification despite due notice.000. As such. Rule 3. 1994 was sent to the former address of Parada‘s counsel despite the fact that the latter formally notified the court of his change of address.[11] SO ORDERED. We agree with the findings of the Office of the Court Administrator.

19 years old. Gonzales. as amended by R. Samuel Baldado and Edwin de la Cruz as counsel de oficio.R. Dr. pre-trial and trial on 22 December 1994. Cruz. sister of Eden Agbayani. No. Branch 106. By inflicting his animal greed on her in a disgusting coercion of incestuous lust. the defense presented appellant. the Station Investigation and Intelligence Division of the National Capital Regional Command. The latter yields only to biological impulses and is unfettered by social inhibitions when it mates with its own kin. vs. after resolving this case of 14-year-old Eden Agbayani who charged her own father with rape committed in the sanctity of their rented room on 19 July 1994. not least of all by the fruit of his own loins whose progeny he has forever stained with his shameful and shameless lechery. 12 During these hearings. 2 Before this Court on automatic review is the decision 3 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. assisted by Attys. 14 years old. 10 On the succeeding dates of trial. Florante Baltazar. Adoracion M. Eduardo Agbayani pending before this Honorable Court docketed as Criminal Case No. endorsed to the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City the complaint of Eden Agbayani (hereafter EDEN) for rape against her father. plaintiff-appellee. with the prosecution presenting the first witness. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. however.RIGHT TO COUNSEL (8) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the prosecution presented EDEN 11 and SPO1 Salvador Buenviaje. Q-94-59149. in view of the death penalty imposed by it for the crime of rape. trial on the merits immediately followed. 5 After appropriate preliminary investigation. [G. 1998] PER CURIAM: Nine years and four months ago this Court declared: Rape is a nauseating crime that deserves the condemnation of all decent persons who recognize that a woman's cherished chastity is hers alone to surrender of her own free will. and presently residing at No. 1 At the end of the day. was filed against appellant with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City on 27 October 1994. Phase 1. then set for arraignment. herein accused-appellant Eduardo Agbayani y Mendoza. a complaint 6 for rape signed by EDEN. and sworn to before Asst. Philippine National Police (PNP). 14 which was subscribed and sworn to before notary public Eranio Cedillo on 6 February 1995. 7659. Baldado. Said affidavit reads as follows: We. and subscribed.9 who was cross-examined by Atty. Arturo Temanil of the Public Attorney's Office. 7 At his arraignment on 22 December 1994. The act becomes doubly repulsive where the outrage is perpetrated on one's own flesh and blood for the culprit is reduced to lower than the lowly animal. accused-appellant. Kaniogan.A. entered a plea of not guilty. Fedelina Agbayani. appellant was represented by Atty. after having been duly sworn to in accordance with law do hereby depose and states [sic]: That we are the complainant [sic] against our father. EDUARDO AGBAYANI y MENDOZA. assisted by her sister Fedelina Agbayani. defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. hence we decided to formally forego this case and withdraw the same: Page 18 . Eden Agbayani. 122770 January 16. as well as EDEN who identified her and Fedelina's affidavit of desistance. Pasig. City Prosecutor Charito B. 8 Upon agreement of the parties. complainant and Fedelina Agbayani. 4 On 12 September 1994. but the man who rapes his own daughter violates not only her purity and her trust but also the mores of his society which he has scornfully defied. appellant. a Medico-Legal Officer of the PNP Crime Laboratory.. No. That after evaluating the circumstance that lead [sic] to the filing of the instant case I formally realize that the incident between us and my father is purely family problem that arise from the disciplinarian attitude of our father. 59149. 13 On its part. United Glorieta. he forfeits all respect as a human being and is justly spurned by all. Metro Manila. Whoever violates that will descends to the level of the odious beast. this Court finds itself repeating this declaration. That this resulted to family misunderstanding.

with the references to the pages of the stenographic notes and exhibits deleted. Thereafter he undressed himself and succeeded in having carnal knowledge with the complainant who could only cry helplessly. The next morning. With the assistance of police officers from Station 10 of the SIID in Quezon City. is as follows: The evidence adduced on record shows that sometime in September of 1993 in Malolos. working in Saudi Arabia. Frightened. Fedelina. gayong kalalabas mo lang sa kulungan?" and threatened to kill her [sic]. Three (3) days thereafter. Complainant Eden Agbayani was awakened from her sleep by hands caressing her breasts and vagina. however. Eduardo Agbayani was thus consequently released from jail on July 13. That this affidavit was executed freely and voluntarily. of what had been done to her by her father. Obrero. and actually degrading [to] the administration of justice. Dr. was sleeping on the floor of the room with her father. Obrero.m. accordingly. complainant's mother was outside the country. 1994. 20 Page 19 .That I am executing this affidavit for purpose of finally withdrawing the instant case and therefrom requesting this Honorable Court to dismiss the case against our father. reasoning that her "intentional falsehood" was "offensive to its dignity and a blatant disrespect to the Court. Eden Agbayani. 19 Adoracion Cruz corroborated appellant's alibi. he began living with four (4) of his six (6) daughters. Fedelina. As EDEN declared in open court that what she said in her previous testimony and sworn statement were not true. on the evening of July 19. she asked. 1994. he could not have raped his daughter EDEN. who. appellant requested her to take care of his children because he was going to Pangasinan to visit his sick father. [with] the crime of rape which case was raffled to the sala of Judge Danilo Manalastas of Branch 7.00 upon EDEN's motion for reconsideration. provisionally dismissed by said Judge after the complainants desisted from pursuing the same in May 1994. Diana and Edima. Medico-Legal Officer. Eden and Fedelina returned to Station 10 where they made individual statements before SPO1 Salvador Buenviaje narrating the events leading to and occurring after the incident of July 19. Pangasinan. while her sisters. At the time. or on July 20. the trial court held her in direct contempt of court. Florante Baltazar. She declared that on 17 July 1994. Bulacan. the trial court ordered her "committed to incarceration and imprisonment within the period provided by law. the accused Eduardo Agbayani and her youngest sister. 1994. that they were able to meet with him. 1994.. According to him. the prosecution had EDEN back on the witness stand. She turned to discover that it was her father who was then molesting her. prepared the corresponding Medico-Legal Report. "Tay bakit niyo po ginagawa sa akin ito. Quezon City. At about 9:00 p. The next day. 17 Appellant put up the defense of denial and alibi. she left their rented apartment and did not return anymore. Bgy." 15which penalty. however. The evidence of the prosecution. Edima. Fedelina and Eden to reach the said fiscal but it was only on September 9.. the year before. Eden was examined by Medico-Legal Officer and Chief of the PNP Crime Laboratory. After the accused's arrest. Several attempts were made by her sisters. was modified to a fine of P200. because on 19 July 1994. the accused was charged by his two daughters. in part consisting of the testimonies of Complainant Eden Agbayani. a colonel. the accused was arrested on the same day at his residence at 30-A Makabayan St. Eden. Quezon City and was later brought to Malolos. the complainant informed her elder sister. Dr. handled the rape case filed by Fedelina and Dodima. She retracted her affidavit of desistance and claimed that she had signed it under coercion by her mother and elder sister. visiting his eldest daughter. Bulacan where he is currently detained. The complainant thereafter felt blood dripping from her vagina and felt pain. Bgy. Florante Baltazar and SPO1 Salvador Buenviaje. of July 19. Then on 24 July 1994. 1994. She was told not to worry as they would go to Bulacan to report the incident to Fiscal Caraeg of Bulacan. FEDELINA and DODIMA AGBAYANI. 16 On rebuttal. he was in Barangay Victoria in Sual. The accused then proceeded to undress her. Regional Trial Court. who had. returning home only on 21 July 1994." Accordingly. The case was. in a rented room at 30-A Makabayan St. Fiscal Caraeg of Bulacan reported the complaint to Judge Danilo Manalastas who reopened the previously provisionally dismissed case and issued a warrant of arrest against the herein accused. shows that at the above-mentioned address the complainant. The trial court's summary of the evidence for the prosecution. Bulacan. 18 He declared that EDEN charged him with rape because he had hit her with a belt after he caught her lying about her whereabouts one night. Fedelina and Diana slept on a bed.

if not to the extreme. it was difficult to charge her own father with rape. considering all the foregoing.. Siobal and Domingo Floresta. As to appellant's claim that EDEN filed the complaint because of a grudge against him. with reasonable diligence.The trial court gave full credence to the testimony of EDEN. who "appeared. The complainant appeared. if not totally absurd. can obliterate him from the face of this earth. Eden Agbayani. and thereby inflict emotional stress and financial strain upon the members of her family. ascendant. Page 20 ." It also ruled that EDEN did not voluntarily execute the affidavit of desistance. however. testimony of Eden Agbayani. Even assuming argumenti gratia that the complainant would indeed lodge a complaint against her father solely on account of an altercation with him. judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused. 5-495. or common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. for a child like EDEN. as it was procured "at the behest of her mother and sister for whom the sanctity of the family and the family's good name were more important than demanding punishment for whatever injury the complainant might have suffered in the hands of the accused.000. during her entire testimonies on January 20 and May 4. Accordingly. 2-3). destroy the household peace and subject her father. but that there was no such place as 30-A Makabayan St." Besides. of said barangay. . EDUARDO AGBAYANI. particularly her mother. The trial court likewise gave full faith to the sworn statement (Exhibit "E") of Fedelina Agbayani. . In their Comments/Opposition to the Motion for New Tria1. Accused is hereby ordered to pay the complainant. SO ORDERED. during her entire testimonies on January 20 and May 4. Further. and (d) cross-examine complainant and the police investigator exhaustively. (c) present private complainant's mother and sister Fedelina on sur-rebuttal to testify as to the circumstances which brought about the execution of the affidavit of desistance. which was the address given by EDEN. it is highly unlikely that the complainant would concoct a charge which would damage her and wreck havoc on her family's reputation. On 26 May 1995. neither was there new and material evidence to be presented that appellant could not. 1995. even assumingarguendo that no such pressure was exerted by her mother and sister. have discovered and produced at the trial and which if introduced and admitted at trial would probably change the judgment of the court. She has shown to this Court the seriousness of the injury upon her person and dignity inflicted upon by the accused. GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of RAPE committed against complainant. Let the entire records of this case be forwarded to the Supreme Court on automatic review. the accused. as a consequence thereof.. not to mention the pressure and lack of moral support of her family." for: The complainant is an innocent girl of tender years who is unlikely to possess such vindictiveness and dearth of conscience as to concoct such a malicious and damaging story. He further alleged that his counsel de oficio was never prepared during all the scheduled hearings. 30. on the basis of certification attached to the motion. 22 the public and private prosecutors alleged that there were no such irregularities. R. and characterized the testimony of Adoracion Cruz unworthy of belief. who would have testified. it commended her "for her courage and her unwavering strength in the midst of the emotional and psychological strain and humiliation. Eden Agbayani. coherent. the trial court. 1995. pp. Turning to the defense of appellant. to uphold the defense's proposition would be stretching the imagination too far. to a grave punishment which by dent of express of law. the sum of P75. Quezon City. candid and responsive. No. that there was a house bearing No. rendered judgment against appellant. appellant. viz. The trial court finally found that appellant employed on EDEN force or intimidation by virtue of his moral ascendancy over her and his threat that he would kill her if she reported the incident to anyone. even waived the presence of appellant after the third witness for the prosecution was presented. coherent. 7659 which imposes the penalty of death when the victim is under eighteen years of age and the offender is a parent. through his new counsel de parte Attorneys Froilan V. guardian.. the trial court declared that it understood EDEN's moral predicament.A." further. applying Section 11 of R. . Her retraction on March 16 was sufficiently explained to this Court (tsn. 7659. the trial court found this "incredible. Indeed. He also averred that the trial court used its inherent power of contempt to intimidate private complainant. (b) consider the futility of Adoracion Cruz's testimony. the trial court found his alibi wholly self-serving. This Court. worse. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree. candid and responsive. in the event of insolvency and to pay the costs. conformably with the provisions of the death penalty law. to wit: WHEREFORE. insist on his punishment. hereby imposes upon him the supreme penalty of DEATH. Makabayan St. with all the necessary penalties provided for by law without subsidiary imprisonment. filed a Motion for New Trial 21 on the ground that serious irregularities prejudicial to his substantial rights were committed during the trial.A. brought on by the filing of this case. stepparent.00 as damages. his minor daughter. in his barangay. the failure of the counsel de oficio to: (a) present at trial the Barangay Captain of Barangay Obrero. viz.

It would have been entirely different if the defense did not agree.In its Order 23 of 31 July 1995. demolished whatsoever faith left on her charge against the accused. . cited in RJ Francisco's Criminal Procedure. p. the 2-day period to prepare for trial provided in Section 9 of Rule 116 is merely directory and does not prohibit the court from proceeding with trial after arraignment. neither did she shout for help or put up a fight that would have awakened her sisters. the trial court denied the motion for new trial for being devoid of merit and for not being within the purview of Sections 1 and 2. EDEN and her sisters allowed him to live and sleep with them again in their rented room even after the alleged rape. 28 as well as the probability that it may later be repudiated. in which case the court would have no other alternative but to grant him the period. In People vs. It would be a grievous error to proceed by sentencing the accused without due process of law and this is not complete. 3." EDEN's positive identification of appellant as the author of the crime rendered appellant's defense of alibi unavailing. and adds two others.. the OSG stresses that the record shows that said counsel tried his best. Likewise. she demonstrated clearly and vividly what transpired that fateful evening of 19 July 1994. Thus in view of EDEN's candid and categorical manner of testifying the OSG concluded that she was a credible witness. especially if the defense. Third Ed. Moreover. consented thereto. that she was pressured and influenced to execute and sign the affidavit of desistance further confirmed her being untruthful and. . to which appellant agreed. the former's moral ascendancy and influence over the latter substitutes for violence intimidation. Sec. 349. it showed counsel's awareness of his duty to confer with appellant to ferret out the relevant facts as regards the second witness for the prosecution. Appellant then elaborated on this point as follows: This is not without judicial precedent. since it is unclear and not free from serious contradictions. the OSG points out that throughout all the hearings. because on that date. appellant asserts that EDEN's testimony is unreliable because her affidavit of desistance must have necessarily been contradictory thereto. In his Appellant's Brief filed before this Court. As to appellant's other grievances. (1) the lower court failed to apprise him of his right to have counsel of his own choice. 24 As to the commission of rape in a small room and in the presence of other persons. when the accused is denied the right Page 21 . the trial court informed him that it would appoint de oficio counsel for him if he so desired. 26 Hence the OSG invokes the principle that in a rape committed by a father against his own daughter. As to the manner appellant's counsel de oficio cross-examined the prosecution witnesses. his daughter. and (b) holding that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that he committed the crime charged. Her "subsequent turn-around . the OSG maintains that courts look with disfavor on retraction of testimonies previously given in court. for such can easily be secured from poor and ignorant witnesses usually for a monetary consideration. in effect. The latter's request for a continuance because he had not yet conferred with appellant was not evidence of counsel's lack of sincerity. Considering their proximity to EDEN. In support of the first assigned error. Strangely. appellant contends that the trial court erred in: (a) denying his motion for new trial. and Fedelina to corroborate the statements of EDEN — which testimonies were in appellant's favor. The OSG then characterizes the second assigned error as "barren of merit. namely. Finally. and (2) the lower court did not give him the opportunity to prepare for trial. the defense presented EDEN to testify as to her affidavit of desistance. 73 Phil. the waiver of appellant's presence during the hearing of 18 March 1995 did not prejudice him. as here. appellant countered that his consent to the appointment of counsel de oficio at his arraignment did not relieve the court of its duty under Section 6 of Rule 116 of the Rules of Court to inform him of his right to counsel and that it would be grievous error to deny an accused such right. 426 and People vs. moreover. Rule 121 of the Rules of Court. Cachero. 27 As regards EDEN's affidavit of desistance. 73 Phil. appellant contends that EDEN's testimony is not sufficient to convict. 323 it was held. Domenden. On the contrary. 25 There was. Notably. nothing unusual in EDEN's silence. the OSG maintains that such was not at all improbable. 1966. as she could only attempt to shout because appellant had succeeded in covering her mouth with his hands and exercised a high level of moral ascendancy over EDEN. despite the mandated period of two days prescribed in Section 9 of Rule 116 of the Rules of Court. as well. appellant reiterates the grounds in his motion for new trial. appellant never questioned the way his defense was being handled by his counsel de oficio. When appellant appeared without counsel at the arraignment. In his second assigned error. EDEN simply kept quiet and allowed him to abuse her." The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) considers the first assigned error as devoid of merit. In his Reply Brief. it was impossible for her sisters or any one of them not to have been awakened when EDEN was allegedly being abused by him. that: The courts should comply with Rule 116.

Miranda 36 this Court explicitly stated: Page 22 . The trial court's order 30 of 22 December 1994 states that said de oficio counsel were "duly appointed by the Court with the consent of the accused. Your Honor under the control and direct supervision of the Trial Prosecutor. (Interpreter calls the case). . 404. (2) after giving such information.. Your Honor. 47 OG 4606. to ask accused whether he desires the aid of counsel. At the recorded portion of the arraignment aspect of the proceedings on 22 December 1994. citing People vs. Omission by courts whether voluntary should not truly be censured but also condemned. the appellant contends that said right: [H]as been held to be mandatory and denial of this right is a reversible error and a ground for new trial. Discussing further the right to the 2-day period to prepare for trial. However. we are ready to present our first witness. the only question to be determined in this case is whether the failure of the record to disclose affirmatively that the trial judge advised the accused of their right to have counsel is sufficient ground to reverse the judgment of conviction and to send the case back for a new trial. the mere omission from the record brought here upon appeal of an entry affirmatively disclosing that he did so. Morave. . 58. 33 It is settled that the failure of the record to disclose affirmatively that the trial judge advised the accused of his right to counsel is not sufficient ground to reverse conviction.recognized by said rule. Third Ed." Since appellant has miserably failed to show that he was not informed of his right to counsel. BALDADO: For the accused Your Honor. 31 In other words. the court must grant him reasonable time to do so. In the absence of an affirmative showing to the contrary. Thus it has been held that unless the contrary appears in the record. thus: COURT: Call the case. is not reversible error. et al. Francisco's Criminal Procedure. as amended by section 1 of Act No. the court must assign counsel de oficio to defend him. The reason being that the trial court must be presumed to have complied with the procedure prescribed by law for the hearing and trial of cases. (R. 23 SCRA 659). namely. the trial court is presumed to have complied with its four-fold duties under Section 6 32 of Rule 116 of the Rules of Court. This is demanded by the interest of justice and remove all doubts that if the accused had waived said right. J. the two formally entered their appearance. FISCAL ROSARIO BARIAS: For the prosecution. and (4) if he so desires to have counsel but is unable to employ one. p. DE LA CRUZ: For the accused. ATTY. v. and that such a presumption can only be overcome by an affirmative showing to the contrary.S. It is true that the transcript of the stenographic notes of the proceedings of 22 December 1994 and the order issued by the trial court after the conclusion of said proceedings only state that the court appointed de oficio counsel with the consent of the said accused. While in People v. ATTY.. They do not categorically disclose that the trial informed appellant of his right to counsel of his own choice. Labial. this does not mean that the trial court failed to inform appellant of such right. the court below must be presumed in matters of this kind to have complied with the provisions of law prescribing the procedure to be followed in the trial had before him. or that it is positively proved that the trial court failed to inform the accused of his right to counsel. appointed as counsel de oficio. Your Honor appointed by the court as counsel de oficio . MARIETA AGUJA: Respectfully appearing for the prosecution. The first assigned error does not persuade this Court. (3) if he so desires to procure the services of counsel. 1986. 440. it will be presumed that the accused was informed by the court of such right. This must be so ". ATTY. 35 this Court held: Adhering to the doctrine laid down in that case. Upon this point we are all agreed that in the absence of an affirmative showing that the court below did in fact fail to advise the accused of their rights under the provisions of sections 17 of General Orders No. Mijares. 29 This obviously means that the appointment had taken place earlier. the presumptions that the law has been obeyed and official duty has been regularly performed by the trial court stand. (1) to inform the accused that he has the right to have his own counsel before being arraigned. The records must show compliance therewith or that the accused renounced his right to be assisted by counsel.Dumasig v. 34 In U. Your Honor. to prevent that any accused be caught unaware and deprived of the means of properly facing the charges presented against him. he was fully informed before giving his plea of its consequences. The precise time the two counsel de oficiowere appointed is not disclosed in the record either.

Temanil lacked the competence and skill to defend appellant. to ask him if he desires to have one. The latter's contention that his counsel was not ready at all times because at the hearing on 20 January 1995 he asked for a continuation as he has "not yet interviewed [his] Client. who entered his appearance as de parte. If we should insist on finding every fact fully recorded before a citizen can be punished for an offense against the laws. and give unbridled license to crime.. 88). it will be presumed that the defendant was informed by the court of his right to counsel. and not as de oficio. Atty. it is only in this appeal that appellant raised the issue of the failure of the trial court to inform him of the right to counsel. appellant was represented by Atty. This precise issue was determined in United States vs. one of whom extensively cross-examined the first witness for the prosecution. Labial. COURT: Put that on record. hence. it is almost 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon and we are both hungry now. 37 Besides. Section 9 of Rule 116 of the Rules of Court reads: Sec." 45 is misleading. Domenden 39 and People v. under section 3 of Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. Turning to the alleged violation of appellant's right to the 2-day period to prepare for trial. 43 In the instant case. may even be considered a waiver of his right to question the alleged failure of the trial court to inform him of his right to counsel. In the instant case. unless he is allowed to defend himself in person or he has counsel of his choice. Abuyen(52 Phil. formerly the Citizen's Legal Assistance Office (CLAO). Cachero 40 cited by appellant are inapplicable. On the other hand. the trial court informed him of his right to be assisted by an attorney. and (3) in not cross-examining exhaustively EDEN. coupled with said counsel's extensive cross-examination of Dr. supra. the accused is entitled to two (2) days to prepare for trial unless the court for good cause grants him further time. 9. for it is often less difficult to do things correctly than to describe them correctly. even the questions propounded by the Private Prosecutor. 722) and in United States vs. 46 Neither is there merit in appellant's claim that his counsel committed irregularities: (1) in not considering the futility of the testimony of Adoracion Cruz. counsel. 38 The cases of People v. Your Honor that from the start of trial the witness appears to be fluent and suffers no difficulty in answering the questions. ". Your Honor. appellant did not ask for time to prepare for trial. . he effectively waived such right. and EDEN's mother and sister Fedelina in sur-rebuttal. Temanil of the Public Attorney's Office in Quezon City. We see no reason to modify it now. Much must be left to intendment and presumption. the trial court appointed two de oficio counsel who assisted the appellant at his arraignment. such right may be waived. 87. 19). At no time did he previously raise it in the trial court despite ample opportunity to do so. (2) in not presenting the barangay captain in the evidence in chief for the defense." (United States vs. . expressly or impliedly. In both cases the trial courts there clearly failed to inform the accused of their right to counsel nor appoint de oficio counsel during the arraignment. 44 There is at all no showing that Atty. Labial (27 Phil. in the sense that unless the contrary appears in the records. 42 Further. TEMANIL: I will just asked [sic] for continuance considering that I have not yet interviewed my client. Custan (28 Phil. we should destroy public justice. we take this opportunity to admonish trial courts to ensure that their compliance with their pre-arraignment duties to inform the accused of his right to counsel. His consent to be assisted by counsel de oficio.) The same doctrine was reiterated in People vs. That is true.However. and to inform him that. Atty. Dr. Adoracion Cruz was presented to corroborate appellant's alibi that he was in the province and not in their rented room from 17 to 21 July 1994. Baltazar. Temanil made that statement after he cross-examined EDEN and after the judge realized that it was almost 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon and both of them were already hungry. Time to prepare for trial — After a plea of not guilty. Nevertheless. thus: ATTY. It is to be presumed that Atty. 41 Only when so demanded does denial thereof constitute reversible error and a ground for new trial. de oficio counsel will be appointed for him. TEMANIL: I just want to make it on record. ATTY. said counsel calls attention to the fact that the record is silent as to whether or not. the testimony of the barangay captain could not alter the fact that rape was committed in a rented room Page 23 . Florante Baltazar. at the time appellant was arraigned. It must be pointed out that the right must be expressly demanded. During the succeeding hearings. must appear on record. Your Honor. Temanil's services were obtained pursuant to the law creating the Public Attorney's Office (PAO). Temanil.

the sincere or flippant or sneering tone. The evil in man has no conscience. i. 48 On the other hand. since he personally heard the witnesses and observed their deportment and manner of testifying. it would be the height of unreasonableness to expect the victim to resist with all her might and Page 24 . if considered. and inside a house where there are other occupants. but merely a room. as well as by the fact that it came from an innocent girl writhing in emotional and moral shock and anguish. the heat. In the instant case. he and his children were not renting the entire house. The beast in him bears no respect for time and place. contrary to appellant's allegation. herein appellant. such a revelation divided her family and brought it shame and humiliation. Besides. she did so inspired by no other motive than to obtain justice and release from the psychological and emotional burdens the painful experience had foisted upon her. an appellate court has only the cold record. within school premises. That EDEN was unable to resist or shout for help can easily be explained by the fact that appellant threatened to kill her. Since it is addressed to the victim's and is therefore subjective. Opena. as even a compassionate man may be reluctant to marry her because her traumatic experience may be a psychological and emotional impediment to a blissful union. Where such intimidation existed and the victim was cowed into submission as a result thereof. the calmness. on 19 July 1994.. the blush of conscious shame. The second assigned error is equally unpersuasive. the hesitation. She thereby jeopardized her chances of marriage. it must be viewed in light of the victim's perception and judgment at the time of the commission of the crime. Whether or not he was armed was of no moment. which others may have simply kept to themselves for the rest of their lives. What appellant claims to be improbabilities in the testimony of EDEN are more apparent than real. Moreover. it could have been due to the futility of any further cross-examination which might only prove favorable to the prosecution. Temanil sufficiently cross-examined EDEN. suffice it to state that there was nothing to show that they were in fact willing to refute EDEN's claim. which generally does not reveal the thin line between fact and prevarication that is crucial in determining innocence or guilt. 49 At any rate. which could probably be the unit numbered "30-A" referred to by EDEN. As to the presentation of EDEN's mother and sister Fedelina as sur-rebuttal witnesses to disprove the claim of EDEN that they coerced her into signing the affidavit of desistance. She must have been torn between the desire to seek justice and the fear that a revelation of her ordeal might mean the imposition of capital punishment on her father. This is founded on practical and empirical considerations.e. she often hides in nooks and crannies visible only to the mind's eye of the judge who tried the case. Finally. it drives him to commit rape anywhere — even in places where people congregate such as in parks. If he decided to terminate his cross-examination. the scant or full realization of the solemnity of an oath. along the roadside. this Court took painstaking effort and meticulous care in reviewing the transcripts of the stenographic notes of the testimonies of the witnesses. was enough render her incapable of resisting or asking for help. To him appears the furtive glance. the sigh. as it might have opened another window of opportunity for EDEN to strengthen her testimony. in their rented room in Barangay Obrero. By testifying in court. the candor or lack of it.in a house along Makabayan Street in his barangay. It was then improbable that EDEN fabricated a story of defloration and falsely charged her own father with a heinous crime. 47 He had before him the essential aids to determine whether a witness was telling the truth or lying. Quezon City. EDEN''s other companions in the room when she was molested by appellant were young girls who were all asleep. If EDEN did testify regardless of these consequences and even allowed the examination of her private parts. a person who wielded such moral ascendancy. The presence of her sisters in the small room did not at all make impossible the commission of rape. in view of the gravity of the offense charged and the extreme penalty of death imposed. the trial judge is in a better position to decide the question of credibility. 51 rape was committed in a room occupied also by other persons. That threat alone coming from her father. Truth does not always stalk boldly forth naked. unless there appears in the record some facts or circumstances of weight and influence which have been overlooked and. This Court is fully satisfied that EDEN told the truth that she was raped by her father. It raises the issue of the credibility of EDEN as a witness. It is enough that the intimidation produced fear — fear that if the victim did not yield to the bestial demands of the accused. Intimidation in rape cases is not calibrated nor governed by hard and fast rules. the yawn. Her story was made even more credible by the simplicity and candidness of her answers. something far worse would happen to her at that moment. thereby rendering resistance futile. the carriage and mien. 50 In People v. One of the highly revered dicta Philippine jurisprudence has established is that this Court will not interfere with the judgment of the trial court in passing upon the credibility of opposing witnesses. a meticulous examination of the transcripts of the stenographic notes convinces this Court that Atty. would affect the result. Appellant neither testified that he did not occupy a house numbered 30-A nor denied that he was living with EDEN and her sisters in that room. she made public a painful and humiliating secret.

strength. 54 Even in cases of rape of mature women." which is hereby reduced to P50. Page 25 . 53 Likewise. All that we concede to him is a modification of the award of "P75. No. then offering none at all does not mean consent to the assault so as to make the victim's submission to the sexual act voluntary. In any case.000. as in this case. No. subject to the above modification as to the amount of indemnity. 7659. But the fundamental law of the land allows Congress. ascendant. If resistance would nevertheless be futile because of intimidation. guardian. Branch 106. and place the proceedings at the mercy of unscrupulous witnesses. 52 In any event. the full force of the law must be weighed against him. let certified true copies thereof. 7659. Some may shout. this Court recognized their different and unpredictable reactions. Hoc quidem per quam durum est sed ita lex scripta est. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree.00 as damages. Nor is there merit in the insistent claim that EDEN's affidavit of desistance "must have necessarily contradicted her previous testimony. as follows: The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following attendant circumstances: 1. Q-94-59149 finding accused-appellant EDUARDO AGBAYANI y MENDOZA guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the crime of rape defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. judgment is hereby rendered AFFIRMING the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. as amended by Section 25 of R. yet the thought must have been irresistible and compelling that her assailant was her own father. EDEN could not be expected to act with the equanimity of disposition and with nerves of steel.000.A. and some may be shocked into insensibility. the former's moral ascendancy or influence over the latter substitutes for violence or intimidation.A. EDEN withdrew her affidavit of desistance and solemnly declared that she was pressured by her mother and sister to sign it. 7659. 7659. 56 and affidavits of recantation have been invariably regarded as exceedingly unreliable. psychologically and emotionally. thereby forsaking that which is highest and noblest in his human nature and reducing himself to lower than the lowliest animal. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent. for compelling reasons. It would be a dangerous rule to reject the testimony taken before a court of justice simply because the witness who gave it later on changed his mind for one reason or another. Such a rule would make a solemn trial a mockery. some may faint. 58 hence the passage of R. Instances are not few when daughters raped by their fathers stayed with the latter and kept in the deepest recesses of their hearts the evil deed even if the memory thereof haunted them forever. in Criminal Case No. SO ORDERED. The law may be exceedingly hard but so the law is written and the Court is duty-bound to apply it in this case. or to act like a mature and experienced woman who would know what to do under the circumstances. as well as the records of this case. Moreover. it must not be forgotten that at her tender age of 14 years. The penalty therefor is death under the first circumstance mentioned in Article 335(7) of the Revised Penal Code. No. affidavits.A. a less harsh life outside was uncertain. as amended by R. to impose capital punishment in cases of heinous crimes. be forwarded without delay to the Office of the President for possible exercise of executive clemency pursuant to Article 83 of the Revised Penal Code. being taken ex parte. 57 This Court has no doubt that appellant is guilty as charged. Two Justices voted to impose upon the accused-appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua. With costs de oficio. or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. No. since they can easily be secured from poor and ignorant witnesses. To the appellant who inflicted his animal greed on his daughter in a disgusting coercion of incestuous lust. While she was hurt physically. step-parent. while others may openly welcome the intrusion." We have earlier quoted in full this affidavit of desistance. for he deserves no place in society. which provides. 55 Neither does the fact that EDEN continued to live with appellant in same rented room disprove the rape. Plainly. Besides. in a rape committed by a father against his own daughter. nowhere therein did she retract her previous testimony or claim that she was raped by her father. or to have courage and intelligence to disregard the threat. This law may be difficult to accept for those who believe that the verdict of death for a sin or crime is God's exclusive prerogative.A. and imposing upon him the penalty of DEATH.00 in accordance with current case law. Upon finality of this Decision. are generally considered inferior to the testimony given in open court. WHEREFORE. who was both a father and mother to her since her mother was in Saudi Arabia and who provided her with the daily wherewithal to keep her alive. as amended by R. in part.

and ordering him to pay the offended party the amount of P50. in the town of Barangay San Luis. No. 1999] QUISUMBING. Ompong is actually not a member of the bar.00 and to pay the costs. her six (6) year-old playmate.R. and the medico-legal officer who examined the victim. 29 of the Revised Penal Code. Ompong.(9) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. THAT THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT WAS DEPRIVED THOUGH NO FAULT OF HIS OWN TO BE DEFENDED BY A PERSON AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW AMOUNTING TO DENIAL OF DUE PROCESS. 4 appellant made the following assignment of errors: I. Atty. A person who misrepresents himself as a lawyer shall be held liable for indirect contempt of court. Igmedio S. vs. 5 Appellant therefore argues that his deprivation of the right to counsel should necessarily result in his acquittal of the crime charged. If qualified under Art. Appellant contends that he was represented during trial by a person named Gualberto C.000.: Where an accused was not duly represented by a member of the Philippine Bar during trial.. who discovered that Gualberto C.00 to the complainant and another amount for costs. Iloilo. Branch 33. who for all intents and purposes acted as his counsel and even conducted the direct examination and cross-examinations of the witnesses. we shall now first resolve the issue of proper representation by a member of the bar raised by appellant. he shall only be credited with 4/5 of the same. appellant presented one German Toriales and himself. San Joaquin. the trial court rendered a decision 2 finding appellant guilty as charged. the victim and her playmate. from quarreling. her mother. however. LEONCIO SANTOCILDES. 1992. 3 In his brief. Subject of the present appeal is the decision dated October 29. Upon arraignment. appellant was charged with the crime of rape 1 of a girl less than nine (9) years old. Further verification with the Office of the Bar Confidant confirmed this fact. JR. Jr. The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: On February 17.000. the judgment should be set aside and the case remanded to the trial court for a new trial. committed on December 28. the Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua together its accessory penalty. y SIGA-AN. On appeal. The accused is ordered to pay the amount of P50. On October 29.A. Considering the importance of the constitutional right to counsel. and he has agreed in writing to abide by the same rules imposed upon convicted prisoners. [G. accused-appellant. The dispositive portion of the decision states: WHEREFORE. II. appellant duly filed a Notice of Appeal. plaintiff-appellee. sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. without subsidiary penalty in case of failure to pay the civil liability and the cost. as amended by R. 109149 December 21. convicting accused-appellant of the crime of rape. appellant entered a plea of not guilty. J. of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City. 1991. THE HONORABLE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN FINDING THAT THE ACCUSED IS GUILTY OF RAPE INSPITE OF CONFLICTING TESTIMONIES OF THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT AND HER WITNESSES ON MATERIAL POINTS. SO ORDERED. otherwise. Trial ensued and the prosecution presented as its witnesses the victim. 1992. 1992. as amended. he shall be credited with the full duration of his preventive imprisonment. Hence. Appellant denied committing the rape and claimed that he merely tried to stop the two girls. appellant secured the services of a new lawyer. For the defense. Prado. Page 26 . 6127.

legal standing and attainment. After entry of judgment. Abad. SO ORDERED. The Court of Appeals denied petitioner's motion. on the other hand. highly personal and partaking of the nature of a public trust. goes much deeper than the question of ability or skill. Jr. and Section 2 thereof clearly provides for the requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar.R. Section 1 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court explicitly states who are entitled to practice law in the Philippines." 12 Indeed. Page 27 . speaking through Justice Vitug. petitioner discovered that her lawyer was not a member of the bar and moved to set aside the entry of judgment. The presence and participation of counsel in criminal proceedings should never be taken lightly. Unless she is represented by a lawyer. without counsel. petitioner and two others were convicted by the trial court of the crime of estafa thru falsification of public and/or official documents. admonished three (3) PAO lawyers for failing to genuinely protect the interests of the accused and for having fallen much too short of their responsibility as officers of the court and as members of the Bar. This would certainly be a denial of due process. we can do no less where the accused was not even duly represented by a certified member of the Philippine Bar. but also the exercise of a special privilege. there is great danger that any defense presented in her behalf will be inadequate considering the legal perquisites and skills needed in the court proceedings. The right does not only presuppose in its possessor integrity. One accused did not appeal. including the Office of the Bar Confidant. the Court has ordered the remand of a rape case when it found that accused was given mere perfunctory representation by aforesaid counsels such that appellant was not properly and effectively accorded the right to counsel. With respect to the unauthorized practice of law by the person named Gualberto C. In turn. we had occasion to resolve a similar issue in the case of Delgado v. we need a professional learned in the law as well as ethically committed to defend the accused by all means fair and reasonable. WHEREFORE.The Office of the Solicitor General. the Court. which affirmed petitioner's conviction but acquitted her co-accused. This constitutional mandate is reflected in Section 1 of Rule 115 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure which declares the right of the accused at the trial to be present in person and by counsel at every stage of the proceedings from the arraignment to the promulgation of judgment. it is not a mere formality that may be dispensed with or performed perfunctorily. the right of the accused to be heard by himself and his counsel. 1999. Where the interplay of basic rights of the individual may collide with the awesome forces of the state. the assailed judgment is SET ASIDE. No pronouncement as to costs. 11 The right to counsel of an accused is enshrined in no less than Article III. be each furnished a copy of this Decision for their appropriate action. Jurisprudence has also held that "the right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is in the nature of a privilege or franchise. Let all concerned parties. 9 The right of an accused to counsel is guaranteed to minimize the imbalance in the adversarial system where the accused is pitted against the awesome prosecutory machinery of the State. The due process requirement is a part of a person's basic rights. 120420. so strict is the regulation of the practice of law that in Beltran. On the matter of proper representation by a member of the bar. a person who undertakes the unauthorized practice of law is liable for indirect contempt of court for assuming to be an attorney and acting as such without authority. Bermas. Section 5 of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution vests the power to promulgate rules concerning the admission to the practice of law to the Supreme Court. maintains that notwithstanding the fact that appellant's counsel during trial was not a member of the bar. no matter how zealous his representation might have been. order. and the case is hereby REMANDED to the trial court for new trial. v. Sections 12 and 14 (2) of the 1987 Constitution. It is limited to persons of good moral character with special qualifications duly ascertained and certified. Under Section 3 (e) of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. Verily. No." However. 8 Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of the law. Ompong in connection with this case. she filed a petition for certiorari with this Court. 13 a Bar candidate who has already successfully hurdled the Bar examinations but has not yet taken his oath and signed the roll of attorneys. explaining that — This is so because an accused person is entitled to be represented by a member of the bar in a criminal case filed against her before the Regional Trial Court. It lies at the heart of our adversarial system of justice. 6 In Delgado. and who was caught in the unauthorized practice of law was held in contempt of court. appellant was afforded due process since he has been given an opportunity to be heard and the records reveal that said person "presented the evidence for the defense with the ability of a seasoned lawyer and in general handled the case of appellant in a professional and skillful manner. hence. and. G. Court of Appeals. the right to counsel is of such primordial importance that even if an accused was represented by three successive counsels from the Public Attorney's Office. The Court set aside the assailed judgment and remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial. Petitioner Delgado and her remaining co-accused appealed to the Court of Appeals. April 21. particularly in the rules of procedure. In the recent en banc case of People v. he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence. the local Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines of Iloilo City is DIRECTED to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation regarding this matter and to report its recommendations to the Court within ninety (90) days from notice of this. 10 Such a right proceeds from the fundamental principle of due process which basically means that a person must be heard before being condemned. 7 Indeed. in our view.

1972 payable to "Norberto Perez" in the amount of "Pl 4. the said check was never issued nor authorized by the said bank. Appellant then presented to Edgar Mangona. Hence. B). as it did appear. Manila. General Manager of the corporation. when the defense was scheduled to present its evidence. Sr. Vicente Jaucian had known appellant as "Fiscal Perez" who wanted to exchange dollars for pesos. Norberto Perez" who is the payee of the said Check. did then and there wilfully. an information for the crime of Estafa through Falsification of a Commercial Document was filed against the herein petitioner.850. Perez. Exhibit E appears to be a bill of exchange or draft drawn by the Dania. Mr." "2. Dania Branch. Sr. the assistant accountant of Mever Films. ..R.00" and forging the signature of the Asst. No.. In the morning of the said day. needed dollars. a Prosecuting Attorney from Angeles City. making it appear. only the petitioner appeared. that he is "Atty. On October 9. 1972. The trial court rendered judgment on January 30. the said accused by means of false manifestations and fraudulent representations which he made to Ernesto Rufino. The Court of Appeals affirmed but modified the penalty by imposing six months of arresto mayor and eliminating the fine. The court denied the motion for postponement and the case was considered submitted for decision without petitioner's evidence. Norberto S. having been introduced to him in that capacity by his (Jaucian's) cousin. to Anselmo Aquiling. Sr. unlawfully and feloniously forge and falsify or cause to be forged and falsified the said check. when in truth and in fact." "Atty. After making the introduction. Cashier. the prosecution rested its case. 1975. Inc. and when told that Mever Films needed dollars. and/or Bank of America. Rufino said that he was not personally interested in dollars but suggested to his secretary to inquire if Mever Films. Inc.00 at the exchange rate of P6. Rufino to Page 28 . finding the accused guilty of the crime charged and sentencing him to an indeterminate penalty of 2 years. his lawyer also sent a telegram to the court requesting cancellation of the hearing because he was sick. Actually. SAYSON.250.250. appellant showed the latter an Identification card indicating that he was Norberto S. Mr.] Arraigned on December 8. The background facts as found by the appellate court as well as its conclusions thereon follow: On March 22. petitioner pleaded not guilty. appellant Ramon Sayson y Fernandez was introduced by Vicente Jaucian a former employee of the Luzon Theatres. L-51745 October 28. Sr. the pertinent portion of which reads: . Ramon F. private secretary to Ernesto Rufino. with subsidiary imprisonment and to pay the costs. 1988] CORTES. and Mever Films.: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and the HON. Perez. 87586 dated March 22. said Ernesto Rufino. Norberto S. and by means of other similar deceits. Inc.. 1972.850. [Rollo. Jaucian accompanied appellant to the offices of the Luzon Theatres.(10) RAMON F. the said accused having come in possession of a blank US dollar check #605908142. to change said dollar cheek. APPEALS. by then and there writing or filling or causing to be written or filled up the following words and figures: "March 10. respondents. that thereafter. 4 months and 1 day to 6 years of prison correccional to pay a fine of P2. as in fact. [G. Jaucian left. a Bank of America check in the amount of $2.00 payable to the order of Atty. Inc.60 to a dollar (Exh. this petition for review on certiorari. 1974. Manager of the Bank of America.. pp. as the accused well knew. petitioner. at the Avenue Hotel on Rizal Avenue.. Florida Branch of the Bank of America on its San Francisco Branch in favor of said payee and bears serial number 605908142. Edgar Mangona prepared a check of the Manufacturer's Bank and Trust Company in the amount of P14. issued Manufacturer's Bank Check No. induced and succeeded in inducing the said Ernesto Rufino. Rufino was also Chairman of the Board of the aforesaid corporation.000. He said that his counsel had another case in a different court. 1972. Upon being introduced to Anselmo Aquiling. Sr. that the said check was duly issued by the Bank of America. 1974. 1972. COURT OF Petitioner seeks the reversal of the Court of Appeals decision finding him guilty of attempted estafa. He then walked over to the office of Mrs. J. Perez.00" in exchange for said dollar check. he authorized the transaction. Thinking that Rufino might be interested in dollars. with intent to defraud Ernesto Rufino. Sayson before the Court of First Instance of Manila. that once the said cheek had been forged and falsified in the manner above described. 23-24. a xerox copy of which was introduced in evidence as Exhibit E. vs.00. said accused wrote or affixed the signature "Norberto Perez" on the back of said check as indorser. At the hearing of December 9. after several postponements. Teresita Rufino Litton whom he asked to sign the check and thereafter Mangona asked Mr. On March 25.

San Francisco. the abovementioned assistant manager who issued the aforestated certification. payable to the order of Norberto S. Perez indicated in the forged draft as the payee. B) which reads: Gentlemen: This is to certify that U.250.] xxx xxx xxx The appellant has raised the issue of due process. such right is not exempt from the rule on waiver as long as the waiver is not controverted to law. Mrs. Manila Branch. Norberto S.] There is nothing in the Constitution nor in any law prohibiting such waiver. the officials of the Mever Films. Lopez.countersign it. 25-30. He was given an application form which he filled up with the name Norberto S. Civil Code. Also on the same day. Jose R. the drawer of the check. March 22. however. the Assistant Manager of the Bank of America. Florida Branch of the Bank of America on the San Francisco Branch. Issuance of the above-mentioned draft was not authorized by this bank. among other things. So that after he left. 1972. She was told that the number referred to had not yet been issued by PLDT. Within a short time. she called up the office of the PLDT and inquired if the telephone number which appellant had unsolicitedly given her was listed in Perez' name. appellant repaired to the Tayuman Branch of the Banco Filipino and informed its Branch Manager. when in fact the blank draft was for the exclusive use of the Manila Branch. Since the same was a blank draft appertaining to the Manila Branch of the Bank of America. Norberto S. public order. Perez. denial of due process cannot be successfully invoked where a valid waiver of rights has been made. Finally. is a strong circumstantial evidence that he was instrumental in its forgery. Inc. Inc. she tested her suspicions further by sending out a bank employee to deliver a brochure to the address given by appellant and the messenger returned without locating the place. He declared that the words "Dania Branch" and "Dania.S. Despite this assurance. Page 29 . as in this case. And the fact that appellant had openly and falsely represented himself to be Atty. an astute woman had been auspicious of the former's actuations. 1972. p. addressed a letter to the NBI authorities (Exh. She then telephoned the office of Mever Films. Accordingly. Appellant then presented the Manufacturer 's Bank check Exhibit B. Perez for $2. is one of the blank drafts surreptitiously taken from a shipment sent to us by our San Francisco Headquarters sometime in the latter part of 1970. On the same day. Unknown to appellant. And on March 24. and inquired if the check was in fact issued by it and she was answered in the affirmative. We are satisfied with Lopez' testimony that the draft in question was a forgery. The right to be heard by himself and counsel is one of the constitutional rights of the accused. became doubtful of the genuineness of the Bank of America draft. On the same day. of which he was the Assistant Manager. testified that the draft in question was one of the 900 blank drafts which were missing from a shipment received from their head office in the United States sometime in 1971. public policy. in favor of Atty. Maria Fe Relova that he wanted to open a savings account. 605908142 drawn on the Bank of America NT & SA. Perez as the applicant. morals or good customs or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law [Article 6. But while the accused has the right to be heard by himself and counsel and to present evidence for his defense by direct constitutional grant. the check was exchanged with appellant's Bank of America draft and the latter signed the voucher for the peso check. who must have been informed of the transaction involving the draft. Mrs. Mever Films which was convinced that the draft was spurious ordered its payment stopped (Exhibit D). 1972. and after endorsing the same. [Rollo. Relova. two days after the issuance of the Manufacturer's Bank check and one day after the check was cleared with the Central Bank. This requires inquiry into the extent of the rights accorded an accused in a criminal case and whether the accused-appellant has been denied the rights to which he is entitled.. Vicente Jaucian who had introduced appellant to Anselmo Aquiling and the latter himself went to the office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and there gave written statements on what they knew about appellant (Exhibits F and G). as revealed by the first four code figures of the draft's serial number. Dollar draft No.00 and dated March 10. alleging denial of his right to be heard and to present evidence. Lopez was competent to state whether or not the draft was a forgery. it was posted in the passbook issued to him. Florida" appearing on the face of the draft were superimposed so as to make it appear that the draft was drawn by the Dania.

1973. The ruling of the court will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of a clear abuse of discretion . Besides. certainly. let the trial of this case be DEFINITELY POSTPONED FOR THE LAST TIME to August 14. he claimed that his counsel had another case in a different court. Where he consideration--that it to be necessary for the more perfect attainment of justice. (Emphasis supplied. it has the power upon the motion of either party to continue the case.1972 and arraignment was held on December 8. 738 (1919). p.]. U.m. When the discretion of the court is exercised with a reasonable degree of judicial acumen and fairness. it may be said that the discretion which the trial court exercises must be judicial and not arbitrary. This.1973. Certainly. 5.1973 and after 1 year. Besides. expounded on such judicial discretion as follows: Applications for continuances are addressed to the sound discretion of the court. when petitioner himself sought postponement of the case during the December 9 hearing. he had no right to assume that his motion would be granted. and has the best opportunity of forming a correct opinion upon the case presented. v. seeking postponements which were liberally granted by the court with an order directing his counsel to show cause why he should not be held in contempt for repeated failure to appear at the trial of the case. Moreover. the presumption will be in favor of its action. Since the court trying the case is. In the instant case. 1969. Requisites of motion to postpone trial for illness of party or counsel. First. 430]. He thus assails the denial of his motion as it in effect deprived him of his day in court. it rested its case. —A motion to postpone trial on the ground of illness of a party or counsel may be granted if it appears upon affidavit that the presence of such party or counsel at the trial is indispensable and that the character of his illness is such as to render his non-attendance excusable. which was quoted with approval in the case of People v. controverted to what Rule 22. is very similar to that of the case at bar. The trial judge must be to a certain extent free to secure speedy and expeditious trials when such speed and expedition are not inconsistent with fairness. in the name of justice and fair play. But a party charged with a crime has no natural or inalienable right to a continuance. rather. It would take an extreme case of abuse of discretion to make the action of the trial court a denial of due process . Since the judge's comments were home out by the record regarding the postponements which were admitted by petitioner himself in his brief filed before the Court of Appeals. Page 30 . and should not unduly force him to trial nor for fight causes jeopardize the rights and interests of the public. 1974. 20] thus prompting the trial judge to remark that "this is a notoriously postponed case' and that "the defense had abused the rules" [TSN. L-27348.Petitioner claims though that he was not waiving such right. Ramirez. the trial court should have warned accused that no further postponements shall be entertained by the court' [Rollo p. 2-3. the petitioner's motion was not seasonably filed as the three-day notice required by the rules (Rule 15. the record of the case clearly shows that the accused had repeatedly appeared in court without his counsel. he should have foreseen that any further motions for postponement might not be met with approval by the trial court. No. 97] is baseless. December 12. As he was aware that the case had already been postponed seven times at his initiative." [Original Records. familiar with all the attendant circumstances. Justice Malcolm. from personal observation. which it admitted in its brief filed with the Court of Appeals [Rollo. 39 Phil. Petitioner's lament that 'at least. he was vigorously asserting his right to be heard by counsel and to present evidence in his verbal motion for postponment due to absence of his counsel de parte. Mendez [G.R. The prosecution started presenting its evidence on March 12. It is too well established to require citation of authorities that the grant or refusal of an application for continuance or postponement of the trial lies within the sound discretion of the court. No grave abuse of discretion in denying the petitioner's motion for postponement can be imputed to the trial court. In fact. in a 1919 decision. It is the guardian of the rights of the accused as well as those of the people at large. Section 4 of the Revised Rules of Court) was not complied with. was enough warning. the court. the conflicting stories advanced by petitioner and his counsel only indicate the lack of a good cause for the postponement. During this time. in its Order dated August 1 2. categorically declared: "In the meantime. it was not accompanied by an affidavit nor a medical certificate to support the alleged illness of counsel.] The factual background of the case penned by Justice Malcolm. 10 months and 1 day from the day of arraignment. the information was filed on March 25. with the warning to the accused to be ready with his present counsel or another counsel on said date as the court will not entertain any further delays in the proceedings in this case and shall proceed with the trial of this case with or without his counsel.S. p. petitioner had already secured seven postponements. 1974 at 8:30 a. July 29. pp. 28 SCRA 880]. it is one which the higher co is loathe to review or disturb. Section 5 of the Revised Rules of Court mandates: Sec. In this respect. petitioner cannot rightfully cast aspersion on the integrity of said judge by attributing to him a nonexistent attitude of bias and hatred toward the petitioner-accused. on the contrary. as previously scheduled.

He firmly asserts that his conviction was in gross violation of his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. the appointment of a counsel de oficio in situations like the present case is discretionary with the trial court. the trial court had been liberal in granting the postponements secured by the petitioner himself. Still. 22] and a pleading captioned "Compliance" dated December 2. 103 Phil. he appears by himself alone and the absence of his counsel was inexcusable. November 29. The petitioner vigorously maintains that he cannot be justifiably convicted under the information charging him of attempting to defraud Ernesto Rufino. the latter cannot pretend that he was deprived of his right to be assisted by counsel and to present evidence in his behalf. the repeated failure of the appellant to appear with counsel at the resumptions of the trial of the case may be taken as a deliberate attempt on his part to delay the proceedings. Here. trial and in the incidental motions to dismiss and to postpone the resumption of the trial of the case. the motion for postponement was properly denied inasmuch as the defendant failed to present any meritorious defense. Amon G. its order will not be disturbed. Inc. 23 SCRA 837. No. May 28. p. and/or Bank of America because the totality of the evidence presented by the prosecution show very clearly that the accused allegedly attempted to defraud Mever Films. His failure to appear with counsel of his choice at the hearing of the case. p. he was addressed in the Notice of the Order dated September 11.R. 1972 [Original Records. L-11641. surprise or excusable neglect justifying postponement or reconsiderationbut if the movant does not present a meritorious claim or defense. This Court's holding in a previous case that there is no deprivation of the light to counsel in such a case is squarely applicable: As the appellant was represented by counsel of his choice at the arraignment. a corporate entity entirely separate and distinct from Ernesto Rufino. Catli G. two circumstances should be taken into account. Sr. These steps undertaken by the trial court removes any doubt that its order was tainted with grave abuse of discretion. Moreover. the petitioner kept on attending the hearings without securing another lawyer to substitute his present counsel who was constantly absent during the hearings. the petitioner in negotiating the check presented himself as a lawyer. 39 (1958).[De Cases v. namely. p. 41. 5 SCRA 11 65.] Page 31 . Angco. Notwithstanding this admonition. Moreover. at the December 9. His invocation of his right to counsel and to present evidence was an empty gesture revealing his dilatory scheme. 1962. 6 SCRA 642. which discretion will not be interfered with in the absence of abuse. 1) the reasonableness of the postponement and 2) the merits of the case of the movant should not be lightly ignored [Udan v. 1972 as "Atty. This Court's pronouncement—that in incidents of this nature before the trial court. The Court finds the petitioner's plea that it was incumbent upon the trial judge to appoint a counsel de oficio who for him when he appeared without his counsel utterly without legal basis. L-24288. the trial court was not in duty bound to appoint a counsel de oficio to assist him in his defense. notwithstanding repeated postponements and warnings that failure to so appear would be deemed a waiver on the part of the appellant to present his evidence and the case would be deemed submitted for decision upon the evidence presented by the prosecution. Revised Rules of Court This is no longer so where the accused has proceeded with the arraignment and the trial with a counsel of his choice but when the time for the presentation of the evidence for the defense has arrived.] These facts indicate that he was capable of defending himself That he himself was allowed to file pleadings clearly negatives the alleged deprivation of his right to due process of law. 1968. allowed him to look for a lawyer but no one was available at the time (Rollo. Peyer G. The duty of the court to appoint a counsel de oficio when the accused has no counsel of choice and desires to employ the services of one is mandatory only at the time of arraignment (Rule 116. denial of his motion for postponement may not be considered as an abuse of the discretion of the court.] Absent any meritorious case in defendant's favor. p. August 31. Under the circumstances. L-18564. was sufficient legal justification for the trial court to proceed and render judgment upon the evidence before it.. Consequently.R. The rule in this jurisdiction is that "variance between the allegations of the information and the evidence offered by the prosecution in support thereof does not of itself entitle the accused to an acquittal.] There may be an accident. the trial court. The last issue to be resolved dwells on the effect of the alleged variance between the prosecution's allegation and proof. his motion for postponement was properly denied. 94). there being no abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court. 430]. Sr.] At the most. 1962. Taking into consideration all the steps taken by the trial court to safeguard the rights of the appellant. 381 and he himself filed the Motion to Quash [Original Records. p. No. Ramon Sayson y Fernandez" [Original Records. 33. No." [People v. as admitted by petitioner in his memorandum. 1974 hearing. Section 6. at the same time admonishing the latter to be ready with his present counsel or another counsel [Original Records.Finally. Petitioner's claim is unavailing. [People vs.R. the petitioner must be deemed to have waived his rights and to have been extended the protection of due process.

which had a factual backdrop similar to the instant case. was held to be immaterial on the ground that the subject matter of the estafa. In the instant suit for estafa which is a crime against property under the Revised Penal Code. was described with such particularity as to properly identify the offense charged. Section 11.The rules on criminal procedure require the complaint or information to state the name and surname of the person against whom or against whose property the offense was committed or any appellation or nickname by which such person has been or is known and if there is no better way of Identifying him. he must be described under a fictitious name (Rule 110.] In case of offenses against property. v. the designation of the name of the offended party is not absolutely indispensable for as long as the criminal act charged in the complaint or information can be properly Identified. the warrant. which was the subject-matter of the offense. was described in the complaint with such particularity as to properly Identify the particular offense charged. it becomes immaterial. Accordingly. this Court laid down the rule that when an offense shall have been described in the complaint with sufficient certainty as to Identify the act. must be described with such particularity as to properly Identify the particular offense charged. Name of the offended partyxxx xxx xxx (a) In cases of offenses against property. the petition is hereby DENIED and the decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto with costs against the appellant. an erroneous allegation as to the person injured shall be deemed immaterial as the same is a mere formal defect which did not tend to prejudice any substantial right of the defendant. Kepner [1 Phil. if the name of the offended party is unknown. Sr. where the defendant was charged with estafa for the misappropriation of the proceeds of a warrant which he had cashed without authority. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS. in the aforementioned case. xxx xxx xxx In U. the court must cause the true name to be inserted in the complaint or information or record.S. Rule 110. the property. Section 12 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. (b) If in the course of the trial. now Rule 110. the erroneous allegation in the complaint to the effect that the unlawful act was to the prejudice of the owner of the cheque. Thus. the true name of the person against whom or against whose property the offense was committed is disclosed or ascertained. subject matter of the offense. Page 32 . for purposes of convicting the accused. Section 11 of the Rules of Court provides that: Section 11. that it was established during the trial that the offended party was actually Mever Films and not Ernesto Rufino. 519 (1902)]. Revised Rules of Court. nor Bank of America as alleged in the information. since the check. when in reality the bank which cashed it was the one which suffered a loss. SO ORDERED.

as minimum. 1998] VITUG. "In the service of their sentence. included Jesus Mendoza among the named accused. Branch 5. Jesus Mendoza. "Pursuant to Circular No. plus their proportionate shares in the costs. Y PASCUA guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder as charged and hereby sentences EACH of them to suffer an indeterminate penalty of TWENTY (20) YEARS of reclusion temporal. to indemnify. When Calpito counted the change for his 100-peso bill. "There being no indication that the remaining accused.00 as consequential damages. the detained accused pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. Muntinlupa. 4-92-A of the Court Administrator.R. "Conformably with Section 1. who had just come from work as a dispatcher of passenger jeepneys plying the Baguio City-Loakan route. 121562. is hereby declared forfeited in favor of the Government. The two returned with three sticks of fishballs worth fifteen pesos. "Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Warden of the City Jail of Baguio for his information and guidance. RONNIE QUITLONG y FRIAS. SALVADOR QUITLONG y FRIAS and EMILIO SENOTO.700. Adjaro was Calpito‘s neighbor and barkada (gangmate) in Loakan. Cultura. thus: ―WHEREFORE. as it is hereby. Since at that hour there were no longer passenger jeepneys bound for Loakan." Calpito and Gosil approached a fishball vendor about three to four meters away. 13336-R. the said accused shall be credited with their preventive imprisonment under the terms and conditions prescribed in Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code..00 for the latter‘s death. "SO ORDERED. JR. At around six o‘clock in the evening of 20 October 1994. the three friends decided to walk down to Harrison Road behind the Melvin Jones grandstand to grab a taxicab. At past eight o‘clock. to FORTY (40) YEARS of reclusion perpetua. the corresponding filing fee for the P100.00 as moral damages. Calpito decided that it was time to go home. July 10. Jr. as well as accused-appellants Salvador and Ronnie Quitlong themselves.: The Regional Trial Court of Baguio City. y PASCUA. The evidence of the prosecution has narrated how a simple misunderstanding and relatively so small a matter could lead to so dastardly and unfortunate an outcome. to the effect that it was Jesus Mendoza who had been responsible for the death of the victim.00 moral damages herein awarded shall constitute a first lien on this judgment. At their arraignment. Exhibit `B‘. Page 33 . Accusedappellants. repaired to a nearby game parlor where he saw 19-year-old University of Baguio medical technology student Jonathan Calpito playing billiards with Jonathan Gosil. Metro Manila. delos Reyes..[1] disposed of Criminal Case No. submitted a motion for reinvestigation alleging that ―it was a certa in Jesus Mendoza who stabbed the victim after getting irked when the l atter urinated near and in front‖[3] of his wife. he saw that he had only been handed back thirty five pesos. archived without prejudice to its prosecution upon their apprehension. the heirs of the deceased Jonathan Calpito y Castro in the sums of P50.000. [5] Unlike accused-appellants who were immediately arrested after the commission of the crime. as maximum. Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. the fishball vendor would not admit that he had short-changed Calpito.RIGHT TO BE INFORMED (11) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. J. P35. vs. Nicanor Ellamil. Ronnie Quitlong. SALVADOR QUITLONG Y FRIAS and EMILIO SENOTO. the City Prosecutor filed a motion to admit an amended information on the basis of affidavits[4] executed by Nonita F. Lydia Q. On 12 December 1994. The trial court acted favorably on the motion. as amended. accused-appellants. jointly and severally. as amended. Jr. Lito Adjaro. let the case against them be. as amended. Emilio Senoto.‖[2] The case was generated by an information for murder filed on 25 October 1994 against accused-appellants Salvador Quitlong. [G. and several John Does could be arrested/identified and arrested shortly. No. The information.000. "The evidence knife. and several other unidentified persons following the killing of Jonathan Calpito. plaintiff-appellee. the Warden of the City Jail of Baguio is directed to immediately transfer the same accused to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections. The area was well-lighted. and P100. the Court finds and declares the accused RONNIE QUITLONG Y FRIAS. Confronted by Calpito and Gosil. Jesus Mendoza remained at large.000. shortly after the filing of the information. Wanting to partake of some "fishballs.

She saw Mendoza embrace and stab the man Page 34 . Appellant Emilio Senoto. however.500. Patacsil drew out his service firearm and told the attackers to freeze. Despite the condition that Calpito was already in. Her youngest son‘s death left her losing hope in life and "feeling very badly. Adjaro could see appellant Emilio Senoto embracing Calpito from behind and appellants Salvador Quitlong and Ronnie Quitlong holding Calpito‘s right hand and left hand. Once the three men had released their hold on Calpito. Samuel Cosme. to 12:00 midnight shift. [9] Dr. said that she saw Jesus Mendoza in the "rumble" with five or six men who had come from the Genesis Folkden. that on the night in question when he was selling "fishballs" at the park. He admitted. The police officers interviewed Adjaro and Gosil at the hospital‘s emergency room and then repaired to the crime scene and searched the area. Three of the malefactors started to flee upon seeing the approaching police officers but the rest kept on with their attack on Calpito. The four men. Mendoza had by then already stabbed Calpito. Nonita de los Reyes and Lydia Cultura. Adjaro promptly boarded Soriano‘s jeep. SPO1 Gabriel Isican prepared the complaint assignment sheet[6] before turning them over to the investigation division. Abrasions were also found on different parts of Calpito‘s body. Lydia Cultura. Ayro found a solitary stab wound that penetrated Calpito‘s left thoracic cavity at the level of the 5 th intercostal space that caused a "through and through" laceration of his anterior pericardium and the apex of the left ventricle of his heart. Appellant Salvador Quitlong. Soriano called out to the two to board the jeep but they ignored him." The defense gave no alibi and admitted the presence of accused-appellants at the vicinity of the crime scene. Recovered near the flowering plants beside the electric post was a ―stainless knife‖ [7] with bloodstains on its blade. after parking his cab to buy some cigarettes and getting attracted by the commotion. testified that out of curiosity. single or double bladed. the police officers hurriedly proceeded to the brightly-lighted place and saw Calpito lying on the ground. Arthur Viado and Nito Revivis were on foot patrol that evening. Adjaro shouted at Calpito and Gosil to run posthaste. a civil engineer driving a passenger-type jeep on his way to Loakan from the Dominican Hill. Soriano saw Calpito fall to the ground and thought that the latter had just been weakened by the men's punches but. hailed him. The report also disclosed that Adjaro and Gosil had a drinking spree with the victim at the Genesis Folkden before the stabbing incident. She witnessed the incident from a distance of ten meters away. however. the latter fell to the ground. must have been used in inflicting the stab wound. Appellant Ronnie Quitlong. at 8:55. around eighty meters away from where Mend oza was selling his wares. the latter‘s daughter. According to Nonita. Seeing that his friends were outnumbered. the hospital‘s medico-legal officer. Adjaro. a food vendor at the Burnham Park and father of five children. Soriano saw eight men rushing towards Gosil and Calpito from the direction of the taxicab-stand behind his jeep. testified that the family had spent the amount of P37.00[11] for his wake. Moments later. SPO4 Tolean. a taxicab driver. meanwhile. and of First Assistant City Prosecutor Herminio Carbonell. Kathryna Ayro. however. The police officers brought accused-appellants to the police station. Suddenly. asked for help yelling that her father was in trouble. Ayro indicated the cause of Calpito‘s death as being one of hypovolemic shock secondary to stab wound. on her part. SPO4 Gerardo Tumbaga prepared Form 1 of the National Crime Reporting System indicating that accused-appellants were arrested and that a certain Mendoza escaped and went into hiding. He was about to leave the place when several policemen arrived and arrested him. denied having had any participation in the stabbing incident nor having been acquainted with Jesus Mendoza. Attracted by the commotion along Harrison Road. his assailants still went on hitting him with their feet. respectively.[10] She opined that a knife. the mother of the victim. succeeded in cornering Calpito. burial and 9-day prayers. Jr. his neighbor. Patacsil advised the victim‘s companions to rush him to the hospital. had started to retreat from the group. Police officers Jerry Patacsil. SPO4 Tumbaga based his findings on the documents attached to the records of the case. Adjaro saw no less than eight men approach and aggressively confront Calpito and Gosil. Nonita explained that she did not immediately reveal what she saw to the authorities because of shock. with the consent of a brother of Calpito. was also a sidewalk vendor at the waiting shed along Harrison Road. Gosil and Adjaro took Calpito to the Baguio General Ho spital on board Soriano‘s jeep. Soriano positioned his jeep around four or five meters from where Gosil and Calpito were still having an argument with the fishball vendor. also received a call from the Baguio General Hospital about the incident.Herbert Soriano.. Soriano. along with SPO1 Rafael Ortencio. Calpito struggled unsuccessfully to free himself. Adjaro recognized the knife to be the one used in stabbing Calpito.. Salvador Quitlong‘s 26 -year-old younger brother. when Calpito was carried on board his jeep. He rushed over to Mendoza‘s place (puesto) but barely in time to witness the stabbing of Calpito by Mendoza. SPO4 Avelino Tolean. That same evening of 20 October 1994. and two "Bombo" radio reporters. When he and his brother responded. From where he sat. both sidewalk vendors. conducted the autopsy on the victim upon the request of Dr.[8] Dr. Dr. Calpito died at the Baguio General Hospital. He learned of the trouble Mendoza got himself into when the latter's daughter summoned for help. it interposed denial by appellants of any participation in the commission of the crime. corroborated the story of the Quitlong brothers. was seen passing by. went to the hospital where Calpito was by then in the operating room. it was Mendoza who stabbed Calpito. Jr. Seeing that the victim had bloodstains on his left chest. appellant Ronnie Quitlong stabbed Calpito at the left side of the body just below the nipple. officer-in-charge of the police investigation division on the 4:00 p. Precy Calpito. who was a classmate of his own daughter.m. Soriano realized that Calpito had been stabbed. went near the scene and saw the victim lying on the ground beside a cart. Some of the men later backed out but four of them pursued Calpito who. the attending surgeon.

It is fortunate that in the case at bench conspiracy may readily be inferred from the way the allegation of abuse of superior strength has been phrased. such as it may have been thought of by the trial court. Section 14. Senoto then held Calpito‘s body from behind. Both the original and amended Informations fail to explicitly allege conspiracy. by the prosecution in drafting the indictment. his left hand. by no less than six others.[14] the trial court has opined that "conspiracy may be deemed adequately alleged if the averments in the Information logically convey that several persons (have been) animated with the single purpose of committing the offense charged and that they (have) acted in concert in pursuance of that purpose. Nonita and Alma Balubar followed appellants to the police station but did not tell the police what she knew because she was busy attending to the crying pregnant wife of appellant Ronnie Quitlong. Salvador and Senoto. been disposed. out of empathy with a fellow s idewalk vendor. unlawfully and feloniously attack. including Emilio Senoto. to wit: `xxx the above-named accused. Salvador and Senoto acted in a conspiracy and may thus be held liable as co-principals for the death of Calpito. of the 1987 Constitution. Ronnie stabbed him once. it is equally essential that such accused has been apprised when the charge is made conformably with prevailing substantive and procedural requirements. Calpito struggled to free himself but that proved futile and. there being no dispute that the latter died due to the solitary stab inflicted on him. They must have. assault and stab JONATHAN CALPITO y CASTRO xxx. That the Honorable Lower Court gravely abused its discretion and/or acted in excess of or without jurisdiction in finding that conspiracy may readily be inferred inspite of explicit failure to allege in the information or complaint. his attackers still kicked him. it bears repeating that Ronnie Quitlong and Salvador Quitlong were admittedly responding to Jesus Mendoza‘s call for help through the latter‘s daughter. not murder. instead. the trial court. it becomes ineluctable for the Court to conclude that Ronnie. and Salvador. In their assignment of errors. It was only then that he was released and when he fell down on his back. On 21 April 1995. This could have been timely cured if obeisance had been observed of the admonition. Calpito. However. and they mauled h im.’”[13] Citing Balmadrid vs. "But before proceeding any further. Article III. often given.‖ [15] Holding that no direct proof is essential and that it suffices that the existence of a common design to commit the offense charged is shown by the acts of the malefactors and attendant circumstances. the trial court had this to say: ―The question is whether or not the herein three accused participated in. and may be held guilty as co -principals by reason of conspiracy for.‖[16] Overwhelming. to lend Mendoza all the assistance the latter needed under the circumstances. the Court takes notice of the lapse committed.in white t-shirt. that the prosecution should not take the arraignment stage for granted but. the trial court has concluded: ―In the case on hand. Jr. "Guided by the jurisprudential authorities heretofore cited. Sandiganbayan. according to prosecution witnesses Lito Adjaro and Herbert Soriano. That the Honorable Lower Court gravely abused its discretion and/or acted in excess of or without jurisdiction in finding that there was conspiracy between and among the accused-appellants in the commission of the crime. Ronnie. given the circumstances. They came upon Mendoza engaged in a heated altercation with the victim Calpito. in particular. "3. On the particular issue of conspiracy. the Quitlong brothers would have it ―1. Four to five men manhandled Calpito who kept on retreating and even went around Soriano‘s p arked jeep until he was cornered. They were joined. with intent to kill xxx and taking advantage of their numerical superiority and combined strength did then and there willfully. rendered its now assailed decision. perhaps inadvertently. treat the notice thereof as a reminder to review the case and determine if the complaint or information is in due form and the allegations therein contained are sufficient vis-à-vis the law involved and the evidence on hand. kept on kicking the victim and they were restrained and arrested.‖ [12] In his case. instead. the fatal stabbing of the victim. When they reached Calpito. they pushed him and started beating him up and his companion Jonathan Gosil. including their rebuttal and sur-rebuttal evidence. "2. Only the arrival of some policemen made some of the assailants stop and run away. his right hand. That the Honorable Lower Court gravely abused its discretion and/or acted in excess of or without jurisdiction in finding the accused-appellants guilty of the crime of Murder instead of Homicide. following his evaluation of the respective submissions of the prosecution and the defense. appellant Senoto contends that the trial court has erred in finding conspiracy among the accused and argues that the crime committed is homicide. therefore. evidence of conspiracy is not enough for an accused to bear and to respond to all its grave legal consequences. mandates that no person shall be held answerable for a criminal offense without due process of law and that in all criminal Page 35 . being then armed with a knife. Ronnie.

an accused must know from the information whether he faces a criminal responsibility not only for his acts but also for the acts of his co-accused as well. In fine. expressly or impliedly. [25] Verily. to commit the felony and forthwith to actually pursue it. Where conspiracy exists and can rightly be appreciated.S. Conspiracy arises when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. names (plaintiff and defendant). the approximate time and date of the commission of the offense. A conspiracy indictment need not. following the language of the statute. and the place where the offense has been committed. however. of course. of conspiracy. has but simply stated: ―That on or about the 20th day of October 1994. the information must state that the accused have confederated to commit the crime or that there has been a community of design. a matter that is not to be confused with or likened to the adequacy of evidence that may be required to prove it. 542). the agreement to commit the crime. "CONTRARY TO LAW.‖ must aptly appear in the information in the form of definitive acts cons tituting conspiracy. in the information on which basis an accused can aptly enter his plea. the complaint must contain a specific allegation of every fact and circumstance necessary to constitute the crime charged. penetrating the pereduum and left ventricle causing left remothones of 700 cc and hemoperecuduum of 250 cc. Karelsen. Conspiracy must be alleged. in order to ensure that the constitutional right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of his accusation is not violated. unlawfully and feloniously attack. the unity of purpose or the community of design among the accused must be conveyed such as either by the use of the term ―conspire‖ or its derivatives and synonyms or by allegations of basic facts co nstituting the conspiracy. Philippines. that an indictment may be held sufficient "if it follows the words of the statute and reasonably informs the accused of the character of the offense he is charged with conspiring to commit. vs.. did then and there willfully. It is enough that the indictment contains a statement of the facts relied upon to be constitutive of the offense in ordinary and concise language. as amended. with intent to kill xxx and taking advantage of their numerical superiority and combined strength. In order that this requirement may be satisfied. One such fact or circumstance in a complaint against two or more accused persons is that of conspiracy. the designation given to the offense by the statute. or alleges both the conspiracy and the contemplated crime in the language of the respective statutes defining them. if not excepted from or objected to during trial. did then and there willfully. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. assault and stab JONATHAN CALPITO Y CASTRO x x x‖[24] is difficult to accept. Cruikshank. the name of the offended party. regardless of the nature and extent of his own participation. not just inferred. the act of one being imputable to all the others. contains a sufficient statement of an overt act to effect the object of the conspiracy. the information must set forth the facts and circumstances that have a bearing on the culpability and liability of the accused so that the accused can properly prepare for and undertake his defense. To furnish the accused with such a description of the charge against him as will enable him to make his defense. so that it may decide whether they are sufficient in law to support a conviction. in the absence of the usual usage of the words ―conspired‖ or ―confederated‖ or the phrase ―acting in conspiracy.e. and with such precision that the accused may plead his acquittal or conviction to a subsequent indictment based on the same facts. assault and stab JONATHAN CALPITO Y CASTRO suddenly and unexpectedly. Conspiracy comes to life at the very instant the plotters agree. and second. must state the name of the accused. if one should be had. unlawfully and feloniously attack. to avail himself of his conviction or acquittal for protection against a further prosecution for the same cause.prosecutions the accused shall first be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. in the City of Baguio. not conclusions of law. a unity of purpose or an agreement to commit the felony among the accused. to inform the court of the facts alleged.[19] viz: ―First. left medclavicular line. with intent to kill and with treachery and taking advantage of their numerical superiority and combined strength. may be corrected or supplied by competent proof. aver all the components of conspiracy or allege all the details thereof. [18]The practice and object of informing an accused in writing of the charges against him has been explained as early as the 1904 decision of the Court in U. equally guilty with the other or others in the commission of the crime. with as much certainty as the nature of the case will admit. or.‖[23] The opinion of the trial court to the effect that conspiracy may be inferred from the allegation of abuse of superior strength and with the aid of armed men. i. In short. facts must be stated.‖ An information.‖[22] The information charging herein appellants for the death of Jonathan Calpito. like the part that each of the parties therein have performed. (United States vs.S. and third. Every crime is made up of certain acts and intent. Such an allegation. an allegation. the individual acts done to perpetrate the felony becomes of secondary importance. is indispensable in order to hold such person. place. that ―x x x the above -named accused. being then armed with a knife. In establishing Page 36 . [17] The right to be informed of any such indictment is likewise explicit in procedural rules. the evidence proving the common design or the facts connecting all the accused with one another in the web of the conspiracy. without any warning whatsoever. in a manner that can enable a person of common understanding to know what is intended. inflicting upon him a stab wound at the left thorax at the level of the 7th rib. being then armed with a knife. and circumstances. the above-named accused. 92 U. Neither is it necessary to describe conspiracy with the same degree of particularity required in describing a substantive offense. It is said. generally. a statement of the acts or omissions so complained of as constituting the offense. Quite unlike the omission of an ordinary recital of fact which.. which directly caused his death.[21] Verily. [20] In embodying the essential elements of the crime charged. these must be set forth in the complaint with reasonable particularity of time. or one that would impute criminal liability to an accused for the act of another or others.

so averred and proved as heretofore explained. Adjaro testified on their respective participations in the commission of the crime. sir. "Q. "Q. After Jonathan Calpito was held by these three persons and other. "Q. if any. it would be hard to reject the supposition that a person will not prevaricate and cause damnation to one who has brought him no harm. In the first place. "Q. Now.‖[31] Appellant Ronnie Quitlong was a principal by his own act of stabbing Calpito that caused the latter's death. sir. And what happened next when you said he could no longer struggle? "A. would not itself demonstrate the concurrence of will or the unity of action and Page 37 .. both corroborate Adjaro‘s positive identific ation of appellants as the persons who did maul Calpito. His body. Was he able to free himself from the helds (sic) of these persons? "A. Lito Adjaro. After positively pointing to appellants in open court to be the persons who ganged up on Calpito. he could not struggle. sir. Did you see the person who stabbed him? "A. "Q. is not likely to be an incredible witness. straightforward and spontaneous manner. an accused can only be made liable for the acts committed by him alone and this criminal responsibility is individual and not collective. What did Jonathan Calpito do. They boxed him and also stabbed him. as one of the persons who held the deceased Jonathan Calpito.[27] Findings of the trial court. What part of the body of Jonathan Calpito did he hold? "A. What hand was held by Salvador Quitlong? "A. Where there is no evidence to indicate that the prosecution witness has been actuated by any improper motive. Right hand. disposed to deviate from the foregoing rule. sir. however. when he is being held by these three persons and others? "A. what happened next? "A. They held him tightly. at this time and in this instance.[26] And so it is that must be so held in this case. Did you notice what part of the body was hit and boxed by these three persons? "A. The conflicting claims of the prosecution and the defense on who stabbed the victim is an issue that ultimately and unavoidably goes into the question of whom to believe among the witnesses. you pointed to Emilio Senoto. A witness who testifies in a categorical. How about Ronnie Quitlong? "A. who have testified seeing the already wounded Calpito lying on the ground and still being attacked. thus: ―PROSECUTOR: "Q. This issue of credibility requires a determination that is concededly best left to the trial court with its unique position of having been enabled to observe that elusive and incommunicable evidence of the deportment of witnesses on the stand. Jr. [28] The Court is not. has steadfastly stood by. "Q. even on rebuttal. I saw him hold his hand. His left hand. as well as remains consistent on cross and rebuttal examination. His body and his face. Simultaneity. the evidence to support it need not necessarily be shown by direct proof but may be inferred from shown acts and conduct of the accused. Herbert Soriano and the police. "Q. He was struggling. "Q. Will you be able to identify him? "A. Yes. What do you mean no more? "A. [32] Appellants Salvador Quitlong and Emilio Senoto. were holding the hands of Calpito at the precise time that Ronnie Quitlong was in the act of executing his criminal intent. Jr. What part of the body of Jonathan Calpito did he hold? "A. following that assessment. They mauled (―binugbog‖) Jonathan Calpito. "Q. sir. He was not able to free himself. [29] Secondly. In the absence of conspiracy. sir. "Q. No more. must be given the highest degree of respect absent compelling reasons to conclude otherwise. sir. the defense has failed to establish any ill motive on the part of Adjaro that would have prompted him to testify wrongly against appellants. "INTERPRETER: Witness pointing to a gentleman inside the courtroom wearing cream jacket who gave his name as Ronnie Quitlong. Yes. How about Salvador Quitlong whom you also identified in Court. why was he not able to free himself anymore? "A.conspiracy when properly alleged. "Q. to his story on the commission of the crime. the eyewitness in the stabbing of Calpito. I saw. [30] Finally. "Q. I will request you to again look inside the courtroom and point to the person whom you saw stab Jonathan Calpito? "WITNESS: The person wearing white jacket. "Q.

Appellants Salvador Quitlong and Emilio Senoto.00 to P20. the penalty that may be imposed is reclusion temporal minimum. Absent any mitigating or aggravating circumstance. are found guilty as accomplices in the commission of the crime. as the minimum penalty. Page 38 . is disallowed. appellants Salvador Quitlong and Emilio Senoto.[39] the Court has said that ―x x x although Section 17 of R.00 and to pay moral damages of P50. as maximum. accordingly.e. the incident would appear to have occurred at the spur of moment. from all indications.. as maximum penalty. The award of moral damages recoverable under Article 2219(1). Jr. appellant Ronnie Quitlong. and each shall suffer the indeterminate sentence of nine (9) years and four (4) months of prision mayor minimum period.000. SO ORDERED. there was no clear legislative intent to alter its original classification as an indivisible penalty.A. as minimum to forty (40) years of reclusion perpetua. The crime committed was qualified by abuse of superiority. Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Philippine National Police and the Department of Justice in order that the other participants in the killing of Jonathan Calpito. i. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law to them. each may be held to suffer the indeterminate sentence of anywhere from prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its medium period. however. Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code.. shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. except for the amount P12. to thirteen (13) years and nine (9) months and ten (10) days of reclusion temporal minimum period. The trial court correctly imposed the payment of a civil indemnity of P50.purpose that could be a basis for collective responsibility of two or more individuals. Costs against appellants. In the Court's Resolution of 09 January 1995. [36] Treachery may not be here considered as a generic aggravating circumstance although it might have ensured the commission of the crime. Jr. of the Civil Code is reduced fromP100.000. the crime of murder is punishable by reclusion temporal maximum to death. be arrested and made to face the force of the law. to anywhere within the range of reclusion temporal minimum. In order that treachery may be taken as an aggravating circumstance. Appellants Salvador Quitlong and Emilio Senoto.000.700. [35] While superiority in number would not per se mean superiority in strength. Appellants Salvador Quitlong and Emilio Senoto.‖[40] The two accomplices.000. Jr. appellant Ronnie Quitlong is found guilty of the crime of murder for the killing of Jonathan Calpito and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and further ordered to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P50. [33] indeed. 7659 has fixed the duration of reclusion perpetua from twenty (20) years and one (1) day to forty (40) years. prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period. WHEREFORE. It shall then remain as an indivisible penalty. in relation to Article 2206. to reimburse them the actual damages of P12... appellant Ronnie Quitlong in this case. No.[37] No such proof has been adequately shown. has been imposed by the trial court on the premise that reclusion perpetua is a divisible penalty.000.000. shall therefore be held to be mere accomplices conformably with Article 18[34] of the Revised Penal Code.00 paid to the memorial chapel. There being neither aggravating nor mitigating circumstances to appropriately appreciate in this case.000. to show that the attackers had cooperated in such a way as to secure advantage of their superiority in strength certainly out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. there must be proof that the accused has consciously adopted a mode of attack to facilitate the perpetration of the killing without risk to himself. enough proof was adduced.00.00. clarifying its decision [38] in People vs. specifically Jesus Mendoza. The indeterminate penalty of twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal.00 in favor of the heirs of the victim. as the maximum penalty. Jr. The consequential (actual) damages in the amount of P35. as minimum penalty..00. are also hereby held solidarily liable with appellant Ronnie Quitlong in the payment of the damages hereinabove mentioned. Lucas. shall be subject to the imposition of the penalty next lower in degree than reclusion temporal maximum to death or.00 not having been substantiated. as principal.

Philippines. the accused herein. Thus. SUBANG. 1990. the complainants were able to pay the accused the aggregate amount of P14. Reynaldo Tan to whom he alleges to have remitted the sums of money he received from the complainants. for the crime of illegal recruitment under Article 38 and 39 of Presidential Decree No. PALOMO to the effect that he has the authority to recruit workers for employment in Taipei. the complainants paid partial amount at the office of the accused at Five Ace Philippines located in Manila and all of them gave their own down payment. the accused. PALOMO. But since their payment.00). the four complainants similarly testified that the accused was introduced to them by his brothers. The prosecution's evidence." On the other hand. respondents. the complainants were able to confront the accused and demanded the return of their money. [G. viz: "In trying to absolve himself from criminal liability.500. they informed the brothers of the accused whom they are familiar with. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. vs.00.500. until such time that they already filed their complaint with the NBI. the accused shifted the blame to a certain Mr. Page 39 . 442. in the Municipality of Calapan. Specifically.00 first and before departure they will complete the amount as demanded. 1998] MARTINEZ J.00 allegedly to be used for the processing of the passport and the following amounts for processing x x x 'All the complainants were able to receive the passport from the accused. petitioner‘s version of the case is likewise capsulized by the trial court in this wise. Reynaldo Tan. an employee of the Department of Public Works and Highways who also was recruited by Mr. and feloniously collect from the aforestated applicants the aggregate amount of FOURTEEN THOUSAND PESOS (P 14. on or before December. The accused asked the sum of P14. complaining about the failure of the accused to send them abroad when they have already paid the advance payment. Finally. RENITA J.(12) JOSE ABACA.00 each. ZENAIDA J. as amended otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines. misappropriated and converted to his own personal use and benefit the aforecited amount.000. ZENAIDA J. 127162.R. JANEO and MELROSE S. the accused presented one Alberto Tolentino. 'From the foregoing. but the latter far from complying with his obligations. whom they already knew for a long time. No.00 each for the passport. Taiwan. but the complainants requested if they could payP6. accompanied by his brothers. 442. and then later.JANEO and MELROSE S. and can facilitate the processing of their necessary papers in connection therewith if given the necessary amount of money to cover the costs of such recruitment and by means of other similar deceit when in truth and in fact he is not authorized nor licensed to recruit. as summarized by the trial court. but the accused merely promised to do so. petitioner. excluding the amount of P1. The two brothers could not do otherwise but appeased them and promised to contact their brother. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the above-named accused thru false manifestation and fraudulent representation made to ROSELIA JIZ JANEO. petitioner entered a plea of not guilty. the accused promised them to leave.000.: Petitioner Jose Abaca was tried before the Regional Trial Court of Calapan. did then and there willfully and unlawfully. SUBANG. 1988 and then anytime in January of 1989. Each complainant paid the accused P1.000. based on an Information which reads: "That in the month of November 1988. Thereafter. When the complainants sensed that they would not leave anymore. 'It was agreed between the complainant and the accused that the balance of their obligation would be given on or before they leave for abroad. Oriental Mindoro.000. misrepresented himself to be a licensed recruiter and convinced the four complainants that for a consideration they could work abroad at Taipei either as a domestic helper or factory worker with a salary ranging from $300 to $500 a month. and for a period prior and/or subsequent thereto. trial ensued. Perferio and Guding Abaca. To corroborate his version of the incident. the said accused assuring and representing that the same would be used in defraying the necessary expenses of the complainants' application for employment abroad and having been convinced by said misrepresentation the complainants gave the said amount to the herein accused."[1] Arraigned on February 6. Abaca and who was also referred to Mr. Contrary to Articles 38 and 39 of Presidential Decree No. Sometime in the month of November 1988. Province of Oriental Mindoro. first. reads as follows: "The gist of the testimonies of the four complainants revolves on how the accused (petitioner herein) recruited them to work abroad and made them believe that the accused could work out their papers in consideration of a certain sum of money. to the damage and prejudice of the said ROSELIA JIZ JANEO. Philippine Currency. June 5. RENITA J. and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

[2] Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied on November 7. much less. He informed the Court that he was connected with the recruitment agency called WORK Incorporated-a licensed company." On appeal. In finding that herein petitioner undertook recruitment activities. one morning. [4] Under the first element. The petition must be dismissed. among others. with the legal rate of interest from 1988 up to the time of payment. Reynaldo Tan. was a duly licensed private recruitment agency prior to August 20. he is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of four (4 ) years straight and to indemnify the complainants the aggregate amount of P14.000. 1) issued by the POEA stating. after which the accused left for Manila where he was working. may not be validly charged of illegal recruitment as defined by law in force at the time of the alleged commission of the offense charged.D. Inc. namely: (1) the offender has no valid license or authority required by law to enable one to lawfully engage in recruitment and placement of workers. POEA. The complainants agreed. there being a grave misapprehension of the facts. therefore. Chief of the Licensing Branch. and that petitioner was then a manager and PDOS (Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar) Trainor in said recruitment agency. the accused denied the truth of such statement. Mateo. convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. He admitted that the Five Ace Philippines is only engaged in trading and not as recruitment agency. 3. 442.[6] Page 40 The record shows that petitioner is not a licensed recruiter as evidenced by the Certification [7] issued by Mr. or whose license or authority has been suspended. 1996. Mr. Hermogenes C. Then. judgment was rendered finding petitioner guilty of the crime charged. It found petitioner guilty of illegal recruitment on a large-scale and sentenced him to life imprisonment and a fine of P100. 39 ( c ) of P. The accused told them that they were recruiting workers in the Middle East but he is discouraging female to work there because of the horrible experiences others have undergone.00 4. In not finding that petitioner. Inc. or any prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34 of the Labor Code. 2. . 000. that WORK. revoked or canceled by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or the Secretary. a nonlicensee or nonholder of authority is any person." After trial. In not considering the certification (Exh. the two girls in the name of Melrose Paloma and Zenaida Subang called the accused by phone and told him that they are interested in joining the Janeo sister to go to Taipei and they said that they came across the calling card of the accused marked as Exhibit "G". corporation or entity which has not been issued a valid license or authority to engage in recruitment and placement by the Secretary of Labor. Mateo said: . SO ORDERED. the dispositive portion of which reads: "WHEREFORE. finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of illegal recruitment under Art. In declaring petitioner guilty of illegal recruitment in large scale and sentencing him to a penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine ofP100. The accused stated that he did not recruit them and the truth was he happened to be at the establishment of complainants in Calapan and they were able to talk with the Janeo sisters who told them of their problems wherein they were notified to vacate the establishment. The crime of illegal recruitment is committed when two elements concur. by virtue of his position as manager and PDOS trainor of WORK. [5] Agents or representatives appointed by a licensee or a holder of authority but whose appointments are not previously authorized by POEA are within the meaning of the termnonlicensee or nonholder of authority. he had the authority to undertake recruitment activities. and (2) he undertakes either any activity within the meaning of "recruitment and placement" defined under Article 13(b).00 by way of civil liability. and that. the respondent Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the decision of the trial court. The accused also told them that he was referring them to somebody whom he knows are sending people to Taipei in the person of Mr. and thus asked the accused to assist them in going abroad.xxx xxx xxx When asked if he recruited complainants as they testified in Court.000.1989. being a holder of authority.00. [3] Petitioner now comes to us alleging that the respondent court committed grave and reversible errors of law and/or acted with grave abuse of discretion1. Testifying on the aforesaid certification.

" (Underlining Ours) Moreover. complainant Roselia Janeo testified: "Q A Q A Where did you give the amount of P 1. INC. do you mean to say that he cannot recruit for his agency? As far as the POEA is concerned. there is nothing from the record which would show even by implication that petitioner was acting for and in behalf of WORK. Non-transferability of license or authority. City of Manila. if the designation states for example that he is only authorized to market for overseas principal. [11] Again. nor may such license or authority be transferred. Mateo when he testified that: "Q Now. Inc. where did you give the amount of P6. sir. Moreover. it so states that he is authorized to serve as trainor in the conduct of pre-departure orientation seminar. Thus. we only recognize the appointment submitted to our office in his capacity as that. Petitioner gave his calling card [13] and met with private complainants at his office at Five Ace. sir. However. that is the only function that he could do so in representing the company.00 to Mr. The Certification [9] issued by Mr. Inc. conveyed or assigned to any other person or entity." [10] Even assuming that WORK.No license or authority shall be used directly or indirectly by any person other than the one in whose favor it was issued or at any place other than stated in the license or authority.).[12] The provision of Article 29 of the Labor Code is very clear on this: "Art. Inc. sir. still. prove that petitioner has a license or authority to undertake recruitment activities. will you please tell this Court if the employees of WORK. to recruit workers. It does not. when he was dealing with the complainants.. said authority must be submitted to and approved by the POEA. Malate. his employment with a licensed placement agency does not ipso facto authorize him to recruit workers. had authorized petitioner.. 29. Mateo explained that a licensee or holder of authority may authorize their employees to recruit for the agency. sir."Q A Now. Mr. This was clarified by Mr. Jose Abaca? . which was relied upon by petitioner is nothing but an affirmation that he is an officer of WORK. Where in Manila did you give that P1. such authority was not previously approved by the POEA. Mateo. Any transfer of business address. appointment or designation of any agent or representative including the establishment of additional officers anywhere shall be subject to the prior approval of the Department of Labor.000.00 to Jose Abaca in Manila because he instructed us to follow him in Manila. a licensed private recruitment agency is devoid of merit. Incorporated in particular or any agency for that matter which are license to recruit workers for overseas employment authorized or licensed to recruit workers for employment abroad? xxx A xxx xxx That will depend on the designation of the person concerned. Inc. For example. by reason of his position in the company. 41 "Q Miss witness.500.500." [8] Petitioner's theory that he has the authority to recruit by reason of his position as manager and Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar Trainor (PDOS) of the WORKERS FOR OVERSEAS RECRUITMENT KEY CENTER.00? At Five Ace Philippines and this Five Ace Philippines is the agency which according to Jose Abaca he is handling" [14] Complainant Reneta Janeo also testified: Page A At Five Ace Philippines. if he is trainor. Your Honor. xxx Q A xxx xxx When a person is trainor or only a personnel manager. (WORK. FISCAL SENOREN: Q A What do you mean by it depends upon the designation of a person? Well.00 for your passport? I give (sic) the amount of P1.500. how about a person by the name of Jose Abaca alias "Joe" or Jose "Joe" Abaca listed in that particular list as one among those authorized by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to recruit workers for employment abroad? He is not included among those authorized to recruit in their personal capacity like single proprietorship. Phil. in any way.

that is. our government has no diplomatic relation. contracting. hiring or procuring workers. locally or abroad. sir. according to you. promising or advertising for employment. we have no less than two hundred thousand Filipino workers in Taipei right now under a visitor's visa on a tourist passport. This is the problem of the once accepting these people. (2) requiring them to submit their ID pictures." as follows: "Recruitment and placement refers to any act of canvassing. Inc. Nakpil St. Witness. why do you have to refer the complainants to other company represented by Mr. Inc. Petitioner recounted: "Q If that is so. am I right? A Yes. Q And where is this Five Ace Philippines located? A At Guerero corner J. Q And you want to impress upon this Court that all workers going to Taipei. is deploying workers to the Middle East and other countries with bilateral agreements with the Philippines undisputably show that he was not representing WORK. when he dealt with private complainants. transporting. sir. unofficial capacity. Even a tourist visa. as I have said that I did not want them to be deployed to the Middle East wherein we have authority to deploy to the Middle East. utilizing. (3) Page 42 . Q Bilateral agreement with said country? A Because the papers to be processed by the POEA. Now. Article 13(b) of the Labor Code defines "recruitment and placement. sir. unofficially in our country because they are working there on a tourist visa. Inc. sir. the WORK Incorporated was duly licensed to engage in recruitment business? A Well. when he recruited the private complainants. why you do not utilize your company. Reynaldo Tan. Going now to the second element of the crime charged. And that is not the problem of our country. Q So your company is not engaged in sending workers for Taipei. Mr. birth certificates and bio-data for their employment abroad. and includes referrals. contract services. the fact that we do not have a bilateral agreement with Taipei but the Taipei government is accepting employees from the Philippines on a tourist visa and a tourist passport and visitors visa and as matter of fact. Taiwan? A Yes. the offender undertakes either any activity within the meaning of recruitment and placement. Q So that is the reason ."[16] (Underlining Ours) It is clear therefore that petitioner never acted for and in behalf of WORK.Q What is this Five Ace Philippines? A It is an office. if according to you. that any person or entity which in any manner offers or promises for a fee employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement. " [15] Petitioner's testimony that he referred the private complainants to a certain Reynaldo Tan because WORK. whether for profit or not. enlisting."(Underscoring Supplied) Petitioner's acts of (1) representing to the private complainants that he can help them work in Taipei with a monthly salary of $300 to $500. Taiwan work there unofficially without the sanction of our government but on shall we say. Malate. a tourist passport. Provided.. Q Because. A Bilateral agreement. Taiwan" I am referring to WORK Incorporated? A Yes. according to you. that cannot be processed because our government has no bilateral agreement with the said country. sir. the WORK Incorporated in connection with this particular application of the complainants in going to Taipei.

And yet. made the complainants believe that he could help them work abroad as household helper or factory worker at Taipei at a salary ranging from $300 to $500. Having been sentenced by the respondent court to a graver offense. thus. unfortunately will not exculpate him. thus making the crime illegal recruitment in large scale. [20] All these elements were duly proven by the prosecution. Relying on this representation.00 as demanded by the accused besides the P1. the constitutional right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of his accusations is not violated.000. bio-data and other personal papers. accused assured complainants that they might be able to leave in December of 1988." [17] Petitioner further asserted that he did not recruit private complainants but only tried to help them by referring them to one Reynaldo Tan who was allegedly licensed to recruit workers to Taiwan. where the allegations in the information clearly sets forth the essential elements of the crime charged. despite such fact. the complainants were led to believe that accused could really help them work abroad. He argues that he cannot be convicted of illegal recruitment in large scale because the information charged him only with simple illegal recruitment. otherwise.00 as processing fee. complainants failed to leave. Thus. accused. petitioner claims that he was deprived of his constitutional right to be informed of the true nature and cause of the accusation against him. The real nature of the criminal charge is determined not from the technical name given by the fiscal appearing in the title of the information but by the actual recital of facts appearing in the complaint or information . the offender undertakes recruitment and placement activity defined under Article 13 (b).demanding from them P12. is not licensed or authorized to recruit overseas workers.00) pursuant to Article 38 (b) [21] and Article 39 (a)[22] of the Labor Code. are all recruitment activities within the contemplation of the law. also considered a recruitment activity. The imposable penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100. thru false manifestation and fraudulent representation.[18] Thus. under the law. SO ORDERED. The finding of the trial court in this regard is worth noting: "It has already been shown by the prosecution that accused was not licensed or authorized by the POEA to recruit workers for abroad. Petitioner. Page 43 . they would file a case against the accused in court. We do not agree. 1989. Petitioner's act of referring private complainants to Tan is. birth certificate. Finally. petitioner faults respondent court in finding him guilty of illegal recruitment in large scale which has a higher penalty. and the accused issued a private receipt (not official or printed receipt) evidencing such payment. they demanded from the accused to return the money. or any prohibited practices enumerated under Article 34. WHEREFORE.000.500. and (4) receiving from them certain amounts for the processing of their passports and other papers. Again. alleging that he has a friend who could help them work abroad. namely: the offender is a non-licensee or non-holder of authority to engage in recruitment and placement activity. [19] The information against petitioner has clearly recited all the elements of the crime of illegal recruitment at large scale.000. the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED. "H" and "I" and the issuance of the passport. complainants were constrained to pay the aggregate amount of P14. and illegal recruitment is committed against three or more persons individually or as a group. This posture. With these receipts marked as Exhibits "A" to "E".00 each for passport. he undertook recruitment activities defined under Article 34 under the Labor Code and he recruited the four (4) complainant-workers. ID pictures. as discussed earlier. after payment. Come December 1988 and yet complainants were not able to leave and was again promised by accused that they could leave the following month of January.

Misamis Oriental when appellant. in Criminal Cases Nos. unlawfully and feloniously drag the victim to the hut. poked a knife at her and threatened to kill her. Balingasag. 93-470 and 93-2127. [18] Renato Gallogo. after which he removed his own pants and underwear. did then and there willfully. at Barangay Mambayaan.[8] He then led her to a bedroom upstairs. March 31. as in the previous instances. [G. without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.: Accused-appellant Leonides Ranido seeks the reversal of the March 27. plaintiff-appellee. 93-2127 reads as follows: That on or about (the) 7th day of January. Abejuela became hysterical and charged at complainant. Branch 24. In the challenged decision. [7] suddenly appeared and pulled her towards the house of Morit.. lay on top of her. 1998] REGALADO. and to pay private complainant P50. appellant untied complainant‘s hands and left her in the room.000. Nos. On the other hand. The prosecution presented complainant. There. Gallogo 14 years (sic) old young woman. then a 14-year old barrio lass who was working as a housekeeper for one Ernesto Morit. [9] Appellant made the victim lie on the bed and pulled off her short pants and underwear. At this juncture. finding him guilty of two counts of rape. a woman of 14 years old (sic). Belencita Abejuela. Abejuela. Enopia. In the afternoon of January 7. J. he used it to tie her hands behind her back. LEONIDES RANIDO. Misamis Oriental. [2] The information in Criminal Case No. the father of complainant. 1992.00 as damages in the two cases. Dr. Balingasag. complainant. appellant pleaded not guilty to the charges and the cases were tried jointly. and would have struck her with a bottle had appellant not parried the same.[3] (Words in parentheses added) Upon arraignment. Renato Gallogo. he raised her duster and pulled down her underwear. lay on top of her. [10] There were no other persons in the house at that time and complainant was terrified and unable to resist appellant. She proceeded to her neighbor‘s house and did not go home that night because she was afraid that her father would beat her.R. 116450-51. he was sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each count of rape. pointed (sic) a knife at her and have sexual intercourse with her Marianita A. the above-named accused. by means of force and intimidation. Misamis Oriental. her father. 1992 at more or less 10:30 o‘clock in the morning. she was walking by the hut of appellant when he unexpectedly pulled her inside and took her into a room. Angelita A. [11] Several days later. accused-appellant. with the maximum period of service of sentence not to exceed 40 years pursuant to Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code. complainant and her brother were tending cows behind their family‘s hut when appellant approached and warned her that if she should tell her father about what occurred on October 7. complainant went to a nearby river to wash clothes.[15] Appellant threatened to kill her if she resisted him[16] and. Gallogo. [6] was sweeping the surroundings of the house of her employer in Mambayaan. he would kill them both. After satisfying his lust. Complainant took the opportunity to free herself from appellant and flee from the hut. complainant and appellant were alone in the house[14] and appellant no longer bound her hands.M. 93-470 alleges: That on or about October 7. Appellant grabbed complainant‘s duster from the clothesline and.(13) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. He then removed his pants and underwear. unlawfully and feloniously. [12] It was revealed during the testimony of complainant in court that on four other occasions subsequent to said occurrence. appellant‘s common-law wife of 26 years. towel and cloth pinned her down and succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her against her will and consent. On her way home at around 5:00 P. accused drag (sic) her to a room and with use of a knife. Gallogo Page 44 . the victim yielded to his lechery because of fear. Balingasag. 1992. (the above-named accused) did then and there willfully. once inside the house. vs. 1994 joint decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro City. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. and once again defiled her. pulled her hair. against her will and consent. the defense presented appellant Leonides Ranido. [13] In each instance. appellant forced himself upon complainant and sexually abused her. 1993 at more or less 5:00 o‘clock in the afternoon. at Barangay Mambayaan. and likewise in the house of Morit. 1993. sucked her breasts and forced his penis into her vagina. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. testified that he was at home at around 6:00 o‘clock that same evening when Abejuela. abuse and threats upon Marianita A. arrived and told him that his daughter and appellant were having sexual intercourse. and his common-law wife. who was with a companion. Gallogo. who lived approximately 10 meters away. [1] The information in Criminal Case No. [4] and the physician who conducted a medical examination on complainant. Neither was it necessary for him to threaten her with a knife as her fear and the intimidation to which she was subjected were sufficient to restrain her from offering resistance against appellant.[5] The evidence of the prosecution established that in the morning of October 7.[17] arrived and caught him in the act of violating complainant. Marianita A.

Abejuela hurriedly left and Gallogo went to look for his daughter. complainant was menstruating at the time of the examination and the flow thereof could have washed away whatever spermatozoa may have been discharged into her vagina. This contention has to be rejected. hence this appeal where he raises a lone assignment of error that the trial court erred in convicting him of the offenses charged. It was only the following morning that he was able to find her at the house of his niece. She supposedly left as soon as he gave her vegetables and even returned the following day to ask for money. Angelita A. He contended that he and complainant were neighbors and that she would frequently ask him for vegetables (―malunggay‖) and money. Abejuela was purportedly with a companion[31] but the prosecution did not present that alleged companion as a witness during the trial. When Abejuela informed Gallogo on January 7. she admitted that it was true and that it was not the first time that she was raped by appellant. [28] Abejuela corroborated the testimony of appellant and maintained that on January 7. since he was the overseer of the property and the trees thereon. Dr. She said that although the two were only chatting. Page 45 . Appellant maintains that such failure to present the witness belies the allegation that Abejuela actually informed Gallogo of the rape incident. He nonetheless forcefully denied that he raped complainant or made sexual advances at her. hence it is usually only the victim who can testify with regard to the fact of forced coitus.retorted that Abejuela should clarify her statement. about 300 meters away from the house of complainant. after exhaustive review and objective analysis of the records of this case. she became extremely jealous and scolded complainant who immediately left the place.[19] When Gallogo questioned complainant about the report of Abejuela. He averred that he was merely talking to complainant and giving her friendly advice when Abejuela arrived and went on a jealous rampage.[20] However. [23] Appellant denied the charges. otherwise. and insisted that she came to him to ask for money and to consult him about her problems with her boyfriend who had allegedly victimized her.[21] They then proceeded to the Medicare clinic in Balingasag where complainant was examined by its resident physician. [30] It is indubitable that appellant was with complainant on October 7.[25] He further asserted that on October 7. Complainant would often tease him and would sometimes show him her leg and run away. in his brief. Appellant. She then confronted and quarreled with appellant because she resented his conversing with complainant who was reputed to have several boyfriends. 1993 that appellant was having sexual intercourse with his daughter. is in agreement with the findings of the lower court and consequently affirms the conviction of appellant.[24] Besides. he would hack her. [27] Appellant concluded that Abejuela got jealous and had a fit because he and complainant were seated together and complainant was holding his hand. however. she proceeded to the house of complainant and told her father. she went to the plantation to bring supper to appellant when she found him talking to complainant in the hut therein. the date when the first incident of rape allegedly took place in the house of Morit. conviction may be based solely on the plausible testimony of the private complainant. [29] From there. Renato Gallogo. He. The testimony of the companion of Abejuela was dispensable and the absence thereof does not weaken the stand of the prosecution.[32]As a result. to watch her. he likewise raped her. so the prosecution claims. 1993. 1992 and January 7. The trial court convicted appellant of two counts of rape committed on October 7. half a kilometer away from his house. appellant said that he was in a hut in the banana plantation of one Raul Cagatawan. he first brought her to the barangay station commander where they reported the incidents and complainant executed an affidavit. The Court. 1993. vehemently denied that he raped complainant there. Enopia. Appellant did not disclaim that he was with complainant on several other dates on which. appellant claimed that he was always tired. although he occasionally made love to his common-law wife. 1993. 1992.[26] With respect to the incident of January 7. 1992 and January 7. 1993. Gallogo‘s initial impulse was to take his daughter to a physician for medical examination. contends that the inconsistencies in his defense and the weakness thereof do not warrant his conviction as the evidence of the prosecution is unconvincing and fails to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. he was at home when complainant arrived and asked him for vegetables. the dates when the subject acts of rape allegedly took place. The crime of rape is essentially one committed in secrecy. but he was never tempted by these flirtations because he was already in his fifties and no longer capable of sexual intercourse. The medical certificate issued by said physician indicated the following findings: -No fresh vaginal lacerations noted -Multiple old laceration(s) of the hymen -Vaginal orifice admitted two fingers easily -With fresh scanty bloody discharges[22] The physician testified that although no spermatozoa was detected.

Complainant was a wisp of a girl when the acts of rape took place. the records are devoid of any improper motive which would have moved complainant to charge appellant with rape. While it is clear to the Court that there were six acts of rape committed. upon confronting complainant and confirming the report that appellant had assaul ted her. WHEREFORE. His alibi is self-serving and his bare denial is a negative declaration which deserves no consideration and cannot prevail over the affirmative testimony of complainant which was corroborated by further evidence. 1992 since he was at home at the time is bereft of merit because it is uncontroverted that he lived only 10 meters away from the house of Morit. Gallogo. 93-470 and 93-2127 is hereby AFFIRMED. Appellant argues in his brief that such response was extraordinary and abnormal because if appellant had really raped complainant. Complainant was hopelessly daunted each time she was assaulted. 4111. He also threatened to kill her and her father if she reported the incident. the logical conclusion is that no such unseemly motive exists and her testimony is worthy of credit. [36] The ambient circumstances must. instead of merely having her subjected to medical examination.00. was to take her to a physician for medical examination. [40] appellant cannot be held liable for more than what he was charged with. It is not necessary that the force or intimidation employed be so great or of such character as could not be resisted because all that is required is that it be sufficient to consummate the purpose which the accused had in mind. the two indictments filed in the lower court charged appellant with only two acts of rape committed on October 7. He allegedly should have taken revenge for his daughter‘s honor and taken the law into his own hands. Branch 24. and his alibi that he could not have raped her in the house of Morit on October 7. therefore. reveal her shame to the small town where she grew up. Renato Gallogo‘s impulse. Page 46 . It has been repeatedly ruled by the Court that the workings of a human mind are unpredictable. using force or intimidation. it cannot be deemed so unsual as to undermine the cause of the prosecution. while Gallogo‘s initial response to the news of t he rape may be atypical. appellant was positively identified by complainant. SO ORDERED. 1992.000. under which the use of a deadly weapon in committing the offense of rape was. this by itself did not make him incapable of behaving rationally and with composure. the court below found that she only had the mental capacity of a fifth grade student and did not possess the necessary discernment when appellant had carnal knowledge of her. be viewed from the victim‘s perception and judgment at the time of the rape. be regarded as unfounded or baseless. with the MODIFICATION that appellant is ordered to indemnify the offended party. 1993.[38] Besides. Furthermore. Accordingly. Gallogo should have immediately confronted him as human nature dictates. in the total amount of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100. as shown by his comportment when he spontaneously brought his daughter to the authorities for legal and medical examination. the conviction of appellant was premised on the testimonies of complainant. people react differently under emotional stress and there is no standard form of behavior when one is confronted by a shocking incident. and the physician who conducted a medical examination on her. as amended by Republic Act No. as indicated by the testimony of complainant. to his credit. therefore.[43] Finally. it was not physically impossible for him to have committed the crime as charged. as it still is. Although complainant was 15 years old at the time of the trial. [41] At this juncture. even if the evidence shows that six separate acts of forcible sexual intercourse took place. [35] Accordingly. As earlier recounted. unmarried woman like her to protect her honor and it is thus difficult to believe that she would fabricate a tale of defloration. her father. [37] Appellant evidently.[42] No aggravating circumstance having been alleged or proved in these cases.00) as damages. was unnatural. or a total of P100. he bound her hands and intimidated her with a knife when he raped her on October 7. and permit herself to be the subject of a public trial if she had not really been ravished. Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman by inter alia. upon learning that she had been raped. The force and intimidation employed by appellant were sufficient to terrorize her and reduce her to a defenseless sex object. It is instinctive for a young. Marianita A. Complainant should be indemnified for each felony of rape as these serious offenses were committed on two separate occasions several months apart. punished byreclusion perpetua to death. consistent with the constitutional right of an accused to be informed of the accusation against him. There can only be a conviction for two counts of rape because each of the two informations charges only one offense of rape.000.000. the appealed judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro City. the penalty of reclusion perpetuafor each conviction was correctly imposed by the court a quo. in Criminal Cases Nos. the indemnity to be paid by appellant to private complainant should be modified to P50. Therefore. More detestably. Costs against accusedappellant Leonides Ranido in all instances. [34] Appellant moreover asserts that the reaction of complainant ‘s father. The judgment of conviction cannot. [39] We hold that appellant‘s guilt has been established beyond reasonable doubt.00[44] for each count of rape. took advantage of her mental weakness and vulnerability. allow the examination of her private parts. Gallogo was a poor farmer of low educational attainment but.In the case at bar. 1992 and January 7. we note that when these offenses were committed the governing law was Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code.[33] Evidently. as well as a medical certificate and other evidence presented by the prosecution which the trial court found sufficient.

1978. did then and there wilfully. the court a quo rendered the assailed Decision. a minor by the name of CATHERINE BUGAYONG. Later. RODELIO BUGAYONG." In the instant appeal. ALBERTO CAUAN lived in with another woman with whom he has six (6) children. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the accused was letting her sleep. [G. 13 MRR Queen of Peace.] the private complainant herein. which convicted him of rape and acts of lasciviousness. the dispositive portion of which we quote below: WHEREFORE. he asserts that this allegation regarding the date of the commission of the offense violated his constitutional right "to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Copies of her statement are hereto attached and made an integral part of this INFORMATION. Out of this marital union they begot three (3) children. against her will and consent. accused-appellant. 1996 Decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City.a. 3 appellant. 1994 and he is hereby sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of six (6) months of arresto mayor as minimum to four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional as maximum. Albert and Arlene stayed with their mother Leticia while Honeylet stayed with her grandmother Anita Yu at Slaughter Comp[o]und. For his part. Philippines. premises considered. namely: ALBERT. Alberto and Leticia started living together with another woman and another man respectively. have carnal knowledge of the said complainant. Baguio City. 11 years of age. 1994 ." The Case This is the main question raised before the Court by the appellant who seeks the reversal of the May 29. 126518 December 2. Carbonell charged appellant with rape in an Information 2 which reads: The undersigned 1st Asst. . [with whom each of them] raised another family . No. The spouses Alberto and Leticia Cauan separated way back in 1983. Baguio City. On January 5. When the penis was already hard and stiff. "BOY" of the crime of RAPE. appellant's summation of the facts of the case is reproduced hereunder: 6 Alberto Cauan and Leticia Yu Cauan got married on May 14. . 1998] PANGANIBAN. Arlene testified that her stepfather had been doing the Page 47 . . The young girl CATHERINE BUGAYONG saw this incident. committed as follows: That sometime before and until October 15. relation and written complaint of ARLENE CAUAN. Leticia cohabited with the accused RODELIO BUGAYONG and had one (1) child. and by means of force or intimidation. Leticia. Bugayong threatened to maim Arlene if she [did] not hold his penis. and of the crime of Rape he committed in 1993 for which he is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. 1994 accused RODELIO BUGAYONG had ARLENE hold his penis inside the room he share[d] with Leticia. ALBERT and the then 11 year old ARLENE (who was born on November 19. the accused RODELIO BUGAYONG is hereby found GUILTY of the crime of Acts of Lasciviousness committed on October 15. . 1995.k. plaintiff-appellee. First Assistant City Prosecutor Herminio C. this appeal filed directly before this Court. 1982) were residing at No. at the instance. unlawfully and feloniously. he placed it inside the mouth of Arlene and a white substance came out from the penis. 5 The Facts: Common Version of the Prosecution and the Defense Adopted by the lower court and the prosecution. several times. the above-named accused. In October 1994. a minor.R. vs. When arraigned on July 10. the accused RODELIO BUGAYONG. 1994. entered a plea of not guilty. 1995. 4 Hence. J. After trial in due course. in the City of Baguio. with the assistance of counsel. On October 15. HONEYLET and ARLENE[. City Prosecutor hereby accuses RODELIO BUGAYONG a.(14) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. At that time CATHERINE BUGAYONG who was six (6) years old was also inside the same room and her father. . several times.: The Information charged appellant with statutory rape committed "before and until October 15.

In the morning of October 27. ambulatory. Gram Stain: Smear shows moderate gram (+) cocci appearing singly and in pairs with rare (+) rods. Of what nature [is the complaint you are] filing . female. Were there other instances that your father sexually molested you? A. DOI: 15 October 1994 G/S: Conscious. V[a]gina: Admit one finger with ease. Arlene said that the penis of BUGAYONG partly entered [her] vagina and she got hurt. Extremities: No edema. HUMBELINA HARRIET M. . Perineal Inspection: Posterior fourchette — not well coaptated. Dr. Q. 11 years old. The medical findings (EXH. Anita Yu told Arlene that she [would] not allow her to go to her mother and that she (YU) [would] file a case against Bugayong. I could no longer remember how many times and everytime he sexually molested me he would threaten to hurt me. 1994 they went back to the NBI office. Pertinent portions of Arlene's statement given to the NBI read — 4. Labia majora — with erythema.same act when she was still in Grade 3 and was nine years old. They were advised by an NBI agent to go to the hospital to have Arlene examined by a Medico-legal Officer. When asked to explain what she meant by "idinidikit". Skin: No abrasion. Carmelita Yu and Rosie Yu went to the National Bureau of Investigation to file a complaint. Baguio City TOI: 3:15 P. C/L: Clear breath sounds. Alberto Cauan also gave his sworn statement (EXH "E"). Hymen: open with old healed laceration at 5 o'clock and 8 o'clock position[s]. . 7. RODELIO BUGAYONG. no hematoma. Arlene gave her sworn statement (EXH. . . . The nature of my . called for the latter and they went to the house of their grandmother ANITA YU at Slaughter Compound for fear that something [would] happen. or in the words of Arlene "idinidikit at pag may lumabas saka inilalayo. Epithelial cells: few. 1994. CATHERINE reported to her that her father. afebrile. Q. child. Pus cells: 5-8. October 28. when LETICIA arrived home that day. The following day. LAZO examined Arlene and issued a certification stating therein her findings. complaint against my "TATAY" (RODELIO BUGAYONG) is [that] he raped me several times ever since I was nine years old and while I was in Grade 3. . NOI: Alleged Sexual Assault POI: #13 Queen of Peace Road. who was allegedly sexually assaulted. In any event. While the two (2) were talking. "A") are hereunder quoted: CERTIFICATION TO WHOM THIS MAY CONCERN: This is to certify that I have personally seen and examined ARLENE CAUAN. a Grade V pupil from Slaughter Compound.M. by father Alberto Cauan. the elder brother of Arlene. Leticia called for RODELIO BUGAYONG and they talked. Laboratory Result: Sperm Cell Identification: Negative for sperm cell. coherent. Labia minora — with erythema. "C"). There were even times that he would force me to put his penis into my mouth until something sticky would come out Page 48 . Alberto. Arlene Cauan accompanied by her father Alberto Cauan and her aunt Marilyn Yu. Arlene reported the incident to her grandmother. She also said that there were occasions when BUGAYONG played first with his penis then touched her vagina with his penis until a white substance [came] out [of] it and that was the time BUGAYONG would pull back his penis. . had Arlene hold his penis and put it inside the mouth of the former. against your stepfather? A.

buttresses this view. the issue is whether appellant's conviction for the said act is warranted under the Information. appellant claims a violation of his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. but that the accused failed to interpose an opposition. not in 1994. Furthermore. He maintains that he was unable to prepare properly for his defense or to anticipate the evidence to be controverted." He insists that the Information "refer[red] to dates shortly before and until October 15." In other words. Time of the commission of the offense. . 7 In fine. 10 Section 11. appellant raises the following issues: I The lower court erred in convicting the accused-appellant [of] statutory rape that was proved to have been committed in 1993 under an information alleging that the offense was committed on or before October 15 of the year 1994. . it noted that the Information charged more than one offense. He did this when I was around 10 years old but lately he would only force me to lick and swallow his penis until the sticky liquid which comes out of his penis suddenly comes out. Notwithstanding the rather encompassing allegation in the Information that the crime was committed "before and until October 15.of his penis and inside my mouth. the Court will determine whether the averment in the Information in respect to the time of the commission of the crime sufficiently apprised appellant of the "nature and cause of the accusation against him. 1994." but that the trial court "unnecessarily stretched the meaning of the phrase . which accused him of committing the said crime "before and until October 15. under the present Information. In this case. Ruling of the Trial Court The trial court held that the accused raped the victim in 1993. the trial court observed that he was not so deprived. unless time is an essential element of the crime charged. Rule 110 of the Rules of Court. . The primordial consideration in determining the sufficiency of the averment in the Information as to time is whether the accused was accorded the opportunity to prepare a defense. he poses the question of whether he may be convicted of rape committed in 1993. to include any date before it." the trial court did not err in convicting appellant of rape committed in 1993. several times." 8 The Court's Ruling The appeal is devoid of merit. The Issues In his Brief. Main Issue: Sufficiency of the Information Appellant argues that he cannot be convicted of a crime committed in 1993 under the Information that accused him of rape "before or until October 15." the trial court ruled that it could legally convict the accused for the crime committed in 1993. Sec. We disagree. — It is not necessary to state in the complaint or information the precise time at which the offense was committed except when time is a material ingredient of the offense. 11. he would put his penis into my vagina and force it inside and he [would] put the sticky liquid inside my vagina." 9 Thus. It is doctrinal that the precise time of the commission of an offense need not be alleged in the complaint or information. . 1991. At times he would play with his penis and when that sticky liquid already c[a]me out [of] his penis. but the act Page 49 . II The lower court erred [i]n convicting the accused [of] statutory rape [on] an unspecified date in 1993. In resolving this issue. 1994 . Precise Date Need Not Be Alleged in the Information Although the Information alleged that the crime was committed "before and until October 15. 1994. 1994.

13 In US v. The proof. several times. Dichao. so I played with his penis until it was fully erect." If vagueness afflicted the aforementioned text of the Information. . The records of this case belie appellant's claim of surprise. he would always make it a point that my mother was out of the house when be molested me. as the pertinent portions of the Sworn Statement indicate: 04. 1994. Q Did he ever repeat the forcing of his penis into your vagina? A Many times sir. 06. Page 50 . . however. . . the only thing that I could remember is he did it to me many times and ever[y]time he sexually molested me he would threaten to hurt me. for the gravamen of the offense is carnal knowledge of a woman." 12 Explaining that the specific date or time need not always appear in the complaint or information. need not correspond to this allegation. 11 The time-tested rule is that "when the 'time' given in the complaint is not of the essence of the offense. Q [Were] there other instances that your father sexually molested you? A I could no longer remember how many times sir.may be alleged to have been committed at any time as near to the actual date at which the offense was committed as the information or complaint will permit. 15 the Court elucidated: "[A] difference of one (1) year or twelve (12) months [is] merely a matter of form and does not prejudice the rights of the accused. . Q Of what nature [is the complaint you are] filing . 08. Q Could your please narrate to me how this happened? A Ever since I was [in] Grade 3. There were even times that he would force me to put his penis into my mouth until something sticky would come out of his penis and inside my mouth. it was cured by the victim's Sworn Statement. . 05. and are decided on different principles. The phrase 'on or about' employed in the information does not require the prosecution to prove any precise date but may prove any date which is not so remote as to surprise and prejudice the defendant. then he [would] tell me to get out of their room. the determinative factor in the resolution of the question involving a variance between allegation and proof in respect of the date of the crime is the element of surprise on the part of the accused and his corollary inability to defend himself properly. 07. Borromeo. unless the time and place [are] material and of the essence of the offense as a necessary ingredient in its description. 14 the Court also ruled that "the question [of] whether the allegations of the information are sufficiently definite as to time and the question which arises [from] a variance between the allegations and the proof are different in nature and legal effect. he would threaten to hurt me by saying "KUNG HINDI KA PAPAYAG. my stepfather always forced me to play with his penis and whenever I refused. The victim categorically alleged that she had been raped by appellant in 1993 when she was in grade three. No Surprise on the Part of the Accused The text of the Information filed in the court below clearly alleged that appellant committed rape "before or until October 15. it need not be proven as alleged and that the complaint will be sustained if the proof shows that the offense was committed at any time within the period of the statute of limitations and before the commencement of the action. Q Was your mother ever around. LULUMPUHIN KITA". and force it inside and he [would] put the sticky liquid inside my vagina[. he would put his penis into my vagina. the Court held: It is true that the complaint must allege a specific time and place when and where the offense was committed." Applying the aforecited rule in People v." Indeed. which was expressly made an integral part of the Information. he would always pin me down [o]n the bed and force his penis in[to] my vagina. At times he would play with his penis and when that sticky liquid [would] already come out [of] his penis. when he forced you to play with his penis? A No sir. It bears emphasis that the date is not an essential element of rape. The evidence is admissible and sufficient if it shows that the crime was committed at any time within the period of the statute of limitations and before or after the time stated in the complaint or indictment and before the action is commenced. . . against your stepfather? A The nature of my filing a complaint against my "TATAY" is [that] he raped me several times ever since I was nine years old and while I was in Grade 3. .] he did this when I was around 10 years old but lately he would only force me to lick and swallow his penis until the sticky liquid which comes out of his penis suddenly comes out.

was fully aware. 1994. CATHERINE BUGAYONG caught us. that he would be charged with rape committed several times before and until October 15. is academic. Q When was this? A Last October 15. Hence. The Court granted his motion and ordered the City Prosecutor to conduct a re-investigation of the case." The records will show that before he was arraigned under the present information the accused moved for a reconsideration of the resolution of the City Prosecutor of Baguio finding probable cause against him and asked for a re-investigation of the case. The accused. to move for the quashal of such information and goes to trial thereunder. Rule 117 of the Rules of Court. There is basis to hold him liable for the rape committed in 1993. 1994 sir. more specifically the one that took place in 1993 when she was in Grade 3. 1994" could only mean "on October 15. 1994 or within a reasonable time before such date" 17 and not 1993. The victim's clear. several times. within the prescribed period. It is axiomatic that "when the accused fails. There was no deprivation of due process here. . 1994. . appellant asks rhetorically: "What if the prosecution proved that the rape was committed in 1985?" 18 The question. therefore. he did not object to such defect.) In effect. appellant was sufficiently apprised that the "several" instances of rape committed "before and until October 15. viz." which were asserted in the body of the Information. categorical and straightforward testimony indubitably demonstrated the culpability of appellant for the dastardly acts committed before and until October 15. my sister CATHERINE caught me while my stepfather was forcing me to swallow his penis and letting me play with it.] at first I denied it because my "TATAY" might hurt me. but after a while confessed to her so she talked to my stepfather and they had a fight." However. he thereby waives the objection. 1994 . 1994. The accused was given the chance to rebut the sworn statement of the private complainant Arlene Cauan contained in Exhibit "C". states that the accused may move to quash the information "at any time before entering his plea. and may be found guilty of as many offenses as those charged in the information and proved during the trial." (Emphasis supplied. is defective for charging more than one offense. to file such motion on the ground of duplicity. Moreover. or at least made aware. Despite the duplicitous nature of the Information. Q When was the last time he molested you? A The last time he sexually molested me was when my younger sister. Below. the Court rigorously examined the records and arrived upon the conclusion that his guilt had been established beyond reasonable doubt. appellant could not have been oblivious to the victim's Sworn Statement. The Sworn Statement alleged and the appellant is here convicted of a rape committed in 1993. she also related other incidents occurring before the said date. 19 Sec.09. 10. we repeat with approval the trial court's astute refutation of appellant's feigned ignorance: Besides. Notwithstanding such failure. He is thus deemed to have waived the defect in the Information. he was given the chance to defend himself in court and to cross-examine the complainant. appellant failed. 16 In arguing that "before and until October 15. When my relatives learned of the incident. the Sworn Statement substantiated the averments in the Information.: Page 51 . it can not be said that the accused was surprised and deprived of the chance to prepare for trial because of the allegations of several incidents of rape he committed "sometime before and until October 15. Sufficiency of Evidence In his Brief. included the sexual assault on the victim in 1993 as alleged in the said Statement. then my mother talked to me and asked me if it was true[. they fetched me at home and brought me to my grandmother's house at Slaughter House Compound. not 1985. Furthermore. 1. indeed. appellant cannot be said to have been deprived of his constitutional right to be informed of the accusation against him. My sister CATHERINE told my mother about the incident when she arrive[d]. before arraignment. appellant did not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence preferred to show that he committed rape in 1993." 20 To recapitulate. but none for a putative crime committed in 1985. Arlene narrated what happened not only on October 15. And in this sworn statement. 1994. 1994. Waiver of the Right to Object to the Duplicitous Information It will be noted that appellant was charged with rape committed "before and until October 15. for he requested and was given an opportunity to rebut the same in his Motion for Reinvestigation." Said acts are alleged in only one Information which as a general rule.

You say whenever[. sir. Q. In their room with my mother. sir. Q. sir. Where did this happen? A. Who were the persons there at the time when Bugayong told you to hold his penis. Q. Q. So you mean to say younger stepsister. this stepsister is the daughter of Bugayong? A. Your Honor. ESTRADA: We submit. Whenever his penis [was] . DIZON: We have to consider the tender age of the accused. Q. Do you know Arlene. Why. Your Honor. to make you afraid of him? A. I just held it. we now object to this line of questioning because this was never stated in the information. DIZON: Q. PROS. ESTRADA: Because what is being elicited now is that incident when she was in Grade 3. how old was she? A. Yes.Page Q. When I was still in Grade 3. In what place of the house did this incident happen? A. . Five (5). . Q. Six (6) years old. Was she asleep at that time? A. Yes. What did he do to you? A. ATTY. PROS. Q. sir. Q. sir. Q. No. I see! Now. PROS. PROS. In your house? A. so did you hold the penis of Bugayong the accused? A. Q. Q. sir. Q. My stepsister. Because I was afraid of him. sir. placed inside my mouth I [would] go out to drink water because I [would feel] like vomitting. ESTRADA: At this point in time. Q. 52 . ATTY. DIZON: This is preliminary. And how young were you when you were in Grade 3? ATTY. will you please tell the Court if in the month of October Rodelio Bugayong did something to you? A. How old is this younger sister? A. She was inside the room but my stepfather was letting her sleep. Q. Q. sir. sir. He placed his penis in my mouth. what did he say. He told me that "lulumpuhin kita" (I will maim you). Q. He had his penis held by me. DIZON: Q. At Queen of Peace. And what did he do when his penis was already inside your mouth? A. Yes. Q. What else did he tell you to do. if any. if any? A. Yes. COURT: I will allow the prosecution to propound additional questions. sir. Yes. Your stepsister [was] inside the room at the time or she was outside the room? A. in your house at the time? A. Now. Who were in the room at the time aside from you and Rodelio? A. sir. Q. Q. what did you do when Bugayong told you to hold his penis? A. Was the penis hard at that time or stiff? A. Yes. Your Honor.] you mean to say that was not the only time he did that to you? A. In 1994. Why did you hold it? A. I was with my younger stepsister. How many times did he do that to you? A.

Aside from putting his penis in[to] your mouth. DIZON: Before [d]oing that he [would] first [play] with his penis and then the moment . my vagina [with it] but before doing so he played with his penis until the sticky white substance . the same month. PROS. . COURT: All right! The word "dikit" will remain and [the] translation — touch. DIZON: May we just be allowed to ask the witness? Q. . I think that is the answer. if you know? A. Nine (9) years old. Lockey? Stenographer reading back the translation. why did you feel like vomitting whenever he did that thing to you? A. DIZON: There were occasions when he brought out his penis and touch[ed] . DIZON: Okay. Q. . . ATTY. . we submit.PROS. How old were you when you were in Grade 3? A. ATTY. as follows: Rodelio Bugayong touche[d] my vagina with his penis until such time that a sticky substance [came] out and that [was] the time that he pull[ed] back. Mrs. PROS. . . COURT: If I remember correctly the testimony of the victim and Tagalog was that "idinidikit at pag may lumabas saka inilalayo". . my vagina [with it] but before doing so he playe[d] with his penis first until the sticky white substance . . the penis touched my vagina. COURT: Agree on the translation. what other things did he do to you in the month of October and previous to that. PROS. if any? COURT: Defense counsel please assist the interpreter. Q. PROS. DIZON: Q. INTERPRETER: Page 53 . Q. 1994. Now. ESTRADA: I think the interpretation is not accurate. c[a]me out and that [was] the time he touched my vagina. ESTRADA: May we just have the word "idinidikit" . . . c[a]me out and that [was] the time the penis touched my vagina. do you remember if in the month of October. . Sometimes he [put] his penis in my vagina and when something sticky . Because whenever he [put] his penis inside my mouth it seem[ed] like pus [was] coming out [of] his penis. I do not know if counsel is agreeable. INTERPRETER: Whenever the penis of Rodelio Bugayong touche[d] my vagina something . . White. What [was] the color. COURT: Will you please read back the translation? Stenographer reading back the answer. COURT: Official translation. . Now. INTERPRETER: Whenever the penis of Rodelio touche[d] my vagina something white [would come] out and he [would take] his penis farther from me. ESTRADA: We object to that translation. . aside from all those things. he did anything else to you aside from what you have relayed before this Court? A. ATTY. COURT: You agree first on the translation. INTERPRETER: Rodelio Bugayong touche[d] my vagina with his penis until such time that a sticky substance [came] out and that [was] the time that he pull[ed] back. as follows: There were occasions when he brought out his penis and touch[ed] . .

the trial court correctly convicted him of statutory rape under Article 335 (3) of the Revised Penal Code. appellant should also be ordered to pay the victim the additional amount of P50. The amendatory law. or a total of P100. He had his penis partly enter my vagina that is why I got hurt. Q. the death penalty where the rape victim is under is years of age and the offender is the common-law spouse of her mother. Now. Moreover. with the MODIFICATION that Appellant Rodelio Bugayong is ordered to pay Complainant Arlene Cauan P50. where did this happen." Republic Act 7659. Q. among others. sir.000 as indemnity and the additional amount of P50. every time he did that thing to you. Page 54 . cannot be applied in this case. During th[o]se times he did that to you[. an amount which is automatically granted to the offended party without need of further evidence other than the fact of the commission of rape. COURT: Again! INTERPRETER: A Sometimes his penis touche[d] my vagina but before doing that he played first with his penis until a white substance [came] out of his penis and after that his penis touche[d] my vagina. You mean to say the penis [ —] we will withdraw that in the meantime. Q. In People v. sir. In their room. Costs against the appellant. DIZON: Q. Why did you not object? A. I see! How may times did he do that to you? A.] were there people in the house? A. 23 the Court resolved that "moral damages may additionally be awarded to the victim in the criminal proceeding. PROS. None. . where did he do that to you. In what particular place in the house? A. Because I was afraid of what he told me that . in such amount as the Court deems just. sir. PROS. in what place in the house? A. Q. You said "idinikit". Q. In our house. sir. that is the touching of . Q. because there is no showing that the crime was committed after the effectivity of the said law. DIZON: Q. Now. however. sir. . The room of Bugayong and your mother? A. Thus. sir. you remember the last time he had his penis touch your vagina? A. "lulumpuhin niya ako". 22 Consistent with recent jurisprudence. if any? Do you not feel any pain? A. the appeal is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision is AFFIRMED. . I got hurt. Will you please tell the Court what do you mean by "idinikit" or touched your vagina? A. Q. WHEREFORE. Maybe five (5) times or ten (10) times. your vagina [with his penis]. appellant is also guilty of acts of lasciviousness committed on October 15.000. We will rephrase it rather. what did you feel.000 as moral damages. sir. you said that his penis touched your vagina.000 as moral damages. And in those five (5) or ten (10) times. Q. . .The penis of Rodelio touche[d] my vagina and sometimes he . which amended the Revised Penal Code. 21 The foregoing shows that appellant sexually assaulted complainant in 1993 when she was 10 years old. The trial court correctly awarded P50. . without the need for pleading or proof of the basis thereof as has heretofore been the practice. Now. sir. PROS. Prades. SO ORDERED. DIZON: We really have to ask the assistance of . I could not remember. . prescribes. 1995. . Yes.000 as indemnity ex delicto. You said that his penis touched your vagina.

accompanied by her sister Ana Marie. the accused is the father of the offended party and that said offense was committed in their own dwelling and the offended party not having given provocation for it. IV. Thereafter. Province of Camarines Norte. he Page 55 . accused-appellant. but she could not shout because appellant was covering her mouth. No. Complainant went back home and helplessly cried herself to sleep.m. [4] The defense evidence was anchored on denial and alibi. Appellant succeeded in having carnal knowledge of her. but appellant covered her mouth and told her that "hindi naman daw po ako maaano. [G.: This is an appeal from a decision[1] rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Camarines Norte. unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of his own daughter MARIA FE H.00) pesos as moral damages. While in deep slumber. On cross. Then they proceeded to the Camarines Norte Provincial Hospital where complainant was examined by Dr. She also feared recurrence of the bestial acts. Camarines Norte. Appellant Razonable testified that during the times material to the alleged rape incidents. he admitted that there were times accused did not report for work. Mantagbac. skirt and panty. Jr. Then appellant took off his shirt and pants.m. appellant repaired to his room downstairs. 1993. Based on his medical certificate. just before midnight. Misact Complainant was able to disclose the dastardly acts of her father to her elder sister only in February of 1993 because her conscience would not allow her any peace of mind. complainant Maria Fe was lying down in her room on the second floor of their house in Bgy. RAZONABLE. 2000] PUNO. but not before threatening complainant with death should she report the crime to anybody. he slapped her several times. as follows: "That sometime in the year 1987.R. Arsenio Angeles. suddenly appeared inside her room. he was at the bakery owned by a certain Mrs. and 9 o‘clock positions. She cried and pleaded with him to stop. which are identically worded. vs. against the latter‘s will and by means of force and intimidation. 6. in Criminal Cases Nos. at Purok I. Sdjad Records show that in the middle of June 1987. and sentencing him to suffer the penalties of three (3) reclusion perpetua and to pay the amount of two hundred thousand (P200. and again her father repeated his threat to kill her if she would reveal the incident." Appellant pleaded not guilty and his case was tried on the merits. He said that complainant filed the cases at bar because he often scolded his children when they stayed out late at night. Juris Appellant was charged in three separate Informations[2] with the crime of rape. He started to remove her shirt and panty. Balane where he worked from 8 p. He added that on February 16. she was standing in her room when appellant grabbed her on the arm and forced her to lie inside the room. After one day. 7760. Mantagbac. complainant was 12 years old[3] and was living alone with her father because her parents were then separated. the above-named accused did then and there wilfully. Daet. Complainant continued to struggle and tried to shout. 7761 and 7762. Complainant‘s harrowing experience was to be repeated a third time. to 10 a. complainant felt appellant on top of her. 128085-87. At the time of the rape. however. In corroboration. "The crime was committed with the aggravating circumstances of relationship. complainant ran to a friend‘s house nearby where she cried a river. incompletely healed hymenal lacerations at 5. 7. April 12. As soon as appellant had gone. and straddled her. witness Wilfredo Francisco declared that in June of 1987. but appellant ignored her and when she struggled. Branch 39. dated May 3. Then came the following night. Acctmis Appellant attempted to explain the ill motive of the complainant. He failed to remember the days when appellant worked in June of 1987. finding appellant Benjamin Razonable guilty beyond reasonable doubt of raping his daughter. He even whipped them with his belt. Thus. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Maria Fe Razonable. Brgy. While complainant struggled to free herself from his grip.000. to her damage and prejudice. but did not tell her friend the truth due to her father‘s threat. appellant Benjamin Razonable. BENJAMIN RAZONABLE. at about midnight. Appellant forced another intercourse with her. J. at the time of examination. She felt the pain again. Appellant once more succeeded in satisfying his lustful desires on her. covered her mouth and held her hands. Her father. 1996. complainant had. Municipality of Daet." She cried while appellant was deflowering her. appellant forcibly removed her shirt.(15) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. appellant was never absent from work because they were busy preparing for the town fiesta. complainant went to the police station and filed a complaint. IV. Her father often drank with friends inside their house and she was wary that appellant might give her to his friends. plaintiff-appellee.

[7] The rationale of the rule. [9] The impression becomes more profound where the Page 56 . Firstly. his nieces Ana Marie and Maria Fe saw him at his house and asked for help as they wanted to withdraw the said cases.slapped Marie Fe and her brother Ruben because he caught them sleeping together naked. and hence could not properly defend himself. should guide our decision. the face and body movements of the assailant create a lasting impression which cannot be easily erased from their memory. the accused is duty bound to follow our procedural rules which were laid down to assure an orderly administration of justice. appellant was able to give an alibi as to his whereabouts at that particular time. The trial court gravely erred in not considering the information insufficient to support a judgment of conviction for its failure to state the precise date of the alleged commission of the offense. On the contrary. Newmiso It is highly inconceivable that complainant would not recognize her own father with whom she has been living alone for a long time. [5] Felix Razonable. Secondly. In fine. The three Informations should therefore be considered fatally defective because the dates of the commission of the offenses charged are too indefinite and denied the appellant an opportunity to prepare his defense. We are not persuaded. the defense never objected to the presentation of evidence by the prosecution to prove that the offense was committed in the middle of June 1987. Most often. Appellant contends that the allegation in the Information that the offense was committed "sometime in the year 1987" violates Section 6. [8] In the case at bar. it behooved the accused to raise the issue of a defective information. He was not able to discuss with his children these cases because. lack of jurisdiction of the offense charged. They went to the Public Attorney‘s Office to execute an Affidavit of Desistance. [6] Complainant refuted Felix‘s story. Corollarily. which is to inform the accused of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Court which provides that the information must state the approximate time of the commission of the offense. during the trial. Appellant contends that the defective Informations violated his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. We now come to appellant‘s claim that his guilt has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt on the following grounds: (1) the identity of the perpetrator has not been established with certitude since the room was dark and it has not been shown that it was properly illuminated. Camarines Norte. in a motion to quash said information or a motion for bill of particulars. we have ruled that it is the most natural reaction for victims of criminal violence to strive to see the appearance of their assailant and observe the manner in which the crime was committed. She explained that the purported execution of affidavit of desistance was insisted upon by appellant‘s sister. and 2. To claim this substantive right protected by no less than the Bill of Rights. When he insisted that the two be checked by a doctor. brother of appellant. appellant is now before us alleging that: 1. we have ruled that objections as to matters of form or substance in the information cannot be made for the first time on appeal. on the ground that it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form. For one. The lower court gravely erred in finding that the guilt of herein accused-appellant of the three (3) counts of rape has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. except for complainant. Rule 110 of the Rules of Court requires that the time of the commission of the offense must be alleged as near to the actual date as the information or complaint will permit. they already left for Manila. (2) it was unnatural for the complainant to remain in their house if it was true that she was threatened and intimidated. We sustain the conviction. testified that after the cases were filed. Daet. An accused who fails to take this seasonable step will be deemed to have waived the defect in said information. appellant did not raise either in a motion to quash or a motion for bill of particulars the defect in the Information regarding the indefiniteness of the allegation on the date of the commission of the offense. proceed for fear that she might be incarcerated. If the Information does not state the time with sufficient certainty as to inform the accused of the date on which the criminal act is alleged to have been committed. however. It has not been shown that appellant was taken by surprise with the testimony of complainant that she was raped in the middle of June 1987. The only defects in an information that are not deemed waived are where no offense is charged. Section 11. and (3) there was an unreasonable delay in the filing of the complaint which rendered the rape charges doubtful. appellant cannot pretend that he was unable to defend himself in view of the vagueness of the allegation in the information as to when the crimes at bar were committed. extinction of the offense or penalty and double jeopardy. this will run afoul of the constitutionally protected right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. From the judgment of conviction. it being an essential element of the crime charged. She did not. they refused and instead they transferred to the house of their sibling at Pasig.

[12] It must be remembered that complainant was threatened by the appellant with death if she reported his dastardly act. x x x [A]n intimidated person cowed into submitting to a series of repulsive acts may acquire some courage as she grows older and finally state that enough is enough. that a daughter would concoct a story of rape against her father. for which reason it is generally rejected especially when the complaining witness sufficiently and positively established the identity of the accused. if not completely preposterous.[14] where the child victim did not report the incident to her mother until after eight years.m. naïve and hapless child of twelve years.[17] It must be buttressed by strong evidence of non-culpability to merit a serious consideration. Myra. to 10:00 a.malefactor is the victim‘s own father. In People vs. considering specially that the threat came from her father who has moral ascendancy over her.[11] In the case at bar. complainant was a simple. because the perpetrator is a person normally expected to give solace and protection to the victim. [10] The delay in the filing of the cases at bar does not necessarily impair the credibility of the victim." The fact that complainant continued to live with appellant will not likewise crumple her credibility.[16] Appellant‘s defense hinges primarily on denial and alibi. when the crime was committed cannot be given credence. For alibi to prosper. and influence over his victim.[15] There is no standard form of human behavioral response when one has just been confronted with a strange. It is this fear. At the time of the incident. or its immediate vicinity. in all probability. the accused must establish that he was so far away that he could not have been physically present at the place of the crime. Where there is even the least chance for the accused to be present at the crime scene. access to the victim is guaranteed by the blood relationship. It is unthinkable. Unfortunately for some perpetrators of incestuous rape.m. M-isjuris xxxxxxxxx In all of these and other cases of incestuous rape. numb his victim into silence and submissiveness. [19] Page 57 . Experience teaches us that many victims of rape never complain or file criminal charges against the rapist. Affirmative testimony like that of the victim is stronger than a negative one." In People v. five years after the incident. that the perpetrator hopes to build a climate of extreme psychological terror. the alibi seldom will hold water. in incest. the victim suddenly finds the will to summon unknown sources of courage to cry out for help and bring her depraved malefactor to justice. The rapist perverts whatever moral ascendancy and influence he has over his victim in order to intimidate and force the latter to submit to repeated acts of rape over a period of time. It could hardly be expected that such a child of tender age would know what to do and where to go under the circumstances. Her mother was in Isabela and her nearest sibling lived in another town. her own flesh and blood. the Court held that: Jurissc "The fact that Myra did not complain to her mother or her aunts about the sexual abuses committed by her father against her for eight long years. Furthermore. Sevilla. ascendancy. Incestuous rape magnifies this terror. a rape victim‘s testimony is entitled to greater weight when she accuses a close relative of having raped her. proximity magnifying the sense of helplessness and the degree of fear. taking to mind the reverence and respect for elders that is too deeply ingrained in Filipino children. x x x. the depraved malefactor must be punished. at the time of its commission. is enough to cow her into silence and submissiveness. entirely dependent on him for all her needs. as in the case of a daughter against her father. complainant categorically testified that it was her father who raped her. hardly inspires belief. for they prefer to silently bear the ignominy and pain. Furthermore. he hopes. their victims manage to break out from the cycle of fear and terror. both to commit the sexual assault and to intimidate the victim into silence. In many instances. springing from the initial rape. No jurisprudence is more settled than that alibi is the weakest of all defenses. How he could have exactly remembered. who was of a very tender age when the horrible events in her life began to unfold. The debilitating fear that was inculcated in her young mind. It is not proper to judge the actions of children who have undergone traumatic experiences by the norms of behavior expected under the circumstances from mature persons. the perpetrator takes full advantage of his blood relationship. that he was never absent from work for the whole month of June 1987. Also.[13] we said: J-jlex "A rape victim‘s actions are oftentimes overwhelmed by fear rather than by reason. complainant initially preferred to conceal her dishonor and suffer in silence b ecause her honor‘s violator was her father. Melivo. startling or frightful experience as heinous as the crime of rape and not every victim to a crime can be expected to act reasonably and conformably with the expectation of mankind. could have. been confused and bewildered by her experience that for more than half of her young life. she was shocked into utter insensibility. She was living by her lonesome self with her father. he succeeds and the crime is forever kept on a lid. is of no moment. [18] Appellant‘s alibi that he was in his place of work from 8:00 p. In a few cases. which would. rather than reveal their shame to the world or risk the offender‘s making good on his threats.

consistent with recent rulings.[21] The trial court found the victim‘s sincerity and candor to be free from suspicion. presumably a virgin. 7659. where she has to bare her harrowing and traumatic experience. It observed that complainant was in tears while narrating her harrowing experience at the hands of appellant. Branch 39. [22] Considering that the acts were committed prior to the effectivity of Republic Act No. would concoct a reprehensible story of defloration. finding accused Benjamin Razonable guilty beyond reasonable doubt of three (3) counts of rape and sentencing him to the penalty of reclusion perpetua on each count.00 for each count of rape. for each count of rape. scolded. is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that he is ordered to pay complainant.000. Sc-juris SO ORDERED. trouble. 7761 & 7762. [23] and hence the award given by the trial court should be reduced to P150. 7760. [20] It cannot be believed that appellant‘s very own d aughter would allow herself to be perverted if she was not truly motivated by a desire to seek retribution for the abominable violation committed against her by the father. Camarines Norte. no less than against her own father.000. It is extremely unlikely that the victim.Appellant would impute ill-motive on complainant and her siblings in filing these charges against him allegedly because he whipped. allow an examination of her private parts and then subject herself to the rigors. an innocent and unsophisticated girl.000. the trial court correctly imposed the penalty ofreclusion perpetua in each of the three cases. the amount of P50. The trial court‘s assessment of the credibility of this witness is ac corded great respect and we are not inclined to disturb it absent a clear showing that a material or substantial fact has been overlooked or misappreciated which could alter the outcome of the case. and slapped them. the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. current case law dictates that the victim shall be entitled to civil indemnity in the amount of P50. unexposed to the ways of the world. Likewise.000. We are not convinced.00.00) as moral damages and Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. ridicule and scandal of a public trial. unless she was in fact raped and deeply motivated by her sincere desire to do so solely to seek justice and obtain redress for the unforgivable and wicked acts done on her. the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Daet. Page 58 .[24] WHEREFORE. It would take a most senseless kind of depravity for a young daughter to concoct a story which could put her own father to prison for the rest of his life. However. inconvenience. in Criminal Cases Nos. Maria Fe Razonable.00 for each count of rape should be awarded by way of moral damages.00) as civil indemnity.000.

When asked if they would be returning to Longganapan that day. Page 59 . including the accused. 1991] GRIÑO-AQUINO. they had to pass through Sitio Rizal in Binancian. Rex was able to pass Sitio Rizal unmolested. Macario Barbers. 1973. to withdraw some money with which to pay their farm laborers. MARTIN CAGADAS.. MARTIN CAGADAS. Davao. with treachery and evident premeditation. no action was taken by the said barangay officials. After withdrawing P800 from his Family Savings Bank Account No. leaving his sister Lucia in Tagum. In the evening of June 10. No. they met members of the ICHDF namely. reserving P500 for his workers' wages. Jr. Macario Barbero. Philippines. Jr. namely: Miguel Daub. ROMY TULIO. JOSE CULTURA and TATOR SALVADOR of the crime of Murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. or more than a year later. The ICHDF was a para-military group organized by local units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and composed of selected civilians in the locality to assist the Army in its peace-keeping duties. Martin Cagadas. The amended information. Lucia informed their barangay councilman.R. with hands hogtied behind his back and his mouth gagged by a red handkerchief. with the intestines protruding. while travelling on Dalisay Road at around 3:30 that afternoon. They were advised to report the matter to the barangay officials in Binansian Asuncion. ROMY TULIO. which they did. On November 8. Roberto Cultura and Tator Salvador. He returned to Longganapan the following day. Rex. reads: The undersigned accuses MIGUEL DAUB. his throat slashed. at around 6:30 in the morning. 1983. On their way to Rizal. 88044 January 23. and head smashed with a hard and heavy object. 1517020387. Romy Tulio. vs. towards the deep gully where his decomposing body was found. MACARIO BARBERO. at around 8:30 in the morning. On June 9. On June 6. Rene Balong. Martin Cagadas. he met Santiago Vercede. the ICHDF team leader. The following day. San Vicente. Lucia Ballena-Tabo. some members of the Integrated Civil Home Defense Force (ICHDF). left their residences at Longganapan. plaintiff-appellee. J. RENE BALONG. Municipality of Asuncion. Together with other farmers living near the Bontiqui/Lapatigan Creek. approached them and asked where they were bound for and why. His body bore multiple stab wounds in the chest and stomach. Romy Tulio. conspiring.: This case was elevated to this Court on appeal as the penalty of reclusion perpetua was imposed upon the appellants. Jose "Roberto" Cultura and Saturnino "Tator" Salvador. ROBERTO CULTURA and TATOR SALVADOR. Rex Ballena naively informed them that they were on their way to Tagum to withdraw money from the bank with which to pay his farmhands. Lucia replied that only her brother. CORITO PIASIDAD. His mouth was still gagged with a red handkerchief and his hands bound with boracan vines behind his back. in the Municipality of San Vicente. bound for the capital town of Tagum. his neighbor in Longganapan. who inquired about their mission and dissuaded them from continuing their search for Rex. 1984. an Information for murder was filed against the armed ICHDF members. committed as follows: That on or about June 6. who had been seen by eyewitnesses leading Rex. Without waiting for the Municipal Health Officer's post-mortem necropsy examination or the Municipal judge's Inquest Report. Jose Magunot. 1984. Corito Piasidad.. Rex purchased some necessities for his family. [G. JR. 1983. RENE BALONG. filed on December 3. However. In order to reach their destination. One of the ICHDF members who approached them was identified by Lucia Tabo as Martin Cagadas. Miguel Daub. CORITO PIASIDAD. Corito Piasidad. Lucia returned to Longganapan and discovered that her brother never arrived home and was missing. Rex Ballena and his sister. Rene Balong. MACARIO BARBERO. they searched for Rex. Rex and Lucia arrived in Tagum at nearly noon. who was also the deacon of the Iglesia ni Kristo Church. that she was looking for her brother Rex. Jr. confederating and mutually helping one another. proceeding toward Sangab. would do so.(16) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the above-mentioned accused. 1983. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. to take a jeepney ride to Tagum. the decomposed body of Rex Ballena was found lying face down in a deep ravine below the mouth of the Macjum River about one-half kilometer away from the Bontiqui Creek. Province of Davao.. Davao.. appellants. due to the very strong stench emitting therefrom. While waiting inside the jeep at the Sitio Rizal Terminal. His money was gone but his Savings Account passbook was found beside the decaying corpse. JR. with intent to kill and armed with guns and bladed weapons. In fact. his remains were laid to rest the next day.

(b) superior strength.. however. assault. claiming that they could not possibly have committed the heinous crime imputed to them. All the accused put up the defense of alibi. and (d) treachery were present in the commission of the crime. Their guilt may be. While it is true that no eyewitnesses to the actual killing were available or brave enough to come forward and testify against the accused. thereby inflicting upon him wounds which caused his death. no eyewitness to the actual killing. hogtied and gagged with a red handkerchief in his mouth. p. and to indemnify the widow. direct evidence is not the only basis upon which their guilt may be predicated. 1983 at around 4 p. Rex Ballena.m. Ramos Magunot and Jose Magunot.did then and there wilfully. in finding that the aggravating circumstances of (a) taking advantage of public position.) The accused were arraigned on December 14. Rene Balong. moral and compensatory damages to the heirs of the victim. hogtied and being led by the accused toward the Macjum River.000) Pesos. Two prosecution witnesses. Revised Rules of Court.) The defendants appealed to this Court in view of the penalty imposed on them. as it was. namely: (1) there must be more than one circumstance. in convicting them of murder despite the prosecution's failure to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. in disregarding their defense of alibi. followed by Corito Piasidad. who held a gun against the victim's back." (p. on the left side of Rex was Romy Tulio who held the vine tied around Rex's hands. 1984.Rollo. having either worked in another ICHDF detachment center or in some other place. for they were not in the place pointed to by the prosecution witnesses. unlawfully and feloniously attack. established through circumstantial evidence which suffices for conviction if the following requisites are present. testified that they saw on June 6. in giving credence to the improbable and ill-motivated testimonies of prosecution witnesses Ramos and Jose Magunot. sentencing them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with all the accessory penalties provided by law. 137. Leading the way was Martin Cagadas. from their farm huts situated along Bontiqui Creek in Sitio Rizal. 24. People vs. plus Thirty Thousand (P30. the Regional Trial Court of Tagum. The appeal has no merit. 4. 50. and (3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt (Sec. At the trial. Ramos Magunot and Jose Magunot. RTC decision. in convicting the appellants of the crime charged based on purely circumstantial evidence.000 as compensatory damages. 5. Trial Court's decision. They allege that the lower court erred: 1. The following facts or circumstances were proven: 1. thirteen. the prosecution presented five witnesses and the defense. Rule 133. That in the commission of the foregoing offense all the abovenamed accused took advantage of their public position as members of the Integrated Civil Home Defense Force and their superior strength which circumstances aggravate their crime. There was. excluding Miguel Daub (who died during the trial) "guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder as charged. On August 24. Jose Magunot testified that he was summoned by the ICHDF team the same evening because their leader (Daub) caught him (Jose) watching when they hogtied Rex. 3. He was warned not to tell on them at the risk of his own life. (c) evident premeditation. the filing fees thereof to stand as lien to the full and complete execution for the satisfaction of the awards. Rollo. 2. 5. p. (p. and directly behind was Macario Barbero. and further causing actual. in convicting Roberto Cultura even if he was not one of the charged in the information. 3. 163 SCRA 783). 1988. Alcantara. that Rex was seen by the prosecution witnesses.. Aquila Ballena. "Jose" Cultura and ICHDF team leader Miguel Daub. Each entered a plea of "Not Guilty" to the charge. and the heirs of Rex Ballena P12. where his corpse was later discovered. hack and stab one Rex Ballena. Page 60 . on the right was Tator Salvador. and 6. (2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven. Jr. Davao (Branch 1) rendered a decision finding all of the accused. as and in the concept of moral damages.

that he was being led on foot toward the Macjum river by the appellants. People vs. thereby rendering him completely helpless. Furthermore. the guilt of one or some was the guilt of all. is hereby affirmed in toto. hence. considering the penalty actually imposed. SO ORDERED. 157 SCRA 320). (People vs. 1984. 168 SCRA 670). Maralit. The web of circumstantial evidence in this case constitutes an unbroken chain leading to a reasonable conclusion that the appellants detained the victim while he was on his way to Sangab that fateful afternoon of June 6. People vs. who are supposed to be peace officers tasked with maintaining law and order and of protecting life and property in their community. The erroneous designation of his name in the information will not vitiate it. 165 SCRA 392. being in full accord with the evidence and the law. hogtied and killed the victim. 163 SCRA 496. unrehearsed and unchallenged even during cross-examination. The penalty of murder under the 1987 Constitution is reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua (People vs. Their individual participation need not be specified for they were all co-conspirators in the commission of the crime. 3. not related at all to the victim. attesting to the presence of the accused in a detachment center in Davao is highly unreliable. has no merit. led him to the gully. Appellants cannot avail of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. the appellants abused their office as Civil Home Defense members.) The trial court did not err in giving full credit to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses for they were disinterested witnesses. Moreover. 1983. Their testimonies were spontaneous. All the appellants are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder qualified by treachery and aggravated by the circumstance of taking advantage of their public positions. the decision a quo. Roberto Cultura. 165 SCRA 702). The trial court properly rejected the appellants' defense of alibi which is the weakest of all defenses especially in the absence of proof that it would have been physically impossible for them to have been at the scene of the crime (People vs. Their initial reluctance to testify does not affect their credibility (People vs. that the victim did not have his money on his person when his body was found. Aliocod. and as the decomposed corpse later revealed. was part of the group that arrested. (2) that he was killed by the appellants. that the appellants advised Magunot not to report what he had seen. 163 SCRA 574.2. Salvador. There was treachery in the commission of the offense for the victim was gagged and his hands were tied before he was slain. as it was clearly proven that the accused. The inferences to be derived from those facts are: (1) that Rex was gagged and hogtied by the appellants. The Certification signed by the barangay and purok officials on September 27. 167 SCRA 665) for the killers were notorious for their lawlessness and barbarity. Masangkay. (3) that he was robbed by the appellants. They hogtied and gagged him. WHEREFORE. was found at the Macjum river. People vs. stabbed him to death with multiple knife thrusts. the testimonies of the defense witnesses are not only replete with material inconsistencies but are also incompatible with one another. 165 SCRA 427. Appellants' contention that the trial court erred in convicting Roberto Cultura for he was not one of those indicted in the information but "Jose" Cultura (his father's name). Newman. His acquiescence to be tried under the name "Jose" at that stage of the case is deemed to be a waiver on his part to raise the question of his identity as one of the accused for the first time on appeal (People vs. Alpetche. and 5. that his body. Cultura did not raise this question of his identity during the arraignment. Besides. bearing stab wounds and other injuries. Maravilla. 4. and. as it was not based on personal knowledge of the affiants but on unconfirmed reports or hearsay. Page 61 . They instead turned out to be murderers and brigands. Torres.

Petitioner prays ultimately that Criminal Case No. Santiago. Page 62 . 1970.June 2. Additionally." On September 10. petitioner. moved for provisional dismissal on the ground that the witnesses for the prosecution had failed to appear despite notice. Vicente M. requested for three days within which to file the same "because this case really affects the life and liberty of the accused and the possibility of bringing the case to the Supreme Court is being studied. 1963. respondent Judge denied the quashal in open Court and ordered the arraignment of the accused. 1970. filed before the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. petitioner entered his plea of not guilty. petitioner. petitioner Dominador Bermisa was charged with the crime of Frustrated Murder before the Justice of the Peace (now Municipal Court) of San Manuel. et al. denying the Petition for certiorari and Prohibition filed therein by petitioner and ordering the preliminary injunction therefore issued dissolved. petitioner. then Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. "dismissed (it) provisionally with the consent of the accused and his counsel. denying petitioner's Motion to Quash. 3 months and 8 days. 1963. VICENTE SANTIAGO. who is deprived of his fundamental right to have speedy trial is entitled to ask for his release." On June 2. No. 797). On November 26. 1964." 1 To this. T-1062). vs. Jr. U-1425). the Prosecuting Fiscal. 852 [1937]) as follows:têñ... counsel for the petitioner manifested in open Court his intention to file a Motion for Reconsideration. et al. the trial Court in its Order. docketed therein as CA-G. reproducing exactly the same allegations as in the first Information. J. No. Rivera. On August 17. 650 [1924]) and in Kalaw vs. 45077-R.. citing the ruling in Conde vs. and ASSISTANT PROVINCIAL FISCAL PROCULO L. Hon. (45 Phil.R. the Petition assails the Order dated March 3. the day set for petitioner's arraignment. the second Information for Frustrated Murder (Criminal Case No. Apostol.. A review of the antecedent facts discloses that. thru his counsel. seeking the reversal of the Decision of respondent Court of Appeals. Viernes. From the aforesaid Order of respondent Judge. petitioner was arraigned on December 22. 1970. respondents. respondent Court of Appeals 2 rendered its Decision dismissing the Petition and dissolving the Preliminary Injunction. and he entered a plea of "not guilty. HON. 1965. THE COURT OF APPEALS. L-32506 July 30. 1970. Urdaneta Branch. respondent Assistant Provincial Fiscal Proculo L. instead of proceeding with the trial. Over his objection. Vicente Santiago. During the same proceedings. in fact. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. respondent Judge replied that the Motion for Reconsideration would be denied because it had already taken the arguments of both sides into consideration. 1969. Jr.RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL (17) DOMINADOR BERMISA. lodged a Petition for certiorari and Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction before the Court of Appeals. et al. After protracted proceedings. entitled "People vs. On March 3. issued by respondent Hon.. VIERNES. with costs de oficio. 1965. JR. An opposition to the Motion to Quash was filed by respondent Fiscal. Dominador Bermisa" be dismissed on the ground of infringement of his constitutional right to a speedy trial. if he is restrained of his liberty.. alleging grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction and that he had no other plain. 1970. [G. the corresponding Information was filed charging petitioner with the same crime of Frustrated Murder. 1979] MELENCIO-HERRERA. and. Urdaneta Branch. U-1425. On February 18. Tayug Branch (Criminal Case No. on May 8.£îhqw⣠This Court has held that there is a positive remedy in cases . 1970. entitled "Dominador Bermisa vs. Considering that the case had been pending for almost two years. promulgated on August 17. (64 Phil. before entering his plea to the second Information. moved to quash the same on the ground that he had been denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial. the Municipal Court forwarded the case to the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan.where the constitutional right of the accused to have a speedy trial is The accused. Having waived his right to enter into the second stage of the preliminary investigation. after a lapse of 4 years. Trial was set for April 22 to 24.: Appeal by certiorari. dated . or for the final dismissal of the case pending against him. Pangasinan (Criminal Case No..R.00 by the petitioner." The same was given due course and a writ of Preliminary Injunction was issued upon the filing of the required bond of P500.

têñ. namely. free from vexatious. A speedy trial " is a trial conducted according to the law of criminal procedure and the rules and regulations. After giving due course to the same. U-1425. the right arises when defendant is held to answer by a magistrate. and oppressive delays. III IN NOT DECLARING THE FINAL DISMISSAL OF CRIMINAL CASE NO.£îhqw⣠I IN REFUSING TO GRANT THE PETITION FOR certiorari AND PROHIBITION WITH PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION. i.têñ. all criminal prosecutions. as there was no indictment. Considering its nature. that respondent Court erred: têñ. as yet. in the legal sense. U-1425. URDANETA BRANCH. DOMINADOR BERMISA PENDING IN THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF PANGASINAN. 1965. 7 Page 63 . Dominador Bermisa.. 1970. II IN HOLDING THAT THE DOCTRINES LAID DOWN IN THE CASES OF CONDE VS. capricious. (Supra) ARE NOT APPLICABLE IN THE CASE AT BAR. There was no trial to speak of. the accused is forced to wait many months or years for trial. DOMINADOR BERMISA. 5 Where a statute requiring indictment or information within a certain period after defendant is held to answer is treated as a legislative definition of the constitutional right. September 10. The case was refiled approximately four years thereafter or on. on September 11. 4 A review of the facts on record constrains us to rule that the right to a speedy trial is not invocable in this case. ENTITLED PEOPLE VS. entitled "People vs. U-1425 — PEOPLE VS. the accused shall enjoy the right to have a speedy trial. and the right has been held not violated by unwarranted delay in bringing him before a magistrate following arrest. in the interest of justice. before another Branch of the same Court.£îhqw⣠It has been held that the right to speedy trial cannot be violated by delay between offense and indictment. there is no reason why the court may not. G. this Court issued a temporary Restraining Order enjoining respondent Court from executing its Decision dated August 17. AND TO DISMISS FINALLY CRIMINAL CASE NO.£îhqw⣠In the absence of any statutory. RIVERA AND UNSON AND KALAW VS. though it can be violated by an inordinate delay in the refiling the indictment after the arrest has been made. T-1062 IN TAYUG BRANCH WITHIN THE PERIOD OF TIME IN COMPLIANCE WITH RULES. And such a trial is denied an accused person where through the vacillation and proscrastination of prosecuting officers.. provision to the contrary. 45077. 1970. That refiling was an act within the prerogative of the prosecution. FOR FRUSTRATED MURDER NOTWITHSTANDING THE VALID REASONS STATED THEREFROM. it was entered with a possibility of the filing of a subsequent suit. petitioner's consitutional right to a speedy trial has been violated as to warrant the final dismissal of the criminal charges against Our organic and criminal laws expressly guarantee that in . ET AL. SCANDALOUS AND LONG DELAY CAUSED BY INEXCUSABLE FAILURE AND NEGLECT OF THE RESPONDENT ASSISTANT PROVINCIAL FISCAL TO REFILE THE ALREADY DISMISSED CRIMINAL CASE NO. CA. 3 It can be one which may be had as soon after indictment as the prosecution can with reasonable diligence prepare for trial. The errors raised may be consolidated into the single question of whether or not under the facts recounted. is now the subject of this Petition. without prejudice to reinstating it before the order becomes final or to the subsequent filing of a new information for the same offense. REGULATIONS AND DECISIONS OF THIS HONORABLE SUPREME COURT. 1969. APOSTOL. and restraining respondent Judge and Assistant Provincial Fiscal from proceeding with Criminal Case No.e. The delay in the refiling of the case was not a delay in trial amounting to a violation of a constitutional right. THEREBY SANCTIONING THE UNJUSTIFIED. No.The aforestated judgment.R. which is assailed for not being in conformity with law and established precedents. 6 The criminal case at bar was provisionally dismissed with the consent of the accused and his counsel on June 2." Three closely related errors have been assigned by petitioner. dismiss a criminal case provisionally.

WHEREFORE. since it is considered that the effect of the discharge is merely to relieve the accused from imprisonment or from being held to bail. 11 If petitioner believed that the provisional dismissal deprived him of the right to a speedy trial. petitioner's prayer for the final dismissal on the ground that he was denied the right to a speedy trial of the criminal case against him finds no legal sanction nor doctrinal . then he should have objected to the same instead of having given his consent thereto. 90. 1969.. where a defendant expressly consents to or move for the dismissal of the case against him. 12 A contrary conclusion would run afoul of the provision on prescription of crimes. the crime prescrib0es in twenty years.£îhqw⣠. 90.support.The right of an accused to a speedy trial is guaranteed to him by the Constitution but the same shall not be utilized to deprive the State of a reasonable opportunity of fairly indicting criminals. the consent of petitioner to the dismissal constituted a waiver of his constitutional right not to be prosecuted for the same offense.£îhqw⣠If the accused should deem such conditional or provisional dismissal to be unjust and prejudicial to him because he has been deprived of his right to a speedy trial. 9 In fact. the highest penalty. and not to acquit him of the crime. which states: têñ. Under some statutes. the dismissal will not be a bar to a subsequent prosecution of the defendant for the same offense. 10 The effect of a discharge (of a person committed on a criminal charge in case of a failure to find an indictment or file an information within a certain time) depends upon the particular statute. 8 It secures rights to a defendant but it does not preclude the rights of public justice. reclusion perpetua or reclusion temporal shall prescribe in twenty years. with which petitioner is charged. Withal. Page 64 .. was still well within the prescriptive period of twenty years. The refiling of the case on September 10. Under the rule that when the penalty fixed by law is a compound one. even if the court or judge states in the order that the dismissal is definite or does not say that the dismissal is without prejudice to the filing of another information. the instant Petition is hereby denied for lack of merit. 13 The crime of Frustrated Murder. SO ORDERED.têñ. Costs against petitioner. therefore.têñ. is punishable by prision-mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period. or reclusion temporal for the computation of the prescriptive period shall be made the basis (Art. he could and should object to such dismissal and insist that the case be heard and decided on the merits. as for instance where the case has dragged on for an unreasonably long time without his fault. . last paragraph of the Revised Penal Code).. Prescription of Crimes — Crimes punishable by death..£îhqw⣠Art. the discharge does not prevent another indictment for the same offense. even considering the interim period of approximately four years when prescription commenced to run again from the date of provisional dismissal up to the refiling of the criminal case.

00 each. The following month. CHIEF OF STAFF. No. L-62810 July 25. The following year. Martin was arrested and confined (restricted to barracks) at Fort Bonifacio pursuant to Article 70 of the Articles of War. court-martial jurisdiction as to certain cases of fraud and Page 65 . respondents. one of which exploded during a picnic in Laoag City on April 17. CHARGE II: Violation of the 97th Article of War. Pvt. FABIAN VER. or other property issued for use in the military service. equipment. accouterments.. and punished at the discretion of such court. 1982 the instant petition was filed. Philippine Army. . HAMILTON DIMAYA. On or about April 14. J. who in turn directed the Inspector General to conduct another investigation. This however. 85. which read: ART. Thus. —Any soldier who sells or wrongfully disposes of or willfully or through neglect injures or losses any horse. including Rogelio Cruz. On May 5. Pvt. having sold the grenades to Rogelio Cruz in Laoag City. and injuries to three others. Martin has admitted to Cpl. [G. Martin was an enlisted man in the Philippine Army. he is no longer subject to court-martial even if the offenses of which he is charged were committed while he was still subject to military law. concludes that his continued detention pursuant to Article 70 of the Articles of War (which authorizes the arrest/confinement of any person subject to military law who is charged with an offense under the Articles of War) is illegal and he. Pvt. Francisco Martin. 1982. i. accordingly. when he was still in the service.e. According to respondents. 1983] PLANA. Waste or Unlawful Disposition of Military Property Issued to Soldiers. Lucio Tuppal. Philippine Army on or about 14 April 1981 at Laoag City wrongly disposed of by sale to Rogelio Cruz two (2) grenades. JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL. shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. he was discharged from the service effective as of May 5. court-martial jurisdiction over persons in the military service of the Philippines ceases upon discharge or other separation from such service. The charge sheet stipulates the following charges: CHARGE I: Violation of the 85th Article of War. Specification: In that Private Francisco Martin. First Infantry Division. Pvt. vs. a report was submitted to the Ministry of National Defense which referred the matter to the Chief of Staff. Pvt. clothing. 1982.. The petitioner contends that having been discharged from the military service. infra. arms. AFP. petitioner. all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and military discipline and all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the military service shall be taken cognizance of by a general or special or summary court-martial according to the nature and degree of the offense. December 3. although this is denied by Pvt. he allegedly sold two grenades to one Rogelio Cruz at P50. Specification: In that Private Martin assigned with the Headquarters and Headquarters Service Battalion. General Article.—Though not mentioned in these articles. This posture has no merit.(18) EULALIA MARTIN. unlawfully and without authority had in his possession two (2) hand grenades thus committing an act prejudicial to good order and military discipline and of a nature that will bring discredit to the military establishment. ammunition. 97. 1981. On November 17. Martin. 1981. GEN.. Generally. is but a general rule. ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES and GEN. Martin was charged for violation of the 85th and 97th Articles of War. should be released.: This is a petition for habeas corpus filed by Eulalia Martin on behalf of her husband. 1981 causing the death of three persons. He therefore. The Articles of War in terms prescribe some exceptions designed to enhance discipline and good order within the military organization. After an initial investigation conducted by the Laoag City PC and INP authorities. ART. on or about the month of April 1981 at Laoag City.R.

misappropriation of military hardware and other government property is not extinguished by discharge or dismissal pursuant to the 95th Article of War. ART. 95. Frauds Against the Government.—Any person subject to military law ... Who steals, embezzles, knowingly and willingly misappropriates, applies to his own use or benefit or wrongfully or knowingly sells or disposes of any ordnance, arms, equipment, ammunition, clothing, subsistence, stores, money, or other property of the Government furnished or intended for the military service thereof ... Shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by fine or imprisonment, or by such other punishment as a court-martial may adjudge, or by any or all of said penalties. And if any person, being guilty of any of the offenses aforesaid while in the service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or of the Philippine Constabulary receives his discharge or is dismissed from the service, he shall continue to be liable to be arrested and held for trial and sentence by a courtmartial in the same manner and to the same extent as if he had not received such discharge nor been dismissed. (Emphasis supplied.) It was on the basis of the foregoing legal provision, among others, that this Court sustained the court-martial of the petitioner in De la Cruz vs. Alcaraz, et al. after his reversion to inactive status, for misappropriation of public funds committed while he was still in the active military service. The Court, thru Mr. Justice J. B. L. Reyes, said: There is no question that although appellant had been reverted to inactive (civilian) status in the reserve force of the Philippine Army, he is still amenable to investigation and court-martial under the Artitles of War by the Philippine Navy for alleged acts of misappropriation of government funds committed while he was still in the active military service. As correctly held by the Court below, appellant's case falls within the provisions of Article 95 of the Articles of War (Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended), which provides as follows: ... The lower Court did not, therefore, err in refusing to enjoin appellant's investigation by the naval authorities on charges that he had misappropriated public property while he was still in the service of the Philippine Navy, specially since petitioner admits that he is still a member of the Reserve Force." (99 Phil. 130 at 131-132.). We conclude that despite his discharge from the military service, the petitioner is still subject to military law for the purpose of prosecuting him for illegal disposal of military property, and his preventive detention thereunder — pending trial and punishment for the said offense committed when he was in the military service — is lawful. Alternatively, petitioner maintains that even assuming that the jurisdiction of the military authorities to try and punish him was not abated by his discharge from military service, the denial to him of his constitutional right to speedy trial (he having been confined from the date of his arrest on May 5, 1981 up to December 3, 1982 when he was formally charged — a period of I year and 7 months) entitles him to be released on habeas corpus. The fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution apply to all persons, including those subject to military law, (Aquino vs. Military Commission No. 2, 63 SCRA 546; Cayaga vs. Tangonan, 66 SCRA 216; Go vs. Olivas, 74 SCRA 230; Romero vs. Ponce Enrile, 75 SCRA 429.) To quote Ex Parte Milligan, 4 Wall. 2: The Constitution is a law for rulers and for people equally in war and in peace and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men at all times and under all circumstances. It would indeed be parodoxical if military men who are called upon in times of the gravest national crises to lay down their lives in defense of peace and freedom would be the very people to be singled out for denial of the fundamental rights for which they risk their lives. For denial of a constitutional right to the accused, the hearing tribunal may lose its jurisdiction to conduct further proceedings. In such a case, habeas corpus would lie to obtain the release of the accused. (Gumabon vs. Director, 37 SCRA 420; Acevedo vs. Sarmiento, 36 SCRA 247; Aquino vs. Ponce Enrile, 59 SCRA 183; Flores vs. People, 61 SCRA 331; Dacuyan vs. Ramos, 85 SCRA 487, Ventura vs. People, 86 SCRA 188; Romero vs. Ponce Enrile, 75 SCRA 429; Aquino vs. Ponce Enrile, supra; Go vs. Olivas, supra.) In the case at bar, the petitioner claims that he has been denied his constitutional right of speedy trial because the charges against him were filed only about 1 year and 7 months after his arrest.

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There was no such denial. As stated by this Court in a per curiam decision: "x... the test of violation of the right to speedy trial has always been to begin counting the delay from the time the information is filed, not before the filing. The delay in the filing of the information, which in the instant case has not been without reasonable cause, is therefore not to be reckoned with in determining whether there has been a denial of the right to speedy trial." (People vs. Orsal, 113 SCRA 226 at 236.) At any rate, whether or not one has been denied speedy trial is not susceptible to precise quantification. At best, the constitutional right of speedy trial is relative, consistent with reasonable delays, taking into account the circumstances of each case. As expressed in Barker vs. Wingo, 33 L. Ed 2d 101: ... the right to a speedy trial is a more vague and generically different concept than other constitutional rights guaranteed to accused persons and cannot be quantified into a specified number of days or months, and it is impossible to pinpoint a precise time in the judicial process when the right must be asserted or considered waived ... ... a claim that a defendant has been denied his right to a speedy trial is subject to a balancing test, in which the conduct of both the prosecution and the defendant are weighed, and courts should consider such factors as length of the delay, reason for the delay, the defendant's assertion or non-assertion of his right, and prejudice to the defendant resulting from the delay, in determining whether defendant's right to a speedy trial has been denied ... Returning to the case at hand, the criminal act imputed to the petitioner unfortunately resulted in the death of three persons (including Rogelio Cruz who allegedly bought the handgrenades from the petitioner) and very serious injuries to three others whose testimony is vital to the preferment of charges and prosecution of the petitioner. It is therefore not unreasonable to heed the claim of respondents that the delay complained of was occasioned by the unavailability of witnesses, a claim which has not at all been challenged or denied by the petitioner. WHEREFORE, the petition for habeas corpus is dismissed, without prejudice to the petitioner seeking his provisional release on bail from the military authorities or the Ministry of National Defense. No costs. SO ORDERED.

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(19) ALFREDO VENTURA y YLARDE, petitioner, vs.THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and DIRECTOR VICENTE RAVAL, Bureau of Prisons. Muntinlupa, Rizal, respondents. [G.R. No. L-46576 November 6, 1978] FERNANDO, J.: The crucial question in this application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by Alfredo Ventura y Ylarde arose from his continued confinement dating from May 27, 1968 after the filing of an information against him for double homicide with physical injuries with the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. 1 Though admittedly he was subsequently convicted in a decision rendered on April 2, 1970, an appeal was duly perfected to the Court of Appeals. 2 The grievance set forth in his petition is that the pendency of such appeal all these years amounts to a denial of his constitutional right to the speedy disposition of the case against him, as his appeal could not be decided because the whereabouts of the stenographer, Mr. Jaime T. Cortez, who took down the stenographic notes of the proceedings, could not, until now, be located. 3 Further on this point, he alleged that a resolution of the Court of Appeals ordering the retaking of the testimonies of the witnesses, who had previously testified, with such stenographer Cortez taking down the notes, and directing the Judge of the Circuit Criminal Court of Pangasinan to give a new stenographer thirty (30) days within which to submit the transcript of stenographic notes after such retaking, had not reached the stage of compliance. 4 It is petitioner's submission: "The continuous detention of the herein petitioner notwithstanding the fact that he has perfected his appeal since April 12, 1970 is in wanton violation of his constitutional right as provided for under the Old and New Constitution, Sec. 16, Art. IV of the New Constitution, [being] reproduced hereunder for convenience and ready reference: 'All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative bodies." 5 His plea is that his release from detention be ordered by the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. 6 The application was filed on July 28, 1977. On August 3, 1977, there was a resolution from this Court reading as follows: "The Court [issued] the writ of habeas corpus returnable to this Court and required the respondents to make a [return] of the writ, not later than Tuesday, August 9, 1977. The hearing of this case is hereby [set] for Wednesday, August 10, 1977 at 10:30 a.m." 7 In view of an urgent motion for two days' extension of time to file a return, it was not until August 11 that it was submitted. The then Acting Solicitor General Vicente Mendoza 8 narrated the steps taken by the Court of Appeals from September 1, 1971 up to July 28, 1977 when counsel for petitioner filed a motion to hold in abeyance the retaking of proceedings by such tribunal until this petition was resolved and alleged as a special defense that there was no denial of the constitutional right to a speedy trial. He referred to the test set forth in Acevedo v. Sarmiento,9 stating that such a right "means one free from vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays. " It was not until the following Friday, August 12, 1977, that the hearing took place. On the same day, this resolution was issued by this Court: "When this case was called for hearing this morning, Attys. Herenio Martinez and Angela Valenzuela appeared and argued for the petitioner while Solicitor Celso P. Ylagan appeared and argued for the respondents. Thereafter the Court Resolved to require the petitioner to file an amended petition within ten (10) days from today." 10 An amended petition was duly filed on September 27, 1977. It did not by any means lend added strength to the petition with the commendable admission that in at least four orders, dating from June 28, 1974 to March 18, 1976, the Court of Appeals had taken the necessary steps, including an order for the arrest of the missing stenographer. 11There was an insistence on the plea, however, that the circumstances disclosed the denial of the right to the speedy disposition of his case. 12 It was not unexpected, therefore, that in the return of respondents, filed on November 9, 1977, it was stressed that the alleged denial of petitioner's right to the speedy disposition of his case was devoid of "basis in law or in fact, ... ." 13 After noting that respondents could in no way be held liable "for the failure of stenographer Cortez to submit" his transcription, 14 it stated: "Neither has the Court of Appeals been remiss in its duty to speedily dispose of the appeal; on the contrary, as adverted to in paragraph 6 of the petition, it issued a series of orders and resolutions for the purpose of completing the stenographic notes, and thus, promptly disposing of the case, " citing fourteen resolutions of the Court of Appeals from September 1, 1971 to July 28, 1977 to expedite the disposition of the appeal and the order of arrest of such stenographer as well as his transfer to the PC Stockade at Camp Crame. 15 The special defense that he was confined by virtue of a valid order or judgment was reiterated as he had been admittedly convicted of double homicide with serious physical injuries. 16 It was likewise set forth that he could have obtained his provisional liberty by posting the required bail fixed by the Court of Appeals. 17 The weakness of the petition is thus apparent. His release cannot be ordered. 1. For all its broad, latitudinarian even, scope, the range of inquiry in a habeas corpus application is considerably narrowed, where the detention complained of may be traced to judicial action. For if "the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ does not lie." 18 There is, though, this exception. As set forth in Gumabon v. Director of Prisons: "Once a deprivation of a constitutional right is shown to exist, the court that rendered the

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judgment is deemed ousted of jurisdiction and habeas corpus is -the appropriate remedy to assail the legality of the detention." 19 That doctrine goes back to Conde v. Rivera, 20 decided in 1924, a case involving the right to speedy trial the denial of which, according to Justice Malcolm, would entitle a person "restrained of his liberty [to sue out] a writ of 'habeas corpus to obtain his freedom." 21 The latest case in point is Flores v. People. 22 2. There is plausiblity in the view submitted by the Office of the Solicitor General that the constitutional right to the speedy disposition of one's case, 23 a new provision in the Constitution, can be viewed in the same light as the traditional right to a speedy trial. In the pleadings filed by it, reference was made to the standard set forth in Acevedo v. Sarmiento 24as to its signifying "one free from vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays." 25 The Acevedo opinion traced its origin to the same case of Conde v. Rivera, where Justice Malcolm announced categorically that the trial, to comply with what was ordained by the then organic law, the Philippine Autonomy Act, must be "free from vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays." 26 Even a cursory reading of the steps taken by the Court of Appeals to assure that petitioner's appeal could be resolved in accordance with the evidence submitted before the lower court would indicate that all the necessary steps had been taken to assure that a definitive judgment could be reached. Admittedly, there is delay, but it is not that kind of a delay that could be considered either capricious or oppressive. Again, there is an element of vexation that must be suffered by petitioner, but certainly it does not amount to that degree of annoyance, provocation, or distress that would justify a nullification of the appropriate and regular steps that must be taken to assure that while the innocent should go unpunished, those found guilty must expiate for their offenses. Clearly then, there is no justification for the granting of petitioner's plea for liberty. 3. In the course of the hearing of this application, reference was made to the aforecited case of Flores v. Peoplewhere this Court granted a petition for certiorari filed by Francisco Flores and nullified an order of the Court of Appeals 27 denying a motion to dismiss on the ground that there was a failure to comply with the constitutional mandate of a speedy trial. It is not applicable. It could be distinguished. In that case, petitioner Flores was accused of robbery on December 31, 1951 and was found guilty on November 25, 1955. An appeal was taken in December of that year. There was at first a resolution on February 10, 1958 by the Court of Appeals, remanding the records of the case to the lower court for the rehearing of the testimony of a certain witness deemed material for the disposition of the appeal. Thereafter, on August 5, 1959, another resolution was issued by the Court of Appeals granting petitioner's motion to set aside the decision. The case was therefore returned to the lower court. There the matter appeared to have rested. No further progress in the proceeding was discernible. Accordingly, on May 10, 1965, there was a motion in the Court of Appeals for the dismissal of the case. It was based on the denial of the constitutional right to a speedy trial. When the Court of Appeals failed to grant such motion to dismiss, the matter was taken to this Tribunal. Our decision granting the petition for certiorari is based on the following consideration: "Petitioners can thus invoke the constitutional guarantee that the trial should be speedy. In the absence of any valid decision, the stage of trial has not been completed. In this case then, as of May 10, 1965, when they moved to dismiss in the Court of Appeals, petitioners could validly contend that they had not been accorded their right to be tried as promptly as circumstances permit. It was not the pendency in the Court of Appeals of their cases that should be deemed material. It is at times unavoidable that appellate tribunals cannot, even with due diligence, put an end to suits elevated to them. What is decisive is that with the setting aside of the previous decision in the resolution of August 5, 1959, petitioners could validly premise their plea for dismissal on this constitutional safeguard. That is the sole basis for the conclusion reached by us-considering the controlling doctrine announced with such emphasis by this Court time and time again." 28There is a decisive difference therefore. In Flores, to all intents and purposes, after the resolution of the Court of Appeals setting aside the decision, no trial was held. The information, it must be remembered, was filed as far back as December 31, 1951. When the dismissal of the case was sought in a motion of May 10, 1965, a period of fourteen years had elapsed. In this application for the writ of habeas corpus, it is the pendency of appeal from a decision, which on its face carries a presumption of validity, after a trial duly held, that is made the basis for petitioner's plea for liberty. There is thus a crucial difference. It is our ruling that at this stage, considering further all the circumstances previously set forth, there is in law no transgression of the asserted constitutional right to the speedy disposition of a criminal case. 4. At any rate, the return of the Office of the Solicitor General to the amended petition pointed out that while such appeal is pending, petitioner could secure his liberty by posting the required bail. If petitioner is of the view that the amount fixed should be reduced, there is no obstacle to his presenting a motion to that effect to the Court of Appeals which could act on the matter. WHEREFORE, this petition for habeas corpus is dismissed.

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with evident premeditation and treachery and taking advantage of nighttime. Balase. defendant-appellant. accused Rudy Regala became angry. Juan Desilos Jr. that her religion is Roman Catholic and as such she follows its precepts. Juan Desilos Jr. 10). she tried her best to get inside the Magallanes Gate and Delfin Flores and Rudy Regala "were there at the Magallanes Gate in my front. that the exit gate was lighted with three (3) electric bulbs placed thereat separately. Erlinda Tidon who at the time she testified on August 7. was guarding the Magallanes Gate and trying to clear the exit gate of people. Juan Desilos Jr. Juan Desilos Jr. Juan Desilos Jr. that she was on that occasion with her sister Nenita Tidon who is also single. Dr. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Juan Desilos at the time he was stabbed by accused Rudy Regala. because she wanted to get inside to dance. Juan Desilos Jr. more or less. 1964 to dance and enjoy the evening. that the person pushed by Sgt. that accused Delfin Flores was one-half meter. from Sgt. was stabbed on June 12. Taleon who also investigated her in connection with the case (pp. did then and there wilfully. who was a sergeant of the Philippine Constabulary. that she was investigated in connection with the stabbing incident by Sgt. accused Rudy Regala and Delfin Flores. they claimed to be eyewitnesses to the crime. RUDY REGALA and DELFIN FLORES. 1982] MAKASIAR. III. t. a member of the Philippine Constabulary while he was then in the performance of his official duty. Sgt. with co-accused Delfin Flores who had his arm on the shoulder of the former (Rudy Regala). Orlando delos Santos and Municipal Judge Jose M. I was at their back" . Erlinda Tidon and Juanito Evangelista both testified that they were at the scene of the crime and saw the accused Rudy Regala stab the victim. that Sgt. Juan Desilos Jr. more or less. Desilos was accused Delfin Flores (id. Sgt. at the Magallanes Gate. was the same knife used by accused Rudy Regala in stabbing Sgt.. [G. 1964 by the provincial fiscal of Masbate with the Court of First Instance of Masbate which reads: That on or about the 13th day of June. RUDY REGALA. 1964 at twelve o'clock midnight. Juan Desilos Jr. unlawfully and feloniously attack and stab with. Masbate. 1964. the prosecution initially presented five witnesses. housekeeper and a resident of barrio Luy-a.. rec. a knife (cuchillo) one Sgt. that during the investigation. accused Rudy Regala. witness revealed that in Masbate. Juan Desilos Jr. Masbate. Juan Desilos Jr.R. declared that she knew the victim. that when accused Rudy Regala and Delfin Flores reached the exit gate where Sgt. that she saw Sgt. 1964 and she was not able to enter the plaza immediately because it was then too crowded as there were many people inside the plaza. on June 12. 1964 was 22 years old. that she intended to get inside the plaza through the exit gate because the entrance gate was already closed.: Defendants Rudy Regala and Delfin Flores were charged with the crime of murder with assault upon an agent of a person in authority in an information filed on June 27. August 5. that before this case was filed she knew accused Rudy Regala only by appearance and she came to know his name only after he was already accused of the crime in this case. more or less. got his knife from his waist and stabbed Sgt. vs. at the Magallanes Gate in the poblacion of the Municipality of Masbate. from Sgt.. Masbate. arrived. that Exhibit "B" is the uniform of Sgt. Erlinda Tidon. III.. Juan Desilos Jr.RIGHT TO AN IMPARTIAL TRIAL (20) THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Juan Desilos but accused Rudy Regala was nearer to Sgt. Dominador Balase since Tuesday. that she attended the town fiesta of Masbate.s. that at the Magallanes Gate which was well lighted. pushed accused Rudy Regala and told him "not to get thru this entrance because this is for the exit" (p. at p. she saw Sgt. the above-named accused conspiring together and helping each other. in uniform attending to the exit door. Philippines.. because he wanted her to stay thereat. single. Juan Desilos Jr. municipality of Aroroy province of Masbate. defendants. Modesto Taleon. namely. plaintiff-appellee.. municipality of Masbate. that she and her sister did not have any escorts. Juan Desilos Jr.n.s. 9.. that while Sgt. that Sgt. that Exhibit "A". Juan Desilos Jr. that thereafter. was stationed.). Juan Desilos Jr. 3-16. Angustia. with deliberate intent to kill. 1964. Vol. No.n. she has been staying at the house of Sgt. Vol. as well as outside the gate of Quezon Street. to which defendants pleaded not guilty. that while Sgt. Masbate. 1964. rec. at the gate. In other words. Juan Desilos Jr. which is a long knife with a white sharp blade. L-23693 April 27. with the latter following the former. was pushing accused Delfin Flores. and that she knew Sgt. she was at the Magallanes Gate. that she arrived at the Magallanes Gate on June 12. On cross-examination. that in the evening of June 12. province of Masbate. she did not know the name of accused Rudy Page 70 . To establish its case against defendants.. was hit in the abdomen and he fell down and then accused Rudy Regala and Delfin Flores ran away. Juanito Evangelista. t. that accused Delfin Flores was at the back of accused Rudy Regala when the latter stabbed Sgt. thereby inflicting upon the latter serious stab wounds at the mid-epigastric region penetrating abdominal cavity and perforating cordial and cardiac regions which injury directly caused his instantaneous death. guarding the exit gate which was so marked as "EXIT" where people were then milling around. J. that she was one-half meter..).

1964. Juan Desilos Jr. Juan Desilos Jr.. Sgt. that when accused Rudy Regala was in that position which was in line with her. 1964). Juan Desilos Jr. that she saw at the instance Rudy Regala placing his hand on the shoulder of accused Delfin Flores.Regala but knew his appearance. 1964 or since 1963. told the court that on or about midnight of June 12. was stabbed in the abdomen by accused Rudy Regala with a sharp pointed knife. she did not also know the name of accused Delfin Flores although she knew him by his appearance. t. rec. married. 1964 when he went to the Magallanes Plaza at Masbate. Masbate. Witness Dr. that he saw accused Rudy Regala throw away the knife (Exh. but was not able to name the accused as that was the truth. that she came to know his name only on June 15. that she came to Masbate to testify of her own volition. Juan Desilos Jr. Vol. Witness Juanito Evangelists. that even if she had wanted to run because of fright. fell on the ground. (witness pointing to her right side which was directly in front of Sgt. Vol.s. that at the time accused Rudy Regala stabbed Sgt. that there is a concrete road embankment between the exit gate and Quezon road.. III.. Desilos Jr. Juan Page 71 . and that she was served with a subpoena by a policeman of Aroroy Masbate. Orlando delos Santos. who told them "Don't get inside this gate because this is for exit". he (Regala) first pushed aside accused Delfin Flores. III).n.). in the stomach. was stabbed by accused Rudy Regala (pp. that the place of the incident was well-lighted as there was a dance going on. Juan Desilos Jr. that Sgt. Masbate. Juan Desilos Jr.n. Juan Desilos was guarding the Magallanes Gate because people were rushing towards it.s. who was then at the side of Rudy Regala. one could not move very fast because of the heavy traffic. that Sgt.. Juan Desilos Jr. Juan Desilos Jr. that Exhibit " B " is the uniform of Sgt. that both accused Delfin Flores and Rudy Regala were pushed by Sgt. that the stabbing incident took place at around 1 o'clock in the morning (obviously referring to June 13. 70-82. Masbate.. III. she could not because of the heavy traffic. Juan Desilos Jr. rec. Juan Desilos Jr. but she was not able to see whether blood immediately spurted from the wound because she had already left. Desilos when he was stabbed by accused Rudy Regala. was stabbed by the accused Rudy Regala. but she does not know whether accused Delfin Flores was at the right side or at the left side of accused Rudy Regala. "A") on the road.. but she cannot remember which hand: that in the evening of June 12. t. 1964.. he answered that he was there inside. at the time he was stabbed.s. 13th and 14th of June. Juan Desilos Jr. that in that position Rudy Regala appeared from the right side going towards Sgt. together with accused Rudy Regala who placed his arm on accused Delfin Flores' shoulder. he affirmed his answer (pp. he went to the plaza at the Magallanes Gate and there met Sgt. accused Rudy Regala and Delfin Flores ran outside. that at the time Sgt. Juan Desilos Jr. Juan Desilos Jr. that the space between the exit gate and Quezon road was full of people. 1964.). who was in PC uniform. Juan Desilos Jr. witness Evangelista stated that it was at around seven o'clock in the evening of June 12. Juan Desilos Jr. 1961 against him by the PC authorities with the Justice of the Peace Court of Masbate. that it was accused Delfin Flores who was pushed by Sgt. about a distance of one meter from the gate. but it was accused Delfin Flores who was directly hit by Sgt. not directly facing. that he did not pick up the knife. t. that there was no other unusual occurrence that took place within the immediate vicinity of the place where Sgt. Balase and Sgt. that accused Delfin Flores was next to accused Rudy Regala and they were in the same line with her. that he now knows the name of accused Delfin Flores. driver by profession and a resident of Bagumbayan.. that Exhibit "A" is the knife used by accused Rudy Regala in stabbing Sgt. III. Juan Desilos Jr. 1964.. Juan Desilos Jr. 17-57. that accused Rudy Regala was then wearing a close-necked buttonless blue shirt with short sleeves. that he did not know the names of the accused but knew their appearances. Masbate. was stabbed. Juan Desilos Jr. that he had seen the face of accused Delfin Flores before the incident. that after Sgt. that when she saw the horrible incident she went towards the road. that she came to know the name of Rudy Regala only when an information or a complaint was filed on June 15. and that he did not know the reason why Sgt..n. Taleon showed her the appearance of accused Rudy Regala. 1964. was regulating the flow of traffic. Vol. and when asked once more. accused Rudy Regala got angry and still at the same distance.). that all that accused Delfin Flores did during the incident was to walk. that because of the pushing. and approximately the same distance (see p.s. that Sgt. declared that in the evening of June 12. even before June 12. married and a resident physician of Masbate Provincial Hospital at Masbate. that he knows accused Delfin Flores who was then by the side of accused Rudy Regala when he stabbed Sgt. fell. he was on duty in the hospital when the dead body of Sgt. and the distance between them was 1/2 meter (demonstration made by witness in open court showed that she was oblique to. that she saw accused Rudy Regala on June 12. she did not yet know the name of the accused Rudy Regala: that she has known Sgt. that he was very near Sgt. she was still at the same distance from him as before. he drew his knife from the left side of his waist which was covered by his shirt and then stabbed with it Sgt. pushed accused Delfin Flores. that she executed on June 15. 49. they were pushed by Sgt. and it was in that position that Sgt. Upon cross examination. 1964 approach the exit of Magallanes Gate which Sgt. rec. walking naturally and slowly because there were plenty of people. t. Juan Desilos Jr. 1964 when he was already accused of the crime in this case. When asked whether he also then wanted to enter the gate. then 35 years old. that no other act or acts were made by accused Delfin Flores. Vol.n. that accused Rudy Regala was able to pull off the knife from the body of Sgt. Juan Desilos Jr. Juan Desilos Jr. 82-87. that before accused Rudy Regala stabbed Sgt. Juan Desilos Jr. Balase and Taleon who investigated her. that the name of Delfin Flores was told to her by PC Sgts. that she did not see any policeman outside the Magallanes Gate. Juan Desilos Jr. then 26 years old. that he ran after them to know who they were but was not able to catch up with them because they ran fast. at the exit of Magallanes Gate on the night of June 12. that he was at the gate when the incident took place and there were many people. wherein she declared that she knew Rudy Regala only by face: that she told the PC investigator all the truth she knew about the case. because she had not seen accused Delfin Flores and accused Rudy Regala before. towards Sgt. Juan Desilos Jr. in connection with this case (pp. that on the 12th. that at the Magallanes Gate. Juan Desilos Jr. that the distance between the exit gate and Quezon road is about two (2) meters. she was facing Sgt. 1964 an affidavit marked as Exhibit "l" for the defense. that Sgt.

penetrating the abdominal cavity and perforating the cardiac region was caused by a sharp blunt instrument and that the injury directly caused the death of Sgt. married. Judge Jose M. which was marked as Exhibit "A" and the blood stains thereon as Exhibit "A-1 ". Juan Desilos Jr. without touching its blade. Exhibit "A ". He opined that Exhibit "A" is stained with blood but he cannot distinguish whether it is human blood or animal blood (pp.. marked as Exhibit "D". He applied what he had learned in his investigations at Masbate. who was one of their platoon sergeants and who relieved him as security on June 12. on the road facing the Magallanes Gate around five meters away from the scene of the crime. In said Exhibit "D". although he advanced the opinion that where an incident took place in a crowded place. the point of entrance of the stab wound was one-half inch to the right. The cross-examination elicited from witness the fact that he studied criminal investigation and he specialized on the subject as he was sent in 1958 by the Government to Camp Crame to take up criminal investigation and he likewise trained in 1963 in a seminar held in Cebu.s.).n. because he already knew that it was the fatal knife as it was then dripping with blood and lying flat on the ground. III.n. he did not know the investigating officer who arrived first. t. the suspects were never fingerprinted. Masbate. and Exhibit "C-1".s.s. and that the wound was directed a little upward and in a lateral way. Juan Desilos Jr. was stained with blood with a cut at the last button of the uniform (Exh. he Identified said weapon in open court. who was in uniform and with a sidearm. that he knew Sgt. 87105. Angustia then 63 years old. He Identified the patch on the uniform as that of the P. Juan Desilos Jr. 1941.s. Juan Desilos Jr. resident of Masbate. 67-69. "B-1 ") which appeared to have been pierced by a blunt instrument and coincided with the wound of the deceased. Vol. t. He affirmed that he. it was no longer dripping with blood but it was wet with blood. municipal judge of Masbate. Sgt. on the road five meters away from the scene of the crime but outside of the area cordoned off by the PC and admitted that he did not actually measure the distance but merely calculated it. Exhibit "A" was not sent to the PC laboratory to test its blood stains. including the pants. Sgt. When he heard the announcement. III. witness admitted that it was his first time to see the knife Exhibit "A" and that he did not examine the same as it was not brought to the hospital for chemical examination. a trained investigator gets the actual distance. Vol. in the operating room already dead. Masbate. t. The uniform. recovered the fatal knife.). important evidence like Exhibit "A" should not be touched with the (bare) hands. and he Identified Exhibit "B" as the uniform of Sgt. declared that he knew Rodolfo Regala.). Juan Desilos Jr. So he..n. Eugenio. with his thumb in the inner blade. He opined that the knife Exhibit "A" could have caused the wound on the body of Sgt. and his two fingers on the outer blade. The route where the blood came from and where the knife was found was marked with blood stains. and Exhibit "B-1" as the cut on the front right side of said uniform. III. He further Identified Exhibit "C". He just concluded that Exhibit "A" was the fatal weapon (pp. Exhibit "B". When cross-examined.Desilos Jr. was full of blood. He found the knife. about 7 to 8 inches deep. assigned as investigator and platoon sergeant of the 60th PC Company.. rec. he immediately rushed to the scene of the crime and found that there were already many men in uniform at the scene. of the Philippine Constabulary was brought in. neither was the same examined for fingerprints. t.. and that the stab wound at the mid-epigastric region. he just grabbed it and presented it to his commanding officer. 65-67. He admitted that per investigation procedure. When he (witness) was near the stage and while looking at the crooner he saw Chief Salvacion take the microphone from the singer and call for a doctor as the soldier assigned at the Magallanes Gate had been stabbed. near the foot of the wooden handle. where there was then a coronation dance. According to him. (Exh. the place of the incident was cordoned off or surrounded by soldiers who did not tamper with anything thereat. Juan Desilos Jr. testified that he has been connected with the Philippine Constabulary since May 27. with an instrument to find out the extent of the entrance and penetration of the wound and found that the wound was midway umbilicus.n. Vol. he ventured the opinion that the stain in the uniform of Sgt. 58-65. rec. III. the death certificate he issued. Capt. When they found the knife. 1964. But when he picked it up. III. "B-2" and the chevron of a staff sergeant (pp. Juan Desilos Jr. his signature thereon (pp. together with two companions. appears. but he explained and demonstrated that he handed Exhibit "A" with care. Their designation as security in charge was in writing. and Sgt. Desilos uniform which was already removed. Masbate. as he was brought several times before his court as accused in cases involving peace and order. could be the blood that came from the wound inflicted on him. Juan Desilos Jr. he convicted him of the crime of malicious mischief. Vol. signed by their Commanding Officer. Juan Desilos Jr. wrapped it and presented it to the commanding officer for safekeeping. but he Identified Exhibit "E" as the original duplicate copy of a decision in criminal case No. whose time of duty started as therein specified at 1900 hours. together with his commanding officer. rec. Masbate. investigated the incident and they were able to recover the fatal weapon which was then dripping with blood. Questioned by the Court. t. In fact. Exhibit "A".). Vol. According to him the probable cause of death was cardiac hemorrhage.n.C. He revealed that after the said Exhibit "A" was presented to his commanding officer nothing more was done. Juan Desilos Jr. including the investigation of this stabbing incident. which is at the epigastric region. He further declared that he probed the wound of Sgt. rec.s. He was certain that the cause of death was the stab wound which was caused by a sharp pointed instrument (pp. Technical Sergeant Modesto Taleon. He could not recall having convicted him of the crime of physical injuries. 106-118. alias Rudy Regala.). As other people and peace officers arrived ahead of him at the scene of the incident. he was at the Magallanes Gate and Sgt. 1964 at the Magallanes Gate. rec. was no longer there as he had already been brought to the Masbate Provincial Hospital. Juan Desilos Jr. On the night of June 12. with seven enlisted men. was also there as he was performing security duties at the coronation dance and maintaining peace and order thereat. the name of Sgt.. Then they proceeded to the Masbate Provincial Hospital where they saw Sgt.. Lately. 2794 of the Municipal Court of Page 72 .

n. 34-44. Witness described the man who stabbed Sgt. 1964 (p.). Eladio Mendoza and Noemi Almirol — claimed to have been at the scene of the crime and seen the stabbing of Sgt. II. His companion. He does not know the companions of Rudy Regala. Vol. arriving thereat at about 9:30 o'clock in the evening. III. Upon reaching Magallanes Gate on his way home. the first suspect of the PC was Evangelists. had to enter trial without having first consulted the accused. Desilos Jr. 1964 (pp..). 55-58.n. They were able to enter at about 10:00 o'clock in the evening. Eight witnesses were presented by the defense.).s. 1964) drinking beer with companions inside the canteen at the Magallanes Gate. Page 73 After Noemi Almirol had recovered. 1964 . Vol. II. 166.n. rec. t. 1964. III. testified that on June 12. Shortly thereafter.. t. informed the court that it has come to his knowledge that ". Three of these witnesses — Alberto Abayon. On August 14.'s abdomen.). rec. 45-54. 131-135. the trial court denied the motion to dismiss (pp.. the court denied the motion to recall but advised defense counsel to establish that fact as a defense of the accused (pp. t. as tall. Sgt. Desilos Jr. After the evidence for the prosecution was admitted by the court." (pp.). rec. then 19 years old. rec.. III. rec..).. defense counsel moved. III. t. 168-170.n. Vol. Thereafter. III. Desilos say "Noy please accompany me but he does not know the person requested by Sgt.s. He saw blood dripping from Sgt. 172. III. with long hair. III. .s. He was not aware whether there were movie actresses inside.n.. rec. Juan Desilos Jr. Juan Desilos Jr.s. rec. he saw a person whom he did not know. 123-127.). Vol. rec.. and a student of Osmeña College. Vol. Alberto Abayon. On August 25.). His clothes were found with blood stains as well as his hands . the case was set for the reception of the evidence of the defense. including accused Rudy Regala and Delfin Flores. Juan Desilos Jr. winch was filed only on September 7.. He saw Rudy Regala at around 12:20 in the morning (June 13. Vol. together with Shirley Letada Rogelio Ora-a and Violets Sorsogon.n. with Noemi Almirol. and around one meter away from him. convicting accused Rodolfo Regala of the crime of slight physical injuries and Exhibit "E-1" as his signature affixed thereon (pp.n. counsel for accused asked the court for the recall of prosecution witness Juanito Evangelista for further cross-examination on the ground that there were vital matters overlooked by said defense counsel who earlier.). Defense counsel. Juan Desilos Jr. was not in the courtroom. 151-162.. Vol. 128-131. Vol. Vol. on or about the 13th of June. 1964). a place beside the Liceo School. Then he heard Sgt.. he (witness) left for home at which time Rudy Regala was standing inside the canteen (p.s. He stayed in the plaza for a long time and went home at around 12:30 in the morning (June 13. rec. t. Juan Desilos Jr. The prosecuting fiscal interposed his objection on the main ground that the alleged variance was not substantial as the events leading to the stabbing incident began in the late hour of June 12. 171. Masbate. 1964. They could not immediately enter the auditorium because of so many people crowding the place. and thereafter or on August 25. 1964 to file the same and the provincial fiscal was required to reply thereto up to August 29. Consequently. fainted upon seeing the blood flowing from Sgt..n.s. Immediately after aforesaid witness had testified. Vol. Defense counsel prayed for time to file his memorandum in support of his motion to dismiss and he was granted by the court up to August 21. 59-60.. II.). rec. III. III. by way of demurrer. t." Nevertheless.. in obedience to the order of the court. he brought her home alone and as they passed by the gate. rec. t.). quite black in complexion and wearing a short-sleeved polo shirt with red stripes (pp. 138-151. t. single. Vol.. Vol..s. for the dismissal of the case on the grounds that the prosecution miserably failed to establish the guilt of accused Delfin Flores and second. 1964 culminating at around midnight or immediately thereafter.n. Noemi Almirol who was then at his left side.s. he was at the Magallanes Gate.s. t. stab Sgt. was no longer there (p. Vol. counsel for accused moved to strike out the testimony on the ground that the same is impertinent and immaterial but said motion was denied as without merit by the court (pp. the information alleged the time of the crime as ".. The prosecuting fiscal objected on the ground that prosecution witness Juanito Evangelista who had earlier informed him of his fears of reprisal.Masbate. Juan Desilos Jr. defense counsel filed his memorandum in support of his motion to dismiss and prayed for the dismissal of the case against both accused (pp. Hence. 1964. in insisting on the recall of said witness.).. without waiting for the reply memorandum of the prosecuting fiscal. Said accused was at that time wearing a white polo shirt.. rec. II. he filed a supplementary Page memorandum (pp.. that there was variance between the date of the commission of the crime as alleged in the information and that proved by the evidence (pp. rec. 1964. He was then behind Sgt.).

III.s. she was at the Plaza Magallanes Gate. Desilos who was about one meter from her. in front of the residence of Dr. Vol. III. that he knows the accused Rudy Regala. told the Court that he resides at Domingo Street. rec. that he did not dance.). t.). Masbate.n. with Amparo de Paz. At about 12:00 o'clock midnight. 172-174.n. that he is a high school graduate as of June 13. Masbate and a student of Masbate High School.). he studied in Masbate High School but Rudy Regala was not one of his classmates there. single. 189.s. she met Alberto Abayon and they went home together at around 2:00 o'clock the following morning of June 13.M. he was interviewed by a PC man whom he did not know and they had an exchange of opinions and he was asked by the PC man whether he knew the man who stabbed Sgt. he revealed that Noemi Almirol is a young girl.n. Vol. Desilos when the latter was stabbed and Noemi Almirol was beside him and there were many people outside (p. III. Vol. and if one were outside at Quezon street and looked towards the plaza. Its side facing Quezon street is walled with hollow blocks. Witness Eladio Mendoza. Masbate. but the following morning. she affirmed that in going home. 1964. that once inside he went around and then together with his companions. Masbate. On cross-examination.n.. rec. 1964. She stated however that she was not alone in going home with Alberto Abayon as there were many girls with them and that it was not true that Alberto Abayon brought her home alone (p. t. She has known accused Rudy Regala for a long time and before she fainted she did not see Rudy Regala at the place where the PC man was bleeding (pp. he would not be able to see the people inside (pp. In re-direct. III. and that he did not use to go out with Noemi Almirol and he had not gone to her house (pp. rec. 1964. t. that he did not report what he saw to and he was not interviewed by. she insisted that she did not see Rudy Regala that evening. and she fainted when she saw blood flowing from the body of Sgt. Luningning Bonan and Elena Esparaguerra They were able to enter the plaza immediately and stayed thereat up to 12:00 o'clock midnight. 174-175. arriving there at 10:00 o'clock in the evening. t. t. 174. She did not know what happened after she fainted nor did she hear the announcement made by Police Chief Salvacion about the stabbing incident..n. 1964.s. rec. rec. witness affirmed that it is enclosed with concrete walls on its sides except at its back which is enclosed with wire. far from Magallanes Gate. t. III. t..). 1964 to dance. that he is 16 years old but does not know who is older between him and Noemi Almirol. Desilos He saw Rudy Regala at about 12:20 in the morning and this was before the stabbing incident.Claiming that he is familiar with Magallanes Gate. that the residence of Noemi Almirol is at Quezon Street. witness disclosed that he went to the plaza that evening of June 12.). he would not be able to see the persons outside who are facing the wall. she observed something unusual which was the killing of a PC soldier.n. and that she was behind the victim who was about a meter away from her. that before he entered Osmeña College. that Noemi Almirol is a third year high school student at Masbate High School. Desilos was stabbed right at the gate marked as EXIT of Magallanes Gate at which precise moment he was a meter behind Sgt. she revealed that she had a time piece on that night of the incident but she did not check it before leaving for home (p. He affirmed and he was sure that he saw Rudy Regala drinking in the canteen inside the Magallanes Gate and that said canteen is far from the Magallanes Gate but he could not calculate the distance.n. that he arrived there at 9:00 o'clock in the evening. somewhere near the Medinas. a resident of Masbate. III. Vol.. Vol. Vol. third year high school student of Masbate College. at the left side of the Magallanes Gate (as one enters the same) near the Liceo College.. Rudy Espinas and Pedro Verga and they were not able to enter the gate immediately because it was crowded by many people but were able to enter at around 9:00 o'clock in the evening. 189. Carol Bataga and this lasted for about 2 minutes. rec. 186-187.s. Vol. He does not know whether the gate was closed at the time of the stabbing incident but knew for a fact that there were many persons milling around the gate marked EXIT. that his companions that night were Rudy Regala.) Questioned by the Court. that at the gate of Plaza Magallanes. if one were inside the Plaza Magallanes and looked towards Quezon street. 1964. with the queen. the police.). III. single. he affirmed that he was a meter behind Sgt. Upon redirect examination. She did not know that Rudy Regala was also studying in the Masbate High School (pp. Cross-examined. went to the canteen which was managed by a priest.. 188-189.s. that he does not know her age. Rudy Regala. Pedro Verga and Rudy Espinas. Masbate. she was with Alberto Abayon and it was then about 2:00 o'clock in the morning of June 13. and at the next piece. then 21 years old. Desilos and he answered that he did not. 171-172. but Rudy Regala did at around 11:30 P. they drank beer in the said canteen and stayed there for a long time. Masbate. III.s. although she is not sure of the time.. t. Noemi Almirol. with one of the princesses whose name he (witness) did not know and Page 74 . that on the evening of June 12.n. rec. he was at the Plaza Magallanes gate which is in the poblacion of Masbate. testified that on June 12.). rec. then 18 years old. She further declared that Rudy Regala was not her classmate at Masbate High School. Vol.. According to him. nor did she ever see him there as she had just transferred to that school. that he had known her for a long time as they were once neighbors.s. He did not see the fatal weapon used by the culprit (pp. Cruz.. that he brought her alone to her home at 12:30 in the morning. Sta. and that Sgt. Questioned by the Court.s.

Witness Eddie Zaragoza. 1964. 1964. who told him that the blade should be held but not the handle. IV rec.n. III. your Honor. rec. that he did not do anything after the said announcement. it is already June 13. rec. 1964. thus: Butalid Q — And on the night of June 12. 1964? A — Yes. Q — But it was after your duty on June 12. which was the stabbing of a PC man at the gate which he learned about through the announcement made by Chief Salvacion on the stage at around 12:30 in the morning of June 13.). Vol. Thereafter. Page 75 . he was detailed as guard at the Magallanes Gate. shouting "Here is a knife that was dropped". Moises Espinosa. 1964 for Baby Queen and June 13. he continued with his investigation by gathering information from the people present but the result of his investigation was negative (pp. a municipal policeman of Masbate. Rudy Regala went back to the canteen and drank beer. IV. that on that midnight of June 12. Vol. 1964.). Clarificatory questions were propounded by the prosecuting fiscal and the trial judge with respect to the actual date and time of the incident. that at that time.). Masbate (since July 1.n. III. at around 11 o'clock an incident happened near the Exit gate of the plaza around 75 meters from his post.after this dance with the princess.). Espinas. that he got a piece of paper and with it held the knife's blade and delivered it to chief of police Salvacion. 5-12.. was over at past 1:00 o'clock of the following morning. 1961) testified that in the evening of June 12. that Dick Avinas was then inside when he shouted. sir. near the church of Masbate. that accused was at that time wearing a short-sleeved white polo shirt. rec.). Desilos being carried by Sgt. your Honor. something unusual happened. that on June 12.n. that thereafter. 1964. up to midnight there was no incident about Sgt. 1964 at which time accused Rudy Regala was still seated inside the other canteen located at the right side of Magallanes Gate. that he could not remember whether the coronation of the baby queen was held prior to June 12. more or less. he was on d uty as guard at the Magallanes Gate from 8:00 o'clock in the evening up to after midnight (pp.n. 179..s. past midnight. but the next night. 1964 when he went inside the gate.s. then 34 years old. he declared that it was coronation night when the incident. nothing unusual happened. that he went home at around 2:00 o'clock of the morning of June 13. and Verga and they drank beer in the canteen owned by a priest (p. 12-17. Vol. rec. accused Rudy Regala was at his side drinking beer. when he was the guard.. t. 1964 for Lady Queen. at Liceo. not at the Masbate High School. COURT Q — You were a guard on June 12. happened but it was not before midnight of June 12. Masbate and he stayed there until the dance which started at around 8:00 o'clock in the evening. that he knows Sgt. and that he went inside the auditorium together with Rudy Regala. the incident occurred? WITNESS A — No. t. that the incident took place during the coronation of the Lady Queen. that he cannot remember how many bottles of beer he drank that evening but the whole gang finished one case of beer. Q — After midnight of June 12. that they were 'not together too often as they are studying in different schools. t.. t. but it was the night previous to the coronation of the lady queen. that at about midnight. 1964. Prosecuting Fiscal did not interpose any objection. Desilos although he did not see him that night. that he went to the scene of the incident to investigate and saw Sgt. III. at Quezon Street. your Honor.s. before he transferred to Masbate College. Vol. went to the spot of the incident and saw a knife near the bumper of the jeep. and that they go out together and drink once in a while (p. June 13. t.. He testified during the cross-examination that he studied at Liceo de Masbate. will corroborate the testimony of defense witness Eladio Mendoza in all its material aspects or that they will testify as Eladio Mendoza did. belonging to Mayor Ben Magallanes (pp. he (witness) was still at the canteen and at that time. 1964 from 8 o'clock to past midnight ? A — Yes. Vol. We object. hence. neither did accused Rudy Regala do anything. married. he heard Dick Avinas driver of the vicegovernor. such fact was made of record. 175-178..n. that he (witness).s. Desilos? A — Yes. your Honor. there were many people. 179. that there were two nights for coronation. June 12. Hilario to the jeep of the vice-governor. that on June 12. defense counsel manifested in open court that the testimonies of the other defense witnesses. Regala in Masbate High School while he. that while investigating the people around the scene of the incident. together with chief of police Salvacion. Q — And when you said that on June 12. to be brought to the hospital. 1964.s. 1964 at about 8 o'clock that the incident occurred? BLANCA Misleading. 1964. Questioning by the Court extracted from him the fact that he is a very good friend of Rudy Regala as they have been friends since childhood. On cross-examination. Pedro Verga and Rudy Espinas.

or at around 12:40 in the evening. III.n.s.). that he was at the Magallanes Gate. at 11:00 o'clock in the evening of June 13. Pedro Verga and Eladio Mendoza. Moreover. t.Q — After midnight of June 12. that said shirt which he Identified in court (Exh. your Honor. we are constrained again to make our objection on the ground that it is misleading. single. that he has no grudge against him nor any motive to kill him. WITNESS A — Not yet. that his attire at the Magallanes Gate that evening of June 12. 14-16. that he went home around 2:30 to. the grandstand. rec. with due respect to the question of the Honorable Court. that he knows prosecution witness Juanito Evangelista but denied as true his declarations. 1964. and while still in the canteen.. 1964 that he saw for the first time Delfin Flores at the PC compound. please. Vol. Q — According to you. t.n. 1964 until 6:00 o'clock of that morning. Rudy Regala declared that he is 21 years old. 3:00 o'clock in the morning of June 13. however. 1964 at 11:00 o'clock? A — More or less. we would like to make it of record our objection. Masbate. he danced with the queen. III. met an accident BLANCA If your Honor. 1964. your Honor Q — In other words. 182. a student at Masbate High School at Masbate.n. 1964. Testifying further. Vol. your Honor. Desilos A — Nothing happened. WITNESS A — No. Vol. Gotis at around 10:3'0 to 11:00 o'clock in the morning of June 13. 1964. rec. Desilos but did not see him that night when he (deceased) entered the gate. Let the witness answer because he does not clarify.. that he came to know him only at the PC headquarters on June 16. 1964 at the market and they were brought to the PC compound where they stayed up to 5:00 o'clock in the Page 76 . he did not leave the canteen (pp. The testimony of the witness said that the incident took place about past 11:00 o'clock in the evening of June 13. 192-193. rec. 1964 was a short-sleeved shirt which appears yellow at daytime but blue during nighttime. "2") is now in the possession of his lawyer (pp. t. Desilos was killed on June 14.).n. 189-192. and they were not able to immediately enter the gate. Masbate. COURT Past 11:00 o'clock. he heard Chief Salvacion announce that a PC man was stabbed. they looked around the auditorium and afterwards at around 10:00 o'clock they proceeded to the canteen near the Liceo College. rec. which is June 12. that at around 11: 30 in the evening. Carol Bataga for about 2 minutes and then with the princess whose name he does not know.s. COURT Q — When was it? Tell us the definite date? A — More or less.. that they drank beer in the canteen which is owned by a priest. that was the time when Sgt. COURT Put it on record. which is June 13. Defendants Rudy Regala and Delfin Flores testified in their defense and both claimed that they were not present at the spot of the commission of the crime and that they are strangers to each other. t. together with Rudy Espinas. we shall again. Desilos according to you. from one minute after 12:00 o'clock of June 12.). 1964 when the incident took place. he went back to the canteen. He further informed the. Desilos and that his family. that he did not know his co-accused Delfin Flores either before or on that night of June 12. if one is facing. with due respect to the question of the Honorable Court. that his family has no grudge against Sgt. that the canteen is at the right side of.. Q — You are sure about that? A — Yes. on the ground that it is misleading. that as soon as they had entered the gate. that after the announcement he did not do anything. neither did he see him in the morning or afternoon of that day. 1964.s. IV. please. xxx xxx xxx (pp. Desilos was still alive? No incident happened to Sgt. 1964 when they returned to the municipal building and it was only on June 14. he testified that he does not know prosecution witness Erlinda Tidon and it was only on the witness stand that he first saw her and he denied as true her declarations. that thereafter. Masbate in the evening of June 12. he told the court that he was arrested with Roger Ampuan by Sgt. 1964? BLANCA If your Honor. Court that he knew Sgt.s. Q — So it was on June 13.). III. which dance also lasted for about two minutes. has a quarrel with the PC (p. and that except to dance. Vol. that after his dance with the princess.

). t. whose faces he could recognize. is Tony Aguilar. Balase and. 1964 witness Juanito Evangelista at the PC barracks. Balase (pp. that after 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon. Miller Gaton. that he. that at the provincial jail.n. he was called by Sgt. from 12:00 or 1:00 o'clock to 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon. 1964. Taleon who did not reduce into writing his investigation. that he was arrested on June 13. Balase who told him that now that he is being pointed to as the killer. that Rudy Espinas is also a member but not Pedro Verga Floresta and Alberto Abayon. Gotis that he was maltreated but not investigated by Formalejo that he does not remember any incident he had with Formalejo that he does not remember and it was not true that a knife was confiscated from him by Laguerta when he (accused) was about to stab PC Formalejo that he stays at the market place. then kicked and made to squat. that he knows Patrolman Perez. that he was boxed. the latter asked him why he and Roger Ampuan were at the PC compound and he replied that they were taken by the PC because of the incident the night before and Evangelista told him "You were not present there that evening". that the purpose of the PC in maltreating him is to force him to admit his guilt but he did not admit. Delfin Flores. he worked as part time butcher in the market. one pulled him by his buckle and he was made to look upward with the man's fingers pointed towards his (accused) nose.n. the knife used in the stabbing. 197-198. Desilos Jr. 1964. Eugenio to go home. 198-204. III. that it is not true that during vacation time. single. that every member of the club must have to be tattooed with Black Jack.. 1964 by Sgt. 1964. that Black Jack is not a gang but a club to put up recreational facilities in the market and the president of the club. III. He confirmed that he studied for two years at Masbate High School. that on June 16. that their conversation took place in the presence of a PC officer whom he can recognize by appearance only. that he was given only ten minutes to rest and he was continuously maltreated that day of June 14.. that inside the room. he had no weapon or knife with him (pp. 1964. In the course of his cross-examination.n. that there were seven persons investigated at the PC compound. a first year high school student of the Masbate College and a resident of Masbate. 194-197. Desilos but he told Sgt. that this time. Pedro Verga Eladio Mendoza. before. he went to the Magallanes Gate and returned home at 2:30 in the morning of the following day. Balase attempted to box him (accused) but Formalejo was cautioned by Sgt. he was not able to ask somebody to examine his battered body because he was not even allowed to communicate with the persons he knows as he was isolated in the provincial jail. Balase he did not see Juanito Evangelista (pp. that in the PC barracks. he approached Sgt.n. Gotis that this was not true. that on June 15. he was maltreated by a person whom he knows only by appearance. Rudy Espinas. Defense witness Romeo Floresta. 3". Capt. 1964. Gotis investigated him that same day and pointed to him as the companion of Roger Ampuan in stabbing Sgt. rec. that from the time he met Rudy Page 77 . Eugenio on June 13 to the 16th. it would be better for him to tell the truth as to who was the real author of the crime so that he (accused) would be utilized as witness. rec.. and the seven other persons were lined up in the PC compound and he was the one called by Sgt. 198. that he was not therefore examined by a physician. that he had not seen Exhibit "A". Accused Rudy Regala further revealed that when he saw on June 3. accused Rudy Regala was caught smiling by the trial judge who warned him of his act and behavior and not to take the trial lightly as the trial is not a joke. that he was again arrested by Sgt. he and Delfin Flores were brought to the municipal building.afternoon. 1964. Eugenio told him that there was another suspect who wore a blue shirt with stripes. who was then 16 years old. and that on that occasion. Gotis and his companion on June 14. of which he is a member. Balase that he was very innocent of and did not know anything about the crime. that he does not use that kind of knife. t. III. t. but he told them that that was not true. that he knows former policeman Cornal that he has a tattoo in his shoulder (which he showed to the court) and the tattoo consists of the words "Black Jack No. 1964 at about 12:30 to 1:00 in the afternoon in the market area. Desilos was brought to the cemetery it was shown to him by Sgt. that during his maltreatment by the PC. Gotis at the market place between 10:30 and 11:00 o'clock in the morning. Rudy Espinas had already told them that he (accused) was the one stabbed Sgt. nor was there anything funny. 1964.s. 1964 at around 9:30 to 10:00 o'clock and that until now he is still confined there. Vol. that at around 12:00 midnight. t. that it was a PC soldier named Formalejo and two others. Vol. corroborated defendant's defense of denial and alibi and thus declared that on the evening of June 12. III. nothing happened to him as he was not investigated that day. rec. as it was only in court that he first saw that knife. but he told Sgt.). that in a room in the provincial jail..). PC Formalejo who was then with Sgt. that before the body of Sgt. Roger Ampuan Delfin Flores and himself. Masbate. he was arrested with Rudy Espinas and they were brought to the PC compound where they were immediately placed in separate rooms. that he stayed in the PC compound from the 14th to the 6th of June. June 13. that St.). his body was battered because of the maltreatment he suffered from the PC that he was confined in the provincial jail for the first time on June 23. 1964. he and Roger Ampuan were allowed by Capt. and advised him to be serious as he is fighting for his life (p. leaving behind Pat. that another PC officer asked him who was the owner of that blue shirt with stripes and he answered that he saw somebody wearing that.s. Vol. that on June 14. then they were taken on June 23. Natural. that he met Capt. that he was ordered to admit the crime because according to the investigators.s. that in the evening nothing was done to him at the PC compound where he slept although he was investigated by Sgt. a PC soldier who was posted as guard went inside the room and hit and kicked him. that he was at that time accompanied by Patrolman Natural.. Balase and the coffin was placed in front of him.s. and that when he went to the Magallanes Gate that evening of June 12. 1964 to the provincial jail and they passed by the PC barracks where he got his eyeglasses and hat. Balase and that at the time he was called by Sgt. that there were seven other persons investigated in the PC compound. namely. he saw Rudy Regala drinking beer in the canteen inside the plaza (Magallanes Gate). that he was maltreated only on the 14th of June. According to him. Vol. who did the maltreatment and that Peroy Merillo kicked him at the side of his body while inside the toilet. he was with one named Julian Bartido who was the same person who was convicted in the shooting of Moises Espinas and the wounding of Marcial Tamares. that at the time of his arrest no knife was taken from him by Sgt. rec. but denied breaking the crystal (glass) of the bulletin board of the school.

that there were two PC men who boxed him but he does not know their names. that he knows that his son Rudy Regala went to the dance at the Magallanes Gate that evening. 1964. that he did not see Erlinda Tidon at the Plaza Magallanes in the evening of June 12. that he does not sell coffee. that he did not sign anything nor was he ever subjected to fingerprinting. Defendant Rudy Regala's father. that he does not know this PC soldier but he can recognize his face. He further testified that he does not know either Sgt. that the canteen where he stayed the whole night was the one located at the left side. that before 1:00 o'clock in the morning of June 13. testified in his defense that in the evening of June 12. the PC did not do anything but only left them there lined up. Masbate. which he did. there were six other suspects who were investigated but he does not know their names.s. June 13. that while he was being investigated by the PC captain. that on or before June 12. that at around 3:00 o'clock of the following morning of June 13. that he gave Sgt. Gotis Rudy Regala needed it as he was feeling cold. are not true. III.). another PC soldier got hold of his abdomen and boxed him. Cleto Regala. married. a farmer and a resident of Cawayan Interior. and that he went home together with Rudy Regala (pp. again. as among those in his household.s. t. 1964 up to the time he and Rudy Regala went home together. that he had not seen Exhibit "A" (knife). Chat he was mixed with the other six suspects and lined up inside the PC compound. Chief of Police Salvacion announced on the stage that a PC man had been stabbed. Vol. III. Juan Desilos Jr. he was told by a PC captain who investigated him. Gotis a newly ironed shirt but Sgt. 1964. Masbate. where he was lodged in jail until the next (whole) morning. then 52 years old. Gotis was looking for a blue banlon shirt with stripes. 183-184. that the plaza was crowded that evening of June 12. that his son did not talk to him. took him from the municipal jail and brought him back to the PC compound and. and that Rudy Regala does not have a blue shirt with red stripes (pp. 1964 at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon he was taken by a PC man whom he did not know. 1964. 1964. t. rec. 1964 in the PC compound. 1964. that he stayed up to 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon of June 13. Vol. that he was returned to the municipal jail on June 13. Masbate. Rudy Regala had already admitted and pointed to him as his companion when he (Rudy Regala) stabbed Sgt. 1964.). as only the PC man who boxed him was present. he was boxed by one Bacalano from the Island by reason of which he fell and when he stood up he drew his double-bladed knife but policeman David Natural approached and told him to surrender the knife. that when they were lined up. if entering the gate. that after that announcement. 1964. that he does not know the names of those who boxed him. a merchant and residing since 1947 at the market site. 2 PC soldiers. Desilos but he told them that he could not admit as Rudy Regala was not his companion. that they were fined up only once.n. 1964. Page 78 . Vol. and then he was arrested and taken to the municipal building of Masbate. that the maltreatment was done inside the room without the presence of PC officers.. he was boxed by them in the abdomen and he fell down with his buttocks on the ground. 1964. that it was only while Erlinda Tidon was on the witness stand that he first saw her. PC Sgt. he arrived at around 9:00 o'clock without any companion at the dance at Plaza Magallanes and he was able to enter immediately. he was investigated by persons whom he does not know. 180-183. whose names he does not know. Gotis told him that that was not the one. to admit the crime because according to them. that his son drank coffee and thereafter he slept on the bench. Juan Desilos Jr. neither did he talk to his son. he saw Rudy Regala drinking in the canteen.).n. Masbate. he was at the pingpong game site and he was selling coffee because it was the town fiesta. 184-185.n. Gotis picked up his son at his residence and brought him to a car.Regala at 10:00 up to the time he went home. Gotis but Sgt. that this was the very shirt he showed Sgt. from the municipal building to the PC camp. 1964 and on June 14. Gotis arrived at his (witness) residence and asked for the blue banlon shirt of Rudy Regala as according to him (Sgt. he was always with Rudy Regala and that he saw Rudy Regala at the canteen situated at the left side of Magallanes Gate (pp. or Erlinda Tidon that the declarations of Erlinda Tidon in the witness stand regarding his participation in the stabbing of Sgt. that at 1:00 o'clock nothing happened to him. that Exhibit "2" is the shirt he was referring to as worn by Rudy Regala that morning. while he was da ncing. that on June 13. The other accused Delfin Flores who was then 24 years old. there were six other suspects in the compound who were investigated but he does not know them. Masbate. he answered them that he could not admit because Rudy Regala was not his companion. t. 1964. He revealed on cross-examination that he saw Rudy Regala that evening dance twice. that he stayed there up to 1:00 o'clock of the following morning. Masbate. he did not yet know his co-defendant Rudy Regala. that from the time he entered the plaza at 8:00 o'clock of June 12. at around 8:00 o'clock in the morning. that Rudy Regala likewise did not leave the canteen except to dance after which he returned to the canteen. that in the evening of June 12. that every time he was brought to the PC compound he was being told to admit the crime as Rudy Regala had already admitted and pointed to him as his companion who stabbed Sgt.s. that he came to know Rudy Regala for the first time in the PC camp on June 16. that at the PC compound. rec. Gotis told him that that was not the one because he (Sgt. his son Rudy Regala arrived at the pingpong site where he was selling coffee. that in the investigation he was told to admit the crime because according to them Rudy Regala had already admitted and pointed to him (accused) as one of Rudy Regala's companions but he told them that he could not admit because Rudy Regala was not his companion. that because of his denial. June 13. III.. rec. 1964. single. that the second time that he was brought back to the PC compound. that he never left that canteen from the time he entered the same up to the time he left for home. that his son had not used that kind of weapon. testified that as a merchant he sells vegetables and sari-sari. Desilos but in all such occasions. Sgt. then he was boxed again on the left side of his buttocks by reason of which he rolled on the ground. that he was brought to the PC compound four times in all. Chat the investigation results were not reduced into writing. 1964. that the shirt of Rudy Regala when he came home from the plaza was one which appeared to be yellow during daytime but white during nighttime. that on that day. that in the evening of June 14. that at around 10:30 to 11:00 o'clock in the morning of June 13. 1964 when they were brought to the municipal building of Masbate.

that the music being played previous to the announcement was sweet. but no case was filed against Rudy Regala in connection therewith because Formalejo refused to file a complaint against Regala (pp. rec. that at the time he was arrested that evening he already knew that a PC soldier had been stabbed but did not know yet that it was Sgt. Miss Tidon and Mr.n..). testified that the testimony of Rudy Regala that the Black Jack organization is a club and not a gang. that on the night of June 12. 1964 or one minute thereafter. that at that time. Vol. that he knows Balacano who boxed him several times after the announcement made by Chief Salvacion.s. that he did not know that Sgt. that David Natural. that Rudy Regala was not also forced to sign anything nor obliged to declare anything. Vol. and that he pleaded guilty to the charge and was consequently sentenced to two months' imprisonment which he had served out already (pp. Desilos in the morning of June 13. that he was placed in the line-up only once. that he was not made to sign anything. 1964 at 9:00 o'clock in the evening.).n. t. that the victim in that crime of murder was Ricardo Cuyos that by reason of his conviction he served sentence in Muntinglupa and thereafter he was paroled. and affirmed that in the case of illegal possession of deadly weapon. IV. Evangelista had pinpointed him and Rudy Regala as the persons they saw in front of Sgt. 1964 that he went there. that he hid the knife in his body so that nobody could see it. Desilos was a PC soldier. is not true because it is called the Black Jack gang. he was detained in the municipal jail of Masbate. Desilos are not true. that he knows that it is a gang and not a club because the members have tattoos on their shoulders. the knife was in his body. 1964. that when he was being placed in the line-up. that he saw Juanito Evangelista for the first time only when the case was being tried by the court. IV. 1964. Cross-examined by the Court. t. IV. 45-60. that when Chief Salvacion made the announcement. that he knew that he was a suspect not because he had a conversation with the PC but because he was placed in a line-up. that he entered the gate at about 8:00 o'clock in the evening that he did not have a watch at that time. Masbate by Judge Benedicto.. Desilos immediately before he fell down wounded by a knife. 1964 at Plaza Magallanes (pp. 1964. Rudy Espinas. that he was arrested only after Chief Salvacion had finished his announcement. that he was charged with concealment of a deadly weapon by the police force of Masbate. rec. Vol. and a policeman of Masbate. 1964 as it was only that evening of June 12. that after his arrest.that neither does he know witness Juanito Evangelists. he did not know that he was being scrutinized by certain individuals from somewhere. Page 79 . married. that he was at a distance of 15 meters from the gate when the dance was stopped. rec.s. Vol. that he did not know whether these Miss Ridon and Mr. 1964. that it is also not true as testified by Rudy Regala that he was not arrested by him at the cockpit when he (Rudy) was about to stab PC Formalejo for the truth was that on December 22. Masbate. that he does not know the name of the person with whom he was dancing. t. Desilos that he only came to know the victim as Sgt. there were so many people trying to get in that there was no PC soldier at the gate but there were many people around the vicinity going to the entrance.. 1964. On re-direct he revealed that in the criminal case of People versus Delfin Flores for the murder of Cuyos. accused Delfin Flores affirmed that the only time he attended the dance at the Magallanes Gate was on the evening of June 12. that he was no longer dancing with his unknown partner when Chief Salvacion announced the stabbing of the PC soldier. that per his calculation. Cross-examined. he was brought to the municipal building of Masbate. that he does not know witnesses Erlinda Tidon and Juanito Evangelista and does not know of any grievance or trouble with them. that the declarations of Juanito Evangelista with respect to his participation in the stabbing of Sgt.n. neither did he come to know that after the line-up that evening. and that from 1:00 o'clock to 8:00 o'clock of June 13. he went to the dance at Magallanes Gate. he also pleaded guilty (pp. that because he had no watch it was possible that the time when Chief Salvacion made the announcement was midnight of June 12. and he stayed there until that time that the PC soldiers got him from the municipal jail at around 8:00 o'clock in the morning of June 13. Masbate. that he was no longer dancing at the time Chief Salvacion made the announcement as he was then conversing with a lady at a place around 15 meters from the Magallanes Gate. and that he did not see witness Juanito Evangelista in the evening of June 12. that it is also not true that Pedro Verga Eladio Mendoza. that policeman Natural was with PC soldiers who escorted him to the municipal building where they arrived at past 1:00 o'clock. the music stopped and so everybody stopped dancing. IV. By way of rebuttal evidence. but there were people in the PC barracks. that he went inside the auditorium and saw the coronation of the queen. that he was not at Magallanes Gate the night previous to June 12. that on that night he had in his possession a doublebladed knife which he brought with him to the dance hall because he was alone when he left his house. which was already June 13. he pleaded guilty to the crime charged. that he was dancing when Chief Salvacion made the announcement.). Masbate arrested him that night inside the Magallanes Gate 15 meters from the gate. that he did not come to know that on that evening after the line-up there were persons who have Identified him and Rudy Regala as the persons seen at the Magallanes Gate near the exit gate. a policeman. prosecution presented witnesses Felixberto Laguerta and Gerardo Gotis.). Felixberto Laguerta who was then 43 years old. that the PC soldiers maltreated him. 1964. 6367. 1963 he arrested him and confiscated fro m him a knife. Masbate.. Evangelists were looking at him while he was placed in the line-up. Romeo Floresta and Alberto Abayon are not members of the Black Jack gang. 60-61.s. neither was he forced by the PC to sign anything. that Exhibit "F" is the same knife he confiscated from Rudy Regala.n.s. rec. Over the objection of his counsel the Court allowed a question propounded to him about his previous criminal conviction and he declared that he was convicted of the crime of murder in Masbate. he was no longer dancing. he revealed that his educational attainment is Grade VI. 17-36. that before his arrest. that he was not dancing when Balacano boxed him. that all of them were arrested for being members of the said gang. of Masbate. t. Chief Salvacion made the announcement on the stage at about 11:00 o'clock in the evening of June 12. that at the time he was dancing with his unknown partner.

IV. married. 72. he does not know whether it was by reason of this relationship that Rudy Regala's father and mother are living inside the market site of Masbate. only to be treacherously killed by an assassin with the blackest soul. He was there. IV. Consequently. Vol. He died in the altar of public service and his was a death of a hero. and in holding Delfin Flores. with respect to the other accused. that membership in the Black Jack gang is a crime. 1964 at the market place..s. IV. the trial Judge imposed upon accused Delfin Flores the penalty of eight months and 21 days as minimum. assuming arguendo that he was the man who stabbed the victim. Vol. Chief Salvacion. 44. 74-76. 198. 1964. the trial Judge found him guilty only as an accessory after the fact. rec. Capt. rec. he retracted his testimony that the non-filing of the case was the order of Capt. that he does not know whether the arrest and confiscation were recorded in the police blotter as it was the police sergeant who was in charge of recording the same...73. that when he arrested Rudy Regala on June 13. However.n. witness confirmed that Rudy Regala is a relative of a very high ranking municipal official of the town of Masbate. 1973 after the expiration of his sentence as certified by the Director of the NBP (p. that he was told by Fiscal Butalid to testify in this case that he did not execute any affidavit in connection with his arrest of Rudy Regala and confiscation from him of a knife. Vol. thus: Murder as a crime is indeed heinous. then 47 years old. Eugenio. 76-78. t. Eugenio ordered him not to file any case as there was already a case against Rudy Regala. to six years and 1 day of prision mayor as maximum with the recommendation that his parole be immediately cancelled.). under the alleged facts of the case. He died so that others may enjoy and live. The Court would be recreant of its duty if it should fail to notice this splendid performance of a lowly but loyal public servant (p. "G") [pp.]. rec. and that they were arrested because they were doing something wrong in the poblacion (pp. that he reported the matter to the chief of police of Masbate.s. rec. Vol. of the crime of murder with assault upon an agent of a person of authority. he was able to confiscate from Mm a knife (identified as Exh. The trial Judge gave more weight and credence to the testimonies of the witnesses of the People than that of the accused. However. Gerardo Gotis. Masbate. as the mother of Rudy Regala is the cousin of the town mayor-Mayor Magallanes. Page 80 . I Counsel de officio claims in support of the first assigned error that the indignation and revulsion of the trial Judge at the commission of the monstrous crime herein involved as can be gleaned from the decision under review. that the basis of his testimony that Rudy Espinas.n.). Exhibit "G" from Rudy Regala last June 13. distant from his home. Masbate. and the imposition on him of the supreme penalty of death. as aforestated. He was there as a symbol of authority so that peace may be maintained for those many who love peace and tranquility. I. rec.). that he did not file any case against Rudy Regala in connection with Exhibit "G" as he merely indorsed the same to the 1st PC sergeant and because his commanding officer. Pedro Verga Romeo Floresta are members of the Black Jack gang is the tattoo on their shoulders which is in the form of cards and that all of them were arrested by reason of the fact that they are all members of said gang. liable as accessory after the fact of the crime of murder with assault against an agent of a person in authority. Vol. because Delfin Flores did not interpose any appeal from his conviction as an accessory after the fact. The perversity of the perpetrator is even made more ugly and ugliest indeed because the victim was in the uniform of an agent of the law and was performing his duty as he saw fit. Delfin Flores. Vol. rec.). he testified that he has been a policeman for 19 years. t. The reason for the non-filing was because it was merely overlooked as they were then busy investigating suspects in this murder case (pp. and amidst the sound of the drums and the trumpets and the tantalizing sweetness of the dance music. The other rebuttal witness.). Counsel de officio contends that the trial court erred in failing to give the two accused a fair trial. resulting thus. IV. He further revealed that he delivered the knife "Exhibit "F" to Chief Salvacion but no action was taken by Chief Salvacion against Rudy Regala in connection therewith (pp. the deviltry of the perpetrator is compounded.Cross-examined. Cross-examined by defense counsel. 68-72. and sergeant of the PC at Masbate. Cross-examined by the trial judge.. I. in the conviction of accused Rudy Regala for the complex crime of murder with assault upon an agent of a person in authority. he affirmed that he got the knife. Exhibit "F".n.n.. However. testified that Rudy Regala's assertion on the witness stand that he was maltreated at the PC barracks was a he as Rudy Regala was never maltreated.s. Masbate.s. he suspected them of doing something bad. where people were enjoying the spirit of the fiesta. and was accordingly released on June 11. But when the crime had to be committed in a public place. that because they are members of a gang. in convicting Rudy Regala. He died almost in the spot where duty demanded of him. Masbate. in holding Rudy Regala responsible for the killing of Juan Desilos Jr. t. He was there foregoing the pleasure of the evening so that others may enjoy. Before Us therefore by way of review is only the death penalty imposed on accused Rudy Regala. His was a fruitful life with a duty well done and his was a heroic death. his wife and his children who would want him near them during those happy and festive moments in answer to the call of duty. t.

25. 32. Rudy Regala is a convict and a notorious young man and the Court will take the same into account (p. rec. Vol. the accused .). The proceeding must neither be arbitrary nor unjust.. rec. Appellant impugns the impartiality of the trial judge.' Earlier in People vs.. Castañeda. the pledge of due process becomes a myth. And who is Delfin Flores? He is a convicted murderer and a parolee. although in the crime of slight physical injuries. he could have disappeared among the crowd and he and Rudy Regala could have returned inside in order to establish an alibi. 43 SCRA 437. Rudy Regala. Appellant's Brief. An impartial trial necessarily requires an impartial judge to conduct the same.. counsel de officio's first assigned error boils down to the delicate question of whether appellant Rudy Regala was denied due process of law. It should be remembered that Delfin Flores and Rudy Regala are convicts and are dangerously mischievous. that due process of law requires a hearing before an impartial and disinterested tribunal and that every litigant is entitled to nothing less than the cold neutrality of an impartial judge . there are those who. a parolee. In essence.' If it were otherwise. As was so aptly put by Justice Dizon: 'It has been said. Is there a possibility that Rudy Regala could perpetrate the crime in company of Delfin Flores.. Angcap. Under the present Constitution. could have certain moral ascendancy over Abayon. In other words. p. The thrust of appellant's posture is that the trial Judge. accustomed as they have been in committing acts of deviltry Is this possible and/or probable? While witnesses of the defense. 184. Vol. The defense of the accused is alibi. To a man with criminal mind and criminal tendencies. Thus its Section 19. therefore. It is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution that no one is to be deprived of his liberty without due process of law. absent an impartial judge. Rudy Regala could have been at the canteen early that evening and could have gone out with Delfin Flores and then returned at the exit door. anything could be possible (p. Vol. nevertheless. who was allegedly prejudiced against the appellant. The trial is reduced to nothing but a useless formality. 25-26. became prejudiced against appellant (as well as his co-defendant) after his previous criminal conviction was brought forth during the trial. Justice Laurel made clear the necessity for a 'trial before an impartial judge.. WE have declared that ". that in the spirit of friendship they are coming to the rescue of criminal friend Rudy Regala (pp. He can rely on the guarantee of fairness according to the fundamental law.. considering "his fully justified indignation and revulsion at the commission of such a monstrous crime" of murder. It must be emphasized that the jurisprudence under the 1935 Constitution treated the right of an accused to impartial trial as an aspect of the guarantee of due process. rec. of Masbate. he has been brought very often to his Court for several mischiefs he has committed. because of their ages.).).). 441-442 [1972]).directly caused undue prejudice against the accused because of his previous criminal record as manifested by the following portions of the decision of the trial Judge — Who is Rudy Regala? He is a convict. a member of an organization with tatoos on their right arm. to prepare an alibi. impartial and public trial . which moreover provides additional safeguards at the stage of trial. I. have every reason to help their friend Rudy Regala in his terrible predicament. the Solicitor General submits that the above argument of counsel de oficio does not properly fit the assigned error.). to have a speedy. flock together (p. provides that "(I)n all criminal prosecutions. Thus is emphasized its importance for an accused... committed the crime and then returned to the canteen to prepare for his alibi? This may be conjectural. According to Municipal Judge Jose Angustia. there is a specific reference to its indispensability in a criminal prosecution. Our Constitution does indeed go far in throwing the mantle of its protection on the one who is caught in the meshes of criminal law.." (emphasis supplied). Birds of the same feather. would do so. 73-78. I. If a judge had made up his mind to convict. even innocence would not suffice as a defense" (People vs.. I. . and Idle ceremony. I.. because it assails the decision of the trial court and its appreciation of the evidence submitted therein rather than the conduct of the trial itself (pp. Page 81 . So that after the incident. Moreover. their being acquaintances close and tight. rec. in fact. rec. 607. Article IV (Bill of Rights). Rudy Regala claimed that he was inside the canteen. rec. Vol. there can be no fair and impartial trial.. that right to impartial trial is now expressly declared as one of the cardinal rights of an accused. 29. to the extent that the trial Judge no longer gave due consideration to the evidence of the defense (pp. On the other hand. Mendoza and Florista and even with Noemi Almirol. Desilos was stabbed. I. free from bias either for or against the prosecution or for the person indicted. Although it may be argued that criminals would not at times return to the scene of their adventures. which was a few members from the exit door of the Magallanes auditorium on the night Sgt. moments before midnight and/or moments after midnight? The distance of the canteen from the exit gate is not considerable. Vol. I. but the possibility would not be farfetched. shall enjoy the right .). Vol. It is to underscore the importance of a trial judge being detached and objective.

in the very words of appellant's counsel de officio herself. contrary to the claim of the appellant. While the crime took place at midnight or a little past thereafter. It was carefully observed by the Court that both witnesses were curt on their declaration they were straightforward in their reply and their voice carry the ring of sincerity and truth. to be convincing must preclude any possibility that the accused could have been physically present at the place of the crime nor its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission (People vs. fully justified indignation and revulsion at the commission of such a monstrous crime . which he indisputedly is in a much better position to appreciate. Hence. 14. rec. gave due consideration to his evidence as shown by the fact that in the decision of conviction. It is a recognized principle that on the matter of credibility of witnesses. appellant has not shown by evidence of any evil motive on the part of prosecution witnesses Tidon and Evangelista to testify in the manner they did. 16. 591 [1976].). 2. who wanted to impart clearly what they saw. Furthermore. it has been aptly observed that . They were men who sat on the witness stand merely to convey what they have seen and noticed then. the trial Judge examined extensively the testimonies of all the eight witnesses for the defense. this Court can do no less than to place its imprimature thereon.. bias and prejudice against the appellant after the prosecution had brought forth the fact of appellant's previous criminal conviction. 73 SCRA 583.. Vol. Juan Desilos Jr. Indeed. thus: Because of the seriousness of the offense not only because of the challenge that the perpetrator has poised upon the community the people and all citizenry because of the brazen manner of its commission. the possibility of erroneous Identification is remote. to any part or stage of the trial betraying the trial Judge's hostility. speaking with a voice full of candor and truth. As a matter of fact. III. supra). The Court cannot help but be convinced of the trustworthiness of their revelation. Alibi.WE do not agree with counsel de officio that the trial court failed to accord appellant Rudy Regala a fair trial. and We have found none. Juan Desilos Jr. And the trial Judge. Under the searching barrage of cross-examination. Roxas. Despite the fact that both witnesses before the stabbing incident did not know appellant by name. rec.). Appellant has not pointed. That is the impression these two witnesses have created in the mind of the Court.. 31. Vol. such circumstance does not vitiate witnesses' Identification of appellant Rudy Regala as the person who stabbed to death Sgt. (People vs. Their manner of replying on (sic) the question of the prosecution were those (sic) of serene honest and truthful individuals. while witness Evangelista was about a meter from the exit gate where the victim was stabbed (p. because the place at that time was well lighted by reason of the affair being celebrated (pp. WE view the trial Judge's aforequoted statements and phrases as merely an expression. The trial court correctly rejected appellant Regala's defense of alibi and denial. 84. they both declared that they knew him by face or appearance (pp. they were never ruffled but they withstood the fire with simple dignity. The absence of any such improper motive enhances the credibility of said witnesses (People vs. of the Judge's " . As a matter of fact. Vol. Roxas.). rec. Page 82 Because the trial Judge had spoken on a matter. Furthermore. rec. the trial court gave its observations on the witnesses' conduct and candor on the witness stand. And the exit gate where the stabbing took place was just in the vicinity of — about 15 meters from — the canteen where appellant was allegedly drinking beer during the night of June 12 until the early morning of the 13th. Their answer to the cross examination were (sic) given with a clear and convincing manner . Consequently. supra). Cabiling 74 SCRA 285 [1976]. Vol. III. while the quoted portions of the judgment of conviction are interspersed with statements and phrases which properly should not have been made as they may be wrongly interpreted as indicative of bias and prejudice." II 1.. which was made before several people and in the midst of the festive mood of the occasion but because of the grave penalty which the crime carries. the Court took special interest in the two witnesses for the prosecution. III. Roxas. 78. Indeed such defenses cannot prevail over the affirmative testimonies of Erlinda Tidon and Juanito Evangelista who positively Identified appellant Rudy Regala as the one who inflicted the single but fatal wound on the deceased Sgt. such aforestated statements and phrases in the judgment of conviction do not per se constitute evidence of bias and impartiality in the conduct of the trial by the trial Judge as to violate appellant's right to an impartial trial..). The clearness and simplicity of their assertion and their direct and positive Identification of the accused Rodolfo Regala alias Rudy Regala and Delfin Flores have convinced this Court (emphasis supplied). the observation of the trial court must be accorded respect and great weight in view of its special opportunity to observe closely the demeanor of the individual witnesses. 81. III. without hesitation. People vs. the two witnesses were close to the exact spot of the incident as witness Tidon was barely one-half meter from the victim (p. appellant's previous conviction of the crimes of malicious mischief and slight physical injuries was testified to only by the witness last presented by the prosecution in its evidence in chief.

. in the testimony of a witness. By intensive cross. It may be true that under normal condition.examiner may trap a witness into making statements contradicting his testimony on direct examination. Again. 26 SCRA 342. in the instant case. So appellant contends and the Solicitor General agrees. because witness Tidon may have treated the stabbing incident and the consequent commotion engendered by the same as one continuing incident. Vol. Juan Desilor Jr. WE find the aforesaid common stand correct as the evidence supports the same. methods. knowing at the same time. Alto. Hence. that more or less of what the witness actually did say is always lost in the process of transcribing. the scene of the crime was crowded or overflowing with people and consequently one cannot move fast or run (pp. where the evidence of the successful party. Consequently.). 365 [1968]). as where the trial court in the valuation of testimony misinterpreted a supposed inherent weakness thereof not arising from the behaviour of the witness on the stand . Yet. 15. rec. III. An adroit cross.examination on points not anticipated by the witness and his lawyer. his credibility on material points may be accepted. There is an inherent impossibility of determining with any degree of accuracy what credit is justly due to a witness from merely reading the words spoken by him.. instead of treating them as two separate incidents. she answered that aside from the stabbing incident no other unusual incident took place. even if there were no doubt as to the Identity of the words. a witness may be misled or trapped into making Statements that do not dovetail with the testimonies of other witnesses on the same points. it must be proven as conclusively as the act itself. if it appears that the witness has not wilfully perverted the truth. as may be gleaned from the tenor of his testimony and as appreciated by the trial Judge from his demeanor and behaviour on the witness stand. For this reason the rule is firmly established that where there is an irreconcilable conflict in the testimony. the judge who tries a case in the court below has vastly superior advantages for the ascertainment of truth and the decision of falsehood over an appellate court sitting as a court of review. the inconsistencies and incredibilities in the testimonies of the material witnesses of the prosecution as pointed out by the appellant are better left to the appreciation of the trial court. or unless there appears in the record some fact or circumstance of weight and influence which has been overlooked or the significance of which has been misinterpreted. there is generally.. Neither treachery nor evident premeditation can be properly appreciated and considered in tills instance case so as to characterize the killing as murder. especially on minor details or collateral matters. absent any unusual incident such as the killing of a peace officer. 43. means. according to the trial court. because the commotion created by the stabbing incident enabled the culprits to easily disappear among the milling throng.. was qualified as murder by the circumstances of treachery and evident premeditation and hence. However artful a corrupt witness may be. such assertion may be characterized as improbable. which has not found the same sufficient to destroy the probity of said witnesses. and hence they can never be considered by the appellate court. that is. Treachery is never presumed. 16. something in his manner or bearing on the stand that betrays him. Moreover. according to Tidon herself. The appellate court can merely follow with the eye the cold words of the witness transcribed upon the record. appellant was convicted of the complex crime of murder with assault upon an agent of a person in authority. III The killing of Sgt. Appellant contends that prosecution witness Erlinda Tidon's testimony to the effect that appellant Rudy Regala and accused Delfin Flores ran away after appellant Rudy Regala had stabbed Sgt. Juan Desilos Jr. There is no perfect or omniscient witness because there is no person with perfect faculties or senses or a perfect control of his emotions. the testimony of Erlinda Tidon to the effect that no other unusual incident occurred after the stabbing incident may not be characterized as false.. " Page 83 . is clearly sufficient to sustain the verdict (several cases cited) or unless some conclusion established from the fact is inconsistent with the court findings or there is some inherent weakness in the evidence upon which the conclusion is based. This is not so. the appellate court will not reverse the judgment of the trial court. 3. from actual experience. (People vs. That the accounts of witnesses regarding the same occurrence are contradictory on certain details is not unusual. however.. Many of the real tests of truth by which the artful witness is exposed in the very nature of things cannot be transcribed upon the record.. even improbabilities. is improbable considering that. Resayaga (54 SCRA 350 [1973]) that it is a common phenomenon to find inconsistencies. under the pressure of a skillfull cross-examination. We have noted in People vs. It must be shown that the accused employed ". But the main difficulty does not lie here. and thereby destroys the force of his testimony. or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its execution without risks to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make.. Such inconsistency or improbability is more apparent than real.. when considered by itself.

otherwise." in which We ruled that "[S]uch an allegation cannot be an adequate substitute for the essential averment to justify a conviction of the complex crime. XIV.. CFI of Quezon. Appellant can therefore be convicted only of the crime of homicide.. 3. The principle enunciated in the Manalinde (14 Phil. although proven. 96 [1919]) to the effect that premeditation may exist even if there was no predetermined victim. Certainly. aggravated by the circumstance of "in contempt or with insult to the public authorities" (par. was in complete PC uniform at the time the accused attacked him by reason of the latter's act of pushing the accused and his co-accused so as to prevent them from entering the plaza through its exit gate. did then and there wilfully. like a qualifying circumstance. rec. with deliberate intent to kill...By prosecution's own evidence. Butag (38 Phil.. in the absence of such allegation. The information in this case barely alleged that the accused "." (par. before or at the time of the assault. such knowledge must be expressly and specifically averred in the information. the required knowledge. Treachery cannot therefore be appreciated as the attack made by appellant Rudy Regala was merely an immediate retaliation for the pushing made by the deceased. there are no allegations of facts from which it can be implied that the accused then knew that. could be considered only as aggravated by being 'in contempt or with insult to the public authorities' (par. Moreover. 1975). unlawfully and feloniously attack and stab with a knife ( cuchillo) one Sgt. 2.) and was free to defend himself with it. the victim was an agent of a person in authority. there is no evidence pointing to the fact that appellant planned to kill any person who ma cross his path. Binayon (35 Phil. In the present case. XIV. Revised Penal Code) or as an insult or in disregard of the respect due the offended party on account of his rank . Juan Desilos Jr. it is well-settled that the essence of premeditation is that the execution of the criminal act must be preceded by cool thought and reflection upon the resolution to carry out the criminal intent during the space of time sufficient to arrive at a calm judgment.. XIV. Neither the record nor the appealed decision intimates the existence of the foregoing circumstances which are essential for a positive finding of evident premeditation. Revised Penal Code). Consequently.. appellant was enraged because the deceased (Sgt. it was stated that "[L]ike a qualifying circumstance. With respect to the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation.. because unlike in the latter case. 1981. which necessarily requires the imposition of the maximum period of the penalty prescribed for the graver offense . Revised Penal Code). 746 [1918]). he could have disarmed the victim first before stabbing him. does not apply in the instance case In all these cases it was sufficiently established that the accused deliberately planned to kill although without a definite person as intended victim. then pulled out his knife and stabbed the victim in the abdomen. L-35156. as in the Rodil case. In the aforesaid Rodil case. the attack on the victim. But the appellant cannot be convicted of the complex crime of homicide with assault upon an agent of a person in authority because the information filed against appellant did not allege the essential elements of assault that the accused then knew that. 3. 20. 23 [1916]) and Zalzos (40 Phil. 97.) pushed his companion Delfin Flores and admonished him not to get in through the exit gate." which is similar to the information in the aforesaid Rodil case — "appellant 'attack and stab PC Lt. Consequently. 68 SCRA 305.) while maintaining peace and order at the exit gate of the Plaza Magallanes where the crime took place. a member of the Philippine Constabulary while he was then in the performance of his official duty thereby inflicting upon the latter serious stab wounds at the mid-epigastric region penetrating abdominal cavity and perforating cardial and cardiac region which injury directly caused his instantaneous death. Rodil. 29. with evident premeditation and treachery and taking advantage of nighttime. the circumstances of the case rule out premeditation. would only be appreciated as aggravating circumstance. On the contrary. which act placed him on his guard. Juan Desilos Jr. . Juan Desilos Jr. before or at the time of the assault. If appellant's design was to be safe from a possible defense that the victim might make. Guillermo Masana while the latter was in the performance of his official duties. the fact that the crime of assault was established by the evidence of the prosecution without any objection on the part of the accused cannot likewise cure the aforestated defect in the information so as to validly convict the accused thereof. Art. Nov. Juan Desilos Jr. As already stated. III.. Art. it must be clearly established by evidence the time when the offender determined to commit the crime. 2. because to do so would be convicting the accused of a crime not properly alleged in the body of the information in violation of his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Moreover. the crime of assault was definitely demonstrated by the evidence of the People because it showed that the victim (Sgt. deceased Juan Desilos Jr. His act of bringing with him a knife in going to the plaza is not an indication that he did plan to kill anybody. at the time had a sidearm (p. who was known to the appellant as a peace officer. Vol. People vs. " Furthermore. these circumstances negate treachery. 1967). Nov. It was simple homicide. This he did not do. Revised Penal Code). Applying this principle." (par. or as an "insult or in disregard of the respect due to the offended party on account of his rank .. Art.. and a sufficient interval of time between the determination and the execution of the crime to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act. Nov. 77 [1909]). the killing of Sgt. the subject information cannot be cured or validated by the doctrine enunciated in People vs. Page 84 . (People of the Philippines vs. Branch V. by appellant cannot be qualified as murder. 28. Balbar (21 SCRA 1119. the victim was an agent of a person in authority.

CA-G. THE JUDGMENT APPEALED FROM HIS HEREBY AFFIRMED IN ALL OTHER RESPECTS. p.A. and People vs. on account of their rank (as well as age or sex). 1957. which is patently greater than and includes the school premises or the town clinic or barrio. 317). grade.. a municipal mayor barrio captain. People. this Court ruled that the term public authority refers to a person in authority and that a PC lieutenant or town chief of police is not a public authority but merely an agent of a person in authority. nurse. Page 85 . 228).S. O. Words and Phrases.— The Revised Penal Code Annotated. 307. Verzo (21 SCRA 1403). deserve to be respected. So is the town municipal health officer (People vs. those "generally considered of high station in life. or in any scale of comparison. Permanent Edition. or to a graded official standing or social position or station (75 CJS 458). (19 Phil. a municipal councilor or an agent of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (People vs. The lawmaker could have easily utilized the term "persons in authority" in the aforesaid paragraph 2 of Article 14 in much the same way that it employed the said phrase in Articles 148 and 152. People vs. 109).A. 11 p. Siojo(61 Phil. whenever there is a difference in social condition between the offender and the offended party. xxx xxx xxx While it is true that in the case of U. 1955. The town chief of police heads and supervises the entire police force in the municipality as well as exercises his authority over the entire territory of the municipality. relative position in civil or social life. more than the aforementioned officials who cannot prosecute and who are not even enjoined to arrest malefactors although specifically mentioned as persons in authority by the decided cases and by Article 152 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by R. Quebral. the guilt of appellant is aggravated by recidivism as he was previously sentenced by final judgment for slight physical injuries. The lawmaker must have intended a different meaning for the term public authority. but not limited to. AND HE IS HEREBY SENTENCED TO SUFFER AN INDETERMINATE TERM OF IMPRISONMENT RANGING FROM TWELVE (12) YEARS OF PRISON MAYOR AS MINIMUM TO TWENTY (20) YEARS OF RECLUSION TEMPORAL AS MAXIMUM: THUS MODIFIED. Rodriguez. 640). Reyes. People vs. or insult to. public authority under paragraph 2 of Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code can likewise be appreciated in the case at bar. then of the Court of Appeals. xxx xxx xxx or to a grade or official standing. 24). 150. et al. 73 Phil. APPELLANT RODOLFO REGALA ALIAS RUDY REGALA IS HEREBY FOUND GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME OF HOMICIDE AGGRAVATED BY RECIDIVISM AND BY CONTEMPT FOR OR INSULT TO A PUBLIC AUTHORITY OR DISREGARD OF THE RESPECT DUE THE OFFENDED PARTY ON ACCOUNT OF HIS RANK. including its grade. Justice Mariano Albert.S.. for he is vested with jurisdiction or authority to maintain peace and order and is specifically duty bound to prosecute and to apprehend violators of the laws and municipal ordinances. 1978 of June 22. Therefore. No. p. persons in authority. xxx xxx xxx As explained by Mr. is limited. Under the decided cases. status or scale of comparison within a position (Vol. which may however include. barrio lieutenant or barangay captain is a person in authority or a public authority. xxx xxx xxx The aggravating circumstance of contempt of. this aggravating circumstance sometimes is present" (Albert M. or barrio lieutenant. 100). et al. 36. and as suck refers to a high social position or standing as a grade in the armed forces (Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged. 1946 Ed. ordinary meaning.. status. 90 Phil. vs. 8522-R. p. thus: The term "rank" should be given its plain. 157-158). as well as a nurse. Likewise. respectively. Yosoya. Even a public school teacher is now considered a person in authority under CA 578 amending Article 152 of the Revised Penal Code (Sarcepudes vs. et al. there is need of reexamining such a ruling since it is not justified by the employment of the term public authority in aforesaid paragraph 2 of Article 14 instead of the term person in authority which is specifically used in Articles 148 and 152 of the Revised Penal Code. May 26. to which small area the authority or jurisdiction of the teacher.R.G. WITHOUT ANY MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE. The chief of police should therefore be considered a public authority or a person in authority. 1881).WE stated in the Rodil case. There is no extended reasoning of the doctrine enunciated in the aforesaid three (3) cases why the phrase public authority should comprehend only persons in authority. WHEREFORE.

. HEIRS OF LICERIO P. Voucher No.(21) THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.. offended party-appellee. SUPPLY CO. The middle part of the voucher contains five numbered printed paragraphs..." This is signed by the provincial treasurer. The falsity of that provincial voucher is proven by the following intances: Page 86 .727.. . In the instant cases paragraph 1 was not signed presumably because it is not relevant to the purchase of materials for public works projects.. Paragraph 4 is a certification which. defendants. Treasurer. . That part is supposed to be signed by two officials of the provincial engineer's office and by the governor's representative. Paragraph 1 is a certificate to be signed by the creditor." Voucher No.. Paragraph 5 is a certification signed by the provincial treasurer that the account mentioned in the provincial engineer's certification "was paid in the amount and on the date shown below and is chargeable as shown in the summary hereof... the prosecution's theory is that in 1969 Licerio P.. 1969. SENDAYDIEGO. JUAN SAMSON anddefendant-appellant. 1978] AQUINO. 1969. SENDAYDIEGO. the provincial auditor.. J. Samson also signed on the left margin of the six vouchers below the stamped words: "Presented to Prov. L-33254 & G. 10724 dated February 28.. L-33253 January 20. PROVINCE OF PANGASINAN.52 to the Carried Construction Supply Co. appropriations and funds being available therefore. a point which is disputed by him): Received this 31st day of March.. evidences the payment of PI 6. the provincial treasurer of Pangasinan.727. defendants-appellants..52) in cash or in check. JUAN SAMSON and ANASTACIO QUIRIMIT.." It may be noted that the provincial treasurer signs two part of the voucher. the receipt reads (it was signed according to the prosecution by Juan Samson. plaintiff-appellee. Sendaydiego. CARRIED CONSTR.. This is signed by the auditor. Following paragraph 5. — This Provincial voucher.52) in full payment of the above stated account.. an employee of a lumber and hardware store in Dagupan City. K). and as referred to therein. No. is the receipt of the signed by the creditor. Paid by Check No. The voucher makes reference to invoice No.23. in conspiracy with Juan Samson y Galvan. from L P. as an accomplice.. as filed up in Exhibit K.) JUAN SAMSON According to the prosecution.* [G.. 10724 (Exh. vs. dated February 28. Paragraph 2 is a certification that the expenses are correct and have been lawfully incurred. By Juan Samson. reads: I certify that this voucher has been pre-audited and same may be paid in the amount of sixteen thought seven hundred twenty-seven and 52/100 (P16. Paragraph 3 contains these words: "Approved for pre-audit and payment. used six (6) forged provincial vouchers in order to embezzle from the road and bridge fund the total sum of P57... vs. In the upper part with the legend "ARTICLE OR SERVICE" the nature of the obligation incurred is indicated. It is stated therein that the creditor vouches that the expenses "were actually and necessarily incurred". and with Anastacio Quirimit.. The provincial voucher in these cases has several parts.... which I hereby certify to be correct.: In these three cases of malversation through falsification. 1969....048.... Province of Pangasinan the sum of seven hundred twenty-seven pesos & 52/100 (16..LICERIO P. It is signed by the provincial engineer. Sendaydiego. K). of Dagupan City for lumber and hardware materials supposedly used in the repair of the bridge in Barrio Libertad at the Umingan-Tayug road in Pangasinan along the Nueva Ecija boundary (Exh.R.. 3327 and other supporting papers.R. ..727. No. By: (Sgd. provided there is sufficient fund cover the payment. As accomplished in Exhibit K.

290. chief of equipment of the governor's office. Probincias. (4) Voucher No. R). 11872 dated April 15. Manuel the checker of the provincial auditor's office. K). Oropilla denied that his alleged signature on Exhibit B is his signature. S). 1969 (Exh. Other five forged voucher. Mencias. are their genuine signatures. is not the imprint of the genuine rubber stamp used in Primicias office. 1969 (Exh. a district forester..81 for number and hardware materials allegedly used in the repair of Bayaoas bridge at the Urbiztondo-Pasibi Road (Exh. K). (g) That three other documents.64 for lumber and hardware materials allegedly used in the repair of the Casabar bridge at the Binalonan-San Manuel Road (Exh. Mencias. denied that his signatures in Exhibits D and E are his signatures. (5) Voucher No. As in the case of voucher No.28 'or lumber and hardware materials allegedly used in the repair of the Panganiban bridge at the UminganTayug Road (Exh. (2) Voucher No. These four office denied that their signatures in the two vouchers. These five vouchers are the following: (1) Voucher No. 1969 evidencing the payment of P9. and Primicias declared that their signatures in the said five vouchers are not their genuine signatures.187. 11870 dated April 28. those supporting papers could not be presented in evidence. supervising civil engineer Victoriano M. Martinez. 1969. A-10). (b) That the amount of P16. (c) That the lumber and materials mentioned in Exhibit K were never delivered by the company to the provincial government (d) That in the provincial voucher. A). dated February 18. is fake because. 1969 evidencing the Payment of P4.769. (f) That charge invoice No. containing the words "Approved: For and By Authority of the Governor (signed) Ricardo B. B). the company's invoice No. 11995 dated April 29. for lumber and hardware materials supposingly used in the repair of other bridges were also falsified. C) stating that no tax is due on the goods sold in the fake invoice No. Q). Z). and in the supporting requisition and issue voucher (RIV) No. 3327 was issued to the Mountain Agricultural College (Exh. Exhibits A and B. Narciso P. the company's assistant manager.501. 10724 (Exh. who hand-carried the said vouchers for processing. 1969 (Exh. — Five other provincial vouchers evidencing supposed payments of certain amounts to the Carried Construction Supply Co. denied that his signature on the left margin is his signature (Exh. acting provincial engineer. (e) That the imprint of the rubber stamp on Exhibits A and B. O). 10724 (Exh. The forged character of provincial voucher No. Rodolfo P. 11871 dated April 15. the aforementioned assistant manager of the Carried Construction Supply Co. Those documents are the taxpayer's cate dated February 10. 3025 of the company dated March. Exhibit K.52 was never received by the Carried Construction Supply Co The alleged official receipt No. (h) That Angelo C.38 for lumber and hardware materials allegedly used in the repair of the Baracbac bridge at the Umingan-Guimba Road (Exh.(a) That there was no project for the repair of the bridge at Barrio Libertad (P. 1969 evidencing the payment of P6. (Exh. and Ricardo B. Exh. containing a description and the prices of the lumber and hardware material (Exh.60 for lumber and hardware materials allegedly used in the repair of the Cabatuan bridge at the Umingan-Guimba Road (Exh. II-1). were also forged. Samson. D and E). supporting the provincial voucher (Exh. K-6) is forged. Oropilla senior civil engineer. 3327 and the two certificates as to the samples of lumber allegedly purchased from the Carried Construction Supply Co. 1969 evidencing the payment of P14. K) is incontrovertible.571. The charge invoices Page 87 . P) (3) Voucher No. 11869 dated April 15. 1. 2206 dated January 29. Chief of Equipment". Jabanes. covering the same lumber and hardware ma the signatures of the following office were forged: Salvador F. Hence. testified that the lumber and hardware materials mentioned in the five vouchers were never delivered by his company to the provincial government. 1969 evidencing the payment of P5.727. 3327 of the Carried Construction Supply Co.. Sevilleja. Primicias. did not turn over to the provincial auditor's office the papers supporting the said vouchers after the vouchers had been pre-audited. according to Ambrosio Jabanes. Oropilla.

his assistant. (Exh. Sendaydiego testified that Samson's signatures are genuine. 2. 11869.60. DD). 11869. 11871 dated April 15 (two dates) 28 and 15.28. He received the payments on March 31 and April 29 and 28 (four payments on that date) as shown on the face of the vouchers. He resigned and worked with several firms doing business with the provincial government. The projected repairs of the bridges were fictitious. Samson brought them to Ricardo Baraan. O).38 (four vouchers. From Baraan's office. the ledger clerk in the provincial engineer's office. Sendaydiego. He asked Virginia Cruz. Thereafter. The genuine receipts do not refer to transactions with the provincial government. Criminal Case No. the book-keeper of the provincial treasurer's office for processing and for the latter's signature (Exh. Samson played a stellar role in the processing of the six vouchers. The receipts evidencing payments (Exh. OO to TT) and that he presented the vouchers to the provincial s treasurer 's office (Exh. After trial the lower court acquitted the auditor. P9. L-33252. P6. for recording and for her signature (Ekh.290. 23351 involving provincial voucher No. Criminal Case No. He used to be an employee of the pro treasurer's office. recorded Vouchers Nos.571. Crusade said that after Samson had presented the said papers to him. with their respective supporting papers.mentioned in the said vouchers were cancelled invoices issued to the Mountain Agricultural College. Samson asked Donato Rosete the assistant provincial treasurer. The company's cashier testified that the company never received the payments for the lumber and hardware materials. R and S). 23349 involving provincial voucher No.52 (Exh. Samson hand-carried the vouchers to the provincial auditor's office. Criminal Case No. In 1969 he was the collector of the Carried Construction Supply Co. EE). 6-12 — Samson). 3. LL to LL-7) bearing the serial numbers of the fake receipts. WW). He represented that firm in its dealings with the offices of the governor. P. K-6. Exh. He delivered the papers to Carmencita Castillo. a clerk to record the same (Exh. X). Sendaydiego's defense is that he signed the vouchers in the honest belief that the signatures therein of the provincial office concerned were genuine because the voucher had been pre-audited and approved by the auditor. In connection with the six vouchers. The cashier produced in court the genuine official receipts (Exh. 11955 dated April 29. The signature of Sendaydiego and Quirimit. KK to KK-4 are fake official receipts. Quirimit and found Sendaydiego and Samnson guilty of malversation through falsification of public or official documents imposing each of the following penalties: Page 88 . the auditor. Samson went to the provincial treasurer's office where the amounts covered by the voucher were paid by Sendaydiego to him in cash (instead of by check) as representative of the Carried Construction Supply Co.501. 10724 dated February 28. Q. now L-33254. 1969 in the sum of P16. CC).81 (Exh. were hand-carried by Samson.187. 11870. Samson signed on the left margin of the vouchers to indicate that he presented them to the provincial t r's office. 11871 and 11872 (Exh. Samson denied the authenticity of his two signatures on each of the six vouchers showing that he received from Sendaydiego the amounts covered thereby as representative of the lumber and hardware firm (Exh. Samson brought the papers to the provincial treasurer's office. 23350 involving provincial vouchers Nos. on the said six vouchers are admittedly authentic.769-64 and P4. a laborer in that office who performed the chore of recording the vouchers and payrolls. P. Samson and Quirimit were charged with malversation through falsification in three docketed as follows: 1. The six (6) forged provincial vouchers. provincial auditor. Marcelo Crusade. R and S). 1969 for the respective amounts of P5. now L-33253. provincial engineer and provincial treasurer. to initialled the voucher After Rosete had initialled the vouchers. Sendaydiego signed the vouchers ahead of Rosete. Afterwards. Crusadas initials appear on the upper lefthand corner of the said vouchers with the date 4/17/69. He was personally known to those provincial officials and the employees of their offices (21-22 Sendaydiego's brief). 1969 in the sum of P14.7Z7.

727. and a fine of P14. The civil action for the civil liability is separate and distinct from the criminal action (People and Manuel vs. 1287. (2) In Criminal Case No.Province of Pangasinan vs. 21.81 and to indemnify solidarity the provincial government of Pangasinan in the same amount. When the action is for the recovery of money and the defendant dies before final judgment in the Court of First Instance. as minimum. The civil action for the civil liability is deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal action in the absence of express waiver or its reservation in a separate action (Sec. 230. he had a wife and ten children named Arturo. Said heirs or administrator will be substituted for the deceased insofar as the civil action for the civil liability is concerned (Secs. it shall be dismissed to be prosecuted in the manner especially provided' in Rule 87 of the Rules of Court (Sec.487 and in the brief for said appellant. 1975. 16 and 17. as minimum. 67 SCRA 394). 1. Aida.571.. The implication is that. 23349. in determining his civil liability.. to eighteen years. The claim of complainant Province of Pangasinan for the civil liability survived Sendaydiego because his death occurred after final judgment was rendered by the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. Nola. two months and twenty-one days of reclusion temporal. Codigo Penal. to eighteen year two months and twenty-one days of reclusion temporal as maximum . if the defendant dies after a money judgment had been rendered against him by the Court of First Instance. Elvina. Page 89 . 66 Phil. 583). Sendaydiego . 1 Viada. In view of the foregoing.048. the action survives him. the penalty of reclusion perpetua and a fine of P29. Rule 3. De la Cruz. 1977 dismissing Sendaydiego's appeal read s follows: The death of appellant Sendaydiego during the pendency of his appeal or before the judgment of conviction rendered against him by the lower court became final and executory extinguished his criminal liability meaning his obligation to serve the personal or imprisonment penalties and his liability to pay the fines or pecuniary penalties (Art. The resolution of July 8. for that purpose. which convicted him of three complex crimes of malversation through falsification and ordered him to indemnify the Province in the total sum of P61. there is no specific assignment of error affecting the civil liability fixed by the trial court. Sendaydiego died on October 5. The accountable public officer may still be civilly liable for the funds improperly disbursed although he has no criminal liability (U S. ten months and twenty-one days.748. 107 Phil. as maximum. thus making applicable.048. Court of Appeals. Tugab. 8). an indeterminate sentence of twelve years. 89[1]. Rules of Court). Coloma.) and. an indeterminate sentence of twelve years. as if no criminal case had been instituted against him. Wilfredo and Manolo (deceased). 23350. 1970 for the sum of P36.23). 1976.90 and to indemnify solidarily the provincial government of Pangasinan in the same amount. Regulo. Prospero. His appeal as to his criminal liability was dismissed. Death extinguished his criminal liability remained. L-40336. Sendaydiego and Samson appealed to this Court. 105 Phil. the Court Resolved to continue exercising appellate jurisdiction over his possible civil liability for the money claims of the Province of Pangasinan arising from the alleged criminal acts complained of. Article 30 of the Civil Code (Note: The lower court had issued an order of attachment against him on January 13.(1) In Criminal Case No.23 (should be P57. Cesar. Revised Penal Code. The title of this case should be amended to show its civil aspect by adding thereto the following. Philippine National Bank vs. Heirs of Licerio P. According to Sendaydiego's brief. 24 Phil. 565). Eduardo. ten months and twenty-one-days. October 24. Jr.52 and to indemnify solidarity the provincial government of Pangasinan in the same amount. vs. his counsel is directed to inform this Court within ten (10) days of the names and addresses of the decedent's heirs or whether or not his estate is under administration and has a duly appointed judicial administrator. and a fine of P16. and (3) In Criminal Case No. Licerio. notwithstanding the dismissal of the appeal of the deceased Sendaydiego insofar as his criminal liability is concerned. Rule 3 of the Rules of Court). 4th Ed. Rule 111 of the Rules of court). It may be continued on appeal (Torrijos vs. Roa vs. 23351.

Rules of Court. pre-judgment. contrary to the usual procedure. Record of Criminal Case No. Millora. a senior member of the provincial board actually handled the prosecution of the case from the preliminary investigation. wherein he assails the imposition of reclusion perpetua as a cruel and unusual penalty and wherein it is argued that there is no complex crime of malversation through falsification committed by negligence. approached Rosete after he (Samson) had Page 90 . the city fiscal or an assistant fiscal were present together with the private prosecutor. the offended party. we believe that there was substantial compliance with the rule that the criminal action should be "prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal" and that "the provincial fiscal shall represent the province" in any court (Sec. 1969. it is contended that the trial court erred in allowing private prosecutors Millora and Urbiztondo to prosecute the case thereby allegledly subjecting the accused to proceedings marked by undue publicity. as already adverted to. Donato N. the private prosecutor. that the provincial treasurer. Millora replied that there was a board resolution designating him as a private prosecutor. who filed the complaints manifested to the trial court that he had authorized Atty. The observation of Sendaydiego's counsel. Rosete adhered to that unusual procedure because the interested party. Urbiztondo be authorized to examine the prosecution witnesses under his supervision and control The trial court granted the motion (155 tsn). At the hearing on April 23. evinced "malice or fraud and that there must have been connivance between" the two. Vicente D. Atty. which started on June 5. is not well-founded. up to the termination of the trial on July 29. appeared for the prosecution. bias and political interest which attended the proceedings ". 40. that the imposition of reclusion perpetua "could have been the result of the undue publicity. At the commencement of the trial on February 23. The unassailable probative value of the documents involved rather than bias and prejudice. 1969. The other seven assigmments of error made by Sendaydiego's counsel refer to the trial court's conclusion that Sendaydiego and Samson are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of malversation through falsification or. an assistant provincial fiscal and Atty. Several lances indicate that Sendaydiego conspired with Samson. At the commencement of the preliminary investigation. the provincial fiscal of Pangasinan and the city final of Dagupan City filed three informations against the accused all dated November 4. Under the foregoing circumstances. 1970 the same city fiscal moved that Atty. 1969). And. the assistant provincial treasurer. The evidence in the three cases is mainly documentary. The trial court's decision dispels any doubt as to its impartiality. The acting provincial commander. 1970 the city fiscal. Another defense counsel filed a written motion to inhibit Millora and the others as private prosecutors. Moreover. as will be shown later. Millora to act as private prosecutor (4-8 tsn June 5.4. Sendaydiego's death had rendered moot the issue as to the propriety of the imposition of reclusion perpetua. in signing the six vouchers. he affixed his initial to paragraph 3 of the vouchers after Sendaydiego had signed it. 1970. — In view of Sendaydiego's death. The city fiscal moved "that the private prosecutor (Millora) be authorized to conduct the examination subject to our (the fiscal's) control and supervision". Samson who hand-carried the vouchers. The trial court granted the motion (7 tsn). the counsel for the accused auditor inquired whether Atty. 1969 (p. The lower court denied the motion in its order of June 18. it is not necessary to resolve his first two assignments of error. In the third assignment of error. bias and political self-interest. testified that. Millora. reclusion perpetua cannot be imposed in these cases because the crimes committed were not complex. Millora was authorized by the provincial board to act as private prosecutor in representation of the province of Pangasinan. Revised Administrative Code). 23350). specifically.Sendaydiego's appeal will be resolved only for the purpose of showing his criminal liability which is the basis of the civil liability for which his estate would be liable for which his estate would be liable. was the decisive factor on which the trial court anchored the judgment of conviction. civil liability of his estate. The record shows that at every hearing the provincial fiscal. Rule 110. Atty. Rosete. Sendaydiedo's appeal. After the termination of the p investigation conducted by the lower court. sec. prejudgment. 1683.

Rosete was in a position to state that the cash payments were made to Samson in the treasurers inner office because his table was near the main door of the treasurers office or was about fifteen meters away (18 tsn). he would be holding the voucher (12-13 tsn). Page 91 . That indication was made by means of the symbol "A-1-1" placed at the bottom of the vouchers under the column "Account Number". The space in the vouchers for the signature of the witness. 1969). Rosete always knew when the cashier went to the treasurers office because the cashier was oned by means of a buzzer (long buzz). Sendaydiego's counsel that no gross negligence can be imputed to the treasurer (malversation is a crime which can be committed by means of dolo or culpa and the penalty in either case is the same). therefore. For that reason the auditor was charged only as an accomplice. We see no merit in that contention because the evidence for the prosecution against Sendaydiego is not the same as its evidence against the auditor. Napoleon Ulanday. Pulido (Exh. if the payments had been made by means of checks. The cash payments were made to Samson in the inner office of the provincial treasurer where the cashier was summoned to make the cash payments (11-12 ton July 9. because the trial court acquitted the auditor. Carried Construction Supply Co. 1969). After the treasurer had signed the voucher. Rosete's duty to initial it was only ministerial (75 tsn July 3. The auditor based his defense on the undeniable fact that the treasurer had approved the six vouchers "for preaudit and payment" before they were passed upon by the auditor. p. the civil liability fo his estate for the amounts malversed was duly substantial. As noted by the trial court. We are convinced after a minutiose examination of the documentary and oral evidence and an unprejudiced consideration of the arguments of Sendaydiego's counsel that his criminal liability was established beyond reasonable doubt and. who should be present when the payments were received. On May 27. whereas. the assistant provincial treasurer. 1969. There were instances when the treasurer insisted on payment by check to creditors other than Juan Samson. Ulanday died before the preliminary investigation was started. In short. authorizing him to receive the payments. EE). Sendaydiego's counsel assails the lower court's finding that there was a conspiracy between the provincial and Samson as shown by the fact that the amounts covered by the vouchers were paid to Samson by the cashier in the treasurer's inner office. That point was testified to by Rosete. the auditor was misled by the treasurer's certification which the auditor apparently assumed to have been made in good faith when in truth it was made in bad faith.. he wrote a letter to the provincial . would have been the beet witness on how and where the payments were made. stating that he paid to Samson the amounts covered by five vouchers in the of Salazar K. Misal and Josefina E. The company on receiving the checks would have returned them to the treasurer because it knew that there was no reason to make any payments at all. 1969. The trial court said that the cash payments prove Sendaydiego's collusion with Samson. 11. Another apt observation of the trial court is that the forged character of the six vouchers would have been unmasked by the supposed creditor. The cash payments were made to Samson even if Samson had no power of attorney from the Carried Construction Supply Co. The bookkeeper was in. 13). The bookkeeper in the treasurer's office testified that he indicated in the vouchers that the amounts covered thereby should be paid in cash. it was unusual that the payments should be made in the treasurer's office when that was a ministerial chore of the cashier. then the treasurer's exoneration follows as a matter of course. the treasurer was charged as a principal. The treasurer did not bother to have a witness to attest to the payments or to require the exhibition of Samson's residence certificate. and when the cashier came out of the treasurer's office. However. This argument does not deserve serious consideration because the facts proven by the prosecution show that he had a tieup with Samson and that he acted maliciously in signing the six questioned vouchers.conferred with the provincial treasurer and Samson told Rosete to initial the voucher because it was areglado na (already settled) since the treasurer had already signed the voucher (54 tsn July 3. Exh. Rosete's testimony and affidavit confute appellant Sendaydiego's contention that the trial court erred in finding that he signed the questioned vouchers before Rosete had placed his initial in them. The cashier. was blank. instructed by Samson to place that symbol Samson told him that he (Samson) had an understanding with Treausrer Sendaydiego that the payment should be made in cas. after the anomalies were unearthed. The last contention put forward for Sendaydiego is that.

His supposed genuine signatures found in his residence certificates. 350. Judge Bello tried the case fairly. and as a gesture of delivadeza" because he had conducted the preliminary investigation. Fernandez. we find that the expert is correct in declaring that (as admitted by the trial court) there are radical differences between the questioned and authentic signatures. who conducted the preliminary investigation. 86 Phil. 834. The expert concluded that the questioned signatures and the exemplar signatures of Samson were not written by one and the same person (Exh. We cannot assume that judges as a rule are opinionated and narrow-minded insomuch that they would invariably be iron-bound by their findings at the preliminary investigation. The assumption is that the inferior court can try the case without any ingrained bias or undue prejudice. Rule 112 of the Rules of court. The inferior court has the option to try the case on the merits (People vs. the questioned signatures used in Samson's transactions with the provincial government are in angular form. 196). 1969). Robles. the expert admitted that a person may have two forms of signature (186 tsn July 16. Section 13. is similar to a situation where an inferior court conducts a preliminary investigation of a grave or less grave offense falling within the concurrent jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance and tghe inferior court. 224. who conducts a preliminary investigation and then tries the case on the merits. in the interest of justice. The surname Samson is encircled. Samson was consistent in his fakeries. retired chief of the Constabulary crime laboratory. could impartially try the case on the merits. 1970. Our searching study of the recrod fails to sustain Samson's insinuation that he was prejudiced by the fact that Judge. After examining the questioned and genuine signatures and analysing the evidence and contentions of the parties. he used therein his fake signature.. Colicio. was the one who tried the case and convicted him. 87 Phil. Page 92 . In such a case. Signatures may be deliberately disguised with the dishonest intention of denying the same as and when necessary (Mehta. and in relying on circumstantial evidence as proof of conspiracy. a handwriting expert. The rule assumes that the Judge. 1970). 20). K-6. as directed by the Court. through Lieutenant Colonel Jose G. stating that the amounts covered by the six vouchers were received by him (Exh. in allowing a Court of First Instance to conduct a preliminary investigation. He contends that the trial court erred in disregarding the expert testimony that his signatures on the vouchers are not his signature. Bello should have inhibited himself "in fairness to the accused. 4th Ed. Sendaydiego himself testified that the questioned signatures of Samson in the six vouchers were Samson's signatures (94-99 tsn July 31. who conducted the preliminary investigation. p. Samson argues that Judge Eloy B. and the questioned signatures terminate in angular and horizontal strokes. Suspect Documents 418-419). 88 Phil. Identification of Handwriting and Cross Examination of Experts. Natividad vs. As a preliminary issue. Palmon. His conduct of the trial does not show that he had already prejudged their guilt. Harrison. — Samson's brief has no statement of facts. On the other hand. his surname is not encircled. had filed the corresponding information. KK to KK-4). in finding that he forged the vouchers and received the proceeds thereof. that his signatures on the vouchers are not his signatures. The case of a Judge of the Court of First Instance. does not disqualify it from trying the case after it had found probable cause and after the fiscal. The truth is that Samson used two forms of signature. But the expert is in error in concluding that Samson did not forge the questioned signatures or in implying that Samson had no hand in the writing thereof. Fernandez found that the questioned signatures and the alleged genuine signatures (exemplars) of Samson have fundamental differences. pp. Samson sought to prove. are "in an arcade form or rounded form of writing".. People vsw. or the signature which is different from his signature in genuine documents.Samson's appeal. Knowing that the six vouchers evidenced fictitious transactions. the inferior court after terminating the preliminary investigation is not obligated (por delivadeza) to remand the case to the Court of First Instance for trial. income tax returns and the genuine office receipt of the Carried Construction Supply Co. He used his forged signatures in the six fake official receipts of the Carried Construction Supply Co.

23. March 31. that the finding as to his guilt is based on a shaky foundation or is predicated on circumstances which wre not proven. HH). and therefore. P. 338 People vs.048. HH). L-21846. 49 Phil. 23 paid under the six vouchers "was really misappropriated".. is not correct. People vs. the presumption is that he is the material author of the falsification. hand-carried the vouchers in question to the offices of the provincial engineer. The six vouchers appear to be fake principally because they evidence fictitious sales of construction materials. 26. Recapitulations. In the absence of a satisfactory explanation. the handwriting expert. vs. De Lara. Exhibit K. 45 Phil. stating that proceeds thereof were paid to Samson but Sendaydiego did not sign the same certification in the other five forged vouchers. that "the trial court made absolutely no finding of any supposed conspiracy' between Samson and Sendaydiego. Carried Construction Supply Co.. 453. Exhibits O. Samson's contention that the trial court merely conjectured that he had received the proceeds of the vouchers is not well taken. People vs.23. Court of Appeals. Under the said circumstances. it appears that the provincial treasurer wants to base his exculpation on his belief that in the six vouchers the signatures of Samson and the officials in the provincial engineer's office appeared to be genuine and on the fact that the Page 93 .Caragao. as the representative or collector of the supposed creditor. p. that the materials shown in the six vouchers were never delivered by the company (Exh. Q. We have already noted that the trial court explicitly stated that the circumstance that Sendaydiego signed the six vouchers ahead of his assistant shows that there was "malice or fraud" on the part of Sendaydiego and that there was conivance between Samson and Sendaydiego when the proceeds of the vouchers were paid to Samson in Sendaydiego's inner office.. People vs. or to have close connection with the forgers. As to the question of conspiracy. And Leticia Sevilleja (wife of the provincial engineer). R and S). He asserts that the six vouchers are genuine (although he contends that his signatures thereon are forgeries) and that there is no proof that the amounts covered thereby were not paid for the construction materials shown in the six vouchers were never delivered by the company (Exh. The trial court said that the fact that Sendaydiego allowed payment in cash shows "his collission with Samson (Ibid. This is especially true if the use or uttering of the forged documents was so closely connected in time with the forgery that the user or possessor may be proven to have the capacity of committing the forgery. Manansala. one who is found in possession of a forged document and who used or uttered it is presumed to be the forger (Alarcon vs. 105 Phil. is not correct.048. declared that the questioned signatures of Samson in the vouchers were written by only one person (264-265 tsn July 16.S. 754. People vs. 1969.Fernandez. 26). Samson's use of one form of signature for his crooked transactions with the provincial government and another form of signatures of his valid transactions or papers shows the deviousness of the falsifications perpetrated in these cases. Appendix to Samson's brief). 1970). Domingo. December 27. The trial court's finding on that point is based on very strong circumstantial evidence (assuming that it was not proven that Samson signed the vouchers). treasurer and auditor and then back to the treasurer's office for payment. Astudillo. instead of in the cashier's office (p. L-28258. He actually received the cash payments. it cannot be contended that there was no malversation after Sendaydiego admtte that Samson acknowledged in the six vouchers that he received from Treasurer Sendaydiego the total sum of P57. who was employed as cashier of the carried Construction Supply Co. had complicity in the forgery. These contentions appear to be untenable in thelight of the declaration of Jabanes. (U. taking advantage of it and profiting thereby. The assertion of Samson's counsel on pgae 29 of his brief. 30 SCRA 993). (Note that Sendaydiego signed the certification in the first voucher. 28. 1253).. — In resume. Decision. 1967. 19 SCRA 688. 6 Phil. denied that Samson turned over to the company the proceeds of the six vouchers which he was supposed to have collected for the company from Sendaydiego. the alleged supplier. Samson vehemently argues that there is no evidence that the total sum of P57. Samson is presumed to be the forger of the vouchers. the statement of Samson's on page 19 of his brief. Castillo. 60 Phil. The rule is that if a person had in his possession a falsified document and be made use of it (uttered it). The evidence conclusively proves that Samson. the assistant manager of Carried Construction Supply Co. Under those circumstances.

P473. These conflicting versions of the treasurer and Samson have to be resolved in the light of the inexpugnable fact that Samson had handcarried the voucehrs and followed up their processing in the offices of the provicial government the construction materials described in the six vouchers and denied having received from Samson the prices of the alleged sales. The tresurer claimed that he acted in good faith in approving the payments of the proceeds of the vouchers to Samson as the representative of the supplier. 671. Each falsification and each malversation constituted independent offenses which must be punished separately. People vs. denied that he received the said amounts from the cashier of the treasurer's office. It is settled that if the falsification was resorted to for the purpose of hiding the malversation. 58 Phil. The crimes committed in these three cases are not complex. As a matter of fact. Samson. Carried Construction Co. were appropriated and taken from the municipal funds. Four distinct penalties were imposed. Each falsification of a voucher constitutes one crime. He is a co-principal in the six crimes of malversation because he conspired with the provincial treasurer in committing those offenses. Villanueva. People vs. Madrigal-Gonzales. 66 Phil 354. It was held in the Regis case. The trial court correctly ruled that a private person conspiring with an accountable public officer in committing malversation is also Page 94 . People vs. as the custodian than of the money forming part of the road and bridge could have malversed or misappropriated it without falsifiying any voucher. Geralde 52 Phil.60. by impugning his signatures in the vouchers. Regis. the municipal treasurer made it appear in two official payrolls dated April . 956). In the six vouchers the falsification was used to conceal the malversation.30 and May 2. 67 Phil. And each misappropriation as evidenced by a provincial voucher constitutes a separate crimes of malversation were committed. no such work was done in the said street project and the persons mentioned in both payrolls had not performed any labor. Cebu. The result is the Samson's denial of his signatures in the six vouchers and in the six receipts (Exh. — The trial court and the assumed that three complex crimes of malversation through falsification of public documents were committed in this case. Separate crimes of falsification and malversation were committed. Penalties.auditor had approved the vouchers. Cid. That assumption is wrong. the falsification and malversation are separate offenses (People vs. 43). On the other hand. 117 Phil. In the Regis case. 1931 that some persons worked as laborers in a certain street project at Pinamungahan. These are not cases where the execution of a single act constitutes two grave or less grave felonies or where the falsification was used as a means to commit malversation. In the instant cases. As already stated. Appellant Samson is a co-principal in each of the said twelve offenses. he is presumed to be the author of the falsification because he was in possession of the forged vouchers and he used them in order to receive public monies from the provincial treasurer. the provincial . supra where the modus operandi is similar to the instant cases. The falsifications cannot be regarded as constituting one continuing offense impelled by a single criminal impulse. The unavoidable conclusion is that Sendaydiego and Samson were in cahoots to defraud the provincial government and to camouflage the defraudation by means of the six vouchers which have some genuine features and which appear to be extrinsically authentic but which were intrinsically fake. The falsification was used as a device to prevent detection of the malversation. In that way. K-6 and KK to KK-4) and the provicial treasurer's pretension of having acted in good faith or having committed an honest mistake have to be disbelieved.70 and P271. The falsification of six vouchers constitutes six separate or distinct offenses (People vs. 1000. The municipal treasurer was convicted of two falsifications and two malversations. the two amounts covered by the payrolls. that the falsification and malversation did not constitute a complex crime because the falsifications were not necessary means for the co on of the malversations.

In each of the malversation cases. and to indemnify the province of Pangasinan in the same amount (Criminal Case No. 11870 (Exh. For the malversation of the sum of P5. Samson is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of five (5) years of prision correccional maximum. Samson is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of twelve (12) years of prision mayor maximum. U. K. as maximum. L-33252). the penalty provided in paragraph 4 of article 217 is reclusion temporal medium and maximum. as minimum. as minimum. as minimum. L-33253).52. Samson is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of five (5) years of prision correccional maximum. to eight (8) of prision mayorminimum.290.501. as maximum.727. Ponte.28. to pay a fine of P6.64. as maximum.28. Note that a different rule prevails with respect to a stranger taking part in the commission of parricide or qualified theft. Samson is entitled to an indeterminate sentence. and to indemnify the province of Pangasinan in the same amount (Criminal Case No. People vs. he is sentenced to the following penalties: For each of the six falsification of the vouchers (Exh. U. vs. Caluag. Q and R) the penalty provided in paragraph 3 of article 217 is prision mayor maximum to reclusion temporal minimum.000. 46 Phil. as maximum. 23350. 23351. 11871 (Exh. For the malversation of the sums of P16. 11995 (Exh. Samson is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of two (2) years of prison correccional minimum. to pay a fine of P4. 105 Phil. L-33253). For the malversation of the sum of P4. In the twelve cases the penalty should be imposed in the medium peiod since there are no modifying circumstances (Arts. as the case may be. R and S).81 covered by voucher No. 11 Phil. 20 Phil. and to pay a fine of three thousand pesos. 359. to pay a fine of P9.571. to thirteen (13) years of reclusion temporal minimum. R).187. covered by voucher No. K). 23350.81.60 covered by voucher No.64 covered by voucher No. Revised Penal Code). L-33253). by reason of paragraph 3. as minimum. 10724 (Exh. respectively covered by vouchers Nos.187. as minimum. the stranger is not guilty of parricide or qualfied theft but only of murder or homicide.38. O). 23349. Page 95 .S. 1187 and11871 (Exh. For the malversation of the sum of P6. For the malversation of the sum of P14.60 andP9. as maximum. to seventeen (17) years ofreclusion temporal medium. Samson is convicted of six crimes of falsification of a public document and six crimes of malversation.769.727.guilty of malversation (People vs.769. 1294. as minimum. Samson is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of twelve (12) years of prision mayor maximum. and to indemnify the province of Pangasinan in the same amount (Criminal Case No. to pay a fine of P5. Dato and Lustre. 23350.S.187. 64[1] and 685. as maximum. K and O). P and S).52 covered by voucher No.571. 37 Phil.S. to eight (8) years of prision mayor minimum. WHEREFORE. Q. In such cases. Q).64. 11869 and 11872 (Exh.290. 379. Dowdell. 11872 (Exh.501. to seventeen (17) years ofreclusion temporal medium.727. L-33253). as maximum. respectively covered by vouchers Nos. 11869 (Exh. article 62 of the Revised Penal Code (People vs.28 and P4.38 covered by voucher no. the penalty provided in paragraph 2 of article of the Revised Penal Code is prision mayorminimum and medium. to pay a fine in the sum of P14. Patricio. 94 Phil. Rodis. and to indemnify the province of Pangasinan in the same amount (Criminal Case NO. In lieu of the penalties imposed by the trial court. O. 23350. For the malversation of the sum of P16.501. Samson is sentenced to an indertiminate penalty of nine (9) years of prision mayor medium. to pay a fine in the amount of P16. as minimum.769. and to indemnify the province of Pangasinan in the same amount (Criminal Case No. P.60. L-33254). 4. and simple theft. vs. 245). U. For the malversation of the sum of P5. vs. 457). S). P).38. Falsification of a public document committed by a private person is punished in article 172(1) of the Revised Penal Code by prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine of not more than P5. and to indemnify the province of Pangasinan in the same amount (Criminal Case No. to thirteen (13) years of reclusion temporal minimum.290. For the malversation of the sum of P9. For the malversation of the sums of P6.52 and 10995 (Exh. Samson is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of nine (9) years of prision mayor medium. a fine equal to the amount malversed should be added to the imprisonment penalty. to four (4) years of prision correccional medium.

the threefold limit provided for in article 70 of the Revised Penal Code should be observed (People vs.23. Revised Penal Code). Sendaydiego is ordered to indemnify the province of Pangasinan in the sum of P57. SO ORDERED. or thirty-six (36) years to fifty-one (51) years (see People vs.In the service of the twelve penalties meted to Samson. Samson and the said estate are sojidarily liable for the said indemnity (Art. People vs. Samson should pay one-half of the costs.048. Escares. The maximum duration of his sentences should not exceed forty (40) years (Penultimate par. 70. 533). People vs. 518. 110. 59 Phil. of art. The estate of the late Licerio P. 69 Phil. 68 Phil. meaning that the maximum penalty that he should serve is three times the indeterminate sentence of twelve (12) years to seventeen (17) years. Concepcion. 58). 102 Phil. 362. the severest penalty imposed on him. Peñas. 530 and 69 Phil. Page 96 . 677). 68 Phil. Alisub.

00 bayad pinsalang moral. appellant does not question the finding of the trial court that he had killed Alfredo dela Cruz.00 at P10. No. after which appellant and dela Cruz indulged in speculation concerning their prospective life in the penal colony. winch had recently been aggravated by the fatal stabbing of a member of the Sigue-Sigue Sputnik gang by members of the BCJ gang. The dispositive portion of the judgment read: DAHIL SA GAYON. were similarly waiting in the same visiting area for transfer to the same penal colony.000. Immediately after the stabbing. Upon arraignment. also a convict. plaintiff-appellee. the abovenamed accused. Instead. napatunayan nang Hukumang ito na siya ay nagkasala at siya ay hinahatulan nang parusang KAMATAYAN. The trial court nonetheless ordered the mandatory presentation of evidence. a prisoner serving sentence in the National Bilibid Prison. The record discloses that in the morning of 23 May 1977. with intent to kill. vs. Contrary to law. During this conversation. in a decision dated 7 December 1978. appellant engaged another convict in a betting game called "honkiang". During this investigation.: The judgment of the former Circuit Criminal Court of Rizal in Criminal Case No. unlawfully and feloniously attack. appellant attacked dela Cruz with a knife. 1987] FELICIANO. P10.00 a month ago and had been concealed inside his right rubber shoe and so was not discovered by the prison guard who had searched him before entering the Visiting Shed. After trial.(22) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. On 6 February 1978. Ruben Manalo readily admitted verbally having stabbed the victim and nonchalantly advised that the fan knife he used had been bought by him for P25. In his brief. ongoing feud for a long time. RUBEN MANALO. J. Alfredo de la Cruz. Immediately after the killing and the appellant's surrender. dahil sa kusang loob na pag-amin nang kasalanan nang nasasakdal sa paglabag sa Artikulo 248 nang Binagong Kodigo Penal na naayon sa sakdal. These two gangs have had a serious. the accused having committed the offense while serving his sentence in the New Bilibid Prison. L-55177 February 27. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. and with the assistance of counsel. is before us on automatic review. evident premeditation and treachery did then and there willfully. [G. appellant voluntarily surrendered to the prison authorities and handed over the fan knife ( balisong) he used in killing dela Cruz.R. Ruben Manalo was charged with murder in an information which read as follows: That on or about the 23rd day of May 1977 in the municipality of Muntinlupa. and (2) the trial court erred in finding that the killing of dela Cruz had been attended by the qualifying circumstances of evident premeditation and treachery. the appellant was investigated by the prison authorities. the appellant assigns two distinct errors: (1) the proceedings in the trial court were null and void since certain constitutional rights of the appellant had been disregarded therein. with the aggravating circumstance of quasi -recidivism. IPINAGUUTOS. was at the visiting area of the prison waiting for transfer to the San Ramon Penal Colony. Page 97 . Jolly Hilario and Reynaldo Cariso. all convicted prisoners serving their respective sentences. Pagbabayaran din niya ang mga tagapagmana nang nasawi nang halagang P12. appellant Ruben Manalo. CCC-VII-2505 finding Ruben Manalo guilty of murder and imposing the death penalty. defendant-appellant. While at the visiting area.00 bayad pinsalang di dapat pamarisan at ang gastos ng usaping ito. the trial court concluded that the killing of Alfredo dela Cruz by Ruben Manalo had been attended by treachery and evident premeditation and aggravated by quasi-recidivism. who is a convict confined and serving his sentence in the new Bilibid Prison by virtue of final judgment rendered against him by courts of competent jurisdiction. appellant pleaded guilty.000. thereby inflicting upon him stab wounds on the vital parts of his body which directly caused his death. inflicting two fatal stabwounds on the latter's back. assault and stab with a bladed weapon one Alfredo dela Cruz.000. The investigation also revealed that the victim was a member of the BCJ ( Batang City Jail gang from prison Dormitory 3D while Ruben Manalo is a member of the Sigue Sigue Sputnik gang from prison Dormitory 2B.

Upon termination of the cross-examination of Dr. the trial judge raised the following questions which Dr. your Honor.In respect of the first assigned error. your Honor. COURT So much so that the members of the Sputniks surely the members belonging to the Batang City Jail gang? A Yes. COURT The wound is located at the back? A Yes sir. your Honor. Hernale answered in the following manner: COURT Did you find any defense (sic) wounds? A No sir. Page 98 . all the proceedings before it should be set aside as null and void. COURT And the mode of killing is by treachery and will not give any chance to the victim to defend himself. COURT Alfredo dela Cruz was not able to parry any stab blow by Ruben Manalo? A No. COURT That is also true to your gang? A Yes. Hernale by defense counsel. Appellant maintains that lack of impartiality and of objectivity on the part of the trial judge was clearly shown when he intervened in the cross-examination of Dr. COURT And he was stabbed suddenly by Ruben Manalo? A Yes. your Honor. to an impartial trial and to counsel. it follows that you will have enemies inside the prison walls? A Yes. COURT You mean to say he was attacked treacherously? A It is possible. COURT So much so that if you have enemies outside the jail. COURT And as matter of fact. it is the contention of the appellant that he was deprived of his constitutional right to due process. COURT Where were you operating before when you were not yet sentenced by the court? A In Manila. the trial court intervened once more in the following manner: COURT The fact remains that Alfredo de la Cruz was not armed? A Yes. to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. during the cross-examination of Jolly Hilario by defense counsel. A It is possible. your Honor. vice versa members of Batang City Jail gang will kill any member of the Sputniks? A Yes. COURT And in the same manner. COURT He was attacked without giving a chance to defend himself. your Honor. COURT In what part of Manila? A In Quiapo. your Honor. in your area of operation the enemy of your gang are the Sputniks of which Ruben Manalo is a member? A They were enemies. COURT And each gang usually attacks the weak ones especially so when they have no arms? A Yes.? A Yes. your honor. The appellant urges that since the trial-court was not an impartial tribunal. Virgilio Hernale (the physician who had carried out the autopsy of the victim dela Cruz) and of Jolly Hilario both being witnesses for the prosecution. bias and lack of objectivity during the trial. your honor. xxx xxx xxx COURT To what gang do you belong? A To the Batang City Jail your Honor. by reason of the lower court's partiality. COURT Proceed. your Honor. xxx xxx xxx 1 At the subsequent hearing.

Agoot was re-appointed counsel de oficio at the fifth hearing. Finally. that the questions raised by the trial court were exceptionable ones. appellant "never had a fair chance. The appellant had not only entered an intelligent and valid plea of guilty. caged for opinions or were objectionable on the ground of the witness' incompetence". at the fourth and fifth hearings. his designation once more as counsel de Page 99 . the appellant asserts that his right to counsel was "but a sham. Rep. that the trial court had functioned "both as judge and prosecutor" asking questions of witnesses "calculated to establish treachery. As long ago as 1915." The trial court forthwith appointed Atty. Hudieres 27 Phil. making the necessary objections in a timely manner during the examination of the prosecution witnesses to test their credibility and freedom from bias or evil motive. Manalo was represented by Atty. for instance. Galvan appeared for Manalo at the arraignment and at the second and sixth hearings. the judge had already concluded that appellant was guilty of murder and had resolved to convict him. however. In point of fact. we do not believe that the trial judge transgressed the permissible limits of judicial inquiry. We have had occasion to hold (U. deplores the fact that several different counsel de oficio assisted him during the different hearings held in his case. did not ultimately impose any prejudice upon the appellant. 8 Contrary to the suggestion of the appellant. misleading. 7 The appellant's argument is novel and interesting but.xxx xxx xxx 2 The appellant claims that the above interventions of the trial court show that. 45) that it is not only the right but often times the duty of a trial judge to examine witnesses when it appears to be necessary for the elucidation of the record. the Court has pointed out." 3 We are not persuaded by the appellant's contention.S. In such an effort. 4 We must accord to a trial judge reasonable leeway in putting such questions to witnesses as may be essential to elicit relevant facts and to make the record speak the truth. We do not believe that the fact that a particular counsel de oficio did not or could not consistently appear in all the hearings of the case. there is no showing that the several appointed counsel de oficio in any way neglected to perform their duties to the appellant and to the trial court and that the defense had suffered in any substantial sense therefrom. Agoot there physically present as counsel de oficio (apparently forgetting that he had already been appointed counsel de oficio and had acted as such. at the very outset. At the fifth hearing. the appellant claims. is effectively a denial of the right to counsel. as alleged by the prosecution. where the trial court is judge of both the law and the facts. especially so where." that by appointing multiple counsel de oficio the trial court did not effectively provide him with the assistance and protection required by the Constitution. a judge may examine or cross-examine a witness. The appellant admits that he was assisted by counsel de oficio from the time of arraignment and throughout the trial of the case. quoted above. this Court held that: A severe examination by a trial judge of some of the witnesses for the defense in an effort to develop the truth and to get at the real facts affords no justification for a charge in counsel's brief on appeal that he has assisted the prosecution with an evident desire to secure a conviction or that he had intimidated the witness for the defense. vs. if rhetorical question of how ably his counsel de oficio could defend him since they were playing musical chairs — hearing after hearing." 5 In the present case. "the extent to which such examination may be conducted rests in the discretion of the judge. Fairness to the several counsel de oficio requires us to note the record which reveals that each of them had conscientiously performed their duties in assisting the appellant and protecting his interest by. the prosecution was already "midstream" in its direct examination of the prosecution witness of whom 27 questions and already been asked. that he had killed his fellow convict dela Cruz was established by independent and overwhelming evidence. we are not persuaded that there has here been a deprivation of a constitutional right which requires annulment of all the proceedings before the trial court. All that the questions propounded by the judge indicates to us is that he was not particularly skillful in cross-examination and that he found it difficult to operationalize words which themselves imported conclusions. Atty. Atty. That lawyer had previously been designated counsel de oficio during the preceding (fourth) hearing. In the first instance. premeditation and motive". The appellant also claims that he was denied his constitutional right to counsel. when the prosecution suddenly commented that "I think there is no lawyer for the accused [present]. it is oftentimes expedient or necessary in the due and faithful administration of justice for the presiding judge in the exercise of a sound discretion to reexamine a witness in order that his judgment when rendered may rest upon a full and clear understanding of the facts. as in the instant case. 9 Both the appellant and the court had therefore the right to expect that counsel de oficio was familiar with the facts of the appellant's case and that he had prepared himself for the fifth hearing since his prior appointment as counsel de oficio had not been revoked by the trial court. and that therefore. for reasons that will become clear shortly. at the previous [fourth] hearing) and thereupon proceeded with the trial of the case. It appears to us that the judge merely sought to clarify to himself whether or not treachery and evident premeditation had indeed attended the killing of Alfredo dela Cruz." 6 Thus. Under the system of legal procedure in vogue in this jurisdiction. He may seek to draw out relevant and material testimony though that testimony may tend to support or rebut the position taken by one or the other party. Appellant raises the entertaining. once more.. we would note that the questions posed by the trial judge. being "leading. Agoot was not entitled to a recess of two days to prepare to defend the appellant after Atty. the exercise of which will not be controlled unless his discretion has clearly been abused to the prejudice of either party. The questions raised by the trial judge sought to draw forth answers which did not relate to whether or not the appellant had in fact killed dela Cruz. Atty. Appellant. Agoot. Sardillo assisted him during the first and the third hearings.

They belonged to different gangs. to sustain a finding of treachery. 449). did not know appellant's name. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. thus. dorm-mates and close friends of de la Cruz. concluded that treachery was present. 15 We agree with the Solicitor General. It must be proven as conclusively as the act of killing itself. Thus. there is no evidence to show that appellant and de la Cruz knew each other prior to the killing. dela Cruz was stabbed while lying on a table. No statement is found there that the victim was asleep at the time of the stabbing. compel a finding of treachery. WHEREFORE. of itself. In the absence of clear proof of any circumstance that would qualify as murder the killing of the deceased. We turn to the appellant's second assignment of error: that relating to the finding of the lower court that the killing of convict dela Cruz was attended by the qualifying circumstances of evident premeditation and treachery. Appellant was in the visiting area with dela Cruz not because the appellant had deliberately planned to be there at the same time as dela Cruz. 11 The Necropsy Report only described the injuries and the cause of death of the victim. Finally. Rule 116. Ruben Manalo is hereby sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as a minimum and seventeen (17) years. method or form of attack must be shown to have been deliberately adopted by the appellant. by itself. Page 100 . the correct imposable penalty is reclusion temporal in its maximum period. Thus. The Solicitor General said: [To show evident premeditation] it is necessary to establish (a) the time when the offender determined to commit the crime. had been chosen by the prison authorities for transfer to the penal colony. four (4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as a maximum. (Padilla. Section 5 of the Rules of Court gives the trial judge discretion to shorten or extend the time given to an attorney de oficio to prepare his defense. Appellant could not have forseen that dela Cruz would lie down on a table and present such an attractive victim. The Solicitor General.000. On the contrary. On the contrary. Prosecution witnesses Hilario and Cariso who were gangmates. and (c) a sufficient lapse of time between the determination and the execution. in view of the presence of the special aggravating circumstance of quasi-recidivism under Article 160 of the Revised Penal Code. were assigned to different brigades and lived in different dormitories. concedes that there was absolutely no evidence in the record to show that dela Cruz was stabbed while asleep. the probability was that he would not have planned to carry it out in broad daylight while dela Cruz's gangmates and dormitory mates (Hilario and Cariso) were close by. p. 12 Treachery cannot be presumed. appellant found himself with dela Cruz that morning by accident and not by design. we submit that appellant committed no more than homicide. the resolve to stab him while dela Cruz was in a prone position. SO ORDERED. None of these requisites was proven in the case at bar. The balance of the judgment of the lower court is AFFIRMED. No one testified on any incident that occurred an hour or more before the attack. Criminal Law. The evidence presented at the trial was limited to events that transpired immediately prior. must have been taken impulsively. The qualifying circumstance of premeditation may be properly taken into account only when the intention to kill has been planned in the mind of the offender and carefully meditated. appellant was there because he along with others. however. (b) what external acts demonstrated that he stuck to his resolution and (c) whether he had sufficient time to reflect upon the consequences of his act. Neither the physician who carried out the autopsy and prepared the Necropsy Report nor the two eyewitnesses to the stabbing had testified that the fatal wounds had been administered while the victim was asleep. as in the present case. Such a finding must be based on some positive proof and not be merely an inference drawn more or less logically from hypothetical facts. to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act. The Solicitor General has also agreed with the appellant that the trial court's finding of evident premeditation was erroneous because of lack of support in the record. engaged in a conversation with the appellant.00). during and after the attack. there is no proof on (a) when appellant resolved to kill the victim. In fact. enough to constitute treachery when the method of killing does not positively show that the assailant thereby knowingly intended to ensure the accomplishment of his purpose without risk to himself from any defense which the victim might put up13 In other words. it is highly probable that appellant was not even acquainted with de la Cruz and so there was no reason for appellant to resolve before hand to kill de la Cruz. in this connection. 14 There was no such showing here. (b) a notorious act manifestly indicating that he has clung to his determination. It is not enough that it arose at the moment of the aggression. the Necropsy Report) 10 and thus.oficio during the fifth hearing was totally unnecessary. both eyewitnesses to the killing explicitly stated that the appellant had stabbed dela Cruz while the two were conversing with each other. In any case. This Court has ruled that the suddenness of an attack is not. The lower court had found that dela Cruz was sleeping when attacked by Ruben Manalo (citing. The civil indemnity due to the heirs of Alfredo dela Cruz is increased to Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30. if the appellant had planned the killing. the means. The fact that the fatal wounds were found at the back of the deceased does not. the evidence indicated that the killing of dela Cruz was not pre-planned by the appellant and that the decision to kill was an impulse of the moment. Hence. Rather. the decision of the lower court is modified and Ruben Manalo is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide for which. Further. We note at once that the Solicitor General has concurred with the view taken by the appellant on this point. 1979 ed.

thru counsel. for violation of Sec. filed with the Court of First Instance a petition for certiorari and prohibition. by appropriate informations all dated January 16. Francisco Koh who had. F-109200. It was alleged and admitted in the petition: "In Branch I the City Court of Manila presided over by petitioner Judge. the hearings have been thus conducted on fourteen separate occasions without objection on their part. asked for and were granted time to submit memoranda. Saturday was agreed upon as the invariable trial day for said eight (8) criminal cases. also for slight physical injuries. 887 of the Revised Ordinances of Manila (resisting an officer). and (3) Criminal Case No. thru counsel. and April 17. F-109201. FELIX DOMINGO. eight (8) criminal actions against respondent Edgardo Calo. thru their counsel. desired the same to be terminated as soon as possible and as there were many cases scheduled for trial on the usual criminal trial days (Monday. March 18. representing respondent Calo and Carbonnel. March 23. 1968 at 11 o'clock in the morning. Carbonnel. 1968.vs. Respondents Calo and Carbonnel. April 20. with application for preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction . who acted not only in defense of their clients." 6 Then came these allegations in the petition: "During all the fourteen (14) days of trial." 8 Mention was then made of when a petition for certiorari was filed with respondent Judge: "Early in the morning of October 1. was absent. 1 More specifically. there were commenced. No. It is worthy of note that up to this late date. no pretense has been made by the respondents that this constituted an irregularity correctible on certiorari. This was on April 20. At the conclusion of the hearings the accused.) (1)Criminal Case No. in the chambers of Judge Garcia. b. and the merits of the cases. The applications for postponement were not grounded upon any supposed defect or irregularity of the proceedings. force likewise being employed. (c) Against Francisco Lorenzana (on complaint of Calo and Carbonnel) (1) Criminal Case No. for slight physical injuries. petitioners. and Simeon Carbonnel and Petitioner Francisco Lorenzana. and said respondent cross-examined one of the witnesses presented by the adverse party. Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila. Rafael Consengco. with the conformity of the accused and their counsel. did respondent Judge commit a grave abuse of discretion in stigmatizing as violative of such a guarantee the holding of the trial of the other respondents 2inside the chambers of city court Judge Gregorio Garcia named as the petitioner. N. March 30. 1968. Wednesday and Friday). 1968. June 22. Rafael Consengco. Rafael S. 3 That was done in the order now impugned in this suit.. F-109197. 1968. said respondents Calo and Carbonnel had not objected to — or pointed out — any supposed irregularity in the proceedings thus far. alsofor slight physical injuries. 1968.. May 4.R. It is thus evident that what took place in the chambers of the city court judge was devoid of haste or intentional secrecy. as counsel respondents Calo and Carbonnel. for slander. Atty. GARCIA. Au gust 3. This was arranged by the parties and the Court upon the insistence of respondents Calo and Carbonnel who. Against Simeon Carbonnel (id. and FRANCISCO LORENZANA. EDGARDO CALO and SIMEON CARBONNEL. but as prosecutors of the accusations filed at their clients' instance. F-109193. for maltreatment. April 17. and conviction of petitioner Lorenzana in respect of their countercharges against the latter. [G. 1968. In any case. F-109196. also entered his appearance as counsel for respondents Calo and Carbonnel. F-109192. the trial proceeded. and again to October 1. 1968 — fell on a Saturday. GREGORIO. spanning a period of several months (from March to August. L-30104 July 25. June 1. 1973] FERNANDO. as follows: a. Edgardo Calo and Simeon Carbonnel. 1968. J. although such a procedure had been agreed to beforehand by the other respondents as defendants. (2) Criminal Case No. 1968 and August 10. For reasons to be more fully explained in the light of the facts ascertained — the unique aspect of this case having arisen from what turned out to be an unseemly altercation. This was postponed to September 28. Consengco and Atty. due to the mode in which the arrest of private petitioner for a traffic violation was sought to be effected by the two respondent policemen thus resulting in charges and counter-charges with eight criminal cases being tried jointly by city court Judge in the above manner — we rule that there was no transgression of the right to a public trial." 5 Also this: "The trial of the cases in question was held. There was only one (1) day when Atty. Against Edgardo Calo (on complaint of Francisco Lorenzana) (1) Criminal Case No. the accused were at all times represented by their respective counsel. Judge of the City Court of Manila. [alleging jurisdictional Page 101 . 1968. Consengco." 4The above was followed by this recital: "The trial of the aforementioned cases was jointly held on March 4. 1968. and grant the petition. one which thus far has remained unresolved. Consengco. June 15. F-109192. 1968. submitted a 14-page memorandum with not less than 35 citations of relevant portions of the transcript of stenographic notes in support of their prayer for exoneration. F-109198.1968. as police officers under suspension because of the cases. 1968. is the meaning to be accorded the constitutional right to public trial. 1968. May 11.RIGHT TO PUBLIC TRIAL (23) HON. (2) Criminal Case No. 1968. Atty. this time at the instance of Atty. in the meantime. 1968)." 7 It was stated in the next petition: "The promulgation of judgment was first scheduled on September 23. the memorandum submitted in their behalf is confined to a discussion of the evidence adduced in. and (2) Criminal Case No. 1968 at the instance of Atty. 1968. and (3) Criminal Case No. for light threats. 1968. All the fourteen (14) trial dates — except March 4 and 18. June 29. But at the insistence of Pat. 1968. respondents.HON. for maltreatment.: The pivotal question in this petition for certiorari and prohibition. and without an iota of evidence to substantiate any claim as to any other person so minded being excluded from the premises.

There is no ambiguity in the words employed. So it is. Courtrooms are not of uniform dimensions. Jose P. Laurel." 11 It would have been surprising if its proposed inclusion in the Bill of Rights had provoked any discussion. invoking his right to a public trial. assigned the procedure thus taken as error. popularly known as the Jones Law. reference may also be made to the undisputed fact at least fourteen hearings had been held in chambers of the city court Judge. The 1935 Constitution which was in force at the time of the antecedents of this petition. pending in his Court. petition on January 28. with a preliminary injunction likewise being issued. no problem arises. it is for us to grant the merits prayed for. The Constitution guarantees an accused the right to a public trial. It is to be admitted that the size of the room allotted the Judge would reduce the number of those who could be our present. too. as likewise made clear. After proceedings duly had. the trial of the accused was held in Bilibid prison. now petitioner. 18 He could conclude his historical survey "Today almost without exception every state by constitution. The trial must be public. Delegate." 16 It was then noted by him that there. requires that all criminal trials be open to the public. Some are smaller than others. elevated the matter to this Tribunal by means of the present suit for certiorari and prohibition. "to desist from reading or causing to be read or promulgated the decisions he may have rendered already in the criminal cases (in question) . 1969 and that by the other respondents on March 19. and of the city court Judge. 1969 did attempt to justify the validity of the finding that there was a failure to respect the right to a public trial of accused persons. to any such objection raised. as is quite usual. such a right found expression in the Philippine Bill of 1902. or judicial decision. As was stressed by him: "Trial should also be public in order to offset any danger of conducting it in an illegal and unjust manner. It is not amiss to recall that Delegate Laurel in his terse summation the importance of this right singled out its being a deterrence to arbitrariness. The thought that lies behind this safeguard is the belief that thereby the accused is afforded further protection. There is the well recognized exception though that warrants the exclusion of the public where the evidence may be characterized as "offensive to decency or public morals. As a matter of fact. It was merely a reiteration what appeared in the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916. 1969. "the guarantee to an accused of the right to a public trial appeared in a state constitution in 1776. respondents were required to answer." 9 Respondent Judge acting on such petition forthwith issued a restraining order thus causing the deferment of the promulgation of the judgment. without objection on the part of respondent policemen. Such a fact though is not indicative of any transgression of this right. in the courtroom and a calendar of what cases are to be heard is posted. as set forth at the outset. It is thus understandable why such a right is deemed embraced in procedural due process. Rather it was the mode of approach followed by counsel Andres R. What was said by former Chief Justice Moran should erase any doubt as to the weight to be accorded." 17 Later it was embodied in the Sixth Amendment of the Federal Constitution ratified in 1791. adversely affecting their 'right to a free and impartial trial' [noting] 'that the trial of these cases lasting several weeks held exclusively in chambers and not in the court room open the public'. no matter with what offense he may be charged. later Justice. Did that suffice to investigate the proceedings as violative of this right? The answer must be in the negative. to gain acceptance. the basic issue to be resolved. 20 Where a trial takes place. In its resolution of February 3. historical lineage of the right to a public trial. What does it signify? Offhand it does seem fairly obvious that here is an instance where language is to be given a literal application. statute. likewise an organic act of the then government of this country as an unincorporated territory of the United States. There is no showing that the public was thereby excluded. although the diligence displayed by counsel was quite evident. as admitted by Justice Black in his masterly In re Oliver opinion." 21 What did occasion difficulty in this suit was that for the convenience of the parties.defects]. more appropriately the lack of weight. His being a stranger to the litigants is of no moment. it suffices to satisfy the requirement of a trial being public if the accused could "have his friends. The accused. 2. The crucial question of the meaning to be attached this provision remains. that was one constitutional provision that needed only a single. under present dispensation. No relationship to the parties need be shown. There is to be no ban on such attendance. 15 He then observed that the exact date of its origin is obscure. 1969. The Supreme Court held that as it affirmatively appears on the record that the accused offered no objection to the trial of his case in the Page 102 ." and ordering the city court Judge. Moreover. Narvasa for petitioners that did manifest a deeper understanding of its implications and ramifications. Accordingly.. relatives and counsel present. was there any persuasive showing of a violation of constitutional guarantee of a public trial.'" 10 A motion for reconsideration proving unavailing. "but it likely evolved long before the settlement of the [United States] as an accompaniment of the ancient institution of jury trial. 1. there was an order from him "declaring that 'the constitutional and statutory rights of the accused' had been violated. As was to be expected the answer filed by respondent Judge on March 11. Thus: "In one case. speaking for the United States Supreme Court in the leading case of In re Oliver: 14 "This nation's accepted practice of guaranteeing a public trial to an accused has its roots in [the] English common law heritage.. it was in the latter's airconditioned chambers that the trial was held. It the usual course of events that individuals desirous of being present are free to do so. Neither in such pleadings nor in the memorandum filed. 13Historically as was pointed out by Justice Black. that his trial is likely to be conducted with regularity and not tainted with any impropriety. as previously stated. much less a debate. terse summation from the Chairman of the Committee on the Bill of Rights. explicitly enumerated the right to a public trial to which an accused was entitled. 12 Earlier. It possesses that character when anyone interested in observing the manner a judge conducts the proceedings in his courtroom may do so. until further orders of this Court." 19 Such is the venerable." 22 Then.

the writ of certiorari prayed for is granted nullifying." 23 The decision referred to. mediation or participation of the fiscal or any of his deputies. When it is remembered further that the occupants of such courts are not chosen primarily for their legal acumen. the jurisdiction of the court was not affected . just because. such a right could be reduced to a barren form of words. it was in the air-conditioned chambers of a city court judge rather than in the usual place that the trial took place. he certainly lived up to what is expected of a man of the robe. with the eyes of the alert court alert to his demeanor and his rulings. respondent Judge ought to have been aware that thereby no jurisdictional defect was incurred by the city court Judge. The accused cannot in law be termed an offended party for such an alleged failure to comply with official duty.B. Nor does it change matters. It does seem that the challenged order of respondent is far from being invulnerable. The preliminary writ of injunction issued by this Court in its resolution of February 3. . nor is its presence unwelcome." 26 4. it is not to be rationally expected that an accused would be denied whatever solace and comfort may come from the knowledge that a judge. 74830 of the Court of First Instance of Manila other than that of dismissing the same. Moreover. civil as well as criminal. There is much to be said of course for the concern displayed by respondent Judge to assure the reality as against the mere possibility of a trial being truly public. the nature of the cases handled. or arbitrary. United States v. The writ of prohibition sought by petitioner is likewise granted.. Mercado. With costs against respondent policemen Edgardo Calo and Simeon Carbonnel. commanding respondent Judge or any one acting in his place to desist from any further action in Criminal Case No. If any party could complain at all. Respondent Judge would seek to lend support to an order at war with obvious meaning of a constitutional provision by harping on the alleged abdication by an assistant fiscal of his control over the prosecution. One other objection to the conduct of the proceedings by the city court Judge may be briefly disposed of. To the extent then that the conclusion reached by him was motivated by an apprehension that there was an evasion of a constitutional command. Justo-Guerrero: 25 "The case below was commenced and prosecuted without the intervention. Reyes in Cariaga v. If it were otherwise. and declaring bereft of any legal force or effect the order of respondent Judge Felix Domingo November 29.. An objective appraisal of conditions in municipal or city courts would have gone far in dispelling such misgivings. Further reflection ought to have convinced him though that such a fear was unjustified. WHEREFORE. 24 was handed down sixtyeight years ago in 1905.place where it was held. Page 103 . The crowded daily calendar. it is the People of the Philippines for whom the fiscal speaks and acts. would run the risk of being unjust. Again here there was a failure to abide by settled law. the relaxed attitude on procedural rules not being strictly adhered to all make for a less tense atmosphere. As was so emphatically declared by Justice J. 1968 for being issued with grave abuse of discretion. even assuming that respondent policemen could be heard to raise such a grievance. 1969 against the actuation of respondent Judge is made permanent. That is all that need be said as to the obvious merit of this petition. notwithstanding. 3.L. his right is deemed waived. but taken from that portion of the bar more considerably attuned to the pulse of public life.. setting aside. as did happen here. As a result the attendance of the general public is much more in evidence. but the court should have cited the public prosecutor to intervene . This.. unfair.

Meanwhile in 1969 or eighteen (18) years after he jumped bail.. contrary to his protestations. JR. 1947 against six (6) accused persons. no probable cause was found against Eufemia Litong. 1950. unlawfully and feloniously. The case was returned to the Court of First Instance for further proceedings because Abundio de la Cruz and Ladislao Tayo could not be apprehended while Eriberto Cenon had waived his right to Preliminary investigation proper and the Justice of the Peace was of the opinion that the tw other accused had also waived their right by their continued failure to appear. He implicated his two missing co-accused. province of Catanduanes. vs.The appellant is now more than 70 years old. fails to overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence that an accused enjoys. Francisco Tapar. No. The case was also dismissed with respect to Tomas Tating on the ground that his testimony was absolutely necessary for the prosecution. only Eriberto Cenon remained in the custody of the authorities as the other two posted bail and were subsequently released. was found guilty. committed as follows: That on or about April 10. accused-appellant. The three remaining accused. 1951. Philippines. he had something to do with the killing.. The original information was filed in 1947. plaintiff-appellee. the appellant and one co accused jumped bail and disappeared. constrained to acquit the accusedappellant and the write finis to the 39-year old killing not because the evidence had adduced subsequent to his recapture 25 years after the crime.RIGHT TO MEET WITNESS FACE TO FACE (24) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the appellant has led an exemplary life during his incarceration in the national penitentiary. The accused were arrested in 1950. A motion for their arrest and the confiscation of their bail bonds was filed and duly granted by the Justice of the Peace. This led to the dismissal of the case against her. The third co-accused was tried in 1959. with evident premeditation and with the decided purpose to kill did then and there wilfully. Abundio de la Cruz and Ladislao Tayo failed to appear during the investigation. The undersigned Provincial Fiscal hereby accuses Abundio de la Cruz. therefore. the only evidence directly the incriminating the appellant — confession of the convicted earlier — happens to be inadmissible against him. ET AL. the appellant was arrested. He has since been released on parole. the said accused. because of unavoidable difficulties or unfortunate lapses on the part of the prosecution. R.. Eriberto Cenon and Eufemia Litong of the crime of Murder. [G. J. assault and attack Pedro Sorreta by beating him to death with blunt instruments. The preliminary investigation proper was set on February 2. He was charged in an amended information. Page 104 . namely-Abundio de la Cruz.: The case before us on automatic review of a judgment sentencing the appellant to death is an uncommon one. During the preliminary investigation of the three accused in 1951. conspiring together and helping each other. With the finding that Francisco Tapar had nothing to do with the commission of the crime.. However. tried. and was sentenced to life imprisonment. in the municipality of Viga. After a thorough review of the evidence on we are convinced that the accused-appellant was at the scene of the crime during its commission and that. almost nine years later. The killing of a prominent lawyer which led to the murder charge took place in 1944 during the Japanese occupation. and sentenced to DEATH. Ladislao Tayo and Eriberto Cenon were arrested on November 29. 1983] GUTIERREZ. Of the three. the case was likewise dismissed as to him. 1944. If the letters to the Court interceding for his release are to be believed. L-33030 August 25. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. ABUNDIO DE LA CRUZ. Tomas Tating. The original information for murder was filed on January 25. The information reads: . During the preliminary examination. In the commission of the crime there was present the aggravating circumstance of superior strength. Ladislao Tayo. We are. and by throwing afterwards his-corpse into the sea.

Abundio de la Cruz was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. and by throwing afterwards his corpse into the sea. (Record. his father loved to fish in Tinago Bay in the afternoon on clear days and usually came back at night. The substance of the testimony of mother and son shows that in the afternoon of April 10. Sorreta said that he was going to the sea to fish. Catanduanes. he lived with his family in the barrio of Tinago of the Municipality of Viga. On April 10. 1970. That in the commission of the crane the following aggravating circumstances were present: l. unlawfully and feloniously assault and attack the said Pedro Sorreta by beating him to death with blunt instruments. Then Tapar casually asked Atty. Cenon commenced serving sentence and during the trial of the appellant was already out. in the Municipality of Viga.hat they were seen somewhere in the province of Quezon. was barely eighteen years old.LADISLAO TAYO of the crime of MURDER. At about nine to ton o'clock when he had not yet returned he sent their houseboy to the sitio of Minaabat to look for him in their farm but he was not there. he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. The amended information reads: The undersigned accuses ABUNDIO DE LA CRUZ and . Viga. 1944. did then and there willfully. Atty. They searched the beach and found the boat afloat about fifty meters from the Page 105 . In 1944. Tapar then asked permission to leave and Atty. the trial court directed that the case be sent to the files without prejudice to its subsequent prosecution when the accused or either of them were apprehended. Sorreta and Cenon saw Tapar go with the three men when he left. 1969. Pedro Sorreta. province of Catanduanes. 2. had just given birth to a child a few days before. they were in their house in Tinago. Sorreta asked Tapar about their names and Tapar Identified them as Ladislao Tayo. Sorreta inquired from Tapar who they were and Tapar answered that they were the men who killed the paramour of the wife of Ladislao Tayo in the barrio of Guinsaanan. was a practising attorney and formerly a member of the Provincial Board of Albay. According to Canon. Sorreta's advise as to whether Ladislao Tayo and his wife-should be reconciled. On December 16. committed as follows: That on or about April 10. Because of the failure to apprehend Abundio de la Cruz and Ladislao Tayo. Offense was deliberately augmented by causing other wrong not necessary for its commission. The case was actively prosecuted by Cenon Sorreta in collaboration with the Second Assistant Provincial Fiscal. He had come to consult Atty. now a practising attorney. the said accused the conspiring together and mutually aiding one another with treachery and evident premeditation and with deliberate intent to take the life of Pedro Sorreta. On May 15. Atty. Carmen. when Francisco Tapar came up the house. Atty. 1944. 1970. Cenon Sorreta.At the separate trial conducted for Eriberto Cenon in 1959 or almost 9 years later. 1968 or almost 1 0 years after the case was achieved and 25 years after the killing. The facts found by the trial court. p. Eriberto Cenon and Abundio de la Cruz. His wife. the trial court issued a new order of arrest for both the accused on the information . 3. No appeal having been filed. As to Ladislao Tayo. Mrs. Pedro Sorreta about the wife of Ladislao Tayo. After the arrest of Abundio de la Cruz. an amended information was filed against him on May 12. Abundio de la Cruz was subsequently arrested on September. which led to the court's conviction of the accused Abundio de la Cruz are as follows: The victim. Sorreta advised that since they were husband and wife they should have together again. after he saw him off at the-seashore he never returned They waited for him until morning. 329).It seemed that the wife had become unfaithful to her husband while he was out of Catanduanes but the paramour had been killed recently and Tapar was asking Atty. While they were talking there were three men who could be seen through the window at some distance from the house. he has remained at large. Sorreta prepared to go out on his fishing trip. during the Japanese occupation. 1944. Committed at night nine and in uninhabited place to facilitate commission of the offense. Sorreta where he was going that afternoon and Atty. At the tune of the incident his eldest son. Advantage was taken of superior strength or means were employed to weaken the defense.

They were in front of Atty. Ignacio Ted. There was hematoma on the right forehead and breast. Abundio de la Cruz Ladislao Tayo and Eriberto Cenon barged into the house Eriberto Cenon went directly to Cenon and poked a gun at his breast and asked him to surrender his gun. protested that there was no firearm in the house. At about nine o' clock of the same day their houseboy and told Cenon that the three men wanted to see him at the house of his cousin-in-law. taken to Tinago for burial. According to Cenon. Abundio de la Cruz asked Mrs. The testimony of Mrs. His mother and sister followed later. on the chest and on the nape. They reported the matter to Barrio Lt. he rode on a sailboat with a certain Joaquin Abundo and sailed to Baras where he stayed with his grandmother. at about six o'clock in the morning. Carmen Sorreta and Cenon Sorreta is corroborated by Miguela de Leon. Sorreta's house. On April 13. They continued the search with Pio de Leon until April 12 but Atty. When his body was turned upward he saw his teeth shattered and the chin swollen. The body war. Ladislao Tayo and Eriberto Cenon. who. Cenon and his sister Elisa attended the burial. In the meantime. Sorreta. according to Abundio. Miguela did not stay long in the house and left while Tapar was still there. Pio de Loon. Their mother could not attend because she had just delivered a child on the seventh. After the burial a novena was held in the house of the every night. a niece of Atty. Teofilo Cipriano. On the way he I met Francisco Tapar who invited him to go to Page 106 . the three came back. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. their relatives kept on informing Cenon that he would be the next victfin. Abundio de la Cruz ordered the house ransacked but found no weapon. and was buried in the cemetery in the barrio. On the following day. a resident of Lusadan came to their house and informed them that his father's body was seen being dashed by the waves to the beach in Lusadan The information wall relayed to the barrio lieutenant and they went to the place and found Atty. After having signed the statement they allowed him to leave the house and go home. Miguela went to Tinago to visit Mrs. who is well acquainted with Abundio de la Cruz. she saw Abundio de la Cruz. about a hundred meters from their house. He was then barely eighteen years old. The next day. So. Ignacio Ted came and informed them that the body was seen in Lusadan being dashed to the shore by the waves. On that evening the three men barged into the house while they were saying their prayers. was a Constabulary soldier. Sorreta stayed in Tinago for about two weeks. Sorreta had not returned from his fishing trip and she and her husband went to Barrio Lt. while he was writing the statement in Teofilo Cipriano's house. The whole family was in the house. Cenon had no choice because they were armed and he went to the house of Teofilo. 1944. Sorreta sent word that Atty. When he arrived the three men were in the house with another man who turned out to be Juan Tobtob All of them were armed.here was hematoma on the forehead. they did not find him. Sorreta who had just delivered. Sorreta and if she would not sign they would be liquidated. Ugalde and Councilor Tomas Tating who promised to help. Sorreta fainted and they left the house. Mrs. at about four o'clock in the morning. Ladislao Tayo and Eriberto Cenon in the house.beach of Lusadan near the opening of Tinago Bay. In the afternoon of April 10. Sorreta. the third day of the novena for the deceased in his house. Cenon noted that his nape was black. on a midnight. gave him a piece of paper and pencil and dictated the statement in Bicol dialect. After the signing of the statement the family of Atty. 1944. The evidence also shows that at about six o'clock in the afternoon of April 10. Ugalde and asked him to help in holding for the attorney. Sorreta dead. Miguela saw the three accused again on the 16th day of April. He searched their suit cases and clothes looking for a firearm and when he could not find any they went away. 1944. Because of his condition Cenon agreed to have it brought to Tinago for apeedy burial. Eriberto Cenon poked a gun at Cenon Sorreta and Ladislao Tayo stood at the door blocking the way. Abundio de la Cruz ransacked the house looking for a gun but found nothing and they left. Inside the house was Francisco Tapar who was talking with Atty. had no more teeth. Cenon signed it and gave it to the accused. The body was in a state of decomposition. When she went up the house she passed by Abundio de la Cruz. Later at around nine to ten o'clock Mrs. Sorreta could not be found. On the third night the three men. Ladislao Tayo stood guard at the door while Abundio de la Cruz went made his mother's room. while Eufemia and her husband were malting salt near their house the three accused passed by. At about six o'clock on the same afternoon she went out to look for fish and when she passed by the house of Eufemia Litong. Abundio de la Cruz asked Cenon to sign a statement that he would not complain about the death of his father or he and his family would be liquidated. At about eight o'clock in the morning of April 13. Because of the condition of the times no death certificate was issued then. Atty. They went-to the barrio lieutenant and they sailed to Lusadan and found body. Abundio de la Cruz kept on berating his father that he was a land grabber. Sorreta to sign a statement that the family would not complain about the death of Atty. April 11. Abundio de la Cruz. They were drinking tuba. It was taken to Tinago by a boat to the house of a relative. Isabelo Ugalde was going to the chapel in Tinago to ring the bell for the angelus.

He asked her who were the people who were going to kill Atty. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: Page 107 The prosecution would want it believed. Dorotea Tamilosa who was popularly known as 'Nana' arrived. Sorreta. But somehow destiny finally caught up with him and the law must take its course. After drinking all of them went down the house. No autopsy was taken. (Rollo. 1944. Catalino Ugalde. About two weeks later. a decision was rendered convicting the accused of the crime of MURDER and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of DEATH. or thereabout. 1970. that his death was due to a premeditated criminal act of the accused-appellant in conspiracy with others. At the time of the incident. took off the pants and found nothing" (Pp. and Ladislao Tayo. pp. that Abundio de la Cruz was all the time in the places he claimed he was in his testimony bearing his true name and yet was never apprehended by the police authorities who were in search for him. Tapar went up the house while he stayed on the ground. in spite of so many orders of arrest and the search for him by the police authorities Abundio de la Cruz was never apprehended. Catanduanes. He never returned alive. His flight and continued disappearance for a period of almost twenty years could only mean one thing-he knew he was guilty of a heinous offense and was mortally afraid to face trial. 1944. The barrio lieutenant. the accused-appellant. however. Municipality of Viga. Jesus. The testimony of Heracleo Tatad. And it is equally unthinkable and absurd to believe that he reported regularly to his bondsmen when he left Libmanan after he was bailed that they could have left him unmolested in spite of the forfeiture and confiscation of the amount of his bond to the tune of P20. his body was found at Lusadan beach presumably having been dashed ashore by sea waves. Sorreta and she answered that they were Abundio de la Cruz. attested: "I did not find anything in his body except that his body was already swelling and have a foul smell already. 1944. I examined physically the body.' Ugalde asked De la Cruz who the great man was and he answered. First I took off the clothing and let him face upward. Accused-appellant's version of the facts places him in another province when the crime was committed. 'Do not make any noise. On the morning of April 13. After Dorotea arrived he noted a commotion and he observed her g the sign of the cross and muttering 'Jesus. pp.'He asked her what was the matter and Dorotea said that they were going to kill Atty. Libmanan. The lower court said: There is one last detail that points strongly to the guilt of the accused and that is flight. 14-21.' Ugalde prodded Abundio to tell him who was the great man and Abundio said it was Sorreta. "Don't make noise. 11-18).s. 195-196. he was in his house after having arrived from fishing in the sitio of Sabang. Then Abundio said to Ugalde. Camarines Sur. On November 24. to believe even for a moment. They drank tuba together. t. Later. According to the appellant: On the evening of April 10. Pedro Sorreta. another prosecution witness also shows that at about two o'clock in the afternoon of April 10." and Tatad did not say anything anymore.n. Abundio de la Cruz said that he should come up and he went up the house. When he arrived he came upon Abundio de la Cruz and Ladislao Tayo and a third man unknown to him in the yard of his house.). 'Belo. with his family. met his death. Tatad asked Dorotea to can them and she called Abundio de la Cruz who went up the house. who examined the body. He was out alone at sea fishing that night.the sitio of Jolo to drink tuba. It would be the height of naivete for the Court. Ladislao Tayo and Eriberto Cenon were also in the house. Ugalde acceded and they went to Jolo to the house of Higino Litong. however. Sorreta and when he was eventually found dead in the beach of Lusadan Ugalde never informed anybody of his conversation with Abundio de la Cruz because of fear and the condition of the times. Ugalde subsequently learned of the disappearance of Atty. .000. we wfll finish him tonight. he told Mrs. a resident of barrio Tinago. Abundio de la Cruz was in Malbogon. you are being dominated here in Tinago by a great man. After a while Ugalde left the group because the procession for the 'Aurora' would begin. Abundio de la Cruz was in the house and he heard him asking Tapar who his companion was and Tapar said that it was he Ugalde. When he jumped bail in 1951 with Ladislao Tayo. Sorreta about it because Abundio de la Cruz was no longer in Tinago. He was faced down and with both arms extended sidewards and his head was submerged. Tatad advised Abundio de la Cruz not to pursue his plan but the accused answered.00 which was no mean sum in those days when the peso was the peso. Another factor which the trial court considered as indicative of the guilt of the accused was his having jumped bail in 1951. Decision.

Third Assignment of Error THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE LATE PEDRO SORRETA'S DEATH WAS DUE TO FOUL PLAY. the mandatory penalty is DEATH. The first three appear to be fully sustained by the evidence. the Court hereby finds the accused Abundio de la Cruz.-support thereof.000. 'C' EXECUTED BY ONE ERIBERTO CENON WHO WAS NOT PUT TO THE WITNESS STAND. (3) That it was committed in an uninhabited place.WHEREFORE. Abundio de la Cruz. With three aggravating circumstances and no mitigating. Analyzing the assigned errors and the corresponding arguments in. (2) That the offense was committed during night time. to wit: (1) Advantage was taken of superior strength or means were employed to weaken the defense.00) PESOS and the costs. Ladislao Tayo and Eriberto Cenon ganged up upon the attorney who was alone and overwhelmed him by sheer strength of numbers. The defendant-appellant assigned the following alleged errors of the lower court in his brief: First Assignment of Error THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED APPELLANT GUILTY OF MURDER BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT ON THE BASIS OF THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY THE PROSECUTION. GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code as charged in the amended information. Page 108 . the injuries suffered by the deceased are merely the natural result of the aggression upon his person and it does not appear that any of them was inflicted in order to deliberately augment his suffering or that it was not necessary in order to consummate the offense. He was ambushed in the open sea and the conspirators sought the cover of darkness to perpetrate the crime with impunity. The accused is further condemned to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the sum of TWENTY THOUSAND (P20. Upon the other hand. Fifth Assignment of Error THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN IMPOSING THE DEATH PENALTY. in view of the foregoing considerations. Four aggravating circumstances are alleged in the amended information. the common ground of error refers to the admissibility and the weight of the evidence presented by the prosecution as well as the defense. Second Assignment of Error HE LOWER COURT ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT CONSPIRACY HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED AND IN CONSIDERING THE CONFESSION EXH. the Court hereby sentences the accused. Fourt Assignment of Error THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT MOTIVE WAS SUFFICIENTLY ESTABLISHED. to suffer the supreme penalty of DEATH. Abundio de la Cruz. Accordingly. (4) That the offense was deliberately augmented by causing other wrong not necessary for its commission.

Cenon Sorreta. and Eriberto Cenon were with Francisco Tapar when the latter went to the house of Attorney Sorreta on the afternoon of April 10. 1944 at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon.N. On the same day at about 9:00 o'clock in the morning. (T. it was buried speedily. Ladislao Tayo and an unidentified person in front of his house. 1944 but he never returned alive. Later. Camarines Sur. A search was conducted but the lawyer could not be found. shattered teeth and hematoma on the right foreheard and breast." (T. During the conversation.S. Ladislao Tayo and Eriberto Cenon to come and see them at the house of a certain Teofilo Cipriano.. while a gun was poked on the breast of Cenon Sorreta. 1012) The testimonies of Cenon Sorreta and Mrs. 4851). Viga. True to his word. Cenon Sorreta saw that it had a black nape.N. The widow was not able to sign because she fainted of fear. pp. and Mrs. pp. pp. 1944 to seek advice regarding the marital problem between Ladislao Tayo and his wife who had a paramour. Abundio de la Cruz and his group of armed men were flushed with the arrogance of power which was common among roving guerrilla bands during the Japanese time. Catanduanes in 1936 or 1937 for Libmanan. Tatad observed that she was frantic about something. positive. Ladislao Tayo and Eriberto Cenon forced their way into the house of the deceased allegedly looking for a gun. At about 6:00 o'clock the following morning. The gist of the testimony of Isabelo Ugalde was to the effect that on April 10. Carmen Vda.S. and Eriberto Cenon and Identified them as the killers of the paramour of Ladislao Tayo's wife. the family of Cenon Sorreta received messages that they were going to be killed next thereby prompting them to leave Tinago. The testimonies of Cenon Sorreta and his mother are more convincing but the inculpatory portions refer to the acts of Abundio de la Cruz after the killing. Ladislao Tayo. Ladislao Tayo. The appellant's evidence showed that he was called to army duty during the 1940 general mobilization. He could not leave Malbogon as the Japanese had zoned the place." The prosecution failed to show who Tatad was.S. pp. Carmen Vda.. 1944 when Atty. Cenon Sorreta was ordered by Abundio de la Cruz.. Upon hearing this. his parents left Barrio Tina . swollen chin. The testimony of Ugalde shows Abundio de la Cruz confiding to him that the great man Sorreta would be killed that night. According to the appellant. After hearing this information. Catanduanes. Cenon Sorreta was informed that Attorney Sorreta's dead body was found in the beach of Lusadan Inspecting the cadaver. Cenon Sorreta obeyed and was forced to sign a statement in Bicol to the effect that he will not report the death of his father to the authorities otherwise he will be killed together with his family. When Dorotea Tamilloso arrived. 1944 at about 8:00 o'clock in the morning. According to the testimony of Heracleo Tatad. Pedro Sorreta was killed because he was in Camarines Sur. de Sorreta show that Abundio de la Cruz was clearly and positively Identified. T. Tapar asked the lawyer where he was going that afternoon. Carmen Vda. He was in barrio Malbogon in 1943 and 1944. 111-115. After hearing the advice of Attorney Sorreta. go in Viga. Catanduanes at the time but also as being associated with the killing. they came back demanding that Mrs. The crime was committed on a dark night while Page 109 . Attorney Sorreta went fishing that afternoon of April 10.N. Tatad asked Abundio de la Cruz not to pursue the planned killing. The response of Abundio de la Cruz was "Don't make noise. Sorreta. The appellant alleges that hecould not have been in Catanduanes in April 10. not only as having been in Tinago. 1944 he drank tuba with Abundio de la Cruz. Almost everyday afterwards. The reply of Abundio de la Cruz was "Don't make noise. Heracleo Tatad was told by Dorotea Tamilloso of the plan to kill Atty. (T. 1944 walking around with an armed group and threatening people. and convincing evidence required by the serious nature of the capital offense charged. Tapar named them as Abundio de la Cruz. and he went with them. Catanduanes in the period before and after April 10. The evidence clearly shows that the appellant was in Tinago Viga. Ladislao Tayo.We agree with the trial court that the appellant's defense of alibi deserves scant consideration. Isabelo Ugalde. Abundio de la Cruz revealed to Isabelo Ugalde his plan to eliminate Attorney Sorreta. Ugalde went home for a procession. On April 13. de Sorreta narrate that Abundio de la Cruz. For fear of his life. Eriberto Cenon and Francisco Tapar During their conversations. Tatad summoned Abundio de la Cruz to advise the latter not to pursue his criminal design against the lawyer. To use the words of the lower court. on April 10. Abundio de la Cruz. Attorney Sorreta asked Francisco Tapar for the Identity of his companions. He claimed that he never returned to Catanduanes until he became an accused and was tried for the case. On the third night of the novena held for the repose of the soul of the deceased lawyer.. Viga. de Sorreta sign a statement that she would not report the matter to the authorities or else they would be killed. that he served in Bataan and returned to Libmanan sometime after its fall in 1942. for him to fearlessly counsel the leader of an armed group who had just killed a paramour of a married woman and who were planning to kill a big man in their barrio. Due to the condition of the body.S. Tatad asked Tamilloso what happened and the latter told him that Abundio de la Cruz and his companions were planning to kill Attorney Sorreta. 65-69) The testimony introduced by the prosecution is not the kind of clear. Attorney Sorreta replied that he will go fishing. The house was ransacked and suitcases turned upside down to find one.N. The testimonies given by Heracleo Tatad. he came across the persons of Abundio de la Cruz.

After our meal I went down because I was perspiring and Abundio de la Cruz and Francisco Tapar were talking of a certain boat which Abundio de la Cruz requested. holding his pistol on the right hand and the paddle on the left hand. then Abundio de la Cruz returned his pistol on his belt and took hold of the paddle again. Then Ladislao Tayo and myself proceeded swimming to the boat of Atty. 1950 confession of a co-accused Eriberto Cenon. Sorreta with theorder of Abundio de la Cruz to help kill Atty. Catanduanes. While we were still on the sea swimming he gave another blow to Atty. Baras. After that Ladislao Tayo and myself jumped on the sea. After I changed my clothes I passed by Eufemia Litong gave smile to Abunido de la Cruz. After three minutes Francisco Tapar went down and left the house of Eufemia Litong After ten minutes had passed Francisco Tapar went back and approached Abundio de la Cruz. Francisco Tapar came to the house near the yard of Eufemia Litong and talked with Ladislao Tayo. and Abundio de la Cruz told us that we will be going home to Sicmil. April 10. Calolbon. the arm and the breast. After the two blows given by Abundio de la Cruz to Atty. if we want to be the next. so that Ladislao Tayo was in front. Viga that was about 11:00 o'clock in the evening of April 9. When we reached that man sailing. Then we proceeded to the seashore where we found the boat ready with two (2) paddles and we boarded the boat. In the morning after eating our breakfast at about 7:00 o'clock of April 10." The boat of Atty. Sorreta. At that instance Atty. and at last Tayo requested Tapar to fetch his wife in Mayngaway. And yet one of the eyewitnesses. and I shaked hands with Francisco Tapar. 7. Then we went up the house and Abundio de la Cruz were conversing in English with Eufemia Litong and I proceeded to the kitchen to change my wet clothes. Abundio de la Cruz told us to stop the boat and we did as he alleged that he will talk with that man. Then we reached the shore of Tinago. Abundio de la Cruz immediately pinned down the right balance of the said boat causing tilting (sic) it. Then she served food for us that morning. In the course of our sailing when we reached the point of Bayangan.both the victim and the culprits were out at sea. After the dinner I told Ladislao Tayo to proceed with me to Gigmoto. Page 110 . Catanduanes. and he answered that he has forgotten something which is very important. 8. When we were near the shore I asked him who was that man whom he killed he answered me that he is Atty. and I asked him why we will go back to Tinago. Catanduanes. Sorreta asked why they are doing that way. Sorreta which was floating on the sea. 1944 we were served by Eufemia Litong of our supper having good chow with chicken soup. That while we were in the boat Abundio de la Cruz was the so-called pilot of the boat and I took the other paddle and sat in the middle of the boat. That around 10:00 o'clock in the evening of April 9. After that we proceeded on our way home. At the same time we were served of our dinner in that house. From Tinago we dropped in the house of Cipriano Belda at sitio Bayangan. Viga. Sorreta I found out that he was already dead. 1944 and we stopped at the house of Mauricio Tud (father-in-law of Abundio de la Cruz). Ladislao Tayo and myself proceeded to Sicmil by walking arriving thereat at about 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon. The statement has 17 paragraphs but paragraphs 6 to 10 are sufficient for purposes of this decision. we saw someone sailing. I answered him how we could go home when it is very dark and he answered in return that we will go on sailing. They are: xxx xxx xxx 6. having two small fish which I took from the boat of Atty. subscribed and sworn to before the Justice of the Peace of Virac. After that Abundio de la Cruz. 1944.] Then Abundio de la Cruz turned the boat bound for Tinago. Sorreta he told us what we are doing more. and Abundio de la Cruz went direct to the one sailing. Sorreta with his paddle hitting the latter on the head and at the second time he was hit on the neck and the boat was filled with water. When we reached Atty. and he asked further "If I have done anything wrong we can talk that over" and Abundio de la Cruz replied '"What more talking and this is our time now. We went ahead of the other boat to block it. Soreta. )You have at last paid for the land you grabbed. That at about 1:00 o'clock in the morning of 10 April 1944 we went to the house of Eufemia Litong together with abundio de la Cruz and Ladislao Tayo and Abundio de la Cruz requested Eufemia Litong to give us light as we will change our clothes we being wet. Sorreta hitting the latter somewhere on. Then Abundio de la Cruz said these words (NABAYAD KA MAN GUIRARAY KAN DINAYA MONG DAGA. Viga. himself a participant could have been put on the witness stand had the necessary efforts been taken. After that I made local cigarette and lighted it and go to sleep. pro-Japanese. Abundio de la Cruz further states that we will not be included in that incident as he will take all the risk on what had happened. Catanduanes.) [English translation suplied. With the information received by Ladislao Tayo that his wife was already in Bayangan. 1944 and we prepared local cigarette for our smoke. The only evidence directly showing how Sorreta was killed and which narrates the participation of the appellant in the crime is the December 4. ASIN MAKI HAPON). Sorreta was caught by the wave and he was thrown on the sea and Abundio de la Cruz strike Atty. Then Abundio de la Cruz and Eufemia Litong shaked hands with Francisco Tapar. he refuse to go with me to Gigmoto. 9. Then I proceeded along leaving Abundio de la Cruz and Ladislaw Tayo in Sicmil. Catanduanes. Not one of those who testified witnessed the commission of the crime.

1980 under the principle of "res inter alios alteri nocere non debet. Lumahang. the Court in a 1970 trial chose to rely on a confession taken twenty (20) years earlier in 1950 without giving the accused opportunity to question the author about its contents. At the same time he gave a short talk to the invited guests of the dance starting the following: 'I AM AN AUTHORITY OF THE BARRIO. is not simply corroborative but is the principal evidence against Abundio de la Cruz.' Of course the barrio folks gave respect to Abundio de la Cruz having the knowledge that he is really an authority.10. Puesca. We. The constitutional rights guaranteed the accused stands in the way of the affirmance of the appealed decision. The decision appealed from would thus predicate a conviction on affidavits executed by two alleged eyewitnesses who thereafter repudiated the same. HOW MUCH MORE FOR YOU PEOPLE OF THIS BARRIO.) If the prosectuion exerted enough efforts. Independently of the motives. Page 111 . 241. 105 SCRA 226. 23 SCRA 1301 (1968). It was later ascertained that during the trial of the accused-appellant. That after four or five days had elapsed Abudnio de la Cruz and Ladislao Tayo went to Gigmoto. Article IV. 94 Phil. Clores. 87 SCRA 130). 105 SCRA 694. 100 SCRA 227. Serrano. In the course of the dance Abundio de la Cruz intervened in a certain trouble of the youngsters on the bailarianas and settled it amicably.. Fraga. Constitution is violated. WHEREFORE. the confession which helped send Eriberto Cenon to jail for life is hearsey. It was not utilized by the lower court merely as circumstantial evidence.clock in the afternoon 14 or 15 April 1944. We stated in People v. AND FURTHER STATES THAT EVEN BIGWIGS LIKE ATTORNEY SORRETA CAN BE CONTROLLED BY ME. held in People vs. therefore. speaking through Chief Justice Fernando. Izon. (People v. then it could be admitted against him. Peruelo. unless otherwise held for some other lawful cause. 531. Upon the information that Cenon was serving sentence in the Davao Penal Colony. 105 Phil. it could probably have brought Eriberto Cenon to the trial to be examined. Catanduanes at about 5:00 o. 230): . It is elementary that in all criminal prosecutions. find the extrajudicial statement inadmissibility. however. Baras. 104 Phil. (People v. The confession of Eriberto Cenon. 1979) As this Court. 109 Phil. It could also be allowed as circumstanmtial evidence to show the probability that the appellant actually participated in the commission of the crime. SO ORDERED." (People vs. and People v. we apply the rule that extra-judicial statements of an accused implicating a co-accused cannot be used against the latter unless repeated in open court. Lavarias. a continuance of the hearing was granted to allow him to be fetched. the conviction of appellant cannot be sustained. People v. that must have occasioned such a change of heart. xxx xxx xxx It the above confession were merely corroborative of other facts which tends to establish the guilt of the appellant. 690. While they were they held a dance in the house of Cefirino Santillan. the other evidence linking the accused-appellant to the killing becomes inadequate to establish his guilt. Eriberto Cenon was already released on parole. As far as the appellant is concerned. the judgment of the lower court finding Abundio de la Cruz guilty of murder and sentencing him to suffer the supreme penalty of DEATH is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Consequently. Valerio (112 SCRA 208.. Obedoza. A written extrajudicial statement of a person who was ot presented as a witness to be cross-examined on his supposed statement is not admissible in evidence (People vs. Still this would not have prevented his whereabouts from being ascdertained through the parole office. People v. Alegre. He is ordered immediately release from detention. (People v. The accused-appellant is ACQUITTED for insufficiency of the evidence to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. 94 SCRA 109. 1048). there is a presumptio of innocence in his favor and he has the right to the confrontation of witnesses. As it is.) The right to confrontation of witnesses found in Section 19. (People v.

Mediavillo and Sgt. 3 The following day. after Identifying themselves. 1981. 1981 also prepared by the witness Patrolman Cruz. Patrolman Agapito Linga. a police investigator. Article II. 8 The third witness. Ballena which states: That on or about May 4. at about 12:00 o'clock noon. 1981. No. 6425. Exhibit "B-1" second page of Exhibit "B' Exhibit "C" Sworn Statement of Malcon Olevere y Napa. Page 112 . not being authorized by law to sell. give away to another or distribute any prohibited drug. Contrary to law. acting suspiciously near the corner of Estrada Street. At about 10:00 o'clock in the evening of May 3. 1 The police officers. E. 9 The prosecution offered the following as documentary evidence: 10 Exhibit "A" The Booking Sheet and Arrest Report of accused Rogelio Ramos prepared by witness Patrolman Cruz which was offered as part of his testimony. stopped and frisked the suspect and found in his possession dried marijuana leaves. Article I of the Republic Act No. suspect Olevere declared that he bought the recovered marijuana leaves from one ROGELIO RAMOS y GAERLAN. A. upon arraignment. affirmed that after conducting a dangerous drug test. 4 The accused. Mediavilla arrested appellant Ramos because Malcon Olevere declared that the appellant sold to him the confiscated marijuana leaves. Upon investigation. 6 At the trial. 44 and further amended by P. the leaves confiscated from Malcon Olevere are positive for marijuana. J. L-59318 May 16. which is a prohibited drug. vs. while P/Lt. Mediavillo and P/Sgt. they had seen and observed one MALCON OLEVERE y NAPA. No. Malate. 5 On May 22. a police team with suspect Malcon Olevere y Napa proceeded to the residence of appellant Rogelio Ramos y Gaerlan in 2366 Singalong. Felisa Vequilla. ROGELIO RAMOS y GAERLAN. defendant-appellant. A. He likewise admitted that he sold to Malcon Olevere the marijuana leaves for P10. Patrolman Cruz testified that on May 5. Manila and arrested him. 1981.D. 1983] GUERRERO. after having been duly apprised of his constitutional rights.(25) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 7 Patrolman Agapito Linga declared on the witness stand that Lt. alias "Balanchoy". 1981. Philippines. the accused-appellant Ramos entered a plea of not guilty to the information filed by assistant fiscal Antonio J. as amended by P. he investigated and took down the sworn statement of one Malcon Olevere who disclosed that the accused-appellant Ramos was the source of the marijuana leaves. 1981. During the custodial investigation. an NBI forensic chemist. May 4.: This is an automatic review of the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila finding the accused Rogelio Ramos y Gaerlan in Criminal Case No. and Felisa Vequilla. 61029 guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 4. 2 The police officers thereafter placed Malcon Olevere under arrest. did then and there willfully and unlawfully sell or offer for sale and deliver dried marijuana leaves. The police operatives immediately brought appellant to the Drugs Enforcement Section Western Police Department Headquarters for investigation. E. There is no dispute about the facts of this case. the prosecution presented three witnesses to wit: Patrolman Jaime Cruz.R. in the City of Manila. in relation to Section 2(i).00.D. Patrolman Cruz also testified that he prepared the Booking Sheet and Arrest Report of the appellant Ramos and the corresponding Crime Report. verbally admitted before Lt. the said accused. Exhibit "B" Crime Report dated May 6. Linga the commission of the offense charged. a forensic chemist. a police agent. and imposing upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua. plaintiff-appellee. deliver. [G. 1675. Linga were on routine patrol along Taft Avenue. No. suspect Malcon Olevere executed a written sworn statement implicating the accused-appellant Rogelio Ramos as the source of the marijuana leaves.

Exhibit "E" the envelope containing the marijuana leaves which was confiscated from Malcon Olevere. An affidavit being takenex-parte is often incomplete and inaccurate. Thus. 11 The case is now before Us for automatic review. 14 The constitutional right to meet witnesses face to face 15 in order not to deprive persons of their lives and properties without due process of law is well-protected in our jurisprudence. the person who claimed that it was the therein accused who allegedly sold the marijuana leaves. II That the court erred in its findings both in question of law and fact in convicting the accused notwithstanding the failure of the prosecution to adduce the quantum of evidence necessary to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt by failing to present Malcon Olevere y Napa. the Court of First Instance of Manila (now the Regional Trial Court) found the accused-appellant Ramos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged in view of the verbal admission given by the appellant himself and the evidence offered and admitted in court. 6425 otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.000. This piece of evidence is a mere scrap of paper because Malcon Olevere was not produced in court for cross-examination.Exhibit "C-1" The bracketed portions of Exhibit "C" stating among others that it was Rogelio Ramos herein accused who furnished Malcon Olevere the marijuana leaves. to pay a fine of Twenty Thousand (P20. Let the accused be given full credit of the entire period of his preventive imprisonment. to be destroyed by the Dangerous Drugs Board pursuant to law. IV That the court has acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to a denial of due process of law. Accused-appellant submits before this Honorable Court the following errors: 12 I That the court erred in finding the accused guilty of violation of Section 4 Article II of Republic Act No. 16 We elucidated: Page 113 . without any subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. It can be gleaned from the records that Malcon Olevere executed the written sworn statement declaring that appellant Ramos sold to him the marijuana leaves for P10. The principal issue in this case is whether there is competent and/or admissible evidence in the record to justify the conviction of the accused-appellant Ramos. as amended (Selling-Pushing). in People vs. The dispositive portion of its judgment reads: WHEREFORE. The lower court erred in admitting as evidence the written sworn affidavit of Malcon Olevere. 13 Such kind of evidence is considered hearsay.00. more particularly the right to meet the witness against him face to face and to cross-examination e him has been violated. Article II in relation to Section 2(i). We find petitioner's case meritorious. accused ROGELIO RAMOS y GAERLAN is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of a violation of Section 4.00) pesos. SO ORDERED. III That the constitutional rights of the accused. 6425. and to pay the costs. Subject marijuana leaves (Exhibit E) are confiscated. Exhibit "D-1" marijuana leaves examined. for selling subject prohibited drugs (marijuana leaves) without any lawful authority and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua (life imprisonment). as amended by PD 44 and further amended by PD 1675 as charged in the present information. Toledo. Article I Republic Act No. After the trial.

This is fatal to the admissibility of appellant's verbal admission. Since Malcon Olevere was not presented as a witness. It shall be the responsibility of the arresting officer to see to it that this is accomplished. Nowhere can it be found on the record that appellant was caught in possession or in the act of selling the prohibited marijuana leaves. 17 but also on the commonly known fact that. "a witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his own knowledge.or by letter or messenger.by telephone if possible . there can be no questioning. They cannot be regarded as competent evidence as to the veracity of the contents therein. if the individual is alone and indicates in any manner that he does not wish to be interrogated. and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney. an affidavit is not prepared by the affiant himself but by another who uses his own language in writing the affiant's statements which may either be omitted or misunderstood by the one writing them. insofar as they impute to the appellant the commission of the offense charged. It would be absurd and manifestly unjust to conclude that appellant had been selling marijuana stuff just because what were recovered from Olevere were real marijuana. The person arrested shall have the right to communicate with his lawyer. established nothing to support the conviction of the appellant herein. The defendant may waive effectuation of those rights provided the waiver is made voluntarily. therefore. that Malcon Olevere was not presented as a witness and insofar as they impute to appellant the commission of the crime charged. the constitutional rights of the accused to silence and to counsel is fortified in the very recent case of Morales and Moncupa vs. 18 The Booking Sheet and the Dangerous Drug Report of chemist Felisa Vequilla which were presented as evidence by the prosecution. 30 of the Revised Rules of Court. As correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General not anyone of the three witnesses presented testified on the basis of their personal knowledge that the appellant sold the marijuana leaves to Malcon Olevere. a relative. Proof of one does not necessarily prove another. Prior to questioning. which are derived from his own perception. No custodial investigation shall be conducted unless it be in the presence of counsel engaged by the Page 114 . that any statement he does make be used as evidence against him. The inadmissibility of this sort of evidence is based.Testimony in open court in actual trial cannot be equated with any out-of-court declaration. In People vs. either retained or appointed. especially when taken during custodial investigation. he indicates in any manner and at any stage of the prosecution that he wishes to consult with an attorney before speaking. the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent. Partly relief on the verbal admission made by appellant himself before Lt.. Again. the police may not question him. The mere fact that he may have answered some questions or volunteered some statements on his own does not deprive him of the right to refrain from answering any further inquiries until he has consulted with an attorney and thereafter consents to be questioned. if any. . Likewise. even when the witness has in fact been confronted already by the defendant. Mediavillo and Sgt. the following measures are required. It is not disputed that the marijuana leaves recovered and tested by witness Vequilla came from Malcon Olevere and not from appellant. The lower court in convicting appellant of the crime charged. the adduced evidence are nothing but hearsay evidence. Under Rule 130. Enrile 21 where this Court said: At the time a person is arrested. Linga during the custodial investigation. The oral testimonies given by the witnesses for the prosecution prove nothing material and culpable against the accused.. unless other fully effective means are devised to inform accused persons of their right to silence and assure a continuous opportunity to exercise it. generally. A witness. may not testify as to what he merely learned from others. knowingly and intelligently. either because he was told or having read or heard the same. If however. not only on the lack of opportunity on the part of the adverse party to cross-examine the affiant. We have repeatedly emphasized that care should be taken in accepting extrajudicial admissions. the testimonies offered by the witnesses for the prosecution are regarded as hearsay. it shall be the duty of the arresting officer to inform him of the reason for the arrest and he must be shown the warrant of arrest. Sec. The direct relevance of the trial to the ultimate judgment as to the guilt or innocence of the accused is not present in any other proceeding and is thus a factor that can influence materially the conduct and demeanor of the witness as well as the respective efforts of the counsels of the parties. 19 We are not fully convinced that this apprisal was sufficiently manifested and intelligently understood and accepted by the appellant. 20 We ruled: As for the procedural safeguards to be employed. For the court to admit the sworn statement of Malcon Olevere without giving the adverse party the right to cross-examine him would easily facilitate the fabrication of evidence and the perpetration of fraud. He shall be informed of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel and that any statement he might make could be used against him. Although the records prove that the appellant has been duly apprised of his constitutional rights to silence and to counsel. Such testimony is considered hearsay and may not be received as proof of the truth of what he has learned. or anyone he chooses by the most expedient means . Caquioa. that is. For the same reason.

No costs. In the case at bar. by any person on his behalf. In consonance with Section 20 of the Bill of Rights which states that "any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence." We hold that the verbal admissions of appellant during custodial investigation may not be taken in evidence against him. The records do not reveal that these requirements have been fully complied with. therefore. the interrogating officer must have patience in explaining these rights to him. Any statement obtained in violation of the procedure herein laid down. and then taking his statements down.person arrested. Page 115 . IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. nor was there any showing that appellant has been represented by counsel during custodial investigation. in whole or in part. SO ORDERED. entitled to acquittal. WHEREFORE. or appointed by the court upon petition either of the detainee himself or by anyone on his behalf. and appellant is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged in the information. the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila is REVERSED. appellant has only finished Grade VI. shall be inadmissible in evidence. The right to counsel may be waived but the waiver shag not be valid unless made with the assistance of counsel. 22 which means that he is not adequately educated to understand fairly and fully the significance of his constitutional rights to silence and to counsel. whether exculpatory or inculpatory. As mandated. it is not enough that the police investigator merely informs him of his constitutional rights to silence and to counsel. We hold and rule that the guilt of the accused has not been established beyond reasonable doubt and he is.

1966. she executed a written Statement which was sworn to before Special Counsel Lucila P. and to declare as unconstitutional and void Section 5.: Before us is a Petition for certiorari with Preliminary injunction seeking to annul the proceedings held in Criminal Cases Nos. Respondents were also ejected from said house. docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. Special Counsel. 7 A Complaint for Grave Coercion Crime Case No. Pasig. as amended by Republic Act No. Gregorio Atienza. ANTONIO MONTANO and GREGORIO RUPISAN petitioners. does the Municipal Court in such cases follow the procedure for Municipal Courts or that for Courts of First Instance? 2.018. 12943 and 12944 for Theft and Grave Coercion. two separate charges for Theft. Republic Act No. Siochi. J. 1981} MELENCIO-HERRERA. armed with a Court Order authorizing them to enter the premises of the said house. On the same date. vs.ñët 1. ATIENZA. and by Special Counsel Lucila P." The Complaints in Criminal Cases Nos. Rizal. 6 Both Statements were subscribed and sworn to before respondent Judge. 3 On February 3. then the Municipal Judge in the capitals of the provinces shall have "like jurisdiction as the Court of First Instance" to try the offense. also executed an Affidavit corroborating her declaration. Petitioners took exception to the issuance of the warrants of arrest against them and instituted the present Petition raising the following issues: 1äwphï1. Rule l l2 of the Rules of Court in so far as it denies the accused the right of notice and opportunity to be heard in the preliminary examination. petitioner Antonio Marinas.00 had been taken by petitioners without issuing any receipt therefor. were subscribed and sworn to by Lt. Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court of Pasig. ANDRES S. but respondents state that it was also attested to by Lt. did so again to get their remaining unlevied properties. Respondent Rosario L. to annul the warrants of arrest issued in the said cases. 1965. were not included in the levy. Tranquilino Atienza. however. 1966. The present controversy arose out of the issuance by the Municipal Court of Pasig. Atienza. Deputy Sheriff of Rizal. DE ATIENZA and ROSARIO L. and Criminal Case No. Jose S. 12945 for Theft does not show the jurat on its face. 12944) was also lodged against petitioners and three Does on the same date. On December 13. HON. She reported the loss to the authorities on February 2. 3828. de Atienza reported to the police authorities of Pasig that her jewelry worth P590. 1966.R. They claimed. 1966. VICTORIA LASIN VDA. Rizal. Rizal. with his co-petitioners Antonio Montano and Gregorio Rupisan enforced said Writ of Execution by levying upon the personal properties and chattels of private respondents Victoria Lasin Vda. Zulueta vs. Rizal. Is preliminary investigation a part of due process? 3. with a total value of P1. Jose S. respondent Judge. were filed against petitioners and Carlos Quintana before the Municipal Court of Pasig. 4 Victoria Lasin executed a Statement 5 alleging that the personal properties forcibly taken from them by petitioners. 2 On January 28. provides that when the penalty provided by law does not exceed prision correccional. respondents. Alcoba. Can there be due process without the presence of the accused during the preliminary investigation. amounting to P2. 10 Page 116 . of a Writ of Execution in Civil Case No. 938 for Ejectment. Private respondents reported the incident to the police authorities at Pasig. The Complaint in Criminal Case No. Lontoc. Her son.(26) ANTONIO MARINAS. 12943 and 12945. 12945. that on the said date petitioners and their companions forcibly compelled them to deliver the unlevied personal properties found therein.00. 12944 for Grave Coercion.00. On February 7. were missing. 12943 and 12944. 1966. and her Statement was taken. 12943 and 12945 for Theft. respondents. Atienza then discovered that several pieces of her jewelry and other personal items. L-25707&25753-25754 May 14. 1 and in connection therewith. hauled said articles into a truck and left. Alcoba. Antonio Village. and taking out said properties from their (respondents') rented house at #23 General Malvar St. 8 The three Complaints were filed by Lt. Lontoc before respondent Judge. These Complaints contained an annotation on the lower left hand corner reading: "APPROVED AFTER PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION: (SGD) Lucila P. de Atienza and] Rosario L. for and on behalf of the Chief of Police. Nos. Rizal. Rizal.645. 296. SIOCHI. [G. entitled Jose C. before the Municipal Court of Pasig. On February 8. Chief of the Criminal Investigation Section of the Police Department of Pasig. respectively.. Alcoba in Criminal Case No. warrants for the arrest of petitioners were issued by respondent Judge in all three cases 9 after preliminary examination conducted by him in Criminal Cases Nos. respondents re-entered the house they had been ejected from after securing a Court Order for that purpose. respondent Victoria Lasin Vda. presiding. Lontoc before respondent Judge and that this appears on the dorsal side of the Complaint. She subscribed and swore to the same before respondent Municipal Judge Andres S. When Section 87.

1äwphï1. Rule 112. and ordered the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary injunction restraining respondent Judge from enforcing the warrants of arrest issued in Criminal Cases Nos. "Approved after preliminary examination". and a final verdict on the innocence (or guilt) of the accused is thereupon rendered. Justice Claudio Teehankee. and to adduce evidence in his favor. 296). in the cases ofPeople vs. as amended by Republic Acts Nos. her failure to make the certification under oath to the effect that the accused were given a chance to appear in person or by counsel at said examination and investigation. the investigation shall proceed without him. If he cannot be subpoenaed. paragraph 4 of the Judiciary Act of 1948 (R. the warrants of arrest issued thereafter should be quashed. or if subpoenaed he does not appear before the fiscal.On February 23. isprision correccional in its minimum and medium periods. Continuing. without first giving the accused a chance to be heard in a preliminary investigation conducted by him or by his assistant by issuing a corresponding subpoena. and that the Information filed should carry a certification under oath that defendant was given a chance to appear in person at said examination and investigation. therefore. also falls under the concurrent jurisdiction of the Municipal Court of Pasig and the Court of First Instance of Rizal. with a penalty. rather than an inconclusive dismissal of the charge by the fiscal in a preliminary investigation which would not constitute jeopardy. in which the penalty provided by law does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for not more than six years or fine not exceeding six thousand pesos or both. 12944 and 12945. -Except when an investigation has been conducted by a judge of first instance. pursuant to Article 309 (3) of the Revised Penal Code. respectively. for Theft of P590. Section 14. it cannot issue warrants of arrest without first giving the accused a chance to be heard. 12944 for Grave Coercion." 14 To reiterate Page 117 . which decisively held. the investigation shall be conducted in his presence and he shall have the right to be heard. 11 It is petitioners' submission that because of this concurrent jurisdiction. as the penalty provided for said crimes.ñët Municipal judges in the capitals of provinces and judges of city courts shall have like jurisdiction as the Court of First Instance to. lf the accused appears. the accused shall not be entitled as a matter of right to a preliminary investigation in accordance with this section" and that this rule applies whether the case is within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Municipal Court or within its concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of First Instance. merely signed the Complaints for these two cases below the notation. The fiscal or state attorney shall certify under oath in the information to be filed by him that the defendant was given a chance to appear in person or by counsel at said investigation and examination. without needless waste or duplication of time and effort. Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. in Criminal Cases Nos. or state attorney. reading: "in cases triable in the municipal or city courts. Criminal Case No. shall have like jurisdiction within the province as the Court of First Instance to hear application for bail. and in the absence of the district judge. Pursuant to the foregoing provision.018.00.00 and P1. On the other hand. Abejuela and People vs. Preliminary examination and investigation by provincial or city fiscal or by state attorney in cases cognizable by the Court of First Instance. investigation after arrest.00. fall under the concurrent jurisdiction of the Municipal Court of Pasig and the Court of First Instance of Rizal. provides: 1äwphï1. Cabato. the accused is not entitled as a matter of right to be heard in a preliminary investigation under section 10. referring to the right of an accused to preliminary. and to cross-examine the complainant and his witnesses. 12943 and 12945. was violative of the due process clause. Endan. Section 87. a Municipal Court acts in reality as a Court of First Instance and. we required respondents to file an Answer. 12943.A. The reason is because the case goes to trial already after the arrest of the accused and his delivery to the Court.13 "The ensuing trial on the merits takes the place of preliminary investigation. The issue of whether or not an accused is entitled to appear and present evidence in a preliminary investigation in cases falling within the concurrent jurisdiction of the Municipal Court and the Court of First Instance has been squarely resolved in the negative by this Court. that even though the offense be one falling within the concurrent jurisdiction of the City Courts and Courts of First Instance. under Article 286 of the Revised Penal Code. no information for an offense cognizable by the Court of First Instance shall be filed by the provincial or city fiscal. provides. relied upon by petitioners. both Criminal Cases Nos.ñët Section 14. Alcoba of the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal. 12943 and 12945. petitioners argue that since Special Counsel Lucila P. of arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding P500. Rule 112. and. 2613 and 3828. respondents contend that the governing proviso is the second paragraph of Section 10. speaking through Mr. justice of the peace or other officer in accordance with the provisions of the preceding sections. consequently. 64 SCRA 419 (1975). try parties charged with an offense committed within their respective jurisdiction. 1966. 12 reiterated in the case of Banzon vs.

Rule 112. Annexes "I" and "2" hereof. Conformably thereto. there is no right of preliminary investigation in cases triable by inferior Courts. and '7' hereof. Special Counsel Lucile P. in section l (3). the victim. he first conducted. the following conditions must first be fulfilled: (1) he must examine the witness or witnesses personally. and thereafter the respondent Judge required them (the complainants and their witnesses) to subscribe before and make oath to him as to the truth of the answers given by them to the Police Investigator as shown by the fact that in said Annexes "4". Annexes "4". At any rate. financial and social circumstances. What would be searching questions would depend on what is sought to be inquired into. and place of its commission. The 1935 Constitution. were in writing and sworn to before him prior to his issuance of the order of arrest. the date. "5". which examination shall be under oath and reduced to writing in the form of searching questions and answers.ñët The requirement that the investigating judge must examine the witnesses personally. provides that: before a Municipal Judge may issue a warrant of arrest. and "7". the deponents signed their respective names twice. Article III provides that no warrant shall be issued but upon probable cause to be determined by the Judge after examination of witnesses under oath or affirmation of the complaint and the witnesses he may produce. thereby complying to the requirements of Section 87 of the Judiciary Act of 1948. status. 15 What was conducted by the respondent Judge in these cases is the preliminary examination before the issuance of a warrant of arrest pursuant to section 1. As explained by respondent Judge in his Answer: 1äwphï1. The questions. paragraph 3. 1966.ñët Before the warrants of arrest were issued by the respondent Judge in Criminal Cases Nos. social attitudes. Alcoba of the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal conducted the necessary preliminary examination required by Section l of Rule l l 2 in that. she asked the same or Identical questions appearing in said annexes to the deponents and adopted the questioning of the Police Investigator as her own interrogations of the complainant and her witness. therefore. as amended.ñët As regards Criminal Case No. 12943 (actually 12945). the same or Identical questions asked of them by the Investigating Police Officer in their written statements before the said Police Investigator. without distinction as to whether such case be of their exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction. opportunities to commit the offense. The points that are the subject of inquiry may differ from case to case. as his own questions. 12944 and 12945 (actually 12943 and 12944).ñët the term "searching questions and answers" means only. therefore. and the examination shall be under oath and reduced to writing in the form of searching questions and answers. taking into consideration the purpose of the preliminary examination which is to determine 'whether there is a reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been committed and the accused is probably guilty thereof so that a warrant of arrest may be issued and the accused held for trial'. such as: the nature of the offense. of the Judiciary Act. In regards Criminal Case No. as amended by Republic Act No. and thereafter she required them to Page 118 . time. the necessary preliminary examination required by Section l of Rule 112 by adopting. 16 By "searching questions and answers" is meant: 1äwphï1. 12945 for Theft. the respondent Judge did not take the oath of the complainant and her witness on the statement given by them to the Police investigator. which questions and the answers thereto. status. his age.and to re-state the rule. such questions as have tendency to show the commission of a crime and the perpetrator thereof. 17 In the language of this Court in De Mulata vs.' so the respondent Judge adopted them. family responsibilities. his attitude toward the investigation. financial and social circumstances. Patosa partake of the nature of his searching questions and answers as required by law. on February 8. 3828. the court a quo found that respondent Judge was satisfied that the questions and answers contained in the sworn statements taken by T-Sgt. providing therein that 'no warrant of arrest shall be issued by any justice of the peace in any criminal case filed with him unless he first examines the witness or witnesses personally. (2) the examination must be under oath. the possible motives for its commission the subject. These requirements have been met in the three criminal cases involved herein. 213 (1974): 1äwphï1. although. respondent Judge had this to say: 1äwphï1. is fulfilled where the municipal judge examined under oath the witnesses by asking questions that were adopted from a previous investigation and considered by him as sufficiently searching and. and by asking the complainants and their witnesses. must to a great degree depend upon the Judge making the investigation. characteristics. once before the Investigating Police Officer and the second time before the respondent Judge who also required them to take the jurat to the oath. his age. as can be seen from said Annexes 'I' and '2'. "5". Irizari. 61 SCRA 210. and (3) the examination must be reduced to writing in the form of searching questions and answers. etc. Section 87. education.

Alcoba that she conducted the required preliminary examination of the complainant and her witness. That practice is precisely what is sought to be voided by the amendment of Section 87 (c) of Republic Act. is a substantial compliance to the requirements of the law although it can be said that the same is somewhat defective in form.ñët We wish to stress. and Section l (15). "No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. respondent Judge had convinced himself that probable cause existed before he issued the warrant of arrest. accompanied by the oath taken by her before the respondent Judge after making such certification. reading: 1äwphï1. We wish to emphasize strict compliance by municipal or city judges of the provision of Section 87(c) of the Judiciary Act of 1948. We reiterate. an accused is not entitled as a matter of right to be present. in order to avoid malicious and/or unfounded criminal prosecution of persons. whether or not probable cause exists or not depends upon the judgment and discretion of the Judge issuing the warrant of arrest (De Mulata vs. it is clear that. For. as a previous inquiry or examination made before the arrest of the accused by a Judge or officer authorized to conduct the same.subscribe their respective names and to swear before her as to the truth of the answers given by them to each and every question appearing in said Annexes '1' and '2' and. in the exact form required by law. supra p. requires no notice to an accused. supra). and that the examination must be under oath and reduced to writing in the form of searching questions and answers. their statements before a person or persons other than the judge before whom the criminal complaint is filed. 12945 below. however. the Judiciary Act as amended by Republic Act No. supra. the purpose of said examination being merely to determine whether or not there is sufficient reason to issue a warrant of arrest. however. and swore to. 296 (Judiciary Act of 1948) which requires that before a municipal judge issues a warrant of arrest he should first satisfy himself that there is a probable cause by examining the witnesses personally. A preliminary examination is generally a proceeding ex-parte in which the person charged has no right to participate or be present. Rule 112. by Special Counsel Lucile P. although there was no certification. Rule l l 2 provides: 1äwphï1. From Section 5 of Rule 112. in determining whether there is a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. in so far as it authorizes the Municipal Court to conduct a preliminary examination before the issuance of a Warrant of Arrest without previous notice to the accused. under Section l of Rule 112. The right to confrontation of witnesses neither applies to a preliminary hearing. Rollo) xxx xxx xxx From the foregoing explanation. (pp. Under the attendant circumstances. for the purpose of determining whether there is a reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been committed and the accused is probably guilty thereof. the city judge. 46-47. The preliminary examination referred to is defined. This section does not refer to the preliminary investigation proper provided for under Section 10. unlike in the preliminary investigation proper." Section 5. In Criminal Case No. either in the presence or in the absence of the accused. the fiscal or the municipal mayor who conducts the preliminary examination as provided in these rules must take under oath. the reminder in the Luna case (supra). 3828. as amended by Republic Act 3828. Irizari. 18 Section l (3). during the preliminary examination nor to cross-examine the witnesses presented against him before his arrest. and to present evidence if he so desires.ñët The municipal. III of the 1935 Constitution which states. (Luna vs. 323) Petitioners further maintain that Section 5 of Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. in the final analysis.ñët Page 119 . Plaza. lt may be deduced that respondent Judge was satisfied that the questions and answers in a previous investigation by Special Counsel Alcoba partook of the nature of his searching questions and answers and made them his own. supra. the testimony of the complainant and his witnesses. in which the accused is given access to the testimony and evidence presented against him at the preliminary examination. is unconstitutional as it violates the guarantee of equal protection of the laws. It is obvious that the purpose of this amendment is to prevent the issuance of a warrant of arrest against a person based simply upon affidavits of witnesses who made. Plaza. respondent Judge may not be said to have acted arbitrarily. that what has been stated in this opinion is certainly not intended to sanction the return to the former practice of municipal judges of simply relying upon affidavits or sworn statements that are made to accompany the complaints that are filed before them. As held in Luna vs. so that a warrant of arrest may be issued and the accused held for trial. The reason therefor has been explained thus: 1äwphï1. Article III of the 1935 Constitution commanding the determination of probable cause prior to issuance of a warrant arrest. The testimony of the complainant and his witnesses shall be reduced to writing and signed by them. does not prohibit the Municipal Judge from adopting the questions asked by a previous investigator. it is admitted that her certification in the body of the complaint stating "Approved after preliminary examination". with whom a Complaint or Information has been filed imputing the commission of an offense cognizable by the Court of First Instance. Art.

with the consequent extension of deprivation of the accused's liberty. vs. the testimony of the complainant and his witnesses.. Villa. SO ORDERED. in Manzano vs.. and of a prompt verdict on his guilt or innocence. the Petition is hereby denied and the Writ of Preliminary Injunction heretofore issued is hereby lifted. Hence. Page 120 . 18 Phil.' said testimony to be reduced to writing and signed by them. the absence of the accused during the preliminary examination was not a denial of due process of law. To hold that he had such a right and to reverse a judgment of conviction on this ground would have the effect of destroying the very purpose of that part of the criminal law. either in the presence or absence of the accused. the curtailment of the presence of an accused during that preliminary examination entails no infringement of the constitutional right to due process of law nor to equal protection of the laws.. 21 In a nutshell. which at times out. for under section 5 of Rule 112 all that is required is for the judge conducting such examination to 'take under oath.. it is often the only means of discovering the persons who may reasonably be charged with the crime so as to enable the fiscal to prepare his complaint or information.ñët .. 19 this Court categorically held:1äwphï1. the proceedings in these three criminal cases conformed to law and jurisprudence. the determination of probable cause by the Judge after examination of witnesses he may produce. 22 WHEREFORE. (People vs. et al. lt is settled doctrine that the right hereto is of statutory character and may be invoked only when specifically created by statute. 122. generally offices to establish the existence of reasonable ground to charge the accused with having committed the offense complained of.. 147) . upon his arraignment (without having to undergo the second stage of the preliminary investigation). 719. 731) While section l (3) Art. Grant. 48 Phil. lt would be against public policy.. Badilla. conducted by the duly authorized officer. (U.. as explained in People vs. . are eliminated with the assurance of a speedy and expeditious trial for the accused. it is frequently waived. The loss of time entailed in the conduct of preliminary investigations.ñët The preliminary examination conducted by the municipal judge was essentially a procedural matter and no substantial rights of the accused were violated just because he had not been given an opportunity to examine the witnesses against him. But even conceding that petitioners were entitled to a preliminary investigation. besides the mental anguish suffered in protracted litigations.S.. before the issuance of a warrant of arrest. 20 lt is not a fundamental right and may be waived expressly or by silence.. Thus. Abejuela. Neither can the withholding of the right of preliminary investigation from the accused in cases triable by inferior Courts be termed ' an unjust or unfair distinction.lasts the period of the penalty provided by law for the offense. as borne out by the examination and sworn written statements of the complainants and their witnesses. supra: 1äwphï1. It can not be seriously contended that an accused person has a right to be present during this stage of the proceedings. lt is frequently essential that such investigations be kept secret and that the accused should have no suspicion of any complaint against him.. not in an appellate Court because the absence of preliminary investigation does not go to the jurisdiction of the Court but merely to the regularity of the proceedings. the proper forum before which absence thereof should have been raised and ventilated was in the trial Court. in case he fails to post bail. Costs against petitioners. Attention should also be called to the fact that neither the 1935 nor the 1973 Constitution requires the holding of a preliminary investigation. The first stage of the preliminary investigation is 'not the occasion for full and exhaustive presentation of parties' evidence but only such as may engender well-grounded belief that an offense has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof' The proceeding is usually held ex-parte. On the other hand. as in fact. and bearing in mind that preliminary investigation can be waived. III of the 1935 Constitution does require. the so-called first stage of preliminary investigation or the preliminary examination. otherwise he might avoid punishment for his crime by escaping before arrest.

Sta. Municipality of Sta. Adriano Odal. admitting having kidnapped and molested MARCELINA. No.R. Domingo Odal. It will be noted that the complaint filed directly by MARCELINA with the Court was amended by the Fiscal in the Information. Adriano Odal. The following day. What has been noticed is that. The period of the offense was from December 14th to 17th. defendant-appellant. On the other hand. presumably prepared with the help of the Fiscal. from the house of one Norma Fernandez and brought her to a far away place and once there. confederating together and helping one another. Of the six (6) persons accused. Silvino Odal and Fidel Ansuas.: The accused ADELINO Bardaje in this case. besides the FIVE OTHERS. Pedro Odal. 1980] MELENCIO-HERRERA. with the complaint having been filed on December 20th. the FIVE OTHERS were never arrested. Province of Samar. confederating together and helping one another. after having been duly sworn to according to law. Crossing. Rita. With that Page 121 . 1965. unlawfully and feloniously drag one Marcelina Cuizon. Rita. On December 20. and it was on December 20th. Lucio Malate. Silvino Odal and Fidel Ansuas (hereinafter called the FIVE OTHERS): The undersigned complainant. Adriano Odal. and at nighttime. Pedro Odal. plaintiff-appellee. a minor of 14 years old. Philippines. the Information included the allegation that the crime of Rape with Illegal Detention was committed with the "aggravating circumstances that it was committed in an uninhabited place and with the aid of armed men". by means of force and intimidation forcibly had sexual intercourse with her several times while his co-accused were on guard. with Lucio Malate. by means of force and intimidation forcibly had sexual intercourse with her for several times while his co-accused were on guard. in Bo. 1 which was probably the basis for MARCELINA's complaint. in Bo. the Fiscal charged him with "Rape with Illegal Detention". Contrary to law. or barely three (3) days thereafter. Silvino Odal and Fidel Ansuas of the crime of Rape with Illegal Detention committed as follows: That on or about the period from the 14th day to 17th day of December. by means of force and intimidation. armed with bolos and at nighttime. Lucio Malate. That the commission of the crime the aggravating circumstances that it was committed in an uninhabited place and with the aid of armed men. vs. December 21st.COMPULSORY PROCESS (27) THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. While MARCELINA charged ADELINO only with Rape. The name of the barrio was also changed from Lopig to Crossing. 1965. Pedro Odal. were present. accuses Adelino Bardaje. committed as follows: That on or about the period from the 14th day to 17th day of December. ADELINO had mentioned that. ADELINO BARDAJE. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable court the above-named accused. J. Adriano Odal. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the above-named accused. The case is before us on automatic review. conspiring. Lastly. when he signed the alleged confession. [G. did then and there wilfully. Lucio Malate. accused Adelino Bardaje. 1965. MARCELINA Cuizon lodged the following complaint with the Court of First Instance of Samar against ADELINO and five (5) others 'namely. conspiring. ADELINO was arrested on December 17th. accused Adelino Bardaje. the Information added that the accused were "armed with bolos". has been convicted of Forcible Abduction with Rape. Lopig. (Emphasis supplied). and sentenced to death. was with the group when MARCELINA was "kidnapped". and only ADELINO stood trial. by means of force and intimidation. after trial. did then and there wilfully. L-29271 August 29. (Emphasis supplied). MARCELINA merely alleged that she was dragged from the house of Norma Fernandez by means of force and intimidation and at nighttime. Pedro Odal. Province of Samar. Exhibit "C". There is no indication in the record as to why Domingo Odal was not included in MARCELINA's complaint as one of the accused. unlawfully and feloniously drag one Marcelina Cuizon from the house of one Norma Fernandez and brought her to a far away place and once there. the Fiscal's office filed the following Information with the Court: The undersigned Assistant Provincial Fiscal accuses Adelino Bardaje. with lewd design. in Exhibit "C". with lewd design. a sixth. Silvino Odal and Fidel Ansuas of the crime of Rape.

She bit and kicked him. brought her to the mountain about two kilometers from Barrio Crossing. 1965. After the liquor had been fully consumed. 14 years of age. Pedro Odal. whom she knew when they were "still small". and sentenced him to death. 3 Since according to Exhibit "C". 4 After the trial was concluded. The soldiers apprehended ADELINO while the FIVE OTHERS jumped down the window and fled. upon ADELINO's instructions. where she filed a complaint at the Fiscal's Office on December 20. 1967. his wife. Complainant admitted that Ceferino. Upon her father. while the FIVE OTHERS slept near the kitchen. the clause "with" Lucio Malate. Pedro Odal. forced her downstairs and by holding and dragging her. entered the house and began drinking "sho hoc tong" which they brought along. tried to extricate her from her mother's embrace and dragged the two of them to the sala. At 7:00 o'clock in the evening of December 14. 1964 (821965). ADELINO's lawyer submitted his Memorandum on July 26. Fidel Ansuas. in which he specifically argued that "the prosecution did not establish the elements of Rape and Illegal Detention as prescribed by Articles 335 and 267 of the Revised Penal Code. when the position was taken that the crime which should be imputed to ADELINO is Rape with Forcible Abduction. She then ran to the room where her mother was. She was kept in one room. with the latter Ceferino "Tatay" She curled the hair of Narita (daughter of Ceferino) the next day. Silvino Odal and Fidel Ansuas" indicates that it was ADELINO who had dragged MARCELINA "with" the help of the FIVE OTHERS. Thus. or an interval of less than 72 Hours. ADELINO had another sexual intercourse with her even though she bit and kicked him and shouted for help which was to no avail as all present were relatives of ADELINO. consisted of one room. Maria Fernandez. arriving there past twelve o'clock noon at the house of one called Ceferino (also called Cipriano) who lived there with his family. which hut was about waist high from the ground. at Barrio Crossing. That was about 12 midnight. while the FIVE OTHERS were merely accomplices. drinking and guarding her. is that in December. an analysis of the Information will show the assumption that only ADELINO was the principal culprit while the FIVE OTHERS were either principals by cooperation or accomplices. Pedro Odal choked the mother's neck thereby loosening her hold on the daughter and the four males. MARCELINA was "kidnapped" at midnight of December 14th. which allegation could be taken into account in connection with Illegal Detention 2 but not in connection with Forcible Abduction. 6 kilometers farther. she embraced him and cried. and who was her classmate in Grade II (1960). two soldiers with her father. In the morning of December 17. it could not be correctly pleaded that MARCELINA was deprived of liberty for three (3) days. ADELINO succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her while his other companions stayed outside on guard. yet from the body of the information it could be clearly gleaned that the elements of abduction are sufficiently alleged therein and hence the accused can be convicted thereunder (People vs. Between the room and the sala was a wall of split bamboos so that noise inside the room could be heard clearly from the other side. She and her mother. Her curling paraphernalia was taken by Adriano Odal. before the arraignment of ADELINO. accompanied by the FIVE OTHERS. On June 2. Mariano Odal. 6 Page 122 . 1967. Both the complaint and Information also indicated that ADELINO was the only one who committed the rape. she and her mother were living in the house of her aunt. Under cross-examination. and a kitchen. and removing her panty. Sta. MARCELINA and her "captors" stayed in Ceferino's house for two days. Outside the room were Pedro Odal. still armed with bolos. ADELINO. with ADELINO holding her hands. Emiliano Javete. the trial Court found ADELINO guilty of Forcible Abduction with Rape with the aggravating circumstances of dwelling and aid of armed men. and Adriano Odal. In the evening. 1966. MARCELINA declared that she did not know who owned the hut and that it was just a one-room affair where a woman and two small children lived. ADELINO and the FIVE OTHERS brought her to another mountain. She regained consciousness in a hut. arrived. where she worked as a beautician. ADELINO slapped her rendering her unconscious. and ADELINO was arrested in the morning of December 17th. December 15.time frame in mind. The version of complainant MARCELINA Cuizon. that she and Appellant slept in that same room as the woman. 5 At about 8:00 o'clock the following morning. from Norma Fernandez (her cousin) who gave the equipment as she (Norma) was also threatened. because ADELINO threatened to kill her if she did not. On the way. They all returned to Barrio Crossing. Silvino Odal broke the kerosene lamp causing complete darkness. and seven children were living in the same hut where she was taken the second time. Samar. Despite her struggle. Sofia Fernandez. two of whom were armed with bolos. followed her. 1965 and submitted to a medical examination at the Samar Provincial Hospital." It was only in the Memorandum of the Fiscal. Rita. a sala. 6 x 3 meters. The following day. CA 01956-57-CR April 7. Alejo Cuizon. The prosecution's Memorandum stated: Although the information is for Rape with Illegal Detention instead of Rape with Forcible Abduction. When cross-examined. 1967. July 28. dated July 27. ADELINO. Adriano Odal and Fidel Ansuas. the Information was amended to include the allegation that MARCELINA was detained and deprived of liberty for a period of th0ree (3) days. 3 x 2 meters. then went to Catbalogan. 1965 while she was then eating supper.

MARCELINA's family used to have a house in Barrio Crossing but now MARCELINA just stays in the house of her aunt. Hymen no intact. he was boxed by the soldiers as instructed by MARCELINA's father and taken to Maulong PC Headquarters for questioning. corroborated that portion of ADELINO's testimony regarding their stay in his house adding that MARCELINA and ADELINO had told him that they had eloped. 7. 1965 as previously planned. 2. No evidence of external injuries around the vulva or any part of the body. and helped in house chores and in the threshing of palay. 1965. Jr. 12 o'clock. to Ceferino Armada's house. The latter ran to him and embraced him and said she was to blame. In the instant case. must be subjected to thorough scrutiny for a determination of its veracity beyond reasonable doubt. Physical evidence is of the highest order and speaks more eloquently than an witnesses put together. Alejo Cuizon. Vagina easily admits two fingers. "wrestled" with.Dr. he was boxed and kicked and was forced to sign a statement implicating the FIVE OTHERS as his companions even if untrue. Nenita. In crimes against chastity. 3. according to the testimony of the examining physician would have occurred two weeks or even one month before if said lacerations had been caused by sexual intercourse. Resident Physician at the Samar Provincial Hospital. and if it were intercourse. The trial Court found the prosecutors version of the incident more worthy of credence stating that Complainant had no improper motive to implicate ADELINO in such a detestable crime as Rape. While in that hut. He did not know who attested to his statement as one Sgt. food was brought to them by his sister. the owner of the hut where MARCELINA was allegedly forcibly brought the second time. two weeks or one month" or possibly more. Page 123 . In the morning of December 17. indeed. notwithstanding. To start with. considering that Complainant was allegedly "dragged" slapped" into unconsciousness. Sofia. Her charge. We are also faced with the medical finding of "old healed lacerations" in the hymen which. Ceferino was a cousin of ADELINO's mother. 1965. we find that the guilt of ADELINO has not been established beyond reasonable doubt. they having been sweethearts since November 12. the first hut she was taken to was a small one-room affair occupied by a woman and two small children. During the investigation.. He claims that they eloped on December 14 to 17. On the basis of the evidence. by Complainant's own admission. 1964. declared that he examined MARCELINA on December 20. accompanied by MARCELINA's father. the conviction or acquittal of an accused depends almost entirely on the credibility of a complainant's testimony since by the intrinsic nature of those crimes they usually involve only two persons — the complainant and the accused. MARCELINA's mother and others were eating. that she was ravished in that same room is highly improbable and contrary to human experience. 60 years of age. after which the two of them walked to the mountains. In the evening of December 14. presence of old healed laceration at 4. 8 For his part. that MARCELINA even offered to curl his daughter's hair (Narita's and Concepcion's). MARCELINA handed him a bag and beauty culture equipment through the window. testimonial and documentary. The offended party's testimony. apprehended him for having kidnapped MARCELINA. MARCELINA curled Narita's hair the next day. they used to date in Tacloban and "anything goes". Gacelos took the document elsewhere. "no evidence of external injuries was found around the vulva or any part of the body" of Complainant. according to the medical findings. which is about five houses away from theirs. Secondly. a fact which is strange. This expert opinion bolsters the defense that MARCELINA and ADELINO had previous amorous relations at the same time that it casts serious doubts on the charge of intercourse by force and intimidation. we find MARCELINA's charge that she was forcibly abducted and afterwards raped by ADELINO in conspiracy with FIVE OTHERS highly dubious and inherently improbable. Sets. and criminally abused. admitted having had carnal knowledge of MARCELINA but denied having raped her. therefore. Ceferino's daughter. while ADELINO helped in carrying palay because it was rainy. he estimated that it could have occured " say. ADELINO. Ceferino Armada. As such. 4. the doctor stated that laceration may have been caused by possible sexual intercourse or other factors. 1965 and issued a Medical Certificate with the following findings: 1. went downstairs. Terado and Gacelos. Vaginal smear negative for spermatozoa 7 Explaining the "old healed laceration". therefore. aged 18. He and MARCELINA slept in the bedroom with 18-year old Narita. Vitus Hobayan. while Sofia.

in capital cases. it was because of force or intimidation exercised upon her. This was not done in regards to ADELINO who all the time was under the impression that he was being tried for Rape with Illegal Detention. her testimony will be dispensed with. As a result. they would. But instead of taking effective steps to have Narita brought to Court. ADELINO wanted to have Narita testify on his behalf. if the defense was not able to bring her to the Court. in all probability. and the hut constructed as it was. indeed. Additionally. a fact inconsistent with her allegation of "captivity". That they did not. that she herself had sent for them from her cousin Norma Fernandez voluntarily and not under threat from ADELINO. while ADELINO allegedly took advantage of her. As we view it. They are circumstances that were overlooked by the trial Court and justify a reversal of its finding of guilt as an exception to the established rule that the findings of fact of a trial Judge based on the relative credibility of witnesses are entitled to great respect and will not be disturbed by appellate Courts. Rojas. as well as the hair of other girls in the vicinity. the lower court gave responsibility for Narita's attendance to the defense. therefore that the so called confession was attested without ADELINO's presence so that the latter cannot be said to have duly subscribed and sworn to it. Furthermore. some special relationship between MARCELINA and ADELINO.Thirdly. Complainant testified that the second hut where she was taken. aged 18. While it is true that an accused can be punished for a crime described by the facts alleged in tile Information despite a wrong designation of the crime in the preamble of the Information. their malevolent intent. one of the rights of an accused is "to have compulsory process issued to secure the attendance of witnesses on his behalf. consisted of a small room separated from the sala by a wall of split bamboos. 13 yet. Complainant admits that she even curled the hair of Narita. he may have changed the strategy or tactics of his defense. it was assumed that ADELINO was being held responsible for the complex crime of Rape with Illegal Detention. whenever a discrepancy is noted between the designation of the crime made by the Fiscal and the crime described by the facts pleaded in his Information. This case also constitutes an exception to the general belief that a young girl would not expose herself to the ordeal of public trial if she were not motivated solely by a desire to have the culprit who had ravished and shamed her placed behind bars. Surely. since that elopement must have met with righteous indignation on the part of her parents. and a subpoena had been issued to her. was by himself when being investigated by soldiers. Not that it could be said he would have done so. eloped and that she had brought her beauty culture paraphernalia with her. Further. ADELINO. Aside from his declaration that Ws confession was obtained through maltreatment and violence. armed with bolos and drinking. MARCELINA was confronted with a paradoxical situation as a daughter of relative tender age who could not shamefacedly admit to her parents that she had eloped and voluntarily submitted to sexual intercourse. Moreover. to do so. his wife and/or his children could not have been insensible to her outcries notwithstanding their relationship to ADELINO. MARCELINA was not forcibly abducted but that she and ADELINO had. indeed. 10without benefit of counsel nor of anyone to advise him of his rights. it should be desirable that. as the defense maintains. 11 it was also vitiated by a procedural irregularity testified to by no less than prosecution witness Sgt. expressly stating that. Pedro Gacelos to the effect that he and room after he presented the statement to the Clerk of Court. but he should have been advised he had the right. one of Ceferino's daughters. and given the opportunity. That proof has not been met in the case at bar. from her own lips. It challenges human credulity that she could have been sexually abused with so many within hearing and distance. have taken turns in abusing her. It should also be noted that throughout the hearings before the trial Court. or. 14 ADELINO had stated that. The totality of the foregoing circumstances count with such great weight and significance that they lend an aura of improbability and reasonable doubt to the allegation that MARCELINA had been "kidnapped" or "illegally detained" and that when she and ADELINO engaged in sexual intercourse. while MARCELINA was in the house of Ceferino Armada. the old man Ceferino. The livelihood is that. 12 There is reason to believe. and much less rape. that of Ceferino Armada. the evidence establishing more of an elopement rather than kidnapping or illegal detention or forcible abduction. too. MARCELINA was faced with no other choice but to charge ADELINO with rape or incur the ire of her parents and social disrepute from a small community. that under those circumstances the FIVE OTHERS could have stood guard outside. indicates that there was. If ADELINO had known that he was being tried for Forcible Abduction with Rape. and not for Forcible Abduction with Rape. one of the latter's children. 9 Corpus delicti is proved when the evidence on record shows that the crime prosecuted had been committed. That she was threatened with death if she did not accede to such an inconsequential request defies credulity. In respect of the alleged confession of ADELINO. Mr. that Ceferino with his wife and seven children all lived therein. she curled the hair of Narita. with people around. The record shows: Page 124 . It is unbelievable. in fact. it would have been an easy matter for MARCELINA to have shouted and cried for help. If rape were. The lower Court should call attention of the accused to the discrepancy. suffice it to re-state that "an extrajudicial confession made by an accused shag not be sufficient ground for conviction unless corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti. The aphorism still rings true that evidence to be believed must not only come from the mouth of a credible witness but must be credible in itself. so that the accused may be fully apprised of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Again.

for which this case is set also? ATTY. Rita. by ordering her arrest if necessary ADELINO was deprived of his right "to have compulsory process issued to secure the attendance of witnesses on his behalf. We pray. your Honor. Your Honor. Samar to bring Ceferino Armada and Narita Armada tomorrow for the hearing. the trial of this case is hereby Postponed for tomorrow. 1967 at 8:30 A.. and upon his failure. in view of the distance. BOHOL If we receive information and find that those witnesses could really not come for this case. the lower Court acted precipitously in not having Narita brought to Court. July 26.ORDER . with the consent of the Clerk of Court have wired the Chief of Police of Sta. COURT What will be the nature of the testimonies of those witnesses. Up to now." Page 125 . I will be constrained to submit the case for decision based on the testimony of the accused.ATTY. for the accused. that we be given time to hear from the Chief of Police to bring those persons tomorrow. xxx xxx xxx COURT What I mean is that you should have taken the necessary precaution for the attendance of your witness today considering that there is a subpoena for the witnesses. Your Honor.for the reason that accused have no more witnesses to present today. COURT Suppose the two witnesses do not arrive tomorrow. the witnesses we have been expecting have not yet arrived. Your Honor. if it will be all right with the Honorable Court and we find that there is hope that within this week Ceferino Armada could come here. However. This representation. continuation of this case for those persons mentioned to testify. BOHOL I appear as counsel for the accused. xxx xxx xxx COURT How about the other girl? ATTY.M. Your Honor. Your Honor. anyway this case is set for tomorrow. BOHOL Narita Armada will substantially be corroborative. 4 their testimonies will be corroborative. I pray before the Honorable Court that we be given time within this week to present Ceferino Armada. 15 Considering that this case involved a prosecution for a capital offense. Your Honor. submit the case for decision COURT The Court will not allow that anymore. The Court wail grant the postponement today on condition that any witness not presented tomorrow will be considered waived Afterall as you have manifest. with the warning that witnesses not presented during that day shall be considered waived.

" 17 Considering the possible infliction of the death penalty on ADELINO. 16 It would have been advisable if the lower Court had right then and there asked for the production of the written statement of MARCELINA. Section 14. WHEREFORE. His immediate release is ordered unless lie is held on other charges. testified: Q. charging ADELINO with Rape with Illegal Detention. SO ORDERED. she might then have admitted that she was neither raped nor "kidnapped" nor illegally detained. 1966. the PC Sgt. ADELINO had testified that he and MARCELINA used to go together to Tacloban. if it was with ADELINO. who investigated the complaint against ADELINO. Page 126 . On December 12. It may not be amiss to state then that just as in pleas of guilty where a grave offense is charged trial Judges have been enjoined to refrain from accepting them with alacrity but to be extra solicitous in seeing to it that an accused fully understands the import of his plea. the lower Court could have asked MARCELINA if she had had sexual intercourse prior to December 14th and. Sir. if so. The life and liberty of an individual demand no less. acquitted of the crime with which he is charged. P Gacelos. it behooves the trial Courts to exercise greater care in safeguarding the rights of an accused. Was that investigation of M Cuizon reduced to writing? A. The trial Judge should also take a more active role by means of searching questions in the examination of witnesses for the ascertaintment of the truth and credibility of their testimonies so that any judgment of conviction imposing the supreme penalty may rest on firm and unequivocal grounds. "we had sexual intercourse because she likes it. The medical report. On the other hand. if such pressure had in fact existed. If that had been explained to her clearly by the lower Court. there was possibility that ADELINO and MARCELINA had really been sweethearts. MARCELINA could had been examined on the two matters mentioned above. The lower Court could have asked MARCELINA if she realized that. and while there several times. Exhibit "B". Costs de oficio. the judgment appealed from imposing the death penalty. upon reasonable doubt. MARCELINA testified before the lower Court on December 1. Adelino Bardaje.Crucial questions should also have been asked by the trial Court of witnesses. with the Court excluding the public from the hearing under the provisions of Rule 119. Further. 1966. so also. in prosecutions for capital offenses. Yes. implied that MARCELINA could have had sexual intercourse previous to December 14th. MARCELINA might have testified without feeling the pressure of her relatives or other persons. the latter could be sentenced to death. is reversed and the appellant.

During the preliminary investigation. petitioner. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.S. vs. JR. (b) Laboratory Report No. (4) the sworn statement of Lolita Birrer. 1992. 1995] PUNO. Branch 259. Antonio J. respondents. HONORABLE ZOSIMO V. ESCANO. JR. Branch 258. (c) Sworn Statements of Gerardo C.: Before the Court are petitions for the issuance of the extraordinary writs of certiorari. HONORABLE RAUL E. and HONORABLE AMELITA G. Vizconde. DE GUIYAB. DE LEON. DE LEON. [G. WEBB. 7 (2) the sworn statements of two (2) of the former housemaids of the Webb family in the persons of Nerissa E. Dr. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. JR. intervenor.. Branch 258. the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed with the Department of Justice a letter-complaint charging petitioners Hubert Webb. HONORABLE RAUL E. GATCHALIAN. SN-91-17 of the Medico Legal Officer. Branch 274. the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. JOVENCITO ZUÑO. and NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. and NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. DE GUIA. ZENON L. petitioner. 9 (5) the sworn statements of Belen Dometita and Teofilo Minoza. ROBERTO LAO. (d) Photographs of fingerprints lifted from the Vizconde residence taken during the investigation. (2) enjoin the respondents from conducting any proceeding in the aforementioned criminal case. ZENON L. Branch 258. Gaviola. 121245 August 23. and NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. TOLENTINO. J. 1991 of Carmela N. [G.R. Cabanayan. [G. St. the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. a former live-in partner of Gerardo Biong. No. Prospero A. 2 with the crime of Rape with Homicide. LAURO VIZCONDE. petitioner Webb filed with the DOJ Panel a Motion for Production And Examination of Evidence and Documents for the NBI to produce the following: (a) Certification issued by the U. 1991 to October 22. and (3) dismiss said criminal case or include Jessica Alfaro as one of the accused therein. 1995] ANTONIO L. the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. de Leon and Amelita Tolentino in Criminal Case No. 5 and her sister Anne Marie Jennifer 6 in their home at Number 80 W. Branch 274. Page 127 . Parañaque. ESCANO.8 (3) the sworn-statement of Carlos J.. 1995] MICHAEL A. vs. two of the Vizconde maids. 121234 August 23. 11 Before submitting his counter-affidavit. Vinzons. P. ROBERTO LAO. 1995 of their principal witness. BF Homes. 121297 August 23. M. 808 bound for New York and who expressed doubt on whether petitioner Webb was his co-passenger in the trip. ZENON L. No. Alfaro who allegedly saw the commission of the crime. 1994. the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. and HONORABLE AMELITA G. PABLO FORMARAN. HONORABLE RAUL E. 1 From the records of the case. Zuño to conduct the preliminary investigation 3of those charged with the rape and killing on June 30. vs. Lejano and six (6) other persons.. JOVENCITO ZUÑO. the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. HONORABLE ZOSIMO V. Rosales and Mila S. LEONARDO GUIYAB. and HONORABLE AMELITA G. 1991). Federal Bureau of Investigation on the admission to and stay of Hubert Webb in the United States from March 9. the NBI presented the following: (1) the sworn statement dated May 22. 4 her mother Estrellita Nicolas-Vizconde. respondents. DE LEON. Cristobal who alleged that on March 9. Michael Gatchalian. Biong (other than his Sworn Statement dated October 7. TOLENTINO.D. the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. 95-404.(28) HUBERT J. Branch 274.. ESCANO. who narrated the manner of how Biong investigated and tried to cover up the crime at bar. 10 The genital examination of Carmela confirmed the presence of spermatozoa. Branch 259.R.R. No.respondents. PABLO FORMARAN. LEJANO. Metro Manila. LEONARDO GUIYAB. HONORABLE ZOSIMO V. the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. it appears that on June 19. the Department of Justice formed a panel of prosecutors headed by Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Jovencio R.. Branch 259. PABLO FORMARAN. an engineer. 1991 he was a passenger of United Airlines Flight No. Estrellita twelve (12) and Jennifer nineteen (19). and the sworn statements of Normal White. The autopsy reports of the victims were also submitted and they showed that Carmela had nine (9) stab wounds. prohibition and mandamuswith application for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to: (1) annul and set aside the Warrants of Arrest issued against petitioners by respondent Judges Raul E. the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. TOLENTINO. Forthwith. Maria Jessica M. a security guard and Manciano Gatmaitan. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. petitioner. the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. DE GUIA. ROBERTO LAO.

(3) the DOJ Panel denied them their constitutional right to due process during their preliminary investigation. Br. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. Lecinia Edrosolano. 1991 and returned to the Philippines on October 27. (f) List of names of 135 suspects/persons investigated by the NBI per Progress Report dated September 2. interview. He claimed that his co-petitioner Lejano was with him. 1995. Sonia Rodriguez. the respondent judge Raul de Leon. Petitioner Webb claimed during the preliminary investigation that he did not commit the crime at bar as he went to the United States on March 1. he submitted documentary evidence that he bought a bicycle and a 1986 Toyota car while in the United States on said dates 14 and that he was issued by the State of California Driver's License No. 63. the DOJ Panel issued a 26-page Resolution "finding probable cause to hold respondents for trial" and recommending that an Information for rape with homicide be filed against petitioners and their co-respondents. Carlos and Andrew Syyap. for the purpose. Taguig. The case was re-raffled to Branch 274. (h) transmittal letter to the NBI. Sylvia Climaco. A8818707 on June 14. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. Judge Escano voluntarily inhibited himself from the case to avoid any suspicion about his impartiality considering his employment with the NBI before his appointment to the bench. however. 1991 until 3 o'clock in the morning of the following day. Danilo Aguas. he was at the residence of his friends. 1991 as a passenger in United Airlines Flight No. 17 In his sworn statement. that petitioner Webb failed to obtain from the NBI the copy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Report despite his request for its production. Gina Roque. 18 On the same date. We find the petitions bereft of merit. at New Alabang Village. produced a copy of said original in compliance with a subpoena duces tecum. Arlis Vela. He succeeded.. 1992. responses. Supervising Agent. 1991. It was. investigation and other written statements of Jessica Alfaro (other than the May 22. Regional Deputy Director. Page 128 . Escano. The other respondents — Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez.(e) Investigation records of NBI on Engr. Muntinlupa watching video tapes. In their petitions at bar. Michael Gatchalian. who issued the warrants of arrest against the petitioners. et al. 1995 of Mr. 1995. pairing judge of Judge Escano. 1991 submitted by Atty. including the report of the investigation conducted by Superintendent Rodolfo C. of obtaining the original of said sworn statement. and a motion to dismiss denying their complicity in the rapekilling of the Vizcondes. On August 11. The original was then submitted by petitioner Webb to the DOJ Panel together with his other evidence. in Bicutan. 1995 Sworn Statement) conducted by the NBI and other police agencies. 13 To further support his defense. Arturo L. 1995. his arrival at San Francisco. 12 His alibi was corroborated by Honesto Aragon. among others. Miguel Rodriguez and Gerardo Biong — submitted sworn statements. 16 Only the respondents Joey Filart and Artemio "Dong" Ventura failed to file their counter-affidavits though they were served with subpoena in their last known address. On August 8. Legal Attache of the US Embassy. presided by Judge Amelita Tolentino who issued new warrants of arrest against the petitioners and their co-accused. petitioners contend: (1) 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: (2) the DOJ Panel likewise gravely abused its discretion in holding that there is probable cause to charge them with the crime of rape with homicide. 95-404 and raffled to Branch 258 presided by respondent judge Zosimo V. 951099 in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati. among others. This compelled petitioner Webb to file Civil Case No. Petitioners Gatchalian and Lejano likewise gave themselves up to the authorities after filing their petitions before us. for in the course of its proceedings. 15 Petitioner Webb likewise submitted the letter dated July 25. it filed the corresponding Information 19 against petitioners and their co-accused with the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. Jr. however. Edgardo Venture and Pamela Francisco. On August 11. citing certain records tending to confirm. petitioner Webb voluntarily surrendered to the police authorities at Camp Ricardo Papa Sr. Mercader. Robert Heafner. (i) The names of NBI officials/agents composing the Task Force Jecares.. Sison. The motion was granted by the DOJ Panel and the NBI submitted photocopies of the documents. (j) Statements made by other persons in connection with the crime charged. including their respective positions and duties. It appears. 808. 1995 sworn statement of Alfaro. Atty. (g) Records of arrest.. NCRC. petitioner Gatchalian alleged that from 11 o'clock in the evening of June 29. Peter Estrada. California on March 9. and (4) the DOJ Panel unlawfully intruded into judicial prerogative when it failed to charge Jessica Alfaro in the Information as an accused. It alleged it lost the original of the April 28.

— Except as provided for in Section 7 hereof. We start with a restatement of the purpose of a preliminary investigation. (d) If the respondent cannot be subpoenaed. that there is reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof . has personally examined the complainant and his witnesses. . in their absence or unavailability. They hammer on alleged material inconsistencies between her April 28. who must certify that he personally examined the affiants and that he is satisfied that they voluntarily executed and understood their affidavits. They insist that the May 22. the investigating officer shall base his resolution on the evidence presented by the complainant. plus two (2) copies for the official file. . Section 4 of Rule 112 then directs that "if the investigating fiscal finds cause to hold the respondent for trial. whether there is a sufficient ground to engender a well-grounded belief that a crime cognizable by the Regional Trial Court has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof. affidavits and other supporting documents. during which the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to be present but without the right to examine or cross-examine. 22 Other jurisdictions utilize the term man of reasonable caution 23 or the term ordinarily prudent and cautious man. 1995 sworn statements. . or if subpoenaed. the respondent shall submit counter-affidavits and other supporting documents. and violates the privacy of persons which ought not to be intruded by the State. or issue a subpoena to the respondent. the investigating officer shall either dismiss the same if he finds no ground to continue with the inquiry. The said affidavits shall be sworn to before any fiscal. Procedure. and the investigating officer shall resolve the case within ten (10) days therefrom. Continuing accretions of case law reiterate that they are facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed by the person sought to be arrested. 25 It ought to be emphasized that in determining probable cause. in such number of copies as there are respondents. . Within ten (10) days from receipt thereof. He shall have the right to examine all other evidence submitted by the complainant. 24 The terms are legally synonymous and their reference is not to a person with training in the law such as a prosecutor or a judge but to the average man on the street. an authorized officer. 21 Probable cause to warrant arrest is not an opaque concept in our jurisdiction. the investigation shall be deemed concluded. and should be held for trial. he may set a hearing to propound clarificatory questions to the parties or their witnesses. no complaint or information for an offense cognizable by the Regional Trial Court shall be filed without a preliminary investigation having been first conducted in the following manner: (a) The complaint shall state the known address of the respondent and be accompanied by affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses as well as other supporting documents. they may submit questions to the investigating officer which the latter may propound to the parties or witnesses concerned. against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature . or as shown by the record. a notary public." 20 An arrest without a probable cause is an unreasonable seizure of a person. (b) Within ten (10) days after the filing of the complaint. They assail her credibility for her misdescription of petitioner Webb's hair as semiblonde.I Petitioners fault the DOJ Panel for its finding of probable cause. 1995 sworn statement of Jessica Alfaro is inherently weak and uncorroborated. 3. . (c) Such counter-affidavits and other supporting evidence submitted by the respondent shall also be sworn to and certified as prescribed in paragraph (a) hereof and copies thereof shall be furnished by him to the complainant." Section 3 of the same Rule outlines the procedure in conducting a preliminary investigation. They also criticize the procedure followed by the DOJ Panel when it did not examine witnesses to clarify the alleged incredulities and inconsistencies in the sworn statements of the witnesses for the NBI. . He shall certify under oath that he. Section 1 of Rule 112 provides that a preliminary investigation should determine " . Upon the evidence thus adduced. 1995 and May 22. attaching thereto a copy of the complaint. does not submit counter-affidavits within the ten (10) day period. (e) If the investigating officer believes that there are matters to be clarified. (f) Thereafter. state prosecutor or government official authorized to administer oath. the average man weighs facts and circumstances without Page 129 . . If the parties so desire. the investigating officer shall determine whether or not there is sufficient ground to hold the respondent for trial. . thus: Sec. or." The need to find probable cause is dictated by the Bill of Rights which protects "the right of the people to be secure in their persons . he shall prepare the resolution and corresponding information.

I saw Hubert on top of Carmela." Second Affidavit: They "entered the gate which was already open. Second Affidavit: "I proceeded to the iron grill gate leading to the dirty kitchen. "only rarely would such a prior agreement be demonstrable since. the DOJ Panel ruled that these alleged misdescription and inconsistencies did not erode the credibility of Alfaro. Second Affidavit: She saw Hubert Webb "with bare buttocks. on top of Carmela and pumping. Lejano. Second Affidavit: "I met her in a party sometime in February. bloodied." On whether Alfaro entered the Vizconde house First Affidavit: She never entered the house. 1991. 1991. which was only a little more than a meter high. Furthermore. viz." In its Resolution. it is well to note that confessions of a co-conspirator may be taken as evidence to show the probability of the co-conspirator's participation in the commission of the crime ( see People vs. Indeed. he relies on the calculus of common sense of which all reasonable men have an abundance. Lumahang. I saw two bodies on top of the bed. Applying these basic norms.: 27 xxx xxx xxx As regards the admissibility of Alfaro's statements. She just said "on the following day I read in the newspaper that there were three persons who were killed . 94 Phil. . in the Page 130 . We quote the pertinent ruling. and Ventura entered the Vizconde house First Affidavit: "by jumping over the fence. the following are some examples of inconsistencies in the two sworn statements of Alfaro: On whether Alfaro knew Carmela before the incident in question First Affidavit: She had NOT met Carmela before June 29. we are not prepared to rule that the DOJ Panel gravely abused its discretion when it found probable cause against the petitioners. 1084). and in the floor." Second Affidavit: "I peeped through the first door on the left. Petitioners belittle the truthfulness of Alfaro on two (2) grounds: (a) she allegedly erroneously described petitioner Webb's hair as semi-blond and (b) she committed material inconsistencies in her two (2) sworn statement. ." On whether Alfaro saw the dead bodies First Affidavit: She did not see the three dead persons on that night." On how Webb.resorting to the calibrations of our technical rules of evidence of which his knowledge is nil. it is a well-established doctrine that conspiracy need not be proved by direct evidence of prior agreement to commit the crime." On the alleged rape of Carmela Vizconde First Affidavit: She did not see the act of rape. her mouth gagged and she was moaning and I saw tears on her eyes. Rather. thus: 26 xxx xxx xxx To illustrate. granting for purposes of argument merely that she is a coconspirator.

Hubert was at home inside his room with two male visitors. showing that the several accused had acted in concert or in unison with each other. in single space reciting in rich details how the crime was planned and then executed by the petitioners. She picked up Hubert's scattered clothes and brought them together with the clothes of the other members of the family to the laundry area. she began washing the clothes of the Webbs. 210 SCRA 402 [1992]. she noticed fresh bloodstains in his shirt." In said memorandum. already awake and smoking while he was sitting on his bed. It is merely a latinism describing the conclusion reached by a court in a particular case after ascribing to the evidence such weight or lack of weight that the court deemed proper. another counsel for respondent Webb submitted his memorandum suggesting that the instant complaint "should not be decided within the month to give time to the NBI to coordinate with the FBI on the latter's inquiry into the whereabouts of Hubert Webb . that a part of the witness' testimony is untrue. 233 SCRA 31 [1994]. such circumstance is not sufficient to discredit the entire testimony of the witness. In addition." (Angelo vs. After taking her breakfast. It was the last time she saw Hubert and was later told by then Congressman Webb that Hubert was in the United States. As it has been often noted. the panel believes that the inconsistencies in Alfaro's two sworn statements have been sufficiently explained especially specially so where there is no showing that the inconsistencies were deliberately made to distort the truth. Angelo vs. As held in Angelo: There is no rule of law which prohibits a court from crediting part of the testimony of a witness as worthy of belief and from simultaneously rejecting other parts which the court may find incredible or dubious. 1991. Carlos J. let alone a general rule of law which is universally applicable. As a matter of fact. she woke up at around 4:00 in the morning and as what she used to do. on June 29. aside from corroborating the statement of Nerissa Rosales. the Court continued.nature of things.-based witnesses. a former housemaid of the Webb family. the DOJ Panel evaluated the supporting sworn statements of Nerissa Rosales and Mila Gaviola. between 7:00 o'clock and 8:00 o'clock in the evening. she decided to go up to the stockroom near Hubert's room to see what he was doing. who was only wearing his pants. in that early morning. As she was washing the clothes of Hubert Webb. In the said stockroom. In the case at bar. evincing a common purpose or design. citations omitted. there is no dispute that a crime has been committed and what is clear before us is that the totality of the evidence submitted by the complainant indicate a prima faciecase that respondents conspired in the perpetration of the imputed offense. Granting. But feeling uneasy. criminal undertakings are only rarely documented by agreements in writing. This being so. there is a Page 131 . This is untenable. In the case before us. falsus in omnibus is not a rule of law. . People vs. during and after the commission of the crime. a passenger in United Airlines Flight No.S. the Court refused to discredit the testimony of a witness accusing therein petitioner for the slaying of one Gaviano Samaniego even though said witness failed to name Angelo in his affidavit which was executed five (5) months earlier. 1995. Court of Appeals. and to check on our U. 808 and Lolita Birrer. On August 7. another former housemaid of the Webb family and who served as a laundry woman. counsel for respondent Webb calls for the application of the maxim falsus in uno. We note that the May 22. She knew it because she and her co-housemaid. It is not a legal presumption either. Loany. falsus in omnibus arising from the inconsistencies of Alfaro's statements. she entered the rooms of the Webbs to get their clothes to be washed. ex parte statements are generally incomplete because they are usually executed when the affiant's state of mind does not give her sufficient and fair opportunity to comprehend the import of her statement and to narrate in full the incidents which transpired (People vs. she went to the servant's quarters. among others. that on June 30. 86 SCRA 699). While Mila S. claims. Cristobal. Sarellana. In Angelo. Thus. Neither can we discredit Alfaro merely because of the inconsistencies in her two sworn statements. 1995 sworn statement of Alfaro was given with the assistance of counsel 28 and consists of six (6) pages. Molleda. were instructed by Hubert to bring them three glasses of juice. Gaviola. The Panel assayed their statements as follows: 29 xxx xxx xxx According to Nerissa E. . Rosales. After she finished the laundry. The maxim falsus in uno. complainant reasoned out that Alfaro was then having reservations when she first executed the first statement and held back vital information due to her natural reaction of mistrust. she entered Hubert's room and saw Hubert. the probative value of Alfaro's testimony deserves full faith and credit. former housemaids of the Webbs. a paramour of Gerardo Biong. Consequently. 1991. supra). Court of Appeals. conspiracy may be inferred from the conduct of the accused before.

Lolita Birrer. he did not see Freddie anymore. she was instructed to take him over and after somebody won the game. After it made some signals by blinking its headlight. and took his handkerchief from his pocket which he threw at the trash can. As soon as they arrived at the Vizconde's residence. . He never noticed Freddie Webb's son upon their arrival in San Francisco. 1991. a taxi. She observed Hubert was quite irritated. At the garage. Biong noticed a stone in front of the broken glass of the door and requested Capt. She recalls that on June 29. but they first went to his office where she observed him doing something in his steel cabinet while he appeared to be uneasy." He knew Freddie Webb because he often watched him then in a television show "Chicks to Chicks. It was the last time that she saw Hubert until she left the Webb family. Moments later. o sige.." She inquired what happened in BF Homes and he replied. Biong told her. Biong invited her to play mahjong at the canteen of a certain Aling Glo located at the back of the Parañaque Municipal Hall. who left with him for United States on the same flight and date. Using the handle of his gun. he saw the wife of Freddie Webb with her lawyer being interviewed. he was at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as he was then scheduled to take the United Airlines Flight No. 808 at 2:00 in the afternoon for New York. . and walked to and from inside his room. they left. while the security guard fetched the barangay chairman and the president of the Homeowners Association. uneasy. at around 6:00 p. "Oy Biong. imbestigahan mo " to which Biong answered. Before they proceeded to the place where the killings happened. Biong rode thereat at the front seat beside the driver and then. He greeted him and Webb answered: "Mabuti naman. Biong started recording the wounds of the victim. O ano?. 1991 until she broke up with him in September 1993. may tatlong patay sa BF. the radio operator of the Parañaque police told Biong that he has a phone call. Their relationship started in February. aantayin kita. he nurtured doubts because such description does not fit the physical traits of the son of Freddie. Biong instructed the housemaids to contact the victim's relatives. On the other hand. At about 2:30. she saw Biong took a watch from the jewelry box. " Ano?. 1991. Don Bartolome who offered to accompany him and with whom she asked permission to go with them. Because she could not tolerate the foul odor. " Alam ko na yon. another policeman of Parañaque. she saw the scattered contents of a shoulder bag. She asked him why he threw his handkerchief and he answered. she and Capt. 1991. He (son of Webb) was then wearing a striped white jacket. Bartolome then came out of the room and told Biong that he can hear the sound of the glass being broken. Inside the master's bedroom." He observed that the man whom Freddie Webb referred to as his son. and who was the one who left for United States on March 9. amoy tae.small door going to Hubert's room and in that door there is a small opening where she used to see Hubert and his friends sniffing on something. Cristobal alleged that on March 9. in the early morning of January 30. Biong also noticed same marks on the hood of the car. He claims that." Biong later invited her for breakfast. Bartolome to go inside the servant's quarters as he doubted the housemaids' claim that they heard nothing unusual. while watching the television program "DONG PUNO LIVE" lately. " Hmp . he immediately washed his hands and face. alleged that she know Gerardo Biong because she had an affair with him for almost three (3) years and in fact. When all these persons were already in the house. at ito. Page 132 . She was not able to recognize the male passenger because the window of the taxi was tinted. she followed Biong at the radio room where she overheard him uttering. When he and his children were already inside the plane. asked the keys from the housemaid and it was only then that the main door was opened. Galvan. at about 10:00 in the morning. she had a child with him who is now four (4) years old. o sige .m. she noticed Hubert left the house at around 1:00 in the afternoon and came back at around 4:00 in the same afternoon and went inside his room using the secret door of the house. Before Biong went to the radio room. The son referred to has fair complexion with no distinguishing marks on his face. 1991. On that day. "Putang inang mga batang iyon." When he put the phone down. Biong broke the remaining glass of the door panel. At the airport's lobby. On top of the dining table. Twenty minutes later." She was surprised because Galvan never told him the place of the incident. and when she described Hubert as "moreno" and small built. ikaw muna ang maupo" and then. Biong came back at around 7:00 of the same morning and when he arrived. pinahirapan nila ako . was of the same height as Freddie. ihahatid ko ang anak ko papuntang Florida. but he noticed his son was seated at the front portion of the economy class. Moments later. Biong came out from the room and proceeded to the front door to remove the chain lock. Carlos J. arrived and said. with a height of five feet and seven inches tall. she asked Biong if he knew the exact address and the latter immediately responded." Biong went to the office of Capt. Paano. " Mayroon lang akong rerespondehan. "Oo susunod na ako. he went outside the canteen apparently waiting for somebody. he saw then Congressman Freddie Webb with a male companion. dilaw na taxi. Bartolome went out of the room and proceeded to the dining area. arrived with a male passenger sitting at the backseat and parked near the canteen. colored yellow. Saan? Mahirap yan.

United States. While respondent Webb may have submitted proof tending to show that he was issued a California driver's license on June 14. a crossed check worth P80. respondent Webb seeks to enhance the acceptability of his alibi in the form of documents tending to show that he was thousands of miles away when the incident occurred.00. after a careful and thorough evaluation of the records. We have carefully deliberated and argued on the evidence submitted by respondent Webb in support of his absence from the country since March 9. Given these conflicting pieces of evidence of the NBI and the petitioners. to wit: calling cards. earrings.000. It ruled: 30 xxx xxx xxx The voluminous number of exhibits submitted by respondent Webb to support his defense of denial and alibi notwithstanding. Since then. The next day. bracelet. she was surprised that Biong halted the investigation when Gatchalian was profusely sweating while being interrogated." A finding of probable cause merely binds over the suspect to stand trial. 1991 to October 26. 1992 and found the same wanting to exonerate him of the offense charged." it requires "less than evidence which would justify . 233 SCRA 62 [1994]). Additionally. xxx xxx xxx On the other hand. 233 SCRA 687 [1994]). which the latter claimed to have been given to him by the person who called him up in the early morning of June 30. Parañaque.000. Other than claiming that he "was not and could not have been at or near the area of the Vizconde residence at the time of the alleged commission of the crime. 1991. conviction." respondent Lejano proffered no evidence to substantiate his claim of alibi. Gatchalian's defense of alibi was not corroborated by Lejano. Biong arrived in her house together with the Vizconde housemaids. at around 12:00 noon. 1991. People vs. . 31 while probable cause demands more than "bare suspicion. . neither on evidence establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt and definitely. Alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification made by a prosecution witness. driver's license. 1991. she saw him remove from his pocket the things she also saw from Vizconde's residence. Onpaid. is weak and becomes even more weaker when arrayed against the positive identification by the witness for the prosecution (People vs. Verily. ATM card. 235 SCRA 124 [1994]. These jewelry items were later pawned by Biong for P20. believes that they cannot outweigh the evidence submitted by the complainant. like alibi. Indeed. there is no showing that he could not have been in the country on the dates above mentioned. 181 SCRA 316 and a long line of cases). 1991 in California in view of his positive identification by Alfaro and the two (2) househelps of the Webb family who testified that he was here in the country on said dates. The material dates in this case are June 29 and 30. we hold that the DOJ Panel did not gravely abuse its discretion when it found probable cause against the petitioners. not on evidence establishing absolute certainty of guilt. Surprisingly. the issuance of receipt evidencing the purchase of a bicycle in California is no conclusive proof that the name appearing thereon was the actual buyer of the merchandise. Probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt. alibi deserves scant consideration in the face of positive identification especially so where the claim of alibi is supported mainly by friends and relatives (People vs. a ring. denial. A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that more likely than not a crime has been committed and was committed by the suspects. After the father of Gatchalian talked to Colonel Pureza. denial is a self-serving negative which cannot be given greater evidentiary weight than the declaration of a credible witness who testified on affirmative matters (People vs. As well put in Brinegar v.00 at a pawnshop in front of Chow-Chow restaurant in Santos Avenue. Lucas.On the following day. Apolonia. It is not a pronouncement of guilt. whom he claimed was with him watching video tapes at the Syyap residence. When Biong was preparing to take a bath. She observed that Biong seemed not interested in pursuing the investigation of the Vizconde case. Neither do we find merit in the allegation that respondent Webb personally bought a bicycle on June 30. when Biong and this group picked up Mike Gatchalian and brought him to the Parañaque Police Station. The DOJ Panel then weighed these inculpatory evidence against the exculpatory evidence of petitioners. and the watch he took from the jewelry box inside the room of the Vizcondes. Similarly. In fact. necklace. the panel. she saw Biong took from his locker at the Parañaque Police Station an imported brown leather jacket. Carizo. the latter called up and instructed Biong to bring Gatchalian to him (Colonel Pureza) and that was the last thing she remembered regarding this case. Page 133 . Biong has been wearing said jacket until they broke up sometime in 1993.

gravely abuse its discretion in refusing to call the NBI witnesses for clarificatory questions. probable cause merely implies probability of guilt and should be determined in a summary manner. The decision to call witnesses for clarificatory questions is addressed to the sound discretion of the investigator and the investigator alone. II We now come to the charge of petitioners that respondent Judge Raul de Leon and. before issuing the warrant." In contrast. or that there is probable cause to believe that they exist. Issuance and form of search warrant. later. and (4) that even Gerardo Biong who was included in the Information as a mere accessory had a "NO BAIL" recommendation by the DOJ Panel. Makasiar. By comparison. respondent Judge Amelita Tolentino issued warrants of arrest against them without conducting the required preliminary examination. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized. two conclusions must be supported by substantial evidence: that the items sought are in fact seizable by virtue of being connected with criminal activity. papers. — The judge must. If the evidence on hand already yields a probable cause. (2) the failure of said judges to issue orders of arrest. In the case at bar. (3) the records submitted to the trial court were incomplete and insufficient from which to base a finding of probable cause. The aforequoted provision deals with the requirements of probable cause both with respect to issuance of warrants of arrest or search warrants. Some of them are pointed out by Professors LaFave and Israel. 2. Sections 3. 4 and 5 of Rule 126 provide: xxx xxx xxx Sec. the procedure to be followed in issuing search warrants is more defined. Section 2 of Article III of the Constitution provides: Sec. Petitioners postulate that it was impossible to conduct a "searching examination of witnesses and evaluation of the documents" on the part of said judges. which must be substantially in the form prescribed by these Rules. record. We discussed the difference in the Procedure of issuing warrants of arrest and search warrants in Soliven vs. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. The similarities and differences of their requirements ought to be educational. Thus. But each requires a showing of probabilities as to somewhat different facts and circumstances. Examination of complainant. the investigator need not hold a clarificatory hearing. It is not also necessary that a particular person be implicated. With respect to warrants of arrest. Preliminary investigation is not a part of trial and it is only in a trial where an accused can demand the full exercise of his rights.Considering the low quantum and quality of evidence needed to support a finding of probable cause. which of course can exist without any showing that evidence of the crime will be found at premises under that person's control. — A search warrant shall not issue but upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. Sec. section 6 of Rule 112 simply provides that "upon filing of an information. personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers. our Rules of Court do not provide for a similar procedure to be followed in the issuance of warrants of arrest and search warrants. 4. the Regional Trial Court may issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused. the DOJ Panel correctly adjudged that enough evidence had been adduced to establish probable cause and clarificatory hearing was unnecessary. such as the right to confront and cross-examine his accusers to establish his innocence. and that the items will be found in the place to be searched. In search cases. 33 thus: xxx xxx xxx Page 134 . 3. houses. 5. Requisites for issuing search warrant. thus: 32 "It is generally assumed that the same quantum of evidence is required whether one is concerned with probable cause to arrest or probable cause to search. and thus one can exist without the other. we also hold that the DOJ Panel did not. in writing and under oath the complainant and any witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements together with any affidavits submitted. — If the judge is thereupon satisfied of the facts upon which the application is based. he must issue the warrant. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. The issuance of a warrant of arrest interferes with individual liberty and is regulated by no less than the fundamental law of the land. Petitioners support their stance by highlighting the following facts: (1) the issuance of warrants of arrest in a matter of few hours." Worthy to note. Sec. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. To repeat. in arrest cases there must be probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the person to be arrested committed it.

In the case at bar. The alibi defense of petitioner Webb is also disputed by sworn statements of their former maids. The fairness of this opportunity is well stressed in the Consolidated Comment of the Solicitor General. Apparently. The records will show that the DOJ Panel did not conduct the preliminary investigation with indecent haste." has apparently convinced petitioner Beltran that the Constitution now requires the judge to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses in his determination of probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest. we stressed the necessity for the trial judge to make a further personal examination of the complainant and his witnesses to reach a correct assessment of the existence or non-existence of probable cause before issuing warrants of arrest against the accused. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. the DOJ Panel submitted to the trial court its 26-page report. In doing so. Given the clear insufficiency of the evidence on record. or (2) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause. We reject these contentions. They also assail the prejudicial publicity that attended their preliminary investigation. The pertinent provision reads: Art. the various types of evidence extant in the records of the case provide substantial basis for a finding of probable cause against the petitioner. however. III Petitioners also complain about the denial of their constitutional right to due process and violation of their right to an impartial investigation. It was therefore unnecessary for the respondent judges to take the further step of examining ex parte the complainant and their witnesses with searching questions. They decry their alleged hasty and malicious prosecution by the NBI and the DOJ Panel. They also reject petitioners' contention that a judge must first issue an order of arrest before issuing a warrant of arrest. The case at bar. we stress that before issuing warrants of arrest. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. he shall: (1) personally evaluate the report and the documents submitted by the fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause and. What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause. III. viz. They just personally review the initial determination of the prosecutor finding a probable cause to see if it is supported by substantial evidence. rests on a different factual setting. and our case law 34 repudiate the submission of petitioners that respondent judges should have conducted "searching examination of witnesses" before issuing warrants of arrest against them. the Rules of Court. not the certaintyof guilt of an accused. issue a warrant. 36 Petitioners' reliance on the case of Allado vs. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. The fact that it took the respondent judges a few hours to review and affirm the probable cause determination of the DOJ Panel does not mean they made no personal evaluation of the evidence attached to the records of the case. Following established doctrine and procedure. Clearly then. In satisfying himself of the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. houses. raised by Beltran. Sound policy dictates this procedure.The second issue. the painstaking recital and analysis of the parties' evidence made in the DOJ Panel Report satisfied both judges that there is probable cause to issue warrants of arrest against petitioners. he may disregard the fiscal's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusions as to the existence of probable cause. judges merely determine personally the probability. Again. Diokno 37 is misplaced. Petitioners were given fair opportunity to prove lack of probable cause against them. The sufficiency of the review process cannot be measured by merely counting minutes and hours. otherwise judges would be unduly laden with the preliminary examination and investigation of criminal complaints instead of concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before their courts. 2. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. There is no law or rule requiring the issuance of an Order of Arrest prior to a warrant of arrest. the Constitution. Our Allado ruling is predicated on the utter failure of the evidence to show the existence of probable cause. This is not an accurate interpretation. Sec. calls for an interpretation of the constitutional provision on the issuance of warrants of arrest. on the basis thereof. Not even the corpus delicti of the crime was established by the evidence of the prosecution in that case. the two (2) sworn statements of Alfaro and the sworn statements of Carlos Cristobal and Lolita Birrer 35 as well as the counter-affidavits of the petitioners. As priorly discussed. There is an eyewitness account of the imputed crime given by Alfaro. The corpus delicti of the crime is a given fact.: Page 135 . the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. judges do not conduct a de novo hearing to determine the existence of probable cause. The addition of the word "personally" after the word "determined" and the deletion of the grant of authority by the 1973 Constitution to issue warrants to "other responsible officers as may be authorized by law.

Mendiola. Petition) The said court dismissed the petition after Mercader produced and submitted to the DOJ Panel the first sworn statement of Alfaro. series of 1993. however. which provides: Page 136 . Petition) From the time the panel declared the termination of the preliminary investigation on July 14. RTC-Makati.. twenty-seven (27) days elapsed before the resolution was promulgated.g. 1995) marked as Annex "F. said appeal shall be dismissed motu propio by the Secretary of Justice. Mercader. Petition). 1995. 6. Alfaro qualified under its Section 10. and by filing a "Motion for Production and Examination of Evidence and Documents " on June 27. not satisfied with the decision of the DOJ Panel not to issue subpoena duces tecum to Atty. to produce the first sworn statement of Alfaro for submission to the DOJ Panel. 6. Prohibition and Mandamus" with the Regional Trial Court. An appeal/motion for reinvestigation from a resolution finding probable cause. a "Reply to the compliance and Comment/Manifestation to the Motion for Production and Examination of Evidence " on July 5. Arturo L. the panel continued to conduct further proceedings. 223. petitioners fault the DOJ Panel for not including Alfaro in the Information considering her alleged conspiratorial participation in the crime of rape with homicide. 4. 6-7. and the information eventually filed in the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque on August 10. Verily. there is no merit in this contention. a "Comment and Manifestation" on July 7. petitioner Webb filed a "Petition for Injunction. 223 allows the filing of an Information in court after the consummation of the preliminary investigation even if the accused can still exercise the right to seek a review of the prosecutor's recommendation with the Secretary of Justice. Petition) and a "Motion to Resolve" on August 1. Certiorari.: Sec. 1995. 2. the said DOJ Order No. Jr. e. Mercader. 1995 (p. comparison of the photo-copies of the submitted documents with the originals on July 17. Alfaro. viz. 1991. Petition). Non-Appealable Cases. Petitioner Webb actively participated in the preliminary investigation by appearing in the initial hearing held on June 30. 17 Resolution) In addition to these. 1995 (p. the petitioners were free to adduce and present additional evidence before the DOJ Panel. We quote its pertinent sections. 1995 (pp. Branch 63 of Makati in order to compel said Atty. Next. dated June 25. his " Counter-Affidavit" on July 14. 8. 1995 and in the second hearing on July 14. — The appeal must be filed within a period of fifteen (15) days from receipt of the questioned resolution by the party or his counsel. Numerous letter-requests were also sent by the petitioner Webb's counsel to the DOJ Panel requesting the latter to furnish him a copy of the reports prepared by the FBI concerning the petitioner's whereabouts during the material period (Annexes "L". Petition) The panel even entertained the "Response" submitted by accused Miguel Rodriguez on July 18. 1993. "L-1" and "L-2" of the Supplemental Petition dated August 14. During the period of twenty-seven (27) days. (Emphasis supplied) Without doubt then. 1995. The DOJ Panel precisely allowed the parties to adduce more evidence in their behalf and for the panel to study the evidence submitted more fully. Notwithstanding the showing of manifest error or grave abuse of discretion. 7. 4. The period shall be interrupted only by the filing of a motion for reconsideration within ten (10) days from receipt of the resolution and shall continue to run from the time the resolution denying the motion shall have been received by the movant or his counsel. This notwithstanding the directive of Section 3(f) Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Court that the investigating officer shall resolve the case within ten (10) days from the termination of the preliminary investigation. Sec. If the appellant is arraigned during the pendency of the appeal. 1995." It must also be pointed out that despite the declaration by the DOJ Panel that the preliminary investigation was to be terminated after the hearing held on July 14. 6981. (p. Petition). 1995. (p. Security And Benefit Program And For Other Purposes" enacted on April 24. This directly disputes the allegation of the petitioners that the resolution was done with indecent haste in violation of the rights of the petitioners. — No appeal may be taken from a resolution of the Chief State Prosecutor/Regional State Prosecutor/Provincial or City Prosecutor finding probable cause except upon showing of manifest error or grave abuse of discretion. 1995 (p. Branch 63 dated July 28. Jr.Again. petitioners cannot now assert that they were denied due process during the conduct of the preliminary investigation simply because the DOJ Panel promulgated the adverse resolution and filed the Information in court against them. without ruling on the admissibility and credence of the two (2) conflicting and inconsistent sworn statements of the principal witness. entitled "An Act Providing For A Witness Protection. 1995. In fact. Exceptions. the panel even announced that any party may submit additional evidence before the resolution of the case. shall not hold the filing of the information in court. (Attached hereto is a copy of the order of Judge Ruben A. no appeal shall be entertained where the appellant had already been arraigned . 1995). 1995. The filing of said Information is in accord with Department of Justice Order No. (p. Petitioners were afforded all the opportunities to be heard. When to appeal. (p. Petitioners cannot also assail as premature the filing of the Information in court against them for rape with homicide on the ground that they still have the right to appeal the adverse resolution of the DOJ Panel to the Secretary of Justice. The non-inclusion of Alfaro is anchored on Republic Act No. 4.

No.P. what and whom to charge. and (f) he has not at anytime been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude." 40 Petitioner Webb's challenge to the validity of R. — Any person who has participated in the commission of a crime and desires to a witness for the State. For a more effective administration of criminal justice. The validity of these provisions is challenged by petitioner Webb.C. A necessary component of this power to execute our laws is the right to prosecute their violators. Nothing in this Act shall prevent the discharge of an accused so that he can be used as a Witness under Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Court. The rationale for the law is well put by the Department of Justice. 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. 6981 is one of the much sought penal reform laws to help government in its uphill fight against crime. 6981 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.A. to petition the court for his discharge in order that he can be utilized as a State Witness. (e) he does not appear to be most guilty. No. the sole prerogative of courts and beyond executive and legislative interference. No. — The certification of admission into the Program by the Department shall be given full faith and credit by the provincial or city prosecutor who is required NOT TO INCLUDE THE WITNESS IN THE CRIMINAL COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION and if included therein. . there was a necessity to pass a law protecting witnesses and granting them certain rights and benefits to ensure their appearance in investigative bodies/courts. if qualified as determined in this Act and by the Department. Effect of Admission of a State Witness into the Program .A. An accused discharged from an information or criminal complaint by the court in order that he may be a State Witness pursuant to Sections 9 and 10 of Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Court may upon his petition be admitted to the Program if he complies with the other requirements of this Act. R. Moreover. (c) there is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed. Upon qualification of Alfaro to the program. an intrusion into judicial prerogative for it is only the court which has the power under the Rules on Criminal Procedure to discharge an accused as a state witness.A. the Rules of Court have never been interpreted to be beyond change by legislation designed to improve the administration of our justice system. the exercise of which depends on a smorgasbord of factors which are best appreciated by prosecutors. The discharge of an accused is part of the exercise of jurisdiction but is not a recognition of an inherent judicial function. Section 12 of the said law mandates her non-inclusion in the criminal Complaint or Information. 12. (d) his testimony can be substantially corroborated on its material points. The court shall order the discharge and exclusion of the said accused from the information. 10. thus: xxx xxx xxx Sec. can apply and. State Witness. shall be admitted into the Program whenever the following circumstances are present: (a) the offense in which his testimony will be used is a grave felony as defined under the R. usually refuse to appear and testify in the investigation/prosecution of criminal complaints/cases.xxx xxx xxx Sec. We thus hold that it is not constitutionally impermissible for Congress to enact R. for fear of reprisal and economic dislocation. The right to prosecute vests the prosecutor with a wide range of discretion — the discretion of whether. 6981 cannot therefore succeed. It is urged that they constitute ". is given the power to discharge a state witness only because it has already acquired jurisdiction over the crime and the accused. viz. Under this provision. Admission into the Program shall entitle such State Witness to immunity from criminal prosecution for the offense or offenses in which his testimony will be given or used and all the rights and benefits provided under Section 8 hereof. 39 Section 9 of Rule 119 does not support the proposition that the power to choose who shall be a state witness is an inherent judicial prerogative. . or its equivalent under special laws. Rule 119 38which gives the court the prerogative to approve the discharge of an accused to be a state witness. criminal complaints/cases have been dismissed for insufficiency and/or lack of evidence. Petitioner's argument lacks appeal for it lies on the faulty assumption that the decision whom to prosecute is a judicial function. In truth. (b) there is absolute necessity for his testimony. the court. one certain cause of which is the reticence of witnesses to testify." The argument is based on Section 9.: "Witnesses. Page 137 . Because of such refusal.

We uphold the legal basis of the right of petitioners to demand from their prosecutor.Further. 41 Sections 10 and 11 of Rule 117 do provide an accused the right to move for a bill of particulars and for production or inspection of material evidence in possession of the prosecution. Unfortunately for petitioners. 52 On the other hand. It is also implicit in section (3) (a) of Rule 112 which requires during the preliminary investigation the filing of a sworn complaint. on July 4. 43 This failure to provide discovery procedure during preliminary investigation does not. In the case at bar. we are not prepared to rule that the initial non-production of the original sworn statement of Alfaro dated April 28. the Court is not without enlightened precedents from other jurisdictions. on July 28. . petitioners. In the 1963 watershed case of Brady v. were able to obtain a copy of the original from Atty. The argument is novel in this jurisdiction and as it urges an expansive reading of the rights of persons under preliminary investigation it deserves serious consideration. Page 138 . upon request of petitioners. prosecutors should not treat litigation like a game of poker where surprises can be sprung and where gain by guile is not punished. evolved jurisprudence firming up the prosecutor's duty to disclose to the defense exculpatory evidence in its possession. . our Rules have discarded the pure inquisitorial system of preliminary investigation. 1995 could have resulted in the reasonable likelihood that the DOJ Panel would not have found probable cause. state the known address of the respondent and be accompanied by affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses as well as other supporting documents . 1995 original copy of the sworn statement of Alfaro and the FBI Report. . Rule 112 installed a quasi-judicial type of preliminary investigation conducted by one whose high duty is to be fair and impartial. 42 But these provisions apply after the filing of the Complaint or Information in court and the rights are accorded to the accused to assist them to make an intelligent plea at arraignment and to prepare for trial. As aforediscussed. Finally. 1995 sworn statement. Thus. the NBI. 50 As petitioners admit. the object of a preliminary investigation is to determine the probability that the suspect committed a crime. 1995 sworn statement of Alfaro and the FBI Report during their preliminary investigation considering their exculpatory character. Arturo Mercader in the course of the proceedings in Civil Case No. But given the right of petitioners to compel the NBI to disclose exculpatory evidence in their favor. liberty and property to real risk of loss or diminution. It explained it cannot produce the original as it had been lost. We find no procedural impediment to its early invocation considering the substantial risk to their liberty while undergoing a preliminary investigation." In laying down this rule. We hold that the finding of a probable cause by itself subjects the suspect's life. Again. 1995. our Rules on Criminal Procedure do not expressly provide for discovery proceedings during the preliminary investigation stage of a criminal proceeding. irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution. Court of Appeals. petitioners raise the effect of prejudicial publicity on their right to due process while undergoing preliminary investigation. and hence. the FBI Report while corroborative of the alibi of petitioner Webb cannot by itself reverse the probable cause finding of the DOJ Panel in light of the totality of evidence presented by the NBI. this finding of probable cause cannot be struck down as done with grave abuse of discretion. a nonbailable offense when the evidence of guilt is strong. . liberty and property. negate its use by a person under investigation when indispensable to protect his constitutional right to life. the DOJ Panel still found probable cause to charge them despite the alleged material discrepancies between the first and second sworn statements of Alfaro. the DOJ Panel accepted the original of Alfaro's April 28. Fortunately. Holohan 47 which laid down the proposition that a prosecutor's intentional use of perjured testimony to procure conviction violates due process. and hence formally at risk of incarceration or some other penalty. Maryland 46 the United States Supreme Court held that "suppression of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material to guilt or punishment." Its progeny is the 1935 case of Mooney v. submitted a photocopy of Alfaro's April 28. it is a substantive right. 48 The rationale is well put by Justice Brennan in Brady 49 — "society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair. 45 "the right to have a preliminary investigation conducted before being bound over for trial for a criminal offense. To be sure. The right is rooted on the constitutional protection of due process which we rule to be operational even during the preliminary investigation of a potential accused. however. For reasons we have expounded. which shall ". 1995. Instead. the NBI. To start with. unquestionable materiality to the issue of their probable guilt. Attuned to the times. 1995 sworn statement as a part of their evidence. is not a mere formal or technical right. 44 As this Court emphasized in Rolito Go vs. the risk to the liberty of petitioners cannot be understated for they are charged with the crime of rape with homicide. Preliminary investigation is not too early a stage to guard against any significant erosion of the constitutional right to due process of a potential accused. we come to the argument of petitioner that the DOJ Panel lost its impartiality due to the prejudicial publicity waged in the press and broadcast media by the NBI. 51 Petitioners thus had the fair chance to explain to the DOJ Panel then still conducting their preliminary investigation the exculpatory aspects of this sworn statement." A preliminary investigation should therefore be scrupulously conducted so that the constitutional right to liberty of a potential accused can be protected from any material damage. the original copy of the April 28. petitioners charge the NBI with violating their right to discovery proceedings during their preliminary investigation by suppressing the April 28." Indeed. 951099.

which can best be provided by allowing people to observe such process. Commentators still bombard the public with views not too many of which are sober and sublime. and emotion. having been regarded not only as an independent right but also as a catalyst to augment the free exercise of the other First Amendment rights with which it was deliberately linked by the draftsmen.. the First Amendment can be read as protecting the right of everyone to attend trials so as to give meaning to those explicit guarantees. not expressly guaranteed. it must be concluded that a presumption of openness inheres in the very nature of a criminal trial under this Nation's system of justice. the DOJ Panel is composed of an Assistant Chief State Prosecutor and Senior State Prosecutors. we note. few cases can match the high volume and high velocity of publicity that attended the preliminary investigation of the case at bar. United States. Moreover. Thus. et al. criminal trials both here and in England had long been presumptively open. (c) Even though the Constitution contains no provision which by its terms guarantees to the public the right to attend criminal trials. providing an outlet for community concern. Levine v. expressly guaranteed by the First Amendment. 348 US 11. Their long experience in criminal investigation is a factor to consider in determining whether they can easily be blinded by the klieg lights of publicity. a community reaction of outrage and public protest often follows. press. The process of pinpointing where the balance should be struck has divided men of learning as the balance keeps moving either on the side of liberty or on the side of order as the tumult of the time and the welfare of the people dictate. we recognize that pervasive and prejudicial publicity under certain circumstances can deprive an accused of his due process right to fair trial.. the misconduct of participants. 75 S Ct 11. In democratic settings. 14. 53 it was wisely held: xxx xxx xxx (a) The historical evidence of the evolution of the criminal trial in Anglo-American justice demonstrates conclusively that at the time this Nation's organic laws were adopted. The length of time the investigation was conducted despite its summary nature and the generosity with which they accommodated the discovery motions of petitioners speak well of their fairness. hostility. Inc. without the freedom to attend such trials. the significant community therapeutic value of public trials was recognized: when a shocking crime occurs. criminal trials cannot be completely closed to the press and the public. 4 L Ed 2d 989. in the context of trials. by the barrage of publicity.In floating this issue. In the case at bar. the respondents. their lawyers and their sympathizers — have participated in this media blitz. A trial courtroom is a public place where the people generally — and representatives of the media — have a right to be present.. their 26page Resolution carries no indubitable indicia of bias for it does not appear that they considered any extra-record evidence except evidence properly adduced by the parties. its excessiveness has been aggravated by kinetic developments in the telecommunications industry. Our daily diet of facts and fiction about the case continues unabated even today. The dance of balance is a difficult act to follow. In the seminal case of Richmond Newspapers. media coverage of trials of sensational cases cannot be avoided and oftentimes. the public's right to information. et al. e. even the principal actors in the case — the NBI. in Martelino. it is important that society's criminal process "satisfy the appearance of justice. uncontradicted history. and thereafter the open processes of justice serve an important prophylactic purpose. For sure. petitioners touch on some of the most problematic areas in constitutional law where the conflicting demands of freedom of speech and of the press. vs. and assembly. prohibit government from summarily closing courtroom doors which had long been open to the public at the time the First Amendment was adopted. or decisions based on secret bias or partiality. various fundamental rights. thus giving assurance that the proceedings were conducted fairly to all concerned and discouraging perjury. did petitioners seek the disqualification of any member of the DOJ Panel on the ground of bias resulting from their bombardment of prejudicial publicity." Offutt v. for these are basically unbeknown and beyond knowing. and where their presence historically has been thought to enhance the integrity and quality of what takes place. v. the right of assembly is also relevant. have been recognized as indispensable to the enjoyment of enumerated rights. which people have exercised for centuries. Petitioners cannot just rely on the subliminal effects of publicity on the sense of fairness of the DOJ Panel. The right to attend criminal trials is implicit in the guarantees of the First Amendment. In guaranteeing freedoms such as those of speech and press. Indeed. In addition. that the guarantees of speech and press. Virginia. The possibility of media abuses and their threat to a fair trial notwithstanding. 80 S Ct 1038. standing alone. Page 139 . share a common core purpose of assuring freedom of communication on matters relating to the functioning of government. not simply that they might be. 54 we held that to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity there must be allegation and proof that the judges have been unduly influenced. From this unbroken. 362 US 610. Be that as it may.g. 99 L Ed 11. Alejandro. To work effectively. Indeed. of the publicity that attended the investigation of petitioners fatally infected the fairness and impartiality of the DOJ Panel. the First Amendment right to receive information and ideas means. (b) The freedoms of speech. To be sure. United States. we find nothing in the records that will prove that the tone and content. important aspects of freedom of speech and of the press could be eviscerated. Cf. supported by reasons as valid today as in centuries past. At no instance. and an accused's right to a fair and impartial trial collide and compete for prioritization.

the judiciary always stands as a silent accused. Costs against petitioners. the petitions are dismissed for lack of showing of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondents. the business of the judiciary is to assure fulfillment of the promise that justice shall be done and is done — and that is the only way for the judiciary to get an acquittal from the bar of public opinion. SO ORDERED. it behooves her to be reminded of the duty of a trial judge in high profile criminal cases to control publicity prejudicial to the fair administration of justice. We stress that probable cause is not synonymous with guilt and while the light of publicity may be a good disinfectant of unfairness. Page 140 . IN VIEW WHEREOF. too much of its heat can bring to flame an accused's right to fair trial. Without imposing on the trial judge the difficult task of supervising every specie of speech relating to the case at bar. More than convicting the guilty and acquitting the innocent. 55 The Court reminds judges that our ability to dispense impartial justice is an issue in every trial and in every criminal prosecution.It all remains to state that the Vizconde case will move to a more critical stage as petitioners will now have to undergo trial on the merits.

SECTION 15 (1) NO FULL TXT – Caunca vs. Salazar [82 Phil 851; GR No.L-2690] (2) EFREN C. MONCUPA, petitioner, vs. JUAN PONCE ENRILE, FABIAN C. VER, GALILEO KINTANAR, FERNANDO GOROSPE, AND JOSE CASTRO,respondents. [G.R. No. L-63345 January 30, 1986] GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: As early as 1919, in the leading case of Villavicencio v. Lukban (39 Phil. 778, 790), this Court ruled: A prime specification of al application for a writ of habeas corpus is restraint of liberty. The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint as distinguished from voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is illegal. Any restraint which will preclude freedom of action is sufficient. ... This latitudinarian scope of the writ of habeas-corpus has, in law, remained undiminished up to the present. The respondents' contention that the petition has become moot and academic must necessarily be denied. Efren C. Moncupa may have been released from his detention cell. The restraints attached to his temporary release, however, preclude freedom of action and under the Villavicencio v. Lukban rule warrant this Court's inquiry into the nature of his involuntary restraint and our relieving him of such restraints as may be illegal. Petitioner Efren C. Moncupa, together with others, was arrested on April 22, 1982 at about 10:50 P.M., at the corner of D. Street and Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. Moncupa D. Tuazon was brought to MIG-15 Camp Bago Bantay, Quezon City where he was detained. On April 23, 1982, on the allegation that he was a National Democratic Front (NDF) staff member, a Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) was issued against him and eight (8) other persons. After two separate investigations, conducted first, by Lieutenant Colonel Gerardo Lantoria, Jr., Chief of Task Force Makabansa Investigation Group and second, by Investigating Fiscal Amado Costales of Quezon City, it was ascertained that the petitioner was not a member of any subversive organization. Both investigators recommended the prosecution of the petitioner only for illegal possession of firearms and illegal possession of subversive documents under Presidential Decree No. 33. Consequently, two separate informations were filed against the petitioner, one, for illegal possession of firearms before the Court of First Instance of Rizal and the other for violation of P.D. 33 before the City Court of Quezon City. Against the other accused, however, the cases filed were for violation of P.D. 885 as amended. Significantly, the petitioner was excluded from the charge under the Revised Anti-Subversion Law. During the pendency of this petition, it is significant that his arraignment and further proceedings have not been pursued. And yet, the petitioner's motions for bail were denied by the lower court. Hence, the petitioner filed the instant petition. The respondents, in their return of the writ justified the validity of petitioner's detention on the ground that the privilege of the writ had been suspended as to the petitioner. However, on August 30, 1983, the respondents filed a motion to dismiss stating that on May 11, 1983, the petitioner was temporarily released from detention on orders of the Minister temporary of National Defense with the approval of the President. The respondents stated. "Since the petitioner is free and no longer under the custody of the respondents, the present petition for habeas corpus may be deemed moot and academic as in similar cases. The issue to be resolved is whether or not the instant petition has become moot and academic in view of the petitioner's temporary release. It is to be noted that attached to the petitioner's temporary release are restrictions imposed on him. These are: 1) His freedom of movement is curtailed by the condition that petitioner gets the approval of respondents for any travel outside Metro Manila. 2) His liberty of abode is restricted because prior approval of respondents is also required in case petitioner wants to change his place of residence.

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3) His freedom of speech is muffled by the prohibition that he should not "participate in any interview conducted by any local or foreign mass media representatives nor give any press release or information that is inimical to the interest of national security." 4) He is required to report regularly to respondents or their representatives. The petitioner argues that although admittedly his temporary release is an improvement upon his actual detention, the restrictions imposed by the respondents constitute an involuntary and illegal restraint on his freedom. The petitioner stresses that his temporary release did not render the instant petitioner moot and academic but that "it merely shifted the inquiry from the legality of his actual detention to the legality of the conditions imposed by the respondents." We agree with the petitioner. The reservation of the military in the form of restrictions attached to the temporary release of the petitioner constitute restraints on the liberty of Mr. Moncupa. Such restrictions limit the freedom of movement of the petitioner. It is not physical restraint alone which is inquired into by the writ of habeas corpus. In Villavicencio v. Lukban, the women who had been illegally seized and transported against their will to Davao were no longer under any official restraint. Unlike petitioner Moncupa, they were free to change their domicile without asking for official permission. Indeed, some of them managed to return to Manila. Yet, the Court condemned the involuntary restraints caused by the official action, fined the Mayor of Manila and expressed the hope that its "decision may serve to bulwark the fortifications of an orderly government of laws and to protect individual liberty from Megal encroachment." In the light of the above ruling, the present petition for habeas corpus has not become moot and academic. Other precedents for such a conclusion are not wanting. The decision in Caunca v. Salazar (82 Phil. 851) states: An employment agency, regardless of the amount it may advance to a prospective employee or maid, has absolutely no power to curtail her freedom of movement. The fact that no physical force has been exerted to keep her in the house of the respondent does not make less real the deprivation of her personal freedom of movement, freedom to transfer from one place to another, from to choose one's residence. Freedom may be lost due to external moral compulsion, to founded or groundless fear, to erroneous belief in the existence of the will. If the actual effect of such psychological spell is to place a person at the mercy of another, the victim is entitled to the protection of courts of justice as much as the individual who is illigally deprived of liberty by deprived or physical coercion. In Tibo v. The Provincial Commander (85 SCRA 564), this Court ruled: Although the release in the custody of the Deputy Minister did not signify that petitioners could once again enjoy their full freedom, the application could have been dismissed, as it could be withdrawn by the parties themselves. That is a purely voluntary act. When the hearing was held on September 7, 1978, it turned out that counsel for petitioner Bonifacio V. Tupaz could have academic in a hasty manner when he set forth the above allegations in his manifestation of August 30, 1978, for Attorney Jose C. Espinas, who appeared for petitioners, while conceding that there was such a release from confinement, also alleged that it was conditioned on their restricting their activities as labor union leaders to the premises of the Trade Unions of the Philippines and ABSOLUTE Services, presumably in Macaraig as well as the Ministry of labor. As the voting was to take place in the business firm in Bataan, the acts set would nullify whatever efforts they could have exerted. To that extent, and with the prohibition against their going to Bataan, the restraint on liberty was undeniable. If so, the moot and academic character of the petition was far from clear. More recently, we had occasion to rule squarely on whether or not a temporary release from detention renders the petition for writ of habeas corpus moot and academic. As in this case of Moncupa, the petitioners in Toyoto, et al v. Hon. Fidel Ramos, et al, G.R. No. 69270, October 15, 1985, were temporarily released from detention. The respondents filed a motion to dismiss the petition for habeas corpus on the ground that the petitioners had been temporarily released and their case had, therefore, become moot and academic. The petitioners insisted, however, that their case may be considered moot and academic only "if their release would be permanent." In ruling for the petitioners, we said:

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Ordinarily, a petition for habeas corpus becomes moot and academic when the restraint on the liberty of the petitioners is lifted either temporarily or permanently. We have so held in a number of cases. But the instant case presents a different situation. The question to be resolved is whether the State can reserve the power to re-arrest a person for an offense after a court of competent jurisdiction has absolved him of the offense. An affirmative answer is the one suggested by the respondents because the release of the petitioners being merely 'temporary' it follows that they can be re-arrested at anytime despite their acquittal by a court of competent jurisdiction. We hold that such a reservation is repugnant to the government of laws and not of men principle. Under this principle the moment a person is acquitted on a criminal charge he can no longer be detained or re-arrested for the same offense. This concept is so basic and elementary that it needs no elaboration. In effect the principle is clear. A release that renders a petition for a writ of habeas corpus moot and academic must be one which is free from involuntary restraints. Where a person continues to be unlawfully denied one or more of his constitutional freedoms, where there is present a denial of due process, where the restraints are not merely involuntary but appear to be unnecessary, and where a deprivation of freedom originally valid has, in the light of subsequent developments, become arbitrary, the person concerned or those applying in his behalf may still avail themselves of the privilege of the writ. The respondents have failed to show why the writ may not issue and why the restraints on the petitioner's freedom of movement should not be lifted. WHEREFORE, the PETITION is GRANTED. The conditions attached to the temporary release of the petitioner are declared null and void. The temporary release of the petitioner is declared ABSOLUTE. No costs, SO ORDERED.

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(3) IN THE ISSUANCE OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS FOR DR. AURORA PARONG, NORBERTO PORTUGUESE, SABINO PADILLA, FRANCIS DIVINAGRACIA, IMELDA DE LOS SANTOS, BENJAMIN PINEDA, ZENAIDA MALLARI, MARIANO SORIANO, TITO TANGUILIG, LETTY BALLOGAN, BIENVENIDA GARCIA, EUFRONIO ORTIZ. JR., JUANITO GRANADA and TOM VASQUEZ. JOSEFINA GARCIA-PADILLA, petitioner, vs. MINISTER JUAN PONCE ENRILE, GEN, FABIAN C. VER, GEN. FIDEL V. RAMOS, and FIDEL V. RAMOS, and LT. COL. MIGUEL CORONEL, respondents. [G.R. No. L-61388 April 20, 1983] DE CASTRO, J.: Petition for a writ of habeas corpus and mandamus seeking the following relief: WHEREFORE, petitioners pray this Honorable Court: 1. To immediately issue a writ of habeas corpus directing respondents to appear and produce the bodies of Dr. AURORA PARONG, NORBERTO PORTUGUESE, SABINO PADILLA, FRANCIS DIVINAGRACIA, IMELDA DE LOS SANTOS, BENJAMIN PINEDA, ZENAIDA MALLARI, MARIANO SORIANO, TITO TANGUILIG, LETTY BALLOGAN, BIENVENIDA GARCIA, EUFRONIO ORTIZ, JR., JUANITO GRANADA and TOM VASQUEZ, forthwith before this Honorable Court and to make due return of the writ therewith; 2. To issue, in addition or in the alternative to the writ of habeas corpus, a writ of mandamus compelling the respondents to disclose the petitioners' present place of detention and to order the respondents to allow counsel and relatives to visit and confer with the petitioners; 3. Pending the determination of the legality of their continued detention, to forthwith release the detainees on bail upon such terms and conditions as the Court may fix, and after hearing, to order petitioners' immediate release; and 4. To grant petitioners such other and further relief as may be deemed just and equitable in the premises. The records show that nine (9) of the fourteen (14) detainees herein were arrested on July 6, 1982 at about 1:45 p.m. when three (3) teams of the PC/INP of Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya led by Lt. Col. Coronel, lst Lt. de Guzman and lst Lt. Baria, after securing a Search Warrant No. S-82 issued by Judge Sofronio Sayo of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Viscaya conducted a raid at the residence of Dra. Aurora Parong. Apprehended during the said raid were Dra. Aurora Parong, Benjamin Pineda, Sabino Padilla, Francisco Divinagracia, Zenaida Mallari, Letty Ballogan, Norberto Portuguese, and Mariano Soriano who were then having a conference in the dining room of Dra. Parong's residence which had been doing on since 10:00 a.m. of that same day. The other four (4) detainees herein, namely: Imelda de los Santos, Eufronio Ortiz, Jr., Juanita Granada, and Bienvenida Garcia, were arrested on the following day, July 7, 1982 by the same PC teams. On July 15, 1982, Tom Vasquez was arrested, and his Volkswagen car, bearing Plate No. DAP 347, was seized by the PC authorities. The herein fourteen (14) detainees (hereafter referred to sometimes as petitioners) were all detained at the PC/INP Command Headquarters, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya from July 6, 1982 until their transfer on the morning of August 10, 1982 to an undisclosed place reportedly to Camp Crame, Quezon City, to Echague, Isabela, and to Tuguegarao, Cagayan. Hence, this petition for the writ of habeas corpus and mandamus filed by Josefina Garcia-Padilla, mother of detained petitioner Sabino G. Padilla, Jr. on August 13, 1982. The mandamus aspect of the instant petition has, however, become moot and academic, and whereabouts of petitioners having already become known to petitioner Josefina Garcia-Padilla. It is alleged in the petition that the arrest of petitioners was patently unlawful and illegal since it was effected without any warrant of arrest; that the PC/INP raiding team which made the arrest were only armed with a search warrant (No. 3-82) issued by Judge Sofronio G. Sayo of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Viscaya, and nowhere in said warrant was authority given to make arrests, much less detention; that the search warrant which authorized respondents to seize "subversive documents, firearms of assorted calibers, medicine and other subversive paraphernalia" in the house and clinic of Dra. Aurora Parong was a roving and general warrant and is, therefore, illegal per se because it does not state specifically the things that are to be seized (Stonehill vs. Diokno, 20 SCRA 383); that no criminal charges have as of yet been filed against any of the detainees; that the fourteen (14) detainees were initially held at the PC/INP Command in Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya from July 6 up to August 10, 1982, but were subsequently transferred by

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helicopter in the morning of August 10, 1982 to a place or safehouse known only to respondents; that there is no judgment, decree, decision or order from a court of law which would validate the continued detention of the petitioner; that while it is true that a purported telegram stating the issuance of a Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) was shown to the detainees on or about July 11 and 12, 1982, but counsel and the detainees have not yet been given a copy of such PCO nor notified of its contents, raising a doubt whether such commitment order has in fact been issued. It is further alleged that respondents are denying the detainees their constitutional right to counsel, averring that the detainees were allowed regular visits by counsel and relatives during their period of detention from July 6 to August 10, 1982 at the PC/INP Command in Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya; however, when a certain Major Cristobal and Lt. Marcos (alleged to be from the Camp Crame Intelligence Units) took full control of the investigation, counsels were allowed to visit only on weekends; that when the detainees were transferred on August 10, 1982 to a place known only to respondents, the detainees' counsels and relatives were not notified, raising the apprehension that petitioners' constitutional rights to silence, to counsel and against self- incrimination are being violated; that counsels have tried to locate if the detainees were taken to Camp Crame or Camp Bago Bantay but to no avail; that Major Forondo of the PC Command in Nueva Viscaya informed Mrs. Josefina Padilla that the detainees were transferred to Tuguegarao, Cagayan, others to Echague, Isabela; that there seems to be a deliberate and concerted effort by respondents to conceal from counsel and relatives the detainees' place of detention, raising the apprehension that respondents are using force, violence, threat, intimidation and other means which vitiate free will to obtain confession and statements from the detainees in violation of their constitutional rights. In the resolution of this Court en banc dated August 17, 1982, the writ of habeas corpus was issued and respondents were required to make a return of the writ. Hearing on the petition was set on August 26, 1982. In the return to the writ filed on August 23, 1982. respondents, through the Solicitor General, alleged, to wit: I. AS TO HABEAS CORPUS 1. The detainees mentioned in the petition, with the exception of Tom Vasquez who was temporarily released on July 17, 1982, after his arrest on July 15, 1982, are all being detained by virtue of a Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) issued on July 12, 1982, pursuant to LOI No. 1211 dated March 9, 1982, in relation to Presidential Proclamation No. 2045 dated January 17, 1981. The said PCO was issued by President Ferdinand E. Marcos for violation of P.D. No. 885. ... 2. The corresponding charges against the said detainees have been filed in court and before the Acting Provincial Fiscal of Nueva Viscaya where they are pleading. A warrant of arrest against detainee Dra. Aurora Parong was issued on August 4, 1982, by the Municipal Court of Bayombong, for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. ... II. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE ON HABEAS CORPUS 3. The persons named in the above-mentioned Presidential Commitment Order were arrested and are being detained for offenses with respect to which under Proclamation No. 2045, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus continues to be suspended, thus: NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President/Prime Minister of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby revoke Proclamation No. 1081 (Proclaiming a state of Martial Law in the Philippines) and Proclamation No. 1104 (Declaring the Continuation of Martial Law) and proclaim the termination of the state of martial law throughout the Philippines; Provided, that the call to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prevent or suppress lawless violence, insurrection, rebellion and subversion shall continue to be in force and effect; and Provided that in the two autonomous regions in Mindanao, upon the request of the residents therein, the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shag continue; and in all other places the suspension of the privilege of the writ shall also continue with respect to persons at present detained as well as others who may hereafter be similarly detained for the crimes of insurrection or rebellion, subversion, conspiracy or proposals to commit such crimes, and for all other crimes and offenses committed by them in furtherance or on the occasion thereof, or incident thereto, or in connection therewith. (Emphasis supplied) The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is unavailing as to them. Courts cannot inquire into the validity and cause of their arrest and detention.

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4. The power of the President in an emergency, such as that which necessitated the continued suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, to order the detention of persons believed engaged in crimes related to national security is recognized. (Aquino vs. Enrile, 59 SCRA 83; Luneta, et al. vs. Special Military Commission, No. 1, et al., 102 SCRA 56). 5. In the instant petition, petitioner Josefina Garcia-Padilla does not appear to have been authorized by the thirteen (13) other detainees to represent them in the case at bar." Accordingly, the petition was duly heard on August 26, 1982. After hearing, the Court issued the following resolution, to wit: G.R. No. 61388 (In the Matter of the Petition for the Insurance of the Writ of Habeas Corpus of Dr. Aurora Parong, Norberto Portuguese, Sabino Padilla, Francis Divinagracia, Imelda de los Santos, Benjamin Pineda, Zenaida Mallari, Mariano Soriano, Tito Tanguilig, Letty Ballogan, Bienvenida Garcia, Eufronio Ortiz, Jr., Juanito Granada and Tom Vasquez; Josefina Garcia-Padilla vs. Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, Gen. Fabian C. Ver, Gen. Fidel V. Ramos and Lt. Col. Miguel Coronel.)- The return of the writ of habeas corpus and answer to the prayer for mandamus filed by the Solicitor General for respondents in compliance with the resolution of August 17, 1982 is NOTED. At the hearing of this case this morning, former Senator Jose W. Diokno, Attorneys Alexander A. Padilla and Efren H. Mercado appeared for petitioner. Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza and Assistant Solicitor General Ramon A. Barcelona, appeared for the respondents. All of the detainees, except Tom Vasquez, who was temporarily released on July 17, 1982, were present in Court; Dr. Aurora Parong, Norberto Portuguese, Sabino Padilla, Francis Divinagracia, Imelda de los Santos, Benjamin Pineda, Zenaida Mallari, Mariano Soriano, Tito Tanguilig, Letty Ballogan, Bienvenida Garcia, Eufronio Ortiz, Jr. and Juanito Granada. Attorney Alexander A. Padilla argued for the petitioner. Solicitor General Mendoza argued for the respondents. Former Senator Diokno argued in the rebuttal. The Court Resolved to require the Solicitor General to SUBMIT within five (5) days from date the documents relevant to the issuance of the Presidential Commitment Order. Thereafter, the case shall be considered SUBMITTED for resolution. As required, the Solicitor General submitted the documents relevant to the issuance of the Presidential Commitment Order on August 27, 1982, after which the case was submitted for resolution. The fundamental issue here, as in all petitioner for the writ of habeas corpus, is whether or not petitioners' detention is legal. We have carefully gone over the claims of the parties in their respective pleadings as well as in the oral argument during the hearing on August 26, 1982, and We find that petitioners have not been illegally deprived of their constitutional right to liberty, neither in the manner of their arrest, nor by their continued detention, and that the circumstances attendant in the herein case do not warrant their release on a writ of habeas corpus. 1. At the time of the arrest of the nine (9) of the fourteen (14) detainees herein on July 6, 1982, records reveal that they were then having conference in the dining room of Dra. Parong's residence from 10:00 a.m. of that same day. Prior thereto, all the fourteen (14) detainees were under surveillance as they were then Identified as members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) engaging in subversive activities and using the house of detainee Dra. Aurora Parong in Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya, as their headquarters. Caught in flagrante delicto, the nine (9) detainees mentioned scampered towards different directions leaving in top of their conference table numerous subversive documents, periodicals, pamphlets, books, correspondence, stationaries, and other papers, including a plan on how they would infiltrate the youth and student sector (code-named YORK). Also found were one (1) .38 cal. revolver with eight (8) live bullets, nineteen (19) rounds of ammunition for M16 armalite, eighteen thousand six hundred fifty pesos (P18,650.00) cash believed to be CPP/NPA funds, assorted medicine packed and ready for distribution, as sizeable quantity of printing paraphernalia, which were then seized. There is no doubt that circumstances attendant in the arrest of the herein detainees fall under a situation where arrest is lawful even without a judicial warrant as specifically provided for under Section 6(a), Rule 113 of the Rules of Court and allowed under existing jurisprudence on the matter. As provided therein, a peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person when the person to be arrested has committed or actually committing, or is about to commit an offense in his presence. From the facts as above narrated, the claim of the petitioners that they were initially arrested illegally is, therefore, without basis in law and in fact. The crimes of insurrection or rebellion, subversion, conspiracy or proposal to commit such crimes, and other crimes and offenses committed in the furtherance on the occasion thereof, or incident thereto, or in connection therewith under Presidential Proclamation No. 2045, are all in the nature of continuing offenses which set them apart from the common offenses, aside from their essentially involving a massive conspiracy of nationwide magnitude. Clearly then, the arrest of the herein detainees was well within the bounds of the law and existing jurisprudence in our jurisdiction.

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2. The arrest of persons involved in the rebellion whether as its fighting armed elements, or for committing non-violent acts but in furtherance of the rebellion, is more an act of capturing them in the course of an armed conflict, to quell the rebellion, than for the purpose of immediately prosecuting them in court for a statutory offense. The arrest, therefore, need not follow the usual procedure in the prosecution of offenses which requires the determination by a judge of the existence of probable cause before the issuance of a judicial warrant of arrest and the granting of bail if the offense is bailable. Obviously, the absence of a judicial warrant is no legal impediment to arresting or capturing persons committing overt acts of violence against government forces, or any other milder acts but equally in pursuance of the rebellious movement. The arrest or capture is thus impelled by the exigencies of the situation that involves the very survival of society and its government and duly constituted authorities. If killing and other acts of violence against the rebels find justification in the exigencies of armed hostilities which is of the essence of waging a rebellion or insurrection, most assuredly so in case of invasion, merely seizing their persons and detaining them while any of these contingencies continues cannot be less justified. In the language ofMoyer vs. Peabody, 1 cited with approval in Aquino, et al. vs. Ponce Enrile, 2 the President " shall make the ordinary use of the soldiers to that end that he may kill persons who resist, and, of course, that he may use the milder measure of seizing the bodies of those whom he considers to stand in the way of restoring peace. Such arrests are not necessarily for punishment, but are by way of precaution, to prevent the exercise of hostile power." Thus characterized, the arrest and detention of persons ordered by the President through the issuance of Presidential Commitment Order PCO is merely preventive. "When it comes to a decision by the head of the State upon a matter involving its life, the ordinary rights of individuals must yield to what he deems the necessities of the moment. Public danger warrants the substitution of executive process for judicial process." 3 What should be underscored is that if the greater violation against life itself such as killing, will not be the subject of judicial inquiry, as it cannot be raised as transgressing against the due process clause that protects life, liberty and property, lesser violations against liberty, such as arrest and detention, may not be insisted upon as reviewable by the courts. 3. Transcendentally important, therefore, is the question of whether the issuance of a Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) has provided the legal basis of the detention of herein detainees following their arrest for Proclamation No. 2045 covered offenses. This question has to be set at rest promptly and decisively, if We are to break a seemingly continuous flow of petitions for habeas corpus, as what had been seen lately of such petitioners being filed in this Court one after the other. The function of the PCO is to validate, on constitutional ground, the detention of a person for any of the offenses covered by Proclamation No. 2045 which continues in force the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, if the arrest has been made initially without any warrant, its legal effect is to render the writ unavailing as a means of judicially inquiring into the legality of the detention in view of the suspension of the privilege of the writ. The grant of the power to suspend the said privilege provides the basis for continuing with perfect legality the detention as long as the invasion or rebellion has not been repelled or quelled, and the need therefor in the interest of public safety continues. The significance of the conferment of this power, constitutionally upon the President as Commander-in-Chief, is that the exercise thereof is not subject to judicial inquiry, with a view to determining its legality in the light of the bill of rights guarantee to individual freedom. This must be so because the suspension of the privilege is a military measure the necessity of which the President alone may determine as an incident of his grave responsibility as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, of protecting not only public safety but the very life of the State, the government and duly constituted authorities. This should be clear beyond doubt in the case of "invasion," along which "rebellion" or "insurrection" is mentioned by the Constitution, which contingency does not present a legal question on whether there is a violation of the right to personal liberty when any member of the invading force is captured and detained. The presidential responsibility is one attended with all urgency when so grave a peril to the life of the Nation besets the country in times of the aforementioned contingencies. In the discharge of this awesome and sacred responsibility, the President should be free from interference. The existence of warlike conditions as are created by invasion, rebellion or insurrection, the direst of all emergencies that can possibly confront a nation, argues, beyond dispute, against subjecting his actions in this regard to judicial inquiry or interference from whatever source. If freedom from judicial review is conceded in the exercise of his peacetime powers as that of appointment and of granting pardon, denominated as political powers of the President, it should incontestably be more so with his wartime power, as it were, to adopt any measure in dealing with situations calling for military action as in case of invasion, rebellion or insurrection. The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is one such measure. To be effective, the occasion for its application on specific individuals should be left to the exclusive and sound judgment of the President, at least while the exigencies of invasion, rebellion or insurrection persist, and the public safety requires it, a matter, likewise, which should be left for the sole determination of the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Nation's armed forces. The need for a unified command in such contingencies is imperative-even axiomatic-as a basic military concept in the art of warfare.

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4. From the clear language of the Lansang case, 4 "the function of Court is merely to check — not to supplant — the Executive, or to ascertain merely whether he has gone beyond the constitutional limits of his jurisdiction, not to exercise the power vested in him or to determine the wisdom of his act. " If, however, the constitutional right to bail is granted to the herein petitioners by the court, through the procedure laid down under Rule 114 of the Rules of court, what inevitably results is the supplanting of the decision of the President to detain pursuant to Proclamation No. 2045, of persons who come under its coverage. The specific mention in the Constitution of rebellion and insurrection along with invasion and imminent danger thereof, shows that the terms "rebellion and insurrection" are used therein in the sense of a state or condition of the Nation, not in the concept of a statutory offense. What, therefore, should determine the legality of imposing what is commonly referred to as "preventive detention" resulting from the suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, is the necessity of its adoption as a measure to suppress or quell the rebellion, or beat off an invasion. The necessity for such measure as a means of defense for national survival quite clearly transcends in importance and urgency the claim of those detained to the right to bail to obtain their freedom. To hold otherwise would defeat the purpose of the constitutional grant of the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus on the occasions expressly mentioned in the charter. For what indeed could the purpose be of suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus other than to restrict, at least for the duration of the emergency of invasion or rebellion, the right to personal liberty, dictated as it is, in the greater interest of public safety and national security. So it is that Proclamation No. 2045 mentions not only rebellion or insurrection as coming within the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, but also other offenses, including subversion which is not mentioned in the Constitution, committed by reason or on the occasion of the rebellion, or in connection therewith, or in the furtherance thereof. There need be no alarm over what libertarian jurists fear as violation of the constitutional right to personal liberty when the President decrees the suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus. Only those who give cause for it will be subject to restriction of their liberty, as the necessity therefor arises in the interest of national defense and survival. The constitutional guarantee of individual freedom is intact in all its plenitude and sanctity, save only as the Constitution has envisioned the need for its limitation, and only to a few, in relation to the entire population, as the Constitution itself permits in case of overwhelming and imperious necessity. 5. Worthy of profound notice and keen appreciation is the fact that the authority to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus has been deliberately vested on the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, together with the related power to call out the armed forces to suppress lawless violence and impose martial law. 5 The choice could not have been more wise and sound, for no other official may, with equal capability and fitness, be entrusted with the grave responsibility that goes with the grant of the authority. The legislature was considered in the alternative upon which to lodge the power, or to share in its exercise, but the distilled wisdom of the Constitutional Convention finally made its choice for the President alone. As previously noted, "invasion" which is not a statutorily-defined offense and "imminent danger thereof" as mentioned in the Constitution indicate that "rebellion and insurrection" are also mentioned therein not in their concept as statutorily-defined public crimes, but as a state or condition of extreme emergency resulting from the existence of the aforesaid events. Now, if captured enemies from the invading force may not be charged with any statutory offense that would provide the occasion to demand the right to bail, it is obvious that persons engaged in rebellion or insurrection may not claim the right to be released on bail when similarly captured or arrested during the continuance of the aforesaid contingency. They may not even claim the right to be charged immediately in court, as they may rightfully do so, were they being charged with an ordinary or common offense. This is so because according to legal writers or publicists, the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus "has the sole effect of allowing the executive to defer the trials of persons charged with certain offenses during the period of emergency." 6 This clearly means denial of the right to be released on bail on being charged in court with bailable offenses. The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus must, indeed, carry with it the suspension of the right to bail, if the government's campaign to suppress the rebellion is to be enhanced and rendered effective. If the right to bail may be demanded during the continuance of the rebellion, and those arrested, captured and detained in the course thereof will be released, they would, without the least doubt, rejoin their comrades in the field thereby jeopardizing the success of government efforts to bring to an end the invasion, rebellion or insurrection. Realistically, a person engaged in the rebellion does not, upon being arrested or captured, cease to be as committed to the cause of the movement. Through a grand conspiracy, as is of the essence of how rebellion is committed, involving a great mass of confederates bound together by a common goal, he remains in a state of continued participation in the criminal act or design. His heart still beats with the same emotion for the success of the movement of which he continues to be an ardent adherent and ally. It is simple logic then to hold that there should be no legal compulsion for a captured rebel to be charged in court, only to be released on bail, while he is, realistically and legally, still as much as part and parcel of the movement, continuing as it is, as those still engaged in carrying on actively to attain their goal of overthrowing the established regime. Hence, it is easy to perceive how impressed with absolute verity is the opinion expressed by two acknowledged authorities on Constitutional law in our country, 7 which We quote:

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If the return to the writ shows that the person in custody was apprehended and detained in areas where the privileges of the writ have been suspended or for the crimes mentioned in the executive proclamation. arbitrariness. where it doubtlessly realized how hardly possible it is to adduce evidence or proof upon which to show the President having acted with arbitrariness. If granted. petitioners would ask this Court to review the issuance of the PCO against them. at least. The arrest and detention effected by a military commander or the head of a law enforcement agency after it is determined that the person or persons to be arrested would probably escape or commit further acts which would Page 149 . in the face of the formidable obstacle built up by the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty. constitutes an allegation of arbitrariness in the filing of the case against him. is hard to prove.. The law has afforded him adequate safeguards against arbitrariness. as when they resort to guerilla tactics with sophisticated weapons. 8 decided after Proclamation No. the PCO issued thereunder did not validate the initial illegal arrest of the herein petitioners as wen as their continued detention. captives of the rebels or insurgents are not only not given the right to be released. or imminent danger thereof. The matter is to be decided on the basis of the evidence. and for the sake of humanity. relying on the evidence supposedly available in the hands of the military. but also denied trial of any kind. 2045. Unexhilaratingly. The Lansang case went no further than to pronounce the suspension of the writ of the privilege of habeas corpus on August 21. when public safety requires it. petitioners insisting that the LOI limits the authority of the President to cause the arrest and detention of persons engaged in or charged with. the court will suspend further proceedings in the action. all too well-known that when the rebel forces capture government troopers or kidnap private individuals. the crimes mentioned in Proclamation No. specially when they are out on bail. held that the constitutional right to bail is unavailing when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended with respect to certain crimes as enumerated or described in the abovementioned Proclamation. the effect is to transfer the jurisdiction of the trial courts in criminal cases to this Court. not being a trier of facts. 2. Impeccable as it is. they claim they are not guilty of rebellion. Military Commission. by authorizing the detention of their own rebel or dissident captives as the rebellion goes on. Invoking the Lansang case. even after the suspension of this privilege. 2045 was issued. It never intended to suggest that for every individual case of arrest and detention. thereby enhancing the latter's chances of beating their enemy. the law does not authorize the filing of a petition for habeas corpus based on the ground that there is absolutely no evidence to hold him for trial. minimized. In this way. intimating that arbitrariness attended its issuance because. which provides the guidelines in the arrest and detention of persons engaged in. The petition now before Us is exactly one of this kind. trampling over it already as they are still waging war against the government. If such a procedure were allowed. would be most inclined. to grant the demand for respect of rights supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution by those who themselves seek to destroy that very same instrument. therefore. It is. and this Court is not the proper forum for the review sought. if not all. such as the requirement of determining the existence of a probable cause by the judge before the issuance of the warrant of arrest. 2045. on a finding that there was no arbitrariness attendant to the suspension. tested by the conformity of its issuance to the procedure laid down under LOI 1211. the crimes mentioned in Proclamation No. charged with. the opinion could not but find a resonant echo as it did in the recent case of Buscayno vs. 1211.. this is the revealing experience of this Court in the Lansang case. 1971. They also contend that the provisions of LOI No. which in terms clear and categorical. likewise. What is then sought by the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is. It must be noted that LOI No. it would be easy to delay and obstruct the prosecution of an offense by a resort to a petition for habeas corpus based on arbitrariness. insurrection. As a matter of common knowledge. the crimes mentioned contemplates of three situations when an arrest can be made.. The finding of such probable cause may not be immediately brought for review by this Court in a habeas corpus proceeding. or charged with. The last question relates to the legality of the Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) issued by the President on July 12. they do not accord to them any of the rights now being demanded by the herein petitioners. Moreover. to question the legality of the arrest and detention on ground of arbitrariness. which. which is simply inconceivable. in effect. The arrest and detention effected by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge. valid and constitutional. They contend that the procedure prescribed in the LOI not having been observed. the advantage the rebellion forces have over those of the government. to wit: 1. the writ of habeas corpus is available. on the claim of arbitrariness. This stark actuality gives added force and substance to the rationale of the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in case of invasion. rebellion. which most accuse. 7. It would. to put the government forces on equal fighting terms with the rebels. 6. 9 however. 1982. they may even be liquidated unceremoniously. while so easy to allege. When a person is charged in court for an ordinary offense. In some instances. particularly to be set at liberty upon the filing of bail. is. 1211 have not been complied with. among others. seem to be ignoring realities in the name of misplaced magnanimity and compassion.

a PCO is justified. 1211.endanger public order and safety. to aid him in exercising his power to restrain personal liberty. Verily. By its very nature. After the arrest. thereafter. in any manner. there exists a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof. not all LOI issued by the President should be dignified into forming part of the law of the land. the military commander or the head of the law enforcement agency may apply to the President thru the Minister of National Defense. city. circuit. much less a showing. or (b) When the release on bail of the person or persons already under arrest by virtue of a judicial warrant would endanger said public order and safety. however. where. To form part of the law of the land. or charged with the crimes or offenses mentioned in said Proclamation in that he (President) would subject himself to the superior authority of the judge who. The above notwithstanding. and clearly by its language. Even in instances when a resort to judicial process is possible. whic h provides: 3. is the one authorized to issue a judicial warrant after a preliminary investigation is conducted with a finding of probable cause. order or LOI must be issued by the President in the exercise of his extraordinary power of legislation as contemplated in Section 6 of the 1976 amendments to the Constitution. is not bound by such finding. The purpose is "to insure protection to individual liberties without sacrificing the requirements of public order and safety and the effectiveness of the campaign against those seeking the forcible overthrow of the government and duty constituted authorities. that these conditions prompted the President to issue LOI 1211. " LOI 1211 does not. for a Presidential Commitment Order under the following circumstances: (a) When resort to judicial process is not possible or expedient without endangering public order and safety. if the evidence warrants. whenever in his judgment. too. or district judge for preliminary examination or investigation who. a resort thereto would not be expedient because it would endanger the public order or safety. Those who would read such an intention on the part of the President in issuing LOI 1211 seems to do so in their view that LOI forms part of the law of the land under the 1976 amendment of the Constitution. the case shall be immediately referred to the city or provincial fiscal or to the municipal. 2045. as explicitly provided in paragraph 2 of LOI 1211. the decree. 1211. for a Presidential Commitment Order covering the person or persons believed to be participants in the commission of the crimes referred to in paragraph 1 under the following circumstances: (a) When resort to judicial process is not possible or expedient without endangering public order and safety. limit the authority of the President to cause the arrest and detention of persons engaged in. 3. Neither is the contention that paragraph 3 of LOI 1211 applies only when judicial process is not possible. That the President avails of the facilities of the judicial machinery. LOI 1211 is a mere directive of the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to his subordinates or implementing officers for the ultimate objective of providing guidelines in the arrest and detention of the persons covered by Presidential Proclamation No. ignoring paragraph 3 of LOI No. 1211. we a warrant of arrest. the President. 2045 and Letter of Instruction No. in the judgment of the President. Petitioners appear to place entire reliance on paragraphs 1 and 2 of LOI No. or whenever the interim Batasan Pambansa or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate action. under which the detainees or Page 150 . as dictated by the necessities and exigencies of the emergency. In the event then that the judge believes no warrant shall issue. The military commander or the head of the law enforcement agency may apply to the President thru the Minister of National Defense. as is the clear intent of LOI 1211. This is a narrow and constricted interpretation of LOI 1211 when viewed in its entirety. or (b) When the release on bail of the person or persons already under arrest by virtue of a judicial warrant would endanger said public order and safety. shall file the corresponding charges and. when release on bail in the ordinary judicial process will invite the same danger. The reliance of petitioners on paragraphs 1 and 2 of LOI 1211 as to the alleged necessity of judicial warrant before a person may be arrested and detained is not well-founded. There can be no pretense. under normal judicial processes in the prosecution of the common offenses. under Presidential Proclamation No. 10 They would then contend that a PCO issued not in compliance with the provisions of the LOI would be an illegality and of no effect. So. does not indicate any intention on his part to renounce or to allow even mere curtailment of his power such that the judicial process will thereupon take its normal course.

for the very life of the Nation and its government. For their part. giving him their own loyalty with utmost patriotism. Arbitrariness. 14 Page 151 . The difference again is that the power comes into being during extreme emergencies the exercise of which. What has been said above shows the need of reexamining the Lansang case with a view to reverting to the ruling of Barcelon vs. His exercise of the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus on the occasion thereof. certainly a mandate that derogates on the right to personal liberty. " as determining the justiciability of a case. True. in giving him the supreme mandate as their President. for if the State perishes. should be limited or restricted. and the test as laid down therein is not whether the President acted correctly but whether he acted arbitrarily. with the difference that the guarantee of the right to liberty is for personal benefit. and Montenegro vs. Castaneda. considering how well-nigh impossible it is for the courts to contradict the finding of the President on the existence of the emergency that gives occasion for the exercise of the power to suspend the privilege of the writ. went along with the proposition that the decision of the Executive in the exercise of his power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is his alone. the existence of the emergencies should be left to President's sole and unfettered determination. is in grave peril. In a true sense then. Compulsory military service may be imposed. To erase it from our own system as seems to be what was done in the Lansang case. subversives and dissidents waging a rebellion or insurrection. the defense of the State is a prime duty of government. it is the Constitution that gives the President specific "military power" in times of warlike conditions as exist on the occasion of invasion. Baker. by all means to be avoided. and in his own language. Gatmaitan case. specially under the new Constitution where the condition that it may be granted only after final conviction has been done away with. or ascertain merely whether he has gone beyond the constitutional limits of his jurisdiction not to exercise the power vested in him or to determine the wisdom of his act. In times of war or national emergency. the legislature may surrender a part of its power of legislation to the President. On these occasions. the judiciary should be less jealous of its power and more trusting of the Executive in the exercise of its emergency powers in recognition of the same necessity? Verily. Precisely. the Executive and the Judiciary should maintain a mutually deferential attitude. must have shown him that to prosecute the offense through the judicial process of forthwith instead of deferring it. the people can only trust and pray that. It. The ruling in the Nava vs. it is not that in time of war the Constitution is silenced. 91 Phil. The wisdom of this concept remains well-recognized in advanced constitutional systems. perishes with it. For the Court to insist on reviewing Presidential action on the ground of arbitrariness may only result in a violent collision of two jealous powers with tragic consequences. the President is answerable only to his conscience. our Constitution is for both peacetime and in time of war. would neither be wise nor expedient if he were to deal effectively with the grave emergency at hand. and all other persons. which. the President will not fail them. This would seem to be pure semanticism. a 1905 decision. So it is that." This is so. but in time of war or grave peril to the nation. 11 The issuance of the PCO by the President necessarily constitutes a finding that the conditions he has prescribed in LOI 1211 for the issuance of that PCO have been met. should also be beyond judicial review. while individual freedom is obviously for full enjoyment in time of peace. * as above intimated. ill afford to assume the authority to check or reverse or supplant the presidential actions. for complete effectiveness for the purpose it was granted should not permit intereference. in favor of adhering to the more desirable and long-tested doctrine of "political question" in reference to the power of judicial review. the Constitution. the Constitution is the law "equally in war and in peace. Art. 5 Phil. that the President's decision to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is "final and conclusive upon the courts. becomes self-evident that the duty of the judiciary to protect individual rights must yield to the power of the Executive to protect the State. In his separate opinion in the Lansang case. For the power is intended as a limitation of the right. and intends that the detention would be pursuant to the executive process incident to the government campaign against the rebels. therefore. while the grant of the presidential power is for public safety. includes the courts. as the Founding Fathers must have felt that in the particular situations at hand. which. Both power and right are constitutionally granted. A good example could be given in the exercise of the presidential power of pardon which is beyond judicial review. the judiciary can. inserted provisions therein that come into play and application in time of war or similar emergencies. is "ordinarily beyond the ken of the Courts. This is the very essence of the doctrine of "political question. with admirable foresight and vision. then Justice Fernando.accused would then be entitled to demand their right of due process. as proclaimed by the Constitution. the people and to God. as clearly indicated in Section 9. particularly in relation to their personal liberty. 87. insurrection or rebellion. as a ground for judicial inquiry of presidential acts and decisions. may neither be proper nor prudent. VII of the Constitution partakes of military measures. in much the same way as individual freedom yields to the exercise of the police power of the State in the interest of general welfare. sounds good in theory but impractical and unrealistic. In so doing." 12 as Chief Justice Fernando cited in his brilliant separate opinion in the same Lansang case. 13 Would it not be as proper and wholly acceptable to lay down the principle that during such crises. with becoming modesty. if We consider that with particular reference to the nature of the actions the President would take on the occasion of the grave emergency he has to deal with. the President takes absolute command. 882 (1952). Which of the two enjoys primacy over the other is all too obvious." Judicial interference was thus held as permissible. now our learned Chief Justice. The Founding Fathers. incidentally. with the Bill of Rights that guarantees the right to personal liberty." This well-settled ruling was diluted in the Lansang case which declared that the "function of the Court is merely to check — not to supplant — the Executive.

15 Incidentally. their continued detention is rendered valid and legal. affords further reason for the reexamination of the Lansang doctrine and reversion to that of Barcelon vs. the President may suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. under the doctrine of "political question. as a necessary consequence. as it was so vested in the United States for which reason. as earlier cited.. may not be declared void by the courts. We hold that in times of war and similar emergency as expressly provided in the Constitution. Chief Justice Taney of the U. This Court is not possessed with the attribute of infallibility that when it reviews the acts of the President in the exercise of his exclusive power. to determine if the Congress acted with arbitrariness." as has been applied in the Baker and Castaneda cases. WHEREFORE. the issuance of which is the exclusive prerogative of the President under the Constitution. We further hold that under LOI 1211. it would not itself go so far as to commit the self-same fault. for possible fault of arbitrariness. if not abandoning the doctrine of the Lansang case. let alone its supposed violation of the provision of LOI 1211. without need of judicial overseeing. instead of the President. SO ORDERED. and their right to be released even after the filing of charges against them in court. of the right to bail. The power could have been vested in Congress.Amendment No. a Presidential Commitment Order. in the Lansang case. to the same inquiry as our Supreme Court did with the act of the President.S. to depend on the President. the instant petition should be. Finally. the withholding for the duration of the suspension of the privilege. thus diluting. as he has done in meritorious cases. Supreme Court expressed the opinion that Congress alone possessed this power under the Constitutional. We hold that upon the issuance of the Presidential Commitment Order against herein petitioners. Baker and Montenegro vs. 2045. who may order the release of a detainee or his being placed under house arrest. as it is hereby dismissed. on any ground. if decreed through congressional action. which has the effect of allowing the Executive to defer the prosecution of any of the offenses covered by Proclamation No. against commission by him of an act of arbitrariness in the discharge particularly of those duties imposed upon him for the protection of public safety which in itself includes the protection of life. it seems unimaginable that the judiciary could subject the suspension. liberty and property. Page 152 . The supreme mandate received by the President from the people and his oath to do justice to every man should be sufficient guarantee. including. Accordingly. 6 of the 1973 Constitution. Castaneda. when President Lincoln himself exercised the power in 1861.

then Solicitor-General Estelito Mendoza. Presiding. 1983. ARTURO TABARA. 1 issued a resolution granting the motion to dismiss. elements of the TFM raided several places. be granted. LACSON.(4) ROGELIO ABERCA.00. Fortun. BENJAMIN SESGUNDO. 1ST LT. RODOLFO BENOSA. Carlos Palma. BELEN DIAZ-FLORES. 1983. RAUL BACALSO.00 each or a total of P3. COL. exemplary damages in the amount of at least P150. L-69866 April 15. Joseph Olayer. the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Then. 1ST LT. and with the possible exception of Major Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Sergeant Bienvenido Balabo committed acts of torture and maltreatment. MAJ. and (3) the complaint states no cause of action against the defendants. the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. PEDRO TANGO.000. National Capital Judicial Region. Quezon City." A motion to set aside the order dismissing the complaint and a supplemental motion for reconsideration was filed by the plaintiffs on November 18. and attorney's fees amounting to not less than P200.respondents. I sustained. harass and punish them. EDWIN LOPEZ. 1988] YAP. Manuel Mario Guzman. On the other hand. ELIZABETH PROTACIO-MARCELINO.000. that military men who interrogated them employed threats. (2) assuming that the courts can entertain the present action. plaintiffs' arguments in their opposition are lacking in merit.030. Opposition to said motion to dismiss was filed by plaintiffs Marco Palo.000. This case stems from alleged illegal searches and seizures and other violations of the rights and liberties of plaintiffs by various intelligence units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. GERARDO B. COL. J.000. MANUEL MARIO GUZMAN. who can be held liable for such violations: only the military personnel directly involved and/or their superiors as well. Belen Diaz. 1ST LT. moral damages in the amount of at least P150. as to them.00 each or a total of P3. 1983.00. Nel Etabag. MARCO PALO. 1983. defendants are immune from liability for acts done in the performance of their official duties. the defendants' contention (1) the plaintiffs may not cause a judicial inquiry into the circumstances of their detention in the guise of a damage suit because. (2) that assuming that the court can entertain the present action.00. the Regional Trial Court. that for some period after their arrest. Arturo Tabara. COL. LANTORIA. On November 7. Alex Marcelino and Elizabeth Marcelino on July 21. ALEX MARCELINO. CARLOS PALMA. 1983. Alfredo Mansos and Rolando Salutin on July 8. as to them. Plaintiffs sought actual/compensatory damages amounting to P39.R. Flores. ALFREDO MANSOS. the court finds the same to be meritorious and must. EDWIN TULALIAN and REBECCA TULALIANpetitioners. COL. ROLANDO ABADILLA. employing in most cases defectively issued judicial search warrants. and by plaintiffs Edwin Lopez. If such action for damages may be maintained. alleging that (1) plaintiffs may not cause a judicial inquiry into the circumstances of their detention in the guise of a damage suit because. that plaintiffs were arrested without proper warrants issued by the courts. NESTOR BODINO NOEL ETABAG DANILO DE LA FUENTE. Danilo de la Fuente. National Capital Region. The lower court stated. A motion to dismiss was filed by defendants." Plaintiffs allege. since there is no allegation that the defendants named in the complaint confiscated plaintiffs' purely personal properties in violation of their constitutional rights. PANFILO M. "After a careful study of defendants' arguments. ROMEO RICARDO. Rodolfo Benosa. MAJ. Rogelio Aberca. on November 8. certain members of the raiding party confiscated a number of purely personal items belonging to plaintiffs. 1983. defendants are immune from liability for acts done in the performance of their official duties. FIDEL SINGSON. through their counsel. that plaintiffs were interrogated in violation of their rights to silence and counsel. DANILO PIZARRO. lock. MSGT BIENVENIDO BALABA and REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. Benjamin Sesgundo. the defendants filed a comment on the aforesaid Page 153 . that all violations of plaintiffs constitutional rights were part of a concerted and deliberate plan to forcibly extract information and incriminatory statements from plaintiffs and to terrorize. CAPT. JOSEPH OLAYER.000. COL. GEN. 1ST LT. known as Task Force Makabansa (TFM) ordered by General Fabian Ver "to conduct pre-emptive strikes against known communist-terrorist (CT) underground houses in view of increasing reports about CT plans to sow disturbances in Metro Manila. It poses the question whether the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus bars a civil action for damages for illegal searches conducted by military personnel and other violations of rights and liberties guaranteed under the Constitution.: This petition for certiorari presents vital issues not heretofore passed upon by this Court. ALAN JAZMINEZ. stock and barrel. FABIAN VER. Branch XCV (95). they were denied visits of relatives and lawyers. Branch 95. Judge Willelmo C. a Consolidated Reply was filed by defendants' counsel. Nestor Bodino. 1983. vs. tortures and other forms of violence on them in order to obtain incriminatory information or confessions and in order to punish them. that during these raids. therefore. among others. RODOLFO AGUINALDO. [G. or that the defendants had the duty to exercise direct supervision and control of their subordinates or that they had vicarious liability as employers under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Alan Jasminez. said plans being previously known to and sanctioned by defendants. respectively. GALILEO KINTANAR. that complying with said order.000. and November 24.00. ROLANDO SALUTIN. On December 9. No. and (3) that the complaint states no cause of action against defendants.000.

Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino. Ramon Esguerra and Felicitas Aquino. Rolando Abadilla 4. alleging that it was not true that plaintiffs Rogelio Aberca. Alfredo Mansos and Rolando Salutin is deed for lack of merit. 1983 had already become final. Romeo Ricardo 10. Col. dismissing the complaint. Judge Fortun issued an order voluntarily inhibiting himself from further proceeding in the case and leaving the resolution of the motion to set aside the order of dismissal to Judge Lising. and 2. Major Rodolfo Aguinaldo. Marco Palo. Diokno. 1983 and the amplificatory motion for reconsideration was filed for all the plaintiffs. Pedro B. Atty. In its resolution of September 21. Augusta Sanchez. Lt. Antonio L. "to preclude any suspicion that he (Judge Fortun) cannot resolve [the] aforesaid pending motion with the cold neutrality of an impartial judge and to put an end to plaintiffs assertion that the undersigned has no authority or jurisdiction to resolve said pending motion." This order prompted plaintiffs to reesolve an amplificatory motion for reconsideration signed in the name of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) of Mabini Legal Aid Committee. Joker P. Ella Jr. Bienvenido Balaba Page 154 . Arno V.1984. Procopio Beltran. Auguso Sanchez. Attys. Atty. the resolution of November 8. Master Sgt. Spouses Alex Marcelino and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino. Jose W. Lt. 1983. Efren Mercado. Diokno. dated May 11. Danilo de la Fuente. Fidel Singson 3. 1983 dismissing the complaint. Capt. as prayed for by the defendants. represented by counsel. 1984. On December 15. without acting on the motion to set aside order of November 8. Arroyo. to wit: 1. by Attys. represented by counsel. In the dispositive portion of the order of September 21. Atty. and Rolando Salutin. Panfilo Lacson 7. Rene Sarmiento. Alan Jasminez Alex Marcelino. Gen Fabian Ver 2. Jose W. Atty. Galileo Montanar 6. said Order is now final against said plaintiffs. 1984. Joker Arroyo. Rosales. indeed. 1984. of the Resolution of dismissal of the complaint of plaintiffs Rogelio Aberca. Felicitas Aquino and Arno Sanidad on April 12. Alfredo Mansos represented by counsel. 1984. Alfredo Mansos and Rolando Salutin failed to file a motion to reconsider the order of November 8. 1 Lt Pedro Tango 9. Alan Jasminez. 1983. Atty. Raul Bacalso the motion to set aside and reconsider the Resolution of dismissal of the present action or complaint. as follows: It appearing from the records that. the respondent court dealt with both motions (1) to reconsider its order of May 11. the following plaintiffs. failed to file a motion to reconsider the Order of November 8. dated November 8. Lt. Col. Danilo de la Fuente and Marco Palo. Rogelio Aberca. 1983. issued an order. In an order dated May 11. Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino. 1984. 1983 granting the defendants' motion to dismiss. to wit: 1. is also denied but in so far as it affects and refers to defendants. Marco Palo. Sanidad. Col. 1984. Alan Jasminez represented by counsel. Efren Mercado.. the trial court. Conrado Lantoria. Assailing the said order of May 11.motion of plaintiffs. (2) For lack of cause of action as against the following defendants. Judge Esteban Lising. 5. 1984 declaring that with respect to certain plaintiffs. On May 2. the defendants filed a comment on said amplificatory motion for reconsideration. Jr.1984. Danilo de la Fuente. nor interposed an appeal therefrom within the reglementary period. Danilo Pizaro 8. Procopio Beltran. Rene Saguisag. the respondent court resolved: (1) That the motion to set aside the order of finality. and (2) to set aside its resolution of November 8. Col. Rene Sarmiento. within the reglementary period. namely. furnishing a copy thereof to the attorneys of all the plaintiffs. Presiding. 1983. although signed by only some of the lawyers. Alexander Padilla. Plaintiffs claimed that the motion to set aside the order of November 8. Alex Marcelino. Col. represented by counsel. the plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration on May 28.

to meet the witnesses face to face. (10) The right to be secure in one's person. 1983 is granted and the Resolution of dismissal is. In times of great upheaval or of social and political stress. or else liberty will perish. The indemnity shall include moral damages. papers. (18) Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against ones self. (11) The liberty of abode and of changing the same. defeats. when the temptation is strongest to yield — borrowing the words of Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee — to the law of force rather than the force of law. At the heart of petitioners' complaint is Article 32 of the Civil Code which provides: ART. (2) Freedom of speech. of justice. (3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical publication. 1984. (6) The right against deprivation of property without due process (7) of law. (13) The right to become a member of associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law. (5) Freedom of suffrage. it is necessary to remind ourselves that certain basic rights and liberties are immutable and cannot be sacrificed to the transient needs or imperious demands of the ruling power. Our commitment to democratic principles and to the rule of law compels us to reject the view which reduces law to nothing but the expression of the will of the predominant power in the community. We find the petition meritorious and decide to give it due course. and (20) Freedom of access to the courts. Hence. Its message is clear. in this respect. (9) The right to the equal protection of the laws. except when the person confessing becomes a State witness. In any of the cases referred to in this article. 32. violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages: (1) Freedom of religion. whether or not the defendant's act or omission constitutes a criminal offense. the against grieved party has a right to commence an entirely separate and distinct civil action for damages. (4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention. (17) The rigth of the aaccused to be heard by himself and counsel. 1984. The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge unless his act or omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute.the motion to reconsider and set aside the Resolution of dismissal dated November 3. The rule of law must prevail. (8) The right to a just compensation when private property is taken for public use. and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witness in behalf. of liberty. Now this respect implies a Page 155 . (15) The right to be free from involuntary servitude in any form. Exemplary damages may also be adjudicated. no man may seek to violate those sacred rights with impunity. to have a speedy and public trial. (19) Freedom from excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishment. (12) The privacy of cmmunication and correspondence. Respondents were required to comment on the petition. Such civil action shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter be instituted). (16) The rigth of the accused against excessive bail. or from being induced by a promise of immunity or reward to make such confession. It is obvious that the purpose of the above codal provision is to provide a sanction to the deeply cherished rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. petitioners filed the instant petition for certiorari on March 15. 1986. unless the law is respected by him who makes it and by him for whom it is made. which it did on November 9. "Democracy cannot be a reign of progress. 1983. and may be proved by a preponderance of evidence. or from being forced to confess guilt. 1985 seeking to annul and set aside the respondent court's resolution of November 8. reconsidered and modified. Any public officer or employee. (14) The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition the Government for redress of grievances. or any private individual who directly or indirectly obstructs. to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. and its resolution dated September 21. and for other relief. A reply was filed by petitioners on August 26. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. house. unless the same is imposed or inflicted in accordance with a statute which has not been judicially declared unconstitutional. 1985. its order of May 11.

819). therefore. 1981. and circumstances justifying the deportation and the method of carrying it out are left to him. insurrection or rebellion. Mateo. It may be that the respondents. by launching a pre-emptive strike against communist terrorists. Therefore. 944. The Constitution no less provides that the President may call them "to prevent or supress lawless violence. then it must follow that the courts cannot intervene for the purpose of declaring that he is liable in damages for the exeercise of this authority. 1981. 16 S. Vilas. for the purpose of controlling or interferring with the exercise of the political powers vested in the chief executive authority of the Government." Petitioners allege in their complaint that their causes of action proceed from respondent General Ver's order to Task Force Makabansa to launch pre-emptive strikes against communist terrorist underground houses in Metro Manila. Barr v. Economon.emptive strikes against alleged communist terrorist underground houses. a minimum of Idealism. Ct. 2 Seeking to justify the dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint. and in pursuance of such objective. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield: 4 No one can be held legally responsible in damages or otherwise for doing in a legal manner what he had authority. as members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. 2054 of President Marcos. On January 17. To allow petitioners to recover from respondents by way of damages for acts performed in the exercise of such duties run contrary to the policy considerations to shield respondents as public officers from undue interference with their duties and from potentially disabling threats of hability (Aarlon v. 79 Phil. respondent members of the armed forces merely performed their official and constitutional duties. Nicolas. under the law. the respondents postulate the view that as public officers they are covered by the mantle of state immunity from suit for acts done in the performance of official duties or function In support of said contention. invasion. 617 F. 40 L. 634). 21 Phil. 2d 895. Chuoco Tiaco. Section 9). we discover that life demands of us a certain residuum of sentiment which is not derived from reason.maximum of faith. The proclamation also provided "that the call to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prevent or suppress lawless violence. etc. under the law to deport or expel the defendants." (Constitution. Ed. Rhodes. Article VII. xxx xxx xxx The immunity of public officers from liability arising from the performance of their duties is now a settled jurisprudence Alzua v. insurrection. Chuoco Tiaco. 2045 lifting martial law but providing for the continued suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in view of the remaining dangers to the security of the nation. respondents maintain that — Respondents are members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. On going to the bottom of the matter. then he cannot be held liable in damages for the exercise of this power. despite the lifting of martial law on January 27. Sami v. Fitzgerald 102 S. 2894. Moreover. 2731-1 Forbes v. or imminent danger thereof. Ct. 161 US 483. Forbes v. 2d 198. 2d 755). insuitection rebellion and subversion shall continue to be in force and effect. Butz v. 57 L. to launch pre. 35 Cal. the President issued Proclamation No. as they claim. rebellion and subversion" in accordance with Proclamation No. 438 US 478. vs. Paredes. 308. Their primary duty is to safeguard public safety and order. State. and the right to property and that. Metran v. "to prevent or suppress lawless violence. Petitioners claim that this order and its subsequent implementation by elements of the task force resulted in the violation of their constitutional rights against unlawful searches. The cases invoked by respondents actually involved acts done by officers in the performance of official duties written the ambit of their powers. 360. But this cannot be construed as a blanket license or a roving Page 156 . 98 S. Ct. Respondents-defendants who merely obeyed the lawful orders of the President and his call for the suppression of the rebellion involving petitioners enjoy such immunity from Suit. respondents Ver and the named members of the task force should be held liable for damages. de Leune. were merely responding to their duty. rights to counsel and to silence. to do. Johnson. if the courts are without authority to interfere in any manner. 416 US 232. if the Governor-General had authority. 605. Zulueta v. seizures and arrest. 602 F. 16 Phil. and upon the necessity of protecting the performance of governmental and public functions from being harassed unduly or constantly interrupted by private suits (McCallan v. App. supra. Ed. 631. US. As held in Forbes. 780. Spalding v. 3 We find respondents' invocation of the doctrine of state immunity from suit totally misplaced. Miller v. 102 Phil. But. Scheuer v. but which reason nevertheless controls.

constitutional and legal safeguards must be observed. otherwise. Aquino issued Proclamation No. their right and cause of action for damages are explicitly recognized in P. activity or conduct of any public officer involving the exercise of powers or authority arising from Martial Law including the arrest. to the person whose constitutional rights and liberties have been violated? Respondents contend that the doctrine of respondent superior is applicable to the case. 2045 and 2045-A and lifting the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. the same must be brought within one (1) year. the struggle may well be abandoned. it is not the actor alone (i. The net result is that what the courts cannot do. We do not find merit in respondents' suggestion that plaintiffs' cause of action is barred by the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. high or low. or from within or without. Be that as it may. the violation of their right to remain silent and to counsel and their right to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and against torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment. it does not and cannot suspend their rights and causes of action for injuries suffered because of respondents' confiscation of their private belongings. the one directly responsible) who must answer for damages under Article 32. 2. the person indirectly responsible has also to answer for the damages or injury caused to the aggrieved party. No.commission untramelled by any constitutional restraint. civilian or military. Only judges are excluded from liability under the said article. Moreover. In the battle of competing Ideologies. revoking Proclamation Nos. their causes of action are inextricably based on the same claim of violations of their constitutional rights that they invoked in the habeas corpus case as grounds for release from detention.e. petitioners will be able to do by the mere expedient of altering the title of their action. does not exempt the respondents from responsibility. jointly and severally with his subordinates. 1986. detention and/or trial of the plaintiff.D. What is suspended is merely the right of the individual to seek release from detention through the writ of habeas corpus as a speedy means of obtaining his liberty. override the suspension ordered by the President. Thus. when the action (for injury to the rights of the plaintiff or for a quasi-delict) arises from or out of any act. No such relationship exists between superior officers of the military and their subordinates. The law speaks of an officer or employee or person 'directly' or "indirectly" responsible for the violation of the constitutional rights and liberties of another. The doctrine of respondent superior has been generally limited in its application to principal and agent or to master and servant (i. as pointed out by petitioners. 1755 which amended Article 1146 of the Civil Code by adding the following to its text: However. Petitioners have a point in contending that even assuming that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus suspends petitioners' right of action for damages for illegal arrest and detention. the judicial inquiry barred by the suspension of the privilege of the writ will take place. however. Once that faith is lost or compromised. This brings us to the crucial issue raised in this petition. This is not to say that military authorities are restrained from pursuing their assigned task or carrying out their mission with vigor. We have no quarrel with their duty to protect the Republic from its enemies. the struggle for the mind is just as vital as the struggle of arms. What we are merely trying to say is that in carrying out this task and mission. the decisive factor in this case. We agree. The suspension does not render valid an otherwise illegal arrest or detention." We do not agree. We find merit in petitioners' contention that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus does not destroy petitioners' right and cause of action for damages for illegal arrest and detention and other violations of their constitutional rights. seeking to destroy or subvert our democratic institutions and imperil their very existence. is the language of Article 32. The question therefore has become moot and academic.e. However. to disregard or transgress upon the rights and liberties of the individual citizen enshrined in and protected by the Constitution. Article 32 of the Civil Code which renders any public officer or employee or any private individual liable in damages for violating the Constitutional rights and liberties of another. While the main relief they ask by the present action is indemnification for alleged damages they suffered. as enumerated therein. we find it unnecessary to address the constitutional issue pressed upon us. The Constitution remains the supreme law of the land to which all officials.e. whether of the left or of the right. provided their acts or omissions do not constitute a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute. May a superior officer under the notion of respondent superior be answerable for damages. Respondents contend that "Petitioners cannot circumvent the suspension of the privilege of the writ by resorting to a damage suit aimed at the same purpose-judicial inquiry into the alleged illegality of their detention. owe obedience and allegiance at all times. employer and employee) relationship. On March 25. i. Page 157 . Were the petitioners allowed the present suit. President Corazon C. the very fabric of our faith will start to unravel. in our view. The linchpin in that psychological struggle is faith in the rule of law.

or from being induced by a promise of immunity or reward to make a confession. Article 32 of the Civil Code encompasses within the ambit of its provisions those directly. Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one's self. the motion to dismiss must hypothetically admit the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint. of cash and personal effects belonging to plaintiffs and other items of property which were not subversive and illegal nor covered by the search warrants. it is difficult to justify the trial court's ruling. Col. The responsibility of the defendants. Article 32 clearly specifies as actionable the act of violating or in any manner impeding or impairing any of the constitutional rights and liberties enumerated therein. Secondly. Pedro Tango. neither can it be said that only those shown to have participated "directly" should be held liable. Alex Marcelino. Danilo de la Puente. how plaintiffs' constitutional rights and liberties mentioned in Article 32 of the Civil Code were violated and impaired by defendants. 3. only the facts alleged in the complaint. responsible for the transgression joint tortfeasors. as well as indirectly. The right against deprivation of property without due process of law. Freedom from arbitrary arrest or illegal detention. the trial court dropped defendants General Fabian Ver. the principle of accountability of public officials under the Constitution 5 acquires added meaning and asgilrnes a larger dimension.By this provision. if not actually responsible for. should be considered.. The privacy of communication and correspondence. Alan Jazminez. secure in the thought that he does not have to answer for the transgressions committed by the latter against the constitutionally protected rights and liberties of the citizen. whether direct or indirect. Firstly. as well as indirectly. Only Major Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Master Sgt. Bienvenido Balaba. Col. But such finding is not supported by the record. 2. house. except Major Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Master Sgt. Alfredo Mansos and Rolando Page 158 . 7 For this purpose. improper and illegal circumstances. 8 Applying this test. Panfilo Lacson. responsible for its violation. Capt. The right to be secure in one's person. In the case at bar. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Col. Col. Marco Palo. Bienvenido Balaba were kept as defendants on the ground that they alone 'have been specifically mentioned and Identified to have allegedly caused injuries on the persons of some of the plaintiff which acts of alleged physical violence constitute a delict or wrong that gave rise to a cause of action. Romeo Ricardo and Lt. Part of the factors that propelled people power in February 1986 was the widely held perception that the government was callous or indifferent to. degrading and brutal treatment for the purpose of extracting incriminatory statements. if admitted hypothetically. Article 19. the rampant violations of human rights. or from being forced to confess guilt. 6 To determine the sufficiency of the cause of action. among others — 1. Fidel Singson. Galileo Kintanar. Was the trial court correct in dismissing the complaint with respect to plaintiffs Rogelio Aberca. except when the person confessing becomes a state witness. The complaint contained allegations against all the defendants which. seizures and confiscation. nor is it in accord with law and jurisprudence. among others. lst Lt. is amply set forth in the complaint. it should nonetheless be made clear in no ones terms that Article 32 of the Civil Code makes the persons who are directly. searches made without search warrants or based on irregularly issued or substantially defective warrants. Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino. Ricardo Bacalso from the acts of their subordinates. Jr. The complaint speaks of. Col. would be sufficient to establish a cause or causes of action against all of them under Article 32 of the Civil Code. arrest and detention of plaintiffs without warrant or under irregular. It is well established in our law and jurisprudence that a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint states no cause of action must be based on what appears on the face of the complaint. Danilo Pizarro. dismissing for lack of cause of action the complaint against all the defendants. While it would certainly be go naive to expect that violators of human rights would easily be deterred by the prospect of facing damage suits. it is wrong to at the plaintiffs' action for damages 5 Section 1. Rolando Abadilla. to 'acts of alleged physical violence" which constituted delict or wrong. 5. 4. The complaint in this litigation alleges facts showing with abundant clarity and details. and no others. No longer may a superior official relax his vigilance or abdicate his duty to supervise his subordinates. Gerardo Lantoria. Lt. without proper receipts. The complaint contains a detailed recital of abuses perpetrated upon the plaintiffs violative of their constitutional rights. This brings us to the last issue. detention of plaintiffs at several undisclosed places of 'safehouses" where they were kept incommunicado and subjected to physical and psychological torture and other inhuman.

1984. dated November 8. through counsel.Salutin. but to all the lawyers of plaintiffs. Joker Arroyo. he furnished copies thereof. 1953 dismissing the complaint was filed only by some of the plaintiffs. it was grave abuse on the part of respondent judge to take it upon himself to rule that the motion to set aside the order of November 8. The authority of an attorney to appear for and in behalf of a party can be assumed. counsel for Nestor Bodino and Carlos Palma. With costs against private respondents. But the body of the motion itself clearly indicated that the motion was filed on behalf of all the plaintiffs. Rene Sarmiento. Sanidad. 1983. Accordingly. Joker P. Ella. Arno V. Jose Diokno. Alexander Padilla. counsel for Edwin Lopez and Manuel Martin Guzman. Procopio Beltran. Jr. we grant the petition and annul and set aside the resolution of the respondent court. 1983. when by its very language it was clearly intended to be filed by and for the benefit of all of them. Antonio Rosales. Alexander Padilla. Let the case be remanded to the respondent court for further proceedings. counsel for Joseph Olayer. granting the respondent's motion to dismiss? It is undisputed that a timely motion to set aside said order of November 8. Ramon Esguerra and Felicitas S. Augusto Sanchez. Thus. Aquino. In filing the motion to set aside the resolution of November 8. Pedro Efla Jr. Atty. Arno Sanidad. counsel for Rodolfo Benosa. They needed no specific authority to do that. Antonio Rosales. Such action tainted with legal infirmity cannot be sanctioned. not just to the lawyers who signed the motion. counsel for Arturo Tabara. Page 159 . Atty. its order dated May 11. 1983 was filed by 'plaintiffs. unless questioned or challenged by the adverse party or the party concerned.. It is obvious that the respondent judge took umbrage under a contrived technicality to declare that the dismissal of the complaint had already become final with respect to some of the plaintiffs whose lawyers did not sign the motion for reconsideration. the motion was signed only by Atty. and Atty. Aquino. to wit: Attys. which was never done in this case. Efren Mercado. 1984 and its resolution dated September 21. on the basis of the alleged failure of said plaintiffs to file a motion for reconsideration of the court's resolution of November 8. True.. Rene Saguisag. Arroyo. And this must have been also the understanding of defendants' counsel himself for when he filed his comment on the motion. Atty. 1983. Atty. counsel for Benjamin Sesgulido. Pedro B. the signing attorneys did so on behalf of all the plaintiff. Felicitas S. SO ORDERED.

. for his provisional release on the personal recognizance of Ms counsel. this Court issued the following resolution: "The Court [issued] the writ of habeas corpus return to this Court not later than Wednesday. San Fernando. while Anderson Beltran is still under detention at the INP Integrated Jail. 1978. 1977. a complaint for violation of Arts. 1978. October 11. By virtue of the commitment order of the court. pursuant to ASSO No. The release of Demetrio Rivera from confinement was admitted. at Olongapo City for criminal prosecution of the offenses aforementioned 4. Accordingly.S. the Court issued a commitment order dated November 3. the filing of the instant petition for habeas corpus is without legal basis. 60. CJ. Zamar In a manifestation filed by respondent on October 21. Accordingly. CAPTAIN ROLANDO GARCIA. [G. MARIA BELTRAN and PRUDENCIA RIVERA.. vs. 168 and 172 of the Revised Penal Code. 1978 directing the Commanding officer of IRECAD Dentention Center.. he did pray that respondent be made to furnish certain documents. 3601 and 3602 of the Revised Tariff and Customs Code) through falsification of public documents (violation of Art. a Captain in the Philippine Constabulary. 1972-78. On the same day the court issued an order for the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Anderson Beltran.: This application for the writ of habeas corpus was filed by Maria Beltran and Prudencia Rivera on behalf of Anderson Beltran and Demetrio Rivera. Olongapo Metropolitan District Command. Anderson Beltran. Olongapo Metropolitan District Command. 3. U. dated June 24. refuting the allegations of petitioners' counsel. the detention of Anderson Beltran was challenged.. . As Beltran's Page 160 . 1978. was filed against Anderson Beltran with the Angeles City Fiscal's Office. 6 At the hearing on October 12. Olongapo City. as to him. On November 3. Naval Base. Attorney Buena B. 1978.. a return was filed by Solicitor General Estelito P. Such memorandum likewise sought the release of Anderson Beltran "from custody of respondent in order to afford him the chance to save his hungry family of 7 children who are now in the brink of disastrous hunger and have to live under mercy of good neighbors feeding them to survive. 1978.. Camp Olivas. with his counsel alleging that unfortunately he was not in a position to supply the needed documents. 2 Accordingly. alleged to be "actually imprisoned and arbitrarily restrained of their liberty" by respondent Rolando Garcia. As alleged in paragraph 3 of the Petition.. in view of this development. Anderson Beltran executed a waiver of his right under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. October 12. In the memorandum of petitioners filed on October 25. 2. 7 A motion was filed on behalf of the other detained individual. the custody of Anderson Beltran has in legal contemplation been transferred from the military to the civilian authority (Lansang vs. He did so on December 11. 8 This Court. 493 (1971).. . Actg. Pampanga. 3910. an information for falsification of private document was filed against Anderson Beltran with the Court of First Instance of Zambales (Olongapo Branch I) and there docketed as Criminal Case No. 167. 1978. 1978 at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon. 42 SCRA 448. Beltran in effect admitted the legality of his detention and has rendered the instant petition for habeas corpus moot and academic. P. complaints for estafa and falsification of public documents and violation of Section 3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code. were filed against Anderson Beltran with the City Fiscal's Office of Olongapo City. docketed as IS No. 1978 as shown in the Certificate of Release dated October 6. Mendoza. . By his said waiver. . 781820. 1978. the genuineness and authenticity of the arrest and seizure order being put in issue.C. 1972-78. During the preliminary investigation conducted by the Olongapo City Fiscal's Office on October 26. the persons detained appeared before the Court. 1 The application likewise set forth the fact that no criminal complaint had been filed against the aforesaid individuals and that they were not informed either of any charge or charges lodged against them. 1978 and to [set] the hearing of this case for Thursday. Hence. In addition. 1978 . the plea was for the denial of the motion for provisional release. 4597 dated September 20. Pampanga. 1978. pursuant to the commitment order of the Court of First Instance of Zambales (Olongapo Branch 1). Said Anderson Beltran was apprehended and detained for the offenses of smuggling (violation of Secs. General Order No. . in a resolution of November 7. The imprisonment of Anderson Beltran is with legal authority: hence. Garcia. 5 It is worded thus: "1. Anderson Beltran and Demetrio Rivera were. 1978 in connection with IS No. docketed as IS No. No. On October 19. San Fernando.. Demetrio Rivera has already been released from detention on October 8. L-49014 April 30. petitioners.. sought the comment of the Solicitor General on such request. they being taken to the military stockade of the 164th P. Anderson Beltran is being detained at the IRECAD Detention Center.. .(5) In the Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus in behalf of ANDERSON BELTRAN and DEMETRIO RIVERA. 1978. Company. the petition had become moot and academic. however. . C. apprehended by Armed Forces Police Unit.R. on September 21. 172 of the Revised Penal Code) which offenses have the effect of undermining public order within the contemplation of Section 3. was charged with the offense of smuggling under the Revised Tariff and Customs Code through falsification of public documents. and were thereafter turned over and detained at the INP Integrated Jail. That aspect of the case need not be further inquired into.. Camp Olivas. 4 On October 11. respondent. The memorandum of respondent speaks for itself "On October 12. 1979] FERNANDO. Presently. 1978. Subic Bay. 1978. the plea was for the immediate restoration of their liberty and discharge from confinement as their detention was "without any legal authority. 3 On October 3. it was shown that the detainee Beltran. to keep Anderson Beltran in his custody as detention prisoner subject to the order of the court.

1978. Otherwise. What is more. Page 161 . 10 finds relevance: "It would appear therefore that the writ had served its purpose and whatever illegality might have originally infested his detention had been cured. In that sense. 1978. there is adherence to the basic aim and intent that inform this great writ of liberty which. Rivera. to say the least. Director of Prisons. Every precaution should be taken against its repetition. but without sufficient understanding of the implications of the rule of law. It certainly does not speak well of officialdom. 13 One last word. The good name of the Administration is jeopardized. if a person deprived of his liberty had to go to court before his rights are respected. The grievance complained of therefore no longer exists. the petition is dismissed in the case of Rivera for being moot and academic and in the case of Beltran. "is to inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint as distinguished from voluntary and to relieve a person therefrom if such restrain is illegal. What is undeniable is that the ordinary civil process of the law is now being followed. for as emphatically stressed by Justice Holmes. Were it not for this circumstance. 1978. 11 Such a doctrine was affirmed in the two subsequent cases of De la Plata v. Lukban. This excerpt from Cruz v. whether civilian or military. men of zeal. It was on September 21. was not released until October 8. Any restrain which will preclude freedom of action is sufficient.detention is now by virtue of a judicial order. concededly well-meaning. 14 The petition was filed on October 2. the driver of the vehicle allegedly used by Beltran to carry on his smuggling activities. it is not unreasonable to conclude that the officials concerned would not have been prodded into action. by such inefficiency or inattention to duty. 1978 that Beltran and Rivera were detained without any criminal charge against them. his petition for habeas corpus should be deemed to have been rendered moot and academic. irregular. WHEREFORE. without any fault on its part. Montoya. 9 Such an appraisal of the situation by Solicitor General Mendoza is impressed with validity. 16 This is another instance then of the practice. it "cuts through all forms and goes to the very Issue of the structure. the parties responsible for this state of affairs would justly lay themselves open to the accusation that the greatest danger to constitutional rights comes from public officials. There is no unfairness then in characterizing the release of Rivera and the filing of an information against Beltran as due to the filing of the application with this Tribunal for the writ of habeas corpus. the information was not filed until November 3. his petition has become academic. Escorcha 12 and Canas v. in the apt language of Justice Malcolm in the landmark case of Villavicencio v. because of his commitment being due to a lawful order by a court of justice. 15 In the case of Beltran. of persons being restrained of their liberty prior to the filing of any charge or even in the absence of any justification for such detention.' This it could accomplish.

dated April 20. in the form of questions and answers taken by T-Sgt. and that petitioner's application for bail constituted a waiver of the right to question the validity of the arrest. 3828 had been substantially complied with. 655-New of the same court. Herein respondents filed their answer.: Appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Surigao del Sur. The criminal action was commenced by T-Sgt. and THE PROVINCIAL WARDEN of Surigao del Sur. and Exhibits 6. and subscribed and sworn to before the respondent Judge at the time of the filing of the complaint.00. which order.R. Candido Patosa. the certificate of death. herein petitioner. L-27511 November 29. The case was subsequently remanded to the Court of First Instance of Surigao del Sur. HON. after petitioner filed a waiver of his right to preliminary investigation. by filing with respondent Municipal Judge Lorenzo M. petitionerappellant. and 13 of herein respondents. PLAZA. that a motion to quash. Patosa. petitioner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the Court of First Instance of Surigao del Sur. filed by herein petitioner-appellant Simon Luna — hereinafter referred to simply as petitioner — who was charged with murder in Criminal Case No. The respondent Judge examined the prosecution witnesses by reading to them "all over again the questions and answers" in their statements in writing. dismissing the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On March 9.(6) IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS. and petitioner was denied bail. and the witnesses-affiants declared before said Judge that the questions were propounded by T-Sgt. Patosa. Considering the answers of the affiants to the questions contained in their sworn statements. alleging that Republic Act No. Surigao del Sur. that they fully understood the questions and answers. HON. respondent Judge later revoked. respondentsappellees. In giving absolute credence to the oral testimony of the respondent Judge to the effect that he adopted and made his own the questions and answers taken by T-Sgt. Candido Patosa. the respondent Judge opined that there was reasonable ground to believe that the crime of murder had been committed and the accused was probably guilty thereof. 7. on the ground that the imprisonment and detention was the result of a warrant of arrest issued by respondent Judge in violation of Republic Act No. The affiants signed their respective affidavits in the presence of the respondent Judge. 3828. holding that respondent Municipal Judge had substantially complied with Republic Act No. as Judge of the Municipal Court of Tandag. 1968] ZALDIVAR. 3828. respondent Judge issued an order granting bail. and were freely and voluntarily made. 1967. 1967. 1967. LORENZO M. 1138 charging the accused. Petitioner. . specifying therein that no bail should be accepted for the provisional release of the accused. of the Municipal Court of Tandag. upon motion of petitioner that he be admitted to bail upon the ground that the evidence of guilt was not strong. No. who also signed after the usual procedure of administering the oath. claiming that he was being deprived of liberty without the due process of law. 105-New. SANTOS B. claims that the trial court erred. criminal case No. PC Investigator. Plaza. In denying the writ of habeas corpus and in dismissing the petition. BEBERINO as Provincial Fiscal of Surigao del Sur. Hence this appeal. PC investigator of Tandag. with the crime of murder. Supporting the complaint were sworn statements of the witnesses for the prosecution. dated April 20. because the records show the contrary. After trial. 1967 respondent Provincial Fiscal filed an information charging herein petitioner with the crime of murder. and not a petition for habeas corpus was the proper remedy. fixing it at P30. in his assignment of errors. The affiants further declared before respondent Judge that their answers were true. the Court of First Instance of Surigao del Sur rendered its decision. one of the prosecution witnesses.vs. the sketch showing the position of the victim and the accused. however. On April 5.000. Surigao del Sur. and consequently denied the application for the writ of habeas corpus. and that the answers were made by them. Page 162 1. The petitioner was detained in the provincial jail of Surigao del Sur under the custody of respondent Provincial Warden. On February 20. and dismissed the case. SIMON LUNA. and that they were willing to sign their respective affidavits. as follows: 2. 12. J. [G. Respondent Judge issued the order and warrant of arrest. therein docketed as Special Proceedings No. together with the post-mortem and autopsy report on the dead body of the victim Jaime Diaz Ng. and praying for the annulment of the order for his arrest and his discharge from confinement. 1967. 8.

Patosa constituted substantial compliance with the requirement that the judge should examine the witnesses by asking searching questions. oral and documentary. raise only questions of law and he has thereby waived the right to raise any question of fact. having seen and heard the witnesses themselves and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. that of reducing to writing the said procedure of adoption. (2) the examination must be under oath. Before a municipal judge may issue a warrant of arrest. and "I-1"-petitioner). that being satisfied that the questions and answers contained in the sworn statements taken by T-Sgt Patosa partake of the nature of his searching questions and answers as required by law. The record of the instant case. Thus. approved June 22. being self-serving intended to cover up the failure to comply with the law. it found that there had been substantial compliance with the requirement that the municipal judge should personally examine the witnesses. 3 and the findings of facts of the trial court. the herein petitioner with the crime of Murder filed with the respondent Judge authorized to conduct the examination of the witnesses for the prosecution for the purpose of determining the existence of probable cause before the issuance of the corresponding warrant of arrest. however. that if considered. has not been complied with. 3828. which means that the judge must cross-examine them in case their affidavits are presented. Republic Act No. that before the issuance of the corresponding warrant of arrest. Regarding credibility of witnesses. considering that it is in a better position to decide the question.. 2 Since petitioner appealed directly to this Court he must. Petitioner maintains that this testimony. Candido Patosa by reading the questions and answers all over again to the affiants who confirmed to the respondent Judge that the statements contained in their sworn statements are true. (3) the examination must be reduced to writing in the form of searching questions and answers. should not have been believed by the Court of First Instance. claims that the failure of respondent Judge to put in writing that he adopted the questions asked by T-Sgt. inserted in section 87 (e) of the Judiciary Act of 1948 the following paragraph: No warrant of arrest shall be issued by any justice of the peace in any criminal case filed with him unless he first examines the witness or witnesses personally. 3828 imposes on a municipal judge. as a general rule. Patosa and his failure to ask "searching questions" violated Republic Act No. 3828. Petitioner urges that the absence of any document in the record that shows that respondent Judge had performed the examination is positive proof that respondent Judge did not perform his duty. Petitioner contends that the trial court erred in giving absolute credence to the testimony of respondent Municipal Judge. and the examination shall be under oath and reduced to writing in the form of searching questions and answers. to wit: (1) personally examine the complainant and witnesses with "searching questions and answers". 3828 was still violated. Patosa. before he can issue a warrant of arrest. and the issuance of the warrant of arrest was in violation of said Act and the Constitution and constituted denial of due process. under the rules and precedents.". still the second requirement. therefore. unless there is a showing that it has overlooked certain facts of substance and value. might affect the result of the case. In support of his first assignment of error. and that the petitioner waived his right to the preliminary investigation (Exhibit "12"-respondent) and applied to be admitted to bail. the following conditions must first be fulfilled: (1) he must examine the witnesses personally. Republic Act No. be transmitted or forwarded to the Honorable Supreme Court . "H-1". does not show said examination was performed by respondent Judge. and (2) said examination must be reduced to writing and form part of the records of the case. during the hearing of this case. Petitioner has appealed "from the decision/order" of the trial court "to the Honorable Supreme Court of the Philippines. believing said testimony. Petitioner further maintains that assuming that the adoption of the questions made by T-Sgt. Were these conditions fulfilled in the instant case? Page 163 . two specific duties. that the complaint is supported by the statements of the witnesses under oath in writing in the form of questions and answers and other documents attached to the complaint. according to petitioner. we have held that as a rule where the issue is one of credibility of witnesses. "I". and so. to wit: There is no dispute that there is a valid complaint charging the accused Simon Luna.. petitioner contends that Republic Act No. and said court thereby committed errors when. Petitioner.1. this Court has consistently held that. on the ground that the same is contrary to law and the Philippine Constitution" and prayed that "all the records of the proceeding and the evidence. the respondent Judge adopted them as his own personal examination of the witnesses for the purpose of determining the existence of probable cause. the respondent judge personally examined the witnesses for the prosecution on their statements taken by T-Sgt.4 The findings of facts of the trial court are found in the following portion of the decision appealed from. Sinaon1 this Court said: Time and again. notwithstanding his testimony before the Court of First Instance of Surigao del Sur. the lower court's findings as to the credibility of witnesses will not be interfered with by appellate courts. in the case of People vs. to the effect that he adopted the questions propounded to each of the prosecution witnesses by T-Sgt. 1963. appellate courts will not generally disturb the findings of the trial court. the order and the warrant of arrest were issued to take the accused into custody for the commission of the offense charged (Exhibits "H". must be deemed final and binding upon this Court.

What would be searching questions would depend on what is sought to be inquired into. Respondent judge found that there was probable cause. The Constitution. etc. financial and social circumstances.. Branch II of the Court of First Instance of Quezon. the victim. such as: the nature of the offense. time.. that were adopted from a previous investigation. fulfilled. At any rate. 1967. asking the witnesses whether said answers were theirs. is probably guilty thereof. the date. not before Judge Juntereal who issued the warrant of arrest. The existence of probable cause depended to a large degree upon the finding or opinion of the judge conducting the examination. 3828 for the issuance of a warrant of arrest was also fulfilled. must to a great degree depend upon the Judge making the investigation. and by searching questions and answers which are to be reduced to writing. Zafra." that respondent judge adopted as his own personal examination the questions asked by T-Sgt. H) The ruling in Doce vs. the possible motives for its commission.. Patosa partake of the nature of his searching questions and answers as required by law. instead of searching questions and answers. Exhibit E." The record also shows the following documents to have been subscribed and sworn to before respondent Judge. it is so stated in the order dated February 18. his age. social attitudes. The constitutional requirement of examination of witnesses under oath was. Exhibit D. This Court in that case said: There is merit in the assertion that the warrant of arrest was irregularly issued.. his age. status. that "after examining the witnesses personally and under oath there is a reasonable ground to believe that an offense of murder has been committed and that the accused. Patosa were delivered to respondent Municipal Judge who adopted the questions therein in his examination. Simon Luna. namely: Exhibit B.The first condition was fulfilled. and place of its commission. (Exh. Simon Luna. Section 87 of the Judiciary Act as amended by Republic Act 3828 requires that the Municipal Judge issuing the same." so the respondent Judge adopted them. The third condition required by Republic Act No. It appears that the sworn statements5 of the witnesses state at the beginning that the sworn statement was "taken by T-Sgt. the court a quo found that respondent judge was "satisfied that the questions and answers contained in the sworn statements taken by T-Sgt. the respondent Municipal Judge personally examined under oath the witnesses by asking questions. personallyexamine under oath the witnesses. The trial court found as a fact that "the respondent judge personally examined the witnesses for the prosecution . as stated in his order of arrest. sworn statement of herein petitioner Simon Luna y Albay. The term "searching questions and answers" means only. status. and does not state that it was taken by the respondent municipal Judge himself. which he read over again to the witnesses together with the answers given therein. opportunities to commit the offense. Patosa". therefore. in Section 1(3). sworn statement of Eusebio Corpuz. Republic Act No.7 such questions as have tendency to show the commission of a crime and the perpetrator thereof. the subject. et al . The trial court found that the complaint was "supported by statements of the witnesses under oath. characteristics. In the instant case. in the form of searching questions and answers. said affidavits were sworn to before Judge Cabungcal. sworn statement of Martiliano J. The examination of the witnesses was written down. Exhibit C. Moreover. Candido L. as shown above. Respondent Judge presumably did not consider it necessary to change the introductory remarks in each of the written statements. education. family responsibilities. his attitude toward the investigation. to which the witness answered in the affirmative. But that he made the examination personally cannot be doubted. The second condition required by Republic Act No. sworn statement of Janedina Diaz y Bandoy. Here. which recites: After examining the witness personally and under oath there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense for murder has been committed and that the accused. The questions. The points that are the subject of inquiry may differ from case to case. and whether the same answers were true. This circumstance is explained by the fact that said written statements already taken by T-Sgt. because he considered them searching questions. as stated above. is probably guilty thereof.6 wherein this Court held that the warrant of arrest issued therein was irregularly issued is not applicable to the case at bar for the simple reason that the facts are different. Petitioner's further contention that the issuance of the warrant of arrest was a violation of the constitution and of procedural due process is likewise untenable. Bautista. we have only the affidavits of respondent and her one witness. 3828 was likewise fulfilled. taking into consideration the purpose of the preliminary examination which is to determine "whether there is a reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been committed and the accused is probably guilty thereof so that a warrant of arrest may be issued and the accused held for trial". 3828 does not prohibit the municipal Judge from adopting the questions asked by a previous investigator." Page 164 . and considered by him as sufficiently searching and which questions and the answers thereto were in writing and sworn to before him prior to his issuance of the order of arrest. Patosa as appearing in the written statements. financial and social circumstances. provides that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause. sworn statement of Bruno M. to be determined by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. Exhibit F. Article III.

4. 10 WHEREFORE.. but later the order granting bail was revoked. We wish to emphasize strict compliance by municipal or city judges of the provision of Section 87 (c) of the Judiciary Act of 1948. the decision of the trial court dated April 20. as amended by Republic Act No. and that the examination must be under oath and reduced to writing in the form of searching questions and answers. respondent Municipal Judge had substantially complied with the requirements of the law — specifically Republic Act 3828 — before issuing the warrant of arrest in this case. We are of the considered view that no substantial right of the petitioner had been violated because. constitute an implied admission on his part that here was a probable cause for the issuance of the warrant of arrest against him. 1967. or in the absence. the remedy available to the petitioner herein. as shown by the evidence. When writ not allowed or discharge authorized . Indeed. in the afore-quoted Section 4. it appears clear that petitioner's second assignment of error. Moreover. is untenable. in view of what we have hereinbefore stated. The record shows that herein petitioner waived the preliminary investigation before respondent Municipal Judge. or make the order the writ. of the Rules of Court provides in part. we believe that. as hereinbefore adverted to. respondent Judge had personally examined the witnesses under oath and that the questions asked by the Judge and the answers of the witnesses were reflected in writings which were actually subscribed and sworn to before him. Costs against petitioner-appellant.. to confine petitioner in the provincial jail. Page 165 . he filed a petition for bail. as follows: SEC. It is so ordered. prior to the issuance of the warrant of arrest. while it is true that the respondent Municipal Judge did not himself personally cause to be reduced to writing in the form of questions and answers the examination of witnesses presented before him by the person who filed the criminal complaint. set forth to deny the writ. 1967. It is shown that petitioner is detained and is in the custody of the respondent Provincial Warden by virtue of the order of arrest dated February 18. either in the presence. Section 4 of Rule 102. These acts of the petitioner subsequent to his arrest. however. are present in the instant case. if at all. Those acts of the petitioner constitute a waiver of whatever irregularity.Petitioner's last contention that the warrant of arrest issued was a violation of procedural due process because of the alleged defective preliminary examination has no leg to stand on. All the conditions. 2. if any there was. this Court has held that preliminary examination is not an essential part of due process of law. of respondent Judge.. shall not be allowed. That practice is precisely what is sought to be voided by the amendment of Section 87 (c) of Republic Act 296 (Judiciary Act of 1948) which requires that before a municipal judge issues a warrant of arrest he should first satisfy himself that there is a probable cause by examining the witnesses personally. in determining whether there is a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. We are satisfied that. Consequently. — If it appears that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge . is affirmed. based upon the facts shown during the hearing of this case. At any rate. 8Preliminary examination may be conducted by the municipal judge. under the circumstances stated in this opinion. although petitioner did question the validity of the warrant of arrest for allegedly having been issued in violation of Republic Act No. 409. 1201. and swore to. their statements before a person or persons other than the judge before whom the criminal complaint is filed. This conduct of petitioner indicates that he had waived his objection to whatever defect. and he took the step of applying for bail before respondent Municipal Judge. 3828 — which claim We have found to be untenable. that what has been stated in this opinion is certainly not intended to sanction the return to the former practice of municipal judges of simply relying upon affidavits or sworn statements that are made to accompany the complaints that are filed before them. of the accused. Moreover.. and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process . that the trial court erred in denying the writ of habeas corpus. It is not disputed by petitioner that respondent Judge had jurisdiction to issue the warrant of arrest and the order of commitment under the provisions of Section 47.. that attended his arrest. Moreover. is not a petition for a writ of habeas corpus but a petition to quash the warrant of arrest or a petition for a reinvestigation of the case by the respondent Municipal Judge or by the Provincial Fiscal. In the light of what has been said above.. if any. We wish to stress. in order to avoid malicious and/or unfounded criminal prosecution of persons. and instead. in the preliminary examination conducted by respondent Judge prior to the issuance of the warrant of arrest. petitioner waived his right to preliminary investigation after he was arrested. It is obvious that the purpose of this amendment is to prevent the issuance of a warrant of arrest against a person based simply upon affidavits of witnesses who made. appealed from. as amended by Republic Act 3828. 1967.9 In the case now before Us. We find that the trial Judge committed no error when he held that. The petition for bail was at first granted by respondent Judge. the trial Judge did not commit an error in denying the writ of habeas corpus prayed for. Republic Act No. and the order dated February 21. petitioner has no substantial — much less legal — ground to complain that he was denied the due process of law..

Branch III. except Francisco (Frank) Rodriguez who is allegedly an investigator designated by the Land Reform Farmers' Association to organize the tenants into an association to put up a solid front in a program to help the New Society and to secure the success of the land reform program. if any such case is filed. FERNANDO ESCONDE. petitioners. he shall so certify and such court. courts of first instance. which is purely agrarian in nature and cognizable by the Court of Agrarian Relations. GREGORIO BAKEREL.000. Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental. the case shall first be referred to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform or his authorized representative in the locality for a preliminary determination of the relationship between the contending parties. as Judge. ordered the respondents to cease and desist from gathering fruits from the coconut trees in the land until the petition for injunction shall have been heard and resolved. together with William Abatayo. Cesar Navarro. JR. Elmer Almonte. 1 Answering. J. or on 13 December 1976. As counterclaim. prohibition.. No judge of the courts of agrarian relations. city or municipal courts. 6 Hence. CABALLERO and LELITA A. No. Gingoog City.00. CESAR NAVARRO. 5 The petitioners moved for reconsideration of this order. [G. as Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform. Cesar Navarro. for having allegedly entered the aforementioned parcels of land and illegally harvested the fruits of the coconut trees planted therein without petitioners' knowledge and consent. but their motion was denied. claiming to be the absolute owners of several contiguous parcels of land planted with coconut trees. HON. 2 After hearing. docketed therein as Special Civil Case No. and mandamus with preliminary injunction. the respondent judge issued the controversial order suspending hearings on the case pending the comment and or certification thereon by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform in accordance with PD 1038. for which they asked to be paid the sum of P17. are the harvesters of the coconut lands.R. CABALLERO. They also contended that the court has no jurisdiction over the case. and Gregorio Bakerel are the tenants on the land. Pertinent provisions of the Decree (PD 1038) requiring referral of cases involving landlord and tenant to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform read as follows: SEC. The facts of the case which led to the filing of the instant petition are as follows: On 19 November 1976. unless certified by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform as a proper case for trial or hearing by a court or judge or other officer of competent jurisdiction and.000. FEDERICO B. HON. 3 The respondents filed a motion for reconsideration of said order. AND FRANK RODRIGUEZ. 1987] PADILLA. while the rest. and Francisco (Frank) Rodriguez. Gregorio Bakerel. petitioners. to the prejudice of said petitioners. pending the comment and/or certification thereon by the respondent Secretary of Agrarian Reform in accordance with PD 1038. the respondent judge found that the issuance of a temporary restraining order would be proper in the interest of justice and. If the Secretary of Agrarian Reform or his authorized representative in the locality finds that the case is a proper case to hear. for which they claimed damages in the sum of P7. the present recourse. said respondents alleged that they suffered moral damages for mental anguish. wounded feelings. ALFONSO. Page 166 . CONRADO ESTRELLA. moral shock. that the respondents Fernando Esconde. They claimed. serious anxiety and other inconveniences as a result of the filing of the case. judge or other hearing officer may assume jurisdiction over the dispute or controversy. or any other tribunal or fiscal shall take cognizance of any ejectment case or any other case designed to harass or remove a tenant of an agricultural land primarily devoted to rice and/or corn. respondents. insofar as it ordered the suspension of the proceedings in said case. to annul and set aside the Order issued by the respondent judge on 10 January 1977 in Special Civil Case No. 386-M. filed a petition for injunction with restraining order and damages against the herein private respondents Fernando Esconde. 4 and on 10 January 1977. the private respondents admitted that the petitioners are the lawful owners of the parcels of land described in the petition. and Pedro Amper. Q. of the Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental. Teodorico Amoncio. with the Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental. consequently. situated in Salubsub.SECTION 16 (1) MANUEL. 386-M.: Petition for certiorari. 2. however. San Isidro. spouses Manuel and Lelita Caballero.00. L-45647 August 21. vs. mental torture.

City Court of Gingoog City. in his Memorandum for the public respondents. is not binding upon the court. it is stated that a case which seeks the ejectment. that the decree. " and that "said court. may be tried by the courts. the law requires that an ejectment case or any case designed to harass or remove a tenant should first be referred to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform for a preliminary determination of the relationship between the parties. The contention is devoid of merit. the second paragraph of the same section provides that "the preliminary determination of the relationship between the contending parties by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. more specifically the pertinent Presidential Decrees. All the parties herein have been at a "dead-end. The first legal action taken by petitioners in the government offices below were the criminal charges of thefts against herein private respondents directly filed with the Office of the City Fiscal of Gingoog City but which the City Fiscal had to refer to the Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian Page 167 . Said court. petitioners cite the "run-around" they have experienced in pursuing their cause. To underscore their claim. is unconstitutional as it is an undue encroachment on the independence of the judiciary and places courts of justice under the "control and supervision" of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. there is no diminution of judicial power involved in the operation of the law nor an encroachment on the independence of the judiciary by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. resort to the courts may still be made. judge or hearing officer may. after due hearing. confirm. A close look at the law in question will show that no such power has been granted the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. reverse or modify said preliminary determination as the evidence and substantial merits of the case may warrant. judge or hearing officer may. The system thus compels them to go to trial and thereby go into expense. reverse or modify said preliminary determination as the evidence and substantial merits of the case may warrant. 3. pay for transportation of witnesses." Since the referral of ejectment and other cases against a tenant to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform is only for the preliminary determination of the relationship between the contending parties and the findings of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform are not binding on the courts. ordering the referral of cases to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. . Petitioners claim. They state: . after such preliminary determination of the relationship of the parties. . after due hearing. or his authorized representative. which means that they have to hire counsel. is not binding upon the court. This Court has categorically declared that there is an underlying power in the courts to scrutinize the acts of agencies exercising quasi-judicial or legislative powers on questions of law and jurisdiction even though no right of judicial review is expressly given by statute. the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. mainly because it is not directed to produce the greatest benefit to all the members of society. but because of the nature of the adversary system they cannot act at the beginning so as to save tenants the expense and trouble of having to defend themselves against such cases. judge or hearing officer to whom the case is certified. including the Office of the City Fiscal of Gingoog City and the Civil Affairs Office of the Philippine Constabulary of Misamis Oriental as well as the Court of Agrarian Relations. or his authorized representative. fiscal or other investigating body which are not yet submitted for decision or resolution shall likewise be referred to the Department of Agrarian Reform for certification as provided in the preceding section. and incur other expenses incident to trial before they may finally get vindication. The Solicitor General. Under the adversary system tenants will have to defend themselves. harassment or ouster of a tenant from the landholding should be referred to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform "for a preliminary determination of the relationship between the contending parties. 8 Petitioners contend that the law in question is not a valid exercise of police power by the state. It proceeds from an erroneous assumption that the Secretary of Agrarian Reform is the final arbiter on the question of whether or not an ejectment case (or a case designed to harass or remove a tenant) filed against a tenant. 9 because it ties the hands of the courts. He says: The requirement of preliminary determination by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform is intended to protect tenants in agricultural lands from vexatious and oppressive litigations and save them the expense and the anxiety of such trials. SEC. confirm. however. Courts can be trusted to protect tenants from malicious and oppressive lawsuits. In the first paragraph of Section 2 of the law in question. All cases still pending before any court." occasioned by the "referral provisions" in some of the agrarian laws. while a case is pending before the Department of Agrarian Reform for certification. As may be noted. suppose. hampered instead of hastened the social and economic progress of the community and wrought havoc and chaos in the orderly administration of justice." However.The preliminary determination of the relationship between the contending parties by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. 7explains that the referral of ejectment cases against a tenant to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform is intended to prevent the filing of suits designed to harass the tenant who can M afford to engage in such suits. They contend further that the actual operation of the challenged decree has caused hardship and injustice to many. But. refuses to certify the case to the court as proper for hearing? Then. judge or hearing officer to whom the case is certified as a proper case for trial. they have exhausted all the legal remedies available in the inferior courts such as the Courts of First Instance of Misamis Oriental.

Likewise. To nourish their argument. 1977 no action has been taken by the Regional DAR on the referral cases (and this is so until now) is beyond comprehension. perhaps. 91 of the Revised Penal Code. Misamis Oriental. In the case at bar. arbitrary and oppressive delays which render rights nugatory. one way or the other. however. and prejudice caused by the delay. one. "speedy disposition of cases" is a flexible concept. reason for the delay. at Medina. for theft of coconuts. However. however. and not merely its administration. after having taken cognizance of the case. confirms that the application of the immunity from arbitrary and oppressive delays is not limited to an accused in a criminal proceeding but extends to all parties and in all cases.Reform at Cagayan de Oro City as required by Presidential Decrees and which criminal cases up to now have not been "preliminarily determined" by the said Regional Office. more opportunities for corrupt practices. or its operation. under the constitutional provision. The defects in the bureaucratic system do not. These are length of delay. 11 The guarantee of the right to "a speedy disposition of cases. certain factors may be considered and balanced against each other. petitioners could have seasonably instituted an action to compel the Secretary of Agrarian Reform to issue said certification." Later on private respondents filed a civil case against one of petitioners herein before the Court of Agrarian Relations at Cagayan de Oro City. any party to a case may demand expeditious action on the part of all who are officially tasked with the proper administration of justice. constitute valid arguments against the merits of legislative policy intended to protect the legitimate tenant-tiller. The challenge must be based on a clear showing that it is the law. Quezon City. it is true that the referral of cases to the Department of Agrarian Reform opens the door to more bureaucratic red tape and. quasi-judicial or administrative bodies. "speedy disposition of cases" is a relative term. "for his comment and/or certification. they had filed directly with the Office of the City Fiscal of Gingoog City. Even the Civil Affairs Office of the Provincial Command of the Philippines Constabulary in Misamis Oriental could not entertain the complaints and counter-complaints of the parties herein. petitioners call attention to the fact that even prior to 30 November 1976. 12recognizes the truism that justice delayed can mean justice denied. two (2) criminal complaints. What the Constitution prohibits are unreasonable. Under Art. no advice or resolution has been received by the City Fiscal from the Department of Agrarian Reform. In the determination of whether or not the right to a "speedy trial" has been violated. Besides. Another case — a special civil action — was instituted by petitioners against private respondents herein in the Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental. assertion of the right or failure to assert it. on 1 February 1977 and I July 1977. Branch II. against private respondents. after an unreasonable period of inaction. it is not for this Court to determine the wisdom of PD 1038. eloquently show that the "run-around" which petitioners have gone through is more a product of their own doing rather than a flaw in the operation of the questioned law. Instead of moving from one forum to another. a period of Page 168 . Hence. but the Agrarian Court held in abeyance the hearing of the case due to the pendency of that prior case in the Court of First Instance as well as the pendency of the present action before this Honorable Supreme Court. This is a matter left for Congress to reexamine in the exercise of its legislative authority. months have passed. while their cases were pending before the Department of Agrarian Reform for certification. the City Fiscal forwarded both case. but which Court of First Instance. 14 It is consistent with delays and depends upon the circumstances. which invades and impairs constitutionally protected personal or property rights. the broad sweep that the guarantee comprehends. for referral purposes. And as mandated by the challenged law. they submit that the challenged law complicates the prescriptive period of offenses and the criminal and civil liabilities provided in the Revised Penal Code and other penal laws. Petitioners assert that the operation of the challenged law violates the constitutional provision on the right to a "speedy disposition of cases. Petitioners then conclude: "As to why as of July 1. 10 The above allegations. This obtaining actual situation is this not a violation of Sec. had to "refer" the same to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. As a result. for theft of bamboo poles and the other." which the Constitution expressly provides. Contrary to the petitioners' argument. 15 The same factors may also be considered in answering judicial inquiry whether or not a person officially charged with the administration of justice has violated the "speedy disposition of cases" guarantee. and yet. 16 of the Bill of Rights (sic)? Justice delayed is justice denied. to the Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Misamis Oriental." Corollary to this. To strike down a law on the ground that it violates the guarantee of "speedy disposition of cases" requires more than a citation of what may be a misfeasance or malfeasance of a public officer whose duty and responsibility it is to apply and administer the law. the challenged law does not complicate the prescriptive periods of offenses and criminal and civil liabilities as provided in the Revised Penal Code and other penal laws. respectively. Just like the constitutional guarantee of "speedy trial" 13accorded an accused in all criminal proceedings. because the PC authorities have to abide with the "referral provisions" which empower the Department of Agrarian Reform to exercise the authority of "certifying" to the "propriety" or "impropriety" of the subject-matter. when it provides that the right is available before all judicial.

The respondent judge is directed to hear and decide said case as expeditiously as possible. under the challenged law. pending the comment and/or certification thereon by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. or stops it with an expectation of resumption. once a complaint is filed with the fiscal and the latter refers the case to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform or his representative in the locality for preliminary determination. 16 It connotes finality. when a proceeding before a fiscal is temporarily stopped by virtue of a faithful compliance with the challenged law. commences to run again only in two instances: (1) when a proceeding based upon a complaint or an information terminates without the accused being convicted or acquitted or (2) when such a proceeding is unjustifiably stopped for any reason not imputable to an accused. et al. Caballero. Likewise. Page 169 . This is so because. therefore. to make to cease or to end. WHEREFORE. the petition is granted. the referral of a case to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform does not "terminate. it is nonetheless clear that the order directing referral of the case to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform was issued on 10 January 1977. 386-M of the Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental. Without costs. and thus it is not a legal ground for the resumption of the running of the period of prescription. such a referral does not operate to resume the running of prescription. as a consequence of an allegation by the respondent of a tenant-landlord relationship between him and the complainant. entitled: "Manuel Q. However. while we hold that the assailed Decree is constitutional. et al. the argument that the challenged Decree provides a means by which offenses may prescribe during the pendency of cases involving such offenses before the Secretary of Agrarian Reform or his representative for preliminary determination. That portion of the Order issued on 10 January 1977 in Special Civil Case No. and harassment by the latter.. a proceeding. To "terminate" means to put an end to. cannot be accepted seriously. without waiting for the certification of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform." but merely suspends. Applying these rules. the referral of a case to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform merely discontinues temporarily a proceeding. Ten (10) years have elapsed since then and the Secretary of Agrarian Reform has had more than sufficient time to conduct the required preliminary determination of the relationship of the parties. is hereby set aside. Considering.prescription which has run before it is interrupted. It is now time for said court to settle and decide the issues between the contending parties in this case." which directed the suspension of the proceedings in said case.. On the other hand. respondents. neither can the suspension be considered unjustifiable. but he has evidently not done so. SO ORDERED. that the referral of a case to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform does not permit the resumption of the running of the period of prescription. petitioners versus Fernando Esconde.

the ends of justice and fairness would be served thereby (Camara Vda. the very first such plea made by that party. and said court in Tarlac is Page 170 . Sanciangco.: VICENTE ERICTA. It should be their constant effort to assure that litigations are prosecuted and resolved with dispatch. that that discretion must be reasonably and wisely exercised. 105 Phil. the previously scheduled hearing of December 12. Benares. who pleaded sickness as ground therefor. and ANTONIO G.. Maria. October 19. especially where the suit appears to be meritorious and the plaintiff was not culpably negligent and no injury results to defendant (27 C. de Sta. Luzviminda. v.J. Greenwood. in the light of the attendant circumstances.1973 was cancelled. Trial of the case having been set in due course. Canlas. it is sound judicial discretion to allow them (Rexwell Corp. specially where the deferment would cause no substantial prejudice to any part. Cervi v. again at the instance of defendants' counsel. marked Exhibits B.. Such a dismissal was unwarranted and relief therefrom must be accorded. Some reasonable deferment of the proceedings may be allowed or tolerated to the end that cases may be adjudged only after full and free presentation of evidence by all the parties.. Alien Property Administrator. 110 [1958]. the duty to dispose of controversies after trial on the merits whenever possible. 147 Coloma 190. Mariano Abella. result in the precipitate loss of a party's right to present evidence and either in plaintiff's being non-suited or the defendant's being pronounced liable under an ex partejudgment. I. 712). and on motion of defendants' counsel. 22 SCRA 708. When no substantial rights are affected and the intention to delay is not manifest. 1988] NARVASA. L-16745. etc. It goes without saying. 107 Phil. L16746. 4904 which is of 1966 stint. and the grant or refusal thereof rests entirely in the sound discretion of the Judge. 1 In that action Padua sought to recover damages for the injures suffered by his eight-year old daughter. and summarily dismissed the complaint. B-1 to B109. 1269 [1959]. and trial was once more slated to "take place on March 6. 1961). RUNDIO ABJAETO. Bonoan. the corresponding motion to transfer the hearing having been filed accordingly. v. petitioner.. 1966. rest principally upon the sound discretion of the judge to whom they are addressed. 362 P. Zubiri. Padua was litigating in forma pauperis. Inc. vs. on their own motion. RAMOS. The desideratum of a speedy disposition of cases should not. 70 SCRA 590. 15 ALR 3rd 680).. The action that was thus summarily dismissed had been brought by Domingo Padua (petitioner herein) in the Court of First Instance at Quezon City.R. 2 At the close of his examination. 18 SCRA 390). It is true that the allowance or denial of petitions for postponement and the setting aside of orders previously issued. 458-59 [1950]). 1973. 103 Phil. Padua commenced presentation of his evidence on December 6. 235-36. In the civil action at bar. Vda. to enter a dismissal which is not warranted by the circumstances of the case' (Municipality of Dingras v. No. 1974. et al. December 30. Phil. it was plaintiff Padua's counsel who next moved for cancellation of a hearing date. If facts obtain that serve as mitigating circumstances for the delay. however. Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City. 5 copy of which was personally served on defendants' lawyer 6 Padua's counsel alleged that he had " another hearing on March 6.S. respondents. the hearing of December 17. such discretion must be exercised soundly with a view to the circumstances surrounding each particular case (Vernus-Sanciangco v. 1966). . Ramos (private respondents herein). all at 9:00 o'clock in the morning. Civil Case No. as above narrated. caused by her being hit by a truck driven by Rundio Abjaeto and owned by Antonio G. but always predicated on the consideration that more than the mere convenience of the courts or of the parties of the case. Bonifacio. 595). De la Gerna. Courts should not brook undue delays in the ventilation and determination of causes. L-38570 May 24. 1962. L-12619. if at all possible. Inter-Island Gas Service. December 17. 4 SCRA 1209).. 85 Phil. and Padua's cross-examination was reset on December 17. de Zubiri v. [G. upon a ground not entirely unmeritorious in the premises. 1974 in Tarlac Court of First Instance entitled: Salud Dupitas vs. Rogerson.(2) DOMINGO PADUA. Montelibano v. J. (Panganiban vs. In a motion dated and filed on March 1. It is deemed an abuse of discretion for them.<äre||anº•1àw> (Abinales vs. April 28. (T)rial courts have . 2d 1050 [1961]). Postponements of trials and hearings should not be allowed except on meritorious grounds. 778 (1960]. the Trial Court rejected the plaintiffs plea for cancellation of one of three (3) hearing dates. 15 ALR 2d 672. March 7 and 13. While it is true that the dismissal of an action on grounds specified under Section 3." 4 After defendants' attorney had twice sought and obtained cancellation of trial settings. Adorable v. 1974. Br.1973 was also cancelled. Rule 17 of the Revised Rules of Court is addressed to their discretion (Flores v. and under such circumstances as would not be productive of any appreciable delay in the proceedings or any substantial prejudice to the defendants. 3 However. L17631. 1973. the same should be considered and dismissal denied or set aside ( Rudd v. He gave testimony on direct exqmination in the course of which reference was made to numerous documents.

Padua did. that the ground for cancellation was not entirely without merit: the counsel had a case in the Tarlac Court scheduled on the same day. appeared in Court and informed the Court that the plaintiffs counsel had to attend to a very important case in the provinces. Padua moved for reconsideration. March 6. for the consideration of the Court. and the motion had been verbally reiterated by plaintiffs wife on the day of the hearing sought to be cancelled. the writ of certiorari is granted and the Order of the Court a quo dated March 6. reads as follows: 8 When this case was called for hearing today. Under the circumstances.. that the Padua motion for postponement sought cancellation of only one (1) of three settings. is DIRECTED to continue with the trial of the petitioner's action and decide the same on the merits in due course. His Honor's Order. The plaintiffs wife. WHEREFORE. Page 171 . The Trial Court unaccountably ignored the fact that defendants' counsel had twice applied for and been granted postponements of the trial. 1974. 1974 ." and that the cancellation would " at any rate . this petition. motion upon receipt . 1974... 1974. plaintiffs counsel took the additional step of sending his client's wife to the Court on the day of the trial. The respondent Judge however denied the application and dismissed the case." 7 or some other ground. 9 but this was denied. Civil Case No. however.. In view hereof. and this was the very first such motion filed by him. dictated on that day. Neither did the plaintiff himself appear. and the Order dated March 13. whether on the ground that the motion had not been properly set for hearing. The hearing for today was fixed by the plaintiff himself in open court after consulting his calendar and hence the Court will not grant the postponement on the ground that the plaintiffs counsel had a very important case in the provinces. Q-17563 is hereby REINSTATED and the Regional Trial Court which has replaced Branch XVIII of the Court of First Instance in which the action was pending at the time of dismissal. 1974. the clerk having merely been requested to "submit the ... Apart from filing this motion on March 1. 1974." and on these premises. that although the motion for postponement could have been objected to. no opposition was presented by defendants.anxious to terminate said case once and for all. Mrs. This. to verbally reiterate his application for cancellation of the hearing on that day. be ordered cancelled. dismissing the petitioner's complaint. the respondent Judge's action was unreasonable. he asked "that the hearing on March 6. that plaintiffs counsel had filed a written motion for postponement five (5) days prior to the hearing sought to be transferred. which was not surprising considering that their counsel had himself already obtained two (2) postponements.1974." No opposition was filed by the defendants to the motion. leave plaintiff and defendants two (2) hearing dates on March 7 and 13. 1974 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration. neither plaintiff nor counsel appeared. 10 Hence.. March 6. which had been pending since 1964 and which the Tarlac Court understandably was anxious to terminate. capricious and oppressive. are hereby ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE. and in the light of the precedents set out in the opening paragraphs of this opinion.. let this case be dismissed. March 6. and should be as it is hereby annulled. leaving the case to proceed on the two (2) subsequent hearing dates.

Teodoro Neric. BRANCH 72. On March 16. 1996] PANGANIBAN.R. reply. The Facts The antecedents are not disputed. (Former Special Seventh Division). 1978. . Jose Mari Garcia and Lourdes Garcia which directly caused their deaths. C-2073. in the Municipality of Malabon. Cpl. 1975. did. maneuver and/or conduct the flight of said aircraft from the airport at Cuyapo. Page On December 21. along with several others. type Camanche PA-24-250 with registration marking PI-C515. No. fly. the prosecution was finally able to start presenting its evidence on September 29. On February 7. 1935. 1979. and docketed as Criminal Case No. without taking the necessary care and precaution to avoid accidents or injuries to persons. COURT OF APPEALS. 1971. this Court assigned the writing of this Decision to the undersigned ponente. and (b) the Resolution promulgated on September 10. vs. 1992 denying the motion for reconsideration. the First Division of this Court transferred this case. By a resolution dated November 13. and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. an Information for Triple Homicide Through Reckless Imprudence was filed against petitioner before the Court of First Instance. the prosecution finally rested its case. 1992 in CA-G. the maintenance and operation of said aircraft. all filed by the petitioner. the aircraft's landing gear collided with a dike and trees near the fishpond in Malabon. After careful deliberation and consultation on the petition. negligent and imprudent manner in the Piper Camanche Owner's handbook. [G.R. granted private prosecutor's omnibus motion to file memorandum up to January 29.: "Does the constitutional right to a speedy trial include the right to a prompt disposition and judgment?" This is the question posed before this Court in the instant petition for review under Rule 45 seeking to set aside (a) the Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals 2 promulgated on February 18. pilot. then and there willfully. 1969. 1978. petitioner filed his memorandum. they are as follows: 3 On November 16. and without ascertaining as to whether the quantity of fuel in the tanks of said aircraft was sufficient for the flight from Cuyapo. 172 On January 19. and as a result of the improper execution of said emergency landing. 107211 June 28.(3) FRANCISCO GUERRERO. Argel. Rizal. Due to several postponements. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MALABON. which reads: That on or about the 13th day of May. On August 19. Contrary to law. and while the said aircraft was already airborne after several minutes. Caloocan City. the above-named accused being then the pilot of non-commercial Aircraft. J. Nueva Ecija to MIA. Rizal. Nueva Ecija with four (4) passengers on board. petitioner. the defense rested its case. 1979. prompting the accused to make an emergency manner landing on a fishpond which he executed in a careless. As summarized by the Solicitor General in his memorandum. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. to the Third. Parañaque. Judge Bernardo P. presided by Judge Manuel A. 1972 after petitioner entered his plea of "Not Guilty". unlawfully and feloniously operate. comment. resulting to the fatal injuries in three (3) passengers. the engine quitted twice indicating that there was no more fuel. HON. Branch XXXV. 23737. memoranda and other submissions of the parties. the hearing was terminated and the parties were ordered by Judge Argel to submit their respective memoranda. 1979. then in-charge of. SP No. namely. Province of Rizal. Pardo who ostensibly took over as presiding judge vice Judge Argel. respondents. and has complete responsibility for.

It would appear that from the RTC of Caloocan City, Branch XXXV, the case was subsequently assigned to Branch CXXV presided over by Judge Alfredo Gorgonio who apparently did not take action thereon. On January 30, 1989, Court Administrator Meynardo Tiro ordered the reraffling of the case from the RTC of Caloocan City, Branch CXXV to the RTC of Navotas-Malabon which, under the provisions of B.P. 129, had jurisdiction over the case. The case, now docketed as Criminal Case No. 7356-MN, was raffled to presiding Judge Benjamin N. Aquino of the RTC, Navotas-Malabon, Branch 72. On March 14, 1990, Judge Aquino ordered the parties to follow-up and complete the transcript of stenographic notes within 30 days considering that the same was found to be incomplete. On April 20, 1990, since the parties were not able to complete the transcript of stenographic notes, the court ordered the retaking of the testimonies of the witnesses. On May 15, 1990, the private prosecutor submitted copies of the duplicate originals of the testimonies of Eusebio Garcia and Elena Obidosa (December 11, 1969), Celestino Nazareno (March 16, 1973), Cenen Miras (April 27, 1973), Ariston Agustin (February 10, 1977) and Francisco Guerrero (December 5 and 19, 1977). The private prosecutor manifested that he had communicated with one of the stenographers on record, Ms. Remedios S. Delfin, who promised to look into her files and hopefully complete the transcription of her stenographic notes. On October 1, 1990, the presiding Judge set the retaking of the witnesses testimony on October 24, 1990. On October 24, 1990, the retaking of the testimonies was reset to November 9, 1990 due to petitioner's failure to appear on the scheduled hearing. On November 7, 1990, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that his right to speedy trial has been violated. On November 9, 1990, presiding Judge dented the motion to dismiss and reset the retaking of the testimonies to November 21, 1990. On November 16, 1990, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied oil November 21, 1990. The presiding Judge set anew the retaking of the testimonies December 5, 1990. Hence, petitioner filed petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus for the review of the orders of the Regional Trial Court dated November 9, 1990 and November 20, 1990 anent petitioner's motion to dismiss, as well as his motion for reconsideration. The petition was anchored on the alleged violation of petitioner's constitutional right to speedy trial. In its decision which was promulgated on February 18, 1992, the Honorable Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. In a resolution dated September 10, 1992, petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied.

Errors Assigned Petitioner now assigns the following errors 4 against the respondent Court: I. The respondent Court of Appeals erred in not finding that the re-hearing of the instant case will not suit the intended purpose and will only result in untold prejudice to the petitioner. II. The respondent Court of Appeals erred in not ruling that the petitioner is entitled to a dismissal of the criminal case equivalent to an acquittal on the merits based on the violation of his right to speedy trial resulting from the failure to render a prompt disposition of judgment. The First Issue: Untold Prejudice Petitioner claims that through no fault of his, seven of the ten witnesses who testified for the accused will no longer be able to testify anew.

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So too, three witness for the prosecution have died and thus would not be able to appear during the re-hearing. And even if all witnesses would be able to testify again, "the passage of a long period of time spanning more than two decades since the incident complained of will tend to confuse or hinder than aid the accurate recall of the facts and circumstances of the case," as follows 5: (a) Capt. Ricardo B. Stohner of the Civil Aeronautics Administration has reportedly migrated to either the U.S.A. or Canada, after he retired from the CAA about eight (8) years ago. Capt. Stohner's indispensable testimony as an expert witness as well as to his personal knowledge of certain material facts as described in Francisco Guerrero's Memorandum of 17 December 1979, crucial to the defense, is now lost to the petitioner. (b) Eduardo V. Guerrero, a son of Francisco Guerrero, has been undergoing psychiatric treatment for more than two years now, as he is suffering from chronic mental illness. He is in no condition to testify. Copies of medical certificates on Eduardo's condition were submitted to the respondent courts as annexes to various pleadings. (c) Rosario V. Guerrero, wife of Francisco Guerrero. was operated on last August for tumor of the colon and is still suffering a partial disability. She is under medical advice to avoid activities which may cause her stress, including testifying in court. Copies of medical certificates on Mrs. Guerrero's operation and condition were submitted to the respondent courts as annexes to various pleadings. (d) The whereabouts of Alberto Atanacio, Rodolfo Fontanilla, Editha Pangilinan, and Rizal and Belen Macabole, are unknown, and despite diligent efforts exerted by petitioner, they have not been found up to the present. At this point, this argument is premature and at best speculative. As to whether the witnesses for the defense would be available at the trial, and if available, whether they will still be in a position to recall the events that transpired in the case more than twenty five years ago is a question of fact which cannot be determined now. As pointed out by the Solicitor General in his memorandum: 6 Contrary to petitioner's contention, the whereabouts of his witnesses (except Rizal and Evelyn Macabole) are ascertainable should a diligent search be made by him. This can be gleaned from the return of the subpoena dated October 1, 1990 which forms part of the record of the case. Eduardo Guerrero and Rosario Guerrero were respectively served with subpoena and their alleged mental and physical incapacity to testify should best be left to the assessment of respondent trial court. Edith (sic) Pangilinan was notified of the retaking and is, thus, available. Alberto Atanacio and Rodolfo Fontanilla, on the other hand, are in Lucena City. The exact whereabouts of the last two witnesses can be ascertained if diligent efforts were exerted to locate them. The alleged unavailability of the witnesses for the prosecution should not be the concern of the petitioner at this time. The burden of proving his guilt rests upon the prosecution. And if the prosecution fails for any reason to present evidence sufficient to show his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, he will be acquitted. . . . The burden of proof rests upon the prosecution and unless the State succeeds in proving his guilt. the presumption of innocence in favor of the accused-appellant applies. The conscience must be satisfied that, on the accused-appellant could be laid the responsibility of the offense charged. 7 . . . [C]ourts must exert utmost scrupulousness in evaluating the evidence of the prosecution for it is elementary that the conviction of an accused must rest on the strength of the prosecution and not on the weakness of the defense (People vs. Cruz, 215 SCRA 339 [1992]). The prosecution must overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence by proof beyond reasonable doubt; otherwise, the acquittal of the accused is ineluctably demanded. . . . 8 . . . It is safely entrenched in our jurisprudence that unless the prosecution discharges its burden to prove the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt, the latter need not even offer evidence in his behalf. Acquittal then of the accused-appellant is in order. 9 On this matter, the respondent Court, 10 citing the assailed order of the trial court, argues that there are really only two witnesses of the prosecution whose testimonies need to be retaken and the rehearing should not really present a monumental problem: With only two (2) witnesses of the prosecution to be presented, coupled with a promise of expeditiousness by respondent Judge, the Court is of the view that petitioner's misgivings are rather exaggerated. And as to his expressed fear that his own witnesses for the defense can no longer testify "in the same manner as before," the same Order well and truly states in adequate refutation that --

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. . . the fear that the witnesses to the incident which occurred in 1969 may no longer have the same perception of what they saw and, therefore, would not be able to testify in Court in the same manner they originally testified is not the concern of the defense but of the prosecution. If the prosecution witnesses cannot give convincing testimony in the retaking of their testimony, that is the worry of the prosecution. It is not even unfair to the accused if his witnesses cannot testify in the same convincing manner that they testified before as long as the prosecution witnesses are convincing. Everything in a criminal prosecution should be interpreted liberally in favor of the accused and strictly against the state. . . . Anent petitioner's contention that the re-hearing would place him in double jeopardy, suffice it to say that there has been no termination of the criminal prosecution -- i.e. of that "first jeopardy." For double jeopardy to attach, the following elements must concur: . . . It is a settled rule that to raise the defense of double jeopardy, the following requisites must concur: (1) a first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second; (2) the first jeopardy must have been validly terminated; and (3) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense, or the second offense includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the first information, or is an attempt, to commit the same or is a frustration thereof (emphasis omitted). And legal jeopardy attaches only: (a) upon a valid indictment: (b) before a competent court; (c) after arraignment; (d) a valid plea having been entered; and (e) the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused (emphasis omitted). In the present case, there has not even been a first jeopardy, since the fourth element -- dismissal or termination of the case without the express consent of the accused -- is not present. Moreover, measured against the aforequoted standard, the re-taking of testimonies cannot in any wise be deemed a second jeopardy. Hence, it is beyond dispute that petitioner's claim of double jeopardy is utterly without basis. The Second Issue: Speedy Trial and Speedy Disposition True, indeed, the 1987 Constitution provides the right not only to a speedy trial but also to a speedy judgment after trial when in Section 16, Article III, it provides: All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative bodies. Hence, the Constitution mandates dispatch not only in the trial stage but also in the disposition thereof, warranting dismissals in case of violations thereof without the fault of the party concerned, not just the accused. In the recent case of People vs. Leviste, 12 this Court citing Gonzales vs. Sandiganbayan 13 and People vs. Tampal, 14reiterated the ruling that the right to speedy trial is violated only where there is an unreasonable, vexatious and oppressive delay without the participation or fault of the accused, or when unjustified postponements are sought which prolong the trial for unreasonable lengths of time. On the other hand, the case of Caballero vs. Alfonso, Jr., 15 laid down the guidelines in determining the applicability of the "speedy disposition" formula: . . . (S)peedy disposition of cases' is a relative term. Just like the constitutional guarantee of "speedy trial" accorded an accused in all criminal proceedings, "speedy disposition of cases" is a flexible concept. It is consistent with delays and depends upon the circumstances. What the Constitution prohibits are unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive delays which render rights nugatory. In the determination of whether or not the right to a "speedy trial" has been violated, certain factors may be considered and balanced against each other. These are length of delay, reason for the delay, assertion of the right or failure to assert it, and prejudice caused by the delay. The same factors may also be considered in answering judicial inquiry whether or not a person officially charged with the administration of justice has violated the "speedy disposition of cases" guarantee.

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In the case before us, the petitioner merely sat and waited after the case was submitted for resolution in 1979. It was only in 1989 when the case below was reraffled from the RTC of Caloocan City to the RTC of Navotas-Malabon and only after respondent trial judge of the latter court ordered on March 14, 1990 the parties to follow-up and complete the transcript of stenographic notes that matters started to get moving towards a resolution of the case. More importantly, it was only after the new trial judge reset the retaking of the testimonies to November 9, 1990 because of petitioner's absence during the original setting on October 24, 1990 that the accused suddenly became zealous of safeguarding his right to speedy trial and disposition. While it may be said that it was not petitioner's fault that the stenographic notes of the testimonies of the witnesses were not transcribed, yet neither was it the prosecution's. The respondent trial judge can hardly be faulted either because he could not have rendered the decision without the transcripts in question. Let it be remembered that he was not the judge who conducted the trial and hence he would not have had sufficient basis to make a disposition in the absence of the said transcripts. As respondent Court of Appeals noted: Indeed, it can be gleaned from the pleadings on file that the case was assigned to respondent Judge only in late 1989 or early 1990, and that he took prompt action thereon by setting the case for retaking of testimonies, obviously as a prelude to judgment. The case then was finally making progress toward termination. For such dispatch and diligence, respondent Judge hardly deserves condemnation. Petitioner also faults the prosecution for its failure to follow up the status of the case. As regards the other judge to whom the case was assigned prior to 1989, the accused himself could not pinpoint the cause of the problem: 16 2) Reason for the delay No one knows why the Presiding Judge (Manuel A. Argel) of the respondent court who heard the trial did not render a decision during his tenure. No one knows either why another former Presiding Judge (Alfredo Gorgonio) failed to turn over the case to the Malabon court during the Judiciary Reorganization under B.P. Blg. 129. It appears later on that the case became a victim of neglect and languished in the court docket, Not surprisingly, since the risk of such loss through neglect and other causes grew with each passing year, part of the records and several transcripts were lost in the time the case lay unattended. Before being finally assigned to the respondent trial court, the case was shuttled from court to court through various indorsements of Executive Judges and the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court as a result of the confusion as to which court had territorial jurisdiction over it. In the present case, there is no question that petitioner raised the violation against his own right to speedy disposition only when the respondent trial judge reset the case for rehearing. It is fair to assume that he would have just continued to sleep on his right -- a situation amounting to laches -- had the respondent judge not taken the initiative of determining the non-completion of the records and of ordering the remedy precisely so he could dispose of the case. The matter could have taken a different dimension if during all those ten years between 1979 when accused filed his memorandum and 1989 when the case was reraffled, the accused showed signs of asserting his right which was granted him in 1987 when the new constitution took effect, 17 or at least made some overt act (like a motion for early disposition or a motion to compel the stenographer to transcribe stenographic notes) that he was not waiving it. As it is, his silence would have to be interpreted as a waiver of such right. While this Court recognizes the right to speedy disposition quite distinctly from the right to a speedy trial, and although this Court has always zealously espoused protection from oppressive and vexatious delays not attributable to the party involved, at the same time, we hold that a party's individual rights should not work against and preclude the people's equally important right to public justice. In the instant case, three people died as a result of the crash of the airplane that the accused was flying. It appears to us that the delay in the disposition of the case prejudiced not just the accused but the people as well. Since the accused has completely failed to assert his right seasonably and inasmuch as the respondent judge was not in a position to dispose of the case on the merits due to the absence of factual basis, we hold it proper and equitable to give the parties fair opportunity to obtain (and the court to dispense, substantial justice in the premises. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The respondent trial court is directed to proceed with judicious dispatch in the re-taking of testimonies and in concluding the case in accordance with law. SO ORDERED.

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4. Mabanglo. 1999] PANGANIBAN. respondents.) ―On January 14. Mabanglo was likewise a Schools Division Superintendent of the DECS. The same was approved by respondent Ombudsman Desierto on September 19. MARGARITO P. Soriano and Carmencita Eden T. JR. the Constitution commands the Office of the Ombudsman to act promptly on complaints filed against public officials. ―In an Order dated June 11. Davao Province. conducted an audit on the P9. was filed before the Sandiganbayan. 1991. 1445 (ibid. 3019). 1991. The Case Filed before this Court is a Petition for Mandamus praying that the respondent public officers be directed to dismiss Ombudsman Case Nos. [GR No. OMBUDSMAN ANIANO DESIERTO. 1997. 1997. The case involving petitioner Mabanglo was docketed as OMB-MIN-91-0201 while that involving petitioner Roque was docketed as OMB-MIN-91-0203 (Annex O. Thus. 129978 May 12. The Informations charged several Page 177 . The Facts The undisputed facts are narrated in respondents‘ Memorandum[1]as follows: ―Petitioner Felicidad M. the aggrieved party is entitled to the dismissal of the complaint. Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao. Manila. as amended. were filed before the Sandiganbayan. Petition). as amended. 1997. until her compulsory retirement on May 17. South Cotabato. 1997. ―As a result of the audit. ―On April 30. ―Two Informations similarly dated April 30. by virtue of COA Regional Office Assignmen t Order No. OMB-MIN-91-0203. 78-84 and 85-55A. which involved petitioner Mabanglo.36 million allotment released by the DECS Regional Office No. affidavits of complaint were filed before the Office of the Ombudsman -Mindanao against several persons. Roque was a Schools Division Superintendent of the Department of Education. petitioners. 1991 (pp. J.: Consistent with the rights of all persons to due process of law and to speedy trial. OMB-MIN-91-0201 and OMB-MIN-91-0203 and subsequently to issue the necessary clearance in petitioners‘ favor. Manila. assigned in Tagum. recommending the filing [of cases] and prosecution of all the respondents for violation of Section 3 (e) and (g) of Republic Act 3019. Culture and Spor ts (DECS).(4) FELICIDAD M. ―Petitioner Prudencio N. 24229. until his compulsory retirement on May 8. auditors Soriano and Enriquez found some major deficiencies and violation of the Anti -Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 2-3. ROQUE and PRUDENCIO N. ―On March 18. 100 and Section 88 of Presidential Decree No. 1991.). Petition). the Office of the Ombudsman -Mindanao found the complaints proper for a preliminary investigation. petitioner Prudencio N. In such event. among them. Petition). and for Vi olation of Section 3 (e) of Republic 3019. including petitioner Mabanglo on May 7.). The same was docketed as Criminal Case No. as amended. finding that all the respondents [were] probably guilty of violation of Section 3 (e) and (g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019). was resolved by the Office of the Ombudsman-MIndanao. 1991 (ibid. for Violation of Section 3 (g) of Republic Act 3019. DECS Order No. GERVACIO. The same was approved by respondent Ombudsman Desierto on August 22. for violation of Section 3 (g) of Republic Act 3019. 1991. which involved petitioner Roque. and HON. ―Consequently. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN. petitioners filed their respective counter -affidavits (p. and against petitioner Roque on May 16. against several respondents. vs. ―Thereafter. 1997 (ibid. Laura S. OMB-MIN-91-0201. the failure of said office to resolve a complaint that has been pending for six years is clearly violative of this mandate and the public officials‘ rights. HON. Enriquez of the COA. ―An Information dated March 18. violations of COA Circular Nos.. XI to its division offices (Annexes M and N. 1997. was resolved by the Office of the OmbudsmanMindanao. MABANGLO. assigned in Koronadal. 1997. 91-174 dated January 8. Petition).

Preliminary Issue: Propriety of Mandamus Respondents argue that petitioners cannot. [4] Issues In their Memorandum. 24106. compel the ombudsman to dismiss the criminal charges filed against them.[3] the respondents filed their Comment to the Petition for Contempt. Jr.respondents. petitioners asked the Court to cite respondents in contempt. or palpable excess of authority. mandamus will not prosper to compel a discretionary act. The Court’s Ruling The Court grants the Petition for Mandamus. and there is no oth er plain.] 1991 and the subsequent submission of their counteraffidavits. we shall also discuss (1) the propriety of mandamus as a remedy and (2) the respondent‘s liability for contempt for allegedly violating the Temporary Restraining Order issued by this Court on November 24. manifest injustice. manifest injustice or palpable excess of authority‘ equivalent to denial of a settled right to which petitioner is entitled. There is an exception to the rule if the case is otherwise proper. 1997. the writ shall issue. and] Whether or not.‖[8] The Court gave a similar ruling in Kant Kwong v. 1998.[5] petitioners present before this Court the following issues: ―Whether or not there was undue and unjustifiable delay in resolving [the] complaints against petitioners (respondents therei n) which violated their constitutional right to [a] speedy disposition of cases[. contending that a criminal information was filed in violation of the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). 4. This Court. as in cases of gross abuse of discretion. cannot be compelled by mandamus. The argument is not meritorious. As a general rule. But where there is ‗gross abuse of discretion. since such dismissal involves a discretionary. in the performance of an official duty or act involving dis cretion. 1998. however. the recognized rule is that. no resolution has been issued by the Public Respondent [and no] case [has] been filed with the appropriate court against the herein Petitioner‘ (par. ―On November 24. by this special action for mandamus. 24105 and Criminal Case No. has held that the rule does not apply ―in cases where there is gross abuse of discretion. 3.[10] this Court likewise held: Page 178 .] or more than six (6) years.‖[7] In First Philippine Holdings Corporation v. the corresponding official can only be directed by Mandamus to act but not to act one way or another. among whom was petitioner Roque.‖[6] In addition.‖ In Angchangco. not a ministerial. ―On August 14. Presidential Commission on Good Government:[9] ―Although as averred by respondents. 1997. p. Petition). would warrant dismissal of said complaints. mani fest injustice. which necessarily involves the exercise of discretion or judgment. v. Ombudsman. but denies the prayer to cite respondents in contempt of court. petitioners instituted the instant petition for mandamus premised on the allegation that ‗[ a]fter the initial Orders finding the cases proper for preliminary investigation were issued on June[. respectively. Sandiganbayan. until the present[. such undue and unjustifiable delay in resolving the complaints against petitioners. In compliance with this Court‘s Resolution dated October 21. duty. the Court explained: ―Ordinarily. this Honorable Court issued a temporary restraining order directing respondents to cease and desist fr om further proceeding with the cases filed against petitioners. speedy and adequate remedy. ‗yet it is not accurate to say that the writ will never issue to control his discretion. the performance of an official act or duty.‖[2] On August 21. or palpable excess of authority. 1997. The cases were docketed as Criminal Case No.

ruling as follows: ―After a careful review of the facts and circumstances of the present case.[16] this Court dismissed the Complaints. 6770. v. it violated the petitioners‘ rights to due process and to a speedy disposition of the cases filed against them.‖ (Emphasis supplied. 1991. Sandiganbayan. Not only under the broad umbrella of the due process clause. Substantial adherence to the requirements of the law governing the conduct of preliminary investigation. this Court dismissed a Complaint that had been pending before the Office of the Ombudsman for more than six years. or palpable excess of authority. wherein the Court declared that the long and unexplained delay in the resolution of the criminal complaints against petitioners was not corrected by the eventual filing of the Informations. The same contention was rejected in Tatad v. the delay of almost six years disregarded the ombudsman‘s duty.‖[17] Page 179 . which it took the Tanodbayan to resolve the case. the corresponding official can only be directed by mandamus to act. that in the performance of an official duty or act involving discretion. For violation of Section 3 (g) of RA 3019. Accordingly. which certainly did not involve complicated legal and factual issues necessitating such ‗painstaking and grueling scrutiny‘ a s would justify a delay of almost three years in terminating the preliminary investigation. On June 11.[13] to act promptlyon complaints before him. no explanation was given why it took almost six years for the latter to resolve the Complaints. Although respondents attempted to justify the six months needed by Ombudsman Desierto to review the recommendation of Deputy Ombudsman Gervasio.‖ ―x x x the inordinate delay in terminating the preliminary investigation and filing the information in the instant case is vi olative of the constitutionally guaranteed right of the petitioner to due process and the speedy disposition of cases against him. The Court ruled: ―It has been suggested that the long delay in terminating the preliminary investigation should not be deemed fatal. for until now. which the then tanodbayan was able to resolve only after the lapse of three years since the cases had been submitted for disposition. the informations x x x should be dismissed x x x.―It is correct. while presenting more substantial legal and factual issues.: ―We find the long delay in the termination of the preliminary investigation by the Tanodbayan in the instant case to be viola tive of the constitutional right of the accused to due process. Sandiganbayan.[14] Thus. 1997. three out of the five charges against the petitioner were for his alleged failure to file his sworn statement of assets and liabilities required by Republc Act 3019. But an undue delay in the conduct of a preliminary investigation cannot be corrected. Ombudsman. Jr. 1991. The other two charges relating to alleged bribery and alleged giving [of] unwarranted benefits to a relative. including substantial compliance with the time limitation prescribed by the law for the resolution of the case by the prosecutor. the same Office recommended the filing of an Information against Petitioner Mabanglo only on March 18.‖ [15] Similarly. and against Petitioner Roque only on April 30. for even the complete absence of a preliminary investigation does not warrant dismissal of the information.[for] the absence of a preliminary investigation can be corrected by giving the accused such investigation. in Tatad v. It is undisputed that there has already been a long and unwarranted delay in the resolution of the graft charges against the two petitioners. which must be emphatically rejected. the Court finds the inordinate delay of more than six years by the Ombudsman in resolving the criminal complaints against petitioner to be violative of his constitutionally guaranteed right to due process and a speedy disposition of the cases against him.‘ In the first place. 1997. the inord inate delay is violative of the petitioner’s constitutional rights.. but not to act one way or the other. but under the constitutional guarantee of ‘speedy disposition’ of cases as embodied in Se ction 16 of the Bill of Rights (both in the 1973 and the 1987 Constitutions). viz. manifest injustice. Secondly. However. Main Issue: Violation of Petitioners’ Constitutional Rights Clearly. this rule admits of exceptions such as in cases where there is gross abuse of discretion. The Complaint against Petitioner Mabanglo was filed with the Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao way back on May 7.) We are not persuaded by respondents‘ argument that the Petition for Mandamus became moot and academic when the Complaints were resolved by the Office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao and the Informations were filed. thus warranting the dismissal of said criminal cases. Significantly.‖ [11] The exceptions cited apply to this case. A delay of close to three (3) years cannot be deemed reasonable or justifiable in the light of the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar. and that against Petitioner Roque on May 16. ma n has not yet invented a device for setting back time. 1991. certainly do not warrant or justify the period of three years. no action was taken until after the lapse of almost six years. in Angchangco. is part of the procedural due process constitutionally guaranteed by the fundamental law. as averred in the comment. More important. the said Office found the Complaints sufficient for preliminary investigation. as mandated by the Constitution [12] and Republic Act No. We are not impressed by the attempt of the Sandiganbayan to sanitize the long delay by indulging in the speculative assumption that ‗delay may be due to a painstaking and grueling scrutiny by the Tanodbayan as to whether the evidence present ed during the preliminary investigation merited prosecution of a former high-ranking government official.. True --. such a statement suggests a double standard of treatment.

This ruling is in line with Angchangco. before the issuance of the TRO on November 24. In the second place. which ordered them to cease and desist from proceeding with the cases. Page 180 . this Court. SO ORDERED. WHEREFORE. the Petition for Mandamus is GRANTED and Ombudsman Case Nos. the TRO could not have been violated. 1997. although petitioner therein sought merely to compel the ombudsman to do so. No costs. resolves to dismiss the above cases directly. The Petition to cite respondents in contempt is patently devoid of merit. which arose from the Petition for Mandamus. in the interest of the speedy disposition of cases. 1997 TRO issued by the Court. OMB-MIN-910201 and OMB-MIN-91-0203. In the instant case. Hence. in which the Court dismissed the complaints outright. The Petition to declare respondents in contempt is hereby DENIED. There is no showing that this Court has ordered their consolidation. it ―shall be docketed. the said Petition for Contempt was filed in contravention of Section 4 (2). the Information against Petitioner Mabanglo was filed on September 25. the Petition for Contempt. Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules of Court. In the first place. 1997.[18] which states that if a petition for contempt arises from or is related to a principal action pending in court. Additional Issue: No Contempt of Court Petitioner Mabanglo moves to have respondents and their agents cited in contempt of court for allegedly filing an Information against him in violation of the November 24.Although petitioners prayed only for the issuance of a ruling directing the dismissal of Ombudsman Case Nos. OMB-91-0201 and OMB-91-0203 are accordingly DISMISSED. was filed as an integral part of the latter and under the same docket or case number. heard and decided separately‖ unless the court orders that both the principal action and the petition for contempt be consolidated for joint hearing and decision.

the complaining witness was brought to the Olongapo City Police Department where his statement (Exhibit 'A') was taken by Pfc.ït¢@lFº The driver drove away towards Admiral Hotel but made a right turn at Rizal Avenue into a side street. 1979 and the accused Magat was Identified through his photograph taken in the gallery. airline tickets without his cash money and he was warned not to say anything and not to report the matter to the police authorities as he will be killed. The military police officers from the US Naval Base accompanied him and pointed out several houses which are suspected in this kind of modus operandi in the crimes of robbery committed against American servicemen and they came up to No. petitioner. Ciriaco Marcelino. affirming with modification the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Zambales.: This is a petition for review of the Decision of the Court of Appeals 1 in CA. but he should not make any attempt to report the matter to the police as they can frame him up with the charges of rape pushing of marijuana and other similar crimes. No. denied the commission of robbery and claimed that complainant lost the money to him in a card game. on the other hand. The accused even made gestures making the American believe that he has a knife hidden in one of his pockets. The driver who was later on Identified as Francisco Velasco Brosas. on July 23. of said crime. his passport. Lanigan complained to the driver why he is going into that street when that is not the direction of the Admiral Royal Hotel and the driver answered that he will get the card first at his house for distribution. 8 Fontaine Extension where Lanigan told the military police that it was the same house where he was robbed. J. The driver later drove into a parking area in an address which was pointed as No.R. At about 2:00 to 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon of July 19. American businessman by profession came to Olongapo City as a tourist and was billeted at the Admiral Royal Hotel in Olongapo City. he started to walk back towards the Admiral Royal Hotel. a guy made a strangled hold on the American and the accused Magat together with his cohort emptied the pockets of Lanigan. immediately ran towards the door and locked it. 2 Petitioner-accused. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Lanigan rejected the offer of the stranger to ride in the jeep. so he went to a bar to avoid him and had a bottle of beer to drink. 23228-CR. While they were in the living room Magat talked to him saying that he should be careful in the Philippines because there are many pick. Lanigan however. the accused said that they are going to release him. traveller's checks. vs.00) into pesos and when he got the money equivalent of his dollars. His version was synthesized by respondent Court of Appeals thus: 1äwphï1.R.00) and the seventy dollars which was converted into pesos. The driver requested favor from the American to give away some cards which Lanigan can. He was told that he can learn the game easily in ten minutes but Lanigan repeatedly refused to play with them but they kept on insisting but since he did not like to play. followed by Lanigan who was told to come in Lanigan was introduced to the owner of the house who was later Identified as Leonardo Magat y Pineda alias 'Dolphy' who told him to sit down. Lanigan told him to get his hands out of his pocket and he pushed Magat's hands out of and started heading towards the door for his exit. L-55801 August 30.(5) LEONARDO MAGAT. And thereafter. he went out of the bar and again he noticed that the same driver with his jeep was waiting for him outside. Later. Jr. So Lanigan agreed and boarded the jeepney. in Criminal Case No. respondents. made to sit down before a table and told him that they will teach him to play black jack. After approximately fifteen (15) minutes. 1982] MELENCIO-HERRERA. as follows: 1äwphï1. Branch 1.ñët Page 181 .pockets and thereafter Magat then started to frisk him saying that he is going to make a demonstration of how a pick-pocket operates. 4163 for Robbery convicting petitioner-accused. he exchanged sixty dollars ($60. the complainant was again asked to come to the police headquarters for a supplemental statement (Exhibit 'B') wherein he Identified Francisco Brosas y Velasco as the driver of the jeep who brought him to the place where he was robbed. Lanigan decided to take a walk from the hotel to the US Naval Base. No. Thereafter. Leonardo Magat. wallet. The evidence for the prosecution has been summed up by the Trial Court and adopted by the Court of Appeals.G. [G. went inside the US Naval Base where he reported the matter to the members of the shore patrol and told them that he was robbed. perhaps. Lanigan was taken into another room. The driver was insistent that he take his ride in his jeep so he will bring him to his destination. He had only walked four (4) blocks along Magsaysay Drive when a jeep proceeded to follow alongside Lanigan and the driver insisted that the said American ride with him as the driver has a sister who has a bar down the street.. Olongapo City. and he got off the jeep. On the following day. Outside the main gate. Considering that they had no jurisdiction since it was outside the US Naval Base. the Base police instructed the complainant to report the matter to the Olongapo City Police Department and it was at this juncture that a police officer by the name of 'Danny' drove up. 8 Fontaine St. distribute to some of his friends.ñët James Philip Lanigan. 1979. consisting of eight hundred sixty American dollars ($860.

an Information for Robbery was filed against Leonardo Magat. BALINGIT Provided .On the other hand. Although I understand the extent of the law which requires the speedy trial of this case. Later. however. Lanigan then tried to grab the cash money in the possession of Magat at the time and the two of them struggled for possession of the money. While they were waiting. BALINGIT Two (2). at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon. The following day he appeared at the residence of Magat with a CIS agent named Rene who told Magat that a certain Captain Santos. we have only twenty-four (24) hours. at Olongapo City. 4 Page 182 . Magat did not agree and refused to play further with Lanigan. In the meantime. Patrolman Marcelino also arrived at the house of Magat who allegedly told the latter that if he will return the P500.00 of the complaining American. The case was immediately raffled and set for arraignment and trial. Magat's refusal irritated Lanigan. I was hired about a few minutes ago and I was indeed surprised to be contracted. COURT Before you could cross examine. 8 Fontaine Extension. Lanigan agreed.ñët COURT Enter a plea of not guilty in favor of the accused." The post-arraignment proceedings were as follows: 1äwphï1. 1979. Brosas told Magat that the American was looking for a girl whom he will pay.00. And besides. Balingit? ATTY. . Only petitioner-accused was arraigned at 4:35 that same afternoon. BALINGIT If your Honor please. COURT You can do that after the prosecution presented its witness. COURT How about you Atty. Magat won in five games but lost in one. Lanigan kept on shouting that he was cheated and that he wants his money back. Magat then told Brosas to look for a girl so that they could earn some money. Fiscal? FISCAL ANONAS Two (2). Brosas left Magat's residence to look for a girl while complainant Lanigan waited for him in Magat's residence. I will proceed with the trial. The two of them sat by the table and they played six games. then the complaint against him will be settled. Lanigan. 1979. Petitions-accused entered a plea of "Not Guilty. FISCAL ANONAS I have no objection to the conference between counsel and his witness but after we have already submitted our case. ATTY. Magat invited Lanigan to play poker/blackjack. 3 On July 26. Lanigan told Magat that he is going to cash his traveller's check at Pag-asa where he has an American acquaintance. Are you now ready for trial? ATTY. BALINGIT But just only one (1) hour to confer to give me the chance to defend my client. Branch 1. ATTY. as the others had not been apprehended. at Magat's residence at No. You can consult your client from time to time. Olongapo City. For cross examination. a certain driver named Brosas arrived with an American who turned out to be the herein complainant. however. Lanigan's total loss amounted to a little over P1500. . FISCAL ANONAS How many witnesses do you intend to present? COURT How about you. did not come back anymore that day. the complainant is a tourist. This is for immediate trial because according to the motion of the First Assistant City Fiscal. Lanigan then told Magat that he will use his traveller's check since he had no more money. Chief of the CIS. Francisco Brosas and four others in the Court of First Instance of Zambales. In the meanwhile. the defense' evidence discloses that in the afternoon of July 19. wanted to see him in connection with Lanigans complaint. if I may be given at least one (1) hour to confer with my witness.

996. The following day.ït¢@lFº The court or tribunal that first assumes jurisdiction shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all others. 12. Except with the aforesaid modification.e. 1979. 5 thereof. M. par. and that the evidence adduced failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. 1äwphï1. Required to comment by this Court.. The request of defense counsel for one hour within which to confer with his client was deferred by the Trial Court till after the prosecution had presented its evidence but the Court clarified that it would allow counsel to consult his client from time to time during cross-examination. At 11:35 that same morning. the Office of the Solicitor General filed a Motion and Manifestation joining the accused's cause. a judgment of conviction was promulgated. 294. Trial commenced thereafter and continued until 7:30 in the evening. with the prosecution resting its case. The civil court shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the military tribunals over the said crimes. 4 months and 1 day of prision correccional as the minimum to 8 years of prision mayor as the maximum and to pay costs. the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED in all other respects. finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal in the crime of ROBBERY as charged in the information. 1981. trial. before proceedings to commence trial ample opportunity must be given for them to confer and prepare for the defense. dated September 30. Instead of filing a Brief for the People. he is therefore hereby sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of 2 years. 3. The respondent Honorable Court of Appeals erred in merely modifying the judgment of conviction of the petitioner based upon mere assumptions and suspicion of guilt. thus entitling him to the imposition of the penalty in its medium period. and re-direct examination. that said Court acted with unusual haste in the arraignment. 1972. but modified the penalty. Crimes where the offended party is a tourist or a transient.ñët 23. 39 amending General Order No. on July 26. 293 of the Revised Penal Code and penalized under Art. 1äwphï1. In its Decision promulgated on August 21. In his first assigned error. The following day. The record does show that the accused was arraigned at 4:35 P. testified on direct. at 8:30 A. which gave Civil Courts concurrent jurisdiction with Military Tribunals over crimes committed against tourists and transients. and to pay the costs.ñët 1. and there being no aggravating nor any mitigating circumstance affecting his criminal liability. Petitioner-accused appealed by certiorari to this Court assigning the following errors to the Court of Appeals: 1äwphï1. The Respondent Honorable Court of Appeals erred in not sustaining the submission for acquittal made by the state counsel. the Court of Appeals refuted the contentions of the Office of the Solicitor General. to indemnify the offended party in the amount of P6. Petitioner-accused appealed to the Court of Appeals. the Honorable Solicitor General in its Motion and Manifestation in lieu of appellee's brief anchored upon grave and conclusive circumstantial facts negativing petitioner's guilt. petitioner-accused claims lack of due process because of the unusual speed with which the Trial Court disposed of his case. and judgment was promulgated at 11:35 that same morning. affirmed conviction.Trial proceeded and lasted up to 7:30 in the evening. Page 183 . the Office of the Solicitor General adopted its Motion and Manifestation filed before the Court of Appeals and recommended the grant of the petition for certiorari averring that the findings and conclusions of respondent Court of Appeals are not supported by substantial evidence. cross. and mandates that cases involving tourists be disposed of within 24 hours from the filing of the complaint. The Respondent Honorable Court of Appeals erred in brushing aside the mute but clear import of lack of adherence to the basic fundamental formulation of due process whereby counsel and client must be accorded the right to be heard i. for the presentation of evidence for the defense. trial was resumed at 8:30 o'clock in the morning when petitioner-accused and his witness. and recommending the reversal of the Trial Court's judgment on the ground that complainant is not a transient visitor.M. 2. and rendition of the judgment of conviction. provided that civil courts shall dispose of such cases within 24 hours after the filing thereof by the arresting officer. Applicable to this case is General Order No.00. sentencing the accused to six (6) years and one (1) day to ten (10) years of prision mayor. defined by Art. trial was resumed.ñët WHEREFORE.

7 There is no question either that notwithstanding the number of times that he has been to this country. as amended. It is to be noted further that defense counsel was not totally unprepared for trial for he was ready with two witnesses when asked by the Court. that does not make him any less a transient.ñët Appellant advances the argument that if robbery was his intention. which might affect the result of the case. the latter struggled and it was at that juncture when complainant was choked. Both happened to be notorious police characters having been previously involved in a series of robbery and theft cases. No doubt. Veridiano I I.Considering that explicit requirement. Besides. Complainant was categorical in his Identification of petitioner-accused and emphatic as to the latter's direct and active involvement in the robbery. and the defense counsel are to be commended for their punctilious compliance with the explicit mandate of the law. the Trial Court had no other alternative but to speed up trial. so that petitioner-accused's allegation that complainant was looking for a girl when brought to his place hardly deserves credence. complainant is a "tourist" or one who travels from place to place for pleasure or culture. supra. 5 In point of fact. 12 of the motion and manifestation). thereby giving the defense enough time to prepare for the presentation of its direct evidence.ñët The second point raised by the state counsel is that allegedly complainant admitted having been strangled by his neck and yet he did not sustain any physical injury or bodily harm as could be gleaned from his testimony of July 26. the exact declaration of complainant having been "a number of times" and not "many times". then he would not have done it in the very premises of his home. the Trial Court did not deny defense counsel's request for conference with petitioner-accused. 1äwphï1. Petitioner-accused's version of the occurrence does not ring with truth. That defense counsel was aware of the prescribed time element is shown by the fact that he had asked for only one hour within which to confer with his client although normally he would have been entitled to at least 2 days to prepare for trial.. rebuttal and surrebuttal were presented by the prosecution and the defense. Again. As pointed out by the Court of Appeals: 1äwphï1. if as petitioner-accused testified.". the issue simmers down to one of credibility. trial was resumed the next day. give my money back" 10 it is incredible that "after that the American suggested that he was going to leave the place because he will cash the traveller's check . the Trial Fiscal. after the prosecution had rested its case.. 12. complainant had been to Olongapo City a number of times in the past. notwithstanding the brief span of trial time. On the contrary. The Trial Court merely deferred such conference till after the prosecution had presented its witnesses. the American MP's were able to tract down his (Magat's) place only because of its notoriety for assaults and acts as that perpetrated against the complainant. therefore was not a complete stranger to the place. And even if complainant has been in Olongapo City a number of times.ït¢@lFº They were readily pointed to and Identified by complainant upon seeing their photos as among the persons who divested him of his money on the day of the incident in question. which is not the case herein. He was not denied procedural due process. respectively. Judge Regino T. 8 As a "tourist" or a "transient". appellant and his confederates must have been emboldened by the fact that even if their victim complained but considering his unfamiliarity with the place. or for a "brief period" only each time. The rendition of the judgment not long after the trial was terminated is not necessarily indicative of inordinate haste. and. because he never expected that their victim being a tourist will have the insistence and temerity of lodging and pushing through a complaint against him and his cohorts for forcibly divesting him of his money. have been overlooked. This explanation appeared lame and weak. Then too appellant and Brosas were Identified only by their photos in the files of the police. 9 Moreover.. an Idea where to go for entertainment. it will be almost next to impossible for him (the American victim) to trace his way back to appellant's place and pinpoint their Identities. 1979 (p. Suffice it to quote some notable observations of the Court of Appeals on the matter of credibility even as it refuted some of the contentions advanced by the Office of the Solicitor General in support of the latter's bid for acquittal of the accused. or one whose stay is "of uncertain duration" or for a "short time". Lanigan was shouting at petitioner-accused "you cheated me. We likewise find it difficult to agree with the Solicitor General's position that the guilt of petitioner-accused has not been established beyond reasonable doubt. That complainant did not suffer any injury whatsoever did not make his version of the incident incredible because as the accused together with his confederates tried to divest the complainant of his money. complainant falls within the coverage of General Order No. What Page 184 . Moreover. The well established rule is that the conclusions of a Trial Court on the question of credibility are entitled to utmost respect and will remain undisturbed on appeal unless substantial facts. In fact. In the last analysis. He did so. A reading of the transcript and of the judgment rendered will also reveal that petitioner-accused was duly and amply heard in his defense. 11 One who has been allegedly cheated would refuse to return to play some more. He would have had more or less. The submission of the State that complainant is "not a transient visitor" for his testimony shows clearly that he has been in Olongapo City many times for the past fifteen years" 6 is not well taken.

suspect/s choked him while others were holding his hand and at the same time threatened him that if he did not stop strangling he will be killed . Page 185 .. however. Analyzing the said statement in its entirety. it is likewise claimed that when the complainant first appeared before the police officer on July 19. he was underestimated by the culprits. following the incident or on July 23. 1979. Pfc. we find petitioner. And secondly. Complainant pointed the person of LEONARDO MAGAT as one of the suspects when a picture of the said suspect was showed to him. further. was no longer visible to the naked eye after a couple of hours or so.C. 453 dated 15 July. Q. the contents of which reads as follows: 1äwphï1. 2387. and like the Trial Court and the Appellate Court.. Costs against petitioner. 12 All told. WHEREFORE. But let it be assumed that complainant when interviewed made the statement that now appears in this Exhibit 'A'. it was in gambling where cards were utilized during the game. SO ORDERED.00 more or less. it would appear that the first step that led into complainant's being divested of his money were the flowery words made by Brosas to him that ultimately brought him to Magat's place whereby. that if he did not stop then he will be killed. through force and intimidation the offenders took his money from his pocket.possible injury must he necessarily sustain in a situation of that sort? Maybe only the reddening of the portion choked which however. this Petition for Review is denied and the judgment of the Court of Appeals hereby affirmed. The contents therein appearing therefore is decidedly hearsay . suspect with intent to gain and with intimidation took and carted away his cash money amounting to $940.ñët This is in connection with Police Blotter Entry No. he allegedly told the police that 'a jeepney driver picked him up and with the use of flowery words was able to take his money..) Complainant alleged that on or about 2:00 P. complainant in his sworn statement stated that he was choked and strangled by two or three persons and the accused took his money from his pocket while they were in a house at No. But the victim-complainant happened to be a person not of the type the accused thought of him to be. Interpreted in the light of the testimony of the complainant. Complainant further alleged that while he was walking along Magsaysay Drive. (Emphasis supplied). But what appears confusing is the fact that when complainant-victim made a follow-up of his complaint with the police. at the above mentioned located. The statement referred to appeared embodied in Exhibit 'A' which was allegedly prepared by a certain Pfc. Furthermore. Alberto dela Isla. we find the second and third assigned errors also without merit. In short. Isla was never placed on the witness stand to testify on the alleged report. 8 Fontaine Extension. since nothing appeared to have been done in connection therewith. the conclusion arrived at appeared not warranted for if complainant was divested of his money merely through the use of flowers words then why was there a necessity for choking him and holding his hands and threatening him and.accused's guilt proven beyond reasonable doubt. 1979.M. The third circumstance advanced by the Honorable State Counsel is that it was rather incredible and absurd for one who had robbed another to still endeavor to teach his victim how to play a game of cards. July 1975. Complainant was brought to another room and taught the rudiments of poker blackjack preparatory to the theory to be set up by the defense that if the American victim has lost his money . the prosecution being denied of the right to cross-examine him on the truth thereof.' On the fourth day. (p. . Lastly. Olongapo City. The argument appears plausible but not conclusive. . when a jeepney driver picked him up and with the use of flowery words was able to take his money. the day when the robbery was committed.M. And yet here comes this alleged police report. to 3:00 P. to properly appease the victim and condition his mind making him cool in the process so that whatever he may have in mind by way of retaliation may no longer be pursued by him. no records whatsoever pertaining to his complaint could be found.

GENERAL FABIAN C. Olivas and the rest of the other private respondents likewise filed separate motions to exclude their respective individual testimonies invoking the same ground. TOMAS FERNANDEZ. Ver before the Fact Finding Board as Evidence against him in the above-entitled cases" 7 contending that its admission will be in derogation of his constitutional right against selfincrimination and violative of the immunity granted by P. a crime unparalleled in repercussions and ramifications was committed inside the premises of the Manila International Airport (MIA) in Pasay City. Dante Santos and Hon. criminal Case No.R. Hon. Amado Dizon. 3 Sgt. Major General Prospero Olivas. PROSPERO BONA AND AlC ANICETO ACUPIDO. Nos. Nos. 7120809 August 30. Hon. MAJOR GEN. 1886 was promulgated creating an ad hoc Fact Finding Board which later became more popularly known as the Agrava Board. SGT. PABLO MARTINEZ. respondents. J. Ver. THE SANDIGANBAYAN. the TANODBAYAN 5 filed with the SANDIGANBAYAN two (2) Informations for MURDER-one for the killing of Sen. the Hon. was not available to them because of their failure to invoke their right against self-incrimination before the ad hoc Fact Finding Board.D. MAJOR GENERAL PROSPERO OLIVAS. testified and produced evidence before the Board were the herein private respondents General Fabian C. THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUSTICE MANUEL PAMARAN AND ASSOCIATE JUSTICES AUGUSTO AMORES AND BIENVENIDO VERA CRUZ OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN. 1983. 9 Respondent SANDIGANBAYAN ordered the TANODBAYAN and the private respondents to submit their respective memorandum on the issue after which said motions will be considered submitted for resolution. Sgt. PROSPERO BONA AND AIC ANICETO ACUPIDO. raised therein are to be considered jointly in the Court's Resolution on the prosecution's formal offer of exhibits and other documentary evidences. One. petitioner. Ver filed a formal "Motion to Exclude Testimonies of Gen. PEPITO TORIO. and another one. 12 Page 186 . He prayed that his aforesaid testimony be rejected as evidence for the prosecution. [G. Leonardo Mojica. LEONARDO MOJICA SGT. an opposition stalwart who was returning to the country after a long-sojourn abroad.D. 2 Pursuant to the powers vested in it by P. for the killing of Rolando Galman. Private respondent Gen. VER. 8Petitioner TANODBAYAN opposed said motions contending that the immunity relied upon by the private respondents in support of their motions to exclude their respective testimonies. After conducting the necessary preliminary investigation. the individual testimonies of private respondents before the Agrava Board. 71212-13 August 30. Jr. by its Chairman. [G. economic and social life. and one accomplice.R. 10010 and another. Justice Corazon Juliano Agrava. Pepito Torio.(6) SATURNINA GALMAN AND REYNALDO GALMAN. respondent SANDIGANBAYAN. was gunned down to death. LEONARDO MOJICA. 1985] CUEVAS. GENERAL FABIAN C. the Prosecution represented by the Office of the petition TANODBAYAN. unlimited and exhaustive investigation of all aspects of the tragedy. PROSPERO OLIVAS. Pablo Martinez. In the course of the joint trial of the two (2) aforementioned cases. 4 UPON termination of the investigation.: On August 21. SGT. Prospero Bona and AIC Aniceto Acupido. petitioner having no further witnesses to present and having been required to make its offer of evidence in writing. petitioners. Sgt. Sgt. 1 P. private respondents were charged as accessories. SGT. SGT. In both criminal cases. jointly authored by the other members of the Board — namely: Hon. President Ferdinand E. Former Senator Benigno S. SGT. The after-shocks stunned the nation even more as this ramified to all aspects of Philippine political. without the pending motions for exclusion being resolved. Tomas Fernandez. all the accused. JR. through their respective counsel objected to the admission of said exhibits. Fabian C. as well as the legal issues and arguments. issued a Resolution directing that by agreement of the parties. SGT. PEPITO TORIO. THE HONORABLE BERNARDO FERNANDEZ. 1886. 10 On May 30. Benigno S. the prosecution made a written "Formal Offer of Evidence" which includes. represented by the TANODBAYAN (OMBUDSMAN). 1985. all of which have been previously marked in the course of the trial. Aquino on that same fateful day. who was found dead on the airport tarmac not far from the prostrate body of Sen. Ernesto Herrera. To determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the killing and to allow a free. Luciano Salazar. 1886. vs. vs. the Board conducted public hearings wherein various witnesses appeared and testified and/or produced documentary and other evidence either in obedience to a subpoena or in response to an invitation issued by the Board Among the witnesses who appeared. SGT.D. together with the memorandum in support thereof.. 6 Private respondents. Upon arraignment. including the herein private ate Respondents pleaded NOT GUILTY. 'the reports were thereafter referred and turned over to the TANODBAYAN for appropriate action. two (2) reports were submitted to His Excellency. 1985. The assassination rippled shock-waves throughout the entire country which reverberated beyond the territorial confines of this Republic. 10011. among others. along with several principals. Aquino which was docketed as Criminal Case No. Major Gen. the pending motions for exclusion and the opposition thereto. VER.. TOMAS FERNANDEZ. TANODBAYAN. 1985] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. PABLO MARTINEZ. SGT. respondents. SGT. Sgt. marked and thereafter offered as part of its evidence. the testimonies of private respondents and other evidences produced by them before the Board. Marcos. Aquino. 11 On June 3.

The crux of the instant controversy is the admissibility in evidence of the testimonies given by the eight (8) private respondents who did not invoke their rights against self-incrimination before the Agrava Board. on the other hand. 1886. 17 Thus.. but more importantly. Since private respondents did not invoke said privilege. their conviction. 18 came into existence in response to a popular public clamor that an impartial and independent body. the pertinent portion of which provides — SECTION 12. respondent SANDIGANBAYAN issued a Resolution.All the private respondents objected to the prosecution's formal offer of evidence on the same ground relied upon by them in their respective motion for exclusion. to determine the character and extent of his participation therein.incrimination.D. and to all legal intents and purposes. And as safeguard. respectively. 1985. For indeed. guarantees "any person called to testify before the Board the right to counsel at any stage of the proceedings. both in foreign and local media. the legal compulsion imposed by the first clause of the same Section would suffer from constitutional infirmity for being violative of the witness' right against self. the situation is one where the person testifying or producing evidence is undergoing investigation for the commission of an offense and not merely in order to shed light on the facts and surrounding circumstances of the assassination. Heretofore. also filed a separate petition for certiorari 15 on the same ground. now represented by the petitioner TANODBAYAN." 20 Considering the foregoing environmental settings. Page 187 . their consequent prosecution and ultimately. the determination of the person or persons criminally responsible therefor so that they may be brought before the bar of justice..incrimination before the Agrava Board.D. The relative novelty of the question coupled with the extraordinary circumstance that had precipitated the same did nothing to ease the burden of laying down the criteria upon which this Court will henceforth build future jurisprudence on a heretofore unexplored area of judicial inquiry. to the ascertainment and/or determination of the culprit or culprits. persons summoned to testify will include not merely plain witnesses but also those suspected as authors and co-participants in the tragic killing. the immunity did not attach. instead of any ordinary police agency. said evidences cannot be used against them as mandated by Section 5 of the said P. The question presented before Us is a novel one. Having arisen from the same factual beginnings and raising practically Identical issues. but more importantly. 1886. what good will it be to the entire nation and the more than 50 million Filipinos to know the facts and circumstances of the killing if the culprit or culprits will nevertheless not be dealt with criminally? This purpose is implicit from Section 12 of the said Presidential Decree. be charged with the task of conducting the investigation. the protagonists are locked in horns on the effect and legal significance of failure to set up the privilege against self-incrimination.D. claim that notwithstanding failure to set up the privilege against self.D. On June 13. Petitioners went further by contending that such failure to claim said constitutional privilege amounts to a waiver thereof. 1886. because of the latter's failure to invoke before the Agrava Board the immunity granted by P. the Board may initiate the filing of proper complaint with the appropriate got government agency. relative to the probable motive behind the assassination and the person or persons responsible for or involved in the assassination hastened its creation and heavily contributed to its early formation. this Court has not been previously called upon to rule on issues involving immunity statutes. It is the submission of the prosecution. the P. now assailed in these two (2) petitions. . And when suspects are summoned and called to testify and/or produce evidence. as any other similar investigation of its sort. as always. Private prosecutor below. the two (2) petitioners were consolidated and will therefore be jointly dealt with and resolved in this Decision.D. The Agrava Board. it cannot be denied that in the course of receiving evidence. They contend that without the immunity provided for by the second clause of Section 5. The findings of the Board shall be made public. admitting all the evidences offered by the prosecution except the testimonies and/or other evidence produced by the private respondents in view of the immunity granted by P. an entity charged. as counsel for the mother of deceased Rolando Galman. P. 16 The private respondents. that said testimonies are admissible against the private respondents. however. they now come before Us by way of certiorari 14 praying for the amendment and/or setting aside of the challenged Resolution on the ground that it was issued without jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. (Emphasis supplied) The investigation therefor is also geared.19 Although referred to and designated as a mere Fact Finding Board. We shall be guided. the Board is in truth and in fact. 1886. by the constitution and existing laws. not only with the function of determining the facts and circumstances surrounding the killing. Should the findings warrant the prosecution of any person. In carrying out this monumental task. The then early distortions and exaggerations. 13 Petitioners' motion for the reconsideration of the said Resolution having been DENIED.

Article 4 connotes the Idea that it applies only to police investigation. In all these cases. This notwithstanding. They are also entitled to be admonished of their constitutional right to remain silent. Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain and to counsel. Being at the scene of the crime as such. they were not immune from prosecution by reason of the testimony given by them. 24 Neither are we impressed by petitioners' contention that the use of the word "confession" in the last sentence of said Section 20.. all of whom except Generals Ver and Olivas. Art. Not only that. If the investigation was conducted. Presidential Decree No. to counsel. for although the word "confession" is used. The fact that the framers of our Constitution did not choose to use the term "custodial" by having it inserted between the words "under" and investigation". are members of the military contingent that escorted Sen. testify or produce evidence. All the private respondents. the records show that Generals Ver and Olivas were among the last witnesses called by the Agrava Board.. In the light of the examination reflected by the record. but whom others suspected. 1886 leave them no choice. Aquino while disembarking from the plane that brought him home to Manila on that fateful day. Yet they have not been informed or at the very least even warned while so testifying. We are not persuaded that when they testified. May that be construed as a waiver of their rights to remain silent and not to be compelled to be a witness against themselves? The answer is yes. Section 5 of P. And yet when they so testified and produced evidence as ordered. it may be argued is not the right to remain silent available only to a person undergoing custodial interrogation? We find no categorical statement in the constitutional provision on the matter which reads: . In fact. as in fact the sentence opens with the phrase "any person " goes to prove that they did not adopt in toto the entire fabric of the Miranda doctrine. General Ver on the other hand. all the herein private respondents could not have been compelled to give any statement whether incriminatory or exculpatory.D. they continued testifying. They have to take the witness stand. it is not far-fetched to conclude that they were called to the stand to determine their probable involvement in the crime being investigated.. the very evidence with which to prosecute and thereafter convict him. IV of the Bill of Rights. and to be informed of such right. was to determine whether they were really conspirators and if so. they cannot invoke the right not to be a witness against themselves. were detained (under technical arrest) at the time they were summoned and gave their testimonies before the Agrava Board. But in the light of the first portion of Section 5 of P. in the alleged conspiracy that brought about the assassination. both of which are sacrosantly enshrined and protected by our fundamental law. Of course. the first designated investigator of the tragedy.D. 21-a Both these constitutional rights (to remain silent and not to be compelled to be a witness against himself) were right away totally foreclosed by P. especially the foreign media. indubitably evinced purposes other than merely eliciting and determining the so-called surrounding facts and circumstances of the assassination. in one way or another participated or have something to do.D. Significantly however. even at that particular stage of their testimonies. if not detained. and be informed that any and all statements given by them may be used against them. the protection covers not only "confessions" but also "admissions" made in violation of this section. we now have a mass of jurisprudence 23 on this specific portion of the subject provision. Could there still be any doubt then that their being asked to testify. This is the lamentable situation we have at hand. which was already so abundantly supplied by other ordinary witnesses who had testified earlier. and to an admonition that any and all statements to be given by him may be used against him. 1886 and the awesome contempt power of the Board to punish any refusal to testify or produce evidence. The subject matter dealt with and the line of questioning as shown by the transcript of their testimonies before the Agrava Board. and rumors from uglywagging tongues. felt and believed to have bungled the case. NBI or by other police agency. of their right to remain silent and that any statement given by them may be used against them. they were among the first line of suspects in the subject assassination. there has been no pronouncement in any of these cases nor in any other that a person similarly undergoing investigation for the commission of an offense. They were compelled to testify or be witnesses against themselves. the extent of their participation in the said conspiracy? It is too taxing upon one's credulity to believe that private respondents' being called to the witness stand was merely to elicit from them facts and circumstances surrounding the tragedy. 1886 denied them the right to remain silent. 21 The jeopardy of being placed behind prison bars even before conviction dangled before their very eyes. officer or agency? True. they voluntarily waived their constitutional rights not to be compelled to be a witness against themselves much less their right to remain silent. suspects in the said assassination. being the highest military authority of his co-petitioners labored under the same suspicion and so with General Olivas. . under pain of contempt if they failed or refused to do so. Page 188 . it has been categorically declared that a person detained for the commission of an offense undergoing investigation has a right to be informed of his right to remain silent.. They are inadmissible against the source of the confession or admission and against third person. Similarly. Did they lose their aforesaid constitutional rights simply because the investigation was by the Agrava Board and not by any police investigator. 25 It is true a person in custody undergoing investigation labors under a more formidable ordeal and graver trying conditions than one who is at liberty while being investigated. The papers. But the common denominator in both which is sought to be avoided is the evil of extorting from the very mouth of the person undergoing interrogation for the commission of an offense. is not entitled to the constitutional admonition mandated by said Section 20. if they have the option to do so. 1886. say by the PC. all point to them as having. 22 (Emphasis supplied) Since the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution. except Generals Ver and Olivas. to counsel.Among this class of witnesses were the herein private respondents.

Fernando. to paraphrase Cardozo. McElroy 1961.incrimination. 3233). arbitrariness is ruled out and unfairness avoided. 562.incrimination. the answers given cannot over their objection be later used in their prosecutions for conspiracy. 17 L Ed. Russel 27 Turley" citing Garrity vs. The Cabal vs. due process — .. We did not therein state that since he is not an accused and the case is not a criminal case. compelled in a criminal case to be a witness against himself. the former Chief Justice Enrique M. when Cabal refused to take the stand. It is the embodiment of the sporting Idea of fair play(Frankfurter. then with more reason it cannot be denied to a person facing investigation before a Fact Finding Board where his life and liberty. 29 If in a mere forfeiture case where only property rights were involved. petitioners and amicus curiae (Ex-Senator Ambrosio Padilla) assert that the "right not to be compelled to be a witness against himself" applies only in favor of an accused in a criminal case. and that he can invoke his right against self-incrimination only when a question which tends to elicit an answer that will incriminate him is profounded to him. disable him from making a free and rational choice. At first. New Jersey" where certain police officers summoned to an inquiry being conducted by the Attorney General involving the fixing of traffic tickets were asked questions following a warning that if they did not answer they would be removed from office and that anything they said might be used against them in any criminal proceeding. It is not People vs. Negatively put. Decidedly then.. 363 US 20. It is not a narrow or '"echnical conception with fixed content unrelated to time. Further enlightenment on the subject can be found in the historical background of this constitutional provision against self. the private respondents were not merely denied the afore-discussed sacred constitutional rights. and the questions were answered. Due process is thus hostile to any official action marred by lack of reasonableness. Hannah v. hang on the balance. official action. To satisfy the due process requirement. whether they are policemen or other members of the body politic. the right "not to be compelled to testify against himself" applies to the herein private respondents notwithstanding that the proceedings before the Agrava Board is not. in the case of Louis J. The deletion of the phrase "in a criminal case" connotes no other import except to make said provision also applicable to cases other than criminal. Said case is not a criminal case as its title very clearly indicates. Hence."(Frankfurter. to be sworn and to testify upon being called as a witness for complainant Col. Justice Holmes and the Supreme Court. pp. Lefkowitz v.incrimination.. The Court also held that in the context of threats of removal from office the act of responding to interrogation was not voluntary and was not an effective waiver of the privilege against self. 26 Similarly. To buttress their precarious stand and breathe life into a seemingly hopeless cause. Maristela in a forfeiture of illegally acquired assets. Cabal nor a prosecution for a criminal offense. Correctly.. It exacts fealty "to those strivings for justice and judges the act of officialdom of whatever branch "in the light of reason drawn from considerations of fairness that reflect (democratic) traditions of legal and political thought. the provision in our organic laws were similar to the Constitution of the United States and was as follows: That no person shall be . it has been Identified as freedom from arbitrariness.Compulsion as it is understood here does not necessarily connote the use of violence. a criminal case No doubt. this Court sustained Cabal's plea that for him to be compelled to testify will be in violation of his right against self. 30 As now worded. place and circumstances. but also the right to "due process" which is fundamental fairness. is responsiveness to the supremacy of reason. it may be the product of unintentional statements. In the Philippines. must not outrun the bounds of reason and result in sheer oppression. it is not the character of the suit involved but the nature of the proceedings that controls. by reason of the statements to be given by him. Cabal cannot refuse to take the witness stand and testify. whether a party or not. And yet. 385 US at 500. or impair his capacity for rational judgment would in our opinion be sufficient. Pressure which operates to overbear his will. The privilege against self. The privilege has consistently been held to extend to all proceedings sanctioned by law and to all cases in which punishment is sought to be visited upon a witness. and that it extends to all. Section 20 of Article IV reads: No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. 1983."(Cafeteria Workers v. The United States Supreme Court went further in holding that: the protection of the individuals under the Fourteenth Amendment against coerced statements prohibits use in subsequent proceedings of statements obtained under threat or removal from office. it may not be invoked by any of the herein private respondents before the Agrava Board. "the right not to be compelled to be a witness against himself" is secured in favor of the defendant. 31 Quoting the highly-respected eminent constitutionalist that once graced this Court. Larche 1960. Kapunan 28 doctrine militates very heavily against this theory. So is moral coercion 'tending to force testimony from the unwilling lips of the defendant. 367 US Page 189 . the same principle obtains as a direct result of American influence. Mr. at 487). Clearly then.incrimination is guaranteed in the Fifth Amendment to the Federal Constitution. obedience to the dictates of justice. in its strictest sense.

intimidation. to testify or produce evidence. they were denied. (Pearson v. to make such claim. This. the individual testimonies of private respondents cannot be admitted against them in ally criminal proceeding. however. but his testimony or any evidence produced by him shall not be used against him in connection with any transaction. after having invoked his privilege against self-incrimination. violence. So much so that if two or more constructions or interpretations could possibly be resorted to. this exclusionary rule applies not only to confessions but also to admissions. he still runs the risk of being prosecuted even if he sets up his right against self. 1886 which issue was squarely raised and extensively discussed in the pleadings and oral arguments of the parties. Stated otherwise .D. On the other hand. "transactional immunity" grants immunity to the witness from prosecution for an offense to which his compelled testimony relates. Our review of the pleadings and their annexes. except that such individual so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying. Illinois.incrimination. he has the option to refuse to answer questions and therefore. We shall rule on the effect of such absence of claim to the availability to private respondents of the immunity provided for in Section 5. McGraw. Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence. P. The manner in which the testimonies were taken from private respondents fall short of the constitutional standards both under the DUE PROCESS CLAUSE and under the EXCLUSIONARY RULE in Section 20.. failed to reveal adherence to and compliance with due process. which grants what is known as "transactional immunity. forecloses such option of refusal by imposing sanctions upon its exercise. Immunity statutes may be generally classified into two: one. Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel." The distinction between the two is as follows: "Use immunity" prohibits use of witness' compelled testimony and its fruits in any manner in connection with the criminal prosecution of the witness. and to be informed of such right. which is the first test of admissibility. but not immunity from prosecution by reason or on the basis thereof. 35 Apparent conflict between two clauses should be harmonized. correspondence. or other evidence in obedience to a subpoena issued by the Board on the ground that his testimony or the evidence required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to penalty or forfeiture. then that one which will avoid unconstitutionality must be adopted even though it may be necessary for this purpose to disregard the more usual and apparent import of the language used. (Bartkus vs. It reads: No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. manifestations and admissions of both counsel. records. Nevertheless. 33 whether made by a witness in any proceeding or by an accused in a criminal proceeding or any person under investigation for the commission of an offense. together with the oral arguments. (Emphasis supplied) it is beyond dispute that said law belongs to the first type of immunity statutes. A literal interpretation fashioned upon Us is repugnant to Article IV. matter or thing concerning which he is compelled. or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him. 34 To save the statute from a declaration of unconstitutionality it must be given a reasonable construction that will bring it within the fundamental law. demands that private respondents should have been informed of their rights to remain silent and warned that any and all statements to be given by them may be used against them. No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books. In the face of such grave constitutional infirmities. 36 But a literal application of a requirement of a claim of the privilege against self. documents.. under the pretense that they are not entitled to it and that the Board has no obligation to so inform them.D.1230) Decisions based on such a clause requiring a 'close and perceptive inquiry into fundamental principles of our society. As herein earlier discussed. He is merely saved from the use against him of such statement and nothing more.incrimination as a condition sine qua non to the grant of immunity presupposes that from a layman's point of view. 5. thus: Page 190 . 1886. more specifically Section 5 thereof. Any interpretation of a statute which will give it a meaning in conflict with the Constitution must be avoided. and the other. (Emphasis supplied) The aforequoted provision renders inadmissible any confession obtained in violation thereof. No force. This is true regardless of absence of claim of constitutional privilege or of the presence of a grant of immunity by law. nor shall he be exempt from demotion or removal from office. 1939. Article IV. The dictates of fair play. 308 US 313). Section 20 of the Constitution." 32 Examining Presidential Decree 1886. 1959. It grants merely immunity from use of any statement given before the Board. threat. which grants "use immunity". which is the hallmark of due process. which reads: SEC. P. Questions of due process are not to be treated narrowly or pedantically in slavery to form or phrases. It is for this reason that we cannot subscribe to the view adopted and urged upon Us by the petitioners that the right against selfincrimination must be invoked before the Board in order to prevent use of any given statement against the testifying witness in a subsequent criminal prosecution. Merely testifying and/or producing evidence do not render the witness immuned from prosecution notwithstanding his invocation of the right against self.incrimination. 359 US 121).

We hold. and considering the temper of the times. I have advocated the balancing-of-interests rule in an situations which call for an appraisal of the interplay of conflicting interests of consequential dimensions. 1886 viewed in the light of the sanctions provided in Section 4. forecloses under threat of contempt proceedings against anyone who makes such claim. irrespective of one's rank and status in society. With the stand we take on the issue before Us.. under the oppressive compulsion of P. the witness cannot be compelled to answer UNLESS a co-extensive protection in the form of IMMUNITY is offered. in the case of People vs.D. including . IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS and finding the instant petitions without merit.. the compulsion has already produced its desired results the private respondents had all testified without offer of immunity.D. 4 of P. 5. meaning.. Justice Claudio Teehankee. we run the risk of being consigned to unpopularity. Such threat of punishment for making a claim of the privilege leaves the witness no choice but to answer and thereby forfeit the immunity purportedly granted by Sec. A person guilty of .infringes upon the witness' right against self-incrimination. Mr. 5 requires a claim which it. Their constitutional rights are therefore. therefore.. the frightening consequences that hover before Us.D. such infringement of the constitutional right renders inoperative the testimonial compulsion. SO ORDERED. But I reject any proposition that would blindly uphold the interests of society at the sacrifice of the dignity of any human being. but undaunted by. No pronouncement as to costs. Conscious as we are of. same are DISMISSED. The only way to cure the law of its unconstitutional effects is to construe it in the manner as if IMMUNITY had in fact been offered. We are merely resolving a question of law and the pronouncement herein made applies to all similarly situated. But in this case. 4. 1886. As a rule.SEC.D. The absurdity of such application is apparent Sec. refusal to be sworn or to answer as a witness or to subscribe to an affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so may be summarily adjudged in direct contempt by the Board.. the testimonies compelled thereby are deemed immunized under Section 5 of the same law. and impose appropriate penalties therefor. But the strong testimonial compulsion imposed by Section 5 of P. 1886 cannot be made to depend on a claim of the privilege against self-incrimination which the same law practically strips away from the witness. however. so as to safeguard his sacred constitutional right. The applicability of the immunity granted by P. (Emphasis supplied) Lest we be misunderstood. The Board may hold any person in direct or indirect contempt.. 1886. . let it be known that we are not by this disposition passing upon the guilt or innocence of the herein private respondents an issue which is before the Sandiganbayan. that in view of the potent sanctions imposed on the refusal to testify or to answer questions under Sec. Manalang 38 and we quote: I am completely conscious of the need for a balancing of the interests of society with the rights and freedoms of the individuals. immunity must in fact be offered to the witness before he can be required to answer. we have strictly adhered to the Constitution in upholding the rule of law finding solace in the view very aptly articulated by that well-known civil libertarian and admired defender of human rights of this Court. in jeopardy.. 37 Hence. Page 191 .

reiterating an earlier request for the production of certain documents. JORGE B.. 5. COMMISSIONER MARY CONCEPCION BAUTISTA. Fidelity Management Co. such as: 2. Legal documents. you are hereby directed to sequester the following companies. Bataan Shipyard and Engineering Co. Balde. 3.(7) BATAAN SHIPYARD & ENGINEERING CO. Inc. Inc. INC. New Trident Management 8. COMMISSIONER RAMON DIAZ. and such other acts essential to the achievement of this sequestration order. Articles of Incorporation 2.. affecting said corporation. COMMISSIONER QUINTIN S. CHAIRMAN JOVITO SALONGA. SIACUNCO. you are authorized to request for Military/Security Support from the Military/Police authorities. 1987] NARVASA. It was addressed to three of the agents of the Commission. Aquino on February 28. Trident Management Co.R.. 6. J..3.1. Bay Transport 9. acting for the PCGG. (BASECO). (Engineering Island Shipyard and Mariveles Shipyard) 2. Romson Realty. respondents. The Basic Sequestration Order The sequestration order which. et al. Jose M. 1986 and March 12. and (2) the sequestration. takeover. and Other Orders Complained of a. PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT. To report to the Commission on Good Government periodically.. are: (1) Executive Orders Numbered 1 and 2. 75885 May 27. the care and maintenance of these assets until such time that the Office of the President through the Commission on Good Government should decide otherwise. 1 b. petitioner. Inc. and acts done. Mr. hereafter simply referred to as PCGG. No. It reads as follows: RE: SEQUESTRATION ORDER By virtue of the powers vested in the Presidential Commission on Good Government. 1986 to the President and other officers of petitioner firm. COMMISSIONER RAUL R. Stock Transfer Book 2. 1. to wit: 1. Takeover. To ensure the continuity of these companies as going concerns. respectively. The Sequestration. DOROMAL. Minutes of the Annual Stockholders Meeting from 1973 to 1986 Page 192 . vs. addressed a letter dated April 18. Further. 1986 by Commissioner Mary Concepcion Bautista. initiated all its misery was issued on April 14. promulgated by President Corazon C. 1986.: Challenged in this special civil action of certiorari and prohibition by a private corporation known as the Bataan Shipyard and Engineering Co. DAZA. 7. Order for Production of Documents On the strength of the above sequestration order. Baseco Quarry 3. CAPT. in accordance with said executive orders by the Presidential Commission on Good Government and/or its Commissioners and agents. Philippine Jai-Alai Corporation 4. Inc. By-Laws 2. And all affiliate companies of Alfredo "Bejo" Romualdez You are hereby ordered: 1. 2. [G. To implement this sequestration order with a minimum disruption of these companies' business activities. by authority of the President of the Philippines. and other orders issued. in the view of the petitioner corporation. 1.2.

8 Page 193 . S." but afterwards. Order for Operation of Sesiman Rock Quarry. subject to specified guidelines and safeguards including audit and verification. 1986. 7 f." in consideration of Deltamarine's being granted "priority in using the improved portion of the wharf ahead of anybody" and exemption "from the payment of any charges for the use of wharf including the area where it may install its bagging equipments" "until the improvement remains in a condition suitable for port operations." c. Zabala issued a Memorandum addressed to "Truck Owners and Contractors. Profit & Loss and others from 1973 to December 31. Berenguer. allegedly then in poor condition. is that issued on April 21." advised Deltamarine by letter dated July 30. Capt. Mariveles." 4 d. Complete list of depository banks for all funds with the authorized signatories for withdrawals thereof. 2 The letter closed with the warning that if the documents were not submitted within five days. avowedly to "optimize its utilization and in return maximize the revenue which would flow into the government coffers. Minutes of the Regular and Special Meetings of the Board of Directors from 1973 to 1986 2. Abesamis." advising of the amendment in part of their contracts with BASECO in the sense that the stipulated charges for use of the BASECO road network were made payable "upon entry and not anymore subject to monthly billing as was originally agreed upon. to operate the quarry. "to plan and implement progress towards maximizing the continuous operation of the BASECO Sesiman Rock Quarry * * by conventional methods. this time dated June 26. Yearly list of stockholders with their corresponding share/stockholdings from 1973 to 1986 duly certified by the Corporate Secretary.. Aborted Contract for Improvement of Wharf at Engineer Island On July 9. 1986. Mayor Melba O. Order to Dispose of Scrap. Buddy Ondivilla National Marine Corporation. Minutes of the Executive Committee Meetings from 1973 to 1986 2. Flordelino B. etc. the same Capt. Jorge B. "Head." 6 e.6. 1986. to dispose of or sell "metal scraps" and other materials. 3." particularly a "Mr. in representation of the PCGG. 7. 1986. 1986.00 on the BASECO wharf at Engineer Island. a member of the task force assigned to carry out the basic sequestration order. a PCGG fiscal agent. A." 5 It seems however that this contract was never consummated. Orders Re Engineer Island (1) Termination of Contract for Security Services A third order assailed by petitioner corporation. Zabala. 1986 by a Capt. 1986. 1 and 2.5.4. authorized another party. Inventory listings of assets up dated up to March 31. Bataan. entered into a contract in behalf of BASECO with Deltamarine Integrated Port Services. 10. 8. 3 terminating the contract for security services within the Engineer Island compound between BASECO and "Anchor and FAIRWAYS" and "other civilian security agencies. Siacunco. Updated schedule of Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable.2.(PCGG) BASECO Management Team. 1985. located at Mariveles." and in this connection. Schedule of company investments and placements. (2) Change of Mode of Payment of Entry Charges On July 15. Inc. Bataan By Order dated June 20. 1986 that "the new management is not in a position to honor the said contract" and thus "whatever improvements * * (may be introduced) shall be deemed unauthorized * * and shall be at * * (Deltamarine's) own risk. hereafter referred to simply as BASECO. By another Order of Commissioner Bautista. Buenaventura. the officers would be cited for "contempt in pursuance with Presidential Executive Order Nos. Mayor Buenaventura was also "authorized to clean and beautify the Company's compound. 5. 1986. Consolidated Cash Position Reports from January to April 15. equipment and machineries no longer usable.000. Existing contracts with suppliers/contractors/others. 1986. 4. 9. He sent a letter to BASECO's Vice-President for Finance. Commissioner Mary Bautista first directed a PCGG agent. Commissioner Bautista. Monthly Financial Statements for the current year up to March 31.T. in virtue of which the latter undertook to introduce improvements costing approximately P210. an agreement to this effect having been executed by them on September 17." CAPCOM military personnel having already been assigned to the area. Audited Financial Statements such as Balance Sheet. 6.

that "No person shall be deprived of life. Moises M. Ruiz. and unreasonable search and seizure. business enterprises and properties taken over by the government of the Marcos Administration or by entities or persons close to former President Marcos. 10 2. Petitioner's Plea and Postulates It is the foregoing specific orders and acts of the PCGG and its members and agents which. that will ensure compliance to this order. Conducts all aspects of operation of the subject companies. Siacunco. 3. 1986. petitioner BASECO would have this Court nullify. rests on four fundamental considerations: First. and in disregard of the constitutional presumption of innocence and general rules and procedures. and was given the following powers: 1. More particularly. and Benito R. 1. Enters into contracts related to management and operation of the companies. advising of the termination of their services by the PCGG. headed by Capt. Valdez. liberty and property without due process of law. Installs key officers. until the transactions leading to such acquisition by the latter can be disposed of by the appropriate authorities. being directed against specified persons. empowering the Commission — * * To provisionally takeover in the public interest or to prevent its disposal or dissipation. 1 and 2. Manuel S. process or remedy by which petitioner may expeditiously challenge the validity of the takeover after the same has been effected." 9 Diaz invoked the provisions of Section 3 (c) of Executive Order No. was issued without court authority and infringed its constitutional right against self-incrimination. and Fourthly. Mendoza. 1986 when the Freedom Constitution was promulgated. 4. Siacunco. 1986. "the Philippine Dockyard Corporation and all their affiliated companies. Diaz decreed the provisional takeover by the PCGG of BASECO. Sec. and the Sequestration and Takeover Orders While BASECO concedes that "sequestration without resorting to judicial action. I V. sent letters to Hilario M. Holds itself fully accountable to the Presidential Commission on Good Government on all aspects related to this take-over order. Does actions including among others. h. Third. and disburses funds only as may be necessary.g. the PCGG is not a court. and all other orders subsequently issued and acts done on the basis thereof." (Const. 2. BASECO prays that this Court1) declare unconstitutional and void Executive Orders Numbered 1 and 2. might be made within the context of Executive Orders Nos. hires and terminates personnel as necessary. Cuesta I. inclusive of the takeover order of July 14. to repeat. Capt. but a purely investigative agency and therefore not competent to act as prosecutor and judge in the same cause..14. which it has apparently already complied with. 1986 and the termination of the services of the BASECO executives. Ensures that the assets of the companies are not dissipated and used effectively and efficiently. revenues are duly accounted for. 5. 1986 wherein under Section I of the same." 13 b. 1). there is nothing in the issuances which envisions any proceeding. Commissioner Ramon A." 12 It declares that its objection to the constitutionality of the Executive Orders "as well as the Sequestration Order * * and Takeover Order * * issued purportedly under the authority of said Executive Orders. among others. A management team was designated to implement the order. 6. 2) annul the sequestration order dated April. Article IV (Bill of Rights) of the 1973 Constitution was adopted providing. they constitute a Bill of Attainder. it ceased to be acceptable when the same ruler opted to promulgate the Freedom Constitution on March 25. Gilberto Pasimanero. 11 a. The TAKEOVER Order By letter dated July 14. under the principle that the law promulgated by the ruler under a revolutionary regime is the law of the land. Second. no notice and hearing was accorded * * (it) before its properties and business were taken over. seeking of military support as may be neces