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Francisco v.

CA, 122 SCRA 538 [1983]


Facts:
On February 6, 1966, Dr. Patrocinio Angeles, who was then the Director of the Morong Emergency
Hospital, filed a case for intriguing against honor allegedly committed on December 26, 1965 by Dr.
Emiliano and Atty. Harry Bernardino. On May 3, 1966, the Provincial Fiscal filed an information against
Francisco and Bernardino with the CFI of Rizal of the crime of grave oral defamation. Later, upon order
of the court, the information was amended by adding statements allegedly uttered by the two accused
constituting the crime of slander.
On Feb. 1, 1973, the trial court convicted Francisco and Bernardino of the crime of grave oral
defamation and sentenced each of them the penalty of arresto mayor and was made to pay the
complainant P10,000. Upon appeal in the Court of Appeals, the trial court's decision was modified
finding the accused guilty of simple slander. Bernardino passed away while this petition was instituted in
the Supreme Court. Francisco, then argues that since the CA had found that the offense committed was
the lesser offense of simple slander, which under Art. 90 of the RPC, prescribes in two months, the CA
should have dismissed the case.

Further, Francisco claims that the CA should have acquitted him on the ground that the said crime
had already prescribed as per evidence presented, the alleged defamatory remarks were committed on
December 26, 1965, while the information charged against him was filed more than four months later.
The Solicitor General, however, contends that "for the purpose of determining the proper
prescriptive period, what should be considered is the nature of the offense charged in the information
which is grave oral defamation, not the crime committed by the accused, as said crime was found by the
Court to constitute only simple slander". Since the prescription for grave oral defamation is six months,
the crime has not yet prescribed when it the information was filed. Moreover, the Solicitor General
argues that the filing of the complaint in the Fiscal's office interrupts the period of prescription. Only 39
days had passed from the time the offense was allegedly committed to the day of the filing of the
complaint.

Issues: Whether or not the crime of simple slander found by the CA to be the offense committed by the
petitioners has prescribed.

Whether or not the filing of a complaint in the Fiscal's office interrupts the prescription of an offense.

Held.
1. Yes. An accused cannot be convicted for the lesser offense necessarily included in the crime charged if
at the time of the filing of the information, the lesser offense has already prescribed. To hold otherwise,
according to the Court, would be to sanction a circumvention of the law on prescription by the simple
expedient of accusing the defendant of the graver offense.
2. Yes. Prescription is interrupted with the filing of the case even if the court is without jurisdiction, even
if it be merely for purposes of preliminary examination or investigation. Thus, the filing of the complaint
in the Fiscal's office interrupts the period of prescription.
Zaldivia v Reyes
G.R. No. 102342, July 3, 1992, 211 SCRA 277
Facts:
A complaint was filed before the fiscals office constituting an offense in violation of a city ordinance.
The fiscal did not file the complaint before the court immediately but instead filed it 3 months later. The
defendants counsel filed a motion to quash on ground that the action to file the complaint has
prescribed. The fiscal contends that the filing of the complaint before his office already interrupts the
prescription period.
Issue:
Whether or not the filing of information/complaint before the fiscal office constituting a violation
against a special law/ordinance interrupts prescription.
Held:
The mere filing of complaint to the fiscals office does not interrupt the running of prescription on
offenses punishable by a special law. The complaint should have been filed within a reasonable time
before the court. It is only then that the running of the prescriptive period is interrupted.**Act 3326 is
the governing law on prescription of crimes punishable by a special law which states that prescription is
only interrupted upon judicial proceeding.
Reodica v. CA, G.R. No. 125006, July 8, 1996
Facts:
On the evening of October 17, 1987, while Isabelita Reodica was driving her van in Paranaque, Metro
Manila, her van hit the car of Norberto Bonsol. As a result, Bonsol sustained physical injuries and the
damage to his car amounted to P8,542. On Oct. 20, 1987, Bonsol filed an Affidavit of Complaint against
Reodica with the Fiscal's Office. Later, on January 13, 1988, an information was filed before the RTC of
Makati charging Reodica with "Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Slight
Physical Injury. Reodica pleaded not guilty to the charge against her, so, trial ensued.
On January 31, 1991, the RTC rendered a decision convicting Reodica of the "quasi offense of
reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property with slight physical injuries" and sentencing her to
suffer imprisonment for 6 months and pay Bonsol P13,542. Reodica contends that damage to property
and slight physical injuries are light offenses which cannot be complexed. Further, since the two are light
offenses, the RTC do not have jurisdiction over such offenses, and even if does, the penalty imposed on
her is excessive. Being light offenses, adding up the imposable penalties of the mentioned light offenses
only sum up to 60 days of imprisonment and not 6 months as imposed on her by the lower court.
Moreover, she also argues that "the offense of slight physical injuries through reckless imprudence,
being punishable only by arresto menor, is a light offense; as such, it prescribes in two months". The
information was only filed on January 13, 1988 or almost 3 months from the date of the vehicular
collision, thus, the offense had already prescribed.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) agrees with the petitioner that the penalty should have
been arresto menor in its maximum period, pursuant to Art.365 of the RPC. But, it contends that it was
proper to "complex" reckless imprudence with slight physical injuries and damage to property "because
what the law seeks to penalize is the single act of reckless imprudence, not the results thereof; hence,
there was no need for two separate informations". Further, the OSG argues that although it is the MTC
which has jurisdiction over cases of slight physical injuries, the RTC "properly took cognizance of this
case because it had the jurisdiction to impose the higher penalty for the damage to property, which was
a fine equal to thrice the value of P8,542".

Issue: 1. Whether or not the two light offenses - damage to property and slight physical injuries can be
complexed, and even if it can be complexed, was the 6 months imprisonment sentenced to Reodica
proper?
2. Whether or not the crime has already prescribed.

Held: 1. The two offenses cannot be complexed, they should have been filed separately.
2. No. The Supreme Court used Art. 91 of the RPC for resolving the issue on prescription of the offense.
ART. 91. Computation of prescription of offenses. -The period of prescription shall commence to run
from the day on which the crime is discovered by the offended party, the authorities, or their agents,
and shall be interrupted by the filing of the complaint or information, and shall commence to run again
when such proceedings terminate without the accused being convicted or acquitted, or are unjustifiably
stopped by any reason not imputable to him.

Thus, the filing of the complaint with the fiscal's office three days after the vehicular mishap interrupted
the run of the offense's prescription.
CRESPO vs MOGUL GR No. L-53373 June 30, 1987
FACTS:
Assistant Fiscal Proceso K. Gala with the approval of the Provincial Fiscal filed an information for estaga
against Mario Crespo in the Circuit Criminal Court of Lucena City. When the case was set for arraignment
the accused filed a motion to deter arraignment on the ground that there was a pending petition for
review filed with the Secretary of Justice of the resolution of the office of provincial Fiscal.
CARDINAL PRINCIPLE:
Criminal actions either commenced by complaint or by information shall be prosecuted under the
direction and control of the fiscal. The institution of a criminal action depends upon the sound discretion
of the Fiscal. He may or he may not file the complaint or information, follow or not follow that
presented by the offended party, according to whether the evidence in his opinion, is sufficient or not to
establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The reason for placing the criminal
prosecution under the discretion and control of the fiscal is to prevent malicious or unfounded
prosecution by private persons.
It is through the conduct of preliminary investigation, that the fiscal determines the existence of a Prima
Facie case that would warrant the prosecution of a case. The Courts cannot interfere with the fiscals
discretion and control of the criminal prosecution. It is not prudent or even permissible for a Court of
compel the fiscal to prosecute a proceeding originally initiated by him on an information.
In a clash of views between the Judge who did not investigate and the Fiscal who did, or between the
fiscal and the offended party or the defendant, those of the Fiscals should normally prevail.
The action of fiscal or prosecutor is not without any limitation or control. The same is subject to the
approval to the Provincial or City Fiscal or the Chief of State Prosecutor as the case maybe and it maybe
elevated for review to the Secretary of Justice who has the power to affirm, modify or reverse the action
or opinion of the Fiscal.

Panlilio v. RTC
FACTS:
Jose Marcel Panlilio, Erlinda Panlilio, Nicole Morris and Marlo Cristobal (petitioners), as corporate
officers of Silahis International Hotel, Inc. (SIHI), filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila,
Branch 24, apetition for
Suspension of Payments and Rehabilitation
. The RTC of Manila, Branch 24, issued anOrder staying all claims against SIHI upon finding the petition
sufficient in form and substance. At the time,however, of the filing of the petition for rehabilitation,
there were a number of criminal charges pendingagainst petitioners in Branch 51 of the RTC of Manila.
These criminal charges were initiated by respondentSocial Security System (SSS) and involved charges of
Estafa
. Consequently, petitioners filed with the RTCof Manila, Branch 51, a Manifestation and Motion to
Suspend Proceedings. Petitioners argued that the stayorder issued by Branch 24 should also apply to the
criminal charges pending in Branch 51. Petitioners, thus,prayed that Branch 51 suspend its proceedings
until the petition for rehabilitation was finally resolved butBranch 51 issued an Order denying petiti
oners motion to suspend the proceedings. It ruled that the stay
order issued by Branch 24 did not cover criminal proceedings. Branch 51 then denied the motion for
reconsideration filed by petitioners. Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari with the CA assailing the
Order of Branch 51 but the CA issued a Decision denying the petition. Hence petitioners filed before the
SupremeCourt a petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the suspension of "all claims" as an incident to a corporate rehabilitation also includes
thesuspension of criminal charges filed against the corporate officers of the distressed corporation.
RULING:
No, the criminal charges are not included.The Supreme Court DENIED the petition and AFFIRMED the
Decision of the Court of Appeals. TheRegional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 51, was ORDERED to
proceed with the criminal cases filed againstpetitioners.In Rosario v. Co
24
(Rosario), a case of recent vintage, the issue resolved by the Court was whether or notduring the
pendency of rehabilitation proceedings, criminal charges for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang22
should be suspended and it was ruled that
the filing of the case for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 is not a"claim" that can be enjoined within the purview
of P.D. No. 902-A.
True, although conviction of theaccused for the alleged crime could result in the restitution, reparation
or indemnification of the privateoffended party for the damage or injury he sustained by reason of the
felonious act of the accused,nevertheless, prosecution for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 is a criminal action. A
criminal action has a dual purpose, namely, the punishment of the offender and indemnity to the
offendedparty. The dominant and primordial objective of the criminal action is the punishment of the
offender. Thecivil action is merely incidental to and consequent to the conviction of the accused. The
reason for this isthat criminal actions are primarily intended to vindicate an outrage against the
sovereignty of the state and toimpose the appropriate penalty for the vindication of the disturbance to
the social order caused by theoffender. On the other hand, the action between the private complainant
and the accused is intended solelyto indemnify the former.
The rehabilitation of SIHI and the settlement of claims against the corporation is not a legal ground
for the extinction of petitioners criminal liabilities
. There is no reason why criminal proceedings shouldbe suspended during corporate rehabilitation,
more so, since the prime purpose of the criminal action is topunish the offender in order to deter him
and others from committing the same or similar offense, to isolatehim from society, reform and
rehabilitate him or, in general, to maintain social order. As correctly observed inRosario, it would be
absurd for one who has engaged in criminal conduct could escape punishment by themere filing of a
petition for rehabilitation by the corporation of which he is an officer.
The prosecution of the officers of the corporation has no bearing on the pending rehabilitation of
thecorporation, especially since they are charged in their individual capacities.
Such being the case, thepurpose of the law for the issuance of the stay order is not compromised, since
the appointed rehabilitationreceiver can still fully discharge his functions as mandated by law.


Simon vs. Chan and Court of Appeal GR. NO. 157547 February 23,
2011
Facts:
In 11 July 1997 the City Prosecutor of Manila filed a criminal case in the Metropolitan Trial Court of
Manila charging Eduardo Simon of violating BP22.Sometime in December 1996, Simon issued to Elvin
Chan a Landbank check with a declared amount of P336,000. The accuse did not have sufficient fund in
his account to fund the check he issued, contrary to the information he had given to the respondent.
Despite notice insufficiency of his accounts funds, the petitioner failed to pay the respondent the value
of the check within 5 days after receiving the notice. Three years later on 3 August 2000, Elvin Chan
commenced in the MTC in Pasay City a Civil Action for the collection of the principal amount of P
336,000.00.On 17 August 2000, Simon filed an urgent Motion to Dismiss with application to change
plaintiffs attachment bond for damages on the ground of litis pendentia as a consequence of the
pendency of another action between parties for the same cause. The plaintiff countered the argument
of Simon by pointing out he did not make any allegation as to the exact amount of his claim in the
criminal case, constituting an implied right to initiate civil action. The Plaintiff also cited Rule 111 Section
2, exception to file separate civil action during the pendency of a criminal case under Art. 31, 32, 33, 34,
and 2177 of the CCP. The case falls under Art. 33 of the CCP.On 23 October 2000, the MCTC in Pasay City
granted Simons urgent Motion to Dismiss with application to charge plaintiffs attachment bond for
damages. On 31 July 2001, the RTC of Pasay City upheld MCTCs dismissal of Chans initiated Civil Case.
Chan appealed to the CA by petition for review with the following issue; whether or not the RTC erred in
the dismissal of his case on the ground of litis pendetia.The CA overturned the decision of the RTC with
following legal basis; Though the CA recognized that civil case cannot anymore initiated following the
filling of a criminal case, the following case falls under the exception under Rule 111 sec. 2. The case
remanded to the trial court for further proceedings. Simon appealed to the Supreme Court for petition
for review.
Issues:
1. Whether or not Chans Civil action to recover the amount of the bounced check as an independent
civil action.
2. Whether or not new Supreme Court circular pertaining to BP22 can be applied retroactively.
Ruling:
The SC set aside the decision promulgated by the Court of Appeals on June 25, 2002. Furthermore, the
SC reinstate the decision rendered on October 23, 2000 by the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 45, in
Pasay City
The SC applied new rule on BP22 specifically, The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22
shall be deemed to necessarily include the corresponding civil action, and no reservation to file such civil
action separatelyshall be allowed or recognized.The aforequoted provisions of the Rules of Court, even
if not yet in effect when Chan commenced Civil Case No. 915-00 on August 3, 2000, are nonetheless
applicable. It is axiomatic that the retroactive application of procedural laws does not violate any right of
a person who may feel adversely affected, nor is it constitutionally objectionable. The reason is simply
that, as a general rule, no vested right may attach to, or arise from, procedural laws. Any new rules may
validly be made to apply to cases pending at the time of their promulgation, considering that no party to
an action has a vested right in the rules of procedure, except that in criminal cases, the changes do not
retroactively apply if they permit or require a lesser quantum of evidence to convict than what is
required at the time of the commission of the offenses, because such retroactivity would be
unconstitutional for being ex post facto under the Constitution Furthermore, for litis pendentia to be
successfully invoked as a bar ton action, the concurrence of the following requisites is necessary,
namely: (a)there must be identity of parties or at least such as represent the same interest in both
actions; (b) there must be identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for, the reliefs being founded on
the same facts; and, (c) the identity in the two cases should be such that the judgment that may be
rendered in one would, regardless of which party is successful, amount to res judicata in respect of the
other. Absent the first two requisites, the possibility of the existence of the third becomes nil. A perusal
of Civil Case No. 01-0033 and Criminal Case No. 275381 ineluctably shows that all the elements of litis
pendentia are attendant. First of all, the parties in the civil action involved in Criminal Case No. 275381
and in Civil Case No. 915-00, that is, Chan and Simon, are the same. Secondly, the information in
Criminal Case No. 275381 and the complaint in Civil Case No. 915-00 both alleged that Simon had issued
Landbank Check No. 0007280 worth P336,000.00 payable to cash, thereby indicating that the rights
asserted and the reliefs prayed for, as well as the facts upon which the reliefs sought were founded,
were identical in all respects. And, thirdly, any judgment rendered in one case would necessarily bar the
other by res judicata; otherwise, Chan would be recovering twice upon the same claim. It is clear,
therefore, that the MeTC in Pasay City properly dismissed Civil Case No. 915-00 on the ground of litis
pendentia through its decision dated October23, 2000; and that the RTC in Pasay City did not err in
affirming the MeTC.
Villarin vs People
FACTS:
Petitioner Aniano Latayada (Latayada) and three others namely, Barangay CaptainSudaria of Tagpangi,
CDO, Baillo and Boyatac, were charged with violation of Section 68, P.D.No. 705 as amended by
Executive Order No. 277. City Prosecutor recommended to chargeVillarin as well.The Version of the
Defense:In response to the clamor of the residents of Barangays Tampangan, Pigsag-an,Tuburan and
Taglinao, all in Cagayan De Oro City, Villarin, decided to repair the impassableBatinay bridge. The project
was allegedly with the concurrence of the Barangay Council.Pressured to immediately commence the
needed repairs, Villarin commissioned Boyatac toinquire from Sudaria about the availability of timber
without first informing the City Engineer.Sudaria asked for the specifications which Villarin gave. Villarin
then asked Baillo and Boyatacto attend to the same. When the timber was already available, it was
transported fromTagpangi to Batinay. However, the timber flitches were seized by the DENR Strike
Force Teamand taken to its office where they were received by Vera Cruz, the security guard on duty.
RTCfound them guilty. CA affirmed.
ISSUE:
WON mere possession of timber without criminal intent is punishable.
HELD:
"There are two distinct and separate offenses punished under Section 68 of P.D.No. 705, to wit:
(1) Cutting, gathering, collecting and removing timber or other forest products from any forest land, or
timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land without any authorization; and
(2) Possession of timber or other forest products without the legal documents required under existing
forest laws and regulations. The Information charged petitioners with the second offense which is
consummated by the mere possession of forest products without the proper documents. As a special
law, the nature of the offense is malum prohibitum and as such, criminal intent is not an essential
element. "However, the prosecution must prove that petitioners had the intent to possess (animus
possidendi)" the timber. "Possession, under the law, includes not only actual possession, but also
constructive possession. Actual possession exists when the [object of the crime] is in the immediate
physical control of the accused. On the other hand, constructive possession exists when the [object of
the crime] is under the dominion and control of the accused or when he has the right to exercise
dominion and control over the place where it is found. There is no dispute that petitioners were in
constructive possession of the timber without the requisite legal documents. Villarin and Latayada were
personally involved in its procurement, delivery and storage without any license or permit issued by any
competent
Authority. Given these and considering that the offense is malum prohibitum, petitioners
Contention that the possession of the illegally cut timber was not for personal gain but for the repair of
said bridge is, therefore, inconsequential. Petition denied

ROLITO GO y TAMBUNTING vs. COURT OF APPEALSFACTS
An information was filed charging herein petitioner
Rolito Go for murder before the Regional Trial Court of Metro Manila. Petitioner voluntarily presented
himself together with his two lawyers to the police upon obtaining knowledge of being hunted by the
latter. However, he was immediately detained and denied his right of a preliminary investigation unless
he executes and sings a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. Upon omnibus
motion for immediate release on recognizance or on bail and proper preliminary investigation on the
ground that his warrantless arrest was unlawful and no preliminary investigation was conducted before
the information was filed, which is violative of his rights, the same was granted but later on reversed by
the lower court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The appellate court in sustaining the decision of
the lower court held that petitioner's warrantless arrest was valid in view of the fact that the offense
was committed, the petitioner was clearly identified and there exists valid information for murder filed
against petitioner
Hence, the petitioner filed this present petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court.
ISSUE:
The issues assailed in the case at bar are the following:
1. whether or not the warrantless arrest of herein petitioner was lawful, and
2. whether or not petitioner waived his right to Preliminary investigation
RULING
: The general rule on arrest provides that the same is legitimate if effected with a valid warrant.
However, there are instances specifically enumerated under the law when a warrantless arrest may be
considered lawful. Despite that, the warrantless arrest of herein petitioner Rolito Go does not fall within
the terms of said rule. The police were not present at the time of the commission of the offense, neither
do they have personal knowledge on the crime to be committed or has been committed not to mention
the fact that petitioner was not a prisoner who has escaped from the penal institution. In view of the
above, the allegation of the prosecution that petitioner needs to sign a waiver of the provisions of
Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code before a preliminary investigation may be conducted is baseless.
In this connection, petitioner has all the right to ask for a preliminary investigation to determine
whether is probable cause that a crime has been committed and that petitioner is probably guilty
thereof as well as to prevent him from the hassles, anxiety and aggravation brought by a criminal
proceeding. This reason of the accused is substantial, which he should not be deprived of. On the other
hand, petitioner did not waive his right to have a preliminary investigation contrary to the prosecutors
claim. The right to preliminary investigation is deemed waived when the accused fails to invoke it before
or at the time of entering a pleas at arraignment. The facts of the case show that petitioner insisted on
his right to preliminary investigation before his arraignment and he, through his counsel denied
answering questions before the court unless they were afforded the proper preliminary investigation for
the above reasons, the petition was granted and the ruling of the appellate court was set aside and
nullified. The Supreme Court however, contrary to petitioner's allegation, declared that failure to accord
the right to preliminary investigation did not impair the validity of the information charging the latter of
the crime of murder