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A.M. No. RTJ-00-1576 June 28, 2001


(formerly OCA IPI No. 99-647-RTJ)
SIMPLICIO ALIB, for himself and in behalf of the members of the MANDALAGAN SMALL FARMERS
COOPERATIVE, complainants,
vs.
JUDGE EMMA C. LABAYEN of the Regional Trial Court, Bacolod City, Branch 46, respondent.
GONZAGA-REYES, J.:
Complainants charge the respondent Judge Emma Labayen of the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City, Branch 46 with
grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct; They allege that an Information for Perjury docketed to Criminal Case
No. 98-19271 was filed against several members of the Mandalangan Small Farmers Cooperative with Regional Trial
Court of Bacolod City. The case was raffled to Judge Emma Labayen of Branch 46, sitting as pairing judge of Branch 45.
Judge Labayen issued a warrant of arrest against the accused therein. The accused filed a "Motion for Reinvestigation
and Recall of Warrant of Arrest" and a Supplemental thereto alleging that the court has no jurisdiction as the crime of
perjury is within the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities. In the Order dated October 2, 1998, Judge Labayen
denied the said motion and ordered the remand of the case to the MTCC-Bacolod City considering that the case "falls
under the jurisdiction" of the said court and not the RTC.
In the instant administrative complaint,
1
complainants aver that respondent Judge Labayen is administrative liable for
issuing an illegal warrant of arrest after admitting that she had no jurisdiction over the case. Respondents submitted
their respective comments to the complaint.
Judge Emma Labayen, in her Comment, argues that subject Criminal Case No. 98-19271 for Perjury was raffled to Branch
45 where Judge Edgardo delos Santos is the Presiding Judge; however, since Judge delos Santos was then on detail at
Kabankalan, respondent Judge, as pairing judge, signed the warrant of arrest when the same was brought to her by
Connie Tan, the Clerk of Court of Branch 45. Respondent Judge Labayen alleges that there was no malice nor bad faith
when she signed the warrant of arrest and in fact, she ordered the remand of the case to the lower court upon a finding
that the case falls within the jurisdiction of the MTCC. Respondent Judge prays for the dismissal of the instant
administrative case.
Then Court Administrator Alfredo Benipayo recommended that Judge Labayen be held administratively liable for gross
ignorance of the law for refusing to withdraw the warrant of arrest she issued despite having admitted in her order that
the case was within the jurisdiction of the MTCC. He recommended that respondent Judge Labayen be fined in the
amount of P20,00.00 with a stern warning that the commission of the same or similar act in the future would be dealt
with more severely.
In this Court's Resolution dated July 5, 2000, complainants and respondent Judge Labayen were required to manifest to
the Court whether they were submitting the case on the basis of the pleadings/records already filed and submitted.
Complainants filed a Manifestation submitting the case on the basis of the pleadings/records already filed. Respondent
Judge Labayen filed a Supplemental Pleading reiterating that as pairing judge of Branch 45, it was ministerial on her part
to sign warrants of arrest coming from Branch 45 and that when she realized that the case was within the jurisdiction of
the MTCC, she had the case remanded as shown in her Order dated October 2, 1998. Respondent Judge claims she acted
without malice and in good faith.
From the onset of the criminal proceedings, respondent Judge Labayen had no jurisdiction to hear and decide the
criminal case as the crime of perjury falls under the jurisdiction of the MTCC. While it may be true that the error lay with
the prosecution for filing the Information directly before the respondent RTC instead of the MTCC which has jurisdiction
over the case, respondent Judge Labayen cannot be totally absolved.
Contrary to respondent's claim, the issuance of a warrant of arrest is not a ministerial function of the court. Under
Section 7, Rule 112 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure,
2
the Regional Trial Court may issue a warrant for the arrest of
the accused upon the filing of an Information. It calls for the exercise of judicial discretion on the part of the issuing
magistrate.
3
Even if the Regional Trial Courts no longer possess the authority to conduct preliminary investigations
under Section 2, Rule 112, said courts still retain the power to determine for themselves whether or not a probable case
exists and, if in the affirmative, to issue the corresponding warrant for the arrest of the accused.
4
Before issuing a
warrant of arrest, a judge must not rely solely on the report or resolution of the prosecutor, he must evaluate the report
2

and the supporting documents which will assist him to make his determination of probable cause.
5
A finding of the
existence of a probable cause is a pre-requisite to the issuance of a warrant of arrest and strict compliance therewith is
required of judges.
6
Therefore, respondent Judge's claim that it was "ministerial" on her part to sign the warrant of
arrest is clearly erroneous, and an indication that she was grossly ignorant of her functions.
Judges are duty bound to be extra solicitous and equally alert to the possibility that the prosecutor could be in error. It is
not enough that there be diligence on the part of the trial court as well as acquaintance with the applicable law and
jurisprudence. Where the issues are so simple and the facts so evident as to be beyond permissible margins of error, to
still err thereon amounts to ignorance of the law.
7

Accordingly, the recommendation of the Court Administrator imposing a fine on respondent Judge Labayen for gross
ignorance of the law is well-taken. However, we find that the fine in the amount of P20,000.00 is excessive and the same
is reduced to P10,000.00.
WHEREFORE, Judge Emma Labayen of the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City is hereby FINED in the amount of TEN
THOUSAND PESOS (P10,000.00). Considering that Judge Labayen retired from the judiciary last January 26, 2001, the
said amount shall be deducted from the retirement benefits due her.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 171188 June 19, 2009
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,
vs.
JESSIE B. CASTILLO and FELICITO R. MEJIA, Respondents.
D E C I S I O N
QUISUMBING, J.:
This petition seeks a review of the Resolution
1
dated October 10, 2005 of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 27789,
dismissing the criminal complaint against the respondents, and its Resolution
2
dated January 18, 2006 denying
petitioners motion for reconsideration.
The facts are as follows:
Complainant Cesar Sarino is one of the registered owners of a piece of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-
450278
3
of the Registry of Deeds of Cavite, located in front of SM Bacoor, Cavite. The property is leased to Pepito B.
Aquino and Adriano G. Samoy who are in turn subleasing it to several stallholders.
In September 1999, respondent Felicito R. Mejia, Municipal Building Official of Bacoor, sent to the stallholders Notices of
Violation
4
of the National Building Code on the grounds that the structures they were occupying were erected without
building permits and occupied by them without the necessary certificates of occupancy having been first secured.
On January 17, 2000, Mejias office sent letters
5
dated January 10, 2000 to the stallholders informing them that because
of their repeated failure to comply with the National Building Code and its implementing rules and regulations and the
Business Permit and Licensing Office Requirements, their stalls will be closed down on January 24, 2000.
On February 16, 2000, a task force from the Bacoor Municipal Hall effected the closure of the stalls through the
installation of galvanized iron fences.
Lessees Aquino and Samoy thereafter filed before the Office of the Ombudsman a complaint against respondent Jessie
B. Castillo, in his capacity as Bacoor Municipal Mayor, respondent Mejia and two other municipal officials for violation of
Section 3(e) and (f) of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as
amended.
6
The case was docketed as OMB-1-00-0537.
On October 20, 2000, the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed OMB-1-00-0537, ruling that the respondent local officials
acted in good faith in effecting the closure of the stalls.
7

On September 6, 2001, Sarino filed a Complaint
8
against respondents Castillo and Mejia before the Office of the
Ombudsman charging them criminally for violation of Section 3(e) and (f) of Rep. Act No. 3019 and Rep. Act No.
6713,
9
and administratively for oppression, grave misconduct and for committing acts contrary to law. According to
3

Sarino, the construction of the galvanized fence in February 2000 is tantamount to an unlawful taking of their property
causing them undue injury and that despite his verbal and written demands, respondents refused to remove said fence.
Respondents countered that Sarinos complaint was anchored on the same set of facts that had been the subject of
OMB-1-00-0537 that was dismissed by the Ombudsman.
On March 10, 2003, the Ombudsman dismissed the administrative complaint for being moot and academic due to
Castillos re-election as mayor in the May 2001 elections and pursuant to Section 20 of Rep. Act No. 6770
10
because the
act complained of happened more than one year before the complaint was filed.
11

On May 7, 2003, the Office of the Ombudsman, through the Office of the Special Prosecutor, filed an
Information
12
against respondents for violation of Section 3(e) of Rep. Act No. 3019 before the Sandiganbayan. The case
was docketed as Criminal Case No. 27789. The Information reads:
That in or about February 2000, and for sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines, and within
the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, JESSIE B. CASTILLO, a high ranking public officer,
being the Municipal Mayor, and FELICITO R. MEJIA, the Municipal Building Official, of Bacoor, Cavite, as such taking
advantage of their positions and committing the offense in relation to office, conspiring and confederating together,
with evident bad faith and manifest partiality, or gross inexcusable negligence, did then and there willfully, unlawfully
and criminally cause undue injury to one CESAR SARINO by blocking and fencing off the latters property by installing
and erecting a galvanized iron sheet fence on the front portion of the said property facing the SM Bacoor thereby
depriving him of the full use and enjoyment of his property, and despite repeated demands from the said land owner,
the accused, without valid justification, refuse to remove the said fence to the damage and prejudice of said Cesar
Sarino in the amount of Seven Hundred Ninety Thousand and Nine Hundred Twenty Pesos (Php 790,920.00), more or
less, representing lost income from the rentals of the stalls and parking fees derived therefrom.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
13

In a Resolution
14
dated August 15, 2003, the Sandiganbayan declared that probable cause exists against respondents for
violation of Section 3(e). Accordingly, it directed the issuance of the corresponding warrants of arrest and hold
departure orders against respondents.
On August 20, 2003, respondents voluntarily surrendered to the Sandiganbayan and posted their respective bonds for
their provisional liberty.
15
Respondents moved for the reinvestigation of the case which the Sandiganbayan gave due
course.
After the reinvestigation, the Office of the Special Prosecutor, upon approval of the Ombudsman, filed a Motion for
Leave to Admit Attached Amended Information.
16
The respondents then filed a Comment thereon with Motion for
Judicial Determination of Probable Cause.
17

In a Resolution
18
dated November 3, 2004, the Sandiganbayan admitted the Amended Information which reads:
That in or about February 2000, and for sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines, and within
the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, JESSIE B. CASTILLO, a high ranking public officer,
being the Municipal Mayor, and FELICITO R. MEJIA, the Municipal Building Official, of Bacoor, Cavite, as such taking
advantage of their positions and committing the offense in relation to office, conspiring and confederating together,
with evident bad faith and manifest partiality, or gross inexcusable negligence, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully
and criminally cause undue injury to CESAR N. SARINO, EVELYN S. MANIQUIS, FLORA JANET S. GARCIA, CLAUDETTE N.
SARINO, STEPHEN N. SARINO and PRISCILLA N. SARINO, by blocking and fencing off their property described in Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T-450278, which was then being leased by PEPITO B. AQUINO and ADRIANO G. SAMOY for
TWELVE THOUSAND PESOS (P12,000.00) a month, by installing and erecting a galvanized iron fence on the front portion
of the said property facing the SM Bacoor, thereby depriving them of the full use and enjoyment of their property and
effectively decreasing its value for commercial purposes, and despite lawful demand from CESAR N. SARINO, the
accused, without valid justification, refuse to remove the said fence to the undue damage and prejudice of
said landowners in the amount of SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY THOUSAND and NINE HUNDRED TWENTY PESOS (Php
790,920.00), more or less, representing (1) lost rentals of said property, (2) unpaid compensation for the portion of the
property on which the fence was installed, and (3) the decrease in value of the property for commercial purposes.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
19

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In a Resolution
20
dated May 9, 2005, the Sandiganbayan denied the respondents Motion for Judicial Determination of
Probable Cause.
On October 10, 2005, the Sandiganbayan, upon motion for reconsideration filed by respondents, reversed its May 9,
2005 Resolution and dismissed the case. The Sandiganbayan likewise set aside the arrest warrants it previously issued. It
held that the instant criminal case is a mere rehash of the previously dismissed criminal case filed by complainants
lessees against respondents. It also ruled that there was no evident bad faith, manifest partiality or inexcusable
negligence that can be attributed to respondents. Neither did complainants claim of undue injury have any leg to stand
on.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor filed a motion for reconsideration, but it was denied on January 18, 2006. Hence this
petition, with the following issues:
I.
[WHETHER OR NOT] THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN GRAVELY ERRED AND DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE IN
A MANNER NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE IN CONDUCTING A SECOND JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF
PROBABLE CAUSE IN CRIMINAL CASE NO. 27789, LONG AFTER IT ISSUED THE WARRANTS OF ARREST AGAINST THE
RESPONDENTS.
II.
[WHETHER OR NOT] THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN GRAVELY ERRED AND DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE IN
A MANNER NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE WHEN IT CONSIDERED EVIDENTIARY MATTERS
SUPPORTING RESPONDENTS DEFENSE WHEN IT CONDUCTED THE SECOND JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE
CAUSE.
III.
[WHETHER OR NOT] THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN GRAVELY ERRED AND DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE IN
A MANNER NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE WHEN IT RULED THAT THE RESPONDENTS ACTED IN GOOD
FAITH WHEN IN TRUTH RESPONDENTS HAD NO LEGAL BASIS IN FENCING OFF THE PRIVATE PROPERTY OF THE
COMPLAINANT AND HIS SIBLINGS.
IV.
[WHETHER OR NOT] THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN GRAVELY ERRED AND DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE IN
A MANNER NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE WHEN IT IGNORED AND DID NOT DISCUSS IN ITS
RESOLUTIONS OF OCTOBER 10, 2005 AND JANUARY 18, 2006 THE ISSUE RAISED BY THE PROSECUTION THAT
COMPLAINANT AND HIS SIBLINGS SUFFERED UNDUE INJURY BECAUSE, AMONG OTHERS, A PORTION OF THEIR
PROPERTY WAS EFFECTIVELY TAKEN BY THE RESPONDENTS WITHOUT JUST COMPENSATION AND THE VALUE OF THE
SUBJECT PROPERTY FOR PURPOSES OF COMMERCE WAS GREATLY REDUCED IN VIEW OF THE HIGH GALVANIZED IRON
FENCE THAT COVERED AND HID THE PROPERTY FROM THE HIGHWAY AND THE PUBLIC.
21

The foregoing issues simply boil down to whether the Sandiganbayan erred in overturning the Ombudsmans
determination of probable cause resulting in the dismissal of the case against respondents.
Petitioner contends that after the Sandiganbayan issued the arrest warrants against respondents, the responsibility of
making a new determination of probable cause shifted back to the Ombudsman as prosecutor when respondents moved
for the reinvestigation of the case and such motion was granted by the court. The Ombudsman must then decide
whether respondents shall continue to be held for trial in light of any additional evidence presented during
reinvestigation. This responsibility, petitioner submits, belongs to the Ombudsman alone and the court is bereft of
authority to overturn the formers findings as the judicial determination of probable cause is only for the purpose of
determining whether the arrest warrant should be issued. Petitioner further argues that there are only two instances
when the court can intervene in the Ombudsmans action first, when the Ombudsman acted with grave abuse of
discretion; and second, when the prosecution makes substantial amendments to the information both of which are
wanting in the instant case.1avvphi1
Respondents counter that the amendments made to the information are substantial in nature and not merely formal as
they pertain to the inclusion of additional injured parties and specification of the amount of damages. And even
5

assuming the amendments were merely formal, the Sandiganbayan was correct in exercising its judicial prerogative
when it determined for itself the existence of probable cause considering the inconsistency of the positions taken by the
Ombudsman in OMB-1-00-0537 and the instant case.
After seriously considering the submission of the parties, we are in agreement that the petition is meritorious.
There are two kinds of determination of probable cause: executive and judicial. The executive determination of probable
cause is one made during preliminary investigation. It is a function that properly pertains to the public prosecutor who is
given a broad discretion to determine whether probable cause exists and to charge those whom he believes to have
committed the crime as defined by law and thus should be held for trial. Otherwise stated, such official has the quasi-
judicial authority to determine whether or not a criminal case must be filed in court.
22
Whether or not that function has
been correctly discharged by the public prosecutor, i.e., whether or not he has made a correct ascertainment of the
existence of probable cause in a case, is a matter that the trial court itself does not and may not be compelled to pass
upon.
23

The judicial determination of probable cause, on the other hand, is one made by the judge to ascertain whether a
warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused. The judge must satisfy himself that based on the evidence
submitted, there is necessity for placing the accused under custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice.
24
If the
judge finds no probable cause, the judge cannot be forced to issue the arrest warrant.
25

Corollary to the principle that a judge cannot be compelled to issue a warrant of arrest if he or she deems that there is
no probable cause for doing so, the judge in turn should not override the public prosecutors determination of probable
cause to hold an accused for trial on the ground that the evidence presented to substantiate the issuance of an arrest
warrant was insufficient. It must be stressed that in our criminal justice system, the public prosecutor exercises a wide
latitude of discretion in determining whether a criminal case should be filed in court, and that courts must respect the
exercise of such discretion when the information filed against the person charged is valid on its face, and that no
manifest error or grave abuse of discretion can be imputed to the public prosecutor.
26

Thus, absent a finding that an information is invalid on its face or that the prosecutor committed manifest error or grave
abuse of discretion, a judges determination of probable cause is limited only to the judicial kind or for the purpose of
deciding whether the arrest warrants should be issued against the accused.
In the instant case, there is no question that both the original
27
and amended
28
Informations were valid on their face
because they complied with Section 6,
29
Rule 110 of the Rules of Court. Also, a scrutiny of the Resolution
30
dated August
22, 2002 of the Ombudsman which precipitated the filing of the original Information and the subsequent Memorandum
dated August 4, 2004 recommending the amendment of the Information would likewise show that the finding of
probable cause against the respondents were sufficiently supported by substantial evidence. As a matter of fact, in the
Resolution dated August 22, 2002, the Ombudsman took pains to mention each element of the crime of violation of
Section 3(e) of Rep. Act No. 3019 and then one by one adequately explained how and why those elements were
satisfied. Hence, as the amended Information was valid on its face and there is no manifest error or arbitrariness on the
part of the Ombudsman, the Sandiganbayan erred in making an executive determination of probable cause when it
overturned the Ombudsmans own determination. And this is true even if the Sandiganbayan was no longer satisfied
with the evidence presented to sustain the effectivity of the arrest warrants previously issued for the original
Information. The Sandiganbayan could have just revoked the previously issued arrest warrants and required the
Ombudsman to submit additional evidence for the purpose of issuing the arrest warrants based on the amended
Information.
Moreover, it was clearly premature on the part of the Sandiganbayan to make a determinative finding prior to the
parties presentation of their respective evidence that there was no bad faith and manifest partiality on the
respondents part and undue injury on the part of the complainant. In Go v. Fifth Division, Sandiganbayan,
31
we held that
"it is well established that the presence or absence of the elements of the crime is evidentiary in nature and is a matter
of defense that may be best passed upon after a full-blown trial on the merits."
32
Also, it would be unfair to expect the
prosecution to present all the evidence needed to secure the conviction of the accused upon the filing of the
information against the latter. The reason is found in the nature and objective of a preliminary investigation. Here, the
public prosecutors do not decide whether there is evidence beyond reasonable doubt of the guilt of the person charged;
they merely determine whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been
committed and that respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial.
33

6

The Sandiganbayan and all courts for that matter should always remember the judiciarys standing policy on non-
interference in the Office of the Ombudsmans exercise of its constitutionally mandated powers. This policy is based not
only upon respect for the investigatory and prosecutory powers granted by the Constitution to the Office of the
Ombudsman but upon practicality as well, considering that otherwise, the functions of the courts will be grievously
hampered by innumerable petitions regarding complaints filed before it, and in much the same way that the courts
would be extremely swamped if they were to be compelled to review the exercise of discretion on the part of the
prosecutors each time they decide to file an information in court or dismiss a complaint by a private complainant.
34

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Sandiganbayans challenged Resolutions dated October 10, 2005 and
January 18, 2006 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Information against the respondents is herebyREINSTATED. Let the
records of this case be REMANDED to the Sandiganbayan for further proceedings.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 180109 July 26, 2010
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,
vs.
JOSEPH "JOJO" V. GREY, FRANCIS B. GREY, and COURT OF APPEALS-CEBU CITY, EIGHTEENTH DIVISION, Respondents.
D E C I S I O N
NACHURA, J.:
Before this Court is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court filed by the People of the Philippines,
through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), seeking the nullification of the Court of Appeals (CA) (Cebu City-
Eighteenth Division) Resolution
1
dated March 13, 2007, Decision
2
dated May 8, 2007, and Resolution
3
dated October 8,
2007, in CA-G.R. SP No. 02558, entitled "Mayor Joseph Jojo V. Grey and Francis B. Grey v. Hon. Roberto A. Navidad,
Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Calbayog City, Branch 32, and the People of the Philippines."
On December 11, 2006, an Information for Murder was filed against respondent Joseph Grey, former Mayor of San
Jorge, Samar; his son, respondent Francis Grey; and two others for the death of Rolando Diocton, an employee of the
San Jorge municipal government, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 41, Gandara, Samar. The Information was
accompanied by other supporting documents and a motion for the issuance of a warrant of arrest.
4

Respondents filed a petition for review with the Secretary of Justice. Meanwhile, RTC Branch 41 Presiding Judge Rosario
Bandal denied the motion for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Judge Bandal found the prosecutions evidence to be
insufficient to link respondents to the crime charged. She directed the prosecution to present, within five days,
additional evidence that would show that accused were the assailants or that they conspired, confederated, or helped in
the commission of the crime charged.
5

The prosecution then filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and a motion for the inhibition of Judge Bandal.
6
The
judge inhibited herself but denied the motion for reconsideration.
7

Thereafter, the provincial prosecutor filed a petition for change of venue before this Court, attaching thereto a letter
from the victims wife expressing fear for her life and that of the other witnesses.
8

The Secretary of Justice, in a Resolution dated January 4, 2007, dismissed the petition for review and respondents
counter charge of perjury. He found no error to warrant the modification or reversal of the prosecutors resolution. The
Secretary of Justice ruled that the evidence adduced against respondents was sufficient to establish probable cause for
the offense charged. Respondents motion for reconsideration was denied on January 30, 2007.
9

Subsequently, the prosecution withdrew their motion for change of venue before this Court, citing financial difficulties
in bringing witnesses to Manila.
10
Respondents opposed the motion and prayed that all proceedings be suspended until
after the May 14, 2007 elections.
11

However, on February 19, 2007, respondents filed their own petition for change of venue before this Court, alleging that
the presiding judge who took over the case, Judge Roberto Navidad, was a pawn in the political persecution being
staged against them.
12
In its August 22, 2007 Resolution, this Court denied the petition for lack of merit and directed
Judge Navidad to hear the case with dispatch.
13

7

Accordingly, Judge Navidad proceeded with the preliminary inquiry on the existence of probable cause, and, in an Order
dated February 20, 2007, ruled that the finding of probable cause was supported by the evidence on record. He then
issued warrants of arrest against respondents and all but one of their co-accused.
14

Respondents filed a Petition
15
for Certiorari and Prohibition before the CA, alleging that Judge Navidad gravely abused
his discretion in issuing the February 20, 2007 Order, and seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or a writ of
preliminary injunction. They alleged that the filing of the murder charges against them on the basis of perjured
statements coming from their political opponents supporters "smacks of political harassment at its foulest
form."
16
Respondents pointed out that the criminal complaint was filed barely two months after Joseph Grey declared
his intentions to challenge incumbent Congressman Reynaldo S. Uy, a former ally, in the May 2007 congressional
elections. Likewise, respondents claimed that one of the witnesses, Urien Moloboco, who executed an affidavit before
the Provincial Prosecutor, was the subject of an Alias Warrant of Arrest for murder issued by the RTC of Gandara, Samar
on June 26, 2006, and, hence, was a fugitive from the law at the time of the filing of the criminal complaint against
respondents. Respondents maintain that the fact that Moloboco was not arrested when he executed his affidavit before
the prosecutor, spoke of the power and clout of the witness protectors.
17

The CA Eighteenth Division issued a TRO on March 13, 2007.
18
After oral arguments, the CA issued a Decision
19
dated
May 8, 2007, making the TRO permanent, ordering that warrants of arrest be set aside, and dismissing the criminal case
without prejudice.
The CA held that Judge Navidad failed to abide by the constitutional mandate for him to personally determine the
existence of probable cause.
20
According to the CA, nowhere in the assailed Order did Judge Navidad state his personal
assessment of the evidence before him and the personal justification for his finding of probable cause. It found that the
judge extensively quoted from the Joint Resolution of the Provincial Prosecutor and the Resolution of the Secretary of
Justice, and then adopted these to conclude that there was sufficient evidence to support the finding of probable cause.
The CA held that the Constitution commands the judge to personally determine the existence of probable cause before
issuing warrants of arrest.
21

Moreover, the CA also ruled that the Information was not supported by the allegations in the submitted affidavits.
22
It
pointed out that the Information charged respondents as principals by direct participation, but the complaint-affidavit
and supporting affidavits uniformly alleged that respondents were not at the scene of the shooting.
23
The CA further
found that the allegations in the complaint-affidavit and supporting affidavits were insufficient to establish probable
cause. It said that there was nothing in the affidavits to show acts that would support the prosecutions theory that
respondents were also charged as principals by conspiracy.
24

Petitioners motion for reconsideration of the CAs May 8, 2007 Decision was denied in a Resolution dated October 8,
2007.
25
Hence, this petition for review.
Petitioner argues that respondents committed forum shopping, which would warrant the outright dismissal of their
petition below. Petitioner alleges that respondents petition for change of venue before this Court and their petition for
prohibition before the CA actually involve the same subject matter, parties, and issues that of enjoining Judge Navidad
from proceeding with the trial of the criminal case against them.
26
Moreover, these two proceedings have resulted in
conflicting decisions, with this Court resolving to proceed with the case and with the CA enjoining the same.
27

Petitioner also argues against the CAs ruling that Judge Navidad failed to personally determine the existence of
probable cause. It said that although the judge adopted the findings of the prosecutors as to the sufficiency of evidence
constituting probable cause, the language of the Order clearly reflects that the judge himself personally examined the
records and found that there was probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest.
28
Moreover, the judge was
correct in finding probable cause based on the sworn statements of the witnesses submitted to the court.
29
Petitioner
avers that the CA disregarded the fact that the Information alleged conspiracy.
30
In any case, petitioner asserts that a
perceived defect in the Information is not jurisdictional as the same may be amended anytime before arraignment or
with leave of court after arraignment.
31

Petitioner also claims that respondents had not shown any clear and unmistakable right to the relief they sought. It said
that there are more than enough plain, speedy, and adequate remedies available to respondents. Their constitutional
rights are amply protected in the enforcement of the warrants of arrest. They can likewise apply for bail or move to
quash the allegedly defective Information.
32

8

Petitioner also argues that this Court has laid down the rule that criminal prosecution cannot be enjoined, and any
exception to this rule must be convincingly established.
33
On the other hand, the comparative injury to the People in
permanently enjoining a criminal case is beyond any of respondents speculative claim of injury.
Thus, petitioner is praying that the CAs May 8, 2007 Decision and October 8, 2007 Resolution be reversed and set aside,
and the writ of injunction be dissolved.
34

In their Comment, respondents assert that the trial court issued its February 20, 2007 Order in gross violation of the
Constitution and prevailing jurisprudence on the matter.
35
Respondents claim that the trial courts violation is evident in
the "indecent haste" with which it issued the Order and Warrants of Arrest, and in its own admission in the Order
itself.
36
Respondents also maintain that the trial court acted whimsically, capriciously, and with grave abuse of discretion
when it concluded that there was probable cause to issue warrants of arrest against respondents.
37
Respondents
likewise assert that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion when it reversed the finding of Judge Bandal,
who first heard the case.
38

The petition is impressed with merit.
Initially, we decide the issue of forum shopping raised by petitioner.
Petitioner maintains that respondents committed forum shopping when it filed a petition for change of venue before
this Court and a petition for prohibition before the CA.
Forum shopping is an act of a party, against whom an adverse judgment or order has been rendered in one forum, of
seeking and possibly getting a favorable opinion in another forum, other than by appeal or special civil action for
certiorari. It may also involve the institution of two or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause on the
supposition that one or the other court would make a favorable disposition.
39

Forum shopping exists where the elements of litis pendentia are present, and where a final judgment in one case will
amount to res judicata in the other. The elements of forum shopping are: (a) identity of parties, or at least such parties
as would represent the same interest in both actions; (b) identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being
founded on the same facts; and (c) identity of the two preceding particulars such that any judgment rendered in the
other action will, regardless of which party is successful, amount to res judicata in the action under consideration.
40

The elements of res judicita are: (a) the former judgment must be final; (b) the court which rendered judgment had
jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter; (c) it must be a judgment on the merits; and (d) there must be,
between the first and second actions, identity of parties, subject matter, and cause of action.
41

A reexamination of the two actions in this case, in light of the foregoing jurisprudence, is in order.
In the petition for change of venue filed on February 19, 2007, respondents prayed for the transfer of the criminal case
to any court in Metro Manila,
42
alleging that the prosecution was politically motivated and designed to hamper the plan
of respondent Joseph Grey to run for a congressional seat in the May 2007 elections.
43
They contended that "it would be
extremely pernicious to the interest of justice if trial of this case and (of) the other two cases are held in Samar,
especially in the City of Calbayog, where the said (Congressman) Reynaldo Uy is a resident and absolutely wields
power."
44
They also asked the Court to hold the proceedings in abeyance until after the May 14, 2007 elections.
In its August 22, 2007 Resolution, the Court denied the petition for transfer of venue for lack of merit. It also directed
Judge Navidad to hear the case with dispatch.
45

On March 5, 2007, while their petition for change of venue was pending before this Court, respondents filed a petition
for certiorari before the CA. They prayed, first, for the issuance of a TRO and/or a writ of preliminary injunction to
prohibit Judge Navidad from proceeding with Criminal Case No. 4916 and from causing the implementation of the
warrants of arrest against respondents; and second, for the Court to set aside Judge Navidads February 20, 2007 Order
and the corresponding warrants he issued.
46
The TRO was granted on March 13, 2007, and the CA Decision making the
same injunction permanent and setting aside the warrants of arrest was promulgated on May 8, 2007, a few days before
the May 14, 2007 elections.
The CA correctly ruled that respondents were not guilty of forum shopping when they filed the two actions.
Respondents raised different issues and sought different reliefs in the two actions, although both were grounded on the
same set of facts.
9

The issue in the petition for change of venue is whether the trial of the case was to be moved to another court in light of
respondents allegations that the same was being used as a tool for their political persecution. On the other hand, the
issue in the petition for certiorari before the CA was whether Judge Navidad gravely abused his discretion in issuing the
February 20, 2007 Order and the warrants for respondents arrest.
Thus, this Courts Resolution would not have amounted to res judicata that would bar the petition for certiorari before
the CA.
We now resolve the substantive issues.
Respondents, in their petition before the CA, questioned the alleged lack of personal determination of probable cause
by Judge Navidad in issuing the warrants for their arrest.
Judge Navidads Order reads:
In this separate, independent constitutionally-mandated Inquiry conducted for the purpose of determining the
sufficiency of the evidence constituting probable cause to justify the issuance of a Warrant of Arrest, the Court perforce,
made a very careful and meticulous and (sic) review not only of the records but also the evidence adduced by the
prosecution, particularly the sworn statements/affidavits of Mario Abella, Uriendo Moloboco and Edgar Pellina.
47

The language of the Order clearly shows that the judge made his own personal determination of the existence of
probable cause by examining not only the prosecutors report but also his supporting evidence, consisting mainly of the
sworn statements of the prosecutions witnesses.
It is well to remember that there is a distinction between the preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause for
the issuance of a warrant of arrest and the preliminary investigation proper which ascertains whether the offender
should be held for trial or be released. The determination of probable cause for purposes of issuing the warrant of arrest
is made by the judge. The preliminary investigation proper whether or not there is reasonable ground to believe that
the accused is guilty of the offense charged is the function of the investigating prosecutor.
48

The duty of the judge to determine probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest is mandated by Article III, Section 2 of the
Philippine Constitution:
Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, 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.
In Soliven v. Makasiar,
49
the Court explained that this constitutional provision does not mandatorily require the judge to
personally examine the complainant and her witnesses. Instead, he may opt to personally evaluate the report and
supporting documents submitted by the prosecutor or he may disregard the prosecutors report and require the
submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses. Thus, in Soliven, we said:
What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself of
the existence of probable cause. In satisfying himself of the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of
arrest, the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. Following established
doctrine and procedure, he shall: (1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the
fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or (2) if on the basis
thereof he finds no probable cause, he may disregard the fiscals report and require the submission of supporting
affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of probable cause.
Sound policy dictates this procedure, otherwise judges would by unduly laden with the preliminary examination and
investigation of criminal complaints instead of concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before their courts.
50

What the law requires as personal determination on the part of a judge is that he should not rely solely on the report of
the investigating prosecutor.
51
This means that the judge should consider not only the report of the investigating
prosecutor but also the affidavit and the documentary evidence of the parties, the counter-affidavit of the accused and
his witnesses, as well as the transcript of stenographic notes taken during the preliminary investigation, if any,
submitted to the court by the investigating prosecutor upon the filing of the Information.
52

10

The Court has also ruled that the personal examination of the complainant and his witnesses is not mandatory and
indispensable in the determination of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The necessity arises only
when there is an utter failure of the evidence to show the existence of probable cause.
53
Otherwise, the judge may rely
on the report of the investigating prosecutor, provided that he likewise evaluates the documentary evidence in support
thereof.
Contrary to respondents claim, Judge Navidad did not gravely abuse his discretion in issuing the same.
A perusal of the assailed Order bears out this fact.
It was only through a review of the proceedings before the prosecutor that could have led Judge Navidad to determine
that "the accused were given the widest latitude and ample opportunity to challenge the charge of Murder which
resulted, among others, (in) a filing of a counter-charge of Perjury."
54
Likewise, his personal determination revealed no
improper motive on the part of the prosecution and no circumstance which would overwhelm the presumption of
regularity in the performance of official functions.
55
Thus, he concluded that the previous Order, denying the motion for
the issuance of warrants of arrest, was not correct.
56

These statements sufficiently establish the fact that Judge Navidad complied with the constitutional mandate for
personal determination of probable cause before issuing the warrants of arrest.
The CA likewise overlooked a fundamental rule we follow in this jurisdiction. It is an established doctrine that injunction
will not lie to enjoin a criminal prosecution because public interest requires that criminal acts be immediately
investigated and prosecuted for the protection of society.
57

However, it is also true that various decisions of this Court have laid down exceptions to this rule, among which are:
a. To afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of the accused (Hernandez v. Albano, et al., L-
19272, January 25, 1967, 19 SCRA 95);
b. When necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions
(Dimayuga, et al. v. Fernandez, 43 Phil. 304; Hernandez v. Albano, supra; Fortun v. Labang, et al., L-38383, May
27, 1981, 104 SCRA 607);
c. When there is a pre-judicial question which is sub[-]judice (De Leon v. Mabanag, 70 Phil. 202);
d. When the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority (Planas v. Gil, 67 Phil. 62);
e. Where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation (Young v. Rafferty, 33 Phil. 556; Yu
Cong Eng v. Trinidad, 47 Phil. 385, 389);
f. When double jeopardy is clearly apparent (Sangalang v. People and Avendia, 109 Phil. 1140);
g. Where the court has no jurisdiction over the offense (Lopez v. City Judge, L-25795, October 29, 1966, 18 SCRA
616);
h. Where there is a case of persecution rather than prosecution (Rustia v. Ocampo, CA-G.R. No. 4760, March 25,
1960);
i. Where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by the lust for vengeance (Recto v. Castelo, 18 L.J.
[1953], cited in Raoa v. Alvendia, CA-G.R. No. 30720-R, October 8, 1962; Cf. Guingona, et al. v. City Fiscal, L-
60033, April 4, 1984, 128 SCRA 577); x x x
j. When there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash on that ground has been
denied (Salonga v. Pao, et al., L-59524, February 18, 1985, 134 SCRA 438)[; and]
[k.] Preliminary injunction has been issued by the Supreme Court to prevent the threatened unlawful arrest of
petitioners (Rodriguez v. Castelo, L-6374, August 1, 1953).
58

Respondents insisted that political persecution by their political rivals was the underlying reason for the filing of criminal
charges against them, and used this as basis for asking the appellate court to stop the proceedings in the trial court.
Indeed, this Court has recognized that, in certain instances, political persecution or political motives may have impelled
the filing of criminal charges against certain political rivals. But this Court has also ruled that any allegation that the filing
11

of the charges is politically motivated cannot justify the prohibition of a criminal prosecution if there is otherwise
evidence to support the charges.
59

In this case, the judge, upon his personal examination of the complaint and evidence before him, determined that there
was probable cause to issue the warrants of arrest after the provincial prosecution, based on the affidavits presented by
complainant and her witnesses, found probable cause to file the criminal Information. This finding of the Provincial
Prosecutor was affirmed by the Secretary of Justice.
To establish political harassment, respondents must prove that the public prosecutor, not just the private complainant,
acted in bad faith in prosecuting the case or has lent himself to a scheme that could have no other purpose than to place
respondents in contempt and disrepute.
60
It must be shown that the complainant possesses the power and the influence
to control the prosecution of cases.
61

Likewise, the allegation that the filing of the complaint was politically motivated does not serve to justify the nullification
of the informations where the existence of such motive has not been sufficiently established nor substantial evidence
presented in support thereof.
62
1avvphi1
Other than their own self-serving claims, respondents have adduced absolutely no proof of the perceived political
persecution being waged by their rivals. Respondents have not shown any evidence of such a grand design. They have
not alleged, much less proved, any ill motive or malice that could have impelled the provincial prosecutor, the judge,
and even the Secretary of Justice to have respectively ruled in the way each of them did. In short, respondents are
holding tenuously only on the hope that this Court will take them at their word and grant the relief they pray for. This
Court, however, cannot anchor its ruling on mere allegations.
Needless to say, a full-blown trial is to be preferred to ferret out the truth.
63
If, as respondents claim, there is no
evidence of their culpability, then their petition for bail would easily be granted. Thereafter, the credibility of the
prosecutions and the accuseds respective evidence may be tested during the trial. It is only then that the guilt or
innocence of respondents will be determined. Whether the criminal prosecution was merely a tool for harassment or
whether the prosecutions evidence can pass the strict standards set by the law and withstand the exacting scrutiny of
the court will all be resolved at the trial of the case.
The criminal Information in this case was filed four years ago and trial has yet to begin. The victims kin, indeed, all the
parties, are awaiting its resolution. Any further delay will amount to an injustice.
WHEREFORE, the foregoing premises considered, the Court of Appeals Decision dated May 8, 2007 and Resolution dated
October 8, 2007 in CA-G.R. SP No. 02558 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and the Permanent Injunction is hereby
DISSOLVED. The Order of the Regional Trial Court of Calbayog City, Samar, dated February 20, 2007, is hereby
REINSTATED. The Regional Trial Court of Calbayog City, Samar, is DIRECTED to proceed with hearing, and to decide
Criminal Case No. 4916 with dispatch.
SO ORDERED.
A.M. No. RTJ-01-1642 March 6, 2002
P/SUPT. SEVERINO CRUZ and FRANCISCO MONEDERO, complainants,
vs.
JUDGE PEDRO M. AREOLA and BRANCH CLERK OF COURT JANICE YULO-ANTERO, respondents.
PUNO, J.:
This is an administrative complaint filed by P/Supt. Severino Cruz and Francisco Monedero against Judge Pedro M.
Areola of Regional Trial Court, Branch 85, Quezon City and his Branch Clerk of Court for Ignorance of the Law relative to
Criminal Case No. Q-99-80446 entitled "People of the Philippines vs. Marilyn A. Carreon" for Estafa pending before the
sala of the respondent Judge.
The records show that on November 26, 1998, the Evaluation and Preliminary Investigation Bureau of the Office of the
Ombudsman issued a Resolution
1
recommending the filing of an Information for Estafa as defined and penalized under
Art. 315, par.1(b) of the Revised Penal Code against Marilyn Carreon, an employee of the Land Transportation Office
based on the complaint filed by herein complainants. Upon the filing of the Information, the case was docketed as
Criminal Case No. Q-99-80446 and was raffled to Branch 85.
12

On January 19, 1999, accused Marilyn Carreon filed with the trial court an Urgent Motion for Reinvestigation. In his
Order dated January 25, 1999, the respondent Judge considered the said motion a mere scrap of paper for non-
compliance with Sections 4 and 5, Rule 15 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. On the same date, a Warrant of Arrest
was issued by the respondent Judge and released by respondent Branch Clerk of Court.
On February 10, 1999, respondent Judge issued another Order deferring the implementation of the Warrant of Arrest
against the accused pending the resolution of her Motion for Reinvestigation. On June 16, 1999, respondent Judge
granted Carreons Motion for Reconsideration and directed the Branch Trial Prosecutor to conduct a reinvestigation of
the case.
2

The Office of the City Prosecutor issued a Resolution finding no cogent reason to reverse, modify, or alter the resolution
of the Office of the Ombudsman and recommended that the case be set for trial.
On September 20, 1999, Carreon filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Suspend Proceedings and to Hold in Abeyance the
Issuance of Warrant of Arrest as she intended to file a Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of the
Reinvestigation or a petition for review before the Secretary of Justice. In his Order dated September 27, 1999,
respondent Judge granted Carreon's motion and suspended further proceedings in the said case.
3

On the basis of the foregoing Orders issued by the respondent Judge, complainants filed the instant complaint
4
charging
both respondent Judge and his Branch Clerk of Court with ignorance of the law.
In their Joint Comment,
5
respondent Judge manifests that the issuance of a warrant of arrest is not a ministerial function
of a judge as he is mandated to determine the existence of probable cause before issuing a warrant. Respondent Branch
Clerk of Court, on the other hand, claims that it is a ministerial duty on her part to release duly signed orders, resolutions
and decisions of the presiding judge of her branch.
The sole issue in this case is whether or not the orders of respondent Judge and the release thereof by respondent
Branch Clerk of Court constitute ignorance of the law.1wphi1.nt
On August 6, 2001, we referred the administrative complaint to Justice Romeo A. Brawner of the Court of Appeals for
investigation, report and recommendation.
6

In compliance with the Court's Resolution, Justice Brawner submitted his Report and Recommendation dated February
5, 2002. In recommending the dismissal of the complaint against the respondents, Justice Brawner elucidates, thus:
"Complainants take issue of the fact that although respondent Judge already issued a warrant of arrest, he still
deferred its implementation to give way to a reinvestigation of the case on motion of the accused.
Moreover, complainants argued, the Office of the City Prosecutor already resolved the issue of the existence of
probable cause against the accused three times but respondent Judge still suspended the proceedings pending
the petition for review filed by the accused.
It must be stressed that the 1987 Constitution requires the judge to determine probable cause personally,
making it the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence of
probable cause. In satisfying himself of the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest,
the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. Following established
doctrine and procedure, he shall: (1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by
the fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or (2) if
on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, he may disregard the prosecutors report and require the
submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of
probable cause (Mayor Abdula vs. Judge Guiani, G.R. No. 118821, February 18, 2000, 326 SCRA 1).
What complainants believe is that there is no longer any reason why the respondent Judge should withhold the
issuance of a warrant of arrest considering that the Office of the City Prosecutor already made a finding that
there exists probable cause to indict the accused.
The determination of probable cause by the prosecutor is for a purpose different from that which is to be made
by the judge. Whether there is reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged
and should be held for trial is what the prosecutor passes upon. The judge, on the other hand, determines
whether a warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused, i.e., whether there is a necessity for placing
13

him under immediate custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice. Thus, even if both should base their
findings on one and the same proceeding or evidence, there should be no confusion as to their distinct
objectives.
Second, since their objectives are different, the judge cannot rely solely on the report of the prosecutor in
finding probable cause to justify the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Obviously and understandably, the contents
of the prosecutor's report will support his own conclusion that there is reason to charge the accused for an
offense and hold him for trial. However, the judge must decide independently. Hence, he must have supporting
evidence, other than the prosecutor's bare report, upon which to legally sustain his own findings on the
existence (or nonexistence) of probable cause to issue an arrest order. This responsibility of determining
personally and independently the existence or nonexistence of probable cause is lodged in him by no less than
the most basic law of the land.
Although the prosecutor enjoys the legal presumption of regularity in the performance of his official duties,
which in turn gives his report the presumption of accuracy, nothing less than the fundamental law of the land
commands the judge to personally determine probable cause in the issuance of warrants of arrest. A judge fails
in this constitutionally mandated duty if he relies merely on the certification or report of the investigating officer
(Mayor Abdula vs. Judge Guiani, supra).
As it could not be determined beforehand how cursory or exhaustive a judge's examination of the records
should be, the extent of his examination depends on the exercise of his sound discretion as the circumstances of
the case require.
In the case at bar, the fact that the respondent Judge ordered the re-investigation of the case does not in any
way make him liable for ignorance of the law. In the exercise of his discretion, he believed that a re-investigation
was called for and thus held in abeyance the implementation of the warrant of arrest. There is no showing that
he abused such discretion as it was part of the performance of his duty under the Constitution and he could not
be faulted for it. Much more could we find fault with respondent Branch Clerk of Court who acts under the
direction of the presiding Judge and whose only role in this complaint charged against her was to release the
duly signed orders of the respondent Judge."
7

We agree with the findings and recommendation of the investigating Justice.
The 1987 Constitution provides that no warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be
determinedpersonally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses
he may produce.
8
In numerous instances,
9
this Court had ruled that:
"x x x Judges and Prosecutors alike should distinguish the preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause
for the issuance of a warrant of arrest from the preliminary investigation proper which ascertains whether the
offender should be held for trial or released... The determination of probable cause for the warrant of arrest is
made by the judge. The preliminary investigation proper-whether or not there is reasonable ground to believe
that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and, therefore, whether or not he should be subjected to the
expense, rigors and embarrassment of trial-is the function of the Prosecutor.1wphi1.nt
x x x x x x x x x
We reiterate that preliminary investigation should be distinguished as to whether it is an investigation for the
determination of a sufficient ground for the filing of the information or it is an investigation for the
determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The first kind of preliminary
investigation is executive in nature. It is part of the prosecution's job. The second kind of preliminary investi
gation which is more properly called preliminary examination is judicial in nature and is lodged with the judge."
10

In making the required personal determination, a judge is not precluded from relying on the evidence earlier gathered
by responsible officers. The extent of the reliance depends on the circumstances of each case and is subject to the
judge's sound discretion.
11

The arrest of the accused can be ordered only in the event the prosecutor files the case and the judge of the Regional
Trial Court finds probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. It is not obligatory, but merely discretionary,
upon the investigating judge to issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused, even after having personally examined the
14

complainant and his witnesses in the form of searching questions and answers, for the determination of whether a
probable cause exists and whether it is necessary to arrest the accused in order not to frustrate the ends of justice, is
left to his sound judgment or discretion.
12

It appears from the records that the challenged Orders issued by the respondent Judge were not at all baseless. The
respondent Judge merely exercised his sound discretion in not immediately issuing the warrant of arrest and in
suspending further proceedings pending reinvestigation of the case. On her part, respondent Branch Clerk of Court
cannot be faulted for performing a ministerial function, that is, releasing Orders duly signed by the respondent Judge.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the administrative complaint against respondents Judge Pedro M. Areola and Branch Clerk of Court
Janice Yulo-Antero is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 121917 July 31, 1996
ROBIN CARIO PADILLA, accused-appellant,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellees.
R E S O L U T I O N
FRANCISCO, J.:p
On appellant Robin C. Padilla's application for bail.
In an information filed before the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, appellant was charged with violation of P.D. No.
1866 for illegal possession of firearms punishable by reclusion temporal maximum to reclusion perpetua.
1
Pending trial,
appellant was released on bail. Thereafter, appellant was convicted as charged and meted an indeterminate penalty of
17 years 4 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal to 21 years of reclusion perpetua. He appealed to public respondent
Court of Appeals, but judgment was rendered affirming his conviction. Respondent court cancelled his bailbond and
ordered his arrest for confinement at the New Bilibid Prison. Appellant filed a motion for reconsideration but was
denied. Dissatisfied, appellant is now before us by way of a petition for review on certiorari with an application for bail
praying, among others, to be allowed to post bail for his temporary liberty. In his subsequent pleading,
1
appellant
moved for the separate resolution of his bail application.
The threshold issue is whether or not appellant is entitled to bail.
Bail is either a matter of right, or of discretion. It is a matter of right when the offense charged is not punishable by
death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.
2
On the other hand, upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an
offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, bail becomes a matter of
discretion.
3
Similarly, if the court imposed a penalty of imprisonment exceeding six (6) years but not more than twenty
(20) years then bail is a matter of discretion, except when any of the enumerated circumstances
4
under paragraph 3 of
Section 5, Rule 114 is present then bail shall be denied. But when the accused is charged with a capital offense, or an
offense punishable byreclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, and evidence of guilt strong, bail shall be denied,
5
as it is
neither a matter of right nor of discretion. If the evidence, however, is not strong bail becomes a matter of
right.
6

In People v. Nitcha
7
, the Court, reiterating established jurisprudence, there said:
if an accused who is charged with a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua is convicted by the trial
court and sentenced to suffer such a penalty, bail is neither a matter of right on the part of the accused
nor of discretion on the part of the court. In such a situation, the court would not have only determined
that the evidence of guilt is strong which would have been sufficient to deny bail even before
conviction it would have likewise ruled that the accused's guilt has been proven beyond reasonable
doubt. Bail must not then be granted to the accused during the pendency of his appeal from the
judgment of conviction. Construing Section 3, Rule 114 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as
amended, this Court, in the en banc Resolution of 15 October 1991 in People v.Ricardo Cortez, ruled
that:
15

Pursuant to the aforecited provision, an accused who is charged with a capital offense or an
offense punishable by reclusion perpetua, shall no longer be entitled to bail as a matter of right
even if he appeals the case to this Court since his conviction clearly imports that the evidence of
his guilt of the offense charged is strong.
8

In this case, appellant was convicted of a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua. Applying the aforequoted rule,
we find appellant not entitled to bail as his conviction clearly imports that the evidence of his guilt is strong. And
contrary to appellant's asseveration, a summary hearing for his bail application for the sole purpose of
determining whether or not evidence is strong is unnecessary. Indeed, the extensive trial before the lower court
and the appeal before respondent court are more than sufficient in accomplishing the purpose for which a
summary hearing for bail application is designed.
Rule 114, Section 7 of the Rules of Court, moreover, is clear.
Thus:
Sec. 7. Capital offense or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, not bailable.
No person charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetuaor life
imprisonment, when evidence of guilt is strong, shall be admitted to bail regardless of the stage of the
criminal prosecution.
Administrative Circular No. 2-92, in addition, applies in this case. The circular unequivocably provides that when
an accused is charged with a capital offense or an offense which under the law at the time of its commission and
at the time of the application for bail is punishable by reclusion perpetua and is out on bail and after trial is
convicted by the trial court of the offense charged, his bond shall be cancelled and the accused shall be placed in
confinement pending resolution of his appeal. Appellant's application must, perforce, fail as he is no longer
entitled to bail.
Be that as it may, we are not unwilling to accommodate his request for an X-ray and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
at St. Luke's Hospital as follow-up examinations for his 1994 slipped-disc operation. It has been said that while justice is
the first virtue of the court, yet admittedly, humanity is the second. Hence, petitioner's request for the badly needed X-
ray and MRI examinations for which the New Bilibid Prison Hospital is inadequately equipped, as certified to by its Chief
Officer, deserves attention. We recall that way back in 1946, we allowed in Dela Rama v.People's Court,
9
a precedent on
which appellant now anchors his application, a prisoner to be released on bail when his continued detention would be
injurious to his health. This trend, however, has changed with the development of times. Besides, appellant's situation is
not akin to Dela Rama's factual milieu. While appellant now shall be denied bail, nevertheless, we cannot be indifferent
to his medical needs. And by granting appellant's request, the Court is merely performing its supervisory powers over
detainees to safeguard, among others, their proper accommodation and health pursuant to Section 25 of Rule 114 of
the Rules of Court, as amended.
ACCORDINGLY, the cancellation of appellant's bailbond by public respondent court is AFFIRMED and the instant
application for bail is DENIED for lack of merit. Appellant's request for an X-ray and MRI examinations at St. Luke's
Hospital is GRANTED which should be conducted at the first opportune time to be arranged by the Director of the New
Bilibid Prison with the responsible officers of the hospital, provided that appellant shall be at all times subject to the
security conditions imposed by the prison's director. The responsibility for the enforcement of the subject request, as
well as the security of the appellant, devolves upon the Director of the New Bilibid Prison. Upon termination of the
medical examinations, appellant shall be recommitted to prison without delay. As much as possible, any unnecessary
publicity should be avoided.
SO ORDERED.