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Samson vs Hon. Daway (RTC QC), People of the Philipines, Caterpillar Inc.

160054-55 / July, 21, 2004 / Ynares-Santiago, J.


Topic: Arraignment and Plea; Suspension of arraignment
Doctrine:
1. While the pendency of a petition for review is a ground for suspension of the arraignment, the deferment is limited to a period of
60 days reckoned from the filing of the petition with the reviewing office, after which the trial court is bound to arraign the accused
or to deny the motion to defer arraignment.
2. (Prejudicial Questions; Independent Civil Actions) There is no prejudicial question if the civil and criminal action can, according to
law, proceed independently of each other; An action for unfair competition is an independent civil action under Art 33 NCC, and, as
such, it does not operate as a prejudicial question that will justify the suspension of the criminal case.
Facts:
1. Two informations for unfair competition under the Intellectual Property Code were filed against Manolo Samson, registered
owner of ITTI Shoes.
a. That Samson sell CATERPILLAR products which are closely identical to the authentic Caterpillar products and likewise
using trademarks, symbols, designs as would cause confusion, mistake or deception on the part of the buying public
and prejudice to Caterpillar Inc.
2. Samson filed a motion to suspend arraignment in view of the existence of an alleged prejudicial question involved in a civil case
for unfair competition pending with the same branch, and also another pending petition for review filed with the Secretary of
Justice assailing the Chief State Prosecutors resolution finding probable cause to charge petitioner with unfair competition.
a. RTC Denied the motion to suspend arraignment.
3. Petitioner filed a twin motion to quash the informations and motion for reconsideration of the order denying motion to suspend
by challenging the jurisdiction of the RTC, that imprisonment for unfair competition does not exceed 6 years therefore lies
within MTC
a. RTC denied the twin motions
Issue: Whether he should be entitled to the suspension of the arraignment
Held: no, petitioner did not show the date of the filing of the petition for review with the Secretary of Justice.
Sec 11(c), R116
o Suspension of arraignment upon motion by the proper party, the arraignment shall be suspended in the following
cases -
(c) A petition for review of the resolution of the prosecutor is pending at either the Department of Justice or the Office
of the President; Provided that the period of suspension shall not exceed sixty (60) days counted from the filing of the
petition with the reviewing office.
While the pendency of a petition for review is a ground for suspension of the arraignment,
o the provision limits the deferment of the arraignment to a period of 60 days reckoned from the filing of the petition
with the reviewing office
o after expiration of said period, the trial court is bound to arraign the accused or to deny the motion to defer the
arraignment
in the instant case, petitioner failed to establish that respondent judge abused his discretion in denying his motion to suspend
o his pleadings do not show the date of the filing of the petition for review with the Secretary of Justice
o moreover, the Order denying his motion to suspend was not appended to the petition
he thus failed to discharge the burden of proving that he was entitled to a suspension of his arraignment and
that the questioned orders are contrary to Sec 11, R116