[G.R. Nos. 107964-66.

February 1, 1999]

THE

PEOPLE of the PHILIPPINES represented by the PANEL OF PROSECUTORS, DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE, petitioner, vs. HON. DAVID G. NITAFAN, Presiding Judge, Branch 52, Regional Trial Court of
Manila, and IMELDA R. MARCOS, respondents.
DECISION

MARTINEZ, J.:
On January 9, 1992, three criminal informations for violation of Section 4 of Central Bank Circular No. 960, as
amended,[1] in relation to Section 34 of Republic Act No. 265[2] were filed against private respondent Imelda R. Marcos
before Branch 158 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig (herein Branch 158-Pasig). Said Informations docketed as
Criminal Case Nos. 90384-92, 90385-92 and 90386-92 were amended prior to arraignment.[3]
After arraignment, where private respondent pleaded not guilty, the People thru herein petitioner, Panel of Prosecutors
from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Solicitor General filed separate motions for consolidation of the three (3)
Informations pending before Branch 158-Pasig with the 21 other cases pending before RTC Branch 26-Manila (herein
Branch 26-Manila).[4] The Solicitor General alleged in its motion that ―the indictable acts under the three informations
form part of and is related to the transaction complained‖ of in criminal cases 91-101732, 91-101734 and 91-101735
pending before Branch 26-Manila[5] and that these two groups of cases (the Pasig and Manila cases) ―relate to a series of
transactions‖ devised by then President Ferdinand Marcos and private respondent to hide their ill-gotten wealth.[6] The
RTC of Pasig granted the motion for consolidation provided there is no objection from the presiding judge of Branch 26Manila.[7] Before the Manila RTC, the three (3) informations were re-raffled and re-assigned instead to Branch 52-Manila
presided by public respondent Judge Nitafan wherein the three informations (Criminal Cases Nos. 90384-92, 90385-92
and 90386-92) were re-numbered as Criminal Case Nos. 92-107942; 92-107943 and 92-107944.
Then, without private respondent yet taking any action or filing any motion to quash the informations, respondent
judge issued an order dated July 20, 1992 requiring petitioners to show cause why criminal case number 92-107942
should not be dismissed on the ground that it violates private respondent‘s right against ex post facto law.[8] In that order,
respondent judge said that a ―check with official publications reveals that CB Circular 960 is dated 21 October 1983 (x x
x) and that said regulatory issuance was imperfectly published* in the January 30, 1984 issue of the Official
Gazette.‖[9] Respondent judge concluded that ―since the date of violation alleged in the information was prior to the date
and complete publication of the Circular charged to have been violated, the information in this case appears peremptorily

dismissible, for to apply the Circular to acts performed prior to its date and publication would make it an ex post
facto law, which is a violation of the Constitution.‖[10]
On the same day, respondent judge issued another order requiring the prosecution to show cause why the two other
criminal informations (92-107943 and 92-107944) should not be dismissed on the ground that private respondent‘s right
to double jeopardy was violated.[11] It is respondent judge‘s posture that based on the Solicitor-General‘s allegations in its
Motion for Consolidation filed in Branch 58-Pasig that the three cases form part of a series of transactions which are
subject of the cases pending before Branch 26-Manila, all these cases constitute one continuous crime. Respondent judge
further stated that to separately prosecute private respondent for a series of transaction would endow it with the
―functional ability of a worm multiplication or amoeba reproduction‖.[12] Thus, accused would be unduly vexed with
multiple jeopardy. In the two orders, respondent judge likewise said that the dismissal of the three ―seemingly
unmeritorious‖ and ―duplicitous‖ cases would help unclogged his docket in favor of more serious suits.[13] The prosecution
complied with the twin show cause orders accompanied by a motion to inhibit respondent judge.
On August 6, 1992, respondent judge issued an order denying the motion for consolidation (embodied in the
prosecution‘s compliance with the show cause orders) of the three informations with those pending before Branch 26Manila on the ground that consolidation of cases under Rule 31 of civil procedure has no counterpart in criminal
procedure, and blamed the panel of prosecutors as ―apparently not conversant with the procedure in the assignment of
cases.‖ As additional justification, respondent judge stated that since he is ―more studious and discreet, if not more
systematic and methodical,‖ than the prosecution ―in the handling of cases,‖ it would be unfair to just pull out the case
when he had already studied it.[14]
The next day, August 7, 1992, respondent judge issued an 8-page order dismissing criminal case no. 92-107942 on
the ground that the subject CB Circular is an ex post facto law.[15] In a separate 17-page order dated August 10, 1992,
respondent judge also dismissed the two remaining criminal cases (92-107943 & 92-107944) ruling that the prosecution
of private respondent was ―part of a sustained political vendetta‖ by some people in the government aside from what he
considered as a violation of private respondent‘s right against double jeopardy.[16] From his disquisition regarding
continuing, continuous and continued offenses and his discussion of mala prohibita, respondent judge further
ratiocinated his dismissal order in that the pendency of the other cases before Branch 26-Manila had placed private
respondent in double jeopardy because of the three cases before his sala.
The prosecution filed two separate motions for reconsideration which respondent judge denied in a single order dated
September 7, 1992 containing 19 pages wherein he made a preliminary observation that:
―(T)he very civil manner in which the motions were framed, which is consistent with the high ideals and standards of
pleadings envisioned in the rules, and for which the panel should be commended. This only shows that the Members of
the panel had not yielded to the derisive, panicky and intimidating reaction manifested by their Department Head when,
after learning the promulgation of the orders dismissing some of Imelda Romualdez-Marcos cases, Secretary Drilon went
to the media and repeatedly aired diatribes and even veiled threats against the trial judges concerned.

―By the constitutional mandate that ‗A member of the judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity,
and independence (Sec 7[3], Art. VIII, judges are precluded from being dragged into running debates with parties-litigants
or their counsel and representatives in media, yet by reason of the same provision judges are mandated to decide cases in
accordance with their own independent appreciation of the facts and interpretation of the law. Any judge who yields to
extraneous influences, such as denigrating criticisms or threats, and allows his independence to be undermined thereby,
leading to violation of his oath of office, has no right to continue in his office any minute longer.
The published reaction of the Hon. Secretary is to be deplored, but it is hoped that he had merely lapsed into impudence
instead of having intended to set a pattern of mocking and denigrating the courts. He must have forgotten that as
Secretary of Justice, his actuations reflect the ‗rule of law‘ orientation of the administration of the President whom he
represents as the latter‘s alter ego.‖[17] (emphasis supplied).
The dispositive portion of the order denying the motions for reconsideration provides:
―FOR ALL THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS, the Court finds no valid reason to reconsider the dismissals heretofore
decreed, and the motions for reconsideration are consequently denied for manifest lack of merit.‖[18]
Obviously dissatisfied, petitioners elevated the case via petition for certiorari, where the primary issue raised is
whether a judge can motu proprio initiate the dismissal and subsequently dismissed a criminal information or complaint
without any motion to that effect being filed by the accused based on the alleged violation of the latter‘s right against ex
post facto law and double jeopardy.
Section 1, Rule 117 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides:
―Time to move to quash. – At any time before entering his plea, the accused may move to quash the complaint or
information.‖ (emphasis supplied).
It is clear from the above rule that the accused may file a motion to quash an information at any time before entering a
plea or before arraignment. Thereafter, no motion to quash can be entertained by the court except under the
circumstances mentioned in Section 8 of Rule 117 which adopts the omnibus motion rule. In the case at at bench,
private respondent pleaded to the charges without filing any motion to quash. As such, she is deemed to have waived and
abandoned her right to avail of any legal ground which she may have properly and timely invoke to challenge the
complaint or information pursuant to Section 8 of Rule 117 which provides:
―Failure to move to quash or to allege any ground therefore. – The failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to
quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege
the same in his motion, shall be deemed a waiver of the grounds of a motion to quash, except the grounds of no offense

however. d) That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form. A motion contemplates an initial action originating from the accused.charged. it cannot be expected from respondent judge to overturn the reasons he relied upon in his different orders without contradicting himself. (f) and (h) of section 3 of this Rule. e) That more than one offense is charged except in those cases in which existing laws prescribe a single punishment for various offenses. c) That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so. orders dismissing the charges and order denying the motions for reconsideration stated and even expounded in a lengthy disquisition with citation of authorities.‖ (emphasis supplied) It is also clear from Section 1 that the right to file a motion to quash belongs only to the accused. except lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. Otherwise. That the initial act to quash an information lodged with the accused is further supported by Sections 2. extinction of the offense or penalty and jeopardy. in compliance with the orders. 3 and 8 of Rule 117 which states that: ―Section 2. It is the latter who is in the best position to know on what ground/s he will based his objection to the information. To allow a judge to initiate such motion even under the guise of a show cause order would result in a situation where a magistrate who is supposed to be neutral. A combination of these two personalities in one person is violative of due process which is a fundamental right not only of the accused but also of the prosecution. then he is not only pre-judging the case of the prosecution but also takes side with the accused. in effect. who in his show cause orders. the grounds and justifications to support his action. as provided for in paragraphs (a). the prosecution has no choice but to present arguments contradicting that of respondent judge. It shall specify distinctly the factual and legal grounds therefor and the Court shall consider no grounds other than those stated therein. – The accused may move to quash the complaint or information on any of the following grounds: a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense. if the judge initiates the motion to quash. Certainly. acts as counsel for the accused and judge as well. lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. . Grounds.‖ ―Section 3. The motion to quash shall be in writing signed by the accused or his counsel. (b). b) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged or the person of the accused. Obviously. such as herein respondent judge. Such independence and impartiality cannot be expected from a magistrate. There is nothing in the rules which authorizes the court or judge to motu proprio initiate a motion to quash if no such motion was filed by the accused. This would violate the right to a hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal.

which are: (a) the first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second. ―Section 8. Assuming arguendo that a judge has the power to motu proprio dismiss a criminal charge. Neither the court nor the judge was mentioned. neither private respondent nor the Solicitor-General challenges it. yet contrary to the findings of respondent judge. With these. if true. the rule clearly implies the requirement of filing a motion by the accused even if the ground asserted is premised on lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute or rule nor declare it void unless directly assailed in an appropriate action. lack of jurisdiction should be evident from the face of the information or complaint to warrant a dismissal thereof. it may be properly invoked by the defendant. or acquitted of the offense charged. grounds which have not been sharply pleaded in the motion cannot be taken cognizance of by the court. and (c) the . Other than that. This Court. Section 3 states that ―the accused‖ may file a motion. the grounds of ex post facto law and double jeopardy herein invoked by him are not applicable. Such proscription on considerations of other grounds than those specially pleaded in the motion to quash is premised on the rationale that the right to these defenses are waivable on the part of the accused. Pursuant to the Rules. Thus. Double jeopardy connotes the concurrence of three requisites. and. With respect to the ground of double jeopardy invoked by respondent judge. Besides. the filing of a motion to quash is a right that belongs to the accused who may waived it by inaction and not an authority for the court to assume. whether or not mentioned in the motion. Happily. he is deemed to have desired these matters to be litigated upon in a full-blown trial. g) That it contains averments which. (b) the first jeopardy must have been validly terminated. the same is improper and has neither legal nor factual basis in this case. It is therefore clear that the only grounds which the court may consider in resolving a motion to quash an information or complaint are (1) those grounds stated in the motion and (2) the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. and that by claiming to wave said right. the sole exception is lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged which goes into the competence of the court to hear and pass judgment on the cause. much more the lower courts. However.f) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished. Section 2 further. even if at the time of filing thereof. would constitute a legal excuse or justification. The failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads (Emphasis supplied). no jurisdictional challenge is involved in this case. Section 8 refers to the consequence if ―the accused‖ do not file such motion.[19] To rule that the CB Circular is an ex post facto law is to say that it is unconstitutional. and h) That the accused has been previously convicted or in jeopardy of being convicted. ordains that the court is proscribed from considering any ground other than those stated in the motion which should be ―specify(ied) distinctly‖ therein. suffice it to say that every law carries with it the presumption of constitutionality until otherwise declared by this court. Section 2 requires that the motion must be signed by ―accused‖ or ―his counsel‖. On ex post facto law.

(3) after arraignment. 1992. (4) when a valid plea has been entered. upon a valid complaint or information or other formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction and after the accused had pleaded to the charge. or is an attempt to commit the same or is a frustration thereof. still the first jeopardy has not yet attached.[23] Other than the Solicitor-General‘s allegation of pending suits in Branch 26-Manila. Vitug. WHEREFORE..J. those Branch 26-Manila cases are still pending and there was as yet no judgment on the merits at the time respondent judge quashed the three informations in his sala. respondent judge has no other basis on whether private respondent had already been arraigned. the first jeopardy attaches only (1) upon a valid indictment. Pardo. Section 7. Panganiban. 1992 all issued by respondent judge are hereby REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. Jr. it is manifestly clear that no first jeopardy has yet attached nor any such jeopardy terminated. Davide.‖[22] Under said Section. or for any attempt to commit the same or frustration thereof. and (5) when the defendant was convicted or acquitted. Bellosillo.. Let this case be REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings. Quisumbing. and Gonzaga-Reyes. Melo. the petition is GRANTED and the two orders dated January 20. 1992 and September 7. Buena. (2) before a competent court. or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused. August 10. as well as the orders dated August 7. Mendoza. C. Rule 117 provides: ―When an accused has been convicted or acquitted. 1990. it was wrong to say that the further prosecution of private respondent under the three informations pending Branch 56-Manila would violate the former‘s right against double jeopardy. JJ. SO ORDERED. ―x x x xxx x x x. the conviction or acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case shall be a bar to another prosecution for the offense charged. Private respondent was not convicted. or the case against him dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent by a court of competent jurisdiction.. Even assuming that there was already arraignment and plea with respect to those cases in Branch 26Manila which respondent judge used as basis to quash the three informations pending in his sala. acquitted nor the cases against her in Branch 26-Manila dismissed or otherwise terminated which definitely shows the absence of the fifth requisite for the first jeopardy to attached. much less entered a plea in those cases pending before the said Branch. Kapunan. Purisima. . Puno. or for any offense which necessarily includes or is necessary included in the offense charged in the former complaint or information.second jeopardy must be for the same offense as that in the first[20] or the second offense includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the first information. Precisely.[21] In this case. Accordingly. concur. Premises considered. Romero.

a crime triable by and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the above-named accused. provides: Prohibition Against Deposit Abroad of residents. did then and there unlawfully maintain a foreign account deposit in Swiss Bank Corporation with Account No. – No resident shall open and maintain foreign exchange deposit accounts abroad involving outward remittance of foreign exchange unless otherwise permitted by law or by central bank regulations. pp. as amended. a citizen and a resident of the Republic of the Philippines. ―F‖ and ―G‖ of the Petition. 98929-NY in the name of Maler II Foundation. in violation of Section 4 of Central Bank Circular 960. and sometime prior or subsequent thereto. firms. The three informations originally filed on January 9. 1992. a crime triable by and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. a citizen and a resident of the Republic of the Philippines.‖ Section 32.‖ ―Contrary to Law. Des Pays-Bas. a crime triable by and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. amended Section 4. or corporations unless otherwise permitted under CB regulations are prohibited from maintaining foreign exchange accounts abroad. 90384-92) ―That on or about 03 October 1980. CB Circular 960. as amended. CB Circular No.‖ (Crim. a public official. associations. except when specifically authorized by the Central Bank or otherwise allowed under central bank regulations. a public official. 254508BT in the name of Maler I Foundation. instruction. a public officer. did then and there unlawfully maintain a foreign account deposit in Swiss Bank Corporation with Account No. x x x. Case No.‖ ―Contrary to Law. [2] Annexes ―E‖. Case No. [1] Residents. without prior authority from the Central Bank of the Philippines. 1992 were amended on February 24. finance enter into or participate in any foreign exchange transactions where the foreign exchange involved is paid. retained delivered or transferred abroad while the corresponding pesos are paid for or are received in the Philippines. – Whenever any person or entity willfully violates this act or any order. in violation of Section 4 of Central Bank Circular 960. the above-named accused. and sometime prior or subsequent thereto. 90386-92) ―That on or about June 6. The amended informations read: [3] (Crim.‖ . a citizen and a resident of the Republic of the Philippines. as amended. 121-126. Suisse with account number 073043P without prior authority from the Central Bank of the Philippines.Section 4. 1991. Proceedings upon violation of laws and regulations. the above-named accused. the person or persons responsible for such violations shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty thousand pesos and by imprisonment of not more than five years. Case No. 1991. 90385-92) ―That on or about June 6.‖ (Crim. No person shall promote. S. without prior authority from the Central Bank of the Philippines. 960 – Foreign exchange retention abroad.. and sometime prior or subsequent thereto. CB Circular 1028.A. rules or regulation issued by the Monetary Board. in violation of Section 4 of Central Bank Circular 960. did then and there unlawfully maintain a foreign account deposit in Banque de Paris Et. ―Contrary to Law. Rollo.

Philippines. then President Ferdinand E. 23-0734 H. Marcos. fronts. Philippines. Establishment ESG. in conspiracy with her late husband. pp. 038-4892.529 X. 037-973 R. 038 150 L. Establishment BULLSEYE. Marcos. 1980 giving the latter the authority to do anything with respect to her accounts. Case No. Account Nos. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did. and for sometime thereafter. the above-named accused. unlawfully and feloniously open and maintain foreign exchange account abroad.258. 32. nominees. ―CONTRARY TO LAW. did then and the5re wilfully. Establishment GLADIATOR. 1984 of the accused‘s husband and attorney-in-fact to their dummy and duly appointed Administrator Stephane Cattaui who also transferred to said LOMBARD Odier et Cie in order to continue managing for them their hidden accounts. Establishment GLADIATOR. the above-named accused. 1985. 91-101732) ―That from 1973 up to December 26. INTERNATIONAL INTELLIGENCE FUND. both dates inclusive. among which were accounts 036-517 J. then and there wilfully.‖ . and 073-043 P in the name of accused who executed a power of attorney in favor of her husband on September 29. 1991 both date inclusive. Establishment MABARI. 22-98 SC. 038-150 L. Switzerland. particularly in Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (also known as Banque Paribas) in Geneva. Rollo. 038 489 Z. 1985 and which payment was remitted to LOMBARD ODIER ET CIE for the credit of Account COGES 00777 of the accused and her late husband which act of maintaining said foreign exchange accounts abroad was not permitted under the Central Bank regulations. 23-285. 3652 IN. in the name of Maler Establishment. Establishment VOLUBILIS. Switzerland. which was organized by their dummies.[4] Annex ―H‖ of Petition. 037 973 R.‖ (Crim. Establishment CESAR.195. and 036 521 N which were later on transferred to LOMBARD. ODIER ET CIE also in Geneva. then President Ferdinand E. pp. 134-136. unlawfully and feloniously open and maintain foreign exchange accounts abroad. while both residing in Malacañang Palace in the City of Manila.00. PRETORIEN created under the name INTELLIGENCE: Establishment GARDENIA. later transferred to another bank known as LOMBARD. Cattaui. including the investment of $15 Million in Philippine-issued dollar-dominated treasury notes which was fully paid together with the interests on December 26. later transformed into Maler Foundation. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. agents or duly appointed administrators among them Jean Louis Sunier who received instructions from the accused and her husband who signed with their alias ‗JOHN LEWIS‘ in order to maintain two accounts. Case No. ODIER ET CIE for credit to the account COGES 00777 per instruction on May 17. [5] Rollo. which accounts were reduced to five. in conspiracy with her late husband. in the names of several establishments organized by their dummy or attorney-in-fact identified as Stephane A. 98929 NY under Maler II with the balance of SF 16. and such act of maintaining foreign account abroad was not permitted under Central Bank regulations. ―CONTRARY TO LAW. namely: 036 517 J. particularly in Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC) in Geneva. one of which is Account No. (Crim. without prior permission from the Central Bank of the Philippines. 132-139. while both residing in Malacañang Palace in the City of Manila. 91-101734) ―That from 1968 to June 6.

161). 73. Regional Trial Court of Manila presided by Judge Corona Ibay-Somera. pp. ―It would be unfair. Order dated August 7. if not more systematic and methodical..‖ (Rollo. 92-107942 issued by Judge Nitafan of RTC Branch 52. why the information shall not be dismissed. let this case be consolidated with those pending before Branch 26. The dispositive portion of this order provides: [11] ―WHEREFORE. But such is not a valid ground for consolidation. 1992 in criminal case nos.‖ (Rollo. 69. 3. 137. 3. 1992. ―This order is made in line with continuing efforts of this Court to unclogged its docket of seemingly unmeritorious cases so that it can concentrate its attention to more serious and important cases. 67). The dispositive portion of that order reads: [15] . p. (pp. pp. Jose Hernandez of RTC Br. 140). Rollo. 70-74. the prosecution is hereby ordered to show cause within ten (10) days from receipt of a copy of this order why the informations in these cases shall not be dismissed. 4. p. the raffle procedure and its intent and spirit will be brought to naught. p. 92-107943 and 92-107944 issued by Judge Nitafan of Branch 52Manila. the prosecution in this case is hereby ordered to show cause. 510.[6] Motion for Consolidation.) It was not indicated in the Table of Contents thereof. Annex ―B‖ of Petition. p. pp. pp. [9] Ibid. the dispositive portion of this order reads: [8] ―WHEREFORE. p. Respondent judge stated in the order that the Circular was ―(I)mperfectly published because although the text of the Circular was included in said issue of the Official Gazette. within ten (10) days from receipt of a copy of this order. Rollo. Pasig. p. p. Rollo. [10] Ibid. indeed. 6. 1992 of RTC Branch 52-Manila in Criminal Case No. 1992 issued by Hon.) [12] Ibid. Rollo.‖ (Rollo. [14] ―The fact that the prosecution intended to have these cases to be assigned to a specific branch of this court is of no moment for as already intimated parties or their counsel must not be allowed to select the judges to try and determine their cases. Fortunately and/or unfortunately for the prosecution that the presiding judge is more studious and discreet. 75-82. in the handling of this cases. p. Annex ―A-1" of Petition. Manila. [7] Order dated July 20. Rollo. 92-107942. 1992 in criminal case no.. 68-69. to the Presiding judge of this court to just pull out these cases after he had gone over and studied their substance. Order dated July 20. [13] Rollo. Rollo.‖ (Rollo. pp. p. provided she dose not have any objection to the consolidation. The dispositive portion of said Orders reads: ―WHEREFORE. p.. 66-69). p.‖ (Order of Judge Nitafan dated August 6. 74. et seq. 2. 158. 67. Annex ―A‖ of Petition. otherwise. Annex ―I‖ – Order dated July 1.

110315. 83-99. the instant case is clearly dismissible. CA. pp. 244 SCRA 202. G. 1992 order. where the accused satisfies or serves in whole or in part the judgment. in addition to the authorities cited in the July 20. People v. 244 SCRA 202. for all the foregoing considerations. 102-104.. 269 SCRA 402 cited in Lacson v. 82). 92-107943 and 92-107944. Guerrero v. the above-enetitled cases are hereby dismissed. pp. 1999. Sandiganbayan. Cudia v. [17] [18] Ibid. (b) the facts constituting the graver charge became known or were discovered only after the filing of the former complaint or information. Rollo. with costs de oficio. No. January 20. CA. and the cash bail bond of the accused is ordered refunded to the accused. 1-19. or (c) the plea of guilty to the lesser offense was made without the consent of the fiscal and of the offended party. the dismissal of the information is hereby ordered. p. ―In any of the foregoing cases. the conviction of the accused shall not be a bar to another prosecution for an offense which necessarily includes the offense charged in the former complaint or information under any of the following instances: [22] (a) the graver offense developed due to supervening facts arising from the same act or omission constituting the former charge. with costs de oficio. 128096. Therefore.―WHEREFORE.‖ (Rollo. RTC Order dated September 7. Leviste. CA. p. The rest of the Section reads: ―However. Annex ―C‖ of Petition. [19] Padilla v. [20] People v. Tampal. 1992 issued by Judge Nitafan in Criminal cases 92-107942. [23] . pp. Rollo. subject to the usual accounting and auditing procedures. 99). 16. 257 SCRA 703. 101-120. p. 1992 of RTC Branch 52-Manila in criminal cases no. and the cash bail bonds of the accused is ordered refunded to her.R.‖ (Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure). G. without prejudice to adding the alleged violations recited in the informations which commenced theses cases as additional overt acts in the other related cases mentioned by the Office of the solicitor-general in its oftrepeated motion (if still legally feasible). No. 255 SCRA 238. The dispositive portion of that order states: [16] ―WHEREFORE. Tampal.R. he shall be credited with the same in the event of conviction for the graver offense. pp.‖ (Rollo. pp. 257 SCRA 703. [21] Guerrero v. January 16. CA. People v. 92-107943 and 92107944. Rollo. 1998. Order dated August 10. 2-4. 255 SCRA 238. subject to the usual accounting and auditing procedures. Leviste. People v.

.

1993. and RAMON "POL" FLORES. 6307. PAT. 6309. SP No. which dismissed the charge of rape with homicide based on a demurrer to evidence filed by private respondents. 6310. DOMIL GRAGEDA. denying her petition to annul the Order of the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City. Edwin Moral. 113273-78] before the Supreme Court. YNARES-SANTIAGO.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. The said cases were consolidated in Branch 8. Consequently.R. 37341. 6308. No. the prosecution filed a petition3 for certiorari [G. Branch 8. 124171 March 18. Domil Grageda and Ramon "Pol" Flores. for failure of the prosecution to present evidence as provided for by Section 9. accused therein.R. ERNESTO LOBETE. Fifth Judicial Region. EDWIN MORAL. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the prosecution contended that it was not required to present evidence to warrant the discharge of accused Nuada. 2002 LETICIA R.R. petitioner. 1993. presided over by the respondent judge. Pat. in order that he may be utilized as a state witness. questioning the respondent judge's denial of the motion to discharge the accused Nuada. Adonis Nieves. the public prosecutor filed a motion for the discharge of accused Joselito Nuada. Rule 119 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. were filed against the private respondents. 6311. Criminal Case Nos. The antecedent facts as succinctly synthesized by the respondent court are as follows: On August 12. Ernesto Lobete. since the latter had already been admitted into the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice. the trial judge did not set the case for . and 6312.2 in Criminal Case Nos. MERCIALES. Legaspi City. 6307-6312. before the Regional Trial Court. On December 22. Despite the fact that the petition did not contain a prayer for a temporary restraining order. No. respondents. During the trial.: Petitioner seeks the reversal of the Decision of the Court of Appeals1 in CA-G. for rape with homicide. after presenting seven witnesses. vs. However. the respondent judge denied the motion for discharge. JOSELITO NUADA. J. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. Joselito Nuada. in connection with the death of one Maritess Ricafort Merciales. ADONIS NIEVES.

the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition on October 4. to prove the due execution of the accused Nuada's extrajudicial confession. who was then present.R. filed before the respondent Court of Appeals a petition to annul the foregoing Order of the trial court. However. On July 13. The private respondents. The respondent judge granted the motion. 1994. the trial court issued the assailed Order. 1994. to enjoin the respondent judge from proceeding with the resolution of the case. again the prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration.4 On October 21. the accused filed their demurrer to evidence x x x. and asked leave of court to file a demurrer to evidence. who is the mother of the victim in the said criminal cases. are hereby ordered RELEASED from detention. SO ORDERED. and instead manifested that he was not presenting any further evidence. However. The respondent judge called for a recess so as to let the prosecution decide whether or not to present an NBI agent. all the accused in all these cases are hereby ACQUITTED and the cases filed against them are hereby DISMISSED. herein private respondents filed a motion to set the case for hearing. the motion was denied by the Supreme Court. invoking its pending petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. 1994.further hearing so as to give the prosecution time to secure such temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court. on September 19. the public prosecutor declined to present the NBI agent. the dispositive portion of which reads: For lack of sufficient evidence to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. being detention prisoners. objected to any further resetting as this would constitute a violation of their right to a speedy trial. On August 29. the prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration. In due time. 1994. the Solicitor General filed [in G. The respondent Judge postponed the hearing and reset the same for August 9. unless they are being detained for some other legal cause. . No. However. thru counsel. and set the case for hearing on July 29. The accused in all these cases. 113273-78] a motion for issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order with the Supreme Court. 1994. instead of presenting further evidence. invoking their constitutional right to speedy trial. The defense then moved that the cases be deemed submitted for decision. On the said date. 1995. after the recess. 1994.5 Petitioner Leticia Merciales. On August 9. 1994.

Counsel for petitioner and the Solicitor General appeared. being the mother of the deceased rape victim. abuse of discretion or jurisdictional defect to warrant either a petition for annulment of judgment or certiorari. During the oral argument.9 The criminal case below was for rape with homicide. OUSTING THE TRIAL COURT OF ITS JURISDICTION. Private respondent Ramon Flores filed his Memorandum. the only limitation being that they cannot appeal any adverse ruling if to do so would place the accused in double jeopardy. has no legal standing to appeal the acquittal of private respondents. changed his position and joined the cause of petitioner. none of these actually saw the commission of the crime. 1996. that there was no extrinsic fraud. as it would provide the only . The Court directed the parties to submit their respective memoranda in amplification of the points raised during the oral argument. Although the public prosecutor presented seven witnesses. Petitioner maintains that the reopening of the criminal case will not violate the accused's right to double jeopardy. petitioner has an interest in the maintenance of the criminal prosecution. we agree with petitioner that this issue was rendered moot when the Solicitor General. except insofar as the civil aspect of the criminal case is concerned.A motion for reconsideration was denied on March 6. arguing that petitioner. the instant petition based on the ground that: THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT REFUSED TO NULLIFY THE ORDER DATED OCTOBER 21. It is true that a private complainant cannot bring an action questioning a judgment of acquittal.8 In any event. one of the accused. who came forward and expressed willingness to turn state witness. and that the reopening of the criminal case will violate the accused's right against double jeopardy. being the private complainant in the criminal case below.7 In the case at bar. in representation of the People. His testimony was vital for the prosecution. 2001. Hence. More particularly. 1994 OF THE TRIAL COURT FOR BEING NULL AND VOID ON THE GROUND THAT THE TRIAL JUDGE TOLERATED AND/OR COMMITTED INJUSTICE BY FAILING TO REQUIRE THE PROSECUTION TO PRESENT ALL THEIR EVIDENCE INSTEAD OF SUPPRESSING THEM APPARENTLY TO FAVOR THE ACCUSED IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO DUE PROCESS. The right of offended parties to appeal an order of the trial court which deprives them of due process has always been recognized.6 The case was set for oral argument on December 11. she ascribes prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in the undue haste which attended the prosecution's premature resting and the trial court's grant of the demurrer to evidence when the presentation of the evidence for the prosecution has not been completed. the Solicitor General manifested that he was joining the cause of petitioner in order to prevent a miscarriage of justice. thus fulfilling the requirement that all criminal actions shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor. It was only Joselito Nuada.

For this reason. who was under legal obligation to pursue the action on their behalf. Indeed. he was remiss in his duty to protect the interest of the offended parties. the accused moved to set the case for hearing. Maritess Merciales. upon motion of the prosecution before resting its case.eyewitness account of the accused's complicity in the crime. the ensuing demurrer to evidence filed by the accused was granted by the trial court. thereby causing prejudice to the offended party. In this sense. More specifically. the public prosecutor in this case was guilty of blatant error and abuse of discretion. The public prosecutor moved for a continuance.12 In the case at bar. Section 5 of Rule 110 provides that "all criminal actions either commenced by complaint or by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal x x x. despite repeated moves by the accused for the trial court to continue hearing the case. and the trial court acceded. The trial court granted the motion. The trial court directed the public prosecutor to present Atty. the trial court denied a similar motion by the prosecution in view of the objection of the accused. the NBI Agent who took Nuada's extrajudicial confession. Meanwhile. however. Caabay. the public prosecutor declared that he was resting the prosecution's case. renege on that obligation and refuse to perform his sworn duty. Yet. The public prosecutor's obstinate refusal to present the required evidence prompted the trial court to deny the motion to discharge Nuada. the court may direct one or more of the accused to be discharged with their consent so that . Indeed. the public prosecutor has the right and the duty to take all steps to protect the rights of the People in the trial of an accused. the family of the deceased victim. It is the duty of the public prosecutor to bring the criminal proceedings for the punishment of the guilty. Consequently. invoking their constitutional right to speedy trial. knowing fully well that the evidence he has presented was not sufficient to convict the accused. The prosecution elevated the matter to the Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari. The trial court required the public prosecutor to present evidence to justify Nuada's discharge as a state witness. he can be compelled by an action for mandamus. the public prosecutor knew that he had not presented sufficient evidence to convict the accused. Carlos S. but the latter insisted that there was no need for such proof since Nuada had already been admitted into the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice. At the resumption of the hearing.10 Concomitant with this is the duty to pursue the prosecution of a criminal action and to represent the public interest." As the representative of the State. he deliberately failed to present an available witness and thereby allowed the court to declare that the prosecution has rested its case. It is clear from the foregoing that the public prosecutor was guilty of serious nonfeasance.11 If the public prosecutor commits a nonfeasance in refusing to perform a specific duty imposed on him by law. and hence is prosecuted in the name of the People of the Philippines. Section 9 (now Section 17) of the Rules of Court expressly requires the presentation of evidence in support of the prosecution's prayer for the discharge of an accused to be a state witness. At the next scheduled hearing. viz: When two or more persons are jointly charged with the commission of any offense. Rule 119. having entrusted the conduct of the case in the hands of the said prosecutor. could do nothing during the proceedings. All they could do was helplessly watch as the public prosecutor. A crime is an offense against the State.

the accused would not be placed in double jeopardy because. Precisely. Indeed. After the trial court denied his motion to discharge Nuada as a state witness. The trial court was well aware of the nature of the testimonies of the seven prosecution witnesses that have so far been presented.14 By contending that the challenged Decision is void for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. the public prosecutor violated his bounden duty to protect the interest of the offended party. necessarily null and void and does not exist. The public prosecutor was duty-bound to exhaust all available proofs to establish the guilt of the accused and bring them to justice for their offense against the injured party. Given this circumstance. that is. and (4) they are convicted or acquitted. the petition does not violate the right of the accused against double jeopardy. It is elementary that double jeopardy attaches only when the following elements concur: (1) the accused are charged under a complaint or information sufficient in form and substance to sustain their conviction. in legal contemplation. not to determine without hearing. he willfully and deliberately refused to present an available witness. that is entitled to due process in criminal cases. and the same cannot constitute a claim for double jeopardy.13 Based on the foregoing. the dismissal of the case below was invalid for lack of a fundamental prerequisite. Moreover. the trial court. due process. any ruling issued without jurisdiction is. the lower tribunal had acted without jurisdiction. the same is null and void. Thus. it is not only the State. especially after the public prosecutor tenaciously insisted on utilizing Nuada as state witness. It is as if there was no acquittal at all. Notwithstanding its knowledge that the evidence for the prosecution was insufficient to convict. but more so the offended party. even assuming that a writ of certiorari is granted. it is evident that petitioner was deprived of her day in court. at least insofar as the criminal aspect is concerned. Inasmuch as the acquittal of the accused by the court a quo was done without regard to due process of law. the NBI Agent who was present in court on that date and time. should have called additional witnesses for the purpose of questioning them himself in order to satisfy his mind with reference to particular facts or issues involved in the case.18 . the public prosecutor grossly violated the abovequoted rule.they may be witnesses for the state when after requiring the prosecution to present evidence and the sworn statement of each proposed state witness at a hearing in support of the discharge. xxx xxx xxx. (2) the court has jurisdiction. Instead.e.17Indeed. By refusing to comply with the trial court's order to present evidence. "jurisdiction" is the right to hear and determine.. i. from the very beginning. (3) the accused have been arraigned and have pleaded. the trial court passively watched as the public prosecutor bungled the case. for a judgment which is void for lack of due process is equivalent to excess or lack of jurisdiction. Likewise guilty for serious nonfeasance was the trial court.16 In rendering the judgment of dismissal. he should have proceeded to complete the evidence of the prosecution by other means. or the case is dismissed without their consent.15 Otherwise put. motu proprio. the trial judge in this case acted without or in excess of jurisdiction.

R. RTC Judge. WHEREFORE. p.Lack of jurisdiction is one of the grounds for the annulment by the Court of Appeals of judgments or final orders and resolutions of Regional Trial Courts... Section 5. Kapunan. 19-20. 6307-6312 isANNULLED. concur. et al.. et al. 7 8 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. JJ.R. 293 SCRA 358. 1994. 37341 is REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. JJ. composed of Associate Justices Hector L. De Leon. Rasul (Chairman) and Oswaldo D. Hofileña (ponente). 113273-78 (People v. 5 Ibid. and Mendoza. Palu-ay v. 3 4 Rollo. Rule 110. Nos. in the result.J. The petition was dismissed on October 17. et al. and Carpio. pp.. Panganiban. the petition is GRANTED.. Buena. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.). Branch 8. The public prosecutor is ORDERED to complete the presentation of all available witnesses for the prosecution. Footnotes Sixteenth Division.. at 361-62 [1998]. Salvador D. C. Court of Appeals. Bellosillo. Jr. Branch 8. 42. for further proceedings.. Santiago. Vitug. The Order dismissing Criminal Case Nos. Silerio. Quisumbing. 6 Ibid. Puno. the remedy taken by petitioner before the Court of Appeals was correct. Legazpi City. and the motion for reconsideration thereof was denied with finality on November 21.. Silerio.. Melo. 1994. 1 2 Presided by Judge Salvador D. in view of the foregoing. Davide. Sandoval-Gutierrez. Jr. p. Hon. and this case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City. SO ORDERED. citing People v. Docketed as G.19 Hence. . Agcaoili. 44-46. Jainal D. SP No. 174 SCRA 143 [1989].

citing Windsor v. v. J.. 256 SCRA 757. Quijada.R. 274 . Balisacan.S. 259 SCRA 191. No. Rule 47. p. 307 SCRA 684. 127644. 10 Padua v. Regalado. G. Judge Velasco. 11 People v.9 Mosquera v.. No. 273 [1975]. citing People v. Panganiban. . Arcilla. citing U. Polaris Marketing Corp. Velasco. Gomez. Ed. 93 U. McVeigh. G. 368. citing Arce. Navarro. 17 Ibid. 914. L-26376. A. August 31.S. 6 Phil. MTJ-00-1248. 19 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure..M. September 13. 1974. 121.R. L-29887. May 29. 258 SCRA 473. No. 1967. No. 13 People v. October 28.. 1966 and People v. 43 SCRA 29. et al.. 14 15 People v. G.R. No. 700 [1999]. 23 L.R. 630 [1959]. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion. 763-764 [1996].. 12 People v. 38-39 [1972]. Surtida. L-22345. 2000. 16 People v. 23A Words and Phrases. 106 Phil. 478 [1996]. citing Trimica. Arce. 263 [1996]. Judge Molina. 63 SCRA 264. et al. v. G. People v.. et al. 18 Ibid. Inc. Section 2. Leaño. v.

.

R. 151931.SECOND DIVISION [G. 2003] . September 23. No.

BROTHERS MARKETING CORPORATION. drew and issue[d] PRUDENTIAL BANK. 1997. on the part of accused NENA JAUCIAN TIMARIO. the same was consequently dishonored and refused payment for the reason of ―ACCOUNT CLOSED‖. and its Order[3] dated January 14. BROTHERS MARKETING CORPORATION. to the damage and prejudice of said J. vs. DECISION CALLEJO. dated October 15. Nena Jaucian Timario did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank to cover the amount called for therein and without informing the payee of such circumstance.000. knowing fully well that at that time said check was issued and endorsed.Y.00 in favor of J. 7474 which reads as follows: That sometime in the month of October. and accused ANAMER D. On June 11. 1996. an Information for estafa was filed against herein petitioner Anamer D. 2001.: This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Criminal Procedure of the Order[1] of the Regional Trial Court. the above named-accused. SR.. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and J. 1996. CONTRARY TO LAW. YAO. BROTHERS MARKETING CORPORATION.Y. in the amount of P214. 067481.ANAMER SALAZAR. in the City of Legazpi. SALAZAR endorsed and negotiated said check as payment of 300 cavans of rice obtained from J. respondents. LEGASPI CITY BRANCH CHECK NO. conspiring and confederating with each other. J. 2002 denying the motion for reconsideration of the decision of the said court on the civil aspect thereof and to allow her to present evidence thereon. JERSON O. unlawfully and feloniously. that despite demands.[2] dated November 19. Branch 5. assisted by counsel. petitioner. Trial thereafter ensued. with intent to defraud by means of false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed simultaneously with the commission of the fraud. the petitioner. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Legazpi City.Y. The Evidence of the Prosecution .Y. that when said check was presented to the drawee bank for payment. Salazar and co-accused Nena Jaucian Timario with the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City. represented by its Branch Manager. BROTHERS MARKETING CORPORATION. 5th Judicial Region. accused failed and refused and still fail and refuse to pay and/or make arrangement for the payment of the said check. docketed as Criminal Case No. did then and there wilfully.[4] Upon arraignment. Philippines. entered a plea of not guilty.

[6] Within the reglementary period therefor. The petitioner was informed of such dishonor.00. the accused Anamer D. the petitioner assails the orders of the trial court claiming that after her demurrer to evidence was granted by the trial court. and Article 315. Jerson Yao accepted the check upon the petitioner‘s assurance that it was a good check. Legazpi City Branch. 067481 drawn against the Prudential Bank. She replaced the Prudential Bank check with Check No. however.Y. premises considered. Salazar is therefore ordered to pay J.000. Jerson Yao. On November 19.‖ which in banking parlance means ―drawn against uncollected deposit. Brothers Marketing Corporation. 1996. (c) after the first check was dishonored. the petitioner gave the private complainant Check No. the check was dishonored because it was drawn under a closed account (―Account Closed‖). her personal check was dishonored not for insufficiency of funds. On January 14. the private complainant. the trial court rendered judgment acquitting the petitioner of the crime charged but ordering her to remit to the private complainant the amount of the check as payment for her purchase. Brothers Marketing Corporation the sum of P214. The decretal portion of the trial court‘s judgment reads as follows: WHEREFORE. through Mr.On October 15. paragraph 2(d) on estafa penalizes only the issuer of the check and not the indorser thereof. The trial court ruled that the evidence for the prosecution did not establish the existence of conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt between the petitioner and the issuer of the check. usually a check. 2001. 1996. admitted that he had never met Nena Jaucian Timario who remained at large. the petitioner‘s breach of the warranty that the check was a good one is not synonymous with the fraudulent act of falsely pretending to possess credit under Article 315(2)(d).000. In fact. the petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration on the civil aspect of the decision with a plea that he be allowed to present evidence pursuant to Rule 33 of the Rules of Court. the petitioner filed a Demurrer to Evidence with Leave of Court[5] alleging that she could not be guilty of the crime as charged for the following reasons: (a) she was merely an indorser of the check issued by Nena Timario. the court issued an order denying the motion. Jerson Yao. The prosecution filed its comment/opposition to the petitioner‘s demurrer to evidence. 2002. Costs against the accused. Unfortunately. As payment for these cavansof rice. but for ―DAUD. was returned with the word ―DAUD‖ (Drawn Against Uncollected Deposit). As a mere indorser of the check.Y. The cavans of rice were picked up the next day by the petitioner. After the prosecution rested its case. which. dated October 15. by one Nena Jaucian Timario in the amount of P214. for the purpose of defrauding the private complainant. had not yet been cleared. this means that the account had sufficient funds but was still restricted because the deposit. in order to defraud the private complainant. 365704 drawn against the Solid Bank. she was denied due process as she was not given the opportunity to adduce evidence to . In her petition at bar. Nena Jaucian Timario.‖ According to the petitioner. Accused Anamer D. The first transaction had therefore been effectively novated by the issuance of the second check. the petitioner replaced it with a second one. Legazpi Branch. Salazar is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged but is hereby held liable for the value of the 300 bags of rice. petitioner Anamer Salazar purchased 300 cavans of rice from J. her co-accused Nena Jaucian Timario. (b) there is no sufficient evidence to prove that the petitioner conspired with the issuer of the check. Upon presentment.

If the amounts are not so alleged but any of these . Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure – SECTION 1. cross-claim or third-party complaint may be filed by the accused in the criminal case. 22 shall be deemed to include the corresponding civil action. The Petition Is Meritorious According to Section 1. the filing fees therefor shall constitute a first lien on the judgment awarding such damages. temperate. nominal. No counterclaim. Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and civil actions. – (a) When a criminal action is instituted. Where the amount of damages. or exemplary damages without specifying the amount thereof in the complaint or information. no filing fees shall be required for actual damages. the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party upon the filing thereof in court. When the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability against the accused by way of moral. is specified in the complaint or information. The petitioner invokes the applicability of Rule 33 of the Rules of Civil Procedure in this case. Institution of criminal and civil actions. temperate or exemplary damages.prove that she was not civilly liable to the private respondent. the offended party shall pay additional filing fees based on the amounts alleged therein. other than actual. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules. contending that before being adjudged liable to the private offended party. Where the complaint or information also seeks to recover liquidated. No reservation to file such civil action separately shall be allowed. which shall be considered as the actual damages claimed. but any cause of action which could have been the subject thereof may be litigated in a separate civil action. (b) The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. moral. nominal. The reservation of the right to institute separately the civil action shall be made before the prosecution starts presenting its evidence and under circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable opportunity to make such reservation. she should have been first accorded the procedural relief granted in Rule 33. the offended party shall pay in full the filing fees based on the amount of the check involved. the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action unless the offended party waives the civil action.

There is a merger of the trial of the two cases to avoid multiplicity of suits. it may be consolidated with the criminal action upon application with the court trying the latter case. . and (4) the civil liability or damages caused by his wrongful act or omission to be recovered from the accused by the offended party. the action between the private complainant and the accused is intended solely to indemnify the former. The dominant and primordial objective of the criminal action is the punishment of the offender. If the application is granted. The prosecution presents its evidence not only to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt but also to prove the civil liability of the accused to the offended party. or accessory after the fact. The reason for this is that criminal actions are primarily intended to vindicate an outrage against the sovereignty of the state and to impose the appropriate penalty for the vindication of the disturbance to the social order caused by the offender. the quantum of evidence is preponderance of evidence. unless the enforcement of the civil liability by a separate civil action has been reserved or waived.[9] Under Section 3. The quantum of evidence on the criminal aspect of the case is proof beyond reasonable doubt. the punishment of the offender and indemnity to the offended party. The second is the civil action arising from the delict. there are two actions involved in a criminal case. In a criminal action. the filing fees based on the amount awarded shall constitute a first lien on the judgment. Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof has not yet commenced. the accused shall adduce its evidence not only on the criminal but also on the civil aspect of the case. it shall state (1) the legal qualification of the offense constituted by the acts committed by the accused and the aggravating or mitigating circumstances which attended its commission. accomplice. (2) the participation of the accused in the offense. (3) the penalty imposed upon the accused.[8] Unless the offended party waives the civil action or reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. civil or criminal. whether as principal. while in the civil aspect of the action. the court should render judgment not only on the criminal aspect of the case but also on the civil aspect thereof: SEC.damages are subsequently awarded by the court. Moreover. On the other hand. After the prosecution has rested its case. Rule 1 of the 1997 Rules of Criminal Procedure. The last paragraph of Section 2 of the said rule provides that the extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of the civil action. The private complainant is the plaintiff and the accused is the defendant. – If the judgment is of conviction. the civil action based on delict shall be deemed extinguished if there is a finding in a final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist. At the conclusion of the trial. the trial of both actions shall proceed in accordance with section 2 of this Rule governing consolidation of the civil and criminal actions. the said rules shall govern the procedure to be observed in action. namely. The civil action is merely incidental to and consequent to the conviction of the accused. if there is any.[7] The criminal action has a dual purpose. The parties are the People of the Philippines as the plaintiff and the accused. Contents of the judgment. The first is the criminal action for the punishment of the offender. 2. the private complainant is merely a witness for the State on the criminal aspect of the action.

If the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but the court renders judgment on the civil aspect of the criminal case. the court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of evidence (1) on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the opportunity to be heard or (2) upon demurrer to evidence filed by the accused with or without leave of court. the accused may adduce evidence in his defense. the prosecution cannot appeal from the judgment of acquittal as it would place the accused in double jeopardy. The motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence shall specifically state its grounds and shall be filed within a non-extendible period of five (5) days after the prosecution rests its case. If the court denies the demurrer to evidence filed with leave of court. (b) where the court declared that the liability of the accused is only civil.In case the judgment is of acquittal. the aggrieved party. . The order denying the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or the demurrer itself shall not be reviewable by appeal or by certiorari before the judgment. In either case. The aforecited rule reads: Sec. Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Demurrer to evidence. (c) where the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based upon the crime of which the accused was acquitted. it shall state whether the evidence of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. If leave of court is granted. the civil action based on the delict is extinguished if there is a finding in the final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist or where the accused did not commit the acts or omission imputed to him. 23. Moreover. When the demurrer to evidence is filed without leave of court. the accused has the option either to (a) file a demurrer to evidence with or without leave of court under Section 23. After the prosecution has rested its case.[10] The acquittal of the accused does not prevent a judgment against him on the civil aspect of the case where (a) the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required. the accused shall file the demurrer to evidence within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from notice. However. The prosecution may oppose the demurrer to evidence within a similar period from its receipt. – After the prosecution rests its case. the judgment shall determine if the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. or to (b) adduce his evidence unless he waives the same. the accused waives his right to present evidence and submits the case for judgment on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution. the offended party or the accused or both may appeal from the judgment on the civil aspect of the case within the period therefor. The prosecution may oppose the motion within a non-extendible period of five (5) days from its receipt.

to meet the witnesses face to face. The principles find universal acceptance and are tersely expressed in the oft-quoted statement that procedural due process cannot possibly be met without a ―law which hears before it condemns. and public trial. the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. paragraphs (1) and (2). are mandatory and indispensable. trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable. Savellano. If the trial court issues an order or renders judgment not only granting the demurrer to evidence of the accused and acquitting him but also on the civil liability of the accused to the private offended party. require (a) that the court or tribunal trying the case is properly clothed with judicial power to hear and determine the matter before it. However. The above constitutional and jurisprudentially postulates. in particular. he thereby waives his right to present evidence and submits the case for decision on the basis of the evidence of the prosecution. the demurrer to evidence partakes of the nature of a motion to dismiss the case for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. impartial.:[11] Section 14. the accused has the right to adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the case unless the court also declares that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist. to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. he has the right to adduce evidence not only on the criminal aspect but also on the civil aspect of the case if his demurrer is denied by the court.In criminal cases. As we held in Alonte v. to have a speedy. The only evidence on record is the evidence for the prosecution. Jr. ―(2) In all criminal prosecutions. ―(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. On the other hand. if the accused is granted leave to file a demurrer to evidence. which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial. In a case where the accused files a demurrer to evidence without leave of court. the accused has not yet adduced evidence both on the criminal and civil aspects of the case. and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf.‖[12] This is so because when the accused files a demurrer to evidence. after arraignment. If demurrer is granted and the accused is acquitted by the court. of the Constitution provides the fundamentals. said judgment on the civil aspect of the case would be a nullity for the reason that the constitutional right of the accused to due process is thereby violated. (c) that the accused is given an opportunity to be heard. . and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel. (b) that jurisdiction is lawfully acquired by it over the person of the accused. and (d) that judgment is rendered only upon lawful hearing. of Article III. What the trial court should do is to issue an order or partial judgment granting the demurrer to evidence and acquitting the accused.‖ Jurisprudence acknowledges that due process in criminal proceedings. by now elementary and deeply imbedded in our own criminal justice system.

2002 are SET ASIDE AND NULLIFIED. the court rendered judgment on the civil aspect of the case and ordered the petitioner to pay for her purchases from the private complainant even before the petitioner could adduce evidence thereon. present rebuttal and sur-rebuttal evidence unless the court. arising from the issuance of a provisional remedy in the case. (c) The prosecution and the defense may. in furtherance of justice. Order of trial. Neither did he file a civil action before the institution of the criminal action. However. the civil liability. The Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING.and set the case for continuation of trial for the petitioner to adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the case. 11. Thereafter. Patently. 2001 and January 14. 7474 for the continuation of trial for the reception of the evidence-in-chief of the petitioner on the civil aspect of the case and for the rebuttal evidence of the private complainant and the sur-rebuttal evidence of the parties if they opt to adduce any. The petitioner was granted leave of court to file a demurrer to evidence. (b) The accused may present evidence to prove his defense and damages. the petitioner was charged with estafa under Article 315. the Petition is GRANTED. if any. and for the private complainant to adduce evidence by way of rebuttal after which the parties may adduce their sur-rebuttal evidence as provided for in Section 11. The Orders dated November 19. – The trial shall proceed in the following order: (a) The prosecution shall present evidence to prove the charge and. permits them to present additional evidence bearing upon the main issue. in the proper case. The court issued an order granting the demurrer on its finding that the liability of the petitioner was not criminal but only civil. (d) Upon admission of the evidence of the parties. (e) When the accused admits the act or omission charged in the complaint or information but interposes a lawful defense. the case shall be deemed submitted for decision unless the court directs them to argue orally or to submit written memoranda. Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure: Sec. Branch 5. therefore. the order of trial may be modified. In this case. the court shall render judgment on the civil aspect of the case on the basis of the evidence of the prosecution and the accused. in that order. The civil action arising from the delict was impliedly instituted since there was no waiver by the private offended party of the civil liability nor a reservation of the civil action. is hereby DIRECTED to set Criminal Case No. . paragraph 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code. the petitioner was denied her right to due process.

160. [4] Rollo.. . [12] Id. IV. 29. Revised Rules of Evidence. and Tinga. Brusola. concur. [2] Penned by Judge Vladimir B. [11] 287 SCRA 245 (1998). Bellosillo. (Chairman).‖ Rollo.. 2001 ed. p.‖ id. Rule 111. pp. [9] Section 1. (Emphasis supplied). JJ. 2. [1] Annex ―A. 30. at 32. Quisumbing. at 14. 24-25.‖ Rollo.SO ORDERED. at 261. [6] Id. p. Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. [3] Annex ―C. [5] Annex ―E. Austria-Martinez. p. [8] Herrera. [10] Section 2. [7] Sec. Vol. Remedial Law.

Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court Manila THIRD DIVISION .

The factual and procedural antecedents are as follows: Under an Information dated June 12. 2011 x--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION PERALTA. as well as the Resolution[2] dated March 7. VELASCO. G.* J. CR No. 9165. 2008. petitioner Stephen T.STEPHEN SY y TIBAGONG. Petitioner. Sy was indicted for violation of Section 11. Article II of Republic Act (RA) No.*** JJ.: This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse and set aside the Decision[1] dated October 24. in Criminal Case No. J. the accusatory portion of which reads: . BRION.. 2005. denying petitioner‘s motion for reconsideration. August 15. Branch 30. JR.R. J.R.. which in turn affirmed in toto the Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). and SERENO. 17614 convicting petitioner of violation of Section 11. Article II of RA No. Dumaguete City. 9165. Chairperson. Respondent. 182178 Present: - versus - CARPIO.. or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Promulgated: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.** PERALTA. 2007 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. 00402. No.

the [petitioner] hurriedly boarded on his motorcycle for a possible escape. with the assistance of counsel. introduced themselves as policemen and announced his arrest for illegal possession of dangerous drug.02 gram of white crystalline substance of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. later identified as the [petitioner] in this case. PO3 Faelogo averred that the two (2) of them immediately responded and went to the place as reported. did. commonly known as ―shabu.[3] Upon his arraignment. in the City of Dumaguete. examining a transparent plastic sachet containing shabu powder by flicking the same. Contrary to Section 11. unlawfully and feloniously possess and keep one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing 0. PO3 Dario Paquera.That on or about the 11th day of June 2005. Barangay Looc. Barangay Kagawad Rogelio Talavera. testified that at about 2 o‘clock in the afternoon of June 11. PO3 Faelogo then apprised the [petitioner] of his constitutional rights but while doing so. PO2 Glenn M. the prosecution presented Police Senior Inspector Maria Ana RiveraDagasdas. their office received a telephone call from a concerned citizen that an illegal drug trade was going on at Zone 3. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Article II of R. They approached the [petitioner]. Barangay Looc. and Reysan Elloren. PO3 Faelogo was not able to finish his recital of the constitutional rights of the [petitioner]. not being authorized by law. 2005. On the other hand. While PO3 Faelogo and the [petitioner] . To establish its case. Corsame. the defense presented the petitioner as its sole witness. With him at that time was PO3 Paquera. Police Officer (PO) 3 Liberato Faelogo. pleaded not guilty to the crime charged.A. 9165.‖ a dangerous drug. Dumaguete City. petitioner. While walking at the pathway going to the interior portion of Zone 3. then and there willfully. Evidence for the Prosecution PO3 Faelogo. on the one hand. while he was on duty. at a distance of about two (2) meters away. trial on the merits ensued. a member of the PNP and assigned as Intelligence Operative of the Dumaguete City Police Station. they saw a man. Consequently. the said [petitioner]. PO3 Faelogo had to wrestle with the [petitioner] who dropped the sachet of shabu on the ground.

02 gram. he was in Barangay Looc to book a masseur to massage him in the evening. After a few minutes of struggle. PO3 Paquera took a photograph of the [petitioner] and the seized items. a dangerous drug under RA 9165. as no drug testing kit was available at that time. they were able to subdue the [petitioner] and handcuff him. PO3 Faelogo continued to inform the [petitioner] of his constitutional rights in the Cebuano dialect. PO3 Paquera picked up the said sachet of shabu. PO2 Corsame had the incident recorded in the PDEA blotter. For their safety. the elected official representative. Reysan Elloren. which they identified in Court. She re-marked the sachet as Specimen A which had a weight of 0. In support of the case filed. together with a letter request dated June 11. They then brought the [petitioner] with the seized items to the police station. Kagawad Rogelio Talavera of Barangay Looc. The [petitioner] was searched and found in his possession was a disposable lighter. It was Police Senior Inspector Maria Ana Rivera-Dagasdas. PO3 Faelogo then conducted an inventory of the recovered sachet of shabu including the disposable lighter in the presence of DOJ Representative Pros. which she signed and submitted. a dangerous drug under RA 9165. Her qualitative examination conducted on the specimen gave positive result to the tests for the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride. forensic chemical officer of the Negros Oriental Provincial Crime Laboratory who received the seized one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet with marking ―SS-06-11-05‖ and conducted a laboratory examination on the contents thereof. At the police station. PO3 Paquera gave the plastic sachet of shabu to PO3 Faelogo who made markings on it with the initials ―SS 06-11-05‖ with SS to mean the name of the [petitioner] Stephen Sy and the numbers. as there was a commotion where some people tried to rescue the [petitioner]. who all signed the receipt of property seized. they left the area. They were not able to conduct an inventory in the crime scene. Angelita Alcoran. PO3 Faelogo also averred that he was the one who submitted the seized one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline pow[d]er/granules to the PNP Crime Laboratory. The [petitioner] was given a copy of the receipt. PO3 Faelogo and PO3 Paquera executed a joint affidavit of arrest.were wrestling. the media representative and PO2 Glenn Corsame of the PDEA.[4] Evidence for the Defense The [petitioner] claimed that on June 11. Brgy. The [petitioner] was not subjected to drug examination. 2005 at around 2 o‘clock in the afternoon. D-103-05 and a certification. Her conclusion was that Specimen A contained methamphetamine hydrochloride. Her examination results were embodied in a Chemistry Report No. As he was not able to find the person to massage . the date of the incident. 2005 of the Chief of Police of Dumaguete City Police Station.

him, the [petitioner] started to go home. While he was about to board his motorcycle, one of two (2) men,
whom he had seen earlier from a distance, immediately handcuffed him in his left wrist. The [petitioner] was
not given a warning and he was surprised why he was handcuffed especially since he had not committed any
crime. Fearing for his life, the [petitioner] resisted and told the person who handcuffed him, ―What am I
charged of?‖ The [petitioner] was told to just keep quiet. The [petitioner] told the person to search him first
before he should handcuff him. The [petitioner] continued to resist the person and they wrestled with each
other. Noticing that this person had a gun tucked in his waist, the [petitioner] did not resist anymore. The
[petitioner] was frisked in his pockets, in his cap and other parts of his body, including his brief wherein the
person inserted his hand inside. The pants of the [petitioner] were also removed. The search was conducted
in full view of many onlookers, but still nothing was found on the [petitioner]. One of the persons then picked
up something, which the [petitioner] could not see and was told that it was shabu and a lighter. The
[petitioner] was then brought to the Dumaguete City Police Station. The [petitioner] later learned at the police
station the identity of the persons who arrested him, namely, Liberato Faelogo and Dario Paquera. At the
police station, a photograph was taken of the [petitioner]. The [petitioner] then requested that he be subjected
to drug examination, but was not tested. The [petitioner] kept on requesting for drug examination for a week
but still he was not tested. The [petitioner] also claimed that while he was at the police station and being
investigated, he was kicked and punched by no less than the Chief of Police, one named Hidalgo. The
[petitioner] tried to protest but was not able to do anything, as nobody was around to help him.[5]

On May 12, 2006, the RTC, after finding that the prosecution has established all the elements of the offense
charged, rendered a Decision[6] convicting petitioner of violation of Section 11, Article II of RA No. 9165, the dispositive
portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby renders judgment finding the accused Stephen Sy y Tibagong GUILTY
beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of illegal possession of 0.02 gram of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride
or shabu in violation of Section 11, Article II of R.A. No. 9165 and is hereby sentenced to suffer an
indeterminate penalty of twelve (12) years and (1) day, as minimum, term to fourteen (14) years, as maximum
term, and to pay a fine of Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300,000.00).
The seized one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing 0.02 gram of white crystalline
substance of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or shabu is hereby confiscated and forfeited in favor of the
government and to be disposed of in accordance with law.
SO ORDERED.[7]

Aggrieved, petitioner appealed the Decision before the CA, which was later docketed as CA-G.R. CR No. 00402.
On October 24, 2007, the CA rendered a Decision affirming in toto the decision of the RTC, the dispositive portion of
which reads:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the appeal is hereby DISMISSED and the assailed decision of
the lower court finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 11, Article II
of Republic Act No. 9165 is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.
SO ORDERED.[8]

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but was denied in the Resolution dated March 7, 2008.
Hence, the petition raising the following errors:
I
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE POLICE OFFICERS ENJOYED THE
PRESUMPTION OF REGULARITY IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTY.
II
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONER‘S WARRANTLESS ARREST
WAS VALID.
III
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE RIGHT OF THE PETITIONER
AGAINST UNLAWFUL SEARCHES AND SEIZURES WAS NOT VIOLATED.
IV
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THE CONVICTION OF THE PETITIONER
BASED ON THE TRANSPARENT PLASTIC SACHET CONSIDERING THAT THE SAME WAS THE ―FRUIT OF A
POISONOUS TREE‖ AND COULD NOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE IN ANY PROCEEDING.

V
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT BECAUSE PETITIONER SUBMITTED TO
THE JURISDICTION OF THE LOWER COURT, THAT HE ALSO WAIVED HIS RIGHT TO OBJECT TO THE
ADMISSION OF THE PLASTIC SACHET IN EVIDENCE.[9]

Simply stated, petitioner contends that since he was not doing anything illegal at the time of his arrest that would
arouse the suspicion of the arresting officers, his subsequent arrest and the ensuing search upon his person was illegal
and, therefore, any alleged illegal drugs recovered from him cannot be used in trial against him, without the risk of
violating his constitutional right against unlawful searches and seizure.
Petitioner posits that the arresting officers lacked probable cause when they arrested him. He argues that the act of
flicking a clear plastic sachet in broad daylight cannot be perceived as an illegal act. Thus, he was not caught in flagrante
delicto and the resulting warrantless arrest made by the police officers was invalid. Moreover, the confiscated sachet is not
admissible in evidence against him being the fruit of the poisonous tree.
The petition is without merit.
It has been consistently ruled that an accused is estopped from assailing any irregularity of his arrest if he fails to
raise this issue or to move for the quashal of the information against him on this ground before arraignment. Any
objection involving a warrant of arrest or the procedure by which the court acquired jurisdiction over the person of the
accused must be made before he enters his plea; otherwise, the objection is deemed waived.[10]
In the case at bar, petitioner never objected to the irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment. Moreover, he
actively participated in the proceedings before the RTC. Thus, he is deemed to have waived any perceived defect in his
arrest and effectively submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court trying his case. At any rate, the illegal arrest of an

accused is not sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free
from error. It will not even negate the validity of the conviction of the accused.[11]
As to the admissibility of the seized drug in evidence, it is necessary for us to ascertain whether or not the search
which yielded the alleged contraband was lawful.[12]
Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court provides:
Sec 5. Arrest without warrant, when lawful - A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant,
arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing or is attempting to commit an offense;
(b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based
on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it;
and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his
case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.
Corolarilly, the 1987 Constitution states that a search and consequent seizure must be carried out with a judicial
warrant; otherwise, it becomes unreasonable and any evidence obtained therefrom shall be inadmissible for any purpose
in any proceeding.[13] Said proscription, however, admits of exceptions, namely:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest;
Search of evidence in "plain view;"
Search of a moving vehicle;
Consented warrantless search;
Customs search;
Stop and Frisk; and

7. Exigent and emergency circumstances.[14]
What constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable warrantless search or seizure is purely a judicial question,
determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances involved, including the purpose of the search or seizure, the
presence or absence of probable cause, the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing
searched, and the character of the articles procured.[15]
In searches incident to a lawful arrest, the arrest must precede the search; generally, the process cannot be
reversed. Nevertheless, a search substantially contemporaneous with an arrest can precede the arrest if the police have
probable cause to make the arrest at the outset of the search. Although probable cause eludes exact and concrete
definition, it ordinarily signifies a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in
themselves to warrant a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense with which he is
charged.[16]
In the case at bar, the established facts reveal that on June 11, 2005, PO3 Faelogo, an Intelligence Operative of the
Dumaguete City Police Station, received information from a concerned citizen that an illegal drug trade was going on
at Zone 3, Barangay Looc, Dumaguete City. Together with PO3 Paquera, PO3 Faelogo immediately acted on the
information and went to the place. While traversing the pathway going to the interior portion of Zone 3, Barangay Looc,
they saw petitioner, at a distance of two (2) meters, examining and flicking a transparent plastic sachet containing shabu
powder. The two then approached petitioner, introduced themselves as police officers, and announced the he is being
arrested for illegal possession of dangerous drugs. While being informed of his constitutional rights during the arrest,
petitioner tried to escape by boarding his motorcycle. While wrestling with PO3 Faelogo, petitioner dropped the sachet of
shabu on the ground, which was picked up by PO3 Paquera. The police officers eventually were able to subdue and
handcuff petitioner. Upon searching his person, they also found in his possession a disposable lighter. The seized sachet
was marked on location. They then brought petitioner, together with the items seized, to the police station and conducted
a proper inventory thereof. The heat-sealed transparent sachet containing white crystalline substance was submitted to

the results of the ensuing search and seizure were admissible in evidence to prove petitioner‘s guilt of the offense charged. From the foregoing. Article II of RA No. Section 21. paragraphs 1 and 2. This fact. The police officers witnessed petitioner flicking a transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance in plain view. a regulated drug. violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. the arresting officers immediately approached petitioner. At the time of his arrest. Thus. credence is given to prosecution witnesses who are police officers for they are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner.the PNP Crime Laboratory for drug examination. since they were following up a tip that there was an illegal drug trade being conducted in the area. 9165 provides: . It is a settled rule that in cases involving violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. petitioner‘s case falls within the exception to the rule requiring a warrant before effecting an arrest. the arresting officers substantially complied with the rules on the custody and disposition of evidence recovered from petitioner. or the arrest of a suspect in flagrante delicto. Consequently. the police officers were actively performing their duties. sufficient evidence supports that the warrantless arrest of petitioner was effected under Section 5 (a). petitioner was clearly arrested in flagrante delicto as he was then committing a crime. After laboratory examination. coupled with the overt acts of petitioner.[17] In addition. 9165. a dangerous drug under RA No. the white crystalline substance placed inside the plastic sachet was found positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. introduced themselves as police officers and effected the arrest. which later yielded positive results for the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride. formed sufficient basis on the part of the police officers to believe that a crime was actually being committed. Arousing their suspicion that the sachet contains shabu. within the view of the police officers. Under these circumstances. buttressing the presumption of regularity in the performance of their duties.

further. Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. or his/her representative or counsel. a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs. that noncompliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds. Corolarilly. the same shall be submitted to the PDEA Forensic Laboratory for a qualitative and quantitative examination. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: Provided. and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs. controlled precursors and essential chemicals. plant sources of dangerous drugs. 9165. (2) Within twenty-four (24) hours upon confiscation/seizure of dangerous drugs. immediately after seizure and confiscation. physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized. as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team. physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated. controlled precursors and essential chemicals. the implementing provision of Section 21 (a). Seized. Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA No. shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. provides: (a) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall.The PDEA [Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency] shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs. as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated. Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. x x x x. seized and/or surrendered. immediately after seizure and confiscation. a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). plant sources of dangerous drugs. .Section 21. as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment. or his/her representative or counsel. for proper disposition in the following manner: (1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. .

founded on reason and experience. the Department of Justice. The same respect holds too as regards the lower court‘s evaluation of the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. and an elected public official.[18] In the case at bar. and (3) the accused was freely and consciously aware of being in possession of the drug. to explain the absence of knowledge or animus possidendi. It is a settled policy of this Court.x x x x. the seized item was properly marked and photographed. having had the opportunity to make an honest determination of the witnesses‘ deportment during the trial. the following elements must be established: (1) the accused was in possession of an item or an object identified to be a prohibited or regulated drug.[19] Based on the evidence submitted by the prosecution.[21] .[20] The Court accords the highest degree of respect to the findings of the lower court as to petitioner‘s guilt of the offense charged against him. on the rational assumption that it is in a better position to assess the evidence before it. the requirements of the law were substantially complied with and the integrity of the drugs seized from petitioner were preserved and safeguarded. which later tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride with a weight of 0. From the time of petitioner‘s arrest. who all signed the receipt of the property seized. to sustain the findings of fact of the trial court in criminal cases. Proper inventory was also made in the presence of the representatives from the media. the above elements were duly established in the present case. Mere possession of a regulated drug per se constitutes prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi sufficient to convict an accused absent a satisfactory explanation of such possession .the onus probandi is shifted to the accused. An unbroken chain of custody of the seized drug had been evidently established by the prosecution. the PDEA. particularly where such findings are adequately supported by documentary as well as testimonial evidence.02 gram. (2) such possession is not authorized by law. For conviction of illegal possession of a prohibited drug to lie. The evidence was sent to the Negros Oriental Provincial Crime Laboratory for laboratory examination.

regardless of the degree of purity thereof: . absent any evidence that both courts ignored. Possession of Dangerous Drugs.Furthermore. in the absence of proof of motive to falsely impute such a serious crime against the appellant. petitioner merely raised the defense of alibi.000.[24] As to the propriety of the penalty imposed upon petitioner. Moreover. unless there is evidence to the contrary. of RA No. the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty. the defense of denial and frame-up must be proved with strong and convincing evidence.000. especially when they are police officers who are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner. shall prevail over petitioner‘s self-serving and uncorroborated denial. otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. we find that no oversight was committed by the RTC and the CA to disregard their factual findings that petitioner committed the crime charged against him. 9165. provides: Section 11. after a careful evaluation of the records. unless authorized by law. or misinterpreted cogent facts and circumstances of substance which.000. We find that the RTC imposed the appropriate penalty. The defense of denial and frame-up has been invariably viewed by this Court with disfavor.00) shall be imposed upon any person who. the well-entrenched rule is that the findings of facts of the trial court. Article II. shall possess any dangerous drug in the following quantities. In contrast to the overwhelming evidence of the prosecution. would warrant a modification or reversal of the outcome of the case. – The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500. are conclusive on this Court. as affirmed by the appellate court. Section 11. misconstrued. if considered.[23] To stress.00) to Ten million pesos (P10. credence should be given to the narration of the incident by the prosecution witnesses.[22] In the present case. In order to prosper. as well as the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses. for it can easily be concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy in prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. in cases involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

marijuana resin or marijuana resin oil. CR No. 9165. without having any therapeutic value or if the quantity possessed is far beyond therapeutic requirements.00) to Four hundred thousand pesos (P400. was within the range provided by RA No. (3) Imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from Three hundred thousand pesos (P300.000. premises considered. Otherwise. Taking the foregoing into consideration. the maximum period shall not exceed the maximum period allowed under the law." or other dangerous drugs such as. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. the appeal is DENIED. morphine. of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. imposed by the lower court.00) to Four Hundred Thousand Pesos (P400. methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu.000. GHB. without any legal authority. illegal possession of less than five (5) grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu is penalized with imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300.x x x x. 2007 and the Resolution dated March 7.00). heroin. or less than five (5) grams of the dangerous drug. therefore.00). if the quantity involved is less than the foregoing quantities. if the quantities of dangerous drugs are less than five (5) grams of opium. 2008. . TMA. the minimum period of the imposable penalty shall not fall below the minimum period set by the law. and those similarly designed or newly introduced drugs and their derivatives. the penalty meted out by the RTC. as affirmed by the CA.R. MDMA or "ecstasy." PMA. The Decision dated October 24. WHEREFORE. 00402 are AFFIRMED. or less than three hundred (300) grams of marijuana. the penalties shall be graduated as follows: x x x x. cocaine or cocaine hydrochloride. The appropriate penalty was.000.[25] From the foregoing. but not limited to. The evidence adduced by the prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt that petitioner had in his possession 0.000.02 gram of shabu. LSD.

SERENO Associate Justice . JR.SO ORDERED. CARPIO Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. A. DIOSDADO M. Associate Justice Chairperson ARTURO D. VELASCO. PERALTA Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. BRION Associate Justice MARIA LOURDES P.

JR.ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court‘s Division. RENATO C. Associate Justice Third Division. CORONA Chief Justice . I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court‘s Division. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson‘s Attestation. Chairperson CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. PRESBITERO J. VELASCO.

Article III. [1] Penned by Associate Justice Isaias P. July 27. No. at 55.R. 1028 dated June 21. 641. Rancho. [25] Emphasis supplied. February 22. G. 2011. [19] People v. No. 622. [3] Rollo. 2011. 1059 dated August 1. [9] Id. 1056 dated July 27. ** Designated as an additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza. G. 176735. No.R. [8] Id. [7] Id. 516 SCRA 463. NO. 2011. [2] Id. G. at 642. supra note 14. 343. at 48-49. G. August 16. 170359. 613 SCRA 556. Dela Rosa. No. [15] People v. [18] Emphasis supplied. 623 SCRA 343.R. pp. [20] People v. [23] People v. 476. No.R. 185166. Tamayo. Sections 2 and 3 (2). 2011.Designated as an additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Roberto A. G. 40-49. [22] Id. with Associate Justices Francisco P. per Special Order No. 348. Sembrano. February 24. 2007. Rancho. 175700. 2010. 170233. 2010. G. November 23. Acosta and Franchito N.R. G. 626 SCRA 633. 628 SCRA 328. *** Designated as an additional member. at 11-12. [24] People v. at 439. G. pp. 589 SCRA 625.R.R. 601. 538 SCRA 611. Hernandez. 439.R. 528 SCRA 427. 186529. Nuevas. 2010 . per Special Order No. 555 SCRA 578. Teddy Batoon and Melchor Batoon. [12] Valdez v. 2010. 564. No. 184804. Santos. Diamante. [6] Id. [11] People v. January 26. June 26. [13] 1987 Constitution. No. 2010. Abad. July 5.R. [16] People v. 642-643. G. 2007. at 51-52. June 18. People of the Philippines. No. 184599. * .R. at 53-59. per Special Order No. No. [4] Id. 2008. 170180. [17] People v. November 24. 185848. August 3.R. rollo. Dicdican. 2009. [14] People v. G. concurring. 187070. at 58-59. [10] Rebellion v. 2007. Dilao. [21] People v. 40-41. G. at 53-54 [5] Id. No. People.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Chief Administrative Officer. .* JJ. Branch 112 and CARMELITA F. G. BRION.Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court Manila SECOND DIVISION HON. 189365 Petitioners. ZAFRA. DSWD.versus - CARPIO. the Legal Service of the DSWD. Chairperson.. Present: .R. Regional Trial Court. Presiding Judge. JUDGE JESUS B. and thru its duly authorized representative. Quezon City and the Office of the Solicitor PERLASBERNABE. No. SERENO. REYES. J. MUPAS.

105199. 2011 x--------------------------------------------------x DECISION SERENO.: In this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45. Respondents. SP No.General. J. The CA Decision reversed and set aside the Orders[2] dated 19 December 2007 and 2 June 2008 of the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City (Branch 112).R. Promulgated: October 12. granting . private petitioner seeks the reversal of the Decision[1] dated 19 March 2009 issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.

‖ In brief. Instead. private petitioner Carmelita F. Beltran relayed this instruction to Roga. three unidentified persons on board a four-wheeler truck came and hauled the 200 cases of milk.[6] An internal investigation was conducted by the DSWD on the persons involved in the loss of the milk cases.[5] Saclayan turns out to be the sister of Zafra. Zafra (petitioner Zafra) was Supply Officer V[3] of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). and Manuelito Roga. On the appointed date.her demurrer to evidence in Criminal Case Nos. As the records and the CA found. the committee . On 06 August 1999. Administrative Officer III. Private petitioner also assails the CA Resolution dated 28 August 2009. One of the three persons who came to pick up the milk cases at the DSWD-VABROC premises introduced herself as Ofelia Saclayan to Roga. the only DSWD employee present at that time. she arranged for the withdrawal for replacement. The 200 cases of milk withdrawn by Saclayan and her unidentified companions were valued at three hundred six thousand seven hundred thirty-six pesos (P306. of two hundred (200) cartons of Bear Brand Powdered Milk that were nearing their expiry date. 02-0371 and 02-0372. Laborer 1.[4] Petitioner Zafra instructed Marcelina Beltran to have someone from the DSWD Property Division withdraw the 200 cartons of milk from the DSWD-VillamorAirbase Relief Operation Center (DSWD-VABROC) on 14 November 1998. denying her Motion for Reconsideration. the investigating committee of the DSWD issued a Memorandum[7] entitled ―Report and Recommendation on the Loss of the Two Hundred (200) Cases of Bear Brand Powdered Milk from DSWD-VABROC.736). On 14 November 1998. She made the arrangement for their withdrawal through DSWD personnel Marcelina Beltran. however. no one from the Property Division arrived to pick up the milk cases.

. after November 14. This unnatural inaction or callousness displayed by Zafra and her utter apathy in the performance of her official functions calls for the imposition of sanctions on her. On 03 December 1999. found her guilty of simple neglect as follows: The Commission has noted. Being both government employees. loyalty and efficiency. They are however. that Zafra is not that entirely innocent. 992652. the supplier of said milk. Zafra and Beltran are required to perform their duties and functions with the highest degree of responsibility. the Commission promulgated Resolution No. 1998. The Resolution. however. to withdraw and replace those cases of milk that are nearing their expiry dates. Beltran are hereby dismissed for want of merit. The committee found substantial evidence to hold petitioner Zafra guilty of dishonesty and ―negligence of duty.. Neither did she make any further inquiry as to the condition of milk from VABROC.‖[8] The report of the DSWD investigating committee finding petitioner Zafra and her co-employee Beltran guilty of dishonesty and negligence of duty was appealed to the Civil Service Commission (Commission). such as to retrieve the loss thereof and have these replaced by the company. however. .[9] which slightly modified the findings of the committee. found guilty only of simple Neglect of Duty for which they are . they must suffer the consequences of their negligence. whom they implicated in the loss of the milk cases.. integrity. the respective appeals of Carmelita F. And since both of them failed on this score. . WHEREFORE. while absolving petitioner Zafra of the charge of dishonesty. when the 200 milk cases of milk were actually withdrawn from VABROC she never made any contact with MEGA Commercial as to what further steps to take on the case..report dismissed petitioner Zafra and her co-employees Beltran and Roga.. Surprisingly. For the records disclose that it was she who made representation with the MEGA Commercial.. Zafra and Marcelina M..

Office of the Ombudsman hereby accuses Marcelina M. Carmelito T. and Laborer I. cause damage or undue injury to the government. or subsequent thereto. did then and there arrange for the immediate withdrawal of the subject goods on the next day which was a Saturday. a non-working day. 02-0371. . docketed as Criminal Case Nos. The appealed decision is thus modified accordingly. with evident bad faith. Beltran. prior. in Pasay City. Manuelito T. unlawfully. particularly the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the amount of Php 306. Beltran. December 03. and in connivance with Ofelia Saclayan. wilfully. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Quezon City.each imposed the penalty of six (6) months suspension without pay.00. did then and there. otherwise known as the ―Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.‖ The Information filed in this case reads: The undersigned Prosecutor. while in the performance of their official duties. respectively of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.A. Carmelita F. petitioner Zafra and her co-accused Beltran and Roga were charged with violating Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. by making it appear that the 200 cases of Bear Brand Powdered Milk stocked at the DSWD Villamor Airbase Relief Operation Center (DSWD-VABROC) are about to expire and need to be changed. a private respondent. Beltran and Roga. Zafra.[10] On 15 February 2002. 3019 (R. 02-0371 and 02-0372. accused Marcelina M. Roga and Ofelia Saclayan for Violation of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019. Carmelita Zafra. Administrative Officer III. and thereafter. the Ombudsman filed two Informations with the Regional Trial Court of Pasay (RTC-Pasay) against petitioner Zafra. and criminally. without complying with the standard operating procedure in withdrawing goods from the bodega. Supply Officer V. 1999. Roga (sic). or for sometime. Under Criminal Case No. as amended. 3019). and appropriate the said goods for themselves.736. committed as follows: That on or about 13 November 1998.

accused Marcelina M. Saclayan. in Pasay City. respectively of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and with the indispensable cooperation of Ofelia T. they pleaded ―not guilty‖ to the charges. committed as follows: That on or about 13 November 1998. or for sometime prior. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. cause the unauthorized withdrawal of the 200 cases of Bear Brand Powdered Milk. Villamor Airbase Relief Operation Center (DSWD-VABROC).736. Roga and Ofelia Saclayan for Malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. and Manuelito T. did then and there appropriate the said goods for themselves to the prejudice of the DSWD in the amount of Php 306.[11] Petitioner Zafra. Beltran Manuelito T. Office of the Ombudsman hereby accuses Carmelita Zafra. Roga. did then and there. Supply Officer IV and Laborer I. Beltran and Roga were charged with malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code in Criminal Case No. 02-0372. unlawfully. in connivance with Carmelita F. a public property owned by the DSWD stock[ed] at VABROC.00. CONTRARY TO LAW. as amended. an accountable public officer by virtue of her being the custodian of the goods inside the DSWD-VABROC bodega. Administrative Officer III of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. and thereafter. or subsequent thereto. Zafra. Upon arraignment. .[12] The cases against petitioner Zafra and her co-accused were raffled to Branch 112 of RTC-Pasay. The Information reads: The undersigned Ombudsman Prosecutor. Marcelina M. and feloniously. a private respondent. wilfully. Beltran.CONTRARY TO LAW.

In its Comment.[14] She alleged therein that the prosecution failed to present proof that she and her co-accused had wilfully. and Isidro Tuastumban. the operations officer of Mega Commercial Trading. It also alleged that it was able to establish conspiracy among the accused and had evidence to show that petitioner Zafra caused the withdrawal of the goods. petitioner Zafra filed a Motion for Demurrer to Evidence. she concluded that the prosecution failed to establish the elements of the crime of malversation under Art. Nelson Todas. Ruby Maligo Cresencio. The prosecution presented Consolacion Obrique dela Cruz. unlawfully. Atty. a utility worker at the DSWD Property and Supply. During the trial on the merits. After the prosecution rested its case. .On 06 August 2003. who was an unauthorized person. through her sister -. and feloniously caused the withdrawal of the 200 cases of Bear Brand Powdered Milk and appropriated these for themselves to the prejudice of DSWD. The lower court required the prosecution to comment on petitioner Zafra‘s demurrer to evidence. She likewise contended that the prosecution was not able to present proof that she and her co-accused had done so in violation of Section 3 (e) of R. Thus. which supplied the stolen milk cases to DSWD.[15] the prosecution contradicted the allegations therein and claimed to have established and proved the elements of the crimes as charged against petitioner and her co-accused. attended by only petitioner Zafra and Beltran. A. the pretrial of the case was conducted. former DSWD Legal Officer V. 02-0371 and 02-0372 ensued. a joint trial for Criminal Case Nos. 3019. 217 of the Revised Penal Code.co-accused Ofelia Saclayan. subject matter of this case. a security guard posted at the DSWD lobby at the time the incident happened. the prosecution presented four witnesses to build up its case.[13] Thereafter.

the prosecution. Consequently. .On 19 December 2007. resulting in her acquittal. Public respondent ruled that. [17] The decretal portion of the Order reads: WHEREFORE. With the grant of her demurrer to evidence. raised the following issues: Whether or not the Honorable Judge committed grave abuse of discretion in denying petitioner‘s Motion for Reconsideration of its Order granting private respondent‘s demurrer to evidence. through its private prosecutor. assailing the lower court‘s grant of petitioner Zafra‘s demurrer to evidence. filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order dated 19 December 2007 issued by public respondent. petitioner was acquitted. which was represented by its legal officers. filed through the DSWD.[18] On 09 September 2008. after evaluating the testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution. he found them substantially insufficient to warrant the conviction of petitioner Zafra under the charges filed against her by the Ombudsman. On 2 June 2008. the motion was denied for lack of merit.[19] The petition. accused CARMELITA ZAFRA y FUENTES is hereby ACQUITTED. On 28 January 2008. public respondent Judge Mupas issued an Order[16] granting the demurrer to evidence of petitioner Zafra. the People filed with the CA a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. SO ORDERED. the demurrer to evidence is GRANTED.

105199 and was raffled to the appellate court‘s Special Sixth Division. petitioner Zafra filed a Comment/Opposition[24] to the OSG‘s Manifestation and Motion and moved that it be expunged from the records. as it was filed out of time.R. a Resolution[21] was promulgated. as private respondent in the appeal. On 06 October 2008. On 19 November 2008. On 06 November 2008. petitioner Zafra.[22] In her Comment. directing petitioner Zafra to file a Comment on the certiorari petition and thereafter instructing the Office of the Solicitor General to file a Reply thereto. the OSG filed a Manifestation and Motion[23] adopting the Petition for Certiorari filed by the DSWD. having been filed directly with the appellate court instead of seeking the intervention of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to act on DSWD‘s behalf. she assailed the appeal of the DSWD for being improper. On 22 September 2008. .[20] The People‘s Petition for Certiorari was docketed as CA-G. She also pointed out the lack of authority of the signatory who had executed the certificate of non-forum shopping attached to the petition. It prayed for the relaxation of the Rules on Procedure pertaining to the authority of the person signing the Verification and Certification against forum-shopping attached to the petition filed by the DSWD.Whether or not the Honorable Judge committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to appreciate the evidence of the prosecution providing beyond reasonable doubt private respondent‘s negligence which resulted to (sic) the unauthorized withdrawal of the 200 cases of Bear Brand Powdered Milk at the VABROC belonging to the government. filed her Comment and sought to dismiss the Petition for Certiorari instituted by the prosecution. SP No.

The prosecution proved the relationship between Carmelita Zafra and a Ofelia Saclayan. through its Third Division. . The prosecution has never proven any direct participation of the herein accused to the actual withdrawal of the goods.] accused Carmelita Zafra had a direct participation for its withdrawal. through its Fourth Division. after presenting all its witnesses and documentary evidence has miserably failed to prove the guilt of the accused Carmelita Zafra beyond reasonable doubt. showed that the court a quo in granting the Respondent‘s demurrer to evidence relied heavily on the ground that the Petitioner miserably failed to show that the Respondent had any direct participation in the actual withdrawal of the goods.On 23 January 2009. Holding that the prosecution was able to present sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the crimes in the Information filed against private respondent. issued a Resolution[25] granting the OSG‘s Manifestation and Motion. The prosecution witnesses presented testified during crossexamination that they have no personal knowledge nor did they see that the accused Carmelita Zafra actually withdraw (sic) or cause[d] the withdrawal of the goods from VABROC. the CA. This may be gleaned from the pertinent portion of the 19 December 2007 Order. In its Decision reversing the trial court‘s Order. to wit: xxx There is no denying that the prosecution. promulgated a Decision[26] granting the People‘s petition and revoking and setting aside the lower court‘s Order granting private respondent‘s demurrer to evidence. the CA found that public respondent Judge Mupas committed grave abuse of discretion through his grant of private respondent‘s demurrer. which consequently resulted in her acquittal. the appellate court. the fact that Carmelita Zafra coordinated with the prosecution witness Ruby Crescencio for the return of the 200 cases of Bear Brand Powdered Milk which were alleged to be near expiry but it did not proved (sic) that on the day when the goods were withdrawn from VABROC[. the appellate court ruled as follows: A careful reading of the 19 December 2007 Order. On 19 March 2009. supra. supra.

Likewise.... Uy. the court a quo acquitted the Respondent of the offense charged mainly because of the alleged lack of any proof of her direct participation in the withdrawal of the 200 cases of Bear Brand powdered milk. . let US refer to the explicit pronouncement of the Supreme Court in People v. alleges willful malversation. . .. On this score.. .. . thus: xxx Even when the information charges willful malversation. As earlier discussed. Jr.. Besides. . We find that the court a quo committed grave abuse of discretion in acquitting the Respondent for violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019 . supra. conviction for malversation through negligence may still be adjudged if the evidence ultimately proves that mode of commission of the offense. However.. It bears to emphasize that the crime of malversation may be committed either through a positive act of misappropriation of public funds or property or passively through negligence by allowing another to commit such misappropriation. in view of the People‘s evidence showing Respondent‘s inexcusable negligence in the withdrawal of the goods in question.... this does not preclude conviction of malversation through negligence if the evidence sustains malversation through negligence. Thus. 02-0372.. the Petitioner‘s alleged failure to prove the Respondent‘s direct participation in the withdrawal of the 200 cases of milk did not altogether rule out malversation as the dolo or culpa in malversation is only a modality in the perpetration of the felony. even if the Information in Criminal Case No.. Respondent cannot likewise be acquitted of violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019 since inexcusable negligence is one of the elements of the said offense....

SP No. through its former Third Division. the OSG filed its Comment[29] on the Motion for Reconsideration of petitioner Zafra. We hold that the court a quo committed grave abuse of discretion in granting the Respondent‘s demurrer to evidence. She further prayed that the criminal cases filed against her be dismissed with prejudice. WHEREFORE. which resulted to her untimely acquittal. issued a Resolution[30] on 28 August 2009 denying petitioner‘s Motion for Reconsideration. The CA. The appellate court found that the issues she raised had been sufficiently considered and discussed in its 19 March 2009 Decision. instant Petition is hereby GRANTED. The case is hereby REMANDED to the court a quofor further proceedings. SO ORDERED. The court a quo‘s challenged Orders are REVOKED and SET ASIDE. 105199 be affirmed.In sum. . It moved for the denial of her Motion for Reconsideration and prayed that the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.[27] Petitioner Zafra filed a Motion for Reconsideration[28] dated 31 March 2009 praying that the 19 March 2009 Decision of the CA reversing the lower court‘s grant of her demurrer to evidence be set aside. On 09 June 2009.

There are certain exceptions. She assailed the 19 March 2009 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. particularly the issues proffered by petitioner. an order granting the accused‘s demurrer to evidence amounts to an acquittal. For instance. After a thorough review of the records of this case.[32] We agree with the CA‘s disquisition that the lower court‘s grant of the demurrer to evidence of petitioner Zafra was attended by grave abuse of discretion.[33] As a general rule. we adopt the findings of the appellate court.On 19 October 2009. that is. We find no reversible error in the ruling which is eloquently supported by existing jurisprudence. The appellate court correctly concluded that the crime of malversation may be committed either through a positive act of misappropriation of public funds or passively through negligence by allowing another to commit such misappropriation. this Court ruled that when there is a finding that there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial .R. subject to the defense that she may present in the course of a full-blown trial. prima facie. petitioner Zafra filed her Petition for Review on Certiorari[31] under Rule 45 of the Rules on Civil Procedure. through positive acts. as well as the 28 August 2009 Resolution denying her Motion for Reconsideration. sufficient to prove the criminal charges filed against her for her inexcusable negligence. SP No. The prosecution‘s evidence was. We AFFIRM the entire ruling of the Court of Appeals. 105199. The lower court improperly examined the prosecution‘s evidence in the light of only one mode of committing the crimes charged. as when the grant thereof would not violate the constitutional proscription on double jeopardy. however.

court in dismissing a criminal case by granting the accused‘s demurrer to evidence. Mupas be stricken off as petitioner. Laguio. we deem its consequent order of acquittal void. Jr. Let the name of Judge Jesus B. it is settled that the appellate court may review dismissal orders of trial courts granting an accused‘s demurrer to evidence. This may be done via the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 based on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. SO ORDERED. Therefore. is improper.:[34] By this time. being considered void judgment. we do not find any pronouncement by the trial court on whether the act or omission of petitioner under the circumstances would entail civil liability. when the order of dismissal is annulled or set aside by an appellate court in an original special civil action via certiorari. Further. does not result in jeopardy. as this Court ruled in People v. Such dismissal order. we DENY the Petition and affirm in toto the 19 March 2009 Decision of the Court of Appeals and its 28 August 2009 Resolution. the CA properly ordered the remand of the case to the lower court for further proceedings to determine whether petitioner is civilly liable for the loss of the milk cartons. having affirmed the CA finding grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court when it granted the accused‘s demurrer to evidence. amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Thus. Zafra. the right of the accused against double jeopardy is not violated. its judgment is considered void.[35] In the instant case. . WHEREFORE. as such appellation unilaterally made by petitioner Carmelita F.

at 151. [19] CA rollo. [15] CA rollo. [21] Id. at 150. 08. p. Villarama. at 103. Perez per Special Order No. at 29. 1114 dated 3 October 2011. [6] Id. [20] Id. Mupas. 114-115. at 116. p. at 09. [11] CA rollo. Id.Designated as Acting Member of the Second Division vice Associate Justice Jose P. 77. [12] CA rollo. 172. at 125. p. [24] Id. Reyes. * Id. [22] Id. [23] CA rollo. at 184. at 15. p. [16] Id. pp. p. at 34. p. 55. Jr. [4] CA rollo. [10] Civil Service Commission Resolution dated 03 December 1999. at 25. [2] Penned by Presiding Judge Jesus B. [8] [9] . p. [13] Id. [18] Id. 03. and Associate Justice Rosalinda Asuncion-Vicente. [7] Id. [25] Penned by CA Associate Justice Myrna Dimaranan Vidal and concurred in by CA Associate Justices Andres B. [1] Penned by CA Associate Justice Myrna Dimaranan Vidal and concurred in by then CA Associate Justice Martin S. CA rollo. [5] Id. Jr. 475. [3] CA rollo. and Rosalinda Asuncion-Vicente.74. at 30. at 120. [17] Id. [14] Id.

G. [34] G. 13. [30] Id.A. No. [35] Id [26] . 17 November 2005. [32] The Court of Appeals correctly cited the cases of People v. 128587. No. Jr. p. 475 SCRA 248 and People v. Villarama. at 206. [33] Rollo. [27] CA rollo. No. 17 June 2008. 3019. 41.R. [28] Id. [29] Id. [31] Rollo. 554 SCRA 572 that provides ―inexcusable negligence‖ as an element of the crime of malversation under Section 3 (e) of R.Penned by CA Associate Justice Myrna Dimaranan Vidal and concurred in by then Court of Appeals Associate Justice Martin S.R. at 223. p. p. 518 SCRA 393. 157399. Uy. G. 167860-865. Jr. 16 March 2007. at 233.R.. Pajaro. and CA Associate Justice Rosalinda Asuncion-Vicente. 205.

in the Municipality of Urdaneta.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Article III of Republic Act No. sentencing each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ordering each of them to pay a fine of P1. 1998.000. in relation to Section 20. SR. 6425. conspiring together. DECISION CALLEJO. province of Pangasinan and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. control and custody the following: . finding appellants Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 16. No. Branch 46. 7659. did then and there willfully. the above-named accused.2 The Indictment The appellants Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira were charged in an Information which reads: That on or about March 9. 139615 May 28. vs.: This is an appeal of the Decision1 of the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. as amended by Rep.000. J.Three (3) (sic) sachets of shabu . Act No. AMADEO TIRA and CONNIE TIRA.R.. appellee. unlawfully and feloniously have in their possession. appellants. known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. 2004 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

3 The Case for the Prosecution4 In the evening of February 24. After hearing their report.6 On March 6. they stayed there up to 12:00 midnight and continued observing the place. without first securing the necessary permit/license to possess the same. and that he was a regular customer.Several empty plastics (tea bag) .8 . The person revealed that Amadeo Tira sold shabu. Manibog formed a team composed of SPO1 Renato Cresencia.Six (6) pieces opened sachets of shabu residue . 19987Police Chief Inspector Danilo Bumatay Datu filed an Application for a Search Warrant in the Municipal Trial Court of Urdaneta. alleging.00 in different denominations believed to be proceeds of the contraband. PO3 Efren Abad de Vera. SPO1 Renato Cresencia and PO2 Reynaldo Soliven Javonilla. as amended.. Victorio. for fear of being identified as PNP members. but hesitated.. As they stationed themselves in the periphery of a store. 1998. attaching thereto the affidavit of surveillance executed by his men and a sketch of the place to be searched.536. Victorio instructed his men to make an affidavit of surveillance preliminary to an application for a search warrant. PO3 Reynaldo Javonilla. and PO3 Efren Abad de Vera to conduct the ordered surveillance. P/Supt. Instead. clad in civilian clothes. Pangasinan. and that in the evening of February 24. the policemen returned to the station and reported to P/Supt.Six disposable lighter . they confirmed reports of illegal drug-related activities in the house of the spouses Amadeo and Connie Tira. arrived at Perez Extension Street. CONTRARY to SEC. SPO3 Asidelio Manibog received a verbal instruction from the Chief of Police Superintendent Wilson R.5 On March 6. They confronted one of them. Wilson R. the group. 1998. Jr.m.One (1) brick of dried marijuana leaves weighing 721 grams .Cash money amounting to P12. inter alia. they observed that more than twenty persons had gone in and out of the Tira residence. that they were members of the Drug Enforcement Unit of Urdaneta. and asked what was going on inside the house. 8 in relation to Sec. 20 of RA 6425. Pangasinan. Jr. 1998.One (1) roll Aluminum Foil . The group went closer to the house and started planning their next move. They wanted to pose as buyers. executed an Affidavit of Surveillance. SPO3 Asidelio Manibog. Victorio to conduct surveillance operations on the house of Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira at Perez Extension Street because of reported rampant drug activities in the said area. At around 8:00 p. Convinced that illegal activities were going on in the house.

536 inside a shoulder bag placed on top of the television. suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride placed in heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets 2.00 bill . on March 9. Andaya. at the porch of the house. roll aluminum foil 3. Gayapa issued a search warrant commanding the applicants to make an immediate search of the Tira residence at anytime of the day or night. Poor Man‘s Cocaine known as Shabu..m. Drug-Usage Paraphernalia. 1 sachet of shabu confiscated from Nelson Tira16 They also found cash money amounting to P12. and the two rooms located at Perez south. The policemen found the newly awakened Amadeo inside the first room12 of the house. -P1. PO3 Concepcion. Judge Aurora A. 9 pcs. 1998. with SPO3 Cariaga. SPO1 Mario Tajon. They introduced themselves and told Ernesto that they had a warrant authorizing them to search the premises. Jr. the policemen proceeded to search the first room to the right (an inner room) and found the following under the bed where Amadeo slept:14 1. in the following denominations: 1 pc. Cariño.13 With Barangay Kagawad Conwi and Amadeo Tira. the team proceeded to the Tira residence. the father of Amadeo. SPO1 Renato Cresencia. Inspector Ludivico Bravo. particularly the first room on the right side. PO3 de Vera. The men found Ernesto Tira. Weighing scale. SPO1 Cresencia and PO2 Javonilla. SPO1 Asterio Dismaya. Villaroya.Satisfied with the testimonies of SPO3 Manibog. . and PO3 Reynaldo Javonillo were directed to implement the search warrant. disposable lighters 6. used and unused aluminum foil15 5. Galima.000. Ernesto led them inside. several empty plastic transparent 4.11 At 2:35 p.500.9 P/Sr. 2. and forthwith seize and take possession of the following items: 1. and 3.00 bill 4 pcs. and as head of the team.10 They responded and brought Barangay Kagawad Mario Conwi to witness the search.

also witnessed the certification. The articles seized were turned over to the PNP Crime Laboratory. and d.00 bill 36 pcs. Twenty-four (4) pieces of dried marijuana leaves sachet.100. c.00 coin17 The policemen listed the foregoing items they found in the house. "B1 to B6. the PNP Crime Laboratory Group in Physical Science Report No. DT-057-98 reported that the test conducted by Police Superintendent/Chemist Theresa Ann Bugayong-Cid. SPO1 Asterio T. . . SPO1 Mario C.50.1. . Tajon. executed by SPO3 Asidelio Manibog. .10. P/Supt. Victorio executed a Compliance/Return of Search Warrant. b.5 grams. A joint affidavit of arrest was. Wilson R.19 In turn.20. Urdaneta.00 bill 1 pc." "E" – POSITIVE to the test for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu). Jr. Cresencia and PO3 Reynaldo S. for examination. 1998. Dismaya. Three (3) sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride approximately 0.22 yielded positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and marijuana. . Urdaneta Sub-Office. a regulated drug. Amadeo‘s picture was taken while he was signing the said certification.52 pcs. SPO1 Renato M. One (1) heat-sealed plastic sachet of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride confiscated from the possession of Nelson Tira. a laboratory examination request was made to the Chief of the Philippine National Police Service-1. Pangasinan for the following: a.00 bill 100 pcs. thereafter.00 bill 53 pcs. Six (6) opened sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (SHABU) residue.18 Ernesto (Amadeo‘s father). for the apprehension of Amadeo Tira and Nelson Tira who were brought to the police station for custodial investigation. Sub-Office.00 bill 1 pc. 1998.20 On March 10. The report contained the following findings: "A1 to A3. Javonilla. .5.21 On March 17. .

23 A criminal complaint was filed by P/Supt. One of the policemen pointed to a sachet of shabu which fell to the ground near Nelson. He denied that there were young men coming in and out of his house. CONCLUSION: Specimens A1 to A3. Moreno filed an Information against the Tira Spouses for illegal possession of shabu and marijuana. when the policemen tried to serve the said warrant. Capt.31 He leased the room located at the western portion to his nephew Chris Tira32 and the latter‘s live-in-partner Gemma Lim for four hundred pesos a month. Javonilla and Bergonia. the latter room had no windows or ventilation. and could be reached only by foot. searching the room of his nephew. The policemen continued with their search.24 After finding probable cause. 1998.36 When they reached the house. while he was at Calle Perez. Urdaneta. Capt.26 She was arrested only on October 6. Ernesto. Act No.34 In the afternoon of March 6. He heard a commotion and went out of the room to see what it was all about.28 The Case for Accused Amadeo Tira29 Amadeo Tira denied the charge. Ludivico Bravo asked to be accompanied to the Tira residence. 1998. He saw Amadeo and Connie . 1998 for violation of Rep. Wilson R. who in turn. Act No."C" and "D1 to D4" – POSITIVE to the test for marijuana. the policemen saw a man running towards the direction of the ricefields. He was then pulled inside the room and the policemen showed him the items they allegedly found.35 Barangay Kagawad Mario Conwi testified that on March 9. in violation of Section 8. B1 to B6 and E contain methamphetamine hydrochloride (Shabu) and specimens C and D1 to D24 contain marijuana. Chris Tira. Pangasinan. and saw police officers Cresencia. However. in relation to Section 20 of Rep.25 A warrant of arrest was issued against Connie Tira on May 13. she could not be found in the given address. 1998. 6425. as amended.27 During the trial.33 Chris and Gemma were engaged in the buying and selling of bananas. Kagawad Conwi and some of the policemen chased the man. Pangasinan. the court conducted an ocular inspection of the Tira residence. There was also another room which was divided into an outer and inner room. He testified that he was a furniture delivery boy30 who owned a one-storey bungalow house with two bedrooms and one master‘s bedroom. He told them to stop searching so that he could contact his father. 6425. a prohibited drug. the other policemen were waiting. As they parked the car at Calle Perez. who turned out to be Nelson Tira. Victorio against Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira on March 10. he was in his house sleeping when the policemen barged into his house. would call the barangay captain. Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Rufino A. Bravo was with at least ten other policemen. The house stood twenty meters away from Perez Extension Street in Urdaneta. The policemen arrested him and proceeded to the house of Amadeo Tira to serve the warrant. 1998.

that the room where the items were seized was rented out to the couple Cris Tira and Gemma Lim.47 The Case Against Connie Tira . unsubstantiated. as owner of the house.00 is hereby forfeited in favor of the government which forms part of the fine.39 An inventory of the items seized was made afterwards. It held that Amadeo.00. Sections 16 and 20.37 They searched the first room located at the right side (if facing south).38 and found marijuana. of Republic Act 6425.43 He denied that there were many people going in and out of the Tira residence. shabu. Bravo and Ernesto Tira.3 grams and shabu weighing 1. 3 issued by Judge Aurora Gayapa. which was signed by Capt.Tira sitting by the door of the house in the sala. known as [the] Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.000. finding Amadeo Tira guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of 807. The Court sentences Amadeo Tira to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and a fine of P1. the disposable lighter and the aluminum foil are likewise forfeited in favor of the government.000. a divider was placed inside the first room. and that only a toilet separated their houses. testified that he was the one who constructed the Tira residence and that the house initially had two rooms. as amended by Republic Act 7659. The amount of P12. The first room was rented out. money and some paraphernalia.001 gram penalized under Article III. the marijuana weighing 807. shabu and related paraphernalia. 1998. The Warden.001 gram of shabu.3 grams of marijuana and 1. Thereafter. Amadeo‘s neighbor. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is hereby ordered to transmit the person of Amadeo Tira to the National Bilibid Prison with proper escort within fifteen (15) days upon receipt of this Order.45 The trial court upheld the validity of Search Warrant No. he and the policemen started the search. The Branch Clerk of Court of this Court is hereby ordered to prepare the mittimus.42 He also testified that his house was only three (3) meters away from that of the Tiras. It found Amadeo‘s defense.40 Alfonso Gallardo.41 Subsequently.44 The Ruling of the Trial Court The trial court rendered judgment on September 24.3 grams and shabu weighing 1. had control over the room as well as the things found therein and that the inner room was a secret and practical place to keep marijuana. JUDGMENT is hereby rendered CONVICTING beyond reasonable doubt accused AMADEO TIRA for Illegal Possession of Marijuana weighing 807.001 gram are hereby forfeited in favor of the government. The decretal portion of its decision is herein quoted: WHEREFORE.46 Amadeo appealed the decision.536. while the second room was occupied by the Spouses Amadeo and Connie Tira.

about five or ten persons ran inside the house and handcuffed Amadeo Tira. She pleaded not guilty to the charge of illegal possession of shabu and marijuana.49 Connie was arraigned on November 9. Joy Fernandez. pending the resolution of the motion. . and brought them to the police station. respectively. In the afternoon of March 9. Connie filed a motion to quash search warrant.001 gram of shabu. Since they had no television. however. she was in the kitchen taking care of her one-year-old child. five policemen barged into their house and searched all the rooms.000.3 grams and shabu weighing 1. she was at the Tira residence watching "Mirasol. and three. to justify the "fishing expedition" conducted on the premises. aged eight. 1998. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. Nelson Tira.. 1998. as amended by Republic Act 7659. known as [the] Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. she frequently went to her neighbor‘s house to watch certain programs. while her husband was employed at the Glasshouse Trading. two male persons and one female.00. She contended that the same was issued in violation of Section 4.50 The trial court thereafter issued an Order on November 11. Section 16 and 20. She had other three children.51 It did not give credence to the allegations of Connie Tira. The boarders. and without attaching the records of the proceedings. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court.48 alleging that the police officers who applied for the said warrant did not have any personal knowledge of the reported illegal activities. On October 26. The policemen found and seized articles in the room occupied by one of their boarders. 1998. Her husband Amadeo was sleeping in one of the rooms. denying the motion to quash. and found that Judge Gayapa issued the search warrant after conducting searching questions. In the afternoon of March 9. Connie testified that she was engaged in the business of buying and selling of fruits. At 2:30 p. as the judge issued the search warrant without conducting searching questions and answers. Moreover. the search warrant issued was in the nature of a general warrant.52 The Ruling of the Trial Court The trial court found Connie Tira guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of 807. They arrested Amadeo. the presiding judge ordered Judge Aurora A. of Republic Act 6425. the Court sentences Connie Tira to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and a fine ofP1. One of the rooms in their house was occupied by their three boarders. Suddenly. JUDGMENT is hereby rendered CONVICTING beyond reasonable doubt accused CONNIE TIRA for Illegal Possession of Marijuana weighing 807. and in consideration of the affidavit of witness Enrique Milad.000.3 grams of marijuana and 1. she and her husband Amadeo were in their house." while Connie was in the kitchen nursing her baby. while their boarders were in their respective rooms. Suddenly. 1998.After her arrest. 1998. were not arrested.m. who were watching television.001 gram penalized under Article III. Gayapa to forward the stenographic notes of the applicant and the witnesses. a neighbor of the Tiras. four. and her brother-in-law. lived approximately ten meters away from the latter.

54 The court also held that Connie Tira‘s flight from their house after the search was an indication of her guilt. was made in their absence.00 is hereby forfeited in favor of the government which forms part of the fine. Connie.55 The Present Appeal In their brief. the accused conspired and confederated with each other in keeping custody of the said prohibited articles. which provides: . III ASSUMING THAT ACCUSED-APPELLANT AMADEO TIRA IS GUILTY AS CHARGED. The appellants contend that the search conducted by the policemen in the room occupied by Chris and Gemma Lim. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THERE WAS A CONSPIRACY BETWEEN HIM AND HIS WIFE CONNIE TIRA. the disposable lighter and the aluminum foil are.The amount of P12.53 The trial court did not believe that Connie Tira had no knowledge. as husband and wife.56 The Court shall resolve the assigned errors simultaneously as they are interrelated. It ratiocinated that it was unusual for a wife not to know the existence of prohibited drugs in the conjugal abode. the search was made in violation of Section 7. where the articles and substances were found by the policemen. It stressed that Connie and Amadeo Tira jointly controlled and possessed the shabu and marijuana that the policemen found therein.536.3 grams and shabu weighing 1. the marijuana weighing 807. forfeited in favor of the government. likewise. likewise. Thus.001 gram are hereby forfeited in favor of the government. II THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE SEARCH WAS ILLEGALLY MADE. Thus. The Warden. Rule 126 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. the appellants Amadeo and Connie Tira assigned the following errors committed by the trial court: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSED-APPELLANTS DESPITE FAILURE ON THE PART OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE THEIR GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. control and possession of the shabu and marijuana found in the first or inner room of their house. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is hereby ordered to transmit the person of Connie Tira to the National Bilibid Prisons with proper escort within fifteen (15) days upon receipt of his Order. appealed the decision.

what did you find? WITNESS: A We found out suspected marijuana leaves. Q Where. 7. they should have been acquitted of the crime charged. – No search of house. or premise. Hence. to be made in presence of two witnesses. The policemen did not find the said articles and substances in any other room in the house: Q So when you reached the house of Amadeo Tira at the Tira‘s compound.SEC. you saw the father and you told him you are implementing the Search Warrant and your group was allowed to enter and you are allowed to search in the presence of Amadeo Tira? A Yes. The appellants further assert that the prosecution failed to prove that they owned the prohibited drugs. Sir. DUMLAO Q In the course of your search. They insist that it cannot be presumed that they were in control and possession of the said substances/articles simply because they owned the house where the same were found. The appeals have no merit. appellant Amadeo Tira was present when the policemen searched the inner room of the house. Sir. being the fruits of a poisonous tree. in what particular place did you find? A Under the bed inside the room of Amadeo Tira. The appellants posit that the articles and substances found by the policemen in their house are inadmissible in evidence. room. and that the same were in their possession and control when found by the policemen. Sir . Contrary to the appellants‘ claim. The appellant Connie Tira avers that she never fled from their house after the policemen had conducted the search. Neither was she arrested by the policemen when they arrested her husband. PROS. they contend. in the presence of two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality. Gemma Lim. considering that the room was occupied by Chris Tira and his live-in partner. or any other premise shall be made except in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of his family or in the absence of the latter. The articles and substances were found under the bed on which the appellant Amadeo Tira slept. Search of house. room.

if shown to you could you identify the same? A Yes. COURT: Q If that shabu will be shown to you. could you identify the same? WITNESS: A Yes. Q What else? A Lighter. Sir. sachets of suspected "shabu" 6 disposable lighters 1 roll of aluminum foil . DUMLAO: Q What else did you find out aside from the marijuana leaves. Q About the marijuana leaves. Sir. Sir. Sir. shabu and lighter? … A I have here the list. PROS. One (1) brick of marijuana 24 pcs.Q What else did you find aside from marijuana leaves? A We also find suspected sachet of shabu. Sir. tea bag of marijuana 9 pcs.

Sir. Q All of the items? A Only the marijuana. COURT: Q Where did you find the money? … A Near the marijuana at the bag. several used and unused aluminum foil one (1) sachet of shabu confiscated from Nelson Tira. lighter. Q When you found shabu. marijuana. Q About the money. Sir. Sir. Sir. what did you do? A We marked them. and P12. Q What mark did you place? A My signature.57 … PROS. could you still identify if shown to you? A Yes.536.several empty plastic. and money.00 cash in different denominations proceeds of the contrand (sic). TOMBOC: … . Sir.

Sir.00 in different denominations believe[d] to be proceeds of the contraband. we found three (3) sachets containing suspected Methamphetamine Hydrochloride "Shabu" residue. did you notice who was present? A I noticed the presence of Connie Tira. twenty-four (24) tea bags containing dried marijuana leaves. Sir. Q Who else? A We also noticed the presence of Amadeo Tira. what did you do? A We entered and searched the first room. several used and unused aluminum foil. Q What did you find out? A Shabu and Marijuana and paraphernalia. Sir. Q Can you mention to the Honorable Court those items that you searched in the house of Connie Tira and Amadeo Tira? A As per in (sic) our records. several empty plastics (tea bag). she was taking care of the baby.Q And when you were allowed to enter the house. Sir. Sir. . six (6) disposable lighter. Sir.536. Q When you said Connie Tira. one (1) brick of suspected dried marijuana leaves weighing more or less 750 grams. Sir. Sir. Q What was he doing there? A He was newly awake. Q Upon entering the house. is she the same Connie Tira the accused in this case? A Yes. one (1) roll aluminum foil. and cash money amounting to P12. Q Are you one of those who entered the house? A Yes.

but also by the certification signed by the appellant himself. Sir. spoons. shoes and other accessories which make them the residents or occupants of the room. The defense did not even show proof showing that Chris Tira reside in the first room. 1998. Kagawad Mario Conwi and Ernesto Tira. several policemen barged [sic] your house? … A Yes. This is evidenced not only by the testimony of Kagawad Conwi. had first hand knowledge of the layout of the house. that the inner room was occupied by Chris Tira and Gemma Lim who were not there when the search was conducted. is this the one you are referring to? A Yes. If it were true that Chris Tira and Gemma Lim were the supposed lessees of the room. Besides. this is the one. Amadeo‘s father. Chris Tira and Gemma Lim.Q You said you recovered one (1) brick of marijuana leaves.m.58 Appellant Amadeo Tira was not the only witness to the search. powder. . Sir. were not presented in Court.59 The trial court rejected the testimony of appellant Amadeo Tira that the inner room searched by the policemen was occupied by Chris Tira and his girlfriend Gemma Lim with the following encompassing disquisition: … The defense contention that a couple from Baguio City first occupied the first room. There were no kitchen plates. were also present. engaged in banana business. There are no banana stored in the room at the time of the search and both of them were out of the room at the time of the search. along with Kagawad Conwi and Ernesto Tira. toothbrush. they must be selling their banana in the market and they could have pointed them in the market. And why did not Amadeo Tira supply the police officers of the personal identities and address where they could find Chris Tira and Gemma Lim at the time of the search. or soap evidencing that the said room was occupied by Chris Tira and Gemma Lim. like clothings. and thus. If they were banana dealers. soap. showing to you a (sic) one (1) brick suspected to be marijuana leaves. at about 2:30 p. Ernesto Tira even led the policemen inside the house. Amadeo Tira contended that Chris Tira and Gemma Lim are engaged in banana business. There was no proof showing that Chris Tira and Gemma Lim ever occupied the room. they should have been apprehended by the searching party on March 9. the same room was rented by Chris Tira and Gemma Lim. Secondly. the Court is not persuaded because they did not present said businessmen from Baguio City who were engaged in vegetable business.60 … We are in full accord with the trial court. Thus: Q You said that while taking care of your baby. is belied by the testimony of the appellant Connie Tira that the room was occupied by two male and one female boarders who were in the room when the policemen searched it. like personal belongings of Chris Tira and Gemma Lim. It bears stressing that the trial court conducted an ocular inspection of the house of the appellants. the testimony of the appellant Amadeo Tira.

Act No. as amended by Rep. Q So. and that the appellants had no boarders therein.Q And they proceeded to your room where your husband was sleeping at that time? A Yes. Q When did they leave. the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond reasonable doubt the essential elements of the crime. viz: (1) the actual . Sir. Q Where are (sic) those things came (sic) from? A At the room where my boarders occupied. Sir. Sir. Q And it is in that room where your husband was sleeping and where those articles were taken? A No. 7659. Madam Witness? A No more. Sir. Q How many of them? A Two (2) male persons and one woman. Sir. Q They were not investigated by the police? A No. 6425. at that time where were those boarders? A They were inside their room. Before the accused may be convicted of violating Section 8 of Republic Act No. they left the house.61 We agree with the finding of the trial court that the only occupants of the house when the policemen conducted their search were the appellants and their young children. Sir. Sir. Sir. Madam Witness? A At that time. Q And do you know their whereabout[s].

from entering the room. and. Connie Tira and Amadeo Tira jointly control and possess the shabu (Exhibits "M" and "N") and marijuana (Exhibits "O" and "P") found in the room of their house. as such.A. or even sleeping on the bed. the prosecution must prove that the accused had knowledge of the existence and presence of the drug in the place under his control and dominion and the character of the drug.64 Exclusive possession or control is not necessary. Section 8.65 The accused cannot avoid conviction if his right to exercise control and dominion over the place where the contraband is located. criminal intent is not an essential element. (b) the person is not authorized by law or by duly constituted authorities. and. or within such premises in the absence of any satisfactory explanation. Both of them are deemed in possession of said articles in violation of R. Actual possession exists when the drug is in the immediate physical possession or control of the accused.possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug. This crime is mala prohibita. the prohibited and regulated drugs were found under the bed in the inner room of the house of the appellants where they also resided.63 On the other hand. We agree with the findings and disquisition of the trial court.68 Since knowledge by the accused of the existence and character of the drugs in the place where he exercises dominion and control is an internal act. However. 6425. constructive possession exists when the drug 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. control and possession of the shabu and marijuana (Exhibits "M. (3) the accused freely or consciously possessed the said drug. (c) the accused has knowledge that the said drug is a regulated drug. includes not only actual possession. but also constructive possession. and a showing of non-exclusive possession would not exonerate the accused. However. the questioned shabu and marijuana. the same may be presumed from the fact that the dangerous drug is in the house or place over which the accused has control or dominion. had no involvement in the criminal actuations of her husband. in relation to Section 20.69 In this case." "N. It is unusual for a wife not to know the existence in their conjugal abode.62 The essential elements of the crime of possession of regulated drugs are the following: (a) the accused is found in possession of a regulated drug. under the law." "O" and "P") found in their room. . viz: The Court is not persuaded that Connie Tira has no knowledge. and. She had full access to the room. the appellant Amadeo Tira. is shared with another. The appellants had actual and exclusive possession and control and dominion over the house. (2) such possession is not authorized by law. She failed to adduce any credible evidence that she was prohibited by her husband. and had no knowledge of the existence of the drugs in the inner room of the house. conviction need not be predicated upon exclusive possession. including the space under the bed. including the room where the drugs were found by the policemen. cleaning it. Possession. the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to possess (animus posidendi) the drugs. The appellant Connie Tira cannot escape criminal liability for the crime charged simply and merely on her barefaced testimony that she was a plain housewife. The husband and wife (Amadeo and Connie) conspired and confederated with each other the keeping and custody of said prohibited articles.67 Such fact of possession may be proved by direct or circumstantial evidence and any reasonable inference drawn therefrom.66 Thus.

6425. and. they could be tried and convicted for the crimes alleged therein and proved by the prosecution. Act No.One (1) roll Aluminum foil . The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) asserts that the appellants should be convicted of violating Section 8 of Rep. control and custody the following: . 6425.A.Several empty plastics (tea bag) ."70 . and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.Twenty-four (24) tea bags of dried marijuana leaves weighing 86. for their possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride. 1998. 8. as amended. We find and so hold that the appellants are guilty of two separate crimes: (a) possession of regulated drugs under Section 16.Cash money amounting to P12. in relation to Section 20 of the law. (b) violation of Section 8.3 grams . of Rep. Act No. Act No. 20 of R. In this case. without first securing the necessary permit/license to posses[s] the same. in relation to Section 20. did then and there willfully. We do not agree with the trial court and the OSG. as amended. the above-named accused. as amended. for their possession of marijuana. in relation to Section 20. 6425. nevertheless. province of Pangasinan.The Crimes Committed by the Appellants The trial court convicted the appellants of violating Section 16. of Rep. Although only one Information was filed against the appellants.Three (3) pieces (sic) sachets of shabu . CONTRARY TO SEC. as amended.One (1) brick of dried marijuana leaves weighing 721 grams .00 in different denominations believed to be proceeds of the contraband. a regulated drug. a prohibited drug.Six [6] disposable lighter .Six (6) pieces opened sachets of shabu residue . in the Municipality of Urdaneta. 6425. conspiring together. the appellants were charged for violation of possession of marijuana and shabu in one Information which reads: That on or about March 9. unlawfully and feloniously have in their possession. in relation to Sec.536.

Article II of Rep. the imposable penalty of possession of a regulated drug. less than 200 grams. as amended. 6425. as amended.26 grams to 98. the court may convict him of as many offenses as are charged and proved.000.00. appellants Amadeo and Connie Tira are found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 8. Hence. The appellants should have filed a motion to quash the Information under Section 3. Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Court before their arraignment.76 grams to 199 grams reclusion perpetua Considering that the regulated drug found in the possession of the appellants is only 1. the appellants may be convicted of the crimes charged. Under Section 16. shabu. the imposable penalty shall be as follows: QUANTITY IMPOSABLE PENALTY Less than one (1) gram to 49. and are hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. Act No. under Rule 120. Article III of Rep. in this case. Act No.51 grams to 147. They failed to do so. and impose on him the penalty for each offense. 6425. Act No. as amended.50 grams prision mayor 98.3 grams of marijuana. for violation of Section 16 of Rep. Considering that there are no qualifying circumstances.00.The Information is defective because it charges two crimes. is prision correccional to reclusion perpetua. and ORDERED to pay a fine of P1. is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death.When two or more offenses are charged in a single complaint or information but the accused fails to object to it before trial.000. The said appellants are. The said Rule provides: SEC. setting out separately the findings of fact and law in each offense. Article II of Rep. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. found GUILTY . conformably to Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code and are ordered to pay a fine of P500. 6425. The Proper Penalties On the Appellants The crime of violation of Section 8. the imposable penalty for the crime is prision correccional.000. 3. for illegal possession of 807. the appellants are sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor in its medium period as minimum. a prohibited drug. Judgment for two or more offenses.75 grams reclusion temporal 147. likewise.001 grams. 6425.25 grams prision correccional 49. as amended. to three (3) years of prision correccional in its medium period as maximum. . Based on the quantity of the regulated drug subject of the offense. Section 3 of the said rule. Act No. the appellants are sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

SPO1 Asterio Dismaya. Quisumbing. Carpio-Morales. Vitug.. 9 Exhibit "A. 41 7 Exhibit "A-2. 2 Rollo. pp. 15 June 1998. 17. 6-9. Article III of Rep. at 44. Carpio. Jr. to Three (3) years of prision correccional. No costs. C. in its medium period.beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 16. 6425. J. Austria-Martinez. Corpuz. Azcuna. The prosecution presented the following witnesses: Celestino B. Police Inspector Panfilo M. 11. p. Ynares-Santiago. p. . 1... as amended." Id. Records. and are sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from Four (4) Months and One (1) Day of arresto mayor in its medium period as minimum. 15 June 1998. Regis and Police Superintendent Theresa Ann B. on official leave. Panganiban. 66. and Tinga. as maximum. pp. at 42. 4 5 TSN. Cid. JJ.. p. SO ORDERED. 6 Exhibit "A-3". 3 Records. Sandoval-Gutierrez. 8 Id. SPO3 Asedilio Manibog. p. on official leave. concur. Footnotes 1 Penned by Honorable Judge Modesto C. Corona.." Records. 10 TSN. Puno. 43.J. Act No. Juanson. Davide.

at 219. 17 TSN. 50. 45. 23 Exhibit "C. 24 Records. 49. 25 Id. 14 TSN." Records.11 Ibid. at 36. 13 TSN. p. p." Records." Records. 26 Id. 4. 22 Exhibit "C-1. Mario Conwi and Amadeo Tira. 28 Id." TSN. p. at 46. 20 Exhibit "B. 47. 21 Exhibit "A-7. 18. at 1." Records. 15 June 1998. 27 Id. 7. p. p. 16 June 1998. p." 18 Exhibits "L" and "L-1." Records. 15 June 1998. 6 January 1999. at 82. 16 Exhibit "A-6. 12 TSN. 13. p. 15 Exhibit "D." Id." 19 Exhibit "E. 29 Appellant Amadeo Tira presented the following: Alfonso Gallardo. p. p. 16 June 1998.6. . p. 46. Exhibit "J. p. 6.

at 7. at 104-106. 3-5. at 9. 34 Id.. 40 Id. 2. 18 August 1998. 46 Id. 107. 32 TSN. pp. p. at 9-10. 10 August 1998. at 6. 5 August 1998. at 12. 31 Id. 37 Id. 41 TSN. at 6. 11 August 1998. 36 TSN. 38 Id. 5-6. 42 Id. 4. at 3-4. . at 122 48 Id. 39 Id. p. p. 47 Id. at 11. 45 Records. p. 43 Id. 44 Id. 5. at 8-10. 33 TSN.. 5 August 1998.30 TSN. 35 Id. at 116-121. pp.

Jackson. 62 People v. Rptr.2d. Estrada... 450 P. at supra. 23 March 1999. 50 Id." 60 Rollo. 47. pp. 55 Records. 10-11. 58 TSN. at 150. Rice. 748. pp. 65 People v. 13-14. 64 People v. 3-7. .. 905 (1976).. Rice. 66 People v. 53 Records.49 Id. Ramos. Rptr. 125 Cal. 51 Id. 63 People v. at 142. 11-12. 302 12 Cal. 591 ( ). Tolliver. 61 TSN. 11 January 1999. pp. 52 TSN. p. 59 Exhibit "8. People v. 95. 330 (1976). Rptr. supra. Francis. 67 People v. 165 (1965). 229. supra. 57 TSN. De Guzman. 131 Cal. 5 April 1999. 56 Rollo. p. 186 SCRA 184 (1990). 15 June 1998. pp. People v. 234 44 Cal. p. 54 Id. 228. at 128. p. 315 SCRA 573 (2001). Rptr. People v. Francis.

68 Peope v. pp. Rice. 318 SCRA 503 (1999). . Baluda. 126-127. 69 People v. 70 Rollo. supra.

R. Regional Trial Court. Branch 28. BELLAFLOR. No. The Solicitor General for petitioner. 103275 June 15. . 1994 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Assisting Judge. HONORABLE RODOLFO M. petitioner. vs. Mandaue City. and REUBEN ALBAÑO. respondents.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G.

Paylado for private respondent. On May 9. . was charged with the crime of arson before the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City.: The instant petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeks to annul the resolution issued by respondent judge Rodolfo M. It appears that on February 4. respondent judge issued a resolution referred to above granting private respondent's motion for reconsideration and acquitted the latter of the crime charged (Rollo. 1991 for being null and void. and to hold office thereat). wherein the criminal case against private respondent was pending. Upon arraignment. to ACQUIT the accused. Private respondent Reuben Albaño. On May 3. then presided by Judge Willelmo C. 10-91. pp. 1991 private respondent moved for the reconsideration of the said decision. On June 26. Fortun as assisting judge. 31-32).Lorenzo S. In the same resolution. private respondent pleaded "not guilty". Br. 1991. and finally. trial on the merits ensued and the parties rested their case before Judge Fortun. At the time of promulgation of Judge Fortun's decision. Bellaflor in Criminal Case No. DU-1805. 27. J. the court resolves to grant the motion for reconsideration filed by accused being meritorious and hereby sets aside the decision dated February 6. Thereafter. Judge Fortun was designated as Assisting Judge for the Regional Trial Court in the National Capital Judicial Region. 1991. 1991. Judge Fortun promulgated his decision dated February 6. later amended by AO No. containing the following disposition: WHEREFORE. 1991. designating Judge Fortun to assist Judge Ricardo Diaz of RTC. 1991. 1991 and promulgated on May 3. respondent judge Rodolfo M. DU-1805 dated June 26. Branch 28. Branch 28. convicting private respondent of the crime of arson. On March 13. 1991. NCJR. the decision rendered by Judge Fortun was declared null and void for having been promulgated after said judge had vacated his office and after being assigned to the Office of the Court Administrator in Manila. BIDIN. Bellaflor was assigned as replacement of Judge Fortun and assisting judge of the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue. to hold office in the Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court in Manila (Administrative Order No. 10-91A dated February 12. respondent judge was already presiding as assisting judge of Branch 28 of the Regional Trial Court in Mandaue City. the accused in Criminal Case No. 1991.

Quizada. or with the express consent of the defendant. Private respondent's reliance on the defense of double jeopardy is misplaced. 192 SCRA 521. 1991. 209 SCRA 329 [1992]). As pointed out by the Solicitor General: . Admittedly. 160 SCRA 516 [1988]). People vs. The first is where the ground for the dismissal is insufficiency of the evidence for the prosecution and the second is where the criminal proceedings have been unreasonably prolonged in violation of the accused's right to speedy trial (People v. protection against double jeopardy is not available where the dismissal of the case was effected at the instance of the accused. to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant. In the instant petition. private respondent's acquittal was upon his motion and with his express consent. Son. 142-143) Secondly. and (2) the dismissal is not an acquittal or based upon consideration of the evidence or of the merits of the case.On August 1. None exists in the case at bar. or (3) in jeopardy of being convicted of the offense charged. . and (3) the question to be passed upon by the appellate court is purely legal so that should the dismissal be found incorrect. 208 SCRA [1992]. Generally. And there are only two instances where double jeopardy will attach notwithstanding the fact the case was dismissed with the express consent of the accused. For one thing.Villon. private respondent had moved for the dismissal of the criminal case filed against him and therefore. as required by Section . On the other hand. it is necessary that he had previously been (1) convicted or (2) acquitted. Indeed. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied. the case would have to be remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings. In People v. Asuncion. private respondent argues that the resolution acquitting him of the offense charged has become final and executory and a reconsideration thereof would place him under double jeopardy. this Honorable Court likewise stated: However. (Rollo. . Puno. the protective mantle of double jeopardy does not cover him. . Bogo Medellin vs. that the former case against him for the same offense has been dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent. upon a valid complaint or information. by a court of competent jurisdiction. an appeal by the prosecution from the order of dismissal of the criminal case shall not constitute double jeopardy if (1) the dismissal is made upon motion. (People vs. and after the defendant has pleaded to the charge. 208 SCRA 231 [1992]. private respondent cannot successfully seek refuge in the assailed resolution of respondent judge. respondent judge acquitted private respondent without expressing the facts and the law on which it is based. In order that a defendant may successfully allege former jeopardy. petitioner claims that respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion in granting the motion for reconsideration of private respondent and acquitting the latter. that is. it was an empty judgment of acquittal — a bare adjudication that private respondent is not guilty of the offense charged anchored on the mere supposition that the decision rendered by Judge Fortun was a nullity. pp.

being based on paragraph 4. Soria. The sentence is imposed. C.G. This can be clearly seen from the resolution issued by respondent judge which we quote in its entirety. 101 Phil. 2. Bonifacio So. or after the judge had vacated his post in view of the abolition of his position as Judge-atlarge under Rep. The law applicable is P. Considering the three grounds invoked by the accused in his motion for reconsideration. It is now firmly established in our jurisprudence that a decision is void if promulgated after the judge who rendered it had permanently ceased to be a judge of the court where he sat in judgment. Article VIII of the Constitution. Art. or after the cessation or termination of his incumbency as judge.D. Crescini. Rodriguez. 1744. a judgment is a nullity if it had been promulgated after the judge had actually vacated the office and accepted another office (Lino Luna vs. thus. 1991 on the following grounds: 1. or a sentence has been set aside where the judge who presided in the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija had been extended on ad interimappointment to the Court of First Instance of Manila to which position he qualified before the judgment was filed with the Clerk of Court of the former Court (People vs. the issue of ownership of the shed that was burned which was raised by the accused must be resolved and considered in the new decision.14.. to wit: RESOLUTION This is with reference to the motion for reconsideration filed by the accused from the decision dated February 6. 1615 and as such.). 1991. 37 Phil. or when the term of office of the judge has ended (Garchitorena vs.D. It is undisputed that when the decision was promulgated on May 3. 1257 unrep. 786). 99 Phil. 22 SCRA 948). 1613 and was not revived by P. et al.D. 3. 322 of the Revised Penal Code. . 1991 and promulgated only on May 3. There was no opposition filed thereto by the prosecution in spite of due notice. Act 1186 (People vs. or when he has left the bench (People vs. the Court is more engrossed in the 1st ground. 186). Fortun who rendered the decision was no longer sitting in this Court as he has been transferred and was relieved as incumbent judge of this court. The decision being prepared and signed by the previous Judge Willelmo Fortun but promulgated only after he has ceased or relieved as incumbent judge is null and void and may be set aside or modified. Judge Willelmo A. 675). has no binding force and effect because said law has been repealed by P. 37 Phil.

Signing judgment out of the province. with an explanation of the factual findings and legal justifications that led to the conclusions of the court (Nicos Industrial Corp. In this regard. 38 SCRA 53 [1971]). . to acquit the accused. — Whenever a judge appointed or assigned in any province or branch of a Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) in a province shall leave the province by transfer or assignment to another court of equal jurisdiction. 206 SCRA 127 [1992]). that the decision of Judge Fortun was not validly promulgated. vs. CA. the decision in the above-entitled case which was promulgated in (sic) null and void. Granting. per se. 1991 and promulgated on May 3. Court of Appeals. On this score alone. The rest of the grounds are denied for lack of merit as these were considered in the decision sought to be set aside or reconsidered. 1991 for being null and void and finally. The judge who rendered the decision ceased to be the judge of that court when the decision was promulgated. it is a requirement of due process that the parties to a litigation be informed of how it was decided. does not necessarily operate for the acquittal of the accused. the case should have been subjected for new adjudication based on the evidence already submitted by the parties and for further proceedings conformably with law (Solis v. it was the precipitate order of respondent judge acquitting private respondent which should be voided. . It is petitioner's contention that this is all that is required for a judge who has been re-assigned and transferred to a court of equal jurisdiction to be able to prepare and sign a decision in a case totally heard by him and which was argued prior to such transfer or reassignment. it shall be lawful for him to prepare and sign his decision in . There is merit in the above submission. such invalidity. petitioner claims that Section 9. In such instances. 9. SO ORDERED. WHEREFORE. If at all. or by expiration of his temporary assignment. Rule 135 of the Rules of Court allows the promulgation of a judgment by a judge who has been transferred or assigned to another court of equal jurisdiction. 31-32. ex gratia argumenti. without having decided a case totally heard by him and which was argued or an opportunity given for argument to the parties or their counsel. Coming now to the main issue. Section 9 of Rule 135 of the Rules of Court provides that: Sec.. it is the submission of petitioner that even though Judge Fortun had been assigned to the Office of the Court Administrator in Manila. Rollo) It is indubitable that the acquittal of private respondent was not based upon consideration of the evidence or of the merits of the case.The case of bar falls squarely in the legion of cases quoted above. . Furthermore. (pp. he still retained the position of judge of the Regional Trial Court. the Court resolves to grant the motion for reconsideration filed by the accused being meritorious and hereby sets aside the decision dated February 6.

specifically RTC Br.said case anywhere within the Philippines. upon petition of any of the parties to the case and the recommendation of the respective district judge. Romero. SO ORDERED. Feliciano. JJ. If the case has been heard only in part. 186 [1917]). 27. we hold that respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in nullifying the decision rendered by Judge Fortun. 37 Phil. he was merely transferred from the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue to act as Assisting judge of another Regional Trial Court. 189 SCRA 433 [1990]). . In view of the foregoing. 95 SCRA 563 [1980]). WHEREFORE. during which time the decision convicting private respondent was promulgated. if no other judge had heard the case in part. however. Judge Fortun still possessed the judicial authority and competence to decide a case fully heard by him and to promulgate a decision thereon while on temporary assignment to a court of equal jurisdiction in Manila. 22 SCRA 622 [1968]. may also authorize the judge who has partly heard the case. a decision may no longer be promulgated after the ponentehas vacated his office (Consolidated Bank and Trust Co. Ruiz. DU-1805. On the contrary. Melo and Vitug. He shall send the same by registered mail to the clerk of the court where the case was heard or argued to be filed therein as of the date when the same was received by the clerk. the Supreme Court. the petition is GRANTED. The resolution of respondent judge acquitting private respondent Reuben Albaño is hereby SET ASIDE for being null and void and the decision of Judge Willelmo Fortun convicting accused Albaño is hereby REINSTATED. concur. decisions promulgated after the judge who penned the same had been appointed to and qualified in another office are null and void (Lino Luna v.. Judge Fortun was merely temporarily assigned to a court of equal jurisdiction. Under Section 9. to continue hearing and to decide said case notwithstanding his transfer or appointment to another court of equal jurisdiction. Republic. Judge Fortun did not vacate his office as judge of a Regional Trial Court which would have otherwise nullified his decision rendered in Criminal Case No. Rodriguez. NCJR. Rule 35 of the Rules of Court. Jandayan vs. In single courts like the regional trial courts and the municipal trial courts. IAC. in the same manner as if he had been present in court to direct the filing of the judgment. (Emphasis supplied) From the above provision. It is settled that to be binding a judgment must be duly signed and promulgated during the incumbency of the judge whose signature appears thereon (Jimenez vs. it is clear that the signing or writing of an order or judgment outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court wherein the case is pending is authorized only when the judge leaves the province "by transfer or assignment to another court of equal jurisdiction" or by "expiration of his temporary assignment". vs. Manila. Thus. In the case of Judge Fortun's assignment.