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Eurika Jessa Castillon

FACTS: On February 7, 1989, respondent Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court
of Pangasinan rendered a judgment finding accused Eduardo Cuison guilty of the crime
of double homicide. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the said decision was affirmed
with the modification that the civil indemnity was increased. The accused elevated the
decision on a petition for review but the Supreme Court denied the said petition.
The case was remanded to the Regional Trial Court for promulgation of the
decision. However, respondent Judge promulgated the decision of the CA only with
respect to the modified civil liability of the accused but did not commit the accused to
jail to commence service of his sentence.
In its Resolution, the Court of Appeals clarified that the conviction of the accused
is affirmed with the modification that the civil liability is increased. The dispositive
portion of the decision may not have used the exact words but a reading of the decision
can lead to no other conclusion. Hence, this appeal.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner's right against double jeopardy was violated?
Petitioner contends that "the promulgation by Judge Ramos on April 4, 1995 of
the Respondent Court's decision of June 30, 1991 by reading its dispositive portion has
effectively terminated the criminal cases against the petitioner . . ." In other words,
petitioner claims that the first jeopardy attached at that point.
The Court is not persuaded. As a rule, a criminal prosecution includes a civil
action for the recovery of indemnity. Hence, a decision in such case disposes of both the
criminal as well as the civil liabilities of an accused. Here, trial court promulgated only
the civil aspect of the case, but not the criminal.
As earlier observed, the promulgation of the CA Decision was not complete. In
fact and in truth, the promulgation was not merely incomplete; it was also void. In
excess of its jurisdiction, the trial judge rendered a substantially incomplete
promulgation on April 4, 1995, and he repeated his mistake in his April 12, 1996 Order.
We emphasize that grave abuse of discretion rendered the aforementioned act of the
trial court void. Since the criminal cases have not yet been terminated, the first jeopardy
has not yet attached. Hence, double jeopardy cannot prosper as a defense.
We must stress that Respondent Court's questioned Decision did not modify or
amend its July 30, 1991 Decision. It merely ordered the promulgation of the judgment of
conviction and the full execution of the penalty it had earlier imposed on petitioner.

petitioner filed before the CA a petition for certiorari which was likewise denied. or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused – was not met. but the hearings were repeatedly postponed for various reasons. double jeopardy had set in so that petitioner’s constitutional right against such jeopardy had been violated? HELD: There being no oppressive delay in the proceedings. upon motion of the private prosecutor. For as petitioner’s right to speedy trial was not transgressed. as the criminal cases were initially dismissed for an alleged violation of petitioner’s constitutional right to a speedy trial. ISSUE: Whether or not in petitioner’s cases. After petitioner’s arraignment and pre-trial. and no postponements unjustifiably sought.ALMARIO VS CA FACTS: Petitioner is one of the accused for the crime of estafa. However. It follows that petitioner cannot invoke the constitutional right against double jeopardy when that order was reconsidered seasonably. Where the right of the accused to speedy trial had not been violated. Hence. Petitioner maintains that the appellate court erred when it reconsidered the order which dismissed the criminal cases against him. respondent court issued the case to be dismissed for failure to prosecute and considering that accused is entitled to a speedy trial. there was no reason to support the initial order of dismissal. Petitioner sought a reconsideration but it was denied. Petitioner asserts that this reversal was a violation of the doctrine of double jeopardy. The trial court’s initial order of dismissal was upon motion of petitioner’s counsel. hence made with the . upon motion of petitioner’s counsel. we concur with the conclusion reached by the Court of Appeals that petitioner’s right to speedy trial had not been infringed. the cases were scheduled for continuous trial. Aggrieved by the foregoing order. this exception to the fifth element of double jeopardy – that the defendant was acquitted or convicted. respondent court reconsidered the case and reversed the dismissal.

As this Court had occasion to rule in People consent of petitioner. (244 SCRA 202) reiterated in People vs. private respondents cannot invoke their right against double jeopardy. It must be stressed. double jeopardy did not attach. we have held that the dismissal of cases on the ground of failure to prosecute is equivalent to an acquittal that would bar further prosecution of the accused for the same offense. Leviste. That being the case. . that these dismissals were predicated on the clear right of the accused to speedy trial. For this reason. where we overturned an order of dismissal by the trial court predicated on the right to speedy trial –It is true that in an unbroken line of cases. Tampal. These cases are not applicable to the petition at bench considering that the right of the private respondents to speedy trial has not been violated by the State. despite the reconsideration of said order. however.

Manantan. conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act. (2) the first jeopardy must have terminated. the following elements must be established: (a) a first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second. 1982. The respondents filed their notice of appeal on the civil aspect of the lower court’s judgment. he was with Fiscal Ambrocio. petitioner George Manantan was driving a Toyota car going home. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner’s acquittal in the criminal case foreclosed any further inquiry on his negligence because by then his right against double jeopardy would be violated? HELD: Petitioner’s claim that the decision of the appellate court awarding indemnity placed him in double jeopardy is misplaced. Consequently. The lower court acquitted the Manantan of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide. The constitution provides that “no person shall be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense. however. Suddenly. Note. Even if the accused was acquitted from his criminal liability. and (3) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense as the first. Miguel Tabangin and Ruben Nicolas. driven by Manantan. Ambrocio and Tabangin were injured while Nicolas died. In the instant case. CA FACTS: In the evening of September 25. the Appellate Court held him civilly liable and ordered him to indemnify the aggrieved party for the death of Nicolas. The judgment of acquittal became immediately final. a jeepney. For double jeopardy to exist.” When a person is charged with an offense and the case is terminated either by acquittal or conviction or in any other manner without the consent of the accused. the latter cannot again be charged with the same or identical offense.MANANTAN vs. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance. Trial followed. that what was elevated . coming from the opposite direction hit the driver side of the car. This is double jeopardy. At that time. petitioner had once been placed in jeopardy by the filing of Criminal Case and the jeopardy was terminated by his discharge.

Petitioner’s claim of having been placed in double jeopardy is incorrect. Nor did it order the filing of a second criminal case against petitioner for the same offense. . The records clearly show that no second criminal offense was being imputed to petitioner on appeal. Obviously. the appellate court did not modify the judgment of acquittal. Petitioner was not charged anew with a second criminal offense identical to the first offense. there was no second jeopardy to speak the Court of Appeals by private respondents was the civil aspect of Criminal Case. In modifying the lower court’s judgment. therefore.

who is the mother of the victim in the said criminal cases. necessarily null and void and does not exist. acquitted all the accused and dismissed the cases against them. . Thus. Consequently. the dismissal of the case below was invalid for lack of a fundamental prerequisite. Petitioner Leticia Merciales. the same is null and void.MERCIALES vs. private respondents filed a motion to set the case for hearing. after presenting seven witnesses. By contending that the challenged Decision is void for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. On the said date. the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. However. after the recess. due process. not to determine without hearing. even assuming that a writ of certiorari is granted. to prove the due execution of the accused Nuada's extrajudicial confession. the petition does not violate the right of the accused against double jeopardy.On August 9. The respondent Judge postponed the hearing and reset the same for August 9. Otherwise put. the prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration. the public prosecutor filed a motion for the discharge of accused Joselito Nuada. respondent Judge called for a recess so as to let the prosecution decide whether or not to present an NBI agent. from the very beginning. the trial judge in this case acted without or in excess of jurisdiction. and (4) they are convicted or acquitted. (3) the accused have been arraigned and have pleaded. Indeed. On October 21. However. ISSUE: Whether or not the reopening of the criminal case will violate the accused’s right to double jeopardy? HELD: Inasmuch as the acquittal of the accused by the court a quo was done without regard to due process of law. invoking their constitutional right to speedy trial. that is. instead of presenting further evidence. The respondent Judge granted the motion. the respondent judge denied the motion for discharge. the trial court. who was then present. and the same cannot constitute a claim for double jeopardy. the public prosecutor declined to present the NBI agent and instead manifested that he was not presenting any further evidence. the prosecution contended that it was not required to present evidence to warrant the discharge of accused Nuada. 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. 1994. criminal cases for rape with homicide were filed against the private respondents for the death of Maritess Ricafort Merciales. 1993. for a judgment which is void for lack of due process is equivalent to excess or lack of jurisdiction. any ruling issued without jurisdiction is. the accused would not be placed in double jeopardy because. In rendering the judgment of dismissal. However. in legal contemplation. Precisely. CA FACTS: On August 12. On July 13. in order that he may be utilized as a state witness. for failure of the prosecution to present evidence. 1994. 1994. or the case is dismissed without their consent. It is as if there was no acquittal at all. 1994. During the trial. "jurisdiction" is the right to hear and determine. filed before the respondent Court of Appeals a petition to annul the Order of the trial court. (2) the court has jurisdiction. the lower tribunal had acted without jurisdiction. for lack of sufficient evidence to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. since the latter had already been admitted into the Witness Protection Program.

will not justify its amendment except only to correct clerical errors or mistakes. His intention not to appeal is further indicated by his prayer in the same manifestation for the immediate issuance of a commitment order so he could serve his sentence. PEOPLE FACTS: Petitioner Potot was charged with homicide. In Calalang vs. the following requisites must be present: (1) a valid complaint or information. the wife of the victim. Register of Deeds of Quezon City[16] and in a long line of cases. we agree with the petitioner that the assailed orders would violate his constitutional right against double jeopardy.” ISSUE: Whether or not the judgment has become final that the accused right against double jeopardy will be violated upon re-trial of the same case? HELD: It is an undisputed fact that three days after the promulgation of the judgment of conviction. assuring the accused that he shall not thereafter be subjected to the peril and anxiety of a second charge against him for the same offense. 2000 setting aside its February 3. Such right prohibits any subsequent prosecution of any person for a crime of which he has previously been acquitted or convicted.” The trial court granted private complainant's motion and set aside its Decision and ordered that the records of the case be remanded to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor “for reevaluation of the evidence and to file the corresponding charge”. Such waiver has the effect of causing the judgment to become final and unalterable. he cannot be prosecuted anew for the same offense. it was beyond the authority of the trial court to issue the order of May 3. assuming one was committed in the judgment. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration contending that the trial court has no jurisdiction to issue the order as the Decision had become final. He was arraigned and pleaded guilty to the charge. (3) the accused has pleaded to the charge.” This was denied for the reason that the State is not bound by the error or negligence of its prosecuting officers. and that the said order “would place the accused in double jeopardy. To invoke the defense of double jeopardy. The objective is to set the effects of the first prosecution forever at rest. However. the trial court convicted Potot of homicide. (2) the court has jurisdiction to try the case. Upon arraignment. or the case against him dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent. Records show that petitioner was charged with homicide under a valid information before the trial court which has jurisdiction over it. On the basis of his plea. 2000 Decision which had attained finality. Finally.POTOT VS. and (4) he has been convicted or acquitted. Any error. The petitioner filed a manifestation with motion that he is not appealing from the Decision. . petitioner was convicted and meted the corresponding penalty. this Court (En Banc) held that a judgment which has acquired the status of finality becomes immutable. hence. or any offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the first offense charged. Thereupon. he pleaded guilty to the charge. Thus. jeopardy does not attach. petitioner filed a manifestation expressly waiving his right to appeal therefrom. filed a motion for reconsideration praying that the Decision be set aside and that the case be heard again because “there were irregularities committed before and during the trial which caused miscarriage of justice. These requisites have been established. As petitioner has been placed in jeopardy for the crime of homicide.

The requisite consent of the accused to such motion for reconsideration or modification is intended to protect the latter from having to defend himself anew from more serious offenses or penalties which the prosecution or the court may have overlooked. Section 7. however. double jeopardy cannot be invoked because the accused waived his right not to be placed therein by filing such motion. appellants cannot dictate upon the trial court which aspects of the judgment of conviction should be reviewed. Accordingly. Thus. a motion for reconsideration or modification filed by or with consent of the accused renders the entire evidence open for the review of the trial court without. conducting further proceedings. Clarence greeted Alberto and thereafter asked the victim. or in the alternative. or himself moves for reconsideration of.PEOPLE VS. Silvestre acceded and the two walked towards Floras' Store. It must be stressed. when the accused himself files or consents to the filing of a motion for reconsideration or modification. Silvestre Aquino. to go with him. under Rule 120. therefore. the court a quo is not only empowered but also under obligation to rectify its mistake in appreciating the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength instead of treachery. Having filed a timely motion for reconsideration asking the court to acquit. went to house of Alberto Damian who was celebrating the eve of his birthday. The raison d’etre is to afford the court a chance to correct its own mistakes and to avoid unnecessary appeals from being taken. once the judgment has been validly promulgated. Clearly. or appeals from. His motion gives the court an opportunity to rectify its errors or to reevaluate its assessment of facts and conclusions of law and make them conformable with the statute applicable to the case in the new judgment it has to render. Crisanto and Hilario Astudillo. Likewise. appellants waived the defense of double jeopardy and effectively placed the evidence taken at the trial open for the review of the trial court. ISSUE: Whether or not the amended decision violates the appellant’s right against double jeopardy? HELD: Under Rule 121. ASTUDILLO FACTS: Brothers Clarence. These provisions changed the previous rulings of the Court to the effect that such modification may be made upon motion of the fiscal. Silvestre was rushed to the Municipal Health Office. 1998. . Appellants’ motion for reconsideration was denied in an Order dated July 13. the three appellants fled on board a tricycle. convict them of the lesser offense of homicide. any reconsideration or amendment to correct a manifest substantial error. can be made only with the consent or upon the instance of the accused. or initiated by the court. Crisanto and Silvestre had an argument. In effect. even if unwittingly committed by the trial court through oversight or an initially erroneous comprehension. an Amended Decision was rendered where the phrase "abuse of superior strength" was replaced with "TREACHERY" in the body of the Decision. a judgment of conviction may be modified or set aside only upon motion of the accused. the decision. Errors in the decision cannot be corrected unless the accused consents thereto. such as the taking of additional proof. who was one of the visitors. Section 1 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. The trial court rendered a decision convicting appellants of the crime of Murder. Hence. that the protection against double jeopardy in the foregoing rules may be waived by the accused. where he was pronounced dead on arrival. While at the store. However. with the consent of the accused. however. Thereafter. where they were later joined by Crisanto and Hilario. provided the same is made before a judgment has become final or an appeal has been perfected. a motion for reconsideration of a judgment of conviction may be filed by the accused. Prosecution eyewitnesses saw Clarence stab Silvestre with a bolo while Crisanto and Hilario held him by the wrists.