TAMARGO, Petitioner,

Atty. Franklin V. Tamargo and his eight-year-old daughter, Gail Franzielle, were shot and killed
The police had no leads on the perpetrators of the crime until a certain Reynaldo Geron surfaced and
executed an affidavit. He stated that a certain Lucio Columna told him during a drinking spree that Atty.
Tamargo was ordered killed by respondent Lloyd Antiporda and that he (Columna) was one of those who
killed Atty. Tamargo.
After conducting a preliminary investigation and on the strength of Geron’s affidavit, the investigating
prosecutor5 issued a resolution dated December 5, 2003 finding probable cause against Columna and three
John Does.6 On February 2, 2004, the corresponding Informations for murder were filed against them in the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila
Columna was arrested in the province of Cagayan on February 17, 2004 and brought to Manila for
detention and trial.
On March 8, 2004, Columna (whose real name was Manuel, Jr.) executed an affidavit wherein he admitted
his participation as "look out" during the shooting and implicated respondent Romulo Awingan (alias
"Mumoy") as the gunman and one Richard Mecate. He also tagged as masterminds respondent Licerio
Antiporda, Jr. and his son, respondent Lloyd Antiporda.
Pursuant to this affidavit, petitioner Harold V. Tamargo (brother of Atty. Tamargo) filed a complaint against
those implicated by Columna in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila.
Respondents denied any involvement in the killings. They alleged that Licerio was a candidate for mayor in
Buguey, Cagayan during the May 2004 elections and that the case was instituted by his political opponents
in order to derail his candidacy.

During the preliminary investigation, respondent Licerio presented Columna’s unsolicited handwritten
letter dated May 3, 2004 to respondent Lloyd, sent from Columna’s jail cell in Manila. In the letter,
Columna disowned the contents of his March 8, 2004 affidavit and narrated how he had been tortured until
he signed the extrajudicial confession. He stated that those he implicated had no participation in the
killings.14 Respondent Licerio also submitted an affidavit of Columna dated May 25, 2004 wherein the latter
essentially repeated the statements in his handwritten letter.

Due to the submission of Columna’s letter and affidavit, the investigating prosecutor set a clarificatory
During the hearing held on October 22, 2004, Columna categorically admitted the authorship and
voluntariness of the unsolicited letter. He affirmed the May 25, 2004 affidavit and denied that any violence
had been employed to obtain or extract the affidavit from him

Thus, on November 10, 2004, the investigating prosecutor recommended the dismissal of the charges. This
was approved by the city prosecutor.

Aggrieved by the dismissal of the charges, petitioner filed an appeal to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
the DOJ, through then Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez, reversed the dismissal and ordered the filing of the
Informations for murder. He opined that the March 8, 2004 extrajudicial confession was not effectively
impeached by the subsequent recantation and that there was enough evidence to prove the probable guilt
of respondents. Accordingly, the Informations were filed
However, on August 12, 2005, Secretary Gonzales granted the Antipordas’ motion for reconsideration (MR)
and directed the withdrawal of the Informations. he declared that the extrajudicial confession of Columna
was inadmissible against respondents and that, even if it was admissible, it was not corroborated by other
evidence.22 As a result, on August 22, 2005, the trial prosecutor filed a motion to withdraw the
The RTC, through Judge Cielito Mindaro-Grulla, granted the motion to withdraw the Informations
Petitioner filed an MR but the judge voluntarily inhibited herself without resolving the same. The cases
were re-raffled to Branch 19, presided by Judge Zenaida R. Daguna. Judge Daguna granted the MR of
She ruled that, based on Columna’s March 8, 2004 affidavit which he affirmed before the investigating
prosecutor, there was probable cause to hold the accused for trial.
Consequently, respondent Awingan filed a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition in the CA
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 93610. The Antipordas separately filed another certiorari case

In a decision dated November 10, 2006 in CA-G.R. SP No. 93610, into account in concluding that there was
no probable cause against all the accused. It also held that Columna’s extrajudicial confession was not
admissible against the respondents because, aside from the recanted confession, there was no other piece
of evidence presented to establish the existence of the conspiracy. Additionally, the confession was made
only after Columna the CA ruled that the RTC judge gravely abused her discretion because she arbitrarily
left out of her assessment and evaluation the substantial matters that the DOJ Secretary had fully taken
was arrested and not while the conspirators were engaged in carrying out the conspiracy

ISSUE: is whether or not the CA erred in finding that Judge Daguna had committed grave abuse of discretion in
denying the withdrawal of the Informations for murder against respondents.

HELD: Judge Daguna had committed grave abuse of discretion in denying the withdrawal of the Informations for
murder against respondents. She completely ignored other relevant pieces of evidence.
Judge Daguna failed to consider that Columna’s extrajudicial confession in his March 8, 2004 affidavit was not
admissible as evidence against respondents in view of the rule on res inter alios acta.
Res inter alios acta alteri nocere non debet. The rule on res inter alios acta provides that the rights of a party
cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of another.32 Consequently, an extrajudicial confession is
binding only on the confessant, is not admissible against his or her co-accused 33 and is considered as hearsay
against them
An exception to the res inter alios acta rule is an admission made by a conspirator under Section 30, Rule 130 of the
Rules of Court:
Here, aside from the extrajudicial confession, which was later on recanted, no other piece of evidence was
presented to prove the alleged conspiracy. There was no other prosecution evidence, direct or circumstantial, which
the extrajudicial confession could corroborate. Therefore, the recanted confession of Columna, which was the sole
evidence against respondents, had no probative value and was inadmissible as evidence against them.
Given that she had no sufficient basis for a finding of probable cause against respondents, her orders denying the
withdrawal of the Informations for murder against them were issued with grave abuse of discretion.
Eduardo Ricarze was a collector-messenger of City Service Corporation. He was assigned to collect checks
payable to Caltex. He then opened a bank account in the name of Dante Gutierrez, a regular customer of caltex. He
did so by forging the signatures of the dorsal portions of the stolen check and deposited it in that same bank
account. Upon knowledge of his crimes, he was charged by the officers of Caltex with estafa through falsification of
commercial documents.
In the original infomation filed by the prosecutor, Caltex appeared to be the only offended party because the
prosecutor was not informed that PCI Bank credited certain amount to Caltex.
After the arraignment and enter of plea, PCIBank appeared as the complainant. Then, Ricarze averred that the
information can no longer be amended because he had already been arraigned under the original information, and
that doing so would place him in double jeopardy.

PCIBank argued that it had re-credited the amount to Caltex to the extent of the indemnity; hence, the PCIB
had been subrogated to the rights and interests of Caltex as private complainant.
Issue: Whether or not an information can be amended even after the accused had been arraigned and had entered
his plea.
Held: Yes, because the amendment in the name of the complainant is one of form. Before the accused enters his
plea, a formal or substantial amendment of the complaint or information may be made without leave of court. After
the entry of a plea, only a formal amendment may be made but with leave of court and if it does not prejudice the
rights of the accused. After arraignment, a substantial amendment is proscribed except if the same is beneficial to
the accused.
The test as to whether a defendant is prejudiced by the amendment is whether a defense under the
information as it originally stood would be available after the amendment is made, and whether any evidence
defendant might have would be equally applicable to the information in the one form as in the other. An
amendment to an information which does not change the nature of the crime alleged therein does not affect the
essence of the offense or cause surprise or deprive the accused of an opportunity to meet the new averment had
each been held to be one of form and not of substance.
In the case at bar, the substitution of Caltex by PCIB as private complaint is not a substantial amendment. The
substitution did not alter the basis of the charge in both Informations, nor did it result in any prejudice to petitioner.
The documentary evidence in the form of the forged checks remained the same, and all such evidence was
available to petitioner well before the trial. Thus, he cannot claim any surprise by virtue of the substitution.


On March 19, 2005, an Information for Rape was filed against Armando for inserting his fingers and
afterwards his penis into the private part of his minor victim,
That on or about March 11, 2004 in the City of Manila, Philippines, [Armando], with lewd design and by
means of force, violence and intimidation did then and there willfully, unlawfully and knowingly commit
sexual abuse and lascivious conduct upon a ten (10) year old minor child, [VVV], by then and there pulling
her in a dark place then mashing her breast and inserting his fingers in her vagina and afterwards his
penis, against her will and consent, thereby causing serious danger to the normal growth and development
of the child [VVV], to her damage and prejudice
Upon his arraignment, Armando pleaded not guilty to the charge. Consequently, trial on the merits ensued.
On April 29, 2005, the Regional Trial Court of Manila (RTC), Branch 43, after finding the evidence of the
prosecution overwhelming against the accused's defense of denial and alibi, rendered a
Decision[6] convicting Armando of Statutory Rape.
ggrieved, Armando appealed the Decision before the CA,
On December 29, 2006, the CA rendered a Decision [7] finding Armando not only guilty of Statutory Rape,
but also of Rape Through Sexual Assault.
Armando now comes before this Court for relief.
The Information has sufficiently informed accused-appellant that he is being charged with two counts of
rape. Although two offenses were charged, which is a violation of Section 13, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules
of Criminal Procedure, which states that "[a] complaint or information must charge only one offense,
except when the law prescribes a single punishment for various offenses." Nonetheless, Section 3, Rule
120 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure also states that "[w]hen two or more offenses are charged
in a single complaint or information but the accused fails to object to it before trial, the court may convict
the appellant of as many as are charged and proved, and impose on him the penalty for each offense,

setting out separately the findings of fact and law in each offense." Consequently, since Armando failed to
file a motion to quash the Information, he can be convicted with two counts of rape.