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Section 14.

Amendment or Substitution
A complaint or information may be amended, in form or in substance, without leave of court, at
any time before the accused enters his plea.
After the plea and during the trial, a formal
amendment may only be made with leave of court and when it can be done without causing
prejudice to the rights of the accused.
However, any amendment before plea, which downgrades the nature of the offense charged in
or excludes any accused from the complaint or information, can be made only upon motion by the
prosecutor, with notice to the offended party and with leave of court. The court shall state its
reasons in resolving the motion and copies of its order shall be furnished all parties, especially the
offended party. (n)
If it appears at any time before judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper
offense, the court shall dismiss the original complaint or information upon the filing of a new one
charging the proper offense in accordance with section 19, Rule 119, provided the accused shall not
be placed in double jeopardy. The court may require the witnesses to give bail for their appearance at
the trial. (14a)
Section 19, Rule 119. When mistake has been made in charging the proper offense - When it becomes
manifest at any time before judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper offense and the
accused cannot be convicted of the offense charged or any other offense necessarily included therein, the
accused shall not be discharged if there appears good cause to detain him. In such case, the court shall
commit the accused to answer for the proper offense and dismiss the original case upon the filing of the
proper information.

Before Plea:
Amendment (form and substance) without leave of court is
allowed except: if amendment downgrades the nature of the
offense and if it excludes any of the accused from the
complaint or information.

After Plea and During Trial


Only amendment as to form is
allowed with leave of court
provided it does not prejudice
accuseds rights.

Arraignment

Purpose of amendment (When Leave of Court Required Before Plea)


Designed to remove the absolute control of the prosecution of a criminal action after the filing of
information even before a plea is entered. Intended to prevent the prosecution from abusing the
process of amendment before plea by dropping any of the accused from the information or reducing
the offense charged whether the accused had been arraigned or not and whether it was due to a re
investigation of the fiscal or a review by the Secretary of Justice (Crespo v Mogul).
Court Must Make Independent Assessment
Once a motion to dismiss or withdraw the information is filed the trial judge may grant or deny it,
not out of subservience to the Secretary of Justice, but in faithful exercise of judicial prerogative.
The trial judge must himself be convinced that there was indeed no sufficient evidence against the
accused, and this conclusion can be arrived at only after an assessment of the evidence in the
possession of the prosecution.
Finding of Grave Abuse of Discretion and Notice To Parties
In the absence of a finding of grave abuse of discretion, the courts denial of a motion to withdraw
information pursuant to Secretarys resolution is void. For this reason the amendment requires
parties, especially the private complainant to be duly furnished copies of the order resolving the
motion therefor and explaining the reasons for such disposition.

When confronted with a motion to withdraw an information on the ground of lack of probable cause based on a
resolution of the secretary of justice, the bounden duty of the trial court is to make an independent assessment of
the merits of such motion. Having acquired jurisdiction over the case, the trial court is not bound by such resolution
but is required to evaluate it before proceeding further with the trial. While the secretarys ruling is persuasive, it is
not binding on courts. A trial court, however, commits reversible error or even grave abuse of discretion if it
refuses/neglects to evaluate such recommendation and simply insists on proceeding with the trial on the mere
pretext of having already acquired jurisdiction over the criminal action. - Ledesma v CA
In Marcelo vs. Court of Appeals,[31] this Court ruled that, although it is more prudent to wait for a final resolution of a
motion for review or reinvestigation from the secretary of justice before acting on a motion to dismiss or a motion
to withdraw an information, a trial court nonetheless should make its own study and evaluation of said motion and
not rely merely on the awaited action of the secretary. The trial court has the option to grant or deny the motion to
dismiss the case filed by the fiscal, whether before or after the arraignment of the accused, and whether after a
reinvestigation or upon instructions of the secretary who reviewed the records of the investigation; provided that
such grant or denial is made from its own assessment and evaluation of the merits of the motion.
In Martinez vs. Court of Appeals,[32] this Court overruled the grant of the motion to dismiss filed by the prosecuting
fiscal upon the recommendation of the secretary of justice because such grant was based upon considerations other
than the judges own assessment of the matter. Relying solely on the conclusion of the prosecution to the effect that
there was no sufficient evidence against the accused to sustain the allegation in the information, the trial judge did
not perform his function of making an independent evaluation or assessment of the merits of the case.
In Marcelo, the dismissal of the criminal action upon the favorable recommendation of the Review Committee,
Office of the City Prosecutor, was precipitate in view of the pendency of private complainants appeal to the
secretary of justice. In effect, the secretarys opinion was totally disregarded by the trial court. In contrast,
in Martinez the dismissal of the criminal action was an erroneous exercise of judicial discretion as the trial court
relied hook, line and sinker on the resolution of the secretary, without making its own independent determination of
the merits of the said resolution.

Test as when Rights of Accused Prejudiced by Amendment


When a defense under the complaint or information as it originally stood, would no longer be
available after the amendment is made, and when any evidence the accused might have, would no
longer be available after the amendment is made, and when any evidence the accused might have,
would be inapplicable to the complaint or information as amended (People v Montenegro)
Prohibited Amendments: Substantial Amendments (After Plea)
Substantial matters in the complaint or information is the recital of facts constituting the offense
charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the court. All other matters are merely of form
(Almeda v Villaluz, 66 SCRA 38 1975)
SUBSTITUTION
Teehanke, Jr. V Madayag, et al, clarified Section 14 Rule 110 to mean as follows: It may accordingly be
posited that both amendment and substitution of the information may be made before or after the
defendant pleads, but they differ in the following respects:
a.
b.

c.

d.

Amendment may involve either formal or substantial changes, while substitution necessarily
involves a substantial change from the original charge;
Amendment before plea has been entered can be effected without leave of court, but
substitution of information must be with leave of court as the original information has to be
dismissed;
Where the amendment is only as to form, there is no need for another preliminary investigation
and the retaking of the plea of the accused; in substitution of information, another preliminary
investigation is entailed and the accused has to plead anew to the new information; and
An amended information refers to the same offense charged in the original information or to an
offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the original charge, hence,
substantial amendments to the information after the plea has been taken cannot be made over
the objection of the accused, for if the original information would be withdrawn, the accused
could invoke double jeopardy. On the other hand, substitution requires or presupposes that the
new information involves a different offense which does not include or is not necessarily
included in the original charge, hence, the accused cannot claim double jeopardy.

RULE: AMENDMENT OR SUBSTITUTION


The rule is that where the second information involves the same offense, or an offense which
necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the first information, an amendment of the
information is sufficient; otherwise, where the new information charges an offense which is distinct
and different from that initially charged, a substitution is in order (deemed amended by 2nd par of
section 14).
LIMITATION TO RULE ON SUBSTITUTION
a. That no judgment has as yet been rendered (Draculan v Donato, 140 SCRA 428)
b. The accused cannot be convicted of the offense charged or of any other offense necessarily
included therein; (Pp v Mogul, 131 SCRA 303)
c. The accused would not be placed in double jeopardy.
Section 15. Place Where Action is to be Instituted.
(a) Subject to existing laws, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the
municipality or territory where the offense was committed or where any of its essential ingredients
occurred.
(b) Where an offense is committed in a train, aircraft, or other public or private vehicle in the
course of its trip, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of any municipality or
territory where such train, aircraft, or other vehicle passed during its trip, including the place of its
departure and arrival.
(c) Where an offense is committed on board a vessel in the course of its voyage, the criminal
action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the first port of entry or of any municipality or
territory where the vessel passed during such voyage, subject to the generally accepted principles of
international law.
(d) Crimes committed outside the Philippines but punishable under Article 2 of the Revised Penal
Code shall be cognizable by the court where the criminal action is first filed. (15a)