You are on page 1of 16

Garcia vs. Ferro Chemicals, Inc., (G.R. No. 172505.

October 1, 2014)
In July 1988, Antonio Garcia (seller) and Ferro Chemicals, Inc., through Ramon Garcia (buyer) entered into a deed
of absolute sale and purchase of shares of stocks. The contract was entered into to prevent the shares from being sold
at public auction to pay the outstanding obligations of Mr. Garcia. The shares of stocks was one class A share in
Alabang Country Club, Inc., and one proprietary membership in the Manila Polo Club, Inc., under the name of
Antonio Garcia. However, the said shares were sold at public auction under the Philippine Investment System
Ferro Chemicals field against Antonio Garcia. Garcia was charged with estafa under Article 318 (Other Deceits) of
the Revised Penal Code for allegedly misrepresenting to Ferro Chemicals, Inc. that the shares subject of the
contracts entered into were free from all liens and encumbrances.
RTC acquitted Antonio Garcia for insufficiency of evidence. Ferro Chemicals filed a motion for reconsideration,
which was denied by the RTC in July 29, 1997. In August 25, 1997, Ferro Chemicals, Inc. appealed to the CA,
entitled, Notice of Appeal Ex Gratia Abudantia Ad Cautelam (Of The Civil Aspect of the Case)," as to the civil
aspect of the case.
On October 15, 1997, the Makati Prosecutors Office and Ferro Chemicals, Inc. also filed a petition with the SC,
assailing the decision of the RTC acquitting Antonio Garcia. Ramon Garcia, President of Ferro Chemicals, Inc.,
signed the verification and certification of non-forum shopping of the petition for certiorari. In its resolution dated
November 16, 1998, the SC dismissed the petition for certiorari and an entry of judgement was made on December
24, 1998.
On the other hand, the CA on August 11, 2005, awarded Ferro Chemicals, Php1M as actual loss with legal interest
and attorneys fees in the amount of Php20,000. The CA found that Antonio Garcia failed to disclose the Philippine
Investment and Savings Organizations lien over the club shares.
Mr. Garcia filed a petition for review on certiorari, assailing the decision and resolution of the CA.

Whether the RTC had jurisdiction over the case

Whether the act of Ferro Chemicals, Inc. in filing the notice of appeal before the CA and the certiorari
assailing the same trial court decision amounted to forum shopping
Whether Ferro Chemicals was entitled to the awards given as civil liability ex delicto.


The RTC did not have jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter is vested by law. In criminal cases, the imposable
penalty of the crime charged in the information determines the court that has jurisdiction over the
case. The information charged Antonio Garcia with violation of Article 318 of the Revised Penal
Code, which is punishable by arresto mayor, or imprisonment for a period of one (1) month and one
(1) day to six (6) months.
When the information was filed on September 3, 1990, the law in force was Batas Pambansa Blg. 129
(Judicial Reorganization Act) before it was amended by Republic Act No. 7691. Under Section 32 of
Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, the Metropolitan Trial Court had jurisdiction over the case. The RTC did
not have jurisdiction to hear and decide the case.
The Regional Trial Court did not have jurisdiction to hear and decide the case. This lack of
jurisdiction resulted in voiding all of the trial court's proceedings and the judgment rendered.
Although the trial court's lack of jurisdiction was never raised as an issue in any part of the

proceedings and even until it reached the SC, it was ruled that: applying the general rule, jurisdiction
is vested by law and cannot be conferred or waived by the parties.
The failure of the parties to raise the matter of jurisdiction also cannot be construed as a waiver of the
parties. Jurisdiction is conferred by law and cannot be waived by the parties. The assailed decision is
void, considering that it originates from a void decision of the Regional Trial Court for lack of
jurisdiction over the subject matter.

Yes, Ferro Chemicals, Inc. committed forum shopping

Forum shopping is defined as, the act of a litigant who 'repetitively availed of several judicial
remedies in different courts, simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded on the same
transactions and the same essential facts and circumstances, and all raising substantially the same
issues either pending in, or already resolved adversely by some other court . . . to increase his
chances of obtaining a favorable decision if not in one court, then in another'.
Ferro Chemicals, Inc. committed forum shopping when it filed an appeal before the Court of Appeals
and a petition for certiorari before the SC assailing the same trial court decision. This is true even if
Ferro Chemicals, Inc.'s notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals was entitled, "Notice of Appeal Ex
Gratia Abudantia Ad Cautelam (Of The Civil Aspect of the Case)." The "civil aspect of the case"
referred to by Ferro Chemicals, Inc. is for the recovery of civil liability ex delicto. However, it failed
to make a reservation before the trial court to institute the civil action for the recovery of civil
liability ex delicto or institute a separate civil action prior to the filing of the criminal case.
At a glance, it may appear that Ferro Chemicals, Inc. asserted different rights: the appeal before the
CA is purely on the civil aspect of the trial court's decision while the petition for certiorari before the
SC is allegedly only on the criminal aspect of the case. However, the civil liability asserted by Ferro
Chemicals, Inc. before the CA rose from the criminal act. It is in the nature of civil liability ex delicto.
Ferro Chemicals, Inc. did not reserve the right to institute the civil action for the recovery of civil
liability ex delicto or institute a separate civil action prior to the filing of the criminal case. Thus, it is
an adjunct of the criminal aspect of the case.
Litigants cannot avail themselves of two separate remedies for the same relief in the hope that in one
forum, the relief prayed for will be granted. This is the evil sought to be averted by the doctrine of
non-forum shopping, and this is the problem that has happened in this case. The SC denied the
petition for certiorari filed by Ferro Chemicals, Inc. resulting in finality of the trial court's
decision. The decision found Antonio Garcia not guilty of the offense charged, and no civil liability
was awarded to Ferro Chemicals, Inc. However, at present, there is a conflicting decision from the
CA awarding Ferro Chemicals, Inc. civil indemnity arising from the offense charged.

No. The civil action cannot proceed independently of the criminal case. This includes subsequent
proceedings on the criminal action such as an appeal. In any case, Ferro Chemicals, Inc. joined the
public prosecutor in filing the petition for certiorari before the SC. Ramon Garcia, President of Ferro
Chemicals, Inc., signed the verification and certification of non-forum shopping of the petition for
However, private complainants in criminal cases are not precluded from filing a motion for
reconsideration and subsequently an appeal on the civil aspect of a decision acquitting the accused.
An exception to the rule that only the Solicitor General can bring actions in criminal proceedings
before the CA or SC is "when the private offended party questions the civil aspect of a decision of a
lower court."
In a criminal case in which the offended party is the State, the interest of the private complainant or
the offended party is limited to the civil liability arising therefrom. Hence, if a criminal case is
dismissed by the trial court or if there is an acquittal, a reconsideration of the order of dismissal or
acquittal may be undertaken, whenever legally feasible, insofar as the criminal aspect thereof is
concerned and may be made only by the public prosecutor; or in the case of an appeal, by the State

only, through the OSG. The private complainant or offended party MAY NOT undertake such
motion for reconsideration or appeal on the criminal aspect of the case. However, the offended
party or private complainant MAY file a motion for reconsideration of such dismissal or
acquittal or appeal therefrom but only insofar as the civil aspect thereof is concerned.
This is in consonance with the doctrine that: the extinction of the penal action does not necessarily
carry with it the extinction of the civil action, whether the latter is instituted with or separately from
the criminal action. The offended party may still claim civil liability ex delicto if there is a finding in
the final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the liability may arise
Jurisprudence has enumerated three instances when, notwithstanding the accused's acquittal, the
offended party may still claim civil liability ex delicto: (a) if the acquittal is based on reasonable
doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required; (b) if the court declared that the liability of the
accused is only civil; and (c) if the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based
upon the crime of which the accused is acquitted.
However, if the state pursues an appeal on the criminal aspect of a decision of the trial court acquitting
the accused and private complainant/s FAILED TO RESERVE THE RIGHT to institute a
separate civil action, the civil liability ex delicto that is inherently attached to the offense is likewise
appealed. The appeal of the civil liability ex delicto is impliedly instituted with the petition for
certiorari assailing the acquittal of the accused. Private complainant cannot anymore pursue a
separate appeal from that of the state without violating the doctrine of non-forum shopping.
But, if private complainant reserved the right to institute the civil action for the recovery of civil
liability ex delicto before the RTC or institute a separate civil action prior to the filing of the criminal
case in accordance with Rule 111 of the Rules of Court. In these situations, the filing of an appeal as
to the civil aspect of the case cannot be considered as forum shopping.
Since, Ferro Chemicals, Inc. did not reserve it rite to institute a separate civil action prior to the filing
of the criminal case in accordance with Rule 111 of the Rule of Court, the petition was denied. The
resolution of the SC issued on November 16, 1998 denying the petition for certiorari was reiterated.

G.R. 154557 (February 13, 2008)

People of the Philippines, petitioner, vs.
The Honorable Court of Appeals, 12th Division, Rico Lipao, and Rickson Lipao, respondents.
Facts of the Case:
On October 21, 1991, Rico Lipao and Rickson Lipao were found in possession of 8 pieces of round timbers and 160
bundles of firewood with a market value of Php 3,100.00. Having failed to show the necessary license to transport
the aforementioned forest products, Rico Lipao and Rickson Lipao were accused of violating Section 68 of
Presidential Decree No. 705 as amended by Executive Order No. EO 277. Accordingly, the offense charged is
punishable by Prision Correcional in its medium period is imprisonment from 2 years, 4 months and 1 day up to 4
years and 2 months. While on its maximum, Prision Correcional is imprisonment from 4 years, 2 months and 1 day
up to 6 years. The Surigao City RTC Branch 32 found private respondents guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
offense charged.
The private respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals. They argued that private respondent Rickson was
subjected to an illegal search and seizure of the round posts and firewood which cannot be used as evidence against
him. Moreover, private respondents argued that the prosecution failed to prove their lack of license to possess
timber. They contended that since private respondent Rico is merely the owner of the pumpboat and was not present
when the posts and firewood were seized, he could never be held liable for illegal possession of timber as he was
never in possession of the round posts.
Amidst the proceedings in this criminal case docketed as Criminal Case No, 551 and before the Surigao City RTC
Branch 32 rendered its judgment, RA 7691. This expanded the exclusive original jurisdiction of MTCs and MCTCs
in criminal cases to cover all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six years irrespective of the
amount fine. This is the reason why on June 13, 2002, the Court of Appeals granted the appeal of private
respondents and dismissing the case before it on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of RTC despite the fact that the
issue of jurisdiction was never raised by the private respondents.
Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over the criminal case against private respondents despite the effectivity of
RA 7691.
The petition was granted. The assailed CA decision was revised and set aside. The CA was directed to resolve the
appeal of private respondents on the merits and with dispatch. It has been held as a general rule that the jurisdiction
of a court to try a criminal case is to be determined by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action.
Where a court has already obtained and is exercising jurisdiction over a controversy, its jurisdiction to proceed to the
final determination of the cause is not affected by new legislation placing jurisdiction over such proceedings in
another tribunal. Jurisdiction attached upon the commencement of the action could not be ousted by the passage of
R.A. 7691 reapportioning the jurisdiction of inferior courts, the application of which to criminal cases is, to stress,
prospective in nature. Thus, where private respondents had been charges with illegal logging punishable under
Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code, the RTC clearly has jurisdiction at the inception of the criminal

Valdepenas vs. People (G.R. No. L-20687, April 30, 1966)

Doctrine: Jurisdiction over the person of an accused is acquired upon either his
apprehension, with or without warrant, or his submission to the jurisdiction of the
Facts: Appeal by Valdepeas from a decision of CA, affirming that of the CFI
Cagayan, convicting him of the crime of abduction with consent, and sentencing
him to an indeterminate penalty and to indemnify Ester Ulsano. Ester Ulsano, 17yrs
old, assisted by her mother filed forcible abduction with rape against Valdepenas.
CFI found him guilty as charged. CA modified to abduction with consent.
Valdepenas filed an MR & MNT on the finding of minority at time of occurrence
which was granted but on retrial the prior CA ruling was affirmed. 2nd MR based on
lack of jurisdiction of CFI was denied so he filed petition for certiorari.
Petitioner's theory is that no complaint for abduction with consent has been filed
and the lower court acquired no jurisdiction over his person or over the crime of
abduction with consent and had, therefore, no authority to convict him.
Issue: WON CA erred in not reversing CFI for lack of jurisdiction over the person of
the accused and the subject matter of the action for the offense of abduction with
Held: NO
Jurisdiction over the person of an accused is acquired upon either his
apprehension, with or without warrant, or his submission to the
jurisdiction of the court. In the case at bar, it is not claimed that petitioner had
not been apprehended or had not submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court.
Indeed, although brought before the bar of justice as early as January 25, 1956,
first, before the then justice of the peace court of Piat, then before the CFI of
Cagayan, later before the CA, thereafter back to CFI, and then, again, before the CA,
never, within the period of six (6) years had he questioned the judicial
authority of any of these three (3) courts over his person. He is deemed
waived whatever objection he might have had to the jurisdiction over his person,
and, hence, to have submitted himself to the Court's jurisdiction. His behaviour and
every single one of the steps taken by him before said courts particularly the
motions therein filed by him implied, not merely a submission to the jurisdiction
thereof, but, also, that he urged the courts to exercise the authority thereof
over his person. Abduction with consent - jurisdiction over a given crime, not
vested by law upon a particular court, may not be conferred thereto by the parties
involve in the offense. In the case at bar, the offended woman and her mother have
negated such preference by filing the complaint and going through the trials and

tribulations concomitant with the proceedings in this case, before several courts, for
the last ten (10) years. Petitioner says that the complaint was for forcible abduction,
not abduction with consent; but, as already adverted to, the latter is included in the
former. This allegation implies that Ester is a minor living under patria protestas,
and, hence, single, thus leading to the presumption that she is a virgin. She was
taken by force from their dwelling when her mother was away and brought to a
secluded area and raped. CA and CFI affirmed. Cost against Valdepenas
People v. Lagon (G.R. 45815 / 18 May 1990)
IN RE: Determined by Allegations of Complaint
On 7 July 1976, aninformation for estafa was filed against accused Lagon for
allegedly issuing a check for payment of goods without having sufficient funds. The
city court of Roxas, however, dismissed the information for the very reason that the
penalty prescribed for crime charged had become beyond the latter courts
authority to impose. It appears that when the crime was committed (April 1975), the
law vested the city court with jurisdiction. However, by the time the information was
filed (July 1976), P.D. 818 increased the penalty for the same.
Well-settled is the doctrine that the subject matter jurisdiction of a court in criminal
law matters is properly measured by the law in effect at the time of the
commencement of a criminal action, rather than by the law in effect at the time of
the commission of the offense charged. In this regard, considering the passage of
P.D.818, jurisdiction of the case now pertained to the CFI of Roxas and not with the
city court.

Zaldivia v Reyes
G.R. No. 102342, July 3, 1992, 211 SCRA 277
Facts: A complaint was filed before the fiscals office constituting an offense in
violation of a city ordinance. The fiscal did not file the complaint before the court
immediately but instead filed it 3 months later. The defendants counsel filed a
motion to quash on ground that the action to file the complaint has prescribed. The
fiscal contends that the filing of the complaint before his office already interrupts
the prescription period.
Issue: Whether or not the filing of information/complaint before the fiscal office
constituting a violation against a special law/ordinance interrupts prescription.
Held: The mere filing of complaint to the fiscals office does not interrupt the
running of prescription on offenses punishable by a special law. The complaint
should have been filed within a reasonable time before the court. It is only then that
the running of the prescriptive period is interrupted.

**Act 3326 is the governing law on prescription of crimes punishable by a special

law which states that prescription is only interrupted upon judicial proceeding.
Luz M. Zaldivia v. Hon. Andres B. Reyes, Jr.
Petitioner Zaldivia is charged with quarrying for commercial purposes without a
mayor's permit in the municipality of Rodriguez, Province of Rizal.
She moved to quash the information on the ground that the crime had prescribed
but it was denied. She appealed to the RTC and denial was sustained by the
respondent judge.
Petitioner filed for a petition for review on certiorari arguing that the case filed
against her is govern by the provisions on the Rules of Summary Procedure. She
contends that criminal cases like violations of municipal or city ordinances does not
require preliminary investigation and shall be filed directly to the court and not in
the Prosecutor's office. She also invoked Act No. 3226 An Act to Establish Periods of
Prescription for Violations Penalized by Special Acts and Municipal Ordinances and
to Provide when Prescription Shall Begin to Run. Concluding that the case should
have been dismissed since the case against her was being filed in court way beyond
the 2 month statutory period.
The prosecution contends that when the case was filed on the Prosecutor's office it
suspends the prescriptive period.
Issue: Whether or not the prescription of period ceased to run when the case was
filed on the prosecutor's office?
Decision: Petition granted. Case dismissed on the ground of prescription.
Ruling: As a general rule, the filing of the case in the prosecutor's office is sufficient
to interrupt the running of the prescriptive period except when the case is covered
by the Rules on Summary Procedure. If it is any crime, you file it in the fiscal's
office; the running of the prescriptive period is interrupted. But in the case at bar
having only a penalty of arresto menor it therefore falls under the provisions of the
Rules on Summary Procedure. If it is covered by the Summary Rules, the period
continues. It must be the filing of the case in court which will interrupt the period
from running.

Remedial Law; Criminal Procedure; Prescription of Offenses; Summary Procedure; As provided

in the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure, only the filing of an Information tolls the
prescriptive period where the crime charged is involved in an ordinance
JADEWELL PARKING SYSTEMS CORPORATION represented by its manager and
authorized representative Norma Tan, petitioner, vs. HON. JUDGE NELSON F. LIDUA, SR.,
Presiding Judge of The Municipal Trial Court Branch 3, Baguio City, BENEDICTO
G.R. No. 169588. October 7, 2013.
NATURE: PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the Regional Trial Court of
Baguio City
FACTS: Jadewell, pursuant to City Ordinance 003-2000, was authorized to render any motor
vehicle immobilized by placing its wheels in a clamp if the vehicle is illegally parked.
Balajadia and the other respondents dismantled, took and carried away the clamps
attached to the wheel of the vehicles, which took place on May 7, 2003. Jadewell filed a
complaint for robbery against the respondents with the Office of the City Prosecutor on May 23,
2003. However, the Informations were filed with the MTC on October 2, 2003. Balajadia filed a
motion to quash.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE: The MTC granted the motion to quash and dismissed the case
and Jadewells subsequent motion for reconsideration. Jadewells petition for certiorari with RTC
was likewise denied. Their motion for reconsideration was also denied.
CONTENTION OF JADEWELL: They argued that the filing of the criminal complaint with
the Office of the City Prosecutor of Baguio City, not the filing of the criminal information before
Court, is the reckoning point in determining whether or not the criminal action had prescribed.
CONTENTION OF BALAJADIA: Respondents argued that Zaldivia v. Reyes held that the
proceedings mentioned in Section 2 of Act No. 3326, as amended, refer to judicial proceedings.
Thus, the SC, in Zaldivia, held that the filing of the Complaint with the Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor was not a judicial proceeding. The prescriptive period commenced from the alleged
date of the commission of the crime on May 7, 2003 and ended two months after on July 7, 2003.

ISSUE: Whether the filing of the Complaint with the Office of the City Prosecutor on May 23,
2003 tolled the prescription period of the commission of the offense
HELD: No. As provided in the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure, only the filing of an
Information tolls the prescriptive period where the crime charged is involved in an ordinance.
The respondent judge was correct when he applied the rule in Zaldivia v. Reyes. In Zaldivia v.
Reyes, 211 SCRA 277 (1992), the violation of a municipal ordinance in Rodriguez, Rizal also
featured similar facts and issues with the present case. In that case, the offense was committed on
May 11, 1990. The Complaint was received on May 30, 1990, and the Information was filed with
the Metropolitan Trial Court of Rodriguez on October 2, 1990.
When the representatives of the petitioner filed the Complaint before the Provincial
Prosecutor of Baguio, the prescription period was running. It continued to run until the filing of
the Information. They had two months to file the Information and institute the judicial
proceedings by filing the Information with the Municipal Trial Court.
The failure of the prosecutor to seasonably file the Information is unfortunate as it
resulted in the dismissal of the case against the private respondents. It stands that the doctrine of
Zaldivia is applicable to ordinances and their prescription period. It also upholds the necessity of
filing the Information in court in order to toll the period. Zaldivia also has this to say concerning
the effects of its ruling: The Court realizes that under the above interpretation, a crime may
prescribe even if the complaint is filed seasonably with the prosecutors office if, intentionally or
not, he delays the institution of the necessary judicial proceedings until it is too late. However,
that possibility should not justify a misreading of the applicable rules beyond their obvious intent
as reasonably deduced from their plain language. The remedy is not a distortion of the meaning
of the rules but a rewording thereof to prevent the problem here sought to be corrected.

People v. Pangilinan, G.R. No. 152662, March 10, 2000

Crim Pro - Rule 110
Ma. Theresa Pangilinan, the respondent in this instant case allegedly issued 9 checks with the
aggregate amount of P9,658,692 in favor of Virginia Malolos. But, upon Malolos' presentment of the said
checks, they were dishonored. So, on Sept. 16, 1997, Malolos filed an affidavit-complaint for estafa and
violation of BP 22 against Pangilinan.
On December 5, 1997, Pangilinan filed a civil case for accounting, recovery of commercial
documents, enforceability and effectivity of contract and specific performance against Malolos before the
RTC of Valenzuela City. Later, Pangilinan also filed on December 10, 1997, a "Petition to Suspend
Proceedings on the Ground of Prejudicial Question".
On March 2, 1998, Assistant City Prosecutor Ruben Catubay recommended Pangilinan's petition
which was approved by the City Prosecutor of Quezon City. Malolos, then, raised the matter before the
On January 5, 1999, Sec. of Justice Serafin Cuevas reversed the resolution of the City Prosecutor
and ordered the filing of the informations for violation of BP 22 in connection with Pangilinan's issuance of
two checks, the charges involving the other checks were dismissed. So, two counts of violation for BP 22,
both dated Nov. 18, 1999, were filed against Pangilinan on Feb. 3, 2000 before the MeTC of Quezon City.
On June 17, 2000, Pangilinan filed an "Omnibus Motion to Quash the Information and to Defer the
Issuance of Warrant of Arrest before MeTC, Branch 31, Quezon City, alleging that the criminal liability
has been extinguished by reason of prescription. The motion was granted. Malolos filed a notice of appeal
and the RTC reversed the decision of the MeTC. According to the RTC, the offense has not yet
prescribed "considering the appropriate complaint that started the proceedings having been filed with the
Office of the Prosecutor on 16 September 1997". Dissatisfied, Pangilinan raised the matter to the
Supreme Court for review but it was referred to the CA "for appropriate action".
On October 26, 2001, the CA reversed the decision of the RTC and recognized Feb. 3, 2000 as
the date of the filing of the informations.

Issue: Whether or not the filing of the affidavit-complaint for estafa and violation of BP Blg. 22 against
respondent with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City on 16 September 1997 interrupted the
period of prescription of such offense.
Held. Yes. Under Section 1 of Act No. 3326 which is the law applicable to B.P. 22 cases, [v]iolations
penalized by special acts shall, unless otherwise provided in such acts, prescribe in accordance with the
following rules: after four years for those punished by imprisonment for more than one month, but less
than two years. Under Section 2 of the same Act, [t]he prescription shall be interrupted when
proceedings are instituted against the guilty person, and shall begin to run again if the proceedings are
dismissed for reasons not constituting jeopardy.
Since B.P. 22 is a special law that imposes a penalty of imprisonment of not less than thirty (30)
days but not more than one year or by a fine for its violation, it therefore prescribes in four (4) years in
accordance with the aforecited law. The running of the prescriptive period, however, should be tolled upon
the institution of proceedings against the guilty person.

The affidavit-complaints for the violations were filed against respondent on 16 September 1997.
The cases reached the MeTC of Quezon City only on 13 February 2000 because in the meanwhile,
respondent filed a civil case for accounting followed by a petition before the City Prosecutor for
suspension of proceedings on the ground of prejudicial question. The matter was raised before the
Secretary of Justice after the City Prosecutor approved the petition to suspend proceedings. It was only
after the Secretary of Justice so ordered that the informations for the violation of BP Blg. 22 were filed
with the MeTC of Quezon City.
Clearly, it was respondents own motion for the suspension of the criminal proceedings, which
motion she predicated on her civil case for accounting, that caused the filing in court of the 1997 initiated
proceedings only in 2000

Francisco vs People G.R. No. 177720 February 18, 2009

Eliseo R. Francisco is the Acquiring Chargeback Supervisor of Bankard Inc.
Bankard is a credit card company engaged in issuing credit cards and acquiring
credit card receivables from commercial establishments arising from purchases. The
company serves as an intermediary between the credit card holder and a bank.
Petitioner Francisco was tasked to convert the Equicom reports send through
electronic mail from its original ARJ Text Format to the Amipro Format used by
Bankard. Francisco was the only one assigned to perform this task.
Bankard found several discrepancies between the original reports of Equicom
with those converted by Francisco. There was a reversal of charges from 4 different
establishments to Franciscos account. Upon a closer look, there was no record of
actual transactions or purchases. Since there were no original purchase transactions
charged against Franciscos credit cards, the reversal of charges and the crediting of
sums of money to Franciscos credit cards appeared to be fictitious. Due to this,
Bankard wa made to pay the same to Solidbank, the actual bank of Francisco, the
amount credited to Franciscos credit card.
Due to these fraudulent transactions, Bankard filed a criminal case of estaffa
against Francisco. The RTC and the CA all ruled in favor of Bankard.
Whether or not Bankard is the offended party in this case
Yes and even if not, the complaint would still be valid. Petitioner Francisco
further argues that Bankard had no personality to file the complaint, since the credit
card companies were the ones which really suffered damage in the case at bar.
Thus, argued petitioner Francisco, the third element of estafa under Article 315(a)
was lacking: Stated otherwise, this element speaks of an offended party which
undoubtedly may only refer to Solidbank Mastercard and AIG Visa simply because it
was these two credit card companies that extended credit facilities to herein
petitioner when the latter used his credit cards.
Firstly, as discussed above, it was duly proven that Bankard also suffered
damages by reason of fraudulent acts committed by petitioner Francisco. Secondly,
even assuming for the sake of argument that Solidbank Mastercard and AIG Visa
were the proper offended parties in this case, petitioner Francisco is mistaken in his
assertion that it was essential for either Solidbank Mastercard or AIG Visa to have
filed the complaint for estafa. Except in cases that cannot be prosecuted de oficio,

namely adultery, concubinage, seduction, abduction and acts of lasciviousness,10 a

complaint filed by the offended party is not necessary for the institution of a
criminal action. The Information filed by the prosecutor with the proper court is
sufficient. A crime is an offense against the State, and hence is prosecuted in the
name of the People of the Philippines. The participation of the private offended
party is not essential to the prosecution of crimes, except in the crimes stated
above, or in the prosecution of the civil action deemed instituted with the criminal
action.11 A complaint for purposes of preliminary investigation by the prosecutor
need not be filed by the "offended party" but may be filed by any competent

Criminal Procedure; Preliminary Investigation; The prosecutors findings on the existence of

probable cause are not subject to review by the courts, unless these are patently shown to have
been made with grave abuse of discretion
MASAYUKI HASEGAWA, petitioner, vs. LEILA F. GIRON, respondent.
G.R. No. 184536. August 14, 2013
NATURE: PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and resolution of the Court of
FACTS: Giron, an office worker, claimed that she and her friend were taken at gunpoint by two
men and forcibly boarded into a vehicle. They were detained for more than 24-hours. They were
taunted and repeatedly threatened by their abductors into withdrawing the case against
Hasegawa claimed that he has no knowledge of the crime and doesnt know the
abductors. He asserted that respondent and Marcos were extorting money from him because the
instant case was filed right after the negotiations to settle the civil aspect of the three cases they
filed with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID), National Labor Relations
Commission, (NLRC) and MeTC Pasay failed.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE: Giron filed a Complaint- Affidavit for Kidnapping and Serious
Illegal Detention against Hasegawa. Senior State Prosecutor dismissed the complaint for lack of
probable cause. Giron filed a Petition for Review before the DOJ and her subsequent motion for
reconsideration were likewise denied. She filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of
The CA reversed and set aside the resolution of the DOJ.
CONTENTION OF HASEGAWA: The prosecutors findings on the existence of probable
cause are not subject to review by the courts.
CONTENTION OF GIRON: The CA did no err in finding that the prosecutor usurped the
duties belonging to the court when she overstretched her duties and applied the standards, not of
ordinary prudence and cautiousness, nor of mere reasonable belief and probability, but of a full-

blown trial on the merits, where rules on admissibility of testimonies and other evidence strictly
ISSUE: Whether or not the prosecutor had overstretched her duties that would amount to grave
abuse of discretion warranting the review of the court
HELD: Yes. The decision whether or not to dismiss the criminal complaint against the accused
depends on the sound discretion of the prosecutor. Courts will not interfere with the conduct of
preliminary investigations, or reinvestigations, or in the determination of what constitutes
sufficient probable cause for the filing of the corresponding information against an offender.
Courts are not empowered to substitute their own judgment for that of the executive branch.
Differently stated, as the matter of whether to prosecute or not is purely discretionary on his part,
courts cannot compel a public prosecutor to file the corresponding information, upon a
complaint, where he finds the evidence before him insufficient to warrant the filing of an action
in court. In sum, the prosecutors findings on the existence of probable cause are not subject to
review by the courts, unless these are patently shown to have been made with grave abuse of
discretion. We find such reason for judicial review here present. We sustain the appellate courts
reversal of the ruling of the Secretary of the DOJ.
The Investigating Prosecutor has set the parameters of probable cause too high. Her
findings dealt mostly with what respondent had done or failed to do after the alleged crime was
committed. She delved into evidentiary matters that could only be passed upon in a fullblown
trial where testimonies and documents could be fairly evaluated in according with the rules of
evidence. The issues upon which the charges are built pertain to factual matters that cannot be
threshed out conclusively during the preliminary stage of the case. Precisely, there is a trial for
the presentation of prosecutions evidence in support of the charge. The validity and merits of a
partys defense or accusation, as well as admissibility of testimonies and evidence, are better
ventilated during trial proper than at the preliminary investigation level. By taking into
consideration the defenses raised by petitioner, the Investigating Prosecutor already went into the
strict merits of the case.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Petition is
DENIED for lack of merit.

Assistant Fiscal Gala with the approval of the Provincial Fiscal filed an
information for estafa against Mario Crespo. When the case was set for arraignment,
the accused filed a motion to defer arraignment on the ground that there was a
pending petition for review filed with the Secretary of Justice. The respondent
denied the motion. Court of Appeals restrained the judge from enforcing his threat
to compel the arraignment of the accused in the case until the Department of
Justice shall have finally resolved the petition for review.
Then, Usec of Justice resolving the petition for review reversed the resolution
of the Office of the Provincial Fiscal and directed the fiscal to move for immediate
dismissal of the information filed against the accused. A motion to dismiss for
insufficiency of evidence was filed by the Provincial Fiscal. However, the Judge
denied the motion and set the arraignment stating. A motion and restraining order
was filed again in the CA but was dismissed. Thus, this case.
Whether the trial court acting on a motion to dismiss a criminal case filed by
the Provincial Fiscal upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice to whom the case
was elevated for review, may refuse to grant the motion and insist on the
arraignment and trial on the merits.
YES. It is a cardinal principle that an criminal actions either commenced by
complaint or by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of
the fiscal. The institution of a criminal action depends upon the sound discretion of
the fiscal. The reason for placing the criminal prosecution under the direction and
control of the fiscal is to prevent malicious or unfounded prosecution by private
persons. It cannot be controlled by the complainant. It is through the conduct of a

preliminary investigation that the fiscal determines the existence of a prima facie
case that would warrant the prosecution of a case. The Courts cannot interfere with
the fiscal's discretion and control of the criminal prosecution. Thus, a fiscal who asks
for the dismissal of the case for insufficiency of evidence has authority to do so, and
Courts that grant the same commit no error. In a clash of views between the judge
who did not investigate and the fiscal who did, or between the fiscal and the
offended party or the defendant, those of the Fiscal's should normally prevail.
The preliminary investigation conducted by the fiscal for the purpose of
determining whether a prima facie case exists warranting the prosecution of the
accused is terminated upon the filing of the information in the proper court. The
filing of said information sets in motion the criminal action against the accused in
Court. Should the fiscal find it proper to conduct a reinvestigation of the case, at
such stage, the permission of the Court must be secured. While it is true that the
fiscal has the quasi judicial discretion to determine whether or not a criminal case
should be filed in court or not, once the case had already been brought to Court
whatever disposition the fiscal may feel should be proper in the case thereafter
should be addressed for the consideration of the Court.Whether the accused had
been arraigned or not and whether it was due to a reinvestigation by the fiscal or a
review by the Secretary of Justice whereby a motion to dismiss was submitted to the
Court, the Court in the exercise of its discretion may grant the motion or deny it and
require that the trial on the merits proceed for the proper determination of the case.
The role of the fiscal or prosecutor as We all know is to see that justice is
done and not necessarily to secure the conviction of the person accused before the
Courts. Thus, in spite of his opinion to the contrary, it is the duty of the fiscal to
proceed with the presentation of evidence of the prosecution to the Court to enable
the Court to arrive at its own independent judgment as to whether the accused
should be convicted or acquitted.
The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is
filed in Court any disposition of the case as its dismissal or the conviction or
acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Court. Although the
fiscal retains the direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases even
while the case is already in Court he cannot impose his opinion on the trial court.
The Court is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case before it. The
determination of the case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A
motion to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who
has the option to grant or deny the same. It does not matter if this is done before or
after the arraignment of the accused or that the motion was filed after a
reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the
records of the investigation.