You are on page 1of 5

Rule 117

Motion to Quash
(Sec. 1)
WHEN may you file a motion to quash?
-

At any time before entering a plea

WHAT may you quash?


1. Complaint
2. Information
WHO may file a motion to quash?
-

The accused

WHAT are the forms or contents of a motion to quash?


(Sec. 2)
1. Shall be in writing
2. Signed by the accused or his counsel
3. Shall distinctly specify
a. Factual Grounds
b. Legal Grounds
- The Court shall consider no ground other than those stated in the motion
o Exception: Lack of Jurisdiction over the offense charged
WHAT are the grounds for a motion to quash?
(Sec. 3)
1. That the facts charged do not constitute an offense
2. That the Court trying the case
a. Has no jurisdiction over the offense charged
b. Has no jurisdiction over the person of the accused
3. That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so
4. That it (the complaint or information) does not conform substantially to the
prescribed form
5. That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for
various offenses is prescribed by law
6. That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished
7. That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or
justification
8. That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense
charged, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated
without his express consent (Double Jeopardy I think?)

MAY a motion to quash be granted when based on alleged defects of the complaint or
information?
(Sec. 4) Yes, but the Court may order that an amendment be made.
Exception:
If the motion to quash is based on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an
offense, the prosecution shall be given by the Court an opportunity to correct the defect
by amendment.
-

The motion shall be granted


o If the prosecution fails to make the amendment, or
o If the complaint or information still suffers from the same defect despite
the amendment.

WHAT is the effect of sustaining a motion to quash?


1. (Sec. 5) The Court may order that another complaint or information be filed,
except as provided in Sec. 6 of this Rule
o If the order is made
The accused, if in custody, shall not be discharged
Unless admitted to bail
o If no order is made or if having been made, no new information is filed
within the time specified in the order or within such further time as the
Court may allow for good cause (note: extensions for good causes are
allowed)
The accused, if in custody, shall be discharged
Unless he is also in custody for another charge
2. (Sec. 6) An order sustaining a motion to quash is not a bar to another
prosecution for the same offense unless the motion is based on the grounds
specified in Sec. 3(g) & (i) to wit:
(g) The criminal action or liability has been extinguished
(i) That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense
charged, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without
his express consent

WHAT is DOUBLE JEOPARDY? (Sec. 7)


-

When an accused has been convicted or acquitted, or the case against him
dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent
o By a Court of competent jurisdiction,
o 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,
The conviction or acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case shall be a
bar to another prosecution for the offense charged, or for any attempt to
commit the same or frustration thereof, or for any offense which
necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in
the former complaint or information
However, 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:
a. The graver offense developed due to supervening facts arising from the same
act or omission constituting the former charge
b. The facts constituting the graver charge became known or were discovered
only after a plea was entered in the former complaint or information
c. The plea of guilty to the lesser offense was made without the consent of the
prosecutor and of the offended party except as provided in Sec. 1(f) or Rule
116
In any of the foregoing cases, where the accused satisfies or serves in whole or
in part the judgment, he shall be credited with the same in the event of conviction
for the graver offense (Off-setting the sentence)

WHAT is PROVISIONAL DISMISSAL?


(Baos v. Pedro, G.R No. 173588. April 22, 2009)
DISTINGUISHING MOTION TO QUASH AND PROVISIONAL DISMISSAL
An examination of the whole Rule tells us that a dismissal based on a motion to quash
and a provisional dismissal are far different from one another as concepts, in their
features, and legal consequences. While the provision on provisional dismissal is found
within Rule 117 (entitled Motion to Quash), it does not follow that a motion to quash
results in a provisional dismissal to which Section 8, Rule 117 applies.
A first notable feature of Section 8, Rule 117 is that it does not exactly state what a
provisional dismissal is. The modifier provisional directly suggests that the dismissals
which Section 8 essentially refers to are those that are temporary in character (i.e., to
dismissals that are without prejudice to the re-filing of the case), and not the dismissals

that are permanent (i.e., those that bar the re-filing of the case). Based on the law, rules,
and jurisprudence, permanent dismissals are those barred by the principle of
double jeopardy, by the previous extinction of criminal liability, by the rule on speedy
trial, and the dismissals after plea without the express consent of the accused. Section
8, by its own terms, cannot cover these dismissals because they are not provisional.
A second feature is that Section 8 does not state the grounds that lead to a provisional
dismissal. This is in marked contrast with a motion to quash whose grounds are
specified under Section 3. The delimitation of the grounds available in a motion to
quash suggests that a motion to quash is a class in itself, with specific and closelydefined characteristics under the Rules of Court. A necessary consequence is that
where the grounds cited are those listed under Section 3, then the appropriate remedy
is to file a motion to quash, not any other remedy. Conversely, where a ground does not
appear under Section 3, then a motion to quash is not a proper remedy. A motion for
provisional dismissal may then apply if the conditions required by Section 8 obtain.
A third feature, closely related to the second, focuses on the consequences of a
meritorious motion to quash. This feature also answers the question of whether the
quashal of an information can be treated as a provisional dismissal. Sections 4, 5, 6,
and 7 of Rule 117 unmistakably provide for the consequences of a meritorious motion to
quash. Section 4 speaks of an amendment of the complaint or information, if the motion
to quash relates to a defect curable by amendment. Section 5dwells on the effect of
sustaining the motion to quash - the complaint or information may be re-filed, except for
the instances mentioned under Section 6. The latter section, on the other hand,
specifies the limit of the re-filing that Section 5 allows it cannot be done where the
dismissal is based on extinction of criminal liability or double jeopardy. Section
7 defines double jeopardy and complements the ground provided under Section 3(i) and
the exception stated in Section 6.
Rather than going into specifics, Section 8 simply states when a provisional dismissal
can be made, i.e., when the accused expressly consents and the offended party is
given notice. The consent of the accused to a dismissal relates directly to what Section
3(i) and Section 7 provide, i.e., the conditions for dismissals that lead to double
jeopardy. This immediately suggests that a dismissal under Section 8 i.e., one with the
express consent of the accused is not intended to lead to double jeopardyas provided
under Section 7, but nevertheless creates a bar to further prosecution under the special
terms of Section 8.

This feature must be read with Section 6 which provides for the effects of sustaining a
motion to quash the dismissal is not a bar to another prosecution for the same offense
unless the basis for the dismissal is the extinction of criminal liability and double
jeopardy. These unique terms, read in relation with Sections 3(i) and 7 and compared
with the consequences of Section 8, carry unavoidable implications that cannot but lead

to distinctions between a quashal and a provisional dismissal under Section 8. They


stress in no uncertain terms that, save only for what has been provided under Sections
4 and 5, the governing rule when a motion to quash is meritorious are the terms of
Section 6. The failure of the Rules to state under Section 6 that a Section 8 provisional
dismissal is a bar to further prosecution shows that the framers did not intend a
dismissal based on a motion to quash and a provisional dismissal to be confused with
one another; Section 8 operates in a world of its own separate from motion to quash,
and merely provides a time-bar that uniquely applies to dismissals other than those
grounded on Section 3. Conversely, when a dismissal is pursuant to a motion to quash
under Section 3, Section 8 and its time-bar does not apply.
WHAT is the effect of the accused failure to quash before he pleads? (Sec. 9)
-

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 said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of
any objections except those based on the grounds provided for in paragraphs
(a), (b), (g), and (i) of Sec. 3 of this Rule, to wit:
(a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense
(b) That the Court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged
(g) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished
(i) That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense
charged, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without
his express consent