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10/16/2016

G.R. Nos. 152864-65

SECONDDIVISION

THEPEOPLEOFTHE
PHILIPPINES,

G.R.Nos.15286465
Petitioner,

versus

SPO1MARIOMARCIAL,SPO1
MONICOBOLOTANO,SPO1
ANASTACIOMAGLINTE,SPO1
ALFREDONUEZ, SPO1 RUDY
BUNALOS, and PO3 TOMAS
DUHAYLUNSOD,
Respondents.

Present:

PUNO,J.,Chairperson,
SANDOVALGUITIERREZ,
CORONA,
AZCUNA,and
GARCIA,JJ.

Promulgated:

September27,2006
xx

DECISION

AZCUNA,J.:

This is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court purportedly raising a
[1]
[2]
question of law and assailing the orders dated February 6, 2002 and March 7, 2002 of the
RegionalTrialCourt,Branch14,ofOroquietaCity(theRTC)inCriminalCaseNos.79814235
and80014237.

Thefactsappearasfollows:

Two informations, one for homicide and one for frustrated homicide, were filed with the
RTC against respondents SPO1 Mario Marcial, SPO1 Monico Bolotano, SPO1 Anastacio
Maglinte,SPO1AlfredoNuez,SPO1RudyBunalosandPO3TomasDuhaylunsod,allmembersof
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thePhilippineNationalPolice,inconnectionwithashootingincidentthatoccurredonDecember
18, 1999. As a result of the incident, one Junnyver Dagle died while one Wendell Sales was
seriouslyinjured.

Theinformationforhomicideagainsttherespondentsreadsasfollows:

Thaton18December1999,inLopezJaena,MisamisOccidental,andwithinthejurisdiction
of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, conspiring together and mutually helping one
another,committingtheoffenseinrelationtotheirofficeandingraveabusethereofwithintentto
kill,didthenandtherewillfully,unlawfullyandfeloniouslyshootJUNNYVERDAGLEwiththeir
firearms,therebyinflictinguponthelatterafatalinjurytohishead,whichcausedhisinstantaneous
death.

CONTRARYTOLAW.

[3]
OroquietaCity,Philippines,May23,2001.

Ontheotherhand,theinformationforfrustratedhomicidereadsasfollows:

That on or about the 18th December 1999, in the municipality of Lopez Jaena,provinceof
MisamisOccidental,andwithinthejurisdictionofthisHonorableCourt,theabovenamedaccused,
conspiring, confederating and mutually helping once another, committing the offense in relation to
theirofficeandingraveabusethereof,withintenttokill,didthenandtherewillfully,unlawfullyand
feloniouslyshootWENDELLSALESwiththeirfirearms,therebyinflictinguponthelatteraninjury
whichordinarilywouldcausethedeathofsaidWENDELLSALES,thusperformingalltheactsof
executionwhichwouldhaveproducedthecrimeofhomicideasaconsequence,butneverthelessdid
notproduceitbyreasonofcausesindependentofthewillofthesaidaccused,thatis,bythetimely
andablemedicalassistancerenderedtothesaidWENDELLSALESwhichpreventedhisdeath.

CONTRARYTOLAW.

[4]
OroquietaCity,Philippines,May23,2001.

Onarraignment,respondentspleadednotguiltytothechargesfiledagainstthem. Pretrial
[5]
was thereafter held and terminated, resulting in the issuance by the RTC of a pretrial order
[6]
which, among others, approved the partial stipulation of facts, issues and witnesses dated
December20,2001enteredintobytheparties.

[7]
Thepartiesstipulatedastothefollowingfacts:

(1)TheidentityofallrespondentsandtheiraffiliationwiththePNPLopezJaenaPolice
Station
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(2) IntheeveningofDecember18,1999,allrespondentsweremembersofthePNP
Teamthatrespondedtoanallegedorreportedcallforpoliceassistanceat,andreceivedby,theLopez
JaenaPoliceStation,comingfromanallegedcaller
(3) ThePNPteamcomposedofallrespondentsproceededtothedirectionofPlaridel,
MisamisOccidental
(4) After the Solsolon Bridge located in Barangay Sibula, Lopez Jaena, Misamis
Occidental, all respondents saw two (2) persons riding astride a motorcycle going towards the
direction of Plaridel, Misamis Occidental, who, after the incident, were identified to be the late
JunnyverDagleandWendellSales
(5)WhileJunnyverDagleandWendellSaleswereridingonamotorcyclewiththelatter
driving,therewereshotsfired,comingfromthedirectionofrespondents
(6)Asaresultoftheshooting,JunnyverDagleandWendellSaleswerehitandinjured,
the nature of their injuries being described in their respective Medicolegal Certificates dated
December27,1999issuedbyDr.OlyzarH.Recamadas,theattendingphysician,andattestedtoby
Provincial Health Officer II Jose M. Salomon, Sr. of the Misamis Occidental Provincial Hospital,
OroquietaCityasfollows:
a.JunnyverDagle:
DOA
Gunshootwoundlefttemporalarea
Avulsionleftleg

b.WendellSales:
Avulsionleftlegdistal3rdsecondarytoallegedgunshotwound

(7) TheLopezJaenaPoliceStation,throughPoliceInspectorMarioR.Rubio,issueda
CertificationdatedDecember23,1999relativetotheentriesfoundonitsPoliceBlotteronDecember
23,1999.Thiscertificationwasadmittedastoitsexistenceonlybytheprosecution

(8)ThefactofdeathofJunnyverDagleisadmittedaswellasthefactthatWendellSales
sustainedbodilyinjury

(9)ForthedeathofJunnyverDagle,hisheirsareentitledtoacivilindemnityinthesum
ofP50,000

(10) InrelationtotheDecember18,1999incidentsubjectofthepresentcriminalcases,
there was a criminal case for robbery filed against Wendell Sales by the Provincial Prosecutors
OfficeofMisamisOccidentalbeforeRTC,Branch14,ofOroquietaCityentitledPeoplev.Wendell
Sales docketed as Criminal Case No. 72914167. A judgment was subsequently rendered in the
latter case convicting Wendell Sales of the crime charged but this judgment was appealed to the
CourtofAppealswhereitremainspendingtodate.

[8]
Thepartieslikewiseagreedonthefollowingissues:

(1)Whethertherewasahotpursuitconductedbyrespondentsonthemotorcycleridingtandemof
Junnyver Dagle and Wendell Sales, with respondents riding on board their police service
vehicleinthevicinityofBarangaySibula,LopezJaena,MisamisOccidental

(2) Whethertherewerewarningshotsmadebyrespondents,directedintheair,tocausethe
motorcycleriderstostop
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(3) WhetherJunnyverDagleorWendellSalestriedtopulloutashortfirearmand(whether
DagleorSales)fireditatrespondents,causingsomeofthemtofireback

(4)Assumingafirearmwaspulledout,whetheritwasJunnyverDaglewhopulledoutsuchgunand
aimedandfireditatthedirectionofrespondents

(5)WhethertherewasfoundnearthepersonofthefallenJunnyverDaglea.45caliberpistolwithout
aserialnumber

(6)Whether the parents of the late Junnyver Dagle incurred burial and transportation expenses by
reasonofthelattersuntimelydemise

(7)WhetherWendellSalesincurredmedicalexpensesbyreasonofhishospitalizationfortheinjuries
hesustainedand,

(8) Whether the parents of the late Junnyver Dagle and private complainant Wendell Sales are
entitledtomoraldamages.

DuringthehearingheldonFebruary6,2002,petitionermadeanoralmotiontoreversethe
order of the trial upon the ground that respondents admitted committing the acts for which they
werechargedinthetwoinformationsbutinterposedlawfuljustifyingcircumstances.Themotion
wasdeniedbytheRTCforlackofmeritintheassailedorderdatedFebruary6,2002.Itsmotion
forreconsiderationhavingbeensimilarlydenied,petitionerfiledthepresentpetition.
Theissuesare:

(a)Whetheranorderdenyingapartysmotiontomodifyorreversetheorderoftrialinacriminal
caseisappealableand,

(b)Assumingthattheorderisappealable,whetheritismandatoryforatrialcourttomodifyor
reversetheorderoftrialwhenanaccusedadmitstheoffensebutinterposesalawfuldefense.

Petitionerarguesasfollows:

Firstly, since respondents expressly admitted having committed the acts charged but are
interposing an affirmative defense, a modification or reversal of the order of trial is warranted
[9]
underSection3(e), Rule119oftheRulesofCourtwhichprovidesasfollows:
(e) When the accused admits the act or omission charged in the complaint or information but
interposesalawfuldefense,theorderoftrialmaybemodified.

Secondly,anorderreversingormodifyingtheorderoftrialwouldalsobeconsistentwith
the second paragraph of Section 7 of Republic Act No. 8493 (Speedy Trial Act) and its
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implementingCircularNo.3898,specificallythesecondparagraphofSection3oftheCircular,
thus:

RepublicActNo.8493,Section7:

xxx

If the accused pleads not guilty to the crime charged, he/she shall state whether he/she
interposesanegativeoraffirmativedefense.Anegativedefenseshallrequiretheprosecution
toprovetheguiltoftheaccusedbeyondreasonabledoubtwhileanaffirmativedefensemay
modify the order of trial and require the accused to prove such defense by clear and
convincingevidence.

CircularNo.3898,Section3:

xxx

If the accused has pleaded not guilty to the crime charged, he may state whether he
interposesanegativeoraffirmativedefense.Anegativedefenseshallrequiretheprosecution
toprovetheguiltoftheaccusedbeyongreasonabledoubt,whileanaffirmativedefensemay
modify the order of trial and require the accused to prove such defense by clear and
convincingevidence.

Thirdly,thereversalormodificationoftheorderoftrialinthepresentcasewouldpromote
theintentandobjectivesoftheSpeedyTrialAct,preservetherightsoftheparties,andpreventa
confusinganddisorderlytrial.
TheassailedordersoftheRTCdeniedtherequestoftheprosecutionforareverseorderof
trialbasicallyonthegroundsthat:

1. Thereisnoclearadmissionofguiltonthepartoftheaccused,hereinrespondents,
underthestipulationoffactsenteredinto

2.Areverseorderoftrialinthesecaseswouldonlyservetodelayratherthanspeedup
theproceedingsand,

3.ThecourseofthetrialisbettergovernedbytheusualorderunderSection11,Rule
119,oftheRevisedRulesofCourtandthesequencesetforthinthepretrialorder,agreeduponby
theparties,whichdidnotincludeanagreementtoareversetheorderoftrial.

Afterconsideringtheargumentsofbothpartiesherein,theCourtfindsthattheRTCdidnot
commitanyreversibleerrorindenyingtherequestforareverseorderoftrial,amatterwhichunder
the rules is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court. In fact, the rule relied upon by
petitionerclearlyreflectsthisdiscretionarynatureoftheprocedure,thus:
RulesofCourt,Rule119,Section3(e):

xxx
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(e)Whentheaccusedadmitstheactoromissionchargedinthecomplaintorinformationbut
[10]
interposesalawfuldefense,theorderoftrialmaybemodified.
(Emphasissupplied.)

RepublicActNo.8493,Section7,likewisestates:

xxx
If the accused pleads not guilty to the crime charged, he/she shall state whether he/she
interposes a negative or affirmative defense. A negative defense shall require the prosecution to
provetheguiltoftheaccusedbeyondreasonabledoubtwhileanaffirmativedefensemaymodify
theorderoftrialandrequiretheaccusedtoprovesuchdefensebyclearandconvincingevidence.
(Emphasissupplied.)

SoalsoCircularNo.3898,Section3,readsasfollows:

xxx

Iftheaccusedhaspleadednotguiltytothecrimecharged,hemaystatewhetherheinterposes
anegativeoraffirmativedefense.Anegativedefenseshallrequiretheprosecutiontoprovetheguilt
of the accused beyong reasonable doubt, while an affirmative defense may modify the order of
trial and require the accused to prove such defense by clear and convincing evidence. (Emphasis
supplied.)

Accordingly,theRTCcorrectlyexerciseditsdiscretionindenyingpetitionersrequestforareverse
orderoftrial.

In any event, a denial of a motion to reverse the Order of Trial is interlocutory in nature and,
hence, not appealable. As it turned out, petitioners appeal has in fact caused more, a lot more,
delaythanwouldhavebeencausedbyproceedingwiththetrialforthwithasdirectedbythetrial
court.Nofurtherdelayshouldbecountenancedinthesecases.
WHEREFORE,thepetitionisDENIEDforlackofmerit.Nocosts.

SOORDERED.

ADOLFOS.AZCUNA
AssociateJustice

WECONCUR:

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REYNATOS.PUNO
AssociateJustice
Chairperson

ANGELINASANDOVALGUTIERREZRENATOC.CORONA
AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice

CANCIOC.GARCIA
AssociateJustice

ATTESTATION

I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision were reached in consultation before the cases
wereassignedtothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourtsDivision.

REYNATOS.PUNO
AssociateJustice
Chairperson,SecondDivision

CERTIFICATION

PursuanttoSection13,ArticleVIIIoftheConstitutionandtheDivisionChairpersonsAttestation,
itisherebycertifiedthattheconclusionsintheaboveDecisionhadbeenreachedinconsultation
beforethecaseswereassignedtothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourtsDivision.

ARTEMIOV.PANGANIBAN
ChiefJustice
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[1]
Records,pp.9194.
[2]
Id.at110112.
[3]
Rollo,p.22.FiledonJune13,2001.
[4]
Id.at24.FiledonJune13,2001.
[5]
Records,p.82.
[6]
Id.at7881.
[7]
Id.at7880.
[8]
Id.at80A.
[9]
NowSection11(e)ofRue119underthe2000RevisedRulesofCriminalProcedure.
[10]
Supranote9.

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