You are on page 1of 4


The remedy against the denial of a motion to quash is for the movant accused to enter a plea, go to trial, and should the decision be adverse, reiterate on appeal from the final judgment and assign as error the denial of the motion to quash. The denial, being an interlocutory order, is not appealable, and may not be the subject of a petition for certiorari because of the availability of other remedies in the ordinary course of law.

A mauling incident involving neighbors that transpired on January 18, 2003 outside the

house of the petitioners in St. Francis Subdivision, Barangay Pandayan, Meycauayan Bulacan gave rise to the issue subject of the said appeal. Claiming themselves to be the victims in that mauling, Josefina Guinto Morano, Rommel Morano and Perla Beltran Morano charged the petitioners and

one Alfredo Enrile.

The MTC issued its joint resolution whereby it found probable cause and set the arraignment against the petitioners for less serious physical injuries. The petitioners moved for the reconsideration of the joint resolution arguing that the complainants had not presented proof of their having been given medical attention lasting 10 days or longer, thereby rendering their charges of less serious physical injuries dismissible; and that the two cases for less serious physical injuries, being necessarily related to the case of frustrated homicide still pending in the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, should not be governed by the Rules on Summary Procedure. However, the MTC denied it. Thereafter, the petitioners presented a manifestation to file a motion to quash.

The MTC denied the motion to quash. Still, the petitioners sought reconsideration of the denial of the motion to quash, but it was likewise denied. Unsatisfied, the petitioners commenced a special civil action for certiorari before the RTC. However, the RTC dismissed the petition. The petitioners next went to the CA via a petition for certiorari and prohibition to nullify the orders issued by the RTC. CA promulgated its assailed resolution dismissing the petition for certiorari and prohibition for being the wrong remedy, the proper remedy being an appeal.

Hence, this petition before the Court.

In challenging the sufficiency of the complaints, the petitioners insist that the "complaints do

not provide any evidence/s that would tend to establish and to show that the medical attendance rendered on private complainants actually and in fact lasted for a period exceeding ten (10) days;" and the medical certificates attached merely stated that "the probable disability period of healing is 10 to 12 days, for Josefina G. Morano, and, 12-15 days, for Perla B. Morano, hence, the findings of the healing periods were merely speculations, surmises and conjectures. "They insist that the "private complainants should have presented medical certificates that would show the number of days rendered for medication considering that they filed their complaint on March 15, 2003 or

about two (2) months after the alleged incident."

Issue: Can a motion to quash be given due course on the ground that the complaints against the petitioners clearly and patently shows that it lacks one of the essential elements of alleged crime for less serious physical injuries? (In other words, can a motion to quash be granted on the ground of insufficiency of evidence to prove one of the elements of an alleged crime?)


The petitioners’ insistence is utterly bereft of merit.

The fundamental test in determining the sufficiency of the averments in a complaint or information is, therefore, whether the facts alleged therein, if hypothetically admitted, constitute the elements of the offense. By alleging in their motion to quash that both complaints should be dismissed for lack of one of the essential elements of less serious physical injuries, the petitioners

were averring that the facts charged did not constitute offenses. However, the complaints sufficiently charged the petitioners with less serious physical injuries. Indeed, the complaints only needed to aver the ultimate facts constituting the offense, not the details of why and how the illegal acts allegedly amounted to undue injury or damage, for such matters, being evidentiary, were appropriate for the trial. Hence, the complaints were not quashable.

As the MTC and RTC rightly held, the presentation of the medical certificates to prove the duration of the victims’ need for medical attendance or of their incapacity should take place only at the trial, not before or during the preliminary investigation. According to Cinco v. Sandiganbayan, the preliminary investigation, which is the occasion for the submission of the parties’ respective affidavits, counter-affidavits and evidence to buttress their separate allegations, is merely inquisitorial, and is often the only means of discovering whether a person may be reasonably charged with a crime, to enable the prosecutor to prepare the information. It is not yet a trial on the merits, for its only purpose is to determine whether a crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty thereof. The scope of the investigation does not approximate that of a trial before the court; hence, what is required is only that the evidence be sufficient to establish probable cause that the accused committed the crime charged, not that all reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused be removed.

The SC agreed with the RTC’s observation that "the issues raised in the motion to quash are matters of defense that could only be threshed out in a full blown trial on the merits. Indeed, proof of actual healing period of the alleged injuries of the private complainant could only be established in the trial of the cases filed against herein petitioners by means of competent evidence, and to grant the main prayer of the instant petition for the dismissal of the criminal cases against them for less serious physical injuries is to prevent the trial court to hear and receive evidence in connection with said cases and to render judgments thereon. x x x All things considered, it would be premature to dismiss the subject criminal cases filed against the herein petitioners when the basis thereof could be determined only after trial of the merits."

The petitioners chose to assail the dismissal by the RTC through petitions for certiorari and prohibition in the CA, instead of appealing by notice of appeal. Such choice was patently erroneous and impermissible, because certiorari and prohibition, being extraordinary reliefs to address jurisdictional errors of a lower court, were not available to them.

[Note: A motion to quash is the mode by which an accused, before entering his plea, challenges the complaint or information for insufficiency on its face in point of law, or for defects apparent on its face. Section 3, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court enumerates the grounds for the quashal of the complaint or information, as follows:


the facts charged do not constitute an offense;


the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged;

(c) the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the person of the accused;


the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so;


the complaint or information does not conform substantially to the prescribed form;

(f) more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law;

(g) the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;

(h) the complaint or information contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification; and (i) 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.]


Joel Pedro was charged in court for carrying a loaded firearm without authorization from the COMELEC a day before the elections. Pedro, then filed a Motion to Quash after his Motion for Preliminary Investigation did not materialize. The RTC granted the quashal.

The RTC reopened the case for further proceedings in which Pedro objected to citing Rule 117, Sec. 8 on provisional dismissal, arguing that the dismissal had become permanent.

The public prosecutor manifested his express conformity with the motion to reopen the case saying that the provision used applies where both the prosecution and the accused mutually consented to the dismissal of the case, or where the prosecution or the offended party failed to object to the dismissal of the case, and not to a situation where the information was quashed upon motion of the accused and over the objection of the prosecution. The RTC, thus, set Pedro’s arraignment date.

Pedro filed with the CA a petition for certiorari and prohibition to nullify the RTC’s mandated reopening.

The CA, at first granted the reopening of the case but through Pedro's Motion for Reconsideration, his argument that a year has passed by from the receipt of the quashal order, the CA's decision was reversed.

Petitioner now argues using the same argument of the public prosecutor.

ISSUE: Whether the rule on provision dismissal is applicable.


The SC granted the petition and remanded the case to the RTC.

The SC differentiated Motion to Quash and Provisional Dismissal. Primarily, they are two separate concepts. In Motion to Quash, the Information itself has deficiency while in Provisional Dismissal, the Information has no deficiencies. It does not follow that a motion to quash results in a provisional dismissal to which Section 8, Rule 117 applies.

In the case, the SC finds that the granting of the quashal of the RTC had no merit on the ground that there is a legal excuse or justification in Pedro's offense. Pedro misappreciated the natures of a motion to quash and provisional dismissal. As a consequence, a valid Information still stands, on the basis of which Pedro should now be arraigned and stand trial.

PEOPLE VS LACSON (Motion for Reconsideration) G.R. NO. 149453, 1 APRIL 2003

FACTS: Before the Court is the petitioners Motion for Reconsideration, of the Resolution dated May 28, 2002, remanding this case to the RTC of Quezon City, for the determination of several factual issues relative to the application of Section 8 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure on the dismissal of criminal cases filed against the respondent and his co-accused with the said court. In the aforesaid criminal cases, the respondent and his co-accused were charged with multiple murder for the shooting and killing of eleven male persons identified as members of the Kuratong Baleleng Gang. The respondent opposed petitioners motion for reconsideration. The Court ruled in the Resolution sought to be reconsidered that the provisional dismissal of the two criminal cases were with the express consent of the respondent as he himself moved for said provisional dismissal when he filed his motion for judicial determination of probable cause and for examination of witnesses. The Court also held therein that although Section 8, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure could be given retroactive effect, there is still a need to determine whether the requirements for its application are attendant. In support of their Motion for Reconsideration, the petitioners contend that (a) Section 8, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is not applicable to the criminal cases; and (b) the time-bar in said rule should not be applied retroactively.

ISSUE: WON Sec. 8, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure will apply.

HELD: No. Sec. 8. Provisional dismissal. A case shall not be provisionally dismissed except with the express consent of the accused and with notice to the offended party. The provisional dismissal of offenses punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years or a fine of any amount, or both, shall become permanent one (1) year after issuance of the order without the case having been revived. With respect to offenses punishable by imprisonment of more than six (6) years, their provisional dismissal shall become permanent two (2) years after issuance of the order without the case having been revived. The respondent is burdened to establish the essential requisites of the first paragraph thereof, namely: 1. the prosecution with the express conformity of the accused or the accused moves for a provisional (sin perjuicio) dismissal of the case; or both the prosecution and the accused move for a provisional dismissal of the case; 2. the offended party is notified of the motion for a provisional dismissal of the case; 3. the court issues an order granting the motion and dismissing the case provisionally; 4. the public prosecutor is served with a copy of the order of provisional dismissal of the case. The foregoing requirements are conditions sine qua non to the application of the time-bar in the second paragraph of the new rule. The raison detre for the requirement of the express consent of the accused to a provisional dismissal of a criminal case is to bar him from subsequently asserting that the revival of the criminal case will place him in double jeopardy for the same offense or for an offense necessarily included therein. In this case, the respondent has failed to prove that the first and second requisites of the first paragraph of the new rule were present when Judge Agnir, Jr. dismissed Criminal Cases Nos. Q-99-81679 to Q-99- 81689. Irrefragably, the prosecution did not file any motion for the provisional dismissal of the said criminal cases. For his part, the respondent merely filed a motion for judicial determination of probable cause and for examination of prosecution witnesses.