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[G.R. No. 8634. October 22, 1913. ] judgment therefor.

No other question was


Per MORELAND, J., concurring and open.
THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. dissenting:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
JOSEPH N. HEERY, Defendant-Appellant. 7. ID. On this appeal no question can
4. APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN properly be raised or discussed which was
OBrien & DeWitt for Appellant. ACCORDANCE WITH MANDATE OF THE settled by the original decree of this court
SUPREME COURT. The trial court in the made on the first appeal. That decree settled
Solicitor-General Harvey for Appellee. proceeding before us did nothing but carry out conclusively and finally the civil liability of the
the mandate of this court issued in connection accused. It settled also the question of former
SYLLABUS with the first judgment in this case, which conviction and former jeopardy. It settled also
ordered that court to determine the amount of that the civil liability is not a part of the
1. CRIMINAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE; damages sustained by the complaining criminal punishment. It settled also that the
ALLOWANCE OF CIVIL DAMAGES. Case witness. Therefore, no question settled by the civil incident could be separated from the
reviewed and Held: It is well settled that the former judgment of this court is reviewable on criminal action and be carried on
civil liability of the accused is determined in the this appeal or can be questioned or discussed. independently thereof. Therefore, the only
criminal action unless the injured party questions open for discussion or decision in the
expressly waives such liability or reserves his 5. ID. An appeal will not be entertained by court below, or which can be open for
right to have the civil damages determined in a this court from a judgment entered in an discussion or decision on this appeal, are the
separate action. It is therefore error for the inferior court in exact accordance with a amount of damages and exceptions taken in
court to refuse a request of the injured party mandate issued on judgment of this court. connection therewith in the trial court.
during the course of the criminal prosecution to Such a judgment, when entered in the court
submit evidence of his damages. below, is, in effect, a judgment of the Supreme 8. CRIMINAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE;
Court, and the appeal would be from this court DOUBLE JEOPARDY. The question of double
2. ID.; ID.; DOUBLE JEOPARDY. The elements to this court. If such an appeal is taken, jeopardy; the question of whether the civil
of civil liability of a criminal as defined in article however, we will, upon the application of the liability is a part of the criminal punishment;
119 of the Penal Code compared with the civil appellee, examine the decree entered and, if it the question of what is the nature of the civil
liability of criminals in the United States, and conforms to the mandate, dismiss the case liability; and kindred questions, were not before
held to be the same in all essential aspects. with costs. If it does not, the case will be the court below, are not before this court, and
Consequently, the assessment of damages in remanded, with proper directions for the are improperly discussed and decided.
favor of the injured person cannot be correction of the order.
considered as punishment for the crime, even 9. COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE; JURISDICTION.
though determined in the criminal action. 6. ID. If the progress of the execution of the Every act of the trial court in carrying out a
decree of this court, after its entry in the court mandate of this court, which act fairly tends to
3. ID.; ID.; ID.; REMANDING THE CAUSE FOR below, either party is aggrieved, he may the end in view, whether absolutely necessary
DETERMINATION OF CIVIL DAMAGES. The appeal from the final act of the trial court or not for that purpose, is not void and without
trial court erroneously refused to permit the executing that decree, but such an appeal will jurisdiction but is a lawful act performed within
injured party to submit evidence during the bring up for reexamination only the the power of the trial court and within the
course of the criminal proceedings of the proceedings subsequent to the mandate of this mandate of the Supreme Court.
damages he had sustained as a consequence court. The rights of the parties in the subject
of the crime. For the reasons stated the matter of the suit were finally determined upon DECISION
accused was not subject to double jeopardy by the original appeal in this case and all that
the action of this court in affirming the remained for the trial court to do was to TRENT, J. :
judgment of guilt and remanding the cause for ascertain the amount of civil damages in
the sole purpose of determining his civil This was a case of assault attended with
accordance with our instructions and to enter
liability. lesiones graves. Upon the first appeal the
sentence of the lower court condemning the The defendant appealed from this judgment,
appellant-defendant to one year and three and his first, third, and fourth assignments of In this jurisdiction it is well settled that the civil
months of prision correccional was affirmed. (U. error, raises the question of double jeopardy. liability of the accused must be determined in
S. v. Heery, 10 Off. Gaz., 2102.) At the same the criminal action, unless the injured party
time the appeal of the injured party against the It will noted that the trial court, in its judgment expressly waives such liability or reserves his
ruling of the court refusing to allow him to for civil damages says that it restates the right to have the civil damages determined in a
submit evidence as to the damages suffered by judgment by finding the defendant guilty. The separate action. Section 107 of General Orders
him was sustained and the case was returned judicial procedure involved in finding a No. 58 reads:
with the following instructions: defendant guilty by restating a final judgment
is not well understood. No exercise of judicial "The privileges now secured by law to the
"It is therefore ordered that the record be discretion is involved in the mere repetition of person claiming to be injured by the
returned to the court whence it came for the a final judgment, whether it be restated once commission of an offense to take part in the
execution of the criminal judgment herein or a dozen times. From the ambiguity of the prosecution of the offense and to recover
affirmed, and for the further purpose of language used, it cannot be determined damages for the injury sustained by reason of
completing the civil branch of the case." whether the lower court merely intended to the same shall not be held to be abridged by
restate the penalty imposed for the sake of the provisions of this order; but such person
The lower court duly proceeded to take convenience or clearness, or whether it may appear and shall be heard either
evidence as to the civil damages sustained by actually reconsidered the guilt of the appellant individually or by attorney at all stages of the
the injured person and then entered the and found that its previous decision was case, and the court upon conviction of the
following judgment: correct. Both were unnecessary and beyond accused may enter judgment against him for
the instructions contained in the judgment of the damages occasioned by his wrongful act. It
"I therefore restate the judgment heretofore this court, and as the only addition to the shall, however, be the duty of the promotor
entered herein and affirmed by the Supreme judgment was the civil damages which the fiscal to direct the prosecution, subject to the
Court, by finding the defendant, Joseph N. accused should pay, no attempt being made to right of the person injured to appeal from any
Heery, not guilty of frustrated murder as change in any manner the punishment decision of the court denying him a legal right."
alleged in the complaint, but find him guilty of imposed upon the defendant, the question
a lesser offense included within the charge does not arise as to the effect such action The procedure under the Spanish Code of
made in the complaint, that of maliciously would have upon the defendants constitutional Criminal Procedure for determining the civil
inflicting serious injury upon Alex Sternberg, rights. In passing, however, it may be liability of persons accused of crime, referred to
causing him an illness and disability from the remarked that such action would be entirely in above quoted section, has been discussed
performance of any kind of manual labor for beyond the jurisdiction of the lower court and by this court a number of times.
more than thirty days, and sentence him to one absolutely void.
year and three months of prision correccional In Springer v. Odlin (3 Phil. Rep., 344), it was
at Bilibid Prison, and, having found the amount The basis for the plea of double jeopardy must said: "By General Orders, No. 58, section 107,
of the indemnity which the defendant should be the same, therefore, as though the lower the privileges secured by the Spanish law to
pay, in accordance with the instructions court had strictly confined its judgment to the persons claiming to be injured by the
contained in the judgment of the Supreme limits set by the instructions of this court, commission of an offense to take part in the
Court made herein, sentence the defendant to above quoted. The question is reduced to the prosecution of the offense and to recover
indemnify the complainant, Alex Sternberg, in determination of whether remanding the case damages for the injury sustained by reason of
the sum of P50,500 and in case of insolvency for determination of civil damages and their the same, are preserved and remain in force,
to suffer subsidiary imprisonment, and to pay assessment against the defendant are to be and it is therein expressly provided that the
the costs of the action." considered as a modification of the court, upon conviction of the accused, may
punishment, by increasing the penalty or enter judgment in favor of the injured person,
otherwise, meted out to the defendant for the against the defendant in the criminal case for
commission of the crime. the damage occasioned by the wrongful act."
In Finnick v. Peterson (6 Phil. Rep., 172), it was and so says the law, in the event that the the Spanish law of determining the civil liability
said: "This provision (art. 120, Penal Code) judgment rendered in the criminal cause is a of the accused person, it may not be out of
makes it the duty of the court, when the right finding of guilt against the accused; but if the place to revert to the decision of the supreme
to personal property is in question in a criminal accused be acquitted, then the compliant in court of Spain of November 14, 1889. In this
cause, to order its return to the proper person, the civil action must be based on some fact case the defendant was indicated for robbery.
after giving all persons interested a hearing, and or cause distinct and separate from the During the trial, his civil liability was raised by
and the Code of Criminal Procedure provided a criminal act itself." the states prosecution attorney, but in
method for an examination into the question of rendering judgment of conviction the trial court
the right of the property." The court then quotes from article 114 of the made no finding on this issue. the state
Spanish Code of Criminal Procedure which appealed, and the supreme court of Spain held
In Rakes v. Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Co. (7 Phil. provides: that the courts failure to resolve the civil
Rep., 359, 364), it was said: "According to liability of the defendant was reversible error,
article 112 (of the Spanish Code of Criminal "When a criminal proceeding is instituted for and remanded the case with instructions to
Procedure) the penal action once started, the the judicial investigation of a crime or determine this issue. It will be noted that this
civil remedy should be sought therewith, unless misdemeanor, no civil action arising from the was precisely the procedure outlined by this
it had been waived by the party injured or been same act can be prosecuted; but the same court in the case at bar.
expressly reserve by him for civil proceedings shall be suspended, if there be one, in
for the future. If the civil action alone was whatever stage or state it may be found, until Under the Spanish criminal law, an injured
prosecuted, arising out of a crime that could be final sentence in the criminal proceeding is person had the right to intervene in the
enforced only on private complaint, the penal pronounced. prosecution of the accused for the purpose of
action thereunder should be extinguished." having his damages ascertained. The trial court
"To prosecute a penal action it shall not be was required to include the amount of these
Almeida v. Abaroa (8 Phil. Rep., 178), was a necessary that a civil action arising from the damages in the judgment of conviction. The
civil action for damages brought the plaintiff same crime or misdemeanor be previously plain provisions of section 107 of our criminal
against a person who had been previously instituted." procedure, quoted supra, expressly preserves
acquitted on a criminal charge. It was held that this right to the injured person. The refusal of
his acquittal in the criminal action was a In United States v. Guy-Sayco (13 Phil. Rep., the trial court to allow the injured person to
complete bar to a civil action for damages 292), it was said: "As to the penalty of introduce evidence as to his damages is,
based upon the alleged criminal act of which indemnity contained in the judgment appealed therefore, clearly prejudicial error.
the defendant had been accused. In the course from and impugned by the defense, article 17
of this decision it was said: of the Code reads: . . .; and according to the We will first determine the soundness of the
established rules of the courts, in order that an plea of double jeopardy had the lower court not
"Instituting a criminal action only, it will be accused person may be declared to have erred in the criminal proceedings by refusing to
understood, brings the civil action as well, incurred civil liability, it is sufficient that said consider the civil liability of the of the
unless the damaged or prejudiced person liability shall proceed from, or be the defendant. Had a finding of civil liability been
waives the same or expressly reserves the consequence of the criminal liability, and in made upon relevant evidence duly taken, and
right to institute the civil action after the addition thereto, article 122 of the said Code stated in the judgment of conviction, would
termination of the criminal case, if there be any provides that the courts shall regulate the there have been double jeopardy?
reason therefor. (Art. 112 of the said Law of amount of indemnity for damages under said
Criminal Procedure.) civil liability, upon the same terms as It is true that the connotation of the "twice in
prescribed for the reparation of damage in jeopardy" clause in the Philippine Bill must be
"The right to bring the civil action, as reserved article 121 of the Code, and a finding on the found in American jurisprudence. (Kepner v. U.
by the person damaged or prejudiced, after the matter should be contained in the judgment." S., 195 U. S., 100; 11 Phil. Rep., 669.) It is also
termination of the criminal case, is only
true that this clause refers exclusively to
permitted, if there be any reason therefore, As a further illustration of the procedure under
punishment by the state and rendered to the Ryan, C.J. ) Cyc., 802, kidnapping; 3 Cyc., 1066, assault
state; that civil liability, as that term is used in and battery; 19 Cyc., 319, false imprisonment;
the United States, attaches to most crimes and What is the nature of the civil liability imposed 26 Cyc., 6, malicious prosecution. Although at
misdemeanors; that, as a general rule, the civil upon criminals by the provisions of the Penal common law there was no civil liability for
liability of a criminal can not be made an issue Code? If it be the same as the civil liability seduction, it has been created by statute in
in the criminal proceedings, but must be known to American authorities, then it has most jurisdictions: 35 Cyc., 1294. Wrongful
adjudicated and determined in a separate, civil nothing to do with criminal liability, and a death, by statute, now carries with it civil
action; that civil liability is due to the person fortiori, can the defense of "twice in jeopardy" liability: 13 Cyc., 310. Larcency and robbery: 25
injured and criminal liability to the sovereign; ever be utilized to prevent its imposition? Cyc., 55. Generally, in the United States, the
that the criminal proceeding is not a bar to the owner of stolen property is entitled to have it
civil action, or vice versa; and that the twice in By article 17 of the Penal Code it is provided back irrespective of the conviction of the thief.
jeopardy clause refers only to criminal that "Every person criminally liable for a felony Identified stolen goods may be recovered even
prosecutions. We take these statements to be or misdemeanor is also civilly liable." from a bona fide purchaser. Civil actions for
axiomatic, and therefore unnecessary of debt, replevin, trover and conversion, etc., lie
annotation. But we quote from one well If it be urged that this is not true under in this class of cases. Malicious prosecution,
considered case which practically covers all of American law, it may be said with equal under the common law only a civil liability, is
these propositions: accuracy that it is not literally true under the now by statute, a criminal offense also: 26
Penal Code. As stated by both Groizard (vol. 1, Cyc., 120. But aside from these specific
"The cases generally hold that the rule in p. 697) and Viada (vol. 1, p. 391), there are a references, it would be sufficient to refer to the
criminal cases, that one shall not twice be put number of crimes, such as contempt of court, subject of torts, which occupies a large field in
in jeopardy, implies more than the bar of a attempts against the authorities, some of the Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence. In this branch of
judgment to an action for the same cause. But offenses against religious cults, etc., which are law, pecuniary damages to the individual for
no case is known where a conviction upon an not usually attended with damages to third injuries suffered by him are the controlling
indictment has been held a bar to a civil action persons. As stated by the first named question, and one of its cardinal principles is
for damages growing out of the same act; a commentator, this article must be understood that there is no wrong without a remedy. We
fortiori, none in which a recovery in a civil to mean that there is civil liability in those may safely say, therefore, that civil liability
action has been held a bar to an indictment for cases where private persons have suffered coexist with criminal liability in the United
the same act. And the whole purview of section damages. And this will be found to be States, the same as it does here.
8 plainly shows that the putting in jeopardy substantially true in the United States.
prohibited is confined to criminal prosecutions. Now, are the elements of civil liability the same
Indeed, this is manifest in the clause itself, Under the early common law, damages to a in the two countries? Article 119 of the Penal
which is confined to the same offense, used in person injured by a crime were merged in the Code reads: "The civil liability established in
the same sense as criminal offense in the first punishment thereof. Later, it was held that Chapter II, Title II, of this book comprises:
clause of the section. Of course the same act there was no merger except in cases of
may be an offense (in the sense of crime) homicide, but that the remedy for the private "1. Restitution;
against the State, and an offense (in the sense wrong and injury must be suspended until
of tort) against a private person. It is manifest public justice had been vindicated by the "2. Reparation of the damage caused;
that judgment for the one is not a bar to the confession or acquittal of the wrongdoer in a
other. And it might be difficult, in principle, to criminal prosecution. (1 Cyc., 681.) But by "3. Indemnification for consequential
hold a criminal conviction as a bar to the statutory enactments are never merged. (See damages."cralaw virtua1aw library
recovery of punitory damages; in a civil action, for instance, N. Y. Ann. Code, sec. 1899, and
and not a bar to the recovery of compensatory Mairs v. B. & O. R. Co., 175 N. Y., 409; La. Stat., What are restitution, reparation, and
damages; not a bar to any civil action. See 1904, sec. 985.) For specific crimes where civil indemnification under this article? Of
Jacks v. Bell, 3 C. & P., 316." (Brown v. liability attaches, see 33 Cyc., 1520, rape; 19 restitution, there can be no doubt that it exists
Swineford, 44 Wis., 282; 28 Am. Rep., 582, per Cyc., 980, arson; 30 Cyc., 1578, abortion; 24 also in American law. Where property is taken
from its rightful owner, it must be restored if 2, p. 717), says: "From crimes arise, as we question of civil damage, with instructions to
found, even though in possession of a bona know, two liabilities: criminal and civil. The first execute the punishment imposed and to try the
fide purchaser. Reparation is not so easily is extinguished by the methods to which we civil branch of the case? Bearing in mind the
recognized. It is treated by both Groizard and have just adverted. The method of terminating broad line of demarkation between the civil
Viada as referring to damage caused to the second is not a subject of criminal law, but liability of the accused and his criminal liability,
property in the commission of crimes such as of civil law. . . . the bare fact that his civil liability was
robbery, as opposed to damages suffered by determined and fixed had nothing whatever to
injuries to the person, as in assaults and "The character of this work does not permit us do with the punishment imposed. The latter
homicide. It would appear that Groizards to tarry for further explanations. We would not was not thereby affected. This being true, by
comment upon this provisions is justified when be commenting upon subjects included within what reasoning could it be held that its
he says that these two elements of civil liability the Penal Code but laws of a purely civil determination prior or subsequent to the
could well have been expressed in a single character." finding of guilt was merged into and became a
term. (Vol. 2, 621.) Taken together they are part of the punishment? If two lines are
both allowable under the American law of civil And, as a complement of this article, article parallel, they can not converge. This time
liability, and are usually designated without 1813 of the Civil Code provides that civil intervening between the judgment of guilt and
distinction as damages. liability attached to crimes may be the judgment of civil damages could in no way
compromised but that the criminal liability is give to the latter the character of the former.
Does the fact that in this country civil liability not thereby extinguished. Other distinctions
is, as a rule, determined in the criminal action might be noticed which show that there is no It is urged that in such a case as the present,
transform it into criminal liability and thus merger of the two kinds of liability from the the defendant might serve the term of
make it a part of the punishment for the crime? mere fact that they are tried together. But imprisonment fixed by the court as the
Certainly the mere form of a remedy should no these are, we think, sufficient to sustain the punishment for his crime, and after the
affect its substance. And there are many point. sentence for civil damages and in case of his
indications in the Penal Code that the civil insolvency, he would have to return to prison
liability therein imposed for the commission of There is, therefore, no new or foreign element to serve the subsidiary imprisonment by reason
crimes was not intended to be merged into the in civil liability under the Penal Code of this of his insolvency, being argued that this would
punishment for the crime. Article 71, 119-126, country as compared with civil liability under constitute double jeopardy. Even so it is well
which provide for civil liability of offenders, are the American law. We do not consider the settled that execution against the person will
confined strictly to that subject. Article 23 practice in the United States of allowing issue in civil actions in case of personal
sharply defines one distinction between the punitive or exemplary damages as affecting injuries, and that this is not imprisonment for
criminal and civil liability, in that the former the question we are discussing. Here as there, debt or punishment for crime. It is in lieu of the
can not be waived by a pardon of the party civil damages are no part of the punishment for payment of the indemnity and is considered as
injured, while the latter may be waived. The the crime; here as there, they are rendered to a discharge thereof. If the payment of the
chapters of the Penal Code dealing with the the citizen and not to the State. indemnity is not punishment for the crime, the
classification and duration of penalties (articles imprisonment in lieu thereof is not punishment
25 to 62 inclusive), nowhere list the civil As the civil liability is no part of the punishment for the crime.
liability attached to a crime. And article 133 for the crime, there would have been no
provides that "Civil liability arising out of question of double jeopardy, and counsel for The practice, in civil cases, of partially
crimes or misdemeanors shall be extinguished the defendant in effect so admits, had the affirming and partially reversing judgment
in the same manner as other obligations, in lower court not erred in refusing to consider appealed from, is well settled.
accordance with the rules of civil law."cralaw the question of civil damages during the course
virtua1aw library of the criminal proceedings. What was the "Where a judgment appealed from consists of
effect of the action of this court in affirming distinct and independent matters, so that an
In commenting upon this article, Groizard (vol. that judgment as to the guilt and punishment erroneous portion thereof can be segregated
of the accused and of reversing it as to the from the parts that are correct, the court will
not set aside the entire judgment, but only so
much as is erroneous, leaving the residue
undisturbed." (3 Cyc., 447.)

This rule is often applied to cases of tortious


wrongs, where the culpability of the tort feasor
is established but there has been error in the
assessment of damages. (Smith v. Whittlesey,
79 Conn., 189; George v. Railroad, 214 Mo.,
551; Austin & McCargar v. Langlois, 83 Vt.,
104.) In the present case, the civil liability of
the defendant was established, and the sole
question determined upon the second trial was
the amount of civil damages. The plea of
double jeopardy can not be allowed.

By their second assignment of error, counsel


for the defendant urge that the amount of
damages, P50,500 awarded is excessive, and
not supported by the evidence. There can be
no objection to allowing the physicians fees of
P500 and P1,300 for the three months salary,
being the time the injured party was
incapacitated from performing the work in
which he was then engaged. The remainder,
P48,700, appears to have been allowed on
account of the permanent diminution of
Sternbergs ability to earn money. The
evidence of record does not establish such
disability with that degree of certainly which
will justify an award for that purpose. We have
reached this conclusion after a most careful
examination of all the testimony upon this
point. The award of damages is therefore
reduced to P1,800, the defendant to suffer
subsidiary imprisonment, which in no event
can exceed one-third of the principal penalty,
in case of insolvency. Costs in the instance de
oficio. So ordered.
G.R. No. 91856 October 5, 1990 judgment, they nevertheless filed a petition The reservation of the right to institute the
for certiorari in the Court of Appeals separate civil actions shall be made before the
YAKULT PHILIPPINES AND LARRY challenging the jurisdiction of the trial court prosecution starts to present its evidence and
SALVADO, petitioner, over said civil case. under circumstances affording the offended
vs. party a reasonable opportunity to make such
COURT OF APPEALS, WENCESLAO M. Petitioners' thesis is that the civil action for reservation.
POLO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge damages for injuries arising from alleged
of Br. 19 of the RTC of Manila, and ROY criminal negligence of Salvado, being without In no case may the offended party recover
CAMASO, respondents. malice, cannot be filed independently of the damages twice for the same act or omission of
criminal action under Article 33 of the Civil the accused.
Tomas R. Leonidas for petitioners. Code. Further, it is contended that under
Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on When the offended party seeks to enforce civil
David B. Agoncillo for private respondent. Criminal Procedure such a separate civil action liability against the accused by way of moral,
may not be filed unless reservation thereof is nominal, temperate or exemplary damages,
GANCAYCO, J.: the filing fees for such civil action as provided
expressly made.
in these Rules shall constitute a first lien on the
Can a civil action instituted after the criminal
In a decision dated November 3, 1989, the judgment except in an award for actual
action was filed prosper even if there was no
Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. 1 A damages.
reservation to file a separate civil action? This
motion for reconsideration thereof filed by
is the issue in this petition. In cases wherein the amount of damages,
petitioners was denied on January 30, 1990.
Hence this petition. other than actual, is alleged in the complaint or
On December 24, 1982, a five-year old boy,
information, the corresponding filing fees shall
Roy Camaso, while standing on the sidewalk of
The petition is devoid of merit. be paid by the offended party upon the filing
M. de la Fuente Street, Sampaloc, Manila, was
thereof in court for trial. (1a)
sideswiped by a Yamaha motorcycle owned by Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules of
Yakult Philippines and driven by its employee, Criminal Procedure provides as follows: Although the incident in question and the
Larry Salvado. actions arising therefrom were instituted before
SEC. 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. the promulgation of the 1985 Rules of Criminal
Salvado was charged with the crime of reckless When a criminal action is instituted, the civil Procedure, its provisions which are procedural
imprudence resulting to slight physical injuries action for the recovery of civil liability is may apply retrospectively to the present
in an information that was filed on January 6, impliedly instituted with the criminal action, case. 2
1983 with the then City Court of Manila, unless the offended party waives the civil
docketed as Criminal Case No. 027184. On action, reserves his right to institute it Under the aforecited provisions of the rule, the
October 19, 1984 a complaint for damages was separately, or institutes the civil action prior to civil action for the recovery of civil liability is
filed by Roy Camaso represented by his father, the criminal action. impliedly instituted with the criminal action
David Camaso, against Yakult Philippines and unless the offended party waives the civil
Larry Salvado in the Regional Trial Court of Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity action, reserves his right to institute it
Manila docketed as Civil Case No. 84-27317. under the Revised Penal Code, and damages separately or institutes the civil action prior to
under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil the criminal action.
In due course a decision was rendered in the Code of the Philippines arising from the same
civil case on May 26, 1989 ordering defendants act or omission of the accused. Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity
to pay jointly and severally the plaintiff the under the Revised Penal Code, and damages
sum of P13,006.30 for actual expenses for A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil
medical services and hospital bills; P3,000.00 the others. The institution of, or the reservation Code of the Philippines arising from the same
attorney's fees and the costs of the suit. of the right to file, any of said civil actions act or omission of the accused.
Although said defendants appealed the separately waives the others.
It is also provided that the reservation of the is even far better than a compliance with the
right to institute the separate civil action shall requirement of an express reservation that
be made before the prosecution starts to should be made by the offended party before
present its evidence and under circumstances the prosecution presents its evidence.
affording the offended party a reasonable
opportunity to make such reservation. The purpose of this rule requiring reservation is
to prevent the offended party from recovering
In this case, the offended party has not waived damages twice for the same act or omission.
the civil action, nor reserved the right to
institute it separately. Neither has the offended Thus, the Court finds and so holds that the trial
party instituted the civil action prior to the court had jurisdiction over the separate civil
criminal action. However, the civil action in this action brought before it.
case was filed in court before the presentation
of the evidence for the prosecution in the WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The
criminal action of which the judge presiding on questioned decision of the Court of Appeals
the criminal case was duly informed, so that in dated November 3, 1989 and its resolution
the disposition of the criminal action no dated January 30, 1990 are hereby AFFIRMED.
damages was awarded.
SO ORDERED.
The civil liability sought arising from the act or
Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz,
omission of the accused in this case is a quasi
Feliciano, Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento, Cortes,
delict as defined under Article 2176 of the Civil
Grio-Aquino, Medialdea and Regalado, JJ.,
Code as follows:
concur.
ART. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes
Fernan, C.J. and Paras, J., are on leave.
damage to another, there being fault or
negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage
done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no
pre-existing contractual relation between the
parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed
by the provisions of this Chapter.

The aforecited revised rule requiring such


previous reservation also covers quasi-delict as
defined under Article 2176 of the Civil Code
arising from the same act or omission of the
accused.

Although the separate civil action filed in this


case was without previous reservation in the
criminal case, nevertheless since it was
instituted before the prosecution presented
evidence in the criminal action, and the judge
handling the criminal case was informed
thereof, then the actual filing of the civil action
[G.R. No. 129029. April 3, 2000] Corporation, with a load of 2,000 cases of involved in the accident). The private
empty bottles of beer grande, willfully, respondents opted to pursue the criminal
RAFAEL REYES TRUCKING unlawfully and feloniously drove and operated action but did not withdraw the civil case quasi
CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF the same while along the National Highway of ex delicto they filed against petitioner. On
THE PHILIPPINES and ROSARIO P. DY (for Barangay Tagaran, in said Municipality, in a December 15, 1989, private respondents
herself and on behalf of the minors Maria negligent, careless and imprudent manner, withdrew the reservation to file a separate civil
Luisa, Francis Edward, Francis Mark and without due regard to traffic laws, rules and action against the accused and manifested that
Francis Rafael, all surnamed ordinances and without taking the necessary they would prosecute the civil aspect ex
Dy), respondents. precautions to prevent injuries to persons and delicto in the criminal action.[6] However, they
damage to property, causing by such did not withdraw the separate civil action
DECISION negligence, carelessness and imprudence the based on quasi delictagainst petitioner as
said trailer truck to hit and bump a Nissan Pick- employer arising from the same act or
PARDO, J.:
up bearing Plate No. BBG-957 driven by omission of the accused driver.[7]
The case is an appeal via certiorari from the Feliciano Balcita and Francisco Dy, Jr., @
Pacquing, due to irreversible shock, internal Upon agreement of the parties, the trial court
amended decision[1] of the Court of
and external hemorrhage and multiple injuries, consolidated both criminal and civil cases and
Appeals affirming
[2]
the decision and
open wounds, abrasions, and further causing conducted a joint trial of the same.
supplemental decision of the trial court, [3] as
follows: damages to the heirs of Feliciano Balcita in the
amount of P100,000.00 and to the death of The facts, as found by the trial court, which
Francisco Dy, Jr.; @ Pacquing and damages to appear to be undisputed, are as follows:
"IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, judgment is
hereby rendered dismissing the appeals his Nissan Pick-Up bearing Plate No. BBG-957 in
"The defendant Rafael Reyes Trucking
interposed by both accused and Reyes Trucking the total amount of P2,000,000.00.
Corporation is a domestic corporation engaged
Corporation and affirming the Decision and in the business of transporting beer products
Supplemental Decision dated June 6, 1992 and "CONTRARY TO LAW.
for the San Miguel Corporation (SMC for short)
October 26, 1992 respectively. from the latters San Fernando, Pampanga plant
"Cauayan, Isabela, October 10, 1989.
to its various sales outlets in Luzon. Among its
"SO ORDERED." [4]
"(Sgd.) FAUSTO C. CABANTAC fleets of vehicles for hire is the white truck
The facts are as follows: "Third Assistant Provincial Prosecutor" trailer described above driven by Romeo Dunca
y Tumol, a duly licensed driver. Aside from the
On October 10, 1989, Provincial Prosecutor Upon arraignment on October 23, 1989, the Corporations memorandum to all its drivers
Patricio T. Durian of Isabela filed with the accused entered a plea of not guilty. On the and helpers to physically inspect their vehicles
Regional Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19, same occasion, the offended parties (Rosario P. before each trip (Exh. 15, pars. 4 & 5), the
Cauayan an amended information charging Dy and minor children and Angelina M. Balcita SMCs Traffic Investigator-Inspector certified the
Romeo Dunca y de Tumol with reckless and minor son Paolo) made a reservation to file roadworthiness of this White Truck trailer prior
imprudence resulting in double homicide and a separate civil action against the accused to June 20, 1989 (Exh. 17). In addition to a
damage to property, reading as follows: arising from the offense charged. [5] On professional drivers license, it also conducts a
November 29, 1989, the offended parties rigid examination of all driver applicants before
"That on or about the 20th day of June, 1989, actually filed with the Regional Trial Court, they are hired.
in the Municipality of Cauayan, Province of Isabela, Branch 19, Cauayan a complaint
Isabela, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction against petitioner Rafael Reyes Trucking "In the early morning of June 20, 1989, the
of this Honorable Court, the said accused being Corporation, as employer of driver Romeo White Truck driven by Dunca left Tuguegarao,
the driver and person-in-charge of a Trailer Dunca y de Tumol, based on quasi delict. The Cagayan bound to San Fernando, Pampanga
Truck Tractor bearing Plate No. N2A-867 petitioner settled the claim of the heirs of loaded with 2,000 cases of empty beer
registered in the name of Rafael Reyes Trucking Feliciano Balcita (the driver of the other vehicle "Grande" bottles. Seated at the front right seat
beside him was Ferdinand Domingo, his truck its outstanding and subscribed capital stock of "WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing
helper ("pahinante" in Pilipino). At around 4:00 60,000 shares valued at P6,000,000.00 (Exhs. considerations judgment is hereby rendered:
oclock that same morning while the truck was K-1 & 10-B). Under its 1988 Income Tax Returns
descending at a slight downgrade along the (Exh. J) the DWPC had a taxable net income of "1. Finding the accused Romeo Dunca y de
national road at Tagaran, Cauayan, Isabela, it P78,499.30 (Exh. J). Francisco Dy, Jr. was a La Tumol guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
approached a damaged portion of the road Salle University graduate in Business crime of Double Homicide through Reckless
covering the full width of the trucks right lane Administration, past president of the Pasay Imprudence with violation of the Motor Vehicle
going south and about six meters in length. Jaycees, National Treasurer and President of the Law (Rep. Act No. 4136), and appreciating in
These made the surface of the road uneven Philippine Jaycees in 1971 and 1976, his favor the mitigating circumstance of
because the potholes were about five to six respectively, and World Vice-President of voluntary surrender without any aggravating
inches deep. The left lane parallel to this Jaycees International in 1979. He was also the circumstance to offset the same, the Court
damaged portion is smooth. As narrated by recipient of numerous awards as a civic leader hereby sentences him to suffer two (2)
Ferdinand Domingo, before approaching the (Exh. C). His children were all studying in indeterminate penalties of four months and
potholes, he and Dunca saw the Nissan with its prestigious schools and spent about one day of arresto mayor as minimum to three
headlights on coming from the opposite P180,000.00 for their education in 1988 alone years, six months and twenty days as
direction. They used to evade this damaged (Exh. H-4). maximum; to indemnify the Heirs of Francisco
road by taking the left lance but at that Dy. Jr. in the amount of P3,000,000.00 as
particular moment, because of the incoming "As stated earlier, the plaintiffs procurement of compensatory damages, P1,000,000.00 as
vehicle, they had to run over it. This caused a writ of attachment of the properties of the moral damages, and P1,030,000.00 as funeral
the truck to bounce wildly. Dunca lost control of Corporation was declared illegal by the Court of expenses;
the wheels and the truck swerved to the left Appeals. It was shown that on December 26,
invading the lane of the Nissan. As a result, 1989, Deputy Sheriff Edgardo Zabat of the RTC "2. Ordering the plaintiff in Civil Case No. Br.
Duncas vehicle rammed the incoming Nissan at San Fernando, Pampanga, attached six units 19-424 to pay the defendant therein actual
dragging it to the left shoulder of the road and of Truck Tractors and trailers of the Corporation damages in the amount of P84,000.00; and
climbed a ridge above said shoulder where it at its garage at San Fernando, Pampanga.
These vehicles were kept under PC guard by "3. Ordering the dismissal of the complaint in
finally stopped. (see Exh. A-5, p. 8, record). The
the plaintiffs in said garage thus preventing the Civil Case No. Br. 19-424.
Nissan was severely damaged (Exhs. A-7, A-8,
A-9 and A-14, pp. 9-11, record), and its two Corporation to operate them. However, on
"No pronouncement as to costs.
passengers, namely: Feliciano Balcita and December 28, 1989, the Court of Appeals
Francisco Dy, Jr. died instantly (Exh. A-19) from dissolved the writ (p. 30, record) and on "SO ORDERED.
external and internal hemorrhage and multiple December 29, 1989, said Sheriff reported to
fractures (pp. 15 and 16, record). this Court that the attached vehicles were "Cauayan, Isabela, June 6, 1992.
taken by the defendants representative, Melita
"For the funeral expenses of Francisco Dy, Jr. Manapil (Exh. O, p. 31, record). The defendants "(Sgd.) ARTEMIO R. ALIVIA
her widow spent P651,360.00 (Exh. I-3). At the general Manager declared that it lost "Regional Trial Judge"[9]
time of his death he was 45 years old. He was P21,000.00 per day for the non-operation of
the President and Chairman of the Board of the the six units during their attachment (p. 31, On September 3, 1992, petitioner and the
Dynamic Wood Products and Development t.s.n., Natividad C. Babaran, proceedings on accused filed a notice of appeal from the joint
Corporation (DWPC), a wood processing December 10, 1990)."[8] decision.[10]
establishment, from which he was receiving an
income of P10,000.00 a month (Exh. D). In the On June 6, 1992, the trial court rendered a joint On the other hand, private respondents moved
Articles of Incorporation of the DWPC, the decision, the dispositive portion of which reads for amendment of the dispositive portion of the
spouses Francisco Dy, Jr. and Rosario Perez Dy as follows: joint decision so as to hold petitioner
appear to be stockholders of 10,000 shares subsidiarily liable for the damages awarded to
each with par value of P100.00 per share out of
the private respondents in the event of granted leave to petitioner to file a reply and In other words, "the same act or omission can
insolvency of the accused.[11] noted the reply it filed on March 11, 1998.[21] create two kinds of liability on the part of the
offender, that is, civil liability ex delicto, and
On October 26, 1992, the trial court rendered a We now resolve to give due course to the civil liability quasi delicto" either of which "may
supplemental decision amending the petition and decide the case. be enforced against the culprit, subject to the
dispositive portion by inserting an additional caveat under Article 2177 of the Civil Code that
paragraph reading as follows: Petitioner raises three (3) grounds for the offended party can not recover damages
allowance of the petition, which, however, boil under both types of liability."[24]
"2:A Ordering the defendant Reyes Trucking down to two (2) basic issues, namely:
Corporation subsidiarily liable for all the In the instant case, the offended parties
damages awarded to the heirs of Francisco Dy, 1.....May petitioner as owner of the truck elected to file a separate civil action for
Jr., in the event of insolvency of the accused involved in the accident be held subsidiarily damages against petitioner as employer of the
but deducting therefrom the damages of liable for the damages awarded to the offended accused, based on quasi delict, under Article
P84,000.00 awarded to said defendant in the parties in the criminal action against the truck 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
next preceding paragraph; and x x x"[12] driver despite the filing of a separate civil Private respondents sued petitioner Rafael
action by the offended parties against the Reyes Trucking Corporation, as the employer of
On November 12, 1992, petitioner filed with employer of the truck driver? the accused, to be vicariously liable for the
the trial court a supplemental notice of appeal fault or negligence of the latter. Under the law,
from the supplemental decision.[13] 2.....May the Court award damages to the
this vicarious liability of the employer is
offended parties in the criminal case despite
founded on at least two specific provisions of
During the pendency of the appeal, the the filing of a civil action against the employer
law.
accused jumped bail and fled to a foreign of the truck driver; and in amounts exceeding
country. By resolution dated December 29, that alleged in the information for reckless The first is expressed in Article 2176 in relation
1994, the Court of Appeals dismissed the imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to Article 2180 of the Civil Code, which would
appeal of the accused in the criminal case.[14] to property?[22] allow an action predicated on quasi-delict to be
instituted by the injured party against the
On January 6, 1997, the Court of Appeals We grant the petition, resolving under the
employer for an act or omission of the
rendered an amended decision affirming that circumstances pro hac vice to remand the
employee and would necessitate only a
of the trial court, as set out in the opening cases to the trial court for determination of the
preponderance of evidence to prevail. Here,
paragraph of this decision.[15] civil liability of petitioner as employer of the
the liability of the employer for the negligent
accused driver in the civil action quasi ex
On January 31, 1997, petitioner filed a motion conduct of the subordinate is direct and
delicto re-opened for the purpose.
for reconsideration of the amended decision.[16] primary, subject to the defense of due
In negligence cases, the aggrieved party has diligence in the selection and supervision of
On April 21, 1997, the Court of Appeals denied the choice between (1) an action to enforce the employee. The enforcement of the
petitioners motion for reconsideration for lack civil liability arising from crime under Article judgment against the employer in an action
of merit.[17] 100 of the Revised Penal Code; and (2) a based on Article 2176 does not require the
separate action for quasi delict under Article employee to be insolvent since the nature of
Hence, this petition for review.[18] 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. Once the liability of the employer with that of the
the choice is made, the injured party can not employee, the two being statutorily considered
On July 21, 1997, the Court required joint tortfeasors, is solidary. [25] The second,
avail himself of any other remedy because he
respondents to comment on the petition within predicated on Article 103 of the Revised Penal
may not recover damages twice for the same
ten (10) days from notice.[19] Code, provides that an employer may be held
negligent act or omission of the accused.
[23]
This is the rule against double recovery. subsidiarily civilly liable for a felony committed
On January 27, 1998, the Solicitor General filed by his employee in the discharge of his duty.
his comment.[20] On April 13, 1998, the Court This liability attaches when the employee is
convicted of a crime done in the performance crime (ex delicto) in the criminal action as the However, petitioner as defendant in the
of his work and is found to be insolvent that offended parties in fact filed a separate civil separate civil action for damages filed against
renders him unable to properly respond to the action against the employer based on quasi it, based on quasi delict, may be held liable
civil liability adjudged.[26] delict resulting in the waiver of the civil thereon. Thus, the trial court grievously erred
action ex delicto. in dismissing plaintiffs civil complaint. And the
As regards the first issue, the answer is in the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial
negative. Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation, as It might be argued that private respondents as courts decision. Unfortunately private
employer of the accused who has been complainants in the criminal case withdrew the respondents did not appeal from such dismissal
adjudged guilty in the criminal case for reservation to file a civil action against the and could not be granted affirmative relief.[30]
reckless imprudence, can not be held driver (accused) and manifested that they
subsidiarily liable because of the filing of the would pursue the civil liability of the driver in The Court, however, in exceptional cases has
separate civil action based on quasi the criminal action. However, the withdrawal is relaxed the rules "in order to promote their
delict against it. In view of the reservation to ineffective to reverse the effect of the objectives and assist the parties in obtaining
file, and the subsequent filing of the civil action reservation earlier made because private just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of
for recovery of civil liability, the same was not respondents did not withdraw the civil action every action or proceeding"[31] or exempted "a
instituted with the criminal action. Such against petitioner based on quasi delict. In particular case from the operation of the
separate civil action was for recovery of such a case, the provision of Rule 111, Section rules."[32]
damages under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, 1, paragraph 3 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal
arising from the same act or omission of the Procedure is clear that the reservation to file or Invoking this principle, we rule that the trial
accused.[27] the filing of a separate civil action results in a court erred in awarding civil damages in the
waiver of other available civil actions arising criminal case and in dismissing the civil action.
Pursuant to the provision of Rule 111, Section from the same act or omission of the accused. Apparently satisfied with such award, private
1, paragraph 3 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 2 enumerated respondent did not appeal from the dismissal
Procedure, when private respondents, as what are the civil actions deemed waived upon of the civil case. However, petitioner did
complainants in the criminal action, reserved such reservation or filing, and one of which is appeal. Hence, this case should be remanded
the right to file the separate civil action, they the civil indemnity under the Revised Penal to the trial court so that it may render decision
waived other available civil actions predicated Code. Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 3 of the in the civil case awarding damages as may be
on the same act or omission of the accused- 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure specifically warranted by the evidence.[33]
driver. Such civil action includes the recovery provides:
of indemnity under the Revised Penal Code, With regard to the second issue, the award of
and damages under Articles 32, 33, and 34 of "A waiver of any of the civil actions damages in the criminal case was improper
the Civil Code of the Philippines arising from extinguishes the others. The institution of, or because the civil action for the recovery of civil
the same act or omission of the accused. [28] the reservation of the right to file, any of said liability was waived in the criminal action by
civil actions separately waives the others." the filing of a separate civil action against the
The intention of private respondents to proceed employer. As enunciated in Ramos vs. Gonong,
primarily and directly against petitioner as The rationale behind this rule is the avoidance [34]
"civil indemnity is not part of the penalty for
employer of accused truck driver became of multiple suits between the same litigants the crime committed." The only issue brought
clearer when they did not ask for the dismissal arising out of the same act or omission of the before the trial court in the criminal action is
of the civil action against the latter based offender. The restrictive phraseology of the whether accused Romeo Dunca y de Tumol is
on quasi delict. section under consideration is meant to cover guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in
all kinds of civil actions, regardless of their homicide and damage to property. The action
Consequently, the Court of Appeals and the source in law, provided that the action has for for recovery of civil liability is not included
trial court erred in holding the accused civilly its basis the same act or omission of the therein, but is covered by the separate civil
liable, and petitioner-employer of the accused offender.[29] action filed against the petitioner as employer
subsidiarily liable for damages arising from of the accused truck-driver.
In this case, accused-driver jumped bail maximum." This is erroneous because in (1) In Criminal Case No. Br. 19-311, the Court
pending his appeal from his conviction. Thus, reckless imprudence cases, the actual penalty declares the accused Romeo Dunca y de Tumol
the judgment convicting the accused became for criminal negligence bears no relation to the guilty beyond reasonable doubt of reckless
final and executory, but only insofar as the individual willful crime or crimes committed, imprudence resulting in homicide and damage
penalty in the criminal action is concerned. The but is set in relation to a whole class, or series to property, defined and penalized under
damages awarded in the criminal action was of crimes.[38] Article 365, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal
invalid because of its effective waiver. The Code, with violation of the automobile law (R.
pronouncement was void because the action Unfortunately, we can no longer correct this A. No. 4136, as amended), and sentences him
for recovery of the civil liability arising from the judgment even if erroneous, as it is, because it to suffer two (2) indeterminate penalties of four
crime has been waived in said criminal action. has become final and executory. (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor,
as minimum, to three (3) years, six (6) months
With respect to the issue that the award of Under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, and twenty (20) days of prision correccional, as
damages in the criminal action exceeded the criminal negligence "is treated as a maximum,[40] without indemnity, and to pay the
amount of damages alleged in the amended mere quasi offense, and dealt with separately costs, and
information, the issue is de minimis. At any from willful offenses. It is not a question of
rate, the trial court erred in awarding damages classification or terminology. In intentional (2) In Civil Case No. Br. 19-424, the Court
in the criminal case because by virtue of the crimes, the act itself is punished; in negligence orders the case re-opened to determine the
reservation of the right to bring a separate civil or imprudence, what is principally penalized is liability of the defendant Rafael Reyes Trucking
action or the filing thereof, "there would be no the mental attitude or condition behind the act, Corporation to plaintiffs and that of plaintiffs on
possibility that the employer would be held the dangerous recklessness, lack of care or defendants counterclaim.
liable because in such a case there would be foresight, the imprudencia punible. Much of the
no pronouncement as to the civil liability of the confusion has arisen from the common use of No costs in this instance.
accused.[35] such descriptive phrase as homicide through
reckless imprudence, and the like; when the SO ORDERED.
As a final note, we reiterate that "the policy strict technical sense is, more accurately,
against double recovery requires that only one reckless imprudence resulting in homicide; or
action be maintained for the same act or simple imprudence causing damages to
omission whether the action is brought against property."[39]
the employee or against his employer. [36] The
injured party must choose which of the There is need, therefore, to rectify the
available causes of action for damages he will designation of the offense without disturbing
bring.[37] the imposed penalty for the guidance of bench
and bar in strict adherence to precedent.
Parenthetically, the trial court found the
accused "guilty beyond reasonable doubt of WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition
the crime of Double Homicide Through and SETS ASIDE the amended decision and
Reckless Imprudence with violation of the resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R.
Motor Vehicle Law (Rep. Act No. 4136)." There CR No. 14448, promulgated on January 6,
is no such nomenclature of an offense under 1997, and the joint decision of the Regional
the Revised Penal Code. Thus, the trial court Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19, Cauayan, in
was misled to sentence the accused "to suffer Criminal Case No. Br. 19-311 and Civil Case No.
two (2) indeterminate penalties of four (4) Br. 19-424, dated June 6, 1992.
months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as
minimum, to three (3) years, six (6) months IN LIEU THEREOF, the Court renders judgment
and twenty (20) days of prision correccional, as as follows:
G.R. Nos. 155531-34, July 29, 2005 "For consideration is the opposition of the "On 10 December 2001, the Honorable
accused, through counsel, to the formal entry Assistant City Prosecutor Rossana S. Morales-
MARY ANN RODRIGUEZ, PETITIONER, VS. of appearance of private prosecutor. Montojo of Quezon City Prosecutor's Office
HON. THELMA A. PONFERRADA, IN HER issued her Resolution in I.S. No. 01-15902, the
OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE "Accused, through counsel, contends that the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:
OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF private prosecutor is barred from appearing
QUEZON CITY, BRANCH 104; PEOPLE OF before this Court as his appearance is limited "Premises considered, there being PROBABLE
THE PHILIPPINES; AND GLADYS NOCOM, to the civil aspect which must be presented CAUSE to charge respondent for ESTAFA under
RESPONDENTS. and asserted in B.P. 22 cases pending before Article 315 paragraph 2(d) as amended by PD
the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City. 818 and for Violation of Batas Pambansa Blg.
DECISION 22, it is respectfully recommended that the
"The private prosecutor submitted comment attached Information be approved and filed in
PANGANIBAN, J.: stating that the offended party did not Court."
manifest within fifteen (15) days following the
Settled is the rule that the single act of issuing "As a consequence thereof, separate
filing of the information that the civil liability
a bouncing check may give rise to two distinct informations were separately filed against
arising from the crime has been or would be
criminal offenses: estafa and violation of Batas herein [p]etitioner before proper [c]ourts, for
separately prosecuted and that she should
Pambansa Bilang 22 (BP 22). The Rules of Estafa and [v]iolation of Batas Pambansa Blg.
therefore be required to pay the legal fees
Court allow the offended party to intervene via 22.
pursuant to Section 20 of Rule 141 of the Rules
a private prosecutor in each of these two penal
of Court, as amended.
proceedings. However, the recovery of the "Upon payment of the assessed and required
single civil liability arising from the single act of docket fees by the [p]rivate [c]omplainant, the
"Considering that the prosecution under B.P. 22
issuing a bouncing check in either criminal informations for [v]iolation of Batas Pambansa
is without prejudice to any liability for violation
case bars the recovery of the same civil liability Blg. 22 against herein [p]etitioner were filed
of any provision of the Revised Penal Code (BP
in the other criminal action. While the law and raffled to the Metropolitan Trial Court of
22, Sec. 5), the civil action for the recovery of
allows two simultaneous civil remedies for the Quezon City, Branch 42, docketed as Criminal
the civil liability arising from the estafa cases
offended party, it authorizes recovery in only Cases Nos. 0108033 to 36.
pending before this Court is deemed instituted
one. In short, while two crimes arise from a
with the criminal action (Rule 111, Sec. 1 [a]).
single set of facts, only one civil liability "On the other hand, the informations for
The offended party may thus intervene by
attaches to it. [e]stafa cases against herein [p]etitioner were
counsel in the prosecution of the offense (Rule
110. Sec. 16). likewise filed and raffled to the Regional Trial
The Case Court of Quezon City, Branch 104, docketed as
"WHEREFORE, the appearance of a private Criminal Cases Nos. 01-106256 to 59.
Before us is a Petition for Certiorari[1] under prosecutor shall be allowed upon payment of
the legal fees for these estafa cases pending "On 17 June 2002, petitioner through counsel
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, seeking to
before this Court pursuant to Section 1 of Rule filed in open court before the [p]ublic
reverse the July 27, 2002 Order [2] of the
141 of the Rules of Court, as amended."[4] [r]espondent an 'Opposition to the Formal
Regional Court (RTC) of Quezon City (Branch
Entry of Appearance of the Private Prosecutor'
104) in Criminal Case Nos. Q-01-106256 to Q-
The Facts dated 14 June 2002.
01-106259. Also assailed is the August 16,
2002 Order[3] of the RTC denying petitioner's
"The [p]ublic [r]espondent court during the
Motion for Reconsideration. The first assailed
The undisputed facts are narrated by petitioner said hearing noted the Formal Entry of
Order is quoted in full as follows:
as follows: Appearance of Atty. Felix R. Solomon as
[p]rivate [p]rosecutor as well as the Opposition
filed thereto by herein [p]etitioner. x x x.
the criminal action.
"As ordered by the Court, [p]rivate Petitioner raises this sole issue for the Court's
[c]omplainant through counsel filed her consideration: "The reservation of the right to institute
Comment to the Opposition of herein separately the civil action shall be made before
[p]etitioner. "Whether or not a [p]rivate [p]rosecutor can be the prosecution starts presenting its evidence
allowed to intervene and participate in the and under circumstances affording the
"On 27 June 2002, the [p]ublic [r]espondent proceedings of the above-entitled [e]stafa offended party a reasonable opportunity to
court issued the first assailed Order allowing cases for the purpose of prosecuting the make such reservation.
the appearance of the [p]rivate [p]rosecutor in attached civil liability arising from the issuance
the above-entitled criminal cases upon of the checks involved which is also subject "When the offended party seeks to enforce civil
payment of the legal fees pursuant to Section 1 mater of the pending B.P. 22 cases."[7] liability against the accused by way of moral,
of Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as amended. nominal, temperate, or exemplary damages
The Court's Ruling without specifying the amount thereof in the
"On 31 July 2002, [a]ccused through counsel complaint or information, the filing fees
The Petition has no merit.
filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated 26 July therefor shall constitute a first lien on the
2002. Sole Issue: judgment awarding such damages.
Civil Action in BP 22 Case Not a Bar
"On 16 August 2002, the [p]ublic [r]espondent xxx xxx xxx
to Civil Action in Estafa Case
court issued the second assailed Order denying
the Motion for Reconsideration of herein
[p]etitioner."[5] "(b) The criminal action for violation of Batas
Petitioner theorizes that the civil action
Pambansa Blg. 22 shall be deemed to include
necessarily arising from the criminal case
Ruling of the Trial Court the corresponding civil action. No reservation
pending before the MTC for violation of BP 22
to file such civil action separately shall be
precludes the institution of the corresponding
allowed.
civil action in the criminal case for estafa now
Noting petitioner's opposition to the private
pending before the RTC. She hinges her theory
prosecutor's entry of appearance, the RTC held "Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and
on the following provisions of Rules 110 and
that the civil action for the recovery of civil civil actions, the offended party shall pay in full
111 of the Rules of Court:
liability arising from the offense charged is the filing fees based on the amount of the
deemed instituted, unless the offended party "SECTION 16. Intervention of the offended check involved, which shall be considered as
(1) waives the civil action, (2) reserves the party in criminal action. -- Where the civil the actual damages claimed. Where the
right to institute it separately, or (3) institutes action for recovery of civil liability is instituted complaint or information also seeks to recover
the civil action prior to the criminal action. in the criminal action pursuant to Rule 111, the liquidated, moral, nominal, temperate or
Considering that the offended party had paid offended party may intervene by counsel in the exemplary damages, the offended party shall
the corresponding filing fee for the estafa cases prosecution of the offense." pay the filing fees based on the amounts
prior to the filing of the BP 22 cases with the alleged therein. If the amounts are not so
Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), the RTC "SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil alleged but any of these damages are
allowed the private prosecutor to appear and actions. -- (a) When a criminal action is subsequently awarded by the court, the filing
intervene in the proceedings. instituted, the civil action for the recovery of fees based on the amount awarded shall
civil liability arising from the offense charged constitute a first lien on the judgment.
Hence, this Petition.[6] shall be deemed instituted with the criminal
action unless the offended party waives the "Where the civil action has been filed
Issues separately and trial thereof has not yet
civil action, reserves the right to institute it
separately or institutes the civil action prior to commenced, it may be consolidated with the
criminal action upon application with the court
trying the latter case. If the application is property was actually or directly injured or violation prosecution. In the crimes of both
granted, the trial of both actions shall proceed damaged by the same punishable act or estafa and violation of BP 22, Rule 111 of the
in accordance with section 2 of this Rule omission. However, this rather broad and Rules of Court expressly allows, even
governing consolidation of the civil and general provision is among the most complex automatically in the present case, the
criminal actions." and controversial topics in criminal procedure. institution of a civil action without need of
It can be misleading in its implications election by the offended party. As both
Based on the foregoing rules, an offended especially where the same act or omission may remedies are simultaneously available to this
party may intervene in the prosecution of a be treated as a crime in one instance and as a party, there can be no forum shopping.[11]
crime, except in the following instances: (1) tort in another or where the law allows a
when, from the nature of the crime and the law separate civil action to proceed independently Hence, this Court cannot agree with what
defining and punishing it, no civil liability arises of the course of the criminal prosecution with petitioner ultimately espouses. At the present
in favor of a private offended party; and (2) which it is intimately intertwined. Many legal stage, no judgment on the civil liability has
when, from the nature of the offense, the scholars treat as a misconception or fallacy the been rendered in either criminal case. There is
offended parties are entitled to civil indemnity, generally accepted notion that the civil liability as yet no call for the offended party to elect
but (a) they waive the right to institute a civil actually arises from the crime when, in the remedies and, after choosing one of them, be
action, (b) expressly reserve the right to do so ultimate analysis, it does not. While an act or considered barred from others available to her.
or (c) the suit has already been instituted. In omission is felonious because it is punishable
any of these instances, the private by law, it gives rise to civil liability not so much Election of Remedies
complainant's interest in the case disappears because it is a crime but because it caused
and criminal prosecution becomes the sole damage to another. Viewing things Petitioner is actually raising the doctrine of
function of the public prosecutor. [8] None of pragmatically, we can readily see that what election of remedies. "In its broad sense,
these exceptions apply to the instant case. gives rise to the civil liability is really the election of remedies refers to the choice by a
Hence, the private prosecutor cannot be barred obligation and the moral duty of everyone to party to an action of one of two or more
from intervening in the estafa suit. repair or make whole the damage caused to coexisting remedial rights, where several such
another by reason of his own act or omission, rights arise out of the same facts, but the term
True, each of the overt acts in these instances done intentionally or negligently, whether or has been generally limited to a choice by a
may give rise to two criminal liabilities -- one not the same be punishable by law. In other party between inconsistent remedial rights, the
for estafa and another for violation of BP 22. words, criminal liability will give rise to civil assertion of one being necessarily repugnant
But every such act of issuing a bouncing check liability only if the same felonious act or to, or a repudiation of, the other."[12] In its
involves only one civil liability for the offended omission results in damage or injury to another more restricted and technical sense, the
party, who has sustained only a single injury. [9] and is the direct and proximate cause thereof. election of remedies is the adoption of one of
This is the import of Banal v. Tadeo,[10] which Damage or injury to another is evidently the two or more coexisting ones, with the effect of
we quote in part as follows: foundation of the civil action. Such is not the precluding a resort to the others.[13]
case in criminal actions for, to be criminally
"Generally, the basis of civil liability arising liable, it is enough that the act or omission The Court further elucidates in Mellon Bank v.
from crime is the fundamental postulate of our complained of is punishable, regardless of Magsino[14] as follows:
law that 'Every man criminally liable is also whether or not it also causes material damage
civilly liable' (Art. 100, The Revised Penal to another. (See Sangco, Philippine Law on "As a technical rule of procedure, the purpose
Code). Underlying this legal principle is the Torts and Damages, 1978, Revised Edition, pp. of the doctrine of election of remedies is not to
traditional theory that when a person commits 246-247)." prevent recourse to any remedy, but to prevent
a crime he offends two entities namely (1) the double redress for a single wrong.[15] It is
society in which he lives in or the political Thus, the possible single civil liability arising regarded as an application of the law of
entity called the State whose law he had from the act of issuing a bouncing check can estoppel, upon the theory that a party cannot,
violated; and (2) the individual member of that be the subject of both civil actions deemed in the assertion of his right occupy inconsistent
society whose person, right, honor, chastity or instituted with the estafa case and the BP 22 positions which form the basis of his respective
remedies. However, when a certain state of the corresponding civil action paid accordingly.
facts under the law entitles a party to The purpose of Section 1(b) of Rule 111 is [24]

alternative remedies, both founded upon the explained by Justice Florenz D. Regalado (ret.),
identical state of facts, these remedies are not former chairman of the committee tasked with Furthermore, the fact that the Rules do not
considered inconsistent remedies. In such the revision of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. allow the reservation of civil actions in BP 22
case, the invocation of one remedy is not an He clarified that the special rule on BP 22 cases cases cannot deprive private complainant of
election which will bar the other, unless the was added, because the dockets of the courts the right to protect her interests in the criminal
suit upon the remedy first invoked shall reach were clogged with such litigations; creditors action for estafa. Nothing in the current law or
the stage of final adjudication or unless by the were using the courts as collectors. While rules on BP 22 vests the jurisdiction of the
invocation of the remedy first sought to be ordinarily no filing fees were charged for actual corresponding civil case exclusively in the court
enforced, the plaintiff shall have gained an damages in criminal cases, the rule on the trying the BP 22 criminal case. [25]
advantage thereby or caused detriment or necessary inclusion of a civil action with the
change of situation to the other. [16] It must be payment of filing fees based on the face value In promulgating the Rules, this Court did not
pointed out that ordinarily, election of remedies of the check involved was laid down to intend to leave the offended parties without
is not made until the judicial proceedings has prevent the practice of creditors of using the any remedy to protect their interests in estafa
gone to judgment on the merits. [17] threat of a criminal prosecution to collect on cases. Its power to promulgate the Rules of
their credit free of charge.[21] Court is limited in the sense that rules "shall
"Consonant with these rulings, this Court, not diminish, increase or modify substantive
through Justice J.B.L. Reyes, opined that while Clearly, it was not the intent of the special rule rights."[26] Private complainant's intervention in
some American authorities hold that the mere to preclude the prosecution of the civil action the prosecution of estafa is justified not only
initiation of proceedings constitutes a binding that corresponds to the estafa case, should the for the prosecution of her interests, but also for
choice of remedies that precludes pursuit of latter also be filed. The crimes of estafa and the speedy and inexpensive administration of
alternative courses, the better rule is that no violation of BP 22 are different and distinct justice as mandated by the Constitution. [27]
binding election occurs before a decision on from each other. There is no identity of
the merits is had or a detriment to the other offenses involved, for which legal jeopardy in The trial court was, therefore, correct in holding
party supervenes.[18] This is because the one case may be invoked in the other. The that the private prosecutor may intervene
principle of election of remedies is discordant offenses charged in the informations are before the RTC in the proceedings for estafa,
with the modern procedural concepts perfectly distinct from each other in point of despite the necessary inclusion of the
embodied in the Code of Civil Procedure which law, however nearly they may be connected in corresponding civil action in the proceedings
permits a party to seek inconsistent remedies point of fact.[22] for violation of BP 22 pending before the MTC.
in his claim for relief without being required to A recovery by the offended party under one
elect between them at the pleading stage of What Section 1(b) of the Rules of Court remedy, however, necessarily bars that under
the litigation."[19] prohibits is the reservation to file the the other. Obviously stemming from the
corresponding civil action. The criminal action fundamental rule against unjust enrichment,[28]
In the present cases before us, the institution shall be deemed to include the corresponding this is in essence the rationale for the
of the civil actions with the estafa cases and civil action. "[U]nless a separate civil action proscription in our law against double recovery
the inclusion of another set of civil actions with has been filed before the institution of the for the same act or omission.
the BP 22 cases are not exactly repugnant or criminal action, no such civil action can be
inconsistent with each other. Nothing in the instituted after the criminal action has been WHEREFORE, the Petition is DISMISSED and
Rules signifies that the necessary inclusion of a filed as the same has been included the assailed Order AFFIRMED. Costs against
civil action in a criminal case for violation of therein."[23] In the instant case, the criminal petitioner.
the Bouncing Checks Law[20] precludes the action for estafa was admittedly filed prior to
institution in an estafa case of the the criminal case for violation of BP 22, with SO ORDERED.
corresponding civil action, even if both offenses the corresponding filing fees for the inclusion of
relate to the issuance of the same check.
Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio-Morales, and
Garcia, JJ., concur.
Corona, J., on official leave.
G.R. NO. L-22237, May 31, 1974 1920, to Bautista vs. Navarro, [3] promulgated in have to abide by what is commanded by the
1972, betray its weakness. What is more, an procedural rules. First, he set the date for
EUFRACIO D. ROJAS, PETITIONER, VS. applicable Civil Code provision, as will be arraignment.[8] After the plea of not guilty, he
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND shown, fails to lend support. [4] The petition fixed the date of trial.[9] Then came this petition
HONORABLE FEDERICO ALIKPALA, IN HIS must fail. for certiorari and prohibition, the former to
CAPACITY AS JUDGE OF THE COURT OF annul and set aside the aforesaid orders and
FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA, BRANCH It is clear from the undisputed facts that the the latter to enjoin and restrain both the People
XXII, RESPONDENTS. filing by the offended party, the CMS Estate, of the Philippines and respondent Judge from
Inc., with the City Fiscal of Manila of five estafa proceeding in the instant case until after the
DECISION charges against petitioner, resulted in the filing determination of the aforesaid civil case.
of the information made mention of at the Respondents were required to answer, and
FERNANDO, J.: outset. While at first assigned to the then upon petitioner posting a bond, a preliminary
Judge Jesus Perez, it was subsequently injunction was issued. In their answer it was
In this certiorari and prohibition proceeding,
transferred to respondent Judge upon the alleged: "(g) That the resolution of the liability
petitioner would have this Court nullify two
former's elevation to the Court of Appeals. of the defendant in the civil case on the
orders of respondent Judge, one for his
Thereafter, the challenged orders first for eleventh cause of action based on the
arraignment and the other for his trial. He is
arraignment and then for the date for trial were fraudulent misrepresentation that the chattel
the accused in a pending criminal case for
issued, notwithstanding an opposition by mortgage the defendant executed in favor of
violation of Article 319 of the Revised Penal
petitioner.[5] The basis for such opposition, as the said CMS Estate, Inc. on February 20, 1957,
Code,[1] for executing a new chattel mortgage
noted, was that there was likewise, at the that his D-6 'Caterpillar' Tractor with Serial No.
on personal property in favor of another party
insistence of the offended party, a civil case 9-U-6565 was 'free from all liens and
without the consent of the previous mortgagee
against petitioner in the court of first instance encumbrances' will not determine the criminal
and duly noted in the record of the Register of
of Manila for the revocation of a management liability of the accused in the said Criminal
Deeds. He would plead, however, before
contract.[6] Included in such complaint was an Case No. 56042 for violation of paragraph 2 of
respondent Judge, and now with us, that no
eleventh cause of action, namely the execution Article 319 of the Revised Penal Code. * * * (i)
arraignment could be set, as thereafter the
by petitioner of a chattel mortgage on a That, even granting for the sake of argument, a
offended party filed a civil case for the
Caterpillar tractor, with his explicit affirmance prejudicial question is involved in this case, the
termination of a management contract, one of
that it was free from all liens and fact remains that both the crime charged in the
the causes of action of which consisted of
encumbrances, when such was not the case at information in the criminal case and the
petitioner having executed a chattel mortgage
all, as the very same tractor was the subject of eleventh cause of action in the civil case are
when a prior chattel mortgage was still valid
a chattel mortgage in favor of the Davao based upon fraud, hence both the civil and
and subsisting, thus giving lie to his express
Lumber Company, of Davao City, to secure criminal cases could proceed independently of
manifestation that the property was free from
petitioner's obligation, still valid and subsisting the other pursuant to Article 33 of the new Civil
all liens and encumbrances. It was his
as of the date of his entering into the second Code which provides: 'In cases of defamation,
contention that the civil case was a prejudicial
mortgage.[7] Petitioner, as the accused in the fraud and physical injuries, a civil action for
question, a decision of which was necessary
criminal case under the Revised Penal Code damages, entirely separate and distinct from
before the criminal case could proceed. Both
arising from the same act imputed to him was the criminal action, may be brought by the
the petition as well as the memorandum
thus encouraged to assert that thereby, he injured party. Such civil action shall proceed
thereafter submitted would characterize the
could no longer be tried pending the independently of the criminal prosecution, and
challenged orders as amounting to a grave
termination of the civil suit, as a prejudicial shall require only a preponderance of
abuse of discretion, referring to what was
question was involved. evidence.' (j) That, therefore, the act of
termed as "well-settled principles and
respondent judge in issuing the orders referred
guideposts" on the subject. Petitioner's stand
Respondent Judge was of a different mind. He to in the instant petition was not made with
lacks solidity. The decisions of this Tribunal
saw to it that petitioner as the accused would 'grave abuse of discretion.'"[10]
from Berbari vs. Concepcion,[2] announced in
narration of facts, is intimately related to his whatsoever. The allegation then of a grave
The plea of respondent for the dismissal of this guilt or innocence of the charge of falsification abuse thereof is utterly devoid of merit.
petition, as intimated at the outset, finds being investigated by the Fiscal, it is true;
support in the applicable decisions of this however, resolution of the petition for 2. Moreover, there is, as pointed out in the
Tribunal. The petition, to repeat, must fail. annulment of the affidavit of adjudication, answer of respondents, another ground that
affirmative or otherwise, does not and will not militates in a well-nigh conclusive fashion
1. In a fairly recent decision, Zapanta vs. determine criminal responsibility in the against the pretension of petitioner. Article 33
Montesa,[11] Justice Dizon, speaking for the falsification case. Regardless of the outcome of the Civil Code, already referred to, explicitly
Court, stated: "We have heretofore defined a of the pending civil case for annulment of the provides: "In cases of defamation, fraud, and
prejudicial question as that which arises in a affidavit of adjudication, determination of the physical injuries, a civil action for damages,
case, the resolution of which is a logical charge of falsification would be based on the entirely separate and distinct from the criminal
antecedent of the issue involved therein, and truth or falsity of the narration of facts in the action, may be brought by the injured party.
the cognizance of which pertains to another affidavit of adjudication, * * * Therefore, the Such civil action shall proceed independently of
tribunal.* * * The prejudicial question we civil case aforementioned does not involve a the criminal prosecution, and shall require only
further said must be determinative of the prejudicial question."[16] Then came Benitez vs. a preponderance of evidence."[21] Here, fraud is
case before the court, and jurisdiction to try Concepcion, Jr.,[17] with facts even more the basis for both the civil and the criminal
the same must be lodged in another court. [12] It analogous. There it was shown that there was actions. They are, according to law, to proceed
is indispensable then for this petition to a civil case for annulment of a deed of independently. In the same way that the civil
succeed that the alleged prejudicial question mortgage where the issue was whether or not suit can be tried, the criminal prosecution has
must be determinative of the criminal case certain signatures were forged. There was also to run its course. This is an instance, as noted
before respondent Judge. It is not so in this a criminal case for falsification, the issue being by the respondents, whereby a codal provision
case. A more careful scrutiny of the applicable similar springing from the same facts. of undoubted applicability should prevail. The
decisions would explain why. Thus in Pisalbon Precisely, according to this Court, with Justice invocation of the doctrine on prejudicial
vs. Tesoro,[13] this Court, through Justice Jugo, Paredes as ponente, the fact "that the principal question is thus attended with futility. It is
stated: "The Court of First Instance of issues in both cases are the same" and did easily understandable why. It would be a
Pangasinan erred in holding that the criminal "arise from the same facts" would not show disservice to public interest if, under the
case should be suspended. In the present any necessity "that the civil case be circumstances disclosed, with the culpability of
proceedings, the civil case does not involve a determined first before taking up the criminal petitioner as the accused being dependent not
question prejudicial to the criminal case, for to case."[18] on what is shown in one of the causes of action
whomsoever the land may be awarded after all in a civil suit for revocation of the management
the evidence has been presented in the civil If there still be any doubts on the matter, what contract, but on whether or not he did commit
case, may not affect the alleged crime was said by Justice Barredo in Isip vs. an act punishable by law, the hand of criminal
committed by the notary public, which is the Gonzales[19] would dispel them. As he pointed prosecution would be stayed. What was done
subject of the criminal case. But, even out: "In other words, there is a prejudicial by respondent Judge then instead of being
supposing that both the civil and the criminal question only when the matter that has to be contrary to any juridical concept is to be
case involve the same question and one must priorly decided by another authority is one the commended if the basic policy underlying
precede the other, it should be the civil case cognizance of which pertains to that authority penal statutes is not to be frustrated.
which should be suspended rather than the and should not, under the circumstances, be
criminal, to await the result of the latter." [14] De passed upon by the court trying the criminal WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari and
la Cruz vs. City Fiscal,[15] decided six years case."[20] That is not so in the litigation before prohibition is dismissed. The preliminary
later, reiterated such a view: "Now, with us. It becomes manifest therefore that there injunction issued by this Court is set aside.
respect to the annulment of the affidavit of was no error committed by respondent Judge in Costs against petitioner.
adjudication sought by Carmelita, the ordering the arraignment and setting the case
execution by Apolinario of said affidavit with its for trial. There was no abuse of discretion
Zaldivar, (Chairman), Barredo, Antonio,
Fernandez, and Aquino, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. L-22759, March 29, 1968 determination of the issue involved in Civil receipt whose annulment they sought in the
Case No. 6636 of the Court of First Instance of civil case was vitiated by fraud, duress or
MANUEL R. JIMENEZ, PETITIONER, VS. Quezon was a prejudicial question. The intimidation, their guilt could still be
HON. ALBERTO V. AVERIA, JUDGE OF THE respondent judge granted the motion in an established by other evidence showing, to the
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CAVITE order dated October 18, 1963. degree required by law, that they had actually
AND OFELIA V. TANG AND ESTEFANIA DE received from the complainant the sum of
LA CRUZ OLANDAY, RESPONDENTS. The petition now before Us is one for certiorari P20,000.00 with which to buy for him a fishing
predicated upon the preposition that in issuing boat, and that, instead of doing so, they
DECISION the order just mentioned, the respondent judge misappropriated the money and refused or
committed a grave abuse of discretion otherwise failed to return it to him upon
DIZON, J.: amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Properly, demand. The contention of the private
however, the action is for the issuance of a writ respondents herein would be tenable had they
In Criminal Case No. TM-235 of the Court of of mandamus, the relief prayed being for this been charged with falsification of the same
First Instance of Cavite respondents Ofelia V. Court "to order the Hon. Court of Cavite receipt involved in the civil action.
Tang and Estefania de la Cruz Olanday were Province to proceed with the case and to order
charged with estafa, the information filed alleg- the Hon. Court at Quezon Province to dismiss Were We to sanction the theory advanced by
ing that, having received from Manuel Jimenez the civil case". the respondents Tang and De la Cruz Olanday
the sum of P20,000.00 with which to purchase and adopted by the respondent judge, there
for him a fishing boat known as "Basnig", with The issue to be decided is whether the would hardly be a case for estafa that could be
the obligation on their part to return the money determination of the issue raised in the civil prosecuted speedily, it being the easiest thing
on January 30, 1963 in case they should fail to case mentioned heretofore is a prejudicial for the accused to block the proceedings by the
buy the fishing boat, they misappropriated the question, in the sense that it must be first simple expedient of filing an independent civil
amount aforesaid, to the damage and prejudice resolved before the proceedings in the criminal action against the complainant, raising therein
of Jimenez. case for estafa may proceed. the issue that he had not received from the
latter the amount alleged to have been mis-
Before arraignment, the accused filed Civil A prejudicial question has been defined to be appropriated. A claim to this effect is properly
Case No. 6636 against Jimenez in the Court of one which arises in a case, the resolution of a matter of defense to be interposed by the
First Instance of Quezon contesting the validity which (question) is a logical antecedent of the party charged in the criminal proceeding.
of a certain receipt signed by them on October issue involved in said case, and the cognizance
25, 1962 (Annex "A" of the present petition) of which pertains to another tribunal (Ency- WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered
wherein they acknowledged having received clopedia Juridical Espaola, p. 228). In People ordering the respondent Court of First Instance
from him the sum of P20,000.00 with which to vs. Aragon, G. R. No. L-5930, February 17, of Cavite to proceed without undue delay with
purchase for him a fishing boat and its acces- 1954, We held in connection with this subject the trial of Criminal Case No. TM-235, with the
sories, and the further sum of P240.00 as that the question claimed to be prejudicial in result that the order complained of suspending
agent's commission, with the obligation, on nature must be determinative of the case the proceedings therein until after Civil Case
their part, to return the aforesaid amounts on before the court, and that jurisdiction to try No. 6636 of the Court of First Instance of
January 30, 1963 in case they were unable to and resolved said question must be lodged in Quezon has been resolved is hereby set aside.
buy the fishing boat. Their complaint alleged another tribunal. With costs against the respondents except the
that they had never received any amount from respondent judge.
Jimenez and that their signatures on the Applying the above considerations to the
questioned receipt were secured by means of instant case, it will be readily seen that the Reyes, Acting C.J., Makalintal, Bengzon,
fraud, deceit and intimidation employed by alleged prejudicial question is not Zaldivar, Sanchez, Angeles, and Fernando, JJ.,
him. Several days later, they filed a motion in determinative of the guilt or innocence of the concur.
the aforementioned criminal action to suspend parties charged with estafa, because even on Castro, J., no part.
proceedings therein on the ground that the the assumption that the execution of the
G.R. Nos. L-50441-42 September 18, 1980 sale in Pichel's favor sought to be declared civil case involves the same facts upon which
valid was fictitious and inexistent. the criminal pro. prosecution is based, but also
ALENJANDRO RAS, petitioner, vs. HON. that the resolution of the issues raised in said
JAINAL D. RASUL, District Judge of the While Civil Case No. 73 was being tried before civil action would be necessary determinative
Court of First Instance of Basilan, and the Court of First Instance of Basilan, the of the guilt or innocence of the accused. 3
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. Provincial Fiscal of Basilan filed on or about
September 5, 1978 an Information for Estafa in On the basis of the issues raised in both the
TEEHANKEE, J.: the same court against Alejandro Ras arising criminal and civil cases against petitioner and
from the same alleged double sale subject in the light of the foregoing concepts of a
This is a petition brought by the petitioner to matter of the civil complaint filed by Luis prejudicial question, there indeed appears to
review and set aside the order of respondent Pichel. The case was docketed as Criminal Case be a prejudicial question in the case at bar,
Judge dated December 12, 1978 in Criminal No. 240 of the Court of First Instance of considering that petitioner Alejandro Ras'
Case No. 240 of the Court of First Instance of Basilan. On November 6, 1978, petitioner, defense (as defendant) in Civil Case No. 73 of
Basilan denying petitioner's motion as accused through counsel, filed a "Motion for Suspension the nullity and forgery of the alleged prior deed
therein to suspend proceedings due to the of Action" in said Criminal Case No. 240 of sale in favor of Luis Pichel (plaintiff in the
existence of a prejudicial question in Civil Case claiming that the same facts and issues were civil case and complaining witness in the
No. 73 of the same court. Finding the petition involved in both the civil and criminal case and criminal case) is based on the very same facts
and the Solicitor General's concurrence that the resolution of the issues in the civil which would be necessarily determinative of
therewith to be meritorious, this Court hereby case would necessarily be determinative of the petitioner Ras' guilt or innocence as accused in
grants the petition and accordingly sets aside guilt or innocence of the accused. The the criminal case. If the first alleged sale in
the questioned order and hereby enjoins the Provincial Fiscal of Basilan filed his opposition favor of Pichel is void or fictitious, then there
respondent Judge from further proceeding with on December 4, 1978. would be no double sale and petitioner would
Criminal Case No. 73 until Civil Case No. 240 is be innocent of the offense charged. A
finally decided and terminated. In his Order of December 12, 1978, the conviction in the criminal case (if it were
respondent judge saw no prejudicial question allowed to proceed ahead) would be a gross
A chronological statement of the antecedent and accordingly denied the motion. Hence, the injustice and would have to be set aside if it
facts follows: present petition. were finally decided in the civil action that
On or about April 27, 1978, Luis Pichel filed a indeed the alleged prior deed of sale was a
A prejudicial question is defined as that which forgery and spurious.
complaint against petitioner Alejandro Ras and arises in a case the resolution of which is a
a certain Bienvenido Martin before the Court of logical antecedent of the issue involved The Solicitor General in his comment expressed
First Instance of Basilan, docketed therein as therein, and the cognizance of which pertains his concurrence with the petition thus: "The
Civil Case No. 73 praying for the nullification of to another tribunal. The prejudicial question petitioner Alejandro Ras claims in his answer to
the deed of sale executed by Alejandro Ras in must be determinative of the case before the the complaint in Civil Case No. 73 that he had
favor of his codefendant Bienvenido Martin and court but the jurisdiction to try and resolve the never sold the property in litigation to the
for the declaration of the prior deed of sale question must be lodged in another court or plaintiff (Luis Pichel) and that his signatures in
allegedly executed in his favor by the tribunal 1 It is a question based on a fact the alleged deed of and that of his wife were
defendant Alejandro Ras as valid. distinct and separate from the crime but so forged by the plaintiff. It is, therefore,
intimately connected with it that it determines necessary that the truth or falsity of such claim
In their answer, the defendants (the Ras
the guilt or innocence of the accused. 2 be first determined because if his claim is true,
spouses) alleged that they never sold the
property to Pichel and that the signatures then he did not sell his property twice and no
For a civil case to be considered prejudicial to a estafa was committed. The question of nullity
appearing in the deed of sale in favor of criminal action as to cause the suspension of
plaintiff Pichel (in Civil Case No. 73) were of the sale is distinct and from the crime of
the criminal action pending the determination estafa (alleged double sale) but so intimately
forgeries and that therefore the alleged deed of of the civil, it must appear not only that the
connected with it that it determines the guilt or
innocence of herein petitioner in the c action."

Wherefore, the Order of respondent judge in


Criminal Case No. 240 dated December 12,
1978 is hereby set aside. The temporary
restraining order issued by this Court on May
16, 1979 is hereby made permanent and
respondent judge is enjoined from proceeding
with the arraignment and trial of Criminal Case
No. 240 until and unless Civil Case No. 73 shall
have been finally decided and terminated
adversely against petitioner. No costs.

Makasiar, Fernandez, Guerrero and Melencio-


Herrera, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. 148193, January 16, 2003 verbal demands, respondent and his mother restraining order and/or writ of preliminary
refused to return the amount of injunction with the Court of Appeals seeking to
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, P13,369,641.79 alleged to have been initially enjoin the arraignment and trial of the estafa
VS. RAFAEL JOSE CONSING, JR., paid by PBI. through falsification case.[11] The Court of
RESPONDENT. Appeals granted respondents prayer for the
On July 22, 1999, respondent filed with the issuance of a temporary restraining order in a
DECISION Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 68, an resolution dated March 19, 2001.[12]
action for Injunctive Relief docketed as Civil
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: Case No. SCA 1759, against PBI, Unicapital Inc, On May 31, 2001, a decision was rendered
Unicapital Realty Inc., Jaime Martires, Mariano setting aside the January 27, 2000 order of the
Before us is a petition for review under Rule 45
D. Martinez, Cecilia de la Cruz and 20 other trial court and permanently enjoining it from
of the Rules of Court, seeking to set aside the
John Does.[5] Respondent sought a declaration proceeding with the arraignment and trial of
May 31, 2001 decision[1] of the Court of
that he was merely an agent of his mother, the criminal case until the civil cases for
Appeals[2] in CA-G.R. SP No. 63712, which
Cecilia de la Cruz, and therefore was not under Injunctive Relief and for Damages and
reversed and set aside the January 23, 2001
any obligation to PBI and to the other Attachment shall have been finally decided.
order[3] of the Regional Trial Court of Imus,
defendants on the various transactions
Cavite, Branch 21, in Criminal Case No. 7668-
involving TCT No. 687599. Hence, the People of the Philippines,
00 denying respondents motion for deferment
represented by the Solicitor General, filed the
of arraignment.
On October 13, 1999, PBI filed against instant petition seeking the reversal of the May
respondent and his mother a complaint for 31, 2001 decision of the Court of Appeals.
Sometime in February 1997, respondent Rafael
Damages and Attachment, docketed as Civil
Jose Consing, Jr. and his mother, Cecilia de la
Case No. 99-95381, with Branch 12 of the The issue to be resolved in this petition is
Cruz,[4] represented to Plus Builders, Inc. (PBI)
Regional Trial Court of Manila.[6] Respondent whether or not the pendency of Civil Case Nos.
that they are the true and lawful owners of a
filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of SCA 1759 and 99-95381, for Injunctive Relief
42,443 square meter lot situated in Imus,
forum shopping and pendency of Civil Case No. and for Damages and Attachment, is a
Cavite and covered by Transfer Certificate of
SCA 1759.[7] prejudicial question justifying the suspension of
Title No. 687599 in the name of Cecilia de la
the proceedings in the criminal case for estafa
Cruz. They further represented that they
On January 21, 2000, a criminal case for estafa through falsification of public document, filed
acquired said lot, which was previously covered
through falsification of public document was against the respondent.
by TCT No. 191408 from Juanito Tan Teng and
filed against respondent Rafael Jose Consing, Jr.
Po Willie Yu. Relying on the representations of
and his mother with the RTC of Imus, Cavite.[8] A prejudicial question is defined as that which
respondent and his mother, PBI purchased the
arises in a case, the resolution of which is a
questioned lot.
On April 7, 2000, respondent filed a motion to logical antecedent of the issue involved
defer arraignment on the ground of prejudicial therein, and the cognizance of which pertains
In April 1999, PBI discovered that respondent
question, i.e., the pendency of Civil Case Nos. to another tribunal. The prejudicial question
and his mother did not have a valid title over
SCA 1759 and 99-95381.[9] On January 27, must be determinative of the case before the
the subject lot. PBI came to know that Juanito
2000, the trial court denied respondents court but the jurisdiction to try and resolve the
Tan Teng and Po Willie Yu never sold said lot to
motion. question must be lodged in another court or
respondent and his mother and that TCT No.
tribunal. It is a question based on a fact distinct
191408 upon which TCT No. 687599 was based
A motion for reconsideration thereof was and separate from the crime but so intimately
is not on file with the Register of Deeds.
likewise denied on February 27, 2001.[10] connected with it that it determines the guilt or
innocence of the accused. For a civil action to
In August 1999, PBI was ousted from the
Respondent filed a petition for certiorari with be considered prejudicial to a criminal case as
possession of the disputed lot by Juanito Tan
prayer for the issuance of a temporary to cause the suspension of the criminal
Teng and Po Willie Yu. Despite written and
proceedings until the final resolution of the civil from criminal liability. An agent or any person property in favor of another party without
action, the following requisites must be may be held liable for conspiring to falsify consent of the previous mortgagee. Thereafter,
present: (1) the civil case involves facts public documents. Hence, the determination of the offended party filed a civil case for
intimately related to those upon which the the issue involved in Civil Case No. SCA 1759 termination of management contract, one of
criminal prosecution would be based; (2) in the for Injunctive Relief is irrelevant to the guilt or the causes of action of which consisted of
resolution of the issue or issues raised in the innocence of the respondent in the criminal petitioner having executed a chattel mortgage
civil action, the guilt or innocence of the case for estafa through falsification of public while the previous chattel mortgage was still
accused would necessarily be determined; and document. valid and subsisting. Petitioner moved that the
(3) jurisdiction to try said question must be arraignment and trial of the criminal case be
lodged in another tribunal.[13] Likewise, the resolution of PBIs right to be paid held in abeyance on the ground that the civil
damages and the purchase price of the lot in case was a prejudicial question, the resolution
If both civil and criminal cases have similar question will not be determinative of the of which was necessary before the criminal
issues or the issue in one is intimately related culpability of the respondent in the criminal proceedings could proceed. The trial court
to the issues raised in the other, then a case for even if PBI is held entitled to the denied the suspension of the criminal case on
prejudicial question would likely exist, provided return of the purchase price plus damages, it the ground that no prejudicial question exist.
the other element or characteristic is satisfied. does not ipso facto follow that respondent We affirmed the order of the trial court and
It must appear not only that the civil case should be held guilty of estafa through ruled that:
involves the same facts upon which the falsification of public document. Stated
criminal prosecution would be based, but also differently, a ruling of the court in the civil case the resolution of the liability of the
that the resolution of the issues raised in the that PBI should not be paid the purchase price defendant in the civil case on the eleventh
civil action would be necessarily determinative plus damages will not necessarily absolve cause of action based on the fraudulent
of the guilt or innocence of the accused. If the respondent of liability in the criminal case misrepresentation that the chattel mortgage
resolution of the issue in the civil action will not where his guilt may still be established under the defendant executed in favor of the said
determine the criminal responsibility of the penal laws as determined by other evidence. CMS Estate, Inc. on February 20, 1957, that his
accused in the criminal action based on the D-6 Caterpillar Tractor with Serial No. 9-U-
same facts, or there is no necessity that the Moreover, neither is there a prejudicial 6565 was free from all liens and
civil case be determined first before taking up question if the civil and the criminal action can, encumbrances will not determine the criminal
the criminal case, therefore, the civil case does according to law, proceed independently of liability of the accused in the said Criminal
not involve a prejudicial question.[14] each other.[15] Under Rule 111, Section 3 of the Case No. 56042 for violation of paragraph 2 of
Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, in the Article 319 of the Revised Penal Code. . . . (i)
In the case at bar, we find no prejudicial cases provided in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 That, even granting for the sake of argument, a
question that would justify the suspension of of the Civil Code, the independent civil action prejudicial question is involved in this case, the
the proceedings in the criminal case. The issue may be brought by the offended party. It shall fact remains that both the crime charged in the
in Civil Case No. SCA 1759 for Injunctive Relief proceed independently of the criminal action information in the criminal case and the
is whether or not respondent merely acted as and shall require only a preponderance of eleventh cause of action in the civil case are
an agent of his mother, Cecilia de la Cruz; evidence. In no case, however, may the based upon fraud, hence both the civil and
while in Civil Case No. 99-95381, for Damages offended party recover damages twice for the criminal cases could proceed independently of
and Attachment, the question is whether same act or omission charged in the criminal the other pursuant to Article 33 of the new Civil
respondent and his mother are liable to pay action. Code which provides: In cases of defamation,
damages and to return the amount paid by PBI fraud and physical injuries, a civil action for
for the purchase of the disputed lot. Even if Thus, in Rojas v. People,[16] the petitioner was damages, entirely separate and distinct from
respondent is declared merely an agent of his accused in a criminal case for violation of the criminal action shall proceed independently
mother in the transaction involving the sale of Article 319 of the Revised Penal Code, for of the criminal prosecution, and shall require
the questioned lot, he cannot be adjudged free executing a new chattel mortgage on personal only a preponderance of evidence. (j) That,
therefore, the act of respondent judge in
issuing the orders referred to in the instant
petition was not made with grave abuse of
discretion.

In the instant case, Civil Case No. 99-95381, for


Damages and Attachment on account of the
alleged fraud committed by respondent and his
mother in selling the disputed lot to PBI is an
independent civil action under Article 33 of the
Civil Code. As such, it will not operate as a
prejudicial question that will justify the
suspension of the criminal case at bar.

WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the


instant petition is GRANTED. The May 31,
2001 decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-
G.R. SP No. 63712 is REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. The permanent injunction issued by the
Court of Appeals is LIFTED and the Regional
Trial Court of Imus, Cavite, Branch 21 is
ORDERED to proceed with the arraignment
and trial in Criminal Case No. 7668-00.
SO ORDERED. Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman),
Vitug, Carpio, and Azcuna, JJ., concur.
[G.R. No. 137010. August 29, 2003] That on or about the 19th day of February, November 20, 1996. The prosecution office of
1996, in the City of Makati, Philippines and Makati then filed with the MTC a Motion to
ARK TRAVEL EXPRESS, INC., petitioner, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, Withdraw Information.[4]
vs. The Presiding Judge of the Regional the above-named accused, did then and there
Trial Court of Makati, Branch 150, HON. willfully, unlawfully and feloniously give false However, on May 15, 1998, Ark Travel filed an
ZEUS ABROGAR, VIOLETA BAGUIO and testimony upon a material fact in Civil Case No. Urgent Petition for Automatic Review with the
LORELEI IRA, respondents. 95-1542, relative to a complaint for Collection DOJ. In a letter dated May 27, 1998, Secretary
of sum of money, torts and damages filed by Silvestre H. Bello III resolved to treat the urgent
DECISION Ark Travel Express, Inc. (Ark Inc. for short) petition as a motion for reconsideration,
against New Filipino Maritime Agencies, Inc. reversed its resolution dated March 9, 1998
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: and directed the City Prosecutor to proceed
(NFMA, Inc. for short) in the following manner,
to wit: during the trial of the aforesaid civil with the prosecution of Criminal Cases Nos.
Before us is a petition for certiorari under Rule
case on aforestated date before Branch 137 of 200894 and 200895.[5] For this reason, the MTC
65 of the Rules of Court seeking to nullify the
the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Metro issued an Order dated June 10, 1998, denying
Order dated October 2, 1998 issued by the
Manila, in which one of the principal issues was the aforesaid Motion to Withdraw Information
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City
whether or not payment of the claim of ARK, filed by the prosecution, to wit:
(Branch 150) in Civil Case No. 98-2125[1] which
considered Criminal Cases Nos. 200894 and Inc. has been made by NFMA, Inc., the said
accused while testifying for NFMA, Inc., with It appearing that the Department of Justice had
200895 pending before the Metropolitan Trial reconsidered its previous ruling directing the
Court (MTC) of Makati (Branch 67) as malicious intent, did, then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously and knowingly City Prosecutor of Makati City to withdraw the
withdrawn; and, the Order dated November 23, information filed against the accused in the
1998 which denied petitioners Motion for testified on direct testimony, by way of a sworn
statement, and while under oath on the above-entitled cases, the Motion to Withdraw
Reconsideration. Information filed by the prosecution is hereby
witness stand, that the claims of ARK, Inc.
supported by a statements of accounts (Exhibit DENIED.
The facts of the case:
E to GG) sent to and received by defendant-
Set these cases therefore for arraignment on
Herein petitioner Ark Travel Express, Inc. (Ark corporation NFMA, Inc. is baseless and/or been
July 30, 1998 at 8:30 in the morning.
Travel for brevity) filed with the City Prosecutor paid, which testimony as accused very well
of Makati a criminal complaint for False knew and ought to know, by reason of SO ORDERED.[6]
Testimony in a Civil Case under Article 182 of accuseds position as cashier, was false
the Revised Penal Code against herein private inasmuch as the claim based on the statement In the meanwhile, private respondents Baguio
respondents Violeta Baguio and Lorelei Ira. In a of accounts of ARK, Inc. (Exhibits E to GG are, and Ira filed a Motion for Reconsideration [7] of
resolution dated November 20, 1996, the City in truth and in fact, valid, legal and unpaid the May 27, 1998 resolution of then Secretary
Prosecutor found probable cause to indict accounts of NFMA, Inc. with ARK Travel Inc., Bello III, alleging that: (1) the March 9, 1998
private respondents for violation of said law herein represented by private complainant MA. resolution of Chief State Prosecutor Zuo finding
and accordingly filed the respective PAZ ALBERTO, to the damage and prejudice of no probable cause to indict them has become
Informations against each of them before the the latter. final and executory because the Urgent Petition
MTC, docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 200894 for Automatic Review was filed way beyond the
and 200895, which, except for the names of CONTRARY TO LAW.[2] 10-day reglementary period; and (2) the said
the accused, uniformly read as follows: resolution of May 27, 1998 did not reverse the
Private respondents filed a petition for review
finding of the March 9, 1998 resolution that
The undersigned 2 Assistant Prosecutor
nd of the City Prosecutors resolution dated
respondents did not really act with
accuses VIOLETA S. BAGUIO of the crime of November 20, 1996 with the Department of
malice/criminal intent because the resolution of
Violation of Article 182 of the Revised Penal Justice (DOJ). In a resolution dated March 9,
the Secretary merely stated that there was
Code (False Testimony), committed as follows: 1998,[3]Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito P. Zuo
false testimony.
reversed the City Prosecutors resolution dated
DOJ Undersecretary Jesus A. Zozobrado, Jr., A reading of the information sufficiently alleges hereby set aside and the Informations in
signing For the Secretary, granted the Motion the facts which make out the offense charged Criminal Cases Nos. 200894 and 200895
for Reconsideration in a resolution dated June and in keeping with the above ruling of the are hereby considered withdrawn.
26, 1998, disposing thus: Supreme Court, this court hereby denies the [9]
(Emphasis ours)
Motion for Reconsideration.
WHEREFORE, our resolution dated May 27, SO ORDERED.
1998 is reconsidered and set aside; and Set this case for arraignment of both accused
consequently, our resolution dated March 9, on July 30, 1998 at 8:30 in the morning. The RTC denied Ark Travels motion for
1998 is reinstated. You are accordingly, reconsideration in its Order dated November
directed to immediately cause, with leave of SO ORDERED.[8] 23, 1998,[10] to wit:
court, the withdrawal of the informations for
false testimony in a civil case filed against Private respondents questioned the MTC Orders This resolves the motion for reconsideration
Violeta S. Baguio and Lorelei Ira. Report to us dated June 10, 1998 and July 21, 1998 via a filed by private respondent which was
the action taken within ten (10) days from petition for certiorari under Rule 65 with the temporarily held in abeyance on account of the
receipt hereof. respondent RTC of Makati. manifestation of movants counsel that they
intend to file a motion to inhibit; however,
Consequently, private respondents filed with The RTC issued herein assailed Order dated despite the lapse of the 10-day period given to
the MTC a Motion for Reconsideration of its October 2, 1998, portions of which read: them to do so, the intended motion has not
June 10, 1998 Order alleging that there is no been filed.
...
longer any obstacle, legal or otherwise, to the
granting of the Motion to Withdraw Information After an extensive study of the motion as well
As aptly stated in Ledesma vs. CA (Supra) and as the opposition thereto, and with careful
previously filed by the prosecution. The MTC Marcelo vs. CA (Aug. 4, 1994) the trial Court
denied the motion in an Order, dated July 21, consideration and assessment of the
nonetheless should make its own study and circumstances which led to its earlier order, the
1998, which we quote verbatim, as follows: evaluation of the said motion and not reply Court finds no compelling reason to alter,
merely on the awaited action of the secretary. amend and/or reconsider its order dated
Submitted for resolution is a Motion for
Reconsideration filed by the accused through October 2, 1998.
No such evaluation was ever conducted by the
counsel which seeks a reversal of the courts respondent Court before it issued the two (2)
order denying the Motion to Withdraw filed by Wherefore, the above-mentioned motion is
questioned orders. hereby DENIED for lack of merit.
the prosecution.
In view hereof, it is this Courts opinion and SO ORDERED.
In the Crespo Mogul case, it was held by the stand that the respondent Court may have
Supreme Court that once an information is filed indeed acted with grave abuse of discretion Hence, the present petition for certiorari which
in court, such filing sets in motion the criminal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction raises the following issue:
action against the accused before the court, when it denied the Motion to Withdraw and the
and any motion to dismiss or withdraw motion for reconsideration based solely on its WHETHER OR NOT THE RESPONDENT COURT
information is always addressed to the bare and ambiguous reliance on the Crespo COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION
discretion of the court. The denial or grant of Doctrine, since an independent evaluation and AMOUNTING TO LACK OF OR IN EXCESS OF
any motion is done by the court not out of assessment of the existence of a probable JURISDICTION, WHEN IT NULLIFIED THE
subservience to the secretary of justice but in cause is necessary before such orders denying ORDERS OF THE COURT A QUO, ENJOINED THE
faithful exercise of its judicial prerogative. This the said motions could be issued. SAID COURT A QUO FROM HEARING CRIMINAL
is the ruling in the case of Robert Jr. et al. vs. CASES NOS. 200894 AND 200895, AND
CH et al. vs. CA G.R. No. 113930 promulgated Foregoing Premises Considered, the petition for THEREAFTER, ORDERED THE OUTRIGHT
on March 5, 1996. Certiorari is hereby granted. The questioned DISMISSAL OF SAID CRIMINAL CASES.[11]
orders dated June 10 and July 21, 1998 are
Ark Travel argues that the ruling of the RTC violate the principle of hierarchy of court in which case, the filing of the petition on
contravenes the doctrine laid down by this because it presents a question of law. January 26, 1999 was filed on the 60 th day from
Court in the case of Crespo vs. Mogul[12] which November 27, 1998, Ark Travels date of receipt
enunciated that once a complaint or We shall first address the procedural aspect. of notice of the order denying Ark Travels
information is filed in court any disposition of motion for reconsideration.
the case such as its dismissal or the conviction The issue raised in the present petition
or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound concerns the jurisdiction of the RTC in ordering We have consistently held that statutes
discretion of the court. Ark Travel likewise the dismissal of the criminal cases pending regulating the procedure of the courts will be
insists that criminal prosecutions cannot be before the MTC and therefore, the proper construed as applicable to actions pending and
enjoined. remedy is certiorari. As such, the present undetermined at the time of their passage
petition for certiorari ought to have been procedural laws are retroactive in that sense
In their Comment, private respondents dismissed for late filing. The assailed Order and to that extent.[13] In view of such
counter: (1) Appeal and not certiorari under dated October 2, 1998 was received by Ark retroactive application of procedural laws, the
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is the appropriate Travel on October 16, 1998.Ark Travel filed the instant petition should be considered as timely
remedy. But even if the petition at bar is Motion for Reconsideration fourteen days later filed.[14]
treated as an appeal, the filing thereof way or on October 30, 1998. On November 27,
beyond the 15-day reglementary period within 1998, Ark Travel received the Order of the Further, herein case is a clear exception to the
which to appeal, renders the instant petition denial of the Motion for Reconsideration. principle of hierarchy of courts. The Court has
outrightly dismissable; (2) Assuming arguendo Pursuant to Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules on Civil full discretionary power to take cognizance of
that petition for certiorari under Rule 65 is the Procedure, then prevailing, the petition should the petition filed directly to it for compelling
correct remedy, the petition should still be have been filed on the forty-sixth day (60 days reasons or if warranted by the nature of the
denied and/or dismissed outright for having minus 14 days) from November 27, 1998 or on issues raised.[15] This case commenced in the
been filed beyond the 60-day reglementary January 12, 1999, the last day of the 60-day MTC way back 1996 and still pends. We
period provided by Rule 65 of the Rules of reglementary period; instead, the petition was therefore set aside such principle for this
Court; (3) The RTCs Orders have become final filed on January 26, 1999. particular case, in the interest of speedy
and executory, and consequently may no justice.[16]
longer be disturbed; (4) The filing of the However, during the pendency of herein
petition with this Court is grossly violative of petition, the Court promulgated A.M. No. 00-2- Anent the substantive aspect.
the principle of hierarchy of courts; (5) There is 03, amending Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997
Rules on Civil Procedure, effective September The general rule is that the denial of a motion
no ground to reverse public respondent RTCs
1, 2000, to wit: to withdraw information, just like a motion to
Orders which considered the criminal cases as
dismiss a complaint, is an interlocutory order
withdrawn because the petition does not rebut
SEC. 4. When and where petition filed. The and therefore it cannot be the proper subject of
the validity of the ruling of the DOJ that there is
petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) an appeal or certiorari until a final judgment on
no probable cause to charge herein private
days from notice of judgment, order or the merits of the case is rendered.[17] However,
respondents with the crime of false testimony.
resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration there are certain situations where recourse
In its Reply, Ark Travel argues that herein or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion to certiorari or mandamus is considered
petition for certiorari is the proper remedy and is required or not, the sixty (60) day period appropriate, to wit:
not appeal because what is being questioned is shall be counted from notice of the denial of
said motion. a) when the trial court issued the order without
not the correctness of the subject Orders but
or in excess of jurisdiction; (b) where there is
the jurisdiction of the RTC in considering the
patent grave abuse of discretion by the trial
criminal cases as withdrawn when said cases
court; or, (c) appeal would not prove to be a
are not pending with it but the MTC; that
speedy and adequate remedy
appeal is not a speedy and/or adequate
as when an appeal would not promptly relieve
remedy; and that herein petition does not
a defendant from the injurious effects of the embody such assessment in the order The RTC should have only nullified the subject
patently mistaken order maintaining the disposing the motion.[21] MTC Order and remanded the case to the MTC
plaintiffs baseless action and compelling the for its determination of the existence of
defendant needlessly to go through a The subject MTC Orders do not show that the probable cause pursuant to the
protracted trial and clogging the court dockets MTC made an independent assessment of the aforementioned Crespo and Ledesma cases.
by another futile case.[18] merits of the Motion to Withdraw
Informations. The MTC merely based its first However, inasmuch as we have taken
All three situations are present in this order on the ruling of the DOJ that probable cognizance of this case in the interest of
case. Thus, the petition for certiorari filed with cause existed. In the second order, the MTC speedy justice and considering that the entire
this Court is the proper remedy. merely stated that from its reading of the records have been forwarded to us, it is
Informations, and in keeping with befitting that we determine the existence of
In the petition for certiorari filed with the RTC, the Crespo ruling, it is denying the motion for probable cause to put an end to this issue
Ark Travel claims that the MTC committed reconsideration. which had been unresolved since 1998, not to
grave abuse of discretion in denying the Motion mention the fact that the subject Informations
to Withdraw Informations on the ground that The MTC should have made an independent were initially filed in 1996.A remand of the case
the MTC disregarded the DOJs finding of lack of evaluation and embodied its assessment in at to the MTC for an independent evaluation of
probable cause without making an independent least one of its assailed orders, especially the existence of probable cause will only delay
evaluation of the same. considering that the DOJ had issued the disposition of the case and contribute in
contradicting rulings on the existence of the clogging of the dockets.
Indeed, the MTC Order dated June 10, 1998 probable cause. Hence, on this point, we agree
shows that the Motion to Withdraw with the RTC that the MTC committed grave To constitute the crime of False Testimony in a
Informations was denied by the MTC solely on abuse of discretion. Civil Case under Article 182 of the Revised
the basis of the ruling of the DOJ that there Penal Code, the following requisites must
exists a probable cause; while the MTC Order But the RTC, acting on the petition for certiorari concur:
dated July 21, 1998 denied the motion for before it, not only committed grave abuse of
reconsideration of the June 10, 1998 order on discretion but acted in excess of or beyond its 1. the testimony must be given in a civil case;
the basis of the jurisdiction in
principle laid down in the Crespo vs. Mogulcase considering the criminal casespending in the 2. the testimony must relate to the issues
that once an Information was filed in court, its MTC as withdrawn, which in effect, causes the presented in the case;
disposition rests in the discretion of the court dismissal of the two criminal cases. First, the
and that the allegations of facts in the subject cases are not within the jurisdiction of 3. the testimony is false;
Information make out the offense charged. the RTC to dismiss. The only issue brought to it
4. the false testimony must be given by the
is whether or not the MTC committed grave
It is settled that when confronted with a defendant knowing the same to be false; and
abuse of discretion in denying the motion to
motion to withdraw an Information on the withdraw without making any independent 5. such testimony must be malicious and given
ground of lack of probable cause based evaluation as to whether or not there is a with and intent to affect the issues presented
on a resolution of the Secretary of the probable cause. Second, while ruling that the in the case.[22]
Department of Justice, the bounden duty MTC should have made an independent
of the trial court is to make an assessment on the merits of the Motion to There is no doubt that the first two requisites
independent assessment of the merits of Withdraw Informations, the RTC itself omitted are extant in this case. The records show that
such motion.[19] Having acquired to do the very thing that it prescribed the MTC Ark Travel filed a complaint for collection of
jurisdiction over the case, the trial court to do. It unceremoniously considered the sum of money, torts and damages against New
is not bound by such resolution but is criminal cases as withdrawn, without Filipino Maritime Agencies, Inc. (NFMAI) and
required to evaluate it before proceeding evaluation or determination of the existence of Angelina T. Rivera with the Regional Trial Court
further with the trial[20] and should the probable cause. of Makati (Branch 137), docketed as Civil Case
No. 95-1542. In said civil case, private prejudicial question in a civil action may be
respondents were presented by NFMAI as filed in the office of the prosecutor or the court
witnesses. They executed their respective conducting the preliminary
sworn statements and testified before the trial investigation. When the criminal action has
court that NFMAI has no outstanding obligation been filed in court for trial, the petition to
with Ark Travel as the same had been paid in suspend shall be filed in the same
full. criminal action at any time before the
prosecution rests. (Emphasis supplied)
The existence of the last three requisites is
quite dubious. The falsity of the subject Hence, pending determination of the falsity of
testimonies of private respondents is yet to be the subject testimonies of private respondents
established. It is noted that at the time of the in the civil case, the criminal action for false
filing of the criminal complaints, the civil case testimony must perforce be suspended. As
filed by Ark Travel is still pending decision. such, under the attendant circumstances,
[23]
Ark Travel has yet to prove the validity of its although there is no motion to suspend
monetary claims and damages against proceedings on the part of the private
NFMAI. It is only after trial that the RTC can respondents, orderly administration of justice
assess the veracity or falsity of the testimony dictates that the criminal cases should be
and correspondingly render a decision. Thus, suspended.
the civil case is so intimately connected with
the subject crime that it is determinative of the WHEREFORE, the assailed Orders dated
guilt or innocence of the respondents in the October 2, 1998 and November 23, 1998 of the
criminal cases. In other words, whether or not Regional Trial Court are NULLIFIED and SET
the testimonies of private respondents in the ASIDE insofar only as said court, acting as an
civil cases are false is a prejudicial question. It appellate court, considered Criminal Cases
is clear that the elements of a prejudicial Nos. 200894 and 200895 as withdrawn.
question are present as provided in Section 7,
Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Criminal The Orders dated June 10, 1998 and July 21,
Procedure, to wit: 1998 of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Makati
(Branch 67) in Criminal Cases Nos. 200894 and
SEC. 7 Elements of Prejudicial question. The 200895 are likewise NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE
elements of a prejudicial question are: (a) the for having been issued with grave abuse of
previously instituted civil action involves an discretion. In lieu thereof, the said Metropolitan
issue similar or intimately related to the issue Trial Court is directed to SUSPEND the criminal
raised in the subsequent criminal action; and proceedings until after the final decision in Civil
(b) the resolution of such issue determines Case No. 95-1542 of the Regional Trial Court of
whether or not the criminal action may Makati City (Branch 137).
proceed.
No costs.
Section 6, Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedures provides: SO ORDERED.

SEC. 6. Suspension by reason of prejudicial


question. A petition for suspension of the
criminal action based upon the pendency of a
G.R. No. 141624, August 17, 2004 a Board Resolution defining his authority to CM office at SM Megamall, announced that he
contract loan from the complainant and the was still the president, and rallied the officers
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, conversion of such loan into shares of stock, and employees against the new board of
VS. HERNANDO B. DELIZO, RESPONDENT. which, on the strength by said manifestations directors. Despite the security guards request
and representations, the complainant gave said for him to leave the premises, the respondent
DECISION amount and duly received by the accused, he refused to do so. He, thereafter, wrote the
knowing fully well that the same were false and China Banking Corporation, the depository
CALLEJO, SR., J.: fraudulent and were only made to entice bank of CM, requesting it not to honor any
complainant into believing that he, indeed, is change in the authorized signatories for CM,
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari of
empowered and in a position to issue the and appended thereto a falsified General
the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-
equivalent number of shares of stocks Information Sheet (GIS) to show that he was
G.R. SP No. 50995 granting the petition for
(120,000) in order to obtain, as in fact, he still a member of the board of directors and
certiorari of respondent Dr. Hernando B. Delizo
(accused) obtained the total amount of P12 president of CM. It was prayed that, after due
and nullifying the December 18, 1998 and
Million from the complainant and the accused, proceedings, judgment be rendered:
February 1, 1999 Orders[2] of the Regional Trial
once in possession of the money, far from
Court of Mandaluyong City in Criminal Case No. WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed of this
complying with his obligation to release the
167-MD for estafa. Honorable Commission to adjudge that
120,000 shares of stocks into complainants
name, despite demands made on him and, with respondent be ordered:
The Antecedents
intent to defraud, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously misappropriate, 1. Not to do any act or deed that will
Arsenio T. Ng filed a criminal complaint for
misapply and convert said amount, to his own disturb or interfere with the operations
estafa against the respondent with the Office of
personal use and benefit, to the damage and and business of the petitioners, and not
the City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City,
prejudice of Arsenio T. Ng, in the to cause any alarm, scandal,
docketed as Inv. Slip No. 97-10288. After the
aforementioned amount of P12 Million. disturbance, intrigue, disloyalty,
requisite preliminary investigation, First
disorder, or defiance on the part of any
Assistant City Prosecutor Esteban A. Tacla, Jr.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[3] (sic) employees, officers, contractors,
signed an Information dated October 10, 1997,
workers of CLINICA MANILA and
charging the respondent with estafa. The
Before the Information was filed, the HEALTH CHECK, INC.;
accusatory portion of the Information reads:
Ambulatory Health Care Institute, Inc. (AHCII),
also known as Clinica Manila (CM), and the 2. Not to do any act that will interfere
That on or about the 24th day of October,
Health Check, Inc. (HCI) filed a Complaint on with or disturb the management and
1996, in the City of Mandaluyong, Philippines, a
October 22, 1997 with the Securities and operation of the funds, bank accounts,
place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Exchange Commission (SEC) against the receivables, and all other property
Court, the above-named accused, being then
respondent and a certain John Doe for transactions of the petitioners, and to
President and Chairman of Mediserv, Inc., by
injunction and damages. The case was stop representing themselves as
means of deceit, false pretenses and
docketed as SEC Case No. 10-97-5794. The having any kind of power and authority
fraudulent representation, executed prior to or
petitioners therein alleged, inter alia, that a over any asset of the two companies
simultaneously with the commission of the
special meeting of the stockholders of CM was and their management;
fraud, succeeded in inducing herein
complainant, Arsenio T. Ng to give the amount held on October 9, 1997 after due notice to the
3. Not to do any act or deed, directly or
of P12 Million, to the accused on his pretext respondent two weeks before the said date.
indirectly, that will dishonor the name
that said amount will be converted by him into During the said meeting, the stockholders
and reputation of the petitioners;
shares of stock (120,000 shares of stocks) and elected a new board of directors, replacing the
in order to complement such false pretenses or respondent as CM president. Thereafter, at 4. To pay actual damages of P1,000,000;
fraudulent acts, he (respondent) even showed 3:00 p.m. of October 13, 1997, the respondent moral damages of P2,000,000; and
and an unidentified companion arrived at the
exemplary damages of P500,000; and S. Salvador, Antonio Roberto M. Abaya, WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully prayed of
to pay the costs of suit.[4] Bartolome C. Felipe, Jr., Joel Abanilla and this Honorable Court that:
Nonette C. Mina, jointly and severally, liable to
On October 23, 1997, AHCII, Mediserv, Inc. (MI) pay to the complainants, as follows: 1. Immediately upon filing of this
and the respondent, filed a Complaint with the Complaint, this Honorable Court issues
SEC against Arsenio T. Ng, Kelly S. Salvador, i. Exemplary damages of not less than a Writ of Preliminary Injunction, or at
Antonio Roberto M. Abaya, Bartolome C. Felipe, P500,000.00; least a Temporary Restraining Order
Jr., Joel Abanilla and Nonette C. Mina. The enjoining and restraining defendant
complainants alleged, inter alia, that they had ii. Actual damages not less than Register of Deeds from
been stockholders of AHCII since August 1995, P250,000.00; effecting/allowing the registration or
and represented a majority of the outstanding annotation of the purported auction
capital stock, owning 52.37% and 6.08%, iii. Attorneys fee of P200,000.00; sale of plaintiffs property covered by
respectively, as shown by the GIS dated TCT No. 205824 of the Register of
iv. Costs of litigation.
October 15, 1997 filed with the SEC; the Deeds for the City of Manila in favor of
respondent was the incumbent chairman of the Other equitable reliefs are prayed for.[5] defendant Landheights, or any
board of directors and president of AHCII; and transaction, dealing or incident arising
there was no quorum during the stockholders The case was docketed as SEC Case No. 10-97- from the purported auction sale
meeting of October 9, 1997; as such, the said 5796. allegedly conducted by defendant
meeting where a new set of board of directors Ignacio until further orders from this
and officers were, elected was in violation of In the meantime, Mediserv, Inc., represented Honorable Court.
the by-laws of the complainant AHCII and, by its president, the respondent, and its
consequently, illegal. The complainants prayed treasurer, Marissa D. Delizo, filed a complaint 2. After hearing, to render Judgment, as
that the following reliefs be granted after due with the RTC of Manila, Branch 29, against the follows:
proceedings: China Banking Corporation, the Landheights
a. Declaring the Writ of
(Iloilo) Development Corporation, Notary Public
a) Declaring the Writ of Preliminary Injunction Preliminary Injunction earlier
Romeo A. Ignacio, Jr. and the Registrar of
earlier issued as permanent; issued as permanent;
Deeds for the City of Manila. An amended
complaint was later filed, where it was alleged, b. Declaring the alleged public
b) Adjudging the Special Stockholders Meeting inter alia, that MI received a loan from the bank
purportedly held on October 9, 1997 as null auction sale conducted by
in the amount of P9,820,000, later increased to defendant Ignacio over the
and void ab initio; P11,200,000. To secure the payment of the said subject plaintiffs property, as
loan, MI executed a real estate mortgage and null and void;
c) Adjudging any action, proceeding, resolution, amendment to real estate mortgage over its
and/or election made in the alleged property covered by Transfer Certificate of Title c. Ordering and commanding
stockholders meeting purportedly held on (TCT) No. 205824 of the Register of Deeds of Defendant China Bank to
October 9, 1997 as null and void ab initio; Manila. MI also executed a promissory note on comply and to reduce into
October 5, 2000 in favor of the bank in the writing and/or to document its
d) Adjudging respondents Arsenio T. Ng, Kelly amount of P11,200,000. The bank, thereafter, agreement with plaintiff to
S. Salvador, Antonio Roberto M. Abaya, foreclosed the mortgage and sold the property consolidate the first P5 million
Bartolome C. Felipe, Jr., Joel Abanilla and at public auction in favor of the bank for loan of plaintiff with it with the
Nonette C. Mina, jointly and severally, liable to P15,649,023.29, through defendant Notary plaintiffs second loan of
pay to complainant Delizo moral damages of Public Romeo A. Ignacio, Jr. It was prayed that, P1,800,000.00;
not less than P1,000,000.00; after due proceedings, it be granted the
following reliefs:
e) Adjudging respondents Arsenio T. Ng, Kelly
d. Adjudging defendants China EX PARTE MOTION FOR ISSUANCE OF A WRIT
Banking Corporation, On February 19, 1999, the respondent filed a OF PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT WHICH ARE NOT
Landheights (Iloilo) Petition for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals, SUPPORTED BY AFFIDAVIT/S AS REQUIRED
Development Corporation and docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 50995, for the UNDER THE RULES.
Romeo A. Ignacio, Jr., jointly nullification of the Orders of the trial court,
and severally, liable to pay to contending as follows: 6.E.) THE RESPONDENT JUDGE GRAVELY
plaintiff the following: ABUSED HIS DISCRETION AND ACTED IN
6.A.) THE RESPONDENT JUDGE GRAVELY EXCESS AND/OR WITHOUT JURISDICTION IN
1. Attorneys Fees in the ABUSED HIS DISCRETION AND ACTED IN NOT SUSPENDING THE PROCEEDINGS IN THE
amount of EXCESS AND/OR WITHOUT JURISDICTION IN SUBJECT CRIMINAL CASE IN VIEW OF THE
P200,000.00; and ORDERING THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF PRESENCE OF PREJUDICIAL QUESTIONS IN THE
PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT GROSSLY IGNORING SEC CASES AND THE RTC CASE WHICH ARE
2. Costs of suit. THE ESTABLISHED RULE THAT APPLICATIONS DETERMINATIVE OF THE INNOCENCE OR GUILT
FOR A WRIT OF PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT OF THE ACCUSED, THE HEREIN PETITIONER.
Other equitable reliefs are prayed for.[6] MUST BE STRICTLY CONSTRUED AGAINST THE
APPLICANT AND LIBERALLY IN FAVOR OF THE 6.F.) THE RESPONDENT JUDGE GRAVELY
The case was docketed as Civil Case No. Q-97-
PARTY AGAINST WHOM IT IS DIRECTED. ABUSED HIS DISCRETION AND ACTED IN
86152.
EXCESS AND/OR WITHOUT JURISDICTION IN
6.B.) THE RESPONDENT JUDGE GRAVELY DENYING THE MOTION TO DISQUALIFY PRIVATE
On December 3, 1997, the Information for
ABUSED HIS DISCRETION AND ACTED IN PROSECUTOR BEFORE THE SAID MOTION CAN
estafa against the respondent was filed with
EXCESS AND/OR WITHOUT JURISDICTION IN BE HEARD; HENCE, A CLEAR AND PALPABLE
the RTC of Mandaluyong City and raffled to
ORDERING THE ISSUANCE OF THE VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS.
Branch 214. The case was docketed as Criminal
PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT DESPITE THE
Case No. 167-MD. The private prosecutor filed
CLEAR SHOWING THAT THE CIVIL ASPECT OF 6.G.) THE RESPONDENT JUDGE GRAVELY
an ex parte motion for preliminary attachment,
THE CRIMINAL CASE IS ALREADY COVERED BY ABUSED HIS DISCRETION AND ACTED IN
which was opposed by the respondent. On
CASES BEFORE THE SECURITIES AND EXCESS AND/OR WITHOUT JURISDICTION IN
December 18, 1998, the trial court issued an
EXCHANGE COMMISSION AND THE REGIONAL NOT DISQUALIFYING THE PRIVATE
Order[7] directing the issuance of a writ of
TRIAL COURT OF MANILA; HENCE, THERE IS NO PROSECUTOR DESPITE THE CLEAR SHOWING
preliminary attachment on a bond of
CIVIL ASPECT ATTACHED AND/OR DEEMED THAT THE CIVIL ASPECT OF THE SUBJECT
P8,000,000. The respondent filed a motion for
INSTITUTED WITH THE CRIMINAL CASE. CRIMINAL CASE IS PRESENTLY LITIGATED
reconsideration of the order with a prayer for
the suspension of the proceedings on the AND/OR THE SUBJECT OF SEPARATE ACTIONS
6.C.) THE RESPONDENT JUDGE GRAVELY BEFORE THE SEC AND THE RTC.[8]
ground of the existence of a prejudicial
ABUSED HIS DISCRETION AND ACTED IN
question on December 23, 1998.
EXCESS AND/OR WITHOUT JURISDICTION IN On January 18, 2000, the CA rendered a
ORDERING THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF Decision granting the petition and nullifying the
As early as January 13, 1998, the trial court in
PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT ON A P12 MILLION assailed Orders of the trial court, as well as the
Branch 213 issued an Order denying the
CLAIM PER THE INFORMATION WITH ONLY P8 writ of preliminary attachment it issued. The
motion to suspend proceedings on the ground
MILLION BOND; HENCE, GROSSLY fallo of the decision reads:
that the private complainant, Arsenio T. Ng,
INSUFFICIENT, IMPROPER AND
was not a stockholder of MI; hence, the
UNREASONABLE.
pendency of the two (2) SEC cases was not a WHEREFORE, the petition is given due course.
ground for the suspension of the case. On The assailed Orders of December 18, 1998 and
6.D.) THE RESPONDENT JUDGE GRAVELY
February 1, 1999, the trial court issued the February 1, 1999, as well as the writ of
ABUSED HIS DISCRETION AND ACTED IN
assailed Order denying the motion for attachment are hereby set aside. The
EXCESS AND/OR WITHOUT JURISDICTION IN
reconsideration. respondent Judge of the Regional Trial Court,
MERELY RELYING ON THE ALLEGATIONS OF THE
Mandaluyong City, Branch 214, is hereby determinative of the guilt or innocence of the asserts that, contrary to the rulings of the
directed to suspend proceedings of Criminal accused (Ras vs. Rasul, 100 SCRA 125).[10] appellate court, the said cases are based on
Case No. 167-MD considering the existence of facts and transactions different from those in
a prejudicial question in SEC Cases Nos. 10-97- The petitioner, thus, raises the following issues the criminal case. According to the petitioner,
5794 and 10-97-5796 and Civil Case No. 97- for resolution: the resolution of the issues in the SEC and the
86152. civil cases are not determinative of the guilt or
I. WHETHER OR NOT THE CRIMINAL, innocence of the respondent in the criminal
SO ORDERED. [9] CIVIL AND SEC CASES ARE BASED case; hence, the suspension of the proceedings
ON THE SAME TRANSACTION. in the criminal case was barren of factual and
The Present Petition II. WHETHER OR NOT THE CASES
legal bases.
FILED WITH THE SEC AND THE
The People of the Philippines, now the CIVIL CASE FILED WITH THE RTC
On the other hand, the CA held that the
petitioner, filed its petition for review on RAISE PREJUDICIAL QUESTIONS
P12,000,000 subject of the transaction in the
certiorari with this Court, on the following WHICH WOULD NECESSITATE THE
criminal case was the same amount involved in
grounds: SUSPENSION OF THE CRIMINAL
the SEC cases and the civil case. The CA then
ACTION FOR ESTAFA.
concluded that the issues raised or involved in
Public interest requires that all criminal acts be
Central to the issues in the case at bar are such cases were determinative of the guilt or
immediately investigated and prosecuted for
Sections 5 and 6, Rule 111 of the Rules of innocence of the respondent in the criminal
the protection of society (Gorospe vs. Pana
Court,[11] which read: case, warranting the suspension of the latter
Florida, 101 SCRA 445). Thus, the suspension
case.
of criminal proceedings must be avoided unless
the basis and grounds thereof are clear and Sec. 5. Elements of prejudicial question. The
two (2) essential elements of a prejudicial The Ruling of the Court
unmistakable.
question are: (a) the civil action involves an
The petition is meritorious.
The finding of the trial court that the criminal issue similar or intimately related to the issue
case, the civil case filed with the Regional Trial raised in the criminal action; and (b) the In case the civil action is instituted ahead of
Court (RTC) at Manila and the cases filed with resolution of such issue determines whether or the criminal action, under Section 2, Rule 111
the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) not the criminal action may proceed. of the Rules of Court, the civil action shall be
are based on the same transaction is grounded suspended in whatever stage it may be found
entirely on speculation. The complaints filed Sec. 6. Suspension by reason of prejudicial before judgment on the merits upon the
with the RTC and SEC cases do not support question. A petition for suspension of the commencement of the criminal action. Such
such finding. criminal action based upon the pendency of a criminal action has precedence over the civil
prejudicial question in a civil action may be action to enforce the civil liability of the
Moreover, in ruling that a prejudicial question filed in the office of the fiscal or the court accused arising from the delict. An exception is
exists, the court based its finding solely on its conducting the preliminary investigation. When where the prejudicial question exists, under
conclusion that the criminal, civil and SEC the criminal action has been filed in court for Sections 5 and 6, Rule 111 of the Rules of
cases arose out of the same transaction. This is trial, the petition to suspend shall be filed in Court, as amended.
contrary to Sec. 5, Rule 111 of the Rules of the same criminal action at any time before the
Court and the ruling of the Supreme Court that prosecution rests.[12] If the issues raised in a civil action are so
for a civil case to be considered prejudicial to a similar or intimately related to those in the
The petitioner asserts that the issues involved
criminal action, it must appear not only that criminal case such that the resolution of the
in Criminal Case No. 167-MD for estafa are
the civil case involves the same facts upon said issues in the civil case are determinative
entirely different from and unrelated to the
which the criminal prosecution is based, but of the juris et de jure of the guilt or innocence
issues in the SEC cases and in Civil Case No.
also that the resolution of the issues raised in of the accused in the criminal case, the
97-86152 pending before the RTC of Manila. It
said civil action would be necessarily proceedings in the latter case shall be
suspended and the civil action shall proceed election subsequently held were null and void. that the P12,000,000 was intended for the
until judgment on its merits. [13] A prejudicial As in SEC Case No. 97-5794, Ngs projected purchase of 120,000 shares of stocks of the MI,
question is one based on a fact distinct and investment of P12,000,000 in the MI which, as and not of the AHCII. Even the CA in its
separate from the crime because if both alleged in the Information, the respondent had decision declared that the P12,000,000 was
actions arose from the same fact or misused for his personal benefit, was not the intended for Ngs purchase of shares of stocks
transaction, the civil case does not constitute a subject of SEC Case No. 97-5796. There is even in the MI:
prejudicial question to the determination of the no showing in the SEC cases that Ng claimed to
criminal action.[14] Neither is there a prejudicial be a stockholder of the MI on account of the As regard the motion to suspend the
question if the civil and the criminal actions respondents receipt of the P12,000,000 for the proceedings in [the] questioned criminal case
can, according to the law and rules, proceed intended purchase of 120,000 shares of stocks in view of the presence of a prejudicial
independently of each other.[15] The rationale therein. question in the SEC cases, petitioner insists in
behind the principle of prejudicial question is to that the nature of the subject transaction
avoid two conflicting decisions. [16] These issues are not, in any way, determinative involving the alleged P12 million of Mr.
of the guilt or innocence of the respondent in Cusencio (sic) T. Ng which is the subject of the
In this case, the transaction subject of the the criminal case for estafa. Whether the said case at bar, is, likewise, the subject of the
criminal case for estafa against the meeting and elections will be declared null and consolidated SEC cases. A perusal of the
respondent is the receipt of the amount of void by the SEC will not result in the conviction complaints (p. 79, Rollo) filed with the SEC
P12,000,000 from the private complainant, Ng, or acquittal of the respondent for estafa, for (SEC Cases Nos. 10-97-5794 and 10-97-5796)
which was intended for the purchase of swindling Ng of P12,000,000. Furthermore, the and the Regional Trial Court of Manila shows
120,000 shares of stocks of MI. According to SEC cases involve intra-corporate disputes that there really exists a prejudicial question. It
the Information in Criminal Case No. 167-MD, between the respondent, on the one hand, and appears, as claimed by private respondent,
the respondent used the money for his Ng and the other stockholders of the AHCII, on that the amount of P12 million subject of the
personal benefit instead of purchasing the said the other, for the control of the said instant Criminal Case for Estafa was given to
shares in behalf of Ng. The event or occurrence corporations management. It must be stressed petitioner to be diverted into shares of stocks
subject of SEC Case No. 97-5794 filed by the that the petitions before the SEC are bare of from Mediserv, Inc., while the petitioner
AHCII and the HCI against the respondent was allegations relating to the alleged P12,000,000 averred that the amount was given as a loan.
the latters refusal to vacate the office of the received by the respondent from Ng, and Thus, it is clear that the nature of the
president, and his insistence on performing and intended for the latters purchase of 120,000 transaction involving the P12 million of private
exercising the duties and powers of the said shares of stocks in the MI. respondent in the criminal case is the same as
office, as well as the chairmanship of the board the cases before the SEC and the Civil Case Q-
of directors of the said corporation despite his In his petition with the CA, the respondent 97-88152 (sic) in the Regional Trial Court of
alleged ouster from the said positions. The alleged that in the SEC cases, the MI insisted Manila.[19]
plaintiff corporations sought a writ of injunction that the P12,000,000 received by him was a
and relief for damages against the respondent. mere loan; that he would not be liable of estafa Moreover, the respondent failed to submit to
Neither Ng nor the MI were parties in the said if he could prove the same. [17] According to the the CA the answer and other pleadings filed by
case. On the other hand, SEC Case No. 97- respondent, Ng alleged in the said SEC cases Ng as well as the pleadings of the stockholders
5796 was filed by the respondent and several that he and the members of his group became of the AHCII in the SEC cases, containing
others, for and in representation of the AHCII the major and controlling stockholders in AHCII allegations that they became the majority and
and the MI, as the plaintiffs, to nullify the because of the infusion of P12,000,000 by Ng. controlling stockholders of the AHCII because
October 9, 1997 stockholders meeting and the On the other hand, the respondent averred in of the infusion of P12,000,000. Such pleadings
election of the board of directors and officers his comment on the instant petition that the would have bolstered the respondents stance
held thereon, anchored on their claim that they P12,000,000 he received from Ng referred to in this case, and debilitated that of the
owned majority of the outstanding capital of AHCII shares of stocks owned by MI.[18] A petitioner herein.
the AHCII, and that the said meeting and cursory reading of the Information will show
We agree with the petitioners contention that
the issue of whether or not the P12,000,000 at public auction, on its allegation that it did innocence of the respondent in the criminal
was merely a loan by Ng in favor of the MI is a not breach its contract with the bank. The case. The CA thus erred in granting the petition
matter of defense by the respondent in the respondents agreement with Ng for the of the respondent and nullifying the assailed
criminal case. purchase of 120,000 shares of stocks in the MI, orders of the trial court.
as well as the alleged misappropriation of the
The transaction subject of the civil case is the amount of P12,000,000 by the respondent, is IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the
loan procured by the MI in the amount of not the subject matter of the civil case. Ng is petition is GRANTED. The assailed Decision of
P9,820,000, later increased to P11,200,000, not even a party thereto; neither was he privy the Court of Appeals is SET ASIDE. The Orders
from the China Banking Corporation, the to the said transaction between the respondent of the Regional Trial Court of Mandaluyong City
payment of which was secured by a real estate and the MI, and the China Banking Corporation dated December 18, 1998 and February 1,
mortgage and amended real estate mortgage involving the said loan. 1999 are REINSTATED. No costs.
over its property in Sampaloc, Manila. The MI SO ORDERED.
sought to nullify the extrajudicial foreclosure of In sum, the outcome of the civil case is not, in
the said mortgage and the sale of its property any way, determinative of the guilt or Puno, (Chairman), Austria-Martinez, Tinga, and
Chico-Nazario, JJ., concur.