Criminal Procedure

July 6, 2010

Luz M. Zaldivia v. Hon. Andres B. Reyes, Jr.
Facts: Petitioner Zaldivia is charged with quarrying for commercial purposes without a mayor's permit in the municipality of Rodriguez, Province of Rizal. She moved to quash the information on the ground that the crime had prescribed but it was denied. She appealed to the RTC and denial was sustained by the respondent judge. Petitioner filed for a petition for review on certiorari arguing that the case filed against her is govern by the provisions on the Rules of Summary Procedure. She contends that criminal cases like violations of municipal or city ordinances does not require preliminary investigation and shall be filed directly to the court and not in the Prosecutor s office. She also invoked Act No. 3226 An Act to Establish Periods of Prescription for Violations Penalized by Special Acts and Municipal Ordinances and to Provide when Prescription Shall Begin to Run . Concluding that the case should have been dismissed since the case against her was being filed in court way beyond the 2 month statutory period. The prosecution contends that when the case was filed on the Prosecutor s office it suspends the prescriptive period. Issue: Whether or not the prescription of period ceased to run when the case was filed on the prosecutor s office? Decision:

Petition granted. Case dismissed on the ground of prescription. Ruling: As a general rule, the filing of the case in the prosecutor s office is sufficient to interrupt the running of the prescriptive period except when the case is covered by the Rules on Summary Procedure. If it is any crime, you file it in the fiscal s office; the running of the prescriptive period is interrupted. But in the case at bar having only a penalty of arresto menor it therefore falls under the provisions of the Rules on Summary Procedure. If it is covered by the Summary Rules, the period continues. It must be the filing of the case in court which will interrupt the period from running.

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