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SUAREZ

V. PLATON
GR No. 46371 February 7, 1940
Laurel

SUBJECT: Canon 6 Lawyers in Government Service

FACTS: Lieut. Vivencio Orais of the Phil. Constabulary and one of the respondents, filed a
complaint under oath with the justice of peace of Calauag, Province of Tayabas, charging
Fortunato Suarez, petitioner herein, and one Tomas Ruedas, with sedition. While the
preliminary investigation was pending, Lieut. Orais, in obedience to an order of the
Provincial Commander of Tayabas, moved for the temporary dismissal of the case.

Thereafter, Suarez charged Lieut. Orais and Damian Jiminez in the same court with the
crime of arbitrary detention. Since the justice of peace of Calauag, Judge Platon, is one of the
accused, the preliminary investigation was conducted by the justice of peace of Lopez,
Tayabas, who thereafter bound the defendants over to the CFI. Motion for dismissal was
objected and denied by Judge David of 2nd Branch CFI Tayabas. Subsequently, Fiscal
Yamson, who was assigned by the DOJ to conduct the prosecution of the case, moved for
reconsideration, denying the motion for dismissal. Judge Servillano Platon, granted the
motion for reconsideration and dismissed the case holding that the evidence was
insufficient to convict the accused of the crime charged. Hence, the petitioner appealed to
this Court praying for a peremptory writ of mandamus to compel the respondent judge to
reinstate the criminal case which had been ordered dismissed.

ISSUE: WON there is sufficient ground to proceed with the criminal case for arbitrary
detention against Lieut. Orais and Justice of Peace Jimenez.

HELD:
Petition dismissed.
The Court cannot overemphasize the necessity of close scrutiny and investigation of
prosecuting officers of all cases handled by them, but whilst his Court is averse to any form
of vacillation by such officers in the prosecution of public offenses, it is unquestionable that
they may, in appropriate cases, in order to do justice and avoid injustice, reinvestigate
cases in which they have already filed the corresponding informations.

The prosecuting officer is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but
of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to
govern at all; and who interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that is shall win a
case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the
servant of the law, the two-fold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape nor innocence
suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor, indeed, he should do so. But while he
may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to
refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use
every legitimate means to bring about a just one. (Mr. Justice Sutherland of the US SC)