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ERNESTO SAN AGUSTIN v.

PEOPLE Other ISSUE:


J. Callejo Sr. Whether San Agustin was validly arrested: NO. There was no
warrant of arrest in this case. Neither was this case falling
FACTS: under valid warrantless arrest. San Agustin was just
A Criminal Complaint was filed before NBI for serious subpoenaed and form there he was detained. Arresting
illegal detention against San Agustin, a Brgy. officers was not present in crime scene and no personal
Chairman, for detaining Tan on June 19 without lawful knowledge of facts indicating crime.
ground.
June 25 2002: San Agustin received subpoena from
Chief of Anti-Organized Crime Division of NBI IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is
requiring San Agustin to a. appear before him to PARTIALLY GRANTED. The Order of the Regional Trial Court
present evidence, and b. bring the brgy. Logbook for of Paraaque City, dated July 24, 2004, ordering the City
June 19 Prosecutor to conduct a reinvestigation is SET ASIDE. The
San Agustin complied. However he was placed under Regional Trial Court is directed to ORDER the City Prosecutor
arrest and was detained by NBI. of Paraaque City to conduct a preliminary investigation as
June 27 2002: NBI submitted to DOJ its report of provided for in Section 3, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules on
investigation. Criminal Procedure. In the meantime, the Metropolitan Trial
The state prosecutor Berdal then conducted an Court of Paraaque City, Branch 77, is ordered to suspend the
inquest investigation and thereby found probable proceedings in Criminal Case No. 02-2486 pending the
cause against San Agustin for serious illegal outcome of said preliminary investigation.
detention.
June 28 2002: Information was filed before RTC SO ORDERED.
charging San Agustin with kidnapping/serious illegal
detention with no bail.
San Agustin filed a Motion to quash the Information
arguing that it is void because he was illegally
arrested and illegally subjected to inquest
investigation, which deprived him his right of
preliminary investigation.
He filed another motion to quash, arguing a different
ground that he should only be charged of arbitrary
detention since he is a barangay chairman at the time
of commission, so the maximum penalty is reclusion
temporal.
July 24 2002: RTC issued an Order directing the City
prosecutor to conduct reinvestigation within 45 days.
Assistant prosecutor was assigned to conduct it,
however San Agustin opposed contending that the
Prosecutor should conduct a regular preliminary
investigation since the inquest was void.
Assistant prosecutor thereafter came out with a
Resolution finding probable cause of arbitrary
detention against San Agustin. But the city prosecutor
opposed it.
Nonetheless, new Information was filed with MeTC
charging San Agustin with arbitrary detention.
San Agustin still opposed the information arguing that
it was void since there was no preliminary
investigation conducted before the Information was
filed.

ISSUE: Whether a preliminary investigation is needed before


filing of an Information

HELD: YES
The Inquest investigation conducted by the State
Prosecutor is void because under Rule 112 Sec. 7 of
ROC, an inquest investigation is only valid when the
suspect is lawfully arrested without warrant.
In this case, San Agustin was not lawfully arrested.
HOWEVER, lack of preliminary investigation does not
affect jurisdiction of courts, neither does it affect the
validity of the Information.
Thus, it is not a valid ground to quash the Information
or release the petitioner from detention.
The proper procedure is for the RTC to suspend the
proceedings and order a preliminary investigation.