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G.R.Nos.16214454.November13,2012.

*
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,petitioner,vs.HON. MA.THERESA L.DELA
TORREYADAO, in her capacity as Presiding Judge, Branch 81, Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City, HON. MA. NATIVIDAD M. DIZON, in her capacity as
Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, PANFILO M.
LACSON,JEWELF.CANSON,ROMEOM.ACOP,FRANCISCOG.ZUBIA,JR.,
MICHAEL RAY B. AQUINO, CEZAR O. MANCAO II, ZOROBABEL S.
LAURELES, GLENN G. DUMLAO, ALMARIO A. HILARIO, JOSE ERWIN T.
VILLACORTE, GIL C. MENESES, ROLANDO ANDUYAN, JOSELITO T.
ESQUIVEL, RICARDO G. DANDAN, CEASAR TANNAGAN, VICENTE P.
ARNADO, ROBERTO T. LANGCAUON, ANGELITO N. CAISIP, ANTONIO
FRIAS,CICEROS.BACOLOD,WILLYNUAS,JUANITOB.MANAOIS,VIRGILIO
V.PARAGAS,ROLANDOR.
_______________
*ENBANC.

265

VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 265


People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
JIMENEZ, CECILIO T. MORITO, REYNALDO C. LAS PIAS, WILFREDO G.
CUARTERO, ROBERTO O. AGBALOG, OSMUNDO B. CARIO, NORBERTO
LASAGA,LEONARDOGLORIA,ALEJANDROG.LIWANAG,ELMERFERRER
andROMYCRUZ,respondents.

Remedial Law; Criminal Procedure; Courts; Hierarchy of Courts; Although the


Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) have
concurrentjurisdictiontoissueawritofcertiorari,suchconcurrencedoesnotgivethePeople
theunrestrictedfreedomofchoiceofforum. TheCourtnotesthattheprosecutionskipped
the CA and filed its action directly with this Court, ignoring the principle of judicial
hierarchyofcourts.AlthoughtheSupremeCourt,theCA,andtheRTCshaveconcurrent
jurisdiction to issue a writ ofcertiorari, such concurrence does not give the People the
unrestrictedfreedomofchoiceofforum.Inanycase,theimmensepublicinterestinthese
cases,theconsiderablelengthoftimethathaspassedsincethecrimetookplace,andthe
numeroustimesthesecaseshavecomebeforethisCourtprobablywarrantawaiverofsuch
procedurallapse.
Same;Same;Same;FamilyCourts;Jurisdiction;ExclusiveOriginalJurisdiction;In
vestinginfamilycourtsexclusiveoriginaljurisdictionovercriminalcasesinvolvingminors,
thelawbutseekstoprotecttheirwelfareandbestinterests. Undoubtedly,investingin
familycourtsexclusiveoriginaljurisdictionovercriminalcasesinvolvingminors,thelaw
butseekstoprotecttheirwelfareandbestinterests.Forthisreason,whentheneedfor
suchprotectionisnotcompromised,theCourtisabletorelaxtherule.Inseveralcases,for
instance,theCourthasheldthattheCAenjoysconcurrentjurisdictionwiththefamily
courtsinhearingpetitionsforhabeascorpusinvolvingminors.Here,thetwominorvictims,
forwhoseintereststhepeoplewantedthemurdercasesmovedtoafamilycourt,aredead.
Asrespondentsaptlypointout,thereisnolivingminorinthemurdercasesthatrequire
thespecialattentionandprotectionofafamilycourt.Infact,nominorwouldappearas
partyinthosecasesduringtrialsincetheminorvictimsarerepresentedbytheirparents
whohadbecometherealprivateoffendedparties.266

266 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
Judges; Disqualification and Inhibition of Judges; The rules governing the
disqualificationofjudgesarefound,first,inSection1,Rule137oftheRulesofCourtandin
Rule 3.12, Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The rules governing the
disqualificationofjudgesarefound,first,inSection1,Rule137oftheRulesofCourt,which
provides:Sec.1.Disqualificationofjudges.Nojudgeorjudicialofficershallsitinanycase
in which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or
otherwise,orinwhichheisrelatedtoeitherpartywithinthesixthdegreeofconsanguinity
oraffinity,ortocounselwithinthefourthdegree,computedaccordingtotherulesofthe
civillaw,orinwhichhehasbeenexecutor,administrator,guardian,trusteeorcounsel,or
inwhichhehaspresidedinanyinferiorcourtwhenhisrulingordecisionisthesubjectof
review,withoutthewrittenconsentofallpartiesininterest,signedbythemandentered
upontherecord.Ajudgemay,intheexerciseofhissounddiscretion,disqualifyhimself
fromsittinginacase,forjustorvalidreasonsotherthanthosementionedabove.Andin
Rule 3.12, Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which states: Rule 3.12. A judge
shouldtakenopartinaproceedingwherethejudgesimpartialitymightreasonablybe
questioned. These cases include among others, proceedings where: (a) the judge has
personalknowledgeofdisputedevidentiaryfactsconcerningtheproceeding;xxxx(e)the
judgeknowsthejudgesspouseorchildhasafinancialinterest,asheir,legatee,creditor,
fiduciary,orotherwise,inthesubjectmatterincontroversyorinapartytotheproceeding,
oranyotherinterestthatcouldbesubstantiallyaffectedbytheoutcomeoftheproceeding.
Ineveryinstance,thejudgeshallindicatethelegalreasonforinhibition.
Same;Same;Thematterofvoluntaryinhibitionisprimarilyamatterofconscienceand
sounddiscretiononthepartofthejudgesinceheisinabetterpositiontodeterminewhether
agivensituationwouldunfairlyaffecthisattitudetowardsthepartiesortheircases. The
matterofvoluntaryinhibitionisprimarilyamatterofconscienceandsounddiscretionon
thepartofthejudgesinceheisinabetterpositiontodeterminewhetheragivensituation
wouldunfairlyaffecthisattitudetowardsthepartiesortheircases.Themereimputationof
bias, partiality, and prejudgment is not enough ground, absent clear and convincing
evidence that can overcome the presumption that the judge will perform his duties
accordingtolawwithoutfearorfavor.TheCourtwillnotdisqualifyajudgebasedon
267

VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 267


People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
speculationsandsurmisesortheadversenatureofthejudgesrulingstowardsthose
whoseektoinhibithim.
RemedialLaw;CriminalProcedure;WarrantsofArrest;Thegeneralruleisthatthe
judge is not required, when determining probable cause for the issuance of warrants of
arrests,toconductadenovohearing. Thegeneralruleofcourseisthatthejudgeisnot
required, when determining probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrests, to
conduct ade novohearing. The judge only needs to personally review the initial
determination of the prosecutor finding a probable cause to see if it is supported by
substantialevidence.
Same;Same;Section6,Rule112oftheRulesofCourtgivesthetrialcourtthreeoptions
uponthefilingofthecriminalinformation. Section6,Rule112oftheRulesofCourtgives
thetrialcourtthreeoptionsuponthefilingofthecriminalinformation:(1)dismissthecase
iftheevidenceonrecordclearlyfailedtoestablishprobablecause;(2)issueawarrantof
arrestifitfindsprobablecause;and(3)ordertheprosecutortopresentadditionalevidence
withinfivedaysfromnoticeincaseofdoubtastotheexistenceofprobablecause.
Same;Same;ThecourtsfirstoptionunderSection6,Rule112oftheRulesofCourtis
forittoimmediatelydismissthecaseiftheevidenceonrecordclearlyfailstoestablish
probablecause;Itisonlyincaseofdoubtontheexistenceofprobablecausethatthejudge
mayordertheprosecutortopresentadditionalevidencewithinfivedaysfromnotice. The
optiontoordertheprosecutortopresentadditionalevidenceisnotmandatory.Thecourts
firstoptionundertheaboveisforittoimmediatelydismissthecaseiftheevidenceon
recordclearlyfailstoestablishprobablecause.Thatisthesituationhere:theevidenceon
recordclearlyfailstoestablishprobablecauseagainsttherespondents.Itisonlyincaseof
doubt on the existence of probable cause that the judge may order the prosecutor to
presentadditionalevidencewithinfivedaysfromnotice.Butthatisnotthecasehere.
Same; Same; Section 5, Rule 135 of the Rules of Court gives the trial court ample
inherent and administrative powers to effectively control the conduct of its
proceedings.Section5,Rule135ofthe
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268 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
Rules of Court gives the trial court ample inherent and administrative powers to
effectively control the conduct of its proceedings. Thus: Sec. 5.Inherent powers of
court.Everycourtshallhavepower:x xxx(b)Toenforceorderinproceedingsbeforeit,or
before a person or persons empowered to conduct a judicial investigation under its
authority; xxxx (d) To control, in furtherance of justice, the conduct of its ministerial
officers,andofallotherpersonsinanymannerconnectedwithacasebeforeit,inevery
mannerappertainingthereto;xxxx(g)Toamendandcontrolitsprocessandorderssoas
tomakethemconformabletolawandjustice.
Same;Same;Prosecutors;Actions;Acriminalactionisprosecutedunderthedirection
andcontrolofthepublicprosecutor. ThereisnothingarbitraryaboutJudgeYadaospolicy
of allowing only one public prosecutor and one private prosecutor to address the court
during the hearing for determination of probable cause but permitting counsels
representingtheindividual accusedtodoso. Acriminal actionis prosecuted under the
directionandcontrolofthepublicprosecutor.Theburdenofestablishingprobablecause
againstalltheaccusedisuponhim,notupontheprivateprosecutorswhoseinterestslie
solelyintheirclientsdamagesclaim.Besides,thepublicandtheprivateprosecutorstakea
commonpositionontheissueofprobablecause.Ontheotherhand,eachoftheaccusedis
entitledtoadoptdefensesthatarepersonaltohim.
Same;Same;Asfortheprohibitionagainsttheprosecutionsprivaterecordingofthe
proceedings,courtsusuallydisallowssuchrecordingsbecausetheycreateanunnecessary
distractionandifallowed,couldprompteverylawyer,party,witness,orreporterhaving
some interest in the proceeding to insist on being given the same privilege. As for the
prohibitionagainsttheprosecutionsprivaterecordingoftheproceedings,courtsusually
disallowssuchrecordingsbecausetheycreateanunnecessarydistractionandifallowed,
could prompt every lawyer, party, witness, or reporter having some interest in the
proceeding to insist on being given the same privilege. Since the prosecution makes no
claimthattheofficialrecordingoftheproceedingsbythecourtsstenographerhasbeen
insufficient,theCourtfindsnograveabuseofdiscretioninJudgeYadaospolicyagainst
suchextraneousrecordings.

SPECIALCIVILACTIONintheSupremeCourt.Certiorari.269
VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 269
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
ThefactsarestatedintheopinionoftheCourt.
TheSolicitorGeneralforpetitioner.
PhilipSigfridA.FortunandGilbertV.SantosforSenatorPanfiloLacson.
Manuel M. Lazaro, Michelle B. Lazaro, Hector P. CorpusandJ. Kieth P.
NietoforrespondentsJoseErwinT.Villacorte,Esquivel,CarioandAgbalog.
AnacletoM.DiazforrespondentJewelF.Canson.
ManuelN.CamachoandFritzeTangkiaFabricanteforAngelitoN.Caisip.
AlexO.Avisado,Jr.forrespondentsAnduyan,Liwanag,LasagaandGloria.
Francisco I. Chavez, Luis Angel G. AseocheandDon Carlo R. Ybanezfor
respondentsRomeoM.AcopandFranciscoZubia.
ArnoV.SanidadforSpousesPerfectoandMyrnaAbalora.
IdaMayJ.LaOforAntonioRedilles.
Abraham G. EspejoandLeo Gilofor respondents Jimenez, Cuartero and
Paragas.
EduardoJ.F.AbellaforrespondentGilMeneses.
JohnmuelRomanoR.D.MendozaforC.Tannagan,Morito,Manaois,Bacolod,
Frias,NuasandLasPias.
DanielSorianoFriasforA.Frias.
EfrenC.MoncupaforintervenorsSpousesGavinoandEmelianaSiplon.
FelixJ.Marias,Jr.forSpousesAlbertoAmoraandLeonoraSorronda.
IanelaG.JusiBarrantesforImeldaMontero.270

270 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
RodolfoF.ReynosoforC.Tannagan,Morito,Manaois,Bacolod,Frias,Nuasand
LasPias.
RodolfoU.JimenezandRobertoC.DioknoforAlmarioA.HilarioandRicardo
G.Dandan.
ChristianRobertS.LimforintervenorCandelariaDaigArcadio.
MarvinUrmenitaandGarryS.VillanuevaforZorrobabelLaureles.

ABAD,J.:
Thiscase,whichinvolvestheallegedsummaryexecutionofsuspectedmembers
of theKuratong BalelengGang, is once again before this Court this time
questioning,amongotherthings,thetrialcourtsdeterminationoftheabsenceof
probablecauseanditsdismissalofthecriminalactions.1

TheFactsandtheCase

In the early morning of May 18, 1995, the combined forces of the Philippine
NationalPolicesAntiBankRobberyandIntelligenceTaskGroup(PNPABRITG)
composed of Task Force Habagat (then headed by Police Chief Superintendent
Panfilo M. Lacson), Traffic Management Command ([TMC] led by then Police
SeniorSuperintendentFranciscoG.Zubia,Jr.),CriminalInvestigationCommand
(led bythenPoliceChiefSuperintendent RomeoM.Acop),andNationalCapital
RegionCommand(headedbythenPoliceChiefSuperintendentJewelF.Canson)
killed11suspectedmembersofthe
_______________
1SeeLacsonv.TheExecutiveSecretary,361Phil.251;301SCRA298(1999);Peoplev.Lacson,432
Phil.113;382SCRA365(2002);Peoplev.Lacson,448Phil.317;400SCRA267(2003).

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VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 271
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
KuratongBalelengGang2alongCommonwealthAvenueinQuezonCity.
Subsequently, SPO2 Eduardo Delos Reyes of the Criminal Investigation
Commandtoldthepressthatitwasasummaryexecution,notashootoutbetween
thepoliceandthosewhowereslain.Afterinvestigation,theDeputyOmbudsman
forMilitaryAffairsabsolvedallthepoliceofficersinvolved,includingrespondents
Panfilo M. Lacson, Jewel F. Canson, Romeo M. Acop, Francisco G. Zubia, Jr.,
Michael Ray B. Aquino, Cezar O. Mancao II, and 28 others (collectively, the
respondents).3On review, however, the Office of the Ombudsman reversed the
findingandfiledchargesofmurderagainstthepoliceofficersinvolvedbeforethe
Sandiganbayan in Criminal Cases 23047 to 57, except that in the cases of
respondents Zubia, Acop, and Lacson, their liabilities were downgraded to mere
accessory.Onarraignment,Lacsonpleadednotguilty.
Uponrespondentsmotion,theSandiganbayanorderedthetransferoftheircases
totheRegionalTrialCourt(RTC)ofQuezonCityonthegroundthatnoneofthe
principal accused had the rank of Chief Superintendent or higher. Pending the
resolutionoftheOfficeoftheSpecialProsecutorsmotionforreconsiderationofthe
transferorder,CongresspassedRepub
_______________
2Namely:ManuelMontero,RolandoSiplon,SherwynAbalora,RayAbalora,JoelAmora,HilarioJevy
Redillas,MeleubrenSorronda,PacificoMontero,Jr.,WelborElcamel,CarlitoAlapapandTirsoDaig@
AlexNeri.
3Namely:ZorobabelS.Laureles,GlennG.Dumlao,AlmarioA.Hilario,JoseErwinT.Villacorte,Gil
C.Meneses,RolandoAnduyan,JoselitoT.Esquivel,RicardoG.Dandan,CeasarTannagan,VicenteP.
Arnado,RobertoT.Langcauon,AngelitoN.Caisip,AntonioFrias,CiceroS.Bacolod,WillyNuas,Juanito
B.Manaois,VirgilioV.Paragas,RolandoR.Jimenez,CecilioT.Morito,ReynaldoC.LasPias,Wilfredo
G.Cuartero,RobertoO.Agbalog,OsmundoB.Cario,NorbertoLasaga,LeonardoGloria,AlejandroG.
Liwanag,ElmerFerrer,andRomyCruz.

272
272 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
licAct(R.A.)8249thatexpandedtheSandiganbayansjurisdictionbydeletingthe
wordprincipalfromthephraseprincipalaccusedtoapplytoallpendingcases
wheretrialhadnotbegun.Asaresultofthisnewlaw,theSandiganbayanoptedto
retainandtrytheKuratongBalelengmurdercases.
Respondent Lacson challenged the constitutionality of R.A. 8249 in G.R.
1280964but this Court upheld its validity. Nonetheless, the Court ordered the
transfer of the trial of the cases to the RTC of Quezon City since the amended
informations contained no allegations that respondents committed the offenses
chargedinrelationto,orinthedischargeof,theirofficialfunctionsasrequiredby
R.A.8249.
Before the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 81, then presided over by Judge
WenceslaoAgnir,Jr.,couldarraignrespondentsintheredocketedCriminalCases
Q9981679to89,however,SPO2DelosReyesandtheotherprosecutionwitnesses
recanted their affidavits. Some of the victims heirs also executed affidavits of
desistance. These prompted the respondents to file separate motions for the
determinationofprobablecausebeforetheissuanceofwarrantsofarrests.
OnMarch29,1999theRTCofQuezonCityorderedtheprovisionaldismissalof
the cases for lack of probable cause to hold the accused for trial following the
recantationoftheprincipalprosecutionwitnessesandthedesistanceoftheprivate
complainants.
TwoyearslateroronMarch27,2001PNPDirectorLeandroR.Mendozasought
torevivethecasesagainstrespondentsbyrequestingtheDepartmentofJustice
(DOJ)toconductanotherpreliminaryinvestigationintheircasesonthestrengthof
theaffidavitsofP/Insp.YsmaelS.YuandP/SInsp.AbelardoRamos.Inresponse,
then DOJ Secretary Hernando B. Perez constituted a panel of prosecutors to
conducttherequestedinvestigation.
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4Lacsonv.TheExecutiveSecretary,supranote1.

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People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
Invokingtheirconstitutionalrightagainstdoublejeopardy,Lacsonandhisco
accusedfiledapetitionforprohibitionwithapplicationfortemporaryrestraining
orderandwritofpreliminaryinjunctionbeforetheRTCofManilainCivilCase01
100933.InanOrderdatedJune5,2001,thatcourtdeniedthepleafortemporary
restrainingorder.Thus,onJune6,2001thepanelofprosecutorsfoundprobable
causetoholdLacsonandhiscoaccusedliableasprincipalsfor11countsofmurder,
resultinginthefilingofseparateinformationsagainsttheminCriminalCases01
101102 to 12 before the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 81, now presided over by
respondentJudgeMa.TheresaL.Yadao.
On the same day, respondent Lacson filed a petition forcertioraribefore the
Court of Appeals (CA), assailing the RTC of Manilas order which allowed the
renewedpreliminaryinvestigationofthemurderchargesagainsthimandhisco
accused. Lacson also filed with the RTC of Quezon City a motion for judicial
determinationofprobablecause.ButonJune13,2001hesoughtthesuspensionof
theproceedingsinthatcourt.
Inthemeantime,theCAissuedatemporaryrestrainingorderenjoiningtheRTC
of Quezon City from issuing warrants of arrest orconducting any proceeding in
CriminalCases01101102to12beforeit.OnAugust24,2001theCArendereda
Decision, granting Lacsons petition on the ground of double jeopardy since,
althoughthedismissalofCriminalCasesQ9981679to89wasprovisional,such
dismissalbecamepermanenttwoyearsafterwhentheywerenotrevived.
UpontheprosecutionsappealtothisCourtinG.R.149453,5theCourtruledthat,
basedontherecord,Lacsonfailedtoprovecompliancewiththerequirementsof
Section8,Rule117governingprovisionaldismissals.Therecordsshowedthatthe
prosecution did not file a motion for provisional dismissal and, for his part,
respondentLacsonhad
_______________
5Peoplev.Lacson,supranote1.

274
274 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
merelyfiledamotionforjudicialdeterminationofprobablecause.Nowheredidhe
agreetosomeproposalforaprovisionaldismissalofthecases.Furthermore,the
heirsofthevictimshadnonoticeofanymotionforsuchprovisionaldismissal.
TheCourtthussetasidetheCADecisionofAugust24,2001anddirectedthe
RTCofQuezonCitytotrythecaseswithdispatch.Onmotionforreconsiderationby
respondentLacson,theCourtorderedthereraffleofthecriminalcasestoaheinous
crimescourt.Uponreraffle,however,thecasesstillwenttoBranch81,whichas
alreadystatedwasnowpresidedoverbyJudgeYadao.
OnOctober12,2003theparentsoftwoofthevictimssubmittedbirthcertificates
showing that they were minors. Apparently reacting to this, the prosecution
amendedtheinformationstoshowsuchminorityandaskedrespondentExecutive
JudgeMa.NatividadM.DizontorecalltheassignmentofthecasestoBranch81
andrerafflethemtoafamilycourt.Therequestforrecallwasdenied.
OnOctober20,2003theprosecutionfiledanomnibusmotionbeforeBranch81,
prayingforthereraffleofCriminalCases01101102to12tothefamilycourtsin
viewofthechangesinthetwoinformations.OnOctober24,2003theprosecution
also filed its consolidated commentexabundanti cautelaon the motions to
determineprobablecause.
OnNovember12,20036JudgeYadaoissuedanorder,denyingtheprosecutions
motion for reraffle toa familycourt on thegroundthat Section5 of R.A.8369
appliedonlytolivingminors.Shealsograntedthemotionsfordeterminationof
probablecauseanddismissedthecasesagainsttherespondentssincetheaffidavits
of theprosecutionwitnesses were inconsistent with those they submittedin the
preliminaryinvestigationsbeforetheOmbudsmanforthecrimeofrobbery.
_______________
6Rollo,Vol.I,pp.235251.

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VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 275
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
On November 25, 2003 the prosecution filed a verified motion to recuse or
disqualify Judge Yadao and for reconsideration of her order. It also filed an
administrativecomplaintagainstherfordishonesty,conductprejudicialtothebest
interests of the service, manifest partiality, and knowingly rendering an unjust
judgment.7On January 14, 2004, the prosecution filed an urgent supplemental
motionforcompulsorydisqualificationwithmotionforcancellationofthehearing
onmotionforreconsideration.
OnJanuary21,2004JudgeYadaoissuedanorder,denyingthemotiontorecuse
her,promptingtheprosecutiontoappealfromthatorder.Further,onJanuary22,
2004 Judge Yadao issued another order, denying the prosecutions motion for
reconsiderationoftheOrderdatedNovember12,2003thatdismissedtheaction
againsttherespondents.Inresponse,theprosecutionfiledanoticeofappealfrom
thesame.Finally,onJanuary26,2004JudgeYadaoissuedanorder,denyingthe
prosecutionsmotionforreconsiderationofitsJanuary16,2004Ordernotonlyfor
lackofmeritbutalsoforhavingbecomemootandacademic.
OnFebruary16,2004theprosecutionwithdrewexabundanticautelathenotices
of appeal that it filed in the cases. Subsequently, on March 3, 2004 it filed the
presentspecialcivilactionofcertiorari.

TheIssuesPresented

Theprosecutionpresentsthefollowingissues:
1.WhetherornotExecutiveJudgeDizongravelyabusedherdiscretioninallowingCriminalCases01
101102to12tobereraffledtootherthanamongtheRTCofQuezonCitysfamilycourts.
_______________
7Id.,Vol.II,pp.768796;DismissedonMay17,2004,seeRollo,Vol.IV,pp.32253226.

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276 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
2.WhetherornotJudgeYadaogravelyabusedherdiscretionwhenshetookcognizanceofCriminal
Cases01101102to12contrarytotheprosecutionsviewthatsuchcasesfellunderthejurisdiction
offamilycourts.
3.WhetherornotJudgeYadaogravelyabusedherdiscretionwhenshedidnotinhibitanddisqualify
herselffromtakingcognizanceofthecases.
4.WhetherornotJudgeYadaogravelyabusedherdiscretionwhenshedismissedthecriminalactions
on the ground of lack of probable cause and barred the presentation of additional evidence in
supportoftheprosecutionsmotionforreconsideration.
5.Whether or not Judge Yadao gravely abused her discretion when she adopted certain policies
concerningtheconductofhearingsinhercourt.

TheCourtsRulings

Beforeaddressingtheaboveissues,theCourtnotesrespondentscontentionthat
the prosecutions resort to special civil action ofcertiorariunder Rule 65 is
improper.Sincethetrialcourtdismissedthecriminalactionsagainstrespondents,
theprosecutionsremedywastoappealtotheCAfromthatorderofdismissal.
Ordinarily, the proper remedy from an order dismissing an action is an
appeal.8Here,theprosecutioninfactfiledanoticeofappealfromsuchanorder
issuedinthesubjectcases.Butitreconsidereditsactionandwithdrewthatnotice,
believingthatappealwasnotaneffective,speedy,andadequateremedy. 9Inother
words,theprosecutionsmovewasnotacaseofforgottenremedybutaconscious
resorttoanotherbasedonabeliefthatrespondentJudgeYadaogravelyabusedher
discretioninissuinghervariousordersandthat
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8Santosv.Orda,Jr.,G.R.No.189402,May6,2010,620SCRA375,383.
9Rollo,Vol.II,p.1244.
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VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 277
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
certiorariunder Rule 65 was the proper and allencompassing remedy for the
prosecution. The Court is not prepared to say that the remedy is altogether
implausibleastothrowoutthepetitionoutright.
Still,theCourtnotesthattheprosecutionskippedtheCAandfileditsaction
directly with this Court, ignoring the principle of judicial hierarchy of courts.
AlthoughtheSupremeCourt,theCA,andtheRTCshaveconcurrentjurisdictionto
issueawritofcertiorari,suchconcurrencedoesnotgivethePeopletheunrestricted
freedomofchoiceofforum.10Inanycase,theimmensepublicinterestinthesecases,
theconsiderablelengthoftimethathaspassedsincethecrimetookplace,andthe
numeroustimesthesecaseshavecomebeforethisCourtprobablywarrantawaiver
ofsuchprocedurallapse.

1.RaffleoftheCases

TheprosecutionpointsoutthattheRTCofQuezonCityExecutiveJudgegravely
abusedherdiscretionwhensheplacedCriminalCases01101102to12undera
separatecategorywhichdidnotrestricttheirraffletothecitysspecialcriminaland
family courts in accordance with SC Administrative Order 3696. Further, the
prosecutionpointsoutthatsheviolatedAdministrativeOrder1998whenBranches
219and102wereleftoutoftheraffle.Thepresidingjudgesofthesetwobranches,
both heinous crimes courts eligible to receive cases by raffle, had just been
appointedtotheCA.
Therecordsofthecasesshownothingirregularintheconductoftheraffleofthe
subject cases. The raffle maintained a separate list for criminal and civil cases.
Criminal cases cognizable by special criminal courts were separately listed.
CriminalCases01101102to12weregivenaseparatehead
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10AAAv.Carbonell,G.R.No.171465,June8,2007,524SCRA496,506.

278
278 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
ing,ReRaffle,buttherewasnothingirregularinthissinceitmerelyindicated
thatthecaseswerenotbeingraffledforthefirsttime.
TheExecutiveJudgedidnoterrinleavingoutBranches219and102fromraffle
sincethesebranchesremainedwithoutregularlyappointedjudges.Althoughthe
pairingjudgesofthesebrancheshadauthoritytoactonincidental,interlocutory,
and urgent matters, this did not mean that such branches should already be
includedintheraffleofcases.
Parenthetically,theprosecutionwasrepresentedduringtheraffleyetitdidnot
thenobjecttothemannerbywhichitwasconducted.Theprosecutionraisedthe
questiononlywhenitfiledthispetition,aclearafterthought.

2.JurisdictionofFamilyCourts

Theprosecutionpointsoutthat,althoughthisCourtsOctober7,2003Resolution
directedareraffleofthecasestoaheinouscrimescourt,theprosecutioninthe
meantime amended the informations to reflect the fact that two of the murder
victimswereminors.Forthisreason,theExecutiveJudgeshouldhaveraffledthe
casestoafamilycourtpursuanttoSection5ofR.A.8369.
TheCourtisnotimpervioustotheprovisionsofSection5ofR.A.8369,thatvests
in family courts jurisdiction over violations of R.A. 7610, which in turn covers
murdercaseswherethevictimisaminor.Thus:
Sec.5.Jurisdiction of Family Courts. The Family Courts shall have exclusive
originaljurisdictiontohearanddecidethefollowingcases:
a)Criminalcaseswhereoneormoreoftheaccusedisbeloweighteen(18)yearsofage
butnotlessthannine(9)yearsofage,orwhereoneormoreofthevictimsisaminor
at the time of the commission of the offense:Provided, That if the minor is found
guilty,thecourtshallpromulgatesentenceandascertainanycivil
279

VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 279


People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
liabilitywhichtherespondentmayhaveincurred.(Emphasissupplied)

Undoubtedly, in vesting in family courts exclusive original jurisdiction over


criminalcasesinvolvingminors,thelawbutseekstoprotecttheirwelfareandbest
interests.Forthisreason,whentheneedforsuchprotectionisnotcompromised,
theCourtisabletorelaxtherule.Inseveralcases,11forinstance,theCourthasheld
that the CA enjoys concurrent jurisdiction with the family courts in hearing
petitionsforhabeascorpusinvolvingminors.
Here,thetwominorvictims,forwhoseintereststhepeoplewantedthemurder
casesmovedtoafamilycourt,aredead.Asrespondentsaptlypointout,thereisno
livingminorinthemurdercasesthatrequirethespecialattentionandprotectionof
afamilycourt.Infact,nominorwouldappearaspartyinthosecasesduringtrial
sincetheminorvictimsarerepresentedbytheirparentswhohadbecomethereal
privateoffendedparties.

3.InhibitionofJudgeYadao

TheprosecutionclaimsthatJudgeYadaocommittedgraveabuseofdiscretionin
failingtoinhibitherselffromhearingthecasesagainsttherespondents.
Therulesgoverningthedisqualificationofjudgesarefound,first,inSection1,
Rule137oftheRulesofCourt,whichprovides:
Sec.1.Disqualificationofjudges. Nojudgeorjudicialofficershallsitinanycasein
which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or
otherwise,orinwhichheisrelatedtoeitherpartywithinthesixthdegreeofconsanguinity
or
_______________
11Madrianv.Madrian,G.R.No.159374,July12,2007,527SCRA487;Thorntonv.Thornton,480Phil.
224;436SCRA550(2004).

280

280 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
affinity,ortocounselwithinthefourthdegree,computedaccordingtotherulesofthecivil
law,orinwhichhehasbeenexecutor,administrator,guardian,trusteeorcounsel,orin
whichhehaspresidedinanyinferiorcourtwhenhisrulingordecisionisthesubjectof
review,withoutthewrittenconsentofallpartiesininterest,signedbythemandentered
upontherecord.
Ajudgemay,intheexerciseofhissounddiscretion,disqualifyhimselffromsittingina
case,forjustorvalidreasonsotherthanthosementionedabove.

andinRule3.12,Canon3oftheCodeofJudicialConduct,whichstates:
Rule3.12.Ajudgeshouldtakenopartinaproceedingwherethejudgesimpartiality
mightreasonablybequestioned.Thesecasesincludeamongothers,proceedingswhere:
(a)the judge has personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the
proceeding;
xxxx
(e)thejudgeknowsthejudgesspouseorchildhasafinancialinterest,asheir,legatee,
creditor,fiduciary,orotherwise,inthesubjectmatterincontroversyorinapartytothe
proceeding,oranyotherinterestthatcouldbesubstantiallyaffectedbytheoutcomeofthe
proceeding.Ineveryinstance,thejudgeshallindicatethelegalreasonforinhibition.

ThefirstparagraphofSection1,Rule137andRule3.12,Canon3provideforthe
compulsorydisqualificationofajudgewhilethesecondparagraphofSection1,Rule
137providesforhisvoluntaryinhibition.
Thematterofvoluntaryinhibitionisprimarilyamatterofconscienceandsound
discretion on the part of the judge since he is in a better position todetermine
whetheragivensituationwouldunfairlyaffecthisattitudetowardsthepartiesor
theircases.Themereimputationofbias,partiality,andprejudgmentisnotenough
ground,absentclearandconvincingevidencethatcanovercomethepresumption
thatthejudgewillperformhisdutiesaccordingtolawwithoutfearorfavor.
281
VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 281
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
TheCourtwillnotdisqualifyajudgebasedonspeculationsandsurmisesorthe
adversenatureofthejudgesrulingstowardsthosewhoseektoinhibithim.12
Here,theprosecutioncontendsthatJudgeYadaoshouldhaveinhibitedherself
forimproperlysubmittingtoapublicinterviewonthedayfollowingherdismissalof
thecriminalcasesagainsttherespondents.ButtheCourtfindsnothingbasically
reprehensibleinsuchinterview.JudgeYadaosdismissalofthemultiplemurder
casesarousednaturalpublicinterestandstirredthemediaintofrenzyforcorrect
information.JudgeYadaosimplyaccommodated,notsought,therequestsforsuch
aninterviewtoclarifythebasisofherorder.Thereisnoallegationthatshegave
outfalseinformation.Tobesure,theprosecutionneveronceaccusedherofmaking
publicdisclosuresregardingthemeritsofthosecasespriortoherorderdismissing
suchcases.
TheprosecutionalsoassailsasconstitutingbiasJudgeYadaosstatementthata
very close relative stood to bepromoted if she was to issue a warrant of arrest
against the respondents. But this statement merely shows that she cannot be
dissuaded by some relative who is close to her. How can this constitute bias?
Besides,thereisnoevidencethatthecloserelativeshereferredtowasherspouse
orchildwhichwouldbeamandatorygroundfordisqualification.
Further, the prosecution claims that Judge Yadao prejudged its motion for
reconsideration when she said in her comment to the administrative complaint
againstherthatsuchmotionwasmerelytheprosecutionsstubborninsistenceon
the existence of probable cause against the respondents. The comment could of
coursenotberegardedasaprejudgmentoftheissuesinceshehadpreciselyalready
issuedanorderholdingthatthecomplainantsevidencefailedtoestablishprobable
causeagainsttherespondents.Andthereis
_______________
12SpousesAbrajanov.HeirsofAugustoF.Salas,Jr.,517Phil.663,674675;482SCRA476,487488
(2006).

282
282 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
nothingwrongaboutcharacterizingamotionforreconsiderationasastubborn
position taken by the party who filed it. Judge Yadao did not characterize the
motionaswhollyunjustifiedatthetimeshefiledhercomment.

4.DismissaloftheCriminalCases

TheprosecutionclaimsthatJudgeYadaogravelyabusedherdiscretionwhenshe
set the motions for determination of probable cause for hearing, deferred the
issuanceofwarrantsofarrest,andallowedthedefensetomarkitsevidenceand
argueitscase.TheprosecutionstressesthatunderSection6,Rule112oftheRules
ofCourtJudgeYadaosdutywastodetermineprobablecauseforthepurposeof
issuing the arrest warrants solely on the basis of the investigating prosecutors
resolutionaswellastheinformationsandtheirsupportingdocuments.And,ifshe
hadsomedoubtsastotheexistenceofprobablecause,therulesrequiredherto
order the investigating prosecutor to present additional evidence to support the
findingofprobablecausewithinfivedaysfromnotice.
Ratherthantakelimitedaction,saidtheprosecution,JudgeYadaodugupand
adopted the Ombudsmans findings when the latter conducted its preliminary
investigation of the crime of robbery in 1996. Judge Yadao gave weight to the
affidavitssubmittedinthatearlierpreliminaryinvestigationwhensuchdocuments
areproperforpresentationduringthetrialofthecases.Theprosecutionaddedthat
theaffidavitsofP/SInsp.AbelardoRamosandSPO1WilmorB.Medesreasonably
explainedthepriorinconsistentaffidavitstheysubmittedbeforetheOmbudsman.
Thegeneralruleofcourseisthatthejudgeisnotrequired,whendetermining
probablecausefortheissuanceofwarrantsofarrests,toconductadenovohearing.
Thejudgeonlyneedstopersonallyreviewtheinitialdeterminationoftheprosecu
283
VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 283
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
torfindingaprobablecausetoseeifitissupportedbysubstantialevidence. 13
Buthere,theprosecutionconcededthattheirownwitnessestriedtoexplainin
theirnewaffidavitstheinconsistentstatementsthattheyearliersubmittedtothe
OfficeoftheOmbudsman.Consequently,itwasnotunreasonableforJudgeYadao,
forthepurposeofdeterminingprobablecausebasedonthoseaffidavits,toholda
hearingandexaminetheinconsistentstatementsandrelateddocumentsthatthe
witnessesthemselvesbroughtupandwerepartoftherecords.Besides,shereceived
nonewevidencefromtherespondents.14
Thepublicprosecutorsubmittedthefollowingaffidavitsanddocumentsalong
withthecriminalinformationstoenableJudgeYadaotodeterminethepresenceof
probablecauseagainsttherespondents:
1.P/Insp.YsmaelS.YusaffidavitofMarch24,2001 15inwhichhesaidthaton
May17,1995respondentCanson,NCRCommandHead,orderedhimtoformtwo
teamsthatwouldgoaftersuspectedKuratongBalelengGangmemberswhowere
seenattheSupervilleSubdivisioninParaaqueCity.Yuheadedtheassaultteam
while Marlon Sapla headed the perimeter defense. After the police team
apprehended eight men inside the safe house, it turned them over to their
investigatingunit.Thefollowingday,Yujustlearnedthatthemenandthreeothers
werekilledinashootoutwiththepoliceinCommonwealthAvenueinQuezonCity.
2.P/SInsp.AbelardoRamosaffidavitofMarch24,2001 16inwhichhesaidthat
he was part of the perimeter defense during the Superville operation. After the
assaultteamapprehendedeightmalesuspects,itbroughtthemtoCamp
_______________
13AAAv.Carbonell,supranote10,atpp.508509;DeJoyav.JudgeMarquez,516Phil.717,722;481
SCRA376,381(2006).
14Rollo,Vol.I,pp.235251.
15Id.,atpp.600601.
16Id.,atpp.632634.

284
284 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
Crameintwovans.RamosthenwenttotheofficeofrespondentZubia,TMCHead,
where he saw respondents Lacson, Acop, Laureles, Villacorte and other police
officers.
AccordingtoRamos,Zubiasaidthattheeightsuspectsweretobebroughtto
CommonwealthAvenueandkilledinasupposedshootoutandthatthisactionhad
beenclearedwithhigherauthorities,towhichremarkLacsonnoddedasasignof
approval.BeforeRamosleftthemeeting,Lacsonsupposedlytoldhim,bakamay
mabuhaypadiyan.RamosthenboardedanL300vanwithhismenandfourmale
suspects.IntheearlymorningofMay18,1995,theyexecutedtheplanandgunned
downthesuspects.Afewminuteslater,P/SInsp.GlennG.Dumlaoandhismen
arrivedandclaimedresponsibilityfortheincident.
3.SPO1WilmorB.MedesaffidavitofApril24,2001 17inwhichhecorroborated
Ramosstatements.Medessaidthathebelongedtothesameteamthatarrestedthe
eightmalesuspects.HedrovetheL300vaningoingtoCommonwealthAvenue
wherethesuspectswerekilled.
4.Mario C. Enads affidavit of August 8, 1995 18in which he claimed having
served as TMC civilian agent. At around noon of May 17, 1995, he went to
Superville Subdivision together with respondents Dumlao, Tannagan, and Nuas.
DumlaotoldEnadtostayinthecarandobservewhatwentoninthehouseunder
surveillance.Laterthat night,other policeofficers arrived andapprehended the
meninthehouse.Enadwentinandsawsixmenlyingonthefloorwhiletheothers
werehandcuffed.EnadandhiscompanionsleftSucatintheearlymorningofMay
18,1995.Hefellasleepalongthewaybutwasawakenbygunshots.HesawDumlao
and other police officers fire their guns at the L300 van containing the
apprehendedsuspects.
_______________
17Id.,atpp.665666.
18Id.,atpp.667675.

285
VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 285
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
5.SPO2 Noel P. Senos affidavit of May 31, 2001 19in which he corroborated
whatRamossaid.SenoclaimedthathewaspartoftheadvancepartyinSuperville
SubdivisionandwasalsoinCommonwealthAvenuewhenthesuspectedmembers
oftheKuratongBalelengGangwerekilled.
6.ThePNPABRITGAfterOperationsReportofMay31,1995 20whichnarrated
theeventsthattookplaceonMay17and18,1995.Thisreportwassubmittedby
Lacson,Zubia,AcopandCanson.
7.ThePNPMedicoLegalReports21whichstatedthatthesuspectedmembersof
theKuratongBalelengGangtestednegativeforgunpowdernitrates.
TheCourtagreeswithJudgeYadaothattheaboveaffidavitsandreports,taken
togetherwiththeotherdocumentsofrecord,failtoestablishprobablecauseagainst
therespondents.
First.Evidently,thecaseagainstrespondentsrestsonthetestimonyofRamos,
corroborated by those of Medes, Enad, and Seno, who supposedly heard the
commanders of the various units plan the killing of theKuratong BalelengGang
members somewhere in Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and actually
executesuchplan.Yustestimonyislimitedtothecaptureofthegangmembersand
goesnofurther.Hedidnotseethemkilled.
Second. Respecting the testimonies of Ramos, Medes, Enad, and Seno, the
prosecutionsownevidencethePNPABRITGsAfterOperationsReportofMay31,
1995showsthatthesementooknopartintheoperationsagainstthe Kuratong
BalelengGang members. The report included a comprehensive list of police
personnel from Task Force Habagat (Lacson), Traffic Management Command
(Zubia),
_______________
19Id.,atpp.676680.
20Id.,atpp.624631.
21Id.,atpp.618622;Vol.II,pp.685706.

286
286 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
CriminalInvestigationCommand(Acop),andNationalCapitalRegionCommand
(Canson)whowereinvolved.ThenamesofRamos,Medes,Enad,andSenowerenot
onthatlist.Notably,onlyYusname,amongthenewsetofwitnesses,wasonthat
list. Since an afterbattle report usually serves as basis for commendations and
promotions,anyomittednamewouldhardlyhavegoneunchallenged.
Third.Ramos,whosestoryappearedtobethemostsignificantevidenceagainst
therespondents,submittedinthecourseofthepreliminaryinvestigationthatthe
OfficeoftheOmbudsmanconductedinarelatedrobberychargeagainstthepolice
officersinvolvedacounteraffidavit.Heclaimedinthatcounteraffidavitthathe
was neither in Superville Subdivision nor Commonwealth Avenue during
theKuratongBalelengoperationssincehewasinBulacanonMay17,1995andat
hishomeonMay18.22Notably,Medesclaimedinajointcounteraffidavitthathe
wasondutyattheTMCheadquartersatCampCrameonMay17and18. 23
Fourth.TheOfficeoftheOmbudsman,lookingatthewholepictureandgiving
credence to Ramos and Medes statements, dismissed the robbery case. More, it
excludedRamosfromthegroupofofficersthatitchargedwiththemurderofthe
suspectedmembersoftheKuratongBalelengGang.Underthecircumstances,the
Court cannot be less skeptical than Judge Yadao was in doubting the sudden
reversalaftersixyearsoftestimonyofthesewitnesses.
Ofcourse,Yumayhavetakenpartinthesubjectoperationbut,ashenarrated,
his role was limited to cornering and arresting the suspectedKuratong
BalelengGang members at their safe house in Superville Subdivision. After his
teamturnedthesuspectsovertoaninvestigatingunit,henolongerknewwhat
happenedtothem.
_______________
22Id.,Vol.III,pp.20762078.
23Id.,atpp.20812082.

287
VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 287
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
Fifth. True, the PNP MedicoLegal Reports showed that theKuratong
BalelengGangmemberstestednegativeforgunpowdernitrates.Butthisfinding
cannothaveanylegalsignificanceforthepurposeofthepreliminaryinvestigation
of the murder cases against the respondents absent sufficient proof that they
probablytookpartingunningthosegangmembersdown.
Theprosecutionpointsoutthat,ratherthandismissthecriminalactionoutright,
Judge Yadaoshouldhaveordered thepanel ofprosecutors topresent additional
evidencepursuanttoSection6,Rule112oftheRulesofCourtwhichprovides:
Sec.6.Whenwarrantofarrestmayissue.(a)BytheRegionalTrialCourt.Within
ten(10)daysfromthefilingofthecomplaintorinformation,thejudgeshallpersonally
evaluatetheresolutionoftheprosecutoranditssupportingevidence.Hemayimmediately
dismissthecaseiftheevidenceonrecordclearlyfailstoestablishprobablecause.Ifhe
finds probable cause, he shall issue a warrant of arrest or a commitment order if the
accused has already been arrested pursuant to a warrant issued by the judge who
conductedthepreliminaryinvestigationorwhenthecomplaintorinformationwasfiled
pursuanttosection7ofthisRule.Incaseofdoubtontheexistenceofprobablecause,the
judgemayordertheprosecutortopresentadditionalevidencewithinfive(5)daysfrom
noticeandtheissuemustberesolvedbythecourtwithinthirty(30)daysfromthefilingof
thecomplaintofinformation.

Section6,Rule112oftheRulesofCourtgivesthetrialcourtthreeoptionsupon
thefilingofthecriminalinformation:(1)dismissthecaseiftheevidenceonrecord
clearlyfailedtoestablishprobablecause;(2)issueawarrantofarrestifitfinds
probablecause;and(3)ordertheprosecutortopresentadditionalevidencewithin
fivedaysfromnoticeincaseofdoubtastotheexistenceofprobablecause.24
_______________
24Ongv.Genio,G.R.No.182336,December23,2009,609SCRA188,197.

288
288 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
But the option to order the prosecutor to present additional evidence is not
mandatory.Thecourtsfirstoptionundertheaboveisforittoimmediatelydismiss
thecaseiftheevidenceonrecordclearlyfailstoestablishprobablecause.Thatis
thesituationhere:theevidenceonrecordclearlyfailstoestablishprobablecause
againsttherespondents.
Itisonlyincaseofdoubtontheexistenceofprobablecausethatthejudgemay
ordertheprosecutortopresentadditionalevidencewithinfivedaysfromnotice.But
thatisnotthecasehere.DiscountingtheaffidavitsofRamos,Medes,Enad,and
Seno, nothing is left in the record that presents some doubtful probability that
respondentscommittedthecrimecharged.PNPDirectorLeandroMendozasought
therevivalofthecasesin2001,sixyearsafterithappened.Itwouldhavebeen
ridiculoustoentertainthebeliefthatthepolicecouldproducenewwitnessesinthe
fivedaysrequiredoftheprosecutionbytherules.
Intheabsenceofprobablecausetoindictrespondentsforthecrimeofmultiple
murder,theyshouldbeinsulatedfromthetribulations,expensesandanxietyofa
publictrial.25

5.PoliciesAdoptedforConductofCourtHearing

TheprosecutionclaimsthatJudgeYadaoarbitrarilyrecognizedonlyonepublic
prosecutorandoneprivateprosecutorforalltheoffendedpartiesbutallowedeach
of the counsels representing the individual respondents to be heard during the
proceedingsbeforeit.Shealsounjustifiablyprohibitedtheprosecutionsuseoftape
recorders.
ButSection5,Rule135oftheRulesofCourtgivesthetrialcourtampleinherent
and administrative powers to effectively control the conduct of its proceedings.
Thus:
_______________
25Santosv.Orda,Jr.,supranote8,atpp.386387.

289
VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 289
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
Sec.5.Inherentpowersofcourt.Everycourtshallhavepower:
xxxx
(b)Toenforceorderinproceedingsbeforeit,orbeforeapersonorpersonsempowered
toconductajudicialinvestigationunderitsauthority;
xxxx
(d)Tocontrol,infurtheranceofjustice,theconductofitsministerialofficers,andofall
otherpersonsinanymannerconnectedwithacasebeforeit,ineverymannerappertaining
thereto;
xxxx
(g)Toamendandcontrolitsprocessandorderssoastomakethemconformabletolaw
andjustice;
xxxx

ThereisnothingarbitraryaboutJudgeYadaospolicyofallowingonlyonepublic
prosecutorandoneprivateprosecutortoaddressthecourtduringthehearingfor
determination of probable cause but permitting counsels representing the
individualaccusedtodoso.Acriminalactionisprosecutedunderthedirectionand
controlofthepublicprosecutor.26Theburdenofestablishingprobablecauseagainst
alltheaccusedisuponhim,notupontheprivateprosecutorswhoseinterestslie
solely in their clients damages claim. Besides, the public and the private
prosecutorstakeacommonpositionontheissueofprobablecause.Ontheother
hand,eachoftheaccusedisentitledtoadoptdefensesthatarepersonaltohim.
As for the prohibition against the prosecutions private recording of the
proceedings, courts usually disallows such recordings because they create an
unnecessarydistractionandifallowed,couldprompteverylawyer,party,witness,
orreporterhavingsomeinterestintheproceedingtoinsistonbeinggiventhesame
privilege.Sincetheprosecutionmakes
_______________
26MobiliaProducts,Inc.v.Umezawa,493Phil.85,106;452SCRA736,755(2005).

290
290 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
noclaimthattheofficialrecordingoftheproceedingsbythecourtsstenographer
hasbeeninsufficient,theCourtfindsnograveabuseofdiscretioninJudgeYadaos
policyagainstsuchextraneousrecordings.
WHEREFORE,theCourtDISMISSESthispetitionandAFFIRMSthefollowing
assailedOrdersoftheRegionalTrialCourtofQuezonCity,Branch81inCriminal
Cases01101102to12:
1.theOrderdatedNovember12,2003whichdeniedtheprayerforreraffle,
grantedthemotionsfordeterminationofprobablecause,anddismissedthe
criminalcases;
2.the Order dated January 16, 2004 which granted the motion of the
respondentsfortheimmediateresolutionofthethreependingincidentsbefore
thecourt;
3.theOrderdatedJanuary21,2004whichdeniedthemotiontorecuseandthe
urgentsupplementalmotionforcompulsorydisqualification;
4.the Order dated January 22, 2004 which denied the motion for
reconsiderationoftheOrderdatedNovember12,2003;and
5.the Order dated January 26, 2004 which denied the motion for
reconsiderationoftheJanuary16,2004Order.
SOORDERED.
Sereno(C.J.),Velasco,Jr.,LeonardoDeCastro,Brion,Peralta,Bersamin,Del
Castillo,Villarama,Jr.,Perez,Mendoza,ReyesandPerlasBernabe,JJ.,concur.
Carpio,J.,Nopart,priorinhibitioninrelatedcases.

Petition dismissed, orders of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Br. 81
affirmed.
291
VOL. 685, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 291
People vs. Dela Torre-Yadao
Notes.Pursuanttothedoctrineofhierarchyofcourts,directresortfromthe
lowercourtstotheSupremeCourtwillnotbeentertainedunlesstheappropriate
remedysoughtcannotbeobtainedinthelowertribunals.(Latorrevs.Latorre,617
SCRA88[2010])
Supreme Court sanctioned momentary deviation from the principle of the
hierarchy of courts, and took original cognizance of cases raising issues of
paramountpublicimportance.(AquinoIIIvs.CommissiononElections,617SCRA
623[2010])
o0o