LUZ M.

ZALDIVIA, petitioner,
vs.
HON. ANDRES B. REYES, JR., in his capacity as Acting Presiding Judge of the Regional
Trial Court, Fourth Judicial Region, Branch 76, San Mateo, Rizal, and PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, respondents.

CRUZ, J.:

The Court is asked to determine the applicable law specifying the prescriptive period for
violations of municipal ordinances.

The petitioner is charged with quarrying for commercial purposes without a mayor's permit in
violation of Ordinance No. 2, Series of 1988, of the Municipality of Rodriguez, in the Province of
Rizal.

The offense was allegedly committed on May 11, 1990. 1 The referral-complaint of the police
was received by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Rizal on May 30, 1990. 2 The
corresponding information was filed with the Municipal Trial Court of Rodriguez on October 2,
1990. 3

The petitioner moved to quash the information on the ground that the crime had prescribed, but
the motion was denied. On appeal to the Regional Trial Court of Rizal, the denial was sustained
by the respondent judge. 4

In the present petition for review on certiorari, the petitioner first argues that the charge against
her is governed by the following provisions of the Rule on Summary Procedure:

Sec. 1. Scope — This rule shall govern the procedure in the Metropolitan Trial
Courts, the Municipal Trial Courts, and the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in the
following cases:

xxx xxx xxx

B. Criminal Cases:

1. Violations of traffic laws, rules and regulations;

2. Violations of rental law;

3. Violations of municipal or city ordinances; (JADEWELL case)

4. All other criminal cases where the penalty prescribed by law for the offenses
charged does not exceed six months imprisonment, or a fine of one thousand
pesos (P1,000.00), or both, irrespective of other imposable penalties, accessory
or otherwise, or of the civil liability arising therefrom. . . . (Emphasis supplied.)

xxx xxx xxx

as amended. the corresponding complaint shall be signed and sworn to before the fiscal by the offended party. Violations penalized by special acts shall. That when the offense cannot be prosecuted de oficio. prescribe in accordance with the following rules: . 1. 3. the prosecution contends that the prescriptive period was suspended upon the filing of the complaint against her with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor. Sec. Agreeing with the respondent judge." reading as follows: Sec. Violations penalized by municipal ordinances shall prescribe after two months. Provided. from the discovery thereof and the institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation and punishment. 3326. providing as follows: Sec. by filing the complaint with the appropriate officer for the purpose of conducting the requisite preliminary investigation therein. or a complaint with the fiscal's office. . Sec. 2. the Solicitor General also invokes Section 1. However. entitled "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. She then invokes Act. b) For offenses falling under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. . the complaint may be filed only with the office of the fiscal. such cases shall be commenced only by information. in Metropolitan Manila and other chartered cities. the charge against her should have been dismissed on the ground of prescription. How commenced. 1. No. special acts shall be acts defining and penalizing violations of law not included in the Penal Code. Rule 110 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. That in Metropolitan Manila and chartered cities. For its part. . and shall begin to run again if the proceedings are dismissed for reasons not constituting jeopardy. the institution of criminal action shall be as follows: a) For offenses falling under the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court. Sec. Prescription shall begin to run from the day of the commission of the violation of the law. How Instituted — For offenses not subject to the rule on summary procedure in special cases. The prescription shall be interrupted when proceedings are instituted against the guilty person. and if the same be not known at the time. by filing the complaint directly with the said courts. unless provided in such acts. 9. (Emphasis supplied) Her conclusion is that as the information was filed way beyond the two-month statutory period from the date of the alleged commission of the offense. however. further. — The prosecution of criminal cases falling within the scope of this Rule shall be either by complaint or by information filed directly in court without need of a prior preliminary examination or preliminary investigation: (JADEWELL case) Provided. For the purposes of this Act.

has arrived at the conclusion that the true doctrine is. Third. (Emphasis supplied. As it is clearly provided in the Rule on Summary Procedure that among the offenses it covers are violations of municipal or city ordinances. even if the court where the complaint or information is filed can not try the case on its merits. . which was added on October 1. according to the respondent. 1983. and in order to provide guidance for Bench and Bar. and should be. in declaring that the period of prescription "shall be interrupted by the filing of the complaint or information" without distinguishing whether the complaint is filed in the court for preliminary examination or investigation merely. after mature consideration. it is unjust to deprive the injured party of the right to obtain vindication on account of delays that are not under his control. two months before the promulgation of the Rule on Summary Procedure on August 1. the one established by the decisions holding that the filing of the complaint in the Municipal Court." which plainly signifies that the section does not apply to offenses which are subject to summary procedure. its actuations already represent the initial step of the proceedings against the offender. or for action on the merits. including those falling under the Rule on Summary Procedure. It is important to note that this decision was promulgated on May 30. The respondent maintains that the filing of the complaint with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor comes under the phrase "such institution" and that the phrase "in all cases" applies to all cases. "for offenses not subject to the rule on summary procedure in special cases. Second. and does. it should follow that the charge against the petitioner. The phrase "in all cases" appearing in the last paragraph obviously refers to the cases covered by the Section. 1985. That section meaningfully begins with the phrase. except for the last paragraph. Section 1 of Rule 110 is new. those offenses not governed by the Rule on Summary Procedure. In all cases such institution interrupts the period of prescription of the offense charged. 1983. this Court has re-examined the question and. which is for violation of a municipal ordinance of Rodriguez. to discover the true legislative intent. Court of Appeals: 5 In view of this diversity of precedents. even if it be merely for purposes of preliminary examination or investigation. that is. The said paragraph. having been incorporated therein with the revision of the Rules on Criminal Procedure on January 1. the text of Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code. was an adoption of the following dictum in Francisco v. is governed by that rule and not Section 1 of Rule 110. This interpretation conforms to the canon that words in a statute should be read in relation to and not isolation from the rest of the measure. should. Several reasons buttress this conclusion: first. without distinction. On the other hand. interrupt the period of prescription of the criminal responsibility. All that the victim of the offense may do on his part to initiate the prosecution is to file the requisite complaint. 1988. even if the court where the complaint or information is filed may only proceed to investigate the case.) Emphasis is laid on the last paragraph.

regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties. Section 5(5) of the Constitution. Under Section 9 of the Rule on Summary Procedure. the former should prevail as the special law. This means that the running of the prescriptive period shall be halted on the date the case is actually filed in court and not on any date before that. Prescription in criminal cases is a substantive right. as the offense involved was grave oral defamation punishable under the Revised Penal Code with arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period. increase or modify substantive rights" under Article VIII. No. 129. the prosecution in the instant case is for violation of a municipal ordinance. the case shall be deemed commenced only when it is filed in court. intentionally or not. 8 and is thus covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure. whether or not the prosecution decides to conduct a preliminary investigation. value. in the exercise of its rule- making power. or amount thereof. 3326 which says that the period of prescription shall be suspended "when proceedings are instituted against the guilty party. that possibility should not justify a misreading of the applicable rules beyond their obvious intent as reasonably deduced from their plain language. Provided. nature." 6 Both parties agree that this provision does not prevent the prosecutor from conducting a preliminary investigation if he wants to. That in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction where the imposable fine does not exceed twenty thousand pesos. At any rate. vesting in such courts: (2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment of not exceeding four years and two months. 7 Going back to the Francisco case. irrespective of kind. or a fine of not more than four thousand pesos. No. the latter must again yield because this Court." The proceedings referred to in Section 2 thereof are "judicial proceedings. he delays the institution of the necessary judicial proceedings until it is too late. we find it not irrelevant to observe that the decision would have been conformable to Section 1.Where paragraph (b) of the section does speak of "offenses falling under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. a crime may prescribe even if the complaint is filed seasonably with the prosecutor's office if. By contrast. or both such fine and imprisonment. including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon. However. it does. Rule 110. His contention is that we must not distinguish as the law does not distinguish. The remedy is not a distortion of the meaning of the rules but a rewording thereof to prevent the problem here sought to be corrected. the Court feels that if there be a conflict between the Rule on Summary Procedure and Section 1 of Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure. These offenses are not covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure. ." contrary to the submission of the Solicitor General that they include administrative proceedings. However. The Court realizes that under the above interpretation." the obvious reference is to Section 32(2) of B.P. for which the penalty cannot exceed six months. is not allowed to "diminish. This interpretation is in consonance with the afore-quoted Act No. And if there be a conflict between Act. As a matter of fact. "the complaint or information shall be filed directly in court without need of a prior preliminary examination or preliminary investigation. 3326 and Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure. however.

and the challenged Order dated October 2.'s (petitioner's) petition for certiorari and his subsequent motion for reconsideration.: This is a Petition for Review1 of the resolutions of the Court of Appeals dated 29 October 2004 and 21 March 2005 in CA G. DECISION TINGA. During the preliminary investigation.459. and ended two months thereafter.R.P.3 On 24 August 1995. the petition is GRANTED. It is so ordered. jointly issued in favor of petitioner three (3) checks in payment of the said loans. CAWILI. like petitioner. On 8 January 1993. G. which dismissed Luis Panaguiton.Our conclusion is that the prescriptive period for the crime imputed to the petitioner commenced from its alleged commission on May 11. petitioner filed a complaint against Cawili and Tongson4 for violating Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (B. as this was not a judicial proceeding. 1990. petitioner vs. either for insufficiency of funds or by the closure of the account. Rodrigo Cawili (Cawili) borrowed various sums of money amounting to P1.R. as culled from the records.. The judicial proceeding that could have interrupted the period was the filing of the information with the Municipal Trial Court of Rodriguez. only Tongson appeared and filed his counter-affidavit. follow. WHEREFORE. Upon presentment for payment on 18 March 1993. . 1990. TONGSON and RODRIGO G. Rizal. 3326.P. 1990. Criminal Case No.979. but this was done only on October 2. It was not interrupted by the filing of the complaint with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor on May 30. he was offered to be an officer of Roma Oil Corporation. all three (3) checks bore the signatures of both Cawili and Tongson. on July 11. respondents. Ramon C. he himself had filed several criminal cases against Cawili for violation of B. Tongson (Tongson). RAMON C. after the crime had already prescribed. 1990. 167571 November 25. 22)5 before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office. No. Significantly. is hereby DISMISSED on the ground of prescription. Cawili and his business associate. 90-089 in the Municipal Trial Court of Rodriguez. Petitioner made formal demands to pay the amounts of the checks upon Cawili on 23 May 1995 and upon Tongson on 26 June 1995. J.00 from petitioner. Jr. Moreover. he had lent various sums to Cawili and in appreciation of his services. but to no avail. He averred that he was not Cawili's business associate. the checks were dishonored. SP No. In 1992.6 Tongson claimed that he had been unjustly included as party-respondent in the case since petitioner had lent money to Cawili in the latter's personal capacity. 2008 LUIS PANAGUITON. in fact. 1991 is SET ASIDE. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. JR.2 The facts. Blg. 87119. in accordance with Section 1 of Act No.

Merceditas N. or on 20 January 1993 and 18 March 1993. Lelibet S. Blg. ruled in his favor and declared that the offense had not prescribed and that the filing of the complaint with the prosecutor's office interrupted the running of the prescriptive period citing Ingco v. 22 shall prescribe after four (4) years. In a letter-resolution dated 11 July 1997.15 Petitioner appealed to the DOJ. 17 the DOJ. ruled that the subject offense had already prescribed and . 22. Assistant City Prosecutor Ma. In this case. In her resolution. Blg. 3326. Zuño directed the City Prosecutor of Quezon City to conduct a reinvestigation of the case against Tongson and to refer the questioned signatures to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). stating that the offense had already prescribed pursuant to Act No. Sampaga (ACP Sampaga) dismissed the complaint against Tongson without referring the matter to the NBI per the Chief State Prosecutor's resolution. Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito R. considering that from 1993 to 1998. this time through then Undersecretary Ma.P.Blg.9 City Prosecutor III Eliodoro V. presumably acting on a motion for reconsideration filed by Tongson.P.16Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the DOJ resolution. Sandiganbayan. as the law contemplates judicial. ACP Sampaga found that Tongson had no dealings with petitioner. Blg. as amended.10 after finding that it was possible for Tongson to co-sign the bounced checks and that he had deliberately altered his signature in the pleadings submitted during the preliminary investigation. 3326. in a resolution dated 9 August 2004. Gutierrez. Teehankee. The filing of the complaint before the Quezon City Prosecutor on 24 August 1995 did not interrupt the running of the prescriptive period. dismissed the same. On 15 March 1999. through Undersecretary Manuel A.J. the alleged violation of B. To counter these allegations.P. and not administrative proceedings. ACP Sampaga stated that the order of the Chief State Prosecutor to refer the matter to the NBI could no longer be sanctioned under Section 3. Blg.21 However. On 3 April 2003. Petitioner filed a partial appeal before the Department of Justice (DOJ) even while the case against Cawili was filed before the proper court. Lara found probable cause only against Cawili and dismissed the charges against Tongson. 22 imputed to him had already prescribed. 22. Tongson denied that he had issued the bounced checks and pointed out that his signatures on the said checks had been falsified.18 Thus.19 On 8 July 2003. Tongson moved for the reconsideration of the resolution.22 the DOJ. 7 He also showed a copy of an affidavit of adverse claim wherein Tongson himself had claimed to be Cawili's business associate.12 which provides that violations penalized by B.8 In a resolution dated 6 December 1995. which were purportedly the same as the those appearing on the checks. more than four (4) years had already elapsed and no information had as yet been filed against Tongson.13 Moreover. the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City was directed to file three (3) separate informations against Tongson for violation of B. the City Prosecutor's Office filed an information20 charging petitioner with three (3) counts of violation of B.11 ACP Sampaga held that the case had already prescribed pursuant to Act No. petitioner presented several documents showing Tongson's signatures. the four (4)-year period started on the date the checks were dishonored. 22. Thus.14 Finally.P. But the DOJ. but his motion was denied for lack of merit. Rule 112 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure because the initiative should come from petitioner himself and not the investigating prosecutor.

31 . Blg. Reyes. First on the technical issues. 3326 applies to violations of special acts that do not provide for a prescriptive period for the offenses thereunder.P.P. In justifying its sudden turnabout. offenses prescribe in four (4) years in accordance with Act No. Jr. They claim that the offense of violation of B. 3326.. attributable to petitioner and the State.23 The DOJ also cited the case of Zaldivia v. 22.P. Besides. It also reiterates that the filing of a complaint with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City does not interrupt the running of the prescriptive period for violation of B. 3326. they claim that the long delay. Blg. violated their constitutional right to speedy disposition of cases. The Court of Appeals also noted that the 3 April 2003 resolution of the DOJ attached to the petition is a mere photocopy. He points out that this Court has held in a number of cases that a deficiency in the verification can be excused or dispensed with. the petition is patently without merit and the questions raised therein are too unsubstantial to require consideration. a special law which does not provide for its own prescriptive period. 22" against Tongson. 22 has already prescribed per Act No. Since B. attaching to said motion an amended Verification/Certification of Non-Forum Shopping. Blg. the defect being neither jurisdictional nor always fatal.P. Blg. Blg. 3326. 90 of the Revised Penal Code which governs the prescription of offenses penalized thereunder. and not Art.29 states that the Court of Appeals did not err in dismissing the petition for non-compliance with the Rules of Court.27Still. the Court of Appeals denied petitioner's motion. Cawili and Tongson submitted their comment. petitioner claims that the Court of Appeals committed grave error in dismissing his petition on technical grounds and in ruling that the petition before it was patently without merit and the questions are too unsubstantial to require consideration. The petition was dismissed by the Court of Appeals in view of petitioner's failure to attach a proper verification and certification of non-forum shopping. arguing that the Court of Appeals did not err in dismissing the petition for certiorari. the verification being intended simply to secure an assurance that the allegations in the pleading are true and correct and not a product of the imagination or a matter of speculation. in its comment. does not provide for the prescription of the offense it defines and punishes. 22. stating that subsequent compliance with the formal requirements would not per se warrant a reconsideration of its resolution. the DOJ explained that Act No. and not the one before the prosecutor's office. the Court of Appeals added. In addition.28 In the instant petition. are judicial proceedings.24 wherein the Supreme Court ruled that the proceedings referred to in Act No. The DOJ. It argues that under B.P.ordered "the withdrawal of the three (3) informations for violation of B. 3326 applies to it. as amended. 22. Act No. Petitioner thus filed a petition for certiorari25 before the Court of Appeals assailing the 9 August 2004 resolution of the DOJ. as a special act. 30 The petition is meritorious. Petitioner submits that the verification attached to his petition before the Court of Appeals substantially complies with the rules.26 Petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the appellate court's resolution.

the verification is merely a formal requirement intended to secure an assurance that matters which are alleged are true and correct–the court may simply order the correction of unverified pleadings or act on them and waive strict compliance with the rules in order that the ends of justice may be served. In the case at bar. Nevertheless. Republic Act (R. 3326. According to petitioner. petitioner notes. and shall begin to run again if the proceedings are dismissed for reasons not constituting jeopardy. Prescription shall begin to run from the day of the commission of the violation of the law. in declaring that the prescriptive period is tolled only upon filing of the information in court. 3326 applies to offenses under B. under Act No.36 wherein this Court ruled that the filing of the complaint with the fiscal's office for preliminary investigation suspends the running of the prescriptive period. An offense under B. from the discovery thereof and the institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation and punishment. Violations penalized by special acts shall. what is applicable in this case is Ingco v. The prescription shall be interrupted when proceedings are instituted against the guilty person. Petitioner also notes that the Ingco case similarly involved the violation of a special law.P.Indeed. (b) after four years for those punished by imprisonment for more than one month. hence. Blg.33 a certified true copy of which was attached as Annex "A. a violation of B. Reyes. the Court of Appeals committed a grievous mistake. 3019.35 a case involving the violation of a municipal ordinance. Petitioner assails the DOJ's reliance on Zaldivia v. is the law applicable to offenses under special laws which do not provide their own prescriptive periods.P. 22.37 He argues that sustaining the DOJ's and the Court of Appeals' pronouncements would result in grave injustice to him since the delays in the present case were clearly beyond his control. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Blg. We agree. A plain reading of the petition before the Court of Appeals shows that it seeks the annulment of the DOJ resolution dated 9 August 2004. Blg. from the discovery thereof. Now. 2.A. 3326."34 Obviously.38 There is no question that Act No. on the substantive aspects. We agree that Act.) No. unless otherwise provided in such acts. prescribe in accordance with the following rules: (a) x x x. we find that by attaching the pertinent verification to his motion for reconsideration. 22 prescribes in four (4) years from the commission of the offense or. Sandiganbayan. appropriately entitled An Act to Establish Prescription for Violations of Special Acts and Municipal Ordinances and to Provide When Prescription Shall Begin. we cannot uphold the . No. 22 merits the penalty of imprisonment of not less than thirty (30) days but not more than one year or by a fine. The pertinent provisions read: Section 1. Petitioner also submits that the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the petition on the ground that there was failure to attach a certified true copy or duplicate original of the 3 April 2003 resolution of the DOJ. (c) x xx Sec.32 as in the instant case. petitioner sufficiently complied with the verification requirement. if the same be not known at the time. and if the same be not known at the time.P. but less than two years.

position that only the filing of a case in court can toll the running of the prescriptive period. Parao and Parao45 that the first step taken in the investigation or examination of offenses partakes the nature of a judicial proceeding which suspends the prescription of the offense. Thus.52 another special law. In Ingco v. It must be pointed out that when Act No. even if the court where the complaint or information is filed may only proceed to investigate the case.A. thus: While it may be observed that the term "judicial proceedings" in Sec. even if the court where the complaint or information is filed cannot try the case on the merits. 3226 was approved on 4 December 1926 at a time when the function of conducting the preliminary investigation of criminal offenses was vested in the justices of the peace. Lim. in People v. should.50 which involved violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R. Interport Resources Corporation. 8293).47 we held that the filing of the complaint in the Municipal Court. Olarte.46 Subsequently. interrupt the period of prescription of the criminal responsibility. preliminary investigation of criminal offenses was conducted by justices of the peace. 3326 appears before "investigation and punishment" in the old law. 2 of Act No." 39 and the prevailing rule at the time was that once a complaint is filed with the justice of the peace for preliminary investigation. With this clarification. the term "proceedings" should now be understood either executive or judicial in character: executive when it involves the investigation phase and judicial when it refers to the trial and judgment stage.51 the Court ruled that the nature and purpose of the investigation conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission on violations of the Revised Securities Act.54 .44 These cases were followed by our declaration in People v. In addition. the phraseology in the law. the Court ruled that the prescriptive period is interrupted by the institution of proceedings for preliminary investigation against the accused. is equivalent to the preliminary investigation conducted by the DOJ in criminal cases.41 Act No. v. with the subsequent change in set-up whereby the investigation of the charge for purposes of prosecution has become the exclusive function of the executive branch. the prescription of the offense is halted. the prescriptive period should be interrupted. "institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation and punishment. which are both special laws. No.48 and hence. No. In the more recent case of Securities and Exchange Commission v. The following disquisition in the Interport Resources case53 is instructive. any kind of investigative proceeding instituted against the guilty person which may ultimately lead to his prosecution should be sufficient to toll prescription. 3326 is illuminating. 3019) and the Intellectual Property Code (R. thus.A. and does.43 is that the prescription of the offense is tolled once a complaint is filed with the justice of the peace for preliminary investigation inasmuch as the filing of the complaint signifies the institution of the criminal proceedings against the accused. et al.40 The historical perspective on the application of Act No. Sandiganbayan49 and Sanrio Company Limited v. even if it be merely for purposes of preliminary examination or investigation. and thus effectively interrupts the prescriptive period.S. Lazada42 and People v. Joson. its actuations already represent the initial step of the proceedings against the offender. as shown in the cases of U.. 3326 was passed on 4 December 1926. the prevailing rule at the time.

Aggrieved parties. 3326. The resolution of the Department of Justice dated 9 August 2004 is also ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. wherein petitioner filed his complaint-affidavit on 24 August 1995. Clearly. Blg. He went through the proper channels. within the prescribed periods. After all. Petitioner 's filing of his complaint- affidavit before the Office of the City Prosecutor on 24 August 1995 signified the commencement of the proceedings for the prosecution of the accused and thus effectively interrupted the prescriptive period for the offenses they had been charged under B. the delay was beyond petitioner's control. with the debunking of the claim of prescription there is no longer any impediment to the filing of the information against petitioner. since there is a definite finding of probable cause. The Department of Justice is ORDERED to REFILE the information against the petitioner.Indeed. an aggregate period of nine (9) years had elapsed.P. However. WHEREFORE. to rule otherwise would deprive the injured party the right to obtain vindication on account of delays that are not under his control. should not be allowed to suffer unnecessarily further simply because of circumstances beyond their control. 22.55 A clear example would be this case. only to suffer setbacks because of the DOJ's flip-flopping resolutions and its misapplication of Act No. from the time petitioner filed his complaint-affidavit with the Office of the City Prosecutor (24 August 1995) up to the time the DOJ issued the assailed resolution. well within the four (4)-year prescriptive period. Moreover. We rule and so hold that the offense has not yet prescribed. especially those who do not sleep on their rights and actively pursue their causes. he had already initiated the active prosecution of the case as early as 24 August 1995. . the petition is GRANTED. He likewise timely filed his appeals and his motions for reconsideration on the dismissal of the charges against Tongson. The resolutions of the Court of Appeals dated 29 October 2004 and 21 March 2005 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. like the accused's delaying tactics or the delay and inefficiency of the investigating agencies.