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G.R. 169509 *Date of promulgation not indicated The Supreme Court ruled that double jeopardy DID NOT attach to the amended
information. Her first arraignment was only conditional, and she was fully aware
CABO vs. SANDIGANBAYAN of one specific condition which waived her right to double jeopardy. Double
jeopardy was also held not to be applicable to the case because its requisites
Petitioner: were not met: The original information was not sufficient in substance and form,
and trial was not dismissed/terminated because the motion to quash was
Jocelyn E. Cabo
denied; the complaint was simply amended.

Respondents: The amendment in the second information was only as to form and NOT substance,
The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division, The Special Prosecutor of the therefore, it was allowed by law.
Ombudsman, Commission on Audit Region 8

Ponente: Ynares-Santiago, J.
On June 24, 2000, Cabo and Bonifacio Balahay, Mayor of Barobo, Surigao
Cabo was charged with violation of RA 3019 for allegedly bribing her co-accused. del Sur, were charged for violation of Section 3(b) of RA 3019. In the
She claimed to have been deprived of due process, so the Sandiganbayan (SB) information, it was alleged that Mayor Balahay received from Cabo the
ordered for the reinvestigation of her case. While the investigation was ongoing, amount of P104,000, and that said mayor intervened in the undertaking
she filed for a motion to travel abroad. This was granted by the SB in exchange
by Cabos company (OIDCI) for consultancy services with the Municipality
for her conditional arraignment, in which she pleaded NOT GUILTY. One of the
conditions of her arraignment was that, IF the complaint was amended, she
of Barobo.
automatically waived her right to object to the amendment and her right
against double jeopardy. Her arraignment was set on another date, and for this Cabo claimed that she was deprived of her right to preliminary
she filed another motion reiterating her previous plea. investigation so she filed a motion for reinvestigation. The
Sandiganbayan (SB) granted her motion and directed the Special
Meanwhile, her co-accused, Municipal Mayor Balahay moved to quash the Prosecutor to conduct one.
information on the ground that the facts did not constitute the crime charged.
The SB did not grant his motion, but ordered the amendment of the original
Meanwhile, Cabo filed another motion seeking permission to travel
complaint, of which the prosecution subsequently complied with.
abroad for a family vacation. The SB granted it in an order dated May
2004, which stated that, in light of the case still being under
Cabo thus filed for a motion to cancel her second arraignment, on the ground
that the amendment was done after she had entered her plea, and that since she reinvestigation, and considering that she had not yet been arraigned,
had already reiterated her plea of not guilty, double jeopardy had already Cabo expressly consented to the order that she be arraigned
attached. conditionally. [CONDITIONS:] If it is found that there is no probable cause
to proceed against her, the arraignment will have no effect.
However, if there is a need to amend the present information, then
Cabo would have then waived her right to object under Section 14,

Castelo Gana Gutierrez Lao Lopez Miclat Mercado Sales Salagubang Tan Tecson Valdez Varela Villanueva

Rule 110 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure as well as her

constitutional right against double jeopardy. SB denied petitioners motion. It held that her arraignment on the
original information was only conditional in nature to accommodate her
When she was arraigned, she was duly assisted by her counsel and request to travel abroad so that she could be tried in absentia. She agreed
pleaded NOT GUILTY to the offense charged. She also duly affixed her to the condition that should the information be amended, she is deemed
signature in the minutes to signify her conformity to the conditional to waive her right to object to the amendment and to waive her
arraignment and the legal consequence thereof. constitutional protection against double jeopardy. She was considered
estopped from raising her objection to the amended complaint.
Thereafter, the Special Prosecutor concluded his reinvestigation and
found probable cause to charge her with the violation of RA 3019. The SB Petitioner filed an MR on the ground that double jeopardy had set in.
then set a new schedule for arraignment in October 2004. On the day She asserted that her conditional arraignment had been confirmed by
before arraignment, Cabo filed a motion (reiterate-not-guilty motion) her October motion (reiterate-not-guilty motion) reiterating her plea
praying that she be allowed to reiterate her previous plea in the of not guilty. Thus, her arraignment on the original information was no
conditional arraignment so that she may be excused from attending the longer conditional, and double jeopardy must consequently attach.
arraignment the next day. SB, however, did not act on her said motion.
SB denied her resolution. This prompted her to file the petition for review
Balahay, on the other hand, filed a motion to quash the information on on certiorari.
the ground that the same did not charge any offense. It failed to allege
that Balahay had to intervene in the said contract under the law, in his
official capacity as mayor. ISSUE:

The SB sustained Balahays contention that the information was defective W/N double jeopardy had attached on the basis of the NOT GUILTY plea
for lack of necessary facts, but it did not immediately quash the (which petitioner reiterated in her October 2004 motion).
complaint. Instead, the court, in accordance with Section 4, Rule 117 of
the Rules of Court, ordered only the amendment of the information and
ordered the prosecution to correct the defect. The amended information
was filed in February 2005 containing all the necessary elements of the
crime charged.
Double jeopardy DID NOT attach. Petitioners assertions must fail.

Cabo was notified of her re-arraignment in April 2005, but she filed a
Motion to Cancel Second Arraignment on the ground that she could no
longer be re-arraigned on the amended information since amendment of RATIO:
the information based on the substance is not allowed after the plea has
been made. Sandiganbayans practice of conditionally arraigning the accused has
no legal basis. It was only in People vs. Espinosa that the Court

Castelo Gana Gutierrez Lao Lopez Miclat Mercado Sales Salagubang Tan Tecson Valdez Varela Villanueva

recognized conditional arraignment, provided that the conditions The amended information did not change the nature of the offense,
attached are unmistakable, express, informed and enlightened. which was for violation of Section 3(b) of RA 3019, but it only made the
Otherwise, the arraignment was considered simple and conditional. facts more precise. The first information only alleged that Balahay
committed the offense with the use of his influence as public official
The SB was declared to have unequivocally laid down petitioners and together with petitioner, which was too vague. The amended
conditions for arraignment. Among those specified was that if there was information now stated that he did so in the performance of his official
a need to amend the original information, she forfeits her right to object functions, taking advantage of his official positionwith grave
and her RIGHT TO DOUBLE JEOPARDY. She was assisted by counsel and abusewhile conspiringwith petitioner. The amended information
thereby informed of the legal consequences of such conditions. also simply specified that Balahay received the money from petitioner
for his own benefit and use.
With regard to her formal manifestation reiterating her not guilty plea
(reiterate-not-guilty motion), there was no showing that In People vs. Casey, tests to determine whether defendant is prejudiced
Sandiganybayan affirmed her motion. Section 1(b), Rule 116 of the Rules by the amendment of the information were set forth, among them are:
of Court explicitly requires the accused to be present at arraignment and
personally enter his plea. If the defenses of the accused in the original information are still available
in the amended information, and/or if the amended information does
With respect to the applicability of double jeopardy to the case, two not change the nature of the offense chargedthe amendment is one
requisites were absent: of FORM AND NOT SUBSTANCE, therefore not prohibited.

The first requisite of double jeopardy was not present since the original Section 14, Rule 110 is also not necessary, as petitioner suggested since
information failed to allege the essential elements for the violations there was no mistake in the charging of the proper offense; the
allegedly committed by petitioner and her co-accused. There was also prosecution merely failed to allege the appropriate facts necessary to
(fourth requisite). The SB merely ordered an AMENDMENT. According
to Section 4, Rule 117, the prosecution is given an opportunity to amend
the defective information if the facts charged do not constitute an FINAL VERDICT:
offense. It is only when the prosecution fails to properly amend the
information that the motion to quash be granted. Petition DISMISSED.

Contrary to petitioners submission, the original information can be cured

by amendment even after she had pleaded thereto, since the
amendments ordered by the court below were only as to matters of
form and not of substance (Section 14, Rule 110).

Castelo Gana Gutierrez Lao Lopez Miclat Mercado Sales Salagubang Tan Tecson Valdez Varela Villanueva


(1)there is a complaint or information or other formal charge sufficient in form and
substance to sustain a conviction;
(2) the same is filed before a court of competent jurisdiction;
Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or (3) there is a valid arraignment or plea to the charges; and
benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction
between the Government and any other part, wherein the public officer in his official (4) the accused is convicted or acquitted or the case is otherwise dismissed or
terminated without his express consent.
capacity has to intervene under the law.
Business Manager of Orient Integrated Development Consultancy, Inc. (OIDCI), a The test as to whether a defendant is prejudiced by the amendment of an information
consultancy group charged with conducting feasibility study for the community-based has been said to be whether a defense under the information as it originally stood would
resource management project of Barobo, Surigao del Sur. be available after the amendment is made, and whether any evidence defendant might
have would be equally applicable to the information in the one form as in the other. A
look into Our jurisprudence on the matter shows that an amendment to an information
introduced after the accused has pleaded not guilty thereto, which does not change the
SECTION 4, RULE 117 OF THE RULES OF COURT nature of the crime alleged therein, does not expose the accused to a charge which could
call for a higher penalty, does not affect the essence of the offense or cause surprise or
If the motion to quash is based on an alleged defect of the complaint or information which
can be cured by amendment, the court shall order that an amendment be made.
deprive the accused of an opportunity to meet the new averment had each been held to
be one of form and not of substance not prejudicial to the accused and, therefore, not
If it is based on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense,
prohibited by Section 13 (now Section 14), Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Court.
the prosecution shall be given by the court an opportunity to correct the defect by
amendment. The motion shall be granted if the prosecution fails to make the
or the complaint or information still suffers from the same defect despite the


That on or about 08 August 2000, in the Municipality of Barobo, Surigao Del Sur,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused BONIFACIO C. BALAHAY, then Mayor of the Municipality of Barobo, Surigao
Del Sur, a high ranking public official, in the performance of his official functions, taking
advantage of his official position, with grave abuse of authority, and committing the
offense in relation to his office, conspiring and confederating with JOCELYN CABO, did
then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously receive and accept the amount of
(P104,162.31) for his own benefit or use from said JOCELYN CABO, Business Manager
of Orient Integrated Development Consultancy, Inc. (OIDC), a consultancy group
charged with conducting a feasibility study for the Community-Based Resource
Management Project of the Municipality of Barobo, with accused Cabo giving and
granting said amount to accused Balahay in consideration of the contract for said
feasibility study, which contract accused Balahay in his official capacity has to
intervene under the law. CONTRARY TO LAW.

Castelo Gana Gutierrez Lao Lopez Miclat Mercado Sales Salagubang Tan Tecson Valdez Varela Villanueva