You are on page 1of 9

Nestor Tria

Ruling: NO. In arguing that the CA gravely abused its discretion when it affirmed the OPs dismissal of th

emurder charge against respondent, petitioner invoked our ruling in Crespo v. Mogul that any
dispositionof the case rests on the sound discretion of the court once an information has been filed with
it.

A refinement of petitioners understanding of the

Crespo ruling is in order. In Crespo, we ruled that

after the information has already been filed in court, the courts permission must be secured should the

fiscal find it proper that reinvestigation be made. Thereafter, the court shall consider and act upon
thefindings and recommendations of the fiscal.In Ledesma v. Court of Appeal we clarified that the
justice secretary is not precluded from exercising hispower of review over the investigating prosecutor
even after the information has already been filed in

court. However, the justice secretarys subsequent resolution withdrawing the information or

dismissing the case does not cause the court to lose jurisdiction over the case. In fact, the court is duty-
bound to exercise judicial discretion and its own independent judgment in assessing the merits of
theresulting motion to dismiss filed by the prosecution.

In resolving the issue of whether the CA gravely abused its discretion in affirming the OPs reversal of

the ruling of the Secretary of Justice, it is necessary to determine whether probable cause exists
tocharge the respondent for conspiracy in the murder of Engr. Tria.A prosecutor, by the nature of his
office, is under no compulsion to file a particular criminal informationwhere he is not convinced that he
has evidence to prop up its averments, or that the evidence at handpoints to a different conclusion. The
decision whether or not to dismiss the criminal complaint againstrespondent is necessarily dependent
on the sound discretion of the investigating prosecutor andultimately, that of the Secretary of
Justice.The findings of the prosecutor with respect to the existence or non-existence of probable cause
issubject to the power of review by the DOJ. Indeed, the Secretary of Justice may reverse or modify
theresolution of the prosecutor, after which he shall direct the prosecutor concerned either to file
thecorresponding information without conducting another preliminary investigation, or to dismiss or
movefor dismissal of the complaint or information with notice to the parties. Ordinarily, the
determinationof probable cause is not lodged with this Court. Its duty in an appropriate case is confined
to the issueof whether the executive or judicial determination, as the case may be, of probable cause
was donewithout or in excess of jurisdiction or with abuse of discretion amounting to want of
jurisdiction.
31However, this Court may ultimately resolve the existence or non-existence of probable cause
byexamining the records of the preliminary investigation when necessary for the orderly administration
of justice, or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of action.To begin with, whether or not respondent
actually conspired with Aclan and Ona need not be fullyresolved during the preliminary investigation.
The absence or presence of conspiracy is factual in natureand involves evidentiary matters. The same is
better left ventilated before the trial court during trial,where the parties can adduce evidence to prove
or disprove its presence.Preliminary investigation is executive in character. It does not contemplate a
judicial function. It isessentially an inquisitorial proceeding, and often, the only means of ascertaining
who may bereasonably charged with a crime. Prosecutors control and direct the prosecution of criminal
offenses,including the conduct of preliminary investigation, subject to review by the Secretary of Justice.
Theduty of the Court in appropriate cases is merely to determine whether the executive determination
wasdone without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. Resolutions of the
Secretaryof Justice are not subject to review unless made with grave abuse.

Uy vs. Javellana

UY vs. JAVELLANA

A.M. No. MTJ-07-1666 5 September 2012

TOPIC:

Uniform Procedure in Trial Courts/Summary Procedure

FACTS:

This administrative case arose from a verified complaint for "gross ignorance of the law and procedures,
gross incompetence, neglect of duty, conduct improper and unbecoming of a judge, grave misconduct
and others," filed by Public Attorneys Uy and Bascug of PAO against Presiding Judge Javellana of the
Municipal Trial Court, La Castellana, Negros Occidental.

COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

JAVELLANAS DEFENSE

In

People vs. Cornelio


,

a case for malicious mischief, Judge Javellana issued a warrant of arrest after the filing of a certain
criminal case despite Section 16 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure

the necessity of holding the accused in detention became evident when it was revealed during trial that
the same accused were wanted for Attempted Homicide in another case.

In People vs. Lopez ,

a case for Malicious Mischief, Judge Javellana did not apply the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure
and, instead, conducted a preliminary examination and preliminary investigation in accordance with the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, then set the case for arraignment and pre-trial, despite confirming
that therein complainant and her witnesses had no personal knowledge of the material facts alleged in
their affidavits, which should have been a ground for dismissal of said case.

Judge Javellana reiterated that a motion to dismiss is a prohibited pleading under the Revised Rule on
Summary Procedure and added that he could not dismiss the case outright since the prosecution has
not yet fully presented its evidence.

In another case for trespass to dwelling, Judge Javellana did not grant the motion to dismiss for non-
compliance with the Lupon requirement under Sections 18 and 19(a) of the Revised Rule on Summary
Procedure

the Lupong Tagapamayapa was not a jurisdictional requirement and the Motion to Dismiss on said
ground was a prohibited pleading under the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Judge Javellana was grossly ignorant of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure.

HELD:
YES. Without any showing that the accused in People v. Cornelio and People v. Lopez, et al. were
charged with the special cases of malicious mischief particularly described in Article 328 of the Revised
Penal Code the appropriate penalty for the accused would be arresto mayor in its medium and
maximum periods which under Article 329(a) of the Revised Penal Code, would be imprisonment for two
(2) months and one (1) day to six (6) months. Clearly, these two cases should be governed by the
Revised Rule on Summary Procedure.

Judge Javellanas issuance of a Warrant of Arrest for the accused in People v. Cornelio is in violation

of Section 16 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, categorically stating that "the court shall not
order the arrest of the accused except for failure to appear whenever required."

People vs. Valencia

Luz v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 197788, 29 February 2012.

18Apr

[SERENO, J.]

FACTS: PO3 Alteza flagged down Rodel Luz for violating a municipal ordinance which requires all
motorcycle drivers to wear helmets while driving their motorcyles. PO3 Alteza invited the Luz to come
inside their sub-station since the place where he flagged down the Luz is almost in front of the said sub-
station. While issuing a citation ticket for violation of municipal ordinance, PO3 Alteza noticed that Luz
was uneasy and kept on getting something from his jacket. Alerted and so, he told the Luz to take out
the contents of the pocket of his jacket as the latter may have a weapon inside it. Luzo bliged and
slowly put out the contents of the pocket of his jacket which was a nickel-like tin or metal container
about two (2) to three (3) inches in size, including two (2) cellphones, one (1) pair of scissors and one (1)
Swiss knife. Upon seeing the said container, he asked Luz to open it. After Luz opened the container,
PO3 Alteza noticed a cartoon cover and something beneath it, and that upon his instruction, the former
spilled out the contents of the container on the table which turned out to be four (4) plastic sachets, the
two (2) of which were empty while the other two (2) contained suspected shabu. Luz was later charged
for illegal possession of dangerous drugs. Luz claims that there was no lawful search and seizure because
there was no lawful arrest. The RTC found that Luz was lawfully arrested. Upon review, the CA affirmed
the RTCs Decision.

ISSUE #1: Can Luz be considered lawfully arrested based on traffic violation under the city ordinance,
and such arrest lead to a valid search and seizure?

HELD #1: NO, Luz was not lawfully arrested. When he was flagged down for committing a traffic
violation, he was not, ipso facto and solely for this reason, arrested.
Arrest is the taking of a person into custody in order that he or she may be bound to answer for the
commission of an offense. It is effected by an actual restraint of the person to be arrested or by that
persons voluntary submission to the custody of the one making the arrest. Neither the application of
actual force, manual touching of the body, or physical restraint, nor a formal declaration of arrest, is
required. It is enough that there be an intention on the part of one of the parties to arrest the other, and
that there be an intent on the part of the other to submit, under the belief and impression that
submission is necessary.

At the time that he was waiting for PO3 Alteza to write his citation ticket, petitioner could not be said to
have been under arrest. There was no intention on the part of PO3 Alteza to arrest him, deprive him of
his liberty, or take him into custody. Prior to the issuance of the ticket, the period during which
petitioner was at the police station may be characterized merely as waiting time. In fact, as found by the
trial court, PO3 Alteza himself testified that the only reason they went to the police sub-station was that
petitioner had been flagged down almost in front of that place. Hence, it was only for the sake of
convenience that they were waiting there. There was no intention to take petitioner into custody.

This ruling does not imply that there can be no arrest for a traffic violation. Certainly, when there is an
intent on the part of the police officer to deprive the motorist of liberty, or to take the latter into
custody, the former may be deemed to have arrested the motorist. In this case, however, the officers
issuance (or intent to issue) a traffic citation ticket negates the possibility of an arrest for the same
violation.

ISSUE #2: Assuming that Luz was deemed arrested, was there a valid warrantless search and seizure that
can still produce conviction?

HELD#2: NO. Even if one were to work under the assumption that Luz was deemed arrested upon being
flagged down for a traffic violation and while awaiting the issuance of his ticket, then the requirements
for a valid arrest were not complied with.

This Court has held that at the time a person is arrested, it shall be the duty of the arresting officer to
inform the latter of the reason for the arrest and must show that person the warrant of arrest, if any.
Persons shall be informed of their constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel, and that any
statement they might make could be used against them. It may also be noted that in this case, these
constitutional requirements were complied with by the police officers only after petitioner had been
arrested for illegal possession of dangerous drugs.

[T]here being no valid arrest, the warrantless search that resulted from it was likewise illegal. The
subject items seized during the illegal arrest are inadmissible. The drugs are the very corpus delicti of the
crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. Thus, their inadmissibility precludes conviction and calls
for the acquittal of the accused.
Antiquera vs. People

G.R. No. 180661 December 11, 2013


GEORGE ANTIQUERA y CODES, Petitioner,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

Facts:
Police officers were conducting a police visibility patrol in Pasay City when they saw two
unidentified men rush out of a house and boarded a jeep. Believing that there was a crime, the
police officers approached the house. When they peeked through the partially opened door, they
saw Antiquera and Cruz engaged in a pot session. The police officers entered the house,
introduced themselves and arrested Antiquera and Cruz. While inspecting the vicinity, PO1
Cabutihan saw a jewellery box which contained shabu and unused paraphernalia. The RTC
found them guilty of illegal possession of paraphernalia for dangerous drugs. The court affirmed
the decision of RTC.

Issue:
Whether or not the arrest was invalid.

Held:
Yes, there was unlawful arrest because the circumstances here do not make out a case of arrest
made in flagrante delicto. Admittedly, the police officers did not notice anything amiss going on
in the house from the street where they stood. Indeed, even as they peeked through its partially
opened door, they saw no activity that warranted their entering it. Clearly, no crime was plainly
exposed to the view of the arresting officers that authorized the arrest of accused Antiquera
without warrant under the above-mentioned rule. Considering that his arrest was illegal, the
search and seizure that resulted from it was likewise illegal.

People vs. Vasquez


Also, the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure does not provide for a preliminary investigation prior to
the filing of a criminal case under Rule 16, but In People v. Lopez, Judge Javellana conducted
a preliminary investigation even when it was not required or justified. Further, a case which has not
been previously referred to the Lupong Tapamayapa shall be dismissed without prejudice.