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PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION

Ramos v People of the Philippines & Escobal


Facts:
Lagmadeo (EVP/TRISCO) entrusted by Antonio Ramos with safekeeping of stock
certificates turned over to Emerito Ramos having the knowledge that it was indorsed to
Antonio.
Emerito and Escobal conspired to alter 4 stock certificates by erasure Antonio B Ramos
and superimposition of EM Ramos & Sons, Inc on the dorsal side. Escobal altered true date
when Susana Ramos endorsed stock certificates
Alteration made by the respondent made it appear that they were the assignee of the said
stocks and made it appear that Susana Ramos indorsed it to them but was already physically
incapable of signing documents at that time.
After PI, prosecutor found probable cause for both respondents for falsification of
document.
Respondent Emerito Ramos admitted in his sworn statement that he caused the erasure of
the name of the complainant as the assignee in the dorsal portion of the subject certificates
of stock and superimposed therein the name E.M. Ramos & Sons, Inc. as the new assignee.
Respondents justify their action because the complainant failed to comply with the
prestation required of him in the Deed of Assignment.
The defense invoked by the respondents is untenable. No showing that this deed of
assignment was later nullified or declared void by failure of the complainant to fulfill his
undertaking as declared in the deed of assignment.
Established that respondents made the alterations as borne out by their sworn statements
making them liable for falsification of documents.
Respondents maintain that prior to the filling up of the date, there was already a blank space
and respondent Rogerio Escobal was required to fill it up with the date January 19, 1998
to conform with the date the second deed of assignment was made.
Complainant was able to establish by sufficient evidence that respondents conspired with
one another in erasing his name as assignee in subject stock certificates
Case was raffled to MeTC Quezon City. Counsel for respondents omnibus motion to
dismiss cases against Ramos since he had passed away.
Motion for reconsideration was filed by respondent, private respondent Escobal argued that
Article 119112 of the Civil Code finds application. private respondent Ramos, Sr. cannot
be held criminally liable for the consequences of the performance of a lawful act, rescission
of the Deed of Assignment executed earlier in favor of complainant, who failed to comply
with the prestations required of him under the Deed, which rescission necessarily resulted
in the cancellation or erasure of the name of complainant as assignee in the subject stock
certificates.
Office of the City Prosecutor issued a Resolution13 granting the Motion for Reconsideration
and recommending that the Informations against both accused be withdrawn.
Respondent E. Ramos, having acted in good faith, never denied authorship of the
cancellation or erasure. He even placed his signatures to indicate that he was the one who
caused the erasures. Hence, in so doing he acted without malice. As it appears that the
liability of respondent Rogerio Escobal only depends on the criminal liability of Ernesto
Ramos, there is no reason for further prosecution.
Petitioner appealed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) and on February 15, 2002, the
DOJ sustained the November 23, 1999 Resolution of the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Quezon City.15 Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied.
Issue: W/N the case must be dismissed on the ground of lack of probable cause despite determining
that there was before
Held: Yes, RTC explained that once an Information or complaint was filed in court, the matter of
the disposition of the case would be left to the sound discretion of the court. When the trial court
in this case reconsidered or reversed its previous finding of probable cause and granted the motion
to dismiss of the public prosecutor, it was acting within its prerogative since the matter rested upon
its sound discretion. The ruling made by the MeTC in dismissing the cases before it, was not simply
derived from its own whims and caprices but after a judicious reassessment of the records of the
case. The RTC also cited the case of Crespo v. Mogul25 where it was held that "once a complaint
or information is filed in Court any disposition of the case as its dismissal or the conviction or
acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Court."

INJUNCTIONS AGAINST CRIMINAL PROSECUTION


People v Grey
Facts:
Information for Murder was filed against respondent Joseph Grey, former Mayor of San
Jorge, Samar; his son, respondent Francis Grey; and two others for the death of Rolando
Diocton, an employee of the San Jorge municipal government, before the Regional Trial
Court (RTC), Branch 41, Gandara, Samar. The Information was accompanied by other
supporting documents and a motion for the issuance of a warrant of arrest.
Presiding Judge Rosario Bandal denied the motion for the issuance of a warrant of arrest.
Judge Bandal found the prosecutions evidence to be insufficient to link respondents to the
crime charged. She directed the prosecution to present, within five days, additional
evidence that would show that accused were the assailants or that they conspired,
confederated, or helped in the commission of the crime charged. Judge inhibited herself
from the case
provincial prosecutor filed a petition for change of venue before this Court, attaching
thereto a letter from the victims wife expressing fear for her life and that of the other
witnesses
The Secretary of Justice ruled that the evidence adduced against respondents was sufficient
to establish probable cause for the offense charged. Respondents motion for
reconsideration was denied on January 30, 2007
prosecution withdrew their motion for change of venue before this Court, citing financial
difficulties in bringing witnesses to Manila.10 Respondents opposed the motion and prayed
that all proceedings be suspended until after the May 14, 2007 elections.
respondents filed their own petition for change of venue before this Court, alleging that the
presiding judge who took over the case, Judge Roberto Navidad, was a pawn in the political
persecution being staged against them. Along with TRO
The CA Eighteenth Division issued a TRO on March 13, 2007.18 After oral arguments,
the CA issued a Decision19 dated May 8, 2007, making the TRO permanent, ordering that
warrants of arrest be set aside, and dismissing the criminal case without prejudice. The
CA held that Judge Navidad failed to abide by the constitutional mandate for him to
personally determine the existence of probable cause. CA also ruled that the Information
was not supported by the allegations in the submitted affidavits. It pointed out that the
Information charged respondents as principals by direct participation, but the complaint-
affidavit and supporting affidavits uniformly alleged that respondents were not at the
scene of the shooting.
Petitioner argues that respondents committed forum shopping, which would warrant the outright
dismissal of their petition below. Petitioner alleges that respondents petition for change of venue
before this Court and their petition for prohibition before the CA actually involve the same subject
matter, parties, and issues. Petitioner also argues that this Court has laid down the rule that
criminal prosecution cannot be enjoined, and any exception to this rule must be convincingly
established.

The CA correctly ruled that respondents were not guilty of forum shopping when they
filed the two actions. Respondents raised different issues and sought different reliefs in
the two actions, although both were grounded on the same set of facts.

Issue: W/N the judge personally determined probable cause

Held: Yes. The language of the Order clearly shows that the judge made his own personal
determination of the existence of probable cause by examining not only the prosecutors report
but also his supporting evidence, consisting mainly of the sworn statements of the prosecutions
witnesses.

there is a distinction between the preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause for the issuance
of a warrant of arrest and the preliminary investigation proper which ascertains whether the offender
should be held for trial or be released.

In Soliven v. Makasiar,49 the Court explained that this constitutional provision does not mandatorily
require the judge to personally examine the complainant and her witnesses. Instead, he may opt to
personally evaluate the report and supporting documents submitted by the prosecutor or he may
disregard the prosecutors report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses.
Following established doctrine and procedure, he shall: (1) personally evaluate the report and the
supporting documents submitted by the fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis
thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or (2) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, he may
disregard the fiscals report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in
arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of probable cause.

Issue: W/N the injunction made is valid


Held: No, the reason behind the injunction made by the respondents are not authorized under the
exceptions.

PROSECUTORIAL CONTROL OVER CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS: GR

Baviera v Paglinawan Et Al
Facts: