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[RULE 126, SEC.

13] Rule 126, Section 13 of the Rules of Court allows for searches incidental to a
lawful arrest. For there to be a lawful arrest, there should be either a warrant of arrest or a lawful
warrantless arrest as enumerated in Rule 113, Section 5 of the Rules of Court.

PEOPLE VS. COGAED


June 30, 2014, G.R. No. 200334
LEONEN, J.

FACTS: Victor Cogaed was riding a jeepney with a bag from Barangay Lun-Oy and during a
checkpoint, the driver of the jeepney he rode made a signal to the police telling that Cogaed was
carrying marijuana inside Cogaed’s bag; the police officer then approached Cogaed and asked the
accused about the contents of his bags. Cogaed replied that he did not know what was inside and that
he was just transporting the bag in favor of Marvin, a barriomate. Cogaed subsequently opened the bag
revealing the bricks of marijuana inside. He was then arrested by the police officers.

ISSUE: Whether there was a valid search and seizure; and, whether the marijuana confiscated is
admissible as evidence.

HELD: NO. There is no valid search and seizure; thus, the marijuana confiscated shall not be
admissible as evidence.

As a general rule, searches conducted with a warrant that meets all the requirements of Article III,
Section 2 of the Constitution are reasonable. This warrant requires the existence of probable cause that
can only be determined by a judge.

However, there are instances when searches are reasonable even when warrantless. The known
jurisprudential instances of reasonable warrantless searches and seizures are:

(1) Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest


(2) Seizure of evidence in “plain view,”
(3) Search of a moving vehicle;
(4) Consented warrantless search;
(5) Customs search;
(6) Stop and frisk; and
(7) Exigent and emergency circumstances.

The search involved in this case was initially a “stop and frisk” search, but it did not comply with all
the requirements of reasonability required by the Constitution.

“Stop and frisk” searches (sometimes referred to as Terry searches) are necessary for law enforcement.
That is, law enforcers should be given the legal arsenal to prevent the commission of offenses.
However, this should be balanced with the need to protect the privacy of citizens in accordance with
Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution. The balance lies in the concept of “suspiciousness” present in
the situation where the police officer finds himself or herself in. This may be undoubtedly based on the
experience of the police officer. It does not have to be probable cause, but it cannot be mere suspicion.
It has to be a “genuine reason to serve the purposes of the “stop and frisk” exception.

The “stop and frisk” search was originally limited to outer clothing and for the purpose of detecting
dangerous weapons.

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There was not a single suspicious circumstance in this case, and there was no approximation for the
probable cause requirement for warrantless arrest. The person searched was not even the person
mentioned by the informant. The informant gave the name of Marvin Buya, and the person searched
was Victor Cogaed. Even if it was true that Cogaed responded by saying that he was transporting the
bag to Marvin Buya, this still remained only as one circumstance. This should not have been enough
reason to search Cogaed and his belongings without a valid search warrant.

Likewise, the facts of the case do not qualify as a search incidental to a lawful arrest. The apprehension
of Cogaed was not effected with a warrant of arrest. None of the instances enumerated in Rule 113,
Section 5 of the Rules of Court were present when the arrest was made. At the time of his
apprehension, Cogaed has not committed, was not committing, or was about to commit a crime. There
were no overt acts within plain view of the police officers that suggested that Cogaed was in
possession of drugs at that time. Also, Cogaed was not an escapee prisoner that time; hence, he could
not have qualified for the last allowable warrantless arrest.

There can be no valid waiver of Cogaed’s constitutional rights even if we assume that he did not object
when the police asked him to open his bags. Appellant’s silence should not be lightly taken as consent
to such search. The implied acquiescence to the search, if there was any, could not have been more
than mere passive conformity given under intimidating or coercive circumstances and is thus
considered no consent at all within the purview of the constitutional guarantee.

The Constitution provides that any evidence obtained in violation of the right against unreasonable
searches and seizures shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. Otherwise known as the
exclusionary rule or the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, this rule prohibits the issuance of general
warrants that encourage law enforcers to go on fishing expeditions. Evidence obtained through
unlawful seizures should be excluded as evidence because it is “the only practical means of enforcing
the constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures.” It ensures that the
fundamental rights to one’s person, houses, papers, and effects are not lightly infringed upon and are
upheld.

Considering that the prosecution and conviction of Cogaed were founded on the search of his bags, a
pronouncement of the illegality of that search means that there is no evidence left to convict Cogaed.

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[RULE 110, SEC. 8] In a criminal case, an appeal throws open the entire case wide open for review,
and the appellate court can correct errors, though unassigned, that may be found in the appealed
judgment.

PEOPLE VS. DIONALDO, ET AL.


July 23, 2014, G.R. No. 207949
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.

FACTS: Edwin Navarro, had been kidnapped by four men from Health Is Wealth Gym. The
kidnappers, including Dionaldo, demanded from Edwin’s brother 15 million as a ransom. After
negotiations, the ransom has been lowered to P110,000. However, the payment of the ransom and
subsequent rescue operations with the police failed. The dead body of Edwin was later on found by the
police and the kidnappers was later on identified and arrested by the police.

Thus, accused-appellants as well as Virgilio were charged in an Information which reads:

That on or about the 16th day of May, 2003 in Caloocan City, Metro Manila and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring together and
mutually helping one another, being then private persons, did then and there by force and
intimidation willfully, unlawfully and feloniously with the use of motor vehicle and superior
strength take, carry and deprive EDWIN NAVARRO Y ONA, of his liberty against his will,
for the purpose of extorting ransom as in fact a demand of P15,000,000.00 was made as a
condition of the victim’s release and on the occasion thereof, the death of the victim resulted.

The RTC and CA convicted the four kidnappers of the crime of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal
Detention sentencing each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

ISSUE: Whether the RTC and CA erred in convicting the kidnappers with the crime of Kidnapping
and Serious Illegal Detention

HELD: YES. The court held that it was constrained to modify the ruling of the RTC and the CA, as
the crime does not, as the records obviously bear, merely constitute Kidnapping and Serious Illegal
Detention, but that of the special complex crime of Kidnapping for Ransom with Homicide. This is in
view of the victim's (i.e., Edwin's) death, which was (a) specifically charged in the Information, and
(b) clearly established during the trial of this case. Notably, while this matter was not among the issues
raised before the Court, the same should nonetheless be considered in accordance with the settled rule
that in a criminal case, an appeal, as in this case, throws open the entire case wide open for review, and
the appellate court can correct errors, though unassigned, that may be found in the appealed judgment.

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[RULE 110, SEC. 5] As a general rule, the Court does not interfere with the Office of the
Ombudsman’s exercise of its investigative and prosecutorial powers, and respects the initiative and
independence inherent in the Office of the Ombudsman.

ARAULLO VS. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN


July 30, 2014, G.R. No. 194157
REYES, J.

FACTS: Araullo, who was illegally dismissed by the Club Filipino, filed a criminal complaint with
the Office of the Ombudsman for the issuance of unjust interlocutory order under Art. 206 of the
Revised Penal Code against Labor Arbiter Arden S. Anni.

The Office of the Ombudsman found no probable cause for the complaint given Araullo's failure to
establish that the LA Anni and the other labor arbiters gave undue advantage to Club Filipino, or that
they acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross and inexcusable negligence.

Araullo then filed a petition for certiorari to assail the Office of the Ombudsman's dismissal of his
criminal complaint.

ISSUES: Whether the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion when it dismissed the
criminal complaint of Araullo.

HELD: NO. The Supreme Court ruled that there was no probable cause in the unjust interlocutory
order complaint of Araullo. Upon review, the Court has determined that the Office of the Ombudsman
did not commit grave abuse of discretion because explained clearly in the assailed resolution were the
grounds that supported its finding of lack of probable cause, and which then justified the dismissal of
the criminal complaints filed by Araullo.

As a general rule, the Court does not interfere with the Office of the Ombudsman’s exercise of its
investigative and prosecutorial powers, and respects the initiative and independence inherent in the
Office of the Ombudsman which, “beholden to no one, acts as the champion of the people and the
preserver of the integrity of the public service.” (Casing v. Ombudsman, 2012)

Probable cause is defined as such facts as are sufficient to engender a well-founded belief that a crime
has been committed, and that the persons being charged are probably guilty thereof. "[It] can only find
support in facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonable mind to believe that the person being
charged warrants a prosecution." To establish probable cause, Araullo, being the complainant, then
should have proved the elements of the crimes alleged to have been committed. In addition, there
should have been a clear showing of the respective participation of the respondents, to at least support
a ruling that would call for their further prosecution.

Specifically for the charge of violation of Article 206 of the RPC which penalizes the issuance of
unjust interlocutory orders, it was necessary to show that, first, the orders issued by the respondents to
his complaint were unjust, and second, the said orders were knowingly rendered or rendered through
inexcusable negligence or ignorance.

On this matter, the Office of the Ombudsman correctly held that LA Anni's order for the quashal of the
writ of execution, and the NLRC's resolution affirming it, were not unjust.

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[RULE 116, SEC. 11] The suspension of arraignment of an accused, while authorized under
Section 11, Rule 116 of the Rules of Court, is only for a period of 60 days reckoned from the filing
of the petition with the reviewing office. Its own failure to act for seven (7) months without
arraigning the accused cannot be an excuse to dismiss the case.
ROBERT KUA, ET AL. VS. GREGORIO SACUPAYO, ET AL.
September 24, 2014, G.R. No. 191237
PEREZ, J.
FACTS: [Petitioners] are members of the Board of Directors and the officers of Vicmar Development
Corporation. [Respondents] Gregorio G. Sacupayo and Maximiniano Panerio were VICMAR
employees.
As required by law, Vicmar, deducted the Social Security System (SSS) contributions of [respondents]
from their wages. It also deducted (Php468.00) per month from the wage of Sacupayo as his monthly
amortization for a ten thousand peso (Php10,000.00) loan he obtained from the SSS on November 14,
2002.
Vicmar remitted the deductions to the SSS at first. Sometime in 2003 and 2004, unknown to
[respondents] and despite the continued SSS deductions from their wages, Vicmar stopped remitting
the same to the SSS.
On August 7, 2004 and August 9, 2004 respectively, Sacupayo and Panerio were dismissed from
employment. Both filed complaints for illegal dismissal.
Panerio was thereafter afflicted with Chronic Persistent Asthma on September 28, 2004. But when he
applied for sickness benefits before the SSS in October 2004, the same was denied for the reason that
no contributions or payments were made for twelve (12) months prior to the semester of
confinement. Sacupayo, for his part, filed another loan application before the SSS. But this was also
denied outright for nonpayment of a previous loan which should have been fully paid if not for the
failure of Vicmar to remit the amounts due to the SSS.
[respondents] filed complaints before the Office of the City Prosecutor in Cagayan de Oro City.
Vicmar then remitted to SSS the contributions and loan payments of [respondents] sometime
thereafter.
Nevertheless, probable cause was found and three (3) separate Informations all dated June 6, 2005
were filed against [petitioners] officers of Vicmar for violation of Section 22(a) in relation to Section
28(e) of RA 8282 otherwise known as the Social Security Act of 1997.
[Petitioners] appealed the finding of probable cause against them before the Office of the Regional
State Prosecutor (RSP). This was granted by the RSP in a Resolution dated July 14, 2005, which
ordered the City Prosecutor to desist from filing the case or to withdraw the cases if one has already
been filed for the following reason:
Section 28 of RA 8282 above cited merely lays down a disputable presumption that the members’
contribution to the SSS is deemed misappropriated if the employer fails to remit the same to the SSS
within 30 days from the date they became due. The full payment and remittance of the same destroys
this presumption.

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Pursuant to the Resolution of the RSP reversing the finding of probable cause by the City Prosecutor,
[petitioners] filed a Motion to Dismiss dated February 13, 2006 before [the] RTC. The City Prosecutor
likewise filed a Comment manifesting agreement to the withdrawal of the criminal cases pending
resolution of the appeal with the DOJ.
RTC granted the Motion of [petitioners] and ordered the withdrawal of the criminal cases.

Respondents filed a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court before
the appellate court to annul and set aside the trial court’s withdrawal of Criminal Case Nos. 2006-072,
2006-073 and 2006-074 from its docket.
As stated at the outset, the Court of Appeals granted respondents’ petition, reversed and set aside the
RTC’s ruling, and reinstated the criminal cases against petitioners.

ISSUE: Whether or not the appellate court committed grave abuse of discretion when it reinstated the
criminal cases against the petitioners

HELD: NO. The Supreme Court agreed with the findings of the Court of Appeals (CA) that: (1) the
lapse of almost seven (7) months without any action taken by the DOJ; and, (2) the manifestation to
withdraw the case by the Public Prosecutor, were flawed and insufficient to effect a withdrawal of the
criminal cases. The suspension of arraignment of an accused, while authorized under Section 11, Rule
116 of the Rules of Court, is only for a period of 60 days reckoned from the filing of the petition with
the reviewing office. Its own failure to act for seven (7) months without arraigning the accused cannot
be an excuse to dismiss the case, especially when the rules dictate that the deferment of arraignment in
such case may only be done for a period of 60 days. The controlling case of Crespo v. Mogul teaches
us that, while the prosecution of criminal actions is under the discretion and control of the public
prosecutor, once a complaint or information is filed, any disposition of the case, be it a dismissal or a
conviction or acquittal of an accused, rests in the sound discretion of the court. Well-settled in
jurisprudence is the principle that trial judges ought to make its own independent assessment of the
merits of the case and not abdicate its judicial power and act as a mere surrogate of the Secretary of
Justice.

In any event, there exists probable cause to indict petitioners for violation of Sections 22 (a) and (d), in
relation to Section 28 (e), of the SS Law. R.A. No. 8282, a special law, requires employers to: (a)
register its employees with the SSS; (b) deduct employee contributions from their salaries; and (3)
remit these contributions to the SSS within a given period.
The case in point is Tan, et al. v. Ballena, et al. where good faith and absence of malicious intent of
the accused and the subsequent remittance of the SSS contributions and loan amortizations, held no
sway over the accused’s criminal liability under the SS Law for failure to remit SSS contributions and
loan amortizations of accused’s employees.

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[RULE 110, SEC. 16] Section 16 of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure expressly
allows an offended party to intervene by counsel in the prosecution of the offense for the recovery of
civil liability where the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged
is instituted with the criminal action.
LEONARDO A. VILLALON, ET AL. VS. AMELIA CHAN
September 24, 2014, G.R. No. 196508
BRION, J.
FACTS: The respondent Amelia Chan married Leon Basilio Chua. The respondent claimed that her
husband Leon Basilio Chua and the present petitioner, Leonardo A. Villalon, are one and the same
person.
During the subsistence of his marriage to Amelia, Leon Basilio Chua, this time under the name of
Leonardo A. Villalon, allegedly contracted a second marriage with Erlinda Talde that took place on
June 2, 1993.
Amelia, who was then living in the United States and could not personally file a case for bigamy in the
Philippines, requested Benito Yao Chua and Wilson Go to commence the criminal proceedings against
the petitioners.
On September 13, 2003, a verified complaint-affidavit alleging the commission of the crime of bigamy
was filed with the Office of the City Prosecutor in Antipolo
During the pretrial (or on February 6, 2006), Atty. Apollo V. Atencia appeared in behalf of Amelia.
Leonardo filed an omnibus motion with the RTC seeking to disqualify Atty. Atencia. He argued that
Amelia could not be represented in the bigamy case because she was not a party to the case, as she did
not file the complaint-affidavit. He also argued that Amelia had already waived her right to file a civil
and criminal case against him and his codefendant Erlinda.
In a resolution dated March 3, 2006, the RTC granted Leonardo’s omnibus motion. Trial of the case
ensued thereafter.
Leonardo filed a demurrer to evidence. In an order dated September 5, 2006, the RTC dismissed the
bigamy case for failure of the prosecution to prove the petitioners’ guilt.
In her petition for certiorari and prohibition before the CA, Amelia alleged grave abuse of discretion
on the part of the RTC when it issued its March 3, 2006 resolution and proceeded with the bigamy
case without permitting the participation of Atty. Atencia as private prosecutor.
In a decision dated July 30, 2010, the CA granted Amelia’s petition and annulled the RTC’s March 3,
2006 resolution disqualifying Atty. Atencia from participation in the case, and its September 5, 2006
order that dismissed the bigamy case against the petitioners. The CA ruled that the crime of bigamy,
being public in nature, can be denounced by anyone, not only by the offended party, before the
prosecuting authorities without the offended party losing her right to recover damages. Thus, the CA
concluded that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion when it did not allow Atty. Atencia
to intervene and represent Amelia in the bigamy case and that the trial court denied Amelia her right to
due process.
Also, the CA ruled that the offended party could be deprived of the right to intervene in the criminal
case only when he or she expressly waives the civil action or reserves the right to institute one. The

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CA found no such waiver from Amelia and held that Atty. Atencia’s appearance as private prosecutor
was proof enough of Amelia’s determination to enforce her claim for damages in the bigamy case

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Atencia’s is disqualified to intervene in the bigamy case as private
prosecutor.

HELD: NO. Section 16 of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure expressly allows an
offended party to intervene by counsel in the prosecution of the offense for the recovery of civil
liability where the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged is
instituted with the criminal action. The civil action shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action,
except when the offended party waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately or
institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.
The petitioners argue that the CA gravely erred when it ruled that: the RTC committed grave abuse of
discretion in issuing its March 3, 2006 resolution disqualifying Atty. Atencia as private prosecutor, and
that Atty. Atencia’s disqualification violated the respondent’s rights to intervene and be heard in the
bigamy case. They contend that, even with Atty. Atencia’s disqualification, the respondent was never
denied her right to participate in the proceedings and was even called to stand as a witness but the
respondent never appeared before the court because she was out of the country during the whole
proceedings on the bigamy case.
In this case, the CA found no such waiver from or reservation made by the respondent. The fact that
the respondent, who was already based abroad, had secured the services of an attorney in the
Philippines reveals her willingness and interest to participate in the prosecution of the bigamy case and
to recover civil liability from the petitioners. Thus, the RTC should have allowed, and should not have
disqualified, Atty. Atencia from intervening in the bigamy case as the respondent, being the offended
party, is afforded by law the right to participate through counsel in the prosecution of the offense with
respect to the civil aspect of the case.

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[RULE 113, SEC. 5] Even if Comerciante and his companion were showing "improper and
unpleasant movements,” the same would not have been sufficient in order to effect a lawful
warrantless arrest under Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure.

ALVIN COMERCIANTE VS. PEOPLE


July 22, 2015, G.R. No. 205926
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.

FACTS: On July 31, 2003, an Information was filed before the RTC charging Comerciante of
violation of Section 11, Article II of RA 9165.

According to the prosecution, at around 10 o'clock in the evening of July 30, 2003, Agent Eduardo
Radan (Agent Radan) of the NARCOTICS group and PO3 Bienvy Calag II (PO3 Calag) were aboard a
motorcycle, patrolling the area while on their way to visit a friend at Private Road, Barangay Hulo,
Mandaluyong City. Cruising at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour along Private Road, they spotted, at a
distance of about 10 meters, two (2) men - later identified as Comerciante and a certain Erick Dasilla.
Standing and showing "improper and unpleasant movements," with one of them handing plastic
sachets to the other. Thinking that the sachets may contain shabu, they immediately stopped and
approached Comerciante and Dasilla. At a distance ofaround five (5) meters, PO3 Calag introduced
himself as a police officer, arrested Comerciante and Dasilla, and confiscated two (2) plastic sachets
containing white crystalline substance from them. A laboratory examination later confirmed that said
sachets contained methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.

After the prosecution rested its case, Dasilla filed a demurrer to evidence, which was granted by the
RTC, thus his acquittal. However, due to Comerciante's failure to file his own demurrer to evidence,
the RTC considered his right to do so waived and ordered him to present his evidence.

In his defense, Comerciante averred that P03 Calag was looking for a certain "Barok", who was a
notorious drug pusher in the area, when suddenly, he and Dasilla, who were just standing in front of a
jeepney along Private Road, were arrested and taken to a police station. There, the police officers
claimed to have confiscated illegal drugs from them and were asked money in exchange for their
release. When they failed to accede to the demand, they were brought to another police station to
undergo inquest proceedings, and thereafter, were charged with illegal possession of dangerous drugs.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA correctly affirmed Comerciante's conviction for violation of Section
11, Article II of RA 9165.

HELD: NO. The petition is meritorious. The Court finds it highly implausible that PO3 Calag, even
assuming that he has perfect vision, would be able to identify with reasonable accuracy - especially
from a distance of around 10 meters, and while aboard a motorcycle cruising at a speed of 30
kilometers per hour - miniscule amounts of white crystalline substance inside two (2) very small
plastic sachets held by Comerciante. The Court also notes that no other overt act could be properly
attributed to Comerciante as to rouse suspicion in the mind of PO3 Calag that the former had just
committed, was committing, or was about to commit a crime. Verily, the acts of standing around with
a companion and handing over something to the latter cannot in any way be considered criminal acts.
In fact, even if Comerciante and his companion were showing "improper and unpleasant movements"
as put by PO3 Calag, the same would not have been sufficient in order to effect a lawful warrantless
arrest under Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure.

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Section 2, Article III of the Constitution mandates that a search and seizure must be carried out
through or on the strength of a judicial warrant predicated upon the existence of probable cause; in the
absence of such warrant, such search and seizure becomes, as a general rule, "unreasonable" within the
meaning of said constitutional provision.

The exclusionary rule is not, however, an absolute and rigid proscription. One of the recognized
exceptions established by jurisprudence is a search incident to a lawful arrest. In this instance, the law
requires that there first be a lawful arrest before a search can be made - the process cannot be reversed.

Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure lays down the rules on lawful
warrantless arrests, as follows:

xxx (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing,
or is attempting to commit an offense; xxx

For a warrantless arrest under Section 5 (a) to operate, two (2) elements must concur, namely: (a) the
person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (b) such overt act is done in the presence or
within the view of the arresting officer. On the other hand, Section 5 (b) requires for its application
that at the time of the arrest, an offense had in fact just been committed and the arresting officer had
personal knowledge of facts indicating that the accused had committed it.

In both instances, the officer's personal knowledge of the fact of the commission of an offense is
absolutely required. Under Section 5 (a), the officer himself witnesses the crime; while in Section 5
(b), he knows for a fact that a crime has just been committed.

The factual backdrop of the instant case failed to show that PO3 Calag had personal knowledge that a
crime had been indisputably committed by Comerciante. Verily, it is not enough that the arresting
officer had reasonable ground to believe that the accused had just committed a crime; a crime must, in
fact, have been committed first, which does not obtain in this case. Gonzales must be acquitted.

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[RULE 117, SEC. 7] As a general rule, an order granting the accused’s demurrer to evidence
amounts to an acquittal. There are certain exceptions, however, as when the grant would not violate
the constitutional proscription on double jeopardy. For instance, this Court ruled that when there is
a finding that there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court in dismissing a
criminal case by granting the accused’s demurrer to evidence, its judgment is considered void; and
the right of the accused against double jeopardy is not violated.

PEOPLE VS. GO
August 6, 2014, 732 SCRA 216
DEL CASTILLO, J.

FACTS: Orient Commercial Banking Corporation (OCBC) was placed under the receivership of the
Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC). PDIC began collecting on OCBC’s past due loans
receivable by sending demand letters to its borrowers for the immediate settlement of their outstanding
loans. Allegedly among these borrowers of OCBC are Timmy’s, Inc. and Asia Textile Mills, Inc. A
representative of Timmy’s, Inc. denied being granted any loan by OCBC and insisted that the
signatures on the loan documents were falsified. A representative of Asia Textile Mills, Inc. denied
having applied, much less being granted, a loan by OCBC. The PDIC conducted an investigation and
allegedly came out with a finding that the loans purportedly in the names of Timmy’s, Inc. and Asia
Textile Mills, Inc. were released in the form of manager’s checks in the name of Philippine Recycler’s
and Zeta International, Inc. These manager’s checks were then allegedly deposited to the savings
account of the private respondent Jose C. Go with OCBC and, thereafter, were automatically
transferred to his current account in order to fund personal checks issued by him earlier.

The RTC found the Demurrer to Evidence to be meritorious, dismissing the criminal case and
acquitting all of the accused. The CA also affirmed the order; and, notably, in dismissing the Petition,
the appellate court held that the trial court has already become final since the prosecution failed to
move for the reconsideration thereof, and thus double jeopardy attached.

ISSUE: Whether or not the granting of the Demurrer to Evidence was proper.

HELD: NO. A demurrer to the evidence is an objection by one of the parties in an action, to the effect
that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law, whether true or not, to
make out a case or sustain the issue. The party demurring challenges the sufficiency of the whole
evidence to sustain a verdict. The grant or denial of a demurrer to evidence is left to the sound
discretion of the trial court, and its ruling on the matter shall not be disturbed in the absence of a grave
abuse of such discretion." As to effect, "the grant of a demurrer to evidence amounts to, as a general
rule, an acquittal and cannot be appealed because it would place the accused in double jeopardy. The
order is reviewable only by certiorari if it was issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
or excess of jurisdiction." When grave abuse of discretion is present, an order granting a demurrer
becomes null and void.

There are certain exceptions, however, as when the grant would not violate the constitutional
proscription on double jeopardy. For instance, the Court ruled that when there is a finding that there
was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court in dismissing a criminal case by granting the
accused’s demurrer to evidence, its judgment is considered void. In this case, the prosecution has
presented competent evidence to sustain the indictment for the crime of estafa through falsification of
commercial documents, and that respondents appear to be the perpetrators thereof. In evaluating the
evidence, the trial court effectively failed and/or refused to weigh the prosecution’s evidence against
the respondents.

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[RULE 110, SEC. 6] The trial court was precluded from considering the attendance of such
qualifying or aggravating circumstances, i.e., minority of the victim, in the judgment because of the
failure to properly allege them; The date or the time of the commission of the rape need not be
stated in the complaint or information with absolute accuracy.

PEOPLE VS. RUDY NUYOK


June 15, 2015, G.R. No. 195424
BERSAMIN, J.

FACTS: The accused in this case is the paternal uncle of the victim who filed rape cases against him.
It was alleged that the crimes were committed last June, July, August and September of 2005. The
accused overpowered the victim while raping her and he also threatened to kill the victim and her
family if she reveals the incident to anyone. The victim was only 13 years old when the crimes were
committed.

ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not the CA gravely erred in not appreciating the minority of the offended party (when
the same was not indicated in the information)
(2) Whether or not the RTC erred in finding him guilty of rape despite the fatal defects of the
information which did not specify the dates of commission of the rapes?

HELD:
(1) NO. According to the Supreme Court, the RTC correctly convicted the accused with only 4 counts
of simple rape instead of qualified rape (which the CA affirmed). Although the minority under 18
years of AAA at the time of the rapes, and the fact that the accused was her paternal uncle were
established during the trial, the RTC nonetheless correctly convicted him only of four counts of simple
rape instead of qualified rape because the special qualifying circumstance of minority was not alleged
in the informations. The circumstances of minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender
must concur to qualify the crime of rape, but only her relationship to the accused was alleged and
proved. The trial court was precluded from considering the attendance of such qualifying or
aggravating circumstances in the judgment because of the failure to properly allege them. This
conforms to Section 8 and Section 9, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court.

(2) NO. It is not necessary for the information to allege the date and time of the commission of the
crime with exactitude unless such date and time are essential ingredients of the offenses charged. It is
sufficient that the information states that the crime was committed at any time as near as possible to
the date of its actual commission, pursuant to Section 11, Rule 110 of Rules of Court. In this case, the
failure to specify the exact date or time when the rapes were committed did not ipso facto render the
informations defective. Neither the date nor the time of the commission of rape is a material ingredient
of the crime, for the essence of the crime is carnal knowledge of a female against her will through
force or intimidation. Precision as to the time when the rape is committed has no bearing on its
commission. Consequently, the date or the time of the commission of the rape need not be stated in the
complaint or information with absolute accuracy, for it is sufficient that the complaint or information
states that the crime was committed at any time as near as possible to the date of its actual
commission.

Page | 12
[RULE 112, SEC. 3] The trial court is not bound to adopt the resolution of the Secretary of Justice
to withdraw the informations for lack of probable cause since it is mandated to independently
evaluate or assess the merits of the case; in the exercise of its discretion, it may agree or disagree
with the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice.

SR. REMY ANGELA JUNIO, ET AL. VS. JUDGE MARIVIC A. CACATIANBELTRAN


January 13, 2014 A.M. No. RTJ-14-2367

BRION, J.
FACTS: Claire Ann Campos, a 17-year old student, filed an affidavit complaint for violation of
Republic Act No. 7610 (the Child Abuse Law) and R.A. No. 7277 (the Magna Carta for the Disabled)
before the Tuguegarao City Prosecution Office against Sr. Remy Angela Junio and Dr. Josephine D.
Lorica, the President and the Dean of the School of Health Services, respectively, of St. Paul
University of the Philippines (SPUP).
Claire alleged that she was refused enrolment by SPUP for the B.S. Nursing course in her sophomore
year because of her cleft palate; she alleged that the refusal was made despite her completion of
SPUP’s College Freshmen Program Curriculum.
The prosecutor’s office in its resolution found probable cause to indict Junio and Lorica of the crimes
charged, and recommended the filing of the corresponding informations against them. Junio and
Lorica appealed the resolution of the prosecutor’s office, but Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar of
the Department of Justice (DOJ) denied their petition for review.
Afterward, DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima granted Junio and Lorica’s motion for reconsideration and set
aside the resolution of Undersecretary Salazar. Accordingly, in her resolution dated August 8, 2011,
she directed the Cagayan Provincial Prosecutor to immediately cause the withdrawal of the
informations for violations of R.A. Nos. 7610 and 7277 against Junio and Lorica for lack of probable
cause.
Subsequently, the prosecutor’s office still filed two informations against Junio and Lorica for
violations of Section 10(a), Article VI, in relation with Article 3(a) and (b) of R.A. No. 7610, and
Section 12 of R.A. No. 7277 before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Tuguegarao City presided by
Judge Marivic A. Cacatian-Beltran.
This prompted the accused to file a joint motion to withdraw informations in view of Secretary De
Lima’s resolution. They also filed an administrative complaint before the Office of the Court
Administrator (OCA) alleging that Judge Beltran "arrogated unto herself the role of a prosecutor and a
judge" when she insisted that they stand for trial although she did not find any grave abuse of
discretion on the part of Justice Secretary De Lima.

Page | 13
ISSUE:
(1) Whether the respondent arbitrarily denied the joint motion to withdraw informations.
(2) Whether the respondent arrogated unto herself the role of a prosecutor and a judge.

HELD:
(1) NO. The trial court is not bound to adopt the resolution of the Secretary of Justice since it is
mandated to independently evaluate or assess the merits of the case; in the exercise of its discretion, it
may agree or disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice. Reliance on the resolution
of the Secretary of Justice alone would be an abdication of the trial court's duty and jurisdiction to
determine a prima facie case. We stress that once a criminal complaint or information is filed in court,
any disposition of the case (whether it be a dismissal, an acquittal or a conviction of the accused) rests
within the exclusive jurisdiction, competence, and discretion of the trial court; it is the best and sole
judge of what to do with the case before it.
In the present case, the evidence provides that the respondent judge does not appear to have arbitrarily
denied the joint motion to withdraw informations. She explained the basis of her denial. No proof
whatsoever exists in all these, showing that bad faith, malice or any corrupt purpose attended the
issuance of her order. It is also important to note in this regard that the issue of whether Judge
Cacatian-Beltran correctly denied the joint motion to withdraw informations, despite the finding of
Secretary De Lima of lack of probable cause, is judicial in nature: Junio and Lorica’s remedy under the
circumstances should have been made with the proper court for the appropriate judicial action, not
with the OCA by means of an administrative complaint.
(2) NO. The court find unmeritorious Junio and Lorica’s argument that Judge Cacatian-Beltran
“arrogated unto herself the role of a prosecutor and a judge” when she insisted that the accused stand
trial although she did not find any grave abuse of discretion on the part of Justice Secretary de Lima.
When a court acts, whether its action is consistent or inconsistent with a prosecutor’s recommendation,
it rules on the prosecutor’s action and does not thereby assume the role of a prosecutor.

Page | 14
[RULE 126, SEC. 2] An application for a search warrant is not a criminal action; thus, conformity
of the public prosecutor (under Rule 110, Sect. 5) is not necessary to give the aggrieved party
personality to question an order quashing search warrants.

[RULE 126, SEC. 4] The requirement of particularity in the description of things to be seized is
fulfilled when the items described in the search warrant bear a direct relation to the offense for
which the warrant is sought. It need not describe the items to be seized in precise and minute detail.

WORLDWIDE WEB CORPORATION, ET AL. VS. PEOPLE AND PHILIPPINE LONG


DISTANCE TELEPHONE (PLDT) COMPANY
January 13, 2014, G.R. No. 161106
SERENO, C.J.
FACTS: Police Chief Inspector Napoleon Villegas of the Regional Intelligence Special Operations
Office (RISOO) of the Philippine National Police filed applications for warrants3 before the RTC of
Quezon City, Branch 78, to search the office premises of petitioner Worldwide Web Corporation
(WWC)4 located at the 11th floor, IBM Plaza Building, No. 188 Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City,
as well as the office premises of petitioner Planet Internet Corporation (Planet Internet) located at UN
2103, 21/F Orient Square Building, Emerald Avenue, Barangay San Antonio, Pasig City. The
applications alleged that petitioners were conducting illegal toll bypass operations, which amounted to
theft and violation of Presidential Decree No. 401 (Penalizing the Unauthorized Installation of Water,
Electrical or Telephone Connections, the Use of Tampered Water or Electrical Meters and Other Acts),
to the damage and prejudice of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). On 25
September 2001, the trial court conducted a hearing on the applications for search warrants. The
applicant and Jose Enrico Rivera (Rivera) and Raymund Gali (Gali) of the Alternative Calling Pattern
Detection Division of PLDT testified as witnesses.
Over a hundred items were seized, including 15 central processing units (CPUs), 10 monitors,
numerous wires, cables, diskettes and files, and a laptop computer. Planet Internet notes that even
personal diskettes of its employees were confiscated; and areas not devoted to the transmission of
international calls, such as the President’s Office and the Information Desk, were searched. Voltage
regulators, as well as reserve and broken computers, were also seized.

ISSUES:
(1) Whether the CA erred in giving due course to PLDT’s appeal to question the quashal of the
search warrants without the conformity of the public prosecutor had no personality to question
the quashal of the search warrants (NO)
(2) Whether the assailed search warrants were issued upon probable cause (considering that the acts
complained of allegedly do not constitute theft) (YES)
(3) Whether the CA seriously erred in holding that the assailed search warrants were not general
warrant (NO)

HELD:
(1) NO. Petitioners contend that PLDT had no personality to question the quashal of the search
warrants without the conformity of the public prosecutor. They argue that it violated Section 5,
Rule 110 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, to wit: SEC. 5. Who must prosecute criminal

Page | 15
actions.—All criminal actions commenced by a complaint or information shall be prosecuted
under the direction and control of the prosecutor. The provision states the general rule that the
public prosecutor has direction and control of the prosecution of “all criminal actions
commenced by a complaint or information.” However, a search warrant is obtained, not by the
filing of a complaint or an information, but by the filing of an application therefor. Clearly then,
an application for a search warrant is not a criminal action; thus, conformity of the public
prosecutor is not necessary to give the aggrieved party personality to question an order quashing
search warrants.

(2) YES. A trial judge’s finding of probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant is accorded
respect by reviewing courts when the finding has substantial basis. In the issuance of a search
warrant, probable cause requires "such facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably
prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and the objects sought in connection
with that offense are in the place to be searched." There is no exact test for the determination of
probable cause in the issuance of search warrants. It is a matter wholly dependent on the finding
of trial judges in the process of exercising their judicial function. Here, the applications for
search warrants were instituted as principal proceedings and not as incidents to pending criminal
actions. When the search warrants issued were subsequently quashed by the RTC, there was
nothing left to be done by the trial court. Thus, the quashal of the search warrants were final
orders, not interlocutory, and an appeal may be properly taken therefrom.

(3) NO. The requirement of particularity in the description of things to be seized is fulfilled when
the items described in the search warrant bear a direct relation to the offense for which the
warrant is sought. It need not describe the items to be seized in precise and minute detail. The
warrant is valid when it enables the police officers to readily identify the properties to be seized
and leaves them with no discretion regarding the articles to be seized.

A general warrant is defined as “(a) search or arrest warrant that is not particular as to the person
to be arrested or the property to be seized.” It is one that allows the “seizure of one thing under a
warrant describing another” and gives the officer executing the warrant the discretion over
which items to take. Such discretion is abhorrent, as it makes the person, against whom the
warrant is issued, vulnerable to abuses. Our Constitution guarantees our right against
unreasonable searches and seizures, and safeguards have been put in place to ensure that people
and their properties are searched only for the most compelling and lawful reasons. In furtherance
of this constitutional provision, Sections 3 and 4, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court, amplify the
rules regarding the following places and items to be searched under a search warrant.

In this case, PLDT was able to establish the connection between the items to be searched as
identified in the warrants and the crime of theft of its telephone services and business. Prior to
the application for the search warrants, Rivera conducted ocular inspection of the premises of
petitioners and was then able to confirm that they had "utilized various telecommunications
equipment consisting of computers, lines, cables, antennas, modems, or routers, multiplexers,
PABX or switching equipment, and support equipment such as software, diskettes, tapes,
manuals and other documentary records to support the illegal toll bypass operations.”

Page | 16
[RULE 111, SEC. 1] It is well settled that in criminal cases where the offended party is the State, the
interest of the private complainant or the private offended party is limited to the civil liability

[RULE 122, SEC. 1] The judgment that may be appealed by the aggrieved party envisaged in the
Rule is a judgment convicting the accused, and not a judgment of acquittal. (Rule 45, Section 1
must be read together with Rule 122, Section 1)

DENNIS T. VILLAREAL VS. CONSUELO C. ALIGA


January 12, 2014 G.R. No 166995
PERALTA, J.

FACTS: An Information was filed against respondent Aliga for the crime of Qualified Theft thru
Falsification of Commercial Document. During arraignment, respondent Aliga pleaded not guilty.
After the RTC resolved to deny petitioner’s motion for issuance of a hold departure order against
respondent Aliga and the latter’s motion to suspend proceedings, trial on the merits ensued. Both the
prosecution and the defense were able to present the testimonies of their witnesses and their respective
documentary exhibits. Challenged in this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 is the acquittal
of the CA of the accused which reversed and set aside the decision of the RTC.

ISSUE:
(1) Whether the petitioner took a procedural misstep when he filed the present petition without the
representation of the Office of the Solicitor General (YES)
(2) Whether the petitioner correctly filed the correct petition (NO)

HELD: (1) YES. Petitioner took a procedural misstep when he filed the present petition without the
representation of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). In criminal cases, the acquittal of the
accused or the dismissal of the case against him can only be appealed by the Solicitor General, acting
on behalf of the State. It is well settled that in criminal cases where the offended party is the State, the
interest of the private complainant or the private offended party is limited to the civil liability. Thus, in
the prosecution of the offense, the complainant's role is limited to that of a witness for the prosecution.
If a criminal case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an acquittal, an appeal therefrom on the
criminal aspect may be undertaken only by the State through the Solicitor General. However, the said
offended party or complainant may appeal the civil aspect despite the acquittal of the accused. In the
case at bar, the petition filed essentially assails the criminal, not the civil, aspect of the CA Decision.

(2) NO. A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules should have been filed instead of herein
petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. If the petition, regardless of its nomenclature, merely
calls for an ordinary review of the findings of the court a quo, the constitutional right of the accused
against double jeopardy would be violated.. A petition under Rule 45 brings up for review errors of
judgment, while a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 covers errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of
discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction. Grave abuse of discretion is not an allowable
ground under Rule 45. A petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is a mode of appeal.
Section 1 of Rule 45 should be read in relation to Section 1, Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Court,
which provides that any party may appeal from a judgment or final order "unless the accused will
thereby be placed in double jeopardy." The judgment that may be appealed by the aggrieved party
envisaged in the Rule is a judgment convicting the accused, and not a judgment of acquittal. The State
is barred from appealing such judgment of acquittal by a petition for review. The instant petition is
dismissed, and the acquittal of the accused was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Page | 17
[RULE 110, SEC. 8, 9] The averments in the two (2) sets of Information against petitioner and
Rusillon clearly stated facts and circumstances constituting the elements of the crime of estafa as to
duly inform them of the nature and cause of the accusation, sufficient to prepare their respective
defenses.

SILVERINA E. CONSIGNA VS PEOPLE


April 2, 2014, GR No. 175750-51
PEREZ, J.

FACTS: Petitioner, the Municipal Treasurer of General Luna, Surigao del Norte, together with Jose
Herasmio, obtained as loan from private respondent Hermelina Moleta, the sum of P320,000.00, to pay
for the salaries of the employees of the municipality and to construct the municipal gymnasium as the
municipality’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) had not yet arrived. As payment, petitioner issued 3
Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) checks signed by Jaime Rusillon (Rusillon), the incumbent mayor
of the Municipality of General Luna.

In several attempts on different occasions, Moleta demanded payment from petitioner and Rusillon,
but to no avail.

Thus, Moleta deposited the 3 LBP checks to her account in Metrobank-Surigao Branch. Upon
presentation for payment, Metrobank returned the checks to Moleta as the checks had no funds. The
following day, Moleta again deposited the checks. This time, however, she deposited the checks to her
LBP account. Upon presentation for payment, the checks were again returned for the reason,
"Signature Not on File." Upon verification, LBP informed Moleta that the municipality’s account was
already closed and transferred to Development Bank of the Philippines, and that petitioner, the
municipal treasurer, has been relieved from her position.

Hence, Moleta filed with the Sandiganbayan 2 sets of Information against petitioner, in the latter’s
capacity as Municipal Treasurer and Rusillon, in his capacity as Municipal Mayor of General Luna,
Surigao del Norte.

ISSUE: Whether or not the court a quo committed a reversible error for finding petitioner guilty of
estafa, based on information which does not specifically designate the provision allegedly violated

HELD: NO. Entrenched in jurisprudence is the dictum that the real nature of the criminal charge is
determined not from the caption or preamble of the information, or from the specification of the
provision of law alleged to have been violated, which are mere conclusions of law, but by the actual
recital of the facts in the complaint or information. As held in People v. Dimaano:

For complaint or information to be sufficient, it must state the name of the accused; the
designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as
constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate time of the commission
of the offense, and the place wherein the offense was committed. What is controlling is not the
title of the complaint, nor the designation of the offense charge or the particular law or part
thereof allegedly violated, these being mere conclusions of law made by the prosecutor, but the
description of the crime charged and the particular facts therein recited. Every element of the
offense must be stated in the information.

Page | 18
As early in United States v. Lim San, this Court has determined that:

From a legal point of view, and in a very real sense, it is of no concern to the accused what is the
technical name of the crime of which he stands charged. It in no way aids him in a defense on
the merits. x x x. That to which his attention should be directed, and in which he, above all
things else, should be most interested, are the facts alleged. The real question is not did he
commit a crime given in the law some technical and specific name, but did he perform the acts
alleged in the body of the information in the manner therein set forth. The designation of the
crime by name in the caption of the information from the facts alleged in the body of that
pleading is a conclusion of law made by the fiscal. In the designation of the crime the accused
never has a real interest until the trial has ended...”

Petitioner’s argument is as outdated as it is erroneous. The averments in the two (2) sets of Information
against petitioner and Rusillon clearly stated facts and circumstances constituting the elements of the
crime of estafa as to duly inform them of the nature and cause of the accusation, sufficient to prepare
their respective defenses.

Page | 19
[RULE 118, SEC. 2] All agreements or admissions made or entered during the pre-trial conference
shall be reduced in writing and signed by the accused and counsel. In this case, while it appears that
the pre-trial agreement was signed only by the prosecution and defense counsel, the same may be
admitted given that the defense failed to object to its admission.

PEOPLE VS. LIKIRAN


June 4, 2014, 725 SCRA 217
REYES, J.

FACTS: Jenny Likiran (accused-appellant) was convicted of the crime of Murder for the death of
Rolando Sareno, Sr. (Sareno). It was the eve of the town fiesta and a dance was being held at the
basketball court. After a few hours, while Prescado Mercado (Mercado) and Constancio Goloceno
(Goloceno) were inside the dance area, Jerome Likiran (Jerome), the accused-appellant’s brother,
punched Mercado on the mouth. Jerome was armed with a short firearm while accused-appellant was
holding a hunting knife. Jerome approached Sareno and shot him several times. With Sareno fallen,
the accused-appellant stabbed him on the back. Celso Dagangon (Dagangon) was able to bring Sareno
to the hospital only after Jerome and the accused-appellant left, but Sareno was already dead at that
point. The accused-appellant denied any involvement in the crime. While he admitted that he was at
the dance, he did not go outside when the commotion happened.

The RTC found that the prosecution was able to establish the accused-appellant’s culpability.
Prosecution witness Dagangon’s positive identification of the accused-appellant was held sufficient by
the RTC to convict the latter of the crime of murder. The RTC also rejected the accused–appellant’s
defense of denial as it was not supported by evidence. It also ruled that alibi cannot favor the accused-
appellant since he failed to prove that it was impossible for him be at the scene of the crime. The CA
sustained the findings of the RTC. The accused-appellant asserted that the information charged him of
murder committed by attacking, assaulting, stabbing and shooting Sareno, thereby causing his
instantaneous death. The accused-appellant argued that the evidence on record established that Sareno
was in fact shot by some other person. The CA disregarded the accused-appellant’s contention and
ruled that “the cause of death was not made an issue in the court a quo” and the Certificate of Death
was admitted during the pre-trial conference as proof of the fact and cause of death.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is sufficient basis for the CA’s disregard of the accused-appellant’s
argument

HELD: YES. The pre-trial agreement issued by the RTC states that one of the matters stipulated upon
and admitted by the prosecution and the defense was that the Certificate of Death issued by Dr. Dael of
Bukidnon Provincial Hospital and reviewed by the Rural Health Physician of Malaybalay City “is
admitted as proof of fact and cause of death due to multiple stab wound scapular area.” Stipulation of
facts during pre-trial is allowed by Rule 118 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Section 2 of
Rule 118, meanwhile, prescribes that all agreements or admissions made or entered during the pre-trial
conference shall be reduced in writing and signed by the accused and counsel; otherwise, they cannot
be used against the accused. In this case, while it appears that the pre-trial agreement was signed only
by the prosecution and defense counsel, the same may nevertheless be admitted given that the defense
failed to object to its admission. Moreover, a death certificate issued by a municipal health officer in
the regular performance of his duty is prima facie evidence of the cause of death of the victim. The
accused-appellant, therefore, is bound by his admission of Sareno’s cause of death. The Court of
Appeals’ decision is AFFIRMED.

Page | 20
[RULE 113, SEC. 5] Tancinco was arrested while attempting to conceal a firearm and could not
produce a license to carry thereof when asked by the police officers. Immediately thereafter, as an
incident to a lawful warrantless arrest, Tancinco was searched and found to have three (3) sachets
of shabu in his possession. The search was lawful under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court.

PEOPLE VS. DENNIS TANCINCO


June 18, 2014, 726 SCRA 659
PEREZ, J.

FACTS: A team of police officers was on roving patrol along M.J. Cuenco Avenue, Cebu City when
SPO1 Mendranos received a call from a member of the Barangay Intelligence Network (BIN) who
gave information of an ongoing pot session by an unidentified alleged armed man and his companion.
They proceeded to the location of where the armed person and his companions were supposedly
holding their pot session. They did not find the alleged armed man. The BIN informant approached
SPO1 Mendranos and told him that the alleged armed man had been spotted playing a bingo machine
at a nearby house. The alleged armed man turned out to be accused-appellant Tancinco. Since
Tancinco was unable to produce a license to carry a firearm, PO2 Abatayo consfiscated the firearm
and arrested Tancinco without a warrant. Incident to the warrantless arrest, SPO1 Mendranos
instructed PO2 Dio to make a body search of Tancinco. The body search of Tancinco produced three
(3) medium plastic sachets, which were positive to be shabu. Subsequently, separate Informations for
violation of R.A. No. 9165, specifically illegal possession of dangerous drugs, and for illegal
possession of firearm were filed by the arresting police officers against Tancinco. The trial court found
Tancinco guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 11, Article II of R.A. No. 9165,
specifically illegal possession of a dangerous drug. On appeal, the appellate court rejected Tancinco’s
claim of frame-up as against the straightforward, direct and positive testimony of the police officers.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid search.

HELD: YES. Tancinco was searched as an incident to a lawful warrantless arrest. Section 5, Rule 113
of the Rules of Court provides:

SEC. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. – A peace officer or a private person may, without a
warrant, arrest a person.

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or
is attempting to commit an offense;
(b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed
it; and xxx

In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a warrant shall
be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in
accordance with Section 7 of Rule 112.

The testimony of the police officers, including PO2 Dio, as to what went down when they arrested
Tancinco was direct, straightforward and positive. PO2 Dio’s statement that he did not clearly see
Tancinco holding the firearm does not detract from the prosecutions’ evidence and story that Tancinco
was arrested while attempting to conceal a firearm and could not produce a license to carry thereof
when asked by the police officers. Immediately thereafter, as an incident to a lawful warrantless arrest,
Tancinco was searched and found to have three (3) sachets of shabu in his possession.

Page | 21
[RULE 110, SEC. 15] While petitioners raised this jurisdictional defect for the first time in the
present petition, they are not precluded from questioning the same. Indeed, jurisdiction over the
subject matter is conferred only by the Constitution or the law and cannot be acquired through a
waiver or enlarged by the omission of the parties or conferred by the acquiescence of the court.

RICARDO L. ATIENZA AND ALFREDO A. CASTRO VS. PEOPLE


February 12, 2014, G.R. No. 188694
PERLAS–BERNABE, J.

FACTS: Ricardo Atienza requested Atibula (Records Officer I and Custodian of the CA Original
Decisions in the CA Reporter’s Division) to take out Volumes 260, 265 and 267 which the latter
rejected even despite the offer of P50,000 for Volume 260.
Subsequently, Volume 266 was subsequently discovered to be missing and which access to the
missing volume appears to have been acquired by entering through an opening because the air
conditioning unit occupying the space thereat was taken out for repair earlier. A Clerk IV then handed
to Atibula a bag containing a gift–wrapped package which turned out to be the missing Volume 266.
Volume 266 bore badges of tampering evidenced by the “non–continuity of the front and the back
cover flaps x x x and the pages of the book/volume differences in the cutting marks on the sides of the
volume and the presence of artificial aging on [its] sides” and two (2) new documents which materially
amended the original decision and resolution in the Fernando case were inserted in the said volume.
After investigation, the charges involving the pertinent provisions of RAs 3019 and 6713 were
dismissed for insufficiency of evidence, but it was contrarily determined that there existed probable
cause to charge Atienza, et al. for the crimes of Robbery under Article 299(a)(1) of the Revised Penal
Code and of Falsification of Public Document under Article 172(1)54 in relation to Article 171(6)55 of
the same code. Thus, the corresponding Informations were filed before the RTC. The RTC found them
guilty which the CA affirmed in toto.
ISSUE: Whether there was lack of jurisdiction
HELD: YES. The RTC did not have jurisdiction to take cognizance of the falsification case since
Falsification of Public Document under Article 172(1)90 of the RPC, which is punishable by prision
correccional in its medium and maximum periods (or imprisonment for 2 years, 4 months and 1 day to
6 years91 ) and a fine of not more than P5,000.00, falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts pursuant to
Section 32(2) of the “Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980,” as amended by RA 7691. While
petitioners raised this jurisdictional defect for the first time in the present petition, they are not
precluded from questioning the same. Indeed, jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred only by
the Constitution or the law and cannot be acquired through a waiver or enlarged by the omission of the
parties or conferred by the acquiescence of the court. The rule is well–settled that lack of jurisdiction
over the subject matter may be raised at any stage of the proceedings. Hence, questions of jurisdiction
may be cognizable even if raised for the first time on appeal. The accused were subsequently acquitted
for reasonable doubt.

Page | 22
[RULE 110, SEC. 15] Although the trial court’s lack of jurisdiction was never raised as an issue in
any part of the proceedings and even until it reached the Supreme Court, the SC applied the general
rule that jurisdiction is vested by law and cannot be conferred or waived by the parties.

[RULE 111, SEC. 1] The civil liability ex delicto is impliedly instituted with the criminal offense.
When the trial court’s decision was appealed as to its criminal aspect in the petition for certiorari
before this court, the civil aspect thereof is deemed included in the appeal.

ANTONIO M. GARCIA VS. FERRO CHEMICALS, INC.


October 1, 2014, 737 SCRA 252
LEONEN, J.

FACTS: Antonio Garcia, as seller, and Ferro Chemicals, Inc., through Ramon Garcia, as buyer,
entered into a deed of absolute· sale and purchase of shares of stock in July 1988 (including stocks in
Alabang Country Club, Inc. and in Manila Polo Club, Inc.). However, this were sold in public auction.
He was charged with estafa under Article 318 (Other Deceits) of the Revised Penal Code for allegedly
misrepresenting to Ferro Chemicals, Inc. that the shares subject of the contracts entered into were free
from all liens and encumbrances.

ISSUES:
(1) Does the RTC have jurisdiction? (NO)
(2) Is filing a separate case for civil action forum shopping? (NO)

HELD: (1) NO. When the information was filed on September 3, 1990, the law in force was Batas
Pambansa Blg. 129 (Judicial Reorganization Act) before it was amended by Republic Act No. 7691.
Under Section 32 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, the Metropolitan Trial Court had jurisdiction over the
case. The RTC did not have jurisdiction to hear and decide the case. This lack of jurisdiction resulted
in voiding all of the trial court’s proceedings and the judgment rendered. Although the trial court’s
lack of jurisdiction was never raised as an issue in any part of the proceedings and even until it reached
this court, we apply the general rule that jurisdiction is vested by law and cannot be conferred or
waived by the parties. Even on appeal and even if the reviewing parties did not raise the issue of
jurisdiction, the reviewing court is not precluded from ruling that the lower court had no jurisdiction
over the case.

(2) NO. The appeal before the CA is purely on the civil aspect of the trial court’s decision while the
petition for certiorari before this court is allegedly only on the criminal aspect of the case. Ferro
Chemicals, Inc. did not reserve the right to institute the civil action for the recovery of civil liability ex
delicto or institute a separate civil action prior to the filing of the criminal case. For this reason, the
civil liability ex delicto is impliedly instituted with the criminal offense. When the trial court’s
decision was appealed as to its criminal aspect in the petition for certiorari before this court, the civil
aspect thereof is deemed included in the appeal.

However, that private complainants in criminal cases are not precluded from filing a motion for
reconsideration and subsequently an appeal on the civil aspect of a decision acquitting the accused. An
exception to the rule that only the Solicitor General can bring actions in criminal proceedings before
the Court of Appeals or this court is "when the private offended party questions the civil aspect of a
decision of a lower court." The private complainant or offended party may not undertake such motion

Page | 23
for reconsideration or appeal on the criminal aspect of the case. However, if the state pursues an
appeal on the criminal aspect of a decision of the trial court acquitting the accused and private
complainant/s failed to reserve the right to institute a separate civil action, the civil liability ex delicto
that is inherently attached to the offense is likewise appealed. Private complainant cannot anymore
pursue a separate appeal from that of the state without violating the doctrine of non-forum shopping.
On the other hand, the conclusion is different if private complainant reserved the right to institute the
civil action for the recovery of civil liability ex delicto before the RTC or institute a separate civil
action prior to the filing of the criminal case in accordance with Rule 111 of the Rules of Court. In
these situations, the filing of an appeals to the civil aspect of the case cannot be considered as forum
shopping. This is not the situation here.

Page | 24
[RULE 110, SEC. 6] Her last chance to pose the challenge was prior to the time she pleaded to the
information through a motion to quash on the ground that the information did not conform
substantially to the prescribed form, or did not charge an offense.

FELINA ROSALDES VS. PEOPLE


October 8, 2014, 737 SCRA 252

FACTS: In February 1996, 7 y/o Michael Ryan Gonzales (Grade 1 pupil in Iloilo), hurriedly entered
the classroom and bumped into his teacher, petitioner Rosaldes, who was then asleep on a bamboo
sofa. Rosaldes asked for an apology but when Michael didn’t want to apologize, she pushed and
repeatedly slammed Michael on the floor. The medical examination after the incident showed
contusions and pain; thus, Rosaldes was charged with child abuse in the RTC, and found her guilty
which the CA affirmed but modified for her “to suffer the indeterminate penalty of four (4) years, two
(2) months and one (1) day of prision correctional, as the minimum of it, to ten (10) years and one (1)
day of prision mayor.”

ISSUE:
(1) Whether information is sufficient?
(2) Should civil liability be granted even if not proof of actual expenses or testimony of victim’s
feelings?

HELD: (1) YES. Under Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, the information is sufficient if it
states the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or
omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the proximate
date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the offense was committed. The
information explicitly averred the offense of child abuse charged against the petitioner in the context
of the statutory definition of child abuse found in Section 3 (b) of Republic Act No. 7610, supra, and
thus complied with the requirements of Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court. Moreover, the Court
should no longer entertain the petitioner's challenge against the sufficiency of the information in form
and substance. Her last chance to pose the challenge was prior to the time she pleaded to the
information through a motion to quash on the ground that the information did not conform
substantially to the prescribed form, or did not charge an offense. She did not do so, resulting in her
waiver of the challenge.

(2) YES. Even without proof of the actual expenses, or testimony on the victim's feelings, the lower
courts still had the authority to define and allow civil liability arising from the offense and the means
to fix their extent. The child abuse surely inflicted on Michael Ryan physical and emotional trauma as
well as moral injury. It cannot also be denied that his parents necessarily spent for his treatment.
Indeed, as the Court pointed out in Bacolod v. People, it was "imperative that the courts prescribe the
proper penalties when convicting the accused, and determine the civil liability to be imposed on the
accused, unless there has been a reservation of the action to recover civil liability or a waiver of its
recovery. The victim was likewise entitled to exemplary damages, considering that Article 2230 of the
Civil Code authorizes such damages if at least one aggravating circumstance attended the commission
of the crime. The child abuse committed by the petitioner was aggravated her being a public
schoolteacher, a factor in raising the penalty to its maximum period pursuant to Section 31(e) of
Republic Act No. 7610.

Page | 25
[RULE 110, SEC. 5] Even granting that an irregularity had intervened in the Barangay Captain’s
issuance of the Certification to File and Action, we note that this irregularity is not a jurisdictional
flaw that warrants the dismissal of the criminal cases before the MTC.

FEDERICO SABAY VS. PEOPLE


October 1, 2014, 737 SCRA 423
BRION, J.

FACTS: In June 2001, while the petitioner and his daughter were busy laying wood and water pipes in
the yard of Godofredo Lopez, the latter confronted the petitioner about their alleged intrusion into his
property. A verbal altercation ensued between them. Petitioner’s daughter hit Godofredo on the head
with a hard object; while petitioner threw a stone at his face breaking Godofredo’s eyeglasses. One
Jervie Lopez intervened but was hit in the hand with a bolo. Soon after, the neighbors intervened not
long after and pacified the parties. The petitioner was accordingly charged before the MTC with the
crime of Physical Injuries under two (2) Informations for inflicting physical injuries upon Godofredo
and Jervie, “which required and will require medical attendance for not more than 7 days or
incapacitated or will incapacitate said victim from performing his habitual work for the same period of
time.” This was despite a Kasunduan because it was not implemented as the building inspector failed
to make the promised recommendation to resolve the boundary dispute between the parties. Thus, the
Office of the Barangay Captain issued a Certificate to File an Action. The MTC, RTC, and CA held
the petitioner guilty for 2 counts of slight physical injuries.

ISSUE: Does the MTC have jurisdiction over the criminal cases in view of the alleged inadmissibility
of the Certification to File Action?

HELD: YES. Although they initially agreed to settle their case, the Kasunduan that embodied their
agreement was never implemented; no actual settlement materialized as the building inspector failed to
make his promised recommendation to settle the dispute. The Barangay Captain was thus compelled to
issue a Certification to File an Action, indicating that the disputing parties did not reach any
settlement. The CA correctly observed and considered the situation: the settlement of the case was
conditioned on the recommendation of the building inspector; with no recommendation, no resolution
of the conflict likewise took place. The present case was indisputably referred to the Barangay Lupon
for conciliation prior to the institution of the criminal cases before the MTC.

Even granting that an irregularity had intervened in the Barangay Captain’s issuance of the
Certification to File and Action, we note that this irregularity is not a jurisdictional flaw that warrants
the dismissal of the criminal cases before the MTC. As we held in Diu v. Court of Appeals: Also, the
conciliation procedure under Presidential Decree No. 1508 is not a jurisdictional requirement and
non-compliance therewith cannot affect the jurisdiction which the lower courts had already acquired
over the subject matter and private respondents as defendants therein.

Moreover, even though the Certification was not formally offered in evidence, it was marked as
Exhibit “1” and attached to the records of the case. Significantly, the petitioner never objected to
Godofredo’s testimony, particularly with the identification and marking of the Certification. In these
lights, the Court sees no reason why the Certification should not be admitted.

Page | 26
[RULE 113, SEC.5] Adriano was arrested pursuant to Section 5(a), which provides that a person
may be arrested without a warrant if he "has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense."

PEOPLE VS. EDWARD ADRIANO Y SALES


October 8, 2014, 738 SCRA 68
PEREZ, J.

FACTS: Adriano was caught in a buy-bust operation pursuant to a report received from a barangay
official and an informant that Adriano was selling drugs in North Daang Hari, Taguig City. The RTC
convicted him under the crime of illegal sale of shabu punishable under Section 5, Article II of the
Republic Act No. 9165 (R.A. No. 9165), otherwise known as Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
The CA affirmed the RTC decision. Adriano files before the Supreme Court with the issue that his
warrantless arrest was illegal.

ISSUE: Whether or not his warrantless arrest was illegal

HELD: NO. The defense's contention that the buy-bust team should have procured a search warrant
for the validity of the buy-bust operation is misplaced. However, warrantless arrests are allowed in
three (3) instances as provided by Section 5 of Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure.

Based on the above provision, Adriano was arrested pursuant to Section 5(a), which provides that a
person may be arrested without a warrant if he "has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense." In the case at bar, Adriano was caught in the act of committing an
offense, in flagrante delicto, when Adriano was caught selling illegal shabu through a buy-bust
operation, within the plain view of the arresting officers.

A buy-bust operation is "a form of entrapment, in which the violator is caught in flagrante delicto and
the police officers conducting the operation are not only authorized but duty-bound to apprehend the
violator and to search him for anything that may have been part of or used in the commission of the
crime. It has been, in recent years, accepted as a valid and effective mode of apprehending drug
pushers. In a buy-bust operation, the idea to commit a crime originates from the offender, without
anybody inducing or prodding him to commit the offense. If carried out with due regard for
constitutional and legal safeguards, a buy-bust operation deserves judicial sanction.

Page | 27
[RULE 111] The acquittal of the accused does not automatically preclude a judgment against him
on the civil aspect of the case.

LEONORA B. RIMANDO VS. SPOUSES ALDABA and PEOPLE


October 13, 2014, 738 SCRA 232
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.

FACTS: Rimando allegedly enticed Sps. Aldaba to invest in her business under the assurance that it is
stable and that their money would earn 8% monthly interest. Convinced by Rimando’s proposal and
taking into consideration their long friendship, Sps. Aldaba gave Rimando a check in the amount of
P500,000 as investment in her business and invested the same to Mulitel (as evidenced by a signed
Investment Contract). In turn, Rimando gave Sps. Aldaba three (3) postdated checks (amounting to
P540,000); but upon maturity of the checks, they were dishonored due to insufficient funds. This
prompted Sps. Aldaba to file a criminal complaint for estafa and BP 22 against her. The RTC acquitted
Rimando of the crime of estafa, but found her civilly liable to Sps. Aldaba in the amount of P500,000.
Meanwhile, in the BP 22 case, she was acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt, with a declaration
that the act or omission from which liability may arise does not exist.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA correctly upheld Rimando’s civil liability in the estafa case despite her
acquittal and exoneration from civil liability in the BP 22 cases

HELD: YES. At the outset, the Court notes that Rimando’s acquittal in the estafa case does not
necessarily absolve her from any civil liability to private complainants, Sps. Aldaba. It is well-settled
that "the acquittal of the accused does not automatically preclude a judgment against him on the civil
aspect of the case. The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of the civil
liability where: (a) the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is
required; (b) the court declares that the liability of the accused is only civil; and (c) the civil liability of
the accused does not arise from or is not based upon the crime of which the accused is acquitted.

In this case, Rimando’s civil liability did not arise from any purported act constituting the crime of
estafa as the RTC clearly found that Rimando never employed any deceit on Sps. Aldaba to induce
them to invest money in Multitel. Rather, her civil liability was correctly traced from being an
accommodation party to one of the checks she issued to Sps. Aldaba on behalf of Multitel. In lending
her name to Multitel, she, in effect, acted as a surety to the latter, and assuch, she may be held directly
liable for the value of the issued check.

Moreover, while the filing of the two sets of Information under the provisions of BP No. 22 and under
the provisions of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, on estafa, may refer to identical acts committed
by the petitioner, the prosecution thereof cannot be limited to one offense, because a single criminal
act may give rise to a multiplicity of offenses and where there is variance or differences between the
elements of an offense is one law and another law as in the case at bar there will be no double jeopardy
because what the rule on double jeopardy prohibits refers to identity of elements in the two (2)
offenses. Otherwise stated, prosecution for the same act is not prohibited. What is forbidden is
prosecution for the same offense. Essentially, while a BP 22 case and an estafa case may be rooted
from an identical set of facts, they nevertheless present different causes of action. Both cases can
proceed to their final adjudication – both as to their criminal and civil aspects – subject to the
prohibition on double recovery.

Page | 28
[RULE 117, SEC. 3; RULE 110, SEC. 6] The motion to quash is the mode by which an accused,
before entering his plea, challenges the complaint or information for insufficiency on its face in
point of law, or for defects apparent on its face. However, the information in this case was already
sufficient .

GODOFREDO ENRILE and DR. FREDERICK ENRILE VS. HON. DANILO A.


MANALASTAS
October 22, 2014, 739 SCRA 49
BERSAMIN, J.

FACTS: Petitioners were charged with less serious physical injuries by the MTC after finding
probable cause against them and set their arraignment. Petitioners moved for the reconsideration of the
resolution, arguing that the complainants has not presented proof of their having been given medical
attention lasting 10 days or longer. The MTC denied their MR because their case was governed by the
Rules of Summary Procedure which prohibited MRs. Thereafter, the petitioners presented a
manifestation with motion to quash and a motion for the deferment of the arraignment; but was again
denied. Unsatisfied, the petitioners commenced a special civil action for certiorari assailing the denial
for both the MR and Motion to Quash before the RTC presided by private respondent. This was also
denied. The petitioners next went to the CA via a petition for certiorari and prohibition to nullify the
orders issued by the RTC, but was also dismissed for being the improper remedy.

ISSUE: Was the dismissal of the Motion to Quash proper? (Despite an alleged clear and patent
showing of a lack of an essential element of the crime less serious physical injuries)

HELD: YES. The motion to quash is the mode by which an accused, before entering his plea,
challenges the complaint or information for insufficiency on its face in point of law, or for defects
apparent on its face. (Section 3, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court enumerates the grounds for the quashal
of the complaint or information). However, the information in this case was already sufficient (Section
6, Rule 110).

As the MTC and RTC rightly held, the presentation of the medical certificates to prove the duration of
the victims’ need for medical attendance or of their incapacity should take place only at the trial, not
before or during the preliminary investigation. According to Cinco v. Sandiganbayan, the preliminary
investigation, which is the occasion for the submission of the parties’ respective affidavits, counter-
affidavits and evidence to buttress their separate allegations, is merely inquisitorial, and is often the
only means of discovering whether a person may be reasonably charged with a crime, to enable the
prosecutor to prepare the information. It is not yet a trial on the merits, for its only purpose is to
determine whether a crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that the
accused is guilty thereof. What is required is only that the evidence be sufficient to establish probable
cause that the accused committed the crime charged, not that all reasonable doubt of the guilt of the
accused be removed.

The Court also further agrees that “the issues raised in the motion to quash are matters of defense that
could only be threshed out in a full blown trial on the merits. Indeed, proof of actual healing period of
the alleged injuries of the private complainant could only be established in the trial of the cases filed
against herein petitioners by means of competent evidence.

Page | 29
[RULE 111, SEC. 4] Upon the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, the criminal
action is extinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused; the civil
action instituted therein for the recovery of civil liability ex delicto is ipso facto extinguished,
grounded as it is on the criminal action.

PEOPLE VS. DEMOCRITO PARAS


October 3, 2014, 739 SCRA 179
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.

FACTS: The accused-appellant Democrito Paras was charged with one count of rape before the RTC
of Toledo City allegedly committed against AAA who was 17 years old at the time of the incident in
March 1996. In 2005, the RTC found the accused guilty of rape. The CA affirmed but modified the
amount of indemnity/ damages. In January 2013, the accused died at the New Bilibid Prison Hospital
in Muntinlupa City due to pulmonary tuberculosis, during the pendency of his appeal before the
Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Whether his death extinguished both criminal and civil liability.

HELD: YES. Under Article 89, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, the death of an
accused pending his appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil liability ex delicto. Thus, upon the
death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, the criminal action is extinguished inasmuch as
there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused; the civil action instituted therein for the
recovery of civil liability ex delicto is ipso facto extinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal action.

In this case, when the accused-appellant died on January 24, 2013, his appeal to this Court was still
pending. The Decision dated June 4, 2014 was thereafter promulgated as the Court was not
immediately informed of the accused-appellant's death.

The death of the accused-appellant herein, thus, extinguished his criminal liability, as well as his civil
liability directly arising from and based solely on the crime committed.

Accordingly, the Court's Decision dated June 4, 2014 had been rendered ineffectual and the same must
therefore be set aside. The criminal case against the accused-appellant must also be dismissed.

Page | 30
[RULE 110, SEC. 6] By reason of the abbreviated nature of preliminary investigations, a dismissal
of the charges as a result thereof is not equivalent to a judicial pronouncement of acquittal. In this
case, there is no question that the Information filed against the respondents was sufficient to hold
them liable for the crime of Theft because it was compliant with Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules of
Court.

PEOPLE VS. ENGR. RODOLFO YECYEC, ET AL.


November 12, 2014, 739 SCRA 719
MENDOZA, J.

FACTS: Pioneer Amaresa, Inc. is a domestic corporation engaged in the buying and selling of rubber
(in Bukidnon). Calixto Sison was their supervisor. In August 2002, Sison was approached by several
officers of FARBECO Multi-purpose Cooperative (FARBECO) and 2 police officers. Upon their
inspection, the group informed Sison that six tons of the rubber lumps/coagulum that were previously
sold to him were earlier stolen from them. Rodolfo Yecyec, manager of FARBECO, arrived at his
place on board a "weapons carrier truck." Yecyec, together 35 men, demanded that Sison give them
the rubber lumps/coagulum. But before Yecyec and his men could completely load all the rubber cup
lumps inside the truck, Sison arrived together with police officer and a barangay kagawad. He
subsequently charged Yecyec with Robbery with Intimidation of Persons before the 1st Municipal
Circuit Trial Court (MCTC). The MCTC found probable cause; while the Provincial Prosecutor
affirmed the finding of probable cause but change robbery to theft, and filed the information (in
violation of Articles 308 and 309 of the RPC). Subsequently, the RTC arrived at that they failed to
establish probable cause absent two (2) of the essential elements of the crime (“said property belongs
to another” and “intent to gain”) and so dismissed the case. The CA affirmed the dismissal.

ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC and the CA erred in dismissing the information against the
respondents for the crime of Theft for want of probable cause

HELD: YES. To determine whether probable cause exists and to charge those believed to have
committed the crime as defined by law, is a function that belongs to the public prosecutor. It is an
executive function. Thus, in the oft-cited case of Crespo v. Mogul, it was stated that: It is a cardinal
principle that all criminal actions either commenced by complaint or by information shall be
prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal. The institution of a criminal action depends
upon the sound discretion of the fiscal. He may or may not file the complaint or information, follow or
not follow that presented by the offended party, according to whether the evidence, in his opinion, is
sufficient or not to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. x x x The primary
objective of a preliminary investigation is to free respondent from the inconvenience, expense,
ignominy and stress of defending himself/herself in the course of a formal trial, until the reasonable
probability of his or her guilt.
Such investigation is not part of the trial. A full and exhaustive presentation of the parties' evidence is
not required, but only such as may engender a well-grounded belief than an offense has been
committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof. By reason of the abbreviated nature of
preliminary investigations, a dismissal of the charges as a result thereof is not equivalent to a judicial
pronouncement of acquittal. In this case, there is no question that the Information filed against the
respondents was sufficient to hold them liable for the crime of Theft because it was compliant with
Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court. The information was thus reinstated and the case remanded
to the RTC to proceed with the case.

Page | 31
[RULE 113, SEC. 5] Under Rule 113, Sect. 5, even though the police officer has not seen someone
actually fleeing, he could still make a warrantless arrest if, based on his personal evaluation of the
circumstances at the scene of the crime, he could determine the existence of probable cause that the
person sought to be arrested has committed the crime. However, the determination of probable
cause and the gathering of facts or circumstances should be made immediately after the commission
of the crime in order to comply with the element of immediacy.

JOEY M. PESTILOS VS. MORENO GENEROSO


November 10, 2014, 739 SCRA 337
BRION, J.

FACTS: On February 2005, at around 3:15 in the morning, an altercation ensued between the
petitioners and Atty. Moreno Generoso. Atty. Generoso called the Central Police and when they
arrived, they saw him badly beaten. Atty. Generoso then pointed to the petitioners as those who
mauled him. This prompted the police officers to "invite" the petitioners to go to Batasan Hills Police
Station for investigation. The petitioners went with the police officers to Batasan Hills Police Station.9
At the inquest proceeding, the City Prosecutor of Quezon City found that the petitioners stabbed Atty.
Generoso with a bladed weapon. Atty. Generoso fortunately survived the attack. In an Information
dated February 22, 2005, the petitioners were indicted for attempted murder. Petitioners filed an
Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary Investigation on the ground that they had not been lawfully
arrested. They alleged that no valid warrantless arrest took place since the police officers had no
personal knowledge that they were the perpetrators of the crime. They also claimed that they were just
"invited" to the police station. Thus, the inquest proceeding was improper, and a regular procedure for
preliminary investigation should have been performed pursuant to Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. The
RTC denied the Urgent Motion and the CA also denied such.

ISSUES:
(1) Whether petitioners were validly arrested without a warrant (YES)
(2) Whether petitioners were lawfully arrested when they were merely invited to the police precinct
(YES)
(3) Whether the order denying the motion for preliminary investigation is void for failure to state the
facts and the law upon which it was based (YES)

HELD:
(1) YES. For purposes of this case, the Court shall focus on the history of Section 5(b). The provision
has undergone changes through the years not just in its phraseology but also in its interpretation in our
jurisprudence. Under the 1940 and the 1964 Rules of Court, the Rules required that there should be
actual commission of an offense, thus, removing the element of the arresting officer's "reasonable
suspicion of the commission of an offense." The 1940 and 1964 Rules of Court restricted the arresting
officer's discretion in warrantless arrests under Section 6(b), Rule 113 of the 1964 Rules of Court.

Section 6, Rule 113 of the 1964 Rules of Court again underwent substantial changes and was re-
worded and re-numbered when it became Section 5, Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal
Procedure. As amended, Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Court retained the restrictions
introduced under the 1964 Rules of Court. More importantly, however, it added a qualification that the
commission of the offense should not only have been "committed" but should have been "just

Page | 32
committed." This limited the arresting officer's time frame for conducting an investigation for purposes
of gathering information indicating that the person sought to be arrested has committed the crime

Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure was further amended with the
incorporation of the word "probable cause" as the basis of the arresting officer's determination on
whether the person to be arrested has committed the crime. From the current phraseology of the rules
on warrantless arrest, it appears that for purposes of Section 5(b), the following are the notable
changes: first, the contemplated offense was qualified by the word "just," connoting immediacy; and
second, the warrantless arrest of a person sought to be arrested should be based on probable cause to
be determined by the arresting officer based on his personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that
the person to be arrested has committed it. It is clear that the present rules have objectified" the
previously subjective determination of the arresting officer as to the (1) commission of the crime; and
(2) whether the person sought to be arrested committed the crime. As presently worded, the elements
under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure are: first, an offense has just
been committed; and second, the arresting officer has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it.

The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to determine whether a crime has been committed and
whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty of the crime and should be held for
trial. On the other hand, probable cause in judicial proceedings for the issuance of a warrant of arrest
is defined as the existence of such facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably discreet and
prudent person to believe that an offense has been committed by the person sought to be arrested.

Hence, before issuing a warrant of arrest, the judge must be satisfied that based on the evidence
submitted, there is sufficient proof that a crime has been committed and that the person to be arrested
is probably guilty thereof. At this stage of the criminal proceeding, the judge is not yet tasked to
review in detail the evidence submitted during the preliminary investigation.

In contrast, the arresting officer's determination of probable cause under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is based on his personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that
the person sought to be arrested has committed the crime. These facts or circumstances pertain to
actual facts or raw evidence, i.e., supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to
create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion therefore must
be founded on probable cause, coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers making the
arrest

The phrase covers facts or, in the alternative, circumstances. According to the Black's Law Dictionary,
"circumstances are attendant or accompanying facts, events or conditions." Circumstances may pertain
to events or actions within the actual perception, personal evaluation or observation of the police
officer at the scene of the crime. Thus, even though the police officer has not seen someone actually
fleeing, he could still make a warrantless arrest if, based on his personal evaluation of the
circumstances at the scene of the crime, he could determine the existence of probable cause that the
person sought to be arrested has committed the crime. However, the determination of probable cause
and the gathering of facts or circumstances should be made immediately after the commission of the
crime in order to comply with the element of immediacy.

Page | 33
In other words, the clincher in the element of "personal knowledge of facts or circumstances" is the
required element of immediacy within which these facts or circumstances should be gathered. This
required time element acts as a safeguard to ensure that the police officers have gathered the facts or
perceived the circumstances within a very limited time frame. This guarantees that the police officers
would have no time to base their probable cause finding on facts or circumstances obtained after an
exhaustive investigation.

Hence, for purposes of resolving the issue on the validity of the warrantless arrest of the present
petitioners, the question to be resolved is whether the requirements for a valid warrantless arrest under
Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure were complied with, namely: 1)
has the crime just been committed when they were arrested? 2) did the arresting officer have personal
knowledge of facts and circumstances that the petitioners committed the crime? and 3) based on these
facts and circumstances that the arresting officer possessed at the time of the petitioners' arrest, would
a reasonably discreet and prudent person believe that the attempted murder of Atty. Generoso was
committed by the petitioners?

(2) YES. The term "invited" in the Affidavit of Arrest is construed to mean as an authoritative
command. After the resolution of the validity of the warrantless arrest, the discussion of the petitioners'
second issue is largely academic. Arrest is defined as the taking of a person into custody in order that
he may be bound to answer for the commission of an offense. An arrest is made by an actual restraint
of the person to be arrested, or by his submission to the custody of the person making the arrest.91
Thus, application of actual force, manual touching of the body, physical restraint or a formal
declaration of arrest is not required. It is enough that there be an intention on the part of one of the
parties to arrest the other and the intent of the other to submit, under the belief and impression that
submission is necessary.

(3) YES. The Order denying the motion for preliminary investigation is valid. There is no impropriety
or grave abuse of discretion in this Order. The RTC, in resolving the motion, is not required to state all
the facts found in the record of the case. Detailed evidentiary matters, as the RTC decreed, is best
reserved for the full-blown trial of the case, not in the preliminary incidents leading up to the trial.
Additionally, no less than the Constitution itself provides that it is the decision that should state clearly
and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. In resolving a motion, the court is only
required to state clearly and distinctly the reasons therefor. A contrary system would only prolong the
proceedings, which was precisely what happened to this case. Hence, we uphold the validity of the
RTC's order as it correctly stated the reason for its denial of the petitioners' Urgent Motion for Regular
Preliminary Investigation.

Page | 34
[RULE 113, SEC. 5] The fact of the matter is that the accused-appellant was caught in flagrante
delicto of selling illegal drugs to an undercover police officer in a buy-bust operation. His arrest,
thus, falls within the ambit of Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure
when an arrest made without warrant is deemed lawful.

PEOPLE VS. USMAN Y GOGO


February 4, 2015, G.R. No. 201100
PEREZ, J.

FACTS: In December 2013, Mhods Usman y Gogo was charged of selling shabu under Sec. 5, Article
II of Republic Act No. 9165 (R. A. No. 9165) or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,
following a buy-bust operation. For Usman’s part, the accused denied the allegations of the police
officers and countered as a defense that he was framed up by the arresting officers. Subsequently, the
RTC rendered a judgment of conviction which the CA affirmed. The appellate court ruled that
accused-appellant’s arrest was valid because he was caught in flagrante delicto. Usman elevated the
case before the Supreme Court claiming that his warrantless arrest was illegal (among other issues).

ISSUE: Whether Usman arrest was illegal

HELD: NO. First and foremost, accused-appellant can no longer question the legality of his arrest. In
People v. Vasquez the Court reiterated the rule that any objection, defect or irregularity attending an
arrest must be made before the accused enters his plea on arraignment, and having failed to move for
the quashal of the Information before arraignment, accused-appellant is now estopped from
questioning the legality of his arrest. Moreover, any irregularity was cured upon his voluntary
submission to the RTC’s jurisdiction.

Be that as it may, the fact of the matter is that the accused-appellant was caught in flagrante delicto of
selling illegal drugs to an undercover police officer in a buy-bust operation. His arrest, thus, falls
within the ambit of Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure when an arrest
made without warrant is deemed lawful.

In People v. Loks, the Court acknowledged that a buy-bust operation is a legally effective and proven
procedure, sanctioned by law, for apprehending drug peddlers and distributors. Since accused-
appellant was caught by the buy-bust team in flagrante delicto, his immediate arrest was also validly
made. The accused was caught in the act and had to be apprehended on the spot.

Accused-appellant’s arrest being valid, we also hold that the subsequent warrantless seizure of the
illegal drugs from his person is equally valid. The legitimate warrantless arrest also cloaks the
arresting police officer with the authority to validly search and seize from the offender those that may
be used to prove the commission of the offense.

Lastly, as to accused-appellant’s claim of frame-up, suffice it to say that in People v. Bartolome, we


held that the fact that frame-up and extortion could be easily concocted renders such defenses hard to
believe. Thus, although drug-related violators have commonly tendered such defenses to fend off or
refute valid prosecutions of their drug-related violations, the Court has required that such defenses, to
be credited at all, must be established with clear and convincing evidence.

Page | 35
[RULE 126, SEC. 13] Having established the validity of the warrantless arrest in this case, the
Court holds that the warrantless seizure of the illegal drugs from the appellant is likewise valid.

PEOPLE VS. DONALD VASQUEZ


January 15, 2014, 714 SCRA 78
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.

FACTS: P/Insp. Fajardo testified that, a confidential informant went to their office and reported that a
certain Donald Vasquez was engaged in illegal drug activity. This alias Don supposedly claimed that
he was an employee of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). According to the informant, alias
Don promised him a good commission if he (the informant) would present a potential buyer of drugs.
P/Insp. Fajardo relayed the information to Police Superintendent (P/Supt.) Pepito Domantay, the
commanding officer of their office. P/Insp. Fajardo was then instructed to form a team and conduct a
possible buy-bust against alias Don. She formed a team and with the help of the informant, she was
able to set up a meeting with alias Don. The buy-bust operation took place. P/Insp. Fajardo further
testified that the six plastic bags of shabu seized during the buy-bust operation were actually contained
in a self-sealing plastic envelope placed inside a brown envelope. When the brown envelope was
confiscated from the appellant, she put her initials “JSF” therein and signed it.

ISSUE: Whether the warrantless seizure was valid

HELD: YES. Having established the validity of the warrantless arrest in this case, the Court holds that
the warrantless seizure of the illegal drugs from the appellant is likewise valid. This interdiction
against warrantless searches and seizures, however, is not absolute and such warrantless searches and
seizures have long been deemed permissible by jurisprudence in instances of (1) search of moving
vehicles, (2) seizure in plain view, (3) customs searches, (4) waiver or consented searches, (5) stop and
frisk situations (Terry search), and search incidental to a lawful arrest. The last includes a valid
warrantless arrest, for, while as a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate if effected with a valid warrant
of arrest, the Rules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrest, to wit: (1) arrest in flagrante
delicto, (2) arrest effected in hot pursuit, and (3) arrest of escaped prisoners. To secure a conviction for
the crime of illegal sale of regulated or prohibited drugs, the following elements should be
satisfactorily proven: (1) the identity of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2)
the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. In a prosecution of illegal sale of drugs, “what
is material is proof that the accused peddled illicit drugs, coupled with the presentation in court of
the corpus delicti.” The Supreme Court thus affirmed the conviction.

Page | 36
[RULE 110, SEC. 6] Treachery, which was alleged in the information, was duly proven by the
prosecution (despite that the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength was not alleged
in the criminal information filed against them).

PEOPLE VS. DADAO


January 22, 2014, 714 SCRA 524
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.

FACTS: That on or about the 11th day of July 1993, at 7:30 in the evening more or less at barangay
Salucot, municipality of Talakag, province of Bukidnon, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping with (sic)
one another, with intent to kill, by means of treachery, armed with guns and bolos, did then and there
wilfully, unlawfully and criminally attack, assault and shoot Pionio Yacapin, hitting his back and left
leg, inflicting wounds that caused his death thereafter. The appellants were arraigned. All four (4)
accused pleaded “Not Guilty” to the charge leveled against them. After trial was concluded, a guilty
verdict was handed down by the trial court finding appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
murdering Pionio Yacapin.

ISSUE/S: Whether the Court erred convicting the appellant despite failure to prove guilt beyond
reasonable doubt and appreciating the qualifying circumstance not alleged in the information.

HELD: NO. Appellants maintain that the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength should
not have been appreciated as it was not alleged in the criminal information filed against them.

However, the Court has declared that treachery is present when the offender commits any of the crimes
against persons, employing means, methods, or forms in the execution, which tend directly and
specially to insure its execution, without risk to the offender arising from the defense which the
offended party might make. Moreover, the essence of treachery is that the attack is deliberate and
without warning, done in a swift and unexpected manner, affording the hapless, unarmed and
unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape. In the case at bar, the manner by which Pionio
Yacapin was killed carried all the indubitable hallmarks of treachery. The Court of Appeals found that:
Treachery, which was alleged in the information, was duly proven by the prosecution. The Court
notes, in particular, the testimony of Nenita Yacapin who declared that when the victim was making a
fire in the kitchen, she heard shots and she saw the barrel of the gun inserted on the bamboo split
walling of their house. Exhibit "B", the anatomical chart certified by the Philippine National Police
(PNP) personnel, shows the relative location of the gunshot wounds sustained by the victim. The chart
indicates that the victim was shot from behind. Clearly, the execution of the attack made it impossible
for the victim to defend himself or to retaliate.

Page | 37
[RULE 110, SEC. 5]Generally, the prosecutor should have been the one who filed the motion to
revive because it is the prosecutor who controls the trial. But in this particular case, the defect, if
there was any, was cured when the public prosecutor later actively participated in the denial of the
accused motion for reconsideration when she filed her Comment/Objection.

ROBERTA SALDARIEGA VS HON. ELVIRA PANGANIBAN


January 15, 2015, G.R. NO. 211933 & 211960
PERALTA, J.

FACTS: On November 8, 2011, the Office of the City Prosecutor, Quezon City filed two (2)
Informations against petitioner Roberta S. Saldariega for violation of Sections 5 and 11, Article 2,
Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Said
cases were raffled to Branch 227, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, presided by herein respondent
Judge Elvira D.C. Panganiban. On June 5, 2013, PO2 Villas filed a Motion to Re-open the Case
against petitioner. PO2 Villas explained that his failure to appear during the hearings of the cases was
due to the untimely death of his father-in-law. He further averred that PO3 Rionaldo Sabulaan, one of
the arresting officers, is no longer assigned at the Cubao Police Station and had been transferred at the
Batasan Police Station since November 2012, thus, could not have received his subpoena which is
directed at his former place of assignment. In the disputed Order dated June 14, 2013, respondent
Judge granted the motion and ordered the re-opening of the cases against petitioner and set the cases
for continuation of hearing. Petitioner moved for reconsideration. She argued that the provisional
dismissal of the criminal cases is considered an aquittal and PO2 Villas had no personality to file the
motion to re-open the case. In an Order dated February 18, 2014, respondent denied petitioner's motion
for reconsideration. On April 29, 2014, the Court resolved to require respondents to comment on the
instant petition. The Office of the Solicitor General, through then Solicitor General Francis H.
Jardeleza, maintained that respondent judge committed no grave abuse of discretion in issuing the
assailed Orders dated It argued that petitioner did not expressly object to the motion to revive the
criminal cases.

ISSUE: Whether the witness can file a motion to re-open provisionally dismissed case without the
participation of a Public Prosecutor and the absence is considered as waiver.

HELD: YES. Generally, the prosecutor should have been the one who filed the motion to revive
because it is the prosecutor who controls the trial. But in this particular case, the defect, if there was
any, was cured when the public prosecutor later actively participated in the denial of the accused
motion for reconsideration when she filed her Comment/Objection thereto. In the Order denying the
motion, the trial court stated that “in her Comment/Objection, the Public Prosecutor begged to disagree
primarily on the ground that double jeopardy has not set in, because the provisional dismissal of the
case was with the express consent of the accused.” The court even went further when it stated that
“although the Motion to Re-open the case was filed by the witness without securing the conformity of
the Public Prosecutor, in effect, the prosecutor has conformed to the re-opening of the case because
she (the prosecutor) finds that the failure of the witness to appear on two (2) hearings was due to the
death of the father in law and the death of his aunt, as substantiated by the respective Certificates of
Death of the said relatives.” Moreover, in the case at bar, it must be noted that the accused is charged
with a public crime; hence, it is a victim-less crime. Thus, petition was denied.

Page | 38
[RULE 113, SEC. 5] There was no overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise that could be
properly attributed to the accused to rouse suspicion in the mind of the arresting officers that the
accused had just committed, was actually committing, or was attempting to commit a crime. Thus,
there was no valid warrantless arrest.

PEOPLE VS. OLIVER RENATO EDAÑO


July 7, 2014, 729 SCRA 255
BRION, J.
FACTS: Accused was charged with violation of Section 11, Article II of RA 9165 wherein he entered
a plea of not guilty. Members of Metro Manila Drugs Enforcement Group conducted an entrapment
operation against a certain alias Nato. The accused while on board a vehicle, was approached by the
informant and talked to him inside the vehicle; then the informant waved at the arresting officer, when
he approached, the accused went outside the vehicle and ran away. The arresting officer chased and
caught him and brought him to the police station for investigation. Upon trial, the accused was found
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of shabu. On appeal, the accused argues that his
warrantless arrest was illegal since he was not committing any crime when the police arrested him.
The CA affirmed in toto the decision of RTC, further, CA also found the warrantless arrest of the
accused valid.
ISSUE: Whether or not the warrantless arrest was valid.
HELD: NO, the warrantless arrest in is invalid. For a warrantless arrest of an accused to be valid,
there are two requisites which must concur: 1) the person arrested must execute an overt act indicating
that he had just committed, is committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; 2) such overt act is done
in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer (Sec. 5 Rule 113 of Rules on Criminal
Procedure). There was no overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise that could be properly attributed
to the accused to rouse suspicion in the mind of the arresting officers that the accused had just
committed, was actually committing, or was attempting to commit a crime. The arresting officer
testified that the informant and the accused were just talking with each other when he approached
them. The attempt of the accused to run away is irrelevant and cannot by itself be considered as
adequate personal knowledge of the arresting officer that the accused was actually committing a crime.
Thus, the decision of the CA was reversed and set aside; and the accused was acquitted.

Page | 39
[RULE 110, Sect. 14] The change and/or addition of the branches of the petitioner’s business in the
information does not constitute substantial amendment because it does not change the prosecution’s
theory that the petitioner failed to file his income tax return.

MENDEZ VS. PEOPLE


June 11, 2014, G.R. No. 179962

BRION, J.
FACTS: The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed a complaint alleging that petitioner failed to file
his income tax returns for taxable years 2001 to 2003 and, consequently evaded his obligation to pay
the correct amount of taxes due.
After a preliminary investigation, State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera found probable cause against
petitioner for non-filing of income tax returns for taxable years 2001 and 2002 and for failure to supply
correct and accurate information as to his true income for taxable year 2003, in violation of the
National Internal Revenue Code. Accordingly, an information was filed with the CTA charging the
petitioner with violation of Section 255 of Republic Act No. 8424 (Tax Reform Act of 1997).
The information alleged that petitioner had been operating as a single proprietor business of “Weigh
Less Center” with principal office in Quezon City and several branches in Quezon City, Makati, San
Fernando and Dagupan City.
The accused was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. The prosecution filed a “Motion to Amend
Information with Leave of Court” changing the name of petitioner’s business to include the phrase
“Mendez Medical Group” and changing in the branches of his business. CTA granted the said motion
ruling that such amendment was merely a formal one. Petitioner opposed, claiming that the
amendment was a substantial one prohibited under Section 14, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court because
its additional allegations would cause surprise to him and affect his defense.

ISSUE: Whether the prosecution’s amendments are substantial in nature.

HELD: NO. The change and/or addition of the branches of the petitioner’s operation in the
information does not constitute substantial amendment because it does not change the prosecution’s
theory that the petitioner failed to file his income tax return. The amendment sought did not alter the
crime charged. According to jurisprudence, substantial matters in the complaint or information
consists of the recital of facts constituting the offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of
the court. To be sure, the jurisprudential test on whether a defendant is prejudiced by the amendment
of an information pertains to the availability of the same defense and evidence that the accused
previously had under the original information. This test, however, must be read together with the
characteristic thread of formal amendments, which is to maintain the nature of the crime or essence of
the offense charged.

In the present case, this thread remained consistently under the amended information, alleging the
petitioner’s failure to file his return and consequently to pay the correct amount of taxes. Accordingly,
the petitioner could not have been surprised at all. The petition was dismissed.

Page | 40
[RULE 122] The acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case against him can only be
appealed by the Solicitor General (but in this case the defect has been cured when the OSG filed its
Comment).

[RULE 117, SEC. 3] Non-compliance with this rule (i.e., prohibition of duplicitous complaints) is a
ground for quashing the duplicitous complaint or information under Rule 117 of the Rules on
Criminal Procedure and the accused may raise the same in a motion to quash before he enters his
plea, otherwise, the defect is deemed waived.

PEOPLE AND AAA VS. COURT OF APPEALS


February 25, 2015, G.R. No. 183652
PERALTA, J.

FACTS: In a Second Amended Information dated June 23, 2004, private respondents Carampatana,
Oporto and Alquizola were charged, together with Christian John Lim, Emmanuel dela Cruz, Samuel
Rudinas, Jansen Roda, Harold Batoctoy, and Joseph Villame, for allegedly raping AAA, to wit:

That on or about 10:30 o’clock in the evening of March 25, 2004 at Alson’s Palace,
Maranding, Lala, Lanao del Norte, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the above-named accused conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with lewd designs forcefully drunk
AAA, a 16-year-old minor, with an intoxicating liquor and once intoxicated, brought said AAA
at about dawn of March 26, 2004 at Alquizola Lodging house, Maranding, Lala, Lanao del
Norte and also within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, and once inside said lodging
house, accused RAYMUND CARAMPATANA and JOEPHEL OPORTO took turns in having
carnal knowledge against the will of AAA while accused MOISES ALQUIZOLA, with lewd
designs, kissed her against her will and consent. CONTRARY TO LAW.

The RTC found private respondents guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape. The private
respondents brought the case to the CA and subsequently rendered the assailed Decision reversing the
trial court’s ruling which acquitted private respondents. AAA filed petition for certiorari under Rule
65 before the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
(1) May the private complainant appeal the criminal aspect by Rule 65? (NO)
(2) Can a single Information accuse of several counts of rape? (YES)

HELD:
(1) NO. Private respondents argue that the action should have been filed by the State through the OSG.
True, in criminal cases, the acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case against him can only be
appealed by the Solicitor General, acting on behalf of the State. Here, AAA filed a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65, albeit at the instance of her private counsel, primarily imputing grave abuse
of discretion on the part of the CA when it acquitted private respondents. In any event, the OSG joins
petitioner’s cause in its Comment, thereby fulfilling the requirement that all criminal actions shall be
prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor. Despite acquittal, however, either
the offended party or the accused may appeal, but only with respect to the civil aspect of the decision.

(2) YES. As a general rule, a complaint or information must charge only one offense, otherwise, the
same is defective. The rationale behind this rule prohibiting duplicitous complaints or informations is
to give the accused the necessary knowledge of the charge against him and enable him to sufficiently
prepare for his defense. The State should not heap upon the accused two or more charges which might

Page | 41
confuse him in his defense. Non-compliance with this rule is a ground for quashing the duplicitous
complaint or information under Rule 117 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure and the accused may
raise the same in a motion to quash before he enters his plea, otherwise, the defect is deemed waived.
The accused herein, however, cannot avail of this defense simply because they did not file a motion to
quash questioning the validity of the Information during their arraignment. Thus, they are deemed to
have waived their right to question the same. Also, where the allegations of the acts imputed to the
accused are merely different counts specifying the acts of perpetration of the same crime, as in the
instant case, there is no duplicity to speak of.

The Supreme Court reversed the CA decision and held the private respondents guilty for four (4)
counts of rape.

Page | 42
[RULE 110, SEC. 6] Although the Information below does not allege that the accused-appellant
raped AAA while she was unconscious, the prosecution however alleged and proved the use of force
and violence against her (for the accused to be convicted under Art. 266-A(1)(b) of the RPC).

PEOPLE VS. RONALD NICAL


February 18, 2015, G.R. No. 210430
REYES, J.

FACTS: The Information dated August 28, 2007 charged the accused-appellant with the crime of
rape, as follows:
That on or about the 23rd day of August, 2007, in the Municipality of Dasmariñas, Province of
Cavite, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused, with lewd design and actuated by lust, by means of force, violence and intimidation,
did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge to one [AAA],
by inserting his [p]enis into her genital organ (vagina), against her will and consent, to the
latter’s damage and prejudice. CONTRARY TO LAW.

AAA worked as a maid for a certain “Ate Michelle”, who owned two adjacent houses, in Dasmariñas,
Cavite. At around 1:00 p.m, AAA was folding laundry in a room inside the big house when the
accused-appellant, who was also a household helper, suddenly entered the room and immediately
proceeded to embrace her. She tried to run but the accused-appellant grabbed her and pushed her so
hard against the concrete wall of the room that she hit her head against it and became dizzy. The
accused-appellant gave chase and caught up with her in the sala, where again he embraced her. At that
point, AAA lost consciousness, and when she woke up, she was back inside the room she had fled,
lying naked with the accused-appellant on top of her and half naked. The RTC gave full credence to
AAA’s narration of her ordeal and found the accused-appellant guilty as charged. The appellate court
rendered judgment affirming the guilt of the accused-appellant.

ISSUE: Does the Information fatally fail to allege that he raped AAA while she was unconscious, as
required under Article 266-A(1)(b) of the RPC?

HELD:
NO. While the Information does not allege that the victim was unconscious when the accused-
appellant raped her, it nevertheless alleges the element of use of force and violence by the accused-
appellant which facilitated the commission of the rape.

It is an elementary rule in criminal procedure that an accused cannot be convicted of an offense unless
it is clearly charged in the complaint or information. If the prosecution in this case sought to convict
appellant by proving that complainant was violated while in a state of unconsciousness, as provided
under the 2nd paragraph of Article 355, the information should have stated so.

Although the Information below does not allege that the accused-appellant raped AAA while she was
unconscious, the prosecution however alleged and proved the use of force and violence against her.
Article 266-A(1)(a) of the RPC was satisfied because accused-appellant grabbed and pulled AAA by
her shorts and then pushed her hard against the concrete wall, and the impact of her head bouncing
against the wall made her dizzy, weak, and then unconscious. Her unconsciousness resulted directly
from the force and violence employed by the accused-appellant against her.

What is clear is that sufficient force was used which facilitated the consummation of the accused-
appellant's lewd design when AAA became weak and momentarily unconscious. The CA decision
finding the accused guilty was thus affirmed.

Page | 43
[RULE 126, SEC. 2(b)] The wordings of the provision is of a mandatory nature, requiring a
statement of compelling reasons if the application is filed in a court which does not have territorial
jurisdiction over the place of commission of the crime.

PILIPINAS SHELL VS. ROMARS INTERNATIONAL


February 16, 2015, G.R. No. 189669
PERALTA, J.

FACTS: Petitioners received information that respondent was selling, offering for sale, or distributing
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by illegally refilling the steel cylinders manufactured by and bearing
the duly registered trademark and device of respondent Petron. Petitioners requested the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate said activities of respondent which acts constitute a
violation of Section 168, in relation to Section 1704 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8293, and/or Section
25 of R.A. No. 623. The NBI proceeded with their investigation and reportedly found commercial
quantities of Petron Gasul and Shellane cylinders stockpiled at respondent's warehouse.

Thus, the NBI, in behalf of Petron and Shell, filed with the Regional Trial Court of Naga City (RTC-
Naga), two separate Applications for Search Warrant against respondent and/or its occupants. The
RTC-Naga City issued an Order granting said Applications and Search Warrants were issued.
However, respondent raised for the first time, the issue of the impropriety of filing the Application for
Search Warrant at the RTC-Naga City when the alleged crime was committed in a place within the
territorial jurisdiction of the RTC-Iriga City. RTC-Naga issued an Order granting respondent's Motion
for Reconsideration, thereby quashing Search Warrants, which was later on affirmed by the Court of
Appeals.

ISSUE: Whether the application filed with the RTC-Naga failed to state any compelling reason to
justify the filing of the same in a court which does not have territorial jurisdiction over the place of the
commission of the crime.

HELD: YES. Petitioner’s application for search warrant failed to state any compelling reason required
under Rule 126, Section 2 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure:

SEC. 2. Court where applications for search warrant shall be filed.


An application for search warrant shall be filed with the following: xxx
(b) For compelling reasons stated in the application, any court within the judicial region
where the crime was committed if the place of the commission of the crime is known, or any
court within the judicial region where the warrant shall be enforced. xxx

Under paragraph (b), the application for search warrant in this case should have stated compelling
reasons why the same was being filed with the RTC-Naga instead of the RTC-Iriga City, considering
that it is the latter court that has territorial jurisdiction over the place where the alleged crime was
committed and also the place where the search warrant was enforced. The wordings of the provision is
of a mandatory nature, requiring a statement of compelling reasons if the application is filed in a court
which does not have territorial jurisdiction over the place of commission of the crime. Since Section 2,
Article III of the 1987 Constitution guarantees the right of persons to be free from unreasonable
searches and seizures, and search warrants constitute a limitation on this right, then Section 2, Rule
126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure should be construed strictly against state authorities
who would be enforcing the search warrants. On this point, then, petitioner's application for a search
warrant was indeed insufficient for failing to comply with the requirement to state therein the
compelling reasons why they had to file the application in a court that did not have territorial
jurisdiction over the place where the alleged crime was committed.

Page | 44
[RULE 110, SEC. 6] With or without the phrase (“not necessarily mortal”) what is important is that
all the elements of attempted murder are still alleged in the Information

[RULE 117, SEC. 9] It is now too late for petitioners to assail the sufficiency of the Information on
the ground that the elements of the crime of attempted murder are lacking.

FANTASTICO VS. MALICSE


January 12, 2015, G.R. No. 190912
PERALTA, J.

FACTS: A case for Attempted Murder under Article 248, in relation to Article 6 of the Revised Penal
Code, was filed against Salvador Iguiron, Titus Malicse Iguiron, Saligan Malicse Iguiron, Tommy
Ballesteros, Nestor Ballesteros, Eugene Surigao and petitioners Gary Fantastico and Rolando
Villanueva. The Information reads:

That on or about June 27, 1993, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused
conspiring and confederating together and helping one another, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to kill and with treachery and taking advantage of
superior strength, commence the commission of the crime of murder directly by overt acts, to
wit: by then and there hitting the head of Elpidio Malicse, Sr. y de Leon with a piece of rattan,
axe, pipe and a piece of wood and mauling him, but the said accused did not perform all the
acts of execution which should have produced the crime of murder, as a consequence, by
reason of causes other than their own spontaneous desistance, that is, the injuries inflicted
upon Elpidio Malicse, Sr. y de Leon are not necessarily mortal.

The trial court acquitted Titus Iguiron, Saligan Iguiron and Tommy Ballesteros but found Gary
Fantastico and Rolando Villanueva guilty beyond reasonable doubt for Attempted Murder. Petitioners
appealed the case to the CA, but the latter court affirmed the decision of the RTC.

ISSUE: Does the inclusion of the phrase “not necessarily mortal” in the information make it fatal.

HELD: NO. Petitioners question the inclusion of the phrase “not necessarily mortal” in the allegations
in the Information. According to them, the inclusion of that phrase means that there is an absence of an
intent to kill on their part. Intent to kill is a state of mind that the courts can discern only through
external manifestations. All of these, were proven during the trial. Needless to say, with or without the
phrase, what is important is that all the elements of attempted murder are still alleged in the
Information. Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure states:

Sec. 6. Sufficiency of complaint or information. – A complaint or information is sufficient if it


states the name of the accused; the designation of the offense by the statute; the acts or
omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the
approximate time of the commission of the offense; and the place wherein the offense was
committed.

In any case, it is now too late for petitioners to assail the sufficiency of the Information on the ground
that the elements of the crime of attempted murder are lacking. Section 9, Rule 117 of the Rules of
Court provides: SEC. 9. Failure to move to quash or to allege any ground therefor.- The failure of the
accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information,
either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion, shall be
deemed a waiver of any objections except those based on the grounds provided for in paragraphs (a),
(b), (g), and (i) of section 3 of this Rule.

Page | 45
[RULE 112] The preliminary investigation proper, the investigating prosecutor, and ultimately, the
Secretary of the DOJ, is afforded wide latitude of discretion in the exercise of its power to determine
probable cause to warrant criminal prosecution. But where the findings of the investigating
prosecutor or the Secretary of the DOJ as to the existence of probable cause are equivalent to a
gross misapprehension of facts, certiorari will lie to correct these errors.

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMISSION VS. SANTOS


March 19, 2014, 719 SCRA514
PEREZ, J.
FACTS: This case is a criminal complaint for violation of Section 28 of Republic Act No. 8799, the
Securities Regulation Code, filed by petitioner Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against
respondent Oudine Santos. Sometime in 2007, yet another investment scam was exposed with the
disappearance of its primary perpetrator, Michael H.K. Liew, Chairman of the Board of Directors of
Performance Investment Products Corporation (PIPC–BVI), a foreign corporation registered in the
British Virgin Islands. To do business in the Philippines, PIPC–BVI incorporated herein as Philippine
International Planning Center Corporation (PIPC Corporation). Because the head of PIPC Corporation
had gone missing and with it the monies and investment of a significant number of investors, the SEC
was flooded with complaints from 31 individuals against the Corporation.
Soon thereafter, the SEC, through its Compliance and Endorsement Division, filed a complaint–
affidavit for violation of Sections 8, 26 and 28 of the Securities Regulation Code before the
Department of Justice (DOJ). Among the respondents in the complaint–affidavit were the principal
officers of PIPC.
The DOJ panel based its finding of probable cause on the collective acts of the majority of the
respondents therein, including herein respondent Santos, which consisted in their acting as employees–
agent and/or investor–agents of PIPC Corporation and/or PIPC–BVI. Specifically alluding to Santos
as Investment Consultant of PIPC Corporation, the DOJ found probable cause to indict her for
violation of Section 28 of the Securities Regulation Code for engaging in the business of selling or
offering for sale securities, on behalf of PIPC Corporation and/or PIPC–BVI (which were found to be
an issuer of securities without the necessary registration from the SEC) without Santos being
registered as a broker, dealer, salesman or an associated person.
Santos filed a petition for review before the Office of the Secretary of the DOJ and was granted.
ISSUE: Can the Secretary of the Department of Justice determine probable cause to warrant criminal
prosecution?
HELD: YES. Generally, at the preliminary investigation proper, the investigating prosecutor, and
ultimately, the Secretary of the DOJ, is afforded wide latitude of discretion in the exercise of its power
to determine probable cause to warrant criminal prosecution. The determination of probable cause is
an executive function where the prosecutor determines merely that a crime has been committed and
that the accused has committed the same. The rules do not require that a prosecutor has moral certainty
of the guilt of a person simply for preliminary investigation purposes.

However, the authority of the prosecutor and the DOJ is not absolute; it cannot be exercised arbitrarily
or capriciously. Where the findings of the investigating prosecutor or the Secretary of the DOJ as to
the existence of probable cause are equivalent to a gross misapprehension of facts, certiorari will lie to
correct these errors.

Page | 46
While it is our policy not to interfere in the conduct of preliminary investigations, we have, on more
than one occasion, adhered to some exceptions to the general rule:

1. when necessary to afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of the accused;
2. when necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity
of actions;
3. when there is a prejudicial question which is sub judice;
4. when the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority;
5. where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation;
6. when double jeopardy is clearly apparent;
7. where the court has no jurisdiction over the offense;
8. where it is a case of persecution rather than prosecution;
9. where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by the lust for vengeance;
10. when there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash on that
ground has been denied.

In excluding Santos from the prosecution of the supposed violation of Section 28 of the Securities
Regulation Code, the Secretary of the DOJ, as affirmed by the appellate court, debunked the DOJ
panel’s finding that Santos was prima facie liable for either: (1) selling securities in the Philippines as
a broker or dealer, or (2) acting as a salesman, or an associated person of any broker or dealer on
behalf of PIPC Corporation and/or PIPC–BVI without being registered as such with the SEC. Thus,
the Supreme Court directed that Santos be included in the Information for violation of Section 28 of
the Securities and Regulation Code.

Page | 47
[RULE 112] It is well–settled that courts of law are precluded from disturbing the findings of public
prosecutors and the DOJ on the existence or non–existence of probable cause for the purpose of
filing criminal informations, unless such findings are tainted with grave abuse of discretion,
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

BARRY LANIER VS. PEOPLE


March 19, 2014, 719 SCRA 477
PEREZ, J.

FACTS: SPO1 Gorion and PO2 Remaneses attested that Task Force Roulette of the Aklan Police
Provincial Office (APPO) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) received information
from an asset that petitioners Barry Lanier and Perlita Lanier were engaged in selling illegal drugs in
Boracay Island. The police operatives conducted a test–buy at petitioners’ residence
in Barangay Balabag, Boracay Island where they were able to purchase P5,000.00 worth of shabu and
P1,000.00 worth of marijuana from petitioners. They were able to secure a search warrant from the
RTC of Aklan. Subsequently, the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Kalibo, Aklan filed an
Information charging petitioners of violation of Section 11, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165. The
accused fled a petition for review before the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Secretary of Justice
acted on the petition favorably and directed the withdrawal of the Information. The Secretary of Justice
gave more credence to the version of petitioners that the illegal drugs seized were planted. The
Secretary of Justice took note of the testimony of SPO1 Gorion during the clarificatory hearing that the
raiding team arrived ahead of the search team bolstered petitioners’ assertion that the illegal drugs
seized were planted by the raiding team.

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari
seeking to annul the DOJ Resolutions directing the withdrawal of the Information against petitioners.

ISSUE: Did the Secretary of Justice err in directing the withdrawal of the Information, in this case?

HELD: YES. The elements of illegal possession of prohibited drugs are: (1) the accused is in
possession of an item or object, which is identified to be a prohibited or regulated drug; (2) such
possession is not authorized by law; and, (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the drug.
The presence of these elements was attested to by evidence such as the Joint Affidavit of Arrest and
the Receipt of the Properties seized. Moreover, the finding of a dangerous drug in the house or within
the premises of the house of the accused is prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi.

When the Secretary of Justice concluded that there was planting of evidence based on the lone fact that
the raiding team arrived ahead of the search team, he, in effect went into the merits of the defense.
When he made a determination based on his own appreciation of the pieces of evidence for and against
the accused, he effectively assumed the function of a trial judge in the evaluation of the pieces of
evidence and, thereby, acted outside his jurisdiction.

It is well–settled that courts of law are precluded from disturbing the findings of public prosecutors
and the DOJ on the existence or non–existence of probable cause for the purpose of filing criminal
informations, unless such findings are tainted with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction. The rationale behind the general rule rests on the principle of separation of
powers, dictating that the determination of probable cause for the purpose of indicting a suspect is
properly an executive function; while the exception hinges on the limiting principle of checks and
balances, whereby the judiciary, through a special civil action of certiorari, has been tasked by the
present Constitution to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.

Page | 48
[RULE 110] Private respondent's act of posting bail and filing his Motion for Consolidation vests
the Sandiganbayan with jurisdiction over his person [despite that he was a private person and the
public official is already deceased).

PEOPLE VS. HENRY GO


March 25, 2014, 719 SCRA 704
PERALTA, J.

FACTS: In July 1997, Arturo Enrile, then Secretary of the Department of Transportation and
Communications (DOTC), was alleged to commit conspire with Henry Go (then Chairman and
President of the Philippine International Air Terminals, Co., Inc. or PIATCO) in entering into a
Concession Agreement, after the project for the construction of the Ninoy Aquino International
Airport International Passenger Terminal III (NAIA IPT III) was awarded to Paircargo Consortium,
and in which terms were more beneficial to PIATCO while being grossly disadvantageous to the
Government. Subsequent to the finding of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon of probable
cause to indict respondents for the violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019, the Sandiganbayan issued an
Order, to wit: The prosecution is given a period of ten (10) days from today which to show cause why
this case should not be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused considering
that the accused is a private person and the public official Arturo Enrile, his alleged co-conspirator, is
already deceased, and not an accused in this case.

The prosecution complied that the SB has already acquired jurisdiction over the person of respondent
by reason of his voluntary appearance, when he filed a motion for consolidation and when he posted
bail. However, the Sandiganbayan granted the dismisal of the Information; which prompted the filing
before th Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Does the act of the accused of posting bail or in filing motions is tantamount to submission of
his person to the jurisdiction of the court?

HELD: YES. Respondent should be reminded that prior to this Court's ruling in G.R. No. 168919, he
already posted bail for his provisional liberty. The Court agrees with petitioner's contention that private
respondent's act of posting bail and filing his Motion for Consolidation vests the SB with jurisdiction
over his person. The rule is well settled that the act of an accused in posting bail or in filing motions
seeking affirmative relief is tantamount to submission of his person to the jurisdiction of the court.

Thus, it has been held that:

When a defendant in a criminal case is brought before a competent court by virtue of a warrant
of arrest or otherwise, in order to avoid the submission of his body to the jurisdiction of the
court he must raise the question of the court’s jurisdiction over his person at the very earliest
opportunity. If he gives bail, demurs to the complaint or files any dilatory plea or pleads to the
merits, he thereby gives the court jurisdiction over his person. (State ex rel. John Brown vs.
Fitzgerald, 51 Minn., 534)

Respondent did not make any special appearance to question the jurisdiction of the SB over his person
prior to his posting of bail and filing his Motion for Consolidation.

Page | 49
[RULE 126, SEC. 13] A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or
anything which may have been used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a
search warrant.

PEOPLE VS. MEDARIO CALANTIAO


June 18, 2014, G.R. No. 203984
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.

FACTS: Upon a complaint filed by Edwin Lojera regarding a shooting incident, PO1 Nelson Mariano
and PO3 Eduardo Ramirez proceeded to Caloocan City where they found the white taxi reported by
Lojera. While approaching said vehicle, two armed men alighted, fired their guns towards them and
ran away. PO1 Mariano and PO3 Ramirez chased them but they were subdued. PO1 Mariano
recovered from Calantiao a black bag containing 2 bricks of dried marijuana fruiting tops. Calantiao
was charged before the RTC of violation of Section 11, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165. However,
Calantiao questions the admissibility of the marijuana found in his possession as evidence against him
on the ground that it was discovered via an illegal search.

ISSUE: Whether the marijuana is admissible as evidence.

HELD: YES. The marijuana is admissible as evidence since earches and seizure incident to a lawful
arrest are governed by Section 13, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which states
that a person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may have
been used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a search warrant. The purpose
of allowing a warrantless search and seizure incident to a lawful arrest is "to protect the arresting
officer from being harmed by the person arrested, who might be armed with a concealed weapon, and
to prevent the latter from destroying evidence within reach. A valid arrest allows the seizure of
evidence or dangerous weapons either on the person of the one arrested or within the area of his
immediate control. In the case at bar, the marijuana was found in a black bag in Calantiao's possession
and within his immediate control. He could have easily taken any weapon from the bag or dumped it to
destroy the evidence inside it. As the black bag containing the marijuana was in Calantiao's
possession, it was within the permissible area that the apprehending officers could validly conduct a
warrantless search.

Page | 50
[RULE 117, SEC. 8] The essential requisites of the first paragraph of Section 8, Rule 117 of the
Rules of Court, are conditions sine qua non to the application of the time-bar in the second
paragraph. In this case, there is no notice of any motion for the provisional dismissal or of the
hearing which was served on the private complainant.

CO VS. NEW PROSPERITY PLASTIC PRODUCTS


June 30, 2014, G.R. No. 183994
PERALTA, J.

FACTS: Respondent New Prosperity Plastic Products, represented by Elizabeth Uy, filed a complaint
for violation of B.P. 22 against petitioner William Co. In the absence of Uy and the private counsel,
the cases were provisionally dismissed on June 9, 2003 in open court pursuant to Section 8, Rule 117
of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Uy received a copy of the June 9, 2003 Order on July 2,
2003, while her counsel-of-record received a copy a day after. On July 2, 2004, Uy, through counsel,
filed a Motion to Revive the Criminal Cases which was granted. Co filed a petition challenging the
revival of the criminal cases. He argues that the June 9, 2003 Order provisionally dismissing the
criminal cases should be considered as a final dismissal on the ground that his right to speedy trial was
denied. Assuming that the criminal cases were only provisionally dismissed, Co further posits that
such dismissal became permanent one year after the issuance of the June 9, 2003 Order, not after
notice to the offended party. He also insists that both the filing of the motion to revive and the trial
court's issuance of the order granting the revival must be within the one-year period. Even assuming
that the one-year period to revive the criminal cases started on July 2, 2003 when Uy received the June
9, 2003 Order, Co asserts that the motion was filed one day late since year 2004 was a leap year.

ISSUE: Whether or not the provisional dismissal of the criminal case has become permanent (NO)

HELD: NO. The essential requisites of the first paragraph of Section 8, Rule 117 of the Rules of
Court, which are conditions sine qua non to the application of the time-bar in the second paragraph
thereof are: (1) the prosecution with the express conformity of the accused or the accused moves for a
provisional (sin perjuicio) dismissal of the case; or both the prosecution and the accused move for a
provisional dismissal of the case; (2) the offended party is notified of the motion for a provisional
dismissal of the case; (3) the court issues an order granting the motion and dismissing the case
provisionally; (4) the public prosecutor is served with a copy of the order of provisional dismissal of
the case.

In this case, there is no notice of any motion for the provisional dismissal or of the hearing which was
served on the private complainant at least 3 days before said hearing as mandated by Section 4, Rule
15 of the Rules. Furthermore, the second paragraph of the new rule should be construed to mean that
the order of dismissal shall become permanent one year after service of the order of dismissal on the
public prosecutor who has control of the prosecution without the criminal case having been revived.
Correlatively, when a party is represented by a counsel, notices of all kinds emanating from the court
should be sent to the latter at his/her given address pursuant to Section 2, Rule 13 of the Rules. The
public prosecutor cannot be expected to comply with the timeline unless he is served with a copy of
the order of dismissal.

Also, the contention that both the filing of the motion to revive the case and the court order reviving it
must be made prior to the expiration of the one-year period is not found in the Rules. Further, the fact
that year 2004 was a leap year is inconsequential to determine the timeliness of Uy's motion to revive
the criminal cases. Even if the Court will consider that 2004 is a leap year and that the one-year period
to revive the case should be reckoned from the date of receipt of the order of provisional dismissal by
Uy.

Page | 51
[RULE 110, SEC. 14] Section 5(a) of Rule 112 grants the trial court three options upon the filing of
the criminal complaint or information. He may: a) dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly
failed to establish probable cause; b) issue a warrant of arrest if it finds probable cause; or, c) order
the prosecutor to present additional evidence within five days from notice in case of doubt on the
existence of probable cause.

[RULE 112, SEC. 5(a)] Simple estafa is a crime necessarily included in syndicated estafa. Under
this legal situation, only a formal amendment of the filed information under Section 14, Rule 110 of
the Rules of Court is necessary.

[RULE 116, SEC. 11(c)] After the expiration of the 60-day period, the trial court is bound to arraign
the accused or to deny the motion to defer arraignment.

MA. GRACIA HAO AND DANNY HAO VS. PEOPLE


September 17, 2014, G.R. No. 183345
BRION, J.
FACTS: Private complainant Manuel Dy filed a criminal complaint against the petitioners and Victor
Ngo for syndicated estafa penalized under Article 315(2)(a) of the RPC in relation with PD No. 1689.
Dy initially invested in State Resources and increased his investments through several issued checks.
In return, Gracia also issued several checks to Dy representing his earnings for his investment. All
these checks were subsequently dishonored when Dy deposited them. He eventually learned that
Gracia invested his money in the construction and realty business of Garcia’s husband, Danny Hao
(Danny). Despite repeated demands and their promises to pay, petitioners never returned Dy’s money.
Dy filed a supplemental affidavit and, on the basis thereof, the public prosecutor filed an information
for syndicated estafa against the petitioners and their six coaccused. Judge Placido Marquez
subsequently issued warrants of arrest for syndicated estafa. Petitioners immediately filed a motion to
defer arraignment and motion to lift warrant of arrest. The RTC denied the twin motions, as well as the
CA. In addition, the CA opined that the affidavits only show probable cause for the crime of simple
estafa, not syndicated estafa.
ISSUES:
(1)Whether the warrants of arrest for syndicated estafa were valid (when the CA opined that there is
only probable cause for simple estafa) (YES)
(2) Whether the denial of the petitioners’ motion to defer arraignment was proper even after the 60-day
period (YES)

HELD:
(1)YES. Under the Constitution and the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, a judge is mandated to
personally determine the existence of probable cause after his personal evaluation of the prosecutor’s
resolution and the supporting evidence for the crime charged. Section 5(a) of Rule 112 grants the trial
court three options upon the filing of the criminal complaint or information. He may: a) dismiss the
case if the evidence on record clearly failed to establish probable cause; b) issue a warrant of arrest if it
finds probable cause; or, c) order the prosecutor to present additional evidence within five days from
notice in case of doubt on the existence of probable cause. In the present case, the trial court chose to
issue warrants of arrest to the petitioners and their coaccused. To be valid, these warrants must have
been issued after compliance with the requirement that probable cause be personally determined by the

Page | 52
judge. Notably at this stage, the judge is tasked to merely determine the probability, not the certainty,
of guilt of the accused.

Simple estafa and syndicated estafa are not two entirely different crimes. Simple estafa is a crime
necessarily included in syndicated estafa. Under this legal situation, only a formal amendment of the
filed information under Section 14, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court is necessary. Thus, the warrants of
arrest issued against the petitioners should not be nullified since probable cause exists for simple
estafa.

(2) YES. Under Section 11(c), Rule 116 of the Rules of Court, an arraignment may be suspended if
there is a petition for review of the resolution of the prosecutor pending at either the DOJ, or the Office
of the President. However, such period of suspension should not exceed sixty (60) days counted from
the filing of the petition with the reviewing office.
As the petitioners alleged, they filed a petition for review with the DOJ on November 21, 2003. Since
this petition had not been resolved yet, they claimed that their arraignment should be suspended
indefinitely. We emphasize that the right of an accused to have his arraignment suspended is not an
unqualified right. In Spouses Trinidad v. Ang, we explained that while the pendency of a petition for
review is a ground for suspension of the arraignment, the Rules limit the deferment of the arraignment
to a period of 60 days reckoned from the filing of the petition with the reviewing office. It follows,
therefore, that after the expiration of the 60-day period, the trial court is bound to arraign the accused
or to deny the motion to defer arraignment.
Since the suspension of the petitioners’ arraignment was already beyond the period allowed by the
Rules, the petitioners’ motion to suspend completely lacks any legal basis.
Thus, the warrants of arrest issued stand.

Page | 53
The existence of probable cause is a question of fact, and cannot be reviewed via a petition for
certiorari under Rule 45 where only questions of law are raised.

MICROSOFT CORPORATION AND ADOBE SYSTEMS INCORPORATED VS. SAMIR


FARAJALLAH, ET AL.
September 10, 2014, G.R. No. 205800
CARPIO, Acting C.J.
FACTS: Petitioners Microsoft and Adobe (corporations organized in the United States) claim that
they were informed that Respondents (directors and officers of New Fields, Inc.) were unlawfully
reproducing and using unlicensed versions of their software. Padilla, Serrano, and Moradoz (employes
and trained to detect unauthorized copies of Adobe and Microsoft software) went to the office of
respondents in the Philippine Stock Exchange Center in Ortigas City.

Using a legitimate business pretext, they were able to use two computers owned by New Fields. An
application for search warrants was filed before the RTC and was issued the same day. The warrants
were served on respondents on 24 May 2010. New Fields employees witnessed the search conducted
by the authorities. Several items were seized, including 17 CD installers and 83 computers containing
unauthorized copies of Microsoft and/or Adobe software.

The RTC issued an Order quashing both warrants and directing that "all the items seized from the
respondents be returned.” Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 on 8 November 2010
before the Court of Appeals. Petitioners alleged that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in
granting the Motion to Quash despite: (1) respondents’ failure to comply with the three-day notice
requirement; and (2) the existence of probable cause, and personal knowledge of the warrant applicant.
Subsequently, the CA denied their petition for certiorari.

ISSUE:
(1) Whether the three-day notice rule to submit comments on the motion to quash (NO)
(2) Whether the existence of probable cause may be reviewed via Rule 45 (NO)

HELD:
(1) NO. The three day notice rule is not absolute. The purpose of the rule is to safeguard the adverse
party’s right to due process. Thus, if the adverse party was given a reasonable opportunity to study the
motion and oppose it, then strict compliance with the three day notice rule may be dispensed with. In
the instant case, when the court a quo ordered petitioners to submit their comment on the motion to
quash, it was, in effect, giving petitioners their day in court. Thus, while the [three]-day notice rule
was not strictly observed, its purpose was still satisfied when respondent judge did not immediately
rule on the motion giving petitioners x x x the opportunity to study and oppose the arguments stated in
the motion.

(2) NO. Under Section 1 of Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, petitions for review by certiorari "shall raise
only questions of law." A question of fact exists when there is a doubt as to the truth of certain facts,
and it can only be resolved through a reexamination of the body of evidence. In Microsoft Corporation
v. Maxicorp, Inc., the Court has ruled that the existence of probable cause is a question of fact.

Page | 54
[RULE 113, SEC. 5] Having been caught in flagrante delicto, the police officers were not only
authorized but were even duty-bound to arrest her even without a warrant.

PEOPLE VS. MARISSA MARCELO


August 18, 2014, G.R. No. 181541
DEL CASTILLO, J.

FACTS: There were reports that the accused and her husband were engaged in selling shabu. P/Insp.
Rabulan thus ordered a surveillance of the area where the transaction would take place and coordinated
the matter with the Barangay Chairperson of Brgy. Punta Waling-Waling. He subsequently formed a
buy-bust team and requested Tarog to participate in the operation. Subsequent to the buy-bust
operation, the accused were arrested and charged with an information for violation of RA 9165 (The
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002). During the arraignment, appellant entered a plea of
not guilty, thus the trial ensued.
The RTC rendered a Decision convicting appellant for violation of Section 5, Article II of RA9165, as
amended. The CA Affirmed RTC Judgment
ISSUE: Whether or not the accused may be arrested even without a warrant

HELD: YES. The prosecution proved that the accused was apprehended after she exchanged the
shabu in her possession for the marked money of the poseur-buyer. Having been caught in flagrante
delicto, the police officers were not only authorized but were even duty-bound to arrest her even
without a warrant.

Page | 55
[RULE 110, SEC. 8, 9] The character of the crime is not determined by the caption or preamble of
the information nor by the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, but by
the recital of the ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or information.

PEOPLE VS. SAMUEL “TIWTIW” SANICO


August 13, 2014, G.R. No. 208469
REYES, J.

FACTS: Two separate criminal offense were charged against the accused. One for acts of
lasciviousness, and one for rape. Accused was a butcher and an ice cream vendor who rented a room
on the house where AAA lives and her family. AAA claimed that she was raped around 2:00pm while
she was washing the dishes. He succeeded in removing her clothes and undergarments and pushing her
against the wall. He took off his short pants and briefs and inserted his penis into her vagina for two to
three minutes. She felt pain. The accused-appellant then pulled up his short pants and laid down in the
sofa. AAA alleged that she was again raped for six or seven times. As to the acts of lasciviousness,
AAA alleged that the accused was touching her breast against her will.
The RTC rendered judgment convicting accused appellant of one count of rape and acts of
lasciviousness. The CA affirmed with modification.
ISSUE: Whether or not the case should be dismissed for not specifying the specific provision
penalizing the act.

HELD: NO. Although the Information specifically charged petitioner with Acts of Lasciviousness
under the RPC, without stating therein that it was in relation to R.A. No. 7610, the failure to designate
the offense by statute or to mention the specific provision penalizing the act, or an erroneous
specification of the law violated, does not vitiate the information if the facts alleged therein clearly
recite the facts constituting the crime charged. The character of the crime is not determined by the
caption or preamble of the information nor by the specification of the provision of law alleged to have
been violated, but by the recital of the ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or
information.

In the case at bench, the commission of lascivious conduct was admitted by the accused-appellant in
his testimony. No issue regarding his conviction for lascivious conduct had been raised in his appeal
before the CA as well. The body stated in no uncertain terms that what was being assailed was merely
the conviction for rape. Hence, the penalty imposed by the RTC for lascivious conduct should not be
disturbed anymore.

Page | 56
[RULE 124, SEC. 13] The Rules of Court provide that when the CA imposes a penalty of reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment, an accused may: (1) File a notice of appeal under Section 13(c),
Rule 124 to avail of an appeal as a matter of right before the Court and open the entire case for
review on any question xxx

[RULE 110, SEC. 9] The Information need not use the exact language of the statute in alleging the
acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense. The test is whether it enables a person
of common understanding to know the charge against him, and the court to render judgment
properly.

DANDY L. DUNGO AND GREGORIO A. SIBAL, JR. VS. PEOPLE


July 1, 2015, G.R. No. 209464
MENDOZA, J.

FACTS: The accused were alleged to be involved in an initiation rite last January 2006 on one Marlon
Villanueva as a condition for his admission to the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity based in UP Los
Baños. He was brought to the hospital but Dr. Masilungan, the attending physician observed that
Villanueva was motionless and had no heartbeat. Villanueva did not respond to the resuscitation and
was pronounced dead. Dr. Masilungan noticed a big contusion hematoma on the left side of the
victim’s face and several injuries on his arms and legs. The RTC found the accused guilty in violation
of Section 4 of the Anti-Hazing Law, which the CA affirmed. The sole assignment of error before the
Supreme Court was that their constitutional right to be informed of the accusations against them was
violated, as the offense found and proved was different from that charged in the information.

ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not an appeal by certiorari via Rule 45is proper in this case (NO)
(2) Whether the RTC and CA judgments violated accused’s right to be informed of the accusations
against them (NO)

HELD:
(1) NO. The Rules of Court provide that when the CA imposes a penalty of reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment, an accused may: (1) File a notice of appeal under Section 13(c), Rule 124 to avail of an
appeal as a matter of right before the Court and open the entire case for review on any question; or (2)
File a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 to resort to an appeal as a matter of discretion and
raise only questions of law. In this case, the CA affirmed the RTC decision imposing the penalty of
reclusion perpetua upon the petitioners. The petitioner opted to appeal the CA decision via a petition
for certiorari under Rule 45. Consequently, they could only raise questions of law. Oddly, the
petitioners began to assail the existence of conspiracy in their reply, which is a question of fact.
However, in the interest of justice, the Court deems it proper to open the whole case for review.

(2) NO. On the manner of how the Information should be worded Section 9 of Rule 110 of the Rules
of Court is enlightening. It is evident that the Information need not use the exact language of the
statute in alleging the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense. The test is whether
it enables a person of common understanding to know the charge against him, and the court to render
judgment properly. The Court agrees with the OSG that the "planned initiation rite" as stated in the
information included the act of inducing Villanueva to attend it. The hazing would not have been
accomplished were it not for the acts of the petitioners that induced the victim to be present.

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[RULE 124, SEC. 14] Sec. 14 of rule 124 of the Rules of Court provides that a sheriff make a report
to the court every thirty days until the judgment is satisfied in full. In the present case, Padua failed
to report to the court and state the reason why the judgment was not satisfied in full within 30 days
after his receipt of the writ. He only made a partial report after 2 years.
ATTY. AURORA P. SANGLAY VS. EDUARDO E. PADUA II
July 1, 2015, A.M. No. P-14-3182

CARPIO, J.

FACTS: The accused Padua, Sheriff IV in the RTC of San Fernando, La Union , wass ordered "to
execute the x x x dispositive portion of the Decision and make a return of [his] proceeding unto [the]
Court within thirty (30) days from the date of receipt [of the writ] and every thirty (30) days thereafter
until [the] Writ shall have been fully satisfied.” Padua failed to make the reports as ordered. Thus,
Atty. Sanglay filed with the RTC a motion to direct Padua to enforce the writ of execution and render
a report. Padua made a partial report but failed to make any other report. The Office of the Court
Administration (OCA) found Padua to be guilty of simple neglect of duty.

ISSUE: Whether or not Padua was guilty of simple neglect of duty.


HELD: YES. Sec. 14 of rule 124 of the Rules of Court provides that a sheriff make a report to the
court every thirty days until the judgment is satisfied in full:
SEC. 14. Return of writ of execution. — The writ of execution shall be returnable to the court issuing
it immediately after the judgment has been satisfied in part or in full. If the judgment cannot be
satisfied in full within thirty (30) days after his receipt of the writ, the officer shall report to the court
and state the reason therefor. Such writ shall continue in effect during the period within which the
judgment may be enforced by motion. The officer shall make a report to the court every thirty (30)
days on the proceedings taken thereon until the judgment is satisfied in full, or its effectivity expires.
The returns or periodic reports shall set forth the whole of the proceedings taken, and shall be filed
with the court and copies thereof promptly furnished the parties.
In the present case, Padua failed to report to the court and state the reason why the judgment was not
satisfied in full within 30 days after his receipt of the writ. Despite the March 9, 2010; July 4, 2010;
and, January 20, 2011 motions filed by Atty. Sanglay, Padua failed to make a report to the court every
30 days on the proceedings taken. In fact, Padua made a partial report only after almost two years and
only after Atty. Sanglay filed the present administrative complaint. Therefore, Padua is guilty of
simple neglect of duty.

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[RULE 112, SEC. 6] Section 6, Rule 112 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that the judge
"may immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable
cause." The CA should have denied the People's petition for special civil action of certiorari that
assails the correctness of the order of dismissal.

[RULE 122, SEC. 1] It is a final order since it disposes of the case, terminates the proceedings, and
leaves the court with nothing further to do with respect to the case against petitioner HPG officers.

CAJIPE VS. PEOPLE


April 23, 2014, 723 SCRA 615
ABAD, J.

FACTS: Lilian De Vera alleged that the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) and Highway Patrol Group
(HPG) conspired to carry out a plan to shoot and kill her husband Jun and daughter Lia. In December
2008, Lilian called her husband to meet them in Pasay. She got to the place but her husband and
daughter did not show up. Their housekeeper called her to inform her that her husband and daughter
was involved in a shoot out in their village. Jun was shot dead on the head and Lia, the 7-year old
daughter died in the hospital as she was rushed due to a head wound caused by a gunshot. In
December 2009, the DOJ found probable cause to indict all the police officers involved in the shoot
out. The RTC dismissed the case against the HPG officers for lack of probable cause; while the court
issued a warrant of arrest for the SAF officers for finding a probable cause. Before the CA, the court
appreciated the affidavits of witnesses stating that the HPG officers joined the SAF officers in
pursuing and shooting of Jun while bringing Lia to a safer place. Thus, it issued warrants of arrest for
the HPG officers. The CA denied the motions to quash these warrants, hence this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in issuing the warrants of arrest for the HPG officers.

HELD: YES. The CA clearly erred in not denying the petition for being a wrong remedy. The fact, is
that Section 1, Rule 122 of the same rules provides that an appeal may be taken in a criminal action
from a judgment or final order like the RTC's order dismissing the case against petitioner HPG officers
for lack of probable cause. It is a final order since it disposes of the case, terminates the proceedings,
and leaves the court with nothing further to do with respect to the case against petitioner HPG officers.

Since the OSG filed its petition for certiorari under Rule 65 on behalf of the People 112 days from
receipt of the dismissal order by the city prosecutor of Parañaque, the petition was filed out of time.
The order of dismissal is thus beyond appellate review.

Of course, the People may refile the case if new evidence adduced in another preliminary investigation
will support the filing of a new information against them. But that is another matter.

The RTC judge was within his powers to dismiss the case against petitioner HPG officers. Section 6,
Rule 112 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that the judge "may immediately dismiss the
case if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause." The CA should have denied
the People's petition for special civil action of certiorari that assails the correctness of the order of
dismissal since Section 1 of Rule 65 provides that such action is available only when "there is no
appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law."

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[RULE 122, SEC. 3, 8, 9] The RTC ignored Rule 122 of the Rules of Court, which specifically
governed appeals in criminal cases. The failure to file the memorandum on appeal is a ground for
the RTC to dismiss the appeal only in civil cases. The same rule does not apply in criminal cases,
because Section 9(c) imposes on the RTC the duty to decide the appeal “on the basis of the entire
record of the case and of such memoranda or briefs as may have been filed” upon the submission of
the appellate memoranda or briefs, or upon the expiration of the period to file the same.

JOSE “PEPE” SANICO VS. PEOPLE


March 25, 2015, G.R. No. 198753
BERSAMIN, J.

FACTS: The petitioner and Marsito Batiquin were criminally charged for trespassing and theft of
minerals in the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Catmon-Carmen-Sogod, Cebu (MCTC). In due
course, the MCTC rendered its judgment on April 2, 2009, convicting the accused for violation of
Section 103 of Republic Act No. 7942 otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

On April 26, 2010, one Atty. Dennis Cañete, another lawyer acting for Sanico, filed a motion for
reconsideration vis-à-vis the dismissal of the appeal, stating that Sanico had not filed the memorandum
on appeal because he had been beset with problems due to his wife’s debilitating illness which
eventually claimed her life, as well as his counsel, Atty. Baring’s own medical condition which caused
her to forget how she got this case and whom to contact as principal counsel. This was denied by the
RTC. Subsequently, the accused filed a petition for review in the CA, contesting his conviction, and
assailing the dismissal of his appeal for failure to file the memorandum on appeal. The CA denied the
petition for review.

ISSUE: Whether the CA committed reversible error in not nullifying the RTC’s order dismissing the
appeal for failure to file a memorandum.

HELD: YES. The RTC was guilty of the prejudicial error of misapplying the Rules of Court in its
dismissal of the appeal timely made by the petitioner. In dismissing the appeal for the sole reason that
he did not file the memorandum on appeal, the RTC wrongly relied on Section 7, Rule 40 of the Rules
of Court. The RTC thereby ignored Rule 122 of the Rules of Court, which specifically governed
appeals in criminal cases.

The failure to file the memorandum on appeal is a ground for the RTC to dismiss the appeal only in
civil cases. The same rule does not apply in criminal cases, because Section 9(c), supra, imposes on the
RTC the duty to decide the appeal “on the basis of the entire record of the case and of such
memoranda or briefs as may have been filed” upon the submission of the appellate memoranda or
briefs, or upon the expiration of the period to file the same. Hence, the dismissal of the petitioner’s
appeal cannot be properly premised on the failure to file the memorandum on appeal.

Having timely perfected his appeal by filing the notice of appeal in the MCTC, the petitioner was
entitled to expect that the RTC would resolve his appeal in due course, whether he filed his
memorandum on appeal or not. The unwarranted dismissal of the appeal by the RTC was, therefore, an
outright denial of due process.

Page | 60
[RULE 110, SEC. 6; RULE 116, SEC. 9] An Information may be sufficient to withstand a motion to
quash, and yet insufficiently inform the accused of the specific details of the alleged offenses. In
such instances, the Rules of Court allow the accused to move for a bill of particulars to enable him
properly to plead and to prepare for trial.

JUAN PONCE ENRILE V. PEOPLE


August 11, 2015, G.R. No. 213455
BRION, J.

FACTS: On June 5, 2014, the Office of the Ombudsman filed an Information for plunder against
Enrile, Jessica Lucila Reyes, Janet Lim Napoles, Ronald John Lim, and John Raymund de Asis before
the Sandiganbayan. Enrile motioned for a Bill of Particulars but was denied by the Sandiganbayan
Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang.

ISSUE: Whether a Bill of Particular should be granted despite the sufficiency of the Information and
therefore enabling the accused to prepare his defense.

HELD: YES. An Information is an accusation in writing charging a person with an offense, signed by
the prosecutor and filed with the court. The requirement aims to enable the accused to properly
prepare for his defense since he is presumed to have no independent knowledge of the facts
constituting the offense charged. To be considered as sufficient and valid, an information must state
the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions
constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate date of the commission of
the offense; and the place where the offense was committed.
The Rules do not require the Information to exactly allege the date and place of the commission of the
offense, unless the date and the place are material ingredients or essential elements of the offense, or
are necessary for its identification.

An Information only needs to state the ultimate facts constituting the offense; the evidentiary and other
details (i.e., the facts supporting the ultimate facts) can be provided during the trial. “Ultimate facts” is
defined as “those facts which the expected evidence will support. The term does not refer to the details
of probative matter or particulars of evidence by which these material elements are to be established.”
It refers to the facts that the evidence will prove at the trial. Ultimate facts has also been defined as the
principal, determinative, and constitutive facts on whose existence the cause of action rests; they are
and without which the judgment would lack support in essential particulars

Evidentiary facts, on the other hand, are the facts necessary to establish the ultimate facts; they are the
premises that lead to the ultimate facts as conclusion. They are facts supporting the existence of some
other alleged and unproven fact. While it is fundamental that every element of the offense must be
alleged in the Information, matters of evidence – as distinguished from the facts essential to the nature
of the offense – do not need to be alleged.

The procedural due process mandate of the Constitution requires that the accused be arraigned so that
he may be fully informed as to why he was charged and what penal offense he has to face, to be
convicted only on showing that his guilt is shown beyond reasonable doubt with full opportunity to
disprove the evidence against him. During arraignment, the accused is granted the opportunity to fully

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know the precise charge that confronts him and made fully aware of possible loss of freedom, even of
his life, depending on the nature of the crime imputed to him.

Oftentimes, this is achieved when the Information alleges the material elements of the crime charged.
If the Information fails to comply with this basic standard, it would be quashed on the ground that it
fails to charge an offense. Of course, an Information may be sufficient to withstand a motion to quash,
and yet insufficiently inform the accused of the specific details of the alleged offenses. In such
instances, the Rules of Court allow the accused to move for a bill of particulars to enable him properly
to plead and to prepare for trial.

A reading of the Information filed against Enrile in the present case shows that the prosecution made
little or no effort to particularize the transactions that would constitute the required series or
combination of overt acts. In fact, it clustered under paragraph (a) of the Information its recital of the
manner Enrile and his co-accused allegedly operated, thus describing its general view of the series or
combination of overt criminal acts that constituted the crime of plunder.

Thus, thus the Supreme Court directed the People of the Philippines to submit (within a non-extendible
period of 15 days), a bill of particulars containing, specifically, the overt act/s alleged to constitute the
“combination or series of overt criminal acts” charged in the Information.

Page | 62
[RULE 112, SEC. 6] Although courts must respect the executive determination of probable cause,
the trial courts may still independently determine probable cause. They are not irrevocably bound to
the determination of probable cause by the prosecutor and the DOJ.

ANLUD METAL RECYCLING CORPORATION VS. JOAQUIN ANG


August 17, 2015, G.R. No.182157
SERENO, CJ.

FACTS: San Miguel Packaging Products-Metal Closures Lithography Plant (SMC-MCLP) allegedly
awarded petitioner an exclusive contract to purchase its aluminum- and tin-based scrap materials.
Based on the narration of petitioner, Dela Cruz pretended to be an agent of Anlud Metal Recycling
Corporation when she arranged for the transport of the scrap materials. She had allegedly coordinated
the hauling with Alday, who was then working for SMC-MCLP. Alday purportedly allowed the trucks
driven by Paniergo and Bagaua to enter the plant and load the scrap materials in the cargoes based on a
false representation that the transaction was authorized by petitioner. Fortunately, the two trucks was
not able to leave the premises of SMC-MCLP. Petitioner lodged a Complaint for attempted estafa
through falsification of commercial/private document against dela Cruz, et al. An information was
filed and the RTC issued a Warrant of Arrest.

ISSUE: Did the RTC have jurisdiction to determine probable cause?

HELD: YES. Petitioner explains that there are two determinations of probable cause: the first is for
the purpose of filing a criminal information in the court, and the second is for the issuance of a warrant
of arrest. Petitioner submits that since the first kind is executive in nature, then the RTC had absolutely
no jurisdiction to determine the existence of probable cause to hold respondent as an accused in the
crime of estafa. Petitioner's interpretation of the rules on the determination of probable cause is
inaccurate. Although courts must respect the executive determination of probable cause, the trial courts
may still independently determine probable cause. They are not irrevocably bound to the determination
of probable cause by the prosecutor and the DOJ.

The trial court actually has the following options upon the filing of a criminal information: (1)
immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause; (2)
issue a warrant of arrest if it finds probable cause; and (3) order the prosecutor to present additional
evidence within five days from notice in case of doubt as to the existence of probable cause. These
options are provided in Rule 112, Section 6 (a) of the Rules of Court.

Indeed, the RTC is allowed to dismiss the charge of estafa against Ang (one of those originally
charged) notwithstanding the executive determination of probable cause by the prosecutor. If we were
to construe otherwise, we would be contradicting the basic principle that "once an information is filed
in RTC, any disposition of the case rests already in the sound discretion of the court.”

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[RULE 114] In now granting Enrile’s petition for certiorari, the Court is guided by the earlier
mentioned principal purpose of bail, which is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at the
trial, or whenever so required by the court. The Court is further mindful of the Philippines’
responsibility in the international community arising from the national commitment under the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This national commitment to uphold the fundamental
human rights as well as value the worth and dignity of every person has authorized the grant of bail
not only to those charged in criminal proceedings but also to extraditees upon a clear and
convincing showing: (1) that the detainee will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community; and
(2) that there exist special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances.

JUAN PONCE ENRILE VS. SANDIGANBAYAN


August 17, 2015, G.R. No.182157
BERSAMIN, J.

FACTS: On June 5, 2014, the Office of the Ombudsman charged Enrile and several others with
plunder in the Sandiganbayan on the basis of their purported involvement in the diversion and misuse
of appropriations under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Enrile respectively filed
his Omnibus Motion and Supplemental Opposition, praying, among others, that he be allowed to post
bail should probable cause be found against him.

On July 3, 2014, the Sandiganbayan issued its resolution denying Enrile’s motion, particularly on the
matter of bail, on the ground of its prematurity considering that Enrile had not yet then voluntarily
surrendered or been placed under the custody of the law. Accordingly, the Sandiganbayan ordered the
arrest of Enrile. Thereafter, Enrile filed his Motion for Detention at the PNP General Hospital, and his
Motion to Fix Bail. In support of the motions, Enrile argued that he should be allowed to post bail
because: (a) the Prosecution had not yet established that the evidence of his guilt was strong; (b)
although he was charged with plunder, the penalty as to him would only be reclusion temporal, not
reclusion perpetua; and (c) he was not a flight risk, and his age and physical condition must further be
seriously considered. This was denied by the Sandiganbayan; thus, a petition for certiorari before the
Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Whether Enrile should be entitled to bail.

HELD: YES. Bail acts as a reconciling mechanism to accommodate both the accused’s interest in his
provisional liberty before or during the trial, and the society’s interest in assuring the accused’s
presence at trial. The general rule is, therefore, that any person, before being convicted of any criminal
offense, shall be bailable, unless he is charged with a capital offense, or with an offense punishable
with reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, and the evidence of his guilt is strong. Hence, from the
moment he is placed under arrest, or is detained or restrained by the officers of the law, he can claim
the guarantee of his provisional liberty under the Bill of Rights, and he retains his right to bail unless
he is charged with a capital offense, or with an offense punishable with reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment, and the evidence of his guilt is strong. Once it has been established that the evidence of
guilt is strong, no right to bail shall be recognized.

As a result, all criminal cases within the competence of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial
Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, or Municipal Circuit Trial Court are bailable as matter of right

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because these courts have no jurisdiction to try capital offenses, or offenses punishable with reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment. Likewise, bail is a matter of right prior to conviction by the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) for any offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment,
or even prior to conviction for an offense punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment
when evidence of guilt is not strong. On the other hand, the granting of bail is discretionary: (1) upon
conviction by the RTC of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment;
or (2) if the RTC has imposed a penalty of imprisonment exceeding six years, provided none of the
circumstances enumerated under paragraph 3 of Section 5, Rule 114 is present.

For purposes of admission to bail, the determination of whether or not evidence of guilt is strong in
criminal cases involving capital offenses, or offenses punishable with reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment lies within the discretion of the trial court. It is axiomatic, therefore, that bail cannot be
allowed when its grant is a matter of discretion on the part of the trial court unless there has been a
hearing with notice to the Prosecution. The hearing, which may be either summary or otherwise, in the
discretion of the court, should primarily determine whether or not the evidence of guilt against the
accused is strong.

We first note that Enrile has averred in his Motion to Fix Bail the presence of two mitigating
circumstances that should be appreciated in his favor, namely: that he was already over 70 years at the
time of the alleged commission of the offense, and that he voluntarily surrendered.

In now granting Enrile’s petition for certiorari, the Court is guided by the earlier mentioned principal
purpose of bail, which is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at the trial, or whenever so
required by the court. The Court is further mindful of the Philippines’ responsibility in the
international community arising from the national commitment under the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. This national commitment to uphold the fundamental human rights as well as value the
worth and dignity of every person has authorized the grant of bail not only to those charged in criminal
proceedings but also to extraditees upon a clear and convincing showing: (1) that the detainee will not
be a flight risk or a danger to the community; and (2) that there exist special, humanitarian and
compelling circumstances. In our view, his social and political standing and his having immediately
surrendered to the authorities upon his being charged in court indicate that the risk of his flight or
escape from this jurisdiction is highly unlikely.

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