You are on page 1of 9

THIRD DIVISION

[G.R. No. 233012. October 4, 2017.]

GEORGE C. TRIVIÑO, petitioner, vs. RUFINO L. LIM, HUBERT A. LIM, JAN MING KUEI, CHEN TI LI and EDILBERTO P. ARZADON, respondents.

Sirs/Mesdames :

NOTICE

Please take notice that the Court, Third Division, issued a Resolution dated October 4, 2017, which reads as follows:

"G.R. No. 233012 (George C. Triviño vs. Rufino L. Lim, Hubert A. Lim, Jan Ming Kuei, Chen Ti Li and Edilberto P. Arzadon). — Before this Court is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to reverse and set aside the October 26, 2016 Decision 1 and July 7, 2017 Resolution 2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 143447 entitled "Rufino L. Lim, Hubert A. Lim, Jan Ming Kuei, and Edilberto P. Arzadon vs. Hon. Winlove M. Dumayas, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati (Branch 59), the People of the Philippines, and George C. Triviño." The assailed rulings reversed and set aside the July 8, 2015 Order, 3 October 6, 2015 Omnibus Order, 4 and June 16, 2016 Resolution of the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 59 in Criminal Case No. 15-1563.

Factual Antecedents

On May 7, 2015, petitioners were charged in an Information, the accusatory portion of which reads:

On November 2, 2004, in the city of Makati, the Philippines, accused being then the responsible persons in First Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc. [First Alliance], conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping each other, entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Everliving Company, represented then by complainant George C. Triviño, and in consonance thereto received in trust, among other conditions, 5,000 columbary vaults worth approximately Php500,000,000 with the corresponding obligation on the part of accused to account for the said number of vaults or their corresponding value and to deliver the same to third parties through complainant, but accused once in possession thereof, far from complying with the aforesaid obligation, with intent to defraud and with unfaithfulness and abuse of confidence, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously misappropriate, misapply and convert the vaults or their corresponding value to their own personal use and benefit, and accused despite demands, failed and refused and still fails and refuses to account and/or deliver the vaults or their corresponding value, to the third parties through complainant, to the latter's damage and prejudice.

CONTRARY TO LAW. 5

The charge stemmed from the complaint that petitioner George C. Triviño filed against respondents Rufino L. Lim, Hubert A. Lim, Jan Ming Kuei, Chen T. Li, and Edilberto P. Arzadon for syndicated estafa under Article 31 (1 (b) of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) in relation to Presidential Decree No. 1689.

Petitioner alleged that he is the founder and former principal stockholder of Everliving Company (Everliving), a corporation involved in the funeral parlor business. Everliving engaged the services of First Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc. (First Alliance) to construct a twelve-storey building that will house 110,000 units of columbary vaults on a parcel of land located along Agno Street corner Araneta Avenue, Quezon City. This structure will eventually be known as the Sanctuarium. Respondents are the officers/directors of First Alliance.

In 2004, the parties executed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), wherein petitioner assigned all his and his nominees' rights and interests in Everliving, representing 100% of the company's shareholdings, to First Alliance. The MOA provides, among others, that First Alliance will also assume the liabilities of Everliving to third parties that are indicated therein, which petitioner entered into on behalf of the company. The pertinent provisions state:

4. ASSIGNOR's Warranties and Representations. — The ASSIGNOR warrants that the assignment by him and his nominees of all their respective rights, title and interest over their respective subscription rights in the Company in favor of the ASSIGNEE is such that on or immediately after Closing Date the ASSIGNEE shall legally and beneficially own 100% of the subscribed and outstanding capital stock of the Company. The ASSIGNOR further warrants that as of the date of this Agreement the Company has no liabilities, indebtedness, obligations, or commitments, whether actual or contingent, to any person, firm or company, whether for money borrowed, material or supplies purchased, professions services rendered, wages or commissions incurred, taxes and fees due the national or local government, or anything else whatsoever, except the following:

a)

Balance due to Capitol Memorial Chapels, Inc., on account of land purchased, in the amount of P240,000,000.00;

b)

Contracts entered into with third parties by the ASSIGNOR in behalf of the Company under which the ASSIGNOR agreed to turn over up to 12,000 vaults in the Project to said third parties (the Dacion Obligation), as follows:

i. 5,000 of such vaults shall be turned over by the ASSIGNEE to the third parties concerned through the ASSIGNOR who, to such extent, assumes and accordingly frees the ASSIGNEE and the Company from the Dacion Obligation;

ii. 1,000 of such vaults shall be turned over by the ASSIGNEE directly to the third party or parties entitled thereto;

iii. 6,000 of such vaults shall be turned over by the ASSIGNEE to Mr. Wainwright Rivera/Rivers of Life Property Development Corp., pursuant to that certain Assignment Agreement dated 18 January 2002 executed between said party and the Company.

xxx xxx xxx

6.

No Physical Turnover of Vaults — The 12,000 vaults mentioned in Section

4(b) above have not been segregated from the 110,000 minimum total number of vaults in the Project so that there shall be no physical turnover of vaults to the parties entitled

thereto (the Dacion Creditors). Instead, the said vaults, together with those owned by the Company, shall be sold, and the proceeds of sale divided between the Dacion Creditors and the Company at the rate of 12/110 for the Dacion Creditors and the rest for the Company; 6

Notwithstanding these provisions, respondents purportedly failed to turn over or deliver the number of columbary vaults stated in Section 4 (b) (i), or their corresponding value from the proceeds of their sale, to the alleged third parties or dacion creditors despite demand. Petitioner, therefore, was constrained to file the adverted criminal complaint for syndicated estafa against the respondents.

Respondents, on the other hand, claimed that First Alliance undertook the construction of the Sanctuarium and provided the funding therefor. In addition, First Alliance extended a loan to petitioner in the amount of more than P88,000,000.00. Petitioner, however, suffered serious financial trouble that rendered him incapable of paying First Alliance for its services as well as his loan. In order to cover its construction expenses, which amounted to more than P100,000,000.00, as well as the amount of the loan, First Alliance agreed to purchase all of petitioner's shareholdings in Everliving for P350,000,000.00 and to assume the payment of his P240,000,000.00 loan from one Benjamin Dychangco. However, in 2014, petitioner sent letters to the respondents demanding for an accounting and delivery of the proceeds of the 12,000 columbary vaults allegedly owed by Everliving to its supposed dacion creditors. 7

In disputing liability for the said demands, respondents countered that they did not receive any money, goods or other personal property from either the petitioner or the alleged third parties or the dacion creditors, whether in trust, commission, or for administration, or under any obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or return the same. They insisted that First Alliance owns the columbary vaults by reason of the MOA; hence, respondents, as stockholders thereof, cannot be said to have misappropriated their own property. Respondents further argued that petitioner's referral to the columbary vaults or its proceeds as the thing received in trust and subsequently misappropriated do not fall under estafa as defined under Article 315 (1) (b) of the RPC, because a columbary vault is an immovable property. Finally, respondents claimed that there are no legitimate and genuine third parties or dacion creditors, except Wainwright Rivera since the other dacion creditors referred to in petitioner's complaint-affidavit, namely, Josefina J. Gascon, Joseph D. Geronimo, Ma. Rita Montilla-Quimpo and Fichete Peñalosa, were not specifically mentioned in the MOA.

On April 29, 2015, the Makati City Prosecutor's Office issued a Resolution 8 finding probable cause to hold the respondents for trial and filed the Information for simple estafa before the Makati City RTC.

In response, respondents filed a motion for the judicial determination of probable cause and to hold in abeyance the issuance of warrant of arrest, 9 but the Makati RTC denied the same in its July 8, 2015 Order and issued warrants of arrest against them.

Thereafter, the prosecution filed an Urgent Motion for the Issuance of a Hold Departure Order Against All of the Accused, which the respondents opposed. On August 10, 2015, respondents moved to reconsider the trial court's July 8, 2015 Order.

The trial court issued an Omnibus Order on October 6, 2015 (a) denying the private respondent's motion for the reconsideration of the July 8, 2015 Order, (b) denying private respondent's motion to quash the Information, and (c) granting the prosecution's urgent motion for the issuance of a hold departure order.

Aggrieved, respondents moved to reconsider the Omnibus Order. However, without waiting for the RTC to resolve the motion, the respondents filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction before the CA, praying for the appellate court:

a) to restrain the Makati RTC from implementing the July 8, 2015 Order and

October 6, 2015 Omnibus Order;

b) to annul and set aside the July 8, 2015 Order and October 6, 2015

Omnibus Order; and

c) to dismiss Criminal Case No. 15-1563 on the ground of lack of probable

cause and/or that the facts charged in the Information do not constitute an offense. 10

On June 16, 2016, the Makati RTC issued a Resolution denying the private respondent's motion for the reconsideration of the Omnibus Order and set their arraignment on August 25, 2016. Respondents filed a manifestation (with motion for the issuance of a TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction) with the CA, reiterating their prayer and arguments

in the petition for certiorari and assailing the trial court's June 16, 2016 Resolution. On July 29, 2016, the CA issued a Resolution setting the case for the summary hearing of respondents' application for injunctive relief on August 12, 2006.

Ruling of the Court of Appeals

On October 26, 2016, the CA rendered a Decision, the dispositive portion of which states:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Certiorari is GRANTED. The July 8, 2015 Order, October 6, 2015 Omnibus Order, and June 16, 2016 Resolution of the Public Respondent Judge Winlove M. Dumayas, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 59, are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, the criminal complaint of Estafa under Article 315 (1) (b) of the Revised Penal Code, against [respondents] in Criminal Case No. 15-1563 is hereby DISMISSED.

SO ORDERED. 11

In ruling thus, the CA held that the Makati RTC did not make its own inquiry as to the existence of probable cause for the issuance of the warrants of arrest against the respondents, as mandated under Section 2, Article III of the Constitution 12 Rather, the trial court merely relied on the prosecution's certification on the existence of probable cause against them, and on this basis alone, issued the said warrants.

Anent the propriety of the denial of respondents' motion to quash, the CA ruled that the Information does not contain material allegations sufficient to charge the respondents with estafa under Article 315, par. 1 (b) of the RPC. The court a quo reasoned that the nature of the contract entered into by the parties — which is essentially a sale of the columbary vaults — belies the allegation of misappropriation. Moreover, the appellate court observed that nothing in the records shows that the vaults were delivered to the respondents in trust, or on commission or for administration, with duty to return the same. The CA likewise doubted the existence of prejudiced parties in this case, considering that none of the alleged prejudiced third-party creditors participated in the preliminary investigation nor the summary hearing before it.

Undaunted, petitioner moved for, but was denied, reconsideration by the CA in its July 7, 2017 Resolution. Hence, this petition, with the following assignment of errors:

A.

The Honorable Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the Information does not contain material allegations sufficient to charge the respondents of the crime of estafa.

B.

The Honorable Court of Appeals erred in passing upon the factual issues raised in the petition before it.

C.

The Honorable Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in ruling that respondents are without any other plain, adequate, and speedy remedies in the ordinary course of law. 13

Issue

The main issue for the resolution of this Court is whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the charge of estafa thru abuse of confidence against the respondents.

Our Ruling

The petition is denied.

Petitioner argues that it was erroneous for the appellate court to entertain the respondents' certiorari petition since there are other equally plain, speedy, and adequate remedies available to them in the ordinary course of law. Upon the denial of the respondents'

motion for the reconsideration of the Omnibus Order, petitioner posits that they should have proceeded to trial and appeal in case of an adverse decision.

Generally, the rule is that filing a petition for certiorari to nullify an order of a trial court denying a motion to quash an Information is improper, given that the remedy of an appeal is readily available to the petitioner in case of an adverse judgment. This rule, however, admits of certain exceptions, such as in the following instances: (a) the trial court issued the order with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or in excess of jurisdiction; (b) appeal would not prove to be a speedy and adequate remedy; (c) where the order is a patent nullity; (d) the decision in the present case will arrest future litigations; and (e) for certain considerations such as public welfare and public policy. 14

Respondents averred that the Makati RTC gravely abused its discretion when it precipitately denied their motions. The trial court purportedly overlooked and failed to consider certain facts that would show that there is no probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest against them.

Grave abuse of discretion is the capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment on the part of the public officer concerned which is equivalent to an excess or lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility. 15 The word "capricious," usually used in tandem with the term "arbitrary," conveys the notion of willful and unreasoning action. Thus, when seeking the corrective hand of certiorari, a clear showing of caprice and arbitrariness in the exercise of discretion is imperative. 16

We agree with the findings of the CA that the Makati RTC indeed gravely abused its discretion in denying the respondents' motions.

Under Article 315, par. 1 (b) 17 of the RPC, estafa through abuse of confidence is committed by any person who shall defraud another by misappropriating or converting, to the prejudice of another, money, goods, or any other personal property received by the offender in trust or on commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to return the same, even though such obligation be totally or partially guaranteed by a bond; or by denying having received such money, goods, or other property.

Thus, the elements of estafa through conversion or misappropriation under Article 315, par. 1 (b) are:

that personal property is received in trust, on commission, for

administration or under any other circumstance involving the duty to make delivery of or to return the same, even though the obligation is guaranteed by a bond;

that there is conversion or diversion of such property by the person

who has so received it or a denial on his part that he received it;

(1)

(2)

(3)

that such conversion, diversion or denial is to the injury of another; and

(4)

that there be demand for the return of the property. 18 (Emphasis and

underscoring supplied)

The very essence of estafa under Article 315, par. 1 (b) is the misappropriation or conversion of money or property by the offender, or the denial of such receipt. 19 The words "convert" and "misappropriated" connote an act of using or disposing of another's property as if it were one's own, or of devoting it to a purpose or use different from that agreed upon.

First Alliance does not hold the said vaults in trust, on commission, or for administration for either the petitioner or the dacion creditors. The transaction between the petitioner and First Alliance is a sale of 100% of the shares of stock in Everliving. By reason thereof, First Alliance acquired absolute ownership of Everliving, which in turn owns the building known as

the Sanctuarium and the columbary vaults it houses. Concededly, when First Alliance bought Everliving, it likewise acquired, or "received," the columbary vaults from the petitioner. Nevertheless, First Alliance came into possession and ownership of the vaults in its own right as the assignee and not under any fiduciary obligation to hold the property in trust for any person.

A necessary consequence of the assignment is First Alliance's assumption of the remaining liabilities of Everliving to third parties that petitioner warranted and indicated in the MOA, as evinced by the pertinent provisions therein:

4. ASSIGNOR's Warranties and Representations. — x x x The ASSIGNOR

further warrants that as of the date of this Agreement the Company has no liabilities, indebtedness, obligations, or commitments, whether actual or contingent, to any person, firm or company, whether for money borrowed, material or supplies purchased, professions services rendered, wages or commissions incurred, taxes and fees due the national or local government, or anything else whatsoever, except the following:

xxx xxx xxx

b) Contracts entered into with third parties by the ASSIGNOR in behalf of the Company under which the ASSIGNOR agreed to turn over up to 12,000 vaults in the Project to said third parties (the Dacion Obligation), as follows: x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

From petitioner's own representation, he entered into certain dacion en pago transactions with third parties on behalf of Everliving, termed "dacion obligations." Thus, First Alliance's obligation to distribute the proceeds of a certain number of vaults to third parties stems from these dacion obligations. The very nature of a dacion en pago transaction negates the existence of a fiduciary relationship between First Alliance and the purported dacion creditors. For context, dacion en pago, which is the delivery and transmission of ownership of a thing by the debtor to the creditor as an accepted equivalent of the performance of the obligation, is in the nature of a contract of sale. 20 A debt implies merely an obligation to pay a certain sum of money, 21 while a contract of sale only gives rise to a concurrent obligation of the parties to deliver what is due to each other.

Anent the element of misappropriation or conversion, suffice it to state that since the vaults were purchased by First Alliance and not just held in trust for the creditors, this charge likewise does not hold water. Assuming that 5,000 vaults had indeed been assigned pursuant to valid dacion en pago transactions, any failure on the part of First Alliance to turn over the said vaults or the value thereof would only entitle the dacion creditors to an action for specific performance for their delivery. This Court has previously held that the failure by the parties to perform their obligations in a contract of sale only gives rise to a civil liability, and not a criminal one. 22

We likewise concur with the court a quo's findings that it appears that there are no legitimate offended or injured parties to speak of in this case. For one, petitioner claims he has assigned all his rights to the 5,000 vaults being claimed to one Josefino J. Gascon. Yet, as noted by the CA, aside from a demand letter for the accounting and delivery of the proceeds of the 5,000 vaults that petitioner assigned to him, Josefino Gascon never participated during the preliminary investigation of the case, nor intervened in the proceedings before the court a quo. Interestingly, the CA further observed that none of the other purported dacion creditors named in petitioner's counter-affidavit participated in the present case despite the allegation of misappropriation of their properties worth hundreds of millions of pesos. In fact, the Information failed to indicate the identities of the alleged prejudiced third parties as required under Section 12, 23 Rule 110. Petitioner relies on the provision in the MOA to the effect that the proceeds of the vaults stated in Section 4 (b) (i) shall be turned over by First Alliance to the dacion creditors through him to show that respondents recognized his authority to represent the creditors. Nevertheless, the said provision merely states that the delivery of the vaults shall be coursed through the petitioner.

It does not bestow the petitioner the authority to represent nor demand the return of the vaults or their proceeds in behalf of the purported creditors, much less establish that there are indeed offended parties in this case and file a criminal complaint in their behalf.

The Court further notes that the Deed of Assignment purportedly executed by the petitioner with Joseph D. Geronimo, one of the alleged dacion creditors, provides:

MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:

This Agreement made and executed by and between

GEORGE C. TRIVINO x x x

-and-

JOSEPH D. GERONIMO x x x

WITNESSETH:

WHEREAS, ASSIGNOR has the right to turn over up to 12,000 vaults to any third party pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement dated 2 November 2004 entered into with FIRST ALLIANCE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT, INC.; 24 (Emphasis supplied)

The recital in the foregoing deed clearly shows the petitioner claiming that his right to assign the vault in favor of Joseph Geronimo proceeds from the MOA that he executed with First Alliance. In stark contrast, petitioner represented in the MOA that the 12,000 shares indicated in Section 4 (b) (i) are to be used as payment to the dacion creditors for transactions that he had already entered into on behalf of Everliving. Petitioner's contradictory claims cast serious doubts on the existence of the alleged dacion obligation and creditors.

As stated in Section 5 25 of Rule 112, judges are accorded three options when confronted with the matter of issuance of warrants of arrest, which are 1) to dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly failed to establish probable cause; 2) to issue a warrant of arrest if it finds probable cause; and 3) to order the prosecutor to present additional evidence within five days from notice in case of doubt as to the existence of probable cause. 26 Certainly, the appreciation of facts for the purpose of determining probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest rests on the sound discretion of the trial court. Where, however, the failure to establish probable cause is as patent, the trial court is bound to dismiss the charges against the accused, and the failure to do so is an arbitrary exercise of judgment correctible by certiorari. The CA, therefore, did not err in ruling that the July 8, 2015 Order and October 6, 2015 Omnibus Order were issued in excess of the trial court's jurisdiction.

WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the assailed October 26, 2016 Decision and July 7, 2017 Resolution of the Court of Appeals, the Court resolves to DENY the Petition and, thus, AFFIRM said Decision and Resolution.

SO ORDERED."

Footnotes

Very truly yours,

(SGD.) WILFREDO V. LAPITAN Division Clerk of Court

1. Rollo, pp. 30-74. Penned by then Associate Justice (now Supreme Court Justice) Noel G. Tijam, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Francisco P. Acosta and Eduardo B. Peralta, Jr.

3.

Id. at 202-204.

4. Id. at 205-208.

5. Id. at 181.

6. Id. at 102-103.

7. Id. at 33-35.

8. Id. at 176-180.

9. Id. at 183-201.

10. Id. at 38.

11. Id. at 73.

12. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to he searched and the persons or things to be seized.

13. Id. at 10-11.

14. Laurel v. Abrogar, G.R. No. 155076, February 27, 2006, 576 SCRA 41.

15. Singian, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 195011-19, September 30, 2013, 706 SCRA 451.

16. JM Dominguez Agronomic Company, Inc. v. Liclican, G.R. No. 208587, July 29, 2015, 743 SCRA 148, citing Perez v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 162580, January 27, 2006, 480 SCRA

411.

17. Article 315. Swindling (estafa). — Any person who shall defraud another by any of the means mentioned herein below x x x:

  1. With unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence, namely:

  (a) By altering the substance, quantity, or quality or anything of value which the offender shall deliver by virtue of an obligation to do so, even though such obligation be based on an immoral or illegal consideration.

  (b) By misappropriating or converting, to the prejudice of another, money, goods, or any other personal property received by the offender in trust or on commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to return the same, even though such obligation be totally or partially guaranteed by a bond; or by denying having received such money, goods, or other property.

  (c) By taking undue advantage of the signature of the offended party in blank, and by writing any document above such signature in blank, to the prejudice of the offended party or of any third person.

18. Velayo v. People, G.R. No. 204025, November 26, 2014, 743 SCRA, 148, 156-157.

19. Ng v. People, G.R. No. 173905, April 23, 2010, 619 SCRA 291, citing Luces v. Damole, G.R. No. 150900, March 14, 2008, 548 SCRA 373.

20. Philippine National Bank v. Dee, G.R. No. 182128, February 19, 2014, 717 SCRA 14.

21. Thomson v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 116631, October 28, 1998, 298 SCRA 280.

22. Esguerra v. People, 108 Phil. 1078 (1960).

23. Section 12. Name of the offended party. — The complaint or information must state the name and surname of the person against whom or against whose property the offense was committed, or any appellation or nickname by which such person has been or is known. If there is no better way of identifying him, he must be described under a fictitious name.

  (a) In offenses against property, if the name of the offended party is unknown, the property must be described with such particularity as to properly identify the offense charged.

  (b) If the true name of the of the person against whom or against whose properly the offense was committed is thereafter disclosed or ascertained, the court must cause the true name to be inserted in the complaint or information and the record.

  (c) If the offended party is a juridical person, it is sufficient to state its name, or any name or designation by which it is known or by which it may be identified, without need of averring that it is a juridical person or that it is organized in accordance with law.

24. Rollo, pp. 144-145.

25. Section 5. When warrant of arrest may issue. — (a) By the Regional Trial Court. — Within ten (10) days from the filing of the complaint or information, the judge shall personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence. He may immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause. If he finds probable cause, he shall issue a warrant of arrest, or a commitment order if the accused has already been arrested pursuant to a warrant issued by the judge who conducted the preliminary investigation or when the complaint or information was filed pursuant to section 6 of this Rule. In case of doubt on the existence of probable cause, the judge may order the prosecutor to present additional evidence within five (5) days from notice and the issue must be resolved by the court within thirty (30) days from the filing of the complaint or information.

26. People v. Hon. Yadao, G.R. Nos. 162144-54, November 13, 2012, 685 SCRA 264.