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Rule 111 Section 1

Republic of the Philippines
 On the following day, October 21, 1975, petitioner filed a written
SUPREME COURT
 manifestation "withdrawing his intention to appeal the decision" and praying
Manila that the decision be executed. 3 This was granted by Order of the court on
the same date, thus: "Finding the manifestation reasonable, the notice of
SECOND DIVISION
appeal is hereby withdrawn and let the decision as Promulgated be
G.R. No. L-42010 August 31, 1976 executed." 4
ODELON RAMOS, petitioner, 
 Two (2) days after the withdrawal of the appeal, or on October 23, 1975, the
vs.
 trial Fiscal filed a motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid decision, with a
HON. ARSENIO M. GONONG, Judge, Court of First Instance of Ilocos prayer that the dispositive portion thereof be amended to read as follows;
Norte Branch IV, and MARIANO NALUPTA, SR., respondents.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Court finds
Castor Raval for petitioner. the accused Odelon Ramos guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of Damages with Multiple Slight
Bonifacio G. Agdigos for private respondent.
Physical Injuries as defined and penalized in Art. 365, par.
3, and Art. 266, par. 2, Rev. Penal Code, in relation to Art.
26 and 48, having also in mind Art. 66 and 75 of the same
ANTONIO, J.:
code, sentencing him to a 'fine' of double the amount of
This petition for certiorari challenges the validity of an amendment of a P7,425.95 or a total of P14,851.95; 'to pay Mariano
judgment of conviction after the accused had manifested in writing to the trial Nalupta Sr., the said amount of P14,861.95 as damages
court the withdrawal of his appeal, with prayer for the execution of the and to suffer a subsidiary personal imprisonment of not
judgment. The antecedent facts are as follows: more than six (6) months in case of insolvency (Art. 39,
par. 2, R.P.C.), to pay P2,000.00 as moral damages, and
On September 21, 1972, petitioner Odelon Ramos was charged with the
finally, to pay the statutory costs.
crime of Damage to Property with Multiple Physical Injuries Thru Reckless
Imprudence before Branch IV of the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte, On October 21, 1975, respondent court, asserting its power to amend and
with respondent Judge presiding. 1 control its processes and orders so as to make them conformable to law and
justice before the judgment becomes final and executory, granted the motion
On October 3, 1975, after trial, a decision was rendered in said criminal
for reconsideration, notwithstanding opposition thereto filed by herein
case, convicting petitioner of the crime charged. The dispositive portion of
petitioner, and the amendment of the dispositive portion sought by the trial
the decision reads as follows:
Fiscal was accordingly adopted by the court.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Court finds
A motion for reconsideration of the above Order seasonably filed by
the accused Odelon Ramos guilty beyond reasonable
petitioner on November 5, 1975 was denied by respondent court "for want of
doubt of the crime of Damages with Multiple Slight
merit" on November 19, 1975. Hence the instance petition for certiorari with
Physical injuries thru Reckless Imprudence as defined and
preliminary injunction.
penalized in Art. 365. par. 3, and Art. 266, par. 2, Rev.
Penal Code, in relation to Art. 26 & 48, having also in mind We grant the certiorari.
Art. 66 and 75 of the same code, sentencing him to double
The applicable provision is section 1, Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of
the amount of P7,425.95 or a total of P14,851.95; to pay
Court, thus:
P2,000.00 as moral damages and finally, to pay the
statutory costs. 2 SEC. 7. Modification of judgement. — A judgment of
conviction may be modified or set aside by the court
The afore-mentioned decision was promulgated on October 20, 1915. After
rendering it before the judgment has become final or
the reading thereof, the through counsel, manifested in open court his
appeal has been perfected. A judgment in a criminal case
intention to appeal and prayed, at the same time, that the bail bond for his
becomes final after the lapse of the period for, perfecting
provisional liberty be fixed, which the court a quo thereupon set at
an appeal, or when the sentence has been partially or
P16,500.00.

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Rule 111 Section 1

totality satisfied or served or the defendant has expressly In the case at bar, the judgment had already become final, prior to the Order
waived in writing his right to appeal. (Emphasis supplied). of October 21, 1975. It was, therefore, beyond the authority of the trial court
to amend the penalty imposed in the aforesaid judgment.
It is manifest from the foregoing that, before a judgment of conviction
becomes final, the trial court has "plenary power to make, either on motion of There is no question that an accused cannot be made to undergo subsidiary
one of the parties, or motu propio, such amendments or alterations as it may imprisonment in case of insolvency to pay the fine imposed upon him when
deem best, within the frame of law, to promote the ends of the subsidiary imprisonment is not imposed in the judgment of
Justice. 5 Thereafter, upon its finality, the trial court is divested of all authority conviction. 9Consequently, the inclusion in the amended decision of the
to amend or alter the aforesaid judgment, except to correct clerical errors. 6 penalty imposed which cannot, after the decision has become final, be made
by the trial court. It should be noted that under Article 39 of the Revised
In the case at bar, it is clear that the judgment in Criminal Case No. 98-IV
Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 5465, no subsidiary penalty is
became final and executory upon the filing of the written manifestation by the
imposed for non-payment of (1) the reparation of the damage caused; (2)
accused, withdrawing his appeal, with prayer that the judgment in said case
indemnification of the consequential damages; and (3) the costs of the
be executed, coupled with the approval by the court of such withdrawal. The
proceedings.
full import of the prayer for the execution of the judgment, together with the
clear and express withdrawal of "his intention to appeal the decision" From the conclusion that the decision in question has become final as to its
demonstrates the conformity of the accused to the sentence of conviction criminal aspect because the accused had waived his right to appeal on
within the intendment of the aforequoted section 7 of the Rules and, October 21, 1975, it does not necessarily follow that the trial court, on
therefore, after its approval by the Court, should have the legal effect of October 21, 1975, could not order the defendant to indemnify the offended
rendering the decision final. As we declared in a previous case, the waives party. Civil liability is not part of the penalty for the crime committed. 10 It has
of the right to appeal by the defendant, after he has been notified of the been said that as a general rule, an offense causes two (2) classes of
judgment of conviction, accompanied by a voluntary petition to be injuries — the first is the social injury produced by the criminal act which is
immediately committed to prison, and the order of the court accepting such sought to be repaired thru the imposition of the corresponding penalty, and
waiver and ordering defendant's confinement therein, bring the trial court's the second is the personal injury caused to the victim of the crime, which
jurisdiction to an end, and the Supreme Court cannot order said judge, by injury is sought to be compensated thru indemnity, which is civil in nature. 11
mandamus, to reinstate defendant's right to appeal. 7
Thus, it has been held that before the expiration of the fifteen-day period
The reliance placed by respondent court upon Rule 122, section 12, appears provided for appeal, the trial court can order the defendant to indemnify the
to be inapposite Respondent court loses sight of the fact that a judgment of offended party, notwithstanding that the judgment has become final because
conviction may become final in a number of ways. Thus, a judgment the accused has commenced the service of his sentence. In explaining why
becomes final in any of the following instances: (1) when the period for the trial court did not lose jurisdiction over the civil phase of the case, this
perfecting an appeal has lapsed or (2) when the sentence has been partially Court, in People v. Rodriguez, 12 said:
or totally satisfied or served; or (3) when the defendant has expressly waived
In People vs. Ursua, 60 Phil., 252, where the defendant
in writing his right to appeal. Upon the other hand, section 12 of Rule 122
was found guilty of homicide through reckless imprudence
expressly covers a case where, notwithstanding the perfection of the appeal,
and the trial court, upon motion of the prosecution, refused
the court may allow the appellant to withdraw his appeal, provided the
to enter judgment with respect to the civil liability of the
records of the case have not yet been transmitted to the appellate court, in
defendant for the reason that the appeal taken by him
which case, upon the grant of such withdrawal, the judgment shall become
divested the trial court of jurisdiction to pass upon the
final. If the records have already been forwarded to the appellate court, only
question of indemnity to the heirs of deceased, we held:
the latter court may, of course, act on the motion for withdrawal of appeal.
The trial court's resolution that, because
Contrary to the position taken by respondents, it is not necessary for the
the cause had been appealed by the
accused to go through the whole process of perfecting an appeal before he
accused it had lost its jurisdiction to
may expressly waive in writing his right to appeal. As stated in People v.
pass upon the motion for
Rodillas, 8 the judgment of conviction in a criminal case may become final
reconsideration filed by the private
even before the expiration of the period to appeal if the accused
prosecution nine days after the date of
demonstrates his conformity in a clear and express manner to the sentence
the judgment, is unfounded.
by renouncing or waiving in writing his right to appeal therefrom.

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Rule 111 Section 1

The right of the injured persons in an maximum period shall be imposed. 13 On the other hand, No. 1 of paragraph
offense to take part in its prosecution 6 thereof provides that if the penalty provided for the offense is equal to or
and to appeal for purposes of the civil lower than those provided in the first two paragraphs of the article, the
liability of the accused (section 101, penalty next lower in degree shall be imposed, in the proper period. Article
General Orders No. 58), necessarily 266 penalizes the offense of slight physical injuries with arresto menor (sub-
implies that such right is protected in the par. 1), or arresto menor to or fine (sub-pars. 2 and 3), depending upon the
same manner as the right of the to his kind thereof. If the multiple slight physical injuries which resulted from the
defense. If the has the right within fifteen accused's negligent act fall within that class punishable by arrests menor,
days to appeal from the judgment of the penalty next lower in degree, or fine, should therefore have been
conviction, the offended party should imposed. As the judgment in the criminal aspect is final, such an additional
have the right within the same period to penalty can no longer be imposed.
appeal from so much of the judgment as
It is likewise noted that, contrary to the holding of respondent court, Article
is prejudicial to him, and his appeal
48, which deals with complex crime where one or both of the two crimes
should not be made dependent on that
resulting from the single act is a light felony. 14
of the accused. If upon appeal by the
accused the court altogether losses its With respect to the damages to be paid to the offended party, the latter is
jurisdiction over the cause, the offended only entitled to the actual or compensatory damages proven at the trial. It
party would be deprived of his right to appears that the respondent court should not have doubled the amount of
appeal, although fifteen days have not damages because the value of the damages sustained is limited to the
yet elapsed from the date of the amount of P7,425.90. As the amount is now questioned by petitioner (Annex
judgment, if the accused files his will "F"), We hereby order its reduction to the actual amount of the damage, or
before the expiration of said period. P7,425.90.
Therefore, if the independently of the
WHEREFORE, the writ of certiorari is granted. The respondent Judge is
appeal of the accused, has jurisdiction
hereby directed to issue an Order, modifying its questioned Order of October
within fifteen days from the date of the
27, 1975, in accordance with the observation of this Court as herein above
judgment, to allow the appeal of the
indicated. Costs against private respondent.
offended party, it also has jurisdiction to
pass upon the motion for Fernando, Barredo, Aquino and Concepcion, Jr., JJ., concur.
reconsideration filed by the private
prosecution in connection with the civil
liability of the accused. (Pp. 2W255.)
and reminded the can to the lower court for determination
of the civil liability.
As the trial court did not lose jurisdiction over the civil
phase of the case even if the defendant had commenced
the service of his sentence, no error was committed by it
in ordering him to indemnify the offended party in the
amount of P1,000.00 before the expiration of the 15-day
period provided for appeal. (p. 351).
We observe that the court a quo was inaccurate in the imposition of the
penalty. It imposed only a fine of double the amount of the damage to
property, the multiple slight physical injuries likewise resulting from the
negligent Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to 6, No. 1,
should likewise have been imposed. 13 Article 365, paragraph 1 provides
that if the reckless imprudence resulted in an act which, had it been
intentional, would have constituted a light felony, the penalty of arrests in its

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Rule 111 Section 1

Republic of the Philippines
 2. No sign of life is evident on him;


SUPREME COURT

3. Hemorrhage profuse and apparently beginning to clot;
Manila
4. Presence of a bullet entrance wound at the postero-lateral aspect of the
EN BANC
nape of the neck near the beginning of the right shoulder measuring around
G.R. No. L-14110 March 29, 1963 4 millimeters in diameter projecting downwards and inwards passing the
clavicle left and coming out about 5 centimeters above and lateral to the left
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, 

nipple. Point of exit wound measuring around 15 mm. by 20 mm.
vs.

JOSEFINA N. SAMSON, defendant-appellant. Another wound measuring 22.1 mm. by 15 mm. at anterior aspect of the left
forearm about 8 centimeters traversing through the radial and ulnar bones
Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.

(in-between) and coming out the dorsal aspect of same forearm about 9 cm.
Paredes, Poblador, Cruz & Nazareno for defendant-appellant.
above the wrist, wound measuring 25 mm. by 27 mm.
PADILLA, J.:
5. Presence of a bullet wound entrance at the right interscapular region
Charged with parricide (case No. 1616) for the death of Jose V. Samson, about 10 cm. below the above stated wound measuring about 4 millimeters
who was shot in the morning of 13 October 1954, and illegal possession of a in diameter projecting upwards and coming out at the lateral aspect of the
firearm (case No. 1617), after trial Josefina N. Samson was acquitted of the lower jaw shattering the lateral portion of the lower mandible. Wound
last charge but found guilty of parricide and sentenced by the Court of First measuring 5 cm. by 3 1/2 cm.
Instance of Albay to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, to indemnify the
Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts
heirs of the deceased in the sum of P6,000 and to pay the costs.
be admitted and approved by this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the
The defendant has appealed. parties adducing other evidence to prove their case not covered by this
stipulation of facts. 1äwphï1.ñët
The evidence for the prosecution shows that at about 7:00 o'clock in the
morning of 13 October 1954, while standing on the stairway of his house and In (the) evaluation to (of) the above findings the cause of death is due to the
facing the street in the municipality of Libon, province of Albay, Jose V. gunshots inflicted with profuse hemorrhage resulting thereat (therefrom).
Samson was shot twice by Josefina N. Samson, who was behind him
It also appears that in the morning of 13 October 1954 while Meliton Sial, a
holding a carbine (Exhibit A). After the shooting she went to the municipal
gardener, was cutting grass on the lawn of the house of the Samsons at
building and reported to the Chief of Police Julian Cerdena that she had shot
Libon, Albay, he heard two shots so he went up the house and there saw
her husband and requested him (Cerdena) to go to her house and see the
Mrs. Samson near the door of the kitchen carrying a firearm (Exhibit A) from
body. The Chief of Police told the guard to lock her up inside the jail and he
whom he inquired what was the shot about and Mrs. Samson replied: "I shot
(the Chief of Police) and patrolman Francisco Fernandez repaired to the
him."
house of Jose V. Samson and there found his body living on his back at the
door of the house. The Chief of Police found a carbine (Exhibit A) on a table The evidence for the defense shows that the deceased Jose V. Samson was
in the dining room and two empty shells (Exhibit A-3), one behind the body cruel and of violent character and for many years had been maltreating his
of the deceased and the other on a table. Dr. Zacarias Edades, Municipal wife at the slightest provocation and on several occasions inflicting upon her
Health Officer, made a post-mortem examination of the deceased and physical injuries (Exhibits 12, 12-A, 20 and 21); that the day before 13
issued a medical certificate dated 13 October 1954 (Exhibit B), reading as October 1954 Jose V. Samson, who was then the District Engineer of the
follow: province of Masbate, arrived in Legaspi, Albay, and asked his wife and
children to join him for lunch at the Eden Hotel to which he was invited by a
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
friend named Jose Lim; that she could not join him because on that very day
This is to certify that I made a physical examination and investigation on this she had stood as sponsor at a wedding the luncheon of which was to be
date at Velasco St., Libon, Albay, at the residence of Engineer Jose V. held in the same hotel; that the children joined their father for lunch and after
Samson and have the following noted: lunch she and her children went shopping; that she bought underwear
(Exhibits 15, 15-A, 15-B, 15-C) for her husband and Nescafe; that after
1. The body of Engineer Jose V. Samson, 42 yrs., married, engineer by
shopping she and her children went to the store of Jose Lim where her
profession, resident of this municipality, slumped at the doorsteps of his
husband was and together they went home leaving on their way their
residence (recumbent position);
daughter Glenda at the St. Agnes Academy; that after staying a short while

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Rule 111 Section 1

at their house she and her husband left, the latter going to Bato to call on his and the left hand, the part of the gun near the trigger, for if her husband was
brother Jesus V. Samson and she to the ricefields to look after her share in to strike her with the butt of the carbine and she side-stepped, he would not
the palay that was being gathered or reaped; that both returned home that have continued to hold the carbine in a raised position when the person to
same evening and ate their supper together; that while they were taking their be assaulted already had side-stepped and avoided the attempted or
supper she told her husband that she has sold 80 cavans of palay; that after intended blow upon her. If, as claimed by the appellant, the gun went off
supper they retired and slept on the same bed; that the next morning she during the scuffle injuring her husband on the nape "projecting downwards
prepared breakfast for her husband who was to go hunting; that later he and inwards passing the clavicle left and coming out about 5 centimeters
woke up and began to take his breakfast, that upon tasting the coffee he above and lateral to the left nipple," a bullet wound which was fatal, how
suddenly pulled his wife by the hair and complained of the kind of coffee she could the appellant explain the presence or causing of the wound on the left
had bought for him; that after a short while her husband resumed taking his forearm and the bullet wound "at the right interscapular region about 10 cm.
breakfast while she prepared sandwiches for him to bring along on his below the above stated wound ... projecting upwards and coming out at the
hunting trip; that when her husband was about to leave he asked her some lateral aspect of the lower jaw shattering the lateral portion of the lower
money and she gave him P50; that the deceased asked for more and she mandible?" Through actual test during the trial it was found that the carbine
gave him another P50 consisting of two twenty-peso bills and one ten peso (Exhibit A) was not defective and could not fire without pressing the trigger.
bill; that her husband asked for more money and she gave him P2.00; that The absence of any powder burns at the entrance of the wounds found in
this made him angry and he grabbed her by the arm and twisted it and also the body of the deceased is convincing proof that the victim was shot from a
by the neck until she could no longer speak and was thrown against the distance, and not with the muzzle of the gun almost resting on his shoulder
table; that her husband in a loud voice told her that "if you don't give me or the back of the neck.
money I will kill you" and that "if you don't have money any more you better
The appellant claims that there is no competent evidence that the victim and
work as a maidservant, if not, be prostitute;" that her husband took the
the appellant were husband and wife. The claim is without merit. The
carbine from the table and holding it by the muzzle raised it above his right
testimony of the appellant on direct examination disclosed several times that
shoulder in an attempt to strike her; that she side-stepped and grappled with
she was married to the deceased in both "Church and civil marriages." On
him for the possession of the gun and in the scuffle the gun went off, the
cross examination, she testified on the exact date of her marriage to the
bullet hitting her husband in the neck; that when she saw the neck of her
deceased (4 July 1934) and the place (Pili, Camarines Sur) where they were
husband bleeding; she rushed to the municipal building where, she asked
married. She did not only admit that the deceased was her husband but also
Dr. Edades, the municipal health officer, to attend to her husband and at the
brought out the fact that out of the marriage they had five children and that
same time informed the Chief of Police of what had happened, that she was
only three are living, namely: Glenda, Manuel and Felix. Indeed, there could
placed under arrest and locked up in the municipal jail; that during her
be no better proof of marriage in a parricide case than the admission by the
confinement in the municipal jail she was examined by the Municipal Health
accused of the existence of such marriage. More, Ramon M. Velasco, mayor
Officer, Dr. Zacarias E. Edades, who found the following:
of Libon, Albay, and uncle of the deceased testified that when he saw the
1. A linear skin abrasion about 8 mm. near the base of the index appellant in the afternoon of 13 October 1954 at the municipal jail, she
finger dorsal aspect; immediately begged for his forgiveness and told him that she had shot her
husband Pepe (referring to the deceased) because the latter had a mistress
2. Slight contusion wrist left forearm; no abrasion nor swelling
and she could not bear or suffer it any longer.
noted;
The appellant contends that the action to enforce civil liability has been
3. Subjective complaint of pain around the neck but no visible
reserved and, therefore, the trial court erred in awarding civil damages
physical findings noted; no abrasion, no skin discoloration nor
amounting to P6,000 to the heirs of the deceased. In support of this
swelling noted on examination.
contention she quotes what the trial court stated during the hearing of the
The above findings with no further complication and good treatment case, to wit:
be rendered will be all right within 3-5 days. ... (Exhibit 6).
COURT: The court reserves the right of the heirs to prosecute the
The re-enactment during the trial of the way the deceased had been shot civil action independently, as soon as a guardian is appointed in
made, under the direction of the appellant, appearing in Exhibits 16, 18, 18-a that special proceeding. We will hold this in abeyance until a
and 18-b, clearly appears not to be normal. It was difficult, if not well-high guardian is appointed by the court who can represent the heirs in
impossible, for her who was frail and shorter in height than her husband, this case (p. 19, t.s.n., 19 May 1955).
who was robust and taller (Exhibit 23), to have succeeded in taking hold of
the carbine, her right hand gripping the lower part of the barrel of the gun

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Rule 111 Section 1

According to Section 1 (a) of Rule 107, the offended party must reserve his
right to institute separately the civil action to enforce the responsibility arising
from the offense charged. No one is authorized to make the reservation
except the offended party. These are the minor children of the deceased. No
such reservation having been made by them or by their duly appointed
guardian, the trial court did well in condemning the appellant to pay her civil
liability to the heirs of the deceased..
The finding of the trial court that there had been no evident premeditation
and treachery when the appellant shot her husband should be sustained. As
the uncontradicted evidence shows that despite several quarrels and
maltreatments she had with and received from her husband, both made up
very easily after each and every quarrel. The day prior to the shooting
incident the appellant bought some underwears for her husband and in the
evening of same day both the appellant and the deceased had supper
together and slept on the same bed. All these circumstances taken together
would inevitably lead to the conclusion reached by the trial court that the
appellant had not planned beforehand the killing of her husband. If the fact
that a few moments immediately preceding the shooting of the deceased by
the appellant, in that early morning of 13 October 1954, the latter and the
deceased had an altercation regarding the genuineness of the coffee
(Nescafe) that culminated into a hair pulling, but which as usual was made
up as easily as it flared up; and that immediately thereafter the deceased
resumed eating his breakfast while the appellant prepared sandwiches for
him to take along in his hunting trip, as if nothing had happened at all, — the
conclusion is inescapable that the appellant could have had neither the
resolution to kill her husband on that fateful morning nor the time to mediate
or reflect on the criminal act she would commit. It is, therefore, very clear
that the shooting of the deceased husband by the appellant came about
spontaneously from the unexpected turn of events. It is also very clear that it
happened in the spur of the moment and without any intervening period
during which the appellant could have meditated, reflected and resolved
upon the act she was about to commit, or sufficient time to allow her
conscience to overcome the resolution (if she did ever resolve) to carry out
what she had proposed or decided to do. The adverted circumstances, of
course, preclude, the attendance of treachery in the commission of the crime
at bar.
As there are two mitigating circumstances, that of voluntary surrender and of
having acted upon an impulse so powerful as naturally to have produced
passion or obfuscation, and there is no aggravating circumstance, the
minimum penalty of reclusion perpetua for the crime committed by the
appellant, as provided for in Articles 246 and 63 of the Revised Penal Code
imposed by the trial court, is correct.
The judgment appealed from is affirmed, with costs against the appellant.
Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L.,
Barrera, Paredes, Dizon, Regala and Makalintal, JJ., concur.

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Rule 111 Section 1

Republic of the Philippines
 23, 1977. She sold this parcel of land with a right of repurchase in favor of
SUPREME COURT
 spouses Felimon Zuasola and Anita Subida on December 31, 1985.
Manila
On February 1, 1989, petitioner sold half of the same parcel of land to
FIRST DIVISION respondents for the price of P75,000.00 on the understanding that
respondents shall pay the amount of P10,000.00 as partial payment and the
G.R. No. 152413 February 13, 2009
balance to be paid by monthly installments. Petitioner received the partial
BARCELIZA P. CAPISTRANO, Petitioner, 
 payment of P10,000.00 but signed a deed of absolute sale, denominated as
vs.
 "Kasulatan ng Bilihang Tuluyan," disposing half of the property in favor of
DARRYL LIMCUANDO and FE S. SUMIRAN, Respondents. respondents purportedly in consideration of the amount received.
Subsequently, respondents defaulted on their monthly installments.
DECISION
Petitioner repeatedly demanded for the payment of the balance
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.: of P65,000.00 from respondents but the latter refused to pay and claimed
that they had already fully satisfied the consideration for the disputed land
This is a petition for review of the Court of Appeals’ (CA) Decision1 dated
according to the terms of the subject deed of sale.
September 28, 2001 and the Resolution2dated February 1, 2002 in CA –
G.R. CV No. 49028, which affirmed the Amended Decision3 dated January Respondents learned afterwards that the disputed land had been previously
23, 1995 rendered by the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 32 of San sold by the petitioner to the spouses Zuasola and Subida which led
Pablo City, Laguna in Civil Case No. SP 3757. Said civil case was an action respondents to file a criminal complaint for estafa against petitioner on April
for the annulment of a deed of sale or for the repurchase of real property, 10, 1991. Petitioner was eventually convicted.
wherein the RTC held:
On August 19, 1991, petitioner repurchased the parcel of land from the
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby orders and adjudges: spouses Zuasola and Subida. She also offered to repurchase from
respondents the portion of the disputed land which she sold to them but the
1. The validity of the Deed of Absolute Sale dated February 1, 1989
latter refused. On September 27, 1991, Transfer Certificate of Title No.
executed by plaintiff [petitioner] in favor of defendants
127771 over the disputed land was issued in the names of respondents.
[respondents];
On May 27, 1993, petitioner filed a complaint5 for the annulment of the
2. That the true and correct consideration of the sale of the
subject deed of sale alleging that the sale was a nullity from the beginning
undivided one-half of the property now registered under TCT No.
and that respondents even assailed its validity in the previously mentioned
T-127771 with an area of 195 square meters in the name of plaintiff
criminal case for estafa against petitioner. As an alternative cause of action,
[petitioner] and defendants [respondents] is P75,000.00 partial
petitioner sought to repurchase the disputed land from respondents based
payment of P10,000.00 having been effected by defendants
on Section 119 of Commonwealth Act No. 141 (Public Land Act). She prayed
[respondents] in favor of plaintiff [petitioner];
as follows:
3. The defendants [respondents] to pay the plaintiff [petitioner] the
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that judgment be rendered in favor of
sum of P65,000.00 representing the balance unpaid for the total
plaintiff and against defendants:
cost of the disputed property in the sum of P75,000.00. The
payment of P65,000.00 should be effected by defendants 1. To declare the "Kasulatan ng Bilihang Tuluyan" as nullified;
[respondents] to plaintiff [petitioner] within thirty (30) days from
2. To order the repurchase of the said one-half (1/2) portion of the
receipt of this decision without interest;
realty by the plaintiff [petitioner];
4. The claims of both parties for damages against each other are
3. That defendants [respondents] be made to pay the costs of this
denied for insufficiency of evidence.4
suit.
A summary of the relevant facts culled from the pleadings and the evidence
Plaintiff [Petitioner] likewise prays for any other relief which to this Honorable
on record follows:
Court may be just and equitable in the premises.
Petitioner owned a parcel of land, with an estimated area of 224 square
In their Answer with Counterclaim,6 respondents admitted the material facts
meters located at Barangay Talaga, Rizal, Laguna, covered by Original
of the case but chiefly contended that they purchased the subject land from
Certificate of Title No. P-10302 pursuant to a Free Patent issued on August
petitioner in consideration of the sum of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00)

7 | Page
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only and that they never assailed the validity of the subject deed of sale in Sec. 119 of Public [Land] Act 141. This actuation of plaintiff [petitioner] is not
the estafa case. looked [upon] with favor by the Court.
After pre-trial and the marking of the exhibits, the parties manifested to the The plaintiff [petitioner], however, raised the issue of nonpayment of the full
RTC their intention to submit the case for judgment on the basis of the consideration of the sale of the disputed one-half portion to the defendants
evidence on record. The RTC directed the parties to file their respective [respondents] in the total sum of P75,000.00. Defendants [Respondents]
memoranda and, thereafter, rendered its judgment. alleged that the full consideration is P10,000.00 as envisioned in the Deed of
Absolute Sale and said amount having been fully paid to plaintiff [petitioner],
In its Amended Decision, the RTC sustained the validity of the subject deed
defendants [respondents] are no longer obligated to plaintiff [petitioner]. The
of sale and denied the right of the petitioner to repurchase the disputed land
Court glaringly noticed that the Deed of Sale with right of repurchase of the
from the respondents. In explanation, the trial court ruled:
subject property in favor of the Zuasolas was for the amount of P40,000.00
When plaintiff [petitioner] sold one-half (1/2) of the subject property to the which shows that even in 1985 the one-half undivided portion which is now
defendants [respondents] on February 1, 1989, the five (5) year period from the subject of this action could command a consideration of P20,000.00 in a
the date of issuance of the patent on August 23, 1977 had absolutely transaction of Venta Con Pacto de Retro. The subject property abuts a
expired. There was no longer [any] barrier for the plaintiff [petitioner] to provincial road. The undivided one-half of the whole property of 195 square
dispose or alienate the subject property. When the plaintiff [petitioner] meters to the mind of the Court could not be fairly sold for a consideration of
executed the Venta con Pacto de Retro in favor of spouses Zuasola in 1985, P10,000.00. The Court entertains a laudable and correct impression that the
the barrier or prohibition was likewise already inapplicable because the five subject property was agreed to be sold for the sum of P75,000.00, the
(5) year period had already expired as almost eight (8) years had elapsed amount of P10,000.00 having already been paid in advance leaving a
from the date of issuance of the patent in 1977. balance of P65,000.00 which should therefore be paid by the defendants
[respondents] to plaintiff [petitioner].7
The filing of an Information for Estafa against plaintiff [petitioner] is a criminal
action which cannot properly be considered as a basis for the annulment of On appeal by both petitioner and respondents, the CA affirmed the judgment
a Deed of Absolute Sale executed by plaintiff [petitioner] in favor of of the RTC as follows:
defendants [respondents]. The plaintiff [petitioner] was convicted of Estafa
Plaintiff-appellant’s [Petitioner’s] right to repurchase the one-half (1/2)
on the basis of criminal evidence that supports a conviction beyond
portion of the property no longer exists. The prohibition against the alienation
reasonable doubt. The annulment of the Deed of Absolute Sale should be
of the land acquired by [petitioner] by free patent ended on August 23, 1983
ventilated in a separate civil action that needs preponderance of evidence
or five years from its issuance. Thus, when plaintiff-appellant [petitioner] sold
for the purpose. At this instance it should also be considered seriously that
the one-half (1/2) portion of the property to defendant-appellants
when this action was filed on May 27, 1993, the plaintiff [petitioner] was
[respondents] on February 1, 1989, the redemption period contemplated by
already aware that Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-127771 on the disputed
Section 119 of the Public Land Act, as amended, no longer finds application.
one-half portion was already issued in the name of defendants [respondents]
as of September 27, 1991 and which title originated from OCT P-10302, the It may be true that the policy behind homestead laws is to distribute
Free-Patent awarded to herein plaintiff [petitioner] on August 23, 1977 under disposable agricultural lands of the state to land destitute citizens for their
Act No. 141. A perusal of the complaint shows that it seeks relief for home and cultivation, but this right may not altogether be true when the
declaration of nullity of the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by plaintiff person invoking the same is guilty of bad faith.
[petitioner] in favor of defendants [respondents] on February 1, 1989 but it
In the instant case, plaintiff-appellant [petitioner] was convicted of estafa by
does not seek annulment of TCT No. T-127771 or a reconveyance of the
reason of the double sale over the same property. She repurchased the
same it appearing that said title is registered in the name of the defendants
property from the first buyer only after an information had already been filed
[respondents] insofar as the one-half disputed portion is concerned.
against her. It is inescapable that when she filed the complaint with the court
The repurchase made by the plaintiff [petitioner] of the disputed property a quo she was with unclean hands. It is an act that negates the gratuitous
from the spouses Zuasola is a voluntary act executed by plaintiff [petitioner] reward by the State.
which the Court considers not binding and effective for the annulment of the
From the foregoing, we deem it fit not to disturb the judgment of the court a
Deed of Sale of February 1, 1989 in favor of defendants [respondents]. If
quo.8 (Emphasis supplied)
plaintiff [petitioner] opted to repurchase the subject property from the
spouses Zuasola it was because plaintiff [petitioner] was under the Hence, the instant petition for review.
impression that she was under the protective mantle of the provisions of

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Petitioner asserts that the subject deed of sale is null and void. The cause of Art. 1397. The action for the annulment of contracts may be instituted by all
this obligation, as an indispensable element of a contract, is allegedly false who are thereby obliged principally or subsidiarily. However, persons who
because of the fact that, prior to the sale of the disputed land in favor of the are capable cannot allege the incapacity of those with whom they
respondents in 1989, petitioner had the same land sold with right of contracted; nor can those who exerted intimidation, violence, or undue
repurchase in favor of spouses Zuasola and Subida way back in influence, or employed fraud, or caused mistake base their action upon
1985. 9 Petitioner’s asserts that her redemption of the disputed land from these flaws of the contract.
spouses Zuasola and Subida does not cure a void contract (i.e. the deed of
Petitioner is, therefore, precluded from seeking the annulment of the said
sale in favor of respondents). In addition, petitioner argues that, at the time
contract based on the fraud which she herself has caused.
the adverted criminal case was instituted against her, respondents
essentially admitted that fraud attended the execution of the subject deed of The theory of petitioner that the respondents should be deemed to have
sale and that, therefore, respondents should be deemed to have assailed themselves assailed the validity of the subject deed of sale, since the civil
the validity of the said contract. aspect of the criminal case for estafa was impliedly instituted with the filing of
said criminal action, is bereft of legal basis. The civil action impliedly
Anent her alternative cause of action, petitioner claims that the RTC
instituted in a criminal case pertains only to the recovery of civil liability
ostensibly and irrelevantly applied Section 118 of the Public Land Act. She
arising from the offense charged.13 Such civil action includes recovery of
underscores instead Section 119 of the said law and stresses that her right
indemnity under the Revised Penal Code, and damages under Articles 32,
to repurchase the disputed land prescribes only after five years from the
33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising from the same
date she conveyed the same to the respondents in 1989. Thus, she claims
act or omission of the accused.14 In other words, the civil action which is
she timely exercised such right when she instituted the complaint in 1993.
deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal action is the recovery of
In their Comment10 and Memorandum,11 respondents argue that the indemnity or damages under the Revised Penal Code and specifically
provision of the Public Land Act which prohibits the alienation of the disputed enumerated articles of the Civil Code. The action to annul the subject deed
land within a period of five years reckoned from the date of the issuance of of sale is obviously not among the civil actions that are deemed impliedly
the patent had lapsed along with the right to repurchase the disputed land instituted with the criminal action. Thus, respondents’ active participation in
under the said law. The respondents further contend that the petitioner the prosecution of petitioner for the crime of estafa, as well as their
conveyed the disputed land in bad faith and should not therefore be allowed concession that fraud attended the execution of the said deed of sale, would
to come to court with unclean hands. have significance only as to the recovery of civil indemnity arising from the
said crime. The trial court did not err when it held that the action to annul the
After evaluation of the parties’ competing arguments, we find the petition
deed of sale should be ventilated in a separate civil action, notwithstanding
devoid of merit.
petitioner’s conviction in the criminal action.
We simply cannot uphold petitioner’s contention that the deed of sale she
In light of the peculiar facts of this case, we also find no merit in petitioner’s
executed in favor of respondents should be declared null and void on the
alternative cause of action that she should be allowed to repurchase the
basis of the previous deed of sale with right of repurchase petitioner
subject property from respondents.
executed in favor the spouses Zuasola and Subida. Ostensibly, when
petitioner sold the subject property to herein respondents, she no longer had It is true that Section 11815 of the Public Land Act pertains to the prohibition
any right to do so for having previously sold the same property to other of the sale or encumbrance of a land acquired through free patent and
vendees. However, it is elementary that he who comes to court must do so homestead provision within a period of five years from the date of the
with clean hands.12 Being the vendor in both sales, petitioner knew perfectly issuance of the patent or grant. On the other hand, Section 11916 of the said
well that when she offered the subject property for sale to respondents she law subjects said land’s alienation, impliedly after the expiration of the
had already previously sold it to the spouses Zuasola and Subida. It is prohibitive period, upon a right of repurchase by the homesteader, his
undeniable then that petitioner fraudulently obtained the consent of widow, or heirs, within a period of five years from the date of its conveyance.
respondents in the execution of the assailed deed of sale. She even admits Indeed, these provisions complement the intent and purpose of the law "to
her conviction of the crime of estafa for the deception she perpetrated on preserve and keep in the family of the homesteader that portion of public
respondents by virtue of the double sale. land which the State had gratuitously given to him."17
Certainly, petitioner’s action for annulment of the subject deed should be However, it is important to stress that the ultimate objective of the law is "to
dismissed based on Article 1397 of the Civil Code which provides that the promote public policy, that is, to provide home and decent living for
person who employed fraud cannot base his action for the annulment of destitutes, aimed at providing a class of independent small landholders
contracts upon such flaw of the contract, thus: which is the bulwark of peace and order."18 Our prevailing jurisprudence

9 | Page
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requires that the motive of the patentee, his widow, or legal heirs in the same breath, we agreed with the trial court, in that case, that it is in this
exercise of their right to repurchase a land acquired through patent or grant sense that the provision of law in question becomes unqualified and
must be consistent with the noble intent of the Public Land Act. We held in a unconditional. And in keeping with such reasons behind the passage of the
number of cases that the right to repurchase of a patentee should fail if his law, its basic objective is to promote public policy, that is, to provide home
underlying cause is contrary to everything that the Public Land Act stands and decent living for destitutes, aimed at promoting a class of independent
for. In Benzonan v. CA,19we ruled: small landholders which is the bulwark of peace and order."1avvphi1
In the light of the records of these cases, we rule that respondent Pe cannot "As it was in Simeon v. Peña, respondent Mariñas' intention in exercising the
repurchase the disputed property without doing violence to everything that right of repurchase 'is not for the purpose of preserving the same within the
CA No. 141 (as amended) stands for. family fold,' but 'to dispose of it again for greater profit in violation of the law's
policy and spirit.' The foregoing conclusions are supported by the trial court's
We ruled in Simeon v. Peña, 36 SCRA 610, 617 [1970] through Chief Justice
findings of fact already cited, culled from evidence adduced. Thus
Claudio Teehankee, that:
respondent Mariñas was 71 years old and a widower at the time of the sale
xxx xxx xxx in 1956; that he was 78 when he testified on October 24, 1963 (or over 94
years old today if still alive); that . . . he was not living on the property when
"These findings of fact of the Court of Appeals that "(E)vidently, the
he sold the same but was residing in the poblacion attending to a hardware
reconveyance sought by the plaintiff (petitioner) is not in accordance with the
store, and that the property was no longer agricultural at the time of the sale,
purpose of the law, that is, 'to preserve and keep in the family of the
but was a residential and commercial lot in the midst of many subdivisions.
homesteader that portion of public land which the State has gratuitously
The profit motivation behind the effort to repurchase was conclusively shown
given to him'" and expressly found by it to "find justification from the
when the then plaintiff's counsel, in the case below, Atty. Loreto Castillo, in
evidence of record . . ."
his presence, suggested to herein petitioners' counsel, Atty. Rafael
"Under the circumstances, the Court is constrained to agree with the Court Dinglasan '. . . to just add to the original price so the case would be settled.'
of Appeals that petitioners' proposed repurchase of the property [do] not fall Moreover, Atty. Castillo manifested in court that an amicable settlement was
within the purpose, spirit and meaning of section 119 of the Public Land Act, possible, for which reason he asked for time 'within which to settle the terms
authorizing redemption of the homestead from any vendee thereof." thereof and that 'the plaintiff . . . Mr. Mariñas, has manifested to the Court
that if the defendants would be willing to pay the sum of One Peso and Fifty
We reiterated this ruling in Vargas v. Court of Appeals, 91 SCRA 195, 200,
Centavos (P1.50) per square meter, he would be willing to accept the offer
[1979] viz:
and dismiss the case."
"As regards the case of Simeon v. Peña, petitioners ought to know that
Our decisions were disregarded by the respondent court which chose to
petitioner therein was not allowed to repurchase because the lower court
adopt a Court of Appeals ruling in Lim, et al. v. Cruz, et al., CA-G.R. No.
found that his purpose was only speculative and for profit. In the present
67422, November 25, 1983 that the motives of the homesteader in
case, the Court of Appeals found that herein petitioners' purposes and
repurchasing the land are inconsequential" and that it does not matter even
motives are also speculative and for profit.
"when the obvious purpose is for selfish gain or personal aggrandizement."
"It might be well to note that the underlying principle of Section 119 of
In Heirs of Venancio Bajenting v. Bañez,20 we reiterated the doctrine applied
Commonwealth Act No. 141 is to give the homesteader or patentee every
in the above-cited cases as follows:
chance to preserve for himself and his family the land that the State had
gratuitously given to him as a reward for his labor in cleaning and cultivating As elucidated by this Court, the object of the provisions of Act 141, as
it. (Simeon v. Peña, 36 SCRA 617). As found by the Court of Appeals, the amended, granting rights and privileges to patentees or homesteaders is to
motive of the petitioners in repurchasing the lots in question being one for provide a house for each citizen where his family may settle and live beyond
speculation and profit, the same therefore does not fall within the purpose, the reach of financial misfortune and to inculcate in the individuals the
spirit and meaning of said section." and in Santana et. al. v. Mariñas, 94 feelings of independence which are essential to the maintenance of free
SCRA 853, 861-862 [1979] to wit: institution. The State is called upon to ensure that the citizen shall not be
divested of needs for support, and reclined to pauperism. The Court,
"In Simeon v. Peña we analyzed the various cases previously decided, and
likewise, emphasized that the purpose of such law is conservation of a
arrived at the conclusion that the plain intent, the raison d' etre, of Section
family home in keeping with the policy of the State to foster families as the
119, C.A. No. 141 '. . . is to give the homesteader or patentee every chance
factors of society, and thus promote public welfare. The sentiment of
to preserve for himself and his family the land that the state had gratuitously
patriotism and independence, the spirit of citizenship, the feeling of interest
given to him as a reward for his labor in cleaning and cultivating it.' In the

10 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

in public affairs, are cultivated and fostered more readily when the citizen TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO

lives permanently in his own house with a sense of its protection and Associate Justice
durability. It is intended to promote the spread of small land ownership and
WE CONCUR:
the preservation of public land grants in the names of the underprivileged for
whose benefits they are specially intended and whose welfare is a special REYNATO S. PUNO

concern of the State. The law is intended to commence ownership of lands Chief Justice

acquired as homestead by the patentee or homesteader or his heirs. Chairperson
In Simeon v. Peña, the Court declared that the law was enacted to give the
ANTONIO T. CARPIO
 RENATO C. CORONA

homesteader or patentee every chance to preserve for himself and his family
Associate Justice Associate Justice
the land that the State had gratuitously given to him as a reward for his labor
in cleaning and cultivating it. In that sense, the law becomes unqualified and
ADOLFO S. AZCUNA

unconditional. Its basic objective, the Court stressed, is to promote public
Associate Justice
policy, that is, to provide home and decent living for destitutes, aimed at
providing a class of independent small landholders which is the bulwark of C E RTI F I CATI O N
peace and order.
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, I certify that the
To ensure the attainment of said objectives, the law gives the patentee, his conclusions in the above decision had been reached in consultation before
widow or his legal heirs the right to repurchase the property within five years the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.
from date of the sale. However, the patentee, his widow or legal heirs should
REYNATO S. PUNO

not be allowed to take advantage of the salutary policy of the law to enable
Chief Justice
them to recover the land only to dispose of it again to amass a hefty profit to
themselves. The Court cannot sustain such a transaction which would put a
premium on speculation which is contrary to the philosophy behind Section
Footnotes
119 of Act 141, as amended.
13 Rules of Court, Rule 111, Section 1.
Analogous to the rationale in the foregoing cited cases, we cannot sustain
the right to repurchase of a patentee when such repurchase would reward
rather than sanction an act of injustice committed by her in her fraudulent
dealings with land that she acquired from the government under the Public
Land Act. We uphold the CA’s finding that petitioner is guilty of bad faith and
that she only made efforts to repurchase the property from the first buyers
after an information for estafa had been filed against her by the second
buyers. To be sure, petitioner only made an effort to enforce her right to
repurchase from the second buyers (by filing the complaint subject of the
present petition) during the pendency of the said criminal action for estafa.
Indeed, petitioner’s successive conveyances of the disputed land for
valuable consideration to different vendees clearly indicate the profit-making
motive of petitioner and her lack of intention to preserve the land for herself
and her family. This Court cannot countenance such a betrayal of the
ultimate objective of the law.
In view of the foregoing, the appellate court did not commit any reversible
error in its assailed decision and resolution.
WHEREFORE, the petition of Barceliza P. Capistrano is hereby DENIED for
lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.

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Republic of the Philippines
 Supplemental Complaint-Affidavit11 and attached the following additional
SUPREME COURT
 documents:
Manila
1. Scene of the Crime Operation (SOCO) Report dated 11 March
FIRST DIVISION 2007;12
G.R. No. 184337 August 7, 2009 2. Medical Certificate of Pesico from the Ospital ng Maynila dated 7
June 2007;13
HEIRS OF FEDERICO C. DELGADO and ANNALISA
PESICO, Petitioners, 
 3. Cartographic Sketch of one of the suspects dated 13 March
vs.
 2007, drawn by an artist sketcher of the MPD, as described by
LUISITO Q. GONZALEZ and ANTONIO T. BUENAFLOR, Respondents. Pesico;14
DECISION 4. Photographs of criminals and Delgado’s family members,
relatives, friends and employees, shown to Pesico, where she
CARPIO, J.:
recognized Gonzalez and Buenaflor as the ones who mauled her
The Case and murdered Delgado;15
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari1 assailing the Amended 5. Affidavit of SPO2 Virgo Ban Villareal dated 15 June 2007
Decision2 dated 29 August 2008 of the Court of Appeals’ Former Special attesting to the identification made by Pesico after viewing said
Seventh Division, which reversed the Original Decision3 dated 18 March photographs;16
2008 of the Court of Appeals’ Seventh Division, in CA-G.R. SP No. 101196.
6. Affidavit of Retired Police Superintendent Leonito Manipol
The Antecedent Facts Cantollas, the forensic document examiner who analyzed the
questioned handwritten word "FRANCO," the inscription on a wall
O11 March 2007, the police found the dead body of Federico C. Delgado
found at the crime scene;17
(Delgado) at his residence in Mayflower Building, 2515 Leon Guinto corner
Estrada Streets, Malate, Manila. The police was alerted by Annalisa D. 7. Questioned Document Examination Report No. 004-07 of
Pesico (Pesico), who allegedly was present at the time of the commission of Leonito Manipol Cantollas;18
the crime and was likewise injured in the incident.4
8. Curriculum Vitae of Leonito Manipol Cantollas;19
On 1 June 2007, on behalf of Pesico and the heirs of Delgado (petitioners),
5 the Manila Police District (MPD), represented by Alejandro B. Yanquiling 9. Complaint-Affidavit for Robbery filed by Jose Mari C. Delgado,
stepbrother of Gonzalez, against Ruby Q. Gonzalez-Meyer, sister
Jr., Chief of the Homicide Section, filed a complaint-affidavit6 with the Office
of Gonzalez;20
of the City Prosecutor of Manila. The MPD charged respondents Luisito Q.
Gonzalez (Gonzalez) and Antonio T. Buenaflor (Buenaflor) with the murder 10. Letter via electronic mail dated 4 July 2003 written by Ruby Q.
of Delgado and frustrated murder of Pesico. Gonzalez is the stepbrother of Gonzalez-Meyer to her and Gonzalez’s mother, Vicky Quirino
the deceased and Buenaflor was a former driver for 15 years of Citadel Gonzalez-Delgado;21
Corporation, owned by the Delgado family.
11. Newspaper clipping taken from the Philippine Daily Inquirer
Together with the complaint-affidavit, the police presented the following dated 26 March 2007, where Gonzalez’s wife, Kuh Ledesma, talked
documents: about him, their relationship and the accusations that her husband
was facing;22
1. Sworn Statement ("Sinumpaang Salaysay") of Pesico dated 11
March 2007;7 12. Newspaper clipping taken from the Philippine Daily Inquirer
dated 22 March 2007, referring to the family feud between the
2. Supplemental Sworn Statement ("Karagdagang Sinumpaang
Delgado and Gonzalez siblings;23 and
Salaysay") of Pesico dated 15 March 2007;8and
13. Police Blotter dated 16 March 2007 reported by Atty. Augusto
3. Crime and Progress Reports of Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2)
M. Perez, Jr., lawyer of Francisco "Franco" Delgado III, regarding a
Virgo Ban Villareal dated 23 March 2007.9
threatening phone call by an unknown caller made on 15 March
At petitioners’ request, the case was transferred to the Department of Justice 2007 at the latter’s residence.24
(DOJ) for preliminary investigation.10On 20 June 2007, the MPD filed a

12 | P a g e
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Gonzalez and Buenaflor filed their Counter-Affidavits, respectively. As held by public respondent, probable cause was met, and rightly so, when
25 Together with his counter-affidavit, Gonzalez attached relevant Pesico, the lone eyewitness of the commission of the crime positively
documents26 establishing his confinement at the Neuro-Psychiatric Unit of identified petitioners as the authors of the bestial act. To cast doubt on
the Makati Medical Center from 7 March 2007 until 18 March 2007 and the Pesico’s positive identification of petitioners, the latter pointed to the alleged
corroborative affidavits of 29 impartial and independent witnesses composed inconsistencies in the two affidavits that the former has executed and such
of physicians, nurses and personnel of said hospital.27 On the other hand, other circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime showing the
Buenaflor presented the affidavit of his employer, who attested that improbability of identification. But as correctly ruled by public respondent,
Buenaflor was on duty and driving for him at the time of Delgado’s death.28 these are minor inconsistencies and matters which are not enough, at that
stage in time, to overthrow the possibility and credibility of identification.
Acting City Prosecutor of Manila Cielitolindo A. Luyun (Investigating
Prosecutor) conducted the preliminary investigation and evaluated the On the one hand are the following facts, established by the complaints: (1)
evidence submitted by the MPD, as well as respondents’ Counter-Affidavits, That Pesico, who was likewise injured, witnessed the commission of the
corroborating affidavits of 29 witnesses, and supporting documentary crime; (2) Her condition, despite the injury caused by the blunt object that
evidence. In a Resolution dated 10 September 2007, the Investigating was used to maul her, with swollen eyes, tied in the arms and legs, does not
Prosecutor dismissed the complaint for lack of probable cause that totally forestall the possibility that she could have seen and identified the
respondents committed the crimes of murder and frustrated murder.29 assailants; (3) Pesico identified petitioners as the authors of the complained
acts; and (4) No evidence to show that Pesico and petitioners know each
On 18 September 2007, petitioners filed a Petition for Review with the
other as to entertain any possibility that her identification may have been
Secretary of Justice. On 15 October 2007, then Acting Secretary of Justice
prompted by ill-motive. On the other, are petitioners’ defense of alibi and
Agnes VST Devanadera (Acting Secretary Devanadera) reversed the finding
denial which they assert were not considered by public respondent.
of the Investigating Prosecutor and directed the filing of separate
informations for murder and less serious physical injuries against In order to overthrow the jurisprudential injunction of giving superior regard
respondents.30 to positive identification over the defenses of alibi and denial, these defenses
should be clearly established and must not leave any room for doubt as to its
On 18 October 2007, respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration which
plausibility and verity. It (alibi) cannot prevail over the positive testimonies of
was denied by Acting Secretary Devanadera in a Resolution dated 26
the prosecution witnesses who have no motive to testify falsely against the
October 2007.31
accused.
On 30 October 2007, the corresponding Informations were filed. The charge
The burden of evidence, thus, shifts on the respondents to show that their
for the crime of murder was filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
defenses of alibi and denial are strong enough to defeat probable cause,
Manila, Branch 32, docketed as Criminal Case No. 07-257487. The charge
which was engendered by the prosecution’s alleged eyewitness’ positive
of less serious physical injuries was filed before the Metropolitan Trial Court
identification of them as the assailants to the crime under investigation.
of Manila, Branch 9, docketed as Criminal Case No. 441878.32
Moreover, for alibi to prosper, there must be proof that it was physically
Thereafter, respondents filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for impossible for the accused to be at the scene of the crime at the time it was
certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. committed. At this juncture, We note the undisputed fact, concerning the
101196, assailing the Resolutions of Acting Secretary Devanadera dated 15 accessibility of the distance between the crime scene and the hospital where
October 2007 and 26 October 2007.33 petitioner Gonzale[z] alleged to have been detailed/admitted. The same is
true with petitioner Buenaflor who was only in the vicinity of Roxas
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals
Boulevard. Considering the distance of the locus criminis and the places
On 18 March 2008, the Court of Appeals, in its Original Decision, dismissed petitioners alleged they were at the time of the commission of the crime,
the petition and denied respondents’ application for preliminary and/or neither their arguments nor the affidavits of their witnesses draw out the
permanent injunctive writ. The appellate court found no grave abuse of possibility, nay create physical impossibility, that they may have been at the
discretion on the part of Acting Secretary Devanadera in issuing the scene of the crime when it was committed.
Resolutions dated 15 October 2007 and 26 October 2007. It affirmed the
xxx
existence of probable cause when Pesico, the lone eyewitness of the
commission of the crime, positively identified respondents as the IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, We find no grave abuse of discretion on the
perpetrators. The relevant portion of the Original Decision states: part of the Acting Secretary of Justice in issuing the Resolutions dated 15
October 2007 and 26 October 2007.

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ACCORDINGLY, the present Petition is hereby DISMISSED and petitioners’ material damage to a potential accused’s constitutional right to liberty and
application for preliminary (and/or permanent) injunctive writ is necessarily the guarantees of freedom and fair play, and to protect the State from the
denied. burden of unnecessary expenses in prosecuting alleged offenses and
holding trials arising from false, fraudulent or groundless charges. x x x
SO ORDERED.34
The pivotal question then is, was there really positive identification of the
Respondents then filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the Court of
petitioners?
Appeals on 27 March 2008.35
In People vs. Teehankee, Jr., the Supreme Court explained the procedure
Meanwhile, on 3 July 2008, the RTC ordered that warrants of arrest be
for out-of-court identification and the test to determine the admissibility of
issued against respondents.36 On 16 and 21 July 2008, Gonzalez and
such identification, thus:
Buenaflor, respectively, surrendered voluntarily to the police.37 On 28 July
2008, respondents filed with the RTC a Motion for Reconsideration (of the "x x x Out-of-court identification is conducted by the police in various ways. It
Order dated 3 July 2008). is done thru show-ups where the suspect alone is brought face to face with
the witness for identification. It is done thru mug shots where photographs
To address the motion for reconsideration filed by respondents, the Court of
are shown to the witness to identify the suspect. It is also done thru line-ups
Appeals held oral arguments on 17 July 2008. After said hearing, the
where a witness identifies the suspect from a group of persons lined up for
appellate court issued an Amended Decision dated 29 August 2008. In the
the purpose. Since corruption of out-of-court identification contaminates the
Amended Decision, the Court of Appeals granted the motion for
integrity of in-court identification during the trial of the case, courts have
reconsideration and ordered that the Informations charging petitioners with
fashioned out rules to assure its fairness and its compliance with the
murder and less serious physical injuries be quashed and dismissed. The
requirements of constitutional due process. In resolving the admissibility of
relevant portion of the Amended Decision states:
and relying on out-of-court identification of suspects, courts have adopted
This Court has carefully evaluated the evidence of the parties once more, the totality of circumstances test where they consider the following factors,
and its reassessment of the evidence compels it to reconsider its previous viz: (1) the witness’ opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the crime;
affirmation of public respondent Acting Secretary of Justice’s finding of (2) the witness’ degree of attention at that time; (3) the accuracy of any prior
probably cause. The Court’s incisive scrutiny of the evidence led it to the description given by the witness; (4) the level of certainty demonstrated by
conclusion that there was really insufficient evidence to support public the witness at the identification; (5) the length of time between the crime and
respondent Acting Secretary of Justice’s finding of probable cause. It is the identification; and (6) the suggestiveness of the identification procedure."
significant to stress at this point that while "probable guilt" and "evidence
Taking into consideration the foregoing test, this Court finds sufficient
less than sufficient for conviction" is the threshold in probable cause
reasons to seriously doubt the identification made by private respondent
determinations, it is also important nay indispensable that there be sufficient
Pesico pointing to the petitioners as the culprits.
and credible evidence to demonstrate the existence of probable cause.
First, a careful analysis of private respondent Pesico’s account would reveal
xxx
that she did not really have sufficient opportunity to view the assailants at the
Public respondent Acting Secretary of Justice’s finding of probable cause time of the commission of the crime. By her own account, private respondent
against the petitioners is based solely on the account of the prosecution’s Pesico narrated that as they were about to enter Federico’s room, two (2)
lone eyewitness, private respondent Annalisa Pesico. x x x men suddenly came out from the room and immediately stabbed Federico,
while she was also hit with a hard object on her head and body. Considering
It is once apparent that public respondent Acting Secretary of Justice did not
the suddenness of the attack plus the fact that the assailants had "covers" or
really dwell on the essential facts of the case, much less dig through the
masks on their faces, it was certainly not possible, at that instance, that she
crucial details of private respondent Pesico’s account. Curiously, a close
could have seen their faces. In a later statement which she executed four (4)
reading of public respondent Acting Secretary of Justice’s assailed resolution
days after, she nonetheless repaired her account by explaining that while
reveals that except for the rather sweeping finding that private respondent
petitioners had "covers" on their faces and while her own face was covered
Pesico "positively identified" the petitioners, most of it were re-statements,
with towel and some pieces of clothing, she nevertheless, can still see
without more, of broad principles and presumptions in criminal law, such as
through them, as in fact, she saw the face of petitioner Luisito Gonzale[z]
the doctrines on alibi, denial, and positive identification. Such disposition
when the latter allegedly removed the cover in his face because of the
utterly falls short of the admonitions enunciated in Salonga and reiterated in
humidity inside the room. At this point, private respondent Pesico was
Allado. Indeed, while probable cause should be determined in a summary
obviously referring at that particular instance when she was lying down on
manner, there is a need to examine the evidence with care to prevent

14 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

the floor inside the dressing room. This Court entertains nagging doubts in respondent Pesico as one of the assailants, he was the only male individual.
this respect. x x x Juxtaposed with the "family feud" angle of the case, there is compelling
reason to believe that petitioner Luisito Gonzale[z] was isolated and
Second, private respondent Pesico utterly missed out important details in
suggested, wittingly or unwittingly, by the police investigators as a prime
her first narration of the events that transpired during the commission of the
suspect in the case.
crime. Significant details such as the "covers" or masks on the faces of the
assailants, the strong Visayan accent of one of the assailant, that the In sum, this Court is of the view that petitioner Luisito Gonzale[z]’s
television was turned "on", that the assailants removed their masks because identification was less than trustworthy and could not have been positive but
of the heat in the room, that her face was covered with towel and some merely derivative.
pieces of clothing, etc., were entirely lacking in her first sworn statement,
xxx
and were only supplied later in her second sworn statement. While her first
sworn statement undoubtedly counts as a "fresh account" of the incident, In light of the significant improbabilities, uncertainties and inconsistencies in
there are valid reasons to suspect that the second sworn statement could private respondent Pesico’s account, as well as the total unreliability of the
have been tainted, if not supplied or suggested, considering the intervening identification she made, the petitioners’ alibi and denial thus assume
time between the execution of the first and second statements. commensurate strength. Their alibi and denial assume particular importance
in this case as the same are corroborated by no less than twenty-nine (29)
Third, there was little certainty in private respondent Pesico’s identification.
impartial and disinterested witnesses. x x x Thus taking into account these
There was no mention at all of any distinguishing characteristics like the
29 sworn statements, it was certainly impossible for the petitioners to have
height, weight, built, complexion, hair, moles, mustache, etc. of the
been at the locus criminis. x x x Alibi is not always undeserving of credit, for
assailants, not to mention the attire or the color of their clothing, individual
there are times when the accused has no other possible defense for what
mannerisms or gestures, accessories, if any, that could perhaps specifically
could really be the truth as to his whereabouts at the crucial time, and such
identify the petitioners as the assailants. There was of course private
defense may in fact tilt the scales of justice in his favor.38
respondent Pesico’s account that one of the assailants had a strong Visayan
accent, fierce eyes and pointed face but such was rather too general a The Solicitor General, who is now Agnes VST Devanadera, did not appeal
description to discriminate petitioners against a thousand and one suspects the appellate court’s Amended Decision which reversed her Resolutions of
who would similarly possess such description. Furthermore, while private 15 October 2007 and 26 October 2007 when she was Acting Secretary of
respondent Pesico claimed to have seen the faces of both the assailant, Justice. In G.R. No. 184507, the Solicitor General filed a Motion for
there was only one cartographic sketch of one suspect. Oddly enough, the Extension of Time to file a Petition for Review under Rule 45 before this
cartographic sketch does not even strike any close resemblance to the facial Court. However, the 30 day extension given had lapsed without the filing of
features of anyone of the petitioners. said petition. Thus, the Court, in a Resolution dated 8 December 2008,
declared G.R. No. 184507 closed and terminated.
Fourth, there was sufficient lapse of time between the time of the
commission of the crimes when private respondent Pesico allegedly saw the On 10 September 2008, respondents filed with the Court of Appeals an
assailants and the time she made her identification. The intervening period, Urgent Motion to Order the Amended Decision dated 29 August 2008 as
i.e., four (4) days to be exact, was more than sufficient to have exposed what Immediately Executory.39
was otherwise accurate and honest perception of the assailants to
On 18 September 2008, petitioners filed a Petition for Review under Rule 45
"extraneous influences", which more or less leads this Court to conclude that
before this Court.40 Respondents, in connection with the Petition for Review,
private respondent Pesico’s identification of the petitioners could not have
filed a "Motion for the Release (On Bond, If Required)."
been uncontaminated. This, in light of the fact that prior to the identification,
private respondent Pesico was part of the joint inspection of the crime scene On 2 October 2008, the Court of Appeals issued a Resolution denying the
conducted by the police investigators with the members of the Delgado motion filed on 10 September 2008.41Thereafter, respondents filed a Motion
family, who, at that time floated the "family feud" theory of the case. for Reconsideration.
Fifth, this Court finds the "photo line-up" identification conducted by the Meanwhile, on 7 October 2008, the RTC issued an Order suspending the
police investigators to be totally unreliable and particularly dangerous, the proceedings in Criminal Case No. 07-257487 and effectively deferred the
same being impermissibly suggestive. The pictures shown to private resolution of respondents’ Motion for Reconsideration (of the Order dated 3
respondent Pesico consisted mainly of the members of the Delgado family, July 2008) pending a decision by this Court on the Petition for Review filed
employees and close associates, let alone the fact that in the particular by petitioners. The RTC also ordered that both respondents remain in
picture from which petitioner Luisito Gonzale[z] was identified by private custody.42

15 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

On 5 November 2008, the Court of Appeals issued another Resolution 3. Whether the Court of Appeals committed reversible and
denying the motion for reconsideration of its 2 October 2008 Resolution, whimsical errors of law in the amended decision warranting
stating that with due deference to the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of reversal of the same46 in view of the following reasons:
all controversies, the Court of Appeals forbids itself from declaring the 29
a. There were plain, speedy and adequate remedies
August 2008 Amended Decision as immediately executory. It held further
available to respondents prior to their filing of certiorari
that since an appeal by certiorari to the Supreme Court had already been
before the Court of Appeals.47
filed by petitioners, any motion for execution pending appeal should now be
filed with the Supreme Court.43 b. The Secretary of Justice did not commit grave abuse of
discretion in her determination of probable cause.48
Hence, this petition.
c. The Court of Appeals strayed from the determination of
On 10 December 2008, this Court conducted oral arguments to hear the
grave abuse of discretion and instead evaluated the
respective parties’ sides. In a Resolution dated 17 December 2008, this
evidence de novo, and erroneously increased the
Court, acting upon the "Motion for the Release (On Bond, If Required)" filed
quantum of evidence required for determining probable
by respondents, ordered the RTC of Manila, Branch 32, to hear respondents’
cause.49
application for bail with deliberate dispatch, since this Court is not in a
position to grant bail to respondents as such grant requires evidentiary d. The Court of Appeals erroneously substituted its
hearing that should be conducted by the trial court where the murder case is judgment for the Secretary of Justice.50
pending.
e. The Court of Appeals undermined the jurisdiction of the
On 5 January 2009, respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration of this RTC over the criminal proceedings by virtue of the filing of
Court’s Resolution dated 17 December 2008. On 16 March 2009, this Court the Information therein.51
denied the motion for reconsideration and directed the RTC of Manila,
The Court’s Ruling
Branch 32, to conduct a summary hearing on bail and to resolve the same
within thirty (30) days from receipt of the resolution. On petitioners’ standing to file the petition and
The RTC of Manila, Branch 32, issued an Order dated 27 March 2009 the finality of the Amended Decision
setting a hearing on bail on 2 April 2009. On 7 April 2009, respondents filed
Petitioners contend that the parties impleaded in the Petition for Certiorari
with this Court a Manifestation Waiving the "Motion for the Release (On
filed by respondents before the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 101196
Bond, If Required)" dated 17 November 2008. Respondents manifested that
were Acting Secretary Devanadera, Heirs of Federico C. Delgado and
they waive and abandon their motion for bail.
Annalisa D. Pesico. The "People of the Philippines" was never made as one
The Issues of the parties and neither was it notified through the City Prosecutor of
Manila.52 Petitioners claim that in criminal proceedings where the only issue
Petitioners submit the following issues for our consideration:
is probable cause or grave abuse of discretion in relation thereto, the private
1. Whether petitioners possess the legal standing to sue and complainant and the private respondent are the parties. In such
whether petitioners can be considered as the real parties in proceedings, the "People of the Philippines" is not yet involved as it
interest; that the DOJ Secretary as represented by the Solicitor becomes a party to the main criminal proceedings only when the Information
General is a mere nominal party; that the "People" as represented is filed with the trial court.53
by the City Prosecutor of Manila was not an impleaded party before
Petitioners allege that although Informations were filed before the lower
the Court of Appeals; that, unnotified of, and unserved with the
courts after respondents filed a Petition for Review with the Court of
amended decision of the Court of Appeals, the "People" is not
Appeals, it does not change the reality that all the proceedings before the
bound thereby; and that, therefore, neither the Secretary of Justice
DOJ, Court of Appeals and this Court involve only the issues on (1) probable
nor the "People" were called upon to appeal to the Supreme Court.
44 cause, (2) the alleged grave abuse of discretion by the Acting Secretary of
Justice, and (3) the reversible errors of law and grave abuse of discretion on
2. Whether the amended decision of the Court of Appeals is final the part of the Court of Appeals in promulgating the assailed Amended
and can be the subject of execution pending appeal.45 Decision.
It is petitioners’ contention that while the Acting Secretary of Justice is a
public respondent, she is at best a nominal or pro forma party. Hence, the

16 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

Solicitor General had no obligation to appeal the case to this Court to discharge duties requiring the services of lawyers. It shall have the following
represent the Secretary of Justice as a nominal party.54 Further, the Solicitor specific powers and functions:
General’s non-participation in this case is not a fatal defect that jeopardizes
(1) Represent the Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of
petitioners’ legal standing as complainants in the preliminary investigation
Appeals in all criminal proceedings ; represent the Government and its
proceedings, appellants before the Secretary of Justice, respondents in the
officers in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and all other courts or
Court of Appeals and petitioners before this Court.55
tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the Government
Petitioners state that they are the real parties in interest who can naturally be or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party. (Emphasis supplied)
expected to file a case for the death of their brother. Citing Narciso v. Sta.
The law clearly requires the Office of the Solicitor General to represent the
Romana-Cruz,56 petitioners claim that a sister of the deceased is a proper
Government in the Supreme Court in all criminal proceedings before this
party-litigant who is akin to the offended party.
Court. As in every case of statutory construction, we begin our analysis by
Respondents argue that petitioners cannot claim that the instant proceeding looking at the plain and literal language of the term "criminal proceeding."
is not part of the criminal case proper because the preliminary investigation Criminal proceeding is defined as "a proceeding instituted to determine a
has already been concluded.57 Quoting Section 9 of the 2000 National person’s guilt or innocence or to set a convicted person’s
Prosecution Service Rule on Appeal,58 respondents claim that an information punishment."63 Proceeding is defined as "any procedural means for seeking
may be filed even if the review of the resolution by the Secretary of Justice is redress from a tribunal or agency. It is the business conducted by a court or
still available. The preliminary investigation, having been concluded, the other official body."64
private offended parties no longer have the personality to participate by
Section 1(a) of Rule 110 of the Rules of Court provides:
themselves in the succeeding proceedings. Respondents insist that when
petitioners asserted their right to prosecute a person for a crime, through the Section 1. Institution of criminal actions. — Criminal actions shall be
filing of an information, the State, through its prosecutorial arm, is from that instituted as follows:
point on, the only real party in interest.59
(a) For offenses where a preliminary investigation is required pursuant to
Respondents maintain that only the Solicitor General may represent the section 1 of Rule 112, by filing the complaint with the proper officer for the
State in appellate proceedings of a criminal case.60 The Acting Secretary of purpose of conducting the requisite preliminary investigation.
Justice cannot be properly characterized as a nominal party because it is the
It should be observed that a criminal action shall be instituted by filing the
real party in interest, whose right to prosecute offenses is at stake. The
complaint with the proper officer for the purpose of conducting the
Acting Secretary of Justice, in issuing a resolution that there is probable
preliminary investigation. In this case, the criminal action was instituted when
cause to charge a person with an offense, asserts the right of the State to
Alejandro Yanquiling, Jr., Chief of the Homicide Section of the MPD filed the
prosecute a person for the commission of a crime.61 Thus, the participation
Complaint-Affidavit with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila.65 The
of the private offended parties before the Court of Appeals is not necessary
Complaint-Affidavit was supported by Pesico’s sworn statement, affidavit of
for complete relief to be had, and it is certainly not indispensable for a final
consent from the heirs of Delgado, crime report, progress report, SOCO
determination of the case.62
report, and cartographic sketch.66
Section 35, Chapter 12, Title III, Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987
Preliminary investigation, although an executive function, is part of a criminal
states that the Office of the Solicitor General shall represent the Government
proceeding. In fact, no criminal proceeding under the jurisdiction of the
of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and
Regional Trial Court is brought to trial unless a preliminary investigation is
agents in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the
conducted. We explained, thus:
services of lawyers. Likewise, the Solicitor General shall represent the
Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in all criminal ‘ [T]he right to have a preliminary investigation conducted before being
proceedings, thus: bound over for trial for a criminal offense, and hence formally at risk of
incarceration or some other penalty, is not a mere formal or technical right; it
Section 35. Powers and Functions. — The Office of the Solicitor General
is a substantive right.’ A preliminary investigation should therefore be
shall represent the Government of the Philippines, its agencies and
scrupulously conducted so that the constitutional right to liberty of a potential
instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation, proceeding,
accused can be protected from any material damage.67
investigation or matter requiring the services of lawyers. When authorized by
the President or head of the office concerned, it shall also represent In Ricafort v. Fernan,68 this Court had the occasion to rule:
government owned or controlled corporations. The Office of the Solicitor
General shall constitute the law office of the Government and, as such, shall

17 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

As stated by counsel for the respondents, the petition herein is an offshoot, prosecutor who handled the case deliberately failed to present an available
an incident of said criminal case for qualified theft. For all purposes, witness which led the trial court to declare that the prosecution had rested its
therefore, it is a continuation of that case and partakes of the nature of a case. In this sense, the public prosecutor was remiss in his duty to protect
criminal proceeding. This being so, the party defeated by the order of the the interest of the offended party. As a result, the public prosecutor was
respondent Judge dismissing the information in Criminal Case No. 2819 of found guilty of blatant error and abuse of discretion, causing prejudice to the
the court of First Instance of Davao must be the People of the Philippines offended party. The trial court was likewise found guilty for serious
and not the petitioner, the complaining witness. Consequently, the proper nonfeasance for passively watching the public prosecutor bungle the case
party to bring this petition is the State and the proper legal representation notwithstanding its knowledge that the evidence for the prosecution was
should be the Solicitor General and not the attorney for the complaining insufficient to convict and it could have, motu proprio, called for additional
witness who was the private prosecutor in said Criminal Case No. 2819. It is witnesses. Thus, petitioner, who was the mother of the private offended party
true that under the Rules of Court the offended party may take part in the in the criminal cases for rape with homicide, had been deprived of her day in
prosecution of criminal cases and even appeal in certain instances from the court. She could do nothing during the proceedings, having entrusted the
order or judgment of the courts, but this is only so in cases where the party conduct of the case in the hands of the public prosecutor. All she could do
injured has to protect his pecuniary interest in connection with the civil was helplessly watch as the public prosecutor, who was under legal
liability of the accused. Petitioner did not institute the case at bar for the obligation to pursue the action on the family’s behalf, renege on that
purpose of protecting his pecuniary interest as supposed offended party of obligation and refuse to perform his sworn duty. This Court explained that it
the crime charged in the information that was dismissed, but to cause the is not only the State, but also the offended party, that is entitled to due
restoration of the case and to have it tried as if nothing had happened. This, process in criminal cases. The issue on whether private complainant can
certainly, falls within the province of the representative of the People who in bring an action was, however, rendered moot when the Solicitor General, in
this case has not appealed nor joined the private prosecutor in bringing this representation of the People, changed his position and joined the cause of
case before Us. petitioner, thus fulfilling the requirement that all criminal actions shall be
prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor.
Based on the above discussion, the term criminal proceeding includes
preliminary investigation. In any event, this issue is academic because on 30 Likewise, in People v. Nano,73 this Court took cognizance of the offended
October 2007, the Informations against respondents were filed with the trial party’s petition because of the gravity of the error committed by the judge
court. Petitioners admit that the "People of the Philippines" becomes a party against the prosecution resulting in denial of due process. Aside from the
in interest in a criminal proceeding when an information is filed with the trial denial of due process, the Solicitor General also manifested to adopt the
court. petition as if filed by his office. Thus, we ruled in Nano:
We have ruled in a number of cases69 that only the Solicitor General may The petition being defective in form, the Court could have summarily
bring or defend actions in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, or dismissed the case for having been filed merely by private counsel for the
represent the People or State in criminal proceedings before the Supreme offended parties, though with the conformity of the provincial prosecutor, and
Court and the Court of Appeals. However, jurisprudence lays down two not by the Solicitor General. While it is the public prosecutor who represents
exceptions where a private complainant or offended party in a criminal case the People in criminal cases before the trial courts, it is only the Solicitor
may file a petition directly with this Court. The two exceptions are: (1) when General that is authorized to bring or defend actions in behalf of the People
there is denial of due process of law to the prosecution and the State or its or Republic of the Philippines once the case is brought up before this Court
agents refuse to act on the case to the prejudice of the State and the private or the Court of Appeals (People v. Calo, 186 SCRA 620 [1990]; citing
offended party,70 and (2) when the private offended party questions the civil Republic v. Partisala, 118 SCRA 320 [1982]; City Fiscal of Tacloban v.
aspect of a decision of a lower court.71 Espina, 166 SCRA 614 [1988]). Defective as it is, the Court, nevertheless,
took cognizance of the petition in view of the gravity of the error allegedly
The first exception contemplates a situation where the State and the
committed by the respondent judge against the prosecution – denial of due
offended party are deprived of due process because the prosecution is
process – as well as the manifestation and motion filed by the Office of the
remiss in its duty to protect the interest of the State and the offended party.
Solicitor General praying that the instant petition be treated as if filed by the
This Court recognizes the right of the offended party to appeal an order of
said office. In view thereof, We now consider the People as the sole
the trial court which denied him and the State of due process of law.
petitioner in the case duly represented by the Solicitor General. Payment of
In Merciales v. Court of Appeals,72 this Court granted the petition of the legal fees is therefore no longer necessary in accordance with Sec. 16, Rule
offended party and ruled as invalid the dismissal of the case in the trial court 141 of the Rules of Court. (Emphasis supplied)
for lack of a fundamental prerequisite, that is, due process. The public

18 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

In the second exception, it is assumed that a decision on the merits had and erroneously increased the quantum of evidence required for
already been rendered by the lower court and it is the civil aspect of the case determining probable cause.79
which the offended party is appealing. The offended party, who is not
d. The Court of Appeals erroneously substituted its judgment for the
satisfied with the outcome of the case, may question the amount of the grant
Secretary of Justice.80
or denial of damages made by the court below even without the participation
of the Solicitor General. e. The Court of Appeals undermined the jurisdiction of the RTC
over the criminal proceedings by virtue of the filing of the
In Mobilia Products, Inc. v.Umezawa,74 we ruled that in criminal cases, the
Information therein.81
State is the offended party. Private complainant’s interest is limited to the
civil liability arising therefrom. We explained: Petitioners do not claim that the failure of the Solicitor General to appeal the
Court of Appeals’ decision before this Court resulted in the denial of due
Hence, if a criminal case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an
process to the State and the petitioners. Petitioners do not assert that the
acquittal, a reconsideration of the order of dismissal or acquittal may be
prosecution and the Solicitor General were remiss in their duty to protect the
undertaken, whenever legally feasible, insofar as the criminal aspect thereof
interest of the State and the offended party. Neither do petitioners claim that
is concerned and may be made only by the public prosecutor; or in the case
the Solicitor General is guilty of blatant error or abuse of discretion in not
of an appeal, by the State only, through the OSG. The private complainant or
appealing the Court of Appeals’ decision.
offended party may not undertake such motion for reconsideration or appeal
on the criminal aspect of the case. However, the offended party or private The Solicitor General did not manifest to adopt petitioners’ appeal before this
complainant may file a motion for reconsideration of such dismissal or Court. On the contrary, the Solicitor General manifested on 3 December
acquittal or appeal therefrom but only insofar as the civil aspect thereof is 2008 its refusal to participate in the oral arguments of this case held on 10
concerned. December 2008. This Court cannot take cognizance of the petition because
there is clearly no denial of due process to the State and the petitioners. In
In De la Rosa v. Court of Appeals,75 citing People v. Santiago,76 we held:
short, the first exception does not apply because petitioners do not claim,
In a special civil action for certiorari filed under Section 1, Rule 65 of the and neither is there any showing in the records, that the State and the
Rules of Court wherein it is alleged that the trial court committed a grave petitioners have been denied due process in the prosecution of the criminal
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction or on other jurisdictional cases.
grounds, the rules state that the petition may be filed by the person
The Solicitor General, on 19 September 2008, had filed before this Court a
aggrieved. In such case, the aggrieved parties are the State and the private
Motion for Extension of Time to file a Petition for Review under Rule 45,
offended party or complainant. The complainant has an interest in the civil
docketed as G.R. No. 184507. However, the 30-day extension given had
aspect of the case so he may file such special civil action questioning the
lapsed without the filing of the petition.82 Consequently, this Court, in a
decision or action of the respondent court on jurisdictional grounds. In so
Resolution dated 8 December 2008, declared G.R. No. 184507 closed and
doing, complainant should not bring the action in the name of the People of
terminated.
the Philippines. The action may be prosecuted in (the) name of said
complainant. Petitioners are also not appealing the civil aspect of the criminal case since
the lower courts had not yet decided the merits of the case. In People v.
These two exceptions do not apply in this case.
Santiago,83 this Court explained that in criminal cases where the offended
In the Memorandum, petitioners allege that the Court of Appeals committed party is the State, the interest of the private offended party is limited to the
reversible and whimsical errors of law in the Amended Decision. Petitioners civil liability. If a criminal case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an
raised the following errors: acquittal, an appeal from the criminal aspect may be undertaken only by the
State through the Solicitor General. Only the Solicitor General may represent
a. There were plain, speedy and adequate remedies available to
the People of the Philippines on appeal. The private complainant or offended
respondents prior to their filing of certiorari before the Court of
party may not appeal the criminal, but only the civil, aspect of the case.
Appeals.77
Here, since there was no decision promulgated on the merits by the lower
b. The Secretary of Justice did not commit grave abuse of
court and the Informations had been quashed, petitioners have nothing to
discretion in her determination of probable cause.78
appeal on the civil aspect that is deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal
c. The Court of Appeals strayed from the determination of grave cases. There is no longer any criminal case on which a civil case can be
abuse of discretion and instead evaluated the evidence de novo, impliedly instituted. Petitioners’ recourse is to file an independent civil action
on their own.

19 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

On 31 March 2009, the Solicitor General filed a Motion for Leave to Admit LUCAS P. BERSAMIN

Attached Comment in G.R. No. 184337.84The Solicitor General reasoned Associate Justice
that she opted not to file a petition for review in G.R. No. 184507 because
ATTE STATI O N
she learned that a similar petition was filed before she could prepare the
intended petition for review. In her comment, the Solicitor General stated that I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in
she is not a direct party to the case. However, the Solicitor General alleged consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the
that she would file a comment as it is undeniable that she issued the Court’s Division.
Resolutions of the Department of Justice at the time she held the position of
ANTONIO T. CARPIO

Acting Secretary of Justice concurrent with her being the Solicitor General.
Associate Justice

The Solicitor General submitted that her position on the issue of probable
Chairperson, First Division
cause should be heard.1awphi1
C E RTI F I CATI O N
On 17 April 2009, respondents filed an Opposition and Motion to Strike
"Motion for Leave to Admit Attached Comment" and "Comment." Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the Division
Respondents contended that the Solicitor General is not a party to the case Chairperson’s Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision
and has no personality to participate in any manner. Respondents claimed had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer
that the Solicitor General failed to file a Petition for Review on Certiorari of the opinion of the Court’s Division.
within the prescribed period and she cannot now use a "Comment" as a
REYNATO S. PUNO

substitute for a lapsed appeal.
Chief Justice
In a Resolution dated 1 June 2009, this Court expunged from the records the
motion for leave to admit attached comment and the aforesaid comment filed
by the Solicitor General. The Court ruled that the Solicitor General is not a
party in G.R. No. 184337.
We reiterate that it is only the Solicitor General who may bring or defend
actions on behalf of the State in all criminal proceedings before the appellate
courts. Hence, the Solicitor General’s non-filing of a petition within the
reglementary period before this Court rendered the assailed decision of the
Court of Appeals final and executory with respect to the criminal aspect of
the case. The Solicitor General cannot trifle with court proceedings by
refusing to file a petition for review only to subsequently, after the lapse of
the reglementary period and finality of the Amended Decision, file a
comment.
In view of our holding that petitioners have no standing to file the present
petition, we shall no longer discuss the other issues raised in this petition.
WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 29 August 2008
Amended Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 101196. No
pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
ANTONIO T. CARPIO

Associate Justice
WE CONCUR:
CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES*

Associate Justice

PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE


20 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

Republic of the Philippines
 superseding Section 34 of Rule 138, for the authority to interpret the rule is
SUPREME COURT
 the source itself of the rule, which is the Supreme Court alone.
Baguio City
In an Order dated March 4, 2002, the MeTC denied the Motion for
THIRD DIVISION Reconsideration.
G.R. No. 154207 April 27, 2007 On April 2, 2002, the petitioner filed before the RTC a Petition for Certiorari
and Mandamus with Prayer for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary
FERDINAND A. CRUZ, Petitioner, 

Restraining Order against the private respondent and the public respondent
vs.

MeTC.
ALBERTO MINA, HON. ELEUTERIO F. GUERRERO and HON. ZENAIDA
LAGUILLES, Respondents. After hearing the prayer for preliminary injunction to restrain public
respondent MeTC Judge from proceeding with Criminal Case No. 00-1705
DECISION
pending the Certiorari proceedings, the RTC, in a Resolution dated May 3,
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: 2002, resolved to deny the issuance of an injunctive writ on the ground that
the crime of Grave Threats, the subject of Criminal Case No. 00-1705, is one
Before the Court is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of
that can be prosecuted de oficio, there being no claim for civil indemnity, and
Court, grounded on pure questions of law, with Prayer for Preliminary
that therefore, the intervention of a private prosecutor is not legally tenable.
Injunction assailing the Resolution dated May 3, 2002 promulgated by the
Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 116, Pasay City, in Civil Case No. On May 9, 2002, the petitioner filed before the RTC a Motion for
02-0137, which denied the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction Reconsideration. The petitioner argues that nowhere does the law provide
against the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), Branch 45, Pasay City, in that the crime of Grave Threats has no civil aspect. And last, petitioner cites
Criminal Case No. 00-1705;1 and the RTC’s Order dated June 5, 2002 Bar Matter No. 730 dated June 10, 1997 which expressly provides for the
denying the Motion for Reconsideration. No writ of preliminary injunction was appearance of a non-lawyer before the inferior courts, as an agent or friend
issued by this Court. of a party litigant, even without the supervision of a member of the bar.
The antecedents: Pending the resolution of the foregoing Motion for Reconsideration before
the RTC, the petitioner filed a Second Motion for Reconsideration dated
On September 25, 2000, Ferdinand A. Cruz (petitioner) filed before the
June 7, 2002 with the MeTC seeking the reversal of the March 4, 2002
MeTC a formal Entry of Appearance, as private prosecutor, in Criminal Case
Denial Order of the said court, on the strength of Bar Matter No. 730, and a
No. 00-1705 for Grave Threats, where his father, Mariano Cruz, is the
Motion to Hold In Abeyance the Trial dated June 10, 2002 of Criminal Case
complaining witness.
No. 00-1705 pending the outcome of the certiorari proceedings before the
The petitioner, describing himself as a third year law student, justifies his RTC.
appearance as private prosecutor on the bases of Section 34 of Rule 138 of
On June 5, 2002, the RTC issued its Order denying the petitioner’s Motion
the Rules of Court and the ruling of the Court En Banc in Cantimbuhan v.
for Reconsideration.
Judge Cruz, Jr.2 that a non-lawyer may appear before the inferior courts as
an agent or friend of a party litigant. The petitioner furthermore avers that his Likewise, in an Order dated June 13, 2002, the MeTC denied the petitioner’s
appearance was with the prior conformity of the public prosecutor and a Second Motion for Reconsideration and his Motion to Hold in Abeyance the
written authority of Mariano Cruz appointing him to be his agent in the Trial on the ground that the RTC had already denied the Entry of
prosecution of the said criminal case. Appearance of petitioner before the MeTC.
However, in an Order dated February 1, 2002, the MeTC denied permission On July 30, 2002, the petitioner directly filed with this Court, the instant
for petitioner to appear as private prosecutor on the ground that Circular No. Petition and assigns the following errors:
19 governing limited law student practice in conjunction with Rule 138-A of
I.
the Rules of Court (Law Student Practice Rule) should take precedence over
the ruling of the Court laid down in Cantimbuhan; and set the case for the respondent regional trial court abused its discretion when it resolved to
continuation of trial.3 deny the prayer for the writ of injunction of the herein petitioner despite
petitioner having established the necessity of granting the writ;
On February 13, 2002, petitioner filed before the MeTC a Motion for
Reconsideration seeking to reverse the February 1, 2002 Order alleging that II.
Rule 138-A, or the Law Student Practice Rule, does not have the effect of

21 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

THE RESPONDENT TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION, education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without
TANTAMOUNT TO IGNORANCE OF THE LAW, WHEN IT RESOLVED TO compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial
DENY THE PRAYER FOR THE WRIT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the
AND THE SUBSEQUENT MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE legal clinic of the law school.
HEREIN PETITIONER ON THE BASIS THAT [GRAVE] THREATS HAS NO
Sec. 2. Appearance. – The appearance of the law student authorized by this
CIVIL ASPECT, FOR THE SAID BASIS OF DENIAL IS NOT IN ACCORD
rule, shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member of the
WITH THE LAW;
Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any and
III. all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must
be signed by the supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic.
THE RESPONDENT METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS
DISCRETION WHEN IT DENIED THE MOTION TO HOLD IN ABEYANCE However, in Resolution6 dated June 10, 1997 in Bar Matter No. 730, the
TRIAL, WHEN WHAT WAS DENIED BY THE RESPONDENT REGIONAL Court En Banc clarified:
TRIAL COURT IS THE ISSUANCE OF THE WRIT OF PRELIMINARY
The rule, however, is different if the law student appears before an inferior
INJUNCTION and WHEN THE RESPONDENT REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
court, where the issues and procedure are relatively simple. In inferior
IS YET TO DECIDE ON THE MERITS OF THE PETITION
courts, a law student may appear in his personal capacity without the
FOR CERTIORARI;
supervision of a lawyer. Section 34, Rule 138 provides:
IV.
Sec. 34. By whom litigation is conducted. - In the court of a justice of the
THE RESPONDENT COURT[s] ARE CLEARLY IGNORING THE LAW peace, a party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent
WHEN THEY PATENTLY REFUSED TO HEED TO [sic] THE CLEAR or friend appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In
MANDATE OF THE LAPUT, CANTIMBUHAN AND BULACAN CASES, AS any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an
WELL AS BAR MATTER NO. 730, PROVIDING FOR THE APPEARANCE attorney, and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly
OF NON-LAWYERS BEFORE THE LOWER COURTS (MTC’S).4 authorized member of the bar.
This Court, in exceptional cases, and for compelling reasons, or if warranted Thus, a law student may appear before an inferior court as an agent or
by the nature of the issues reviewed, may take cognizance of petitions filed friend of a party without the supervision of a member of the bar.7 (Emphasis
directly before it.5 supplied)
Considering that this case involves the interpretation, clarification, and The phrase "In the court of a justice of the peace" in Bar Matter No. 730 is
implementation of Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, Bar Matter No. subsequently changed to "In the court of a municipality" as it now appears in
730, Circular No. 19 governing law student practice and Rule 138-A of the Section 34 of Rule 138, thus:8
Rules of Court, and the ruling of the Court in Cantimbuhan, the Court takes
SEC. 34. By whom litigation is conducted. — In the Court of a municipality a
cognizance of herein petition.
party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend
The basic question is whether the petitioner, a law student, may appear appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other
before an inferior court as an agent or friend of a party litigant. court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney
and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member
The courts a quo held that the Law Student Practice Rule as encapsulated in
of the bar. (Emphasis supplied)
Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court, prohibits the petitioner, as a law student,
from entering his appearance in behalf of his father, the private complainant which is the prevailing rule at the time the petitioner filed his Entry of
in the criminal case without the supervision of an attorney duly accredited by Appearance with the MeTC on September 25, 2000. No real distinction
the law school. exists for under Section 6, Rule 5 of the Rules of Court, the term "Municipal
Trial Courts" as used in these Rules shall include Metropolitan Trial Courts,
Rule 138-A or the Law Student Practice Rule, provides:
Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit
RULE 138-A
 Trial Courts.
LAW STUDENT PRACTICE RULE
There is really no problem as to the application of Section 34 of Rule 138
Section 1. Conditions for Student Practice. – A law student who has and Rule 138-A. In the former, the appearance of a non-lawyer, as an agent
successfully completed his 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law or friend of a party litigant, is expressly allowed, while the latter rule provides
curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal

22 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

for conditions when a law student, not as an agent or a friend of a party SO ORDERED.
litigant, may appear before the courts.
MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ

Petitioner expressly anchored his appearance on Section 34 of Rule 138. Associate Justice
The court a quo must have been confused by the fact that petitioner referred
to himself as a law student in his entry of appearance. Rule 138-A should not
have been used by the courts a quo in denying permission to act as private
prosecutor against petitioner for the simple reason that Rule 138-A is not the
basis for the petitioner’s appearance.
Section 34, Rule 138 is clear that appearance before the inferior courts by a
non-lawyer is allowed, irrespective of whether or not he is a law student. As
succinctly clarified in Bar Matter No. 730, by virtue of Section 34, Rule 138, a
law student may appear, as an agent or a friend of a party litigant, without
the supervision of a lawyer before inferior courts.
Petitioner further argues that the RTC erroneously held that, by its very
nature, no civil liability may flow from the crime of Grave Threats, and, for
this reason, the intervention of a private prosecutor is not possible.
It is clear from the RTC Decision that no such conclusion had been intended
by the RTC. In denying the issuance of the injunctive court, the RTC stated
in its Decision that there was no claim for civil liability by the private
complainant for damages, and that the records of the case do not provide for
a claim for indemnity; and that therefore, petitioner’s appearance as private
prosecutor appears to be legally untenable.
Under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, every person criminally liable
for a felony is also civilly liable except in instances when no actual damage
results from an offense, such as espionage, violation of neutrality, flight to an
enemy country, and crime against popular representation.9 The basic rule
applies in the instant case, such that when a criminal action is instituted, the
civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged
shall be deemed instituted with criminal action, unless the offended party
waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes
the civil action prior to the criminal action.10
The petitioner is correct in stating that there being no reservation, waiver, nor
prior institution of the civil aspect in Criminal Case No. 00-1705, it follows
that the civil aspect arising from Grave Threats is deemed instituted with the
criminal action, and, hence, the private prosecutor may rightfully intervene to
prosecute the civil aspect.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The assailed Resolution and
Order of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 116, Pasay City
are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 45,
Pasay City is DIRECTED to ADMIT the Entry of Appearance of petitioner in
Criminal Case No. 00-1705 as a private prosecutor under the direct control
and supervision of the public prosecutor.
No pronouncement as to costs.

23 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

Republic of the Philippines
 2004-0047245-7, in the name of a regular customer of Caltex, Dante R.
SUPREME COURT
 Gutierrez.
Manila
Gutierrez, however, disowned the savings account as well as his signatures
THIRD DIVISION on the dorsal portions thereof. He also denied having withdrawn any amount
from said savings account. Further investigation revealed that said savings
G.R. No. 160451 February 9, 2007
account had actually been opened by petitioner; the forged checks were
EDUARDO G. RICARZE, Petitioner, 
 deposited and endorsed by him under Gutierrez’s name. A bank teller from
vs.
 the Banco de Oro, Winnie P. Donable Dela Cruz, positively identified
COURT OF APPEALS, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, CALTEX petitioner as the person who opened the savings account using Gutierrez’s
PHILIPPINES, INC., PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK name.4
(PCIBANK), Respondents.
In the meantime, the PCIB credited the amount of P581,229.00 to Caltex on
DECISION March 29, 1998. However, the City Prosecutor of Makati City was not
informed of this development. After the requisite preliminary investigation,
CALLEJO, SR., J.:
the City Prosecutor filed two (2) Informations for estafa through falsification
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision1 of the of commercial documents on June 29, 1998 against petitioner before the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 68492, and its Resolution2 which denied Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 63. The Informations are
the Motion for Reconsideration and the Supplemental Motion for worded as follows:
Reconsideration thereof.
Criminal Case No. 98-1611
The Antecedents
That on or about the 24th day of September 1997 in the City of Makati,
Petitioner Eduardo G. Ricarze was employed as a collector-messenger by Metro Manila, Philippines, a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
City Service Corporation, a domestic corporation engaged in messengerial Court, the above-named accused, a private individual, with intent to defraud
services. He was assigned to the main office of Caltex Philippines, Inc. and intent to gain, without the knowledge and consent of Caltex Philippines,
(Caltex) in Makati City. His primary task was to collect checks payable to Inc. through its duly authorized officers/representatives, and by means of
Caltex and deliver them to the cashier. He also delivered invoices to Caltex’s falsification of commercial document, did then and there willfully, unlawfully
customers.3 and feloniously defraud Caltex Phils., Inc., in the following manner, to wit:
said accused, having obtained possession of PCIBank check no. 72922
On November 6, 1997, Caltex, through its Banking and Insurance
dated September 15, 1997 payable to Dante R. Gutierrez, in the amount of
Department Manager Ramon Romano, filed a criminal complaint against
Php1,790,757.50 with intent to defraud or cause damage to complainant
petitioner before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati City for estafa
Caltex Phils., Inc., willfully, unlawfully and feloniously affixed or caused to be
through falsification of commercial documents. Romano alleged that, on
affixed signatures purporting to be those of Ramon Romano and Victor
October 16, 1997, while his department was conducting a daily electronic
Goquingco, Caltex authorized officers/signatories, and of payee Dante R.
report from Philippine Commercial & Industrial Bank (PCIB) Dela Rosa,
Gutierrez, causing it to appear that Ramon Romano and Victor Goquingco
Makati Branch, one of its depositary banks, it was discovered that unknown
have participated in the issuance of PCIBank check no. 72922 and that
to the department, a company check, Check No. 74001 dated October 13,
Dante R. Gutierrez had endorsed it, when in truth and in fact, as said
1997 in the amount of P5,790,570.25 payable to Dante R. Gutierrez, had
accused well knew, such was not the case, since said check previously
been cleared through PCIB on October 15, 1997. An investigation also
stolen from Payables Section of CALTEX, was neither duly signed by Ramon
revealed that two other checks (Check Nos. 73999 and 74000) were also
Romano and Victor Goquingco nor endorsed by Dante R. Gutierrez, after
missing and that in Check No. 74001, his signature and that of another
the check, a commercial document, was falsified in the manner above set
signatory, Victor S. Goquinco, were forgeries. Another check, Check No.
forth, the said accused purporting himself to be the payee, Dante R.
72922 dated September 15, 1997 in the amount of P1,790,757.25 likewise
Gutierrez, deposited the check with Banco De Oro under Account No.
payable to Dante R. Gutierrez, was also cleared through the same bank on
2004-0047245-7, thereby appropriating the proceeds of the falsified but
September 24, 1997; this check was likewise not issued by Caltex, and the
cleared check, to the damage and prejudice of complainant herein
signatures appearing thereon had also been forged. Upon verification, it was
represented by Ramon Romano, in the amount of Php1,790,757.50.
uncovered that Check Nos. 74001 and 72922 were deposited at the Banco
de Oro’s SM Makati Branch under Savings Account No. S/A Criminal Case No. 98-1612

24 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

That on or about the 15th day of October 1997 in the City of Makati, Metro PCIB, through SRMO, opposed the motion. It contended that the PCIB had
Manila, Philippines, a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, re-credited the amount to Caltex to the extent of the indemnity; hence, the
the above-named accused, a private individual, with intent to defraud and PCIB had been subrogated to the rights and interests of Caltex as private
intent to gain, without the knowledge and consent of Caltex Philippines, Inc. complainant. Consequently, the PCIB is entitled to receive any civil
through its duly authorized officers/representatives, and by means of indemnity which the trial court would adjudge against the accused.
falsification of commercial document, did then and there willfully, unlawfully Moreover, the re-credited amount was brought out on cross-examination by
and feloniously defraud Caltex Phils., Inc., in the following manner, to wit: Ramon Romano who testified for the Prosecution. PCIB pointed out that
said accused, having obtained possession of PCIBank check no. 74001 petitioner had marked in evidence the letter of the ACCRA Law Office to
dated October 13, 1997 payable to Dante R. Gutierrez, in the amount of PCIBank dated October 10, 1997 and the credit memo sent by PCIB to
Php5,790,570.25 with intent to defraud or cause damage to complainant Caltex.9
Caltex Phils., Inc., willfully, unlawfully and feloniously affixed or caused to be
Petitioner filed a Motion to Expunge the Opposition of SRMO.10 In his
affixed signatures purporting to be those of Ramon Romano and Victor
Rejoinder, he averred that the substitution of PCIB as private complainant
Goquingco, Caltex authorized officers/signatories, and of payee Dante R.
cannot be made by mere oral motion; the Information must be amended to
Gutierrez, causing it to appear that Ramon Romano and Victor Goquingco
allege that the private complainant was PCIB and not Caltex after the
have participated in the issuance of PCIBank check no. 74001 and that
preliminary investigation of the appropriate complaint of PCIB before the
Dante R. Gutierrez had endorsed it, when in truth and in fact, as said
Makati City Prosecutor.
accused well knew, such was not the case, since said check previously
stolen from Payables Section of CALTEX, was neither duly signed by Ramon In response, the PCIB, through SRMO, averred that as provided in Section
Romano and Victor Goquingco nor endorsed by Dante R. Gutierrez, after 2, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the erroneous
the check, a commercial document, was falsified in the manner above set designation of the name of the offended party is a mere formal defect which
forth, the said accused purporting himself to be the payee, Dante R. can be cured by inserting the name of the offended party in the Information.
Gutierrez, deposited the check with Banco De Oro under Account No. To support its claim, PCIB cited the ruling of this Court in Sayson v. People.11
2004-0047245-7, thereby appropriating the proceeds of the falsified but
On July 18, 2001, the RTC issued an Order granting the motion of the
cleared check, to the damage and prejudice of complainant herein
private prosecutor for the substitution of PCIB as private complainant for
represented by Ramon Romano, in the amount of Php5,790,570.25.5
Caltex. It however denied petitioner’s motion to have the formal offer of
Petitioner was arraigned on August 18, 1998, and pleaded not guilty to both evidence of SRMO expunged from the record.12 Petitioner filed a motion for
charges.6 Pre-trial ensued and the cases were jointly tried. The prosecution reconsideration which the RTC denied on November 14, 2001.13
presented its witnesses, after which the Siguion Reyna, Montecillio and
Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court
Ongsiako Law Offices (SRMO) as private prosecutor filed a Formal Offer of
with Urgent Application for Temporary Restraining Order with the Court of
Evidence.7 Petitioner opposed the pleading, contending that the private
Appeals (CA,) praying for the annulment of the RTC’s Orders of July 18,
complainant was represented by the ACCRA Law Offices and the Balgos
2001 and November 14, 2001. The petitioner averred that:
and Perez Law Office during trial, and it was only after the prosecution had
rested its case that SRMO entered its appearance as private prosecutor I
representing the PCIB. Since the ACCRA and Balgos and Perez Law Offices
RESPONDENT JUDGE GRIEVEOUSLY (SIC) ERRED IN RENDERING ITS
had not withdrawn their appearance, SRMO had no personality to appear as
ORDER ISSUED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TANTAMOUNT
private prosecutor. Under the Informations, the private complainant is Caltex
TO LACK OF OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION BY ALLOWING THE
and not PCIB; hence, the Formal Offer of Evidence filed by SRMO should be
SUBSTITUTION OF PRIVATE COMPLAINANT, AFTER THE ACUSED WAS
stricken from the records.
ALREADY ARRAIGNED AND PROSECUTION HAS ALREADY
Petitioner further averred that unless the Informations were amended to TERMINATED PRESENTING ITS EVIDENCE THEREBY PATENTLY
change the private complainant to PCIB, his right as accused would be VIOLATING THE STRICT CONDITION IMPOSED UPON BY RULE 110
prejudiced. He pointed out, however, that the Informations can no longer be SEC. 14 RULES ON CRIMINAL ROCEDURE.
amended because he had already been arraigned under the original
II
Informations.8 He insisted that the amendments of the Informations to
substitute PCIB as the offended party for Caltex would place him in double AND AS A COROLLARY GROUND RESPONDENT JUDGE COMMITTED
jeopardy. GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN
RENDERING AN ORDER RECOGNIZING THE APPEARANCE OF A NEW

25 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

PROSECUTOR WITHOUT WRITTEN OR EVEN ORAL WITHDRAWAL OF EVIDENCE IN CHIEF ARE DEFECTIVE AND VOID, HENCE THE
THE COUNSEL ON RECORD.14 DISMISSAL IS IN ORDER.
According to petitioner, damage or injury to the offended party is an essential VI. PETITIONER TIMELY OBJECTED TO THE APPEARANCE OF
element of estafa. The amendment of the Informations substituting the PRIVATE PROSECUTOR FOR PCIBANK.
PCIBank for Caltex as the offended party would prejudice his rights since he
VII. THE FINDINGS OF MATERIAL FACTS ARE NOT SUPORTED
is deprived of a defense available before the amendment, and which would
BY THE RECORD NOR EVIDENCE AND BASED ON
be unavailable if the Informations are amended. Petitioner further insisted
MISAPPRECIATION OF FACTS.
that the ruling in the Sayson case did not apply to this case.
VIII. PETITIONER’S SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION FOR
On November 5, 2002, the appellate court rendered judgment dismissing the
RECONSIDERATION DID NOT VIOLATE THE OMNIBUS MOTION
petition. The fallo reads:
RULE UNDER SEC. 8, RULE 15 OF THE 1997 RULES OF CIVIL
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition to annul the orders dated PROCEDURE.19
July 18, 2001 and November 14, 2001 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch
The Court’s Ruling
63, Makati City in Criminal Case Nos. 98-1611 and 98-1612 is hereby
DENIED and consequently DISMISSED. Petitioner argues that the substitution of Caltex by PCIB as private
complainant at this late stage of the trial is prejudicial to his defense. He
SO ORDERED.15
argues that the substitution is tantamount to a substantial amendment of the
The appellate court declared that when PCIB restored the amount of the Informations which is prohibited under Section 14, Rule 110 of the Rules of
checks to Caltex, it was subrogated to the latter’s right against petitioner. It Court.
further declared that in offenses against property, the designation of the
Under Section 5, Rule 11020 of the Revised Rules of Rules, all criminal
name of the offended party is not absolutely indispensable for as long as the
actions covered by a complaint or information shall be prosecuted under the
criminal act charged in the complaint or information can be properly
direct supervision and control of the public prosecutor. Thus, even if the
identified. The appellate court cited the rulings of this Court in People v.
felonies or delictual acts of the accused result in damage or injury to another,
Ho16 and People v. Reyes.17
the civil action for the recovery of civil liability based on the said criminal acts
On October 17, 2003, the CA issued a Resolution denying petitioner’s is impliedly instituted, and the offended party has not waived the civil action,
Motion for Reconsideration and Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration.18 reserved the right to institute it separately or instituted the civil action prior to
the criminal action, the prosecution of the action (including the civil) remains
Hence, petitioner filed the instant petition which is anchored on the following
under the control and supervision of the public prosecutor. The prosecution
grounds:
of offenses is a public function. Under Section 16, Rule 110 of the Rules of
I. THE PEOPLE V. YU CHAI HO 53 PHILIPPINES 874 IS Criminal Procedure, the offended party may intervene in the criminal action
INAPPLICABLE TO THE CASE AT BAR CONSIDERING THE personally or by counsel, who will act as private prosecutor for the protection
PACTS ARE SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT. of his interests and in the interest of the speedy and inexpensive
administration of justice. A separate action for the purpose would only prove
II. LIKEWISE, THE CASE OF PEOPLE VS. REYES CA, 50 (2) OG
to be costly, burdensome and time-consuming for both parties and further
665, NOVEMBER 11, 1953 HAS NO MATERIAL BEARING TO THE
delay the final disposition of the case. The multiplicity of suits must be
PRESENT CASE.
avoided. With the implied institution of the civil action in the criminal action,
III. THE SUBSTITUTION OF PCIBANK WILL SUBSTANTIALLY the two actions are merged into one composite proceeding, with the criminal
PREJUDICE THE RIGHTS OF THE PETITIONER HENCE, IT IS action predominating the civil. The prime purpose of the criminal action is to
PROHIBITED BY SEC. 14 OF RULE 110. punish the offender in order to deter him and others from committing the
same or similar offense, to isolate him from society, reform and rehabilitate
IV. THERE IS NO VALID SUBROGATION BETWEEN CALTEX
him or, in general, to maintain social order.21
AND PCIBANK. ASSUMING THERE IS, THE CIVIL CASE
SHOULD BE DISMISSED TO PROSECUTE. On the other hand, the sole purpose of the civil action is for the resolution,
reparation or indemnification of the private offended party for the damage or
V. THE TWIN INFORMATIONS UPON WHICH PETITIONER WAS
injury he sustained by reason of the delictual or felonious act of the accused.
INDICTED, ARRAIGNED, PRE-TRIAL HELD AND PUBLIC 22 Under Article 104 of the Revised Penal Code, the following are the civil
PROSECUTOR TERMINATED THE PRESENTATION OF ITS
liabilities of the accused:

26 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

ART. 104. What is included in civil liability. – The civil liability established in one form as in the other. An amendment to an information which does not
Articles 100, 101, 102 and 103 of this Code includes: change the nature of the crime alleged therein does not affect the essence
of the offense or cause surprise or deprive the accused of an opportunity to
1. Restitution;
meet the new averment had each been held to be one of form and not of
2. Reparation of the damage caused; substance.26
3. Indemnification for consequential damages. In the case at bar, the substitution of Caltex by PCIB as private complaint is
not a substantial amendment. The substitution did not alter the basis of the
On the other hand, Section 14, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
charge in both Informations, nor did it result in any prejudice to petitioner.
Procedure states:
The documentary evidence in the form of the forged checks remained the
Section 14. Amendment or substitution. – A complaint or information may be same, and all such evidence was available to petitioner well before the trial.
amended, in form or in substance, without leave of court, at any time before Thus, he cannot claim any surprise by virtue of the substitution.
the accused enters his plea. After the plea and during the trial, a formal
Petitioner next argues that in no way was PCIB subrogated to the rights of
amendment may only be made with leave of court and when it can be done
Caltex, considering that he has no knowledge of the subrogation much less
without causing prejudice to the rights of the accused.
gave his consent to it. Alternatively, he posits that if subrogation was proper,
However, any amendment before plea, which downgrades the nature of the then the charges against him should be dismissed, the two Informations
offense charged in or excludes any accused from the complaint or being "defective and void due to false allegations."
information, can be made only upon motion by the prosecutor, with notice to
Petitioner was charged of the crime of estafa complex with falsification
the offended party and with leave of court. The court shall state its reasons
document. In estafa one of the essential elements "to prejudice of another"
in resolving the motion and copies of its order shall be furnished all parties,
as mandated by article 315 of the Revise Penal Code.
especially the offended party.
The element of "to the prejudice of another" being as essential element of
Thus, before the accused enters his plea, a formal or substantial
the felony should be clearly indicated and charged in the information with
amendment of the complaint or information may be made without leave of
TRUTH AND LEGAL PRECISION.
court. After the entry of a plea, only a formal amendment may be made but
with leave of court and if it does not prejudice the rights of the accused. After This is not so in the case of petitioner, the twin information filed against him
arraignment, a substantial amendment is proscribed except if the same is alleged the felony committed " to the damage and prejudice of Caltex." This
beneficial to the accused.23 allegation is UNTRUE and FALSE for there is no question that as early as
March 24, 1998 or THREE (3) LONG MONTHS before the twin information
A substantial amendment consists of the recital of facts constituting the
were filed on June 29, 1998, the prejudice party is already PCIBank since
offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the court. All other
the latter Re-Credit the value of the checks to Caltex as early as March 24,
matters are merely of form.24 The following have been held to be mere
1998. In effect, assuming there is valid subrogation as the subject decision
formal amendments: (1) new allegations which relate only to the range of the
concluded, the subrogation took place an occurred on March 24, 1998
penalty that the court might impose in the event of conviction; (2) an
THREE (3) MONTHS before the twin information were filed.
amendment which does not charge another offense different or distinct from
that charged in the original one; (3) additional allegations which do not alter The phrase "to the prejudice to another" as element of the felony is limited to
the prosecution’s theory of the case so as to cause surprise to the accused the person DEFRAUDED in the very act of embezzlement. It should not be
and affect the form of defense he has or will assume; (4) an amendment expanded to other persons which the loss may ultimately fall as a result of a
which does not adversely affect any substantial right of the accused; and (5) contract which contract herein petitioner is total stranger.
an amendment that merely adds specifications to eliminate vagueness in the
In this case, there is no question that the very act of commission of the
information and not to introduce new and material facts, and merely states
offense of September 24, 1997 and October 15, 1997 respectively, Caltex
with additional precision something which is already contained in the original
was the one defrauded by the act of the felony.
information and which adds nothing essential for conviction for the crime
charged.25 In the light of these facts, petitioner submits that the twin information are
DEFECTIVE AND VOID due to the FALSE ALLEGATIONS that the offense
The test as to whether a defendant is prejudiced by the amendment is
was committed to the prejudice of Caltex when it truth and in fact the one
whether a defense under the information as it originally stood would be
prejudiced here was PCIBank.
available after the amendment is made, and whether any evidence
defendant might have would be equally applicable to the information in the

27 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

The twin information being DEFECTIVE AND VOID, the same should be commission of the offense; and the place wherein the offense was
dismissed without prejudice to the filing of another information which should committed.
state the offense was committed to the prejudice of PCIBank if it still legally
When the offense is committed by more than one person, all of them shall be
possible without prejudicing substantial and statutory rights of the petitioner.
27 included in the complaint or information.
On the other hand, Section 12 of the same Rule provides:
Petitioner’s argument on subrogation is misplaced. The Court agrees with
respondent PCIB’s comment that petitioner failed to make a distinction Section. 12. Name of the offended party. –The complaint or information must
between legal and conventional subrogation. Subrogation is the transfer of state the name and surname of the person against whom or against whose
all the rights of the creditor to a third person, who substitutes him in all his property the offense was committed, or any appellation or nickname by
rights.28 It may either be legal or conventional. Legal subrogation is that which such person has been or is known. If there is no better way of
which takes place without agreement but by operation of law because of identifying him, he must be described under a fictitious name.
certain acts.29 Instances of legal subrogation are those provided in Article
(a) In offenses against property, if the name of the offended party is
130230 of the Civil Code. Conventional subrogation, on the other hand, is
unknown, the property must be described with such particularity as
that which takes place by agreement of the parties.31 Thus, petitioner’s
to properly identify the offense charged.
acquiescence is not necessary for subrogation to take place because the
instant case is one of legal subrogation that occurs by operation of law, and (b) If the true name of the person against whom or against whose
without need of the debtor’s knowledge. property the offense was committed is thereafter disclosed or
ascertained, the court must cause such true name to be inserted in
Contrary to petitioner’s asseverations, the case of People v. Yu Chai
the complaint or information and the record.
Ho32 relied upon by the appellate court is in point. The Court declared –
(c) If the offended party is a juridical person, it is sufficient to state
We do not however, think that the fiscal erred in alleging that the commission
its name, or any name or designation by which it is known or by
of the crime resulted to the prejudice of Wm. H. Anderson & Co. It is true that
which it may be identified, without need of averring that it is a
originally the International Banking Corporation was the prejudiced party, but
juridical person or that it is organized in accordance with law. (12a)
Wm. H. Anderson & Co. compensated it for its loss and thus became
subrogated to all its rights against the defendant (article 1839, Civil Code). In Sayson v. People,33 the Court held that in case of offenses against
Wm. H. Anderson & Co., therefore, stood exactly in the shoes of the property, the designation of the name of the offended party is not absolutely
International Banking Corporation in relation to the defendant's acts, and the indispensable for as long as the criminal act charged in the complaint or
commission of the crime resulted to the prejudice of the firm previously to information can be properly identified:
the filing of the information in the case. The loss suffered by the firm was the
The rules on criminal procedure require the complaint or information to state
ultimate result of the defendant's unlawful acts, and we see no valid reason
the name and surname of the person against whom or against whose
why this fact should not be stated in the information; it stands to reason that,
property the offense was committed or any appellation or nickname by which
in the crime of estafa, the damage resulting therefrom need not necessarily
such person has been or is known and if there is no better way of Identifying
occur simultaneously with the acts constituting the other essential elements
him, he must be described under a fictitious name (Rule 110, Section 11,
of the crime.
Revised Rules of Court; now Rule 110, Section 12 of the 1985 Rules on
Thus, being subrogated to the right of Caltex, PCIB, through counsel, has Criminal Procedure.] In case of offenses against property, the designation of
the right to intervene in the proceedings, and under substantive laws is the name of the offended party is not absolutely indispensable for as long as
entitled to restitution of its properties or funds, reparation, or indemnification. the criminal act charged in the complaint or information can be properly
identified. Thus, Rule 110, Section 11 of the Rules of Court provides that:
Petitioner’s gripe that the charges against him should be dismissed because
the allegations in both Informations failed to name PCIB as true offended Section 11. Name of the offended party-
party does not hold water.

Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure states:
(a) In cases of offenses against property, if the name of the
Sec. 6. Sufficiency of complaint or information. – A complaint or information offended party is unknown, the property, subject matter of the
is sufficient if it states the name of the accused; the designation of the offense, must be described with such particularity as to properly
offense by the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting Identify the particular offense charged.
the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate time of the

28 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

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

In U.S. v. Kepner [1 Phil. 519 (1902)], this Court laid down the rule that when
an offense shall have been described in the complaint with sufficient
certainty as to Identify the act, an erroneous allegation as to the person
injured shall be deemed immaterial as the same is a mere formal defect
which did not tend to prejudice any substantial right of the defendant.
Accordingly, in the aforementioned case, which had a factual backdrop
similar to the instant case, where the defendant was charged with estafa for
the misappropriation of the proceeds of a warrant which he had cashed
without authority, the erroneous allegation in the complaint to the effect that
the unlawful act was to the prejudice of the owner of the cheque, when in
reality the bank which cashed it was the one which suffered a loss, was held
to be immaterial on the ground that the subject matter of the estafa, the
warrant, was described in the complaint with such particularity as to properly
Identify the particular offense charged. In the instant suit for estafa which is a
crime against property under the Revised Penal Code, since the check,
which was the subject-matter of the offense, was described with such
particularity as to properly identify the offense charged, it becomes
immaterial, for purposes of convicting the accused, that it was established
during the trial that the offended party was actually Mever Films and not
Ernesto Rufino, Sr. nor Bank of America as alleged in the information.
Lastly, on petitioner’s claim that he timely objected to the appearance of
SRMO34 as private prosecutor for PCIB, the Court agrees with the
observation of the CA that contrary to his claim, petitioner did not question
the said entry of appearance even as the RTC acknowledged the same on
October 8, 1999.35 Thus, petitioner cannot feign ignorance or surprise of the
incident, which are "all water under the bridge for [his] failure to make a
timely objection thereto."36
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed decision and resolution
of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED. This case is REMANDED to the
Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 63, for further proceedings.
SO ORDERED.
ROMEO J. CALLEJO, SR.

Associate Justice

29 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

Republic of the Philippines
 On June 17, 1975, petitioner filed in this Court a petition for certiorari,
SUPREME COURT
 prohibition and mandamus, which was docketed as G.R. No.
Manila L-40992, 10 assailing the aforesaid order of the trial court. Said petition was
dismissed for lack of merit in the Court's resolution of July 23, 1975, and a
SECOND DIVISION
motion for reconsideration thereof was denied for the same reason in a
G.R. No. 80194 March 21, 1989 resolution of October 28, 1975. 11
EDGAR JARANTILLA, petitioner, 
 After trial, the court below rendered judgment on May 23, 1977 in favor of
vs.
 the herein private respondent and ordering herein petitioner to pay the
COURT OF APPEALS and JOSE KUAN SING, respondents. former the sum of P 6,920.00 for hospitalization, medicines and so forth,
P2,000.00 for other actual expenses, P25,000.00 for moral damages,
Corazon Miraflores and Vicente P. Billena for petitioner.
P5,000.00 for attorney's fees, and costs. 12
Manuel S. Gemarino for private respondent.
On July 29, 1987, the respondent Court of Appeals 13 affirmed the decision
of the lower court except as to the award for moral damages which it
reduced from P25,000.00 to P18,000.00. A motion for reconsideration was
REGALADO, J.:
denied by respondent court on September 18, 1987. 14
The records show that private respondent Jose Kuan Sing was "side-swiped
The main issue for resolution by Us in the present recourse is whether the
by a vehicle in the evening of July 7, 1971 in lznart Street, Iloilo City" 1 The
private respondent, who was the complainant in the criminal action for
respondent Court of Appeals concurred in the findings of the court a quo that
physical injuries thru reckless imprudence and who participated in the
the said vehicle which figured in the mishap, a Volkswagen (Beetle type) car,
prosecution thereof without reserving the civil action arising from the act or
was then driven by petitioner Edgar Jarantilla along said street toward the
omission complained of, can file a separate action for civil liability arising
direction of the provincial capitol, and that private respondent sustained
from the same act or omission where the herein petitioner was acquitted in
physical injuries as a consequence. 2
the criminal action on reasonable doubt and no civil liability was adjudicated
Petitioner was accordingly charged before the then City Court of Iloilo for or awarded in the judgment of acquittal.
serious physical injuries thru reckless imprudence in Criminal Case No.
Prefatorily, We note that petitioner raises a collateral issue by faulting the
47207 thereof. 3 Private respondent, as the complaining witness therein, did
respondent court for refusing to resolve an assignment of error in his appeal
not reserve his right to institute a separate civil action and he intervened in
therein, said respondent court holding that the main issue had been passed
the prosecution of said criminal case through a private
upon by this Court in G.R. No. L-40992 hereinbefore mentioned. It is
prosecutor. 4 Petitioner was acquitted in said criminal case "on reasonable
petitioner's position that the aforesaid two resolutions of the Court in said
doubt".5
case, the first dismissing the petition and the second denying the motion for
On October 30, 1974, private respondent filed a complaint against the reconsideration, do not constitute the "law of the case' which would control
petitioner in the former Court of First Instance of Iloilo, Branch IV, 6 docketed the subsequent proceed ings in this controversy.
therein as Civil Case No. 9976, and which civil action involved the same
1. We incline favorably to petitioner's submission on this score.
subject matter and act complained of in Criminal Case No. 47027. 7 In his
answer filed therein, the petitioner alleged as special and affirmative The "doctrine of the law of the case" has no application at the aforesaid
detenses that the private respondent had no cause of action and, posture of the proceedings when the two resolutions were handed down.
additionally, that the latter's cause of action, if any, is barred by the prior While it may be true that G.R. No. L-40992 may have involved some of the
judgment in Criminal Case No. 47207 inasmuch as when said criminal case issues which were thereafter submitted for resolution on the merits by the
was instituted the civil liability was also deemed instituted since therein two lower courts, the proceedings involved there was one for certiorari,
plaintiff failed to reserve the civil aspect and actively participated in the prohibition and mandamus assailing an interlocutory order of the court a
criminal case. 8 quo, specifically, its order denying therein defendants motion to dismiss. This
Court, without rendering a specific opinion or explanation as to the legal and
Thereafter, acting on a motion to dismiss of therein defendant, the trial court
factual bases on which its two resolutions were predicated, simply dismissed
issued on April 3, 1975 an order of denial, with the suggestion that "(t)o
the special civil action on that incident for lack of merit. It may very well be
enrich our jurisprudence, it is suggested that the defendant brings (sic) this
that such resolution was premised on the fact that the Court, at that stage
ruling to the Supreme Court by certiorari or other appropriate remedy, to
and on the basis of the facts then presented, did not consider that the denial
review the ruling of the court". 9

30 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

order of the court a quo was tainted with grave abuse of discretion. 15 To It is meet, however, not to lose sight of the fact that the criminal action
repeat, no rationale for such resolutions having been expounded on the involved therein was for serious oral defamation which, while within the
merits of that action, no law of the case may be said to have been laid down contemplation of an independent civil action under Article 33 of the Civil
in G.R. No. L-40992 to justify the respondent court's refusal to consider Code, constitutes only a penal omen and cannot otherwise be considered as
petitioner's claim that his former acquittal barred the separate action. a quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil
Code. And while petitioner draws attention to the supposed reiteration of the
'Law of the case' has been defined as the opinion
Roa doctrine in the later case of Azucena vs. Potenciano, et al., 21 this time
delivered on a former appeal. More specifically, it means
involving damage to property through negligence as to make out a case of
that whatever is once irrevocably established, as
quasi-delict under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code, such secondary
the controlling legal rule of decision between the same
reliance is misplaced since the therein plaintiff Azucena did not intervene in
parties in the same case continues to be the law of the
the criminal action against defendant Potenciano. The citation of Roa in the
case, whether correct on general principles or not, so long
later case of Azucena was, therefore, clearly obiter and affords no comfort to
as the facts on which such decision was predicated
petitioner.
continue to be the facts of the case before the court (21
C.J.S. 330). (Emphasis supplied). 16 These are aside from the fact that there have been doctrinal, and even
statutory, 22 changes on the matter of civil actions arising from criminal
It need not be stated that the Supreme Court being the
offenses and quasi-delicts. We will reserve our discussion on the statutory
court of last resort, is the final arbiter of all legal questions
aspects for another case and time and, for the nonce, We will consider the
properly brought before it and that its decision in any given
doctrinal developments on this issue.
case constitutes the law of that particular case . . .
(Emphasis supplied). 17 In the case under consideration, private respondent participated and
intervened in the prosecution of the criminal suit against petitioner. Under the
It is a rule of general application that the decision of an
present jurisprudential milieu, where the trial court acquits the accused on
appellate court in a case is the law of the case on the
reasonable doubt, it could very well make a pronounce ment on the civil
points presented throughout all the subsequent
liability of the accused 23 and the complainant could file a petition for
proceedings in the case in both the trial and the appellate
mandamus to compel the trial court to include such civil liability in the
courts, and no question necessarily involved and decided
judgment of acquittal. 24
on that appeal will be considered on a second appeal or
writ of error in the same case, provided the facts and Private respondent, as already stated, filed a separate civil aciton after such
issues are substantially the same as those on which the acquittal. This is allowed under Article 29 of the Civil Code. We have ruled in
first question rested and, according to some authorities, the relatively recent case of Lontoc vs. MD Transit & Taxi Co., Inc., et
provided the decision is on the merits . . . 18 al. 25that:
2. With the foregoing ancillary issue out of the way, We now consider the In view of the fact that the defendant-appellee de la Cruz
principal plaint of petitioner. was acquitted on the ground that 'his guilt was not proven
beyond reasonable doubt' the plaintiff-appellant has the
Apropos to such resolution is the settled rule that the same act or omission
right to institute a separate civil action to recover damages
(in this case, the negligent sideswiping of private respondent) can create two
from the defendants-appellants (See Mendoza vs. Arrieta,
kinds of liability on the part of the offender, that is, civil liability ex delicto and
91 SCRA 113). The well-settled doctrine is that a person,
civil liability ex quasi delicto. Since the same negligence can give rise either
while not criminally liable may still be civilly liable. 'The
to a delict or crime or to a quasi-delict or tort, either of these two types of civil
judgment of acquittal extinguishes the civil liability of the
liability may be enforced against the culprit, subject to the caveat under
accused only when it includes a declaration that the facts
Article 2177 of the Civil Code that the offended party cannot recover
from which the civil liability might arise did not exist'.
damages under both types of liability. 19
(Padilla vs. Court of Appeals, 129 SCRA 558 cited in
We also note the reminder of petitioner that in Roa vs. De la Cruz, et People vs. Rogelio Ligon y Tria, et al., G.R. No. 74041,
al., 20 it was held that where the offended party elected to claim damages July 29, 1987; Filomeno Urbano vs. Intermediate Appellate
arising from the offense charged in the criminal case through her Court, G.R. No. 72964, January 7, 1988). The ruling is
intervention as a private prosecutor, the final judgment rendered therein based on Article 29 of the Civil Code which provides:
constituted a bar to the subsequent civil action based upon the same cause.

31 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

When the accused in a criminal manner, at an excessive rate of speed


prosecution is acquitted on the ground and in violation of the provisions of the
that his guilt has not been proved Revised Motor Vehicle (sic) as
beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action amended, in relation to the Land
for damages for the same act or Transportation and Traffic Code as well
omission may be instituted. Such action as in violation of existing city
requires only a preponderance of ordinances, and by reason of his
evidence ... 26 inexcusable lack of precaution and
failure to act with due negligence and by
Another consideration in favor of private respondent is the doctrine that the
failing to take into consideration (sic) his
failure of the court to make any pronouncement, favorable or unfavorable, as
degree of intelligence, the atmospheric
to the civil liability of the accused amounts to a reservation of the right to
conditions of the place as well as the
have the civil liability litigated and determined in a separate action. The rules
width, traffic, visibility and other
nowhere provide that if the court fails to determine the civil liability it
conditions of lznart Street; 29
becomes no longer enforceable. 27
Since this action is based on a quasi-delict, the failure of the respondent to
Furthermore, in the present case the civil liability sought to be recovered
reserve his right to file a separate civil case and his intervention in the
through the application of Article 29 is no longer that based on or arising
criminal case did not bar him from filing such separate civil action for
from the criminal offense. There is persuasive logic in the view that, under
damages. 30The Court has also heretofore ruled in Elcano vs. Hill 31 that —
such circumstances, the acquittal of the accused foreclosed the civil liability
based on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code which presupposes the ... a separate civil action lies against the offender in a
existence of criminal liability or requires a conviction of the offense charged. criminal act whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and
Divested of its penal element by such acquittal, the causative act or found guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party
omission becomes in effect a quasi-delict, hence only a civil action based is not allowed, if he is also actually charged criminally, to
thereon may be instituted or prosecuted thereafter, which action can be recover damages on both scores; and would be entitled in
proved by mere preponderance of evidence. 28 Complementary to such such eventuality only to the bigger award of the two,
considerations, Article 29 enunciates the rule, as already stated, that a civil assuming the awards made in the two cases vary. In other
action for damages is not precluded by an acquittal on reasonable doubt for words, the extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (c)
the same criminal act or omission. of Sec. 3 Rule 111, refers exclusively to civil liability
founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code;
The allegations of the complaint filed by the private respondent supports and
whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as a
is constitutive of a case for a quasi-delict committed by the petitioner, thus:
quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished
3. That in the evening of July 7, 197l at even by a declaration in the criminal case that the criminal
about 7:00 o'clock, the plaintiff crossed act charged has not happened or has not been committed
Iznart Street from his restaurant situated by the accused . . .
at 220 lznart St., Iloilo City, Philippines,
The aforecited case of Lontoc vs. MD Transit & Taxi Co., Inc., et al. involved
on his way to a meeting of the
virtually the same factual situation. The Court, in arriving at the conclusion
Cantonese Club at Aldeguer Street,
hereinbefore quoted, expressly declared that the failure of the therein
Iloilo City and while he was standing on
plaintiff to reserve his right to file a separate civil case is not fatal; that his
the middle of the street as there were
intervention in the criminal case did not bar him from filing a separate civil
vehicles coming from the Provincial
action for damages, especially considering that the accused therein was
Building towards Plazoleta Gay, Iloilo
acquitted because his guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt; that
City, he was bumped and sideswiped by
the two cases were anchored on two different causes of action, the criminal
Volkswagen car with plate No. B-2508
case being on a violation of Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code while the
W which was on its way from Plazoleta
subsequent complaint for damages was based on a quasi-delict; and that in
Gay towards the Provincial Capitol, Iloilo
the judgment in the criminal case the aspect of civil liability was not passed
City, which car was being driven by the
upon and resolved. Consequently, said civil case may proceed as authorized
defendant in a reckless and negligent
by Article 29 of the Civil Code.

32 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

Our initial adverse observation on a portion of the decision of respondent


court aside, We hold that on the issues decisive of this case it did not err in
sustaining the decision a quo.
WHEREFORE, the writ prayed for is hereby DENIED and the decision of the
respondent Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED, without costs.
SO ORDERED.
Melencio-Herrera, Paras, Padilla and Sarmiento, JJ., concur.

33 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

Republic of the Philippines
 RTC further held that a special civil action for certiorari is not a substitute for
SUPREME COURT
 a lost appeal. Finally, the Capas RTC declared that even on the premise that
Manila the MCTC erred in dismissing the civil case, such error is a pure error of
judgment and not an abuse of discretion.
THIRD DIVISION
Casupanan and Capitulo filed a Motion for Reconsideration but the Capas
G.R. No. 145391 August 26, 2002
RTC denied the same in the Resolution of August 24, 2000.
AVELINO CASUPANAN and ROBERTO CAPITULO, petitioners, 

Hence, this petition.
vs.

MARIO LLAVORE LAROYA, respondent. The Issue
CARPIO, J.: The petition premises the legal issue in this wise:
The Case "In a certain vehicular accident involving two parties, each one of
them may think and believe that the accident was caused by the
Resolution1
This is a petition for review on certiorari to set aside the dated
fault of the other. x x x [T]he first party, believing himself to be the
December 28, 1999 dismissing the petition for certiorari and the
aggrieved party, opted to file a criminal case for reckless
Resolution2 dated August 24, 2000 denying the motion for reconsideration,
imprudence against the second party. On the other hand, the
both issued by the Regional Trial Court of Capas, Tarlac, Branch 66, in
second party, together with his operator, believing themselves to be
Special Civil Action No. 17-C (99).
the real aggrieved parties, opted in turn to file a civil case for quasi-
The Facts delict against the first party who is the very private complainant in
the criminal case."4
Two vehicles, one driven by respondent Mario Llavore Laroya ("Laroya" for
brevity) and the other owned by petitioner Roberto Capitulo ("Capitulo" for Thus, the issue raised is whether an accused in a pending criminal case for
brevity) and driven by petitioner Avelino Casupanan ("Casupanan" for reckless imprudence can validly file, simultaneously and independently, a
brevity), figured in an accident. As a result, two cases were filed with the separate civil action for quasi-delict against the private complainant in the
Municipal Circuit Trial Court ("MCTC" for brevity) of Capas, Tarlac. Laroya criminal case.
filed a criminal case against Casupanan for reckless imprudence resulting in
The Court’s Ruling
damage to property, docketed as Criminal Case No. 002-99. On the other
hand, Casupanan and Capitulo filed a civil case against Laroya for quasi- Casupanan and Capitulo assert that Civil Case No. 2089, which the MCTC
delict, docketed as Civil Case No. 2089. dismissed on the ground of forum-shopping, constitutes a counterclaim in
the criminal case. Casupanan and Capitulo argue that if the accused in a
When the civil case was filed, the criminal case was then at its preliminary
criminal case has a counterclaim against the private complainant, he may
investigation stage. Laroya, defendant in the civil case, filed a motion to
file the counterclaim in a separate civil action at the proper time. They
dismiss the civil case on the ground of forum-shopping considering the
contend that an action on quasi-delict is different from an action resulting
pendency of the criminal case. The MCTC granted the motion in the Order of
from the crime of reckless imprudence, and an accused in a criminal case
March 26, 1999 and dismissed the civil case.
can be an aggrieved party in a civil case arising from the same incident.
On Motion for Reconsideration, Casupanan and Capitulo insisted that the They maintain that under Articles 31 and 2176 of the Civil Code, the civil
civil case is a separate civil action which can proceed independently of the case can proceed independently of the criminal action. Finally, they point out
criminal case. The MCTC denied the motion for reconsideration in the Order that Casupanan was not the only one who filed the independent civil action
of May 7, 1999. Casupanan and Capitulo filed a petition for certiorari under based on quasi-delict but also Capitulo, the owner-operator of the vehicle,
Rule 65 before the Regional Trial Court ("Capas RTC" for brevity) of Capas, who was not a party in the criminal case.
Tarlac, Branch 66,3 assailing the MCTC’s Order of dismissal.
In his Comment, Laroya claims that the petition is fatally defective as it does
The Trial Court’s Ruling not state the real antecedents. Laroya further alleges that Casupanan and
Capitulo forfeited their right to question the order of dismissal when they
The Capas RTC rendered judgment on December 28, 1999 dismissing the
failed to avail of the proper remedy of appeal. Laroya argues that there is no
petition for certiorari for lack of merit. The Capas RTC ruled that the order of
question of law to be resolved as the order of dismissal is already final and a
dismissal issued by the MCTC is a final order which disposes of the case
petition for certiorari is not a substitute for a lapsed appeal.
and therefore the proper remedy should have been an appeal. The Capas

34 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

In their Reply, Casupanan and Capitulo contend that the petition raises the recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the
legal question of whether there is forum-shopping since they filed only one defendant."
action - the independent civil action for quasi-delict against Laroya.
Any aggrieved person can invoke these articles provided he proves, by
Nature of the Order of Dismissal preponderance of evidence, that he has suffered damage because of the
fault or negligence of another. Either the private complainant or the accused
The MCTC dismissed the civil action for quasi-delict on the ground of forum-
can file a separate civil action under these articles. There is nothing in the
shopping under Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. 04-94. The
law or rules that state only the private complainant in a criminal case may
MCTC did not state in its order of dismissal5 that the dismissal was with
invoke these articles.
prejudice. Under the Administrative Circular, the order of dismissal is without
prejudice to refiling the complaint, unless the order of dismissal expressly Moreover, paragraph 6, Section 1, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal
states it is with prejudice.6 Absent a declaration that the dismissal is with Procedure ("2000 Rules" for brevity) expressly requires the accused to
prejudice, the same is deemed without prejudice. Thus, the MCTC’s litigate his counterclaim in a separate civil action, to wit:
dismissal, being silent on the matter, is a dismissal without prejudice.
"SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. – (a) x x x.
Section 1 of Rule 417 provides that an order dismissing an action without
No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint may be filed
prejudice is not appealable. The remedy of the aggrieved party is to file a
by the accused in the criminal case, but any cause of action which
special civil action under Rule 65. Section 1 of Rule 41 expressly states that
could have been the subject thereof may be litigated in a separate
"where the judgment or final order is not appealable, the aggrieved party
civil action." (Emphasis supplied)
may file an appropriate special civil action under Rule 65." Clearly, the
Capas RTC’s order dismissing the petition for certiorari, on the ground that Since the present Rules require the accused in a criminal action to file his
the proper remedy is an ordinary appeal, is erroneous. counterclaim in a separate civil action, there can be no forum-shopping if the
accused files such separate civil action.
Forum-Shopping
Filing of a separate civil action
The essence of forum-shopping is the filing of multiple suits involving the
same parties for the same cause of action, either simultaneously or Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure ("1985 Rules"
successively, to secure a favorable judgment.8 Forum-shopping is present for brevity), as amended in 1988, allowed the filing of a separate civil action
when in the two or more cases pending, there is identity of parties, rights of independently of the criminal action provided the offended party reserved the
action and reliefs sought.9 However, there is no forum-shopping in the right to file such civil action. Unless the offended party reserved the civil
instant case because the law and the rules expressly allow the filing of a action before the presentation of the evidence for the prosecution, all civil
separate civil action which can proceed independently of the criminal action. actions arising from the same act or omission were deemed "impliedly
instituted" in the criminal case. These civil actions referred to the recovery of
Laroya filed the criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting in damage to
civil liability ex-delicto, the recovery of damages for quasi-delict, and the
property based on the Revised Penal Code while Casupanan and Capitulo
recovery of damages for violation of Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Civil Code
filed the civil action for damages based on Article 2176 of the Civil Code.
on Human Relations.
Although these two actions arose from the same act or omission, they have
different causes of action. The criminal case is based on culpa criminal Thus, to file a separate and independent civil action for quasi-delict under
punishable under the Revised Penal Code while the civil case is based on the 1985 Rules, the offended party had to reserve in the criminal action the
culpa aquiliana actionable under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code. right to bring such action. Otherwise, such civil action was deemed "impliedly
These articles on culpa aquiliana read: instituted" in the criminal action. Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules
provided as follows:
"Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage "Section 1. – Institution of criminal and civil actions. – When a
done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil
contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the
is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. offended party waives the action, reserves his right to institute it
separately, or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.
Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding
article is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the
from negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot Revised Penal Code, and damages under Articles 32, 33, 34

35 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising from the of the Civil Code are separate, distinct and independent of the civil action
same act or omission of the accused. "deemed instituted" in the criminal action.10
A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes the others. The Under the present Rule 111, the offended party is still given the option to file
institution of, or the reservation of the right to file, any of said civil a separate civil action to recover civil liability ex-delicto by reserving such
actions separately waives the others. right in the criminal action before the prosecution presents its evidence. Also,
the offended party is deemed to make such reservation if he files a separate
The reservation of the right to institute the separate civil actions
civil action before filing the criminal action. If the civil action to recover civil
shall be made before the prosecution starts to present its evidence
liability ex-delicto is filed separately but its trial has not yet commenced, the
and under circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable
civil action may be consolidated with the criminal action. The consolidation
opportunity to make such reservation.
under this Rule does not apply to separate civil actions arising from the
In no case may the offended party recover damages twice for the same act or omission filed under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil
same act or omission of the accused. Code.11
x x x." (Emphasis supplied) Suspension of the Separate Civil Action
Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules was amended on December 1, 2000 Under Section 2, Rule 111 of the amended 1985 Rules, a separate civil
and now provides as follows: action, if reserved in the criminal action, could not be filed until after final
judgment was rendered in the criminal action. If the separate civil action was
"SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. – (a) When a
filed before the commencement of the criminal action, the civil action, if still
criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of
pending, was suspended upon the filing of the criminal action until final
civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed
judgment was rendered in the criminal action. This rule applied only to the
instituted with the criminal action unless the offended party
separate civil action filed to recover liability ex-delicto. The rule did not apply
waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately or
to independent civil actions based on Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the
institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.
Civil Code, which could proceed independently regardless of the filing of the
The reservation of the right to institute separately the civil action criminal action.
shall be made before the prosecution starts presenting its evidence
The amended provision of Section 2, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules continues
and under circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable
this procedure, to wit:
opportunity to make such reservation.
"SEC. 2. When separate civil action is suspended. – After the
xxx
criminal action has been commenced, the separate civil action
(b) x x x arising therefrom cannot be instituted until final judgment has been
entered in the criminal action.
Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof
has not yet commenced, it may be consolidated with the criminal If the criminal action is filed after the said civil action has
action upon application with the court trying the latter case. If the already been instituted, the latter shall be suspended in
application is granted, the trial of both actions shall proceed in whatever stage it may be found before judgment on the merits.
accordance with section 2 of this rule governing consolidation of the The suspension shall last until final judgment is rendered in
civil and criminal actions." (Emphasis supplied) the criminal action. Nevertheless, before judgment on the merits
is rendered in the civil action, the same may, upon motion of the
Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, what is "deemed instituted" with the
offended party, be consolidated with the criminal action in the court
criminal action is only the action to recover civil liability arising from the crime
trying the criminal action. In case of consolidation, the evidence
or ex-delicto. All the other civil actions under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of
already adduced in the civil action shall be deemed automatically
the Civil Code are no longer "deemed instituted," and may be filed
reproduced in the criminal action without prejudice to the right of
separately and prosecuted independently even without any reservation in
the prosecution to cross-examine the witnesses presented by the
the criminal action. The failure to make a reservation in the criminal action is
offended party in the criminal case and of the parties to present
not a waiver of the right to file a separate and independent civil action based
additional evidence. The consolidated criminal and civil actions
on these articles of the Civil Code. The prescriptive period on the civil
shall be tried and decided jointly.
actions based on these articles of the Civil Code continues to run even with
the filing of the criminal action. Verily, the civil actions based on these articles

36 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

During the pendency of the criminal action, the running of the prosecution on impliedly instituted civil actions and the necessary
period of prescription of the civil action which cannot be instituted consequences and implications thereof." Thus, the Court ruled that the
separately or whose proceeding has been suspended shall be trial court should confine itself to the criminal aspect of the case and
tolled. disregard any counterclaim for civil liability. The Court further ruled that the
accused may file a separate civil case against the offended party "after the
x x x." (Emphasis supplied)
criminal case is terminated and/or in accordance with the new Rules which
Thus, Section 2, Rule 111 of the present Rules did not change the rule that may be promulgated." The Court explained that a cross-claim, counterclaim
the separate civil action, filed to recover damages ex-delicto, is suspended or third-party complaint on the civil aspect will only unnecessarily complicate
upon the filing of the criminal action. Section 2 of the present Rule 111 also the proceedings and delay the resolution of the criminal case.
prohibits the filing, after commencement of the criminal action, of a separate
Paragraph 6, Section 1 of the present Rule 111 was incorporated in the 2000
civil action to recover damages ex-delicto.
Rules precisely to address the lacunamentioned in Cabaero. Under this
When civil action may proceed independently provision, the accused is barred from filing a counterclaim, cross-claim or
third-party complaint in the criminal case. However, the same provision
The crucial question now is whether Casupanan and Capitulo, who are not
states that "any cause of action which could have been the subject (of the
the offended parties in the criminal case, can file a separate civil action
counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint) may be litigated in a
against the offended party in the criminal case. Section 3, Rule 111 of the
separate civil action." The present Rule 111 mandates the accused to file his
2000 Rules provides as follows:
counterclaim in a separate civil actiosn which shall proceed independently of
"SEC 3. When civil action may proceed independently. - In the the criminal action, even as the civil action of the offended party is litigated in
cases provided in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the criminal action.
the Philippines, the independent civil action may be brought by
Conclusion
the offended party. It shall proceed independently of the criminal
action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. In no Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, the independent civil action in
case, however, may the offended party recover damages twice for Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code is not deemed instituted with
the same act or omission charged in the criminal the criminal action but may be filed separately by the offended party even
action." (Emphasis supplied) without reservation. The commencement of the criminal action does not
suspend the prosecution of the independent civil action under these articles
Section 3 of the present Rule 111, like its counterpart in the amended 1985
of the Civil Code. The suspension in Section 2 of the present Rule 111 refers
Rules, expressly allows the "offended party" to bring an independent civil
only to the civil action arising from the crime, if such civil action is reserved
action under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code. As stated in
or filed before the commencement of the criminal action.
Section 3 of the present Rule 111, this civil action shall proceed
independently of the criminal action and shall require only a preponderance Thus, the offended party can file two separate suits for the same act or
of evidence. In no case, however, may the "offended party recover damages omission. The first a criminal case where the civil action to recover civil
twice for the same act or omission charged in the criminal action." liability ex-delicto is deemed instituted, and the other a civil case for quasi-
delict - without violating the rule on non-forum shopping. The two cases can
There is no question that the offended party in the criminal action can file an
proceed simultaneously and independently of each other. The
independent civil action for quasi-delict against the accused. Section 3 of the
commencement or prosecution of the criminal action will not suspend the
present Rule 111 expressly states that the "offended party" may bring such
civil action for quasi-delict. The only limitation is that the offended party
an action but the "offended party" may not recover damages twice for the
cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the
same act or omission charged in the criminal action. Clearly, Section 3 of
defendant. In most cases, the offended party will have no reason to file a
Rule 111 refers to the offended party in the criminal action, not to the
second civil action since he cannot recover damages twice for the same act
accused.
or omission of the accused. In some instances, the accused may be
Casupanan and Capitulo, however, invoke the ruling in Cabaero vs. insolvent, necessitating the filing of another case against his employer or
Cantos12 where the Court held that the accused therein could validly guardians.
institute a separate civil action for quasi-delict against the private
Similarly, the accused can file a civil action for quasi-delict for the same act
complainant in the criminal case. In Cabaero, the accused in the criminal
or omission he is accused of in the criminal case. This is expressly allowed
case filed his Answer with Counterclaim for malicious prosecution. At that
in paragraph 6, Section 1 of the present Rule 111 which states that the
time the Court noted the "absence of clear-cut rules governing the
counterclaim of the accused "may be litigated in a separate civil action."

37 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

This is only fair for two reasons. First, the accused is prohibited from setting "x x x statutes regulating the procedure of the court will be
up any counterclaim in the civil aspect that is deemed instituted in the construed as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at
criminal case. The accused is therefore forced to litigate separately his the time of their passage. Procedural laws are retroactive in that
counterclaim against the offended party. If the accused does not file a sense and to that extent."14
separate civil action for quasi-delict, the prescriptive period may set in since
WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is hereby GRANTED. The
the period continues to run until the civil action for quasi-delict is filed.
Resolutions dated December 28, 1999 and August 24, 2000 in Special Civil
Second, the accused, who is presumed innocent, has a right to invoke Action No. 17-C (99) are ANNULLED and Civil Case No. 2089
Article 2177 of the Civil Code, in the same way that the offended party can is REINSTATED.
avail of this remedy which is independent of the criminal action. To disallow
SO ORDERED.
the accused from filing a separate civil action for quasi-delict, while refusing
to recognize his counterclaim in the criminal case, is to deny him due Puno, Panganiban, and Sandoval-Gutierrez*, JJ., concur.
process of law, access to the courts, and equal protection of the law.
Thus, the civil action based on quasi-delict filed separately by Casupanan
and Capitulo is proper. The order of dismissal by the MCTC of Civil Case No.
2089 on the ground of forum-shopping is erroneous.
We make this ruling aware of the possibility that the decision of the trial court
in the criminal case may vary with the decision of the trial court in the
independent civil action. This possibility has always been recognized ever
since the Civil Code introduced in 1950 the concept of an independent civil
action under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Code. But the law itself, in
Article 31 of the Code, expressly provides that the independent civil action
"may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of
the result of the latter." In Azucena vs. Potenciano,13the Court declared:
"x x x. There can indeed be no other logical conclusion than this, for
to subordinate the civil action contemplated in the said articles to
the result of the criminal prosecution — whether it be conviction or
acquittal — would render meaningless the independent character of
the civil action and the clear injunction in Article 31 that this action
'may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and
regardless of the result of the latter.’"
More than half a century has passed since the Civil Code introduced the
concept of a civil action separate and independent from the criminal action
although arising from the same act or omission. The Court, however, has yet
to encounter a case of conflicting and irreconcilable decisions of trial courts,
one hearing the criminal case and the other the civil action for quasi-delict.
The fear of conflicting and irreconcilable decisions may be more apparent
than real. In any event, there are sufficient remedies under the Rules of
Court to deal with such remote possibilities.
One final point. The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure took effect on
December 1, 2000 while the MCTC issued the order of dismissal on
December 28, 1999 or before the amendment of the rules. The Revised
Rules on Criminal Procedure must be given retroactive effect considering the
well-settled rule that -

38 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

Republic of the Philippines
 of P600,000.00 covered by the two PBC checks previously subject of the
SUPREME COURT
 estafa and BP Blg. 22 cases.
Manila
In the assailed Order7 dated January 2, 2006, the RTC, Branch 18, Manila,
THIRD DIVISION dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction, ratiocinating that the civil
action to collect the amount of P600,000.00 with damages was already
G.R. No. 174238 July 7, 2009
impliedly instituted in the BP Blg. 22 cases in light of Section 1, paragraph
ANITA CHENG, Petitioner, 
 (b) of Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Court.
vs.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration8 which the court denied in its
SPOUSES WILLIAM SY and TESSIE SY, Respondents.
Order9 dated June 5, 2006. Hence, this petition, raising the sole legal issue –
DECISION
Whether or not Section 1 of Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal
NACHURA, J.: Procedure and Supreme Court Circular No. 57-97 on the Rules and
Guidelines in the filing and prosecution of criminal cases under BP Blg. 22
This is a petition1 for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
are applicable to the present case where the nature of the order dismissing
of the Order dated January 2, 20062 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
the cases for bouncing checks against the respondents was [based] on the
Branch 18, Manila in Civil Case No. 05-112452 entitled Anita Cheng v.
failure of the prosecution to identify both the accused (respondents herein)?
Spouses William Sy and Tessie Sy. 10

The antecedents are as follows—


Essentially, petitioner argues that since the BP Blg. 22 cases were filed on
Petitioner Anita Cheng filed two (2) estafa cases before the RTC, Branch 7, January 20, 1999, the 2000 Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure
Manila against respondent spouses William and Tessie Sy (Criminal Case promulgated on December 1, 2000 should not apply, as it must be given only
No. 98-969952 against Tessie Sy and Criminal Case No. 98-969953 against prospective application. She further contends that that her case falls within
William Sy) for issuing to her Philippine Bank of Commerce (PBC) Check the following exceptions to the rule that the civil action correspondent to the
Nos. 171762 and 71860 for P300,000.00 each, in payment of their loan, both criminal action is deemed instituted with the latter—
of which were dishonored upon presentment for having been drawn against
(1) additional evidence as to the identities of the accused is
a closed account.
necessary for the resolution of the civil aspect of the case;
Meanwhile, based on the same facts, petitioner, on January 20, 1999, filed
(2) a separate complaint would be just as efficacious as or even
against respondents two (2) cases for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang
more expedient than a timely remand to the trial court where the
(BP Blg.) 22 before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), Branch 25, Manila
criminal action was decided for further hearings on the civil aspect
(Criminal Case Nos. 341458-59).
of the case;
On March 16, 2004, the RTC, Branch 7, Manila dismissed the estafa cases
(3) the trial court failed to make any pronouncement as to the civil
for failure of the prosecution to prove the elements of the crime. The Order
liability of the accused amounting to a reservation of the right to
dismissing Criminal Case No. 98-969952 contained no declaration as to the
have the civil liability litigated in a separate action;
civil liability of Tessie Sy.3 On the other hand, the Order in Criminal Case No.
98-969953 contained a statement, "Hence, if there is any liability of the (4) the trial court did not declare that the facts from which the civil
accused, the same is purely ‘civil,’ not criminal in nature."4 liability might arise did not exist;
Later, the MeTC, Branch 25, Manila, dismissed, on demurrer, the BP Blg. 22 (5) the civil complaint is based on an obligation ex-contractu and
cases in its Order5 dated February 7, 2005 on account of the failure of not ex-delicto pursuant to Article 3111 of the Civil Code; and
petitioner to identify the accused respondents in open court. The Order also
(6) the claim for civil liability for damages may be had under Article
did not make any pronouncement as to the civil liability of accused
2912 of the Civil Code.
respondents.1avvphi1
Petitioner also points out that she was not assisted by any private prosecutor
On April 26, 2005, petitioner lodged against respondents before the RTC,
in the BP Blg. 22 proceedings.
Branch 18, Manila, a complaint6 for collection of a sum of money with
damages (Civil Case No. 05-112452) based on the same loaned amount The rule is that upon the filing of the estafa and BP Blg. 22 cases against
respondents, where the petitioner has not made any waiver, express

39 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1

reservation to litigate separately, or has not instituted the corresponding civil be considered as the actual damages claimed. Where the complaint or
action to collect the amount of P600,000.00 and damages prior to the information also seeks to recover liquidated, moral, nominal, temperate or
criminal action, the civil action is deemed instituted with the criminal cases.13 exemplary damages, the offended party shall pay the filing fees based on
the amounts alleged therein. If the amounts are not so alleged but any of
This rule applies especially with the advent of the 2000 Revised Rules on
these damages [is] subsequently awarded by the court, the filing fees based
Criminal Procedure. Thus, during the pendency of both the estafa and the
on the amount awarded shall constitute a first lien on the judgment.
BP Blg. 22 cases, the action to recover the civil liability was impliedly
instituted and remained pending before the respective trial courts. This is Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof has not yet
consonant with our ruling in Rodriguez v. Ponferrada14 that the possible commenced, it may be consolidated with the criminal action upon application
single civil liability arising from the act of issuing a bouncing check can be with the court trying the latter case. If the application is granted, the trial of
the subject of both civil actions deemed instituted with the estafa case and both actions shall proceed in accordance with section 2 of this Rule
the prosecution for violation of BP Blg. 22, simultaneously available to the governing consolidation of the civil and criminal actions.
complaining party, without traversing the prohibition against forum shopping.
15 Prior to the judgment in either the estafa case or the BP Blg. 22 case, Petitioner is in error when she insists that the 2000 Rules on Criminal
Procedure should not apply because she filed her BP Blg. 22 complaints in
petitioner, as the complainant, cannot be deemed to have elected either of
1999. It is now settled that rules of procedure apply even to cases already
the civil actions both impliedly instituted in the said criminal proceedings to
pending at the time of their promulgation. The fact that procedural statutes
the exclusion of the other.16
may somehow affect the litigants’ rights does not preclude their retroactive
The dismissal of the estafa cases for failure of the prosecution to prove the application to pending actions. It is axiomatic that the retroactive application
elements of the crime beyond reasonable doubt—where in Criminal Case of procedural laws does not violate any right of a person who may feel that
No. 98-969952 there was no pronouncement as regards the civil liability of he is adversely affected, nor is it constitutionally objectionable. The reason
the accused and in Criminal Case No. 98-969953 where the trial court for this is that, as a general rule, no vested right may attach to, nor arise
declared that the liability of the accused was only civil in nature—produced from, procedural laws.18
the legal effect of a reservation by the petitioner of her right to litigate
Indeed, under the present revised Rules, the criminal action for violation of
separately the civil action impliedly instituted with the estafa cases, following
BP Blg. 22 includes the corresponding civil action to recover the amount of
Article 29 of the Civil Code.17
the checks. It should be stressed, this policy is intended to discourage the
However, although this civil action could have been litigated separately on separate filing of the civil action. In fact, the Rules even prohibits the
account of the dismissal of the estafa cases on reasonable doubt, the reservation of a separate civil action, i.e., one can no longer file a separate
petitioner was deemed to have also elected that such civil action be civil case after the criminal complaint is filed in court. The only instance when
prosecuted together with the BP Blg. 22 cases in light of the Rodriguez v. separate proceedings are allowed is when the civil action is filed ahead of
Ponferrada ruling. the criminal case. Even then, the Rules encourages the consolidation of the
civil and criminal cases. Thus, where petitioner’s rights may be fully
With the dismissal of the BP Blg. 22 cases for failure to establish the identity
adjudicated in the proceedings before the court trying the BP Blg. 22 cases,
of the accused, the question that arises is whether such dismissal would
resort to a separate action to recover civil liability is clearly unwarranted on
have the same legal effect as the dismissed estafa cases. Put differently,
account of res judicata, for failure of petitioner to appeal the civil aspect of
may petitioner’s action to recover respondents’ civil liability be also allowed
the cases. In view of this special rule governing actions for violation of BP
to prosper separately after the BP Blg. 22 cases were dismissed?
Blg. 22, Article 31 of the Civil Code is not applicable.19
Section 1 (b), Rule 111 of the 2000 Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure
Be it remembered that rules governing procedure before the courts, while
states –
not cast in stone, are for the speedy, efficient, and orderly dispensation of
Section 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. – justice and should therefore be adhered to in order to attain this objective.20
xxx However, in applying the procedure discussed above, it appears that
petitioner would be left without a remedy to recover from respondents
(b) The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 shall be
the P600,000.00 allegedly loaned from her. This could prejudice even the
deemed to include the corresponding civil action. No reservation to file such
petitioner’s Notice of Claim involving the same amount filed in Special
civil action separately shall be allowed.
Proceedings No. 98-88390 (Petition for Voluntary Insolvency by Kolin
Upon filing of the joint criminal and civil actions, the offended party shall pay Enterprises, William Sy and Tessie Sy), which case was reportedly archived
in full the filing fees based on the amount of the check involved, which shall for failure to prosecute the petition for an unreasonable length of time.

40 | P a g e
Rule 111 Section 1
21 Expectedly, respondents would raise the same defense that petitioner had the loan be proven true, the inability of petitioner to recover the loaned
already elected to litigate the civil action to recover the amount of the checks amount would be tantamount to unjust enrichment of respondents, as they
along with the BP Blg. 22 cases. may now conveniently evade payment of their obligation merely on account
of a technicality applied against petitioner.
It is in this light that we find petitioner’s contention that she was not assisted
by a private prosecutor during the BP Blg. 22 proceedings critical. Petitioner There is unjust enrichment when (1) a person is unjustly benefited, and (2)
indirectly protests that the public prosecutor failed to protect and prosecute such benefit is derived at the expense of or with damages to another. This
her cause when he failed to have her establish the identities of the accused doctrine simply means that a person shall not be allowed to profit or enrich
during the trial and when he failed to appeal the civil action deemed himself inequitably at another’s expense. One condition for invoking this
impliedly instituted with the BP Blg. 22 cases. On this ground, we agree with principle of unjust enrichment is that the aggrieved party has no other
petitioner. recourse based on contract, quasi-contract, crime, quasi-delict or any other
provision of law.26
Faced with the dismissal of the BP Blg. 22 cases, petitioner’s recourse
pursuant to the prevailing rules of procedure would have been to appeal the Court litigations are primarily designed to search for the truth, and a liberal
civil action to recover the amount loaned to respondents corresponding to interpretation and application of the rules which will give the parties the
the bounced checks. Hence, the said civil action may proceed requiring only fullest opportunity to adduce proof is the best way to ferret out the truth. The
a preponderance of evidence on the part of petitioner. Her failure to appeal dispensation of justice and vindication of legitimate grievances should not be
within the reglementary period was tantamount to a waiver altogether of the barred by technicalities.27 For reasons of substantial justice and equity, as
remedy to recover the civil liability of respondents. However, due to the the complement of the legal jurisdiction that seeks to dispense justice where
gross mistake of the prosecutor in the BP Blg. 22 cases, we are constrained courts of law, through the inflexibility of their rules and want of power to
to digress from this rule. adapt their judgments to the special circumstances of cases, are
incompetent to do so,28 we thus rule, pro hac vice, in favor of petitioner.
It is true that clients are bound by the mistakes, negligence and omission of
their counsel.22 But this rule admits of exceptions – (1) where the counsel’s WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Civil Case No. 05-112452 entitled
mistake is so great and serious that the client is prejudiced and denied his Anita Cheng v. Spouses William Sy and Tessie Sy is hereby ordered
day in court, or (2) where the counsel is guilty of gross negligence resulting REINSTATED. No pronouncement as to costs.
in the client’s deprivation of liberty or property without due process of law.
23 Tested against these guidelines, we hold that petitioner’s lot falls within the SO ORDERED.
exceptions. ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA

Associate Justice
It is an oft-repeated exhortation to counsels to be well-informed of existing
laws and rules and to keep abreast with legal developments, recent
enactments and jurisprudence. Unless they faithfully comply with such duty,
they may not be able to discharge competently and diligently their
obligations as members of the Bar.24 Further, lawyers in the government
service are expected to be more conscientious in the performance of their
duties as they are subject to public scrutiny. They are not only members of
the Bar but are also public servants who owe utmost fidelity to public
service.25 Apparently, the public prosecutor neglected to equip himself with
the knowledge of the proper procedure for BP Blg. 22 cases under the 2000
Rules on Criminal Procedure such that he failed to appeal the civil action
impliedly instituted with the BP Blg. 22 cases, the only remaining remedy
available to petitioner to be able to recover the money she loaned to
respondents, upon the dismissal of the criminal cases on demurrer. By this
failure, petitioner was denied her day in court to prosecute the respondents
for their obligation to pay their loan.
Moreover, we take into consideration the trial court’s observation when it
dismissed the estafa charge in Criminal Case No. 98-969953 that if there
was any liability on the part of respondents, it was civil in nature. Hence, if

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Rule 111 Section 1

CIRCULAR NO. 57-97 September 16, 1997 4. This Circular shall be published in two (2) newspapers
of general circulation and shall take effect on November 1,
TO: COURT OF APPEALS, SANDIGANBAYAN, REGIONAL TRIAL
1997.
COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS,
ALL MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT PROSECUTION SERVICE AND September 16, 1997.
ALL MEMBERS OF THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES
(Sgd.) ANDRES R. NARVASA
SUBJECT: RULES AND GUIDELINES IN THE FILING AND
Chief Justice

PROSECUTION OF CRIMINAL CASES UNDER BATAS PAMBANSA BLG.
22.
Any provision of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the
following rules and guidelines shall henceforth be observed in the filing and
prosecution of all criminal cases under Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 which
penalizes the making or drawing and issuance of a check without funds or
credit:
1. The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg.
22 shall be deemed to necessarily include the
corresponding civil, and no reservation to file such civil
action separately shall be allowed or recognized.
2. Upon the filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and civil
actions, the offended party shall pay in full the filing fees
based upon the amount of the check involved, which shall
be considered as the actual damages claimed, in
accordance with the schedule of filing fees based upon the
amount of the check involved, which shall be considered
as the actual damages claimed, in accordance with the
schedule of filing fees in Section 7 (a) and Section 8 (a),
Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, as last amended by
Administrative Circular No. 11-94 effective August 1, 1994.
Where the offended party further seeks to enforce against
the accused civil liability by way of liquidated, moral,
nominal, temperate or exemplary damages, he shall pay
the corresponding filing fees therefore based on the
amounts any of these damages are subsequently awarded
by the court, the amount of such fees shall constitute a
first lien on the judgment.
3. Where the civil action has heretofore been filed
separately and trial thereof has not yet commenced, it may
be consolidated with the criminal action upon application
with the court trying the latter case. If the application is
granted, the trial of both actions shall proceed in
accordance with the pertinent procedure outlined in
Section 2(a) of Rule 111 governing the proceedings in the
actions as thus consolidated.

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