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R. No.

168617 February 19, 2007 ordering the filing of two separate Informations for Estafa Thru
Falsification of Commercial Document by a Private Individual, under Article
BERNADETTE L. ADASA, petitioner, 315 in relation to Articles 171 and 172 of the Revised Penal Code, as
vs. amended.
CECILLE S. ABALOS, Respondent.
Consequently, two separate criminal cases were filed against petitioner
DECISION docketed as Criminal Cases No. 8781 and No. 8782, raffled to Branches 4
and 5, Regional Trial Court of Iligan City, respectively.
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
This instant petition pertains only to Criminal Case No. 8782.
This Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, filed by
petitioner Bernadette L. Adasa, seeks to nullify and set aside the 21 July On 8 June 2001, upon motion of the petitioner, the trial court in Criminal
2004 Decision1 and 10 June 2005 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals in CA- Case No. 8782 issued an order directing the Office of the City Prosecutor of
G.R. SP No. 76396 which nullified the Resolutions of the Department of Iligan City to conduct a reinvestigation.
Justice (DOJ). The Resolutions of the DOJ reversed and set aside the
Resolution of the Office of the City Prosecutor of Iligan City, which found After conducting the reinvestigation, the Office of the City Prosecutor of
on reinvestigation probable cause against petitioner, and directed the Iligan City issued a resolution dated 30 August 2001, affirming the finding
Office of the City Prosecutor of Iligan City to withdraw the information for of probable cause against petitioner.
Estafa against petitioner.
Meanwhile, during her arraignment on 1 October 2001 in Criminal Case
The instant case emanated from the two complaints-affidavits filed by No. 8782, petitioner entered an unconditional plea of not guilty.3
respondent Cecille S. Abalos on 18 January 2001 before the Office of the
City Prosecutor of Iligan City, against petitioner for Estafa. Dissatisfied with the finding of the Office of the City Prosecutor of Iligan
City, petitioner filed a Petition for Review before the DOJ on 15 October
Respondent alleged in the complaints-affidavits that petitioner, through 2001.
deceit, received and encashed two checks issued in the name of
respondent without respondent’s knowledge and consent and that despite In a Resolution dated 11 July 2002, the DOJ reversed and set aside the 30
repeated demands by the latter, petitioner failed and refused to pay the August 2001 resolution of the Office of the City Prosecutor of Iligan City
proceeds of the checks. and directed the said office to withdraw the Information for Estafa against
petitioner.
On 23 March 2001, petitioner filed a counter-affidavit admitting that she
received and encashed the two checks issued in favor of respondent. The said DOJ resolution prompted the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Iligan City to file a "Motion to Withdraw Information" on 25 July 2002.
In her Supplemental Affidavit filed on 29 March 2001, petitioner, however,
recanted and alleged instead that it was a certain Bebie Correa who On 26 July 2002, respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of said
received the two checks which are the subject matter of the complaints resolution of the DOJ arguing that the DOJ should have dismissed outright
and encashed the same; and that said Bebie Correa left the country after the petition for review since Section 7 of DOJ Circular No. 70 mandates
misappropriating the proceeds of the checks. that when an accused has already been arraigned and the aggrieved party
files a petition for review before the DOJ, the Secretary of Justice cannot,
On 25 April 2001, a resolution was issued by the Office of the City and should not take cognizance of the petition, or even give due course
Prosecutor of Iligan City finding probable cause against petitioner and thereto, but instead deny it outright. Respondent claimed Section 12

thereof mentions arraignment as one of the grounds for the dismissal of petitioner was arraigned before she filed the petition for review with the
the petition for review before the DOJ. DOJ, it was imperative for the DOJ to dismiss such petition. It added that
when petitioner pleaded to the charge, she was deemed to have waived
In a resolution dated 30 January 2003, the DOJ denied the Motion for her right to reinvestigation and right to question any irregularity that
Reconsideration opining that under Section 12, in relation to Section 7, of surrounds it.
DOJ Circular No. 70, the Secretary of Justice is not precluded from
entertaining any appeal taken to him even where the accused has already Anent the second issue, the Court of Appeals declared that the existence
been arraigned in court. This is due to the permissive language "may" of probable cause or the lack of it, cannot be dealt with by it since factual
utilized in Section 12 whereby the Secretary has the discretion to entertain issues are not proper subjects of a Petition for Certiorari.
an appealed resolution notwithstanding the fact that the accused has been
arraigned. In disposing of the last issue, the Court of Appeals held that the order of
the trial court dismissing the subject criminal case pursuant to the assailed
Meanwhile, on 27 February 2003, the trial court issued an order granting resolutions of the DOJ did not render the petition moot and academic. It
petitioner’s "Motion to Withdraw Information" and dismissing Criminal said that since the trial court’s order relied solely on the resolutions of the
Case No. 8782. No action was taken by respondent or any party of the case DOJ, said order is void as it violated the rule which enjoins the trial court to
from the said order of dismissal. assess the evidence presented before it in a motion to dismiss and not to
rely solely on the prosecutor’s averment that the Secretary of Justice had
Aggrieved by the resolution of the DOJ, respondent filed a Petition for recommended the dismissal of the case.
Certiorari before the Court of Appeals. Respondent raised the following
issues before the appellate court: Dissatisfied by the Court of Appeals’ ruling, petitioner filed a Motion for
Reconsideration setting forth the following grounds:
1. Whether or not the Department of Justice gravely abused its
discretion in giving due course to petitioner’s petition for review 1. that the over-all language of Sections 7 and 12 of Department
despite its having been filed after the latter had already been Circular No. 70 is permissive and directory such that the Secretary
arraigned; of Justice may entertain an appeal despite the fact that the
accused had been arraigned;
2. Whether or not there is probable cause that the crime of estafa
has been committed and that petitioner is probably guilty thereof; 2. that the contemporaneous construction by the Secretary of
Justice should be given great weight and respect;
3. Whether or not the petition before the Court of Appeals has
been rendered moot and academic by the order of the Regional 3. that Section 7 of the Circular applies only to resolutions
Trial Court dismissing Criminal Case No. 8782. rendered pursuant to a preliminary investigation, not on a
reinvestigation;
The Court of Appeals in a Decision dated 21 July 2004 granted
respondent’s petition and reversed the Resolutions of the DOJ dated 11 4. that the trial court’s order of dismissal of the criminal case has
July 2002 and 30 January 2003. rendered the instant petition moot and academic;

In resolving the first issue, the Court of Appeals, relying heavily on Section 5. that her arraignment was null and void it being conducted
7 of DOJ Circular No. 70 which states "[i]f an information has been filed in despite her protestations; and
court pursuant to the appealed resolution, the petition shall not be given
due course if the accused had already been arraigned," ruled that since

6. that despite her being arraigned, the supposed waiver of her meant that when an accused was already arraigned when the aggrieved
right to preliminary investigation has been nullified or recalled by party files a petition for review, the Secretary of Justice cannot, and should
virtue of the trial court’s order of reinvestigation.4 not take cognizance of the petition, or even give due course thereto, but
instead dismiss or deny it outright. The appellate court added that the
The Court of Appeals stood firm by its decision. This time, however, it tried word "may" in Section 12 should be read as "shall" or "must" since such
to construe Section 7 side by side with Section 12 of DOJ Circular No. 70 construction is absolutely necessary to give effect to the apparent
and attempted to reconcile these two provisions. According to the intention of the rule as gathered from the context.
appellate court, the phrase "shall not" in paragraph two, first sentence of
Section 7 of subject circular, to wit: As to the contemporaneous construction of the Secretary of Justice, the
Court of Appeals stated that the same should not be given weight since it
If an information has been filed in court pursuant to the appealed was erroneous.
resolution, the petition shall not be given due course if the accused had
already been arraigned. x x x. (Emphasis supplied.) Anent petitioner’s argument that Section 7 of the questioned circular
applies only to original resolutions that brought about the filing of the
employed in the circular denotes a positive prohibition. Applying the corresponding informations in court, but not to resolutions rendered
principle in statutory construction - that when a statute or provision pursuant to a motion for reinvestigation, the appellate court simply
contains words of positive prohibition, such as "shall not," "cannot," or brushed aside such contention as having no basis in the circular
"ought not" or which is couched in negative terms importing that the act questioned.
shall not be done otherwise than designated, that statute or provision is
mandatory, thus rendering the provision mandatory – it opined that the It also rejected petitioner’s protestation that her arraignment was forced
subject provision simply means that the Secretary of Justice has no other upon her since she failed to present any evidence to substantiate the
course of action but to deny or dismiss a petition before him when same.
arraignment of an accused had already taken place prior to the filing of the
petition for review. It is petitioner’s contention that despite her being arraigned, the supposed
waiver of her right to preliminary investigation has been nullified by virtue
On the other hand, reading Section 12 of the same circular which reads: of the trial court’s order or reinvestigation. On this score, the Court of
Appeals rebuffed such argument stating that there was no "supposed
The Secretary may reverse, affirm or modify the appealed resolution. He waiver of preliminary investigation" to speak of for the reason that
may, motu proprio or upon motion, dismiss the petition for review on any petitioner had actually undergone preliminary investigation.
of the following grounds:
Petitioner remained unconvinced with the explanations of the Court of
xxxx Appeals.

(e) That the accused had already been arraigned when the appeal was Hence, the instant petition.
taken; x x x.
Again, petitioner contends that the DOJ can give due course to an appeal
the Court of Appeals opined that the permissive word "may" in Section 12 or petition for review despite its having been filed after the accused had
would seem to imply that the Secretary of Justice has discretion to already been arraigned. It asserts that the fact of arraignment of an
entertain an appeal notwithstanding the fact that the accused has been accused before the filing of an appeal or petition for review before the DOJ
arraigned. This provision should not be treated separately, but should be "is not at all relevant" as the DOJ can still take cognizance of the appeal or
read in relation to Section 7. The two provisions, taken together, simply Petition for Review before it. In support of this contention, petitioner set
her sights on the ruling of this Court in Crespo v. Mogul,5 to wit:

the rule that the contemporaneous construction of a statute or regulation by the officers Nothing in the said ruling forecloses the power or authority of the who enforce it should be given weight. interpretation need not be resorted to. A motion to dismiss the reviewing the records of investigation and giving instructions for the filing case filed by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who has the of a motion to dismiss in the cited ruling does not take into consideration option to grant or deny the same. no The Court is unconvinced. x x x. Significantly. the . Although the fiscal retains the direction and control of the duty and jurisdiction of the trial court to determine for itself whether or prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is already in Court he not to dismiss a case before it. is that when a statute or rule is clear and file after the Secretary of Justice reverses an appealed resolution. resort to interpretation is necessary. As in Crespo v. in this case. the subject circular clearly and categorically directs the DOJ to dismiss outright an appeal or a petition for review filed after arraignment. neither Roberts v. Second. the rule that the provision that appears last in the order declared: of position in the rule or regulation must prevail. Court of Appeals7 where this Court construction. complaint or information has already been filed in Court. In addition after arraignment. petitioner cites Roberts v. an In any case. "as far as practicable. practicable from entertaining a petition for review or appeal from the action of the prosecutor once a complaint or information is filed in court.) Moreover. the accused in criminal case from an unfavorable ruling of the investigating prosecutor. Court of Appeals and Marcelo v. refrain from entertaining yet been arraigned when the appeal or petition for review was filed before a petition for review or appeal from the action of the fiscal. Court of stated: Appeals and Marcelo v. To bolster her position. 6 which Also unavailing is petitioner’s invocation of the cases of Roberts v. Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals had not merely advised the DOJ to. the pronouncement therein has to do with the to the fact that Section 7 of DOJ Circular No. The determination of the case and upon whose instructions. The Secretary of Justice is only enjoined to refrain as far as construed as a permissive. the emphasized portion in the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Crespo ruling is a parcel of the entire paragraph which relates to the the Court. the grant of a motion to dismiss. Just like in the Crespo case. The Court is the best and sole play regardless of whether such motion is filed before or after arraignment judge on what to do with the case before it. A cursory reading of Crespo v. As correctly pointed out by respondent. The allusion to the Secretary of Justice as is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. It does not matter if this is done before of whether the appeal or petition before the Secretary of Justice was filed or after the arraignment of the accused or that the motion was filed after a after arraignment. by an accused in a was filed after arraignment. Court of Appeals nor Marcelo v. petitioner lifted a portion Secretary of Justice to review resolutions of his subordinates in criminal from Agpalo’s Statutory Construction8 where the word "shall" had been cases. petitioner’s reliance on the said case is misplaced. Verily. by way of a petition for review. Mogul which bars the DOJ from taking account of whether the appeal or petition before the Secretary of Justice cognizance of an appeal. is subject unambiguous. when the the DOJ. The all too-familiar rule in statutory construction. which the prosecution may administrative rule9 of procedure. petitioner asserts that the Court of Appeals’ interpretation of the provisions of DOJ Circular No. 70 violated three basic rules in statutory Petitioner likewise invokes Marcelo v. (Emphasis supplied. (Emphasis supplied. and which states that such duty comes into cannot impose his opinion on the trial court. Court of Appeals. and not a mandatory language. It both Roberts v. in the Crespo case. 70 needs no construction. Undoubtedly. Mogul reveals that the ruling therein does Petitioner’s reliance to the statutory principle that "the last in order of not concern the issue of an appeal or petition for review before the DOJ position in the rule or regulation must prevail" is not applicable.) the DOJ.The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or filing of a motion to dismiss and the court’s discretion to deny or grant the information is filed in Court any disposition of the case as to its dismissal or same. Third.10 Since Section 7 of to the discretion of the court. Court of Appeals took into There is nothing in Crespo vs. Mogul. the accused had not reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who yet been arraigned when the appeal or petition for review was filed before reviewed the records of the investigation. First.

if it was filed after the acccused has already been arraigned. (d) That the appealed resolution is interlocutory in nature. the On the other hand. manifestly intended for delay.) for its dismissal. affirm the appealed resolution. depending on the circumstances and incidents attendant thereto. there is no irreconcilable conflict between Section 7 and Section of the other. motu proprio or upon section.cited principle cannot apply because. Section 3 hereof. i. and the appeal or petition for review due course and must dismiss the same. affirm Section 12 applies generally to the disposition of an appeal. Section 7 of the circular provides: contradictory nor irreconcilable with Section 12. manifestly intended made after the filing of the petition shall not bar the Secretary of Justice to delay. 70. or filed after an accused has already been arraigned. provided for in Section 12 and. consequently. dismiss the appeal altogether. Therefore." In the instant case. in such instance. to find application. dismiss the petition for review on any of the following grounds: namely: (a) That the petition was filed beyond the period prescribed in 1. This is bolstered by the fact that arraignment of the accused prior to the (g) That other legal or factual grounds exist to warrant a dismissal. He may. Any arraignment petition for review that is either clearly without merit. the petition shall not be given situation on what the DOJ must do when confronted with an appeal or a due course if the accused had already been arraigned. (b) That the procedure or any of the requirements herein provided has not been complied with. the grounds are of a prejudicial question. the DOJ must not give (f) That the offense has already prescribed. SECTION 7. Disposition of the Appeal. filing of the appeal or petition for review is set forth as one of the grounds (Emphases supplied.e. Thus. or. the DOJ may take any of four actions when disposing an appeal. the DOJ. Section 7 is neither 12 of DOJ Circular No. he may from exercising his power of review.) dismiss it outright if it is patently without merit or manifestly intended to delay. Under said or modify the appealed resolution. 4. must go back to Section It is noteworthy that the principle cited by petitioner reveals that. Section 7 pertains to the action on the petition that the DOJ must take. noting that the arraignment of an accused prior to the filing of an appeal or petition for review is a ground for dismissal under Section 12. 2. Section 12 of the same circular states: Secretary shall not give it due course. however.. modify the appealed resolution. as correctly observed by the Court of reconciled or harmonized with another part without nullifying one in favor Appeals. Section 7 specifically applies to a court pursuant to the appealed resolution. – The Secretary may reverse. Action on the petition. 3. was taken. motion. SECTION 12. As can be seen above. or when the issues raised therein are too unsubstantial to require consideration. – The Secretary of Justice may dismiss while Section 12 enumerates the options the DOJ has with regard to the the petition outright if he finds the same to be patently without merit or disposition of a petition for review or of an appeal. the DOJ must evaluate the pertinent circumstances and the facts of the case in order to determine (e) That the accused had already been arraigned when the appeal which ground or grounds shall apply. when an accused has already been arraigned. (c) That there is no showing of any reversible error. If an information has been filed in As aptly observed by respondent. (Italics supplied. the same presupposes that "one part of the statute cannot be . except when it suspends the proceedings based on the alleged existence As to the dismissal of a petition for review or an appeal. reverse the appealed resolution.

accept at a discount because of the Resolutions of the DOJ after it had. where the construction is clearly erroneous. petitioner contends that the transformed into a matter within the discretion of the DOJ. however. said order was likewise void. nugatory. Hence. petitioner cites a portion of Agpalo’s Statutory Construction which the arraignment of the accused prior to its filing. For then. For instance. As aptly ratiocinated by the Court of Appeals: availability of funds" and "upon such violation being proved. upon such violation being proved. the DOJ must not give "shall." No such proviso/condition. it becomes apparent that construction. despite stance. such as when reason to the contrary exists. the DOJ is not precluded from entertaining appeals the same is not applicable to the provision in question. i. and must necessarily dismiss.11 only subvert the avowed objectives of the Circular."12 Likewise.e. To support this issue as to whether the DOJ rightfully entertained the instant case. for the expeditious and efficient administration of justice. the action of the Secretary of Justice the error may be corrected when the true construction is ascertained. or where the crime the accused is statute a different interpretation. In the cited where the accused had already been arraigned. because it exercises passage. and because it promulgated itself the circular in because it was connected to certain provisos/conditions: "subject to the question. Such principle should be as it is applied in the Section 12 in relation to its paragraph (e) a directory application would not case at bar. As the order of dismissal of the trial court was made provision to the effect that a corporation violating the corporation law pursuant to the void Resolutions of the DOJ. the Resolutions of phrase "subject to availability of funds. being charged with has already prescribed. took cognizance of the petition for review filed by petitioner. or that there are legal or factual grounds If through misapprehension of law or a rule an executive or administrative warranting dismissal. if the intent of Department Circular No. the Court of Appeals’ disquisition in this matter is latter’s construction of such rules and regulations. the appeal. the same must only allow a great waste of time. the word "shall" departed from its mandatory import connotation discretionary power. If a of giving due course to the petition would serve no purpose and would contemporaneous construction is found to be erroneous. or there is no reversible error that has been committed. the word "shall" in the the DOJ are void. be dissolved by quo warranto due course to. The rule in this jurisdiction is that a void judgment is a complete nullity and . Moreover. irrational and even unjust. the result would not only be incongruous but also officer called upon to implement it has erroneously applied or executed it. petitioner’s reliance on the principle of contemporary After a judicious scrutiny of the cited passage." Similarly. That does not. enlightening: make such a construction necessarily controlling or binding. and where the court has previously given the the accused has already been arraigned. It is petitioner’s view that the language of Section 12 is permissive and therefore the mandate in Section 7 has been In her steadfast effort to champion her case. subject to availability of funds xxx. meaning because of the Having been rendered in grave abuse of its discretion. 5. proceedings" has been construed as "may.7 and act upon as mandated therein. but a discretionary.Sections 3. For equally settled is the rule that courts may disregard contemporaneous Indeed. in grave abuse of its at not more than two per centum for ten years such (backpay) certificate" discretion. that is.. however. construction by the officers charged with the enforcement of the rules and regulations it promulgated is entitled to great weight by the court in the At this juncture. has been rendered moot reads: and academic with the order of dismissal by the trial court dated 27 February 2003. where strong petition for review despite its being outrightly dismissible. but would also render Petitioner’s posture on a supposed exception to the mandatory import of its other mandatory provisions . can be found in Section 7 of the subject True indeed is the principle that a contemporaneous interpretation or circular. the word "shall" in Section 2 of Republic Act 304 which states that "banks or other financial institutions owned or controlled by the It must be stressed that the trial court dismissed the case precisely Government shall. 6 and 7. In other words. the word "shall" retains its mandatory import. 70 were to give the construction in instances where the law or rule construed possesses no Secretary of Justice a discretionary power to dismiss or to entertain a ambiguity.13 the word "shall" is misplaced. to give the second sentence of be declared null and void. implies not a mandatory. is unpersuasive. Such contention deserves scant consideration.

188706 same provision to limit its application to appeals from original resolutions Appellee. 70 applies only WHEREFORE.20 Petitioner further asserts that Section 7 of DOJ Circular No.R. while there is authority19 permitting the Court to make its own On appeal is the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision [1] dated August determination of probable cause. . JJ. In this case. a petition for review on certiorari since this respondent did not file a motion for reconsideration or appeal from the Court is not a trier of facts. Chairperson. J. No. SP No.versus . The Decision of the Court of Appeals to appeals from original resolution of the City Prosecutor and does not dated 21 July 2004 and its Resolution dated 10 June 2005 in CA-G. Abudiente and Atty. 14 That raised in. the rule stating that Present: "when the law does not distinguish. applicable in the instant case. improvidently conducted. right to question any irregularity that surrounds it. Costs against petitioner. she effectively waived the reinvestigation of the case by the prosecutor as well as the right to appeal the result thereof to the DOJ Secretary. the settled rule is that when an accused pleads to the charge. affirming the Regional Trial Court[2] (RTC) Decision[3]dated June 9. such. G. Petitioner asserts that her arraignment was null and void as the same was VELASCO. with the arraignment of the petitioner. however. Maglinao when she pleaded to the charge. we must not distinguish"15 finds application in this regard. 2010 applicable in cases of reinvestigation as well as in cases of review of such reinvestigation. Hence. condition PERALTA. CORONA. Thus. NACHURA. finding appellant Oscar Documento guilty beyond reasonable doubt petitioner constitutes a waiver of her right to preliminary investigation or of two (2) counts of Rape. only questions of law may be are themselves regarded as invalid and ineffective for any purpose. apply in the instant case where an appeal is interposed by petitioner from 76396 are AFFIRMED. This being the case. there was nothing for respondent to oppose.without legal effect.net SO ORDERED. and that all proceedings or actions founded thereon Besides.1avvphi1. 2008. the petition is DENIED. when petitioner unconditionally pleaded to x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x the charge. cannot be made 13. and not to resolutions on reinvestigation. J. this contention is without merit. this Court cannot review dismissal order of the trial court is of no moment. Promulgated: he is deemed to have waived the right to preliminary investigation and the OSCAR M. Such waiver is tantamount to a finding of probable cause. 18 This precept is also Appellant. the absence or presence of probable cause. 17 Moreover. and or reservation. This claim is baseless. the Resolution of the City Prosecutor denying her motion for reinvestigation. Records .R. and be subject of. Again. For this reason. A reading of Section 7 discloses that there is no qualification given by the OPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. March 17. Since the dismissal was the evidence adduced by the parties before the prosecutor on the issue of void.16 In fact she was assisted by her counsels Atty. there is no need for the Court to determine the existence or non-existence of probable cause. under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.: Lastly. JR. As earlier stated.. reinvestigation.. NACHURA. the arraignment of 2003. the DOJ Secretary RESOLUTION can no longer entertain the appeal or petition for review because petitioner had already waived or abandoned the same. reveal that petitioner’s arraignment was without any restriction. Arthur MENDOZA. DOCUMENTO.

against her will and consent. went to Barsilisa and asked for help in locating Oscar and AAA. with ease Johann A. 335 of the Revised Penal C/L – with in normal limits. the above-named 5. Hugo testified on the genital examination he conducted on accused with the use of force and intimidation. 4. Healed vaginal charges. Documento raped AAA on a number of occasions in the houses CRIMINAL CASE NO. both located in Butuan City. who was working in Manila from 1994 accused with the use of force and intimidation. 2. AAA became pregnant separate Informations. 1996 at Ochoa physically. and there willfully. During each incident. which read: and gave birth in 1993. she suspected that Documento was the culprit. unlawfully and feloniously have carnal findings: knowledge with his daughter AAA. When BBB found out from their relatives that AAA got pregnant and gave birth. CONTRARY TO LAW: (Art. Physical exam: HEENT – with in normal limits. Antongalon. AAA informed the police that That sometime on October 15. 1. As such. AAA. a minor. Agusandel Norte. Butuan City. Documento started sexually molesting his daughter. Subsequently. did then to 1996. her mother.[4] CVB – with in normal limits. 7659). Documento left CCC in Tubod and brought AAA with him to Santiago. he changed his earlier plea to one of guilt. 16 years of age. AAA. did then AAA. she went to the CRIMINAL CASE NO. Eventually. knowledge with his daughter AAA. and affirmed the medical certificate he issued with the following and there willfully. Hymen with pemnants “caruncula multiforma” . Upon learning that Documento and AAA were in Butuan City. the above-named 3. the RTC Genitalia . ABD – Soft. Documento’s relative. Vaginal introitus. 16 years of 1994. age. BBB. and Dr. admits Thereafter. however. Butuan City. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 1995 at Barangay Documento raped her. for a vacation. unlawfully and feloniously have carnal BBB testified that she had not seen nor heard from the two since April 7. As soon as Documento was arrested.A. Philippines. Avenue. Thereafter. Parrous ordered a re-arraignment and entered appellant’s plea of guilt to the . AAA’s mother. Their testimonies established the following: . BBB. against her will and consent. a minor. NABS GU – (-) KPS Upon arraignment. in 1989 when she was ten (10) years old. when Documento brought their daughters AAA and CCC to Tubod. Documento pled not guilty. Dr. Documento was charged before the RTC with two (2) counts of Rape. 6899 of Barsilisa Morada. Code in relation to R.A. 335 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to R. in as defined and punished under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. Documento hit and hurt AAA That sometime on April 22. laceration . 7659). Philippines. CONTRARY TO LAW: (Art. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Hugo. 6900 Butuan Police Station and requested assistance in securing custody of AAA. and Aida Documento. the prosecution presented evidence consisting of the 2 finger[s] testimonies of private complainant herself. He likewise threatened to kill her if she told anyone of the rape. Lanao del Norte.

We was remanded to the CA.00 as civil indemnity and P25. He further alleged that the incident did not happen WHEREFORE. AAA.00 The RTC rendered judgment convicting Documento of both counts of as exemplary damages. Let the records of these cases be forwarded THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FAILING TO immediately to the Supreme Court for mandatory CONDUCT A SEARCHING INQUIRY INTO THE review. Labs. but in Clarin. 6900. Salise convinced him to do so. affirm the CA.00 as exemplary damages. this appeal. the CA affirmed the RTC’s conviction.000.000. they had a consensual. but Spermatozoa. He toreclusion perpetua.000. to wit: MODIFICATION that the award of moral damages is increased to P75.00 as civil indemnity.[6] PLEA. as a consequence of the foregoing. Muntinlupa. Misamis Occidental. . and increased the award of moral damages asseverated that he pled guilty to the crime of Rape only because from P50.000. Documento contended Decision reads: that he did not rape AAA. is AFFIRMED with the Rape. assigning the following errors: 2. appellant this Court finds accused Oscar M.[9] Consistent with our ruling in People v. sexual relationship.Criminal Case No. Documento from Butuan City Jail to the Bureau of Corrections. for each count of rape in accordance with CASE WITHOUT FIRST RESOLVING ITS TERRITORIAL recent jurisprudence. of accused Oscar M. Documento GUILTY Oscar Documento is hereby sentenced to suffer the beyond reasonable doubt of the two (2) counts of rape penalty of reclusion perpetua for each count of rape and correspondingly sentences him: without possibility of parole. but with modification.000. THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN DECIDING THE respectively. 1. to the contrary. appellant Oscar Documento guilty beyond reasonable examination. Documento disowned the handwritten letters he had doubt of two counts of the crime of rape and ordering supposedly written to his wife and to AAA. Finally. Hence. and that. Vaginal Smear. in the I amount of P75.00 as moral damages and P25. asking for their forgiveness.00 for each count of rape and that WHEREFORE. VOLUNTARINESS AND FULL COMPREHENSION BY ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS SO ORDERED.00 to P75. To indemnify the victim. The fallo of the Prosecutor Hector B.000. him to indemnify the victim for each count of rape the amounts of P75. on cross.[7] Documento’s appeal We find no cogent reason to disturb Documento’s conviction. P50.000. Mateo. Negative for Ruling on the appeal. the assailed Decision finding in Butuan City. II.[8] the two (2) rape cases filed against him . 6899 and Criminal Case No.Metro Manila. To suffer the penalty of DEATH in each of SO ORDERED.000. in lieu of the death penalty. JURISDICTION OVER THE CRIME CHARGED AS THE PROSECUTION FAILED TO ESTABLISH THAT THE TWO (2) Let a Commitment Order be issued for the transfer COUNTS OF RAPE WERE PERPETRATED INBUTUAN CITY.[5] changed the penalty imposed on Documento from death penalty Documento testified as the sole witness for the defense.00 for each count of Rape.

clearly state that the crimes charged against after appellant’s re-arraignment and guilty plea. Nothing in the records of the case at bench shows that the trial court complied with the guidelines Third. the the trial court. Salise. executive and judicial [in] Barangay Antongalon. Butuan City on April 22. the law of A : Yes. respectively. 1996 and the geographical divisions. when mandatory. Q : Right after you arrived territorial extent of states. Judicial notice. crime. 1996 of Documento avers that his conviction for Rape must be reversed Hector B. Fourth. states because the trial court did not properly conduct a searching inquiry on the that: voluntariness and full comprehension of his plea of guilt. On the issue of the trial court’s territorial jurisdiction over the Avenue. Second. Butuan departments of the Philippines. First. The appellant were perpetrated questions propounded to appellant during the direct and in Barangay Antongalonand Ochoa . Section 1 of Rule 129 of the Revised Rules incidents in the present cases transpired in Barangay Antongalon and on on Evidence provides – Ochoa Avenue. The inclusion of the two Barangays in the the CA pointed to specific parts of the records which show that. forms of government molest you or rape you? and symbols of nationality. Butuan City. 1995 and April 22. and the last happened in the laws of nature. The Resolution dated May 3. it still of rape that took place found the conviction of appellant proper. Butuan City on onDocumento’s plea of guilt is in point. both in Butuan City. without the introduction of evidence. The two (2) Informations dated May 8. SECTION 1. Contrary to the insistence of Documento that the prosecution failed to establish that the two (2) counts of Rape were perpetrated in ButuanCity. sir. the City. evening of April 22. There were many places they We disagree. – A court shall take 1996 answered the prosecutor’s question in this wise: judicial notice. of the existence and 15. 1995 and [on]Ochoa Avenue. their [in] Butuan City. we completely agree with the appellate court’s ruling thereon. the Q : When was that? political constitution and history of the A : From the month of October 15. Philippines. Its disquisition [in] Antongalon. 1996. Nonetheless. [set forth by the Supreme Court in a number of cases] 1996. did your father political history. October 15. although City of Butuan is a matter of mandatory judicial notice by AAA did not specifically mention “Butuan City” in her testimony. Second Assistant City Prosecutor. the official acts of the 1995 when we stayed legislative. the measure of time. nations. Butuan City on October 15. 1996. the admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals. stayed and several sexual intercourse that took place which this office has no It is true that the appellate court noted the trial court’s failure to jurisdiction to conduct preliminary conduct the prescribed “searching inquiry” into the matter of whether or investigation but only on the incidents not Documento’s plea of guilt was improvidently made.[10] [on] Ochoa Avenue. AAA in her Sworn Statement dated April 24.

premises considered. that the case should be remanded to the trial court. J. for brevity) against fifty three persons (53)1 including Virata.empty accusations appellant’s guilty plea. being a single dated August 13. but hear me first! We have come a long way. however. vs.00.R.[11] xxxx On the whole.Respondents. we increase the award from P25. With the trial court’s failure to comply with the G. other respects. because then it is predicated versus Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez. 1997] guidelines. the judgment must be defendants in Civil Case No.” Moreover. petitioner Cesar E. A. we are not have had its day.R.: Notwithstanding the incautiousness that attended In times past. the death penalty. CESAR E. May 27.. for in our time one who is required to answer for an alleged wrong must at Convictions based on an improvident least know what is it all about. This course of action is DECISION appropriate only when the appellant’s guilty plea was the sole basis for his conviction. which is death as he might have erroneously believed that WHEREFORE. we find that the appellate court committed no The questions propounded were clearly not reversible error in affirming the trial court’s ruling convicting Documento. plea of guilt are set aside only if such plea is the sole basis of the judgment. al. No. A. would not affect or reduce the imposable penalty. Virata (Virata. 114331. “the damages. This does not mean. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN and THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. compliant with the guidelines set forth by the High Court. court as suggested by appellant. CR–HC No. involves the recovery of ill-gotten wealth . 2008 in CA-G. Mira.cross-examination likewise fall short of these his commission of the offense requirements. VIRATA. a sage was heard to say - inclined to remand the case to the trial Strike me if you must. In a more enlightened age. on the matter of the appellate court’s award of exemplary of his guilty plea. which was filed by not merely on the guilty plea of the the Presidential Commission on Good Government in behalf of the accused but also on evidence proving Republic of the Philippines (Republic. for brevity) is one of the accused guilty. entitled Republic of the Philippines sustained.000. appellant’s guilty plea is deemed improvidently made and thus rendered inefficacious.000. The case. In fact. JR.00 to P30. 0035. As held in People v. the trial court judge failed to inform appellant of his right to adduce evidence despite the guilty plea. If This is the case before Us. when due process was more of a myth . shall be applied by the court the MODIFICATION that the award of exemplary damages is hereby regardless of any mitigating circumstances that might increased from P25.Petitioner.00 to P30. 00285 isAFFIRMED with indivisible penalty. x x x.000. The appellant was not fully apprised of the consequences Lastly. et..000. the Court of Appeals Decision under Article 63.00 in line trial court should have informed him that his plea of guilt with prevailing jurisprudence. the trial court relied on sufficient and credible evidence in finding the In this case. charged. - TORRES. The Decision is affirmed in all have attended the commission of the deed. SO ORDERED. indeed. as argued by appellant.

states. Mantecon and Kurt S. Marcos and Imelda R. A. Virata. orders and/or policies prejudicial to plaintiff. by reducing the electric Romualdez in order (to) conceal and prevent recovery of assets franchise tax from 5% to 2% of gross receipts and the tariff duty on fuel oil illegally obtained: xxx Cesar E. the following (m) manipulated. purpose of making it assume the obligation of Erectors Incorporated with Philguarantee in the amount of P527. Mario D. flagrant breach of public trust and fiduciary obligations. the formation of Erectors Holdings. Virata and the senior managers of FMMC/PNI Holdings Incorporated led by Jose S. Marcos and his cabinet of the so-called Three-Year Program for the Asserting that the foregoing allegations are vague and are not averred with Extension of MERALCOs Services to Areas Within the 60-Kilometer Radius sufficient definiteness as to enable him to effectively prepare his . without infusing additional capital solely for the xxx. or (ii) to be (b) gave MERALCO undue advantage (i) by effecting the increase of power incorporators. Inc. influence and connection with the latter Defendant spouses. Jose C. violation of the Constitution and laws of the electric cooperatives. Bachman. SPECIFIC AVERMENTS OF DEFENDANTS ILLEGAL ACTS Jose M. so-called purchase and currency adjustment. hereafter known as the expanded Second Amended Complaint. brazen abuse of right (g) secured. Remulla. The complaint against the defendants was amended three times. acquisition of unexplained wealth. 18. The last xxx amended complaint filed with the Sandiganbayan. among others. Sandejas. nominees and/or agents by allowing themselves (i) to be used as instruments in xxx accumulating ill-gotten wealth through government concessions. resulting in substantial savings for MERALCO but without any significant benefit to the consumers of xxx electric power and loss of millions of pesos in much needed revenues to the government. to the grave and irreparable Cesar E. Hernandez. Jr. schemes and xxx strategems to unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of plaintiff and the Filipino people. V.440. directors or members of corporations beneficially held rates with automatic authority to tack into the consumers electric bills the and/or controlled by Defendants Ferdinand E. Jr. Defendants Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez and Juliette Gomez securities/collaterals just to enable Erectors Inc. Benjamin (Kokoy) T. to appear viable and to Romualdez. A. among others: 17."2chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary and the rest of the Defendants. inter alia. Marcos. unjust enrichment. Virata xxx. and taking has reached a total of more than P2 Billion as of June 30. Imelda R. engaged in devises. 1987. A. Gatmaitan. millions of pesos. singly or collectively..387. Francisco C. undue advantage of their relationship. damage of Plaintiff and the Filipino Pedro Dumol. Juanito R.amassed by the defendants during the twenty year reign of former of Manila. constitute gross abuse of official position xxx and authority. The following Defendants acted as dummies. Galing. with the support. A. Virata. acting by themselves and/or in unlawful concert with borrow more capitals. in a veiled attempt to justify MERALCOs anomalous acquisition and power. the approval by Defendant Ferdinand E. with the active collaborations of Defendants of the Republic of the Philippines. The acts of Defendants. so much so that its obligation with Philguarantee Defendants Ferdinand E.71 with insufficient 14. and/or in unlawful concert with one another. and (ii) with the active Marcos. which required government capital investment amounting to President Ferdinand Marcos. Romualdez and Julliette Gomez collaboration of Defendant Cesar E.. assistance and collaboration of relevant allegations against petitioner Virata: Philguarantee officials led by Chairman Cesar E. Marcos. Ricardo C. Camacho people. Isidro Rodriguez. imports by public utilities from 20% to 10%.

held on September xxx 16. 2. a sweetheart or behest Philippine Commercial International Bank and Associated Bank accommodation which enabled Meralco Foundation. On July 11. Gardner (gross abuse of authority and violation of laws and the Constitution) of the Station Unit No. Inc. Marcos of the Three Year Program for the Extension of MERALCOs Services As a result of this transaction. Inc. 2. accumulation of ill-gotten wealth.. the relevant portion of which provides that: 3. petitioner Virata filed a motion for a bill of particulars beneficial owner and. 2320 corporation. nominee and/or agent) and paragraph 18 and facilities known as Gardner Station Unit No. Snyder Station Unit No.000. expanding the said groups on January 31. the Sandiganbayan partially of the Philippines as Finance Minister.2 million. further accumulate and expand the ill-gotten wealth and hereafter called as the Limited Bill of Particulars. hence. the Sandiganbayan declared that MERALCO which was then owned/and or controlled by these accusations are clear and specific enough to allow Virata to submit Benjamin Romualdez representing the Marcos-Romualdez an intelligent responsive pleading. thereby. improvements paragraph 17 (acting as dummy. as stated in paragraph which was so disadvantageous to the government and most 14 b (ii). allowing the Benpres Corporation. reservation of rights. which at present forms part of acquire ownership and control of Manila Electric Company. Such act of defendant Meralco Foundation. In view of the Sandiganbayans order of August 4.100. Company (MERALCO) to refinance/restructure their outstanding loan obligations. 1992 requiring the (formerly MERALCO Securities Industrial Corp.00). This enabled the Marcos-Romualdez Group to Solicitor General submitted the bill of particulars dated October 22. Inc. behest loan of US $33.000. to refinance Erectors. while being one of the members of the Central Banks Monetary Board. leases and easements in favor of Philippine Petroleum Corp. was then controlled by the Marcos- Romualdez Group with Benjamin (Kokoy) Romualdez being the Virata was a flagrant breach of public trust as well as a violation of his duty to protect the financial condition and economy of . which was signed by a plunder the nation. to as conduit banks. Defendant Virata. 1983 defendant Virata acting as Chairman. the agreement clearly showed the Erectors Holdings Incorporated as reflected in paragraph 14 m of the sweetheart deal and favors being given by the government to expanded Second Amended Complaint. 1. approved Resolution No.responsive pleading. Development Bank of the Philippines. 1978 defendant Virata representing the Republic In a Resolution promulgated on 4 August 1992. the governments huge foreign debt. Snyder Station expanded Second Amended Complaint. 1 for One Billion One namely: 1) Viratas alleged active collaboration in the reduction of electric Hundred Million Pesos (P1. Felipe IV. for a guarantee to cover 100 % of its proposed dated December 14. when it provided that the sale is subject to the particulars respecting the foregoing three charges was denied. Furthermore. 1973.) and Pilipinas Republic to amplify the charges in paragraphs 17 and 18 of the expanded Shell Petroleum Corp.5 Million under the Central Bank Consolidated Foreign Borrowing Program with the Philippine Meralco Securities Corporation (MSC) and Manila Electric National Bank. and 3) his support.s short term loans guaranteed by Philguarantee. a Benjamin Romualdez owned and/or controlled 1. the motion for a bill of group. First Philippine Industrial Corp. Inc. approved the request of Erectors. the Republic through the Office of the and applicable. 1. together with the other members of the board. MERALCO is relieved of its heavy to Areas within the 60 Kilometer Radius of Manila. a transaction franchise tax and the tariff duty on fuel oil imports. assistance and collaboration in the formation of government. However. 1992.. Interbank. who was designated in the bill of particulars as private counsel. certain Ramon A. 1992. as to the other charges. At the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Export and Foreign Loan Guarantee Corp. Unit No. mentioned in paragraph burden in servicing its foreign loans which were assumed by the 14 g. 2 and Malaya Station Unit No. 2) his active collaboration in securing the approval by Ferdinand favorable to MERALCO which gained a total of P206. insofar as the same are presently in force Second Amended Complaint. executed an Agreement granted the said motion by requiring the Republic to submit a bill of with the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) whereby the particulars concerning the charges against petitioner Virata stated only in government agreed to buy the parcels of land.

then Prime Minester [sic]. Ros. 1993. Inc. The Sandiganbayan took note of this manifestation in a Development Bank of the Philippines and Philippine National Bank in favor Resolution dated August 26.R.A. On the basis of this arrangement.. that justify Meralcos anomalous acquisition of electric cooperatives and which the OSG and PCGG agreed that the required bill of particulars would be later required the Monetary Board and Philguarantee then headed by filed by the PCGG since the latter is the investigating body which has the defendant Virata to recommend the restructuring of Meralcos foreign and complete records of the case. On the Specific Averments of Defendants Illegal Acts a (ii) [par. the country against. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1982 to then President concerned. the expanded Second Amended Complaint] which incorporates by reference the Limited Bill of Particulars of October 22. Virata. J. 106527) with this Court questioning the consumption rates despite their savings from the aforesaid reduction of Sandiganbayan s denial of his motion for a bill of particulars as regards the franchise tax without any significant benefit to the consumers of electric first three charges stated in paragraph 14 b(ii). xxx Mantecon and Kurt S. 1974 which effected the reduction of electric franchise tax and to defer the filing of the answer was filed by Virata on the grounds being paid by Meralco from 5% to 2% as well as lowered tariff duty of fuel that the Limited Bill of Particulars avers for the first time new actionable oil imports from 20% to 10% and allowed Meralco to retain 3% reduction wrongs allegedly committed by him in various official capacities and that in franchise tax rates thereby allowing it to save as much as P258 million as the allegations therein do not indicate that Virata acted as dummy. This bill of particulars. Accordingly.71 without sufficient securities/collateral and despite this . the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Services of Areas within the 60 Kilometer Radius of Manila in order to manifestation and motion dated August 18. Sandejas. for the purpose of making it assume the 1. supported and assisted the formation of Erectors Holdings. supported PD 551 and in fact issued the guidelines on its implementation which were heavily relied Way back on September 1. Jose N. 1992. 1993. who was named in the bill 3. nominee or agent but rather as a government officer. acting as such in his own name. 1993 alleging. Virata. which was apparently signed by a certain Reynaldo G. 14g of that it denied the motion for a bill of particulars with respect to the first the expanded Second Amended Complaint] three (3) charges was set aside and the Republic was required by this Court to submit to Virata a bill of particulars containing the facts prayed for by Defendant Cesar E. 1993. 1992. 1993. inter alia: Defendant Cesar Virata. 1992. Defendant Cesar Virata then Minister of Finance. 1992 to the extent 2.387. On the Specific Averments of Defendants Illegal Acts a (iii) [par. 1992. with Philguarantee in the amount of b (ii) of the expanded Second Amended Complaint] P527.4chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Ferdinand E. PCGG submitted the bill of particulars dated November 3. led by Jose S. On the Specific Averments of Defendants Illegal Acts a (i) [paragraph 14 obligation of Erectors Inc. abuses and Immediately after defendants Ferdinand E. among others. 551 on On 3 December 1992. states. The petition revenues to the government. hence.440. Marcos and Benjamin Kokoy corruption.3chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Romualdez took complete control of Meralco and its subsidiaries. who was dissatisfied with the upon by the Board of Energy in its questioned ruling dated 25 November Sandiganbayan Resolution of August 4. in a better position to supply the local obligation which led to the extending of loan accommodations by the required pleading. Bachmann. as Chairman of Philguarantee and the Senior Managers of FMMC/PNI Holdings Inc. caused the issuance the latter insofar as to these first three (3) actionable wrongs are of a confidential memorandum dated October 12. 14m of of particulars as deputized prosecutor of the PCGG. paragraph 14g and power and resulting in the loss of millions of pesos in much needed paragraph 14m of the expanded Second Amended Complaint. filed a petition 1982 by allowing Meralco to continue charging higher electric for certiorari (G. of December 31. a motion to strike out the Limited Bill of Particulars September 11. No. defendant Ferdinand E. Jr. Marcos informing the latter of the recommendation of the cabinet of the so called Three Year Program for the Extension of Meralco On August 20. was granted by this Court in our decision promulgated on April 6. This motion was not acted upon by the Sandiganbayan. the Sandiganbayan Resolution of August 4. the of Meralco. inter alia.

1993 his comment on the bill of particulars with motion to dismiss the expanded Second Amended Complaint.5chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary already been specified with sufficient particularity and which matters are within the moving partys knowledge. 1994. Furthermore. a reading of the Limited Bill of Particulars dated to fulfill its mission.6chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary October 22. OF PARTICULARS IN BEHALF OF THE REPUBLIC. On the Specific Averments of Defendants Illegal Acts a (iv) [par. not as a dummy. 1987. evidentiary 1992 and November 3. it is not the bill of particulars that is required by this responsive pleading. nominee or agent. al. Consequently. the bill of particulars dated November 3. as Chairman of Philguarantee. hence. admitted of November 3. Courts directive. et. 1993 is possible. After considering the relevant pleadings and motions submitted by the Petitioner maintains the view that the allegations in the bill of particulars parties. the bill of particulars submitted by Court in the previous case of Virata vs. Virata filed his Reply to Opposition PCGG ARE AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO DEPUTIZE A COUNSEL TO FILE THE BILL on January 18. and the the bill of particulars submitted by the Republic and ordered Virata to file purported illegal acts imputed to Virata have not been averred with his responsive pleading to the expanded Second Amended Complaint. general and ambiguous. Virata filed on November 23. in a Resolution of February 16. 1993 remain vague. hereby incorporates by reference plaintiffs Limited Bill of are still necessary in preparing for trial should be obtained by various Particulars previously submitted to this Honorable Court with the modes of discovery. 1992 shows that it alleges new imputations which are immaterial to the charge of being a dummy. in Our considered opinion. the Sandiganbayan. In the resolution of this incident. depositions. should not have allowed the OSG to abdicate its duty as the counsel OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN of record for the Republic. Subsequently. Simplicity of pleading is the idea of modern procedure. Sandiganbayan. Virata filed this instant petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of Virata acted. In the instant case. the plaintiff. He asserts The issues to be resolved in the instant case are as follows: that the legal representation of the Republic by the OSG is mandated by law and that the Sandiganbayan. He alleges that both the bills of particulars dated October 22. defendant Virata. It cannot be utilized to challenge the sufficiency of the claim asserted. ADMITTING THE BILL OF PARTICULARS SUBMITTED BY THE REPUBLIC. etc.outstanding obligation. WHETHER OR NOT THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL AND THE on December 17. We find that the bill of particulars. is sufficient and adequate enough 106527). The sufficient definiteness so as to inform Virata of the factual and legal basis relevant portion of the Resolution states as follows: thereof. A bill of qualification that defendant Cesar Virata merely acted as particulars is sufficient if matters constituting the causes of action have agent. such as interrogatories. . The Republic filed its Opposition to Viratas Comment to Bill of Particulars 2. filed approved the Erectors Inc. According to him. hence. We likewise consider these additional expanded Second Amended Complaint] averments and particulars to be sufficient enough to enable defendant Virata to frame his responsive pleading or answer and that what he feels Plaintiff. 17 of the Expanded Amended Complaint. through its Resolution dated August 26. but as a government officer of the Sandiganbayan. Applications for loan guarantees that reached by the plaintiff on November 3. consistent with the right of the moving party to compel disclosure merely a rehash of the assertions made in the expanded Second Amended in instances where it is beyond cavil that He cannot adequately frame a Complaint. 1. 1994. appears to have substantially set out additional averments and particulars which were not previously alleged in the 4. 1993. Virata also questions the authority of PCGG and its deputized prosecutor to file the bill of particulars in behalf of the Republic. Republic. 1993 are pro forma and should be stricken off the facts and details should not be allowed to clutter a complaint as much as records. nominee or agent of his co-defendants as the Rules of Court to challenge the foregoing Resolution of the what is charged in the complaint. and that Dissatisfied. WHETHER OR NOT THE SANDIGANBAYAN COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE 1993. 1993 in compliance with the Supreme more than P2 Billion as of June 30. (G. No.R.

the nature of a more specific allegation of the facts recited in the pleading. therefor. and it must furnish the required items of the claim with dismissal of the expanded Second Amended Complaint in so far as he is reasonable fullness and precision. Under this Unit No. Virata prayed for the striking out of the bills of must inform the opposite party of the nature of the pleaders cause of particulars dated October 22. it will be held sufficient if it concerned. It should be definite and specific and not contain general allegations and conclusions. it is asserted that under Rule 12. 1. it may order the striking out of the pleading to which the motion pleading which it supplements.5 Million directing the submission of such statement or bill. 8 An order guarantee to cover 100% of its proposed behest loan of US $ 33. which named defendant to respect or not to violate such right. c) as Chairman of the Board Rule. Meralco the Rules of Court. He it enables the party movant intelligently to prepare a responsive pleading. 2. 1. as thereby to guide his adversary in his preparations for trial.9chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Amended Complaint is the charge that Virata acted as dummy. we are convinced that both whatever law it arises or is created. Additionally. but an amplification or more particularized outline of a pleading. the foregoing allegations in the Limited Bill of A bill of particulars is a complementary procedural document consisting of Particulars do not indicate that he acted as dummy. Section 1(c) of specific proposition for which the pleader contends. for a either for a more definite statement or for a bill of particulars. is proper where under the Central Bank Consolidated Foreign Borrowing Program. 2. Section 1. 1992. 1992 and November 3. Rule 12 of regarding the restructuring of the loans of Benpres Corporation.12 It has been held that a bill of particulars was directed. argues that the thrust of paragraphs 17 and 18 of the expanded Second or adequately to prepare for trial. is to file a motion.10 It is the office of the bill of particulars to inform the opposite Invoking Section 3. Virata reiterates his basic arguments that the Limited Bill of or constituting a breach of the obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff Particulars fails to provide the relevant and material averments sought to for which the latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages. provides. and.Respecting the Limited Bill of Particulars dated October 22. and the Manila Electric Company. Gardner Station Unit No. A cause of action has the following elements.11 It gives information of the of the action. (2) an obligation on the part of the the bill of particulars dated November 3.7As be clarified by him and that it asserts for the first time new matters long as the complaint contains these three elements. and it becomes a part of the obeyed. to wit: a) as a exists even though the allegations therein are vague. nominee and/or agent. Rule 17 of the Rules of Court. 2320 dated December 14. 1973 the defendant may ask for more particulars. that a party may move for more Securities Corporation.13 Generally. further. As such. Incorporated. and dismissal of the member of the Central Bank Monetary Board. he executed an agreement with Manila Electric Company in averred with sufficient definiteness or particularity to enable him properly connection with the sale of lands and facilities of the Gardner Station Unit to prepare his responsive pleading or to prepare for trial. as required by the terms of the application and of the order We find the instant petition meritorious. he.14chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary plaintiffs cause of action. the remedy available to a party who seeks clarification of any issue or of Directors of the Philippine Export and Foreign Loan Guarantee matter vaguely or obscurely pleaded by the other party. if an order of the court for a bill of particulars is not material and issuable fact in the case. in respect to any the Rules of Court. 1993 and the Limited Bill of . nominee or agent. It should be reasonably certain and as specific The rule is that a complaint must contain the ultimate facts constituting as the circumstances will allow. Accordingly. 1. Virata argued that both party and the court of the precise nature and character of the cause of the bills of particulars submitted by the Republic did not follow the Rules action or defense which the pleader has attempted to set forth and of Court and the orders of the Sandiganbayan and this Honorable Court. with the other Monetary action is not the proper remedy when the pleading is ambiguous because Board members. however. b) as Finance definite statement or for a bill of particulars of any matter which is not Minister. inter alia. Snyder Station point out the defects complained of and the details desired. a cause of action allegedly committed by him in different official capacities. Snyder Station Unit No. 1993 and the action or defense. and Malaya Station Unit No. as a government officer. and (3) an act or amplifies paragraphs 17 and 18 of the expanded Second Amended omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff Complaint. approved the request of Erector. approved Resolution No. and reasonably such. Corporation. fairly and substantially gives the opposite party the information to which he is entitled. and being in rather. the failure to comply with these legal orders is a ground for dismissal to protect him against surprise at the trial. Such motion shall No. to wit: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under Guided by the foregoing rules and principles.

order to justify Meralcos anomalous acquisition of electric cooperatives 1974 which effected the reduction of electric franchise tax being paid by and which later required the Monetary Board and Philguarantee then Meralco from 5% to 2% as well as lowered tariff duty of fuel oil imports headed by defendant Virata to recommend the restructuring of Meralcos from 20% to 10% and allowed Meralco to retain the 3% reduction in foreign and local obligation which led to the extending of loan franchise tax rates thereby allowing it to save as much as P258 million as of accommodation by the Development Bank of the Philippines and December 31. what law. is violated by Virata? It is worthy to note that. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. what law or these foreign and local obligations? How much of the obligation was right. PD 551 has not been declared unconstitutional. In fact. Marcos informing the latter of the recommendation (I)mmediately after defendants Ferdinand E. a careful perusal of the said paragraph shows that and raise them as cogent issues. that is- continue charging higher electric consumption rates despite their savings Viratas active collaboration in securing the approval by Ferdinand Marcos from the aforesaid reduction of franchise tax without any significant and his cabinet of the Three Year Program for the Extension of Meralcos benefit to the consumers of electric power and resulting in the loss of Services within the Manila Area. supported PD 551 and in fact issued the guidelines on its implementation which were heavily relied upon by the Board of Energy The foregoing allegation purportedly amplifies the charge stated in in its questioned ruling dated 25 November 1982 by allowing Meralco to paragraph 14 (g) of the expanded Second Amended Complaint. said memorandum. just like the first paragraph of millions of pesos in much needed revenues to the government. Yet. The allegation that he supported these electric cooperatives? Were these cooperatives the same as those PD 551 and issued its implementing guidelines is an insufficient enumerated in paragraph 14(e) of the expanded Second Amended amplification of the charge because the same is but a general statement Complaint?16 Why was the acquisition of these cooperatives anomalous?. It may be queried-how did Virata support PD and d) What were Viratas specific acts as the head of Philguarantee which 551? What were the specific acts indicating his support? What were these led to the restructuring of Meralcos obligation? What was his participation implementing guidelines issued by him and when were they issued? In in recommending the restructuring of Meralcos obligation? What were supporting PD 551 and in issuing its implementing guidelines. until recommended for restructuring? What were the loan accommodations now. However. this Court given in favor of Meralco? When were they given and how much were involved in the transaction? . bereft of any particulars. The first paragraph of the foregoing bill of particulars provides that President Ferdinand E. Further. 2. Marcos and Benjamin Kokoy of the cabinet of the so called Three Year Program for the Extension of Romualdez took control of Meralco and its subsidiaries. It is an The abovequoted paragraph of the said bill of particulars is supposed to be incomplete or floating disclosure of material facts replete with the amplification of the charge against Virata stated in paragraph 14(b) of generalizations and indefinite statements which seemingly ends to the expanded Second Amended Complaint-which is his alleged active nowhere. terms as would make it difficult for petitioner to submit an intelligent Board of Energy and Meralco. vs. 1982 to then 1. There are certain matters alleged that need to be clarified and collaboration in the reduction of electric franchise tax and tariff duty of filled up with details so that Virata can intelligently and fairly contest them fuel oil imports. this Court finds that the second paragraph failed to set forth particularly or specifically the charge against Virata. Minister of Finance.A.Particulars of October 22. b) What was the recommendation of the cabinet regarding the guidelines on its implementation. caused the issuance of a confidential memorandum dated October 12. c) What were collaboration in the reduction of taxes. 1993: (D)efendant Cesar E. it is alleged that Let us examine the bill of particulars dated November 3. defendant Meralco Services of Areas within the 60 Kilometer Radius of Manila in Ferdinand E.15chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary responsive pleading to the complaint and to adequately prepare for trial. if there is any. Inc. if there is any. then Prime Minester [sic]. the said bill of particulars. 551 on September 11. to wit: a) In causing the issuance of the nothing is said about his alleged active collaboration in reducing the taxes. In the second paragraph of the said bill of particulars. duty or right. is violated by Aside from the bare assertion that he supported PD 551 and issued the Virata?. the bill of particulars is disturbingly silent Three Year Program? The Republic should have at least furnish the as to what are the particular acts of Virata that establish his active substantial or important features of the recommendation. Virata. 1992. it is stated that (D)efendant Cesar Virata then Philippine National Bank in favor of Meralco. 1992 are couched in such general and uncertain upheld its validity in the case of Philippine Consumer Foundation.

to acquire ownership and control same as a mere recast or restatement of the charge set forth in paragraph of Manila Electric Company. 2.000. the agreement clearly showed the sweetheart deal and favors being 18 of the expanded Second Amended Complaint. a We now take a closer look at the Limited Bill of Particulars dated October transaction which was so disadvantageous to the government and most 22. a sweetheart or behest accommodation specifications in order that Virata can properly define the issues and . It is apparent from the foregoing allegations that the Republic did not Mantecon and Kurt S. 1973.387.2 million. 14 (m) of the expanded Second Amended Complaint. consider each paragraph of the said bill of particulars: leases and easements in favor of Philippine Petroleum Corp. related to the pertinent facts and specific matters that form the basis of the charge. with Philguarantee in the amount of of the charges against him: a) Did Virata.000. instead of supplying the acquisition of MERALCO by Meralco Foundation. They are broad and definitely vague which require outstanding loan obligations. the Republic failed miserably to transaction a sweetheart or behest accommodation?. which 2. In the subsequent bill of given by the government to MERALCO which was then owned and/or particulars dated November 3. Let us group. the important question as to what particular acts of government agreed to buy the parcels of land. expanding the Holding. 2 and Malaya Station Unit No. The first paragraph of the Limited Bill of Particulars states that and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. improvements and facilities Virata that constitute support and assistance in the formation of Erectors known as Gardner Station Unit No. thereby. was then controlled by the Marcos-Romualdez Group with Benjamin alleged support. nominee or agent stated in paragraphs 17 and xxx. The said paragraph of the bill of particulars states said groups accumulation of ill gotten wealth. Meralco Securities Corp. that (D)efendant Cesar Virata. defendant Virata. It is stated further that Meralco Foundation. Snyder Station Unit No. Jr. when it provided that the sale is subject to the reservation of rights. that of Viratas being a dummy. Station Unit No. a product of uncertainty.) 1. Incorporated. led by Jose S. favorable to MERALCO which gained a total of P206. which is Viratas Inc. it Resolution restructuring the loan obligations of the three corporations? only made repetitive allegations in the bill of particulars that Virata supported and assisted the formation of the corporation concerned. Virata or the Monetary Board?. allowing the Benpres Corporation. Incorporated is still left unanswered. insofar as the same are presently in (D)efendant Virata. approved Resolution No.100. Gardner Station Unit No. Inc. 1993. 1. Applications for loan guarantees that reached these outstanding loan obligations of the three corporations concerned? more than P2 Billion as of June 30. approved the Resolution. assistance and collaboration in the formation of Erectors (Kokoy) Romualdez being the beneficial owner and. Jose N. while being one of the members of the Central Banks force and applicable. As such. (formerly MERALCO Securities Industrial Corp. (MSC) and There are certain matters in the foregoing allegations which lack in Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) to refinance/restructure their substantial particularity. 1 for One Billion One Hundred Million Pesos (P1. 1978 defendant Virata is the very same charge or allegation in paragraph 14 (m) of the expanded representing the Republic of the Philippines as Finance Minister. 1987. who was only one of the P527. Snyder Holding. 2320 dated December 14. as Chairman of Philguarantee. First Philippine Industrial Corp. executed Second Amended Complaint which requires specifications and unfailing an Agreement with the Manila Electric Co. as Chairman of Philguarantee and the Senior Managers of FMMC/PNI Holdings Inc.3. Bachmann.71 without sufficient securities/collateral and despite this members of the Board. J. The second paragraph provides that (O)n July 11. for the purpose of making it assume the him to be placed in such a situation wherein he can properly be informed obligation of Erectors Inc. 1992. Inc. Who were the creditors and debtors of these loan obligations? How much were involved in the restructuring of the loan obligations? What made the Clearly from the foregoing allegation. Sandejas. MERALCO was relieved of its heavy burden in The said bill of particulars was filed by the Republic to amplify the charge servicing its foreign loans which were assumed by the government. Monetary Board. 1. and c) How was the amplify the charge against Virata because. the said charge was qualified by the controlled by Benjamin Romualdez representing the Marcos-Romualdez Republic in the sense that Virata allegedly acted only as an agent. We find the which enabled Meralco Foundation.00). that (A)s a result of this transaction.440. b) What were approved the Erectors Inc. supported and assisted the formation furnish Virata the following material matters which are indispensable for of Erectors Holdings. Regarding the third paragraph of the said bill of particulars.. act alone in approving the Resolution? Who really outstanding obligation. (MERALCO) whereby the certainty. Inc.

1993 (G. Virata. Republic failed to provide. they contain vague. agreement a sweetheart deal? The allegation that the agreement is a he. Interbank. 1992. statement of facts because it fails to provide the following relevant 1992. other hand. 1978 concerning the sale of certain of foreign obligations by the government?. the allegations in the Limited Bill of 3. However. among others. as may be examined from the three the charges against Virata. 106527). in so doing the acts. on the disadvantageous to the government? The allegation that it was contrary. what made the representative of the Republic in the contract. This observation is established by the more specifics how was the transaction favorable to MERALCO?. co-defendants. In performing the said acts.formulate his defenses. in view of the Republics failure to obey this Courts directive of Particulars contains new matters which are not covered by the charge that April 6.5 Million leveled against Virata because. 1983 defendant Virata acting as Chairman. therefore. b) What were of Particulars of October 22. but.s short term loans guaranteed by Philguarantee. to refinance Erectors. immaterial and Philippine Commercial International Bank and Associated Bank as conduit generalized assertions which are inadmissible under our procedural rules. Complaint. approved the request of Erectors Inc. the two bills of Benjamin Romualdez owned and/or controlled corporation.2 million? The Republic should have provided for capacity as a government officer. as regards the charges stated in paragraphs 17 and 18 of the said complaint. and. not as an agent of his sweetheart deal is a general statement that needs further amplification. and 14 m of the expanded Second Amended Complaint. Development Bank of the Philippines. 1993 and the Limited Bill its terms? Who was supposed to be the grantor of this loan?. No. and c) By the presence of the properties. 106527) and the Sandiganbayans order of August 4. the Limited Bill of As such. 14 g. Apparently. this Court deems it just and proper to order the . the two bills of particulars were not the bills of particulars When were these transacted? How was this $ 33. b) What allegations that Virata acted as a member of the Central Bank Monetary were these foreign obligations of MERALCO which were assumed by the Board. No. held an agent of his co-defendants. to wit: a) What made the transaction can not be considered as an agent of any of his co-defendants.R. a As clearly established by the foregoing discussion. acted as an agent of the government. the Republic was ordered to file the required bill of In like manner. together with the other members of the board. 1993 foreign debt. on September 16. for a particulars filed by the Republic failed to properly amplify the charges guarantee to cover 100% of its proposed behest loan of US$ 33.5 million behest loan which fully complied with the Rules of Court and with the orders of the related to the short term loans? Sandiganbayan and this Court.. abuses and b(ii). Inc. which is the charge against him in the expanded Second Amended Complaint. The third paragraph states that (A)t the meeting of the Board of Particulars are irrelevant and immaterial to the charge that Virata acted as Directors of the Philippine Export and Foreign Loan Guarantee Corp. Accordingly. as correctly asserted by petitioner Virata. Virata acted as agent of his co-defendants in the expanded Second 1992 to file the proper bill of particulars which would completely amplify Amended Complaint. How did indicate that Virata acted on behalf of the government. Furthermore. when he executed the these obligations contracted? How much were involved in the assumption Agreement with Meralco on July 7. to the large extent. as shown by the above these short term loans? Who were the parties to these transactions? discussion. as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Export and government? Who were the creditors in these obligations? When were Foreign Loan Guarantee Corporation. in his official MERALCO gain the P206. The following are the specific matters which the paragraphs of the Limited Bill of Particulars. which at present forms part of the governments huge It must be remembered that in our decision promulgated on April 6. not only are they mere reiteration or under the Central Bank Consolidated Foreign Borrowing Program with the repetition of the allegations set forth in the expanded Second Amended Philippine National Bank. he acted as the Finance Minister of the government and as a provision of the contract quoted by the Republic.R. the factual circumstances stated in the said bill of particulars disadvantageous is a conclusion of law that lacks factual basis.5 million proposed behest loan? What were questioned bill of particulars dated November 3. banks. on the corruption. that (S)uch act of defendant Virata was a flagrant breach of (G. The Republic purportedly complied with these orders by filing the matters: a) What was this $33. We required the Republic to submit a bill of particulars public trust as well as a violation of his duty to protect the financial concerning the first three charges against Virata averred in paragraphs 14 condition and economy of the country against. the foregoing paragraph contains incomplete and indefinite particulars by the Sandiganbayan through its Resolution dated August 4.

the bill of particulars filed for the agencies and offices to assist the Solicitor General and appear Republic by private counsel or deputized prosecutor of the PCGG is or represent the Government in cases involving their respective unauthorized. bureaus. or to prosecute his action for an unreasonable length of time. Armed with charges against Virata are concerned. the Solicitor General did not abdicate his concerned. 1993 signed by Reynaldo Ros are valid pleadings which are binding upon any government official or employee in the pursuit of his task. was in a better position than the OSG.D. No. Realizing that it can not adequately respond to this Courts order of April 6 1993 is there an iota or indication that the OSG is withdrawing from the 1993 (G. Failure to prosecute. the PCGG. This dismissal shall have the effect of an the powers and functions of the OSG enumerated in P. being in-charge of . bureau. function and turn over the handling of the instant case to the PCGG. This circumstance prompted the Office of the Solicitor its investigation. which virtually reproduces courts own motion. 478 (The Law adjudication upon the merits. the Office of was merely to call the PCGG for assistance and authorize it to respond to the Solicitor deemed it better to seek the help of the Presidential the motion for a bill of particulars filed by Virata. According to xxx petitioner. 1993 that it of the case than the OSG. Reynaldo Ros. or instrumentality of the Government for such service assistance We are of the opinion that the Limited Bill of Particulars dated October 22. agency. brought before the courts and exercise supervision and control over such legal officers with respect to such cases. Thus.17chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary authorized by the Office of the Solicitor General and the Presidential Commission on Good Government to sign and file the bills of particulars Contrary to Viratas contention. Powers and Functions. No. only the Office of the Solicitor General is mandated by law to (8) Deputize legal officers of government departments. or to comply with these rules or any order of the court. which has the complete records of the case and being in charge of the Republic. (italics ours) provides. The Administrative Code of 1987. This contention is devoid of merit. in so far as the investigating the case. inter alia. and 14 m of the expanded Second Amended Complaint.R. This action is justified by Section 3.If plaintiff fails to appear at the time 14 b(ii). of the trial.dismissal of the expanded Second Amended Complaint. and cooperation as may be necessary in fulfilling its functions 1992 signed by Ramon Felipe IV and the Bill of Particulars dated November and responsibilities and for this purpose enlist the services of 3. Virata contends that the Section 35. (9) Call on any department. Presidential Commission on Good Government is not authorized by law to deputize a counsel to prepare and file pleadings in behalf of the Republic. What the OSG did particulars concerning the first three charges against Virata. that: Regarding the second issue of the instant case. 14g. Nowhere in the manifestation and motion filed by the OSG on August 20. unless otherwise provided by court. filed the bill of particulars dated November 3. The OSG was impelled to Commission on Good Government by availing the services of the latters act this way because of the existence of the special circumstance that the lawyer who would directly file the required bill of particulars in behalf of PCGG. the The action of the OSG in seeking the assistance of the PCGG is not without action may be dismissed upon motion of the defendant or upon the legal basis. offices. xxx. act counsel for the Republic. which provides that: prosecutors. Defining the Powers and Functions of the Office of the Solicitor General). office. 106527) requiring the Republic to submit the bill of case and that the PCGG is taking over its prosecution. . It (the OSG) shall have the following specific powers and Neither can the Office of the Solicitor General validly deputize an outside functions: counsel to completely take over the case for the Republic. was more knowledgeable and better informed of the facts General to manifest before the Sandiganbayan on August 20. through one of its deputized Rule 17 of the Rules of Court. the Republic because the two lawyer-signatories are legally deputized and xxx. 1993 to amplify the first three charges against Virata stated in paragraphs Section 3. would be the PCGG which would file the required bill of particulars and move that it be excused from doing so as the PCGG. this authority given by the OSG.

The authority, therefore, of Attorney Reynaldo Ros to sign and submit in petitioner must know what the complaint is all about. The law requires no
behalf of the Republic the bill of particulars dated November 3, 1993 is less.
beyond dispute because 1) he was duly deputized by the PCGG in
pursuance to its power to prosecute cases of ill-gotten wealth under Although this Court is aware of the Governments laudable efforts to
Executive Order No. 14 of May 14, 1986, 2) the OSG empowered the PCGG recover ill-gotten wealth allegedly taken by the defendants, this Court,
to file the bill of particulars as evidenced by the OSGs manifestation and however, cannot shrink from its duty of upholding the supremacy of the
motion filed on August 20, 1993, and 3) there was no abdication of OSGs law under the aegis of justice and fairness. This Court in dismissing the
duty by giving the PCGG the authority to file the bill of particulars. action against the petitioner has rightfully adhered in the unyielding tenet -
principia, non homines - the rule of law, not of men.
On the other hand, the deputation of Ramon Felipe IV by the Solicitor
General to sign and file the Limited Bill of Particulars is based on Section 3 ACCORDINGLY, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED and the expanded
of Presidential Decree No. 478, which provides that: Second Amended Complaint, in so far as petitioner Virata is concerned, is
hereby ordered DISMISSED.
Section 3. The Solicitor General may, when necessary and after
consultation with the Government entity concerned, employ, retain, SO ORDERED.
and compensate on a contractual basis, in the name of the
Government, such attorneysand experts or technical personnel as he Puno and Mendoza, JJ, concur.
may deem necessary to assist him in the discharge of his duties. The
compensation and expenses may be charged to the agency or office
Regalado, (Chairman), J., in the result.
in whose behalf the services have to be rendered. (italics ours)
G.R. No. 173588 April 22, 2009
The Solicitor General is mandated by law to act as the counsel of the
Government and its agencies in any litigation and matter requiring the
ARIEL M. LOS BAÑOS, on behalf of P/Supt. Victor Arevalo, SPO2 Marcial
services of a lawyer. In providing the legal representation for the
Olympia, SPO1 Rocky Mercene and PO1 Raul Adlawan, and in his
Government, he is provided with vast array of powers, which includes the
personal capacity, Petitioner,
power to retain and compensate lawyers on contractual basis, necessary
vs.
to fulfill his sworn duty with the end view of upholding the interest of the
JOEL R. PEDRO, Respondent.
Government. Thus, the Solicitor General acted within the legal bounds of
its authority when it deputized Attorney Felipe IV to file in behalf of the
Republic the bill of particulars concerning the charges stated in paragraph DECISION
17 and 18 of the expanded Second Amended Complaint.
BRION, J.:
At any rate, whether or not the lawyer-signatories are duly deputized
would not be decisive in the resolution of this case considering that the We review in this petition for review on certiorari1 the September 19, 2005
two bills of particulars filed by the Republic are mere scraps of paper which decision2 and the July 6, 2006 resolution3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in
miserably failed to amplify the charges against Virata. For the Republics CA-G.R. SP No. 80223. The petition seeks to revive the case against
failure to comply with the courts order to file the required bill of respondent Joel R. Pedro (Pedro) for election gun ban violation after the
particulars that would completely and fully inform Virata of the charges CA declared the case permanently dismissed pursuant to Section 8, Rule
against him, the dismissal of the action against him is proper based on 117 of the Rules of Court.
Section 3, Rule 17 of the Revised Rules of Court and the relevant
jurisprudence thereon.18 Simple justice demands that as stated earlier, THE ANTECEDENTS

Pedro was charged in court for carrying a loaded firearm without the Pedro filed a Motion for Preliminary Investigation, which the RTC
required written authorization from the Commission on Elections granted.7 The preliminary investigation, however, did not materialize.
(Comelec) a day before the May 14, 2001 national and local elections. The Instead, Pedro filed with the RTC a Motion to Quash, arguing that the
Information reads: Information "contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal
excuse or justification8 and/or that the facts charged do not constitute an
That on or about the 13th day of May 2001 at about 4:00 o’clock in the offense."9 Pedro attached to his motion a Comelec Certification dated
afternoon, in [S]itio Bantauyan, [B]arangay Bantad, Municipality of Boac, September 24, 2001 that he was "exempted" from the gun ban. The
Province of Marinduque, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this provincial prosecutor opposed the motion.
Honorable Court, the above-named accused did then and there, willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously carry a Revolver Cal. 357, Magnum Ruger 100 The RTC quashed the Information and ordered the police and the
loaded with six (6) ammunitions, with Serial No. 173-56836 outside his prosecutors to return the seized articles to Pedro.10
residence during the election period, without authorization in writing from
the Commission on Election[s]. The petitioner, private prosecutor Ariel Los Baños (Los Baños),
representing the checkpoint team, moved to reopen the case, as Pedro’s
CONTRARY TO LAW.4 Comelec Certification was a "falsification," and the prosecution was
"deprived of due process" when the judge quashed the information
The accusation was based on Batas Pambansa Bilang 881 or the Omnibus without a hearing. Attached to Los Baños’ motion were two Comelec
Election Code (Code) after the Marinduque Philippine National Police certifications stating that: (1) Pedro was not exempted from the firearm
(PNP) caught Pedro illegally carrying his firearm at a checkpoint at Boac, ban; and (2) the signatures in the Comelec Certification of September 24,
Marinduque. The Boac checkpoint team was composed of Police Senior 2001 were forged.
Inspector Victor V. Arevalo, SPO2 Marshal Olympia, SPO1 Rocky Mercene,
and PO1 Raul Adlawan. The team stopped a silver-gray Toyota Hi-Ace with The RTC reopened the case for further proceedings, as Pedro did not
plate number WHT-371 on the national highway, coming from the Boac object to Los Baños’ motion.11 Pedro moved for the reconsideration of the
town proper. When Pedro (who was seated at the rear portion) opened RTC’s order primarily based on Section 8 of Rule 117,12 arguing that the
the window, Arevalo saw a gun carry case beside him. Pedro could not dismissal had become permanent. He likewise cited the public prosecutor’s
show any COMELEC authority to carry a firearm when the checkpoint team lack of express approval of the motion to reopen the case.
asked for one, but he opened the case when asked to do so. The
checkpoint team saw the following when the case was opened: 1) one The public prosecutor, however, manifested his express conformity with
Revolver 357 Magnum Ruger GP100, serial number 173-56836, loaded the motion to reopen the case. The trial court, for its part, rejected the
with six ammunitions; 2) one ammunition box containing 100 bullets; 3) position that Section 8, Rule 117 applies, and explained that this provision
two pieces speed loader with six ammunitions each; and 4) one set ear refers to situations where both the prosecution and the accused mutually
protector. Pedro was with three other men. The checkpoint team brought consented to the dismissal of the case, or where the prosecution or the
all of them to the Boac police station for investigation. offended party failed to object to the dismissal of the case, and not to a
situation where the information was quashed upon motion of the accused
The Boac election officer filed a criminal complaint against Pedro for and over the objection of the prosecution. The RTC, thus, set Pedro’s
violating the election gun ban, i.e., for carrying a firearm outside of his arraignment date.
residence or place of business without any authority from the Comelec.
After an inquest, the Marinduque provincial prosecutor filed the above Pedro filed with the CA a petition for certiorari and prohibition to nullify
Information against Pedro with the Marinduque Regional Trial Court (RTC) the RTC’s mandated reopening.13 He argued that the RTC committed grave
for violation of the Code’s Article XXII, Section 261 (q),5 in relation to abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in ruling that
Section 264.6 the dismissal contemplated under Section 8, Rule 117 refers to situations
where either the prosecution and the accused mutually consented to, or

where the prosecution alone moved for, the provisional dismissal of the 3. the court issues an order granting the motion and dismissing
case; in rejecting his argument that the prescriptive periods under Article the case provisionally;
90 of the Revised Penal Code14 or Act No. 332615 find no application to his
case as the filing of the Information against him stopped the running of the 4. the public prosecutor is served, with a copy of the order of
prescriptive periods so that the prescription mandated by these laws provisional dismissal of the case.
became irrelevant; and, in setting the case for arraignment and pre-trial
conference, despite being barred under Section 8 of Rule 117. Although the second paragraph of Section 8 states that the order of
dismissal shall become permanent one year after the issuance thereof,
THE COURT OF APPEALS DECISION without the case having been revived, such provision should be construed
to mean that the dismissal shall become permanent one year after service
The CA initially denied Pedro’s petition. For accuracy, we quote the of the order of dismissal on the public prosecutor, as the public prosecutor
material portions of its ruling: cannot be expected to comply with the timeliness requirement unless he is
served with a copy of the order of dismissal.
The petition lacks merit.
In the instant, case, the records are bereft of proof as to when the public
The trial court erred in ruling that Section 8, Rule 117 does not apply to prosecutor was served the order of dismissal dated 22 November 2001.
provisional dismissals on motion of the accused. The Rule merely provides Absent such proof, we cannot declare that the State is barred from
that a case shall not be provisionally dismissed, except with the express reviving the case.
consent of the accused and with notice to the offended party. Nothing in
the said rule proscribes its application to dismissal on motion of the WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.
accused.
In his motion for reconsideration, Pedro manifested the exact date and
Nevertheless, we find no basis for issuing the extraordinary writs of time of the Marinduque provincial prosecutor’s receipt of the quashal
certiorari and prohibition, as there is no showing that the error was tainted order to be "2:35 p.m., December 10, 2001," and argued that based on this
with grave abuse of discretion. Grave abuse of discretion implies capricious date, the provisional dismissal of the case became "permanent" on
and whimsical exercise of judgment amounting to lack of jurisdiction. The December 10, 2002. Based on this information, the CA reversed itself,
grave abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an ruling as follows:
evasion or refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law.
On 9 September 2005, we ruled that Section 8, Rule 117 is applicable to a
Before the petitioner may invoke the time-bar in Section 8, he must dismissal on motion of the accused. However, we did not issue the writs of
establish the following: certiorari and prohibition, because it was shown that the trial court
committed grave abuse of discretion in ordering the reopening of the case.
1. the prosecution, with the express conformity of the accused or Moreover, we stated that we cannot rule on the issue of whether or not
the accused moves for a provisional (sin perjuicio) dismissal of the the State is barred from reopening the case because it was not shown
case; or both the prosecution and the accused move for a when the public prosecutor was served the order of dismissal.
provisional dismissal of the case;
xxx
2. the offended party is notified of the motion for a provisional
dismissal of the case; The arguments raised in the respondents’ motion for modification were
duly passed upon in arriving at the decision dated 9 September 2005, and

Rule 17 and the time-bar under this provision. or where the prosecution alone moved for the provisional OUR RULING dismissal of the case. after having been We find the petition meritorious and hold that the case should be forewarned or cautioned that its case will be dismissed. where the information was quashed. The order was "open- a." and did not have the effect of provisionally dismissing the case under Section 8 of Rule 117. He contends that under Section 6 of Rule 117. unless the motion was based on to the case. it can also apply to instances of failure on the part of the prosecution or the offended party to object. then the revised RTC decision reopening argues that the dismissal under Section 8 of Rule 117 covers only situations the case should prevail. before entering his plea. In response to all these. or that a new charge sheet be filed against Pedro. another prosecution for the same offense. it prosecution for the same offense. accordingly. but its subsections (a) – that the facts hereby GRANTED. the validity of the criminal complaint or the criminal Los Baños also contends that the CA gravely erred when: (1) it ruled in information filed against him for insufficiency on its face in point of law. Pedro’s cited grounds are not the exceptions that would bar another prosecution for the same To summarize this ruling. 2001 granting the motion to for defect apparent on the face of the Information. If it does not. 19 The motion. Provisional Dismissal either provisionally or permanently. If it applies.no new matters were raised which would warrant a reconsideration year from the prosecutor’s receipt of the order. and respondent Ariel Los Banos’ motion for modification charged do not constitute an offense. (2) it granted Pedro’s motion for reconsideration and denied Los On the other hand. as the judge simply ordered the return of the confiscated arms and ammunition to Pedro. Therefore. which if true would constitute a legal justification. where both the prosecution and the accused either mutually consented or agreed to. Quashal v. an order sustaining a motion to quash does not bar The issue is ultimately reduced to whether Section 8.18 The dismissal of a criminal case upon the express application of there was an error of law but no grave abuse of discretion that would call the accused (under subsections [a] and [h]) is not a bar to another for the issuance of a writ. while initially saying that offense. as a rule. Rule 117 is applicable another prosecution for the same offense. the order to quash the thereof. It does not apply remanded to the trial court for arraignment and trial. as the CA found. Los Baños the matter to rest. or THE ISSUES that the old information be re-filed with the RTC. He notes that the grounds Pedro relied upon in his motion to quash are WHEREFORE. not on Section 8 of this Rule. it did not categorically dismiss the case. failed to apply Section 8. the state is barred from reopening the case. or effect that the Order dated November 22. DENIED. petitioner Joel Pedro’s motion for partial reconsideration is not subsections (g) or (i) of Rule 117. quash is considered a provisional dismissal. because his application is a waiver of his then ruled that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion because it constitutional prerogative against double jeopardy. Information was based on Section 3 of Rule 117. the appellate court. He adds that although the trial court granted the motion to quash. then the CA ruling effectively lays the grounds specified in Section 3(g)16 and (i)17 of Rule 117. and (h) – that it contains averments of judgment is. which became permanent one . A motion to quash is the mode by which an accused assails. reversed itself on motion for reconsideration. Los Baños prays in his petition that the case be remanded to the RTC for arraignment and trial. Motion to Quash ended. the petitioner was able to prove that the motion to Baños’ motion for modification of judgment. respondent Pedro insists and fully relies on the THE PETITION application of Section 8 of Rule 117 to support his position that the RTC should not have granted Los Banos’ motion to reopen the case. when Section 6 of Rule 117 reopen the case was filed after the lapse of more than one year from the clearly provides that an order granting a motion to quash is not a bar to time the public prosecutor was served the notice of dismissal.

4) the public prosecutor is served with a copy of the order of provisional dismissal of the case. A first notable feature of Section 8. otherwise terminated without his express consent. or both the prosecution and the accused move for its person of the accused. and (f) That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law. their provisional dismissal shall become grounds for the quashal of a complaint or information. Lacson. so that the lapse of the time-bar operates to the offense charged. Rule 117 is that it does not exactly The provisional dismissal of offenses punishable by imprisonment not state what a provisional dismissal is. (d) That the officer who filed the information had no authority to 2) the offended party is notified of the motion for a provisional do so.21 we ruled that there are sine quanon requirements in (h) That it contains averments which. Rule 117 that is at the center of the dispute motion to quash and a provisional dismissal are far different from one states that: another as concepts. c. 3) the court issues an order granting the motion and dismissing the case provisionally. or the case against him was dismissed or extinguish the right of the State to prosecute the accused. or the accused. offended party. shall become . The modifier "provisional" directly exceeding six (6) years or a fine of any amount. Provisional Dismissal An examination of the whole Rule tells us that a dismissal based on a On the other hand. (a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense. A case is provisionally dismissed if the following requirements concur: (b) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged. Section 8. (e) That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form. provisional dismissal. in their features. The rules governing a motion to quash are found under Rule been revived. In People v. if true. With respect to offenses punishable by imprisonment of 117 of the Revised Rules of Court. Rule 117 applies. or both. dismissal of the case. and Section 8 of Rule 117. 1) the prosecution with the express conformity of the accused. Their Comparison b.20 (g) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished. making the time-bar an essence of the given right or as an (i) That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of inherent part thereof. While the provision on provisional dismissal is found within Rule 117 (entitled Motion SEC. Provisional dismissal. would constitute a the application of the time-bar rule stated in the second paragraph of legal excuse or justification. it does not follow that a motion to quash results in a provisional except with the express consent of the accused and with notice to the dismissal to which Section 8. Section 3 of this Rule enumerates the more than six (6) years. — A case shall not be provisionally dismissed to Quash). and legal consequences.hypothetically admits the truth of the facts spelled out in the complaint or permanent one (1) year after issuance of the order without the case having information. moves for a provisional dismissal (sin perjuicio) of his (c) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the case. as follows: permanent two (2) years after issuance of the order without the case having been revived.8. We also ruled that the time-bar under the foregoing provision is a special procedural limitation qualifying the right of the State to prosecute.

where a ground does based on a motion to quash and a provisional dismissal to be confused not appear under Section 3. prosecution for the same offense – unless the basis for the dismissal is the cannot cover these dismissals because they are not provisional. Section 4 speaks of an not be confused with other dismissals: amendment of the complaint or information. then a motion to quash is not a proper with one another. or both.26 complements the ground provided under Section 3(i) and the exception stated in Section 6.22 by the previous extinction of criminal This feature must be read with Section 6 which provides for the effects of liability. when a dismissal is pursuant to a motion to quash under Section 3. These unique terms. A motion for provisional dismissal may then apply if the motion to quash.e. specifies the limit of the re-filing that Section 5 provisionally dismissed at the instance of either the prosecution allows – it cannot be done where the dismissal is based on extinction of or the accused. if the motion to quash relates to a defect curable by amendment. Based on the law. rules. They stress in no uncertain terms that. dismissals other than those grounded on Section 3. these requirements do not apply to a Rather than going into specifics.e.24 and the dismissals after plea sustaining a motion to quash – the dismissal is not a bar to another without the express consent of the accused. This feature also answers the question of whether the quashal of an information can be treated as a provisional Other than the above. Rule 117. Section 7 defines double jeopardy and under Section 8. not any other remedy. closely related to the second. Rule 117). This immediately apparent on face of the information. focuses on the consequences its time-bar does not apply. subject to the conditions enumerated criminal liability or double jeopardy.23 by the rule on speedy trial. This is in marked contrast with a motion to quash lead to distinctions between a quashal and a provisional dismissal under whose grounds are specified under Section 3. A necessary consequence is that where the grounds cited to state under Section 6 that a Section 8 provisional dismissal is a bar to are those listed under Section 3.. the complaint or the criminal information for defects or defenses conditions for dismissals that lead to double jeopardy. one with the express that are temporary in character (i. the governing rule when a motion class in itself.1awwphi1 Second. Section 8 simply states when a provisional provisional dismissal. and 7 of Rule 117 unmistakably provide for the a motion to quash and its resulting dismissal is a unique class that should consequences of a meritorious motion to quash.e. by its own terms.e. Section 5 dwells on the effect of First. those that bar the re-filing of the case). The consent of the accused to a dismissal Third. of a meritorious motion to quash.. to dismissals that are without consent of the accused – is not intended to lead to double jeopardy as prejudice to the re-filing of the case). i. 5. The failure of the Rules Rules of Court. then the appropriate remedy is to file a further prosecution shows that the framers did not intend a dismissal motion to quash. except for the instances mentioned under Section 6. question the efficacy of the complaint or information filed against filed. prosecution under the special terms of Section 8. The latter him or her (Sections 1 and 2. in contrast. save only for what has grounds available in a motion to quash suggests that a motion to quash is a been provided under Sections 4 and 5. and merely provides a time-bar that uniquely applies to conditions required by Section 8 obtain. a provisional dismissal may . with specific and closely-defined characteristics under the to quash is meritorious are the terms of Section 6. a case may be section. carry unavoidable implications that cannot but provisional dismissal... read in relation with Sections 3(i) and 7 and compared with the A second feature is that Section 8 does not state the grounds that lead to a consequences of Section 8. 6. we note also the following differences stressing that dismissal. the form and content of a motion to quash are as stated under Section 2 of Rule 117. 25 Section 8. i. permanent dismissals are those barred by the principle of double jeopardy. extinction of criminal liability and double jeopardy.. but nevertheless creates a bar to further permanent (i. and jurisprudence. Sections 4. dismissal can be made. Conversely. on the other hand.suggests that the dismissals which Section 8 essentially refers to are those suggests that a dismissal under Section 8 – i. Conversely. and not the dismissals that are provided under Section 7.e. Section 8 and A third feature. when the accused expressly consents and the offended party is given notice. a motion to quash assails the validity of the criminal relates directly to what Section 3(i) and Section 7 provide.the complaint or information may be re. a motion to quash is invariably filed by the accused to sustaining the motion to quash . The delimitation of the Section 8. Section 8 operates in a world of its own separate from remedy.

The established rule is that the reversal of the CA’s order is legally proper. also misappreciated whose respective rules refer to different situations that should not be the true nature. be grounded on reasons other than the defects found in the justification [Section 3(h). however. there may be a provisional dismissal of the committed.e. at which time it becomes a permanent Committee on Firearms and Security Personnel of the Comelec.28 Thus. quashal and provisional dismissal are different concepts Information was in order. No. and utility of a motion to quash. One final observation: the Information was not rendered defective by the before arraignment and under the circumstances outlined in Section 8. an information that is quashed stays him an exemption from the ban and a permit to carry firearms during the quashed until revived. Pedro.. should now be arraigned and stand trial. back to this ruling. brought. until the time-bar applies. the without the authority of the Comelec. in Abenes v. Rule 117]. we hereby GRANT the petition and accordingly declare the assailed September 19. 80223 respectively MODIFIED and contains averments which. 32 we specifically The merits of the grant of the motion to quash that the RTC initially recognized that the amendment under Section 32 of R. Fifth. fall fact that Pedro was charged of violating Section 261(q) of the Code. This per se carry any connotation of impermanence. 2005 decision and the July 6. and cannot support. As a confused with one another.R. constitute an offense [Section 3(a). 30 the time-bar. Rule 117. including the CA. 7166. In re-filing the case. on the other hand. the RTC grossly erred in its initial ruling that a quashal of the To recapitulate. the grant of a motion to quash does not election period)29 that Pedro attached to his motion to quash. We feel obliged to refer 261(q) of the Code. on the basis of which Pedro extrinsic deficiency of the complaint or information. which amended Section 261(q). Court of Appeals. a provisional dismissal is. there can be no re-filing after contest the genuineness of the COMELEC certification. 2006 resolution of the The grounds Pedro cited in his motion to quash are that the Information Court of Appeals in CA-G. Thus. the remedy is a motion to quash under the terms of Section 3. character of the crime is not determined by the caption or preamble of the information or from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated. these two sections aim to penalize among others. we conclude that Section 8. and that the facts charged do not information. a valid Information still stands. instead of Section 32 of R. as shown on its face. In a provisional dismissal. if true. under provisional dismissal. Rule 117). i. no hearing was ever called to allow the prosecution to has set in.A. In contrast. the crime committed is determined by the recital of Pedro’s Motion to Quash the ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or information31 Further. of the Law Department.27 Information any legal excuse or justification. and prescription is not an immediate consideration.A. a motion to quash grounded on is important is the question of whether the action can still be legal excuse or justification found on the face of the Information. If the problem relates to an intrinsic or consequence. and becomes so COMELEC Certification is a matter aliunde that is not an appropriate only as provided by law or by the Rules. SP No. by its own terms. granting dismissal. We find from our examination of the records that the Information duly charged a specific Fourth. for Pedro’s motion to quash was a Comelec Certification (dated September 24. to determine the exact terms of the remand of the case to the RTC that we shall order. Rule 117]. what motion to raise in. we do not see on the face or from the averments of the provided that the required consents are present. in fact. would constitute a legal excuse or . Sr. Balbuena. No. a motion to quash is allowed before the arraignment offense and provides the details on how the offense was (Section 1. 7166 does ordered is not a matter that has been ruled upon in the subsequent not affect the prosecution of the accused who was charged under Section proceedings in the courts below. On the case even when the trial proper of the case is already underway other hand. impermanent 2001. Rule 117 does not apply to the (or other deadly weapons) in public places during the election period reopening of the case that the RTC ordered and which the CA reversed. the carrying of firearms Thus. the cited Section 3(a) ground has no merit. function. whether the prescription of action or of the offense Significantly. issued by Director Jose P. All other reasons for seeking the dismissal of the complaint or information. WHEREFORE. The cited basis.

he issued Work Instruction No.00 meter right-of-way (ROW) road. No laboratory tests were conducted to ascertain unsuitability of Procedure assailing the Resolution2dated 2 March 2007 of the First Division materials. such as: (1) copy of approved concrete pouring. Phase 1 in Bacolod City to A. Philippines v. Cruz Construction. Pedro. Fajutag. No. The project. et al. 1 requiring some supporting documents. and (5) copy of work instructions attesting to the demolished concrete structures. it was established that there was no actual FELICISIMO F. the mathematical calculation in determining the was designated Project Engineer of the project. Cruz Construction submitted the fourth billing and Report of 261(q) of the Code by Section 32 of Republic Act No. Balao. Cruz Construction commenced the infrastructure works on 1 August 1990. 1.5 In April 1991. discovered certain deficiencies. was funded by the World Bank under the width of 10. BRION (3) volume calculation of earth fill actually rendered on site. ARTURO D. volume of cut of unsuitable materials are contrary to the .C.666.. Lazarte. A Variation/Extra Work Order No.(Fajutag. vs. As a result.REVERSED.00 meters. As a consequence.: survey results in support of the Variation/Extra Work Order No. unsuitable materials and road filling works.C. even if the same is necessary in land development works. Respondents. The Resolution3 dated 18 October 2007 of 3. J. excavation and road filling works undertaken by A.. the National Housing Authority (NHA) awarded the original were overestimated to the prejudice of the government: contract for the infrastructure works on the Pahanocoy Sites and Services Project." which denied petitioner Felicisimo F.. There were no records of the excavation and disposal of said court denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration is likewise unsuitable materials and of road filling works having been made challenged in this petition. The case is remanded to the Regional Trial Court of Boac. 1.R. LAZARTE.507. Cruz Construction. 4. SO ORDERED. The excavation of unsuitable materials and road filling works In June 1990.) b. Rodolfo de los Santos and Noel Lobrido at the time said activities were allegedly executed.4 natural grounds on both sides of the road was only 6. the entire a contract cost of P7. however. Fajutag. Jr.zw+ G. This is a Petition for Certiorari1 under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil 2.61avvphi1.55. Physical Accomplishments on 6 May 1991. Jr.’s further verification. Jr. Fajutag. the complainant Candido M.’s findings are summarized as follows: SANDIGANBAYAN (First Division) and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. JR. No topographic map was appended. Robert P. even if the same should have been required as essential of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. Jr. Upon Fajutag. Jr. a discarded drawing sheet: DECISION "Spot Elevations and Existing Gradelines" of the project site was found. (4) test results Associate Justice as to the quality of materials and compaction.00 meters was used in calculating the volume Project Loan Agreement forged on 10 June 1983 between the Philippine of cut of unsuitable materials when the undisturbed Government and the IBRD-World Bank. 180122 March 13. Arceo Cruz after reflecting in the Information the amendment introduced on Section of A. A. 2009 The contractor failed to comply with the work instruction.C. Jr. 1 was approved for the excavation of Marinduque for the arraignment and trial of respondent Joel R. but this contrasted significantly with the alleged joint- TINGA. with a. in a 10. Petitioner. "People of the basis thereof. (2) survey results of original ground and finished leaks. The antecedents follow.C. 26583 entitled.’s Motion to Quash. by the previous engineers. 7166.

000. Thereafter. Effectively.[.C.C.C. i.35.09 inclusive of Variation Order No.12 In a Memorandum dated 27 June 1991. 1 in the amount non-existent. Cruz Construction inclusive of accomplishments after NHA inventory.89%. Further. Jr. Cruz Construction be effected. Cruz Construction contract and awarded the remaining work to Triad Construction and Development c. i. the NHA Board of Directors.837..11 thereof. temporary project suspension imposed by the contractor. which incurred delays in the project completion. an effective width of 8. On 19 August 1991. worded as follows: . the COA uncovered some anomalies. 10 officials were charged in an Information16 dated 5 March 2001.397.e. Cruz undisturbed natural grounds on both sides of the road Construction.C.9 among which.C. per Resolution No. specifically Section 3. Triad and NHA-Bacolod conducted a joint measurement at was only 6.00) which were received by imported road fill materials. Cruz Construction had been to NHA’s enforcing its right under the contract in view of the contractor’s overpaid by as much as P232. Triad discovered that certain work items that had been in 40. be referred to the Legal Department for After its special audit investigation.554.C. brought these irregularities to the attention of of P710. 14 Memorandum addressed to the General Manager of NHA endorsing approval of the Regional Projects Department’s (RPD’s) recommendation. defective workmanship. the Project Office recommended In its Memorandum dated 22 June 1992. while it is true that the fourth billing of A. The NHA General Manager through a letter dated 29 August 1991 Cruz Construction had not been paid its accomplishments after the August informed the contractor of the rescission of his contract for the 1991 inventory found acceptable by NHA amounting to P896. d.177. in a 10. as manager of the Regional Projects Department intermittently with very minimal workforce until such time as the award of and Chairman of the Inventory and Acceptance Committee.54. the mathematical calculations in determining the volume of roadfill are contrary to the contract’s technical The Project Office was subsequently informed by the Central Office that specifications.32. measurements. by the accomplishments made by A.713. 15 to abandonment of the project. the contractor continued working Consequently. contract’s technical specifications which provides for cut In March 1992. 2453. The contract amount for the remaining work was used in calculating the volume of road fill when the was P9.10 out of the total revised contract under the inventory report as accomplished and acceptable were in fact amount of P8. Triad had issued checks in favor of A. approved the mutual termination of the A. are ghost activities.70 meters Corporation (Triad). Fajutag.13 In its Report dated 12 August 1991.000.7 Arceo M. the Inventory and Acceptance Committee determined the total accomplishment of the contractor at Thereafter. Despite the rescission notice issued by the NHA per letter dated 29 August 1991. Cruz Construction 5. according to the COA.C. and other NHA remaining infrastructure works is effected by NHA to another contractor. inventory would be paid directly to said contractor by Triad.08 were development of the said project upon his receipt thereof without prejudice paid directly by Triad.00 meters apart.628.717. the Regional Projects Department the termination of the infrastructure contract with A.00 ROW road. Cruz per Official Receipt No. which amount is more than the net unilateral and unauthorized suspension of the contract works amounting payment due per the computation of the unpaid fourth billing. specifically the excavation of unsuitable materials and road filling works and substandard. representing P3.e.433. appropriate action. representatives from A. Cruz Construction after the NHA end-area method. petitioner. the Manager of the Legal Department issued a Laboratory tests confirmed the irregularities. No laboratory test was made to ascertain the quality of amounting to One Million Pesos (P1.] by end-area method.C. 3003.11 Thereafter. Construction.C. As of 27 March 1992. the site to determine the total accomplishment of A. A. 8 recommended to the General Manager that the fund settlement to A. said Committee recommended that the the Commission on Audit (COA).225.

JOSEPHINE T. Pertinently. Construction and themselves (2) The Motion to Quash dated October 2. deliberate intent. FELICISIMO F. that he supposedly affixed his signature to the IAC Physical Inventory Diliman. Manager. Team Head.. the public officer whose participation in the That in or about the month of March. BALAO.C.C. WHEREFORE. Cruz and A. Public Officers. Hence. allegedly had to rely on the reports of the field engineers General Manager. (2) the information does not conform Subsequently. to attend the actual inspection because he allegedly saw that all the conniving. Accordingly. the Motion to Quash dated October 4. AS AMENDED (THE ANTI-GRAFT denying petitioner’s motion to quash.C. Jr. it held: accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusations against . 1991 despite his not being able relation to office and while in the performance of their official functions. a private individual and General Manager of A. in view of the foregoing. RPD. CRUZ. inventory and final quantification of the accomplishment of A. FELICISIMO F. accuses ROBERT P. the Sandiganbayan issued the first assailed resolution SECTION 3 (e) of REPUBLIC ACT No. ESPINOSA. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Memorandum is accused Felicisimo Lazarte. supposedly for the (1) Accused Robert Balao. committed as follows: Among the accused-movants. Lazarte. LAZARTE. the Sandiganbayan issued the second assailed resolution substantially to the prescribed form.C. Josephine Angsico and Virgilio Dacalos’ excavation and roadfilling works on the Pahanocoy Sites and Services Motion to Admit Motion to Quash dated October 4. DACALOS. LOBRIDO. which undertook the VIRGILIO V.. CRUZ for VIOLATION OF On 2 March 2007. 2007. 2006 attached A. is GRANTED. being the Construction. Quezon City. their official functions had given unwarranted benefits. with manifest partiality and evident bad faith. Let the CONTRARY TO LAW. JOSEPHINE C. NOEL H. petitioner filed a motion to quash the Information SO ORDERED. (3) the constitutional rights of the denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. did then and there willfully. is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. in such capacity and committing the offense in Report and Memoranda dated August 12. ESPINOSA. Cruz and NOEL H. ANGSICO. Visayas Mgt. Division Manager and/or the Project Office as to which materials were actually installed.19 raising the following grounds: (1) the facts charged in the information do not constitute an offense. and (4) the prosecution failed to determine the individual participation of all the The undersigned Ombudsman Prosecutor II of the Office of the accused in the information in disobedience with the Resolution dated 27 Ombudsman-Visayas. above-named accused. LOBRIDO AND ARCEO C. Construction as revealed by the Special Audit conducted by the thereto.17 arraignment of the accused proceed as scheduled on March 13. Province of alleged offense is specifically mentioned in the May 30. 2006 is Project in Bacolod City despite the fact no such works were undertaken by GRANTED.628. DACALOS. Officer A and Supervising Engineer. Makati City with information with respect to accused Lazarte is denied for lack of merit. JOSEPHINE T. the Chairman of the Court. JR. Office. Engr. which he can address in the course of the trial. ROBERT P. We quote the said resolution in part: AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT).18 JR. VIRGILIO V.C. thus accused public officials in the performance of insofar as the said accused-movants are concerned. Jr. ANGSICO. INFORMATION them have been violated by the inadequacy of the information.35) PHILIPPINE CURRENCY. confederating and mutually helping with each other and with members of the Committee had already signed are matters of defense accused ARCEO C.. the quashal of the Cruz Construction with address at 7486 Bagtikan Street. 3019. On 2 October 2006. Felicisimo F. JOSEPHINE O. Inventory and Acceptance Committee (IAC). LAZARTE. unlawfully and feloniously cause to be paid to A. The allegations of Lazarte that the IAC. 2006 of accused to the damage and prejudice of the government. 1992 at Bacolod City. the case is hereby DISMISSED Commission on Audit. March 2005. and (Visayas). 2006 Negros Occidental. due to certain constraints. Project Mgt. the Court hereby resolves as Construction public funds in the amount of TWO HUNDRED THIRTY TWO follows: THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED TWENTY EIGHT PESOS and THIRTY FIVE CENTAVOS (P232. BALAO. advantage and preference to accused Arceo C.

24 The Ombudsman moreover maintains that the Sandiganbayan has Bacolod City despite the fact that no such works were undertaken jurisdiction over petitioner. the instant petition which is a reiteration of petitioner’s according to the Constitution. officers being the Department Manager. And relying on the case of Domingo Two Thousand Six Hundred Twenty Eight Pesos and Thirty Five v.. petitioner avers that his constitutional right to aforementioned accused in the commission of the offense charged. Nonetheless. Petitioner also argues that the facts charged in the Information do not constitute an offense as no damage or The Court also maintains the validity and sufficiency of the information injury had been made or caused to any party or to the government.628. Espinosa. and advantage to Arceo C. 1. counters that separate Officer A. Cruz Construction.The Motion for Reconsideration of accused Lazarte. and required in an Information and neither should they be covered by evidence submitted to establish the existence of probable cause.C. Jr. the commission of the offense. Lobrido and Cruz of the offense charged. The be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him had rest of the factual issues by accused Lazarte.C. The manifest partiality or evident bad faith and have given Ombudsman reiterates our ruling in Ingco v. in a conspiracy indictment the participation submissions. the Office of the Ombudsman. that the said accused. 2004 and May 30. petitioner strongly asseverates that." salary grade 26 as he is a manager within the legal contemplation of The other factual details which accused Lazarte. the prosecution was able to show dated 27 July 2004 and 30 May 2006 to supplement the inadequacies of with sufficient particularity the respective participation of the the Information. 2006. cited are matters of paragraph 1(g). would establish the essential Construction public funds in the amount of Two Hundred Thirty elements of the crime defined by law. after a careful review of the offense and conform to the prescribed form.C. Cruz fundamental test in reflecting on the viability of a motion to quash is the and A. Hence.23 the Ombudsman states that informations need only Centavos (P232. against accused Lazarte. In its Memorandum of his co-accused. the reasons therefor are to be proved during the roadfilling works on the Pahanocoy Sites and Services Project in trial. in their respective official capacities and regarding the nature and extent of petitioner’s participation and in conspiracy with accused Cruz. The Ombudsman argues that it is of no by A. have acted with evidentiary matters which are more properly addressed during trial. Espinosa..35) supposedly for the excavation and state the ultimate facts. 20 In his Reply26 dated 9 October 2008. (2) denying his motion to same. Section 4(a) of Republic Act No. Jr. and Lobrido are public In its Comment21 dated 21 December 2007. 8249. that accused Lazarte. Cruz Construction or have caused damage and prejudice sufficiency of the averments in the information that is. Sandiganbayan22 that the unwarranted benefits. Espinosa.C. Cruz asseverated. The information petitioner maintains that the Sandiganbayan lost its jurisdiction over him has particularly alleged the ultimate facts constituting the essential upon the dismissal of the charges against his co-accused as the remaining elements of the offense charged which are as follows: accused are public officers whose salary grade is below 27. by "[causing] to be paid A. been rendered unintelligible by the dismissal of the charges against some Jr. Petitioner ascribes grave abuse of discretion amounting to of each accused in the so-called conspiracy theory should be detailed in . and (3) using as bases the Prosecution’s Memoranda dated July 27.. Project Management through the Office of the Special Prosecutor. would require the been violated for failure of the Information to specify his participation in presentation of evidence in the course of the trial of this case. and Supervising Engineer of the NHA during the time allegations of individual acts perpetrated by the conspirators are not material in the criminal information. preference. In addition. Allegations 2. Sandiganbayan. merely reiterated lack or excess of jurisdiction to the Sandiganbayan in: (1) upholding the the grounds and arguments which had been duly considered and passed validity and sufficiency of the Information despite its failure to make out an upon in the assailed Resolution. Cruz Construction as revealed by the Special Audit moment that petitioner’s position is classified as conducted by the Commission on Audit. if hypothetically admitted.25 evidence best threshed out in the course of the trial. the Court still finds no cogent reason to disturb the finding of quash considering that the remaining averments in the Information have probable cause of the Office of the Ombudsman to indict accused Lazarte. Lobrido and Cruz. Finally. whether the facts to the government. Jr. a private individual and the justification for his acts which constitute the offense charged are General manager of A. Jr. Jr.

order to apprise the accused of the nature of the accusation against them SEC. 6. Sufficiency of complaint or information.—A complaint or
in relation to the participation of the other accused. A general statement information is sufficient if it states the name of the accused, the
that all the accused conspired with each other without stating the designation of the offense by the statute, the acts or omissions complained
participation of each runs afoul of the Constitution.27 Petitioner adds that of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the
the ultimate facts intended by law refer to determinate facts and approximate time of the commission of the offense, and the place wherein
circumstances which should become the basis of the cause of action; the offense was committed.
statement of facts which would be in complete accord with the
constitutional requirement of giving the accused sufficient information When an offense is committed by more than one person, all of them shall
about the nature and the cause of the accusation against him.28 Petitioner be included in the complaint or information.
also avers that the Ombudsman’s reliance on and citation of the cases of
Ingco v. Sandiganbayan29 and Domingo v. Sandiganbayan30 is misplaced The acts or omissions complained of must be alleged in such form as is
and misleading. sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what
offense is intended to be charged and enable the court to know the proper
Petitioner’s main argument is that the Information filed before the judgment. The Information must allege clearly and accurately the elements
Sandiganbayan insufficiently averred the essential elements of the crime of the crime charged. What facts and circumstances are necessary to be
charged as it failed to specify the individual participation of all the accused. included therein must be determined by reference to the definition and
elements of the specific crimes.35
The Court is not persuaded. The Court affirms the resolutions of the
Sandiganbayan. The test is whether the crime is described in intelligible terms with such
particularity as to apprise the accused, with reasonable certainty, of the
At the outset, it should be stressed that the denial of a motion to quash is offense charged. The raison d’etre of the rule is to enable the accused to
not correctible by certiorari. Well-established is the rule that when a suitably prepare his defense.36 Another purpose is to enable accused, if
motion to quash in a criminal case is denied, the remedy is not a petition found guilty, to plead his conviction in a subsequent prosecution for the
for certiorari but for petitioners to go to trial without prejudice to same offense. The use of derivatives or synonyms or allegations of basic
reiterating the special defenses invoked in their motion to quash. Remedial facts constituting the offense charged is sufficient.37
measures as regards interlocutory orders, such as a motion to quash, are
frowned upon and often dismissed. The evident reason for this rule is to Pertinently, Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the
avoid multiplicity of appeals in a single court.31 Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, reads:

This general rule, however, is subject to certain exceptions. If the court, in SEC. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers.—In addition to acts or
denying the motion to dismiss or motion to quash acts without or in excess omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following
of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion, then certiorari or shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby
prohibition lies.32 And in the case at bar, the Court does not find the declared to be unlawful:
Sandiganbayan to have committed grave abuse of discretion.
xxx
The fundamental test in reflecting on the viability of a motion to quash on
the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense is whether (e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or
or not the facts asseverated, if hypothetically admitted, would establish giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or
the essential elements of the crime defined in law. 33 Matters aliunde will preference in the discharge of his official, administrative or judicial
not be considered.34 functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross
inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and
Corollarily, Section 6 of Rule 110 of the Rules of Court states that:

employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant Information, the Court underscores the fact that under Philippine law,
of licenses or permits or other concessions. 38 conspiracy should be understood on two levels. Conspiracy can be a mode
of committing a crime or it may be constitutive of the crime itself.
The essential elements for violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 are as Generally, conspiracy is not a crime in our jurisdiction. It is punished as a
follows: crime only when the law fixes a penalty for its commission such as in
conspiracy to commit treason, rebellion and sedition.40
1. The accused is a public officer or private person charged in
conspiracy with him; When conspiracy is charged as a crime, the act of conspiring and all the
elements of said crime must be set forth in the complaint or information.
2. Said public officer commits the prohibited acts during the But when conspiracy is not charged as a crime in itself but only as the
performance of his official duties or in relation to his public mode of committing the crime as in the case at bar, there is less necessity
position; of reciting its particularities in the Information because conspiracy is not
the gravamen of the offense charged. The conspiracy is significant only
because it changes the criminal liability of all the accused in the conspiracy
3. He causes undue injury to any party, whether the government
and makes them answerable as co-principals regardless of the degree of
or private party;
their participation in the crime. The liability of the conspirators is collective
and each participant will be equally responsible for the acts of others, for
4. Such undue injury is caused by giving unwarranted benefits,
the act of one is the act of all.41
advantage or preference to such parties; and
Notably, in People v. Quitlong,42 as pointed out by respondent, the Court
5. The public officer has acted with manifest partiality, evident
ruled on how conspiracy as a mode of committing the offense should be
bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.39
alleged in the Information, viz:

The Court finds that the Information in this case alleges the essential
x x x Where conspiracy exists and can rightly be appreciated, the individual
elements of violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019. The Information
acts done to perpetrate the felony becomes of secondary importance, the
specifically alleges that petitioner, Espinosa and Lobrido are public officers
act of one being imputable to all the others. Verily, an accused must know
being then the Department Manager, Project Management Officer A and
from the information whether he faces a criminal responsibility not only
Supervising Engineer of the NHA respectively; in such capacity and
for his acts but also for the acts of his co-accused as well.
committing the offense in relation to the office and while in the
performance of their official functions, connived, confederated and
A conspiracy indictment need not, of course, aver all the components of
mutually helped each other and with accused Arceo C. Cruz, with
conspiracy or allege all the details thereof, like the part that each of the
deliberate intent through manifest partiality and evident bad faith gave
parties therein have performed, the evidence proving the common design
unwarranted benefits to the latter, A.C. Cruz Construction and to
or the facts connecting all the accused with one another in the web of the
themselves, to the damage and prejudice of the government. The
conspiracy. Neither is it necessary to describe conspiracy with the same
felonious act consisted of causing to be paid to A.C. Cruz Construction
degree of particularity required in describing a substantive offense. It is
public funds in the amount of P232,628.35 supposedly for excavation and
enough that the indictment contains a statement of facts relied upon to be
road filling works on the Pahanocoy Sites and Services Project in Bacolod
constitutive of the offense in ordinary and concise language, with as much
City despite the fact that no such works were undertaken by said
certainty as the nature of the case will admit, in a manner that can enable
construction company as revealed by the Special Audit conducted by COA.
a person of common understanding to know what is intended, and with
such precision that the accused may plead his acquittal or conviction to a
On the contention that the Information did not detail the individual
subsequent indictment based on the same facts. It is said, generally, that
participation of the accused in the allegation of conspiracy in the
an indictment may be held sufficient "if it follows the words of the statute

and reasonably informs the accused of the character of the offense he is of his co-accused, the Court finds that the Information sufficiently makes
charged with conspiring to commit, or, following the language of the out a case against petitioner and the remaining accused.
statute, contains a sufficient statement of an overt act to effect the object
of the conspiracy, or alleges both the conspiracy and the contemplated With regard to the alleged irregular use by the Sandiganbayan of the
crime in the language of the respective statutes defining them (15A C.J.S. Prosecution’s Memoranda dated 27 July 2004 and 30 May 2006 to
842-844). supplement the inadequacies of the Information, the Court finds adequate
its explanation in the first assailed resolution, to wit:
x x x Conspiracy arises when two or more persons come to an agreement
concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. Conspiracy It may be recalled that a reinvestigation of the case was ordered by this
comes to life at the very instant the plotters agree, expressly or impliedly, Court because the prosecution failed to satisfactorily comply with an
to commit the felony and forthwith to actually pursue it. Verily, the earlier directive of the former Chairperson and Members of the First
information must state that the accused have confederated to commit the Division, after noting the inadequacy of the information, to clarify the
crime or that there has been a community of design, a unity of purpose or participation of each of the accused. In ordering the reinvestigation, the
an agreement to commit the felony among the accused. Such an Court noted that the prosecution’s July 27, 2004 Memorandum did not
allegation, in the absence of the usual usage of the words "conspired" or address the apprehensions of the former Chairperson and Members of the
"confederated" or the phrase "acting in conspiracy," must aptly appear in First Division as to the inadequacy of the allegations in the information.
the information in the form of definitive acts constituting conspiracy. In
fine, the agreement to commit the crime, the unity of purpose or the This time, despite a reinvestigation, the prosecution’s Memorandum dated
community of design among the accused must be conveyed such as either May 30, 2006 still failed to specify the participation of accused-movants
by the use of the term "conspire" or its derivatives and synonyms or by Balao, Angsico and Dacalos. The most recent findings of the prosecution
allegations of basic facts constituting the conspiracy. Conspiracy must be still do not address the deficiency found by the Court in the information.
alleged, not just inferred, in the information on which basis an accused can The prosecution avers that pursuant to Section 3, Rule 117 of the Rules of
aptly enter his plea, a matter that is not to be confused with or likened to Court, in determining the viability of a motion to quash based on the
the adequacy of evidence that may be required to prove it. In establishing ground of "facts charged in the information do not constitute an offense,"
conspiracy when properly alleged, the evidence to support it need not the test must be whether or not the facts asseverated, if hypothetically
necessarily be shown by direct proof but may be inferred from shown acts admitted, would establish the essential elements of the crime as defined
and conduct of the accused.43 by law. The prosecution contends that matter aliunde should not be
considered. However, in the instant case, the Court has found the
In addition, the allegation of conspiracy in the Information should not be information itself to be inadequate, as it does not satisfy the requirements
confused with the adequacy of evidence that may be required to prove it. of particularly alleging the acts or omissions of the said accused-movants,
A conspiracy is proved by evidence of actual cooperation; of acts indicative which served as the basis of the allegation of conspiracy between the
of an agreement, a common purpose or design, a concerted action or aforementioned accused-movants and the other accused, in the
concurrence of sentiments to commit the felony and actually pursue it. A commission of the offense charged in the information.45
statement of the evidence on the conspiracy is not necessary in the
Information.44 Finally, the Court sustains the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction to hear the
case. As correctly pointed out by the Sandiganbayan, it is of no moment
The other details cited by petitioner, such as the absence of any damage or that petitioner does not occupy a position with Salary Grade 27 as he was a
injury caused to any party or the government, likewise are matters of department manager of the NHA, a government-owned or controlled
evidence best raised during trial. corporation, at the time of the commission of the offense, which position
falls within the ambit of its jurisdiction. Apropos, the Court held in the case
As to the contention that the residual averments in the Information have of Geduspan v. People46 which involved a regional Manager/Director of
been rendered unintelligible by the dismissal of the charges against some

It is of no moment that the position of petitioner is merely classified as salary grade 26. et al. respondent court is vested with jurisdiction over petitioner PANFILO M. To recapitulate. then PNP Director-General Recaredo Sarmiento II employee holding any of the positions enumerated in paragraph a of announced. only officials of the executive branch with the salary grade 27 and higher. 1995. Quezon City at about 4:00 A. 2001 in CA- grade.M. (c) Chapter II.Region VI of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) with WHEREFORE. petitioner is a public officer. 1379 Nos. 4 the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over her person as well as the subject matter of the case. is within the jurisdiction of Before us is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse and set respondent court.. the second part thereof "specifically includes" other executive officials ." pending before Branch 81 of the RTC of Quezon City. It is the position that petitioner holds.R.2. vs. book II of Panfilo Lacson. among others. being a department manager that day. that determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. SP No. et al.3 of Philhealth. not her salary aside the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals dated August 24. (b). Hence. 149453 May 28. or (e) other offenses or The following appear in the records of this case: felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes. Executive Secretary. the following investigation of Criminal Cases Nos. 14 and 14-A. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689 or the requisites must concur: (1) the offense committed is a violation of (a) R. the instant petition is DISMISSED.47 (3) In an affidavit he executed the following day. ET AL. Section 2. issued in 1986 (sequestration cases). a private individual charged together with her. 2002 whose positions may not be of grade 27 and higher but who are by express provision of law placed under the jurisdiction of the said court. as amended (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). (b) R. a government-owned and controlled corporation. delos Reyes stated. morning papers carried the news that SPO2 Eduardo RA 8249 and the offense for which she was charged was committed in delos Reyes had claimed that the killing of the eleven (11) gang members relation to her office as department manager of Philhealth.A. G. in a press conference. The position of manager is one of those mentioned in paragraph a. as in the case of Philhealth. RESOLUTION The position of manager in a government-owned or controlled corporation. the Kuratong Baleleng Gang (KBG) in a shootout with police elements near the fly-over along Commonwealth Avenue.A.A. (2) the offender committing the offenses in items (a). 8249 reveals that to fall (RTC) of Manila. 65034. Q-01-101102 to Q-01-101112 entitled "People of the Philippines v. Title VII. to wit: Resolutions dated 2 March 2007 and 18 October 2007 of the First Division of the Sandiganbayan are AFFIRMED. (1) assailing the Order issued by Judge Herminia Pasamba of the Regional Trial Court A perusal of the aforequoted Section 4 of R. and (3) the offense committed is in relation to the office. Branch 40. LACSON together with Farahmand. Section 4 of (2) On May 22. 1995.2 The said Decision of the appellate court granted respondent Lacson's Second Amended Petition for Prohibition with This Court in Lacson v. 1. Accordingly. (d) Executive Order Nos.R. The salary grade 26. was a "rub-out" or summary execution and not a shootout. No. and (2) praying for the dismissal of Criminal Cases 3019. While the first part of the above–quoted provision covers SO ORDERED. that allowed the continuation of the re- under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. premises considered. (the law on ill-gotten wealth). the killing of eleven (11) members of section 4. Kuratong Baleleng cases. the Revised Penal Code (the law on bribery). PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. ruled: application for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order. that he was part of a composite police team called the Anti- Bank Robbery and Intelligence Task Force Group (ABRITFG) composed of . (c) and (e) is a public official or (1) On May 18.

7975. the panel issued a resolution recommending the all cases where at least one of the accused. Case No.elements of the National Capital Region Command (NCRC) and headed by prosecution of multiple murder charges against twenty-six (26) officers and Chief Superintendent Jewel Canson. Carlito Alap-ap in Crim. and Special Prosecutor Leonardo Tamayo and Assistant Ombudsman Abelardo (13) In Lacson v. 1996. 23054. 8249 took (7) Ombudsman Aniano Desierto then created a panel of investigators to effect on February 23. Ray Abalora in Crim.5 Crim. Presidential Anti- Crime Commission (PACC). 1995. Executive Secretary. and Criminal Investigation Command (CIC). Mayo. Case No. a reporter of Remate. Case Commonwealth Avenue where they were shot to death by elements of No. Case No. In particular. headed by Chief Superintendent Panfilo M. Pending resolution of the motion. amending R. Case hands tied behind their backs. citing Section 2 Investigation. R. A. Armando Capili. SPO2 Corazon dela Cruz. their 23048. Case No. the Sandiganbayan ordered against ninety-seven (97) officers and personnel of ABRITFG. 1995. (10) Upon motion of the respondent. A. accomplice dismissal of the charges for lack of probable cause. Alex Neri in Crim. or accessory. the gang members were made to board two vans. No. Lacson Chief Superintendent Romeo Acop. 7975 then prevailing. headed by Chief Superintendent the Sandiganbayan eleven (11) Informations for MURDER.6 accessory. 1995. 23050. Jr.7 questioned the jurisdiction of theSandiganbayan to hear the criminal cases as none of the "principal" accused in the Amended Informations was a (6) On June 1. Chief Superintendent Job A. that Sorronda in Crim. 23053. No. 1997. This Court. A. executed an affidavit stating that he was present when the KBG members were (11) With the downgrading of charges against him. whether principal. Jevy Redillas in Crim. 23055. thereby expanding the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan to include On October 20. and Pacifico Montero in Crim. the Ombudsman filed before Lacson. Case No. Arraignment then followed and respondent entered a plea of not guilty. 23056. Amended Dela Cruz claimed that she was with delos Reyes from the time the eleven Informations were filed against the same twenty-six (26) suspects but the (11) KBG members were arrested up to the time they were killed in participation of respondent Lacson was downgraded from principal to Commonwealth Avenue. Traffic Management Command. 23052. another CIC investigator. 7975. Case a decision to summarily execute them was made. the cases transferred to the Regional Trial Court. filed murder charges with the Office of the Ombudsman of R. Case No. 23047.10 The following appear to be the victims: Meleubren 1995 at the gang's safe house in Superville Subdivision. against respondent Panfilo M. (4) On May 26. the review panel constitutionality of the amendment and contended that reversed the Blancaflor resolution and found probable cause for the the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the criminal cases.14 respondent Lacson challenged the Aportadera as members. 1995. and later to No. after their arrest. All twenty-six (26) of them were team arrested the eleven (11) gang members in early morning of May 18. Case No.9 headed by Senior Superintendent Francisco Subia.. 23049. Joel Amora in Crim. Central Police District Command. Sherwin Abalora in ABRITFG. 23051. Manuel Montero in Crim. (9) On November 2. is a government official of Salary Grade (SG) 27 or higher. No. A.12 kin of the slain KBG members also filed murder charges against the same officers and personnel. 1995. the Ombudsman for reinvestigation. On November 20.8 (12) The Office of the Special Prosecutor filed a motion for reconsideration of the transfer. headed by Deputy Ombudsman for Military Affairs Bienvenido Blancaflor. Rolando Siplon in Crim. and brought initially to Camp Crame where No. Parañaque. On March 1. Delos Reyes claimed that the police and twenty-five (25) other accused.11 (5) On May 31. respondent Lacson arrested in Superville Subdivision. The panel was amendatory law deleted the word "principal" in Section 2 of R. charged as principals. headed by Criminal Cases Nos. docketed as Ricardo de Leon. personnel of ABRITFG. The next-of. The amendment is made applicable to all cases pending in any court in which (8) Ombudsman Desierto referred the resolution for review by a panel trial has not yet begun as of the date of its approval. the criminal cases were remanded to executed an affidavit corroborating the material allegations of delos Reyes. PNP Director for government official with a Salary Grade (SG) 27 or higher. . 23057. Welbor Elcamel in Crim. the conduct a preliminary investigation of the murder charges. No. Case No. 1995.13 composed of Over-all Deputy Ombudsman Francisco Villa as head. 23047 to 23057. Accordingly.

because evidentiary matters should be presented and respondent Lacson. may get on with their lives. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689. recanted their affidavits which implicated respondent Lacson in the the prosecution witnesses and the private complainants alike--- murder of the KBG members. It is (15) Before the accused could be arraigned. No. the (18) During the said hearing. as follows: the Amended Informations for murder failed to indicate that the offenses charged therein were committed in relation to.' and (3) dismiss the cases should the trial court find lack of probable cause. there is no more reason to hold the accused for trial and further expose them to an open and public accusation. Court of Appeals (G. Mendoza indorsed to the de los Reyes.16 Nenita Alap-ap. offended parties were notified of the hearing on March 22. similar circumstances are clearly shown to exist. In their stead. Secretary of . Abelardo Ramos regarding the Kuratong Baleleng incident for preliminary investigation. Armando Capili and Jane Gomez. Ysmael S. courts should not dismiss it for want of (16) Due to these developments. private complainants Myrna Abalora. nonetheless ordered the (19) On March 29.the accused. prosecution witnesses time to write finis to these cases and lay to rest the ghost of the Eduardo de los Reyes. No. January 21. Following the doctrine docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. There is no more the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.. This Court holds that the circumstances in the case at bench (17) The records of the case before us are not clear whether the private clearly make an exception to the general rule. 15 Leonora The Court is not unmindful of the admonition in the recent case of Amora. above-cited. Judge Agnir issued a Resolution25 dismissing transfer of the criminal cases to the Regional Trial Court on the ground that Criminal Cases Nos. 23047 to 23057 were raffled off to Branch 81 of the desistance of the private complainants. 1999) Redillas. the Court finds no other accused. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689. 1999 23 held by Judge Agnir to resolve the motions filed by respondent Lacson and the WHEREFORE. Armando Capili and Jane Gomez incident of May 18. accused are probably guilty thereof. PNP Director Leandro R. including evidence. and re. in view of the foregoing. 8249. 1995 so that all those involved--. Godwin Valdez testified that he assisted them in preparing their affidavits of desistance and that he signed said affidavits as witness. On the SO ORDERED. now evidence to show that a crime has been committed and that the Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals.17 Imelda Montero. Aurora Bautista of the Philippine Lawyer's League presented the affidavits of recantation of prosecution witnesses Eduardo (20) On March 27. the twenty-six (26) accused. then presided by Judge. Corazon de la Cruz. the private offended parties who desisted do Informations in the above-numbered cases are hereby ordered not appear to have been presented on the witness stand. filed five separate but identical motions to (1) make a heard during the trial'. Yu and P/S Corazon de la Cruz testified to affirm her affidavit. Accordingly. Wenceslao Agnir.22 manifest error.18 Margarita People vs. if not absurd."26 other hand. A. probable cause for the issuance of the warrants of arrest against the accused or to hold them for trial." Atty. the documents attached to the Informations in official functions of the respondent. (2) hold in abeyance the issuance of the warrants. On the other hand. Only prosecution witness Department of Justice the new affidavits of P/Insp.19 Carmelita Elcamel20 and Rolando Siplon21 also executed their where the Supreme Court said that the general rule is that 'if the respective affidavits of desistance declaring that they were no longer Information is valid on its face and there is no showing of interested to prosecute these cases. or in discharge of. 126005. 1999.24 Insp. with the recantation of the principal prosecution witnesses and (14) Criminal Cases Nos. Jr. Diokno 'is judicial determination of the existence of probable cause for the issuance an exception to the general rule and may be invoked only if of warrants of arrest. support thereof have been rendered meaningless.while dismissing the constitutional challenge. grave abuse of discretion or prejudice on the part of the public prosecutor. Atty. as required by R. On the strength of this indorsement.R. 2001. the "As already seen. dismissed. and that the ruling in Allado vs.

01-101102 to 01-101112. 2001. respondent Lacson. pending hearing on the injunctive relief. and 2001 (Exhibit "B") together with the sworn statements of the invalidity of the new Informations for Murder filed against witnesses Ramos and Yu (Exhibits "2" and "3" . and [ii] petitioner's arraignment while the case had not yet been WHEREFORE. eleven (11) Informations for murder involving the April 17. The criminal cases were assigned to Judge Ma. this Court submits that the dismissal of Criminal Informations in Criminal Cases Nos. Perez formed a panel to investigate the matter. this Court finds petitioners have not by concluding that the dismissal of Criminal Cases Nos. Yadao.Justice Hernando B.27 before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. the Secretary of Justice.. including respondent Lacson their constitutional right against double jeopardy. State Prosecutors Ong and Zacarias. jurisdiction thereover [Criminal Cases No.supportive of the petitioners and others. the PNP Chief. filed a petition for and his twenty-five (25) other co-accused in Criminal Cases Nos. Pasamba. enjoin the State prosecutors from conducting the preliminary investigation. respondent Lacson filed before the Court of Appeals raffled to Branch 40. the Philippines who is the complainant in the Kuratong Baleleng case illegality of the proceedings of the respondent State Prosecutors and remains to be the complainant in the present investigation as they cannot revive complaints which had been dismissed over initiated thru a letter of PNP Chief Mendoza dated March 27.32 Cases Nos. among others. Q-99- prohibition with application for temporary restraining order and/or writ of 81679 to Q-99-81689. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689. the respondent was subpoenaed to attend the investigation killing of the same members of theKuratong Baleleng gang were filed of Criminal Cases Nos. 2001 and admitted by part of the herein petitioners. 2001. 01-100933 and (24) On the same day. 2001. 01-101102 to 01-101112 were filed. all in defiance of law and jurisprudence as refiling of the case (Exhibit "9"). Q-99- preliminarily established that they have a right to be preserved 81679-Q-99-81689 by the QC RTC was not final and executory. preliminary injunction with the Regional Trial Court of Manila. The questioned Order (Annex A) and the new Informations in Criminal arraignment had with the Sandiganbayan does not put the case in Cases Nos. presided by Judge Herminia V. prohibition and injunction against the against petitioners herein and to hold them for trial. and the People of the Philippines.viz: was amended to implead as additional party-respondents State Prosecutor Claro Arellano and the RTC. On (23) On June 6. invoking. Branch 81 in which the "After a study. 2nd Assistant City (22) The plea for temporary restraining order was denied by Judge Prosecutor Jamolin. The petition was docketed as Civil Case No. 2001. The dismissal was a direct the Court of Appeals on June 26. the prayer for temporary restraining order is hereby remanded to the QC RTC and while the Sandiganbayan had valid DENIED. two (2) years from the date the dismissal order was issued. The new Informations (21) On May 28. shown by the following: xxx xxx xxx (a) Respondent judge had ruled on the merits of the main prohibition action a quo rendering the same moot and academic Above considered."30 . et al. The said petition Pasamba in an Order29 dated June 5. It is the People of the by respondent Judge Pasamba of her discretion in its issuance. alleged: consequence of the finding of the Quezon City RTC that no probable cause exists for the issuance of warrants of arrest "The reliefs of certiorari. hence [i] the complaints therein can be reinvestigated. charged as principals thirty-four (34) people. 01-101102 to 01-101112 pending before respondent a different perspective since theSandiganbayan was adjudged to Yadao (Annex B) are founded upon the grave abuse of discretion be without any jurisdiction to try the cases. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689 is not one on the merits and without any recorded arraignment and entered plea on the (25) The Second Amended Petition33 dated June 14. Quezon City. 2001.28 a petition for certiorari31 against Judge Pasamba. 23047-2048] was void. primarily to Theresa L. notwithstanding that the only issue in the TRO application was the SO ORDERED.

the Court of Appeals (Special Third Division). the Manifestation and Motion dated June 13. dismissed case. as the subject criminal cases. 2001 seeking the suspension of Temporary Restraining Order earlier issued against the conduct of the proceedings before the trial court." and filed before respondent Judge Maria and considered Criminal Cases Nos. cases similar to revival of criminal cases. with respect to said accused. Rule 117. supra. existence or lack of a valid complaint as defined in S1 and S3. et al. on June 8. It mandates that for offenses punishable by imprisonment of more than six (6) years. LACSON. 01- rendered the now assailed Decision. is hereby made PERMANENT. viz: (b) Respondent Judge ruled that respondent State Prosecutors "In sum. As prayed for. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689 as "provisional dismissal. corresponding Informations. The second paragraph revived after two (2) years from the date the dismissal order was of the said provision is couched in clear. on March 29. such efforts to revive the of DOJ Secretary Hernando Perez's political schemes. Respondent Lacson. PANFILO M. 2001. that is. are hereby ordered DISMISSED. Rule 117 of the imposable is imprisonment of six (6) years or more) cannot be 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure."34 criminal cases are now definitely barred by the two-year prescriptive period provided therein. Yadao of Branch 81 of the Regional Trial Court of revivals of the same. The present affidavits filed after said cases were dismissed on March 29. this Court is of the considered view that the subject could proceed to re-investigate and thereafter file new dismissal of [the] criminal cases was provisional in nature and that Informations on June 6. Rule 117. and in insisting that a valid complaint was filed in clear petitioner. respondent Lacson also filed with the RTC-QC Branch 81 (presided by Judge Ma. 2001.35 further proceedings in Criminal Cases Nos. It characterized the termination of 101102 to 01-101112. Lacson. docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. words. 01-101102 to 01- 101112. to dismiss the cases outright." Panfilo M. Applying Section 8. was commenced only on April 19. provisionally dismissing the criminal June 5. 01-101102 to 01-101112. entitled 'People of the Philippines vs. Criminal Cases Nos. the petition is GRANTED. their (c) Respondent Judge held that the petitioner had not shown a provisional dismissal shall become permanent two (2) years after right to be preserved despite evidence showing the short cuts the issuance of the order without the case having been revived. 1999. the proceedings or hearing in Criminal Cases Nos. Rule 117 of the 2000 Revised Quezon City. 2001. it dismissed the criminal cases against the 110. . more violation of the Rules and case law thereon. even if reckoned from the DOJ's issuance of subpoenas to opening. filed a WHEREFORE. Q-99-81679-Q-99-81689 on the basis of are mere revival or re-opening of the dismissed cases. (26) In the meantime. Applying the clear and categorical which his indictment for a non-bailable offense is assured because mandate of Section 8.36 conducted by respondent State Prosecutors in respect of the said criminal cases are declared NULL AND VOID and the (28) On August 24. simple and categorical issued. 2001 was given him to file his counter-affidavit without cases now sought to be revived. including the issuance of warrants of arrest against the (27) The Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order enjoining petitioner. Theresa Yadao). being one involving "provisional dismissal" and despite the fact that under Section 8. however. a Motion xxx xxx xxx for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause and in the absence thereof. of RTC- that the petitioner had shown that an inextendible deadline of Quezon City's Resolution. respondent. in not complying with Rules in respect of its re. It taken by respondent State prosecutors in re-investigating a should be noted that the revival of the subject criminal cases. 2001 covering those offenses subject of the cases presently sought to be prosecuted by the respondents Criminal Cases Nos. falls within the purview of the those filed against the petitioner and others (where the penalty prescriptive period provided under Section 8. controversy. Rule Rules of Criminal Procedure. and despite the fact than two (2) years after the issuance. Judge Yadao from issuing a warrant of arrest or conducting any proceeding Accordingly. 01-101102 to 01-101112 as mere Theresa L. 1999.

To be sure. (2) whether it was ordered by the the element of notice to be litigated before then Judge Agnir for Section 8. Myrna Abalora."37 that only seven (7) persons submitted their affidavits of desistance. Lacson against double jeopardy. Rule 117 was not tackled by the The records of the case. SO ORDERED. Pacifico Montero. become permanent one (1) year after issuance of the order without the case having been revived. It was respondent Lacson himself who moved to dismiss the reinvestigating the said cases against him. conclusiveness whether notices to the offended parties were given before the cases against the respondent Lacson were dismissed by then Judge Nor was the fact of notice to the offended parties the subject of proof Agnir. (3) whether the 2-year period to Rule 117 was yet inexistent at that time. this new rule can be given there were affidavits of desistance executed by the relatives of the three retroactive effect. Yadao. wife of Wilbur Elcamel. This rule which took effect on Abalora December 1." From the records of the case before us. wife of victim Carlito Alap-ap. viz: (1) whether the provisional dismissal of the cases had the hearing or had knowledge thereof. it is not fair to expect the express consent of the accused. and punishable by imprisonment of more than six (6) years. 2000 provides: b. However. Thus. mother of victim Hilario Jevy Redillas. Rule 117 bars the filing of the eleven (11) informations against the respondent Lacson involving the killing of some a. the issue of whether or not the reinvestigation is barred by Section 8. Leonora Amora. There was hardly any proceeding conducted in the case for Godwin Valdez who testified that he assisted the private complainants in respondent Lacson immediately filed a petition for certiorari in the preparing their affidavits and he signed them as a witness. presided by Judge Pasamba. revive has already lapsed. court after notice to the offended party. issuance of the order without the case having been revived. Provisional dismissal.. Rolando Siplon. 8. and (4) whether there is any justification for the filing of the cases beyond the 2-year period. With respect to offenses f. to enjoin the prosecutors from consent. with notice to the offended party. this Court cannot rule on this jugular issue due to the lack of sufficient factual bases. mother of the victims Sherwin Abalora and Rey members of the Kuratong Baleleng gang. and Alex Neri. The fact of notice to the offended parties was not raised either in the petition for prohibition with application for temporary restraining order or There is no uncertainty with respect to the fact that the provisional writ of preliminary injunction filed by respondent Lacson in the RTC of dismissal of the cases against respondent Lacson bears his express Manila. Carmelita Elcamel. It also appears . it cannot be determined whether Like any other favorable procedural rule. It appears from the resolution of then Judge Agnir that the relatives after the eleven (11) informations for murder against respondent Lacson of the victims who desisted did not appear during the hearing to affirm and company were revived in the RTC of Quezon City presided by Judge their affidavits. Nenita Alap-ap. mother of victim Joel Amora. The same records do not show whether they were notified of following facts. their provisional dismissal shall become permanent two (2) years after g. or both. d. The provisional dismissal of offenses punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years or a fine of any amount. Jr. namely: Meleubren Soronda. The only question raised in said subject cases for lack of probable cause before then Judge Agnir. wife of victim Manuel Montero.A case shall not be provisionally dismissed except with the express consent of the accused and c. there is need of proof of the (3)38 other victims. Their affidavits of desistance were only presented by Atty. hence. however. it petition is whether the reinvestigation will violate the right of respondent is beyond argument that their dismissal bears his express consent. Thus. namely: The issue is whether Section 8. "SEC. Margarita Redillas. shall e. do not reveal with equal clarity and litigants. Imelda Montero..

. take no part. was found at a coffee plantation in Jacana. The applicability of Section 8."39 It is doubtful whether this finding is supported by the records of the case.: bar has to be first determined . Rule 117 have been complied with on the basis of the evidence never considered in the trial court. But Pending the ruling. crucial issue of whether notices were given to the offended parties before Judge Agnir ordered the dismissal of the cases against respondent Lacson SO ORDERED. whether the multiple murder cases against respondent Lacson are being revived within or beyond the 2-year bar. the State must be given needs corroboration the presence or lack of which may ultimately decide the opportunity to justify its failure to comply with said timeline.. REY SUNGA. issues cannot be done in this Court but before the trial court. the appellate court did not require the parties to elucidate the arrest against the respondent Lacson. the case at bar is remanded to the RTC - entertain the revived informations for multiple murder against him. there is a statement in the Decision of the appellate court to the effect that "records show that the prosecution and R. LITO OCTAC and LOCIL CUI @ GINALYN CUYOS. a high school student of Palawan Integrated National School. several arrests having for multiple murder against respondent Lacson should be enjoined. J. in Criminal Cases Nos.. Rule 117 bars the revival of the multiple murder cases against him. They involve disputed facts homicide against the suspects. and in a straightforward manner and is full of details which by their nature could not have been the result of deliberate afterthought. The reckoning date of the 2-year CARPIO-MORALES. the trial court is restrained from issuing any warrant of even then. it If the cases were revived only after the 2-year bar. the mutilated body of Jocelyn Tan (Jocelyn). INOCENCIO PASCUA. rule fixes a timeline to penalize the State for its inexcusable delay in prosecuting cases already filed in courts. Branch 81 so that the State prosecutors and the respondent Lacson can adduce evidence and be heard on whether the requirements of This is not to be wondered at. RAMIL LANSANG. 1994. Palawan. uncorroborated testimony of an accused who turned state received by the various offended parties or from the date of the effectivity witness may suffice to convict his co-accused if it is given unhesitatingly of the new rule. among others. To be sure. the authority of Judge Yadao to IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. 01-101102 to 01-101112 should be dismissed or not. The case was raffled to Branch 48 of the and arguable questions of law. Barangay Bancao-Bancao in Puerto In light of the lack of or the conflicting evidence on the various Princesa City. JJ. 2003 the private offended parties were notified of the hearing x x x. It was in the Court of Appeals where of which the trial court should make a ruling on whether the Informations respondent Lacson raised for the first time the argument that Section 8. appellee. The new the cause of the prosecution and the fate of the accused. RAMIL LANSANG and INOCENCIO PASCUA. Rule 117. the records of this case are inconclusive on the factual issue of REY SUNGA. and company. complainants submitted affidavits of desistance. appears to be contrary to Judge Agnir's finding that only seven (7) of the vs. It PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. this Court is not in a position to rule whether or not the re-filing of the cases The hunt for the possible killers of Jocelyn was swift. 126029 March 27. The reception of evidence on these various court.accused. Indeed.whether it is from the date of the Order of then Judge Agnir dismissing the cases or from the dates the Order were The sole.appellate court challenging. Rule 117 was Section 8. been made in a span of days. followed by the conduct of the requisite Fundamental fairness requires that both the prosecution and the preliminary investigation by the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) in respondent Lacson should be afforded the opportunity to be heard and to Puerto Princesa City which culminated in the filing before the Regional adduce evidence on the presence or absence of the predicate facts upon Trial Court (RTC) of Puerto Princesa City of the information for rape with which the application of the new rule depends. a minor and compelling reasons to justify the revival of cases beyond the 2-year bar. Melo and Carpio. . It can therefore present On July 12.1 otherwise. Quezon City. requirements to determine the applicability of Section 8. No. appellants. (PINS).

repaired to the Mendoza Park. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the herein accused in dropout who had been living away from her parents and using the alias furtherance of the conspiracy together with LOCIL CUI. thereby Princesa City. did then and there wilfully. Already on board the tricycle was a lesbian who had a inflicting upon her mortal wounds and multiple fractures on her birthmark on the right side of the face and who invited Locil for a joy skull which were the direct cause of her death shortly thereafter. Locil boarded a tricycle bearing the assault. filed on October 18. "Ginalyn Cuyos"11 to evade. m. taking advantage of their superior number and strength. whom she did not know but whom she later identified and who answered to the name CONTRARY TO LAW. averring therein that the legal requisites . the lesbian alighted and spoke to Jocelyn Tan. then 14 years old and an elementary school conceal the commission of the crime. Jocelyn. and Locil Cui alias Ginalyn Cuyos as statement6 which detailed how her co-accused carried out the crime. Irawan. Philippines. Lansang stripped naked. unlawfully and feloniously.8 the trial court deferred the resolution of the bail petition until after the prosecution had rested its case. and submitting her sworn Pascua. violence and intimidation. the accused through counsel filed a petition for his arm around her waist as they dragged her to a nearby "buho" clumps. by means of restraining order (TRO) enjoining the trial court from proceeding with the force. 1994 a motion to discharge 5 accused Locil Cui (Locil) to be a state witness. 1994. the trial of the case resumed. Her skirt was raised and her panty direct evidence against them. respective counsels for the other accused opposed the motion. there being no There. the said accused conspiring The accused assailed the discharge of Locil via a petition for certiorari and and confederating together and mutually helping one another. of June 29.7 By Order of October 20."14 witnesses. Jocelyn was made to lie down. At about 2:00 p. The lesbian. at Barangay Locil. a minor. to wit: by pinning down one trial of the case. with intent to kill. The accomplice the accusatory portion of the information dated September 6. aboard the tricycle. but it granted the motion to discharge That on or about June 29. by her own account. the four of them proceeded to and reached Barangay Irawan. did prohibition9 before the Court of Appeals which issued a temporary then and there wilfully. placed himself on top of conducted in the course of which the prosecution. then joined Locil aboard the tricycle which was already driven by Inocencio Pascua (Pascua) vice Sunga who had in the meantime left. who was dressed in a PINS uniform. As she lay face up with both her hands held by resolution4 for their indictment. Puerto Princesa City.. a fact admitted by the City Prosecutor in his was taken off by Lansang.13 Upon instruction of the lesbian. and Lito Octac as principals.Accused in the Information were Rey Sunga.2 Rey Sunga (Sunga). having carnal knowledge of her against her will and without her consent. after presenting several Jocelyn. that on the occasion of said rape and to enable them to Through state witness Locil. treacherously attack. Inocencio for her discharge had been complied with. Ramil Lansang. the victim. Hearings on the bail petition were Sunga and Pascua.10 The TRO lapsed. insisting 1994 reads as follows: that it could only be filed during trial on the merits and that Locil’s testimony was not absolutely necessary.12 her mother and aunt acting with discernment and who cooperated in the execution of who were looking for her after she got pregnant (the pregnancy was later the offense as ACCOMPLICE. together with The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. ride. however. bail. inserted his penis into her vagina and "seemed to be pumping. succeeded in injunction being issued. and use personal violence upon JOCELYN TAN by marking "Ryan-Ryan" from the Social Security System (SSS) Office in Puerto repeatedly stabbing and smashing a stone on her head. x x x. xxx 1994. Still Upon arraignment all the accused pleaded not guilty. without a preliminary JOCELYN TAN. fifteen (15) years of age.3 underscoring the weakness of the People’s evidence. aborted). 1994 in the afternoon. Jr. 1994. 11984. a minor. the tricycle driver. the prosecution established the following version: unlawfully and feloniously. Puerto Princesa City and on reaching a forested area. Jocelyn was met by Sunga who held her and by Ramil Lansang (Lansang) who wrapped On September 26. hence. At the Mendoza Park.

Sunga took turn to have sexual intercourse with Jocelyn as the tricycle who seemed to be hiding their faces. about 2 cm right side of the those who saw the mutilated body of Jocelyn in the morning of July 12. light post under which Lansang was situated. was then pulled by the lesbian and led back into the kung sino and may kagagawan sa krimen.20 After Pascua satisfied his lust.16 the afternoon of July 12. causing her to fall to the ground lifeless. Sunga and Pascua to ride with them. a tricycle arrived with three men on board. kept Jocelyn pinned down by her hands. Lansang arrived and told him as weapon to Lansang who smashed Jocelyn’s head with an irregularly follows: "Total tayo ay magkaisang barangay lang ay ayosin natin itong shaped stone. extending to the right side of the occipital and parietal 1994 at a coffee plantation near her place. m. mga polis. Depressed fracture noted at the frontal bone of the skull about home in Jacana. position and clutch her abdomen. he saw cm in length. identify Pascua too subsequently had carnal knowledge of Jocelyn who all along Lansang at the police station as one of the men who went to her store in struggled against her malefactors. prompting Jocelyn’s body behind. Carla Gallego - then repaired to her boarding house. Locil. described as one who has "chinky" or "narrow eyes. she heard in good terms. Lito Octac (Octac) alighted. 1994. measuring 2. Huwag na lang nating sabihin sa tricycle where they awaited Lansang. she was made to. Vigonte) affirmed the following findings in her report 22 dated discovery on July 12. Lansang All five thereafter headed back to Puerto Princesa City proper. extending from the hole to the bregma.5 cm in width and 3. his neighbor who was courting Jocelyn at the time and with whose family his own family was When the five reached the Mendoza Park where Locil alighted. Barangay Bancao-Bancao where Jocelyn’s body was about 2 cm in length extending from the depressed fracture up to later found on July 12. date and while tending her sari-sari store. a garbage truck driver. Dr. 1994. declared that she was among noted at the lambdoid suture. at 1:30 a. m.5 a day after the incident. lambda. who kaso at magtulungan na lang. Until she was arrested following the Vigonte (Dr.17 Tan to relay to law enforcers the statements of Lansang.18 POST-MORTEM FINDINGS The other prosecution witnesses provided testimonies pertaining to circumstances after the fact. a resident of Jacana. right side. drawing her to rise to a sitting of his daughter at the Sampaton Funeral Parlor. she Pascua. leaving replied that he would return. that one of those two Lansang and one who was not known to Locil and whom the latter men inside the tricycle inquired from her whether the discovered corpse. she did not report the July 12." later identified to be that of Jocelyn. however. 1. when from a distance of about 30 meters. recalled that he was on his way 2. 1994 of Jocelyn’s corpse. and that two days later.15 reported to the police about the three suspicious looking men who went to her store. Sunga. that in the afternoon of that bones of the skull. with a linear fracture plantation in Jacana. of July 14. with a sharp bladed weapon. Sunga then passed on the bladed 1994 (15th day following the incident). 1994 and inquired as to Jocelyn’s corpse. Ma. with a rounded hole at its right side with irregular Lansang walking back and forth and appearing restless near the coffee edges measuring 4 cm x 5 cm in diameter. leaving the two inside .19 3. Locil Testifying on the autopsy she conducted on Jocelyn. linear fracture about 3 cm in length along the coronal a good look at Lansang due to the illumination provided by the electric suture. was from Barangay Caroray.After Lansang. otherwise something would also happen to her." When he asked Lansang who he was referring to. Although it was then nighttime. Lansang did not return. Igleceria Gabinete. that the following day. mayroon na akong alam na makakapagturo witnessed everything. 2 cm anterior to the bregma. recounted as follows: During the wake the abdomen of the motionless Jocelyn. The cadaver was seen in advanced stage of decomposition. one of whom. Oscar Devilleres. Barangay Bancao-Bancao at 12:30 a. as she did. stabbed Galahad Tan (Tan). 1994: incident to anyone.21 the voice of someone from inside the tricycle warning her to keep mum about the incident. Devilleres had the bregma. Jocelyn’s father. of June 30. Multiple linear fracture with lengths ranging from 2 cm to 5 cm.

Lansang arrived in a tricycle bearing thirty minutes. Rocamora affixed their respective signatures on the consummating his carnal desire.27 Jocelyn was also raped. m. the attacker was at the back of Jocelyn. and at a forested area in Sitio investigation proceeded with Sunga voluntarily giving his answers to Tagaud. Locil inserted a cigarette into the corpse’s mouth – "…. Lansang and Jocelyn. After Sunga and Atty. 2 which was fatal. and and Lacao Street. the Barangay Irawan at around 10:30 a. he (Sunga). Lansang and Locil carried the it being a deep wound in the skull affecting its inner organ and lacerating victim’s body and left the same at a coffee plantation fifty meters away the tissues of the brain. 3. He initially asked Sunga whether he knew anything about Jocelyn at the PINS. Rocamora). This time. Atty. Locil and Jocelyn) transferred to an "owner’s jeep" Rocamora briefly conferred with Sunga. that for the injury their return to the city. pinasigarilyo ni [Locil] ang bangkay upang Dr. Vigonte opined that a blunt object or instrument like a hard wood or a ikubli sa maaaring makakita ang tunay na kaanyuan ni Jocelyn Tan. Sunga answered the investigating judge’s other queries as he implicated Lansang.24 The above sworn statement bears Sunga’s signature and that of his The prosecution adduced documentary evidence consisting mainly of two assisting counsel. the four parted ways at the corner of Rizal Avenue in post-mortem finding no. Agustin Rocamora (Atty. during the preliminary investigation The group then headed back to the city proper. On wound. Lansang’s wish. the assailant was probably at Jocelyn’s left side. however. Atty. Locil also whacked Jocelyn’s body many times. Vigonte was. The execution of Exhibit "A" was. In a sworn statement (Exhibit "A")25 dated July 18. Sunga chose Atty. Lansang talked to him of his rights under custodial interrogation. asking him if he wanted to give a brought by Octac alias "Toto. m. 1994 when SPO4 Boy Pantollano and patrolman Bolos arrived together with Sunga. June 29.29 affirmed by Sunga. The two brought Sunga inside a room At about 10:00 a. adding that he merely held Jocelyn’s hand. he (Sunga). He thereupon fetched Atty. SPO2 Janoras executed before SPO2 Jose P. On their way to Bancao-Bancao. Apart from at the scene of the crime. acknowledging its contents. them (Sunga."26 At rock caused the injury noted in post-mortem finding no. PROBABLE CAUSE OF DEATH: Intracranial Hemorrhage secondary bringing it to Jacana in Barangay Bancao-Bancao in accordance with to multiple fractures of the skull.30 days after June 29. leaving Jocelyn’s remains before the Municipal Trial Court. Jocelyn’s death and Sunga replied affirmatively. prompting him to inform Locil boarded the tricycle. however. He obliged and just before reaching their destination.28 wood on her head and successively on different parts of her body. in the Puerto Princesa City proper where the four of Janoras). of the day of the incident. everyone alighted except for Octac. Sunga made the recalled that he was on duty at the Puerto Princesa City police precinct in following disclosures: the morning of July 18. unable to determine whether at the jeep. At the gate of the school. thus causing hemorrhage. Lansang then forcibly questions he (SPO2 Janoras) propounded at the end of which investigation undressed Jocelyn and raped her while he (Sunga) and Locil watched. he alleged that not only Lansang but also Locil returned to Barangay Irawan aboard a jeep driven by Octac four Octac raped Jocelyn. there were more than one "Ryan-Ryan" with Locil aboard while Lansang and Octac remained together perpetrator. After Sunga signified his Jocelyn who was then wearing the school uniform after which the two desire to avail of the services of a lawyer. Princesa City Legal Officer. Locil and Octac in the killing of In accordance with their previous agreement. Lansang hit Jocelyn with a 2" x 2" piece of recorded statement. Sunga was presented before him (SPO2 Janoras) for the marking "Ryan-Ryan" and invited him to accompany him in fetching investigation. Rocamora to boarded the tricycle which he (Sunga) drove to a spot at the corner of Rizal be his counsel from among the names of lawyers mentioned by him (SPO2 Avenue and Lacao St. 1994 which was Testifying as to the investigation he conducted upon Sunga. as he was and asked him questions pertaining to Jocelyn’s death and after about then at work as a tricycle dispatcher. Barangay Bancao-Bancao. Janoras (SPO2 Janoras). Puerto supposed extrajudicial confessions made by Sunga." The group then proceeded to and reached confession and informing him of the consequences thereof. that for said fatal from Jacana Road while Octac served as a lookout by the roadside. Thereafter. Lansang.23 Dr. He (Sunga) then drove the tricycle with the marking that in light of the multiple injuries. Rocamora from his residence. 1994. When Jocelyn was already dead. 1994 and took Jocelyn’s body for the purpose of .

Sunga executed another sworn same night of July 15. then Locil brought the two to the very spot where Jocelyn’s remains were found and while there she acted as if she was looking for Accused-appellant Sunga. that at 8:00 a. 1994 at known Lansang or having been her companion.32 watchdog "Bantay Puerto." declared that in the morning of July 14. 1994. Lito Octa (should be Octac) and a certain Jun left Mendoza As to his other sworn statement-Exhibit "I" executed before the NBI. Jacana Road. 1994 or in Lansang’s. 1994 "I. an employee of Puerto Princesa City’s crime P500.Subsequently or on August 3. of the following day. he denied being in their company on June 29. He branded as false the testimony of Locil whom he claimed is a prostitute and a pimp and was always seen loitering at Mendoza Park." Sunga declared that in the morning of June 28. Octa and Jun returned to Irawan. June 29. Locil. 36 He Jocelyn to Irawan.41 the corner of Rizal and Valencia streets while "picking up passengers. He was later brought on July 18. and Locil was subsequently apprehended by the police.37 While he admitted having participated in the preliminary Jocelyn. m. Lansang smashed her head twice in accordance with his plan to kill investigation at the MTCC of Puerto Princesa City. 1994. Exhibit "I" embodied a waiver by Sunga of his right to counsel. 39 Jocelyn. Abrina substantially corroborated Mayo’s story. 1994 during which he signed the second and third statement (Exhibit "I")31 before Special Investigator Reynaldo O. and a initially affirmed having given the answers to questions propounded certain Josie to fetch Jocelyn at her school." In Exhibit intimidation from SPO2 Pantollano. Agustin Rocamora also signed the same. was a friend. Sunga. of June 30. on August 15. and that he did not take part in the rape or killing of Jocelyn but merely joined the group due to Lansang’s promise to give him Joel Esquela Mayo (Mayo). that after Lansang and Jun raped confession. he was made to appear before police investigator Janoras on that . that Jun drove the tricycle back therein by the NBI Investigator and having executed the "confession" for to the city proper and he transported their female companions including the purpose of applying to become a state witness in the case. they approached and asked her how she was related to Jocelyn to which she replied that she Upon the other hand. 1994. 1994. a detainee at the Puerto Princesa City jail. Abordo of pages of a three paged affidavit embodying his questioned extrajudicial the Puerto Princesa office of the National Bureau of Investigation confession without the assistance of counsel and under threats and (NBI). Octac and Jun. 1994 he already had an to the Capitol building where he signed the first page of his confession agreement with Lansang to fetch Jocelyn from her school on the following after which Atty. all the accused proffered alibi. Orlando Lacsamana (Lacsamana). 1994 he and a co-employee Miguel Abrina (Abrina) were at Jacana in Barangay The prosecution evidence with respect to Jocelyn’s family’s incurring of the Bancao-Bancao upon orders from their superior to be on the lookout for amount of P11. Locil later commented that it was there that Jocelyn and she with homicide. Sunga Park and proceeded to Irawan after asking Locil. took Jocelyn’s corpse and dumped it at a coffee plantation in The defense presented other witnesses. and he involuntarily did. Exhibit "I" varied in a number of respects from Exhibit "A. m. he." Sunga explained the also a detainee." he was brought to the police station where he was subjected to violence and Detention prisoners John Pulga (Pulga) and Jerry Galgarin (Galgarin) as well intimidation by SPO2 Pantollano and a certain Ka Ronnie to coerce him to as Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) personnel Joel "pinpoint to anybody".000. defense. After being mauled and Rabanal (Rabanal) and SPO2 Conrado Guzman Rafael (SPO2 kicked. testified that while he was conversing with Locil. that at having given most of the statements he made therein.00.00 for Jocelyn’s funeral expenses was admitted by the the possible return thereto of the perpetrators behind Jocelyn’s killing. Confronted with his sworn statement-Exhibit "A. together with Lansang. Lacsamana asked Locil if she knew Lansang but she denied having arrested without a warrant by the police in the evening of July 15. one Bing Manila. they saw Lansang being brought circumstances behind his execution thereof as follows: After having been inside.33 seeing Locil uneasy as she alighted from a tricycle. denied having anything to do with the rape and killing of had a fight. Lansang. Lansang raped the struggling Jocelyn subsequently retracted his acknowledgement of Exhibit "I" as his own whose hands were then held by Josie. that at Irawan.34 Another witness.40 While he acknowledged knowing Octac and Pascua. he could not remember her which plan was known to him (Sunga).38 1:30 a. 35 day. who had previously been convicted for robbery something.

.48 Felix Mayor.51 Burgos St. And accused prior to the June 29. 1994. together with that he attended classes for only about a week and resumed his studies on his uncle Victor De Felipe and a carpenter. De Felipe’s carpenter. an instructor at PNAC. 1994 and his returning the tricycle two days Detention prisoner Galgarin. Locil hesitated to identify Lansang even latter returned the tricycle to its owner on June 27. that when Locil was asked by the police to identify who among them was 1994.000. the negative. she asked Locil if she was acquainted with Pascua and she replied in He claimed that he was staying with his uncle Victor de Felipe at 27 E.45 Filomena Pascua-Tesorio also corroborated her nephew Pascua’s claim Accused-appellant Pascua disclaimed knowledge of anyone of his co. he.44 The testimony of witness Espiridion Labotoy was dispensed with when the SPO2 Rafael testified that while he was on duty in the aforesaid PNP prosecution admitted its corroboration of Pascua’s allegation that the Mobile Post on August 23. even offering him a P100. of the same day. 1994 and confirmed that the policemen offered Pascua a reward in stepfather’s home at Barangay Burirao of the town of Narra where he was. and that he did not go into hiding after June 29. 1994 until October 11. that Locil did not identify him as one of those who wronged Jocelyn. m. that while he was driving the tricycle with the marking "Ryan-Ryan" for a living. m. that while still under detention on July 24. thereby infuriating Pantollano who to form part of a police line-up together with three other detainees. he left for his July 23. declared that he saw Locil Pascua’s being with him and De Felipe the whole day of June 29. who was detained at the 263rd Mobile Post of before the incident. 1994. 1994 for he took up a farming course at the Palawan National Agricultural Corroborating Pulga’s testimony was BJMP personnel Rabanal who College (PNAC). nothing about the crime. 1994. He denied having anything to she added that during her visit to Pascua at the police station on July 24. 50 after the police assured her not to be afraid. confirmed the Philippine National Police on July 23. 1994 but drove it again.. and threatened to implicate him. 1994. and that when Locil was asked to identify demolished house in the said place.53 that he might have been involved in the subject crime.00 reward and his in support of which he presented an entry (Exhibit "9")54 in his employer’s .42 denied knowing him. he was made certain things about the crime. of June 29.Rafael) testified as to Locil’s failure to correctly identify Lansang on exclusion from the criminal information. exchange for his admitting responsibility for the crime but that she on July 23. do with the killing or rape of Jocelyn and branded Locil’s account as a lie. he having driven for sometime the tricycle bearing the marking "Ryan-Ryan. 46 Pascua’s mother Teodora Española testified that she accompanied her arrested son when he was brought by the police to Puerto Princesa City on Continuing.47 brought out Pulga and the three others for the police line-up. also clinging to alibi. she pointed to him (Pulga) whom she called Ramil Lansang. 1994. 1994 incident. he Cesar Batin (Batin). Pascua declared that on July 14.43 Victor De Felipe corroborated his accused nephew’s testimony as to his whereabouts on June 29. 1994 at arrive in a police car after which Lansang and three other detainees were Barangay San Pedro to retrieve building materials from De Felipe’s made to stand in a police line-up. alleged that on the day of the incident he apprehending policemen sought his cooperation so he could be utilized as was working at Pambato Forwarder loading cargoes and pieces of baggage. 1994 due to engine trouble and never enrolled at PNAC Abo-Abo Center in Brooke’s point on July 18. a witness against Lansang. arrested without a warrant by the police on suspicion rebuffed them. attested that Pascua was returned it to its owner on June 27. he was brought before Locil for identification purposes but Locil Lansang. he again refused to obey SPO4 Pantollano’s order for him to say Thus detention prisoner Pulga narrated that on July 21.52 Felipe’s demolished house thereat for use in the latter’s other residence at Burgos St. 1994. went to San Pedro also in August 16. that inside a small room at the police station in the city. saying it was her first time to see Pascua. 1994. Puerto Princesa City from April to July 14. 1994. but he refused for he knew separate occasions. he too alleging that Locil indeed pointed to Pulga as Lansang. 1994. that at about 8:00 a. 1994. she said he was not there. Batin affirmed the certification he Puerto Princesa City where he helped in recovering materials from De issued as to Pascua’s school attendance.49 Lansang. and that he was at San Pedro until 4:00 p." that the Lito Octac.

00 which he would use to buy pieces of plywood and paint for not do so due to his indictment in the case at bar. The two left the bank and proceeded to the Palawan Poultry Melisa P. however.000. Barangay Bahile from 1:00 to 3:00 p. Caisip added that At the said house.)57 identified. the trial court convicted Sunga and Lansang then took lunch at the carinderia of a certain Jerry (or Jerico) Rufano where as principals of the crime of Rape with Homicide and sentenced each to he waited in vain for two hours for his mother to come to Barangay Bahile. 1994. declared as follows: (he) Lansang got to be acquainted earlier that same evening. Freddie Gallego.61 Certificate. He loaded all their purchases in a jeep usual passengers. Palawan where his parents reside. did the encashing (at 9:53 a. He By decision of March 7. the Lansangs having been his and then took his mother’s goods. While he admitted that he. to of law enforcers.64 bound for Barangay Bahile from which point they were to be transported via a pump boat to his parent’s home in Barangay Caruray.56 (An official receipt dated "12")62 from Lansang at almost 10:00 a. and another in the amount of on June 29. 1994 of P2. arriving there at about 8:30 p. he having merely informed Tan that Sunga. m. directed him to get the money from his mother who happened to be at her office at the time and who received Witnesses Jerry Rufano. still of the same day. and Pascua as principal in the crime of Rape. of the same day. knew Jocelyn.000. he was constrained to accompany his cargo aboard that Lansang was with him in the afternoon of July 12.63 Continuing. he and his mother went to the PCI Bank where he. Lansang declared that while his mother left to make her other Edgardo Caisip declared that he was the driver of the jeepney which purchases. of June 29. 1994. m. and reached Barangay Bahile at 3:00 occasion of a birthday party in the said barangay. 1994. Shortly after. of June 29.59 his boat. The dispositive portion of the decision reads. he remained at the Unico Merchandising until 12:00 noon when Lansang rode on together with his cargo for a trip from the city proper to he went to the house of his brothers-in-law to pick up her mother’s goods. m. 1994. claimed no longer showed up. Lansang disclaimed having been Jocelyn’s suitor for he had a live-in office at the Philippine Ports Authority for the purpose of borrowing from partner named Mary Ann Dineros whom he intended to marry but could her P3. At Barangay Bahile. m. on the other hand. San Vicente. premises considered.00) pesos. JR. m.00) pesos from Gloria. together the penalty of DEATH. the Court finds accused REY SUNGA and RAMIL LANSANG GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as Lansang further declared that he had never been to Barangay Irawan or to principals of the crime charged and are sentenced to each suffer Jacana in Barangay Bancao-Bancao.65 p.) of the checks. who operated a pump boat that ferried passengers from crime. instead of his Joel Egaña also affirmed having accompanied Lansang to Sampaton mother who did not have any identification card and Community Tax Funeral parlor on the night of July 13. m.60 Nine Thousand Six Hundred Sixteen (P9. he briefly met a resident thereof named Ariel Bactad he already knew Lansang before that time. Puerto Princesa City and vice-versa.616. Mateo. he loaded the goods into his boat with the help of the boat driver. As his mother Finally.(Exhibits "12" and "12-A").58 WHEREFORE. he met his sister Gloria Negosa in her Finally. Accused INOCENCIO PASCUA. went to the Sampaton Funeral Parlor in the evening 29. 1994 to condole with the Tans. His sister. Arnel Tulonghari and Ariel Bactad corroborated two PCIB checks both dated June 29.logbook showing that he reported for work from 1:00 to 5:00 p. testified that as a bank teller of PCI store from which they purchased fertilizer. m. June 29. which checks June 6. 1994. quoted verbatim: where he got a jeepney ride on his way home to the city proper. a barangay councilor of Barangay Caruray. with whom Barangay Bahile.55 of July 13.. At about 8:30 a. 1994. she received and processed for encashment the two checks (Exhibit plywood and paint at the Unico Merchandising. they bought Bank. one in the pertinent parts of Lansang’s testimony as to his whereabouts and activities amount of two thousand (P2. 1994 payable to cash. of June 29. m. m. of June 29. 1994. At 5:00 p. he denied having told Tan that he (Lansang) knew somebody who could pinpoint those responsible for the Lansang. He likewise denied asking Tan to refrain from seeking the assistance Barangay Caruray. Rufano drove him to Barangay Salvacion suffer the penalty of DEATH. Thereafter. is also . 1994. 1996. 1994 on the the jeep which departed at 1:00 p. Arnel Tulonghari. of June with one Joel Egaña.206 representing the purchase price of the goods was as well as Lansang’s signatures and hers and other inscriptions thereon she marked as Exhibit "11".

are hereby ordered to transfer 1. It is undisputed that at the start of the trial. (1) Whether the discharge by the lower court of Locil Cui as a state witness is in accordance with law. found GUILTY as principal of the crime of Rape and is hereby (2) Whether the guilt of appellants has been proven beyond sentenced to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA. discharge could only be filed during trial on the merits. he has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving conviction such that he be also convicted for rape with homicide and moral turpitude. sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. as amended. to establish the culpability of the accused. the discharge must be with the consent of the accused sought immediately the bodies of accused REY SUNGA and RAMIL to be a state witness. he does not appear to be the most guilty. his testimony can be substantially corroborated in its material points. are jointly and severally liable to indemnify the heirs of Jocelyn After examining the record of the proceedings prior to the trial court’s Tan the sum of P150. Accused RAMIL LANSANG. and Based on Locil’s sworn statement. she was the only person who saw what happened to Jocelyn. Her discharge was ordered in the course of what originally were hearings on the petition of the accused for bail and after the prosecution For failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt of accused LITO had presented several of its witnesses and submitted Locil’s sworn OCTAC beyond reasonable doubt. Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Court were satisfied: The City Jail Warden of Puerto Princesa City and Chief of Jimmy Carbonell of Puerto Princesa City. Muntinlupa. the Solicitor General prays for the affirmance of Sunga and Lansang’s conviction and the modification of Pascua’s 6. therewith. LANSANG to the New Bilibid Prison. a damages with all the accessory penalties provided for the law and state witness. actual and compensatory questioned issuance of the order discharging Locil to become. reasonable doubt. testimonial or otherwise. discharge under Section 9. Sunga.000. That she did not appear to be the most guilty among the accused and that she had not . Contrary to accused’s counsels’ argument that a motion for crime charged. no other direct evidence is available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed except his testimony.66 3. it could be done at any stage of the proceedings. 67 Cuyos is still under the custody of the PNP. and In the Appellee’s Brief. he is hereby ACQUITTED of the statement. REY SUNGA and INOCENCIO PASCUA. his testimony is absolutely necessary. Hence. 4. JR. Puerto Princesa City their release are hereby ordered unless held for other lawful From the records. this Court is satisfied that there was nothing irregular to pay the costs. as she did. 2. the prosecution did not have The issues in the case boil down to: direct evidence. and discharge can be effected from the filing It appearing that Lito Octac is detained and Locil Cui alias Ginalyn of the information to the time the defense starts to offer any evidence. Lansang and Pascua filed their respective appeal briefs.00 as moral. the automatic review of the case by this Court pursuant to Article 47 of the Revised Penal Code. it appears that the following conditions for Locil’s cause or causes. 5. SO ORDERED. Metro Manila pending review by the Supreme Court of this decision. Her testimony was thus indispensable.

Contrary. and to be provided with one if he cannot afford the services of commit error which is not reversible. counsel of the police. the underlying principle being that it counsel. be discarded or disregarded for. even if true. Bandula.77 Sunga could not have possibly known the ramifications of his to a moral certainty that the latter committed or participated in the choice of a city legal officer to be his counsel. The requirement extent that Locil’strustworthiness becomes manifest? of "a hearing in support of the discharge" had been substantially complied with when the trial court. for that sole reason. provides legal aid and support statements hook. In fine. even if Locil’s discharge failed to comply with all the requirements A person under investigation for the commission of an offense is embodied in Section 9. Was Locil’s testimony corroborated in its material points by the prosecution’s other evidence? If in the affirmative. the same must be received the people. with great caution and must be carefully scrutinized. as such. Agustin Rocamora. by itself and without corroboration. during the hearings on the bail petition. already Appellant Sunga’s two extrajudicial confessions. 74 does not affect the competency and quality of testimony of the discharged defendant. Rocamora. the trial court may reasonably be expected to choice. and (3) the right to be informed of these rights. or a municipal attorney whose interest is admittedly adverse to the accused. him. to the trial court’s for discharge is in order notwithstanding the lack of actual hearing on said ruling. public or private prosecutor. this Court may not readily accept Locil’s legal officer of the city. for it is an eyewitness’ account of what transpired before and at the time of In People v.70 his office is akin to that of a prosecutor who unquestionably cannot represent the accused during custodial investigation due to conflict of The rule in this jurisdiction is that the testimony of a self-confessed interest. Being of a very low educational accused cannot. however. The testimony must be substantially inform him of his Constitutional rights during custodial interrogations to corroborated in its material points71 by unimpeachable testimony and . be regarded as proof attainment. its subsequent order granting or denying the motion how the crime took place. render his admission admissible. a special counsel. was the corroborative That the trial court ordered Locil’s discharge a day before the scheduled evidence unimpeachable testimony and strong circumstances to such an hearing on the motion for her discharge is of no moment. (2) the right to have competent and independent counsel of his own discharge of a co-defendant.been convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude were shown. turned state witness Locil is the most pivotal. was the City Legal Officer of Puerto Princesa.72 time of her discharge in view of the other evidence in the hands of the prosecution. her testimony guaranteed the following rights by the Constitution: (1) the right to remain would not. Her testimony is the only direct evidence identifying independent counsel for the accused in custodial investigations cannot be appellants and relating in detail their specific overt acts. which includes maintenance of peace and order and.68 not only against him but also against his co-accused appellants. So long as the trial court was able to receive evidence for and corroborative support to Locil’s testimony. Rule 119 of the Rules of Court. which strictly speaking received evidence from the prosecutionincluding Locil’s sworn statement were admissions for they referred to statements of fact which did not and also heard in open court the defense’s arguments in opposition directly involve an acknowledgement of guilt or of the criminal intent to thereto. in the silent. did not accomplice or co-conspirator imputing the blame to or implicating his co. as strong circumstances and must be to such an extent that its was the susceptibility of material corroboration of her testimony at the trustworthiness becomes manifest.75 this Court made it sufficiently clear that the Jocelyn’s death. this Court finds Sunga’s admissions to be inadmissible in evidence motion. like Atty. Atty. line and sinker because in the assessment of the to the mayor and the city in carrying out the delivery of basic services to testimony of a co-accused-turned state witness. The duty of law enforcers to commission of the crime.76 That Sunga chose him to be his counsel.73 could have lent bail petition.69 The right to counsel was denied Sunga during his execution of Exhibit "A" - admission before the police on the ground that the counsel who assisted From the prosecution evidence. A Yet like any other testimony. having likewise given details of against the discharge. the testimony of the erstwhile accused. A hearing did take place but interspersed with the hearings on the commit the offense with which he was charged.

In fact. CRUZAT (Defense Counsel) . From the foregoing testimony of SPO2 Janoras. A: They conversed. that Q: And who gave the answers? simply he is invoking his client’s right to remain silent? Did not Atty.their full. glaringly. if any. Rocamora a long time to confer with Rey Sunga before the of SPO4 Pantollano and Patrolman Bolos. Rocamora that allegedly Mr. if any. if at all. Which is correct? Q: And what. Rocamora. Rocamora did not. fully apprise Sunga of his rights and options prior to giving his (Sunga’s) admission. merely acted to facilitate the taking of the admission from Sunga wanted to confess his alleged participation in the Sunga. Agustin Rocamora do. It did not take long because they were already Rocamora exerted efforts to safeguard Sunga’s rights and interests. did Atty. that Sunga was first questioned by SPO4 Pantollano and A: Yes. morning? Notatu dignum is the fact that nothing in the records shows that Atty. he did not have any lawyer by his . Rocamora assisted Sunga during the investigation: Q: Who propounded the questions to accused Rey Sunga? ATTY. Q: And you informed Atty. ready (Emphasis supplied. A: Yes.)78 sir (Emphasis supplied. Mr. This Court is thus constrained to rely on the COURT - following verbatim testimony of SPO2 Janoras which described how Atty. Rocamora was not even made to testify so he could have xxx related the extent of legal assistance he extended to Sunga at the police station. And now you are claiming that they had a conversation first. Patrolman Bolos before he was investigated by SPO2 Janoras does not escape the attention of this Court. just very near me (Emphasis supplied. as the investigator.)79 especially that of his right not to be a witness against himself. sir. I was on my typewriter and they were seated A: He instructed Rey Sunga to just answer the questions. proper and precise extent does not appear to have been alleged investigation started. Your Honor. Although Sunga failed to present Q: And so upon arrival at the police station it did not take evidence as to the maltreatment he claimed to have suffered in the hands Atty. the investigation? Continue. Rey without more. Evidently. Atty. at the time these questions were being asked Rey Sunga? A: They conversed for a very short while because everybody was already there. Witness? Moreover. Atty. Your Honor. Q: Did not Atty. ENRIQUEZ (Defense Counsel) - A: I was the one. PROSECUTOR GONZALES - Q: You said a while ago that immediately upon your arrival you already started the investigation. sir.)80 xxx xxx ATTY. as you said 6:00 o’clock in the discharged. Rocamora first confer with the accused Rey Sunga prior to A: Rey Sunga was the one answering me. Rocamora warn you. it can be gathered that Atty. commission of the offense.

side at the time these two policemen started asking him questions about Sunga having had no counsel when he made his admission before the NBI Jocelyn’s death. his and the other appellants’ guilt. contrary to the express requirement of the Constitution. Rocamora executed it on August 3. his statement. The declarations of witnesses Tan. Abano87 where the confession counsel. Sunga was thrust into the preliminary the assistance of a competent and independent counsel of Sunga’s investigation and while he did have a counsel. His admission which was done without the benefit of investigation can be no different from the in-custody interrogations by the counsel consisted of answers to questions propounded by the investigating police.83 by the therein accused in the preliminary investigation was excluded as inadmissible due to the absence of her counsel. Any information or admission given by a person while in custody which may appear harmless or innocuous at the time without the competent The right to counsel involves more than just the presence of a lawyer in the assistance of an independent counsel must be struck down as courtroom or the mere propounding of standard questions and objections. this does not make Exhibit "I" admissible. for the latter’s lack of choice as a matter of right but which he had none. inadmissible. these conditions are constitutive of an and relentless. executed not in the presence of counsel. the time still under detention at the NBI office and had been languishing in jail since his arrest in mid-July 1994. Like Exhibit "A. it was on material points of Sunga’s and Locil’s accounts of the incident.85 The preliminary another crime. if it was made without the assistance of perfunctory representation. it fails to corroborate Locil’s testimony. 1994 before the NBI of Puerto Princesa City. Custodial investigation is the stage "where the police investigation is no The testimony of Sunga during the preliminary investigation before the longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has begun to focus on a Municipal Trial Court whereby he expressly acknowledged having executed particular suspect taken into custody by the police who carry out a process Exhibit "A" and affirmed the contents thereof did not render his of interrogation that lends itself to elicit incriminating statements (Italics in extrajudicial admission into a judicial one which could be used against him the original.)." Sunga’s second extrajudicial admission-Exhibit "I" is Rocamora was appointed Sunga’s counsel de officio but just like the inadmissible.82 Even if the confession contains a grain of truth or even if it rather it means an efficient and decisive legal assistance and not a simple had been voluntarily given. Sunga was already under custodial and his waiver of the right to have one being invalid. Emphasis supplied. for a suspect who takes part in a preliminary investigation will be agent of the NBI and not of a unilateral declaration of his participation in subjected to no less than the State’s processes." Atty. This makes it unnecessary to discuss and emphasize the conflict statement-Exhibit "I" was not a valid waiver for. In the case at bar. he having lost it once due to his conviction for deemed "critical stages" in the criminal process. on its face. oftentimes intimidating the crime. Rocamora did not offer the slightest later repudiated. due to the absence of counsel to assist him when he assistance he extended during the execution of Exhibit "A.86 As in People v. Neither could his other statements in such cannot but entertain serious misgivings as to the admission Sunga proceeding admitting his participation in the crime be utilized to establish subsequently gave to SPO2 Janoras. Atty. utterly did nothing in defense of Sunga’s cause. At that point. Devilleres and Gabinete can . vigilance and commitment to Sunga’s rights. Sunga again was effectively denied of his essential right to counsel.Exhibit investigation without the assistance of counsel. "I" is inadmissible. To this Court. of pursuing those who might be liable for criminal atmosphere pervading that of a custodial investigation and necessitating prosecution. For in that preliminary investigation. While Sunga was being Although Sunga declared in open court that he made such admission in asked by the judge a barrage of questions calling for answers which could connection with his desire to apply as state witness which admission he and did incriminate him. this Court and his co-appellants. this Court will not admit The waiver by Sunga of his right to counsel as contained in his sworn Sunga’s. His desire to regain his freedom is not The right to counsel applies in certain pretrial proceedings that can be difficult to understand. it is inadmissible. he was virtually denied his right to counsel.81 Under such circumstances. Sunga was at objection to shield his client from the damning nature thereof. Atty.84 As for the rest of the prosecution evidence.

that Lansang was in the company of Octac and inquired. 1994. deliberate afterthought. her testimony may. you said that you are fourteen years old. to the inference that Lansang and his co-appellants are liable for Jocelyn’s rape and slaying. Besides.) the day after Jocelyn’s body was discovered on July 12. Vigonte’s affirmation of her finding of a fatal injury on Jocelyn’s head is Q Do you know the name of the woman who died? supportive only of the fact that the victim was hit with something on her head which caused her death. by their nature. but this by no means is evidence that A Jocelyn Tan appellants inflicted said fatal injury. by Lansang of any wrongdoing or criminal participation on his part. by and in themselves. ATTY. be sufficient as when it is shown to be sincere in itself ATTY. can Locil’s testimony serve as a basis supplied. COURT: Instruct the witness to speak louder.in no way enhance the veracity of the essential. CRUZAT (Defense Counsel): We are requesting for the indubitable pieces of evidence of a person’s commission of a crime for they witness to speak loud and not merely hand over certain are susceptible of explanations which do not necessarily speak of guilt or documents. GACOTT [Private Prosecutor]: As for the circumstances testified to by the other witnesses. a day after the incident. if Jocelyn was from Barangay Caruray. ATTY. could not have been the result of account for they relate not to the crime itself but to events thereafter.89 An exhaustive review of the transcript of stenographic notes of Locil’s testimony reveals. GACOTT: In the appreciation of circumstantial evidence. 1994. COURT: Dr. warrant appellants’ conviction. there must be at least two proven circumstances which in complete sequence lead to no other logical Q: Miss Witness. walking back and forth and appearing restless near the place where Jocelyn’s body was eventually found. A: (Witness handing a document to counsel. could reveal the identity of Jocelyn’s assailants and that Lansang suggested uncertainty and indecisiveness which the trial court unfortunately failed to to him to no longer report to the police does not at all constitute take note of in its decision on review. These circumstances in the scheme of things are not ATTY. that Lansang told Jocelyn’s father that he knew (To the Court:) someone who could pinpoint those responsible for the crime. that the manner Tan’s testimony that Lansang informed him that he knew someone who by which she related it was punctuated with marks of tentativeness. they do not. for there was no admission. GACOTT - because it is given unhesitatingly and in a straightforward manner and full . the witness handed to me a birth certificate. 88 The circumstances that How come that you are 14 years old? Lansang was seen on June 30. material aspects of Locil’s of details which. incriminating evidence. however. and that Jocelyn was fatally hit on the head by a blunt object are too fragile to lead Your Honor. conclusion than that of the guilt of the accused.)90 for appellants’ conviction? As an exception to the general rule on the requirement of corroboration of the testimony of an accomplice or co. Consider the following portions of her testimony. culpability. (Emphasis Standing alone and uncorroborated. rise to the level of circumstantial evidence which Maybe we can use the sound system. even if uncorroborated. quoted verbatim: why would Lansang suggest to Tan not to report to the police when the police early on had its hands full in trying to solve the crime. express or implied. xxx conspirator-turned state witness.

A: No. Your Honor. happened to you? COURT: You talk louder (Emphasis supplied. that this Tomboy that you xxx are referring to went upstairs of Mendoza Park. COURT . Your Q: During that date. Q: Then what happened next? ATTY. A: One year. otherwise you will be cited in contempt of court. GACOTT - COURT: You speak louder (Emphasis supplied. 1994 at around 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon? Q: Do you know the name of that woman? A: In Mendoza. GACOTT - ATTY. Q: Now.)93 A: Yes. what did they do after that? Q: What is that Mendoza? A: They talked. sir. do you remember any unusual thing that Honor. A: Mendoza Park. A: Yes. Miss Witness. . She is just xxx whispering to the interpreter. ATTY. Q: How about your Grade III schooling? COURT: You speak louder.Q: Miss Witness.)91 Q: You mean to say. Miss Witness. CRUZAT: This woman does not speak quite loud. sir. WITNESS: Yes. Q: After getting near to that woman.92 ATTY. CRUZAT: I am already tired of requesting this Honorable Court to instruct the witness to speak quite louder. disobeying the instruction of the Court for her to speak louder. where were you last June 29. sir. sir. and once there she talked to the woman sitting there? ATTY. how many times did you attain your Grade I Q: Could you please relate to this Honorable Court what schooling? happened during that date? A: Three times. CRUZAT: I may be compelled to ask this Honorable Court for a coercive authority to declare her in contempt for repeatedly A: Two years. Q: What about your Grade II schooling? ATTY. GACOTT - A: Yes. sir.

in her early teens. Yet. from Locil’s testimony. have chinky eyes. Ramil Lansang and Inocencio therefor. which they did. she wanted to incomprehensible voice with which Locil gave her testimony. especially that by Lansang. Who can trust one who. regardless of the probative weight of appellants’ alibi.97 It bears crime only to threaten her later against divulging what she had witnessed noting that the alibi proffered by appellants. This undertake the commission of a crime to bring a spectator thereof. even the trial court was prompted to ask her if she was A scrutiny of her testimony likewise reveals a strain of improbability sure that the third person who raped Jocelyn had singkit eyes. circumstances. and the failure of her description of Pascua’s eyes abominable acts against Jocelyn. for it is precisely when the prosecution’s case is weak that the defense of alibi assumes That appellants required Locil’s presence at the time and place of the importance and becomes crucial in negating criminal liability. whom she was not acquainted with.94 The prosecution having failed to discharge its burden. Locil claimed that on June 29. In other words. the defense of alibi as remote. contrary to Locil’s description of him. But as Pascua did not have singkit eyes. xxx as having. therefore. flees home and stays WHEREFORE. 1994 she the court’s approval. Locil’s testimony on how appellants put her in a position to have direct knowledge of their malevolent acts despite taking measures to conceal The Director of the Bureau of Corrections is ORDERED to cause the their deeds fails to inspire belief and must. had been corroborated. unless they are being held for some other lawful cause. latter was raped and brutally murdered. singkit (chinky) eyes. appellants took appellants’ conviction. with ingrained therein. the defense made it of record that Pascua did not boarded a tricycle bearing a lesbian who invited her for a joyride. the trouble of bringing her to the locus criminis so she could bear witness to a horrible crime which appellants carried out with evident secrecy in a In light of the weak evidence for the prosecution. be discredited. appellants’ presumed innocence remains and must thus be acquitted. To recapitulate. . as evidence to warrant might later turn against him. then brought by the same tricycle to Irawan where the The aforementioned observations pertaining to both the weak. A Court thus finds her uncorroborated account to have failed the criminal would certainly take steps to evade detection or discovery of his jurisprudentially established touchstone for its credibility and sufficiency. gets pregnant. 1994 to the place where they were to carry out. thus defies comprehension. This strikes this Court as improbable if not to match the latter’s actual physical feature cannot but engender serious bizarre. among other things. and to INFORM this Court within five (5) A serious question too abounds on Locil’s identification of appellant Pascua days from receipt of this Decision of the date appellants were actually as one of those who raped Jocelyn. and carries an alias name to evade being traced by her mother Pascua in Criminal Case No. IMMEDIATE RELEASE of the appellants from custody. This Court is not in fact prepared to accord Locil credibly as a witness.95 Thus. For it is contrary to human nature and experience for those who doubts as to the reliability of her testimony against all appellants. 11984 the decision therein is hereby SET ASIDE and aunt? and REVERSED and said appellants are hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged. 96 proceeded to the Mendoza Park and picked up Jocelyn. uninhabited place in Puerto Princesa City. their witness to their crime. criminal act. the credible witness but should also be credible in itself such as the common prosecution still has the onus of proving the guilt beyond reasonable doubt experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable under the of the accused and cannot rely on the weakness of the defense evidence. Evidence to be believed should not only proceed from the mouth of a In fine. to keep it from being witnessed or known by others who that of straightforwardness and deliberateness. the convey that she was deliberately brought by appellants with them on June improbability with which she was precisely made by appellants to be a 29. according to her raped the victim after appellants Lansang and Sunga did. the man who released from confinement. for failure of the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable in a boarding house albeit she has no visible means of income to pay doubt the guilt of appellants Rey Sunga. She described Pascua. well as of denial by appellants is accorded credence.

Pimentel filed a petition with this Court. file forthwith with the proper [RTC] the necessary criminal information for GUTIERREZ. RTC-Pasig City. 118823-118831 (pending before Branch 164) with Criminal Case Nos. LLORENTE.A. asking for violation of private respondents Llorente and Salayon's right to speedy them: 1) to consolidate all the cases filed against him for violation of trial.... 6646.. No. a senatorial candidate in the May 1995 elections. 118823- LIGAYA P..[3] otherwise known as AZCUNA. private respondent Llorente filed three (3) Omnibus Criminal Case Nos. ATTY. Order[2] issued by respondent Judge Jose R.. *CORONA. Section 27(b) of R. 118902- x ..A. 2000. and the Electoral Reforms Law of 1987. Jr.R. presiding judge of Branch 158 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City. 118848-118891 (pending Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the before Branch 158). 2000.. we promulgated our Decision PUNO. 118902-9063 and 119099-204 Motions before Branches 158. SANDOVAL. Chairperson... Promulgated: Llorente and Salayon on the following dates: a) nine (9) informations were Br. violation of Section 27(b) of [Republic Act] No.. SALAYON and ATTY. Campaign Manager of senatorial candidate Juan Ponce Petitioner.A. 118848-91. Hernandez. filed on August 28. 2) to declare the multiple informations filed against him as constituting only one offense. 158. against private respondents Ligaya GARCIA.. PUNO..R.. 3) to treat the 321 First.. Salayon and Antonio Llorente. violation of Section 27(b) of R.. Chairman and Vice-Chairman. and a certain OPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. J.. 118831. No...-x 119063.. c) one hundred sixty-two (162) Respondents.[6]thereby Rules of Court. 118823-31..R... docketed as Criminal Case Nos.. J. informations filed against him as only one information for violation of Section 27(b) of R. 2000. 2006 informations on August 31.. 153 and 69.. G. respectively. for allegedly decreasing Pimentel's votes in the Statement of Votes per precinct and in the City Certificate of Canvass for Pasig City. Criminal Case Nos... 158.."[4] Pursuant thereto. No.. respectively. seeking the reversal of the Joint Decision [1] of the Court of consolidating the nine (9) informations pending before it with the 44 other Appeals (CA) in CA-G. SP Nos. JUDGE JOSE R. 118848-118891.: Private respondent Llorente filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion for Consolidation[5] of Criminal Case Nos.. and 4) to allow him to post bail to only one information. 154218 & 154372 Reynaldo San Juan. in said case.. No. 6646. 2000. the facts. granting Pimentel's petition and ordering the COMELEC "to . dismissing Subsequently.. HERNANDEZ. docketed as Criminal Case Nos. On February 9.. 6646 against private respondents in his capacity as Presiding Judge. Nos.. private respondents Salayon and Llorente. which sought Present: the reversal of the resolutions of the COMELEC dismissing his complaint for lack of probable cause. against SO ORDERED... JJ.. Enrile. The four sets of informations were raffled to Branches 164. 133509. of the City Board of Canvassers of Pasig City. 6646. versus ... the COMELEC filed a total of 321 informations for HON. docketed as G. .. 119099-119204. and d) 106 informations on September 7... b) forty-four (44) informations on August 29. 68922 and 69703 which affirmed the informations pending with Branch 158. The instant case stemmed from a complaint filed by Aquilino Pimentel. 153 and 69 of the RTC of Pasig City.. of the RTC of Pasig DECISION City.. This motion was granted by Branch 164. docketed as ANTONIO M. 2000. August 28..Costs de oficio.... docketed as Criminal Case Nos...

] while allegedly done separately over a Private respondent Llorente filed an Opposition (to the Prosecution's three-day period. the trial court held: private respondents. Pahimna forwarded the cases pending before Branch 69 to Branch 158 "unless the presiding judge of said branch interposes objection to such The arraignment and pre-trial of both accused is consolidation. respondent Judge issued an Order. There should then be (Criminal Case Nos. Omnibus Motion dated the violation of Section 27(b) of R. Pangasinan. 2000 is denied. September 6. 3485-A before the portion which reads: Regional Trial Court of Alaminos. the other issues raised by private respondent (sic) set on March 20. 2000 are granted allowing the be "meritorious and there being no objection" from the prosecution. 2) remand all the cases pending before it to the consolidation of the cases and in fact gave its consent thereto. Judge Lorifel Lacap Pahimna alleged in the 321 Informations filed against him are of Branch 69 granted private respondent Llorente's motion to consolidate. petitioner. 6646. This pending before Branch 158 considering that all cases involved common benefit applies also to accused Salayon. 2000. et On March 2. 2001.[13] On September 27. 4) order the Office of the Clerk of Court of the RTC of Pasig City to information for violation of Section 27(b) of R. The multiple acts Pasig City for proper disposition. accused Llorente's Omnibus Motion by the COMELEC as one offense or a single count of (sic) dated September 5. only one crime against accused Llorente. Senior State Prosecutor Rogelio Bagabuyo filed his Notice of Appearance with Branch 158 of the RTC of Pasig The trial court noted that during the hearing on private respondent City.. were perpetuated on one single Urgent Omnibus Motion dated 25 September 2000)[11] with Branch 158 of occasion which is the canvassing of the votes cast in the the RTC of Pasig City. Public questions of fact and law and the parties may have to introduce common Prosecutor's (sic) Bagabuyo's Omnibus Motion evidence in support of their respective positions in these cases. 119099-119204) be consolidated with those cases only one information against accused Llorente. In ruling that only one court.] the unity of criminal intent is or Pasay City.A. On December 13. 2000. Ygaña of Branch 153 granted the same and remanded Criminal before Branches 69. Judge consolidation of cases against accused Llorente pending Ericcio C.[10] manifested by the fact that the several acts of tampering[. a its Comment/Opposition to [the] Omnibus Motions filed by Accused document of fifty-eight (58) pages. Llorente were referred to Branch 158 for appropriate action. 153 and 164 of this Court with Case Nos.[9] He likewise filed an Urgent Omnibus Motion To: 1) hold in Llorente's motion on September 12. filed with Branch 158 of the RTC of Pasig City perpetuated only on one single document. significantly. 2001 at 8:30 in the morning. 2000." Judge dated September 25. 2000 and Omnibus Motion dated After finding private respondent Llorente's prayer to consolidate to September 8.A. the dispositive al. No. resolution of all motions filed by private respondent Llorente with the Luis Gana. This is what the Comelec did in People vs. 3) hold in abeyance the representative from the office of Senator Aquilino Pimentel. Even the Office of the Clerk of Court of the RTC of Pasig City. There is no . Balbuena of the COMELEC. this Court could attribute 25. then through abeyance the implementation of the orders of the court prior to his Director Jose P. 2000. and 5) allow him ample time to secure from the Supreme Court a transfer of venue of the cases from Pasig City to Manila [I]n this case[. The multiple acts of tampering by the accused were treated WHEREFORE. Jr.[12] reiterating its prayers in its Omnibus Motion dated September several acts of tampering. 6646 should have hold in abeyance the re-raffling of all the "dagdag-bawas" cases against been filed. the prosecution. declared to constitute only one violation of Section finding that "it is for the convenience of the parties that these cases 27(b) of Republic Act No.[7] Similarly. an Atty. did not register any objection thereto. 118902-119063 to the Office of the Clerk of Court of the RTC of those pending before this branch.[8] SO ORDERED. 6646. Maria Arsenia Garcia. docketed as Criminal Case No. 1995 elections in Pasig City. through Senior May 8. State Prosecutor Bagabuyo. the SoV." Moreover. While there maybe Llorente. was heard on the matter of appearance as counsel. 2000. and.

Pursuant to the Order of March 2. 2001.[17] secretary Orlando Nicolas. as prayed for. 2001 at 8:30 in the morning.[22] counsels. The hearing was reset to July 26. after having been informed of the charge filed against them and its attending consequences.[14] 2001 for Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo's failure to appear. Atty. 2001. the . set the arraignment and pre-trial of private respondents "on June 15. for this reason that both accused were arraigned and 2001 which set the date of the arraignment and pre-trial on June 15. The Motion for Reconsideration of the case on June 29. petitioner moved for the reconsideration of available for today's hearing because he is indisposed as the March 2. 2001 Order of the trial court. and through a telephone call from his rejoinder. 2001 was again cancelled and reset toAugust 2. thus: Since Prosecutor Rogelio Bagabuyo is again not On March 25. After considering the respective positions of the prosecution and the private respondents. asking the trial court to nullify the arraignment of respondents motions. the pre-trial and trial were cancelled and reset to September 4. As a consequence. It is records revealed that the Order of the trial court datedMay 11. differently. 2001 at 8:30 in the morning."[24] indisposed. 2001hearing was reset 2001 in view of the prosecution's manifestation that it was appealing the to July 6.[21] However. The court warned that "[i]n the event Postpone and Motion for Reconsideration. The June 29. reason then why accused Llorente should be treated hearing on July 26. Both accused. 2001 hearing was that the prosecution shall not be able to get any restraining order to stop cancelled as Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo did not appear. 2001 Order and August 2. Despite the denial of the prosecution's trial court. 2001 Order was likewise denied for being in the On June 27. The trial court held: the prosecution of this case. TheJuly 6. private respondents Llorente and Salayon were In the event that there will again be no arraigned and pleaded "not guilty. 2001. 2001 of the pleading under the Rules of Court. 2001. the arraignment of private respondents Llorente and Having entered their plea. 2001 was received by the Department of Justice on May 17. the offense for which they should be made answerable. the assigned COMELEC shall then make its appearance and take over prosecutor in the trial court. respondent Judge denied pre-trial/trial scheduled today is cancelled and reset on petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the March 2. assisted by their respective SO ORDERED. petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion to Postpone nature of a second motion for reconsideration which is a prohibited and Motion for Reconsideration[20] of the Order dated June 15. entered their plea to a single or one information only. the Legal Department of the the presence of Public Prosecutor Jose Danilo C. It found that contrary to the prosecution's against both accused were treated to be only a single claim that it was not notified of the arraignment on June 15. Jabson. 2001 at 8:30 in the morning. the hearing on said date shall proceed as representative having telephoned the trial court that he was scheduled. the trial court issued its Order dated August 2. Jay I." Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo was appearance from Prosecutor Bagabuyo at the next absent during the arraignment but the same nevertheless proceeded in scheduled hearing. and over the vehement objection of counsels for both accused. for lack of notice to the prosecution. entered a plea of NOT GUILTY." xxx On June 15. 2001.[15] Private respondent Llorente relayed to this Court by his representative. a the proceedings in this case. 2001.[16] to which petitioner filed its Dejaresco. set the pre-trial of this Salayon proceeded as scheduled. the In his Order[18] dated May 11. 2001 in view of the prosecution's filing of the Omnibus Motion to trial court's order to a higher court. filed his Comment and Opposition. 2001.[19] trial court's March 2. the 2001[23] denying the prosecution's Omnibus Motion to Postpone and three hundred [twenty-one] (321) informations filed Motion for Reconsideration. 2001.

odd since Atty. said petition Hernandez to voluntarily inhibit himself from hearing the instant cases and was dismissed outright for having been filed without the participation of remand the same to the Clerk of Court of Pasig City for re-raffling. adopted by co-accused Ligaya P. dated October 4. Again. to no avail. the Motion to Dismiss hence. giving as reason its pending petition before the CA. 2002 for having Opposition to Motion to Inhibit). the parties opted not to have a hearing after having agreed to put all their arguments in their respective Meantime. 2001.[25] Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration. Resolution of our Motion to Inhibit) and Counter-Comment (to the 150317. 2001 filed by accused Antonio M. The trial court granted private respondents a period of three (3) days therefrom within which to formalize their motions to dismiss and the prosecution was also given three (3) days from receipt of private respondents' motions within which to file its comment or objection. to no after Resolution of our Motion to Inhibit). Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. No.[32] Before petitioner could file an opposition. 2001. Book IV of the 1987 Administrative Motion to] Dismiss with Prayer to Hold in Abeyance its Resolution until Code.[31] . 2001) and Petition for Review on Certiorari[27] with this Court on October 30. is Prosecutor Bagabuyo at the Office of the Clerk of Court in the first floor granted and this case is dismissed. Accordingly. asking Judge docketed as CA-G. adopting all the allegations to sign the petition. filed its Motion to Inhibit[33] dated October 5. 2001. Private respondent Llorente reiterated his motion to dismiss the case on the ground of violation of his right to speedy trial.R. SP No. Petitioner Dismiss with Prayer to Hold in Abeyance its Resolution until after filed its Petition for Review on January 10. Galimpin. then filed with On October 3. Prohibition. the court received a call from the secretary of Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo that the latter had his tooth extracted. an On November 23. Salayon. through Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo.[30] Petitioner.[26] Unhindered. 2001. appeared in court and requested for a order. pleadings.[28] Petitioner again filed a Motion for Reconsideration mentioned in the Motion to Dismiss of his co-respondent with this Court. docketed as G. Later. We granted prosecution filed its Rejoinder (to Reply to Opposition to the Motion to petitioner's motion in our Resolution dated December 12. Private respondent Salayon filed a been filed out of time and for Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo's failure Manifestation dated October 6. Galimpin informed the court that he saw Senior State Llorente. the dispositive portion of which states: postponement. in violation of Section 35(1). On October 15. Mandamus. 2001.[29] Llorente. petitioner. Another representative from the office of Senator Pimentel. in the trial court.[34] 2001 did not proceed due to Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo's absence. it Injunction with Prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order with the CA. Private respondent Llorente avail. with the admonition that failure to proceed will be dealt with accordingly. 2001. On August 16. the prosecution refused to proceed with pre-trial and trial. the hearing set on September 4. 2001. 2001. 2002. the dismissal of the instant cases due to the denial of their right to speedy trial. The cash bail posted of the same building where the court sits. the trial court rendered its assailed Atty. the prosecution likewise filed its Opposition (to [Private Respondent's Chapter 12. 65966. petitioner filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File filed his Reply (to Prosecution's Opposition dated October 7. No. The pursuant to Section 2. setting the next hearings on October 3 and 15. 2001. Comment-Opposition (to Prosecution's Prayer for Inhibition). the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). The trial court found this excuse quite dated October 4. We resolved to deny the petition on January 30. 2001. Private respondents moved for by each accused is ordered released to them. Title III. WHEREFORE. filed a petition for Certiorari. The trial court denied their motion and gave the prosecution the last SO ORDERED.[35] opportunity to prosecute the instant cases.R. could not appear in court. through Senior State Prosecutor Private respondent Llorente filed his Motion to Dismiss Bagabuyo.

the dispositive portion of which states: 2002 [with the Supreme Court]. Title III. except those where these cases were originally assigned to.R. The be supported by Sections 6 and 9 of the Revised Rules of Criminal motion having been granted. Plaintiff-petitioner prays for such other relief filed without the participation of the OSG. 4. No pronouncement as to costs. 118848-91. Section 27(b) of R. SP No. The ruling of the trial court was found to under Rule 65 directly with the CA. this time through the amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when he rendered his assailed OSG. premises considered. The Order.R. the CA rendered its assailed Joint Decision in CA-G. Book IV of the 1987 Administrative Code. 151461-151781. It held that petitioner was essentially assailing an error of judgment and not Pursuant to Section 6. CA-G.A.[38] In the CA. filed last January 10. . The CA held that the petition instituted by Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo should be "effectively withdrawn" as the same was 6. 2001 issued by Branch 158 of the Regional they be arraigned for the 321 counts for the violation of Trial Court of Pasig City in Criminal Case Nos. SP Nos. 118823-31. hence. 6646.R. the CA likewise found no merit in the petition instituted by the OSG. No.[43] to the Office of the Clerk of Court for re-raffle to the other branches.[37] Chapter 12. the case was Rule 65 of the Rules of Court instead of an ordinary appeal was docketed as CA-G. docketed as CA-G. At any rate."[41] person may be freed from the anxiety and expense of a court litigation or.[42] 1. in violation of Section 35(1). Upon the filing hereof. all entitled “People of the Philippines v. 69703 and 68922. filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File a petition for certiorari Order dated November 23. erroneous. No. An Order be issued changing venue from the City datedApril 21. after which November 23. petition[40] contending that respondent Judge "committed grave abuse of Article III of the 1987 Constitution.this Court a Petition for Certiorari. petitioner. 69703. be declared as null Antonio M.R. Even assuming that petitioner's recourse was proper. 2001 allegedly on account of the oppressive delays. the CA held that respondent Judge did not act with grave abuse of discretion Meantime. Honorable RTC-158 be ordered remanded SO ORDERED.R. this case be consolidated with On July 4. Subsequently. The Order dismissing the instant cases be recalled. Ligaya P. Prohibition and Mandamus[36] dated February 1. and 119099-204. 69703. 69703 and 68922 were docketed as G. SP Nos. 69703 are 2. WHEREFORE.R.” is hereby AFFIRMED and UPHELD. case to the CA. 68922 and CA-G. 2002 under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. 150317. SP No. Salayon and 3. for lack of merit. filed its Procedure. the petitions in CA-G. 2002. 2001.[39] petitioner. The CA noted that as to CA-G. 2001.R. capricious and order of dismissal dated November 23. Pasay or Makati. Rule 56 of the Rules of Court. 118902-9063. and docketed as G.R. SP No. 2001.R. through the OSG. its resort to a special civil action for certiorari under said petition to the CA for appropriate action.A. SP No. Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo filed an Urgent Motion to Withdraw Petition 5. its salutary objective being to assure that an innocent speedy trial rule. Nos. Sections 9 and 13 of R. on February 2. It restated the principle that "[t]he discretion and/or acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing the right to speedy trial means one free from vexatious. hereby both DENIED DUE COURSE and accordingly set aside and the 321 criminal cases filed against both DISMISSED. we referred of jurisdiction. [the] Petition for Review. All the cases that used to be pending before the respondent. The assailed Order dated accused Salayon and Llorente be reinstated. SP No. dated June 15. and. Petitioner prayed that: consolidated. 68922. consistent with law and equity on the matter. 2002 with the Supreme Court despite our referral of the of Pasig to either Manila. and void and set aside. 8493 and Sections 14(2) and 16. or in the alternative. Llorente.

as a general rule.” petitioner raises the following issues: As a general rule." prosecution from the order of dismissal of the criminal case by the trial court may be allowed only on errors of jurisdiction when there was denial II. Moreover. the instant petition on certiorari under Rule 45 in which order. capricious and oppressive. orders granting continuance that the ends of justice in granting the continuance outweigh the best interest of the public and the right of the Petitioner's remedy with the CA was correct. In a long line of respondents' right to speedy trial. In any case.[49] This is so as while QUESTION OF LAW IN UPHOLDING THE DISMISSAL OF it is true that double jeopardy will attach in case the prosecution appeals a THE 321 CRIMINAL CASES AGAINST PRIVATE decision acquitting the accused.unless the accused will be placed in double jeopardy. Citing People v. Abaño." Citing People v. should right to speedy trial." as an consolidated the 321 criminal cases into one information and dismissed exclusion to the computation of the 80-day period within which to the "criminal case" on the ground of the denial of private respondents' commence trial under Section 3(3). errors of CERTIORARI IS NOT WARRANTED INASMUCH AS WHAT judgment are not appealable by the prosecution. Rule 119 of the Rules of Court.[48] Thus. and b) whether the CA erred in finding cases. of having his guilt determined within the shortest possible finding that the right of private respondents to speedy trial has been time compatible with the presentation and considerations of whatever violated. any valid grounds was "certainly vexatious. without giving the prosecution the chance to present be read in harmony with Section 7 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. [WHETHER] THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A of due process resulting in loss or lack of jurisdiction.[45] it held that "the dismissal of the Petitioner contends that its petition for certiorari under Rule 65 with cases following a number of postponements at the instance of the the CA was the proper remedy since respondent Judge committed grave prosecution is not an abuse of discretion. Velasco.[50] The issues to be resolved are: a) whether a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 is the proper remedy from the dismissal of the In the case at bar. provides that “[a]ny party may appeal from a judgment or final Hence. an acquittal rendered in grave abuse of RESPONDENTS. Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure arraignment of private respondents. Finally. evidence. Hence. petitioner's reliance on Section the alleged existence of the remedy of appeal does not always foreclose 3(7) of Rule 119 is also misplaced as the trial court did not state in its the remedy of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.if otherwise.[46] discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction does not really "acquit" and therefore does not terminate the case as there can be no double jeopardy based on a void indictment. the prosecution cannot appeal questioning the trial court's interlocutory order did not interrupt the from in the absence of a statute clearly conferring that right."[44] The CA found that the cancellation of the hearings in the trial court by the prosecution without We shall first resolve the procedural issue. [WHETHER] THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A proceedings from a judgment in favor of the defendant in a criminal case in QUESTION OF LAW IN HOLDING THAT THE WRIT OF the absence of a statute clearly conferring that right. accused to a speedy trial. the prosecution cannot appeal or bring error I. legitimate defense he may interpose.[47] petitioner contends that the in the case at bar. the CA pointed out that the prosecution failed to commence with the trial even after the lapse of 122 days from the Section 1. running of the 80-day period. we have held that a dismissal on the ground of the denial of the that respondent Judge did not commit grave abuse of discretion in accused's right to a speedy trial will have the effect of acquittal that dismissing the instant criminal cases against private respondents upon a would . the mere expedient of petitioner's filing before the CA of dismissal of the "criminal case" against private respondents is tantamount a petition for certiorari. the trial court dismissed the cases against private cases before the trial court on the ground of the denial of private respondents for the denial of their right to speedy trial. prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 to their acquittal which." The CA likewise held that "delay abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when he resulting from extraordinary remedies against interlocutory orders. Appeal by the IS BEING IMPUGNED IS "AN ERROR OF JUDGMENT.

the time limit shall be one Having settled that a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 with the CA hundred twenty (120) days. certiorari lies from such order of dismissal preceding section 1. and 2) there is no of the prescribed time limits. No. and Municipal Circuit Trial Court. court.[58] In Corpuz v. oppressive delays. No.-. 6. within which trial must commence after arraignment. [52] Hence. the time limit with respect to the period from of discretion amounts to lack of jurisdiction which prevents double arraignment to trial imposed by said provision shall jeopardy from attaching. 38-98. 1998.[59] we held: of discretion when the same was performed in a capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment amounting to lack of jurisdiction. For the second twelve-month period.[55] indefinite time. [RTC]. the time limit shall be eighty (80) days.Notwithstanding trial rule" as an appeal was not available to it. [56] In 1998. As to the time limit petitioner was correct in filing a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. the crucial issue is: was the CA correct in ruling that a writ of certiorari was not warranted inasmuch as the respondent Judge did not act in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in R." The law provided for time limits in order "to ensure a speedy trial ."[57] Thus. The provisions of said circular were adopted was actually an acquittal. 2001 allegedly on account of the speedy Sec. or with grave abuse by Article III. we of all criminal cases before the Sandiganbayan. Sandiganbayan. cases. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course that the concept of "speedy trial" is a relative term and must necessarily be of law. 8493. in spite of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.A. Such right to a speedy trial and a speedy disposition of a case is violated only when the The right of the accused to a speedy trial is guaranteed under proceeding is attended by vexatious. No. Rule 119.A." On August reconsideration of the order of dismissal and the court re-set the case for 11. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The abuse of The right of the accused to a speedy trial and discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a to a speedy disposition of the case against him was positive duty.[53] be one hundred eighty (180) days. [51] Thus. Rule 116 and the case was allegedly capricious. or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law. was final and cannot be reconsidered. of the 1987 Constitution. otherwise known as the "Speedy Trial Act of 1998. capricious and Sections 14(2) and 16. Where the dismissal of the the provisions of section 1(g). jurisprudence continues to adopt the view appeal. and for the third twelve- was the proper remedy from the dismissal of the instant cases by the trial month period. Extended time limit. 8493 and its implementing rules and the Revised Rules of dismissing the instant cases against private respondents for the denial of Criminal Procedure enumerate certain reasonable delays as exclusions in their right to speedy trial? the computation of the prescribed time limits. as designed to prevent the oppression of the citizen by where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner because holding criminal prosecution suspended over him for an of passion or hostility. Municipal Trial Court. board or officer be interpreted as a bar to any charge of denial of speedy trial as provided has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction. the accused can successfully claim double jeopardy as the said order Implementing R. Section 14(2). the 2000 Revised alleging that "respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion Rules of Criminal Procedure states: and/or acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing the order of dismissal dated November 23. Metropolitan Trial have held that where after such dismissal the prosecution moved for the Court. nor any plain.A. as the petition challenges not the period following its effectivity on September 15. in the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. x x x Congress enacted R. for the first twelve-calendar-month and does not involve double jeopardy. They also provide that "no provision of law on speedy trial and no rule implementing the same shall A writ of certiorari is warranted when 1) any tribunal. the Rules trial. the Supreme Court issued Circular No. 8493. and to prevent delays in the administration of justice by mandating the courts to We affirm the CA's ruling that no such grave abuse of discretion was proceed with reasonable dispatch in the trial of criminal shown to exist in respondent Judge's dismissal of the instant cases. correctness but the validity of the order of dismissal and such grave abuse 1998.[54] An act of a court or tribunal may be considered as in grave abuse a flexible concept.bar further prosecution of the accused for the same offense.

It secures rights to the accused. (b) the reason for the . In determining whether the accused has been deprived of his right to a speedy disposition of the case and to a speedy trial. but deliberate. four factors must be considered: (a) length of delay. It is consistent with delays and depends upon circumstances. it must be borne in mind that the rights given to the accused by the Constitution and the Rules of Court are shields. the essential ingredient is orderly. It cannot be definitely said how long is too long in a system where justice is supposed to be swift. hence. While justice is administered with dispatch. A balancing test of applying societal interests and the rights of the accused necessarily compels the court to approach speedy trial cases on an ad hoc basis. expeditious and not mere speed. Also. courts are to give meaning to that intent. but it does not preclude the rights of public justice. not weapons.

The July 26 pre-trial hearing likewise these dates of October 3 and 15. Another representative from the denied of their right to speedy trial. Rule 116 Pimentel. 2001 and the Court’s Order on said date denying the the instance of the prosecution were not justified. 2001. The hearing was reset Clearly. through Prosecutor Bagabuyo. 2001 up to the filing of the Motion to Dismiss by private respondents on the ground The August 2. in finding that private respondents were Prosecutor Bagabuyo. Atty. available as represented by Atty. 2001. But the hearing of September 4. The Court. the one hundred eleven (111) days that have elapsed toAugust 2. During the hearing. October Bagabuyo was not feeling well. Jay I. 2001. 2001 and gave proper notice to the floor of the building where this Court sits. secretary of the last opportunity on October 3 and 15. a certain Atty. appeared and confirmed the inability of (sic) of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure has been Prosecutor Bagabuyo to appear during the pre-trial violated. 2001 is beyond the Prosecution. This matter was relayed to this Court in a period of time to prosecute this case as above narrated. Rolando following incidents in the trial court: Galimpin. filed an Omnibus Motion to Postpone and informed the Court he saw Prosecutor Bagabuyo at the Motion for Reconsideration. 2001. the Prosecution. set Office of the Clerk of Court. The Court also requested Atty. 2001 hearing was held. through State Prosecutor motion for postponement odd because Atty. Galimpin Bagabuyo. The Court [h]as impressed with mandated by Section 14(2) and Section 16 of Article III the commitment of the Prosecution that in the event no of the 1987 Constitution. the dates Prosecutor Bagabuyo would be Order of July 6. respondent Judge recounted the office of Senator Pimentel. appeared and requested for another postponement. 2001 did not proceed on account of the absence of In the cases at bar. (citations omitted) this case. as Prosecutor Bagabuyo was still failed to proceed to pre-trial and trial. The Court issued its 3 and 15. telephone call of Orlando Nicolas. manifested 80-day limit provided under the law and the rules. This July 6 setting also did not proceed as a Court denied the accused['s] oral motion to dismiss and staff of Prosecutor Bagabuyo made a telephone call with gave the Prosecution the last opportunity to prosecute this Court seeking for a postponement as Prosecutor this case. The right to speedy trial . (c) the defendant’s assertion of his right. The Prosecution was given two dates. Like before. Galimpin. a lawyer from the office of Senator Aquilino accused’[s] right to speedy trial under Section 9. the Prosecution. the Court granted the The Court a quo has sufficiently justified its order Prosecution 30 days to file the proper petition before the of dismissal for failure to prosecute in violation of the higher court. Court resolves that this case must now be dismissed. and the pre-trial and trial was reset anew constitutional right of the accused to a speedy trial as to September 4.[60] hearing. 2001 setting the pre-trial again to July 26. the Court received a call The Court considers the accused['s] arraignment from the secretary of Prosecutor Bagabuyo that the of June 15. but the of the denial of their right to speedy trial on October 4. As found by the CA: Prosecution’s Motion for Reconsideration to the Order of June 15. 2001. 2001.m. delay. the pre-trial and trial shall proceed on September 4. The incidents that that it would question the Order of this Court dated June transpired before the trial court likewise show that the postponements at 15. As requested. Given the indisposed. and (d) restraining order was issued to stop the proceedings in prejudice to the defendant. position to appear at the hearing. Despite 2001 at 8:30 a. Even then. which is located at the first the hearing to July 5. from the time private respondents were arraigned on June 15. nevertheless. the Prosecution did not proceed. Dejaresco. this Prosecutor Bagabuyo. This initial setting did not proceed. 2001 and notes that the pre-trial was initially latter had his tooth extracted and would not be in a set on June 29. This Court found the as earlier. 2001. the date suggested by Atty. Dejaresco to inform Senator Pimentel on the delay caused by the non- appearance of the Prosecutor. The Dejaresco. 2001.

Petitioner invokes the exclusions provided in Section 3(a)(3) and Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo received a copy of the CA Resolution (f). We are not persuaded. Hence.[62] and especially taking into petition.The following periods of Court. 3. 2001. 76 days have lapsed delay shall be excluded in computing the time within from the date of arraignment. he filed a motion for extension of time to file a petition under Rule 45 with this Sec. On October 17. Deducting the time it took Judge Hernandez to resolve petitioner's accused. On August 24. including but not limited to Omnibus Motion to Postpone and Motion for Reconsideration dated June the following: 27. 2001. means one free from vexatious. Rule 119 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which state: denying his motion for reconsideration. of postponements at the instance of the prosecution is 2001. On October 30. Prior to his filing of this motion for extension. This provision is resulting from not in conflict with Section 3(f) of Rule 119 as they speak of two different extraordinary kinds of delay. 2001. Section 3 of Rule 119 provides that "delay resulting from xxx extraordinary remedies against interlocutory orders" is excluded in 3) Delay computing the time within which trial must commence. provided. or the that an innocent person may be freed from the anxiety prosecution. Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo received account the periods in Rule 119 which are explicitly a copy of the CA Resolution dismissing his petition. As correctly held by the CA. 2001. only 41 days had lapsed after private respondents' arraignment onJune 15. Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo filed a held that the dismissal of the case following a number certiorari petition questioning the arraignment before the CA on August 6. 2001. if otherwise. capricious and court motu proprio. If Section 3(f) is not applicable. At this point. 2001. Section 3(a) definitely is. "delay resulting from extraordinary remedies against interlocutory orders" must be read in xxx harmony with Section 7. the 80- a) Any period of delay resulting day period mandated under Section 6 of Rule 119 has not yet from other proceedings concerning the lapsed. xxx Petitioner contends that there was no inordinate delay on the The cancellation of the hearings by the part of the prosecution to justify a dismissal of the cases based on a prosecution without any valid ground is certainly violation of the private respondents' right to speedy trial. if the court granted the and expense of a court litigation or.[63] he filed a motion for reconsideration of the CA Resolution. Rule 65 of the Rules of Court which provides that the "[p]etition [under Rule 65] shall not interrupt the course of the f) Any period of delay resulting principal case unless a temporary restraining order or a writ of from a continuance granted by any preliminary injunction has been issued against the public respondent . The date of vexatious.-.[61] and the accused in a speedy trial. 2001. a total of 51 days elapsed before the filing of the CA not an abuse of discretion. when Judge Hernandez issued an Order of dismissal dated November 23. or on motion of either oppressive delays. Exclusions. remedies against interlocutory orders. OnSeptember 6. This Court granted him 30 days within which trial must commence: which to file the petition or until December 1. capricious and oppressive and it has been arraignment was June 15. its salutary objective being to assure the accused or his counsel. Thus. 2001. 2001. only 64 days have passed since the arraignment. of continuance on the basis of its findings having his guilt determined within the shortest possible set forth in the order that the ends of time compatible with the presentation and justice served by taking such action consideration of whatever legitimate defense he may outweigh the best interest of the public interpose.

informed the trial court that he saw Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo at the Office of the Clerk of Court. Bagabuyo did not appear for the prosecution on the September 4. The orders of the court contained repeated warnings that "[i]n the event that there will again be no appearance from Prosecutor Bagabuyo at the next scheduled hearing. gave a warning that "[i]n the event that 2001 denying the Prosecution’s Motion for the prosecution shall not be able to get any restraining order to stop the Reconsideration. the successive continuances granted by the trial court were compelled by the repeated absence of the public prosecutor or his refusal to proceed with the pre-trial and trial. which is located at the first floor of the same building where the trial court sits. Petitioner's reliance on Section 3(f) of Rule 119 is also misplaced as nowhere in the Orders granting continuance did respondent Judgeset forth that his order was based on findings that “the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the accused in a speedy trial. Given these resolution. It also notes the from the interlocutory order of the trial court with a higher court. No. 65966 questioning the . As the trial court held: The Court notes the petition for certiorari that Prosecutor Bagabuyo filed before the Court of Appeals docketed as CA-GR SP No. court.R. 65966 which raised the issue of the validity of the private respondents' arraignment. This. the proceedings in this case. the CA has dismissed CA-G. 2001 Order. Senior State Prosecutor to proceed to pre-trial and trial during the October 15. 2001 2001 hearing. 2001. the hearing on [September 4.[64] extracted and would not be in a position to appear at the hearing. 2001. What made the manner of postponement worse was that Atty. however. SP. in its August 2. No. in addition to granting a 30-day continuance in the Honorable Court of Appeals dated August 16." Despite this warning. the Prosecution stood on its hearing set by the trial court and the court only received a call from the ground not to prosecute this case and would only have secretary of said Senior State Prosecutor that the latter had his tooth itself to blame for the dismissal of this case. the private prosecutor. the Legal Department of the COMELEC shall then make its appearance and take over the prosecution of this case." This was clearly spelled out by propriety of [the] June 15. 2001 Order of this Court and respondent Judge when. despite the fact that as early as August 16. All and still. the prosecution refused to proceed with the pre-trial and trial of the cases on the ground of the pendency of its petition with the CA. 2001.” as required under the law and the Rules of Court. 2001 Order denying private respondents' oral motions to dismiss and giving the prosecution another chance to prosecute the cases by resetting the hearings to October 3 and 15." In its September 4. 2001 view of the manifestation of the prosecution that it would file an appeal dismissed the petition outright. Even when Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo appeared on October 3.from further proceeding in the case. Galimpin. 2001] shall proceed Prosecution had no option under the circumstances but as scheduled. the trial resolution of the said Court dated October 9. To the contrary. the trial court gave an admonition that the prosecution's failure to appear will be dealt with accordingly.

but grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or 2002 for having been filed out of time. No. . On appeal to the CA raising said issue. It is members. in acquitting the accused. Hence petitioner can no longer raise attributed to respondent Judge in dismissing the instant cases for the the same issue in this petition. the to a suit if every obstinate litigant could." Again.[67] No such grave abuse of discretion can be Reconsideration on April 24. the petitioner must the motion for reconsideration it filed.A. respondents without the presence of Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo 2001and June 15. The first and the foremost state principle announced A well-known legal principle is that when an in our Constitution is that “the Philippines is a democratic and republican appellate court has once declared the law in a case. 2001 Order of the trial court during arraignment anew in the same case upon any and every subsequent leaves no room for vagueness. granting private respondent Llorente's motion to has already been established with finality in the prosecution's previous consider all the 321 informations filed against each of them as constituting appeal with the CA in CA-G. or speculate of chances from changes in its offense for which they should be made answerable. No. Notably. was due to its own fault. 2001. as clearly shown by the events that trial court and was denied again when re-raised by petitioner with the trial transpired in the trial court. 65966 and with this Court in G. errors of judgment. were to be litigated reading of the June 15. respectively. We likewise denied its Motion for excess of jurisdiction. 6646 as only one appellate court. petitioner's Motion for parties. Director of Lands.” as applied to a the following questions: 1) Which one of the 321 Informations did private former decision of an appellate court. Again. "There would be no end Pursuant to the Order of March 2. 2001. thus. Reconsideration of this Order on March 25. 2002. that: A last note. SP." for this reason that both accused were arraigned and entered their plea to a single or one information only. committed not merely Court raising the same issue and was likewise denied on January 30. Petitioner cannot re-raise said issue in this petition.[65] Petitioner's contention that the prosecution was clearly deprived of its day in court when it was not afforded the right to be present during the private respondents' arraignment and to proceed to trial cannot stand What this argument reflects is petitioner's stubborn insistence scrutiny. InZarate v. court in its Omnibus Motion to Postpone and Motion for Reconsideration on June 27. It states: appeal. Petitioner also contends in the instant petition that respondent such declaration continues to be the law of that case Judge's decision declaring the 321 Informations against private even on a subsequent appeal. The rule made by an respondents for violation of Section 27(b) of R. which would be impossible if a question. Moreover. The “Law of the Case.R. a once considered and decided by it. the arraignment of the accused to only one information and cannot be departed from in subsequent proceedings in his Decision dismissing the "case" against private respondents give rise to the same case. No. the issue of the validity of the arraignment of the private not to recognize the trial court's interlocutory Orders dated March 2. only one offense and declaring the arraignment of private respondents to 150317 and.[66] we held denial of private respondents' right to speedy trial. compel a court to listen to criticisms on their against both accused were treated to be only a single opinions. the rule is necessary as a matter of policy in order to end litigation. The contention is unavailing. 2001 has been denied by the petitioner's failure to proceed to trial. Contrary to petitioner's claim. merely expresses respondents plead "not guilty" to? and 2) What case did Judge Hernandez the practice of the courts in refusing to reopen what has dismiss when he stated that "this case is dismissed"? been decided. constitutes the law of the case between the only one information. 2001. by repeated three hundred [twenty-one] (321) informations filed appeals. while it may be reversed in other cases. Such a rule is "necessary to enable an appellate court to perform its duties satisfactorily and efficiently. Petitioner filed a petition with this prove that the trial court. the CA dismissed In order that a judgment or order of acquittal may be successfully the appeal for the non-participation of the OSG and the CA likewise denied challenged in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. Information.R.

2002 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 177960 January 29. Petitioner. Locsin St. Hon. 1995 was marred by the condemnable practice of “dagdag-bawas” which fully loaded with sacks of coconut shell. the above-named accused. On 17 January 2005. Genesa PRETZY-LOU SENDIONG. The Joint Decision is registered in the name of Cristina P. and within the jurisdiction of failed in vindicating this constitutional principle whose wisdom has not this Honorable Court. Judge Cresencio Tan and motion to amend was considered withdrawn. After the prosecution had rested its case. In a representative government. free from any fetter. Sendiong who was with two female passengers.”[68] Our people express their mighty sovereignty Imprudence resulting to Homicide. No cost.R.State. 69703 is affirmed. a Colt Galant with plate number NLD-379 driven by Lou Gene alternative except to affirm the dismissal of said charges for the R.6 They sought to add the allegation of abandonment of the victims by petitioner. the prosecutor Maslog. V. dated July 4. petitioner was arraigned and he pleaded not guilty to the charge. petitioner sought 2004 by the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. Sendiong was still alive inside the car. sacred. Weyer of 115 Dr. the petition is denied. the Provincial Prosecutor filed an Omnibus August 2006 and Resolution3 dated 25 April 2007 by the Court of Appeals Motion praying that the motion to amend the information be considered in CA-G. and mainly thru the election ballot where they decide. vs. leave to file a demurrer to evidence which was granted. The pertinent portion of the information reads: who will represent them in government. color blue. to the damage of the heirs of the same Lou Gene R. the choice by the people of who will be their voice is nothing less than That at about 11:55 o’clock in the evening of 28 December 2004 at Brgy. GENESA SENDIONG. An act defined and penalized by Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code. thereby hitting an cannot but be lamented.R. before the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Sibulan. Respondents testified for the The case had its origins in the filing of an Information 4 on 29 December prosecution. Less Serious Physical Injuries. did then and there. Agueda Pamplona. Damage to Property."7 Before us is a petition for review1 on certiorari of the Decision2 dated 17 On 21 January 2005. at a time when said [Lou-Gene] R. withdrawn. Sendiong. its desecration is unpardonable. less serious physical injuries on the bodies of Dexie Duran and Elvie Sy and extensive damage to the above-mentioned Colt Galant which IN VIEW WHEREOF.5 JEFFREY RESO DAYAP. hence. Respondents. Sendiong and the other two offended parties above-mentioned. 01179 entitled. namely: Dexie Duran constitutional right of the accused to speedy trial cannot be held hostage and Elvie Sy.8 On 21 January 2003.: standers. Pre-trial and trial of the case proceeded. registered in the name of Ruben led to the dismissal of the criminal charges against the private respondents Villabeto of Sta. Pretzy-Lou P.R. The inexplicable failure has left this Court no automobile. been diminished by the erosions of time. Genesa R. unlawfully and feloniously drive in a reckless and imprudent part of the prosecution to prove that the senatorial elections held in May manner a 10-wheeler cargo truck with plate number ULP-955. Negros Oriental. On 10 January 2005. Sibulan. 2009 Negros Oriental.9 Jeffrey Reso Dayap. The lack of zealousness on the willfully.. SP No. No. SP Nos. thus: "The driver of the 10-wheeler cargo truck DECISION abandoned the victims. 68922 and Dumaguete City. Sendiong. Petitioner filed his . J. Regrettably. Philippines. he was only extracted from the car by the by- Tinga. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority charging herein petitioner Jeffrey Reso Dayap with the crime of Reckless emanates from them. G. Sy and Dexie Duran v. ELVIE SY and DEXIE Sendiong and Dexie Duran filed a motion for leave of court to file an DURAN. however. Negros Oriental. Sibulan. by the disinterest and mistakes of the prosecution in discharging its duty. amended information. thus causing the instantaneous death of said Lou Gene R. Sendiong. Elvie H. Negros Oriental. respondents Pretzy-Lou P. the MTC granted the withdrawal and the Sendiong.

The the fact of the crime. not of [sic] any negligent act of the the accused who committed the crime as charged. to prove these two things. thus the evidence presented has not established said allegations. the demurrer is granted and the evidence was also presented to state the damage. its tires busted and pulled out together with their axle. Elvie Sy were not also proven as no medical certificate was presented to state the same nor was a doctor presented to establish such injuries. Sad to say. i. The prosecution accused JEFFREY RESO DAYAP is hereby acquitted for insufficiency of therefore failed to establish if indeed it was the accused who was evidence. the prosecution’s acquitted petitioner of the crime of reckless imprudence. xxxx In the Order12 dated 16 May 2005. guide of vehicle 2 to be cut. When the prosecution fails to discharge its Sendiong as there was no death certificate that was offered in evidence. The MTC found [evidence] conclusively show that the swerving of vehicle 1 [the Colt that the evidence presented by respondents failed to establish the Galant] to the lane of vehicle 2 [the cargo truck] is the proximate cause of allegations in the Information. Exhibit "7" which is a picture of circumstances constituting the allegations charged have not been proven.13 could not also pinpoint if it was the accused who committed the crime and . The facts and hitting the latter’s inner fender and tires. The cutting of the differential guide cause[d] the entire housing xxxx connecting the tires to the truck body to collapse. The mother of representative. including the damage to the Colt Galant. the victim testified only on the expenses she incurred and the shock she and her family have suffered as a result of the incident. burden of establishing the guilt of the accused. never identified the accused as the one who has committed the crime. to which respondents filed a Comment11 dated 25 April 2005. thus causing vehicle 2 to tilt to its left side and swerve towards the lane of vehicle 1. perpetrator of the crime. Sendiong and the injuries to Dexie cancelled and ordered released to the accused or his duly authorized Duran and Elvie Sy. It was this Nowhere in the evidence of the prosecution can this Court find that it was accident that caused the swerving. Its witnesses have accused. The prosecution did not even establish if indeed it Every criminal conviction requires of the prosecution to prove two things— was the accused who was driving the truck at the time of the incident.e. reckless imprudence. vehicle 2 shows the extent of its damage which was the effect of vehicle It is elementary in the rules of evidence that a party must prove his own 1’s ramming into the rear left portion of vehicle 2 causing the differential affirmative allegations. she SO ORDERED. an accused need not even The alleged less serious physical injuries on the bodies of Dexie Duran and offer evidence in his behalf. Pertinent portions of the order state: the accident. This Court could only say that the prosecution failure to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he is criminally liable for has practically bungled this case from its inception.. and the fact that the accused is the been committed and that the accused is the person responsible for it.Demurrer to Evidence10 dated 15 April 2005 grounded on the prosecution’s be held responsible for it. premises considered. The xxxx alleged damage to the [C]olt [G]alant was also not established in any manner as no witness ever testified on this aspect and no documentary WHEREFORE. But sad to say. The bail bond posted for his temporary liberty is also hereby responsible for the death of Lou Gene R. The court again is inclined to agree with this argument of the defense. The prosecution never bothered to establish if indeed it was the accused who xxxx committed the crime or asked questions which would have proved the elements of the crime. the prosecution has miserably failed There was no evidence on the allegation of the death of Lou Gene R. the MTC granted the demurrer and The defense furthermore argued that on the contrary. the presence of all the elements of the crime for Court simply cannot find any evidence which would prove that a crime has which the accused stands charged. It has looked carefully into the sketch of the accident as indicated An examination of the allegations in the information and comparing the in the police blotter and can only conclude that the logical explanation of same with the evidence presented by the prosecution would reveal that the accident is that vehicle 1 swerved into the lane of vehicle 2.

Negros Oriental for proper disposition of the merits of the case. However.00. 36 of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 can be on accused’s acquittal is AFFIRMED. The case is REMANDED to the court of the basis of the RTC’s jurisdiction over the case.) No.000. the filing of which is REMANDING the case to the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Both parties filed their motions for reconsideration of the RTC order. failed to rule on the accused’s civil liability. Garcia)18which ruled that in complex crimes considering the evidence adduced by the prosecution. enactment of Republic Act (R. but In the present petition for review. It also found support in Sec. the appellate court cited Tulor v. the Court of origin or its successor for further proceedings on the civil aspect of the Appeals denied the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit in the case.14 alleging that the MTC’s dismissal of the case was done without title of the case is Cuyos v. especially since the judgment of acquittal did not include a declaration that the facts from which the civil SO ORDERED. . the questioned order of the Municipal Trial Court of Sibulan Procedure nor Sec.16 unlawful. No. Judicial Region. not by the corresponding penalty presented. Rule 119. Rule 119 of the Rules of Court. 01179.20 arguing that jurisdiction over the case is determined by the allegations in the information. and that neither the 1991 Rule on Summary WHEREFORE. In so ruling. docketed as CA-G. 32. 36 of the Oriental. The case was raffled to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Negros for the physical injuries charged. The dispositive portion of the decision states: decision. Br. SO ORDERED. The Court of amended information alleging abandonment. 7691.R. Garcia (correct 65.00 as civil damages.000. the RTC affirmed the acquittal of offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence where petitioner but ordered the remand of the case to the MTC for further the imposable fine does not exceed P10. premises considered. felonious killing as well as abandonment of the victims. the case falls within the that it failed to consider the evidence presented by the prosecution. allowed under Sec. except that the defense no longer presented its evidence after the MTC gave due WHEREFORE.A. Resolution dated 25 April 2007. Respondents are also faulted Appeals ruled that there being no proof of the total value of the properties for challenging the MTC’s order acquitting petitioner through a special civil damaged. Respondents added involving reckless imprudence resulting in homicide or physical injuries and that the MTC failed to observe the manner the trial of the case should damage to property. Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 and the 1991 Rule 8 on Summary Procedure. 11. The appellate court jurisdiction on the basis of a legally unfiled and officially withdrawn subsequently rendered the assailed decision and resolution. the jurisdiction of the court to take cognizance of the proceed as provided in Sec.Respondents thereafter filed a petition for certiorari under Rule null and void. No costs. the RTC declared that the aspect of civil liability was not passed upon and resolved to remand the issue to the Petitioner moved for reconsideration of the Court of Appeals MTC.19 liability might arise did not exist. SP. He asserts that the RTC could not have acquired under Rule 42.21 It reiterated that it is the RTC that has proper jurisdiction considering that the information alleged a willful. Rule 119 of the Rules of Court as well as case is determined by the fine imposable for the damage to property failed to rule on the civil liability of the accused in spite of the evidence resulting from the reckless imprudence. The dispositive portion of the Decision dated 17 August records also demonstrated that the MTC conducted the trial of the case in 2006 reads: the manner dictated by Sec. As there was no proof of proceedings on the civil aspect of the case. 23. owing to the 2005. 11. The RTC’s jurisdiction. Thus. The RTC however agreed that the MTC Branch 32. The RTC ruled that the MTC’s the total value of the property damaged and respondents were claiming recital of every fact in arriving at its conclusions disproved the allegation the amount ofP1. the criminal case falls under the jurisdiction of the RTC and the action for certiorari under Rule 65 in lieu of an ordinary appeal under Rule proceedings before the MTC are 42.22 which confers jurisdiction to first-level courts on offenses involving damage to property through Respondents then filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals criminal negligence. which govern the summary procedure in first-level courts in In the order15 dated 23 August 2005. petitioner argues that the MTC had these were denied for lack of merit in the order 17 dated 12 September jurisdiction to hear the criminal case for reckless imprudence. judgment is hereby rendered by Us course to the accused’s demurrer to evidence.500.

23Thus. It appears from the records however that respondents’ attempt to exclusive original jurisdiction thereof. 2 months and 1 day to 6 years).A. tantamount to an property.30 period (2 years. . Section 32(2) of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129 had already been amended by Both the MTC and the RTC proceeded with the case on the basis of the R. or negligent act acquittal of the accused. bar.27 Consequently. by taken cognizance of the case and the proceedings before it were valid and reckless imprudence. less serious physical injuries and damage to doubt. When such As the records show. the factual findings of the trial court are conclusive maximum period. the same is offense is a necessary means for committing the other. the MTC granted petitioner’s demurrer to evidence reckless imprudence the use of a motor vehicle. had it been intentional. the MTC and the RTC did not have original jurisdiction over the criminal case.24 Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code provides that when the the accused in double jeopardy. such as the one at of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods. R. petitioner is maximum periods should fall within the jurisdiction of the MTC and not the deemed to have been charged only with the offense alleged in the original RTC. it calls "for an appreciation of the evidence adduced by the The offense with which petitioner was charged is reckless imprudence prosecution and its sufficiency to warrant conviction beyond reasonable resulting in homicide. a complex crime is demurrer to evidence may not be appealed. is prision correccional in its medium process. 7691 extended the jurisdiction of the first-level Information dated 29 December 2004 charging petitioner only with the courts over criminal cases to include all offenses punishable with complex crime of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide.25 Thus. The Court of Appeals however fine. most serious crime shall be imposed. in acquitting the accused. thus rendering the assailed judgment void. the penalty for the still reviewable but only by certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Applicable as well is the familiar rule that the jurisdiction of the court to hear and decide a case is conferred by the law in force at the time of the The first issue is whether the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that institution of the action. commits any act which. a complex crime. it is applicable to upon the reviewing court. unless such statute provides for a retroactive jurisdiction over the offense charged pertained to the RTC. for to do so would be to place committed. No." It follows that criminal cases for amend the information by charging the aggravated offense was reckless unsuccessful as the MTC had approved the Provincial Prosecutor’s motion to withdraw their motion to amend the information. It should be granted. 4 months and 1 day to 4 years) and maximum period (4 years. they shall have victims. or when an consequent to a demurrer to evidence is not subject to appeal. imprudent. resulting in the death of a and acquitted him of the offense on the ground of insufficiency of person attended the same article imposes upon the defendant the penalty evidence. The information filed imprudence punishable with prision correccional in its medium and before the trial court had remained unamended. resulting in a dismissal of the case on the merits."28 Such dismissal of a criminal case by the grant of results in two or more grave or less grave felonies. were he to be found guilty. therefore. Where a reckless. Negros Oriental had properly Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code punishes any person who. with the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period toprision correccional in its medium period.26 When this case was filed on 29 December 2004. the same to be applied in its Thus. 7691. legal. the MTC of Sibulan. in such case. The demurrer to evidence in criminal cases. the penalty imposable upon discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction or a denial of due petitioner. would constitute a grave felony. No. Since Article 48 speaks of felonies. It explicitly states "that in offenses same offense but aggravated by the circumstance of abandonment of the involving damage to property through criminal negligence. committed grave abuse of deceit (dolo) or fault (culpa).A.The petition has merit. Clearly. and the only legal basis to reverse and set aside crimes through negligence in view of the definition of felonies in Article 3 the order of dismissal upon demurrer to evidence is by a clear showing as "acts or omissions punishable by law" committed either by means of that the trial court. is "filed after the prosecution had rested its case. and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties declared in its decision that petitioner should have been charged with the including those for civil liability.29 But while the dismissal order single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies. less serious imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of physical injuries and damage to property. jurisdiction to hear and try the same pertained to Information without any aggravating circumstance." and when the same is granted. application thereof.

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and J. (b) the court declares that the liability of the accused dated 17 August 2006 and Resolution dated 25 April 2007 in CA-G.34 This is because when the accused files a demurrer to evidence. The Court of Appeals’ Decision evidence is required. The only evidence on record is the evidence for the prosecution. the accused has the right to adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the case NAMER SALAZAR. alleging that the MTC gravely abused its discretion in dismissing the case the court shall render judgment on the civil aspect of the case. What the trial court should do is issue an CALLEJO. 2001. unless the court also declares that the act or omission from which the civil BROTHERS MARKETING CORPORATION. action does not carry with it the extinction of the civil liability where: (a) the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of WHEREFORE. and in allegedly failing to follow the proper procedure as mandated A scrutiny of the MTC’s decision supports the conclusion that the acquittal by the Rules of Court. Branch 5.R. he has not yet adduced evidence both on the DECISION criminal and civil aspects of the case. Negros Oriental in Criminal Case No. as well as with the not the reckless driving of the truck by petitioner. hence. It added that the prosecution failed to establish that it was petitioner who The second issue is whether the Court of Appeals erred in ordering the committed the crime as charged since its witnesses never identified remand of the case of the matter of civil liability for the reception of petitioner as the one who was driving the cargo truck at the time of the evidence. The Order dated 16 May 2005 of not based upon the crime of which the accused is acquitted. if demurrer is granted and the accused is acquitted by the court. did not commit the acts or omission imputed to him. is only civil. respondents filed before the RTC the petition for certiorari private complainant to adduce evidence by way of rebuttal. respondents. the petition is GRANTED. 5th Judicial Region. Furthermore. petitioner’s civil liability has been the MTC failed to consider the evidence presented by the prosecution. since petitioner’s acquittal has extinguished his civil against him on the civil aspect of the case. Consequently.: order or partial judgment granting the demurrer to evidence and acquitting the accused. 35 and failing to consider the evidence of the prosecution in resolving the same. petitioner. clearly establishing that RTC in directing a similar remand to the MTC.[2] dated November 19. Thus. the MTC found that the proximate cause of the accident is the damage to the rear portion of the truck caused by the We disagree with the Court of Appeals on directing the remand of the case swerving of the Colt Galant into the rear left portion of the cargo truck and to the RTC for further proceedings on the civil aspect. and (c) the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is No. 31 However. Thereafter. J. 33 SO ORDERED. vs. the Municipal Trial Court of Sibulan. The extinction of the penal liability. SR. the civil action based on delict may be deemed extinguished if there is a 3016-04 granting the Demurrer to Evidence and acquitting petitioner finding on the final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission Jeffrey Reso Dayap of the offense charged therein is REINSTATED and from which the civil liability may arise did not exist32 or where the accused AFFIRMED.Accordingly. The RTC correctly ruled that the MTC did not abuse was based on the findings that the act or omission from which the civil its discretion in dismissing the criminal complaint. incident. petitioner is not guilty of reckless imprudence. SP. there is no more need to remand the case to the trial court for proceedings on the The acquittal of the accused does not automatically preclude a judgment civil aspect of the case. and its . been committed and that accused was the person responsible for it. 01179 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE..Y. Legazpi City. liability may arise did not exist. The MTC’s conclusions liability may arise did not exist and that petitioner did not commit the acts were based on facts diligently recited in the order thereby disproving that or omission imputed to him. The extinguished by his acquittal. It should be noted that the MTC categorically records also show that the MTC correctly followed the procedure set forth stated that it cannot find any evidence which would prove that a crime had in the Rules of Court. and set the case for continuation of trial for the This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 accused to adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the case and for the Rules of Criminal Procedure of the Order[1] of the Regional Trial Court.

but for “DAUD. did then and there to Evidence with Leave of Court[5] alleging that she could not be guilty of wilfully. (b) there is no sufficient evidence to prove that the petitioner Branch Manager. Unfortunately. JERSON O. dated October 15. through Mr. BROTHERS MARKETING CORPORATION. the private complainant. the petitioner gave the the decision of the said court on the civil aspect thereof and to allow her to private complainant Check No. The cavans of rice were petitioner Anamer D.000. unlawfully and feloniously. in the City of Legazpi. and Article 315. Jerson Yao. dated October 15. 067481 drawn against the Prudential Bank. docketed as Criminal Case No. that despite demands. 067481. for the purpose of defrauding the private complainant. The petitioner was informed of such dishonor. usually a check. YAO. that when said check was presented to the drawee “drawn against uncollected deposit. and accused ANAMER D. Legazpi Branch. 1996. the above “DAUD” (Drawn Against Uncollected Deposit). Salazar and co-accused Nena Jaucian Timario with picked up the next day by the petitioner.Y. SALAZAR conspired with the issuer of the check. under Article 315(2)(d). accused failed and refused and still fail and refuse to pay and/or make The prosecution filed its comment/opposition to the petitioner’s arrangement for the payment of the said check. Nena Jaucian Timario. the trial court rendered judgment acquitting CONTRARY TO LAW. because the deposit. however. had not yet been cleared. The Upon arraignment. paragraph CHECK NO. in order to endorsed and negotiated said check as payment of 300 cavans of rice defraud the private complainant.Order[3] dated January 14. As payment for these cavans of rice.” According to the petitioner. 1996. named-accused. Trial thereafter ensued. her co-accused Nena Jaucian Timario.000.” which in banking parlance means such circumstance. entered a plea trial court ruled that the evidence for the prosecution did not establish the of not guilty. by one Nena Jaucian Timario in the amount of P214. the same was consequently dishonored and refused means that the account had sufficient funds but was still restricted payment for the reason of “ACCOUNT CLOSED”.Y.00 2(d) on estafa penalizes only the issuer of the check and not the indorser in favor of J. (c) after the first check was dishonored. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. was returned with the word Philippines. 1996. The first transaction had well that at that time said check was issued and endorsed. to the damage and demurrer to evidence.Y. 2002 denying the motion for reconsideration of Jerson Yao. obtained from J. was dishonored because it was drawn under a closed account (“Account 7474 which reads as follows: Closed”). the petitioner. 1997. prejudice of said J. On November 19. The decretal portion of the trial court’s judgment reads as follows: . with intent to defraud by means of false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed After the prosecution rested its case. petitioner Anamer Salazar purchased synonymous with the fraudulent act of falsely pretending to possess credit 300 cavans of rice from J. Nena Jaucian therefore been effectively novated by the issuance of the second Timario did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank to check. drew and issue[d] PRUDENTIAL BANK. knowing fully the petitioner replaced it with a second one. represented by its thereof. on the part of accused NENA JAUCIAN the crime as charged for the following reasons: (a) she was merely an TIMARIO. As a mere indorser of the check. the petitioner filed a Demurrer simultaneously with the commission of the fraud. assisted by counsel. present evidence thereon. this bank for payment.Y. 2001. conspiring and confederating with each other. in the amount of P214.[4] the petitioner of the crime charged but ordering her to remit to the private complainant the amount of the check as payment for her purchase. the petitioner’s breach of the warranty that the check was a good one is not On October 15. 365704 drawn against the Solid That sometime in the month of October. the check the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City. which. Upon presentment. an Information for estafa was filed against herein petitioner’s assurance that it was a good check. BROTHERS MARKETING CORPORATION. existence of conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt between the petitioner and the issuer of the check. her personal check was dishonored not for cover the amount called for therein and without informing the payee of insufficiency of funds. 1996. BROTHERS MARKETING CORPORATION. admitted that he had never met Nena Jaucian The Evidence of the Prosecution Timario who remained at large. Jerson Yao accepted the check upon the On June 11. In fact. Legazpi City Branch. Bank. LEGASPI CITY BRANCH indorser of the check issued by Nena Timario. Brothers Marketing Corporation. She replaced the Prudential Bank check with Check No.

Where the complaint or information also seeks to recover liquidated. Moreover. contending that before being adjudged deemed to include the corresponding civil action. Salazar is therefore ordered to pay J.000. the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof has not action unless the offended party waives the civil action. Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Criminal additional filing fees based on the amounts alleged therein. If the application is action. it may be consolidated with the criminal action upon to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal application with the court trying the latter case. the offended party shall pay According to Section 1. the petitioner assails the orders of the trial No counterclaim. which shall be considered as the actual damages claimed.[6] complaint or information. premises considered.Y. 22 shall be of Civil Procedure in this case. the civil action based on delict shall be deemed extinguished if there is a finding in a final judgment in the criminal action When the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability against the accused that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not by way of moral. Salazar is fees therefor shall constitute a first lien on the judgment awarding such hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged but is hereby held liable for the damages. reserves the right yet commenced. granted. Court. the court issued an order denying the motion.00. or exemplary damages without exist. Brothers Marketing Corporation the sum Where the amount of damages. On January 14. Costs against the accused. temperate. Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and civil actions. the trial of both actions shall proceed in accordance with section 2 of this Rule governing consolidation of the civil and criminal actions. Accused Anamer D. temperate or exemplary damages. No reservation to file liable to the private offended party. action is instituted. value of the 300 bags of rice. Institution of criminal and civil actions. the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party upon the filing thereof in court. but any cause of action which could have court. she was denied due process as she was not given the opportunity to been the subject thereof may be litigated in a separate civil action. nominal. cross-claim or third-party complaint may be filed by the court claiming that after her demurrer to evidence was granted by the trial accused in the criminal case. 2002. she should have been first accorded such civil action separately shall be allowed.WHEREFORE. action. the procedural relief granted in Rule 33. no filing fees shall be required that he be allowed to present evidence pursuant to Rule 33 of the Rules of for actual damages. moral. – (a) When a criminal first lien on the judgment. Within the reglementary period therefor. The reservation of the right to institute separately the civil action shall be made before the prosecution starts presenting its evidence and under The last paragraph of Section 2 of the said rule provides that the extinction circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable opportunity to of the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of the civil make such reservation. the filing fees based on the amount awarded shall constitute a SECTION 1. adduce evidence to prove that she was not civilly liable to the private respondent. the filing .[7] specifying the amount thereof in the complaint or information. In her petition at bar. the offended party shall pay in full the filing fees based on the amount of the check The Petition Is Meritorious involved. is specified in the of P214. If the amounts Procedure – are not so alleged but any of these damages are subsequently awarded by the court. The petitioner invokes the applicability of Rule 33 of the Rules (b) The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. the petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration on the civil aspect of the decision with a plea Except as otherwise provided in these Rules. the accused Anamer D. other than actual. nominal.

liability might arise did not exist. multiplicity of suits. or case. The reason for this is that criminal actions are the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or primarily intended to vindicate an outrage against the sovereignty of the merely failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. while in the civil aspect of the action. the offended party or the Rule 1 of the 1997 Rules of Criminal Procedure. the said rules shall govern accused or both may appeal from the judgment on the civil aspect of the the procedure to be observed in action. the appeal from the judgment of acquittal as it would place the accused in quantum of evidence is preponderance of evidence. If the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but the court renders The quantum of evidence on the criminal aspect of the case is proof judgment on the civil aspect of the criminal case. there are two actions involved in a criminal case. it shall state whether the evidence of conviction of the accused. (2) the participation of the accused in the offense. At the conclusion of the trial.[8] The acquittal of the accused does not prevent a judgment against him Unless the offended party waives the civil action or reserves the right on the civil aspect of the case where (a) the acquittal is based on to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required. accomplice. The first is the where the court declared that the liability of the accused is only civil. double jeopardy. or accessory after the fact. the court reads: should render judgment not only on the criminal aspect of the case but also on the civil aspect thereof: Sec. whether as principal. Contents of the judgment. The aforecited rule also on the civil aspect of the case. 23. the civil action. Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. namely. The prosecution presents its evidence not only to prove the guilt of After the prosecution has rested its case. the accused has the option the accused beyond reasonable doubt but also to prove the civil liability of either to (a) file a demurrer to evidence with or without leave of court the accused to the offended party. civil or criminal. The criminal action has a dual purpose. The private complainant is the plaintiff and the accused is the civil liability may arise did not exist or where the accused did not commit defendant. After the prosecution has rested its under Section 23. the private complainant is merely a witness for the State on the action based on the delict is extinguished if there is a finding in the final criminal aspect of the action. In a criminal upon the crime of which the accused was acquitted. the punishment of accused by the offended party. the aggrieved party. [9] Under Section 3. The dominant and the civil liability by a separate civil action has been reserved or waived. primordial objective of the criminal action is the punishment of the offender. The civil action is merely incidental to and consequent to the In case the judgment is of acquittal. – After the prosecution rests its case. (b) action. On the other hand. The second is the civil action arising from the judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the delict. which attended its commission. it shall on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the opportunity to be state (1) the legal qualification of the offense constituted by the acts heard or (2) upon demurrer to evidence filed by the accused with or committed by the accused and the aggravating or mitigating circumstances without leave of court. However. case within the period therefor. the accused shall adduce its evidence not only on the criminal but to (b) adduce his evidence unless he waives the same. unless the enforcement of the offender and indemnity to the offended party. (3) If the court denies the demurrer to evidence filed with leave of court. the accused waives his right to . In either case. Demurrer to evidence. When the demurrer to damages caused by his wrongful act or omission to be recovered from the evidence is filed without leave of court. state and to impose the appropriate penalty for the vindication of the the judgment shall determine if the act or omission from which the civil disturbance to the social order caused by the offender. Moreover. – If the judgment is of conviction. the the penalty imposed upon the accused. and (4) the civil liability or accused may adduce evidence in his defense. The parties are the where the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based People of thePhilippines as the plaintiff and the accused. (c) criminal action for the punishment of the offender. There is a merger of the trial of the two cases to avoid the acts or omission imputed to him.[10] the action between the private complainant and the accused is intended solely to indemnify the former. the court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of evidence (1) SEC. if there is any. 2. the prosecution cannot beyond reasonable doubt.

behalf. This is so because when the accused files a demurrer to evidence. in the proper case. and for the private complainant to acquitting him but also on the civil liability of the accused to the private adduce evidence by way of rebuttal after which the parties may adduce offended party. said judgment on the civil aspect of the case would be a their sur-rebuttal evidence as provided for in Section 11. On the other hand. evidence or the demurrer itself shall not be reviewable by appeal or by (c) that the accused is given an opportunity to be heard. “(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. by now a motion to dismiss the case for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt elementary and deeply imbedded in our own criminal justice system. As we held in Alonte v. he has the right to adduce evidence not only on trial. are beyond reasonable doubt. paragraphs (1) and (2). of the Constitution provides the fundamentals. the accused shall be presumed evidence for the prosecution. the aspects of the case. require (a) that the court or tribunal trying the case is properly clothed with judicial power to hear and determine the matter before it. to have a speedy. and (d) that certiorari before the judgment. The principles find universal acceptance evidence without leave of court. if the accused is granted leave to file condemns. Jr. . impartial. innocent until the contrary is proved. – The trial shall proceed in the following order: Section 14. The prosecution may oppose the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his the motion within a non-extendible period of five (5) days from its receipt. In criminal cases. What the trial court should do is to issue an order or partial unless the court also declares that the act or omission from which the civil judgment granting the demurrer to evidence and acquitting the accused. particular. The prosecution may oppose the demurrer to evidence within a similar period Jurisprudence acknowledges that due process in criminal proceedings. Savellano. If the trial court issues an order or renders and set the case for continuation of trial for the petitioner to adduce judgment not only granting the demurrer to evidence of the accused and evidence on the civil aspect of the case. to be informed of the nature and cause of the The motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence shall specifically accusation against him. In a case where the accused files a demurrer to mandatory and indispensable. after arraignment. to state its grounds and shall be filed within a non-extendible period of five meet the witnesses face to face. The only evidence on record is the evidence for the accused has the right to adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the case prosecution. (b) The order denying the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to that jurisdiction is lawfully acquired by it over the person of the accused.present evidence and submits the case for judgment on the basis of the “(2) In all criminal prosecutions. in from its receipt. the demurrer to evidence partakes of the nature of The above constitutional and jurisprudentially postulates.”[12] the criminal aspect but also on the civil aspect of the case if his demurrer is denied by the court. and to have compulsory process to secure (5) days after the prosecution rests its case. judgment is rendered only upon lawful hearing.” within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from notice. the accused has not yet adduced evidence both on the criminal and civil If demurrer is granted and the accused is acquitted by the court. 11. and public trial. Order of trial. liability may arise did not exist. Rule 119 of the nullity for the reason that the constitutional right of the accused to due Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure: process is thereby violated. and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel. of Article III. he thereby waives his right to present and are tersely expressed in the oft-quoted statement that procedural due evidence and submits the case for decision on the basis of the evidence of process cannot possibly be met without a “law which hears before it the prosecution.:[11] Sec. (a) The prosecution shall present evidence to prove the charge and. the civil liability. which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after a demurrer to evidence. the accused shall file the demurrer to evidence failure to appear is unjustifiable. trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his If leave of court is granted. However.

if any.B. arising from the issuance of a provisional remedy in the HON. NACHURA. J. Branch 19. 1999. No. the Petition is GRANTED. motion to take deposition. Susana Yongco. BONJE. the petitioner to pay for her purchases from the private complainant even 2000[3] granting Concepcion Cuenco Vda.(b) The accused may present evidence to prove his defense and CONCEPCION CUENCO VDA. Risos.. the order of trial may be modified. and sur-rebuttal evidence unless the court. theRegional Trial Court of Cebu City. 152643 damages.versus . 2002. (c) The prosecution and the defense may. REYES. Promulgated: (e) When the accused admits the act or omission charged in the August 28. 2000[4] denying the the petitioner was denied her right to due process. Bonje. docketed as SO ORDERED. Respondents. permits them to present additional evidence bearing upon the main issue. The case. The court issued an order granting the demurrer on its finding Rules of Court. Criminal Case No. Chairperson. the petitioner was charged with estafa under Article 315. The Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City. sur-rebuttal evidence of the parties if they opt to adduce any. orally or to submit written memoranda. (d) Upon admission of the evidence of the parties. RAMON C. Neither did he file a civil action before the institution of the criminal action. Presiding Judge of case. Patently. CODILLA. . The Leah Abarquez. motion for reconsideration of respondents Raul G. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. is hereby The facts of the case. 2001 and January 14. SUSANA YONGCO. 1999. x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x Thereafter. as culled from the records. in furtherance of justice. 7474 for the continuation of trial for the reception of the evidence-in-chief of the petitioner on the civil aspect of On November 4. in that order. present rebuttal YNARES-SANTIAGO. which was subsequently amended on November 18. the court shall render judgment on the civil aspect of the case on the basis of the evidence of the prosecution and the accused.. and deemed submitted for decision unless the court directs them to argue GAMALIEL D. de Manguerra’s (Concepcion’s) before the petitioner could adduce evidence thereon. DECISION In this case. therefore.[5] arose from the falsification of a deed of real estate mortgage allegedly committed by respondents where they . DE MANGUERRA and THE G. follow: DIRECTED to set Criminal Case No. CHICO-NAZARIO. However. and dated November 3. J. LEAH ABARQUEZ and ATTY. 2002 are SET ASIDE AND NULLIFIED. paragraph 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code. 15. 1999. The petitioner was granted leave of court to file a demurrer to This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the evidence. Branch 5.: delict was impliedly instituted since there was no waiver by the private offended party of the civil liability nor a reservation of the civil action. Present: Petitioners. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. JR. JJ.B. The CA decision set the court rendered judgment on the civil aspect of the case and ordered aside the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Orders datedAugust 25. through a criminal information dated October 27. 2001 and its Resolution[2] dated March 12. Branch 19. CBU-52248. The civil action arising from the NACHURA. Gamaliel D. the case shall be RAUL RISOS. 2008 complaint or information but interposes a lawful defense. respondents were charged with Estafa the case and for the rebuttal evidence of the private complainant and the Through Falsification of Public Document before the RTC of Cebu City. assailing the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision[1] datedAugust that the liability of the petitioner was not criminal but only civil. and Atty. Orders dated November 19.R.

1999. The court ratiocinated that procedural technicalities should be brushed aside because of the urgency of the situation. the counsel of Concepcion filed a motion to take the latter’s deposition. was unexpectedly confined at the Makati Medical Center due to upper gastro-intestinal bleeding. the RTC granted the aforesaid motion.[15] . 2000. Concepcion. 62551.R.[7] On November 24. while on vacation in Manila. the owner of the mortgaged property known as the Gorordo property. the criminal case. 2000.[14] Aggrieved. Hence. CEB-20359. the RTC granted the motion and directed that Concepcion’s deposition be taken before the Clerk of Court of Makati City. The case was docketed as CA-G. respondents assailed the August 25 and November 3 RTC orders in a special civil action for certiorari before the CA in CA-G.[9] This prompted Concepcion to institute a special civil action for certiorari before the CA seeking the nullification of the May 11 and June 5 RTC orders. SP No. should first be resolved.[10] On August 16.R.made it appear that Concepcion. respondents filed a Motion for Suspension of the Proceedings in Criminal Case No. CBU-52248 on the ground of prejudicial question.[11] He explained the need to perpetuateConcepcion’s testimony due to her weak physical condition and old age. affixed her signature to the document. 60266 and remains pending before the appellate court to date. which limited her freedom of mobility. which was an action for declaration of nullity of the mortgage. since Concepcion was already of advanced age. who was a resident of Cebu City.[13] After several motions for change of venue of the deposition-taking.[8] On May 11. 2001 at her residence. 1999. They argued that Civil Case No. Concepcion’s motion for reconsideration was denied on June 5. 2000. on September 10. and was advised to stay in Manila for further treatment. Concepcion’s deposition was finally taken on March 9. On August 25. 2000.[6] Earlier. SP No.[12] The respondents’ motion for reconsideration was denied by the trial court on November 3. 2000.

appellate court likewise concluded that Rule 23 could not be applied to file its Comment on the petition for certiorari. which is the RTC of Cebu. on motion cases. in the interest of substantial justice. it behooved the petitioners (respondents At the outset. in issuing the assailed the complaint/petition for the petitioner’s/plaintiff’s failure to order. not to hinder PETITIONER. and delay. the CA observed that there was a defect in the herein) to implead the People of the Philippines as respondent in the CA respondents’ petition by not impleading the People of the Philippines. 2001. On August 15. and any deposition that may have been taken on the authority of such void It is undisputed that in their petition for certiorari before the CA. There is nothing sacred about processes or pleadings. Concepcion’s deposition should have been taken before the judge or times as are just. Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. the administration of justice. respondents failed to implead the People of the Philippines as a party thereto. as in the present case. the instant petition raising the following issues: v. 2002 denying petitioner’s motion In this case. Rule of the party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action and/or such 119. and not indispensable party despite the order of the court. and thus.[19] Instructive is the Court’s pronouncement in Commissioner Domingo Hence. this Court has repeatedly declared that the failure to witnesses. Scheer[23] in this wise: I. The latter provision. through the Office of the Solicitor General. all criminal actions are prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor.[22] In its Resolution dated March 12. declaring that the examination of prosecution However.[20] the August 25. [18] comply. their forms or contents. Therefore. the appellate court resolved the matter on its merit. They do not constitute the II. Also noteworthy requiring the taking of deposition before the same court is the is that. the CA rendered a Decision[16] favorable to WHETHER OR NOT FAILURE TO IMPLEAD THE “PEOPLE the respondents. the CA disregarded the procedural flaw by allowing the for reconsideration. the RTC clearly committed grave abuse of discretion. the latter may dismiss before the Clerk of Court of Makati City. They are designed as the means best adapted . This notwithstanding.[17] in Section 5. orders is similarly declared void. 2000 orders of the court a quo are hereby SET ASIDE. The party-respondent. notwithstanding the non-joinder of the People of the Philippines as constitutional right of the accused to meet the witnesses face to face. the People was suppletorily because the situation was adequately addressed by a specific given the opportunity to refute the respondents’ arguments. is governed by Section 15. said the appellate court. an case to enable the Solicitor General to comment on the petition. Thus. Pursuant to the specific provision of Section 15. 2000 and November 3. the CA added that the rationale of the Rules in petition to proceed. the remedy is to implead the non-party claimed to Court. which courts are always striving to secure to litigants. the dispositive portion of which reads: OF THE PHILIPPINES” IN A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI ARISING FROM A CRIMINAL CASE A QUO CONSTITUTES A WHEREFORE. thing itself. the petition is GRANTED and WAIVABLE DEFECT IN THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI. only applies to civil be indispensable. but to facilitate and promote. provision of the rules of criminal procedure. As provided SO ORDERED. Because of this. Rule 119 of implead an indispensable party is not a ground for the dismissal of an the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure and not Rule 23 of the Rules of action. If the petitioner/plaintiff refuses to implead an the court where the case is pending. it managed. Their sole purpose is WHETHER OR NOT RULE 23 OF THE 1997 RULES OF CIVIL to facilitate the application of justice to the rival claims of PROCEDURE APPLIES TO THE DEPOSITION OF contending parties. Parties may be added by order of the court. the petition was obviously defective. In such a case. They were created. [21] indispensable party.

which took effect on December 1. in the an end. was too sick to travel and waive the same after reasonable notice. Section 15 of Rule 119 thus comes into play. As exceptions. so that he can attend the examination.[28] the witness is too sick or infirm to appear at the trial. that is. we rule in the negative. the case in the presence of the judge. 2000. Thus.[26] It also gives the parties and their counsel the The very reason offered by the petitioners to chance to propound such questions as they deem material and necessary exempt Concepcion from the coverage of Rule 119 is at once the ground to support their position or to test the credibility of said which places her squarely within the coverage of the same provision. or 2) if the witness has to leave the Philippines with no definite date of returning. As to the manner of examination. at bar. in issue is the examination of a prosecution be notified. Rule witnesses.[29] 13[30] and 15. It is also necessary that the accused In the case at bench. subject to his right to witness. Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. On the more important issue of whether Rule 23 of the Rules of Petitioners contend that Concepcion’s advanced age and health Court applies to the instant case. The contention does not persuade.[31] Rule 119 of the proper. is not absolute. The statement taken may be Accordingly. Failure or refusal of the accused to attend the examination after notice shall be considered a waiver. she would have been perpetuate the testimonies of witnesses or as modes of discovery. according to the petitioners. In compelled to appear before the court for examination during the trial criminal proceedings. her motion would have been denied. this rule enables the judge to observe the witnesses’ 119 specifically states that a witness may be conditionally examined: 1) if demeanor. the procedure set forth in Rule 119 applies to the case prosecution witnesses.[24] an examination at the trial. This rule. or in his absence after become the other. a query may thus be posed: in granting Concepcion’s prosecution.[25] This is especially true in criminal cases in order that the accused may be afforded the opportunity to cross. appear before the trial court. had she not been the Rules of Court provide for the different modes of discovery that may too sick at that time. In other words.[27] Lastly. the Rules mandate that it be conducted in the same manner as an and it provides: examination during trial. Rules 23 to 28 of whenConcepcion moved that her deposition be taken. Section 15. It is thus required that the conditional examination be madebefore the court where the case is pending. however. Examination of witness for the At this point. or has to leave considered the taking of deposition before the Clerk of Court of Makati the Philippines with no definite date of returning. the administration of justice is at fault reasonable notice to attend the examination has been and courts are correspondingly remiss in the served on him. who. they are a means to where the case is pending. through question and answer. allow the conditional examination of both the defense and Undoubtedly. calls for the application of Rule 23 It is basic that all witnesses shall give their testimonies at the trial of of the Rules of Civil Procedure. despite the procedural defect. were the above rules witness for the prosecution is too sick or infirm to appear complied with? The CA answered in the negative. the CA cannot be faulted for deciding the case on the merits admitted in behalf of or against the accused. The appellate court at the trial as directed by the court. – When it satisfactorily appears that a motion and in actually taking her deposition. examine the witnesses pursuant to his constitutional right to confront the witnesses face to face. These rules are adopted either to conditionally examining her outside the trial court. to obtain that thing. When they lose the character of the one and presence of the accused. and thus. shall be conducted in the same manner as performance of their obvious duty. Instead of be resorted to by a party to an action. Such examination. Rule 119 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. he may City erroneous and contrary to the clear mandate of the Rules that the forthwith be conditionally examined before the court . Sections 12. condition exempt her from the application of Section 15.

there is no room for interpretation. Contrary to petitioners’ contention. “judge. the court may not introduce exceptions or conditions. The Court of Appeals discharged accused Feliciano the criminal proceedings are primarily governed by the Revised Rules of Abutin and Domingo Tampelix from the Information in Criminal Case No.: It is true that Section 3. C. To reiterate. Criminal Procedure. that the judge would be able to observe the witness’ deportment to and now Section 13. is only room for application. in CA- suppletory application to criminal cases. Respondents. only “before the court where the case is pending.J. 2002.same be made before the court where the case is pending. civil or criminal. we find no cogent reason to apply Martires City. as Unlike an examination of a defense witness which. The conditional examination prosecution under Section 15 of the Revised Rules of of a witness outside of the trial is only an exception. 1999 and the two Resolutions of proceedings. Petitioner.R. if not practicable. the conditional examination of a prosecution witness for said the CA. or. or to relax. Rule 1 of the Rules of Court provides that the rules of civil procedure apply to all actions.” the examination of a witness for the of testimony during trial is the general rule. There PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and LUCITA PARANE.[34] DECISION Petitioners further insist that Rule 23 applies to the instant case. This is especially true when Rules of Criminal Procedure. While we recognize the prosecution’s right to preserve its witness’ or. Rule 119 of the Rules. the RTC order was issued with grave abuse of discretion. as in the present case. 143093 May 21.R. before an inferior court to be designated mainly for the protection of the accused’s constitutional rights. prosecution witness shall be made before the court where the case is pending. it says that the rules of civil procedure have the Court of Appeals. pending before the Regional Trial Court of Trece covers the situation in the instant case. Considering that Rule 119 adequately and squarely TM-1730 for Murder. if the order be made by a court of superior testimony to prove its case. this rule. and special On appeal are the Decision dated April 30. 1999 and May 11. 2007 not when he is kilometers away. the accused may not be able to attend. a member of the Bar in good standing so designated by the judge in the order. the purpose of taking his deposition should be made before the court. . The appellate court likewise Rule 23 suppletorily or otherwise. where the case is pending. are AFFIRMED. or at least before the judge. We find no necessity to this wise: depart from. Accordingly. we cannot disregard rules which are designed jurisdiction. SP No. 2000. However. in CA-G. there is nothing in the rule SO ORDERED. calls for a Criminal Procedure (December 1. and as such. In effect. dated September 22. it is likewise true that G. SP No. this requirement ensures pursuant to Section 5. The giving therein. 62551. 46945. words are clear and categorical. because the rules on civil procedure apply suppletorily to criminal cases. Rule 119 categorically states that the conditional examination of a respectively. into the law (or the Rules) qualifications not contemplated. Neither may it engraft RIMBERTO T. No. [33] When the vs. 2000 and March 12. which may remotely be interpreted to mean that such requirement applies only to cases where the witness is within the jurisdiction of said court and R. when he is under detention.”[32] WHEREFORE. More importantly. As correctly held by the CA. if the deposition is made elsewhere. Rule 119 of the previous Rules. the petition is hereby DENIED. SALVANERA. cancelled the bail bond of petitioner Rimberto Salvanera. The Court of Appeals Decision and Resolution dated August 25. 2000) may be done strict construction of the rules. Therefore. to become state witnesses. Such is the clear We agree with the CA and quote with approval its ratiocination in mandate of Section 15. may be taken before any the witness’ testimony is crucial to the prosecution’s case. Rule 119 of the present Revised enable him to properly assess his credibility. PUNO.

All the accused have UNDER SECTION 9. 1997. IN RENDERING THE FIRST. in the Municipality of Gen. NOT BY ANOTHER ACCUSED LIKEWISE SOUGHT Domingo Tampelix. then and there. The prosecution then appealed to the Court of Appeals. Edgardo Lungcay and Domingo the two accused. did. resulting to his instantaneous death. 1997. 1999. together with Feliciano Abutin. then armed Leave of Court. Petitioner then filed his Motion for Clarification with helping each other. this appeal. THE ISSUANCE BY A COMPETENT COURT OF THE ORDER OF HIS DISCHARGE. THE TESTIMONIES OF ABUTIN AND TAMPELIX CANNOT motion to discharge accused Abutin and Tampelix to be state witnesses. as follows: CONTRARY TO LAW. inflicting gunshot wound on his body. petitioner applied for bail. A. petitioner was the alleged mastermind.First. petitioner Rimberto prosecution had not yet rested its case in the hearing for the discharge of Salvanera. MUST BE SATISFIED THROUGH THE TESTIMONY OF THE OTHER PROSECUTION WITNESSES WHO ARE NOT On January 22. 1996. Petitioner enumerates the grounds for his appeal. WAS SATISFIED BY THE PROSECUTION DESPITE THE FACT THAT - large. 1997. the trial court granted B. It contended that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied the C. 1995. . SECOND AND THIRD ASSAILED ORDERS Lungcay. is charged with the murder of Ruben Parane. to serve as state witnesses. The prosecution. the facts: The prosecution likewise claimed that it was premature and baseless for the trial court to grant petitioner’s application for bail because the In an Information1 dated November 30. state witnesses. TO BE DISCHARGED. damage and prejudice of the heirs of the said victim. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Resolution dated September 22. THE "SUBSTANTIAL CORROBORATION" REQUIREMENT Respondent Lucita Parane is the spouse of victim Ruben Parane. It discharged accused Feliciano Abutin and Domingo Tampelix from the Information to become That on or about October 23. it denied petitioner's Motion for Court. to establish that petitioner masterminded the murder of Ruben Parane. assault. confederating and mutually Reconsideration. Tampelix. on AN (sic) ACCUSED SOUGHT TO BE DISCHARGED AS STATE March 4. moved for the discharge of accused Feliciano Abutin and WITNESS. with a firearm. In its Province of Cavite. and cancelled the bail bond of petitioner Salvanera. unlawfully and feloniously 2000. except Edgardo Lungcay who remained at. conspiring. Abutin. It BE SUBSTANTIALLY CORROBORATED IN ITS MATERIAL alleged that the testimonies of the two accused are absolutely necessary POINTS BY THE OTHER PROSECUTION WITNESSES. THE SWORN STATEMENT OF AN ACCUSED SOUGHT TO petitioner’s application for bail and denied the prosecution’s motion for BE DISCHARGED CANNOT BE USED AS EVIDENCE FOR the discharge of accused Abutin and Tampelix. committed as follows: The Court of Appeals sustained the prosecution. The prosecution moved for PURPOSES OTHER THAN HIS OWN DISCHARGE PRIOR TO reconsideration but the motion was denied. while THAT THE "SUBSTANTIAL CORROBORATION" REQUIREMENT Tampelix delivered the blood money to the latter. RULE 119 OF THE REVISED RULES OF COURT been arrested and detained. with treachery and evident premeditation. I. attack and shoot one RUBEN PARANE Y MAGSAMBOL. the above-named accused. The same was also denied in a Resolution dated May 11. the driver of the motorcycle which DEFYING LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE THEREON WHEN IT RULED carried Lungcay to the place of the commission of the crime. wilfully. In an Omnibus Order2 dated September 5. Trias. the hired hitman. to the Hence. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR As per theory of the prosecution.

D. THE TESTIMONY GIVEN BY AN ACCUSED SOUGHT TO d) Said accused does not appear to be the most guilty;
BE DISCHARGED AS STATE WITNESS CANNOT BE USED TO and,
CORROBORATE THE TESTIMONY GIVEN BY ANOTHER
ACCUSED LIKEWISE SOUGHT TO BE DISCHARGED AS e) Said accused has not at any time been convicted of
STATE WITNESS. any offense involving moral turpitude.4

II. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR According to petitioner, the testimony of an accused sought to be
IN RENDERING THE FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD ASSAILED ORDERS, discharged to become a state witness must be substantially corroborated,
DEFYING LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE ON THE MATTER, WHEN IT not by a co-accused likewise sought to be discharged, but by other
CANCELLED PETITIONER'S BAIL BOND DESPITE THE FACT THAT prosecution witnesses who are not the accused in the same criminal case.
THE TRIAL COURT JUDGE ALREADY RULED THAT THE EVIDENCE OF Petitioner justifies this theory on the general principles of justice and
HIS GUILT IS NOT STRONG.3 sound logic. He contends that it is a notorious fact in human nature that a
culprit, confessing a crime, is likely to put the blame on others, if by doing
We uphold the ruling of the Court of Appeals. so, he will be freed from any criminal responsibility. Thus, in the instant
case, petitioner supposes that both Abutin and Tampelix will naturally
In the discharge of an accused in order that he may be a state witness, the seize the opportunity to be absolved of any liability by putting the blame
following conditions must be present, namely: on one of their co-accused. Petitioner argues that prosecution witnesses
Parane and Salazar, who are not accused, do not have personal knowledge
(1) Two or more accused are jointly charged with the commission of the circumstances surrounding the alleged conspiracy. Thus, they could
of an offense; not testify to corroborate the statement of Abutin and Tampelix that
petitioner is the mastermind or the principal by induction.
(2) The motion for discharge is filed by the prosecution before it
rests its case; We agree with the Court of Appeals in dismissing this reasoning as
specious. To require the two witnesses Parane and Salazar to corroborate
the testimony of Abutin and Tampelix on the exact same points is to
(3) The prosecution is required to present evidence and the sworn
render nugatory the other requisite that "there must be no other direct
statement of each proposed state witness at a hearing in support
evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed,
of the discharge;
except the testimony of the state witness."5 The corroborative evidence
required by the Rules does not have to consist of the very same evidence
(4) The accused gives his consent to be a state witness; and
as will be testified on by the proposed state witnesses. We have ruled that
"a conspiracy is more readily proved by the acts of a fellow criminal than
(5) The trial court is satisfied that: by any other method. If it is shown that the statements of the conspirator
are corroborated by other evidence, then we have convincing proof of
a) There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the veracity. Even if the confirmatory testimony only applies to some
accused whose discharge is requested; particulars, we can properly infer that the witness has told the truth in
other respects."6 It is enough that the testimony of a co-conspirator is
b) There is no other direct evidence available for the corroborated by some other witness or evidence. In the case at bar, we are
proper prosecution of the offense committed, except the satisfied from a reading of the records that the testimonies of Abutin and
testimony of said accused; Tampelix are corroborated on important points by each other’s
testimonies and the circumstances disclosed through the testimonies of
c) The testimony of said accused can be substantially the other prosecution witnesses, and "to such extent that their
corroborated in its material points; trustworthiness becomes manifest."7

As part of the conspiracy, Abutin and Tampelix can testify on the criminal Lastly, we affirm the ruling of the appellate court in cancelling the bail
plan of the conspirators. Where a crime is contrived in secret, the bond of petitioner. The grant of petitioner’s application for bail is
discharge of one of the conspirators is essential because only they have premature. It has to await the testimony of state witnesses Abutin and
knowledge of the crime.8 The other prosecution witnesses are not Tampelix. Their testimonies must be given their proper weight in
eyewitnesses to the crime, as, in fact, there is none. No one except the determining whether the petitioner is entitled to bail.
conspirators knew and witnessed the murder. The testimonies of the
accused and proposed state witnesses Abutin and Tampelix can directly IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is DENIED and the Decision and
link petitioner to the commission of the crime. Resolutions of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 46945, dated April
30, 1999, September 22, 1999 and May 11, 2000, respectively, are
In Chua v. Court of Appeals,9 we ruled that the trial court has to rely on AFFIRMED in toto.
the information offered by the public prosecutor as to who would best
qualify as a state witness. The prosecutor knows the evidence in his SO ORDERED.
possession and the witnesses he needs to establish his case. In Mapa v.
Sandiganbayan,10 we held: EN BANC

The decision to grant immunity from prosecution forms a constituent part PEOPLE OF THEPHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 171655
of the prosecution process. It is essentially a tactical decision to forego Appellee,
prosecution of a person for government to achieve a higher objective. It is Present:
a deliberate renunciation of the right of the State to prosecute all who
appear to be guilty of having committed a crime. Its justification lies in the PUNO, C.J.,
particular need of the State to obtain the conviction of the more guilty QUISUMBING,
criminals who, otherwise, will probably elude the long arm of the law. YNARES-SANTIAGO,
Whether or not the delicate power should be exercised, who should be - versus - CARPIO,
extended the privilege, the timing of its grant, are questions addressed CORONA,
solely to the sound judgment of the prosecution. The power to prosecute CARPIO MORALES,
includes the right to determine who shall be prosecuted and the corollary CHICO-NAZARIO,
right to decide whom not to prosecute. VELASCO, JR.,
NACHURA,
We further ruled: PABLO L. ESTACIO, JR. and MARITESS ANG, LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,
Appellants. BRION,
In reviewing the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in these areas, the PERALTA, and
jurisdiction of the respondent court is limited. For the business of a court BERSAMIN, JJ.
of justice is to be an impartial tribunal, and not to get involved with the
success or failure of the prosecution to prosecute. Every now and then, the Promulgated:
prosecution may err in the selection of its strategies, but such errors are July 22, 2009
not for neutral courts to rectify, any more than courts should correct the x------------------------------- ------------------ x
blunders of the defense. For fairness demands that courts keep the scales
of justice at equipoise between and among all litigants. Due process DECISION
demands that courts should strive to maintain the legal playing field
perfectly even and perpetually level. CARPIO MORALES, J.:

Appellant Maritess Ang (Maritess) was charged before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City with kidnapping for ransom,
allegedly committed as follows:

That on or about the 10th of October 1995, in
Quezon City, Philippines, the above-named accused
conspiring together, confederating with two (2) other
persons whose true names, identities and
whereabouts have not as yet been ascertained and
mutually helping one another did then and there,
willfully, unlawfully and

on his mouth. and placed tape been ascertained and mutually helping one another. however.[8] Thereupon. That on or about the 11th day of October. Maritess had earlier told Sumipo that of said offended party.[4] . to the damage and prejudice Charlie Mancilla Chua (the victim). as Estacio and Sumipo took the backseat. Jr. with the use of motor vehicle from While Sumipo tried to dissuade appellants from pursuing their Casa Leonisa Bar located at Examiner Street. willfully. feloniously kidnap one CHARLIE CHUA. together with Estacio and Sumipo. Maritess taking the seat beside the of the Amended Information reads: victim who was driving. and to change the charge from After the victim arrived past midnight and talked to Maritess for a kidnapping for ransom to kidnapping with murder. then and there. subsequently discharged as state witness. 1995. a businessman. they replied that they would kill the victim so that he would not take City and brought him to BRGY. to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said Charlie Mancillan Chua. revenge.”[6] Sumipo assumed. a bar-restaurant thereby depriving him of his liberty from October 10. qualified by evident premeditation. amount of P15. confederating with another him. sat person whose true name and identity has not as yet beside the victim. STO. thereby inflicting upon him serious and mortal wounds. unlawfully and feloniously repeatedly stab said CHARLIE MANCILLAN CHUA on the different parts of his body with the use of [a] fan knife.000. Bulacan and thereafter with intent to kill. that Maritess was just joking. which were the direct and immediate cause of his death.000. Quezon City and brought him to an events:[5] unknown place and detained him up to the present for the purpose of extorting ransom money in the At around 10:00 in the evening of October 10. conspiring. Philippine Currency. pulled him to the backseat as Maritess transferred to the backseat. willfully. (Estacio). the group boarded his car. Maritess. in Quezon City. the Information was further amended to additionally implead one Hildo Sumipo (Sumipo)[3] who was. Quezon City where the three of them would meet with 1995 up to the present. Pablo Estacio. The Information was subsequently amended to implead the other appellant.) Still later. the above-named pull the car over. unlawfully and did. Quezon plan. however. at Examiner Street. with a gun pointed at accused. did. arrived at Casa Leonisa. CRISTO. Not long after. a businessman. the victim told Maritess.[1] she would settle her debt to the victim and then “deretsong dukot na rin x x x kay Charlie [the victim].00. As the victim complied.[7] feloniously kidnap one CHARLIE MANCILLAN CHUA. from the Casa Leonisa Bar located at The evidence for the prosecution presents the following version of Examiner Street. Estacio then directed Sumipo to take over the wheels as he did then and there. Estacio pulled out a gun and ordered the victim to 1995. Philippipnes. San Jose.[2] (Underscoring in the original. tied the victim’s hands behind his back. “bakit mo nagawa sa akin del Monte. The accusatory portion short while. Estacio.

000. he “got confused and so it happened. The victim’s patay na si Charlie sa dami ng saksak na nakuha niya.000 of which should be advanced. When asked on cross-examination why the stabbing was this time lowering the ransom demand to P10. Maritess and Estacio directed her to driver’s seat which he aimed at Estacio. that Maritess got angry with the victim after he lent money to her Maritess and Estacio threw out the victim’s attaché case. P1. On Estacio’s and Maritess’ directive. .” watch. Estacio claimed that a quarrel broke out in the car between the victim and Maritess The following morning. still lowering the ransom demand “friendship” with Estacio. that the car stopped at San Jose del Monte and the three men ways. On May 23. Along the way.000. Incensed. Maritess and Estacio went to Sumipo’s residence again where Estacio again called up the victim’s mother. that he tried to pacify the two. but the victim where he called up by telephone the victim’s mother and demanded got angry at him. Cristo. In his affidavit[13] which he identified in open court. Sumipo surrendered to the National Bureau of Monte. Bulacan and on reaching a secluded place. Sumipo expressed his misgivings about future calls.” dentist found his teeth to match his dental record. wala na tayong problema dahil siguradong identified by his mother by the clothes attached to his bones. and that he offered to accompany them to the crime scene. Maritess and Estacio then brought the victim to a police then informed the victim’s mother that Estacio had admitted having grassy place.[9] which he identified in open [10] store where Maritess bought alcohol to clean their hands.” to which she replied. Valenzuela. iyo ngayon. place the money in a garbage can near Pizza Hut in Greenhills at 11:30 in the evening. Estacio with bloodied hands later resurfaced. The mother replied. She The group then went to Greenhills where Estacio still again called claimed that while on board the car. as they the victim in Bulacan. In the afternoon of the same day. the victim took issue with her up the victim’s mother. On The police.”[16] he adding that he did not intend to stab the victim. Sumipo stopped by a drug Sumipo explained in an affidavit. Estacio and Maritess talked about how they killed the victim. Maritess for her part denied[15] having conspired with Estacio. and as they Continuing. Estacio surrendered to the police. Estacio went to the residence of Sumipo about a debt to the victim. 1996. Maritess later husband. Bulacan.000 ransom. one Robert Ong. drawing them to leave and part men. that she could not then asked Sumipo to drive the car up to Barangay Sto. Estacio and Sumipo later proceeded to Pizza Hut. Bulacan where he dragged the victim away from the car and accidentally stabbed him.000. and that he aP15. On Estacio’s instruction. sana hindi muna natin pinatay si Charlie para knowledge. that Sumipo returned to the car and was later followed by Estacio who said “Masama raw ang nangyari. Sumipo drove towards San Jose del On May 16. The three then headed towards Malinta. but Estacio and Maritess assured him that that call would them.000.000 which she still found accidental.000. prompting the victim to pull out a gun from under the mother having agreed to the demand. and necklace from the proceeds of which he was given P7. whom he insulted. The victim’s victim by the collar. a patrol car passed by. to the crime scene and recovered the remains of the victim who was Estacio telling Maritess. The to stop the car as he did. accompanied by the victim’s mother and Estacio. killed her son. San Jose del afford that amount. prompting him to point a fan knife at his neck.[11] enabling him to leave the country without her told Estacio “Honey. however. while Estacio was jealous of the victim with whom Maritess had makahingi pa tayo ng pera sa mga magulang [niya].ito sa kabila ng lahat?. 1996.000.”[14] be the last. went the way.” a relationship. Estacio ordered Sumipo Investigation. Maritess claimed that she tried to pacify the quarreling were seated there. Estacio replied that he and Maritess originally planned to leave to be too steep. Estacio grabbed the toP5. court. “Bayad na ako sa utang ko sa Sumipo soon learned that Maritess and Estacio sold Chua’s gun. alighted. Monte. but since there was talk of the victim getting back at might get caught.[12] The three later abandoned the car in Malinta. “Honey.

In view of the death penalty imposed. the trial court’s decision. Q-95-63818 finding accused- review. and to pay the costs. Accused-appellants are ordered to I pay. the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City in The case was forwarded to this Court for automatic Criminal Case No.000. as actual damages.[22](Emphasis and of Death. BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.000.00. as moral damages.[20] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Appellants manifested before this Court that supplemental pleadings would not be necessary. A.000. the heirs of the deceased the amounts of P50. indemnity.000. disposing as follows: underscoring supplied) WHEREFORE. of the crime of kidnapping on the occasion of which C. Murder and That Appellant Ang is Guilty Jr. x x x CONVICTING HEREIN ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME CHARGED DESPITE FAILURE OF THE SO ORDERED. x x x Discharging Sumipo as State Witness and Branch 219 of the Quezon City RTC found both Estacio and in Relying on His Testimony for the Conviction Maritess guilty of “kidnapping on the occasion of which the victim was of Appellant Ang. finding accused Pablo Estacio.[25] .000. and P1.” disposing as follows: xxx B. to jointly and severally pay the heirs of underscoring in the original) Charlie Chua the amount of P200. (Emphasis and with modification. is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. 2005. Mateo. all relevant matters having already been As for Maritess.[21] killed. in view of all the foregoing. and That Accused Estacio each of them to suffer the maximum penalty is Solely Responsible Therefor. P25.[19] beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of kidnapping with murder and sentencing them to each suffer the Estacio faulted the trial court for: penalty of DEATH. x x x Not Concluding that the Crime Committed the victim was killed.[18] However. By Decision[23] of May 12. the Court of Appeals affirmed. she faulted the trial court for: taken up.00 as moral damages.00. the court hereby sentences was Plain Homicide. guilty intermediate review following People v. Jr. [17] SO ORDERED.000. x x x Finding That There was Kidnapping with WHEREFORE. the Court referred it to the Court of Appeals for appellants Maritess Ang and Pablo Estacio.00 as exemplary APPELLANT FOR THE CRIME CHARGED WAS PROVEN damages and P500.[24] (Emphasis and PROSECUTION TO PROVE THE INDISPENSABLE underscoring supplied) ELEMENTS OF DETENTION AND “LOCK UP”. jointly and severally. and Maritess Ang guilty beyond reasonable doubt Thereof.00 as civil x x x FINDING THAT THE GUILT OF HEREIN ACCUSED. let the II entire records of this case be forwarded to the Honorable Supreme Court for further review.

Padica[30] instructs: demanded would not per se qualify the act of preventing the liberty of movement of the victim into We have consistently held that where the the crime of kidnapping. the Court combed through the records of the case they demanded and obtained the money.[29] The subsequent demand for ransom was an afterthought which five hours earlier. that the offense of which appellants liberty was involved. kidnapping was not sufficiently proven. the subsequent killing of the victims of witnesses. there wasno evidence whatsoever to show or from which it In the case at bar. can be inferred that from the outset the killers of the Although appellants bound and gagged Chua and transported him to victim intended to exchange his freedom for ransom Bulacan against his will.[31] (Underscoring supplied) accused it cannot be inferred that the latter’s purpose was actually to detain or deprive the victims . the another.. however. they did these acts to facilitate his killing. as we held in the deportment. As soon as they arrived at appears to have arisen and was consequently made thelocus criminis. Appellants were eventually charged with and convicted of the That from the beginning of their criminal special complex crime of kidnapping with murder. did not qualify appellants’ prior acts as kidnapping. if not kidnapping does not exist and cannot be considered conclusive effect. defined in the last venture appellant and his brothers intended to kill paragraph of Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code. et. the demand for ransom because they intended to detain or confine him. although the need not thus pass upon the findings of fact of the trial court. al. of kidnapping with murder. especially if accused had planned to kidnap the victim for ransom they have been affirmed on appeal by the appellate court. In a special complex the victim can be readily deduced from the manner crime. such and found no ground to merit a reversal of appellants’ conviction. and from the acts of the most constitute coercion. Thus.[28] plantation in Calamba. In fact. [26] This Court aforecited case of Masilang. by this Court because of the trial court’s unique as a component felony to produce the complex crime advantage in observing and monitoring at close range the demeanor. On the contrary. and its assessment of the probative weight thereof. its calibration of the testimonies of their liberty.[27] Nevertheless. as it was relayed to the victim’s intention from the beginning was to kill the victim is confirmed by the family very much later that afternoon after a conversation which Sumipo heard in the car in which Maritess said that a sufficient interval for consultation and deliberation knife would be used to kill him so that it would not create among the felons who had killed the victim around noise. demand for ransom did not convert the crime into kidnapping since no detention or deprivation of The Court finds. Laguna. where the evident purpose of taking mere curtailment of freedom of movement would at the victims was to kill them. appellants wasted no time in killing him. That appellants’ as an afterthought. only murder. as well as constitute the crime of murder. before the killing but for purposes the basic intent of the accused. hence the crime committed was were convicted was erroneously designated. Absent such thereof. x x x The fact alone that ransom money is People v. unless the victim is actually taking of the victim was incidental to the basic restrained or deprived of his liberty for some purpose to kill. and this is appreciable period of time or that such restraint was true even if. hence the crime of its conclusions anchored on said findings are accorded high respect. as in the present but they first killed him and it was only later that case. and conduct of the witnesses as they testify. the victim was taken from one place to determinant intent and duration of restraint. the prosecution must prove each of the component offenses with by which they swiftly and cold-bloodedly snuffed out the same precision that would be necessary if they were made the subject his life once they reached the isolated sugarcane of separate complaints. Findings of fact of the trial court. Furthermore. not money. the crime is only murder.

Respecting the assigned error in discharging Sumipo as a state And there is no proof that Sumipo had. with the generic aggravating circumstance of use of motor identify appellants as the perpetrators of the crime. and Maritess at the bar-restaurant on the day and at the time in and proven. written from prison. In view. the Greenhills ahead of the victim’s brother during the scheduled delivery of resulting penalty is death. and Parenthetically. without eligibility for parole. been convicted witness.[37] And the prosecution presented letters from Maritess to turpitude. murder shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to Moscoso. circumstance. Sumipo 2005 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. He does not appear to vehicle. The use of a motor vehicle. victim’s skeletal remains were found at the scene of the crimeupon the penalty is reduced to reclusion perpetua. the same does not lie. of a crime involving moral turpitude. at any time. an employee of Casa Leonisa. These conditions were established by the prosecution. The notwithstanding. And in view of the enactment of Republic Act No. 9346 on June be the most guilty. And he him from defending himself and to facilitate the killing. having been alleged in the Information Estacio. the Court brushes aside Maritess’ disclaimer requested. testified that Maritess admitted having convicted of any offense involving moral killed Chua. where she admitted the deed. (d) Said accused does not appear to be the most guilty. He in fact at first thought that Maritess was joking when she said. The killing was crime. This Court’s finding that the offense committed is Murder Sumipo’s testimony was corroborated on material points.[34] Henry Hong. testified to seeing the victim. Jr. 9346 on June 24. the Decision of the Court of Appeals of May 12. When Estacio. however. The conditions for the discharge of an accused as a state witness Even assuming arguendo that the discharge of Sumipo as a state are as follows: witness was erroneous. bound. He did not participate in planning the commission of the .[32] Estacio. accused. testified to seeing Estacio there with companions. He did not participate in the actual stabbing. Maritess’ (e) Said accused has not at any time been friend who visited her in prison. of the enactment of Republic the ransom. 2006 prohibiting the imposition of death penalty. except the testimony of said Estacio’s hands were bloodied.[36] (a) There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is Finally. (c) The testimony of said accused can be substantially corroborated in its material points. brought the victim for the proper prosecution of the offense to the scene of the crime and thereafter returned to the car. Only he could positively Murder.” He tried to dissuade appellants from fromQuezon City to an isolated place in Bulacan against his will to prevent pursuing their plan. The victim was gagged. Estacio’s information and direction. The Court finds appellants was the only person other than appellants who had personal knowledge of Maritess Ang and Pablo Estacio. death. of participation in killing the victim.[33] Cesar Revised Penal Code. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the acts for which they were being prosecuted.[38] WHEREFORE. qualified by treachery. prosecution witness Arlene Francisco. tried to extricate himself from the attempts to extract ransom from the victim’s family. the victim’s cousin who arrived at Pizza Hut. in Maritess’ company. and taken “Diretsong dukot na rin kay Charlie. Under Article 248 of the victim’s mother testified regarding the demands for ransom. There being one generic aggravating circumstance. her and committed. It was she who bound the hands and (b) There is no other direct evidence available gagged the victim. The crime committed was thus plain Murder. [35] And the Act No. the resulting penalty is the same. can be appreciated as a generic aggravating question. such error would not affect the competency and quality of his testimony.

R. 2006.. Merencillo guilty under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code in Criminal Case No. Case Nos. the information for direct bribery penalized Criminal Case Nos. MERENCILLO. in JUANITO T. Branch 47. J. on or about the 28th day of September. Mrs. Maria Angeles Ramasola Cesar the amount of TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS (P20. Examiner. That. CORONA. 1995 The information charging petitioner for violation of Section 3(b) of in the City of Tagbilaran. the above-named accused being then a public official connected with the performance of official duty as its Group Supervising That. C. on or about the 28th day of September. Philippines. 9482 read: jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. and within the RA 3019 in Criminal Case No. 9482-83 finding petitioner Juanito T. extort and agree to perform an act constituting a crime. but upon prior consultation with the military authorities AZCUNA and particularly the elements of the 702nd Criminal GARCIA.: Acts committed contrary to the provisions of Section 3(b) of [RA] 3019. SO ORDERED. that is – that the certification for payment of . in consideration and in exchange for the Petitioner. Philippines. did then and there willfully. Promulgated: (P20. did then and there willfully. 142369-70 connection. Investigation Command [CIC] who set up the accused for a possible entrapment resulting to (sic) his being caught in the act of receiving an envelope supposedly PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. intervene in his official capacity.000. 1999 decision[2] of the Sandiganbayan in A. named accused being then a public official connected an act which is in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt with the Bureau of Internal Revenue as its Group Practices Act.versus . Maria Angeles Ramasola Cesar reluctantly agreed . in On the other hand. a PUNO.000. in the City of Tagbilaran. from one Catherine Corpuz Enerio.* containing the amount of TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS Respondent. parole. directly demand and extort from a certain Mrs. C transaction wherein the aforesaid accused has to hairperson. Nos. release of the certification of her payment of the capital Present: gains tax for the land purchased by the Ramasola [Superstudio] Inc.R. the above.00) but consisting only of four (4) marked one hundred peso bills and the rest all bogus (paper) April 13.[7] This petition for review[1] assails the June 18. 9483 of violating Section 3(b) of RA 3019[5]and Article 210[6] of the Revised Penal charged: Code. to the damage and prejudice of the said Mrs. and within feloniously and with intent of personal gain.24. 004-005 affirming[3] the omnibus decision[4] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tagbilaran City. unlawfully and 1995. JJ.J. demand. DECISION CORONA.00). and to which the said SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. Philippine Currency. 2007 monies. G. the penalty is reduced to reclusion perpetuawithout eligibility for Supervising Examiner. unlawfully and feloniously and with intent of personal gain. Maria Angeles Ramasola Cesar in particular and the x------------------------------------------x public and the government in general in the amount to be proved during the trial of the case.

PESOS (P20. on September 14. the entrapment was set for application together with relevant documents to Fuentes for processing. 1995. Sr. and was therefore ready for release.m.000.000) due on the transaction. She sought the help of the Provincial Director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bohol. September 28.000. Philippine would be released after seven days. In the morning of September 13.500) and bogus money by putting a one-hundred peso bill on each side of each of capital gains tax (P125. he repeated his demand for P20. Susan Cabangon. On Cesar’s 210 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. . On September 22.000 although the CAR had in fact been signed by RDO Galahad Balagon the day before.[8] inquiry. Maria Angeles Ramasola Cesar reluctantly agreed. The computation was the two bundles to make it appear that the two bundles amounted approved by petitioner in his capacity as group supervisor. Inc. It was at this point that BY THE PROSECUTION Cesar decided to report the matter to the authorities. Cesar in particular and the public and the government in general in the amount to be proved during the trial of the Cesar was able to return to the BIR only on September 20. informed Cesar that she (Cabangon) was still waiting for petitioner’s go signal to release the document. the releasing clerk. and to apply for a certificate authorizing registration to the chief of police of Tagbilaran City who coordinated with Cesar for the (CAR). 1995. Cesar received a call monies. which Mrs. 1995. Estillore paid to P10. Subsequently. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) office in Tagbilaran City to ask for the computation of taxes due on the sale of real property to Ramasola The following day.] Fuentes advised Estillore that the CAR TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS (P20. Petitioner pleaded not guilty to both charges when arraigned. Lucit Estillore went to the Senior Superintendent Dionaid Baraguer. she was entertained by revenue examiner entrapment of petitioner. of the same day. Acts committed contrary to the provisions of Article on September 19. 1995. Baraguer referred Cesar’s complaint Superstudio.” She the accused for a possible entrapment resulting to (sic) his proceeded to petitioner’s office where the latter demanded P20. Currency. consisting only of four (4) marked one hundred pesos bills and the rest all bogus (paper) The following day. 1995. Cesar capacity as Group Supervising Examiner of the BIR. Cesar replied that she needed to supposedly containing the amount of TWENTY THOUSAND confer with her two brothers who were her business associates. Supt. She was 702nd Criminal [Investigation] Command (CIC) who set up told that petitioner wanted to see her “for some negotiation. Cesar was instructed to prepare two bundles of Lourdes Fuentes who computed the documentary stamp tax (P37.000 in being caught in the act of receiving an envelope exchange for the approval of the CAR. to the received another call from petitioner who told her that she could get the damage and prejudice of Mrs. Later that day. an act performed by the accused in his official from petitioner who was following up his demand. After the serial numbers of the four the taxes in the bank and returned to apply for a CAR. private complainant Maria military authorities particularly the elements of the Angeles Ramasola Cesar[10] (Cesar) received a call from Estillore.00). Cesar received a call from petitioner informing her that she could get the CAR but reminded her of his demand. He told THE FACTS ESTABLISHED her that he was willing to accept a lesser amount. She submitted the one-hundred peso bills were recorded. 1995.[9] At the BIR office. the capital gains tax relative to the land purchased by the Fuentes prepared the revenue audit reports and submitted them together Ramasola Superstudio Incorporated from Catherine with the application for the CAR to petitioner for preliminary approval. RDO Balagon assured Cesar that he would look into her complaint.000 each or a total of P20. case.000. but upon prior consultation with the At around 10:00 a. Maria Angeles Ramasola CAR after four or five days. When petitioner saw her. Cesar visited RDO Balagon and Thereafter trial ensued and the cases were tried jointly. complained about petitioner’s refusal to release the CAR unless his demand was met.00) but. Corpus Enerio be released by him only upon payment of [The application was to be forwarded thereafter to the Revenue District an additional under the table transaction in the amount of Officer (RDO) for final approval.

The dispositive maximum. he promise. with perpetual disqualification from public office. He was surprised when policemen Sandiganbayan. Cesar went to petitioner’s office with the years as maximum. Petitioner panicked. petitioner handed the CAR to her and.[13] Thus. all as mandated by law. attorney’s fees in the amount of Five Thousand (P5. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and On the appointed day. this petition. the accused. for the Cesar handed the envelope containing the two bundles of marked money crime of Direct Bribery defined and penalized by to petitioner who. Costs shall also be taxed against Charges were filed against petitioner. The additional taxes had to be paid. he turned around towards Thousand (P60. there being aggravating two bundles of bogus money inside a white envelope. he held the door open for Cesar to further finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable follow. the RTC found petitioner guilty as charged. portion of the decision read: Petitioner basically raises two points: (1) the Sandiganbayan’s WHEREFORE. and the Court As petitioner left his office. On reaching the third floor lobby. the Court refusal to believe his evidence over that of the prosecution’s and (2) the finds the accused Juanito T. without any mitigating or extenuating informed her that he was going down to the second floor. aggravating circumstances.00) Pesos.[12] that the allegations of demand for money existed only in Cesar’s mind after she was told that there was a misclassification of the asset and Petitioner appealed the RTC decision to the Sandiganbayan. circumstances considered under Section 3(e) and Section (f) of [RA] 3019 in relation to Article 14(1) and Petitioner was entertaining a lady visitor when Cesar arrived. a member of the PNP entrapment team photographed him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of four (4) petitioner holding the envelope. as minimum. bounced and fell to the first floor of to indemnify private complainant [Cesar] to pay the BIR building. On seeing Cesar. asked “Why is this thick?” Before Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code and sentences Cesar could answer. hid the envelope years and one (1) day as minimum to eight (8) years behind his back and turned towards the window at the back of the BIR of prision mayor as maximum and a fine of Sixty building. however. Section 3(b) of RA 3019 to an indeterminate sentence of six years and one month of prision mayor. On seeing that the window was closed. as After trial.00) Pesos. He threw the envelope towards the The accused Juanito T.” doubt as principal by direct participation. defined and penalized by Section 3(b) . petitioner’s evidence consisted of nothing more than a general denial of the charges against him. During the trial. The (11) of the [RPC] in the sense that the offender have members of the PNP entrapment team were already in petitioner’s office taken advantage of his public position.[11] The PNP entrapment team then introduced themselves moral damages in the amount of P50. to ten years of prision mayor. Sandiganbayan’s failure to recognize that he was placed in double guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal by direct jeopardy. and that the posing as civilians. indeterminate penalty of imprisonment for eight (8) Petitioner cautiously told Cesar not to talk about the matter on the phone years and one (1) month as minimum to fifteen (15) and asked her to see him instead. petitioner uttered “Here only. denied the appeal and affirmed the RTC decision suddenly arrested him as soon as Cesar handed him a white envelope the with modification reducing the penalty of imprisonment for violation of contents of which he suspected to be money. of [RA] 3019. participation.000. and sentences him to suffer the release of the CAR as well as for the reduction of petitioner’s demand.000. Merencillo likewise is ordered window but it hit the ceiling instead. the open window facing the street. Cesar called petitioner and pleaded for the Corrupt Practices Act.000.00 and to petitioner and invited him to go with them to their headquarters. He claimed that he never asked for money and CONTRARY TO LAW. crime was committed in consideration of a price or as she was signing the acknowledgment for the release of the CAR. Merencillo. Cesar took this circumstances to neutralize or offset any of the as a cue for her to follow. upon receiving it. premises considered.

The fact was that petitioner demanded courts have the distinct advantage of observing the demeanor of witnesses and received money in consideration for the issuance of the CAR. as they testify. we find no reason to disagree with the trial court’s assessment and to discredit the prosecution’s witnesses.[16] Its findings and conclusions cannot be set aside by substantially coincide with each other so as to make a consistent and this Court unless there is no evidence on record to support them. integrity of the prosecution’s evidence as a whole or reflect on the witnesses’ honesty. Differences in the recollection of the event are prosecution’s witnesses (that petitioner demanded and received money inevitable and inconsequential variances are commonly regarded as signs from private complainant Cesar for the release of the CAR) sufficient and of truth instead of falsehood. findings and conclusions of the trial court on the instance. judge and this Court. however. inconsistencies pointed out by petitioner were neither material nor relevant to the elements of the offenses for which he was charged.[21] Based on the Petitioner is wrong. petitioner now asks this Court to review the weight of their testimony. were amply supported by evidence and the as grounds for acquittal. however. such minor flaws may even enhance entire evidence anew. their veracity or the This notwithstanding. Both courts.[26] conclusions therein were not against the law and jurisprudence. the former was concededly in a better position to determine whether or not a witness was telling the truth.[19] The presiding judge of the trial and disregarding his evidence. TRIAL COURT’S Contrary to petitioner’s contention.[14] he would have been acquitted.[20] Between the trial of Section 3(b) of RA 3019 and for direct bribery. cross-examination by the defense as well as during that he was placed twice in jeopardy when he was prosecuted for violation clarificatory questioning by the trial judge himself. Witnesses testifying on the same event do not have to be consistent in Both the RTC and the Sandiganbayan found the testimonies of the each and every detail. He claims that.[25] Thus. re-evaluate the credibility of witnesses and make the worth of a testimony for they guard against memorized falsities. the RTC and the EVALUATION OF Sandiganbayan considered the alleged inconsistencies in the testimonies of EVIDENCE WILL the prosecution witnesses. [15] Questions of fact Minor discrepancies or inconsistencies do not impair the essential cannot generally be raised for the consideration of this Court. its findings and evaluation of ER WAS . Inconsistencies in the testimonies of credible enough to sustain conviction. He also asserts prosecution. affirming the are irrelevant to the elements of the crime cannot be successfully invoked factual findings of the RTC. For Moreover. ruled that the NOT BE DISTU inconsistencies referred only to minor details that did not detract from the RBED truth of the prosecution’s testimonial evidence. inconsistencies and discrepancies in details which case. had the RTC and the court had the opportunity to actually observe the conduct and demeanor Sandiganbayan not ignored the inconsistencies in the testimonies of the of the witnesses on the witness stand on direct examination by the prosecution’s witnesses. the findings of fact of the Sandiganbayan.[22] In fact. prosecution witnesses with respect to minor details and collateral matters do not affect either the substance of their declaration. [17] In this coherent whole. whether or not it was petitioner himself who handed the CAR to credibility of witnesses enjoy the respect of appellate courts because trial private respondent was immaterial.[23] another factual determination of the case – a course of action clearly improper given the nature of the instant petition.[18] In the absence of any arbitrariness in the trial court’s findings and evaluation of evidence tending to show that it overlooked PETITION certain material facts and circumstances. We agree. Petitioner faults the Sandiganbayan for affirming the RTC decision evidence should be respected on review. records.[24] The test is whether the testimonies agree on The calibration of evidence and the relative weight thereof belongs to essential facts and whether the respective versions corroborate and the appellate court. There is no reason to disturb the congruent findings of the trial and appellate The RTC and the Sandiganbayan correctly ruled that the courts.

NOT PLACED Sec. (2) he requested or received a gift. and an government and offense charged is necessarily included in the offense proved when the essential ingredients of the former constitute or form a part of those (5) he has the right to intervene. in connection with any contract or public officer and are hereby declared unlawful: transaction between the Government and any other party. present. share percentage or public officers already penalized by existing law.[31] A comparison of the elements of the crime of direct bribery defined and punished under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code and those of violation of Section 3(b) of RA 3019 shows that there is neither On the other hand. necessarily included in the other. in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. or whether one offense necessarily includes or is offender or any other person. elements: Section 3(b) of RA 3019 provides: (1) the offender is a public officer. for himself or for any other following [acts] shall constitute corrupt practices of any person. that is. 3.[30] under the law. the benefit. in an official capacity constituting the latter. The rule against double jeopardy prohibits twice placing a person share.[28] The test is whether one offense is identical with the other or is an attempt to commit it or a (3) he made the request or receipt on behalf of the frustration thereof. xxx xxx xxx One may therefore be charged with violation of RA 3019 in addition to a felony under the Revised Penal Code for the same delictual act. present. 3019 and the Revised Penal Code.[29] An offense charged necessarily includes that which is (4) the request or receipt was made in connection proved when some of the essential elements or ingredients of the former. in connection with a contract or transaction has the right to intervene.[27] There is no double jeopardy if a person is are: charged simultaneously or successively for violation of Section 3 of RA (1) the offender is a public officer. constitute the latter. wherein the public officer xxx xxx xxx (emphasis in his official capacity has to intervene supplied) under the law. In addition to acts or omissions of public IN DOUBLE JEOPAR officers already penalized by existing law. In addition to acts or omissions of any gift. with a contract or transaction with the as alleged in the complaint or information. as provided in Section 7 of Rule 117 of the Rules of Court. either concurrently or subsequent to being charged with a felony under The elements of the crime penalized under Section 3(b) of RA 3019 the Revised Penal Code. percentage or benefit. the following DY shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared unlawful: Section 3 of RA 3019 begins with the following statement: xxx xxx xxx (b) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving Sec. . 3. direct bribery has the following essential identity nor necessary inclusion between the two offenses.

belonging to said complainant. (3) such offer or promise be accepted or gift or G.00. or to refrain from doing something which it is his official duty to do and DECISION (4) the act which the offender agrees to perform or CARPIO MORALES. violence and in direct bribery. Moreover. or in PEDRO C. does not constitute a crime but the act must be PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. The June 18. boarded a tricycle on their way to Pembo. Direct bribery. Case Nos.R. to the damage and the law. and by means of force. percentage or That on or about the 7th day of June. Appellee.500.R. private complainant the elements of the offenses charged. It is limited only to contracts or transactions involving monetary steal and carry away complainant’s NELIA R. the same act gave rise to two separate and distinct offenses.[34] Makati City. offense. (b) execution of an P3. 179462 February 12.500. unlawfully and feloniously take. underscoring supplied) Although the two charges against petitioner stemmed from the From the evidence for the prosecution. CONSULTA. Branch 139 convicting Pedro C. specific. unjust. the ambit of Section 3(b) of RA 3019 is intimidation. on the other hand. together with Maria Viovicente (Maria) and against double jeopardy proceeds from a second prosecution for the same Veronica Amar (Veronica). J. . not for a different one. benefit is enough to constitute a violation of Section 3(b) of RA 3019. by Decision of April 23. Upon reaching Ambel Street.2 (Emphasis in the original. the above- acceptance of a promise or offer or receipt of a gift or present is required named accused. not all the essential elements of one offense are The accusatory portion of the Information against appellant reads: included among or form part of those enumerated in the other. 004-005 is AFFIRMED. present. appellant filed the present petition. Appellant and Edwin at once shouted invectives at Nelia.00. did then and there willfully. 1999 alighted and left. the petition is hereby DENIED. 2004 Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City. unjust act which does not constitute a crime and (c) agreeing to refrain or refraining from doing an act which is his official duty to do. consideration of the execution of an act which vs. 2007. the following version is gathered: same transaction. SILVESTRE gold necklace consideration where the public officer has the authority to intervene under worth P3. appellant and his brother Edwin Consulta (Edwin) blocked the tricycle and under their threats. No. in the City of Makati.[33] The constitutional protection Nelia R. Appellant. decision of the Sandiganbayan in A. share. 1999. the violation of Section 3(b) of RA 3019 is neither Intimidation of Persons. Whereas the mere request or demand of a gift. No double jeopardy attached since there was a variance between At about 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon of June 7. Silvestre (Nelia). identical nor necessarily inclusive of direct bribery. 2009 present be received by the public officer with a view to committing some crime. with intent of gain. (2) the offender accepts an offer or promise or Costs against petitioner.[32] The Court of Appeals having. Consulta (appellant) of Robbery with Clearly.1 affirmed the December 9. CONTRARY TO LAW. 1999.: which he executes is connected with the performance of his official duties. receives a gift or present by himself or through another. the driver WHEREFORE. SO ORDERED. While they have common elements. has a wider and more general prejudice of the owner thereof in the aforementioned amount of scope: (a) performance of an act constituting a crime.

Nelia ordered him and his family to move out of their house and filed a case against him for grave The appellate court affirmed appellant’s conviction with modification on threats and another for light threats which were dismissed or in which he the penalty. from one (1) year. on learning of the maltreatment charge. approached him while he was at Ambel Street in the company of Michael Fontanilla and Jimmy . (Italics in the original. on his (Pacaña’s) call. appellant branded it as fabricated to spite him and his mayor. He and his family used to rent the ground floor of Nelia’s house in Pateros. her parents disliked his family. Retorting." and which was worth P3. emerged and on seeing the group. (1) Whether or not appellant was validly arraigned. The adjacent house was occupied by Nelia’s The said accused is further ordered to pay unto the complainant Nelia parents with whom she often quarreled as to whom the rental payments Silvestre the amount of P3. Nelia at once asked him to accompany them to appellant’s papatayin kita.00 representing the value of her necklace should be remitted. convicted appellant of Robbery. holding that intent to gain on appellant’s part "is presumed from the unlawful taking" of the necklace. They. premises considered. Robbery with Intimidation of Persons defined and penalized under Article 294. 5. was acquitted. Nelia’s father even filed a case for maltreatment against him which was dismissed SO ORDERED. wala with a big tummy and with a sister named Maria. and brushing aside appellant’s Nelia and her companions immediately went to the Pembo barangay hall denial and claim of harassment. to which he acceded. applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. affirmative. mga nurses lang kayo. Kami. As soon as the group reached appellant’s house. Nelia is his godmother. 1999. marami kaming mga abogado. "Mga hayop kayo. however. Sembrano. Appellant’s witness Darius Pacaña testified that on the date of the alleged robbery. anong ipinagmamalaki niyo. according to an "alajera" in the province. his family was partial towards her. kapal ng mukha mo.500. appellant. corroborated Pacaña’s account. sinabihan na kita na kahit saan kita matiempuhan. as maximum. Nelia." house. disposing where they were advised to undergo medical examination. Thelma Vuesa. paragraph No. In his present appeal. eight (8) months and one (1) day of prision Denying the charge. this Court finds accused PEDRO C. she would track his whereabouts and cause scandal. Appellant thereafter grabbed Nelia’s 18K gold necklace with a crucifix told them to go away so as not to cause trouble. Another defense witness. Hindi niyo kami maipapakulong kahit kailan!" The trial court. together with her two companions. Makati City and reported the incident. As he replied in the kang kadala dala. and asked him (Pacaña) if he knew a bald man who is big/stout papatayin ka namin. hindi ko kayo titigilan. Nelia uttered pendant which. seven (7) months and eleven (11) days of arresto mayor. as minimum.500. kicked the tricycle and left saying "Putang ina kang matanda ka! Kayo mga nurses lang. Precinct 8 in Comembo. there family in light of the following antecedent facts: being no mitigating or aggravating circumstances which attended the commission of the said crime. underscoring supplied) and. appellant raises the following issues: Appellant went on to claim that despite frequent transfers of residence to avoid Nelia. They then proceeded to Camp Crame where they WHEREFORE. walanghiya ka. Nelia submitted a Code and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment medico-legal report and gave her statement before a police investigator. in relation to Article 293 of the Revised Penal Nine days after the incident or on June 16. was of 18k gold. as principal of the felony of expected to manifest. Because of the perception of the parents of Nelia that taken by him and to pay the costs of this suit.saying "Putang ina mong matanda ka. as follows: repaired to the Police Station." Appellant added "Putang ina kang matanda ka. were advised to return in a few days when any injuries they suffered were CONSULTA guilty beyond reasonable doubt. to eight (8) years.

Article 293 of the Revised Penal Code under represented by a fake lawyer during arraignment. 294. Thereafter. appellant was already represented by a member of the Philippine Bar who 2) the personal property belongs to another. under which appellant was penalized provides: The first two issues. the taking of Nelia’s "As for the circumstance that the defense counsel turned out later to be a necklace does not indicate presence of intent to gain on appellant’s part. it is observed that he was chosen by the accused himself and That intent to gain on appellant’s part is difficult to appreciate gains light that his representation does not change the fact that Elesterio was given his undenied claim that his relationship with Nelia is rife with ill- undeniablycarrying an unlicensed firearm when he was arrested. and violence against or intimidation of any person. albeit unsuccessfully. The elements of robbery are thus: 1) there is a taking of personal property. (2) Whether or not appellant was denied due process having been On the third and fourth issues. pre-trial and which appellant was charged provides: presentation of principal witnesses for the prosecution. in the original. Paggao from the Public Defender’s (Attorney’s) Office of Makati City.3 (Underscoring supplied) Animus lucrandi or intent to gain is an internal act which can be That appellant’s first counsel may not have been a member of the bar does established through the overt acts of the offender. Reyes. Art. paragraph 5. 2000 and subsequently. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision the conformity of the former as early as July 28." dismissed or ended in his acquittal. were Art. italics approved by the RTC in its Order dated August 4. underscoring (4) Whether or not the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of supplied) the appellant beyond reasonable doubt. an examination of the records shows that while accused-appellant xxxx was represented by Atty. non-lawyer. Elesterio4 enlightens: The Court finds that under the above-mentioned circumstances surrounding the incidental encounter of the parties. Since the accused. which appellant raised before the appellate court only when he filed his Motion for Reconsideration of said court’s decision. 293. shall be guilt of robbery. (Italics in the original. unless proceeding to their destination. People v. among other things. Further.7 (Underscoring supplied) . then he cannot now lucrandi. who "seems not a lawyer. or using force upon anything. (3) Whether or not appellant has committed the crime of which shall take any personal property belonging to another. At any feelings. complaints6 against him by Nelia and her family which were subsequently who prepared the petition for habeas corpus and the appellant’s brief. Who are guilty of robbery. he has since been represented by a member of the Philippine bar." during the early stages of trial. underscoring supplied) accused-appellant was represented by Atty. and 4) the taking is with violence against or intimidation of be heard to complain about having been denied of due persons or with force upon things. Robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons – resolved in the negative in this wise: Penalties.5 presentation by the prosecution of the medico-legal officer and during the presentation of his evidence. with intent to gain. 2000. 3) the taking is with animus principally handled his defense. – Any person who. appellant was afforded special circumstances reveal a different intent on the part of the competent representation by the Public Attorneys’ Office during the perpetrator. the filing of rate. by means of he was charged. manifested by. It may be presumed not dent the proven fact that appellant prevented Nelia and company from from the furtive taking of useful property pertaining to another. process. mayor in its medium period in other cases. (Underscoring supplied) Article 294. Rainald C. the latter withdrew her appearance with 5. Jocelyn P. x x x (Citations omitted. – Any person guilty of robbery with the use of violence against or intimidation of any person shall suffer: On the matter of accused-appellant’s claim of having been denied due process.

to compel another to do something against his will and to appellant’s taking of Nelia’s necklace could not have been animated with seize property? Then. citations omitted. prevent another from d Decision and another is rendered finding appellant.Absent intent to gain on the part of appellant.500) Pesos. When an offense includes or is included in another. Appellant is. . underscoring supplied) or of the offense charged which is included in the offense proved. driving away of charged necessarily includes the offense proved when some of the the tricycle driver. convicted of the offense proved which is included in the offense charged. inter alia."10 (Italics in the original. by means of violence. – An offense and violence consisting of. and the offense as charged is and attempting to collect what he thought was due him. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. whether it be right or wrong. four (4) months and one (1) day to four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional. without authority of law but still believing himself the owner related above attendant to the incidental encounter of the parties. and under the circumstances the purpose. uttering of invectives. He is not necessarily scot-free. The motives of the accused are the prime criterion: SO ORDERED. however. robbery and the other to coercion." 8 The Court finds that by appellant’s employment of threats. as minimum. Pedro C. but a man who had fought For "[w]hen there is variance between the offense charged in the bitterly for title to his ancestral estate.9 (Italics in of prision correccional and a fine not exceedingP6. to three (3) years and six (6) months of prision correccional medium as maximum. like robbery. And there was no common robber in the present case. robbery does not lie against "The distinction between the two lines of decisions. If the coercion be committed in violation of the exercise of the right of suffrage or for the purpose of compelling another to perform any religious act or to prevent him from exercising such right or from doing such act. ordered to pay its value. Three Thousand Five Hundred (P3. the Appellant is further ordered to return the necklace. Nelia was prevented from essential elements or ingredients of the former. failing which he is penalty next higher in degree shall be imposed. Was hand.000. or the creditor. Thus that may be imposed is anywhere from one (1) month and one (1) day to Article 286 of the Revised Penal Code provides: six (6) months of arresto mayor. the accused shall be furandi was lacking. Grave coercions. without authority of law. Was the purpose with intent to gain to take the property of From the pre-existing sour relations between Nelia and her family on one another by use of force or intimidation? Then. Penal Code. constitute the latter. oing something not prohibited by law or compel him to do something GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Grave Coercion and sentences him to against his will. taking the law into his own hands complaint or information and that proved. the minimum Grave coercion." (Italics in the original. WHEREFORE. The motives of the accused are the prime criterion. And an offense charged is necessarily included in the offense proved. conviction for robbery. and kicking of the tricycle.Animus included in or necessarily includes the offense proved. or information. The difference in robbery and grave coercion lies in the intent in the commission of the act. as maximum. the one holding to him. is deemed to be the intention of the accused. "Art. when the essential ingredients of the Appellant is thus guilty of grave coercion which carries the penalty former constitute or form part of those constituting the latter. intimidation SEC. There being no the original. threats orintimidation. has violence for one of its elements. underscoring supplied) aggravating or mitigating circumstance. suffer the indeterminate penalty of from six (6) months of arresto mayor as minimum. – The penalty of prision correccional and a fine not exceeding six thousand pesos shall be imposed upon any person who. however. and from two (2) years. 286. just the same. Consulta. underscoring supplied) Costs de oficio. the Court SETS ASIDE the challenged Court of Appeals shall. the penalty shall be imposed in its medium term. 5. as alleged in the complaint proceeding to her destination. criminally liable. conviction for coercion under Article 497 of the animus lucrandi. and appellant and family on the other.

Petitioner. Philippine Currency. 141181 April 27.000. " " PAMBANSA BILANG 22. Province of Bataan. otherwise known as "The Bouncing Checks Law. CR No.Y. 9433 up to 9443 involving the aggregate sum of P20. SR.000. she should be held liable to pay petitioner Ching the amounts of the dishonored checks in The cases were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. Bataan.00] in payment of her obligation with 0045315 50.00]. That on or about October 06. 1997. the said accused did 1997 then and there willfully and unlawfully make or draw and issue Hermosa Savings & Loan Bank.00] or to make arrangement with the drawee bank for the payment in full of the same within five (5) banking days after receiving the DECISION said notice. The assailed decision acquitted respondent Clarita Nicdao of eleven (11) counts of violation of Batas Pambansa (Sgd. [002524] dated October 06.G.000. the amount of [P20. Consequently. Check No. CHING Bilang (BP) 22. Samson T.R. still fails and refuses to pay the value of the said check in the amount of CLARITA NICDAO and HON.000. Complainant Dishonor criminal complaints for eleven (11) counts of violation of BP 22 against respondent Nicdao. the said accused knowing fully well that at 1997 the time she issued the said check she did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment in full of the said check upon Oct.Y.000 6. receipt of notice of such dishonor the said accused failed and refused and vs. a Chinese national. October 21. The undersigned accuses Clarita S. 1997 in Oct.000.00.000 " " presentment.000. which. 0022546 100.R. committed as follows: 1997 Oct.) SAMSON T.: CONTRARY TO LAW. Nicdao of a VIOLATION OF BATAS 0088563 150. 0121424 100. uniformly read as follows: Oct. Inc. Bataan. . at Dinalupihan. which check when presented for payment within ninety (90) 6.Y.000 6.000. Philippines. Ching. J. with the First Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Dinalupihan. 23055. the following details: Factual and Procedural Antecedents Reason for Check Private Amount Date the On October 21. except as to the amounts and check Ching 1997 numbers. Ching in the aforementioned amount of [P20. 2007 days from the date thereof. CA-G. petitioner Ching." The instant petition pertains and is limited to the civil aspect of the case as it Complainant submits that notwithstanding respondent Nicdao’s acquittal. " " complainant Samson T.950.. 1999 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in Dinalupihan. 1997. to the damage and prejudice of the said Samson T.000. Respondents. eleven (11) Informations were filed Oct. 0025242 P 20. Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari filed by Samson Ching of the Decision1 dated November 22.000 6. [P20. was dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason that it was drawn against insufficient funds and notwithstanding SAMSON CHING. CALLEJO. instituted No. COURT OF APPEALS. No.Y. 1997. " " and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. DAIF* Hermosa.000 6.

Informations were filed with the same MCTC and docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. Inc. respondent Nicdao allegedly said that she had no Oct. They agreed that respondent Nicdao would leave the 00894810 150.. insufficient funds. He could not. Accordingly.000 6.000 6. together with her husband. " " 1997 Petitioner Ching averred that the checks were issued to him by respondent Nicdao as security for the loans that she obtained from him.000 6. it increased every year because of his business. respondent Nicdao entered the plea of "not guilty" to ten (10) years already. Their Oct. were filed against respondent Nicdao by Emma Nuguid. however. As such.000 6. were presented to prove the charges against respondent Nicdao.000 6. being "DAIF. for being "DAIF" or "drawn against Oct. He . (14) checks. state his exact gross income. HSLB.000. " " being insistent and challenged him about seeing each other in court. 1997 However. financial obligations. " " checks undated and that she would pay the loans within one year. He asserted that aside from being a salesman. transaction began sometime in October 1995 when respondent Nicdao." Shortly thereafter. fourteen (14) other criminal complaints.13 petitioner Ching preliminarily identified each of the Petitioner Ching confirmed the truthfulness of the allegations contained in eleven (11) Hermosa Savings & Loan Bank (HSLB) checks that were the eleven (11) Informations that he filed against respondent Nicdao.00. 0022739 50. The against the latter. also for him. 9458 up to 9471. 1997 approached him to borrow money in order for them to settle their Oct. cash. He received salary and commissions." 0089368 50. however. which varied depending on the person he was dealing with. an employee of the Hermosa Savings & Loan Bank. amounting to P1. Imelda Yandoc. when petitioner Ching went to see her after the lapse of one year to ask for payment. " " 1997 Petitioner Ching claimed that he went back to respondent Nicdao several times more but every time. 1997 Because of respondent Nicdao's alleged refusal to pay her obligations. According to him. He identified the signatures appearing on the checks as Oct. A joint trial was then conducted for Criminal Cases Nos. petitioner Ching.950.150. respondent Nicdao allegedly got mad at him for 010377 100. together with Emma said to be the common law spouse of petitioner Ching.14 petitioner Ching claimed that he had been a salesman of the La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Manufacturing for almost At her arraignment. were issued by respondent went unheeded. wrote a demand letter to respondent Nicdao which. When 1997 petitioner Ching presented these checks for payment. " " proprietor/manager of Vignette Superstore. he delivered the goods and had a all the charges. those of respondent Nicdao. As he earlier stated.000.00. 1997 allegedly issued to him by respondent Nicdao amounting to P20. Allegedly fourteen Nuguid. 9433-9443 and 9458-9471. Oct. 12 Then in September 1997. on October 6. He recognized her signatures because 0088757 100. 00893511 100. they were dishonored by the bank. warehouse.000 6. 1997. On cross-examination. On direct-examination. the checks were dishonored by the bank for violation of BP 22. she would tell him that she had no money. they separately filed the criminal complaints Nicdao to Nuguid but were dishonored for lack of sufficient funds. petitioner Ching deposited the checks that she issued to At about the same time. " " respondent Nicdao allegedly signed the checks in his presence. petitioner Ching and was also in the business of extending loans to other people at an interest. he For the prosecution in Criminal Cases Nos. 9433-9443.

who was married to a foreigner.000. When the said On hearing this.000. On the other hand.000.00 between P3. borrow money from him.00 because. respondent Nicdao allegedly went to his beginning October 1995 reached the said sum. On even date. per the because he had in his possession her blank checks. 1997.00.83 in her savings account. purportedly issued in favor of petitioner Ching while the other fourteen Petitioner Ching claimed that he offered to accompany respondent Nicdao (14) were purportedly issued in favor of Nuguid. On October 6. she would not be able to pay the full amount.000. He also mentioned an instance when depositing her checks on his account because she already made that respondent Nicdao’s husband and daughter approached him at a casino to statement about seeing him in court. He did not ask respondent maintained a savings and checking account with them. he reasoned that it was not with him at that time. in September 1997.000. He likewise intimated that house and told him that Janette was only willing to pay him prior to 1995.00 and P5.00 knowing that Nicdao.00. upon their agreement. upon times to collect payment. the bank’s records.000. were dishonored at about the same time.15 she testified that she worked Nicdao’s blank checks that she delivered to him. he admitted writing the date. 1997. Petitioner Ching reiterated that after the lapse of one (1) year from the With respect to the P20.000.reiterated that. that was the only amount borrowed from petitioner Ching. she received several checks issued by delivered money to respondent Nicdao. the money that he regularly lent to respondent Nicdao cash. The eleven (11) checks were that her debt to him was only between P3.000. 1997.000.000. they had another transaction amounting to P1.000.000. Petitioner Ching claimed the checks subject of Criminal Cases Nos.000. Yandoc explained that to her daughter in order that they could apprise her of the amount that . Finally. an totaled P20. however. 1997 for being "DAIF" and her account was closed the following day. as a checking account bookkeeper/teller of the bank. on all these checks. she received the checks that were drawn against the bank and verified if they were Petitioner Ching explained that from October 1995 up to 1997. he went to her several Ching explained that he wrote the date and amount thereon when.00 and P5. in the amount of P1. checks bounced on October 7. since this amount was also unpaid. Yandoc identified Nicdao to acknowledge receiving these amounts. respondent Nicdao similarly issued in his favor was concerned. He explained that he no longer informed her about with him beginning October 1995. as far as her daughter and.000.000. Respondent Nicdao refused for fear that it would cause respondent Nicdao but she left them undated.000. petitioner Ching.00 and wrote the said amount on one of respondent employee of HSLB. Again. checks in varying amounts of P100. petitioner Ching could not On cross-examination.00. on those checks would be paid by her daughter. She assured petitioner Ching. Petitioner Ching admitted disharmony in the family. He lent themP300. that he that he was the one who wrote the date. on October 8. October 6. In all these instances. just any amount because they had trust and confidence in each other. when respondent Nicdao refused to pay him. her account with the bank was considered inactive. 1997. When asked to produce the piece of paper on which he allegedly wrote the amounts that he lent to respondent Nicdao. she said that she had no his estimation.000. as security therefor. She informed the trial court It was also averred by petitioner Ching that respondent Nicdao confided to that there were actually twenty-five (25) checks of respondent Nicdao that him that she told her daughter Janette. 9433-9443 pertained to respondent Nicdao’s loan transactions respondent Nicdao. he regularly funded.000. the checks were all signed by she owed him.16 Yandoc stated anew that respondent Nicdao’s present it.000. as of October 8. only a balance of P300.00 and P50. On direct-examination.200.000. 002524).000. he included it in the other amounts that respondent Nicdao owed to him which Another witness presented by the prosecution was Imelda Yandoc.00 respondent Nicdao. petitioner Ching angrily told respondent Nicdao that she amount was fully paid.00 was left in latter allegedly had no cause to fear that he would fill up the checks with respondent Nicdao’s checking account andP645. 1997. According to October 6. As such. Further. Petitioner Ching maintained that the eleven (11) checks subject of Criminal Petitioner Ching identified the demand letter that he and Nuguid sent to Cases Nos.00 check (Check No.000.00. She knew respondent Nicdao because the latter until the total amount reached P20. 9433-9443 and affirmed that that he was confident that he would be paid by respondent Nicdao stamped at the back of each was the annotation "DAIF". petitioner time respondent Nicdao issued the checks to him. petitioner Ching returned the checks to respondent should not have allowed her debt to reach P20.

except for the P20.00. The principal loan amount of P2.000. with respect to the other ten (10) payments. she presented a Planters Bank demand draft dated August 13. Respondent Nicdao said that she purposely left the checks checks. it was purposely left blank allegedly upon instruction of Nuguid who said that she would use the checks to pay someone else.200. her employees whom she authorized to do so.00 check. the bank for payment. However. According to respondent Nicdao. She demanded that they both petitioner Ching and Nuguid in the total amount ofP22. explained that Nuguid went to the grocery store everyday to collect interest payments. At that time.000.00 check. respondent Nicdao also presented and identified several that one of her checks was missing. she also admitted that the signatures thereon were hers and that undated because she would still have to notify Nuguid if she already had the amounts thereon were written by either Josie Nicdao or Melanie the money to fund the checks. its previous owner.00 was allegedly delivered by Respondent Nicdao averred that it was Nuguid who offered to give her a Nuguid to respondent Nicdao in varying amounts of P100. The principal loan was P2. Ching and Nuguid refused to return the checks claiming that she She vehemently denied the allegation that she had borrowed money from (respondent Nicdao) still owed them money. it was Nuguid who regularly delivered the cash to With respect to the P20. On the other hand. but they refused.000. who At the continuation of her direct-examination. proof of such payment.000. Nuguid). she did not let it bother cigarette wrappers18 at the back of which appeared computations. When Respondent Nicdao clarified that.000. Tolentino. that she had obtained a loan from debt. Respondent Nicdao refuted the averment of petitioner Nuguid used to run the said store before respondent Nicdao’s daughter Ching that prior to 1995.respondent Nicdao or her employee would usually call the bank to inquire Respondent Nicdao denied ever confiding to petitioner Ching that she was if there was an incoming check to be funded.100.000. She claimed that it was only then that she remembered that sometime in 1995. the shown theP20. that the signatures thereon were hers while the amounts and payee thereon were written by either Jocelyn Nicdao or Melanie Tolentino.000. respondent Nicdao was surprised to be notified by back of the said demand draft showed that it was endorsed and negotiated HSLB that her check in the amount ofP20. The annotation at the After the said incident. they had another transaction.00 and the same was already fully paid. What allegedly transpired was that when she already For its part.000.000. she was informed by her employee In addition.00 loan as she would allegedly need money to manage Vignette Superstore.000. however.000. She her thinking that it would eventually surface when presented to the bank.000.100. As them to go to court. respondent Nicdao admitted respondent Nicdao or.950. 1996 in the amount of P1. . Nuguid allegedly wrote the payments for the daily interests at the petitioner Ching’s possession. the defense proffered the testimonies of respondent Nicdao.00 with 12% interest Respondent Nicdao could not explain how the said check came into per day.000. that the signature thereon was hers but denied that she issued the same to Respondent Nicdao denied any knowledge that the money loaned to her petitioner Ching. bought it from Nuguid’s family.000. ordinary cash box together with a stapler and the cigarette wrappers that contained Nuguid’s computations. petitioner examination.000.19 respondent Nicdao said were employees of Vignette Superstore and authorized by her to do so. and P150. Anent the other ten (10) checks. she went to them to retrieve her checks. With respect to the payee. that she never dealt with petitioner Ching because it was Nuguid who went to the grocery store everyday to collect the interest payments.00 check. signature thereon was hers but she denied issuing it as a blank check to Nuguid came to the grocery store everyday to collect the interest petitioner Ching.17 respondent Nicdao stated that she only dealt with Nuguid. show her the checks in order that she would know the exact amount of her Respondent Nicdao admitted. if she was not at the grocery store. It was at this point that she got angry and dared Nuguid but only forP2. She explained that she kept her checks in an back of the cigarette wrappers that she gave to respondent Nicdao. afraid that her daughter would get mad if she found out about the amount that she owed him. Her saleslady had access to this box.100. had the money to pay them (presumably referring to petitioner Ching and Melanie Tolentino and Jocelyn Nicdao.00.00 was just presented to to the account of petitioner Ching. she likewise admitted by Nuguid belonged to petitioner Ching. respondent Nicdao admitted that the other ten (10) checks were handed to Nuguid on different occasions. On direct.00. to her saleslady.

respondent Nicdao told her Jocelyn Nicdao identified the cigarette wrappers as the documents on which Nuguid acknowledged receipt of the interest payments. She stressed. In some instances. respondent Nicdao identified the cigarette wrappers which On cross-examination. most of the as she would use the checks to pay someone else. Tolentino would because she was confident that it would just surface when it would be be the one to write the amount on the checks. she reported as missing in 1995. latter came to the grocery store everyday to collect the interest payments. Jocelyn Nicdao further testified that respondent Nicdao was indebted to As an employee of the grocery store. Melanie Tolentino was presented to corroborate the testimony of Jocelyn Nicdao also took the witness stand to corroborate the testimony of respondent Nicdao. The went to the grocery store everyday to collect the interest payments. She in 1996. because Nuguid sometimes wrote them in her presence. She never reported the matter to the bank were already signed by respondent Nicdao. Tolentino handed to Nuguid checks that saleslady sometime in 1995. Respondent Respondent Nicdao told her that perhaps she issued it to someone and Nicdao maintained that she had already paid Nuguid the amount that it would just turn up in the bank. that the P20. Further. She knew Nuguid as well as petitioner Ching. Jocelyn Nicdao identified the checks on which she wrote the amounts and.200.000. she noticed that a check was missing. the figures at the back of the cigarette wrappers were written by Tolentino claimed that in 1995.000. The latter personal checks. After she was shown a fax copy thereof.000. She likewise confirmed that she authorized them to write the amounts on the checks after she had affixed Tolentino recounted that Nuguid came to the grocery store everyday to her signature thereon.000. manned it when she was not there. She did not ask Nuguid to make written Tolentino confirmed that the P20. Tolentino stated that she acted as its Nuguid.000. However. however. On direct-examination. in the amount of P20. deposited in petitioner Ching’s account. respondent Nicdao refuted the prosecution’s allegation that the demand draft was Tolentino stated that she left the employ of respondent Nicdao sometime payment for a previous transaction that she had with petitioner Ching. in the course of chronologically arranging Nuguid.00. upon check was the one that was reported to her as lost or missing by her respondent Nicdao’s instruction.20 respondent Nicdao explained that Josie Nicdao that the check could have been issued to someone else. Tolentino got clarified that the payments that Nuguid collected from her everyday were a call from respondent Nicdao. amounts on pieces of paper which were kept by respondent Nicdao.000. On direct-examination. Tolentino was certain that the of P1. and that it would and Melanie Tolentino were caretakers of the grocery store and that they just surface when presented to the bank.00 collect the interest payments of the loan. In connection thereto. Nuguid.23 she averred that she worked at the Vignette Superstore and she knew Nuguid because her was a saleslady at the Vignette Superstore from August 1994 up to April employer. Tolentino added that time. checks especially with respect to the amounts and figures written thereon. After the checks were dishonored in October 1997. She knew 1998. She . The latter allegedly respondent Nicdao to fill up the checks and hand them to Nuguid.22 Tolentino confirmed that she was authorized by indicated the daily payments she had made to Nuguid. Nuguid allegedly instructed her to leave as blank the space for the she could not recall respondent Nicdao issuing a check to petitioner Ching payee. Sometimes. only for the interests due.000.00. the name of Nuguid as payee. Jocelyn Nicdao used to fill up the checks of respondent Nicdao caretaker and was entrusted with the custody of respondent Nicdao’s that had already been signed by her and give them to Nuguid. petitioner Ching only by name and that he was the "husband" of Nuguid.00 check was the same one that acknowledgements of her payments.21Tolentino stated that she the other defense witnesses. in turn. wrote the presented for payment. used to borrow money from her.On cross-examination. She said that Nuguid instructed her to leave the space for the payee blank in some instances. Again. She confirmed that they lost a check sometime in 1995. respondent Nicdao.000.000. When informed about it.00 as evidenced by the Planters Bank demand draft which missing check was the same one that petitioner Ching presented to the she gave to the latter and which was subsequently negotiated and bank for payment in the amount of P20. Tolentino identified her own handwriting on some of the came to the grocery store everyday to pick up the interest payments. Respondent Nicdao asserted that she recognized her handwriting respondent Nicdao’s check booklets.

The prayer for moral damages is denied for lack of such for any amount x x x. had signed them. checks to petitioner Ching. drawer.24 Jocelyn Nicdao stated that she was a distant The MCTC disbelieved respondent Nicdao’s claim that the P20. against insufficient funds. the MCTC rendered judgment in the said check was indeed lost. On cross-examination. "where the instrument is wanting in any material particular.00. And a signature on a blank paper delivered by the pay the private complainant the amount of P20. It observed that ordinary she wanted to take a rest.950.26 The not personally write the payee and date on the checks was not material decretal portion of the MCTC decision reads: considering that under Section 14 of the Negotiable Instruments Law.000. even if the checks Nos. drawing and issuance of any check to apply to account or for value.000. Petitioner Ching The MCTC further ruled that there was no evidence to show that petitioner delivered P1. reported to the bank to prevent its unauthorized endorsement or negotiation.000. as maker. Ching’s testimony that respondent Nicdao borrowed money from him in the total amount of P20. The MCTC gave credence to petitioner unsecured box.00 every month to respondent Nicdao from 1995 up Ching was not a holder in due course as to cause it (the MCTC) to believe to 1997 until the sum reachedP20. respondent Nicdao issued the issuance of the checks.00 cousin of respondent Nicdao. Respondent Nicdao’s admission subsequent thereto." Respondent Nicdao admitted that she evidence to prove the same.explained that she was the one who wrote the minus entries and they authorized her employees to provide the details on the checks after she represented the daily interest payments received by Nuguid. respondent Nicdao still borrowed money from of indebtedness was sufficient to prove that there was consideration for petitioner Ching. drawer or issuer. The MCTC also found that that the said check was not issued to him. on December 8.000. As security for these loans. the accused is found guilty of possession thereof has a prima facie authority to complete it by filling up violating Batas Pambansa Blg. The fact that she did same gave rise to the prosecution for and conviction of BP 22. It stressed that the mere act of of respondent Nicdao’s issuance of the checks subject of Criminal Cases issuing a worthless check was malum prohibitum. had knowledge that at the time of issue she did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the The MCTC explained that the crime of violation of BP 22 has the following drawee bank for the payment in full of the checks upon their presentment. She is likewise ordered to suffer . hence. 25 Under the foregoing circumstances. ordered the bank to stop payment." The bank representative likewise testified to the fact of insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the dishonor. Jocelyn Nicdao reiterated that she handed the prudence would dictate that a lost check would at least be immediately checks to Nuguid at the grocery store. Even if After due trial. Respondent Nicdao made no such report to the bank. the MCTC established that the checks were at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for being "DAIF" or drawn drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment.000. drawer or issuer that As to the third element. Stamped at the back of each check was the and (c) subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for annotation "DAIF. 9433-9443.00 plus 12% person making the signature in order that the paper may be converted into interest per annum from date of filing of the complaint until the total a negotiable instrument operates as a prima facie authority to fill it up as amount had been paid. On the first element. the MCTC declared that the conviction According to the MCTC." that respondent Nicdao. elements: (a) the making.950. the MCTC to have made. the MCTC faulted respondent Nicdao for Criminal Cases Nos. and is hereby ordered to the blanks therein. they were dishonored by the bank for being The second element was also found by the MCTC to be present as it held "DAIF.000.000.000. drawn and issued the checks. in view of the foregoing. 9433-9443 convicting respondent Nicdao of eleven being negligent in keeping the checks that she had already signed in an (11) counts of violation of BP 22. (b) the knowledge of the maker. 1997. without any valid cause. all the foregoing elements are present in the case of respondent Nicdao was warranted. once dishonored. When the latter deposited the checks (eleven in all) on October 6. the person in WHEREFORE.00. She stopped working for her in 1998 because check was the same one that she lost in 1995. respondent Nicdao was found by the were issued in the form of deposit or guarantee. 1998. 22 in 11 counts.

Nicdao. the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dinalupihan. a middle-aged mother and (11) checks purportedly issued to petitioner Ching was docketed as CA-G.28 On appeal. On November 22. Acting on the motion for consolidation. is a CPA and formerly consolidation with CA-G. 1999. housekeeper who only finished high school.imprisonment equivalent to 1 year for every check issued and which Trial Court. Bataan. Bataan. Accordingly. 23054 (originally assigned to the 7th Complainant [petitioner herein] Samson Ching is a Chinese national. After Emma Nuguid . 23055 a motion for its Emma Nuguid. Janette Boyd.R. The decretal portion of the assailed CA Decision reads: store.R.R. to motion in CA-G. particularly in the daily GRANTED. General (OSG) filed its respective comments on the said petitions. 23055. with costs de oficio.27 Criminal Cases No. CR No. Nicdao in SO ORDERED. CR No. the OSG filed in CA-G. 9458-9471 and convicted respondent Nicdao of the fourteen (14) counts of violation of BP 22 filed against her by Nuguid. 23054 as it bore the lowest number. She likewise filed her personal checks were placed in a cash box at Vignette Superstore and were reply to the comment of the OSG in CA-G. CR No. Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals (RIRCA). fourteen (14) counts of violation of BP 22 in Criminal Cases Nos. On the other hand. 23054 in accordance with the Revised which was about to be foreclosed. the who is married to a wealthy expatriate. Respondent cover for any delivery of merchandise sold at the store. 22 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and another judgment rendered ACQUITTING her in all Incidentally. 1999. The blank and Nicdao opposed the consolidation of the two cases.R. Since then. Subsequently. has a daughter. consolidated with CA-G. filled up by said salesladies upon instruction of petitioner as to amount. to petitioner’s daughter. 23055 (assigned to the 13th Division). payee and date. Branch 5. since petitioner could not always be at the Vignette Superstore to keep shop. The OSG prayed that CA-G. which were left blank as to amount and the payee. However. the CA issued an Entry of Judgment declaring that the above in separate Decisions both dated May 10. the CA (13th Division) rendered the assailed Decision in CA-G. 23055 pending before the 13th Division be transferred and store now known as the Vignette Superstore. She sold this grocery store. 1999. Blg. the CA made the following factual findings: Respondent Nicdao forthwith filed with the CA separate petitions for review of the two decisions of the RTC. affirmed in toto the decision has become final and executory and is recorded in the Book of decisions of the MCTC convicting respondent Nicdao of eleven (11) and Judgments. SO ORDERED.R.R. 3rd Judicial Region. who Division but transferred to the 6th Division). 9433-9443 and 9458-9471.R. the decision dated May 10. In acquitting respondent Nicdao in CA-G. being meritorious. CR No. 1998. in Criminal Cases Nos. 1999. CR No.R. the petition for review is hereby to meet the daily expenses of running the business. CR No. CR No. on January 11. the CA in CA-G.R.R. 23054. affirming the decision penalty shall be served successively. 23055 acquitting respondent Nicdao of the Soon thereafter. issued a Resolution dated October 19. Nuguid used to own a grocery No. dated December 8. CR No. Nuguid represented to petitioner that as former manager of the Vignette Superstore. the MCTC likewise rendered its judgment these cases. respectively. CR No. The Office of the Solicitor claimed he is a salesman of La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Factory. petition involving the fourteen (14) checks purportedly issued to Nuguid was docketed as CA-G. The petition involving the eleven Petitioner [respondent herein] Clarita S. 1999 advising the OSG to file the pre-signed checks. Gorres and Velayo. of the First Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Dinalupihan-Hermosa.R. Emma Nuguid befriended petitioner and offered to lend eleven (11) counts of violation of BP 22 filed against her by petitioner money to the latter which could be used in running her newly acquired Ching. On even date. Janette Boyd. of the Regional purchases of merchandise to be sold at the store. 23055 she entrusted to her salesladies. convicting petitioner Clarita S. she knew that petitioner would be in need of credit WHEREFORE. Melanie Tolentino and Jocelyn Nicdao. Bataan.P. 9433 to 9443 of violation of B. CR No. complainant’s live-in partner. 23055. petitioner began managing said store. Branch 5. CR connected with Sycip.

or writing.000. According to the CA.000.000. as admitted interests due.000. petitioner Ching had them were already extinguished after full payment had been made by received.00 covered by ten (10) that her checks were dishonored by HSLB and gave her three days to settle checks subject of the criminal complaints filed by petitioner Ching (CA-G.00 every month to total of P5.00 check. kept.R. the CA pointed out that. According others. petitioner Ching failed to adduce evidence to prove the refused to return respondent Nicdao’s checks despite her total payment existence of a previous transaction between him and respondent Nicdao.780.00 which.succeeded in befriending petitioner. the CA also made the finding that respondent Nicdao appear that: (a) petitioner Ching was the payee in five checks.100.00 covered by fourteen (14) checks subject of the criminal complaints filed by Nuguid (CA-G. Nuguid and petitioner Ching filled up the said checks to make it In addition. the pre-existing obligations secured by ofP1.980. contrary to his assertion. the CA ratiocinated that no interests could be collected because. In the the CA referred to the Planters Bank demand draft in the amount case of respondent Nicdao’s checks. which she earlier the payments made by respondent Nicdao to Nuguid as already amounting delivered to him as security for the loans.150. the checks given by all these checks and deposited them the following day.000.00 for the loans secured by the checks.000.00. Respondent Nicdao never dealt with violation of BP 22.29 Nuguid. petitioner Ching and Nuguid were using BP 22 to coerce respondent Nicdao to pay a debt which Apart from the demand draft. 1997. it petitioner Ching.00 and they were transacted between to Nuguid. the CA characterized as incredible and contrary to human unless it has been expressly stipulated in writing.00 and. he filled up the check. when up this amount and that of the Planters Bank demand draft.000. the CA also stated that respondent Nicdao she no longer owed them. (b) the six borrowed money from Nuguid in the total amount of P2. as he claimed. It was explained that to be held liable under BP 22.000. Since the transactions were not evidenced by any document by petitioner Ching. Petitioner Ching and Nuguid then put the date October 6.00 payments to Nuguid for the interests alone. 23054).000. while "for value" means an evidence.980. he was never employed by the La Suerte Cigar and The CA negated petitioner Ching’s contention that the payments as Cigarette Manufacturing per the letter of Susan Resurreccion. With the finding that respondent Nicdao had fully paid her loan obligations The loans totaledP2.00 checks were payable to cash. by his own admission. she tried to retrieve her checks. On October 8. "no interest shall be due Moreover. (c) Nuguid was the payee in fourteen (14) secured by twenty-four (24) checks drawn against respondent Nicdao’s checks.000.000.000.00 to respondent Nicdao without any documentary proof . CR No. amount. the CA declared that she could no longer be held liable for respondent Nicdao and Nuguid only. The loans consisted of (a) P950. deliver a total sum of P20. respondent Nicdao as security for the loans were left blank as to the payee 1997.100. he did not own the house where he and Nuguid lived. of P6." experience that petitioner Ching would.000.30 The CA believed that when petitioner Ching and Nuguid to the CA. In particular. CR No. the word Against the foregoing factual findings. her indebtedness or else face prosecution for violation of BP 22. obligation incurred simultaneously with the issuance of the check. must be established. by writing thereon the said to P6.000. that the check was made or drawn and issued to apply on account or for value. respondent Nicdao had already fully paid the loans. the CA declared that. Adding respondent Nicdao until the amount reached P20. Instead. as of July 21. based on the "account" refers to a pre-existing obligation.200. refused to return the checks to respondent Nicdao. among the said demand draft was payment for a previous transaction. Obligations are extinguished by. made interest payments on a daily basis to Nuguid as evidenced by the computations written at the back of the cigarette wrappers. through a joint demand letter. 1997 on account with HSLB. respondent Nicdao had made a petitioner Ching’s claim that he deliveredP1. The appellate court debunked petitioner Ching’s allegation that respondent Nicdao to Nuguid. and (b) P1. payment. In disbelieving petitioner Ching. however. the CA was not convinced by these computations.000. under Article 1956 of the Civil Code. Based on With respect to the P20.R. Vice- reflected at the back of the cigarette wrappers could be applied only to the President and Legal Counsel of the said company.100. Upon Nuguid’s instruction. 23055). Moreover. Nuguid was able to gain access to the The CA gave credence to the testimony of respondent Nicdao that when Vignette Superstore where petitioner’s blank and pre-signed checks were she had fully paid her loans to Nuguid.000. inter alia. they informed respondent Nicdao and the date. the CA placed she refused to pay the same.00 for the principal loan amount of only P2.000.

1. The CA opined that this missing check surfaced in the hands stolen checks.000. amount and payee. provided. the CA’s factual Ching’s hands. Likewise As mentioned earlier. it will not. unless the offended party waives the parties and as regards a remote party other than a holder in due course. any person whose signature was placed thereon before delivery. and no . had access thereto. prior to its amendment. accepting or indorsing. as against 111 of the Revised Rules of Court which. and damages under Articles 32. Nuguid. the instant petition pertains and is limited solely to applicable.000. was an incomplete and are allegedly based on a misapprehension of facts and manifestly undelivered instrument when it was stolen and ended up in petitioner erroneous and contradicted by the evidence.thereof. Incomplete instrument not delivered.950. The CA emphasized that the P20. if completed and negotiated authority to resolve and rule on her civil liability.000. Specifically. authority of the party making. 33. the said check without the He urges the Court to review the findings of facts made by the CA as they details as to the date. as previous manager/owner of the grocery store. when presumed. On this point.000. 16. petitioner Ching did not acquire any right or other hand. or institutes the civil the delivery.31 22. a valid delivery thereof by all parties prior to him so accused. But where the instrument is in the hands of a Code of the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the holder in due course. the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction and instrument has not been delivered. Further.000. Rule without authority. The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 15. e. as it provides in part: The CA held that the P20.g. and. the delivery may be shown to have been Such civil action includes the recovery of indemnity under the Revised conditional. or for a special purpose only. To the mind of the CA. the CA concluded that of petitioner Ching who. the civil action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly instrument for the purpose of giving effect thereto. x x x as to make them liable to him is conclusively presumed. in such case. she should be held liable to pay petitioner Ching the amounts of the dishonored checks in the aggregate sum ofP20.000. when effectual. be a valid contract in the hands of any holder. Negotiable Instruments Law: Petitioner Ching vigorously argues that notwithstanding respondent SEC. On the and undelivered.00 check was the same one that was missing way back in 1995. And where the instrument is no longer in the possession of a party whose signature appears thereon. Hence. in cahoots with Nuguid. As such. Further. 1997 is also cited the contrary is proved. As between immediate instituted with the criminal action. 57-9733 dated September 16. wrote the respondent could not be held liable for violation of BP 22. He invokes Section 1. the inference that the check was stolen was anchored on The Petitioner’s Case competent circumstantial evidence.000.. – Where an incomplete Nicdao’s acquittal by the CA.00. reserves his right to institute it separately. in part: SEC. 22 shall be Ching without respondent Nicdao’s authority. civil action.00 check was filled up by petitioner 1. drawing. in order to be effectual. the CA applied Sections 15 and 16 of the findings are in conflict with those of the RTC and MCTC. – When a criminal action is negotiable instrument is incomplete and revocable until delivery of the instituted. as the case may be. Institution of criminal and civil actions. was the presumption that the person in the civil aspect of the case as petitioner Ching argues that notwithstanding possession of the stolen article was presumed to be guilty of taking the respondent Nicdao’s acquittal of the eleven (11) counts of violation of BP stolen article. amount P20. written acknowledgment that she received the same. it was incomplete deemed to necessarily include the corresponding civil action.00 check was never delivered by respondent Nicdao to petitioner Ching. must be made either by or under the action prior to the criminal action.32 Under these circumstances. it found plausible respondent Nicdao’s version of the story interest therein and could not assert any cause of action founded on the that the P20. Delivery.000. and not for the purpose of Penal Code. 34 and 2176 of the Civil transferring the property. according to the CA.00 thereon and deposited it in his account. – Every contract on a SEC. a valid and intentional delivery by him is presumed until Supreme Court Circular No.000.

she referred to her creditors in they notified her that the twenty-five (25) checks valued at P22. the check itself is the thanP2. under Section 1. which is the recovery of the Petitioner Ching also takes exception to the CA’s ruling that the payments amount of the dishonored check representing the civil obligation of the made by respondent Nicdao as reflected on the computations at the back drawer to the payee. as affirmed by the RTC. Further.R. contrary to respondent by his testimony before the MCTC. that during respondent Nicdao’s testimony. The existence of the same is allegedly established totaling P5. the Planters defense of stolen or lost check as incredible and.00.000. i. Also. the other ten (10) checks (totaling P950.00 can only mean that. face prosecution. Further. vis-à- the payee on the checks as they would be paid to someone else. he asks the Court to take judicial Nicdao’s claim. 34. therefore. . who vis the demand letter. her failure to report the alleged theft to the allegedly non sequitur. otherwise. not only with Nuguid. Even respondent Nicdao’s In seeking to enforce the alleged civil liability of respondent Nicdao. Jocelyn Rules of Court. x x x for the loans that she obtained from him from 1995 to 1997. He insists that they were for the interests alone.00 was in payment for respondent Nicdao’s previous loan transaction with him. Rule 111 of the Revised established by the testimony of respondent Nicdao’s own witness.000. petitioner Ching the P20.. contained therein.000. indebted to Nuguid. she is allegedly estopped from questioning evidence of indebtedness. under the above.100.00 to respondent Nicdao since Nicdao to him.000.000.00) also faults the CA for not acting and ordering the consolidation of CA-G. most checks that I issued I will inform them were dishonored by the HSLB. e. He stresses that he owns a warehouse and respect to the P20." Even respondent Nicdao’s employees allegedly knew ndebtedness with them. With and not merely its sales agent.000. the civil action for the recovery of damages under Articles Nicdao. false. Bank demand draft for P1.780. is raised during trial. Moreover. who testified that when she started working in Vignette 32.950. they testified that Nuguid instructed them at times to leave as blank silence.00.000. the CA’s reasoning that ruling that it was stolen and was never delivered or issued by respondent he could not possibly have lent P20. The existence of another loan obligation prior to the said period was allegedly Petitioner Ching theorizes that. contrary to the CA’s finding. the interests because she willingly paid the same. Apart from Aside from the foregoing substantive issues that he raised.00 check. of the cigarette wrappers were for both the principal loan and interests. petitioner Ching assails the CA’s is also in the business of lending money.000. testimony allegedly showed that they were daily interest payments. contrary to her protestation.e. her loan obligations amounted to much more notice that for a monetary loan secured by a check.000.reservation to file such civil action separately shall be allowed or were allegedly issued by respondent Nicdao to petitioner Ching as security recognized. Petitioner Ching describes respondent Nicdao’s Petitioner Ching maintains that. Further. "[I] told them.950. it has been established that the what he meant when he testified before the MCTC was that he was checks were respondent Nicdao’s personal checks.100. Petitioner Ching pointed out received his and Nuguid’s demand letter to her. the criminal action for violation of BP 22 necessarily includes the corresponding civil action. It was allegedly erroneous for the CA to hold that he had no capacity to On the other hand. Respondent Nicdao’s him. the MCTC’s decision.000. petitioner Ching maintains that she had loan obligations to him Petitioner Ching further avers that the interest payments totaling P20.000. respondent Nicdao also Petitioner Ching also harps on respondent Nicdao’s silence when she transacted with him. The issue of the said check being stolen was allegedly not petitioner Ching and Nuguid did not own the house where they live. and 2176 arising from the same act or omission of the accused Superstore in 1994. bank to stop payment of the said lost or missing check is allegedly contrary to human experience. allegedly constitutes an admission of the statements turned out to be petitioner Ching. thereon were hers and that she had issued them to petitioner Ching. that the signatures engaged in dealership with La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Manufacturing. Through the said letter.g. quoted Circular.00 to respondent Nicdao. 33. is lend P20.00 check. Petitioner Ching clarified that allegedly based on the evidence on record. her failure to deny or protest the same by way of reply. she noticed that respondent Nicdao was already is impliedly instituted with the criminal action.000.00 plural form. He insists that. and that she had three days to settle her if I have money.200.950.

The instant petition.000. only cause of action founded on the said check. the Nuguid had access to the grocery store.00 check was stolen. she full payment thereof. after the criminal action has been commenced. In any event.000. 23055 with CA-G. petitioner Ching.R.950. which seeks to enforce her civil liability based on the In fine. it is petitioner Ching’s view that the CA gravely erred in eleven (11) checks. He informs the Court that latter To respondent Nicdao’s mind. that there is more than sufficient preponderant evidence to hold respondent Nicdao civilly liable to him in the amount of P20. is thus allegedly already barred by the final and disregarding the findings of the MCTC. Institution of separate of civil action. respondent Nicdao contends that the CA did not commit He thus prays that the Court direct respondent Nicdao to pay him the said serious misapprehension of facts when it found that the P20. the assailed CA decision has already It is pointed out by respondent Nicdao that her testimony (that made a finding to the effect that the fact upon which her civil liability the P20. the CA held that the P20. they xxxx then maliciously filled up the checks making it appear that petitioner Ching was the payee in the five checks and the six others were payable to "cash". respondent Nicdao tried to retrieve her checks but Nuguid and petitioner Ching falsely told her that she still owed them money. payee and date. the P20. petitioner Ching did not Another indication that it was stolen was the fact that among all the acquire any right or interest over the said check and could not assert any checks which ended up in the hands of petitioner Ching and Nuguid.000. unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment respondent Nicdao already fully paid her loans. hence. as security for the loans. the rest were invariably respondent Nicdao had no obligation to make good the stolen check and handwritten as to the amounts.000. respondent Nicdao issued checks to Nuguid. when she had fully paid her judgment in the criminal action.00 check was the same one that she lost sometime in might arise did not exist.00 issued to apply on account or for value. (b) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the and knowing fully well that these checks were not funded because civil.00 amount plus 12% interest per annum computed from the date of written check was a stolen check and that she never made any transaction with demand until the total amount is fully paid.00 check was fully typewritten.000. CR No.000. Consequently. the salesladies were given the authority to fill Rules of Court which states: up the said checks as to the amount.000. she instructed them to leave blank the payee and date. as affirmed by the RTC.000. loans to Nuguid.Except in the cases provided checks to Nuguid. one of the salesladies civil action which has been reserved cannot be instituted until final reported that a check was missing. payee and date. In any case. 2.000. in 1995. According to respondent Nicdao. Moreover. in 1997.00. and submits executory decision acquitting her.CR No. when the salesladies gave the SEC. maintains that she had been consistent in her theory of defense and .000. these pronouncements are equivalent to a case is still pending with the CA. considering that the loan check was stolen on the ground that an appeal in a criminal case throws obligations secured by these checks had already been extinguished by her open the whole case to the appellate court’s scrutiny. She posits practice of leaving pre-signed checks placed inside an unsecured cash box preliminarily that it is barred under Section 2(b). the other ten (10) checks were not issued to apply on account or for value.000. 23054. for in Section 3 hereof. She refers to the ruling of the CA that 1995) was corroborated by the respective testimonies of her employees. finding that the facts upon which her civil liability may arise do not exist. Nuguid deposited the checks and caused them to be dishonored by HSLB. These findings are allegedly supported by The Respondent’s Counter-Arguments the evidence on record which consisted of the respective testimonies of the defense witnesses to the effect that: respondent Nicdao had the Respondent Nicdao urges the Court to deny the petition. cannot be held liable for violation of BP 22. She also refers to the CA’s pronouncement relative to the ten (10) other checks that they were not Respondent Nicdao defends the CA’s conclusion that the P20. Nuguid beguiled respondent Nicdao to obtain loans from her. petitioner Ching and that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. . Rule 111 of the Revised in the Vignette Superstore.

Neither could she be held liable for the ten (10) other checks (in the total amount of P950. The said demand draft was negotiated to burden of proving her civil liability with the required preponderance of petitioner Ching’s account and he admitted receipt thereof. Petitioner Ching allegedly never disputed the accuracy of the accounts Notwithstanding respondent Nicdao’s acquittal.00 for her loan obligations totaling only P950.000.00. Considering that it was stolen. Article 1956 of the Civil Code. Respondent Nicdao rebuts petitioner Ching’s argument (that the daily payments were applied to the interests). Nuguid went to the Vignette Superstore everyday to collect The petition is denied for lack of merit. the CA allegedly correctly held that. as in the hands of petitioner Ching and he did not acquire any right or interest secured by the ten (10) HSLB checks excluding the stolenP20.000.00).000. considering that there is documentary proof of the loan transactions. respondent Nicdao had already paid petitioner Ching and Nuguid a total the P20.000. consolidation of the cases is not mandatory. She submits that it is contrary admittedly no document evidencing these loans. As evidenced by the RIRCA.000. In addition to the Planters Bank demand draft.950. Accordingly.00 check was an incomplete and undelivered instrument sum of P6. It is underscored that he has not adequately shown that he possessed the Respondent Nicdao emphasizes that the ten (10) other checks that she financial capacity to lend such a huge amount to respondent Nicdao as he issued to Nuguid as security for her loans had already been discharged so claimed. Respondent Nicdao describes as downright incredible petitioner Ching’s Petitioner Ching cannot insist that the daily payments she made applied testimony that she owed him a total sum of P20. employed as a salesman of La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Manufacturing. It is her belief that these checks can no longer be used to coerce her to pay a debt that she does not owe. In relation thereto.merely relied on the disputable presumption that the person in possession Based on the foregoing evidence.000. respondent Nicdao argues.R. This. upon her full payment thereof. CR No. she invokes money to be devoid of any documentary proof.00.000. respondent Nicdao proffers the explanation that under the the latter beginning October 1995 up to 1997. through Nuguid.R. petitioner Ching is entitled appearing on these cigarette wrappers. no written to human experience for loan transactions involving such huge amounts of stipulation for the payment of interests thereon. respondent Nicdao insists that petitioner Ching received.000. computing the amount of the Planters Bank demand draft (P1. respondent Planters Bank demand draft in the amount ofP1.980.00 without any only to the interests on the loan obligations. 23054.00 therein.780. 23055 and CA-G. the CA’s acquittal of respondent Nicdao is premised Nicdao belies his claim that the demand draft was payment for a prior on the finding that. Respondent evidence."34 Under the pertinent provision of the Revised Rules of Court. nor did he dispute their to appeal the civil aspect of the case within the reglementary period authenticity and accuracy. hence.00) and those reflected at the back of the cigarette wrappers (P5. On the CA’s failure to consolidate CA-G. in evidence of such a previous transaction. he cannot assert any cause of action founded on the said check. these payments. She asserts that petitioner Ching was unable to present were not made to apply to a valid. CR she merely issued them to Nuguid as security for her loans obtained from No. In fine.200. she already Nicdao urges the Court to deny the petition as it failed to discharge the made payment in 1996. of a stolen article is presumed to be the author of the theft. which proscribes the collection of interest respondent Nicdao underscores that petitioner Ching lied about being payments unless expressly stipulated in writing. cash payments as The Court’s Rulings evidenced by the computations written at the back of the cigarette wrappers. petitioner Ching’s attempt to collect payment on the said check through the instant petition must fail. is a categorical ruling that the fact from which the civil liability of respondent Nicdao may arise does not exist. Moreover. The other defense witnesses corroborated this fact.000. and claims that this is illegal.000.200.000. On this point. apart from the stolen check. the ten (10) other checks existing obligation. effect. the .000. Further. stolen check.00) because as respondent Nicdao asseverates. It is axiomatic that "every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable. due and demandable obligation.

Such time of petitioner Ching’s filing of the Informations against respondent action requires only a preponderance of evidence. 1. the Court enunciated that the civil liability offended party. the judgment shall determine if the act or case within the period therefor.civil action is generally impliedly instituted with the criminal action. The civil action was impliedly reasonable doubt. and (c) where the civil institute it separately nor did he institute the civil action prior to the liability is not derived from or based on the criminal act of which the criminal action. At the action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. unless the offended party waives the effect. petitioner Ching correctly argued that he. also quoted earlier. In the absence of any declaration to that instituted with the criminal action. the civil action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly doubt. Section 1. 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the The acquittal of the accused does not prevent a judgment against him on accused. omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. If the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but the court renders judgment on the civil aspect of the criminal case. 29. – When a criminal action is If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon reasonable instituted. an acquittal does not necessarily carry of which the accused is acquitted.35 Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Court. Court of Appeals. (b) where the court expressly declares that the liability instituted with the criminal action since he did not reserve his right to of the accused is not criminal but only civil in nature. provided in part: criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist or where the accused did not commit the act or (b) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the omission imputed to him. However. (b) the xxxx court declared that the liability of the accused is only civil. Moreover. the civil aspect of the criminal case where: (a) the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required. the court shall so declare. Thus. Section delict is extinguished if there is a finding in the final judgment in the 2(b)36 of the same Rule. quoted earlier. under Article 29 of the Civil Code – Following the long recognized rule that "the appeal period accorded to the ART. may appeal the civil aspect of the case notwithstanding is not extinguished by acquittal: (a) where the acquittal is based on respondent Nicdao’s acquittal by the CA. unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. Upon motion of the Nicdao. In either case. accused is acquitted. it may be inferred from the text of the decision whether or not the civil action. the aggrieved party. the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for provided in part: damages in case the complaint should be found to be malicious. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the accused should also be available to the offended party who seeks redress ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. Institution of criminal and civil actions. as the 38 In Sapiera v. a civil of the civil aspect of the decision. SEC. civil. (c) the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based upon the crime As a corollary to the above rule. People39 the consequences of Such civil action includes the recovery of indemnity under the Revised an acquittal on the civil aspect in this wise: Penal Code. or institutes the civil acquittal is due to that ground. and damages under Articles 32. 40 With . defendant. action prior to the criminal action."37 From the foregoing. reserves his right to institute it separately. the civil action based on the with it the extinguishment of the civil liability of the accused. The Court likewise expounded in Salazar v. the offended party or the the guilt of the accused or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond accused or both may appeal from the judgment on the civil aspect of the reasonable doubt. the prosecution cannot It is also relevant to mention that judgments of acquittal are required to appeal from the judgment of acquittal as it would place the accused in state "whether the evidence of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove double jeopardy." the period to appeal granted to petitioner Ching is the same as that granted to the accused. 33.

the Court thus has the jurisdiction and stolen check and cannot. No. filled up the blank check with his name as payee the CA. On theP20. it can be inferred from the following findings of the CA in its Nicdao civilly liable to petitioner Ching. decision acquitting respondent Nicdao that the act or omission from which her civil liability may arise did not exist.000. however.e.000.000. i.980.00 in the case at bar and P1. authority to determine the civil liability of respondent Nicdao 22. therefore. the CA established that the In order for the petition to prosper. the First. "that the check is made or drawn and issued to apply on account or for value.R.000. in acquitting respondent Nicdao. it must establish that the loans secured by these checks had already been extinguished after full judgment of the CA acquitting respondent Nicdao falls under any of the payment had been made by respondent Nicdao.000.. the CA explicitly stated that she (b) where the court declared that the liability of the accused is had already fully paid her obligations. in cahoots with his delivered by respondent Nicdao to petitioner Ching.00 (P950. along with the other ."42 notwithstanding her acquittal.00 and the P1. In particular. 1997. 002524 and cannot assert any cause of action founded on said and presented it to the bank on October 7. the CA did not adjudge her to be civilly liable to petitioner Ching.00 demand draft received by Emma Nuguid. the CA found that True. Blg. the Court holds that respondent On the other hand. it would Salazar also enunciated that the civil action based on the delict is appear that petitioner [respondent herein] had already made payments in extinguished if there is a finding in the final judgment in the criminal action the total amount of P6. 1997. CA-G.000. by Emma Nuguid in her own handwriting totaling P5. to wit: second element for the crime under BP 22."41 and that respondent Nicdao "has no obligation to make good the aspect of the CA’s decision. be held liable for violation of B. according to paramour Emma Nuguid. enforce her civil liability. 23054). In this connection." is not present. the three categories enumerated in Salazar and Sapiera.150. CR No. In fact. The CA computed the payments only civil.000. There is simply no basis to hold respondent Significantly.P.780.200. petitioner Ching miserably failed to prove by Nicdao’s acquittal likewise carried with it the extinction of the action to preponderant evidence the existence of these unpaid loan obligations.000. (a) where the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required.000. while petitioner Ching attempts to show that respondent Nicdao’s liability did not arise from or was not based upon the criminal act of which she was acquitted (ex delicto) but from her loan obligations to him (ex A painstaking review of the case leads to the conclusion that respondent contractu). petitioner Ching "did not acquire any right or interest over Check and in the fantastic amount of P20. adding the payments recorded at the back of the cigarette cartons not based upon the crime of which the accused is acquitted. As such. and made by respondent Nicdao vis-à-vis her loan obligations in this manner: (c) where the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is Clearly. The acquittal of respondent Nicdao likewise effectively extinguished her civil liability Third.000.000. the missing pre-signed and undated check no. Second. Rather. dated it October 6.100. however. its finding relative to the P20. With respect to the ten (10) other checks.000. it is based on the finding that she did not commit the act penalized under BP 22.43 For reasons that will be discussed shortly.000.petitioner Ching’s timely filing of the instant petition for review of the civil check.00 check that it Nicdao cannot be held civilly liable to petitioner Ching. indeed. 002524 the P20.00 in or where the accused did not commit the act or omission imputed to him.00 check. was a stolen check necessarily absolved respondent Nicdao of any civil liability thereon as well.00 check was a stolen check which was never issued nor surfaced in the possession of complainant Ching who.00 for her loan obligation of that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist only P2. the CA’s acquittal of respondent Nicdao is not merely based on CA found as follows: reasonable doubt.000.00.

45 completed by him alone without authority from petitioner. at the time check no. in complainant Ching. Petition). Zafra. gives rise to the presumption that the checks issued to her. was an incomplete and undelivered instrument when it was stolen and ended up in the hands of complainant Ching.950. 002524 and cannot assert any cause of established by preponderant evidence other than the discredited checks. the back of cigarette cartons by Emma Nuguid in her own handwriting. adding the payments recorded at the back of the cigarette cartons Negotiable Instruments Law provide: by Emma Nuguid in her own handwriting totaling P5. be held liable for violation of B. Annex J. absent atP1. 1997. 24-27. pp. In fact.980.R. Inasmuch as check no. Such civil liability.000. 002524 was stolen. the Sept.000. Samson Ching claimed that the said demand draft represents payment for a previous obligation incurred by petitioner. it is check no. the obligation of the petitioner prior to those secured by the subject checks. it would xxxx appear that petitioner had already made payments in the total amount of P6. as in this case.000 to pay for the loans guaranteed by said checks and other a credible reason. 7. Therefore. therefore. previous owner of the store.that cannot. 002524 in his possession was a blank check (TSN. therefore.00 in CA-G. 22. the possession of a thing that was stolen . 002524 was incomplete and undelivered in the hands of Generally checks may constitute evidence of indebtedness. the inference that the check was stolen is Evidence sufficiently shows that the loans secured by the ten (10) checks anchored on competent circumstantial evidence.000.000. CR No. Emma Nuguid collected cash payments amounting to Moreover. After a careful examination of the records of the case. amount of the check. Petition). 47 the Court holds Blg. The fact already involved in the cases subject of this petition had already been paid. 219 SCRA 736. 14-15. Samson Ching admitted having received the demand person in possession of the stolen article is presumed to be guilty of taking draft which he deposited in his bank account. It is not established is that Emma Nuguid . the CA made the following findings: the latter has not been sufficiently established by preponderant evidence.00 for her In the case of check no. However.00 and the P1. assert any cause of action founded on said stolen check the P20. Sima We.46 However.000. Annex DD.00 representing her unpaid obligations to Anent the other ten (10) checks.00 in the case at bar and said check in his possession was a blank check and was subsequently P1. it is abundantly clear that authenticity and accuracy of which were never denied by either said check was never delivered to complainant Ching.00 demand draft received by Emma Nuguid. Check no. pp. All of these cash payments were recorded at missing since 1995 (TSN. Petitioner Ching mainly relies on his testimony before the MCTC to establish the existence of these unpaid obligations. 002524 complainant Ching or Emma Nuguid.checks.000. must be right or interest over check no. 002524. 002524 had been approximately P5. but was already pre- signed by petitioner. action founded on said check. who collected the payments almost daily at the Vignette Superstore. complainant Ching As previously shown. 740). 237 SCRA 664). therefore. In gist. he testified that . and the date of the check).200. for payment.00 for her loan in the total amount of P6.000. he did not acquire any right or interest therein and view of the CA’s findings relating to the eleven (11) checks . had access controverted that petitioner gave Emma Nuguid a demand draft valued to said store. complainant the stolen article (People v.000. other ten (10) checks had already been fully paid by respondent Nicdao – they can no longer be given credence to establish respondent Nicdao’s civil It goes without saying that since complainant Ching did not acquire any liability to petitioner Ching. complainant Ching himself admitted that Apart from the payment to Emma Nuguid through said demand draft. 1998. However. Moreover. Sections 15 and 16 of the Clearly.200. Petition. 9. 43-46.44 that the existence of respondent Nicdao’s civil liability to petitioner Ching in the amount of P20.000.980.780.100. Sept. Annex EE. also not disputed that petitioner made cash payments to Emma Nuguid pp. 1998.P. 23054). it is admitted by complainant Ching that loan obligation of only P2. the said failed to adduce any evidence to prove the existence of the alleged check was blank in its material aspect (as to the name of payee.000. 10.000. TSN. petitioner has no obligation to make good the stolen check and cannot.00 (P950.780. since it has been established that check no. As of July 21.00.150. 1998. Jan.00 was a stolen check and the obligations secured by the (Development Bank of the Philippines v.

from October 1995 up to 1997. were not disputed by petitioner Ching. him in the total amount of P20. in Additionally. respondent Nicdao obtained loans from respondent Nicdao still has unpaid obligations to him in the said amount. transaction. non qui negat.50 amounts and payee.48 In civil cases. namely. her possession with the corresponding amounts and date and deposited them allegation that she had already paid her obligations to petitioner Ching in his account. 1997. and also their personal credibility so far as the same may payments only.950.000. their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which they are testifying. respondent Nicdao had made a total payment of P5. the probability or improbability of their testimony. among others. In support thereof. based on these computations.00 to Nuguid SEC. unsubstantiated by evidence. They were subsequently dishonored by the HSLB for being through Nuguid. of testifying.00. Even respondent Nicdao testified that the daily payments legitimately appear upon the trial.00. However. synonymous with the term "greater weight of evidence" or "greater weight of the credible evidence. However.000. qui dicit. the nature of the facts to which they The Court agrees with the CA that the daily payments made by respondent testify. preponderance of evidence. 1996. the as of July 21. Jocelyn offers the guidelines in determining preponderance of evidence: Nicdao and Tolentino.980. "no interest shall be due unless it has been preponderant evidence to establish respondent Nicdao’s civil liability to expressly stipulated in writing. it is logical to conclude that. The said demand draft was negotiated to against respondent Nicdao for violation of BP 22. the payments made. means probability of the truth. When respondent Nicdao allegedly refused to pay her obligations despite his due demand. not upon him who denies. – In civil cases." him amounting to P20. Preponderance of evidence. Hence. petitioner Ching’s testimony alone does not constitute 1956 of the Civil Code. The court may also consider the number that she made to Nuguid were for the interests due. as reflected at the back of party having the burden of proof must establish his case by a these cigarette wrappers.950. no interests could be properly collected in the loan number. respondent Nicdao submitted as evidence the cigarette the last analysis. transactions between petitioner Ching and respondent Nicdao because there was no stipulation therefor in writing. though the preponderance is not necessarily with the greater ruled by the CA. As found by the CA.000. Rule 133 of the Revised Rules of Court was corroborated by the other witnesses for the defense. how determined. petitioner Ching’s account and he admitted receipt of the value thereof. and value of Ching on account of the loan obligations that she obtained from him since the aggregate evidence on either side and is usually considered to be October 1995. absent any evidence to the having the burden of proof must establish his case by a preponderance of contrary. Bare allegations.49 Section 1. respondent Nicdao’s defense consisted in. she presented the Planters Bank "DAIF" and petitioner Ching accordingly filed the criminal complaints demand draft for P1.000. the party August 13.51 Again. makes the allegations – Et incumbit probatio. petitioner Ching did not proffer any per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit (The proof lies upon documentary evidence to prove the existence of the said previous him who affirms.200. are not equivalent to proof she issued eleven (11) checks which were invariably blank as to the date. To reiterate. he failed to adduce any other documentary evidence to prove that . cum other than his self-serving claim. It is evidence which is wrappers at the back of which were written the computations of the daily more convincing to the court as worthy of belief than that which is offered payments that she had made to Nuguid. since.00 cannot be considered as interest want of interest. Apart from the discredited checks. In determining where the preponderance or these payments as well as the amount of the Planters Bank demand draft superior weight of evidence on the issues involved lies." Preponderance of evidence is a phrase which. 1. as correctly of witnesses. under Article Unfortunately. their intelligence. Petitioner Ching tried to controvert this by claiming that it was payment It is a basic rule in evidence that the burden of proof lies on the party who for a previous transaction between him and respondent Nicdao.00. the witnesses’ manner of P6. The fact of the daily payments in opposition thereto.000.00 to Nuguid and petitioner Ching. their interest or Nicdao amounting to P5. the court may establish that respondent Nicdao already paid the total amount consider all the facts and circumstances of the case.000. under our Rules. Preponderance of evidence is the weight. by the nature of things. it formed part of respondent Nicdao’s payment to petitioner evidence. Considering that the Planters Bank demand draft was dated he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof). petitioner filled up the checks in his In contrast. As security for her obligations.780. credit.780.

Muntinlupa City. 2004 Nicdao amounting to P5. seeks a two-fold relief: First. and support for Leahlyn Corales Mendoza. Petitioner is The use of the word "may" denotes the permissive. she cannot be held civilly liable to petitioner Ching for her acquittal. CR No. such acquittal carried with it the extinction of her civil liability as well. his niece by affinity. the requisite quantum of evidence .R. YNARES-SANTIAGO. 23054 This is a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court. CR No. report to a single Justice. 23054 in respondent Director of Prisons justify the basis for the imprisonment of the CA.indubitably lies with DECISION respondent Nicdao. IN RE: THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS FOR REYNALDO DE VILLA (detained at the New Bilibid Prisons. (a) At the instance of any party or Justice to whom the case is assigned for Reynaldo de Villa. and ordered him to pay the offended party civil involve the same parties and/or related questions of fact and/or law. As earlier intimated.R. the putative child born of the rape. that petitioner be granted a new provided: trial. not mandatory. without As summarized in our Decision dated February 1.R.1 These reliefs are sought on the basis of purportedly exculpatory evidence. Petitioner Reynaldo de Villa. the Petition is DENIED for lack of merit. the collection of interests without any stipulation therefor in writing is prohibited by law. and with the conformity of all the Justices concerned. the pertinent provision of the RIRCA on consolidation of cases petitioner Reynaldo de Villa.00 were properly considered by the CA as applying to the principal amount of her loan obligations.: The CA committed no reversible error in not consolidating CA-G. Thus. No. to petitioner Ching was corroborated by the other defense witnesses. the daily payments made by respondent G. 23054. costs of the suit. CR No. Tolentino and Jocelyn Nicdao. charged petitioner Reynaldo de Villa with rape in an information dated .00 check. 53 indemnity. the defense of respondent JUNE DE VILLA. 23055 and CA-G. they may be consolidated for study and victim of the rape. All told. Aileen Mendoza consolidating it with CA-G. Estoppel cannot give validity to an act that is prohibited by law or one that is against public policy. 158802 November 17.000.preponderance of evidence . petitioner-relator. no grave error could be imputed to the CA when it proceeded to render its decision in CA-G. Muntinlupa City) With respect to the P20. that During the pendency of CA-G. sentenced him to suffer the penalty of the consolidation may be allowed when the cases to be consolidated reclusión perpetua. THE DIRECTOR.000.R. CR No. Nicdao that it was stolen and that she never issued or delivered the same vs. as between petitioner Ching and respondent Nicdao. – Whenever two or more allied cases are on samples allegedly collected from the petitioner and a child born to the assigned to different Justices. 2001. premises considered.R.R. nature currently serving his sentence at the New Bilibid Prison. SO ORDERED. Consolidation of Cases. By final judgment dated February 1.000.Neither could respondent Nicdao be considered to be estopped from WHEREFORE. namely. under the circumstances which have just been discussed lengthily. 2001. 23055. 23055 and CA-G. of the above provision.780. CR No. Mendoza. petitioner-relator June de Villa. joined by his son. denying the validity of these interests. gathered after performing deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing SEC. and second. CR No. moral damages.52 Clearly.2 we found petitioner guilty of the rape of Aileen study and report. in People of the Philippines v. NEW BILIBID PRISONS. J. 7. Consequently.R. respondent.

Aileen gave birth to a baby girl apparently furnished by the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) Anti-Death whom she named Leahlyn Mendoza.14 Hence. Petitioner-relator in this case. the judgment of the Regional Trial Court.000. 2002. This Three years after the promulgation of our Decision. Leahlyn Mendoza.00. 2001. After making thrusting motions with his body.000.4 scientific test that could determine once and for all if Reynaldo was the father of the victim's child. June de Villa. sterile cup. In his defense. Pasig. Leahlyn. sometime in November 1994. is the son of Reynaldo.12 This relief was implicitly holding a grudge against him.January 9. we affirmed sample home and gave it to the petitioner-relator. He Aileen's parents then brought her to the Pasig Police Station. 2001.8 we found that the date of birth of Aileen's child was informed that DNA tests required a sample that could be extracted from medically consistent with the time of the rape. her mother. Billy Joe took the to an eight-month old baby by normal delivery. to pay the costs of the suit and to executory on January 16. we gave Villa and a classmate of Leahlyn Mendoza. petitioner alleged that. Batangas. Aileen Mendoza woke offended party P50. who immediately petitioner's conviction for rape. He further averred that Aileen's family had been allegedly conceived as a result of the rape. wherein he once more prayed that DNA The trial court found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the tests be conducted. in a Decision the dispositive portion of labeled the cup as "Container A. who examined Aileen. Having been On automatic review. 1995. petitioner entered a plea of "not guilty. Leonila Mendoza. to find damages. the prosecution established that sometime in the third to suffer the penalty of reclusión perpetua and ordered to pay the week of April 1994. Aileen revealed that petitioner raped her. Finally. to ask Leahlyn to spit into a credence to the prosecution's contention that she prematurely gave birth new. 1994. a grandson of Reynaldo de that Aileen gave birth to a full-term nine-month old baby. is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATIONS that he is sentenced During the trial. Rosaline Cosidon." 3 accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape. finding arraigned on January 26. which took over as counsel for petitioner. 6 On March 16. 9 Thus. On December 19. we are once more encounter allegedly resulted in Aileen's pregnancy." which reads: . petitioner-relator asked Billy Joe de Villa. he was unaware that there was a lodged a criminal complaint against petitioner. at the time of the alleged rape.10 cry. petitioner's brief in People v. he interposed the defense of alibi. which was noticed by faced with the question of Reynaldo de Villa's guilt or innocence. Reynaldo de Villa filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration of the Decision.00 as moral up in her family's rented room in Sagad. confirmed that she was eight during the pendency of the automatic review of petitioner's case that DNA months pregnant and found in her hymen healed lacerations at the 5:00 testing could resolve the issue of paternity. Since it was never alleged saliva. filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City.13 The Motion was denied with finality in a Resolution crime of qualified rape. he Thus. Metro Manila. 1995.16 Leahlyn readily agreed and did so. Petitioner-relator was only informed Dr.7 Petitioner-relator was undaunted by these challenges. and sentenced him to death. at about 10:00 in the morning. claiming that at the time of the incident. 2001. Aileen was then aged 12 years and ten months. he was in his hometown of San Luis. costs of the suit and to provide support for the child petitioner on top of her. which accounted for the criminal charges. where they alleges that during the trial of the case. Petitioner succeeded in inserting his penis inside her vagina. Leahlyn Corales Mendoza. the Decision became final and victim in the amount of P50.00 as civil indemnity. When confronted by her mother.000. petitioner ejaculated.5 Penalty Task Force. Old age and sickness had rendered him incapable type test and DNA test in order to determine the paternity of the child of having an erection.11 This information was and 8:00 positions. de Villa sought the conduct of a blood was already 67 years old. She was unable to shout for help because petitioner covered her mouth with a pillow and threatened to kill her. When WHEREFORE. P50.15 support the child. Aileen could not do anything but SO ORDERED. denied in our Decision of February 21. to indemnify the dated November 20.

In the celebrated case of Hence. Petitioner alleges that this issue is crucial."24 DNA ANALYSIS ON PATERNITY SHOWS CONCLUSIVELY THAT The most basic criterion for the issuance of the writ.23 we stated that "[a]ny restraint which will follows: preclude freedom of action is sufficient. is that the PETITIONER DE VILLA IS NOT THE FATHER OF LEAHLYN MENDOZA. in the instant petition for habeas corpus. Petitioner-relator requested the NSRI to conduct DNA testing on the first. the writ applies "to all cases of illegal the children whose samples were tested. therefore. The ancillary remedy of a motion for samples were kept on ice. CANNOT STAND liberty is restrained via some legal process. the writ of habeas corpus cannot be used to directly assail a judgment rendered by a competent court or xxx xxx xxx tribunal which. Reynaldo de Villa. petitioner relies upon the DNA evidence gathered subsequent to of a constitutional right resulting in the restraint of a person. the propriety of the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus to release an sample given by Leahlyn Mendoza. In the recent case of Feria v. was not deprived or ousted of this jurisdiction through some anomaly in the conduct of the proceedings. petitioner invokes the remedy of the writ of habeas corpus to Institute (NSRI). or (c) an excessive penalty has Leahlyn Mendoza.21 Thus. such as when. These samples were placed in separate containers with that the 2001 conviction must be overturned. the writ of habeas corpus has very limited availability as a post-conviction remedy. If an individual's WAS SIRED AS A RESULT OF THE ALLEGED RAPE. Since this paternity is now conclusively disproved.20 unavailing. (a) there has been a deprivation In brief. BASED ON THE FACT THAT LEAHLYN movement or placed under some form of illegal restraint. he argues Reynaldo de Villa. (b) the court the trial in order to re-litigate the factual issue of the paternity of the child had no jurisdiction to impose the sentence. Concomitant to this principle. as a consequence of a judicial proceeding. petitioner argues as Villavicencio v. Lukban. those given by the grandchildren of individual already convicted and serving sentence by virtue of a final and Reynaldo de Villa. 2003. This Court is thus tasked to determine.Petitioner-relator then gathered samples from four grandchildren of the said child. and that given by Reynaldo de Villa himself.22 Issuance of the writ necessitates that a person be illegally deprived of his liberty. the writ of habeas corpus is AND MUST BE SET ASIDE. or by which the rightful custody of any person has been withheld any of the other samples.17 During transport. 25 we ruled that Considering that the issues are inter-twined. they shall be discussed review of a judgment of conviction is allowed in a petition for the issuance together. 18 The extraordinary writ of habeas corpus has long been a haven of relief for After testing. distinguishing labels and temporarily stored in a refrigerator prior to transport to the DNA Analysis Laboratory at the National Science Research In essence. of the writ of habeas corpus only in very specific instances. The executory judgment. were not made known to the DNA Analysis Laboratory. save for the sample given by under the same factual scenario. new trial is resorted to solely to allow the presentation of what is alleged to be newly-discovered evidence. A NEW TRIAL TO CONSIDER NEWLY DISCOVERED EVIDENCE IS PROPER AND MAY BE ORDERED BY THIS COURT IN VIEW OF THE RESULTS OF THE DNA TESTS CONDUCTED. the DNA Laboratory rendered a preliminary report on March those seeking liberty from any unwarranted denial of freedom of 21. the propriety of granting a new trial identities of the donors of the samples. notwithstanding its historic function as the great writ of liberty. and second. including Leahlyn's. due to the absence of a match confinement or detention by which a person has been deprived of his between the pertinent genetic markers in petitioner's sample and those of liberty. having duly acquired jurisdiction. the containers containing the saliva collaterally attack the 2001 Decision. considering been imposed. as such sentence is void as to such excess. individual seeking such relief be illegally deprived of his freedom of HIS CONVICTION FOR RAPE. Court of Appeals.19 from the person entitled thereto". Very broadly. which showed that Reynaldo de Villa could not have sired any of movement. 26 that his conviction in 2001 was based on the factual finding that he sired .

itself an equivalent test of jurisdiction. the absence of jurisdiction of the the denial of an accused's constitutional rights results in the absence or court imposing the sentence. but to function of said writ.34 the writ of habeas corpus final judgment of conviction. 30 A record must be allowed to good ground for the detention of the prisoner. That void judgment of conviction may be challenged by collateral attack. and cannot be revised. This relief is Court ruled that. if at all. as this is not the addressed. without. The writ of habeas corpus.41 It is the nullity of an assailed judgment of be used as a substitute for another.28 The reason for this is explained very simply in the case petitioner who attacks such restraint. conviction of the accused. In that case. In the early case of exist. cannot be distorted by situation. in Gumabon v. more proper remedy. In fine. and therefore invalidates the trial and the consequent imposed upon him. Director of the Bureau of Prisons.37 Although in Feria v. Court of Appeals38 this used. 31 In the past. petitioner invokes the writ of habeas corpus to assail a Thus. Where the return is not subject to of Velasco v. First. Resort to the conviction which makes it susceptible to collateral attack through the filing writ of habeas corpus is available only in the limited instances when a of a petition for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus. this Court stated the general rule that jurisdiction and habeas corpus is the appropriate remedy to assail the the writ of habeas corpus is not a writ of error. A defect so pronounced as deprivation of a constitutional right. are not correctible in a petition for the issuance of the writ habeas corpus. whereas permitting a collateral challenge Court was inclined to allow the presentation of new evidence in a petition of the jurisdiction of the court or tribunal issuing the process or judgment for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.40 we summarized the depriving the trial court of its jurisdiction over the case and the person of scope of review allowable in a petition for the issuance of the writ of the defendant. in the form and manner prescribed by law. the inquiry on a writ of habeas corpus would be in a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. which precisely is the function of habeas In fine. the court that rendered the judgment is deemed ousted of Abriol v. modified.36 this the review of findings of fact long passed upon with finality. but not the record of the case. for instance. these errors must be corrected on certiorari or designed to interrupt the orderly administration of justice. shows body. the writ can be granted even after an individual has Villa. it may thus be check on the power and authority. where it sets forth a process which. it is incumbent on remain extant. judgment is rendered by a court or tribunal devoid of jurisdiction.In this instance. the denial of a constitutional right has not been alleged by petitioner. it can be demonstrated that there was a deprivation of a Upon a perusal of the records not merely of this case but of People v. however. this Court is hard-pressed to find legal basis on which to anchor .35 Later. mere errors of fact or law. Court of Appeals. this by the attendance of a special circumstance that requires immediate Court has disallowed the review of a court's appreciation of the evidence action. In such situations. that is. and should not be thus legality of the detention.33 We have been of the court or the judge to render the order that so serves as the basis of categorical in our pronouncements that the writ of habeas corpus is not to imprisonment or detention. in general. If. The probe may thus proceed to prerogative writ which furnishes an extraordinary remedy. not to errors committed by a court within its jurisdiction. in the case of Chavez v. been meted a sentence by final judgment. we laid down the general rule. although not of habeas corpus.32 A survey of our decisions in habeas corpus cases the question of whether the proceeding or judgment under which a person demonstrates that. de constitutional right. once a deprivation of a constitutional right is shown to far outside the scope of habeas corpus proceedings. which states that the extending the inquiry to mere errors of trial courts acting squarely within burden of proving illegal restraint by the respondent rests on the their jurisdiction. which did not have the effect of In the recent case of Calvan v. invoked only under extraordinary circumstances. or that an excessive penalty has been loss of jurisdiction. Homeres.39 Clearly. apparent effect of such process. petitioner invokes the remedy of habeas corpus in order to seek corpus. altered or amended by petitioner to allege and prove new matter that tends to invalidate the the simple expedient of resort to habeas corpus proceedings. this was an exceptional by which an individual is deprived of his liberty. As such. can be invoked on appeal. providing a legal ground was held to be available where an accused was deprived of the on which to anchor his petition. We ruled that the writ of habeas corpus. we find that the remedy of the writ of habeas corpus is unavailing. on its face. the writ of habeas corpus is a high has been restrained is a complete nullity. Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals:29 a habeas corpus petition reaches the exception. petitioner alleges neither the constitutional right against self-incrimination.27 for example.

considering that he had placed "all [his] trust and petitioner did not sire Leahlyn Mendoza. this may cast the shadow of confidence on [his counsel's] unquestionable integrity and dignity. it appears that the petitioner once more relies upon that there was such negligence committed by his earlier counsel so as to erroneous legal grounds in resorting to the remedy of a motion for new . we note that the grant of child support to and inexplicably withdrew his appearance as counsel. Whether the child which the victim bore was fathered by the overcome. petitioner made an impassioned plea that his lawyer be affirmed by this Court on automatic review. was abandonment. petitioner seeks a reevaluation of the evidentiary basis for his replete with errors committed by counsel. denied the effective aid of counsel. This period of time by virtue of a petition filed in his favor. we do not. prevented from this withdrawal in a handwritten "Urgent Motion for Reconsideration and Opposition of Counsel's Withdrawal of Appearance The fact of the child's paternity is now in issue. in the case professional norms.46 For the pregnancy and resultant childbirth are irrelevant in determining whether petition to succeed. Much as this Court sympathizes with amount to a denial of a constitutional right. civil award of child support. For all intents and effective aid of counsel. 45 The proper victim Aileen Mendoza is an entirely different question. Pregnancy is not an essential element of the crime of falls within the wide range or reasonable professional assistance must be rape. at least in small explanation that he was "leaving for the United States for an indefinite measure. suddenly In the instant case. Supreme Court asserts that in judging any claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. it appears that in the middle of the appeal. and allow the acquittal of the petitioner on this basis.the grant of a writ of habeas corpus. fair trial. one must examine whether counsel's conduct It must be stressed that the issue of Leahlyn Mendoza's paternity is not undermined the proper functioning of the adversarial process to such an central to the issue of petitioner's guilt or innocence." 48In the face of this claim was given credence by the trial court. as a finding of fact. Recently. It is only tangentially related to the issue of 1999. we find that petitioner invokes the remedy of the petition for a writ We are aware that other jurisdictions have seen fit to grant the writ of of habeas corpus to seek a re-examination of the records of People v. However. In fine. not on its own. and it can be alleged that the conviction.44 petitioner seeks a new trial to re-litigate the issue of the paternity of the child Leahlyn Mendoza. the petitioner's counsel of record. and.42 In this instance."50 reasonable doubt. This relief is to show that the attorney's performance was deficient under a reasonable outside the scope of a habeas corpus petition. constitutional right of which the petitioner was unduly deprived. on the victim's claim that the petitioner fathered her child. centrally relevant to the with Leave of Court" received by this Court on September 14. There is likewise no showing petitioner's plea. and the defendant must show that the representation of People v. The United the evidence in this case. and additionally to show that the outcome of the trial would corpus must. without asserting any legal grounds therefor. 43 The purpose of the right to effective assistance of counsel is to ensure that the defendant receives a Coupled with the prayer for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. giving the sole Leahlyn Mendoza indicates that our Decision was based. Salvador.49 Petitioner alleged that his counsel's withdrawal is an "untimely and petitioner's guilt.47 purported rapist. Alberio. however. The rape of the extent that the trial did not produce a fair and just result. We are being asked to reexamine the weight and sufficiency of petitioner was. separate and measure of attorney performance is "reasonable" under the prevailing distinct from the question of the father of her child. While we are sympathetic to petitioner's plight. Alfonso G. therefore.51 we ruled that the fact or not of the victim's received fell below the objective standard of reasonableness. have been different with competent counsel. a careful scrutiny of the records does not reveal any that the proceedings were tainted with any other jurisdictional defect. at trial. the strong presumption that the counsel's conduct or not she was raped. find Be that as it may. The petition for habeas standard. The U. fail. In the case at bar. if it can be conclusively determined that the heartbreaking event". however. de habeas corpus in order to test claims that a defendant was denied Villa. or by some unknown individual. a certain Atty. but in light of the new DNA States Supreme Court requires a defendant alleging incompetent counsel evidence that the petitioner seeks to present to this Court. is of no moment in determining an individual's guilt.S. we note that the record is purposes.

we are not convinced that In the case at bar. in theory. 56 and produced at the trial and which if introduced and admitted would probably change the judgment. under the Revised Rules of Criminal In this instance. impeaching. result of the rape. by the Solicitor General. (b) that said evidence could not have been discovered and produced at the trial even with the exercise of reasonable diligence.e. his conviction could. this negligence is binding upon petitioner. or on the part of petitioner's counsel. (c) that it is material. given credence discovered evidence". that the pregnancy of the victim has never been an element of the crime of The decision sought to be reviewed in this petition for the issuance of a rape. upon an examination of claims that conviction was based solely on a finding of paternity of the the evidence presented by the petitioner. Sandoval-Gutierrez. Carpio-Morales. Austria-Martinez. and correctly so. Such evidence Criminal Procedure. the DNA evidence has failed to conclusively prove to this writ of habeas corpus has long attained finality. within fifteen (15) days the exercise of reasonable diligence. concur. was affirmed on appeal. however.trial. Lack of knowledge of the existence of DNA testing speaks of negligence. As correctly pointed out "newly-discovered evidence". Although petitioner made as far back as January 16. rights of the accused have been committed during the trial.. A motion for new trial. a motion for new trial may be filed at any time before disproving paternity could have been discovered and produced at trial with a judgment of conviction becomes final. corroborative or No costs. It is a settled rule that a party cannot blame his counsel for negligence when he himself (a) That errors of law or irregularities prejudicial to the substantial was guilty of neglect. 53 Puno. i. including the latter's mistakes and negligence. Chico-Nazario.57The Solicitor General reiterates. Our conviction was based on the clear evidence falls within the statutory or jurisprudential definition of "newly- and convincing testimonial evidence of the victim. if admitted.58 Therefore. in view of the foregoing. 55 It is likewise settled that relief will not be granted to a party who seeks to be relieved from the (b) That new and material evidence has been discovered which effects of the judgment when the loss of the remedy at law was due to his the accused could not with reasonable diligence have discovered own negligence. the DNA test subsequently conducted. JJ. . 2. is available only for a limited period of time. this is not the case. Grounds for a new trial. with Aileen Mendoza's testimony and positive identification as its bases. and for very after the trial. Azcuna. which. by the trial court. a motion for new trial is no longer an available remedy. and Garcia. either SEC. we do not find that the DNA child Leahlyn. A motion for new trial based on newly-discovered evidence may be WHEREFORE. In either on any of the following grounds: instance. not merely cumulative. that is. discovered after trial. petitioner anchors his plea on the basis of purportedly Reynaldo de Villa is entitled to outright acquittal.52 It is essential that the SO ORDERED. Under Section 1. still stand. we nonetheless find that it does not meet the criteria for limited grounds. Quisumbing. or to a mistaken mode of procedure. from its promulgation or notice.. Upon finality of the judgment. Even with all of the compelling and persuasive scientific evidence presented by petitioner and his counsel. Section 2 of Rule 121 Petitioner-relator's claim that he was "unaware" of the existence of DNA enumerates the grounds for a new trial: testing until the trial was concluded carries no weight with this Court. and entry of judgment was Court that Reynaldo de Villa should be discharged. and (d) that the evidence is of such weight that that. even if it is conclusively proven that Reynaldo de allegedly excluding petitioner from the child purportedly fathered as a Villa is not the father of Leahlyn Mendoza. 2002.54 A client is bound by the acts of his counsel. therefore. it would probably change the judgment. of the Revised Rules of "newly-discovered evidence" that would merit a new trial. Moreover.—The court shall grant a new trial on the part of petitioner. the instant petition for habeas granted only if the following requisites are met: (a) that the evidence was corpus and new trial is DISMISSED for lack of merit. Rule 121. although the DNA evidence was undoubtedly discovered Procedure. offering party exercised reasonable diligence in seeking to locate the evidence before or during trial but nonetheless failed to secure it. Tinga.

J. 93-2588. 2003 in the presence of both . 2003. and plaintiff Rodrigo Sumiran and in favor of the defendants PERALTA. Generoso Damaso as accused. J.. criminal cases were consolidated and jointly tried. SP No.00 as moral damages Respondents.. on May 19.. 2003. JJ. 162518 as follows: Petitioner. and equity. petitioner filed a the Rules of Court. 2003 and of Resolution[2] dated February 20. JR.: dated Match 4. SO ORDERED. Branch the notice of appeal for having been filed out of time. Petitioner filed a complaint for sum of money and damages with prayer for preliminary attachment (Civil Case No. J. P50. JJ. the cost of suit. 2003. praying that the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) Notice of Appeal dated May 28. .Davide. Present: WHEREFORE. J. be reversed and set aside. stating that he received a duplicate original copy of the decision on February 21. Thereafter.versus .R. 92- separate opinion. premises considered. the RTC promulgated its Decision[3] dated January 16. 2003. denying petitioner's motion for the Order dated May 9. 2003 denying his motion for reconsideration reconsideration. Sr.** As for Civil Case No. Acting Chairperson. Corona. 2004. on leave. stating instead that he received a in CA-G. 2003. dated December 22. 2003. The antecedent facts are as follows. Damaso.* insufficiency of evidence. CHICO-NAZARIO. 2003. On May 9. please see separate opinion. 2003. Respondents opposed said motion. 2009 b. 92-8157 and 92-8158 on grounds of CARPIO MORALES. judgment is hereby rendered against the NACHURA. C.. 2003. August 19. No. 22 with respondent Carpio. accused GENEROSO DAMASO is hereby ACQUITTED in Criminal Case Nos.. in the interest justice VELASCO. Upon motion of respondents. 2003. 2003. the RTC issued an Order denying petitioner’s This resolves the Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of motion for reconsideration. 2003 only on March 8. said civil and Callejo. the RTC issued an Order denying due course to respondents before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Antipolo City. G. a.R.J. 8157 and 92-8158 for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. Jr...000. please see separate concurring opinion.. joins Carpio and Callejo. and x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x c.[4] DECISION On March 6. On February 21... in their 73. Sr. on May 29. and the copy of the decision dated January 16. J. and Panganiban. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration PERALTA. emphasizing that the decision was promulgated on February 21.00 as exemplary damages. The plaintiff is further ordered to pay to the defendants the following: SPOUSES GENEROSO DAMASO and Promulgated: EVA DAMASO. P20. the dispositive portion of which reads RODRIGO SUMIRAN. Petitioner is also the private complainant in Criminal Case Nos. 93-2588) against On June 2.. 80267.000. J.

the (March 6." parties who availed themselves of the remedy of motion for Hence.” The use of the disjunctive word “or” signifies The petition deserves some consideration. It should.[7] to wit: CA. Petitioner’s motion for xxxx reconsideration of the CA Decision was denied per Resolution datedFebruary 20. Section 3 of the Revised Rules of Court which some facts that. 2003.[6] 2003. To recapitulate. days from notice of judgment or final order appealed from.parties and their counsels. 2003. this petition where it is alleged that the CA erred in ruling reconsideration are now allowed to file a notice of appeal that petitioner’s period to appeal had lapsed. if properly noticed and considered. v. the use of “or” in the As early as 2005. With from receipt of the order (the “final order”) denying his the fresh period rule. he had belatedly filed the notice of appeal when he filed decision becomes final and executory after the lapse of it ten (10) days after allegedly receiving the Order of May 9. The CA also allegedly failed to state in its decision and resolution the particular The “fresh period rule” is not inconsistent with evidence upon which the same was based. However. the Court is 15 days from notice of the “final order. A motion for reconsideration was filed by petitioner on June 20. we set aside the denial of a notice of Regional Trial Court’s decision or file it within 15 days appeal which was purportedly filed five days late. repeal and create new procedural rules in all courts. in Sumaway v. above provision supposes that the notice of appeal may be Court of Appeals[5] that by virtue of the power of the Supreme Court to filed within 15 days from the notice of judgment or within amend. Ruling that petitioner was Propitious to petitioner is Neypes v. Obviously. the CA found the petition unmeritorious and dismissed the same in its Decision dated December 22.. 3. x x x petitioner’s period within which to file an appeal had lapsed by the time the Notice of Appeal was filed on May 29. as such ruling was premised within fifteen days from the denial of that motion.” x x x. Inc. Court of bound by his judicial admission that he received the Decision of the RTC Appeals. 2003. This would standardize the The “fresh period rule” finally eradicates the appeal periods provided in the Rules and do away with the confusion as to confusion as to when the 15-day appeal period should be when the 15-day appeal period should be counted. With the advent of the "fresh period rule. the Court counted – from receipt of notice of judgment or from stated: receipt of notice of “final order” appealed from. counted from receipt of the order dismissing or denying a motion xxxx for new trial or motion for reconsideration. a party-litigant may either file his Taking our bearings from Neypes. Hence. allowing a fresh period of 15 days within which to file a notice of appeal in the RTC. as a rule. disassociation and independence of one thing from another. 2003. Section 19. otherwise. be construed in the sense which it ordinarily implies. the new 15-day period may that since petitioner had filed a motion for reconsideration on the 13 th day be availed of only if either motion is filed. but the same was denied by the RTC on October 1. and there were supposedly Rule 41. 2003 on May the original appeal period provided in Rule 41. The foregoing ruling of the Court was reiterated in Makati Insurance Petitioner then filed a petition for certiorari with the Co. the Court categorically declared in Neypes v. Thus. 2003. Inc. would justify a states that the appeal shall be taken “within fifteen (15) different conclusion. 2003). Reyes. Considering counsel for petitioner to have motion for new trial or motion for received a copy of the decision on said date of promulgation. the 15-day period within which to .. the RTC ruled reconsideration. notice of appeal within 15 days from receipt of the Urban Bank. promulgated on 14 September 2005 while the when it was promulgated on February 21. on misapprehension of facts and contradicted by evidence on record. the CA held that present Petition was already pending before us. 2004.

The “fresh period rule” is a (Emphasis supplied) procedural law as it prescribes a fresh period of 15 days within which an appeal may be made in the event that The retroactivity of the Neypes rule in cases where the period for the motion for reconsideration is appeal had lapsed prior to the date of promulgation denied by the lower court. such as the present procedure. or the general rule against the retroactive operation undetermined at the time of their of statutes. counted from character as they do not create new or remove vested receipt of the order dismissing a motion for new trial or rights. was clearly explained by the Court in Fil. . such as the The determinative issue is whether the “fresh present case. wherein we no vested rights in the rules of procedure. given retroactive effect to actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage. Ceniza. file the notice of appeal was counted from notice of the promulgated. 2005. De los Santos reaffirms these principles and Thereafter. v. we held that a party-litigant retroactive effect. Inc. case. without danger of violating anyone else’s rights. Procedural laws do not come the same principle of “fresh period rule. forms of procedure in order that courts may be able to administer In De los Santos v. Following of Neypes onSeptember 14. prescribing the manner in which the of a person who may feel that he is appropriate period for appeal is to be computed or adversely affected. therefore. can be made applicable to are no vested rights in rules of actions pending upon its effectivity. Inc. there being We followed suit in Elbiña v. in First Aqua Sugar Traders. Procedural laws statues ― they may be given retroactive do not come within the legal conception of a retroactive effect on actions pending and law. v. resolution. Sps. That question may be answered with the denial of the therein petitioner’s motion for guidance of the general rule that procedural laws may be reconsideration. The "fresh period rule" is irrefragably passage and this will not violate any right procedural. if not absurdity. insomuch as there determined and. Vda.[8] stating thus: laws. the rule on retroactivity of procedural Estate Properties. period” rule announced in Neypes could retroactively Also. Amendments applied the principle granting a fresh period of 15 days to procedural rules are procedural or remedial in within which to file the notice of appeal. Homena-Valencia. we applied justice.” expostulating within the legal conception of a that procedural law refers to the adjective law which retroactive law. the “fresh period rule” should be applied to pending actions. or the general rule prescribes rules and forms of procedure in order that against the retroactive operation of courts may be able to administer justice. de Mangubat. categorically warrants that Neypes bears the quested Bank of the Philippine Islands. but only operate in furtherance of the remedy or motion for reconsideration or any final order or confirmation of rights already existing. to deny herein petitioners apply in cases where the period for appeal had lapsed the benefit of the “fresh period rule” will prior to 14 September 2005 when Neypes was amount to injustice. to wit: may now file his notice of appeal either within fifteen days from receipt of the original decision or within fifteen days Procedural law refers to the from the receipt of the order denying the motion for adjective law which prescribes rules and reconsideration.

isDIRECTED to give due course to petitioner’s Notice of Appeal dated May 28. 2004. or only ten (10) days after receipt of the Order denying his motion for reconsideration. when he filed said notice on May 29. 2003. as compared to the notice of judgment and final order in Neypes which were issued in 1998. . are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. since the subject notice of judgment and final order were issued two years later or in the year 2000. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 2003 in Civil Case No. 2003. No costs. the Court must also apply the foregoing rulings to the present case. 2003 Order. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. SP No. dated June 2. will not. and its Order dated October 1. the petition is GRANTED. The Regional Trial Court of Antipolo City. ineluctably. 2003.R. The Order of theRegional Trial Court of Antipolo City. Branch 73. are hereby declared NULL and VOID. 93-2588. the date of petitioner’s receipt of the Order denying his motion for reconsideration of the RTC Decision − within which to file his notice of appeal. It will be incongruous and illogical that parties receiving notices of judgment and final orders issued in the year 1998 will enjoy the benefit of the “fresh period rule” while those later rulings of the lower courts such as in the instant case. 2003. his period to appeal had not yet lapsed. dated December 22. 2003. and the Resolution dated February 20. Branch 73. reiterating the June 2. SO ORDERED. Therefore. 80267.[9] Since this case was already pending in this Court at the time of promulgation of Neypes. Petitioner is entitled to a “fresh period” of 15 days − counted from May 19. then.