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COUNCILOR JOB HUTT CASE

TRIAL COURT MEMORANDUM ASSIGNMENT:

MOTION TO QUASH
AND
OPPOSITON TO MOTION TO QUASH

School of Law and Governance


University of San Carlos
Cebu City, Philippines

In Partial Fulfilment of the


Requirements for the course of
LLB 136 N - Legal Writing

By
ABOCOT, DARYL - JD
ESPARTERO, RUTH - LLB

EH-306

March 26, 2018


TO: John Snow, Associate Attorney

FROM: Arya Stark, Supervising Attorney

CASE: Criminal Case No. 14344, People of the Philippines v.


Job Hutt, Cebu City, MTCC Branch 123

RE: Motion to Quash

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES


REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
7TH JUDICIAL REGION
BRANCH 666
CEBU CITY

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Plaintiff

Criminal Case No. 14344


---versus--- For: Violation of Section 8 in relation to
Section 11 of RA 6713

JOB HUTT
Accused

X----------------------------------------------------------------------------///

MOTION TO QUASH INFORMATION

Accused, Job Hutt, through counsel and unto this Honorable


Court, most humbly and respectfully files this Motion to Quash and
states that:

“Justice delayed is justice denied. This is meaningful in the


Philippines, where litigations have been known to drag for years and
even decades before they are at long last terminated.” -Justice Cruz

The office of the Ombudsman had taken an unusually a long


period of time to investigate the criminal complaint. Thus, the case
filed against Job Hutt is a violation of his constitutional right on
speedy disposition on cases guaranteed by the constitution
particularly in Section 16 of the Bill of Rights.

Although Job Hutt has already been arraigned in Cebu City,


under Rule 117 of the Rules of Court, a motion to quash is not
improper even after arraignment if the same is on ground on lack of
jurisdiction of the offense charged which is an exceptional
circumstance to the general rule. Therefore, this motion to quash is
justified.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

Our client, Councilor Job Hutt was first elected as councilor in


Barangay X in 2007. He is now a private citizen after serving for three
terms as councilor. However, he has a pending case before the
Ombudsman in 2010 filed by a concerned citizen for failure to file his
Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for the years
2008 and 2009 which is required of every public officer.

After conducting the preliminary investigation, Ombudsman-


Visayas Graft Prosecutor issued a resolution in 2011 charging
Councilor Job Hutt with violation of Section 8 in relation to Section
11 of RA 6713 otherwise known as the “Code of Conduct and Ethical
Standards for Public Officials and Employees” for non-filing of his
SALN.

Councilor Job Hutt then, through his former counsel, filed a


motion for reconsideration to the Ombudsman-Visayas resolution.
Councilor Job Hutt’s motion for reconsideration was eventually
denied in 2015, after review and approval by the Ombudsman
Central Office.
When councilor Job Hutt engaged our service this January of
2018, he has already been arraigned at one of the courts here in
Cebu City. His former counsel has suffered a heart stroke and now
incapacitated to represent the councilor. His case is now at the stage
of presentation of third witness for the prosecution.

ISSUES
I: Under Article 16 of the Bill of Rights, speedy disposition of
cases, will Councilor Job Hutt’s motion to quash prosper on ground
that there was a violation to his constitutional right because the
Ombudsman’s preliminary investigation exceeds reasonable limits?

II: Under Rule117, Section 3 of the Revised Rules of Criminal


Procedure, can the defendant still file a motion to quash even after
arraignment on ground that the court trying the case has no jurisdiction
over the offense charged?

ARGUMENTS

Issue I
Violation to the constitutional right of the accused on speedy
disposition of cases

Such long delay was inordinate and oppressive and constitutes


a violation under the constitutional right of the accused on speedy
disposition of cases.
Section 16, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, which states:
“SEC. 16. All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition
of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative
bodies.”

In the case of Coscolluela v. Sandiganbayan,1 the Supreme


Court held that the right to a speedy disposition is not a

1
Coscolluela v. Sanbiganbayan (First Division) and People of the Philippines, G.R.
No. 191411, 15 July 2013.
mathematical concept. The right to speedy disposition of cases
should be understood to be a relative or flexible concept such that a
mere mathematical reckoning of the time involved would not be
sufficient. Indeed, the defense agrees that a mere mathematical
reckoning is not sufficient to determine whether there is inordinate
delay in the preliminary investigation. The Court must therefore
consider the nature of the case and the manner or how the
preliminary investigation was conducted.

Jurisprudence dictates that the right is deemed violated only


when the proceedings are attended by vexatious, capricious, and
oppressive delays; or when unjustified postponements of the trial are
asked for and secured; or even without cause or justifiable motive, a
long period of time is allowed to elapse without the party having his
case tried.

Hence, in the determination of whether the defendant has been


denied his right to a speedy disposition of a case, the following
factors may be considered and balanced:
(1) the length of delay;
(2) the reasons for the delay;
(3) the assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused; and
(4) the prejudice caused by the delay.

In People V. Sandiganbayan,2 it is clear from that the office of


the Ombudsman had taken an unusually long period of time just to
investigate the criminal complaint and to determine whether to
criminally charge the respondents in the Sandiganbayan. Such long
delay was inordinate and oppressive, and constituted under the
respondent’s right under the Constitution to the speedy disposition
of their cases.

2
People of the Philippines v. Hon. Sandiganbayan, First Division, et al., G.R. No. 188165, 11 December
2013.
The delay in the Ombudsman’s resolution of the case of
Councilor Job Hutt largely remains unjustified. As to the
prosecution’s averment that the period of almost five years to conduct
the preliminary investigation was a reasonable time for the Office of
the Ombudsman to study, review and finalize its findings, after the
filing of a motion for consideration by of the accused is untenable.

The Ombudsman’s authority is vested by law; hence, he cannot


be divested thereof by mere claim of delay. The argument that “the
authority of the Ombudsman is not divested by the claimed delay in
filing the information as this authority is vested by law” is a reckless
reasoning that only shows that while admitting there was undue
delay in the disposition of the case, it could still proceed with its
information to charge the accused.

It must be remembered that delay in instituting prosecutions


is not only productive of expense to the State, but of peril to public
justice in the attenuation and distortion, even by mere natural lapse
of memory or of testimony. It is the policy of the law that
prosecutions should be prompt, and that statutes, enforcing such
promptitude should be vigorously maintained. They are not merely
acts of grace, but checks imposed by the State upon itself, to exact
vigilant activity from its subalterns, and to secure for criminal trials
the best evidence that can be obtained.

Therefore, Job Hutt must be acquitted from the charge against


him due to the violation of his constitutional rights, the right to
speedy disposition of cases. The right to speedy disposition of cases
by the accused was violated because of the following reasons: First,
the Ombudsman took almost 5 years handling the case before the
motion of reconsideration was denied. It comprehends that the
Ombudsman constitutes delay. Second, there was a deprivation of
the State to have a reasonable opportunity to fairly prosecute the
accused. Third, there was a failure to assert the right to speedy
disposition of case and violates the due process of law. Lastly, it is
prejudicial to right of the accused because of the unreasonable delay
of the administration of justice.

Issue II
Motion to Quash can still be raised even after arraignment

In the first issue, there is a violation of the right of the accused,


Councilor Job Hutt, to a speedy disposition of his case as provided
for under Section 16, Article III of the 1987 Constitution.

Although the prosecution may argue that the violation of a


speedy disposition of cases does not fall under the enumeration of
Section 3, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedures, the
Supreme Court has settled that it could be a ground for the dismissal
of a criminal case. Instead of constituting it as a Motion to Quash,
the Court can instead treat it as a Motion to Dismiss as cited in the
case of Coscolluela v. Sandiganbayan. 3

In the case of People vs. Ramirez 4, the court notes that violation
of the right to a speedy disposition of cases is not one of the grounds
for a motion to quash. However, jurisprudence has taught us that
rules of procedure are mere tools designed to facilitate the attainment
of justice. Thus, “Liberal Construction of Rules” has been allowed in
the following: (1) Where a rigid application will result in a manifest
failure or miscarriage of justice, especially if a party successfully
shows that the alleged defect in the questioned final and executory
judgment is not apparent on its face or from the recitals contained
therein; (2) Where the interest of substantial justice will be served;
(3) Where the resolution of the motion is addressed solely to the
sound and judicious discretion of the court; and (4) Where the
injustice to the adverse party is not commensurate with the degree
of his thoughtlessness in not complying with the procedure
prescribed.

It is apparent that the delayed caused by the Office of the


Ombudsman violated Councilor Job Hutt’s constitutional right to a

3
Coscolluela v. Sandiganbayan
4
People vs. Ramirez
speedy disposition of the case charged against him. If Section 3, Rule
117 is to be applied in its strict and rigid sense, then it will result to
a certain degree of injustice.

On the issue whether a motion to quash can still be filed after


the arraignment of the accused, Section 9 of Rule 117 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure5 states:

Sec. 9. Failure to move to quash or to allege any ground


therefore. – The failure of the accused to assert any ground of a
motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information,
either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the
same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of any objections
except those based on the grounds provided for in paragraphs (a),
(b), (g), and (i) of section 3 of this Rule.

Sec. 3. Grounds. – The accused may move to quash the


complaint or information on any of the following grounds:

(a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense;

(b) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the
offense charged;

(c) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the person
of the accused;

(d) That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do
so;

(e) That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form;

(f) That more than one offense is charged except when a single
punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law;

(g) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;

(h) That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal


excuse or justification; and

5
Section 9 and Section 3 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure
(i) That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted
of the offense charged, or the case against him was dismissed or
otherwise terminated without his express consent.

The delay of the Ombudsman in rendering of decision on the


Motion for Reconsideration filed four 5 years before the decision was
made final violated the constitutional right of Councilor Job Hutt for
a speedy disposition of cases, the Office of the Ombudsman loses the
jurisdiction to handle such case. Under Section 3 (b), Rule 117 of the
Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, this is a ground for the filing
of a motion to quash.

Therefore, Councilor Job Hutt’s right to file a Motion to Quash


even after arraignment is justified.

PRAYER

The Above Premises Considered, Accused Job Hutt


respectfully prays to the Honorable Court to quash the information
and to dismiss the criminal case charged against him.

Other just and equitable relief are likewise prayed for.

Cebu City, Philippines. March 26, 2018.

Arya Stark
Counsel for the Accused
Lord Val and Associates Law Office
Telefax: 531- 8889
PTR No. 65872653
IBP No. 113344550
Roll of Attorneys No. 0376344
MCLE Compliance No. 716255