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RULE 119

1. Salvanera vs. People

Rimberto Salvanera, Feliciano Abutin and Domingo Tampelix were charged with conspiracy of
murder; Salvanera as the mastermind. The prosecution moved for the discharge of Abutin and
Tampelix from the information to serve as State witnesses. However, the trial court denied the
prosecution’s motion.
Thereafter, the prosecution appealed to the CA, contending that the trial court committed a grave
abuse of discretion when it denied the motion for discharge, as the testimonies of accused Abutin
and Tampelix are essential to establish that Salvenera masterminded the murder. The CA ruled
in favor of the prosecution. Hence, the appeal.
Whether the CA committed serious error when it ruled that the “substantial corroboration”
requirement under Sec. 9, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court was satisfied by the prosecution.
No. The CA did not commit an error in its judgment. In the discharge of an accused, in order
that he may be a State witness, the following condition must be present, namely:
1. Two or more accused are jointly charged with the commission of an offense;
2. The motion for discharged is filed by the prosecution before it rests its case;
3. The prosecution is required to present evidence and the sworn statement of each proposed
State witness at a hearing in support of the discharge;
4. The accused gives his consent to be a State witness; and,
5. The trial court is satisfied that:
a.) There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused;
b.) There is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense
c.) The testimony of said accused can be substantially corroborated in its material points;
d.) Said accused does not appear to be the most guilty;
e.) Said accused has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.
Moreover, the corroborative evidence required by the Rules does not have to consist of the very
same evidence as will be testified on by the proposed state witness. The rule on conspiracy is
more readily proved by the acts of a fellow criminal than by any other method. Here, Abutin and
Tampelix can testify on the criminal plan of the conspirators. Where a crime is contrived in
secret, the discharge of one of the conspirators is essential because only they have knowledge of
the crime.

2. Manguerra vs. Risos

3. Jimenez vs. People
In a motion to discharge an accused to become a state witness, it is still the trial court that
determines whether the prosecution’s preliminary assessment of the accused witness’
qualifications satisfies the procedural norms. This is a symbiotic relationship as the trial court
largely exercises its prerogative based on the prosecutor’s findings and evaluation.
Manuel A. Montero confessed his participation in the killing of Ruby Rose Barrameda naming
Manuel J. Jimenez and several others as co-conspirators. His statements detailed where the
alleged steel casing containing the body of Ruby Rose was dumped, led to the recovery of a
cadaver near the place which he pointed. Montero filed a motion for discharge as a state witness
for the prosecution, to which Jimenez opposed. The motion to discharge was granted by Judge
Zaldy B. Docena stating that the prosecution had presented clear, satisfactory and convincing
evidence showing compliance with the requisites of granting the said motion. Jimenez opposed
Judge Docena’s ruling averring that the Judge committed grave abuse of discretion in granting
the motion to discharge because:
(1)the requirements for granting a motion were not properly complied;
(2)there is no absolute necessity of the testimony of Montero;
(3)Montero’s testimony do not corroborate with the prosecution’s evidence
(4) and Montero is favored as a state witness though he appears to be the most guilty.

Did Judge Docena gravely abuse his discretion when he granted the motion to discharge Montero
as a state witness?

No. Jurisprudence has defined “grave abuse of discretion” as the capricious
and whimsical exercise of judgment as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic
manner. To resolve a motion to discharge under Section 17, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, it only require that that the testimony of the accused sought to be discharged
be substantially corroborated in its material points not on all points. A trial judge cannot be
expected or required, at the start of the trial, to inform himself with absolute certainty of
everything that may develop in the course of the trial with respect to the guilty participation of
the accused. It is still
the trial court that determines whether the prosecution’s preliminary assessment of
the accused-witness’ qualifications to be a state witness satisfies the procedural
norms. This relationship is in reality a symbiotic one as the trial court, by the very nature of its
role in the administration of justice, largely exercises its prerogative based on the prosecutor’s
findings and evaluation.

4. People vs. DeGrano

On November 28, 1991, an Information for murder was filed with the RTC against Joven de
Grano (Joven), Armando de Grano (Armando), and Estanislao Lacaba (Estanislao), together with
their co-accused Leonides Landicho (Leonides), Domingo Landicho (Domingo), and Leonardo
Genil (Leonardo), who were at-large. Duly arraigned, Joven, Armando, and Estanislao pleaded
“not guilty” to the crime as charged; while their co-accused Leonides, Leonardo, and Domingo
remained at-large. Thereafter,
respondents filed a motion for bail contending that the prosecution’s evidence was not strong.
found the accused guilty of the offenses charged. In 2004 an order was issued that modified the
previous decision, from murder the case was downgraded to homicide. However, Joven,
Armando, and Domingo was not present during promulgation. They maintained that while they
were not present during the promulgation of the RTC Decision, Estanislao, who was under police
custody, attended the promulgation. Thus according to them, when they filed their Joint Motion
for Reconsideration, which included that of Estanislao, the RTC was not deprived of its authority
to resolve the joint motion.

Whether or not RTC erred in taking cognizance of the joint motion for reconsideration despite
the absence of the other accused during the promulgation of judgment?

Yes. Section 14(2),[59] Article III of the Constitution, authorizing trials in absentia, allows the
accused to be absent at the trial but not at certain stages of the proceedings, to wit: (a) at
arraignment and plea, whether of innocence or of guilt; (b) during trial, whenever necessary for
identification purposes; and (c) at the promulgation of sentence, unless it is for a light offense, in
which case, the accused may appear by counsel or representative. At such stages of the
proceedings, his presence is required and cannot be waived. When the Decision dated April 25,
2002 was promulgated, only Estanislao Lacaba was present. Subsequently thereafter, without
surrendering and explaining the reasons for their absence, Joven, Armando, and Domingo joined
Estanislao in their Joint Motion for Reconsideration. In blatant disregard of the Rules, the RTC
not only failed to cause the arrest of the respondents who were at large, it also took cognizance
of the joint motion. The RTC clearly exceeded its jurisdiction when it entertained the joint
Motion for Reconsideration with respect to the respondents who were at large. It should have
considered the joint motion as a motion for reconsideration that was solely filed by Estanislao.
Being at large, Joven and Domingo have not regained their standing in court. Once an accused
jumps bail or flees to a foreign country, or escapes from prison or confinement, he loses his
standing in court; and unless he surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction of the court, he is
deemed to have waived any right to seek relief from the court
5. Asistio vs. People

Jocelyn Asistio y Consino was charged with violation of Section 46 of the Cooperative Code of
the Philippines (Republic Act No. [RA] 6938).

The prosecution sought to prove that the accused had entered into an exclusive dealership
agreement with Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc., (Coca Cola) for the sale of softdrink
products at the same school. The school principal then created an audit committee to look into
the financial reports of the Cooperative. Based on the documents obtained from Coca-Cola,
including the records of actual deliveries and sales, and the financial statements prepared by
Asistio, the audit committee found that Asistio defrauded the Cooperative and its members for
three (3) years. Despite requests for her to return to the Cooperative the amounts she had
allegedly misappropriated, Asistio failed and refused to do so. Thus, the Cooperative issued a
Board Resolution authorizing the filing of criminal charges against her.

Trial ensued and after the presentation and offer of evidence by the prosecution, Asistio moved
to dismiss the case by way of Demurrer to Evidence with prior leave of court. She argued,
among other matters, that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, does not have jurisdiction
over the case, as the crime charged (Violation of Section 46 of RA 6938) does not carry with it a
sanction for which she can be held criminally liable.

The RTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.


Whether or not the dismissal of the charge against the accused on demurrer to evidence amounts
to an acquittal, hence, final and unappealable.


No. The dismissal of the charge by RTC does not amount to an acquittal.

The demurrer to evidence in criminal cases, such as the one at bar, is “filed after the prosecution
had rested its case,” and when the same is granted, it calls “for an appreciation of the evidence
adduced by the prosecution and its sufficiency to warrant conviction beyond reasonable doubt,
resulting in a dismissal of the case on the merits, tantamount to an acquittal of the accused.”
Such dismissal of a criminal case by the grant of demurrer to evidence may not be appealed, for
to do so would be to place the accused in double jeopardy. The verdict being one of acquittal, the
case ends there.

In this case, however, the RTC granted the demurrer to evidence and dismissed the case not for
insufficiency of evidence, but for lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. Notably, the RTC
did not decide the case on the merits, let alone resolve the issue of Asistio’s guilt or innocence
based on the evidence proffered by the prosecution. This being the case, the RTC Order of
dismissal does not operate as an acquittal, hence, may still be subject to ordinary appeal under
Rule 41 of the Rules of Court.
6. Cabador vs. People
Public prosecutor accused Cabador before the RTC QC of murdering, in conspiracy with others,
Atty. Valerio. - After presenting only 5 witnesses over 5 years of intermittent trial, the RTC
declared at an end the prosecution’s presentation of evidence and required the prosecution to
make a written or formal offer of its documentary evidence within 15 days from notice. But the
public prosecutor asked for 3 extensions of time. The prosecution still failed to make the required
written offer. - Cabador filed a motion to dismiss, invoking his right to speedy trial. o Unknown
to him, the prosecution asked the RTC for another extension of the period for its final offer,
which offer it made on the day Cabador filed his motion to dismiss. - RTC issued an Order
treating the motion to dismiss as a demurrer to evidence. o Since Cabador filed his motion
without leave of court, the RTC declared him to have waived his right to present evidence in his
Issue: W/N Cabador’s motion to dismiss was a demurrer to evidence with the result that he
effectively waived his right to present evidence in his defense and submitted the case for
decision –
NO - The RTC and CA treated the motion as a demurrer because of a few observations he made
regarding the inadequacy of the evidence against him. - However, Cabador did not bother to do
what is so fundamental in any demurrer. o He did not state what evidence the prosecution had
against him to show in what respects such evidence failed to meet the elements of the crime
charged. o The demurrer did not touch on any particular testimony of even witness. o He cited no
documentary exhibit – he could not because he did not know that the prosecution finally made its
formal offer on the same gave he filed his motion to dismiss. - Since Cabador filed his motion to
dismiss before he could object to the prosecution’s formal offer, before the trial court could act
on the offer, and before the prosecution could rest its case, it could not be said that he had
intended his motion to dismiss to serve as a demurrer to evidence. He cannot be declared to have
waived his right to present evidence in his defense Petition granted. RTC order nullified.

7. People vs. Tan

Two separate information were filed against respondent Tan for violation of the Revised
Securities Act, when he failed to file with SEC the amount of all BWRC (Best World Resources
Corporation) shares of which he is the beneficial owner within 10 days after he became such
beneficial owner.

During the trial, petitioner made its formal offer of evidence. RTC admitted the pieces of
evidence, but denied admission of all other exhibits. Tan filed Motion for Leave to File
Demurrer to Evidence. Petitioner filed its Opposition to which Tan filed a Reply. In the end,
RTC issued an order granting Tan’s Demurrer to Evidence.

Petitioner filed a petition before the CA assailing the order of RTC which granted Tan’s motion.
CA denied, ruling that the dismissal of a criminal action by the grant of a Demurrer to Evidence
is one on the merits and operates as an acquittal, for which reason, the prosecution cannot appeal
therefrom as it would place the accused in double jeopardy.

Hence, the appeal.

Whether or not the court erred in granting Tan’s Demurrer to Evidence.


The demurrer to evidence in criminal cases, such as the one at bar, is “filed after the prosecution
had rested its case,” and when the same is granted, it calls “for an appreciation of the evidence
adduced by the prosecution and its sufficiency to warrant conviction beyond reasonable doubt,
resulting in a dismissal of the case on the merits, tantamount to an acquittal of the accused.”
Such dismissal of a criminal case by the grant of demurrer to evidence may not be appealed, for
to do so would be to place the accused in double jeopardy. The verdict being one of acquittal, the
case ends there.

The only instance when double jeopardy will not attach is when the trial court acted with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, which is not present in this case.
RTC did not violate petitioner’s right to due process as the petitioner was given more than ample
opportunity to present its case which led to grant of Tan’s demurrer. RTC never prevented
petitioner from presenting its case. In fact, one of the main reasons for the RTCs decision to
grant the demurrer was the absence of evidence to prove the classes of shares that the Best World
Resources Corporation stocks were divided into, whether there are preferred shares as well as
common shares, or even which type of shares respondent had acquired,

Petitioner argues that the RTC displayed resolute bias when it chose to grant respondents
demurrer to evidence notwithstanding that it had filed a Motion to Hold in Abeyance the
Resolution of Tan’s Demurrer to Evidence and The Prosecution’s Opposition Thereto. Petitioner
contends that instead of acting on the motion, the RTC peremptorily granted Tan’s demurrer to
evidence which prevented petitioner from its intention to file a petition to question the orders.
While it would have been ideal for the RTC to hold in abeyance the resolution of the demurrer to
evidence, nowhere in the rules, however, is it mandated to do so. Furthermore, even if this Court
were to consider the same as an error on the part of the RTC, the same would merely constitute
an error of procedure or of judgment and not an error of jurisdiction as persistently argued by

As such RTC did not abuse its discretion in the manner it conducted the proceedings of the trial,
as well as its grant of respondent’s demurrer to evidence.
8. Imperial vs. Joson
9. People vs. Sandiganbayan n/a
10. Bangayan Jr. vs. Bangayan
Sally Go-Bangayan filed a complaint for bigamy against Benjamin Bangayan and Resally
Delfin. Later, Sally learned that Benjamin, Jr. had taken Resally as his concubine whom he
subsequently married under the false name, “Benjamin Z. Sojayco.” Furthermore, Sally
discovered that on September 10, 1973, Benjamin, Jr. also married a certain Azucena
Alegre in Caloocan City. After pleading not guilty, Benjamin and Resally both filed their
motions for leave to file a demurrer to evidence.

Benjamin, Jr. filed his Demurrer to Evidence, praying that the criminal case for bigamy against
him be dismissed for failure of the prosecution to present sufficient evidence of his guilt. His
plea was anchored on two main arguments: (1) he was not legally married to Sally Go because of
the existence of his prior marriage to Azucena; and (2) the prosecution was unable to show that
he and the “Benjamin Z. Sojayco Jr.,” who married Resally, were one and the same person.
RTC dismissed the criminal case against Benjamin, Jr. and Resally for insufficiency of evidence.
Sally Go elevated the case to the CA via a petition for certiorari. The CA promulgated its
Decision granting her petition and ordering the remand of the case to the RTC for further
proceedings. The CA held that the following pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution
were sufficient to deny the demurrer to evidence: (1) the existence of three marriages of
Benjamin, Jr. to Azucena, Sally Go and Resally; (2) the letters and love notes from Resally to
Benjamin, Jr.; (3) the admission of Benjamin, Jr. as regards his marriage to Sally Go and
Azucena; and (4) Benjamin, Jr.’s admission that he and Resally were in some kind of a
relationship. CA further stated that Benjamin, Jr. was mistaken in claiming that he could not be
guilty of bigamy because his marriage to Sally Go was null and void in light of the fact that he
was already married to Azucena. A judicial declaration of nullity was required in order for him
to be able to use the nullity of his marriage as a defense in a bigamy charge.

Whether or not petitioners’ right against double jeopardy was violated by the CA when it
reversed the RTC Order dismissing the criminal case against them.
Yes, Double Jeopardy had already set-in. Even if the trial court had incorrectly overlooked the
evidence against the petitioners, it only committed an error of judgment, and not one of
jurisdiction, which could not be rectified by a petition for certiorari because double jeopardy had
already set in.
A demurrer to evidence is filed after the prosecution has rested its case and the trial court is
required to evaluate whether the evidence presented by the prosecution is sufficient enough to
warrant the conviction of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. If the court finds that the
evidence is not sufficient and grants the demurrer to evidence, such dismissal of the case is one
on the merits, which is equivalent to the acquittal of the accused. Well-established is the rule that
the Court cannot review an order granting the demurrer to evidence and acquitting the accused
on the ground of insufficiency of evidence because to do so will place the accused in double

The only instance when the accused can be barred from invoking his right against double
jeopardy is when it can be demonstrated that the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, such as where the prosecution was not allowed the
opportunity to make its case against the accused or where the trial was a sham. In this case, all
four elements of double jeopardy are doubtless present. Valid information for the crime of
bigamy was filed against the petitioners, resulting in the institution of a criminal case against
them before the proper court. They pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and
subsequently, the case was dismissed after the prosecution had rested its case.

Therefore, the CA erred in reversing the trial court’s order dismissing the case against the
petitioners because it placed them in double jeopardy. An acquittal by virtue of a demurrer to
evidence is not appealable because it will place the accused in double jeopardy. However, it may
be subject to review only by a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court showing
that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction or a denial of due process.

11.People vs. Jose Go

12. People vs. Pepino
Two men and a woman entered the office of Edward Tan at Kilton Motors Corporation in
Sucat,Parafiaque City, and pretended to be customers. When Edward was about to receive them,
one of themen, eventually identified as Pepino pulled out a gun. Thinking that it was a holdup,
Edward told Pepinothat the money was inside the cashier's box. Pepino and the other man looted
the "'cashier's box,handcuffed Edward, and forced him to go with them. The abductors then
confined Edward in an
apartment in Quezon City where they insisted on asking ransom from Edward’s father.
The exchange was performed eventually with th
e abductors and Edward’s wife Jocelyn wherein after
the exchange of money and Edward being released, the victim reported the kidnapping to
Teresita AngSee, a known anti-crime crusader.After five
months, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI!) informed Edward that they hadapprehended
some suspects, and invited him to identify them from a lineup consisting of seven persons:five
males and two females. Edward positively identified Pepino, Gomez, and one Mario Galgo.9
Jocelynlikewise identified Pepino.Pepino and Gomez did not testify for their defense. The
defense instead presented Zeny Pepino,Reynaldo Pepino who alleged that they were arrested
without a valid warrant of arrest leading to aviolation of their rights.ISSUE:Whether or not the
illegal arrest of an accused is sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgmentrendered upon a
sufficient complaint after a trial free from error.RULING:No.The Court pointed out at the outset
that Gomez did not question before arraignment the legality ofher warrantless arrest or the
acquisition of RTC's jurisdiction over her person. Thus, Gomez is deemed tohave waived any
objection to her warrantless arrest.It is settled that any objection to the procedure followed in the
matter of the acquisition by a court
of jurisdiction over the person of the accused must be opportunely raised before he enters his ple
a;otherwise, the objection is deemed waived.A]ppellant is now estopped from questioning any
defect in the manner of his arrest as he failed to movefor the quashing of the information before
the trial court. Consequently, any irregularity attendant to hisarrest was cured when he
voluntarily submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the trial court by entering aplea of "not
guilty" and by participating in the trial.At any rate, the illegal arrest of an accused is not
sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a
trial free from error.