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UNIVERSITY OF MAKATI SCHOOL OF LAW

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Dean J.V. Bautista

RULE 118 – PRE-TRIAL

Pre-trial; mandatory in criminal cases, Sec. 1


Unlike in civil cases, presence of accused not required in pre-trial in criminal
cases; parties not required to file pre-trial brief
Pre-trial order, Sec. 4
Pre-trial agreement, Sec. 2
Stipulations and admissions can be used against accused, if:
(a) reduced in writing
(b) signed by accused and counsel
Non-appearance at pre-trial conference, Sec. 3
Imposition of proper sanctions/penalties for non-appearance:
(a) counsel for accused
(b) prosecutor
Exception: where acceptable excuse is offered

RULE 127 – PROVISIONAL REMEDIES IN CRIMINAL CASES

Availability of provisional remedies, Sec. 1


Provisional Remedies: Rule 57 (Preliminary Attachment);
Rule 58 (Preliminary Injunction); Rule 59 (Receivership)
Rule 60 (Replevin); Rule 61 (Support Pendente Lite)
Available only in connection with the civil action instituted
However, preliminary injunction generally not available to restrain the criminal
action/prosecution thereof, as it is imbued with public interest
Attachment, Sec. 2
Property of accused may be attached as security for the satisfaction of judgment
that may be recovered from accused

RULE 119 – TRIAL

Order of trial, Sec. 11


1. Prosecution presents evidence to prove the charge, including civil liability
(2. Demurrer to evidence , Sec. 23)
3. Accused presents evidence to prove defense, and damages arising from
issuance of provisional remedy
4. Prosecution may present rebuttal evidence
5. Accused may present sur rebuttal evidence
6. Case deemed submitted for decision; Court may direct filing of written
memoranda
Reverse trial, where accused interposes self-defense
A.M. No. 12-8-8-SC, Judicial Affidavit Rule (January 1, 2013)
Judicial Affidavit takes the place of direct testimony of witness
Applicable in criminal actions
Time to file by the prosecution: at least 5 days from pre-trial;
by the accused: within 10 days from receipt

Discharge of accused to be state witness, Sec. 17


By motion of prosecution; before the prosecution rests its case
Requirements for discharge of accused as state witness
People v. Rodrigo, 512 SCRA 360
Discharge of accused operates as acquittal, Sec. 18
People v. Larranaga, 421 SCRA 530
Exclusion of the public, Sec. 21
(a) motu proprio by the Court or on motion by accused;
(b) if evidence will be offensive to decency or public morals;
(also, where minor will testify; confidential proceedings)

Trial in absentia
Sec. 14(2), Art. III, 1987 Constitution (Supra)

Prosecution rests after the Court rules on its Formal Offer of Evidence
Demurrer to evidence, Sec. 23
Ground: insufficiency of evidence
After the prosecution rests:
(a) Court may dismiss motu proprio, after giving prosecution opportunity to
be heard;
(b) accused may file demurrer to evidence; filing of motion; periods
All periods are non-extendible
If Demurrer to Evidence is denied by the Court
Dismissal has the effect of a judgment on the merits and operates as an acquittal
(exception to double jeopardy)
People v. City of Silay, 74 SCRA 248
Motion to Reopen, Sec. 24
At any time before finality of judgment of conviction
May also be made by Court motu proprio
Ground: to avoid a miscarriage of justice
Hearing is mandatory: Cabarles v. Maceda, 516 SCRA 303

RULE 120 – JUDGMENT

People v. Bellaflor, 233 SCRA 196


Matilde Jr. v. Jabson, 68 SCRA 456, citing U.S. v. Ocampo, 23 Phil. 396

Presence of accused is required in promulgation of judgment;


If accused fails to appear without justifiable cause during promulgation of judgment
of conviction, he loses the following remedies:
(a) filing of Motion for Reconsideration or New Trial, Rule 121
(b) appeal from the judgment of conviction, Rule 122
Within 15 days from promulgation, accused may regain his standing in Court and
avail of remedies, provided:
(a) he surrenders, Villena v. People, 641 SCRA 127 (mere filing of notice of
appeal thru new counsel cannot be considered an act of surrender)
(b) files a Motion for Leave of Court To Avail of Remedies, stating therein `
the reason/justifiable cause for his absence
Judgment may be promulgated even without presence of accused:
(a) judgment for a light offense
(b) accused fails to appear despite due notice to him/bondsman/warden/counsel
warden, or counsel
Promulgation of judgment in absentia, Sec. 6, Par. 3
Essential elements
When Judgment of conviction becomes final
Before judgment of conviction becomes final or before appeal by the accused is
perfected, said judgment may be modified (Amended Decision) upon motion by
the accused

RULE 121 – NEW TRIAL OR RECONSIDERATION

New trial or reconsideration, Sec. 1


Grounds for new trial, Sec. 2
1. Errors of law or irregularities:
2. Newly discovered evidence:
Amper v. Sandiganbayan, 279 SCRA 434
Ground for reconsideration, Sec. 3
Errors of law or fact in judgment, which requires no further proceedings
Time to file motions: At any time before judgment of conviction becomes final, viz.,
within 15 days from promulgation or notice
Form of motion and notice to the prosecutor, Sec. 4
Litigable motion (will prejudice the rights of the adverse party)
Hearing required; Three-Day Notice Rule
Effects of granting a new trial or reconsideration, Sec. 6
When new trial or reconsideration is granted, the original judgment is
set aside and vacated, and a new judgment is rendered.

RULE 122 – APPEAL

Right to appeal is not a natural right nor a part of due process; it is merely a statutory
privilege, and may be exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the
provisions of law
An appeal brings the entire case within the exclusive jurisdiction of appellate court
Appeal in a criminal case opens the whole case for review, including review of the
penalty, indemnity and damages, number and nature of offenses committed; it is a
review de novo, where the court is not limited to the assigned errors

Who may appeal, Sec 1


Both accused and prosecution may appeal in a criminal case
Limitation: where the accused will be placed in double jeopardy
Therefore, judgment of acquittal is final, non-appealable
Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. v. People, 427 SCRA 456
How appeal taken, Sec. 3
Publication of notice of appeal, Sec. 4
When appeal to be taken, Sec. 6
Reglementary period: 15 days from promulgation of judgment or from notice
of final order appealed from
Ramirez v. People, G.R. No. 197832, October 2, 2013
“Fresh Period Rule”(Neypes Doctrine: Neypes v. CA, 469 SCRA 633 (2005),
in appeals in civil cases, Sec. 3, Rule 41)
Yu v. Samson-Tatad, G.R. No. 170979, February 9, 2011
Neypes doctrine applied to appeals in criminal cases

RULE 123 – Procedure in the Municipal Trial Courts


Uniform procedure, Sec. 1
Same procedure as RTC
Exception: where governed by Rule on Summary Procedure, or
where particular provision applies only to either court
RULE 124 – Procedure in the Court of Appeals
RULE 125 – Procedure in the Supreme Court
Uniform procedure, Sec. 1
Same procedure as CA
EN BANC

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 173022


Appellee,
- versus –

DARIUS RODRIGO y FAJARDO AZCUNA,


(acquitted), FELICIANO FAJARDO, TINGA,
JR., and REY PLATA, CHICO-NAZARIO,
Appellants.

Promulgated: January 23, 2007

TINGA, J.:

FACTS: On 10 September 1996, Oliver Caparas (Oliver), then 13 years of age,


was waiting for a ride to school in Malolos, Bulacan, when four (4) men
forcibly seized and boarded him into a car. He was traveled to Baguio and then
to a resort in Pangasinan. During his stay, Lanie dela Cruz (dela Cruz), took
care of him.

The following day, Eleazar Caparas (Eleazar), the father of Oliver, received a
call from the kidnappers initially asking for P10 million ransom in exchange for
the release of Oliver.

After three (3) days of negotiation, the kidnappers agreed to lower the ransom
to P1.7 million. After receiving a call from the kidnappers, he proceeded to
follow the instructions on the drop-off. He eventually gave the money to a man
( mestizo - wearing sunglasses).

Later that night, Oliver was brought to the Petron Gas Station in Meycauayan
Highway. The kidnappers called Eleazar and Pedro Navarro (Uncle) and asked
them to go to the Petron Gas Station. Upon arriving, Pedro saw Oliver and
brought him home. He was reunited with his father after 7 days.

An investigation was conducted by the (PNP) in Malolos, Bulacan. It appears


that one of the suspects was a member of an NPA rebel returnee group headed
by Armando Rodrigo, Jr. During investigation, the dela Cruz was invited for
questioning, she admitted her participation in the kidnapping of Oliver and
implicated appellants.
An Information was filed against appellants Plata, Fajardo and Rodrigo,
together with dela Cruz, and other accused.
Four of the accused were apprehended, namely: Plata, Rodrigo, Fajardo and
dela Cruz. The trial court, upon motion of the prosecution, discharged Dela
Cruz to serve as state witness.

The RTC rendered its decision finding all appellants guilty beyond reasonable
doubt. The CA affirmed the trial court’s decision except that it acquitted
Rodrigo.

The guilt of the appellants was established beyond reasonable doubt by the
testimonies of the victim, the man who paid the ransom, and a fellow
participant to the crime, who had turned state witness for the prosecution.

Fajardo questions dela Cruz’s discharge as a state witness on the ground that
she was a co-conspirator.

ISSUE: WON the discharge of accused dela Cruz as a state witness is not
proper on the ground that she was a co-conspirator.

RULING: NO

Section 17, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court provides:

When two or more persons are jointly charged with the


commission of any offense, upon motion of the prosecution before
resting its case, the court may direct one or more of the accused to be
discharged with their consent so that they may be witnesses for the
state when, after requiring the prosecution to present evidence and
the sworn statement of each proposed state witness at a hearing in
support of the discharge, the court is satisfied that:

(a) There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused


whose discharge is requested;
(b) There is no other direct evidence available for the proper
prosecution of the offense committed, except the testimony of
said accused;
(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; and
(e) Said accused has not at any time been convicted of any
offense involving moral turpitude.

Evidence adduced in support of the discharge shall


automatically form part of the trial. If the court denies the motion for
discharge of the accused as state witness, his sworn statement shall
be inadmissible in evidence.

The power to prosecute includes the initial discretion to determine who


should be utilized by the government as a state witness. The prosecution has
gathered the evidence against the accused and is in a better position to decide
the testimonial evidence needed by the State to press its prosecution to a
successful conclusion. Under our Rules, however, it is the courts that will
finally determine whether the requirements have been satisfied to justify the
discharge of an accused to become a witness for the government.

We affirm the finding of the trial court that the testimony of dela Cruz
was an absolute necessity.

Neither does dela Cruz appear to be the most guilty of the accused. The
trial court held that dela Cruz was not privy to the kidnap plan and was merely
taken in later by the group because they suspected that she already knew too
much.

It is a jurisprudential rule that the testimony of a self-confessed


accomplice or co-conspirator imputing the blame to or implicating his co-
accused cannot, by itself and without corroboration, be regarded as proof with a
moral certainty that the latter committed or participated in the commission of
the crime. The testimony must be substantially corroborated in its material
points by unimpeachable testimony and strong circumstances and must be to
such an extent that its trustworthiness becomes manifest.[20] The testimony of
dela Cruz was substantially corroborated by no less than the victim himself,
Oliver, as well as Pedro.

The testimonies of Oliver Caparas and dela Cruz likewise jibed on a


couple of material points, the place and the duration of the victims
detention. Moreover, the testimony of dela Cruz coincides with that of Oliver
and Pedro relating to the principal occurrence and the positive identification of
appellants.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED


WITH MODIFICATION as to penalties.
EN BANC

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. Nos. 138874-75

Plaintiff-Appellee,
Promulgated:

- versus - July 21, 2005

FRANCISCO JUAN LARRAAGA


alias "PACO"; JOSMAN AZNAR;
ROWEN ADLAWAN alias
"WESLEY"; ALBERTO CAO alias
"ALLAN PAHAK"; ARIEL
BALANSAG, DAVIDSON
VALIENTE RUSIA alias "TISOY
TAGALOG"; JAMES ANTHONY UY
alias "WANGWANG"; and JAMES
ANDREW UY alias "MM",
Accused-Appellants.
x----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x

PER CURIAM:

LegalWhiz Summary

Subject: Rusia is qualified to be a state witness; Error in discharge of state witness


will not make his testimony inadmissible; Discharge as state witness has the effect
of an acquittal;

FACTS:

Rowen Adlawan alias "Wesley," Josman Aznar, Ariel Balansag, Alberto Caño alias
"Allan Pahak," Francisco Juan Larrañaga alias "Paco," James Andrew Uy alias
"MM," and James Anthony Uy alias "Wang Wang," (appellants) were convicted by
the lower court of the crimes of kidnapping and serious illegal detention of the sisters
Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong.

On the night of July 16, 1997, sisters Marijoy (a college beauty queen) and
Jacqueline Chiong, who lived in Cebu City, failed to come home on the expected
time. The following morning, a search was conducted but there was no trace of
them.

On July 18, 1997, a certain Rudy Lasaga reported to the police that a young woman
was found dead at the foot of a cliff in Tan-awan, Carcar, Cebu. Attached to her left
wrist was a handcuff. Her pants were torn, her orange t-shirt was raised up to her
breast and her bra was pulled down. Her face and neck were covered with masking
tape. It was later identified as Marijoy who was dressed in the same orange shirt and
maong pants she wore when she left home on July 16, 1997.
After almost ten months, Davison Rusia came forward and admitted before the
police having participated in the abduction of the sisters. As state witness, Rusia
testified before the trial court how the crimes were committed and identified all the
appellants as the perpetrators.

Rusia recounted that on the morning of July 16, 1997, Rowen told him to stay put at
the Ayala Mall because they would have a "big happening" in the evening. At around
10:30 pm. Rowen told him to ride with them in a white car. They stopped in front of
the waiting shed where the two girls were standing. Josman and Rowen invited
Marijoy and Jacqueline to join them but the sisters declined. Irked by the rejection,
Rowen grabbed Marijoy while Josman held Jacqueline and forced both girls to ride
in the car. Jacqueline managed to get out of the car. Josman chased her and
brought her back into the car. Not taking anymore chances, Rowen elbowed
Jacqueline on the chest and punched Marijoy on the stomach, causing both girls to
faint. Rowen asked Rusia for the packaging tape under the latter's seat and placed it
on the girls' mouths. Rowen also handcuffed them jointly. All this time, a red car was
following them.

They transferred to a white van with the white car trailing behind. The vehicles
stopped by a precipice where they drank and had a pot session. Later, they pulled
Jacqueline out of the van and told her to dance as they encircled her. She was
pushed from one end of the circle to the other, ripping her clothes in the process.
Meanwhile, Josman told Larrañaga to start raping Marijoy who was left inside the
van. The latter did and after fifteen minutes emerged from the van saying, "who
wants next?” Rowen went in, followed by James Anthony, Alberto, the driver, and
Ariel, the conductor. Each spent a few minutes inside the van and afterwards came
out smiling. Then they carried Marijoy out of the van. Rowen and Ariel led her to the
cliff and mercilessly pushed her into the ravine which was almost 150 meters deep.

Jacqueline was also brought inside the vehicle and gang raped. She was pulled out
of the van and thrown to the ground. She tried to run towards the road. The group
boarded the van, followed her and made fun of her by screaming, "run some more"
The group brought Jacqueline inside the van. Rowen beat her until she passed out.

There were other people who saw snippets of what Rusia had witnessed. They
testified that Marijoy and Jacqueline were talking to Larrañaga and Josman before
they were abducted. One saw Jacqueline alighting and running away from a white
car and that Josman went after her and grabbed her back to the car. Another
recounted that on July 17, 1997, at about 5am, he saw a white van near a cliff at
Tan-awan, and thinking that the passenger was throwing garbage at the cliff, he
wrote its plate number (GGC-491) on the side of his tricycle.

Meanwhile, the appellants raised the defense of alibi.

(a) Larrañaga, through his witnesses, sought to establish that on July 16, 1997, he
was in Quezon City taking his mid-term examinations at the Center for Culinary Arts.
They testified that they were with him at the R & R Bar on the night of July 16, 1997.
The celebration was a "despedida" for him as he was leaving the next day for Cebu.
Also, some of his neighbors at the Loyola Heights Condominium, Quezon City,
including the security guard, Salvador Boton, testified that he was in his condo unit
in the evening of July 16, 1997.

(b) James Anthony Uy testified that on July 16, 1997, he and his brother James
Andrew were at home in Cebu City because it was their father's 50th birthday. Their
mother, Marlyn Uy, corroborated his testimony and declared that when she woke up
at 2:00 o'clock in the morning to check on her sons, she found them sleeping in their
bedrooms.
(c) Josman's friends testified that , on July 16, 1997, he was with them drinking Blue
Label at his house in Cebu. They stayed at Josman's house until 11pm in the
evening. Thereafter, they proceeded to BAI Disco where they drank beer and
socialized with old friends. They went home together at about 3:00 o'clock in the
morning.

The trial court allowed the prosecution to present Rusia as its witness. The defense
lawyers cross-examined him but Judge Ocampo provisionally terminated the cross-
examination due to the report that there was an attempt to bribe him and because of
his deteriorating health. The defense counsels withdrew from the case and the
appellants were represented by PAO lawyers instead.

On November 12, 1998, the trial court issued an omnibus order granting the
prosecution's motion discharging Rusia as an accused and according him the status
of a state witness.

On May 5, 1999, the trial court rendered its decision convicting the appellants of
kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

Hence, the present appeals. Appellants' assignments of error converge on four


points: (1) violation of their right to due process; (2) the improper discharge of Rusia
as an accused to be a state witness; (3) the insufficiency of the evidence of the
prosecution; and (4) the trial court's disregard and rejection of the evidence for the
defense.

RULING:

II. Discharge of Rusia as State Witness

Rusia is qualified to be a state witness

18. Appellants argue that Rusia is not qualified to be a state witness under
paragraphs (d) and (e) of Section 9, Rule 119 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal
Procedure.

19. Appellants were charged with kidnapping and illegal detention, Thus, Rusia's
admission that he raped Jacqueline does not make him the "most guilty" of the
crimes charged. Moreover, far from being the mastermind, his participation, as
shown by the chronology of events, was limited to that of an oblivious follower who
simply "joined the ride" as the commission of the crimes progressed. It may be
recalled that he joined the group upon Rowen's promise that there would be a "big
happening" on the night of July 16, 1997. All along, he thought the "big happening"
was just another "group partying or scrounging." In other words, he had no inkling
then of appellants' plan to kidnap and detain the Chiong sisters. Rusia retained his
passive stance as Rowen and Josman grabbed Marijoy and Jacqueline at the
waiting shed of Ayala Center. He just remained seated beside the driver's seat, not
aiding Rowen and Josman in abducting the Chiong sisters. When Jacqueline
attempted to escape, it was Josman who chased her and not Rusia. Inside the car, it
was Rowen who punched and handcuffed the Chiong sisters. At the safehouse of
the "Josman Aznar Group," Rusia stayed at the living room while Larrañaga, James
Anthony, Rowen, and Josman molested Marijoy and Jacqueline on separate rooms.
At Tan-awan, it was Josman who ordered Rowen and Ariel to pushed Marijoy into
the deep ravine. And Rusia did not even know what ultimately happened to
Jacqueline as he was the first to leave the group. Clearly, the extent of Rusia's
participation in the crimes charged does not make him the "most guilty."
Error in discharge of state witness will not make his testimony inadmissible

20. The fact that Rusia was convicted of third degree burglary in Minessotta does
not render his testimony inadmissible. In People vs. De Guzman, we held that
although the trial court may have erred in discharging the accused, such error would
not affect the competency and the quality of the testimony of the defendant. Even if
the discharged state witness should lack some of the qualifications enumerated by
Section 9, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court, his testimony will not, for that reason
alone, be discarded or disregarded.

21. More importantly, what makes Rusia's testimony worthy of belief is the marked
compatibility between such testimony and the physical evidence. Physical evidence
is an evidence of the highest order. It speaks eloquently than a hundred witnesses.
The presence of Marijoy's ravished body in a deep ravine at Tan-awan, Carcar with
tape on her mouth and handcuffs on her wrists certainly bolstered Rusia's testimony
on what actually took place from Ayala Center to Tan-awan. Indeed, the details he
supplied to the trial court were of such nature and quality that only a witness who
actually saw the commission of the crimes could furnish. What is more, his testimony
was corroborated by several other witnesses who saw incidents of what he narrated.
Discharge as state witness has the effect of an acquittal

22. Rusia's discharge has the effect of an acquittal. We are not inclined to recall
such discharge lest he will be placed in double jeopardy. Parenthetically, the order
for his discharge may only be recalled in one instance, which is when he
subsequently failed to testify against his co-accused. The fact that not all the
requisites for his discharge are present is not a ground to recall the discharge order.
Unless and until it is shown that the he failed or refused to testify against his co-
accused, subsequent proof showing that any or all of the conditions listed in Sec. 9
of Rule 119 were not fulfilled would not wipe away the resulting acquittal.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

FIRST DIVISION

G.R. No. L-43790 December 9, 1976

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,


vs.
THE CITY COURT OF SILAY, ERNESTO DE LA PAZ, PACIFICO SENECIO, JR. y SEBUSA, ROMEO
MILLAN y DELEJERO and WILFREDO JOCHICO y MAGALONA, respondents.

MUÑOZ PALMA, J.:

FACTS: Ernesto de la Paz, et al., did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously alter or falsify the
sugar cane weight report card or "tarjeta",mby increasing the total actual weight of 22.005 tons to 27.160
tons of sugar cane. Thereafter, a falsification by private individuals and use of falsified document" was
charged against Ernesto de la Paz, et al.,
After the prosecution had presented its evidence and rested its case, private respondents moved to
dismiss the charge against them on the ground that the evidence presented was not sufficient to establish
their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Acting on this motion, respondent court issued its order of December
19, 1975, dismissing the case. Hence, this petition.

In their comment on this Petition, private respondents claim that there was no error committed by
respondent court in dismissing the case against them for insufficiency of evidence and that for this Court to
grant the present petition would place said respondents in double jeopardy.

On the other hand, the People asserts that the plea of double jeopardy is not tenable inasmuch as the case
was dismissed upon motion of the accused, and the dismissal having been made with their consent, they
waived their defense of double jeopardy, citing various cases in support thereof.

ISSUE: WON the plea of double jeopardy is not tenable inasmuch as the case was dismissed upon motion
of the accused.

RULING: NO.

It is true that the criminal case of falsification was dismissed on motion of the accused; however, this was
a motion filed after the prosecution had rested its case, calling for an appreciation of the evidence adduced
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.

In the case of the herein respondents, however, the dismissal of the charge against them was one on the
merits of the case which is to be distinguished from other dismissals at the instance of the accused. All the
elements of double jeopardy are here present, to wit: (1) a valid information sufficient in form and
substance to sustain a conviction of the crime charged, (2) a court of competent jurisdiction, and (3) an
unconditional dismissal of the complaint after the prosecution had rested its case, amounting to the
acquittal of the accused. The dismissal being one on the merits, the doctrine of waiver of the accused to a
plea of double jeopardy cannot be invoked.

It is clear to Us that the dismissal of the criminal case against the private respondents was erroneous.

However erroneous the order of respondent Court is, and although a miscarriage of justice resulted from
said order, such error cannot now be righted because of the timely plea of double jeopardy.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, We are constrained to DISMISS this Petition of the People. Without
pronouncement as to costs. Let copy of this Decision be entered in the personal file of Judge Reynaldo
Alon.
SECOND DIVISION

RENE CABARLES, G.R. No. 161330


Petitioner, Present:

- versus -
HON. JUDGE BONIFACIO SANZ Promulgated:
MACEDA AND PEOPLE OF
THE PHILIPPINES, February 20, 2007
Respondents.

DECISION

QUISUMBING, J.:

FACTS:

On June 18, 1999, Cabarles was charged with murder

Through no fault of its own, the prosecution was unable to present its evidence
on the first four hearing dates.

When the case was called on June 27, 2001, the prosecution failed to present a
witness. Neither Pedrosa nor Dr. Salen appeared during the said hearing.

With no witness for the August 1, 2001 hearing, the prosecution rested its case
and formally offered its evidence.

Thereafter, Cabarles, with leave of court, filed a demurrer to evidence but it was
denied by Judge Maceda. Two witnesses were called for the defense.

A day before the scheduled promulgation of judgment on April 2, 2003, Judge


Maceda motu proprio issued the questioned order reopening the case.

According to Judge Maceda, since the prosecution was not able to present its
evidence on the first four hearing dates and there was either no return on the
subpoenas subsequently issued or there was no subpoena issued at all to
Pedrosa and Dr. Salen, the prosecution should have been given a last chance to
present the alleged eyewitness and the doctor.

Judge Maceda denied Cabarless motion for reconsideration and set the case for
hearing on May 8, 2003 to hear the testimonies of Pedrosa and Dr. Salen.

On August 9, 2004, Judge Maceda deferred the promulgation of judgment and


ordered the case archived pending this Courts resolution of the case.
A few days thereafter, Cabarles filed the present petition questioning Judge
Macedas order, alleging that it was issued with grave abuse of discretion.

Cabarles argues that a case may only be reopened after a judgment of conviction has
been made but before its finality, as provided in Section 24,[23] Rule 119 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

For Judge Maceda, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) contends that
Section 24 is a new provision which merely formalized the long accepted
practice of judges of reopening a case to avoid a miscarriage of justice. This
being the case, jurisprudence providing that a judge has the discretion to reopen
a case even before promulgation of judgment still holds.

ISSUES:

1) WON the respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion in


issuing motu proprio an Order reopening the case, before judgment was
rendered
2) Whether petitioners right to due process and speedy disposition of his
case was violated

RULING:

1) YES. After a thorough consideration of the submissions by the parties, we


find that the petition is meritorious.

The April 1, 2003 Order was issued under the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure. Section 24, Rule 119 and existing jurisprudence stress the following
requirements for reopening a case: (1) the reopening must be before the finality
of a judgment of conviction; (2) the order is issued by the judge on his own
initiative or upon motion; (3) the order is issued only after a hearing is
conducted; (4) the order intends to prevent a miscarriage of justice; and (5) the
presentation of additional and/or further evidence should be terminated within
thirty days from the issuance of the order.

A motion to reopen may properly be presented only after either or both parties
had formally offered and closed their evidence, but before judgment is
rendered, and even after promulgation but before finality of judgment and the
only controlling guideline governing a motion to reopen is the paramount
interest of justice. This remedy of reopening a case was meant to prevent a
miscarriage of justice.

However, while Judge Maceda is allowed to reopen the case before


judgment is rendered, Section 24 requires that a hearing must first be
conducted. Judge Maceda issued the April 1, 2003 Order without notice and
hearing and without giving the prosecution and accused an opportunity to
manifest their position on the matter. This failure, to our mind, constitutes grave
abuse of discretion and goes against the due process clause of the Constitution
which requires notice and opportunity to be heard.[30] The issuance of the said
order, without the benefit of a hearing, is contrary to the express language of
Section 24, Rule 119.

2) No. Although a discussion on the right to speedy disposition of the case is


mooted by our nullification of Judge Macedas April 1, 2003 Order as having
been issued with grave abuse of discretion, we are constrained to reiterate that
the concept of speedy disposition is relative or flexible. A mere mathematical
reckoning of the time involved is not sufficient. Particular regard must be taken
of the facts and circumstances peculiar to each case.[37] The right to a speedy
disposition of a case, like the right to speedy trial, is deemed violated only when
the proceeding is attended by vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays; or
when unjustified postponements of the trial are asked for and secured; or when
without cause or justifiable motive, a long period of time is allowed to elapse
without the party having his case tried.[38]

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. We hold that the assailed


Order dated April 1, 2003 was issued with grave abuse of discretion. Said Order
is hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 103275 June 15, 1994

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,


vs.
HONORABLE RODOLFO M. BELLAFLOR, Assisting Judge, Branch 28, Regional Trial Court,
Mandaue City, and REUBEN ALBAÑO, respondents.

BIDIN, J.:

FACTS:

Private respondent Reuben Albaño was charged with the crime of arson before the Regional Trial Court of
Mandaue City.

On March 13, 1991, respondent judge Rodolfo M. Bellaflor was assigned as replacement of Judge Fortun
as assisting judge of the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue, wherein the criminal case against private
respondent was pending.

On May 3, 1991, Judge Fortun, while on temporary assignment to a court of equal jurisdiction in Manila,
promulgated his decision dated February 6, 1991, convicting private respondent of the crime of arson.

On May 9, 1991 private respondent moved for the reconsideration of the said decision.
On June 26, 1991, respondent judge Bellaflor granted private respondent's motion for reconsideration and
acquitted the latter of the crime. In the same resolution, the decision rendered by Judge Fortun was
declared null and void for having been promulgated after said judge had vacated his office and after being
assigned to the Office of the Court Administrator in Manila.

Petitioner claims that respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion in granting the motion for
reconsideration of private respondent and acquitting the latter. On the other hand, private respondent
argues that the resolution acquitting him of the offense charged has become final and executory and a
reconsideration thereof would place him under double jeopardy.

Coming now to the main issue, petitioner claims that Section 9, Rule 135 of the Rules of Court allows the
promulgation of a judgment by a judge who has been transferred or assigned to another court of equal
jurisdiction. In this regard, it is the submission of petitioner that even though Judge Fortun had been
assigned to the Office of the Court Administrator in Manila, he still retained the position of judge of the
Regional Trial Court. It is petitioner's contention that this is all that is required for a judge who has been re-
assigned and transferred to a court of equal jurisdiction to be able to prepare and sign a decision in a case
totally heard by him and which was argued prior to such transfer or reassignment

ISSUES:

1) WON the resolution acquitting accused of the offense charged has become final and executory and
reconsideration thereof would place him under double jeopardy

2) WON Judge Fortun still possesses the judicial authority and competence to decide a case fully heard by
him and to promulgate a decision thereon while on temporary assignment to a court of equal jurisdiction,
thus his Decision is valid.

RULINGS:

1) NO. Generally, protection against double jeopardy is not available where the dismissal of the case was
effected at the instance of the accused. And there are only two instances where double jeopardy will attach
notwithstanding the fact the case was dismissed with the express consent of the accused. The first is
where the ground for the dismissal is insufficiency of the evidence for the prosecution and the second is
where the criminal proceedings have been unreasonably prolonged in violation of the accused's right to
speedy trial (People v. Quizada, 160 SCRA 516 [1988]). None exists in the case at bar.

Also, granting, ex gratia argumenti, that the decision of Judge Fortun was not validly promulgated, such
invalidity, per se, does not necessarily operate for the acquittal of the accused.

2) YES..

There is merit in the above submission. Section 9 of Rule 135 of the Rules of Court provides that:

Sec. 9. Signing judgment out of the province. — Whenever a judge appointed or assigned
in any province or branch of a Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) in a
province shall leave the province by transfer or assignment to another court of equal
jurisdiction, or by expiration of his temporary assignment, without having decided a case
totally heard by him and which was argued or an opportunity given for argument to the
parties or their counsel, it shall be lawful for him to prepare and sign his decision in said
case anywhere within the Philippines. He shall send the same by registered mail to the
clerk of the court where the case was heard or argued to be filed therein as of the date
when the same was received by the clerk, in the same manner as if he had been present
in court to direct the filing of the judgment. If the case has been heard only in part, the
Supreme Court, upon petition of any of the parties to the case and the recommendation of
the respective district judge, may also authorize the judge who has partly heard the case,
if no other judge had heard the case in part, to continue hearing and to decide said case
notwithstanding his transfer or appointment to another court of equal jurisdiction.
(Emphasis supplied)

From the above provision, it is clear that the signing or writing of an order or judgment outside the territorial
jurisdiction of the court wherein the case is pending is authorized only when the judge leaves the province
"by transfer or assignment to another court of equal jurisdiction" or by "expiration of his temporary
assignment".
Thus, decisions promulgated after the judge who penned the same had been appointed to and qualified in
another office are null and void (Lino Luna v. Rodriguez, 37 Phil. 186 [1917]). It is settled that to be binding
a judgment must be duly signed and promulgated during the incumbency of the judge whose signature
appears thereon (Jimenez vs. Republic, 22 SCRA 622 [1968], Jandayan vs. Ruiz, 95 SCRA 563 [1980]). In
single courts like the regional trial courts and the municipal trial courts, a decision may no longer be
promulgated after the ponente has vacated his office (Consolidated Bank and Trust Co. vs. IAC, 189
SCRA 433 [1990]).

HOWEVER, in the case of Judge Fortun's assignment, however, he was merely transferred from the
Regional Trial Court of Mandaue to act as Assisting judge of another Regional Trial Court, specifically RTC
Br. 27, NCJR, Manila. Judge Fortun did not vacate his office as judge of a Regional Trial Court which
would have otherwise nullified his decision rendered in Criminal Case No. DU-1805. On the contrary,
Judge Fortun was merely temporarily assigned to a court of equal jurisdiction, during which time the
decision convicting private respondent was promulgated. Under Section 9, Rule 35 of the Rules of Court,
Judge Fortun still possessed the judicial authority and competence to decide a case fully heard by him and
to promulgate a decision thereon while on temporary assignment to a court of equal jurisdiction in Manila.

In view of the foregoing, we hold that respondent Judge Bellaflor committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction in nullifying the decision rendered by Judge Fortun.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. L-38392 December 29, 1975

CRISANTO MATILDE, JR. Y CRUZ, petitioner,


vs.
HON. RAMON B. JABSON, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch XXVI of the Court of First
Instance of Rizal and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.

ANTONIO, J.:p

FACTS:

Accused and others being then laborers working at the Markes Agro-Chemical Enterprises, stole and
carried away ten (18) boxes of Insecticide.

On December 14, 1973, an Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Rizal filed three (3) informations uniformly stated
that said accused were charged with the crime of qualified theft, in relation to Presidential Decree No. 133.

It appears that the informations were amended twice — the first, on the value of the article involved, and
the second, on the nature and character of the offense, changing it from "qualified theft" to "simple theft" by
deleting therefrom the phrase "with grave abuse of confidence". In view of said amendments, petitioner
withdrew his previous plea of not guilty to the afore-mentioned amended informations.

On February 18, 1974, respondent court promulgated its judgment, convicting the accused of simple theft
in relation to P.D. 133.

Petitioner sought from the court a quo a reconsideration of its judgment, contending that in the absence of
any allegation in the body of the information alleging specifically all the elements of the offense defined and
penalized under Presidential Decree No. 133, he cannot be convicted and penalized under the aforesaid
decree. This was, however, denied by said court on March 5, 1974, hence, petitioner instituted the present
petition.

ISSUE: Whether on the basis of the averments of the afore-mentioned informations, the respondent court
can validly impose upon petitioner the penalty prescribed by Presidential Decree No. 133.
RULING: NO.

The Constitution guarantees that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation against him.

Concommitant with the foregoing is the rule "that an accused person cannot be convicted of a higher
offense than that with which he is charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried. It matters
not how conclusive and convincing the evidence of guilt may be, an accused person cannot be convicted in
the Courts of these Islands of any offense, unless it is charged in the complaint or information on which he
is tried, or necessarily included therein. He has a right to be informed as to the nature of the offense with
which he is charged before he is put on trial, and to convict him of a higher offense than that charged in the
complaint or information on which he is tried would be an authorized denial of that right."8

The informations in these cases charge the accused simply with the crime of theft. Thus, while alleging that
the accused were laborers working in the Markers Agro-Chemical Enterprises, these informations charge
them with having conspired and confederated with one Renato Matuto, and having mutually aided one
another, with intent of gain and without the knowledge and consent of said Company, in taking stealing and
carrying away the articles mentioned therein belonging to said Company. Nowhere is it alleged in the body
of the afore-mentioned informations that the articles stolen were materials or products which the accused-
petitioner was "working on or using or producing" as employee or laborer of the complainant. The clear
import of Presidential Decree No. 133 on the basis of its recitals is to eradicate "graft and corruption in
society, and promote the economic and social welfare of the people" by placing a strong deterrent on
workers and laborers from sabotaging the productive efforts of the industry where they are employed,
through the imposition of heavier penalties for the theft of "any material, spare part, product, or article that
he is working on, using or producing." It is obvious that the averment of those facts in the body of the
complaint or information is essential and necessary to qualify the offense and to justify the imposition of the
heavier penalty prescribed by Presidential Decree No. 133.

It is true that in the preamble of the aforesaid informations, the petitioner is charged with the crime of
simple theft "in relation to Presidential Decree No. 133". This is, however, insufficient for the purpose
envisioned by the afore-mentioned constitutional guarantee, considering that it is well-settled that the real
nature of the criminal charge is determined not from the caption or preamble of the information nor from the
specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, they being conclusions of law, but by the
actual recital of facts in the complaint or information.

ACCORDINGLY, the writ of certiorari is granted and the questioned judgment should be, as it is hereby set
aside and another one should be rendered in accordance with the foregoing. No pronouncement as to
costs.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-5527 December 22, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
MARTIN OCAMPO, TEODORO M. KALAW, LOPE K. SANTOS, FIDEL A. REYES, and FAUSTINO
AGUILAR,defendants-appellants.

JOHNSON, J.:
Case Digest from Kelvin

FACTS:

On November 5, 1908, an information was filed in the court of first instance of the city of
Manila, charging plaintiffs in error, with others, as editors, proprietors, owners, directors,
writers, managers, administrators, printers, and publishers of the newspaper 'El
Renacimiento,' with publishing in that city a libel against Dean C. Worcester, then a member
of the Philippine Commission. The information was subscribed and sworn to by the acting
prosecuting attorney, and appended to it, and likewise sworn to by him, was the following
declaration: 'A preliminary investigation has been conducted under my direction, having
examined the witnesses under oath, in accordance with the provisions of § 39 of act 183
(Manila charter), as amended by § 2 of act 612 of the Philippine Commission.' Both
affidavits were made before the judge of the court of first instance, who thereupon issued
warrants of arrest, pursuant to which the parties accused were on the same day brought
before the court. The information was read to them, and the court allowed them until
November 7th to answer. Their attorney, being present, asked that they be furnished with a
copy of the information, which request was granted, and a copy was delivered to each of the
accused. Thereafter, and on November 7th, before entering any demurrer or answer, they
moved to vacate the order of arrest, upon the ground that it was made without any
preliminary investigation held by the court, and without any tribunal, was probable cause to
believe the defendants having first determined that the alleged crime had been committed,
and that there was probable cause to believe the defendants guilty of it.

ISSUE: Whether or not the arrest of defendants-appellants' arrest was without a preliminary
finding of probable cause, and therefore in violation of rights secured to them by the
Philippine Bill of Rights

HELD: No. The provision that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by
oath or affirmation is a provision in the Philippine Bill. The question whether "probable
cause" exist or not must depend upon the judgment and discretion of the judge or magistrate
issuing the warrant. It does not mean that particular facts must exist in each particular case. It
simply means that sufficient facts must be presented to the judge or magistrate issuing the
warrant to convince him, not that the particular person has committed the crime, but that
there is probable cause for believing that the person whose arrest is sought committed the
crime charged. No rule can be laid down which will govern the discretion of the court in this
matter. If he decides, upon the proof presented, that probable cause exist, no objection can be
made upon constitutional grounds against the issuance of the warrant. His conclusion as to
whether "probable cause" existed or not is final and conclusive. If he is satisfied that
"probable cause" exist from the facts stated in the complaint, made upon the investigation by
the prosecuting attorney, then his conclusion is sufficient upon which to issue the warrant for
arrest. He may, however, if he is not satisfied, call such witnesses as he may deem necessary
before issuing the warrant. The issuance of the warrant of arrest is prima facie evidence that,
in his judgment at least, there existed "probable cause" for believing that the person against
whom the warrant is issued is guilty of the crime charged. There is no law which prohibits
him from reaching the conclusion that "probable cause" exist from the statement of the
prosecuting attorney alone, or any other person whose statement or affidavit is entitled to
credit in the opinion of the judge or magistrate.

***Ocampo v. US (different opinion regarding probable cause on the same case, in case
itanong ni dean)

It is insisted that the finding of probable cause is a judicial act, and cannot properly be
delegated to a prosecuting attorney. We think, however, that it is erroneous to regard this
function, as performed by committing magistrates generally, or under General Orders, No.
58, as being judicial in the proper sense. There is no definite adjudication. A finding that
there is no probable cause is not equivalent to an acquittal, but only entitles the accused to his
liberty for the present, leaving him subject to rearrest. It is expressly so provided by § 14 of
General Orders, No. 58, as it is by § 2 of act 194, above quoted. Such was the nature of the
duty of a committing magistrate in the common-law practice. In short, the function of
determining that probable cause exists for the arrest of a person accused is only quasi
judicial, and not such that, because of its nature, it must necessarily be confided to a strictly
judicial officer or tribunal. By § 9 of the act of July 1, 1902 (32 Stat. at L. 695, chap. 1369),
Congress enacted: 'That the supreme court and the courts of first instance of the Philippine
Islands shall possess and exercise jurisdiction as heretofore provided and such additional
jurisdiction as shall hereafter be prescribed by the government of said Islands, subject to the
power of said government to change the practice and method of procedure. The municipal
courts of said Islands shall possess and exercise jurisdiction as heretofore provided by the
Philippine Commission subject in all matters to such alteration and amendment as may be
hereafter enacted by law;' etc. Here we find clear warrant for modifications of the practice
and procedure; and since § 5 of the same act (quoted above) does not prescribe how 'probable
cause' shall be determined, it is, in our opinion, as permissible for the local legislature to
confide this duty to a prosecuting officer as to intrust it to a justice of the peace.
Consequently, a preliminary investigation conducted by the prosecuting attorney of the city
of Manila, under act No. 612, and upon which he files a sworn information against the party
accused, is a sufficient compliance with the requirement 'that no warrant shall issue but upon
probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.
SECOND DIVISION

EDWARD GARRICK VILLENA and G.R. No. 184091


PERCIVAL DOROJA,
Petitioners, .

- versus - Promulgated:

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, January 31, 2011


NOMAR B. DEGERON, CHRISTIAN
DANDAN, and ELIZABETH BORCELIS,
Respondents.

NACHURA, J.:

FACTS:

P/Insp. Edward Garrick Villena and Police Officer 1 PO1 Percival Doroja,
together with several other persons were indicted for the crime of robbery
(extortion) before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Las Pias City.

Petitioners failed to appear before the trial court to adduce evidence in their
defense.

On August 29, 2007, the RTC rendered its decision convicting petitioners.

During the promulgation of judgment, petitioners again failed to appear despite


proper notices. In the absence of petitioners, the promulgation was made
pursuant to paragraphs 4 and 5, Section 6, Rule 120 of the Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure .Consequently, the RTC issued warrants of arrest against
them.

On October 11, 2007, petitioners, through their new counsel, Atty. William F.
delos Santos, filed their separate notices of appeal before the RTC. In the said
notices, they explained that they failed to attend the promulgation of judgment
because they did not receive any notice thereof because they were transferred to
another police station.

In the Order dated November 20, 2007, the RTC denied due course to
petitioners notices of appeal

Petitioners filed a joint Motion for Reconsideration but was denied.


Aggrieved, petitioners filed a petition[13] for certiorari, prohibition, and
mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court before the CA. The CA
nevertheless resolved to deny the same for failure to show prima facie evidence
of any grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC.

ISSUE: WON the RTC acted grave abuse of discretion for denying the
petitioners’ notices of appeal.

RULING: NO

The petition is without merit.

While it is true that an appeal is perfected upon the mere filing of a notice of
appeal and that the trial court thereupon loses jurisdiction over the case, this
principle presupposes that the party filing the notice of appeal could validly
avail of the remedy of appeal and had not lost standing in court. In this case,
petitioners have lost their standing in court by their unjustified failure to appear
during the trial and, more importantly, during the promulgation of judgment of
conviction, and to surrender to the jurisdiction of the RTC.

An accused who failed to appear at the promulgation of the judgment of


conviction shall lose the remedies available under the Rules of Court against the
judgment(a) the filing of a motion for new trial or reconsideration (Rule 121),
and (b) an appeal from the judgment of conviction (Rule 122). However, the
Rules allow the accused to regain his standing in court in order to avail of these
remedies by: (a) his surrender, and (b) his filing of a motion for leave of court
to avail of these remedies, stating therein the reasons for his absence, within 15
days from the date of promulgation of judgment. If the trial court finds that his
absence was for a justifiable cause, the accused shall be allowed to avail of the
said remedies within 15 days from notice or order finding his absence justified
and allowing him the available remedies against the judgment of conviction.

Thus, petitioners mere filing of notices of appeal through their new counsel,
therein only explaining their absence during the promulgation of judgment,
cannot be considered an act of surrender, despite the fact that said notices were
filed within 15 days from September 28, 2007.

The term surrender under Section 6, Rule 120 of the Rules of Court
contemplates an act whereby a convicted accused physically and
voluntarily submits himself to the jurisdiction of the court to suffer the
consequences of the verdict against him. The filing of notices of appeal
cannot suffice as a physical and voluntary submission of petitioners to the
RTCs jurisdiction. It is only upon petitioners valid surrender, and only after
proper motion, that they can avail of the remedy of appeal. Absent compliance
with these requirements, their notices of appeal, the initiatory step to appeal
from their conviction, were properly denied due course.
Even if petitioners notices of appeal were given due course, the CA would only
be constrained to dismiss their appeal. This is because petitioners, who had
standing warrants of arrest but did not move to have them lifted, are considered
fugitives from justice. Since it is safe to assume that they were out on bail
during trial, petitioners were deemed to have jumped bail when they failed to
appear at the promulgation of their sentence. This is a ground for dismissal of
an appeal under Section 8, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court.

What is more, the judgment of conviction against petitioners had already


acquired finality. Under Section 6, Rule 120 of the Rules of Court, they had
only 15 days from the date of promulgation of judgment within which to
surrender and to file the required motion for leave of court to avail of the
remedies against the judgment. As the judgment was promulgated on
September 3, 2007, petitioners had only until September 18, 2007 to comply
with the mandatory requirements of the said rule
.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

[G.R. No. 120391. September 24, 1997]

SIMPLICIO AMPER, petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN and PEOPLE


OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.

DECISION
FRANCISCO, J.:

The petitioner, SIMPLICIO AMPER, was charged with the violation of Section 3(e) of
Republic Act No. 3019 otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

On August 7, 1988, accused, a public officer, being then the Assistant City Engineer of
Davao City, taking advantage of his official position, used for his personal benefit and
advantage, to treasure hunt gold, one (1) unit Allis Backhoe, belonging to the City
Government of Davao, without the knowledge, consent and authority from the latter.

Around 2:15 in the morning of, Mayor Duterte arrived, together with several policemen, and
surprised petitioner and his companions who were still in the act of excavating the
area. However, before the Mayor could actually order their arrest, some of petitioners
companions scampered, leaving only petitioner, Porta and Borongan

Duterte ordered one of the members of the Civil Security Unit to pick up petitione. Mayor
Duterte confronted petitioner and shortly thereafter, ordered petitioner, Porta and Borongan
to follow him to the Tolomo Police Station.

The petitioner denied the allegations against him and asserted that contrary to Mayor
Dutertes claim that the use of the subject backhoe was unauthorized, the same was in fact
officially leased by the Davao City government to F.T. Chavez Construction, thus, its use on
the private property of Segundo Tan was proper
Public respondent Sandiganbayan found the foregoing asseveration to be without merit
considering that petitioner was caught en flagrante delicto directing the use and operation of
the said backhoe for his own treasure hunting operations.
The Sandiganbayan convicted the petitioner of violating Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019
Petitioners, now insist that the testimonies of Francisco Chavez and Segundo Tan should be
admitted as newly discovered evidence.

ISSUES: WON the testimonies of Francisco Chavez and Segundo Tan should be admitted as
newly discovered evidence.

RULING: NO
Anent the petitioners attempt to obtain a new trial of his case on the ground of newly
discovered evidence, suffice it to state that it simply cannot be allowed as correctly ruled by
the Sandiganbayan for the undeniable reason that the testimonies of Francisco Chavez and
Segundo Tan which the petitioner seeks to belatedly present do not constitute newly
discovered evidence.
Under the Rules of Court,[12] the requisites for newly discovered evidence as a ground
for new trial are: (a) the evidence was discovered after the trial; (b) such evidence could not
have been discovered and produced at the trial with reasonable diligence; and (c) that it is
material, not merely cumulative, corroborative or impeaching, and is of such weight that, if
admitted, will probably change the judgment. All three requisites must characterize the
evidence sought to be introduced at the new trial.
Unfortunately, by petitioners own admission, it is not clear on the record why were (sic)
they (testimonies of Francisco Chavez and Segundo Tan) not presented (but) the accused
(herein petitioner) had manifested that they should have been presented x x x.[14] Aside from
the petitioners bare assertion that the non-presentation of these testimonies was not due to his
fault or negligence, he miserably failed to offer any evidence that the same could not have
been discovered and produced at the trial despite reasonable diligence.[15] We also agree with
the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) which accurately observed that the testimonies
sought to be introduced as newly discovered evidence would not alter the judgment even if
admitted.
As a last recourse, the petitioner insists that the testimonies of Francisco Chavez and
Segundo Tan should be admitted as newly discovered evidence since the Sandiganbayan
relied on the adverse presumption arising from their non-presentation in convicting him. This
contention is unfounded and misleading. It is true that according to the Sandiganbayan, the
failure on the part of the defense to present these vital witnesses without offering any valid
reason therefor, raised the presumption that the testimonies of Francisco Chavez and
Segundo Tan would be adverse to petitioners interest if they were actually
presented. However, pthe petitioners conviction was based on the overwhelming and
unrebutted evidence of his positive identification by the prosecution witnesses, and not, as
petitioner would have us believe, on the presumption that the testimonies of Francisco
Chavez and Segundo Tan if presented would be adverse to the defenses case.
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the Sandiganbayan is hereby AFFIRMED in
toto.
SO ORDERED.
[G.R. No. 147703. April 14, 2004]

PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC., petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF


THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.

DECISION
PANGANIBAN, J.:

When the accused-employee absconds or jumps bail, the judgment meted out becomes
final and executory. The employer cannot defeat the finality of the judgment by filing a
notice of appeal on its own behalf in the guise of asking for a review of its subsidiary civil
liability.

The Facts

On August 26, 1990, while on its regular trip from Laoag to Manila, a passenger bus owned
by petitioner, being then operated by petitioners driver, Napoleon Roman, figured in an
accident in San Juan, La Union .

On July 27, 1994, accused [Napoleon Roman y Macadangdang] was found guilty and
convicted of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to triple homicide, multiple physical
injuries and damage to property and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment and
to pay damages.

Evidently, the judgment against accused had become final and executory.

Counsel for accused, also admittedly hired and provided by [petitioner], filed a notice of
appeal which was denied by the trial court.

Simultaneously, on August 6, 1994, [petitioner] filed its notice of appeal from the judgment
of the trial court. On April 29, 1997, the trial court gave due course to [petitioners] notice of
appeal. On March 2, 1999, [respondent]/private prosecutor filed the instant motion to
dismiss which was granted.

Ruling of the Court of Appeals

The appellate court held that to allow an employer to dispute independently the civil
liability fixed in the criminal case against the accused-employee would be to amend, nullify
or defeat a final judgment. Since the notice of appeal filed by the accused had already been
dismissed by the CA, then the judgment of conviction and the award of civil liability became
final and executory. Included in the civil liability of the accused was the employers
subsidiary liability.
Hence, this Petition.[7]

The Issues

A. Whether or not an employer, who dutifully participated in the defense of its accused-
employee, may appeal the judgment of conviction independently of the accused.
The Courts Ruling

The Petition has no merit.

Appeals in Criminal Cases

Section 1 of Rule 122 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure states thus:

Any party may appeal from a judgment or final order, unless the accused will be placed in
double jeopardy.

Clearly, both the accused and the prosecution may appeal a criminal case, but the
government may do so only if the accused would not thereby be placed in double
jeopardy.[9] Furthermore, the prosecution cannot appeal on the ground that the accused
should have been given a more severe penalty.[10] On the other hand, the offended parties
may also appeal the judgment with respect to their right to civil liability. If the accused has
the right to appeal the judgment of conviction, the offended parties should have the same
right to appeal as much of the judgment as is prejudicial to them

Appeal by the Accused


Who Jumps Bail

Well-established in our jurisdiction is the principle that the appellate court may, upon
motion or motu proprio, dismiss an appeal during its pendency if the accused jumps bail.
This rule is based on the rationale that appellants lose their standing in court when they
abscond. Unless they surrender or submit to the courts jurisdiction, they are deemed to have
waived their right to seek judicial relief[

Finality of a Decision
in a Criminal Case

As to when a judgment of conviction attains finality is explained in Section 7 of Rule


120 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure, which we quote:

A judgment of conviction may, upon motion of the accused, be modified or set aside before it
becomes final or before appeal is perfected. Except where the death penalty is imposed, a
judgment becomes final after the lapse of the period for perfecting an appeal, or when the
sentence has been partially or totally satisfied or served, or when the accused has waived in
writing his right to appeal, or has applied for probation.

In the case before us, the accused-employee has escaped and refused to surrender to the
proper authorities; thus, he is deemed to have abandoned his appeal. Consequently, the
judgment against him has become final and executory.[17]

Waiver of Constitutional Safeguard


Against Double Jeopardy

Petitioners appeal obviously aims to have the accused-employee absolved of his criminal
responsibility and the judgment reviewed as a whole.
An appeal from the sentence of the trial court implies a waiver of the constitutional
safeguard against double jeopardy and throws the whole case open to a review by the
appellate court. The latter is then called upon to render judgment as law and justice dictate,
whether favorable or unfavorable to the appellant.[32]
If the present appeal is given course, the whole case against the accused-employee
becomes open to review. It thus follows that a penalty higher than that which has already
been imposed by the trial court may be meted out to him.

Effect of Absconding
on the Appeal Process

Moreover, within the meaning of the principles governing the prevailing criminal
procedure, the accused impliedly withdrew his appeal by jumping bail and thereby made the
judgment of the court below final.[35] Having been a fugitive from justice for a long period of
time, he is deemed to have waived his right to appeal. Thus, his conviction is now final and
executory.

No Deprivation
of Due Process

It should be stressed that the right to appeal is neither a natural right nor a part of due
process.[53] It is merely a procedural remedy of statutory origin, a remedy that may be
exercised only in the manner prescribed by the provisions of law authorizing such
exercise.[54] Hence, the legal requirements must be strictly complied with.[55]
In fact, petitioner admits that by helping the accused-employee, it participated in the
proceedings before the RTC; thus, it cannot be said that the employer was deprived of due
process. It might have lost its right to appeal, but it was not denied its day in court.[60] In fact,
it can be said that by jumping bail, the accused-employee, not the court, deprived petitioner
of the right to appeal.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DENIED, and the assailed
Resolutions AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

FIRST DIVISION

G.R. No. 197832 October 2, 2013

ANITA RAMIREZ, Petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

REYES, J.:

FACTS

On January 5, 2009, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City convicted the petitioner and one
Josephine Barangan (Barangan) of the crime of Estafa. Warrants of arrests were accordingly issued.
According to the petitioner, she failed to attend the promulgation of judgment as she had to attend to the
wake of her father.

Three (3) months after, or on June 6, 2009, the petitioner filed an Urgent Ex-parte Motion to Lift Warrant of
Arrest and to Reinstate Bail Bond, which was denied by the RTC.

Aggrieved, the petitioner filed the motion to admit notice of appeal and to post bond with the CA. She
subsequently filed her notice of appeal on November 17, 2010.

In Resolution8 dated January 31, 2011, the CA denied the omnibus motion. The CA opined that as early as
June 10, 2009, the petitioner was already aware of the RTC judgment; however, she opted to file a motion
to lift the warrant of arrest. As such, the judgment of conviction against her has attained finality.

ISSUE: WON CA erred in denying petitioner’s Motion to Admit Notice of Appeal

RULING: NO

The petition is devoid of merit.

Section 6, Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides for the period when an appeal
from a judgment or final order in a criminal case should be taken, viz:

Sec. 6. When appeal to be taken. – An appeal must be taken within fifteen (15) days from promulgation of
the judgment or from notice of the final order appealed from. This period for perfecting an appeal shall be
suspended from the time a motion for new trial or reconsideration is filed until notice of the order overruling
the motions has been served upon the accused or his counsel at which time the balance of the period
begins to run.

In this case, the judgment convicting the petitioner of the crime of Estafa was promulgated on March 25,
2009. Instead of filing a notice of appeal within fifteen (15) days from the promulgation or notice of
judgment, the petitioner filed with the RTC a motion to lift warrant of arrest and to reinstate bail bond three
(3) months later. It was only in November 2010 or more than a year later since the RTC denied her motion
that the petitioner filed with the CA her motion to admit notice of appeal.

At that point, her judgment of conviction has already attained finality and cannot be modified or set aside
anymore in accordance with Section 7, Rule 120 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.13 Thus, the
CA did not commit any reversible error in denying the petitioner’s motion

The Court has already stressed that "the right to appeal is not a natural right and is not part of due process.
It is merely a statutory privilege, and may be exercised only in accordance with the law. The party who
seeks to avail of the same must comply with the requirements of the Rules. Failing to do so, the right to
appeal is lost."

In exceptional cases, the Court has in fact relaxed the period for perfecting an appeal on grounds of
substantial justice or when there are other special and meritorious circumstances and issues.
The petitioner, however, failed to present any exceptional, special or meritorious circumstance that will
excuse the belated filing of her notice of appeal

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.


EN BANC

DOMINGO NEYPES, LUZ G.R. No. 141524


FAUSTINO, ROGELIO FAUSTINO,
LOLITO VICTORIANO, JACOB
OBANIA AND DOMINGO
CABACUNGAN,
Petitioners,

-versus–

HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HEIRS


OF BERNARDO DEL MUNDO,
namely: FE, CORAZON, JOSEFA,
SALVADOR and CARMEN, all
surnamed DEL MUNDO, LAND BANK
OF THE PHILIPPINES AND HON.
ANTONIO N. ROSALES, Presiding
Judge, Branch 43, Regional Trial
Court, Roxas, Oriental Mindoro,
Respondents.
September 14, 2005
x-----------------------------------------x

DECISION

CORONA, J.:

Petitioners Domingo Neypes, et al filed an action for


annulment of judgment and titles of land and/or reconveyance
and/or reversion with preliminary injunction before the Regional
Trial Court, Branch of Roxas, Oriental Mindoro, against the
Bureau of Forest Development, Bureau of Lands, Land Bank of
the Philippines and the heirs of Bernardo del Mundo

On February 12, 1998, the trial court dismissed petitioners


complaint on the ground that the action had already prescribed.
Petitioners allegedly received a copy of the order of dismissal on
March 3, 1998 and, on the 15th day thereafter or on March 18,
1998, filed a motion for reconsideration.
On July 1, 1998, the trial court issued another order
dismissing the motion for reconsideration[3] which petitioners
received on July 22, 1998. Five days later, on July 27, 1998,
petitioners filed a notice of appeal[4] and paid the appeal fees on
August 3, 1998.

On August 4, 1998, the court a quo denied the notice of


appeal, holding that it was filed eight days late.[5] This was
received by petitioners on July 31, 1998. Petitioners filed a
motion for reconsideration but this too was denied in an order
dated September 3, 1998.[6]

Via a petition for certiorari and mandamus under Rule 65 of


the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, petitioners assailed the
dismissal of the notice of appeal before the Court of Appeals.

In the appellate court, petitioners claimed that they had


seasonably filed their notice of appeal. They argued that the 15-
day reglementary period to appeal started to run only on
July 22, 1998 since this was the day they received the final
order of the trial court denying their motion for reconsideration.
When they filed their notice of appeal on July 27, 1998, only
five days had elapsed and they were well within the
reglementary period for appeal.[7]

On September 16, 1999, the Court of Appeals (CA)


dismissed the petition. It ruled that the 15-day period to appeal
should have been reckoned from March 3, 1998 or the day they
received the February 12, 1998 order dismissing their complaint.
According to the appellate court, the order was the final order
appealable under the Rules.

In this present petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules,


petitioners ascribe the following errors allegedly committed by
the appellate court:
ISSUE:

WON the CA erred in ruling that petitioners appeal was filed out of time
when petitioners received the last or final order of the court on July 22,
1998 and filed their notice of appeal on July 27, 1998 and paid the appeal
docket fee on August 3, 1998.

First and foremost, the right to appeal is neither a natural right


nor a part of due process. It is merely a statutory privilege and
may be exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the
provisions of law. Thus, one who seeks to avail of the right to
appeal must comply with the requirements of the Rules. Failure
to do so often leads to the loss of the right to appeal.[ The period
to appeal is fixed by both statute and procedural rules. BP
129,[11] as amended, provides:

Sec. 39. Appeals. The period for appeal from final orders,
resolutions, awards, judgments, or decisions of any court in all
these cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the notice
of the final order, resolution, award, judgment, or decision
appealed from. Provided, however, that in habeas corpus
cases, the period for appeal shall be (48) forty-eight hours from
the notice of judgment appealed from. x x x

Rule 41, Section 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure states:

SEC. 3. Period of ordinary appeal. ― The appeal shall be


taken within fifteen (15) days from the notice of the
judgment or final order appealed from. Where a record on
appeal is required, the appellant shall file a notice of appeal
and a record on appeal within thirty (30) days from the notice
of judgment or final order.

The period to appeal shall be interrupted by a timely motion for


new trial or reconsideration. No motion for extension of time to
file a motion for new trial or reconsideration shall be allowed.
(emphasis supplied)

Based on the foregoing, an appeal should be taken within 15


days from the notice of judgment or final order appealed
from. A final judgment or order is one that finally disposes of a
case, leaving nothing more for the court to do with respect to it. It
is an adjudication on the merits which, considering the evidence
presented at the trial, declares categorically what the rights and
obligations of the parties are; or it may be an order or judgment
that dismisses an action.

Based on jurisprudence, we sustain petitioners view that the


order dated July 1, 1998 denying their motion for
reconsideration was the final order contemplated in the Rules.

Under Rule 41, Section 3, petitioners had 15 days from notice of


judgment or final order to appeal the decision of the trial court.
On the 15th day of the original appeal period (March 18, 1998),
petitioners did not file a notice of appeal but instead opted to file
a motion for reconsideration. According to the trial court, the MR
only interrupted the running of the 15-day appeal period.[15] It
ruled that petitioners, having filed their MR on the last day of the
15-day reglementary period to appeal, had only one (1) day left to
file the notice of appeal upon receipt of the notice of denial of
their MR. Petitioners, however, argue that they were entitled
under the Rules to a fresh period of 15 days from receipt of
the final order or the order dismissing their motion for
reconsideration.

We thus hold that petitioners seasonably filed their notice of


appeal within the fresh period of 15 days, counted from July 22,
1998 (the date of receipt of notice denying their motion for
reconsideration). This pronouncement is not inconsistent with
Rule 41, Section 3 of the Rules which states that the appeal shall
be taken within 15 days from notice of judgment or final order
appealed from.
The original period of appeal (in this case March 3-18,
1998) remains and the requirement for strict compliance still
applies. The fresh period of 15 days becomes significant only
when a party opts to file a motion for new trial or motion for
reconsideration. In this manner, the trial court which rendered
the assailed decision is given another opportunity to review the
case and, in the process, minimize and/or rectify any error of
judgment. While we aim to resolve cases with dispatch and to
have judgments of courts become final at some definite time, we
likewise aspire to deliver justice fairly.

In this case, the new period of 15 days eradicates the


confusion as to when the 15-day appeal period should be
counted from receipt of notice of judgment (March 3, 1998) or
from receipt of notice of final order appealed from (July 22,
1998).

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED and the


assailed decision of the Court of Appeals REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. Accordingly, let the records of this case be remanded to
the Court of Appeals for further proceedings.
THIRD DIVISION

JUDITH YU, G.R. No. 170979


Petitioner, February 9, 2011

- versus -

HON. ROSA SAMSON-TATAD,


Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court,
Quezon City, Branch 105, and the
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondents.

BRION, J.:

The Factual Antecedents

Based on the complaint of Spouses Sergio and Cristina Casaclang, an


information for estafa against the petitioner was filed with the RTC.

In a May 26, 2005 decision, the RTC convicted the petitioner as charged.

Fourteen (14) days later, or on June 9, 2005, the petitioner filed a motion
for new trial with the RTC, alleging that she discovered new and material
evidence that would exculpate her of the crime for which she was convicted.[3]

In an October 17, 2005 order, respondent Judge denied the petitioners


motion for new trial for lack of merit

On November 16, 2005, the petitioner filed a notice of appeal with the
RTC, alleging that pursuant to our ruling in Neypes v. Court of Appeals,[5] she
had a fresh period of 15 days from November 3, 2005, the receipt of the denial
of her motion for new trial, or up to November 18, 2005, within which to file a
notice of appeal.

On November 24, 2005, the respondent Judge ordered the petitioner to


submit a copy of Neypes for his guidance.[7]

On December 8, 2005, the prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the


appeal for being filed 10 days late, arguing that Neypes is inapplicable to
appeals in criminal cases.[8]

On January 4, 2006, the prosecution filed a motion for execution of the


decision.[9]
On January 26, 2006, the petitioner filed the present petition for
prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and a
writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the RTC from acting on the
prosecutions motions to dismiss the appeal and for the execution of the
decision.[10]

The Petition

The petitioner argues that the RTC lost jurisdiction to act on the
prosecutions motions when she filed her notice of appeal within the 15-day
reglementary period provided by the Rules of Court, applying the fresh period
rule enunciated in Neypes.

Issue

whether the fresh period rule enunciated in Neypes applies to appeals in


criminal cases.

The Courts Ruling

We find merit in the petition.

The right to appeal is not a constitutional, natural or inherent right it is a


statutory privilege and of statutory origin and, therefore, available only if
granted or as provided by statutes. It may be exercised only in the manner
prescribed by the provisions of the law.[14] The period to appeal is specifically
governed by Section 39 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (BP 129),[15] as amended,
Section 3 of Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, and Section 6 of
Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Section 39 of BP 129, as amended, provides:

SEC. 39. Appeals. The period for appeal from final orders,
resolutions, awards, judgments, or decisions of any court in all
cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the notice of the final
order, resolution, award, judgment, or decision appealed
from: Provided, however, That in habeas corpus cases, the period for
appeal shall be forty-eight (48) hours from the notice of the judgment
appealed from.

Section 3, Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure states:

SEC. 3. Period of ordinary appeal. ― The appeal shall be


taken within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment or final
order appealed from. Where a record on appeal is required, the
appellant shall file a notice of appeal and a record on appeal within
thirty (30) days from notice of the judgment or final order.
The period of appeal shall be interrupted by a timely
motion for new trial or reconsideration. No motion for extension
of time to file a motion for new trial or reconsideration shall be
allowed.

Section 6, Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure reads:

SEC. 6. When appeal to be taken. An appeal must be taken


within fifteen (15) days from promulgation of the judgment or from
notice of the final order appealed from. This period for perfecting
an appeal shall be suspended from the time a motion for new trial
or reconsideration is filed until notice of the order overruling the
motion has been served upon the accused or his counsel at which
time the balance of the period begins to run.

In Neypes, the Court modified the rule in civil cases on the counting of
the 15-day period within which to appeal. The Court categorically set a fresh
period of 15 days from a denial of a motion for reconsideration within
which to appeal

Henceforth, this "fresh period rule" shall also apply to Rule


40 governing appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts to the
Regional Trial Courts; Rule 42 on petitions for review from the
Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals; Rule 43 on
appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the Court of Appeals and
Rule 45 governing appeals by certiorari to the Supreme Court.
The new rule aims to regiment or make the appeal period uniform, to
be counted from receipt of the order denying the motion for new trial,
motion for reconsideration (whether full or partial) or any final order
or resolution.[16]

The Court also reiterated its ruling that it is the denial of the motion for
reconsideration that constituted the final order which finally disposed of the
issues involved in the case.

The raison dtre for the fresh period rule is to standardize the appeal
period provided in the Rules and do away with the confusion as to when the 15-
day appeal period should be counted. Thus, the 15-day period to appeal is no
longer interrupted by the filing of a motion for new trial or motion for
reconsideration; litigants today need not concern themselves with counting the
balance of the 15-day period to appeal since the 15-day period is now counted
from receipt of the order dismissing a motion for new trial or motion for
reconsideration or any final order or resolution.

While Neypes involved the period to appeal in civil cases, the Courts
pronouncement of a fresh period to appeal should equally apply to the period
for appeal in criminal cases under Section 6 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, for the following reasons:

First, BP 129, as amended, the substantive law on which the Rules of


Court is based, makes no distinction between the periods to appeal in a civil
case and in a criminal case

Second, the provisions of Section 3 of Rule 41 of the 1997 Rules of Civil


Procedure and Section 6 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure, though differently worded, mean exactly the same.

Third, while the Court did not consider in Neypes the ordinary appeal
period in criminal cases under Section 6, Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure since it involved a purely civil case, it did include Rule 42
of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure on petitions for review from the RTCs to
the Court of Appeals (CA), and Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
governing appeals by certiorari to this Court, both of which also apply to
appeals in criminal cases, as provided by Section 3 of Rule 122 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure

In light of these legal realities, we hold that the petitioner seasonably


filed her notice of appeal on November 16, 2005, within the fresh period of 15
days, counted from November 3, 2005, the date of receipt of notice denying her
motion for new trial.

WHEREFORE, the petition for prohibition is hereby GRANTED.