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Remedial Law Review II

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE petitioner continued with the construction, expansion,


and operation of the resort hotel.
1. Aquino vs. Municipality of Malay GR. 211356
(Doctrine of Judicial Courtesy) -nikko Subsequently, on March 28, 2011, a Cease and Desist
Order was issued by the municipal government,
Definition of Principle of Judicial Courtesy as provided by enjoining the expansion of the resort, and on June 7,
jurisprudence which is not found in this case: x x x [t]he 2011, the Office of the Mayor of Malay, Aklan issued the
principle of judicial courtesy to justify the suspension of assailed EO 10, ordering the closure and demolition of
the proceedings before the lower court even without an Boracay West Cove’s hotel.
injunctive writ or order from the higher court. In that
case, we pronounced that "[d]ue respect for the EO 10 was partially implemented on June 10, 2011.
Supreme Court and practical and ethical considerations Thereafter, two more instances followed wherein
should have prompted the appellate court to wait for the respondents demolished the improvements introduced
final determination of the petition [for certiorari] before by Boracay West Cove, the most recent of which was
taking cognizance of the case and trying to render moot made in February 2014.
exactly what was before this [C]ourt." We subsequently
reiterated the concept of judicial courtesy in Joy Mart Alleging that the order was issued and executed with
Consolidated Corp. v. Court of Appeals. grave abuse of discretion, petitioner filed a Petition for
We, however, have qualified and limited the application Certiorari with prayer for injunctive relief with the CA. He
of judicial courtesy in Go v. Abrogar and Republic v. argued that judicial proceedings should first be
Sandiganbayan. In these cases, we expressly delimited conducted before the respondent mayor could order the
the application of judicial courtesy to maintain the demolition of the company’s establishment.
efficacy of Section 7, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, and
held that the principle of judicial courtesy applies only "if In its assailed Decision dated August 13, 2013, the CA
there is a strong probability that the issues before the dismissed the petition solely on procedural ground, i.e.
higher court would be rendered moot and moribund as a the proper remedy for the petitioner, according to the
result of the continuation of the proceedings in the lower CA, is to file a petition for declaratory relief with the
court." Through these cases, we clarified that the Regional Trial Court.
principle of judicial courtesy remains to be the exception
rather than the rule. Petitioner sought reconsideration but this was denied by
the CA on February 3, 2014 through the challenged
FACTS: On January 7, 2010, the company applied for a Resolution. Hence, the instant petition raising arguments
zoning compliance with the municipal government of on both procedure and substance.
Malay, Aklan. 2 While the company was already
operating a resort in the area, the application sought the ISSUE: Whether or not certiorari, not declaratory relief,
issuance of a building permit covering the construction of is the proper remedy. (YES)
a three-storey hotel over a parcel of land measuring 998
sqm. RULING: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the
petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision
May 13, 2010, petitioner followed up his appeal through and the Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
a letter but no action was ever taken by the respondent SP No. 120042 dated August 13, 2013 and February 3,
mayor. On April 5, 2011, however, a Notice of 2014, respectively, are hereby AFFIRMED.
Assessment was sent to petitioner asking for the
settlement of Boracay West Cove’s unpaid taxes and RATIO: An action for declaratory relief presupposes that
other liabilities under pain of a recommendation for there has been no actual breach of the instruments
closure in view of its continuous commercial operation involved or of the rights arising thereunder. Since the
since 2009 sans the necessary zoning clearance, purpose of an action for declaratory relief is to secure an
building permit, and business and mayor’s permit. In authoritative statement of the rights and obligations of
reply, petitioner expressed willingness to settle the the parties under a statute, deed, or contract for their
company’s obligations, but the municipal treasurer guidance in the enforcement thereof, or compliance
refused to accept the tendered payment. Meanwhile, therewith, and not to settle issues arising from an
alleged breach thereof, it may be entertained before the
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breach or violation of the statute, deed or contract to that word is used when applied to courts of justice, but it
which it refers. A petition for declaratory relief gives a is sufficient if they are quasi-judicial.
practical remedy for ending controversies that have not
reached the state where another relief is immediately To contrast, a party is said to be exercising a judicial
available; and supplies the need for a form of action that function where he has the power to determine what the
will set controversies at rest before they lead to a law is and what legal rights of the parties are, and then
repudiation of obligations, an invasion of rights, and a undertakes to determine these questions and adjudicate
commission of wrongs. upon the rights of the parties, whereas quasi-judicial
function is “a term which applies to the actions,
In the case at bar, the petition for declaratory relief discretion, etc., of public administrative officers or bodies
became unavailable by EO 10’s enforcement and x x x required to investigate facts or ascertain the
implementation. The closure and demolition of the hotel existence of facts, hold hearings, and draw conclusions
rendered futile any possible guidelines that may be from them as a basis for their official action and to
issued by the trial court for carrying out the directives in exercise discretion of a judicial nature.”
the challenged EO 10. Indubitably, the CA erred when it
ruled that declaratory relief is the proper remedy given In the case at bench, the assailed EO 10 was issued
such a situation. upon the respondent mayor’s finding that Boracay West
Cove’s construction, expansion, and operation of its
For certiorari to prosper, the petitioner must establish the hotel in Malay, Aklan is illegal. Such a finding of illegality
concurrence of the following requisites, namely: required the respondent mayor’s exercise of quasi-
judicial functions, against which the special writ of
1. The writ is directed against a tribunal, board, or officer certiorari may lie. Apropos hereto is Our ruling in City
exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions; Engineer of Baguio v. Baniqued:

2. Such tribunal, board, or officer has acted without or in There is no gainsaying that a city mayor is an executive
excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion official nor is the matter of issuing demolition notices or
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and orders not a ministerial one. In determining whether or
not a structure is illegal or it should be demolished,
3. There is no appeal or any plain speedy, and adequate property rights are involved thereby needing notices and
remedy in the ordinary course of law. opportunity to be heard as provided for in the
constitutionally guaranteed right of due process. In
Guilty of reiteration, the CA immediately dismissed the pursuit of these functions, the city mayor has to exercise
Petition for Certiorari upon determining that the first quasi-judicial powers.
element is wanting—that respondent mayor was
allegedly not exercising judicial or quasi-judicial With the foregoing discussion, the CA erred in ruling that
functions when he issued EO 10. the respondent mayor was merely exercising his
executive functions, for clearly, the first requisite for the
We are not persuaded. special writ has been satisfied.

The CA fell into a trap when it ruled that a mayor, an Aside from the first requisite, We likewise hold that the
officer from the executive department, exercises an third element, i.e., the unavailability of a plain, speedy, or
executive function whenever he issues an Executive adequate remedy, is also present herein. While it may
Order. This is tad too presumptive for it is the nature of be argued that, under the LGC, Executive Orders issued
the act to be performed, rather than of the office, board, by mayors are subject to review by provincial governors,
or body which performs it, that determines whether or 10 this cannot be considered as an adequate remedy
not a particular act is a discharge of judicial or quasi- given the exigencies of petitioner’s predicament.
judicial functions. The first requirement for certiorari is
satisfied if the officers act judicially in making their In a litany of cases, We have held that it is inadequacy,
decision, whatever may be their public character. not the mere absence of all other legal remedies and the
danger of failure of justice without the writ, that must
It is not essential that the challenged proceedings should usually determine the propriety of certiorari . A remedy is
be strictly and technically judicial, in the sense in which plain, speedy and adequate if it will promptly relieve the
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petitioner from the injurious effects of the judgment, franchise area which was granted. NAPOCOR filed an
order, or resolution of the lower court or agency. It is MR, which the ERB denied. NAPOCOR filed a petition
understood, then, that a litigant need not mark time by for review with the Court of Appeals which was
resorting to the less speedy remedy of appeal in order to dismissed. SC Court affirmed the Resolution of the Court
have an order annulled and set aside for being patently of Appeals.
void for failure of the trial court to comply with the Rules
of Court. To implement the decision in ERB Case No. 89-430,
CEPALCO wrote PSC, and advised the latter of its
Before applying this doctrine, it must first be borne in desire to have the power supply of PSC, directly taken
mind that respondents in this case have already taken from NPC (NAPOCOR), disconnected, cut and
measures towards implementing EO 10. In fact, transferred to CEPALCO.
substantial segments of the hotel have already been
demolished pursuant to the mayor’s directive. It is then PSC is an entity operating its business within the
understandable why petitioner prayed for the issuance of PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate. The Estate is managed and
an injunctive writ––a provisional remedy that would operated by the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority (PIA).[11]
otherwise have been unavailable had he sought a PSC refused CEPALCOs request, citing its contract for
reversal from the office of the provincial governor of power supply with NAPOCOR effective until July 26,
Aklan. Evidently, petitioner correctly saw the urgent need 1996. To restrain the execution of the ERB Decision,
for judicial intervention via certiorari. PSC and PIA filed a complaint for injunction against
CEPALCO with the RTC which was granted CEPALCO
In light of the foregoing, the CA should have proceeded filed an MR but was denied. CA ruled in favor of
to grab the bull by its horns and determine the existence CEPALCO dissolving the writ of injunction.
of the second element of certiorari ––whether or not
there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of Petitioners contend that ERB decision is contrary to the
respondents. Cabinet Policy Reform since PIA, one of the relevant
government agencies referred to in the Cabinet
Memorandum, was not consulted, much less notified by
2. Phil Sinter Corp. vs. Cepalco (Doctrine of Judicial the ERB before it rendered its decision. Since PIA is not
Stability) - alecz a party in ERB Case No. 89-430, then the decision
therein does not bind it; that P.D. 538 (the charter of
FACTS: President Corazon C. Aquino and her Cabinet PIA) excluded the municipalities of Tagoloan and
approved a Cabinet Reform Policy for the power sector Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, from the franchise area of
and issued a Cabinet Memorandum, Item No. 2 of which CEPALCO and transferred the same to PIA; and that the
provides: ERB decision is not final and executory since the same
is subject to periodic review under the Cabinet
Continue direct connection for industries authorized Memorandum.
under the BOI-NPC Memorandum of Understanding of
12 January 1981, until such time as the appropriate Respondent however contends that the ERB decision
regulatory board determines that direct connection of shows that it has met the requirements of the Cabinet
industry to NPC is no longer necessary in the franchise Policy Reforms on financial and technical capability of
area of the specific utility or cooperative. the utility or cooperative. Personal notice is not required
to bind petitioners since the proceedings in the ERB are
Pursuant to such Cabinet Memorandum, CEPALCO, in rem. Besides, the only issue in the ERB case is
grantee of a legislative franchise to distribute electric whether or not CEPALCO has met the standards
power to the municipalities of Villanueva, Jasaan and mandated by the Cabinet Policy Reforms. Lastly,
Tagoloan, and the city of Cagayan de Oro, all of the respondent contends that what is subject to periodic
province of Misamis Oriental, filed with the Energy review under the Cabinet Memorandum is only the
Regulatory Board (ERB) a petition entitled In Re: Petition capability standards. In National Power Corporation vs.
for Implementation of Cabinet Policy Reforms in the Court of Appeals, this Court ruled that distribution of
Power Sector, seeking the discontinuation of all existing electric power, whether an increase in existing voltage or
direct supply of power by the National Power a new and separate electric service, shall be undertaken
Corporation (NPC, now NAPOCOR) within CEPALCOs by cooperatives, private utilities (such as CEPALCO),
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local governments and other entities duly authorized charter (PD 538). Exclusivity of any public franchise has
subject to state regulation. not been favored by this Court such that in most, if not
all, grants by the government to private corporations, the
ISSUE/S: 1. WON injunction lies against the final and interpretation of rights, privileges or franchises is taken
executory judgment of the ERB. against the grantee. The Constitution prohibits monopoly
2. WON ERB decision contradicts the Cabinet Reform of franchise. Also PIA previously allowed CEPALCO to
Policy. distribute electric power to industries operating within the
PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate.
HELD:
1.NO. An injunction to stay a final and executory 2. NO. The decision to is in accord with the policy that
decision is unavailing except only after a showing that direct connection with the NAPOCOR is no longer
facts and circumstances exist which would render necessary when a cooperative or utility, such as
execution unjust or inequitable, or that a change in the CEPALCO, operating within a franchise proves to be
situation of the parties occurred. capable of distributing power to the industries. In
Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company, Inc. vs.
Here, no such exception exists as shown by the facts National Power Corporation held: that at any given
earlier narrated. In Camarines Norte Electric service area, priority should be given to the authorized
Cooperative, Inc. vs. Torres, it was held that cooperative or franchise holder in the right to supply the
administrative decisions must end sometime, as fully as power requirement of existing or prospective industrial
public policy demands that finality be written on judicial enterprises. The statutory authority given to respondent-
controversies. Public interest requires that proceedings appellant NPC in respect of sales of energy in bulk direct
already terminated should not be altered at every step, to BOI registered enterprises should always be
for the rule of non quieta movere prescribes that what subordinate to the total-electrification-of-the- entire-
had already been terminated should not be disturbed. A country-on-an-area-coverage-basis policy enunciated in
disregard of this principle does not commend itself to P.D. No. 40. NPC vs. CEPALCO: PD 40 promulgated on
sound public policy. 7 November 1973 expressly provides that the generation
of electric power shall be undertaken solely by the NPC.
Section 10 of Executive Order No. 172 (the law creating However, Section 3 of the same decree also provides
the ERB) provides that a review of its decisions or orders that the distribution of electric power shall be undertaken
is lodged in the Supreme Court. Where the law provides by cooperatives, private utilities (such as CEPALCO),
for an appeal from the decisions of administrative bodies local governments and other entities duly authorized,
to the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals, it means subject to state regulation.
that such bodies are co-equal with the Regional Trial
Courts in terms of rank and stature, and logically, CA Ruling Affirmed.
beyond the control of the latter. Hence, the trial court,
being co-equal with the ERB, cannot interfere with the
decision of the latter. 2. Secretary of Justice vs. Echegaray 301 scra
96 (Jurisdiction) - estelle
Granting that the ERB decision has not attained finality
or that the ERB is not co-equal with the RTC, still RESOLUTION
injunction will not lie. To justify the injunctive relief
prayed for, the movant must show: (1) the existence of a FACTS: Brief background: Echegary was accused for
right in esse or the existence of a right to be protected; raping his 10-year old daughter. He was convicted for
and (2) the act against which injunction is to be directed the said crime and was sentenced to death penalty. He
is a violation of such right. filed an MR raising for the first time the constitutionality
of RA 7659 or the Death Penalty Law. This was denied.
In the case at bar, petitioner failed to show any clear RA 8177 was passed changing the mode of execution
legal right which would be violated if the power supply of from electrocution to lethal injection. Echegary filed a
PSC from the NAPOCOR is disconnected and petition for prohibition, injunction and TRO to enjoin Sec
transferred to CEPALCO. PSC has no exclusive right to of Justice and Director of Bureau of Prisons from
operate and maintain electric light within the carrying the execution alleging that RA 8177 is
municipalities of Tagoloan and Villanueva pursuant to its
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unconstitutional and void. The SC issued a TRO staying No. 8177 is not unconstitutional; (2) that sections 17 and
the execution of Echegary. 19 of the Rules and Regulations to Implement R.A. No.
8177 are invalid, and (3) R.A. No. 8177 cannot be
For resolution are public respondents' Urgent Motion for enforced and implemented until sections 17 and 19 of
Reconsideration of the Resolution of this Court dated the Rules and Regulations to Implement R.A. No. 8177
January 4, 1999 temporarily restraining the execution of are amended. It is also daylight clear that this Decision
petitioner and Supplemental Motion to Urgent Motion for was not altered a whit by this Court. Contrary to the
Reconsideration. It is the submission of public submission of the Solicitor General, the rule on
respondents that Decision in this case having become finality of judgment cannot divest this Court of its
final and executory, its execution enters the exclusive jurisdiction to execute and enforce the same
ambit of authority of the executive authority. The judgment.
issuance of the TRO may be construed as trenching on
that sphere of executive authority. In their Consolidated "The finality of a judgment does not mean that the
Comment, petitioner contends: (1) the stay order x x x is Court has lost all its powers nor the case. By the
within the scope of judicial power and duty and does not finality of the judgment, what the court loses is its
trench on executive powers nor on congressional jurisdiction to amend, modify or alter the same.Even
prerogatives; (2)the exercise by this Court of its power to after the judgment has become final the court retains its
stay execution was reasonable; (3) the Court did not jurisdiction to execute and enforce it.[3] There is a
lose jurisdiction to address incidental matters involved or difference between the jurisdiction of the court to
arising from the petition; (4) public respondents are execute its judgment and its jurisdiction to amend,
estopped from challenging the Court's jurisdiction; and modify or alter the same. The former continues even
(5) there is no certainty that the law on capital after the judgment has become final for the purpose
punishment will not be repealed or modified until of enforcement of judgment; the latter terminates
Congress convenes and considers all the various when the judgment becomes final.[4] x x x For after the
resolutions and bills filed before it. judgment has become final facts and circumstances may
transpire which can render the execution unjust or
ISSUE: WON the court lost its jurisdiction considering impossible.
that the judgment has attained finality.
It is a well-known principle that notwithstanding the
RULING: We do not agree with the sweeping order of execution and the executory nature thereof
submission of the public respondents that this Court lost on the date set or at the proper time, the date
its jurisdiction over the case at bar and hence can no therefor can be postponed, even in sentences of
longer restrain the execution of the petitioner.Obviously, death. Under the common law this postponement can
public respondents are invoking the rule that final be ordered in three ways: (1) By command of the King;
judgments can no longer be altered in accord with the (2) by discretion (arbitrio) of the court; and (3) by
principle that "it is just as important that there should be mandate of the law. It is sufficient to state this principle
a place to end as there should be a place to begin of the common law to render impossible that assertion in
litigation."[1] To start with, the Court is not changing even absolute terms that after the convict has once been
a comma of its final Decision. It is appropriate to placed in jail the trial court can not reopen the case to
examine with precision the metes and bounds of the investigate the facts that show the need for
Decision of this Court that became final. The records will postponement. If one of the ways is by direction of
show that before the Entry of Judgment, the Secretary of the court, it is acknowledged that even after the date
Justice, the Honorable Serafin Cuevas, filed with this of the execution has been fixed, and
Court on October 21, 1998 a Compliance where he notwithstanding the general rule that after the
submitted the Amended Rules and Regulations (court) has performed its ministerial duty of ordering
implementing R.A. No. 8177 in compliance with our the execution . . . and its part is ended, if however a
Decision. On October 28, 1998, Secretary Cuevas circumstance arises that ought to delay the
submitted a Manifestation informing the Court that he execution, and there is an imperative duty to
has caused the publication of the said Amended Rules investigate the emergency and to order a
and Regulations as required by the Administrative Code. postponement. . To be sure, the most important part
It is crystalline that the Decision of this Court that of a litigation, whether civil or criminal, is the
became final and unalterable mandated: (1) that R.A. process of execution of decisions where
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supervening events may change the circumstance of beyond doubt the possibility that Congress will repeal or
the parties and compel courts to intervene and amend the death penalty law.
adjust the rights of the litigants to prevent
unfairness. It is because of these unforseen, IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court grants the public
supervening contingencies that courts have been respondents' Urgent Motion for Reconsideration and
conceded the inherent and necessary power of Supplemental Motion to Urgent Motion for
control of its processes and orders to make them Reconsideration and lifts the Temporary Restraining
conformable to law and justice. Section 6 of Rule 135 Order issued in its Resolution of January 4, 1999
provides that "when by law jurisdiction is conferred on a
court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs, processes and
other means necessary to carry it into effect may be 3. Sante vs. Claravall GR 173915 (Jurisdiction,
employed by such court or officer and if the procedure how conferred) - tere
to be followed in the exercise of such jurisdiction is
not specifically pointed out by law or by these rules, FACTS: Respondent filed before the RTC a complaint
any suitable process or mode of proceeding may be for damages. Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss on the
adopted which appears conformable to the spirit of ground that it was the Municipal Trial Court in Cities
said law or rules. What the Court restrained temporarily (MTCC) and not the RTC of Baguio, that had jurisdiction
is the execution of its own Decision to give it reasonble over the case. They argued that the amount of the claim
time to check its fairness in light of supervening events for moral damages was not more than the jurisdictional
in Congress as alleged by petitioner. amount of P300,000.00, because the claim for
exemplary damages should be excluded in computing
We likewise reject the public respondents' contention the total claim. Petitioners filed on August 2, 2004, a
that the "decision in this case having become final and Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition. Meanwhile,
executory, its execution enters the exclusive ambit of respondent and her husband filed an Amended
authority of the executive department and that by Complaint increasing the claim for moral damages from
granting the TRO, the Honorable Court has in effect P300,000.00 to P1,000,000.00. Petitioners filed a Motion
granted reprieve which is an executive function. The to Dismiss with Answer Ad Cautelam and Counterclaim,
provision, however, cannot be interpreted as denying the but the trial court denied their motion in an Order.
power of courts to control the enforcement of their Petitioners again filed a Petition for Certiorari and
decisions after their finality. In truth, an accused who Prohibition before the Court of Appeals claiming that the
has been convicted by final judgment still trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in
possesses collateral rights and these rights can be allowing the amendment of the complaint to increase the
claimed in the appropriate courts. The suspension of amount of moral damages from P300,000.00 to
such a death sentence is undisputably an exercise of P1,000,000.00.
judicial power. It is not a usurpation of the presidential
power of reprieve though its effect is the same -- the The CA finding grave abuse of discretion on the part of
temporary suspension of the execution of the death [the] Regional Trial Court annulled and set aside the
convict. In the same vein, it cannot be denied that assailed decisions. The Court of Appeals held that the
Congress can at any time amend R.A. No. 7659 by case clearly falls under the jurisdiction of the MTCC as
reducing the penalty of death to life imprisonment. The the allegations show that plaintiff was seeking to recover
effect of such an amendment is like that of commutation moral damages in the amount of P300,000.00, which
of sentence. But by no stretch of the imagination can the amount was well within the jurisdictional amount of the
exercise by Congress of its plenary power to amend MTCC. Thus, the prayer for exemplary damages should
laws be considered as a violation of the power of the be excluded in computing the total amount of the claim.
President to commute final sentences of conviction.
ISSUE:
The temporary restraining order of this Court has 1. WON the RTC acquires jurisdiction over the case.
produced its desired result, i.e., the crystallization of 2. WON the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in
the issue whether Congress is disposed to review allowing the amendment of the complaint.
capital punishment. The public respondents, thru the
Solicitor General, cite posterior events that negate RULING: Yes to both.

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There is no question that at the time of the filing of the Borinaga v Tamin
complaint on April 5, 2004, the MTCC's jurisdictional AM No. RTJ-93-936
amount has been adjusted to P300,000.00. The 10 September 1993
exclusion of the term "damages of whatever kind" in
determining the jurisdictional amount under Section 19 Facts: In 1992, Albina Borinaga filed a sworn letter
(8) and Section 33 (1) of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by complaint charging Judge Tamin with grave
R.A. No. 7691, applies to cases where the damages are incompetence and ignorance of the law in connection
merely incidental to or a consequence of the main cause with a criminal case for murder. On January 1993, this
of action. However, in cases where the claim for Court required respondent judge to file his comment.
damages is the main cause of action, or one of the
causes of action, the amount of such claim shall be Records show that an amended criminal complaint for
considered in determining the jurisdiction of the court. murder, or the killing of complainant Borinaga’s
husband, was filed by the Chief of Police before the
In the instant case, the complaint filed is for the recovery MTCC of Zamboanga del Sur for preliminary
of damages for the alleged malicious acts of petitioners. investigation. While the case was pending before the
The complaint principally sought an award of moral and MTCC, Antonio Ruaya, one fo the accused, filed a
exemplary damages, as well as attorney's fees and petition for bail before the RTC of Molave, docketed as a
litigation expenses, for the alleged shame and injury special civil case, of which respondent Judge Tamin
suffered by respondent by reason of petitioners' presided. Respondent Judge Tamin ordered the public
utterance while they were at a police station in prosecutor to present evidence that the guilt of the
Pangasinan. It is settled that jurisdiction is conferred by accused for the crime charged is strong. Since the public
law based on the facts alleged in the complaint since the prosecutor failed to appear, the judge issued an order
latter comprises a concise statement of the ultimate facts granting bail to the accused.
constituting the plaintiff's causes of action. It is clear,
based on the allegations of the complaint, that On the same day, the Judge Arriesgado of the MTCC,
respondent's main action is for damages. Hence, the who conducted the preliminary investigation, issued a
other forms of damages being claimed by respondent, resolution recommending the filing of the information for
e.g., exemplary damages, attorney's fees and litigation murder, which was affirmed by the provincial prosecutor.
expenses, are not merely incidental to or consequences
of the main action but constitute the primary relief prayed Subsequently, the public prosecutor filed a motion to
for in the complaint. cancel the bailbond, on the ground that the accused was
charged with a capital offense, evidence of guilt is
Considering that the total amount of damages claimed strong, and no bail was recommended in the information.
was P420,000.00, the Court of Appeals was correct in However, in October 1992, respondent Judge denied the
ruling that the RTC had jurisdiction over the case. Lastly, motion without hearing.
we find no error, much less grave abuse of discretion, on
the part of the Court of Appeals in affirming the RTC's Issue: Whether the respondent judge was correct in
order allowing the amendment of the original complaint allowing bail; whether the respondent judge was correct
from P300,000.00 to P1,000,000.00 despite the in denying the motion without hearing.
pendency of a petition for certiorari filed before the Court
of Appeals. While it is a basic jurisprudential principle Ruling: NO, he was incorrect.
that an amendment cannot be allowed when the court
has no jurisdiction over the original complaint and the The 1987 Constitution provides that all persons, except
purpose of the amendment is to confer jurisdiction on the those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion
court, here, the RTC clearly had jurisdiction over the perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong shall, before
original complaint and amendment of the complaint was conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties or be
then still a matter of right. released on recognizance as may be provided by law.
Section 3 Rule 114 of the Rules of Court provides that all
persons in custody shall, before final conviction, be
4. Boringa vs. Tamin (error of jurisdiction vs. entitled to bail as a matter of right, except those charged
Error of judgment) - jason with a capital offense or an offense which, under the law
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at the time of its commission and at the time of the should the accused jump bail, the primary responsibility
application for bail, is punishable by reclusion perpetua, rests with the court where his case is pending.
when evidence of guilt is strong.
Although, as alleged by respondent judge, the order
As now revised in the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure granting the petition for bail was issued on the same day
and provided in Rule 114 thereof, the rules on availability that the preliminary investigation was supposedly
of bail to an accused may be restated as follows: terminated in the lower court, this did not cure the
infirmity which attended the issuancethereof. Of
1. Admission to bail is a matter of right at any stage of greater import is the fact that the petition for bail was
the action where the charge is not for a capital offense or filed with the regional trial court, as a so-called "special
is not punishable by reclusion perpetua.8 civil case," while the preliminary investigation was still
pending before the municipal circuit trial court. Hence,
2. Regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution, respondent judge had no jurisdiction to entertain the
no bail shall be allowed if the accused is charged with a same, as the situation of the accused definitely did not
capital offense or of an offense punishable by reclusion fall under any of those contemplated in paragraphs (a)
perpetua and the evidence of guilt is strong;9 and (c), Section 14 of Rule 14. Further, respondent
judge acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance
3. Even if a capital offense is charged and the evidence of and eventually granting the petition for bail there
of guilt is strong, the accused may still be admitted to having been no information filed in his court against
bail in the discretion of the court if there are strong the accused-applicant. Actually, it was only on March
grounds to apprehend that his continued confinement 30, 1992 when the records of the criminal case were
will endanger his life or result in permanent impairment forwarded by the lower court to the Office of the
of health, 10 but only before judgment in the regional Provincial Prosecutor with the recommendation that an
trial court; and information for murder be filed against accused Ruaya.

4. No bail shall be allowed after final judgment, unless Even assuming arguendo that respondent judge had
the accused has applied for probation and has not jurisdiction to hear the petition for bail, under the
commenced to serve sentence, 11 the penalty and circumstances attendant to the case he should
offense being within the purview of the probation law. nonetheless be held liable for granting the same
without benefit of a hearing.
On the foregoing bases, it is evident that bail is a matter
of discretion where the accused is charged with a capital It is true that at the hearing of an application for
offense or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua admission to bail, where admission to bail is a matter of
and the evidence of guilt is strong. This precept gains discretion, the prosecution has the burden of showing
added significance from the fact that the situation it that evidence of guilt is strong. However, we have held
envisages determines the particular court where an that admission to bail as a matter of discretion
application for bail should be filed. presupposes the exercise thereof in accordance
with law and guided by the applicable legal
In the case at bar, the accused was charged with principles. The prosecution must first be accorded
murder, and was further named the mastermind. an opportunity to present evidence because by the
Perforce, bail in this case is matter of discretion and the very nature of deciding applications for bail, it is on
application therefor should have been filed in the the basis of such evidence that judicial discretion is
court where the preliminary investigation was then weighed against in determining whether the guilt of the
pending, that is, before the Municipal Circuit Trial accused is strong. In other words, discretion must be
Court of Dumingag-Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur. exercised regularly, legally and within the confines of
procedural due process, that is, after evaluation of the
The reason for the rule is that the court wherein the case evidence submitted by the prosecution. Any order issued
against the accused is pending is assumed to be in a in the absence thereof is not a product of sound judicial
better position to pass upon the propriety and conditions discretion but of whim and caprice and outright
for granting bail to the accused, since it is more arbitrariness.
conversant with the facts of said case and the
representations of the prosecution therein. Furthermore,
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In the case at bar, the petition for bail was granted by establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable
respondent judge on the simple reason that the doubt. The reason for placing the criminal prosecution
prosecution failed to appear and present evidence under the direction and control of the fiscal is to prevent
despite due notice. However, in the first place, malicious or unfounded prosecution by private persons.
respondent judge did not have the authority to set the It cannot be controlled by the complainant. Prosecuting
petition for bail for hearing in view of the fact that he had officers under the power vested in them by law, not only
not even acquired jurisdiction over the criminal case have the authority but also the duty of prosecuting
since the information therefor had not yet been filed in persons who, according to the evidence received from
the trial court. In doing so, he acted with grave abuse of the complainant, are shown to be guilty of a crime
discretion and in wanton disregard of established rules committed within the jurisdiction of their office. They
and jurisprudence. Secondly, it has been held that even have equally the legal duty not to prosecute when after
where the prosecutor refuses to adduce evidence in an investigation they become convinced that the
opposition to the application to grant and fix bail, evidence adduced is not sufficient to establish a prima
the court may ask the prosecution such questions facie case.
as would ascertain the strength of the state's
evidence or judge the adequacy of the amount of It is through the conduct of a preliminary investigation
bail. Here, the non-appearance of the prosecution at the that the fiscal determines the existence of a puma facie
hearing scheduled by respondent judge on March 30, case that would warrant the prosecution of a case. The
1992 was obviously justified since, to repeat, respondent Courts cannot interfere with the fiscal's discretion and
had no authority to schedule and/or conduct the same. control of the criminal prosecution. It is not prudent or
even permissible for a Court to compel the fiscal to
[NOTE: There was no actual discussion in re error of prosecute a proceeding originally initiated by him on an
jurisdiction vs error of judgment. But, it was alleged as a information, if he finds that the evidence relied upon by
defense that the denial of bail was merely an error of him is insufficient for conviction. Neither has the Court
jurisdiction and not an error of judgment, implying that it any power to order the fiscal to prosecute or file an
may still be raised on appeal or certiorari. In the information within a certain period of time, since this
discussion above, the Court ruled that it was an error of would interfere with the fiscal's discretion and control of
jurisdiction because the order granting bail was done in criminal prosecutions. Thus, a fiscal who asks for the
excess of the jurisdiction. Petition for bail should be filed dismissal of the case for insufficiency of evidence has
in the court where the preliminary investigation is authority to do so, and Courts that grant the same
pending, in this case the MTCC] commit no error. The fiscal may re-investigate a case
and subsequently move for the dismissal should the re-
investigation show either that the defendant is innocent
5. Crespo v. Mugol - cel or that his guilt may not be established beyond
reasonable doubt. In a clash of views between the judge
Facts and Issue: whether the trial court acting on a who did not investigate and the fiscal who did, or
motion to dismiss a criminal case filed by the Provincial between the fiscal and the offended party or the
Fiscal upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice to defendant, those of the Fiscal's should normally prevail.
whom the case was elevated for review, may refuse to On the other hand, neither an injunction, preliminary or
grant the motion and insist on the arraignment and trial final nor a writ of prohibition may be issued by the courts
on the merits. to restrain a criminal prosecution except in the extreme
case where it is necessary for the Courts to do so for the
Ruling: WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED orderly administration of justice or to prevent the use of
the strong arm of the law in an op pressive and vindictive
Ratio: It is a cardinal principle that an criminal actions manner.
either commenced by complaint or by information shall
be prosecuted under the direction and control of the However, the action of the fiscal or prosecutor is not
fiscal. The institution of a criminal action depends upon without any limitation or control. The same is subject to
the sound discretion of the fiscal. He may or may not file the approval of the provincial or city fiscal or the chief
the complaint or information, follow or not fonow that state prosecutor as the case maybe and it maybe
presented by the offended party, according to whether elevated for review to the Secretary of Justice who has
the evidence in his opinion, is sufficient or not to the power to affirm, modify or reverse the action or
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opinion of the fiscal. Consequently the Secretary of prosecution nor can the fiscal be expected to handle the
Justice may direct that a motion to dismiss the rase be prosecution of the case thereby defying the superior
filed in Court or otherwise, that an information be filed in order of the Secretary of Justice.
Court.
The answer is simple. The role of the fiscal or prosecutor
The filing of a complaint or information in Court initiates as We all know is to see that justice is done and not
a criminal action. The Court thereby acquires jurisdiction necessarily to secure the conviction of the person
over the case, which is the authority to hear and accused before the Courts. Thus, in spite of his opinion
determine the case. When after the filing of the to the contrary, it is the duty of the fiscal to proceed with
complaint or information a warrant for the arrest of the the presentation of evidence of the prosecution to the
accused is issued by the trial court and the accused Court to enable the Court to arrive at its own
either voluntarily submited himself to the Court or was independent judgment as to whether the accused should
duly arrested, the Court thereby acquired jurisdiction be convicted or acquitted. The fiscal should not shirk
over the person of the accused. from the responsibility of appearing for the People of the
Philippines even under such circumstances much less
The preliminary investigation conducted by the fiscal for should he abandon the prosecution of the case leaving it
the purpose of determining whether a prima facie case to the hands of a private prosecutor for then the entire
exists warranting the prosecution of the accused is proceedings will be null and void. The least that the
terminated upon the filing of the information in the proper fiscal should do is to continue to appear for the
court. In turn, as above stated, the filing of said prosecution although he may turn over the presentation
information sets in motion the criminal action against the of the evidence to the private prosecutor but still under
accused in Court. Should the fiscal find it proper to his direction and control.
conduct a reinvestigation of the case, at such stage, the
permission of the Court must be secured. After such The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a
reinvestigation the finding and recommendations of the complaint or information is filed in Court any disposition
fiscal should be submitted to the Court for appropriate of the case as its dismissal or the conviction or acquittal
action. of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Court.
Although the fiscal retains the direction and control of the
While it is true that the fiscal has the quasi judicial prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is
discretion to determine whether or not a criminal case already in Court he cannot impose his opinion on the
should be filed in court or not, once the case had already trial court. The Court is the best and sole judge on what
been brought to Court whatever disposition the fiscal to do with the case before it. The determination of the
may feel should be proper in the rase thereafter should case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence.
be addressed for the consideration of the Court, The A motion to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be
only qualification is that the action of the Court must not addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or
impair the substantial rights of the accused. or the right deny the same. It does not matter if this is done before
of the People to due process of law. or after the arraignment of the accused or that the
motion was filed after a reinvestigation or upon
Whether the accused had been arraigned or not and instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the
whether it was due to a reinvestigation by the fiscal or a records of the investigation.
review by the Secretary of Justice whereby a motion to
dismiss was submitted to the Court, the Court in the In order therefor to avoid such a situation whereby the
exercise of its discretion may grant the motion or deny it opinion of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the
and require that the trial on the merits proceed for the action of the fiscal may be disregarded by the trial court,
proper determination of the case. the Secretary of Justice should, as far as practicable,
refrain from entertaining a petition for review or appeal
However, one may ask, if the trial court refuses to grant from the action of the fiscal, when the complaint or
the motion to dismiss filed by the fiscal upon the information has already been filed in Court. The matter
directive of the Secretary of Justice will there not be a should be left entirely for the determination of the Court.
vacuum in the prosecution? A state prosecutor to handle
the case cannot possibly be designated by the Secretary
of Justice who does not believe that there is a basis for 6. People vs. Lim April 2018 – albert
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they argued that the evidence of their guilt rests only on
Facts: This is a petition for Review on Certiorari on the circumstantial evidence. According to the petitioners,
decision of the CA dated April 22, 2016 affirming the there was no direct evidence that they falsified the
conviction of the petitioners of the crime of falsification of signature of Quintin on Board Resolution 2000-001,
public documents punishable under Art 172 in relation to which was embodied in the Secretary's Certificate dated
Art 171 of the Revised Penal Code. February 29, 2000.

The petitioners are siblings, all of whom are officers of In its decision dated April 29, 2014, the MeTC convicted
Pentel Merchandising Co., Inc. (Pentel). Their father, the petitioners but acquitted the Spouses Lee, stating
Quintin C. Lim (Quintin), established Pentel. Quintin died that the prosecution failed to prove their participation in
on September 16, 1996. the falsification of the Secretary's Certificate dated
February 29, 2000 and Board Resolution 2000-001. Not
In an Affidavit of Complaint dated September 21, 2010, satisfied with the decision of MeTC Petitioners appealed
one of Pentel's stockholders, Lucy Lim (Lucy), alleged to the RTC who affirmed the decision of the lower court
that the petitioners falsified the Secretary's Certificate on February 16 2015. Still aggrieved, the petitioners
dated February 29, 2000, which in turn contained Pentel elevated this case to the CA who likewise affirmed both
Board Resolution 2000-001 dated February 25, 2000. lower Courts on April 22, 2016. Hence this petition to the
This Board Resolution authorized Jimmy to dispose the SC was filed by the accused siblings who essentially
parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title repeated the arguments they made in the lower court,
(TCT) No. 129824 registered in Pentel's name, located however, in addition to their previous arguments, the
in P. Samonte Street, Pasay City (subject property). petitioners raise for the first time the prescription of the
Through this Secretary's Certificate, Jimmy was able to offense, claiming that the crime should have been
enter into a Deed of Absolute Sale on March 21, 2000, discovered at the latest on either: (a) March 21, 2000,
conveying the subject property to the Spouses Emerson the date of the Deed of Absolute Sale; or (b) March 29,
and Doris Lee (Spouses Lee). According to Lucy, the 2000, the date TCT No. 142595 was issued in favor of
Secretary's Certificate dated February 29, 2000 bearing the Spouses Lee.
Board Resolution 2000-001 was falsified, because it was
made to appear that Quintin signed it, despite having Issues:
already died on September 16, 1996-or, more than three 1. WON The petitioners were correctly charged with the
(3) years from the time of its execution. On May 15, crime of falsification of a public document?
2012, the criminal Information dated August 31, 2011 2. WON the defense of prescription of criminal offense
was filed with the MeTC, charging the petitioners and the can be raised even if done for the first time on appeal?
Spouses Lee with the crime of falsification of a public 3. WON the Criminal Act committed by the petitioners
document. has indeed prescribed?

During trial, the prosecution presented Lucy and another Rulings:


sibling of the petitioners, Charlie C. Lim (Charlie), to 1. YES. The accused were correctly charged. According
prove the charge against them. The Records Officer of to the petitioners, the evidence of the prosecution
the Registry of Deeds of Pasay City also testified for the actually proved the falsification of Board Resolution
prosecution, stating that TCT No. 129824 was cancelled 2000-001, a private document, instead of the Secretary's
by virtue of: Certificate dated February 29, 2000. As the falsification
of a private document requires proof of intention to
(a) the Secretary's Certificate dated February 29, 2000 cause damage, the petitioners argue that there is no
showing Board Resolution 2000-001; and evidence to establish this element. Furthermore, they
(b) the Deed of Absolute Sale between Pentel and the point out that the prosecution failed to prove the
Spouses Lee. existence of Board Resolution 2000-001 because they
merely relied on the Secretary's Certificate in
Pentel's title was cancelled on March 29, 2000, and in establishing its genuineness and due execution. While a
lieu thereof, TCT No. 142595 was issued in the name of board resolution is indeed not a public document within
the Spouses Lee. The petitioners and the Spouses Lee the contemplation of Section 19(b), Rule 132 of the
opted not to present any evidence, believing that the Revised Rules on Evidence, the Secretary's Certificate
prosecution's case against them was weak. However, dated February 29, 2000 squarely falls under this
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category. And, since the said Secretary's Certificate discovered by the offended party, the authorities, or their
specifically contained not only the supposed resolution agents. But if the offense is falsification of a public
passed by Pentel's Board of Directors, but also the document punishable under Article 172 of the RPC, as in
signatures of all the board members who approved such this case, the period for prescription commences on the
resolution, then it can be concluded that all of the date of registration of the forged or falsified document. In
petitioners participated in the execution of the falsified People v. Reyes, the Court explained that in criminal
Secretary's Certificate. cases, The rule is well-established that registration in a
public registry is a notice to the whole world. The record
To be clear, Quintin was indisputably dead by the time is constructive notice of its contents as well as all
Board Resolution 2000-001 was passed with his interests, legal and equitable, included therein. Hence,
participation on February 25, 2000. For this reason, discovery of the crime must necessarily be presumed
Pentel's Corporate Secretary, in conspiracy with the with the occurrence of this constructive knowledge.
other petitioners, falsified a public document by certifying At bar, The crime was fully consummated through the
under oath that Quintin was present during this board execution of the Secretary's Certificate dated February
meeting and making it appear that he signed the 29, 2000, which certified under oath that such meeting
resolution contained in the Secretary's Certificate, when happened with the participation of Quintin, and that
in truth and in fact, he could not, as he was already dead Board Resolution 2000-001 was passed with his
at the time of its execution. This is the main act of approval. It is well-settled that the filing of the complaint
falsification committed by the petitioners, especially in the fiscal's office interrupts the prescriptive
Shirley, who was the Corporate Secretary at that time. period.Unfortunately, the records of this case do not
The fact that Quintin's signature appeared on the show the date when Lucy's Affidavit of Complaint was
Secretary's Certificate corroborates this charge. filed. This Court notes, however, that the Affidavit of
Complaint was executed on September 21, 2010, or
2. YES, Prescription can be raised even for the first time more than ten (10) years from the time that prescription
on appeal. Section 3(g), Rule 117 of the Rules of commenced to run on March 29, 2000. Considering that
Criminal Procedure allows an accused to move for the Lucy's complaint could not have been tiled earlier than
quashal of the complaint or information on the ground its date of execution, prescription already set in by
that the criminal action or liability is extinguished. March 29, 2010, or approximately five (5) months before
Generally, the accused should make the objection the execution of the complaint on September 21, 2010.
before entering his plea, otherwise, the accused is
deemed to have waived this defense. However, Section As a result, by the time the criminal Information charging
9, Rule 117 of the same Rules carves out an exception the petitioners with falsification of a public document was
for grounds involving the extinguishment of the criminal filed on May 15, 2012, their criminal liability was already
action or liability, which includes the prescription of the extinguished. On this ground alone, the case against the
crime. petitioners should have been dismissed. The State
already lost its right to prosecute and punish the
Citing Syhunliong v. Rivera, where the defense of petitioners for the crime subject of Criminal Case.
prescription was raised only in the comment to the
petition filed before the Court. Despite this belated
objection, the Court upheld the right of the accused to
invoke the prescription of the crime at any stage of the
proceeding. Under these judicial pronouncements, the
petitioners are not deemed to have waived this defense,
even if they failed to move for the quashal of the
information prior to their arraignment.

3. YES, The prescriptive period of the crime which


began upon the registration of the property had already
elapsed by the time petitioners were charged, hence
they are entitled to Acquittal. Article 90 of the RPC
provides that the period tor the prescription of offenses
commences from the day on which the crime is
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