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\af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 From 1993 to 1997, Petron Corporation
(Petron), a corporation engaged in the business of refining, marketing and
distribution of petroleum products, received Tax Credit Certificates (TCCs) by
assignment from 18 private firms registered with the Board of Investments (BOI).
The TCCs were issued by the One Stop Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit & Duty Drawback
Center (OSS), an office under the Department of Finance (DOF). Petron used the
assigned TCCs to pay its excise tax liabilities.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5
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l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 The
practice was for the BOI-registered firms to sign the Deeds of Assignment upon
delivery of the TCCs to Petron. Petron then forwarded said documents to the OSS,
with a request for authorization to use said TCCs to pay for its excise tax
liabilities. DOF Undersecretary Antonio P. Belicena (Belicena) approved the
request of Petron through the issuance of Tax Debit Memoranda (TDM) addressed to
the Collection Program Division of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). The BIR
Collection Program Division accepted the TCCs as payment for the excise tax
liabilities of Petron by issuing its own TDM. The control numbers of the BIR-TDM
were indicated on the back of the TCCs, marking the final utilization of the tax
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However, the Fact Finding and Intelligence Bureau (FFIB) of the Office of the
Ombudsman eventually found that the aforementioned transactions involving the TCCs
were irregular and violative of the Memorandum of Agreement dated August 29, 1989
between the BOI and the DOF.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5
\lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0
\lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright
\lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich
\af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch
\af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 After the termination of the requisite preliminary investigation, the
Office of the Ombudsman issued a Resolution finding probable cause against several
public officers and private individuals, including petitioners Monico V. Jacob,
President, and Celso L. Legarda, Vice-President and General Manager for Marketing,
both of Petron, for perpetrating the so-called "tax credit scam." On April 10,
2010, the Office of the Ombudsman filed a total of 62 Informations, 18 of which,
were against DOF Undersecretary Belicena, OSS Deputy Executive Director Uldarico P.
Andutan, Jr., petitioners and other Petron officials, and officers of the BOI-
registered firms which assigned the TCCs to Petron, charging them with violation of
Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0
\pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0
\jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4
l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 Sixty
(60) days passed but the Office of the Ombudsman did not even bother to submit a
report on the status of the motions for reconsideration. Months passed, and then,
AN ENTIRE YEAR PASSED. There was still nothing from the respondent Office of the
Ombudsman.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9
\par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0
\sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0
\jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4
l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 In the
meantime, petitioner Jacob was arraigned on 1 June 2000 while petitioner Legarda
was arraigned on 18 May 2001.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5
\lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0
\lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright
\lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich
\af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch
\af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 On March 20, 2001, in view of a significant development in the Shell cases
(then pending with the 5th Division of the Sandiganbayan), petitioners and other
accused Petron officials filed a Motion to Resolve with the Office of the
Ombudsman. In the said motion, petitioners cited the Memorandum dated 30 January
2001 issued by Special Prosecutor Leonardo P. Tamayo upholding the dropping of the
charges against Shell official Pacifico Cruz on the ground that there was no
sufficient evidence to prove that he was part of the conspiracy. Petitioners
asserted that since their situation/alleged participation is similar to that of Mr.
Pacifico Cruz, they should similarly be dropped from the criminal cases. Despite
this, the respondent Office of the Ombudsman took no action.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch
\af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0
\li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha
\aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2
\dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2
\hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5
\loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 Considering the time that had lapsed, the Sandiganbayan
Fourth Division, at the hearing, expressly warned the prosecution that should it
fail to resolve the reconsideration/investigation, it would order the dismissal of
the cases or require the prosecution to show cause why it should not be cited for
contempt.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9
\par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0
\sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0
\jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4
l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 The
Sandiganbayan Fourth Division denied the motion of the prosecution for the
resetting of the scheduled arraignment and pre-trial on 2 July 2001 "it appearing
that the Reinvestigation of these cases has been pending for more than one (1) year
now and the court cannot countenance the unreasonable delay attributable to the
plaintiff."}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9
\par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0
\sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0
\jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4
l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 In
spite of the denial of their motion, the prosecution still failed to submit its
report to the [Sandiganbayan Fourth Division] during the 2 July 2001 hearing.}
{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain
\ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1
\widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0
\ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch
\af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 At the scheduled hearing on August 20,
2001, Prosecutor Orlando Ines, however, again requested for the deferment of the
arraignment and pre-trial on the ground that the resolution on the various motions
for reconsideration/reinvestigation were still pending approval by the Office of
the Ombudsman.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9
\par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0
\sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0
\jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4
l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 In all
the hearings conducted in the cases the defense verbally and consistently invoked
their right to speedy trial and moved for the dismissal of the cases. In the
course of more than one year, however, the [Sandiganbayan 4th Division] kept
affording the prosecution one chance after another. The sixty days granted to the
prosecution became more than four hundred days - still, there was no resolution in
sight.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard
\plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1
\widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0
\ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\b1 \fs24 \kerning2
\dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 Thus on 20 August 2001, compelled
by its duty to uphold the fundamental law, the [Sandiganbayan Fourth Division,
through its Chairman, Justice
Nario] issued a }{\b1 \i1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5
\lang9 \langnp9 \ul1 verbal order }{\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch
\f5 \lang9 \langnp9 dismissing the cases. The dismissal was duly recorded in the
minutes of the hearing of the said date which was attested to by the Clerk of Court
and signed by the parties.}{\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5
\lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0
\lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright
\lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich
\af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch
\af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 On 24 August 2001, the prosecution filed a Motion for Reconsideration that
the Order issued by the Honorable Court for the summary dismissal of all the graft
and estafa charges aforecited be SET ASIDE.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich
\af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420
\culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum
\adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2
\hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0
\loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5
\lang9 \langnp9 On August 31, 2001, the [Sandiganbayan Fourth Division] issued an
Order taking cognizance of the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the prosecution
and requiring the accused to file their respective comments thereon within five (5)
days.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9
\par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0
\sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0
\jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4
l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 On 4
February 2002, OR SIX (6) MONTHS after [Justice Nario] issued the verbal order of
dismissal, the [Sandiganbayan Special Fourth Division] issued an Order }{\b1
\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 setting aside said
verbal order.}{\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0
\pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0
\jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4
l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 The
Sandiganbayan Special Fourth Division gave the following reasons for overruling
Justice Nario's verbal order dismissing the criminal cases:}{\fs24 \kerning2
\dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420
\cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar
\aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch
\af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 In the present case, (1) there is already
a delay of the trial for more than one year now; (2) but it is not shown that the
delay is vexatious, capricious and oppressive; (3) it may be that, as stated in the
herein dissented Resolution, "at the hearings conducted in these cases, the defense
orally, openly and consistently asked for the dismissal of these cases"; however,
these oral manifestations were more of "knee-jerk reactions" of the defense counsel
in those hearings everytime the prosecution requested for postponement than
anything else as said defense counsel did not seriously pursue the dismissal of
these cases, such as by reducing their "request" in a formal written motion to
dismiss and/or insisting that the court formally rule on their request for
dismissal and go on certiorari if denied; and (4) considering the nature and
importance of the cases, if there is any prejudice that may have resulted as a
consequence of the series of postponements, it would be more against the government
than against any of the accused; however, be that as it may, none of the herein
accused has come out to claim having been thus prejudiced.}{\fs24 \kerning2
\dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420
\cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar
\aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch
\af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 Petitioners, together with four other co-
accused Petron officials, filed a Motion for Reconsideration.}{\fs24 \kerning2
\dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420
\cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar
\aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch
\af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 In an Omnibus Resolution dated December
12, 2003, the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division ruled in the prosecution's favor and
denied all the motions filed by the accused.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5
\loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0
\ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum
\adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2
\hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0
\loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5
\lang9 \langnp9 Hence, the Petition.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5
\loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276
\slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich
\af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 ISSUE: }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5
\loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 WHETHER OR NOT THE RESPONDENT COURT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE
OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN HOLDING THAT
PETITIONERS HAVE NOT BEEN PUT IN DOUBLE JEOPARDY.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich
\af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0
\sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0
\fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5
\hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 RULING:}{\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5
\hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0
\li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha
\aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2
\dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2
\hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5
\loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 No.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5
\lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0
\lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright
\lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich
\af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch
\af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 The Sandiganbayan Special Fourth Division did not abuse its discretion in
setting aside Justice Nario's verbal order, for not only was }{\b1 \fs24
\kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 such order baseless, }
{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 as we had
previously discussed herein; but more importantly, because it is }{\b1 \fs24
\kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 an utter nullity}
{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 , as we had ruled
in Corpuz.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9
\par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \culi400 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1
\widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21 \kerning2
\dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch
\f5 \lang9 \langnp9 We held in Corpuz that:}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich
\af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \culi400 \ri0 \lisb0
\lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0
\fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5
\hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 In the unanimous Resolution of December 12,
2003, the Sandiganbayan ruled as follows:}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5
\loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \culi400 \ri0 \lisb0
\lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0
\fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5
\hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 In the cases at bar, the dismissal made in
open court by the Chairman, }{\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch
\f5 \lang9 \langnp9 which was not reduced in writing, is not a valid dismissal or
termination of the cases. }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5
\lang9 \langnp9
This is because the Chairman }{\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch
\f5 \lang9 \langnp9 cannot unilaterally dismiss the same without the approval or
consent of the other members of the Division}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5
\loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 . The Sandiganbayan is a collegiate court and under its
internal rules prevailing at the time (Rule XVIII, Section 1(b) of the 1984 Revised
Rules of the Sandiganbayan, which is now Section 1(b), Rule VIII of the 2002
Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan), an order, resolution or judgment, in
order to be valid - that is to say, in order to be considered as an official action
of the Court itself - must bear the unanimous approval of the members of the
division, or in case of lack thereof, by the majority vote of the members of a
special division of five.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5
\lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1
\widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21 \kerning2
\dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch
\f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0
\lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright
\lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich
\af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch
\af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 We agree with the foregoing ratiocination. Section 1, Rule 120 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, }{\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5
\loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 mandates that a judgment must be written in the official
language, personally and directly prepared by the judge and signed by him and shall
contain clearly and distinctly a statement of the facts and the law upon which it
is based. The rule applies to a final order dismissing a criminal case grounded on
the violation of the rights of the accused to a speedy trial.}{\fs24 \kerning2
\dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 }{\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch
\af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 A verbal judgment or order of dismissal
is a violation of the provision; }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch
\f5 \lang9 \langnp9 hence, such order is, in contemplation of law, not in esse,
therefore, ineffective. Justice Nario failed to issue a written resolution
dismissing the criminal cases for failure of the prosecution to submit its report
on the reinvestigation of the cases within the sixty-day period fixed by the graft
court. Moreover, the verbal order was rejected by majority vote of the members of
the Sandiganbayan Special Division. In fine, there has been no valid and effective
order of dismissal of the cases. The Sandiganbayan cannot then be faulted for
issuing the assailed resolutions.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch
\f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0
\lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright
\lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich
\af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch
\af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 Neither are the petitioners entitled to a writ of mandamus to compel the
Sandiganbayan to reinstate the cases, considering that the verbal order of Justice
Nario as aforestated does not exist at all in contemplation of law. Given that
Justice Nario's verbal order dismissing Criminal Case is null and void, and does
not exist at all in contemplation of law, it follows that petitioners cannot invoke
the constitutional right against double jeopardy.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich
\af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0
\sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0
\fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5
\hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 To substantiate a claim for double jeopardy,
the following must be demonstrated:}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch
\f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276
\slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich
\af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 (1) [A] first jeopardy must have attached prior to
the second; (2) the first jeopardy must have been validly terminated; (3) the
second jeopardy must be for the same offense, or the second offense includes or is
necessarily included in the offense charged in the first information, or is an
attempt to commit the same or is a frustration thereof.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5
\hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0
\sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0
\fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5
\hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0
\sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0
\fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5
\hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 And legal jeopardy attaches only: (a) upon a
valid indictment; (b) before a competent court; (c) after arraignment; (d) [when] a
valid plea [has] been entered; and (e) the case was dismissed or otherwise
terminated without the express consent of the accused.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch
\af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0
\lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0
\itap0 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5
\hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0
\li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha
\aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2
\dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2
\hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5
\loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 In the instant Petition, legal jeopardy has }{\b1
\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 not yet attached
since there is so far no valid dismissal or termination of the criminal cases
against petitioners.}{\b1 \fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1
\widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21 \kerning2
\dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch
\f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0
\lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright
\lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0 \ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich
\af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch
\af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 Finally, the Sandiganbayan Special Fourth Division did not commit grave
abuse of discretion nor erred in not considering the glaring lack of evidence
against petitioners.}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1
\widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21 \kerning2
\dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch
\f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276
\slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich
\af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 As we pointed out in Rizon v. Desierto:}{\fs24
\kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql
\li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum
\adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain
\ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1
\widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0
\ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch
\af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 Time and again, we have held that a
prosecutor does not decide whether there is evidence beyond reasonable doubt of the
guilt of the person charged. He merely determines whether there is sufficient
ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that
the accused is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial. A finding of
probable cause, therefore, does not require an inquiry as to whether there is
sufficient evidence to secure a conviction. It is enough that the prosecutor
believes that the act or omission complained of constitutes the offense charged. A
trial is intended precisely for the reception of prosecution evidence in support of
the charge. It is the court that is tasked to determine guilt beyond reasonable
doubt based on the evidence presented by the parties at the trial on the merits.}
{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain
\ql \fi-420 \cufi0 \li420 \culi0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \pnrnot0 \sl276 \slmult1
\widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum \adjustright \lin420 \rin0 \jclisttab \tx420 \itap0
\ls1 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 {\listtext \pard \plain \fs21
\kerning2 \dbch
\af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0 \f4 l\'00\tab }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich
\af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 Here, there has been no trial yet. Therefore, there
has been no occasion yet for the full and exhaustive display of the parties'
evidence. The presence or absence of the elements of the crime is evidentiary in
nature that shall be passed upon after a full-blown trial on the merits.}{\fs24
\kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain \ql
\li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum
\adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard \plain
\ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum
\adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 NOTE ON SPEEDY
TRIAL:}{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 \par }\pard
\plain \ql \li0 \ri0 \lisb0 \lisa0 \sl276 \slmult1 \widctlpar \aspalpha \aspnum
\adjustright \lin0 \rin0 \itap0 \fs21 \kerning2 \dbch \af2 \hich \af0 \loch \af0
{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 Valid, since
speedy trial is a relative term. In determining whether the right of the accused
to a speedy trial was violated, the delay should be considered, in view of the
entirety of the proceedings. Indeed, mere mathematical reckoning of the time
involved would not suffice as the realities of everyday life must be regarded in
judicial proceedings which, after all, do not exist in a vacuum. }{\b1 \fs24
\kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9 \langnp9 While justice is
administered with dispatch, the essential ingredient is orderly, expeditious and
not mere speed. }{\fs24 \kerning2 \dbch \af5 \hich \af5 \loch \f5 \lang9
\langnp9 \par }}