Demurrer to Evidence 1. A was charged with the crime of kidnapping with murder.

After the prosecution rested its case, A filed a demurrer to evidence on ground of insufficiency of evidence to sustain his conviction. The prosecution filed an opposition. The trial court denied the demurrer and the motion for reconsideration thereafter filed. A filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals alleging that the denial of the demurrer to evidence, when there is no evidence against him, constitutes grave abuse of discretion, and prayed that the Court of Appeals render judgment acquitting him. May the trial court’s denial of the demurrer to evidence be properly assailed be a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals? Explain. (1996, # 10) Answer: The question does not state that A had obtained prior leave of court to file a demurrer to evidence. Without such leave of court, A has waived his right to present evidence and has submitted the case for judgment on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution. Alternative Answer: No, because the question of sufficiency of evidence to sustain a conviction may not be raised in a petition for certiorari. The remedy of A is to present his evidence and in the event of conviction to appeal. 2. After the government has rested its case of Raul’s trial for Qualified Theft, Raul, with leave of court, filed a Motion to Acquit” on the ground of lack of evidence proving his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The motion was denied on the ground that Raul should have filed a demurrer to evidence, not a “Motion to Acquit.” On the same day, without giving him the opportunity to present his defense, Raul was convicted on the basis of the evidence adduced by the prosecution. a) Did the trial court correctly deny Raul’s motion? b) Was Raul’s conviction proper? (1994, #13) Answer: a) No. The court did not correctly deny Raul’s motion to acquit. Demurrer to the evidence and motion to acquit are one and the same thing. Demurrer to the evidence is actually a motion to dismiss the case based on the insufficiency of the evidence of the prosecution. If the court finds that the evidence is insufficient, it may dismiss the case on that ground, and that amounts to an acquittal of the accused. b) No. Rauls’ conviction was not proper because he was not given the opportunity to present his defense. The rule is that if the court denies the motion for dismissal filed with prior leave of court, the accused may adduce evidence in his defense. The accused may adduce evidence in his defense. It is only when the accused files such motion to dismiss without express leave of court that he waives the right to present and submits the case for judgment on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution. 3. A. After the prosecution rested its case in a criminal action for rape, the accused filed a demurrer to the evidence. (a) If the court denies said motion, may the accused adduce evidence in his defense? (b) Is the rule on demurrer to evidence the same in civil actions? (1991, # 12) Answer: a) If the accused had obtained prior leave of court to file a demurrer to the evidence, he may adduce evidence in his defense upon denial of his motion for dismissal. However, if he had not obtained prior leave of court, he waives the right to present evidence and submits the case for judgment on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution. b) No. In civil cases, the defendant has the right to adduce evidence if his motion for dismissal is denied. However, if the motion is granted and the order of dismissal is reversed on appeal, he loses his right to present evidence.

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4. a) State the rule on demurrer to evidence in the trial of criminal cases. b) Geronimo was charged with homicide in the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City. After his plea of not guilty, the prosecution presented its evidence and formally offered several exhibits. Before admitting or objecting to the exhibits offered by the prosecution, Geronimo moved that the case be dismissed on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. The court denied the motion. Thereafter, Geronimo called his first witness to the stand. The prosecution objected, contending that Geronimo waived his right to present evidence since he never asked leave of court to demur to the evidence presented by the prosecution. Decide. (1989, #14) Answer: a) After the prosecution has rested its case, the court may dismiss the case on the ground of insufficiency of evidence: 1) on its own motion after giving the prosecution an opportunity to be heard; or 2) on motion of the accused filed with prior leave of court. If the court denies the motion for dismissal, the accused may adduce evidence in his defense. When the accused files such motion to dismiss without express leave of court, he waives the right to present evidence and submits the case for judgment on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution. b) Objection overruled. The rule on waiver does not apply because the prosecution had not yet rested its case when Geronimo moved to dismiss on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. 5. Facing a charge of Murder, X filed a petition for bail. The petition was opposed by the prosecution but after hearing, the court granted bail to X. On the first scheduled hearing on the merits, the prosecution manifested that it was not adducing additional evidence and that it was resting its case. X filed a demurrer to evidence without leave of court but it was denied by the court. a) Did the court have the discretion to deny the demurrer to evidence under the circumstances mentioned above? Answer: Yes. The court had the discretion to deny the demurrer to the evidence, because although the evidence presented by the prosecution at the hearing for bail was not strong, without any evidence for the defense, it could not be sufficient for conviction. b) If the answer to the preceding question is in the affirmative, can X adduce evidence in his defense after the denial of his demurrer to evidence? Answer: No. Because he filed the demurrer to the evidence without leave. However, the trial court should inquire as to why the accused filed the demurrer without leave and whether his lawyer knew that the effect of filing it without leave is to waive the presentation of the evidence for the accused. c) Without further proceeding and on the sole basis of the evidence of the prosecution, can the court legally convict X for murder?(1998, #14) Answer: Yes. Without any evidence from the accused, the prima facie evidence of the prosecution has been converted to proof beyond reasonable doubt. Alternative Answer: If the evidence of guilt is not strong and beyond reasonable doubt then the court cannot legally convict X for murder. 6. Charged with murder, Jorge Dumatol filed a demurrer to the evidence after the prosecution rested on the ground that there is no evidence of the corpus delicti. Several witnesses testified that the accused shot the victim and threw the body into the ocean. Notwithstanding a diligent search, the body was not found. Evidence was introduced to the effect that the waters where the body was thrown is shark-infested Is the demurrer tenable? Explain your answer. (1990, #19) Answer: No, because the testimony of several witnesses that the accused shot the victim and threw his body into the ocean which was shark-infested and despite diligent search the body was not found, is sufficient evidence of the corpus delicti. In murder, the corpus delicti is the fact of death, whether or not feloniously caused. It does not refer to the body of the murdered person.

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