REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III

Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

PART I
A. VENUE IN JURISDICTIONAL 1. ISIP v PEOPLE
FACTS Petitioner Manuel Isip (and his wife Marietta) were convicted of Estafa before the RTC of Cavite City. Marites, however, died during the pendency of the appeal before the CA. The spouses were engaged in the buying and selling of pledged and unredeemed jewelry pawned by gambling habitués. However, in their dealings with Complainant Atty. Leonardo Jose, they failed to account for the jewelries given to them to be sold on commission. Also, certain checks they’ve issued in favor of Jose bounced. Procedurally, petitioner contends that the RTC of Cavite has no jurisdiction over the case since the elements of the crime did not occur there. Instead, he argues that the case should have been filed in Manila where their supposed transactions took place. ISSUE: Whether the RTC of Cavite has jurisdiction over the case. RULING: YES. The concept of venue of actions in criminal cases, unlike in civil cases, is jurisdictional. The place where the crime was committed determines not only the venue of the action but is an essential element of jurisdiction. It is a fundamental rule that for jurisdiction to be acquired by courts in criminal cases, the offense should have been committed or any one of its essential ingredients should have taken place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. The jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information. And once it is so shown, the court may validly take cognizance of the case. However, if the evidence adduced during the trial shows that the offense was committed somewhere else, the court should dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction. Complainant had sufficiently shown that the transaction covered by the case took place in his ancestral home in Cavite City when he was on approved leave of absence from the Bureau of Customs. Since it has been shown that venue was properly laid, it is now petitioner's task to prove otherwise, since he claims that the transaction was entered into in Manila. He who alleges must prove his allegations applies.

CRIMINAL

CASES

IS

Here, petitioner failed to prove that the transaction happened in Manila. He argues that since he and his late wife actually resided in Manila, convenience suggests that the transaction was entered there. The Court wasn’t persuaded. The fact that Cavite is a bit far from Manila doesn’t necessarily mean that the transaction cannot or did not happen there. Distance will not prevent any person from going to a distant place where he can procure goods that he can sell so that he can earn a living. It is not improbable or impossible them to have gone, not once, but twice in one day, to Cavite if that is the number of times they received pieces of jewelry from complainant. Also, the fact that the checks issued were drawn against accounts with banks in Manila or Makati doesn’t mean that the transactions were not entered into in Cavite City. When it comes to credibility, the trial court's assessment deserves great weight, and is even conclusive and binding, if not tainted with arbitrariness or oversight of some fact or circumstance of weight and influence.

2. LANDBANK BELISATA
FACTS

of

the

PHILIPPINES

v

Belista is the owner of 8 parcels of land placed by the Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (PD No. 27 & EO No. 228). He and DAR/LBP disagreed on the amount of just compensation he deserved, which caused him to file a Petition for Valuation and Payment of Just Compensation before the DARAB-Regional Adjudicator for Region V (RARAD-V). The RARAD-V decided in his favor. Aggrieved, LBP filed an original Petition for Determination of Just Compensation at the same sala of the RTC sitting as SAC. It was dismissed on the ground of failure to exhaust administrative remedies. ISSUE Whether it is necessary that in cases involving claims for just compensation under RA No. 6657 that the decision of the Adjudicator must first be appealed to the DARAB before a party can resort to the RTC sitting as SAC. RULING Sections 50 and 57 of RA No. 6657 provide: Section 50. Quasi-judicial Powers of the DAR. – The DAR is hereby vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) x x x Section 57. Special Jurisdiction. – The Special Agrarian Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners, and the prosecution of all criminal offenses under this Act. x x x

misconduct, in relation to a BP 22 case against Mondejar. Judge Buban allegedly issued a “hold departure order” against her, in violation of SC Circular No. 39-97, which says that “hold departure orders” may only be issued in criminal cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of the RTC. She also claims that said order was issued without giving her an opportunity to be heard. The judge responded, stating that he was only made aware of said order when he instructed his staff to secure a copy from the Executive Judge of the RTC of Tacloban. After which, he immediately issued an order setting aside and lifting the “hold departure order”. As regards the supposed due process, he sent a notice of hearing to her and her counsel, but neither appeared. Court Administrator recommended a severe reprimand with a stern warning that should it happen again, he would be dealt with more severely. ISSUE: W/N the judge is administratively liable? HELD: YES. The judge is administratively liable. Circular No. 39-97 limits the authority to issue holddeparture orders to criminal cases within the jurisdiction of second level courts. Paragraph No. 1 of the said circular specifically provides that “holddeparture orders shall be issued only in criminal cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of the regional trial courts.” Clearly then, criminal cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of first level courts do not fall within the ambit of the circular, and it was an error on the part of respondent judge to have issued one in the instant case.

Clearly, under Section 50, DAR has primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the DA and the DENR. Further exception to the DAR's original and exclusive jurisdiction are all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners and the prosecution of all criminal offenses under RA No. 6657, which are within the jurisdiction of the RTC sitting as a SAC. Thus, jurisdiction on just compensation cases for the taking of lands under RA No. 6657 is vested in the courts. Here, the trial court properly acquired jurisdiction over Wycoco’s complaint for determination of just compensation. It must be stressed that although no summary administrative proceeding was held before the DARAB, LBP was able to perform its legal mandate of initially determining the value of Wycoco's land pursuant to Executive Order No. 405, Series of 1990. In accordance with settled principles of administrative law, primary jurisdiction is vested in the DAR to determine in a preliminary manner the just compensation for the lands taken under the agrarian reform program, but such determination is subject to challenge before the courts. The resolution of just compensation cases for the taking of lands under agrarian reform is, after all, essentially a judicial function.

C. JURISDICTION DETERMINED ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT 1. FOZ v PEOPLE
Facts:

BY

B. JURISDICTION DEPARTURE ORDERS

TO

ISSUE

HOLD

1. MONDEJAR v BUBAN
FACTS: Mondejar seeks to hold Judge Buban of the Tacloban City MTCC administratively liable for gross ignorance of the law, partiality, serious irregularity and grave

Vicente Foz (columnist) and Danny Fajardo (editorpublisher) of Panay News were charged with libel for writing and publishing an article against Dr. Edgar Portigo1. The RTC found them guilty as charged which
1 That a certain Lita Payunan consulted with Dr. Portigo\ that she had rectum myoma and had to undergo an operation. Even after surgery she still experienced difficulty in urinating and defecating. On her 2 nd operation, she woke to find that her anus and vagina were closed and a hole with a catheter punched on her right side.\ she found out she had cancer.\ they spent P150,000 for wrong diagnosis\

2

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

was affirmed by the CA hence this petition for review. Foz and Fajardo raised for the first time that the information charging them with libel did not contain allegations sufficient to vest jurisdiction in the RTC of Iloilo City. Issue: W/N the RTC of Iloilo had jurisdiction over the offense Held: NO Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of jurisdiction. The offense should have been committed or any one of its essential elements took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. The jurisdiction of the court is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information. The rules on venue for written defamation are as follows:

that “Dr. Portigo is a physician and medical practitioner in Iloilo City”, it did not clearly and positively indicate that he was actually residing in Iloilo City at the time of the commission of the offense. It was possible that he was actually residing in another place. Residence of a person is his personal, actual or physical habitation or his actual residence or place of abode provided he resides therein with continuity and consistency; no particular length of time is required. Residence must be more than temporary.

D. JURISDICTION OF SANDIGANBAYAN 1. PEOPLE v SANDIGANBAYAN
FACTS: Victoria Amante was a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Toledo City, Province of Cebu at the time pertinent to this case. On January 14, 1994, she was able to get hold of a cash advance in the amount of P71,095.00 under a disbursement voucher in order to defray seminar expenses of the Committee on Health and Environmental Protection, which she headed. As of December 19, 1995, or after almost two years since she obtained the said cash advance, no liquidation was made. Commission on Audit sent a report to Office of the Deputy Ombudsman, which then issued a resolution recommending the filing of an Information for violating the Auditing Code of the Philippines against respondent Amante. The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), upon review of the OMBVisayas' Resolution, on April 6, 2001, prepared a memorandum finding probable cause to indict respondent Amante. The OSP filed an Information with the Sandiganbayan accusing Victoria Amante of violating Section 89 of P.D. No. 1445 alleging that “with deliberate intent and intent to gain, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and criminally fail to liquidate said cash advances of P71,095.00.” The OSP filed an Information with the Sandiganbayan accusing Victoria Amante of violating Section 89 of P.D. No. 1445, Amante countered by saying amongst others that Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the said criminal case because respondent Amante was then a local official who was occupying a position of salary grade 26, whereas Section 4 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8249 provides that the Sandiganbayan shall have original jurisdiction only in cases where the accused holds a position otherwise classified as Grade 27 and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989, R.A. No. 6758.

1. When offended party is a public official or a
private person = filed in RTC of province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published When offended party is a private individual = filed in RTC of province where he actually resided at the time of commission of offense When offended party is a public officer whose office is in Manila = filed in RTC of Manila When offended party is a public officer holding office outside Manila = filed in RTC of province or city where he held office at the time of commission of the offense

2. 3.
4.

Dr. Portigo is a private individual at the time of the publication of the libelous article, the venue may be the RTC of the province/city where the libelous article was printed and first published OR where he actually resided at the time of the commission of the offense. The Information [relevant to REM] states only that “x x x both the accused as columnists and editor-publisher, respectively of Panay News, a daily publication with a considerable circulation in the City of Iloilo and throughout the region x x x”. such did not establish that the said publication was printed and published in Iloilo City. As cited in 2 other cases, the SC held that if it would be held that the information sufficiently vests jurisdiction on the allegation that the publication was in general circulation in [place where case is filed], there would be no impediment to the filing of the libel action in other location where the publication is in general circulation. Such was not the intent of RA 4363. On residence – the information failed to allege the residence of Dr. Portigo. While the information alleges

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

ISSUE: Whether or not a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod under Salary Grade 26 who was charged with violation of The Auditing Code of the Philippines falls within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. RULING: The applicable law in this case is Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of R.A. No. 7975 which took effect on May 16, 1995, which was again amended on February 5, 1997 by R.A. No. 8249. The alleged commission of the offense, as shown in the Information was on or about December 19, 1995 and the filing of the Information was on May 21, 2004. The jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is to be determined at the time of the institution of the action, not at the time of the commission of the offense. The exception contained in R.A. 7975, as well as R.A. 8249, where it expressly provides that to determine the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in cases involving violations of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, R.A. No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code is not applicable in the present case as the offense involved herein is a violation of The Auditing Code of the Philippines. The last clause of the opening sentence of paragraph (a) of the said two provisions states: Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. -- The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: A. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, other known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense The present case falls under Section 4(b) where other offenses and felonies committed by public officials or employees in relation to their office are involved. Under the said provision, no exception is contained. Thus, the general rule that jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is to be determined at the time of the institution of the action, not at the time of the commission of the offense applies in this present case. Since the present case was instituted on May 21, 2004, the provisions of R.A. No. 8249 shall govern. This Court had ruled that as long as the offense charged in the information is intimately connected with the office and is alleged to have been perpetrated while the accused was in the performance, though improper or irregular, of his official functions, there being no personal

motive to commit the crime and had the accused not have committed it had he not held the aforesaid office, the accused is held to have been indicted for "an offense committed in relation" to his office. Note also that: Those that are classified as Grade 26 and below may still fall within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan provided that they hold the positions thus enumerated by R.A. No. 3019. Particularly and exclusively enumerated are provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial department heads; city mayors, vicemayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers , and other city department heads; officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position as consul and higher; Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank; PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher rank; City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor; and presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations. In connection therewith, Section 4(b) of the same law provides that other offenses or felonies committed by public officials and employees mentioned in subsection (a) in relation to their office also fall under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.

2. SERRANA v SANDIGANBAYAN
Facts: Serana was a senior student and a government scholar of UP-Cebu. She was appointed by then President Estrada as a student regent of UP, to serve a one-year term. She discussed with President Estrada the renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex in UP Diliman. With her siblings and relatives, Serana registered with the SEC the Office of the Student Regent Foundation, Inc. (OSRFI). One of the projects of the OSRFI was the renovation of the Vinzons Hall Annex. President Estrada gave P15M to the OSRFI as financial assistance for the proposed renovation. The source of the funds, according to the information, was the Office of the President. However, the renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex failed to materialize. Hence, the succeeding student regent, filed a complaint for Malversation of Public Funds and Property with the Office of the Ombudsman. And the Ombudsman, after due investigation, found probable cause to indict Serana and her brother for estafa. Serana moved to quash the information. She claimed that the Sandiganbayan does not have any jurisdiction

4

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

over the offense charged or over her person, in her capacity as UP student regent. Issue: Whether Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction to try a government scholar and a student regent, along with her brother (a private individual), of swindling government funds? YES Ratio: 1. The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is set by P.D. No. 1606, as amended, not by R.A. No. 3019, as amended. Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. - The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: A. xxx (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as Grade "27" and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 989 (Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including: xxx " (g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations. 2. Sandiganbayan offense of estafa. has jurisdiction over the

As the Sandiganbayan pointed out, the BOR performs functions similar to those of a board of trustees of a non-stock corporation. Moreover, it is well established that compensation is not an essential element of public office. At most, it is merely incidental to the public office. 4. The offense charged was committed in relation to public office, according to the Information. It is axiomatic that jurisdiction is determined by the averments in the information. In the case at bench, the information alleged, in no uncertain terms that petitioner, being then a student regent of U.P., "while in the performance of her official functions, committing the offense in relation to her office and taking advantage of her position, with intent to gain…”

3. ESQUIVEL SANDIGANBAYAN(borrowed from C)
FACTS:

v

Section 4(B) of P.D. No. 1606 reads: B. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office. The jurisdiction is simply subject to the twin requirements that (a) the offense is committed by public officials and employees and that (b) the offense is committed in relation to their office. Plainly, estafa is one of those other felonies. 3. Petitioner UP student regent is a public officer. Petitioner claims that she is not a public officer with Salary Grade 27; she is, in fact, a regular tuition feepaying student. This is likewise bereft of merit. It is not only the salary grade that determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan also has jurisdiction over other officers enumerated in P.D. No. 1606.

PO2 Eduardo and SPO1 Catacutan are assigned to the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Division of San Fernando Pampanga. They filed their complaintaffidavits with the CIDG against petitioners Antonio Esquivel (the municipal mayor Jaen, Nueva Ecija) and his brother Eboy Esquivel. They crimes complained of were illegal arrest, arbitrary detention, maltreatment, attempted murder and grave threats. Several other police officers were accused with the Esquivels. The initial investigation showed that on March 1998, Eduardo was in his parents’ house, about to eat lunch when Equivels arrived with other police officers. They disarmed Eduardo and forced him to board their vehicle and brought him to the municipal hall. On the way, Mayor Esquivel mauled him and threatened to kill him while pointing a gun at Eduardo. Upon arrival at the town hall, Mayor Esquivel ordered a certain SPO1 Espiritu to kill Eduardo but SPO1 Catacutan arrived to verify what happened to Eduardo. The mayor threatened him as well. The mayor continued to harass, threaten and inflict physical injuries upon Eduardo until he lost consciousness. When he woke up, he was released but no before he signed a statement in a police blotter that he was in good physical condition. The alleged motive for this was because the mayor believed Eduardo and Catacutan were among the law enforcers who raided a jueteng den connected to the mayor. After investigation, the CIDG forwarded the findings to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman, which conducted a preliminary investigation and required the submission of counter-affidavits. In their counteraffidavits, the Esquivels allege that Eduardo was actually a fugitive with a warrant of arrest for malversation and they just confiscated his gun for illegal possession.

While the first part of Section 4(A) covers only officials with Salary Grade 27 and higher, its second part specifically includes other executive officials whose positions may not be of Salary Grade 27 and higher but who are by express provision of law placed under the jurisdiction of the said court. Petitioner falls under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as she is placed there by express provision of law.

5

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

In June 1998, the Deputy Ombudsman issued a resolution recommending that both Esquivels be indicted for less serious physical injuries and grave threats. As to the charges against other petitioners, they were dismissed. Then Ombudsman Desierto approved this. So, the separate informations were filed against the Esquivels in the Sandiganbayan. Accused filed an MR but this was denied. Esquivels were arraigned, pleaded not guilty. With the denial of their MR, they elevate the matter to the SC alleging GADLEJ in the issuance of the resolution of the deputy ombudsman. Petitioners theorize that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over their persons as they hold positions excluded in Republic Act No. 7975. As the positions of municipal mayors and barangay captains are not mentioned therein, they claim they are not covered by said law under the principle of expressio unius est exclusio alterius. ISSUE: W/N the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the cases against both Mayor Esquivel and Eboy Esquivel. HELD/RATIO: Yes, Sandiganbayan jurisdiction. Esquivels are wrong! has

and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Narcotics Group, Mary Ong filed a complaint-affidavit on before the Ombudsman against PNP General Panfilo M. Lacson, PNP Colonel Michael Ray B. Aquino, other highranking officials of the PNP, and several private individuals. Her complaint-affidavit gave rise to separate cases involving different offenses imputed to respondents Lacson and Aquino. The Ombudsman found the complaint-affidavit of Mary Ong sufficient in form and substance and thus required the respondents therein to file their counter-affidavits on the charges. On February 28, 2001, said respondents submitted their counter-affidavits and prayed that the charges against them be dismissed. Subsequently, on March 9, 2001, Mary Ong and other witnesses executed sworn statements before the NBI, alleging the same facts and circumstances revealed by Mary Ong in her complaint-affidavit before the Ombudsman. NBI Director Wycoco, in a letter dated May 4, 2001 addressed to then Secretary of Justice Hernando Perez, recommended the investigation of Lacson, Aquino, other PNP officials, and private individuals for the following alleged crimes: kidnapping for ransom and murder of several individuals. On May 7, 2001, a panel of prosecutors from the DOJ sent a subpoena to Lacson, et al named in the witnesses’ sworn statements directing them to submit their counter-affidavits and controverting evidence at the scheduled preliminary investigation on the complaint filed by the NBI. However, Lacson and Aquino manifested in a letter dated May 18, 2001 that the DOJ panel of prosecutors should dismiss the complaint filed therewith by Mary Ong since there are complaints pending before the Ombudsman alleging a similar set of facts against the same respondents, and claimed that the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction over criminal cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, he may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases involving public officials, including police and military officials such as private respondent. DOJ, which construed the letter as a motion to dismiss, denied the motion. Lacson, et al. filed before the RTC a petition for prohibition, which the RTC granted, saying that the Ombudsman has jurisdiction over the case, and directing the DOJ to desist from conducting preliminary investigation. Thus, the DOJ filed a Petition for certiorari and prohibition in the SC. ISSUE/RULING: W/N the DOJ has jurisdiction to conduct a preliminary investigation despite the pendency before the Ombudsman of a complaint involving the same accused, facts, and circumstances – NO RATIO: The question is whether or not the Ombudsman has in effect taken over the investigation of the case or cases

Petitioners’ claim lacks merit. In Rodrigo, Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan, Binay vs. Sandiganbayan, and Layus vs. Sandiganbayan, we already held that municipal mayors fall under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Nor can Barangay Captain Mark Anthony Esquivel claim that since he is not a municipal mayor, he is outside the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction. R.A. 7975, as amended by R.A. No. 8249, provides that it is only in cases where "none of the accused (underscoring supplied) are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade ‘27’ or higher" that "exclusive original jurisdiction shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended." Note that under the 1991 Local Government Code, Mayor Esquivel has a salary grade of 27. Since Barangay Captain Esquivel is the coaccused in Criminal Case No. 24777 of Mayor Esquivel, whose position falls under salary grade 27, the Sandiganbayan committed no grave abuse of discretion in assuming jurisdiction over said criminal case, as well as over Criminal Case No. 24778, involving both of them. Hence, the writ of certiorari cannot issue in petitioners’ favor.

E. JURISDICTION OF OMBUDSMAN 1. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE v LIWAG
FACTS: Alleging that she was a former undercover agent of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF)

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

in question to the exclusion of other investigatory agencies, including the DOJ. Since the Ombudsman has taken hold of the situation of the parties in the exercise of its primary jurisdiction over the matter, respondents cannot insist on conducting a preliminary investigation on the same matter under the pretext of a shared and concurrent authority. In the final analysis, the resolution on the matter by the Ombudsman is final. In the preliminary investigation conducted by the Ombudsman itself, the other investigative agencies of the Government have no power and right to add an input into the Ombudsman’s investigation. Only in matters where the other investigative agencies are expressly allowed by the Ombudsman to make preliminary investigation may such agencies conduct the investigation, subject to the final decision of the Ombudsman. The public respondents cannot find comfort in that provision of the law that the Ombudsman may take over, at any stage, from any investigative agency of the Government, the investigation of cases involving public officials, including police and military officials such as the petitioners. That situation presupposes the conduct by other Government agencies of preliminary investigations involving public officials in cases not theretofore being taken cognizance of by the Ombudsman. If the Ombudsman, as in the case, has already taken hold of the situation of the parties, it cannot take over, at any stage of the proceedings, the investigation being conducted by another agency. It has the case before it. Rudimentary common sense and becoming respect for power and authority would thus require the respondents to desist from interfering with the case already handled by the Ombudsman. Indeed, as conceded by the respondents, they are deputized prosecutors by the Ombudsman. If that is so, and that is the truth, the exercise by the principal of the powers negates absolutely the exercise by the agents of a particular power and authority. The hierarchy of powers must be remembered. Petitioners cannot seek sanctuary in the doctrine of concurrent jurisdiction. While the doctrine of concurrent jurisdiction means equal jurisdiction to deal with the same subject matter, the settled rule is that the body or agency that first takes cognizance of the complaint shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of the others. Thus, assuming there is concurrent jurisdiction between the Ombudsman and the DOJ in the conduct of preliminary investigation, this concurrence is not to be taken as an unrestrained freedom to file the same case before both bodies or be viewed as a contest between these bodies as to which will first complete the investigation. In the present case, it is the Ombudsman before whom the complaint was initially filed. Hence, it has the authority to proceed with the preliminary investigation to the exclusion of the DOJ. The subsequent assumption of jurisdiction by the DOJ in the conduct of preliminary investigation over the cases filed against the respondents would

not promote an orderly administration of justice. Although a preliminary investigation is not a trial, it is not a casual affair either. A preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial. To allow the same complaint to be filed successively before two or more investigative bodies would promote multiplicity of proceedings. It would also cause undue difficulties to the respondent who would have to appear and defend his position before every agency or body where the same complaint was filed. This would leave hapless litigants at a loss as to where to appear and plead their cause or defense. There is yet another undesirable consequence. There is the distinct possibility that the two bodies exercising jurisdiction at the same time would come up with conflicting resolutions regarding the guilt of the respondents.

2. LAZATIN v DESIERTO(borrowed from C)
FACTS: The Fact-Finding and Intelligence Bureau of the Office of the Ombudsman filed a Complaint-affidavit, charging petitioners Lazatin et al. with Illegal Use of Public Funds as defined and penalized under Article 220 of the RPC and violation of Section 3 (a) and (e) of RA 3019. The complaint alleged that there were irregularities in the use of Congressman Lazatin of his Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) for 1996 (he was both proponent and implementer of the projects funded from his CDF; he signed vouchers and supporting papers pertinent to the disbursement as Disbursing Officer; and he received, as claimant, eighteen (18) checks amounting to P4,868,277.08). Thus, Lazatin, with the help of Morales, Pelayo, David, was allegedly able to convert his CDF into cash. A preliminary investigation was conducted and the Evaluation and Preliminary Investigation Bureau (EPIB) thereafter issued a resolution recommending the filing against petitioners of 14 counts each of Malversation of Public Funds and violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019. This resolution was approved by Ombudsman Desierto. Hence, 28 informations were filed against petitioners in the Sandiganbayan. Petitioners Lazatin et al. filed their respective Motions for reconsideration/reinvestigation which were granted. The Office of Special Prosecutors (OSP) recommended the dismissal of the cases for lack or insufficiency of evidence. However, Desierto ordered the Office of the Legal Affiars (OLP) to review the OSP resolution. In a memorandum, the OLA recommended

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

that the OSP resolution be disapproved and the OSP be directed to proceed with the trial. Desierto adopted the OLA memorandum. The cases were then returned to the Sandiganbayan for continuation of criminal proceedings. Hence, petitioners Lazatin et al. filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. They contend that the Ombudsman had no authority to overturn the OSP's Resolution because, under Section 13, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman is clothed only with the power to watch, investigate and recommend the filing of proper cases against erring officials, but it was not granted the power to prosecute. They point out that under the Constitution, the power to prosecute belongs to the OSP, which was intended by the framers to be a separate and distinct entity from the Office of the Ombudsman. Petitioners conclude that, as provided by the Constitution, the OSP being a separate and distinct entity, the Ombudsman should have no power and authority over the OSP. Thus, petitioners maintain that R.A. No. 6770 (The Ombudsman Act of 1989), which made the OSP an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman, should be struck down for being unconstitutional.

R.A. No. 6770 was authorized by the Constitution was also made the foundation for the decision in Perez v. Sandiganbayan, where it was held that the power to prosecute carries with it the power to authorize the filing of informations, which power had not been delegated to the OSP. It is, therefore, beyond cavil that under the Constitution, Congress was not proscribed from legislating the grant of additional powers to the Ombudsman or placing the OSP under the Office of the Ombudsman.

3. PRESIDENTIAL AD-HOC FACT FINDING COMMITTEE v DESIERTO
Facts: President Fidel Ramos issued Administrative Order No. 13 creating the Presidential Ad-Hoc Fact Finding Committee on Behest Loans. Orlando S. Salvador, in his capacity as PCGG consultant, executed three separate Sworn Statements stating that among the loan accounts referred by the Assets Privatization Trust to the Committee for investigation, report and recommendation are those of the following corporations: P.R. Garcia and Sons Development and Investment Corporation (PRGS), Golden River Mining Corporation (Golden River), and Filipinas Carbon and Mining Corporation (Filcarbon). On different occasions, these three companies obtained loans from the Development Bank of the Philippines (PRGS and Golden River), and the National Investment Development Corporation (Filcarbon), amounting to tens of millions of pesos for various purposes in a period spanning from 1967 to 1982. Filcarbon’s loan in particular was favorably recommended by the President of the Philippine National Bank. Salvador alleged that, based on the evidence submitted to the Committee, these three corporations did not have sufficient collaterals for the loans they obtained, except with respect to the loans obtained by Golden River in 1975 and 1977. Salvador also alleged that the above-mentioned corporations did not have adequate capital to ensure not only the viability of their operations but also their ability to repay all their loans. Accordingly, the Committee found the loan accounts of the above-mentioned three corporations as behest loans. The Committee submitted its report to President Ramos who instructed then PCGG Chairman Magtanggol Gunigundo, sitting as the Committee's ex-officio Chairman, to file the necessary charges against the DBP Chairman and members of the Board of Directors, the former PNB President and former NIDC General Manager, together with the respective stockholders/officers of the three corporations. Salvador’s Sworn Statements were used

ISSUE: Whether Ombudsman Desierto acted with GADLEJ – NO.

HELD: Petitioners' attack against the constitutionality of R.A. No. 6770 is stale. It has long been settled that the provisions of R.A. No. 6770 granting the Office of the Ombudsman prosecutorial powers and placing the OSP under said office have no constitutional infirmity. The Court cited the case of Acop v. Office of the Ombudsman. In that case, the Court held that giving prosecutorial powers to the Ombudsman is in accordance with the Constitution as paragraph 8, Section 13, Article XI provides that the Ombudsman shall “exercise such other functions or duties as may be provided by law.” The constitutionality of Section 3 of R.A. No. 6770, which subsumed the OSP under the Office of the Ombudsman, was likewise upheld by the Court in Acop. More recently, in Office of the Ombudsman v. Valera, the Court declared that the OSP is “merely a component of the Office of the Ombudsman and may only act under the supervision and control, and upon authority of the Ombudsman” and ruled that under R.A. No. 6770, the power to preventively suspend is lodged only with the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman. The Court's ruling in Acop that the authority of the Ombudsman to prosecute based on

8

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

by the Committee as its bases in filing separate complaints with the Office of the Ombudsman against herein private respondents for alleged violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Complaints were filed against the aforementioned parties in the Office of the Ombudsman but upon the recommendation of the Evaluation and Preliminary Investigation Bureau, complaints against the respondents were dismissed. The Ombudsman ruled that, except with respect to the two loan transactions entered into by Golden River in 1982, all the offenses alleged by the Committee as having been committed by herein respondents had already prescribed under the provisions of Section 11 of R.A. No. 3019. As to the two 1982 transactions of Golden River, the Ombudsman found that, contrary to the claims of the Commission, the loan accounts obtained by the said corporation have sufficient collaterals. The subsequent Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied. Issue: Whether or not the Ombudsman was empowered to dismiss the complaint motu propio, without requiring the respondents to file their counter-affidavit or conducting preliminary investigation? (REM TOPIC)

exercise of its powers, and respects the initiative and independence inherent in the Ombudsman who, ‘beholden to no one, acts as the champion of the people and the preserver of the integrity of the public service.’ As a rule, the Court shall not unduly interfere in the Ombudsman’s exercise of his investigatory and prosecutory powers, as provided in the Constitution, without good and compelling reasons to indicate otherwise. The basis for this rule was provided in the case of Ocampo IV v. Ombudsman where the Court held as follows: The rule is based not only upon respect for the investigatory and prosecutory powers granted by the Constitution to the Office of the Ombudsman but upon practicality as well. Otherwise, the functions of the courts will be grievously hampered by innumerable petitions assailing the dismissal of investigatory proceedings conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman with regard to complaints filed before it, in much the same way that the courts would be extremely swamped if they would be compelled to review the exercise of discretion on the part of the fiscals or prosecuting attorneys each time they decide to file an information in court or dismiss a complaint by a private complainant. It is quite clear under Section 2(a), Rule II of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman, that it may dismiss a complaint outright for want of palpable merit. At that point, the Ombudsman does not have to conduct a preliminary investigation upon receipt of a complaint. Should the investigating officer find the complaint devoid of merit, then he may recommend its outright dismissal. The Ombudsman has discretion to determine whether a preliminary investigation is proper. It is only when the Ombudsman opts not to dismiss the complaint outright for lack of palpable merit would the Ombudsman be expected to require the respondents to file their counter-affidavit and petitioner, its reply.

Ruling: Yes. The Court has consistently held that the Ombudsman has discretion to determine whether a criminal case, given its facts and circumstances, should be filed or not. It is basically his call. He may dismiss the complaint forthwith should he find it to be insufficient in form and substance or, should he find it otherwise, to continue with the inquiry; or he may proceed with the investigation if, in his view, the complaint is in due and proper form and substance. Quite relevant is the Court's ruling in Espinosa v. Office of the Ombudsman and reiterated in the case of The Presidential Ad Hoc FactFinding Committee on Behest Loans v. Hon. Desierto, to wit: The prosecution of offenses committed by public officers is vested in the Office of the Ombudsman. To insulate the Office from outside pressure and improper influence, the Constitution as well as R.A. 6770 has endowed it with a wide latitude of investigatory and prosecutory powers virtually free from legislative, executive or judicial intervention. This court consistently refrains from interfering with the

4. CASTRO v DELORIA(Borrowed from C)
FACTS:

9

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

Castro was charged by the Ombudsman before the RTC with Malversation of public funds. The information alleged that Castro was a revenue officer of the BIR who misappropriated 556K+ of collections. Castro pleaded NOT GUILTY on arraignment. On Aug 31, 2001, Castro filed a Motion to Quash on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and lack of authority of the Ombudsman to conduct the preliminary investigation and file the Information since it failed t to allege her salary grade -a material fact upon which depends the jurisdiction of the RTC. Citing Uy v. Sandiganbayan, petitioner further argued that as she was a public employee with salary grade 27, the case filed against her was cognizable by the RTC and may be investigated and prosecuted only by the public prosecutor, and not by the Ombudsman whose prosecutorial power was limited to cases cognizable by theSandiganbayan. The RTC denied & held that the (1) jurisdiction of the RTC over the case did not depend on the salary grade, but on the penalty imposable upon the latter for the offense charged. It also (2) sustained the prosecutorial powers of the Ombudsman since in the cited case the court later overturned their decision in a clarificatory resolution. Finally, it said that the (3) Motion to Quash was contrary to Sec. 1, Rule 117, for it was filed after Castro pleaded not guilty under the Information. Castro contends that the prevailing jurisprudence from Aug 9, 1999 til May 20, 2001 was that the Ombudsman had no prosecutorial powers over cases cognizable by the RT and since the investigation and prosecution against Castro was conducted by the Ombudsman beginning April 26, 2000, then the August 9, 1999 Decision in Uy was applicable, notwithstanding that the decision was set aside in the March 20, 2001 Resolution. So, the Information that was filed against petitioner was void for at that time the Ombudsman had no investigatory and prosecutorial powers over the case. Castro filed an MR which was denied so filed a petition for certiorari w/ CA also dismissed. Filed 65 with SC. ISSUES: 1. W/N the Ombudsman had the authority to file the information in light of the ruling in the First "Uy vs. Sandiganbayan" case, which declared that the prosecutorial powers of the Ombudsman is limited to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. 2. W/N the clarificatory Resolution in the Uy vs. Sandiganbayan case can be made applicable to the Castro, without violating the constitutional provision on ex-post facto laws and denial of the accused to due process. RULING: YES to BOTH.

In the case of Office of the Ombudsman v. Enoc, similar grounds were raised and the SC held that the Ombudsman has powers to prosecute not only graft cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan but also those cognizable by the regular courts. It held: The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. It pertains to any act or omission of any public officer or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. The law does not make a distinction between cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts. It has been held that the clause "any illegal act or omission of any public official" is broad enough to embrace any crime committed by a public officer or employee. The reference made by RA 6770 to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, particularly in Section 15(1) giving the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and Section 11(4) granting the Special Prosecutor the power to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, should not be construed as confining the scope of the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to such cases. Moreover, the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman should not be equated with the limited authority of the Special Prosecutor under Section 11 of RA 6770. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is merely a component of the Office of the Ombudsman and may only act under the supervision and control and upon authority of the Ombudsman. Its power to conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute is limited to criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Certainly, the lawmakers did not intend to confine the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to these types of cases. The Ombudsman is mandated by law to act on all complaints against officers and employees of the government and to enforce their administrative, civil and criminal liability in every case where the evidence warrants. To carry out this duty, the law allows him to utilize the personnel of his office and/or designate any fiscal, state prosecutor or lawyer in the government service to act as special investigator or prosecutor to assist in the investigation and prosecution of certain cases. Those designated or deputized to assist him work under his supervision and control. The law likewise allows him to direct the Special prosecutor to prosecute cases outside the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction in accordance with Section 11(4c) of RA 6770. In the case of Office of Ombudsman v. Hon. Breva, court held that the March 20, 2001 Resolution, that the Ombudsman has prosecutorial powers in cases cognizable by the RTC, extends even to criminal information filed or pending at the time when its

10

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

August 9, 1999 Decision was the operative ruling on the issue.

motion for reconsideration shall be entertained. Petitioner failed to establish that her MR was indeed filed on time, and thus, failed to refute the assertion of the respondents based on the aforementioned Certification that petitioner was personally served a copy of the assailed Resolution. There are a number of instances when rules of procedure are relaxed in the interest of justice. However, in this case, petitioner did not proffer any explanation at all for the late filing of the MR. We find no justification why the Ombudsman entertained the motion for reconsideration, when, at the time of the filing of the motion for reconsideration the assailed Resolution was already final. 2. (relevant topic) Under Sections 12 and 13, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, and pursuant to R.A. No. 6770, the Ombudsman has the power to investigate and prosecute any act or omission of a public officer or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. Well-settled is the rule that this Court will not ordinarily interfere with the Ombudsman's exercise of his investigatory and prosecutory powers without good and compelling reasons that indicate otherwise. A contrary rule would encourage innumerable petitions seeking dismissal of investigatory proceedings conducted by the Ombudsman, which would grievously hamper the functions of the office and the courts, in much the same way that courts would be swamped by a deluge of cases if they have to review the exercise of discretion on the part of public prosecutors each time they decide to file an information or dismiss a complaint by a private complainant. Of course, this rule is not absolute. The aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court when the finding of the Ombudsman is tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. This Court laid down the following exceptions to the rule: 1.When necessary to afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of the accused; 2.When necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions; 3.When there is a prejudicial question that is sub judice; 4.When the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority; 5.Where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation; 6.When double jeopardy is clearly apparent; 7.Where the court has no jurisdiction over the offense; 8.Where it is a case of persecution rather than prosecution;

F. REVIEW OMBUDSMAN

OF

DECISIONS

OF

THE

1. ANTONINO v DESIERTO
FACTS Petitioner filed a verified complaint-affidavit before the Ombudsman against the respondents for violation of Paragraphs (e), (g) and (j), Section 3 of RA No. 3019 and for malversation of public funds or property through falsification of public documents. This concerns the alleged conspiracy involving respondents to cheat and defraud the city government of General Santos through the illegal disposition of Lot X of the Magsaysay Park in violation of law and its charter. The Ombudsman issued a resolution dismissing the charges against the respondents. Petitioner filed MR which was denied by the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman held that since the criminal Informations were already filed and the cases were already pending before the Sandiganbayan and the regular courts of General Santos City, the Ombudsman had lost jurisdiction over the said case. Petitioner filed this Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. ISSUE: w/n the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction in the exercise of his prosecutor functions, by dismissing the charges against the respondents. HELD: NO 1. Section 27 of R.A. No. 6770 (The Ombudsman Act of 1989) provides: SEC. 27. Effectivity and Finality of Decisions. — (1) All provisionary orders of the Office of the Ombudsman are immediately effective and executory. A motion for reconsideration of any order, directive or decision of the Office of the Ombudsman must be filed within five (5) days after receipt of written notice and shall be entertained only on any of the following grounds: (1) New evidence has been discovered which materially affects the order, directive or decision; (2) Errors of law or irregularities have been committed prejudicial to the interest of the movant. The motion for reconsideration shall be resolved within three (3) days from filing: Provided, That only one

11

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

9.Where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by the lust for vengeance; 10. When there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash on that ground has been denied. Grave abuse of discretion exists where a power is exercised in an arbitrary, capricious, whimsical or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility so patent and gross as to amount to evasion of positive duty or virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by, or in contemplation of law. The alleged grave abuse of discretion imputed to the Ombudsman is found wanting in this case. Thus, this Court finds no reason to deviate from the general rule. 3. Moreover, the elements of the offense, essential for the conviction of an accused under Section 3(e), R. A. No. 3019, are as follows: (1) The accused is a public officer or a private person charged in conspiracy with the former; (2) The said public officer commits the prohibited acts during the performance of his or her official duties, or in relation to his or her public functions; (3) That he or she causes undue injury to any party, whether the government or a private party; (4) Such undue injury is caused by giving unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference to such parties; and (5) That the public officer has acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable neglect. As found by the Ombudsman and based on the records, there is no showing of evident bad faith and/or gross negligence in the respective acts of the respondents. Finally, petitioner speaks of conspiracy among the respondents and those indicted. However, as found by the Ombudsman, such conspiracy alleged in the complaint was not supported by ample evidence. Conspiracy must be proved by direct evidence or by proof of the overt acts of the accused, before, during and after the commission of the crime charged indicative of a common design. This, the petitioner sadly failed to establish.

v. Enrique Marcelino, et al.). In the said criminal case, Complainant filed three (3) separate complaints against Marcelino, Nuñez, Tabazon, and Carunungan who are all from the Traffic Management Unit of San Pedro, Laguna. The criminal complaint was for Falsification, Grave Threats and Usurpation of Authority. The three (3) cases were assigned to respondent judge’s branch and subsequently consolidated for disposition. In a Consolidated Resolution, only the charge of Usurpation was set for arraignment, the rest of the charges having been dismissed. Thereafter, Complainant made a manifestation that the complaint also charged the defendants with violation of RA No. 10 accompanied by a prayer for the issuance of warrants of arrests against the defendants. Respondent judge found no probable cause and dismissed the charge for violation of R.A. 10. She also denied complainant’s prayer for the issuance of warrants of arrest against the accused and ordered the records forwarded to the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) for review. The PPO affirmed respondent’s order and remanded the case to the court for further proceedings on the sole charge of Usurpation of Authority. During the hearing of the case on February 14, 2004, Tabazon, Carunungan and Nuñez did not appear. Atty. Sesbreño, however, did not move for the issuance of warrants of arrest against them. Neither did he object to the cancellation of the scheduled hearing. ISSUES: Did Respondent err in not conducting a preliminary investigation for the charge of Usurpation of Authority? 2. Did Respondent err in not issuing warrants of arrest for failure of the accused to appear during trial? 3. Did Respondent err in issuing her Order dismissing the complaint for violation of R.A. 10? 4. Did Respondent err in transmitting the records of the case to the PPO instead of the Office of the Ombudsman? HELD: 1.

G. PROCEDURE BEFORE THE OMBUDSMAN 1. SESBRENO v AGLUGUB
FACTS: This case involves a complaint filed by Sesbreño (Complainant) against MTC Judge Aglugub (Respondent) for Gross Ignorance of the Law, Neglect of Duty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service relative to a criminal case (entitled People

1. No. A preliminary investigation is required

before the filing of a complaint or information for an offense where the penalty prescribed by law is at least four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day without regard to the fine. Thus, a preliminary investigation is not required nor was one conducted for the charge of violation of Art. 177 of the Revised Penal Code which is punishable by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or from six (6) months and one (1) day to four (4) years and two (2) months.

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

2. No. There is nothing in the Rules of Criminal

Procedure which requires a judge to issue a warrant of arrest for the non-appearance of the accused during the trial. Hence, its issuance rests on the sound discretion of the presiding judge. More so in this case, the private prosecutor did not move for the issuance of such warrant. 3. No. Respondent concedes that due to oversight, she failed to rule on the charge of violation of R.A. 10 in her initial Resolution. Nonetheless, she asserts in her Comment With Motion To Dismiss Administrative Complaint that she conducted a preliminary investigation for the charge of violation of R.A. 10 and dismissed the charge after taking into consideration the affidavits and evidence presented. Complainant does not dispute the fact that indeed a preliminary investigation was conducted for this charge. Thus, when respondent judge dismissed the complaint for violation of R.A. 10, she merely did so to correct an oversight. It was the dismissal of the charge for violation of R.A. 10 that was elevated to the PPO for review. It was imprudent, however, for respondent judge to transmit the entire records of the case to the PPO knowing that the charge for Usurpation of Authority was included in the records of the case. Respondent judge should have ensured that at least one complete set of the records remained in her sala so that the prosecution for Usurpation of Authority would not be held up. Injudicious though her actuation was, Respondent judge was not motivated by an evil intent to delay the case. 4. No. This issue is answered by Administrative Order No. 8 entitled Clarifying and Modifying Certain Rules of Procedure of the Ombudsman, which provides "that all prosecutors are now deputized Ombudsman prosecutors." Moreover, "[R]esolutions in Ombudsman cases against public officers and employees prepared by a deputized assistant prosecutor shall be submitted to the Provincial or City Prosecutor concerned who shall, in turn, forward the same to the Deputy Ombudsman of the area with his recommendation for the approval or disapproval thereof.” Thus, Respondent did not err and was, in fact, merely acting in accordance with law when she forwarded the case for violation of R.A. 10 to the PPO. The fact that the PPO remanded the case to the court for further proceedings instead of forwarding the same to the Deputy Ombudsman as required by Administrative Order No. 8 is quite another matter. In any event, respondent judge should have taken the necessary steps to remedy the lapse in order to preclude delay in the disposition of the case. Complaint dismissed for lack of merit. Respondent was nonetheless admonished to

be more circumspect in the performance of her duties in the future.

H. POWER OF THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE OVER PROSECUTORS 1.PUNZALAN from C)
FACTS: Punzalan and the Plata families were neighbors. On Aug. 13, 1997, Dela Peña, a house boarder of the Platas, was in front of a store near their house when the group of Rainier Punzalan, Randall Punzalan, Ricky Eugenio, Jose Gregorio, Alex “Toto” Ofrin, and others arrived. Eugenio shouted at Dela Peña, “Hoy, kalbo, saan mo binili ang sumbrero mo?” Dela Peña replied, “Kalbo nga ako, ay pinagtatawanan pa ninyo ako.” Irked by the response, Gregorio slapped Dela Peña while Rainier punched him in the mouth. The group then ganged up on him. Somebody shouted, “Yariin na ‘yan!” Thereafter, Ofrin kicked Dela Peña and tried to stab him with a balisong but missed. While Dela Peña was fleeing, he met Robert Cagara, the Platas’ family driver, who was carrying a gun. He grabbed the gun and pointed it to the group chasing him to scare them. Michael Plata, who was nearby, intervened and tried to wrestle the gun away from Dela Peña. The gun accidentally went off and hit Rainier Punzalan on the thigh. The group ran after them and when they got to the Platas’ house, shouted, “Lumabas kayo d’yan, putang ina ninyo! Papatayin namin kayo!” Rainier Punzalan filed a criminal complaint against Michael Plata for Attempted Homicide and against Robert Cagara for Illegal Possession of Firearm. In turn, Plata, Cagara and Dela Peña filed several counter-charges for grave oral defamation, grave threats, robbery, malicious mischief and slight physical injuries against the Punzalans, including one for Attempted Murder filed by Dela Peña against Rainier and Randall Punzalan and fourteen others and one for Grave Threats filed by Dela Peña against Ofrin. In their counter-affidavit, the Punzalans argued that the charges against them were fabricated in order to dissuade them from testifying in the Attempted Homicide and Illegal Possession of Firearm cases instituted by Rainier against Plata and Cagara, respectively.

v

DELA

PENA(Borrowed

13

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

Cagara also filed a complaint for Grave Oral Defamation against Rosalinda Punzalan, mother of Rainier, alleging that on October 16, 1997 at the Office of the Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City, Rosalinda approached him, and within hearing distance of other people, told him, “Hoy Robert, magkanong ibinigay ng mga Plata sa iyo sa pagtestigo? Dodoblehin ko at ipapasok pa kita ng trabaho.” In her defense, Rosalinda denied having uttered the alleged defamatory statements. On July 28, 1998, the Assistant City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City dismissed the complaint for Grave Oral Defamation against Rosalinda Punzalan, holding that Cagara failed to show that the alleged defamatory statements would cast dishonor, discredit or contempt upon him. He also found that the statements were uttered by Rosalinda in a state of distress and were not actionable. The charge of Attempted Murder against Rainier, Randall and 14 others was also dismissed because complainant Dela Peña’s claim that he accidentally shot Rainier forms part of the defense of Michael Plata in the Attempted Homicide case previously filed by Rainier against the latter. Dela Peña and Cagara separately appealed to the DOJ. On March 23, 2000, then Justice Secretary Artemio Tuquero issued a Resolution modifying the July 28, 1998 Joint Resolution of the Assistant City Prosecutor. Petitioners, Rosalinda, Rainier and Randall Punzalan, together with their co-respondents, filed separate MR. On June 6, 2000, the Secretary of Justice set aside the March 23, 2000 Resolution and directed the withdrawal of the Informations against the movants, Punzalan et al. (Reason: Oral Defamation case should be dismissed because the alleged defamatory statements were uttered without malice as Rosalinda was then in a state of shock and anger. Anent the Attempted Homicide case filed by Dela Peña against Rainier, the Secretary held that the allegations in support thereof should first be threshed out in the trial of the Attempted Homicide case filed by Rainier against Michael Plata. He added that Dela Peña failed to prove that Rainier, Randall and his companions intended to kill him.) Respondents’ MR was denied. Hence, they filed a petition for certiorari with the CA, which reversed June 6, 2000 Resolution where Secretary of Justice directed the withdrawal of informations for slight oral defamation against Rosalinda Punzalan and attempted homicide against the respondents.

Petitioners’ MR was denied. Hence, the instant petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. ISSUE: WON the CA erred in setting aside the resolutions of the Secretary of Justice –YES HELD/RATIO: YES. The Secretary of Justice did not commit grave abuse of discretion to justify interference by the Courts. A petition for certiorari is the proper remedy when any tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction and there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy at law. We now resolve whether the Secretary of Justice committed grave abuse of discretion in his Resolutions dated June 6, 2000 and October 11, 2000. Under the Revised Administrative Code, the Secretary of Justice exercises the power of direct control and supervision over the decisions or resolutions of the prosecutors. “Supervision and control” includes the authority to act directly whenever a specific function is entrusted by law or regulation to a subordinate; to direct the performance of duty; and to approve, revise or modify acts and decision of subordinate officials or units. In the case of People v. Peralta, we reiterated the rule that the right to prosecute vests the prosecutor with a wide range of discretion – the discretion of whether, what and whom to charge, the exercise of which depends on a variety of factors which are best appreciated by prosecutors. In the case of Hegerty v. Court of Appeals, we declared that: A public prosecutor, by the nature of his office, is under no compulsion to file a criminal information where no clear legal justification has been shown, and no sufficient evidence of guilt nor prima facie case has been presented by the petitioner. We need only to stress that the determination of probable cause during a preliminary investigation or reinvestigation is recognized as an executive function exclusively of the prosecutor. An investigating prosecutor is under no obligation to file a criminal action where he is not convinced that he has the quantum of evidence at hand to support the averments. Prosecuting officers have equally the duty not to prosecute when after investigation or reinvestigation they are convinced that the evidence

14

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

adduced was not sufficient to establish a prima facie case. Thus, the determination of the persons to be prosecuted rests primarily with the prosecutor who is vested with discretion in the discharge of this function. Thus, the question of whether or not to dismiss a complaint is within the purview of the functions of the prosecutor and, ultimately, that of the Secretary of Justice. The reasons of the Secretary of Justice in directing the City Prosecutor to withdraw the informations for slight oral defamation against Rosalinda Punzalan and for attempted homicide against the other respondents other than Rosalinda Punzalan is determinative of whether or not he committed grave abuse of discretion. First, in the charge of slight oral defamation, the records show that the defamatory remarks were uttered within the Office of the City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City. The CA in its Decision stated the settled rule that the assessment of the credibility of witnesses is best left to the trial court in view of its opportunity to observe the demeanor and conduct of the witnesses on the stand. The City Prosecutor, the proper officer at the time of the occurrence of the incident, is the best person to observe the demeanor and conduct of the parties and their witnesses and determine probable cause whether the alleged defamatory utterances were made within the hearing distance of third parties. The investigating prosecutor found that no sufficient evidence existed. The Secretary of Justice in his Resolution affirmed the decision of the City Prosecutor. As to the charge of attempted homicide against the herein petitioners other than Rosalinda Punzalan, the Secretary of Justice resolved to dismiss the complaint because it was in the nature of a countercharge. The DOJ in a Resolution had already directed that Dela Peña be likewise investigated for the charge of attempted homicide in connection with the shooting incident that occurred on August 13, 1997 making him a party to the case filed by Rainier Punzalan. This resulted in the resolution of the Secretary of Justice that the complaint of Dela Peña should be threshed out in the proceedings relevant to the shooting incident that resulted in the serious injury of Rainier Punzalan. In the case at bar, therefore, the Secretary of Justice did not commit grave abuse of discretion contrary to the finding of the CA. It is well-settled in the recent case of Samson, et al. v. Guingona that the Court will not interfere in the conduct of preliminary investigations or

reinvestigations and leave to the investigating prosecutor sufficient latitude of discretion in the exercise of determination of what constitutes sufficient evidence as will establish probable cause for the filing of information against an offender. Moreover, his findings are not subject to review unless shown to have been made with grave

abuse. I. ROLE OF THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL IN CRIMINAL CASES 1. PEOPLE v DUCA
FACTS It was in 1999 that Pedro Calanayan filed an action for ejectment and damages against Cecilia F. Duca and several of her relatives. The case was decided in favor of Calanayan. Decision became final and executory. Ultimately properties belonging to Cecilia hit the auction block to satisfy judgment and a certificate of sale was issued in favor of Jocelyn Barque, the highest bidder in the auction sale. Cecilia Duca went on fighting. She filed an action for the Declaration of Nullity of Execution and Damages with prayer for Writ of Injunction and Temporary Restraining order. When the said case was heard, Cecilia Duca testified to the effect that the house erected on the lot subject of the ejectment case is owned by her son Aldrin Duca. This is the core of the controversy: Cecilia (Mother) and Arturo (Son) Duca feloniously prepared a Declaration of Real Property over a bungalow type residential house by making it appear that the signature appearing on the sworn statement of owner is that of her other son Aldrin F. Duca. This was false of course, as the latter was abroad at that time having arrived in the Philippines only long after the dastardly deed. Accused Arturo F. Duca who affixed his own signature thereon and by doing so caused damage to private complainant Pedro Calanayan. Because of the isrepresentation, Cecilia and Arturo were able to mislead the RTC such that they were able to get a TRO against Sheriff Hortaleza and the policemen ordering them to stop from evicting the plaintiffs from the property in question. Both accused denied that they falsified the signature of Aldrin Duca. Cecilia testified that she had no participation in the execution as she was in Manila at that time. Arturo insisted there was no falsification. The MTC found him guilty. RTC affirmed. Duca filed petition for review at the CA.

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

The CA ruled that Arturo was empowered by Aldrin to issue that tax declaration, hence no crime had been committed. Aggrieved, the SolGen declared that the CA should have given the Republic a chance to be heard before ruling such. ISSUE: w/n the CA gravely abused its discretion and acted without discretion by resolving the appeal without giving the SOLGEN a chance to be heard. HELD: CA abused its discretion. Petitioner argues that the prosecution was denied due process when the CA resolved the respondent’s appeal without notifying the People of the Philippines, through the Solicitor General, of the pendency of the same and without requiring the Solicitor General to file his comment. Petitioner also asserts that once the case is elevated to the CA or this Court, it is only the Solicitor General who is authorized to bring or defend actions on behalf of the People. Thus, the CA gravely abused its discretion when it acted on respondent’s appeal without affording the prosecution the opportunity to be heard. Consequently, the decision of the CA acquitting respondent should be considered void for being violative of due process. The authority to represent the State in appeals of criminal cases before the CA and the Supreme Court is solely vested in the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Section 35(1), Chapter 12, Title III of Book IV of the 1987 Administrative Code explicitly provides, viz.:
SEC. 35. Powers and Functions. – The Office of the Solicitor General shall represent the Government of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of lawyers. x x x It shall have the following specific powers and functions: (1) Represent the Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in all criminal proceedings; represent the Government and its officers in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, and all other courts or tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party. (emphasis supplied)

Sec. 1. How appeal taken; time for filing. – A party desiring to appeal from a decision of the Regional Trial Court rendered in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction may file a verified petition for review with the Court of Appeals, paying at the same time to the clerk of said court the corresponding docket and other lawful fees, depositing the amount of P500.00 for costs, and furnishing the Regional Trial Court and the adverse party with a copy of the petition. The petition shall be filed and served within fifteen (15) days from notice of the decision sought to be reviewed or of the denial of petitioner’s motion for new trial or reconsideration filed in due time after judgment. Upon proper motion and the payment of the full amount of the docket and other lawful fees and the deposit for costs before the expiration of the reglementary period, the Court of Appeals may grant an additional period of fifteen (15) days only within which to file the petition for review. No further extension shall be granted except for the most compelling reason and in no case to extend fifteen (15) days. Sec. 3. Effect of failure to comply with requirements. – The failure of the petitioner to comply with any of the foregoing requirements regarding the payment of the docket and other lawful fees, the deposit for costs, proof of service of the petition, and the contents of and the documents which should accompany the petition shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal thereof. (emphasis supplied)

Respondent Duca appealed to the CA from the decision of the RTC via a petition for review under Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Court. The respondent was mandated under Section 1, Rule 42 of the Rules of Court to serve copies of his petition for review upon the adverse party, in this case, the People of the Philippines through the OSG.

Respondent Duca failed to serve a copy of his petition on the OSG and instead served a copy upon the Assistant City Prosecutor of Dagupan City. The service of a copy of the petition on the People of the Philippines, through the Prosecutor would be inefficacious for the reason that the Solicitor General is the sole representative of the People of the Philippines in appeals before the CA and the Supreme Court. Certiorari was thereby granted remanded the case to the CA and the SC

The CA also failed to follow Sections 1 and 3 of Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Court:

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

PART II
A. COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION SUFFICIENCY INFORMATION OF COMPLAINT or

The trial court found Edgardo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes of rape (2 counts) and the crime of attempted rape. The CA affirmed the decision of the trial court with modifications as to the award of damages. In accordance with Sec. 13, Rule 124 of the Amended Rules to Govern Review of Death Penalty Cases (A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC, effective 15 October 2004), the case was CERTIFIED to the Supreme Court for review. ISSUE: W/N the complaint for attempted rape was sufficient? RULING: NO. RATIO: We affirm the trial court's conviction for the crimes of rape. However, we acquit Edgardo for the crime of attempted rape for failure to allege in the complaint the specific acts constitutive of attempted rape. For complaint or information to be sufficient, it must state the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate time of the commission of the offense, and the place wherein the offense was committed. What is controlling is not the title of the complaint, nor the designation of the offense charged or the particular law or part thereof allegedly violated, these being mere conclusions of law made by the prosecutor, but the description of the crime charged and the particular facts therein recited. The acts or omissions complained of must be alleged in such form as is sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is intended to be charged, and enable the court to pronounce proper judgment. No information for a crime will be sufficient if it does not accurately and clearly allege the elements of the crime charged. Every element of the offense must be stated in the information. What facts and circumstances are necessary to be included therein must be determined by reference to the definitions and essentials of the specified crimes. The requirement of alleging the elements of a crime in the information is to inform the accused of the nature of the accusation against him so as to enable him to suitably prepare his defense. The presumption is that the accused has no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense. The above-cited complaint upon which Edgardo was arraigned does not allege specific acts or omission constituting the elements of the crime of rape. Neither does it constitute sufficient allegation of elements for crimes other than rape, i.e., Acts of Lasciviousness.

1. PEOPLE v DIMAANO
FACTS: Maricar Dimaano charged her father, Edgardo Dimaano, with 2 counts of rape and 1 count of attempted rape in the complaints which read as follows: Criminal Case No. 96-125 That sometime in the year 1993 in the Municipality of Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, by means of force and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of the undersigned Maricar Maricar Dimaano y Victoria, who is his own daughter, a minor 10 years of age, against her will and consent. CONTRARY TO LAW. Criminal Case No. 96-150 That on or about the 29th day of December 1995, in the Municipality of Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, by means of force and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of the undersigned Maricar Maricar Dimaano y Victoria, who is his own daughter, a minor 12 years of age, against her will and consent. CONTRARY TO LAW. Criminal Case No. 96-151 That on or about the 1st day of January 1996, in the Municipality of Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, try and attempt to rape one Maricar Dimaano y Victoria, thus commencing the commission of the crime of Rape, directly by overt acts, but nevertheless did not perform all the acts of execution which would produce it, as a consequence by reason of cause other than his spontaneous desistance that is due to the timely arrival of the complainant’s mother. CONTRARY TO LAW.

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

The allegation therein that the Edgardo 'tr[ied] and attempt[ed] to rape the complainant does not satisfy the test of sufficiency of a complaint or information, but is merely a conclusion of law by the one who drafted the complaint. This insufficiency therefore prevents this Court from rendering a judgment of conviction; otherwise we would be violating the right of Edgardo to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him.

Petitioner now filed a motion to Quash Information on the basis that the facts charged does not constitute an offense and that the court has no jurisdiction of the offense charged and the person of the accused. This was denied by RTC and now under a petition for certiorari. ISSUE: Whether the complaint is sufficient and the denial of the motion to quash information should be sustained. HELD: Yes. Petitioner harps on the insufficiency of the charge based on the following circumstances: formal defects such that complainant has not personally sworn before the investigating prosecutor; complainant’s lack capacity to sue such that there was no board resolution authorizing Welts(president) to institute the action; and other exculpatory defenses against the crime. However, under Rule 112 Sec. 3 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, a complaint is substantially sufficient if it states the known address of the respondent, it is accompanied by complainant’s affidavit and his witnesses and supporting documents, and the affidavits are sworn to before any fiscal, state prosecutor or government official authorized to administer oath, or in their absence or unavailability, a notary public who must certify that he personally examined the affiants and that he is satisfied that they voluntarily executed and understood their affidavits. All these have been duly satisfied in the complaint filed before Prosecution Attorney Aileen Marie S. Gutierrez. It must be noted that even the absence of an oath in the complaint does not necessarily render it invalid. Want of oath is a mere defect of form, which does not affect the substantial rights of the defendant on the merits. In this case, the basis of the information is Welt’s complaint affidavit which though subscribed abroad before a foreign notary public, it bears the authentication of the Phil. Consul. Although what was initially presented was just presented was a photocopy, there was an offer to produce the original which was in the hands of another prosecutor. Moreover, there are other basis such as the report of the NBI and the Ortega law firms letter asking NBI’s assistance and the affidavit of a consulting service commissioned by the prosecution to conduct investigation.
(Only if sir asks) With regard to other defects, Section 3, Rule 117 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, which was then in force

2. SASOT v PEOPLE
Facts: NBA Propeties Inc. is a foreign corporation which owns trademarks and names of certain basketball teams registered with the Bureau of Trademarks and Patents and Technology Transfer. On the basis of its complaint filed, the NBI conducted an investigation on possible unfair competition under RPC Art 189 against petitioner for the unauthorized use of the trademarks and names owned by NBA Props. Inc. In its report, the NBI discovered that petitioner is engaged in the manufacture , printing, sale and distribution of counterfeit “NBA” garment products and recommended prosecution of petitioner for unfair competition. In the meantime, a Special Power of Attorney(SPA) was drawn by Welts, President of NBA Prop. Inc. which authorized the Ortega law firm to file cases in their behalf in the Phils. Accompanying it is the complaintaffidavit made by Welts. The SPA and complaintaffidavit were notarized abroad which were authenticated by the Philippine Consul. On the basis of the complaint filed by Welts and the report of the NBI, an Information was filed against the accused with the following accusatory portion:
That on or about May 9, 1997 and on dates prior thereto, in the City of Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, above named accused ALLANDALE SASOT and MELBAROSE SASOT of Allandale Sportslines, Inc., did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously manufacture and sell various garment products bearing the appearance of "NBA" names, symbols and trademarks, inducing the public to believe that the goods offered by them are those of "NBA" to the damage and prejudice of the NBA Properties, Inc., the trademark owner of the "NBA".

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela at the time the alleged criminal acts were committed, enumerates the grounds for quashing an information, to wit: a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense; b) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged or the person of the accused; c) That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so; d) That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form; e) That more than one offense is charged except in those cases in which existing laws prescribe a single punishment for various offenses; f) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished; g) That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification; and h) That the accused has been previously convicted or in jeopardy of being convicted, or acquitted of the offense charged. Nowhere in the foregoing provision is there any mention of the defect in the complaint filed before the fiscal and the complainant’s capacity to sue as grounds for a motion to quash.

Both accused filed a Motion to Quash before the trial court which was denied and subsequently, a petition for certiorari before the CA which was also denied. Hence this Petition for Certiorari with prayer for injunction and TRO. ISSUES brought before the Supreme Court: (1) W/N there was valid information therefore double jeopardy sets in? YES filed and

(2) W/N the original court already obtained jurisdiction over the case? YES ISSUE further addressed by the ponente: (3) W/N after conviction and application for probation, information may still be amended and the accused arraigned anew on the ground that the information was allegedly altered/tampered with? NO. RATIO: (1) To invoke the defense of double jeopardy, the following requisites must be present: (1) a valid complaint or information; (2) the court has jurisdiction to try the case; (3) the accused has pleaded to the charge; and (4) he has been convicted or acquitted or the case against him dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent. An information is valid as long as it distinctly states the statutory designation of the offense and the acts or omissions constitutive thereof. If the offense is stated in such a way that a person of ordinary intelligence may immediately know what is meant, and the court can decide the matter according to law, the inevitable conclusion is that the information is valid. It is not necessary to follow the language of the statute in the information. The information will be sufficient if it describes the crime defined by law. The first information is valid inasmuch as it sufficiently alleges the manner by which the crime was committed. Verily the purpose of the law, that is, to apprise the accused of the nature of the charge against them, is reasonably complied with. Applying Rule 110Section 6, shows on its face that it is valid. Section 6. Sufficiency of complaint or information. – A complaint or information is sufficient if it states the name of the accused; the designation of the offense by the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate time of the commission of the offense, and the place wherein the offense was committed. Further, we cannot overlook the fact that accused were arraigned, entered a plea of guilty and convicted under the first information. Granting that alleged alteration/tampering of information took place and the accused had a hand in it, this does not justify the setting aside of the early decision. The alleged tampering/alteration allegedly participated in by the accused may well be the subject of another inquiry.

3. LASOY v ZENAROSA
FACTS: In an Information filed by Assistant City Prosecutor Evelyn Dimaculangan-Querijero ,accused Marcelo Lasoy and Felix Banisa were charged of selling prohibited drugs (42.410 GRAMS of dried marijuana fruiting tops). The case was presided by Judge Jaime Salazar. Upon arraignment, both accused pleaded guilty and were sentenced on July 16, 1996 to suffer a jail term of 6 months and 1 day. Both accused applied for probation. On August 28 1996, Assistant City Prosecutor Ma. Aurora Escasa-Ramos filed two separate motions, first, to admit amended Information and second, to set aside the arraignment of the accused, as well as the decision of the trial court. The prosecutor alleges that the accused should rather be charged for transportation and delivery, with intent to sell, 45 pieces of dried marijuana fruiting tops (42.410 KILOS) and that it is imperative to file an amended information in order to make it conformable to the evidence on hand. The trial court denied the first motion. However, it granted the second motion for rearraignment it appearing from the published resolution in Inaki Gulhoran and Galo Stephen Bobares vs. Hon. Francisco Escano, Jr. it is said that the jurisdiction over drug of small quantity as in the case at bar should be tried by the Metropolitan Trial Court, although under the statute of R.A. 7659, the penalty for possession or use of prohibited or regulated drugs is from prision [correccional] to reclusion temporal which indeterminate penalty and under the rule on jurisdiction the court which has jurisdiction over a criminal case is dependent on the maximum penalty attached by the statute to the crime. This second information was assigned to Judge Monina Zenarosa.

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

(2) On the issue of jurisdiction, the case of Gulhoran and Bobares v. Escano, Jr., upon which both trial courts justified their claim of jurisdiction was already superseded by a later resolution where the RTC is exclusively designated try and decide cases of Kidnapping For Ransom, Robbery In Band, Robbery Committed Against A Banking Or Financial Institution, Violation Of The Dangerous Drugs Act, and Violation Of The Anti-Carnapping Act, and other heinous crimes penalized under Rep. Act No. 7659 committed within their respective territorial jurisdictions. This issue is further settled inPeople v. Velasco where it is stated that “[A]ll drug-related cases, regardless of the quantity involved and the penalty imposable pursuant to R.A. No. 7659, still fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts, in view of Section 39 of R.A. No. 6425 (the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972). “ (3) The belated move on the part of the prosecution to have the information amended defies procedural rules, the decision having attained finality after the accused applied for probation and the fact that amendment is no longer allowed at that stage. Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure is emphatic: Sec. 14. Amendment. – The information or complaint may be amended, in substance or form, without leave of court, at any time before the accused pleads; and thereafter and during the trial as to all matters of form, by leave and at the discretion of the court, when the same can be done without prejudice to the rights of the accused. If it appears at any time before judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper offense, the court shall dismiss the original complaint or information upon the filing of a new one charging the proper offense in accordance with Rule 119, Section 11, provided the accused would not be placed thereby in double jeopardy, and may also require the witnesses to give bail for their appearance at the trial. Even appeal based on an alleged misappreciation of evidence will not lie. The only instance when double jeopardy will not attach is when the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, such as where the prosecution was denied the opportunity to present its case or where the trial was a sham. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. Accused Marcelo Lasoy and Felix Banisa are forthwith ordered released from detention.

GENIO, for the violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, committed as follows: That in or about the months of November and December, 1997 at the Municipality of Lavezares, Province of Northern Samar, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused QUINTIN B. SALUDAGA, a high ranking public official being then the Mayor of Lavezares, Northern Samar, and committing the crime herein charged while in the discharge of his official administrative function, conspiring and conniving with accused SPO2 FIEL B. GENIO, a member of Lavezares Police Force (PNP) and with the late OLIMPIO LEGUA, a private individual, with deliberate intent, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally give unwarranted benefit or advantage to the late Olimpio Legua, a non-license contractor and non-accredited NGO, through evident bad faith and manifest partiality by then and there entering into a Pakyaw Contract with the latter for the Construction of Barangay Day Care Centers for barangays Mac-Arthur and Urdaneta, Lavezares, Northern Samar, in the amount of FORTY EIGHT THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED PESOS (P48,500.00) each or a total of NINETY SEVEN THOUSAND PESOS (P97,000.00) Philippine Currency, without the benefit of a competitive public bidding to the prejudice of the Government and public interest. Petitioners filed a Motion for Preliminary Investigation dated June 4, 2008 which was strongly opposed by the prosecution in its Opposition dated June 18, 2008. Petitioners contend that the failure of the prosecution to conduct a new preliminary investigation before the filing of the second Information constituted a violation of the law because the latter charged a different offense–that is, violation of Section 3(e) by giving unwarranted benefit to private parties. Hence, there was a substitution of the first Information. They argue that assuming that no substitution took place, at the very least, there was a substantial amendment in the new information and that its submission should have been preceded by a new preliminary investigation. Further, they claim that newly discovered evidence mandates re-examination of the finding of a prima facie cause to file the case. The graft court found that there is no substituted information or substantial amendment that would warrant the conduct of a new preliminary investigation. It gave the following ratiocination: The re-filed information did not change the nature of the offense charged, but merely modified the mode by which accused committed the offense. The substance of such modification is not such as to necessitate the conduct of another preliminary investigation.

SUBSTITUTION OF INFORMATION 1. SALUDAGA v SANDIGANBAYAN
FACTS: The undersigned Prosecutor of the Office of the Special Prosecutor/Office of the Ombudsman, hereby accuses, MAYOR QUINTIN B. SALUDAGA and SPO2 FIEL E.

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

Moreover, no new allegations were made, nor was the criminal liability of the accused upgraded in the re-filed information. Thus, new preliminary investigation is not in order. ISSUE: Whether or not the Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it refused to order the preliminary investigation of the case a quo, when the second Information in the instant case constituted substituted Information whose submission required the conduct of preliminary investigation. - NO RULING: There is no substitution of information there being no change in the nature of the offense charged. While it is true that preliminary investigation is a statutory and substantive right accorded to the accused before trial, the denial of petitioners’ claim for a new investigation, however, did not deprive them of their right to due process. An examination of the records of the case discloses that there was a fullblown preliminary investigation wherein both petitioners actively participated. Petitioners erroneously concluded that giving undue injury, as alleged in the first Information, and conferring unwarranted benefits, alleged in the second Information, are two distinct violations of, or two distinct ways of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, and that such shift from giving undue injury to conferring unwarranted benefit constituted, at the very least, a substantial amendment. It should be noted that the Information is founded on the same transaction as the first Information, that of entering into a Pakyaw Contract for the construction of barangay day care centers for barangays Mac-Arthur and Urdaneta, Lavezares, Northern Samar. Thus, the evidentiary requirements for the prosecution and defense remain the same. A new preliminary investigation is also required if aside from the original accused, other persons are charged under a new criminal complaint for the same offense or necessarily included therein; or if under a new criminal complaint, the original charge has been upgraded; or if under a new criminal complaint, the criminal liability of the accused is upgraded from that as an accessory to that as a principal. The accused must be accorded the right to submit counter-affidavits and evidence. No such circumstance is obtaining in this case, because there was no modification in the nature of the charged offense.1avvphi1 Consequently, a new preliminary investigation is unnecessary and cannot be demanded by the petitioners.

AMENDED INFORMATION 1. BONIFACIO v RTC
FACTS: Planholders of Pacific Plans, Inc. (PPI) - a wholly owned subsidiary of Great Pacific Life Assurance Corporation, also owned by the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC) - who had previously purchased traditional preneed educational plans but were unable to collect thereon or avail of the benefits thereunder after PPI, due to liquidity concerns, filed for corporate rehabilitation with prayer for suspension of payments before the Makati RTC, formed PEPCI. PEPCI manages and controls the following websites that served as a forum to seek redress for their pecuniary loss under their policies; www.pepcoalition.com, www.pacificnoplan.blogspot.com, as well as a yahoo egroup[7] at no2pep2010@yahoogroups.com. These websites are easily accessible to the public or by anyone logged on to the internet and were alleged to contain libellous statements against the Yuchengcos. Gimenez, on behalf of the Yuchengco Family and of the Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. (Malayan), a criminal complaint before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office, for thirteen (13) counts of libel under Article 355 in relation to Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) against petitioners. The Makati City Prosecutor’s Office, found probable cause and caused the issuance of the information which was eventually reversed on appeal by the Secretary of Justice. The Justice Secretary opined that the crime of “internet libel” was non-existent, hence, the accused could not be charged with libel under Article 353 of the RPC. Hence, Petitioners, filed a Motion to Quash the Information on the grounds that it failed to vest jurisdiction on the Makati RTC; the acts complained of in the Information are not punishable by law since internet libel is not covered by Article 353 of the RPC; and the Information is fatally defective for failure to designate the offense charged and the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense of libel. Motion granted. Motion for reconsideration granted and accordingly ordered the public prosecutor to “amend the Information to cure the defect of want of venue. The prosecution thereupon moved to admit the Amended Information dated March 20, 2007, the accusatory portion of which reads:
That on or about the 25th day of August 2005 in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines, a place within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the above-named

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela accused, being then the trustees of Parents Enabling Parents Coalition and as such trustees they hold the legal title to the websitewww.pepcoalition.com which is of general circulation, and publication to the public conspiring, confederating together with John Does, whose true names, identities and present whereabouts are still unknown and all of them mutually helping and aiding one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and publicly and maliciously with intention of attacking the honesty, virtue, honor and integrity, character and reputation of complainant Malayan Insurance Co. Inc., Yuchengco Family particularly Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco and Helen Dee and for further purpose exposing the complainant to public hatred and contempt published an article imputing a vice or defect to the complainant and caused to be composed, posted and published in the said website www.pepcoalition.com, a website accessible in Makati City, an injurious and defamatory article, which was first published and accessed by the private complainant in Makati City, as follows: x x x x (emphasis and underscoring in the original; italics supplied)

case opted to lay the venue by availing of the second. Thus, it stated that the offending article “was first published and accessed by the private complainant in Makati City.” In other words, it considered the phrase to be equivalent to the requisite allegation of printing and first publication. If the circumstances as to where the libel was printed and first published are used by the offended party as basis for the venue in the criminal action, the Information must allege with particularity where the defamatory article was printed and first published, as evidenced or supported by, for instance, the address of their editorial or business offices in the case of newspapers, magazines or serial publications. This precondition becomes necessary in order to forestall any inclination to harass. The same measure cannot be reasonably expected when it pertains to defamatory material appearing on a website on the internet as there would be no way of determining the situs of its printing and first publication. To credit Gimenez’s premise of equating his firstaccess to the defamatory article on petitioners’ website in Makati with “printing and first publication” would spawn the very ills that the amendment to Article 360 of the RPC sought to discourage and prevent. It hardly requires much imagination to see the chaos that would ensue in situations where the website’s author or writer, a blogger or anyone who posts messages therein could be sued for libel anywhere in the Philippines that the private complainant may have allegedly accessed the offending website.

ISSUE: whether grave abuse of discretion attended the public respondent’s admission of the Amended Information. RULING: YES Venue is jurisdictional in criminal actions such that the place where the crime was committed determines not only the venue of the action but constitutes an essential element of jurisdiction.[33] This principle acquires even greater import in libel cases, given that Article 360, as amended, specifically provides for the possible venues for the institution of the criminal and civil aspects of such cases. Venue of libel cases where the complainant is a private individual is limited to only either of two places, namely: 1) where the complainant actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense; or 2) where the alleged defamatory article was printed and first published.2 The Amended Information in the present
2

FILING OF INFORMATION IF THERE IS PENDING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION 1. RAMISCAL v SANDIGANBAYAN
FACTS: Petitioner Jose S. Ramiscal, retired Brigadier General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was President of the AFP-Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS) for almost 4 years. During his term as president, AFP-RSBS’ board of trustees approved the acquisition of a parcel of land in General Santos City for development as housing projects.

Before article 360 was amended, the rule was that a criminal action for libel may be instituted in any jurisdiction where the libelous article was published or circulated, irrespective of where it was written or printed (People v. Borja, 43 Phil. 618). Under that rule, the criminal action is transitory and the injured party has a choice of venue. Experience had shown that under that old rule the offended party could harass the accused in a libel case by laying the venue of the criminal action in a remote or distant place.

To forestall such harassment, Republic Act No. 4363 was enacted. It lays down specific rules as to the venue of the criminal action so as to prevent the offended party in written defamation cases from inconveniencing the accused by means of out-of-town libel suits, meaning complaints filed in remote municipal courts

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

Thus, AFP-RSBS, represented by petitioner, executed bilateral deeds of sale over the subject property (at the agreed price of P10,500.00 per square meter) with Atty. Nilo J. Flaviano, representing the 12 individual sellers. Subsequently, Flaviano executed unilateral deeds of sale over the same property. The unilateral deeds of sale reflected a purchase price of only P3,000.00 per square meter instead of the actual purchase price of P10,500.00 per square meter. These deeds of sale were presented for registration and later on became the basis for the TCTs issued by the Register of Deeds. Luwalhati R. Antonino, the Congresswoman representing the first district of South Cotabato, filed in the Ombudsman a complaint-affidavit against petitioner, along with 27 other respondents, for (1) violation of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; and (2) malversation of public funds or property through falsification of public documents. In a Resolution, the Ombudsman found petitioner probable guilty of the 2 offenses. Thereafter, the Ombudsman filed with the Sandiganbayan 12 informations for violation of RA 3019 and 12 informations for falsification of public documents against Petitioner Ramiscal and the other respondents. Petitioner Ramiscal then filed a motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause against him. The Sandiganbayan ordered the prosecution to evaluate its evidence and report its recommendations on the MR filed. Initially, the prosecution recommended the dropping of petitioner in the cases filed. However, the prosecution’s final recommendation was that the MR filed by Petitioner should be denied. Upon receipt of this finding/recommendation, the Sandiganbayan scheduled the arraignment of Petitioner. Afterwards, Petitioner filed his 2nd MR of the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause against him. Petitioner’s arraignment nevertheless followed. He filed a motion to set aside his arraignment pending resolution of his 2nd MR. ISSUE: Whether or not the motion to set aside arraignment should be granted due to the pending MR? RULING: No. The motion should not be granted even though the resolution of the MR was still pending. The Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman, as amended by Administrative Order No. 15, Series of 2001, sanction the immediate filing of an information in the proper court upon a finding of probable cause, even during the pendency of a motion for reconsideration. Section 7, Rule II of the Rules, as amended, provides:

Section 7. Motion Reconsideration. –

for

a) Only one motion for reconsideration or reinvestigation of an approved order or resolution shall be allowed, the same to be filed within five (5) days from notice thereof with the Office of the Ombudsman, or the proper Deputy Ombudsman as the case may be, with corresponding leave of court in cases where the information has already been filed in court; b) The filing of a motion for reconsideration/reinvestigation shal l not bar the filing of the corresponding information in Court on the basis of the finding of probable cause in the resolution subject of the motion. (Emphasis supplied)

If the filing of a motion for reconsideration of the resolution finding probable cause cannot bar the filing of the corresponding information, then neither can it bar the arraignment of the accused, which in the normal course of criminal procedure logically follows the filing of the information. Moreover, any of grounds for suspension of arraignment as provided for under Section 11, Rule 116 of the Rules of Court is not present in this case (i.e. accused of unsound mind, prejudicial question, etc.) Lastly, the Court also said that Petitioner cannot anymore file a 2nd MR questioning again the same finding of the Ombudsman. Otherwise, there will be no end to litigation.

PRESCRIPTION 1. PANAGUITON v DOJ(lifted from net)
Facts: Based from the facts culled from the records, in 1992, Rodrigo Cawili borrowed various sums of money amounting to P1,979,459.00 from petitioner. On 8 January 1993, Cawili and his business associate, Ramon C. Tongson, jointly issued in favor of petitioner three (3) checks in payment of the said loans. Significantly, all three (3) checks bore the signatures of both Cawili and Tongson. Upon presentment for payment on 18 March 1993, the checks were dishonored, either for insufficiency of funds or by the closure of the account. Petitioner made formal demands to pay the amounts of the checks upon Cawili

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

on 23 May 1995 and upon Tongson on 26 June 1995, but to no avail. On 24 August 1995, petitioner filed a complaint against Cawili and Tongson for violating Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (B.P. Blg. 22) before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office. During the preliminary investigation, only Tongson appeared and filed his counter-affidavit. However, Tongson claimed that he had been unjustly included as party-respondent in the case since petitioner had lent money to Cawili in the latter's personal capacity. Tongson averred that he was not Cawili's business associate; in fact, he himself had filed several criminal cases against Cawili for violation of B.P. Blg. 22. Tongson denied that he had issued the bounced checks and pointed out that his signatures on the said checks had been falsified. To counter these allegations, petitioner presented several documents showing Tongson's signatures, which were purportedly the same as those appearing on the checks. He also showed a copy of an affidavit of adverse claim wherein Tongson himself had claimed to be Cawili's business associate. In a resolution dated 6 December 1995, City Prosecutor III Eliodoro V. Lara found probable cause only against Cawili and dismissed the charges against Tongson. Petitioner filed a partial appeal before the Department of Justice (DOJ) even while the case against Cawili was filed before the proper court. In a letter-resolution dated 11 July 1997, after finding that it was possible for Tongson to co-sign the bounced checks and that he had deliberately altered his signature in the pleadings submitted during the preliminary investigation, Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuño directed the City Prosecutor of Quezon City to conduct a reinvestigation of the case against Tongson and to refer the questioned signatures to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Tongson moved for the reconsideration of the resolution, but his motion was denied for lack of merit. On 15 March 1999, Assistant City Prosecutor Ma. Lelibet S. Sampaga (ACP Sampaga) dismissed the complaint against Tongson without referring the matter to the NBI per the Chief State Prosecutor's resolution. In her resolution, ACP Sampaga held that the case had already prescribed pursuant to Act No. 3326, as amended, which provides that violations penalized by B.P. Blg. 22 shall prescribe after four (4) years. Petitioner appealed to the DOJ. But the DOJ, through Undersecretary Manuel A.J. Teehankee, dismissed the same, stating that the offense had already prescribed pursuant to Act No. 3326. Petitioner filed a motion for

reconsideration

of

the

DOJ

resolution.

On 3 April 2003, the DOJ, this time through then Undersecretary Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez, ruled in his favor and declared that the offense had not prescribed and that the filing of the complaint with the prosecutor's office interrupted the running of the prescriptive period citing Ingco v. Sandiganbayan. However, in a resolution dated 9 August 2004, the DOJ, presumably acting on a motion for reconsideration filed by Tongson, ruled that the subject offense had already prescribed and ordered "the withdrawal of the three (3) informations for violation of B.P. Blg. 22" against Tongson. In justifying its sudden turnabout, the DOJ explained that Act No. 3326 applies to violations of special acts that do not provide for a prescriptive period for the offenses thereunder. Since B.P. Blg. 22, as a special act, does not provide for the prescription of the offense it defines and punishes, Act No. 3326 applies to it, and not Art. 90 of the Revised Penal Code which governs the prescription of offenses penalized thereunder. Petitioner thus filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals assailing the 9 August 2004 resolution of the DOJ. The petition was dismissed by the Court of Appeals in view of petitioner's failure to attach a proper verification and certification of non-forum shopping. In the instant petition, petitioner claims that the Court of Appeals committed grave error in dismissing his petition on technical grounds and in ruling that the petition before it was patently without merit and the questions are too unsubstantial to require consideration.

The DOJ, in its comment, states that the Court of Appeals did not err in dismissing the petition for noncompliance with the Rules of Court. It also reiterates that the filing of a complaint with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City does not interrupt the running of the prescriptive period for violation of B.P. Blg. 22. It argues that under B.P. Blg. 22, a special law which does not provide for its own prescriptive period, offenses prescribe in four (4) years in accordance with Act No. 3326. Issue: Whether there is prescriptive period upon violating B.P. Blg. 22 per Act No. 3326 and not Art. 90 of the RPC, on the institution of judicial proceedings for investigation and punishment? Held: It must be pointed out that when Act No. 3326 was passed on 4 December 1926, preliminary investigation of criminal offenses was conducted by

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) – Tranquil Salvador III
Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

justices of the peace, thus, the phraseology in the law, "institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation and punishment," and the prevailing rule at the time was that once a complaint is filed with the justice of the peace for preliminary investigation, the prescription of the offense is halted. Although, Tongson went through the proper channels, within the prescribed periods. However, from the time petitioner filed his complaint-affidavit with the Office of the City Prosecutor (24 August 1995) up to the time the DOJ issued the assailed resolution, an aggregate period of nine (9) years had elapsed. Clearly, the delay was beyond petitioner's control. After all, he had already initiated the active prosecution of the case as early as 24 August 1995, only to suffer setbacks because of the DOJ's flip-flopping resolutions and its misapplication of Act No. 3326. Aggrieved parties, especially those who do not sleep on their rights and actively pursue their causes, should not be allowed to suffer unnecessarily further simply because of circumstances beyond their control, like the accused's delaying tactics or the delay and inefficiency of the investigating agencies. The court rules and so hold that the offense has not yet prescribed. Petitioner’s filing of his complaint-affidavit before the Office of the City Prosecutor on 24 August 1995 signified the commencement of the proceedings for the prosecution of the accused and thus effectively interrupted the prescriptive period for the offenses they had been charged under B.P. Blg. 22. Moreover, since there is a definite finding of probable cause, with the debunking of the claim of prescription there is no longer any impediment to the filing of the information against petitioner. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The resolutions of the Court of Appeals dated 29 October 2004 and 21 March 2005 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The resolution of the Department of Justice dated 9 August 2004 is also ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. The Department of Justice is ORDERED to REFILE the information against the petitioner. No costs.

criminal case being handled by Pinote, Judge Ayco allowed the testimony of 2 witnesses in court, despite the absence of Pinote. Pinote, at that time, was undergoing medical treatment in the Philippine Heart Center. In the following hearings, despite orders of Ayco, Pinote refused to cross examine the witnesses due to his being absent during their direct examinations, contending that the proceedings were void. Pinote filed a Manifestation stating such, but Judge Ayco ruled that the prosecution was waiving its right to cross-examine the 2 witnesses instead. The Court Administrator found in favor of Pinote, stating that Ayco violated Rule 110, Sec. 5 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. ISSUE: W/N Ayco should be held administratively liable? HELD: YES. Ayco should be held administratively liable. As a general rule, all criminal actions shall be prosecuted under the control and direction of the public prosecutor. If the schedule of the public prosecutor does not permit, however, or in case there are no public prosecutors, a private prosecutor may be authorized in writing by the Chief of the Prosecution Office or the Regional State Prosecution Office to prosecute the case, subject to the approval of the court. Once so authorized, the private prosecutor shall continue to prosecute the case until the termination of the trial even in the absence of a public prosecutor, unless the authority is revoked or otherwise withdrawn. Ayco’s act of allowing the presentation of the defense witnesses in the absence of complainant public prosecutor or a private prosecutor designated for the purpose is thus a clear transgression of the Rules which could not be rectified by subsequently giving the prosecution a chance to cross-examine the witnesses.

CONTROL AND DIRECTION OF CRIMINAL ACTION 1. PINOTE v AYCO
FACTS: State Prosecutor Pinote filed an administrative case against RTC Judge Ayco for gross ignorance of the law, grave abuse of authority, and grave misconduct. In a

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