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DOMINADOR B. BUSTOS vs. ANTONIO G.

LUCERO
G.R. No. L-2068, October 20, 1948

FACTS:
Dominador Bustos, an accused in a criminal case, filed a motion with the Court of First Instance
of Pampanga after he had been bound over to that court for trial, praying that the record of the
case be remanded to the justice of the peace court of Masantol, the court of origin, in order that
the petitioner herein might cross-examine the complainant and her witnesses in connection with
their testimony, on the strength of which warrant was issued for the arrest of the accused. The
accused, assisted by counsel, appeared at the preliminary investigation. In that investigation, the
justice of the peace informed him of the charges and asked him if he pleaded guilty or not guilty,
upon which he entered the plea of not guilty. Then his counsel moved that the complainant
present her evidence so that she and her witnesses could be examined and cross-examined in the
manner and form provided by law. The fiscal and the private prosecutor objected, invoking
section 11 of rule 108, which provides
Evidence - which is the "the mode and manner of proving the competent facts and
circumstances on which a party relies to establish the fact in dispute in judicial proceedings"
the objection was still sustained denying the motion for reconsideration of the accused herein. In
view thereof, the accused's counsel announced his intention to renounce his right to present
evidence, and the justice of the peace forwarded the case to the court of first instance.
Justice Tuason citing the case of Dequito and Saling Buhay vs.Arellano, G.R. No. L-1336: "The
constitutional right of an accused to be confronted by the witnesses against him does not apply to
preliminary hearings; nor will the absence of a preliminary examination be an infringement of
his right to confront witness. As a matter of fact, preliminary investigation may be done away
with entirely without infringing the constitutional right of an accused under the due process
clause to a fair trial."

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Section 11 of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court infringes section 13, Article
VIII, of the Constitution which deals with substantive matters and impairs substantive rights.

HELD: NO.
Section 11, Rule 108 is an adjective law and not a substantive law or substantive right.

In this case, Justice Tuason also provided the distinctions between a substantive law and
remedial law, the former creates substantive rights and the two terms in this respect may be said
to be synonymous. Substantive right is a term which includes those rights which one enjoys
under the legal system prior to the disturbance of normal relations. (60 C.J., 980.) Substantive
law is that part of the law which creates, defines and regulates rights, or which regulates the
rights and duties which give rise to a cause of action; that part of the law which courts are
established to administer; as opposed to adjective or remedial law, which prescribes the method
of enforcing rights or obtains redress for their invasion. (36 C. J., 27; 52 C. J. S., 1026.)
While section 11 of Rule 108 denies to the defendant the right to cross-examine witnesses in a
preliminary investigation, his right to present his witnesses remains unaffected, and his
constitutional right to be informed of the charges against him both at such investigation and at
the trial is unchanged.
It is fundamentally a procedural law. The Supreme Court that section 11 of Rule 108 does not
curtail the sound discretion of the justice of the peace on the matter. Said section defines the
bounds of the defendant's right in the preliminary investigation.
The foregoing decision was rendered by a divided court. The minority went farther than the
majority and denied even any discretion on the part of the justice of the peace or judge holding
the preliminary investigation to compel the complainant and his witnesses to testify anew.
Upon the foregoing considerations, the present petition is dismissed with costs against the
petitioner.