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LACSON [October 7, 2003]

Facts: Petitioner asserts that retroactive application of penal laws should also cover procedures, and that these should be applied only to the sole benefit of the accused. Petitioner asserts that Sec 8 was meant to reach back in time to provide relief to the accused in line with the constitutional guarantee to the right to speedy trial. Issues: 1. WON the 5 Associate Justices inhibit themselves from deciding in the MFR given they were only appointed in the SC after his Feb. 19, 2002 oral arguments. The rule should be applied prospectively. The court upheld the petitioners contention that while 8 secures the rights of the accused, it doesnt & shouldnt preclude the equally important right of the State to public justice. If a procedural rule impairs a vested right, or would work injustice, the said rule may not be given a retroactive application. 2. WON the application of the time-bar under 8 RCP 117 be given a retroactive application w/o reservations, only & solely on the basis of its being favorable to the accused. The Court isnt mandated to apply rules retroactively just because its favorable to the accused. The time-bar under the new rule is intended to benefit both the State & the accused. When the rule was approved by the court, it intended that the rule be applied prospectively and not retroactively, for to do so would be tantamount to the denial of the States right to due process. A retroactive application would result in absurd, unjust & oppressive consequences to the State & to the victims of crimes & their heirs.
PEOPLE, et al. v. LACSON [April 1, 2003]

Facts: Before the court is the petitioners MFR of the resolution dated May 23, 2002, for the determination of several factual issues relative to the application of 8 RCP 117 on the dismissal of the cases Q-99-81679 & Q-99-81689 against the respondent. The respondent was charged with the shooting & killing of 11 male persons. The court confirmed the express consent of the respondent in the provisional dismissal of the aforementioned cases when he filed for judicial determination. The court also ruled the need to determine whether the other facts for its application are attendant. Issues: 1. WON the requisites for the applicability of 8, 2000 RCP 117 were complied w/ in the Kuratong Baleleng cases a. Was express consent given by the respondent?

b. Was notice for the motion, the hearing and the subsequent dismissal given to the heirs of the victims?

Sec. 8, Rule 117 is not applicable to the case since the conditions for its applicability, namely: 1) prosecution with the express consent of the accused or both of them move for provisional dismissal, 2) offended party notified, 3) court grants motion and dismisses cases provisionally, 4) public prosecutor served with copy of orders of provisional dismissal, which is the defendants burden to prove, w/c in this case hasnt been done. a. The defendant never filed and denied unequivocally in his statements, through counsel at the Court of Appeals, that he filed for dismissal nor did he agree to a provisional dismissal thereof. b. No notice of motion for provisional dismissal, hearing and subsequent dismissal was given to the heirs of the victims. 2. WON time-bar in 8 RCP 117 should be applied prospectively or retroactively.

Time-bar should not be applied retroactively. Though procedural rules may be applied retroactively, it should not be if to do so would work injustice or would involve intricate problems of due process. Statutes should be construed in light of the purposes to be achieved & the evils to be remedied. This is because to do so would be prejudicial to the State since, given that the Judge dismissed the case on March 29,1999, & the New rule took effect on Dec 1,2000, it would only in effect give them 1 yr & 3 months to work instead of 2 yrs. At that time, they had no knowledge of the said rule and therefore they should not be penalized for that. Indeed for justice to prevail, the scales must balance; justice is not to be dispensed for the accused alone. The 2-yr period fixed in the new rule is for the benefit of both the State & the accused. It shouldnt be emasculated & reduced by an inordinate retroactive application of the time-bar therein provided merely to benefit the accused. To do so would cause an injustice of hardship to the state & adversely affect the administration of justice. Held: Motion granted