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Review on the 2000 Revised Rules on Criminal Rule 119

Procedure 2002 Edition <draft copy; pls. check for errors> Trial

Rule 119
TRIAL

SECTION 1. Time to prepare for trial. After a plea of not guilty is entered, the accused
shall have at least fifteen (15) days to prepare for trial. The trial shall commence within
thirty (30) days from receipt of the pre-trial order. (sec. 6, cir. 38-98)

SEC. 2. Continuous trial until terminated; postponements. Trial once commenced shall
continue from day to day as far as practicable until terminated. It may be postponed for a
reasonable period of time for good cause. (2a)
The court shall, after consultation with the prosecutor and defense counsel, set the
case for continuous trail on a weekly or other short-term trial calendar at the earliest
possible time so as to ensure speedy trial. In no case shall the entire trial period exceed
one hundred eighty (180) days from the first day of trial, except as otherwise authorized by
the Supreme Court. (sec. 8, cir. 38-98).
The time limitations provided under this section and the preceding section shall not
apply where special laws or circulars of the Supreme Court provide for a shorter period of
trial. (n)

After the accused is arraigned, there is a minimum of 15 days to prepared for the trial. And then continuous
trial until terminated. The trial period shall not exceed 180 days, taken from the Speedy Trial Act and SC
Circulars. They are now incorporated in the new rules.

There are many provisions here which are new in the sense that they are found in the rules for the first time.
However, even before the new rules took effect, they were considered as already existing provisions because of
the Speedy Trial Act and SC Circular 38-98. Ngayon, nandito na. So we will not go over them one by one. I will
just point them out.

The new provisions are Section 3 up to Section 10:

SEC. 3. Exclusions.- The following periods of delay shall be excluded in computing the
time within which trial must commence:
(a) Any period of delay resulting from other proceedings concerning the accused,
including but not limited to the following:
(1) Delay resulting from an examination of the physical and mental condition of the
accused;
(2) Delay resulting from proceedings with respect to other criminal charges against the
accused;
(3) Delay resulting from extraordinary remedies against interlocutory orders;
(4) Delay resulting from pre-trial proceedings; provided, that the delay does not exceed
thirty (30) days;
(5) Delay resulting from orders of inhibition, or proceedings relating to change of
venue of cases or transfer from other courts;
(6) Delay resulting from a finding of existence of a prejudicial question; and
(7) Delay reasonably attributable to any period, not to exceed thirty (30) days, during
which any proceeding concerning the accused is actually under advisement.
(b) Any period of delay resulting from the absence or unavailability of an essential
witness.
For purposes of this subparagraph, an essential witness shall be considered absent
when his whereabouts are unknown or his whereabouts cannot be determined by due
diligence. He shall be considered unavailable whenever his whereabouts are known but
his presence for trial cannot be obtained by due diligence.
(c) Any period of delay resulting from the mental incompetence or physical inability of
the accused to stand trial.
(d) If the information is dismissed upon motion of the prosecution and thereafter a
charge is filed against the accused for the same offense, any period of delay from the date

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the charge was dismissed to the date the time limitation would commence to run as to the
subsequent charge had there been no previous charge.
(e) A reasonable period of delay when the accused is joined for trial with a co-accused
over whom the court has not acquired jurisdiction, or, as to whom the time for trial has not
run and no motion for separate trial has been granted.
(f) Any period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by any court motu
proprio, or on motion of either the accused or his counsel, or the prosecution, if the court
granted the continuance on the basis of its findings set forth in the order that the ends of
justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interestof the public and the
accused in a speedy trial. (sec. 9, cir. 38-98)

SEC. 4. Factors for granting continuance. The following factors, among others, shall be
considered by a court in determining whether to grant a continuance under section 3(f) of
this Rule.
(a) Whether or not the failure to grant a continuance in the proceeding would likely
make a continuation of such proceeding impossible or result in a miscarriage of justice;
and
(b) Whether or not the case taken as a whole is so novel, unusual and complex, due to
the number of accused or the nature of the prosecution, or that it is unreasonable to
expect adequate preparation within the periods of time established therein.
In addition, no continuance under section 3(f) of this Rule shall be granted because of
congestion of the courts calendar or lack of diligent preparation or failure to obtain
available witnesses on the part of the prosecutor. (sec. 10, cir. 38-98)

SEC. 5. Time limit following an order for new trial. If the accused is to be tried again
pursuant to an order for a new trial, the trial shall commence within thirty (30) days from
notice of the order, provided that if the period becomes impractical due to unavailability of
witnesses and other factors, the court may extend but not to exceed one hundred eighty
(180) days. For the second twelve-month period, the time limit shall be one hundred eighty
(180) days from notice of said order for new trial. (sec 11, cir. 38-98)

SEC. 6. Extended time limit.- Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1(g), Rule 116
and the preceding section 1, for the first twelve-calendar-month period following its
effectivity on September 15, 1998, the time limit with respect to the period from
arraignment to trial imposed by said provision shall be one hundred eighty (180) days. For
the second twelve-month period, the time limit shall be one hundred twenty (120) days,
and for the third twelve-month period, the time limit shall be eighty (80) days. (sec. 7, cir.
38-98)

SEC. 7. Public attorneys duties where accused is imprisoned. If the public attorney
assigned to defend a person charged with a crime knows that he latter is preventively
detained, either because he is charged with a bailable crime but has no means to post bail,
or, is charged with a non-bailable crime, or, is serving a term of imprisonment in any penal
institution, it shall be his duty to do the following:
(a) Shall promptly undertake to obtain the presence of the prisoner for trial or cause a
notice to be served on the person having custody of the prisoner requiring such person to
so advise the prisoner of his right and demand trial.
(b) Upon receipt of that notice, the custodian of the prisoner shall promptly advise the
prisoner of the charge and of his right to demand trial. If at anytime thereafter the prisoner
informs his custodian that he demands such trial, the latter shall cause notice to that
effect to be sent promptly to the public attorney.
(c) Upon receipt of such notice, the public attorney shall promptly seek to obtain the
presence of the prisoner for trial.
(d) When the custodian of the prisoner receives from the public attorney a properly
supported request for the availability of the prisoner for purpose of trial, the prisoner shall
be made available accordingly. (sec. 12, cir. 38-98)

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SEC. 8. Sanctions. In any case in which private counsel for the accused, the public
attorney, or the prosecutor:
(a) Knowingly allows the case to be set for trial without disclosing that a necessary
witness would be unavailable for trial;
(b) Files a motion solely for delay which he knows is totally frivolous and without
merit;
(c) Makes a statement for the purpose of obtaining continuance which he knows to be
false and which is material to the granting of a continuance; or
(d) Willfully fails to proceed to trial without justification consistent with the provisions
hereof, the court may punish such counsel, attorney, or prosecutor, as follows:
(1) By imposing on a counsel privately retained in connection with the defense o fan
accused, a fine not exceeding twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00);
(2) By imposing on any appointed counsel de oficio, public attorney, or prosecutor a
fine not exceeding five thousand pesos (P5,000.00); and
(3) By denying any defense counsel or prosecutor the right to practice before the court
trying the case for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days. The punishment provided for by
this section shall be without prejudice to any appropriate criminal action or other sanction
authorized under these rules. (sec. 13, cir. 38-98)

There is something here in Section 8 that I want to bring out mga kastigo, sanctions ba! Alam mo ang
kawawa dito, mga abogado eh fiscals, defense counsels, even the PAO lawyers if they are responsible for
delaying the trial of the criminal case.

Just imagine, P20,000 if it is the private defense lawyer. That is the maximum of course. Ang PAO naman,
P5,000 75% discount! Ma-suspend ka pa.

SEC. 9. Remedy where accused is not brought to trial within the time limit. If the accused
is not brought to trial within the time limit required by Section 1(g), Rule 116 and Section 1,
as extended by Section 6 of this rule, the information may be dismissed on motion of the
accused on the ground of denial of his right to speedy trial. The accused shall have the
burden of proving the motion but the prosecution shall have the burden of going forward
with the evidence to establish the exclusion of time under section 3 of this rule. The
dismissal shall be subject to the rules on double jeopardy.
Failure of the accused to move for dismissal prior to trial shall constitute a waiver of
the right to dismiss under this section. (sec. 14, cir. 38-98)

SEC. 10. Law on speedy trial not a bar to provision on speedy trial in the Constitution. No
provision of law on speedy trial and no rule implementing the same shall be interpreted as
a bar to any charge of denial of the right to speedy trial guaranteed by section 14(2), article
III, of the 1987 Constitution. (sec. 15, cir. 38-98)

Take note of Section 9 and 10. Please correlate this on the rights of the accused to speedy trial as mention in
Section 1[h] of Rule 115 on the rights of the accused.

SEC. 11. Order of trial. The trial shall proceed in the following order:
(a) The prosecution shall present evidence to prove the charge and, in the proper case,
the civil liability.
(b) The accused may present evidence to prove his defense and damages, if any,
arising, from the issuance of a provisional remedy in the case.
(c) The prosecution and the defense may, in that order, present rebuttal and sur-
rebuttal evidence unless the court, in furtherance of justice, permits them to present
additional evidence bearing upon the main issue.
(d) Upon admission of evidence of the parties, the case shall be deemed submitted for
decision unless the court directs them to argue orally or to submit written memoranda.
(e) When the accused admits the act or omission charged in the complaint or
information but interposes a lawful defense, the order of trial may be modified. (3a)

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The order of the trial in the criminal case is almost the same pattern as in civil cases.

Q: Who presents evidence first?


A: The prosecution. Under Section 11 [a], The prosecution shall present evidence to prove the charge and, in
the proper case, the civil liability. So you prove the charge and the civil liability.

Q: Ano yung in the proper case?


A: That is because if the civil liability has already been reserved, ah wala na forget evidence of civil liability
where there is already reservation. Pero kung hindi, then it is deemed instituted with the criminal case.

Under paragraph [b], provisional remedies are allowed in criminal cases, like attachments, etc. in the same
way if the civil action is deem instituted, the offended party can ask a preliminary attachment of the property under
Rule 127.

Paragraph [e] refers to trial in reverse. The best example is when the accused raises self-defense. The
burden of proof is automatically shifted to the accused. But this should be included during the pre-trial as provided
under Rule 118, Section 1 [e]:

SECTION 1. Pre-trial; mandatory in criminal cases. In all criminal cases cognizable by


the Sandiganbayan, Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in
Cities, Municipal Trial Court and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, the court shall, after
arraignment and within thirty (30) days from the date the court acquires jurisdiction over
the person of the accused, unless a shorter period is provided for in special laws or
circulars of the Supreme Court, order a pre-trial conference to consider the following:
xxxxxxx
(e) modification of the order of trial if the accused admits the charge but interposes a
lawful defense;
xxxxxxx

Q: Is there such a thing as deposition-taking in criminal cases?


A: YES, under Section 12:

SEC. 12. Application for examination of witness for accused before trial. When the
accused has been held to answer for an offense, he may, upon motion with notice to the
other parties, have witnesses conditionally examined in his behalf. The motion shall state:
(a) the name and residence of the witness; (b) the substance of his testimony; and (c) that
the witness is sick or infirm as to afford reasonable ground for believing that the will not
be able to attend the trial, or resides more than one hundred (100) kilometers from the
place of trial and has no means to attend the same, or that other similar circumstances
exist that would make him unavailable or prevent him from attending the trial. The motion
shall be supported by an affidavit of the accused and such other evidence as the court
may require. (4a)

Q: How is deposition in criminal cases being done?


A: Read Section 13:

SEC. 13. Examination of defense witness; how made. If the court is satisfied that the
examination of a witness for the accused is necessary, an order shall be made directing
that the witness be examined at a specific date, time and place and that a copy of the order
be served on the prosecutor at least three (3) days before the scheduled examination. The
examination shall be taken before a judge, or, if not practicable, a member of the Bar in
good standing so designated by the judge in the order, or if the order be made by a court
of superior jurisdiction, before an inferior court to be designated therein. The examination
shall proceed notwithstanding the absence of the prosecutor provided he was duly
notified of the hearing. A written record of the testimony shall be taken. (5a)

The grounds are almost identical. This is deposition actually. Only, it is called conditional examination. That is

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the term used here.

Take note, connect this with Section 1[f], Rule 115 rights of the accused. Section 12 is an exception to the
right to confront and cross-examine because you cannot insist during the trial to confront and cross-examine the
witness under Rule 115 Section 1[f] when we was already examined under Section 12.

Q: Is the remedy of deposition-taking also available to the prosecution?


A: YES, under Section 15:

SEC. 15. Examination of witness for the prosecution. When it is satisfactorily appears
that a witness for the prosecution is too sick or infirm to appear at the trial as directed by
the court, of has to leave the Philippines with no definite date of returning, he may
forthwith be conditionally examined before the court where the case is pending. Such
examination, in the presence of the accused, or in his absence after reasonable notice to
attend the examination has been served on him, shall be conducted in the same manner
as an examination at the trial. Failure or refusal of the accused to attend the examination
at the trial. Failure or refusal of the accused to attend the examination after notice shall be
considered a waiver. The statement taken may be admitted in behalf of or against the
accused. (7a)

Let us try to compare Section 13 (defense) and Section 15 (prosecution): Lets go to the defense witness
under Section 13:

Q: Before whom will the examination of the witness be taken?


A: It DEPENDS before the judge, or if not practicable, a member of the bar in good standing designated by
the judge in the order.

Now, you compare that with Section 15. In Section 15, you will notice: he may forthwith be conditionally
examined before the court where the case is pending. Unlike in Section 13 before the judge, or if not
practicable, a member of the bar in good standing it is more lenient no?

Q: What is the reason why the law is more generous to the defense witness?
A: According to one case through Justice Feria, this is because the government has the resources to get he
testimony of its witnesses. Pero ang defense may have a hard time lalo na kapag pobre.

SEC. 14. Bail to secure appearance of material witness. When the court is satisfied,
upon proof of oath, that a material witness will not testify when required, it may, upon
motion of either party, order the witness to post bail in such sum as may be deemed
proper. Upon refusal to post bail, the court shall commit him to prison until he complies or
is legally discharged after his testimony has been taken. (6a)

It seems that the prosecution here is under the mercy of his witnesses. Meaning, kung ayaw ng testigo, wala
kang magawa. But under Section 14, you can ask the court to order the witness to post bail. And if he refuses
to post bail, he can be arrested. This is an instance where a witness can be jailed ahead of the accused.

But actually the truth is in most cases, prosecution witnesses do not appear not because ayaw but because
takot! They are afraid of what will happen like the accused might harass them. And the law knows that. That is
why there is also another alternative RA 6981, The Witness Protection Program which took effect last April of
1991. You read that so you will have an idea.

SEC. 16. Trial of several accused. When two or more accused are jointly charged with
an offense, they shall be tried jointly unless the court, in its discretion and upon motion of
the prosecutor or any accused, orders separate trial for one or more accused. (8a)

Remember that there can be a joint trial of two or more criminal cases if they arose of the same incident like
Judee fired her AK-47 and killed two or more people one after the other. But you cannot file one information
because that will be duplicitous. There must be one information for every one homicide and then you move for a

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joint trial.

Q: Now, how do you compare this rule with civil cases?


A: In civil cases, when there is a common question of fact or law involving two or more parties, there is such a
thing as filing only one complaint joinder of causes of action or parties. But in criminal cases, that is not allowed.
Consolidation in criminal cases in only for the purpose of joint trial lang and you cannot have one information
charging more than one offense.

DISCHARGE OF AN ACCUSED TO BE STATE WITNESS

SEC. 17. Discharge of accused to be state witness. When two or more persons are
jointly charged with the commission of any offense, upon motion of the prosecution
before resting its case, the court may direct one or more of the accused to be discharged
with their consent so that they may be witnesses for the state when, after requiring the
prosecution to present evidence and the sworn statement of each proposed state witness
at a hearing in support of the discharge, the court is satisfied that:
(a) There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is
requested;
(b) There is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense
committed, except the testimony of said accused;
(c) The testimony of said accused can be substantially corroborated in its material
points;
(d) Said accused does not appear to be the most guilty; and
(e) Said accused has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral
turpitude.
Evidence adduced in support of the discharge shall automatically form part of the trial.
If the court denies the motion for discharge of the accused as state witness, his sworn
statement shall be inadmissible in evidence. (9a)

SEC. 18. Discharge of accused operates as acquittal. The order indicated in the
preceding section shall amount to an acquittal of the discharged accused and shall be a
bar to future prosecution for the same offense, unless the accused fails or refuses to
testify against his co-accused in accordance with his sworn statement constituting the
basis for his discharge. (10a)

Lets take Section 17 and Section 18 together. Discharge of an accused to be state witness means that you
will convert an accused to become Hudas, save his neck but hang them all!

Under Section 18, once the witness is discharged under Section 17, he is now CONSIDERED ACQUITTED
and there is no way for him to be brought back in the case EXCEPT when he changes his mind and ayaw na
niyang mag-testify. That is the only exception.

Q: What are the requirements before a witness can be discharged?


A: Section 17 enumerates the requirements.

SAID ACCUSED DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE THE MOST GUILTY.

Lets comment on some of the requirements. One of the most important requirements for the discharge of an
accused is the fourth one Said accused does not appear to be the most guilty. Based from what I read from
time to time, even lawyers have been commenting on this. It seems they are misquoting this eh, like 2 days ago, a
lawyer said that we must discharge the accused because he is the least guilty.

That is not what the law says! What the law says is, HE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE THE MOST GUILTY.
And it is not the same with HE IS THE LEAST GUILTY.

EXAMPLE: Mortz, Pao and Jet. Mortz principal; Pao accomplice; Jet accessory. Pag-sinabi mong the
least guilty, hindi mo puwedeng gamitin si Pao. Si Jet dapat ang gamitin mo because he is the least guilty. [Tsk!

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tsk! Ginamit si Jet. Ginamit!] PERO, pag-sinabi mong he does not appear to be the most guilty, you can use
Pao, although there is somebody to be less guilty. Basta ang importante, hindi si Mortz. So, there is a difference
between the two phrases.

Q: What do you mean by the phrase does not appear to be the most guilty?
A: There are cases:

PEOPLE vs. OCIMAR


August 17, 1992

FACTS: This case involved a hold-upping incident, committed in a bus in Manila while traveling in
the North Express Way. There were four (4) hold-uppers who rode in the bus. When they reach a
certain point, they stood up and pulled to their guns and robbed the passengers. And they placed
themselves strategically: One of them stood behind the driver, o, wag kang kikilos, drive ka lang.
Yung iba namang dito. Kanya-kanyang silang role eh. The others were the ones who divested the
passengers, mga pitaka ninyo, relo lahat!
Now, there was one passenger there who was a military man wearing civilian clothes and may
baril siya. So he wanted to fight back but one of them saw him. Pag-bunot niya, inunahan siya! So
accused A shot that passenger. Accused D naman saw A shoot the victim. And of course all of them
were charged with Robbery with Homicide in conspiracy - the act of one is the act of all.
The prosecution wants to utilize D the one who is behind the driver as state witness. The
other accused objected claiming conspiracy we are all co-principal the act of one is the act of all.
So why do you say you are not the most guilty? Pare-pareho lang tayo. Same penalty.

ISSUE: Will accused D be qualified under the phrase does not appear to be the most guilty?

HELD: YES. When you say he does not appear to be the most guilty, you do not apply the rule
on conspiracy. But you apply the rule on individual acts. In reality, who is more guilty? The one who
really shot the victim or the one who is just behind the driver? The reality is, the most guilty is the one
who shot, although for purposes of the RPC both of you are co-principal. So, you look at it that way.
Do not apply the principle of the act-of-the-one-is-the-act-of-all. You consider the most guilty in terms
of the participation.
By most guilty means the highest degree of culpability in terms of participation in the
commission of the offense and not the severity of the penalty imposed. While all the accused maybe
given the same penalty but by reason of culpability one may be least guilty if we take into account his
degree of participation in the perpetuation of the offense.

Q: Generally, when the fiscal, after criminal investigation, believes that one of them can be a state witness,
therefore he will not include his name in the information. Is it allowed?
A: NO, you have to include him first before he can be a state witness. Let the court decide whether he will be
a state witness or not. You cannot discharge on your own. Remember under the Rules, the prosecutor is bound to
file the information against ALL those who appear to be responsible including this guy who you want to use as
state witness. But when you reach the court, you file a motion to discharge and let the court who will do it.

And under the New Rules, there must be a HEARING to determine whether there should be discharge or not.
Thats why the rule said, the trial court must require the prosecution to present evidence and the sworn
statement of each proposed state witness at a hearing in support of the discharge. So, there must be an affidavit
and there must be a hearing.

In the 1985 Rules, there was no need of a hearing. No need for the prosecution to present evidence. Normally
the fiscal will just file a motion that we would like to use this witness and the court will discharge. Now, hindi na
pwede yan because in most cases in the past, a person is discharge and it turns out that he is the most guilty. To
avoid that possibility, there is now need to present affidavit, etc. and there must be a hearing. The court will
require presentation of evidence and it will decide whether or not to discharge.

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Now, sabi ng court in the hearing for the discharge of the accused, There is no need to discharge him.
Motion to discharge, denied! So sabi ng accused, Kawawa na ako nito because I already admitted the crime in
my affidavit! Tapos, hindi pala ako qualified! [nak ng pating naman o!]. What will happened to you now? You
Look at the last paragraph of Section 17:

Evidence adduced in support of the discharge shall automatically form part of the
trial. If the court denies the motion for discharge of the accused as state witness, his
sworn statement shall be inadmissible in evidence.

So that is fair enough because the affidavit which is practically an admission of his participation, then if he is
not discharged, do not use it against him. It is inadmissible as evidence against him. The leading case in this
issue is the 1993 case of

PEOPLE vs. CA AND INSPECTOR JOE PRING


223 SCRA 475

FACTS: Pring was involved in kidnapping and one policeman testified against him Nonilo Arile.
There was a motion to discharge Arile to testify against Pring. Then the prosecution gave the defense
the affidavit of Arile. Based on that, the court ordered the discharge of Arile. Pring questioned the
procedure. This is the first case where the SC applied this rule on hearing on the discharge of an
accused. Sabi ni Pring, Where is the hearing? Prosecution: Yon palang motion to discharge na
binigay namin sa inyo? Pring: Ah, hindi naman hearing yun! Hearing means, ilagay mo si Arile sa
witness stand subject to cross-examination because even under Section 17, evidence adduced to
support the discharge shall automatically form part of the trial. Meaning, the state witness will not
testify again. So what is contemplated here is personal testimony and not the affidavit.

ISSUE: Is the argument of Pring correct?

HELD: NO. Hearing means, you have the opportunity to read what he will say and the opportunity
to object. Yan ang ibig sabihin ng hearing. Hindi kailangan na he will be questioned personally in
court. That satisfies the requirement of hearing.
Hence, in resolving the issue in this petition, the proper question we should address is: Was
there a failure to observe the spirit and intent of Section 17, Rule 119 in the case at bar? We rule in
the NEGATIVE. The prosecution has submitted the sworn statement of accused Nonilo Arile and its
evidence showing that the conditions for discharge have been met. Neither can it be denied that the
defense was able to oppose the motion to discharge Nonilo Arile. With both litigants able to present
their side, the lack of actual hearing was not fatal enough to undermine the court's ability to determine
whether the conditions prescribed under Section 17, Rule 119 were satisfied.

So there is already substantial compliance with the hearing. And that was the first case interpreting this new
provision after the 1985 Rules. But for the merits, later na-acquit man si Pring ba which is a different issue. Yung
dito, discharge lang ang issue eh. On the merits, he was acquitted. But after one year from his acquittal, pinatay
naman siya ng ABB. Sabi nila (ABB), kung nakaligtas ka sa court, sa amin hindi ka makaligtas. Thats what
happened there.

Q: Normally, when is an accused discharged?


A: He is discharged before he testifies. You will use him. Thats why he is going to be discharged. However, in
the 1992 case of

ROSALES vs. COURT OF APPEALS


215 SCRA 102

FACTS: The prosecution wants to use an accused as a witness and he was willing. Sabi ng
prosecution, We will file a motion to discharge you to be state witness. The accused said, Hwag!
Hwag!.. if you will do that patay ako! Patayin talaga nila ako. They will not allow me to testify. But still

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the prosecution used him. He took a stand and he pointed to all his companions. So he testified first
bago nag-file ng motion to discharge ang prosecution.

ISSUE: Is that correct? Can the testimony come ahead before the discharge?

HELD: YES because of the peculiar fact his life is in danger eh. Anyway according to the law,
should the discharge be made, is should be made by the prosecution before resting its case (Section
17). In the case at bar, at that moment, the prosecution has not rested its case. So puwede.
While it is the usual practice of the prosecution to present the accused who turns state witness
only after his discharge, the trial court may nevertheless sanction his discharge after his testimony if
circumstances so warrant. In the case before Us, the imminent risk to his life justified the deviation
from the normal course of procedure as a measure to protect him while at the same time ensuring his
undaunted cooperation with the prosecution. Indeed, as is explicit from the Rule, as long as the
motion for discharge of an accused to be utilized as a state witness is filed before the prosecution
rests, the trial court should, if warranted, grant it.

Q: What happens if an accused who is the most guilty is erroneously discharged ang mga naiwan, yung
mga pipitsugin? Is the erroneous discharge valid? Is he deemed acquitted?
A: The SC said YES. Even if there is a mistake, he is now acquitted once he is discharged. His testimony is
admissible. In the case of

BOGO-MEDELLIN CO. vs. JUDGE PEDRO SON


209 SCRA 329 (May 27, 1992)

HELD: Any witting or unwitting error of the prosecution in asking for the discharge of an
accused and of the trial court in granting the petition for discharge, so long as no question of
jurisdiction is involved, would not deprive the discharged accused of the acquittal that is specified in
Section 10 of Rule 119 and of the constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy. It is also
relevant to note that the improper or mistaken discharge of an accused would not affect his
competency as a witness or render inadmissible his testimony.

Q: Lets go back to Evidence. He is the most guilty. His discharge was wrong. Is his testimony admissible?
A: YES, because he can perceive and perceiving and he can make known his perception to others. That is
the only qualification. There is no violation of marital disqualification or attorney-client confidentiality, etc. Wala
man! So you go back to Evidence. The testimony of the witness is qualified although it might be polluted and he
did it to save his game that is not enough to make his testimony inadmissible.

Q: One thing more, who can discharge the witness?


A: The court where the very case is pending. Thats the rule the court where the case is pending.

BAR QUESTION: What happens when an accused is discharged, and after he is discharged, sabi ng
prosecution, Teka muna nagkamali ako, di pala kita kailangan. Balik ka! Can it be done?
A: Sabi ng SC, NO, acquitted na yan! The only reason for him to come back is, he is asked to testify pero
ayaw niya. Prosecution: But I dont need him. SC: that is your fault because first, why did you ask for his
discharge? So once he is discharged, he is deemed acquitted whether you use him or do not use him. The only
way for him to come back is, you want to use him but he does not want to testify because he is double-crossing
the Government.

Lets go further. There is another law, about this witness. You try to compare this principle with the provision of
RA 6981 The Witness Protection Act. Under RA 6981, the fiscal would not even include you in the charge
anymore, for as long as the DOJ will say that he is qualified, he is covered by the Witness Protection Program.
Under the law, the fiscal should not include him anymore.
Unlike in criminal procedure kailangan isali ka muna bago ka i-discharge. Sa RA 6981 naman, hindi ka na
kasali. That is why the constitutionality of the law was challenged in the case of

WEBB vs. DE LEON

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August 23, 1995

FACTS: State witness Alfaro admitted that she was with them. She admitted kasama siyang
nagpunta sa bahay ng mga Vizconde. And then she was placed in the Witness Protection Program
and was used against Hubert Webb. And according to Webb, the provision of the Witness Protection
Act which authorizes the DOJ to place somebody in the Witness Protection Program, and once he
certifies that she is covered, the fiscal is no longer allowed to file a case against her (state witness)
is violative of the judicial prerogative to discharge a witness because you jumping the gun on the
court.
According to Webb, it should be the court that will discharge and not the DOJ. The law is not valid
because it is an encroachment of a judicial prerogative. It is an intrusion for it is only the court which
has the power under the rules on criminal procedure to discharge an accused as state witness.

ISSUE #1: Is Webbs argument valid?


HELD: Webbs argument lacks appeal for it lies on the faulty assumption that the decision whom
to prosecute is a judicial function, the sole prerogative of courts and beyond executive and legislative
interference. In truth, the prosecution of crimes appertains to the executive department of government
whose principal power and responsibility is to see that our laws are faithfully executed. A necessary
component of this power to execute our laws is the right to prosecute their violators. 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 smorgasbord of factors which are best
appreciated by prosecutors. We thus hold that it is not constitutionally impermissible for Congress to
enact R.A. No. 6981 vesting in the Department of Justice the power to determine who can qualify as
a witness in the program and who shall be granted immunity from prosecution.

ISSUE #2: How do you reconcile this ruling with the rule that only the court has the power to
discharge?
HELD: Simple! In the Witness Protection Program, the accused is NOT even accused in any
case yet. Wala pa! But once he is accused, you need the consent of the court to discharge, that is
kapag kasali na! Pero kung hindi pa kasali, there is no need for the courts consent to decide because
that is an executive function.

ISSUE #3: And why is the courts consent necessary once the accused is charged in court?
HELD: This is because the court has already acquired jurisdiction over the person of the
accused. So the SC said, Section 17 of Rule 119 does not support the proposition that the power to
choose who shall be a state witness is an inherent judicial prerogative. Under this provision the court
is given the power to discharge as state witness only because it has already acquired jurisdiction over
the crime and the accused. The discharge of an accused is part of the exercise of jurisdiction but is
not a recognition of an inherent judicial function.

ISSUE #4: Is it wise for Congress to enact this law? Why will Congress enact this kind of law that
will determine that the witness will not be included in the information?
HELD: YES. It is a wise legislation. Moreover, the Rules of Court have never been interpreted to
be beyond change by legislation designed to improve the administration of our justice system. The
Witness Protection Act is one of the much sought penal reform laws to help government in its uphill
fight against crime, one certain cause of which is the reticence of witnesses to testify.

SEC. 19. When mistake has been made in charging the proper offense. When it becomes
manifest at any time before judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper
offense and the accused cannot be convicted of the offense charged or any other offense
necessarily included therein, the accused shall not be discharged if there appears good
cause to detain him. In such case, the court shall commit the accused to answer for the
proper offense and dismiss the original case upon the filing of the proper information.
(11a)

You co-relate Section 19 with the last paragraph of Section 14, Rule 110:

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If it appears at anytime 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 section 19, Rule 119,
provided the accused shall not be placed in double jeopardy. The court may require the
witnesses to give bail for their appearance at the trial.

So the same no? The accused shall be discharge because of a wrong information upon filing of the correct
one. So Section 14 of Rule 110 and Section 19 of Rule 119 talk of the same thing.

QUESTION: how will you distinguish the two provisions? Kung tingnan mo mukang pareho eh. But for
academic purposes, there are differences made by Justice Regalado in the 1994 case of GALVEZ VS. CA (237
SCRA 685) Alam mo itong si Regalado, siya din ang nag-distinguish ng amendment and substitution of
information under Rule 110 which was asked in the bar and thoroughly discussed in the case of TEEHANKEE VS.
MADAYAG. In the case of Galvez naman, gi-distinguish naman niya ang Section 14 Rule 110 and Section 19
Rule 119.

Q: Distinguish Section 14 of Rule 110 and Section 19 of Rule 119.


A: For academic purposes, the following are the distinctions:

1. Rule 119 is the rule specifically governing the trial stage; whereas
Rule 110 provides the procedural governance for the prosecution of offenses;

2. Rule 119 is more directly and principally directed to the trial court to invest it with the requisite
authority to direct by itself the dismissal and re-filing of the informations therein contemplated;
whereas
Rule 110 is directed to the prosecutor who can and should institute remedial measures for the
dismissal of the original information and the re-filing of the correct one, otherwise he would be
recreant to his duties;

3. In Rule 119, evidence is necessarily being presented, hence the trial court is now in a better position
to conclude that manifestly the accused cannot be convicted of the offense charged or of one that
it necessarily includes; whereas
In Rule 110, since no evidence has been presented at that stage, the error would appear or be
discoverable from a review of the records of the preliminary investigation; and

4. In Rule 119, the permissible stage for effecting that substitution is at any time before judgment;
whereas
In Rule 110, it is sufficient that it appearsthat a mistake has been made in charging the proper
offense which situation contemplates a longer time span, inclusive of the period from the filing
of the information up to and before trial.

So after I read the case of Galvez, I said Regalado has a very sharp mind. Masyadong matalas and utak ba!
A very small distinction, makita niya eh. And it takes pain to analyze. That is the product of a sharp mind. But no
wonder because pag-kuha niya ng bar, 96.70% gud ang average niyan! He is the highest for the record. Sabi nila
si Marcos. Yes, but that is not official. Istorya lang yun. Si Marcos nag oral examination before the SC pero
binabaan ang average. But on record, it is Regalado who is the highest in the bar. Nobody has beaten that.
Makita ninyo man ba sa decisions niya. Masyadong matalas, very sharp!

SEC. 20. Appointment of acting prosecutor. When a prosecutor, his assistant or deputy
is disqualified to act due to any of the grounds stated in section 1 of Rule 137 or for any
other reason, the judge or the prosecutor shall communicate with the Secretary of Justice
in order that the latter may appoint an acting prosecutor. (12a)

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SEC. 21. Exclusion of the public. The judge may, motu proprio, exclude the public from
the courtroom if the evidence to be produced during the trial is offensive to decency or
public morals. He may also, on motion of the accused, exclude the public from the trial
except court personnel and the counsel of the parties. (13a)

Section 21 is an exception to the rule found in Rule 115 about the right of the accused to a public trial. There
are some exceptions to that right. And under Section 21:

1. the court may, moto propio, exclude the public from the courtroom if the evidence to be produced during
the trial is offensive to decency or public morals. Normally this applies in trial for the crime of rape or in
crimes against chastity, where the nature of the evidence is such that the public may want to go there
because they only want to listen to these sadiscious details of the testimony. The public can be excluded.
Only the lawyers, the parties are allowed inside. Yaan!

2. on motion of the accused, the court may exclude the public. That is his right to speedy trial. Kung ayaw
niya, e di okey lang!

Aside from the two exceptions, the other grounds where the public can be excluded, based on American
Jurisprudence are:
1. To prevent disorder;
2. To prevent embarrassment to a witness;
3. To limit attendance to seating capacity.

This is the very issue now. Ive been reading current newspaper reports that everybody is anticipating that the
case against Erap will be filed in the Sandiganbayan. The DOJ wants everything to be televised all over again.
They are filing a petition before the Supreme Court. There is a standing order of the Supreme Court prohibiting it.
It should not be televised because of what happened in the Aquino libel case [Aquino vs. Beltran]. Because of
that, ayaw na ng SC na i-televised. It becomes a sarswela show ba! rather than an a public trial.

Now, they want to justify it on the ground that this involves public interest so the SC should relax the rules. I
cannot anticipate how the SC will resolve the matter because everybody has gotten used to the impeachment trial
so everybody wants to hear what is happening, especially if the person involved is Erap. Such a standing
memorandum was not applied to the impeachment trial because it was not a judicial trial but a political trial. It is
the Senate which controls the rules, not the courts. This is the difference. But this case is before the
Sandiganbayan which is a different story.

Because definitely many people would like to go there but how do you get a seat them all in the
Sandiganbayan? You will have to exclude hundreds, if not thousands and allow only the entry of a few. But if it is
televised, then everybody can watch again.

SEC. 22. Consolidation of trials of related offenses. Charges for offenses founded on the
same facts or forming part of a series of offenses of similar character may be tried jointly
at the discretion of the court. (14a)

Do not confuse this consolidation here in Rule 119 with the consolidation in Rule 111.

In Rule 111, you are consolidating the criminal case and the civil case the civil case which is brought
separately will be consolidated with the criminal case. Here in Rule 119, you are consolidating two or more
criminal cases which are identical, founded on the same facts or forming part of the same series of offense of
similar character. This is similar to consolidation in Rule 31 on civil cases.

But in civil cases, we can allow related cases to be filed together eh joinder of parties, which is not allowed
in criminal cases. The only practice allowed in criminal cases is consolidation. But there could be no such thing
as joinder of accused in one information.

Lets go to Section 23 on Demurrer one of the most important provisions in Rule 119.

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SEC. 23. Demurrer to evidence. After the prosecution rests its case, the court may
dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of evidence (1) on its own initiative after
giving the prosecution the opportunity to be heard or (2) upon demurrer to evidence filed
by the accused with or without leave of court.
If the court denies the demurrer to evidence filed with leave of court, the accused may
adduce evidence in his defense. When the demurrer to evidence is filed without leave of
court, the accused waives the right to present evidence and submits the case for judgment
on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution. (15a)
The motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence shall specifically state its
grounds and shall be filed within a non-extendible period of five (5) days after the
prosecution rests its case. The prosecution may oppose the motion within a non-
extendible period of five (5) days from its receipt.
If leave of court is granted, the accused shall file the demurrer to evidence within a
non-extendible period of ten (10) days from notice. The prosecution may oppose the
demurrer to evidence within a similar period from its receipt.
The order denying the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or the
demurrer itself shall not be reviewable by appeal or by certiorari before judgment. (n)

Demurrer is a motion to dismiss. After the prosecution has rested its case, based on the order of trial, the
accused now presents his case. But sabi ng accused, Well, I will present evidence on the assumption that the
prosecution has proven prima facie the crime and my guilt. [meaning the presumption of innocence has already
been disputively rebutted ba!]. But suppose the prosecution has not proven the facts or not proven the crime or
my guilt, why will I present evidence? Why will I prove my innocence when Im still presumed innocent? Yaan!
Yan ang demurrer. The same thing in civil cases why will you prove your defense when the plaintiff failed to
prove his cause of action? So instead of presenting evidence, he will file a demurrer. Actually its a motion to
dismiss.

Now of course, it is now emphasized in paragraph 1 that a demurrer may be filed with or without leave of
court. Leave of court means before your demurrer, you file muna a motion for permission to file the demurrer.
The court grants permission, you file the demurrer. You can still file the demurrer even without the permission of
the court. If you file demurrer with or without leave and it is granted, then you have no problem because the
accused will be acquitted.

The problem is, if your demurrer is denied. Meaning, the court says that there is sufficient evidence to prove
at least the guilt of the accused. If the demurrer was filed with prior leave of court and it is subsequently denied,
the accused is allowed to present evidence to prove his defense.

But if you filed the demurrer without prior leave of court and the demurrer is denied, then you are already
convicted because the accused has forfeited his right to present evidence. It is practically equivalent to a waiver of
his right to present evidence. So conviction automatically follows. This is what the rules say.

What is the rationale behind this? The 1997 case of

PEOPLE vs. TURINGAN


282 SCRA 424

HELD: The rationale for the rule is that when the accused moves for dismissal on the ground
of insufficiency of the prosecution evidence, he does so in the belief that said evidence is
insufficient to convict and, therefore, any need for him to present any evidence is negated. It is
said that an accused cannot be allowed to wager on the outcome of judicial proceedings by
espousing inconsistent viewpoints whenever dictated by convenience. The purpose behind the
rule is also to avoid the dilatory practice of filing motions for dismissal as a demurrer to the
evidence of the prosecution and, after denial thereof, the defense would then claim the right to
present its evidence.

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So, there is an inconsistency in saying that the prosecutions evidence is not sufficient, and yet when it is
denied, OK, I will present evidence. Ahh di puwede yan! And many defense counsels in the past have filed
demurrer just to delay the presentation of evidence when there is no chance for said demurrer to be granted.

BERNARDO vs. COURT OF APPEALS


278 SCRA 782

HELD: The power to grant leave to the accused to file a demurrer is addressed to the sound
discretion of the trial court. The purpose is to determine whether the accused in filing his demurrer is
merely stalling the proceedings. [Is he really serious or is only delaying the proceedings?] Judicial
action to grant prior leave to file demurrer to evidence is discretionary upon the trial court. But to allow
the accused to present evidence after he was denied prior leave to file demurrer is not
discretionary.[Meaning, when you file a demurrer without prior leave, you assume the risk eh
because once your demurrer is denied, you no longer have a chance to present evidence.]
Once prior leave is denied and the accused still files his demurrer to evidence or motion to
dismiss, the court no longer has discretion to allow the accused to present evidence. The only
recourse left for the court is to decide the case on the basis of the evidence presented by the
prosecution. And, unless there is grave abuse thereof amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the
trial court's denial of prior leave to file demurrer to evidence or motion to dismiss may not be
disturbed. However, any judgment of conviction by a trial court may still be elevated by the accused
to the appellate court. [You cannot question the order of denial of prior leave, this is discretionary but
you can appeal the judgment of conviction itself.]

BAR QUESTION: How do you distinguish the rule on demurrer of evidence in civil cases with the rule of
demurrer in criminal cases?
A: The following are the distinctions:

1. In civil cases when the demurrer is denied, the defendant will now present his evidence to prove his
defense because the defendant does not waive his right to present in the event the demurrer is
denied; whereas
In criminal cases, if the demurrer of the accused is denied the accused is no longer allowed to
present evidence if he had no prior leave;

2. In civil cases, if the defendants demurrer is granted and the case is dismissed and the plaintiff
appeals to the appellate court and on appeal the court reverses the order of dismissal, the
appellate court renders judgment immediately against the defendant. Goodbye! talo na ang
defendant. There is no more remanding; whereas
In criminal cases, if the demurrer is granted, there is no more appeal by the prosecution because the
accused has already been acquitted. Otherwise, there will be a case of double jeopardy;

3. In civil cases, the court cannot on its own initiative, dismiss the case after the plaintiff rests without
any demurrer by the defendant. There is no such thing as motu propio demurrer; whereas
In criminal cases, the court may dismiss the action on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the
chance to present its evidence.

Demurrer used to composed only of two paragraphs. Under the new rules, there are three (3) new additional
paragraphs. The additional provisions are:

The motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence shall specifically state its
grounds and shall be filed within a non-extendible period of five (5) days after the
prosecution rests its case. The prosecution may oppose the motion within a non-
extendible period of five (5) days from its receipt.

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If leave of court is granted, the accused shall file the demurrer to evidence within a
non-extendible period of ten (10) days from notice. The prosecution may oppose the
demurrer to evidence within a similar period from its receipt.
The order denying the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or the
demurrer itself shall not be reviewable by appeal or by certiorari before judgment. (n)

These deadlines were not found before. If you want to file leave, pag-rest, 5 days lang, you file a motion for
leave. The prosecution may oppose the leave of within 5 days. After the court grants leave, you file the demurrer
within 10 days lang. The obvious purpose here is not to delay the trial.

When the court denies the motion for leave or the demurrer itself, as a rule, it is not reviewable. You cannot
review it. The remedy is to go to trial and if you are convicted, appeal on the judgment of conviction. But as a
general rule, when a demurrer is denied, you cannot go on certiorari. Im not saying that this is 100% but there
are some instances when the court, based on equity, allows it.

Take note that when you file a leave of court to file a demurrer, the accused must specifically state the
grounds.

The 1985 Rules just says you get prior leave. This is what I noticed here among trial courts: after the
prosecution rests, sometimes the defense counsel will say, Your honor, we will file a demurrer. May we ask for
leave of court to file the demurrer? And I noticed that the courts will say Alright, leave granted, file your
demurrer. Parang naging automatic ba! Pag-hingi mo ng leave, bigay kaagad!

I was watching that and I do not seem to agree with that kind of set-up and I had the opportunity once in a
criminal case where I was the private prosecutor where after we rested, the defense, in open court said, Your
honor, we would like to ask permission for demurrer. And the court said, Granted!. I said Your honor, this is
not the correct procedure because he doesnt even say what are his grounds for demurrer. The court should not
grant the permission immediately without those grounds. To my mind, when you file a motion for leave, you must
state the grounds to give the court a synopsis or an idea of what you are going to raise so that the court will be
attracted to grant. The reason behind this leave is to put a stop to the old practice. The old practice was of
granting demurrer immediately and in most cases the demurrer is really without merit. This is why this was placed
in the Rules of Court so that the court will weigh whether ano ba? Pagbigyan ko ba ito o hindi? Otherwise, we
would be going back to the old system.

And the judge told me, Your arguments are sound, but the trouble is there is nothing in the rules which
support you so, well just grant leave. Wala din. Of course, there was a leave, there was a demurrer, and I
opposed and it was denied. But ang issue ko, Ive been harping on that point for so long. You cannot just say
leave, you must tell the court what you will raise. Give us an idea so that the court will be convinced to grant
leave. If the court will deny the leave, you file it at your own risk.

Now, the 2000 Rules states, The motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence shall specifically state
its grounds. Hindi na puwede yung we intend to file a demurrer, may we ask for leave without stating the
grounds. At least, sabi ko, I have been correct all along in advocating this. So when I read this in the new rules, I
said, Ay salamat! Tama pala ako all along! Once you know the philosophy of the law, hindi ka man mawala ba!
You can always argue from that point.

SEC. 24. Reopening. At any time before finality of the judgment of conviction, the
judge may, motu proprio or upon motion, with hearing in either case, reopen the
proceedings to avoid a miscarriage of justice. The proceedings shall be terminated within
thirty (30) days from the order granting it. (n)

Section 24 is a new provision. The judge may motu propio or upon motion reopen the proceedings.

Actually, reopening of trial is a remedy which is recognized but not found in the rules. Even the rules on civil
procedure, there are motions for new trials but you cannot find a rule for the re-opening of trial. But the SC has
always recognized that there is such a remedy.

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EXAMPLE: I will rest my case, the trial is finished and the next step is the decision. But after you rest, you
have additional evidence discovered for the first time and therefore could not have been presented beforehand.

Q: What will you do? Will you file a motion for new trial based on the newly discovered evidence?
A: NO, you cannot wala pang decision! Motion for new trial based on new evidence is proper only after a
decision has been made and the same is not yet final and executory.

Q: In the example, wala pang decision eh. What is the proper remedy?
A: The correct remedy is motion to reopen the trial because there is no judgment yet.

Q: On what grounds?
A: Justice and equity. This is the only ground for re-opening because there is no specific ground.

Q: Now can the court on its own, re-open a trial, civil or criminal?
A: YES. This has happened several times. The case has already been submitted for trial, this happened to
me several years ago. The court said before the court renders a decision, the court would like to conduct an
ocular inspection and re-enactment of the alleged crime in the place where the crime was committed. Motu
propio, the court ordered the re-enactment. This is an instance of re-opening the trial. This is allowed because
this is an inherent power of the court, if it really wants to find out the truth. You cannot find any provision in the
rules regulating that kind of remedy. This is allowed without any specific rule except justice and equity.

For the first time, reopening of trial in a criminal case is now found in Section 24 of the 2000 Rules. But there
is something wrong here. In reopening of trial, you do it before the case is decided. Dito naman, you do it at any
time before the finality of the judgment of conviction. Anong klase ito?! How can this be? There is already a
judgment of conviction and then, you reopen?? I think the correct motion is a new trial.

I remember when Galvez was here to lecture on the Rules on Criminal Procedure. He said that somebody in
the Supreme Court nakialam dito eh. The original draft was anytime before judgment there can be re-opening
upon motu propio or motion. But when the new rules came out, it said at any time before finality of the judgment
of conviction. dinagdagan ba! The person who changed it must have thought the committee had erred but the
change made it even worse. Thats why the committee wrote a letter to the SC to amend this mistake.

Now, there are some special laws that are related to the subject of trial and they are considered as part and
parcel of the criminal procedure. I am referring to RA 4908, RA 6033, RA 6034 and RA 6035. RAs 6033, 6034
and 6035 are also known as the Laurel Laws because the author of these laws is Senator Laurel in the 70s.

RA 4908 AN ACT REQUIRING JUDGES OF COURTS TO SPEEDILY TRY CRIMINAL CASES WHEREIN
THE OFFENDED PARTY IS A PERSON ABOUT TO DEPART FROM THE PHILIPPINES WITH
NO DEFINITE DATE OF RETURN

RA 6033 AN ACT REQUIRING COURTS TO GIVE PREFERENCE TO CRIMINAL CASES WHERE THE
PARTY OR PARTIES INVOLVE ARE INDIGENTS

RA 6034 AN ACT PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER ALLOWANCES FOR INDIGENT


LITIGANTS.

RA 6035 AN ACT REQUIRING STENOGRAPHERS TO GIVE FREE TRANSCRIPT OF NOTES TO


INDIGENT AND LOW INCOME LITIGANTS AND PROVIDING A PENALTY FOR THE
VIOLATION THEREOF

So that takes care of Rule 119.


editor-in-chief: mortmort editors: jayceebelle balite j-j torres michael peloton maying dadula jessamyn
agustin lyle santos paul ryan ongkingco dynn gutierrez maya quitain riezl locsin patrick tabar
maritess gonzales maricel culpable kenneth leyva jenny namoc ferdinand vido melissa suarez
rayda sullano rucel cayetano rod quiachon hannah examen myra montecalvo genie salvaa grace

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salesa leo gillesania gemma betonio jenny aquiatan michael pito karen de leon elma tormon
judee uy pao angeles jet pascua contributing editors: babang baldoza marlo masangkay

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