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COMM RURAL BANK v TALAVERA A.M. No. RTJ-05-1909, April 06, 2005 COMMUNITY RURAL BANK OF GUIMBA (N.

E.), INC., REPRESENTED BY OLGA M. SAMSON, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE TOMAS B. TALAVERA, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT (BRANCH 28), CABANATUAN CITY, NUEVA ECIJA, RESPONDENT. FACTS Comm Rural Bank filed a complaint for estafa with the City Prosecutors Office against several accused, The investigating fiscal recommended the filing of informations. However, the accused appealed to the DOJ which denied the petition. Nevertheless, the accused filed a motion for reconsideration of the denial, which was still denied by the DOJ through a resolution. The accused also filed a Motion for Reinvestigation and to Lift the Issuance of the Warrant of Arrest with the RTC Judge where the informations were filed. The Bank was not furnished a copy of the Motion and even without a hearing, the Judge granted the Motion, depriving the Bank the opportunity to oppose the Motion. After the reinvestigation, the investigating prosecutor reversed the earlier recommendation of the previous fiscal and sought to dismiss the informations, which the Judge granted. ISSUE WON the Judge erred in granting the Motion. HELD YES. The Judge showed gross ignorance of the law by failing to give the Bank opportunity to object to the Motion. In fact, he should not have entertained the Motion as he was aware of denial of the petition for review of the accused by the DOJ Secretary Serafin Cuevas. The resolution of the investigating fiscal was affirmed by the DOJ Secretary. What the subsequent reinvestigating prosecutor reviewed and overruled in the reinvestigation was not the actuation and resolution of his predecessor, but of the secretary of justice no less. "'Supervision' and 'control' of a department head over his subordinates have been defined in administrative law as follows:

'In administrative law, supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them, the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform such duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter.' In short, the secretary of justice, who has the power of supervision and control over prosecuting officers, is the ultimate authority who decides which of the conflicting theories of the complainants and the respondents should be believed. The provincial or city prosecutor has neither the personality nor the legal authority to review or overrule the decision of the secretary. The Judge erred in granting the Motion relying solely on the Resolution of the reinvestigating prosecutor.