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SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 143375. July 6, 2001]

RUTH D. BAUTISTA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, OFFICE OF THE REGIONAL STATE PROSECUTOR, REGION
IV, and SUSAN ALOA, respondents.

DECISION

BELLOSILLO, J.:

Facts:

Sometime in April 1998 petitioner Ruth D. Bautista issued to private respondent Susan Aloa, Metrobank Check dated
8 May 1998 for P1,500,000.00

On 20 October 1998 private respondent presented the check for payment. The drawee bank dishonored the check
because it was drawn against insufficient funds

On 16 March 1999 private respondent filed a complaint-affidavit with the City Prosecutor of Cavite City. In addition to
the details of the issuance and the dishonor of the check, she also alleged that she made repeated demands on
petitioner to make arrangements for the payment of the check within five (5) working days after receipt of notice of
dishonor from the bank, but that petitioner failed to do so.

Petitioner then submitted her own counter-affidavit asserting in her defense that presentment of the check within
ninety (90) days from due date thereof was an essential element of the offense of violation of BP 22. Since the check
was presented for payment 166 days after its due date, it was no longer punishable under BP 22 and therefore the
complaint should be dismissed for lack of merit. She also claimed that she already assigned private respondent her
condominium unit at Antel Seaview Condominium, Roxas Boulevard, as full payment for the bounced checks thus
extinguishing her criminal liability.

On 22 April 1999, the investigating prosecutor issued a resolution recommending the filing of an Information against
petitioner for violation of BP 22, which was approved by the City Prosecutor.

On 13 May 1999 petitioner filed with the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor (ORSP) for Region IV a petition for
review of the 22 April 1999 resolution. The ORSP denied the petition in a one (1)-page resolution dated 25 June
1999. On 5 July 1999 petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, which the ORSP also denied on 31 August 1999.
According to the ORSP, only resolutions of prosecutors dismissing a criminal complaint were cognizable for review by
that office, citing Department Order No. 223.

On 1 October 1999 petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review of the resolution of the ORSP,
Region IV, dated 22 April 1999 as well as the order dated 31 August 1999 denying reconsideration. The appellate
court issued the assailed Resolution dated 26 October 1999 denying due course outright and dismissing the petition

Issue:

WHETHER OR NOT PETITION FOR REVIEW UNDER RULE 43 IS CORRECT

Ruling:

No, because what is being petitioned is the resolution of the regional fiscal because A petition for review is
appropriate under Rule 43 (1997 Rules of Civil Procedure) from a decision of the Regional Trial Court rendered in the
exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, filed in the Court of Appeals

, the prosecutor in a preliminary investigation does not determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. He does not
exercise adjudication nor rule-making functions. Preliminary investigation is merely inquisitorial, and is often the only
means of discovering the persons who may be reasonably charged with a crime and to enable the fiscal to prepare
his complaint or information. It is not a trial of the case on the merits and has no purpose except that of determining
whether a crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty
thereof. While the fiscal makes that determination, he cannot be said to be acting as a quasi-court, for it is the
courts, ultimately, that pass judgment on the accused, not the fiscal.

Hence, the Office of the Prosecutor is not a quasi-judicial body; necessarily, its decisions approving the filing of a
criminal complaint are not appealable to the Court of Appeals under Rule 43. Since the ORSP has the power to
resolve appeals with finality only where the penalty prescribed for the offense does not exceed prision correccional,
regardless of the imposable fine, the only remedy of petitioner, in the absence of grave abuse of discretion, is to
present her defense in the trial of the case.

Besides, it is well-settled that the courts cannot interfere with the discretion of the fiscal to determine the specificity
and adequacy of the offense charged. He may dismiss the complaint forthwith if he finds it to be insufficient in form
or substance or if he finds no ground to continue with the inquiry; or, he may otherwise proceed with the
investigation if the complaint is, in his view, in due and proper form.
LAILA G. DE OCAMPO, G.R. No. 147932Petitioner,
-versus- CARPIO MORALES,SECRETARY OF JUSTICE,
MAGDALENA B. DACARRA, Promulgated:and ERLINDA P. ORAYAN,
Respondents. January 25, 2006

Facts:

The present case arose from a sworn statement of respondent Magdalena B. Dacarra executed before the
Womens Desk of the CPD Police Station in Quezon City on 10 December 1999 againt carpio morales for homicide
arising from the head-banging incident that caused the death of Ronalds on 9 December 1999.

During the inquest proceedings on 14 December 1999, Evidence warrants the release of the respondent for
further investigation of the charges against her. We find the evidence insufficient to support the charge for homicide
against the respondent. Subsequently, the case was referred to Assistant Quezon City Prosecutor Lorna F. Catris-
Chua Cheng for preliminary investigation. She scheduled the first hearing on 6 January 2000.

Respondent Erlinda P. Orayan (Erlinda), Lorendos mother, attended the hearing of 6 January 2000 and
alleged that petitioner offered her P100,000, which she initially accepted, for her and her sons non-appearance at the
preliminary investigation. Erlinda presented the money to the investigating prosecutor.

On 7 January 2000, Jennilyn Quirong, who witnessed the head-banging incident, and Melanie Lugales, who
claimed to be another victim of petitioners alleged cruel deeds, filed their sworn statements with the Office of the
Quezon City Prosecutor.

On 18 January 2000, petitioner submitted her counter-affidavit. Petitioner invoked the disposition of the
inquest prosecutor finding insufficient evidence to support the charges against her. Petitioner assailed the omission in
Magdalenas sworn statement about Ronalds head injury due to a vehicular accident in November 1997. Petitioner
pointed out the absence of damage or injury on Lorendo as borne out by his medical certificate. Petitioner contended
that the head-banging incident was not the proximate cause of Ronalds death, but the failed medical attention or
medical negligence. Petitioner also alleged that Jennilyn Quirong and Melanie Lugales have immature perception.
Petitioner further asserted that the causes of death stated in Ronalds Death Certificate are hearsay and inadmissible
in the preliminary investigation.

The investigating prosecutor issued a Resolution finding probable cause against petitioner for the offenses
charged.

In her appeal to the DOJ, petitioner contended that the investigating prosecutor showed bias in favor of
complainants Magdalena and Erlinda for not conducting a clarificatory hearing and unilaterally procuring the autopsy
report

The DOJ Secretary denied the petition for review it is held that there was no bias in complainants favor
when the investigating prosecutor did not conduct a clarificatory hearing and unilaterally procured the autopsy report
as nothing precluded her from doing so. The DOJ Secretary rejected petitioners claim that she is innocent as held by
the inquest prosecutor. The inquest prosecutor did not dismiss the case. She merely recommended petitioners
release for further investigation since the case was not proper for inquest and the evidence was then insufficient.The
DOJ Secretary further stated that the omission in Magdalenas sworn statement about Ronalds head injury due to a
vehicular accident in November 1997 and the absence of any injury on Lorendo are inconsequential.

Issue:

Whether petitioner was denied due process during the preliminary investigation

Ruling:

No, The Court rejects petitioners contention that she was denied due process when the investigating prosecutor did
not conduct a clarificatory hearing. A clarificatory hearing is not indispensable during preliminary investigation.
Rather than being mandatory, a clarificatory hearing is optional on the part of the investigating officer as evidenced
by the use of the term may in Section 3(e) of Rule 112. This provision states:

If the investigating officer believes that there are matters to be clarified, he may set a hearing to propound
clarificatory questions to the parties or their witnesses, during which the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to
be present but without the right to examine or cross-examine.

The use of the word may in a statute commonly denotes that it is directory in nature. The term may is generally
permissive only and operates to confer discretion. Under Section 3(e) of Rule 112, it is within the discretion of the
investigation officer whether to set the case for further hearings to clarify some matters.

In this case, the investigating prosecutor no longer conducted hearings after petitioner submitted her counter-
affidavit. This simply means that at that point the investigating prosecutor believed that there were no more matters
for clarification. It is only in petitioners mind that some crucial points still exist and need clarification. In any event,
petitioner can raise these important matters during the trial proper.
Petitioner was not deprived of due process since both parties were accorded equal rights in arguing their case and
presenting their respective evidence during the preliminary investigation. Due process is merely an opportunity to be
heard. Petitioner cannot successfully invoke denial of due process since she was given the opportunity of a hearing.
She even submitted her counter-affidavit to the investigating prosecutor on 18 January 2000.

Preliminary investigation is merely inquisitorial. It is not a trial of the case on the merits. Its sole purpose is to
determine whether a crime has been committed and whether the respondent is probably guilty of the crime. It is not
the occasion for the full and exhaustive display of the parties evidence. Hence, if the investigating prosecutor is
already satisfied that he can reasonably determine the existence of probable cause based on the parties evidence
thus presented, he may terminate the proceedings and resolve the case.
G.R. No. L-53373

MARIO FL. CRESPO, petitioner,


vs.
HON. LEODEGARIO L. MOGUL, Presiding Judge, CIRCUIT CRIMINAL COURT OF
LUCENA CITY, 9th Judicial Dist., THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by
the SOLICITOR GENERAL, RICARDO BAUTISTA, ET AL., respondents.

FACTS:

Petitioner Mario Crespo was accused for Estafa in the Circuit Criminal Court of Lucena City. When the case
was set for arraignment, the accused filed a motion for defer arraignment on the ground that there was a pending
petition for review filed with the Secretary of Justice. However, Justice Mogul denied the motion, but the arraignment
was deferred in a much later date to afford time for the petitioner to elevate the mater to the appellate court.

The accused filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a preliminary writ of injunction to
the CA. The CA ordered the trial court to refrain from proceeding with the arraignment until further orders of the
Court. Undersecretary of Justice, Hon. Catalino Macaraig Jr., resolved the petition for review reversed the resolution
of the office of the Provincial Fiscal and directed the Fiscal to move for immediate dismissal of the information filed
against the accused. Judge Mogul denied the motion for dismissal of the case ad set the arraignment. The accused
then filed a petition for Certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with petition for the issuance of preliminary writ of
prohibition and/or temporary restraining order in the CA. The CA dismissed the order and lifted the restraining order.

Issue:
Whether the trial court may refuse to grant a motion to dismiss filed by the Fiscal under orders fro, the
Secretary of Justice and insists on arraignment and trial on the merits.

Ruling:

It is a cardinal principle that all criminal actions either commenced by complaint or by information shall be
prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal. 17 The institution of a criminal action depends upon the
sound discretion of the fiscal. The reason for placing the criminal prosecution under the direction and control of the
fiscal is to prevent malicious or unfounded prosecution by private persons. 19 It cannot be controlled by the
complainant.

However, the action of the fiscal or prosecutor is not without any limitation or control. The same is subject
to the approval of the provincial or city fiscal or the chief state prosecutor as the case maybe and it maybe elevated
for review to the Secretary of Justice who has the power to affirm, modify or reverse the action or opinion of the
fiscal. Consequently the Secretary of Justice may direct that a motion to dismiss the case be filed in Court or
otherwise, that an information be filed in Court.

The filing of a complaint or information in Court initiates a criminal action. The Court thereby acquires jurisdiction
over the case, which is the authority to hear and determine the case. The preliminary investigation conducted by the
fiscal for the purpose of determining whether a prima facie case exists warranting the prosecution of the accused is
terminated upon the filing of the information in the proper court.
G.R. No. 197788, February 29, 2012
RODEL LUZ y ONG, Petitioner,
vs
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

Facts:
PO3 Emmanuel L. Alteza testified that he saw the accused driving a motorcycle without a helmet
and so he flagged him down. He invited the accused to come inside their sub-station since the
place where he flagged down the accused is almost in front of the sub-station to where he is
assigned as a traffic enforcer. The accused violated a municipal ordinance which requires all
motorcycle drivers to wear helmet while driving said motor vehicle. While the officers were
issuing a citation ticket for violation of municipal ordinance, PO3 Alteza noticed that the accused
was uneasy and kept on reaching something from his jacket. He was alerted and told the accused
to take out the contents of his jacket’s pocket as the latter may have a weapon inside it. The
accused obliged, slowly put out the contents of his jacket’s pocket which included two plastic
sachets of suspected shabu.
The RTC convicted petitioner of illegal possession of dangerous drugs as the substances are
positive of methampethamine hydrochloride. Upon appeal, the CA affirmed the RTCs Decision.
Upon a petition for reiew on certiorari, petitioner claims that there was no lawful search and
seizure, because there was no lawful arrest. He claims that the finding that there was a lawful
arrest was erroneous, since he was not even issued a citation ticket or charged with violation of
the city ordinance. Even assuming there was a valid arrest, he claims that he had never consented
to the search conducted upon him.

Issue:
Whether or not the arrest, searches and seizure were invalid.

Held:
Yes, there was no valid arrest. When he was flagged down for committing a traffic violation, he
was not, ipso facto and solely for this reason, arrested. There being no valid arrest, the
warrantless search that resulted from it was likewise illegal.
Under R.A. 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, the general procedure for dealing
with a traffic violation is not the arrest of the offender, but the confiscation of the drivers license
of the latter. At the time that he was waiting for PO3 Alteza to write his citation ticket, petitioner
could not be said to have been under arrest. rior to the issuance of the ticket, the period during
which petitioner was at the police station may be characterized merely as waiting time.
The subject items seized during the illegal arrest are inadmissible. The drugs are the very corpus
delicti of the crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. Thus, their inadmissibility precludes
conviction and calls for the acquittal of the accused.
THIRD DIVISION

[G.R. No. 124706. February 22, 2000]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. CARLITO EREO y AYSON, accused-appellant. Sc lex

DECISION

GONZAGA-REYES, J.:

on June 21, 1995, at 9:30 oclock in the evening, Rosanna Honrubia was at N. Domingo Street in Tangos, Navotas,
Metro Manila, sort of supervising and helping in the work being done on the busted electric line from which residents
of that place were drawing electricity. Wilfredo Quibado and Arminggol Teofe were the once (sic) actually working
thereon with Quibado the one in-charge of the work. Rosanna was from time to time giving a helping hand. While
Rosanna was holding the flashlight, accused Carlito Ereo approached and took from her the flashlight and brought
the same with him to the interior of the place. Rosanna followed Ereo and when she returned she already had with
her the flashlight which Ereo took with him. Ereo, however, followed Rosanna to the place where the work on the
busted electric line was going on and confronted her about her taking back the flashlight and a heated argument
ensued

Ereo all of a sudden stood up and drew a bladed weapon and with it stabbed Rosanna at the back. This
made Rosanna to run towards a tricycle which happened to be in said place but Ereo followed her again and gave
chase to Rosanna resulting in a situation whereby the two of them would be running around the tricycle. Rodolfo
Dematera also happened to be in that place. He tried to pacify Ereo but was instead hit by the latter on his left arm.
Teofe himself was shouting to Ereo to stop what he was doing but the latter ignored him.

Rosanna was able to run away from the tricycle but in the process stumbled and Ereo was able to catch up with her.
Ereo then held Rosanna frontally by the hair and thereafter stabbed her at the chest twice. Rosanna slumped to the
ground clutching her chest. At this point, Teofe approached Rosanna while Dematera called for Rosannas parents.

Ereo again approached Rosanna but without actually reaching her, he ran away from the place. Teofe tried to talk to
Rosanna but Rosanna could not answer him anymore as blood was coming out of her mouth. Thereafter, Teofe
boarded Rosanna on a tricycle with which her relatives brought her somewhere else.

In Court, Teofe identified Ereo as the assailant of Rosanna. He also identified the dagger which was recovered in
another place as the one used by Ereo in stabbing Rosanna. Teofe maintained that he had seen said dagger before
in the possession of Ereo.

SPO1 Benjamin Bacunata of the Navotas Police effected the arrest of Ereo shortly after he fled from the scene of
Rosannas stabbing. An alert/alarm was issued for Ereo who was spotted at the corner of Estrella and Naval Streets in
Navotas and identified by one Hector Domingo. When frisked, Ereo was found to be in possession of a small
improvised bladed weapon (Exh. G). Bacunata presented the dagger (Exh. H) that was recovered in another place
and which Teofe identified as the fatal weapon.

When arraigned, accused-appellant entered a plea of not guilty. Pre-trial was waived by the accused and trial on the
merits ensued. And was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt

Accused Carlito A. Ereo appeals from the decision1[1] dated October 27, 1995 of the Regional Trial Court, National
Capital Region, Branch 72, Malabon, Metro Manila in Criminal Case No. 15944-MN finding him guilty of the crime of
murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for the death of ROSANNA HONRUBIA and
ordering him to pay the heirs of the victim the total amount of P124,000.00. for the illegality of the arrest due to lack
of warrant when he was arrested

Issue :

Whether or not the accused waived his right for illegality of the warrant when he entered a plea
Ruling:

Yes, because Even granting that indeed there had been an irregularity attendant to the arrest of accused-
appellant, it should, not having been raised at the opportune time, be deemed cured by his voluntarily submitting
himself to the jurisdiction of the trial court. Not only did accused-appellant enter his plea during arraignment but also
waived pre-trial and actively participated at the trial which constituted a waiver of any supposed irregularity in his
arrest.

The Court has consistently ruled that any objection involving a warrant of arrest or the procedure in the
acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of the accused must be made before he enters his plea,
otherwise, the objection is deemed waived. We have also ruled that an accused may be estopped from assailing the
illegality of his arrest if he fails to move for the quashing of the information against him before his arraignment. And
since the legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the accused, any defect in

1
the arrest of the accused may be deemed cured when he voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court as
was done by the accused-appellant in the instant case.