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Sufficiency of Complaint or Information voluntarily executed and understood their affidavits.

these have been duly satisfied in the complaint filed
PEOPLE vs. DIMAANO, G.R. No. 168168, September 14, before Prosecution Attorney Aileen Marie S. Gutierrez.
2005 It must be noted that even the absence of an oath in the
Issue: Whether or not the complaint or information for attempted complaint does not necessarily render it invalid. Want
rape sufficiently alleged the acts and omissions constituting the of oath is a mere defect of form, which does not affect
offense. the substantial rights of the defendant on the merits.

 For complaint or information to be sufficient, it must

state the name of the accused; the designation of the
offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions  In this case, Weltss Complaint-Affidavit contains an
complained of as constituting the offense; the name of acknowledgement by Notary Public Nicole Brown of
the offended party; the approximate time of the the State of New York that the same has been
commission of the offense, and the place wherein the subscribed and sworn to before her on February 12,
offense was committed. 1998, duly authenticated by the Philippine Consulate.
While the copy on record of the complaint-affidavit
 What is controlling is not the title of the complaint, nor appears to be merely a photocopy thereof, Prosecution
the designation of the offense charged or the particular Attorney Gutierrez stated that complainant’s
law or part thereof allegedly violated, these being mere representative will present the authenticated notarized
conclusions of law made by the prosecutor, but the original in court, and Prosecutor Guray manifested that
description of the crime charged and the particular facts the original copy is already on hand. It is apt to state at
therein recited. The acts or omissions complained of this point that the prosecutor enjoys the legal
must be alleged in such form as is sufficient to enable a presumption of regularity in the performance of his
person of common understanding to know what offense duties and functions, which in turn gives his report the
is intended to be charged, and enable the court to presumption of accuracy.
pronounce proper judgment.
 No information for a crime will be sufficient if it does
not accurately and clearly allege the elements of the On the issue of validity of the information, accused and
crime charged. Every element of the offense must be respondents submitted opposing views -- accused insisting on its
stated in the information. validity, whereas respondents asserted that the accused were
arraigned under an invalid information. Alleging that there being
 What facts and circumstances are necessary to be an alteration on the first information, hence it failed to reflect the
included therein must be determined by reference to the true quantity of drugs caught in possession of the accused, the
definitions and essentials of the specified crimes. prosecution insisted that the first information under which
accused were arraigned is invalid.
 The requirement of alleging the elements of a crime in
the information is to inform the accused of the nature of  An information is valid as long as it distinctly states the
the accusation against him so as to enable him to statutory designation of the offense and the acts or
suitably prepare his defense. The presumption is that omissions constitutive thereof.
the accused has no independent knowledge of the facts
that constitute the offense  In other words, if the offense is stated in such a way
that a person of ordinary intelligence may immediately
Sasot v People, 462 SCRA 138 know what is meant, and the court can decide the matter
according to law, the inevitable conclusion is that the
 For another, under Section 3, Rule 112 of the 1985 information is valid. It is not necessary to follow the
Rules of Criminal Procedure, a complaint is language of the statute in the information. The
substantially sufficient if it states the known address of information will be sufficient if it describes the crime
the respondent, it is accompanied by complainants defined by law.
affidavit and his witnesses and supporting documents,
and the affidavits are sworn to before any fiscal, state  Applying the foregoing, the inescapable conclusion is
prosecutor or government official authorized to that the first information is valid inasmuch as it
administer oath, or in their absence or unavailability, a sufficiently alleges the manner by which the crime was
notary public who must certify that he personally committed. Verily the purpose of the law, that is, to
examined the affiants and that he is satisfied that they
apprise the accused of the nature of the charge against PEOPLE VS CACHAPERO
them, is reasonably complied with.
 Contending that time is a material ingredient of rape,
appellant argues that the Information was fatally
defective for failing to state the precise hour when the
crime was committed. Such infirmity, he added,
jeopardized his right to be properly informed of the
charge against him.

PEOPLE VS BATIN, GR 177223  The Information in this case alleged that the crime was
committed "sometime in March 1998" which, according
 Castor does not refute the above findings of the trial to private complainant, was more or less at the closing
court that treachery was sufficiently proven during the of the school year. Being reasonably definite and
trial. All that Castor claims before us is that the certain, this approximation sufficiently meets the
qualifying circumstance of treachery was not requirement of the law. After all, Section 6 of Rule 110
specifically alleged in the Information. The Information of the Rules of Court merely requires that the
filed against the Batins states that the accused, information must state, among others, the approximate
conspiring together, confederating with and mutually time of the commission of the offense.
helping each other, did, then and there, wilfully,
unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to kill, with  Moreover, objections as to the form of the complaint or
treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, and information cannot be made for the first time on appeal.
with evident premeditation, attack, assault and employ If the present appellant found the Information
personal violence upon the person of one EUGENIO insufficient, he should have moved before arraignment
REFUGIO y ZOSA, by then and there shooting him either for a bill of particulars, for him to be properly
with a handgun, hitting him on the right side of his informed of the exact date of the alleged rape; or for the
stomach, thereby inflicting upon him serious and mortal quashal of the Information, on the ground that it did not
wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of conform with the prescribed form. Having failed to
his untimely death.[28] Castor claims that this charge pursue either remedy, he is deemed to have waived
does not allege the specific treacherous acts of the objection to any formal defect in the Information.
accused. According to Castor, the allegation therein that
the accused with treachery x x x, attack, assault and BACASMAS vs SANDIGANBAYAN, G.R. No. 189343 July
employ personal violence is a mere conclusion of law 10, 2013
by the one who drafted the said Information. Hence, it
did not satisfy the test of sufficiency of Information as  It is not necessary to state the precise date when the
provided in Sections 8 and 9 of Rule 110 of the Rules of offense was committed, except when it is a material
Court. ingredient thereof. Here, the date is not a material
ingredient of the crime, not having been committed on
 Like in the previous two cases, this Court found the one day alone, but rather within a period of time
Information to have sufficiently alleged treachery as a ranging from 20 September 1995 to 5 March 1998.
qualifying circumstance. Evidentiary facts need not be Also, the Information named all of the accused, it
alleged in the information because these are matters of correctly excluded Gonzales because her alleged acts
defense. Informations need only state the ultimate facts; did not fall under the crime charged in the Information.
the reasons therefor could be proved during the trial. The Information seeks to hold petitioners accountable
for their actions. The Information sufficiently specified
 The fact that the qualifying circumstances were recited the offense that violated Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019, the
in the second paragraph and not in the first paragraph of essential elements of which are as follows:
the Information, as commonly done, is a matter of form
or style for which the prosecution should not be faulted.
That the Provincial Prosecutor decided to write the
1. The accused must be a public officer discharging
Information differently did not impair its sufficiency.
administrative, judicial or official functions;
Nothing in the law prohibits the prosecutor from
adopting such a form or style. As long as the 2. The accused must have acted with manifest partiality,
requirements of the law are observed, the Information evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence; and
will pass judicial scrutiny.
3. The action of the accused caused undue injury to any The first paragraph provides the rules for amendment of the
party, including the government, or gave any private information or complaint, while the second paragraph refers to
party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the substitution of the information or complaint.
the discharge of the functions of the accused.
It may accordingly be posited that both amendment and
substitution of the information may be made before or after the
defendant pleads, but they differ in the following respects:
 The Information is sufficient, because it adequately
describes the nature and cause of the accusation against 1. Amendment may involve either formal or substantial changes,
petitioners, namely the violation of the aforementioned while substitution necessarily involves a substantial change from
law. the original charge;

2. Amendment before plea has been entered can be effected

without leave of court, but substitution of information must be
with leave of court as the original information has to be

3. Where the amendment is only as to form, there is no need for

another preliminary investigation and the retaking of the plea of
the accused; in substitution of information, another preliminary
SUBSTITUTION OF INFORMATION investigation is entailed and the accused has to plead anew to the
new information; and
Quintin Saludaga et al vs Sandiganbayan et al, GR No.
184537, April 23, 2010 4. An amended information refers to the same offense charged in
the original information or to an offense which necessarily
 Contrary to the argument of petitioners, there is no
includes or is necessarily included in the original charge, hence
substituted information. The Information dated August
substantial amendments to the information after the plea has
17, 2007 filed in Criminal Case No. SB-08 CRM 0263
been taken cannot be made over the objection of the accused, for
charged the same offense, that is, violation of Section
if the original information would be withdrawn, the accused
3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019. Only the mode of
could invoke double jeopardy. On the other hand, substitution
commission was modified. While jurisprudence, the
requires or presupposes that the new information involves a
most recent being Talaga, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan,
different offense which does not include or is not necessarily
provides that there are two (2) acts or modes of
included in the original charge; hence the accused cannot claim
committing the offense, thus: a) by causing any undue
double jeopardy.
injury to any party, including the government; or b) by
giving any private party any unwarranted benefit, In determining, therefore, whether there should be an
advantage or preference, it does not mean that each act amendment under the first paragraph of Section 14, Rule 110, or
or mode constitutes a distinct offense. An accused may a substitution of information under the second paragraph thereof,
be charged under either mode or under both should both the rule is that where the second information involves the same
modes concur. offense, or an offense which necessarily includes or is
necessarily included in the first information, an amendment of
 Petitioners reliance on the Teehankee v. Madayag, the information is sufficient; otherwise, where the new
ruling that, in substitution of information another information charges an offense which is distinct and different
preliminary investigation is entailed and that the from that initially charged, a substitution is in order.
accused has to plead anew to the new information is not
applicable to the present case because, as already stated, There is identity between the two offenses when the evidence to
there is no substitution of information there being no support a conviction for one offense would be sufficient to
change in the nature of the offense charged. warrant a conviction for the other, or when the second offense is
exactly the same as the first, or when the second offense is an
SSgt. Jose M. Pacoy vs Hon. Afable Cajigal et al, GR No. attempt to commit or a frustration of, or when it necessarily
157472, September 28, 2007 includes or is necessarily included in, the offense charged in the
first information. In this connection, an offense may be said to
First, a distinction shall be made between amendment and necessarily include another when some of the essential elements
substitution under Section 14, Rule 110. For this purpose, or ingredients of the former, as this is alleged in the information,
Teehankee v. Madayag is instructive, viz: constitute the latter. And, vice-versa, an offense may be said to
be necessarily included in another when the essential ingredients
of the former constitute or form a part of those constituting the dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent
latter. by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon a valid information
sufficient in form and substance and the accused pleaded to the
While the amended Information was for Murder, a reading of the charge.[25] In the instant case, the original information to which
Information shows that the only change made was in the caption petitioner entered a plea of not guilty was neither valid nor
of the case; and in the opening paragraph or preamble of the sufficient to sustain a conviction, and the criminal case was also
Information, with the crossing out of word Homicide and its neither dismissed nor terminated. Double jeopardy could not,
replacement by the word Murder. There was no change in the therefore, attach even if petitioner is assumed to have been
recital of facts constituting the offense charged or in the unconditionally arraigned on the original charge.
determination of the jurisdiction of the court. The averments in
the amended Information for Murder are exactly the same as It should be noted that the previous information in Criminal Case
those already alleged in the original Information for Homicide, No. 27959 failed to allege all the essential elements of violation
as there was not at all any change in the act imputed to of Section 3(b), R.A. No. 3019. It, in fact, did not charge any
petitioner, i.e., the killing of 2Lt. Escueta without any qualifying offense and was, to all intents and purposes, void and defective.
circumstance. Thus, we find that the amendment made in the A valid conviction cannot be sustained on the basis of such
caption and preamble from Homicide to Murder as purely information. Petitioner was resultantly not placed in danger of
formal. being convicted when she entered her plea of not guilty to the
insufficient indictment.

Kummer vs. People, G.R. No. 174461, September 11, 2013
Cabo vs Sandiganbayan, GR 169509
The change of the date of commission of the crime is a formal
The Sandiganbayan Order dated May 14, 2004 unequivocally set amendment.
forth the conditions for petitioner’s arraignment pending
reinvestigation of the case as well as her travel abroad. Among A mere change in the date of the commission of the crime, if the
the conditions specified in said order is if it should be found that disparity of time is not great, is more formal than substantial.
there is a need to amend the present indictment x x x, then the Such an amendment would not prejudice the rights of the
accused shall waive her right to object under Section 14, Rule accused since the proposed amendment would not alter the
110 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure and her nature of the offense.
constitutional right to be protected against double jeopardy.
The test as to when the rights of an accused are prejudiced by the
Petitioner was duly assisted by counsel during the conditional
amendment of a complaint or information is when a defense
arraignment and was presumably apprised of the legal
under the complaint or information, as it originally stood, would
consequences of such conditions. In fact, she signed the minutes
no longer be available after the amendment is made, when any
of the proceedings which could only signify her informed
evidence the accused might have would no longer be available
acceptance of and conformity with the terms of the conditional
after the amendment is made, and when any evidence the
accused might have would be inapplicable to the complaint or
Thus, petitioner cannot now be allowed to turn her back on such information, as amended.
conditions on the pretext that she affirmed her conditional
The need for arraignment is equally imperative in an amended
arraignment by means of a written manifestation. To begin with,
information or complaint. This however, we hastily clarify,
there is no showing that the Sandiganbayan ruled on her written
pertains only to substantial amendments and not to formal
manifestation and motion that she be allowed to merely confirm
amendments that, by their very nature, do not charge an offense
her previous plea on the original information. It is likewise
different from that charged in the original complaint or
doubtful that petitioner may legally confirm her conditional
information; do not alter the theory of the prosecution; do not
arraignment by means of a mere written motion or manifestation.
cause any surprise and affect the line of defense; and do not
Section 1(b), Rule 116 of the Rules of Court explicitly requires
adversely affect the substantial rights of the accused, such as an
that (t)he accused must be present at the arraignment and must
amendment in the date of the commission of the offense.
personally enter his plea.

At any rate, with or without a valid plea, still petitioner cannot FILING OF INFORMATION IF THERE IS PENDING
rely upon the principle of double jeopardy to avoid arraignment MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
on the amended information. It is elementary that for double
Ramiscal v Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos.172476-99
jeopardy to attach, the case against the accused must have been
The Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman, as any impediment to the filing of the information against
amended by Administrative Order No. 15, Series of 2001,[22] petitioner.
sanction the immediate filing of an information in the proper
court upon a finding of probable cause, even during the PEOPLE vs ROMUALDEZ, G.R. No. 166510 July 23, 2008
pendency of a motion for reconsideration. Section 7, Rule II of
the Rules, as amended, provides: That we can single out for special treatment cases involving
grave abuse of discretion is supported by no less than the second
Section 7. Motion for Reconsideration. paragraph of Article VIII, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution
which provides:
a) Only one motion for reconsideration or reinvestigation of an
approved order or resolution shall be allowed, the same to be Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to
filed within five (5) days from notice thereof with the Office of settle actual controversy involving rights which are legally
the Ombudsman, or the proper Deputy Ombudsman as the case demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not
may be, with corresponding leave of court in cases where the there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
information has already been filed in court; excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the Government.
b) The filing of a motion for reconsideration/reinvestigation
shall not bar the filing of the corresponding information in Court Under this provision, action on grave abuse of discretion is not
on the basis of the finding of probable cause in the resolution only a power we can exercise; more than this, it is a duty we
subject of the motion. (Emphasis supplied) must discharge.

In the spirit embodied in this constitutional provision and in the

interest of substantial justice, we will not hesitate to deviate from
PRESCRIPTION the strict application of our procedural rules when grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction is properly
Panaguiton vs DOJ, GR 167571
and substantially alleged in a petition filed after the lapse of the
The following disquisition in the Interport Resources case is period for appeal under Rule 45 but prior to the lapse of the
instructive, thus: period for filing a Rule 65 petition. Conceptually, no major
deviation from the rules in fact transpires in doing this. Under
While it may be observed that the term "judicial proceedings" in established jurisprudence, decisions and rulings rendered without
Sec. 2 of Act No. 3326 appears before "investigation and or with lack or excess of jurisdiction are null and void, subject
punishment" in the old law, with the subsequent change in set-up only to the procedural limits on the right to question them
whereby the investigation of the charge for purposes of provided under Rule 65. It is for this reason that a decision that
prosecution has become the exclusive function of the executive lapses to finality fifteen (15) days after its receipt can still be
branch, the term "proceedings" should now be understood either questioned, within sixty (60) days therefrom, on jurisdictional
executive or judicial in character: executive when it involves the grounds, although the decision has technically lapsed to finality.
investigation phase and judicial when it refers to the trial and The only deviation in terms of strict application of the Rules is
judgment stage. With this clarification, any kind of investigative from what we have discussed above regarding the basic nature of
proceeding instituted against the guilty person which may a petition for certiorari as expressly laid down by Rule 65; it is
ultimately lead to his prosecution should be sufficient to toll available only when there is no appeal or any other plain,
prescription. speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, and
thus is not allowed as a substitute when a party fails to appeal a
Indeed, to rule otherwise would deprive the injured party the judgment or final order despite the availability of that remedy.
right to obtain vindication on account of delays that are not
under his control. Disini vs. Sandiganbayan and People , GR 169823 September
11, 2013
We rule and so hold that the offense has not yet prescribed.
Petitioner 's filing of his complaint-affidavit before the Office of In resolving the issue of prescription, the following must be
the City Prosecutor on 24 August 1995 signified the considered, namely: (1) the period of prescription for the offense
commencement of the proceedings for the prosecution of the charged;(2) the time when the period of prescription starts to run;
accused and thus effectively interrupted the prescriptive period and (3) the time when the prescriptive period is interrupted.
for the offenses they had been charged under B.P. Blg. 22.
Moreover, since there is a definite finding of probable cause, The prescription shall be interrupted when proceedings are
with the debunking of the claim of prescription there is no longer instituted against the guilty person, and shall begin to run again
if the proceedings are dismissed for reasons not constituting
double jeopardy.
The ruling on the issue of prescription in Presidential Ad Hoc prosecute the case, subject to the approval of the court. Once so
Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans v. Desierto30 is also authorized, the private prosecutor shall continue to prosecute the
enlightening, viz: case until the termination of the trial even in the absence of a
public prosecutor, unless the authority is revoked or otherwise
Generally, the prescriptive period shall commence to run on the withdrawn.
day the crime is committed. That an aggrieved person "entitled
Violation of criminal laws is an affront to the People of the
to an action has no knowledge of his right to sue or of the facts
Philippines as a whole and not merely to the person directly
out of which his right arises," does not prevent the running of the prejudiced, he being merely the complaining witness. It is on this
prescriptive period. An exception to this rule is the "blameless account that the presence of a public prosecutor in the trial of
ignorance" doctrine, incorporated in Section 2 of Act No. 3326. criminal cases is necessary to protect vital state interests,
Under this doctrine, "the statute of limitations runs only upon foremost of which is its interest to vindicate the rule of law, the
discovery of the fact of the invasion of a right which will support bedrock of peace of the people.
a cause of action. In other words, the courts would decline to
apply the statute of limitations where the plaintiff does not know Bureau of Customs v. Peter Sherman, et. al., GR No. 190487,
April 13, 2011
or has no reasonable means of knowing the existence of a cause
of action." It was in this accord that the Court confronted the It is well-settled that prosecution of crimes pertains to the
question on the running of the prescriptive period in People v. executive department of the government whose principal power
Duque which became the cornerstone of our 1999 Decision in and responsibility is to insure that laws are faithfully executed.
Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans v. Corollary to this power is the right to prosecute violators.
Desierto (G.R. No. 130149), and the subsequent cases which
Ombudsman Desierto dismissed, emphatically, on the ground of All criminal actions commenced by complaint or information are
prosecuted under the direction and control of public prosecutors.
prescription too. Thus, we held in a catena of cases, that if the
In the prosecution of special laws, the exigencies of public
violation of the special law was not known at the time of its service sometimes require the designation of special prosecutors
commission, the prescription begins to run only from the from different government agencies to assist the public
discovery thereof, i.e., discovery of the unlawful nature of the prosecutor. The designation does not, however, detract from the
constitutive act or acts. public prosecutor having control and supervision over the case.

Corollary, it is safe to conclude that the prescriptive period for Flores vs Gonzalez, GR No. 188197
the crime which is the subject herein, commenced from the date
of its discovery in 1992 after the Committee made an exhaustive As jurisdiction was already acquired by the MTCC, this
investigation. When the complaint was filed in 1997, only five jurisdiction is not lost despite a resolution by the Secretary of
years have elapsed, and, hence, prescription has not yet set in. Justice to withdraw the information or to dismiss the case,
notwithstanding the deferment or suspension of the arraignment
The rationale for this was succinctly discussed in the 1999
of the accused and further proceedings, and not even if the
Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans, Secretary of Justice is affirmed by the higher courts.
that "it was well-high impossible for the State, the aggrieved
party, to have known these crimes committed prior to the Verily, it bears stressing that the trial court is not bound to adopt
1986EDSA Revolution, because of the alleged connivance and the resolution of the Secretary of Justice, in spite of being
conspiracy among involved public officials and the beneficiaries affirmed by the appellate courts, since it is mandated to
of the loans." In yet another pronouncement, in the 2001 independently evaluate or assess the merits of the case and it
may either agree or disagree with the recommendation of the
Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans v.
Secretary of Justice. Reliance on the resolution of the Secretary
Desierto (G.R. No. 130817), the Court held that during the of Justice alone would be an abdication of the trial courts duty
Marcos regime, no person would have dared to question the and jurisdiction to determine a prima facie case. Thus, the trial
legality of these transactions. court may make an independent assessment of the merits of the
case based on the affidavits and counter-affidavits, documents,
CONTROL AND DIRECTION OF CRIMINAL ACTION or evidence appended to the Information; the records of the
public prosecutor which the court may order the latter to produce
Pinote vs Ayco, 477 SCRA 409 before it; or any evidence already adduced before the court by
the accused at the time the motion is filed by the public
prosecutor. The trial court should make its assessment separately
Rule 110, Section 5 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure
and independently of the evaluation of the prosecution or of the
as a general rule, all criminal actions shall be prosecuted under
Secretary of Justice. This assessment should be embodied in the
the control and direction of the public prosecutor.
written order disposing of the motion to dismiss or the motion to
withdraw the information.
If the schedule of the public prosecutor does not permit,
however, or in case there are no public prosecutors, a private
prosecutor may be authorized in writing by the Chief of the
Prosecution Office or the Regional State Prosecution Office to
This was precisely what the MTCC did when it denied the general rule, no vested right may attach to, or arise from,
Motion to Withdraw Information in its June 20, 2007 Resolution, procedural laws.
and it correctly did so.
C. Death of the Accused
RULE 111: Prosecution of Civil Action, Sections 1 to 7
Aliso vs People G.R. Nos. 159017-18
A. Rule in Civil Liability Arising from Delict
Death of Mayor Comendador during the pendency of the case
Bun Tiong v. Balboa, GR No. 158177 could have extinguished the civil liability if the same arose
directly from the crime committed. However, in this case, the
Under the foregoing rule (Section 1 of Rule 111 of RoC), an civil liability is based on another source of obligation, the law on
action for the recovery of civil liability arising from an offense human relations.49 The pertinent articles follow:
charged is necessarily included in the criminal proceedings,
unless (1) there is an express waiver of the civil action, or (2) Art. 31 of the Civil Code states: When the civil action is based
there is a reservation to institute a separate one, or (3) the civil on an obligation not arising from the act or omission complained
action was filed prior to the criminal complaint.[14] Since of as a felony, such civil action may proceed independently of
respondent instituted the civil action prior to the criminal action, the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter.
then Civil Case No. 97-82225 may proceed independently of
Criminal Cases Nos. 277576 to 78, and there is no forum And, Art. 32(6) states: Any public officer or employee, or any
shopping to speak of. private individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats,
violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the
following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to
the latter for damages: (6) The right against deprivation of
property without due process of law;

Indeed, the basic facts of this case point squarely to the

applicability of the law on human relations. First, the complaint
B. INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTION for civil liability was filed way AHEAD of the information on
the Anti-Graft Law. And, the complaint for damages specifically
SIMON VS. CHAN, GR 157547 invoked defendant Mayor Comendador’s violation of plaintiff’s
right to due process.
The reservation and waiver referred to refers only to the civil
action for the recovery of the civil liability arising from the Notably, the fact that a separate civil action precisely based on
offense charged. This does not include recovery of civil liability due process violations was filed even ahead of the criminal case,
under Articles 32, 33, 34, and 2176 of the Civil Code of the is complemented by the fact that the deceased plaintiff
Philippines arising from the same act or omission which may be Comendador was substituted by his widow, herein petitioner
prosecuted separately without a reservation. Victoria who specified in her petition that she has "substituted
him as petitioner in the above captioned case." Section 1, Rule
However, there is no independent civil action to recover the III of the 1985 Rules in Criminal Procedure mentioned in
value of a bouncing check issued in contravention of BP 22. This Bayotas is, therefore, not applicable. Truly, the Sandiganbayan
is clear from Rule 111 of the Rules of Court, effective December was correct when it maintained the separate docketing of the
1, 2000, which relevantly provides: civil and criminal cases before it.

Section 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. - (a) When a PEOPLE VS BAYOT, GR 200030
criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of
civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed Applying the foregoing provision, this Court, in People v.
instituted with the criminal action unless the offended party Bayotas, which was cited in a catena of cases, had laid down the
waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately following guidelines:
or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action… xxx
1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction
(b) The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability
22 shall be deemed to include the corresponding civil action. based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this
No reservation to file such civil action separately shall be regard, the death of the accused prior to final judgment
allowed. terminates his criminal liability and only the civil liability
directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed,
The aforequoted provisions of the Rules of Court, even if not yet i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore.
in effect when Chan commenced Civil Case No. 915-00 on
August 3, 2000, are nonetheless applicable. It is axiomatic that 2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives
the retroactive application of procedural laws does not violate notwithstanding the death of [the] accused, if the same may also
any right of a person who may feel adversely affected, nor is it be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. Article
constitutionally objectionable. The reason is simply that, as a 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of
obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of underlying this rule establishing the absolute nature of acquittals
the same act or omission: is "part of the paramount importance criminal justice system
attaches to the protection of the innocent against wrongful
a) Law conviction." The interest in the finality-of-acquittal rule,
confined exclusively to verdicts of not guilty, is easy to
b) Contracts understand: it is a need for "repose," a desire to know the exact
extent of one's liability. With this right of repose, the criminal
c) Quasi-contracts justice system has built in a protection to insure that the
innocent, even those whose innocence rests upon a jurys
d) x x x x x x x x x leniency, will not be found guilty in a subsequent proceeding.

e) Quasi-delicts Related to his right of repose is the defendant’s interest in his

right to have his trial completed by a particular tribunal. This
3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 interest encompasses his right to have his guilt or innocence
above, an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but only determined in a single proceeding by the initial jury empanelled
by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1, to try him, for societys awareness of the heavy personal strain
Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended. which the criminal trial represents for the individual defendant is
This separate civil action may be enforced either against the manifested in the willingness to limit Government to a single
executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending on criminal proceeding to vindicate its very vital interest in
the source of obligation upon which the same is based as enforcement of criminal laws. The ultimate goal is prevention of
explained above. government oppression; the goal finds its voice in the finality of
the initial proceeding. As observed in Lockhart v. Nelson, "the
4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of fundamental tenet animating the Double Jeopardy Clause is that
his right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in cases the State should not be able to oppress individuals through the
where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to abuse of the criminal process. Because the innocence of the
its extinction, the private-offended party instituted together accused has been confirmed by a final judgment, the
therewith the civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations Constitution conclusively presumes that a second trial would be
on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency unfair.
of the criminal case, conformably with [the] provisions of Article
1155 of the Civil Code that should thereby avoid any Generally, under modern constitutions and statutes, provisions
apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription. are available as guides to the court in determining the standing of
the prosecution to secure by certiorari a review of a lower court
From the foregoing, it is clear that the death of the accused decision in a criminal case which has favored the defendant. In
pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal most instances, provisions setting forth the scope and function of
liability, as well as the civil liability ex delicto. The rationale, certiorari are found together with those relating to the right of the
therefore, is that the criminal action is extinguished inasmuch as state to appeal or bring error in criminal matters. There is some
there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused, the civil indication that courts view the writ of certiorari as an appeal in
action instituted therein for recovery of civil liability ex delicto is itself where the applicant shows that there is no other adequate
ipso facto extinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal case. remedy available,[ and it is not uncommon to find language in
cases to the effect that the state should not be permitted to
accomplish by certiorari what it cannot do by appeal. Thus, if a
D. Acquittal
judgment sought to be reviewed was one entered after an
acquittal by a jury or the discharge of the accused on the merits
by the trial court, the standing of the prosecution to review it by
certiorari is far more likely to be denied than if it were such an
The fundamental philosophy highlighting the finality of an order as one sustaining a demurrer to, or quashing the
acquittal by the trial court cuts deep into "the humanity of the indictment, or granting a motion for arrest of judgment after a
laws and in a jealous watchfulness over the rights of the citizen, verdict of guilt.
when brought in unequal contest with the State x x x x" Thus
Green expressed the concern that "(t)he underlying idea, one that
is deeply ingrained in at least the Anglo-American system of CHING vs. NICDAO, G.R. No. 141181
jurisprudence, is that the State with all its resources and power
should not be allowed to make repeated attempts to convict an The Court likewise expounded in Salazar v. People39 the
individual for an alleged offense, thereby subjecting him to consequences of an acquittal on the civil aspect in this wise:
embarrassment, expense and ordeal and compelling him to live
in a continuing state of anxiety and insecurity, as well as The acquittal of the accused does not prevent a judgment against
enhancing the possibility that even though innocent, he may be him on the civil aspect of the criminal case where: (a) the
found guilty." acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of
evidence is required; (b) the court declared that the liability of
It is axiomatic that on the basis of humanity, fairness and justice, the accused is only civil; (c) the civil liability of the accused does
an acquitted defendant is entitled to the right of repose as a direct not arise from or is not based upon the crime of which the
consequence of the finality of his acquittal. The philosophy accused is acquitted. Moreover, the civil action based on the
delict is extinguished if there is a finding in the final judgment in A defendant has no duty to bring himself to trial; the State has
the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil that duty as well as the duty of insuring that the trial is consistent
liability may arise did not exist or where the accused did not with due process.
commit the act or omission imputed to him.
While the foregoing pronouncement should, as matter of course,
If the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but the court result in the acquittal of the petitioners, it does not necessarily
renders judgment on the civil aspect of the criminal case, the follow that petitioners are entirely exculpated from any civil
prosecution cannot appeal from the judgment of acquittal as it liability, assuming that the same is proven in a subsequent case
would place the accused in double jeopardy. However, the which the Province may opt to pursue.
aggrieved party, the offended party or the accused or both may
appeal from the judgment on the civil aspect of the case within Section 2, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court provides that an
the period therefor. acquittal in a criminal case does not bar the private offended
party from pursuing a subsequent civil case based on the delict,
From the foregoing, petitioner Ching correctly argued that he, as unless the judgment of acquittal explicitly declares that the act or
the offended party, may appeal the civil aspect of the case omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist.
notwithstanding respondent Nicdao’s acquittal by the CA. The As explained in the case of Abejuela v. People, citing Banal v.
civil action was impliedly instituted with the criminal action Tadeo, Jr.:
since he did not reserve his right to institute it separately nor did
he institute the civil action prior to the criminal action. The Rules provide: "The extinction of the penal action does not
carry with it extinction of the civil, unless the extinction
Following the long recognized rule that "the appeal period proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from
accorded to the accused should also be available to the offended which the civil might arise did not exist. In other cases, the
party who seeks redress of the civil aspect of the decision," the person entitled to the civil action may institute it in the
period to appeal granted to petitioner Ching is the same as that jurisdiction and in the manner provided by law against the
granted to the accused.40 With petitioner Ching’s timely filing person who may be liable for restitution of the thing and
of the instant petition for review of the civil aspect of the CA’s reparation or indemnity for the damage suffered."
decision, the Court thus has the jurisdiction and authority to
determine the civil liability of respondent Nicdao
notwithstanding her acquittal.
In order for the petition to prosper, however, it must establish
that the judgment of the CA acquitting respondent Nicdao falls DREAMWORK CONSTRUCTION VS JANIOLA, GR
under any of the three categories enumerated in Salazar and 184861
Sapiera, to wit:
First off, it is a basic precept in statutory construction that a
(a) where the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only "change in phraseology by amendment of a provision of law
preponderance of evidence is required; indicates a legislative intent to change the meaning of the
provision from that it originally had." In the instant case, the
(b) where the court declared that the liability of the accused is phrase, "previously instituted," was inserted to qualify the nature
only civil; and of the civil action involved in a prejudicial question in relation to
the criminal action. This interpretation is further buttressed by
(c) where the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or the insertion of "subsequent" directly before the term criminal
is not based upon the crime of which the accused is acquitted. action. There is no other logical explanation for the amendments
except to qualify the relationship of the civil and criminal
Salazar also enunciated that the civil action based on the delict is actions, that the civil action must precede the criminal action.
extinguished if there is a finding in the final judgment in the
criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil In the instant case, Art. 36 of the Civil Code and Sec. 7 of Rule
liability may arise did not exist or where the accused did not 111 of the Rules of Court are susceptible of an interpretation that
commit the act or omission imputed to him. would harmonize both provisions of law. The phrase "previously
instituted civil action" in Sec. 7 of Rule 111 is plainly worded
For reasons that will be discussed shortly, the Court holds that and is not susceptible of alternative interpretations. The clause
respondent Nicdao cannot be held civilly liable to petitioner "before any criminal prosecution may be instituted or may
Ching. proceed" in Art. 36 of the Civil Code may, however, be
interpreted to mean that the motion to suspend the criminal
The acquittal of respondent Nicdao likewise effectively action may be filed during the preliminary investigation with the
extinguished her civil liability public prosecutor or court conducting the investigation, or during
the trial with the court hearing the case.
In any event, even if the civil case here was instituted prior to the
The Court holds that petitioners’ right to a speedy disposition of criminal action, there is, still, no prejudicial question to speak of
their criminal case had been violated.
that would justify the suspension of the proceedings in the RULE 112- PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
criminal case.
A motion for reinvestigation on the ground of newly discovered
The requirement of Section 7, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on evidence must be filed before the justice secretary rules on an
Criminal Procedure was not met since the civil action was filed appeal from a resolution in a preliminary investigation.
subsequent to the filing of the criminal action.The issue in the
civil case for annulment of marriage under Article 36 of the In the present case, the accused filed their Motion for
Family Code is whether petitioner is psychologically Reinvestigation on November 29, 2000, about three months after
incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations. the August 15, 2000 Resolution of the secretary denying with
The issue in parricide is whether the accused killed the victim. In finality their Motion for Reconsideration of the denial of their
this case, since petitioner was charged with frustrated parricide, Petition for Review. Clearly, therefore, it was grossly erroneous
the issue is whether he performed all the acts of execution which for respondent judge to order the reinvestigation of the case by
would have killed respondent as a consequence but which, the prosecutor. This action enabled the latter to reprobate and
nevertheless, did not produce it by reason of causes independent reverse the secretarys Resolution. In granting the Motion for
of petitioners will. At the time of the commission of the alleged Reinvestigation, respondent effectively demolished the DOJs
crime, petitioner and respondent were married. The subsequent power of control and supervision over prosecutors.
dissolution of their marriage, in case the petition in Civil Case
No. 04-7392 is granted, will have no effect on the alleged crime Considering that a prima facie case had been found to exist
that was committed at the time of the subsistence of the against the accused during the preliminary investigation -- a fact
marriage. In short, even if the marriage between petitioner and affirmed by the justice secretary -- respondent judge should have
respondent is annulled, petitioner could still be held criminally exercised great restraint in granting a reinvestigation.
liable since at the time of the commission of the alleged crime,
he was still married to respondent. It must be stressed here that a preliminary investigation is
essentially prefatory and inquisitorial. It is not a trial of the case
on the merits and has no purpose except to determine whether a
crime has been committed, and whether there is probable cause
to believe that the accused is guilty of that crime. A preliminary
investigation is not the occasion for a full and exhaustive display
of the parties evidence, which needs to be presented only to
engender a well-grounded belief that an offense has been
committed, and that the accused is probably guilty thereof.
The concept of a prejudicial question involves a civil action and
a criminal case. Yet, contrary to San Miguel Properties’
submission that there could be no prejudicial question to speak SORIANO VS PEOPLE, GR 162336
of because no civil action where the prejudicial question arose
was pending, the action for specific performance in the HLURB In Soriano v. Hon. Casanova, the Court held that the affidavits
raises a prejudicial question that sufficed to suspend the attached to the BSP transmittal letter complied with the
proceedings determining the charge for the criminal violation of mandatory requirements under the Rules of Court.
Section 25 of Presidential Decree No. 957. This is true simply
because the action for specific performance was an action civil in To be sure, the BSP letters involved in Soriano v. Hon. Casanova
nature but could not be instituted elsewhere except in the are not the same as the BSP letter involved in the instant case.
HLURB, whose jurisdiction over the action was exclusive and However, the BSP letters in Soriano v. Hon. Casanova and the
original. BSP letter subject of this case are similar in the sense that they
are all signed by the OSI officers of the BSP, they were not
That the action for specific performance was an administrative sworn to by the said officers, they all contained summaries of
case pending in the HLURB, instead of in a court of law, was of their attached affidavits, and they all requested the conduct of a
no consequence at all. As earlier mentioned, the action for preliminary investigation and the filing of corresponding
specific performance, although civil in nature, could be brought criminal charges against petitioner Soriano. Thus, the principle
only in the HLURB. This situation conforms to the doctrine of of stare decisis dictates that the ruling in Soriano v. Hon.
primary jurisdiction. There has been of late a proliferation of Casanova be applied in the instant case once a question of law
administrative agencies, mostly regulatory in function. It is in has been examined and decided, it should be deemed settled and
favor of these agencies that the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is closed to further argument.
frequently invoked, not to defeat the resort to the judicial
adjudication of controversies but to rely on the expertise, We held in Soriano v. Hon. Casanova, after a close scrutiny of
specialized skills, and knowledge of such agencies in their the letters transmitted by the BSP to the DOJ, that these were not
resolution. The Court has observed that one thrust of the intended to be the complaint, as envisioned under the Rules.
proliferation is that the interpretation of contracts and the They did not contain averments of personal knowledge of the
determination of private rights under contracts are no longer a events and transactions constitutive of any offense. The letters
uniquely judicial function exercisable only by the regular courts. merely transmitted for preliminary investigation the affidavits of
people who had personal knowledge of the acts of petitioner. We
ruled that these affidavits, not the letters transmitting them, In this case, the elements of sexual congress and lack of consent
initiated the preliminary investigation. Since these affidavits were sufficiently alleged in the information. They were also
were subscribed under oath by the witnesses who executed them clearly and conveniently determined during trial. The fact of
before a notary public, then there was substantial compliance being mentally incapacitated was only shown to prove AAA's
with Section 3(a), Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. incapacity to give consent, not to qualify the crime of rape.

Samuel U. Lee vs. KBC Bank N.V., GR NO. 164673 SENATOR ESTRADA VS BERSAMIN

Whether the facsimile message is admissible in evidence and Sen. Estrada claims that the denial of his Request for the counter
whether the element of deceit in the crime of estafa is present are affidavits of his co-respondents violates his constitutional right
matters best ventilated in a full-blown trial, not in the to due process. Sen. Estrada, however, fails to specify a law or
preliminary investigation. In Andres v. Justice Secretary Cuevas, rule which states that it is a compulsory requirement of due
the Court held that: process in a preliminary investigation that the Ombudsman
furnish a respondent with the counter-affidavits of his co-
[A preliminary investigation] is not the occasion for the full and respondents. Neither Section 3(b), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules
exhaustive display of [the prosecutions] evidence. The presence of Criminal Procedure nor Section 4(c), Rule II of the Rules of
or absence of the elements of the crime is evidentiary in nature Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman supports Sen.
and is a matter of defense that may be passed upon after a full- Estrada’s claim. What the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the
blown trial on the merits. Ombudsman require is for the Ombudsman to furnish the
respondent with a copy of the complaint and the supporting
In fine, the validity and merits of a partys defense or accusation, affidavits and documents at the time the order to submit the
as well as the admissibility of testimonies and evidence, are counter-affidavit is issued to the respondent. This is clear from
better ventilated during trial proper than at the preliminary Section 4(b), Rule II of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of
investigation level. the Ombudsman when it states, "[a]fter such affidavits [of the
complainant and his witnesses] have been secured, the
IN THE PRESENT CASE, JUDGE DUMAYAS, IN HIS 26 MARCH investigating officer shall issue an order, attaching thereto a copy
2003 ORDER, DID NOT (1) POSITIVELY STATE THAT THE of the affidavits and other supporting documents, directing the
EVIDENCE AGAINST LEE AND LIM IS INSUFFICIENT, (2) respondent to submit, within ten (10) days from receipt thereof,
INCLUDE A DISCUSSION OF THE MERITS OF THE CASE, (3) his counter-affidavits x x x." At this point, there is still no
ASSESS WHETHER SECRETARY PEREZS CONCLUSION IS counter-affidavit submitted by any respondent. Clearly, what
Section 4(b) refers to are affidavits of the complainant and his
ASSESSMENT IN THE ORDER, AND (6) STATE HIS REASONS witnesses, not the affidavits of the co-respondents. Obviously,
FOR GRANTING THE MOTION TO WITHDRAW THE the counter-affidavits of the co-respondents are not part of the
INFORMATIONS. supporting affidavits of the complainant. No grave abuse of
discretion can thus be attributed to the Ombudsman for the
JUDGE DUMAYAS FAILURE TO MAKE HIS OWN EVALUATION issuance of the 27 March 2014 Order which denied Sen.
DISCRETION. JUDGE DUMAYAS 26 MARCH 2003 ORDER Although Section 4(c), Rule II of the Rules of Procedure of the
Office of the Ombudsman provides that a respondent "shall have
access to the evidence on record," this provision should be
construed in relation to Section 4(a) and (b) of the same Rule, as
PEOPLE VS QUINTOS, GR 199402 well as to the Rules of Criminal Procedure. First, Section 4(a)
states that "theinvestigating officer shall require the complainant
The information charging accused of this crime lacked the or supporting witnesses to execute affidavits to substantiate the
allegation of any mental disability on the part of AAA. This is complaint." The "supporting witnesses" are the witnesses of the
not necessary to convict accused of the crime of rape provided complainant, and do not refer to the co-respondents.
that sexual congress and mental incapacity and, therefore, the
incapacity to give consent, are proved by clear and convincing Second, Section 4(b) states that "the investigating officer shall
evidence. issue an order attaching thereto a copy of the affidavits and all
other supporting documents, directing the respondent" tosubmit
However, to qualify the crime of rape and increase the penalty of his counter-affidavit. The affidavits referred to in Section 4(b)
accused from reclusion perpetua to death under Article 266-B in are the affidavits mentioned in Section
relation to Article 266-(A)(1) of the Revised Penal Code, an
allegation of the victim's intellectual disability must be alleged in 4(a). Clearly, the affidavits to be furnished to the respondent are
the information. If not alleged in the information, such mental the affidavits of the complainant and his supporting witnesses.
incapacity may prove lack of consent but it cannot increase the The provision in the immediately succeeding Section 4(c) of the
penalty to death. Neither can it be the basis of conviction for same Rule II that a respondent shall have "access to the evidence
statutory rape. on record" does not stand alone, but should be read in relation to
the provisions of Section 4(a and b) of the same Rule II requiring
the investigating officer to furnish the respondent with the
"affidavits and other supporting documents" submitted by "the transferred from one confinement to another. None of these
complainant or supporting witnesses." Thus, a respondent’s circumstances were present when the accused was arrested. The
"access to evidence on record" in Section 4(c), Rule II of the accused was merely walking from the Maria Orosa Apartment
Ombudsman’s Rules of Procedure refers to the affidavits and and was about to enter the parked BMW car when the police
supporting documents of "the complainant or supporting officers arrested and frisked him and searched his car. The
witnesses" in Section 4(a) of the same Rule II. accused was not committing any visible offense at the time of his
arrest. Neither was there an indication that he was about to
Third, Section 3(b), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal commit a crime or that he had just committed an offense. The
Procedure provides that "[t]he respondent shall have the right to unlicensed AMT Cal.380 9mm Automatic Back-up Pistol that
examine the evidence submitted by the complainant which he the accused had in his possession was concealed inside the right
may not have been furnished and to copy them at his expense." front pocket of his pants. And the handgun was bantam and slim
A respondent’s right to examine refers only to "the evidence in size that it would not give an outward indication of a
submitted by the complainant." concealed gun if placed inside the pant's side pocket as was done
by the accused. The arresting officers had no information and
Thus, whether under Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal knowledge that the accused was carrying an unlicensed handgun,
Procedure or under Rule II of the Ombudsman’s Rules of nor did they see him in possession thereof immediately prior to
Procedure, there is no requirement whatsoever that the affidavits his arrest.
executed by the corespondents should be furnished to a
respondent. Justice Velasco’s dissent relies on the ruling in Ditto on the 32 bags of shabu and the other unlicensed Daewoo
Office of the Ombudsman v. Reyes (Reyes case), an Cal. 9mm Pistol with magazine that were found and seized from
administrative case, in which a different set of rules of procedure the car. The contraband items in the car were not in plain view.
and standards apply. Sen. Estrada’s Petition, in contrast, involves The 32 bags of shabu were in the trunk compartment, and the
the preliminary investigation stage in a criminal case. Rule III on Daewoo handgun was underneath the driver’s seat of the car.
the Procedure in Administrative Cases of the Rules of Procedure The police officers had no information, or knowledge that the
of the Office of the Ombudsman applies in the Reyes case, while banned articles were inside the car, or that the accused had
Rule II on the Procedure in Criminal Cases of the Rules of placed them there. The police officers searched the car on mere
Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman applies in Sen. suspicion that there was shabu therein.
Estrada’s Petition. In both cases, the Rules of Court apply in a
suppletory character or by analogy. PEOPLE VS DIAZ, GR No. 110829

Finally, accused-appellants assert that the trial court gravely

erred when it admitted in evidence the gun, five bullets and
magazine taken from them by the police at the time of their
arrest. Allegedly, they were obtained during a warrantless arrest.
Their objection is too late. The records show that they failed to
JUANITO GERONIMO v. THE HEIRS OF CARLITO object to the admissibility of said evidence during their formal
GERONIMO, G.R. NO. 169858 offer. Thus, they waived their right against their admissibility.
Amidst a waiver, the trial court did not err in admitting the
- Not a crim pro case  evidence.


Mabutas vs. Perello
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, vs. HON. A.M. No. RTJ-03-1817. June 8, 2005 &
PERFECTO A.S. LAGUIO, JR., G.R. No. 128587 March 16, A.M. No. RTJ-04-1820. June 8, 2005
The issue in these administrative cases is whether respondent
The threshold issue raised by the accused in his Demurrer to Judge may be administratively held liable for the grant of bail
Evidence is whether his warrantless arrest and search were in the particular criminal cases subject of the complaints. As
lawful as argued by the prosecution, or unlawful as asserted by earlier stated, the criminal cases subject of the present
the defense. administrative complaints all involve violations of R.A. No.
9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Under Section 5, Rule 113 of the New Rules of Court, a peace
officer may arrest a person without a warrant: (a) when in his Under the Section 11 of RA No 9165, possession of 50 grams or
presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually more of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu is punishable
committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) when an by life imprisonment to death; hence, a capital offense.[12] As
offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal such, bail becomes a matter of discretion. In this regard, Rule
knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has 114, Sec. 7 of the Rules of Court states:
committed it, and (c) when the person to be arrested is a prisoner
who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is No person charged with the capital offense, or an offense
serving final judgment or temporarily confined while being punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, shall be
admitted to bail when the evidence of guilt is strong, regardless It cannot be said that the Court of Appeals issued the assailed
of the stage of the criminal prosecution. resolution without or in excess of its jurisdiction. One, pending
appeal of a conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense
This provision is based on Section 13, Article III of the 1987 not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life
Constitution, which reads: imprisonment, admission to bail is expressly declared to be
discretionary. Two, the discretion to allow or disallow bail
All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by pending appeal in a case such as this where the decision of the
reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before trial court convicting the accused changed the nature of the
conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on offense from non-bailable to bailable is exclusively lodged by
recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall the rules with the appellate court. Thus, the Court of Appeals had
not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas jurisdiction to hear and resolve petitioner’s urgent application for
corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required. admission to bail pending appeal.

In this case, respondent Judge complied with the foregoing After conviction by the trial court, the presumption of innocence
duties. A hearing was held on the petition; the prosecution was terminates and, accordingly, the constitutional right to bail ends.
given the opportunity to present its evidence in support of its From then on, the grant of bail is subject to judicial discretion.
stance; respondent Judge based her findings on the prosecutions At the risk of being repetitious, such discretion must be
evidence, namely, the testimonies of P02 Saturnino Mayonte and exercised with grave caution and only for strong reasons.
Arturo Villarin; respondent Judges Order dated May 9, 2003 Considering that the accused was in fact convicted by the trial
granting the accuseds petition for bail contained a summary of court, allowance of bail pending appeal should be guided by a
the prosecutions evidence; and since it was her conclusion that stringent-standards approach. This judicial disposition finds
the evidence of accused Omadans guilt is not strong, the petition strong support in the history and evolution of the rules on bail
for bail was granted. Respondent Judge did not violate and the language of Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court. It
procedural requirements. Records show that respondent Judge is likewise consistent with the trial courts initial determination
afforded the prosecution ample opportunity to present all the that the accused should be in prison. Furthermore, letting the
evidence it had and there was no protest from the prosecution accused out on bail despite his conviction may destroy the
that it had been deprived of its right to present against the deterrent effect of our criminal laws. This is especially germane
accused. Thus, the Court does not find any irregularity in the to bail pending appeal because long delays often separate
grant of bail in Criminal Case No. 03-265 that would render sentencing in the trial court and appellate review. In addition, at
respondent Judge administratively liable. the post-conviction stage, the accused faces a certain prison
sentence and thus may be more likely to flee regardless of bail
Admin. Matter No. RTJ-04-1820, however, portrays an entirely bonds or other release conditions. Finally, permitting bail too
different picture. freely in spite of conviction invites frivolous and time-wasting
appeals which will make a mockery of our criminal justice
system and court processes.

In this case, respondent Judge granted bail in Criminal Cases DOMINGO v. Judge PAGAYATAN, A.M. No. RTJ-03-
Nos. 03-065, 03-082, and 03-288 without the requisite hearing. 1751.June 10, 2003
In so doing, it was respondent Judges defense that under R.A.
No. 9165, shabu is not a dangerous drug but merely a controlled Under the rules on bail, a hearing is mandatory in granting bail
precursor, in which the selling of less than 5 grams is punishable whether it is a matter of right or discretion. A hearing is
only with imprisonment of 12 years to 20 years, and as such, bail indispensable for the court to ask searching questions from
is a matter of right and a hearing is not required. which it may infer the strength of the evidence of guilt, or the
lack of it, against the accused, in cases where the offense is
Respondent Judge need not exhaustively study R.A. No. 9165, as punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.
she asserted, to determine the nature of methamphetamine After hearing, the courts order granting or refusing bail must
hydrochloride. A plain reading of the law would immediately contain a summary of the evidence for the prosecution and based
show that methamphetamine hydrochloride is a dangerous drug thereon, the judge should then formulate his own conclusion as
and not a controlled precursor. to whether the evidence so presented is strong enough as to
indicate the guilt of the accused. Otherwise, the order granting or
LEVISTE vs. COURT OF APPEALS, G.R. No. 189122, denying the application for bail may be invalidated because the
March 17, 2010 summary of evidence for the prosecution which contains the
judges evaluation of the evidence may be considered as an aspect
The question presented to the Court is this: in an application for of procedural due process for both the prosecution and the
bail pending appeal by an appellant sentenced by the trial court defense.
to a penalty of imprisonment for more than six years, does the
discretionary nature of the grant of bail pending appeal mean that The herein respondent granted bail to the accused Peaflorida
bail should automatically be granted absent any of the without conducting a hearing despite his earlier pronouncement
circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5, in the Order dated November 19, 2001 denying bail as he
Rule 114 of the Rules of Court? considered the crime the accused Peaflorida was charged with to
be a non-bailable offense. The manifestation of the prosecutor
that he is not ready to present any witness to prove that the arraignment of petitioner before proceeding with the hearing of
prosecution’s evidence against the accused is strong, is never a his petition for bail.
basis for the outright grant of bail without a preliminary hearing
on the matter. A hearing is required even when the prosecution With respect to the second issue of whether petitioner may file a
refuses to adduce evidence or fails to interpose an objection to motion to quash during the pendency of his petition for bail,
the motion for bail. petitioner maintains that a motion to quash and a petition for bail
are not inconsistent, and may proceed independently of each
Needless to stress, judicial discretion is the domain of the judge other. While he agrees with the prosecution that a motion to
and the duty to exercise discretion cannot be reposed upon the quash may in some instances result in the termination of the
will or whim of the prosecution or the defense. Respondent criminal proceedings and in the release of the accused therein,
should have ascertained personally whether the evidence of guilt thus rendering the petition for bail moot and academic, he opines
is strong and endeavored to determine the propriety of the that such is not always the case; hence, an accused in detention
amount of bail recommended. To do away with the requisite bail cannot be forced to speculate on the outcome of a motion to
hearing is to dispense with this time-tested safeguard against quash and decide whether or not to file a petition for bail or to
arbitrariness. It must always be remembered that imperative withdraw one that has been filed. He also insists that the grant of
justice requires the proper observance of indispensable a motion to quash does not automatically result in the discharge
technicalities precisely designed to ensure its proper of an accused from detention nor render moot an application for
dispensation. bail under Rule 117, Section 5 of the Revised Rules of Court.


The arraignment of an accused is not a prerequisite to the He may be granted bail under humanitarian reasons. By its
conduct of hearings on his petition for bail. A person is allowed decision, the Court has recognized his right to bail by
to petition for bail as soon as he is deprived of his liberty by emphasizing that such right should be curtailed only if the risks
virtue of his arrest or voluntary surrender. An accused need not of flight from this jurisdiction were too high. In our view,
wait for his arraignment before filing a petition for bail. however, the records demonstrated that the risks of flight were
low, or even nil. The Court has taken into consideration other
However, the foregoing pronouncement should not be taken to circumstances, such as his advanced age and poor health, his past
mean that the hearing on a petition for bail should at all times and present disposition of respect for the legal processes, the
precede arraignment, because the rule is that a person deprived length of his public service, and his individual public and private
of his liberty by virtue of his arrest or voluntary surrender may reputation. There was really no reasonable way to deny bail to
apply for bail as soon as he is deprived of his liberty, even before him simply because his situation of being 92 years of age when
a complaint or information is filed against him. The Courts he was first charged for the very serious crime in court was quite
pronouncement in Lavides should be understood in light of the unique and very rare. To ignore his advanced age and unstable
fact that the accused in said case filed a petition for bail as well health condition in order to deny his right to bail on the basis
as a motion to quash the informations filed against him. Hence, alone of the judicial discretion to deny bail would be probably
we explained therein that to condition the grant of bail to an unjust.
accused on his arraignment would be to place him in a position
where he has to choose between (1) filing a motion to quash and Section 2, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court expressly states that
thus delay his release on bail because until his motion to quash one of the conditions of bail is for the accused to "appear before
can be resolved, his arraignment cannot be held, and (2) the proper court whenever required by the court or these Rules."
foregoing the filing of a motion to quash so that he can be The practice of bail fixing supports this purpose. Thus, in
arraigned at once and thereafter be released on bail. This would Villasenor v. Abano, the Court has pronounced that "the
undermine his constitutional right not to be put on trial except principal factor considered (in bail fixing), to the determination
upon a valid complaint or Information sufficient to charge him of which most factors are directed, is the probability of the
with a crime and his right to bail. appearance of the accused, or of his flight to avoid punishment."
The Court has given due regard to the primary but limited
It is therefore not necessary that an accused be first arraigned purpose of granting bail, which was to ensure that the petitioner
before the conduct of hearings on his application for bail. For would appear during his trial and would continue to submit to
when bail is a matter of right, an accused may apply for and be the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan to answer the charges
granted bail even prior to arraignment. The ruling in Lavides levelled against him.
also implies that an application for bail in a case involving an
offense punishable by reclusion perpetua to death may also be Bail exists to ensure society's interest in having the accused
heard even before an accused is arraigned. Further, if the court answer to a criminal prosecution without unduly restricting his
finds in such case that the accused is entitled to bail because the or her liberty and without ignoring the accused's right to be
evidence against him is not strong, he may be granted presumed innocent. It does not perform the function of
provisional liberty even prior to arraignment; for in such a preventing or licensing the commission of a crime. The notion
situation, bail would be authorized under the circumstances. In that bail is required to punish a person accused of crime is,
fine, the Sandiganbayan committed a grave abuse of its therefore, fundamentally misplaced. Indeed, the practice of
discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction in ordering the admission to bail is not a device for keeping persons in jail upon
mere accusation until it is found convenient to give them a trial.
The spirit of the procedure is rather to enable them to stay out of other parts of the information but by the narration of facts and
jail until a trial with all the safeguards has found and adjudged circumstances which adequately depicts a crime and sufficiently
them guilty. apprise the accused of the nature and cause of the accusation
G.R. No. 135222, March 4, 2005 True, the information herein may not refer to specific section/s
of R.A. 7610 alleged to have been violated by the petitioner, but
Records show that counsel for petitioner actively participated in it is all to evident that the body of the information contains an
the cross-examination of the witnesses for the prosecution to test averment of the acts alleged to have been performed by
their credibility. At any rate, the fact that he did not choose to petitioner which unmistakably refers to acts punishable under
present other witnesses did not affect any of petitioner’s Section 5 of R.A. 7610. As to which section of R.A. 7610 is
substantial rights. Besides, said counsel might have valid reasons being violated by petitioner is inconsequential. What is
why he did not call to the witness stand those witnesses. determinative of the offense is the recital of the ultimate facts
and circumstances in the complaint or information.
We note that petitioner was present during the hearing. If he
believed that his counsel de parte was not competent, he could LIBUIT VS PEOPLE, 469 SCRA 510
have secured the services of a new counsel. He did not. Having
decided to retain the services of his counsel during the entire Petitioner contends that the trial court should have appointed a
proceedings, petitioner must be deemed bound by any mistake counsel de oficio when his counsel consistently failed to appear
committed by him. For if an accused feels that his counsel is for his cross-examination.
inept, he should take action by discharging him earlier, instead of
waiting until an adverse decision is rendered and thereupon The duty of the court to appoint a counsel de oficio for the
blame his counsel for incompetence. accused who has no counsel of choice and desires to employ the
services of one is mandatory only at the time of arraignment. No
The long-standing rule in this jurisdiction is that a client is bound such duty exists where the accused has proceeded to arraignment
by the mistakes of his lawyer. Mistakes of attorneys as to the and then trial with a counsel of his own choice. Worth noting,
competency of a witness, the sufficiency, relevancy or when the time for the presentation of evidence for the defense
irrelevancy of certain evidence, the proper defense or the burden arrived, and the defendant appeared by himself alone, the
of proof, failure to introduce evidence, to summon witnesses, absence of his counsel was inexcusable.
and to argue the case, unless they prejudice the client and
prevent him from properly presenting his case, do not constitute In the present case, since the petitioner was represented by
gross incompetence or negligence. counsel de parte at the arraignment and trial, the trial court could
not be deemed duty-bound to appoint a counsel de oficio for the
Having found that petitioners counsel was not so inept or continuation of his cross-examination. Indeed, after his initial
motivated by bad faith, or so careless and negligent of his duties cross-examination, the trial court granted the petitioners motion
as to seriously prejudice the substantial rights of petitioner or to postpone, giving him sufficient time to engage the services of
prevent him from putting up a proper defense, we hold that he is another counsel. The failure of Atty. Jose Dimayuga, his newly
bound by the decisions of his counsel regarding the conduct of hired lawyer, to appear at the subsequent hearings without reason
the case. was sufficient legal basis for the trial court to order the striking
from the records of his direct testimony, and thereafter render
OLIVAREZ VS COURT OF APPEALS, 465 SCRA 465 judgment upon the evidence already presented. In fact, the
repeated failure to appear of defendants counsel at the trial may
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused is entitled to be even be taken as a deliberate attempt to delay the courts
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. proceedings.
A complaint is sufficient if it states the name of the accused; the
designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or At the most, the appointment of a counsel de oficio in a situation
omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of like the present case would be discretionary with the trial court,
the offended party; the approximate date of the commission of which discretion will not be interfered with in the absence of
the offense; and the place where the offense was committed. grave abuse.

The information merely states that petitioner was being charged MAGTOLIS VS SALUD, 469 SCRA 439
for the crime of violation of R.A. 7610 without citing the
specific sections alleged to have been violated by petitioner. The respondents claim that the admission of the text messages as
Nonetheless, we do not find this omission sufficient to invalidate evidence against him constitutes a violation of his right to
the information. The character of the crime is not determined by privacy is unavailing. Text messages have been classified as
the caption or preamble of the information nor from the ephemeral electronic communication under Section 1(k), Rule 2
specification of the provision of law alleged to have been of the Rules on Electronic Evidence, and shall be proven by the
violated, they may be conclusions of law, but by the recital of the testimony of a person who was a party to the same or has
ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or information. personal knowledge thereof. Any question as to the admissibility
The sufficiency of an information is not negated by an of such messages is now moot and academic, as the respondent
incomplete or defective designation of the crime in the caption or
himself, as well as his counsel, already admitted that he was the People v. Teehankee, Jr. and Estrada v. Desierto, that the right of
sender of the first three messages on Atty. Madarangs cell phone. an accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free press, that
pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an
HERRERA v, ALBA, GR. No. 148220 accused to a fair trial, and that there must be allegation and proof
Right Against Self-Incrimination of the impaired capacity of a judge to render a bias-free decision.
Mere fear of possible undue influence is not tantamount to actual
Section 17, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution provides that no prejudice resulting in the deprivation of the right to a fair trial.
person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
Petitioner asserts that obtaining samples from him for DNA Moreover, an aggrieved party has ample legal remedies. He may
testing violates his right against self-incrimination. Petitioner challenge the validity of an adverse judgment arising from a
ignores our earlier pronouncements that the privilege is proceeding that transgressed a constitutional right. As pointed
applicable only to testimonial evidence. Again, we quote out by petitioners, an aggrieved party may early on move for a
relevant portions of the trial courts 3 February 2000 Order with change of venue, for continuance until the prejudice from
approval: publicity is abated, for disqualification of the judge, and for
closure of portions of the trial when necessary. The trial court
Obtaining DNA samples from an accused in a criminal case or may likewise exercise its power of contempt and issue gag
from the respondent in a paternity case, contrary to the belief of orders.
respondent in this action, will not violate the right against self-
incrimination. This privilege applies only to evidence that is On public trial, Estrada basically discusses: An accused has a
communicative in essence taken under duress. The Supreme right to a public trial but it is a right that belongs to him, more
Court has ruled that the right against self-incrimination is just a than anyone else, where his life or liberty can be held critically
prohibition on the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort in balance. A public trial aims to ensure that he is fairly dealt
communication (testimonial evidence) from a defendant, not an with and would not be unjustly condemned and that his rights
exclusion of evidence taken from his body when it may be are not compromised in secrete conclaves of long ago. A public
material. As such, a defendant can be required to submit to a test trial is not synonymous with publicized trial; it only implies that
to extract virus from his body; the substance emitting from the the court doors must be open to those who wish to come, sit in
body of the accused was received as evidence for acts of the available seats, conduct themselves with decorum and
lasciviousness; morphine forced out of the mouth was received observe the trial process. In the constitutional sense, a
as proof; an order by the judge for the witness to put on pair of courtroom should have enough facilities for a reasonable
pants for size was allowed; and the court can compel a woman number of the public to observe the proceedings, not too small
accused of adultery to submit for pregnancy test (Villaflor vs. as to render the openness negligible and not too large as to
Summers, 41 Phil. 62), since the gist of the privilege is the distract the trial participants from their proper functions, who
restriction on testimonial compulsion. shall then be totally free to report what they have observed
during the proceedings.
The policy of the Family Code to liberalize the rule on the
investigation of the paternity and filiation of children, especially pro hac vice = for this time only
of illegitimate children, is without prejudice to the right of the
putative parent to claim his or her own defenses. Where the
evidence to aid this investigation is obtainable through the
facilities of modern science and technology, such evidence
should be considered subject to the limits established by the law,
rules, and jurisprudence.



Public Trial / Publicized Trial / Impartial Court ENRILE VS PEOPLE – arraignment / bill of particulars

On the media coverages influence on judges, counsels and The procedural due process mandate of the Constitution requires
witnesses, petitioners point out that Aquino and Estrada, like that the accused be arraigned so that he may be fully informed as
Estes, lack empirical evidence to support the sustained to why he was charged and what penal offense he has to face, to
conclusion. They point out errors of generalization where the be convicted only on showing that his guilt is shown beyond
conclusion has been mostly supported by studies on American reasonable doubt with full opportunity to disprove the evidence
attitudes, as there has been no authoritative study on the against him. During arraignment, the accused is granted the
particular matter dealing with Filipinos. opportunity to fully know the precise charge that confronts him
and made fully aware of possible loss of freedom, even of his
Respecting the possible influence of media coverage on the life, depending on the nature of the crime imputed to him.
impartiality of trial court judges, petitioners correctly explain
that prejudicial publicity insofar as it undermines the right to a An arraignment thus ensures that an accused be fully acquainted
fair trial must pass the totality of circumstances test, applied in with the nature of the crime imputed to him in the Information
and the circumstances under which it is allegedly committed. It While both the motion to dismiss the Information and the motion
is likewise at this stage of the proceedings when the accused for bill of particulars involved the right of an accused to due
enters his plea, or enters a plea of not guilty to a lesser offense process, the enumeration of the details desired in Enrile’s
which is necessarily included in the offense charged. supplemental opposition to issuance of a warrant of arrest and
for dismissal of information and in his motion for bill of
A concomitant component of this stage of the proceedings is that particulars are different viewed particularly from the prism of
the Information should provide the accused with fair notice of their respective objectives. In the former, Enrile took the position
the accusations made against him, so that he will be able to make that the Information did not state a crime for which he can be
an intelligent plea and prepare a defense. Moreover, the convicted; thus, the Information is void; he alleged a defect of
Information must provide some means of ensuring that the crime substance. In the latter, he already impliedly admits that the
for which the accused is brought to trial is in fact one for which Information sufficiently alleged a crime but is unclear and
he was charged, rather than some alternative crime seized upon lacking in details that would allow him to properly plead and
by the prosecution in light of subsequently discovered evidence. prepare his defense; he essentially alleged here a defect of form.
Likewise, it must indicate just what crime or crimes an accused Note that in the former, the purpose is to dismiss the Information
is being tried for, in order to avoid subsequent attempts to retry for its failure to state the nature and cause of the accusation
him for the same crime or crimes. In other words, the against Enrile; while the details desired in the latter (the motion
Information must permit the accused to prepare his defense, for bill of particulars) are required to be specified in sufficient
ensure that he is prosecuted only on the basis of facts presented, detail because the allegations in the Information are vague,
enable him to plead jeopardy against a later prosecution, and indefinite, or in the form of conclusions and will not allow Enrile
inform the court of the facts alleged so that it can determine the to adequately prepare his defense unless specifications are
sufficiency of the charge. made.That every element constituting the offense had been
alleged in the Information does not preclude the accused from
Oftentimes, this is achieved when the Information alleges the requesting for more specific details of the various acts or
material elements of the crime charged. If the Information fails omissions he is alleged to have committed. The request for
to comply with this basic standard, it would be quashed on the details is precisely the function of a bill of particulars. Hence,
ground that it fails to charge an offense. Of course, an while the information may be sufficient for purposes of stating
Information may be sufficient to withstand a motion to quash, the cause and the crime an accused is charged, the allegations
and yet insufficiently inform the accused of the specific details may still be inadequate for purposes of enabling him to properly
of the alleged offenses. In such instances, the Rules of Court plead and prepare for trial.
allow the accused to move for a bill of particulars to enable him
properly to plead and to prepare for trial. PEOPLE vs Documento, GR No. 188706

The purpose of a bill of particulars is to supply vague facts or Documento avers that his conviction for Rape must be reversed
allegations in the complaint or information to enable the accused because the trial court did not properly conduct a searching
to properly plead and prepare for trial. It presupposes a valid inquiry on the voluntariness and full comprehension of his plea
Information, one that presents all the elements of the crime of guilt.
charged, albeit under vague terms. Notably, the specifications
that a bill of particulars may supply are only formal amendments We disagree. It is true that the appellate court noted the trial
to the complaint or Information. Thus, if the Information is courts failure to conduct the prescribed searching inquiry into the
lacking, a court should take a liberal attitude towards its granting matter of whether or not Documentos plea of guilt was
and order the government to file a bill of particulars elaborating improvidently made. Nonetheless, it still found the conviction of
on the charges. Doubts should be resolved in favor of granting appellant proper. Its disquisition on Documentos plea of guilt is
the bill to give full meaning to the accused’s constitutionally in point.
guaranteed rights.
Nothing in the records of the case at bench shows that the trial
Notably, the government cannot put the accused in the position court complied with the guidelines [set forth by the Supreme
of disclosing certain overt acts through the Information and Court in a number of cases] after appellant’s re-arraignment and
withholding others subsequently discovered, all of which it guilty plea. The questions propounded to appellant during the
intends to prove at the trial. This is the type of surprise a bill of direct and cross-examination likewise fall short of these
particulars is designed to avoid. The accused is entitled to the requirements. x x x x x x x
observance of all the rules designated to bring about a fair
verdict. This becomes more relevant in the present case where The questions propounded were clearly not compliant with the
the crime charged carries with it the severe penalty of capital guidelines set forth by the High Court. The appellant was not
punishment and entails the commission of several predicate fully apprised of the consequences of his guilty plea. In fact, as
criminal acts involving a great number of transactions spread argued by appellant, the trial court should have informed him
over a considerable period of time. Notably, conviction for that his plea of guilt would not affect or reduce the imposable
plunder carries with it the penalty of capital punishment; for this penalty, which is death as he might have erroneously believed
reason, more process is due, not less. When a person’s life that under Article 63, the death penalty, being a single indivisible
interest – protected by the life, liberty, and property language penalty, shall be applied by the court regardless of any
recognized in the due process clause – is at stake in the mitigating circumstances that might have attended the
proceeding, all measures must be taken to ensure the protection commission of the deed. Moreover, the trial court judge failed to
of those fundamental rights.
inform appellant of his right to adduce evidence despite the precise nature and character of the cause of action or defense
guilty plea. which the pleader has attempted to set forth and thereby to guide
his adversary in his preparations for trial, and reasonably to
With the trial courts failure to comply with the guidelines, protect him against surprise at the trial. It gives information of
appellants guilty plea is deemed improvidently made and thus the specific proposition for which the pleader contends, in
rendered inefficacious. respect to any material and issuable fact in the case, and it
becomes a part of the pleading which it supplements. It has been
This does not mean, however, that the case should be remanded held that a bill of particulars must inform the opposite party of
to the trial court. This course of action is appropriate only when the nature of the pleaders cause of action or defense, and it must
the appellant’s guilty plea was the sole basis for his conviction. furnish the required items of the claim with reasonable fullness
As held in People v. Mira, - and precision. Generally, it will be held sufficient if it fairly and
substantially gives the opposite party the information to which
Notwithstanding the incautiousness that attended appellant’s he is entitled, as required by the terms of the application and of
guilty plea, we are not inclined to remand the case to the trial the order therefor. It should be definite and specific and not
court as suggested by appellant. Convictions based on an contain general allegations and conclusions. It should be
improvident plea of guilt are set aside only if such plea is the reasonably certain and as specific as the circumstances will
sole basis of the judgment. If the trial court relied on sufficient allow.
and credible evidence in finding the accused guilty, the judgment
must be sustained, because then it is predicated not merely on the Guided by the foregoing rules and principles, we are convinced
guilty plea of the accused but also on evidence proving his that both the bill of particulars dated November 3, 1993 and the
commission of the offense charged. Limited Bill of Particulars of October 22, 1992 are couched in
such general and uncertain terms as would make it difficult for
On the whole, we find that the appellate court committed no petitioner to submit an intelligent responsive pleading to the
reversible error in affirming the trial court’s ruling convicting complaint and to adequately prepare for trial.
Furthermore, as correctly asserted by petitioner Virata, the
Virata v Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 114331 May 27, 1997 Limited Bill of Particulars contains new matters which are not
covered by the charge that Virata acted as agent of his co-
defendants in the expanded Second Amended Complaint.
The rule is that a complaint must contain the ultimate facts
Apparently, as may be examined from the three paragraphs of
constituting plaintiffs cause of action. A cause of action has the
the Limited Bill of Particulars, Virata, in so doing the acts, can
following elements, to wit: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff by
not be considered as an agent of any of his co-defendants, on the
whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created;
contrary, the factual circumstances stated in the said bill of
(2) an obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or
particulars indicate that Virata acted on behalf of the
not to violate such right; and (3) an act or omission on the part of
government, in his official capacity as a government officer.
such defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff or
This observation is established by the allegations that Virata
constituting a breach of the obligation of the defendant to the
acted as a member of the Central Bank Monetary Board, as
plaintiff for which the latter may maintain an action for recovery
chairman of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Export and
of damages. As long as the complaint contains these three
Foreign Loan Guarantee Corporation, and, when he executed the
elements, a cause of action exists even though the allegations
Agreement with Meralco on July 7, 1978 concerning the sale of
therein are vague, and dismissal of the action is not the proper
certain properties, he acted as the Finance Minister of the
remedy when the pleading is ambiguous because the defendant
government and as a representative of the Republic in the
may ask for more particulars. As such, Section 1, Rule 12 of the
contract. In performing the said acts, he, therefore, acted as an
Rules of Court, provides, inter alia, that a party may move for
agent of the government, not as an agent of his co-defendants,
more definite statement or for a bill of particulars of any matter
which is the charge against him in the expanded Second
which is not averred with sufficient definiteness or particularity
Amended Complaint. Accordingly, the allegations in the Limited
to enable him properly to prepare his responsive pleading or to
Bill of Particulars are irrelevant and immaterial to the charge that
prepare for trial. Such motion shall point out the defects
Virata acted as an agent of his co-defendants.
complained of and the details desired. Under this Rule, the
remedy available to a party who seeks clarification of any issue
or matter vaguely or obscurely pleaded by the other party, is to As clearly established by the foregoing discussion, the two bills
of particulars filed by the Republic failed to properly amplify the
file a motion, either for a more definite statement or for a bill of
particulars. An order directing the submission of such statement charges leveled against Virata because, not only are they mere
reiteration or repetition of the allegations set forth in the
or bill, further, is proper where it enables the party movant
intelligently to prepare a responsive pleading, or adequately to expanded Second Amended Complaint, but, to the large extent,
they contain vague, immaterial and generalized assertions which
prepare for trial.
are inadmissible under our procedural rules.
A bill of particulars is a complementary procedural document
consisting of an amplification or more particularized outline of a RULE 117- MOTION TO QUASH
pleading, and being in the nature of a more specific allegation of
the facts recited in the pleading. It is the office of the bill of LOS BAÑOS VS PEOPLE, GR 173588
particulars to inform the opposite party and the court of the
A first notable feature of Section 8, Rule 117 is that it does not Fourth, a motion to quash is allowed before the arraignment
exactly state what a provisional dismissal is. The modifier (Section 1, Rule 117); there may be a provisional dismissal of
provisional directly suggests that the dismissals which Section 8 the case even when the trial proper of the case is already
essentially refers to are those that are temporary in character underway provided that the required consents are present.
(i.e., to dismissals that are without prejudice to the re-filing of
the case), and not the dismissals that are permanent (i.e., those Fifth, a provisional dismissal is, by its own terms, impermanent
that bar the re-filing of the case). Based on the law, rules, and until the time-bar applies, at which time it becomes a permanent
jurisprudence, permanent dismissals are those barred by the dismissal. In contrast, an information that is quashed stays
principle of double jeopardy, by the previous extinction of quashed until revived; the grant of a motion to quash does not
criminal liability, by the rule on speedy trial, and the dismissals per se carry any connotation of impermanence, and becomes so
after plea without the express consent of the accused. Section 8, only as provided by law or by the Rules. In re-filing the case,
by its own terms, cannot cover these dismissals because they are what is important is the question of whether the action can still
not provisional. be brought, i.e., whether the prescription of action or of the
offense has set in. In a provisional dismissal, there can be no re-
A second feature is that Section 8 does not state the grounds that filing after the time-bar, and prescription is not an immediate
lead to a provisional dismissal. This is in marked contrast with a consideration.
motion to quash whose grounds are specified under Section 3.
The delimitation of the grounds available in a motion to quash To recapitulate, quashal and provisional dismissal are different
suggests that a motion to quash is a class in itself, with specific concepts whose respective rules refer to different situations that
and closely-defined characteristics under the Rules of Court. A should not be confused with one another. If the problem relates
necessary consequence is that where the grounds cited are those to an intrinsic or extrinsic deficiency of the complaint or
listed under Section 3, then the appropriate remedy is to file a information, as shown on its face, the remedy is a motion to
motion to quash, not any other remedy. Conversely, where a quash under the terms of Section 3, Rule 117. All other reasons
ground does not appear under Section 3, then a motion to quash for seeking the dismissal of the complaint or information, before
is not a proper remedy. A motion for provisional dismissal may arraignment and under the circumstances outlined in Section 8,
then apply if the conditions required by Section 8 obtain. fall under provisional dismissal.

A third feature, closely related to the second, focuses on the In this case, The grounds Pedro cited in his motion to quash are
consequences of a meritorious motion to quash. This feature also that the Information contains averments which, if true, would
answers the question of whether the quashal of an information constitute a legal excuse or justification [Section 3(h), Rule 117],
can be treated as a provisional dismissal. Sections 4, 5, 6, and 7 and that the facts charged do not constitute an offense [Section
of Rule 117 unmistakably provide for the consequences of a 3(a), Rule 117]. We find from our examination of the records
meritorious motion to quash. Section 4 speaks of an amendment that the Information duly charged a specific offense and provides
of the complaint or information, if the motion to quash relates to the details on how the offense was committed. Thus, the cited
a defect curable by amendment. Section 5 dwells on the effect of Section 3(a) ground has no merit. On the other hand, we do not
sustaining the motion to quash - the complaint or information see on the face or from the averments of the Information any
may be re-filed, except for the instances mentioned under legal excuse or justification. The cited basis, in fact, for Pedros
Section 6. The latter section, on the other hand, specifies the motion to quash was a Comelec Certification (dated September
limit of the re-filing that Section 5 allows it cannot be done 24, 2001, issued by Director Jose P. Balbuena, Sr. of the Law
where the dismissal is based on extinction of criminal liability or Department, Committee on Firearms and Security Personnel of
double jeopardy. Section 7 defines double jeopardy and the Comelec, granting him an exemption from the ban and a
complements the ground provided under Section 3(i) and the permit to carry firearms during the election period) that Pedro
exception stated in Section 6. attached to his motion to quash. This COMELEC Certification is
a matter aliunde that is not an appropriate motion to raise in, and
cannot support, a motion to quash grounded on legal excuse or
justification found on the face of the Information. Significantly,
First, a motion to quash is invariably filed by the accused to no hearing was ever called to allow the prosecution to contest the
question the efficacy of the complaint or information filed genuineness of the COMELEC certification.
against him or her (Sections 1 and 2, Rule 117); in contrast, a
case may be provisionally dismissed at the instance of either the FELICISIMO F. LAZARTE, JR. vs SANDIGANBAYAN,
prosecution or the accused, or both, subject to the conditions G.R. No. 180122
enumerated under Section 8, Rule 117.
The Court finds that the Information in this case alleges the
Second, the form and content of a motion to quash are as stated essential elements of violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019.
under Section 2 of Rule 117; these requirements do not apply to The Information specifically alleges that petitioner, Espinosa and
a provisional dismissal. Lobrido are public officers being then the Department Manager,
Project Management Officer A and Supervising Engineer of the
Third, a motion to quash assails the validity of the criminal NHA respectively; in such capacity and committing the offense
complaint or the criminal information for defects or defenses in relation to the office and while in the performance of their
apparent on face of the information; a provisional dismissal may official functions, connived, confederated and mutually helped
be grounded on reasons other than the defects found in the each other and with accused Arceo C. Cruz, with deliberate
intent through manifest partiality and evident bad faith gave residents of Dipolog City or Pian, Zamboanga del Norte or
unwarranted benefits to the latter, A.C. Cruz Construction and to Palompon, Leyte. There is as well no proof in the records that
themselves, to the damage and prejudice of the government. The the public prosecutor notified the heirs of the victims of said
felonious act consisted of causing to be paid to A.C. Cruz motion or of the hearing thereof on March 22, 1999. Although
Construction public funds in the amount of P232,628.35 Atty. Valdez entered his appearance as private prosecutor, he did
supposedly for excavation and road filling works on the so only for some but not all the close kins of the victims, namely,
Pahanocoy Sites and Services Project in Bacolod City despite the Nenita Alap-ap, Imelda Montero, Margarita Redillas, Rufino
fact that no such works were undertaken by said construction Siplon, Carmelita Elcamel, Myrna Abalora, and Leonora Amora
company as revealed by the Special Audit conducted by COA. who (except for Rufino Siplon) executed their respective
affidavits of desistance. There was no appearance for the heirs of
On the contention that the Information did not detail the Alex Neri, Pacifico Montero, Jr., and Meleubren Sorronda.
individual participation of the accused in the allegation of There is no proof on record that all the heirs of the victims were
conspiracy in the Information, the Court underscores the fact that served with copies of the resolution of Judge Agnir, Jr.
under Philippine law, conspiracy should be understood on two dismissing the said cases. In fine, there never was any attempt on
levels. Conspiracy can be a mode of committing a crime or it the part of the trial court, the public prosecutor and/or the private
may be constitutive of the crime itself. Generally, conspiracy is prosecutor to notify all the heirs of the victims of the respondents
not a crime in our jurisdiction. It is punished as a crime only motion and the hearing thereon and of the resolution of Judge
when the law fixes a penalty for its commission such as in Agnir, Jr. dismissing said cases. The said heirs were thus
conspiracy to commit treason, rebellion and sedition. deprived of their right to be heard on the respondent’s motion
and to protect their interests either in the trial court or in the
When conspiracy is charged as a crime, the act of conspiring and appellate court.
all the elements of said crime must be set forth in the complaint
or information. But when conspiracy is not charged as a crime in Since the conditions sine qua non for the application of the new
itself but only as the mode of committing the crime as in the case rule were not present when Judge Agnir, Jr. issued his resolution,
at bar, there is less necessity of reciting its particularities in the the State is not barred by the time limit set forth in the second
Information because conspiracy is not the gravamen of the paragraph of Section 8 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of
offense charged. The conspiracy is significant only because it Criminal Procedure. The State can thus revive or refile Criminal
changes the criminal liability of all the accused in the conspiracy Cases Nos. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689 or file new Informations
and makes them answerable as co-principals regardless of the for multiple murder against the respondent.
degree of their participation in the crime. The liability of the
conspirators is collective and each participant will be equally The time-bar under the new rule was fixed by the Court to excise
responsible for the acts of others, for the act of one is the act of the malaise that plagued the administration of the criminal
all. justice system for the benefit of the State and the accused; not for
the accused only.
In addition, the allegation of conspiracy in the Information
should not be confused with the adequacy of evidence that may The Court agrees with the petitioners that to apply the time-bar
be required to prove it. A conspiracy is proved by evidence of retroactively so that the two-year period commenced to run on
actual cooperation; of acts indicative of an agreement, a common March 31, 1999 when the public prosecutor received his copy of
purpose or design, a concerted action or concurrence of the resolution of Judge Agnir, Jr. dismissing the criminal cases is
sentiments to commit the felony and actually pursue it. A inconsistent with the intendment of the new rule. Instead of
statement of the evidence on the conspiracy is not necessary in giving the State two years to revive provisionally dismissed
the Information. cases, the State had considerably less than two years to do so.
Thus, Judge Agnir, Jr. dismissed Criminal Cases Nos. Q-99-
The other details cited by petitioner, such as the absence of any 81679 to Q-99-81689 on March 29, 1999. The new rule took
damage or injury caused to any party or the government, effect on December 1, 2000. If the Court applied the new time-
likewise are matters of evidence best raised during trial. bar retroactively, the State would have only one year and three
months or until March 31, 2001 within which to revive these
PEOPLE vs. PANFILO M. LACSON. criminal cases. The period is short of the two-year period fixed
under the new rule. On the other hand, if the time limit is applied
n the case at bar, even if the respondents motion for a prospectively, the State would have two years from December 1,
determination of probable cause and examination of witnesses 2000 or until December 1, 2002 within which to revive the cases.
may be considered for the nonce as his motion for a provisional This is in consonance with the intendment of the new rule in
dismissal of Criminal Cases Nos. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689, fixing the time-bar and thus prevent injustice to the State and
however, the heirs of the victims were not notified thereof prior avoid absurd, unreasonable, oppressive, injurious, and wrongful
to the hearing on said motion on March 22, 1999. It must be results in the administration of justice.
stressed that the respondent filed his motion only on March 17,
1999 and set it for hearing on March 22, 1999 or barely five days The period from April 1, 1999 to November 30, 1999 should be
from the filing thereof. Although the public prosecutor was excluded in the computation of the two-year period because the
served with a copy of the motion, the records do not show that rule prescribing it was not yet in effect at the time and the State
notices thereof were separately given to the heirs of the victims could not be expected to comply with the time-bar. It cannot
or that subpoenae were issued to and received by them, including even be argued that the State waived its right to revive the
those who executed their affidavits of desistance who were
criminal cases against respondent or that it was negligent for not comply with the timeline unless he is served with a copy of the
reviving them within the two-year period under the new rule. order of dismissal. Also, the contention that both the filing of the
motion to revive the case and the court order reviving it must be
The two-year period fixed in the new rule is for the benefit of made prior to the expiration of the one year period is not found
both the State and the accused. It should not be emasculated and in the Rules. Further, the fact that year 2004 was a leap year is
reduced by an inordinate retroactive application of the time-bar inconsequential to determine the timeliness of Uy’s motion to
therein provided merely to benefit the accused. For to do so revive the criminal cases. Even if the Court will consider that
would cause an injustice of hardship to the State and adversely 2004 is a leap year and that the one year period to revive the case
affect the administration of justice in general and of criminal should be reckoned from the date of receipt of the order of
laws in particular. provisional dismissal by Uy.

To require the State to give a valid justification as a condition RULE 118- PRE-TRIAL
sine qua non to the revival of a case provisionally dismissed with
the express consent of the accused before the effective date of OCA vs ESPANOL
the new rule is to assume that the State is obliged to comply with
the time-bar under the new rule before it took effect. This would
be a rank denial of justice. The State must be given a period of
one year or two years as the case may be from December 1, 2000
to revive the criminal case without requiring the State to make a
valid justification for not reviving the case before the effective
date of the new rule. Although in criminal cases, the accused is
entitled to justice and fairness, so is the State.

William Co vs New Prosperity Plastic Products, GR No.

183994, June 30, 2014

Co is burdened to establish the essential requisites of the first

paragraph of Section 8, Rule 117 of the Rules, which are
conditions sine qua non to the application of the time-bar in the
second paragraph thereof, to wit: (1) the prosecution with the
express conformity of the accused or the accused moves for a
provisional (sin perjuicio) dismissal of the case; or both the
prosecution and the accused move for a provisional dismissal of
the case; (2) the offended party is notified of the motion for a
provisional dismissal of the case; (3) the court issues an order
granting the motion and dismissing the case provisionally; and
(4) the public prosecutor is served with a copy of the order of
provisional dismissal of the case. In this case, it is apparent from
the records that there is no notice of any motion for the
provisional dismissal of Criminal Cases Nos. 206655-59,
206661-77 and 209634 or of the hearing thereon which was
served on the private complainant at least three days before said
hearing as mandated by Section 4, Rule 15 of the Rules. The fact
is that it was only in open court that Co moved for provisional
dismissal "considering that, as per records, complainant had not
shown any interest to pursue her complaint." The importance of
a prior notice to the offended party of a motion for provisional
dismissal is aptly explained in People v. Lacson:

In this case, there is no notice of any motion for the provisional

dismissal or of the hearing which was served on the private
complainant at least 3 days before said hearing as mandated by
Section 4, Rule 15 of the Rules. Furthermore, the second
paragraph of the new rule should be construed to mean that the
order of dismissal shall become permanent one year after service
of the order of dismissal on the public prosecutor who has
control of the prosecution without the criminal case having been
revived. Correlatively, when a party is represented by a counsel,
notices of all kinds emanating from the court should be sent to
the latter at his/her given address pursuant to Section 2, Rule 13
of the Rules. The public prosecutor cannot be expected to