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13 Uy v. Office of the Ombudsman

1. Petitioner Victor Jose Tan Uy was among the co-accused of Pres. Estrada in the Information filed by the Ombudsman with the
Sandiganbayan for the crime of plunder. Petitioner was identified as “Eleuterio Tan a.k.a Eleuterio Ramos Tan or Mr. Uy in
the said Information. Petitioner was accused of diverting, receiving, misappropriating, converting or misusing the tobacco
excise tax share amounting to P130M allocated to Ilocos Sur Province in connivance with other accused.
2. The Ombudsman moved to amend the Information twice – initially was to change the appellation of the accused to John Doe
a.k.a. as Eleuterio Tan or Eleuterio Ramos Tan or Mr. Uy and thereafter to include Jaime C. Dichaves as accused.
3. The Ombudsman filed before the Sandiganbayan an Omnibus Motion seeking the issuance of a warrant of arrest against
Victor Jose Tan Uy. Allegedly, positive identification that John Doe a.k.a Eleuterio Tan, Eleuterio Ramos Tan or Mr. Uy and
Victor Jose Tan Uy were one and the same person was made through identification documents consisting of photographs
identified at the Senate Impeachment Trial and the Sworn Statement of Ma. Caridad Manahan-Rodenas executed
before the Fact Finding and Intelligence Bureau of the Office of the Ombudsman.
4. Petitioner filed a Petition to Conduct Preliminary Investigation with the Ombudsman which was denied. He also filed a
Manifestation and Motion with the Sandiganbayan asking for the suspension of the criminal proceedings insofar as he is
concerned and moved for preliminary investigation. GRANTED.
5. Ombudsman issued an order finding probable cause to charge petitioner before the Sandiganbayan based on the findings
during the investigation conducted by the Fact-Finding and Intelligence Bureau (FFIB) on the identity of Eleuterio Tan
or Eleuterio Ramos Tan to be no other than Victor Jose Tan Uy.
6. He moved to reconsider the Ombudsman’s order but the latter DENIED, emphasizing that the fact of identifying Victor Jose Tan
Uy as one and the same person as Eleuterio Tan or Eleuterio Ramos Tan by Landbank employee has already formed part of
the preliminary investigation conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman.
7. Petitioner alleged grave abuse of discretion in the Ombudsman’s findings of probable cause on the grounds that the
Ombudsman relied on evidence and findings that were never part of the complaints-affidavits or their supporting documents
served upon the petitioner and were never adduced or presented in the course of the preliminary investigation. He objected
to the use of the FFIB investigation results to support the finding of probable cause since these investigation results
were never presented at the preliminary investigation and reliance thereon violates his due process rights.

Issue: Whether or not the FFIB investigation results with regard to petitioner’s identity can be used to support the finding of probable
cause against the petitioner

Ruling: NO.
A preliminary investigation is held before an accused is placed on trial to secure the innocent against hasty, malicious, and oppressive
prosecution,; to protect him from an open and public accusation of a crime, as well as from the trouble, expenses, and anxiety of a public
trial. It is also intended to protect the state from having to conduct useless and expensive trials. While the right is statutory rather than
constitutional, it is a component of due process in administering criminal justice. The right to have a preliminary investigation
conducted before being bound for trial and before being exposed to the risk of incarceration and penalty is not a mere formal or
technical right; it is a substantive right. To deny the accused's claim to a preliminary investigation is to deprive him of the full measure
of his right to due process. A preliminary investigation is subject to the requirements of both substantive and procedural due

The critical evidence linking the petitioner to the plunder case is his identification through the identification documents. This
notwithstanding and quite inexplicably, the identification documents - despite the fatal infirmity the Sandiganbayan found in the first
preliminary investigation - were once again not given to the petitioner in the subsequent Sandiganbayan-ordered preliminary
investigation to inform him of his alleged links to the charges under the complaint-affidavits.

Reasonable opportunity to controvert evidence and ventilate one’s cause in a proceeding requires full knowledge of the
relevant and material facts specific to that proceeding. One cannot be expected to respond to collateral allegations or
assertions made, or be bound by developments that transpired, in some other different although related proceedings, except
perhaps under situations where facts are rendered conclusive by reason of judgments between the same parties—a situation
that does not obtain in the present case.

The right to know and to meet a case requires that a person be fully informed of the pertinent and material facts unique to the inquiry to
which he is called as a party respondent. Under this requirement, reasonable opportunity to contest evidence as critical as the
identification documents should have been given the petitioner at the Sandiganbayan-ordered preliminary investigation as part of the
facts he must controvert; otherwise, there is nothing to controvert as the burden of evidence lies with the one who asserts that a
probable cause exists. The Ombudsman’s failure in this regard tainted its findings of probable cause with grave abuse of discretion that
effectively nullifies them.


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15 Salapuddin v. CA

1. Shortly after the adjournment of the day's session in Congress, a bomb exploded near the entrance of the South Wing lobby of the
HOR in the Batasan Complex, QuezonCity. The blast led to the death of Congressman Akbar and several others, and inflicted serious
injuries on other representatives. It was caused by an improvised bomb planted on a motorcycle that was parked near the
2. Police officers raided an alleged ASG safehouse located at Parkwood Hills, Payatas, Quezon City. During the course of the operation,
(Aunal), (Ikram) and (Kusain) were arrested.
3. KUSAIN executed a Sinumpaang Salaysay denying knowledge of the purpose for which the motorcycle will be used.
4. IKRAM executed the first affidavit wherein he stated that he is a driver working for Salapuddin. He stressed that his cousin
Redwan talked to him about a mission to kill Congressman Akbar of Basilan by means of a bomb but was not informed of the
5. On the basis of the sworn statements, a request for the conduct of inquest proceedings was made.
6. Salapuddin went to Camp Crame and voluntarily gave a sworn statement denying any knowledge of the Batasan bombing.
7. As the police investigation prospered, Ikram executed several supplemental affidavits augmenting the statement he previously
gave to the authorities. Notably, Ikram, in his first three affidavits, never mentioned Salapuddin's involvement, let alone implicate
him, in the plan to kill Congressman Akbar. Ikram's narration of events altogether changed in his fourth affidavit wherein he
alleged that Salapuddin ordered the bombing.
8. Aunal executed his own affidavit wherein he declared that the order to kill Congressman Akbar was made by Jim Hataman who
vied for the congressional seat won by Congressman Akbar.
9. Based on the affidavits, Police Superintendent Asher Dolina indorsed a letter to then Chief State Prosecutor Zuño requesting the
inclusion of Salapuddin, Congressman Hataman, Jim Hataman and Police Officer 1 (PO1) Bayan Judda in the complaints for murder
and multiple frustrated murder.
10. After conducting preliminary investigation, the Chief State Prosecutor approved a Resolution where he found probable cause to
indict Aunal, Ikram, and Kusain for multiple murder and recommended the conduct of preliminary investigation as to the other
respondents who were not under detention.
11. However, Kusain and Aunal executed their respective affidavits of recantation. Both stated that they were coerced to sign their
confessions after they were subjected to physical and psychological torture.
12. Nevertheless, Prosecutor Zuño approved the Department of Justice (DOJ) Investigating Panel‘s Supplemental Resolution
recommending the amendment of the Information, pending before RTC - Quezon City, to include the aforementioned individuals.
13. Salapuddin filed a Petition for Review of the Supplemental Resolution with the Office of the Secretary of Justice. He maintained that
there is no evidence independent of Ikram‘s statements that will support the finding of probable cause to indict him for murder
and multiple frustrated murder.
14. SOJ issued a Resolution EXCLUDING Salapuddin from the Information because the only material evidence against Salapuddin is
the statements of Ikram. However, Ikram‘s statements are laden with irreconcilable inconsistencies and contradictions that they
cannot be considered worthy of belief.
15. CA: The appellate court SET ASIDE the Resolution of the Secretary of Justice. As held, the totality of the evidence "sufficiently
indicates the probability that Salapuddin lent moral and material support or assistance to the perpetrators in the commission of
the crime.
16. In the meantime, Ikram filed an affidavit recanting his previous statements with the RTC - Quezon City claiming that he was forced
to sign the affidavits and was merely forced to implicate Salapuddin.
17. Salapuddin filed a Petition for Review before this Court, ascribing on the appellate court the commission of grave error in
according full probative value to Ikram's extrajudicial confession implicating Salapuddin even if it was riddled with serious
contradictions and inconsistencies.

(1) Whether or not the Secretary of Justice has the authority to exclude Salapuddin in the information for the criminal case.
(2) Whether or not the inclusion of petitioner Salapuddin in the amended information for multiple murder and multiple frustrated
murder in the Information filed was proper.

(1) YES. The prosecutor's call on the existence or absence of probable cause is further subject to the review of the Secretary of Justice
who exercises the power of control over prosecutors. Thus, pursuant to the last paragraph of Section 4, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, if
the Secretary of Justice reverses or modifies the resolution of the investigating prosecutor(s),he or she can direct the prosecutor(s)
concerned "to dismiss or move for dismissal of the complaint or information with notice to the parties." This action is not subject to the
review of courts unless there is a showing that the Secretary of Justice has committed a grave abuse of his discretion amounting to an
excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the challenged resolution.

It is, therefore, clear that a preliminary investigation falls under the authority of the state prosecutor who is given by law the
power to direct and control criminal actions. He is, however, subject to the control of the Secretary of Justice. The Secretary of
Justice, upon petition by a proper party, can reverse his subordinates’ (provincial or city prosecutors and their assistants’)
resolutions finding probable cause against suspects of crimes.

(2) NO. A review of the records, however, show that the only direct material evidence against Salapuddin, as he had pointed out at every
conceivable turn, is the confession made by Ikram. While the confession is arguably relevant, this is not the evidence competent to
establish the probability that Salapuddin participated in the commission of the crime. An extrajudicial confession is binding only on
the confessant. The exception provided under Sec. 30, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court to the rule allowing the admission of a
conspirator requires the prior establishment of the conspiracy by evidence other than the confession.

Mere association with the principals by direct participation, without more, does not suffice. Relationship, association and
companionship do not prove conspiracy. It must be shown that the person concerned has performed an overt act in pursuance or
furtherance of the complicity. HELD: Petitioner Salapuddin’s name was STRICKEN OFF AND EXCLUDED from the Information for the
complex crime of multiple murder and frustrated murder filed.

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1. Petitioner BJ Productions, Inc. (BJPI) is the holder / grantee of Certificate of Copyright of Rhoda and Me, a dating game show
aired from 1970 to 1977.
2. On June 28, 1973, petitioner BJPI submitted to the National Library an addendum to its certificate of copyright specifying the
show’s format and style of presentation.
3. On 1991, while watching television, petitioner Joaquin, president of BJPI, saw on RPN Channel 9 an episode of It’s a
Date, which was produced by IXL Productions, Inc. (IXL). He then wrote a letter to president and general manager of IXL,
informing Zosa that BJPI had a copyright to Rhoda and Me and demanding that IXL discontinue airing It’s a Date.
4. Zosa apologized to petitioner but continued airing It’s a Date, prompting petitioner Joaquin to send a second letter.
5. Meanwhile, Zosa sought to register IXL’s copyright to the first episode of It’s a Date for which it was issued by the National
Library a certificate of copyright.
6. Upon complaint of petitioners, information for violation of PD No. 49 was filed against private respondent Zosa.
7. Zosa sought review of the resolution of the Assistant City Prosecutor before the Department of Justice.
8. Respondent Secretary of Justice Franklin M. Drilon REVERSED the Assistant City Prosecutor’s findings and directed him to
move for the dismissal of the case against private respondents.

IN THIS PETITION: Special Civil Action (petition for certiorari)

PETITIONER: The public respondent committed GADLJ when he invoked non-presentation of the master tape as being fatal to
the existence of probable cause to prove infringement, and when he arrogated unto himself the determination of what is
copyrightable—an issue which is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the regional trial court to assess in a proper proceeding.

Their failure to submit the copyrighted master videotape of the television show Rhoda and Me was not raised in issue by private
respondents during the preliminary investigation and, therefore, it was error for the Secretary of Justice to reverse the investigating
prosecutor’s finding of probable cause on this ground.


1) NO. (read Sec. 4 of Rule 112)
A preliminary investigation falls under the authority of the state prosecutor who is given by law the power to direct and control criminal
actions.2 He is, however, subject to the control of the Secretary of Justice. Thus, Rule 112, §4 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, provides: In reviewing resolutions of
prosecutors, the Secretary of Justice is not precluded from considering errors, although unassigned, for the purpose of
determining whether there is probable cause for filing cases in court. He must make his own finding of probable cause and is
not confined to the issues raised by the parties during preliminary investigation. Moreover, his findings are not subject to
review unless shown to have been made with grave abuse.

2) NO. Petitioner assail the ff portion of SOJ’s resolution:

It is indeed true that the question whether the format or mechanics of petitioners’ television show is entitled to copyright
protection is a legal question for the court to make. This does not, however, preclude respondent Secretary of Justice from
making a preliminary determination of this question in resolving whether there is probable cause for filing the case in court.
In doing so in this case, he did not commit any grave error.

ADDITIONAL ISSUE: Whether the format or mechanics or petitioner’s television show is entitled to copyright protection.
NO. The format or mechanics of a television show is not included in the list of protected works in Sec. 2 of PD No. 49. For this reason, the
protection afforded by the law cannot be extended to cover them. The Court is of the opinion that petitioner BJPI’s copyright covers
audio-visual recordings of each episode of Rhoda and Me, as falling within the class of works mentioned in PD 49. The copyright does
not extend
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Page 3 of 4

Facts: AUB granted 3D Industries, Inc. a loan in the form of stand-by letter of credit (L/C) in the amount of P30 million. To guarantee
the loan, Guy, as then VP for Operations, and then 3D President Pe executed a Continuing Guaranty in AUB's favor. AUB issued several
L/Cs for 3D's importations in the total amount of US$216,391.26 or the peso equivalent of P11,287,264.00. Pe signed several trust
receipts in favor of AUB before the imported goods were released to 3D.

However, 3D failed to comply with its obligation. AUB filed with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasig City 2 complaints against Guy,
as majority and controlling stockholder and by virtue of his continuing guaranty, for estafa under Article 315 1(b), RPC in relation to
P.D. No. 115 - Trust Receipts Law.

During Preliminary Investigation, Guy alleged that Pe, 3D's former President, who executed and signed the subject trust receipts,
should have been charged instead of him.

Guy filed with the DOJ a petition for review after the investigating prosecutor issued the resolution finding probable cause for the
offenses charged against him.

SOJ Gonzales: DENIED. Thus, the petitioner filed an MR 14 days upon receipt of a copy of the said resolution. Acting on the said
MR, the DOJ Secretary Gonzales issued the assailed Resolution, this time, GRANTING the petition for review and REVERSING his earlier
Resolution. In gist, the Secretary of Justice predicated his reversal order on the absence of evidence to prove (a) the actual and direct
participation of Guy in the trust receipts transactions.
AUB filed before CA on a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the RoC with a prayer for preliminary injunctive relief that the former
had already lost jurisdiction over Guy's MR subject of the resolution.

CA: REVERSED the resolution of the Secretary of Justice that with the MR filed by the petitioner, beyond the 10 day reglementary period,
the DOJ had already lost jurisdiction over the case because its earlier Resolution had already become final and executory.

Issue: W/N the Secretary of Justice acted without jurisdiction in issuing the April 20, 2006 Resolution which was issued long after his
first - December 22, 2005 Resolution that held that there was probable cause against accused, had already become final and executory
when no motion for reconsideration or appeal filed thereto within the reglementary period of appeal.

Ruling & MP from book:

NO. The determination of probable cause to warrant prosecution in court is, under our criminal justice system, entrusted at the first
instance to public prosecutors and finally to the Secretary of Justice as reviewer of the findings and resolutions of the prosecutors in
preliminary investigation cases. In this regard, the authority of the Secretary of Justice to review and order the withdrawal of an
information in instances where he finds the absence of a prima facie case is not time-barred, albeit subject to the approval of
the court if its jurisdiction over the accused has meanwhile attached. And it is not prudent or even permissible for a court to
compel the Secretary of Justice or the fiscal, as the case may be, to prosecute a proceeding originally initiated by him on an information,
if he finds that the evidence relied upon by him is insufficient for conviction.

CA erred in ordering the filing of an information despite a categorical statement from the SoJ about the lack of evidence to proceed with
the prosecution of the petitioner. Courts cannot interfere with the discretion of the public prosecutor in evaluating the offense charged.
He may dismiss the complaint forthwith, if he finds the charge insufficient in form or substance, or without any ground. Or, he may
proceed with the investigation if the complaint in his view is sufficient and in proper form.

The decision whether to dismiss a complaint or not, is dependent upon the sound discretion of the prosecuting fiscal and,
ultimately, that of the SoJ. Findings of the SoJ are not subject to review unless made with grave abuse of discretion.

Secretary of Justice would be committing a serious dereliction of duty if he orders or sanctions the filing of an information based upon a
complaint where he is not convinced that the evidence warrants the filing of the action in court. In the interest of justice, procedural
rules of the most mandatory character in terms of compliance may be relaxed.

On alleged forum shopping

The essence of forum shopping is the filing of multiple suits involving the same parties for the same cause of action, either simultaneously
or successively, for the purpose of obtaining a favorable judgment, through means other than by appeal or certiorari. The rule thus does
not apply to cases that arise from an initiatory or original action which has been elevated by way of appeal or certiorari to higher or
appellate courts or authorities. This is so not only because the issues in the appellate courts necessarily differ from those in the lower
court, but also because the appealed cases are a continuation of the original case and treated as only one case.

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