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Complaint/Information

1. A complaint was filed by the offended party against three persons for homicide in the MTC. The fiscal
filed with the Municipal Court a motion to discharge one of the defendants to be utilized as witness in the
preliminary investigation and at the trial of the case on the merits.
As the Municipal Trial Judge, rule on the motion with reasons. (1988, #18)

Answer:
No, because the Municipal Trial Judge may only conduct a preliminary investigation of the
homicide case. Such a motion to discharge one of the defendants to be utilized as a witness for the
prosecution may be acted upon only by the court having jurisdiction to try the case on the merits.

The accused moved for postponement of his scheduled arraignment for the reasons that he
had filed with the Fiscal’s Office a request for reinvestigation. The Fiscal confirmed the
averment of the accused and did not object to the motion for postponement. The RTC
granted the motion and reset the arraignment a month later.
When the new date of arraignment came, the accused again moved for
postponement, informing the court that while he had completed the presentation of
evidence at the reinvestigation, the Fiscal had not yet issued a resolution.
May the judge properly deny the motion, have the accused arraigned and, should he
refuse to plead, enter a plea of not guilty for him? Explain.(1984, #12)
Answer:
No. A reinvestigation, when allowed by the fiscal, becomes an essential part of the
preliminary investigation and thus entitles the accused to the reinvestigating fiscal’s
determination, by resolution to be issued by the fiscal, of the issues of whether or not a
crime has been committed and whether or not the accused is probably guilty thereof. For the
judge to compel the accused to submit to arraignment when the fiscal has not resolved the
reinvestigation would, consequently deprive the accused of his statutory right to a
preliminary investigation. For the judge to enter a plea of not guilty for the accused under
the above circumstances would be premature and whimsical, for the defendant’s refusal to
plead is, as above explained, justified by the pending unresolved reinvestigation.
Another Answer:
No. After the RTC granted the motion of the accused for the postponement of his
scheduled arraignment on the ground of the reinvestigation of his case, it became
incumbent upon the court to hold in abeyance the arraignment of the case until the fiscal
had conducted and made his report on the result of such reinvestigation. There was no dealy
on the part of the accused since he had completed the presentation of evidence at the
reinvestigation, but the fiscal had not yet issued a resolution.

After preliminary investigation, a case of less serious physical injuries was filed against BC.
Despite the filing of the Information, however, Judge Cruz refused to issue the warrant for
BC’s arrest and instead ordered the fiscal to present his evidence just so he could determine
whether or not probable cause exists pursuant to the constitutional requirement on the
matter. The fiscal refused, contending that the mere filing of the case after preliminary
investigation attests to the existence of probable cause. In view of the fiscal’s refusal, the
judge dismissed the case.
a) Is the dismissal in order? Discuss.
b) Had not Judge Cruz issued the order of dismissal, how may he compel the fiscal to
comply with his order to produce evidence? Explain. (1985, #7)
Answer:
a) Yes. Judge Cruz could rely upon the fiscal’s certification of the existence of
probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest. But he could disregard
the fiscal’s certification and require the fiscal to present evidence whether or not probable
cause exists pursuant to the constitutional requirement on the matter. If the fiscal refuses to
comply with said order, then the judge could dismiss the case for lack of prosecution.
b) Had not Judge Cruz issued the order of dismissal, he could have just refused to
issue the warrant for BC’s arrest.