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PRELIMINARY CHAPTER

Resort is made to secret inquiry to discover the culprit and "Criminal due process requires that the accused must be proceeded
INTRODUCTION violence and torture were often employed to extract a against under the orderly processes of law. In all criminal cases, the judge
should follow the step-by-step procedure required by the rules.
confession.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE The reason for this is to assure that the State makes no mistake in taking
The Judge was not limited to the evidence brought before the life or liberty except that of the guilty."
Criminal Procedure is the method prescribed by law for the him but could proceed with his own inquiry which was not
apprehension and prosecution of persons accused of any criminal confrontative. CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF COURTS
offense, and for their punishment, in case of conviction.
2. Accusatorial. — The accusation is exercised by every "CRIMINAL JURISDICTION"
Criminal procedure is concerned with the procedural steps citizen or by a member of the group to which the injured
through which a criminal case passes, commencing with the party belongs. is the authority to hear and try a particular offense and impose
initial investigation of a crime and concluding with the the punishment for it.
unconditional release of the offender. As the action is a combat between the parties, the supposed The general rule is that the jurisdiction of a court is determined
offender has the right to be confronted by his accuser. by:
It is a generic term used to describe the network of laws and
rules which govern the procedural administration of criminal The battle in the form of a public trial is judged by a (1) the geographical limits of the territory over which it
justice, e.g., laws and court rules (e.g.. Rules of Criminal magistrate who renders the verdict. presides, and
Procedure) governing arrest, search and seizure, bail, etc.
3. The Mixed System. — This is a combination of the (2) the actions (civil and criminal), it is empowered to hear
SOURCES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE inquisitorial and the accusatorial systems. and decide.
ELEMENTS OF JURISDICTION IN CRIMINAL CASES
1. The Spanish Law of Criminal Procedure. Thus, the examination of defendants and other persons
2. General Orders No. 58, dated April 23, 1900. before the filing of the complaint or information may be The elements of jurisdiction of a trial court over the subject
3. Amendatory Acts passed by the Philippine Commission. inquisitorial. matter in a criminal case are:
4. The various quasi acts, the Philippine Bill of 1902, the Jones This is particularly true in the Preliminary examination, for
Law of 1916, the Tydings-McDuffie Law and the Constitution the purpose of issuing a warrant of arrest. a. The nature of the offense and/or penalty attached thereto;
of the Philippines. and
5. The Rules of Court of 1940 and the 1964, 1985 and 1988 Under the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, a criminal
Rules on Criminal Procedure. action may be instituted by complaint of the offended party b. The fact that the offense has been committed within the
6. Various Republic Acts, e.g., R.A. No. 240; New Rule 127, or by information filed by the Fiscal and once the criminal territorial jurisdiction of the court.
providing for attachment; R.A. No. 296, Judiciary Act of action is filed in court, the accused has the right to confront
1948 denning criminal jurisdiction, and B.P. Big. 129 as and cross-examine his accuser. The non-concurrence of either of these two elements may be
amended by R.A. No. 7691; R.A. No. 8249, Creating the challenged by an accused at any stage of the proceedings in the
Sandiganbayan; R.A. No. 8349, The Speedy Trial Act of It has, however, been held that: court below or on appeal.
1998.
7. Presidential Decrees, e.g., P.D. No. 911; R.A. No. 732, regu- "As a general rule, a court proceeding in our judicial set-up is Failing in one of them, a judgment of conviction is null and void.
lating the authority of Prosecuting Fiscals to Conduct accusatorial or adversary and not inquisitorial in nature. It contem-
plates two contending parties before the court which hears them
Preliminary Investigation. REQUISITES FOR VALID EXERCISE OF CRIMINAL
impartially and renders judgment only after trial."4
8. Constitution — Rights of an Accused under Article III. JURISDICTION
9. The Civil Code. (Arts. 32, 33 and 34)
IMPORTANCE OF DUE PROCESS IN CRIMINAL CASES
10. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting our laws which Three important requisites must be present before a court can
form part of our legal system. validly exercise its power to hear and try a case:
"All trial courts, the Sandiganbayan included, are reminded that
11. R.A. No. 8493, The Speedy Trial Act of 1998.
they should take all the necessary measures guaranteeing
12. Circulars. a. It must have jurisdiction over the subject matter;
procedural due process from the inception of custodial
13. The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. b. It must have jurisdiction over the territory where the
investigation up to rendition of judgment.
offense was committed;
THREE SYSTEMS OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE c. It must have jurisdiction over the person of the accused.
They are not to turn a blind eye to procedural irregularities
which transpired before the criminal case reached the court.
1. Inquisitorial. — The detection and prosecution of offenders JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER is the power to
are not left to the initiative of private parties but to the hear and determine cases of the general class to which the
The validity and sufficiency of the information are important."
officials and agents of the law.
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proceedings in question belong.8 case allegedly committed by public officers who at the time of the filing of otherwise.
the information falls below Grade 27. Jurisdiction over criminal cases cannot be conferred by
JURISDICTION IS CONFERRED BY LAW consent.
JURISDICTION DETERMINED BY ALLEGATIONS OF Even if a party fails to file a motion to quash, he may still
The Philippine Courts have no common law jurisdiction or power, COMPLAINT question the jurisdiction of the court later on.
but only those expressly conferred by the Constitution and
statutes and those necessarily implied to make the express The averments in the complaint or information characterizes the Moreover, these objections may be raised or considered
powers effective. crime to be prosecuted and the court before which it must be motu proprio by the court at any stage of the proceedings or
STATUTE IN FORCE AT COMMENCEMENT OF ACTIONS tried. on appeal.
DETERMINES JURISDICTION In order to determine the jurisdiction of the court in criminal
cases, the complaint must be examined for the purpose of e. If under the law the court has no jurisdiction over the
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the statute ascertaining whether or not the facts set out therein and the subject matter, it cannot take cognizance of the case,
in force at the time of the commencement of the action and not punishment provided for by law for such facts fall within the notwithstanding the silence or acquiescence of the accused.
at the time of its commission even if the penalty that may be jurisdiction of the court where the complaint is filed.
imposed at the time of its commission is less and does not fall The exception is when there is estoppel by laches to bar
under the court's jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of courts in criminal cases is determined by the attacks on jurisdiction.
allegations of the complaint or information and not by the
Jurisdiction is conferred only by the Constitution or by-law. findings the court may make after the trial. f. Estoppel by Laches to Question Jurisdiction in Criminal
Cases
It cannot be fixed by the will of the parties nor can it be acquired PRINCIPLES OF JURISDICTION
or diminished by any act of the parties. Generally, the doctrine of estoppel does not apply as against
a. The general rule is that the jurisdiction of a court is the people in criminal prosecutions.
In determining whether a case lies within or outside the determined by: (1) the geographical limits of the territory The principle, however, earlier laid down in the case of
jurisdiction of a court, reference to the applicable statute on the over which it presides, and (2) the action (civil and criminal) Tijam v. Sibonghanoy2'' which bars a party from attacking
matter is indispensable. it is empowered to hear and decide. the jurisdiction of the court by reason of estoppel by laches
have been extended to criminal cases.
It is a settled rule that jurisdiction of a court is determined by b. As the question of jurisdiction is always of importance, if the See, however, Fuzume v. Court of'Appeals, holding that
the statute in force at the time of commencement of action. prosecution fails to prove that fact, the court may always accused or the court may motu proprio raise lack of
permit it to present additional evidence to show the fact that jurisdiction over the subject matter in a criminal case for the
The principle, however, is different, where jurisdiction is the crime was committed within its jurisdiction. first time on Appeal.
dependent on the nature of the position of the accused at the
time of the commission of the offense. c. The filing of a complaint or information in Court initiates a Immunity from suit is a jurisdictional question.
criminal action.
In Subido v. Sandiganbayan, jurisdiction was determined by the position g. Principle that there is no estoppel against State
of the accused at the time of the commission of the offense. The Court thereby acquires jurisdiction over the case, which
is the authority to hear and determine the case. The settled rule is that the State is not estopped by the
The crime of arbitrary detention was allegedly committed on June 25,
1992 when accused was a Commissioner of the BID. R.A. No. 7975 took
mistakes of its officers and employees. Indeed, in Cruz, Jr.
When after the filing of the complaint or information a v. Court of Appeals, the Court declared:
effect on May 6,1995 vesting the Sandiganbayan with exclusive
jurisdiction for crimes committed by public officers corresponding to Grade
warrant for the arrest of the accused is issued by the trial
27. court and the accused either voluntarily submitted himself . . . Estoppel does not lie against the government because of the
to the Court or was duly arrested, the Court thereby supposedly mistaken acts or omissions of its agents.
The information was filed on 28 July 1995 when accused was already a acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accused.
private citizen. He claimed that under the law at the time of the As we declared in People v. Castaneda, "there is the long familiar
commencement of the action, the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over rule that erroneous application and enforcement of the law by public
d. Lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of an action is
him for the offense charged. officers do not block subsequent correct application of the statute
fatal and an objection based upon this ground may be and that the government is never estopped by mistake or error on
HELD: Republic Act No. 7975 (amended by R.A. No. 8249) as regards the interposed at any stage of the proceedings. the part of its agents."
Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction, mode of appeal and other proce- dural
matters, was held as a procedural law and may validly be given Jurisdiction is conferred only by the sovereign authority The Court also held in Chua v. Court of Appeals:
retroactive effect, there being no impairment of contractual or vested which organizes the courts.
rights. . . . While ordinarily, certiorari is unavailing where the appeal period
When jurisdiction over an offense has not been conferred by has lapsed, there are exceptions. Among them are:
It was held that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over an anti-graft
law, the accused cannot confer it by express waiver or

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(a) when public welfare and the advancement of public policy officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof a criminal action is brought in the name of the City of Manila
dictates; shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, metropolitan instead of the united States.
(b) when the broader interest of justice so requires; trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court,
(c) when the writs issued are null and void; or
as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as The fact constitutes a mere defect or error curable at any
(d) when the questioned order amounts to an oppressive exercise
provided in Batas Pambansa Big. 129, as amended, was applied stage of the action, it does not deprive the court of the
of judicial authority... .
to the pending criminal case in the Sandiganbayan. power to pronounce a valid judgment and impose a valid
sentence, and it cannot be made the basis of a writ of
h. A conviction or acquittal before a court having no
The previous law vests jurisdiction in the RTC where none of the habeas corpus
jurisdiction is, like all proceedings in the case, absolutely
principal accused are occupying positions corresponding to
void, and is therefore no bar to subsequent indictment and
Salary Grade 27. e. The court having jurisdiction of the offense has also
trial in a court which has jurisdiction of the offense.
jurisdiction to determine the disposition of the instrument
ADHERENCE OF JURISDICTION
The term "principal" was deleted so that under the amendment, used in the commission of the crime.
if an accomplice belongs to Salary Grade 27, then jurisdiction is
Once jurisdiction is vested in the court, it is retained up to the
with the Sandiganbayan even if none of the principals belong to As an accessory penalty, the instrument used in the
end of the litigation.
a lower salary grade. The amendment was applied retroactively. commission of the offense shall be forfeited unless it
Ordinarily, jurisdiction once acquired is not affected by
belongs to a third person who is not liable for the offense
subsequent legislative enactment placing jurisdiction in another
JURISDICTION OVER OFFENSE which the instrument was used to commit.
tribunal.
a. In criminal cases, the court must examine the complaint for It is the duty of the court therefore to dispose of the same
It remains with the court until the case is finally terminated.
the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the facts set out upon the application of any person interested.
Thus, it has been held that the Sandiganbayan or the courts as
and the punishment provided by law for such act, fall within
the case may be, cannot be divested of jurisdiction over cases
the jurisdiction of the court. The person to whom the instrument belongs has a right to
filed before them by reason ofR.A. No. 7975.
take his proceeding to the court having jurisdiction of the
If the criminal act charged is punished by law with a penalty offense for the purpose of having his rights in the premises
They retain their jurisdiction until the end of the litigation.
which pertains to the jurisdiction of the court, it falls under determined.
the original jurisdiction thereof, although the penalty it may
EXCEPTION TO PRINCIPLE OF ADHERENCE
have to impose in accordance with the evidence is below f. Where a court is given jurisdiction over a specific class of
that which falls under its jurisdiction. crimes, that jurisdiction will continue whether that class be
Where, however, the subsequent statute expressly provides, or
enlarged or diminished or whether the penalty for a violation
is construed to the effect that it is applicable to operate as to
b. Where a complaint is presented in court charging the be increased or diminished.
actions pending before its enactment.
defendant with murder, at the close of the trial, the court
finds that the crime committed was assault and battery g. Where the military authorities had jurisdiction over the
Where a statute changing the jurisdiction of a court has no
only. person of a military officer at the time of the alleged
retroactive effect, it cannot be applied to a case that was
offenses, the jurisdiction having been vested, it is retained
pending prior to the enactment of the statute.
Justices of the peace have original jurisdiction over the up to the end of the proceedings.
offense of assault and battery, the complaint, however,
R.A. No. 7975 by virtue of Section 7 belongs to the exception
gave the Court of First Instance jurisdiction over the alleged Jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of
rather than a rule.
crime. the parties but continues until the case is terminated.
The provision is transitory in nature and expresses the
It retains jurisdiction for the purpose of imposing the h. Subject matter of jurisdiction in criminal cases is determined
legislature's intention to apply its provisions on jurisdiction to
penalty provided for by law for the crime proved to have by the authority of the court to impose the penalty
criminal cases in which trial has not began in the
been committed. imposable under the applicable statute given the allegation
Sandiganbayan. To this extent R.A. No. 7975 is retroactive.
of a criminal information.
In another case, the court held that although the Sandiganbayan
c. Where the court has jurisdiction of the subject matter and
has jurisdiction at the time the charge was filed, it lost
the person of the accused, it is not necessary, in order to In People v. Purisima, the Court stressed that:
jurisdiction upon the enactment of R.A. No. 7975 because he
maintain that jurisdiction, to decide the case correctly.
falls below the rank of full colonel, and trial has not yet begun.
"x x x. In criminal prosecutions, it is settled that the jurisdiction of
The Court has jurisdiction to decide wrongly as well as the court is not determined by what may be meted out to the
In Lacson v. Executive Secretary, the amendment in R.A. No. offender after trial, or even by the result of the evidence that would
rightly.
8249 that in cases where none of the accused are occupying be presented at the trial, but by the extent of the penalty which the
positions corresponding to Salary Grade "27" or higher, as law imposes for the misdemeanor, crime or violation charged in the
d. It is not a jurisdictional defect and one which deprives the complaint.
prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military and PNP
court of its authority to try, convict and pass sentence, that
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If the facts recited in the complaint and the punishment provided for answer for any crime committed by him except in the jurisdiction the time of cohabitation, assigned as error as the conviction
by law are sufficient to show that the court in which the complaint is where it was committed. thereon amounted to a conviction without informing the
presented has jurisdiction, that court must assume jurisdiction defendants of the nature and character of the offense, and
Said rule is- based on the legal provision which prescribes the besides equivalent to a conviction without due process of law.
The same rule was set forth and amplified in People v. essential requisites of a good complaint or information, one of
Buissan in the following terms: which is the allegation that the crime was committed within the No such question having been raised before final judgment in the
jurisdiction of the court where the complaint or information is trial court, but every ingredient of the crime having been
xxx [i]n criminal prosecutions, jurisdiction of the court is not
determined by what may be meted out to the offender after trialor
filed and that said court has authority to try it. established in the evidence, there was no error committed upon
even by the result of the evidence that would be presented during As was said in the case of United States v. Cunanan, the which to base a reversal of conviction.
the trial but by the extent of the penalty which the law imposes, jurisdiction of the Courts of First Instance of the Philippine
together with other legal obligations, on the basis of the facts as Islands, in criminal cases is limited to certain well-defined ACTION BY COURT WHERE IT HAS NO JURISDICTION
recited in the complaint or information constitutive of the offense territory, so that they can not take jurisdiction of persons
charged, for once jurisdiction is acquired by the court in which the charged with an offense alleged to have been committed outside When the record discloses that the crime as alleged in the
information is filed, it is retained regardless of whether or not the
of that limited territory. complaint was not committed in the province wherein the trial
evidence proves a lesser offense than that charged in the
information. was had, and the accused was not arrested in that province and
Jurisdiction of the Courts in criminal cases rests upon a different defendant had not fled therefrom, the Court of First Instance of
Thus, it may be that after trial, a penalty lesser than the footing from that in civil cases. that province has no jurisdiction to impose sentence.
maximum imposable under the statute is proper under the
specific facts and circumstances proven at the trial. In criminal cases, the people of the State is a party. In such cases, if the court has reasonable ground to believe that
the crime has been committed, the accused should be remanded
In such a case, that lesser penalty may be imposed by the The interests of the public require that, to secure the best results to the court of proper jurisdiction for trial.
trial court (provided it has subject-matter jurisdiction under and effects in the punishment of crime, it is necessary to It has been held that where the court has no jurisdiction at the
the rule above referred to) even if the reduced penalty prosecute and punish the criminal in the very place, as near as time of the filing of the complaint, instead of ordering the
otherwise falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of an inferior may be, where he committed his crime. transfer, the court should dismiss the case.
court.
As a result, it has been the uniform legislation, both in statutes However, in Republic v. Asuncion, and Cunanan v. Arcco, the
TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION and in constitution, that the venue of a criminal action must be Court sanctioned the transfer of the cases from the RTC for lack
laid in the place where the crime was committed. of jurisdiction to the Sandiganbayan, while in Lacson v. The
It is a fundamental rule that for jurisdiction to be acquired by Executive Secretary, the Court (en bane) ordered the transfer of
courts in criminal cases, the offense should have been While the laws here do not specifically and in terms require it, it the cases from the Sandiganbayan for lack of jurisdiction to the
committed or any one of its essential ingredients took place is the established custom and the uniform holding that criminal Regional Trial Court of Quezon City which has exclusive original
within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. prosecutions must be brought and conducted, except in cases jurisdiction over said cases.
especially provided by law, in the province where the crime is
Territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases is the territory where the committed. In Cuyco u. Sandiganbayan, the court ordered the
court has jurisdiction to take cognizance or to try the offense Sandiganbayan to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction, but
allegedly committed by the accused. Judicial divisions or districts (now regions) are always fixed by informed the Ombudsman that it may re-file the cases with the
law so that any changes or alterations of the same can only be court of proper jurisdiction, the RTC of Zamboanga City.
Thus, it cannot take jurisdiction over a person charged with an effected by express legislation and not by mere inference or
offense allegedly committed outside of that limited territory. deduction. In his concurring opinion, Chief Justice Davide, Jr., asked to
REFER the case to the RTC instead of dismissing the cases.
Furthermore, the jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is Proceedings in a criminal case before a judge acting without
determined by the allegations in the complaint or information. jurisdiction are void, but this fact will not preclude the filing of a It is believed that under its supervisory authority, the Supreme
new complaint upon the dismissal of the former proceeding. Court and even the Court of Appeals may properly refer the case
And once it is so shown, the court may validly take cognizance of to the court of proper jurisdiction.
the case. WHEN PLACE OF CRIME NOT ALLEGED
Courts of the first and second level is without authority to order
However, if the evidence adduced during the trial show that the Where the place of the commission of the offense was not the transfer.
offense was committed somewhere else, the court should specifically charged, the place may be shown by the evidence.
dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction. If the said courts believe that it has no jurisdiction over the
Thus, the insufficiency of the complaint charging adultery subject matter, its jurisdiction is limited to simply dismissing the
In criminal proceedings, the rule is that one can not be held to without stating the place where the acts of adultery were case.
committed, or that the accused knew the woman was married at
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JURISDICTION OF MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN of the amount of the fine. 354, R.P.C.) Article 360, however, of the same code as
CRIMINAL CASES amended, provides that the criminal and civil action for
As a consequence, the Regional Trial Courts have no more damages in cases of written defamation shall be filed in
Republic Act No. 7691 which took effect on April 15, 1994 original jurisdiction over offenses committed by public the Court of First Instance, etc."
amended B.P. Big. 129, otherwise known as "The Judiciary officers and employees in relation to their office, where the
Reorganization Act of 1980" by Expanding the Jurisdiction of the offense is punishable by more than four (4) years and two 2) Jurisdiction over Election Offenses
aforementioned courts as follows: (2) months up to six (6) years.
SEC. 268. Jurisdiction of courts. — The regional trial court shall have the
Exclusive Original Jurisdiction (4) The provisions of Section 32(2) of B.P. Big. 129, as exclusive original jurisdiction to try and decide any criminal action or
proceedings for violation of this Code, except those relating to the offense
amended by R.A. No. 7691, apply only to offenses
of failure to register or failure to vote which shall be under the jurisdiction
xxx SEC. 2. Section 32 of the same law is hereby amended to punishable by imprisonment or fine, or both, in which cases of the metropolitan or municipal trial courts.
read as follows: the amount of the fine is disregarded in determining the
jurisdiction of the court. From the decision of the courts, appeal will lie as in other criminal cases.
"SEC. 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial
Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Criminal Cases. — However, in cases where the only penalty provided by law is 3) ARTICLE X — Jurisdiction Over Dangerous Drugs Cases
Except in cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the a fine, the amount thereof shall determine the jurisdiction of
Regional Trial Court and of the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial
Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall
the court in accordance with the original provisions of SEC. 39. Jurisdiction. — The Court of First Instance, Circuit Criminal
Section 32(2) of B.P. Big. 129 which fixed the original Court, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court shall have concurrent
exercise:
exclusive jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, original jurisdiction over all cases involving offenses punishable under this
Act:
(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of city or municipal Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
ordinances committed within their respective territorial jurisdiction; and over offenses punishable with a fine of not more than Four Provided, That in cities or provinces where there are .Juvenile and
thousand pesos. Domestic Relations Courts, the said courts shall take exclusive cognizance
(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with of cases where the offenders are under sixteen years of age.
imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of
If the amount of the fine exceeds Four thousand pesos, the
fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties,
including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated Regional Trial Courts shall have jurisdiction, including 4) Cases which falls under the original and exclusive
thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value or amount thereof: offenses committed by public officers and employees in jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan regardless of the
relation to their office, where the amount of the fine does imposable penalty.
Provided, however. That in offenses involving damage to property through not exceed Six thousand pesos.
criminal negligence, they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction Thus, the aforementioned exception refers not only to
thereof." However, this rule does not apply to offenses involving Section 20 ofB.P. Big. 129 providing for the jurisdiction of
damage to property through criminal negligence which are Regional Trial Courts in criminal cases, but also to other
Interpreting the foregoing law, the Supreme Court issued under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Metropolitan laws which specifically lodged in Regional Trial Courts'
Administrative Circular 09-94 as follows: Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit exclusive jurisdiction over specific criminal cases, e.g.,
Trial Courts, irrespective of the amount of the imposable
Subject: Guidelines in the implementation of Republic Act No. 7691,
fine." (a) Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by
Entitled "An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial
Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, Amending R.A. Nos. 1289 and 4363 on written defamation or libel;
For the Purpose Batas Pambansa Big. 129, otherwise known as the The opening Paragraph of Section 32 excepts cases falling (b) Decree on Intellectual Property (P.D. No. 49, as
Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980." within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional Trial amended), which vests upon Courts of First Instance
Court and of the Sandiganbayan — from the expanded exclusive jurisdiction over the cases therein mentioned
For the guidance of the Bench and the Bar, the following jurisdiction of the aforementioned courts even if the offense regardless of the imposable penalty; and
guidelines are to be followed in the implementation of Republic is punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) (c) more appropriately, Section 39 of R.A. No. 6425, as
Act No. 7691, entitled "An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the years. amended by P.D. No. 44, which vests on Courts of First
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Instance, Circuit Criminal Courts, and the Juvenile and
Circuit Trial Courts, Amending for the Purpose Batas Pambansa In other words, where jurisdiction is determined by the Domestic Relations Courts concurrent exclusive original
Big. 129, otherwise known as the 'Judiciary Reorganization Act of nature of the offense and not by the penalty, jurisdiction jurisdiction over all cases involving violations of said
1980'": should remain in the Regional Trial Court or the Act.
Sandiganbayan.
(3) The criminal jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, 5) Cases which fall under the original and exclusive jurisdiction
Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts For example: of Family Courts under Republic Act No. 8369 known as the
under Section 32(2) ofB.P. Big. 129, as amended by R.A. Family Courts Act of 1997.
No. 7691, has been increased to cover offenses punishable 1) Libel is punishable by prision corrreccional in its
with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective minimum and maximum period or fine or bail. (Article
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CIVIL LIABILITY IRRESPECTIVE OF KIND OR NATURE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8249
JURISDICTION OVER COMPLEX CRIMES
Where the offense charged is within its exclusive competence by The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan under Presidential Decree
reason of the penalty prescribed therefor, an inferior court shall Jurisdiction over the whole complex crime must logically be No. 1606, as amended by Executive Order No. 184, has been
have jurisdiction to try and decide the case irrespective of the lodged with the trial court having jurisdiction to impose the changed by REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8249 — "AN ACT TO
kind and nature of the civil liability arising from the said offense. maximum and most serious penalty imposable on an offense STRENGTHEN THE FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL
forming part of the complex crime. ORGANIZATION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN, AMENDING FOR
The jurisdiction of the court is also determined by the amount of THAT PURPOSE PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1606."
the fine and imprisonment. A complex crime must be prosecuted integrally, as it were, and
not split into its component offenses and the latter made the Jurisdiction. — The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive
But an indemnification or a reparation or a restitution is merely subject of multiple informations possibly brought in different original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
an incident of the crime. courts.
"a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise
The jurisdiction of the courts is not fixed by the incident but by ORIGINAL AND EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF FAMILY known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic
the nature of the crime itself. COURTS Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of
the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused
Legally speaking, the nature of the crime is determined by the Republic Act No. 8369 established Family Courts granting them are officials occupying the following positions in the
punishment imposed. exclusive original jurisdiction over child and family cases government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim
namely: capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense:
Thus, it has been held that the jurisdiction of courts of justice of
the peace over crimes is determined exclusively by the amount a. Criminal case where one or more of the accused is below eighteen (I) Official of the executive branch occupying the positions
of the fine and imprisonment imposed by the law, that is by the (18) years of age but not less than nine (9) years of age, or where one or of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as
more of the victim is a minor at the time of the commission of the
legal nature of the crime, and in no matter and to no extent Grade '27' and higher, of the Compensation and
offense;
whatever by the civil incidents which accrue to the person Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No.
injured by the commission of said crime. Provided, That if the minor is found guilty, the court shall promulgate 6758), specifically including:
Thus, an inferior court has jurisdiction over a case of simple sentence and ascertain any civil liability which the accused may have
seduction defined and penalized under Article 338 of the Revised incurred. "(a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of
Penal Code, as amended, with arresto mayor, regardless of the the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial
civil liability that may be imposed under Article 345 of the same The sentence, however, shall be suspended without need of application treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other
pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 603, otherwise known as the "Child
code. This supersedes U.S. v. Barredo. provincial department heads;
and Youth Welfare Code."

Other Imposable Penalties — The additional penalty for i. Cases against minors cognizable under the Dangerous Drugs Acts, as "(b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the
habitual delinquency is not considered in determining which amended; sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers,
court shall have jurisdiction over a criminal case because such assessors, engineers, and other city department
delinquency is not a crime. j. Violations of Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise known as the "Special heads;
Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and
Discrimination Act," as amended by Republic Act No. 7658; and
"(c) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the
SPECIAL JURISDICTION IN CERTAIN CASES k) Cases of domestic violence against: position of consul and higher;

In the absence of all the Regional Trial Judges in a province or 1) Women — which are acts of gender based violence that result, "(d) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval
city, any Metropolitan Trial Judge, Municipal Trial Judge, or are likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm captains, and all officers of higher rank;
Municipal Circuit Trial Judge may hear and decide petitions for a or suffering to women; and other forms of physical abuses
writ of habeas corpus or application for bail in criminal cases in battering or threats and coercion which violates a woman's "(e) Officers of the Philippine National Police while
personhood, integrity and freedom of movement; and
the province or city where the absent Regional Trial Judges sit. occupying the position of provincial director and
CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS 2) Children — which include the commission of all forms of abuse, those holding the rank of senior superintendent or
neglect, cruelty, exploitation, violence, and discrimination and higher;
Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction all other conditions prejudicial to their development.
in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any "(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants,
court, tribunal or body, except those now falling under the If an act constitutes a criminal offense, the accused or batterer shall and official and prosecutors in the Office of the
exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan be subject to criminal proceedings and the corresponding penalties. Ombudsman and special prosecutor; and
which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance by the
latter. JURISDICTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN CHANGED BY "(g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of
6
government-owned or -controlled corporations, non before the Sandiganbayan can validly take cognizance of the
state universities or educational institutions or Provided, That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not case.
foundations; be exclusive of the Supreme Court.
DETERMINATION OF JURISDICTION
"(2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as "In case private individuals are charged as co-principals,
Grade '2' and up under the Compensation and Position accomplices or accessories with the public officers or Republic Act No. 8249 collated the provisions on the exclusive
Classification Act of 1989; employees including those employed in government-owned jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
or -controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with
"(3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the said public officers and employees in the proper courts Its original jurisdiction as a trial court was made to depend not
provisions of the Constitution; which shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over them." on the penalty imposed by the law on crimes and offenses within
its jurisdiction but on the rank and salary grade of the acused
"(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, CONSEQUENCE OF AMENDMENTS government officials and employees.
without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; To determine the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in cases
and As a consequence of these amendments, the Sandiganbayan involving violations of Rep. Act No. 3019, the reckoning period is
partly lost its exclusive original jurisdiction in cases involving: the time of the commission if the offense.
"(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade
'27' and higher under the Compensation and Position a. Violations of R.A. No. 3019; Includes officials specifically mentioned even if below
Classification Act of 1989. b. R.A. No. 1379; and Grade 27
c. Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code.
"b. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with (Article 210, Direct Bribery; Article 211, Indirect Bribery; The specific inclusion of the officials from (a) to (g) constitutes
other crimes committed by the public officials and andArticle 212, Corruption of Public Officials). an exception to the general qualification relating to officials of
employees mentioned in subsection (a) of this section in the executive branch as "occupying the positions of regional
relation to their office. The Sandiganbayan retains jurisdiction only in cases where the director and higher, otherwise classified as grade 27 and higher,
accused are those enumerated in subsection (a) Section 4 above of the Compensation and Classification Act of 1989.
"c. Civil and criminal case filed pursuant to and in connection and, generally, national and local officials classified as Grade
with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in "27" and higher under the Compensation and Position In other words, violation of Rep. Act No. 3019 committed by
1986. Classification Act of 1989. officials specifically enumerated in (a) to (g) regardless of their
Moreover, its jurisdiction over other offenses or felonies salary grade.
“In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions committed by public officials and employees in relation to their
corresponding to Salary Grade '27' or higher, as prescribed office is no longer determined by the prescribed penalty, viz., All other officials below grade 27 shall be under the jurisdiction
in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military and PNP that which is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment of the proper trial courts.
officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction for six years or a fine ofP6,000.00; it is enough that they are
thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, committed by those public officials and employees enumerated PURPOSES OF DETERMINING THE GOVERNMENT
metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal in subsection a, Section 4 above. OFFICIALS THAT FALL WITHIN THE ORIGINAL
circuit trial court, as the case may be, pursuant to their JURISDICTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN IN CASES
respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Big. However, it retains its exclusive original jurisdiction over civil INVOLVING VIOLATIONS OF REP. ACT NO. 3019 AND
129, as amended. and criminal cases filed pursuant to or in connection with E.O. CHAPTER II, SECTION 2, TITLE VII OF THE REVISED
No. I. PENAL CODE — BRIBERY (ART. 210), INDIRECT BRIBERY
"The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate (ART. 211) AND CORRUPTION OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS
jurisdiction over final judgments, resolutions or orders of JURISDICTION OF SANDIGANBAYAN OVER PUBLIC (ART. 212)
regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own OFFICERS
original jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction as Rep. Act No. 7975 has grouped them into five categories, to wit:
herein provided. Prior to the amendment (R.A. No. 7975), jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan for felonies other than violation of R.A. No. 3019 (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of
"The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade
over petitions for the issuance of the writs of mandamus, Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, 27 and higher;
prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunctions, and other Title VII of the Revised Penal Code, embrace all other offenses
ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate provided, the offense was committed in relation to public office (2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as
jurisdiction and over petitions of similar nature, including and the prescribed penalty is more than six years. Grade "27" and up under the Compensation and Position
quo warranto, arising or that may arise in cases filed or Classification Act of 1989;
which be filed under Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14- Under the present law, both the nature of the offense and the
A, issued in 1986: positions occupied by the accused are the conditions sine qua (3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions
7
of the Constitution; not sufficient.
Two of the felonies that belong to the first classification are
(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, malversation defined and penalized by Article 217 of the Revised a. Where the public office of the accused is by statute a
without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and Penal Code, and the illegal use of public funds or property constituent element of the crime charged, there is no need
defined and penalized by Article 220 of the same Code. for the Prosecutor to state in the Information specific factual
(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade "27" allegations of the intimacy between the office and the crime
and higher under the Compensation and Position The public office of the accused Municipal Mayor Virginio E. charged, or that the accused committed the crime in the
Classification Act of 1989. Villamor is a constituent element of malversation and illegal use performance of his duties.
of public funds or property.
The Sandiganbayan has original jurisdiction over criminal cases Thus, the public office of the accused Municipal Mayor
involving crimes and felonies under the first classification: Accused mayor's position is classified as SG 27. Since the Virginio E. Villamor is a constituent element of malversation
Amended Informations alleged that the petitioner conspired with and illegal use of public funds or property.
"a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise her co-accused, the municipal mayor, in committing the said
known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic felonies, the fact that her position as municipal accountant is b. When specific factual allegations of crime committed in
Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of classified as SG 24 and as such is not an accountable officer is of relation to public office required
the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused no moment; the Sandiganbayan still has exclusive original
are officials occupying the following positions in the jurisdiction over the cases lodged against her. These are offenses or felonies which are intimately
government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim connected with the public office and are perpetrated by the
capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense. It must be stressed that a public officer who is not in charge of public officer or employee while in the performance of his
public funds or property by virtue of her official position, or even official functions, through improper or irregular conduct.
The exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over those a private individual, may be liable for malversation or illegal use
public officers holding positions classified as Grade 27 refers of public funds or property if such public officer or private Where the office is not a constituent element of the offense
to Violations ofR.A. No. 3019, Act No. 1379 and Chapter II, individual conspires with an accountable public officer to commit charged there must be specific allegation of facts that it was
Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code malversation or illegal use of public funds or property. intimately related to the discharge of their official duties.
referring to Malfeasance and Misfeasance in office
The determinative fact is that the position of her co-accused, the The Sandiganbayan likewise has original jurisdiction over
(1) Art. 204, knowingly rendering an unjust judgment; municipal mayor, is classified as SG 27, and under the last criminal cases involving crimes or felonies committed by the
(2) Art. 205, Judgment rendered thru negligence; paragraph of Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, if the position of public officers and employees enumerated in Section (a)(l) to (5)
(3) Art. 206, Unjust Interlocutory Order; one of the principal accused is classified as SG 27, the under the second classification if the Information contains
(4) Art. 207, Malicious Delay in the administration of Sandiganbayan has original and exclusive jurisdiction over the specific factual allegations showing the intimate connection
justice; offense. between the offense charged and the public office of the
(5) Art. 208, Prosecution of offenses; negligence and accused, and the discharge of his official duties or functions —
tolerance; WHEN IS AN OFFENSE DEEMED COMMITTED IN RELATION whether improper or irregular.
(6) Art. 209, Betrayal of trust by an attorney or solicitor — TO PUBLIC OFFICE
Revelation of secrets; The requirement is not complied with if the Information merely
(7) Art. 210, Direct Bribery; The office must be a constituent element of the crime as defined alleges that the accused committed the crime charged in relation
(8) Art. 211, Indirect Bribery; in the statute. to his office because such allegation is merely a conclusion of
(9) Art. 211-A, Qualified Bribery; law.
(10)Art. 212, Corruption of public officials. The test is whether the offense cannot exist without the office.
In the absence of any allegation that the offense was committed
which does not include the crime of Rebellion or coup d'etat. DETERMINATION OF WHEN CRIME IS IN RELATION TO in relation to the office of the accused or was necessarily
With respect to other offenses or felonies whether simple or PUBLIC OFFICE connected with the discharge of their functions, the regional
complexed with other crimes committed by public officials court, not the Sandiganbayan, has jurisdiction to hear and
and employees mentioned in subsection (a) in relation to How to Determine whether information sufficiently decide the case.
their office. alleges that the crime was committed in relation to public Thus, for jurisdiction over crimes committed by public officers in
office relation to public office to fall within jurisdiction of the
In other words, the case would fall under the Sandiganbayan — the intimate relation between the offense
Sandiganbayan if the crime is committed "in relation to There are two ways of determining whether or not the infor- charged and the discharge of official duties must be alleged in
public office except the crimes of rebellion and coup d'etat. mation charges that the offense was committed in relation to the information.
public office.
Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction even if Co-Accused in There must be specific factual averments of this relation, except
Malversation below Grade 27 The statement that the "committed in relation to public office" is when the office is a constituent element of the offense charged.
8
position. Thus, in the case of Bartolome, there is no showing that the
For instance, although public office is not an element of the The difference between Montilla and Montejo is that, whereas in alleged falsification was committed by the accused, if at all,
crime of murder in abstract, where the offense therein charged the former (Montilla), the murder was committed outside office as a consequence of, and while they were discharging
in the information is intimately connected with the respective hours and for personal or political motives, the victim in the official functions.
offices of the accused and was perpetuated while they were in latter case (Montejo) was killed while he was undergoing
the performance, though irregular or improper, of their officials custodial investigation in the police substation. The information does not allege that there was an intimate
functions and had no personal motive to commit the crime and connection between the discharge of official duties and of
would not have committed it had they not held their public office The crime in Montejo would not have been committed were it not the offense.
and merely obeyed the instruc-don of their superior officer, the for the fact that the accused were actually discharging official
offense may be said to have been committed in relation to their functions at the time. The case did not come under the jurisdiction of the
office. Sandiganbayan.
As explained by the Court — Thus, the offense charged in Montejo was committed in relation
to the office of the accused because it was perpetrated while For purposes, however, of acquisition of jurisdiction by the
"In People v. Montejo, where the amended information alleged — they were in the performance, though improper or irregular of Sandiganbayan, the requirement imposed by R.A. No. 8249
their official functions and would not have been committed had that the offense be "committed in relation" to the offender's
Leroy S. Brown, City Mayor of Basilan City, as such, has organized groups they not held their office; besides, the accused had no personal office is entirely distinct from the concept of taking
of police patrol and civilian commandos consisting of regular policemen
and x x x special policemen, appointed and provided by him with pistols
motive in committing the crime; thus, there was an intimate advantage of one's position as provided under Articles 171
and high power guns and then established a camp x x x at Tipo-tipo which connection between the offense and the office of the accused. and 172 of the Revised Penal Code.
is under his command x x x supervision and control where his co-
defendants were stationed, entertained criminal complaints and conducted Upon the otherhand, although the information alleged that the 2. The crime of rape with homicide is not an offense committed
the corresponding investigations, as well as assumed the authority to principal accused committed the crime in relation to their public in relation to the office of the petitioner.
arrest and detain persons without due process of law and without bringing office, but there is no specific allegation of facts that the
them to the proper court, and that in line with this set-up established by
shooting of the victim by the said principal accused was In Montilla v. Hilario, this Court, described the "offense
said Mayor of Basilan City as such, and acting upon his orders his co-
defendants arrested and maltreated Awalin Tebag who died in intimately related to the discharge of their official duties as committed in relation to the office" as follows:
consequence thereof. police officers, or does not indicate that the said accused
arrested and investigated the victim and then killed the latter "The taking of human life is either murder or homicide whether done
while in their custody, the offense charged in the subject by a private citizen or public servant, and the penalty is the same
The court held that the offense charged was committed in
except when the perpetrator, being a public functionary, took
relation to the office of the accused because it was perpetrated criminal cases is plain murder and therefore, within the exclusive
advantage of his office, as alleged in this case, in which event the
while they were in the performance, though improper or original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court, and not the penalty is increased.
irregular of their official functions and would not have been Sandiganbayan.
committed had they not held their office, besides, the accused But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an
had no personal motive in committing the crime, thus, there was "Thus, the informations do not indicate that the accused arrested and element; and even as an aggravating circumstance, its materiality
investigated the victims and then killed the latter in the course of the arises, not from the allegations but on the proof; not from the fact
an intimate connection between the offense and the office of the
investigation but merely allege that the accused, for the purpose of that the criminals are public officials but from the manner of the
accused. extracting or extorting the sum of P353,000.00 abducted, kidnapped and cornmission of the crime.
detained the two victims, and failing in their common purpose, they shot
In the afore-cited case of People v. Montejo, it is noteworthy and killed the said victims. There is no direct relation between the commission of the crime of
that the phrase committed in relation to public office does not rape with homicide and the petitioner's office as municipal mayor
appear in the information, which only signifies that the said For the purpose of determining jurisdiction, it is these allegations that because public office is not an essential element of the crime
phrase is not what determines the jurisdiction of the shall control, and not the evidence presented by the prosecution at the charged.
trial.
Sandiganbayan.
The offense can stand independently of the office.
Consequently, for failure to show in the amended informations
What is controlling is the specific factual allegations in the Moreover, it is not even alleged in the information that the
that the charge of murder was intimately connected with the dis-
information that would indicate the close intimacy between the commission of the crime charged was intimately connected with the
charge of official functions of the accused PNP officers, the
discharge of the accused's official duties and the commission of performance of the petitioner's official functions to make it fall under
offense charged in the subject criminal cases is plain murder the exception laid down in People v. Montejo."
the offense charged, in order to qualify the crime as having been
and, therefore, within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
committed in relation to public office.
Regional Trial Court, not the Sandiganbayan. 3. Acts of Lasciviousness filed against an MTC Judge committed
Where however, from the allegations of the information, it does against Court personnel whom he is authorized to
1. Falsification of an official document is not within the recommend appointment under Supreme Court circular —
not appear that the official positions of the accused were
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan unless committed in and used his official position in committing the act
connected with the offenses charged, it cannot be said that they
relation to the public office of the public officer. complained of, the crime was held as having been
are charged of an offense committed in relation to their official
committed in relation to his office.
9
Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenses as office.
While public office is not an element of the crime of denned and penalized under P.D. No. 1829 for tampering
lasciviousness — he could not have committed the crime with the autopsy and police reports to mislead the This was a mistake that misled the prosecution in subsequent
charged were it not for the fact that as Presiding Judge of investigation of the fatal shootout of the victim. cases.
the MTCC branch, he has authority to recommend her
appointment as bookbinder. But aside from noting the absence of specific factual Thus, in Republic v. Asuncion, the information did not disclose
allegations, that the offense was committed in relation to that the offense of homicide charged against the accused who
The crime committed as alleged in the amended information public office, the court found that the preparation of police was a member of the PNP was committed in relation to the office
are intimately connected with his office. and autopsy reports and the presentation and gathering of of the accused, but the trial court, during the progress of the
evidence in the investigation of criminal cases are not trial dismissed the case without prejudice for refiling in the
A mere allegation that the crime was committed in relation among the duties and functions and the broad responsibility Sandiganbayan.
to public office is not what determines the jurisdiction of the to maintain peace and order cannot be basis for construing
Sandiganbayan. that that the criminal acts imputed to the mayor. The Supreme Court en bane speaking thru Justice Davide, Jr.,
surmised that the absence of an allegation that the crime was
What is controlling is the specific factual allegation in the Of tampering and falsifying the autopsy reports, were committed "in relation to his office" was because of the
information that would indicate the close intimacy between committed in relation to his office. erroneous doctrine in Deloso u. Domingo which conveyed the
the discharge of the accuser's official duties and the impression that this was not necessary.
commission of the of the offense charged, in order to qualify 7. Where the Informations allege that petitioner, then a "public
the crime as having been committed in relation to public officer," committed the crimes of murder and frustrated Hence, the court a quo was directed to conduct a preliminary
office. murder "in relation to his office," i.e., as "Community hearing to determine whether the crime charged was committed
Environment and Natural Resources Officer" of the DENR. by the respondents in relation to his office.
4. Where the killing committed by a PNP officer was committed
while in the course of trying to restore local public order It is apparent from this allegation that the offenses charged If it be determined in the affirmative, then it shall order the
which had been breached by a fistfight between the victim are intimately connected with petitioner's office and were transfer of the case to the Sandiganbayan which shall forthwith
and two other individuals, the killing was committed in perpetrated while he was in the performance of his official docket and proceed with the case as if the same were originally
relation to the accused's public office. functions. filed with it.

5. Where the amended information contained allegations that In its Resolution dated August 25,1992, the Sandiganbayan Otherwise, the court a quo shall proceed with the case.
the accused, petitioner took advantage of his official held that petitioner was "on duty up in order to prevent
functions as municipal mayor ofMeycauayan, Bulacan when incursions into the forest and wooded area," and that In Cunanan u. Arceo, the information for murder against a PNP
he committed the crime of grave threats as defined in petitioner, as a guard, was "precisely furnished with a contained no averment that the offense charged was in relation
Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code against complainant firearm in order to resist entry by force or intimidation." to his public office, hence, the court proceeded to trial and after
Simeon G. Legaspi, a municipal councilor; and. The Office of ooth parties have presented their evidence declared the case
the Special Prosecutor charged petitioner with aiming a gun Indeed, if petitioner was not on duty at the DENR checkpoint submitted for decision.
at and threatening to kill Legaspi during a public hearing, on January 14, 1990, he would not have had the bloody
after the latter had rendered a privilege speech critical of encounter with Mayor Cortez and his men. The trial court applied Republic v. Asuncion, and conducted a
petitioner's administration. hearing solely to ascertain if accused had committed the offense
Thus, based on the allegations in the Informations, the charged in relation to his office, and found that he did.
Clearly, based on such allegations, the crime charged is Sandiganbayan correctly assumed jurisdiction over the
intimately connected with the discharge of petitioner's cases. The trial court accordingly dismissed the case for lack of
official functions. jurisdiction for refiling with the Sandiganbayan pursuant to the
JURISDICTION NOT DETERMINED BY ALLEGATIONS "Asuncion Ruling."
If he was not the mayor, he would not have been irritated or EXPLAINED
angered by whatever private complainant might have said In a further order, the trial judge modified the dismissal by
during said privilege speech." In Republic u. Asuncion, the Court stressed that the foregoing ordering instead the transfer of the case to the Sandiganbayan.
requisites must be alleged in the information for the
Thus, based on the allegations in the information, the Sandiganbayan to have jurisdiction. The Supreme Court speaking thru the Third Division did not
Sandiganbayan correctly assumed jurisdiction over the case. consider the absence of an allegation in the information that the
It was, however, held in one case that under Section 4, P.D. No. offense was committed in relation to his office.
6. The same principles were stressed in Soller v. 1606, when the penalty prescribed by law is higher than Prision
Sandiganbayan, where the Municipal Mayor and others were Correccional, the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction, without stating The Court stated:
charged in the Sandiganbayan with Obstruction of that the offense was committed in relation to the offender's
10
It is firmly settled that jurisdiction over the offense charged is a matter On the contrary, Asuncion stressed that the public officers or This was also the ruling in Lacson v. Executive Secretary.
that is conferred by law. Whenever the above two (2) requisites are employees committed the crime in relation to their office must, It should, however, be noted that under Republic Act No. 7975,
present, jurisdiction over the offense is vested in the Sandiganbayan. however be alleged in the information for the Sandiganbayan to jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over other offenses or felonies
This is true even though the information originally Sled before the RTC did
have jurisdiction over a case under Section 4(a)(2). committed by public officials and employees in relation to their
not aver that the accused public officer public had committed the offense office is no longer determined by the prescribed penalty.
charged in relation to his office. This allegation is necessary because of the unbending rule that
jurisdiction is determined by the allegations of the information. It is enough that theyare committed by those public officials and
In other words, the absence in the old information filed before the RTC af employees enumerated in subsection a, Section 4, R.A. No.
an allegation that petitioner Cunanan has committed the offense in In the subsequent case of People v. Magallanes, where the 8249.
relation to his office is immaterial insofar as determination of the locus of
accused were charged with kidnapping for ransom with murder It is when the erring public official is not among the enumerated
jurisdiction is concerned.
wherein some of the accused were members of the PNP, the functionaries, that jurisdiction by courts other than the
Indeed, it may be recalled that bhe Asuncion ruling involved a situation information does not indicate that the accused arrested and Sandiganbayan is to be determined by the penalty prescribed by
where the information similarly did not contain an averment that the investigated the victims and then killed the latter in the course law.
accused public officer had committed the offense charged while carrying of the investigation.
out his official duties. EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF SANDIGANBAYAN OVER
The informations merely alleged that the accused, for the
It was precisely to address the situation that the Supreme Court in
purpose of extracting and extorting money, abducted, kidnapped a. PCGG
Asuncion fashioned the rule directing the conduct of a preliminary ar
separate hearing by a trial court to determine the presence or absence of and detained the two victims, and failing in their common
that jurisdictional element. purpose, they shot and killed the said victims. Under Section 2 of Executive Order No. 14, the
Sandiganbayan has exclusive and original jurisdiction over
The RTC's initial assumption of jurisdiction over the offense The Supreme Court thru the First Division speaking thru Justice all cases regarding the "funds, moneys, assets and
charged in this case did not, therefore, prevent it from Davide, Jr., also the ponente in the Asuncion case stated: "For properties illegally acquired by former President Ferdinand
subsequently declaring itself to be without jurisdiction, lack of the purpose of determining jurisdiction, it is these allegations E. Marcos x x x civil or criminal, including incidents arising
jurisdiction having become apparent from subsequent that shall control, and not the evidence presented by the from such cases.
proceedings in that case. prosecution at the trial." (Italics Supplied)
The decision of the Sandiganbayan is subject to review on
JURISDICTION MUST BE DETERMINED BY ALLEGATIONS The court held that the allegations of "taking advantage of his certiorari exclusively by the Supreme Court."
IN THE COMPLAINT position or their respective positions" incorporated in the
informations is not sufficient to bring the offenses within the In the exercise of its functions, the PCGG is a co-equal body
The foregoing pronouncements is not in accord with the well- definition of "offenses commited in relation to public office." with the Regional Trial Courts and co-equal bodies have no
settled rule that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations of power to control the other.
the complaint and not by the finding of the court after trial. In Montilla u. Hilario, such an allegation was merely considered
as an allegation of an aggravating circumstance and not as one The Regional Trial Courts and the Court of Appeals have no
The Asuncion case did not hold that the absence of an allegation that qualifies the crime as having been committed in relation to jurisdiction over the PCGG in the exercise of its powers
of the offense having been committed "in relation to his office" public office. under the applicable Executive Orders and Section 26,
as immaterial, but justified the absence thereof as having been Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution and, therefore, may
caused by the erroneous ruling in the case of Deloso v. Also, in Bartolome u. People of the Philippines, despite the not interfere with and restrain or set aside the orders and
Domingo. allegations that the accused public official committed the crime actions of the PCGG acting for and in behalf of said
of falsification of official document by "taking advantage of their Commission.
The court did not fashion the rule directing the conduct of a official positions," the court held that the Sandiganbayan had no
preliminary or separate hearing to determine the absence or jurisdiction over the case, because "the information (did) not b. Exclusive Jurisdiction over Cases Filed by PCGG
presence of that jurisdictional element. allege that there was an intimate connection between the
discharge of official duties and the commissison of the offense." The exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over civil
It did so only because of the peculiar circumstance that the and criminal cases filed by PCGG, as well as incidents arising
omission may have been due to inadvertence in view of the Accordingly, for lack of an allegation in the informations that the from, incidental or related to such cases is subject to review
misleading pronouncement in Deloso. offenses were committed in relation to the office of the accused. on certiorari exclusively by the Supreme Court.

Asuncion has not, however, departed from the rule that PNP officer or were intimately connected with the discharge of The fact of sequestration alone does not, however,
jurisdiction is to be determined by the allegations of the the functions of the accused, the subject cases come within the automatically oust the RTC of jurisdiction to decide upon the
complaint. jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court and not of the question of ownership (of the subject gaming and office
Sandiganbayan. equipment of the Philippine Casino Operators Corporation).

11
The PCGG must be a party to the suit in order that the for the recovery of ill-gotten wealth.
Sandiganbayan's exclusive jurisdiction may be correctly A rule of thumb might be thus: if the PCGG can be properly
impleaded on a cause of action asserted before this Court as a
invoked. The Court ruled that sequestered assets and corporations
distinct entity, then this Court would generally exercise jurisdiction;
are legally and technically in custodia legis, under the otherwise, it would not, because, then the 'PCGG character' of the
But where the PCGG is not a party to the case, and the administration of the PCGG. Executive Order No. 2 act or omission in question may, at best, be only incidental.
complaint is solely between PAGCOR and PCOC, the RTC has specifically prohibits the transfer, conveyance,
jurisdiction under Sec. 19 ofB.P. Big. 129 over PAGCOR's encumbrance, or otherwise depletion or concealment of After all, the presence of PCGG representatives in sequestered
action for recovery of personal property, even if said such assets and properties, under pain of penalties pre- companies does not automatically tear down the corporate veil that
property was under sequestration by the PCGG. scribed by law. distinguishes the corporation from its officers, directors or
stockholders.
Thus, an action which can result in the deterioration and
Corporate officers whether nominated by the PCGG or not act,
disappearance of the sequestered assets cannot be allowed, insofar as third parties are concerned, are (sic) corporate officers.
unless there is a final adjudication and disposition of the Contracts entered into by the San Miguel Corporation, for example,
c. Sandiganbayan jurisdiction includes all incidents issue as to whether these assets are ill-gotten or not, since in connection with its poultry operations and the cancellations
from, incidental to or related to principal causes of it may result in damage or prejudice to the Republic of the thereof, are not PCGG activities which would justify the invocation of
action Philippines. this Court's jurisdiction, even if the contract or suit were
unanimously approved by its board of directors where PCGG
representatives sit.
In subsequent cases jointly decided on August 10, 1988, the The Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction to annul a judgment of
Court pointed out that: "(the) exclusive jurisdiction partition by the RTC involving a sequestration related
This Court added:
conferred on the Sandiganbayan would evidently extend not property.
only to the principal causes of action, i.e., the recovery of
The subject matter of petitioner's proposed complaint-in-intervention
alleged ill-gotten wealth, but also to 'all incidents arising d. Jurisdiction Does Not Include Questions of Business involves basically, an interpretation of contract, i.e., whether or not
from, incidental to, or related to, such cases,' such as the Judgment the right of first refusal could and/or should have been observed.
dispute over the sale of shares, the propriety of the issuance
of ancillary writs or provisional remedies relative thereto, The Court, however, ruled that Sandiganbayan is without The question of whether or not the sequestered property was
the sequestration thereof, which may not be made the jurisdiction where the matter does not really seek to lawfully acquired by Roberto S. Benedicto has no bearing on the
subject of separate actions or proceedings in another question the propriety of the sequestration by the PCGG or legality of the termination of the management contract by NRHDC's
Board of Directors.
forum." any matter incidental to or arising out of such sequestration
but deals mainly with what is a business judgment. The two are independent and unrelated issues and resolution of
Likewise, in the case of Republic v. Sandiganbayan, the which may proceed independently of each other.
Court ruled that while the PCGG is ordinarily allowed a free The Court pointed to Holiday Inn (Phils.), Inc. u.
hand in the exercise of its administrative or executive Sandiganbayan, where the issue related to a management . . . (T)he Sandiganbayan correctly denied jurisdiction over the
function, the Sandiganbayan is empowered to determine in agreement terminated by the Board of Directors of a proposed complaint-in-intervention.
an appropriate case, if in the exercise of such functions, the sequestered corporation, 2/3 of the members of such board
PCGG has gravely abused its discretion or has overstepped being composed by PCGG nominees. The original and exclusive jurisdiction given to the Sandiganbayan
over PCGG cases pertains to (a) cases filed by the PCGG, pursuant to
the boundaries of the power conferred upon it by law. the exercise of its power under Executive Order Nos. 1, 2 and 14, as
The action for intervention was lodged with the amended by the Office of the President, and Article XVIII, Section 26
The Court stated: Sandiganbayan in the main sequestration case. of the Constitution, i.e., where the principal cause of action is the
recovery of ill-gotten wealth, as well as all incidents arising from,
Any act or order transgressing the parameter of the objectives for The petitioners in that case averred that the Sandiganbayan incidental to or related to such cases and (b) cases filed by those
which the PCGG was created, if tainted with abuse of discretion, is has jurisdiction over the action since the action to terminate who wish to question or challenge the commission's acts or orders in
subject to a remedial action by the Sandiganbayan, the court vested such cases.
the management agreement bears the imprimatur of the
with exclusive and original jurisdiction over cases involving the PCGG
including cases filed by those who challenge PCGG's acts or orders
PCGG nominees sitting at the Board, making PCGG the real
party-in-interest. JURISDICTION OVER FORFEITURE CASES
Settled is the rule that when a law confers jurisdiction upon a court,
it is deemed to have all the incidental powers necessary to render The Resolution of the Sandiganbayan, which was upheld by After reviewing the legislative history of the Sandiganbayan and
the exercise of such jurisdiction effective the Supreme Court, ruled on the contrary, thus: the Office of the Ombudsman, the Court declared that —

In PCGG v. Sandiganbayan, the Court stated that there is a "Under R.A. No. 8249, the Sandiganbayan is vested with exclusive original
This Court is of the view that its jurisdiction refers to acts of the
jurisdiction in all cases involving violations of R.A. No. 3019, R.A. No.
need to vigorously guard sequestered assets and preserve PCGG acting as such whether alone or with other persons, natural or
1379, and Chapter II, Sec. 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code,
them pending resolution of the sequestration case before juridical, and not generally where PCGG representatives act as part
where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following
the Sandiganbayan, considering the paramount public policy of another juridical person or entity.
positions whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time

12
of the commission of the offense.
It is a civil procreedings in rem but criminal in nature The law provided that in petitions for civil forfeiture the The law created an Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC)
Revised Rules of Court shall apply. — tasked with implementing the law, was empowered x x x
JURISDICTION OVER MONEY LAUNDERING CASES
In consequence thereof, the Supreme Court issued the — (3) to institute civil forfeiture proceedings and all other
The Anti money-laundering law provides for two kinds of cases remedial proceedings through the Office of the Solicitor
which are independent of each other. RULE OF PROCEDURE IN CASES OF CIVIL FORFEITURE, General;
ASSET PRESERVATION, AND FREEZING OF MONETARY
The criminal action for anti-money — laundering offense (Sec. 4) INSTRUMENT, PROPERTY, OR PROCEEDS REPRESENTING, (4) to cause the filing of complaints with the Department of
and the civil forfeiture proceedings (Sec. 12) which may be filed INVOLVING, OR RELATING TO AN UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY OR Justice or the Ombudsman for the prosecution of money
separately and proceed independently of the criminal MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENSE UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. laundering offenses;
prosecution. 9160, AS AMENDED.
(5) to initiate investigations of covered transactions, money
a. The Criminal Action The Rule expressly provided that — laundering activities and other violations of this Act.

Republic Act No. 9160 as amended (The Anti-Money The Rule shall govern all proceedings for civil forfeiture, CIVIL AND CRIMINAL FORFEITURE DISTINGUISHED
Laundering Act of 2001) defines asset preservation and freezing of monetary instrument,
property, or proceeds representing, involving, or relating to It is to be noted that under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, so
Money Laundering Offense. — Money laundering is a crime an unlawful activity or a money laundering offense under far as Civil Forfeiture is concerned it is the AMLC that is
whereby the proceeds of an unlawful activity are transacted, Republic Act No. 9160, as amended. authorized to institute civil forfeiture proceedings and all other
thereby making them appear to have originated from remedial proceedings through the Office of the Solicitor General
legitimate sources. It is committed by the following: The Revised Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily when not with the Regional Trial Court.
inconsistent with the provisions of this special Rule.
(a) Any person knowing that any monetary instrument or There is no similar authority to file such cases with the
property represents, involves, or relates to the proceeds Title II of the Rule provided only for Civil Forfeiture in the Sandiganbayan.
of any unlawful activity, transacts or attempts to Regional Trial Court. Thus —
transact said monetary instrument or property. It is only in criminal cases that the AMLC is authorized to cause
SEC. 2. Party to Institute Proceedings. — The Republic of the the filing of complaints with the Department of Justice or the
(b) Any person knowing that any monetary instrument or Philippines, through the Anti-Money Laundering Council, Ombudsman for the prosecution of money laundering offenses.
property involves the proceeds of any unlawful activity, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, may
performs or fails to perform any act as a result of which institute actions for civil forfeiture and all other remedial But unlike Civil Forfeiture under R.A. No. 1379 which specifically
he facilitates the offense of money laundering referred proceedings in favor of the State of any monetary authorized its filing by the Ombudsman or thru the Office of
to in paragraph (a) above. instrument, property, or proceeds representing, involving, Special Prosecutor in the Sandiganbayan.
or relating to an unlawful activity or a money laundering No similar authority have been granted the Ombudsman with
(c) Any person knowing that any monetary instrument or offense. respect to civil forfeiture under the Anti-money Laundering Law.
property is required under this Act to be disclosed and
filed with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), SEC. 3. Venue of Cases Cognizable by the Regional Trial JURISDICTION OF SANDIGANBAYAN TO BE
fails to do so. Court. — A petition for civil forfeiture shall be filed in any DISTINGUISHED FROM JURISDICTION OF OMBUDSMAN
regional trial court of the judicial region where the monetary OVER PUBLIC OFFICERS
JURISDICTION OF MONEY LAUNDERING CASES instrument, property, or proceeds representing, involving,
or relating to an unlawful activity or to a money laundering a. The Jurisdiction of the Ombudsman to investigate and
The regional trial courts shall have jurisdiction to try all cases on offense are located; prosecute Public Officers for any illegal act or omission is not
money laundering. exclusive but a shared concurrent authority in respect of the
provided, however, that where all or any portion of the offense charged.
Those committed by public officers and private persons who are monetary instrument, property, or proceeds is located
in conspiracy with such public officers shall be under the outside the Philippines, the petition may be filed in the b. The Ombudsman's primary power to investigate is
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. regional trial court in Manila or of the judicial region where dependent on the cases cognizable by Sandiganbayan.
any portion of the monetary instrument, property, or
The foregoing section apparently refers to the criminal offense of proceeds is located, at the option of the petitioner. The Ombudsman's primary jurisdiction is dependent on the
anti-money laundering as defined in Section 4 of the law. cases cognizable by the former.
b. The Rule Does Not Provide for Civil Forfeiture Before
a. The Civil Forfeiture Proceedings the Sandiganbayan But the authority is concurrent with other similarly
13
authorized agencies. Provided, That the President of the Philippines may, in the
The decision of the Sandiganbayan is subject to review on interest of justice, order or direct at any time before arraignment
However, the Ombudsman may take over the investigation certiorari exclusively by the Supreme Court. that any such crimes or offenses be tried by the proper civil
of such case at any stage from any investigative agency of In the exercise of its functions, the PCGG is a co-equal body with courts.
the Government. the Regional Trial Courts and co-equal bodies have no power to
control the other. As used in this Section, service-connected crimes or offenses
This is only directory. shall be limited to those defined in Articles 54 to 70, Articles 72
The Regional Trial Courts and the Court of Appeals have no to 92, and Articles 95 to 97 of Commonwealth Act No. 408, as
SANDIGANBAYAN NOW WITH CERTIORARI jurisdiction over the PCGG in the exercise of its powers under amended.
JURISDICTION the applicable Executive Orders and Section 26, Article XVIII of
the 1987 Constitution and, therefore, may not interfere with and In imposing the penalty for such crimes or offenses, the court-
R.A. No. 7975 expressly conferred certiorari jurisdiction in the restrain or set aside the orders and actions of the PCGG acting martial may take into consideration the penalty prescribed
Sandiganbayan, in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. for and in behalf of said Commission. therefor in the Revised Penal Code, other special penal laws, or
local government ordinances.
WHERE PUBLIC OFFICIAL CHARGED AS MERE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OVER CASES FILED BY PCGG
ACCOMPLICE OF PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL SEC. 2. Subject to the provisions of Section 1 hereof, all cases
The exclusive jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan over civil and filed or pending for filing with court-martial or other similar
Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended by criminal cases filed by PCGG, as well as incidents arising from, bodies except those where the accused had already been
Presidential Decree No. 1861, provides in part "that in case incidental or related to such cases is subject to review on arraigned, shall, within thirty (30) days following the effectivity
private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices, or certiorari exclusively by the Supreme Court. of this Act, be transferred to the proper civil courts:
accessories with the public officers or employees, including those
employed in government-owned or -controlled corporations, they JURISDICTION TO ANNUL JUDGMENTS Provided, That the Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees." shall, upon petition before commencement of trial and with the
The Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction to annul judgments of the written consent of the accused, order the transfer of such
The rule that "accessory follows the principal" appears to Regional Trial Court in a sequestration related case, such as a expected case or cases to the proper civil courts for trial and
underlie the provision of Presidential Decree No. 1606, for when judgment of the Regional Trial Court for the enforcement of a resolution.
private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or foreign judgment involving property that has been lawfully
accessories with the public officers or employees, the implication sequestered. SEC. 3. Presidential Decree Nos. 1822, 1822-A, 1850 and 1952,
is that the latter was charged as principal. and all acts general orders, executive orders, and other
Hence, if a public officer or employee is charged as a mere JURISDICTION OVER MILITARY AND PNP presidential issuances, rules and regulations inconsistent with
accomplice or accessory with a private individual, as principal, this Act are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.
the corollary implication is that the former shall be tried jointly Republic Act No. 7055 — AN ACT STRENGTHENING CIVILIAN
with the latter in the ordinary courts. SUPREMACY OVER THE MILITARY BY RETURNING TO THE CIVIL The law does not include violations of Republic Act 3019
COURTS THE JURISDICTION OVER CERTAIN OFFENSES otherwise known as the Anti-Graft Law even if service-
The rationale is justified by the total absence of a provision in INVOLVING MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE connected. Violation of this law falls under the jurisdiction of the
Presidential Decree No. 1606 directing that all criminal cases PHILIPPINES, OTHER PERSONS SUBJECT TO MILITARY LAW, Sandiganbayan or the Regional Trial Court depending on the
involving public officers and employees, without distinction, be AND THE MEMBERS OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, nature of the position of the offender.
tried by the Sandiganbayan, even if the criminal involvement of REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE CERTAIN PRESIDENTIAL
the public officer is minor or subordinate and inferior to that of DECREES. JURISDICTION OVER THE PNP BY REGULAR COURTS
the private individuals charged as principals in the case.
SECTION 1. Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and SEC. 46. Jurisdiction in Criminal Cases. — Any provision of law
The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is not meant to be so other persons subject to military law, including members of the to the contrary notwithstanding, criminal cases involving PNP
broad and all-encompassing. Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Units, who commit crimes or members shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the regular
offenses penalized under the Revised Penal Code, other special courts;
EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF SANDIGANBAYAN OVER penal laws, or local government ordinance, regardless of
PCGG whether or not civilians are co-accused, victims, or offended Provided, That the courts-martial appointed pursuant to
parties which may be natural or juridical persons, shall be tried Presidential Decree No. 1850 shall continue to try PC-INP
Under Section 2 of Executive Order No. 14, the Sandiganbayan by the proper civil court, except when the offense, as members who have already been arraigned, to include
has exclusive and original jurisdiction over all cases regarding determined before arraignment by the civil court, is service- appropriate actions thereon by the reviewing authorities
the "funds, moneys, assets and properties illegally acquired by connected, in which case the offense shall be tried by court- pursuant to Commonwealth Act No. 408, otherwise known as the
former President Ferdinant E. Marcos x x x" civil or criminal, martial: Articles of War, as amended and Executive Order No. 178,
including incidents arising from such cases. otherwise known as the Manual for Courts-Martial;
14
jurisdiction over civilians for offenses allegedly committed by Corrupt Practices Act, the appearance of a counsel for an
Provided, further, That criminal cases against PC-INP members them as long as civil courts are open and functioning. accused who has not been arrested, in the pre-suspension
who may have not yet been arraigned upon the effectivity of this Any judgment rendered by such body relating to a civilian is null hearing required under said law, is a voluntary appearance.
Act shall be transferred to the proper city or provincial and void for lack of jurisdiction.
prosecutor or municipal trial court judge.143 The Supreme Court clarified in Tan u. Barrios that "Olaguer The filing of a motion to dismiss presupposes that the accused is
should, in principle, be applied prospectively only to future cases within Philippine territory; otherwise, the "voluntary appearance"
MEANING OF REGULAR COURTS and cases still ongoing or not yet final when that decision was is an exercise in futility.
promulgated.
It has been held that the term regular courts in Section 46 of Physical control is indispensable.
R.A. No. 6975 means civil courts. Hence, there should be no retroactive nullification of final
judgments, whether of conviction or acquittal, rendered by If the accused is outside of the Philippines, he cannot be said to
There could have been no other meaning intended since the military courts against civilians before the promulgation of the be under the physical control of the Court.
primary purpose of the law is to remove from courts martial the Olaguer decision. Voluntary appearance is accomplished by appearing for
jurisdiction over criminal cases involving members of the PNP arraignment.
and to vest it in the courts within the judicial system, i.e., the Such final sentences should not be disturbed by the State." Such jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of
civil courts which as contradistinguished from courts martial, are the parties, such as when the accused escapes from the custody
the regular courts. The Supreme Court went on to state: of the law, but continues until the case is terminated.

Courts martial are not courts within the Philippine judicial "Only in particular cases where the convicted person or the State shows In such case, the Court may proceed with the trial in absentia of
system; they pertain to the executive department of the that there was a serious denial of the Constitutional rights of the accused, the accused, provided that there has been an arraignment.
should the nullity of the sentence be declared and retrial be ordered based
government and are simply instrumentalities of the executive
on the violation of the constitutional rights of the accused, and not on
power. Olaguer doctrine.
The cases holding that where the accused, after his arrest, filed
a petition for bail, it is too late for him to object thereafter to the
Otherwise stated, courts martial are not regular courts. If a retrial is no longer possible, the accused should be released since the regularity of the issuance of the warrant of arrest are no longer
The Sandiganbayan are regular courts within the law's judgment against him is null on account of the violation of his true.
contemplation. constitutional rights and denial of due process."
Under Section 26, Rule 114 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal
JURISDICTION OF MILITARY COURT JURISDICTION OVER THE PERSON WHEN ACQUIRED Procedure:

A military officer being dropped from the roll amounts to a Jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired upon his SEC. 26. Bail not a bar to objections on illegal arrest, lack of or irregular
dishonorable discharge which does not terminate his amenability arrest or upon his voluntary appearance. preliminary investigation. — An application for or admission to bail shall
not bar the accused from challenging the validity of his arrest or the
for the trial in a court martial for the offense he had committed
RULE IN MILITARY PROCEEDINGS legality of the warrant issued thereof, or from assailing the regularity or
while an officer of the military. questioning the absence of a preliminary investigation of the charge
The fact that Colonel Abadilla was dropped from the rolls should against him, provided that he raises them before entering his plea.
not lead to the conclusion that he is now beyond the jurisdiction The rule that jurisdiction over a person is acquired by his arrest
of the military authorities. applies only to criminal proceedings instituted before the regular The court shall resolve the matter as early as practicable but not later
courts. than the start of the trial of the case.
If such a conclusion were to prevail, his very own refusal to clear
his name and protect his honor before his superior officers in the It does not apply to proceedings under military law. In applications for bail, however, the ACCUSED MUST BE IN
manner prescribed for and expected from a ranking military CUSTODY OF LAW to be entitled to bail.
officer would be his shield against prosecution. WAIVER If the accused is charged with a capital offense or an offense
punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, the Judge
His refusal to report for duty or to surrender when ordered Any objection to the procedure leading to the arrest must be must have jurisdiction over the person of accused and over the
arrested, which led to his name being dropped from the roll of opportunely raised before the accused enters his plea. case.
regular officers of the military cannot thereby render him beyond The accused is also barred from raising the question of The rationale behind the rule is that it discourages and prevents
the jurisdiction of the military courts for offenses he committed jurisdiction over his person if he enters his plea instead of resort to the former pernicious practice whereby the accused
while still in the military service. objecting to the irregularity of the issuance of the warrant of could just send another in his stead to post his bail, without
arrest. recognizing the jurisdiction of the court by his personal
MILITARY COURTS HAVE NO JURISDICTION OVER appearance therein and compliance with the requirements
CIVILIANS VOLUNTARY APPEARANCE therefor.
Thus, in Feliciano v. Pasicolan, where the petitioner who had
A military commission or tribunal cannot try and exercise In a prosecution under Republic Act No. 3019, the Anti-Graft and been charged with kidnapping with murder went into hiding

15
without surrendering himself, and shortly thereafter, filed a being constructively and legally under custody. the person.
motion asking the court to fix the amount of bail bond for his
release pending trial, the Supreme Court categorically Thus, in the likewise peculiar circumstances which attended the The third is a consequence of the fact that it is the very legality
pronounced that said petitioner was not eligible for admission to filing of his bail application with the trial court, for purposes of of the court process forcing the submission of the person of the
bail. the hearing thereof he should be deemed to have voluntarily accused that is the very issue in a motion to quash a warrant of
submitted his person to the custody of the law and necessarily, arrest.
The person seeking his provisional release under the auspices of to the jurisdiction of the trial court which thereafter granted bail
bail need not even wait for a formal complaint or information to as prayed for. To recapitulate what we have discussed so far, in criminal cases,
be filed against him as it is available to "all persons" where the jurisdiction over the person of the accused is deemed waived by
offense is bailable. In fact, an arrest is made either by an actual restraint of the the accused when he files any pleading seeking an affirmative
arrestee or merely by his submission to the custody of the relief, except in cases when he invokes the special jurisdiction of
This rule is, of course, subject to the condition or limitation that person making the arrest. the court by impugning such jurisdiction over his person.
the applicant is in the custody of the law.
The latter mode may be exemplified by the so-called "house Therefore, in narrow cases involving special appearances, an
The Court should not even allow a motion for bail to be set for arrest" or, in case of military offenders, by being "confined to accused can invoke the processes of the court even though there
hearing unless it has acquired jurisdiction over the person of the quarters" or restricted to the military camp area. is neither jurisdiction over the person nor custody of the law.
accused and the case by its filing in Court.
The accused who desires to question the jurisdiction of a court However, if a person invoking the special jurisdiction of the court
Custody How Acquired: The accused must be in custody of the over his person must appear in court only for the specific applies for bail, he must first submit himself to the custody of
law, either: purpose, and if he raises other questions, he waived the the law.
objection to question the jurisdiction over her person.
a) By virtue of a warrant or warrantless arrest; or Failure to quash the information on the ground that, by the In cases not involving the so-called special appearance, the
b) When he voluntarily submitted himself to the jurisdiction of defective arrest, the court did not acquire jurisdiction over the general rule applies, i.e., the accused is deemed to have
the Court by surrendering to the proper authorities. person of the accused is a waiver to question jurisdiction over submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court upon seeking
his person. affirmative relief
The mere filing of an application for bail is not sufficient. Under Section 20, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure:
"The inclusion in a motion to dismiss of other grounds aside from Notwithstanding this, there is no requirement for him to be in
This principle is, however, only for purposes of bail. lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant shall not be the custody of the law.
deemed a voluntary appearance."
In other cases, the filing of motion or other papers invoking
affirmative relief is a submission to court's jurisdiction. There is, however, an exception to the rule that filing pleadings
Hence, an application for admission to bail of a person against seeking affirmative relief constitutes voluntary appearance, and
whom a criminal action has been filed, but who is still at large is the consequent submission of one's person to the jurisdiction of
premature. the court. JURISDICTION OVER THE PERSON OF THE ACCUSED BY
As a matter of course, upon voluntary appearance of the ARREST OR VOLUNTARY SURRENDER NOT CONDITION
accused, the judge should require another motion for bail and This is in the case of pleadings whose prayer is precisely for the FOR COURT TO GRANT AFFIRMATIVE RELIEF
set the same for hearing, with the prosecution notified thereof. avoidance of the jurisdiction of the court, which only leads to a
Unless the accused is in the custody of the law, the court may special appearance. Except in applications for bail, it is not necessary for the court to
not even set his application for bail for hearing. first acquire jurisdiction over the person of the accused to
These pleadings are: dismiss the case or grant other relief.
EXCEPTIONS WHEN MERE FILING OF MOTION SUFFICIENT
(1) in civil cases, motions to dismiss on the ground of lack of The outright dismissal of the case even aefore the court acquires
In Paderanga v. Court of Appeals (supra), the accused having jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, whether or not jurisdiction over the person of the accused s authorized under
filed his motion for admission to bail before he was actually and other grounds for dismissal are included; Section 6(a), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of criminal
physically placed under arrest, as he was then confined at the Procedure and the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure.
hospital, and his counsel manifested before the court at the (2) in criminal cases, motions to quash a complaint on the In Allado v. Diokno, the case was dismissed on motion of the
hearing of the motion that he was submitting custody of the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the iccused for lack of probable cause without the accused having
person of the accused to the local chapter president of the accused; and been arrested.
Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and for purposes of said
hearing on his bail application, he be considered as being in the (3) motions to quash a warrant of arrest. The first two are In Paul Roberts v. Court of Appeals, the Court was ordered to
custody of the law, the Supreme Court held that he may at that consequences of the fact that failure to file them would hold the issuance of a warrant of arrest in abeyance pending
point and in the factual ambiance thereof, be considered as constitute a waiver of the defense of lack of jurisdiction over review by the Secretary of Justice.
16
preliminary investigation.
And in Lacson v. Executive Secretary, the Court ordered the case
transferred from the Sandiganbayan to the RTC which eventually Second: Under the former rule, the commencement of
ordered the dismissal of the case for lack of probable cause. actions by filing the complaint with the appropriate officer for Section 1 has accordingly been amended by removing
preliminary investigation were limited to cases falling under the therefrom the limitation to offenses commenced by complaint
It was held in People v. Chun, that where the accused believed
jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court. before the appropriate officer for preliminary investigation only
that the order of the holding that bail for the crime charged
against him is not a matter of right is null and void, he need not to those offenses cognizable by the Regional Trial Court, but
wait to be arrested before filing the corresponding petition in an included to a limited extent cases cognizable by the municipal
appropriate proceeding assailing the order. This is no longer true.
trial courts.

THE REVISED RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE


Under Section 1 of Rule 112, except as provided in Section
(A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC) It should also be noted section 5, Rule II of Administrative
7 of said rule, referring to lawful arrests without a warrant,
No. 8 of the Office of the Ombudsman provides that: "Cases
EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, 2000 preliminary investigation is required for an offense punishable by
falling under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman
imprisonment of at least four (4) years, two (2) months and one
RULE 110 which are cognizable by municipal trial courts, including those
PROSECUTION OF OFFENSES (1) day.
subject to the Rule on Summary Procedure may only be filed in
court by Information approved by the Ombudsman, or the
The reason why originally there was no preliminary proper Deputy Ombudsman in all other cases."
SECTION 1. investigation in cases triable by justice of the peace or municipal
courts was because they involved only minor offenses or
Institution of Criminal Actions Third: Under the former rule, prescription is interrupted in
misdemeanors.
all cases upon the institution of the criminal action.

There are three (3) amendments in this rule: The criminal cases then exclusively triable by municipal
courts were those where the penalty provided by law did not The 1988 Amendments abandoned the ruling of the
exceed six months imprisonment and/or a P200.00 fine. Supreme Court in People u. Olarte and adopts the ruling in
First: The removal of cases governed by the Rule on Sum-
Francisco u. Court of Appeals, to the effect that the filing of the
mary Procedure in special cases from the manner of institution
Subsequently, however, the offenses exclusively triable by complaint with the fiscal's office also interrupts the period of
of criminal actions above provided for.
municipal courts were increased to those punishable with prescription of the offense charged.

imprisonment of not exceeding four years and two months


The opening phrase in the former Rule — "For offenses not This includes cases filed with the ombudsman for prelimi-
and/or a fine ofP4.000.00 and were further increased to those
subject to the rule on summary procedure in special cases" — nary investigation.
punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years
was deleted.
irrespective of the amount of the fine.
The Rule does not apply to violations of municipal
This phrase was ane of the basis of the ruling of the ordinances and special laws.
Clearly, therefore, these offenses were not minor or
Supreme Court in the case of Zaidivia v. Reye1 excluding
misdemeanors and yet no preliminary investigation was
offenses subject to summary procedure from the general rule on In Zaidivia u. Reyes, the court held that the interruption of
required.
the interruption of the period of prescription. the prescriptive period upon the institution of the complaint

Since, the type of offenses that requires preliminary investigation have under Section 1 of Rule 110, does not apply to cases for
been expanded by amendment to Section 1, Rule 112 to offenses violation of special acts and municipal ordinances.
Under the amendment, the institution of all criminal
punishable by imprisonment of at least four (4) years, two (2) months
actions shall be the same. and one (1) day, Section 1 required such cases to first be filed for

17
This is governed by Act No. 3326 and is interrupted only Periods of Prescription for Violations Penalized By Special Laws complainant of the complaint or the certificate or repudiation or
by the institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation and and Municipal Ordinances and to Provide When Prescription Shall of the certification to file action issued by the lupon or pangkat
punishment. Begin To Run." secretary:

The Court clarified in Reodica u. Court of Appeals, that It provides among others that "violations penalized by Provided, however, That such interruption shall not exceed
even if the case is governed by the Revised Rule on Summary municipal ordinances shall prescribe after two months." sixty (60) days from the filing of the complaint with the punong
Procedure (which is not a violation of a municipal ordinance or barangay
special law), such as reckless imprudence resulting in slight
The exception therefore, includes violations of municipal
physical injuries, prescription is interrupted with the filing of the
ordinances. And is interrupted even if the case filed is not within the
complaint in the Fiscal's office.
jurisdiction of the court.

In view, however, of the ruling in Zaidivia v. Reyes, that A distinction is made between the "institution" and the
the rules cannot amend special laws, and under Act No. 3326, "commencement" of a criminal action. PRESCRIPTION INTERRUPTED EVEN IF COURT IS
the period of prescription for offenses punishable by special laws, WITHOUT JURISDICTION

prescription shall only be interrupted upon the institution of


For offenses which require a preliminary investigation, the Prescription is interrupted with the filing of the case even if
judicial proceedings for its investigation and punishment, the
criminal action is instituted by filing the complaint with the the court is without jurisdiction.
rule has accordingly been amended to except therefrom offenses
appropriate officer for preliminary investigation.
punishable by special laws so far as prescription is concerned.
The Court, citing Olarte and the subsequent cases of
Francisco v. Court of Appeals and People v. Cuaresma.
The appropriate officer may be the fiscal or the municipal
The main basis of the said ruling of the Supreme Court
circuit trial court. Thus, even if preliminary investigation is not required, "the
was that under Act No. 3326 as amended, the prescriptive
period for violation of special laws and municipal ordinances was prescriptive period for the quasi offenses was interrupted by the
interrupted only upon the filing of the complaint or information in The criminal action is commenced when the complaint or filing of complaint with the fiscal's office three days after the
court. information is filed in court. vehicular mishap and remained tolled pending the termination of
the case."

This ruling was confirmed in the case of Reodica v. Court In offenses cognizable by inferior courts, the complaint or
ofAppeals11 as an exception to the general rule under Article 91 information is filed directly with said courts, or the complaint is Exceptions: Unless otherwise provided by special laws (Act
of the Revised Penal Code that the filing of the complaint, filed with the fiscal. However, in Metro Manila and other 3326) includes violations of municipal ordinance) Prescription
whether for preliminary investigation or for action on the merits, chartered cities, the complaint may be filed only with the fiscal. Commences from commission or discovery until institution of
interrupts prescription. judicial proceedings.

It may, however also be noted that under the Katarungan


For Violation of Special Laws
Hence, the phrase "unless otherwise provided in special Pambarangay Law while the dispute is under mediation
laws" was inserted as an exception to the general rule that such conciliation, or arbitration, the prescriptive periods for offenses
institution shall interrupt the period of prescription of the offense and cause of action under existing laws shall be interrupted upon It has been settled that Section 2 of Act No. 3326 governs
charged. filing of the complaint with punong barangay. the computation of prescription of offenses defined and
penalized by special laws.

Act No. 3326, as amended is entitled: "An Act To Establish The prescriptive periods shall resume upon receipt by the

18
Section 2 of Act No. 3326 was correctly applied by the national legal system and with internationally recognized human
anti-graft court in determining the reckoning period for SEC. 412. Conciliation. — rights.
prescription in a case involving the crime of violation of Republic
Act No. 3019, as amended.
(a) Pre-condition to filing of complaint in court. — No complaint, When disputes involve ICCs/Ps, customary laws and

petition, action, or proceeding involving any matter within practices shall be used to resolve the dispute.
Since the law alleged to have been violated, i.e., the authority of the lupon shall be filed or instituted directly
paragraphs (e) and (g) of Section 3, R.A. No. 3019, as amended, in court or any other government office for adjudication, The National Commission on ICCs/Ps NCIP through its
is a special law, the applicable rule in the computation of the unless there has been a confrontation between the parties regional offices shall have jurisdiction over all claims and
prescriptive period is Section 2 of Act No. 3326, as amended, before the Lupon chairman or the pangkat, and that no disputes involving ICCs/Ps, provided, however, that no such
which provides: conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have
the Lupon secretary or pangkat secretary as attested to by exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws to
Sec. 2. Prescription should begin to run from the day of the the Lupon chairman or pangkat chairman or unless the settle the dispute as certified to by the Council of Elders/Leaders
commission of the violation of the law, and if the same be not settlement has been repudiated by the parties thereto.
known at the time, from the discovery thereof and institution of who participated in the attempt at such settlement.
judicial proceedings for its investigation and punishment.
(b) Where parties may go directly to court. — The parties may Decisions of the NCIP shall be appealable to the Court of Appeals by way
of a petition for review.
The prescription shall be interrupted when the proceedings go directly to court in the following instances:
are instituted against the guilty person and shall begin to run
again if the proceedings are dismissed for reasons not SEC. 408. Subject Matter for Amicable Settlement;
(1) Where the accused is under detention;
constituting double jeopardy Exception Thereto. — The lupon of each barangay shall have the
(2) Where a person has otherwise been deprived of authority to bring together the parties actually residing in the
personal liberty calling for habeas corpus proceedings; same city or municipality for amicable settlement of all disputes
This simply means that if the commission of the crime is except:
(3) Where actions are coupled with provisional remedies
known, the prescriptive period shall commence to run on the day
such as preliminary injunction, attachment, delivery of
it was committed.
personal property, and support pendente life; and (a) Where one party is the government or any subdivision or
instrumentality thereof;
(4) Where the action, may otherwise, be barred by the
The Civil Law rules on prescription is applicable to criminal statute of limitations.
(b) Where one party is a public officer or employee, and the
Condition Precedent to Filing of Case dispute relates to the performance of his official functions;
(c) Conciliation among members of indigenous cultural

The Local Government Code of 1991 which took effect on communities. — The customs and traditions of indigenous
cultural communities shall be applied in settling disputes (c) Offenses punishable by imprisonment exceeding one (1)
January 1, 1992, expressly repealed Presidential Decree No.
between members of the cultural communities. year or a fine exceeding Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00);
1508, otherwise known as the Katarungang Pambarangay Law.

However, under Republic Act No. 837, the ICCs/Ps shall (d) Offenses where there is no private offended party;
In lieu thereof, Chapter 7, Title I, Book III provides for the
Katarungang Pambarangay. have the right to use their own commonly accepted justice
systems, conflict resolution institutions, peace building processes (e) Where the dispute involves real properties located in
or mechanisms and other customary laws and practices within different cities or municipalities unless the parties thereto
Pertinent provisions of the law are as follows: their respective communities and as may be compatible with the agree to submit their differences to amicable settlement by
19
an appropriate lupon; execution of the law violated. complaint or information, or both of which are filed in court.

(f) Disputes involving parties who actually reside in barangays The provincial fiscal is not among the three. If a complaint is filed directly in court, the same must
of different cities or municipalities, except where such
barangay units adjoin each other and the parties thereto be filed by the offended party and in case of an information,
agree to submit their differences to amicable settlement by the same may be filed by the fiscal. However, a "complaint"
The information filed by him which instituted the
an appropriate lupon;and filed with the fiscal prior to judicial action may be filed by
proceeding cannot be considered as a complaint.
any person.
(g) Such other classes of disputes which the President may
determine in the interest of justice or upon the 1) Meaning of the term "offended party." — The person
e. Private persons may denounce a violation of banking laws.
recommendation of the Secretary of Justice. actually injured and whose feeling is offended.

2) A widow, however, maybe considered an A complaint with the fiscal prior to a judicial action
The court in which non-criminal cases not falling within the
offended party within the meaning of the applicable may be filed by any person.
authority of the lupon under this Code are filed may, at any time rules of court entitled to file a complaint for the murder
before trial, motu proprio refer the case to the lupon concerned of her husband.2
for amicable settlement. f. A criminal action cannot be instituted against a juridical
Justice Davide, Jr., citing Section 12, Rule 110 refers to an person.
"offended party" in the commission of a crime, public or
private, as the party to whom the offender is civilly liable in
light of Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code that "every
SEC. 2. person criminally liable is also civilly liable. g. To subscribe and swear to criminal complaint is not
ministerial.
The Complaint or Information
Invariably then, the private individual to whom the
offender is civilly liable is the offended party. But the absence of an oath does not invalidate the
Criminal actions must be commenced in the name of the
complaint.
People of the Philippines. — But the defect is merely of form and In bigamy both the first and second spouses may be the
curable at any stage of the trial. offended parties depending on the circumstances Unless the complaint charged is a private offense.

3) The right to commence criminal prosecution is confined h. The right to file complaint is personal and abated upon
SEC. 3. to representatives of the government and persons death.
injured; otherwise, it shall be dismissed.
Complaint Defined
MAY INJUNCTION ISSUE TO RESTRAIN CRIMINAL
d. But One who is not the offended party file a complaint for PROSECUTION
Who May File Complaint
preliminary investigation.

a. The offended party. The general rule is that criminal prosecution may not be
Unless the offense subject of the complaint is one that restrained or stayed by injunction, preliminary or final.
cannot be prosecuted de oficio, any competent person may
b. Any peace officer.
file a complaint for preliminary investigation.
Public interest requires that criminal acts be immediately
investigated and prosecuted for the protection of society.
c. Other public officer charged with the enforcement or
As a general rule, a criminal action is commenced by a
20
There are, however, exceptions, among which are:

a. To afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of


the accused;

b. When necessary for the orderly administration of justice or


to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions;

c. When there is a prejudicial question;

d. When the acts of the officer are without or in excess of


authority;

e. Where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or


regulation;

f. When double jeopardy is clearly apparent;

g. Where the court has no jurisdiction over the offense;

h. Where it is a case of persecution rather than prosecution;

i. Where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by


the lust for vengeance;

j. When there is clearly no prima facie case against the


accused and a motion to quash on that ground has been
denied; and

k. Preliminary injunction has been issued by the Supreme


Court to prevent the threatened unlawful arrest of
petitioners.

21
"In case the offended party dies or becomes incapacitated before The amendment inadvertently failed to reproduce the statement
SEC. 4.
she could file the complaint and has no known parents, grandparents or that:
Information defined guardian, the State shall initiate the criminal action in her behalf. This is
based on the doctrine of parens patriae."
However, in Municipal Trial Courts or Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
Distinguish Information from Complaint when the prosecutor assigned thereto or to the case is not available, the
Rape is now a crime against person and consequently can offended party, any peace officer, or public officer charged with the
As distinguished from information, a complaint is: enforcement of the law violated may prosecute the case.
be prosecuted even without a complaint filed by the offended
party.
a. Executed by a private party, etc.; This authority shall cease upon actual intervention of the
prosecutor or upon elevation of the case to the Regional Trial Court.
b. Supported by oath of the complainant; and [A.M. No. 02-2-07-SC. April 10, 2002]
c. Need not necessarily be filed with the court.
This does not, however, mean that the persons mentioned therein
RE: PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 5, RULE 110 OF may no longer prosecute the case under the conditions mentioned in the
THE REVISED RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
An information not properly signed cannot be cured by old rule.
silence, acquiescence or even by express consent.
Acting on the Memorandum dated 2 February 2002 of Court The amendment was merely intended to regulate the appearance
administrator Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. submitting for this Court's of the private prosecutor and stress the direction and control of the public
It must be filed with the court, otherwise it is not an consideration and approval the proposed amendment to Sec. 5, Rule L10 prosecutor in the prosecution of criminal cases.
information. of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Court Resolved to
APPROVE the amendment to Sec. 5, Rule 110 so as to read as follows:
EFFECT OF LACK OF INTERVENTION BY FISCAL IN TRIAL
OF A CRIMINAL CASE
"Section 5. Who must prosecute criminal actions. — All criminal
SEC. 5.
actions either commenced by complaint or by information shall be
Before the 1985 amendment, the Supreme Court, in
Who must prosecute criminal actions prosecuted under the direction and control of a public prosecutor.
Garcia v. Domingo, citing Cariaga v. Justo, held that the absence
of the Assistant Fiscal is not a jurisdictional defect but the court
Under the 1985 amendments, the following sentences were added to the In case of heavy work schedule of the public prosecutor or in the
first paragraph of Sec. 4 of the old Rule 110, to wit: should have cited the public prosecutor to intervene.
event of lack of public prosecutors, the private prosecutor may be
authorized in writing by the Chief of the Prosecution Office or the Regional
"However, in the Municipal Court or Municipal Trial Courts when State Prosecutor to prosecute the case subject to the approval of the
The rule was modified in People v. Beriales where it was
there is no fiscal available, the offended party, any peace officer court.
or public officer charged with the enforcement of the law violated held that although the Fiscal turns over the active conduct of the
may prosecute the case. trial to the private prosecutor, he should be present during the
Once so authorized to prosecute the criminal action, the private proceedings —
prosecutor shall continue to prosecute the case up to the end of the trial
This authority ceases upon actual intervention of the fiscal or upon
even in the absence of a public prosecutor, unless the authority is revoked
elevation of the case to the Regional Trial Court. This is based on the
or otherwise withdrawn. Thus, in the case of People v. Munar, the Court upheld the
Resolution of the Supreme Court in People v. Beriales."
right of the private prosecutor therein to conduct the
This amendment to Rule 110 shall take effect on the first day of examination of the witnesses because the government
In the third paragraph of Section 4 of the old Rule 110, the
May 2002 following its publication in two newspapers of general prosecutors were present at the hearing; hence, the prosecution
fol-owing was added: circulation on or before 30 April, 2002. of the case remained under their supervision and control.

22
In the present case, although the private prosecutor had either to Dr. Tansingco's competency or his post mortem The authority, however, of the provincial prosecutor to
previously been authorized by the special counsel Rosario R. findings, the doctor's testimony was dispensed with. appeal for the People of the Philippines is confined only to the
Polines to present the evidence for the prosecution, proceedings before the trial court.
nevertheless, in view of the absence of the City Fiscal at the
The defense likewise waived the fiscal's presence on that
hearing on December 13, 1974, it cannot be said that the
date." In appeals before the Court of Appeals or to the Supreme
prosecution of the case was under the control of the City Fiscal.
Court either by petition for review or certiorari, the Solicitor
General is the sole representative of the People.
In Bravo v. Court of Appeals — The proceedings was held
It follows that the evidence presented by the private
to be valid even without the physical presence of Fiscal as
prosecutor at said hearing could not be considered as evidence
distinguished from Beriales case, where no Fiscal appeared to Service thru the Provincial Prosecutor is inefficacious and
for the plaintiff, the People of the Philippines.
prosecute. shall be sufficient ground for dismissal on the petition as
provided in section 3, Rule 46.
There was, therefore, no evidence at all to speak of which
Here, the Fiscal appeared but left the prosecution to the
could have been the basis of the decision of the trial court. Fiscal's Discretion in Prosecution
private prosecutor under his supervision and control.

Moreover, as aptly observed by the Solicitor General, "to Prior to the filing of a case in court:
The Court noted in a subsequent case that the public
permit such prosecution of a criminal case by the private
prosecutor may turn over the actual prosecution of the criminal
prosecutor with the fiscal in absentia can set an obnoxious
case, in the exercise of his discretion, but he may, at any time, a. A prosecuting attorney cannot be compelled to file a par-
precedent that can be taken advantage of by some indolent
take over the actual conduct of the trial. ticular criminal information.
members of the prosecuting arm of the government as well as
those who are oblivious of their bounden duty to see to it not b. The Court cannot interfere with the Fiscal's discretion and
only that the guilty should be convicted, but that the innocent However, it is necessary that the public prosecutor be control of criminal prosecution.
should be acquitted — a duty that can only be effectively and present at the trial until the final termination of the case;
sincerely performed if they actively participated in the conduct of otherwise, if he is absent, it cannot be gainsaid that the trial is c. The Court cannot compel the fiscal to prosecute or file
the case, especially in the examination of the witnesses and the under his supervision and control. information within a certain period of time.
presentation of documentary evidence for both parties.

The absence, however, of a prosecutor cannot be raised by It is the rule that a fiscal by the nature of his office is
The decision appealed from was set aside and the case an accused to invalidate the testimony of a state witness if he under no compulsion to file a particular criminal information
remanded to the trial court for another arraignment and trial. cannot prove personal prejudice. where he is not convinced that he has evidence to support the
allegations thereof.

The same principle was not, however, observed in People Necessity of Service to Government Counsel

v. Malinao, where the Supreme Court did not consider the Although this power and prerogative of the Fiscal to
absence of the fiscal prejudicial to the accused "for only Dr. Failure to serve pleadings and orders upon government determine whether or not the evidence at hand is sufficient to
Nicanor L. Tansingco was presented to testify on his autopsy counsel renders the court orders issued uponsuch petitions or form a reasonable belief that a person committed an offense, is
report on the deceased Manang. motions of an accused as void. not absolute and subject to judicial review, it would be
embarrassing for the prosecuting attorney to be compelled to
Notice, however, given to the fiscal is notice to the private
Since no objection was interposed by appellant's counsel, prosecute a case when he is in no position to do so, because in
prosecutor.
his opinion, he does not have the necessary evidence to secure a
23
conviction, or he is not convinced of the merits of the case. evidence to support at least aprima facie case. The prosecuting fiscal has no more control over said cases,
the same having been transferred to the court.

The better procedure would be to appeal the Fiscal's The courts try and/or convict the accused but as a rule
decision to the Ministry of Justice and/or ask for a special have no part in the initial decision to prosecute him. The situation is akin to the pronouncement made in
prosecutor. Lansang u. Garcia, that whenever a formal complaint is
presented in court against an individual, the court steps in and
The possible exception is where there is an unmistakable
takes control thereof until the same is finally disposed of.
The failure of the Fiscal to include the other public officials showing of a grave abuse of discretion that will justify judicial
who appear to be responsible for the offense charged as co- intrusion into the precincts of the executive.
accused in the information does not vitiate the validity of the However, the matter of instituting an information should
information since the matter of prosecuting witnesses for the be distinguished from a motion by the fiscal for the dismissal of
But in such a case, the proper remedy to call for such
People is a prerogative of bhe prosecuting fiscal. a case already filed in court.
exception is a petition for mandamus, not certiorari or
prohibition.
The manner by which the prosecution of a case is handled The judge may properly deny the motion where, judging
is within the sound discretion of the prosecutor and the non- from the record of the preliminary investigation, there appears
Moreover, before resorting to this relief, the party seeking
inclusion if other guilty persons is irrelevant to the case against to be sufficient evidence to sustain the prosecution.
the inclusion of another person as a co-accused in the same case
the accused.
must first avail itself of other adequate remedies such as the
filing of a motion for such inclusion. This is, as it should be, because the case is already in
The prosecutor cannot be compelled to include in the court and, therefore, within its discretion and control.
information, a person against whom he believes no sufficient
A case dismissed before arraignment maybe refiled.
evidence of guilt exists.
In the landmark case ofCrespo u. Mogul, the Supreme

FULL CONTROL BY THE COURT ONCE INFORMATION FILED Court, sifter a review of past precedents held:
While the prosecuting officer is required by law to charge IN COURT
all those who, in his opinion, appear to be guilty, he nevertheless "The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or
cannot be compelled to include in the information a person However, in cases where the information had already been information is filed in Court, any disposition of the case as its
against whom he believes no sufficient evidence of guilt exists. dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in
filed in court, the latter acquires jurisdiction over them. the sound discretion of the Court.

The appreciation of the evidence involves the use of Otherwise stated, the jurisdiction of the court become Although the fiscal retains the direction and control of the
discretion on the part of the prosecutor. prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is already in Court, he
vested upon the filing of the information and, once acquired, its
cannot impose his opinion on the trial court.
jurisdiction continues until the termination of the case.

The decision of the prosecutor may be reversed or


The Court is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case
modified by the Secretary of Justice or in special cases by the Where the information had already been filed in court, it before it.
President of the Philippines. should therefore dispose of them, one way or the other,
resolving all motions brought before it including motions to
The determination of the case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and
But even the Supreme Court cannot order the prosecution dismiss, filed by the Fiscal, or deciding the cases on the merit. competence.
of a person against whom the prosecutor does not find sufficient

24
A motion to dismiss the case filed by the Fiscal should be resolution of the Fiscal to the Secretary of Justice, on the ground
addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or deny the same. that the crime committed was murder, the RTC refused to defer Thus, should the fiscal find it proper to conduct a
the arraignment, and allowed the accused to post bail in the sum reinvestigation of the case, the permission of the court must be
It does not matter if this is done before or after the arraignment of of P20,000 each. secured.
the accused or that the motion was filed after a reinvestigation or upon
instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records of the
investigation. The accused were arraigned and entered a plea of not After such reinvestigation, the finding and
guilty. recommendations of the fiscal should be submitted to the court
Thus, it is now settled that once a complaint or information is filed for appropriate action.
in court any disposition of the case as to its dismissal or the conviction or The Secretary of Justice found the case to be murder, but
the acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the court.
withdrew its recommendation to amend the information to The Supreme Court clarified that while the fiscal has the
murder upon learning the accused have already been arraigned. quasi-judicial discretion to determine whether or not a criminal
A motion to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be addressed
case should be filed in court, once the case had already been
to the court, who has the option to grant or deny the same.
The Court found the Fiscal and Judges concerned to have brought to the Court whatever disposition the fiscal may feel
gravely abused their discretion in not deferring the arraignment should be proper in the case thereafter should be addressed for
It does not matter if this is done before or after the arraignment of
pending disposition of the appeal to the Secretary of Justice. the consideration of the court.
the accused or that the motion was filed after a reinvestigation or upon
instruction of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records of the
investigation." The only qualification is that the action of the court must
The Court should have suspended the arraignment of this
information for homicide and await resolution on the petition for not impair the substantial rights of the accused or the right of

THE PRINCIPLE WAS FURTHER STRESSED IN review to DOJ on the ground that the crime is for murder. the people to due process.

DIMATULAC V. VILLON

Otherwise, the arraignment may be set aside, and The Court has the final say on any subsequent disposition

In this case, the accused were charged with murder before information amended if DOJ finds that the proper information or action, since the case is brought before it which will not be

the Municipal Court which found a probable cause for murder should be murder. disturbed by the appellate court unless it is shown that the trial

and issued warrants for the arrest of the accused without bond, court acted without jurisdiction or in excess of its jurisdiction or

after which the records were forwarded to the Provincial Fiscal. otherwise committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to
MOTION FOR REINVESTIGATION TO BE ADDRESSED TO
COURT such lack or excess of jurisdiction.

Without the accused having been arrested, the Fiscal


In Velasquez v. Tuquero, it was held that a motion for COMPLAINT CANNOT BE WITHDRAWN BY FISCAL
conducted a reinvestigation and received the evidence of the WITHOUT COURT'S CONSENT
accused, found the case to be homicide. reinvestigation should, after the court had acquired jurisdiction
over the case, be addressed to the trial judge and to him alone.
The complaint cannot be withdrawn by the Fiscal without
The offended party appealed to the Secretary of Justice. the court's consent.
Neither the Secretary of Justice, the State Prosecutor, nor
the fiscal may interfere with the judge's disposition of the case,
In the meantime, despite the appeal, the prosecutor filed much less impose upon the court their opinion regarding the The provincial fiscals are not clothed with power, without
the information for homicide, and despite the objections of the guilt or innocence of the accused, for the Court is the sole judge the consent of the court, to dismiss or nolle prosequi criminal
offended party on the ground that they have appealed the of that. actions actually instituted and pending further proceedings.

25
of the fiscal, when the complaint or information has already been The only option of the judge was to proceed with the
The power to dismiss is vested solely in the court, i.e., the filed in court." arraignment of the accused and, thereafter, conduct a pre-trial

presiding judge. and trial on the merits, should he enter a plea of not guilty.

Moreover, where the DOJ had already given due course to It does not, however, necessarily follow that the court
See however, Galvez v. Court of Appeals, upholding the
the petitioner's petition for review, it was premature for should merely adopt the recommendation of the Prosecutor.
right of the prosecution to withdraw the information for
respondent judge to deny the motions to suspend proceedings
homicide, the evident purpose was to refile a case of murder
and to defer arraignment on the ground that "since the case is
against the same accused before arraignment even without In Montesa, the stand of the prosecution is to maintain the
already pending for trial, to follow whatever opinion the
notice and hearing. information, in which case there is nothing more for the court to
Secretary of Justice may have on the matter would undermine
the independence and integrity of this court. do but to proceed with the case.
Fiscal Entitled to be Heard on Motion to Dismiss

Thus, where the judge granted the motion for The situation is different if the motion of the fiscal is for
However, while the trial court is the sole judge on whether the dismissal or withdrawal of the information.
reinvestigation and directed the Office of the Provincial
a criminal case should be dismissed (after the complaint or
Prosecutor to conduct the reinvestigation, the former was
information has been filed in court) still, any move on the part of
deemed to have deferred to the authority of the prosecution arm ULTIMATE TEST OF TRIAL COURT'S INDEPENDENCE IS
the complainant or offended party to dismiss the criminal case, WHERE FISCAL FILES A MOTION TO DISMISS
of the Government to consider the so-called new relevant and
even if without objection of the accused should first be referred
material evidence and determine whether the information it had
to the prosecuting fiscal for his own view on the matter.
filed should stand. The Supreme Court stressed that the real and ultimate test
of the independence and integrity of the trial court is not the
He is, after all, in control of the prosecution of the case filing of the motions to suspend proceedings and defer
Having done so, it behooved the judge to wait for a final
and he may have his own reasons why the case should not be arraignment at that stage of the proceedings but the filing of a
resolution of the incident.
dismissed. motion to dismiss or to withdraw the information on the basis of
a resolution of the petition for review reversing the Joint
VALID BASIS OF JUDGE'S FINAL ACTION WHERE FISCAL Resolution of the investigating prosecutor.
It is only after hearing the prosecuting fiscal's view that STANDS ON INFORMATION
the Court should exercise its exclusive authority to continue or
dismiss the case. The findings and conclusion of the Provincial Prosecutor, Before that time, the pronouncement in Crespo u. Mogul,

being the final disposition on the reinvestigation, should be the that "once a complaint or information is filed in Court, any

The Parameters of the Court's Control sole and only valid basis of the judge's final action (not that of disposition of the case as its dismissal or the conviction of the

the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor). accused or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion
of the court," did not yet become relevant or applicable.
The Supreme Court, clarified in Marcelo v. Court of
Appeals, that there is nothing in Crespo v. Mogul, which bars the Where the Provincial Prosecutor to which the judge had
DOJ from taking cognizance of an appeal, by way of petition for deferred the matter for reinvestigation, had finally resolved to However, once a motion to dismiss or withdraw the
review, by an accused in a criminal case from an unfavorable stand on the information and to present evidence to prove the information is filed, the trial judge may grant or deny it, not out
ruling of the investigating prosecutor. guilt of the accused for the crime charged, the judge did not of subservience to the Secretary of Justice, but in faithful

have the option to dismiss the case on the basis of the exercise of judicial prerogative.

It merely advised the DOJ to, "as far as practicable, refrain disapproved resolution of the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor.
The trial judge must himself be convinced that there was
from entertaining a petition for review or appeal from the action indeed no sufficient evidence against the accused, and this con-
26
clusion can be arrived at only after an assessment of the therefore, in criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, I. Control by Prosecution
evidence in the possession of the prosecution. but that justice shall be done.

1. What case to file;


What is imperatively required is the trial judge's own As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense, the 2. Whom to prosecute;
assessment of such evidence, it not being sufficient for the valid servant of the law, the two-fold aim of which is that guilt shall
3. Manner of prosecution; and
and proper exercise of judicial discretion merely to accept or not escape or innocence suffers.
4. Right of Prosecution to Withdraw information
reject the prosecution's word for its supposed insufficiency or to
simply rely on Crespo v. Mogul. before arraignment even without notice and
Accordingly, if the fiscal is not at all convinced that a prima hearing. There must be leave of court after prior
facie case exists, he simply cannot move for the dismissal of the notice and hearing.
In the absence of a finding of grave abuse of discretion, case and, when denied, refuse to prosecute the same.
the court's bare denial of a motion to withdraw information
pursuant tc the Secretary's resolution is void. II. Control by Court Once Case is Filed
He is obliged by law to proceed and prosecute the criminal
action.
FISCAL MAY BE COMPELLED TO PROSECUTE CASES ALREADY 1. Suspension of Arraignment;
FILED
2. Reinvestigation;
He cannot impose his opinion on the trial court.
Notwithstanding his personal convictions or opinions, the 3. Prosecution by Fiscal;
fiscal must proceed with his duty of presenting evidence to the
4. Dismissal; and
court to enable the court to arrive at its own independent At least what he can do is to continue appearing for the
prosecution and then turn over the presentation of evidence to 5. Downgrading offense or dropping of accused even
judgment as to the culpability of the accused.
before plea.
another fiscal or a private prosecutor subject to his direction and
control.
The fiscal should not shirk from his responsibility much
III. Limitations on Control by Court
less leave the prosecution of the case at the hands of a private Where there is no other prosecutor available, he should
prosecutor. proceed to discharge his duty and present the evidence to the
best of his ability and let the court decide the merits of the case 1. Prosecution entitled to notice of hearing;

At all times, the criminal action shall be prosecuted under on the basis of the evidence adduced by both parties.

his direction and control. 2. Court must await result of petition for review;
The supervision and control of the prosecutor extends to
Otherwise, the entire proceedings will be null and void.
the civil liability instituted with the criminal action if it was not
3. Prosecution's stand to maintain prosecution should
filed separately, reserved or there is no private prosecutor who
be respected by court;
In the trial of criminal cases, it is the duty of the public intervened.
prosecutor to appear for the government "since an offense is an
outrage to the sovereignty of the State." 4. Ultimate test of court's independence is where
DEVELOPMENTS FROM CRESPO TO DIMATULAC:
fiscal files motion to dismiss or to withdraw
This is so because "the prosecuting officer is the information;
representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy but of a a. Distinction between control of prosecution and control of
sovereignty where the obligation to govern impartially is as court
5. Court has authority to review (power of Judicial
compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest,

27
Review) 8353, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 which took effect on October of, and in spite of the complainant, his death notwithstanding.
22, 1997, reclassifying rape as a crime against person and is
now a "public crime." Purpose of Rule
Secretary's recommendation and reject it if
there is grave abuse of discretion.
The complaint required (in Article 344 of the Revised Penal
Concept of Private Crimes
Code) was not enacted for the specific purpose of benefitting the
*See, however, Sec. ll(c), Rule 116,
accused, but is a condition precedent to the exercise by the
Suspension of arraignment does not exceed sixty The term "private crimes" in reference to felonies which proper authorities of the power to prosecute the guilty parties.
(60) days. cannot be prosecuted except upon complaint filed by the
aggrieved party, is misleading.
Such condition has been imposed out of consideration for
The Resolution of the Secretary of Justice
the offended women and her family who might prefer to suffer
may be appealed to the Office of the President in Far from what it implies, it is not only the aggrieved party the outrage in silence rather than go through with the scandal of
offenses punishable by death or reclusion who is offended in such crimes but also the State. a public trial.
perpetua.

Every violation of penal laws results in the disturbance of Thus, while the complaint filed by a mental retardate may
6. To reject or grant motion to dismiss court must public order and safety which the State is committed to uphold have been technically defective in the sense that complainant
make own independent assessment of evidence. and protect. was incompetent, this defect has been cured when complainant's
brother Pernando Alcala took the witness stand for the
7. Judgment is void if there is no independent If the law imposes the condition that private crimes like prosecution.
assessment and finding of grave abuse of adultery shall not be prosecuted except upon complaint filed by
discretion. the offended party, it is, "out of consideration for the aggrieved The brother's testimony shows that consent and
party who might prefer to suffer the outrage in silence rather willingness of the family of the complainant, who can not give
CRIMES PROSECUTED UPON COMPLAINT OF OFFENDED than go through the scandal of a public trial." her consent obviously, to have the private offense committed
PARTY
against the latter publicly tried.
Once a complaint is filed, the will of the offended party is
The rule on crimes that must be prosecuted upon
ascertained and the action proceeds just as in any other crime. Substantially, this is what is required by the rules.
complaint filed by the offended party may be classified into three
categories:
This is shown by the fact that after filing a complaint, any Evidently, by undergoing trial, the family of complainant
pardon given by the complainant to the offender would be chose to denounce the injustice committed against the latter in
a. In crimes of adultery and concubinage;
unavailing. public and thus agreed to bear the personal effects of said
b. In offenses of seduction, abduction, or acts of lascivious-
exposure.
ness;
It is true, the institution of the action in so-called private
c. Criminal actions for defamation which consist in the
crimes is at the option of the aggrieved party. Undoubtedly, therefore, the trial court had jurisdiction to
imputation of an offense mentioned above.
try the case.
But it is equally true that once the choice is made
Rape was excluded as a private crime in view of R.A. No.
manifest, the law will be applied in full force beyond the control
28
Compliance with Rule Is Jurisdictional factors pertinent to the punishment of the culprit. CAPACITY AND LEGAL REPRESENTATION AT THE TIME OF
FILING OF ACTION FOR ADULTERY

While the complaint required in said Art. 344 is merely a When it is said that the requirement in Article 344 that
condition precedent to the exercise by the proper authorities of Where the complainant had already been divorced, he can
there should be a complaint of the offended party or his relative
the power to prosecute the guilty parties, and such condition has no longer file the complaint. Said the Supreme Court:
is Jurisdictional, what is meant is that it is the complaint that
been imposed out of consideration for the offended woman and starts the prosecutory proceeding.
her family who might prefer to suffer the outrage in silence Corollary to such exclusive grant of power to the offended
rather than go through with the scandal of a public trial. spouse to institute the action, it necessarily follows that such
It is not the complaint which confers jurisdiction in the initiator must have the status, capacity or legal representation to
do so at the time of the filing of the criminal action.
Compliance with Rule 110, Section 5, is Jurisdictional and court to try the case.
not merely a formal requirement.
This is a familiar and express rule in civil actions; in fact, lack of
The Court's jurisdiction is vested in it by the Judiciary Law. legal capacity to sue, as a ground for a motion to dismiss in civil cases, is
Under Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of determined as of the filing of the complaint or petition.
IN PROSECUTIONS FOR ADULTERY AND CONCUBINAGE,
adultery, as well as four other crimes against chastity, cannot be THE PERSON WHO CAN LEGALLY FILE THE COMPLAINT
prosecuted except upon a sworn written complaint filed by the SHOULD BE THE OFFENDED SPOUSE, AND NOBODY ELSE The absence of an equivalent explicit rule in the prosecution of
offended spouse. criminal cases does not mean that the same requirement and rationale
would not apply.
Unlike the offenses of seduction, abduction, rape and acts

It has since long been established, with unwavering of lasciviousness, no provision is made for the prosecution of the
crimes of adultery and concubinage by the parents, Understandably, it may not have been found necessary since
consistency, that compliance with this rule is a Jurisdictional, and
criminal actions are generally and fundamentally commenced by the
not merely a formal requirement. grandparents or guardian of the offended party.
State, through the People of the Philippines, the offended party, being
merely the complaining witness therein.
While in point of strict law, the jurisdiction of the court
The so-called exclusive and successive rule in the
over the offense is vested in it by the Judiciary Law, the
prosecution of the first four offenses above mentioned do not However, in the so-called "private crimes," or those which cannot
requirement for a sworn written complaint is just as
apply to adultery and concubinage. be prosecuted de oficio, and the present prosecution for adultery is of
Jurisdictional a mandate since it is that complaint which starts
such genre, the offended spouse assumes a more predominant role since
the prosecutory proceeding and without which the Court cannot the right to commence the action, or to refrain therefrom, is a matter
exercise its jurisdiction to try the case. It is significant that while the State, as parens patriae, was exclusively within his power and option.
added and vested by the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure with
the power to initiate the criminal action for a deceased or
MEANING OF TERM "JURISDICTIONAL" In these cases, therefore, it is indispensable that the status and
incapacitated victim in the aforesaid offenses of seduction, capacity of the complainant to commence the action be definitely es-
abduction, [rape] and acts of lasciviousness, in default of her tablished and, as already demonstrated, such status or capacity must
It was explained in People v. Tanada (supra), that this parents, grandparents or guardian, such amendment did not indubitably exist at the time he initiates the action.
provision does not determine, however, the jurisdiction of our include the crimes of adultery and concubinage.
courts over the offenses therein enumerated. It would be absurd if his capacity to bring the action would be
determined by his status before or subsequent to the commencement
In other words, only the offended spouse, and no other, is
thereof, where such capacity or status existed prior to but ceased before,
It could not affect said jurisdiction, because the same is authorized by law to initiate the action therefor.
or was acquired subsequent to but did not exist at the time of, the
governed by the Judiciary Act of 1948, not by the Revised Penal institution of the case. We would thereby have the anomalous spectacle of
Code, which deals primarily with the definition of crimes and the OFFENDED PARTY IN ADULTERY MUST HAVE THE STATUS, a party bringing suit at the very time when he is without the legal

29
capacity to do bring his wife and the alleged paramour to justice being too writing in the form of searching questions and answers. On the
evident. basis of that examination, a warrant of arrest was issued.

Exclusive Right of Offended Party When of Age


In his appeal, Bulaong contends through his counsel de officio that
FILING OF VERIFIED STATEMENT BEFORE COURT
the lower court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case because the
SUFFICIENT
If the offended party is of age, the right to file the information filed by the city fiscal is fatally defective for not containing the
complaint is exclusive and successive. — None of these persons verification required in Form 24 of the Appendix to the Rules of Court.
has authority to proceed if there is any other person previously In a case where the Fiscal filed an Information charging
mentioned therein with legal capacity to appear and institute an the accused with 'telling some people in the neighborhood that
The contention has no merit.
action. said Fausta Bravo (a married woman) was a paramour of one
Sangalang, a man not her husband,' and Fausta Bravo did not
Where, however, the victim who was also of age is The forms prescribed in the Rules of Court "serve as mere
subscribe to the complaint, the Supreme Court held that the trial
illustrations."
incapacitated by reason of insanity or physical incapacity, the court had no jurisdiction over the case.
complaint filed by the father is valid.
Jurisdiction over the crime charged in this case is conferred by law,
It ruled that since the accused imputed to Fausta Bravo not by the complaint or information which is merely the means by which
OVERRIDING CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINATION OF
the commission of adultery, a crime which cannot be prosecuted jurisdiction is invoked or which gives the court the occasion for exercising
COMPLIANCE WITH RULE
de officio, the Information filed by the Fiscal cannot confer its jurisdiction.

jurisdiction upon the court of origin.


The overriding consideration in determining the issue of
INITIATION OF COMPLAINT IN FISCAL'S OFFICE IS
whether or not the condition prescribed in Article 344 of the SUFFICIENT COMPLIANCE
Revised Penal Code has been complied with is the interest of the It must be noted, however, that this error could be
aggrieved party to seek judicial redress for the affront corrected without sustaining the motion to quash and dismissing
A "Salaysay" or sworn statement of the offended party,
committed. the case. Pursuant to Section 1 of paragraph (a) of P.D. No. 77,
which prompted the Fiscal to con-duct a preliminary
under which the Assistant City Fiscal conducted the preliminary
investigation and then to file an information in court, is not the
investigation, the statement of the complainant was sworn to
DEATH OF COMPLAINANT DURING PENDENCY OF CASE complaint contemplated/required by Article 344 of the Revised
DOES NOT EXTINGUISH CRIMINAL LIABILITY before the aforesaid Investigating Fiscal. Assuming that the
Penal Code.
recitals in said sworn statement contain all those required of a
complaint under the rules, a copy of said verified statement of
The death of the complainant during the pendency of the
the complainant under the rules should be filed with respondent The Rule was modified in Valdepenas u. People, which held
case is not a ground for extinguishment of criminal liability
court in order to comply with the requirements of Article 360 of that the complaint filed by the offended woman and her mother
whether total or partial.
the Revised Penal Code; otherwise, the respondent Fiscal should before the Justice of the Peace Court and forwarded to the CFI of
file with said court, a verified complaint of the offended party. Cagayan, in which the corresponding information for forcible
abduction with rape was filed and was considered as sufficient
DEATH OF COMPLAINANT BEFORE FILING OF CASE IN compliance with the law.
COURT COMPLAINT FILED BY OFFENDED PARTY IN INFERIOR
COURT SUFFICIENT; OFFENDED PARTY NEED NOT
SUBSCRIBE INFORMATION
The fact that before a criminal information for adultery It is not necessary for the complainant to sign and verify
In this case, the complaint for abduction with rape 'against the information filed by the Fiscal.
could be filed, the offended party who had already filed a sworn Bulaong was filed in the city court by the offended girl and her
complaint with the fiscal died, is not sufficient justification for father. That complaint was sworn to before the city judge. It was
The complaint adopted by the Fiscal and attached to and
dismissal of the information, the desire of the offended party to the basis of the preliminary examination. The judge examined
the witnesses under oath. The examination was reduced to made part of the corresponding information filed after investi-

30
gation is sufficient. The right and power of the court to try the accused for
Since the filing of a complaint for any of the offenses
the crime of rape attaches upon the filing of the complaint,
enumerated in Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code, by the
and a change in the allegations thereof as the manner of
In People v. Sunpongco, the failure of the prosecution to person or persons mentioned therein is jurisdictional, the filing
committing the crime should not operate to divest the court
formally offer in evidence the sworn complaint of the offended thereof is sufficient to initiate a valid prosecution, and no
of the jurisdiction it has already acquired.
party or the failure to adhere to the rules is not fatal and does information need be Sled any longer by the Fiscal.
not oust the court of its jurisdiction to hear and decide the case.

EFFECT OF VARIANCE BETWEEN COMPLAINT AND The right or power to try the case should be
INFORMATION AND THE EVIDENCE distinguished from the right of the accused to demand an
If the complaint is forwarded to the Court as part of the
acquittal unless it is shown that he has committed the
record of the preliminary investigation of the case, the court can
A distinction should be made where there is a variance in offense charged in the information even if he be found guilty
take judicial notice of the same without the necessity of its
the allegations in the complaint of the manner the crime was of another offense; in the latter case, however, even if the
formal introduction as evidence of the prosecution.
committed and the allegations in the information; and a variance court has no right to find the accused guilty because the
between the allegations in the information and the evidence crime alleged is different from that proved, it cannot be
Seduction, Abduction, Act of Lasciviousness stated that the court has no jurisdiction over the case.
adduced by the prosecution.

The right is exclusively and successively reposed in the


a. Where the complaint filed was for forcible abduction, while c. Where the complaint signed by the complainant charged the
offended party, her parents or guardian in the order in which the information filed by the Fiscal was for rape inasmuch as accused with abduction with rape detailed in her sworn
they are named. the crime if rape is different from the crime of forcible
abduction alleged in the complaint, said complaint could not statement which form part of the records of the preliminary
serve as a basis for the court to acquire jurisdiction over the investigation, even if the body of the complaint does not
This is out of consideration for the aggrieved party who crime actually committed. specify the elements of forcible abduction, if the information
might prefer to suffer the outrage in silence rather than go sufficiently charged the complex crime forcible abduction
through the scandal of a public trial. b. Where, however, the complaint was for rape, a change in with rape, the court validly acquired jurisdiction.
the manner of committing the crime of rape from that as
NO NEED TO FILE INFORMATION; FILING OF COMPLAINT alleged in the complaint does not divest the court of its
d. Where the information, however, charged the accused of
IS SUFFICIENT jurisdiction.
rape by force and intimidation, he cannot be convicted of
rape on the ground that the victim was raped while she was
In a case involving crimes against chastity, the prosecution
The power of jurisdiction of the court is not over the unconscious or otherwise deprived of reason as it would
may be conducted by the fiscal on the basis of the complaint
crime of rape when committed on a minor and demented violate his right to be informed of the nature and cause of
filed in the inferior court. There is no need to file an information.
girl, but over rape, irrespective of the manner in which the the accusation against him, except when there is a failure to
same may have been committed. object thereto during the trial in which case the accused
Hence, the other contention of the accused that the
may be convicted of the rape proved even if committed in a
information should have been signed by the offended girl is
manner different from that alleged in the information.
wrong. The court, therefore, erred in holding that it had no
jurisdiction to try the crime charged in the information
simply because it charges the accused with having Other Cases
Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code, reproduced in
committed the crime on a demented girl, instead of through
Section 4, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, does not require that a. The father has no preferential right over the mother to file
the use offeree and intimidation.
the offended girl in a crime against chastity should sign the the complaint.
information filed by the fiscal.
31
b. A complaint must be filed by the legal guardian. An oath The death of offended party in a criminal case for libel or
that he is the guardian was held as sufficient. The error may, however, be corrected without sustaining defamation does not extinguish criminal liability of accused.

the motion to quash and dismiss the case.


c. Where the complaint is for attempted rape, the city court
has jurisdiction to try the case for acts of lasciviousness, the Where the statement of the complaint was sworn to before SEC. 6.
crime allegedly committed as per inquest fiscal's findings, the investigating fiscal; and the recitals in the sworn statement Sufficiency of complaint or information
though the complainant did not sign a complaint for acts of contain all those required of a complaint under the rules, a copy
lasciviousness, attempted rape includes acts of of the verified statement of the offended party may be filed in
lasciviousness. Time of the offense under the former rule was changed to
court
DATE of the offense.

While the Fiscal should have prepared another Thus, where the information was based on the criminal
complaint for acts of lasciviousness, this is not jurisdictional All Elements of Crime Must be Alleged
complaint filed with the fiscal's office which conducted the
— the complaint started the criminal action because a corresponding preliminary investigation and the records
private crime can not be prosecuted de officio. It is fundamental that every element of which the offense
conformably with the procedure then in force was transmitted to
is composed must be alleged in the complaint or information.
the trial court, such circumstance does not deprive the court of
d. Where the accused is charged with rape committed thru its jurisdiction.

force and intimidation, he cannot be convicted of rape What facts and circumstances are necessary to be stated
committed under paragraph 2 of Article 335 when the must be determined by reference to the definitions and the
Imputing prostitution, does not indicate an adulterous act
woman is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious. essentials of the specific crimes.
and can be prosecuted de officio.

Where, however, in addition to allegedly calling the


e. In robbery with rape or rape with homicide, the complaint of The main purpose of requiring the various elements of a
complainant a whore, the private respondent is also charged in
offended party is not essential. crime to be set out in an information is to enable the accused to
one information with having described the former as a
suitably prepare his defense. He is presumed to have no
"paramour of my husband," this is a clear imputation of adultery.
independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the ofiense.
Defamation

A paramour is "one who loves or is loved illicitly." Matter of Evidence; Need Not be Averred
A published letter stating that a woman employee had
"illicit relationship with another who is the former's paramour"
imputes adulterous relationship between the two. One taking the place without legal rights of a husband or However, it is often difficult to say what is a matter of
wife. evidence, as distinguished from facts necessary to be stated in
order to render the information sufficiently certain to identify the
A prosecution for libel based thereon cannot be made
offense.
without the sworn complaint of the offended party. A mistress, also called a lover, accordingly, that imputation
is covered by Rule 110.
Since the accused imputed the commission of adultery, a As a general rule, matters of evidence, as distinguished
crime which cannot be prosecuted de officio, the Information from facts essential to the description of the offense, need not
DEATH OF OFFENDED PARTY IN CASES OF LIBEL OR
filed by the Fiscal cannot confer jurisdiction upon the Court of DEFAMATION be averred.
origin.

32
For instance, it is not necessary to show on the face of an ammunitions outside of his residence. The contention is without
information for forgery in what manner a person is to be merit. What is important is that the information states that the
defrauded, as that is a matter of evidence at the trial. accused is being charged of an offense under R.A. No. 7610
As the court had stated in People v. Austria, the based on the complaint of the offended party, to which the
Reasonable Certainty is Sufficient presentation of evidence "cannot have the effect of validating a accused had adequately responded.
void information, or proving an offense which does not legally
Moreover, reasonable certainty in the statement of the exist. Under these conditions, the accused was fully apprised of
crime suffices. the accusation against him.

The information was not merely defective but it does not


All that is required is that the charge be set forth with such charge any offense at all. The purpose and objective of the constitutional mandate
particularity as will reasonably indicate the exact offense which are discharged and satisfied.
the accused is alleged to have committed and will enable him
Technically speaking, that information does not exist in
intelligently to prepare his defense, and if found guilty to plead
contemplation of law." The accused may not be said to be taken by surprise by
her conviction, in a subsequent prosecution for the same
offense. the failure of the information to state the age of the offended

In an information for rape (committed before R.A. No. party, when he had received the initiatory complaint where he
7659) without alleging the age or complainant, the accused was was told how old the offended party was.
Effects of Fatally Defective Information
convicted of statutory rape there being no objection to evidence
or minority. Thus, even if the information did not allege that the victim
Conviction or acquittal under a fatally defective information
for want of certain essential allegation is not necessarily void was a mental retardate which is an essential element of the

when no objection appears to have been raised at the trial and The information was not void but merely defective which is crime of statutory rape, or the element of force and intimidation

the fatal defect could have been supplied by competent proof. curable by evidence admitted without objection. or the age of the complainant or the information merely states
that petitioner was being charged for the crime of "violation of
R.A. No. 7610" without citing the specific sections alleged to
It was, however, held in Ilo, et al. v. Court of Appeals, that The Substantial Compliance Rule
have been violated the Court treated the informations as merely
a substantial defect in the information cannot be cured by defective and that the deficiency was cured either because the
evidence, for that would jeopardize their right to be informed of, It has been held that a complaint is under the Rules one of
complaint supplied the omission or by the failure of the accused
the true nature of the offense they are charged. the two charging instruments for the offense of which the
to assail the insufficiency of the allegations in the Information
accused was tried and convicted here.
and by competent evidence presented during trial, and the
The Supreme Court applied the case of People u. Austria, accused cannot successfully invoke the defense that his right to
holding that an information which does not charge an offense at While the criminal action was instituted by the complaint of be informed is violated.
all cannot be validated by the presentation of evidence. Said the the offended party, the information signed only by the fiscal
Supreme Court: "(t)he petitioner contends that under the ushered in the formal trial process.
The Court did not consider the omissions sufficient to
allegation in the information that the accused without authority invalidate the information, holding that the character of the
of law, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously crime is not determined by the caption or preamble of the
But both are accusations in writing against the accused
have in his possession and under his custody and control the information nor from the specification of the provision of law
and serve the purpose of enabling him to take the necessary
firearms and ammunitions enumerated therein," the prosecution alleged to have been violated, as they may be conclusions of
legal steps for his defense.
may prove that the accused carried the firearms and

33
law, but by the recital of the ultimate facts and circumstances in crime in either of the following manner: aptly appear in the information in the form of definitive acts
the complaint or information. constituting conspiracy.

(1) by the use of the word "conspire" or its


derivatives or synonyms, such as confederate, connive,
The sufficiency of an information is not negated by an collude, etc. or In fine, the agreement to commit the crime, the unity of
incomplete or defective designation of the crime in the caption or purpose or the community of design among the accused must be
other parts of the information but by the narration of facts and (2) by allegations of basic facts constituting the conveyed such as either by the use of the term "conspire" or its
circumstances which adequately depicts a crime and sufficiently conspiracy in a manner that a person of common derivatives and synonyms or by allegations of basic facts
apprise the accused of the nature and cause of.the accusation understanding would know what is intended, and with such constituting the conspiracy.
precision as would enable the accused to competently enter
against him. a plea to a subsequent indictment based on the same facts
Conspiracy must be alleged, not just inferred, in the
The information may not refer to specific section/s of R.A. When Charged as a Mode of Committing the Crime information on which basis an accused can aptly enter his plea, a
No. 7610 alleged to have been violated by the petitioner, but it matter that is not to be confused with or likened to the adequacy
is all to evident that the body of the information contains an The requirements of the sufficiency of the information are of evidence that may be required to prove it.
averment of the'acts alleged to have been performed by different when conspiracy is not charged as a crime in itself but
petitioner which unmistakably refers to acts punishable under only as a mode of committing the crime as in the case of Plunder
In establishing conspiracy when properly alleged, the
Section 5 of R.A. No. 7610. consisting of several predicate crimes.
evidence to support it need not necessarily be shown by direct
proof but may be inferred from shown acts and conduct of the
As to which section of R.A. No. 7610 is being violated by There is less necessity of reciting its particularities in the accused.
petitioner is inconsequential. information because conspiracy is not the gravamen of the
offense charged.
An allegation of conspiracy, or one that would impute
What is determinative of the offense is the recital of the criminal liability to an accused for the act of another or others, is
ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or information. The conspiracy is significant only because it changes the indispensable in order to hold such person, regardless of the
criminal liability of all the accused in the conpsiracy and make nature and extent of his own participation, equally guilty with
Sufficiency of Allegations of Conspiracy them responsible as co-principals regardless of the degree of the other or others in the commission of the crime.
their participation in the crime.

In our jurisdiction, * * * conspiracy can be alleged in the Where conspiracy exists and can rightly be appreciated,
Information as a mode of committing a crime or it may be The liability of the conspirators is collective and each the individual acts done to perpetrate the felony becomes of
alleged as constitutive of the crime itself. participant will be equally responsible for the acts of the others. secondary importance, the act of one being imputable to all the
others.

When conspiracy is alleged as a crime in itself, the The information must state that the accused have
sufficiency of the allegations in the Information charging the confederated to commit the crime or that there has been a Verily, an accused must know from the information
offense is governed by Section 6, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules community of design, a unity of purpose or an agreement to whether he faces a criminal responsibility not only for his acts
of Criminal Procedure. commit the felony among the accused. but also for the acts of his co-accused as well.

Following the stream of our own jurisprudence, it is Such an allegation, in the absence of the usual usage of In the absence of conspiracy, so averred and proved an
enough to allege conspiracy as a mode in the commission of the the words "conspired" or the phrase "acting in conspiracy," must accused can only be made liable for the acts committed by him

34
alone and this criminal responsibility is individual and not
collective

35
WHEN CONSPIRACY CHARGED AS A CRIME information for conviction of accused who may therefore be
This is essential to avoid surprise on the accused and convicted of a crime more serious than that named in the

to afford him the opportunity to prepare his defense title or preliminary part if such crime is covered by the facts
When conspiracy is charged as a crime, the act of alleged in the body of the information and its commission is
accordingly.
conspiring and all the elements of said crime must be set forth in established by the evidence.
the complaint or information.
To comply with these fundamental requirements of
the Constitution and the Rules on Criminal Procedure, it is
For example, the crime of "conspiracy to commit treason"
imperative for the specific statute violated to be designated SEC. 7.
is committed when, in time of war, two or more persons come to
or mentioned in the charge. Name of the accused
an agreement to levy war against the Government or to adhere
to the enemies and to give them aid or comfort, and decide to
commit it. b. The failure, however, to designate the offense by statute or The word "discovered" under the former rule was changed
to mention the specific provision penalizing the act or an to "ascertained."
erroneous speficication of the law violated does not vitiate
In embodying the essential elements of the crime charged,
the information if the facts alleged clearly recites the facts
the information must set forth the facts and circumstances that Error in the name or identity should be raised on
constituting the crime charged.
have a bearing on the culpability and liability of the accused so arraignment.
that the accused can properly prepare for and undertake his
defense. c. The title of information or designation of offense is not
Purpose of Rule
controlling.

One such fact or circumstance in a complaint against two To enable the court to acquire jurisdiction over his person
or more accused persons is that of conspiracy. It is the actual facts recited in the information that and to inform him of the facts.
determines the nature of the crime.

Quite unlike the omission of an ordinary recital of fact The real nature of offense is to be determined not by Where the accused has been sued as John Doe in an
which, if not excepted from or objected to during trial, may be its designation or title given by the Fiscal but the facts information filed in due form, and after due investigation by the
corrected or supplied by competent proof alleged in the body of the Information. Fiscal, his identity became known, his true name may be
inserted without further need of preliminary investigation where
Need to Designate Statute Violated one had already been properly conducted pursuant to the
d. It is the province of the Court alone to say what the crime is
charter of Quezon City and the nature of the crime is not
or what it is named.
a. It is a constitutional right of any person who stands charged changed.
in a criminal prosecution to be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him.
Even the justice of the peace, during the preliminary
Verbal motion to correct spelling is sufficient.
investigation of a case, is without authority to determine the
Pursuant to the above, Section 6, Rule 110 of the character of the crime committed. His declaration upon the
Rules of Court, expressly requires that for a complaint or point is merely an opinion which in no wise binds the trial Where the accused Roberto Cultura was indicted in the
information to be sufficient, it must, inter alia, state the court. information as "Jose" Cultura (his father's name), but it was
designation of the offense by the statute, and the acts or clearly proven that he was part of the group that killed the
omissions complained of as constituting the offense. victim and did not raise the question of his identity at the
e. Allegations prevail over designation of the offense in the

36
arraignment and acquiesced to be tried under that name, he is R.A. No. 7659 (Death Penalty Law) Relationships which
deemed to have waived to raise the question of his identity for a. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the includes step-daughter and minority in incestuous rape are in
the first time on appeal. offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, the nature of qualifying circumstances, must be specifically
relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil
degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the alleged and proved to warrant imposition of death penalty.
victim.

SEC. 8. Omission cannot be cured by evidence.


b. When the victim is under the custody of the police or mili-
Designation of the offense tary authorities. Hence, penalty should only be reclusion perpetual

SEC. 9. c. When the rape is committed in full view of the husband, The twin circumstances of minority and relationship under
Cause of the accusation parent, any of the children or other relatives within the third Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No.
degree of consangguinity. 7659, are in the nature of qualifying circumstances because they
Amendment alter the nature of the crime of rape and increase the penalty.

d. When the victim is a religious or a child below seven (7)


The former rule did not require qualifying and aggravating years old. As special qualifying circumstances they must be
circumstances to be alleged in the complaint or information. specifically pleaded or alleged with certainty in the information;
otherwise, the death penalty cannot be imposed.
e. When the offender knows that he is afflicted with Acquired
According to jurisprudence, aggravating circumstances Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) disease.
proven by the evidence, although not alleged in the information, The allegation that Irma is Nelson's niece is not specific
may be taken into account as such aggravating circumstances. enough to satisfy the special qualifying circumstance of
f. When committed by any member of the Armed Forces of
relationship.
the Philippines or the Philippine National Police or any law
Qualifying circumstances not alleged but proven are enforcement agency.
considered as aggravating. If the offender is merely a relation — not a parent,
ascendant, stepparent, guardian, or common law spouse of the
g. When by reason on the occasion of the rape, the victim has
mother of the victim — the specific relationship must be alleged
This is no longer true. suffered permanent physical mutilation.
in the information, i.e., that he is "a relative by consanguinity or
affinity [as the case may be] within the third civil degree."
HISTORY OF AMENDMENT. The concurrence of the minority of the victim and her
relationship of the offender is a special qualifying circumstance
The informations in these cases merely allege that Irma is
Allegations to Warrant Death Penalty which should both be alleged and proved with certainty in order
the "niece" of Nelson.
to warrant the imposition of the death penalty.

Pursuant to Section 11 of the amendatory statute (The


She could be a niece beyond the third civil degree either of
Death Penalty Law), the death penalty may be imposed in rape In these eight (8) cases, complainant never said she was
consanguinity or affinity.
cases under the last paragraph of Article 335 of the Revised below 18 years of age when she was allegedly raped by her
Penal Code, when the rape is committed with any of the father on any of the dates stated in the complaint.
following attendant circumstances: Hence, the informations are fatally defective in this
respect.
37
The factor that characterizes the charge is the actual Every crime is made up of certain acts and intent these must be set
recital of facts. forth in the complaint with reasonable particularity of time, place, names
In People u. Nunez, the Court stressed: Strict application of the
(plaintiff and defendant) and circumstances.
rule requiring the allegation of the qualifying circumstances mentioned in
Section 11 of R.A. No. 7659 was further enunciated in People v. Dimapilis.
The real nature of the criminal charge is determined not In short, the complaint must contain a specific allegation of
While the Information there alleged that the victim was the stepdaughter
of the accused, it was not accepted as a proper allegation of the qualifying from the caption or preamble of the information nor from the every fact and circumstance necessary to constitute the crime
circumstance that the accused was the "common law spouse of the parent specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated charged."
of the victim" and the death penalty imposed by the trial court was once they being conclusions of law but by the actual recital of facts in
again reduced to reclusion perpetua. the complaint or information. It is essential therefore, that the accused be informed of
the facts that are imputed to them as "as he is presumed to
Taking into account the growing number of cases where qualified have no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the
The purpose of the rule is to fully apprise the accused of
rape under Section 11 of R.A. No. 7659, although proven during trial, offense."
could still not be properly penalized because of defects in the Information,
the true charge against him.
It imperative that the Information filed with the trial court

We urge the prosecuting fiscals who are charged with the The rule broadens the concept and scope of the right of be complete — to the end that the accused may suitably prepare
responsibility of preparing Informations to state with particularity the the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the his defense.
attendant circumstances provided for under Section 11 of R.A. No. 7659. accusation against him.
Corollary to this, an indictment must fully state the
More specifically, in qualified rape, both the fact of minority of the elements of the specific offense alleged to have been committed
The life and liberty of the accused should not be left to the
victim and the actual relationship between the parties, as worded in R.A.
ability or inability of his counsel to promptly object against the as it is the recital of the essentials of a crime which delineates
No. 7659, must be alleged in the Information.
admissibility of what the law or rule requires to be specifically the nature and cause of accusation against the accused.

alleged.
Otherwise, We shall continue to fail both the law and the victims
whom the law have sought to protect. The Court in People u. Mendez, cited the 1935 case of

This was explained in U.S. v. Karelsen: People v. Oso, that the allegation of the complaint that the
accused had carnal intercourse with the offended woman
Hence, the formulation of the foregoing rules that mandate not
only the qualifying but also the aggravating circumstances to be specified "against her will" or "without her consent" is insufficient to
"The object of this written accusations was, warrant a conviction for rape, although the evidence proves the
in the information
commission of the crime and reiterated the importance of duly

The Rule now requires aggravating circumstances must not only be First: To furnish the accused with such a description of the charge informing the accused of the accusation against him as a
proven but it must also be alleged, otherwise, it should not be considered. against him as will enable him to make his defense; and constitutional right that cannot be taken lightly, more so, if the
penalty to be imposed is grave, such as the forfeiture of his life.

Retroactive Application of Rule Second, to avail himself of his conviction or acquittal for protection
against a further prosecution for the same cause, and
The essence of the constitutional right of the accused to be
The rule being remedial and favorable to the accused may informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him
Third to inform the court of the facts alleged so that it may decide is that "every element of the offense must be alleged in the
be applied retroactively to pending cases.
whether they are sufficient in law to support a conviction if one should be
complaint or information" so as to "enable the accused to
had in order that this requirement may be satisfied, facts must be stated,
suitably prepare his defense. He is presumed to have no
Purpose of Rule not conclusions of law.
independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense."

38
qualifying circumstances of relationship and minority is omitted between the victim and the accused because as phrased, they unduly lay
or lacking, that which is pleaded in the information and proved stress on the generic aggravating circumstance of "taking advantage of
In setting out the elements of a crime in the information or
superior strength."
complaint, the pertinent provisions of the Rules on Criminal by the evidence, like the complainant's minority, may be
Procedure, specifically, Section 9 of Rule 110, provides the considered as an aggravating.
The Court further explained that:
following guideline the cited provision is one of the many
provisions in the Rules of Court that serves to implement the Exact Relationship to be Alleged
constitutional right of the accused to be informed of the charges "Be it in terms of syntax or composition, the wording of the
informations is unable to sufficiently notify the accused, a person of
against him. For rape to be qualified as heinous, warranting the
common understanding or ordinary intelligence, of the gravity or nature of
imposition of the death penalty, the circumstances of the the crime he had been charged with, especially considering that the
Relevant to this case is the phrase "a person of common minority of the victim and her relationship with the offender generic aggravating circumstance of taking advantage of superior strength

understanding," which has its origin in this jurisdiction in the must be both alleged in the information for rape. is not even an element of the attendant circumstances treated under
number 1 of the last paragraph of Article 335.
phrase "a person of ordinary intelligence.""
Although a husband is subject to punishment by death in
The afore-quoted clauses in the informations can thus not be read
The test is whether the crime is described in intelligible case he commits rape against his wife's daughter, where the
nor understood as constituting a specific allegation of the special
terms with such particularity as to apprise the accused, with information alleged the accused, who is the stepfather of
circumstances of relationship of father and daughter and that the
reasonable certainty, of the offense charged. complainant, succeeded in having carnal knowledge of the latter daughter was less than 18 years of age at the time the crime of rape was
who was then below eighteen years of age, but the evidence committed."
shows that the accused is not the complainant's stepfather
The raison d'etre of the rule is to enable the accused to because he and complainant's mother were not really married Specific Allegation of Relationship and Minority
suitably prepare his defense. but only lived in common-law relationship or where the charge is
that the victim is the daughter of the accused when the evidence
Even if the information alleged that the victim is the
Without allegation of relationship in cases of statutory shows that she is a mere stepdaughter or whether the
natural daughter of the accused, where there is a difference in
rape, proof alone of relationship unless specifically alleged in the relationship is by affinity or consanguinity in the third degree the
their surname, the mere testimony of the victim that the
information would not warrant imposition of the death penalty. death penalty cannot be imposed because the relationship
accused is his father is not sufficient to establish the qualifying
alleged in the information is different from that actually proven
circumstance of relationship, even if such relationship was not
Under existing jurisprudence, in the absence of proof of denied by the accused.
Where the informations alleged:
aggravating circumstance, the penalty should be reclusion
perpetua and not death.
"[A]nd taking advantage of his superior strength over the person of Granting that the relationship within the third civil degree
his own daughter who is only thirteen years old.. ." either of consanguinity or affinity was duly proved during the
Where there are two indivisible penalties if there is no
trial, still such proof cannot be appreciated to justify the
aggravating circumstance the lesser penalty should be imposed.
imposition of the death penalty because he would thereby be
“[T]aking advantage of his superior strength over the person of his
thirteen (13) year old (sic) daughter. . ." denied of his constitutional and statutory right to be informed of
The court may appreciate as an aggravating circumstance the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
the victim's minority, which was pleaded in the informations and
the Court spared the life of the accused, despite the mention of the
proved by her birth certificate.
age of the victim and the word "daughter" in said informations, on the Accused cannot be charged with committing the crime of
ground that the quoted informations failed to duly allege the special
rape in its simple form and then be tried and convicted of rape in
In those cases, when either one of the twin special qualifying circumstances of the victim's minority and the relationship
its qualified form.
39
exemplary damages within the context of Article 2230 of the
Exact Age of Victim must be Alleged Rule on Exemplary Damages New Civil Code, even if the information or criminal complaint has
not alleged said circumstances as required by the rule.
The allegation in the information that complainant is the In line with the ruling in People v. Catubig, the qualifying
In People v. Cachopero, the award of exemplary damages
"minor daughter" of accused-appellant is insufficient. circumstances of minority and relationship, though not specified
was deleted since the aggravating circumstances to justify the
in the complaint, can serve as basis for awarding exemplary
ward were not alleged and proved.
damages.
As held in People v. Puertollano, the information must
state the exact age of the victim at the time of the commission THE MODIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES MUST BE ALLEGED NOT
of the crime. Although the rape was committed in 1997, before the ONLY IN PREAMBLE BUT IN ACCUSATORY PORTION
Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure took effect, the court held
To warrant the imposition of the death penalty, the that the retroactive application of the rules does not absolve The fact of filiation and minority must be alleged in the
qualifying circumstance of the rape victim being below seven accused from civil liability accusatory portion of the information.
years of age should be aptly alleged in the information.

Thus, the use of deadly weapon is a qualifying The real nature of the criminal charge is determined not
Otherwise, the death penalty imposed by the trial court circumstance or when the crime is committed by two or more from the caption or the preamble of the information, nor from
should be reduced to reclusion perpetua as provided for in the persons, the penalty is reclusion perpetua to death if the the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been
second paragraph of Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as commission of the crime was attended by an aggravating violated x x x, but from the actual recital of the facts as alleged
amended. circumstance. in the body of the information."

COMPARE: The use of a deadly weapon was considered as qualifying Where relationship is not stated in the "cause of the
and not aggravating for purposes of imposing the death penalty accusation," or in the narration of the act or omission
It has, however, been held that where the information which was, however, considered as aggravating to award constituting the offense, but only in the preamble or opening
state that the offense was committed with the aggravating exemplary damages. statement of the complaint and the complaint upon which the
circumstances of insult or in disregard of the respect due the appellant was arraigned does not state in the accusatory portion
In People v. Caniezo the circumstance of deadly weapon
offended party on account of the fact the accused is the father of the specifications of the acts constitutive of the offense, that he
was not alleged but proven and was considered as generic
the complainant, properly plead the special circumstance of is charged as the father of the victim.
aggravating — but did not make any difference in the imposition
relationship of father and daughter that would enable a "person
of the penalty since under Article 63 where the penalty involved
of sufficient understanding" to know what offense is intended to
are two indivisible penalties of reclusion perpetua and there are Such omission is prejudicial to the right of the accused to
be charged.
no qualifying circumstances, the single indivisible penalty of be informed of the nature of the accusations against him.
reclusion perpetua shall be imposed regardless of the
The accused could not have been misled by the wording of aggravating circumstance. PLEA OF GUILTY TO ALLEGATIONS IN BODY OF
the informations. INFORMATION

Exemplary damages was, however, awarded.


A person of ordinary intelligence could not plead with logic Thus, the plea of guilty is not on the offense alleged in the
that he had no notice that he is being charged with the repeated preamble but for the crime alleged in the accusatory portion of
Thus an aggravating circumstance, whether ordinary or the information.
rape of his fifteen-year-old daughter.
qualifying, should entitle the offended party to an award of

40
The fact that accused-appellant has not denied the
Thus accused did not, in fact, plead guilty to a capital The failure to allege the fact of filiation and minority in the allegation in the complaints that Mylene was below 18 years of

offense designated in the preamble but only to that part of the information for rape is fatal and consequently bars conviction of age when any of the crimes was committed cannot make up for
complaint that charges only simple rape under Art. 335, for its qualified form which is punishable with death. the failure of the prosecution to discharge its burden.

which the penalty is only reclusion perpetua, and not for rape
under R.A. No. 7659, qualified by the circumstance that the Because of its failure to discharge this burden and the
Any circumstance that would qualify or aggravate the
offender is the father of the victim who is a minor, for which the corresponding failure of the trial court to make a categorical
crime charged must be specified in the information.
penalty is death. finding as to the minority of the victim, the qualifying
circumstance of minority and relationship cannot be appreciated
Following the established rule that a penal statute, in these cases.
He cannot therefore properly invoke Sec. 3, Rule 116,
whether substantive or procedural, shall be given a retroactive
which requires reception of evidence on a plea to a capital
effect if favorable to the accused, aggravating circumstances not
offense. It is different with regard to the relationship of the of-
alleged cannot be appreciated.
fended party and accused-appellant, because the latter admitted
APPLICATION TO ALL CRIMES NOT INVOLVING that complainant is his daughter.
IMPOSITION OF DEATH PENALTY Thus, where the aggravating circumstance of dwelling and
abuse of confidence or obvious ungratefulnnes, nocturnity or
nighttime or treachery or abuse of superior strength not alleged Perforce, the death penalty imposed by the trial court in
Before the amendment the retroactive effect of non-
in the information cannot be appreciated. each of the eight (8) cases should be reduced to reclusion
allegation of aggravating circumstance even if proved is
perpetua as provided in the second paragraph of Art. 335 of the
inapplicable for the crime of robbery, the same not involving the
Revised Penal Code, as amended.
imposition of the death penalty. Although the information does not specifically allege
treachery as a qualifying circumstance in the commission of the
crime, the allegation in the information that the victim was four There must not only be proof of minority but also of the
For said crime, what remains applicable is the old rule that
years old at the time of the killing is sufficient compliance with relationship between the accused and the victim.
generic aggravating circumstances if duly proven in the course of
the trial could be taken into account by the trial court in section 6, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure,

determining the proper imposable penalty, even if such as amended. Killing a child by an adult constitutes treachery MODIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES NEED NOT ALLEGE WITH
even if the mode of attack by the assailant is not proved by the SPECIFICITY WHETHER IT IS QUALIFYING OR
circumstances is not alleged in the information. AGGRAVATING
prosecution because a child of tender years could not be
expected to put up a defense and hence at the mercy of his or
The court clarified that with the amendment, the principle her assailant. It was earlier held that where the information, did not
is now applicable in all criminal cases, not only in cases where allege with specificity as qualifying the killing to murder (it
the aggravating circumstances would increase the penalty to merely alleged "with intent to kill, treachery and evident
THE JUDGMENT MUST MAKE AN EXPRESS FINDING OF THE
death. QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES premeditation) although established by the evidence, under the
present Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, treachery has to be
considered a generic aggravating circumstance only.
The court, therefore gave fair warning to prosecutors that The decision of the trial court must contain an express and
henceforth, they must prepare well-crafted informations that categorical finding that the complainant was below 18 years old This was reiterated in an en bane decision of the Court in
allege the circumstances qualifying and aggravating the crimes when the crime of rape was committed to justify the imposition People v. Manlansing, holding that where none of aggravating
charged, otherwise the same will not be considered by the court of the death penalty. circumstances were alleged in the informations with specificity as
in determining the proper penalty. a qualifying circumstance elevating the killing to murder,
41
ascused should only be convicted of homicide. evidence to support it need not necessarily be shown by direct
The words "aggravating/qualifying," "qualifying," "qualified proof but may be inferred from shown acts and conduct of the

by," "aggravating," or "aggravated by" need not be expressly accused.


This is no longer true.
stated as long as the particular attendant circumstances are
specified in the Information." Following the stream of our own jurisprudence, it is
In a per curiam Resolution, the Court in People v. Aquino
enough to allege conspiracy as a mode in the commission of the
declared:
The ruling was reiterated in People v. Paulina and People crime in either of the following manner:
v. Garin holding that the appellant may no longer rely on the
3

“We therefore reiterate that Sections 8 and 9 of Rule 110 merely


rulings Alba and Manalansing because of the ruling in People v. (1) by the use of the word "conspire" or its
require that the Information allege, specify or enumerate the attendant derivatives or synonyms, such as confederate, connive,
Aquino and People v. Paulino.
circumstances mentioned in the law to qualify the offense. collude, etc. or

WHEN DEFECT IN INFORMATION CURED: THE (2) by allegations of basic facts constituting the
These circumstances need not be preceded by the words
SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE RULE conspiracy in a manner that a person of common
'aggravating/qualifying,' 'qualifying,' or 'qualified by' to be considered as
understanding would know what is intended, and with such
qualifying circumstances.
precision as would enable the accused to competently enter
The information must state that the accused have confed- a plea to a subsequent indictment based on the same facts.
erated to commit the crime or that there has been a community
It is sufficient that these circumstances be specified in the
Information to apprise the accused of the charges against him to enable of design, a unity of purpose or an agreement to commit the
In the absence of conspiracy, so averred and proved an
him to prepare fully for his defense, thus precluding surprises during the felony among the accused.
accused can only be made liable for the acts committed by him
trial.
alone and this criminal responsibility is individual and not
Such an allegation, in the absence of the usual usage of collective.
When the prosecution specifically alleges in the Information the
the words "conspired" or "confederated" or the phrase "acting in
circumstances mentioned in the law as qualifying the crime, and succeeds
conspiracy," must aptly appear in the information in the form of Conspiracy Charged as a Crime
in proving them beyond reasonable doubt, the Court is constrained to
impose the higher penalty mandated by law.
definitive acts constituting conspiracy.

Thus, when conspiracy is charged as a crime, the act of


This includes the death penalty in proper cases." In fine, the agreement to commit the crime, the unity of conspiring and all the elements of said crime must be set forth in
purpose or the community of design among the accused must be the complaint or information.
conveyed such as either by the use of the term "conspire" or its
Unfortunately, this is one of those cases.
derivatives and synonyms or by allegations of basic facts
For example, the crime of "conspiracy to commit treason"
constituting the conspiracy.
is committed when, in time of war, two or more persons come to
The allegation of the twin circumstances of minority and
an agreement to levy war against the Government or to adhere
relationship in the Information, which were proven beyond
Conspiracy must be alleged, not just inferred, in the to the enemies and to give them aid or comfort, and decide to
reasonable doubt during the trial, compels the Court to impose
information on which basis an accused can aptly enter his plea, a commit it. * * *
the death penalty.
matter that is not to be confused with or likened to the adequacy
of evidence that may be required to prove it. CONSPIRACY CHARGED AS MODE OF COMMITTING A
To guide the bench and the bar, this Resolution clarifies CRIME
and resolves the issue of how to allege or specify qualifying or
In establishing conspiracy when properly alleged, the
aggravating circumstances in the Information.
The requirements of the sufficiency of the information are
42
different when conspiracy is not charged as a crime in itself but or mentioned in the charge. CRIME
only as the mode of committing the crime as in the case of
Plunder consisting of several crimes. The foregoing doctrines refer to the special qualifying
b. The failure, however, to designate the offense by statute or
to mention the specific provision penalizing the act or an circumstances that are required to be specifically alleged in the

There is less necessity of reciting its particularities in the erroneous specification of the law violated does not vitiate information.

information because conspiracy is not the gravamen of the the information if the facts alleged clearly recites the facts
offense charged. constituting the crime charged. It would seem to be different when there is a mere
variance in the mode of the commission of the crime.

The conspiracy is significant only because it changes the c. The title of information or designation of offense is not
criminal liability of all the accused in the conspiracy and make controlling. A. Real Nature of Crime Determined by Facts Alleged in
them responsible as co-principals regardless of the degree of Complaint or Information and Not by Title

their participation in the crime.


It is the actual facts recited in the information that de- a. What controls is not the designation of the offense
termines the nature of the crime. but its description, and in the case of attending
The liability of the conspirators is collective and each circumstances, not their denomination but their
The real nature of offense is to be determined not by function.
participant will be equally responsible for the acts of the others.
its designation or title given by the Fiscal but the facts
alleged in the body of the Information. If the killing was committed with the attendance of any
a. Need to Designate Statute Violated. of the circumstances mentioned in Article 248 of the
Revised Penal Code, then the offense committed is
d. It is the province of the Court alone to say what the crime is
It is a constitutional right of any person who stands murder although they are mistakenly called
or what it is named.
charged in a criminal prosecution to be informed of the aggravating in the information.
nature and cause of the accusation against him.
Even the justice of the peace, during the preliminary
They are qualifying circumstances nonetheless.
investigation of a case, is without authority to determine the
Pursuant to the above, Section 6, Rule 110 of the character of the crime committed.
Rules of Court, expressly requires that for a complaint or b. Thus, where the information characterized the killing as
information to be sufficient, it must, inter alia, state the having been committed by taking advantage of superior
designation of the offense by the statute, and the acts or His declaration upon the point is merely an opinion
strength, a circumstance which qualifies a killing to
omissions complained of as constituting the offense. which in no wise binds the trial court.
murder, the information sufficiently charged the
commission of murder.
This is essential to avoid surprise on the accused and e. Allegations prevail over designation of the offense in the

to afford him the opportunity to prepare his defense information for conviction of accused who may therefore be
c. In a prosecution for robbery with rape, the fact that the
accordingly. convicted of a crime more serious than that named in the
information did not mention Art. 335 of the Revised
title or preliminary part if such crime is covered by the facts
Penal Code but Arts. 293 and 294 of that Code will not
alleged in the body of the information and its commission is
To comply with these fundamental requirements of prevent conviction of an accused under Art. 335.
established by the evidence.
the Constitution and the Rules on Criminal Procedure, it is
imperative for the specific statute violated to be designated The constitutional right of the accused to be informed of
EFFECTS OF VARIANCE IN MODE OF COMMISSION OF

43
the nature of the accusation against him is not violated This principle was reiterated in People v. Torres,
thereby. wherein the Court again held that it is not the technical B. Essential Elements Inferred from Allegation in Information
name given by the Fiscal appearing in the title of the
Information that determines the character of the crime
As former Chief Justice Moran pointed out: "If the While the general rule is that an inference in the
but the facts alleged in the body of the information,
above requirement is not complied with and no name complaint and conclusions such as "Grave abuse of
where the accused charged with violation of General
has been given to the offense alleged to have been confidence" are not allowed the following terms were
Order No. 6 for carrying with him an unlicensed firearm
committed, the defect is merely of form which does not interpreted by the Supreme Court is follows:
punishable with life imprisonment was held guilty under
prejudice the substantial rights of the defendant.
the Revised Administrative Code punishable by
imprisonment of one to five years. "Having committed the offense criminally and feloniously, and
This is especially so where the facts pleaded are clearly with intent to kill" sufficiently avers discernment on the part of the
constitutive of a specific offense. accused who was a minor.
c. Although the information charged the petitioner with
estafa, the crime committed was theft.
"Willfully, unlawfully" covers "knowingly" in illegal fishing.
In such cases, the real nature of the crime charged is
determined not by the title of the complaint, nor by the It is settled that what controls is not the designation of
Willful damage to property includes reckless imprudence.
specification of the provision of the law alleged to have the offense but the description thereof as alleged in the
been violated, but by the facts recited in the complaint information
"Deceit and promise of marriage was treated as mere
or information. surplusage in qualified seduction case."
5. B.P. Big. 22 cannot be deemed necessarily included in
This is so because from a legal point of view, and in a the crime of estafa under RPC, Article 315, 2(d). "Intent to gain" is presumed to be alleged in an information
very real sense, it is of no concern to the accused what where it is alleged that there was unlawful taking and appropriation

is the technical name of the crime of which he stands by the offender.


The offense of fraud denned under the Revised Penal
charged. Code is malum in se, whereas B.P. Big. 22, also known
as Bouncing Checks Law, is a special law which C. Limitation on Rule that an Accused may be Convicted of a

It in no way aids him in his defense on the merits. punishes the issuance of bouncing checks, a malum Crime which is More Serious than that Named in the Title so
prohibitum. Long as the Facts Alleged the More Serious Offense

The real question is not that he did commit a crime


(a) An accused could not be convicted under one act when
given in the law some technical and specific name, but Fraud or estafa under the Revised Penal Code is a
he is charged with a violation of another if the change
did he perform the acts alleged in the body of the distinct offense from the violation of the Bouncing from one statute to the other involves:
information in the manner therein set forth. Checks Law.

1) a change of the theory of the trial;

If he did, it is of no consequence to him, either as a They are different offenses, having different elements. 2) requires of the defendant a different defense; or
matter of procedure or of substantive right, how the 3) surprises the accused in anyway.
law denominates the crime which those acts Where appellant is accused of violating a particular
constitute." provision of the Revised Penal Code on estafa, she may
(b) Illegal construction — Where the information for illegal
not be convicted for violation of B.P. Big. 22 without
construction does not specifically describe and locate
trenching on fundamental fairness.
44
the building alleged to have been illegally constructed, The general rule is that an accused cannot be of force or intimidation.
it is fatally defective because it is impossible on its face convicted of a different mode of the commission of the
to identify the house allegedly constructed without the offense charged in the information.
Appellant was charged with rape committed by means
necessary building permit.
offeree or intimidation.
Where the law distinguishes between two cases of
It can be quashed. violation of its provision, an information for violation thereof
Otherwise put, his offense fell under Article 266-A(1)
must specify under which of the two cases, the defendant
of the Revised Penal Code.
stands accused of.
In several cases, the accused whose guilt beyond
reasonable doubt, although affirmed by the Supreme Court, Where the accused is charged with rape committed But in convicting him of rape committed while his
escaped lethal injection because of the failure of the thru force and intimidation, he can not be convicted of rape victim was supposedly unconscious, the trial court applied
prosecution to specifically allege the qualifying circumstance committed under paragraph 2 of Article 335 when the Article 266-A(l)(b) of said Code.
of relationship or age in heinous crimes. woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious,
except when there is no objection.
The element of unconsciousness on the victim's part
The Supreme Court therefore urged the prosecuting
was not alleged much less specified in the information.
fiscals to state with particularity the fact of minority and the It was held that an accused cannot be convicted of
actual relationship between the parties as worded in R.A. rape of a mental retardate if this is not alleged in the
No. 7659. It cannot be made the basis of conviction, without
information.
violating appellant's right to due process, in particular to be
It must be spelled out in more concrete terms. informed of the nature of the accusation against him.
It was likewise held that the accused cannot be
convicted under paragraph 2 or 3 of Article 335 of the
This is what the amendment seeks to accomplish. However, in People u. Atienza, involving the rape of a
Revised Penal Code, because none of the modes of
13-year old minor charged with rape committed in 1996 by
committing rape specified therein were alleged in the
The amendment did not, however, limit the require- force and intimidation there was no objection to evidence of
Information.
ment to qualifying circumstances but also included subnormal mental incapacity (that is, her mental capacity

aggravating circumstances. was equivalent to an 8 year-old).


To convict him under either of these statutory
provisions is to deprive him of the constitutional right to be
Where there is no aggravating circumstance, the The court held that the absence of an allegation in the
informed of the accusation against him.
penalty is reclusion perpetual information of this mode of committing the crime of rape
was deemed waived by the absence of an objection and the
Thus in convicting appellant, the trial court relied upon presentation of evidence to the contrary.
The requirement would also prevent a repetition of the a finding that complainant was unconscious when the
errors by the prosecutors in Republic v. Asuncion, Arceo v. appellant had carnal knowledge other.
Cunanan, People u. Magallanes and Lacson u. Executive The Court cited People u. Abiera, holding that the

Secretary, where the prosecution failed to specify the accused charged with rape through one mode of
This contradicts the allegation in the information. commission may still be convicted of the crime if the
qualifying facts that the crimes were committed in relation
to their public office. evidence shows another mode of commission, provided that

Appellant was charged with rape committed by means the accused did not object to such evidence.

45
Accordingly, appellant can be convicted of the crime accused-appellant did not touch upon this point when something
Failure to object to evidence of the mode of charged through either the second or third circumstance of more valuable than any property that a person could ever inherit

commission of crime different from that alleged in the committing such crime. in his lifetime is in danger of being taken away eternally.
information is considered a waiver:
OBSERVATIONS: LIMITATION ON WAIVER It is elementary that the existence of waiver must be
a. There is waiver and conviction allowed based on positively demonstrated since a waiver by implication cannot be

evidence even if not alleged in the information, citing The information in the foregoing cases charges an offense presumed.
separate opinion of then now C.J. Davide in People v. but allowed waiver because of a variance between the allegation

Moreno, on waiver of constitutional right to be informed and proof in the mode of commission of the offense without any
The standard of waiver requires that it "not only must be
of nature and cause of accusation. objection.
voluntary, but must be knowing, intelligent, and done with
sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely
In this case, the accusatory portion failed to specifically Where the information charges no offense at all or would consequences."

allege that the rape was committed through force or result in convicting the accused for a more serious offense than

intimidation, the prosecution was able to establish by the offense charged waiver for failure to object should not be
There must thus be persuasive evidence of an actual
evidence without any objection that the accused- allowed.
intention to relinquish the right.
appellant that tended to prove that he committed the
rape by force and intimidation. The court itself stated that the rules on the validity or
Mere silence of the holder of the right should not be easily
invalidity of a waiver are not something we have crafted
construed as surrender thereof; the courts must indulge every
b. Similarly, in People v. Orbita, the Information against overnight to suit the instant case.
reasonable presumption against the existence and validity of
accused-appellant alleged that he had carnal knowledge such waiver.
of the victim by means offeree, violence and They have been extant since time that is now immaterial
intimidation, against the latter's will and consent. to recall.
Necessarily, where there is a reservation as to the nature
of any manifestation or proposed action affecting the right of the
It did not allege her mental state. In civil cases, we overturn decisions because the waiver of accused to be heard before he is condemned, certainly, the
certain rights was not done in accordance with the requisites. doubt must be resolved in his favor to be allowed to proffer
During the trial, however, the prosecution proved that evidence in his behalf.

the victim is a mental retardate and the accused- Hence, in Intestate Estate of the Late Vito Borromeo v.
appellant was convicted under paragraph 2 of Article Borromeo, this Court set aside the waiver of hereditary rights Our criminal rules of procedure strictly provide the step-
335 of the Revised Penal Code. because it was not clearly and convincingly shown that the heir by-step formula to be followed by courts in cases punishable by
had the intention to waive his right or advantage voluntarily. death.

Although initially deficient, the criminal complaint was


deemed corrected when the prosecution introduced In criminal cases where life, liberty and property are all at The reason for this is to ensure that the constitutional
evidence of the complainant's mental condition and the stake, obviously, the rule on waiver cannot be any less. presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is preserved
defense did not object, thereby waiving the procedural and the State makes no mistake in taking life and liberty except
defect. that of the guilty.
In this light, we are at a loss why counsel de oficio for

46
Hence, any deviation from the regular course of trial dreary work rather than protect the rights of his client. information which charges the accused of raping his six
should always take into consideration that such a different or year-old daughter or committing acts of lasciviousness on
extraordinary approach has been undertaken voluntarily and her, or of committing sexual abuse against her 11-year old
Of course, it may be stretching the argument too much to
intelligently. daughter.
ascribe fatal incompetence upon herein accused's counsel for
this solitary instance of faux pas.
For otherwise, as in the instant case, denial of due process Waiver is not allowed where the information charges
can be successfully invoked since no valid waived or rights has no offense.
But, for sure, we must inquire if the waiver was validly
been made.
done.
An indictment must fully state the elements of the
The Court noted with deep regret the failure of the trial specific offense alleged to have been committed.
In People v. Donato," the Court expounded on what rights
court to inquire from accused-appellant himself whether he
and privileges may be waived, viz.:
wanted to present evidence; or submit his memorandum
For an accused cannot be convicted of an offense,
elucidating on the contradictions and insufficiency of the
"Although the general rule is that any right or privilege conferred even if duly proven, unless it is alleged or necessarily
prosecution evidence, if any; or in default thereof, file a
by statute or guaranteed by constitution may be waived, a included in the complaint or information
demurrer to evidence with prior leave of court, if he so believes waiver in derogation of a statutory right is not favored, and a
that the prosecution evidence is so weak that it need not even waiver will be inoperative and void if it infringes on the rights of
be rebutted. others, or would be against public policy or morals and the public b. Waiver is not allowed where the qualifying circumstance is
interest may be waived.
different from the qualifying circumstance alleged in the
information.
The inquiry is simply part and parcel of the determination "While it has been stated generally that all personal rights
of the validity of the waiver, i.e., "not only must be voluntary, conferred by statute and guaranteed by constitution may be waived, it

but must be knowing, intelligent, and done with sufficient has also been said that constitutional provisions intended to protect Where the accused alleged to be the father of the
property may be waived, and even some of the constitutional rights
awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely victim who is under 18 years of age is charged with rape
created to secure personal liberty are subjects of waiver."
consequences." which ought to have been done by the trial court under paragraph 2 of Article 266-A punishable by reclusion
not only because this was supposed to be an uncomplicated and temporal he cannot be convicted of rape under paragraph 1
routine task on its part, but more importantly since accused- While it is established that rights may be waived, Article 6 of Article 266-A punishable by death, even if this was duly
appellant himself did not personally, on a person-to-person of bhe Civil Code explicitly provides that such waiver is subject established.
basis, manifest to the trial court the waiver of his own right. to the condition that it is not contrary to law, public order, public
policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person
c. Waiver is not allowed where it would result in a more
with a right recognized by law.
As things stand, both this Court and the trial court being serious penalty.
asked hook, line and sinker to take the word of counsel de oficio
whose own concern in that particular phase of the proceedings a Thus, in the following cases, waiver was not allowed as it
Under sections 8 and 9, Rule 110 failure to allege
quo may have been compromised by pressures of his other would violate the constitutional right of the accused to be
aggravating or qualifying circumstances, even if proved
commitments. informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him,
without objection cannot be availed of to qualify or
and, consequently, a denial of due process.
aggravate the offense charged.
For all we know, the statutory counsel of the indigent
accused at that time of the trial, although not evident in the a. An accused cannot be convicted of rape or acts of
The court ruled that the relationship and minority of
other aspects of his representation, only wanted to get rid of lasciviousness or of violation ofR.A. No. 7610 under an

47
the victim are special qualifying circumstances which cannot be alleged. language defining the offense that the ingredients of the offense
be considered unless specifically alleged in the information. cannot be accurately and clearly described if the exception is
omitted, the indictment founded upon the statute must allege
An exception in a penal statute by which certain particulars
enough to show that the accused is not within the exception.
The right to be arraigned cannot be waived. — There can are withdrawn from or excepted out of its enacting clause,
be no trial in absentia without arraignment — which must be in defining a crime concerning a class or species, need not be And, when the evident intent and purpose of the statute is
the presence of the accused. denied in an information charging a violation of said statute. to prohibit and penalize generally an act as, for instance, the
smoking of opium, and the statute desires to withdraw from its
Variance, however, on date of commission of rape is And where a denial is unnecessarily alleged in the operation a limited class of persons, one charged with its
irrelevant. information, it need not be proved by the prosecution, for it is violation is bound to show that he falls within the exception,
not an essential element of the violation charged, but a matter whether the excepting proviso is found in the enacting clause or
of defense which must be proved by the accused if he relies in a separate provision of the statute.
Habitual delinquency
upon it.

A mere statement of habitual delinquency is a conclusion A negative allegation of recruiting without a license, forms
of law and a plea of guilty to such an information does not make For instance, the Opium Law provides that "save upon the an essential element of the crime charged. Hence, it was
the accused a habitual delinquent. prescription of a duly licensed and practicing physician, incumbent upon the prosecution to satisfactorily establish the
veterinarian, or dentist, no person shall inhale, snuff, chew, date when the complainant was recruited.
The information should specify the dates: swallow, inject, or otherwise take or use any such drug in his
body or permit the same to be used upon him by another." (1) "Without necessary license" is an ingredient of violation of
(1) of the commission of previous crimes;
Circular No. 60 of the Central Bank prohibiting the import
(2) of the last conviction or release; and
(3) of the other previous conviction or release of the In an information charging a violation of this statute, it is and export of Philippine coins and notes.
accused. not necessary to allege that the person charged is not under the
exception contained in the statute, i.e., that he did not use the (2) Want of Certificate to practice medicine is an essential
ABSENCE OF ALLEGATION OF RECIDIVISM AND HABITUAL prohibited drug upon the prescription of a physician, veterinarian
DELINQUENCY element of the crime of illegal practice of medicine.
or dentist, nor is it necessary to prove such allegation if made
unnecessarily, because said exception is a matter of defense
In the Absence of allegations in Information of Recidivism (3) In illegal possession of firearm, the information must allege
which the accused must prove.
and Habitual Delinquency — the evidence was properly objected that accused has no license to possess firearm.
to as inadmissible. To determine whether the exception is or is not a matter of
defense, the following test has been approved: If the language Where the law distinguishes between two cases of violation of its
Similarly, the qualifying circumstance of treachery must be provision, an information for violation thereof must specify under which of
of the law defining the otfense is so entirely separable from the
specifically pleaded or alleged with sufficient clarity as to be the two cases the defendants stands accused of.
exception that the ingredients constituting the offense may be
readily understood and not merely deduced.
accurately and clearly defined without any reference to said
An accused charged with murder by means of stabbing
exception, the pleader may then safely omit such reference, as
Negative and Excepting Allegations cannot be convicted of homicide thru drowning, otherwise, his
the exception is a matter of defense which must be shown by
constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the
the accused.
accusation against him would be violated, so also a person may
When an exception or negative allegation is not an
not be convicted of qualified seduction where the information
ingredient of the offense and is a matter of defense it need not
If, however, the exception is so incorporated with the charges him with rape by means offeree, violence and

48
intimidation. Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of within the period of the statute of limitation and before the
jurisdiction. commencement of the action.

Inference in complaint and conclusions are not allowed.


To determine venue in libel cases, the complaint or Where the complaint for rape charges accused with having
"Grave abuse of confidence" is a conclusion of law. information should contain allegations as to whether, at the time committed the crime "on or about the month of June 1978" and
the offense was committed, the offended party was a public the affidavit shows that it was committed for "sometime prior to
Robbery with Homicide officer or a private individual and where he was actually residing said period and subsequent thereto," attaching thereto the
at the time. affidavit of the complainant that she was abused before the start
Failure to state in the information that the killing of the of classes in June 1978 which may thus be considered as part of
victim was committed "by reason of or on occasion of the the complaint, the discrepancies between the accusation and the
Whenever possible, the place where the written
robbery," does not bar conviction of accused of the special complaint as to the time of occurrence of the carnal copulations
defamation was printed and first published should likewise be
complex crime of robbery with homicide. in rape do not affect the essential rights of the accused, where
alleged.
the acts occurred within the period of time alleged in both
writings, and the difference noted in other respects was of a
That allegation would be a sine qua non if the formal, rather than a substantial, character.
SEC. 10. circumstances as to where the libel was printed and first
Place of commission of the offense published is used as the basis of the venue of the action.
"About" is a very comprehensive term which when used
with regards to time, may cover a considerable extent thereof.
Purpose of Rule: TO SHOW TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION.

Crimes Where Place is Essential SEC. 11. BUT in U.S. v. Smith — it was held that the proof need not
Date of Commission of the Offense correspond to the allegation, unless the time and place is
a. Violation of domicile; material and of the essence of the offense as a necessary
ingredient in its description.
b. Penalty on keeper, watchman and visitor of an opium den; "Time" of the commission of the offense was changed to
c. Trespass to dwelling; "DATE."
The evidence is admissible and sufficient if it shows:
d. Violation of election law, e.g., 30 meter-radius carrying of
deadly weapon prohibited. Crimes Where Time is Essential
(1) that the crime was committed at any time within the
period of limitation and
a. Infanticide;'
A general allegation in the complaint that the felony was
committed within the jurisdiction of the court is sufficient. b. Violation of Sunday Statutes (Election Law); and
(2) before or after the time stated in the complaint or
c. Abortion. indictment and before the action is commenced.

The remedy is a motion for Bill of Particulars under Rule


The complaint must allege a specific time and place when Thus, an information charging the commission of the crime
116, Sec. 6.
and where the offense was committed, but when the time so of robbery in December 1902, was filed in March 19, 1903.
alleged is not of the essence of the offense, it need not be
Venue of Criminal Action for Written Defamation
proved as alleged, and the complaint will be sufficient if the
It was held that the complaint was sufficient to sustain a
evidence shows that the offense was committed at anytime
conviction even if the proof showed that it was committed in

49
January 1903. name of the offended party is not absolutely indispensable for as
In case of offenses against property, the designation of the long as the criminal act charged in the complaint or information

name of the offended party is not absolutely indispensable for as can be properly identified.
It was, however held, in U.S. v. Dickao, that an allegation
from October 1910 to August 1912 is defective: long as the criminal act charged in the complaint or information
can be properly identified. In U.S. v. Kepner, the Court laid down the rule that when
an offense shall have been described in the complaint with
“To allege in an information that the accused committed rape on a
certain girl between October 1910, and August 1912, is too indefinite to NAME OF OFFENDED PARTY IN OFFENSES AGAINST PROP- sufficient certainty as to identify the act, an erroneous allegation
ERTY as to the person injured shall be deemed immaterial as the same
give the accused an opportunity to prepare his defense, and that
indefiniteness is not cured by setting out the date when a child was born is a mere formal defect which did not tend to prejudice any
as a result of such crime. In Sayson v. People (supra), the petitioner vigorously substantial right of the defendant.
maintains that he cannot be justifiably convicted under the
information charging him of attempting to defraud Ernesto
An information for bigamy must state the time and place Accordingly, in the aforementioned case, which had a
Rufino, Sr. and/or Bank of America because the totality of the
of the second wedding. factual backdrop similar to the instant case, where the defendant
evidence presented by the prosecution shows very clearly that
was charged with estafa for the misappropriation of the proceeds
the accused allegedly attempted to defraud Mover Films, Inc., a
Variance, however, on date of commission of rape is of a warrant which he had cashed without authority, the
corporate entity entirely separate and distinct from Ernesto
irrelevant. erroneous allegation in the complaint to the effect that the
Rufino, Sr.
unlawful act was to the prejudice of the owner of the cheque,
when in reality the bank which cashed it was the one which
Time is irrelevant in rape" and violations of the Dangerous He firmly asserts that his conviction was in gross violation suffered a loss, was held to be immaterial on the ground that the
Drugs Law cases. of his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the subject matter of the estafa, the warrant, was described in the
accusation against him. complaint with such particularity as to properly identify the
particular offense charged.

SEC. 12. Petitioner's claim is unavailing.

Name of the Offended Party In the instant suit for estafa which is a crime against
property under the Revised Penal Code, since the check, which
The rule in this jurisdiction is that "variance between the
was the subject matter of the offense, was described with such
Name of Offended Party allegations of the information and the evidence offered by the
particularity as to properly identify the offense charged, it
prosecution in support thereof does not of itself entitle the
becomes immaterial, for purposes of conviction of the accused,
The rules on criminal procedure require the complaint or accused to an acquittal."
that it was established during the trial that the offended party
information to state the name and surname of the person
was actually Mever Films, Inc., and not Ernesto Rufino, Sr. nor
against whom or against whose property the offense was The rules on criminal procedure require the complaint or Bank of America as alleged in the information.
committed or any appellation or nickname by which such person information to state the name and surname of the person
has been or is known and if there is no better way of identifying against whom or against whose property the offense was
Other Cases
him, he must be described under a fictitious name. committed or any appellation or nickname by which such person
has been or is known and if there is no better way of identifying
a. Even if the names of offended parties are not alleged, if the
In crimes against property, the object taken or destroyed him, he must be described under a fictitious name.
offense belongs to the class of harmful ones (illegal practice
should be particularly described to properly identify the crime (if
In case of offenses against property, the designation of the of medicine), the victims of petitioner should be considered
the name of the offended party is unknown).
50
as offended parties. The information is defective when it charges two or more setting out separately the findings of fact and law in each case.
offenses.

b. An erroneous allegation as to the person injured is of form CASES WHERE INFORMATION CHARGES MORE THAN ONE
OFFENSE
which did not tend to prejudice any substantial right of the The rule enjoining the charging of two or more offenses in
accused on the merits. an information has for its aim to give the defendant the
necessary knowledge of the charge to enable him to prove his An information is defective for duplicity where the accused

defense. is charged in one complaint for assaulting three (3) persons by


c. The name of the offended party is, however, material in different acts while they were asleep, an information which
slander. charges two violations of the Revised Penal Code contained in
The State should not heap upon the defendant two or two separate provisions is duplicituous.
more charges which might confuse him in his defense.
The act of insulting X is distinct from a similar act of
An information for malversation of public funds through
insult against Y, even if the insult is preferred by the same
Effects of Duplicity of Offenses Charged falsification of public documents and loss and destruction of
person, in the same language, and at about the same time.
public documents for purposes of concealing a crime was held as
defective.
Where the accused is charged in one information with
d. In robbery, ownership is not necessary.
more than one offense and makes no objection to the So is an information which charges estafa and falsification
information on the ground that it charges more than one to conceal the defraudation.
e. The damage inflicted in estafa need not fall on the same offense, the prosecution may properly submit evidence as to the
person against whom deceit was directed. commission of each and all offenses charged and the court may
properly enter judgment for each and every offense proved and a. Inclusion of Different Acts of Offenses to Complete

impose the proper penalties for each offense. Narration of Facts


f. In robbery with violence against or intimidation of person,
the allegation of the owner's name in the information is
essential. A motion to quash that more than one offense charged Where the different acts or specifications charging the

should therefore be filed, otherwise it is deemed waived and the accused with having committed the offenses charged

accused may be convicted for as many offenses charged and therein were included in the information merely to describe
g. The omission of value in theft cases is not fatal. and to narrate the different and specific acts, the sum total
proved.
of which constitutes a crime, the validity of the information
h. People v. Avellana, an information for murder is not cannot be assailed on the ground that it charges more than
Under Section 3, Rule 117, the accused may move to one offense, because those different acts or offenses may
defective where another's name not the victim's name is
quash the complaint or information on the ground that more serve merely as a basis for the prosecution of one single
placed in the information. It is merely clerical.
than one offense is charged except in those cases in which crime."
existing laws prescribe a single punishment for various offenses.

In the case of U.S. v. Cernias, it was held that while it


SEC. 13.
Upon the other hand, when two or more offenses are is true that each of those acts charged against the
Duplicity of the offense charged in a single complaint or information, and the accused conspirators was itself a crime, the prosecutor in setting
fails to object to it before trial, the court may convict the them out in the information did no more than to furnish the
Purpose of Rule accused of as many offenses as are charged and proved, and defendants with a bill of particulars of the facts which it
impose on him the penalty for each and every one of them intended to prove at the trial, not only as a basis upon

51
which to found an inference of guilt of the crime of medicine and illegally advertising oneself as a doctor. Held: That a complaint alleging these facts did not
conspiracy but also as evidence of the extremely dangerous charge more than one offense.
and wicked nature of that conspiracy.
Held: That the information was not bad for duplicity
inasmuch as the acts charged were merely different means e. Treason
The charge is not defective for duplicity when one of committing the same offense, notwithstanding the fact
single crime is set forth in the different modes prescribed by that they are prohibited by separate sections of the statute.
A person accused of an offense is not charged by the
law for its commission, or the felony is set forth under
number of counts or paragraphs, but by the specific criminal
different counts specifying the way of its perpetuation, or
c. Single act that Violates Different Statutes acts regardless of their number contained in one paragraph
the acts resulted from a single criminal impulse.
or in one count. —

A single act or incident might offend against two or


Neither is there duplicity when the other offense
more entirely distinct and unrelated provisions of law thus A person accused of an offense is not considered as
described is but an ingredient or an essential element of the
justifying the prosecution of the accused for more than one having been charged by the number of counts or
real offense charged nor when several acts are related in
offense. paragraphs into which the acts charged may have been
describing the offense.
grouped in the information, but by the specific criminal acts
charged, even if two or more of them are contained in one
The only limit to this rule is the Constitutional
b. Single Offense Committed by Different Means paragraph or in one count.
prohibition that no person shall be twice put in jeopardy of
punishment for "the same offense." two (or more) offenses
It is "a well-settled rule in considering indictments arising from the same act are not "the same." While it is convenient that each count or paragraph
that where an offense may be committed in any of several should contain only one offense or one specific act of trea-
different modes, and the offense, in any particular instance, son for the sake of clearness, this does not justify the
The Rules prohibit the filing of such Information to
is alleged to have been committed in two or more modes inference or claim that all of the acts charged under one
avoid con fusing the accused in preparing his defense.
specified, it is sufficient to prove that it be such as to count or paragraph should be considered as only one act of
constitute the substantive offense," and the defendants, offense, and proof of all the acts included therein is
may, therefore, be convicted if any one of the substantive Here, however, the prosecution charged each necessary to prove the charge.
charges into which the complaint may be separated has petitioner with four offenses, with each Information
been made out. charging only one offense.
f. Effect of Failure of the Prosecution to Prove All Acts
Charged Where Each Act Constitutes Treason by Itself
It is not objectionable, when a single offense may be d. Falsification
committed by the use of different means to charge in the
If a person is being charged with four specific acts
alternative, the various means by which the crime may have
The defendant, a municipal treasurer, received from under one count, and each constitutes a complete act of
been committed.
different persons for personal cedulas more than the treason by itself independently of the others, the failure of
amount allowed by law falsified the records of his office so the prosecution to prove all does not entitle the accused to
Thus, the defendant was accused of the violation of that they showed the receipt of the lawful amount only, and be acquitted of the whole count or of all the charges
the Medical Law. in his monthly statements to the provincial treasurer made contained therein when any one or more of the acts are
similar false statements. proved.

The information charged both illegal practice of

52
proved beyond reasonable doubt.
g. Robbery in Band a. The single larceny rule —
There is, however, complex crime of murder with
frustrated murder where a single shot hit both victims.
An information which charges the commission of 1) Theft of 13 cows;
2) theft of six roosters;
"robbery in a band or brigandage" and alleges facts showing 3) illegal charging of fees by lawyer from revenue victims;
j. Violation of Child Abuse Law
the commission of an act of robbery by a band of robbers, 4) Illegal approval of the application for the legalization of
simply sets out the same fact in different aspects and is not stay of 32 aliens, constitutes only one crime
bad for duplicity. Each incident of sexual intercourse and lascivious acts
b. The concept was not applied —
with a child under the circumstances mentioned in Republic
Act No. 7610 is a separate and distinct offense.
h. The Anti-Graft Law 1) In Estafa committed on different occasions.

2) In Malversation and falsification on different ocassions


THE PRINCIPLE OF DELITO CONTINUADO
Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices 3) The 75 estafa cases was committed by conversion by
Act does not suffer from the constitutional defect of agent of collection from different customers on different
vagueness by the use of the phrases "manifest partiality," Justice Quiason explains the Principle of Delito Continuado dates.
"evident bad faith" and "gross inexcusable negligence." (continuing crimes) in Santiago v. Garchitorena.
4) Robbery and fencing are two separate crimes. Prin-
ciple of Delito Continuado is not applicable.
In this case, 32 Amended Informations for violation of the
They merely describe the different modes by which Anti-Graft Law alleged that the offenses were committed on the 5) In a Single Information for murder for shooting three
the offense penalized in Section 3(e) of the statute may be same period of time, i.e., on or about October 17, 1988 favoring persons — where evidence did not show that a single
committed, and the use of all these phrases in the same 32 aliens. shot had slain three different persons, the appellant
information does not mean that the indictment charges was properly held liable for three separate murders and
three distinct offenses. sentenced to three separate penalties ofreclusion
The several acts were considered by the court as
perpetrua.
constituting only one crime.
i. Murder with Double Less Serious Physical Injuries 6) In People v. Ducay — several victims dying from
separate shots constitute separate offenses and if there
For delito continuado to exist, there should be a plurality of is no objection for duplicity, the accused should be
Where in describing the offense of murder with double acts performed during a period of time, unity of penal provision convicted of all offenses charged in one information.
less serious physical injuries, the information states that violated, and unity of criminal intent or purpose, which means
appellant "feloniously attack, assault and shoot for several that two or more violations of the same penal provisions are
times the victims," it in effect charged accused with several It is not the act of pressing the trigger like a Thompson
united in one and the same intent or resolution leading to the
distinct and separate crimes, as it is the allegations or submachine gun that determines the number of felonies
perpetration of the same criminal purpose or aim.
actual recitals in the information rather than the technical committed, but the number of bullets which actually produced
description of the crime that controls. them.
In appearance, a delito continuado consists of several
crimes but in reality there is only one crime in the mind of the The firing of several bullets by the accused although
The defective information not having been timely perpetrator. resulting from one continuous burst of gunfire, constitutes
objected to, however, said defect of duplicity of charges several acts. Each person fell by different shots, is a victim of a
cannot be heard belatedly on appeal and accused may be separate crime of murder.
Examples of Delito Continuado.
convicted of as many offenses as are charged therein and
53
attempted murder.
Exceptions to Rule on Duplicity When two or more acts combined in the commission of one

For a criminal complaint or information to charge the crime, the complaint is not necessarily defective because it
The rule on duplicity of offenses does not apply where the commission of a complex crime, the allegations contained contains a description of two acts.
law prescribes a single penalty for various offenses such as a therein do not necessarily have to charge a complex crime as
complex crime under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code or denned by law. If the acts are so disconnected as to constitute separate
special complex crime such as Robbery with Homicide or with
and distinct offenses or crimes, then of course, it would not be
Rape or Rape with Homicide, or Rebellion complexed with
It is sufficient that the information contains allegations error to charge each of said acts in different complaints but
murder, robbery and kidnapping.
which state that one offense was a necessary means to commit where the acts are so related as to constitute in fact but one
the other. offense, then a complaint will not be defective if the crime is
Rule on Complex Crimes described by relating two acts in the description of one offense.

The precise language of the statute used in alleging the The information in question in the present case contains
allegations properly charging the commission of the complex To be a complex crime, the offense must be a necessary
commission of the crime is not necessary as long as in charging
crime of incriminatory machinations through unlawful arrest, and means for committing the other, but if one offense is to conceal
the commission of a complex offense like that of Robbery with
the court a quo committed error when it ordered its dismissal. the other, the accused may be convicted for both offenses as in
Homicide, the information alleges each element of the
case of arson to conceal homicide or falsification to conceal
component offenses with the same precision that would be
malversation.
necessary if they were made the subject of a separate Where, however component offenses are not alleged in the
prosecution. information as required by Sections 8 and 9 of Rule 110 they
OTHER CASES:
cannot give rise to a special complex crime, consistent with the

Thus, although the phrase by reason or on occasion of the right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of
1) Killing of four victims on the same occasion of the robbery is
robbery as provided for by the Revised Penal Code, was not the accusation against them. robbery with quadruple homicide — only one crime.
literally used in the recital of facts alleging the commission of the
two crimes of robbery with homicide, the information as filed A complex crime is committed when two persons are killed 2) Robbery with homicide and rape only one crime.
sufficiently and distinctly alleges the commission of the two as a result of the same murderous act of the accused.
crimes of robbery and homicide and adequately informs the
Accused who abducted the victim and had sexual
accused of the crime charged.
When each one of the two deceased was killed by different intercourse with her for several days is not guilty of
and separate sets of shots, fired respectively, through two separate offense but the continuing offense of abduction
Under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, when a single independent sets of acts of the accused, each one aimed with rape.
act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, or when exclusively at a victim, for each victim killed, there is a separate
an offense is a necessary means for committing the other, the and independent crime of murder. No Duplicity in Rape With Homicide
penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to
be applied in its maximum period.
WHEN ONE OFFENSE IS NECESSARY MEANS FOR COMMIT- There is no duplicity in an information for rape with
TING THE OTHER
homicide.
The throwing of a hand grenade at the President with the
intention of killing him resulting in the death and injuries of a. Falsification of cedulas to commit malversation.
Where seven persons committed rape with homicide in
several persons constitutes the complex crime of murder with b. Estafa thru falsification.

54
conspiracy with each other, every one of the seven accused may reason of the sale, and that the sale agreed upon was On petitioners' claim that the charge for violation of
separately be charged for rape with homicide. the sole reason for the possession of the opium seized. Article 365 of the RPC "absorbs" the charges for violation
ofP.D. No. 1067, P.D. No. 984, and R.A. No. 7942, suffice it
to say that a mala in se felony (such as Reckless
There is no duplicity in a charge of estafa committed by 2) When Possession of Drugs Absorbed in Sale
Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property) cannot
the accused for misappropriation of the purchase price of several
absorb mala prohibita crimes (such as those violating P.D.
lots owned by the Hometrust Corporation which were
In People v. Lacerna, possession of marijuana was held No. 1067, P.D. No. 984, and R.A. No. 7942).
fraudulently received by the accused against seven lot buyers on
as absorbed in the sale thereof, except where the seller
the pretext that she was authorized to do so and which she
is further apprehended in possession of another
misapplied to her personal use instead of remitting the money to What makes the former a felony is criminal intent
quantity of the prohibited drugs not covered by or
the owner corporation, and seven other separate informations of (dolo) or negligence (culpa); what makes the latter crimes
included in the sale and which are probably intended
estafa committed against the seven lot buyers. are the special laws enacting them.
for some future dealings or use by the seller.

The crime of estafa committed against the corporation and REBELLION CANNOT BE COMPLEXED WITH ANY OTHER
Where aside from selling one block of marijuana to OFFENSE COMMITTED IN THE COURSE THEREOF
those committed against the lot buyers are definitely separate
the arresting officers, accused-appellants were also caught
felonies.
in possession of another 12.04 kilograms of marijuana in The celebrated case of Enrile v. Salazar, reiterated the
twelve individually wrapped blocks, hidden in a bag under a Hernandez Rule, which ruled out the complexing of rebellion
They were dictated by different criminal intents, committed table in their house. witl-any other offense committed in its course under either of
under different modes of commission provided by the law on the clauses of Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code either as a
estafa, perpetrated by different acts, consummated on different means necessary to its commission or as an unintended effect of
Their possession thereof gives rise to a disputable
occasions, and caused injury to different parties. an activity that constitutes rebellion.
presumption under Section 3(j), Rule 131 of the Rules of
Court, that they were the owners of the same.
a. The Principle of Absorption The rule was reiterated in Enrile u. Amin, where the
b. Forcible Abduction Absorbed in Rape Supreme Court ruled that the crime of Harboring or Concealing a
1) Drugs Cases Criminal was absorbed by the crime of rebellion for which
Senator Enrile had already been charged and can not therefore
Where complainant was forcibly taken away for the
be made the subject of a separate criminal action.
In People v. Salamat, the illegal possession of 137 cans purpose of sexually assaulting her, then the rape so
of opium and sale of 37 cans of opium was held as two committed may absorb the forcible abduction.
isolated acts and not one, each of which is punishable The Supreme Court went on to explain:
in themselves.
The trial court, thus, correctly held that the rape
"The crime of rebellion consists of many acts.
charged and proved in Criminal Case No. 44263 already
Only in the event where all the amount of the opium absorbed the forcible abduction with rape complained of in
It is described as a vast movement of men and a complex net of
possessed and seized be in its totality the same as that Criminal Case No. 44264.
intrigues and plots.
which was possessed with the sole purpose of being
delivered as the matter or subject of a sale previously Jurisprudence tells us that acts committed in furtherance of the
c. Absorption does not include special laws
agreed upon, could it be said that the possession of the rebellion though crimes in themselves are deemed absorbed in the one

opium was a necessary means to effect the delivery by single crime of rebellion.

55
In this case, the act of harboring or concealing Col. Honasan is hence, prosecution under one law will not bar a prosecution
clearly a mere component or ingredient of rebellion or an act done in under the other. Petitioner's alleged act of harboring or concealing which
furtherance of the rebellion.
was based on his act of conspiring with Honasan was committed
The Court held that: "This argument is specious in in connection with or in furtherance of rebellion and must now be
It cannot therefore be made the basis of a separate charge. The
rebellion cases." deemed as absorbed by, merged in, and identified with the crime
case of People v. Prieto is instructive."
of rebellion punished in Articles 134 and 135 of the RPC.

In the nature of things, the giving of aid and comfort can In the light of the Hernandez doctrine, the prosecution's
theory must fail. Thus, national, as well as international laws and
only be accomplished by some kind of action.
jurisprudence overwhelmingly favor the proposition that
common crimes, perpetrated in furtherance of a political offense,
Its very nature partakes of a deed or physical activity as The rationale remains the same. are divested of their character as "common" offenses, and
opposed to a mental operation. assume the political complexion of the main crime of which they
All crimes, whether punishable under a special law or are mere ingredients and consequently, cannot be punished
This deed or physical activity may be, and often is, in itself
general law, which are mere components or ingredients, or separately from the principal offense, or complexed with the
a criminal offense under another penal statute or provision.
committed in furtherance thereof, become absorbed in the crime same, to justify the imposition of a graver penalty.
of rebellion and can not be isolated and charged as separate
Even so, when the deed is charged as an element of crimes in themselves.
treason it becomes identified with the latter crime and can not
be the subject of a separate punishment, or used in combination
This does not detract, however, from the rule that the EFFECT OF FAILURE TO OBJECT TO INDEPENDENT
with treason to increase the penalty is Article 48 of the Revised
ingredients of a crime form part and parcel thereof, and hence, PROSECUTION FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION
Penal Code provides.
are absorbed by the same and cannot be punished either
separately therefrom or by the application of Article 48 of the In People v. Elias Rodriguez, the accused, after having
Just as one can lot be punished for possessing opium drug, Revised Penal Code. pleaded guilty and convicted of the crime of rebellion, faced an
in a prosecution for smoking the identical drug, and a robber independent prosecution for illegal possession of firearm.
cannot be held guilty of coercion or trespass to a dwelling in a
The Hernandez and other related cases mention common
prosecution for robbery, because 3ossession of opium and force
crimes as absorbed in the crime of rebellion. The Court ruled:
and trespass are inherent in smoking and in robbery
respectively, so may not a defendant be made liable for murder
as a separate crime or in conjunction with another offense These common crimes refer to all acts of violence such as "An examination of the record, however, discloses that the crime
with which the accused is charged in the present case which is
where, as in this case, it is averred as a constitutive ingredient murder, arson, robbery, kidnapping, etc., as provided in the
that of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition is already
of reason. Revised Penal Code. absorbed as a necessary element or ingredient in the crime of
rebellion with which the same accused is charged with other
persons in a separate case and wherein he pleaded guilty and
THE PRINCIPLE OF ABSORPTION IN REBELLION APPLIES The attendant circumstances in the instant case, however, was convicted
TO SPECIAL LAWS
constrain us to rule that the theory of absorption in rebellion
cases must not confine itself to common crimes but also to Conceding the absence of a complex crime of rebellion
The prosecution tries to distinguish by contending that offenses under special laws which are perpetrated in furtherance with murders, etc., still, by his plea of guilty, the accused-
harboring or concealing a fugitive is punishable under a special of the political offense. appellant has admitted all the overt acts described in the
law while the rebellion case is based on the Revised Penal Code;
56
information; and that if any of such acts constituted an the crime. With either of these elements wanting, the crime of
independent crime within the jurisdiction of the lower court, then rebellion legally does not exist. R.A. No. 8294 amended P.D. No. 1866 abandoned
the averment in the information that it was perpetrated in previous rulings that qualified use of firearms and murder are
furtherance of the rebellion, being a mere conclusion, cannot be separate offenses.
In fact, even in cases where the act complained of were
a bar to appellant's conviction and punishment for said offense,
committed simultaneously with or in the course of the rebellion,
he having failed, at the arraignment, to object to the information
if the killing, robbing, etc., were accomplished for private Under the present rule, the unauthorized use of licensed or
on the ground of multiplicity of crimes charged."
purposes or profit, without any political motivation, it has been unlicensed firearm is simply an aggravating circumstance in the
held that the crime would be separately punishable as a common commission of homicide or murder and no longer a separate
Enrile Doctrine Not Applicable in Subversion crime and would not be absorbed by the crime of rebellion. offense, effectively modifying People v. Quijada, and its progeny.

In People v. Asuncion, it was held that the crime of illegal ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARM AND UNLAWFUL
possession of firearms under P.D. No. 1806 is not absorbed in KILLING WITH THE USE THEREOF Thus, it has been held that the principle of absorption does

the charge of subversion under R.A. No. 1700. not apply to illegal possession of firearms in connection with the
crime of subversion but simply describes the mode or manner by
An accused may, moreover, be charged with as many
which the violation of Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866 was committed
Political Motive Must Be Shown crimes as defined in our laws even if these arose from one
so as to qualify to the penalty of death.
incident.

In People u. Louedioro, the court held that divested of its The charge should therefore be amended to simple illegal
common complexion, any ordinary act, however, grave, assumes Thus, where a single act is directed against one person but possession of firearm, and was accordingly deemed amended by
a different color by being absorbed in the crime of rebellion, said act constitutes a violation of two or more entirely distinct the Supreme Court.
which carries a lighter penalty than the crime of murder. and separate provisions of the Revised Penal Code or by a
It should, however, be noted that under existing laws
specified law as the RPC, the prosecution of one is not a bar to
(R.A. No. 8294) if homicide or murder is committed with the use
In deciding if the crime committed is rebellion, not murder, the other, but such crimes should be alleged in separate
of an unlicensed firearm, such use of unlicensed firearm shall be
it becomes imperative for our courts to ascertain whether or not information.
considered merely as an aggravating circumstance and cannot
the act was done in furtherance of a political end. be the subject of a separate prosecution.
There is no complex crime of illegal possession of Firearm
The political motive of the act should be conclusively used in Homicide but they may be filed separately (qualified THE PRESENT LAW ON ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF
demonstrated. illegal possession of firearm is only one offense). FIREARMS

People v. Deunida, reiterated the same principles, but Where murder or homicide results from the use of an
In such cases, the burden of demonstrating political motive
pointed out that the use of unlicensed firearm must be alleged, unlicensed firearm, the crime is no longer qualified illegal
falls on the defense, motive being a state of mind which the
otherwise, the crime is only murder. possession, but murder or homicide, as the case may be.
accused, better than any individual knows.

Abandonment of Doctrine In such a case, the use of the unlicensed firearm is not
It is not enough that overt acts of rebellion are duly
considered as a separate crime but shall be appreciated as a
proven.
In case homicide or murder is committed with the use of mere aggravating circumstance.

unlicensed firearm, such use of unlicensed firearm shall be


Both purpose and overt acts are essential components of merely considered as aggravating.
57
In view of the amendments introduced by Republic Act No. Hence, he cannot be convicted of any of these crimes separate informations, under existing law, the provisions
8294 to Presidential Decree No. 1866, separate prosecutions for without violating his right to be informed of the nature and cause considering the use of an unlicensed firearm in the commission
homicide and illegal possession are no longer in order. of the accusation against him, not to mention his right to due of the crime as aggravating cannot be given a retroactive effect,
process. lest it would acquire the character of an ex post facto law.

Instead, illegal possession of firearms is merely to be


taken as an aggravating circumstance in the homicide case. Following the doctrine enunciated in People v. Molina and Should the Court appreciate the use of an unlicensed fire-
People v. Lazaro, among others, the possession of firearms arm, the higher penalty of death shall be imposed.
against accused-appellant merely as an aggravating
The crime of illegal possession of firearm, in its simple
circumstance.
form, is committed only where the unlicensed firearm is not used Hence, the penalty should be reclusion perpetua.
to commit any of the crimes of murder, homicide, rebellion,
insurrection, sedition or attempted coup d'etat. As the law stands today, there can be no longer be a
On the separate charge of illegal possession of firearm,
separate conviction of the crime of illegal possession of firearms
this is not allowed under the new law.
under P.D. No. 1866 in view of the amendments introduced by
Otherwise, the use of unlicensed firearm would be treated
Republic Act No. 8294.
either:
Since this is favorable to the accused, it shall be given
retroactive effect.
1) as essential ingredient in the crimes of rebellion, Instead, illegal possession of firearms is simply taken as
insurrection, sedition or attempted coup d'etat; or an aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide pursuant to
Section 1 of R.A. No. 8294. Thus, while it is true that under R.A. No. 8294, the use of
2) as an aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide. an unlicensed firearm aggravates the crimes of homicide or

THE LAW HAS A RETROACTIVE EFFECT ONLY IF IT IS murder, the provisions of the said law cannot apply to the case
FAVORABLE TO THE ACCUSED at bar because the crime was committed prior to the effectivity
Neither can accused-appellant be charged with simple
illegal possession. of the said law on July 6, 1997.

R.A. No. 8294 is given retroactive effect in the sense that


the use of unlicensed firearm in the commission of a crime is The provisions of R.A. No. 8294 may be applied retro-
The same may only done where no other crime is com-
considered merely as an aggravating circumstance and not as a actively so as to prevent conviction of the separate crime of
mitted.
separate crime. illegal possession of firearm because this accrues to the benefit
of the appellant.
An accused cannot be convicted of homicide or murder
It is only when the new law will be advantageous to the
with "the use of the unlicensed firearm as aggravating,"
accused that the Law may be given retroactive effect, such as It cannot, however, be applied retroactively to aggravate
inasmuch as said felonies are not charged in the information but
when it will spare him from a separate conviction for the crime of the crime of homicide or murder.
merely mentioned as the result of the use of the unlicensed
illegal possession of firearm.
firearm.
Illegal Possession As Separate offense
Thus, where at the time accused was charged in two
separate informations, one with robbery with homicide with the It does not, however, mean that there can no longer be
Accused-appellant was not arraigned for homicide or use of an unlicensed firearm punishable with reclusion perpetua any prosecution for the crime of illegal possession of firearm.
murder. to death and another for the use of an unlicensed firearm
punishable by death, the existing law allows the filing of the
58
In general, all pending cases involving illegal possession of crimes and prosecution.
firearm should continue to be prosecuted and tried if no other The rule was clarified in People u. Cano:
crimes expressly indicated in Republic Act No. 8294 are involved
It was, however, held in Lontok, Jr. v. Gorgonio, that if
(murder or homicide under Section 1 and rebellion, insurrection,
"From the viewpoint of trial practices and justice, it is, to say the one offense is light, there is no complex crime. Separate
sedition or attempted coup d' etat under Section 3. least, doubtful whether the prosecution should split the action informations must be filed.
against the defendant, by filing against him several informations,
namely, one for damage to property and serious and less serious
Example:
Thus, where the other offense charged in a Criminal Case physical injuries, thru reckless negligence, before the Court of
for violation of COMELEC Resolution No. 3045 — is not one of First Instance, and another for slight physical injuries thru
reckless negligence before the justice of the peace or municipal Damage to property in sum of P780.00 and Slight Physical
those enumerated under R.A. No. 8294, the respondent judge court. One thing is, however, certain. Injuries thru Reckless Imprudence cannot be made in a single
was correct in not quashing the information in the Criminal Case. information — if slight physical injuries prescribes, it must be
dismissed.
Such splitting of the action would work unnecessary inconvenience
to the administration of justice in general and to the accused in particular,
It was however, made clear in the en bane decision in
for it would require the presentation of substantially the same evidence Without mentioning Lontok, Jr. v. Gorgonio, the Supreme
Agote u. Lorenzo, that there can be no separate conviction for
before two different courts, the municipal court and the Court of First Court in Buerano v. Court ofAppeals, reiterated the rule in
illegal possession of firearm where another crime was commited Instance.
People v. Buan
at the same time for instance, violation of the COMELEC
resolution on gun ban even if the firearm was not being actually
Worse, still, in the event of conviction in the municipal court and
used or discharged, holding that there can be no separate Reiteration of Lontok v. Gorgonio:
appeal to the Court of First Instance, said evidence would still have to be
offense of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition if there introduced once more in the latter court."
is another crime committed such as illegal possession of
The Court in Reodica v. Court ofAppeals,97 held that reckless
dangerous drugs.
imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries and damage to property is
As stated in People v. Buan:
not a complex crime and cannot be the subject of a single information,
Reckless Imprudence Cases they are separate offenses subject to distinct penalties, reiterating the
Reason and precedent both coincide in that once convicted or ruling in Lontok u. Gorgonio.
acquitted of a specific act of reckless imprudence, the accused
Where both damage to property with less serious physical may not be prosecuted again for that same act.
injuries were caused by one single act of defendant, the The two offenses cannot be complexed because each
information cannot be split into two — one for physical injuries For the essence of quasi-offense of criminal negligence is the offenses is not a grave or less grave felony.
and another for damage to property. execution of an imprudent or negligent act that, if intentionally done,
would be punishable as a felony.
The two offenses may, however, be consolidated since
If there is damage to property only, the amount fixed under the expanded jurisdiction of the municipal trial courts
The law penalizes thus the negligent or careless act, not the result
therein should be imposed but if there are also physical injuries, damage to property thru reckless imprudence now falls under its
thereof.
there should be an additional penalty for the latter. jurisdiction.

The gravity of the consequence is only taken into account to


SEC. 14.
The information cannot be split into two; one for physical determine the penalty, it does not qualify the substance of the offense.
injuries and another for the damage to property, for both the Amendment or Substitution
injuries and the damages committed were caused by one single And, as the careless act is single, whether the injurious result
act of physical injuries and damage to property. should affect one person or several persons, the offense (criminal AMENDMENT EXPLAINED: WHEN LEAVE OF COURT BEFORE
negligence) remains one and the same, and can not be split into different PLEA REQUIRED

59
However, once a motion to dismiss or withdraw the
Under the former rule, amendment whether as to form or Once the case had already been brought to Court whatever information is filed the trial judge may grant or deny it, not out

substance is a matter of right before plea. disposition the fiscal may feel should be proper in the case of subservience to the Secretary of Justice, but in faithful
thereafter should be addressed for the consideration of the exercise of judicial prerogative.

Court.
The rule was, however, amended by requiring "any The trial judge must himself be convinced that there was
amendment before plea, which downgrades the nature of the indeed no sufficient evidence against the accused, and this con-
offense charged in or excludes any accused from the complaint The only qualification is that the action of the Court must clusion can be arrived at only after an assessment of the
or information, can be made only upon motion by the not impair the substantial rights of the accused, or the right of evidence in the possession of the prosecution.
prosecutor, with notice to the offended party and with leave of the people to due process of law.
court."
What is imperatively required is the trial judge's own
Thus, the complaint cannot be withdrawn by the Fiscal assessment of such evidence, it not being sufficient for the valid
The court shall state its reasons in resolving the motion without the court's consent. and proper exercise of judicial discretion merely to accept or
and copies of its order shall be furnished all parties, especially reject the prosecution's word for its supposed insufficiency or to
the offended party. simply rely on Crespo u. Mogul.
The provincial fiscals are not clothed with power, without
the consent of the court, to dismiss or nolle prosequi criminal
The amendment is designed to remove the absolute actions actually instituted and pending further proceedings. FINDING OF GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND NOTICE
TO PARTIES
control of the prosecution of a criminal action after the filing of
information even before a plea is entered which seems to be the
The power to dismiss is vested solely in the court, i.e., the In the absence of a finding of grave abuse of discretion,
case as provided for in the first sentence of the first paragraph
presiding judge. the court's denial of a motion to withdraw information pursuant
that the complaint or information may be amended, in substance
or form, without leave of court, at any time before the accused to the Secretary's resolution is void.

pleads; however, under the amended rule, any amendment The Supreme Court stressed, however, that the real and
For this reason the amendment requires parties, especially
before plea, which lessens the gravity of the offense charged ultimate test of the independence and integrity of the trial court
the private complainant to be duly furnished copies of the order
and/or excludes any of the accused from the complaint or is not the filing of the motions to suspend proceedings and defer
resolving the motion therefor and explaining the reasons for
information, must be filed with leave of court and the parties, arraignment at that stage of the proceedings but the filing of a
such disposition.
especially the private complainant shall be duly furnished copies motion to dismiss or to withdraw the information on the basis of
of the order resolving the motion therefor and explaining the a resolution of the petition for review reversing the Joint
reasons for such disposition. Resolution of the investigating prosecutor. The amendment under the second par may only be made
especially with notice to the offended party.

This is in accord with the ruling in Crespo v. Mogul, It is Before that time, the pronouncement in Crespo v. Mogul
that "once a complaint or information is filed in Court any What may be Amended
intended to prevent the prosecution from abusing the process of
amendment before plea by dropping any of the accused from the disposition of the case as its dismissal or the conviction of the
information or reducing the offense charged whether the accused accused or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion Only a valid information may be amended.
had been arraigned or not and whether it was due to a of the court, did not yet become relevant or applicable."
reinvestigation of the fiscal or a review by the Secretary of
An information filed before the effectivity of the law
Justice, similar to what happened in the case of Dimatulac u. Court Must Make Independent Assessment punishing the offense may not be amended after the law had
Vilon.
come into effect.
60
Time to Amend The amendment in a libel case which merely specifies the The phrase "on or about" employed in the information
specific address in Makati where the libelous articles were first does not require the prosecution to "prove any precise date
Amendment of an information may be made at any time printed and published is merely formal. which is not so remote as to surprise and prejudice the
before the accused enters a plea to the charge." defendant.
Change of Dates of Commission of Crime
The prosecution is free to amend the information without In case of surprise, the Court may allow an amendment of
leave of court before arraignment. Thus, the change in the date of the commission of the the information as to time and an adjournment to the accused, if
crime of Grave Coercion from June 24, 1981 to August 28, 1981 necessary to meet the amendment."
Provided, the amendment does not downgrade the nature is more formal than substantial and would not prejudice the
of the offense charged or excludes any accused from the rights of the accused, as the said proposed amendment would
complaint or information. In the case of People u. Riuera, the amendment of the
not alter the nature of the offense of grave coercion.
information as to the date of the commission of the offense from
March 2, 1964 to March 2, 1965 which was due to a clerical error
TEST AS WHEN RIGHTS OF ACCUSED PREJUDICED BY
AMENDMENT The difference in dates is only about two months and five in the last digit of the year, the difference of one year or twelve
days, which disparity is amply comprehended within the months was merely a matter of form and does not prejudice the
allegation of "on or about." rights of the accused, reiterating the ruling in the case of U.S. v.
The test as to when the rights of an accused are
Ramos, where the Fiscal was permitted to amend the date of the
prejudiced by the amendment of a complaint or information is,
commission of the offense from June 16, 1910 to June 1911.
when a defense under the complaint or information as it Nor will the amendment or correction cause any surprise
originally stood, would no longer be available after the on the accused, who has been furnished the affidavits of the
amendment is made, and when any evidence the accused might prosecution witnesses, all of which uniformly state that the date Rule Not Applicable Where Disparity is Great
have, would no longer be available after the amendment is of the commission was August 28, 1981.
made, and when any evidence the accused might have would be The petitioner's argument that the time or date of the
inapplicable to the complaint or information as amended. commission of the offense is not a material ingredient of the
The amendment of the complaint for rape changing the
crime of qualified theft cannot be given much weight in this case
date of commission of the crime alleged in the original
because the disparity of time between the years 1964 and 1969
On the other hand, an amendment which merely states information from February 13, 1976 to February 5, 1976 as
is so great as to defy approximation in the commission of one
with additional precision something which is already contained in testified to by the complainant, a difference of only eight (8)
and the same offense.
the original information, and which therefore, adds nothing days was only a matter of form and did not prejudice the rights
essential for conviction for the crime charged is an amendment of the appellant.
as to form that can be made at any time. While it has been held that except when time is a material
ingredient of an offense, the precise time of commission need
Under Section 10 of Rule 110 of the Rules of Court "it is
not be stated in the information, this court stated that this does
An amendment which neither adversely affects the not necessary to state in the complaint or information the
not mean that the prosecution officer may be careless about
substantial right of the accused, e.g., does not deprive him of his precise time at which the offense was committed except when
fixing the date of the alleged crime, or that he may omit the
right to invoke prescription nor affects and/or alters the nature time is a material ingredient of the offense, but the act may be
date altogether or that he may make the allegation so indefinite
of the offense originally charged nor involves a change in the alleged to have been committed at any time as near to the
as to amount to the same thing.
basic theory of the prosecution so as to require the accused to actual date at which the date of the offense was committed as
undergo any material change or modification in his defense is an the information or complaint will permit."
amendment as to a matter of form.
61
The prosecution is given the chance to allege an of an opportunity to produce evidence for their defense if they jurisdiction of the court. All other matters are merely of form.
approximation of time of the commission of the offense and the had desired, in relation to said amendment "Consequently, the
precise date need not be stated but it does not mean that it can accused is not thereby denied any opportunity to present Habitual Delinquency
prove any date remote or far removed from the given evidence in his defense."
approximate date so as to surprise and prejudice the accused.
Additional allegations of habitual delinquency and
The foregoing cases should, however, be distinguished recidivism is not a substantial amendment.
In Arevalo u. Nepomuceno, the amendment which was from the case of People u. Opemia, where the difference in dates
allowed was the allegation in the information that B carried the was from 1947 to 1952.
They do not have the effect of charging another offense
revolver and C, the knife, instead ofC carrying the revolver and
different or distinct from the charge of qualified theft contained
B, the knife.
The difference in date could not be attributed to a clerical in the information.
error because the difference is not only in the year but also in
In People v. Joseph Casey, the amendment after the month and the last two digits of the year, and the difference
Neither do they tend to correct any defect in the
arraignment was to include one of the accused Ricardo Felix alias "is so great as to defy approximation in the commission of one
jurisdiction of the trial court over the subject-matter of the case.
"Carding Tuwad" who was then armed with a firearm. and the same offense."

The said new allegations relate only to the range of the


The Supreme Court, after stating the test as to whether a Discharge to be State witness under Witness Protection
Rule penalty that the court might impose in the event of conviction.
defendant is prejudiced by the amendment, stated that: "A look
into our jurisprudence on the matter shows that an amendment
to an information introduced after the accused has pleaded not The foregoing rule applies in withdrawing or discharging to They do not alter the prosecution's theory of the case nor
guilty thereto, which does not expose the accused to a charge be a state witness before plea some accused under the witness possibly prejudice the form of defense the accused has or will
which could call for a higher penalty, does not affect the essence protection rule without the need of proving the requirement for assume
of the offense or cause surprise or deprive the accused of an the discharge of a state witness despite a pending motion for

opportunity to meet the new averment had each been held to be their discharge under Section 17, Rule 119 unless they are
Additional Allegations of Conspiracy
one of form and not of substance not prejudicial to the accused retained in the information in which case section 17, Rule 119 is

and, therefore, not prohibited by Section 13, Rule 110 of the the applicable rule.
In Regala v. CFI, the defendant was charged with murder.
Revised Rules of Court.

After the plea, the fiscal presented an amended


In U.S. v. dela Cruz, the amendment in the information for
information wherein two other persons were included as co-
brigandage sought to be made was to eliminate the words "led
accused.
by one Silverio" and to substitute the words "under the
command of Luciano San Miguel" after the prosecution rested
PROHIBITED AMENDMENTS; WHAT ARE SUBSTANTIAL
but before the presentation of the evidence of the defense. There was the further allegation that the accused and his
AMENDMENTS
co-defendants had conspired and confederated together and
mutually aided one another to commit the offense charged.
The Supreme Court allowed the said amendment holding Amendments that are prohibited after the accused has
that it did not prejudice in any sense the right of the accused as pleaded are amendments in substance. And the substantial
"it did not affect the essence of the crime charge, but merely an matters in the complaint or information is the recital of facts The admission of the amendment was upheld by the
accidental detail of the same" and it did not deprive the accused constituting the offense charged and determinative of the Supreme Court holding that the amendment is a mere matter of

62
form.
After a reinvestigation, the prosecution moved to amend

In People v. Zulueta, an information for Malversation of the information with the inclusion of two other accused alleging
public property was amended with the additional assertion that conspiracy.

in permitting the misappropriation, the accused acted in


conspiracy with Commissioner Llanes who was subsequently The Supreme Court, citing Regala, held that the
booked for malversation of the identical property also in the amendments would not prejudice the accused whose
same court. participation as principal in the crimes charged did not change.

The Supreme Court held that there was a substantial In People v. Montenegro, the accused was charged with
amendment. robbery before the CFI of Quezon City and entered a plea of not
guilty.

Surely, the preparations have to be radically modified to


meet the new situation. Before the trial could proceed, the fiscal sought to amend
the complaint:
For undoubtedly, the allegation of conspiracy enables the
prosecution to attribute and ascribe to the accused all the acts, 1) from robbery to robbery in an uninhabited place;
knowledge, admissions and even omissions of his co-conspirator 2) alleging conspiracy among all accused; and
3) deleting all items, articles and jewelries alleged to have
Angel Llanes in furtherance of the controversy. been stolen in the original information substituting them
with a different set of items.

The amendment thereby widens the battlefront to allow


the use by the prosecution of newly discovered weapons, to the The Supreme Court citing and quoting People v. Zulueta

evident discomfiture of the opposite camp. (supra), held that the allegation of conspiracy among all the
private respondents-accused which was not previously included
in the original information is a substantial amendment saddling
The Supreme Court distinguished the case from Regala by the respondents with the need of a new defense in order to meet
explaining that the amendment therein did not modify the basic a different situation in the trial court.
theory of the prosecution that the accused had killed the
deceased by a voluntary act and deed.

Here there is an innovation, or the introduction of another


alternative imputation, which, to make matters worse, is
inconsistent with the original allegations.

In People v. Court of Appeals, the accused Sixto Ruiz who


was charged with murder entered a plea of not guilty.

63
AMENDMENTS AFTER PLEA CHANGING THE NATURE OF Addition of Intent to Gain Amendment to Conform to Evidence Allowed
OFFENSE CHARGE IS PROHIBITED

Where intent to gain could already be inferred from the Amendments to conform to the evidence to be presented
The Supreme Court held that the proposed amendments in allegations of the information, an amendment which merely during the trial is permissible.
the amended information are clearly substantial and have the states with additional precision something which is already
effect of changing the crime charged from "Robbery" punishable contained in the complaint for robbery, and which therefore adds MISTAKES TO CONFORM TO EVIDENCE
under Article 209 to "Robbery in an Uninhabited Place" nothing essential to the conviction for the crime charged is a
punishable under Article 302 of the Revised Penal Code, thereby formal amendment and can be made at any time. AMENDMENT BY SUBSTITUTION
exposing the private-respondent accused to a higher penalty as
computed to the penalty imposable for the offense charged in If it appears at any time before judgment that a mistake
AMENDMENT TO ALLEGE OFFENSE COMMITTED IN RELA-
the original information to which the accused had already TION TO OFFICE has been made in charging the proper offense, the court shall
entered a plea of "not guilty" during their arraignment. dismiss the original complaint or information upon the filing of a

It has been held that after the case of homicide committed new one charging the proper offense in accordance with Rule

Moreover, the change in the items, articles and jewelries by a PNP officer was transferred by the RTC to the 119, Section 11, provided, the accused would not be placed

allegedly stolen into entirely different articles from those Sandiganbayan after trial, on the ground that the offense was thereby in double jeopardy.

originally complained of affects the essence of the imputed committed in relation to the public office of the accused and,
crime, and would deprive the accused of the opportunity to meet therefore, falls under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, an Section 11 of Rule 119 provides that when it becomes
all the allegations in the amended information, in the preparation amendment to allege that the offense of homicide committed by manifest at any time before judgment that a mistake has been
of their defenses to the charge filed against them. a member of the PNP was committed "in relation to his office" made in charging the proper offense, and the accused cannot be
may be made at any time before arraignment before the convicted of the offense charge, or of any other offense
Sandiganbayan, and indeed by leave of court at any time before necessarily included therein, the accused shall not be
It will be observed that private respondents were accused
judgment is rendered by the Sandiganbayan, considering that discharged, if there appears to be good cause to detain him.
as accessories after the fact of the minor who had already been
such an amendment would not affect the juridical nature of the
convicted of robbery of the items listed in the original
offense charged (i.e., murder), the qualifying circumstance
information. In such case, the court shall commit the accused to answer
alleged in the information, or the defenses that accused may
for the proper offense and dismiss the original case upon the
assert before the Sandiganbayan.
To charge them now as accessories after the fact for a filing of the proper offense.

crime different from that committed by the principal, would be


In other words, the amendment may be made before the
manifestly incongruous as to be allowed by the court. The rule, therefore, does not apply where the accused may
Sandiganbayan without surprising the accused or prejudicing his
be convicted of any other offense necessarily included in the
substantive rights.
An amendment deleting the word "orally" from a charge of offense charged.

grave threats to conform to the evidence is merely a formal NO NEED OF ARRAIGNMENT WHERE AMENDMENT MERELY
amendment since it did not affect the nature of the crime as FORMAL Where the original complaint for rape charged her father
originally charged. with the crime of rape allegedly committed on or about the 13th
Where the amendment was not substantial, no second plea day of February but during the trial, the complaining witness

The particular manner in which the threat made is not a is necessary. testified that she was raped by her father on February 5 of the

qualifying ingredient of the offense. same year, there was no need for the court to dismiss the
original complaint and direct the fiscal to file the proper

64
complaint. also be made even if it may result in altering the nature of the
charge so long as it can be done without prejudice to the rights Be that as it -may, it is quite plausible under Section 14 of
of the accused. Rule 110 that, instead of an amendment, an information for
The trial judge could have simply granted the motion for
leave to amend the complaint. homicide may also be dismissed before the accused pleads, to

Hence, in the case of Dimalibot v. Salcedo, the accused give way to the filing of a new information for murder.
therein were originally charged with homicide and were released
1) Amendment and Substitution Distinguished
on bail. However, the then provincial fiscal, after a review of the In Galvez v. Court of Appeals — the Supreme Court thru
2) Scope of Rule affidavits of the witnesses for the prosecution, discovered that Justice Regalado extensively discussed amendments by
the killing complained of was perpetrated with the qualifying substitution of a defective information by the correct one.
The above section contains two parts: One authorizes the circumstances of treachery, taking advantage of superior
amendment of an information or complaint (involving the same strength, and employing means to weaken the defense of the
victim. That is from the filing of the information up to and before
offense or an offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily
trial, while amendments during trial and be fore judgment is
included in the first information) in substance or form, without
governed by Section 11, Rule 119 when a mistake has been
leave of court, at any time before the defendant pleads, and Consequently, an amended information for murder was made in charging the proper offense.
thereafter, only as to matters of form. filed against the accused who were ordered re-arrested without
the amount of bail being fixed, the new charge being a capital
Perusal of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure will show
The other provides that, if it appears at any time before offense.
that there are only two provisions concerning the dismissal of an
judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper
information other than on motion of the accused, namely,
offense, the court may dismiss the original complaint or The Court ruled therein that the amendment was proper, Section 14 of Rule 110 and Section 11 of Rule 119.
information and order the filing of a new one charging the proper pursuant to Section 13, Rule 106 of the 1940 Rules of Court
offense (substitution), provided the defendant would not be (now Section 14, Rule 110 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal
placed in double jeopardy. Procedure), thus: But then, it may be contended that these rules speak of a
dismissal by the court when there is a mistake in charging the
proper offense, but make no mention of a dismissal made upon
Explaining Section 14 of Rule 110, the Supreme Court "Here, these rules properly apply, since it is undisputed that the
herein accused were not yet arraigned before the competent application of the prosecution. That is not necessarily so.
stressed:
court when the complaint for homicide was amended so as to
charge the crime of murder.
"The first paragraph provides the rule for amendment of the (a) Rule 119; Section 11, Court Initiates Substitution
information or complaint, while the second paragraph refers to
Upon the authority of said rules, the amendment could therefore be
the substitution of the information or complaint.
made even as to substance in order that the proper charge may be made. Rule 119 is the rule specifically governing the trial

Under the second paragraph, the court can order the filing of
stage where evidence is necessarily being presented, hence,
another information to charge the proper offense, provided, the accused The claim that such amendment can only refer to matters of the trial court is now in a better position to conclude that
would not be placed thereby in double jeopardy and that could only be specification affecting the elements constituting the crime is not correct, manifestly the accused cannot be convicted of the offense
true if the ofifense proved does not necessarily include or is not for there is nothing in the rule to show that the nature of the amendment
charged or of one that it necessarily includes.
necessarily included in the offense charged in the original information." should only be limited to matters of specification.

It would primarily be the function of the court to motu


The change may also be made even if it may result in altering the
It has been the rule that under the first paragraph of proprio order the dismissal of the case and direct the filing
nature of the charge so long as it can be done without prejudice to the
Section 14, Rule 110, the amendment of the information may of the appropriate information.
rights of the defendant."
65
which necessarily includes or is necessarily included in
We do not discount the possibility of either the That is why such error need not be manifest or the original charge, hence, substantial amendments to

prosecution or the defense initiating such dismissal and evident, nor is it required that such nuances as offenses the information after the plea has been taken cannot be
substitution at that stage, although, from a realistic point of includible in the offense charged be taken into account. made over the objection of the accused, for if the

view, that would be a rare situation. original information would be withdrawn, the accused
could invoke double jeopardy.
It necessarily follows, therefore, that the prosecutor
This provision, therefore, is more directly and can and should institute remedial measures for the dismissal
principally directed to the trial court to invest it with the of the original information and the refiling of the correct On the other hand, substitution requires or presupposes

requisite authority to direct by itself the dismissal and one, otherwise he would be recreant to his duties. that the new information involves a different offense
refiling of the informations therein contemplated. which does not include or is not necessarily included in
the original charge, hence, the accused cannot claim
In the subsequent case ofTeehankee, Jr. v. Madayag, double jeopardy.
(b) Rule 110, Section 14, Prosecutor Initiates Substitution et al., however, Section 14 of Rule 110 was clarified to
mean as follows:
In determining, therefore, whether there should be an
Rule 110, on the other hand, provides the procedural amendment under the first paragraph of Section 14, Rule
governance for the prosecution of offenses. Section 14 "It may accordingly be posited that both amendment 110, or a substitution of information under the second
thereof, provides in its second (now third) paragraph the and substitution of the information may be made before or paragraph thereof, the rule is that where the second
procedure and requisites for the substitution of a defective after the defendant pleads, but they differ in the following information involves the same offense, or an offense which
information by the correct one. respects: necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the first
information, an amendment of the information is sufficient;
Although, just like Section 11 of Rule 119, the a. Amendment may involve either formal or substantial otherwise, where the new information charges an offense
changes, while substitution necessarily involves a
permissible stage for effecting that substitution is "at any which is distinct and different from that initially charged, a
substantial change from the original charge;
time before judgment," unlike the latter situation it is substitution is in order."
sufficient that "it appears x x x that a mistake has been
b. Amendment before plea has been entered can be
made in charging the proper offense, x x x."
effected without leave of court, but substitution of The foregoing pronouncements may be deemed to
information must be with leave of court as the original have been accordingly modified by the amendment to
The situation under said Section 14 contemplates a information has to be dismissed; Section 14 in the sense that even before plea, the
longer time span, inclusive of the period from the filing of prosecution may not amend the information to, downgrade
the information up to and before trial. the offense charged or drop any of the accused from the
c. Where the amendment is only as to form, there is no
information without leave of court.
need for another preliminary investigation and the
Since no evidence has been presented at that stage, retaking of the plea of the accused; in substitution of
Dismissal Only After New One is Filed
the error would appear or be discoverable from a review of information, another preliminary investigation is
the records of the preliminary investigation. entailed and the accused has to plead anew to the new
information; and The second paragraph of Sec. 13 of the old Rule 110 was
amended in 1985 as follows: "The court shall dismiss the original
Of course, that fact may be perceived by the trial
complaint or information upon the filing of a new one charging
judge himself but, again, realistically it will be the prosecu- d. An amended information refers to the same offense
the proper offense in accordance with Rule 110, Sec. 11."
tor who can initially determine the same. charged in the original information or to an offense
66
Whether the new charge for direct assault with less serious substitution of the original one may be allowed:
Both rules were clarified so that the dismissal of the physical injuries is by way of amendment or through a new

original complaint or information would be done only after a new information is, immaterial since in both instances accused's
(a) that no judgment has as yet been rendered;
one has been filed. former conviction would be a bar to a subsequent prosecution for
(b) the accused cannot be convicted of the offense charged or
the second offense.
of any other offense necessarily included therein; and
There is no double jeopardy if there is no identity of (c) the accused would not be placed in double jeopardy.
offenses. This was the dictum laid down in the case of People v.
Bonotan, and which doctrine was reiterated in the case of Tacas
v. Cariaso. Thus: Thus, an amendment of the information to change the
If there is identity of offense, then the accused should be crime charged from Homicide to the more serious offense of
convicted of the offense charged necessarily included in the murder after the accused had pleaded not guilty, not allowed.
"The charge of direct assault upon a person in authority with
offense proven or of the offense proven necessarily included in
physical injuries contained in the fiscal's information is not included in the
the offense charged.
charge contained in the complaint of the chief of police, which is merely To dismiss the homicide charged and file another charge
that of less serious physical injuries unqualified by any allegation that
for murder will place the accused in double jeopardy.
SUBSTITUTION APPLIES ONLY WHERE NO JUDGMENT those injuries were inflicted upon the offended municipal councilor,
RENDERED admittedly a person in authority, while he was in the performance of his
official duties or on the occasion thereof, a qualification essential to the To amend the information so as to change the crime
offense charged in the information.
The amendment or the filing of a new case where there charged from homicide to the more serious offense of murder
had been a mistake in charging the proper offense after the after the petitioner had pleaded not guilty to the former is
dismissal of an existing one, spoken of and therein provided for The converse is no less obvious, that is, the charge of direct assault indubitably proscribed by the first paragraph of the above-
upon a person in authority with physical injuries as set out in the informa-
apply, only to an original case where no judgment has as yet quoted provision.
tion necessarily included the offense of less serious physical injuries
been rendered.
charged in the complaint, especially because in both the information and
the complaint, the physical injuries inflicted are alleged to have required For certainly, a change from homicide to murder is not a
medical assistance of a period of 14 days and incapacitated the offended matter of form; it is one of substance with very serious
Much less does the said section apply to an appealed case.
party from labor for the same period of time.
consequence.

Subject to Rule on Double Jeopardy


As proof that the offense charged in the information includes the
offense charged in the complaint, conviction of the defendants of this But can the amendment be justified under the second
The reason is obvious and that is because the right to latter offense may, without question, be had under the information if the paragraph?
amend or to file a new complaint or information charging the other ingredients of the crime charged in said information are not proved.
proper offense after the dismissal of the original complaint or
The answer is, No.
information is subject to the rule on double jeopardy. Hence, the defense of double jeopardy was well taken. The order of
dismissal was thus affirmed precisely on the very same constitutional
ground relied upon in this petition." For the provision speaks not of amendment but of
Where the original charge was that of less serious physical
dismissal of the information.
injuries, for which the accused was convicted, the prosecution
Limitation to Rule on Substitution
cannot on appeal withdraw the case of physical injuries and file a
case of direct assault. In other words, the provision contemplates the filing of a
There are thus limitations before a new information in substituted not an amended information.

67
c. In People u. Jaralba — The Amendment consists of
But, it may be asked, can not the information for homicide Consequently, although the offenses charged under the description of wound from lacerated to stab wound to

against the petitioner be dismissed since no judgment has yet three new informations necessarily include those charged under conform to the evidence. There was no change of offense
been rendered and another information for murder be filed? the original informations, the substitution of informations was charged. No need to rearraign.

not a fatal error.

The answer, again, is No. d. An Amendment to allege that co-accused who were minors

A contrary ruling, would sacrifice substantial justice for acted with discernment is one of form as far as principal
formal nuances on the altar of procedural technicalities. accused is concerned.
For the petitioner having pleaded not guilty to homicide, to
dismiss the charge against him so as to file another charge for
murder will place him thereby in double jeopardy. Furthermore, petitioners' right to speedy trial was never e. In People v. Padica, amendment as to correct name is

violated since the new informations were filed immediately after merely a matter of form. Issue as to identity must be raised
the motion to withdraw the original information was granted. during arraignment in a demurrer on the ground of lack of
The principle does not apply where the information for jurisdiction over his person, otherwise there is estoppel or
homicide alleges "using superior strength" in which case, an waiver.
amendment to murder even if the prosecution have already Duty of Judge to Render Decision

presented two witnesses maybe allowed as this is a mere formal


amendment. Where a physical injury case has been filed before a
Municipal Judge, but, after trial, he is of the opinion that a
SEC. 15.
frustrated murder was committed, he should decide the case on Place Where Action is to be Instituted. —
The body of the information already charges the crime of
the merits and not order the filing of an information in the CFI.
murder.
Improper Venue

NO DOUBLE JEOPARDY WHERE WITHDRAWAL MADE It is the duty of the judge to render the decision as the
BEFORE ARRAIGNMENT evidence warrant under the information as filed for serious In criminal proceedings, improper venue is lack of
physical injuries, and not dismiss the case on his idea or belief jurisdiction.

In Galvez v. Court of Appeals (supra), the propriety of the that there was evidence of intent to kill the intended victim.
Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of
withdrawal of the original information for homicide before
jurisdiction.
arraignment, was upheld there having been no grave abuse of Such order is void for having been issued with grave abuse
discretion in granting the motion and, more importantly, in of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. Unlike in a civil case where venue may be waived, this
consideration of the fact that the motion to withdraw was filed could not be done in a criminal case because it is an element of
and granted before petitioners were arraigned, hence, before jurisdiction.
they were placed in jeopardy. a. In Teehankee v. Madayag — An amendment from frustrated
murder to consummated murder due to supervening event
of death is merely formal. In criminal proceedings, the rule is that one can not be
Thus, even if a substitution was made at such stage, held to answer for any crime committed by him except in the
petitioners cannot validly claim double jeopardy, which is jurisdiction where it was committed.
precisely the evil sought to be prevented under the rule on b. The difference in serial numbers of firearms in case of illegal

substitution, for the simple reason that no first jeopardy had as possession is fatal.
Said rule is based on the legal provision which prescribes
yet attached.
the essential requisites of a good complaint or information, one

68
of which is the allegation that the crime was committed within complaint was not committed in the province wherein the trial preliminary investigation which is a function of the Executive
the jurisdiction of the court where the complaint or information was had, and the accused was not arrested in that province and Department and not the Judiciary."
is filed and that said court has authority to try it. defendant had not fled therefrom, the Court of First Instance of
that province has no jurisdiction to impose sentence. PLACES WHERE ACTION MAY BE INSTITUTED GENERAL
As was said in the case of United States v. Cunanan, the RULE
jurisdiction of the Courts of First Instance of the Philippine
Islands, in criminal cases is limited to certain well-defined In such cases, if the court has reasonable ground to
a. In all criminal prosecutions the action shall be instituted and
territory, so that they can not take jurisdiction of persons believe that the crime has been committed, the accused should tried in the Court of the Municipality or territory wherein the
charged with an offense alleged to have been committed outside be remanded to the court of proper jurisdiction for trial crime was committed or where any one of the essential
ingredient of the offense took place.
of that limited territory.
Purpose of Rule
Thus, subject to existing laws, the commission of an
Judges of the court of the Court of First Instance of a offense is, triable only in the courts of the place where the
district court must exercise their jurisdiction within the territorial A criminal case should be instituted and tried in the
offense was allegedly committed.
limits of their provinces and no further. municipality or province where the offense was committed or
any of its essential ingredients took place.
If all the acts material and essential to the crime and
Jurisdiction or venue is determined by the allegations in requisite of its consummation occurred in one municipality
the information which are controlling. This is a fundamental principle, the purpose being not to
or province, the court of that municipality or province has
compel the defendant to move to, and appear in a different court
sole jurisdiction to try the case.
from that of the province where the crime was committed, as it
When Place of Crime Not Alleged
would cause him great inconvenience in looking for his witnesses
and other evidence in another place." b. In offenses committed on a railroad train, in an aircraft, or
Where the place of the commission of the offense was not in any other public or private vehicle while in the course of
specifically charged, the place may be shown by the evidence. its trip in the court of any municipality or territory where
Power to Change Venue
such train, aircraft or other vehicle passed during such trip,
Thus, the insufficiency of the complaint charging adultery including the place of departure and arrival.
Where the convenience of the accused is opposed by that
without stating the place where the acts of adultery were of the prosecution, it is but logical that the court should have the
committed, or that the accused knew the woman was married at power to decide where the balance of convenience or Where defendant was charged with attacking a postal
the time of cohabitation, assigned as error as the conviction inconvenience lies, and to determine the most suitable place of clerk in a moving train within the limits of Manila, it was
thereon amounted to a conviction without informing the the trial according to the exigencies of truth and impartial claimed that the Court of First Instance of Manila was
defendants of the nature and character of the offense, and justice. without jurisdiction, but as defendant offered no proof
besides equivalent to a conviction without due process of law. against such jurisdiction, the lower court was justified in
Under the 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court may taking jurisdiction.
order a change of venue or place or trial to avoid a miscarriage
No such question having been raised before final judgment
of justice.
in the trial court, but every ingredient of the crime having been c. Where the crime for violation of P.D. No. 532 known as the
established in the evidence, there was no error committed upon Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway Robbery Law of 1974 was
which to base a reversal of conviction. "A petition for change of venue of the preliminary committed aboard a jeepney, the criminal action may be
investigation should however, be addressed to the Secretary of instituted and tried in the court of any municipality or
Justice who has control and supervision over the conduct of a territory where the vehicle passed during the trip including
When the record discloses that the crime as alleged in the
69
the place of departure and arrival. The act of carrying away the thing stolen is not an In transitory or continuing offenses, some acts material
indispensable requisite of theft. and essential to the crime occur in one province and some in
another, in which case, the rule is settled that the court of either
d. In offenses committed on board a vessel in the course of its
province where any of the essential ingredients of the crime took
voyage — in the proper court of the first port of entry or of g. Where the offense charged was fully committed in the City
place has jurisdiction to try the case.
any municipality or territory through which the vessel of Manila where the automobile was allegedly stolen from its
passed during such voyage subject to the generally parking place in Port Area the fact that said automobile was
accepted principles of the international law. later found in Rizal City is not an essential ingredient of the Offenses are continuing or transitory upon the theory that
crime but a mere circumstance which could add nothing to there is a new commission, continuance or repetition of the
the nature of the offense or to its consummation. offense wherever the defendant maybe found.
Where the crime was actually committed is immaterial
where the crime was committed while the vessel is in
transit. Hence, this circumstance cannot be made Such offenses may be tried by the Court of any jurisdiction
determinative of the jurisdiction of the trial court over the in which the defendant may be found.
criminal action.
"In transit" simply means "on the way or passage"
while passing from me place to another in the course of In such a case, the complaint should alleged that the
transportation. It was, however, held in a case that where the offense was committed within the jurisdiction of the court and
asportations of cigarettes commenced when they were not at the place where it was originally committed.
taken out of dark Airbase and continued when the goods
In a prosecution under Act No. 55, regulating the The theory is that a person may be indicted in any
pushed through Valenzuela, Bulacan until they were seized
transportation of animals on vessels, as amended by Act jurisdiction where the offense was in part committed, it being
in Quezon City, the Courts in any of these places had
No. 275, the information need not allege that the court was understood that the first court taking cognizance of the case
jurisdiction over the offense.
sitting at a port where the animals were disembarked. excludes the others.

Transitory and Continuing Offenses


e. The place where the action is to be instituted is subject to In this jurisdiction, where the strict common law rules
existing laws "such as offenses which fall under the touching the finding of indictments have no controlling influence,
If all the acts material to the crime and requisite of the
exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which may be offenses committed partly in one province and partly in another,
consumption thereof occurred in one municipality or territory,
instituted and tried only in the Sandiganbayan which is that is to say, where some acts material and essential to the
the court therein has the sole jurisdiction to try the case.
located at Quezon City. crime and requisite to its consummation occur in one province
and some in another, are triable in either province, and the
There are certain crimes in which some acts material and appropriate courts in each province have concurrent jurisdiction
f. In the earlier case of People v. Mercado, involving theft of
essential to the crimes and requisite to their consummation of such offenses, distinguished, as to estafa, accounts collected
large catties, it was held that where the accused stole the
occur in one municipality or territory and some in another, in in one place and to be paid over to principal in Manila; estafa
carabaos in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, and took them to
which event, the court of either has jurisdiction to try the cases, committed by insurance agent, premiums collected in Iloilo but
Pampanga, where he was found, the crime is triable only in
it being understood that the court taking cognizance of the case payable in Manila; estafa committed aboard a ship in Philippine
Nueva Ecija and not in Pampanga.
excludes the other. Waters.

The unlawful taking of a movable thing consummates


These are the so-called transitory or continuing crimes. The theory upon which a person accused of a transitory or
in the crime of theft.
continuing offense may be tried in any jurisdiction within which

70
he is found is based upon the ground that there is a new may be validly tried in any municipality or province where the purpose, which means that two or more violations of the same
commission of the same offense in the jurisdiction where he is offense was in part committed. penal provision are united in one and the same intent leading to
found. the perpetration of the same criminal purpose or aim.

In transitory or continuing offenses in which some acts


In such a case, the complaint should allege that the material and essential to the crime and requisite to its In adultery, the last unity does not exist because the
offense was committed within the jurisdiction of the court and consummation occur in one province and some in another, the culprits perpetrate the crime in every sexual intercourse and
not at the place where it was originally committed. Court of either province has jurisdiction to try the case, it being they need not do another or other adulterous act to consummate
understood that the first court taking cognizance of the case will it.
exclude the others.
(Defendant, as an enlisted seaman in the Bureau of
Navigation, accused of desertion in violation of Sec. 9 of Act No. However, if all the acts material and essential to the crime IN BIGAMY, PLACE WHERE FIRST MARRIAGE WAS
1980.) and requisite of its consummation occurred in one municipality CELEBRATED IS IMMATERIAL

or territory, the court of that municipality or territory has the


TRANSITORY AND CONTINUING OFFENSES sole jurisdiction to try the case. Bigamy being defined by Article 349 as the contracting "of
DISTINGUISHED
a second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage
ESSENTIAL REQUISITES OF CONTINUOUS CRIME; has been legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been
A transitory offense is one where any of the essential ADULTERY declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered
ingredients took place, such as estafa, malversation and in the proper proceeding," it is self-evident that the place where
abduction, while a continuing offense is one which is The rule is that crimes "committed partly in one province the first marriage was celebrated is immaterial to the criminal
consummated in one place, yet by reason of the nature of the and partly in another, that is to say, where some acts material act, intent and responsibility of the accused.
offense, the violation of the law is deemed continuing. and essential to the crime, and requisites to its consummation,
occur in one province and some in another, are triable in either
What is essential is that the first marriage be not legally
Example of this, are where the deprivation of liberty is province.
terminated, actually or by legal presumption, when the
persistent and continuing from one place to another or libel subsequent wedlock takes place; and it is upon the celebration
where the libelous matter is published or circulated from one This means that to make the offense triable in more than of that subsequent marriage that bigamy is committed, not
place to another. one province, the acts perpetrated in any one of them must be before.
impelled by the same criminal purpose or aim.
The term "continuing" must, however, be understood in The continued existence of the first marriage is without
the sense similar to that of "transitory" and is only intended as a In People v. Zapata and Bondoc, it was held that adultery definite locus.
factor in determining the proper venue or jurisdiction for that is not a continuing offense.
matter of the criminal action pursuant to Section 15, Rule 110.
To hold with the trial court that the celebration of the first
"The notion or concept of a continuous crime has its origin marriage was an essential ingredient of the bigamy is to assume
This is so because persons charged with a transitory in the juridical fiction favorable to the law transgressors and in that when the petitioner married his first wife, he did so with
offense may be tried in any jurisdiction where the offense was in many a case, against the interest of society." intent already to marry his second consort; and there is nothing
part committed to the exclusion of the other. on record to warrant such assumption.
For it to exist, there should be plurality of acts performed
separately during a period of time; unity of penal provision
In other words, a person charged with a transitory crime Since the second marriage of the accused occurred in
infringed upon or violation; and unity of criminal intent or
71
Davao outside the territorial jurisdiction of the respondent court, c. C, entered into a contract at Manila, by virtue of which he The theory is that a person indicted with a transitory offense may
and in all criminal prosecutions, the actions must be instituted was obligated to render accounts to his principal in Manila. be validly tried in any jurisdiction where the offense was in part com-
mitted.
and tried in the municipality or province where the offense or
any of its essential ingredients was committed, the Court of First
Under said contract, C collected certain moneys for his
Instance for the province of Iloilo is devoid of jurisdiction to take However, if all the acts material and essential to the crime and
principal in Cebu and failed to account for same to his requisite of its consummation occurred in one municipality or province,
cognizance of the crime charged.
principal in Manila. such has the sole jurisdiction to try the case."

Venue in Estafa
HELD: The court of Manila had jurisdiction over the The Place of Delivery of Check

a. A bicycle was purchased by the owner of a tobacco factory offense of estafa committed, as the contract of employment
in the municipality ofObando, in the province ofBulacan, to was made in Manila. The place where the bills were written, signed, or dated
be used by defendant, an employee, on condition that it was does not necessarily fix or determine the place where they were
to be returned to the owner of the factory at the termination
of his employment, in the municipality of Malabon, province executed.
d. An agent who is entrusted with collecting payments on
of Rizal.
policies for an insurance company and who collects such a
payment in Iloilo and appropriates the same to his own use What is of decisive importance is the delivery thereof the
Defendant sold the bicycle to a third person who lived there though by his contract, the premium collected were consummation as an obligation.
in the municipality of Obando. payable at the office of the company in Manila, may be tried
for estafa in the Court of First Instance of Iloilo or of Manila.
An undelivered bill or note is inoperative.
Defendant having failed to comply with his obligation
to the owner of the bicycle in Malabon, the crime charged Estafa by Issuing a Bouncing Check
against him was committed in that municipality, and the Until delivery, the contract is revocable. And the issuance

justice of the peace in Malabon had jurisdiction to hear and as well as the delivery of the check must be to a person who
The general principles governing jurisdiction in cases of
determine the case. takes it as a holder, which means "(t)he payee or indorsee of a
estafa punishable under Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of the
bill or note, who is in possession of it, or the bearer thereof."
Revised Penal Code have been defined in People v. Yabut, to wit:

b. Estafa is a continuing or transitory offense which may be


prosecuted at the place where any of the essential elements "Estafa by postdating or issuing a bad check under Art. 315, par. Delivery of the check signifies transfer of possession,

of the crime took place. 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code may be a transitory or continuing whether actual or constructive from one person to another with
offense. intent to transfer title thereto.

One of the essential elements of estafa is damage or Its basic elements of deceit and damage, may independently arise
prejudice to the offended party. in separate places. The venue of the offense lies at the place where the check
was executed and delivered to the payee.

In the event of such occurrence, the institution of the criminal


Where the respondent has its principal place of
action in either place is legally allowed. Section 14(a), Rule 110 of the Where it was in Malolos, Bulacan where the checks were
business and office in Manila, the failure of petitioner
Revised Rules of Court provides: 'In all criminal prosecutions, the action
(accused) to remit the insurance premiums she collected uttered and delivered to complainant at which place, her
shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or province
caused damage and prejudice to private respondent in business and residence were also located, the criminal pros-
wherein the offense was committed or any one of the essential ingredients
Manila, the Regional Trial Court of Manila has jurisdiction. thereof took place. ecution of estafa may be lodged therein.

72
The giving of the checks by the two private respondents in handed and delivered to the sales supervisor of SMC, Mr. Ruben As Regards the Bouncing Check
Caloocan City to a messenger and part time employee cannot be Cornelio, who holds office in that municipality.
treated as valid delivery of the checks, because a mere The offense also appears to be continuing.
"messenger" or "part-time employee" is not an agent of
The two checks were deposited by SMC at the BPI, San
complainant.
Fernando, Pampanga, where it maintained its accounts after True, the offense is committed by the very fact of its
receiving these checks from its Guiguinto Sales Office which performance and the Bouncing Checks Law penalizes not only
The Place Where Obligation Was Constituted bank later on made the corresponding deductions from the the fact of dishonor of a check but also the act of making or
account of SMC in the amounts covered by the dishonored drawing and issuance of a bouncing check.
The place where the obligation was constituted is also a checks upon receiving information that the checks so issued by
valid basis for criminal jurisdiction to attach in a prosecution for the accused had been dishonored by the drawee bank at Santa
The case, therefore, could have been filed also in Bulacan.
estafa. Maria, Bulacan.

The determinative factor (in determining venue) is the


Where, the place of business of the offended party, is in A case of estafa and violation of B.P. Big. 22 was filed
Malolos, Bulacan, from where the tire and gas purchases were place of the issuance of the check.
against the accused in Pampanga, the accused contested the
made by the two private respondents, payment thereof should jurisdiction of the court.
be considered effected in Malolos, Bulacan." But it is also true that knowledge on the part of the maker
or drawer of the check of the insufficiency of his funds which is
The Supreme Court held:
(I)f the undertaking is to deliver a determinate thing, the an essential ingredient of the offense is by itself a continuing
eventuality, whether the accused be within one territory or
payment shall be made wherever the thing might be at the
"As regards the Estafa case: While the subject check was issued in
moment the obligation was constituted. another.
Guiguinto, Bulacan, it was not completely drawn thereat, but in San
Fernando, Pampanga, where it was uttered and delivered.

The receipt by the two private respondents at Caloocan Hence, jurisdiction to take cognizance of the offense also
Although the check was received by the SMC Supervisor at lies in the ETC of Pampanga.
City of the tires and gas supplies from Malolos, Bulacan, signifies
but the consummation of the contract between the parties. Guiguinto, Bulacan, that was not the delivery in contemplation of law to
the payee, SMC.
KNOWLEDGE BY DRAWER OF INSUFFICIENCY AND
DISHONOR AS ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS FOR VIOLATION OF
It was the result of an obligation previously contracted at B.P. BIG. 22
Said supervisor was not the person who could take the check as a
Malolos, Bulacan. holder, that is, as a payee or indorsee thereof, with the intent to transfer
title thereto. The gravamen of the offense is knowingly issuing a

Since the instant case, it was in Malolos, Bulacan, where worthless check.

the checks were uttered and delivered to complainant at which The issuance as well as the delivery of the check must be to a

place, her business and residence were also located, the criminal person who takes it as a holder, which means the payee or indorsee of
Thus, a fundamental element is knowledge on the part of
the bill or note, who is in possession of it, or the bearer thereof.
prosecution of estafa may be lodged therein. the drawer of the insufficiency of funds or credit with the drawee
bank for the payment of such check in full upon presentment.
The element of deceit, therefore, took place in San Fernando,
In a case, two checks were issued and signed by the Pampanga, where the check was legally issued and delivered so that
accused in connection with the beer purchases made by him on jurisdiction could properly be laid upon the court in that locality." Another essential element is subsequent dishonor of the
various occasion at Guiguinto, Bulacan and which checks he check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or
73
would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the In the crime of estafa, deceit and damage are essential are on a different plain.
drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop elements of the offense and have to be established with
payment. satisfactory proof to warrant conviction.
There is no scintilla of evidence to show that jurisdiction

For violation of the Bouncing Checks Law, on the other over the violation ofB.P. Big. 22 had been acquired.
Violation of B.P. Big. 22 is a transitory offense. Knowledge hand, the elements of deceit and damage are neither essential
on the part of the maker or drawer of the check of the nor required. On the contrary, all that the evidence shows is that
insufficiency of his funds is by itself a continuing eventuality,
complainant is a resident of Makati; that petitioner is a resident
whether the accused be within one territory or another.
Rather, the elements ofB.P. Big. 22 are: of Caloocan City; that the principal place of business of the
alleged partnership is located in Malabon; that the drawee bank
Consequently, venue or jurisdiction lies either in Malabon is likewise located in Malabon and that all the subject checks
(a) the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply
where the checks were delivered or in Kalookan where they were to account or for value; were deposited for collection in Makati.
dishonored.
(b) the maker, drawer or issuer knows at the time of Verily, no proof has been offered that the checks were
issuance that he does not have sufficient funds in or
The court, however, clarified that knowledge by the maker credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such issued, delivered, dishonored or knowledge of insufficiency of
or drawer of the fact that he has no sufficient funds to cover the check in full upon its presentment; and funds occurred in Manila, which are esssential elements
check or of having sufficient funds is simultaneous to the necessary for the Manila Court to acquire jurisdiction over the
issuance of the instrument. (c) the check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee offense for violation of B.P. Big. 22.
bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have
been dishonored for the same reason had not the
Where there is no evidence to show that at the time of drawer, without valid reason, ordered the bank to stop Abduction
payment.
issue, accused was in Manila, there would be no basis in
upholding jurisdiction of the Manila Trial Court over the offense Abduction is a persistent and continuing offense.
for violation of B.P. Big. 22. Hence, it is incorrect for respondent People to conclude
that inasmuch as the Regional Trial Court of Manila acquired Hence, it may be tried in the court of municipality or
THE CRIME OF ESTAFA AND VIOLATION OF B.P. BIG. 22 jurisdiction over the estafa case then it also acquired jurisdiction province wherein the offense was committed or anywhere one of
HAVE TO BE TREATED AS SEPARATE OFFENSES HAVING over the violations ofB.P. Big. 22.
DIFFERENT ELEMENTS the essential ingredients thereof took place.

The mere fact that the court has jurisdiction over an estafa The crime of estafa and the violation of B.P. Big. 22 have The girl being taken with her consent from Manila to Pasig,
case does not necessarily mean it has jurisdiction over the to be treated as separate offenses and therefore the essential Rizal Province, both the judges of the Court of First Instance of
bouncing checks case or violation of B.P. Big. 22 involving the ingredients of each offense have to be established. Manila and of Rizal have jurisdiction and are competent to take
same check. cognizance of the crime of abduction.

Thus, where the records clearly indicate that business

The crime of estafa and violation of B.P. Big. 22 have to be dealings were conducted in a restaurant in Manila where sums of It is true that the abduction was commenced in Manila, but
treated as separate offenses having different elements and, money were given to petitioner, the lower court acquired it may well be said that it was consummated in Pasig.
necessarily for a court to acquire jurisdiction each of the jurisdiction over the estafa case.

essential ingredients of each crime has to be satisfied.


The various charges for violation of B.P. Big. 22, however,
74
Kidnapping proceeding pending in the Court of First Instance of Iloilo
Jurisdiction over criminal cases cannot be conferred by province.
Where an information charges the offense of kidnapping consent.
for ransom with murder, the victim was kidnapped within Lucena The gist of the offense charged is not the making of the
City and at that very moment, the intention becomes evident Falsification of Private Document affidavit in Manila, but the intention to give false evidence in
that the accused wanted to detain him for ransom, the Court Iloilo, by means of such affidavit.
thereat has jurisdiction to try the case of murder filed against
The crime of falsification of a private document is
the accused, although the killing was committed outside the city
consummated at the time and place where the document is Libel
limits.
falsified, whether the document is or is not thereafter put to the
improper or illegal use for which it was intended. The rules on venue on libel in Article 360 of the Revised
Where persons are kidnapped and detained in Bulacan, Penal Code as amended by R.A. No. 1289 and RJL No. 4363 may
then taken to Nueva Ecija, defendants may be tried and Crime Within City Limits be stated thus:
punished in Bulacan, where the crime was commenced and
consummated, though continued elsewhere.
In a case, defendant was fould guilty of homicide. Counsel for a. Whether the offended party is a public official or a private
defense contended that the Court of First Instance of Manila, in which the person, the criminal action may be filed in the Regional Trial
case was heard, had no jurisdiction as the offense was committed outside Court of the province or city where the libelous article is
Kidnapping with serious illegal detention is a continuing printed and first published.
the city limits.
crime where the deprivation of liberty is persistent and
continuing from one place to another.
Held: As the crime was committed within two and a half miles of b. If the offended party is a private individual, the criminal
the city limits, the court had the necessary jurisdiction. action may also be filed in the Regional Trial Court of the
Estafa by Railroad Conductor province where he actually resided at the time of the
The Court of First Instance of Manila has jurisdiction over a commission of the offense.
Where a railroad conductor collects one peso and twenty- crime of robbery committed upon a steamboat in the Bay of
two centavos from a passenger and issues a false ticket for a Manila at a point two and a half miles beyond the city limits.
c. If the offended party is a public officer whose office is in
shorter journey for which the charge is eighteen centavos, the
Perjury Manila at the time of the commission of the offense, the
estafa is committed where his account was rendered and the
action may be filed in the Regional Trial Court of Manila.
stub of the false ticket was turned in.
The lower court oflloilo found that the crime charged
(perjury) in the information was completed in Manila, inasmuch d. If the offended party is a public officer holding office outside
Under Article 29 of the General Compilation of Laws upon
as the affidavit upon which the charge of perjury rested was of Manila, the action may be filed in the Court of First
Criminal Procedure, jurisdiction is vested in the court, where
subscribed and sworn to before a notary in the city, and Instance of the province or city where he held office at the
accused made use of the document (stub of the ticket) alleged
sustained a demurrer, dismissing the case on ground of lack of time of the commission of the offense.
to be false.
jurisdiction.

For the guidance, of both the bench and the bar, the Court
The fact that the Court of First Instance of Manila took
It is immaterial where the affidavit was subscribed and finds it appropriate to reiterate its earlier pronouncement in the
jurisdiction of the estafa because the place of its commission
sworn, so long as it appears from the information that case of Agbayani, to wit:
was not clearly shown, is not an obstacle to the court declaring
defendant, by means of such affidavit, swore to and knowingly
itself without jurisdiction as soon as the lack of jurisdiction
submitted false evidence, material to a point at issue in a judicial In order to obviate controversies as to the venue of the criminal
appeared.
75
action for written defamation, the complaint or information jurisdictional waters the court stated in certain cases, the comity respect to which, as it is a violation of the penal law in force at
should contain allegations as to whether, at the time the offense of nations is observed, as in Mali u. Keeper of the Common Jail, the place of the commission of the crime, only the court
was committed, the offended party was a public officer or a
private individual and where he was actually residing at that wherein it was said that disorders which disturb only the peace established in the said place itself has competent jurisdiction, in
time. of the ship or those on board are to be dealt with exclusively by the absence of an agreement under an international treaty.
the sovereignty of the home of the ship, but those which disturb
Whenever possible, the place where the written defamation was the public may be suppressed and the offenders punished by
When the exact place where the crime was committed is
printed and first published should likewise be alleged. proper authorities of the local jurisdiction.
unknown and the strong presumption arises at the trial that it
was committed on board a ship navigating within the waters
That allegation would be a sine qua non if the circumstance as to
It may not be easy at all times to discover to which of the included in the territory of this Archipelago, the court competent
where the libel was printed and first published is used as the basis of the
two jurisdictions a particular act of disorder belongs. to try such a crime is that of the district and province at one of
venue of the action.
whose ports the ship or vessel arrives.

CRIMES ON BOARD FOREIGN MERCHANT SHIPS WITHIN Much will depend upon the attending circumstances of the
TERRITORIAL LIMITS particular case, but all must concede that a felonious homicide is CRIMES COMMITTED OUTSIDE OF THE PHILIPPINES
PUNISHABLE UNDER ARTICLE 2 OF THE REVISED PENAL
a subject for local jurisdiction; and if the authorities are CODE
There are two fundamental rules in International Law proceeding with the case in the regular way the consul has no
regarding jurisdiction to punish crimes committed abroad foreign right to interfere with it.
ART. 2. Application of its provisions. — Except as provided in the
merchant vessels: treaties and laws of preferential application, the provisions of this Code
shall be enforced not only within the Philippine Archipelago, including its
The offense of failing to provide suitable means for
atmosphere, its interior waters and maritime zone, but also outside of its
The French rule, according to which such crimes should not securing animals while transporting them on a ship from a
jurisdiction, against those who:
be prosecuted in the court of the country within which they are foreign port to a port in the Philippine Islands, is within the
committed, unless their commission affects the peace and jurisdiction of the courts of the Philippines when the forbidden
a. Should commit an offense while on a Philippine ship or airship;
security of the territory; and conditions existed during the time the ship was within territorial
waters, regardless of the fact that the same conditions existed
when the ship sailed from the foreign port and while it was on b. Should forge or counterfeit any coin or currency note of the
The English rule, based on the territorial principle, followed Philippine Islands or obligations and securities issued by the Government
the high seas.
by the United States, according to which such crimes are in of the Philippine Islands;
general triable in the courts of the country within whose territory
they are committed. Although the mere possession of a thing of prohibited use
c. Should be liable for acts connected with the introduction into
in these islands, aboard a foreign vessel in transit, in any of their these islands of the obligations and securities mentioned in the preceding
ports, does not, as a general rule, constitute, a crime triable by number;
Of these two rules, the last one obtains in this jurisdiction,
the courts of this country, on account of such vessel being
as the Philippines was then a territory of the United States.
considered as an extension of its own nationality, the same rule d. While being public officers or employees, should commit an
In certain cases, the comity of nations is observed. does not apply when the article, the use of which is prohibited offense in the exercise of their functions; or
within the Philippine Islands, is landed from the vessel upon
Philippine soil.
e. Should commit any of the crimes against national security and
Whether the courts of the Philippines have jurisdiction over
the law of nations, defined in Title One of Book Two of this Code.
a crime (such as smoking of opium within our territorial limits)
committed aboard foreign merchant vessels anchored in In the present case, a can of opium was landed, thus
constituting an open violation of the laws of the land, with While under Sec. 15(d) "other crimes committed outside of
76
the Philippines but punishable therein under article 2 of the Intervention of the Offended Party in Criminal Action
Revised Penal Code shall be cognizable by the proper court in The prime purpose of the criminal action is to punish the
which the charge is first filed." Intervention of Offended Party offender in order to deter him and others from committing the
same or similar offense, to isolate him from society, reform and

Where the crime is committed by a public officer in relation Explaining the scope of the Rule and the meaning of rehabilitate him or, in general, to maintain social order.
to his office and is classified as Grade 27 and higher, jurisdiction offended party, the Court stated that under Section 5, Rule 110
is with the Sandiganbayan. of the Rules, all criminal actions covered by a complaint or On the other hand, the sole purpose of the civil action is
information shall be prosecuted under the direct supervision and for the resolution, reparation or indemnification of the private
WHEN PROCEEDINGS ARE CONDUCTED WITHIN THE control of the public prosecutor. offended party ror the damage or injury he sustained by reason
PREMISES OF THE PENAL INSTITUTION of the delictual or felonious act of the accused.
Thus, even if the felonies or delictual acts of the accused
A sister of detention prisoner Mario, accused in a criminal result in damage or injury to another, the civil action for the Under Article 104 of the Revised Penal Code, the following
case for robbery with homicide requested the transfer of the recovery of civil liability based on the said criminal acts is are the civil liabilities of the accused:
case from the Regional Trial Court at Calamba, Laguna to the impliedly instituted and the offended party has not waived the
original court, the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Mario is a civil action, reserved the right to institute it separately or
life termer and had been ordered committed to the National ART. 104. What is included in civil liability. — The civil liability
instituted the civil action prior to the criminal action, the
Bureau of Prisons in Muntinlupa. established in Articles 100, 101, 102 and 103 of this Code includes:
prosecution of the action inclusive of the civil action remains
under the control and supervision of the public prosecutor.
1. Restitution;
Pursuant to Administrative Circular No. 2, dated December 2. Reparation of the damage caused;
3. Indemnification for consequential damages.
2, 1976, and Administrative Circular No. 6, dated December 5, The prosecution of offenses is a public function.
1977, he cannot be brought out of the penitentiary for
appearance or attendance in other criminal cases in any court When the offended party, through counsel, has asserted
without authority from the Supreme Court. Under Section 16, Rule 110 of the Rules of Criminal his right to intervene in the proceedings, it is error to consider
Procedure, the offended party may intervene in the criminal his appearance merely as a matter of tolerance.
action personally or by counsel, who will act as private
Said circulars also provide that judges in Metro Manila who prosecutor for the protection of his interests and in the interest
shall require the appearance or attendance of such prisoners as From Sections 5 and 16 of Rule 110, it can clearly be
of the speedy and inexpensive administration of justice.
witness or as accused before their respective courts shall inferred that while criminal actions as a rule are prosecuted
conduct such proceedings within the premises of the penal under the direction and control of the fiscal, however, an
institution. A separate action for the purpose would only prove to be offended party may intervene in the proceeding, personally or by
costly, burdensome and time-consuming for both parties and attorney, especially in cases of offenses which cannot be
further delay the final disposition of the case. prosecuted except at the instance of the offended party.
The Court resolved to grant Ms. Llanto's request but the
trial of the case shall be conducted within the premises of the The only exception to this rule is when the offended party
National Penitentiary. The multiplicity of suits must be avoided.
waives his right to civil action or expressly reserves his right to
institute it, in which case, he loses his right to intervene upon
With the implied institution of the civil action in the crimi- the theory that he is deemed to have lost his interest in its
nal action, the two actions are merged into one composite prosecution.
SEC. 16.
proceeding, with the criminal action predominating the civil.

77
And, in any event, whenever an offended party intervenes public prosecutor for the recovery of the civil liability of the
in the prosecution of a criminal action, his intervention must If there are offended parties, petitioner's contention that accused.
always be subject to the direction and control of the prosecuting no damages are to be recovered in the criminal action must be
official. untenable. Under Section 16, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, the offended party may also be a private
Even in cases which do not involve any civil liability, an The public function of prosecuting offenses can be individual whose person, right, house, liberty or property was
offended party may appear not only as a matter of tolerance on performed not exclusively by fiscals or other public officers, but actually or directly injured by the same punishable act or
the part of the court. by private attorneys in cases where they are allowed to omission of the accused, or that corporate entity which is

intervene as private prosecutors. damaged or injured by the delictual acts complained of.

In this respect, the law makes no distinction between


cases that are public in nature and those that can only be After all, in the performance of their professional duties, Such party must be one who has a legal right; a sub-
prosecuted at the instance of the offended party. lawyers are officers of the court and assume public and official stantial interest in the subject matter of the action as will entitle

responsibilities. him to recourse under the substantive law, to recourse if the evi-
The Right to Notice of Offended Party dence is sufficient or that he has the legal right to the demand
and the accused will be protected by the satisfaction of his civil
OFFENDED PARTIES FOR VIOLATION OF ANTI-GRAFT LAW
AND FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS liabilities.
In either case, the law gives the offended party the right to
intervene, personally or by counsel, and he is deprived of such
right only when he waives the civil action or reserves his right to The offended party may be the State or any of its Such interest must not be a mere expectancy, subordinate
institute one. instrumentalities, including local governments or government- or inconsequential.
owned or controlled corporations which, under substantive laws,
are entitled to restitution of their properties or funds, reparation,
Where the private prosecution has asserted its right to The interest of the party must be personal; and not one
or indemnification.
intervene in the proceedings, it is error to consider the based on a desire to vindicate the constitutional right of some
appearance of counsel merely as a matter of tolerance. third and unrelated party.
For instance, in malversation of public funds or property
The offended party is entitled to be notified and heard on under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, frauds under Article
motions filed in the criminal proceedings especially when there is In the felony of falsification of public document, the
213 of the Revised Penal Code, and violations of the Forestry
a conflict in the positions between the public prosecutor and of existence of any prejudice caused to third person or the intent to
Code of the Philippines, P.D. No. 705, as amended, to mention a
the offended party. cause damage, at the very least, becomes immaterial.
few, the government is the offended party entitled to the civil
liabilities of the accused.
Offended Parties in Illegal Practice of Medicine The controlling consideration is the public character of a
document and the violation of the public faith and the
For violations of Section 3(e) of Rep. Act No. 3019, any
In an information for illegal practice of medicine a private destruction of truth therein solemnly proclaimed.
party, including the government, may be the offended party if
prosecutor was allowed to intervene. such party sustains undue injury caused by the delictual acts of
the accused. The offender does not, in any way, have civil liability to a
All the witnesses who testified before the fiscal are third person.
offended parties it appearing that the offense alleged in the In such cases, the government is to be represented by the
information belongs to the class of harmful ones. WHEN MAY THE OFFENDED PARTY LOSE HIS RIGHT TO
78
INTERVENE IN THE PROSECUTION OF THE CASE It was earlier held in a case for illegal possession of
firearms and violation of the Dangerous Drugs Law that: "It is The presumption that he approved of the motion is not
An offended party loses right to intervene in the axiomatic that the prosecution of a criminal case is the enough, especially since we are dealing here with the liberty of a
prosecution of a criminal case, when he has waived the civil responsibility of the government prosecutor and must always be person who had a right at least to be notified of the move to
action or expressly reserved his right to institute the civil action under his control. prosecute him again.
arising from the offense.

This is true even if a private prosecutor is allowed to assist The fact that he was not so informed made the irregularity
The reason of the law in not permitting the offended party him and actually handles the examination of the witnesses and even more serious."
to intervene in the prosecution of the offense if he has waived or the introduction of other evidence.
reserved his right to institute the civil action is that by such
It was, however, held that the offended party has the right
action his interest in the criminal case has disappeared. The witnesses, even if they are the complaining witnesses, to file a motion for reconsideration of the order considering the
cannot act for the prosecutor in the handling of the case. information against petitioner as withdrawn even without the
Its prosecution becomes the sole function of the public conformity of the public prosecutor or to file motion for
prosecutor. Although they may ask for the filing of the case, they have reconsideration of a decision of the Supreme Court enjoining a

no personality to move for its dismissal or revival as they are not criminal prosecution.

Reservation of right of civil damages; offended party even parties thereto nor do they represent the parties to the
losses right to intervene. — Where the offended party in a crimi- action. Legal Personality of Offended Party
nal case has expressly reserved his right to present an
independent civil action for damages arising from the offense Their only function is to testify. While it is the SolGen that may bring or defend actions on
charged, he loses his right to intervene in the prosecution of the behalf of the Republic of the Philippines or represent the people
criminal case. or the state in criminal proceedings pending before the Supreme
In a criminal prosecution, the plaintiff is represented by Court or Court of Appeals, the private offended party retains the
the government prosecutor, or one acting under his authority, right to bring a special civil action for certiorari in his own name
Filing of Separate Civil Action
and by no one else." in criminal proceedings before the court of law.

Undoubtedly, an offended party loses his right to intervene


in the prosecution of a criminal case, not only when he has It follows that a motion for revival of the cases filed by It follows that the offended party has legal personality to
waived his right to institute, but also when he has actually prosecution witnesses (who never even testified) should have file a motion for reconsideration of an order of dismissal.
instituted the civil action arising from the offense. been summarily dismissed by the trial judge.
The case was distinguished from Caes v. Intermediate
Appellate Court, which is a violation of the dangerous drugs law
For by either of such actions his interest in the criminal The mere fact that the government prosecutor was
where there is no immediate and direct offended party.
case has disappeared. furnished a copy of the motion and he did not interpose any
objection was not enough to justify the action of these wit-
nesses. Moreover, if the court, independently of the appeal of the
accused, has jurisdiction, within fifteen days from the date of the
judgment, to allow the appeal of the offended party, it also has
The prosecutor should have initiated the motion himself if
The Right to File Motion for Revival jurisdiction to pass upon the motion for reconsideration filed by
he thought it proper.
the private prosecution in connection with the civil liability of the

79
accused. The institution of, or the reservation of the right to d. The rule also incorporated Circular 57-97 on the filing of
file, any of said civil actions separately waives the others. actions for violation of Batas Pambansa Big. 22 mandating
the inclusion of the corresponding civil action for which the
filing fee shall be paid based on the amount of the check
This is no longer provided for.
involved.

The reservation and waiver referred to refers only to


In other cases, no filing fees shall be required for
the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from
actual damages.
the offense charged.
RULE 111
PROSECUTION OF CIVIL ACTION History of Amendment
This does not include recovery of civil liability under
Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the
SECTION 1. No other rule in criminal procedure have been as hotly
Philippines arising from the same act or omission which may
Institution of criminal and civil actions debated upon as the rule on prosecutions of civil actions. The
be prosecuted separately even without a reservation.
rule have been amended four times.

Changes in the Rule at a Glance


c. The rulings in Shafer v. Judge, RTC of Olongapo City, a. Juridical Basis of the Principle of Implied Institution of the
allowing a third-party complaint, and the ruling in Javier v. Civil Action with the Criminal Action
a. The rule changes the 1985 rule as amended in 1988.
Intermediate Appellate Court, as well as Cabaero v. Cantos
allowing a counterclaim are no longer in force. Dual Concept of Civil Liability
Under the 1985 Rule, the action for recovery of civil
liability arising from crime including the civil liability under
Under the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, these Under Article 1157 of the Civil Code of the Philippines,
Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the
pleadings are no longer allowed. obligations may arise, inter alia, from acts or omissions
Philippines arising from the same act or omission are
deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal action unless punished by law (ex-delicto) and from quasi-delict.

the offended party waives the civil action, reserves his right Any claim which could have been the subject thereof
to institute it separately, or institutes the civil action prior to may be litigated in a separate civil action. Civil obligations arising from the criminal offenses
the criminal action. shall be governed by the penal laws, subject to the
Thus, a court trying a criminal case cannot award provisions of Article 2177, and of the pertinent provisions of

Under the present rule, only the civil liability arising damages in favor of the accused. Chapter 2, Preliminary Title, on Human Relations, and of

from the offense charged is deemed instituted with the Title XVIII on Human Relations, regulating damages.4

criminal unless the offended party waives the civil action


The task of the trial court is limited to determining the
reserves his right to institute it separately, or institutes the Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code provides that
guilt of the accused and if proper, to determine his civil
civil action prior to the criminal action. every person criminally liable shall also be civilly liable (ex-
liability.
delicto) while Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides that

b. Under the former rule a waiver of any of three civil actions "whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
A criminal case is not the proper proceedings to
extinguishes the others. there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
determine the private complainant's civil liability.
damage done.

80
Code, or create an action for quasi-delict or culpa-contractual under The same act or omission which gives rise to two
Articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code." separate and distinct sources of civil liability may be
Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing
contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi- prosecuted separately and independently of each other,
delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter." The other differences pointed out between crimes and subject only to the limitation that the satisfaction of either
culpa aquiliana are: bars recovery of the other, on the principle that plaintiff
cannot recover twice for the same act or omission.
The Code expressly provides that responsibility for the
fault or negligence for quasi-delict is entirely separate and 1) That crimes affect public interest, while quasi-delicts
distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under are only of private concern; Otherwise stated, civil liability, although arising from

the Penal Code, subject only to the limitation that the the same act or omission, may not only be prosecuted
plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act or either in a criminal or civil action, but in a criminal and civil
2) That consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects
omission of the defendant. action.
the criminal act, while the Civil Code by means of
indemnification merely repairs the damage;
Briefly stated, the negligent act causing damages may The procedural enforcement of these distinct civil
produce two kinds of civil liability on the part of the liabilities, albeit based on the same act or omission, are
3) That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because
offender, that is, civil liability arising from the crime under likewise separate and distinct, subject only to the caveat
the former are punished only if there is a penal law
Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, or create an action under Article 2177 of the Civil Code that the offended party
clearly covering them, while the latter, quasi-delicts,
for quasi-delict or culpa extra-contractual under Articles cannot recover damages under both types of civil liabilities.
include all acts in which any kind of fault or negligence
1902-1910 of the Civil Code.
intervenes.
c. Civil Liability Based on Crime
The distinct nature of the dual concept of the civil
The plain inference is that the civil liability based on
liability was stressed in Diana v. Batangas Transportation The civil liability based on a crime, unless reserved, is
delict springs out of and is dependent upon facts which, if
Co., citing the earlier case of Barredo v. Garcia, in the generally enforced in the criminal action, and was governed
true, would constitute a crime.
following words: by the Rules on Criminal Procedure, more particularly Rule
111 on the prosecution of civil actions, which provides that
Such civil liability is a necessary consequence of
"These two cases involve two different remedies. when a criminal action is instituted the civil action for
criminal responsibility, and is to be declared and enforced in
recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged is
the criminal proceeding except where the injured party
impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the
As the Court aptly said: A quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a
reserves his right to avail himself of it in a distinct civil
separate legal institution under the Civil Code, with a substantivity offended party expressly waives the civil action or reserves
action.
all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and independent his right to institute it separately.
from a delict or crime.

b. Modes of Enforcement
Civil liability under Article 2176 was then enforced
A distinction exists between the civil liability arising from a separately by means of a civil action and is governed by the
crime and the responsibility for quasi-delict or culpa extra-
The dual concept of civil liability, ex-delicto and quasi- Rules on civil actions.
contractual.
delicto, has thus brought about a dual mode of
enforcement.
The same negligent act causing damages may produce civil Consequently, when a criminal action is filed, what
liability arising from a crime under Article 100 of the Revised Penal was deemed impliedly instituted thereunder was only the

81
civil liability arising from or based on the crime. namely, the punishment of the offender and indemnity to f. The Independent Civil Actions
the offended party, its dominant and primordial objective is
the punishment of the offender.
Thus, the accused may be held civilly liable in the In 1949, the (new) Civil Code of the Philippines
criminal action, if he is found to be criminally liable. introduced the so-called independent civil actions.
The civil action is merely incident and consequent to
the conviction of the accused, which may even be waived or
If the accused is acquitted, he cannot be held civilly These are Articles 32, 33, and 34.
the prosecution thereof reserved in a separate civil action.
liable in the criminal action.

These articles allow the injured party to file a civil


This is because criminal actions are primarily intended
The obvious reason, as stated in People u. Amistad is action for damages in the cases mentioned therein which
to vindicate an outrage against the sovereignty of the State,
that the civil liability recoverable in the criminal action is may also constitute criminal offenses entirely separate and
and to impose the corresponding penalty for the vindication
one solely dependent upon conviction, because said liability distinct from the criminal action.
of the disturbance to the social order caused by the
arises from the offense, since what was deemed impliedly
offender; the action between the private person and the
instituted, unless reserved, was the civil action for recovery
accused is intended solely to indemnify the former. Such civil action may proceed independently of the
of civil liability arising from the offense charged, and no
criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of
other.
evidence.
Thus, where the accused is acquitted in the criminal
case, the interest of the State ends, and no civil liability
This is also the civil liability that is deemed
arising from the crime charged could be imposed upon him. This has raised the question of whether or not a
extinguished with the extinction of the penal even with a
reservation to file a separate civil action for the cases
pronouncement that the fact from which the civil action
mentioned therein is necessary for the exercise of such
might proceed does not exist." What the private offended party should do is to file a
right.
separate civil action.

d. Early Rulings
The Supreme Court flip-flopped from one extreme to
the other.
In the early stages of criminal procedure, the policy
was to strictly adhere to the distinct and discrete nature of
One school of thought is of the considered view that
the criminal from purely civil actions, and the civil liability e. Original Rule, The 1940 Rules of Court the provisions of the Civil Code are substantive in nature
that is sought to be enforced thereunder.
which may be exercised by the injured party even without
The Rule was originally governed by Rule 107 of the any reservation.
What is deemed impliedly instituted and governed by 1940 Rules of Court which then provided that:
the rules on criminal procedure, unless reserved, was only
A contrary rule is unconstitutional.
the civil liability arising from the crime, while civil liability
"When a criminal action is instituted the civil action for recovery of
based on other sources of obligation such as quasi-delict civil liability arising from the offense charged is impliedly instituted
with the criminal action, unless the offended party expressly waives Thus, the criminal action as well as the civil action for
may be enforced only in a purely civil action.
the civil action or reserves his right to institute it separately. Thus,
what was deemed impliedly instituted unless there is a waiver or the recovery of the civil liability arising from a crime may
reservation is the civil liability arising from the crime." proceed simultaneously and independently of the other,
While the criminal action may have a dual purpose,
without any reservation subject only to the limitation that,

82
the injured party cannot recover twice for the same act or extinction of the civil, unless the extinction
omission as provided for in Article 2177 of the Civil Code. g. The Amendments proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment
that the fact from which the civil might arise did
not exist.
The other school of thought is of the view that the 1) First Amendment
provisions of the new Civil Code or the exercise of the right
granted under the Civil Code is merely procedural which In other cases, the person entitled to the
In view of the provisions of the new Civil Code on the
may be regulated under the Rule-making power of the civil action may institute it in the jurisdiction and in
Supreme Court. so-called independent civil actions, the rule was the manner provided by law against the person
amended in 1964 by adding a new section, viz. who may be liable for restitution of the thing and
reparation or indemnity for the damage suffered.
To simplify the proceedings and avoid conflicting
The reservation requirement for Other Civil Actions:
decisions, all civil actions for the recovery of damages
arising from the same act or omission should only be The Supreme Court, however, declared Section 2 as
litigated in one proceeding. SEC. 2. Independent civil action. — In the cases provided for in inoperative. Thus, in Mendoza v. Arrieta, quoting from
Articles 31, 32, 33, 34 and 2177 of the Civil Code of the Garcia v. Florida, that:
Philippines, an independent civil action entirely separate and
The injured party must have to elect whether he distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured
chooses to prosecute his claim in the criminal action or in a party during the pendency of the criminal case, provided the "* * * the same negligent act causing damages may produce a

separate civil action either by a timely reservation or the right is reserved as required in the preceding section. Such civil civil liability arising from crime or create an action for quasi-
action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, delict or culpa extra-contractual.
filing of the civil action prior to the institution of the criminal
and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.
action.
The former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a
distinct and independent negligence, having always had its own
SEC. 3. Other civil actions arising from offenses. — In all cases
The gravity and complexity of the question is best foundation and individuality.
not included in the preceding section the following rules shall
exemplified by the four amendments of the Rule.
be observed,
Some legal writers are of the view that in accordance with

The minutes of the proceedings from the Fernan to Article 31, the civil action based upon quasi-delict may proceed
a. Criminal and civil actions arising from the same offense
may be instituted separately, but after the criminal ac- independently of the criminal proceeding for criminal negligence
the Davide, Jr., committee disclose the heat of the debate
tion has been commenced the civil action can not be and regardless of the result of the latter.
and the numerous sessions not only of the Committee but
instituted until final judgment has been rendered in the
also by the Court en bane. criminal action;
Hence; the proviso in Section 2 of Rule 111 with reference to x
x x Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Civil Code is contrary to the
By no means can it be said that the issue had been b. After a criminal action has been commenced, no letter and spirit of the said articles, for these articles were
finally laid to rest. civil action arising from the same offense can be drafted x x a and are intended to constitute as exceptions to
prosecuted, and the same shall be suspended, in the general rule stated in what is now Section 1 of Rule 111.
whatever stage it may be found, until final
If the Revised Rule on Criminal Procedure have been
judgment in the criminal proceeding has been ren- The prouiso, which is procedural, may also be regarded as an
delayed, it is because of Rule 111. It took the court several
dered; unauthorized amendment of substantive law, Articles 32,33 and
sessions before the present rule was reluctantly adopted, 34 of the Civil Code, which do not provide for the reservation
which ended with a rule similar to the 1940 Rules of Court, required in the proviso. x x x"
prior to the four amendments. c. Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it

83
criminal action. The 1985 amendment did not live very
In his concurring opinion in the above case, Mr. Justice long. However, in view of Article 2177 of the said code which
Antonio Barredo further observed that inasmuch as provides that the offended party may not recover twice
Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code create a civil 3. Third Amendment for the same act or omission of the accused, and in line
liability distinct and different from the civil action with the policy of avoiding multiplicity of suits, these
arising from the offense of negligence under the objections were overruled.
In 1988, Rule 111 was amended for the third time.
Revised Penal Code, no reservation, therefore, need be
made in the criminal case; that Section 2 of Rule 111 is
In any event, the offended party was not precluded
inoperative, "it being substantive in character and is It actually restored the 1964 amendment. from filing a civil action to recover damages arising
not within the power of the Supreme Court to
from quasi-delict before the institution of the criminal
promulgate; and even if it were not substantive but
The rule further clarified the civil actions that are action, or from reserving his right to file such a
adjective, it cannot stand because of its inconsistency
deemed impliedly instituted is not confined to civil separate civil action, just as he is not precluded from
with Article 2177, an enactment of the legislature
actions arising from a crime but also the civil actions to filing a civil action for damages under Articles 32, 33
superseding the Rules of 1940."
recover civil liability under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 and 34 before the institution of the criminal action, or
of the Civil Code arising from the same act or omission from reserving his right to file such a separate civil
2. Second Amendment of the accused unless the offended party waives the action.
civil action, reserves his right to institute it separately,

Accordingly, the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure did or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. It is only in those cases where the offended party has
away with the need for RESERVATION in cases provided not previously filed a civil action or has not reserved his
for in Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Civil Code of the Explaining the amendment, Justice Jose Y. Feria, then a right to file a separate civil action that his action is
Philippines and instead recognized that "an independent member and later chairman of the Revision of Rules of deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal action.
civil action entirely separate and distinct from the Court Committee elucidated:
criminal action, may be brought by the injured party
While it was ruled in Abella u. Marave,u that a
during the pendency of the criminal case.
"The 1988 amendment expands the scope of the civil action reservation of the right to file an independent civil
which is deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal action action is not necessary, such a reservation is necessary
Such civil action shall proceed independently of the unless waived, reserved or previously instituted x x x. under the 1988 amendment.
criminal prosecution and shall require only a
preponderance of evidence." Such a civil action includes not only recovery of Without such reservation, the civil action is deemed
indemnity under the Revised Penal Code and damages impliediv instituted with the criminal action, unless
Under the 1985 amendment, what is deemed impliedly under Articles 32, 33, 34 of the Civil Code of the previously waived or instituted.
instituted with the criminal action unless there is a Philippines, but also damages under Article 2176 of the
reservation or a prior civil action filed is the civil action said code. x x x"
Such civil actions are not limited to those which arise
for the recovery of the civil liability arising from the
"from the offense charged."
offense charged. Objections were raised to the inclusions in this Rule of
quasi-delicts under Article 2176 of the Civil Code of the
In other words, the right of the injured party to sue
This is the civil action that may be reserved in the Philippines.
separately for the recovery of the civil liability whether

84
arising from crimes (ex delicto or from quasi delict Rule 107 contemplates a case where the offended party
under Art. 2176 of the Civil Code must be reserved The court, however, went further by limiting the civil desires to press his right to demand indemnity from the
otherwise they will be deemed instituted with the liability that is deemed instituted with the criminal only accused in the criminal case which he may assert either
criminal action). to the civil liability arising from the offense charged. in the same criminal case or in a separate action.

This includes the right to recover damages against the All decisions to the contrary are no longer controlling. Under this rule, a waiver from failure to reserve does
employer pursuant to Article 2180 in relation to Article The independent civil actions under Articles 32, 33, 34 not include a cause of action not arising from civil
2176 of the Civil Code. and 2176 are no longer deemed or impliedly instituted liability involved in the criminal case but from culpa

with the criminal action or considered as waived even if contractual, such as a civil case is based on alleged
Elsewise stated, prior reservation is a condition sine culpa contractual incurred by the Philippine Air Lines,
there is no reservation.
qua non before any of these independent civil actions Inc. because of its failure to carry safely the deceased
including the action for quasi-delict against the passenger to his place of destination.
employer can be instituted and thereafter have a The reservation applies only to the civil liability arising
continuous determination apart from or simultaneous from the offense charged.
with the criminal action. The criminal case involves the civil liability of the
accused, who bear no relation whatsoever with said
The employer may no longer be held civilly liable for entity and are complete strangers to it.
4. Fourth Amendment quasi delict in the criminal action as ruled in Maniago
(supra) and San Ildefonso lines (supra) and the pro hac
vice decision in Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation The accused are complete strangers to the respondent
The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure is a virtual company.
(supra), and all other similar cases, since quasi-delict is
return to the 1940 Rules of Court (and the 1985
not deemed instituted with the criminal.
amendment) which deemed as instituted with the
criminal action only the civil liability arising from the The latter is not in any way involved therein. Plaintiff is

offense charged. If at all, the only civil liability of the employer in the concerned with the civil liability of the latter, regardless

criminal action would be his subsidiary liability under of the civil liability of the accused in the criminal case.
the Revised Penal Code.
The civil liability is deemed instituted — not merely
"impliedly" instituted with the institution of the criminal The failure, therefore, on the part of the plaintiff to

action. The rule has also done away with third party complaints reserve her right to institute the civil action in the

and counterclaims in criminal actions. criminal case cannot in any way be deemed as a waiver
on her part of the right to institute a separate civil
The amendment modified the recommendation of the action against the respondent company based on its
Committee on the Revision of the Rules of Court to These claims must have to be ventilated in a separate contractual liability, or on culpa aquiliana under Articles
deem as impliedly instituted only the civil liability of the civil action. 1902 to 1910 to of the Civil Code.
accused from all sources of obligation arising from the
same act or omission.
The fourth amendment is similar to the original rule in The two actions are separate and distinct and should
Rule 107 of the Rules of Court and the 1985 not be confused one with the other.
The purpose of the Committee was to limit the civil amendment.
liability to be instituted with the criminal action to that
of the accused and not the employer. Under Article 31 of the Civil Code: "When the civil

85
action is based on an obligation not arising from the act may be brought by the injured party and may proceed In cases of negligence, the offended party has the choice
or omission complained of as a felony, such civil action simultaneously; between an action to enforce civil liability arising from crime
may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings under the Revised Penal Code and an action for quasi-delict
and regardless of the result of the latter." under the Civil Code.
The civil liability is not extinguished where acquittal is
based on reasonable doubt.
The Principle Allowing Separate Civil Actions noT Allowed for Violations of
It may further be noted that Article 31 is not among the
BP Big. 22
civil actions that are deemed impliedly instituted with Two Separate Civil Liabilities from Same Act or Omission
the filing of the criminal.
The principle does not apply to violations of B.P. Big. 22
An act or omission causing damage to another may give which provides that "The criminal action for violation of Batas
It may likewise be noted that in Corpus v. Page, the rise to two separate liabilities on the part of the offender, i.e., Pambanss Big. 22 shall be deemed to include the corresponding
court ruled that Article 33 did not contemplate reckless civil action.
imprudence or criminal legligence cases. 1) civil liability ex delito, under Article 100 of the
Revised Penal Code, and
No reservation to file such civil action separately shall be
However in Maceda v. Caro, the court observed ;hat allowed."
2) independent civil liabilities, such as those
Corpus v. Page is not controlling and held that Article
33 also covers crimes committed thru criminal
(a) not arising from an act or emission complained of as a The Court explained that this rule was enacted to help
negligence.
felony, e.g., culpa contractual or obligations arising declog court dockets which are filled with B.P. Big. 22 cases as
from law under Article 32, of the Civil Code, intentional creditors actually use the courts as collectors.
And, in Eicano v. Hill, the court ruled that the concept torts under Articles 32 and 34, and culpa aquiliana
of quasi-delict includes intentional acts, i.e., acts or under Article 2176 of the Civil Code; or
Because ordinarily no filing fee is charged in criminal cases
omissions punishable by law.
for actual damages, the payee uses the intimidating effect of a
(b) where the injured party is granted a right to file an criminal charge to collect his credit gratis and some times, upon
The foregoing concepts would allow more than one civil independent and distinct criminal action. being paid, the trial court is not even informed thereof
action to recover civil liability arising from the same act
or ommission.
Either of these two possible liabilities may be enforced The inclusion of the civil action in the criminal case is
against the offender (separately and simultaneously) expected to significantly lower the number of cases filed before
The only limitation is against double recovery. subject, however, to the caveat under Article 2177 of the the courts for collection based on dishonored checks.
Civil Code that the attended party cannot recover damages

This is in effect the present rule. twice for the same act or emission or under both causes.
It is also expected to expedite the disposition of these
cases.
However, a separate civil action based on subsidiary
The Principle of Simultaneous Civil Actions liability cannot be instituted during the pendency of the
criminal case. Instead of instituting two separate cases, one for criminal
Thus, civil liability arising from crime and civil liability and another for civil, only a single suit shall be filed and tried.
arising from Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 quasi-delict or contract Civil Actions in Cases of Negligence
are entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action that
It should be stressed that the policy laid down by the Rules

86
is to discourage the separate filing of the civil action. violation of B.P. Big. 22 filed by the for the issuance of bouncing for insufficiency or lack of funds.
checks in payment of the same obligation which deemed as
included the civil action recovery of the sum of money sought to The issuance of worthless checks is prohibited because of its
The Rules even prohibit the reservation of a separate civil
be recovered in the civil action. deleterious effects on public interest and its effects transcend the private
action, which means that one can no longer file a separate civil
interest of the parties directly involved in the transaction and touches the
case after the criminal complaint is filed in court. interest of the community at large.
Action Based on Compromise Agreement held as Different from Violation
of B.P. Big. 22

The only instance when separate proceedings are allowed In the present civil case, no such transcendental public interest
is when the civil action is filed ahead of the criminal case. An action, however for collection based on violation of a exists.

Memorandum Agreement entered into where parties also agreed


to dismiss the criminal proceedings for violation of B.P. Big. 22 Right to Intervene in Estafa Cases
Even then, the Rules encourage the consolidation o the
was held as not violative of the rule against forum shopping
civil and criminal cases.
because, there is no identity of parties, rights or causes of The fact, however, that the Rules do not allow the
action, sand relief sought. The Court stated: reservation of civil actions in B.P. Big. 22 cases canot deprive
We have previously observed that a separate civil action
private complainant of the right to protect her interests in the
for the purpose of recovering the amount of the dishonored
HERE, THE TWO CASES INVOLVED ARE THE INSTANT criminal action for estafa.
checks would only prove to be costly, burdensome and time- CIVIL CASE FOR COLLECTION OF SUM OF MONEY WHERE
consuming for both parties and would further delay the final PETITIONER IS THE DEFENDANT, AND THE B.P. BIG. 22
CASES WHERE PETITIONER IS THE ACCUSED. Nothing in the current or rules on B.P. Big. 22 vests the
disposition of the case.
jurisdiction of the corresponding civil case exclusively in the
Clearly, there is no identity of parties for in the criminal case, the Court trying the B.P. Big. cases.
This multiplicity of suits must be avoided. plaintiff is the State with Ligon only as a complaining witness. In the case
at bar, Ligon himself is the plaintiff.
In promulgating the Rules, the Court did not intend to
Where petitioners' rights may be fully adjudicated in the
leave the offended parties without any remedy to protect their
There is also a difference in the causes of action.
proceedings before the trial court, resort to a separate action to
interests in estafa cases.
recover civil liability is clearly unwarranted.
In the instant case, the cause of action is petitioner's breach of
contract as embodied in the Memorandum of Agreement, while in the Private complainant's intervention in the prosecution of the
In view of this special rule governing actions for violation criminal case, it is the violation of B.P. Big. 22. estafa and B.P. Big. 22 is justified not only for the prosecution
ofB.P. Big. 22, Article 31 of the Civil Code cited by the trial court
other interests, but also for the speedy and inexpensive
will not apply to the case at bar.
There is also a difference in reliefs sought because in the civil case, administration of justice as mandated by the Constitution despite
what is sought is the enforcement of the terms in their Memorandum of the necessary inclusion of the corresponding civil; action in the
Agreement, while in the criminal case, it is the punishment of the offense proceedings for violation of BP 22 pending before the MTC.
The pendency of the civil action before the court trying the
committed against a public law.
criminal case bars the filing of another civil action in another
court on the ground of litis pendentia.
The only limitation is that a recovery in one bars the other.
As we explained in Go v. Dimagiba, civil liability differs from
criminal liability.
Thus, the complaint for recovery of sum of money based
On the other hand a separate civil action for failure to
on a contractual debt filed in the Regional Trial Court was
What is punished in the latter is not the failure to pay an obligation comply with the obligations under the Trust Receipts was
dismissed because of the pendency of a criminal case for but the issuance of checks that subsequently bounced or were dishonored

87
allowed although the a criminal case for violation of the Trust arising from the dredging contracts subject of the criminal deemed abandoned."
receipts law had already been filed. action.
Extent of Damages Awarded in Civil Liability Arising from Crimes

According to the Court: However, the Court held that petitioner's counterclaim is
deemed abandoned by virtue of Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as Civil liability arising from crime includes, moral damages,
amended. exemplary damages and loss of earning capacity.
THE RIGHT TO FILE A SEPARATE COMPLAINT FOR A SUM
OF MONEY IS GOVERNED BY THE PROVISIONS OF
ARTICLE 31 OF THE CIVIL CODE, TO WIT:
The last paragraph of Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as Attorney's fees may be awarded but only when a separate
amended, provides that: civil action to recover civil liability has been filed or when
"Article 31. When the civil action is based on an obligation not
arising from the act or omission complained of as a felony, such civil exemplary damages are awarded.
action may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and
Any provision of law or Rules of Court to the contrary not- Life expectancy is included in award of damages.
regardless of the result of the latter."
withstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the
recovery of civil liability shall at all times be simultaneously instituted

Where the complaint against petitioners was based on the with, and jointly determined in, the same proceeding by the The only civil liability that may thus be imposed in a
Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts, the filing of the criminal action criminal action is that arising from and consequent to the
failure of the latter to comply with their obligation as spelled out
being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action, and
in the Trust Receipt executed by them. criminal liability oi the accused on the principle that every person
no right to reserve the filing of such civil action separately from the crimi-
criminally liable is also civilly liable.
nal action shall be recognized:

This breach of obligation is separate and distinct from any This includes restitution, reparation of damages caused
criminal liability for "misuse and/or misappropriation of goods or Provided, however. That where the civil action had heretofore been and indemnification of consequential damages.
proceeds realized from the sale of goods, documents or filed separately but judgment therein has not yet been rendered, and the

instruments released under trust receipts", punishable under


criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate Complementary thereto, are the subsidiary civil liability of
court, said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan or the innkeepers, tavern keepers and proprietor of establishments,
Section 13 of the Trust Receipts Law (P.D. No. 115) in relation to
appropriate court, as the case may be, for consolidation and joint
Article 315(1), (b) of the Revised Penal Code. employers, teachers, persons and corporations engaged in any
determination with the criminal action, otherwise the separate civil action
kind of industry, for felonies committed by their servants, pupils,
shall be deemed abandoned.
workmen, apprentices, employees in the discharge of their
Being based on an obligation ex contractu and not ex duties.
delicto, the civil action may proceed independently of the The Court held that Petitioner's counterclaim in the civil
criminal proceedings instituted against petitioners regardless of case pending with the Malabon trial court for the return of the
Broader Concept of Civil Liability
the result of the latter. amount DPWH paid NIC is an action to recover civil liability ex
delicto.
In Banal v. Tadeo, Jr., a case of violation of B.P. Big. 22,
The Sandiganbayan Rule: Prohibition against Separate Civil Action
(A law making the issuance of a bouncing check criminal) the
However, this action to recover civil liability ex delicto is by lower court rejected the appearance of a private prosecutor on
Petitioner DPWH the offended party in a criminal case for operation of law included in the criminal cases filed with the the ground that B.P. Big. 22 does not provide for any civil
estafa thru falsification of public documents and for violation of Sandiganbayan. liability or indemnity and, hence it is not a crime against
Section 3(e) and (g) of R.A. No. 3019 pending in the
property but public order.
Sandiganbayan lodged its own counterclaim to the collection
By mandate of R.A. No. 8249, the counterclaim filed earlier
case filed with the Malabon Trial Court, praying for the return of
in the separate civil action with the Malabon trial court "shall be The Supreme Court, in setting aside the order, gave a
its payment made to the Navotas Industrial Corporation (NIC)
88
broader concept of the civil liability that may be recovered in a criminal case, unless a waiver or the reservation of the civil
criminal action. The Supreme Court said: "EVERY PERSON WHO, CONTRARY TO LAW, WILFULLY OR action is made.
NEGLIGENTLY CAUSES DAMAGE TO ANOTHER, SHALL
INDEMNIFY THE LATTER FOR THE SAME.
"GENERALLY, THE BASIS OF CIVIL LIABILITY ARISING When Reservation May Be Made
FROM CRIME IS THE FUNDAMENTAL POSTULATE OF OUR
LAW THAT EVERY MAN CRIMINALLY LIABLE IS ALSO Regardless, therefore, of whether or not a special law so
CIVILLY LIABLE." provides, indemnification of the offended party may be had on The reservation of the right to institute the separate civil

account of the damage, loss or injury directly suffered as a action arising from the offenses charged shall be made before
Underlying this legal principle is the traditional theory that when a consequence of the wrongful act of another. the prosecution starts to present its evidence and under
person commits a crime, he offends two entities, namely: circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable
opportunity to make such reservation.
(1) the society in which he lives in or the political entity called the The indemnity which a person is sentenced to pay forms
State whose law he had violated; and an integral part of the penalty imposed by law for the
commission of a crime. The purpose of the rule requiring reservation is to prevent
(2) the individual member of that society whose person, right, the offended party from recovering damages twice for the same
honor, chastity or property was actually or directly injured or
damaged by the same punishable act or omission, x x x." Every crime gives rise to a penal or criminal action for the act or omission.
punishment of the guilty party; and also to civil action for the
restitution of the thing, repair of the damage and indemnification
Viewing things pragmatically, we can readily see that what The proviso requiring that the reservation may be made
for the losses.
gives rise to the civil liability is really the obligation and the before the prosecution starts to present evidence was brought
moral duty of everyone to repair or make whole the damage about by the cases of Tactaquin v. Palileo, Manio v. Gaddi, where
caused to another by reason of his own act or omission, done Civil liability is however, improper in illegal possession of despite the appearance of a private prosecutor, the offended
intentionally or negligently, whether or not the same be firearms qualified by murder. party was not able to present evidence on the damages because
punishable by law. of the plea of guilty of the accused who was accordingly
The civil liability arising from the death may be claimed sentenced.
either in a separate action or impliedly instituted with the
In other words, criminal liability will give rise to civil
criminal action for murder or homicide."
liability only if the same felonious act or omission results in The Supreme Court in ,he case of Reyes v. Diy, stressed
damage or injury to another and is the direct and proximate the need to give the offended party in opportunity to make a
Effect of Failure to Allege Damages in Complaint or Information
cause thereof. reservation, and held that the mere appearance of a private
prosecutor in the criminal case against the private respondents
The fact that there is, no claim or allegation of damages in
did not necessarily constitute such intervention on the part of
Damage or injury to another is evidently the foundation of the complaint of information is of no legal consequence.
the aggrieved party as could only import an intention on her part
the civil action.
to press her claim for damages in said criminal case and waiver
Every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly of her right to file a separate civil action for damages because
Such is not the case in criminal actions for, to be criminally liable. the accused had pleaded guilty upon arraignment and was
liable, it is enough that the act or omission complained of is immediately sentenced, there was no chance for the aggrieved
punishable, regardless of whether or not it also causes material It has, therefore, been held that even if the complaint or party to present evidence in support of her claim for damages
damage to another. information is silent as to the damages or the intention to prove and to enter i reservation in the record to file a separate civil
and claim them, the offender is still liable for them, and the action
offended has the right to prove and claim for them in the
Article 20 of the New Civil Code provides:

89
Reservation Need not be Express but May Be Implied The Court held that the dismissal was improper and ruled thus: informed thereof, then the actual filing of the civil action is even
far better than a compliance with the requirement of an express
While a reading of the afore-quoted provisions shows that "TRUE, APPELLANTS, THROUGH PRIVATE PROSECUTORS, reservation that should be made by the offended party before
the offended party is required to make a reservation of his right WERE ALLOWED TO INTERVENE — WHETHER PROPERLY the prosecution presented its evidence.
OR IMPROPERLY WE DO NOT DECIDE HERE — IN THE
to institute a separate civil action, jurisprudence instructs that
CRIMINAL ACTION AGAINST APPELLEE'S DRIVER, BUT IF
such reservation may not necessarily be express but may be THAT AMOUNTED INFERENTIALLY TO SUBMITTING IN Where a separate civil action to recover the civil liability of
implied which may be inferred not only from the acts of the SAID CASE THEIR CLAIM FOR CIVIL INDEMNITY, THE
CLAIM COULD HAVE BEEN ONLY AGAINST THE DRIVER the accused arising from the crime charged has been reserved,
offended party but also from acts other than those of the latter.
BUT NOT AGAINST APPELLEE WHO WAS NOT A PARTY the heirs of the deceased are precluded from recovering
THEREIN. damages in the criminal case against the accused, for they are
In the Vintola case, the fact that plaintiff actively not entitled to recover damages twice for the same criminal act
As a matter of fact, however, inspite of appellee's statements to of the accused.
intervening in the prosecution of the criminal case through a
the contrary in its brief, there is no showing in the record before Us that
private prosecutor, is of no moment.
appellants made of record their claim for damages against the driver or
his employer; much less does it appear that they had attempted to prove The trial court erred in awarding to the heirs of the
such damages. deceased P30,000.00 as civil indemnity for his death despite
In ruling that the Estafa case is not a bar to the institution
of a civil action for collection, this Court held that: their reservation.
The failure of the court to make any pronouncement in its decision
concerning the civil liability of the driver and I or of his employer must
"[I]T IS INACCURATE FOR THE VINTOLAS TO CLAIM THAT
therefore be due to the fact that the criminal action did not involve at all
THE JUDGMENT IN THE ESTAFA CASE HAD DECLARED
THAT THE FACTS FROM WHICH THE CIVIL ACTION MIGHT any claim for civil indemnity."
ARISE, DID NOT EXIST, FOR IT WILL BE RECALLED THAT Effect of Reservation
THE DECISION OF ACQUITTAL EXPRESSLY DECLARED
THAT 'THE REMEDY OF THE BANK IS CIVIL AND NOT Later, in Jarantilla, the Court ruled that the failure of the
CRIMINAL IN NATURE.' trial court to make any pronouncement, favorable or It has been held that the prescription of action does not
unfavorable, as to the civil liability of the accused amounts to a prescribe for the civil action that have been reserved in the
This amounts to a reservation of the civil action in IBAA's favor for reservation of the right to have the civil liability litigated and criminal action.
the Court would not have dwelt on a civil liability that it had intended to determined in a separate action, for nowhere in the Rules of
extinguish by the same decision."
Court is it provided that if the court fails to determine the civil
Note: Under Section 2, Rule 111 during the pendency of
liability, it becomes no longer enforceable.
the criminal action, the running of the period of prescription of
In the Bernaldes case, plaintiffs spouses Nicasio Bernaldes,
the civil action which cannot be instituted separately or whose
Sr. and Perpetua Besas together with their minor son, Jovito,
Nothing in the records at hand shows that private proceeding shall be tolled.
filed a complaint for damages against defendant Bohol Land
respondent ever attempted to enforce its right to recover civil
Transportation Co. for the death of Jovito's brother Nicasio, Jr.
liability during the prosecution of the criminal action against Waiver of Civil Liability Arising from Crime
and for serious physical injuries obtained by Jovito when the bus
petitioners.
in which they were riding, fell off a deep precipice.
The civil liability arising from a crime may be waived.
Thus, even if there was no reservation in the criminal case
Defendant bus company moved to dismiss the complaint
and that the civil action was not filed before the filing of the
on the ground that in the criminal case earlier filed against its No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint may
criminal action but before the prosecution presented evidence in
bus driver, plaintiffs intervened through their counsel but did not be filed by the accused in the criminal case, but any cause of
the criminal action, and the judge handling the criminal case was
reserve therein their right to file a separate action for damages. action which could have been the subject thereof may be

90
litigated in a separate civil action. the criminal case, to file any cause of action which could have dredging contracts with the offended party obviously does not
been the subject thereof in a separate civil action, since the fall under Articles 32, 33 or 34 (on Human Relations) of the Civil
accused is prohibited from setting up any counterclaim in the Code. Neither does it fall under Article 2176 (on auasi-delict) of
A court trying a criminal case cannot award damages in
civil aspect that is deemed instituted in the criminal case. the Civil Code.
favor of the accused.

The accused is therefore forced to litigate separately his Under Section 3 of Rule 111, civil actions falling under
The task of the trial court is limited to determining the
counterclaim against the offended party. Articles 32, 33, 34 or 2176 may proceed independently and
guilt of the accused and if proper, to determine his civil liability.
separately from the criminal case.

If the accused does not file a separate civil action for


A criminal case is not the proper proceedings to determine
quasi-delict, the prescriptive period may set in since the period The only other possibility is for the accused's civil action to
the private complainant's civil liability, if any.
continues to run until the civil action for quasi-delict is filed. fall under Article 31 of the Civil Code which provides:

The Court ruled in Cabaero v. Hon. Cantos, that a court


Moreover, the accused, who is presumed innocent, has a ART. 31. WHEN THE CIVIL ACTION IS BASED ON AN
trying a criminal case should limit itself to the criminal and civil OBLIGATION NOT ARISING FROM THE ACT OR OMISSION
right to invoke Article 2177 of the Civil Code, in the same way COMPLAINED OF AS A FELONY, SUCH CIVIL ACTION MAY
liability of the accused, thus:
that the offended party can avail of this remedy which is PROCEED INDEPENDENTLY OF THE CRIMINAL PRO-
independent of the criminal action. CEEDINGS AND REGARDLESS OF THE RESULT OF THE
[THUS,] THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD CONFINE ITSELF TO LATTER.
THE CRIMINAL ASPECT AND THE POSSIBLE CIVIL
LIABILITY OF THE ACCUSED ARISING OUT OF THE CRIME. To disallow the accused from filing a separate civil action An example of a case falling under Article 31 is a civil
for quasi-delict, while refusing to recognize his counterclaim in action to recover the proceeds of sale of goods covered by a
The counterclaim (and cross-claim or third-party complaint, if any) the criminal case, is to deny him due process of law, access to trust receipt.
should be set aside or refused cognizance without prejudice to their filing
the courts, and equal protection of the law.
in separate proceedings at the proper time.

Such civil action can proceed independently of the criminal


Notably, the Court did not order the consolidation but action for violation of the trust receipt law.
This paragraph addresses the lacuna mentioned in
allowed the civil action to proceed separately, otherwise, it would
Cabaero on the "absence of clear-cut rules governing the
defeat the prohibition against a counterclaim.
prosecution ofimpliedly instituted civil action and the necessary
In such a case, the validity of the contract, on which the
consequences and implications thereof."
civil action is based, is not at issue.
Limitation on Separate Civil Action by an Accused in the Sandiganbayan

The civil liability of petitioners for swindling respondent spouses


and for maliciously filing a baseless suit must be litigated in a A separate civil action for collection of sum of money filed What is at issue is the violation of an obligation arising
separate proceeding. from a valid contract -- the trust receipt.
by the accused against the offended party while the criminal
case in the Sandiganbayan is pending cannot be consolidated
Separate Civil Action By the Accused
with the criminal case, for the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction
However, when the civil action is based on a purported
over collection cases, nor can it proceed independently of the
contract that is assailed as illegal per se, as when the execution
Thus, the accused may file a separate civil action based on
criminal cases filed with the Sandiganbayan.
of the contract is alleged to violate the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
quasi-delict arising from the same incident and may proceed
Practices Act, Article 31 does not apply.
simultaneously and independently of the criminal case against
him as provided under section 1(6) which allows "the accused in The accused's collection case for unpaid services from its

91
In such a situation, the contract if proven illegal cannot tracts can proceed independently of the criminal action. Commencing with Pajarito v. Seneris68 followed by Ozoa v.
create any valid obligation that can be the basis of a cause of Vda. de Madula69 and Catacutan v. Heirs of Kadusale,70 it is now
action in a civil case. settled that the subsidiary liability of the employer, including the
This calls then for the application of the second paragraph
amounts thereof, may be determined in the same criminal
of Section 2 of Rule 111 which states that "if the criminal action
proceed ings and is reviewable either by writ of error or through
Under Article 1409 of the Civil Code, a contract "whose is filed after the said civil action has already been instituted, the
a petitior for review on certiorari on pure questions of law.
cause, object or purpose is contrary to law," or a contract that is latter shall be suspended in whatever stage it may be found
"expressly prohibited or declared void by law," is void from the before judgment on the merits."
very beginning. The appeal shall be governed by appeals in criminal cases,
since this is but a continuation of the civil proceedings, the
Consequently, the civil case for collection pending in the
period to be counted not from the promulgation of judgment but
No party to such void contract can claim any right under Malabon Trial Court must be suspended until after the
from the notice of the order.
such contract or enforce any of its provisions. termination of the criminal cases filed with the Sandiganbayan.

The principle was stressed in Yusay v. Adil,71 a case of less


Under Section 3(g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices In contrast, where the civil action is based on a contract
serious physical injuries and damage to property thru reckless
Act, entering into a contract that is manifestly and grossly that can remain valid even if its violation may constitute a crime,
imprudence, with the Supreme Court's statement that: "The
disadvantageous to the government is "declared to be unlawful." the civil action can proceed independently.
employer is in substance and effect, a party to the criminal case
against his employee, considering the subsidiary liability imposed
If the act of entering into the contract is assailed as a Thus, in estafa thru violation of the trust receipt law, the upon him by law.'
crime in itself, then the issue of whether the contract is illegal violation of the trust receipt constitutes a crime.
must first be resolved before any civil action based on the Basis of Employer's Subsidiary Liability
contract can proceed.
However, the trust receipt itself remains valid, allowing a
civil action based on the trust receipt to proceed independently It bears emphasis, however, that before the employer's
Only the Sandiganbayan has the jurisdiction to decide of the criminal case. subsidiary liability may be proceeded against, it is imperative
whether the act of entering into such contract is a crime, where that then should be a criminal action whereby the employee's
the salary grade of one of the accused is Grade 27 or higher, as Retroactive Application of Amendment criminal negligence or delict and corresponding liability therefor
in Criminal Cases Nos. 16889-16900 filed with the are proved.
Sandiganbayan.
It has been held although the incident and the actions
arising therefrom were instituted before the promulgation of the If no criminal action was instituted, the employer's liability
Article 31 speaks of a civil action "based on an obligation 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, its provisions which are would not be predicated under Article 103 of the Revised Penal
not arising from the act x x x complained of as a felony." procedural may apply retrospectively. Code.

This clearly means that the obligation must arise from an Subsidiary Liability The judgment in the criminal action announcing the
act not constituting a crime. employee to be civilly liable is conclusive on the employer not
To be treated differently is the subsidiary liability of the only as to the actuality of the liability but also as to its amount,
employer. from which no appeal by the employer lies from the judgment of
Where, the act purporting to create the obligation is
conviction.
assailed as a crime in itself, no civil action based on such con-

92
The employer must be afforded due process, by holding a
hearing to determine his liability on the basis of the conditions
required by law, namely:

(a) the existence of an employer-employee relation ship;


(b) that the employer is engaged in some kind of agency
(c) that the employee is adjudged guilty of the wrongful act
and found to have committed the offense in the
discharge of his duties (not necessarily any offense he
may commit); and
(d) that said employee is insolvent.

Obligations arising from crimes are governed by Article


1161 of the Civil Code, which provides that said obligations are
governed by penal laws, subject to the provision ofArticle 2177
and the pertinent provisions of Chapter 2, Preliminary Title, on
Human Relations, and of Title XVIII of Book IV of the Civil Code.

Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code provides that every


person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.

In default of the persons criminally liable, employers


engaged in any kind of industry shall be civilly liable for felonies
committed by their employees in the discharge of their duties.

Article 33 of the Civil Code provides specifically that in


cases of defamation, a civil action for damages, entirely separate
and distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the
injured party.

93
Such civil action proceeds independently of the criminal
prosecution and requires only a preponderance of evidence. Explaining how the foregoing amendment came about, a) when "the amount of damages, other than actual, is alleged
Justice Narvasa (later Chief Justice) in General v. Claravall, in the complaint or information" filed in court, then "the
stated: corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party
In Joaquin v. Aniceto, the Court held that Article 33
upon the filing thereof in court for trial";
contemplates an action against the employee in his primary civil
liability. "THE LAST TWO (2) PARAGRAPHS PRESCRIBE A RULE
DIFFERENT FROM THAT IN MANCHESTER, AND IN THE
1985 RULES ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE. b) in any other case, however — i.e., when the amount of
It does not apply to an action against the employer to enforce its damages is not so alleged in the complaint or information
subsidiary civil liability, because such liability arises only after Under the 1985 Rules, the filing fees for the civil action impliedly
filed in court, the corresponding filing fees need not be paid
conviction of the employee in the criminal case or when the and shall simply "constitute a first lien on the judgment,
instituted with the criminal action had to be paid first to the Clerk of the
employee is adjudged guilty of the wrongful act in a criminal
action and found to have committed the offense in the discharge Court where the criminal action was commenced, without regard to except in an award for actual damages."
of his duties. whether the claim for such damages was set out in the information or not.

The ruling in General v. Claravall, especially the last


Any action brought against the employer based on its Under the 1988 Rules, however, it is only when 'the amount of
subparagraph above-quoted, was actually intended to apply to a
subsidiary liability before the conviction of its employee is damages, other than actual, is alleged in the complaint or information
situation wherein either: (1) the judgment awards a claim not
that the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party upon
premature. specified in the pleading, or (2) the complainant expressly claims
the filing thereof in court for trial.
moral, exemplary, temperate and/or nominal damages but has
Filing Fees in Estafa cases not specified ANY amount at all, leaving the quantification
In any other case — i.e., when the amount of damages other than
thereof entirely to the trial court's discretion and NOT to a
the civil action "to enforce civil liability against the accused by way of
Section 20 of Rule 141 Approved on September 14, 1999 moral, nominal, temperate or exemplary damages shall (merely) situation where the litigant specifies some amounts or
provides that filing fees in estafa cases are also required where constitute a first lien on the judgment except in an award for actual dam- parameters for the awards being sought, even though the
the offended party fails to manifest within fifteen days following ages." different types of damages sought be not separately or
the filing of the information that the civil liability arising from the individually quantified.
crime has been or would be separately prosecuted. The Court's plain intent — to make the Manchester
doctrine, requiring payment of filing fees at the time of the To hold otherwise, would be to permit litigants to continue
Filing Fee as a Lien commencement of an action applicable to impliedly instituted availing of one more loophole in the rule on payment of filing
civil actions under Section 1, Rule 111 only when "the amount of fees, and would not serve to attain the purpose of the revised
When the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability damages, other than actual, is alleged in the complaint or Sec. 1 of Rule 111, which is "to discourage the gimmick of libel
against the accused by way of moral, nominal, temperate or information has thus been made manifest by the language of the complainants of using the fiscal's office to include in the criminal
exemplary damages, the filing fees for such civil action as amendatory provisions." information their claim for astronomical damages in multiple
provided in these Rules shall constitute a first lien on the millions of pesos without paying any filing fees."
judgment except in an award for actual damages. For the guidance of all concerned when a civil action is
deemed instituted with the criminal action in accordance with SEC. 2.
In cases wherein the amount of damages, other than Section 1, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court — because the
When Separate Civil Action is Suspended
actual, is alleged in the complaint or information, the offended party has NOT waived the civil action, or reserved the

corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party right to institute it separately, or instituted the civil action prior

upon the filing thereof in court for trial to the criminal action — the rule is as follows:

94
Suspension of Civil Action Arising from Crimes termination of the criminal cases filed with the Sandiganbayan. where the Civil action does not also fall under Articles 32, 33, 34
and 2176 of the Civil Code.
Except for civil actions provided for in Articles 32, 33, 34 The suspension of the civil case for collection of sum of
and 2176 of the Civil Code, the civil action which has been money (based on an obligation arising from contracts alleged to In fine, a civil action may not be suspended under Rule
reserved cannot be instituted until final judgment has been be a crime pending before the Sandiganbayan) will avoid the 111 where the action is not to enforce civil liability from the
rendered in the criminal action. possibility of conflicting decisions between the Sandiganbayan crime charged.
and the Malabon trial court on the validity of NIC's dredging
The action contemplated herein is a civil action arising contracts. Consolidation of Civil with Criminal Action Even if not Arising from Crime
from a crime.

If the Sandiganbayan declares the dredging contracts May consolidation of civil actions with the criminal action
illegal and void ab initio, and such declaration becomes final, be allowed where the civil action is not to enforce civil liability
If reserved or filed separately and a criminal case is filed,
then NIC's civil case for collection of sum of money will have no arising from a crime?
it has to be suspended to await final judgment in the criminal
action. legal leg to stand on.

In Naguiat v. Intermediate Appellate Court, the petitioner


However, if the Sandiganbayan finds the dredging filed a complaint for specific performance with damages to
It may, however, be consolidated upon application with the
contracts valid, then NIC's collection case before the Malabon compel the respondent to deliver to him certificates of title
court trying the criminal action.
trial court can then proceed to trial. covering their lots which he had already paid for under a
contract to sell.
Article 31 speaks of a civil action "based on an obligation
not arising from the act x x x complained of as a felony."
No suspension if civil action does not arise from Crime A criminal action was likewise filed against the respondent
for violation of P.D. No. 957 regulating the sale of subdivision,
This clearly means that the obligation must arise from an etc., and providing penalties therefor.
In Gandiongco u. Penaranda, the Supreme Court affirmed
act not constituting a crime.
Judge Penaranda's refusal to suspend the civil case for legal
separation and support with damages based on concubinage Petitioner moved to consolidate the two (2) cases on the
Where, the act purporting to create the obligation is despite the filing of a concubinage case with the municipal court. basis of Rule 111, Section 3(a).
assailed as a crime in itself no civil action based on such
contracts can proceed independently of the criminal action.
His reason is that Section 2 of Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules The trial court granted consolidation but the Court of
on Criminal Procedure refers to civil actions to enforce the civil Appeals reversed the order.
This calls then for the application of the second paragraph liability arising from the offense charged.
of Section 2 of Rule 111 which states that "if the criminal action
The Supreme Court held that the civil actions that may be
is filed after the said civil action has already been instituted, the
An action for legal separation is not to recover civil liability consolidated under Section 3(a), Rule 111 is one for civil liability
latter shall be suspended in whatever stage it may be found
in the main, but is aimed at the conjugal rights of the spouses arising from the criminal offense or of ex-delicto of which the
before judgment on the merits."
and their relations to each other within the contemplation of civil action in this case is not one, but which is based on the
Articles 97 to 108 of the Civil Code. contract to sell or a civil action arising ex-contracto, hence, Rule
Consequently, the civil case for collection pending in the 111 is not applicable.
Malabon Trial Court must be suspended until after the
The principle applies even with the 1988 Amendments
95
The Supreme Court, however, justified the consolidation of imposable accessory or other penalties, included in the civil The Court allowed the indemnity in the foregoing case
the action for specific performance with the criminal action for liability arising from such offenses or predicated therein despite the erroneous procedure of petitioner in seeking a
violation of P.D. No. 957 under Section 1, Rule 31 of the Rules of irrespective of kind, nature, value or amount thereof, no longer remedy in filing a petition for certiorari instead of an appeal from
Court as interpreted in Canos v. Peralta,* where the Court applies since the civil the erroneous order of the trial court dismissing the action on
sustained the order of a trial court to consolidate a civil action action to be consolidated does not arise from the criminal the ground prescription since it is an action for quasi-delict.
(an action for the recovery of wage differential, overtime and offense charged.
termination pay, plus damages) with a criminal action (for
The Court stressed that it is "loathe to deprive petitioners
violation of the Minimum Wage Law), it was held that:
The period of prescription of the civil action which cannot of the indemnity to which they are entitled by law and a final

be instituted separately or whose proceeding has been judgment of conviction based solely on technicality."
"A COURT MAY ORDER SEVERAL ACTIONS PENDING
BEFORE IT TO BE TRIED TOGETHER WHERE THEY ARISE suspended shall not run, refer to the civil action arising from a
FROM THE SAME ACT, EVENT OR TRANSACTION, INVOLVE crime that has not been reserved or when it is filed ahead of the Effects of Judgment of Acquittal
THE SAME OR LIKE ISSUES, AND DEPEND LARGELY OR criminal action.
SUBSTANTIALLY ON THE SAME EVIDENCE, PROVIDED,
THAT THE COURT HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE CASES TO Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it
BE CONSOLIDATED AND THAT A JOINT TRIAL WILL NOT extinction of the civil.
The civil action that may be reserved is the civil arising
GIVE ONE PARTY AN UNDUE ADVANTAGE OR PREJUDICE
THE SUBSTANTIAL RIGHTS OF ANY OF THE PARTIES, X X from the crime.
X"
However, the civil action based on delict may be extin-

The civil arising from a quasi-delict is not suspended but guished if there is a finding in a final judgment that the act or
The obvious purpose of the above rule is to avoid omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist.
may proceed simultaneously.
multiplicity of suits, to guard against oppression and abuse, to
prevent delays, to clear congested dockets, to simplify the work
The subsidiary liability may only be enforced after the final Even if there is a finding in a final judgment that the act or
of the trial court; in short, the attainment of justice with the
judgment of conviction. omission from which the civil might arise did not exist, this
least expense and vexation to the parties litigants. * * *
would only refer to the civil liability arising from the offense
since this is the only civil liability that is deemed instituted with
The consolidation of two (2) cases where petitioner's However, prescription of the cause of action quasi-delicto the criminal action.
counsel may act as counsel for the plaintiff in the civil case and does not operate as a bar to in action to enforce the civil liability
private prosecutor in the criminal case, will be conducive to the arising from the crime especially where the latter action had
been expressly reserved. It is a fundamental postulate of our law that "every person
early termination of the two (2) cases, and will redound to the
criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable."
benefit and convenience of the parties; as well as to the speedy
administration of justice.
The dismissal of the action based on culpa aquiliana is not
a bar to the enforcement of the subsidiary liability of the And even if an accused is acquitted of the crime charged,

employer. such will not necessarily extinguish the civil liability, unless the
Under this principle, civil actions under Articles 32, 33, 34
court declares in a final judgment that the fact from which the
and 2176 may be consolidated with the criminal action subject to
civil might arise did not exist.
jurisdictional constraints.
Once there is a conviction for a felony, final in character,
the employer becomes subsidiarily liable if the commission of the
crime was in the discharge of the duties of the employer. In the landmark case of Padilla v. Court of Appeals, the
The rule on jurisdiction in criminal cases which is
Supreme Court en bane, thru Justice Hugo Gutierrez emphasized
determinable by the prescribed penalty regardless of other
that the court may award civil liability in the same proceedings

96
ever if the accused is acquitted. Duty of Court to Award Civil Liability pronouncement on the civil liability of the accused and the com-
plainant could file a petition for mandamus to compel the trial
Even before the 1985 amendments, the settled court to include such civil liability in the judgment of acquittal.
This was to be followed in People v Jalandoni, Maxima v.
Geroch, Vizconde u. IAC, People v. Ligon, and other cases, until jurisprudence is that it is the duty of the trial judge to award civil

the doctrine found its way in the third paragraph of Section 2, liability in favor of the offended party despite the acquittal of the Acquittal in a criminal case does not bar continuation of
Rule 120 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, which accused unless the fact from which the civil might arise does not the civil case connected therewith where:
provided that "in case of acquittal, unless there is a clear exist.

showing that the act from which the civil liability might arise did 1) the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt;
not exist, the judgment shall make a finding on the civil liability In a case, the trial judge in not having included civil
of the accused in favor of the offended party." liability in the decision, stated that it cannot exercise discretion 2) the decision contains a declaration that the liability of
alone in determining the liability upon the mere allegations, the the accused is not criminal but only civil; or

Under The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure: "In case same being evidentiary.
3) the civil liability is not derived from or based on the
the judgment is of acquittal, it shall state whether the evidence criminal act of which the accused is acquitted.
of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the Considering, however, the fact that the trial court's atten-
accused or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable tion was drawn to the existence of a lapsus in the decision, in Thus, the acquittal of the accused from the criminal charge
doubt. the motion for reconsideration filed by the complainant, within will not necessarily extinguish the civil liability unless the Court
the reglementary period, and taking into account the petition to declares in the judgment that the fact from which the civil
In either case, the judgment shall determine if the act or supply what had been omitted, the trial judge could have set the liability might arise did not exist.
omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist." motion for reconsideration for hearing, in order to receive
evidence, as to the value of the properties admittedly stolen by Similarly, "extinction of the penal action does not carry
the accused, or to the return of the goods, if it was still feasible. with it the extinction of civil liability unless the extinction
There has been a change in the language of the rule. In an identical case, where the lower court had failed to provide proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact
for the corresponding civil liability, the Supreme Court ordered from which the civil liability might arise did not exists."
Whereas the 1985 rule was more categorical in requiring the said case remanded to the court of origin, for the purpose of
that "the judgment shall make a finding on the civil liability of determining the civil liability of the accused.
In Caina v. People, however, the extinction of the liability
the accused in favor of the offended party," the present rule civil was inferred from a finding that there is no negligence even
simply states that "the judgment shall determine if the act or The principle applies even in cases of acquittal, unless if the acquittal is based on failure to prove guilt beyond
omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist." there is a clear showing that the act from which the civil liability reasonable doubt.
might arise did not exist.
It seems fairly obvious, however, that despite the acquittal Similarly, Sanchez v. Far East Bank and Trust Company,
of the accused, if the act or omission from which the civil liability The duty of the court to a award, civil liability inspite of held that recourse to appeal the civil aspect from a judgment of
might arise do exist, when the acquittal is merely because of acquittal is compellable by mandamus. acquittal may only be resorted if the nature of he court's
failure to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt judgment fall under any of the three categories stated above, as
then the court should award the civil liability in favor of the reiterated in Salazar v. People (supra) otherwise, the extinction
offended party in the same criminal action. In Lontoc and Jarantilla, the court held that under the
of the penal extinguish the civil.
present jurisprudential matters, where the trial court acquits the
accused on reasonable doubt, it could very well make a
The civil is deemed instituted with the criminal here the
97
presence of any instances precluding the automatic institution of There being no delict, civil liability ex delicto is out of the
the civil action together with the criminal complaint. Under the Civil Code, when a person, claiming to be question, and the civil action, if any, which may be instituted

injured by a criminal offense, charges another with the same, for must be based on grounds other than the delict complained of.

Thus, a separate civil action may no longer be prosecuted. which no independent civil action is granted in this Code or any
special law, but the justice of the peace finds no reasonable This is the situation contemplated in Rule 111 of the Rules
grounds to believe that a crime has been committed, or the of Court.
Principles Allowing- Separate Civil Action Despite Acquittal Even Without
Reservation prosecuting attorney refuses or fails to institute criminal
proceedings, the complainant may bring a civil action for
The second instance is an acquittal based on reasonable
CIVIL ACTIONS BASED ON CRIME damages against the alleged offender.
doubi on the guilt of the accused.

In Calalang v. Intermediate Appellate Court, where a civil Such civil action may be supported by a preponderance of
action for damages based on the crime of murder was held as evidence. In this case, even if the guilt of the accused has not been
not extinguished by the dismissal of the criminal case by the satisfactorily established, he is not exempt from civil liability
Fiscal for failure of the complaint to establish a prima facie case, which may be proved by preponderance of evidence only
the Supreme Court reiterated the case of People u. Velez, that Upon the defendant's motion, the court may require the

the dismissal of the information or the criminal action (upon plaintiff to file a bond to indemnify the defendant in case the
complaint should be found to be malicious. This is the situation contemplated in Article 29 of the Civil
motion of the fiscal) does not affect the right of the offended
Code where the civil action for damages is "for the same act or
party to institute or continue the civil action already instituted
omission.
arising from the offense, because such dismissal or extinction of If during the pendency of the civil action, an information
the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of the civil should be presented by the prosecuting attorney, the civil action
action. shall be suspended until the termination of the criminal Although the two actions have different purposes, the
matters discussed in the civil case are similar to those discussed
proceedings.
in the criminal case.
The reason most often given for this holding is that the
two proceedings are not between the same parties. Kinds of Acquittal
However, the judgment in the criminal proceeding cannot

In a criminal action, our law recognizes two kinds of be read in evidence in the civil action to establish any fact there
Different rules as to the competency of witnesses and
acquittal, with different effects on the civil liability of the determined, even though both actions involve the same act or
weight of evidence necessary to the findings in the two
accused. omission.
proceedings also exist.

First is an acquittal on the ground that the accused is not The reason for this rule is that the parties are not the
In a criminal action, the State must prove its case by
the author of the act or omission complained of. same and secondarily, different rules of evidence are applicable.
evidence which shows the guilt of the defendant beyond
reasonable doubt, while in a civil action it is sufficient for the
plaintiff to sustain his cause by preponderance of evidence only. This instance closes the door to civil liability, for a person Hence, notwithstanding herein petitioner's acquittal, the

who has been found to be not the perpetrator of any act or Court of Appeals in determining whether Article 29 applied, was
Therefore, the insufficiency of evidence to support a not precluded from looking into the question of petitioner's
omission cannot and can never be held liable for such act or
murder charge does not imply that there is no sufficient evidence negligence or reckless imprudence.
omission.
to support the civil case based on the same alleged act.

98
Illustrative Case: delict.
In a prosecution for estafa or swindling through
IN A PROSECUTION FOR ESTAFA OR SWINDLING This was the teaching ofElcano v. Hill, where it was falsification of a commercial document, the civil is deemed
THROUGH FALSIFICATION OF A COMMERCIAL DOCUMENT, instituted with the criminal where the in the absence of any
THE CIVIL IS DEEMED INSTITUTED WITH THE CRIMINAL expressly held that the extinction of the civil liability referred to
IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INSTANCES PRECLUDING THE in par. (c), Sec. 2 of Rule 111 refers exclusively to civil liability instances precluding the automatic institution of the civil action
AUTOMATIC INSTITUTION OF THE CIVIL ACTION arising from crime; whereas, the civil liability for the same act together with the criminal complaint (the offended party waives
TOGETHER WITH THE CRIMINAL COMPLAINT (THE the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately or
OFFENDED PARTY WAIVES THE CIVIL ACTION, RESERVES considered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not
THE RIGHT TO INSTITUTE IT SEPARATELY OR INSTITUTES extinguished even by a declaration in the criminal case that the institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action).
THE CIVIL ACTION PRIOR TO THE CRIMINAL ACTION). criminal act charged has not happened or has not been
committed by the accused. In other words, an acquittal based on Respondent's right to damages was deemed prosecuted in
Respondent's right to damages was deemed prosecuted in the the finding that the facts upon which civil liability did not exist, the criminal proceeding.
criminal proceeding.
bars the filing of an independent civil action if it is based on the
crime.
Thus, a separate civil action may no longer be prosecuted where Thus, a separate civil action may no longer be prosecuted
the accused was acquitted on the ground that the accused has not where the accused was acquitted on the ground that the accused
committed the crime Imputed to her. Application of the rule was illustrated by Justice Relova in has not committed the crime imputed to her.
Marcia v. Court of Appeals, as follows: "Otherwise stated, unless the
act from which the civil liability arises is declared to be non-existent in the
This refers to the Civil liability arising from the crime that was Civil Actions Not Based on Crime Not Extinguished
final judgment, the extinction of the criminal liability will not carry with it
deemed instituted with the criminal.
the extinction of the civil liability.
Acquittal in a criminal action bars the civil arising
COMPARE — therefrom where the judgment of acquittal holds that the
Thus, if a person is charged with homicide and successfully pleaded
self-defense, his acquittal by reason thereof will extinguish his civil accused did not commit the criminal acts imputed to him.
Where petitioner sought to enforce respondent's obligation to make
liability. He has not incurred any criminal liability.
good the value of the checks in exchange for the cash he delivered to
respondent such civil action may proceed independently of the criminal As earlier ruled by the Supreme Court, the civil liability
proceedings and regardless of the result of the other (under Article 31) On the other hand, if his acquittal is, for instance, due to the fact that is deemed extinguished is the civil liability based on crime.
and its filing after the dismissal of the criminal case for estafa and maybe that he was not sufficiently identified to be the assailant, a civil action for
prosecuted without violating the rule against forum shopping, since they damages may be maintained. His acquittal is not due to non-existence of
are based on different causes of action, expressly allowed by law. the crime from which civil liability might arise, but because he was not, in But not the civil liability based on sources of obligation
the eyes of the court, sufficiently identified as the perpetrator. other than the criminal offense although arising from the same

The dismissal of the criminal case is not res judicata even if the act or omission.
civil is alleged to arise from delict, since the nature of the cause of action Where the court states that the evidence throws no light on the
is determined by the facts alleged in the complaint as constituting a cause cause of fire and that it was an unfortunate accident for which the
accused cannot be held responsible, this declaration fits well into the The second sentence of Section 3(b) before under the
of action.
exception of the rule which exempts the accused from civil liability. 1985 Rules provides that in other cases, the person entitled to
the action may institute it in the jurisdiction and in the manner
What Civil Action Is Extinguished
provided by law against the person who may be liable for
Likewise, in Albornoz v. Albornoz, 33
it was the ruling that "where
the judgment in a criminal action contains an express declaration that the restitution of the thing and reparation or indemnity for the
The rule of extinction was limited to civil actions based on basis of claimant's action did not exist, the latter's action for civil liability damage suffered.
culpa criminal and does not include culpa aquiliana or quasi- is barred under Section l(d), Rule 107 of the Rules of Court."

99
The rule clearly contemplates the filing of a separate civil each other, and a favorable and unfavorable judgment in either Mendoza v. Arrieta, will not find application.
action. Article 29 of the Civil Code expressly provides that when case cannot be considered as a bar to the other.
the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground
This provision clearly provides for a separate civil action
that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, a
A private prosecutor may intervene in the criminal action for restitution, reparation and indemnity for the damages
civil action for damages for the same act or omission may be
without waiving the right to file a separate civil action under suffered by the offended party without reference to the source of
instituted.
Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 regardless of the result of the the obligation but was held to refer to Article 29 of the Civil Code
criminal action. which provides that when the accused in a criminal prosecution
Such action requires only a preponderance of evidence. is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proved
beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the
On the issue of whether or not an action for damages
same act or omission may be instituted.
The civil liability therefor under Articles 32,33, 34 and arising from a vehicular accident may plaintiff recover damages
2176 or those where the source of civil obligation is not based on against the employer of the accused driver both in the criminal
the criminal offense is not affected by the result of the criminal case (delict) and the civil case for damages based on quasi- A quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate legal
action. delict, but not recover twice for the same act, the court wrote: institution under the Civil Code, with a substantivity all its own,
and individuality that is entirely apart and independent from a
delict or crime.
In other words, the extinction of the civil liability referred "Consequently, a separate civil action for damages lies against the
to in par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111 (1964 Rules), refers offender in a criminal act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and
found guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party is not allowed,
exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised A distinction exists between the civil liability arising from a
if he is actually charged also criminally, to recover damages on both sides,
Penal Code, whereas the civil liability for the same act crime and the responsibility for quasi-delict or culpa contractual.
and would be entitled in such eventuality only to the bigger award of the
considered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not two, assuming the awards made in the two cases vary."
extinguished even by a declaration in the criminal case that the
The same negligence causing damages may produce civil
criminal act charged has not happened or has not been
Extinction of Penal Does not Extinguish Civil Liability liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or create an
committed by the accused.
action for quasi-delicto or culpa extra-contractual under the Civil
In Mendoza v. Arrieta, it was held that where the acquittal Code.
Briefly stated, culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and was not based upon reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages
negligent acts which may be punishable by law. can no longer be instituted.
Therefore, the acquittal or conviction in the criminal case
is entirely irrelevant in the civil case.
It results, therefore, that the acquittal of Reginal Hill in the It was clarified in Gula v. Dianila, that Mendoza v. Arrieta
criminal case has not extinguished his liability for quasi-delict, was based on culpa criminal for which reason "we held the suit Effect of 1988 Amendment and The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure
hence that acquittal is not a bar to the instant action against for damages barred."
him.
Given the 1988 amendments, where the accused is

Since the cause of action of plaintiff-appellant is based on acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been established
Criminal Actions To Recover Civil Liability Arising From Delict and Civil beyond reasonable doubt or that the obligation is purely civil
Actions Based on Quasi-Delict may Proceed Simultaneously culpa aquiliana and not culpa criminal thus precluding the
application of the exception in Sec. 3(c) of Rule 111 and the fact without the court making a finding on the civil liability of the

that it can be inferred from the criminal case that accused was accused in favor of the offended party, what would be the effect
Thus, a civil action arising from the crime charged and a
acquitted on reasonable doubt because of dearth of evidence and of such judgment on the civil aspect of the case. Will the
civil action with the civil code provisions as the source of
lack of veracity of the two principal witnesses, the doctrine in foregoing rulings permitting the prosecution of a separate civil
obligation may proceed simultaneously and independently of
100
action still apply? SEC. 3. prevent delays, clear congested dockets to simplify the work of
When Civil Action may Proceed Independently the trial court, or in short, attain justice with the least expense
to the parties litigant, would have easily sustained a
In Heirs of the Late Teodoro Guaring v. Court of Appeals,
consolidation, thereby preventing the unseeming, if not
the court wrote that Sec. 2(b), Rule 111 of the Rules of Criminal The civil action which should be suspended after the ludicrous, spectacle of two (2) judges appreciating, according to
Procedure which provides that extinction of the penal action does institution of the criminal action is that arising from delict and their respective orientation, perception and perhaps even
not carry with it extinction of the civil, unless the extinction not the civil action based on quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana. prejudice, the same facts differently, and thereafter rendering
proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact
conflicting decisions.
from which the civil might arise did not exist" and that this rule
Parenthetically, "physical injuries" under Article 33 is used
contemplates a civil action arising from a crime and not a civil
action arising from a quasi delict. in a generic sense. A civil case for replevin may proceed independently of the
criminal cases for falsification and grave coercion.

The court underscored the statement in Tayag v. It includes consummated, frustrated and attempted
homicide and death arising from delict which includes reckless
Alcantara, that the civil liability for the same act considered as a While both cases are based on the same facts, the
quasi delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by imprudence or quasi-delict. quantum of proof required for holding the parties liable therein
a declaration in the criminal case that the criminal act charged differ.
has not happened or has not been committed. Consolidation of Criminal and Civil Cases

Libel — A criminal case for libel and a separate and


Further cited by the court to the same effect is Gula u.
independent civil action to enforce the civil liability arising from
Dianala.
the libel may be consolidated for joint trial, where the two (2) SEC. 4.
cases involve common or identical questions of fact and law, and Effect of Death on Civil Actions
In Bunag v. Court of Appeals, a separate action for would even have the same witnesses; and thus avoid multiplicity
Damages based on forcible abduction with rape was allowed of suits, prevent delay, clear congested dockets, and save Death of Accused on Appeal
despite prior dismissal of case by the Fiscal at the preliminary unnecessary costs and expenses, and simplify the work of the
investigation stage. trial court.
The death of the accused after arraignment and during the
pendency of the criminal action shall extinguish the civil liability
Jurisdiction of Court to Pass upon Motion for Reconsid- In fact Mckee v. IAC — stressed the need for consolidation arising from the delict.
eration of Offended Party in Connection with Civil Liability of criminal and civil actions to prevent conflicting decisions.
Despite Appeal by Accused
In Torrijos v. Court of Appeals,' a case of estafa, where
The final decision of guilt in criminal action is not relevant despite the death of the accused during the pendency of his
If the court, independently of the appeal of the accused, to civil action based on quasi-delict. appeal, which thereby extinguished his criminal liability, the
has jurisdiction, within fifteen days from the date of the appeal was allowed to proceed with respect to the issue of civil
judgment, to allow the appeal of the offended party, it also has liability of the accused (arising from a contract of purchase and
There is no legal impediment against such consolidation.
jurisdiction to pass upon the motion for reconsideration filed by sale).
the private prosecution in connection with the civil liability of the
accused. Section 1, Rule 31 of the Rules of Court which seeks to
(The rule was not observed in People v. Satorre, where the
avoid multiplicity of suits, guard against oppression and abuse,
case for Murder was dismissed in view of the death of the
101
appellant.) extinguished by his death, but the civil liability remains.
"1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction

However, in People u. Salcedo, where the accused in a The claim of the government for the civil liability survives extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability
murder case died during appeal, the case was dropped with but only if the offense can be proved. based thereon.

respect to his criminal liability only.

The Supreme Court continues to exercise appellate As opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard, the

This was followed by People v. Sendaydiego a case of jurisdiction over the petitioner's possible civil liability for the death of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his
malversation thru falsification, where it was held that despite the money claims of the government arising from the alleged criminal liability and only the civil liability directly arising

death of the accused, the Supreme Court can continue to criminal acts complained of, in much the same way as when no from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil
exercise appellate jurisdiction over an accused's possible civil criminal action had been filed. No separate civil action need be liability ex in senso strictiore.

liability for the money claims of the claimants arising from instituted.
criminal acts complained of, as if no criminal case has been 2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives
instituted against him, thus making applicable, in determining notwithstanding the death of accused, if the same may also
Thus, as every crime gives rise to a penal or criminal
his civil liability, Article 30 of the Civil Code. be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict.
action for the punishment of the guilty party, and also to a civil
action for the restitution of the thing, repair of the damage and
When a separate civil action is brought to demand civil indemnification for the losses whether the particular act or Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other
liability arising from a criminal offense, and no criminal pro- omission is done intentionally or negligently or whether or not sources of obligation from which the civil liability may arise
ceedings are instituted during the pendency of the civil case, punishable by law, subsequent decisions of the Supreme Court as a result of the same act or omission:
preponderance of evidence shall likewise be sufficient to prove held that while the criminal liability of an appellant is
the act complained of.) extinguished by his death, his civil liability subsists.
a. Law
b. Contracts;
c. Quasi-contracts; xx x; and
The Supreme Court further stated that Sendaydiego's In such case, the heirs of the deceased appellant are d. Quasi-delicts.
appeal will be resolved only for the purpose of showing his substituted as parties in the criminal case and his estate shall
criminal liability which is the basis of the civil liability for which answer for his civil liability.
3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2
his estate would be liable.
above, an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but
ABANDOMENT OF SENDAYDIEGO; DEATH OF only by filing a separate civil action and subject to Section
Though the death of an accused-appellant during the ACCUSED PENDING APPEAL EXTINGUISH CIVIL LIABILITY 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as
pendency of an appeal extinguished his criminal liability, his civil BASED ON CRIME amended.
liability survives.

People v. Bayotas, overruled People v. Sendaydiego, where This separate civil action may be enforced either
Extinction of criminal liability does not necessarily mean it was held that despite the death of the accused during the against the executor/administrator or the estate of the
that the civil liability is also extinguished. pendency of the appeal, the proceedings shall continue for the accused depending on the source of obligation upon which
purpose of determining his civil liability arising from the crime. the same is based as explained above.

In People v. Navoa, and in People v. Sendaydiego, the


Supreme Court ruled that only the criminal liability (including the The Supreme Court en bane held in Bayotas (which is a 4. Finally, the private party need not fear a forfeiture of his
fine, which is pecuniary, but not civil) of the accused is case of rape) that: right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in

102
cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action proposal was for the Court to continue in the same proceedings vith the
and prior to its extinction, the private offended party other civil actions that were deemed impliedly instituted vith the criminal,
Section 7 limits a prejudicial question to a "previously
despite the death of the accused. Since, however, he Revised Rules on
instituted together with the civil action. instituted civil action" in order to minimize possible abuses by
Criminal Procedure limited the civil liability leemed instituted with the
criminal action to the civil liability aris-ng from the offense, there is no the subsequent filing of a civil action as an afterthought for the

In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil more need for the proposal since with the death to the accused, the civil purpose of suspending the criminal action.
liability arising from the offense is also extinguished. The rule was,
liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the
however, retained by the Court to apply to the separate civil actions under
criminal case, conformably with the provisions of Article a. The rule on precedence of the criminal action does not apply
Section 3 of the same Rule. This would, however, only apply if these
1155 of the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any when the civil action is a prejudicial question.1
actions are consolidated with the criminal. Otherwise, since these are
apprehension on a possible deprivation of right by purely civil actions, the effects of death should be governed by the Rules
prescription. on Civil procedure.16
b. Prejudicial question is an exception to precedence of
criminal case.
Thus the Supreme Court applying this set of rules to the
case at bench held that the death of the appellant extinguished SEC. 5. Prejudicial Question, Defined: Elements of a Prejudicial Question
his criminal liability and the civil liability based solely on the act
Judgment in Civil Action not a Bar
complained of, i.e., rape. Consequently, the appeal was
According to jurisprudence, a prejudicial question involves
dismissed."
COMMENT: a similar issue in a civil action which was pending when the
criminal action was instituted or before the amendment, in a civil
Bayotas was reiterated in People v. Rosalijos,ll where WHILE EVERY PERSON CRIMINALLY LIABLE IS ALSO action filed after the institution of the criminal action.
during the pendency of the appeal convicting the accused of CIVILLY LIABLE, THE CONVERSE IS NOT TRUE.
murder, the latter died, the court ordered the dismissal of the
EXTINCTION OF THE PENAL DOES NOT CARRY WITH IT It is one based on a fact distinct and separate from the
criminal liability of accused and ordered the substitution of his EXTINCTION OF THE CIVIL UNLESS THE EXTINCTION
crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the
heirs as to the civil liability. PROCEEDS FROM A DECLARATION IN A FINAL JUDGMENT
THAT THE FACT FROM WHICH THE CIVIL MIGHT ARISE guilt or innocence of the accused, and for it to suspend the
DID NOT EXIST. criminal action, it must appear not only that said case involves
However, in light of Bayotas, the appeal was dismissed facts intimately related to those upon which the criminal
both as to the criminal and civil aspects thereof. Similarly, a final judgment rendered in a civil action absolving the prosecution would be based but also that in the resolution of the
defendant from the civil liability is no bar to a criminal action unless the
issue or issues raised in the civil case, the guilt or innocence of
civil is a prejudicial question which involves an issue similar or intimately
the accused would necessarily be determined.
The ruling in Bayotas and its progeny which require the fil- related to the issue raised in the criminal, the resolution of which
ing of a separate civil action arising from the same act or determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed.
omission where the accused dies during the pendency of the The doctrine of prejudicial question comes into play
action was criticized since these civil actions are deemed generally in a situation where civil and criminal actions are
impliedly instituted with the criminal action unless reserved pending and the issues involved in both cases are similar or so
SEC. 6.
waived or a separate civil action was filed. closely-related that an issue must be pre-emptively resolved in
Suspension by Reason of Prejudicial Question the civil case before the criminal action can proceed.
COMMENT ON THE NEW RULE
Thus, the existence of a prejudicial question in a civil case
SEC. 7.
is alleged in the criminal case to cause the suspension of the
The original proposal of the Committee was to modify Bayotas. The Elements of Prejudicial Question latter pending final determination of the former.

103
that indeed the alleged prior deed of sale was a forgery and do not involve the pivotal question of who planted the
Where the civil case is not based on a fact distinct and spurious. sugarcane and, therefore, are not determinative juris et de

separate from the estafa, as both actions arose from the same jure of guilt or innocence in the Criminal Action.
fact or transaction, the former does not constitute ,a prejudicial b. The pendency of an intestate proceeding will not constitute
question, for the determination of the criminal action. a prejudicial action in a criminal case for Theft of standing If as the Guanteros contend, they were the ones who
crops filed by a person claiming to have a valid contract of did the planting, that is a matter of defense that may be
CASES
lease on the property from its legal owner against a person interposed by them in the Criminal Action.
claiming co-ownership of the land leased whose claim is
a. An Action for Nullity of a Deed of Sale Based on the Ground pending in an intestate proceeding."
that It is a Forgery and is Spurious is Prejudicial to a It is not an issue that must be preemptively resolved

Criminal Action for Estafa based on the Execution of said in the civil case before proceedings in the Criminal Action

Sale Even if the Intestate Court should annul the project of may be undertaken.
partition and uphold private respondent's ownership of the
lots herein, that would not be determinative of the criminal
For a civil case to be considered prejudicial to a d. A civil action for accounting and recovery of sum of money
responsibility of private respondents for theft of the
criminal action as to cause the suspension of the criminal are not determinative of the innocence or guilt of petitioner
standing sugar crop, which petitioner claims he has planted
action pending the determination of the civil, it must appear in the prosecution for seventy-five (75) counts of estafa
in good faith by virtue of a valid contract of lease with the
not only that the civil case involves the same facts upon mortgagee.
which the criminal prosecution is based, but also that the The issues in the civil case for accounting and

resolution of the issue raised in said civil action would be recovery of sums of money are not determinative of the

necessarily determinative of the guilt or innocence of the c. Ejectment: Pendency of an ejectment case does not innocence or guilt of the petitioner in the prosecution of the

accused. constitute a prejudicial question to the charge of the theft seventy-five (75) counts of estafa.
filed by alleged lessee against a person claiming co-owner-
ship rights with the lessor, for illegal harvest of sugarcane * * * the only question to be resolved in the criminal cases for estafa
Where the defense (as defendant) in the civil case of on land leased. is whether or not the petitioner's acts of receiving and collecting
monies from the customers in payment for goods purchased, and
the nullity and forgery of the alleged prior deed of sale in
failing to immediately account for and deliver the said collections
favor of plaintiff in the civil case and complaining witness in having deposited them in his own personal bank accounts constitute
the criminal case is based on the very same facts which Pendency of action for damages based on illegal estafa under Article 315(l-b) of the Revised Penal Code.

would be necessarily determinative of the guilt or innocence possession of property not a prejudicial question to the

as accused in the criminal case, the civil case constitutes a charge of theft filed by the alleged lessee against the * * * a finding in the civil case for accounting and recovery of
plaintiff in the damage suit. a sum of money is not juris et de jure determinative of the
prejudicial question.
innocence of the petitioner in the subsequent seventy-five (75)
criminal cases of estafa filed against him.

If the first alleged sale is void or fictitious, then there As the two cases are based on the same facts, and the

would be no double sale and petitioner would be innocent of entitlement to damages being predicated on the unlawful
e. A civil case for Annulment of Deed of Sale not prejudicial to
the offense charged. taking treated of in the Criminal Action, no necessity arises
Criminal Case for Estafa Arising from Issuance of Rubber
for that civil case to be determined ahead of the Criminal
Check."
Action.
A conviction in the criminal case (if it were allowed to
proceed ahead) would be a gross injustice and would have At the time the acts complained of in CR No. 1423-1
to be set aside if it were finally decided in the civil action Stated differently, the issues raised in the civil cases
were committed, the deed of sale sought to be later

104
annulled in CV No. 8769 was binding upon the parties A Civil Case for the Collection of a Sum of Money Allegedly Embezzled is c. Article 33 manifests that as between the civil and criminal
not a Prejudicial Question to the Criminal Action arising from the same cases arising from the same fraudulent act, the doctrine of the prejudicial
thereto, including the petitioners. Acts of Embezzlement
question cannot be invoked as both cases may proceed independently of
each other, i.e., in the same way that the civil suit can be tried, so must
The two (2) essential elements for a prejudicial Thus, as teller authorized to receive payments of electric bills from the criminal prosecution run its course.
question to exist are: the electric cooperative's customers, Godofreda allegedly embezzled to
her own use money collected from different consumers.
When Action for Annulment of Marriage Prejudicial to Bigamy Case

(a) the civil action involves an issue similar or intimately


related to the issue raised in the criminal action; and When she refused to pay the amount defrauded, the cooperative
a. A civil action involving the nullity of a second marriage is of
sued her for damages. Later, at the instance of the cooperative, several
prejudicial character and should be resolved before the
informations for estafa were filed against her before the municipal court.
(b) the resolution of such issue in the civil action criminal case for bigamy.
determines whether or not the criminal action may
proceed.
After pleading not guilty to the estafa charges, Godofreda moved to
suspend the proceedings in the criminal case on the ground that the Likewise, a civil action involving title to property
As correctly observed by the appellate court, the issue collection suit is a prejudicial question. should first be decided before a criminal action for damages
in CR No. 1423-1 is whether or not the petitioners could be to said property.
found guilty under Batas Pambansa Big. 22 or under Article HELD:
315, No. 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code.
The reason is that in said cases the procedure in a
a. No prejudicial question exists. civil proceeding and not of the criminal case is more fitted to
More specifically, what private respondents decide, as for example, the issue of validity or nullity of the
complained of in CR No. 1423-1 is that the Checks issued by The issue in the civil action is the cooperative's right to recover marriage.
petitioners in their favor were dishonored for lack of funds from Godofreda the amount allegedly embezzled by the latter.

upon due presentment to the drawee bank.


But in all such cases the prejudicial civil question
The issue in the criminal case is whether her failure to account for
refers to a dispute of purely civil character but connected in
her collections as a teller constitutes estafa under Article 315 of the
Undeniably, at the time of said dishonor, petitioners' such manner to the crime on which the criminal case is
Revised Penal Code.
obligation to pay private respondents pursuant to the deed based and is determinative of the guilt or innocence of the
of sale, continued to subsist. accused.
A finding in the civil case for or against Godofreda is not juris et
dejure determinative of her innocence or guilt in the estafa cases.
And because petitioners' checks were dishonored for A civil action filed by the husband involving the nullity
lack of funds, petitioners are answerable under the law for B. MOREOVER ARTICLE 33 OF THE CIVIL CODE of a second marriage is of prejudicial character and should
the consequences of their said acts. EXPLICITLY STATES THAT IN CASE OF DEFAMATION, be resolved before the criminal case for bigamy.
FRAUD AND PHYSICAL INJURIES A CIVIL ACTION FOR
DAMAGES, ENTIRELY SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE
And even if CV No. 8769 were to be finally adjudged CRIMINAL ACTION, MAY BE BROUGHT BY THE INJURED In such a case, the prejudicial civil question refers to a
PARTY.
to the effect that the said deed of sale should be annulled, dispute of purely civil character but connected in such
such declaration would be of no material importance in the manner to the crime on which the criminal case is based
Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal
determination of the guilt or innocence of petitioners- and is determinative of the guilt or innocence of the
prosecution and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.
accused in CR No. 1423-1. accused.

105
The rule does not, however, apply where the bigamy case pending decision on the validity of the two Domestic Relations Court a civil action for declaration of
complaint for annulment was filed by the wife. Thus: marriages. nullity of her marriage with Leonilo, contracted in 1978.

The Court held that the mere fact that there are actions
"a) The filing, while the bigamy case is pending, of a civil to annul the marriage entered into by the accused in a She alleged that she consented to entering into the
action by the woman in the second marriage for its bigamy case does not mean that "prejudicial questions" marriage, since she had no previous knowledge that
are automatically raised in civil actions to warrant the
annulment by reason offeree and intimidation upon her suspension of the criminal case. Leonilo was already married to Rosalinda.
by the man, is not a bar or defense to the criminal
action. In order that the case of annulment of marriage be
considered a prejudicial question to the bigamy case Donato interposed the defense that his second marriage
against the accused, it must be shown that the was void since it was solemnized without a marriage
accused's consent to such marriage must be the one
The civil action does not decide that he entered the license and that force was employed by Paz to get
that was obtained by means of duress, force and
marriage against his will and consent, because the intimidation to show that his act in the second marriage Leonilo's consent to the marriage.
complaint therein does not allege that he was the must be involuntary and cannot be the basis for his
conviction for the crime of bigamy.
victim of force and intimidation in the second marriage.
Before the second marriage was solemnized, Leonilo
The situation in the second case is markedly different.
and Paz had lived together as husband and wife,
It was he who used the force or intimidation and he At the time petitioner was indicted for bigamy, the fact without the benefit of wedlock for at least five years,
may not use his own malfeasance to defeat the action that two marriage ceremonies have been contracted for which reason, the requisite marriage license was
appeared to be indisputable.
based on his criminal act." dispensed with pursuant to Article 76 of the New Civil
And it was the second spouse, not the accused who Code.
filed the action for nullity on the ground of force,
b. So also is an annulment of marriage filed by the first threats and intimidation, x x x
wife not prejudicial to bigamy. Before the criminal case could be tried, Leonilo moved
Assuming that the first marriage was null and void on to suspend the proceedings on the ground that the
the ground alleged by the accused, that fact would not
be material to the outcome of the criminal case. annulment case raises a prejudicial question, which
c. In Landicho v. Hon. Reloua, the first wife charged the
must be determined before the criminal case can
accused with Bigamy for contracting a second marriage Parties to the marriage should not be permitted to proceed.
without first dissolving their marriage. judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be
submitted to the judgment of the competent courts and
only when the nullity the marriage is so declared can be
held as void, and so long as there is no such The trial court denied the motion to suspend the
The second wife, likewise, filed an annulment of her
declaration the presumption is that the marriage exists. proceedings, citing Landicho v. Relova.
marriage with the accused on the ground offeree,
threats, and intimidation allegedly employed by Therefore, he who contracts a second marriage before
accused and because of its allegedly bigamous the judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage The Supreme Court sustained the trial judge.
assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy.
character.

The issue before the Domestic Relations Court touching


d) Donato v. Luna — Leonilo was charged with bigamy in
Accused filed a third party complaint against the first upon the nullity of the second marriage is not
the Court of First Instance.
wife praying that his first marriage be declared null and determinative of Leonilo's guilt or innocence in the
void on the ground that his consent to the first crime of bigamy.
marriage was obtained by means of threats, force, and The information was based on the complaint of Paz.
intimidation, and moved for the suspension of the Before Leonilo could be arraigned, Paz filed with the

106
Furthermore, it was Paz, Leonilo's second wife, who nullity of a previous marriage maybe invoked for purposes second marriage is not per se an argument for the
filed the complaint for annulment of the Second of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment avoidance of criminal liability for bigamy.
marriage on the ground that her consent was obtained declaring such marriage void.
through deceit.
Pertinently, Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code
So that in a case for concubinage, the accused need criminalizes "any person who shall contract a second or
Leonilo cannot apply the rule on prejudicial question not present a final judgment declaring his marriage void for subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been
since a case for annulment of marriage can be he can adduce evidence in the criminal case of the nullity of legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been
considered a prejudicial question to the bigamy case his marriage other than proof of a final judgment declaring declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment
against the accused only if it is proved that Leonilo's his marriage void. rendered in the proper proceedings."
consent to such marriage was obtained by means of
duress in order to establish that his act in the
The Court, however, hastened to add that even if his A plain reading of the law, therefore, would indicate
subsequent marriage was an involuntary one and as
marriage is void from the beginning the subsequent that the provision penalizes the mere act of contracting a
such, the same cannot be the basis for conviction.
pronouncement that his marriage is void from the beginning second or a subsequent marriage during the subsistence of
is not a defense, citing Landicho u. Relova, cited in Donate a valid marriage.
Obviously, Leonilo merely raised the issue of prejudicial v. Luna," holding that "so long as there is no such
question to evade the prosecution of the criminal case. declaration (of nullity) the presumption is that the marriage
Thus, as soon as the second marriage was celebrated
Prior to Leonilo's second marriage, he had been living exists.
during the subsistence of the valid first marriage, the crime
with Paz as husband and wife for more than five years
of bigamy had already been consummated.
without the benefit of marriage.
Therefore, he who contracts a second marriage before
the judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage
There is no cogent reason for distinguishing between a
Thus, Leonilo's averments that his consent was assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy.
subsequent marriage that is null and void purely because it
obtained by Paz through force and undue influence in
is a second or subsequent marriage, and a subsequent
entering a subsequent marriage is belied by the fact
2) to criminal prosecution for bigamy marriage that is null and void on the ground of
that both he and Paz executed an affidavit which stated
psychological incapacity, at least insofar as criminal liability
that they had lived together as husband and wife
for bigamy is concerned.
without benefit of marriage for five years, one month A declaration of the nullity of the second marriage on
and one day until their marital union was formally the ground of psychological incapacity is of absolutely no
ratified by the second marriage and that it was Paz who moment insofar as the State's penal laws are concerned. The State's penal laws protecting the institution of
eventually filed the civil action for nullity. marriage are in recognition of the sacrosanct character of
this special contract between spouses, and punish an
As a second or subsequent marriage contracted during
individual's deliberate disregard of the permanent character
An Action for declaration of nullity of marriage on ground the subsistence of petitioner's valid marriage to Villareyes,
of the special bond between spouses, which petitioner has
of psychological incapacity is not a prejudicial question petitioner's second marriage to Ancajas would be null and
undoubtedly done.
void ab initio completely regardless of petitioner's
psychological capacity or incapacity.
1) to criminal prosecution for concubinage
Although the judicial declaration of the nullity of a
marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity retroacts
Since a marriage contracted during the subsistence of
Under Article 40 of the Family Code: "The absolute to the date of the celebration of the marriage insofar as the
a valid marriage is automatically void, the nullity of this

107
vinculum between the spouses is concerned, it is significant complaint. If at all, it should be the latter that should be suspended.
to note that said marriage is not without legal effects.

A pending civil case may, however, be considered to be in A civil action instituted to resolve whether the designations
Among these effects is that children conceived or born the nature of a prejudicial question to an administrative case. of certain persons as sectoral representatives were in accordance
before the judgment of absolute nullity of the marriage shall with law constitutes a prejudicial question vis-a-vis a criminal
be considered legitimate. case for violation of the anti-graft law premised on the accused's
In proper cases, a pending administrative case may also
partiality and evident bad faith in not paying the former's
be considered in the nature of a prejudicial question to a civil
salaries and per diem as sectoral representatives.
There is therefore a recognition written into the law case.
itself that such a marriage, although void ab initio, may still Thus, an administrative case between parties involving a
produce legal consequences. parcel of land subject matter of an ejectment case is a There is no prejudicial question where the outcome of the

prejudicial question which would operate as a bar to said civil case is not in any way determinative of the guilt or
ejectment case. innocence of the respondent in the criminal cases.
Among these legal consequences is incurring criminal
RULE 112
liability for bigamy. PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
Thus, it has been held that the question of ownership
SECTION 1.
To hold otherwise would render the State's penal laws which is pending in a civil case a prejudicial question justifying
Preliminary Investigation Defined; When Required
on bigamy completely nugatory, and allow individuals to suspension of proceedings in the criminal case for violation of
the Anti-Squatting Law. Formerly, the right to a preliminary investigation refers only to offenses
deliberately ensure that each marital contract be flawed in cognizable by the Regional Trial Court.
some manner, and to thus escape the consequences of
In view, however, of the expanded jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court
contracting multiple marriages, while beguiling throngs of OTHER CASES under R.A. No. 7691, jurisdiction over certain offenses which before falls
hapless women with the promise of futurity and under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court were vested in
the Municipal Trial Court and accordingly, under the former rule were no
commitment. An action to cancel copyright is not prejudicial to criminal longer entitled to preliminary investigation.
prosecution for infringement of copyright. The present rule includes among offenses entitled to preliminary
There is no prejudicial question where one case is administrative and the investigation those punishable by at least four (4) years, two (2) months
other is civil and one (1) day, even if the same is cognizable by the Municipal Trial
A civil action of replevin is not prejudicial to theft. Court.

It has been held that one thing is administrative. Purpose of Preliminary Investigation
Where the issue before the Court of Appeals is the authen-
As provided for in the foregoing section, the preliminary
ticity of a motion to withdraw which at the same time is the investigation should determine whether there is a sufficient
Quite another is the criminal liability.
object of a falsification charged pending in CFI, there is a ground to engender a well-grounded belief that a crime has been
committed and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof,
prejudicial question involved in the civil case which justifies the
and should be held for trial.
The determination of the administrative liability for suspension of the criminal case. And if the evidence so