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Section 13.

Rule 110. Duplicity of

the offense.

complaint

or

information must charge but one offense, except when the law prescribes a single punishment for various offenses.

What is meant by duplicity of charges? Duplicity of charges simply means a single complaint or information charges more than one offense. (John Eric Loney vs. People, G.R. No. 152644, February 10, 2006)

What is the rule on duplicity of offenses? General rule: A complaint or information must charge only one offense. ONE

INFORMATION, ONE OFFENSE. Exception: When the law provides only one punishment for the various offenses. 1. Complex and compound crimes 2. Special Complex crimes 3. Continuous crimes or delicto continuado 4. Crimes of which another offense is an ingredient

What

is the

reason for the

rule against

duplicitous

complaint

or

information?

The Rules prohibit the filing of such Information to avoid confusing the accused in preparing his defense. (John Eric Loney vs. People, ibid.)

What is the remedy of the accused against a duplicitous information or complaint? The remedy of the accused is to file a motion to quash before arraignment pursuant to Section 3 (f) of Rule 117.

What is the effect of the failure of the accused to object to a duplicitous information? If the accused fails to object (file a motion to quash) before arraignment, he is deemed to have waived the defect in the Information, and he may be convictedof as many offenses as are charged and proved during trial. Section 3. Judgment for two or more offenses. When two or more offenses are charged in a single complaint or information but the accused fails to object to it before trial, the court may convict him of as many offenses as are charged and proved, and impose on him the penalty for each offense, setting out separately the findings of fact and law in each offense. (Rule 120, Rules of Court) An accused, who fails to object prior to arraignment to a duplicitous information, may be found guilty of any or all of the crimes alleged therein and duly proven during the trial, for the allegation of the elements of such component crimes in the said information has satisfied the constitutional guarantee that an accused be informed of the nature of the offense with which he or she is being charged. Verily, a duplicitous information is valid since such defect may be waived and the accused, because of such waiver, could be convicted of as many offenses as those charged in the information and proved during trial. (Dimayacyac vs. People, G.R. No. 136264, May 28, 2004)

Can we join offenses in one information? Can we join as many offenses as there are in one information? Lets say there are 5 counts of rape, 5 counts of estafa, can it be included in one information? The answer is NO! For every offense, there should be one information that is the general rule! EXCEPT if there is a single punishment for various offenses.

X fired his gun once, but the bullet killed two persons. He was charged with two counts of homicide in one information. Can he be convicted under that information? Yes. It falls under the exception to the rule. This is a compound crime in which one act results in two or more grave or less grave felonies. The law provides only one penalty for the two offenses.

X was charged with both robbery and estafa in one information. Can he be convicted of both offenses? It depends. If he objects to the duplicitous information before arraignment, he cannot be convicted under the information. But if he fails to object before arraignment, he can be convicted of as many offenses as there are in the information.

What is the principle of absorption? In cases of rebellion, other crimes committed in the course of the crime are deemed absorbed in the crime of rebellion either as a means necessary for its commission or as an unintended effect of rebellion. They cannot be charged as separate offenses in themselves. The exception is when the common crimes are

committed without any political motivation. In such a case, they will not be absorbed by rebellion.

If homicide or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, how many offenses are there? There is only one offense murder or homicide aggravated by the use of unlicensed firearm. This is by special provision of RA 8294. (Dissenting opinion of J. Sabio How can you complex when one is an RPC offense/malum in se and the other is a violation of a special law/malum prohibitum?)

X was speeding on a highway when his car collided with another car. The other car was totally wrecked and the driver of the other car suffered serious physical injuries. How many information should be filed against X? Only one information should be filed for serious physical injuries and damage to property through reckless imprudence. The information against X cannot be split into two because there was only one negligent act resulting in serious physical injuries and damage to property.

Same case, but the injuries suffered by the driver were only slight physical injuries. How many information should be filed? Two informations one for the slight physical injuries and the other for damage to property. Light felonies cannot be complexed.

What

is

delito

continuado?

Delito Continuado or Continued crime is one where the accused is impelled by a single criminal impulse but commits a series of overt acts at about the same

time in about the same place and said acts violate the same offense. The reason is that neither the criminal act nor the intention is susceptible of the division. Delito Continuado or Continuing offense exists if there is a plurality of acts performed during a period of time, unity of penal provision violated, and unity of criminal intent or purpose which means that two or more violations of the same penal provisions are united in one and the same intent or resolution leading to the perpetration of the same criminal purpose or aim. Delito Continuado or continuing offense consists of several crimes but in reality, there is only one crime in the mind of the perpetrator. Delito Continuado or continuing offense consists of a series of acts arising from one criminal intent or resolution. In the above views, since there is only a single criminal intent, even though there is a series of criminal acts, only one information should be filed against the offender. Example: The taking of the accused of several things, whether belonging to the same or different owners, at the same time and place constitutes but one larceny. In American jurisprudence, the applicable principle is the Single

Larceny Doctrinewhich looks at the commission of the different criminal acts as but one continuous act involving the same transaction or as done on the same occasion. The above doctrine, taken which the we adopted, or abandoned Also the Separate was

LarcenyDoctrine which views that there is as many larceny as there are properties from the victim victims. the abandoned to the doctrine that government has discretion prosecute the

accused for one offense or for as many distinct offenses as there are victims.

To stick with the abandoned rules would violate the constitutional guarantee against putting a man in jeopardy twice for the same offense. It has also been observed that the doctrine of Single Larceny is humane since if a separate charge could be filed for each act, the accused may be sentenced to jail in perpetuity or for the rest of his life. The law requires however that where the offense charged in the information is a complex crime as defined by law, every essential element of each of the crimes constituting the complex felony must be stated in the information. NOTE: The single larceny rule is commonly applied by our courts to malversation and falsification cases but not so in estafa cases. What is the equivalent on the rule of duplicity of offenses in civilprocedure? In civil cases, can you join causes of action in one complaint? Yes. Rule 2, sec 5. That is what you call joinder of causes of action. Section 5. Joinder of causes of action. A party may in one pleading assert, in the alternative or otherwise, as many causes of action as he may have against an opposing party, subject to the following conditions: (a) The party joining the causes of action shall comply with the rules on joinder of parties; (b) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or actions governed by special rules; (c) Where the causes of action are between the same parties but pertain to different venues or jurisdictions, the joinder may be allowed in the Regional Trial Court provided one of the causes of action falls within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein; and (d) Where the claims in all the causes action are principally for recovery of money, the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction.

1. You cannot join those covered by? SPECIAL RULES. Special proceeding and ordinary civil action? You cannot join. Adoption and sum of money? You cannot join. Petition for certiorari and specific performance? You cannot join. But, unlike criminal cases, in civil procedure allows joinder of causes of action. 2. Can you join parties in cases of multiple causes of action? And multiple parties? YES. Rule 3 Sec. 6. Section 6. Permissive joinder of parties. All persons in whom or against whom any right to relief in respect to or arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions is alleged to exist, whether jointly, severally, or in the alternative, may, except as otherwise provided in these Rules, join as plaintiffs or be joined as defendants in one complaint, where any question of law or fact common to all such plaintiffs or to all such defendants may arise in the action. Take note of that. If there is more than one party on one side, it should arise from the same transaction or series of transaction. Jointly severally or in the alternative. 3. Also there is what you call in civil cases, the TOTALITY RULE. It is the sum of all of the claims. So if all of the claims are claims for sums of money, can you claim? Can you join them together? Yes. How about estafa and BP 22? No! because that is a criminal case. 4. And finally in joinder of causes of action, if you join and one is with the RTC, it will be joined in the RTC respecting the rule on JURISDICTION AND VENUE. But in criminal cases, again, can we join? No! ONE OFFENSE, ONE INFORMATION unless it is a complex crime, or there was inaction on the part of the accused when offenses have been joined or included in one information and he failed to object. Can the court render a valid judgment? Yes! (from the lecture of Atty. Tranquil Salvador)

Case: The Rules of Court, particularly Sec. 13 of Rule 110, indeed frown upon multiple offenses being charge in a single information. However, petitioner failed to raise the issues during arraignment. His failure to do so amounts to a waiver and his objections on this point can no longer be raised on appeal. (Abalos vs. People, G.R. No. 136884, 09/17/2002)