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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III

Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

Here, petitioner failed to prove that the transaction


happened in Manila. He argues that since he and his
late wife actually resided in Manila, convenience
suggests that the transaction was entered there. The
Court wasnt persuaded. The fact that Cavite is a bit far
from Manila doesnt necessarily mean that the
transaction cannot or did not happen there. Distance
will not prevent any person from going to a distant
place where he can procure goods that he can sell so
that he can earn a living. It is not improbable or
impossible them to have gone, not once, but twice in
one day, to Cavite if that is the number of times they
received pieces of jewelry from complainant. Also, the
fact that the checks issued were drawn against
accounts with banks in Manila or Makati doesnt mean
that the transactions were not entered into in Cavite
City.

PART I
A.
VENUE
IN
JURISDICTIONAL

CRIMINAL

CASES

IS

1. ISIP v PEOPLE
FACTS
Petitioner Manuel Isip (and his wife Marietta) were
convicted of Estafa before the RTC of Cavite City.
Marites, however, died during the pendency of the
appeal before the CA. The spouses were engaged in
the buying and selling of pledged and unredeemed
jewelry pawned by gambling habitus. However, in
their dealings with Complainant Atty. Leonardo Jose,
they failed to account for the jewelries given to them to
be sold on commission. Also, certain checks theyve
issued in favor of Jose bounced. Procedurally, petitioner
contends that the RTC of Cavite has no jurisdiction
over the case since the elements of the crime did not
occur there. Instead, he argues that the case should
have been filed in Manila where their supposed
transactions took place.

When it comes to credibility, the trial court's


assessment deserves great weight, and is even
conclusive and binding, if not tainted with arbitrariness
or oversight of some fact or circumstance of weight
and influence.

2. LANDBANK
BELISATA

ISSUE: Whether the RTC of Cavite has jurisdiction over


the case.

of

the

PHILIPPINES

FACTS
RULING: YES. The concept of venue of actions in
criminal cases, unlike in civil cases, is jurisdictional.
The place where the crime was committed determines
not only the venue of the action but is an essential
element of jurisdiction. It is a fundamental rule that for
jurisdiction to be acquired by courts in criminal cases,
the offense should have been committed or any one of
its essential ingredients should have taken place within
the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

Belista is the owner of 8 parcels of land placed by the


Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (PD No. 27 &
EO No. 228). He and DAR/LBP disagreed on the amount
of just compensation he deserved, which caused him to
file a Petition for Valuation and Payment of Just
Compensation before the DARAB-Regional Adjudicator
for Region V (RARAD-V). The RARAD-V decided in his
favor. Aggrieved, LBP filed an original Petition for
Determination of Just Compensation at the same sala
of the RTC sitting as SAC. It was dismissed on the
ground of failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

The jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is


determined by the allegations in the complaint or
information. And once it is so shown, the court may
validly take cognizance of the case. However, if the
evidence adduced during the trial shows that the
offense was committed somewhere else, the court
should dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction.

ISSUE
Whether it is necessary that in cases involving claims
for just compensation under RA No. 6657 that the
decision of the Adjudicator must first be appealed to
the DARAB before a party can resort to the RTC sitting
as SAC.

Complainant had sufficiently shown that the


transaction covered by the case took place in his
ancestral home in Cavite City when he was on
approved leave of absence from the Bureau of
Customs. Since it has been shown that venue was
properly laid, it is now petitioner's task to prove
otherwise, since he claims that the transaction was
entered into in Manila. He who alleges must prove his
allegations applies.

RULING
Sections 50 and 57 of RA No. 6657 provide:
Section 50. Quasi-judicial Powers of the DAR. The
DAR is hereby vested with primary jurisdiction to
determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all


matters involving the implementation of agrarian
reform, except those falling under the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR) x x x

misconduct, in relation to a BP 22 case against


Mondejar. Judge Buban allegedly issued a hold
departure order against her, in violation of SC Circular
No. 39-97, which says that hold departure orders
may only be issued in criminal cases within the
exclusive jurisdiction of the RTC. She also claims that
said order was issued without giving her an opportunity
to be heard.

Section 57. Special Jurisdiction. The Special Agrarian


Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over
all petitions for the determination of just compensation
to landowners, and the prosecution of all criminal
offenses under this Act. x x x

The judge responded, stating that he was only made


aware of said order when he instructed his staff to
secure a copy from the Executive Judge of the RTC of
Tacloban. After which, he immediately issued an order
setting aside and lifting the hold departure order. As
regards the supposed due process, he sent a notice of
hearing to her and her counsel, but neither appeared.

Clearly, under Section 50, DAR has primary jurisdiction


to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters
and exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters
involving the implementation of agrarian reform,
except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of
the DA and the DENR. Further exception to the DAR's
original and exclusive jurisdiction are all petitions for
the determination of just compensation to landowners
and the prosecution of all criminal offenses under RA
No. 6657, which are within the jurisdiction of the RTC
sitting as a SAC. Thus, jurisdiction on just
compensation cases for the taking of lands under RA
No. 6657 is vested in the courts.

Court Administrator recommended a severe reprimand


with a stern warning that should it happen again, he
would be dealt with more severely.
ISSUE:
W/N the judge is administratively liable?
HELD:
YES. The judge is administratively liable.
Circular No. 39-97 limits the authority to issue holddeparture orders to criminal cases within the
jurisdiction of second level courts. Paragraph No. 1 of
the said circular specifically provides that holddeparture orders shall be issued only in criminal cases
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the regional trial
courts. Clearly then, criminal cases within the
exclusive jurisdiction of first level courts do not fall
within the ambit of the circular, and it was an error on
the part of respondent judge to have issued one in the
instant case.

Here, the trial court properly acquired jurisdiction over


Wycocos complaint for determination of just
compensation. It must be stressed that although no
summary administrative proceeding was held before
the DARAB, LBP was able to perform its legal mandate
of initially determining the value of Wycoco's land
pursuant to Executive Order No. 405, Series of 1990.
In accordance with settled principles of administrative
law, primary jurisdiction is vested in the DAR to
determine in a preliminary manner the just
compensation for the lands taken under the agrarian
reform program, but such determination is subject to
challenge before the courts. The resolution of just
compensation cases for the taking of lands under
agrarian reform is, after all, essentially a judicial
function.

B.
JURISDICTION
DEPARTURE ORDERS

TO

ISSUE

C.
JURISDICTION
DETERMINED
ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

BY

1. FOZ v PEOPLE
Facts:
Vicente Foz (columnist) and Danny Fajardo (editorpublisher) of Panay News were charged with libel for
writing and publishing an article against Dr. Edgar
Portigo1. The RTC found them guilty as charged which

HOLD

1. MONDEJAR v BUBAN

FACTS:
Mondejar seeks to hold Judge Buban of the Tacloban
City MTCC administratively liable for gross ignorance of
the law, partiality, serious irregularity and grave

That a certain Lita Payunan consulted with Dr. Portigo\ that she had
rectum myoma and had to undergo an operation. Even after surgery
she still experienced difficulty in urinating and defecating. On her 2 nd
operation, she woke to find that her anus and vagina were closed and
a hole with a catheter punched on her right side.\ she found out she
had cancer.\ they spent P150,000 for wrong diagnosis\

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

was affirmed by the CA hence this petition for review.


Foz and Fajardo raised for the first time that the
information charging them with libel did not contain
allegations sufficient to vest jurisdiction in the RTC of
Iloilo City.

that Dr. Portigo is a physician and medical practitioner


in Iloilo City, it did not clearly and positively indicate
that he was actually residing in Iloilo City at the time of
the commission of the offense. It was possible that he
was actually residing in another place.

Issue: W/N the RTC of Iloilo had jurisdiction over the


offense

Residence of a person is his personal, actual or


physical habitation or his actual residence or place of
abode provided he resides therein with continuity and
consistency; no particular length of time is required.
Residence must be more than temporary.

Held: NO
Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of
jurisdiction. The offense should have been committed
or any one of its essential elements took place within
the territorial jurisdiction of the court. The jurisdiction
of the court is determined by the allegations in the
complaint or information.

D. JURISDICTION OF SANDIGANBAYAN
1. PEOPLE v SANDIGANBAYAN
FACTS:

The rules on venue for written defamation are as


follows:

Victoria Amante was a member of the Sangguniang


Panlungsod of Toledo City, Province of Cebu at the
time pertinent to this case. On January 14, 1994, she
was able to get hold of a cash advance in the amount
of P71,095.00 under a disbursement voucher in order
to defray seminar expenses of the Committee on
Health and Environmental Protection, which she
headed. As of December 19, 1995, or after almost two
years since she obtained the said cash advance, no
liquidation was made. Commission on Audit sent a
report to Office of the Deputy Ombudsman, which then
issued a resolution recommending the filing of an
Information for violating the Auditing Code of the
Philippines against respondent Amante. The Office of
the Special Prosecutor (OSP), upon review of the OMBVisayas' Resolution, on April 6, 2001, prepared a
memorandum finding probable cause to indict
respondent Amante.

1. When offended party is a public official or a

2.
3.
4.

private person = filed in RTC of province or city


where the libelous article is printed and first
published
When offended party is a private individual =
filed in RTC of province where he actually
resided at the time of commission of offense
When offended party is a public officer whose
office is in Manila = filed in RTC of Manila
When offended party is a public officer holding
office outside Manila = filed in RTC of province
or city where he held office at the time of
commission of the offense

Dr. Portigo is a private individual at the time of the


publication of the libelous article, the venue may be
the RTC of the province/city where the libelous article
was printed and first published OR where he actually
resided at the time of the commission of the offense.

The OSP filed an Information with the Sandiganbayan


accusing Victoria Amante of violating Section 89 of P.D.
No. 1445 alleging that with deliberate intent and
intent to gain, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully
and criminally fail to liquidate said cash advances of
P71,095.00. The OSP filed an Information with the
Sandiganbayan accusing Victoria Amante of violating
Section 89 of P.D. No. 1445,

The Information [relevant to REM] states only that x x


x both the accused as columnists and editor-publisher,
respectively of Panay News, a daily publication with a
considerable circulation in the City of Iloilo and
throughout the region x x x. such did not establish
that the said publication was printed and published in
Iloilo City. As cited in 2 other cases, the SC held that if
it would be held that the information sufficiently vests
jurisdiction on the allegation that the publication was in
general circulation in [place where case is filed], there
would be no impediment to the filing of the libel action
in other location where the publication is in general
circulation. Such was not the intent of RA 4363.

Amante countered by saying amongst others that


Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the said
criminal case because respondent Amante was then a
local official who was occupying a position of salary
grade 26, whereas Section 4 of Republic Act (R.A.) No.
8249 provides that the Sandiganbayan shall have
original jurisdiction only in cases where the accused
holds a position otherwise classified as Grade 27 and
higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification
Act of 1989, R.A. No. 6758.

On residence the information failed to allege the


residence of Dr. Portigo. While the information alleges

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

ISSUE: Whether or not a member of the Sangguniang


Panlungsod under Salary Grade 26 who was charged
with violation of The Auditing Code of the Philippines
falls within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.

motive to commit the crime and had the accused


not have committed it had he not held the
aforesaid office, the accused is held to have
been indicted for "an offense committed in
relation" to his office.

RULING:

Note also that:

The applicable law in this case is Section 4 of P.D. No.


1606, as amended by Section 2 of R.A. No. 7975 which
took effect on May 16, 1995, which was again
amended on February 5, 1997 by R.A. No. 8249. The
alleged commission of the offense, as shown in the
Information was on or about December 19, 1995 and
the filing of the Information was on May 21, 2004. The
jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is to be
determined at the time of the institution of the action,
not at the time of the commission of the offense. The
exception contained in R.A. 7975, as well as R.A. 8249,
where it expressly provides that to determine the
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in cases involving
violations of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, R.A. No. 1379,
and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal
Code is not applicable in the present case as the
offense involved herein is a violation of The Auditing
Code of the Philippines. The last clause of the opening
sentence of paragraph (a) of the said two provisions
states:

Those that are classified as Grade 26 and below may


still fall within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
provided that they hold the positions thus enumerated
by R.A. No. 3019. Particularly and exclusively
enumerated are provincial governors, vice-governors,
members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and
provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other
provincial department heads; city mayors, vicemayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city
treasurers, assessors, engineers , and other city
department heads; officials of the diplomatic service
occupying the position as consul and higher; Philippine
army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all
officers of higher rank; PNP chief superintendent and
PNP officers of higher rank; City and provincial
prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and
prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and
special prosecutor; and presidents, directors or
trustees, or managers of government-owned or
controlled
corporations,
state
universities
or
educational institutions or foundations. In connection
therewith, Section 4(b) of the same law provides that
other offenses or felonies committed by public officials
and employees mentioned in subsection (a) in relation
to their office also fall under the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan.

Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. -- The Sandiganbayan shall exercise


exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
A. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended,
other known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2,
Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one
or more of the accused are officials occupying the
following positions in the government, whether in a
permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of
the commission of the offense

2. SERRANA v SANDIGANBAYAN
Facts:
Serana was a senior student and a government scholar
of UP-Cebu. She was appointed by then President
Estrada as a student regent of UP, to serve a one-year
term. She discussed with President Estrada the
renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex in UP Diliman.
With her siblings and relatives, Serana registered with
the SEC the Office of the Student Regent Foundation,
Inc. (OSRFI). One of the projects of the OSRFI was the
renovation of the Vinzons Hall Annex. President
Estrada gave P15M to the OSRFI as financial assistance
for the proposed renovation. The source of the funds,
according to the information, was the Office of the
President.

The present case falls under Section 4(b) where other


offenses and felonies committed by public officials
or employees in relation to their office are
involved. Under the said provision, no exception is
contained. Thus, the general rule that jurisdiction of a
court to try a criminal case is to be determined at the
time of the institution of the action, not at the time of
the commission of the offense applies in this present
case. Since the present case was instituted on May 21,
2004, the provisions of R.A. No. 8249 shall govern.

However, the renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex failed


to materialize. Hence, the succeeding student regent,
filed a complaint for Malversation of Public Funds and
Property with the Office of the Ombudsman. And the
Ombudsman, after due investigation, found probable
cause to indict Serana and her brother for estafa.

This Court had ruled that as long as the offense


charged in the information is intimately
connected with the office and is alleged to have
been perpetrated while the accused was in the
performance, though improper or irregular, of
his official functions, there being no personal

Serana moved to quash the information. She claimed


that the Sandiganbayan does not have any jurisdiction

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

over the offense charged or over her person, in her


capacity as UP student regent.

As the Sandiganbayan pointed out, the BOR performs


functions similar to those of a board of trustees of a
non-stock corporation. Moreover, it is well established
that compensation is not an essential element of public
office. At most, it is merely incidental to the public
office.

Issue:
Whether Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction to try a
government scholar and a student regent, along with
her brother (a private individual), of swindling
government funds? YES

4. The offense charged was committed in


relation to public office, according to the
Information.
It is axiomatic that jurisdiction is determined by the
averments in the information. In the case at bench, the
information alleged, in no uncertain terms that
petitioner, being then a student regent of U.P., "while
in the performance of her official functions, committing
the offense in relation to her office and taking
advantage of her position, with intent to gain

Ratio:
1. The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is set
by P.D. No. 1606, as amended, not by R.A. No.
3019, as amended.
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. - The Sandiganbayan shall exercise
exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
A.
xxx
(1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the
positions of regional director and higher, otherwise
classified as Grade "27" and higher, of the
Compensation and Position Classification Act of 989
(Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including:
xxx
" (g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of
government-owned or controlled corporations, state
universities or educational institutions or foundations.
2. Sandiganbayan
offense of estafa.

has

jurisdiction

over

3.
ESQUIVEL
SANDIGANBAYAN(borrowed from C)

FACTS:
PO2 Eduardo and SPO1 Catacutan are assigned
to the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Division
of San Fernando Pampanga. They filed their complaintaffidavits with the CIDG against petitioners Antonio
Esquivel (the municipal mayor Jaen, Nueva Ecija) and
his brother Eboy Esquivel. They crimes complained of
were illegal arrest, arbitrary detention, maltreatment,
attempted murder and grave threats. Several other
police officers were accused with the Esquivels.

the

Section
4(B)
of
P.D.
No.
1606
reads:
B. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or
complexed with other crimes committed by the public
officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of
this
section
in
relation
to
their
office.

The initial investigation showed that on March


1998, Eduardo was in his parents house, about to eat
lunch when Equivels arrived with other police officers.
They disarmed Eduardo and forced him to board their
vehicle and brought him to the municipal hall. On the
way, Mayor Esquivel mauled him and threatened to kill
him while pointing a gun at Eduardo.

The jurisdiction is simply subject to the twin


requirements that (a) the offense is committed by
public officials and employees and that (b) the offense
is committed in relation to their office. Plainly, estafa is
one
of
those
other
felonies.

Upon arrival at the town hall, Mayor Esquivel


ordered a certain SPO1 Espiritu to kill Eduardo but
SPO1 Catacutan arrived to verify what happened to
Eduardo. The mayor threatened him as well. The
mayor continued to harass, threaten and inflict
physical injuries upon Eduardo until he lost
consciousness. When he woke up, he was released but
no before he signed a statement in a police blotter that
he was in good physical condition. The alleged motive
for this was because the mayor believed Eduardo and
Catacutan were among the law enforcers who raided a
jueteng den connected to the mayor.

3. Petitioner UP student regent is a public


officer.
Petitioner claims that she is not a public officer with
Salary Grade 27; she is, in fact, a regular tuition feepaying student. This is likewise bereft of merit. It is not
only the salary grade that determines the jurisdiction
of the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan also has
jurisdiction over other officers enumerated in P.D. No.
1606.

After investigation, the CIDG forwarded the


findings to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman, which
conducted a preliminary investigation and required the
submission of counter-affidavits. In their counteraffidavits, the Esquivels allege that Eduardo was
actually a fugitive with a warrant of arrest for
malversation and they just confiscated his gun for
illegal possession.

While the first part of Section 4(A) covers only officials


with Salary Grade 27 and higher, its second part
specifically includes other executive officials whose
positions may not be of Salary Grade 27 and higher but
who are by express provision of law placed under the
jurisdiction of the said court. Petitioner falls under the
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as she is placed
there
by
express
provision
of
law.

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

In June 1998, the Deputy Ombudsman issued a


resolution recommending that both Esquivels be
indicted for less serious physical injuries and grave
threats. As to the charges against other petitioners,
they were dismissed. Then Ombudsman Desierto
approved this. So, the separate informations were filed
against the Esquivels in the Sandiganbayan.

and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Narcotics


Group, Mary Ong filed a complaint-affidavit on before
the Ombudsman against PNP General Panfilo M.
Lacson, PNP Colonel Michael Ray B. Aquino, other highranking officials of the PNP, and several private
individuals. Her complaint-affidavit gave rise to
separate cases involving different offenses imputed to
respondents Lacson and Aquino. The Ombudsman
found the complaint-affidavit of Mary Ong sufficient in
form and substance and thus required the respondents
therein to file their counter-affidavits on the charges.
On February 28, 2001, said respondents submitted
their counter-affidavits and prayed that the charges
against them be dismissed.

Accused filed an MR but this was denied.


Esquivels were arraigned, pleaded not guilty. With the
denial of their MR, they elevate the matter to the SC
alleging GADLEJ in the issuance of the resolution of the
deputy ombudsman.
Petitioners theorize that the Sandiganbayan
has no jurisdiction over their persons as they hold
positions excluded in Republic Act No. 7975. As the
positions of municipal mayors and barangay captains
are not mentioned therein, they claim they are not
covered by said law under the principle of expressio
unius est exclusio alterius.

Subsequently, on March 9, 2001, Mary Ong and other


witnesses executed sworn statements before the NBI,
alleging the same facts and circumstances revealed by
Mary Ong in her complaint-affidavit before the
Ombudsman. NBI Director Wycoco, in a letter dated
May 4, 2001 addressed to then Secretary of Justice
Hernando Perez, recommended the investigation of
Lacson, Aquino, other PNP officials, and private
individuals for the following alleged crimes: kidnapping
for ransom and murder of several individuals. On May
7, 2001, a panel of prosecutors from the DOJ sent a
subpoena to Lacson, et al named in the witnesses
sworn statements directing them to submit their
counter-affidavits and controverting evidence at the
scheduled preliminary investigation on the complaint
filed by the NBI. However, Lacson and Aquino
manifested in a letter dated May 18, 2001 that the DOJ
panel of prosecutors should dismiss the complaint filed
therewith by Mary Ong since there are complaints
pending before the Ombudsman alleging a similar set
of facts against the same respondents, and claimed
that the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction over
criminal cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and,
in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, he may take
over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of
Government, the investigation of such cases involving
public officials, including police and military officials
such as private respondent. DOJ, which construed the
letter as a motion to dismiss, denied the motion.

ISSUE: W/N the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over


the cases against both Mayor Esquivel and Eboy
Esquivel.
HELD/RATIO:
Yes,
Sandiganbayan
jurisdiction. Esquivels are wrong!

has

Petitioners claim lacks merit. In Rodrigo, Jr. vs.


Sandiganbayan, Binay vs. Sandiganbayan, and Layus
vs. Sandiganbayan, we already held that municipal
mayors fall under the original and exclusive jurisdiction
of the Sandiganbayan. Nor can Barangay Captain Mark
Anthony Esquivel claim that since he is not a municipal
mayor, he is outside the Sandiganbayans jurisdiction.
R.A. 7975, as amended by R.A. No. 8249, provides that
it is only in cases where "none of the accused
(underscoring supplied) are occupying positions
corresponding to salary grade 27 or higher" that
"exclusive original jurisdiction shall be vested in the
proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court,
municipal trial court, and municipal circuit court, as the
case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions
as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as
amended." Note
that
under
the
1991
Local
Government Code, Mayor Esquivel has a salary grade
of 27. Since Barangay Captain Esquivel is the coaccused in Criminal Case No. 24777 of Mayor Esquivel,
whose position falls under salary grade 27, the
Sandiganbayan committed no grave abuse of
discretion in assuming jurisdiction over said criminal
case, as well as over Criminal Case No. 24778,
involving both of them. Hence, the writ of certiorari
cannot issue in petitioners favor.

Lacson, et al. filed before the RTC a petition for


prohibition, which the RTC granted, saying that the
Ombudsman has jurisdiction over the case, and
directing the DOJ to desist from conducting preliminary
investigation.
Thus, the DOJ filed a Petition for
certiorari and prohibition in the SC.
ISSUE/RULING: W/N the DOJ has jurisdiction to
conduct a preliminary investigation despite the
pendency before the Ombudsman of a complaint
involving the same accused, facts, and circumstances
NO

E. JURISDICTION OF OMBUDSMAN
1. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE v LIWAG
FACTS:

RATIO:

Alleging that she was a former undercover agent of the


Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF)

The question is whether or not the Ombudsman has in


effect taken over the investigation of the case or cases

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

in question to the exclusion of other investigatory


agencies, including the DOJ. Since the Ombudsman has
taken hold of the situation of the parties in the exercise
of its primary jurisdiction over the matter, respondents
cannot insist on conducting a preliminary investigation
on the same matter under the pretext of a shared and
concurrent authority. In the final analysis, the
resolution on the matter by the Ombudsman is final. In
the preliminary investigation conducted by the
Ombudsman itself, the other investigative agencies of
the Government have no power and right to add an
input into the Ombudsmans investigation. Only in
matters where the other investigative agencies are
expressly allowed by the Ombudsman to make
preliminary investigation may such agencies conduct
the investigation, subject to the final decision of the
Ombudsman.

not promote an orderly administration of justice.


Although a preliminary investigation is not a trial, it is
not a casual affair either. A preliminary investigation is
an inquiry or proceeding for the purpose of
determining whether there is sufficient ground to
engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been
committed and the respondent is probably guilty
thereof and should be held for trial. To allow the
same complaint to be filed successively before
two or more investigative bodies would promote
multiplicity of proceedings. It would also cause
undue difficulties to the respondent who would
have to appear and defend his position before
every agency or body where the same complaint
was filed. This would leave hapless litigants at a loss
as to where to appear and plead their cause or
defense.
There
is
yet
another
undesirable
consequence. There is the distinct possibility that
the two bodies exercising jurisdiction at the
same time would come up with conflicting
resolutions
regarding
the
guilt
of
the
respondents.

The public respondents cannot find comfort in that


provision of the law that the Ombudsman may take
over, at any stage, from any investigative agency of
the Government, the investigation of cases involving
public officials, including police and military officials
such as the petitioners. That situation presupposes the
conduct by other Government agencies of preliminary
investigations involving public officials in cases not
theretofore being taken cognizance of by the
Ombudsman. If the Ombudsman, as in the case, has
already taken hold of the situation of the parties, it
cannot take over, at any stage of the proceedings, the
investigation being conducted by another agency. It
has the case before it. Rudimentary common sense
and becoming respect for power and authority would
thus require the respondents to desist from interfering
with the case already handled by the Ombudsman.
Indeed, as conceded by the respondents, they are
deputized prosecutors by the Ombudsman. If that is
so, and that is the truth, the exercise by the principal
of the powers negates absolutely the exercise by the
agents of a particular power and authority. The
hierarchy of powers must be remembered.

2. LAZATIN v DESIERTO(borrowed from


C)
FACTS:
The Fact-Finding and Intelligence Bureau of the
Office of the Ombudsman filed a Complaint-affidavit,
charging petitioners Lazatin et al. with Illegal Use of
Public Funds as defined and penalized under Article
220 of the RPC and violation of Section 3 (a) and (e) of
RA 3019. The complaint alleged that there were
irregularities in the use of Congressman Lazatin of his
Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) for 1996 (he
was both proponent and implementer of the projects
funded from his CDF; he signed vouchers and
supporting papers pertinent to the disbursement as
Disbursing Officer; and he received, as claimant,
eighteen (18) checks amounting to P4,868,277.08).
Thus, Lazatin, with the help of Morales, Pelayo, David,
was allegedly able to convert his CDF into cash.

Petitioners cannot seek sanctuary in the doctrine of


concurrent jurisdiction.
While the doctrine of
concurrent jurisdiction means equal jurisdiction to
deal with the same subject matter, the settled rule is
that the body or agency that first takes
cognizance of the complaint shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of the others. Thus,
assuming there is concurrent jurisdiction between the
Ombudsman and the DOJ in the conduct of preliminary
investigation, this concurrence is not to be taken
as an unrestrained freedom to file the same case
before both bodies or be viewed as a contest
between these bodies as to which will first complete
the investigation. In the present case, it is the
Ombudsman before whom the complaint was initially
filed. Hence, it has the authority to proceed with the
preliminary investigation to the exclusion of the DOJ.

A preliminary investigation was conducted and


the Evaluation and Preliminary Investigation Bureau
(EPIB) thereafter issued a resolution recommending the
filing against petitioners of 14 counts each of
Malversation of Public Funds and violation of Section
3(e) of RA 3019. This resolution was approved by
Ombudsman Desierto. Hence, 28 informations were
filed against petitioners in the Sandiganbayan.
Petitioners Lazatin et al. filed their respective
Motions for reconsideration/reinvestigation which were
granted. The Office of Special Prosecutors (OSP)
recommended the dismissal of the cases for lack or
insufficiency of evidence. However, Desierto ordered
the Office of the Legal Affiars (OLP) to review the OSP
resolution. In a memorandum, the OLA recommended

The subsequent assumption of jurisdiction by


the DOJ in the conduct of preliminary investigation
over the cases filed against the respondents would

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

that the OSP resolution be disapproved and the OSP be


directed to proceed with the trial. Desierto adopted the
OLA memorandum. The cases were then returned to
the Sandiganbayan for continuation of criminal
proceedings.

R.A. No. 6770 was authorized by the Constitution was


also made the foundation for the decision in Perez v.
Sandiganbayan, where it was held that the power to
prosecute carries with it the power to authorize the
filing of informations, which power had not been
delegated to the OSP. It is, therefore, beyond cavil that
under the Constitution, Congress was not proscribed
from legislating the grant of additional powers to the
Ombudsman or placing the OSP under the Office of the
Ombudsman.

Hence, petitioners Lazatin et al. filed a petition


for certiorari under Rule 65. They contend that the
Ombudsman had no authority to overturn the OSP's
Resolution because, under Section 13, Article XI of the
1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman is clothed only with
the power to watch, investigate and recommend the
filing of proper cases against erring officials, but it was
not granted the power to prosecute. They point out
that under the Constitution, the power to prosecute
belongs to the OSP, which was intended by the framers
to be a separate and distinct entity from the Office of
the Ombudsman. Petitioners conclude that, as
provided by the Constitution, the OSP being a separate
and distinct entity, the Ombudsman should have no
power and authority over the OSP. Thus, petitioners
maintain that R.A. No. 6770 (The Ombudsman Act of
1989), which made the OSP an organic component of
the Office of the Ombudsman, should be struck down
for being unconstitutional.

3. PRESIDENTIAL AD-HOC FACT FINDING


COMMITTEE v DESIERTO
Facts:
President Fidel Ramos issued Administrative Order No.
13 creating the Presidential Ad-Hoc Fact Finding
Committee on Behest Loans. Orlando S. Salvador, in
his capacity as PCGG consultant, executed three
separate Sworn Statements stating that among the
loan accounts referred by the Assets Privatization Trust
to the Committee for investigation, report and
recommendation
are
those
of
the
following
corporations: P.R. Garcia and Sons Development and
Investment Corporation (PRGS), Golden River Mining
Corporation (Golden River), and Filipinas Carbon and
Mining Corporation (Filcarbon).

ISSUE: Whether Ombudsman Desierto acted with


GADLEJ NO.

On different occasions, these three companies


obtained loans from the Development Bank of the
Philippines (PRGS and Golden River), and the National
Investment Development Corporation (Filcarbon),
amounting to tens of millions of pesos for various
purposes in a period spanning from 1967 to 1982.
Filcarbons
loan
in
particular
was
favorably
recommended by the President of the Philippine
National Bank. Salvador alleged that, based on the
evidence submitted to the Committee, these three
corporations did not have sufficient collaterals for the
loans they obtained, except with respect to the loans
obtained by Golden River in 1975 and 1977. Salvador
also alleged that the above-mentioned corporations did
not have adequate capital to ensure not only the
viability of their operations but also their ability to
repay all their loans. Accordingly, the Committee found
the loan accounts of the above-mentioned three
corporations as behest loans. The Committee
submitted its report to President Ramos who instructed
then PCGG Chairman Magtanggol Gunigundo, sitting as
the Committee's ex-officio Chairman, to file the
necessary charges against the DBP Chairman and
members of the Board of Directors, the former PNB
President and former NIDC General Manager, together
with the respective stockholders/officers of the three
corporations. Salvadors Sworn Statements were used

HELD: Petitioners' attack against the constitutionality


of R.A. No. 6770 is stale. It has long been settled that
the provisions of R.A. No. 6770 granting the Office of
the Ombudsman prosecutorial powers and placing the
OSP under said office have no constitutional infirmity.
The Court cited the case of Acop v. Office of
the Ombudsman. In that case, the Court held that
giving prosecutorial powers to the Ombudsman is in
accordance with the Constitution as paragraph 8,
Section 13, Article XI provides that the Ombudsman
shall exercise such other functions or duties as may
be provided by law. The constitutionality of Section 3
of R.A. No. 6770, which subsumed the OSP under the
Office of the Ombudsman, was likewise upheld by the
Court in Acop.
More recently, in Office of the Ombudsman v.
Valera, the Court declared that the OSP is merely a
component of the Office of the Ombudsman and may
only act under the supervision and control, and upon
authority of the Ombudsman and ruled that under
R.A. No. 6770, the power to preventively suspend is
lodged only with the Ombudsman and Deputy
Ombudsman. The Court's ruling in Acop that the
authority of the Ombudsman to prosecute based on

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

by the Committee as its bases in filing separate


complaints with the Office of the Ombudsman against
herein private respondents for alleged violation of the
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

exercise of its powers, and respects


the
initiative
and
independence
inherent in the Ombudsman who,
beholden to no one, acts as the
champion of the people and the
preserver of the integrity of the public
service.

Complaints were filed against the aforementioned


parties in the Office of the Ombudsman but upon the
recommendation of the Evaluation and Preliminary
Investigation
Bureau,
complaints
against
the
respondents were dismissed. The Ombudsman ruled
that, except with respect to the two loan transactions
entered into by Golden River in 1982, all the offenses
alleged by the Committee as having been committed
by herein respondents had already prescribed under
the provisions of Section 11 of R.A. No. 3019. As to the
two 1982 transactions of Golden River, the
Ombudsman found that, contrary to the claims of the
Commission, the loan accounts obtained by the said
corporation have sufficient collaterals. The subsequent
Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied.

As a rule, the Court shall not unduly interfere in the


Ombudsmans exercise of his investigatory and
prosecutory powers, as provided in the Constitution,
without good and compelling reasons to indicate
otherwise. The basis for this rule was provided in the
case of Ocampo IV v. Ombudsman where the Court
held as follows:
The rule is based not only upon
respect for the investigatory and
prosecutory powers granted by the
Constitution to the Office of the
Ombudsman but upon practicality as
well. Otherwise, the functions of the
courts will be grievously hampered by
innumerable petitions assailing the
dismissal of investigatory proceedings
conducted by the Office of the
Ombudsman with regard to complaints
filed before it, in much the same way
that the courts would be extremely
swamped if they would be compelled
to review the exercise of discretion on
the part of the fiscals or prosecuting
attorneys each time they decide to file
an information in court or dismiss a
complaint by a private complainant.

Issue:
Whether or not the Ombudsman was empowered to
dismiss the complaint motu propio, without requiring
the respondents to file their counter-affidavit or
conducting preliminary investigation? (REM TOPIC)

Ruling:
Yes. The Court has consistently held that the
Ombudsman has discretion to determine whether a
criminal case, given its facts and circumstances, should
be filed or not. It is basically his call. He may dismiss
the complaint forthwith should he find it to be
insufficient in form and substance or, should he find it
otherwise, to continue with the inquiry; or he may
proceed with the investigation if, in his view, the
complaint is in due and proper form and substance.
Quite relevant is the Court's ruling in Espinosa v. Office
of the Ombudsman and reiterated in the case of The
Presidential Ad Hoc FactFinding Committee on
Behest Loans v. Hon. Desierto, to wit:

It is quite clear under Section 2(a), Rule II of the Rules


of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman, that it
may dismiss a complaint outright for want of palpable
merit. At that point, the Ombudsman does not have to
conduct a preliminary investigation upon receipt of a
complaint. Should the investigating officer find the
complaint devoid of merit, then he may recommend its
outright dismissal. The Ombudsman has discretion to
determine whether a preliminary investigation is
proper. It is only when the Ombudsman opts not to
dismiss the complaint outright for lack of palpable
merit would the Ombudsman be expected to require
the respondents to file their counter-affidavit and
petitioner, its reply.

The prosecution of offenses committed


by public officers is vested in the
Office of the Ombudsman. To insulate
the Office from outside pressure and
improper influence, the Constitution as
well as R.A. 6770 has endowed it with
a wide latitude of investigatory and
prosecutory powers virtually free from
legislative,
executive
or
judicial
intervention. This court consistently
refrains from interfering with the

4. CASTRO v DELORIA(Borrowed from C)


FACTS:

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

Castro was charged by the Ombudsman before the RTC


with Malversation of public funds. The information
alleged that Castro was a revenue officer of the BIR
who misappropriated 556K+ of collections. Castro
pleaded NOT GUILTY on arraignment. On Aug 31, 2001,
Castro filed a Motion to Quash on the grounds of lack
of jurisdiction and lack of authority of the Ombudsman
to conduct the preliminary investigation and file the
Information since it failed t to allege her salary grade -a material fact upon which depends the jurisdiction of
the RTC. Citing Uy v. Sandiganbayan, petitioner further
argued that as she was a public employee with salary
grade 27, the case filed against her was cognizable by
the RTC and may be investigated and prosecuted only
by the public prosecutor, and not by the Ombudsman
whose prosecutorial power was limited to cases
cognizable by theSandiganbayan.

In the case of Office of the Ombudsman v. Enoc, similar


grounds were raised and the SC held that the
Ombudsman has powers to prosecute not only graft
cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan but
also those cognizable by the regular courts. It held:

The RTC denied & held that the (1) jurisdiction of the
RTC over the case did not depend on the salary grade,
but on the penalty imposable upon the latter for the
offense charged. It also (2) sustained the prosecutorial
powers of the Ombudsman since in the cited case the
court later overturned their decision in a clarificatory
resolution. Finally, it said that the (3) Motion to Quash
was contrary to Sec. 1, Rule 117, for it was filed after
Castro pleaded not guilty under the Information.

The reference made by RA 6770 to cases cognizable by


the Sandiganbayan, particularly in Section 15(1) giving
the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases
cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and Section 11(4)
granting the Special Prosecutor the power to conduct
preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases
within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, should
not be construed as confining the scope of the
investigatory
and
prosecutory
power
of
the
Ombudsman to such cases.

The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by


law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. It
pertains to any act or omission of any public officer or
employee when such act or omission appears to be
illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. The law does not
make a distinction between cases cognizable by the
Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts.
It has been held that the clause "any illegal act or
omission of any public official" is broad enough to
embrace any crime committed by a public officer or
employee.

Castro contends that the prevailing jurisprudence from


Aug 9, 1999 til May 20, 2001 was that the Ombudsman
had no prosecutorial powers over cases cognizable by
the RT and since the investigation and prosecution
against Castro was conducted by the Ombudsman
beginning April 26, 2000, then the August 9, 1999
Decision in Uy was applicable, notwithstanding that the
decision was set aside in the March 20, 2001
Resolution. So, the Information that was filed against
petitioner was void for at that time the Ombudsman
had no investigatory and prosecutorial powers over the
case.

Moreover, the jurisdiction of the Office of the


Ombudsman should not be equated with the limited
authority of the Special Prosecutor under Section 11 of
RA 6770. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is merely
a component of the Office of the Ombudsman and may
only act under the supervision and control and upon
authority of the Ombudsman. Its power to conduct
preliminary investigation and to prosecute is limited to
criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan. Certainly, the lawmakers did not
intend to confine the investigatory and prosecutory
power of the Ombudsman to these types of cases. The
Ombudsman is mandated by law to act on all
complaints against officers and employees of the
government and to enforce their administrative, civil
and criminal liability in every case where the evidence
warrants. To carry out this duty, the law allows him to
utilize the personnel of his office and/or designate any
fiscal, state prosecutor or lawyer in the government
service to act as special investigator or prosecutor to
assist in the investigation and prosecution of certain
cases. Those designated or deputized to assist him
work under his supervision and control. The law
likewise allows him to direct the Special prosecutor to
prosecute
cases
outside
the
Sandiganbayans
jurisdiction in accordance with Section 11(4c) of RA
6770.

Castro filed an MR which was denied so filed a petition


for certiorari w/ CA also dismissed. Filed 65 with SC.
ISSUES:
1. W/N the Ombudsman had the authority to file the
information in light of the ruling in the First "Uy vs.
Sandiganbayan" case, which declared that the
prosecutorial powers of the Ombudsman is limited to
cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan.
2. W/N the clarificatory Resolution in the Uy vs.
Sandiganbayan case can be made applicable to the
Castro, without violating the constitutional provision on
ex-post facto laws and denial of the accused to due
process.

In the case of Office of Ombudsman v. Hon. Breva,


court held that the March 20, 2001 Resolution, that the
Ombudsman has prosecutorial powers in cases
cognizable by the RTC, extends even to criminal
information filed or pending at the time when its

RULING: YES to BOTH.

10

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

August 9, 1999 Decision was the operative ruling on


the issue.

F.
REVIEW
OMBUDSMAN

OF

DECISIONS

OF

motion for reconsideration shall be


entertained.
Petitioner failed to establish that her MR was
indeed filed on time, and thus, failed to refute the
assertion of the respondents based on the
aforementioned Certification that petitioner was
personally served a copy of the assailed Resolution.
There are a number of instances when rules of
procedure are relaxed in the interest of justice.
However, in this case, petitioner did not proffer any
explanation at all for the late filing of the MR. We find
no justification why the Ombudsman entertained the
motion for reconsideration, when, at the time of the
filing of the motion for reconsideration the assailed
Resolution was already final.

THE

1. ANTONINO v DESIERTO
FACTS
Petitioner filed a verified complaint-affidavit before the
Ombudsman against the respondents for violation of
Paragraphs (e), (g) and (j), Section 3 of RA No. 3019
and for malversation of public funds or property
through falsification of public documents. This
concerns the alleged conspiracy involving respondents
to cheat and defraud the city government of General
Santos through the illegal disposition of Lot X of the
Magsaysay Park in violation of law and its charter.

2. (relevant topic)
Under Sections 12 and 13, Article XI of the 1987
Constitution, and pursuant to R.A. No. 6770, the
Ombudsman has the power to investigate and
prosecute any act or omission of a public officer or
employee when such act or omission appears to be
illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. Well-settled is
the rule that this Court will not ordinarily
interfere with the Ombudsman's exercise of his
investigatory and prosecutory powers without
good and compelling reasons that indicate
otherwise. A contrary rule would encourage
innumerable petitions seeking dismissal of
investigatory proceedings conducted by the
Ombudsman, which would grievously hamper the
functions of the office and the courts, in much
the same way that courts would be swamped by
a deluge of cases if they have to review the
exercise of discretion on the part of public
prosecutors each time they decide to file an
information or dismiss a complaint by a private
complainant.

The Ombudsman issued a resolution dismissing the


charges against the respondents. Petitioner filed MR
which was denied by the Ombudsman. The
Ombudsman held that since the criminal Informations
were already filed and the cases were already pending
before the Sandiganbayan and the regular courts of
General Santos City, the Ombudsman had lost
jurisdiction over the said case. Petitioner filed this
Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65.
ISSUE: w/n the Ombudsman committed grave abuse
of discretion, amounting to lack or in excess of
jurisdiction in the exercise of his prosecutor functions,
by dismissing the charges against the respondents.
HELD: NO
1.

Section 27 of R.A. No. 6770 (The Ombudsman Act


of 1989) provides:

Of course, this rule is not absolute.


The
aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari under
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court when the finding of the
Ombudsman is tainted with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. This Court
laid down the following exceptions to the rule:

SEC. 27.
Effectivity and Finality
of Decisions. (1) All provisionary
orders of the Office of the Ombudsman
are
immediately
effective
and
executory.

1.When necessary to afford adequate protection


to the constitutional rights of the accused;
2.When necessary for the orderly administration
of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of
actions;
3.When there is a prejudicial question that is sub
judice;
4.When the acts of the officer are without or in
excess of authority;
5.Where the prosecution is under an invalid law,
ordinance or regulation;
6.When double jeopardy is clearly apparent;
7.Where the court has no jurisdiction over the
offense;
8.Where it is a case of persecution rather than
prosecution;

A motion for reconsideration of


any order, directive or decision of the
Office of the Ombudsman must be filed
within five (5) days after receipt of
written notice and shall be entertained
only on any of the following grounds:
(1)
New evidence has been
discovered which materially affects the
order, directive or decision;
(2)
Errors
of
law
or
irregularities have been committed
prejudicial to the interest of the
movant. The motion for reconsideration
shall be resolved within three (3) days
from filing: Provided, That only one

11

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

9.Where the charges are manifestly false and


motivated by the lust for vengeance;
10.
When there is clearly no prima facie
case against the accused and a motion to quash
on that ground has been denied.

v. Enrique Marcelino, et al.). In the said criminal case,


Complainant filed three (3) separate complaints
against Marcelino, Nuez, Tabazon, and Carunungan
who are all from the Traffic Management Unit of San
Pedro, Laguna. The criminal complaint was for
Falsification, Grave Threats and Usurpation of
Authority. The three (3) cases were assigned to
respondent
judges
branch
and
subsequently
consolidated for disposition. In a Consolidated
Resolution, only the charge of Usurpation was set for
arraignment, the rest of the charges having been
dismissed.
Thereafter,
Complainant
made
a
manifestation that the complaint also charged the
defendants with violation of RA No. 10 accompanied by
a prayer for the issuance of warrants of arrests against
the defendants. Respondent judge found no probable
cause and dismissed the charge for violation of R.A. 10.
She also denied complainants prayer for the issuance
of warrants of arrest against the accused and ordered
the records forwarded to the Provincial Prosecutors
Office (PPO) for review. The PPO affirmed respondents
order and remanded the case to the court for further
proceedings on the sole charge of Usurpation of
Authority. During the hearing of the case on February
14, 2004, Tabazon, Carunungan and Nuez did not
appear. Atty. Sesbreo, however, did not move for the
issuance of warrants of arrest against them. Neither
did he object to the cancellation of the scheduled
hearing.

Grave abuse of discretion exists where a power


is exercised in an arbitrary, capricious, whimsical or
despotic manner by reason of passion or personal
hostility so patent and gross as to amount to evasion of
positive duty or virtual refusal to perform a duty
enjoined by, or in contemplation of law. The alleged
grave abuse of discretion imputed to the Ombudsman
is found wanting in this case. Thus, this Court finds no
reason to deviate from the general rule.
3.
Moreover, the elements of the offense, essential for the
conviction of an accused under Section 3(e), R. A. No.
3019, are as follows:
(1)
The accused is a public officer or a
private person charged in conspiracy with the
former;
(2)
The said public officer commits the
prohibited acts during the performance of his
or her official duties, or in relation to his or her
public functions;
(3)
That he or she causes undue injury to
any party, whether the government or a
private party;
(4)
Such undue injury is caused by giving
unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference
to such parties; and
(5)
That the public officer has acted with
manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross
inexcusable neglect.

ISSUES:
1.

Did Respondent err in not conducting a


preliminary investigation for the charge of
Usurpation of Authority?
2. Did Respondent err in not issuing warrants of
arrest for failure of the accused to appear
during trial?
3. Did Respondent err in issuing her Order
dismissing the complaint for violation of R.A.
10?
4. Did Respondent err in transmitting the
records of the case to the PPO instead of
the Office of the Ombudsman?
HELD:

As found by the Ombudsman and based on the


records, there is no showing of evident bad faith and/or
gross negligence in the respective acts of the
respondents. Finally, petitioner speaks of conspiracy
among the respondents and those indicted. However,
as found by the Ombudsman, such conspiracy alleged
in the complaint was not supported by ample evidence.
Conspiracy must be proved by direct evidence or by
proof of the overt acts of the accused, before, during
and after the commission of the crime charged
indicative of a common design. This, the petitioner
sadly failed to establish.

1. No. A preliminary investigation is required

G. PROCEDURE BEFORE THE OMBUDSMAN

before the filing of a complaint or information


for an offense where the penalty prescribed by
law is at least four (4) years, two (2) months
and one (1) day without regard to the fine.
Thus, a preliminary investigation is not
required nor was one conducted for the charge
of violation of Art. 177 of the Revised Penal
Code
which
is
punishable
by prision
correccional in its minimum and medium
periods or from six (6) months and one (1) day
to four (4) years and two (2) months.

1. SESBRENO v AGLUGUB
FACTS:
This case involves a complaint filed by Sesbreo
(Complainant)
against
MTC
Judge
Aglugub
(Respondent) for Gross Ignorance of the Law, Neglect
of Duty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of
the Service relative to a criminal case (entitled People

12

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Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

2. No. There is nothing in the Rules of Criminal

be more circumspect in the performance of her


duties in the future.

Procedure which requires a judge to issue a


warrant of arrest for the non-appearance of the
accused during the trial. Hence, its issuance
rests on the sound discretion of the presiding
judge. More so in this case, the private
prosecutor did not move for the issuance of
such warrant.
3. No. Respondent concedes that due to
oversight, she failed to rule on the charge of
violation of R.A. 10 in her initial Resolution.
Nonetheless, she asserts in her Comment With
Motion To Dismiss Administrative Complaint
that she conducted a preliminary investigation
for the charge of violation of R.A. 10 and
dismissed the charge after taking into
consideration the affidavits and evidence
presented. Complainant does not dispute the
fact that indeed a preliminary investigation
was conducted for this charge. Thus, when
respondent judge dismissed the complaint for
violation of R.A. 10, she merely did so to
correct an oversight. It was the dismissal of the
charge for violation of R.A. 10 that was
elevated to the PPO for review. It was
imprudent, however, for respondent judge to
transmit the entire records of the case to the
PPO knowing that the charge for Usurpation of
Authority was included in the records of the
case. Respondent judge should have ensured
that at least one complete set of the records
remained in her sala so that the prosecution for
Usurpation of Authority would not be held up.
Injudicious
though
her
actuation
was,
Respondent judge was not motivated by an evil
intent to delay the case.
4. No. This issue is answered by Administrative
Order No. 8 entitled Clarifying and Modifying
Certain
Rules
of
Procedure
of
the
Ombudsman, which
provides
"that
all
prosecutors are now deputized Ombudsman
prosecutors." Moreover, "[R]esolutions in
Ombudsman cases against public officers and
employees prepared by a deputized assistant
prosecutor shall be submitted to the Provincial
or City Prosecutor concerned who shall, in turn,
forward the same to the Deputy Ombudsman
of the area with his recommendation for the
approval or disapproval thereof.

H. POWER OF THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE


OVER PROSECUTORS
1.PUNZALAN
from C)

DELA

PENA(Borrowed

FACTS:
Punzalan and the Plata families were
neighbors. On Aug. 13, 1997, Dela Pea, a house
boarder of the Platas, was in front of a store near their
house when the group of Rainier Punzalan, Randall
Punzalan, Ricky Eugenio, Jose Gregorio, Alex Toto
Ofrin, and others arrived. Eugenio shouted at Dela
Pea, Hoy, kalbo, saan mo binili ang sumbrero mo?
Dela Pea replied, Kalbo nga ako, ay pinagtatawanan
pa ninyo ako. Irked by the response, Gregorio slapped
Dela Pea while Rainier punched him in the mouth. The
group then ganged up on him. Somebody shouted,
Yariin na yan! Thereafter, Ofrin kicked Dela Pea
and tried to stab him with a balisong but missed.
While Dela Pea was fleeing, he met Robert
Cagara, the Platas family driver, who was carrying a
gun. He grabbed the gun and pointed it to the group
chasing him to scare them. Michael Plata, who was
nearby, intervened and tried to wrestle the gun away
from Dela Pea. The gun accidentally went off and hit
Rainier Punzalan on the thigh. The group ran after
them and when they got to the Platas house, shouted,
Lumabas kayo dyan, putang ina ninyo! Papatayin
namin kayo!
Rainier Punzalan filed a criminal complaint
against Michael Plata for Attempted Homicide and
against Robert Cagara for Illegal Possession of Firearm.
In turn, Plata, Cagara and Dela Pea filed
several counter-charges for grave oral defamation,
grave threats, robbery, malicious mischief and slight
physical injuries against the Punzalans, including one
for Attempted Murder filed by Dela Pea against
Rainier and Randall Punzalan and fourteen others and
one for Grave Threats filed by Dela Pea against Ofrin.

Thus, Respondent did not err and was, in fact,


merely acting in accordance with law when she
forwarded the case for violation of R.A. 10 to
the PPO. The fact that the PPO remanded the
case to the court for further proceedings
instead of forwarding the same to the Deputy
Ombudsman as required by Administrative
Order No. 8 is quite another matter. In any
event, respondent judge should have taken the
necessary steps to remedy the lapse in order
to preclude delay in the disposition of the case.
Complaint dismissed for lack of merit.
Respondent was nonetheless admonished to

In their counter-affidavit, the Punzalans argued


that the charges against them were fabricated in order
to dissuade them from testifying in the Attempted
Homicide and Illegal Possession of Firearm cases
instituted by Rainier against Plata and Cagara,
respectively.

13

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

Cagara also filed a complaint for Grave Oral


Defamation against Rosalinda Punzalan, mother of
Rainier, alleging that on October 16, 1997 at the Office
of the Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City, Rosalinda
approached him, and within hearing distance of other
people, told him, Hoy Robert, magkanong ibinigay ng
mga Plata sa iyo sa pagtestigo? Dodoblehin ko at
ipapasok pa kita ng trabaho. In her defense, Rosalinda
denied having uttered the alleged defamatory
statements.

Petitioners MR was denied. Hence, the instant


petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.
ISSUE: WON the CA erred in setting aside the
resolutions of the Secretary of Justice YES
HELD/RATIO:
YES. The Secretary of Justice did not commit
grave abuse of discretion to justify interference by the
Courts.

On July 28, 1998, the Assistant City Prosecutor


of Mandaluyong City dismissed the complaint for Grave
Oral Defamation against Rosalinda Punzalan, holding
that Cagara failed to show that the alleged defamatory
statements would cast dishonor, discredit or contempt
upon him. He also found that the statements were
uttered by Rosalinda in a state of distress and were not
actionable. The charge of Attempted Murder against
Rainier, Randall and 14 others was also dismissed
because complainant Dela Peas claim that he
accidentally shot Rainier forms part of the defense of
Michael Plata in the Attempted Homicide case
previously filed by Rainier against the latter.

A petition for certiorari is the proper remedy


when any tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial
or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in
excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
and there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy, and
adequate remedy at law.
We now resolve whether the Secretary of
Justice committed grave abuse of discretion in his
Resolutions dated June 6, 2000 and October 11, 2000.
Under the Revised Administrative Code, the Secretary
of Justice exercises the power of direct control and
supervision over the decisions or resolutions of the
prosecutors. Supervision and control includes the
authority to act directly whenever a specific function is
entrusted by law or regulation to a subordinate; to
direct the performance of duty; and to approve, revise
or modify acts and decision of subordinate officials or
units.

Dela Pea and Cagara separately appealed to


the DOJ. On March 23, 2000, then Justice Secretary
Artemio Tuquero issued a Resolution modifying the July
28, 1998 Joint Resolution of the Assistant City
Prosecutor.
Petitioners, Rosalinda, Rainier and Randall
Punzalan, together with their co-respondents, filed
separate MR. On June 6, 2000, the Secretary of
Justice set aside the March 23, 2000 Resolution
and directed the withdrawal of the Informations
against the movants, Punzalan et al. (Reason:
Oral Defamation case should be dismissed because the
alleged defamatory statements were uttered without
malice as Rosalinda was then in a state of shock and
anger. Anent the Attempted Homicide case filed by
Dela Pea against Rainier, the Secretary held that the
allegations in support thereof should first be threshed
out in the trial of the Attempted Homicide case filed by
Rainier against Michael Plata. He added that Dela Pea
failed to prove that Rainier, Randall and his
companions intended to kill him.)

In the case of People v. Peralta, we reiterated


the rule that the right to prosecute vests the
prosecutor with a wide range of discretion the
discretion of whether, what and whom to charge, the
exercise of which depends on a variety of factors which
are best appreciated by prosecutors.
In the case of Hegerty v. Court of Appeals, we
declared that: A public prosecutor, by the nature of his
office, is under no compulsion to file a criminal
information where no clear legal justification has been
shown, and no sufficient evidence of guilt nor prima
facie case has been presented by the petitioner.
We need only to stress that the determination
of probable cause during a preliminary investigation or
reinvestigation is recognized as an executive function
exclusively of the prosecutor.
An investigating
prosecutor is under no obligation to file a criminal
action where he is not convinced that he has the
quantum of evidence at hand to support the
averments. Prosecuting officers have equally the duty
not to prosecute when after investigation or
reinvestigation they are convinced that the evidence

Respondents MR was denied. Hence, they filed


a petition for certiorari with the CA, which reversed
June 6, 2000 Resolution where Secretary of Justice
directed the withdrawal of informations for slight oral
defamation against Rosalinda Punzalan and attempted
homicide against the respondents.

14

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

adduced was not sufficient to establish a prima facie


case. Thus, the determination of the persons to be
prosecuted rests primarily with the prosecutor who is
vested with discretion in the discharge of this function.

reinvestigations and leave to the investigating


prosecutor sufficient latitude of discretion in the
exercise of determination of what constitutes
sufficient evidence as will establish probable cause
for the filing of information against an offender.
Moreover, his findings are not subject to review
unless shown to have been made with grave

Thus, the question of whether or not to dismiss


a complaint is within the purview of the functions of
the prosecutor and, ultimately, that of the Secretary of
Justice.

abuse.
I. ROLE OF THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR
GENERAL IN CRIMINAL CASES

The reasons of the Secretary of Justice in


directing the City Prosecutor to withdraw the
informations for slight oral defamation against
Rosalinda Punzalan and for attempted homicide
against the other respondents other than Rosalinda
Punzalan is determinative of whether or not he
committed grave abuse of discretion.

1. PEOPLE v DUCA
FACTS
It was in 1999 that Pedro Calanayan filed an action for
ejectment and damages against Cecilia F. Duca and
several of her relatives. The case was decided in favor
of Calanayan. Decision became final and executory.

First, in the charge of slight oral defamation,


the records show that the defamatory remarks were
uttered within the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Mandaluyong City. The CA in its Decision stated the
settled rule that the assessment of the credibility of
witnesses is best left to the trial court in view of its
opportunity to observe the demeanor and conduct of
the witnesses on the stand. The City Prosecutor, the
proper officer at the time of the occurrence of the
incident, is the best person to observe the demeanor
and conduct of the parties and their witnesses and
determine probable cause whether the alleged
defamatory utterances were made within the hearing
distance of third parties. The investigating prosecutor
found that no sufficient evidence existed. The
Secretary of Justice in his Resolution affirmed the
decision of the City Prosecutor.

Ultimately properties belonging to Cecilia hit the


auction block to satisfy judgment and a certificate of
sale was issued in favor of Jocelyn Barque, the highest
bidder in the auction sale.
Cecilia Duca went on fighting. She filed an action for
the Declaration of Nullity of Execution and Damages
with prayer for Writ of Injunction and Temporary
Restraining order.
When the said case was
heard, Cecilia Duca testified to the effect that
the house erected on the lot subject of the
ejectment case is owned by her son Aldrin Duca.
This is the core of the controversy: Cecilia (Mother) and
Arturo (Son) Duca feloniously prepared a Declaration of
Real Property over a bungalow type residential house
by making it appear that the signature appearing on
the sworn statement of owner is that of her other son
Aldrin F. Duca. This was false of course, as the latter
was abroad at that time having arrived in the
Philippines only long after the dastardly deed.

As to the charge of attempted homicide


against the herein petitioners other than Rosalinda
Punzalan, the Secretary of Justice resolved to dismiss
the complaint because it was in the nature of a
countercharge. The DOJ in a Resolution had already
directed that Dela Pea be likewise investigated for the
charge of attempted homicide in connection with the
shooting incident that occurred on August 13, 1997
making him a party to the case filed by Rainier
Punzalan. This resulted in the resolution of the
Secretary of Justice that the complaint of Dela Pea
should be threshed out in the proceedings relevant to
the shooting incident that resulted in the serious injury
of Rainier Punzalan.

Accused Arturo F. Duca who affixed his own signature


thereon and by doing so caused damage to private
complainant Pedro Calanayan.
Because of the
isrepresentation, Cecilia and Arturo were able to
mislead the RTC such that they were able to get a TRO
against Sheriff Hortaleza and the policemen ordering
them to stop from evicting the plaintiffs from the
property in question.
Both accused denied that they falsified the signature
of Aldrin Duca.
Cecilia testified that she had no
participation in the execution as she was in Manila at
that time. Arturo insisted there was no falsification. The
MTC found him guilty. RTC affirmed. Duca filed petition
for review at the CA.

In the case at bar, therefore, the Secretary of


Justice did not commit grave abuse of discretion
contrary to the finding of the CA. It is well-settled
in the recent case of Samson, et al. v.
Guingona that the Court will not interfere in the
conduct
of
preliminary
investigations
or

15

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Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

The CA ruled that Arturo was empowered by Aldrin to


issue that tax declaration, hence no crime had been
committed. Aggrieved, the SolGen declared that the CA
should have given the Republic a chance to be heard
before ruling such.

Sec. 1. How appeal taken; time for


filing. A party desiring to appeal from a
decision of the Regional Trial Court rendered
in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction
may file a verified petition for review with
the Court of Appeals, paying at the same
time to the clerk of said court the
corresponding docket and other lawful fees,
depositing the amount of P500.00 for costs,
and furnishing the Regional Trial Court
and the adverse party with a copy of
the petition. The petition shall be filed
and served within fifteen (15) days from
notice of the decision sought to be reviewed
or of the denial of petitioners motion for
new trial or reconsideration filed in due time
after judgment. Upon proper motion and
the payment of the full amount of the
docket and other lawful fees and the deposit
for costs before the expiration of the
reglementary period, the Court of Appeals
may grant an additional period of fifteen
(15) days only within which to file the
petition for review. No further extension
shall be granted except for the most
compelling reason and in no case to extend
fifteen (15) days.

ISSUE: w/n the CA gravely abused its discretion and


acted without discretion by resolving the appeal
without giving the SOLGEN a chance to be heard.
HELD: CA abused its discretion.
Petitioner argues that the prosecution was denied due
process when the CA resolved the respondents appeal
without notifying the People of the Philippines, through
the Solicitor General, of the pendency of the same and
without requiring the Solicitor General to file his
comment.
Petitioner also asserts that once the case is elevated to
the CA or this Court, it is only the Solicitor General who
is authorized to bring or defend actions on behalf of
the People. Thus, the CA gravely abused its discretion
when it acted on respondents appeal without affording
the prosecution the opportunity to be heard.
Consequently, the decision of the CA acquitting
respondent should be considered void for being
violative of due process.

Sec. 3. Effect of failure to comply


with requirements. The failure of the
petitioner to comply with any of the
foregoing requirements
regarding the
payment of the docket and other lawful
fees, the deposit for costs, proof of service
of the petition, and the contents of and the
documents which should accompany the
petition shall be sufficient ground for
the
dismissal
thereof.
(emphasis
supplied)

The authority to represent the State in appeals of


criminal cases before the CA and the Supreme Court
is solely vested in the Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG). Section 35(1), Chapter 12, Title III of Book IV of
the 1987 Administrative Code explicitly provides, viz.:

Respondent Duca appealed to the CA from the decision


of the RTC via a petition for review under Rule 42 of
the 1997 Rules of Court.
The respondent was
mandated under Section 1, Rule 42 of the Rules of
Court to serve copies of his petition for review upon the
adverse party, in this case, the People of the
Philippines through the OSG.

SEC. 35. Powers and Functions.


The Office of the Solicitor General shall
represent the
Government
of
the Philippines,
its
agencies
and
instrumentalities and its officials and agents
in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or
matter requiring the services of lawyers. x x
x It shall have the following specific powers
and functions:

Respondent Duca failed to serve a copy of his petition


on the OSG and instead served a copy upon the
Assistant City Prosecutor of Dagupan City. The service
of a copy of the petition on the People of the
Philippines, through the Prosecutor would be
inefficacious for the reason that the Solicitor General
is the sole representative of the People of the
Philippines in appeals before the CA and the
Supreme Court.

(1)
Represent
the
Government in the Supreme Court and
the Court of Appeals in all criminal
proceedings; represent the Government
and its officers in the Supreme Court and
Court of Appeals, and all other courts or
tribunals in all civil actions and special
proceedings in which the Government or
any officer thereof in his official capacity is a
party. (emphasis supplied)

Certiorari was thereby granted


remanded the case to the CA

The CA also failed to follow Sections 1 and 3 of Rule 42


of the 1997 Rules of Court:

16

and

the

SC

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Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

17

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Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

The trial court found Edgardo guilty beyond reasonable


doubt of the crimes of rape (2 counts) and the crime of
attempted rape. The CA affirmed the decision of the
trial court with modifications as to the award of
damages. In accordance with Sec. 13, Rule 124 of the
Amended Rules to Govern Review of Death Penalty
Cases (A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC, effective 15 October
2004), the case was CERTIFIED to the Supreme Court
for review.

PART II
A. COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION
SUFFICIENCY
INFORMATION

OF

COMPLAINT

or

1. PEOPLE v DIMAANO

ISSUE:

FACTS:

W/N the complaint for attempted rape was sufficient?

Maricar Dimaano charged her father, Edgardo


Dimaano, with 2 counts of rape and 1 count of
attempted rape in the complaints which read as
follows:

RULING: NO.
RATIO:
We affirm the trial court's conviction for the crimes of
rape. However, we acquit Edgardo for the crime of
attempted rape for failure to allege in the complaint
the specific acts constitutive of attempted rape.

Criminal Case No. 96-125


That sometime in the year 1993 in the
Municipality of Paranaque, Metro Manila,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused,
by means of force and intimidation, did then
and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
have carnal knowledge of the undersigned
Maricar Maricar Dimaano y Victoria, who is his
own daughter, a minor 10 years of age, against
her will and consent. CONTRARY TO LAW.

For complaint or information to be sufficient, it must


state the name of the accused; the designation of the
offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions
complained of as constituting the offense; the
name of the offended party; the approximate time of
the commission of the offense, and the place wherein
the offense was committed. What is controlling is not
the title of the complaint, nor the designation of the
offense charged or the particular law or part thereof
allegedly violated, these being mere conclusions of law
made by the prosecutor, but the description of the
crime charged and the particular facts therein
recited. The acts or omissions complained of must be
alleged in such form as is sufficient to enable a person
of common understanding to know what offense is
intended to be charged, and enable the court to
pronounce proper judgment.

Criminal Case No. 96-150


That on or about the 29th day of December
1995, in the Municipality of Paranaque, Metro
Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused, by means of force and intimidation,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously have carnal knowledge of the
undersigned Maricar Maricar Dimaano y
Victoria, who is his own daughter, a minor 12
years of age, against her will and consent.
CONTRARY TO LAW.

No information for a crime will be sufficient if it does


not accurately and clearly allege the elements of the
crime charged. Every element of the offense must be
stated
in
the
information.
What
facts
and
circumstances are necessary to be included therein
must be determined by reference to the definitions and
essentials of the specified crimes. The requirement of
alleging the elements of a crime in the information is to
inform the accused of the nature of the accusation
against him so as to enable him to suitably prepare his
defense. The presumption is that the accused has no
independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the
offense.

Criminal Case No. 96-151


That on or about the 1st day of January 1996,
in the Municipality of Paranaque, Metro Manila,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused,
try and attempt to rape one Maricar
Dimaano y Victoria, thus commencing the
commission of the crime of Rape, directly by
overt acts, but nevertheless did not perform all
the acts of execution which would produce it,
as a consequence by reason of cause other
than his spontaneous desistance that is due to
the timely arrival of the complainants mother.
CONTRARY TO LAW.

The above-cited complaint upon which Edgardo was


arraigned does not allege specific acts or omission
constituting the elements of the crime of rape. Neither
does it constitute sufficient allegation of elements for
crimes other than rape, i.e., Acts of Lasciviousness.

18

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Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

The allegation therein that the Edgardo 'tr[ied] and


attempt[ed] to rape the complainant does not satisfy
the test of sufficiency of a complaint or information,
but is merely a conclusion of law by the one who
drafted the complaint. This insufficiency therefore
prevents this Court from rendering a judgment of
conviction; otherwise we would be violating the right of
Edgardo to be informed of the nature of the accusation
against him.

Petitioner now filed a motion to Quash Information on


the basis that the facts charged does not constitute an
offense and that the court has no jurisdiction of the
offense charged and the person of the accused. This
was denied by RTC and now under a petition for
certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether the complaint is sufficient and the
denial of the motion to quash information should be
sustained.
HELD: Yes. Petitioner harps on the insufficiency of the
charge based on the following circumstances: formal
defects such that complainant has not personally
sworn
before
the
investigating
prosecutor;
complainants lack capacity to sue such that there was
no board resolution authorizing Welts(president) to
institute the action; and other exculpatory defenses
against the crime.

2. SASOT v PEOPLE
Facts:
NBA Propeties Inc. is a foreign corporation which owns
trademarks and names of certain basketball teams
registered with the Bureau of Trademarks and Patents
and Technology Transfer. On the basis of its complaint
filed, the NBI conducted an investigation on possible
unfair competition under RPC Art 189 against petitioner
for the unauthorized use of the trademarks and names
owned by NBA Props. Inc.

However, under Rule 112 Sec. 3 of the


1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, a complaint is
substantially sufficient if it states the known
address of the respondent, it is accompanied by
complainants affidavit and his witnesses and
supporting documents, and the affidavits are
sworn to before any fiscal, state prosecutor or
government official authorized to administer
oath, or in their absence or unavailability, a
notary public who must certify that he
personally examined the affiants and that he is
satisfied that they voluntarily executed and
understood their affidavits. All these have been
duly satisfied in the complaint filed before
Prosecution Attorney Aileen Marie S. Gutierrez.
It must be noted that even the absence of an
oath in the complaint does not necessarily
render it invalid. Want of oath is a mere defect
of form, which does not affect the substantial
rights of the defendant on the merits.

In its report, the NBI discovered that petitioner is


engaged in the manufacture , printing, sale and
distribution of counterfeit NBA garment products and
recommended prosecution of petitioner for unfair
competition.
In the meantime, a Special Power of Attorney(SPA) was
drawn by Welts, President of NBA Prop. Inc. which
authorized the Ortega law firm to file cases in their
behalf in the Phils. Accompanying it is the complaintaffidavit made by Welts. The SPA and complaintaffidavit
were notarized abroad which were
authenticated by the Philippine Consul.
On the basis of the complaint filed by Welts and the
report of the NBI, an Information was filed against the
accused with the following accusatory portion:

In this case, the basis of the information is Welts


complaint affidavit which though subscribed abroad
before a foreign notary public, it bears the
authentication of the Phil. Consul. Although what was
initially presented was just presented was a photocopy,
there was an offer to produce the original which was in
the hands of another prosecutor. Moreover, there are
other basis such as the report of the NBI and the
Ortega law firms letter asking NBIs assistance and the
affidavit of a consulting service commissioned by the
prosecution to conduct investigation.

That on or about May 9, 1997 and on


dates prior thereto, in the City of Manila,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, above named accused
ALLANDALE SASOT and MELBAROSE SASOT of
Allandale Sportslines, Inc., did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously manufacture
and sell various garment products bearing the
appearance of "NBA" names, symbols and
trademarks, inducing the public to believe that
the goods offered by them are those of "NBA"
to the damage and prejudice of the NBA
Properties, Inc., the trademark owner of the
"NBA".

(Only if sir asks)


With regard to other defects, Section 3, Rule 117 of
the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, which was then in force

19

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

Both accused filed a Motion to Quash before the trial


court which was denied and subsequently, a petition
for certiorari before the CA which was also denied.
Hence this Petition for Certiorari with prayer for
injunction and TRO.

at the time the alleged criminal acts were committed,


enumerates the grounds for quashing an information, to wit:
a) That the facts charged do not constitute an
offense;
b) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction
over the offense charged or the person of the
accused;
c) That the officer who filed the information had no
authority to do so;
d) That it does not conform substantially to the
prescribed form;
e) That more than one offense is charged except in
those cases in which existing laws prescribe a single
punishment for various offenses;
f) That the criminal action or liability has been
extinguished;
g) That it contains averments which, if true, would
constitute a legal excuse or justification; and
h) That the accused has been previously convicted or
in jeopardy of being convicted, or acquitted of the
offense charged.

ISSUES brought before the Supreme Court:


(1) W/N there was valid information
therefore double jeopardy sets in? YES

filed

and

(2) W/N the original court already obtained jurisdiction


over the case? YES
ISSUE further addressed by the ponente:
(3) W/N after conviction and application for probation,
information may still be amended and the accused
arraigned anew on the ground that the information was
allegedly altered/tampered with? NO.
RATIO:
(1) To invoke the defense of double jeopardy, the
following requisites must be present: (1) a valid
complaint or information; (2) the court has jurisdiction
to try the case; (3) the accused has pleaded to the
charge; and (4) he has been convicted or acquitted or
the case against him dismissed or otherwise
terminated without his express consent.

Nowhere in the foregoing provision is there any


mention of the defect in the complaint filed before the fiscal
and the complainants capacity to sue as grounds for a
motion to quash.

3. LASOY v ZENAROSA

An information is valid as long as it distinctly states the


statutory designation of the offense and the acts or
omissions constitutive thereof. If the offense is stated
in such a way that a person of ordinary intelligence
may immediately know what is meant, and the court
can decide the matter according to law, the inevitable
conclusion is that the information is valid. It is not
necessary to follow the language of the statute in the
information. The information will be sufficient if it
describes the crime defined by law.

FACTS: In an Information filed by Assistant City


Prosecutor Evelyn Dimaculangan-Querijero ,accused
Marcelo Lasoy and Felix Banisa were charged of selling
prohibited drugs (42.410 GRAMS of dried marijuana
fruiting tops). The case was presided by Judge Jaime
Salazar. Upon arraignment, both accused pleaded
guilty and were sentenced on July 16, 1996 to suffer a
jail term of 6 months and 1 day. Both accused applied
for probation.
On August 28 1996, Assistant City Prosecutor Ma.
Aurora Escasa-Ramos filed two separate motions, first,
to admit amended Information and second, to set aside
the arraignment of the accused, as well as the decision
of the trial court. The prosecutor alleges that the
accused should rather be charged for transportation
and delivery, with intent to sell, 45 pieces of dried
marijuana fruiting tops (42.410 KILOS) and that it is
imperative to file an amended information in order to
make it conformable to the evidence on hand.

The first information is valid inasmuch as it sufficiently


alleges the manner by which the crime was
committed. Verily the purpose of the law, that is, to
apprise the accused of the nature of the charge against
them, is reasonably complied with. Applying Rule
110Section 6, shows on its face that it is valid.
Section 6. Sufficiency of complaint or information. A
complaint or information is sufficient if it states the
name of the accused; the designation of the offense by
the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as
constituting the offense; the name of the offended
party; the approximate time of the commission of the
offense, and the place wherein the offense was
committed.

The trial court denied the first motion. However, it


granted the second motion for rearraignment it
appearing from the published resolution in Inaki
Gulhoran and Galo Stephen Bobares vs. Hon. Francisco
Escano, Jr. it is said that the jurisdiction over drug of
small quantity as in the case at bar should be tried by
the Metropolitan Trial Court, although under the
statute of R.A. 7659, the penalty for possession or use
of prohibited or regulated drugs is from prision
[correccional]
to
reclusion
temporal
which
indeterminate penalty and under the rule on
jurisdiction the court which has jurisdiction over a
criminal case is dependent on the maximum penalty
attached by the statute to the crime. This second
information was assigned to Judge Monina Zenarosa.

Further, we cannot overlook the fact that accused were


arraigned, entered a plea of guilty and convicted under
the
first
information.
Granting
that
alleged
alteration/tampering of information took place and the
accused had a hand in it, this does not justify the
setting aside of the early decision. The alleged
tampering/alteration allegedly participated in by the
accused may well be the subject of another inquiry.

20

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

(2) On the issue of jurisdiction, the case of Gulhoran


and Bobares v. Escano, Jr., upon which both trial courts
justified their claim of jurisdiction was already
superseded by a later resolution where the RTC is
exclusively designated try and decide cases of
Kidnapping For Ransom, Robbery In Band, Robbery
Committed Against A Banking Or Financial Institution,
Violation Of The Dangerous Drugs Act, and Violation Of
The Anti-Carnapping Act, and other heinous crimes
penalized under Rep. Act No. 7659 committed within
their respective territorial jurisdictions. This issue is
further settled inPeople v. Velasco where it is stated
that [A]ll drug-related cases, regardless of the
quantity involved and the penalty imposable pursuant
to R.A. No. 7659, still fall within the exclusive original
jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts, in view of Section
39 of R.A. No. 6425 (the Dangerous Drugs Act of
1972).

GENIO, for the violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act


3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act, committed as follows:
That in or about the months of November and
December, 1997 at the Municipality of Lavezares,
Province of Northern Samar, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused QUINTIN
B. SALUDAGA, a high ranking public official being then
the Mayor of Lavezares, Northern Samar, and
committing the crime herein charged while in the
discharge of his official administrative function,
conspiring and conniving with accused SPO2 FIEL B.
GENIO, a member of Lavezares Police Force (PNP) and
with the late OLIMPIO LEGUA, a private individual, with
deliberate intent, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and criminally give unwarranted benefit or
advantage to the late Olimpio Legua, a non-license
contractor and non-accredited NGO, through evident
bad faith and manifest partiality by then and there
entering into a Pakyaw Contract with the latter for the
Construction of Barangay Day Care Centers for
barangays Mac-Arthur and Urdaneta, Lavezares,
Northern Samar, in the amount of FORTY EIGHT
THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED PESOS (P48,500.00) each
or a total of NINETY SEVEN THOUSAND PESOS
(P97,000.00) Philippine Currency, without the benefit of
a competitive public bidding to the prejudice of the
Government and public interest.

(3) The belated move on the part of the prosecution to


have the information amended defies procedural rules,
the decision having attained finality after the accused
applied for probation and the fact that amendment is
no longer allowed at that stage. Rule 110 of the Rules
on Criminal Procedure is emphatic:
Sec. 14. Amendment. The information or complaint
may be amended, in substance or form, without leave
of court, at any time before the accused pleads; and
thereafter and during the trial as to all matters of form,
by leave and at the discretion of the court, when the
same can be done without prejudice to the rights of the
accused.

Petitioners
filed
a
Motion
for
Preliminary
Investigation dated June 4, 2008 which was strongly
opposed by the prosecution in its Opposition dated
June 18, 2008.

If it appears at any time before judgment that a


mistake has been made in charging the proper offense,
the court shall dismiss the original complaint or
information upon the filing of a new one charging the
proper offense in accordance with Rule 119, Section
11, provided the accused would not be placed thereby
in double jeopardy, and may also require the witnesses
to give bail for their appearance at the trial.

Petitioners contend that the failure of the prosecution


to conduct a new preliminary investigation before the
filing of the second Information constituted a violation
of the law because the latter charged a different
offensethat is, violation of Section 3(e) by giving
unwarranted benefit to private parties. Hence, there
was a substitution of the first Information. They argue
that assuming that no substitution took place, at the
very least, there was a substantial amendment in the
new information and that its submission should have
been preceded by a new preliminary investigation.
Further, they claim that newly discovered evidence
mandates re-examination of the finding of a prima
facie cause to file the case.

Even appeal based on an alleged misappreciation of


evidence will not lie. The only instance when double
jeopardy will not attach is when the trial court acted
with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction, such as where the prosecution
was denied the opportunity to present its case or
where the trial was a sham.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. Accused
Marcelo Lasoy and Felix Banisa are forthwith ordered
released from detention.

The graft court found that there is no substituted


information or substantial amendment that would
warrant the conduct of a new preliminary investigation.
It gave the following ratiocination:

SUBSTITUTION OF INFORMATION
1. SALUDAGA v SANDIGANBAYAN

The re-filed information did not change the nature of


the offense charged, but merely modified the mode by
which accused committed the offense. The substance
of such modification is not such as to necessitate the
conduct of another preliminary investigation.

FACTS:
The undersigned Prosecutor of the Office of the Special
Prosecutor/Office of the Ombudsman, hereby accuses,
MAYOR QUINTIN B. SALUDAGA and SPO2 FIEL E.

21

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

AMENDED INFORMATION

Moreover, no new allegations were made, nor was the


criminal liability of the accused upgraded in the re-filed
information. Thus, new preliminary investigation is not
in order.

1. BONIFACIO v RTC
FACTS:

ISSUE:

Planholders of Pacific Plans, Inc. (PPI) - a wholly owned


subsidiary of Great Pacific Life Assurance Corporation,
also owned by the Yuchengco Group of Companies
(YGC) - who had previously purchased traditional preneed educational plans but were unable to collect
thereon or avail of the benefits thereunder after PPI,
due to liquidity concerns, filed for corporate
rehabilitation with prayer for suspension of payments
before the Makati RTC, formed PEPCI.

Whether or not the Sandiganbayan acted with grave


abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction when it refused to order the preliminary
investigation of the case a quo, when the second
Information in the instant case constituted substituted
Information whose submission required the conduct of
preliminary investigation. - NO
RULING:

PEPCI manages and controls the following


websites that served as a forum to seek redress for
their
pecuniary
loss
under
their
policies; www.pepcoalition.com,
www.pacificnoplan.blogspot.com, as well as a yahoo egroup[7] at no2pep2010@yahoogroups.com.
These
websites are easily accessible to the public or by
anyone logged on to the internet and were alleged to
contain libellous statements against the Yuchengcos.

There is no substitution of information there being no


change in the nature of the offense charged.
While it is true that preliminary investigation is a
statutory and substantive right accorded to the
accused before trial, the denial of petitioners claim for
a new investigation, however, did not deprive them of
their right to due process. An examination of the
records of the case discloses that there was a fullblown
preliminary
investigation
wherein
both
petitioners actively participated.

Gimenez, on behalf of the Yuchengco Family and of the


Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. (Malayan), a criminal
complaint before the Makati City Prosecutors Office,
for thirteen (13) counts of libel under Article 355 in
relation to Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC)
against petitioners.

Petitioners erroneously concluded that giving undue


injury, as alleged in the first Information, and
conferring unwarranted benefits, alleged in the second
Information, are two distinct violations of, or two
distinct ways of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act
No. 3019, and that such shift from giving undue injury
to conferring unwarranted benefit constituted, at the
very least, a substantial amendment. It should be
noted that the Information is founded on the same
transaction as the first Information, that of entering
into a Pakyaw Contract for the construction of
barangay day care centers for barangays Mac-Arthur
and Urdaneta, Lavezares, Northern Samar. Thus, the
evidentiary requirements for the prosecution and
defense remain the same.

The Makati City Prosecutors Office, found probable


cause and caused the issuance of the information
which was eventually reversed on appeal by the
Secretary of Justice. The Justice Secretary opined that
the crime of internet libel was non-existent, hence,
the accused could not be charged with libel under
Article 353 of the RPC.
Hence, Petitioners, filed a Motion to Quash the
Information on the grounds that it failed to vest
jurisdiction on the Makati RTC; the acts complained of
in the Information are not punishable by law since
internet libel is not covered by Article 353 of the RPC;
and the Information is fatally defective for failure to
designate the offense charged and the acts or
omissions complained of as constituting the offense of
libel. Motion granted.

A new preliminary investigation is also required if aside


from the original accused, other persons are charged
under a new criminal complaint for the same offense or
necessarily included therein; or if under a new criminal
complaint, the original charge has been upgraded; or if
under a new criminal complaint, the criminal liability of
the accused is upgraded from that as an accessory to
that as a principal. The accused must be accorded the
right to submit counter-affidavits and evidence.

Motion for reconsideration granted and accordingly


ordered the public prosecutor to amend the
Information to cure the defect of want of venue. The
prosecution thereupon moved to admit the Amended
Information dated March 20, 2007, the accusatory
portion of which reads:

No such circumstance is obtaining in this case,


because there was no modification in the nature of the
charged
offense.1avvphi1 Consequently,
a
new
preliminary investigation is unnecessary and cannot be
demanded by the petitioners.

That on or about the 25th day of


August 2005 in Makati City, Metro Manila,
Philippines, a place within the jurisdiction of
the Honorable Court, the above-named

22

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

case opted to lay the venue by availing of the


second. Thus, it stated that the offending article was
first
published
and accessed by
the
private
complainant in Makati City. In other words, it
considered the phrase to be equivalent to the requisite
allegation of printing and first publication.

accused, being then the trustees of Parents


Enabling Parents Coalition and as such
trustees they hold the legal title to the
websitewww.pepcoalition.com which is of
general circulation, and publication to the
public conspiring, confederating together
with John Does, whose true names,
identities and present whereabouts are
still unknown and all of them mutually
helping and aiding one another, did then
and
there
willfully,
unlawfully
and
feloniously and publicly and maliciously with
intention of attacking the honesty, virtue,
honor
and
integrity,
character
and
reputation
of
complainant
Malayan
Insurance Co. Inc., Yuchengco Family
particularly Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco
and Helen Dee and for further purpose
exposing the complainant to public hatred
and contempt published an article imputing
a vice or defect to the complainant and
caused to be composed, posted and
published
in
the
said
website www.pepcoalition.com, a website
accessible in Makati City, an injurious
and defamatory article, which was first
published and accessed by the private
complainant in Makati City, as follows:

If the circumstances as to where the libel was printed


and first published are used by the offended party as
basis for the venue in the criminal action, the
Information must allege with particularity where the
defamatory article was printed and first published, as
evidenced or supported by, for instance, the address of
their editorial or business offices in the case of
newspapers, magazines or serial publications. This precondition becomes necessary in order to forestall any
inclination to harass.
The same measure cannot be reasonably expected
when it pertains to defamatory material appearing on a
website on the internet as there would be no way of
determining the situs of its printing and first
publication. To credit Gimenezs premise of equating
his firstaccess to the defamatory article on petitioners
website in Makati with printing and first publication
would spawn the very ills that the amendment to
Article 360 of the RPC sought to discourage and
prevent. It hardly requires much imagination to see the
chaos that would ensue in situations where the
websites author or writer, a blogger or anyone who
posts messages therein could be sued for libel
anywhere
in
the Philippines that
the
private
complainant may have allegedly accessed the
offending website.

x
x
x
x (emphasis
and
underscoring in the original; italics
supplied)

ISSUE: whether grave abuse of discretion attended the


public respondents admission of the Amended
Information.
RULING: YES

FILING OF INFORMATION IF THERE IS


PENDING
MOTION
FOR
RECONSIDERATION

Venue is jurisdictional in criminal actions such that the


place where the crime was committed determines not
only the venue of the action but constitutes an
essential element of jurisdiction.[33] This principle
acquires even greater import in libel cases, given that
Article 360, as amended, specifically provides for the
possible venues for the institution of the criminal and
civil aspects of such cases.

1. RAMISCAL v SANDIGANBAYAN
FACTS:
Petitioner Jose S. Ramiscal, retired Brigadier General
of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was
President of the AFP-Retirement and Separation
Benefits System (AFP-RSBS) for almost 4 years.
During his term as president, AFP-RSBS board of
trustees approved the acquisition of a parcel of land in
General Santos City for development as housing
projects.

Venue of libel cases where the complainant is a private


individual is limited to only either of two places,
namely: 1) where the complainant actually resides at
the time of the commission of the offense; or 2) where
the alleged defamatory article was printed and first
published.2 The Amended Information in the present
2

Before article 360 was amended, the rule was


that a criminal action for libel may be instituted in
any jurisdiction where the libelous article was
published or circulated, irrespective of where it
was written or printed (People v. Borja, 43 Phil.
618). Under that rule, the criminal action is
transitory and the injured party has a choice of
venue.

To forestall such harassment, Republic


Act No. 4363 was enacted. It lays down
specific rules as to the venue of the criminal
action so as to prevent the offended party in
written
defamation
cases
from
inconveniencing the accused by means of
out-of-town libel suits, meaning complaints
filed in remote municipal courts

Experience had shown that under that


old rule the offended party could harass the
accused in a libel case by laying the venue of
the criminal action in a remote or distant
place.

23

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

Thus, AFP-RSBS, represented by petitioner, executed


bilateral deeds of sale over the subject property (at the
agreed price of P10,500.00 per square meter)
with Atty. Nilo J. Flaviano, representing the 12
individual sellers.

Section
7. Motion
Reconsideration.

for

a) Only one motion for


reconsideration or reinvestigation of
an approved order or resolution
shall be allowed, the same to be
filed within five (5) days from notice
thereof with the Office of the
Ombudsman, or the proper Deputy
Ombudsman as the case may be,
with corresponding leave of court in
cases where the information has
already been filed in court;

Subsequently, Flaviano executed unilateral deeds of


sale over the same property. The unilateral deeds of
sale reflected a purchase price of only P3,000.00 per
square meter instead of the actual purchase price
of P10,500.00 per square meter. These deeds of sale
were presented for registration and later on became
the basis for the TCTs issued by the Register of Deeds.
Luwalhati
R. Antonino, the Congresswoman
representing the first district of South Cotabato, filed in
the
Ombudsman
a
complaint-affidavit against
petitioner, along with 27 other respondents, for (1)
violation of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as
the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; and (2)
malversation of public funds or property through
falsification of public documents.

b) The filing of a motion for


reconsideration/reinvestigation shal
l not bar
the filing of the
corresponding information in Court
on the basis of the finding of
probable cause in the resolution
subject of the motion. (Emphasis
supplied)

In a Resolution, the Ombudsman found petitioner


probable guilty of the 2 offenses. Thereafter, the
Ombudsman filed with the Sandiganbayan 12
informations for violation of RA 3019 and 12
informations for falsification of public documents
against Petitioner Ramiscal and the other respondents.

If the filing of a motion for reconsideration


of the resolution finding probable cause cannot
bar the filing of the corresponding information,
then neither can it bar the arraignment of the
accused, which in the normal course of criminal
procedure logically follows the filing of the
information.

Petitioner Ramiscal then filed a motion for


reconsideration of the Ombudsmans finding of
probable cause against him. The Sandiganbayan
ordered the prosecution to evaluate its evidence and
report its recommendations on the MR filed. Initially,
the prosecution recommended the dropping of
petitioner
in the cases
filed. However, the
prosecutions final recommendation was that the MR
filed by Petitioner should be denied. Upon receipt of
this finding/recommendation, the Sandiganbayan
scheduled the arraignment of Petitioner.

Moreover, any
of
grounds
for
suspension
of
arraignment as provided for under Section 11, Rule
116 of the Rules of Court is not present in this case (i.e.
accused of unsound mind, prejudicial question, etc.)
Lastly, the Court also said that Petitioner cannot
anymore file a 2nd MR questioning again the same
finding of the Ombudsman. Otherwise, there will be no
end to litigation.

Afterwards, Petitioner filed his 2nd MR of the


Ombudsmans finding of probable cause against him.

PRESCRIPTION

Petitioners arraignment nevertheless followed. He filed


a motion to set aside his arraignment pending
resolution of his 2nd MR.

1. PANAGUITON v DOJ(lifted from net)


Facts:

ISSUE: Whether or not the motion to set aside


arraignment should be granted due to the pending MR?

Based from the facts culled from the records, in 1992,


Rodrigo Cawili borrowed various sums of money
amounting to P1,979,459.00 from petitioner. On 8
January 1993, Cawili and his business associate,
Ramon C. Tongson, jointly issued in favor of petitioner
three (3) checks in payment of the said loans.
Significantly, all three (3) checks bore the signatures of
both Cawili and Tongson. Upon presentment for
payment on 18 March 1993, the checks were
dishonored, either for insufficiency of funds or by the
closure of the account. Petitioner made formal
demands to pay the amounts of the checks upon Cawili

RULING: No. The motion should not be granted even


though the resolution of the MR was still pending.
The Rules of Procedure of the Office of the
Ombudsman, as amended by Administrative Order No.
15, Series of 2001, sanction the immediate filing of an
information in the proper court upon a finding of
probable cause, even during the pendency of a motion
for reconsideration. Section 7, Rule II of the Rules, as
amended, provides:

24

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

on 23 May 1995 and upon Tongson on 26 June 1995,


but
to
no
avail.

reconsideration

of

the

DOJ

resolution.

On 3 April 2003, the DOJ, this time through then


Undersecretary Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez, ruled in
his favor and declared that the offense had not
prescribed and that the filing of the complaint with the
prosecutor's office interrupted the running of the
prescriptive period citing Ingco v. Sandiganbayan.

On 24 August 1995, petitioner filed a complaint against


Cawili and Tongson for violating Batas Pambansa
Bilang 22 (B.P. Blg. 22) before the Quezon City
Prosecutor's
Office.
During
the
preliminary
investigation, only Tongson appeared and filed his
counter-affidavit. However, Tongson claimed that he
had been unjustly included as party-respondent in the
case since petitioner had lent money to Cawili in the
latter's personal capacity. Tongson averred that he was
not Cawili's business associate; in fact, he himself had
filed several criminal cases against Cawili for violation
of B.P. Blg. 22. Tongson denied that he had issued the
bounced checks and pointed out that his signatures on
the
said
checks
had
been
falsified.

However, in a resolution dated 9 August 2004, the DOJ,


presumably acting on a motion for reconsideration filed
by Tongson, ruled that the subject offense had already
prescribed and ordered "the withdrawal of the three (3)
informations for violation of B.P. Blg. 22" against
Tongson. In justifying its sudden turnabout, the DOJ
explained that Act No. 3326 applies to violations of
special acts that do not provide for a prescriptive
period for the offenses thereunder. Since B.P. Blg. 22,
as a special act, does not provide for the prescription
of the offense it defines and punishes, Act No. 3326
applies to it, and not Art. 90 of the Revised Penal Code
which governs the prescription of offenses penalized
thereunder.

To counter these allegations, petitioner presented


several documents showing Tongson's signatures,
which were purportedly the same as those appearing
on the checks. He also showed a copy of an affidavit of
adverse claim wherein Tongson himself had claimed to
be
Cawili's
business
associate.

Petitioner thus filed a petition for certiorari before the


Court of Appeals assailing the 9 August 2004 resolution
of the DOJ. The petition was dismissed by the Court of
Appeals in view of petitioner's failure to attach a proper
verification and certification of non-forum shopping. In
the instant petition, petitioner claims that the Court of
Appeals committed grave error in dismissing his
petition on technical grounds and in ruling that the
petition before it was patently without merit and the
questions
are
too
unsubstantial
to
require
consideration.

In a resolution dated 6 December 1995, City Prosecutor


III Eliodoro V. Lara found probable cause only against
Cawili and dismissed the charges against Tongson.
Petitioner filed a partial appeal before the Department
of Justice (DOJ) even while the case against Cawili was
filed before the proper court. In a letter-resolution
dated 11 July 1997, after finding that it was possible for
Tongson to co-sign the bounced checks and that he
had deliberately altered his signature in the pleadings
submitted during the preliminary investigation, Chief
State Prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuo directed the City
Prosecutor of Quezon City to conduct a reinvestigation
of the case against Tongson and to refer the
questioned signatures to the National Bureau of
Investigation
(NBI).

The DOJ, in its comment, states that the Court of


Appeals did not err in dismissing the petition for noncompliance with the Rules of Court. It also reiterates
that the filing of a complaint with the Office of the City
Prosecutor of Quezon City does not interrupt the
running of the prescriptive period for violation of B.P.
Blg. 22. It argues that under B.P. Blg. 22, a special law
which does not provide for its own prescriptive period,
offenses prescribe in four (4) years in accordance with
Act
No.
3326.

Tongson moved for the reconsideration of the


resolution, but his motion was denied for lack of merit.
On 15 March 1999, Assistant City Prosecutor Ma.
Lelibet S. Sampaga (ACP Sampaga) dismissed the
complaint against Tongson without referring the matter
to the NBI per the Chief State Prosecutor's resolution.
In her resolution, ACP Sampaga held that the case had
already prescribed pursuant to Act No. 3326, as
amended, which provides that violations penalized by
B.P. Blg. 22 shall prescribe after four (4) years.
Petitioner appealed to the DOJ. But the DOJ, through
Undersecretary Manuel A.J. Teehankee, dismissed the
same, stating that the offense had already prescribed
pursuant to Act No. 3326. Petitioner filed a motion for

Issue: Whether there is prescriptive period upon


violating B.P. Blg. 22 per Act No. 3326 and not Art. 90
of the RPC, on the institution of judicial proceedings for
investigation
and
punishment?
Held: It must be pointed out that when Act No. 3326
was passed on 4 December 1926, preliminary
investigation of criminal offenses was conducted by

25

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia,
Venzuela

justices of the peace, thus, the phraseology in the law,


"institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation
and punishment," and the prevailing rule at the time
was that once a complaint is filed with the justice of
the
peace
for
preliminary
investigation,
the
prescription
of
the
offense
is
halted.

criminal case being handled by Pinote, Judge Ayco


allowed the testimony of 2 witnesses in court, despite
the absence of Pinote. Pinote, at that time, was
undergoing medical treatment in the Philippine Heart
Center.
In the following hearings, despite orders of Ayco,
Pinote refused to cross examine the witnesses due to
his being absent during their direct examinations,
contending that the proceedings were void. Pinote filed
a Manifestation stating such, but Judge Ayco ruled that
the prosecution was waiving its right to cross-examine
the 2 witnesses instead.

Although, Tongson went through the proper channels,


within the prescribed periods. However, from the time
petitioner filed his complaint-affidavit with the Office of
the City Prosecutor (24 August 1995) up to the time
the DOJ issued the assailed resolution, an aggregate
period of nine (9) years had elapsed. Clearly, the delay
was beyond petitioner's control. After all, he had
already initiated the active prosecution of the case as
early as 24 August 1995, only to suffer setbacks
because of the DOJ's flip-flopping resolutions and its
misapplication
of
Act
No.
3326.

The Court Administrator found in favor of Pinote,


stating that Ayco violated Rule 110, Sec. 5 of the Rules
of Criminal Procedure.
ISSUE:
W/N Ayco should be held administratively liable?

Aggrieved parties, especially those who do not sleep


on their rights and actively pursue their causes, should
not be allowed to suffer unnecessarily further simply
because of circumstances beyond their control, like the
accused's delaying tactics or the delay and inefficiency
of
the
investigating
agencies.

HELD:
YES. Ayco should be held administratively liable.
As a general rule, all criminal actions shall be
prosecuted under the control and direction of the
public prosecutor.

The court rules and so hold that the offense has not yet
prescribed. Petitioners filing of his complaint-affidavit
before the Office of the City Prosecutor on 24 August
1995 signified the commencement of the proceedings
for the prosecution of the accused and thus effectively
interrupted the prescriptive period for the offenses
they had been charged under B.P. Blg. 22. Moreover,
since there is a definite finding of probable cause, with
the debunking of the claim of prescription there is no
longer any impediment to the filing of the information
against
petitioner.

If the schedule of the public prosecutor does not


permit, however, or in case there are no public
prosecutors, a private prosecutor may be authorized in
writing by the Chief of the Prosecution Office or the
Regional State Prosecution Office to prosecute the
case, subject to the approval of the court. Once so
authorized, the private prosecutor shall continue to
prosecute the case until the termination of the trial
even in the absence of a public prosecutor, unless the
authority is revoked or otherwise withdrawn.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The resolutions


of the Court of Appeals dated 29 October 2004 and 21
March 2005 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The
resolution of the Department of Justice dated 9 August
2004 is also ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. The
Department of Justice is ORDERED to REFILE the
information against the petitioner. No costs.

Aycos act of allowing the presentation of the defense


witnesses in the absence of complainant public
prosecutor or a private prosecutor designated for the
purpose is thus a clear transgression of the Rules
which could not be rectified by subsequently giving the
prosecution a chance to cross-examine the witnesses.

CONTROL AND DIRECTION OF CRIMINAL


ACTION
1. PINOTE v AYCO
FACTS:
State Prosecutor Pinote filed an administrative case
against RTC Judge Ayco for gross ignorance of the law,
grave abuse of authority, and grave misconduct. In a

26