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Datukan Malang Salibo vs Warden, Quezon City Jail Annex

GR 197597 April 8 2015


Facts:
Butukan S. Malang, one of the accused in the Maguindanao massacre, had a pending warrant of
arrest issued by the trial court in People vs Ampatuan Jr. et. al. When Datukan Malang Salibo
learned that the police officers of Datu Hofer Police Station in Maguindanao suspected him to be
Butukan S. Malang, he presented himself to clear his name. Salibo presented to the police
pertinent portions of his passport, boarding passes and other documents tending to prove that a
certain Datukan Malang Salibo was in Saudi Arabia when the massacre happened. The
authorities, however, apprehended and detained him. He questioned the legality of his detention
via Urgent Petition for Habeas Corpus before the CA, maintaining that he is not the accused
Batukan S. Malang. The CA issued the writ, making it returnable to the judge of RTC Taguig.
After hearing of the Return, the trial court granted Salibos petition and ordered his immediate
release from detention.
On appeal by the Warden, the CA reversed the RTC ruling. The CA held that even assuming
Salibo was not the Batukan S. Malang named in the Alias Warrant of Arrest, orderly course of
trial must be pursued and the usual remedies exhausted before the writ of habeas corpus may be
invoked. Salibos proper remedy, according to the CA, should have been a motion to quash
information and/or warrant of arrest.
On the other hand, Salibo believes that the Warden erred in appealing the RTC decision before
the CA. Salibo argued that although the CA delegated to the RTC the authority to hear the
Wardens Return, the RTCs ruling should be deemed as the CA ruling, and hence, it should have
been appealed directly before the SC.
Issue 1: W/N Salibo properly availed the remedy of a petition for writ of habeas corpus
Yes. Habeas corpus is the remedy for a person deprived of liberty due to mistaken identity. In
such cases, the person is not under any lawful process and is continuously being illegally
detained.
First, it was Butukan S. Malang, not Salibo, who was charged and accused in the Information
and Alias Warrant of Arrest issued in the case of People vs Ampatuan. Based on the evidences
presented, Salibo sufficiently established that he could not have been Butukan S. Malang.
Therefore, Salibo was not arrested by virtue of any warrant charging him of an offense, nor
restrained under a lawful process or an order of a court. Second, Salibo was not validly arrested
without a warrant. When he was in the presence of authorities, he was neither committing nor
attempting to commit an offense, and the police officers had no personal knowledge of any
offense that he might have committed. Salibo was also not an escape prisoner.
The police officers have deprived him of his liberty without due process of law. Therefore,
Salibo correctly availed himself of a Petition for Habeas Corpus.
Issue 2: W/N a motion to quash information and/or warrant of arrest is the proper remedy in
cases where a person with amistaken identity is detained
No, the CAs contention is not correct. Salibos proper remedy is not a Motion to Quash
Information and/or Warrant of Arrest. None of the grounds for filing a Motion to Quash
Information apply to him. Even if petitioner Salibo filed a Motion to Quash, the defect he
alleged could not have been cured by mere amendment of the Information and/or Warrant of
Arrest. Changing the name of the accused appearing in the Information and/or Warrant of Arrest
from Butukan S. Malang to Datukan Malang Salibo will not cure the lack of preliminary
investigation in this case. Likewise, a motion for reinvestigation will not cure the defect of lack
of preliminary investigation.
Issue 3: W/N the Warden correctly appealed the RTC ruling on the Return before the CA
Yes. An application for a writ of habeas corpus may be made through a petition filed before CA
or any of its members, the CA or any of its members in instances authorized by law, or the RTC
or any of its presiding judges. The court or judge grants the writ and requires the officer or
person having custody of the person allegedly restrained of liberty to file a return of the writ. A
hearing on the return of the writ is then conducted.
The return of the writ may be heard by a court apart from that which issued the writ. Should the
court issuing the writ designate a lower court to which the writ is made returnable, the lower
court shall proceed to decide the petition of habeas corpus. By virtue of the designation, the
lower court acquires the power and authority to determine the merits of the petition for habeas
corpus. Therefore, the decision on the petition is a decision appealable to the court that has
appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the lower court.
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JM Dominguez Agronomic Company vs Liclican


GR 208587 July 28, 2015
The Case:
During the stockholders meeting of the JM Dominguez Agronomic Company, presided by
Cecilia (one of the respondents,) and attended by Norma and Purita (her co-respondents) and
petitioners Helen, Patrick, Kenneth and Shirley, Patrick and Kenneth were not allowed to vote as
their mother and grandmother, both deceased are the stockholders of the company and no
settlement of estate was shown to transfer their shares in the company. Tensions rose, and
respondents walked out of the meeting. Since quorum still existed, the election proceeded. As a
result, Helen, Patrick, Kenneth and Shirley were elected officers. On the other hand, after
staging the walkout, the respondents executed a Board Resolution certifying that during the
meeting, the following set of officers were elected as officers: Cecilia, Norma, Purita, Tessie, and
Shirley.
The petitioners then filed a complaint against respondents before the RTC of Baguio City for
nullification of meetings, election and acts of directors and officers, injunction and other reliefs,
docketed as Civil Case No. 6623-R. It was raffled off to Branch 7 of the RTC for Judicial
Dispute Resolution. The petitioners as stockholders then represented themselves as JMDs
lawful directors and officers, collected rentals and deposited rents due the company to its bank
account. They then filed a complaint for Qualified Theft against Ceclia, Norma and Purita.
They alleged that the respondents, without any authority, conspired to withdraw the amount of
P852,024.19 from the corporations savings account with Equitable PCIBank, and issued Check
No C0002489901 in the amount of P200,000.00 payable to cash, drawn against JMDs account
with Robinsons Savings Bank. In another compliant, they claimed that respondents issued
Equitable PCIBank check no. 320953 payable to one Atty. Alexander Lava for P200,000.00.
After preliminary investigation, the Office of the City Prosecutor recommended the filing of
Infomations against the respondents. The Informations were raffled off to Branch 7 RTC of
Baguio City. Finding probable cause, the latter court issued a warrant for the arrest of
respondents.
Respondents then filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. They averred the
existence of a prejudicial question. By filing the complaint, petitioners were already assuming
that they are the legitimate directors of JMD, which is the very issue in the intra-corporate
dispute pending with the same RTC Branch 7.
The CA granted the petition for certiorari, holding that Since there is doubt in the instant case as
to the sufficiency of the authority of a corporate officer, Judge Tiongson-Tabora should have
exercised prudence by holding the criminal cases in abeyance pending resolution of the intracorporate dispute which private respondents themselves instituted. The petitioners filed a
motion for reconsideration, arguing that their election as officers of JMD had been sustained by
virtue of the judgment in Civil Case No. 6623-R date May 6, 2011. The issue of whether or not
the judge committed grave abuse of discretion was rendered moot and academic by the judges
inhibition in the criminal cases. The CA nevertheless denied the motion. Hence, the petitioner
elevated their case to the Supreme Court via petition for review on certiorari, on whether or not a
prejudicial question exists.
The Issue:
Whether or not Civil Case No. 6623-R constituted a prejudicial question warranting the
suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case for Qualified Theft.
The Ruling:
The petition lacks merit.
The challenged Orders of the trial court were issued in grave abuse of discretion

We have previously ruled that grave abuse of discretion may arise when a lower court or tribunal
violates or contravenes the Constitution, the law or existing jurisprudence. By grave abuse of
discretion is meant, such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack
of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be grave as where the power is exercised in an
arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility and must be so patent and
gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty
enjoined by or to act at all in contemplation of law. The word capricious, usually used in
tandem with the term arbitrary, conveys the notion of willful and unreasoning action. Thus,
when seeking the corrective hand of certiorari, a clear showing of caprice and arbitrariness in the
exercise of discretion is imperative.1
In the case at bar, the CA correctly ruled that Judge Tiongson-Tabora acted with grave abuse of
discretion when she ordered the arrests of respondents Isip and Liclican despite the existence of a
prejudicial question.
As jurisprudence elucidates, a prejudicial question generally exists in a situation where a civil
action and a criminal action are both pending, and there exists in the former an issue that must be
pre-emptively resolved before the latter may proceed, because howsoever the issue raised in the
civil action is resolved would be determinative juris et de jure of the guilt or innocence of the
accused in the criminal case.2 The rationale behind the principle is to avoid two conflicting
decisions,3 and its existence rests on the concurrence of two essential elements: (i) the civil
action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal action;
and (ii) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed.4
Here, the CA aptly observed that Civil Case No. 6623-R, the intra-corporate dispute, posed a
prejudicial question to Criminal Case Nos. 29175-R and 29176-R. To be sure, Civil Case No.
6623-R involves the same parties herein, and is for nullification of JMDs meetings, election and
acts of its directors and officers, among others. Court intervention was sought to ascertain who
between the two contesting group of officers should rightfully be seated at the companys helm.
Without Civil Case No. 6623-Rs resolution, petitioners authority to commence and prosecute
Criminal Case Nos. 29175-R and 29176-R against respondents for qualified theft in JMDs
behalf remained questionable, warranting the suspension of the criminal proceedings.
Judge Tiongson-Tabora cannot deny knowledge of the pendency of Civil Case No. 6623-R as the
judge presiding over its JDR. As correctly held by the CA:
Judge Tiongson-Tabora is well-aware of the existence of said prejudicial question that
should have barred the filing of the criminal complaint against petitioners Liclican and Isip, for
the simple reason that a juridical person can only act through its officers, and the issue in the
main case submitted for JDR before Judge Tiongson-Tabora is one for nullification of meetings,
election and act of directors and officers, injunction and other reliefs. Thus, she knows for a fact
that there is a question as to who are the legitimate directors of JMD such that there is
doubt as to whether private respondents are in a position to act for JMD. (emphasis added)
Verily, the RTC ought to have suspended the proceedings, instead of issuing the challenged
Orders issued by the RTC.
The subsequent resolution of the prejudicial question did not cure the defect
It may be, as the petitioners pointed out in their motion for reconsideration filed before the CA,
that Civil Case No. 6623-R was eventually resolved in their favor through a Judgment5 dated
May 6, 2011 rendered by the RTC, Branch 59, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, from all the foregoing disquisitions, the Court hereby declares that
the plaintiffs[petitioners herein] are the duly elected board of directors and officers of the
JM Dominguez Agronomic Company, Inc. for the year 2008 and hold-over capacity unless
here had already been an election of new officers.

Consequently, all Corporate Acts which the defendants [herein respondents and one Gerald
Cabrera and one Oscar Aquino] have done and performed and
all documents they have executed and issued have no force and effect.
Considering that the amount of Php850,000.00 which defendants have withdrawn under the
account of JM Dominguez Agronomic Company, Inc. from the Equitable PCI Bank (now
Banco de Oro) is the same subject in CC no. 29175-R entitled Pp. vs. Cecilia Liclican and
Norma D. Isip for Qualified Theft, the Court will no longer dwell on the same.
xxxx
SO ORDERED. (emphasis and words in bracket added)
This Judgment has, on June 6, 2011,become final and executory, as per the Notice of Entry of
Judgment issued by the same trial court.6 Evidently, whatever cloud of doubt loomed over
petitioners actuations has already been dispelled. Petitioners then postulate that the question on
whether or not the challenged Orders were issued in grave abuse of discretion has already been
rendered moot and academic by the June 6, 2011 ruling and by Judge Tiongson-Taboras
subsequent inhibition in the criminal proceedings. Consequently, they argue that their motion for
reconsideration should have been granted by the appellate court.
We are not convinced.
The resolution of the prejudicial question did not, in context, cure the grave abuse of discretion
already committed. The fact remains that when the RTC, Branch 7 issued its challenged Orders
on March 10, 2009, the Judgment in favor of petitioners was not yet rendered. Consequently,
there was still, at that time, a real dispute as to who the rightful set of officers were. Plainly,
Judge Tiongson-Tabora should not have issued the challenged Orders and should have, instead,
suspended the proceedings until Civil Case No. 6623-R was resolved with finality.
To grant the instant petition and rule that the procedural infirmity has subsequently been cured
either by the Judgment or by Judge Tiongson-Taboras inhibition would mean condoning the
continuation of the criminal proceedings despite, at that time, the existence of a prejudicial
question. Such condonation would create a precedent that renders inutile the doctrine on
prejudicial question, such that the court trying the criminal case will be permitted to proceed with
the trial in the aberrant assumption that the resolution of the prior instituted civil case would
benefit the private complainant in the criminal proceedings. To reiterate, there was no certainty
yet on how the RTC, Branch 59 would rule; thus, no assumption on Civil Case No. 6623-Rs
resolution can be made when the challenged Orders were issued. Indeed, had the RTC, Branch
59 not given credence to petitioners arguments,it would have led to an awkward situation
wherein much time and effort is wasted by the RTC, Branch 7 in trying criminal cases it should
not have entertained.
The foregoing notwithstanding, it should be made clear that the nullification of the March 10,
2009 Orders does not, under the premises, entail the dismissal of the instituted criminal cases,
but would merely result in the suspension of the proceedings in view of the prejudicial question.
However, given the resolution of the prejudicial question and Judge Tiongson-Taboras
inhibition, Criminal Case Nos. 29175-R and 29176-R may already proceed, and ought to be reraffled to re-determine the existence of probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest
against respondents.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. The
Court of Appeals August 30, 2012 Decision and January 13, 2014 Resolution in CA-G.R. SP
No. 108617 are hereby AFFIRMED.

Criminal Case Nos. 29175-R and 29176-R are hereby REMANDED to the Executive Judge of
the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City to be re-raffled to one of its branches other than Branch
7.
ENRILE vs. SANDIGANBAYAN
G.R. No. 213847; August 18, 2015
Doctrines:
Primary objective of bail The strength of the Prosecution's case, albeit a good measure of the
accused's propensity for flight or for causing harm to the public, is subsidiary to the primary
objective of bail, which is to ensure that the accused appears at trial.
Bail is a right and a matter of discretion Right to bail is afforded in Sec. 13, Art III of the 1987
Constitution and repeted in Sec. 7, Rule 114 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure to wit: No
person charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment, shall be admitted to bail when evidence of guilt is strong, regardless of the stage
of the criminal prosecution.
FACTS:
On June 5, 2014, Petitioner Juan Ponce Enrile was charged with plunder in the Sandiganbayan
on the basis of his purported involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)
Scam. Initially, Enrile in an Omnibus Motion requested to post bail, which the Sandiganbayan
denied. On July 3, 2014, a warrant for Enrile's arrest was issued, leading to Petitioner's voluntary
surrender.
Petitioner again asked the Sandiganbayan in a Motion to Fix Bail which was heard by the
Sandiganbayan. Petitioner argued that: (a) Prosecution had not yet established that the evidence
of his guilt was strong; (b) that, because of his advanced age and voluntary surrender, the penalty
would only be reclusion temporal, thus allowing for bail and; (c) he is not a flight risk due to his
age and physical condition. Sandiganbayan denied this in its assailed resolution. Motion for
Reconsideration was likewise denied.
ISSUES:
1) Whether or not bail may be granted as a matter of right unless the crime charged is punishable
byreclusion perpetua where the evidence of guilt is strong.
a. Whether or not prosecution failed to show that if ever petitioner would be convicted, he will be
punishable by reclusion perpetua.
b. Whether or not prosecution failed to show that petitioner's guilt is strong.
2. Whether or not petitioner is bailable because he is not a flight risk.
HELD:
1. YES.
Bail as a matter of right due process and presumption of innocence.
Article III, Sec. 14 (2) of the 1987 Constitution provides that in all criminal prosecutions, the
accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. This right is safeguarded by the
constitutional right to be released on bail.
The purpose of bail is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at trial and so the amount of
bail should be high enough to assure the presence of the accused when so required, but no higher
than what may be reasonably calculated to fulfill this purpose.
Bail as a matter of discretion
Right to bail is afforded in Sec. 13, Art III of the 1987 Constitution and repeted in Sec. 7, Rule
114 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure to wit:
Capital offense of an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, not
bailable. No person charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion
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perpetua or life imprisonment, shall be admitted to bail when evidence of guilt is strong,
regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution.
The general rule: Any person, before conviction of any criminal offense, shall be bailable.
Exception: Unless he is charged with an offense punishable with reclusion perpetua [or life
imprisonment] and the evidence of his guilt is strong.
Thus, denial of bail should only follow once it has been established that the evidence of guilt is
strong.Where evidence of guilt is not strong, bail may be granted according to the discretion of
the court.
Thus, Sec. 5 of Rule 114 also provides:
Bail, when discretionary. Upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not
punishable by death,reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, admission to bail is discretionary.
The application for bail may be filed and acted upon by the trial court despite the filing of a
notice of appeal, provided it has not transmitted the original record to the appellate court.
However, if the decision of the trial court convicting the accused changed the nature of the
offense from non-bailable to bailable, the application for bail can only be filed with and resolved
by the appellate court.
Should the court grant the application, the accused may be allowed to continue on provisional
liberty during the pendency of the appeal under the same bail subject to the consent of the
bondsman.
If the penalty imposed by the trial court is imprisonment exceeding six (6) years, the accused
shall be denied bail, or his bail shall be cancelled upon a showing by the prosecution, with notice
to the accused, of the following or other similar circumstances:
(a) That he is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual delinquent, or has committed the crime
aggravated by the circumstance of reiteration;
(b) That he has previously escaped from legal confinement, evaded sentence, or violated the
conditions of his bail without valid justification;
(c) That he committed the offense while under probation, parole, or conditional pardon;
(d) That the circumstances of his case indicate the probability of flight if released on bail; or
(e) That there is undue risk that he may commit another crime during the pendency of the appeal.
The appellate court may, motu proprio or on motion of any party, review the resolution of the
Regional Trial Court after notice to the adverse party in either case.
Thus, admission to bail in offenses punished by death, or life imprisonment, or reclusion
perpetuasubject to judicial discretion. In Concerned Citizens vs. Elma, the court held: [S]uch
discretion may be exercised only after the hearing called to ascertain the degree of guilt of the
accused for the purpose of whether or not he should be granted provisional liberty. Bail hearing
with notice is indispensable (Aguirre vs. Belmonte). The hearing should primarily determine
whether the evidence of guilt against the accused is strong.
The procedure for discretionary bail is described in Cortes vs. Catral:
1. In all cases, whether bail is a matter of right or of discretion, notify the prosecutor of the
hearing of the application for bail or require him to submit his recommendation (Section 18, Rule
114 of the Rules of Court as amended);
2. Where bail is a matter of discretion, conduct a hearing of the application for bail regardless of
whether or not the prosecution refuses to present evidence to show that the guilt of the accused is
strong for the purpose of enabling the court to exercise its sound discretion; (Section 7 and 8,
supra)
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3. Decide whether the guilt of the accused is strong based on the summary of evidence of the
prosecution;
4. If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the accused upon the approval of the
bailbond (Section 19, supra) Otherwise petition should be denied.
2. YES.
Petitioner's poor health justifies his admission to bail
The Supreme Court took note of the Philippine's responsibility to the international community
arising from its commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We therefore have
the responsibility of protecting and promoting the right of every person to liberty and due
process and for detainees to avail of such remedies which safeguard their fundamental right to
liberty. Quoting fromGovernment of Hong Kong SAR vs. Olalia, the SC emphasized:
x x x uphold the fundamental human rights as well as value the worth and dignity of every
person. This commitment is enshrined in Section II, Article II of our Constitution which
provides: The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for
human rights. The Philippines, therefore, has the responsibility of protecting and
promoting the right of every person to liberty and due process, ensuring that those
detained or arrested can participate in the proceedings before a court, to enable it to decide
without delay on the legality of the detention and order their release if justified. In other
words, the Philippine authorities are under obligation to make available to every person
under detention such remedies which safeguard their fundamental right to liberty. These
remedies include the right to be admitted to bail. (emphasis in decision)
Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion
Sandiganbayan arbitrarily ignored the objective of bail to ensure the appearance of the accused
during the trial and unwarrantedly disregarded the clear showing of the fragile health and
advanced age of Petitioner. As such the Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion in denying
the Motion to Fix Bail. It acted whimsically and capriciously and was so patent and gross as to
amount to an evasion of a positive duty [to allow petitioner to post bail].
Saldariega vs Panganiban
GR 211960 April 15, 2015
The Facts:
For failure of the principal witness, PO2 Nelson Villas to attend several hearings, the presiding
judge of RTC Quezon City Branch 227, Judge Elvira Panganiban (respondent), ordered that the
case against accused Roberta Saldariega (petitioner) for violation of Section 5 and 11 of RA 9165
(Criminal Case Nos. Q-1 1-173055 and Q-1 1-173056) be provisionally dismissed, with the
express consent of the accused. However, on June 5, 2013, PO2 Villas moved to re-open the
case, averring that his failure to attend was due to the successive deaths of his uncle and aunt,
attaching thereto their respective death certificates. The respondent judge then granted the
motion and ordered the cases set for hearing. Roberta moved for reconsideration, arguing that
the provisional dismissal of the cases is considered an acquittal and PO2 Villas had no
personality to file the motion to re-open case. The respondent denied her motion for
reconsideration, hence, Roberta filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the Supreme
Court to assail the judges orders.
The Issues:
Whether or not PO2 Villas can file a motion to re-open a provisionally dismissed case without
the participation of the public prosecutor;
Whether or not the provisional dismissal of the cases with the consent of the accused but
predicated on failure to prosecute which violates the right of the accused to speedy trial is
equivalent to an acquittal, the reopening of which violates her right against double jeopardy;
The Ruling:
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We deny the petition.


The Court notes that the instant case suffers from procedural infirmities which this Court cannot
ignore. While this petition is to be treated as one for certiorari under Rule 65, it is still
dismissible for violation of the hierarchy of courts. Although the Supreme Court has concurrent
jurisdiction with the RTC and the CA to issue writs of certiorari, this should not be taken as
granting parties the absolute and unrestrained freedom of choice of the court to which an
application will be directed. Direct resort to this Court is allowed only if there are special,
important and compelling reasons clearly and specifically spelled out in the petition, which are
not present in this case.1
Moreover, this being a petition on certiorari under Rule 65, the issues raised herein should be
confined solely to questions of jurisdiction. Thus, while in the course of the discussion, it may be
necessary to thresh out pertinent factual issues, the same is limited for the purpose of resolving
the issue on jurisdiction, that is, whether the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion
resulting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction.
When a criminal case is provisionally dismissed with the express consent of the accused, the case
may be revived by the State within the periods provided under the 2nd paragraph of Section 8,
Rule 117 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure.
A case shall not be provisionally dismissed except with the express consent of the accused and
with notice to the offended party. Here, a perusal of the Order, dated May 16, 2013, stresses in no
uncertain terms that the dismissal of the case was provisional, i.e., the case could be revived at
some future time. If petitioner believed that the case against her should be dismissed with
prejudice, she should not have agreed to a provisional dismissal. She should have moved for a
dismissal with prejudice so that the court would have no alternative but to require the
prosecution to present its evidence. There was nothing in the records showing the accuseds
opposition to the provisional dismissal nor was there any after the Order of provisional dismissal
was issued. She cannot claim now that the dismissal was with prejudice. Thus, if a criminal case
is provisionally dismissed with the express consent of the accused, as in this case, the case may
be revived by the State within the periods provided under the 2nd paragraph of Section 8, Rule
117 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. There is no violation of due process as long as the
revival of a provisionally dismissed complaint was made within the time-bar provided under the
law.
Generally, the prosecutor should have been the one who filed the motion to revive because it is
the prosecutor who controls the trial. But in this particular case, the defect, if there was any, was
cured when the public prosecutor later actively participated in the denial of the accuseds motion
for reconsideration when she filed her Comment/Objection thereto. In the Order denying the
motion, the trial court stated that in her Comment/Objection, the Public Prosecutor begged to
disagree primarily on the ground that double jeopardy has not set in, because the provisional
dismissal of the case was with the express consent of the accused.2 The court even went further
when it stated that although the Motion to Re-open the case was filed by the witness without
securing the conformity of the Public Prosecutor, in effect, the prosecutor has conformed to the
re-opening of the case because she (the prosecutor) finds that the failure of the witness to appear
on two (2) hearings was due to the death of the father in law on March 23, 2013 and the death of
his aunt on May 12, 2013, as substantiated by the respective Certificates of Death of the said
relatives.3
Moreover, in the case at bar, it must be noted that the accused is charged with a public crime,
hence, it is a victim-less crime. Unlike in private crimes where the participation of the private
offended party is generally required for the recovery of civil liability, in the instant case, there is
no particular private offended party who can actually file the motion to revive. Hence, in some
instances, as in this case, it is the arresting officer, PO2 Villas, who filed the motion to revive the
case out of his sense of duty as a police officer and compelled by his sense of obligation
considering that he knew his absence was the cause why the complaint was provisionally
dismissed.
We could not entirely blame PO2 Villas in filing the motion to revive since we are aware that in
drug-related cases, the arresting officers are usually required to explain by their superiors when a
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case is provisionally dismissed due to their failure to appear during trial. Thus, in order to
exonerate themselves from a possible administrative and criminal liability, the arresting officers
would then opt instead to file the motion to revive on their own.
The provisional dismissal of the case does not operate as an acquittal since its dismissal was
made with the express consent of the accused, thus, there is no double jeopardy.
Further, the proscription against double jeopardy presupposes that an accused has been
previously charged with an offense, and the case against him is terminated either by his acquittal
or conviction, or dismissed in any other manner without his consent. As a general rule, the
following requisites must be present for double jeopardy to attach: (1) a valid indictment, (2)
before a court of competent jurisdiction, (3) the arraignment of the accused, (4) a valid plea
entered by him, and (5) the acquittal or conviction of the accused, or the dismissal or termination
of the case against him without his express consent. However, there are two (2) exceptions to the
foregoing rule, and double jeopardy may attach even if the dismissal of the case was with the
consent of the accused: first, when there is insufficiency of evidence to support the charge
against him; and second, where there has been an unreasonable delay in the proceedings, in
violation of the accuseds right to speedy trial.4
In the instant case, while the first four requisites are present, the last requisite is lacking,
considering that here the dismissal was merely provisional and it was done with the express
consent of the accused-petitioner. Petitioner is not in danger of being twice put in jeopardy with
the reopening of the case against her as it is clear that the case was only provisionally dismissed
by the trial court. The requirement that the dismissal of the case must be without the consent of
the accused is not present in this case. Neither does the case fall under any of the aforementioned
exceptions because, in fact, the prosecution had failed to continue the presentation of evidence
due to the absence of the witnesses, thus, the fact of insufficiency of evidence cannot be
established. Likewise, we find no unreasonable delay in the proceedings that would be
tantamount to violation of the accuseds right to speedy trial.
This Court has emphasized that speedy trial is a relative term and necessarily a flexible
concept. In determining whether the accuseds right to speedy trial was violated, the delay
should be considered in view of the entirety of the proceedings. The factors to balance are the
following: (a) duration of the delay; (b) reason therefor; (c) assertion of the right or failure to
assert it; and (d) prejudice caused by such delay. In the instant case, petitioner failed to show any
evidence that the alleged delay in the trial was attended with malice or that the same was made
without good cause or justifiable motive on the part of the prosecution. Mere mathematical
reckoning of the time involved would not suffice as the realities of everyday life must be
regarded in judicial proceedings.5
Here, the delay in the proceedings, which ran from October 25, 2012 until the provisional
dismissal of the case on May 13, 2013, is not the kind of delay contemplated under the law as to
violate the accuseds right to speedy trial. More so, when the cause of the delay is valid, as in the
instant case. Likewise, a perusal of the Order dated May 16, 2013 would show that the order was
categorical in stating that the dismissal of the complaint was provisional with the express consent
of the accused and her counsel. The court merely stated in the Order as to what transpired during
the proceedings of the case and not that the dismissal was based on the accuseds right to speedy
trial.
While the Court recognizes the accuseds right to speedy trial and adheres to a policy of speedy
administration of justice, we cannot, however, deprive the State of a reasonable opportunity to
fairly prosecute criminals. We reiterate that unjustified postponements which prolong the trial for
an unreasonable length of time are what offend the right of the accused to speedy trial.6
In a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, petitioner should establish that the court or tribunal
acted in a capricious, whimsical, arbitrary or despotic manner in the exercise of its jurisdiction as
to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.
In view of the foregoing, we, thus, find no basis for issuing the extraordinary writs of certiorari
with injunction, as there was no showing that the alleged error in judgment was tainted with
grave abuse of discretion. Nowhere in the petition did petitioner show that the issuance of the
assailed orders was patent and gross that would warrant striking it down through a petition for
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certiorari. No argument was shown that the trial court exercised its judgment capriciously,
whimsically, arbitrarily or despotically by reason of passion and hostility.
It is well settled that a petition for certiorari against a court which has jurisdiction over a case
will prosper only if grave abuse of discretion is manifested. The burden is on the part of the
petitioner to prove not merely reversible error, but grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of the public respondent issuing the impugned order. Mere
abuse of discretion is not enough; it must be grave. The term grave abuse of discretion is defined
as a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as patent and gross as to amount to an
evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, as where the
power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner because of passion or hostility.7
Certiorari will issue only to correct errors of jurisdiction, and not errors or mistakes in the
findings and conclusions of the trial court.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Orders dated June 14, 2013 and
February 18, 2014 in Criminal Cases Nos. Q-1 1-173055 and Q-1 1-173056 entitled People of
the Philippines v. Roberta Saldariega are AFFIRMED. Let the case be remanded to the lower
court for further proceedings with dispatch.
Canceran vs. People
G.R. 206442 July 1, 2015
An accused cannot be convicted of a higher offense than that alleged or necessarily included in
the complaint or information filed against him and for which he was tried. It matters not how
conclusive and convincing is the evidence of guilt against him. This is the rule applied in this
case of Cardo who was charged with the crime of frustrated theft.
Cardo was a promo merchandiser of a distillery company. In his kind of work he met and got
acquainted with other merchandisers of different products who were working in a big grocery
and retail market. One day, a security guard of the super market saw Cardo approached one of
the counters, pushing a cart which contained two boxes of Magic Flakes for which he paid
P1,400.00. Upon verification from the packer that the boxes have not been checked yet, the
guard and the packer found out upon inspection that the contents of the two boxes were not
Magic Flakes but 14 smaller boxes of White Beauty Cream worth P28,000. Upon discovery
Cardo hurriedly left but he was chased by the market guards and was caught at the gate when he
stumbled as he attempted to ride a jeepney. Upon questioning by the guards, Cardo tried to settle
and even offered his personal effects consisting of a Nokia cell phone, a Seiko watch and cash of
P2,500 to pay for the items he tried to take away. The personal effects were deposited in the
office of the Customer Relations Officer (CRO) but eventually he was nevertheless charged of
the crime of frustrated theft.
The Information specifically alleged that with intent to gain and without the consent of the
owner of the super market, Cardo did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take,
steal and carry away 14 cartons of white beauty cream valued at P28,000 belonging to the super
market, thus performing all the acts which would produce the crime of theft as a consequence
but, nevertheless did not produce it by reason of some cause independent of the accuseds will.
During the trial, Cardo raised the defense of denial. He said that he went to the super market only
to buy some medicines and mineral water for his wife. But, he said a poor old man approached
him and requested him to bring the cart of Magic Flakes to the counter and pay for it as he had
no more money. Taking pity he said he obliged but as it was being inspected, it was discovered
that the boxes contained white cream. And when caught, he was brought to the 4th floor and was
mauled and kicked by one of the guards who also got all his personal effects.
But the Regional Trial Court (RTC) found the version of the prosecution as testified by the
security guard and the market CRO more credible. It found Cardo guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of consummated theft instead of frustrated theft as there is no such kind of crime. So he
was sentenced to suffer imprisonment of 10 years, 8 months as minimum to 14 years, 8 months
as maximum.

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On appeal by Cardo to the Court of Appeals (CA) said decision of the RTC finding him guilty of
consummated theft was affirmed. But it modified the sentence to imprisonment of 2 years, 4
months and 1 day as minimum to 8 years, 8 months and 1 day. Were the RTC and the CA correct
in finding him guilty of consummated theft.
According to the Supreme Court Cardo is guilty beyond reasonable doubt, but not of
consummated theft.
The allegations in the Information show that Cardo was charged with frustrated theft only. Under
the Constitution, to convict him of an offense higher than that charged in the complaint or
Information would be an unauthorized denial of his right to be informed of the nature and cause
of the accusation against him which requires every element of the crime to be set out in said
Information to enable him to suitably prepare for his defense.
Under Article 308 or the Revised Penal Code (RPC), the elements of theft are (1) the taking of
personal property; (2) the property belongs to another; (3) the taking was done with intent to
gain; (4) the taking away was done without the consent of the owner; and (5) the taking away is
accomplished without violence against person or force upon things. The unlawful taking which is
the deprivation of ones personal property is the element which produces the felony in its
consummated stage. Without the unlawful taking, the offense could only be attempted theft if at
all.
In this case, the Information itself stated that the taking have not been accomplished yet since
Cardo has not obtained such degree of control over the stolen items as to freely dispose of them.
And so, without the unlawful taking, the offense of Cardo can only be attempted theft. He can be
convicted only of the lesser crime of attempted theft as there is no crime of frustrated theft. His
sentence should thus be reduced to imprisonment ranging from four (4) months as minimum to
two (2) years and four (4) months as maximum (Canceran vs. People, G.R. 206442 July 1, 2015).

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