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Larranaga vs CA

G.R. No. 130644 March 13, 1998 Facts: Petitioner Larranaga was charged with two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention before the RTC of Cebu City. He was arrested and was detained without the filing of the necessary Information and warrant of arrest. The petitioner alleged that he must be released and be subject to a preliminary investigation. However pending the resolution of the Court for the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with writs of preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction filed by the petitioner, RTC judge issued a warrant of arrest directed to the petitioner. Issue: 1. Whether petitioner is entitled to a regular preliminary investigation. 2. Whether petitioner should be released from detention pending investigation.


Held: 1. Yes. Our ruling is not altered by the fact that petitioner has been arraigned on October 14, 1997. The rule is that the right to preliminary investigation is waived when the accused fails to invoke it before or at the time of entering a plea at arraignment. Petitioner, in this case, has been actively and consistently demanding a regular preliminary investigation even before he was charged in court. Also, petitioner refused to enter a plea during the arraignment because there was a pending case in this Court regarding his right to avail of a regular preliminary investigation. Clearly, the acts of petitioner and his counsel are inconsistent with a waiver. Preliminary investigation is part of procedural due process. It cannot be waived unless the waiver appears to be clear and informed. 2. No. The filing of charges and the issuance of the warrant of arrest against a person invalidly detained will cure the defect of that detention or at least deny him the right to be released because of such defect.The original warrantless arrest of the petitioner was doubtless illegal. Nevertheless, the Regional Trial Court lawfully acquired jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner by virtue of the warrant of arrest it issued on August 26, 1993 against him and the other accused in connection with the rape-slay cases. It was belated, to be sure, but it was nonetheless legal.


232 SCRA 192 BELLOSILLO; May 5, 1994 DOCTRINE: If upon the filing of the information in court, the trial judge, after reviewing the information and the document attached attached thereto, finds that no probable cause exists, he must either call for the complainant and the witnesses

themselves or simply dismiss the case. There is no reason to hold the accused for trial and further expose him to an open and public accusation of the crime when no cause exists. FACTS: Petitioners Diosdado Jose Allado and Roberto L.Mendoza, alumni of the College of law, University ofthe Philippines, are partners of the Law Firm ofSalonga, Hernandez and Allado. In the practice oftheir profession, and on the basis of an allegedextrajudicial confession of a security guard (Umbal), they have been accused of the heinous crime of kidnapping with murder of a German national named Van Twest by the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) and ordered arrested without bail by respondent judge. Petitioners filed this petition and principally contended that respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion and in excess of jurisdiction in "whimsically holding that there is probable cause against petitioners without determining the admissibility of the evidence against petitioners and without even stating the basis of his findings," and in "relying on the Resolution of the Panel and their certification that probable cause exists when the certification is flawed." Petitioners maintain that the records of the preliminary investigation which respondent judge solely relied upon failed to establish probable cause against them to justify the issuance of the warrant of arrest. Petitioners likewise assail the prosecutors' "clear sign of bias and partiality." On the other hand, the Office of the Solicitor General argues that the determination of probable cause is a function of the judge who is merely required to personally appreciate certain facts to convince him that the accused probably committed the crime charged. ISSUE: WON the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in the preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. HELD: In the Order of respondent judge, it is expressly stated that "[t]his court after careful evaluation of the evidence on record, believes and rules that probable cause exists; and therefore, a warrant ofarrest should be issued. "However, we are unable to see how respondent judge arrived at such ruling. We have painstakingly examined the records and we cannot find any support for his conclusion. On the contrary, we discern a number of reasons why we consider the evidence submitted to be insufficient for a finding of probable cause against petitioners. The PACC relies heavily on the sworn statement of Security Guard Umbal who supposedly confessed his participation in the alleged kidnapping and murder of Van Twest. For one, there is serious doubt on VanTwest's reported death since the corpus delicti has not been established, nor have his remains been recovered. Umbal claims that Van Twest was completely burned into ashes with the use of

gasoline and rubber tires from around ten o'clock in the evening to six o'clock the next morning. This is highly improbable, if not ridiculous. A human body cannot be pulverized into ashes by simply burning it with the use of gasoline and rubber tires in an open field. Even crematoria use entirely closed incinerators where the corpse is subjected to intense heat. Thereafter, the remains undergo a process where the bones are completely ground to dust. Strangely, if not awkwardly, after Van Twest'sreported abduction which culminated in his decimation by cremation, his counsel continued to represent him before judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings. Hence, even Asst. Solicitor General Estoesta believes that counsel of Van Twest doubted the latter's death. Verily, respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the warrant for the arrest of petitioners it appearing that he did not personally examine the evidence nor did he call for the complainant and his witnesses in the face of their incredible accounts. Instead, he merely relied on the certification of the prosecutors that probable cause existed. For, otherwise, he would have found out thatthe evidence thus far presented was utterly insufficient to warrant the arrest of petitioners. In Soliven v. Makasiar, we said that the judge (a)shall personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or, (b) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, may disregard the fiscal's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion on the existence of probable cause. In People v. Inting, we emphasized the important features of the constitutional mandate: (a) The determination of probable cause is a function of the judge; it is not for the provincial fiscal or prosecutor to ascertain. Only the judge and the judge alone makes this determination; (b) The preliminary inquiry made by a prosecutor does not bind the judge. It merely assists him in making the determination ofprobable cause. The judge does not have to follow what the prosecutor presents to him. By itself, the prosecutor's certification of probable cause is ineffectual. It is the report, the affidavits, the transcript of stenographic notes (if any), and all other supporting documents behind the prosecutor's certification which are material in assisting the judge in his determination of probable cause; and, (c)Judges and prosecutors alike should distinguish the preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest from the preliminary investigation proper which ascertainswhether the offender should be held for trial or released. Even if the two inquiries be conducted inthe course of one and the same proceeding, there should be no confusion about their objectives. The determination of probable cause for the warrant is made by the judge. The preliminary investigation proper whether or not there is reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and therefore, whether or not he should be subjected to the expense, rigors and embarrassment of trial is a function of the prosecutor.

Dispositive: Petition granted.

Miranda vs Tuliao
GR No. 158763 March 31, 2006 On 8 March 1996, two burnt cadavers were discovered in Purok Nibulan, Ramon, Isabela, which were later identified as the dead bodies of Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao, son of private respondent Virgilio Tuliao. Two informations of murder were filed against police officers, one of which remained at large during the trial. The RTC convicted said accused personnel and sentenced reclusion pertua. The Supreme Court, on automatic review, reversed the decision and acquitted the police officers based on reasonable doubts. Sometime in September 1999, SPO2 Maderal was arrested. On 27 April 2001, he executed a sworn confession and identified petitioners Jose C. Miranda, PO3 Romeo B. Ocon, and SPO3 Alberto P. Dalmacio, a certain Boyet dela Cruz and Amado Doe, as the persons responsible for the deaths of Vicente Bauzon and ElizerTuliao. Respondent Tuliao filed a criminal complaint for murder against petitioners, Boyet dela Cruz, and Amado Doe, and submitted the sworn confession of SPO2Maderal. On 25 June 2001, Acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan issued warrants of arrest against petitioners and SPO2 Maderal. On 29 June 2001, petitioners filed an urgent motion to complete preliminary investigation, to reinvestigate, and to recall and/or quash the warrants of arrest. The petition was denied by Judge Tumaliuan on the ground of the absence of petitioners, thus, the court did not acquired jurisdiction over them. Judge Anghad took over the case and ordered the cancellation of the warrant of arrest. Respondent file a petition praying that a temporary restraining order be issued to enjoin Judge Anghad to form proceeding with the case. Two days after the Resolution of the Court granting the prayer of respondent, Judge Anghad dismissed the two Informations for murder agaist petitioner. Issues: 1. Whether of not the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the petitioners on their petition to cancel the warrant of arrest. 2. Whether of not the CA erred in ordering the reinstatement of the cases. 3. Whether or not double jeopardy would attach Held: 1. Yes. As a general rule, one who seeks an affirmative relief is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. As we held in the past decisions of the Supreme Court, whether in civil or criminal proceedings, constitutes voluntary appearance.

After Judge Tumaliuan issued warrants for the arrest of petitioners, petitioner Miranda appealed the assistant prosecutors resolution before the Secretary of Justice. Judge Anghad, shortly after assuming office, quashed the warrant of arrest on the basis of said appeal. According to Judge Anghad, x x x prudence dictates and because of comity, a deferment of the proceedings is but proper. Quashal on this basis is grave abuse of discretion. It is inconceivable to charge Judge Tumaliuan as lacking in prudence and oblivious to comity when he issued the warrants of arrest against petitioners just because the petitioners might, in the future, appeal the assistant prosecutors resolution to the Secretary of Justice. But even if the petition for review was filed before the issuance of the warrants of arrest, the fact remains that the pendency of a petition for the review of the prosecutors resolution is not a ground to quash the warrants of arrest. 2. No. Court of Appeals likewise declared the proceedings conducted by Judge Anghad void. Certainly, the declaration of nullity of proceedings should be deemed to carry with it the reinstatement of the orders set aside by the nullified proceedings. JudgeAnghads order quashing the warrants of arrest had been nullified; therefore those warrants of arrest are henceforth deemed unquashed. 3. No. In any case, the reinstatement of a criminal case dismissed before arraignment does not constitute double jeopardy. Double jeopardy cannot be invoked where the accused has not been arraigned and it was upon his express motion that the case was dismissed.

Zaldivia v Reyes
G.R. No. 102342, July 3, 1992, 211 SCRA 277 Facts: A complaint was filed before the fiscals office constituting an offense in violation of a city ordinance. The fiscal did not file the complaint before the court immediately but instead filed it 3 months later. The defendants counsel filed a motion to quash on ground that the action to file the complaint has prescribed. The fiscal contends that the filing of the complaint before his office already interrupts the prescription period. Issue: Whether or not the filing of information/complaint before the fiscal office constituting a violation against a special law/ordinance interrupts prescription. Held: The mere filing of complaint to the fiscals office does not interrupt the running of prescription on offenses punishable by a special law. The complaint should have been filed within a reasonable time before the court. It is only then that the running of the prescriptive period is interrupted. **Act 3326 is the governing law on prescription of crimes punishable by a special law which states that prescription is only interrupted upon judicial proceeding.

Reodica v CA 292 SCRA 87

Facts: Isabelita Reodica was allegedly recklessly driving a van and hit Bonsol causing him physical injuries and damage to property amounting to P 8,542.00. Three days after the accident a complaint was filed before the fiscals office against the petitioner. She was charged of "Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Slight Physical Injury." After pleading not guilty trial ensued. RTC of Makati rendered the decision convicting petitioner of "quasi offense of reckless imprudence, resulting in damage to property with slight physical injuries" with arresto mayor of 6 months imprisonment and a fine of P 13,542.00. Petitioner made an appeal before the CA which re-affirmed the lower courts decision. In its motion for reconsideration, petitioner now assails that the court erred in giving its penalty on complex damage to property and slight physical injuries both being light offenses over which the RTC has no jurisdiction and it cant impose penalty in excess to what the law authorizes. reversal of decision is still possible on ground of prescription or lack of jurisdiction. Issues: Whether or not the penalty imposed is correct. Whether or not reckless imprudence resulting to damage to property and reckless imprudence resulting to slight physical injuries are light felonies. Whether or not there is a complex crime applying Article 48 of the RPC. Whether or not the duplicity of the information may be questioned for the first time on appeal. Whether or not the RTC of Makati has jurisdiction over the case. Whether the quasi offenses already prescribed. Held: 1. On penalty imposed The proper penalty for reckless imprudence resulting to slight physical injury is public censure (being the penalty next lower in degree to arresto menor see the exception in the sixth paragraph of Article 365 applies). The proper penalty for reckless imprudence resulting to damage to property amounting to 8,542.00 would be arresto mayor in minimum and medium periods. 2. Classification of each felony involved Reckless imprudence resulting to slight physical injuries is a light felony. Public censure is classified under article 25 of RPC as a light penalty and it belongs on the graduated scale in Article 71 of the RPC as a penalty next lower to arresto menor. Reckless imprudence resulting to damage to property is punishable by a correctional penalty of arresto mayor and thus belongs to less grave felony and not as a light felony as claimed by petitioner. 3. Rule on complex crime

Art. 48 on penalty for complex crime provides that when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is necessary a means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period. Both offenses cannot constitute a complex crime because reckless imprudence resulting to slight physical injuries is not either a grave or less grave felony. Therefore each felony should be filed as a separate complaint subject to distinct penalties. 4. Right to assail duplicity of information Rule 120, section 3 of the Rules of Court provides that when two or more offenses are charged in a single complaint and the accused fails to object against it before the trial, the court may convict the accuse to as many offenses as charged and impose a penalty for each of them. Complainant failed to make the objection before the trial therefore the right to object has been waived. 5. Jurisdiction Jurisdiction of the court is determined by the duration of the penalty and the fine imposed as prescribed by law to the offense charged. Reckless imprudence resulting to slight physical injuries and reckless imprudence resulting to damage to property is within the jurisdiction of the MTC. The case was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction of the RTC of Makati and the decision of the CA was set aside.

Court Ruling on Zaldivia v Reyes and Reodica v CA on Prescription: 1. Zaldivia v Reyes involves a violation of an ordinance while in Reodica v CA the violation was against the RPC. 2. Filing of a complaint in the fiscals office involving a felony under the RPC is sufficient to interrupt the running of prescription. But filing a complaint under the fiscals office involving offenses punished by a special law (i.e. ordinance) does not interrupt the running of prescription. Act 3326 is the governing law on prescriptions of crimes punishable by a special law which states that prescription is only interrupted upon judicial proceeding.


528 SCRA 9 (G.R. No. 130140. October 25, 1999) FACTS: On 8 October 1992, President Fidel V. Ramos issued Administrative Order No. 13, creating the Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans, with the Chairman of the PCGG as Chairman; the Solicitor General as Vice Chairman; and one representative each from the Office of the Executive Secretary, Department of

Finance, Department of Justice, Development Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank, Asset Privatization Trust, Government Corporate Counsel, and the Philippine Export and Foreign Loan Guarantee Corporation as members. In its FOURTEENTH (14TH) REPORT ON BEHEST LOANS to President Ramos, dated 15 July 1993, the COMMITTEE reported that the Philippine Seeds, Inc., (hereafter PSI) of which the respondents in OMB-0-96-0968 were the Directors, was one of the twenty-one corporations which obtained behest loans. On 2 March 1996, the COMMITTEE through Orlando O. Salvador, the PCGG consultant detailed with the COMMITTEE, filed with the OMBUDSMAN a sworn complaint against the Directors of PSI namely, Jose Z. Osias, Pacifico E. Marcos, Eduardo V. Romualdez, Fernando C. Ordoveza, and Juanito Ordoveza; and the Directors of the Development Bank of the Philippines who approved the loans for violation of paragraphs (e) and (g) of Section 3 of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices. ISSUE: Does the imprescriptibility of the right of the State to recover ill-gotten wealth apply to both civil and criminal cases? RULING: No. The so-called imprescriptibility as provided in Section 15 of Article XI of the Constitution applies only to civil actions for recovery of ill-gotten wealth, and not to criminal cases, such as the complaint against the respondents in OMB-0-96-0968. This is clear from the proceedings of the Constitutional Commission of 1986. Since the law alleged to have been violated, i.e., paragraphs (e) and (g) of Section 3, R.A. No. 3019, as amended, is a special law, the applicable rule in the computation of the prescriptive period is Section 2 of Act No. 3326, as amended, which provides, Prescription shall begin to run from the day of the commission of the violation of the law, and if the same be not known at the time, from the discovery thereof and institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation and punishment. In the present case, it was well-nigh impossible for the State, the aggrieved party, to have known the violations of R.A. No. 3019 at the time the questioned transactions were made because, as alleged, the public officials concerned connived or conspired with the beneficiaries of the loans. Thus, the prescriptive period for the offenses with which the respondents in OMB-0-96-0968 were charged should be computed from the discovery of the commission thereof and not from the day of such commission.

Salazar vs People
G.R. No. 151931 23 September 2003 Callejo Sr., J. Doctrine: If the trial court issues an order or renders judgment not only granting the demurrer to evidence of the accused and acquitting him but also on the civil liability, the judgment on the civil aspect of the case would be a nullity as it violates the constitutional right to due process. Facts: In 1997, petitioner Anmer Salazar and Nena Jaucian Timario were charged with estafa before the Legazpi City Regional Trial Court. The estafa case allegedly

stemmed from the payment of a check worth P214,000 to private respondent J.Y. Brothers Marketing Corporation (JYBMC) through Jerson Yao for the purchase of 300 bags of rice. The check was dishonored by drawee Prudential Bank as it is drawn against a closed account. Salazar replaced said check with a new one, this time drawn against Solid Bank. It is again dishonored for being drawn against uncollected deposit (DAUD). The DAUD means that the account to which the check was drawn had sufficient funds. However, the fund cannot be used because it was collected against a deposited check which is yet to be cleared. Trial ensued. After the prosecution presented its evidence, Salazar filed a demurrer to evidence with leave of court, which the trial court granted. In 2002, the trial court rendered judgment acquitting Salazar, but ordered her to remit to JYBMC P214,000. The trial court ruled that the evidence of the prosecution failed to establish the existence of conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt between the petitioner and the issuer of the check, Timario. As a mere endorser of the check, Salazar's breach of warranty was a good one and did not amount to estafa under Article 315 (2)(d) of the Revised Penal Code. Timario remained at large. As a result, Salazar filed a motion for reconsideration on the civil aspect of the decision with a plea to be allowed to present evidence. The trial court denied the motion. Because of the denial of the motion, she filed petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court alleging she was denied due process as the trial court did not give her the opportunity to adduce evidence to controvert her civil liability. ISSUE: Whether or not Salazar was denied due process. HELD: Salazar should have been given by the trial court the chance to present her evidence as regards the civil aspect of the case. The acquittal of the accused does not prevent a judgment against him on the civil aspect of the case where (a) the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required; (b) where the court declared that the liability of the accused is only civil; (c) where the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based upon the crime of which the accused was acquitted. Moreover, the civil action based on the delict is extinguished if there is a finding in the final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist or where the accused did not commit the acts or omission imputed to him. If the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but the court renders judgment on the civil aspect of the criminal case, the prosecution cannot appeal from the judgment of acquittal as it would place the accused in double jeopardy. However,

the aggrieved party, the offended party or the accused or both may appeal from the judgment on the civil aspect of the case within the period therefor. Under the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Court explained the demurrer to evidence partakes of a motion to dismiss the case for the failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In a case where the accused files a demurrer to evidence without leave of court, thereby waives his right to present evidence and submits the case for decision on the basis of the prosecution's evidence he has the right to adduce evidence not only on the criminal aspect, but also on the civil aspect of the case of the demurrer is denied by the court. In addition, the Court said if the demurrer is granted and the accused is acquitted by the court, the accused has the right to adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the case unless the court also declares that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist. If the trial court issues an order or renders judgment not only granting the demurrer to evidence of the accused and acquitting him but also on the civil liability, the judgment on the civil aspect of the case would be a nullity as it violates the constitutional right to due process.

People vs. Beriales, et al.

70 SCRA 361 Facts: A case of three men who were charged for the murder of Saturnina on Sept. 13, 1974. During the hearing on Nov. 26, 1974, upon motion of the defense the Court ordered the re-investigation of the case pending submission of the Fiscal of its reports. Couple of postponements was made until Dec. 13, 1974 hearing when the Court proceeded with the arraignment and trial in the absence of the Fiscal and its report on re-investigation, and over the disagreement of the defense. The CFI of Leyte relied on the private prosecutor being authorized by the Fiscal to present evidence and the defense presumed to have waived its right over its disagreement. Trial then proceeded and the 3 found guilty of he offense. Thus, this appeal on the constitutional requirement of due process. Issue: Whether or not due process of law had been observed. Held: Constitutional due process was violated, thus, case remanded to CFI for arraignment and trial. Court should have held in abeyance the trial while the report on e-investigation was still pending. Consistent disregard of the defense objection on the arraignment, trial, presentation of private prosecutors evidence, and rendition of judgment violates due process. Prosecutor or Fiscal entrusted with the investigation is duty bound to take charge until final termination. They shall have direction and control of the criminal prosecution over private prosecutors.

Mobilia Products Inc. vs. Umezawa

452 SCRA 736 March 4, 2005

Accused: Hajime Umezawa (President and General Manager of Mobilia Products, Inc.) Offended Party: Mobilia Products, Inc. (manufacturer and exporter of quality furnitute) Crime: Qualified Theft, Estafa Facts: While Umezawa was working in Mobilia Products, Inc., he established another company, Astem Philippines Corporation, with his wife and sister without the knowledge of the Company. Astem Company engaged inthe same business as Mobilia Products. They also recruited the former Production Manager of Mobilia Products to work in their company. Umezawa and others wanted to accelerate the market potentials of Astem by participating in a Furniture Fair in Singapore. The fair required that the furniture for the exhibits arrive at a certain date before the exhibit. Pressed with time, as Astem had yet no equipment and machinery, no staff and no ready personnel, Umezawa, with grave abuse of the confidence reposed in him as the president and manager of Mobilia Products, stole prototype furniture from Mobilia for the exhibit. Information #1: contained all the items stolen from the corporations factory with the total value of Three Million Pesos. They also filed a motion for a writ of preliminary attachment covering the properties of Umezawa. Information #2: included Umezawa, his wife, the production manager, Umazewas cousin, and Henry Chua (owner of due foam where the furniture was stored) for qualified theft Prosecutor: issued a joint resolution finding PC Qualified Theft and Estafa Sec: Umezawa filed a petition with the SEC for the nullification of the board resolution authorizing the filing of criminal complaints against him. Motion to Quash Information: That the charge should be estafa and not qualified theft. Informations merely alleged that MPI was his employer. That there was no valid charge against him because the resolution authorizing the filing of the case was approved by a mere minority of the members of the MPI Board of Directors. RTC Ruling: Dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. The dispute between the private complainant and the accused over the ownership of the properties subject of the charges is intra corporate in nature, and was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the SEC. CA Ruling: petition granted and nullifying Orders of the RTC. It ruled that the issue of ownership of the properties subject of the Information was not an intra-corporate dispute.

Umezawa, although president, was not a joint owner or co-owner of the personal properties subject of the charges. CA on motion for reconsideration (decision 2): granted the motion and reversed the CA decision. It affirmed the RTC decision that the court does not have jurisdiction and SEC should try the case. MPI filed a petition for review on certiorari. People of the Philippines filed a separate petition for review on certiorari. SC Ruling: Issue #1: Whether or not petition for certiorari of the People in the CA assailing the decision of the decision of the TC was time-barred. CA held that the People filed its petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus well beyond the 60-day period therefor. Also, motion for reconsideration filed by MPI of the Joint Order of the RTC is pro forma, the public prosecutor not having signified his written conformity thereto. People insists that while the public prosecutor did not expressly conform to the motion for reconsideration of the January 29, 1999 Joint Order of the trial court filed by the private prosecutor , through the public prosecutors presence during the hearing of the said motion, his supervision and control over the private prosecutor during the said hearing, he in effect adopted and conformed to the said motion for reconsideration. Held: Yes. However, Court still holds that the CA erred in dismissing the petition of the People of the Philippines simply because the public prosecutor erred in not himself filing a motion for reconsideration of the joint order of the trial court, on his perception that by being present during the hearing of the motion for reconsideration of MPI, he thereby adopted the said motion as of the States. the settled rule is that the State is not stopped by the mistakes of its officers and employees. Institution of Criminal and Civil Actions; All criminal actions commenced by complaint or information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor; The offended party may intervene in the criminal action personally or by counsel, who will then act as private prosecutor for the protection of his interest and the interest of the speedy and inexpensive administration of justice. The intervention of the private offended party, through counsel, and his prosecution of the case shall be under the control and supervision of the public prosecutor until the final termination of the case. The public prosecutor may turn over the actual prosecution of the criminal case, in the exercise of his discretion, but he may, at any time, take over the actual conduct of the trial.

The private complainant or offended party may not undertake such motion for reconsideration or appeal on the criminal aspect of the case; the offended party or private complainant may file a motion for reconsideration of such dismissal or acquittal or appeal therefrom but only insofar as the civil aspect thereof is concerned; The private complainant or offended party need not secure conformity of the public prosecutor. Public and private prosecutors are not precluded whenever feasible, from filinf a joint motion for the reconsideration of the dismissal of the case or the acquittal of the accused, on the criminal and civil aspects of the cases. Issue #2: W/N the RTC had jurisdiction over the crime charged in the said Informations. Held: Yes. Based on the material allegations of the Informations in the three cases, the court a quo had exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes charged. The bare fact that the respondent was the president and general manager of the petitioner corporation when the crimes charged were allegedly committed and was then a stockholder thereof does not in itself deprive the court a quo of its exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes charged. The property of the corporation is not the property of the stockholders or members or of its officers who are stockholders. Issue #3: W/N the Informations sufficiently charge the felonies of qualified theft and estafa. If in the affirmative, W/N all the elements of qualified theft and estafa are alleged in the Informations. We find and so hold that the Informations state all the essential elements of estafa and qualified theft.It was adequately alleged that respondent Umezawa, being the President and General Manager of petitioner MPI, stole and misappropriated the properties of his employer, more specifically, petitioner MPI. Dispositive Portion:First decision of CA is AFFIRMED. (Ownership of the properties subject of the Information was not anintra-corporate dispute. Umezawa, although president, was not a joint owner or co-owner of the personal properties subject of the charges.

Crespo vs. Mogul

G.R. No. L-53373, June 30, 1987 Doctrine: It is a cardinal principle that all criminal actions either commenced by complaint or by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal. The institution of a criminal action depends upon the sound discretion of the fiscal. The reason for placing the criminal prosecution under the direction and control of the fiscal is to prevent malicious or unfounded prosecution by private persons. GANCAYCO, J.: FACTS:

On April 18, 1977 Assistant Fiscal Proceso K. de Gala with the approval of the Provincial Fiscal filed an information for estafa against Mario Fl. Crespo in the Circuit Criminal Court of Lucena City. When the case was set for arraignment the accused filed a motion to defer arraignment on the ground that there was a pending petition for review filed with the Secretary of Justice of the resolution of the Office of the Provincial Fiscal for the filing of the information. In an order of August 1, 1977, the presiding judge, His Honor, Leodegario L. Mogul, denied the motion. A motion for reconsideration of the order was denied in the order of August 5, 1977 but the arraignment was deferred to August 18, 1977 to afford time for petitioner to elevate the matter to the appellate court. A petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a preliminary writ of injunction was filed by the accused in the Court of Appeals. In an order of August 17, 1977 the Court of Appeals restrained Judge Mogul from proceeding with the arraignment of the accused until further orders of the Court. In a comment that was filed by the Solicitor General he recommended that the petition be given due course. On May 15, 1978 a decision was rendered by the Court of Appeals granting the writ and perpetually restraining the judge from enforcing his threat to compel the arraignment of the accused in the case until the Department of Justice shall have finally resolved the petition for review. On March 22, 1978 then Undersecretary of Justice, Hon. Catalino Macaraig, Jr., resolving the petition for review reversed the resolution of the Office of the Provincial Fiscal and directed the fiscal to move for immediate dismissal of the information filed against the accused. A motion to dismiss for insufficiency of evidence was filed by the Provincial Fiscal dated April 10, 1978 with the trial court, attaching thereto a copy of the letter of Undersecretary Macaraig, Jr. In an order of August 2, 1978 the private prosecutor was given time to file an opposition thereto. On November 24, 1978 the Judge denied the motion and set the arraignment, stating that the motions trust being to induce this Court to resolve the innocence of the accused on evidence not before it but on that adduced before the Undersecretary of Justice, a matter that not only disregards the requirements of due process but also erodes the Courts independence and integrity. The accused then filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with petition for the issuance of preliminary writ of prohibition and/or temporary restraining order in the Court of Appeals. On January 23, 1979 a restraining order was issued by the Court of Appeals against the threatened act of arraignment of the accused until further orders from the Court. In a decision of October 25, 1979 the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition and lifted the restraining order of January 23, 1979. A motion for reconsideration of said decision filed by the accused was denied in a resolution of February 19, 1980. Hence this petition for review of said decision. Petitioner and private respondent filed their respective briefs while the Solicitor General filed a Manifestation in lieu of brief reiterating that the decision of the

respondent Court of Appeals be reversed and that respondent Judge be ordered to dismiss the information. ISSUE: Whether the trial court, acting on a motion to dismiss a criminal case filed by the Provincial Fiscal upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice to whom the case was elevated for review, may refuse to grant the motion and insist on the arraignment and trial on the merits? RULING: YES. The rule in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is filed in Court any disposition of the case as its dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Court. Although the fiscal retains the direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is already in Court he cannot impose his opinion on the trial court. The Court is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case before it. The determination of the case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or deny the same. It does not matter if this is done before or after the arraignment of the accused or that the motion was filed after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records of the investigation. In order therefor to avoid such a situation whereby the opinion of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the action of the fiscal may be disregarded by the trial court, the Secretary of Justice should, as far as practicable, refrain from entertaining a petition for review or appeal from the action of the fiscal, when the complaint or information has already been filed in Court. The matter should be left entirely for the determination of the Court. WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit without pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED.

Serag vs CA
G.R. No. 163818 October 20, 2005 Facts: In the wee hours of May 11, 2001, Atty. Jesus Sibya, Jr., a mayoralty candidate in San Joaquin, Iloilo during the 2001 elections, was shot to death in front of his residence. His driver, Norberto Salamat III, was also wounded. The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Iloilo City filed a criminal complaint for murder and attempted murder against Lino Napao, then incumbent mayor of San Joaquin, and Sebastian Serag. The private offended party also filed criminal complaint against Serag and 14 others. The Provincial then filed an information for Murder and an Information for Attempted Murder with the use of unlicensed firearm against the accused. The accused-petitioners then filed a petition for review of the Joint Resolution of the Provincial Prosecutor before the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Secretary of Justice. Meanwhile, the trial court find a probable cause and issued warrants of arrest directed against the accused.

Pending the resolution by the Secretary of Justice of the said petition for review, the proceedings were suspended. Subsequently, however, the arraignment of the accused was set on May 21, 2002. It was, thereafter, reset to June 6, 2002 which, by agreement of the prosecution and the defense, was intransferrable in character. Before the scheduled arraignment, the Secretary of Justice issued a resolution stating that the crime charged be downgraded to Homicide and Attempted Homicide. In compliance with the said resolution the Provincial Prosecutor filed a Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Information for homicide and attempted homicide in the two cases, and for the court to admit the said second Amended Informations. On July 5, however, private offended parties filed a motion for reconsideration before the Secretary of Justice assailing the said resolution. The RTC ordered the information to be amended and the arraignment pursued. The private complainant forthwith assailed the orders of the trial court and the arraignment of the accused on June 6, 2002 via a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA issued a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining RTC from proceeding with the case. In the meantime, the Secretary of Justice issued a Resolution on November 18, 2002, granting the motion for reconsideration of the private complainant, setting aside its first Resolution and ordering the prosecutor to reinstate its original information. The petitioners then filed a motion for reconsideration of the Resolution of the Secretary of Justice but was denied. They filed a petition for certiorari before the CA assailing the resolution. But CA did not act on the same as it lacked the necessary requirement of a certification of non-forum shopping. Issue: Whether of not, the prosecutor and the RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion holding the arraignment of the case. Held: Yes. In fine, the RTC acted with inordinate and precipitate haste when it granted the Provincial Prosecutors motion for the admission of the Second Amended Information for homicide, ordered the withdrawal of Criminal Case No. 926 for attempted homicide based on Resolution No. 258 of the DOJ Secretary, and arraigned the accused therein for homicide. Therefore, the pendency of an appeal before the DOJ is enough reason for the deferment of any proceedings in the trial court and petitioner, through the private prosecutors, correctly moved for the deferment of the admission of the second amended informations for homicide and attempted homicide. It should be considered that the motion to defer was even with the conformity of the public prosecutor and the appearance of the private prosecutors is pursuant to Section 16, Rule 110 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure, to wit:

Intervention of the offended party in criminal action.Where the civil action for recovery of civil liability is instituted in the criminal action pursuant to Rule 111, the offended party may intervene by counsel in the prosecution of the offense.