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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G.R. No. 134744 January 16, 2001 GIAN PAULO ILLA!LOR, petitioner, vs. "IN"O I AR y GO#ON, respon ent. PANGANI$AN, J.% The absence of a preli!inar" investigation oes not i!pair the vali it" of an infor!ation or ren er it efective. Neither oes it affect the #uris iction of the court or constitute a groun for $uashing the infor!ation. Instea of is!issing the infor!ation, the court shoul hol the procee ing in abe"ance an or er the public prosecutor to con uct a preli!inar" investigation.
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T&' Ca(' )efore us is a Petition for Revie' un er Rule *+ of the Rules of ,ourt, see-ing to set asi e the Or ers issue b" the Regional Trial ,ourt .RT,/ of Muntinlupa ,it" .)ranch 012/ in ,ivil ,ase No. 314%5*. % Date 6anuar" 07, %338,0 the first Or er grante the Motion to 9uash the Infor!ations an or ere the Dis!issal of the t'o cri!inal cases. The secon Or er ate 6ul" 2, %338, enie the Motion for Reconsi eration. T&' !a)*( ,ulle fro! the recor s an the plea ings of the parties are the follo'ing un ispute facts. :n Infor!ation5 for slight ph"sical in#uries, oc-ete as ,ri!inal ,ase No. 0552+, 'as file against Respon ent Din o Vivar on ;ebruar" 1, %331. The case fro! the allege !auling of Petitioner <ian Paulo Villaflor b" respon ent aroun %=77 a.!. on 6anuar" 01, %331 outsi e the ;at Tues a" )ar at the :"ala :labang To'n ,enter, Muntinlupa ,it". :fter the severe beating he too- fro! respon ent, petition again !et respon ent 'ho tol hi!, >Sa susuno gaga!itin -o na itong baril -o>* .>Ne?t ti!e, I 'ill use !" gun on "ou>/. @hen the in#uries sustaine b" petitioner turne out to be !ore serious than the" ha appeare at first, an Infor!ation+ for !ore serious ph"sical in#uries, oc-ete as ,ri!inal ,ase No. 05181, 'as file against respon ent.2 The earlier charge of slight ph"sical in#uries 'as 'ith ra'n. :t the sa!e ti!e, another Infor!ation1 for grave threats, oc-ete as ,ri!inal ,ase No. 05108 8, 'as file against respon ent on March %1, %331. On :pril %*, %331, respon ent poste a cash bon of P2,777 in ,ri!inal ,ase No. 05181 .for serious ph"sical in#uries/3. Instea of filing a counter4affi avit as re$uire b" the trial court, he file on :pril 0%, %331, a Motion to 9uash the Infor!ation in ,ri!inal ,ase No. 05181 .for grave threats/. He conten e that the latter shoul have absorbe the threat, having been !a e in connection 'ith the charge of serious ph"sical in#uries. Thus, he conclu e , ,ri!inal ,ase No. 05108 shoul be is!isse , as the trial court i not ac$uire #uris iction over it. %7 In an Or er ate :pril 08, %331 in ,ri!inal ,ase No. 05108, the Metropolitan Trial ,ourt .MT,/ enie the Motion to 9uash, as follo's= >;or consi eration is a !otion to $uash file b" accuse counsel. ,onsi ering that #uris iction is conferre b" la' an the case file is grave threats 'hich is 'ithin the #uris iction of this ,ourt an consi ering further that a !otion to $uash is a prohibite Aplea ingB un er the rule on su!!ar" proce ure, the !otion to $uash file b" the accuse counsel is DCNICD. @HCRC;ORC, the !otion to $uash file b" accuse counsel is hereb" DCNICD an let the arraign!ent of the accuse be set on 6une 0+, %331 at 0=77 7Dcloc- in the afternoon.>%% The Motion for Reconsi eration file b" Respon ent 'as enie b" the MT, on 6une %1, %331. %0 Thus, he 'as ul" arraigne in ,ri!inal ,ase No. 05108 .for grave threats/, an he plea e not guilt". On 6ul" %8, %331, respon ent file a Petition for ,ertiorari 'ith the RT, of Muntinlupa ,it". This 'as oc-ete as

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,ivil ,ase No. 314%5*. On 6ul" 07, %338, after the parties sub!itte their respective Me!oran a, the RT, issue the assaile Or er, 'hich rea s as follo's= >The 6u icial Officer appears to have acte 'ith grave abuse of iscretion a!ounting to lac- of #uris iction in eclaring an en"ing the MOTION TO 9E:SH as a prohibitive !otion. The sa!e shoul have been treate an Ashoul haveB procee e un er the regular rules of proce ure. The MOTION TO 9E:SH THC IN;ORM:TION file 'ithout preli!inar" investigation is therefore grante an these cases shoul have been is!isse . Fet this Petition be turne to the Metropolitan Trial ,ourt, )ranch 874Muntinlupa ,it" for appropriate action.>%5 The RT,, in an Or er ate 6ul" 2, %338, enie the unoppose Motion for Reconsi eration, as follo's= >Sub!itte for resolution is the unoppose Motion for Reconsi eration file b" Private Respon ent. The ,ourt agrees 'ith the contention of private respon ent that the Motion $uash file b" petitioner in the interior court is a prohibite plea ing un er Rules on Su!!ar" Proce ure so that its enial is tenable. Ho'ever, it 'oul appear that the cri!inal charges 'ere file 'ithout the preli!inar" investigation having been con ucte b" the ProsecutorDs Office. :lthough preli!inar" investigation in cases triable b" interior courts is not a !atter of right, the provision of Sec. +% par 5.a/ of Republic :ct 1302 entitle >:n :ct ,onverting the Municipalit" of Muntinlupa Into Highl" ErbaniGe ,it" To )e Hno'n as the ,it" of Muntinlupa> provi es that the cit" prosecutor shall con uct preli!inar" investigations of :FF cri!es, even violations of cit" or inances. This :ct a!en e the Rules on ,ri!inal Proce ure. Since this proce ure 'as not ta-en against accuse , the Or er ate 6anuar" 07, %338 stan s. The Motion for Reconsi eration is therefore enie .>%* Hence, this Petitioner.%+ T&' I((u'( Petitioner sub!itte the follo'ing issues for our consi eration=%2 +I ,an the court motu propio or er the is!issal of t'o .0/ cri!inal cases for serious ph"sical in#uries an grave threats on the groun that the public prosecutor faile to con uct a preli!inar" investigationI +II Shoul the failure of the public prosecutor to con uct a preli!inar" investigation be consi ere a groun to $uash the cri!inal Infor!ations for serious ph"sical in#uries an grave threats file against the accuse 4 respon entI +III Shoul respon entDs entr" of plea in the AgraveB threats case an posting of cash bon 'aiver of this right, if an", to preli!inar" investigationI> T&' Cour* Ru,-n. The Petitioner is !eritorious. !-r(* I((u'% Lack of Preliminary Investigation Preli!inar" investigation is >an in$uir" or procee ing to eter!ine 'hether sufficient groun to engen er a 'ell4 foun e belief that a cri!e has been co!!itte an the respon ent is probabl" guilt" thereof, an shoul be hel for trial.>%1 : co!ponent part of ue process in cri!inal #ustice, preli!inar" investigation is a statutor" an substantive right accor e to the accuse before trial. To en" their clai! to a preli!inar" investigation 'oul be to eprive the! of the full !easure of their right to ue process.%8 Ho'ever, the absence of a preli!inar" investigation oes not i!pair the vali it" of the infor!ation or other'ise ren er it efective.%3 Neither oes it affect the #uris iction of the court or constitute a groun for $uashing the

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infor!ation.07 The trial court, instea of is!issing the infor!ation, shoul hol in abe"ance the procee ings an or er the public prosecutor to con uct a preli!inar" investigation. Hence, the RT, in this case erre 'hen it is!isse the t'o cri!inal cases for serious ph"sical in#uries .,ri!inal case No. 05181/ an grave threats .,ri!inal ,ase No. 05108/ on the groun that the public prosecutor ha faile to con uct a preli!inar" investigation. ;urther!ore, 'e o not agree that a preli!inar" investigation 'as not con ucte . In fact, the assistant cit" prosecutor of Muntinlupa ,it" !a e a preli!inar" investigation for slight ph"sical in#uries. The sai Infor!ation 'as, ho'ever, a!en e 'hen petitionerDs in#uries turne out to be !ore serious an i not heal 'ithin the perio specifie in the Revise Penal ,o e.0% @e believe that a ne' preli!inar" investigation cannot be e!an e b" respon ent. This is because the charge !a e b" the public prosecutor 'as onl" a for!al a!en !ent.00 The filing of the :!en e Infor!ation, 'ithout a ne' preli!inar" investigation, i not violate the right of respon ent to be protecte fro! a hast", !alicious an oppressive prosecutionJ an open an public accusation of a cri!eJ or fro! the trouble, the e?penses an the an?iet" of a public trial. The :!en e Infor!ation coul not have co!e as a surprise to hi! for the si!ple an obvious reason that it charge essentiall" the sa!e offense as that un er the original Infor!ation. Moreover, if the original charge 'as relate to the a!en e one, such that an in$uir" 'oul elicit substantiall" the sa!e facts, then a ne' preli!inar" investigation 'as not necessar". 05 S')on/ I((u'% Motion to Quash :s previousl" state , the absence of a preli!inar" investigation oes not i!pair the vali it" of the infor!ation or other'ise ren er it efective. Neither oes it affect the #uris iction of the court over the case or constitute a ground for quashing the information.0* Section 5, Rule %%1 of the Revise Rules of ,ri!inal Proce ure provi es the groun s on 'hich an accuse can !ove to $uash the co!plaint or infor!ation. These are= .a/ the facts charge o not constitute an offenseJ .b/ the court tr"ing the case has no #uris iction over the offense charge .c/ the court tr"ing the case has no #uris iction over the person of the accuse J . / the officer 'ho file the infor!ation ha no authorit" to o soJ .e/ the infor!ation oes not confor! substantiall" to the prescribe for!J .f/ !ore than one offense is charge , e?cept in those cases in 'hich e?isting la's prescribe a single punish!ent for various offenseJ .g/ the cri!inal action or liabilit" has been e?tinguishe J .h/ infor!ation contains aver!ents 'hich, if true, 'oul constitute a legal e?cuse or #ustificationJ an .I/ the accuse has been previousl" convicte or is in #eopar " of being convicte or ac$uitte of the offense charge .0+ No'here in the above4!entione section is there an" !ention of a lac- of a preli!inar" investigation as a groun for a !otion to $uash. Moreover, such !otion is a prohibite plea ing un er Section %3 of the Revise Rules on Su!!ar" Proce ure. In the present case, the RT, therefore erre in granting herein respon entDs Motion to 9uash. ;urther!ore, 'e stress that the failure of the accuse to assert an" groun for a !otion to $uash before arraign!ent, either because he ha not file the !otion or ha faile to allege the groun s therefor, shall be ee!e a 'aiver of such groun s.02 In this case, he 'aive his right to file such !otion 'hen he plea e not guilt" to the charge of grave threats.
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In vie' of the foregoing, 'e fin no !ore nee to resolve the other points raise b" petitioner. @HCRC;ORC, the petition is GRA !"#$ an the assaile Or ers of the Regional Trial ,ourt of Muntinlupa ,it" are R"%"R&"#. No costs. SO ORDCRCD. Melo, Vitug, Gonzaga-Reyes, and Sandoval-Gutierrez JJ., concur.