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People vs Lacson

FACTS: Before the court is the petitioners motion of reconsideration of the resolution dated May 23,
2002, for the determination of several factual issues relative to the application of Sec. 8 Rule 117 of
RRCP on the dismissal of the cases Q-99- 81679 and Q-99-81689 against the respondent. The
respondent was charged with the shooting and killing of eleven male persons. The court confirmed the
express consent of the respondent in the provisional dismissal of the aforementioned cases when he filed
for judicial determination. The court also ruled the need to determine whether the other facts for its
application are attendant.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the requisites for the applicability of Sec. 8, Rule 117 of 2000 Rules on Criminal
Procedure were complied with in the Kuratong Baleleng cases.
a. Was express consent given by the respondent?
b. Was notice for the motion, the hearing and the subsequent dismissal given to the heirs of the
victims?
2. Whether or not time-bar in Sec 8 Rule 117 should be applied prospectively or retroactively.
DECISION: Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration is GRANTED. The Resolution of this Court,

dated May 28, 2002, is SET ASIDE. The Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated August 24,
2001, in CA-G.R. SP No. 65034 is REVERSED. The Petition of the Respondent with the
Regional Trial Court in Civil Case No. 01-100933 is DISMISSED for being moot and
academic. The Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 81, is DIRECTED to forthwith
proceed with Criminal Cases Nos. 01-101102 to 01-101112 with deliberate dispatch.
RATIO:
1. Section 8, Rule 117 is not applicable to the case since the conditions for its applicability, namely:
1) prosecution with the express consent of the accused or both of them move for provisional
dismissal,
2) offended party notified,
3) court grants motion and dismisses cases provisionally,
4) public prosecutor served with copy of orders of provisional dismissal, which is the defendants
burden to prove, which in this case has not been done
a. The defendant never filed and denied unequivocally in his statements, through counsel at the Court
of Appeals, that he filed for dismissal nor did he agree to a provisional dismissal thereof.
b. No notice of motion for provisional dismissal, hearing and subsequent dismissal was given to the
heirs of the victims.
2. Time-bar should not be applied retroactively. Though procedural rules may be applied retroactively, it
should not be if to do so would work injustice or would involve intricate problems of due process. Statutes
should be construed in light of the purposes to be achieved and the evils to be remedied. This is because
to do so would be prejudicial to the State since, given that the Judge dismissed the case on March
29,1999, and the New rule took effect on Dec 1,2000, it would only in effect give them 1 year and three
months to work instead of 2 years. At that time, they had no knowledge of the said rule and therefore they
should not be penalized for that. Indeed for justice to prevail, the scales must balance; justice is not to be
dispensed for the accused alone. The two-year period fixed in the new rule is for the benefit of both the

State and the accused. It should not be emasculated and reduced by an inordinate retroactive application
of the time-bar therein provided merely to benefit the accused. To do so would cause an injustice of
hardship to the state and adversely affect the administration of justice.

PEOPLE vs. Lacson, October 7, 2003


FACTS: Petitioner asserts that retroactive application of penal laws should also cover procedures, and
that these should be applied only to the sole benefit of the accused. Petitioner
asserts that Sec 8 was meant to reach back in time to provide relief to the accused in line with the
constitutional guarantee to the right to speedy trial.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the 5 Associate Justices inhibit themselves from deciding in the Motion for
Reconsideration given they were only appointed in the SC after his Feb. 19, 2002 oral arguments.
2. Whether or not the application of the time-bar under Section 8 Rule 117 be given a retroactive
application without reservations, only and solely on the basis of its being favorable to the accused.
DECISION: Respondent Panfilo M. Lacsons Omnibus Motion and Motion to Set for Oral

Arguments are DENIED. The respondents Motion for Reconsideration and its Supplement are
DENIED WITH FINALITY. The Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City is
hereby DIRECTED to CONSOLIDATE Criminal Cases Nos. 01-101102 to 01-101112 and to RERAFFLE the same with dispatch to one of the branches of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
City designated as a special court, exclusively to try and decide heinous crimes.
RATIO:
1.The rule should be applied prospectively. The court upheld the petitioners contention that while Sec.8
secures the rights of the accused, it does not and should not preclude the equally important right of the
State to public justice. If a procedural rule impairs a vested right, or would work injustice, the said rule
may not be given a retroactive application.
2. The Court is not mandated to apply rules retroactively simply because it is favorable to the accused.
The time-bar under the new rule is intended to benefit both the State and
the accused. When the rule was approved by the court, it intended that the rule be applied prospectively
and not retroactively, for to do so would be tantamount to the denial
of the States right to due process. A retroactive application would result in absurd, unjust and oppressive
consequences to the State and to the victims of crimes and their heirs.