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Rule 111.

Prosecution of Civil Actions

Sec. 1 Institution of Criminal and Civil Actions
Sec. 1(a)
1. Actions deemed instituted.
Philippine Rabbit v. People; GR No. 160355; 5.16.05: Ancheta a driver of a bus
encountered an accident resulting to the death of passengers, he was found guilty of
Reckless imprudence resulting to homicide, to suffer prision correctional and to pay
civil liabilities, generously. Whether or Not the Families of the victims are entitled to
A person criminally liable is also civilly liable; and upon the institution of the criminal
action, the civil action for the recovery of the civil liability arising from the crime is
also impliedly instituted unless waived, or the filing of a separate action therefor is
reserved. The employer is subsidiarily answerable for the adjudicated civil liability ex
delicto of his employee in the event of the latter's insolvency; and the judgment in the
criminal action pronouncing the employee to be also civilly liable is conclusive on the
employer not only as to the actuality of that liability but also as to its amount.
2. Actions deemed not instituted.
Maniago v. CA; GR No. 104392; 2.20.96: Ruben Maniago owned a shuttle bus whom
collided with a jeepney resulting to multiple physical injuries and damage to
properties, the driver was charged. Petitioner moved for the suspension of the civil
proceedings against him, to no avail. The question is whether despite the absence of
such reservation, private respondent may nonetheless bring an action for damages
against petitioner.
The right to bring an action for damages under the Civil Code must be reserved as
required by Rule 111, 1, otherwise it should be dismissed. Section 1 quite clearly
requires that a reservation must be made to institute separately all civil actions for
the recovery of civil liability, otherwise they will be deemed to have been instituted
with the criminal case.
3. Exceptions to the requirement of reservation.
Yakult v. CA; GR No. 91856; 10.5.90: Can a civil action instituted after the criminal
action was filed prosper even if there was no reservation to file a separate civil action?
Under the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure in Sec. 1, Rule 115, the civil action for the
recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action unless the
offended party waives the civil action, reserves his right to institute it separately or
institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.
Although the separate civil action filed in this case was without previous reservation in
the criminal case, nevertheless since it was instituted before the prosecution
presented evidence in the criminal action, and the judge handling the criminal case
was informed thereof, then the actual filing of the civil action is even far better than a

compliance with the requirement of an express reservation that should be made by

the offended party before the prosecution presents its evidence.
4. Effect of non-payment of docket fee
General v. Claravall; GR No. 96724; 3.22.91: The defense raised the issue of nonpayment of the docket fees corresponding to the claim of damages.
When a civil action is deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal in accordance with
Section 1, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court - because the offended party has NOT waived
the civil action, or reserved the right to institute it separately, or instituted the civil
action prior to the criminal action the rule is as follows: (1) when "the amount of
damages, other than actual, is alleged in the complaint or information" filed in court,
then "the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party upon the filing
thereof in court for trial; (2) in any other case, however i.e., when the amount of
damages is not so alleged in the complaint or information filed in court, the
corresponding filing fees need not be paid and shall simply "constitute a first lien on
the judgment, except in an award for actual damages."
5. Remedy of the Offended Party
Perez v. Hagonoy Rural Bank; GR No. 126210; 3.9.00: While it is only the Solicitor
General that may bring or defend actions on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines,
or represent the People or State in criminal proceedings pending in the Supreme Court
and the Court of Appeals, the private offended party retains the right to bring a
special civil action for certiorari in his own name in criminal proceedings before the
courts of law. Hence, if the private respondent may file a special civil action for
certiorari, then with more reason does it have the legal personality to move for a
reconsideration of the order of the trial court dismissing the criminal charges against
the petitioner. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals.
6. Appearance of Private Prosecutor
Sarmiento Jr. v. Court of Appeals; GR No. 122502; 12.27.02: Whether or Not a Private
Prosecutor independently proceed in favour of his client regarding civil liabilities.
The Supreme Court held that the appearance of respondent's counsel in the criminal
case through a private prosecutor may not per se be considered either as an implied
election to have his claim for damages determined in said proceedings or a waiver of
his right to have it determined separately. He must actually or actively intervene in
the criminal proceedings as to leave no doubt with respect to his intention to press a
claim for damages in the same action. In this case, by withdrawal of appearance of its
counsel in the early stage of the criminal proceedings, private respondent had no
intention of submitting its claim for civil liability against the petitioners in the criminal
action filed against the latter. Also, private respondent's right to file a separate
complaint for a sum of money is governed by the provisions of Article 31 of the Civil
7. Counterclaim in Criminal Cases

Maccay v. Novela; GR No. 145823; 3.31.05: Whether the trial court may rule on the
civil liability of complainant in a criminal case where the civil action was not reserved
or filed separately.
A court trying a criminal case cannot award damages in favor of the accused. The task
of the trial court is limited to determining the guilt of the accused and if proper, to
determine his civil liability. A criminal case is not the proper proceedings to determine
the private complainant's civil liability, if any. This Court ruled in Cabaero v. Hon.
Cantos that a court trying a criminal case should limit itself to the criminal and civil
liability of the accused, thus: [Thus,] the trial court should confine itself to the criminal
aspect and the possible civil liability of the accused arising out of the crime.
8. Separate Civil Action filed by accused
Casupanan v. Laroya; GR No. 145391; 8.26.02: Whether an accused in a pending
criminal case for reckless imprudence can validly file, simultaneously and
independently, a separate civil action for quasi-delict against the private complainant
in the criminal case?
The accused can file a civil action for quasi-delict for the same act or omission he is
accused of in the criminal case. This is expressly allowed in paragraph 6, Section 1 of
the present Rule 111 which states that the counterclaim of the accused "may be
litigated in a separate civil action." Thus, the civil action based on quasi-delict filed
separately by Casupanan and Capitulo is proper. The order of dismissal by the MCTC
of the civil case on the ground of forum shopping is erroneous.
Sec. 1 (b)
1. Rule with respect to violation of BP22
a. Violation of BP22 and civil case
Hyatt Industrial v. Asia Dynamic; GR No. 163587; 7.29.05: The appellate court, in its
decision held that the civil actions deemed instituted with the filing of the criminal
cases for violation of B.P. 22 and Civil Case entailed in it.
We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals that upon filing of the criminal cases
for violation of B.P. 22, the civil action for the recovery of the amount of the checks
was also impliedly instituted under Section 1 (b) of Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on
Criminal Procedure. Under the present revised Rules, the criminal action for violation
of B.P. 22 shall be deemed to include the corresponding civil action. The reservation to
file a separate civil action is no longer needed.
b. Appearance of private prosecutor in estafa and BP22
Rodriguez v. Ponferrada; GR No. 155531-34; 7.29.05: Whether or not a Private
Prosecutor can be allowed to intervene and participate in the proceedings of the
above-entitled Estafa cases for the purpose of prosecuting the attached civil liability
arising from the issuance of the checks involved which is also subject matter of the
pending B.P. 22 cases.
The possible single civil liability arising from the act of issuing a bouncing check can
be the subject of both civil actions deemed instituted with the estafa case and the BP

22 violation prosecution. In the crimes of both estafa and violation of BP 22, Rule 111
of the Rules of Court expressly allows, even automatically in the present case, the
institution of a civil action without need of election by the offended party. As both
remedies are simultaneously available to this party, there can be no forum shopping.
Sec. 2 When Separate Civil Action is Suspended
1. Suspension of civil action
Cojuangco Jr. v. CA; GR No. L-37404; 11.18.91: Does article 33 of the new civil code
and section 2, rule 111 of the new rules of court prohibit the consolidation, for joint
trial, or (sic) these criminal and civil cases?
From the provisions of Secs. 1 and 2 of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court, it is clear that
the Civil action for the recovery of damages arising from a crime, or ex delicto, may
be filed separately from the criminal case either before the institution of the latter,
which may be done without reservation, or after such institution, provided, however,
that a reservation to that effect has been made. If in the meantime the criminal action
is instituted, the civil action which has been reserved cannot be commenced until final
judgment has been rendered in the former. This restriction does not, however, apply
to the cases provided for in Section 3 of said rule. Thus, in the cases provided for in
Articles 32, 33 (as in the instant case), 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code, the civil action
may be filed even after the institution of the criminal case, provided that prior proper
reservation had been made.
2. Effect of acquittal in criminal case
a. Acquittal with judgment on civil liability
Salazar v. People; GR No. 151931; 9.23.03: Acquitted of BP22, petitioner now claims
that she was denied due process as she was not given the opportunity to adduce
evidence to prove that she was not civilly liable to the private respondent.
The petition was meritorious. If demurrer was granted and the accused was acquitted
by the trial court, the accused has the right to adduce evidence on the civil aspect of
the case unless the trial court also declared 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 of the accused to the private. offended party, said
judgment on the civil aspect of the case would be a nullity for the reason that the
constitutional right of the accused to due process is thereby violated.
b. Appeal after acquittal
Manantan v. CA; GR No. 107125; 1.29.01: Petitioner insisted that he was acquitted on
a finding that he was neither criminally negligent nor recklessly imprudent. Inasmuch
as his civil liability is predicated on the criminal offense, he argues that when the
latter is not proved, civil liability cannot be demanded. He concludes that his acquittal
bars any civil action.
The Supreme Court dismissed the petition. According to the Court, the trial court's
decision supported the conclusion of the appellate court that the acquittal was based

on reasonable doubt; hence, petitioner's civil liability was not extinguished by his
discharge. The Court noted the trial court's declaration that did not discount the
possibility that "the accused was really negligent." However, it found that "a
hypothesis inconsistent with the negligence of the accused presented itself before the
Court" and since said "hypothesis is consistent with the record . . . the Court's mind
cannot rest on a verdict of conviction." Said pronouncement by the appellate court
clearly showed that petitioner's acquittal was predicated on the conclusion that his
guilt had not been established with moral certainty. Stated differently, it is an acquittal
based on reasonable doubt, and a suit to enforce civil liability for the same act or
omission lies.
c. Filing of civil case after acquittal
Bonite v. Zosa; GR No. L-33772; 6.20.88: Whether or not a Civil Action against the
accused for Damages maybe instated after the acquittal in a criminal case.
Article 29 of the Civil Code does not include any such reservation requirement. It
allows an action for damages against the accused upon the latter's acquittal in the
criminal case based upon reasonable doubt. Besides, the requirement in Section 2 of
Rule 111 of the former Rules on Criminal Procedure that there be a reservation in the
criminal case of the right to institute an independent civil action, has been declared as
not in accordance with law. It is regarded as an unauthorized amendment to the
substantive law, i.e. the Civil Code, which does not require such a reservation. In fact,
the reservation of the right to file an independent civil action has been deleted from
Section 2, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, in consonance with the
decisions of this Court declaring such requirement of a reservation as ineffective.
3. Dismissal during preliminary investigation
Bunag Jr. v. CA; GR No. 101749; 7.10.92: A breached promise to marry. Private
respondent appealed that portion of the lower court's decision disculpating Conrado
Bunag, Sr. from civil liability in this case.
It is true that in this jurisdiction, we adhere to the time-honored rule that an action for
breach of promise to marry has no standing in the civil law, apart from the right to
recover money or property advanced by the plaintiff upon the faith of such promise.
Generally, therefore, a breach of promise to marry per se is not actionable, except
where the plaintiff has actually incurred expenses for the wedding and the necessary
incidents thereof.
Under the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, the acts or petitioner in forcibly
abducting private respondent and having carnal knowledge with her against her will,
and thereafter promising to marry her in order to escape criminal liability, only to
thereafter renege on such promise after cohabiting with her for twenty-one days,
irremissibly constitutes acts contrary to morals and good customs. These are grossly
insensate and reprehensible transgressions which indisputably warrant and
abundantly justify the award of moral and exemplary damages, pursuant to Article 21,
in relation to paragraphs 3 and 10, Article 2219, and Articles 2229 and 2234 of the
Civil Code.

Sec. 3 When Civil Action may Proceed Independently

1. Consequences of amendment
Philippine Rabbit v. Heirs of Mangawang; GR No. 160355; 5.16.05: The petitioner
laments that in this case, the counsel it provided to defend the accused was remiss in
the performance of his duties and failed to notify it of the RTC decision, the November
10, 2000 Resolution of the CA, as well as the June 5, 2001 Order of the RTC;
consequently, it was not apprised of its civil liability to the heirs of the deceased, thus
depriving the petitioner of its right to due process.
Since the petitioner was not a party in the RTC and in the CA on the appeal of its
employee (Ancheta), the petitioner cannot justifiably claim that it was deprived of its
right to due process. As explained by this Court in Martinez v. Barredo: The employer
cannot be said to have been deprived of his day in court, because the situation before
us is not one wherein the employer is sued for a primary liability under Article 1903 of
the Civil Code, but one in which enforcement is sought of a subsidiary civil liability
incident to and dependent upon his driver's criminal negligence which is a proper
issue to be tried and decided only in a criminal action. In other words, the employer
becomes ipso facto subsidiarily liable upon his driver's conviction and upon proof of
the latter's insolvency, in the same way that acquittal wipes out not only the
employee's primary civil liability but also his employer's subsidiary liability for such
criminal negligence
2. Action based on quasi-delict
Bermudez v. Melencio-Herrera; GR No. L-32055; 2.26.88: Whether the present action
is based on quasi-delict under the Civil Code and therefore could proceed
independently of the criminal case for homicide thru reckless imprudence.
In cases of negligence, the injured party or his heirs has the choice between an action
to enforce the civil liability arising from crime under Article 100 of the Revised Penal
Code and an action for quasi-delict under Article 2176-2194 of the Civil Code. If a
party chooses the latter, he may hold the employer solidarily liable for the negligent
act of his employee, subject to the employer's defense of exercise of the diligence of a
good father of the family.
3. Consolidation in Libel
Cojuangco Jr. v. CA; GR No. L-37404; 11.18.91: The court of appeals erred in declaring
that article 33 of the new civil code and section 2, rule 111 of the new rules of court
prohibit the consolidation, for joint trial, or (sic) these criminal and civil cases.
Section 1, Rule 31 of the Rules of Court authorizes consolidation of actions involving
common questions of law or fact pending before the court. Consolidation of cases
assigned to different branches of a court had earlier been recognized. In Raymundo,
et al. vs. Felipe, et al., 42 SCRA 615 (1971). We held: "[A]Although consolidation of
several cases involving the same parties and subject matter is a matter addressed to
the discretion of the trial court, joint hearing becomes a matter of duty if two or more
cases are tried before the same judge, or even if filed with the different branches of

the same court of first instance, provided one of such cases has not been partially
4. Specific Crimes
a. Recovery of a sum of money and estafa
Bordador v. Luz; GR No. 130148; 12.15.97: Whether or not herein respondent spouses
are liable to petitioners for the latter's claim for money and damages and attorney's
fees, despite the fact that the evidence does not show that they signed any of the
subject receipts or authorized Deganos to receive the items of jewelry on their behalf.
It is clear therefore, that this civil case may proceed independently of the criminal
case especially because while both cases are based on the same facts, the quantum
of proof required for holding the parties liable therein differ. Thus, it is improvident of
petitioners to claim that the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals in the
present case would be preemptive of the outcome of the criminal case. Their fancied
fear of possible conflict between the disposition of this civil case and the outcome of
the pending criminal case is illusory.
b. Legal Separation and concubinage
Gandionico v. Penaranda; GR No.
action for legal separation and
application for support pendente
case for concubinage filed against

79284; 11.27.87: Petitioner contends that the civil

the incidents consequent thereto, such as, the
lite, should be suspended in view of the criminal
him by the private respondent.

The provisions last quoted did not clearly state, as the 1985 Rules do, that the civil
action to be suspended, with or upon the filing of a criminal action, is one which is "to
enforce the civil liability arising from the offense". In other words, in view of the
amendment under the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, a civil action for legal
separation, based on concubinage, may proceed ahead of, or simultaneously with, a
criminal action for concubinage, because said civil action is not one "to enforce the
civil liability arising from the offense" even if both the civil and criminal actions arise
from or are related to the same offense. Such civil action is one intended to obtain the
right to live separately, with the legal consequences thereof, such as, the dissolution
of the conjugal partnership of gains, custody of offsprings, support, and
disqualification from inheriting from the innocent spouse, among others.
Sec. 4 Effect of Death on Civil Actions
1. Death during pendency of appeal
People v. Abungan; GR No. 136843; 9.28.00: The death of appellant on July 19, 2000
during the pendency of his appeal extinguished his criminal as well as his civil liability,
based solely on delict (civil liability ex delicto). The death of appellant extinguished his
criminal liability. Moreover, because he died during the pendency of the appeal and
before the finality of the judgment against him, his civil liability arising from the crime
or delict (civil liability ex delicto) was also extinguished. It must be added, though,
that his civil liability may be based on sources of obligation other than delict. For this
reason, the victims may file a separate civil action against his estate, as may be
warranted by law and procedural rules. Moreover, the Court held that the death of

Appellant Abungan would result in the dismissal of the criminal case against him.
Necessarily, the lower court's Decision finding him guilty and sentencing him to
suffer reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased becomes
Sec. 5 Judgment in Civil Action not a Bar
Sec. 6 Suspension by Reason of Prejudicial Question
1. Requirement of a Petition
Yap v. Paras; 101236; 1.30.92: The petitioner's contention is that where there is a
prejudicial question in a civil case, the criminal action may not be dismissed but only
suspended. Moreover, this suspension may not be done motu proprio by the judge
trying the criminal case but only upon petition of the defendant in accordance with
the Rules of Court. It is also stressed that a reversal of the order of dismissal would
not bar the prosecution of the accused under the double jeopardy rule because he has
not yet been arraigned.
Judge Barcelona's precipitate action is intriguing, to say the least, in light of the clear
provision of the above-quoted rule. The rule is not even new, being only a rewording
of the original provision in the Rules of Court before they were amended. It plainly
says that the suspension may be made only upon petition and not at the instance of
the judge alone, and it also says suspension, and not dismissal. One also wonders if
the person who notarized the disputed second sale, Notary Public Alexander C.
Barcelona, might be related to the respondent judge.
Sec. 7 Elements of Prejudicial Question
1. Instances with prejudicial question
a. False testimony in a civil case
Ark Travel v. Presiding Judge Abrogar; GR No. 137010; 8.29.03: Pending determination
of the falsity of the subject testimonies of private respondents in the civil case, the
criminal action for false testimony must perforce be suspended. As such, under the
attendant circumstances, although there is no motion to suspend proceedings on the
part of the private respondents, orderly administration of justice dictates that the
criminal cases should be suspended.
SEC. 7 Elements of Prejudicial question. The elements of a prejudicial question are: (a)
the previously instituted civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to
the issue raised in the subsequent criminal action; and (b) the resolution of such issue
determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed.
b. Case for ownership and squatting
Apa v. Fernandez; GR No. 112381; 3.20.95: Is a prejudicial question justifying
suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case against petitioners..
In the criminal case, the question is whether petitioners occupied a piece of land not
belonging to them but to private respondent and against the latter's will. As already
noted, the information alleges that "without the knowledge and consent of the owner,

ROSITA TIGOL" petitioners occupied or took possession of a portion of "her property"

by building their houses thereon and "deprived [her] of the use of a portion of her land
to her damage and prejudice." Now the ownership of the land in question is the issue
in Civil Case 2247-L now pending in Branch 27 of the RTC at Lapu-Lapu City. The
resolution of this question would necessarily be determinative of petitioners' criminal
liability for squatting.
2. Instances with no prejudicial question
a. Annulment of marriage and bigamy
Abunado v. People; GR No. 159218; 3.30.04: Abunado questions the judgment of
conviction against him as he alleged that the annulment case he filed against Arceo
was a prejudicial question to the bigamy case filed against him by Arceo. Is he
No. A prejudicial question has been defined as one based on a fact distinct and
separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the
guilt or innocence of the accused, and for it to suspend the criminal action, it must
appear not only that said case involves facts intimately related to those upon which
the criminal prosecution would be based but also that in the resolution of the issue or
issues raised in the civil case, the guilt or innocence of the accused would necessarily
be determined. The subsequent judicial declaration of the nullity of the first marriage
was immaterial because prior to the declaration of nullity, the crime had already been
b. Declaration of Nullity and Concubinage
Beltran v. People; 334 scra 106: Does the declaration of nullity of marriage a
prejudicial question in a criminal case for concubinage?
The rationale behind the principle of prejudicial question is to avoid conflicting
decisions. It has two (2) essential elements: a) the civil action involves an issue similar
or intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal action; and b) the resolution of
such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed. The pendency
of the case for declaration of nullity of petitioners marriage is not a prejudicial
question to the concubinage case. For a civil case to be considered prejudicial to a
criminal action as to cause the suspension of the latter pending the final
determination of the civil case, it must appear not only that the said civil case
involves the same facts upon which the criminal prosecution would be based, but also
that in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the aforesaid civil action, the guilt
or innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined.
c. Estafa and civil case for damages
People v. Consing; GR No. 148193; 1.16.03: Whether or not the pendency of the Civil
Case (Estafa), for Injunctive Relief and for Damages and Attachment, is a prejudicial
question justifying the suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case for estafa
through falsification of public document, filed against the respondent.
A ruling of the court in the civil case that PBI should not be paid the purchase price
plus damages will not necessarily absolve respondent of liability in the criminal case

where his guilt may still be established under penal laws as determined by other
evidence. Moreover, neither is there a prejudicial question if the civil and the criminal
action can, according to law, proceed independently of each other. Under Rule 111,
Section 3 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, in the cases provided in Articles
32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code, the independent civil action may be brought by
the offended party. It shall proceed independently of the criminal action and shall
require only a preponderance of evidence. In no case, however, may the offended
party recover damages twice for the same act or omission charged in the criminal
d. Intellectual Property Code
Samson v. Daway; 160054-55; 7.21.04: Will a Judge gravely abuse his discretion in
refusing to suspend the arraignment and other proceedings in Criminal Case Nos. Q02-108043-44 (violation of Intellectual property rights) on the ground of the
existence of a prejudicial question.
In the case at bar, the common element in the acts constituting unfair competition
under Section 168 of R.A. No. 8293 is fraud. Pursuant to Article 33 of the Civil Code, in
cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a civil action for damages, entirely
separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party.
Hence, Civil Case No. Q-00-41446, which as admitted by private respondent also
relate to unfair competition, is an independent civil action under Article 33 of the Civil
Code. As such, it will not operate as a prejudicial question that will justify the
suspension of the criminal cases at bar.
e. BP22 and annulment of sale
Umali v. IAC; GR No. 63198; 6.21.90: Whether Civil case of Annulment or Rescission of
Contract case involves a prejudicial question in relation to an Estafa case instituted
earlier, so as to require a suspension of proceedings in the latter case, until the civil
case is disposed of.
What private respondents complained of in CR No. 1423-I (Estafa) is that the checks
issued by petitioners in their favor were dishonored for lack of funds upon due
presentment to the drawee bank. Undeniably, at the time of said dishonor, petitioners'
obligation to pay private respondents pursuant to the deed of sale, continued to
subsist. And because petitioners' checks were dishonored for lack of funds, petitioners
are answerable under the law for the consequences of their said acts. And even if CV
No. 8769 (Annulment/Rescission of Contract) were to be finally adjudged to the effect
that the said deed of sale should be annulled, such declaration would be of no
material importance in the determination of the guilt or innocence of petitionersaccused in CR No. 1423-I.