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Heirs of Jane Honrales vs Honrales

On August 2002, Jane Honrales was fatally shot by her husband, respondent
Jonathan Honrales. An information for parricide for parricide against respondent was
filed. On January 2004. While the Motion to Withdraw Information was still pending
an Information for Reckless Imprudence resulting into parricide was filed against the
respondent before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila.
On October 2004, respondent was sentenced to suffer 1 year, 7 months and eleven
days to 2 years of prision correctional. Subsequently, respondent filed with the RTC
a motion seeking to dismiss the parricide charges against him. He cited his
arraignment and conviction by the MeTC as ground for dismissal of the case which
was granted eventually.
Petitioner heirs argue that the MeTC did not validly acquire jurisdiction over the case
for parricide through reckless imprudence and that jurisdiction remained with the
RTC where the Information of parricide was filed. They also assail the filing with the
MeTC of the information for the downgrade after a supposedly dubious
reinvestigation and question the hasty arraignment of accused which was done
allegedly without notice to petitioner hers and without them being furnished with
the result of the reinvestigation. Respondent, on the other hand, maintains that if
the petition is granted, it would violate his right against double jeopardy.
Whether or not the remand of the parricide case to the trial court will violate
respondents right against double jeopardy.
No. The SC granted the petition. The RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion in
granting the withdrawal of the information for parricide and recalling the warrant of
arrest without making independent assessment of the merits and evidence.
The MeTCs decision is without merit because it didnt acquire jurisdiction over the
parricide case because it was still pending before the RTC. The SC held that once
jurisdiction is acquired by the court in which the information is filed, in this case the
RTC, it is there to retain. Therefore, as the offense of reckless imprudence resulting
in parricide was included in the intentional parricide pending before the RTC, the
MeTC clearly had no jurisdiction over the criminal case. In accordance to these
circumstances, the requisite of valid competent court in order to constitute the first
jeopardy is absent which will render double jeopardy inexistent.
Herrera vs Sandiganbayan
Petitioners Pat. Edgardo Herrera y Baltoribio and Pat. Redentor Mariano y Antonio,
together with the other accused, Pat. Roberto Barrera and Pat. Rodolfo Alcalde, all
members of the Paraaque Police Station, were charged with two (2) counts of
murder, for ther killing of Shi Shu Yang and George Go y Tan, before public
respondent Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case Nos. 16674 and 16675.

On March 18, 1992, petitioners and the other accused were arraigned but they
pleaded not guilty. Petitioners then filed a joint petition for bail raising the issue of
lack of jurisdiction on the ground that the prosecution failed to allege in the
information that the crimes were committed by the petitioners "in relation to their
office" citing the case of Bartolome v. People. On March 18, 1992, public respondent
Sandiganbayan ordered the amendment of the information and stated that the
evidence adduced during the pre-trial of the case and the hearing on the petition for
bail shall be deemed automatically reproduced as evidence during the trial of the
case on the merits.
Arraigned anew on September 18, 1992, petitioners Herrera and Mariano entered
their pleas of not guilty and withdrew their objections to the issue of lack of
jurisdiction of public respondent Sandiganbayan over the case and moved that the
proceedings and evidence presented during their petition for bail be adopted in
toto. On December 13, 1994, public respondent Sandiganbayan convicted each of
the petitioners of two (2) counts of murder.
Whether or not respondent Sandiganbayan erred in convicting them for the crime of
murder under the amended information as they had earlier been arraigned under
the original information for murder and their rearraignment under the amended
information placed them in double jeopardy?
No. The rule on double jeopardy does not apply. Public respondent Sandiganbayan
ordered the amendment of the informations and made it of record that the evidence
adduced during the pre-trial of the case and the hearing on the petition for bail shall
be deemed automatically reproduced as evidence during the trial of the case on the
merits. Double jeopardy did not attach by virtue of petitioner's plea of not guilty
under the amended information. For a claim of double jeopardy to prosper, the
following requisites must concur: (1) there is a complaint or information or other
formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction; (2) the same
is filed before a court of competent jurisdiction; (3) there is a valid arraignment or
plea to the charges; and (4) the accused is convicted or acquitted or the case is
otherwise dismissed or terminated without his express consent.
In the present case, petitioners and the other accused pleaded not guilty to the
original information. Thereafter, at the instance of the petitioners, through a joint
petition for bail, they raised the issue of lack of jurisdiction on the ground that the
prosecution failed to allege in the information that the crimes were committed "in
relation to their office." On the same day, respondent court ordered the
amendment of the information accordingly. Thus, the first requirement for double
jeopardy to attach, that is, that the information against the petitioners were valid,
Likewise, the fourth element was lacking. Petitioners cannot be validly convicted on
the basis of the original information as the prosecution failed to allege in the
information that the crimes were committed "in relation to their office." Petitioners
were thus not placed in danger of being convicted when they entered their plea of

not guilty to the insufficient information. Moreover, there was no dismissal or

termination of the case against petitioners.
People vs Balisacan
On February 1, 1965, Aurelio Balisacan was charged with homicide in the Court of
First Instance of Ilocos Norte. To this charge the accused, upon being arraigned,
entered a plea of guilty. In doing so he was assisted by counsel. At his de oficio
counsel's petition, however, he was allowed to present evidence to prove mitigating
Thereupon the accused testified to the effect that he stabbed the deceased in selfdefense, because the latter was strangling him. And he further stated that after the
incident he surrendered himself voluntarily to the police authorities. Subsequently,
on March 6, 1965, on the basis of the abovementioned testimony of the accused,
the court a quo rendered a decision acquitting the accused.
Whether or not the trial court erred in acquitting the accused of the offense charged
despite the latters plea of guilty when arraigned.
Appellant's contention is meritorious. A plea of guilty is an unconditional admission
of guilt with respect to the offense charged. It forecloses the right to defend oneself
from said charge and leaves the court with no alternative but to impose the penalty
fixed by law under the circumstances. In this case, the defendant was only allowed
to testify in order to establish mitigating circumstances, for the purpose of fixing the
penalty. Said testimony, therefore, could not be taken as a trial on the merits, to
determine the guilt or innocence of the accused.
The next issue, therefore, is whether this appeal placed the accused in double
jeopardy. It is settled that the existence of a plea is an essential requisite to double
jeopardy. In the present case, it is true, the accused had first entered a plea of
guilty. Subsequently, however, he testified, in the course of being allowed to prove
mitigating circumstances, that he acted in complete self-defense. Said testimony,
therefore - as the court a quo recognized in its decision - had the effect of vacating
his plea of guilty and the court a quo should have required him to plead anew on
the charge, or at least direct that a new plea of not guilty be entered for him. This
was not done. It follows that in effect there having been no standing plea at the
time the court a quo rendered its judgment of acquittal, there can be no double
jeopardy with respect to the appeal herein.
People vs Magat

Before this court for automatic review is the joint decision of the Regional Trial Court
of Quezon City, Branch 103, in Criminal Cases Nos. Q-96-68119 and Q-96-68120,
finding accused-appellant Antonio Magat y Londonio guilty of raping his daughter,
Ann Fideli L. Magat, on two occasions and sentencing him to suffer the extreme
penalty of death for each case, and to pay the sum of P750,000.00 as
compensatory, moral and exemplary damages.
Upon arraignment on January 10, 1997, accused-appellant pleaded guilty but
bargained for a lesser penalty for each case. Complainant's mother, Ofelia Limpoco
Magat, and the public prosecutor, Rio Espiritu agreed with the plea bargain.
After three months, the cases were revived at the instance of the complainant on
the ground that the penalty imposed was "too light."As a consequence, accusedappellant was re-arraigned on both Information on April 15, 1997 where he entered
a plea of not guilty.
Accused-appellant contends that the trial court erred in re-arraigning and
proceeding into trial despite the fact that he was already convicted per Order of the
trial court dated January 10,1997 based on his plea of guilt. He also argues that
when the court rendered judgment convicting him, the prosecution did not appeal
nor move for reconsideration or took steps to set aside the order. Consequently, the
conviction having attained finality can no longer be set aside or modified even if the
prosecution later realizes that the penalty imposed was too light. Accused-appellant
likewise posit that the re-arraignment and trial on the same information violated his
right against double jeopardy.
Whether or not the appellants right against double jeopardy was violated.
No. The January 10, 1997 order of the trial court convicting the accused-appellant
on his own plea of guilt is void ab initio on the ground that accused-appellant's plea
is not the plea bargaining contemplated and allowed by law and the rules of
procedure. The only instance where a plea bargaining is allowed under the Rules is
when an accused pleads guilty to a lesser offense.
Here, the reduction of the penalty is only a consequence of the plea of guilt to a
lesser penalty. It must be emphasized that accused-appellant did not plead to a
lesser offense but pleaded guilty to the rape charges and only bargained for a lesser
penalty. In short, as aptly observed by the Solicitor General, he did not plea bargain
but made conditions on the penalty to be imposed. This is erroneous because by
pleading guilty to the offense charged, accused-appellant should be sentenced to

the penalty to which he pleaded. It is the essence of a plea of guilty that the
accused admits absolutely and unconditionally his guilt and responsibility for the
offense imputed to him. Hence, an accused may not foist a conditional plea of guilty
on the court by admitting his guilt provided that a certain penalty will be meted
unto him.
Accused-appellant's plea of guilty is undoubtedly a conditional plea. Hence, the trial
court should have vacated such a plea and entered a plea of not guilty for a
conditional plea of guilty, or one subject to the proviso that a certain penalty be
imposed upon him, is equivalent to a plea of not guilty and would, therefore, require
a full-blown trial before judgment may be rendered. In effect, the judgment rendered
by the trial court which was based on a void plea bargaining is also void ab initio
and cannot be considered to have attained finality for the simple reason that a void
judgment has no legality from its inception. Thus, since the judgment of conviction
rendered against accused-appellant is void, double jeopardy will not lie.
People vs Pineda
When Consolacion Naval, the herein private respondent, was separately accused of
having committed the crime of estafa in Criminal Case No. 15795 before Branch 19,
and of falsification in Criminal Case No. 15796 before Branch 21, both of the then
Court of First Instance of Rizal of the Seventh Judicial District stationed at Pasig,
Rizal, she sought the quashal of the latter charge on the supposition that she is in
danger of being convicted for the same felony (p. 16, Record). Her first attempt in
this respect did not spell success (p. 34, Record) but the Honorable Gregorio G.
Pineda, Presiding Judge of Branch 21 was persuaded to the contrary thereafter on
the belief that the alleged falsification was a necessary means of committing estafa.
It is this perception, along with the denial of the motion for re-evaluation therefrom
which the petitioner impugns.
The confluence of the foregoing assertions disclose that Consolacion Naval sold the
subject realty on August 12, 1969 to Edilberto Ilano who made a partial payment of
P130,850.00. About two years later, or on August 17, 1971, an application for
registration under the Land Registration Act was submitted by Consolacion wherein
she stated that she owned the same lot and that it was unencumbered. For those
reasons, the corresponding title was issued in her name but she allegedly disposed
These antecedents spawned the simultaneous institution of the charges on
On October 28, 1975, private respondent Consolacion Naval moved to quash the
information for falsification, premised, among other things, on the apprehension
that she is in danger of being condemned for an identical offense. The following
day, Naval pleaded not guilty to the charge levelled against her for falsification and


December 22, 1975,



a quo


her motion

to quash.

Whether or not the lower court correctly quashed the information for falsification
because the respondent in danger of being convicted twice for the same criminal
No. The mere filing of two information charging the same offense is not an
appropriate basis for the invocation of double jeopardy since the first jeopardy has
not yet set in by a previous conviction, acquittal or termination of the case without
the consent of the accused. It is settled jurisprudence in this Court that the mere
filing of two information or complaints charging the same offense does not yet
afford the accused in those cases the occasion to complain that he is being placed
in jeopardy twice for the same offense, for the simple reason that the primary basis
of the defense of double jeopardy is that the accused has already been convicted or
acquitted in the first case or that the same has been terminated without his
Moreover, it appears that private respondent herein had not yet been arraigned in
the previous case for estafa. In the scenario at bar where private respondent
entered her plea to the second offense. But the variance on this point is of no
substantial worth because private respondent's plea to the second offense is, as
aforesaid, legally incomplete to sustain her assertion of jeopardy for probable
conviction of the same felony, absent as there is the previous conviction, acquittal,
or termination without her express consent of the previous case for estafa, and it
being plain and obvious that the charges did not arise from the same acts. In short,
in order for the first jeopardy to attach, the plea of the accused to the charge must
be coupled with either conviction, acquittal, or termination of the previous case
without his express consent thereafter. Elements constitutive of first jeopardy
5. The defendant was acquitted or convicted or the case was dismissed or otherwise
terminated without the express consent of the accused
Gorion vs Regional Trial Court
On 17 October 1989, after conducting the appropriate preliminary investigation
pursuant to a complaint filed by one Bonifacio Bacaltos, the Office of the City

Prosecutor of Cebu City filed with the Regional Trial Court of Cebu an information
charging the petitioner with the crime of Estafa.
Upon his arraignment on 12 March 1990, the petitioner entered a plea of not guilty.
When the case was called for hearing on 27 September 1990, neither the petitioner
nor the accused was present. Not wanting to take advantage of their absence, and
considering that there were other cases to be heard, the prosecutor moved for the
cancellation of the hearing on that date as well as the hearing to be held the
following day, which the court granted. The hearing was reset to 4 October 1990.
Unfortunately, however, the case was still included in the trial calendar of the court
for 28 September 1990. When the case was called for hearing on that date, only the
Fiscal appeared for the prosecution. The court then issued the following order
dismissing the case. Counsel for the petitioner, Atty. Eutiquiano Bilocura, received a
copy of this order on 4 October 1990. However, he received a copy of the 27
September 1990 Order only on 15 June 1992.
On 2 July 1991, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss [7] alleging therein that the
dismissal of the case by the court on 28 September 1990 without his consent
amounted to his acquittal; hence, he would be placed in double jeopardy, prohibited
under Section 21, Article III of the New Constitution in relation to Section 3(h), Rule
117 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, if the case were to be "reopened or
The trial court set aside the dismissal order of 28 September 1990 in its Order of 9
August 1991 on the ground that the court was only misled in issuing the same due
to the stenographer's failure to transcribe the order given in open court issued the
previous day; hence, it was issued without due process.
Issue: Whether or not an order dismissing a criminal case after the accused had
been arraigned, issued in open court through inadvertence or mistake during a
hearing that had already been cancelled, be set aside by the court and the case
tried without placing the accused in double jeopardy?
No. It is obvious to this Court that the trial court was, on 28 September 1990,
divested of jurisdiction, pro hac vice, to issue any order, much less one of dismissal,
in Criminal Case No. CBU-16727 for the simple reason that said case was already
effectively removed from its trial calendar for that date in view of the previous day's
order cancelling the hearing of the case on 27 and 28 September 1990. Plainly, the
court should not have included the case for hearing in the 28 September 1990 trial
calendar. The respondent Court attributed the mistake to the stenographer's failure
to immediately transcribe the order.

The erroneous dismissal order of 28 September 1990 was then issued capriciously
and arbitrarily; it unquestionably deprived the State of a fair opportunity to present
and prove its case. Thus, its right to due process was violated. The said order is null
and void and hence, cannot be pleaded by the petitioner to bar the subsequent
annulment of the dismissal order or a re-opening of the case on the ground of
double jeopardy.
The dismissal order of 28 September 1990 being null and void because the trial
court lost its jurisdiction to issue the same and violated the right of the prosecution
to due process, it follows that Criminal Case No. CBU-16726 continues to remain at
that stage before the said order was issued. Consequently, the first jeopardy was
not terminated and no second jeopardy threatened the accused.
It having been shown that in this case, the requisites of a valid termination of the
first jeopardy are not present, the petitioner cannot hide behind the protective
mantle of double jeopardy.
Abay vs Garcia
On May 21, 1973, Criminal Case No. 29688 for direct assault upon an agent of a
person in authority was filed against Felix Abay, Sr., Felix Abay, Jr., and two other
accused. Accused Felix Abay, Sr. and Felix Abay, Jr. were duly arraigned on May 27,
1975, and both pleaded not guilty.
At the continuation of the trial on July 1, 1977, both accused appeared without their
counsel. The trial fiscal, Assistant Fiscal Angel Lobaton, was present, but the
complainant, Garque, who was still to be cross-examined, failed to appear despite
due notice. The private prosecutor, Atty. Henry Trocino, also failed to appear.
Whereupon, City Judge Felino Garcia verbally ordered, motu proprio, the dismissal of
the case. Fiscal Lobaton did not object to the dismissal. Both accused remained
silent and later left the courtroom after the judge dictated the order of dismissal.
In the presence of special counsel Navarro, Atty. Trocino was allowed to present
evidence in support of the verbal motion for reconsideration and to explain the
failure of Garque to appear on time. In his written order of July 1, 1977, Judge Garcia
granted the verbal motion for reconsideration and set aside the verbal order of
dismissal. He further ordered the resetting of the case for hearing on another date.
Subsequently, the accused, through counsel, filed a motion for reconsideration of
the order of July 1, 1977, invoking double jeopardy, claiming that the verbal order of
dismissal, even if provisional, was rendered without the express consent of the

accused. On October 13, 1981, Judge Coscolluela dismissed the petition. The judge
upheld the questioned written order of July 1, 1977 on the ground that the earlier
verbal order of dismissal was not final, in fact, was ineffective, because it left
something to be done.
Whether or not a verbal order of dismissal has the effect of finality of judgment
which will bar the reinstitution of the case that will violate the right against double
jeopardy of the accused?
No. The SC fully agreed with the findings of the respondent court. Where there is a
valid information and the accused has been arraigned, an order of dismissal issued
by the court, motu proprio, in the course of a trial of a criminal case, whether based
on the merits or for failure of prosecution witnesses to appear, has the effect of a
judgment of acquittal and double jeopardy attaches.
The order is also immediately executory. However, this order of dismissal must be
written in the official language, personally and directly prepared by the judge and
signed by him conformably with the provisions of Rule 120, Section 2 of the Rules of
Court (now Rule 120, Section 2 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure). In the
instant case, it is very clear that the order was merely dictated in open court by the
trial judge. There is now showing that this verbal order of dismissal was ever
reduced to writing and duly signed by him. Thus, it did not yet attain the effect of a
judgment of acquittal, so that it was still within the powers of the judge to set it
aside and enter another order, now in writing and duly signed by him, reinstating
the case.