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FIRSTDIVISION

[G.R.No.128540.April15,1998]

EDUARDO CUISON, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
respondents.
DECISION
PANGANIBAN,J.:

The constitutional proscription of double jeopardy is not violated by a Court of Appeals order requiring the trial court to
promulgate a decision sentencing the accused to imprisonment even if, earlier, the same decision has been promulgated in
regard only to the payment of the modified civil indemnity arising from the same criminal act. Otherwise stated, the
promulgationofonlyonepartofthedecision,i.e.,theliabilityforcivilindemnity,isnotabartothesubsequentpromulgationof
theotherpart,theimpositionofthecriminalaccountability.
TheCase
ThisisthegistofthisCourtsresolutionofthepetitionforreviewoncertiorari,assailingtheNovember5,1996Decision[1]
oftheCourtofAppeals[2]inCAGRSPNo.41096.ThedispositiveportionofthesaidDecision,whichsetasidetheApril12,
1996Resolution[3]oftheRegionalTrialCourtofLingayen,Pangasinan,Branch39,[4]readsasfollows:
WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered,theResolutiondatedApril12,1996oftherespondentJudgeisherebySET
ASIDEandheisorderedtosetanewthepromulgationofthedecisionoftheCourtofAppealsaffirmingthejudgmentof
convictionandsentencingtheaccusedtoserveimprisonmentforthedurationstatedinthedecisionofthesaid
respondentCourtdatedFebruary7,1989.Theorderforthepaymentofthecivilliabilitieshasbeenpromulgatedearlier.
SOORDERED.[5]
TheRTCResolution,setasidebytheCourtofAppeals,disposed:
WHEREFORE,inviewoftheforegoingconsiderations,theCourtfindsthattheUrgentMotiontoSetAside
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Promulgationfiledbytheaccusedthrucounsel,ismeritoriousandaccordingly,thesameisherebygranted.
TheFacts
Theundisputedfactsofthiscase,asnarratedbytheCourtofAppeals,arereproducedbelow:
OnFebruary7,1989,respondentPresidingJudgeoftheRegionalTrialCourtofPangasinan(Branch39)rendereda
JointDecisioninCriminalCasesNos.L3553andL3554,thedispositiveportionofwhichisasfollows:
WHEREFORE,judgmentisherebyrenderedfindingaccusedEduardoCuisonguiltyofthecrimeofdouble
homicide,beyondreasonabledoubtandthereforesentenceshimtosufferimprisonmentfrom6yearsand1day
of[p]rision[m]ayoras[m]inimumto12yearsand1dayof[r]eclusion[t]emporalas[m]aximum,foreachoffense,
withtheaccessoriesprovidedbylawandtopaythecosts.Accusedisalsoorderedtoindemnifytheheirsof
RafaelSapigaotheamountofP30,000.00andtheheirsofRuloCastroalsotheamountofP30,000.00without
subsidiaryimprisonmentincaseofinsolvency.
OnappealtotheCourtofAppeals,thesaiddecisionwasaffirmedwiththemodificationthatthecivilindemnitywas
increasedtoP50,000.00.ThedispositiveportionofsaidDecisionofthisCourtdatedJuly30,1991reads:
PREMISESCONSIDERED,thejointdecisionappealedfromisherebyMODIFIEDbyorderingaccusedEduardo
CuisontoindemnifytheheirsofRafaelSapigaotheamountofP50,000.00andtheheirsofRuloCastroalsothe
amountofP50,000.00withoutsubsidiaryimprisonmentincaseofinsolvency.
TheaccusedelevatedthedecisiononapetitionforreviewdocketedasG.R.Nos.10898586buttheSupremeCourt
deniedthesaidpetitiononDecember1,1993.
ThecasewasremandedtotheRegionalTrialCourtofPangasinan(Br.39)forpromulgationofthedecision.However,
respondentJudgepromulgated[onApril4,1995]thedecisionof[theCourtofAppeals]onlywithrespecttothemodified
civilliabilityoftheaccusedbutdidnotcommittheaccusedtojailtocommenceserviceofhissentence.
Asst.CityProsecutorAbrahamL.RamosIIreportedthemattertotheSolicitorGeneralandrequestedthatamotionfor
clarificationbefiledwiththisCourttoclarifythedecisiondatedJuly30,1991.OnJuly7,1995,theSolicitorGeneralfiled
aMotiontoClarifyDecision.OnAugust17,1995,[theCourtofAppeals]renderedaResolutionwhichstatesinpertinent
portionsthereof:
InthedispositiveportionofthisCourtsdecision,Wesimplymodifiedtheappealeddecisionofthecourtaquoin
onerespectonlytheincreaseoftheindemnitytobepaidbytheappellanttotheheirsofthevictimsfrom
P30,000.00toP50,000.00asruledinvariouscasesincludingthatcitedinOurdecision,Peoplevs.Sison,189
SCRA643,646.
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Inviewoftheforegoing,itisineluctablethatthepenaltyimposedbythelowercourtwasnottouchedonatallby
thisCourtespeciallyinthelightof[o]ur[o]bservationinthesaiddecision,asfollows:
Afteracarefulreviewoftheevidenceonrecords,thisCourtentertainsnodoubtastotheparticipationoftheaccusedappellant
intheshootingofSapigaoandRuloCastro.Thecourtaquohasexpressedthefollowingfindingsinitsdecision,towhich
findingsthisCourtaccordsthegreatweightandrespectsuchfindingsofthetrialcourtareentitledto:
Conspiracy...wasprovenbythefollowingcircumstances:
xxxxxxxxx
Thefollowingcircumstancesshowingthesequenceofevents,themodeormannerinwhichtheoffenseswereperpetrated
takentogetherindicatedthattheassailantscooperatedandhelpedeachotherintheattainmentofthesameaim.
(Memorandum,pp.2021)(CADecision,pp.1416Rollo,pp.127129)
Actingontheaforecitedmotiontoclarifydecision,thisCourtherebydeclaresthatthisCourthadaffirmedthedecisionofthe
courtaquowithregardtothepenaltyofimprisonmentimposedinthesaidtrialcourtsdecision.
RespondentJudgethensetthepromulgationofthedecisionanew.Theaccused,however,filedaMotiontoSetAside
Promulgationonthefollowinggrounds:
1.Thatthejudgmentinsaidcasewasalreadypromulgatedon4April1995andthereforethereisnothingto
promulgateanymore.
2.Topursuewith[sic]thescheduledpromulgationwillviolatetheaccusedsconstitutionalrightagainstjeopardy.
InaResolutiondatedApril12,1996,therespondentJudgegrantedtheaforestatedmotionholding:
Now,thequestionis:MaytheresolutionoftheHonorableCourtofAppealspromulgatedon17August1995
whichclarifiedthedispositiveportionofitsoriginaldecision,beconsideredasanamendment,alterationor
modificationofthedecision?Here,wemustnotforgetthebasicrulethatintheexecutionofthejudgment,itis
thedispositiveportionofthedecisionwhichcontrols.Wecannotalsoforgetthat,asalreadymentionedabove,
wehavealreadypromulgatedthesaiddecisionbyreadingtotheaccusedthedispositiveportion,andthattothe
bestofourknowledge,hehadalreadycompliedtherewithbypayingthedamageswhichwereawarded.Itmay
berelevantatthispointintime,tocitethedecisionoftheHonorableSupremeCourtinthecaseofHeirsof
GeorgeBofillvs.CourtofAppeals,237SCRA393that
HadtheCourtofAppealsbeenmoreaccurateandpreciseinquotingdatafromtherecords,itwould
havearrivedattherightconclusion
TheHonorableCourtofAppealscitedthedecisionoftheHonorableSupremeCourtinthecaseofPartolaJovs.
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CA,216SCRA692,that:
Wherethereisanambiguitycausedbyanomissionormistakeinthedispositiveportionofthedecision,
theSupremeCourtmayclarifysuchambiguitybyanamendmentevenafterthejudgmenthas
becomefinal.(emphasissupplied)
TheabovedecisionisinconsonancewiththedecisionoftheHonorableSupremeCourtinthecaseofBuanvs.
CourtofAppeal,etal.,235SCRA424whereintheSupremeCourtsaid:
xxxThustherespondentCourtstated,itisundisputedthattheDecisionoftheCourtofAppealsxxx
hadbecomefinalandexecutory.Takeninthislighttherespondentcourtapparentlydidnoterrin
leavingtheissueunresolved,afinaldecisionbeingunreviewableandconclusive.
Butjudgingfromthefactspresentedbythiscase,itisbeyonddoubtthatseriousinjusticewillbe
committedifstrictadherencetoproceduralrulesweretobefollowed.Itshouldberememberedthat
rulesofprocedurearebutmeretoolsdesignedtofacilitatetheattainmentofjustice,suchthatwhen
rigidapplicationoftheruleswouldtendtofrustrateratherthanpromotesubstantialjustice,thisCourt
isempoweredtosuspenditsoperation.(emphasissupplied)
ItwouldseemfromtheabovepronouncementsoftheHonorableSupremeCourttherefore,thatitmaysuspend
theoperationoftherulesofprocedurebyvirtueofitsrulemakingpower.CertainlyiftheHonorableSupreme
CourthasthepowertopromulgatetheRulesofCourt,thenithasthepowertosuspenditsoperationinorderto
promotesubstantialjustice.Unquestionably,however,theHonorableCourtofAppealsdoesnothavethatrule[
]makingauthority.ThereforeitmaynotsuspendtheoperationoftheRulesofCourt.
Moreover,theabovediscussionreferstocivilcases.Willthesamedoctrinesapplytocriminalcasesasinthe
casesbeforeus?Theaccusedthruhiscounselsraisedtheissuesoftheeffectofapromulgationalreadyonce
madearguingintheprocessthatanotherpromulgationcannolongerbelegallyfeasibleiftheconstitutionalright
oftheaccusedagainstdoublejeopardywillnotbeviolated.
Wearenotunmindfuloftheinjunctionuponlowercourts,whichtheHonorableSupremeCourthasimposed,i.e.,
toacceptwithmodestytheordersanddecisionsoftheappellatecourts.However,wefeelthatwemustequate
thiswithanotherinjunction,thattrialjudgesmustkeepabreastwiththejurisprudenceorruntheriskofbeing
foundtobegrosslyignorantofthelaw.Inshort,thisCourtfindsitselfinthehornsofadilemma.Sincethevery
jurisprudentialauthorityrelieduponbytheHonorable[Court]ofAppealsreferstothepoweroftheSupreme
Courttoclarifyanambiguity,maynotthisCourtthereforeconcludethattheHonorableCourtofAppealsdoes
nothavethepowertoclarifythedispositiveportionofthedecisionwhichhasnotonlybecomefinal,buthas
alreadybeenpreviouslypromulgated?
Finally,itappearstothisCourtthatthereisvaliditytotheobservationmadebycounselfortheaccusedin
paragraph4oftheirmotionwhichwequote:
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4.Itappears,therefore,thatthereisnothingtopromulgateasthesamehadalreadybeenpromulgated
onApril4,1995.Besides,thereis,likewise,nothingtopromulgateintheCourtofAppealsResolution
datedFebruary2,1996andmuchlessinthealludedAugust17,1995ResolutionoftheCourtof
Appeals.
Indeed,thesaidResolutiondidnotauthorizenordiditdirectthisCourttorepromulgatetheDecision.
OnJune28,1996,theSolicitorGeneral,representingthePeopleofthePhilippines,filed[beforetheCourtofAppealsa]
petitionforcertiorariandmandamuscontendingthattherespondentJudgeseriouslyerredandgravelyabusedhis
discretioninrefusingtoexecutethepenaltyofimprisonmentinspite[theCourtofAppeals]DecisionofJuly30,1991
andResolutionofAugust17,1995.HepraysthattheOrderdatedApril12,1996ofrespondentJudgebenullifiedand
thepenaltyofimprisonmentrenderedagainsttheaccusedbeenforced.[6]
RulingoftheAppellateCourt
InrulingforthePeople,theCourtofAppealsratiocinatedinthisway:
Obviously,respondentJudgewasofthebeliefthatthepenaltyofimprisonmentwasnotaffirmedby[theCourtof
Appeals]althoughitincreasedthecivilliabilityfromP30,000.00toP50,000.00.Hefailedtorecognizethefactthatthe
onlymodificationmadeby[theCourtofAppeals]onthedecision[was]toincreasethecivilliability,whichwouldnot
havebeenimposediftheaccusedwasnotfoundguiltyofthecharge.Hadhelookedcarefullyintothetextofthe
decisionhewouldhavefoundthat[theCourtofAppeals]affirmedthedecisionofconviction,asborneoutbythe
followingportionsofsaiddecision:
Afteracarefulreviewoftheevidenceonrecord,thisCourtentertainsnodoubtastotheparticipationofthe
accusedappellantintheshootingofSapigaoandRuloCastro.TheCourtaquohasexpressedthefollowing
findingsinitsdecision,towhichfindingsthisCourtaccordsthegreatweightandrespectsuchfindingsofthetrial
courtareentitledto:
Conspiracy...wasprovenbythefollowingcircumstances:
1.AccusedEduardoCuisonwasseentogetheroccupyingthesametablewithSgt.BustardeandSgt.Castro
drinkingbeerattheterraceuponthearrivalofLeoPeteteandhiscompanions
2.TheylefttheterraceoftheTropicalHutabout10to15minutesafterthearrivalofRuloCastro,Rafael
Sapigao,LeoPeteteandAgardoReyesandboardedthesameyellowcarownedanddrivenbyaccused
EduardoCuison.
3.AccusedEduardoCuisonwasseenbyRonaldLigayo,aresidentofPoblacion,Bugallon,Pangasinan,a
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disinterestedwitnessintheeveningofMay27,1986infront(sic)ofthehouseofsaidaccusedEduardoCuisonin
Poblacion,Bugallon,Pangasinan.AccusedEduardoCuisonalightedfromhiscar,proceededtohishouseand
aftercomingoutofhishousewasseenholdinga45(sic)caliberandacarbinepistol.EduardoCuisoncalledfor
hisbrotherWarlingtowhomhehandedthecarbinepistolandreceivedbythelatter.
EduardoCuisonsentDomyCuisontocallforBotCuison.WhenBotCuisonarrived,he,Warling,Domy,Eduardo
Cuisonandtwoothersinsidethecarproceededtowardsthenorth.Obviously,thesetwowereSgt.Castroand
Sgt.Bustarde.
4.UponarrivalofaccusedEduardoCuison,BotCuison,WarlingCuison,DomyCuison,Sgt.BustardeandSgt.
CastroatthedrivewayoftheTropicalHutonboardthecarofaccusedEduardoCuison,eachofthemwiththe
useoftheirrespectivefirearmssimultaneouslyfiredseveralshotsintheair
5.Sgt.CastroandSgt.Bustardepulledandpokedtheirgunsto[sic]Sapigao.ThenSgt.Castrofiredthefatal
shotto[sic]Sapigao
6.AfterSapigaofelldown,Sgt.Castro,WarlingCuison,EduardoCuison,BotandDomyCuisonturnedat[sic]
SapigaoobviouslytoseetoitandmakesureSapigaowasalreadydead
7.AfterascertainingthatSapigaowasshotdead,accusedEduardoCuisoncalledforRuloCastrotocome
outsidetherestaurantandwhenRuloCastroemergedatthedoor,accusedEduardoCuison,WarlingCuison,
BotCuison,DomyCuisonandSgt.BustardesimultaneouslypointedtheirgunsandshotatRuloCastrohitting
thelatter
8.AccusedEduardoCuisonandWarlingCuisonarebrothersandunclesofBotandDomyCuison.Eduardo
CuisonbeingakagawadenjoyedmoralinfluenceuponhisbrotherWarlingandhistwonephewsBotandDomy
9.Sgts.BustardeandCastroandKagawadCuisonkneweachotherbeforetheincident
10.Aftershootingthevictimstodeath,theaccusedCuisonswentawayfromthesceneofthecrimeonboardthe
samecar.
Thefollowingcircumstancesshowingthesequenceofevents,themodeo[r]mannerinwhichtheoffenseswere
perpetratedtakentogetherindicatedthattheassailantscooperatedandhelpedeachotherintheattainmentof
thesameaim.(Memorandum,pp.2021)
AsheldbytheSupremeCourtinthecaseofPeoplevs.Colman,etal.55O.G.2392(citedinRegalado,
RemedialLawCompendium,88ed.,Vol.2,p.560),
Conspiracyneednotbeestablishedbydirectevidenceoftheactscharged,butmayandgenerallymust
beprovedbyanumberofindefiniteacts,conditionsandcircumstanceswhichvaryaccordingtothe
purposetobeaccomplished.Ifitbeprovedthattwoormorepersonsaimedbytheiractstowardsthe
accomplishmentofthesameunlawfulobject,eachdoingapartsothattheiracts,thoughapparently
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independent,wereinfactconnectedandcooperative,indicatingaclosenessofpersonalassociation
andaconcurrenceofsentiment,aconspiracymaybeinferredthoughnoactualmeetingamongthem
forconcertedmeansisproved(Peoplevs.Colman,et.al.,55O.G.2393).
Intheappealeddecision,thetrialcourthadorderedtheaccusedappellanttoindemnifytheheirsofRafael
Sapigao[in]theamountofP30,000.00andto[sic]theheirsofRuloCastroalsotheamountofP30,000.00
(Decision,p.24).InaccordancewiththenewpolicyoftheSupremeCourtonthismatter,theabovespecified
amountofP30,000.00shouldbeincreasedtoP50,000.00(Peoplevs.Sison,189SCRA643,646).
Itisabsurdtoconcludethat[theCourtofAppeals]increasedthecivilliabilityinaccordancewithnewrulingsofthe
SupremeCourtwithoutfindingthattheaccused[was]guiltyoftheoffenseofhomicide.Thus,thepromulgationofthe
civilliabilityonlyandomissionofthecriminalliabilityisanerror.
Furthermore,[theCourtofAppeals]hasclarifiedtheambiguityinthedispositiveportionthroughitsResolutiondated
August17,1995whichcategoricallystatedthatthecourtaffirmedthedecisionoftherespondentcourtwithrespectto
thepenaltyofimprisonmentimposedupontheaccused.
Thisclarificationisnotanamendment,modification,correctionoralterationtoanalreadyfinaldecision.Itisconceded
thatsuchcannotbedoneanymore.TheCourtofAppealssimplystatedincategoricaltermswhatitobviouslymeantin
itsdecisionthattheconvictionoftheaccusedisaffirmedwiththemodificationthatthecivilliabilityisincreased.The
dispositiveportionofthedecisionmaynothaveusedtheexactwordsbutareadingofthedecisioncanleadtonoother
conclusion.
Itcertainlywouldberidiculoustoallowtheaccusedtogoscotfreeafterpayingtheheirsthecivilindemnityimposedby
theCourtforhisparticipationintheactofkillingthetwo(2)victimsinthesecases,becauseofawronginterpretationof
adecision.[7]'
Hence,thisappeal.[8]
TheIssues
Inthisappeal,PetitionerEduardoCuisonraisesthefollowingassignmentoferrors:
I.TheRespondentCourtseriouslyerredandgravelyabuseditsdiscretioninnotholdingthattheSolicitorGeneralfailed
toestablishtherequisitesfortheissuanceoftheextraordinarywritofcertiorari.
II.TheRespondentCourtseriouslyerredandgravelyabuseditsdiscretioninnotholdingthattheSolicitorGeneral
failedtoshowtheexistenceoftheelementsfortheissuanceofaWritofMandamus.
III.TheRespondentCourtseriouslyerredandgravelyabuseditsdiscretioninnotholdingthatthepromulgationofApril
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4,1995cannotbemodified,overobjectionoftheaccused.
IV.TheRespondentCourtseriouslyerredandgravelyabuseditsdiscretioninnotholdingthatthefilingofthePetition
forCertiorariandMandamusdatedJune28,1995bytheSolicitorGeneralviolatestheconstitutionalrightofthe
accusedagainstdoublejeopardy.
V.TheRespondentCourtseriouslyerredandgravelyabuseditsdiscretionindecidingasitdidandindenyingherein
petitionersmotionforreconsideration.[9]
Simplyput,petitionerraisesthefollowingissues:(1)whetherthewritsofcertiorariandmandamuswereproperlyissuedby
theCourtofAppeals,and(2)whetherpetitionersrightagainstdoublejeopardywasviolated.
TheCourtsRuling
Thepetitionisutterlyunmeritorious.
FirstIssue:CertiorariandMandamusJustified
ApetitionforcertiorariisallowedunderRule65oftheRulesofCourt,providedthefollowingrequisitesarepresent:(1)the
writisdirectedagainstatribunal,aboardoranofficerexercisingjudicialorquasijudicialfunctions(2)suchtribunal,boardor
officer has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdictionand(3)thereisnoappealoranyplain,speedyandadequateremedyintheordinarycourseoflaw.[10]Graveabuse
ofdiscretionxxximpliessuchcapriciousandwhimsicalexerciseofjudgmentasisequivalenttolackofjurisdiction,or,inother
wordswherethepowerisexercisedinanarbitraryordespoticmannerbyreasonofpassionorpersonalhostility,anditmustbe
sopatentandgrossastoamounttoanevasionofpositivedutyortoavirtualrefusaltoperformthedutyenjoinedortoactatall
incontemplationoflaw.[11]
Petitionerpointsoutthatthesolicitorgeneralspetitionforcertiorariandmandamus before the Court of Appeals failed to
showgraveabuseofdiscretionintheassailedApril12,1996Resolutionofthetrialcourt.InthesaidResolution,thetrialcourt
declinedtoordertheincarcerationofpetitionerand,thus,effectivelyrefusedtopromulgatetheAugust17,1995CADecision
which,inturn,clarifiedthattheCAsearlierDecisiondatedJuly30,1991merelyincreasedtheamountofindemnitybutdidnot
deletethepenaltyofimprisonment.InjustifyingitssaidOrder,thetrialcourtinsistedthatithadalreadypromulgatedtheJuly
30, 1991 CA Decision when it ordered petitioner to pay the increased amount of indemnity. Petitioner argues that the trial
courtsOrder,farfrombeingwhimsical,capriciousormalevolent,[was]validandsubstantial,tosaytheleast,andtheimpugned
[R]esolutionwasissuedafteracarefuldeliberationandweighingofthefacts,issuesandpointsofapplicablelaw.[12]
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Wedisagree.Whileitslanguagemayhavebeenalittlefaulty,itisstillquiteobviousthattheCourtofAppealsaffirmedthe
trial courts Decision convicting Petitioner Eduardo Cuison of double homicide. The dispositive portion of the CA Decision,
therefore, cannot be construed to mean that the appellate court merely imposed an indemnity and deleted the penalty of
imprisonment.ThedispositiveportionoftheCourtofAppealsDecisioninnowaycommunicatedthattheappealedDecisionof
the trial court was modified only in regard to the amount of indemnity. Nowhere could it be gleaned that the penalty of
imprisonment was deleted. In fact, the CA Decision and the entire records of this case contain no legal or factual basis for
acquittingpetitionerordismissingthecriminalcasesagainsthim.
In granting petitioners motion, the trial court judge capriciously and arbitrarily decided not to promulgate the Court of
Appeals July 30, 1991 Decision.[13] He had no discretion to refuse his refusal was thus a glaring transgression of his
jurisdiction.
WemustalsoemphasizethatwedismissedthepetitionquestioningtheCourtofAppealsJuly30,1991Decision,thereby
affirmingtheconvictionofpetitioner.ThetrialcourtsassailedApril12,1996Resolutionwasthereforetantamounttooverruling
a judicial pronouncement of the highest Court of the land affirming the judgment of conviction of respondent Court and
unmistakablyaverygraveabuseofdiscretion.[14]
ManifestlyerroneousthenisthetrialjudgesjustificationthathehaspreviouslypromulgatedtheCourtofAppealsDecision
onApril4,1995.Asalreadystated,thepenaltyimposedbytheCourtofAppealswasimprisonmentplusahigheramountof
civilindemnity.In ordering only the payment of the indemnity, the trial court failed to execute the CA Decision in its entirety.
NotwithstandingthesubsequentCADecisionclarifyingandthisCourtsdismissalofthepetitionquestioningthesaidearlier
CADecision,thetrialcourtstilladamantlyrefusedtodoso.Thepersistentrefusalofthetrialcourtisacleardisplayofgrave
abuseofdiscretion.
We find misleading the claim of petitioner that the Court of Appeals itself acknowledged that the latters July 30, 1991
Decision was ambiguous and obscure.[15] Such claim is bereft of factual basis. Nowhere in its Resolution[16] did the CA so
describe its previous Decision. It merely restated the import of its July 30, 1991 Decision. Evidently, this was either
misunderstoodordistortedbythetrialcourt,whichstatedthatitisineluctablethatthepenaltyimposedbythelowercourtwas
nottouchedonatallby[theCourtofAppeals]xxx.[17]
Furthermore,theCourtofAppealscannotbefaultedforissuingawritofmandamus,inviewofthetrialcourtsrefusalto
performitsministerialdutyofpromulgatingtheappellatecourtsDecisioninitsentirety.UnderSection3,Rule65oftheRulesof
Court, a petition for mandamus is warranted [w]hen any tribunal, corporation, board, or person unlawfully neglects the
performanceofanactwhichthelawspecificallyenjoinsasadutyresultingfromanoffice,trust,orstationxxx. [18]Obedience
toasuperiorcourtsorderisaministerialdutyoflowercourts.
Lastly, petitioner contends that the petition for certiorari filed before the Court of Appeals was improper, because the
PeoplehadnotfiledamotionforreconsiderationoftheassailedtrialcourtOrder.[19]Thiscontentionisbereftofmerit.Amotion
for reconsideration need not precede a petition for certiorari where the questioned resolution was a patent nullity, as in this
case.[20]
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SecondIssue:PromulgationofConviction
NotBarredbyDoubleJeopardy
PetitionersubmitsthatthetrialcourtspromulgationoftheCADecisiononApril4,1995cannotbesetasideandasecond
promulgationbeordered[21]becausetodosowouldcontravenetheprohibitionagainstdoublejeopardy.[22]Hecontendsthat
thejudgmentaspromulgatedonApril4,1995hasbecomefinal[23]andthatcourtshavethuslostjurisdictionoverthecase.[24]
Tosubstantiateaclaimofdoublejeopardy,thefollowingmustbeproven:
xxx(1)afirstjeopardymusthaveattachedpriortothesecond(2)thefirstjeopardymusthavebeenvalidly
terminated(3)thesecondjeopardymustbeforthesameoffense,orthesecondoffenseincludesorisnecessarily
includedintheoffensechargedinthefirstinformation,orisanattempttocommitthesameorisafrustrationthereof
(citationsomitted).
Andlegaljeopardyattachesonly:(a)uponavalidindictment(b)beforeacompetentcourt(c)afterarraignment(d)
[when]avalidplea[has]beenenteredand(e)thecasewasdismissedorotherwiseterminatedwithouttheexpress
consentoftheaccused(citationomitted).[25]
PetitionercontendsthatthepromulgationbyJudgeRamosonApril4,1995oftheRespondentCourtsdecisionofJune30,
1991 by reading its dispositive portion has effectively terminated the criminal cases against the petitioner x x x.[26] In other
words,petitionerclaimsthatthefirstjeopardyattachedatthatpoint.
TheCourtisnotpersuaded.Asarule,acriminalprosecutionincludesacivilactionfortherecoveryofindemnity.[27]Hence,
adecisioninsuchcasedisposesofboththecriminalaswellasthecivilliabilitiesofanaccused.Here,trialcourtpromulgated
onlythecivilaspectofthecase,butnotthecriminal.
Asearlierobserved,thepromulgationoftheCADecisionwasnotcomplete.Infactandintruth,thepromulgationwasnot
merelyincompleteitwasalsovoid.Inexcessofitsjurisdiction,thetrialjudgerenderedasubstantiallyincompletepromulgation
on April 4, 1995, and he repeated his mistake in his April 12, 1996 Order. We emphasize that grave abuse of discretion
rendered the aforementioned act of the trial court void.[28] Since the criminal cases have not yet been terminated, the first
jeopardyhasnotyetattached.Hence,doublejeopardycannotprosperasadefense.[29]
WemuststressthatRespondentCourtsquestionedDecisiondidnotmodifyoramenditsJuly30,1991Decision.Itmerely
orderedthepromulgationofthejudgmentofconvictionandthefullexecutionofthepenaltyithadearlierimposedonpetitioner.
CasesCitedNotApplicable
People vs. Hernando, Ramos vs. Hodges and Republic vs. Court of Appeals, cited by petitioner, are not applicable
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becausetheyrefereithertothelowercourtsproceedingthatisnotvoidortoerrorsofjudgment,nottolackorexcessorabuse
ofjurisdiction.Thus,inPeoplevs.Hernando,[30]theCourtruledthatthequestionedproceedingsofthecourtaquowerenotan
absolute nullity as to render the judgment of acquittal null and void, considering that the prosecution was not denied due
process.InRamosvs.Hodges[31]theCourtfoundthatthetrialjudgeserroneousconclusionmerelyconstitutederrorsoffactor
oflaw,andnotofjurisdiction.Lastly,inRepublicvs.CourtofAppeals[32]theCourtheldthatthelowercourtcommittedmerely
anerrorofjudgmentandnotanerrorofjurisdictionastherewasnoclearshowing[thatit]exerciseditspowerin[an]arbitrary
or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, or that its act was so patent and gross as to amount to an
evasionoravirtualrefusaltoperformthedutyenjoinedortoactincontemplationoflaw.
Epilogue
This Court takes this occasion to remind members of the bench to be precise in their ponencias, most especially in the
dispositionsthereof.Accuracyandclarityinsubstanceandinlanguagearereveredobjectivesindecisionmaking.
Havingsaidthat,wealsolamentthetrialcourtsconvolutedattemptatsophistry,whichobviouslyenabledthepetitionerto
delay the service of his imprisonment and to unnecessarily clog the dockets of this Court and of the Court of Appeals. His
Honors expressed desire to accept with modesty the orders and decisions of the appellate court was, in truth and in fact,
merely a sarcastic prelude to his veiled rejection of the superior courts order modifying his earlier decision. His sophomoric
justification of his refusal to obey for fear of being found to be grossly ignorant of the law does not deserve one whit of
sympathy from this Court.Lady Justice may be blindfolded but she is neither blind nor naive.She can distinguish chicanery
fromwisdom,fallaciousargumentfromcommonsense.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. Double
costsagainstpetitioner.
SOORDERED.
Davide,Jr.(Chairman),Bellosillo,Vitug,andQuisumbing,JJ.,concur.
[1]Rollo,pp.3645,
[2]FifteenthDivision,composedofJ.SalomeA.Montoya,chairmanandponente,andJJ.GodardoA.JacintoandMaximianoC.Asuncion,concurring.
[3]Rollo,pp.8388.
[4]PennedbyJudgeEugenioG.Ramos.
[5]Decision,pp.1011Rollo,pp.4445.
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[6]Ibid.,pp.16Rollo,pp.3641.
[7]Ibid.,pp.710Rollo,pp.4244.
[8]ThecasewasdeemedsubmittedforresolutiononJanuary22,1998uponreceiptbythisCourtofPublicRespondentsMemorandum.Petitioners
SupplementalMemorandumisnotarequiredpleading.
[9]Petitionpp.67Rollo,pp.1415.
[10]1,Rule65,RulesofCourt.SeeSanchezvs.CourtofAppeals,p.20,GRNo.108947,September29,1997.
[11]SeeEsguerravs.CourtofAppeals,pp.2021,GRNo.119310,February3,1997,perPanganiban,J.,quotingAlafrizvs.Nable,72Phil.278,p.280
(1941)citingLeungBenvs.OBrien,38Phil.182(1918),SalvadorCamposyCiavs.DelRosario,41Phil.45(1920),AbadSantosvs.ProvinceofTarlac,
38Off.Gaz.830,andTaveraLuna,Inc.vs.Nable,38Off.Gaz.62.SeealsoSanSebastianCollegevs.CourtofAppeals,197SCRA444,458,March20,
1991Sinonvs.CivilServiceCommission,215SCRA410,November5,1992Bustamantevs.CommissiononAudit,216SCRA134,136,November27,
1992Zaratevs.Olegario,GRNo.90655,October7,1996.
[12]Ibid.,p.6Rollo,p.142.
[13]Seerecord,pp.5369.
[14]Peoplevs.CourtofAppeals,101SCRA450,465,November28,1990,perMelencioHerrera,J.
[15]MemorandumforPetitioner,p.8Rollo,p.144.
[16]Record,pp.7173.
[17]Ibid.,p.72.
[18]SeealsoGovs.CourtofAppeals,252SCRA564,567,January29,1996andTangonanvs.Pao,137SCRA245,254255,June27,1985.
[19]MemorandumforPetitioner,p.9Rollo,p.145.
[20]NationalElectrificationAdministrationvs.CourtofAppeals,126SCRA394,400,December29,1983.
[21]MemorandumforPetitioner,p.14Rollo,p.170.
[22]Ibid.,pp.1214Rollo,pp.168170.
[23]Ibid.,p.14Rollo,p.170.
[24]Ibid.
[25]Guerrerovs.CourtofAppeals,257SCRA703,712,June28,1996,perPanganiban,J.,citingPeoplevs.Puno,208SCRA550,557,May8,
1992Peoplevs.Asuncion,208SCRA231,239,April22,1992Gorionvs.RegionalTrialCourtofCebu,Br.17,213SCRA138,148,August31,
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1992andMartinezvs.CourtofAppeals,237SCRA575,581,October13,1994.SeealsoPeoplevs.Tampal,244SCRA202,208,May22,1995.
[26]MemorandumforPetitioner,p.15Rollo,p.171.Underscoringfoundintheoriginal.
[27]1,Rule111,RulesofCourt.
[28]Peoplevs.Montesa,supra,p.653Peoplevs.CourtofAppeals,supra,p.467andPeoplevs.Pablo,98SCRA289,301,June25,1980,citing
Peoplevs.Cabero,61Phil.121Peoplevs.Surtida,43SCRA29andPeoplevs.Navarro,63SCRA264.
[29]Ibid.
[30]Supra,p.131.
[31]Supra,p.219.
[32]Supra,pp.537536.

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