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Beltran vs.

Samson
Facts
This is a petition for a writ of prohibition, wherein the petitioner complains that the respondent judge
ordered him to appear before the provincial fiscal to take dictation in his own handwriting from the
latter.
The order was given upon petition of said fiscal for the purpose of comparing the petitioner's
handwriting and determining whether or not it is he who wrote certain documents supposed to be
falsified.
There is no question as to the facts alleged in the complaint filed in these proceedings; but the
respondents contend that the petitioner is not entitled to the remedy applied for, inasmuch as the order
prayed for by the provincial fiscal and later granted by the court below, and again which the instant
action was brought, is based on the provisions of section 1687 of the Administrative Code and on the
doctrine laid down in the cases of People vs. Badilla (48 Phil., 718); United States vs. Tan Teng (23
Phil., 145); United States vs. Ong Siu Hong (36 Phil., 735), cited by counsel for the respondents, and in
the case of Villaflor vs. Summers (41 Phil., 62) cited by the judge in the order in question.
Of course, the fiscal under section 1687 of the Administrative Code, and the proper judge, upon motion
of the fiscal, may compel witnesses to be present at the investigation of any crime or misdemeanor. But
this power must be exercised without prejudice to the constitutional rights of persons cited to appear.
And the petitioner, in refusing to perform what the fiscal demanded, seeks refuge in the constitutional
provision contained in the Jones Law and incorporated in General Orders, No. 58.
Issue
Whether or not the writing from the fiscal's dictation by the petitioner for the purpose of comparing the
latter's handwriting and determining whether he wrote certain documents supposed to be falsified,
constitutes evidence against himself within the scope and meaning of the constitutional provision under
examination.
Held
Wherefore, we find the present action well taken, and it is ordered that the respondents and those under
their orders desist and abstain absolutely and forever from compelling the petitioner to take down
dictation in his handwriting for the purpose of submitting the latter for comparison.
Writing is something more than moving the body, or the hands, or the fingers; writing is not a purely
mechanical act, because it requires the application of intelligence and attention; and in the case at bar
writing means that the petitioner herein is to furnish a means to determine whether or not he is the
falsifier, as the petition of the respondent fiscal clearly states. Except that it is more serious, we believe
the present case is similar to that of producing documents or chattels in one's possession.
We say that, for the purposes of the constitutional privilege, there is a similarity between one who is
compelled to produce a document, and one who is compelled to furnish a specimen of his handwriting,
for in both cases, the witness is required to furnish evidence against himself.
And we say that the present case is more serious than that of compelling the production of documents
or chattels, because here the witness is compelled to write and create, by means of the act of writing,
evidence which does not exist, and which may identify him as the falsifier.
It cannot be contended in the present case that if permission to obtain a specimen of the petitioner's
handwriting is not granted, the crime would go unpunished. Considering the circumstance that the
petitioner is a municipal treasurer, according to Exhibit A, it should not be a difficult matter for the
fiscal to obtained genuine specimens of his handwriting. But even supposing it is impossible to obtain
specimen or specimens without resorting to the means complained herein, that is no reason for
trampling upon a personal right guaranteed by the constitution. It might be true that in some cases
criminals may succeed in evading the hand of justice, but such cases are accidental and do not
constitute the raison d' etre of the privilege. This constitutional privilege exists for the protection of
innocent persons.

Facts: Beltran, as a defendant for the crime of Falsification, refused

to write a sample of his handwriting as ordered by the respondent


Judge. The petitioner in this case contended that such order would be
a violation of his constitutional right against self-incrimination because
such examinationwould give the prosecution evidence against him,
which the latter should have gotten in the first place. He also argued
that such an act will make him furnish evidence against himself.

Issue:

Whether or not the writing from the fiscal's dictation by the


petitioner for the purpose of comparing the latter's handwriting and
determining whether he wrote certain documents supposed to be
falsified, constitutes evidence against himself within the scope and
meaning
of the
constitutional provision
under examination.

Held:

The court ordered the respondents and those under their


orders desist and abstain absolutely and forever from compelling the
petitioner to take down dictation in his handwriting for the purpose of
submitting the latter for comparison. Writing is something more than
moving the body, or the hands, or the fingers; writing is not a purely
mechanical act, because it requires the application of intelligence and
attention; and in the case at bar writing means that the petitioner
herein is to furnish a means to determine whether or not he is the
falsifier, as the petition of the respondent fiscal clearly states. Except
that it is more serious, we believe the present case is similar to that of
producing documents or chattels in one's possession. We say that, for
the purposes of the constitutional privilege, there is a similarity
between one who is compelled to produce a document, and one who is
compelled to furnish a specimen of his handwriting, for in both cases,
the witness is required to furnish evidence against himself. It cannot
be contended in the present case that if permission to obtain
a specimen of the petitioner's handwriting is not granted, the crime
would go unpunished. Considering the circumstance that the petitioner
is a municipal treasurer, it should not be a difficult matter for the fiscal
to obtained genuine specimensof his handwriting. But even supposing
it is impossible to obtain specimenor specimens without resorting to
the means complained herein, that is no reason for trampling upon a
personal right guaranteed by the constitution. It might be true that in
some cases criminals may succeed in evading the hand of justice, but
such cases are accidental and do not constitute the raison d' etre of
the privilege. This constitutional privilege exists for the protection of
innocent persons.

SECTION 18. (1) No person shall be detained solely by reason of his


political beliefs and aspirations.
(2) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a
punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly
convicted.
SECTION 19. (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel,
degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death
penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving
heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death
penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua.
(2) The employment of physical, psychological, or degrading
punishment against any prisoner or detainee or the use of
substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman
conditions shall be dealt with by law.
Sec. 20

SECTION 20. No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment


of a poll tax.
Lozano vs. Martinez
Facts
The constitutionality of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (BP 22 for short), popularly known as the Bouncing
Check Law is the sole issue presented by these petitions for decision. These petitions arose from cases
involving prosecution of offenses under the statute. The defendants in those cases moved seasonably to
quash the informations on the ground that the acts charged did not constitute an offense, the statute
being unconstitutional.
BP 22 punishes a person "who makes or draws and issues any check on account or for value, knowing
at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the
payment of said check in full upon presentment, which check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee
bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not
the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment." The penalty prescribed for the
offense is imprisonment of not less than 30 days nor more than one year or a fine or not less than the
amount of the check nor more than double said amount, but in no case to exceed P200,000.00, or both
such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
The statute likewise imposes the same penalty on "any person who, having sufficient funds in or credit
with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or
to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90)
days from the date appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank.
Issue
Whether or not BP 22 violates the Constitution.
Held
In sum, we find the enactment of BP 22 a valid exercise of the police power and is not repugnant to the
constitutional inhibition against imprisonment for debt.
Has BP 22 transgressed the constitutional inhibition against imprisonment for debt? To answer the
question, it is necessary to examine what the statute prohibits and punishes as an offense. Is it the
failure of the maker of the check to pay a debt? Or is it the making and issuance of a worthless check in

payment of a debt? What is the gravamen of the offense? This question lies at the heart of the issue
before us.
The gravamen of the offense punished by BP 22 is the act of making and issuing a worthless check or a
check that is dishonored upon its presentation for payment. It is not the non-payment of an obligation
which the law punishes. The law is not intended or designed to coerce a debtor to pay his debt. The
thrust of the law is to prohibit, under pain of penal sanctions, the making of worthless checks and
putting them in circulation. Because of its deleterious effects on the public interest, the practice is
proscribed by the law. The law punishes the act not as an offense against property, but an offense
against public order.
It may be constitutionally impermissible for the legislature to penalize a person for non-payment of a
debt ex contractu But certainly it is within the prerogative of the lawmaking body to proscribe certain
acts deemed pernicious and inimical to public welfare. Acts mala in se are not the only acts which the
law can punish. An act may not be considered by society as inherently wrong, hence, not malum in se
but because of the harm that it inflicts on the community, it can be outlawed and criminally punished as
malum prohibitum. The state can do this in the exercise of its police power.
The enactment of BP 22 is a declaration by the legislature that, as a matter of public policy, the making
and issuance of a worthless check is deemed public nuisance to be abated by the imposition of penal
sanctions.
It is not for us to question the wisdom or impolicy of the statute. It is sufficient that a reasonable nexus
exists between means and end. Considering the factual and legal antecedents that led to the adoption of
the statute, it is not difficult to understand the public concern that prompted its enactment. It had been
reported that the approximate value of bouncing checks per day was close to 200 million pesos, and
thereafter when overdrafts were banned by the Central Bank, it averaged between 50 minion to 80
million pesos a day.
The magnitude of the amount involved amply justifies the legitimate concern of the state in preserving
the integrity of the banking system. Flooding the system with worthless checks is like pouring garbage
into the bloodstream of the nation's economy.
The effects of the issuance of a worthless check transcends the private interests of the parties directly
involved in the transaction and touches the interests of the community at large. The mischief it creates
is not only a wrong to the payee or holder, but also an injury to the public. The harmful practice of
putting valueless commercial papers in circulation, multiplied a thousand fold, can very wen pollute the
channels of trade and commerce, injure the banking system and eventually hurt the welfare of society
and the public interest.

Facts:
Petitioners were charged with violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22
(Bouncing Check Law). They moved seasonably to quash the informations on
the ground that the acts charged did not constitute an offense, the statute
being unconstitutional. The motions were denied by the respondent trial
courts, except in one case, wherein the trial court declared the law
unconstitutional and dismissed the case. The parties adversely affected thus
appealed.
Issue:
1. Whether or not BP 22 is violative of the constitutional provision on nonimprisonment
due
to
debt
2.
Whether it
impairs
freedom
of
contract
3. Whether it contravenes the equal protection clause
Held:

1. The enactment of BP 22 is a valid exercise of the police power and is


not repugnant to the constitutional inhibition against imprisonment for
debt. The gravamen of the offense punished by BP 22 is the act of
making and issuing a worthless check or a check that is dishonored
upon its presentation for payment. It is not the non-payment of an
obligation which the law punishes. The law is not intended or designed
to coerce a debtor to pay his debt. The thrust of the law is to prohibit,
under pain of penal sanctions, the making of worthless checks and
putting them in circulation. Because of its deleterious effects on the
public interest, the practice is proscribed by the law. The law punishes
the act not as an offense against property, but an offense against
public order.
Unlike a promissory note, a check is not a mere undertaking to pay an
amount of money. It is an order addressed to a bank and partakes of
a representation that the drawer has funds on deposit against which
the check is drawn, sufficient to ensure payment upon its presentation
to the bank. There is therefore an element of certainty or assurance
that the instrument will be paid upon presentation. For this reason,
checks have become widely accepted as a medium of payment in trade
and commerce. Although not legal tender, checks have come to be
perceived as convenient substitutes for currency in commercial and
financial transactions. The basis or foundation of such perception is
confidence. If such confidence is shaken, the usefulness of checks as
currency substitutes would be greatly diminished or may become nil.
Any practice therefore tending to destroy that confidence should be
deterred for the proliferation of worthless checks can only create havoc
in trade circles and the banking community.
The effects of the issuance of a worthless check transcends the private
interests of the parties directly involved in the transaction and touches
the interests of the community at large. The mischief it creates is not
only a wrong to the payee or holder, but also an injury to the public.
The harmful practice of putting valueless commercial papers in
circulation, multiplied a thousand fold, can very wen pollute
the channels of trade and commerce, injure the banking system and
eventually hurt the welfare of society and the public interest.
2. The freedom of contract which is constitutionally protected is
freedom to enter into lawful contracts. Contracts which contravene
public policy are not lawful. Besides, we must bear in mind that checks
can not be categorized as mere contracts. It is a commercial
instrument which, in this modem day and age, has become a
convenient substitute for money; it forms part of the banking
system and therefore not entirely free from the regulatory power of the
state.
3. There is no substance in the claim that the statute in question
denies equal protection of the laws or is discriminatory, since it
penalizes the drawer of the check, but not the payee. It is contended
that the payee is just as responsible for the crime as the drawer of
the check, since without the indispensable participation of the payee
by his acceptance of the check there would be no crime. This argument
is tantamount to saying that, to give equal protection, the law should

punish both the swindler and the swindled. The petitioners posture
ignores the well-accepted meaning of the clause equal protection of
the laws. The clause does not preclude classification of individuals,
who may be accorded different treatment under the law as long as the
classification is not unreasonable or arbitrary. (Lozano
vs Martinez, G.R. No. L-63419, December 18, 1986)

Sec. 21
SECTION 21. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same
offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal
under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.
Cuison vs. CA
Facts
The RTC rendered judgment finding accused Cuison guilty of double homicide and was ordered to
indemnify the heirs of the victim. On appeal to the CA, the decision was affirmed with modification,
increasing the civil indemnity from 30k to 50k. On petition for review before the SC, the case was
remanded to the RTC for promulgation.
However, the judge promulgated the decision of the CA only with respect to the modified civil liability
of the accused but did not commit the accused to jail to commence service of his sentence. OSG filed
motion to clarify decision. CA rendered resolution saying that it had affirmed the decision of the RTC
regarding the penalty of imprisonment. The accused said the promulgation will violate his
constitutional right against jeopardy.
Issue
Whether or not there was double jeopardy.
Held
None.
Petitioner submits that the trial court's promulgation of the CA Decision on April 4, 1995 "cannot be set
aside and a second promulgation be ordered" because to do so would contravene the prohibition against
double jeopardy. He contends that the judgment as promulgated on April 4, 1995 has become final and
that courts have thus lost jurisdiction over the case.
To substantiate a claim of double jeopardy, the following must be proven:
1. A first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second;
2. The first jeopardy must have been validly terminated;
3. The second jeopardy must be for the same offense, or the second offense includes or is
necessarily included in the offense charged in the first information, or is an attempt to commit
the same or is a frustration thereof (citations omitted).
And legal jeopardy attaches only:
1. Upon a valid indictment;
2. Before a competent court;
3. After arraignment;

4.
5.

When a valid plea [has] been entered; and


The case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused

Petitioner contends that "the promulgation by Judge Ramos on April 4, 1995 of the Respondent Court's
decision of June 30, 1991 by reading its dispositive portion has effectively terminated the criminal
cases against the petitioner . . . ." In other words, petitioner claims that the first jeopardy attached at
that point.
The Court is not persuaded. As a rule, a criminal prosecution includes a civil action for the recovery of
indemnity. Hence, a decision in such case disposes of both the criminal as well as the civil liabilities of
an accused. Here, trial court promulgated only the civil aspect of the case, but not the criminal.
As earlier observed, the promulgation of the CA Decision was not complete. In fact and in truth, the
promulgation was not merely incomplete; it was also void. In excess of its jurisdiction, the trial judge
rendered a substantially incomplete promulgation 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. Since the criminal cases have not yet been terminated, the first jeopardy has not yet
attached. Hence, double jeopardy cannot prosper as a defense.
We must stress that Respondent Court's questioned Decision did not modify or amend its July 30, 1991
Decision. It merely ordered the promulgation of the judgment of conviction and the full execution of
the penalty it had earlier imposed on petitioner.

FACTS: Kue Cuison is a sole proprietorship engaged in the purchase and


sale of newsprint, bond paper and scrap.
Valiant Investment Associates delivered various kinds of paper products to
a certain Tan. The deliveries were made by Valiant pursuant to orders
allegedly placed by Tiac who was then employed in the Binondo office of
petitioner. Upon delivery, Tan paid for the merchandise by issuing several
checks payable to cash at the specific request of Tiac. In turn, Tiac issued
nine (9) postdated checks to Valiant as payment for the paper products.
Unfortunately, sad checks were later dishonored by the drawee bank.
Thereafter, Valiant made several demands upon petitioner to pay for the
merchandise in question, claiming that Tiac was duly authorized by
petitioner as the manager of his Binondo office, to enter into the
questioned transactions with Valiant and Tan. Petitioner denied any
involvement in the transaction entered into by Tiac and refused to pay
Valiant.
Left with no recourse, private respondent filed an action against petitioner
for the collection of sum of money representing the price of the
merchandise. After due hearing, the trial court dismissed the complaint
against petitioner for lack of merit. On appeal, however, the decision of
the trial court was modified, but was in effect reversed by the CA. CA
ordered petitioner to pay Valiant with the sum plus interest, AF and costs.
ISSUE: WON Tiac possessed the required authority from petitioner
sufficient to hold the latter liable for the disputed transaction
HELD:
YES

As to the merits of the case, it is a well-established rule that one who


clothes another with apparent authority as his agent and holds him out to
the public as such cannot be permitted to deny the authority of such
person to act as his agent, to the prejudice of innocent third parties
dealing with such person in good faith and in the honest belief that he is
what he appears to be
It matters not whether the representations are intentional or merely
negligent so long as innocent, third persons relied upon such
representations in good faith and for value. Article 1911 of the Civil Code
provides:
Even when the agent has exceeded his authority, the principal is
solidarily liable with the agent if the former allowed the latter to act as
though he had full powers.
The above-quoted article is new. It is intended to protect the rights of
innocent persons. In such a situation, both the principal and the agent
may be considered as joint tortfeasors whose liability is joint and solidary.
It is evident from the records that by his own acts and admission,
petitioner held out Tiac to the public as the manager of his store in
Binondo. More particularly, petitioner explicitly introduced to Villanueva,
Valiants manager, as his (petitioners) branch manager as testified to by
Villanueva. Secondly, Tan, who has been doing business with petitioner for
quite a while, also testified that she knew Tiac to be the manager of the
Binondo branch. Even petitioner admitted his close relationship with Tiu
Huy Tiac when he said that they are like brothers There was thus no
reason for anybody especially those transacting business with petitioner to
even doubt the authority of Tiac as his manager in the Binondo branch.
Tiac, therefore, by petitioners own representations and manifestations,
became an agent of petitioner by estoppel, an admission or
representation is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and
cannot be denied or disproved as against the person relying thereon
(Article 1431, Civil Code of the Philippines). A party cannot be allowed to
go back on his own acts and representations to the prejudice of the other
party who, in good faith, relied upon them. Taken in this light,. petitioner is
liable for the transaction entered into by Tiac on his behalf. Thus, even
when the agent has exceeded his authority, the principal is solidarily liable
with the agent if the former allowed the latter to fact as though he had full
powers (Article 1911 Civil Code), as in the case at bar.
Finally, although it may appear that Tiac defrauded his principal
(petitioner) in not turning over the proceeds of the transaction to the
latter, such fact cannot in any way relieve nor exonerate petitioner of his
liability to private respondent. For it is an equitable maxim that as
between two innocent parties, the one who made it possible for the wrong
to be done should be the one to bear the resulting loss

People vs. Obsania


Facts
Erlinda Dollente, the 14-year old victim, and her parents, Ciriaco Dollente and Carmelita Lureta, filed
in the municipal court a complaint for rape with robbery, alleging:
That on or about the 21st day of November 1964, at around 2:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon, particularly
in sitio Cawakalan, barrio of Capulaan, municipality of Balungao, Province of Pangasinan,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the said accused Willy Obsania, armed
with a dagger, by means of violence and intimidation, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously did then and
there have carnal knowledge of the complainant Erlinda Dollente, against her will and on the roadside
in the ricefields at the above-mentioned place while she was alone on her way to barrio San
Raymundo.
After the case was remanded to the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan for further proceedings, the
assistant provincial fiscal filed an information for rape against the accused, embodying the allegations
of the above complaint, with an additional averment that the offense was committed "with lewd
designs".
The accused pleaded not guilty upon arraignment, and forthwith his counsel moved for the dismissal of
the case, contending that the complaint was fatally defective for failure to allege "lewd designs" and
that the subsequent information filed by the fiscal which averred "lewd designs" did not cure the
jurisdictional infirmity. The court a quo granted the motion and ordered dismissal of the action, ruling
that "the failure of the complaint filed by the offended party to allege that the acts committed by the
accused were with 'lewd designs' does not give this Court jurisdiction to try the case." From this order,
the fiscal brought the instant appeal.
Issue
Whether or not the present appeal places the accused in double jeopardy.
Held
Does not place.
In order that the protection against double jeopardy may inure in favor of an accused, the following
requisites must have obtained in the original prosecution:
1. A valid complaint or information;
2. A competent court;
3. The defendant had pleaded to the charge; and
4. The defendant was acquitted, or convicted, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise
terminated without his express consent.
In essence, this Court held that where a criminal case is dismissed provisionally not only with the
express consent of the accused but even upon the urging of his counsel, there can be no double
jeopardy under section 9, Rule 113, if the indictment against him is revived by the fiscal. This decision
subscribes substantially to the doctrine on waiver established in Salico.
The doctrine of estoppel in relation to the plea of double jeopardy was first enunciated in Acierto which
held that when the trial court dismisses a case on a disclaimer of jurisdiction, upon the instigation of the
accused, the latter is estopped on appeal from asserting the jurisdiction of the lower court in support of
his plea of second jeopardy. The doctrine of estoppel is in quintessence the same as the doctrine of
waiver: the thrust of both is that a dismissal, other than on the merits, sought by the accused in a
motion to dismiss, is deemed to be with his express consent and bars him from subsequently
interposing the defense of double jeopardy on appeal or in a new prosecution for the same offense.
The complaint filed with the municipal court in the case at bar was valid; the court a quo was a
competent tribunal with jurisdiction to hear the case; the record shows that the accused pleaded not
guilty upon arraignment. Hence, the only remaining and decisive question is whether the dismissal of
the case was without the express consent of the accused.
The accused admits that the controverted dismissal was ordered by the trial judge upon his motion to
dismiss. However, he vehemently contends that under the prevailing jurisprudence, an erroneous
dismissal of a criminal action, even upon the instigation of the accused in a motion to quash or dismiss,

does not bar him from pleading the defense of double jeopardy in a subsequent appeal by the
Government or in a new prosecution for the same offense. The accused suggests that jurisprudence has
abandoned the previous ruling of this Court to the effect that when a case is dismissed, other than on
the merits, upon motion of the accused personally or through counsel, such dismissal is to be regarded
as with the express consent of the accused and consequently he is deemed to have waived his right to
plead double jeopardy and/or he is estopped from claiming such defense on appeal by the Government
or in another indictment for the same offense.
Considering the factual setting in the case at bar, it is clear that there is no parallelism between
Cloribel and the cases cited therein, on the one hand, and the instant case, on the other. Here the
controverted dismissal was predicated on the erroneous contention of the accused that the complaint
was defective and such infirmity affected the jurisdiction of the court a quo, and not on the right of the
accused to a speedy trial and the failure of the Government to prosecute. The appealed order of
dismissal in this case now under consideration did not terminate the action on the merits, whereas in
Cloribel and in the other related cases the dismissal amounted to an acquittal because the failure to
prosecute presupposed that the Government did not have a case against the accused, who, in the first
place, is presumed innocent.
The application of the sister doctrines of waiver and estoppel requires two sine qua non conditions:
1. The dismissal must be sought or induced by the defendant personally or through his counsel;
and
2. Such dismissal must not be on the merits and must not necessarily amount to an acquittal.
Indubitably, the case at bar falls squarely within the periphery of the said doctrines that have been
preserved unimpaired in the corpus of our jurisprudence.
Facts: On 22 November 1964, barely a day after the occurrence of the alleged crime, Erlinda
Dollente, the 14-year old victim, and her parents, Ciriaco Dollente and Carmelita Lureta, filed
in the municipal court of Balungao, Pangasinan a complaint for rape with robbery, alleging
"That on or about 21st day of November 1964, at around 2:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon,
particularly in sitio Cawakalan, barrio of Capulaan municipality of Balungao, Province of
Pangasinan, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the said accused
Willy Obsania, armed with a dagger, by means of violence and intimidation, willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously did then and there have carnal knowledge of the complainant
Erlinda Dollente, against her will and on the roadside in the ricefields at the abovementioned
place while she was alone on her way to barrio San Raymundo." After the case was
remanded to the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan for further proceedings, the assistant
provincial fiscal filed an information for rape against the accused, embodying the allegations
of the complaint, with an additional averment that the offense was committed "with lewd
designs". Obsania pleaded not guilty upon arraignment, and forthwith with his counsel moved
for the dismissal of the case contending that the complaint was fatally defective for failure to
allege "lewd designs" and that the subsequent information filed by the fiscal which averred
"lewd designs" did not cure the jurisdictional infirmity. On 8 January 1965, the trial court
granted the motion and ordered dismissal of the action, ruling that "the failure of the complaint
filed by the offended party to allege that the acts committed by the accused were with 'lewd
designs' does not give this Court jurisdiction to try the case." From this order, the fiscal
appealed.

Issue: Whether the appeal of the Government constitutes double jeopardy.


Held: An appeal by the prosecution in a criminal case is not available if the defendant would
thereby be placed in double jeopardy. Correlatively, Section 9, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of
Court provides that "When a defendant shall have been convicted or acquitted, or the case against
him dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the defendant, by a court of
competent jurisdiction, upon a valid complaint or information or other formal charge sufficient in
form and substance to sustain a conviction, and after the defendant had pleaded to the charge, the

conviction or acquittal of the defendant or the dismissal of the case shall be a bar to another
prosecution for the offense charged, or for any attempt to commit the same or frustration thereof,
or for any offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in
the former complaint or information." In order that the protection against double jeopardy may
inure in favor of an accused, the following requisites must have obtained in the original
prosecution: (a) a valid complaint or information; (b) a competent court; (c) the defendant had
pleaded to the charge; and (d) the defendant was acquitted, or convicted, or the case against him
was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent. The complaint filed with the
municipal court in the present case was valid; the trial court was a competent tribunal with
jurisdiction to hear the case; the record shows that the accused pleaded not guilty upon
arraignment. The particular aspect of double jeopardy, i.e. dismissal or termination of the original
case without the express consent of the defendant, has evoked varied and apparently conflicting
rulings from the Supreme Court. In People vs. Salico (1949), the Court held that "When the case is
dismissed with the express consent of the defendant, the dismissal will not be a bar to another
prosecution for the same offense; because, his action in having the case dismissed constitutes a
waiver of his constitutional right or privilege, for the reason that he thereby prevents the court from
proceeding to the trial on the merits and rendering a judgment of conviction against him." The
Salico doctrine was adhered to and affirmed in People vs. Marapao (85 Phil 832, 30 March 1950),
Gandicela vs. Lutero (88 Phil 299, 5 March 1951), People vs. Pinuela, et al. (91 Phil 53, 28 March
1952), Co Te Hue vs. Encarnacion (94 Phil 258, 26 January 1954), and People vs. Desalisa (GR
L-15516, 17 December 1966). On the other hand, the doctrine of estoppel in relation to the plea of
double jeopardy was first enunciated in Acierto which held that when the trial court dismisses a
case on a disclaimer of jurisdiction, upon the instigation of the accused, the latter is estopped on
appeal from asserting the jurisdiction of the lower court in support of his plea of second jeopardy.
The doctrine of estoppel is in quintessence the same as the doctrine of waiver: the thrust of both is
that a dismissal, other than on the merits,

sought by the accused in a motion to dismiss, is deemed to be with his express consent and
bars him from subsequently interposing the defense of double jeopardy on appeal or in a new
prosecution for the same offense. The Acierto ruling was reiterated in People vs. Amada
Reyes, et al., (96 Phil 927, 30 April 1955); People vs. Reyes, et al., (98 Phil 646, 23 March
1956); People vs. Casiano (GR L-15309, 16 February 1961), and People vs. Archilla (GR L15632, 28 February 1961). The case of Bangalao, Ferrer, and Labatete, did not actually
abandon the doctrine of waiver in Salico (and not one of the said cases even implied the
slightest departure from the doctrine of estoppel established in Acierto). In Diaz, Abao,
Tacneng and Robles, like in Cloribel, the dismissals therein, all sought by the defendants,
were considered acquittals because they were all predicated on the right of a defendant to a
speedy trial and on the failure of the Government to prosecute. Therefore, even if such
dismissals were induced by the accused, the doctrines of waiver and estoppel were obviously
inapplicable for these doctrines presuppose a dismissal not amounting to an acquittal. Here,
the controverted dismissal was predicated on the erroneous contention of the accused that
the complaint was defective and such infirmity affected the jurisdiction of the trial court, and
not on the right of the accused to a speedy trial and the failure of the Government to
prosecute. The appealed order of dismissal in the present case did not terminate the action
on the merits. The application of the sister doctrines of waiver and estoppel requires two sine
qua non conditions: first, the dismissal must be sought or induced by the defendant personally
or through his counsel; and second, such dismissal must not be on the merits and must not
necessarily amount to an acquittal. Indubitably, the present case falls squarely within the
periphery of the said doctrines which have been preserved unimpaired in the corpus of our
jurisprudence. The case was remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings in
accordance with law.

Cudia vs. CA
Facts
Petitioner was arrested, allegedly for possessing an unlicensed revolver. An investigating panel of
prosecutors thereafter conducted a preliminary investigation. As a result thereof, the City Prosecutor of
Angeles City filed an information against him for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
The case was raffled to Branch 60 of the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City (hereafter the Angeles
City RTC). Upon his arraignment, petitioner pleaded not guilty to the charges. During the ensuing pretrial, the court called the attention of the parties to the fact that, contrary to the information, petitioner
had committed the offense in Mabalacat, and not in Angeles City. Inasmuch as there was an existing
arrangement among the judges of the Angeles City RTCs as to who would handle cases involving
crimes committed outside of Angeles City, the judge ordered the re-raffling of the case to a branch
assigned to criminal cases involving crimes committed outside of the city. Thereafter, the case was
assigned to Branch 56 of the Angeles City RTC.
Later, however, the provincial prosecutor of Pampanga also filed an information charging petitioner
with the same crime of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition,. The case was likewise raffled to
Branch 56 of the Angeles City RTC. This prompted the prosecutor in Criminal Case No. 11542 to file a
Motion to Dismiss/Withdraw the Information, stating that thru inadvertence and oversight, the
Investigating Panel was misled into hastily filing the Information in this case, it appearing that the
apprehension of the accused in connection with the illegal possession of unlicensed firearm and
ammunition was made in Bgy. Sta. Inez, Mabalacat, Pampanga, within the jurisdiction of the Provincial
Prosecutor of Pampanga and that the Provincial Prosecutor had filed its own information against the
accused, as a result of which two separate informations for the same offense had been filed against
petitioner. The latter filed his opposition to the motion, but the trial court nonetheless, granted said
motion to dismiss.
Petitioner filed a Motion to Quash Criminal Case No. 11987 on the ground that his continued
prosecution for the offense of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition for which he had been
arraigned in Criminal Case No. 11542, and which had been dismissed despite his opposition would
violate his right not to be put twice in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. The trial court
denied the motion to quash; hence, petitioner raised the issue to the Court of Appeals. The appellate
court, stating that there was no double jeopardy, dismissed the same on the ground that the petitioner
could not have been convicted under the first information as the same was defective. Petitioners motion
for reconsideration was denied; hence, this appeal.
Issue
Whether or not double jeopardy attached.
Held
Did not attach.
It is undisputed that petitioner was arraigned in Criminal Case No. 11542, that he pleaded not guilty
therein, and that the same was dismissed without his express consent, nay, over his opposition even. We
may thus limit the discussion to determining whether the first two requisites have been met. (court of
competent jurisdiction & valid complaint/information)
As to the first requisite, it is necessary that there be a court of competent jurisdiction, for jurisdiction to
try the case is essential to place an accused in jeopardy. The Court of Appeals and the Solicitor General
agreed that Branch 60, which originally had cognizance of Criminal Case No. 11542, had no
jurisdiction over the case. In the words of the Solicitor General:
The first jeopardy did not also attach because Branch 60 of the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City
was not the proper venue for hearing the case. Venue in criminal cases is jurisdictional, being an
essential element of jurisdiction (Agbayani vs. Sayo, 89 SCRA 699). In all criminal prosecutions, the
action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or territory wherein the offense was
committed or any one of the essential ingredients thereof took place (People vs. Tomio, 202 SCRA 77).
Although both Branches 60 and 56 are sitting in Angeles City, it is Branch 56 which has jurisdiction to
try offenses committed in Mabalacat, Pampanga. Petitioner was arraigned before Branch 60, not
Branch 56.

The Provincial Prosecutor of Pampanga, not the City Prosecutor, who should prepare informations for
offenses committed within Pampanga but outside of Angeles City. An information, when required to be
filed by a public prosecuting officer, cannot be filed by another. It must be exhibited or presented by
the prosecuting attorney or someone authorized by law. If not, the court does not acquire jurisdiction.
Petitioner, however, insists that his failure to assert the lack of authority of the City Prosecutor in filing
the information in question is deemed a waiver thereof. As correctly pointed out by the Court of
Appeals, petitioners plea to an information before he filed a motion to quash may be a waiver of all
objections to it insofar as formal objections to the pleadings are concerned. But by clear implication, if
not by express provision of the Rules of Court, and by a long line of uniform decisions, questions
relating to want of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the proceeding. It is a valid information
signed by a competent officer which, among other requisites, confers jurisdiction on the court over the
person of the accused (herein petitioner) and the subject matter of the accusation. In consonance with
this view, an infirmity in the information, such as lack of authority of the officer signing it, cannot be
cured by silence, acquiescence, or even by express consent.
In fine, there must have been a valid and sufficient complaint or information in the former prosecution.
If, therefore, the complaint or information was insufficient because it was so defective in form or
substance that the conviction upon it could not have been sustained, its dismissal without the consent of
the accused cannot be pleaded. As the fiscal had no authority to file the information, the dismissal of
the first information would not be a bar to petitioners subsequent prosecution. Jeopardy does not attach
where a defendant pleads guilty to a defective indictment that is voluntarily dismissed by the
prosecution.
Petitioner next claims that the lack of authority of the City Prosecutor was the error of the investigating
panel and the same should not be used to prejudice and penalize him. It is an all too familiar maxim
that the State is not bound or estopped by the mistakes or inadvertence of its officials and employees.
To rule otherwise could very well result in setting felons free, deny proper protection to the community,
and give rise to the possibility of connivance between the prosecutor and the accused.
In light of the foregoing principles, there is thus no breach of the constitutional prohibition against
twice putting an accused in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense for the simple reason that the
absence of authority of the City Prosecutor to file the first information meant that petitioner could
never have been convicted on the strength thereof.
As the first information was fatally defective for lack of authority of the officer filing it, the instant
petition must fail for failure to comply with all the requisites necessary to invoke double jeopardy.
FACTS:
Renato Cudia was arrested in Mabalacat, Pampanga allegedly for possessing an
unlicensed firearm. He was brought to Camp Pepito, Sto. Domingo, Angeles City
and was detained. After preliminary investigation, the City Prosecutor of Angeles
City filed information against him. The case was raffled to Branch 60 Angeles RTC.
Upon arraignment, the petitioner pleaded not guilty. During pre-trial, the court
called the attention of the parties that, contrary to information, Cudia committed
the offense in Mabalacat and not in Angles City. The judge ordered the re-raffling
of the case to a branch assigned to criminal cases involving crimes committed
outside Angeles City, thus, it was assigned to Branch 56 of Angeles City RTC.
However, the prosecutor of Pampanga filed information charging the petitioner
the same offense. The Prosecutor of Angeles City filed a motion to
dismiss/withdraw the information. Motion was granted despite opposition of the
petitioner.
Petitioner filed for Motion to Quash on the ground of double jeopardy. RTC denied
the Motion to Quash, hence, petitioner raised the issue to CA to which CA, stating
that there was no double jeopardy, dismissed the same on the ground that the
petitioner could not have been convicted under the first information as the same
was defective. Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied, hence this
appeal.
ISSUE/S:

1. Whether or not the City Prosecutor of Angelis City has the


authority to file the information.
2. Whether or not there is double jeopardy on the case at bar.
HELD: Issues discussed jointly as they were closely related.

In order to successfully invoke the defense of double jeopardy, the


following requisites must be present: (1) a first jeopardy must have
attached prior to the second; (2) the first jeopardy must have been validly
terminated; and (3) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense or
the second offense includes or is necessarily included in the offense
charged in the first information, or is an attempt to commit the same or a
frustration thereof.[5]
In determining when the first jeopardy may be said to have attached,
it is necessary to prove the existence of the following:
(a)

Court of competent jurisdiction

(b)

Valid complaint or information

(c)

Arraignment

(c)

Valid plea

(e)
The defendant was acquitted or convicted or the case was dismissed
or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused

The first jeopardy did not also attach because Branch 60 of the Regional Trial
Court of Angeles City was not the proper venue for hearing the case. Venue in
criminal cases is jurisdictional, being an essential element of jurisdiction
(Agbayani vs. Sayo, 89 SCRA 699). In all criminal prosecutions, the action shall be
instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or territory wherein the offense
was committed or any one of the essential ingredients thereof took place (People
vs. Tomio, 202 SCRA 77). Although both Branches 60 and 56 are sitting in Angeles
City, it is Branch 56 which has jurisdiction to try offenses committed in Mabalacat,
Pampanga. Petitioner was arraigned before Branch 60, not Branch 56.
It must be borne in mind that the question of jurisdiction of a court over cases
filed before it must be resolved on the basis of the law or statute providing for or
defining its jurisdiction.
With respect to the second requisite, however, it is plainly apparent that the City
Prosecutor of Angeles City had no authority to file the first information, the
offense having been committed in the Municipality of Mabalacat, which is beyond
his jurisdiction.
It is thus the Provincial Prosecutor of Pampanga, not the City Prosecutor, who
should prepare informations for offenses committed within Pampanga but outside
of Angeles City. An information, when required to be filed by a public prosecuting
officer, cannot be filed by another. [8] It must be exhibited or presented by the
prosecuting attorney or someone authorized by law. If not, the court does not
acquire jurisdiction.
There is thus no breach of the constitutional prohibition against twice putting an
accused in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense for the simple reason
that the absence of authority of the City Prosecutor to file the first information
meant that petitioner could never have been convicted on the strength thereof.

Guerrero vs. CA
Facts
An Information for Triple Homicide Through Reckless Imprudence was filed against petitioner. It
would appear that from the RTC of Caloocan City, Branch XXXV, the case was subsequently, assigned
to Branch CXXV presided over by Judge Alfredo Gorgonio who apparently, did not take action
thereon.
Court Administrator Meynardo Tiro ordered the re-raffling of the case from the RTC of Caloocan City,
Branch CXXV to the RTC of Navotas-Malabon which, under the provisions of B.P. 129, had
jurisdiction over the case.
The case, now docketed as Criminal Case No. 7356-MN, was raffled to presiding Judge Benjamin N.
Aquino of the RTC, Navotas Malabon, Branch 72.
Judge Aquino ordered the parties to follow-up and complete the transcript of stenographic notes within
30 days considering that the same was found to be incomplete. Since the parties were not able to
complete the transcript of stenographic notes, the court ordered the retaking of the testimonies of the
witnesses.
Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that his right to speedy trial has been violated.
Presiding Judge denied the motion to dismiss.
Hence, petitioner filed petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus for the review of the orders of
the Regional Trial Court anent petitioner's motion to dismiss. The petition was anchored on the alleged
violation of petitioner's constitutional right to speedy trial.
Issue
Whether or not double jeopardy has attached.
Held
Not attached.
Anent petitioner's contention that the re-hearing would place him in double jeopardy, suffice it to say
that there has been no termination of the criminal prosecution - i.e. of that "first jeopardy." For double
jeopardy to attach, the following elements must concur:
x x x It is a settled rule that to raise the defense of double jeopardy, the following requisites must
concur: (1) a first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second; (2) the first jeopardy must have
been validly terminated; and (3) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense, or the second
offense includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the first information, or is an
attempt to commit the same or is a frustration thereof.
And legal jeopardy attaches only: (a) upon a valid indictment; (b) before a competent court; (c ) after
arraignment; (d) a valid plea having been entered; and (e) the case was dismissed or otherwise
terminated without the express consent of the accused.
In the present case, there has not even been a first jeopardy, since the fourth element - dismissal or
termination of the case without the express consent of the accused - is not present. Moreover, measured
against the aforequoted standard, the retaking of testimonies cannot in any wise be deemed a second
jeopardy. Hence, it is beyond dispute that petitioner's claim of double jeopardy is utterly without basis.

1. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; ELEMENTS OF


DOUBLE JEOPARDY.- For double jeopardy to attach, the
following elements must concur: x x x It is a settled rule that to
raise the defense of double jeopardy, the following requisites
must concur: (1) a first jeopardy must have attached prior to the
second; (2) the first jeopardy must have been validly terminated;
and (3) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense, or the

second offense includes or is necessarily included in the offense


charged in the first information, or is an attempt to commit the
same or is a frustration thereof. And legal jeopardy attaches
only: (a) upon a valid indictment; (b) before a competent court; (c)
after arraignment; (d) a valid plea having been entered; and (e)
the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the
express consent of the accused.
2. ID.; ID.; WHEN THE RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL IS DEEMED
VIOLATED.-The right to speedy trial is violated only where there
is an unreasonable, vexatious and oppressive delay without the
participation or fault of the accused, or when unjustified
postponements are sought which prolong the trial for
unreasonable lengths of time.
3. ID.; ID.; SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF CASES; CONSTRUED.- The
case of Caballero vs. Alfonso, Jr., 153, SCRA 153, 162-163
(August 21, 1987), laid down the guidelines in determining the
applicability of the "speedy disposition" formula: "x x x '(S)peedy
disposition of cases is a relative term. Just like the constitutional
guarantee of speedy trial accorded an accused in all criminal
proceedings, speedy disposition of cases is a flexible concept. It
is consistent with delays and depends upon the
circumstances. What the Constitution prohibits are unreasonable,
arbitrary and oppressive delays which render rights nugatory. In
the determination of whether or not the right to a speedy trial has
been violated, certain factors may be considered and balanced
against each other. These are length of delay, reason for the
delay, assertion of the right or failure to assert it, and prejudice
caused by the delay. The same factors may also be considered in
answering judicial inquiry whether or not a person officially
charged with the administration of justice has violated the speedy
disposition of cases guarantee."
4. ID.; ID.; ID.; A PARTY'S INDIVIDUAL RIGHT SHOULD NOT
PRECLUDE PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO PUBLIC JUSTICE.- While
this Court recognizes the right to speedy disposition quite
distinctly from the right to a speedy trial, and although this Court
has always zealously espoused protection from oppressive and
vexatious delays not attributable to the party involved, at the
same time, we hold that a party's individual rights should not work
against and preclude the people's equally important right to public
justice. In the instant case, three people died as a result of the
crash of the airplane that the accused was flying. It appears to us
that the delay in the disposition of the case prejudiced not just the

accused but the people as well.Since the accused has completely


failed to assert his right seasonably and inasmuch as the
respondent judge was not in a position to dispose of the case on
the merits due to the absence of factual basis, we hold it proper
and equitable to give the parties fair opportunity to obtain (and the
court to dispense) substantial justice in the premises.

Galman vs. Sandiganbayan


Minute Digest
No double jeopardy - It is settled doctrine that double jeopardy cannot be invoked against this Court's
setting aside of the trial courts' judgment of dismissal or acquittal where the prosecution which
represents the sovereign people in criminal cases is denied due process.
More so does the rule against the invoking of double jeopardy hold in the cases at bar where as we
have held, the sham trial was but a mock trial where the authoritarian president ordered respondents
Sandiganbayan and Tanodbayan to rig the trial and closely monitored the entire proceedings to assure
the pre-determined final outcome of acquittal and total absolution as innocent of the respondentsaccused.
Respondents-accused's contention that the Sandiganbayan judgment of acquittal ends the case which
cannot be appealed or re-opened, without being put in double jeopardy was forcefully disposed of by
the Court in People vs. Court of Appeals, which is fully applicable here, as follows: "That is the general
rule and presupposes a valid judgment. As earlier pointed out, however, respondent Courts' Resolution
of acquittal was a void judgment for having been issued without jurisdiction. No double jeopardy
attaches, therefore. A void judgment is, in legal effect, no judgment at all By it no rights are divested.
Through it, no rights can be attained. Being worthless, all proceedings founded upon it are equally
worthless. It neither binds nor bars anyone. All acts performed under it and all claims flowing out of it
are void.
Facts: On 21 August 1983, Benigno S. Aquino Jr. was killed while being escorted by soldiers
from his plane at the Manila International Airport. The military investigators reported within a
span of three hours that the man who shot Aquino (whose identity was then supposed to be
unknown and was revealed only days later as Rolando Galman, although he was the
personal friend of Col. Arturo Custodio who picked him up from his house on 17 August 1983)
was a communist- hired gunman, and that the military escorts gunned him down in turn. The
military later filmed a re- enactment of the killing scripted according to this version and
continuously replayed it on all TV channels as if it were taken live on the spot. President
Marcos instantly accepted the military version and repeated it in a nationally televised press
conference that he gave late in the evening of 22 August 1983. President was constrained to
create a Fact Finding Board to investigate the killing of Aquino. After two false starts, he finally
constituted the Board on 22 October 1983 which held 125 hearing days commencing 3
November 1983 (including 3 hearings in Tokyo and 8 hearings in Los Angeles, California) and
heard the testimonies of 194 witnesses recorded in 20,377 pages of transcripts, until the
submission of their minority and majority reports to the President on October 23 and 24, 1984.
Both majority and minority reports were one in rejecting the military version as propounded by
the chief investigator, Maj. Gen. Prospero A. Olivas, that Rolando Galman was the NPA-hired
assassin. It opines that Ninoy's assassination was the product of a military conspiracy, not a
communist plot. The only difference between the two reports is that the majority report found
all the 26 respondents headed by then AFP Chief General Fabian C. Ver involved in the
military conspiracy and therefore "indictable for the premeditated killing of Senator Benigno S.
Aquino, Jr. and Rolando Galman at the MIA on August 21, 1983;" while the chairman's
minority report would exclude 19 of them and limit as plotters "the 6 persons who were on the
service stairs while Senator Aquino was descending" and "General Luther Custodio because
the criminal plot could not have been planned and implemented without his intervention." On
11 November 1985 Saturnina Galman and Reynaldo Galman, mother and son, respectively,
of the late Rolando Galman, and 29 other petitioners, composed of 3 former Justices of the
Supreme Court, 5 incumbent and former university presidents, a former AFP Chief of Staff,
outstanding members of the Philippine Bar and solid citizens of the community, filed the
present action alleging that Tanodbayan and Sandiganbayan committed serious irregularities
constituting mistrial and resulting in miscarriage of justice and gross violation of the
constitutional rights of the petitioners and the sovereign people of the Philippines to due
process of law. They prayed for the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order
(TRO) restraining the Sandiganbayan from rendering a decision on the merits in the pending

criminal cases which it had scheduled on 20 November 1985 and that judgment be rendered
declaring a mistrial and nullifying the proceedings before the Sandiganbayan and ordering a
re- trial before an impartial tribunal by an unbiased prosecutor. At the hearing on 18
November 1985 of Galman, et. al.'s prayer for issuance of a TRO enjoining the
Sandiganbayan from rendering a decision in the two criminal cases before it, the Court
resolved by 9-to-2 votes to issue the restraining order prayed for. But 10 days later on 28
November 1985, the Court by the same 9-to- 2-vote ratio in reverse, resolved to dismiss the
petition and to lift the temporary restraining order issued 10 days earlier enjoining the
Sandiganbayan from rendering its decision. On 29 November 1985, Galman, et. al. filed a
motion for reconsideration. On 20 March 1986, Galman, et. al. filed their motion to admit their
second motion for reconsideration attached therewith. The thrust of the second motion for
reconsideration was the startling and therefore unknown revelations of Deputy Tanodbayan
Manuel Herrera that President Marcos had ordered the Sandiganbayan and Tanodbayan
Bernardo Fernandez and the prosecution panel headed by Herrera to whitewash the criminal
cases against the 26 accused and produce a verdict of acquittal. On 3 April 1986, the Court
granted the motion to admit the second motion for reconsideration and ordered the
respondents to comment thereon. The accused opposed the second motion for
reconsideration and prayed for its denial. As a whole, all the other respondents raised the
issue of double jeopardy, and invoked that the issues had become moot and academic
because of the rendition of the Sandiganbayan's judgment of acquittal of all accused on 2
December 1985, with counsels for Ver and Tigas, as well as Olivas, further arguing that
assuming that the judgment of acquittal is void for any reason, the remedy is a direct action to
annul the judgment where the burden of proof falls upon the plaintiff to establish by clear,
competent and convincing evidence the cause of the nullity.
Issue: Whether the acquittal of the 26 accused during Marcos time bars subsequent
prosecution, on account of new evidence that the proceedings leading to said acquittal

was rigged.
Held: President Marcos misused the overwhelming resources of the government and his
authoritarian powers to corrupt and make a mockery of the judicial process in the Aquino-Galman
murder cases. As graphically depicted in the Report, and borne out by the happenings (res ipsa
loquitura), since the resolution prepared by his "Coordinator," Manuel Lazaro, his Presidential
Assistant on Legal Affairs, for the Tanodbayan's dismissal of the cases against all accused was
unpalatable (it would summon the demonstrators back to the streets) and at any rate was not
acceptable to the Herrera prosecution panel, the unholy scenario for acquittal of all 26 accused
after the rigged trial as ordered at the Malacaang conference, would accomplish the two principal
objectives of satisfaction of the public clamor for the suspected killers to be charged in court and of
giving them through their acquittal the legal shield of double jeopardy.The Supreme Court cannot
permit such a sham trial and verdict and travesty of justice to stand unrectified; and declared the
sham trial a mock trial and that the predetermined judgment of acquittal was unlawful and void ab
initio. It is settled doctrine that double jeopardy cannot be invoked against this Court's setting aside
of the trial courts' judgment of dismissal or acquittal where the prosecution which represents the
sovereign people in criminal cases is denied due process. The cardinal precept is that where there
is a violation of basic constitutional rights, courts are ousted of their jurisdiction. Thus, the violation
of the State's right to due process raises a serious jurisdictional issue which cannot be glossed
over or disregarded at will. Where the denial of the fundamental right of due process is apparent, a
decision rendered in disregard of that right is void for lack of jurisdiction. Any judgment or decision
rendered notwithstanding such violation may be regarded as a lawless thing, which can be treated
as an outlaw and slain at sight, or ignored wherever it exhibits its head. Legal jeopardy attaches
only (a) upon a valid indictment, (b) before a competent court, (c) after arraignment, (d) a valid
plea having been entered; and

(e) the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the
accused. More so does the rule against the invoking of double jeopardy hold in the present
cases where the sham trial was but a mock trial where the authoritarian president ordered the

Sandiganbayan and Tanodbayan to rig the trial and closely monitored the entire proceedings
to assure the predetermined final outcome of acquittal and total absolution as innocent of all
the accused. Manifestly, the prosecution and the sovereign people were denied due process
of law with a partial court and biased Tanodbayan under the constant and pervasive
monitoring and pressure exerted by the authoritarian President to assure the carrying out of
his instructions. A dictated, coerced and scripted verdict of acquittal such as that in the
present case is a void judgment. Therefore, no double jeopardy attaches. A void judgment is,
in legal effect, no judgment at all. By it no rights are divested. Through it, no rights can be
attained. Being worthless, all proceedings founded upon it are equally worthless. It neither
binds nor bars anyone. All acts performed under it and all claims flowing out of it are void.

People vs. Lagos


Minute Digest
It has long been settled that the grant of a demurrer is tantamount to an acquittal. An acquitted
defendant is entitled to the right of repose as a direct consequence of the finality of his acquittal. This

rule, however, is not without exception. The rule on double jeopardy is subject to the exercise of
judicial review by way of the extraordinary writ of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. The
Supreme Court is endowed with the power to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
government. Here, the party asking for the review must show the presence of a whimsical or capricious
exercise of judgment equivalent to lack of jurisdiction; a patent and gross abuse of discretion
amounting to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty imposed by law or
to act in contemplation of law; an exercise of power in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of
passion and hostility; or a blatant abuse of authority to a point so grave and so severe as to deprive the
court of its very power to dispense justice. In such an event, the accused cannot be considered to be at
risk of double jeopardy.

Before this Court is a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 seeking to reverse
the following Orders in Criminal Case No. Q-07-146628 issued by public respondent
Judge Rafael R. Lagos (Judge Lagos), presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
of Quezon City, Branch 79:
1. The Order issued on 23 April 2008, granting respondents' Petition for Bail and Motion
for Leave to File Demurrer to Evidence;1
2. The Order issued on 24 June 2008 granting the demurrer to evidence filed by
respondents and acquitting them of the crime of illegal sale of drugs punishable under
Section 5, Article II, Republic Act 9165; 2
3. The Order issued on 24 July 2008, which: a) denied petitioner's Motion for Inhibition, b)
denied petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration of the 24 July 2008 Order; and c) granted
respondents Motion to withdraw their cash bonds.3
On 30 March 2007, at 11:00 a.m., a confidential informant (CI) appeared before the AntiIllegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF) of the Philippine National Police
(PNP) in Camp Crame, Quezon City. The CI relayed to Police Senior Inspector Fidel
Fortaleza, Jr. (P S/Insp. Fortaleza) that an individual using the alias "Brian" was engaged
in the illegal sale of the prohibited drug "ecstasy" in BF Homes, Paraaque City. 4 The CI
further reported that "Brian," who was later identified as herein private respondent Castel
Vinci Estacio y Tolentino (Estacio), promised a commission from any transaction the
former would help arrange. P S/Insp. Fortaleza, as team leader of the AIDSOTF,
assembled and briefed the team that would conduct the buy-bust operation. Police
Officer (PO) 2 Marlo V. Frando (PO2 Frando) was assigned to act as the poseur-buyer
and PO2 Ruel P. Cubian (PO2 Cubian) as back-up, while the rest of the team members
were to serve as perimeter security. P S/Insp. Fortaleza and PO2 Leonard So prepared
and dusted two P500 bills for use as buy-bust money. The CI then called respondent
Estacio, informing him that a prospective buyer wished to purchase thirty (30) tablets of
ecstasy with a total value of P50,000.5 That afternoon, respondent Estacio instructed
them to proceed to Tandang Sora Avenue, Quezon City, where the transaction was to
take place.6
At 11:00 p.m. of the same day, Estacio alighted from a Toyota Vios car at the Jollibee
branch located at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Tandang Sora. PO2 Frando,
accompanied by the CI, approached Estacio. After PO2 Frando was introduced to
Estacio as the prospective buyer, the latter demanded to see the payment. However,
PO2 Frando asked him to first show the ecstasy pills. 7 Estacio then opened the doors of
the vehicle and introduced his two companions, Carlo and Jonathan (later identified as
herein respondents Jonathan Dy and Carlo Castro), to PO2 Frando and the CI.
Respondent Castro handed PO2 Frando one sealed plastic sachet containing several
pink pills. The latter gave the "boodle" money to respondent Dy and immediately
removed his baseball cap. The removal of the cap was the prearranged signal to the rest
of the buy-bust team that the transaction was complete. 8

PO2 Frando introduced himself as a police officer and informed respondents of their
constitutional rights.9 PO2 Cubian frisked respondent Dy and was able to recover the
buy-bust money.10 Respondents were then escorted to the AIDSOTF office in Camp
Crame, where they identified themselves as Castel Vinci Estacio y Tolentino, Carlo
Castro y Cando, and Jonathan Dy y Rubic. As officer in charge of the inventory of the
evidence seized, PO2 Cubian turned over the plastic sachet to PO3 Jose Rey Serrona,
who was in charge of the investigation. 11 On 31 March 2007, forensic chemist and Police
Senior Inspector Yelah C. Manaog (P S/Insp. Manaog) conducted a laboratory
examination of the contents of the sachet, which was completed at 10:50 a.m. that same
day.12 The 30 pink pills were found positive for methylenedioxymethamphetamine
(MDMA) hydrochloride, commonly known as ecstasy, a dangerous drug. 13
An Information dated 3 April 2007 was filed against respondents for the sale of
dangerous drugs, in violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. (R.A.) 9165. The
case was raffled to the sala of Judge Fernando Sagum, Jr. of the Quezon City RTC.
Upon arraignment, respondents pleaded not guilty to the charges. Trial ensued, and the
prosecution presented its evidence, including the testimonies of four witnesses: PO2
Marlo V. Frando, PO2 Ruel P. Cubian, Police Senior Inspector Yelah C. Manaog, and
PO3 Jose Rey Serrona. After the prosecution submitted its Formal Offer of Evidence on
17 November 2007, respondents filed a Motion for leave of court to file their demurrer, as
well as a Motion to resolve their Petition for Bail. On 2 January 2008, Judge Sagum
issued a Resolution denying both the Petition for Bail and the Motion for leave of court to
file a demurrer. Respondent Estacio then sought the inhibition of Judge Sagum, a move
subsequently adopted by respondents Dy and Castro. On 15 January 2008, Presiding
Judge Sagum inhibited himself from the case. On 31 January 2008, the case was reraffled to public respondent Judge Lagos.
Judge Lagos issued the first assailed Order on 23 April 2008 granting respondents
Petition for Bail and allowing them to file their demurrer. On 24 June 2008, he issued the
second assailed Order, acquitting all the accused. On Motion for Reconsideration filed by
the People, he issued the third assailed Order denying the above motion and granting the
Motion to Withdraw Cash Bonds filed by the accused.
Before this Court, the prosecution argues that Judge Lagos committed grave abuse of
discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction in granting the demurrer despite
clear proof of the elements of the illegal sale, the existence of the corpus delicti, and the
arrest in flagrante delicto. 14 Private respondents counter that the Petition is dismissible on
the ground of double jeopardy and is violative of the principle of hierarchy of courts.
We grant the petition.
Respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in granting the demurrer.
It has long been settled that the grant of a demurrer is tantamount to an acquittal. An
acquitted defendant is entitled to the right of repose as a direct consequence of the
finality of his acquittal. 15 This rule, however, is not without exception. The rule on double
jeopardy is subject to the exercise of judicial review by way of the extraordinary writ of
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. The Supreme Court is endowed with the
power to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
government.16 Here, the party asking for the review must show the presence of a
whimsical or capricious exercise of judgment equivalent to lack of jurisdiction; a patent
and gross abuse of discretion amounting to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual
refusal to perform a duty imposed by law or to act in contemplation of law; an exercise of
power in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility; or a blatant
abuse of authority to a point so grave and so severe as to deprive the court of its very

power to dispense justice.17 In such an event, the accused cannot be considered to be at


risk of double jeopardy.18
The trial court declared that the testimonies of PO2 Frando, PO2 Cubian, P S/Insp.
Manaog, and AIDSOTF Chief Leonardo R. Suan were insufficient to prove the
culmination of the illegal sale, or to show their personal knowledge of the offer to sell and
the acceptance thereof. In granting the demurrer filed by the accused, respondent judge
surmised that it was the CI who had initiated the negotiation of the sale and should have
thus been presented at trial.
Accused were caught in flagrante delicto; AIDSOTF police officers witnessed the actual
sale.
The trial courts assessment that the witnesses had no personal knowledge of the illegal
sale starkly contrasts with the facts borne out by the records. PO2 Frando was present
during the negotiation and the actual buy-bust operation. PO2 Frando himself acted as
the poseur-buyer and testified in open court. PO2 Cubian frisked the accused and
recovered the buy-bust money; he also testified in court. P S/Insp. Manaog testified as to
the corpus delicti of the crime; and the 30 pills of ecstasy were duly marked, identified,
and presented in court. The validity of buy-bust transactions as an effective way of
apprehending drug dealers in the act of committing an offense is well-settled. 19
The only elements necessary to consummate the crime of illegal sale of drugs is proof
that the illicit transaction took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus
delicti or the illicit drug as evidence. 20 In buy-bust operations, the delivery of the
contraband to the poseur-buyer and the sellers receipt of the marked money
successfully consummate the buy-bust transaction between the entrapping officers and
the accused. Unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the members of the buybust team were inspired by any improper motive or were not properly performing their
duty, their testimonies on the operation deserve faith and credit. 21
The Court has held that when police officers have no motive to testify falsely against the
accused, courts are inclined to uphold the presumption of regularity accorded to them in
the performance of their official duties. 22 In the present case, there is no contention that
the members of AIDSOTF who conducted the buy-bust operation were motivated by ill
will or malice. Neither was there evidence adduced to show that they neglected to
perform their duties properly. Hence, their testimonies as to the conduct of the buy-bust
operation deserves full faith and credence.
Respondent judge harps on the fact that it was the CI who had personal knowledge of
the identity of the seller, the initial offer to purchase the ecstasy pills, and the subsequent
acceptance of the offer. It is clear from the testimonies of PO2 Frando and the other
arresting officers that they conducted the buy-bust operation based on the information
from the CI. However, the arrest was made, not on the basis of that information, but of
the actual buy-bust operation, in which respondents were caught in flagrante delicto
engaged in the illegal sale of dangerous drugs. Due to the investigative work of the
AIDSOTF members, the illegal sale was consummated in their presence, and the
elements of the sale the identity of the sellers, the delivery of the drugs, and the
payment therefor were confirmed. That the CI initially provided this information or "tip"
does not negate the subsequent consummation of the illegal sale.
In the Courts Resolution on People v. Utoh, the accused was caught in flagrante delicto
selling P36,000 worth of shabu in a buy-bust operation conducted by the Philippine Drug
Enforcement Agency (PDEA). The accused argued that mere reliable information from
the CI was an insufficient ground for his warrantless arrest. The Court stated:

Utoh was arrested not, as he asserts, on the basis of "reliable information" received by
the arresting officers from a confidential informant. His arrest came as a result of a valid
buy-bust operation, a form of entrapment in which the violator is caught in flagrante
delicto. The police officers conducting a buy-bust operation are not only authorized but
also duty-bound to apprehend the violators and to search them for anything that may
have been part of or used in the commission of the crime.
The testimonies of arresting officers IOI Apiit and IOI Mosing were straightforward,
positive, and categorical. From the time they were tipped off by the confidential informant
at around 9:00 a.m. of November 22, 2008 or up to the time until the informant confirmed
Utohs impending arrival at a very late hour that night, and the latter's eventual arrest, the
intelligence officers credibly accounted for the briefings held, the preparations, and
actions taken by them.23
It is well-settled that the testimony of the CI in the sale of illegal drugs is not
indispensable.
Given the foregoing, respondent Judge Lagos erred in requiring the testimony of the
CI. Respondent judge based his ruling on a 2004 case, People v. Ong, the facts of which
purportedly "mirror" those of the present case. However, there is no basis for this
conclusion, as Ong involved a conviction based on the lone testimony of one
apprehending officer, Senior Police Officer (SPO1) Gonzales. The Court found that SPO1
Gonzales was merely the deliveryman, while the CI was the one who acted as the
poseur-buyer. In this case, one of the witnesses, PO2 Frando, was a buy-bust team
member who also acted as the poseur-buyer. He participated in the actual sale
transaction. His testimony was a firsthand account of what transpired during the buy-bust
and thus stemmed from his personal knowledge of the arrest in flagrante delicto.
1wphi1

Requiring the CI to testify is an added imposition that runs contrary to jurisprudential


doctrine, since the Court has long established that the presentation of an informant is not
a requisite for the prosecution of drug cases. The testimony of the CI is not
indispensable, since it would be merely corroborative of and cumulative with that of the
poseur-buyer who was presented in court, and who testified on the facts and
circumstances of the sale and delivery of the prohibited drug. 24
Informants are usually not presented in court because of the need to hide their identities
and preserve their invaluable services to the police. Except when the accused
vehemently denies selling prohibited drugs and there are material inconsistencies in the
testimonies of the arresting officers, or there are reasons to believe that the officers had
motives to falsely testify against the accused, or that it was the informant who acted as
the poseur-buyer, the informant's testimony may be dispensed with, as it will merely be
corroborative of the apprehending officers' eyewitness accounts. 25 In People v. Lopez, the
Court ruled that the "informant's testimony, then, would have been merely corroborative
and cumulative because the fact of sale of the prohibited drug was already established
by the direct testimony of SP04 Jamisolamin who actively took part in the transaction. If
the prosecution has several eyewitnesses, as in the instant case, it need not present all
of them but only as many as may be needed to meet the quantum of proof necessary to
establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt." 26
Similarly, in the present case, the fact of the illegal sale has already been established by
testimonies of the members of the buy-bust team. Judge Lagos need not have
characterized the Cl's testimony as indispensable to the prosecution's case. We find and
so hold that the grant of the demurrer for this reason alone was not supported by
prevailing jurisprudence and constituted grave abuse of discretion. The prosecution's
evidence was, prima facie, sufficient to prove the criminal charges filed against
respondents, subject to the defenses they may present in the course of a full-blown trial.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the assailed Orders of the Regional Trial Court
dated 23 April 2008, 24 June 2008, and 24 July 2008 are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE.
The RTC is ORDERED to reinstate Criminal Case No. Q-07-146628 to the court's docket
and proceed with trial.
SO ORDERED.