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3L\epubltt of tbe Jtbtlip~tne~


~upretne <!Court
Jlllnniln
En Banc

DE LIMA'S

NIR,CO-POLITI SCASE
G.R. No. 229781 (De Lir:rut. vs.
Hon. J. Guerrero, People of the Philif)pines, et. al.)

Ottice of the Solicitor General's

'!

...j,..._

Offic.e of the~olicitor .G~lleral


134 .Amorsolo St., Lcgasp.t v[1llage,
M.akati City

9 March 2017
I
11,..,

I' ,,::c::;;,.t:; . C\ . J.'' (~::0


,,, ............................. ,.. .
,. ......

REPUBLIC OF THE Pf-IILIP9Il}{1f?:~,l,l,'i' .. 9


f.'F1' if...,.'); .::: Ip
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~llllfClllC (!Court I ,

:..._., MANILA

En Banc

LEILA M. DIE LIMA,


Petitioner,
I
I..
1
:ri.Ru No. 229781
- versus -
'"-'"""

DiON. JUANITA GUERRERO,


ETC., ET AL.,
Respondents.
x--------------------------------------->

COMMENT
(With Opposition to the Application for Pr~lin1inary Injunction
and Urgent Prayer for Temporary Rest aining Orcler and
Status Quo Ante Order dated 24 February 2017)

THIE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPI~ES, P /DIR. GEN.


RONALD M. DELA ROSA, PSUPT .. J. PHILIP GIL M.
PHILIPPS, and SUPT. ARNEL JA~ANDRON APUB, 11f
Jf,
through the Office of the Solicitor G neral, respectfully i
submits this comn1ent on tile petition in ompliance with this
Honorable Court's Resolution dated Febru ry 28, 2017.

PRELIMINARY STATEMiNT .
I
A few years back, petitioner Leila 9e Lima defied this 11

Honorable Court when. it issued a te1porary restraining


!i
I
order allowing Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo tp travel abroad for Ii
n1edical treatment. De Lin1a did not obey the Court on the
grounds that its TRO "violated" her watch list order and that
she considered Arroyo a flight risk. Now, jshe is invoking the
Court's authority, specifically to restra n the respondent
Jl.
Judge from hearing the criminal c se against her, II
notwithstanding the rule that criminal pro eedings cannot be
enjoined. This bit of irony would not 11. ve raised hackles i
were it not for the fact that this denouf ment came about
II
I

I
1
' " DE LJMA v. HON. GUERREIW, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

because of her shameless involve111e t in narcopolitics:


during her tenure as Secretary of Justi e, she allowed the
drug trade to fester and flourish inside the walls of the
Bi/ibid so that she can profit fron1 the i licit comn1erce and
finance her political aspirations.

De Lima cannot, however, be trea ed dif'ferently fron1


any other accused. She may occupy an exalted position in
society, but this does not entitle her t special treatment.
Sl1e is cl1arged witl1 violating Section 26 of Republic Act No.
9165 which is cognizable by the Regional Trial Courts. It is a
serious offense separate fron1, and disti ct to, Section 5 of
the same law. Although it carries the san1e penalties as
Section 5, Section 26 does not require he People to allege
what illegal drug was traded. It is enough that De Lin1a and
her co-accused are charged as principals by inducen1ent ancl
by indispensable cooperation with the high-profile inn1ates in
the illegal drug trade inside the na ional penitentiary.
Respondent Judge Guerrero, therefore, d d not act arbitrarily
in issuing the warrants of arrest again t De Lima and her
col1orts based on the evidence on record, because it was her
task upon the filing of the Information t first and foremost
determine the existence of probable caL se for their arrest,
regardless of the accused' stature in soci ,ty.

I
':-:::vr
NATURE OF THE PETIT~ON

1. This Petition for Certiorari a~.d Prohibition with


Application for Preliminary Injunction an? Urgent Prayer for
Ten1porary Restraining Order and Stat~s Quo Ante Order
avers that the respondent Judge con1111i ted grave abuse of
discretion a111ounting to lack or excess o jurisdiction for (a)
issuing (i) the Order dated 23 Febrf ary 2017 finding
probable cause for the issuance of warra lt of arrest against
the petitioner, (ii) tl1e Warr~nt of Arrest datecl 23 February
2016, and (iii) the Order dated 24 FebrJary 2017 directing
the con1n1itn1ent of the petitioner to the PNP Custodial
Center, as well as allegedly failing to act on the petitioner's
Motio~:i to Quash. 1

I
~)ctit.i~n. ~<.~r Certiorari und .P1:ohibitio11 I~r:liminury
1
with ,Application for a Writ of lqjunt:tion and Urgent
P1 ayc1 loi Icmpornry Restra111111g Order and Status Quo Ante Order dated lcbruary 24, 2017, pp. 6-7.

2
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----:-----------------------x

THE SUBSTANTIVE AND PROCEDURAL FACTS

2. The Senate ancl the House I of Representatives


conducted several inquiries on the PJ.Oliferation of drug
syndicates at tl1e New Bilibid Prison (~LBP). They invited
in111ates and resource persons who ex~cuted affidavits in
support of their testimonies. 2 Tl1e inve tigation uncoverecl
petitioner Leila M. De Lima's involven1e 1t in tl1e illicit drug
trade in the NBP.

3. As a result, on October 11, 16, tl1e Volunteers 2f


Against Crirne and Corruption (VACC) filed a complaint
against De Litna, Francisco Baraan III Franklin Jesus B.
Bucayu, Wilfredo G. Elli, Joenel Sanctez, Ronnie Palisoc
Dayan, Jose Adrian Dera, and Jaybee Sebastian for violation
of Section 5, in relation to Section 26(b) f R.A No. 9165. 3

On October 28, 2016, t11e VACC filed a


.:::1..
supplemental complaint. The case was docketed as NPS No.
XVI-INV-16J-00313. 4

5. On October 13, 2016, forn1erj National Bureau of


Investigation (NBI) Deputy Directors 1eynaldo Esmeralda
and Ruel M. Lasala filed a complaint a ainst De Litna and
Rafael. Marcos Ragas for violation of Sec~ion 5, in relation to
Section 26(b) of R.A. l\Jo. 9165. The ca$e was docketed as
NPS No. XVI-INV-16J-00315. 5

6. Subsequently, the Depart1nen~ of Justice issued


Depart111ent Order No. 706 constit~.._ting a panel of
prosecutors headed by Senior Assista~t State Prosecutor
Peter Ong to conduct a preliminary inv~stigation on these
cases. 6

7. On November 4, 2016, Jayb~e Nino Sebastian,


represented by his wife Roxanne Sebasti'1n, filed a complaint
against De Lima, Ricardo Rainier druz. and Richard --v---
1

3
Annex "G" ol'lhe Petition; DO.I .loiut Resolution dated February 14, 20'7, p. 5.
The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of2002.
" DOJ .Joint Resolution dated February 14, 2017, p. 4 (Annex "G" of the lrclilion).
5
6
Annex "G" of the Petition; DO.I Joint Resolution dated February 14, 20 7, p. 4.
Id.

3
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

Schwarzkopf, Jr. for violat.ions of Sectj'ns 3( e) and (k) of


8
R.A. No. 3019,7 Section S(a) of R.A. o. 6713, R.A. No.
9745, 9 Presidential Decree No. 46, 1 an Article 211 of the
Revised Penal Code. Tl1e case was doc1<e ed as NPS No. XVI-
INV-161<-00331.11

8. On November 10, 2016, tl1e N~BI filed a complaint


against De J.Jn1a, Franklin Jesus Bucay , Francisco Baraan
III, Rafael Marcos Ragas, Joenel T. Sanchez, Ronnie Dayan,
Jovencio P. Ablen, Jr., Wilfredo G. Elli, Jesusa B. Francisco,
1
Florelyn R. Atencio, Julius Rejuso, Jayl:)1ee Nino Sebastian,
Herbert Colanggo, Engelbert ourano, ~icente Sy, Jojo R.
Baligad, and Wu Tuan Yuan, also kno~n as Peter Co, for
.j.
violation of Section 5, in relation to Secti n 26(b) of R.A. No.
9165, Article 211-A of the Revised Penal Code, Section 27 of
R."A. l\Jo. 9165, Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, Section 7(d)
of R.A. No. 6713, PD No. 46, and Article 210 of the Revised
Penal Code. The case was docketed as NPS No. XVI-INV-
161<-00336.12 .
Ir . .

9. Pursuant to DOJ Department t.' rder l\lo. 790, tl1e


four cases were consolidated, and he DOJ Panel of
Prosecutors was di'rected to cond41ct the requisite
prelin1inary investigation. 13 .

10. The DOJ Panel conducted a pr liminary hearing on 1

December 2, 2016. On the same date De Lima filed an


Omnibus Motion to In1mediately Endors the Cases to the
Office of the Ombud$man and for the In ibition of the Panel
of Prosecutors and the Secretary of Justife. De Lima argued
that the investigation of the cases was ~ithin the exclusive
authority and sole jurisdiction of t le Office of the
On1budsman. In support of her motion or the inhibition of
the DOJ Panel and the DOJ Secretary, the petitioner alleged
evident partiality. 14

7
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
8
Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards fi.)r Public Ollicials and Employees.
9
Anti-Torture Act of2009.
10
Making it Punishable for Public Officials and Employees lo Receive~ and for Private Persons lo Give
Gills 011 Any Occasion, Including Christmus.
11
Annex "G" ofthe Petition; DO.I .loinl Resolulion dated February 14, 2017, p. 4.
12 Id.
13 Id.
11
' A1111cx "D" of the Pctilion.

LI

-r--
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERREIW, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMME~T WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

11. During the hearing on Dece11ber 21, 2016, De


Lin1a manifested that she would not s bmit any counter-
affidavit. The DOJ Panel ruled that bel- tedly flied counter-
affidavits would no longer be entertaine L Thus, to expedite
the proceedings, the DOJ Panel likewise ~eclared all pending
15
incidents and the cases as submitted for lresolution.

12. On December 22, 2016, the NBI filed a con1plaint


against De Lin1a, Ronnie Dayan, and Rolan Espinosa for
violation of Section s, in relation to Se tion 26 of R.A. No.
9165. The case was docketed as l\JP No. XVI-INV-16L-
0038Ll.. 16

13. On January 13, 2017, De Lima filed before tile


Court of Appeals a Petition for Prohibi .. ion and Certiorari,
questioning the jurisdiction of the DOJ p nel of investigators
over the complaints "filed against her The petition was
clocketecl as CA-G.R.. l\Jo .. 149097 anfl CA-G.R. SP No.
149358, respectively. 17

14. Because no restraining order Iwas issued by the


Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 149097, the DOJ Panel
proceeded with the conduct of prelimina1JY investigation. The
evidence considered during the investiga iion showed, an1ong
others, that on Noven1ber 2012 to Mai ch 2013, Wu Tuan
Yuan, also known as Peter Co, deliver d to De Lima and
Dayan PS,000,000.00 pesos on two separate occasions, that
is on l\love1nber 24, 2012 and Dece1nbe ~ 2012. The n1oney
was given upon the request of petiti!oner De Lima for
monetary contributions to support herlsenatorial bid. The
money given by Peter Co were procee s fron1 illegal drug
trading. During the san1e period, Ragos, thE~n designated as _;,._
the Officer-in-Charge of the Burea of Corrections,
demanded and received P100,000.00 "t ra"' each from high
profile inmates in exchange for privil ges, including the
conduct of the illicit drug trade. Jovencio P. Ablen, Jr. would
collect the "tara" frorn Ragas and delive~ the1T1 to Dayan at
De Lima's residence. 18

15
PeLition, p. 15.
16
17
Annex "G" of the Petition; DO.I Joint Rcsolulion <lated February 14, 2117, pp. 4-5.
Annex "E" of the Petition.
18
DO.I Joint Resolution eluted Febrnnry 14, 2017, pp. 39-10 (Annex "G" <,>f the Petit ion).

5
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
. COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

15. Thus, in a Joint Resolution ated February 14,


2017, the DOJ Panel recomn1ended int r alia the filing of
Informations against petitioner De Lin1a for violation of R. A
No. 91.65. 19 Accordingly, on Februar 17, 2017, three
Informations were filed against De Lin a and several co- 20
accusecJ before tile Regional Trial Court f Muntinlupa City.
One of the Inforrnations was docketed a Criminal Case No.
17-165 and raffled off to Branch 204, presided by
respondent Judge Juanita Guerrero. s- id Infonnation, for
violation of Section 5 in relation to S ction 3(jj), Section
26(b), and Section 28 of R.A. No. 9 65, contained tile
following averments:

That within the period from Novem~er 2012 to March


2013, in the City of Muntinlupa, Philippin s, and ~ithin the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,. ace secl Leila M. De
. Lima, being then the Secretary of. th Department of
Justice, and accused Rafael Marcos Z. R gos, being then
the Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of Corrections, by
taking advantage of their public office conspiring and
confederating with accused Ronnie P. Dfyan, being then
an employee of the Department of Justi~e detailed to De
Lima, all of them having moral ascend~ncy or influence
over inmates in the New Bilibid Prison, did then and there
commit illegal drug trading, in the folio ing manner: De
Lima and Ragas, with the use of their po er, position, and
!mand, solicit and extort mo~ey from the hi~
profile inmates in the New Bilibid Prisor to support the
senatorial bid of De Lima in the May 2016 election; by
reason of which, the inmates, not being I wfully authorized
by law and through the use of mobile hones and other
electronic devices, did then and there willfully and
unlawfully trade and traffic danger us drugs, and
thereafter give and deliver to De Lima, through Ragas and
Dayan, the proceeds of illegal drug trading amounting to
Five Million (PS,000,000.00) Pesos on 24 November 2012,
Five Million(PS,000,000.00) Pesos on 15 December 2012,
and One liundred Thousand (Pl00,000. 0) Pesos. weekly
"tara" each from the high profile inmates n the New Bilibid
Prison. 21

16. On February 20, 2017, De Li111a filed a Motion to


Quash the lnforn1ation on the followinv grounds: (a) the
RTC has no jurisdiction over the offensle charged; (b) the
19 Id.
20
Annex "F" of the Petition
21
Annex "F" of the Petition (lnfonnalion).

6
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

DOJ has no authority to file the Inrorrnation; ( c) the


Information charges n1ore than one offense; ( d) the
Inforn1ation does not allege the corp~s delicti; (e) tl1e
Information is based on testimonies of witnesses who are
not qualified to be discharged as state wi nesses; and (f) the
testin1onies of the witnesses are hearsay 22

17. On February 23, 2017, af~er evaluating the


Information and the evidence presented during the
prelip1inary investigation, Judge Guerr ro found probable
cause for the issuance of warrants of arr st against De Lima,
Rafael Marcos Z. Ragas, ancl Ronnie alisoc Dayan, and
ordered the issuance of warrant of arres against them. 23 On
the same day, a warrant of arrest with 10 recomn1endation
for bail was issued against De Lima. 24

18. On February 24, 2017, ~he PNP Criminal


Investigation and Detection Group sef.ved a warrant of
arrest on petitioner De Lima. On even d te, Judge Guerrero
issued an Order directing the con1mitrr1e t of De Un1a to the
Custodial Service Unit in Camp Crame QL ezon City. 25

19. Without waiting for Judge Gue~~rero's resolution of


her 111otion to quash, De Lirr1a, on Febr ary 27, 2017, filed
before this Honorable Court a Petition for Certiorari and
Prohibition with Application for a rit of Prelin1inary
Injunction and Urgent Prayer for Ten porary Restraining
Order and Status Quo Ante Order dated February 24, 2017,
alleging that Judge Guerrero of Brancl1 OLI. of the Regional
Trial Court of Muntinlupa City gravely a used her discretion
when she allegedly failed or refused t act on De Lima's
Motion to Quash in Criminal Case No. 17 165 and issued the
following: (a) Order dated February 23, 2017; (b) Warrant
of Arrest dated February 23, 2017; a d ( c) Orel er dated
February 24, 2017. In support of her petition, De Lima
argues that:

22
Annex "F" of the Petition (Motion lo Quash).
23
2
Annex "A" of the Petition (Order dated February 23, 2017).
" Petition, pp. 18-19.
25
Annex ".I" of the Petition.

7
DE LIMA v. I-JON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

(a) respondent Judge Juanita Guerrero gravely


abused her discretion when she issued th questioned Order
and Warrant of Arrest despite the pendency of the
petitioner's Motion to Quash and despite the clear merits of
the said motion that impugns the jurisdict on of tl1e court;

(b) respondent Judge Juanita Guerrfro gravely abused


her discretion when she issued the que~tioned Order and
Warrant of Arrest in clear violation of constitutional and
procedural rules on issuing an arrest warr nt;

(c) Considering that there is no s bstantive basis on


record in finding probable cause against he petitioner, and
in view of the series of flagrant irregulari ies in the issuance
of the prosecutor's resolution and he filing of the
Information, respondent Judge Juanita Guerrero gravely
abused her discretion when she issued he assailed Order
and Warrant of Arrest; and

(d) Tl1e DOJ Panel of Prosecutors'~ disregard of the


substance beyond formalities of a preliminary inv~stigation
amounts to a violation of the constituti nal rights of the
petitioner as accused. 26

20. De Li1na thus prays that this Honorable Court


render a judgment -
a. Granting a writ of certiorari ann IJlling and setting
aside the Order dated 23 February 23, 2 17, the Warrant
of Arrest dated tl1e same date, and the Order dqted 24
February 2017 of the Regional Trial Cou t - Branch 204,
Muntinlupa City, in Criminal Case l\Jo. 17-165 entitled
People of the Philippines versus Leila M. D Lima, et al.;

b. Granting a writ of . prohibitior~ enjoining and


prohibiting respondent judge from co ducting further
proceedings until and unless the Moti n to Quash is
resolved with finality;
c. Issuing an order granting the ajplication for the I
I;
issuance of temporary restraining order TRO) and a writ I
of preliminary injunction to tl1e proceedin .s; and

d. Issuing a Status Quo Ante Or~er restoring the


-l-
parties to the status prior to the issuance of the Orc;ler and
Warrant of Arrest, both dated February 2 , 2017, thereby
recalling both processes and restoring I etitioner to her
liberty and freedom. 27
26
Petition, pp. 20-21.
27
Id. al 64.

8
' ' DE LIMA v. JJON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

;I
21.
On February 28, 2017, this Court issued a
Resolution requiring the respondents to file their cOJnment
on the petition and application for a writ of preliminary
injunction and prayer for ten1porary re training order and
status quo ante order within a non-exl. ndible period from
March 1 to 9, 2017. Likewise, this Hon rable Court set this
'
I~ ,.
case for oral argu1nents on Marcl1 14, 017. The Office of
the Solicitor General received the resolution on March 1,
2017.

22. Inasn1uch as De Lin1a raise/s grounds already


contained in her motion to quash and if again questioning
the jurisdiction of respondent Judge GLjerrero to hear and
try the case, the OSG, by special appeartnce, filed on March
2, 2017 a Manifestation Ex Abundanti Ad Cautela before
Judge Guerrero, essentially stating that De Lin1a committed
forun1 shopping.

23. On March 3, 2017, the OfG filed a sin1ilar


nianifestation in Branches 205 and 2061f the Regional Trial
Court of Muntinlupa City, where Cri1T1in I Case Nos. 17-166
and :L 7-1.67, all involving De Lirna as ace 1sed, are pending.

2tl.. On the sa1ne day, the OSGt necl a Very Urgent


Motion for the Issuance of an Advisory b fore this Honorable
Court, proposing the relevant issues to be resolved in this
case. The OSG further stated that it will Te this Comment.

GROUNDS

PROCEDURAL

i.. ~
THE PETITION SHOULD BE /DISMISSED
BECAUSE DE LIMA FAILED TO ~HOW 1UMAT
SHE MAS NO OTl-IER PLAIN, S~EEDY, AND
ADEQUATE REMEDY.

9
i...... .
1' DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
J
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

II

, THE PETITION SHOULD BE I DISMISSED


BECAUSE DE LIMA DID NOT fbllOW THE
HIERARCHY OF COURTS.

III

L..... THIE PETITION SHOULD BE I DISMI~SED


BECAUSE DE LIMA IS GUILTY Of FORUM
SHOPPING.

SUBSTANTIVE

IV
THE DOJ HAD JURISDICTION ~O CONDUCT
THE PRELIMINARY INVEST! ATION Of
THE COMPLAINTS AGAINST DE LIMA.

v
THE RTC HAS JURISDICTION! OVER THE
OFFENSE CHARGED AGAINST DE LIMA.

VI

THE PETITIONER WAS I PROPllZRLY


CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY [fO COMIVIIT
I.
DRUG TRADING UNDER SECTI N 26(B) Of
f.
R.A. NO. 9165 INSTEAD F DIRECT I
BRIBERY UNDER ARTICLE 2 0 OF THE I
REVISED PENAL CODE, F R
1 WHICH
REASON THE RTC HAS JUI ISDIC"FION
OVER Tl-DE CASE.

VII --~-
THE RESPONDENT JUDGE os~-RVED Tl-IE
CONSTITUTIONAL AND . P :tOCEDURAL
RULES IN THE ISSUANCE Of THE
QUESTIONED ORDER AND WA RANTS Of
ARREST.

10
L.
jl.

DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.


G.R. SP Nos. 229871
iI'
1!
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
l
x- - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x I.
Ii
11

11

VIII ii

VIOLATION Of SECTION 26(b)I IS A CRIME


IN ITSIELf.
I
I
IX I

DANGEROUS DRUGS ARE NO ELEMENTS JI

OF Tl-IE CRIME PUNISHED UN ER SEC. 26


Of R.A. NO. 9165. i
11
~
x ~
THE RESPONDENT JUDGE COMPLIED WITH
THE SOLIVEN RULING B~_FORE THE
ISSUANCE OF THE WARRANTS OF ARREST.
t 1:
~

. !"
~
~~
XI
r
J
l
I THE RESPONDENT JUDGE DID NOT

THIE ISSUANCE OF TME ORD R AND THE


'
I

WARRANT;Of ARREST. 1 '


II\

XII
II
~

DE lIMA IS NOT ENTITLE~D TO THIE


ISSUANCE A WRil" OF . P ELIMINARY
INJUNCTION AND STATUS QlJO ANTE
ORDER PENDING THE RESOLU1ION OF THE
PETITION. I

I
;

!
t
l
I:
t

....
!-
~
11
DE LJMA v. HON. GUEl<.RERO, ET AL. ... ~~,.-

G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l


COMMENT W!Tll OPPOSITION,
x-----------------1------------x

DISCUSSION

PROCEDURAL ARGUMENTS

I. THE PETITION SHOULD BIE DISMISSED


BECAUSE DE LIMA FAILED TO S~O\IV
THAT Slif HAS NO OTHER PLAI IN,
SPEEDY, AND ADEQUATE REMEDYu

25. De Li1na is not without a tSlain, speedy, and 1

adequate remedy in tile ordinary cour1 e of law, wl1icl1 is


required under Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. This
provision states:
I
Section 1. Petition for certiorari. - wl11en any tribunal,
board or officer exercjsing judicial rr
quasi-judicial
functions has acted without or in exc~ss of its or his
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discre~ion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there \s no appeal, nor
any pJain, speedy, and adequate remed! in the ordinary
course of law,, a person aggrieved the eby may file a
verified petitior1 in the proper court, alleging the facts with
certainty and praying that judgment be r ndered annulling
or modifying the proceedings of such tr]ibunal, board or
officer, and granting such incidental re iefs as law and
justice may require.

26. For the special civil action of d rtiorari to prosper,


the following elen1ents must concur: (1) the writ is directed
against a tribunal, a board or any officer exercising judicial lj

or quasi-judicial functions; (2) such tribu al, board or officer .... ~,--
i
acted without or in excess of jurisdic ion, or with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lacl< or in excess of
jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal n~r any plain, speedy
and aclequate remedy in the ordinary fOurse of law. 28 To
stress, the ren1ecly .of certiorari can only ~'')e resorted to when
there is no appeal, or any plain, spe dy, and adequate
remedy in the ordinary course of law. 29 ertiorari cannot be
used as a substitute for a lost ren1edy qf appeal. Certiorari
will lie only to correct errors of juriscjiction. It is not a
ren1ecly to correct errors of judgrnent. 4s long as tl1e court
I

LH Du yon v~. Court or Appeals, G.IC No. 172218, November 26, 2014.
29
Tun vs. People oflhc Philippines, G.R. No. 148194, April 12, 2002.

12
DE LJMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
. G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

I
acts. within its jurisdiction, any alleged. ~ rrors committed in
1

the exercise of its discretion will amou t to nothing 111ore


than mere errors of judgment correctabl by an appeal or a
petition for review under the sarne Rule. 3 -

27._ De Li1:1a pre1naturely inv~kfd this. l~lonorable


Court's 111tervent1on because she assail the val1d1ty of the
following issuances 1nade by respondent udge Guerrero: (1)
Order dated February 23, 201 T finding probable cause for
the issuance of warrant of arrest agains the petitioner; (2)
Warrant of Arrest dated February 23, 017 issued against
tile petitioner; (3) Order dated F bruary 24, 2017
con1111itting the petitioner to the cu tody of the PNP
Custodial Center; and ( 4) on1ission of rrsponclent Judge in
failing to act on her Motion to Quash.

28. The validity of De Lin1a's warr,nt of arrest may be


questioned before arraignment, which has not yet been
scheclulecl. With respect to her motio to quash, Judge
Guerrero has not yet ruled on it. It shoul, also be noted tl1at
the respondent Judge neither refused to 1ear the rnotion nor
failed to give the petitioner the oppor unity to be heard.
Moreover, the filing of the' motion to q ash is the speedy
and adequate re111edy of De Li111a. Thi existence of that
re111edy, whi.ch is still pending before tl1e trial court, ba'rs her i'
recourse to the special civil actions of certiorari and ,
prohibition before this Honorable Court.

29. In the event that De Lin1a's /11otion to quash is


denied, still certiorari will still not lie.1ertiorari is not the
ren1ecly where a n1otion to quash an Info -1ncition is denied -
the proper procedure for which has been consistently
defined by the court, thus:

I
An order denying a motion to quast1 is interlocutory
and therefore not appealable, nor can it b~ tl1e subject of a
petition for certiorari. Suell order may only be reviewed in
the ordinary course of law by an appeal fr~m the judgment
after trial. In other words, it cannot b the subject of. '
-~r-
appeal until the judgment or a final order is rendered. The
ordinary proceclure to be followed in that event is to enter

'" Toi"""'" " Pooplo of Lho Phi lippin'", oL "I., G.R. No. L703 96, Ango1' J I, 2006

i/
'
13 --~-
i

!I
I
I
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.l( SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

a plea, go to trial, and if tile decision is adverse, reiterate


the issue on appeal from the final judgrnei1t. 3 t

Following the aforementiont'cl procedure, De


30.
Lima's rernecly is not to file this petition ut to continue witl1
tile case in due course, and when an u1 favorable verdict is
handed clown,. to take an appeal in the n1anner authorized
by law. It is only where there are special circun1stances
clearly den1onstrating the inadequacy of an appeal that the
special civil action of certiorari 01 prohibition n1ay
exceptionally be allowed. 32 No sucl1 special circumstances
exist in the present case: respondent udge Guerrero has
yet to cletern1ine the propriety of the p ,titioner's n1otion to
quash. Thus, De Lima's filing of this p. titian for certiorari
and prohibition is unwarranted since there are existing
remedies readily available to her.

II. THE PETITION SHOULD /BE


DISMISSED .BECAUSE DE LIMA DID ~OT
FOLLOW TliE HIERARCHY OF COURT~.

31. De Lima violated the doctri1pe of hierarchy of


courts when she filed the present petitiol
~'firr
1
11

32. The doctrine grew out of the ai:pplication of' Rule 65


of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. S!ection 4 of the Rule
states:

Sec. 4. When and where to file th'r petition. - Tile f


petition shall be filed not later than sixtY,~ (60) days from
notice of tile judgment, order or resol 1tion. In case a
motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed,
I i
i
wl1etl1er such motion is required or not, he petition shall f
be filed not later than sixty (60) days c,ounted from the I!
notice of the denial of the motion.
t
If the petition relates to an act or rn omission of a
municipal trial court or of a corporation, a board, an officer 1
or a person, it shall be filed with the RTC exercising
jurisdiction over tile territorial area as defined by tl1e !
31
32
Santos vs. People, cl al., G.R. No. 173176, August 26, 2008.
Principia vs. The I-Ion. Oscar Barrientos, ct al., G.R. No. 167025, Decc)nbcr 19, 2005.

14
" DE Lll'vlA v. !-JON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

. Supreme Court. It may also be filed w'tl1 tile Court of


.;:Appeals or with the Sandiganbayan, wh tiler or not the
,. same is in aid of the court's appellate j risdiction. If the
petition involves an act or an omission o a quasi-judicial
agency, unless otherwise provided by la I or these rules,
the petition shall be filed with and be cqgnizable only by
the Court of Appeals.

In election cases involving an act orl an omission of a


municipal or a regional trial court, the peti~ion shall be filed
exclusively with the Commission on Elect~ons, in aid of its
appellate jurisdiction.

33. Tllere niust be exceptional! and con1pelling


circumstances to justify a break with t~e doctrine, as the
33
Court pronounced in Santos, et al. v. Cru,_, et a/:

While the Court 1s original jurisdicti~n to issue a writ


of certiorari is concurrent with the Regipnal Trial Courts
and the Court of Appeals in cert~in cases, such
concurrence dqes not allow an unrestriftecl freedom of
cl1oice of court... forum. Petitioners hpve not alleged
sufficient ground why direct recourse to }his Court should
. be allowed. Thus, we affirm the estab,ished rule that
.this court will not entertain a direc, appeal unless
the redress desired cannot be obtained in
appropriate courts, and exceptional f111d cmnpeUing
circumstances justify the resort to th~ extraordinary
wemedy of a writ of certiorari. 34

3LI.. In addition, the special and! irnportant reasons


justifying the resort to certiorari rnust be clearly and
specifically ~et out in the petition, as th Court en1phasized
in Liga ng ff1ga Barangay National v. Atie 1za, Jr. : 35
I'
i
I
This concurrence of jurisdiction is 1ot, however, to -~--
be taken as according to parties seeking any of the writs
an absolute, unrestrained freedom of choi ~e of the court to II
which application therefore will be direct cl. There is after '

all a hierarchy of courts. "That llierarcby is


deterrninative of' the venue of' ap eals, and also ii

serves as a general deterrninant of file


appropriate II
......L-
foru111 for petitions for the extraorflinary writs. A '
becoming regard of that judicial hierarchy most certainly I
. I
~~~~-~~~ !
33
484 SCRA 66 (2006).
34
Emphasis supplied. I
35
420 SCRA 562 (2004).

15
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERKEKO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x - - - - - - - - - - - _. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

. . indicates that petitions for the issuanc~/ of extraordinary


writs against first level courts slloulcl ~e filecl with tile
Regional Trial Court, and those against t~e latter, with the
Court of Appeals. A direct invocation f the Supre1ne
Court's original jurisdiction to iss e 'these writs
should be allowed only when there re special and
important reasons therefor, clearly nd specifically
set out in the petition. It is a pol"cy neces!;)ary to
prevent inordinate demands upon the 1 ourt's time and
attention which are better devoted to thope matter$ within
its exclusive jurisdiction, and to prevelnt furtl1er over-
36
crowding of tl1e Court's docket.

35. The special and i111portant rea ons are set forth in
Dy v. Bibat-Palamos, 37 which the Court nun1erated as: (1)
when dictated by the public welfare and he advancement of ~
public policy; (2) when de111anded by th broader interest of IJ

justice; (3) when the challenged o ders were patent i


n_ullities; or ( 4) when analogou~ e~~epti nal _and co_mpelling . ]
c1rcun1stances called for and JUst1f1ed .he 1m111ed1ate and
direct handling of the case. ,

36. l\lone of these reasons were invoked by De Lima.


Although she cites the cases of The Dif cese of Baco/od v.
COMELEc3 8 and Dia v. Subic Bay JV/a ~ine Exploratoriun11
Inc. 39 to justify direct recourse to the Court, she
conveniently sidesteps the issue as to why she brought the
petition directly before it. 4 First, the pe ition does not raise
questions of public welfare and public policy. To be clear, the
criminal trial of an incun1bent senator will not prejudice
public welfare nor violate public policy. Second/ the direct
filing of the petition with the Court is n t demanded by the
broader interest of justice. As discusse I earlier, the lower
courts can imn1ediately and equally se ve the interests of
justice on the present. controversy. In fact, the broader
interests of justice dictate that the doctrine of hierarchy of
courts be observed in view of other m9re important cases
pending before the Court which de1nand ifts urgent attention.
!hird/ it cannot b~ said that_ the challeng(fd ~rder in th_is ca~e
1s a patent nullity. As will be furthed discussed in this

36
Emphasis supplied.
37
705 SCRA 613 (2013).
n
39
G.R. No. 205728, January 21, 2015.
G.R. No. 189532; June 11, 2014.
HI Pctili~?ll, pp. 8-11.

16
DE LIMA v. !-JON. GUERRE!W, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

Con1ment, Judge Guerrero did not com'iit any grave abuse


of discretion in issuing: (a) the Order ated February 23,
2017 finding probable cause for the issuance of arrest
against petitioner; (b) the Warrant of Ar est dated February
23, 2017 issued pursuant to the above Order; and (3) the
Order elated February 24, 2017 committing the petitioner to
the custody of the Pl\JP Custodial Center. ourth, it cannot be
argued that exceptional and co111pelling circumstances call
for and justify the in1111ediate and direct I andling of the case
by the Court. De Li1na is facing an ordinrry crin1inal case, if
not. for the fact that she is an incum~ent Senator and a
forrner Secretary of Justice. Clearly, tihe issues she has
pre'$ented are cornrnon legal issues tl1~at may be passed
upon by the Court of Appeals and the I TC. As such, tl1ere
. are no exceptional and compelling circun1stances justifying
the i.mn1ediate and direct filing of the petttion with the Court.
She cannot, by the weight of her offic , ask the Court to
devi.ate fron1 the r:ule.

37. In sun1, De Lima's failure to s~rictly adhere to the


doctrine of hierarcl1y of courts constitutes sufficient cause
for the clisrnissal of the present petition. 4

III. THE PETITION SHOULD BE


DISMISSED BECAUSE DE LIMA IS
GUilTV Of FORUM SHOPPING.

De Lima is engaged in for~m shopping. The


38.
pres~nt petition for certiorari and pro~llibition before tl1e
Honorable Court raises essentially the san1e issues and
argun1ents as those she presented in h r n1otion to quash
before the RTC.
-. i
~,--

39. There is forum shopping wherh as a result of an


adverse decision in one forum, or in an icipation thereof, a
party seeks a favorable opinion in ano her forun1 through
n1eans other than appeal or certiorari. 42 Foru1n shopping
exists when two or 1nore actions involve the sa1ne
transactions, essential facts, and circu /stances; and raise
identical causes of action, subject matter, and issues. Chua
II Yee v. Bernabe, 41!7 :SCRA 385 (2006).
12
' National Electrification Aclminislralion (NEA) vs. Bucnnventuru, G.R.INo. 132Ll53, February 14, 2008.

17
DE LJMA v. I-JON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITJON
x-----------------------------x

vs. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company43! definecl how forum


shopping is comn1itted:

Forum shopping can be committed i~ tl1ree ways: (1)


filing multiple cases based on the i~ame ca,1se of
action and with the same prayer, th previous case
11ot having been resolved yet (where the ground for
dismissal is litis pendentia); (2) filin multiple cases
based on the same cause of action and he same prayer,
the previous case having been finally res lved (whc=re the
ground for dismissal is res judicata); and 3) filing multiple 1

cases based on the same cause of 'ction, but witl1


different prayers (splitting causes of a tion, where the
ground for dismissal is also either litis pendentia or res
judicata). ., .. ,,I ....

40. The rationale against forun1 hopping is that a


party should not be allowed to pursue sin1ultaneous
ren1edies in two different fora. Filing 1 ultiple petitions or
co111plaints constitutes abuse of court pro esses, which tends
to degrade the administration of justice, wreaks havoc upon
orderly judicial procedure~ and adds to ti e congestion of tl1e
heavily burdened doc!<ets of the co irts. 44 Willful and
deliberate violation of the .rule against f rum shopping is a
ground for surn111ary dismissal of the case; it 111ay also
constitute direct contempt. 45 Considered a pernicious evil, it
adversely affects the efficient administra~ion of justice since
it clogs the court dockets, unduly burde s the financial and
human resources of the judiciary, ancl tri 1es with and n1ocks
judicial processes. 46

As a fon11 of forum shopping, 14tis pendentia refers


41.
to the situation where another action is pf1 ~nding between the
same parties for the same cause of ac ion so that one of
these actions is unnecessary and vexat ous. Its underlying
principle is the theory that a party is 1ot allowed to vex
another more than once regarding the s me subject matter
and for the sa111e cause of action. 47 To constitute litis
pendentia, tl1e following requisites mu t be present: (1)
43
G.R. No. 182311, August 19, 2009.
11
vs. Galvez, 436 SCRA 96, I08, G.R. No. 147394, August l 1,/ 2004, as cited in 1luibonhoa vs.
' ' Wcc
Concepcion, 497 SCRA 562 (2006).
15
' Section 5, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court.
Progressive Development Corporation, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 30 I ~.iCRA 63 7 (1999).
16
'
Quito vs. Slop & Save Corporation, et al., G_R. No. 186657, June 11, ~O 14.
17
'

18
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERREIW, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
X-------------X

i
identity of the parties in the two acti~ins; (2) substantial
identity in the causes of action ancl in t 1e reliefs sought by
the parties; (3) and the identity between tile two actions
should be such that any judgn1ent that piay be rendered in
one case, regardless of which party is successful, would
48
amount to res judicata in the other. j

I
In Senator Jinggoy l=]ercito Es~~ada v. Office of the
1
42.
On1budsrna~1, 49 the Cou_rt ruled tl1at S nator Estr~9a was
guilty of foru111 shopping when he f lecl a pet1t1on for
certiorari before it despite the pendenxc of l1is n1otion for
reconsideration on tl1e finding of probabl cc:~use against hirn
in the Office of the On1budsman. The Co rt explained:

. Sen. Estrada claims that l1is rights r' ere violated but
he flouts the rules himself. .

The rule against forum shopping is j1ot limited to the


fulfillment of the requisites of lil"/s penden ia. To determine
whether a party violated the rule against forum shopping,
the most important factor to ask is whet ler the elements.
of litis pendentia are present, or whether a final'
judgment in one case will amount to res juclicata in ~1 -
another. Undergirding the principle of jitis pendentia is
the theory that a party is not allowed to ex another more
than once regarding the same subject matter and for tl1e
same cause of action. This theory is foun ed on tl1e public
policy that the same matter should not e the subject of
controversy in court more than once in o der tl1at possible
f
conf~i~tin_g judg~1ents may be av~ided, for the sake of the
stab1l1ty 111 the rights and status of personr. .

... [D]espite the fact that what the


pe:itioner~ filed was _a petition for ce,rtiorari,
a 1 ecourse
that - m the usual qourse and
because o'f its nature and pur.po~e - is not
covered by the rule. on formn shopping.
The exception from the forLUm shopping
rule, however, is true only where a
petition for certiorari is pr perly or
regularly invoiced in the usua~ c ur:se; the
exception does not apply when Uu:!: relie'f
sought, through a petition for certiorari, is
still pending with or has as ~et to be

I
,1 ~ c11uv1clcz vs. Salvador, G.R. Nu. 173331, Dci.:embcr 11,2013. I
G.R. Nos. 212140-41, January 21, 2015. Please sec also Go vs. Looy11ko, Cl.R. No. 147962, October 26,
2007, IV~adara vs. Percllo, G.R. Nu. 172449, Augusl 20, 2008, Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas) vs.
Court ol Appeals, G.R. No. 18980 I, October 23, 2013.

19
' .DE LIMA v. I-JON. GUERREl\O, ET AL.
G.I<. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

decided by the respondent cour~, tribunar


or body exercising judicial r quasi-
judicial body, e.g., a rn tion for
reconsideration of tl1e order ass9iled via a
petition for certiorari under Rule 6j, as in tl1e
present case. Tl1is .con~lusion i.s su~po_rted and
strengthened by Section 1, Rule 65 of the
Revised Rules of Court which provides I
that the availability of a remedy in the . ,,..
ordinary course of law preclude~ the filing
of a petition for certiorari; undeai this rule,
the petition's disrnissal is the 111ecessarv
consequence if recourse to Rb.le 65 is
prematurely talce111.

To be sure, the simultaneous~remedies


the petitioners sought could result in
possible conflicting rulings, or a the very
least, to complicated situation1i, between
tl1e RTC and tile Court of Appeals. n extreme
possible result is for tl1e appellat court to
confirm that the RTC decision is eritorious,
yet tl1e RTC may at tile same time reconsider
its ruling and recall its order of di missal. In
tl1is eventuality, tile result is the af irmation of
the decision that the court . a quo has
backtracked on. Qther permutation!:; depending
on the rulings of the two courts and the timing
of these rulings are possible. In every case,
our justice system suf'fers as thlis kind of
sharp practice opens the syst~m to the
possibility of manipulatien; to
uncertainties when conflict of rulings
arise; and at least to vexrtion for
complications other than c~nflict of
rulings. Thus, it matters not that! ultimately
the Court of Appeals may cornplftely agree
with the RTC; what the rule n formn
shopping addresses are the >ossibility
and the actuality of it:s harm'ful ffects on
our judicial system.
i
Sen. Estrada resorted to simulta1leous y.ernedies
by filing this Petition alleging violation o due process by
the Ombudsman even as l1is Motion 1'or Reconsideration
raising tile very same issue remained pending with tl1e
Ombudsman. This is plain and simple forum shopping,
50
warranting outright dismissal of this Petitiln.
I
.... fl.-
I
i
50 E'<mp IJaSIS
. .Ill tIJC ong111a
. . I.

20
j1,
!/

DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL. ~


' 1!
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITl-1 OPPOSITION ~
x-----------------------------x j,
lf

j!
,I
~
I

Sin1ilar to the Estracla case, tl~e existence of the


43.
elernents of litis pendencia in the presemt case violates the
~
1
\
rule ,against forum shopping. I
I
I I
The People of the
LI.LI.. Philip1~ines,
the public j
respondent in the present petition, is ~lso a party in De 1
'I
Lin1a's n1otion to quash before the RfC. Therefore, the 1

j
required first element of identity of partier is present. :

LJ.5. Tl1e rigl1ts asserted and the r lief prayed for are
likewise materially congruent. While it i : true that there is
I
11
to quash and that in the present petition, De Lima Ii
ii
essentially asks for the same remedy, i.e./ to enjoin the :1

:1
crin1inal proceedings against l1er. ..J1...
I

I
,I
!
46. It should be stressed at this print that identity of
causes of action does not mean absolute identity; otherwise,
a party could easily escape the operatiot of res judicata by
changing the forn1 of the action or the relief sought. The test
to detennine whether the causes of action are identical is to I
-fr<-
i
ascertain whether the same evidence will sustain both
actions, or whether there is an identity ir the facts essential
to the n1aintenance of the two actions. If the sa1ne facts or
evidence would sustain both, the two ac ions are considered
the same, ancl a judg1nent in the first 9ase is a bar to tl1e
subsequent action. Hence, a party cannot, by varying the
forn1 of action or adopting a different m~thod of presenting
his case, escape the operation of the prihciple that one and
the sarne cause of action shall not be twife litigated between
.the same parties or their privies. 51 I

47. De Lima raises the sarne arg~ments in both the


mot~on to qL!~sh_ ar_id _the petition befor9 the Co~rt: (a) ~he
RTC s lack 01 JUnsd1ct1on over the case; (b) the lnformat1on
charges more than one (1) offense; (c) the absence of
corf? us. delicti( (?) the sufficiency of the !evidence on record
to Justify a f111d111g of probable cause; ancl (e) tl1e case is
politically n1otivated. I

51
Yup vs. Chua, G.R. No. 186730, .June 13, 2012.

21
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
.L
G.R. SP Nos. 229871 I
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION i
x - - - - -,.." - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
I

Ll.S. Lastly, the resolution of the R~,c on the 1notion to


I
quash would have the effect of res Judi ata on the present
petition and vice versa: a ruling in eithe - one will affect the
other.
I

49. In~luctably,
De Lima commi ked the abhorrent
practice of forum shopping when sh , sought re1nedies
before two courts by raising the same auses ancl praying
for essentially the same relief. She tri'fled with court
processes and exposed the courts to the possibility of
rendering conflicting decisions.
I

50. Although De Lima disclosed tte pendency of her


niotion to quash in her petition, this cites not negate her
liability for foru1n shopping 52 because co1npliance with the
~ertification against foru1n shopping is eparate f~om, f and
111clependent of, avoidance of forum shoppin~l itself.
53

SUBSTANTIVE ARGUMEINTS

IV. TME DOJ MAS THE POWER TO


CONDUCT THE PRELIMINARY
INVESTIGATION OVER THIE
COMllLAINT FILED AGAINST DE
.LIMA PURSUANT TO 1HE RULING IN
HONASAN II VS. PANEL Of'
INVESTIGATING PROSE"CUTORS.

51. De Lima clai1ns that the offedse i1nputecl against


her is exclusively cognizable by 11e Sandiganbayan I
considering that the offense had been c 1nmitted in relation 1 I'
to her forn1er position as Secretary of Justice. Hence, the I
jurisdiction to conduct the preliminary inlestigation over the j,
complaint against her belongs to ~he Office of the -~-
On1bucls111an. As the DOJ Panel of Pjrosecutors had no
authority to conduct the prelirninary investigation, the
Information filed against her is voicl.

~
"53 Heirs of Marcelo Sotto, et al. vs. Mali Ide S. Palictc. G.R. No. 159691, cbruary 17. 20 14.
Sps. Melo vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 123686, November 16, 19i99; Office of the Ombudsman vs.
Court or Appeals, G.R. No. 18980 I, October 23, 2013.

22
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G. R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

52. She is mistaken. The authoi"ty of the DOJ to


conduct pre/in1inary investigation is anchored on the
proyisions of the 1987 Administrative Co e under Chapter I,
Title: III, Book IV, governing the DOJ, whi h provides: ,

SEC. 1. Declaration of policy - It is the declared


policy of the State to provide the go ernment with a
principal law agency which shall be both i s legal counsel
L.....
and prosecution arm; administer the criminal justice
system in accordance with the accepted recesses thereof
consisting in the investigation of tile crim s, prosecution of
offenders and administration of the correc ional system; ...
r
SEC. 3. Powers and Functions - llo accomplish its
mandate, the Department shall have the lfollowing powers
and functions: ...

(2) Investigate the commissijon of crin1es, I


-..f:..r-

prosecute offenders and adnninister the probation


and correction system; 54

53. In the same breatl1, Sec. 1 tf


P.O. No. 1275, 55
which created the National Prosecution Service, provides:

SEC. 1. Creation of the National Pro ecutiqn Service;


Supervision and Control of the Secret ry of Ju$tice. -
Tl1ere is hereby created and establi hed a National
Prosecution Service under the supervisi n and control of
the Secretary of Justice, to be composed of the
Prosecution Staff in the Office of the Se retary of Justice
and such number of Regional State Pr secution Offices,
ancl Provincial and City Fiscal's Offices as are hereinafter
provided, which shall be primaaily res onsible f'or the
investigation and prosecution of all cases involving
violations of penal laws. 56

54. When the person charged wjth an offense is a


public officer such as De Lima, the DOJ ~nd the Office of the
01nbudsman exercise concurrent jurisdi tion in the power of
investigation including prelin1inary inv stigation involving
violations of penal laws.
!
I
I

11
54 '1
Emphasis supplied. 11
55 ;I
Effective Apr.il I 1, 1978,
56
1~:rn1p I1as1s
' supp I'ice.I
J_
I
23
II
/I
11
i~ !l
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
L
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

55~
Such concurrent jurisdiction/ was stressed in
Honasan II vs. Panel of Pro ecutors, 57 1 wherein the Court
lleld that the authority of the Ombuds/111an to investigate
offenses involving public o ficers or ernployees is not
exclusive but is concurrent ith other tin1ilarly authorized
agencies of the governn1ent ucl1 as thr DOJ prosecutors,
thus: I
I

... In summation, the onstitutio~I, Secftion 15 of


the Ombudsman Act of 1989 and S ction 4 of the
Sandiganbayan Law, as a111e11decl, do not give to the
. Ombudsman excDusive jurisdictio111 to investigate
offenses committed by public officer, or en1ployees.
The authority of the 01nbudsman to investigate
of'fenses involving public officers Oli employees is
concurrent with other governmen~ investigating
agencies such as . provincial, ci~y and state
prosecutors. However, the Ombudsma11, in the exercise
of its primary jurisdiction over cases c gnizable by the
Sandiganbayan, may take over, at any sta9e, from any
investigating age11cy of. the government, the investigation
of such cases.

In other words, respondent ocp Panel .is not


pgeduded from conducting any i~vestigation of
cases against public officers involvi~g violations of
penal laws but if UJe cases 1:a11 under the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, t en respondent
Ombudsman may, in the exercise of its pria'nary . Ji
jurisdiction take over at any stage ... 58
I
56. Contrary to De Lima's thesis,~~herefore, the non-
involvement of the Office of the 01T1bud n1an in the present
case does not invalidate the Information : gainst her.

.57. That said, there can be clenying that tl1e 110$


authority of the DOJ Panel to investigat De Lima is based
on Section 90 of R. A. No. 9165, he Con1prehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, to wit:

;::
SEC. 90. JurisclicUon. - ...

. The DOJ shall designate special f prosecutors to


exclusively handle cases involving violatio~s of this Act.
57 li.IC No. 15~717, April 1.1, 2001. I
58 E111pl111sis supplied.

I
2Li
I
I
DE LJMA v. HON. GUERRElW, ET AL.
G.R. SP No~. 229871
COMMENT WITl-l OPPOSITION
x - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

I~- ....
The preliminary investigation of case~ filed under this
Act shall be terminated within a period of /thirty (30) days
from the date of their filing.

MEMORANDUM Of AGREIEMENT

l<NOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:

This Memorandum of Agreement l'ade and entered


into by and between:

THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMf-N (OMB), with


office address at Ombudsman Buiidin~~ Agham Road,
Diliman, Quezon City, represented b1y 01nbuclsn1an
Conchita Carpio Morales,
,,Ii

-and- ~
I
I.
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (/DOJ), with office I! '

address at Padre Faura Street, Manila~ represented by


Secretary Leila M. De Lima [herein peti~ioner],
I
,1

WITNESS ETH: !
!1

VVliEREAS,
com:urrent jurisdiction
the OMB and tlhe IDOJ
over the con1plai11ts 'for
have
--f-
i

crimes involving public officers if.Ind e111ployees


falling outside the exclusive juri~diction of the
Sandiganbayan ... I
i
I
i
__JI__
25

I
L
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERREIW, ET AL.
I G.R. SP Nos. 229871
I. _ COMMENT WITl-l OPPOSITION
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -.- - - - - x

WHEREFORE, recognizing the com/pelling need to


address such issues and concerns, the DbJ and the OMB
l1ave agreed on the following:

I. Agreements
\.....
A. Jurisdiction
I
If upon the filing of a ~ cornplaint, the
~- .. ~

2.
~rosecu~ion offi~e of tile DOJ deterrr~ine~ t~a~ tl:e sarne is
1or a cnme fall111g under the exclusive J nsd1ct1011 of tl1e
Sandiganbayan, it shall advise the comolainant to file it
directly witl1 the OMB; xxx

3. The OMB and the prosec tion o'ffices of


the DOJ shall have concurrent ju isdiction over
complaints 'for crimes invo~ving pub ic officers and
employees falling outside the exclusive. jurisdiction
of the Sandiganbayan: Provicled, hat the office
where such a complaint is first filed 'for prelirninary
investigation shall accauire jurisdi ion over the
complaint to the exclusion of the o her: Provided
furtfler, That the OMB may refer/endorse any
complaint filed before it to any pros~cution of'fice of
, the DOJ having jurisdiction over the crmplaint. 59

59. The preceding MOA belies De yin1a's posturings. In !t


other words, the DOJ through its pa1pel of investigating .,1.

prosecutors is clothed with authority to conduct the


prelin1inary investigation of the complaints against her.

V. THE RTC HAS EXCLUSIVE


JURISDICTION OVER THE
OFFENSE CHARGED.

60. There is no gainsaying tl1 at the designated 1

Regional Trial Courts exercise exclusife jurisdiction over


l. .. cases involving violation of Section 26 ofjR.A. l\Jo. 9165.
I
61. Jurisdiction is defined as the bower ancl autl1ority
of a court to hear, try, and decide , case. 6 Corollarily,
"
5
<'
~ Emphasis supplied.
11
l
Milsubishi Motors Philippine Corporation vs. Bureau of Customs, G.~. No. 209830, June 17, 2015.
I 26
I . i
I
I

I
DE LIMA v. lJON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

criminal jurisdiction is the authority t~ hear an_~ try a


particular offense and in1pose the punishnnent for it. 61

62. In order for a court to have aut/1ority to dispose of


the case on the n1erits, it n1ust acqui/~e, among others,
jurisdiction over the subject matter. 62 I{ is axion1atic that
'
jurisdiction over the subject matter is the power to hear and
l._.,, detern1ine the general class to which he proceedings in
question belong. 63

63. Jurisdiction of a court over th~ subject 111atter is


veste'd by law. 64 In crin1inal cases, the inhj posable penalty of
tl1e Crime charged in the information 01 the nature of the
~. ,, -
offense detennines the court that has j 1risdiction over the
case. 65

64. In her petition, however, De Lijna argues that tl1e


Sandiganbayan has exclusive and originlal jurisdiction over
Crin1inal Case No. 17-165.

65. She is wrong. Her erroneousl invocation of the


l.,.
jurisc:liction of Sandiganbayan proceeds "from her equally
faulty interpretation that she is being cha gecl with the crin1e
of direct bribery under the Revised Penal Code. Actually, she
is accused of conspirqcy to con1mit trading of illegal drugs
under Sec. 26(b) in relation to Section 3(jj) of R. A. No.
9165. 66

66. A perusal of the history of the /relevant penal laws


would unn1istakably show her error. 67

61
People vs. Mariano, ct al., G.IC No. L-40527 June 30, 1976 citing Mo1jan, Ruic::; of Court, 1970 Ed., Vol.
I, p. 36.
62
Sec People vs. Samuel and Loreta Vanz.ucla, G.R. No. 178266, .July 2H 2008.
u.1 Sec Morales vs. CA, G.R. No. 126623. December 12, 1997.
61
' Antonio M. Garcis vs. Ferro Chcmiculs Inc., G.R. No. 172505, Oclobcj I, 2014.
05
Pagayura vs. Hon. Tiro, G.R. No. L-30113, September 30, 1971.
1>1, SEC. 26. Attempt or Conspiracy. - Any allcmpl or conspirncy lo c9mmit the following unlawful t1cls
shall be penalized by the same penalty prescribed for the commission qf ihc same as provided under this
Act: ...4~-
(a) ll~1porlatio~1 of any ~a~1gcr~us dr~1g andlo_r contro_llcd prc~ur~or r~nd essential chcmi~al; . !
'
(b) Sale, trachng, adm1111slrnl1on, d1spcnsat1011, delivery, d1st1libut1on and lra11sporlul1on of any
dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical;
(c) Muinlcnancc of a den, dive or resort where any dangerous c~ug is used in any form;
(cl) Man_ufo~ture of any dan~_erous clru.g and/or controll~d prect rsor and essential chemical; and
67
(e) Cult1vat1on or culture ol plants which arc sources ol clanger us drugs.
Annex "I" .I uriscliction over Drug Related Cases.

27
11
DE LlfvlA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871 '1
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----~-----------------------x /1

II
!1

I,
,!

67. In the Revised Penal Code, th1 crin1es 68 involving


illegal drugs were cognizable by tl1e Cou~ts of 1=irst Instance
by virtue of Sec. 44 of R.A. No. 296 or the Judiciary Act of
1948, 69 viz:

SEC. 44. Original jurisdJction. - I Courts of First


Instance shall have original jurisdiction:

(f) In all criminal cases in wllich tile /penalty provided


by law is imprisonment for more than six 1rnonths, or a fine
of more than two hundred pesos; ...
I
68. Significantly, the penalties iijposable in crin1es
j
:1
'
under Articles 190 to 194 of the Revis~d Penal Code (save
70

for Articles 191 and 193 where the penalty actually imposed
is less than two hundred pesos) were wi hin the jurisdiction
of the CFI. +-

69. In R.A. No. 6425, 7 1 the Dangf rous Drugs Act of


1

1972; the felonies punishable were within the exclusive


original jurisdiction of the Circuit Crimina Courts pursuant to
Section 39 thereof, to wit:

SEC 39. Jurisdiction of the Circui~ Criminal Court.


The Circuit Criminal Court shall have xclusive original
jurisdiction over all cases involving off, nses punisl1able
under this Act. 72 .

70. The Circuit Crin1inal Courts vveie created by virtue

8
Article 190. Possession, Preparation ancl Use q/Prohibiled Drugs, anrt A1laintenance of Oph1111 Dens.
''
Article 191. Keeper, Watchman and Visitor of Opi11111 Den.
Article 192. J111portation and Sale l//f'rohibited Drugs.
Article 193. 11/egal possession q/oph1111 pipe or other paraphernC1/iafor (he use of any prohibited drug.
Article 194. Prescribing opium unnecessarily jur a patient.
69
Enacted on June 17, 1948.
70
Article 190. - arresto mayor in ils medium period lo prision correcGjional in its minimum period and a
fine ranging from 300 to l ,000 pesos
Arlie le 191. - arresto 111C1yor and u fine rnnging from I 00 lo 300 pesos
Arlidc 192. - prisio11 correccional in its medium und maximum pcrio~ls and a fine ranging from 300 lo
l 0,000 pesos
Article 193. - arresto mt~por and a fine 1)ot exceeding 500 pesos
Article
11
194. - prision correccional or a fine rnnging from 300 to I0,000 1~csos, or bolh.
Enacted on April 4, 1972.
72
Undc1:st.:oring supplied.

28
I
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x
.L.
74
of R.A. No. 5179 73 to try and decide certtjin criminal cases.
Their limited jurisdiction is concurrent with the CFI.

71. With the enactment of B.P. Big. 1.29, or the


Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, tie Criminal Circuit
Courts were abolished. 75 The exclusive jurisdiction of the
Circuit Criminal Courts over offenses arisi g from violation of
R.A. No. 6425 was transferred to the RTC

72. Accordingly, the Court issuep Ci~cula!~ No. 20


c1atec1. August 7/ 1987/ the pertinent parts of which are as
follows:

SUBJECT: Designation of certain iranches of the


Regional Trial Courts to handle exclusive/ certain Criminal
Cases.

The trial judge has the primary responsi9ility to minimize


delay and to dispense swift justice. This i~ specially true in
criminal cases involving serious offenses where a strong
and adequate response from the courts by way of speedy
trial and judgment can serve to deter crimfnal elements.

Tl1e Circuit Criminal Courts which w re set up on


September 8, 1967 under Republic Act o. 5179 served
this purpose. Accordingly, under the aut iority of Section
23 of Batas Pambansa Big. 129, certain branches of the
!
Regional Trial Court of the National Capit I Judicial Region ,~~,-

and of such other regions where the nrd therefor may


arise shall be designated as SPECIAL CRI INAL COURTS to
try exclusively the following criminal cases:

73
Enacted 011 ~eplember 8, 1967.
74
SEC I. In each of the sixteen judicial districts for the Courts of Firsl Instance as prcsenlly constituted,
there is hereby created a Circuit Criminal Court with limited juriscliclio1, concurrent with Lhe regular court
of first instance, to try and decide the following criminal cases foiling under the original and exclusive
jurisdiction of the lullcr:
J_
(u) Crimes committed by public officers, crin1es against persons and cri~1 cs against properly as defined und
i'
i
penalized under the Revised Penal Code, whether simple or complexed ith other crimes; 1:
(b) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-G an aud Corrupt Practices {\.ct, <md
Republic Act No. 1379; und
(c) Violations of sections 360 I, 3602, and 360<1 of the Tariff and Cuslo1~1s Code and sections 174, 175 and
345 of the National Internal Revenue Code.
75
Seetkm 44. Transito1y provisions. - The provisions of this Act sh II be immediately carriccl out in
accordance with an Executive Order to be issued by the President. Th' Court of Appeals, the Courts of
First Ins.lance, t.he Circuit Criminal Courts, tllC' Juvenile and Domesti Relations Courts, the Courts of
Agrarian Relations, lhc City Courts, the Municipal Courts, and the Mun'cipal Circuit Courls shall continue
lo li.111ction as presenlly constituted and organized, until the completion of the reorgm1ization provided in
this Act as declared by the President. Upon such declaration, the said co nts shall be deemed automatically
abolished and the incumbents thereof shall cease to hold office. The ca es pending in the old Courts shall
be trunsl'erred lo the appropriate Courts conslilutcd pursuant to this Act, together with the pcrlincnl
Jl1nclions, records, equipment, property and the necessary personnel.

29
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION .
x------------------------~----x

4. Violations of the Dangerous/ Drugs Act of


1.972, as an1ended, cognizable by Regional Trial
Courts under Batas Pambansa Big. 12~; .7 6

73. Thereafter, on June 7, 2002, . A. No. 9165 was


enacted. Consistent with its precursor R.A. No. 9165
provides: I

SEC. 90 Jurisdiction. - Tl1e Suprlrne Court shall


designate special courts from among the xisting Regional
Trial Courts in each judicial region to ex lusively try and
l1ear cases involving violations of this Act. The number of
courts designated in each judicial region shall be based on
tl1e population and the number of cases pending in their
respective jurisdiction... /

Under the foregoing laws a~d issuances, it is


7LJ..
indubitable that the RTCs have been vested by law witl1
jurisdiction over cases involving illegkl drugs originally
because of the imposable penalty 77 and, fater on, because of
the nature of the offense. 78

75. The RTCs thus l1ave exclLjsive and original


jurisdiction in all cases punishable under! R.A. No. 6425 and
later, R.A. l\Jo. 9165.

76. In addition, R.A. No. 9165 did /not repeal R.A. No.
6425 so as to divest the RTCs of their e~clusive jurisdiction
over drug cases.

77. The Court, in fact, on August~' 2000 issued A. M.


00-8-01-SC entitled a Resolution desig 1ating branclles of
the RTC as Special Courts for Drug Cas s regardless of the
quantity involved, viz:

WHEREAS, public policy and public Iinterest demand


'that crirninal cases involving violations
Drugs Act of 1972 (R.A. No. 6435),
expeditiously resolved;
the Dangerous
amended, be r
gt

clllp IHISIS
76 I] . supp 1IC J .
77
See Revised Penal Code in relation lo Sec. 44 of R.A. No. 296.
n R.A. No. 6425 and R.A. No. 9165 in relation to R.A. No. 5179, B.P. 13)g. 129 and Circular 20.

30

-r-
i
DE LIMA v. HON. GUEKKEIW, ET AL.
G.K. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

WHEREAS, presently, drugs cas1es wl1ere the


imposable penalty is Reclusion Perpetup to deat11 are
assigned to designated heinous crimes cgurts while some
drugs cases where the imposable penally is lower tl1an
death are assigned to tile following ranches of the
Regional Trial Courts:

WHEREAS, due to the alarming dru~ menace in the


country, it is tl1e consensus of many tha~ the designation
of certain branches of the Regional Trial CI:ourts as Special
Courts to try ancl decide drug cases r4gardless of t11e
quantity of the drugs involved may imn1ediately address
df
the problem of delay in the resolution of ugs cases .... 79

78. After a year or on October 2f, 1996, the Court


issued Adn1inistrative Order l\lo. 1 4-86 designating
branches of RTCs to exclusively try a 1d clecide cases of
1
kiclnapping, robbery, carnapping, dangerrus drugs cases and
other heinous crirnes, intellectual prope ~ty rights violations
and jurisdiction in libel cases pursuant to Sec. 23 of B.P. Big.
129;

79. Said issuances were made cluriing the e'ffectivity of


R.A. l\Jo. 6425.

._... ,,r;.....

The phrase "to exclusively try rnd hear cases


involving violations of tt1is Act" means tl1at, as a rule,
courts designated as special courts for dr g cases shall try
and hear drug-related cases only, i.e. cases involving
violations of R.A. l\Jo. 9165, to the e*clusion of otl1er
courts. I
I
I
!

" Underscoring supplied. I


31
. \.
DE LIMA v. HON. GUEKRERO, ET AL .
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WLTH OPPOSITlON
x-----------------------------x

Tile very title of Article XI of R.Af No. 9165, t11e


article where Section 90 is includecl, re9ds: "Jurisdiction
Over Drug Cases." It provides for the forum where drug
cases are to be filed, tried and resolveq: Regional Trial
I
Courts (RTCs) designated by this Court as special drug
courts. Tl1e jurisdiction of the desig~ated courts is
exclusive of all otl1er courts not so designa/ted. .

82. On August 8, 2016, the CoLII~ again issued A.M.


No. 16-07-06-SC ordering. 240 RTC branc ies to try, llear and
decide newly-filed cases under R.A. l\Jo. 9165 because the
volun1e of drugs cases rernain high .an9
the influx of new
cl rug cases was steadily rising. It ~icl not designate
Sandiganbayan divisions to try drug cales involving public
officials. . I

83. Undeniably, the purpose of Se 1tion 90 of R.A. No.


9165 was not to repeal Section 33 of R.A. No. 6425 by
removing the exclusive jurisdiction of t e RTC over drugs
cases. Thus, in People vs. I-Ion. Aza raga, 80 the Court
explained that tl1e primordial objective f Section 90 is to
effect tl1e efficient adn1inistr.ation of justi

Under R.A. No. 9165, Congress rmpowered tllis


Court with the full discretion to designate special courts to
hear, try and decide drug cases. It was precisely in tl1e
exercise of this discretionary power that t e powers of the
e)(ecutive judge were included in Chap. '{ 1 Sec. 9 of A.M.
No. 03-8-02-SC vis-a-vis Sec. 5(5) of Article VIII of the
1987 Constitution. Thus, in cases rf inhibition or
disqualification, the executive judge is mandated to assign
the drug case to a regular court in the following order:
first, to the pairing judge of tl1e special court where tl1e
case was originally assigned; and, seco1d, if the pairing
judge is likewise disqualified or has inhibi ed himself, then
to another regular court through a raf 1e. Under these
exceptional circumstances, this Court designated the
regular court, ipso facto, as a special court - but only for
1
that case. Being a "designated special co1 rt," it is likewise
bound to follow the relevant rules in try ng and deciding r
the drug case pursuant to R.A. No. 9165. 11
I'
II

Ii
Petitioner also contends that the leJislative intent of
. . J, --
R.A. No. 9165 is "to make use of the yxpertise of trial 1

i
11
C.R.Nos.187l17and 187127,0ctobcr 12,2011. /

32
DE LIMA v. L-JON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WLTH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

judges in complicated and technical rul~s of the special


drug law." Thus, petitioner suggests t/lai in instances in
which all the judges of special courts have inhibited
themselves or are otherwise disqualified, the venue for the
affected drug cases should be transferrer to the nearest
station that has designated special courts. ~

Petitioner's suggestion is ill-advised To subscribe to


tl1is suggestion is to defeat the purp se of the law.
..... - Undoubtedly, petitioner's unwarranted s ggestion would
entail the use of precious resources, tir ie and effort to
transfer the cases to anotl1er station. On tl'1e ot11er hand,
t11e assailed guidelines provide for a mu h rnore practical
and expedient manner of hearing and de iding the cases.
To reiterate, over and above utilizin~
of trial judges, the rationale behind ec. 90 of R.A.
No. 9165 and Chap. V, Sec. 9 of A.M. o. 03-8-02-SC
f
the expertise

is to effect an efficient administratior of justice and


speedy disposition of cases, as v\fell a to breathe life
into the policy enunciated in Sec. 2 o~ R.J~. No. 9165,
to wit:

Declaration of policy. - It is t~e policy of


tl1e State to safeguard the inte rity of its
territory and the well-being of i s citizenry
particularly the youth, from the har I ful effects
of dangerous drugs on their p~ysical and
mental well-being, and to defend the same
against acts or omissions detrimental to their
development and preservation. In riew of the
foregoing, the State needs to enhance further
the efficacy of the law against dangerous
drugs, it being one of today's
social ills ...

As a matter of fact, this Court al!o issued similar


guidelines with regard to environmental cases, election
cases involving elective municipal official, and cases that
involve killings of political activists and m mbers of rnedia.
Forernost in its mind is the spee9y and efficient
administration of justice. /
I
I
Petitioner further points out that this Court issued
A. M. No. 05-9-03-SC to define the pl1ra e "to exclusi,vely
try and hear cases involving violations off
his Act" to mean
" ... [c]ourts designated as special court for drug cases
shall try and hear drug-related cases only, i.e., cases
involving violations of R.A. NO. 9165, to the exclusion of
other courts." Hence, petitioner submits, ~rug cases should
not be assigned to regular COUltS rcording to tile

II 33
I

'' I
DE LIMA v. HON. GU8RRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
+-
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

procedure provided in A. M. No. 03-B-(j)2-SC; in other


words, tl1e two issuances contradict each dther.

Again, this Court disagrees.

Petitioner unclerestimates the rule-~naking power of


this Court. Notl1ing in A.M. No. 05-9-03-~C or in A.M. l\lo.
~ . . M.00

03-8-03-SC suggests that they contradict each other. In


fact, both were issued witl1 a common ra~tonale, that is, to
"expeditiously resolve criminal cases invol ing vio.lations of
R.A. No. 9165," especially in the light f the strict time
frame provided in Sec. 90 of R.A. No. 91p5. Botl1 provicle
for the guidelines regarding the assignm~nt of drug cases.
to special courts. Thus, A.M. No. 05-9-01-SC provides for
the exemption of special courts from tre regular raffle
under normal circumstances, while A. M. No. 03-8-02-SC
provide for the assignment of drug cases to special courts
except under special circumstances tha would warrant
. reassignment to a regular court. 81

84. Additionally, while the power tb define, prescribe,


and. apportion the jurisdiction of the v rious courts is, by
constitutional design, vested in the Con 1. ress, the power to
pron1ulgate rules concerning the protecti n and enforcement
of constitutional rights, pleading, practic , and procedure jn
all courts belongs exclusively to the Court. 82 Section 5(5),
Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution accordingly provides:
"

SEC. 5. The Supreme Court shall h~ve the following .!


powers:

5. Promulgate rules concerning tpe protection and


enforcement of constitutional rights, piading, practice,
and procedure in all courts, the admissi
. n to the practice
.
of law, the integrated bar, and legal ssistance to the
under-privileged. Such rules shall providt a simplified and
ine)(pensive procedure for the speedy dis osition of cases,
shall be uniform for all courts of the sarn grade, and shall
not diminish, increase, or modify substa~tive rights. Rules -,~,.__

of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies


sl1all remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme
Court.. ..

85. The Congress acknowledged tne Court's power to


81
Emplmsis supplied.
32
Conchita Carpio-Morales vs. CA, G.R. Nos. 217126-27, November I(), 2015.

34
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 J
COMM~NT WJTH OPPO::IITION
x-----------------~-----------x

promulgate rules concerning pleadi1g, practice


and
procedure in all courts which recognize the exclusive and
original jurisdiction of the RTCs over crin1inal cas~s involving
dangerous drugs. This designation did riot work to confer
jurisdiction over these branches when p1 eviously there was
none. It merely emphasized the need for the courts to
proceed with dispatch. 83
I
1. . ---

86. In any case, to escl1ew any cpn_flict be~ween the


legislative and judicial branches, the Court in Carp10-Morales
vs. CA 84 clrew a line between the pow]rs of th~ Congress
and Supreme Court as follows:

That Congress has been vested witi the authority to


define, prescribe, and apportion tile jurisdiction ot= the
various courts under Section 2, Article V II supra, as well
as to create statutory courts under Secti n 1, Article VIII
supra, does not result in an abnegation of the Court's own
power to promulgate rules of pleadin~, practice, and
procedure under Section 5 (5), Article JIII supra. Albeit
operatively interrelated, these powers are nonetheless
institutionally separate and distinct, each to be preserved
under its own sphere of authority. When Congress
creates a court and delimits its j~riscliction, the
procedure for which its jurisdiction Jis exercised is
fixed by the Court through the rules J.r prownulgates. 85

I
L.

87. R.A. l\Jo. 9165 and R.A. No. 6 25 shoulcl therefore


be construed as having vested the {TC with exclusive
!
authority to hear and try cases involving their violation. At
. tile same tin1e, Section 90 of R.A. No. 9 65 provides for the
1. -
designation of RTC brancl1es to excl sively handle drug
cases.

88. It is evident fron1 the wordings of Section 90 of


R.A. l\lo. 9165 that only the RTC can /be designated as a
special drugs court. This is consistent with Section 23 of B.P.
Big. 129 which reads:

\... HJSec Gonzales vs. G.ll-1 Land, Inc., G.R. No. 202664, November 10, ~015; Concurring Opinion ol'.lusticc
Lconcn.
81
' Conchita Carpio-Morales vs. CA, supm.
85
Id. (Emphasis and underscoring in the original)

35
!. ..
j
DE LIMA v. I-ION. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 J
.11
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
I
i_ ___ ...

x-----------------------------x
I
I
L.....

SEC. 23. !:Jpecial jurisdiction to try /'special cases. -


The Supreme Court may designate certain branches of the
Regional Trial Courts to handle exclusive I 1 criminal cases,
juvenile and domestic relations cases, agrarian cases,
urban land reform cases which do no fall under the
jurisdiction of quasi-judicial bodies and ?gencies, and/or
$UCh other special cases as the Suprme Court may
determine in the interest of a speeqy and efficient
administration of justice. 86
l ... .-

89.Several provisions of R. A. l\Jo.t9165 indicate that


only "tile RTC llas j~risdiction over drugs cases regardless of
the position and circumstances of the ace sed public officer.

90. Section 20 of the law provides /for the confiscation


and 'forfeiture, in favor of the gove~n111ent, of all the
proceeds and properties derived from the unlawful act. The
second and third paragraphs of the same/provision provide:

I . "
After conviction in the Regionar Trial Court m
the appropriate criminal case filed, the Court shall
imme.diately schedule a hearing for th~ confiscation and
forfeiture of all tl1e proceeds of the offrnse and all the
1......
assets and properties of the accused eithrr owned or held
by him or in the name of some other pe11son~ if the .same
shall be found to be manifestly out of proportion to his/her
lawful income: Provided, however, Tha~ if tl1e forfeited : ~.

property is a vehicle, the same shall be puctioned off not


later than five (5) days upon order or
confiscation or
forfeiture. I
During the pendency o'f the case~in the Reguonal
Trial Court, no property, or income d rived therefrom,
which may be confiscated and forfeited, hall be disposed,
alienated or transferred and the same sh~ll be in custodia
legis ancl no bond shall be admitted for the release of the
same. r

I
91. Section 27 states that anJ public officer or
employee who misappropriates, 111isapplies or fails to
account Yor confiscatecl, seized or sun enclerecl clangerous
drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled
precursors and essentia chen1icals,
I..
instruments/paraphernalia and/or lab ratory equipment
86
Underscoring supplied.

36
.
.... '
DE LIMA v. I-ION. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x- -- - ---- - - - ---- - ---- --- -- -- - -x

I
including the proceeds or properties pbtained fron1 the
unlawful acts shall be cri111inally liable. I1I' second parag~a~h
of the same provision, any elective local. or national off1c1al
who are found to have benefitecl fro111 t:Jhe proceeds of the
trafficking of dangerous drugs as presc~ibecl in tl1e Act, or
have received any .financial or n1ateripl contributions or
donations fron1 natural or juridical persrns found guilty of
trafficking dangerous drugs shall be penalized. .
. I
1

I ........
;92. The first paragraph of Sectio 1 27 n1entions tile
phrase "any public officer or en1ployee.u It rnal<es no
distinction as to salary grade. Tl1e seco d paragrapl1 of tl1e
section it includes botl1 elective local fficial and elective
national official. Elective national officia s include n1en1bers
of Congress. Except for those who enjoy irnrnunity from suit
durin'g their incun1bency, elective offici~ls who occupy the
highest elective positions in the country d:an be charged with
violations of R. A. No. 9165. The sarr1e flaw does not state
that these officials should be charge9 and tried in tl} e 1

Sandiganbayan. /
I
!
93. Additionally, Section 28 o'f R.A~ No. 9165 includes f
the accessory. pen~lty ?f absolute perp~tual disqualification
fron1 any public office, 1f those found guillty of such unlawful
acts are. government o~ficials and en1ployees. Again,
l1owever, 1t do~s. not ment101~ that the fases against these
1
r
j
'
governn1ent off1c1als shall be 1-11ed before the Sancliganbayan.

94. Consistent reference to the r~T~s in R.A. l\Jo. 9165


I ~
~
I~
and not to "pr6per courts" or "co~1rts of co111petent I
r
jurisdiction" indicate the congressional intent to affirm and I
111aintain the origihal and exclusive juri~diction of the RTCs r
I

over drug related cases. Thus, there c~n be no conclusion /.


otl1er than tllat '.,tile RTC l1as exclusiie Jurisdiction over
offenses involving:'. illegal drugs even if ~hey are con1mitted i
r

by public officers with salary grade 27 or higher. Indeed, it is II


the nature of the offense and no the position or t
-~
circun1stances of the offender, which is c ntrolling.
~
, 95. Prescinding, it is axion1atic th~t the jurisdiction of ~
a court in a crin1inal case is detern1ined lby tl1e allegations in ~
I;

_L
I'

37
' 1 DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

the cornplaint or inforn1ation. 87 In the~ instant case, the


Information charges De Lima with vio/ati n of Sec. 26(b) in
relation to Sec. 5, Sec. 3(jj), and Sec. 28 of R.f~. No. 9165. 88

96. VVl1en Section 26(b) is parted, the essential


!
1 , ....... elen1ents of the offense are: (a) two or ~nore persons come
to an agreement; (b) the agreement is to con1mit drug
trading using electronic devices such nhobile or landlines,
two-way radios, internet, etc. whether for 111oney or any
~\"'
other consideration in violation of R.A. l\J9. 9165; and ( c) tile
offenders decide to comn1it said offense. I
97. As will be discussed, the ~Jasic elements of
conspiracy constituting violation uf Secti n 26(b) are clearly
stated _in tl1e _Informat(on. Tl1us, b_ased on the all~g~ti~ns_ in
the Intormat1on, De Lima's case 1a11s u11der the Junsd1ct1on
of the RTC.
(,. ....,

98. Furthermore, a mere allegatio1~ in tile Inforrnation


I
that the crin1e was co111mitted "in relatio1r to office" does not
auton1atically n1ean that the case shfuld fall under the
exclusive and original jurisdiction of the : ancliganbayan. The
ruling in People vs. Maga/lanes 89 is instructive on this
n1atter:

. At the time the info.rmations in. th_~ ~ai~ cases were


!. .

Filed, the law governing the Jun diction of the


Sancliganbayan was Section 4 of P.D No. 1606, as
amendecl by P.O. No. 1861, ....
I

:
Applying .this section, we l1eld iii Aguinaldo vs.
Domagas that for the Sandiganbayan tp have exclusive
original jurisdiction over offenses or feloniies committed by
public officers or employees under Section 4(a) (2) above,
it is not enough that the penalty presqribed there1=or is
,l1igher than prision correcciona/ or imp1isonment for six
years, or a fine of P6,000.00; it is also nf=Cessary that the
offenses or felonies were committed in/ relation to their
office. We reiterated this pronounceme11t in Sanchez vs.
Demetriou, Natividad vs. Felix, and Repup!ic vs. Asuncion.
In Sancl1ez, we restated the principle laid down in Montilla
vs. Hilario that an offense may be conside/recJ as committed
87 I
118
People vs. Misson, G.R. No. L-3488, November 28, 1950. I
I

89
Criminal Case No. 17-165. I
I
G.R. Nos. 118013-14, l I October 1995. I

38
I
'j
DE LIMA v. HON. GUBRRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

in relation to the office if it cannot exist w)ithout the office,


or if the office is a constituent element of the crime as
defined in the statute, such as, for instance, the crimes
defined and punisl1ed in Cl1apter Two to ~ix, Title Seven,
of the Revised Penal Code. We also reiterated tl1e principle
in People vs. Montejo that the offense mist be intimately
connected with the office of the offender ancl we further
intimated that tl1e fact tl1at tl1e offense . as committed in
1
relation to the office must be alleged in thG:! information.

There is no dispute that the prescriped penalties for


the ?ffenses charged in Criminal Case~ /Nos. 15562. a_nd
15563 before the court below are h1g~er than pnsJOn
correctional or imprisonment for more tha_r six y_ears. The
only question that remains to be resolvedf' then IS whether
the said offenses were committed in rela ion to the office
of the accused PNP officers.. I

Relying on its evidence and on the ~ontejo


case, the
petitioner submits that the crimes charg:1d in the subject
cases were connected with public offiFe because the
accused PNP officers, together with thej civilian agents,
arrested tl1e two swindling suspects in tpe course of the
performance of their duty and not out of /~ersonal motive,
and if they demanded. from the twi suspects the
production of the money of the Dumanfas spouses and
later killed the two; they did so in the course of the
investigation conducted by them as 1~olicemen. The
petitioner further asserts that the allegations in the
informations reading "taking advantage ~f his position as
Station Commander of the Philippine Na ional Police" an,d
"taking adva,ntage of their respe, tive positions"
presuppose the exercise of the function attached to the
office of the accused PNP officers and ere sufficient t0
show t.hat tl:e offenses ch~~ged were com itted in relation
to their office. The pet1t1oner then co eludes that the
cases below fall within the exclusive origi al jurisdiction of
the Sandiganbayan.

It is an elementary rule thati jurisdiction is


determined by the allegations in t11le complaint or
information, <ind not by the result of evid,nce after trial. ...

U~11ike in Mo~tejo, _tile informations 1n Crimin~I C_ases


l'Jos. 1.5562 and 15563 111 the court belo~ do not 111cl1cate
1

that the accused arrested and investigater. the victims and


then killed the latter in tile course of l1e investigation.
The informations merely allege tl1at t11e accused, for tl1e
purpose of extracting or extorting the su111 of P353,000.00,
abducted, kidnapped, and detained the 1two victims, and
failing in their common purpose, they sl1ot and killed the
I
II 39
'~1 DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

said victims. For the purpose of determinihg jurisdiction, it


is tllese allegations tllat shall control, and /not tl1e evidence
presented by the prosecution at the trial.

The allegation of "taking adjlantage of his


position" or "taking advantage of t 1eir respective
positions" incorporated in the infor nations is not
sufficient to bring the offenses withilr the def~nution
o'f "offenses committed in relation to/ public office."
In Montilla vs. 1-lilario, such an allegation was considered
merely as an allegation of an aggravatir 19 circumstance,
and not as one that qualifies the crime as having been
committed in relation to public office. Its. ys:

But the use 01~ abuse of office d es not adhere f}..

to the crilne' as an element an even as an


aggravating cilcumstance, its n;ateri~lity aris~s, not
from the allegations but on the proof, not fro1n the
fact that the criminals are public of~icials but from
the manner of the commission of the ci::rime.

Also, in Bartolome vs. People of/ the Philippines,


despite the allegation that the accuse~ public officers
committed tl1e crime of falsification of official document by
"taking advantage of tl1eir official posit ons," tl1is Court
. held that the Sandiganbayan had no juri diction over the
case because "[t]he information [did] not allege that there
was an intimate connection between he discharge of
official duties and the commission of the o fense. " 90

99. Although the Information against De Lima


contains the phrases "as Secretary of ustice" and "taking
advantage of their public office," it will not automatically
111ake the offense fall under the exc usive and original
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Wl1at prevails is tile fact
that the crin1e charged is violation of Se tion 26 of R.A. No.
9165.

100. Moreover; De Lin1a's abuse of her position is not


an indispensable elen1ent of the offense under Section 26 in
relation to Sec. 3(jj) of R.A. No. 9165. As provided under
Section 28, her being a governrnent ~fficial is rnerely as
aggravating circu111stance and does no in any way divest
the RTC of its exclusive jurisdiction over he felony.

90
Emp Irns1s
. supp 1iceI ancI c1lat1011s
. . . I
om1ltcl.

40
.. ...
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x
I

I
1.0:L. Lastly, contrary to De Lirna's dairn, not all crimes
co111n1itted by public officers in relation tp
their office under
Section 4 of P.O. No. 1606, as a111enc1e9 by R.A. No. 7975
and by R.A. No. 8249 and R.A. l\Jo. 1066g, are cognizable by
the Sandiganbayan. I

102. In the 2009 case of People ofj


the Philippines vs.
Alfre;C;/o Benipayo, 9 1 COMELEC Chain11ar Alfredo Benipayo
questionecl the jurisdiction of the RTC tf
try the libel case
filecl against l1in1 since he is an irppeachable officer.
Benipayo argued tllat even if a crin1inal ~ase should prosper
against lli1n, jurisdiction on the cas! rests upon the
Sandiganbayan as the alleged offense was comrnitted in
relation to his office. The Court . r jected Benipayo's
argu111ent, ruling thus: / ~.
~---

Uniformly applied is the familiajJ rule that the


jurisdiction of the court to hear and ecide a case is
conferred by the law in force at the time of the institution
of the action, unless a latter statute provides for a
retroactive application thereof. Article 36 of the Revised
Penal Code (RPC), as amended by Repub ic Act No. 4363,

written defamations, thus:

The criminal and civil action for da ages in cases of


wri~~en d~famations as provided for in ~mis chapter, shall
be f11ed simultaneously or separately with the court of first ...\..i.~

instance [1iow, the Regional Trial Court] f the province or


city where the libelou~ article is printed af d first published
or where any of the offended parties actu . lly resides at the
time of the commission of the offense ....
I

-!'-
As we have constantly l1elcJ in Jayandoni, Bocobo,
People v. Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, Br. 32,
Manzano, and analogous cases, we must,jin the same way,
declare herein that the law, as it still. s ands at present,
.dictates that criminal and civil actions for damages in
cases of written defamations shall be fil~d simultaneously
or separately with the RTC to the exclysion of all other
courts. A subsequent enactment of a 1aw defining the
juriscliction of other courts cannot simplYi override, in the
absence of an express repeal or modificC1tion, the specific
provision in tl1e RPC vesting in t11e R1/C, as aforesaid,
!
91
G.R. No. 154473, April 24, 2009.

41
DE LIMA v. HOl'-1. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

jurisdiction over defamations in writin or by similar


means. The grant to the Sandiga111bayan of
jurisdiction over offenses cormnitted in relation to
(public) office, similar to the exp nsion of the
jurisdiction ot' the MTCs, did not dives the RTC of its
exclusive and original jurisdiction ~.o try written
defamation cases regardless of whcetl~er the of'fense
is committed in relation to office. 111e broad and
eneral Jhras~oloc of Section 4.IPresiclential
. Decree No. 1606 as amended b R n1blic Act No .
. 8249, cannot be construed to I ave i111pliecll)l
~pealed, or even simply modified, /such exclusive
and original jurisdiction of the RTC.

Since jurisdiction over written defamations


exclusively rests in tile RTC without qpalification, it is
unnecessary and futile for the parties to argue on whether
the crime is committed in relation to bffice. Thus, the
conclusion reached by tile trial court tha the respondent
committed the alleged libelous acts in rel tion to his office
as 1'ormer COMELEC chair, and deprives it of jurisdiction to
try tl1e case, is, following the above ~squisition, gross
.:. er~or_. This Court, therefore, orders the reinstatement of
Cnm1nal Cases Nos. Q-02-109406 and -02-109407 and
. tlleir remand to the respective Regional Trial Courts for
further proceedings. 92

103. The Benipayo ruling can be a~plied by analogy in


this case. Since R.A. No. 6425, as wel~/. as R.A. No. 9165,
vests RTC with exclusive jurisdiction oyer all illegal drugs
related offenses, the determination of /Whether the public
officer involved is occupying a position '1'ith salary grade 27
or higher and that the offense is comrittecl in relation to
office is irrelevant.
I
!
i

VI. DE LIMA WAS PROPERl


CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY T
COMMIT DRUG TRADING . UNDE~~
SECTION 26(b) Of REPUBLIC Ac1r
NO. 9165 INSTEAD OF DIRJ:crr
BRIBERY UNDER ARTICLE 210 Of
THE REVISED PENAL CODE, FOE
WHICH REASON THE RTC HA
JURIS_?ICTION OVER THE CASE. _
92
Emphasis and underscoring supplied.

42

--,...,,.._
;,'
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL..
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION I
x-----------------------------x
I
(a) The Information spells out th~
essential elements of Conspiracy
Co1n171it Illegal Drug Trac/ing. ti
I
10Ll. Respondent Judge Guerrero i~suecl a warrant of
arrest against De Li1na in the lawfujl exercise of her
jurisdiction over Criminal Case No. 17-161.
I

105. A plain reading of the .Z:nfor1nation in Crin1inal


Case No. 17-165 shows t11at De Lin1a is being accused of the
crime of conspiracy to commit illegal lru~J trading under
Section 26(b) of R.A. No. 9165. Inasn1uch as De Lima's
n1otion to quasl1 hypothetically adn itted the factual
avern1ents of this Information, this H norable Court can
without difficulty ascertain that Judge Guerrero did not act
~ithout jurisdiction because the petition~r is being indicted
for violating Section 26(b) of R.A. No. 19165 in relation to
Section 3(jj) of the law.

106. Section 26(b) of R.A. No. 9165/provicles:

Section 26. Attempt or Conspiracy/ - Any atternpt


or conspiracy to con1mit tl1e following unlawful acts shall
be penalized by the same penalty prEscribed for the
comrnission of the samE! as provided under this Act:
.'.~''itf-
(a) Irnportation of any dangerous qirug and/or
controlled precursor and essential clremical;
I
i
(b) Sale, trading, adnrinistration,
dispensation, delivery, distribution and
transportation of any dangerous drug and/or
controlled precursor and / essential
chemical; (emphasis supplied)

107. In turn, Section 3(jj) of the sa1rne law states:

Section 3. Definitions. As used /in this Act, the


following terms shall mean:

(jj) Trading . .._ Transactions inu~'olving the


illegal trafficking of danger us drugs
and/or controlled precursors an essential
chemicals using electronic devices /uch as, but
43
0
DE LlMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G. R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
I
x-----------------------------x

not limited to, text messages, email, mobile or


landlines, two-way radios, internet, instant
messengers and chat rooms or acting as a
broker in any of such transactions whether
for money or any other consideration in
violation of this Act.

108. When parsed, Section 26(b) of R.A. No. 9165 has


the following elements: first, two or more persons come to
an agreement; second, the agreement is to commit drug
trading using electronic devices such as mobile or landlines,
two-way radios, internet, etc. whether for money or any
other consideration in violation of R.A. No. 9165; and third,
93
the offenders decide to commit the said offense.

109. These elements are present in the recitals of the


Information in Criminal Case No. 17-165. De Lima, Ragas,
and Dayan, petitioner's admitted lover, confabulated with the
high-profile inmates of the national penitentiary to commit
illegal drug trading through the use of mobile phones and
other electronic devices. These inmates could not have plied
their nefarious trade without the indispensable cooperation
of De Lima and her DOJ factotums.

110. The rule is that the allegations of the information


on the nature of the offense charged, not the nomenclature
given it by the Office of the Public Prosecutor, are controlling
in the determination of the offense charged. 94 The real
nature of the criminal charge is determined not from the
caption or preamble of the information nor from the
specification of the provision of law alleged to have been
violated, they being conclusions of law, but by tl1e actual
recital of facts in the complaint or information. 95

---:-
111. De Lima argues nonetheless that pursuant to
Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended, it is
the Sandiganbayan, not the RTC, which exercises exclusive
original jurisdiction over the subject offense which, from the

93
Sec Article 8, Revised Penal Code.
94
95
Peop lc vs. Oan dasan, Jr., G.R. No. 194605, June 14, 2016.
Lacson vs. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 128096, January 20, 1999.

44
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

controlling 'factual allegations of the lnfprmation, is Direct


Bribery under Article 210 of the Revised ~enal Code.
. I
112. Her contention is without n1etit. Although some
elen1ents of direct bribery may be present in the
lnforrnation, i.e., the accused are p 1blic officers and
received drug n1oney from the high-p~ofile inrnates, this
does not ren1ove the case from the pale <pf an indictn1ent for
violation of Section 26(b) of R.A. No. $165. It is beyond
cavil that the Infonnation accuses De a and her cohorts Li'f
of conspiracy to con11nit illegal clrug trade. Tile elen1ents of
tllat uffense appear in the indictn1ent. / I

I I
l 13. Under Philippine law, conspiratly is understood on ...I.. ,
two levels. As a general rule, conspiracy ijs not a crin1e in our
jurisdiction. It is punished as a crin1e onl}{i when the Jaw fixes
a penalty for its co111111ission such as in c nspiracy to co111111it
treason, rebellion and sedition, 96 and as n the present case,
conspiracy to com111it drug trading.

'
,
.... ......
I
114. On the other hand, conspira/cy, as a mode of i'!
i:i
con1mitting a cri1ne, changes the cri1nin~I liability of all the
accused in the conspiracy and rnakes tren1 answerable as
co-principals regardless of the degree of~heir participation in i
II
the cri1ne. The liability of ~he conspirat rs is collective and 1

each participant will be equally responsrible for the acts of


others, for the act of one is the act of all. 7

115. When conspiracy is alleged as p crin1e in itself, the


sufficiency of the allegations in the Inform) ation charging the Ii
!I
offense is governed by Section 6, Rule 110 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure, viz.: /i
1:
1:

Section 6. Sufficiency of , omplaint or


11
information. - A complaint or informat on is sufficient if I

it states the name of the accused, the designation of the


offense given by the statute; the a ts or omissions
complained of as constituting the offense the name of the
offended party; tl1e approximate date of t11e commission of
the offense; and the place where ~he offense was
committed. /
. I
1slra<la vs. Sancliganbayan, 422 Phil. 820, G.R. No. !i:l8965, Fcbruary/26, 2002.
'i7 Id.
I
LIS
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
Ac
Ci.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x

Wl1en the offense was committed bJ. rnore than one


person, all of thern shall be included in 1he complaint 01~
information.
'
I
. :116. The con1plaint or information t4 be sufficient n1ust
state the narne of the accused, designatr the offense given
by statute, state the acts or on1issiorys constituting the
offense, the name of the offended party, the approximate
date of tl1e comn1ission of tl1e offense apd tile place wl1ere
the offense was co111111itted. Because tile acts constituting
the offense of conspiracy to comn1it illegal drug trading are
alleged, the Information in Criminal Case/ No. 17-165 cannot
be struck down for insufficiency. /

117. Plainly, the Information in Case No. 17- Cri1~inal


165 accused De Lin1a, Ragas, and Dayan /Of having conspired
to co.1T11nit illegal clrug trade; while th other participants
refe.iTed to as the "high profile inm, tes" wl10 actually
engaged in the illegal commerce are Herbert Colangco,
Engelberto Acenas Durano, Vicente Sy, J jo Baligad y Bandai
and Wu Tuan Yuan a.1<.a. Peter Co. Tl ey were no longer
impleaded a1nong the accused since the will be utilized as
state witnesses. 98

. 118. Furthern1ore, the offended pa(ty is the People of


the Philippines, since tl1e acts con1plaine t1 of are contrary to
law; the approximate time of con11nitsion 1 of the cri1ne
covers the period "from November 12,. 2p12 to March 2013;
and the place of con1111ission is tile New Bilibid Prison, in the
City of Muntinlupa"; and the offense balecl on tile delictual
:1
avern1ents is violation of Section 26(b) and Section 28 of
R.A. l\Jo. 9165.

(b) 711e Inforrnation alleges that the


I
ac~s
_j_
i
performed by De Lilna, her co-accuse~ I
Ragas and Dayan, and the IVBP inmate~ i.
[,
were ai1ned at cornmitting illegal drug i
I:
trading. r '

911
Joint Resolution dnlccl February 14, 2017, p. 47, par. 5.

46
DE LIMA v. I-ION. GUEKRERO, ET AL.
G.IZ. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----~-----------------------x i

. I
119. The facts in the Inforrnatio1f1 show cornplicity
an1ong De Lin1a, Ragos ancl Dayan to 90111111it illegal clrug
trading with. the high-profile inmates:/, The three were
charged with conspiracy uncler Section 2 0 of R.A. No. 9165
1
because the inn1ates could not have co1ducted tl1eir illegal
drug trading without the indispensable cooperation of the
three.

120. At this point, the allegation or conspiracy in the


Infonnation should not be confused wifjh the adequacy of
~vidence that may IJe required to prove/ it. A conspiracy is
proved by evidence of actual cooperatio11; of acts indicative
of an agreernent, a common purpose or f!esign, a concerted
action or concurrence of s.enti111ents to corn111it the felony I
and actually pursue it. A state111ent of the evidence on the
conspiracy is not necessary in the Inform~tion. 99

121. Besi?es, the character and


not to be adJudgE;!d by d1s111embenng and v1ew111g its
.effe~t1.1t of cons.pir~cy am
separate pa.rts but only by looking at i/t as a whole-acts
done to give effect to conspiracy may be, in fact, wholly
innocent acts. 100

122. De Lima's argument that her/ act of demanding,


soliciting ancl extorting money from thf NBP ininates are
distinct from the illegal drug trade of/_._ NBP ininates and
constitute only direct bribery is thus u~tenable. The crime
comrnitted is violation of Section 26(b) of R.A. No. 9165.
Even without the den1and for money, tl1e averments in the
Information are sufficient to 111ake out a /case for conspiracy
to co111n1it illegal drug trading.

(c) The crin1e charged is distinct


frorn Direct Bribery.

123. As stated before, De Lirr1a's filihg of the 111otion to


quash 1neans that sl1e is cleen1ed to j1ave hypothetically
. admitted ~he facts alleged in the Infrmation . .Evidence

Lazarte, Jr. vs. Sand1ganbaya11, G.R. No. 180122, March 13, 2009, p81 SCRA 431, c1lrng bstrada vs.
Sundigunbynn, supra. I
100 v
1 ongco vs. People, G.R. No. 209373, July 30, 2014.
I
I
I
I 47
I l ! .

DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL. I


G.R. SP Nos. 229871
CO!Vl!VIENT WITH OPPOSITION I
x-----------------------------x
I
I
a/iuncle or n1atters extrinsic fron1 the infdrn1ation are not to
be consiclerecl. 101 /

:124. An1ong tl1e adn1ittecl facts fiare the clel.ictual


pl1rases "to co111111it illegal drug tradin _" ... "wilfully and
unlawfully trade and traffic drugs" .... ".hrougl1 the use of
niobile phones ancl other electronic 9evices" which are
elen1ents that are unique and peculiaf to conspiracy to
corn111it illegal drug trading under Sectio-1 26(b) of R.A. No.
9165, and not direct bribery under A1ticl~ 210 of the Revised
Penal Code which does not require any of/ said ele111ents.
I

125. At any rate, tl1e filing of cri111iflal action for felony


of direct bribery is among those recon1m. nded in page 48 of
the Joint Resolution dated February 14 2017 by the DOJ
Panel of Prosecutors to the 0111budsman. Thus: .J

1 '

(6) The complaint in NPS XVI-INJ-161<-00331 and


NPS XVI-INV-161(-00336 for Violations ol Re'public Act No.
3019, Republic Act No.6713, Presidentia Decree No. 46,
and Articles 210 and 211-A of tl1e Revised Penal Code, be
indorsed to the Ombudsman for its appro riate action.

126. Parts of the Information that De Lima selectively


l1igl1ligl1ted, particularly their public positions, use of
authority ancl influence ancl monetary ~onsicleration, while
appearing to be elements of direct rribery are merely
adjectival and not meant to charge this felony in the sarne
Inforrnation. The avern1ents only serve to show De Li111a's
acts of inducen1ent and indispensable c~operation to pern1it
the co111111ission of illegal drug tradit 1g at the national !1
penitentiary, and niotivation for such effrontery.

127. Even assun1ing that there ar~ co111111on elen1ents


between the crimes of direct bribery I and . conspiracy to
co111mit drug trading, tl1e fact re111ains t11at not all ele111ents
necessary for the comn1ission of both crin1es are the same.

I
wi Datukan Malang Salibo vs. Warden, Quezon City Jail Annex, BJMf P Building, Camp Bagong Diwa,
Tuguig City and all other persons acting on his bchal f ancl/or having ustocly of Dalukan Malang Saliba,
G.R. No. 197597, April 8, 2015.

i 48
I

DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.


I
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
I
x-----------------------------x I

102
I
I

1.28. In Suero v. People the Court! upheld the validity


of separate and distinct crin1inal inforn1ations with common
elements tl1at were pendirig before the randiganbayan and
the RTC since. there is a variance betvve n the elements of
the offenses charged.
. I
129. The averme.nts in the Informat1bn in Crin1inal Case
No. 17-165. therefore tend to fortify an~ strengthen rather
than weaken the indictn1ent for conspirafY to com1nit illegal
drug trading under Section 26(b) of R.A. l\lo. 9165.

130. Indub. itably, the filing o! Crimin/la! Case No. 17-165


for violation of R.A.. No. 9165 does not preclude the
institution of another criminal case against De Lin1a for
direct bribery which may fall within th~ jurisdiction of the

give nse to two or 111ore separate and distinct offenses, 0


S~ndi~anbayan. It is a settled rule that a[ _t~_e s~111e act 111f ~

wl1icl1 111ay .be filed separately withput offending the


proscription of double jeopardy. /
I
(cl) Dnig Trading has no I
Illegal
connection with the office of De Lima. /
I
131. De Li111a clid not commit tl1e otfense of conspiracy
to commit illegal drug trading in relation /o her office.

132. To be considered an offense cimrnitted in relation


to the office of the accused, it sh,~uld be inti111ately
connected with the office and is alle ged to have beeri
perpetrated while the accused was i~1 the perforn1ance,
though i111proper or irregular, of his o'ffipial functions, there
being no personal 111otive to com111it th~ crin1e and had the
ac~usecl not_ have co111111itted it _had h~ n~t hel~ the aforesaid
104
office. This must be alleged 111 the 1nfTnnat1on because of

I
I

102 I
G.R. No. 156408, .lanuury 3 I, 2005. In Suem, it was held that "Ajcomparison of the clements of the
crime of falsification ofa public document, provided for in Article I I of the Rcvisl:d Penal Code, and

I
those of violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 shows that the1 c is neither identity nor l:Xclusivc
inclusion between the offenses."
uuero vs. ["J cop Ie, supra..
IUJ (.'
10 1
1
' l\odriguez vs. ::>andiganbayan, 468 Phil. 374, 387 (2004), citing Pco plc vs. IVlont~jo, I08 l'hil. 613, 622
( 1960). . I
i 49

I
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, LIT AL.
G.K. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

the unbending. rule that jurisdiction is retermined by the


allegations of the infonnation. 105 .

_ . 133. In Adaza v. ~ancliganbayan,1 /tl:e Cou:t held t~at 6

"[i]t does not thus suffice to merely alleg 111 tl1e 111format1on
that the crime charged was committed by the offender in
relation to his office or that he took advantage of his
position as these are conclusions of law. The specific factual
allegations in the information that wou1q indicate the close
intin1acy between the discharge of th~ offender's official
duties and the con1n1ission of tile of'fens~ cl1arged, in order
to qualify tl1e. crin1e as having been con1~1itted in relation to
public office, are controlling. 11 I
i
134. Thus, in Lacson v. l::xecut"iv Secretary, 107 the
Court declared that for failure to shofi in the arnended
infonnations that the charge of 111ur~er was intirnately
connected w,ith the discharge of officif I functions of the
accused PNP officers,. the offense chaq;ied in the subject
cri111inal cases is plain murder and, th/erefore, within the
exclusive original jurisdiction of th/e RTC, not the
Sandiganbayan.
II -r-
'1','
135. Like in Adaza and Lacson, tliere is no intin1acy 11:
11

between the ?fficial duties of 9e Li111a an~ the cornmission of


.11;
[I
t
the offense tor which De Li111a was in~icted. There is no . I/

specific allegation _!n. the In_forn1ation ~iat De_ Li111a's acts 11


'I
were part of her off1c1al functions as Sec1rtary of Justice. 11
11

1:

136. Besides, it cannot be denied tl'~at under Section 7,


Chapter 2, Book IV of the Administrativ<B Code of 1987 / the
powers and functions of a Departrnent cretary are: sf I
I

SECTION 7. Powers and Functions /or tt1e Secretary.


- The Secretary shall:
I
I
I
(1) Aclvise the President/ in issuing
executive orders, regulations, proclrmations ancl
other issu.ances, the promulgation of which is
105
Soller vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. [Ll4261-62, May 9, 2001.
JOo 464 SCRA 460, G.R. No. 154886, July 28, 2005.
I,acson vs. I~::xecut1vc
107
. Secrctary, G1.R. No. 128096,. January 20, 1999.
<

50
' DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x I

expressly
to matters
v~stedby Jaw in tile Presilent relative
under the jurisdictipn of the
Department; j

(2) Establish the policies a~d standards


for t11e operation of the Department/ pursuant to
tl1e approved programs of governme~t; i
I :
(3) Promulgate rules and/ regulations
necessary to carry out departrnen!. objectives,
policies, functions, plans, programs and projects;

( 4) Promulgate administrat+e issuances


necessary for the efficient administlation of the
offices under tile Secretary and for proper
execution of the laws relative thereto. These
issuances shall not prescribe penalties for their
violation, except when expressly al 1thorized by
law
I Ir
(5) Exercise disciplin9ry owers over
1

officers and employees under tl1e Secretary in


accordance with law, including their investigation
and the designation of a committee or officer to
conduct such investigation; I
I
(6) Appoint all officers and~' mployees of
the Department except tl1 ,se whose
appointments are vested in the Pr sident or in
son1e other appointing authority; Provided,
However, that where the Department is
regionalized. on a department-wid~ basis, the
Secretary shall appoint employees tf positions in
the second level in the regional officfs as defined
in this Code;
I .
(7) Exercise jurisdiction I over
bureaus, offices, agencies and corpo ~ations under
all

the Department as are provided by law, and in


acco:~an~e with tl1e applicable relbtionships as
specified 111 Chapters 7, 8, and 9 of t)his Book;

(8) Delegate autl1ority to /officers and

L
i; employees under tl1e Secretary's/ direction in
accordance with this Code; ancl
I

II
(9) . ' Perform such other funJtions as may 1:
be provided by law. I I
i

51
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871 .
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x
i

" 137. It is true that Section 8 at R.A. No. 10575


provides that the Department of Justice shall 111aintain a
relationsl1ip of administrative supervision/ over the Bureau of
Corrections, viz.:
I
I

SECTION 8. Supervision of th~ Bureau of


Corrections. - The Department of Justiqe (DOJ), having
the BuCor as a line bureau and a consttuent unit, shall
maintain a relationship of administrative supervision with
the latter as defined under Section 38 (2), Chapter 7, Book
IV of Executive Order No. 292 (Admini trative Code of
l 987), except that the DOJ shall retain a Jtl1ority over tl1e
. power to review, reverse, revise or modif)( the decisions of
" ~he ~uCor in the exercise of its regulatoryf/ or quasi-judicial
functions.
. I
I
. 138. Section 3, Chapter 1, Title III, Book IV of the
Adn1inistrative Code of 1987, however,/ provides that the
powers and functions of the Department pf Justice are:

SECTION 3. Powers and Functions. I-


To accomplish
its mandate, the Department shall hav/ e tl1e following
powers and functions: . .

(1) Act as principal law a~ency of the


government and as legal cbunsel and
representative tller~of, whenever so /required;

. (2) Investigate the co1~mission of


cnmes, prosecute offenders and adlrninister tl1e
probation and correction system;

(3) .Extend free / legal


assistance/representation to indige~ts and poor
litigants in criminal cases and nof}-commercial
civil disputes;
''
( 4) Preserve the integrity
through proper regist1ation; Iff land titles

(5) Investigate ancl arbitrate untitled


land disputes involving small lan~owners and
members of indigenous cultural com/11unities;

( 6) Provide irnmigrati;on and


naturalization regulatory services aii'd implement
tl1e laws governing citizensl1ip ancl tjhe admission
and stay of aliens I
I I
I
I
52
' t DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO; ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

(7) Provide legal services to /the national


government and its functionariel, including
government-owned or controlled /corporations
and their subsidiaries; and

(8) Perform such other fundions as may


be provided by law.
I

139. Based on the preceding PfOVisions and tl1e


allegations of the Information, the crinie of conspiracy to
co111n1it illegal drug trading has no conne1ition witl1 De Lima's
oFFice. 1-ter actions can be traced to her aspirations to high
political office, ancl were not done in he exercise of her
functions. I

VII. RIESPOl\IDIENT JUDGE


GUERRERO COMPLIED WITH
THE CONSTITurIONAL AND
PROCEDURAL. RULES .BEFORE
ISSUING .~ME WARRANTS Of
ARREST.

140. Respondent Judge Guerrero wfis not ren1iss in her


duty to determine probable cause for the issuance of a
warrant of arrest as niandated by Article III, Section 2 of the
Pllilippine Constitution: -~

-11-
11
::
<i
.Ii
ij

11
11

II

II
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x I

the judge to refrain from making a


the . prosecutor's findings and to
mindl~/
ss acquiescence to
oncluct his own
exa1nination of the facts ancl circurnsta1 ces presented by
both parties. 108

142. When a crin1inal inforn1ation /is filed before the


trial court, the. judge, motu proprio or uipon rnotion of the
accused, is entitled to rnal<e his own bssess1nent of the
evidence on record to detern1ine whetll~r there is probable
cause to order the. arrest of the accuse and proceed with
the d~ial; or in tile absence tl1ereof, to oder tile in1mediate
disrnissal o'f the criminal case. 109 At th s stage, a judicial
determination of probable cause exists. 11 This is in line with
the fundan1ental doctrine that "one~ a cornplaint or
inforrnation is filed in court, any dispof ition of the case,
whether as to its dismissal or the convic ion or tl1e acquittal
of the accused, rests on the sound discretion of' the
COLI rt. " 111 .

' 143. What the law requires as per~onal determination


on the pait of a judge is that he should npt rely solely on the
report of the investigating prosecutor. ~his n1eans that the
judge should consider not only tl~e report of the
investigating prosecutor but also the affidavit and the
documentary evide~ce. ?f the parties, the counter-affida_vit of
111
the accused and his witnesses, as well s the transcript of ,1
I

stenograpl1ic notes taken during the prelin1inary


investigation, if any, submitted to he court by the
investigating prosecutor upon the filing of the Information.
Plainly, a personal examination of the qomplainant and his
witnesses i_s not mandatory ancl indispensable in the
determination of probable cause for /the issuance of a
warran_t _of arres_t. The necessity arises o11y when there is an
utter failure O't the evidence to sho1 the existence of
probable cause. Otherwise, the judge n1a,y rely on the report
of tl1e investigating prosecutor, provicl1d that he likewise
evaluates the documentary evidence in s~pport thereof. 112
I
II
I
I
108 -rr .... -
Hao vs. People, G.K. No. 183345, September 17, 201LI. I
9
i0 Id. at 659-660 .
1
JO
111
People vs. Andrade, G.R. No. 187000, November 24, 2014.
Id. al 659.
112
People vs. Grey, G.R. No. 180109, July 26, 20 I0.

54
j_
,!

DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL. Ir


II
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITL-l OPPOSITION 11
x--- - - - ----- -- --- -- -- -- - - - - - - x
I
I
I

144. In De Lin1a's
case, Judge /'Guerrero faithfully
con1plied with Paragraph(a), Section 6 Rule 112 of the
Rules on Criminal Procedure before issuifng the warrants of
arrest. The provision states: !
. I
Section 6. When warrant of arrest +ay issue. - (a}
By tl1e Regional Trial Court. - Within te11 (10) days from
the Filing of t11e complaint or information the judge shall
personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its
supporting evidence. He may immediatelyldismiss the case
if the evidence on record clearly fails to ektablish probable
cause. If he finds probable cause, l1e sl1a1) issue a warrant
of arrest, or a commitment order if t/1e accused has
CJlready been arrested pursuant to a warr9nt issued by the
judge who conducted the preliminary inves;tigation or when
the complaint or information was filed pu~suant to section
7 of tl1is Rule. In case of doubt on lie existence of.
probable cause, the judge may order tl[e prosecutor to
present c;idditional evidence within five (5) days from
notice and" the issue must be resolved by the court within
thirty (30) days from tl1e filing of tl1 e complaint of
information.

1.45. Section 6, Rule 112 of tl1e ~ules of Court thus


gi~e~ th~ trial c_ourt thre~ options upo/n. tl1e filir~g of the
cnn1mal mforrnat1on: (1) d1sm1ss the cas~ 1f the evidence on
record clearly failed to establish probabl cause; (2) issue a
warrant of arrest if it finds probable caus ; and (3) order the
prosecutor to present additional eviden e within five days
fron1 notice in case of doubt as to the e1istence of probable
113
cause. I

146. As enunciated by tl1e Court Baltazar v. People,


the task ofthe presiding judge when the Information is filed
inj
with the court is first and foren1ost to detern1ine the
.existence or non-existence of probable a use for the arrest
of the accused. [ ... ] The purpose of the rnandate of the
judge to first detern1ine probable cause for the arrest of the
accused, such as in the case at bar, is insulate fron1 the 1o
very start those falsely charged witlJ crimes from the
tribulations, expenses and anxiety of a p (blic trial. 114

113
II
Mendoza v. People, G.R. No. 197293, April 21, 2014. I
11 1 I
' Baltazar vs. People G.R. No. 174016, July 28, 2008.
I
I 55

I
DE LIMA v. I-JON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP No::;. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x---------------- . ------------x

147. The function of the jucfge toissue a warrant of


arrest upon the detern1ination of robable cause is
exclusive; thus, the consequent impl~me1 tation of a_ warrant
of ~'.rest canno_t be deferred pending ~h~ r~solut1on of a
pet1t1on for review by the Secretary o~ Justice as to the
finding of probable cause, a function tlat is executive in
nature. To defer the implementation of t111e warrant of arrest
would be an encroachment on the excl sive prerogative of
the judge. 115

I
148. Respondent Judge Guerrero t=ound probable cause
for tile issua. nee o'f warrants of arrest a~ainst De Lima. and
1

her co-accused after the former careful y evaluated of the


Inforn1ation ancl all tile evidence pre ented during the
preliminary investigation conducted by th:e DOJ, thus:

After a careful evaluation,


Information and all the evidence Pr.Fsented during
Jf the he1ein

the preliminary investigation conduc~ed in this case


by the Department of Justice, Manila, ~he court finds
sut~ficient probable cause for th... issuance of 1
Warrants of Arrest against all accusel .... 116

I
. :LLl:9. J_udge . Guerrero rnade he11 own personally
detern1inatlon .ot probable cause in com1pliance with Soliven
In Soliven, the Court r~lecJ that the judge
117
vs. /Vlakasiar.
has to personally evaluate the report pncJ the supporting
docurnents sub111itted by the fiscal regarqing the existence of
probable cause and, on the basis thereo~, issue a warrant of
arrest. I
I
I
I

_150. It should be pointed out that ~he Court previously


required substantial evidence before a wairrant of arrest 111ay
be issued by a judge. Later, it held tijat only substantial
basis is required in the judicial cletennlination of probable
cause, as shown in the following cases: /
!
'
I

115
Enrique Viudez II v. CA, G.R. No. 152889, 2009.
116
I"::.mp Im:;1s
. supp 1tee
I.
117
G. R. No. 82585, November 14, 1988.

56
I
DE LIMA v. I-ION. GUERRERO, ET AL.
I
I
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPl>OSITION
x-----------------------------x
I
I
I
I

150.1. The Court explained. the/ terrn "personally


exan1ine" in Webb v. De Leon 118 al sufficient if based
on substantial evidence, not req~/iring trial de nova,
the determination of which is no ... n1easured by
merely counting minutes and hours. The fact that
et took the respondent judges a 'fev\f hours to
review and affirm the :>ro1bable cause
determination of the DOJ Panel does not mean
they n1ade no personal evalua'lti~n c~~ the evidence
attached to the records of the caje. 119

150.2. In I-lo v. Peop/e 120 , tt1e cort clarified on tile


requiren1ents in tl1e Soliven fase, as having
supporting evidence, ot:hf r
than the
prosecutor's bare report, upon /.vvhich to legally
sustain his own findings on ~he existence (or
nonexistence) of probable ca,1se to issue an
are-est order; and the su ficient supporting
docu1nents may consists in the complaint:,
affidavits, counter-affidavits, Jworn statements
of witnesses ortranscripts of st~nographic notes,
i'f any ... u1>on which to 1nakE1 hDs inde1Jendent
judg1ne11t or, at the ve1-y least:, upon which to
verify the findings of the proJecutor as to the
existence of probable cause... 1
150.3. In f-lao, et al. v. People, 12/1 the Court further
clarified that ... at this stage, the: judge is tasked to
merely detern1ine the 1:uobfilbility, not the
certainty, of guilt of the accuse . In doing so, he
need not conduct a de 11ovo hearing; he only
needs to pers.ona&ay review the 1rro:secutor 1 s initial
detennination and
see if it is supported by
substantial evidence; and

150.4. in the fairly recent En Banc/ Ruling in Estrada v.


Office of the Ombudsman, 122 th e Court held that
substantial basis, which is les~1 than substantial
' evidence, is all that is needed. 1fter all, preliminary
118 . i
G.R. No. 121234 und companion cases, August 23, 1995, citing Enriie vs. Salazar, 186 SCRA 2 l 7
( 1990). I
119 c.mp
120
'" I1,as1ssupp
. 11e d . I
G.R. No. l06632, October 9, l997.
121
G.R. No. 1833il5, September 17, 2014. I1
1?2 I
- G.R. Nos. 212140-41, January 21, 2015

57
"'.T
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x
i
investigation is nierely preli111inary, and does not finally
. adjudicate rights and obligationp of parties, as
con1pared to ad111inistrative cases,i where rights and
obligatiqns are finally adjudicated; pnd ... substantial
basis for purposes of prelimin~ry investigation
n1ay h1clude hearsay evidence.

151. There is no quibbling tl1at tlhere is rnore than


substantial basis to justify the finding jof probable cause,
because even as tile respondent Judge stated tl1at she
reviewed the Information ancl the evide~ce, tl1e Int=ormation
also contained tl1e following attachn1ents;:

a.Joint Resolution dated February 1

I
14,
2017, consisting of fifty-two (52) pa~es;

b. Cornplaint-affidavit of 1 Reynaldo 0.
Esrneralda and Ruel M. Lasala dat~d October 13,
2016 consisting of twenty (20)1 pages, with
annexes marked as:
i
"A"- DOJ Department Order l\Jq. 677
"B"- DOJ Department Order l\Jo;. 981
. "C"- Affidavit of Rafael tRagos
consisting of three pages 1

"D"- Supplemental Affidavit of! Rafael Z.


Ragas consisting of three (3) p ages
1

11
"E -Jovencio P. Ablen, Jr. corlsisting of
ten ( 10) pages . /
"F"- Sinu111paang Salaysay ; of Jojo
Bailgad y Ronda I consisting of four ( 4)
pages i
"G"-Me111orandurn dated February 24,
2015 I
"H"-Sinun1paang Salaysay pf Jairne _,J,_.
Patcho consisting of three (3) jpages
"I"-Sinun1paang Salaysay of/ Ex-Police
Officer 3 Engelberto Arcena s Durano
I
consisting of six (6) pages 1
1
"J"-Sinumpaang Salaysay of: German
Agojo y Luna consisting of/ two (2)
pages 1

58
DE LJMA v. !-JON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.K. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

"l<"-Sinun1paang Salaysay of l\Jqnilo Arile


y Andaya consisting of three (3D pages
"L"-Sinun1paang Salaysay bf Noel
Martinez y Golloso consisting : of t11ree
(3) pages
"M"-Sinun1paang Salaysay of
1
I
Joel
Capones y Dura consisting of ithree (3)
pages

c.Con1plaint-affidavit of A~ty. Dante A.


Gierran, CPI\ l\JBI Director, consisting
I
of twenty
(20) pages, with annexes 1narkecl as: I

"A 1'-Depart1T1ent Order No. 670:


"B"-Depart111ent Order No. 650:
"C"-Salaysay of Herbert R. Coiangco
consisting of two (2) pages
"D"-Sinun1paang Salaysay of; Renante
Diaz y Delima consisting of 1even (7)
pages, with attachments
"E"-Sinun1paang Salaysay of i Ex--Police
Officer 3 Engelberto Arcena~ Durano
consisting of six (6) pages
"F"-Sinun1paang Salaysay of Jaybee
Nino Manicad Sebastian consisting of
twelve (12) pages, with attacl11~ents
"G"-Sinumpaang Salaysay of \.{icente Sy
consisting of five ( 5). pages i
"H" -Sinumpaang Salaysay o~ Wu Tuan
Yuan consisting of five (S) pag~s
"I" -Affidavit of Rafael Z:. Ragas
consisting of three (3) pages '.
"I-1" -Supplen1ental Affidavit :of
'
Rafael
Z. Ragas consisting of three (3!) pages
"J" -Affidavit of Jovencio P. iAblen, Jr.
consisting of ten ( 10) pact1es, with
attacl1ments T
"K" -Sinun1paang Salaysay pf Froilan
"Poypoy" Lacson Trestiza corisist:ing of
four ( 4) pages
"L" - Sinumpaang Salaysa'0 of Jojo
Baligad y Ronda I consisting o;f four ( 4)
pages

59
\.

'4"'t:
i
DE LI.MA v. I-JON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WJTH OPPOSJTION
x-----------------------------x

I
"M" - Affidavit of Randy R.!I Pedroso
consisting of three (3) pag'es, with
attacl1rpents r

"N" - .Affidavit of Lexington y. Alonzo


consisting of two (2) pag:es, with
attachn1ents
.,, .. ~

"O" ' - Affidavit of PDir. :Benjan1in


Magalong consisting of three (~) pages

cl. Counter-affidavit of Rafael


I
Z. Marcos
Ragas consisting of twelve (12)1 pages, with
attach111ents
i

e.Counter-affidavit with nio~ion to disn1iss


of Ronnie Palisoc Dayan consistin$ of three (3)
pages

f. Manifestation with niotion to ad111it


counter-affidavit of Ronnie P~lisoc Dayan
1
consisting of two (2) pages

g. Ornnibus Motion to in1n1e~iately endorse


, the cases to tl1e Office of the Ombudsrnan and for
inhibition of the Panel of Prosecutors and the
Secretary of Justice Senator Leila M( De Lima, with
attachn1ents, consisting of seventy-~even pages.

152. The Information and the atta/chrnents mentioned


above justify the finding of the respond~nt Judge that there
is probable. cause for the issuance oflI warrants of arrest
against De Lin1a and her co-accused.

153. Incidentally, the alleged i,naccuracy of tile


certification . as regards the suppcprting Sinurnpaang
Salaysays of the inn1ates cannot, by a~y means, affect the
validity of tl1e Information and the deterp1ination of probable
cause by the respondent Judge because::

153.1. tl1e con1plaint-affidavits ~rf Reynaldo 0.


Esmeralda ancl Ruel M. Lasala elate.ti October 13, 2016,
as well as the co111plaint-affidavi~ of Atty. Dante A.
Gierran, were executed in pursu~nce of their official

60
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WlTl-l OPPOSITION
x----~------------------------x

duties to investigate and prosecut,~ crin1es. Through


1
their con1plaints-a'ffidavits, they attested to the
autl1enticity of the attached sinumpaang salaysay of
the inn1ates; I

153. 2. the counter-affidavit of a~cused Ragos ancl


counter-affidavit with motion to dis/miss of co-accused
Dayan confirn1 not only the tjccurrence of the
Congressional Inquiries where th~y executed their
..... ,,......
respective sinumpaang salaysays t)lereon, and where
tl1ey had further testified on;

153.3. the fact of occurrence of! the Congressional


Inquiries, including the executiorjl thereon by the
inn1ates of their respective sinun1p41ang .sa/aysays is a
n1atter of judicial notice, tor ~hich reason the
respondent judge cannot be faulted! if she did take into
consideration the affidavits and tesFin1onies of inn1ates
and other resource persons who testified before the
hearings on the proliferati.on of dr~g syndicates at the
. New Bilibid Prison (NBP) conducte~ by the Comn1ittee
on Justice of the House of ReprEisentatives and the
SenateI
I
I

153.4. De Lin1a failed to contest the sinun1paang


I
sa/aysays' authenticity and due exefution.

154. Besides, no unfavorable inferrnce can be drawn


frorn the inaccuracy or even lack of certification of an
r

Inforn1ation. J.\propos, the Court lielcl in Alvizo v.


12
Sandiganbayan, ~ citing People v. /V/arqL{ez, 124 that:

Definitely settled is th(f rule that


notwithstanding the absence in the infonnation of
a certification as to the holding or a prelin1inary
investigation, the inforn1ation i;s nonetheless
considered valicl for the reasqn that such
certification is not: an essenti~I part of the
in'foru-nation itself and its absence cannot
vitiate it as such. Accordingly, w~ held in People
I
v. Marquez that:
12
] G.R. No. l01689. March 17, 1993. ,,
1:
_, __J,.t __
12
" 27 SCRA 808 ( 1969).

61
~
'
' DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871 ~
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION I
x-----------------------------x i
:1
i
!1

:l"

". . . It should be observed that Section 3 of ij


'I
RuDe 110 defines an informatio,1 as nothing i
wnore than 'an accusation in writing
I
charging
a person with an offense subsqribed by the I
fiscal and filed with the court.: Thus, it as l~
obvious that such certificatio~ is not an
essentia! part of the i1rfor1nation/ itsel'f and its 1
'
~

absence cannot vitiate it as s'1ch. True, as


alreacly stated, Section 14 of Rule 1 i2 enjoins that
'no inforn1ation . . . shall be file~ without first.
giving the accused a chance to be !
heard in a
preliminary investigation', but, as cain be seen, the
injunction refers to the non-hqlding of the
prelin1inary investigation, not the ~bsence of the
certification. In other words, what is' not allowed is
the filing of the information withou~ a preliminary
11!

I
investigation having been previou~ly conducted, 11

and the injunction that there 1sl1ould be a


certification is only a conseqqence of the
requiren1ent that a prelirninary i investigation
+
'I
11

should first be conducted ... 11125

VIII. VIOLATION OF SECTION


26(b) IS A CRIME IN ITSELF.

155. Conspiracy to sell or trade dcingerous drugs is a


crin1e in itself witl1out regard to tile actu/al sale or trading of
the dangerous drug. :

156. This is patent from a reading :of Section 26(b) of


R.A. l\lo. 9165, wl1icll states:

Section 26. Attempt or Conspiracy. - Any attempt


or conspiracy to commit the following u~llawful acts shall
be penalized by the same penalty prescribed for the
1

corn mission of the same as provided unde'r this Act: ...

;. (b) Sale, trading, administration, dispel1sation, delivery,


distribution and transportation of any I dangerous drug
and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical;

125
Emphasis supplied.

62
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SL~ Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSLTION
x-----------------------------x

157. The corpus delicti, therefore, i,6 not the drug but
the agree111ent or atten1pt itself. In People v. Fabro/ 126 the I
Court elucidated on the proper interpretation of Section 21 .,,.......
/1

ot= R.A. No. 6425, the precursor of Secbion 26 of R.A. l\Jo. 1

9165. It said that what is punished is the in1ere agreement to


\.,.,~,-
commit tile offense of selling dangerous !drugs and that this i:
is an exception to the rule that 111ere con~piracy to commit a ii
ii
crin1e is not punishable, viz: !/
:1
ij
A final note. The information denotes tr1e crime as a 11
!
"VIOLATION OF SECTION 21 (b) ART. IV lN RELATIOl\J TO
SECTION 4/ARTICLE II OF REPUBLIC I
ACT 6425 AS
AMENDED". This is an erroneous designation of the crime
committed~ Section 21 of RA 6425 reads: !
i
Sec. 21. Attempt and Conspi,racv. Tile same
penalty prescribed by this Act for trye commission of
the offense shall be imposed in q1se of any . . .
conspiracy to commit the same in the following
cases:

xxx xxx xx x'I

b) Sale, administration, .deli\/ery, distribution


and transportation of dangerous drups.
I

It is clear that Section 21 (b) of R~ 6425 punishes


'll:he mere conspiracy to commit the offense of selling,
delivering, distributing and transportin6 of dangerous
drugs. Conspiracy heKein refers Jto the n1ere I
agreen1ent to com111it the said act~ and not the
I,
actual execution thereof. While the ru1e is that .a mere
II
conspiracy to commit a crime without doing any overt act 'I
I
is not punishable, the exception is when spch is specifically
penalized by law, as in tile case of Sectiqn 21 of Republic !1
"
Act 6425. Conspiracy as crime should /be distinguished 11

from conspiracy as a manner of incurring criminal liability


the latter being applicable to tile case at b~r.
-1- 11

11

158. In the san1e fashion, the equlivalent provision in


Section 26 of R.A. l\Jo. 9165 penalizes lmere conspiracy to -.f--
!1

sell or trade dangerous drugs with the san1e penalty 1 ii


11

II
provided for selling and trading. 'I
11

,1

126
G.R. No. 114261, February I0, 2000

'' 63
I
!
DE LIMA v. Hot\!. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
I
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION I
x--------------------------~--x
I
'-
159. Pursuant to Article 8 of the
IevisedPenal Code
and Fabro, Section 26 of R.A. No. 9165 should oe properly
regarded as a crime in itself and inclepen ent of the crime of
the actual selling and trading of the dang rous drugs.

. 160. This means that the actual or trading has no sal~


bearing on tl1e determination of whether/the crime punished
under Section 26(b) has already been cor11nitted. Therefore,
the identity and quality of tl1e drugs evttntually sold cannot
be treated as essential elements of the /t'.ime conspiracy O!
to sell or trade dangerous drugs. What 1s punished 1s tl1e
conspiracy itselt=.
I
I
I

161. A conspiracy exists when tw or rnore persons


con1e to an agreement concerning th. comn1ission of a
felony and decide to con1n1it it. To de errnine conspiracy,
the.re must be a common design to com1nit a felony. 127 The
overt act or acts of the accused 1na~ consist of active
participation in the actual co1nmission of the crin1e itself or
niay consist of moral assistance to his co-conspirators by
moving them to execute or in1plement the criminal plan. 128

I
162. In conspiracy, it need not be shown that the
parties actually can1e together and agrer d in express terms
to enter into and pursue a common dEisign. The assent of
the 111inds 1nay be and, from the sed:recy of the crime,
usually inferred from proof of facts and ~ircu111stances which,
taken together, . indicate that they C1re parts of so1ne
complete whole. 129 Responsibility of al conspirator is not
confined to the acco111plishment of a pkrticular purpose of
conspiracy but extends to collateral /acts and offenses
incident to and growing out of the purpore intended. 130

163. In the .present case, the InfJmation alleges i:hat


De. Li111a acted in conspiracy with her co/-accused Dayan and
Ragas and several inmates in MSC by lltting the drug trade
grow "widespread and blatant from inside MSC intended to
be controlled and [was] eventually con/ rolled by Sebastian
127
Dapdy L. J.)ungo, et al., vs. Pea.pie. oflhe Philippines, G.R. No. 20)46,.1, July 1, 2015, citing Rivera vs.
People, G.R. No. 156577, December 03, 2014.
128

129
Id., citing People vs. Caballero, 448 Phil. 514, 528-529 (2003).
Id., citing Pcuplc vs. Morilla, G.R. No. 189833, Fcbruury5, 201'1, 7 5 SCRA <152, 461.
130
Id., citing People v. Collado. G.R. No. 185719, June 17, 2013, 698 ~CRA 628, 650.
I 611

I
I
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITH OPPOSJTJON
x - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

to support the senatorial bicl of De Li~a. " 131 There was a


con1n1on design between those supposeq to enforce the law
and the inn1ates - De Lima, Dayan, and ~agos turned a blind
eye to tile proliferation of the drug tra~e inside the prison
while the inmates sold drugs, and in tun11, the inn1ates gave
De Lirna money to fund lier senatorial 1can1paign. All their
acts were necessary for the c01nmission of the crirne
punished under Section 26(b) of R.A. No.I 9165.

X. RESPONDIENT JUDGIE
GUERREllO COMPLIED WITH
THE SO LIVEN RULING
BEFORE THE ISSUANCE Of
THE WARRANTS Of ARREST.

J.6t:J.. Respondent Judge Guerrerp's Or~ler dated


February 23, 2017 complied with tl1e rttquiren1e''nts for the
judicial detennination of probable cause and eventual
issuance of the warrants of arrest. '

165. The Order dated February 3, 2~17 reads:

After a careful evaluation of the l1eq~in :Infonnation


and all the evidence presente~ during the
preliminary investigation conducted in! this case by the i
-~.1 ...
Department of Justice, Manila, the Cou~t finds sufficient
probable cause for tl1e issuance of W~rrants of Arrest
against all the accused LEILA M. D~ LIMA, RAFAEL
MARCOS z.
RAGOS, and RONNIE PALISOG DAYAN. I

' ! I

WHEREFORE, let of A~rest


against the above-mentioned accused.
Warrants 1
be issued --"~,--
SO ORDERED,

166. The judicial determination of priobable cause is one


made by the judge to ascertain whether ia warrant of arrest
should be issued against the accused. ThEF judge 111ust satisfy
himself that based on the evidence ~ubrnitted, there is
necessity for placing tl1e accused under qustody in order not
to frustrate tl1e ends O'f justice. If the judQJe finds no probable

131
Joint Resolution, p. <JO.

65
i'
I

DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.


G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

'-
cause, the judge cannot be 'forced tci issue the arrest
warrant. 132 VVhat he is never allowed to cl~ is to blindly follow
the prosecutor's bare certification as t<b the existence of
probable cause. 133 Since respondent Jud~e Guerrero based
her finding of probable cause on the. evi~ence, her issuance
of the warrants of arrest cannot be consid~red arbitrary.
-1-

167. De Lirna, however, clain1s that the respondent


Judge fa_iled to comply with the requir~n1ent in Soliven v.
Makasiar134 that the judge in the cleterrnination of probable j1

cause for tile issuance of a warraqt o'f arrest must


"personally evaluate the report and sujpporting documents .I ..
submittec/ by the fiscal. '1135 According to her, the '
".lnforn1ation is not the same as the "n;~port'~ nor[sic] the
"evidence presented at the stagft of prelin1inary
investigation" equivalent to the supporting documents
subrnitted to the court by the prosecution( ''136

168. This is 1nere nitpicking, as se4tion 6(a), Rule 112


of tl1e Rules of Court shows that the respondent Judge was
not ren1iss in her duty of personally evalu~ting the evidence:

Section 6. When warrant of arre~t rnay issue.


(a) By the_ ~egio~a/ Trial Co~1rt. - . With/in ~en (10). days
,from the filing of the complaint or 111fonrat1~n, the _Judge
shall personally evaluate the resolution of the
prosecutor and its supporting evi~ence. He may
immediately dismiss the case if the ev/dence on record
clearly fails to establish probable cause. If he finds
probable cause, he shall issue a warrarit of arrest, or a
commitment order if the accused has already been I

arrested pursuant to a warrant issued b,Y the judge who


conducted the preliminary investigatio'n or wl1en the
con1plaint or information was filed pursua/nt to Section 7 of
' this Rule. In case of doubt on the existtence of probable
cause, the judge may order the pros~cutor to present
additional evidence within five (5) days/ from notice and
.the issue must be resolved by the court jWithin thirty (30)
days from the filing of the complaint or information.
I

132
Sec Mendoza vs. People, G.R. No. 197293, April 21, 20 l'i. ,,_
October~. 200 I.
133 ..
13 1
Atty Tttlingdun vs. Judge Ecluurle, A.M. No. RT.1-01-1610,
' G.R. No. 82585, November 14, 1988.
135
Petition, p. 37.
136 Id.
1

66
_J __,,
i'
1:
~- DE LIMA. v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

169. To be sure, the Order of ! respondent Judge


Guerrero did not specify the Joint Resolution dated February I

lLI., 2017 of the DOJ Panel of Prosecutors as the docun1ents


that were scrutinized. The respondent Judge, however,
specifically iclentifiecl the Information arnd all the evidence
presented during the prelirninary in\(estigation as the
docun1ents that were evaluated. A clorer reading of the
Inforrnation also reveals that the subjeFt Joint Resolution,
t.ogether. with several ~fFidavits, are I attache~I to the
lnforn1at1on that was reviewed. Therefore, a review of the
.lnfonnation necessarily included a revieyv of attached Joint
Resolution and affidavits. '

170. What is in1portant is that respondent Judge 1

Guerrero reviewed all the evidence prysented during tl1e


prelin1inary investigation. This is a cleari indication that sl1e
did not sin1ply accept the recon1n1endatiqn of the DOJ Panel.
She was satisfied that based on the ~viclence submitted,
there is proof that a crin1e has been com)n1ltted and that the
person to be arrested is probably guilty thereof. 137 After all,
Judge Guerrero is not yet tasked to r~view in detail the
evidence subrnitted during the prelimin~ry investigation. It
was sufficient that she personally evalua~ed such evidence in
determining probable cause. 138 1

X. RESPONDENT JUDGE
GUERRERO DID NOT COMMIT
GRAVE ABUSE 01= DISCRETION IN
THE ISSUANCE OF THE ORDER
AND Tl-IE VVARRANTS OF ARREST.

171. There was no grave abuse ~f discretion in the


issuance of the Order dated February {~, 2017 and in the
issuance of the warrants of arrest.

172. Grave abuse of discretion i? the arbitrary or


despotic exercise of power due to pa;ssion, prejudice or
personal hostility; or the whin1sical, arbit 1l~ary, or a capricious
e><ercise of power that amounts to an evpsion or a refusal to
perfonT1 a positive duty enjoined by lavy or to act at all in
131

1311
Sec Allado vs. Diokno, 232 SCKA I92, G.R. No. 113630, May 5, 1994.
llo vs. People, G.R. No. l 06632, October 9, l 997.

67
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
. COMMENT WITH OLWOSITION
x-----------------------------x

conten1plation of law. For an act to be str uck down as having


been done with grave abuse of discre1tion, the abu$e of 1

discretion 111ust be patent and gross, a~ to an1ount to an


evasion of a positive duty or a virtual r~fusal to perform a
duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in cqnternplation of law,
as where the power is exercised in an ar~itrary and despotic
111anner by reason of passion and hostility. 139
\........

173. Once the information is filed iin court, the ,court


acquires jurisdiction over the case and any
I
111otion to disn1iss
the case or to determine the accused's! guilt or innocence
rests within the sound discretion of tile 1court. In Crespo v.
IV/ogu/:140

Tl1e filing of a complaint or info~mation in Court


initiates a criminal action. The Court thereby acquires
jurisdiction over the case, which is the ~uthority to hear
and determine the case. When after tihe filing of the
1.
complaint or information a warrant for i11e arrest of the
accused is issued by tl1e trial court and tine accused either
voluntarily submitted himself to the Cqurt or was duly
arrested, t11e Court ~hereby acquired juri/sdiction over the
person of the accused. :
I

i
174. Respondent Judge Guerrero fo1uncJ probable cause
to issue the arrest warrants. A warrant /of arrest should be
issued if the judge after personal evaluation of the facts and
circ~111stances is convinced that probable cause exists that
an offense was comn1itted. 141 Jurisdictioij over an accused is
acquired when the Wqrrant of arrest is ?ervecl. Absent this,
the court cannot hold the accused fqr arraignment and
triaL 142

175. Probable cause for the issua~ce of a warrant of


arrest is the existence of such facts and circu111stances that
would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent person to 1

believe tl1at an offense was co111111ittecl by the person sought 1


143
to be arrested. This 111ust be disti/nguished fro111 the
13

lIO
1 11
'
~ De Vern v::;. de Vera, 584 SCRA 506 (2009).
J 5 11,hif. 465 ( 1987).
Hao vs. People, G.R. No. 183345, September 17, 20 l'i.
1
1 12
' People vs. Yccyec, G.R. No. 183551, November 12, 2014; Andrcs:vs. Cucvas, 460 SCRA 38 (2005);
Mendoza vs. People, G.R. No. 197293, April 21, 2014.
113
All ac.Io vs. ~'
. J)'10Imo, supra.

68
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, LlT AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
CO!Vl!VIENT WlTH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

prosecutor's finding of probable cause wj1ich is for the filing


of the proper criminal information. 1/robable cause for
warrant of arrest is determined to address
I
tile necessity of
placing the accused under custody in orper not to frustrate
tile ends of justice. 144

145
176. In People v. Castillo and Mejia,I
the Court
.
explained the distinction between the twlo kinds of probable I

cause determination: !
I

i
There are two kinds of determina tion of probable 1

~.:cause: executive and judicial. :Tile executive


,. determination of probable cause is 01~e made during
preliminary investigation. It is a functipn tl1at properly
pertains to t11e, public prosecutor who Is given a broad
discretion to determine whether probable! cause exists and
to charge those wl1om he elieves to haye committed the
b.

crime as defined by law and thus should/ be l1eld for trial.


Otherwise stated, such official has the quasi-judicial
autl1ority to determine whether or not/ a criminal case
must be filed in court. Whether or not that function has
been correctly discharged by the public/ prosecutor, i.e.,
whether or not he has made a correct [ascertainment of
the existence of probable cause in a case;, is a matter that
the trial court itself does not and may not be compelled to
I
, pass upon.

The judicial determination of proba'?le cause, on the


otl1er hand, is one '
made by tl1e judge I
to ascertain
whether a warrant of arrest should be iisued against the
accused. The judge must satisfy himself that based on the
evidence submitted, tl1ere is necessity! for placing the
accused under custody in order not to frustrate the ends
of justice. If the judge finds no probable/ cause, the judge
cannot be forced to issue the arrest warrant.
I
I
177. There are cases where the cirdumstances may call
for tile judge's personal exan1ination
.
of ~he
I
complainant and
his witnesses. But it 111ust be empllasizeql tl1at such personal
exan1ination is not 111andatory and irldispensable in the
cletern1ination of probable cause for !t11e issuance of a
warrant of arrest. The necessity arises 01~ly wl1en there is an
utter failure of the evidence to show the existence of I

probable cause. Otherwise, the judge 111~y rely on the report

1
'"' Mendoza vs. People, G.R. No. 197293, April 21, 20 I'I.
115
' 590 SCRA 95 (2009).

69
~:.

DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.


G.R. SP Nos. 22987 J
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x - - - - - - - - - - - -.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

of the investigating prosecutor~ provid~d that he likewise -T-


evaluates the docun1entary evidence in II support thereof. 146
The. Judge niay opt to personally evalu:ate the report and 1

supporting docun1ents submitted by th~ prosecutor or he


may disregard the prosecutors report and require the

L.___,
submission of supporting affidavits of withesses. Thus:

The addition of the word personallif after the word


I
determined and the deletion of tl1e grant of authority by
the 1973 Constitution to issue vvarirants to otl1er
responsible officers. as may be authori4'.ed by law, has
apparently convinced petitioner Bel tran that the
1

Constitution now requires tl1e judge to PE{sonally examine


. the c01r1plainant and his witnesses in his Idetermination of
probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest. This
is not an accurate interpretation.

What tile Constitution underscores1 is the exclusive


and personal responsibility of the issuin~ juclge to satisfy
himself of the existence of probable cawse. In satisfying
' himself of the existence of probable cause for tl1e issuance
of a warrant of arrest, the judge is i not required to
personally examine the complainant an'd l1is witnesses.
Following established doctrine and proced/ure, he sl1all: ( 1)
personally evaluate the report and ! the supporting
documents submitted by the fiscal regard/ing the existence
of probable cause and, on the basis !thereof, issue a
warrant of arrest; or (2) if on the basis t~ereof he finds no
probable cause, he may disregard the fiscal's report and
require the submission of supporting affidtvits of witnesses
to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as t~ the existence of
probable cause. 1

Sound policy dictates tl1is proc~dure, otl1erwise


judges would by unduly laden with : the preliminary
examination and investigation of crirrinal complaints
instead of concentrating on hearing and deciding cases
filed before their courts. 1<1 7 i
-111-

178. Tile Court iterated the above riuling in Webb v. De


where it helcl that before issuin~ warrants of arrest,
148
Leon,
I_-
judges nierely deter111ine the probability, 1not tile certainty, of
guilt of an accused. In doing so, judges po not conduct a de
nova hearing to deter111ine the existenc~ of probable cause.
They just personally review the initial qetern1ination of the
AAA vs. I-Ion. Carbo1;~1l, 524 :)CIZA 496 (2C;07).
146

1117ill
148
247 SCRA 652 ( 1995).

70
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 J
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x----------------------~------x

pros.ecutor finding a probable cause to ske if it is supported


by substantial evidence. Following estabilished doctrine and
procedure, they: (1) personally evaluate! the report ancl the
supporting docun1ents submitted by the !fiscal regarding the
existence of probable cause and, on the /basis thereof, issue
a warrant of arrest; or (2) if on the baslis thereof they find
no probable cause, they niay disregard the fiscal's report
and require .the submission of suppcprting affidavits of
witnesses to aid them in arriving at a c:onclusion as to the
existence of probable cause. 149 '

179. Respondent Judge Guerrero 111~de a determination


of probable cause independent of that I by the prosecutor.
She clicl not 111erely review the pros,~cutor's finding of
probable cause. And after such review she found that there
was probable cause to issue the warrant bf arrest. Thus, the
respondent Judge cannot be faulted for i/ssuing the warrants
of arrest against De Lima and the othe;r accused after she
considered the Information and all the /evidence presented
during the prelin1inary investigation con etuc:ted by the DOJ .
. Corollary thereto, neither could the reiSpondent Judge be
1

faulted for having found probable caJ1se after a careful


evaluation of tl1e clocun1ents subniitted before her.
C?nsidering that there was probable ca~se for the issuance
i
' of the arrest warrant against De Li111a, tlie respondent Judge
did not act arbitrarily. '

180. The function of the judge to! issue a warrant of


arrest upon tl1e detennination of brobable cause is
exclusive. To defer the irnplementatioji of the warrant of
arrest would be an encroachn1ent i on the exclusive
prerogative of the judge. It niust be e111phasized that De
.
Lima filed with the trial court a 111otion tiliI quash information,
ancl not a motion to quash.
the warrant <Df I
arrest questioning
the issuance thereof. Thus, there is n~ contest as to the
validity or regularity of the issuance of tire warrant of arrest.
De Lin1a nierely wanted the trial qourt to defer the
i111ple111entation of the warrant of arrest pending the
resolution by her motion to quash I inforrnation. The
discretion of the court whether or riot to suspend the
I
proceedings or the in1plen1entation of tl1e warrant of arrest,
I

1.19 Id.

71
\. DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x
I

upon the motion of the party, remains uri1hindered. This is in


consonance with this Court's ruling in /Viudez v. Court of
Appeals, 150 tl1at once a con1plaint or infiorn1ation is filed in
court, any disposition of the case as to ~ts clisn1issal, or tl1e
conviction or acquittal of the accused, 1l~ests on the sound
discretion of said court, as it is the best and sole judge of I

what to clo with the case before it. Prqcedurally speaking,


after the filing of the information, the qourt is in cornplete
control of the case and any disposition therein is subject to
. I

its sound discretion. Tile court is tl1e best and sole juclge on
what to do with the case before it. The determination of tl1e
case is within its exclusive jurisdiction an~ con1petence.
151

181. Besides, a judge's disn1issal pf a case n1ust be


. done only in clear cut cases when the !evidence on record
plainly 'fails to establish probable cause: - that is when the
records readily show uncontroverted, arid ''
thus, established
facts which unn1istakably negate thel existence of the
elen1ents of the crime charged. On the contrary, if the
evidence on record shows that, 111ore (ikeiy than not, the
crime charged has been con1mitted andi that respondent is
probably guilty of the san1e, the judge i should not dismiss
the case and should instead order the pprties to proceed to
trial. ..,.~,~

182. A judge's discretion to disn1iss: a case i111mecliately II

~
I

after the filing of the infonnation in cour:~ is appropriate only


wheh the failure to establish probable qause can be clearly ~:,. (':--

inferred from the evidence presented : and not when its :i'
existence is sirr1ply doubtful. After all, it :cannot be expected
that, upon the filing of the informa:tion in court, tl1e
prosecutor would have already present~d all the evidence
necessary to secure a conviction of! the accused, the
obj~ctive of a previously-conducted prelijllinary investigation
bein'g merely to determine whether : there is sufficient
ground, to engender a well-founded beqef that a crime has
been co111111itted and that the responclernt is probably guilty
thereof ancl should be held for trial. 1 ~ 2 The proceedings
before a public prosecutor are ess~ntially preliminary,

150
588 SCRA 345 (2009) citing Marcelo vs. Court of Appeals, 235 SCRA 39, 48 (l 994), citing Crespo vs.
Mogul, 151 SCRA 462 (1987).
151
Crespo vs. Mogul, supra.
151
Id., alp. 637.

72
DE LJMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

prefatory and cannot lead. to a fjnal, definite and


authoritative adjuclgn1ent of the guilt or innocence of the
persons charged with a felony or crime. 15 ~

183. A finding of prolJable cause d/oes not require an


l .., .. inquiry into whether there is sufficient e~idence to procure a
conviction. It' is enough that it is believed that the act or
omission co1Tiplainecl of constitutes th~ offense charged .
. Precisely, tl1ere is a trial for the receptio1e of evidence of the
prosecution in support of t11e c~1arge.
15 4
It bears pointing 1

that during- the cletern1ination of probabl$ cause for issuance


of a warrant fff arrest, the judge is not yet tasked to review
in detail the evidence submitted durihg the prelin1inary
investigation. 155 I

1s.::1.. VVl1ile it is fundamental that eyery elen1ent of the


offense niust be alleged in tl1e inforn1ation, 156 rrrntters of
evidence, like specific identity of thcl dangerous drugs
traded-- as distinguished fron1 the fadts essential to the
nature of the offense -- need not be averred. 157 The
Inforn1ation needs only allege the ultima~e facts constituting
the offense for which ~he accused standls charged, not the
fine1; cletails of why and how the illegal acts alleged were
conirnitted. 158 It has long been settl.ecl t 1at the presence or
absence o:f the elen1ents of the crin1e is evidentiary in nature
ancl is a matter of defense that n1ay b~ best passed upon
after a full-blown trial on the merits. 159 the san1e manner, rr
the . absence (or presence) of any co~spiracy an1ong the
accused is evidentiary in nature and is q n1atter of defense,
the truth of which can be best passed uppn aYter a full-blown
trial on the merits. 160

185. Even assun1ing arguendo th~t the evidence on


record is insufficient to issue the wartiants of arrest, the
153 1
People v:s. CA, Ccrbo ct al., 30 I SCRA 475 ( 1999)., ciling Separate (il Concurring) Opinion, Chief Justice
Andres R. Narvasa, Roberts vs. Court of Appeals, 25<1 SCRA 307, 349 ( 1996).
15 1
' Pilapil v. Sandiganbayan, 221 SCRA 349 (I 993). 1
155
Id., at. p. 486. 1
150
Romualdcz vs. Sandiganbayan, 435 SCRA 371 (2004, dting 232 l SCRA 192, 398 SCRA 364, 369
(2003). t
157
Id., citing 13alitaan vs. CFI of 13atangas, IJrnnch II, 115 SCRA 729,, 323( 1982); People vs. Arbois, 138
SCRA 2il, 32 ( 1985). . I
158
Enrile vs. People of the Philippines, 766 SCRA I (20 I5) citing Miguel vs. Sandiganbayan, 675 SCRA
560 (2012); Go vs. Bangko Senlrnl ng Pilipinas,619 Phil. 306 (2009). I .. ,,.,
. ,,. ....
Go vs. Fillh Division Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 172602, April 13, 2~07.
159

IW Singian v. Sandiganbayan, 478 SCRA 3Ll8 (2005); Go vs. Fifth Divi~ion Sandiganbayan, supra.
I
I
73
I
I
l ... ,_, __

DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.


G.R. SP Nos. 229871
l
~~- '" COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

disn1issal of. the charge against pe/titioner would be


in1proper. In People v. Court of Appeals,I 161 this Court held
that insufficiency of evidence submitted .is still not a ground
for a judge to override the public prosectlJtor's
I
determination
of probable cause to hold an accused fan trial. The reason is
that it would be unfair to expect the !public prosecutors,
during prelin1inary investigation, to deci~e whether there is
evidence beyond reasonable doubt of th~ guilt of the person
~harg:d. wl1en they should merely clete~tnine whet~er there
1s suff1c1ent ground to engender a well-f~unded belief tllat a
crirne has been comn1itted and that : tl1e respondent is
probably guilty tl1ereof, ancJ should be hield for trial. Hence,
if the inforn1ation is . valid on its fac~, and there is no
showing of manifest error, grave abus~ of discretion and
prejudice on the part of the public proseq:utor, tile trial court
should respect such determination.
I

186. Also, as conceded by De I Lirna l1erself, the


Information was based on the resolution iof the DOJ Panel. 162
Re~pondent Judge Guerrero based her ipersonal evaluation
on the resolution of the prosecutors ~nd the supporting
evidence, in confon11ity with all the req~irements under the
Rules. ~
. .,..,,.,__
i !
187. De Lin1a nonetheless insistsI that the act of
respondent Judge in issuing the warrant~ of arrest pending a .1'

Motion to Quash is evidence of "undue Hiaste and inordinate


interest." This argument is baseless. i
I
188. When tile Information was filed witl1 lier court on
I

17 February 2017, the respondent Jud~e had ten days or


until1 28 February 2017 to personally eva 1uate the Resolution
1

of the prosecutors and their supporting evidence, and


accordingly to ascertain whether to disniiss it outright if the
evidence on record failed to establish p1robc:ible cause, issue
a warrant of arrest if she found probabl~ cause, or order the
prosecutor to present additional evidenre if she found that
there is doubt
:
on the existence of probable
I
cause.
'
189. After her personal evaluation;, respondent Judge
Guerrero found probable cause to iss(.ie the warrants of
arrest, and issued an Order and warrant /of arrest both elated
161
30 I SCRA 475 (I 999).
162
Petition, p. I 6.

7LI

I '
DE LIM/-\ v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL .
. G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x--- - - - -- - -- - --- - -- --------- -- x

23 February 2017 or six days fron1j the filing of the I


Info1.;n1ation, past the halfway mark of th~ ten days provided /
under the aforen1entioned Rules. There/ was no inordinate . -.._
rush. The respondent Judge l1ad sufficierjlt tin1e to study tl1e I
tase and n1ake an informed evaluation I of the evidence at
hand, having issuecl the warrants of arrest a good six days
after the filing of the Inforn1ation. All th~t is required is that
a judge personally evaluates the evi9ence ancl clecides,
indepenclent of the finding of the prosea:utor, that probable
cause exists so . as to justify the issJance I
of an arrest
warrant. !

190. Sin1ply stated, tile respondent Judge's acts were


not attended with undue haste and inordinate interest. De
Lima cannot and should not fault re1pondent Judge for
merely perforn1ing her lawfully mand9ted judicial duties
pron1ptly and e'f'ficiently. ."Speed in; the conduct of
proceedings by a judicial or quasi-judici~I officer cannot per
se be instantly attributed to an injudicipus performance of
1
functions. For one s prompt dispatch ! n1ay be another's
undue haste. " 163

It is not rnandatory for respondent ,


Judge Guerrero to first resolve th.~ i
pending motion to quash before she ;
rnay issue the warrant of arrest.

191. Respondent Judge Guerrero di:d not act arbitrarily


when she issuecl the questioned Ord(fr ancl warrants of
arrest despite the pendency of the motior to quash.

of/ Cri1ninal I
-r
192. Neither tile Revisecl Rules Procedure
nor well-settled jurisprudence requires tfy1at before a warrant
of arrest is issued, any pending motion! to quash 1nust first
be resolved. The Revised Rules of Crinninal Procedure and
any otl1er pertinent rules, for that n1att~r, are bereft of any I
!
provision indicating that the court, before issuing a warrant -4-

o'f arrest, is n1andated to first resolve arny pending 1notion to


quash, whatever the ground relied uponi therein. It 1nust be
en1phasizecl that for judges, upon ! the filing of tile
Information, the first and foremost task! is to detern1ine the

103
Napoles vs. Secretary De Lima, G.R. No. 213529 July 13, 2016 citing Santos-Concio vs. Department
of.Justice, 567 Phil. 70, 89 (2008) lPcr .I. Carpio Morales, Second Division].

75
l

l 11
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871 II
11
I
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
~
x-----------------------------x 1
~

existence or non-existence of probable q:ause for the arrest


of the accused. 164 I
I
n

'
I
193. De Lin1a nevertheless
.
capitalizes
I
on the statement
of the respondent Judg.e. that the COlj.lrt had to acquire
I'
~

jurisdiction over the person of the petitiqner first before she I


could resolve her motion to quash. i According to the I

petitioner, this violates the basic princ[iple that the court


I

i'
1
n1ust first resolve the issue of lack o~ jurisdiction before
issuing a warrant of arrest, because such act is itself an
exercise of jurisdiction. 1

' f/
I !
I
194. The petitioner's argument do~s not find textual
j
support in Sections 1 to 3, Rule 11i:::1. of ~he Revised Rules of
Crin1inal Procedure which govern a 111otioln to quash, thus:
.

Section 1. Time to move to quash. - At any time


before entering his plea, the accused mafv move to quash
I
J
the complaint or information. ( 1) i

Section 2. Form and contents. T Tl1e motion to


quash shall be in writing, signed by th~ accused or his
counsel and shall distinctly specify its factual and legal
grounds. The court shall consider no ground other than
those stated in the motion, except lacl< or
jurisdiction over
the offense charged. (2a) ,

Section 3. Grounds. - The accu~ed may move to


quash the complaint or information on ady of tl1e following
grounds:
i
(a) Tl1at tl1e facts charged do not constitute an offense;

(b) That the court trying the case l1as no jurisdiction


over the offense charged; !

( c) That the . court trying the case has


I
no jurisdiction
over the person of the accused; ;

(d) That the officer who filed the in~ormation had no


autl1ority to do so;

. ( e) That it does not conform substantially


I
to the I
prescribed form; '

11
I
lt>l Sec Marcos vs. Cabrera-Faller A.M. No. RTJ-16-2472 January 24, 2017. 11

76
Ii
- ~'.-
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPO:::>ITION
x---~------------------------~x
r
(f) That more than one offense is cl1arpec1 except when
a single punishment for vario1us offenses is
prescribed by law;
I

(g) That the criminal action or Ii.ability has been


extinguished; :
I
(h) That it contains averments whichJ, if true, would
constitute a legal excuse or justifica~i~n; and

( i) That the accused has been previoJ1sly convicted or .


acquitted of the offense charged, orl the case against
him was dismissed or otherwise teiminated without
l1is express col1sent. (3a) I
.
I

I
195. Furthern1ore, Section 5, Rule 1117 of the Revised
Rules of Crin1inal Procedure impliedly :recognizes that an
accused n1ay already be in custody, w0ether by virtue of
warr~nt of arrest or otherwise, when th~ motion to quash is
finally passed upon, viz:

Section 5. Effect of sustaining the 1motion to quash.


- If tl1e motion. to quash is sustained, tl1c:t court may order
that another complaint or information be filed except as
provided in section 6 of this rule. If the older is made, the
accused, if in custody, st1all not be d~scl1arged unless
admitted to bail. If no order is made 9r if having been
made, no new information is filed within ~he time specified
in the order or within such further time ~s the court may
allow for good cause, the accused, if in tustody, sllall be
discharged unless Ile is also in custody forl anotl1er charge.
I

I
--.f:r--
196. Tl1e issuance of the assa.iled Girder and warrant of
arrest by respondent Judge Guerrero is/ in accordance with
the Revisecl Rules of Criminal Procedur~. Under Section 6,
Rule 112 thereof, when an Inforn1ation ils filed with the trial
court, the judge is given ten days froh1 I
the filing of the
con1plaint or information to person'ally evaluate the
resolution of the prosecutor and its sup11orting evidence. He
has tl1e duty to dismiss it outright if the! evidence on record
fails to establish probable cause, issue a !warrant of arrest or
co111111itment order if he finds probable /cause, or order the
prosecutor to present additional evide11ce if he finds that
i
there is doubt on the existence of proba~le cause, viz:
iI

:,!I
77
..,
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP No~. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

j
Section
,
6. When warrant of arrest
I
may issue.
(a) By the Regional Trial Court. - Within ten 10 cla s
from the filing of the complaint or infor 1 ation, the juclge
shall personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor
ancl its supporting evidence. He ma imrhediatel dismiss
the case if the evidence on record clear! fails to establish
probable cause. If he finds probable cause, l1e shall issue a
warrant of arrest. or a commitment order if the accused
has already been arrested pursuant to a Vvarrant issued by
+
the judge who conducted the preliminary investigation or 'I
11

when the complaint or information was :filecl pursuant to "


11
11

section 7 of this Rule. In case of doubt orl the existence of .,'I


.,. j,. .....
' I
prolJable cause, the judqe may order the prosecutor to
present' additional evidence within fivel (5) days from
notice and the issue must be resolved bY; the court within
. thi11:y (30) clays from the filing of the complaint or
1

information. (underscoring supplied)

197. The issuance of the arrest warrant does not impair


the substantive rights of De Lima as it$ sole purpose is to
ensure that she is "under custody in or:der not to frustrate
the ends of justice. " 165 It is not I tantarnount to a
prejudgn1ent of the merits of her 111otio1nI to quash. She will
still. have her day in court as showf} by the order of
respondent Judge setting the hearing of lier motion to quash
on 3 March 2017. '

198. Granting arguendo that the: respondent Judge


erroneously concluded that jurisdicti<pn over De Li111a lI
tl1rough an arrest warrant is necessary ~efore the motion to
ii
quash may be resolved, this will not n~gate tile valiqity. of 1;
said warrant. :1
II
11

j\

199. The cases cited by De Lim~ are not squarely


applicable to the present case. fvliranda y. Tu!lao 166 does not :1
:1
1:
1'
address the finding of probable cause but the alleged 1t
ii
staten1ent of respondent Judge tl1at jLriscJiction over tile ,,,,I
person of the accused is necessary fo~ her to resolve tile
i[

motion to quash. The quoted portion, ci~ing Roberts v. Court i


167
of Appeals, is also inapplicable cqnsiclering that the ,/
~~1-
1,
'1
ic.s Mendoza vs. People, G.R. No. 197293, 21 April 2014.
166 /1
G.R. No. 158763, 31 March 2006. ,[
11 7
' G. R. No. 113930, 05 March 2006. ,,:1
ii
78
,,
........11 ..,_.
I

I
I:
I
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERKEKO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

Supreme Court's order to defer the issu9'nce of a warrant of


arrest was due to the fact that the respordent Judge therein
misapprehended tl1e doctrine laid clown ih Crespo vs. Mogul.
In any case, this Court, in Viudez 11) vs. The Court of
Aqpea/s 168 l1ad already cleared its rulin$ in Roberts in this
wise: 1

..... --

What this Court adjudged as prernature in Roberts


was the respondent judge's denial of I the motions to
suspend proceedings and to d.efer arraignment on the
ground that the case was already in t1is qourt for trial and
to follow whatever opinion the Secretary of Justice may
have on the matter would undermine the independence
and integrity of his court, which was j still capable of
administering justice. In dispellinq the qround relied
upon by the respondent judge, this court ruled that
the filing of a motion to dismiss or tb withdraw the
information, on the basis of a 1resoiutio11 of the
1>etition for review reversing the (findinCJ of the
i11vest:igatht rosecutor was the real and ultimate
test: of the inde 1ende11ce and inte rt of his court.
Therefore, what was disapproved by this Court was
not the denial per se of the mdtions, but the
reasoning behind it. It was from that !premise that this
Court ordered in the dispositive portion fof its decision to
defer tl1e issuance of the warrants of arrest. Of more
imp?rtan.ce still was the fact that, wher~~s the questi~ned
motions in Roberts were for the suspension of proceedmgs i
I
and deferment of arraignment, the iss~e in tl1e instant !
..+,..
case is the suspension of tl1e implementation of a warrant !I
" I i;''
of arrest, which this Court did not rule u1Jon in the former
case. (Emphasis supplied) : '

'
200. De Lima's reliance on Tuliq,o and Roberts is
inarguably 1nisplaced for purposes of llol~ing in abeyance the
issuance of a warrant of arrest pending a Motion to Quash. If
1

anything, both affirm that what is requir<:ecl in the issuance of


warrants of .arrest is a judicial detenilination of probable
cause, as what the respondent Judge did jin this case.
I
I
201. Sin1ilarly, De Lima cannot ~pply Borlongan by
analogy. In that case, this Court held !that the filing of a
motion to quash should have put the jur,lge on alert that an
innocent person n1ay have been include~ in the complaint is
also not applicable in this case. The judge co111111itted grave
abuse of discretion by not considering !facts clifferent fro111
I

ioa G.R. No. 152889, 05 June 2009.

79
,\
-, DE U.MA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
C0Mfv1ENT WITH OPPOSITION
x---~~------------------------x

those stated in the inforn1ation and just1ifying the san1e by


1

saying that a n1otion to quash is a/reedy a hypothetical


admission of the facts alleged in the info,rn1ation. Unlike the I/
judge in Borlongan, however, respond~nt Judge Guerrero '1

found the existence of probable cause to issue the arrest ,I


warrants after personally exan1ining th~ resolution of the J,. .
prosecutor and its supporting evidence.
I

2_02. On a side note, to lend a pa~ina of ~redibility to


her cla1111 that respondent Judge Guerrer~ acted 111 excess of
'i..~.~"'
her jurisdiction, De Li111a alleges that tl1i~ is part of a grand
design to persecute her.

203. It is not disputed that the C~urt has recognized


that, in certain instances, political per1ecution or political
motives may have in1pelled the filing pf crin1inal charges
against certain political rivals. To ; establish political
harassn1ent, an accused 111ust prov~ that the public
prosecutor, not just the private co111plali1ant, acted in bad
faith in prosecuting the case or has lent hi111self to a schen1e
that could have no other purpose than tp place respondents
in conte111pt and disrepute. It must -
!:be
I
shown that the
con1plainant possesses the power and the influence to control
the prosecution of cases. 169 ' !
I

204. It is not so in this case. In ad~ition, the Court lias


also ruled that any allegation that the fili/ng of the charges is
politically. n1otivated cannot justify th,e prohibition of a
criminal prosecution if there is otherwise /evidence to support
the charges. 170 Other than her allegatio)1, De Li111a has not :/1
shown a shred of evidence that she is la victim of political :i
:1
persecution being waged by her political rivals. In fact, a full- :1
11

blown
.,.
trial is to be preferred to ferret out/ the truth. 171 'i
i
I
d
! !I
XII. DE LIMA :U:S NOT ENTITLED TO A: -.\-
i.

i!
WRIT . OF PRELIMINARY1 :t"
1:
INJUNCTION AND STATUS QUO~ 1;
ANTE ORDER. I:
-----------------------; I:I'
-r-
1:

iw People vs. Grey, supra.


110 Id.
111 Id.

80
" \

DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.


G.R. SP Nos. 229871 ,
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

205. De Lima is not entitled to rthe issuance of a


ten1porary restraining order or a Wirit of preliminary
injunction because she does not h:ave a clear and
unmistakable right to be protected.

206. A writ of preliminary injuncti~n


and a TRO are
preservative remedies for the protec~ion of substantive
rights and interests. A TRO issues onlyi if the matter is of
I._ ....
such extreme urgency that grave injusice and ir!_'"eparable
injury would arise unless it is issued 'im111ediately. 172 On the
other hanc1, to be entitled to a writ of pr~liminary injunction,
the petitioner must establish the followinp requisites: (a) tile
inva~=jiion of .the right sought to be protefted is n1aterial and
su,bstantial; (b) the right of the compl~inant is clear and
unn1istakable; and (c) there is an urgrnt and pern1anent
necessity for the writ to prev~nt serious c;iarriage. 173
' I

i
207. The primary requirement in l issuing a writ of l
prelin1inary injunction is the existende of a clear and I
ii
unmistakable right in favor of the applicbnt. 174 An injunction -~-
will r:iot issue to protect a right not in e~se, or a right whicl1
is n1erely contingent and n1ay never 1arise since. To be
protected by injunction, the alleged right 111ust be clearly
founded on or granted by law or is enfo)rceable as a matter
of law. 175 In the absence of a clear leg a/ right, the issuance
of the injunctive relief constitutes I grave abuse of
discretion. 176 I

208. De Lin1a primarily rests her/ entitle111ent to the


issuance of a TRO and writ of prelimJinary injunction on
general allegations that the assailed 01rders issued by the
respondent Judge threatened to cause i~n1inent, grave, and
irreparable injury on her. 177 Suell contenbon is unfortunately
puerile.

209. It must be stressed that the i petitioner is facing


crirninal cases. In Agbayani v. CA, et air, G.R. No. 1~3~23,
June 25, 2012, the Court cleclarrd that cramanai

172
Au::itralian Professional Realty, Inc. vs. Municipality of Padre Ga\cia 13alangas Province, G. R. No.
183367, March 14, 2012. 1
173
17 1
China Banking Corp., et.al vs. Benjamin Co., ct.al., G. R. No. l 74569f September 17, 2008
' Oflicc of City Mayor of Parafiaquc v::i. Ebio, G. R. No. J 56303, December 19, 2007.
Heirs of Yu, ct al. vs. Honornblc Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 1~237 l, September 4, 20 l 3.
175
176
Equitable PC! Bank vs. 0.1-Mark Trading, G.R. No. 165950, August !I J, 2010.
. . p. 61 , pars. l 51- I 52.
iri I) cl1t1011,

81

',,
,
., DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. :229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

?n:osec~ation una~ u~ot be restr~in~d or stayed by


u11unct1on, prel11n1nary or f1r1a~.I. because such
prosecution is hnbued with public interest. 1

I
210. Tile Court in Ecli/berto Ran1~s, et al. v. I-Ion.
Benjan1in Aquino, et al., 178 citing tltie case of Jaime
f-/ernandez v. Delfin Albano, et al. 179 , ~ptly explained tile
rationale behind this doctrine, viz.: '

Agreeably to the foregoing, a rule! - now of long


standing and frequent application - wa~ formulated that
ordinarily criminal prosecution may no~ be blocl<ed by
COUit prol1ibition or injunction .. Really, lif at every turn
investigation of a crime will be halted by qi court order, the
administration of criminal justice will meet with an undue
setback. Indeed, the investigative power bf the Fiscal may
suffer such a tremendous shrinl<age that /it may end up in
hollow sound rather than as a part a~d parcel of tl1e
machinery of criminal justice." l'Jor is thEf! accused person
. thereby left unprotected for, as was no~ed by the Cl1ief
Justice, referring to Gorospe v. Pei7afi!orida, he could
defend himself from any possible I prosecution by
establishing that he did not commit tl1e a4t charged or tl1at
the statute or ordinance on which the pro secution is based
is invalid or in the event of conviction, he could appeal.
1

1
. ' i
211. Concededly, the doctrine that trin1inal prosecution
may not be restrained or stayed admits Jf exceptions. In the
case of Lino Brocka, et al. v. Juan Pone~ Enrile, 180 the Court
laid down the following exceptions to tlie/ general rule, tl1us:

I
(1) when the injunction is necessary to afford
adequate protection to the constitutional rights of
tl1e petitioner; I
-r
I

(2) when it is necessary I for the orderly


administration of justice or to avqid oppression or
multiplicity of actions;

(3) wl1en there is a prejudici~I question which


is subjudice;
I
( 4) wl1en the acts of the offiq:er are without or
in excess of authority;

m G.R. No. L-28594, June 30, 1971.


Y G.R. No. L~ 19272, January 25, l 967.
11

iao G.R. No. 69863-65, December I0, 1990.

82

, I.
,_,__,,
l
', DE LIMA v. I-JON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 22987 l
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

(5) where the prosecution is I under an invalid


law, ordinance or regulation;

(6) when .double jeopardy is 91early apparent;


!
(7) where the Court has noJ jurisdiction over
the offense;

I._,... _

(19) when there is clearly nol prima facie case


against the accused and a rnotion to
I
quash on that
ground l1as been denied.

212. l\Jot one of aforementioned e~ceptions is present


in De Lin1a's petition to warrant tl1e is~uance of a TRO or
writ of preli111inary injunction.

213. Moreover, it is settled that a: court sl1ould avoid I

issuing a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction wl1ich


would effectively dispose of the 111ain case without trial. 181
Ortigas & Co1T1pany Limited Partnership CA thus cautioned J.
against the issuance of a writ of prejiminary n1andatory
injunction which disposes of the 111ain ca~e: 182
I
I
In general, comts should avoid i;ssuing a writ of
preliminary injunction which i_n effect/ disposes of the
main case without trial. This is precisely tt1e effect of
the writ of preliminary mandatory injunct/ion issued by the
respondent appellate court. Having granted through a writ
ol' preliminary mandatory injunction the nhain prayer of the
complaint, there is practically nothing leftlfor the trial court
to try except tl1e plaintiffs' claim for darna:ges. 183

214. In Capitol IV/edical Center, Inc.: v. CA/ 84 tile Court


laid down the policy on when a rnand9tory injunctive writ
rnay issue, viz: :
181
Vide Cortez-Estrada vs. Heirs of Domingo Samul/Antonia Samul, 45!1 SCRA 275 (2005).
182
162 SCRA 165 ( 1988). .
l8J Emphnsis supplied.
JIM 178 SCRA 493 ( 1989).

83
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DE LlMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
'l
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\... ..-
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
I
x-----------------------------x

I
Inasmuch as a mandatory injunction tends to do
more tl1an to maintain tl1e status quo) it is generally
improper to issue such an injunction phor to tl1e final
hearing. It may . however, issue "in ca/ses of extreme
. urgency; where the right is very: clear; where
considerations of relative inconvenience !bear strongly in
complainant's favor; where there is a willful and unlawful
invasion of plaintiff's right against llis protest and
'1--~- remonstrance, th.e injury being a conti 11uing one; and 1

where the effect of a mandatory injunction is rather to


reestablish and maintain an preexisting cqntinuing relation
between the parties, recently and arbit~arily interrupted
by the defendant, than to establish ~ new relation.
Indeed, the writ should not be denied ithe complainant
when he makes out a clear case, free from doubt and 1

dispute. I

215. If the Court decides on is:suing the writ of


preliminary injunction, it will essentially be disposing of the I
pending crin1inal case before the trial co~rt. Thus, tl1e Court
should decline to issue judgn1ent on a ;case which l1as not
gone through trial. Under the circu111s~ances, a full-blown
trial is necessary in order to ascertain the guilt of the
petitioner. I
I

' 216. Finally, the issuance of a yvrit of preliminary


. injunction is an extraordinary peren1ptoty remedy available '!

only on grounds provided by law. 185 It has been consistently


held that there is no power the exerci~e of which is more ..,.wr--
~ I! I

delicate, which requires greater cautidn, deliberation and


sound discretion, or 111ore clangerous in ~ doubtful case, than
the ' issuance of an injunction. It shou1ld
'!
not be granted
lightly or precipitately, but only wherj the court is fully
satisfied that the law pern1its it and the emergency demands
it. 186 :

AFTERWORD

People in government, especially those in the highest


echelons of power, are expected to do1 their duties in the
interest of the country ancl the people. \(v11c1t are Filipinos to
clo, however, when the same people tl1at tl1ey l1ave
185
Valley Trading vs. CFI Isabcla, I7 I SCRA 50 I ( 1989).
181
' Garcia vs. Burgos, 291 SCRA 546 (1998).

84

. )
DE LIMA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. SP Nos. 229871
l_ __ COMtv,IENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x II
'
entrusted with the power to protect theni are the same ones
. I

'
I~ .... ~
who actually violate the law to their:detrf 111ent? It has been
a long-l1eld sentii11ent among the ~itiz~nry tl1at justice is
only for the rich ancl powerful, as tirpe 9nc1 again influential
people escape the long arn1 of the law qncl are not brought
'
to justice for their nefarious activities. This rnust end.
'
I--
. I I

The present ad111inistration seeks to stamp ou.t this


1

l----
culture of in1punity, as can be seen in h~w the government
is fighting corruption in gover11111ent. This case presents an
'- opportunity to reinforce the drive agai/nst corruption and
bolster the ongoing
,
war on crime and drugs.
I

De Lima, who was supposed to u11hold tl1e law, used


her position to further her own ambitioln and at the san1e
tin1e aid those who want to destroy qur country and its I
future by propagating illegal drugs. Tl1is/ is the higl1est form I
of depravity as it involves not only commission of a crime, i
but a 111ockery of the oath she took ~s a servant of the
I
\.- ..-.
Filipino people. While she and her supporters rant and rave
that she is being persecuted, let not her/cries drown out the
anguish of the thousands of victi111s of criime and drugs. She
niust not be allowed to escape liabi.lity fron1 her past
misdeeds. She n1ust be held accountab'le for the countless
lives that had been destroyed becausel sl1e allowed illegal
clrugs to proliferate during her watch as oecretary
I
of Justice.
The faith of the Filipino people in our le gal systern must be
1

restored. Let this case be the first amJon~J 111any tl1at will
show the Filipino people that no one is albove the law.
I

PRAYEHt
I
L.
The respondents consequently pray1 that this Honorable
I

Court DENY DUE COURSE to, and D~SMISS the petition


for lack of merit. :
!

The respondents also pray for su/ch further or other


relief that this Honorable Court may deem just and equitable
uncler the pre111ises.

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85

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Makati City for Manila, March 3, 2017.:


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(__Solicitp.1:::--General
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IBP Lifetin1e No. Ol53l 60/S-18-16 1

MCLE Exen1ption No. Vl-0 00016, 9-28-16 1

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RE NAN E. RAIVdOS
Assistant Solicitor! General
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Roll l\Jo. 337:92


IBP LiFetin1e No. 04zi90,
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1-9-03 .
MCLE Exemption No. v-opo511, 6-24-15

RE~MttA&ru(RES
Assistant Solicitor! General
Roll No. 296!77
IBP Lifetime NO.! 01743
MCLE Exen1ption No. v-oqoT79, 10-27-15
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lV1~RISSA B. DELA C,RUZ-GALANDINES
Assistant Solicitor/ General
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Roll No. 37Q23
IBP No. 1058061, ~-5-17
MCLE Exemption No. V-0~00740, 10-1-15
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B E RNA~D G. HIE~NANDEZ
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Assistant Soliciton General


Roll l\Jo. 34918
IBP Lifetin1e No. 08866 1

MCLE Exen1ption No. V-0100512, 6-24-15


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VIDA G. 'SAN VICENTE


Assistant SolicitoM General I

Roll No. 33995


IBP Lifetin1e No.I 09503
MCLE Exemption No. V-0~00426, 5-28-15
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Assistant Solicitor1General
Roll No. 373p3 .... ,",. ....
IBP Lifetin1e No. 1010:367, 1.-8-16
MCLE Exemptioi~ . --1~9.: ~-0?0756, 10-1-15

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REX BERl::ARE>O L.jPASCUAl


Assistant Solicitor[ General
Roll No. 389l1LI.
IBP Lifetime No. !01997
MCLE Exemption l\Jo. V-Op0905, 12-3-15

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ftAG=J~J(~\f~GOl M./ CASTRO


Assistan~~:CTtef't General
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IBP l\Jo. 1054196
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MCLE Exemption No. V-000781,
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Solicitori .
Roll No. 365:14
IBP Lifetime l\Jo. 02Lll44, 6-8-01
MCLE Exemption No. v-0 bos14, 6-24-15
1

---i--
MARIA CI!:I;; ,,,,~. ...-S tRONDAIN

1.-~ Roll . 3sq2s


IBP Lifetime l\Jo. 089Q2, 10-27-15
MCLE Exe~11p.tie. No. V-090783, 10-27~15

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MERMAN R. CIM4FRANCA
Assistant Solicito11 General
Roll l\Jo. 36~22
IBP Lifetime No.I 06377
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MCLE Exernption l\Jo. V-0/008831, 7-1-15 I

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THOMAS ~ARAGAN
Assistant So itor/General
Roll No. 388~-2
IBP Lifetime No. 09114, 4-29-10
MCLE Exerr1ption No. V-3~~3513,
I
6-24-15

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A N NA ESPERANZA RI. SOLOMON
Assistant Solicitor! General
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I Roll No. 339!27
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IBP Lifetime No. 014(23,
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3-1-16
MCLE Exen1ption No. V-000739, 10-1-15
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Assl -t n Solicitor! General
Roll No. 3.64!44
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MCLE Exemption No. V-000742, 10-1.-15
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MA~g:LEN
Assistan.t Solicitor1
Cl;eneral
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Roll No. 337]25
IBP Lifetime No.I 00253
MCLE Exemption No. V-d00741, 10-1-15
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A sistant Solicitor! General
Roll No. 401169 I

IBP Lifetime No. 091B5,I


4-28-10
MCLE Exerr1ption l\Jo. V-Oq0777, 10-27-15

G.-v'61...rvwJnt~IL---J.9,(
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NVRIAM SUSAN S. ~ERNANDEZ
Assistant Solicitor General
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Roll No. 35~38


IBP Lifetin1e No. 077~8, 8-13-08
MCLE Exemption No. V-0008885, 7-1-15


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...---RAYMUND I. RI~""ODON
Assistant Solicitor General
Roll No. 39730
IBP Lifetime No. 0133195, 2-12-15
MCLE Con1pliance l\Jo. V-0011.790, 11-10-15

. I '

VII 1.)1.,:. ,,,, __,,.r .:~,..1.--vf:. i


MARIA 1-iAZEL V. AqAN1"ILADO
Assistant Solicitor[ General
. Roll l\Jo. 436J82
IBP Lifetin1e No. I02780
MCLE Co. mplia.~~,S.!~A\J~-; 9~8-~ ~25, 11-10-15

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Assistant Solicitor! General
Roll No. 429)49
IBP LR No. 0~113
MCLE Con1pliance No. V-0011802, 11-10-15

'
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A
;- i

HENRY ANGELES I
"

Assistant licitorl General I 11


I:

Roll No. 45~37


IBP No. 1050040, 10-13-16 I
I
MCLE Con1pliance No. V-OOf.6001, 10-14-16 I

II
OFFICE 01: "fHE SOLICrfiOR GENERAL '
II
I'
:11

134 An1orsolo Street, Leg~spi Millage; ....,..,J..--


i
1229 Mal<ati City
Tel. No.: 988-167LI. (Tr\Jnkline) Ji
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Fax No.: 813-45$5 I
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Website: www.osq.q1ov.pl\,;:r i . . . . . . ,..
11
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l;n1ail: clocket@osq.gov.@ ' :; ' '' 11
,1!
DE LIMA v. I-ION. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. No. 229781
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

Copy furnished:

ATTY. ALEXANDER A. PADILLA


Counsel for the Petitioner
5t1i Floor, Strata 100 Building i

Emerald Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig dity


I
HO.N. JUANITA GUERRERO
Pub.fie Respondent
Regional Trial Court - Branch 204
Mu)1tinlupa City Hall of Justice
National Road, Tunasan
Muntinlupa City

ATTY. TEDDY ESTEBAN f. RIGOROSOI


Rigoroso Galinde.z & Rabino Law Offices :
RM: 901-902, 9th. Floor, Fil Garcia Tower !
140 l<alayaan Avenue, Diliman
Quezon City

P/DIR. GEN. RONALD M. DELA ROSA1


~~f ;
I

Phil.ippine National Office ~


NH:2-Pl\JP, 3rd Floor Gen. Delos Reyes St.~
Can1p Cran1e, Quezon City 1

PSUPT. ARN El JAMANDRON APUD


Chief
Pl\JP Custodial Service Unit
Can1p Cran1e, Quezon City

PSUPT. PHILIP GIL M. PHILIPPS


Director
PNP Headquarters Support Service
Ca111p Crame, Quezon City

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE


Judicial Records Office
Suprerne Court
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1:
ii
II
-"-1-
:i'!
II
I

"
DE LllYIA v. HON. GUERRERO, ET AL.
G.R. No. 229781
COMMENT WITH OPPOSITION
x-----------------------------x

EXPLANATION I
(Pursuant to Section 11, Rule /13 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Proce~ure)
I

Service on tl1e other parties is bein~ done by registered


111ail due to distance and lack of personn~I.
I
i

(_~~ 'i~4-
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~-~ ~ o/.V!LENTON
//,,,, Ass i ciate Solicitor
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1-~ NNE X. . . ~. . ,_1~~~~~ /


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RTC Jurisdiction Over Drug Related Cases /

Sec. 44. Original jwfsdiction. - Courts of First ).


19~4 Instance shall have priginal jurisdiction: !i

c~'ses
R.A. NO. 296 ..... xxx I I

June 1.7
~>,'
:.-'
1948 (f) In all criminal in which the penalty
provided by law is imprisonment for more
than six months, or a fine of more than two
IJ
1
./ hundred pesos. 1
1
- . . 11

Tl-IE DANGEROUS Sec. 39. Jurisdictioi1 of the Circuit Criminal


DRUGS ACT OF 1972 Court. The Circuit G:riminal Court shall have
R.A. NO. 6425 ,.. exclusive original jJrisdiction over all cases
ADril 4. 1972 involving offenses p~nishable under this Act.
I
I

An Act Creating Sec ~. In each of the sixteen


Circuit Criminal judiSial districts for the Courts
Courts ><XX of First Instance as presently
R.A. No. 5179 cons/tituted, there is hereby
September 8 1 95 7 crea~ed a Circuit Criminal
~------'---~ Cou1jt with limited jurisdiction,
concurrent with t11;e regular court of first
~ instance, to try a~d decide the following
criminal cases falling under the original and
exclusive jurisdictioh of the latter: xxx
I
The Judiciary Section
1
44. Transitory
Reorganization Act of provisions. - xxx The Court
1980 of JAppeals, the Courts of
B.P. Big. 129 Fi1~s:t. Instance, the Circuit
August 14 1981 Cnr)l1nal Courts, ><XX shall
. ' _ con~inue to function as
presently constituted and organized, until the
. [ > completion of the rf,organization provided in
this Act as declareP. by the President. Upon
such declaration; jhe said courts shall, be
deemed automatioally abolished xxx The
cases pending in Ithe old Courts shall be
transferred to the appropriate Courts
constituted pursua11t to this Act xxx
!
Designation of Certain xx~ certain branches of the
Branches of the Regional Trial Court of .the
Regional Trial Courts Naqional Capital Judicial
to Handle Exclusively Region and of such other
Certain Criminal regions where the need
Cases the/efor may arise shall be
designated as SPECIAL
Circular No. 20
CR~MINAL COURTS to try
August 7, 1987
ex91usively the following
'---[~ criminal cases:
4.
1

Violations of ithe Dangerous Drugs Act


of 1972, as amendt:td, cognizable by Regional


Trial Courts under Epatas Pambansa Big. 129 _J_

,.
I
I
A.M. No. 00-8-01-SC WH~REAS, due to the
ust 1 2000 alarh1ing drug menace in the
country, it is the cor~sensus of many that the
1
designation of certain branches of the
Regional Trial Court~ as Special Courts to try
and decide drug dases regardless of the
quantity of the I drugs involved may
immediately addres~ the problem o1' delay in
the resolution of dr~gs cases.

"<;'.'.. 7
_y_ '
COMPREHENSIVE Sec. 90. Jurisdictio~. - The Supreme Court
DANGEROUS DRUGS shall designate speqal courts from among the
ACT OF 2002 existing Regional Trial Courts in each judicial
R.A. No. 9165 --~ region to exclusiv~ly try and hear cases
June 7. 2002 involving violations bf this Act. The number of
courts designated i1j each judicial region shall
be based on the po pulation and the number
1
of cases pendin~ in tl1eir respective
jurisdiction. xxx I
I

i
A.M. No. 05-9-03-SC WHEREFORE, Executive
October 11 2005 Judpes and presiding judges
'----'-~[ of special courts fo~ drug cases shall hereby
observe the followi~g guidelines:
1. Pursuant to Sec~ion 90 of R.A. No. 9165,
only courts desigr1ated by this Court as
special courts for/ drug cases can tal<e
cognizance of violat<ions of R.A. No. 9165.

~1
"~V
AM No. 16-07-06-SC
July 19, 2016
I !
NO~, THEREFORE, the
suweme Court hereby
.r
orders the 240 oth~r Regional Trial Courts to
[ .,. hear, try and deci?e cases filed under the
Comprehensive Darlgerous Drugs Act of2002,
as amended

......
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.1.:a:~M10.A. 1~slm.tti'~~
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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
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f'~:..f":.::..:?. (:,~::' 11.'.1!'.~:~H7..0 AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE
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,
(Revised as of April 1992)

OFFICE OF jfl"IE SOLICITOR GENERAL,


!I
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I
I
with Office address al 134 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village Makati City, after !being sworn to depose and say:

\ ......... That on 03/09/20'17 , I caused to be served a copy of th~ following pleading/paper:

NATURE OF THE PLEADING


Comment

In case No. G.R. NO. 229781 , entitled LEILA DE LIMA


I
VS. HON. JUANITA GUERRERO, in her capacity as PRES. JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF
I

pursuant to Section 3,4,5 ano 10, Huie 13 of the Hules of Court, as follows: l
By Personal Service To: ( ) By depositing a cppy to ~c._~hy or his/her attorney
on as :oihowr~~ .
( ) By leaving a cop~ in llt~er clerk or with a person
having charge therie~"" as shown on p
-- .~
( ) By delivering a c p to the Court/Tribunal Office on
_ _ _ _ as shoyvn on p _ __
By Hegislered Mail To: ( ) By depositing c~py on in the Post
Office at ______i,__ as evidenced by Registry
HON. JUANITO GUERRERO
Receipt(s) No.(s) ~-- hereto attached and
Regional Trial Court- Branch 204
indicated after the rame (s) of the addresse(s), and
Munlinlupa City Hall of Justice
National Road, Tun-a-sa_n_ _ _ _ _ __ with instruction to tl1e postmaster to return the mail to
Munlinlupa City, , Philippines the sender after (1 DI) days if undelivered.
I

PSUPT. PHILIP GIL M. PHILIPPS


PNP Headquarters Support Service
Camp Crame, Quezon City
, , Philippines
PSUP~ARNELJAMANDRONAPUD
PNP Custodial Service Unit
Camp Crame, Quezon City
~Philippines
P/DIR. GEN. RONALD M. DELA ROSA
Philippine National Office
NHQ-PNP, 3rd Floor Gen. Delos Reyes SL.,
Camp Crame, Quezon City
, , Philippines
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
Judicial Records Office
Supreme Court
, , Philippines
ATTY. ALEXANDEH A. PADILLA
5TH FLR., STRATA BUILDING,
EMERALD AVE., ORTIGAS CENTER, PASIG
CITY,, Philippines
ATTY. TEDDY ESTEBAN F. l~IGOROSO
Rigoroso Galindez & Rabino Law OFfices
RM. 901-902, 9th Floor, FilGarcia Tower
14Ul<alayaai1Avenue.Diliman
ATTY. TEDDY ESTEBAN F. RIGOROSO
Quezon Cily
, , Philippines

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Makati, Metro Manila, Phililippines


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4"" 1 ;:'!~' 1 q~:i~1 JI. {'1/'1/ Ii:;,. ~:i~" " (Aff1'ant)


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SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me thisl\


City, i::ihilippines. Affiant exhibiting to me his .......___..........~................
MAI~ Gtf~ au~1 I-+ 1
of March 2017 at Makati
/\h~ssued at Pasay City.
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ARTURCJ/J)MEDINA
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lllllll lllll llll llllll llllllllll lllll lllll lllll llll llllll lllll lllll lllll llll llll Solicitor, Gfficev Administering the Oath
17-006473-001'1 OfficJ of tf1e Solicitor General
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VERIFIED DECLARAT ION 1

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I, JOHVIE M. VALENTON, hereby declare that the
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documents (and annexes thereof) hereto submitted I
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electronically in accordance with the Efficient Use of Paper I


Rule are con1plete and true copies of tJ1e documents (and I
ann~xes) filed with the Supreme Court. I
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C-t,d I
JOHJlrt~KjtfiLENTON I
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P,~~~iate Solicitor I

. March 9, 2017 I
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SUBSCRIBED Al\JD SWORN TO before me on this day of
9t1i
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March 2017, affiant exhibiting her competent evidence of
identity, to wit: Office ID No. 2013-01003. T-I
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//

Senior State Solicitor 1'


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