Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 35

NATIONAL POWER CORP. vs.

JUDGE ADIONG (PJ of RTC, Branch 8, Marawi City)


Date: July 27, 2011
Where Filed:
Crime Charged: Administrative case for gross ignorance of law, manifest partiality and conduct unbecoming a
member of the Judiciary

Doctrine:
The holding of a pre-trial conference is mandatory and failure to do so is inexcusable. When the law or
procedure is so elementary, such as the provisions of the Rules of Court, not to know it or to act as if one does not
know it constitutes gross ignorance of the law. Such ignorance of a basic rule in court procedure, as failing to
conduct pre-trial, sadly amounts to gross ignorance and warrants a corresponding penalty.

Facts:
Plaintiffs Ibrahim Abdo, et al. sought to hold NPC liable for damages for operating seven Hydroelectric
Power plants allegedly without due regard to the health and safety of the plaintiffs and other residents of Marawi
City and the province of Lanao del Sur. The plaintiffs alleged that they and several others suffered ecological and
economic disasters brought about by the operation of regulatory dams which affected the natural flow
of Lake Lanaoand destroyed their farms, properties, businesses and sources of livelihood. In addition to damages,
the plaintiffs also sought the refund of millions of pesos from the Purchase Power Adjustment (PPA) collected by
NPC from its electric consumers through the Lanao Del Sur Electric Cooperative.

Plaintiffs filed an ex-parte Motion for the release of P640,000,000 worth of PPA and other generation
charges. Judge Adiong granted the motion but later set it aside after NPC filed a MR on the ground of lack of notice
and due process.

Judge Adiong through a Resolution ordered NPC torefund the amount of P114,000,000. And to refund the
amount of P176,000,000, representing the Fuel and Power Cost Adjustment and PPA collected from January 1996
to April 2003; and to pay the amount of P97,537,000 as attorney’s fees.

NPC sought reconsideration of the order alleging that no pre-trial was conducted and yet respondent
judge already passed upon the merits of the case but was denied by Judge Adiong.

Thus, NPC filed the present administrative complaint, asserting that the resolution is contrary to and
violative of the Rules of Court because it was issued by respondent judge without first conducting the requisite
pre-trial conference and despite the fact that no formal offer of exhibits was made by plaintiffs in support of their
allegations. Also, NPC complains of respondent judges failure to lay down the basis for granting the plaintiffs ex-
parte motion to release the PPA refunds, and in awarding the exorbitant amount of P97,537,000.00 as attorney’s
fees.

NPC further states that while it admits that judges are not to be administratively charged for acts
committed in the exercise of their judicial functions, respondent judge had acted in violation of elementary rules
that was equivalent to intolerable and inexcusable gross ignorance of the law.

Ruling:
This Court referred the present complaint to the Court of Appeals, Cagayan De Oro City, for investigation,
report and recommendation. Justice Ayson submitted his report finding respondent judge administratively liable.
Judge Adiong failed to conduct a pre-trial conference and erred in conducting the series of hearings in the case
without determining the existence of necessary pre-conditions before the court could take cognizance of the case.
To show that the Court is serious in implementing the rules on pre-trial, the Court imposed the penalty of
suspension on a judge who merely failed to issue a pre-trial order within ten (10) days after the termination of the
pre-trial conference as mandated by Paragraph 8, Title I (A) of A.M. No. 03-1-09-SC or Guidelines to be Observed
by Trial Court Judges and Clerks of Court in the Conduct of Pre-Trial and Use of Deposition-Discovery
Measures which recognized the importance of pre-trial and the deposition-discovery measures as vital
components of case management in trial courts.
Here, respondent judge failed to conduct the pre-trial conference itself. It is elementary and plain that the
holding of such a pre-trial conference is mandatory and failure to do so is inexcusable. When the law or procedure
is so elementary, such as the provisions of the Rules of Court, not to know it or to act as if one does not know it
constitutes gross ignorance of the law. Such ignorance of a basic rule in court procedure, as failing to conduct pre-
trial, sadly amounts to gross ignorance and warrants a corresponding penalty.

This Court has already dismissed Judge Adiong, the penalties of suspension from office without salary and
dismissal from the service are no longer possible. Hence, the penalty of fine of P40,000 is more appropriate.
PEOPLE vs. SAJOLGA
Date: August 21. 2002
Where Filed: RTC City of Malaybalay
Crime Charged: Rape
Facts:
Accused Ramil Sajolga and private complainant Genlei Abejaron (15 years old) were half-siblings. Genlei
lived with her teacher Mrs. Alceso during weekdays three kilometers aways from her mother’s house where she
stayed home only on weekends.

At about 5pm on Oct. 17, 1998 while she was alone in her mother’s house playing cards someone knocked
on the door, and, when she opened it, she saw her half-brother, who was drunk. Without warning, accused-
appellant boxed her in the abdomen, causing her to fall on the floor on her buttocks. Genlei said that she gasped
for breath as she suffered excruciating pain. She tried to give accused-appellant some blows but accused-appellant
proved to be stronger. Genlei said accused-appellant dragged her to the bedroom, made her lie on the bed, and
took off her shorts and panties. Before she became unconscious, Genlei remembered that accused-appellant
kissed her lips and neck.

When she recovered, she realized that she was raped by Sajolga who was lying beside her, asleep. He told
her that there was nothing she could do and pointed out to her that she would not win any case against him as he
had not been sued or jailed despite molesting her twice when she was eight years old.
She tried to tell her mother twice but she only shouted at her so she kept it a secret. Mrs. Alceso noticed
that something was bothering Genlei and the latter told her that she was raped but was afraid that her mother
wouldn’t believe her.
Ruling:
A conviction based on circumstantial evidence is proper if the circumstances proven constitute an
unbroken chain which leads to a fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all
others, as the guilty person. In this case, the totality of circumstances warrants a finding that private complainant
was raped by accused-appellant while the former was unconscious. The prosecution presented credible and
substantial evidence showing interlocking circumstances that accused-appellant sexually abused complainant.
Complainants silence upon her mother’s arrival was sufficiently explained. She knew that her mother
would just dismiss it if she told her that her brother had raped her.
Although complainant was unable to get sympathy from her mother, she was able to find this from her
teachers. This explains her silence and the delay of about four (4) months in reporting the crime to the authorities.
Accused-appellant argues that the death penalty may not be imposed upon him because, although he and
complainant were related, the prosecution failed to show that complainant was below 18 years of age at the time
the rape took place as this was merely alleged in the information.

Although no birth certificate or document was presented to prove that complainant was 15 years old at
the time she was raped, the parties stipulated that she was born on February 15, 1983. This stipulation is
contained in a Pre-Trial Order issued by the trial court. A stipulation of facts in criminal cases is now authorized to
be made by Rule 118, 1 and 4 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Thus, not only was complainants age
alleged in the information, it was proven, having been made the subject of stipulation and admission.
Anent accused-appellants contention that he is guilty only of simple rape and not qualified rape because
he is not a full-blooded brother of the victim sister and there are no half measures in the Heinous Crime Law,
suffice it to say the law does not distinguish between full blood and half blood relatives. The law does not in fact
speak of full blood and half blood relatives but of relatives by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree.
In any event, because of the failure of the prosecution to allege that accused-appellant is a relative by
consanguinity within the third civil degree of the offended party, accused-appellant can only be held liable for
simple rape even if it was proven and stipulated that the victim was under eighteen (18) years of age and that he is
a half-brother of complainant.

Decision on RTC is AFFIRMED.


PEOPLE vs. LIKIRAN

Date: June 4, 2014


Where Filed: RTC of Malaybalay City
Crime Charged: Murder (convicted for Homicide)
Doctrine:
Stipulation of facts during pre-trial is allowed by Rule 118 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Section 2 of Rule 118, meanwhile, prescribes that all agreements or admissions made or entered during the pre-
trial conference shall be reduced in writing and signed by the accused and counsel; otherwise, they cannot be used
against the accused. In this case, while it appears that the pre-trial agreement was signed only by the prosecution
and defense counsel, the same may nevertheless be admitted given that the defense failed to object to its
admission.
Facts:
It was the town fiesta at Barangay Bugca-on, Lantapon, Bukidnon and there was a dance held at the
basketball court. Prosecution witnesses Celso Dagangon (Dagangon), Prescado Mercado (Mercado) and Constancio
Goloceno (Goloceno) testified that they were with the victim, Rolando Sareno, Sr. Jerome Likiran, accused’s
brother, punched Mercado on the mouth. Goloceno was about to assist Mercado when he saw that Jerome was
armed with a short firearm while the accused-appellant was holding a hunting knife, so he backed off.
Dagangon and Sareno, who were outside the dance area, heard the commotion. Afterwards, Jerome
approached Sareno and shot him several times. With Sareno fallen, the accused-appellant stabbed him on the
back. It was Dagangon who saw the incident first-hand as he was only three meters from where Sareno was.
Dagangon was able to bring Sareno to the hospital only after Jerome and the accused-appellant left, but Sareno
was already dead at that point. Sareno suffered multiple gunshot wounds and a stab wound at the left scapular
area.
RTC: Accused is guilty of Murder
CA: Affirmed RTC’s decision
SC:
The identity of the accused-appellant as one of the perpetrators of the crime has been adequately
established by the prosecution, more particularly by the testimony of Dagangon. Positive identification by a
prosecution witness of the accused as one of the perpetrators of the crime is entitled to greater weight than alibi
and denial.
The pre-trial agreement issued by the RTC states that one of the matters stipulated upon and admitted by
the prosecution and the defense was that the Certificate of Death issued by Dr. Cidric Dael (Dr. Dael) of the
Bukidnon Provincial Hospital and reviewed by the Rural Health Physician of Malaybalay City "is admitted as proof
of fact and cause of death due to multiple stab wound scapular area."
While it appears that the pre-trial agreement was signed only by the prosecution and defense counsel,
the same may nevertheless be admitted given that the defense failed to object to its admission. Moreover, a death
certificate issued by a municipal health officer in the regular performance of his duty is prima facie evidence of the
cause of death of the victim.

More importantly, the accused-appellant is criminally liable for the natural and logical consequence
resulting from his act of stabbing Sareno. It may be that he was not the shooter, it is nevertheless true that the
stab wound he inflicted on Sareno contributed to the latter’s death. The Court, however, cannot agree with the
RTC and CA’s conclusion that the killing of Sareno was attended by treachery, qualifying the crime to murder.

The prosecution failed to show that the accused-appellant and his brother Jerome deliberately planned
the means by which they would harm Sareno. In fact, what was revealed by the prosecution evidence was that
Sareno was an innocent bystander who unfortunately became a target of the accused-appellant and Jerome’s
rampage. Consequently, the accused-appellant should be liable only for the lesser crime of Homicide.
PEOPLE vs. AGRAVANTE

Date: December 11, 2001


Where Filed: RTC of Daet, Camarines Sur
Crime Charged: 3 counts of Rape
Doctrine:
Rule 118, 2 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that “No agreement or admission made or entered
during the pre-trial conference shall be used in evidence against the accused unless reduced to writing and signed
by him and his counsel.” This requirement is mandatory.

Facts:
Maria, the victim, was Agravante’s daughter. She was a freshman who stays in a boarding house owned
by Adelina Racho, going home only on Saturday mornings.

One night, she was home with her father, herein accused-appellant and the latter’s ward, Gary Fraga.

Accused-appellant and Gary Fraga slept in the living room, while Maria slept in her room. Accused-
appellants common-law wife, Virginia Bangayciso, had gone to a dance party. At around 7 oclock in the evening,
Maria woke up to find accused-appellant on top of her. She tried to push him, but accused-appellant proved too
strong for her. She was slapped and then forced to have sexual intercourse with accused-appellant. After he was
through, accused-appellant left. Maria lighted a lamp and went to the kitchen, where she washed off blood and a
whitish substance from her private parts. She then returned to her bedroom and went to sleep. At around
midnight, however, accused-appellant was back and raped her again. She tried to resist him, but he punched her
on the thighs. The following day, Maria returned to her boarding house. She saw the owner, Adelina Racho, but did
not tell her what had happened for fear of her father.

On November 19, 1994, Maria came home for the weekend. Because she did not arrive until noon, she
was scolded and given some lashes by accused-appellant. After lunch, her father’s common-law wife left to attend
a birthday party in a place about a kilometer away from their house. On the pretext that he wanted her to pick lice
from his hair, accused-appellant assaulted her when she came to him. Maria pleaded with him, reminding him, “I
am your daughter, why are you doing this to me?” but her pleas fell on deaf ears. Accused-appellant just the same
raped her. After he was through, accused-appellant left and went to fetch his common-law wife, leaving his
daughter sobbing. He returned with his common-law wife at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

Accused-appellant filed a motion for new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence based on an
affidavit executed by his niece, Criselda Agravante. In this case, the evidence supporting accused-appellants
motion cannot be considered newly discovered. It had been in existence even before the trial, only that the
witness, Criselda Agravante, who knew about the matter was not presented during the trial. In effect, it amounts
to no more than forgotten proof which would not justify an order to conduct new trial. The Court does not think
that her testimony is of such weight that it would probably cause the acquittal of herein accused-appellant
because the affidavit is merely of corroborative value and does not really concern facts constituting the crimes
subject of these cases. It does not incontrovertibly show that accused-appellant did not commit the crimes with
which he was charged.

Ruling:
What accused-appellant perceives to be a cavalier reaction (going back to sleep as if nothing happened to
her) appears more to be a desperate attempt on her part to deny what had happened. This reaction is consistent
with her other actions after the first rape, i.e., the washing of her private parts and changing her
underwear. Indeed, there is no standard reaction of a victim to the crime of rape. Rape is both a physical and
emotional assault causing tremendous stress on the victim.

While the Informations allege that complainant was a minor fourteen years of age at the time of the
commission of the rapes and that accused-appellant is the father of the offended party, only the relationship of
accused-appellant to the complainant has been sufficiently established. To be sure, the minority of complainant
(14 years of age at the time of the commission of the rapes) was the subject of the parties’ stipulation of facts.
However, the stipulation of facts was not signed by accused-appellant as required by Rule 118, 2 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure which provides that No agreement or admission made or entered during the pre-trial
conference shall be used in evidence against the accused unless reduced to writing and signed by him and his
counsel. This requirement is mandatory.
The conclusion is inevitable, therefore, that the omission of the signature of the accused and his counsel, as
mandatorily required by the Rules, renders the Stipulation of Facts inadmissible in evidence. The fact that the
lawyer of the accused, in his memorandum, confirmed the Stipulation of Facts does not cure the defect because
Rule 118 requires both the accused and his counsel to sign the Stipulation of Facts. What the prosecution should
have done, upon discovering that the accused did not sign the Stipulation of Facts, as required by Rule 118, was to
submit evidence to establish the elements of the crime, instead of relying solely on the supposed admission of the
accused in the Stipulation of Facts.
The stipulation of facts, therefore, cannot be used as evidence of complainant’s age at the time of the rapes
in question. Nor is there sufficient evidence of complainant’s age. The testimonies of complainant concerning her
age and that of her father, herein accused-appellant, concerning this matter are insufficient.
Garayblas vs Ong
August 3, 2011

Crime charged: Petitioners were held liable by the Sandiganbayan to pay for Php 10K penalty and to partially pay for the
expenses incurred by the court in the cancelled pre trial conference in Davao City.
Where filed: Sandiganbayan

Doctrine:
Pre-trial is meant to simplify, if not fully dispose of, the case at its early stage; during pre-trial, attorneys must make a
full disclosure of their positions as to what the real issues of the trial would be. They should not be allowed to embarrass or
inconvenience the court or injure the opposing litigant by their careless preparation for a case; or by their failure to raise
relevant issues at the outset of a trial.

Facts:
Petitioner Atty. Emelita H. Garayblas (Garayblas) is the principal legal counsel, with petitioner Atty. Renato G. De la
Cruz (De la Cruz) as collaborating counsel, for Gen. Jose S. Ramiscal who is facing charges for falsification of public documents
and violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 before several divisions (2 nd and 4th divisions) of the Sandiganbayan (SB).
Ramiscal was arraigned and the SB set the pre-trial to April 6, 2006; however, the a subsequent notice from the 4 th division was
sent resetting the pre trial to April 27, 2006. Atty. Garayblas, opposing to the resetting to April 27, 2006, filed a Motion to Reset.
The SB 4th division denied the motion to reset, stating that “Garayblas and associates must adjust their schedule to suit all the
other accused and their counsels, who are available for the pretrial hearing in Davao City on April 27, 2006.” Petitioners failed
to appear for pretrial on April 27, 2006 in Davao City which resulted to the cancellation thereof; hence, public respondents
ordered petitioners to explain why they should not be held in contempt. Atty. Garayblas filed a Compliance/Manifestation
explaining that at the time, she was suffering from hyperglycemia and hypertension and that she opted to stay at home as per
advice of her doctor until her sugar count and blood pressure normalize. Atty. De la Cruz also filed his Explanation stating that
he had to appear before the Second Division of the SB in Criminal Case No. 25741 involving the same accused, attaching a
certificate of appearance from the Second Division as proof of his explanation.

The SB 4th division issued an Order stating that it found their explanations to be unsatisfactory and considering that
they belong to the same law office, they should have made the necessary arrangements to let one of their associates or
colleagues appear at the pre-trial conference. The Court held Atty. Dela Cruz and Atty. Garayblas liable for their absence or
nonappearance which caused the cancellation of the scheduled pretrial conference and thus wasted the time of the Court. They
were ordered to pay the amount of ten thousand pesos (P10,000) each as sanction or penalty and to partially answer the
traveling and other expenses of the Court in holding the subject pretrial conference in Davao City. They moved for a
reconsideration but was subsequently denied. Petitioners filed the present petition for certiorari, alleging that the SB 4th
Division acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in not finding their explanation
satisfactory and ordering them to pay a fine of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) each and to partially answer the traveling and
other expenses of the Court in holding the subject pretrial conference in Davao City.

SC:
The Court found some merit in the petition. Pursuant to Sec 3 of Rule 118, the court may sanction or penalize counsel
for the accused if the following concur: (1) counsel does not appear at the pretrial conference AND (2) counsel does not offer
an acceptable excuse.

As to Atty. Garayblas:
The Court noted the importance of having counsel who is most well-versed with the facts of the case attend a pre-
trial conference, stating that a “pre-trial is meant to simplify, if not fully dispose of, the case at its early stage; during pretrial,
attorneys must make a full disclosure of their positions as to what the real issues of the trial would be. They should not be
allowed to embarrass or inconvenience the court or injure the opposing litigant by their careless preparation for a case; or by
their failure to raise relevant issues at the outset of a trial.” Thus, it would be imprudent to send in a new lawyer who has not
had ample time to familiarize himself with the facts and issues involved in the case.

Considering that the symptoms for hypertension and hyperglycemia include confusion, fatigue and headache,
difficulty in concentrating and blurred vision, it would not be reasonable to expect Atty. Garayblas to have been able to make
the necessary arrangements for another lawyer to attend in her stead. However, she should have sent a word to the SB 4 th
division when she began feeling the symptoms.
As to Atty. Dela Cruz:

The Court found his nonappearance at the pretrial conference excusable. The Court noted that Atty. Garayblas and
Atty. Dela Cruz agreed to attend to different hearings for their client as there were hearings in 2 separate divisions of the SB on
the very same date in different locations. It seemed that Atty. Dela Cruz was not apprised of Atty. Garayblas’ condition such
that it was too late to make adjustments on Atty. Dele Cruz’s part to be able to attend the hearing in Davao. It was
understandable why Atty. De la Cruz could not have abandoned the hearing
before the Second Division.

The Court deems imposing a fine on petitioners and ordering them to answer part of the court personnels’ travel
expenses to be too harsh. The records showed that the cancellation of the hearing was not mainly due to petitioners’ non-
attendance, but also because of all the other accused’s failure to submit their respective pretrial briefs. Petitioner Atty. De la
Cruz has presented a valid and acceptable excuse, for which he should not be found liable under Section 3, Rule 118 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. On the other hand, petitioner Atty. Garayblas showed some lapse in judgment, not to
mention discourteous behavior, in not informing the SB 4th Division at the earliest possible time of her illness and inability to
attend said pretrial conference.
People vs. Villanueva
September 1, 2010

Crime charged: 3 counts of qualified rape


Where filed: RTC (Tayug, Pangasinan)

Doctrine/s:
To bind the accused the pre-trial order must be signed not only by him but his counsel as well. The purpose of this
requirement is to further safeguard the rights of the accused against improvident or unauthorized agreements or admissions
which his counsel may have entered into without his knowledge, as he may have waived his presence at the pre-trial conference;
eliminate any doubt on the conformity of the accused of the facts agreed upon. In this case, records would show that the Pre-
trial Order was not signed by both appellant and his counsel.
Facts:
Three (3) Informations were filed against Villanueva (appellant) for the crime of rape. “accused, who is the father of
complainant, armed with a bladed weapon, by means of force, threat and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously have sexual intercourse with one “AAA,” a minor 12 years of age, against her will and consent, to the damage
and prejudice of said “AAA.”

When arraigned, appellant pleaded not guilty to all charges. During pretrial, the parties stipulated that the appellant
is the father of “AAA.” It was likewise agreed that “AAA” was below 12 years of age when the rape incidents happened. “AAA’s”
birth and medical certificates were likewise marked as Exhibits.

RTC:
It found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt for 3 counts of rape. The court lent credence to AAA’s
testimony; however, it noted that although it was agreed upon during the pretrial that “AAA” was a minor below 12 years of
age, the fact remains that “AAA” was 12 years, six months and 19 days when she was ravished by the appellant on June 9, 2002.

CA:
In the CA, appellant argued, among others, that the prosecution failed to formally offer in evidence the medical
certificate and to present the doctor who conducted the medical examination to testify on his findings. “AAA’s” birth certificate
was not formally offered; neither did the Municipal Civil Registrar who allegedly prepared the same take the witness stand.
Thus appellant claimed that assuming he was indeed guilty of the crimes charged, he should only be held liable for simple rape
and not qualified rape because the minority of the victim was not duly established.

On the other hand, appellee insisted that the crimes committed were three counts of qualified, and not simple, rape
considering that “AAA” was a minor and the offender was her father, and that the parties had already stipulated during pretrial
as regards the age of the victim.

CA found accused was guilty beyond reasonable doubt of three (3) counts of qualified rape. It said that even without
the medical certificate, appellant could still be held liable for three counts of rape. His conviction could rest exclusively on the
testimony of “AAA” and the medical certificate would only be corroborative evidence. Anent the birth certificate, the CA
recalled that during pretrial, the minority of the victim and her relationship with the appellant had already been stipulated
upon. Hence, the said elements have been sufficiently alleged in the Informations and proven during trial. Case was appealed to
the SC.

SC:
The appeal was partly meritorious. The Court upheld the credibility of AAA’s testimony. It agreed with the appellate
court that appellant could be convicted of rape even without the medical certificate because in rape cases, the accused may be
convicted on the basis of his victim’s testimony.

However, it ruled that both the medical certificate and “AAA’s” birth certificate, although marked as exhibits during
the pretrial, should not have been considered by the trial court and the CA because they were not formally offered in
evidence. Section 34, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court explicitly provides: “The court shall consider no evidence which has not
been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified.” The Court noted that after the
marking of the exhibits during pretrial, the prosecution did not formally offer the said medical certificate or birth certificate in
evidence; the prosecution rested its case after presenting the testimony of “AAA” without formally offering any documentary
exhibit at all. The SC said that the trial court is bound to consider only the testimonial evidence presented and exclude the
documents not offered. Documents which may have been identified and marked as exhibits during pretrial or trial but which
were not formally offered in evidence cannot in any manner be treated as evidence. Neither can such unrecognized proof be
assigned any evidentiary weight and value.

Appellant’s admission during the pretrial that “AAA” was a minor below 12 years of age would not help the
prosecution’s case. First, the trial court found this admission inaccurate as in fact, “AAA” was already above 12 years of age
when the rape incident transpired on June 9, 2002. Second and more important, appellant’s admission during pretrial is not
admissible as it violates Section 2, Rule 118 of the Rules of Court which explicitly provides that: “All agreements or admissions
made or entered during the pretrial conference shall be reduced in writing and signed by the accused and his counsel,
otherwise they cannot be used against the accused. The Court emphasized that to bind the accused the pretrial order must
be signed not only by him but his counsel as well. The purpose of this requirement is to further safeguard the rights of the
accused against improvident or unauthorized agreements or admissions which his counsel may have entered into without his
knowledge, as he may have waived his presence at the pretrial conference; eliminate any doubt on the conformity of the
accused of the facts agreed upon.” In this case, records would show that the Pretrial Order was not signed by both appellant
and his counsel.

In view of the foregoing, appellant was found guilty only of three counts of simple rape.

NB
Distinction between identification of documentary evidence and its formal offer:
The former is done in the course of the pretrial, and trial is accompanied by the marking of the evidence as an exhibit;
while the latter is done only when the party rests its case. The mere fact that a particular document is identified and marked as
an exhibit does not mean that it has already been offered as part of the evidence. It must be emphasized that any evidence
which a party desires to submit for the consideration of the court must formally be offered by the party; otherwise, it is
excluded and rejected.
People vs. Bocbosila
January 26, 2007

Crime charged: Murder


Where filed: RTC (Quezon City)

Doctrine/s:
The trial court may properly deny defense counsel’s motion for substitution of witnesses since Section 4, Rule 118 of
the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure mandates that the matters agreed upon in the pretrial conference and as stated in the
pretrial order shall bind the parties.

Facts:
Appellant (Bocbosila) was charged in an Information with Murder. The information reads:
“abovenamed accused, conspiring and confederating with two other persons, whose true names/identities and whereabouts are
still unknown, and mutually helping one another with intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and employ personal violence upon the person of one MICHAEL ANGELO
BALBER Y CASTILLON, a minor, 17 years of age, by then and there stabbing him on the trunk with the use of a bladed weapon,
thereby inflicting upon him serious and grave wound which was the direct and immediate cause of his untimely death to the
damage and prejudice of the heirs of Michael Angelo Balber y Castillon.”

During arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty to the charge. The prosecution presented its witnesses, all of whom
identified appellant as the one who stabbed the victim. The defense proffered a different version of the incident stating that
appellant was not in the crime scene at the time the stabbing incident happened.

RTC:
RTC convicted appellant of murder. It sustained the “clear, direct and positive” testimony of the prosecution
witnesses who all declared that they saw appellant stab Michael. It also ruled that there was treachery in the killing of Michael
since the latter was unarmed, unsuspecting and very young at the time of the attack.

CA: Affirmed RTC’s decision. Modification pertained only to the penalty imposed.

SC:
Before the SC, appellant avers, among others, that his constitutional rights to produce evidence on his behalf and to
due process were violated when the trial court denied the motion of his counsel to present substitute witnesses. It should be
noted that in the PreTrial Order of the RTC dated 29 February 2000, the defense named only four witnesses. In the same order,
the RTC stated that “All parties are informed that witnesses and documents which were not mentioned in this pretrial order shall
not be entertained during the trial on the merits.” During the trial, only appellant and Antonio were able to testify. When the
two other witnesses in the pretrial order failed to appear and testify in court several times, the defense counsel moved to
substitute them explaining that they were hesitant to testify, and, that one of them went home to his province.

The Court ruled that the RTC was correct in denying the defense counsel’s motion for substitution of witnesses
since Section 4, Rule 118 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure mandates that the matters agreed upon in the pretrial
Conference and as stated in the pretrial order shall bind the parties. Thus, pursuant to the aforestated provision and its
purpose of preventing undue delay in the disposition of criminal cases and ensuring fair trial, the denial of the defense
counsel’s motion for substitution of witnesses was justified. However, the provision is not absolute. It can be relaxed in the
greater interest of justice. Nevertheless, the exception does not apply in favor of appellant in this case as the RTC had observed
that his motion for substitution of witnesses appears to be a “fishing expedition” of evidence which is clearly unfair to the case
of the prosecution. If the two other witnesses of appellant were indeed afraid or hesitant to testify, he should have moved the
RTC to subpoena the said witnesses to testify in court pursuant to his constitutional right to compulsory process to secure the
attendance of his witnesses. Unfortunately, appellant did not avail himself of this remedy.

`Appellant was guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder.


Olbes vs. Buemio
December 4, 2009

Crime charged: Grave Coercion


Where filed: MeTC (Manila)

Doctrine/s:
The exceptions consisting of the time exclusions provided in the Speedy Trial Act of 1998 reflect the fundamentally
recognized principle that “speedy trial” is a relative term and necessarily involves a degree of flexibility.

The time limits set by the Speedy Trial Act of 1998 do not thus preclude justifiable postponements and delays when so
warranted by the situation.

In determining whether the accused has been deprived of his right to a speedy disposition of the case and to a speedy
trial, four factors must be considered: (a) length of delay; (b) the reason for the delay; (c) the defendant’s assertion of his right;
and (d) prejudice to the defendant.

Facts:
Olbes (petitioner) was indicted for Grave Coercion before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Manila by an
information which was raffled to Branch 22 thereof. Denying petitioner’s motion to defer or suspend his arraignment in light of
his pending petition for review before the Department of Justice from the City Fiscal’s Resolution finding probable cause to hale
him into court, the Judge proceeded with petitioner’s arraignment in which he pleaded not guilty to the charge. Pretrial was
thereupon set to May 28, 2003 which was declared a nonworking day due to the occurrence of typhoon “Chedeng.” The
pretrial was thus reset to October 23, 2003. At the scheduled pretrial, petitioner failed to appear, prompting the trial court to
issue a warrant for his arrest, which warrant was later recalled on discovery that neither petitioner nor his counsel was notified
of said schedule. Pretrial was again reset to January 21, 2004.

Before the scheduled pretrial on January 21, 2004 petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss the Information on the ground
of violation of his right to a speedy trial under RA No. 8493 or the Speedy Trial Act of 1998 and Supreme Court Circular (SCC)
No. 3898. He argued that “considering that [he] was not— without any fault on his part—brought to trial within 80 days from
the date he was arraigned, this case should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 119, Section 9 in relation to Rule 119, Section 6 of
the Rules. The Motion was denied by the trial court. His motion for reconsideration was likewise denied. The judge held that
the term “speedy trial” as applied in criminal cases is a relative term such that the trial and disposition of cases depended on
several factors including the availability of counsel, witnesses and prosecutor, and weather conditions.

RTC:
Said orders were challenged by petitioner before the RTC. He alleged that not only was he (petitioner) not brought to
trial within 80 days from the date of his arraignment as required under Section 6, Rule 119, but the prosecution had failed to
establish the existence of any of the “time exclusions” provided under Section 3 of the same Rule to excuse its failure to
bring him to trial within the 80-dayperiod.

RTC denied the petition, holding that Section 9 of Rule 119 of the Rules of Court does not call for the automatic
dismissal of a case just because trial has not commenced within 80 days from arraignment; and that the concept of a speedy
trial is not a mere question of numbers that could be computed in terms of years, months or days but is understood according
to the peculiar circumstances of each case.

SC:
Petitioner argues that his right to speedy trial is a substantive right and that, Section 9 of Rule 119 is mandatory in
character; that the last paragraph of said Section 9 clearly indicates that it is the right of an accused to move for dismissal of the
Information should the prosecution fail to prove the existence of the time exclusions under Section 3 of Rule 119; and that the
enumeration of the allowable time exclusions under Section 3 is exclusive, hence, the RTC erred in considering the excessive
caseload of respondent judge, as a mere pairing judge, to be an allowable time exclusion under the Rules.

Petitioner also drew attention to the time gap of 253 days from his arraignment up to the 2nd pretrial setting, which
is beyond the 80-day time limit from arraignment to trial. He argues that this lapse was not justified by any of the excusable
delays as embodied in the time exclusions specified under Section 3 of Rule 119. The argument is unavailing. The pretrial on
May 28, 2003 which was later declared a nonworking day; inarguably, the cancellation of the scheduled pretrial on that date
was beyond the control of the trial court. The Court stressed that the exceptions consisting of the time exclusions provided in
the Speedy Trial Act of 1998 reflect the fundamentally recognized principle that “speedy trial” is a relative term and
necessarily involves a degree of flexibility. While the Constitution guarantees the accused of his right to a speedy trial, it
recognizes certain reasonable delays as exclusions in the computation of the time limits set by the Speedy Trial Act. Such right
to a speedy trial and a speedy disposition of a case is violated only when the proceeding is attended by vexatious, capricious
and oppressive delays. Thus, in spite of the prescribed time limits, jurisprudence continues to adopt the view that the concept
of “speedy trial” is a relative term and must necessarily be a flexible concept.

The time limits set by the Speedy Trial Act of 1998 do not thus preclude justifiable postponements and delays when so
warranted by the situation. To the Court, the reasons for the postponements and delays attendant to the present case reflected
above are not unreasonable. While the records indicate that neither petitioner nor his counsel was notified of the resetting of
the pretrial to October 23, 2003, the same appears to have been occasioned by oversight or simple negligence; the faux pas
was acknowledged and corrected when the MeTC recalled the arrest warrant it had issued against petitioner.

The petition was denied.


Case Title: Cuenco v. Ricos
Date: August 28, 2008
Where Filed: RTC of Cebu City
Crime Charged: Estafa through Falsification of Public Document
Doctrine:
Rule 119 specifically states that a witness may be conditionally examined: 1) if the witness is too sick or
infirm to appear at the trial; or 2) if the witness has to leave the Philippines with no definite date of
returning. Thus, when Concepcion moved that her deposition be taken, had she not been too sick at that time, her
motion would have been denied. Instead of conditionally examining her outside the trial court, she would have
been compelled to appear before the court for examination during the trial proper.

Facts:
Respondent was charged of Estafa through Falsification of Public Document because of the alleged
falsification of a deed of real estate mortgage committed to the petitioner Conception who was the owner of the
mortgaged property. On Sept 10, 1999, Conception who is a resident of Cebu take a vacation to Manila. Therein
Manila, he was confined due to upper gastro-intestinal bleeding wherein he was advised to stay in Manila. On
August 16, 2000, The counsel of Conception filed a motion to take the respondent’s disposition saying that there is
a need perpetuate the testimony of Conception due to weak physical situation and old age. RTC granted the
motion. The court said that procedural technicalities must pave way because of the urgency of the situation
because Conception was already old.

Respondents then filed certiorari in the CA which where in it ruled in favor of the them because
Petitioner’s motion to take respondent’s disposition is not impleaded by the people of the Philippines. This
notwithstanding, CA resolved the case by declaring that the examination of the prosecution in this case is
governed by Sec 15, Rule 119 and not Rule 23 of ROC. Rule 23 of ROC is applicable only to civil cases. Concepcion’s
deposition should have been taken before the judge or the court where the case is pending, which is the RTC of
Cebu, and not before the Clerk of Court of Makati City; and thus, in issuing the assailed order, the RTC clearly
committed grave abuse of discretion.

SC uphold that it is Sec 15, Rule 119 which should apply in this case. t is basic that all witnesses shall give
their testimonies at the trial of the case in the presence of the judge. This is especially true in criminal cases in
order that the accused may be afforded the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses pursuant to his
constitutional right to confront the witnesses face to face. It also gives the parties and their counsel the chance to
propound such questions as they deem material and necessary to support their position or to test the credibility of
said witnesses.

Lastly, this rule enables the judge to observe the witnesses’ demeanor. This rule, however, is not
absolute. In criminal proceedings, Sections 12, 13 and 15, Rule 119 of ROC, allow the conditional examination of
both the defense and prosecution witnesses. Petitioners contend that Concepcion’s advanced age and health
condition exempt her from the application of

Undoubtedly, the procedure set forth in Rule 119 applies n this case. It is thus required that the
conditional examination be made before the court where the case is pending. It is also necessary that the accused
be notified, so that he can attend the examination, subject to his right to waive the same after reasonable notice.
Case Title: Jimenez, Jr. v People
Date: September 14, 2014
Where Filed: CA
Crime Charged: Certiorari
Doctrine:
- it is still the trial court that determines whether the prosecution’s preliminary assessment of the
accused-witness’ qualifications to be a state witness satisfies the procedural norms. This relationship is in reality a
symbiotic one as the trial court, by the very nature of its role in the administration of justice, largely exercises its
prerogative based on the prosecutor’s findings and evaluation.

- in requiring a hearing in support of the discharge, the essential objective of the law is for the court to
receive evidence for or against the discharge, which evidence shall serve as the court’s tangible and concrete basis
– independently of the fiscal's or prosecution's persuasions – in granting or denying the motion for discharge. We
emphasize, in saying this, that actual hearing is not required provided that the parties have both presented their
sides on the merits of the motion.

Facts:
Manuel A. Montero confessed his participation in the killing of Ruby Rose Barrameda naming Manuel J.
Jimenez and several others as co-conspirators. His statements detailed where the alleged steel casing containing
the body of Ruby Rose was dumped, led to the recovery of a cadaver near the place which he pointed. Montero
filed a motion for discharge as a state witness for the prosecution, to which Jimenez opposed. The motion to
discharge was granted by Judge Zaldy B. Docena stating that the prosecution had presented clear, satisfactory and
convincing evidence showing compliance with the requisites of granting the said motion. Jimenez opposed Judge
Docena’s ruling averring that the Judge committed grave abuse of discretion in granting the motion to discharge
because: (1)the requirements for granting a motion were not properly complied; (2)there is no absolute necessity
of the testimony of Montero; (3)Montero’s testimony do not corroborate with the prosecution’s evidence; (4) and
Montero is favored as a state witness though he appears to be the most guilty.

Did Judge Docena gravely abuse his discretion when he granted the motion to discharge Montero as a
state witness?

SC said “No”. Jurisprudence has defined “grave abuse of discretion” as the capricious and whimsical
exercise of judgment as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner. To resolve a motion to
discharge under Section 17, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, it only require that that the
testimony of the accused sought to be discharged be substantially corroborated in its material points, not on all
points. A trial judge cannot be expected or required, at the start of the trial, to inform himself with absolute
certainty of everything that may develop in the course of the trial with respect to the guilty participation of the
accused. It is still the trial court that determines whether the prosecution’s preliminary assessment of the accused-
witness’ qualifications to be a state witness satisfies the procedural norms. This relationship is in reality a symbiotic
one as the trial court, by the very nature of its role in the administration of justice, largely exercises its prerogative
based on the prosecutor’s findings and evaluation.
Case Title: People v Sandiganbayan
Date: June 26, 2013
Where Filed:
Crime Charged:
Doctrine:
The decision to move for the discharge of Mercado was part of prosecutorial discretion in the
determination of who should be used as a state witness to bolster the successful prosecution of criminal offenses.
Unless made in clear violation of the Rules, this determination should be given great weight by our courts. As this
Court held in People v. Court of Appeals:

Rules do not require absolute certainty in determining those conditions; the Judge has to rely in a large
part upon the suggestions and the considerations presented by the prosecuting officer; A trial judge cannot be
expected or required to inform himself with absolute certainty at the very outset of the trial as to everything which
may be developed in the course of the trial in regard to the guilty participation of the accused in the commission of
the crime charged in the complaint. If that were practicable or possible, there would be little need for the formality
of a trial. In coming to his conclusions as to the necessity for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is
requested, as to the availability or non-availability of other direct or corroborative evidence; as to which of the
accused is the ‘most guilty’ one; and the like, the judge must rely in a large part upon the suggestions and the
information furnished by the prosecuting officer.

Facts:
Mercado (one of many respondents) was the president of JAC liner. In year 200, he showed willing to
testify against the criminal syndicate allegedly ran the tax credit scam at the DOF One-Stop Shop. Mercado applied
in the DOJ for immunity as state witness under its witness protection program which was then granted. However,
since the case is within the authority still of ombudsman, Mercado was charged of violations of Section 3(j) of
Republic Act (R.A.) 3019 and two counts of falsification under Article 171, paragraph 4, of the RPC. Mercado filed a
motion for reconsideration before the ombudsman citing the DOJ’s grant of immunity to him. Ombudsman
granted the motion but Sandiganbayan denied Ombudsman’s motion.

Respondents De Vera and Diala, Mercado’s co-accused who opposed the grant of immunity to him,
contend that the immunity that the Ombudsman gave Mercado does not bind the court, which in the meantime
already acquired jurisdiction over the case against him. That immunity merely relieves Mercado from any further
proceedings, including preliminary investigation, which the state might still attempt to initiate against him.

SC agreed but said that the filing of the criminal action against an accused in court does not prevent the
Ombudsman from exercising the power that the Congress has granted him in Section 17 of R.A. 6770. Ombudsman
had already filed with the Sandiganbayan the criminal action against Mercado and other respondents prior to the
Ombudsman’s grant of immunity to Mercado. Having already acquired jurisdiction over Mercado’s case, it
remained within the Sandiganbayan’s power to determine whether or not he may be discharged as a state witness
in accordance with Section 17, Rule 119 of the ROC.

According to SC, Mercado has complied Sec 17, Rule 119. the following requirements of Section 17, Rule
119 for the discharge of an accused to be a state witness: (a) there is absolute necessity for the testimony of the
accused whose discharge is requested; (b) there is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of
the offense committed, except the testimony of said accused; (c) the testimony of said accused can be
substantially corroborated in its material points; (d) said accused does not appear to be the most guilty; and (e)
said accused has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.
Case Title: Yu v Judge, RTC of Tagaytay
Date: June 30, 2006
Where Filed:
Crime Charged:
Doctrine:
The discharge of an accused under RA 6981 as availed by the prosecution in favor of the private
respondents, is distinct and separate from discharge of an accused in Sec 17, Rule 119 of ROC. The discharge of an
accuse under RA 6981 is only one of the modes for a participant in the commission of a crime to be a state witness.
Rule 119, Sec 17 of ROC is another mode of discharge. The immunity granted by RA 6981 is granted by DOJ while
Sec 17, Rule 119 is granted by the court.

Facts:
Atty. Tan and his driver were abducted by several persons. Their bodies ware found after digging in a
shallow grave in Cavite. Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) was charged to investigate the abduction and
killing. PACC filed charges before the DOJ. On Dec 8, respondent Judge issued a resolution finding probable cause
against accused Eugene Yu as accomplice in the instant case. In the meantime, prosecution filed Petition to
Discharge as State Witness and Exclude from the info accused Ochoa and Delos Santos which was granted by the
judge.

Yu opposed such and hence, he filed petition for certiorari before the CA. His certiorari was not granted.
CA said that there was no necessity for a hearing to determine a person qualified as a state witness after DOJ had
attested to his qualification. RA 6981 conferred upon DOJ the sole authority to determine whether an accused is
qualified for admission to the program.

On SC, Yu contends the respondents were already charged along with the other accused before they were
admitted to the witness protection program, and hence, their admission is a judicial prerogative which requires
application of Sec 17, Rule 119 of ROC. SC did not agree with the petitioner. According to it, the discharge of an
accused under RA 6981 as availed by the prosecution in favor of the private respondents, is distinct and separate
from discharge of an accused in Sec 17, Rule 119 of ROC. The discharge of an accuse under RA 6981 is only one of
the modes for a participant in the commission of a crime to be a state witness. Rule 119, Sec 17 of ROC is another
mode of discharge. The immunity granted by RA 6981 is granted by DOJ while Sec 17, Rule 119 is granted by the
court.
People v. Chaves
Feb. 11, 2003
Filed: RTC of Gingoog City, transferred to Cagayan De Oro RTC
Crime charged: Multiple Murder

Doctrine:
The provision does not make any distinction as to the kind of evidence the prosecution may present.
What it simply requires, in addition to the presentation of the sworn statement of the accused concerned, is the
presentation of such evidence as are necessary to determine if the conditions exist for the discharge, so as to
meet the object of the law, which is to prevent unnecessary or arbitrary exclusion from the complaint of persons
guilty of the crime charged.

Sometime in October 1986, Informations for Multiple Murder for the killing of members of the Bucag
family in Gingoog City were filed against Felipe Galarion, Manuel Sabit, Cesar Sabit, Julito Ampo, Eddie Torion, John
Doe, Peter Doe and Richard Doe, with the Regional Trial Court of Gingoog City.[2] Venue of the case was moved to
Cagayan de Oro City by virtue of Administrative Order No. 87-2-244. Thus, Criminal Case No. 86-39 was transferred
to the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro City, Branch 18, presided by respondent Judge Nazar U. Chaves.

Only Felipe Galarion was tried and convicted. All the other accused were at large.

Two years later, in October 1988, Felizardo Roxas, also known as Ely Roxas, Fely Roxas and Lolong Roxas, was
identified as another member of the group who was responsible for the slaying of the Bucag family. An amended
information was filed on October 6, 1988 to implead Roxas as a co-accused. He engaged the services of private
respondent Miguel Paderanga as his counsel. In order to give Roxas the opportunity to adduce evidence in support
of his defense, a preliminary investigation was conducted. In his counter-affidavit, Roxas implicated Atty.
Paderanga as the mastermind of the killings. Consequently, the amended information was again amended to
include private respondent Paderanga as one of the accused in Criminal Case No. 86-39.

Trial of the case ensued. At the hearing on May 18, 1993, the prosecution called Felizardo Roxas as its first witness.
Private respondent objected to the presentation of Roxas testimony. The trial court took the matter under
advisement. The following day, May 19, 1993, it sustained private respondents objection on the ground that the
presentation of Roxas testimony will violate his right against self-incrimination. The trial court ruled further that
before Roxas can be presented as a witness for the prosecution, he must first be discharged as a state witness.
Otherwise put, the prosecution cannot present Roxas as a hostile witness.

The prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration or, in the alternative, to discharge Roxas as a state witness. It
also manifested its intention to present Julito Ampo as another state witness or ordinary prosecution witness.

Issue: Whether or not Roxas can testify to prove the conditions that qualify him to be State Witness. (note: testify
to prove to become state witness, the other party contends that he cannot testify yet since he is not yet a state
witness).

Ruling: Yes. Rule 119, Section 17 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure (formerly Rule 119, Section 9),
provides that the trial court may direct one or more of the accused to be discharged with their consent so that
they may be witnesses for the state after requiring the prosecution to present evidence and the sworn statement
of each proposed state witness at a hearing in support of the discharge (underscoring ours). The provision does not
make any distinction as to the kind of evidence the prosecution may present. What it simply requires, in addition
to the presentation of the sworn statement of the accused concerned, is the presentation of such evidence as are
necessary to determine if the conditions exist for the discharge, so as to meet the object of the law, which is to
prevent unnecessary or arbitrary exclusion from the complaint of persons guilty of the crime charged. No
exemption from the term evidence is provided by the law as to exclude the
People v. Anabe
September 6, 2010
Filed in RTC of Quezon City
Anabe and Felecitas were charged of Robbery with Homicide and Destructive Arson.

Doctrine:
The state witness cannot simply allege everything left unproved and automatically produce a conviction of the
crime charged against the remaining accused. Corroboration of the account of the state witness is key.

The facts:

On December 31, Felectias and Conrada saw Anabe in the Kitchen holding a bloody knife. The three are house
helpers. The victim, Uy, is found dead with stab wounds. The three house helpers fled and allegedly burned the
house according to Felecitas who latter turned to be state witness. When they were arrested, Anabe was found to
be wearing the Tag Heuer watch of the victim. Felecitas and Anabe were charged of Robbery with Homicide and
Destructive Arson.

Felecitas, having become a state witness was the one who told the story and the details.

Issue: Was Felicitas testimony regarding appellants confession corroborated by the prosecutions other evidence?

Ruling: Turning an accused into a state witness is not a magic formula that cures all the deficiencies in the
prosecutions evidence. The state witness cannot simply allege everything left unproved and automatically produce
a conviction of the crime charged against the remaining accused. Corroboration of the account of the state witness
is key. It is in fact a requirement for the discharge of an accused to be a state witness under Section 17, Rule 119 of
the Rules of Court that the testimony to be given can be substantially corroborated in its material points.

Although there is an exception where the straightforward, sincere testimony if the state witness is sufficient even
if uncorroborated, this exception applies only for those who are eyewitnesses. Here, Felecita is not an eyewitness
to the stabbing so it cannot be proven that Anabe used violence to get the tag heuer watch. As for the Destructive
Arson, it was likewise uncorroborated and since the destructive arson to conceal evidence or crime cannot be
imputed when the accused ran away with the stolen good. Felecita's testimony can only confirm existence of the
crime of arson but not its authorship.

Accused is only guilty of QUALIFIED THEFT for stealing the tag heuer watch without violence and having done as a
house servant of the victim.
Rosales v. CA
Oct. 23, 1992
Filed in RTC of Lucena City
Charged of Murder

Doctrine: The rule is that the discharge of an accused is left to the sound discretion of the lower court, which has
the exclusive responmsibility to see to it that the conditions prescribed by the Rules are met.

FACTS:

Rosales along with other co-conspirators were charged of the Murder of the Mayor. Rosales, during the trial, was
put on the stand as ordinary witness of the prosecution. Then, the prosecution moved to discharge Rosales and
Bautista. Rosales' discharge to be state witness was granted by the trial court. But, upon petition by certiorari of
the private respondents (co-accused) to the CA, the CA nullified the discharge finding no reason for it since Rosales
already testified and admitted his guilt.

Issue: Whether or not the CA is correct in nullifying the discharge as state witness.

Ruling: The CA failed to consider that Rosales is still to take the stand as witness on the separate Criminal Case
against the alleged masterminds (against the ex-mayor, which was filed only later so not included in Rosales' case).

The trial court cannot be faulted to grant the motion to discharge since the requirements to discharge as state
witness under Sec. 9 (now Sec. 17) of Rule 119 of Rules of Court was complied with. The CA has committed
reversible error upon annulling the discharge when there was no showing that Rosales actually failed or refused to
testify against his co-conspirators.
People v. Estacio, Jr.
July 22, 2009
Filed in RTC of Quezon City
Charge: Kidnapping for Ransom charged to Maritess, amended to implead Estacio and charge became
Kidnapping with Murder, then further amended to implead Sumipo who was subsequently discharged as state
witness.

Doctrine:
Sumipo’s discharge as state witness is not erroneous since the requirements provided by the rules are met and the
testimony is corroborated on material points. Even assuming arguendo that the discharge of Sumipo as a state
witness was erroneous, such error would not affect the competency and quality of his testimony.

Facts: Estacio and Marites met with the Victim Charlie Chua to settle debt to Chua. Sumip was with Estacio and
Marites. When Chua arrived on their meetig place in Quezon City, they boarded Chua's car and tied him then
ordered Sumipo to takeover the wheel. They brought Chua to Bulacan and there killed him.

Then, they thought to ask ranson from the dead victim's mother. After some months, Sumipo and Estacio
surrendered to the NBI. The RTC of Quezon City found Estacio and Marites guilty beyond reasonable doubt for
kidnapping and on the occassion, the victim was killed.

Issue: Whether or not the discharge and testimony of Sumipo was correct and sufficient to bring about the
conviction.

Ruling:

These conditions to the discharge of an accused as state witness was established by the prosecution. Sumipo was
the only person other than appellants who had personal knowledge of the acts for which they were being
prosecuted. Only he could positively identify appellants as the perpetrators of the crime. He does not appear to be
the most guilty. He did not participate in planning the commission of the crime. He in fact at first thought that
Maritess was joking when she said, Diretsong dukot na rin kay Charlie. He tried to dissuade appellants from
pursuing their plan. He did not participate in the actual stabbing. And he tried to extricate himself from the
attempts to extract ransom from the victims family.
Sumipos testimony was corroborated on material points. The victims mother testified regarding the demands for
ransom.[33] Cesar Moscoso, an employee of Casa Leonisa, testified to seeing the victim, Estacio, and Maritess at
the bar-restaurant on the day and at the time in question.[34] Henry Hong, the victims cousin who arrived at Pizza
Hut, Greenhills ahead of the victims brother during the scheduled delivery of the ransom, testified to seeing
Estacio there with companions.[35] And the victims skeletal remains were found at the scene of the crime upon
Estacios information and direction.

And there is no proof that Sumipo had, at any time, been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

Even assuming arguendo that the discharge of Sumipo as a state witness was erroneous, such error would not
affect the competency and quality of his testimony.
Finally, the Court brushes aside Maritess disclaimer of participation in killing the victim. It was she who bound the
hands and gagged the victim. When Estacio, in Maritess company, brought the victim to the scene of the crime and
thereafter returned to the car, her and Estacios hands were bloodied.

However, the kidnapping was not proven, only the killing.

The crime committed was thus plain Murder. The killing was qualified by treachery. The victim was gagged, bound,
and taken from Quezon City to an isolated place in Bulacan against his will to prevent him from defending himself
and to facilitate the killing.
CASE TITLE: PONTEJOS V. DESIERTO
DATE: July 7, 2009
CRIME CHARGED: Grave misconduct
WHERE FILED: RTC Quezon City
DOCTRINE: The power to choose who to discharge as state witness is an executive function. Essentially, it is not a
judicial prerogative.

FACTS:
In a case decided by petitioner arbiter Pontejos, Rasemco, through Aquino, asked for the nullification of
all the proceedings conducted before said petitioner for alleged extortion, bribery and graft and corruption
committed by him in conspiracy with Director Wilfredo Imperial and Ms. Carmen Atos, both of HLURB and one
Roderick Ngo, officer of Hammercon, Inc.
Respondent Ombudsman Desierto issued an order placing petitioner Pontejos under preventive
suspension for 6 months without pay and further directing him and Dir. Imperial to file their counter-affidavits and
other controverting evidence to the complaint. Thereafter, the Evaluation and preliminary investigation bureau
(EPIB) of the Office of the Ombudsman issued a joint resolution recommending that: an Information for Estafa (one
count), direct bribery and unauthorized practice of profession in violation of RA 6713 be filed against respondent
Pontejos; complaint against Director Imperial and Ngo be dismissed for insufficiency of evidence; and respondent
Atos be extended immunity from criminal prosecution in accordance with Section 17 of R.A 6770 and be utilized as
a state witness. So the Office of the Ombudsman filed criminal informations for bribery and estafa against
respondent Pontejos. Then in a Resolution dated June 21, 1999, the Office of the Ombudsman granted Atos
immunity from criminal prosecution for bribery and estafa filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and in
the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City.
Petitioner moved to reconsider the above decision but was denied by the Ombudsman. Filed Petition for
review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court in the CA, denied also and upheld the Ombudsman's decision finding
petitioner guilty of grave misconduct. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the CA denied his motion. Hence,
this petition.
ISSUE:
Did CA err in not declaring that the grant of immunity to Ms. Atos was improper.
HELD:
NO, the power to choose who to discharge as state witness is an executive function. Essentially, it is not a
judicial prerogative. It is constitutionally permissible for Congress to vest the prosecutor with the power to
determine who can qualify as a witness and be granted immunity from prosecution. The Court has previously
upheld the discretion of the DOJ, Comelec, and the PCGG to grant immunity from prosecution on the basis of the
respective laws that vested them with such power. The OMB was also vested with the power to grant immunity
from prosecution.
According to Pontejos, the OMB's authority to grant immunity is subject to the "pertinent provisions of
the Rules of Court (Sec.17)." He claims that the procedural rules allow the discharge of an accused as state witness
only upon conformity of the trial court. An information against the accused must first be filed in court prior to the
discharge. Moreover, the prosecution could only recommend and propose, but not grant immunity. The Court has
already held that this provision is applicable only to cases already filed in court. The trial court is given the power
to discharge an accused as a state witness only because it has already acquired jurisdiction over the crime and the
accused. The fact that an individual had not been previously charged or included in an information does not
prevent the prosecution from utilizing said person as a witness.
Section 17 of the Ombudsman Act requires conformity with the Rules of Court, thus requiring the
following circumstances prior to the discharge: (1) absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused sought to
be discharged; (2) no direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed except the
testimony of the said accused; (3) the testimony of the said accused can be substantially corroborated in its
material points; (4) said accused does not appear to be most guilty; and (5) said accused has not any time been
convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.
There must be a standard to follow in the exercise of the prosecutor's discretion. The decision to grant
immunity cannot be made capriciously. Should there be unjust favoritism, the Court may exercise its certiorari
power.
In the present case, certiorari is not proper. Pontejos' allegations do not show, much less allege, grave
abuse of discretion in the granting of immunity to Atos. The OMB considered Atos' position, record and
involvement in the case prior to the discharge. DENIED.
CASE TITLE: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ELMER DE LA CRUZ and TRANGUILINO MARTINEZ
DATE: June 25, 2008
CRIME CHARGED: Kidnapping with Ransom
WHERE FILED: RTC Quezon City
DOCTRINE:

FACTS:
Charged with the crime of kidnapping for ransom were accused-appellants De la Cruz and Martinez, along
with three others, namely, Aldrin Tano (Tano), Romeo Dano (Dano) and Rex Tarnate (Tarnate).
Thereafter, while in the process of presenting its witnesses, the prosecution filed a motion to discharge
accused Tano as a state witness. The RTC granted the motion.
De la Cruz was employed by Erwin as a family driver. He brought Aaron, then an eight-year-old third-grade
student, to and from Claret School. On November 9, 1998, De la Cruz fetched Aaron from school. Martinez got
inside the car and handcuffed Aaron's left wrist. Martinez then drove the car all the way to Batasan Hills where
Dano resided. They fetched Dano who took over control of the car from Martinez. They proceeded to Minuyan,
San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. Upon arrival, they removed Aaron's handcuff and entered a vacant house. Martinez
and Tano left Aaron with De la Cruz and proceeded to Tarnate's house. The following morning, Martinez ordered
Tano to call Erwin to prepare P3 million for your son’s safety.
At the vacant house where Aaron and De la Cruz were being kept, Quinano saw the two and asked them
why they were there. Quinano then brought the two to the barangay hall. Erwin was then informed by phone that
his son was already in the custody of the barangay officials. The Police thereafter conducted an investigation.
Tarnate immediately admitted his participation and revealed information on the identities and
whereabouts of the other accused. The police proceeded to Batasan Hills to arrest the three other accused but
Dano and Martinez were able to escape in the confusion and only Tano was arrested.

ISSUE:
Whether Tano appear to be the least guilty among the accused and that his testimony was necessary
HELD:
For an accused to be discharged as a state witness, the following conditions must be present:
When two or more persons are jointly charged with the commission of any offense, upon motion of the
prosecution before resting its case, the court may direct one or more of the accused to be discharged with
their consent so that they may be witnesses for the state when, after requiring the prosecution to present
evidence and the sworn statement of each proposed state witness at a hearing in support of the discharge,
the court is satisfied that:
a) There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is requested;
b) There is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed,
except the testimony of said accused;
c) The testimony of said accused can be substantially corroborated in its material points;
d) Said accused does not appear to be the most guilty; and,
e) Said accused has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.
f)
The provision does not require that a state witness should appear to be the "least guilty" among the
accused. Rather, it provides that he "does not appear to be the most guilty" the finding of the lower court revealed
that Tano merely facilitated the commission of the crime. He merely boarded the car and sat beside accused-
appellant De la Cruz throughout the whole ride and accompanied accused-appellant Martinez in going back to
Batasan Hills after leaving Aaron and accused-appellant De la Cruz in Bulacan. True, he was the one who placed the
call to Erwin to demand ransom. However, he was neither the mastermind nor the one who hatched the plan to
kidnap Aaron in exchange of money. Clearly, he did not appear to be the most guilty among the accused.
Moreover, his testimony was absolutely necessary as it was the only direct evidence establishing the
presence of conspiracy, from the planning stage up to the commission of the crime.
AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATIONS, De la Cruz and Martinez were found guilty of kidnapping for ransom.
CASE TITLE: GALO MONGE V. PEOPLE
DATE: March 7, 2008
CRIME CHARGED: Illegal Possession of Processes Mahogany (without permit)
WHERE FILED: RTC Iriga City
DOCTRINE: The discharge of an accused so he may turn state witness is left to the exercise of the trial court’s
sound discretion limited only by the requirements set forth in Sec. 17 and 25 of Rule 119.

FACTS:
On 20 July 1994, petitioner and Potencio were found by barangay tanods Serdan and Molina in possession
of and transporting three (3) pieces of mahogany lumber in Barangay Santo Domingo, Iriga City. Right there and
then, the tanods demanded that they be shown the requisite permit and/ or authority from the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) but neither petitioner nor Potencio was able to produce any.
Petitioner fled the scene in that instant whereas Potencio was brought to the police station for interrogation, and
thereafter, to the DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO). The DENR-CENRO
issued a seizure receipt for the three pieces of lumber indicating that the items, totaling 77 board feet of
mahogany valued at P1,925.00, had been seized from Potencio. Later on, petitioner was arrested,
but Potencios whereabouts had been unknown since the time of the seizure until he surfaced on 3 January 1998.

RULING:
Monge’s challenge against Potencio’s discharge as a state witness must also fail. Not a few cases
established the doctrine that the discharge of an accused so he may turn state witness is left to the exercise of
the trial court’s sound discretion limited only by the requirements set forth in Sec. 17 and 25 of Rule 119. Thus,
whether the accused offered to be discharged appears to be the least guilty and whether there is objectively an
absolute necessity for his testimony are questions that lie within the domain of the trial court, it being the
competent to resolve issues of fact. The discretionary judgment of the trial court with respect to highly factual
issue is not to be interfered with by the appellate courts except in case of grave abuse of discretion. Hence, no
such grave abuse of discretion is present in this case. Suffice it to say that issues relative to the discharge of an
accused must be raised in the trial court as they cannot be addressed for the first time on appeal.
An order discharging an accused from the information in order that he may testify for the prosecution has
the effect of an acquittal. Once the discharge is ordered by the trial court, any future development showing that
any or all of the conditions provided in Sec.17 have not actually been fulfilled will not affect the legal consequence
of an acquittal.
Any witting or unwitting error of the Prosecution, therefore, in moving for the discharge and of the court
in granting the motion (no question of jurisdiction being involved) will not deprive the discharged accused of the
benefit of acquittal and of his right against double jeopardy. A contrary rule would certainly be unfair to the
discharged accused because he would then be faulted for a failure attributable to the prosecutor. It is
inconceivable that the rule has adopted the abhorrent legal policy of placing the fate of the discharged accused at
the mercy of anyone who may handle the prosecution.
Indeed, then only instance where the testimony of a discharged accused may be disregarded is when he
deliberately fails to testify truthfully in court in accordance with his commitment (Sec 18). Potencio lived up to
his commitment, with such, petition is denied.
CASE TITLE: PEOPLE V. GO
DATE: August 6, 2014
CRIME CHARGED: Estafa thru Falsification of Commercial Documents
WHERE FILED: RTC Manila
DOCTRINE: Sufficient evidence for purposes of frustrating a demurrer thereto is such evidence in character, weight
or amount as will legally justify the judicial or official action demanded 6 according to the circumstances. To be
considered sufficient therefore, the evidence must prove: (a) the commission of the crime, and (b) the precise
degree of participation therein by the accused.” Thus, when the accused files a demurrer, the court must evaluate
whether the prosecution evidence is sufficient enough to warrant the conviction of the accused beyond
reasonable doubt.

FACTS:
Demurrer to the evidence is an objection by one of the parties in an action, to the effect that the evidence which
his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law, whether true or not, to make out a case or sustain the issue.
The party demurring challenges the sufficiency of the whole evidence to sustain a verdict. The court, in passing
upon the sufficiency of the evidence raised in a demurrer, is merely required to ascertain whether there is
competent or sufficient evidence to sustain the indictment or to support a verdict of guilt. x x x Sufficient evidence
for purposes of frustrating a demurrer thereto is such evidence in character, weight or amount as will legally justify
the judicial or official action demanded according to the circumstances. To be considered sufficient therefore, the
evidence must prove: (a) the commission of the crime, and (b) the precise degree of participation therein by the
accused. Thus, when the accused files a demurrer, the court must evaluate whether the prosecution evidence is
sufficient enough to warrant the conviction of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

The grant or denial of a demurrer to evidence is left to the sound discretion of the trial court, and its ruling on the
matter shall not be disturbed in the absence of a grave abuse of such discretion.[43] As to effect, the grant of a
demurrer to evidence amounts to an acquittal and cannot be appealed because it would place the accused in
double jeopardy. The order is reviewable only by certiorari if it was issued with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. When grave abuse of discretion is present, an order granting a
demurrer becomes null and void.

As a general rule, an order granting the accused’s demurrer to evidence amounts to an acquittal. There are certain
exceptions, however, as when the grant thereof would not violate the constitutional proscription on double
jeopardy. For instance, this Court ruled that when there is a finding that there was grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the trial court in dismissing a criminal case by granting the accused’s demurrer to evidence, its judgment is
considered void, as this Court ruled in People v. Laguio, Jr.:

By this time, it is settled that the appellate court may review dismissal orders of trial courts granting an accused’s
demurrer to evidence. This may be done via the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 based on the ground
of grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Such dismissal order, being considered
void judgment, does not result in jeopardy. Thus, when the order of dismissal is annulled or set aside by an
appellate court in an original special civil action via certiorari, the right of the accused against double jeopardy is
not violated.

Grave abuse of discretion is defined as “that capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment which is tantamount to
lack of jurisdiction. ‘The abuse of discretion must be patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty
or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power
is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility.’ The party questioning the
acquittal of an accused should be able to clearly establish that the trial court blatantly abused its discretion such
that it was deprived of its authority to dispense justice.”

Finally, it must be borne in mind that the granting of a demurrer to evidence should be exercised with caution,
taking into consideration not only the rights of the accused, but also the right of the private offended party to be
vindicated of the wrongdoing done against him, for if it is granted, the accused is acquitted and the private
complainant is generally left with no more remedy. In such instances, although the decision of the court may be
wrong, the accused can invoke his right against double jeopardy. Thus, judges are reminded to be more diligent
and circumspect in the performance of their duties as members of the Bench
Case Title: Antonio De Jesus, Sr. v. Sandiganbayan
Date: February 21, 2011
Where Filed: Sandiganbayan
Crime Charged: Falsification of Public Document and Violation of R.A. 3019
Doctrine: Sec. 23 (Demurrer to Evidence)

Facts:
The Office of the Ombudsman charged the accused public officers of falsification of public document. The
information alleged that accused local officials falsified the Requests for Quotation and Abstract of Proposal of
Canvass by making it appear that Cuad Lumber and Hinundayan Lumber submitted quotations for the supply of
coco lumber, when they did not in fact do so. On April 12, 2005, all three accused filed a motion for leave to file
demurrer to evidence, but was denied; and rather than presenting evidence they however, proceeded to file their
demurrer which in effect waived their right to present evidence. Hence, on March 7, 2007 the Sandiganbayan
rendered judgment convicting the accused local officials of the crimes charged.

The issue in this case is whether or not the Sandiganbayan erred in denying the accused local officials the
opportunity to present their defense after it denied their demurrer to evidence.

The Court ruled that the Sandiganbayan was justified in denying their motion to be allowed to present evidence.
In this case, the accused local officials informed the court that they would file a demurrer to evidence even
without leave of court. The 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure, particularly Section 23, Rule 119, provide:
Section 23. Demurrer to evidence. —
If the court denies the demurrer to evidence filed with leave of court, the accused may adduce evidence in his
defense. When the demurrer to evidence is filed without leave of court, the accused waives the right to present
evidence and submits the case for judgment on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution.
Case Title: People v. Louel Uy
Date: September 30, 2005
Where Filed: RTC of Misamis Orriental, Br. 44
Crime Charged: Murder
Doctrine: Sec. 23 (Demurrer to Evidence)

Facts:
On January 23, 2002, Atty. Bernales, Jr., District Agent-in-Charge of the NBI, filed a case for murder against
Panangin and Uy, based on sworn statement-extrajudicial confession made by Panangin. After arraignment and
commencement of trial, both Panangin and Uy, with leave of court filed a demurrer to evidence. After a month
from filing the demurrer to evidence, the trial court granted the demurrer. The court reasoned that the grant was
due to the testimonial evidence adduced by the prosecution which is just hearsay and that Panangin’s extra-
judicial confession-sworn statement was not voluntary as it was subsequently retracted and even if it were not, it
is still inadmissible since it is a fruit of a poisonous tree as it was obtained from Panangin as a result of his illegal
arrest.

Hence a petition for certiorari was filed questioning as to whether or not the court committed a grave abuse of
discretion when it granted the demurrer to evidence on the ground that the extra-judicial confession executed by
the accused Panangin is inadmissible in evidence after admitting the same to be part of the evidence in chief of the
prosecution.

The Court ruled that that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion, exceeding the parameters of its
jurisdiction, in holding that Panangin’s retracting of his confession shows that the execution thereof was
involuntary and that in any event it was inadmissible as it was "a fruit of [a] poisonous tree.” It is because a
confession is presumed to be voluntary until the contrary is proved and the declarant bears the burden of proving
that his confession is involuntary and untrue. In this case, since the accused presented no evidence to prove the
contrary, the trial court is said to have committed grave abuse of discretion in the grant of the defense’s demurrer
to evidence.

Wherefore the petition is hereby Granted and the case is Remanded to the said court for further proceedings.
Case Title: People v. Sayaboc
Date: January 15, 2004
Where Filed: RTC of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya Br. 27
Crime Charged: Murder
Doctrine: Sec. 23 (Demurrer to Evidence)

Facts:
On 17 April 1995, an information was filed charging Benjamin Sayaboc, Patricio Escorpiso, Marlon Buenviaje, and
Miguel Buenviaje with murder which was committed on December 2, 1994 by shooting and thereby inflicting a
mortal wound at Joseph Galam. On March 8, 1995, Sayaboc was brought to the police station wherein he executed
an extrajudicial confession, confessing that he indeed killed Galam. Thereafter, the trial commenced wherein the
accused requested a motion for leave to admit demurrer to the evidence but instead of filing such motion first, the
accused then filed a Demurrer to Evidence. The demurrer was then denied by the court since the accused did not
seek nor were granted express leave of court prior to their filing of the demurrer to evidence. Then on November
9, 2000, a decision was rendered finding the accused guilty of the crime charged.

The issue in this case was whether or not the trial court erred in denying the demurrer to evidence filed by accused
on the ground of failure to first file a motion for leave to admit demurrer to the evidence.

The Court held that the trial court did not err in their decision of denying the motion. It must be remembered
that their demurrer to evidence was first filed before the motion for leave was filed, as such the filing of the
demurrer was clearly without leave of court. The filing of a demurrer to evidence without leave of court is an
unqualified waiver of the right to present evidence for the accused. The rationale for this rule is that when the
accused moves for dismissal on the ground of insufficiency of evidence of the prosecution evidence, he does so in
the belief that said evidence is insufficient to convict and, therefore, any need for him to present any evidence is
negated. Hence, the trial court did not err in their decision of denying the said motion.
Case Title: People v. Danilo Gole Cruz
Date: September 13, 1989
Where Filed: CFI of Sta. Maria Bulacan Br. V
Crime Charged: Rape with Homicide
Doctrine: Sec. 24 (Reopening)

Facts:
On December 22, 1977, witness Victores testified that he saw Cruz running away from the washing area where the
Teresita Gumapay was found to have been stabbed and raped. Later that night, Cruz accompanied by his father
surrendered himself at the police station. An information for rape with homicide was then filed against him
wherein he pleaded not guilty. Thereafter, the trial commenced but proceeded with some delays due to the
medical condition suffered by Cruz which made him unable to stand trial in court. However during the trail B.P.
129 took effect which resulted to the re-raffling of the case wherein a scheduled hearing was set. At the scheduled
hearing, both parties instead of filing their comments, argued and opposed the reopening of the case and
reiterated their stand that they were submitting the case for decision. However, about 5 months later, counsel for
the accused filed a "motion to reopen the case and allow accused to adduce additional evidence”, however the
motion was denied for lack of merit since the promulgation of the decision has already been set. The court then,
promulgated the decision which found the accused Cruz guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape with
homicide.

The issue in this case was whether or not the court erred in denying the motion to reopen the case.

The Court held that the trial court did not err in finding the accused guilty of the crime charged. The Court
reasoned that the failure of the accused to complete his testimony was of his own making, on the initiation,
confirmation and reiteration of his own counsel; hence it cannot be said that he was not afforded full opportunity
to exercise his constitutional right to be heard and present evidence. Filing of a motion to reopen a case must not
in any way automatically vacate an agreement and order submitting the case for decision. While the court may
reopen a case for reception of further evidence after the parties have closed their evidence, such action is
addressed to the sound discretion of the court and to be exercised only on valid and justifiable reasons which
undoubtedly are inexistent in this case.

Wherefore the judgment of the lower court is Affirmed.