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The People of the Philippines vs.

Oscar Alcanzado

G.R. No. 138335, May 20, 2004

FACTS:

Oscar Alcanzado was found guilty for murder. During his arraignment, he pleaded not

guilty. As such, a trial on the merits ensued. After the prosecution had rested its case, the defense

filed for a Demurrer of the Evidence. Said petition was protested by prosecution and was

subsequently denied by the court. The court then promulgated its decision without giving the

accused the opportunity to present his evidence.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court erred in not giving the accused the opportunity to present his

evidence

RULING:

Yes. According to Section 15, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court,

SEC. 15. Demurrer to evidence. – After the prosecution has rested its case, the

court may dismiss the case on the ground of insufficiency of evidence: (1) on its

own initiative after giving the prosecution an opportunity to be heard; or (2) on

motion of the accused filed with prior leave of court.

If the court denies the motion for dismissal, the accused may adduce evidence in his

defense. Denying the accused to present his evidence would result to a procedural unfairness and

complete miscarriage of justice. However, when the accused filed such motion to dismiss

without express leave of court, he waives the right to present evidence and submits the case for

judgment on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution.


Joey Potot y Surio vs. People of the Philippines and Lolito Dapulag

G.R. No. 143547, June 26, 2002

FACTS:

Joey S. Potot was charged with homicide in the RTC. During his arraignment, he pleaded

guilty to the charge and at the same time, invoked 2 mitigating circumstances. The public

prosecutor also manifested that there were no aggravating circumstances. Potot was then

sentenced to imprisonment which is 1 degree lower than the supposed period as well as to pay

for damages to the heirs of his victim. He did not appeal his conviction. Instead, he asked to be

committed to jail to serve his sentence. The wife of the victim then filed for a MR/ re-trial

alleging that there were aggravating circumstances that were deliberately omitted by the

eyewitnesses during the preliminary investigation on the ground that it might complicate the

trial. Said motion was granted the motion despite the objection of the accused since the decision

had already become final.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the remand of the records to the prosecutor for re-evaluation of the

evidence constitutes double jeopardy

RULING:

Yes. To invoke the defense of double jeopardy, the following requisites must be present:

(1) a valid complaint or information; (2) the court has jurisdiction to try the case; (3) the accused

has pleaded to the charge; and (4) he has been convicted or acquitted, or the case against him

dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent. It is not the fault of the

prosecutor if he failed to properly appreciate the alleged facts due to the deliberate omission of

said facts in the witnesses’ testimony. Furthermore, the court may only grant a MR/ new trial if it

is the accused who filed it or with his consent before a judgment of conviction became final.

Finally, an accused waiving his right to appeal has the effect of causing the judgment to become

final and unalterable. Any error, assuming one was committed in the judgment, will not justify

its amendment except only to correct clerical errors or mistakes.


Government of the United States of America, Represented by the Philippine Department of
Justice vs. Hon. Guillermo Purganan, Presiding Judge Regional Trial Court of Manila and
Marc Jimenez a.k.a. Marcio Batacan Crespo

G.R. No. 148571, September 24, 2002

FACTS:

Marc Jimenez was under arrest due to an extradition proceedings requested by the United

States Government for a crime he committed in the US. The lower court had granted Jimenez’

application for bail, which was set at P1 million. This was being opposed by the US

Government.

ISSUE:

Whether or not prospective extraditees are entitled to the right to bail while the

extradition proceedings are pending

RULING:

No. The constitutional provision to bail as well as the provision in the Rules of Court

only pertains to only when a person has been arrested and detained for violation of Philippine

criminal laws. It does not apply to extradition proceedings, because extradition courts do not

render judgments of conviction or acquittal. Moreover, the constitutional right to bail "flows

from the presumption of innocence in favor of every accused who should not be subjected to the

loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved beyond

reasonable doubt." As such, it is no applicable to extradition proceedings where the presumption

of innocence is not at issue.

The only exception when bail may be applied for and granted is if a potential extradite, after

having been arrested or placed under the custody of the law, could clearly and convincing show

(1) that, once granted bail, the applicant will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community;

and (2) that there exist special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances including, as a

matter of reciprocity, those cited by the highest court in the requesting state when it grants

provisional liberty in extradition cases therein.


Joselito V. Narciso vs. Flor Marie Sta. Romana-Cruz

G.R. No. 134504, March 17, 2000

FACTS:

Joselito Narciso was accused of parricide for killing his wife. During the trial, his motion

to post bail was granted as the public prosecutor posed no objection. However, the private

prosecutor hired by his sister-in-law objected and filed a motion to lift the order of granting the

bail. Said motion to lift the order was not resolved by the RTC, hence a petition for certiorari was

filed in the CA. The CA granted the said petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not a motion for bail be granted without a hearing?

RULING:

No. Sec. 13, Article III of the Constitution, provides: "All persons, except those charged

with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before

conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided

by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas

corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required." Furthermore, Section 7, Article 114 of

the Rules of Court, as amended, also provides: "No person charged with a capital offense, or an

offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, when evidence of guilt is strong,

shall be admitted to bail regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution."

In the case at bar, it was not shown that a hearing was done to determine whether or not the

evidence of guilt is strong. The Judge has a mandatory duty to conduct a hearing to determine

whether or not the guilt of the accused is strong despite no opposition from the prosecutor for the

judge has no right to presume that the prosecutor knows what he is doing on account of

familiarity with the case.


Miriam Defensor-Santiago vs. Conrado M. Vasquez, Ombudsman; Gualberto J. De La
Llana, Special Prosecutor; Sandiganbayan and Regional Trial Court of Manila

G.R. Nos. 99289-90 January 27, 1993

FACTS:

Miriam Defensor-Santiago has a pending criminal case with the Sandiganbayan. Citing
serious extensive physical injuries as a result of a vehicular accident, accused filed a motion for
bail which was granted by the Sandiganbayan. After about a week, the Ombudsman filed a
manifestation that Santiago appeared in his office together with his lawyer and physician
unaided. Acting on said manifestation, the Sandiganbayan set an arraignment for Santiago
earlier that originally scheduled. Santiago then ask the court to cancel the bail bond since to
continue remaining under bail bond may imply to other people that she has intentions of fleeing.
The Sandiganbayan also issued a hold-departure against her due to her announcement that she
will be going to the US to pursue a fellowship from Harvard as well as to address Filipino
communities there.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the respondent court never acquired jurisdiction over her person
considering that she has neither been arrested nor has she voluntarily surrendered, aside from the
fact that she has not validly posted bail since she never personally appeared before said court.

RULING:

Yes. It has been held that where after the filing of the complaint or information a warrant
for the arrest of the accused is issued by the trial court and the accused either voluntarily
submitted himself to the court or was duly arrested, the court thereby acquires jurisdiction over
the person of the accused. The voluntary appearance of the accused, whereby the court acquires
jurisdiction over his person, is accomplished either by his pleading to the merits (such as by
filing a motion to quash or other pleadings requiring the exercise of the court's jurisdiction
thereover, appearing for arraignment, entering trial) or by filing bail. On the matter of bail, since
the same is intended to obtain the provisional liberty of the accused, as a rule the same cannot be
posted before custody of the accused has been acquired by the judicial authorities either by his
arrest or voluntary surrender. In the case at bar, the court had acquired jurisdiction over her when
she had filed a motion for the acceptance of cash bail bond. This is further supported when she
had posted the said bail bond when the court had granted her motion as well as when she asked
the said court to cancel the same.
Re: Request of the National Committee on Legal Aid to Exempt Clients from Paying Filing,
Docket and other Fees

A.M. No. 08-11-7-SC

FACTS:

On September 23, 2008 the Misamis Oriental Chapter of the IBP promulgated a
resolution requesting the IBP’s National Committee on Legal Aid to ask for the exemption from
the payment of filing, docket and other fees of clients of the legal aid offices in the various IBP
chapters. This is in view of the fact that PAO clients are exempted from the same at that the
subsidy from the government and the IBP is not enough to even cover the incidental expenses of
the volunteer legal aid lawyers.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the clients of IBP Legal Aid Offices can be exempted from the payment
of filing, docket and other fees
RULING:
Yes. Article 3, Sec. 11of the 1987 Constitution provides that “Free access to the courts and
quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of
poverty.” Access to justice by all is essential in a democracy and in the rule of law. Furthermore,
indigent litigants are already permitted under Section 21, Rule 3 and Section 19, Rule 141 of the
Rules of Court to bring suits in forma pauperis. With this regard, the SC issued the IRR of A.M.
No. 08-11-7-SC. Said Rules provide the tests to be used in determining the indigents.
1. Means test which refers to the set of criteria used to determine whether the applicant is
one who has no money or property sufficient and available for food, shelter and basic
necessities for himself and his family. An applicant is deemed an indigent if he and his
immediate family have a gross monthly income that does not exceed an amount double
the monthly minimum wage of an employee in the place where the applicant resides and
(ii) if he does not own real property with a fair market value as stated in the current tax
declaration of more than P300,000.00. This means tests is not applicable to applicants
who fall under the developmental legal aid program such as overseas workers, fisherfolk,
farmers, laborers, indigenous cultural communities, women, children and other
disadvantaged groups.
2. Merit test refers to the ascertainment of whether the applicant’s cause of action or his
defense is valid and whether the chances of establishing the same appear reasonable. A
case fails this test if, after consideration of the law and evidence presented by the
applicant, it appears that it is intended merely to harass or injure the opposite party or to
work oppression or wrong.
People of the Philippines vs. Lodrigo Bayya

G.R. No. 127845, March 10, 2000

FACTS:

Lodrigo Bayya was found guilty of raping his 12-year old daughter and was sentenced
with the penalty of death. The information against him reads:

That on or about the year 1994 and for sometimes (sic) thereafter in the
municipality of Burgos, province of Isabela, Philippines and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused armed with a knife, did then
and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, by means of force, intimidation
and with lewd designs, have carnal knowledge with his own daughter ROSIE S.
BAYYA for several times against the latters (sic) will and consent.”

On appeal, Bayya avers that he should only be penalized with reclusion perpetua
under the RPC instead of death under RA 7659 as the latter was not alleged in the
information

ISSUE:

Whether or not the accused’s right to be informed was violated

RULING:

Yes. Under Rule 110, Sec. 6 of the Rules of Court and Art. III, Sec. 14 the 1987
Constitution, guarantees the accused’s right to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him. This is to ensure that (1) the accused is furnished with such a description
of the charge against him as will enable him to make the defense; (2) the accused can avail of his
conviction or acquittal for protection against a further prosecution for the same cause; and (3) the
court is informed of the facts alleged, so that it may decide whether they are sufficient in law to
support a conviction, if one should be had.

In the case at bar, the information did not alleged the minority of the victim hence he
could only be liable for simple rape under the RPC and not under RA 7659. The accused could
not be convicted for any offense if said offense was not charged in the Complaint or information
on which he is being tried or was necessarily included in the said offense.
People of the Philippines vs. Joey Manlansing y Ambrosio, and Mario Manlansing y
Ambrosio

G.R. No. 131736-37, March 11, 2002

FACTS:

Joey Manlansing and Mario Manlansing, who are brothers, were charged for the murder
of Magin and Jorja Soriano. The accused were tenants of the spouses Magin and Jorja Soriano
for 4 years. The Information filed against them read:

“That on or about the 27th day of December, 1994, in the City of Cabanatuan,
Republic of the Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
the above-named accused, conspiring together and mutually aiding one another,
with intent to kill and with evident premeditation, treachery and taking advantage
of night time and with the use of bolo, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously attack, assault and use personal violence upon the person of JORJA
SORIANO y Rigor by hacking the latter, thereby inflicting upon the latter serious
injuries which directly caused her death.”

The Information was later amended to include Magin Soriano as victim. During
arraignment, Joey Manlansing pleaded not guilty to both charges, while Mario Manlansing
pleaded guilty to two counts of murder. After they waived pre-trial, both cases were heard on the
merits. After trial, both accused were found guilty of the crime and appreciated against them the
qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation, treachery, nighttime, and use of a deadly
weapon and the aggravating circumstances of abuse of superior strength and dwelling. Due to the
penalty of death, the SC put on automatic review the decision of the lower court where the
accused alleged among others that the trial court erred in appreciating the qualifying
circumstance and the aggravating circumstances.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the trial court erred in appreciating the qualifying circumstances and the
aggravating circumstances

RULING:

Yes. Pursuant to Sections 8 and 9 of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules on Criminal
Procedure which took effect on December 1, 2000, the information should state not only the
designation of the offense and the acts and omissions constituting it but shall also specify its
qualifying and aggravating circumstances.

In the case at bar, none of the aggravating circumstances were alleged in the informations
or in the amended informations with specificity as a qualifying circumstance elevating either
killing to murder. Furthermore, abuse of superior strength and dwelling were not alleged in the
informations. Thus, in accordance with Section 8 of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure, abuse of superior strength and dwelling may not be appreciated to convict the
brothers. Finally, abuse of superior strength is absorbed by treachery if there will be a finding of
the latter. Because of these, the SC ruled that only the aggravating circumstances of evident
premeditation, and treachery were proven while nocturnity as an aggravating circumstance was
not present in the commission of the crimes.