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Crimpro digest02

Dr. Solidum v. People, G.R. No. 192123, 10 March 2014. would be to speculate on the cause of the hypoxia. We are not
allowed to do so, for civil liability must not rest on speculation
26 Apr but on competent evidence.

[BERSAMIN, J.] ISSUE#2: Is the decree that Ospital ng Maynila is jointly and
severally liable with Dr. Solidum correct?
FACTS: Gerald Albert Gercayo (Gerald) was born with an
imperforate anus. Two days after his birth, Gerald underwent HELD#2: NO, the decree is not correct.
colostomy, a surgical procedure to bring one end of the large
intestine out through the abdominal wall, enabling him to For one, Ospital ng Maynila was not at all a party in the
excrete through a colostomy bag attached to the side of his proceedings. Hence, its fundamental right to be heard was not
body. When Gerald was three years old, he was admitted at respected from the outset. The R TC and the CA should have
the Ospital ng Maynila for a pull-through operation Dr. been alert to this fundamental defect. Verily, no person can be
Leandro Resurreccion headed the surgical team, and was prejudiced by a ruling rendered in an action or proceeding in
assisted by Dr. Joselito Luceño, Dr. Donatella Valeña and Dr. which he was not made a party. Such a rule would enforce the
Joseph Tibio. The anesthesiologists included Dr. Marichu constitutional guarantee of due process of law.
Abella, Dr. Arnel Razon and petitioner Dr. Fernando Solidum
(Dr. Solidum). During the operation, Gerald experienced Moreover, Ospital ng Maynila could be held civilly liable only
bradycardia, and went into a coma. His coma lasted for two when subsidiary liability would be properly enforceable
weeks, but he regained consciousness only after a month. He pursuant to Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. But the
could no longer see, hear or move. subsidiary liability seems far-fetched here. The conditions for
subsidiary liability to attach to Ospital ng Maynila should first
A criminal complaint for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in be complied with. Firstly, pursuant to Article 103 of the
Serious Physical Injuries was filed against Dr. Solidum. The Revised Penal Code, Ospital ng Maynila must be shown to be
RTC rendered a judgment of conviction against Dr. Solidum a corporation “engaged in any kind of industry.” The term
with Ospital ng Maynila jointly and severally liable. The CA industry means any department or branch of art, occupation or
affirmed the RTC judgment. The SC ruled that Dr. Solidum business, especially one that employs labor and capital, and is
must be acquitted because the prosecution did not prove engaged in industry.
beyond reasonable doubt that Dr. Solidum had been recklessly
imprudent in administering the anesthetic agent to However, Ospital ng Maynila, being a public hospital, was not
Gerald. Indeed, Dr. Vertido’s findings did not preclude the engaged in industry conducted for profit but purely in
probability that other factors related to Gerald’s major charitable and humanitarian work. Secondly, assuming that
operation, which could or could not necessarily be attributed Ospital ng Maynila was engaged in industry for profit, Dr.
to the administration of the anesthesia, had caused the hypoxia Solidum must be shown to be an employee of Ospital ng
and had then led Gerald to experience bradycardia. Dr. Maynila acting in the discharge of his duties during the
Vertido revealingly concluded in his report, instead, that operation on Gerald. Yet, he definitely was not such employee
“although the anesthesiologist followed the normal routine and but a consultant of the hospital. And, thirdly, assuming that
precautionary procedures, still hypoxia and its corresponding civil liability was adjudged against Dr. Solidum as an
side effects did occur. employee (which did not happen here), the execution against
him was unsatisfied due to his being insolvent.
ISSUE#1: Will the acquittal of Dr. Solidum exempt him from
civil liability arising from the crime? N.B.

HELD#2: NO, it does not follow. In criminal prosecutions, the civil action for the recovery of
civil liability that is deemed instituted with the criminal action
We have to clarify that the acquittal of Dr. Solidum would not refers only to that arising from the offense charged. It is
immediately exempt him from civil liability. But we cannot puzzling, therefore, how the RTC and the CA could have
now find and declare him civilly liable because the adjudged Ospital ng Maynila jointly and severally liable with
circumstances that have been established here do not present Dr. Solidum for the damages despite the obvious fact that
the factual and legal bases for validly doing so. His acquittal Ospital ng Maynila, being an artificial entity, had not been
did not derive only from reasonable doubt. There was really charged along with Dr. Solidum. The lower courts thereby
no firm and competent showing how the injury to Gerard had acted capriciously and whimsically, which rendered their
been caused. That meant that the manner of administration of judgment against Ospital ng Maynila void as the product of
the anesthesia by Dr. Solidum was not necessarily the cause of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
the hypoxia that caused the bradycardia experienced by
Gerard. Consequently, to adjudge Dr. Solidum civilly liable GR No. 191240, July 30, 2014
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CRISTINA B. CASTILLO, Petitioner, should make a study of it first. He was introduced to Roy
Singun, owner of a money remittance business in Pasay
vs. City. Upon the advice of Roy, respondent and petitioner, her
husband and Ramon went to Palau. He denied receiving
US$20,000.00 from petitioner but admitted that it was
PHILLIP R. SALVADOR, Respondent.
petitioner who paid for the plane tickets. After their Palau trip,
they went into training at Western Union at the First World
Facts: Center in Makati City. Ramon, petitioner and her mother went
to Hong Kong to register the business, while he took care of
Petition for review on certiorari which assails the Decision of petitioner’s children here. He and Ramon went back to Hong
the Court of Appeals (CA) with respect only to the civil aspect Kong but denied having received the amount of
of the case as respondent Phillip R. Salvador had been US$100,000.00 from petitioner but then admitted receipt of
acquitted of the crime of Estafa. the amount of P100, 000.00 which petitioner asked him to
give to Charlie Chau as payment for the pieces of diamond
The respondent Phillip R. Salvador was charged with Estafa jewelry she got from him, which Chau had duly
under Article 315, paragraph 2 (a) of the Revised Penal Code. acknowledged. He denied Enrico’s testimony that petitioner
While, petitioner Cristina B. Castillo is a businesswoman gave him the amount of US$100,000.00 in his mother’s
engaged in real estate business, educational institution, house. He claimed that no remittance business was started in
boutique, and trading business. She was then enticed by Hong Kong as they had no license, equipment, personnel and
Salvador and his brother, Ramon Salvador to engage in freight money to operate the same. Upon his return to the Philippines,
and remittance business. petitioner never asked him about the business, as she never
gave him such amount. He intimated that he and petitioner
As petitioner had deeply fallen in love with respondent even went to Hong Kong again to buy some goods for the
Salvador and since she trusted him very much as he even acted latter’s boutique. He admitted that he loved petitioner and her
as a father to her children while her annulment was ongoing, children very much as there was a time when petitioner’s
she agreed to embark on the remittance business. She finances were short; he gave her P600, 000.00 for the
agreed with respondent and Ramon that any profit derived enrollment of her children in very expensive schools. It is also
from the business would be equally divided among them and not true that he and Ramon initiated the Hong Kong and
that respondent would be in charge of promotion and Bangkok trips
marketing in Hong Kong, and Ramon would take charge of
the operations of business in the Philippines and she would be Petitioner files the instant petition on the civil aspect of the
financing the business. case alleging that even if the Court Of Appeals decided to
acquit him it should have at least retained the award of
The business has not operated yet as petitioner was still raising damages to the petitioner.
the amount of US$100,000.00 as capital for the actual
operation. When petitioner already had the money, she handed ISSUE:
the same to respondent Salvador which was witnessed by her
disabled half-brother Enrico B. Tan. However, the WON the award of damages or the civil aspect be retained.
proposed business never operated as respondent only stayed in
Hong Kong for three days. When she asked respondent about RULING:
the money and the business, the latter told her that the money
was deposited in a bank. However, upon further query,
The award of damages must be removed. Our law recognizes
respondent confessed that he used the money to pay for his
other obligations. Since then, the US$100,000.00 was not two kinds of acquittal, with different effects on the civil
liability of the accused. First is an acquittal on the ground that
returned at all.
the accused is not the author of the actor omission complained
of. This instance closes the door to civil liability, for a person
Respondent’s defense that he and petitioner became close who has been found to be not the perpetrator of any act or
friends and eventually fell in love and had an affair. They omission cannot and can never be held liable for such act or
traveled to Hong Kong and Bangkok where petitioner saw omission. There being no delict, civil liability ex delicto is out
how popular he was among the Filipino domestic of the question, and the civil action, if any, which may be
helpers, which led her to suggest a remittance business. instituted must be based on grounds other than the delict
Although hesitant, he has friends with such business. He complained of. This is the situation contemplated in Rule 111
denied that petitioner gave him US$10,000.00 when he went of the Rules of Court. The second instance is an acquittal
to Hong Kong and Bangkok. After he came back from the based on reasonable doubt on the guilt of the accused. In this
United States, petitioner had asked him and his brother Ramon case, even if the guilt of the accused has not been satisfactorily
for a meeting. During the meeting, petitioner brought up the established, he is not exempt from civil liability which may be
money remittance business, but Ramon told her that they
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proved by preponderance of evidence only. This is the G.R. No. 175256 August 23, 2012
situation contemplated in Article 29 of the Civil Code, where LILY LIM, Petitioner,
the civil action for damages is “for the same act or omission. vs.
KOU CO PING a.k.a. CHARLIE CO, Respondent.
A reading of the CA decision would show that respondent was
acquitted because the prosecution failed to prove his guilt G.R. No. 179160
beyond reasonable doubt. Said the CA: KOU CO PING a.k.a. CHARLIE CO, Petitioner,
vs.
The evidence for the prosecution being insufficient to prove LILY LIM, Respondent.
beyond reasonable doubt that the crime as charged had been
committed by appellant, the general presumption, “that a FACTS:
person is innocent of the crime or wrong, stands in his favor.
The prosecution failed to prove that all the elements of Estafa FR Cement Corporation (FRCC) issued several withdrawal
are present in this case as would overcome the presumption of authorities for the account of cement dealers and traders, Fil-
innocence in favor of appellant. For in fact, the prosecution’s Cement and Tigerbilt (FCCT).
primary witness herself could not even establish clearly and
precisely how appellant committed the alleged fraud. She FCCT then sold the withdrawal authorities covering 50,000
failed to convince us that she was deceived through bags of cement to respondent Co for the amount of P3.15
misrepresentations and/or insidious actions, in venturing into a
million or P63.00 per bag.
remittance business. Quite the contrary, the obtaining
circumstance in this case indicate the weakness of her
submissions. Co then sold the same withdrawal authorities to petitioner Lily
Lim for the alleged amount of P3.2 million or P64.00 per bag.
Thus, since the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt,
respondent is not exempt from civil liability which may be Lim, using the withdrawal authorities, withdrew 2,800 bags of
proved by preponderance of evidence only. In Encinas v. cement from FRCC. He then sold some of the withdrawal
National Bookstore, Inc., the higher court explained the authorities covering 10,000 bags back to respondent Co.
concept of preponderance of evidence as follows: (Remaining: 37,200 bags)

Preponderance of evidence is the weight, credit, and value of Sometime within the same year, FRCC no longer allowed Lim
the aggregate evidence on either side and is usually considered to withdraw the remaining 37,200 bags covered by the
to be synonymous with the term “greater weight of the withdrawal authorities. According to Co and the manager of
evidence” or “greater weight of the credible evidence.” FCCT, the plant implemented a price increase and would only
Preponderance of evidence is a phrase which, in the last release the goods once Lim paid for the price difference or
analysis, means probability of the truth. It is evidence which is agreed to receive a lesser quantity of cement. Lim objected
more convincing to the court as worthy of belief than that and maintained that the withdrawal authorities were not
which is offered in opposition thereto. subject to price fluctuations.

However, in this case, no such civil liability is proved even by Because of this, Lim filed an information for Estafa through
preponderance of evidence. Misappropriation or Conversion before the RTC of Pasig City.
The criminal case was dismissed. The civil liability was
subsequently dismissed as well after the reception of the
In discrediting petitioner’s allegation that she gave respondent evidence.
US$100,000.00 in May 2002, the CA found that: (1) petitioner Lim appealed the dismissal of the civil liability before the CA.
failed to show how she was able to raise the money in such a
While the appeal before the CA was pending, she filed a
short period of time and even gave conflicting versions on the
complaint for specific performance and damages before the
source of the same; (2) petitioner failed to require respondent
RTC of Manila. The complaint asserted two causes of action:
to sign a receipt so she could have a record of the transaction breach of contract and abuse of rights.
and offered no plausible reason why the money was allegedly
hand-carried to Hong Kong; (3) petitioner’s claim of trust as
reason for not requiring respondent to sign a receipt was In his defense, Co maintained that the two causes of action
inconsistent with the way she conducted her previous raise the same issue, which was Co’s liability to Lim for her
transactions with him; and (4) petitioner’s behavior after the inability to withdraw the bags of cement, and SHOULD BE
alleged fraud perpetrated against her was inconsistent with the DISMISSED ON THE GROUNDS OF LIS PENDENS AND
actuation of someone who had been swindled. FORUM SHOPPING.

The petition for the award of damages is denied. ISSUE:

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Whether or not Lim committed forum shopping in filing the Capitulo filed a civil case against Laroya for quasi-delict.
civil case for specific performance and damages during the However, upon motion of Laroya on the ground of forum-
pendency of her appeal on the civil aspect of Estafa. shopping, the MCTC dismissed the civil case. On Motion for
Reconsideration, Casupanan and Capitulo insisted that the
HELD: civil case is a separate civil action which can proceed
independently of the criminal case. Casupanan and Capitulo
Lim did not commit forum shopping in filing the civil case for
then filed a petition for certiorari before the Regional Trial
specific performance and damages during the pendency of her
appeal on the civil aspect of Estafa. Court (RTC) of Capas, Tarlac. But the RTC ruled that the
order of dismissal issued by the MCTC is a final order which
A single act or omission that causes damage to an offended disposes of the case and therefore, the proper remedy should
party may give rise to two separate civil liabilities on the part have been an appeal. Hence, Casupanan and Capitulo filed this
of the offender: (1) civil liability ex delicto, that is, civil petition.
liability arising from the criminal offense under Article 100 of
the Revised Penal Code,− and (2) independent civil liability, Casupanan and Capitulo’s contention: that if the accused in a
that is, civil liability that may be pursued independently of the
criminal case has a counterclaim against the private
criminal proceedings. The independent civil liability may be
based on “an obligation not arising from the act or omission complainant, he may file the counterclaim in a separate civil
complained of as a felony,” as provided in Article 31 of the action at the proper time. They contend that an action on
Civil Code (such as for breach of contract or for tort). It may quasi-delict is different from an action resulting from the
also be based on an act or omission that may constitute felony crime of reckless imprudence, and an accused in a criminal
but, nevertheless, treated independently from the criminal case can be an aggrieved party in a civil case arising from the
action by specific provision of Article 33 of the Civil Code same incident. They maintain that under Articles 31 and 2176
(“in cases of defamation, fraud and physical injuries”).
of the Civil Code, the civil case can proceed independently of
the criminal action. Finally, they point out that Casupanan was
The filing of the collection case after the dismissal of the
estafa cases against the offender did not amount to forum- not the only one who filed the independent civil action based
shopping. The essence of forum shopping is the filing of on quasi-delict but also Capitulo, the owner-operator of the
multiple suits involving the same parties for the same cause of vehicle, who was not a party in the criminal case.
action, either simultaneously or successively, to secure a
favorable judgment. Although the cases filed by the offended Laroya’s contention: that the petition is fatally defective as it
party arose from the same act or omission of the offender, they
does not state the real antecedents. Laroya further alleges that
are, however, based on different causes of action. The criminal
cases for estafa are based on culpa criminal while the civil Casupanan and Capitulo forfeited their right to question the
action for collection is anchored on culpa contractual. order of dismissal when they failed to avail of the proper
remedy of appeal. Laroya argues that there is no question of
Moreover, there can be no forum-shopping in the instant case law to be resolved as the order of dismissal is already final and
because the law expressly allows the filing of a separate civil a petition for certiorari is not a substitute for a lapsed appeal.
action which can proceed independently of the criminal action.
ISSUE/HELD: WON an accused in a pending criminal case
for reckless imprudence can validly file, simultaneously and
independently, a separate civil action for quasi-delict against
CASUPANAN VS LAROYA CASE DIGEST G.R. No.
the private complainant in the criminal case. AFFIRMATIVE
145391 August 26, 2002

RATIO DICIDENDI:
Topic: Criminal Procedure: Rule 111, Rules of Court

The Court held that the MCTC dismissed the civil action for
FACTS: As a result of a vehicular accident between two
quasi-delict on the ground of forum-shopping under Supreme
vehicles, one driven by Mario Llavore Laroya and the other
Court Administrative Circular No. 04-94. The MCTC did not
owned by Roberto Capitulo and driven by Avelino Casupanan,
state in its order of dismissal that the dismissal was with
two cases were filed before the MCTC of Capas, Tarlac.
prejudice. Under the Administrative Circular, the order of
Laroya filed a criminal case against Casupanan for reckless
dismissal is without prejudice to refiling the complaint, unless
imprudence resulting in damage to property. This case was on
the order of dismissal expressly states that it is with prejudice.
its preliminary investigation stage when Casupanan and
Thus, the MCTC's dismissal, being silent on the matter, is a
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dismissal without prejudice. Section 1 of Rule 41 provides that recover damages twice for the same act or omission charged in
an order dismissing an action without prejudice is not the criminal action."
appealable. The remedy of the aggrieved party is to file a
special civil action under Rule 65. Clearly, the Capas RTC's There is no question that the offended party in the criminal
order dismissing the petition for certiorari on the ground that action can file an independent civil action for quasi-delict
the proper remedy is an ordinary appeal, is erroneous. against the accused. Section 3 of the present Rule 111
expressly states that the "offended party" may bring such an
Laroya filed the criminal case for reckless imprudence action but the "offended party" may not recover damages
resulting in damage to property based on the Revised Penal twice for the same act or omission charged in the criminal
Code while Casupanan and Capitulo filed the civil action for action. Clearly, Section 3 of Rule 111 refers to the offended
damages based on Article 2176 of the Civil Code. Although party in the criminal action, not to the accused.
these two actions arose from the same act or omission, they
have different causes of action. The criminal case is based on Thus, the offended party can file two separate suits for the
culpa criminal punishable under the Revised Penal Code while same act or omission. The first a criminal case where the civil
the civil case is based on culpa aquiliana actionable under action to recover civil liability ex-delicto is deemed instituted,
Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code. And par 6, sec 1 of and the other a civil case for quasi-delict — without violating
Rule 111. the rule on non-forum shopping. The two cases can proceed
simultaneously and independently of each other. The
Since the present Rules require the accused in a criminal commencement or prosecution of the criminal action will not
action to file his counterclaim in a separate civil action, there suspend the civil action for quasi-delict. The only limitation is
can be no forum-shopping if the accused files such separate that the offended party cannot recover damages twice for the
civil action. same act or omission of the defendant. In most cases, the
offended party will have no reason to file a second civil action
Under the present Rule 111, the offended party is still given since he cannot recover damages twice for the same act or
the option to file a separate civil action to recover civil omission of the accused. In some instances, the accused may
liability ex-delicto by reserving such right in the criminal be insolvent, necessitating the filing of another case against
action before the prosecution presents its evidence. Also, the his employer or guardians.
offended party is deemed to make such reservation if he files a
separate civil action before filing the criminal action. If the Similarly, the accused can file a civil action for quasi-delict
civil action to recover civil liability ex-delicto is filed for the same act or omission he is accused of in the criminal
separately but its trial has not yet commenced, the civil action case. This is expressly allowed in paragraph 6, Section 1 of the
may be consolidated with the criminal action. The present Rule 111 which states that the counterclaim of the
consolidation under this Rule does not apply to separate civil accused "may be litigated in a separate civil action." This is
actions arising from the same act or omission filed under only fair for two reasons. First, the accused is prohibited from
Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code. setting up any counterclaim in the civil aspect that is deemed
instituted in the criminal case. The accused is therefore forced
Section 2, Rule 111 of the present Rules did not change the to litigate separately his counterclaim against the offended
rule that the separate civil action, filed to recover damages ex- party. If the accused does not file a separate civil action for
delicto, is suspended upon the filing of the criminal action. quasi-delict, the prescriptive period may set in since the period
Section 2 of the present Rule 111 also prohibits the filing, continues to run until the civil action for quasi-delict is filed.
after commencement of the criminal action, of a separate civil
action to recover damages ex-delicto. Second, the accused, who is presumed innocent, has a right to
invoke Article 2177 of the Civil Code, in the same way that
Section 3 of the present Rule 111, like its counterpart in the the offended party can avail of this remedy which is
amended 1985 Rules, expressly allows the "offended party" to independent of the criminal action. To disallow the accused
bring an independent civil action under Articles 32, 33, 34 and from filing a separate civil action for quasi-delict, while
2176 of the Civil Code. As stated in Section 3 of the present refusing to recognize his counterclaim in the criminal case, is
Rule 111, this civil action shall proceed independently of the to deny him due process of law, access to the courts, and equal
criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of protection of the law.Thus, the civil action based on quasi-
evidence. In no case, however, may the "offended party delict filed separately by Casupanan and Capitulo is proper.
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FRANCISCO MAGESTRADO, Petitioner denying the Petition for Certiorari and petitioners subsequent
motion for reconsideration on the ground of a prejudicial
vs question pursuant to the Rules on Criminal Procedure and the
prevailing jurisprudence.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and ELENA M.
LIBROJO, Respondents Held:

Facts:
A perusal of the allegations in the complaints show that Civil
Case No. Q-98-34308 pending before RTC-Branch 77, and
Private respondent Elena M. Librojo filed a criminal Civil Case No. Q-98-34349, pending before RTC-Branch 84,
complaint for perjury against petitioner with the Office of the are principally for the determination of whether a loan was
obtained by petitioner from private respondent and whether
City Prosecutor of Quezon City, which was docketed as I.S.
petitioner executed a real estate mortgage involving the
No. 98-3900.
property covered by TCT No. N-173163. On the other hand,
After the filing of petitioners counter-affidavit and the
Criminal Case No. 90721 before MeTC-Branch 43, involves
appended pleadings, the Office of the City Prosecutor
recommended the filing of an information for perjury against the determination of whether petitioner committed perjury in
petitioner. Thus, Assistant City Prosecutor Josephine Z. executing an affidavit of loss to support his request for
issuance of a new owners duplicate copy of TCT No. N-
Fernandez filed an information for perjury against petitioner
173163.
with the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Quezon City.
It is evident that the civil cases and the criminal case can
Pertinent portions of the information are hereby quoted as
follows: proceed independently of each other. Regardless of the
outcome of the two civil cases, it will not establish the
innocence or guilt of the petitioner in the criminal case for
That on or about the 27th day of December, 1997, in Quezon perjury. The purchase by petitioner of the land or his
City, Philippines, the said accused, did then and there execution of a real estate mortgage will have no bearing
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and knowingly make an whatsoever on whether petitioner knowingly and fraudulently
untruthful statement under oath upon a material matter before executed a false affidavit of loss of TCT No. N-173163.
a competent officer authorized to receive and administer oath MeTC-Branch 43, therefore, did not err in ruling that the
and which the law so require, the said accused knowing fully pendency of Civil Case No. Q-98-34308 for cancellation of
well that the allegations in the said affidavit and petition are mortgage before the RTC-Branch 77; and Civil Case No. Q-
false, the truth of the matter being that the property subject of 98-34349 for collection of a sum of money before RTC-
Transfer Certificate of Title No. N-173163 was mortgaged to Branch 84, do not pose a prejudicial question in the
complainant Elena M. Librojo as collateral for a loan in the determination of whether petitioner is guilty of perjury in
amount of P 758,134.42 and as a consequence of which said Criminal Case No. 90721. RTC-Branch 83, likewise, did not
title to the property was surrendered by him to the said err in ruling that MeTC-Branch 43 did not commit grave
complainant by virtue of said loan, thus, making untruthful abuse of discretion in denying petitioners motion for
and deliberate assertions of falsehoods, to the damage and suspension of proceedings in Criminal Case No. 90721.
prejudice of the said Elena M. Librojo.

On 30 June 1999, petitioner filed a motion for suspension of


proceedings based on a prejudicial question. Petitioner alleged
that Civil Case No. Q-98-34349, a case for recovery of a sum PIMENTEL V. PIMENTEL
of money pending before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Quezon City, Branch 84, and Civil Case No. Q-98- 34308, a G.R. No. 172060, [September 13, 2010]
case for Cancellation of Mortgage, Delivery of Title and
Damages, pending before the RTC of Quezon City, Branch DOCTRINE:
77, must be resolved first before Criminal Case No. 90721
may proceed since the issues in the said civil cases are similar Annulment of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code is
or intimately related to the issues raised in the criminal action. not a prejudicial question in a criminal case for parricide.

Issue: FACTS:

On 25 October 2004, Maria Pimentel y Lacap(private


Whether Judge Estrella T. Estrada of the Regional Trial Court, respondent) filed an action for frustrated parricide against
Branch 83, Quezon City, had committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or in excess of her jurisdiction in
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Joselito Pimentel (petitioner) before the Regional Trial Court The relationship between the offender and the victim is a key
of Quezon City. element in the crime of parricide, which punishes any person
“who shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate
On 7 February 2005, petitioner received summons to appear or illegitimate, or any of his ascendants or descendants, or his
before the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo City for the pre- spouse.” However, the issue in the annulment of marriage is
trial and trial of a civil case (Maria Pimentel v. Joselito not similar or intimately related to the issue in the criminal
Pimentel) for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage under Article case for parricide. Further, the relationship between the
36 of the Family Code on the ground of psychological offender and the victim is not determinative of the guilt or
incapacity. innocence of the accused.

On 11 February 2005, petitioner filed an urgent motion to The issue in the civil case for annulment of marriage under
suspend the proceedings before the RTC Quezon City on the Article 36 of the Family Code is whether petitioner is
ground of the existence of a prejudicial question. Petitioner psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential
asserted that since the relationship between the offender and marital obligations. The issue in parricide is whether the
the victim is a key element in parricide, the outcome of the accused killed the victim. In this case, since petitioner was
civil case would have a bearing in the criminal case filed charged with frustrated parricide, the issue is whether he
against him before the RTC Quezon City. performed all the acts of execution which would have killed
respondent as a consequence but which, nevertheless, did not
produce it by reason of causes independent of petitioner’s will.
The RTC Quezon City held that the pendency of the case
At the time of the commission of the alleged crime, petitioner
before the RTC Antipolo is not a prejudicial question that
and respondent were married. The subsequent dissolution of
warrants the suspension of the criminal case before it.
their marriage will have no effect on the alleged crime that
was committed at the time of the subsistence of the marriage.
Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with application for a In short, even if the marriage
writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining
order before the Court of Appeals. However, The Court of
between petitioner and respondent is annulled, petitioner could
Appeals ruled that even if the marriage between petitioner and
still be held criminally liable since at the time of the
respondent would be declared void, it would be immaterial to
the criminal case because prior to the declaration of nullity, commission of the alleged crime, he was still married to
the alleged acts constituting the crime of frustrated parricide respondent.
had already been committed.
We cannot accept petitioner’s reliance on Tenebro v. Court of
Appeals that “the judicial declaration of the nullity of a
ISSUE:
marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity retroacts
to the date of the celebration of the marriage insofar as the
Whether the resolution of the action for annulment of marriage vinculum between the spouses is concerned x x x.” First, the
is a prejudicial question that warrants the suspension of the issue in Tenebro is the effect of the judicial declaration of
criminal case for frustrated parricide against petitioner. nullity of a second or subsequent marriage on the ground of
psychological incapacity on a criminal liability for bigamy.
HELD: There was no issue of prejudicial question in that case.
Second, the Court ruled in Tenebro that “[t]here is x x x a
No. recognition written into the law itself that such a marriage,
although void ab initio, may still produce legal consequences.”
RATIO: In fact, the Court declared in that case that “a declaration of
the nullity of the second marriage on the ground of
psychological incapacity is of absolutely no moment insofar as
Section 7, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure
the State’s penal laws are concerned.”
provides that elements of a prejudicial question are: (a) the
previously instituted civil action involves an issue similar or
intimately related to the issue raised in the subsequent criminal G.R. No. 208587, July 29, 2015
action and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether JM DOMINGUEZ AGRONOMIC COMPANY, INC.,
or not the criminal action may proceed. HELEN D. DAGDAGAN, PATRICK PACIS, KENNETH
PACIS, AND SHIRLEY DOMINGUEZ, Petitioners,
v.
In the case at bar, the civil case for annulment was filed after
CECILIA LICLICAN, NORMA D. ISIP, AND PURITA
the filing of the criminal case for frustrated parricide. As such,
DOMINGUEZ, Respondents.
the requirement of Section 7, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on
Criminal Procedure was not met since the civil action was
filed subsequent to the filing of the criminal action.
7
Crimpro digest02

Facts: Orders on March 10, 2009, the Judgment in favor of


petitioners was not yet rendered. Consequently, there was still,
at that time, a real dispute as to who the rightful set of officers
During the annual stockholders meeting of petitioner JM were. Plainly, Judge Tiongson-Tabora should not have issued
Dominguez Agronomic Company, Inc. (JMD) held on the challenged Orders and should have, instead, suspended the
December 29, 2007 at the Baguio City Country Club, the proceedings until Civil Case No. 6623-R was resolved with
election for its new set of directors was conducted. This event finality.
was presided by then company president, and herein To grant the instant petition and rule that the procedural
respondent, Cecilia Liclican, and attended by her co- infirmity has subsequently been cured either by the Judgment
respondents Norma Isip and Purita Rodriguez, and by or by Judge Tiongson-Tabora’s inhibition would mean
petitioners Helen Dagdagan, Patrick Pacis, Kenneth Pacis, and condoning the continuation of the criminal proceedings
Shirley Dominguez as well. Conflict ensued when petitioners despite, at that time, the existence of a prejudicial question.
Patrick and Kenneth Pacis were allegedly not allowed to vote Such condonation would create a precedent that renders inutile
on the ground that they are not registered stockholders of the doctrine on prejudicial question, such that the court trying
JMD. As pointed out, it was their mother and grandmother, the criminal case will be permitted to proceed with the trial in
both deceased, who are the stockholders in JMD, and that the aberrant assumption that the resolution of the prior
there is still no settlement of their respective estates to instituted civil case would benefit the private complainant in
effectively transfer their shares in the company to Patrick and the criminal proceedings. To reiterate, there was no certainty
Kenneth Pacis. yet on how the RTC, Branch 59 would rule; thus, no
Tensions rose and respondents, allegedly, walked out of the assumption on Civil Case No. 6623-R’s resolution can be
meeting. But since the remaining stockholders with made when the challenged Orders were issued. Indeed, had the
outstanding shares constituted a quorum, the election of RTC, Branch 59 not given credence to petitioners’
officers still proceeded. arguments,it would have led to an awkward situation wherein
Subsequently, JMD, represented by petitioners Dagdagan and much time and effort is wasted by the RTC, Branch 7 in trying
Patrick Pacis, executed an Affidavit-Complaint dated criminal cases it should not have entertained.
December 15, 2008 charging respondents Liclican and Isip The foregoing notwithstanding, it should be made clear that
with qualified theft. Petitioners alleged in the complaint, the nullification of the March 10, 2009 Orders does not, under
docketed as I.S. No. 3011 with the Office of the City the premises, entail the dismissal of the instituted criminal
Prosecutor in Baguio City, that on January 2, 2008, Liclican cases, but would merely result in the suspension of the
and Isip, without any authority whatsoever, conspired to proceedings in view of the prejudicial question. However,
withdraw the amount of P852,024.19 from the corporation’s given the resolution of the prejudicial question and Judge
savings account with the Equitable-PCI Bank; and that the Tiongson-Tabora’s inhibition, Criminal Case Nos. 29175-R
following day, they issued Check No. C00024899018in the and 29176-R may already proceed, and ought to be re-raffled
amount of P200,000, payable to cash, and to be drawn against to re-determine the existence of probable cause for the
JMD’s account with Robinson’s Savings Bank. issuance of warrants of arrest against respondents.
In a separate complaint,docketed as I.S. No. 3118, the
corporation claimed that respondents Liclican and Isip
likewise issued Equitable-PCI Bank Check No. 32095311
payable to one Atty. Francisco Lava, Jr. for P200,000 to be
debited from the corporation’s account.

Issue:

Whether there exists a prejudicial question that could affect


the criminal proceedings for qualified theft against
respondents. (i) whether Civil Case No. 6623-R constituted a
prejudicial question warranting the suspension of the
proceedings in Criminal Case Nos. 29175-R and 29176-R.

Held:

The resolution of the prejudicial question did not, in context,


cure the grave abuse of discretion already committed. The fact
remains that when the RTC, Branch 7 issued its challenged