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Pestilos vs.

Generoso
G.R. No. 182601 | November 10, 2014

Rule 113, Section 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. — A peace officer or a private person may, without a
warrant, arrest a person:

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense;

(b) When an offense has just been committed, and he has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place
where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped
while being transferred from one confinement to another.

In cases falling under paragraph (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith
delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance with section 7 of
Rule 112. (5a)

Facts:
On February 20, 2005, at around 3:15 in the morning, an altercation
ensued between the petitioners and Atty. Moreno Generoso. Atty. Generoso
called the Central Police District Station to report the incident. Acting on
this report, the Desk Officer dispatched policemen to go to the scene of the
crime and to render assistance. The policemen arrived at the scene of the
crime less than one hour after the alleged altercation and they saw Atty.
Generoso badly beaten. Atty. Generoso then pointed to the petitioners as
those who mauled him. This prompted the police officers to "invite" the
petitioners to go to the Police Station for investigation. The petitioners went
with the police officers.
At the inquest proceeding, the City Prosecutor found that the
petitioners stabbed Atty. Generoso with a bladed weapon. Atty. Generoso
fortunately survived the attack. The petitioners were indicted for attempted
murder.
The petitioners filed an Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary
Investigation on the ground that they had not been lawfully arrested. They
alleged that no valid warrantless arrest took place since the police officers
had no personal knowledge that they were the perpetrators of the crime.
They also claimed that they were just "invited" to the police station. Thus,
the inquest proceeding was improper, and a regular procedure for

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preliminary investigation should have been performed pursuant to Rule 112
of the Rules of Court.
RTC denied the motion. The court likewise denied the petitioners'
motion for reconsideration.
The petitioners challenged the lower court's ruling before the CA on
a Rule 65 petition for certiorari. They attributed grave abuse of discretion,
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, on the RTC for the denial of
their motion for preliminary investigation.
CA dismissed the petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the petitioners were validly arrested without a
warrant

Ruling:
Yes the arrest was valid.
For purposes of resolving the issue on the validity of the warrantless
arrest of the present petitioners, the question to be resolved is whether the
requirements for a valid warrantless arrest under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of
the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure were complied with, namely: 1)
has the crime just been committed when they were arrested? 2) Did the
arresting officer have personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that
the petitioners committed the crime? And 3) based on these facts and
circumstances that the arresting officer possessed at the time of the
petitioners' arrest, would a reasonably discreet and prudent person believe
that the attempted murder of Atty. Generoso was committed by the
petitioners?
The Court concluded that the police officers had personal knowledge
of facts or circumstances upon which they had properly determined
probable cause in effecting a warrantless arrest against the petitioners.
The arresting officers went to the scene of the crime upon the
complaint of Atty. Generoso of his alleged mauling; the police officers
responded to the scene of the crime less than one (1) hour after the alleged
mauling; the alleged crime transpired in a community where Atty. Generoso
and the petitioners reside; Atty. Generoso positively identified the
petitioners as those responsible for his mauling and, notably, the
petitioners and Atty. Generoso lived almost in the same neighborhood;
more importantly, when the petitioners were confronted by the arresting

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officers, they did not deny their participation in the incident with Atty.
Generoso, although they narrated a different version of what transpired.
With these facts and circumstances that the police officers gathered
and which they have personally observed less than one hour from the time
that they have arrived at the scene of the crime until the time of the arrest
of the petitioners, we deem it reasonable to conclude that the police officers
had personal knowledge of facts or circumstances justifying the petitioners'
warrantless arrests. These circumstances were well within the police
officers' observation, perception and evaluation at the time of the arrest.
These circumstances qualify as the police officers' personal observation,
which are within their personal knowledge, prompting them to make the
warrantless arrests.
Personal knowledge of a crime just committed under the terms of the
above-cited provision, does not require actual presence at the scene while
a crime was being committed; it is enough that evidence of the recent
commission of the crime is patent (as in this case) and the police officer
has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or
circumstances, that the person to be arrested has recently committed the
crime.

People vs Badilla
G.R. No. 218578 | August 31, 2016

Requisites of in flagrante delicto arrest

(1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and

(2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. Suffice it to state that prior
justification for intrusion or prior lawful intrusion is not an element of an arrest in flagrante delicto

Facts:

On September 6, 2010, around 10:15 p.m., PO2 Paras received a


phone call from a concerned citizen informing him that someone was
indiscriminately firing a gun at BMBA Compound, 4th Avenue, Caloocan
City. PO2 Paras and his companions, PO2 Ronquillo, PO3 Baldomero and
PO2 Woo, responded to the call and reached the target area around 10:25
p.m. There they saw a male person, later identified as appellant Enrico
Briones Badilla, standing along the alley. Appellant was suspiciously in the
act of pulling or drawing something from his pocket; thus, as a
precautionary measure, and thinking that a concealed weapon was inside

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his pocket, PO2 Paras immediately introduced himself as a police officer,
held appellant's arm, and asked the latter to bring out his hand from his
pocket. It turned out that appellant was holding a plastic sachet with white
crystalline substance.
PO2 Paras confiscated the plastic sachet from appellant, informed him
of his constitutional rights, and arrested him. Appellant and the confiscated
plastic sachet were brought to the Station Anti-Illegal Drugs-Special
Operation Task Group (SAID-SOTG) Office where PO2 Paras marked the
plastic sachet with "BP/EBB 07 Sept 2010."
Thereafter, PO2 Paras turned-over appellant and the seized item and
the same was found positive for methylamphetamine hydrochloride, a
dangerous drug, per Physical Science Report No. D-246-10, while the urine
sample taken from appellant was found positive for methylamphetamine.

Version of the defense


Appellant narrated he was walking along 4th Avenue, Caloocan City
when a male person called him. Recognizing the man as a police officer
who frequented their place, he approached the man. When he got near the
man, the latter's companion poked a gun at him. By instinct, he shoved the
gun away and it fell on the ground.
The police officer then arrested him, shoved him aboard the police
vehicle, and brought him to 3rd Avenue, Caloocan City. When the police
officers failed to see their target person at the said place, they left and went
to the police station where he was told that he would be charged with a
non-bailable offense. He only saw the plastic sachet containing shabu in
court. He denied the accusations against him and stated that he was
arrested because the police officers thought he would fight back when he
shoved the police officer's gun. The police officers asked P20,000.00 from
him allegedly because they knew that his father had a junk shop business,
but he refused to give them money. He questioned the positive result of
the drug test because allegedly no examination was conducted on his
person.
RTC held appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense
charged.
The CA affirmed the appellant's conviction but with modification as to
the penalty imposed from the imprisonment of Twenty (20) years and one
(1) day to life imprisonment, fixed at 20 years and 1 day.
Appellant argues that there was no basis for his apprehension
because there was no prior knowledge that he was the suspect in the
alleged indiscriminate firing incident and that there was no mention that he
executed an overt act reflecting any intention to commit a crime. Also,
there was no testimony that he had just committed an offense, such that,
it cannot be said that PO2 Paras had any immediate justification for
subjecting him to any search. Thus, the shabu may not be utilized as
evidence to sustain his conviction.

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Issue:
Whether or not trial court gravely erred in convicting the accused-appellant
of the crime charged despite the existing doubt and patent illegality which
attended his arrest.

Ruling:
No, the conviction of the accused-appellant is in order. Appellant's
arrest is completely justified pursuant to Section 5 (a) of Rule 113 of the
Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure which provides that a person may be
arrested without a warrant when in a presence of the arresting officer, the
person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense.

The Court stressed that the appellant failed to question the legality
of his arrest before he entered his plea. The established rule is that an
accused may be estopped from assailing the legality of his arrest if he failed
to move for the quashing of the Information against him before his
arraignment. Any objection involving the arrest or the procedure in the
court's acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be
made before he enters his plea; otherwise, the objection is deemed waived.
Thus, appellant is deemed to have waived any objection thereto since he
voluntarily submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court when he
entered a plea of not guilty during the arraignment, and thereafter actively
participated in the trial. He even entered into a stipulation, during the pre-
trial of the case, admitting the jurisdiction of the trial court over his person.

In any event, appellant was arrested during the commission of a


crime, which instance does not require a warrant in accordance with Section
5(a) of Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. Such arrest is
commonly known as in flagrante delicto. For a warrantless arrest of an
accused caught in flagrante delicto to be valid, two requisites must concur:
(1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he
has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a
crime; and, (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of
the arresting officer.

The court also emphasized that the series of events that led the police
officers to the place where appellant was when he was arrested was
triggered by a phone call from a concerned citizen that someone was

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indiscriminately firing a gun in the said place. Under the circumstances, the
police officers did not have enough time to secure a warrant considering
the "time element" involved in the process. To obtain a warrant would be
impossible to contain the crime. In view of the urgency of the matter, the
police officers proceeded to the place. There, PO2 Paras saw appellant,
alone in an alley which used to be a busy place, suspiciously in the act of
pulling something from his pocket. Appellant's act of pulling something
from his pocket constituted an overt manifestation in the mind of PO2 Paras
that appellant has just committed or is attempting to commit a crime. There
was, therefore, sufficient probable cause for PO2 Paras to believe that
appellant was, then and there, about to draw a gun from his pocket
considering the report he received about an indiscriminate firing in the said
place. Probable cause means an actual belief or reasonable ground of
suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to
warrant a cautious man to believe that a crime has been committed or
about to be committed.

Thus, thinking there was a concealed weapon inside appellant's


pocket and as precautionary measure, PO2 Paras (who was three or four
meters away from appellant) immediately introduced himself as a police
officer, held appellant's arm, and asked the latter to pull his hand out.
Incidentally, appellant was holding a plastic sachet containing white
crystalline substance. PO2 Paras then confiscated the plastic sachet from
appellant, informed him of his constitutional rights, and arrested him. When
an accused is caught in flagrante delicto, the police officers are not only
authorized, but are duty-bound, to arrest him even without a warrant. And
considering that appellant's arrest was legal, the search and seizure that
resulted from it were likewise lawful.

The Supreme Court also cited the CA’s disquisition:


The police officers are completely justified for being at the BMBA
compound when appellant was arrested, since they were merely performing
their regular duty of responding to a reported crime. When appellant was
found alone, acting suspiciously in the reported area, PO2 Paras
instinctively thought that appellant was about to pull out a gun or a weapon
from his pocket due to a previous report of indiscriminate firing, that he
approached him as a precautionary measure.
xxxx
In the course of the performance of their official duties, the police officers
inadvertently recovered from appellant a plastic sachet of shabu which was

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voluntarily given by appellant himself. Clearly, the item recovered from
appellant was not a product of illegal search and seizure, because appellant
voluntarily surrendered the drugs in his possession. In short, appellant was
not forced or coerced to bring out the contents of his pocket, thus, the
recovery of evidence was appellant's own volition.
Accordingly, appellant was arrested because he was caught in flagrante
delicto of the crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs, given that
mere possession of a prohibited drug already constitutes a criminal offense.

People vs Gumilao
G.R. No. 208755 |

People vs Alvario
G.R. No. 120437-41 | July 16, 1997

Personal knowledge (of the arresting officer): actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion, based on actual
facts, that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the crime. (Umil v. Ramos, 202 SCRA 251,
263, October 3, 1991)

Facts:
Esterlina Quintero, a 29 year old single mother took time off her
current job as housekeeper in Makati to look for another place of
employment. With the help of Aling Soling she was introduced to accused
Alvario. She thereafter agreed to cook for him and do his laundry for
P800.00 /month. She was told that she could begin that very day thus she
was taken to a two story house in Bel Air, where the only other occupant
was Alma Barliso, another maid.
Armand Alvario on the other hand is a mere caretaker of the house
owned by Atty. Rogelio San Luis.
According to Esterlina on the first day of work she was not allowed to
eat and on the following day she was merely allowed to eat two spoonfuls
of left-over food. Alvario would leave the house at 7 am and return at 5pm,
directing Esterlina not to go out of the house nor to talk to Alma. Esterlina
relates that every night, Alvario would come into her room and force himself
upon her. Out of fear because he had a gun and threatened to file a case
against her, Esterlina did not resist nor defend herself. This happened for
all the days she was under the employ of Alvario, she did not make a phone
call to her sister because she was afraid and she did not try to escape

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because Alvario locked all the doors and the gate. After 7 days, finally
mustering enough courage she rang her sister, who managed to hold her
sister through her employer. Alvario was thereafter arrested (without
warrant) and was later found guilty by the court. The court did not give
credence to his “sweetheart” defense theory.
This case was an appeal by Alvario on the conviction against him
Issue:
Whether or not the warrantless arrest of Alvario is valid

Ruling:
Yes, the arrest of Alvario is valid.

Towards the conclusion of the ruling, the Court noted that during
the trial, Alvario consistently protested his warrantless arrest. Suffice it to
say that his arrest falls within the purview of Rule 113, Section 5(b) of the
1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, viz.:

Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. - A peace officer or a private


person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:

xxx

(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal
knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has
committed it; x x x. (Underscoring supplied)

The personal knowledge of the arresting officers in the case at bar


was culled from the information supplied by the victim herself who
pointed to Alvario as the man who raped her at the time of his arrest.

Panaguiton vs DOJ
G.R. No. 16751 | November 25, 2008

Rule on Prescriptive Periods

Art. 90. Prescription of crime. — Crimes punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or reclusion temporal shall
prescribe in twenty years.

Crimes punishable by other afflictive penalties shall prescribe in fifteen years.

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Those punishable by a correctional penalty shall prescribe in ten years; with the exception of those punishable
by arresto mayor, which shall prescribe in five years.

The crime of libel or other similar offenses shall prescribe in one year.

The crime of oral defamation and slander by deed shall prescribe in six months.

Light offenses prescribe in two months.

When the penalty fixed by law is a compound one, the highest penalty shall be made the basis of the application
of the rules contained in the first, second and third paragraphs of this article.

RA 3326 AN ACT TO ESTABLISH PERIODS OF PRESCRIPTION FOR VIOLATIONS PENALIZED BY


SPECIAL ACTS AND MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES AND TO PROVIDE WHEN PRESCRIPTION SHALL
BEGIN TO RUN

Section 1. Violations penalized by special acts shall, unless otherwise provided in such acts, prescribe in
accordance with the following rules: (a) after a year for offenses punished only by a fine or by imprisonment for
not more than one month, or both; (b) after four years for those punished by imprisonment for more than one
month, but less than two years; (c) after eight years for those punished by imprisonment for two years or more,
but less than six years; and (d) after twelve years for any other offense punished by imprisonment for six years
or more, except the crime of treason, which shall prescribe after twenty years. Violations penalized by
municipal ordinances shall prescribe after two months.

Sec. 2. Prescription shall begin to run from the day of the commission of the violation of the law, and if the same
be not known at the time, from the discovery thereof and the institution of judicial proceeding for its
investigation and punishment.

The prescription shall be interrupted when proceedings are instituted against the guilty person, and shall begin
to run again if the proceedings are dismissed for reasons not constituting jeopardy.

Facts:
In 1992, Cawili borrowed money from Panaguiton amounting to
P1,979,459.
In 1993, Cawili with his ‘business associate’ Tongson issued 3 checks
as payment. Significantly, all three (3) checks bore the signatures of both
Cawili and Tongson. Upon presentment for payment on 18 March 1993, the
checks were dishonored, either for insufficiency of funds or by the closure
of the account.
During preliminary investigation, Tongson claimed that he was not
Cawili’s business associate. On Dec. 6 1995 City Prosecutor III Eliodoro V.
Lara found probable cause only against Cawili and dismissed the charges
against Tongson.
Petitioner then appeal before DOJ and in 1997 DOJ found that it was
indeed possible for Tongson to co-signed the checks. It then directed the

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City Prosecutor of Quezon City to conduct a reinvestigation of the case
against Tongson and to refer the questioned signatures to the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
Assistant City Prosecutor Ma. Lelibet S. Sampaga (ACP Sampaga)
dismissed the complaint against Tongson without referring the matter to
the NBI per the Chief State Prosecutor’s resolution. ACP Sampaga held that
the case had already prescribed pursuant to Act No. 3326, as amended,
which provides that violations penalized by B.P. Blg. 22 shall prescribe after
four (4) years.
Moreover, ACP Sampaga stated that the order of the Chief State
Prosecutor to refer the matter to the NBI could no longer be sanctioned
under Section 3, Rule 112 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure because the
initiative should come from petitioner himself and not the investigating
prosecutor.

Issue:
Whether or not the rule on prescription as provided for in Act No.
3326 applies to offenses under B.P. 22

Ruling:

Yes, Act. No. 3326 applies to offenses under B.P. Blg. 22. An
offense under B.P. Blg. 22 merits the penalty of imprisonment of not less
than thirty (30) days but not more than one year or by a fine, hence, under
Act No. 3326, a violation of B.P. Blg. 22 prescribes in four (4) years from
the commission of the offense or, if the same be not known at the time,
from the discovery thereof. Nevertheless, we cannot uphold the position
that only the filing of a case in court can toll the running of the prescriptive
period.

It must be pointed out that when Act No. 3326 was passed on 4
December 1926, preliminary investigation of criminal offenses was
conducted by justices of the peace, thus, the phraseology in the law,
“institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation and
punishment,”[39] and the prevailing rule at the time was that once a
complaint is filed with the justice of the peace for preliminary investigation,
the prescription of the offense is halted.

Indeed, to rule otherwise would deprive the injured party the right to
obtain vindication on account of delays that are not under his control. A
clear example would be this case, wherein petitioner filed his complaint-
affidavit on 24 August 1995, well within the four (4)-year prescriptive
period. He likewise timely filed his appeals and his motions for
reconsideration on the dismissal of the charges against
Tongson. He went

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through the proper channels, within the prescribed periods. However, from
the time petitioner filed his complaint-affidavit with the Office of the City
Prosecutor (24 August 1995) up to the time the DOJ issued the assailed
resolution, an aggregate period of nine (9) years had elapsed. Clearly, the
delay was beyond petitioner’s control. After all, he had already initiated the
active prosecution of the case as early as 24 August 1995, only to suffer
setbacks because of the DOJ’s flip-flopping resolutions and its
misapplication of Act No. 3326. Aggrieved parties, especially those who do
not sleep on their rights and actively pursue their causes, should not be
allowed to suffer unnecessarily further simply because of circumstances
beyond their control, like the accused’s delaying tactics or the delay and
inefficiency of the investigating agencies.

The court held that the offense has not yet prescribed. Petitioner ’s
filing of his complaint–affidavit before the Office of the City Prosecutor on
24 August 1995 signified the commencement of the proceedings for the
prosecution of the accused and thus effectively interrupted the prescriptive
period for the offenses they had been charged under B.P. Blg. 22. Moreover,
since there is a definite finding of probable cause, with the debunking of
the claim of prescription there is no longer any impediment to the filing of
the information against petitioner.

People vs Peñaflor
G.R. No. 206296 | Aug 12, 2015

Facts:
Estur, a COA Auditor, discovered in July 1993 rice stocks unaccounted for
in the bodega of the NFA. The stocks were under the account of Matas.
Upon the recommendation of Estur, COA State Auditor IV, Betonio, who
was the Provincial Manager of NFA, Lanao del Norte, suspended accused
Matas.
On 21 August 1993, at about 8:00 p.m., Betonio, upon disembarking from
the Ford Fiera driven by Fajardo, was stabbed and shot in front of his rented
apartment at Bertumen Compound, Palao, Iligan City. Upon hearing her
husband shout, “If you want to kill me, don’t include my wife,” quickly
followed by two gunshots, Vicenta hid inside their apartment. After a few
minutes, she went out of the house and saw Betonio, barely alive, slumped
on the ground with a knife, with a handle like that of an eagle and a carving
like that of a dragon, still pierced through his chest. Before Betonio was
brought to the Dr. Uy Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead on
arrival, he whispered to his wife the names, Delfin and Matas.

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Based on the necropsy conducted by Dr. Villarin, Betonio died of
cardiorespiratory arrest hypovolemic shock due to a gunshot and deep stab
wounds.
During the investigation, SPO4 Lubang initially identified the following as
suspects: Edgar Matas, Anacleto Matas, Jr., and Oscar Ondo. However, in
the course of the investigation, after publishing a sketch of the knife which
was found embedded in Betonio’s chest, they were informed that a certain
Ramil Peñaflor was the actual killer.
On 12 November 1993, SPO4 Lubang and SPO3 Badelles went to the house
of one Dioscora Praquilles. There they found accused-appellant Peñaflor,
whom they invited to the Iligan City Police Station for interrogation. During
the investigation, accused-appellant Peñaflor admitted killing Betonio and
that he was hired by accused Ondo, the brother-in-law of Matas, for the
amount of P15,000.00, to kill Betonio. At 3:00 p.m. of that same day, the
police brought accused-appellant Peñaflor to the Office of the City
Prosecutor to obtain his admission,11 which was conducted by Assistant
City Prosecutor Albulario, with the assistance of Atty. Cristobal, as counsel
de officio.
The following day, 13 November 1993, Praquilles went to the Padilla Law
Office to engage the latter’s services as counsel for accused-appellant
Peñaflor. Pursuant to the agreement, the Padilla Law Office, through Atty.
Gerardo Padilla, entered its appearance as counsel for accused-appellant
Peñaflor in a letter, which was received by the Office of the City Prosecutor
on 15 November 1993.12
However, on the same day that the Padilla Law Office entered its
appearance as counsel for accused-appellant Peña-flor, or three days after
accused-appellant Peñaflor’s first extra­judicial confession/admission,
accused-appellant Peñaflor discharged the Padilla Law Office as counsel and
entered a second extrajudicial confession.13 This time, however, the
second extrajudicial confession was conducted by City Prosecutor Lagcao,
with the assistance of Atty. Cavales, as counsel de officio.

Issue:
Are extra-judicial confession executed during preliminary investigation
covered by rules on custodial investigation ?

Ruling:
Yes, the import of the distinction between custodial interrogation and
preliminary investigation relates to the inherently coercive nature of a

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custodial intereogation which is conducted by the police authorities. Due to
the interrogatory procedures employed by police authorities, which are
conductive to physical and psychological coercion, the law affords arrested
persons constitutional rights to guarantee the voluntariness of their
confession and admissions, and to act as deterrnt from coercion by police
authorities. These safeguards are found in Article III, Section 12(1) of the
Constitution and Section 2 of RA No. 7438. Sans proper safeguards,
custodial investigation is a fertile means to obtain confessions and
admissions in dures.

In this case, even if accused-appellant Peñaflor’s extrajudicial confessions


were obtained under custodial investigation, these are admissible. To be
admissible, a confession must comply with the following requirements. It
must be:

1 voluntary
2 made with the assistance of a competent and independent counsel
3 express
4 in writing

In the case at bar, the prosecution dis not present proof of the absence of
any of these requirements.

Juan Ponce Enrile v. People of the Philippines


G.R. No. 213455 | 11 August 2015.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed an Information for plunder against


Enrile, Jessica Lucila Reyes, Janet Lim Napoles, Ronald John Lim, and John
Raymund de Asis before the Sandiganbayan.

The Information reads:


xxxx
In 2004 to 2010 or thereabout, in the Philippines, and within this Honorable
Court’s jurisdiction, above-named accused JUAN PONCE ENRILE, then a
Philippine Senator, JESSICA LUCILA G. REYES, then Chief of Staff of

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Senator Enrile’s Office, both public officers, committing the offense in
relation to their respective offices, conspiring with one another and with
JANET LIM NAPOLES, RONALD JOHN LIM, and JOHN RAYMUND DE ASIS,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and criminally amass, accumulate,
and/or acquire ill-gotten wealth amounting to at least ONE HUNDRED
SEVENTY TWO MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR THOUSAND FIVE
HUNDRED PESOS (Php172,834,500.00) through a combination or series of
overt criminal acts, as follows:
by repeatedly receiving from NAPOLES and/or her representatives LIM, DE
ASIS, and others, kickbacks or commissions under the following
circumstances: before, during and/or after the project identification,
NAPOLES gave, and ENRILE and/or REYES received, a percentage of the
cost of a project to be funded from ENRILE’S Priority Development
Assistance Fund (PDAF), in consideration of ENRILE’S endorsement,
directly or through REYES, to the appropriate government agencies, of
NAPOLES’ non-government organizations which became the recipients
and/or target implementors of ENRILE’S PDAF projects, which duly-funded
projects turned out to be ghosts or fictitious, thus enabling NAPOLES to
misappropriate the PDAF proceeds for her personal gain;
by taking undue advantage, on several occasions, of their official positions,
authority, relationships, connections, and influence to unjustly enrich
themselves at the expense and to the damage and prejudice, of the Filipino
people and the Republic of the Philippines.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
Enrile filed a motion for bill of particulars before the Sandiganbayan. On the
same date, he filed a motion for deferment of arraignment since he was to
undergo medical examination at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).
The Court denied Enrile’s motion for bill of particulars.

ISSUE:
Is a Motion to Quash the proper remedy if the information is vague or
indefinite resulting in the serious violation of Enrile’s constitutional right to
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him?

HELD:
NO. When allegations in an Information are vague or indefinite, the remedy
of the accused is not a motion to quash, but a motion for a bill of particulars.

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The purpose of a bill of particulars is to supply vague facts or allegations in
the complaint or information to enable the accused to properly plead and
prepare for trial. It presupposes a valid Information, one that presents all
the elements of the crime charged, albeit under vague terms. Notably, the
specifications that a bill of particulars may supply are only formal
amendments to the complaint or Information. Thus, if the Information is
lacking, a court should take a liberal attitude towards its granting and order
the government to file a bill of particulars elaborating on the charges.
Doubts should be resolved in favor of granting the bill to give full meaning
to the accused’s Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Notably, the government cannot put the accused in the position of


disclosing certain overt acts through the Information and withholding
others subsequently discovered, all of which it intends to prove at the trial.
This is the type of surprise a bill of particulars is designed to avoid. The
accused is entitled to the observance of all the rules designated to bring
about a fair verdict. This becomes more relevant in the present case where
the crime charged carries with it the severe penalty of capital punishment
and entails the commission of several predicate criminal acts involving a
great number of transactions spread over a considerable period of time.
Notably, conviction for plunder carries with it the penalty of capital
punishment; for this reason, more process is due, not less. When a person’s
life interest – protected by the life, liberty, and property language
recognized in the due process clause – is at stake in the proceeding, all
measures must be taken to ensure the protection of those fundamental
rights.

While both the motion to dismiss the Information and the motion for bill of
particulars involved the right of an accused to due process, the enumeration
of the details desired in Enrile’s supplemental opposition to issuance of a
warrant of arrest and for dismissal of information and in his motion for bill
of particulars are different viewed particularly from the prism of their
respective objectives. In the former, Enrile took the position that the
Information did not state a crime for which he can be convicted; thus, the
Information is void; he alleged a defect of substance. In the latter, he
already impliedly admits that the Information sufficiently alleged a crime
but is unclear and lacking in details that would allow him to properly plead
and prepare his defense; he essentially alleged here a defect of form. Note
that in the former, the purpose is to dismiss the Information for its failure
to state the nature and cause of the accusation against Enrile; while the
details desired in the latter (the motion for bill of particulars) are required
to be specified in sufficient detail because the allegations in the Information

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are vague, indefinite, or in the form of conclusions and will not allow Enrile
to adequately prepare his defense unless specifications are made.That
every element constituting the offense had been alleged in the Information
does not preclude the accused from requesting for more specific details of
the various acts or omissions he is alleged to have committed. The request
for details is precisely the function of a bill of particulars. Hence, while the
information may be sufficient for purposes of stating the cause and the
crime an accused is charged, the allegations may still be inadequate for
purposes of enabling him to properly plead and prepare for trial.

We DIRECT the People of the Philippines to SUBMIT, within a non-


extendible period of fifteen (15) days from finality of this Decision, with
copy furnished to Enrile, a bill of particulars containing the facts sought that
we herein rule to be material and necessary. The bill of particulars shall
specifically contain the following:

The particular overt act/s alleged to constitute the “combination or series


of overt criminal acts” charged in the Information.
A breakdown of the amounts of the “kickbacks or commissions” allegedly
received, stating how the amount of P172,834,500.00 was arrived at.
A brief description of the ‘identified’ projects where kickbacks or
commissions were received.
The approximate dates of receipt, “in 2004 to 2010 or thereabout,” of the
alleged kickbacks and commissions from the identified projects. At the very
least, the prosecution should state the year when the kickbacks and
transactions from the identified projects were received.
The name of Napoles’ non-government organizations (NGOs) which were
the alleged “recipients and/or target implementors of Enrile’s PDAF
projects.”
The government agencies to whom Enrile allegedly endorsed Napoles’
NGOs. The particular person/s in each government agency who facilitated
the transactions need not be named as a particular.

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