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Prima facie evidence is evidence that is not rebutted or contradicted, making it

good and sufficient on its face to establish a fact constituting a party's claim or
defense. xxx xxx xxx (Bicol Medical Center vs. Noe B. Botor, G.R. No. 214073,
October 04, 2017)

2. xxx xxx xxx prima facie evidence as evidence that is "good and sufficient on its
face. Such evidence as, in the judgment of the law, is sufficient to establish a given
fact, or the group or chain of facts constituting the· party's claim or defense and
which if not rebutted or contradicted, will remain sufficient." (Tan Vs. Hosanna, G.R.
No. 190846, February 03, 2016)

3. Any lawyer worth his salt knows that quanta of proof and adjective rules vary
depending on whether the cases to which they are meant to apply are criminal, civil
or administrative in character. In criminal actions, proof beyond reasonable doubt is
required for conviction; in civil actions and proceedings, preponderance of evidence,
as support for a judgment; and in administrative cases, substantial evidence, as basis
for adjudication. In criminal and civil actions, application of the Rules of Court is
called for, with more or less strictness. In administrative proceedings, however, the
technical rules of pleadingand procedure, and of evidence, are not strictly adhered to;
they generally apply only suppletorily; indeed, in agrarian disputes application of the
Rules of Court is actually prohibited.

It should be underscored that the conduct of a preliminary investigation is only

for the determination of probable cause, and "probable cause merely implies
probability of guilt and should be determined in a summary manner. A
preliminary investigation is not a part of the trial and it is only in a trial where
an accused can demand the full exercise of his rights, such as the right to
confront and cross-examine his accusers to establish his innocence." Thus, the
rights of a respondent in a preliminary investigation are limited to those granted by
procedural law.

A preliminary investigation is defined as an inquiry or proceeding for the purpose of

determining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well founded belief that
a crime cognizable by the Regional Trial Court has been committed and that the
respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial. The quantum of
evidence now required in preliminary investigation is such evidence sufficient
to "engender a well founded belief" as to the fact of the commission of a crime
and the respondent's probable guilt thereof. A preliminary investigation is not the
occasion for the full and exhaustive display of the parties’ evidence; it is for the
presentation of such evidence only as may engender a well-grounded belief that an
offense has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof. We are
in accord with the state prosecutor’s findings in the case at bar that there exists prima
facie evidence of petitioner’s involvement in the commission of the crime, it being
sufficiently supported by the evidence presented and the facts obtaining therein.
xxx xxx xxx The constitutional right of an accused to confront the witnesses
against him does not apply in preliminary investigations; nor will the absence
of a preliminary investigation be an infringement of his right to confront the
witnesses against him. A preliminary investigation may be done away with
entirely without infringing the constitutional right of an accused under the due
process clause to a fair trial.

xxx xxx xxx Ang Tibay refers to "substantial evidence," while the establishment
of probable cause needs "only more than ‘bare suspicion,’ or ‘less than
evidence which would justify . . . conviction’." (Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada
vs. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. Nos. 212140-41, January 21, 2015)

4. A public prosecutor alone determines the sufficiency of evidence that

establishes the probable cause justifying the filing of a criminal information against
the respondent because the determination of existence of a probable cause is the
function of the public prosecutor. Generally, the public prosecutor is afforded a
wide latitude of discretion in the conduct of a preliminary investigation.
Consequently, it is a sound judicial policy to refrain from interfering in the conduct of
preliminary investigations, and to just leave to the Department of Justice the ample
latitude of discretion in the determination of what constitutes sufficient evidence to
establish probable cause for the prosecution of supposed offenders. Consistent with
this policy, courts do not reverse the Secretary of Justice’s findings and
conclusions on the matter of probable cause except in clear cases of grave
abuse of discretion. (Marie Callo-Claridad vs. Philip Ronald P. Esteban, G.R.
No. 91567, March 20, 2013)

5. On the other hand, the prosecutor in a preliminary investigation does not

determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. He does not exercise
adjudication nor rule-making functions. Preliminary investigation is merely
inquisitorial, and is often the only means of discovering the persons who may
be reasonably charged with a crime and to enable the fiscal to prepare his
complaint or information. It is not a trial of the case on the merits and has no
purpose except that of determining whether a crime has been committed and
whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty thereof.
While the fiscal makes that determination, he cannot be said to be acting as a quasi-
court, for it is the courts, ultimately, that pass judgment on the accused, not the fiscal.
(Steven Pavlow vs. Cherry Medilla, G.R. No. 181489, April 19, 2017)