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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III

Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

PART II
B. CIVIL ASPECT (RULE 111) OF A CRIMINAL CASE

1. BUN TIONG v BALBOA


Facts: Vicente Balboa filed 2 cases against Caroline Siok Ching Teng: (1) a civil case for Collection of Sum of Money on Feb 24, 97 based on the post dated checks issued by Caroline with RTC. The RTC ruled in favor of Balboa affirmed by the CA. (2) criminal cases for violation of B.P. 22 on July 21, 97. The MTC acquitted Tend but held her civilly liable. The RTC on appeal deleted the award of civil damages. The Sps Ching Teng now comes to court charging Balboa with forum shopping. Issue: W/N it constitutes forum shopping Held: NO Forum shopping is the institution of 2 or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause, on the supposition that one or the other court would render a favorable disposition. The elements are: (1) identity of parties; (2) identity of rights and relief prayed for; (3) identity of 2 preceding particulars such that any judgment in the other action would constitute res judicata or litis pendentia. In the Hyatt case it was pronounced that there is identity of parties and causes of action between a civil case for recovery of sum of money and criminal case for BP 22. In the said case the SC applied SC Circ. No. 57-97 effective Sept 16, 1997, which provides that the criminal action for violation of BP 22 shall be deemed to necessarily include the corresponding civil action and no reservation to file such action separately shall be allowed or recognized. This was later adopted in Rule 111(b) of the 2000 Revised Rules of Crim Procedure (b) The criminal action for violation of BP 22 shall be deemed to include the corresponding civil action. No reservation to file such civil action separately shall be allowed. x x x. The foregoing however is not applicable as the civil and the criminal actions were filed on Feb 24 and July 21 1997, respectively, prior to the adoption of the SC Circular. The applicable rule was still Sec. 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules of Court Sec. 1. Institution of

criminal and civil actions. When a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the offended party waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately, or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. x x x Since Balboa instituted the civil case prior to the criminal case, the civil case may proceed independently of the criminal case and there is no forum shopping. Even under the amended rules, a separate proceeding for recovery of civil liability in cases of violation of BP 22 is allowed when the civil case is filed of the criminal case. Even then the Rules encourage consolidation.

2. JOSE v SUAREZ
FACTS: Sps. Suarez (Respondents) had availed of petitioner Carolina Joses offer to lend money at daily interest of 1% to 2% which the latter increased to 5% and respondents were forced to accept due to their financial distress. They sought to nullify the 5% interest per day fixing claiming that the same were contrary to morals and done under vitiated consent. Thereafter, the petitioners filed cases of violation of BP 22 against respondents where the latter filed motions to suspend hearings based on the existence of a prejudicial question. Respondents claimed that if the 5% interest rates are nullified and loans are computed at 1% per month, it would mean that the checks which are objects of BP 22 cases are not only fully paid but in fact overpaid. ISSUE: W/N a prejudicial questions exists such that the outcome of the validity of the interest is determinative of the guilt or innocence of the respondents in the criminal case? No RULING: No. Prejudicial questions have two elements: a) The civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal action; b) The resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed. The validity or invalidity of the interest rate is not determinative of the guilt of the respondents in the criminal case. The cause or reason for issuance of a check is immaterial in determining criminal culpability under BP 22. The law punishes the issuance of the bouncing check, which is

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

malum prohibitum, and not the purpose it was issued for.

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

C. PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION 1. COMMUNITY RURAL BANK v TALAVERA (borrowed)


FACTS: Community Rural Bank (Bank for short) filed a complaint with the prosecutors office of Cabanatuan charging several persons (the accused) with Estafa. After preliminary investigation, 6 informations for estafa were filed, 2 of which were raffled to the branch where respondent, Judge Talavera, presided. The accused appealed the finding of the Fiscal to the DOJ, which the latter denied, so Judge Talavera issued a warrant of arrest with no bail against the accused. Later, the accused filed with Judge Talavera a motion for reinvestigation and to lift the warrant of arrest. Bank was not notified of this motion. Judge granted the motion without any hearing thereon. When the reinvestigation was conducted, the Bank was still not notified. The assistant provincial prosecutor who conducted the reinvestigation reversed the earlier findings of the fiscal. On the same day, a motion to dismiss was filed with Judge, which he granted, and he also ordered the release of the accused. The Bank was never notified of any of these proceedings. Bank then filed an MR arguing it was deprived of due process. It also asked that the criminal information be reinstated. Judge denied this. Now, Bank filed the present case charging Judge Talavera with serious misconduct and gross inefficiency. Issue: Did Judge commit gross ignorance? - Yes Motion for Reinvestigation. Judge should not have entertained the motion for reinvestigation, since DOJ Secretary Serafin Cuevas already denied with finality the appeal of the accused, finding that there was prima facie evidence against the accused. Under Dept Order No. 223 (Rules Governing Appeals from Resolutions in Preliminary Investigations or Reinvestigations), a motion for reinvestigation may be filed on the ground of newly discovered evidence and this must be filed before the DOJ Secretary rules on an appeal from the resolution in a preliminary investigation. Here, the motion for reinvestigation was filed 3 months after the DOJ Secretary already denied their appeal with finality. Clearly, therefore, Judge Talavera was wrong in granting the motion. Also, there was no newly

discovered evidence. Moreover, considering that a prima facie case was found to exist against the accused during the preliminary investigation, Judge Talavera should have exercised great restraint in granting a reinvestigation. The court stressed that a preliminary investigation is essentially prefatory and inquisitorial. It is not a trial of the case on the merits and has no purpose except to determine whether a crime has been committed, and whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty of that crime. A preliminary investigation is not the occasion for a full and exhaustive display of the parties evidence, which needs to be presented only to engender a well-grounded belief that an offense has been committed, and that the accused is probably guilty thereof. Motion to Dismiss. It was also error for the Judge to grant the Motion to Dismiss by relying merely on the resolution of the prosecutor who conducted the reinvestigation. In his Order, he merely stated that the motion to dismiss is meritorious, and nothing more. The Order failed to demonstrate an independent evaluation or assessment of the evidence against the accused. The Judge acted with undue haste when he granted the Motion only a day after the reinvestigation was concluded. This leads to the conclusion that the judge did not personally evaluate the parties evidence before acting on the Motion. The discretion to grant a Motion to Dismiss rests solely with the court. However, mere approval of the position taken by the prosecution is not equivalent to the discretion required. Once a complaint or an information is filed in court, the judge -- not the prosecutor -- assumes full control of the controversy. A grant of the motion to dismiss is equivalent to a disposition of the case itself, which is a subject clearly within the courts exclusive jurisdiction and competence. When Judge issued the warrants of arrest without bail against all the accused, it is presumed that he had studied the Information and the Resolution of the prosecutor and agreed with the latters findings of probable cause. Thus, the grant of the Motion for Reinvestigation and of the Motion to Dismiss for alleged insufficiency of evidence posed a serious contradiction of the earlier finding of probable cause. Finally, Judge granted both of the Motions despite the obvious lack of notice to the Bank and lack of hearing. This lapse effectively deprived it of its day in court.

2. SERAG v CA (borrowed)
Facts:

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

Atty. Jesus Sibya, Jr. a mayoralty candidate in Iloilo was shot. His driver Norberto Salamat was also wounded. Hence, a criminal complaint for murder and attempted murder was filed against Napao who was an incumbent mayor at that time and Sebastian Serag. The prosecutor filed two informations: (1) for Murder with the Use of Unlicensed Firearms, and (2) Attempted Murder with the Use of Unlicensed Firearms against Serag and Napao and 7 others. The wounded driver Salamat and wife of the victim Ma. Daisy Sibya filed before the provincial prosecutor a supplemental complaint for murder, frustrated murder and violation of PD 1866 (Illegal possession of firearms) against Napag, Serag and 16 others. Provincial Prosecutor issued an order finding probable cause for murder and attempted murder with the use of unlicensed firearms. Hence, an amended information was filed (to include the use of unlicensed firearms). Napao and the other accused filed a petition for review to appeal the said resolution before the DOJ. The trial court found probable cause for murder and attempted murder. Warrants of arrest were issued against the accused who were still at large. Pending the resolution by the Secretary of Justice of the said petition for review, the proceedings were suspended. However, the accused were still set to be arraigned. A day before the said arraignment, the Secretary of Justice affirmed with modification the resolution and downgraded the charges from murder to Homicide. Provincial prosecutor was likewise ordered to amend the Amended Informations accordingly. The wife of the victim, Daisy, filed an MR to appeal the said resolution. In compliance with the order of the DOJ, provincial prosecutor filed before the RTC a motion for leave to file a second amended information for homicide and attempted homicide. Private prosecutors opposed the motion and moved for deferment because they said that Daisy had earlier filed an MR questioning the resolution downgrading the charges. They said that it would be premature to file a motion for the admission of the second amended information and for the court to admit the same. But the RTC still granted the motion of the provincial prosecutor and admitted the second amended information for homicide. The attempted homicide case however was dismissed on the ground that it had no jurisdiction over the said case. RTC said they had not received a copy of Daisys MR. Hence, the court arraigned the accused for homicide, who pleaded not guilty. Taking into account the finding of the DOJ, the court held that the finding of probable cause for murder against the accused did not bar it from admitting the Second Amended Information for Homicide. Likewise, the pendency of Daisys MR of the Resolution of the Secretary of Justice was not a valid reason for the deferment of the arraignment of the accused for homicide. The private complainant (Daisy) forthwith assailed the orders of the trial court and the arraignment of the accused via a petition for certiorari in the CA. She insisted that the admission by the RTC of the Second Amended Information downgrading the crime charged therein to Homicide

and the arraignment of the accused therein on June 6, 2002 were premature since the Secretary of Justice had not yet resolved her motion for reconsideration of the May 20, 2002 Resolution. CA issued a TRO enjoining the RTC from proceeding with the case. In the meantime, DOJ issued a resolution granting the MR of private complainant Daisy and set aside the resolution downgraded the offense to homicide. The Secretary of Justice opined that the killing of the deceased was, after all, qualified by treachery. Secretary also said that he cannot be stopped from taking cognizance of the case and resolving the MR despite the arraignment of the accused. He directed the Provincial Prosecutor to withdraw the Second Amended Information for Homicide and Attempted Homicide and to file, instead separate Informations for Murder and Attempted Murder. The accused-petitioners filed an MR of the said resolution. They argued that, with their arraignment in the RTC and the MTC, the Secretary of Justice should have denied the private complainants motion for reconsideration. DOJ denied said motion. Juan Napao and the other petitioners in the Department of Justice filed a petition for certiorari with the CA assailing the November 18, 2002 Resolution of the Secretary of Justice, and praying for the reinstatement of Resolution No. 258 (wherein the charges against them were downgraded). The Provincial Prosecutor filed a Motion with the trial court for the withdrawal of the Second Amended Information for homicide and for the reinstatement of the Amended Information for murder. However, in view of the temporary restraining order issued by the CA, the trial court suspended the proceedings. CA eventually issued an order nullifying the order downgrading the offense. It also issued an order nullifying the arraignment. Of course, the accusedpetitioners questioned this saying CA acted with GADLEJ when it issued the order nullifying their arraignment. They insist that the CA should have dismissed the petition of Daisy for being moot and academic because they were already arraigned. ISSUE: W/N the CA committed GADLEJ? No, petition is denied. HELD: The appellate courts nullification of the June 6, 2002 and July 26, 2002 Orders of the RTC and the arraignment of the petitioners on June 6, 2002 are wellfounded. Section 13 of DOJ Circular No. 70 reads: SECTION 13. Motion for reconsideration. The aggrieved party may file a motion for reconsideration within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from receipt of the resolution on appeal, furnishing the adverse party and the Prosecution Office concerned with copies thereof and submitting proof of such service. No second or further motion for reconsideration shall be entertained.

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

The private respondent (Daisy) received a copy of Resolution No. 258 of the Secretary of Justice downgrading the charges from murder and attempted murder to homicide and attempted homicide. She had the right to file a motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid resolution on or before June 6, 2002. it behooved the RTC to suspend the proceedings until after the Secretary of Justice had resolved such motion with finality, including the consideration of the motion of the Provincial Prosecutor for the admission of the Second Amended Information for homicide, the dismissal of Criminal Case No. 926, and the arraignment of the petitioners for homicide. It was, in fact, premature for the Provincial Prosecutor to file such motion for the admission of the Second Amended Information since the Secretary of Justice had not yet resolved the said motion; after all, he may still reconsider Resolution No. 258, which he did, effectively reversing his previous ruling and thus reverting to the original charges of murder and attempted murder. Accordingly, we rule that the trial court in a criminal case which takes cognizance of an accuseds motion for review of the resolution of the investigating prosecutor or for reinvestigation and defers the arraignment until resolution of the said motion must act on the resolution reversing the investigating prosecutors finding or on a motion to dismiss based thereon only upon proof that such resolution is already final in that no appeal was taken therefrom to the Department of Justice. In fine, the RTC acted with inordinate and precipitate haste when it granted the Provincial Prosecutors motion for the admission of the Second Amended Information for homicide, ordered the withdrawal of Criminal Case No. 926 for attempted homicide based on Resolution No. 258 of the DOJ Secretary, and arraigned the accused therein for homicide. Quoting the CA: Public respondent also erroneously found that the pendency of the motion for reconsideration, and the other reasons given, not compelling for the court to defer its action on the motion to admit. As earlier stated, Department Circular No. 70 places the duty upon the appellant and the trial prosecutor to see to it that, pending resolution of the appeal, the proceedings in court are held in abeyance. It should be considered that the motion to defer was even with the conformity of the public prosecutor and the appearance of the private prosecutors is pursuant to Section 16, Rule 110 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure, to wit: Intervention of the offended party in criminal action.Where the civil action for recovery of civil liability is instituted in the criminal action pursuant to Rule 111, the offended party may intervene by counsel in the prosecution of the offense. All these facts taken together, there appears to be an undue haste on the part of the public respondent in admitting the second amended informations for homicide and attempted homicide and ordering the arraignment of the private respondents to the said informations. As a result of the assailed Orders issued

by public respondent, the private respondents were arraigned for homicide and attempted homicide. The DOJ cannot be stripped of his authority to act on and resolve the aforesaid motion of the private complainant on the Prosecutors insistence that the accused be arraigned on June 6, 2002. Indeed, under Section 7 of DOJ Circular No. 70, the Secretary of Justice may resolve the said motion despite the arraignment of the petitioners: SECTION 7. Action on the petition. The Secretary of Justice may dismiss the petition outright if he finds the same to be patently without merit or manifestly intended for delay, or when the issues raised therein are too unsubstantial to require consideration. If an information has been filed in court pursuant to the appealed resolution, the petition shall not be given due course if the accused had already been arraigned. Any arraignment made after the filing of the petition shall not bar the Secretary of Justice from exercising his power of review.

3. SORIANO v PEOPLE
Facts: Sometime in 2000, the Office of Special Investigation (OSI) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), sent a letter to the Chief State Prosecutor of the DOJ. The letter attached five affidavits, which would serve as bases for filing charges for Estafa thru Falsification of Commercial Documents and violation of the DOSRI law against Hilario Soriano. These five affidavits stated that a certain couple, the spouses Carlos, appeared to have an outstanding loan of P8 million with the Rural Bank of San Miguel (Bulacan), Inc. (RBSM), but had never applied for nor received such loan and that it was petitioner, who was then president of RBSM, who had ordered, facilitated, and received the proceeds of the loan; and that the P8 million loan had never been authorized by RBSM's Board and no report thereof had ever been submitted to the BSP. The letter of the OSI, which was not subscribed under oath, ended with a request that a preliminary investigation be conducted and the corresponding criminal charges be filed against petitioner at his last known address. Petitioners filed a Motion to Quash and argued that the letter transmitted by the BSP constituted the complaint and hence was defective for failure to comply with the mandatory requirements of Section 3(a), Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, such as the statement of address of petitioner and oath and subscription. Moreover, petitioner argued that the officers of OSI, who were the signatories to the letter-complaint, were not authorized by the BSP Governor, much less by the Monetary Board, to file the complaint. The RTC denied it. They ruled that the assailed OSI letter was not the complaint-affidavit itself; thus, it need not comply with the requirements under the Rules of Court. It was but a cover letter, and merely

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

contained a summary of the affidavits which were attached to it. It did not contain any averment of personal knowledge of the events and transactions that constitute the elements of the offenses charged. The RTC held that the affidavits, which were attached to the OSI letter, comprised the complaint-affidavit in the case. Since these affidavits were duly subscribed and sworn to before a notary public, there was adequate compliance with the Rules. On certiorari the CA agreed. These complaint-affidavits complied with the mandatory requirements set out in the Rules of Court they were subscribed and sworn to before a notary public and subsequently certified by State Prosecutor Fonacier, who personally examined the affiants and was convinced that the affiants fully understood their sworn statements. Issue: Which was the complaint, the letter or the affidavits? Was there compliance with Rule 112, sec. 3[a] of the Rules of Court? Held: 1. The letter was not intended to be the complaint, as envisioned under the Rules. They did not contain averments of personal knowledge of the events and transactions constitutive of any offense. The letters merely transmitted for preliminary investigation the affidavits of people who had personal knowledge of the acts of petitioner. We rule that these affidavits, not the letters transmitting them, initiated the preliminary investigation. Since these affidavits were subscribed under oath by the witnesses who executed them before a notary public, then there was substantial compliance with Section 3(a), Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. The Court is not unaware of the practice of incorporating all allegations in one document denominated as complaintaffidavit. It does not pronounce strict adherence to only one approach, however, for there are cases where the extent of ones personal knowledge may not cover the entire gamut of details material to the alleged offense. The private offended party or relative of the deceased may not even have witnessed the fatality, in which case the peace officer or law enforcer has to rely chiefly on affidavits of witnesses. The Rules do not in fact preclude the attachment of a referral or transmittal letter. The rule has been that, unless the offense subject thereof is one that cannot be prosecuted de oficio, the same may be filed, for preliminary investigation purposes, by any competent person. The witnesses who executed the affidavits based on their personal knowledge of the acts committed by the petitioner fall within the purview of any competent person who may institute the complaint for a public crime. A preliminary investigation can thus validly proceed on the basis of an affidavit of any competent person, without the referral document having been sworn to by the law enforcer as the nominal complainant. To require otherwise is a needless exercise. After all, what is required is to reduce the evidence into affidavits, for while reports and even raw information may justify the initiation of an investigation, the preliminary investigation stage can be held only after

sufficient evidence has been gathered and evaluated which may warrant the eventual prosecution of the case in court. 2. Anent the contention that there was no authority from the BSP Governor or the Monetary Board to file a case against Soriano, we hold that the NCBA does not apply because the BSP did not institute the complaint but merely sent the affidavits of the complainants [the officers] to the DOJ. 3. We further held that since the offenses for which Soriano was charged were public crimes, authority holds that it can be initiated by any competent person with personal knowledge of the acts committed by the offender. Thus, the witnesses who executed the affidavits clearly fell within the purview of any competent person who may institute the complaint for a public crime. Appeal denied, Motion to Quash remains denied.

4. SAMUEL LEE v KBC BANK


Facts Midas Diversified Export Corporation (MDEC) obtained a $1,400,000 loan from KBC Bank N.V. (KBC Bank). KBC Bank is a Belgian corporation licensed to do business in the Philippines. For this loan, Samuel U. Lee (Lee), assistant treasurer and director of MDEC, executed a promissory note in favor of KBC Bank and a deed of assignment transferring all of MDECs rights over Confirmed Purchase Order No. MTC-548 to KBC Bank. Confirmed Purchase Order No. MTC-548 was allegedly issued by Otto Versand, a company based in Germany, and covered shipments amounting to $1,863,050. MDEC obtained another loan, amounting to $65,000, from KBC Bank. For this second loan, Maybelle L. Lim (Lim), treasurer and assistant secretary of MDEC, executed a promissory note in favor of KBC Bank and a deed of assignment transferring all of MDECs rights over Confirmed Purchase Order No. WC-128 to KBC Bank. Confirmed Purchase Order No. WC-128 was also allegedly issued by Otto Versand, and covered shipments amounting to $841,500. MDEC defaulted in the payment of these 2 loans. KBC Bank sent a letter to Otto Versand verifying the validity of Confirmed Purchase Order Nos. MTC-548 and WC128. However, Otto Versand sent a facsimile message to KBC Bank stating that (1) it did not issue the purchase orders, (2) it did not order or receive the items covered by the purchase orders, and (3) it would not pay MDEC any amount.

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

Thus, KBC Bank filed a complaint for estafa against Lee and Lim. State Prosecutor Subia found the existence of probable cause and recommended that two counts of estafa be filed against Lee and Lim. Accordingly, two informations for estafa against Lee and Lim were filed with the RTC. After finding probable cause, Judge issued warrants of arrest against Lee and Lim. Lee and Lim filed a petition. for review with the Department of Justice (DOJ) challenging the state prosecutors resolution. In his Resolution, DOJ Secretary Perez directed the withdrawal of the informations filed against Lee and Lim holding that the facsimile message constituted hearsay evidence because contents of the said message was not of personal knowledge of KBC Bank, but of Otto Versand, which did not present a sworn statement during the trial. Thereafter, City Prosecutor Sibucao, filed a motion to withdraw the informations against Lee and Lim, which was granted by the RTC (through an order). However, on appeal, the CA set aside this order for the withdrawal of informations. Hence, this petition. Issues 1. Whether or not the issue of admissibility of the facsimile message may be properly ventilated during the full-blown trial and not during the preliminary investigation. YES Whether or not Judge Dumayas of the RTC, in ordering the withdrawal of the informations against Lee and Lim, ailed to make his own evaluation and merely relied on Secretary Perezs recommendation. YES

of the elements of the crime is evidentiary in nature and is a matter of defense that may be passed upon after a full-blown trial on the merits. In fine, the validity and merits of a partys defense or accusation, as well as the admissibility of testimonies and evidence, are better ventilated during trial proper than at the preliminary investigation level.

2. Yes, Judge Dumayas of the RTC, in ordering the withdrawal of the informations against Lee and Lim, failed to make his own evaluation and merely relied on Secretary Perezs recommendation. Judge Dumayas order reads as follows: This Court, after an in-depth scrutiny of the arguments raised by the prosecution and private complainant, finds the contentions of the prosecution to be sufficient and meritorious. Accordingly, the Motion to Withdraw Information filed by the Prosecution is hereby granted and the two (2) informations for the crime of Estafa penalized under par. 2 (a) of the Revised Penal Code are hereby withdrawn from the docket of this court. The Court reiterated its rulings on several cases, such as that found in Co vs. Lim: Once a case is filed with the court, any disposition of it rests on the sound discretion of the court. The trial court is not bound to adopt the resolution of the Secretary of Justice, since it is mandated to independently evaluate or assess the merits of the case. Reliance on the resolution of the Secretary of Justice alone would be an abdication of its duty and jurisdiction to determine a prima facie case. The trial court may make an independent assessment of the merits of the case based on the affidavits and counter-affidavits, documents, or evidence appended to the Information; the records of the public prosecutor, which the court may order the latter to produce before the

2.

Ruling 1.Yes. The issue of admissibility of the facsimile message should be ventilated during the full-blown trial and not during the preliminary investigation. The Court said that whether the facsimile message is admissible in evidence and whether the element of deceit in the crime of estafa is present are matters best ventilated in a full-blown trial, not in the preliminary investigation. In Andres v. Justice Secretary Cuevas, the Court held that: [A preliminary investigation] is not the occasion for the full and exhaustive display of [the prosecutions] evidence. The presence or absence

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

court; or any evidence already adduced before the court by the accused at the time the motion is filed by the public prosecutor. XXXX [T]HE TRIAL JUDGE DID NOT POSITIVELY STATE THAT THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED AGAINST THE RESPONDENTS WAS INSUFFICIENT FOR A PRIMA FACIE CASE, NOR DID THE AFOREQUOTED ORDER INCLUDE A DISCUSSION OF THE MERITS OF THE CASE BASED ON AN EVALUATION OR ASSESSMENT OF THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD. IN OTHER WORDS, THE DISMISSAL OF THE CASE WAS BASED UPON CONSIDERATIONS OTHER THAN THE JUDGES OWN PERSONAL INDIVIDUAL CONVICTION THAT THERE WAS NO CASE AGAINST THE RESPONDENTS. THUS, THE TRIAL JUDGE IMPROPERLY RELINQUISHED THE DISCRETION THAT HE WAS BOUND TO EXERCISE, AND THE ORDERS DATED 11 FEBRUARY 2004 AND 29 JUNE 2004 ARE INVALID FOR HAVING BEEN ISSUED IN GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. In the present case, Judge Dumayas, in his order, did not (1) positively state that the evidence against Lee and Lim is insufficient, (2) include a discussion of the merits of the case, (3) assess whether Secretary Perezs conclusion is supported by evidence, (4) look at the basis of Secretary Perezs recommendation, (5) embody his assessment in the order, and (6) state his reasons for granting the motion to withdraw the informations. Judge Dumayas failure to make his own evaluation of the merits of the case violates KBC banks right to due process and constitutes grave abuse of discretion. Thus, Judge Dumayas order granting the motion to withdraw the informations is void.

During the preliminary investigation, both Okabe and Marumaya were given the chance to adduce evidences/affidavits on their behalf. The 2nd assistant city prosecutor found probable cause and issued a resolution and the corresponding information. Appended thereto was the Maruyamas complaint affidavit. These documents were forwarded to the city prosecutor for approval. Then the information was filed with the RTC of Pasay. A warrant of arrest was issued but Okabe was able to post bail in the amount of 40,000 thereby allowing her to freely leave the Philippines for Japan. Upon the instance of the prosecution, a hold-departure order was issued by the court. Okabe filed a motion for judicial determination of probable cause. She claims that the documents attached to the resolution of the investigating prosecutor were insufficient to warrant a finding of probable cause. She contends that it behooved the investigating prosecutor to submit the following to the trial court to enable it to determine the presence or absence of probable cause: (a) copies of the affidavits of the witnesses of the complainant; (b) the counteraffidavit of Okabe and those of her witnesses; (c) the transcripts of stenographic notes taken during the preliminary investigation; and, (d) other documents presented during the said investigation.

ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court judge should have required the production of the affidavits of Maruyamas witnesses, their documentary evidences, stenographic notes of the preliminary investigation and Okabes counter-affidavit for the purposes of determining probable cause for the issuance of the warrant of arrest YES Whether or not posting of bail bars the accused from questioning the legality of the arrest or the conduct of preliminary investigation - NO HELD: The case of Webb v De Leon and Ho v People say that for the purposes of determining the existence or non-existence of probable cause for the purpose of issuing a warrant of arrest, the judge should not rely solely on the said report. The judge should consider not only the report of the investigating prosecutor but also the affidavit/affidavits and the documentary evidence of the parties, the counter-affidavit of the accused and his witnesses, as well as the transcript of stenographic notes taken during the preliminary investigation, if any, submitted to the court by the investigating prosecutor upon the filing of the Information. This rule is now embodied section 8(a) of Rule 112 (but which is section 7 (a) in our codal) which mandates that an information filed in court shall be supported by affidavits and counter-affidavits of the parties and their witnesses, other supporting documents and the resolution of the case. The reason for this rule is because the law aims not only to acquit the innocent but to like insulate the clearly innocent from false charges and from the strong arm of the law.

5. OKABE v GUTIERREZ (borrowed)


FACTS: Maruyama sued Okabe for estafa. It was alleged in the complaint that Maruyama entrusted to Okabe a sum of money for the latter, who was engaged in the business of door to door delivery, to remit to the Philippines. Okabe failed to remit such amount. The complaint for estafa was filed with the 2nd assistant city prosecutor for preliminary investigation.

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

Section 26 of the Rule 114 says that an application for or admission to bail shall not bar the accused from challenging the validity of his arrest or the legality of the warrant issued therefor, or from assailing the regularity or questioning the absence of a preliminary investigation of the charge against him, provided that he raises them before entering his plea. This is a curative rule because modified the previous rulings of the SC saying that posting of bail is a bar to challenging the validity of the arrest. Being curative and procedural in nature, it applies retroactively. It must favor Okabe. Besides, every waiver of a right to question the validity of an arrest must be unequivocally established by the conduct of the accused. In this case, the series of acts by Okabe point to the conclusion that she was insistent about the fact that the arrest was ordered with insufficient finding of probable cause. In fact, she immediately filed a motion for judicial determination of probable cause.

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

D. ARREST 1. PEOPLE v DE LEON


FACTS Rodante De Leon was convicted for violation of Secs. 5 (sale) & 11 (possession), Art. 2 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Acts (CDDA) of 2002. A confidential informant went to the office of the Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operation Task Force of the Novaliches Police in QC reporting the illegal activities of De Leon. A buybust team was then created with PO2 Magcalayo as poseur-buyer and PO2 Collado, et al. to assist him. Later at night, the team went to Sta. Monica, Novaliches where the informant introduced Magcalayo to De Leon as buyer of shabu. The policeman asked whether De Leon had shabu, to which he said yes and asked how much he would buy. Magcalayo gave the money and, in return, De Leon gave him 1 plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance. Magcalayo then scratched his head, which was the signal for the others that the transaction has already been consummated. Thereafter, De Leon was arrested. The buy-bust money was recovered. De Leon was handcuffed. Upon frisking, Collado found another plastic satchet. De Leon was then brought to the police station for investigation. Collado placed his initials on the sachet found. The evidence was then turned over to another police, PO1 Estrelles, who prepared a request for laboratory examination. Collado, Magcalayo, and 2 other police then brought the sachets to the PNP Crime Laboratory in Mandaluyong. De Leon questioned the legality of the buy-bust operation conducted. He also claimed that the prosecution failed to prove the chain of custody of the confiscated items. ISSUEs (1) Whether the buy-bust operation was valid. (2) Whether the chain of custody was violated. RULING (1) YES. A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment whereby ways and means are resorted to for the purpose of trapping and capturing the lawbreakers in the execution of their criminal plan. In this jurisdiction, the operation is legal and has been proved to be an effective method of apprehending drug peddlers, provided due regard to constitutional and legal safeguards is undertaken.

Here, the evidence clearly shows that the buybust operation conducted by the police officers, who made use of entrapment to capture appellant in the act of selling a dangerous drug, was valid and legal. The defense has failed to show any evidence of ill motive on the part of the police officers. Even appellant himself declared that it was the first time he met the police officers during his cross-examination. There was, therefore, no motive for the police officers to frame up appellant. The identity of appellant as the person who sold the dangerous drugs to PO2 Magcalayo and the one in possession of the shabu cannot be doubted anymore. Such positive identification prevails over appellant's defenses of denial and alibi. These defenses have been invariably viewed by the Court with disfavor, for they can easily be concocted but difficult to prove, and they are common and standard defense ploys in most prosecutions arising from violations of the CDDA of 2002. Absent any proof of motive to falsely accuse appellant of such a grave offense, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty and the findings of the trial court with respect to the credibility of witnesses shall prevail over appellant's bare allegation. (2) NO. The IRR of the CDDA of 2002 provide: SECTION 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner:

(a) The apprehending officer/team having initial

custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof; Provided, that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served; or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case

10

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

of warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items ... A close examination of the law reveals that it admits of certain exceptions. Thus, contrary to the assertions of appellant, Sec. 21 of the foregoing law need not be followed as an exact science. Non-compliance with Sec. 21 does not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. What is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused." Here, there was substantial compliance with the law and the integrity of the drugs seized from appellant was preserved. The chain of custody of the drugs subject matter of the case was shown not to have been broken. The factual milieu of the case reveals that after PO2 Magcalayo seized and confiscated the dangerous drugs, as well as the marked money, appellant was immediately arrested and brought to the police station for investigation, where the sachet of suspected shabu was marked with "NM." Immediately thereafter, the confiscated substance, with a letter of request for examination, was submitted to the PNP Crime Laboratory for examination to determine the presence of any dangerous drug. Per Chemistry Report No. D-12402003 dated November 9, 2003, the specimen submitted contained methylamphetamine hydrochloride, a dangerous drug. The examination was conducted by one Engr. Jabonillo, a Forensic Chemical Officer of the PNP Crime Laboratory, whose stipulated testimony clearly established the chain of custody of the specimens he received. Thus, it is without a doubt that there was an unbroken chain of custody of the illicit drug purchased from appellant.

SPO2 Vergel de Dios, Rogelio Anoble and a certain Arellano, for unlawful possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug popularly known as shabu. Redentor Teck, alias Frank, and Joseph Junio were identified as the source of the drug. . In a separate operation that same date, Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio were arrested while they were about to hand over another bag of shabu to SPO2 De Dios and company. Questioned, Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio informed the police operatives that they were working as talent manager and gymnast instructor, respectively, of Glamour Modeling Agency owned by Lawrence Wang. Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio did not disclose their source of shabu but admitted that they were working for Wang. They also disclosed that they knew of a scheduled delivery of shabu and that their employer (Wang) could be found at the Maria Orosa Apartment in Malate, Manila. The police operatives decided to look for Wang to shed light on the illegal drug activities of Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio. Wang, who was described to the operatives by Teck, came out of an apartment and walked towards a parked BMW car. Police officers approached Wang, introduced themselves to him as police officers, asked his name and, upon hearing that he was Lawrence Wang, immediately frisked him and asked him to open the back compartment of the BMW car. When frisked, there was found inside the front right pocket of Wang and confiscated from him an unlicensed AMT Cal. 380 9mm automatic Back-up Pistol loaded with ammunitions. At the same time, the other members of the operatives searched the BMW car and found inside it were the following items: (a) 32 transparent plastic bags containing white crystalline substance with a total weight of 29.2941 kilograms, which substance was later analyzed as positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug locally known as shabu; (b) cash in the amount of P650,000.00; (c) one electronic and one mechanical scales; and (d) an unlicensed Daewoo 9mm Pistol with magazine. Then and there, Wang resisted the warrantless arrest and search. Wang filed his undated Demurrer to Evidence, praying for his acquittal and the dismissal of the three (3) cases against him for lack of a valid arrest and search warrants and the inadmissibility of the prosecutions evidence against him. Due to the demurrer, Judge Perfecto A.S. Laguio, Jr., issued the assailed Resolution granting Wangs Demurrer to Evidence and acquitting him of all charges for lack of evidence. Issue: Whether or not Wangs warrantless arrest was valid?

2. PEOPLE v LAGUIO
Facts: Lawrence Wang was charged on three separate informations for 1) violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act, 2) Illegal Possession of Firearms and 3) Violation of the Comelec Gun Ban. Police operatives of the Public Assistance and Reaction Against Crime of the Department of Interior and Local Government arrested

11

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

Ruling: No. The pertinent provisions of Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure on warrantless arrest provide: Sec. 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. Section 5, above, provides three (3) instances when warrantless arrest may be lawfully effected: (a) arrest of a suspect in flagrante delicto; (b) arrest of a suspect where, based on personal knowledge of the arresting officer, there is probable cause that said suspect was the author of a crime which had just been committed; (c) arrest of a prisoner who has escaped from custody serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending. For a warrantless arrest of an accused caught in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5 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 facts and circumstances surrounding the present case did not manifest any suspicious behavior on the part of private respondent Lawrence Wang that would reasonably invite the attention of the police. He was merely walking from the Maria Orosa Apartment and was about to enter the parked BMW car when the police operatives arrested him, frisked and searched his person and commanded him to open the compartment of the car, which was later on found to be owned by his friend, David Lee. He was not committing any visible offense then. Therefore, there

can be no valid warrantless arrest in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5. It is settled that "reliable information" alone, absent any overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise in the presence and within the view of the arresting officers, is not sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in flagrante delicto arrest. Neither may the warrantless arrest be justified under paragraph (b) of Section 5. What is clearly established from the testimonies of the arresting officers is that Wang was arrested mainly on the information that he was the employer of Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio who were previously arrested and charged for illegal transport of shabu. Teck and Junio did not even categorically identify Wang to be their source of the shabu they were caught with in flagrante delicto. Upon the duos declaration that there will be a delivery of shabu on the early morning of the following day, May 17, which is only a few hours thereafter, and that Wang may be found in Maria Orosa Apartment along Maria Orosa Street, the arresting officers conducted "surveillance" operation in front of said apartment, hoping to find a person which will match the description of one Lawrence Wang, the employer of Teck and Junio. These circumstances do not sufficiently establish the existence of probable cause based on personal knowledge as required in paragraph (b) of Section 5.

3. VALDEZ v PEOPLE (borrowed)


FACTS: In 2003, Valdez had in his possession and custody dried marijuana leaves wrapped in cellophane and newspaper page, without first securing the necessary permit or prescription from the proper govt agency. He was then charged with violation of Sec. 11 of RA 9165. On arraignment, Valdez pleaded not guilty. During trial, the prosecution presented the testimony of the 3 barangay tanods (Bautista, Aratas and Ordoo) who arrested Valdez. While the three were conducting the routine patrol during the night of the incident, they noticed Valdez, lugging a bag, alight from a mini-bus. They then observed that Valdez, who appeared suspicious to them, seemed to be looking for something. Thus, they approached Valdez but he purportedly attempted to run away. The tanods chased Valdez, arrested and brought him to the house of Brgy. Capt. Mercado. Bautista testified that it was Mercado who instructed him to open Valdez bag, where the mariajuana leaves were found. Aratas and Ordoo corroborated Bautistas testimony on most material points. On cross-examination, however, Aratas admitted that he himself brought out the contents of Valdez bag before the latter was taken to Mercados house. Nonetheless, he claimed that at Mercados house, it was Valdez himself who brought out the contents of his bag upon orders from Mercado. For his part, Ordoo testified that it was he who was ordered

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

by Mercado to open Valdez bag and that it was then that they saw its contents. Valdez denied the charges. He basically alleged that while he was walking after alighting from the bus, witness Ordoo allegedly approached him and asked where he was going. Ordoo then purportedly requested to see the contents of his bag and Valdez acceded. It was at this point that Bautista and Aratas joined them. After inspecting all the contents of his bag, Valdez testified that he was restrained by the tanod and taken to the house of Mercado. It was Aratas who carried the bag until they reached their destination. At Mercados house, his bag was opened by the tanod and Mercado himself. They took out an item wrapped in newspaper, which later turned out to be marijuana leaves. Valdez denied ownership of the marijuana. The RTC found Valdez guilty. The CA affirmed the RTC decision. ISSUE: W/N the drugs were seized pursuant to a lawful warrantless arrest that would make the drugs admissible as evidence? (NOTE: Valdez never raised the irregularity of his arrest before arraignment, but to determine the admissibility of the seized drugs in evidence, it is indispensable to ascertain whether or not the search which yielded the alleged contraband was lawful.) HELD/RATIO: NO. Thus, the seized marijuana is inadmissible as evidence. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides the only occasions on which a person may be arrested without a warrant.1 It is obvious that based on the testimonies of the arresting barangay tanod, not one of these circumstances was present at the time Valdez was arrested. By their own admission, Valdez was not committing an offense at the time he alighted from the bus, nor did he appear to be then committing an offense. The tanods did not have probable cause either to justify Valdez warrantless arrest. For the exception in Section 5(a), Rule 113 to operate, this SC ruled that two (2) elements must be present: (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. Here, Valdez act of looking around after getting off the bus was but natural as he was finding his way to his destination. The allegation that he attempted to run away as the tanod approached him is irrelevant and cannot by itself be construed as adequate to charge the tanod with personal knowledge that Valdez had just engaged in,
1
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 temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

was actually engaging in or was attempting to engage in criminal activity. More importantly, Valdez testified that he did not run away but in fact spoke with the barangay tanod when they approached him. Even taking the prosecutions version generally as the truth, the conclusion will not be any different. It is not unreasonable to expect that Valdez, walking the street at night, after being closely observed and then later tailed by three unknown persons, would attempt to flee at their approach. Flight per se is not synonymous with guilt and must not always be attributed to ones consciousness of guilt. Alone, and under the circumstances of this case, Valdez flight lends itself just as easily to an innocent explanation as it does to a nefarious one. The supposed acts of Valdez, even assuming that they appeared dubious, cannot be viewed as sufficient to incite suspicion of criminal activity enough to validate his warrantless arrest. If at all, the search most permissible for the tanod to conduct under the prevailing backdrop of the case was a stop-and-frisk to allay any suspicion they have been harboring based on Valdez behavior. However, a stopand-frisk situation, following Terry v. Ohio, must precede a warrantless arrest, be limited to the persons outer clothing, and should be grounded upon a genuine reason, in light of the police officers experience and surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person detained has weapons concealed about him. Accordingly, Valdez waiver of his right to question his arrest notwithstanding, the marijuana leaves allegedly taken during the search cannot be admitted in evidence against him as they were seized during a warrantless search which was not lawful. As in People vs. Bacla-an, the SC ruled A waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not also mean a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest. The following searches and seizures are deemed permissible by jurisprudence: (1) search of moving vehicles (2) seizure in plain view (3) customs searches (4) waiver or consent searches (5) stop and frisk situations (Terry Search) and (6) search incidental to a lawful arrest. The last includes a valid warrantless search and seizure pursuant to an equally valid warrantless arrest, for, while as a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate if effected with a valid warrant of arrest, the Rules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrests, to wit: (1) arrests in flagrante delicto, (2) arrests effected in hot pursuit, and, (3) arrests of escaped prisoners. Thus, when Valdez was arrested without a warrant, he was neither caught in flagrante delicto committing a crime nor was the arrest effected in hot pursuit. Verily, it cannot therefore be reasonably argued that the warrantless search conducted on Valdez was incidental to a lawful arrest. Even granting that Valdez admitted to opening his bag when Ordoo asked to see its contents, his implied acquiescence, if at all, could not have been more than mere passive conformity given under coercive or intimidating circumstances and hence, is considered no consent at all within the contemplation of the constitutional

13

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

guarantee. As a result, Valdez lack of objection to the search and seizure is not tantamount to a waiver of his constitutional right or a voluntary submission to the warrantless search and seizure.

ISSUE: WON there was a lawful warrantless arrest NO First, the reliance of both petitioner and the Solicitor General upon Umil v. Ramos is, in the circumstances of this case, misplaced. In Umil v. Ramos there was a valid warrantless arrest because the offense (subversion) constituted "continuing crimes." Here, the offense was murder, not a continuing crime. Secondly, the warrantless "arrest" does not fall within the terms of Section 5 of Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. Go's "arrest" took place 6 days after the shooting. The "arresting" officers obviously were not present at the time petitioner allegedly shot Maguan. Neither could the "arrest" effected 6 days after be reasonably regarded as effected "when the shooting had in fact just been committed". Plus, none of the "arresting" officers had any "personal knowledge" of facts indicating that Go was the gunman. The police merely relied on the statements of an alleged eyewitness. **On Preliminary Investagion: WON Go had effectively waived his right to preliminary investigation.-- NO From the very start Go demanded that a preliminary investigation be conducted. It wasnt waived when he incorrectly filed an omnibus motion for release and preliminary investigation with the Prosecutor (should be filed with the RTC). Plus, the Prosecutor himself filed the same with the RTC days after filing the information for murder.

4. ROLITO GO v CA (borrowed)
FACTS: On July 2, 1991, Eldon Maguan and Rolito Go had a near-collision incident in San Juan. After that, Go alighted from his car, walked over and shot Maguan inside his car. Go then left the scene but a security guard at a nearby restaurant was able to get his license plate. On July 8, 1991, Go , with 2 lawyers, presented himself before San Juan Police Station to very news reports that he was being hunted by the police. He was detained. An eyewitness to the shooting was able to positively identify him as the gunman. That same day, a complaint for frustrated homicide was filed with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Rizal. He was informed, in the presence of his lawyers, that he could avail himself of his right to preliminary investigation but that he must first sign a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the RPC. Go refused to sign the waiver. Initially, he was released on bail but CA issued an Order wherein the bail grant was recalled so Go had to surrender himself. He was detained again. CA said that Go's warrantless arrest was valid because the offense for which he was arrested and charged had been "freshly committed." When he showed up at the police station, was already an existing manhunt for him; he was positively identified by an eyewitness. Solicitor General argues Go was validly arrested without warrant because his identity as the gunman had been sufficiently established, was validly arrested six (6) days later at the San Juan Police Station. The Solicitor General relies In the Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus of Roberto Umil, etc., v. Ramos, et al. where the SC upheld a warrantless arrest as valid although made 14 days after the killing. Go argues that he was not lawfully arrested without warrant because he went to the police station 6 days after the shooting. Thus the crime had not been "just committed" at the time that he was arrested. Since there had been no lawful warrantless arrest. Section 7, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court which establishes the only exception to the right to preliminary investigation, is not applicable.

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

E. BAIL 1. MABUTAS v PERELLO


FACTS Subject matters of the present administrative cases are two complaints against respondent Judge Perello. Admin. Matter No. RTJ-03-1817 (1st administrative case) Mabutas of PDEA complained of certain irregularities committed by respondent Judge in the grant of bail to accused Omadan. Omadan was charged with Violation of RA 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, for the possession, custody and control of 57.78 grams of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu), with no bail recommended. Respondent judge explained that the bail was granted because the prosecutions evidence of Omadans guilt was not strong. Admin. Matter No. administrative case) RTJ-04-1820 (2nd

discretion. In this regard, Rule 114, Sec. 7 of the Rules of Court states: No person charged with the capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, shall be admitted to bail when the evidence of guilt is strong, regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution. The matter of determining whether or not the evidence is strong is a matter of judicial discretion that remains with the judge. Under the present rules, a hearing on an application for bail is mandatory. Whether bail is a matter of right or of discretion, the prosecutor should be given reasonable notice of hearing, or at least his recommendation on the matter must be sought. In case an application for bail is filed, the judge is entrusted to observe the following duties: 1. In all cases, whether bail is a matter of right or discretion, notify the prosecutor of the hearing of the application for bail or require him to submit his recommendation; 2. Where bail is a matter of discretion, conduct a hearing of the application for bail regardless of whether or not the prosecution refuses to present evidence to show that the guilt of the accused is strong for the purpose of enabling the court to exercise its sound discretion; 3. Decide whether the guilt of the accused is strong based on the summary of evidence of the prosecution; and 4. If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the accused upon the approval of the bail bond. Otherwise the bail should be denied. Based on the above-cited procedure and requirements, after the hearing, the courts order granting or refusing bail must contain a summary of the evidence for the prosecution. Based on the summary of evidence, the judge formulates his own conclusion on whether such evidence is strong enough to indicate the guilt of the accused. In this case, respondent Judge complied with the foregoing duties. A hearing was held on the petition; the prosecution was given the opportunity to present its evidence; respondent Judge based her findings on the prosecutions evidence; respondent Judges Order granting the accuseds petition for bail contained a summary of the prosecutions evidence; and since it was her conclusion that the evidence of accused Omadans guilt is not strong, the petition for bail was granted. 2. Admin. Matter No. RTJ-04-1820 (2nd case)-YES, judge liable. To justify her granting bail in the three criminal cases, respondent Judge insists that she did so because of her belief that methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu is merely a precursor and therefore the sale thereof is

Prosecutor Togononon charged respondent Judge of partiality, serious misconduct in office and gross ignorance of the law, concerning the latters grant of bail in four criminal cases for Violations of R.A. No. 9165 pending before her. Respondent judge issued an order granting motion for bail without hearing. Asst. City Prosecutor Francisco filed MR, arguing that since the crime charged is a capital offense, bail is not allowed as a matter of right, and a hearing is indispensable. Respondent Judge denied the motion. Respondent Judge explains that she did not conduct any hearings on the motions/petitions for bail because the crimes charged are not capital offenses as the quantity of shabu involved therein was minimal. They all involve selling of less than 5 grams of shabu. Respondent Judge believes that under R.A. No. 9165, shabu is not a dangerous drug but merely a controlled precursor, in which the selling of less than 5 grams is punishable only with imprisonment of 12 years to 20 years. Such being the case, respondent Judge maintains that bail is a matter of right and a hearing is not required. ISSUE: w/n respondent Judge may be administratively held liable for the grant of bail. HELD: 1. Admin. Matter No. RTJ-03-1817 (1st case)- NO, judge not liable. Under RA 9165, possession of 50 grams or more methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu punishable by life imprisonment to death; hence, capital offense. As such, bail becomes a matter of is a of

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

not a capital erroneous.

offense.

This

opinion

is

blatantly

his continued confinement during trial will permanently impair his health or put his life in danger. The CA also considered the fact of petitioners conviction. It made a preliminary evaluation of petitioners case and made a prima facie determination that there was no reason substantial enough to overturn the evidence of petitioners guilt. Petitioner then filed a MR and now questions as grave abuse of discretion (Rule 65) the denial of his application for bail, considering that none of the conditions justifying denial of bail under the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court was present. Basically, Leviste claims that in the absence of any of the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, an application for bail by an appellant sentenced by the Regional Trial Court to a penalty of more than six years imprisonment should automatically be granted. ISSUE: In a bail application pending appeal of a conviction with a sentence of more than six years, does the discretionary nature of the grant of bail pending appeal mean that bail should automatically be granted absent any of the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court? HELD: No. Thus, it cannot be said that the Court of Appeals issued the assailed resolution without or in excess of its jurisdiction. Bail is either a matter of right or of discretion. It is a matter of right when the offense charged is not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. On the other hand, upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not punishable death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, bail becomes a matter of discretion. Similarly, if the court imposed a penalty of imprisonment exceeding six (6) years then bail is a matter of discretion, except [that] when any of the enumerated circumstances under paragraph 3 of Section 5, Rule 114 is present then bail shall be denied. In the first situation, bail is a matter of sound judicial discretion. This means that, if none of the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 is present, the appellate court has the discretion to grant or deny bail. An application for bail pending appeal may be denied even if the bailnegating circumstances in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 are absent. In other words, the appellate courts denial of bail pending appeal where none of the said circumstances exists does not, by and of itself, constitute abuse of discretion. On the other hand, in the second situation, the appellate court exercises a more stringent discretion, that is, to carefully ascertain whether any of

Respondent Judge need not exhaustively study R.A. No. 9165 to determine the nature of methamphetamine hydrochloride. A plain reading of the law would immediately show that methamphetamine hydrochloride is a dangerous drug and not a controlled precursor. Methamphetamine hydrochloride is listed in the 1971 UN Single Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which are considered dangerous drugs. This is further strongly manifest in Section 11 of R.A. No. 9165, wherein it is specifically provided that the possession of dangerous drugs, such as methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, is punishable with life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P500,000.00 to P10M, if the quantity thereof is 50 grams or more. Furthermore, had respondent judge kept herself abreast of jurisprudence and decisions of the Court, she would have been apprised that in all the hundreds and hundreds of cases decided by the Court, methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu had always been considered as a dangerous drug. Given that methamphetamine hydrochloride is a dangerous drug, regardless of quantity, the sale, trade, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of shabu is punishable by life imprisonment to death. Being a capital offense, it is incumbent upon respondent Judge to hold a hearing on the petitions/motions for bail filed by the accused therein to determine whether evidence of guilt is strong. To grant an application for bail and fix the amount thereof without a hearing duly called for the purpose of determining whether the evidence of guilt is strong constitutes gross ignorance or incompetence whose grossness cannot be excused by a claim of good faith or excusable negligence.

2. LEVISTE v CA
FACTS: Leviste was convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Makati City for the lesser crime of homicide and sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of six years and one day of prision mayor as minimum to 12 years and one day of reclusion temporal as maximum. He then appealed to the CA. Pending appeal, he filed an urgent application for admission to bail pending appeal, citing his advanced age and health condition, and claiming the absence of any risk or possibility of flight on his part. The CA denied his application for bail. It said that in the matter of bail pending appeal, the discretion to extend bail during the course of appeal should be exercised with grave caution and only for strong reasons. It ruled that bail is not a sick pass for an ailing or aged detainee or a prisoner needing medical care outside the prison facility. According to it, Leviste failed to show that he suffers from ailment of such gravity that

16

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

the enumerated circumstances in fact exists. If it so determines, it has no other option except to deny or revoke bail pending appeal. Conversely, if the appellate court grants bail pending appeal, grave abuse of discretion will thereby be committed. Given these two distinct scenarios, therefore, any application for bail pending appeal should be viewed from the perspective of two stages: (1) the determination of discretion stage, where the appellate court must determine whether any of the circumstances in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 is present; this will establish whether or not the appellate court will exercise sound discretion or stringent discretion in resolving the application for bail pending appeal and (2) the exercise of discretion stage where, assuming the appellants case falls within the first scenario allowing the exercise of sound discretion, the appellate court may consider all relevant circumstances, other than those mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114, including the demands of equity and justice; on the basis thereof, it may either allow or disallow bail. Thus, a finding that none of the circumstances in Section 5, Rule 114 is present will not automatically result in the grant of bail. Such finding will simply authorize the court to use the less stringent sound discretion approach. Moreover, historically, the development over time of the Rules On Criminal Procedure reveals an orientation towards a more restrictive approach to bail pending appeal. It indicates a faithful adherence to the bedrock principle, that is, bail pending appeal should be allowed not with leniency but with grave caution and only for strong reasons. After conviction by the trial court, the presumption of innocence terminates and, accordingly, the constitutional right to bail ends.46 From then on, the grant of bail is subject to judicial discretion. At the risk of being repetitious, such discretion must be exercised with grave caution and only for strong reasons. Considering that the accused was in fact convicted by the trial court, allowance of bail pending appeal should be guided by a stringent-standards approach. This judicial disposition finds strong support in the history and evolution of the rules on bail and the language of Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court.

Respondent Judge Pagayatan issued a Notice of Arraignment requiring the production of Peaflorida. On the scheduled hearing, Judge Pagayatan denied the P40,000 bail recommended by the Provincial Prosecutor for the provisional release of the accused on the ground that the crime Peaflorida was charged with involved large scale estafa, a non-bailable offense. Judge Pagayatan ordered the commitment of Peaflorida to the Provincial Jail in Magbay, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. However, later on that same day, the BOI received information that respondent judge had allowed the release from detention of Peaflorida without the interdepartmental courtesy of affording prior notice to the BOI of such action. Commissioner Domingo was appalled not only by the respondents employment of legal subterfuges in ordering the release of Peaflorida whose Summary Deportation Order had already become final and executory, but also by the respondents bad faith in deceiving them into surrendering the custody of an undesirable alien federal fugitive to the Provincial Jail at Magbay, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. As a result, Commissioner Domingo filed a letter-complaint with the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) charging Pagayatan with gross ignorance of the law. In his Comment, Judge Pagayatan explained that the prosecution and the defense jointly manifested that it would be fair and just if the court would fix the bail bond for the provisional release of the accused Peaflorida at P250,000.00 and that he granted the motion to fix bail; and that at the time he issued the order fixing the bail bond, he was not aware that a deportation order has already been issued by the BOI. In its Evaluation Report, the OCA recommends to the Court that respondent be fined P5,000 for Gross Ignorance of the Law. ISSUE: Whether Judge Pagayatan was guilty of gross ignorance of the law in granting the bail of the accused without conducting a hearing YES HELD: Under the rules on bail, a hearing is mandatory in granting bail whether it is a matter of right or discretion. A hearing is indispensable for the court to ask searching questions from which it may infer the strength of the evidence of guilt, or the lack of it, against the accused, in cases where the offense is punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. After hearing, the courts order granting or refusing bail must contain a summary of the evidence for the prosecution and based thereon, the judge should then formulate his own conclusion as to whether the evidence so presented is strong enough as to indicate the guilt of the accused. Otherwise, the order granting or denying the application for bail may be invalidated because the summary of evidence for the prosecution which contains the judges evaluation of the evidence may be considered as an aspect of procedural due process for both the prosecution and the defense.

3. DOMINGO v PAGAYATAN (borrowed)


FACTS: The Bureau of Immigration (BOI) Board of Commissioners (BOC) issued Summary Deportation Order (SDO) No. ADD-2001-057 against Ernesto M. Peaflorida, a U.S. citizen, after finding that he was an overstaying and undocumented alien, in violation of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940. Peaflorida was also a fugitive from justice since he stood indicted in the United States for health care fraud which resulted in more than $1,376,000.00 losses to the U.S. Federal Government. No appeal was filed with the Office of the President. The SDO became final and executor.

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

The herein respondent granted bail to the accused Peaflorida without conducting a hearing despite his earlier pronouncement in the Order denying bail as he considered the crime the accused Peaflorida was charged with to be a non-bailable offense. The manifestation of the prosecutor that he is not ready to present any witness to prove that the prosecutions evidence against the accused is strong, is never a basis for the outright grant of bail without a preliminary hearing on the matter. A hearing is required even when the prosecution refuses to adduce evidence or fails to interpose an objection to the motion for bail. The joint manifestation of the prosecution and the defense that it would be fair and just if the court would fix the bail bond for the provisional release of the accused at P250,000 does not justify the granting of bail without a hearing in a case involving a nonbailable offense. A hearing is necessary for the court to take into consideration the guidelines in fixing the amount of bail set forth in Section 9, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Respondent judge should have ascertained personally whether the evidence of guilt is strong and endeavored to determine the propriety of the amount of bail recommended. To do away with the requisite bail hearing is to dispense with this time-tested safeguard against arbitrariness. Although the Domingo failed to prove that Judge Pagayatan had prior knowledge of the existence of the deportation order or was informed by the BOI of such order, respondent judge cannot escape administrative liability by invoking unawareness of the deportation order. Absent evidence of malice, respondents lack of knowledge of the deportation order will only free him from administrative liability for gross misconduct but not for gross ignorance of the law for disregarding the rules on bail.

Complainant also asserted that it was improper for the respondent judge to receive the cash bail bond as the function belongs exclusively to the Office of the Clerk of Court. She claimed that respondent judge committed an act of impropriety when she called the police station to verbally order the release of the accused. It is vexing further that no copy of the release order was found on the day of release. Respondent judge denied the charges of complainant. She maintained that she issued the Order of Release after the accused posted a cash bond. She claimed that the accused was released by virtue of the Order of Release and not on the basis of her alleged telephone call to the police station.. The Office of the Court administrator fined and suspended the judge after finding several inconsistencies in her alibi. Even the arresting officer denied receiving a court order for release ISSUE: W/n the judge is administratively liable. HELD:Yes. Respondent judge personally received the cash bail bond for the accused. For this act alone, respondent is already administratively liable. Section 14, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure specifies the persons with whom a cash bail bond may be deposited, namely: the collector of internal revenue or the provincial, city or municipal treasurer. A judge is not authorized to receive the deposit of cash as bail nor should such cash be kept in his office. The respondent judge is guilty of gross misconduct for having abused her judicial authority when she personally accepted the cash bail bond of the accused and for deliberately making untruthful statements in her comment and during the investigation of the instant administrative case with intent to mislead this Court. By corruption, the judge undermined and adversely reflect on the honesty and integrity of the system as an officer of the court; she also betrayed a character flaw which speaks ill of her person. Making false representations is a vice which no judge should imbibe. As the judge is the visible representation of the law, and more importantly justice, he must therefore, be the first to abide by the law and weave an example for the others to follow

4. LACHICA v TORMIS
FACTS Defendant Domugho was apprehended and was brought to the police station for booking and custody. A few days later Complainant was flabbergasted to learn that she was released from confinement. Complainant inquired from the police station if an Order of Release was issued by the court. Complainant learned that accused was released because the respondent judge called the police station and told the desk officer that the accused had posted a cash bail bond and may already be released. Upon investigation by complainant, the police blotter showed no entry that an order of release was received by the police. Only a notation that the accused had put up a cash bail bond was entered therein.

18

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

5. SERAPIO v SANDIGANBAYAN
FACTS: An administrative case was filed against MTCC Judge Tormis. After investigation, Executive Judge Dumdum of the RTC of Cebu City recommended that she be fined P20K or suspended for 3 months. The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) concurred but recommended that Judge Tormis be suspended for three months. The SC found Judge Tormis guilty of gross misconduct, suspended him from office for 6 months without salary and other benefits and sternly warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts shall be dealt with more severely. However, before Judge Tormis received a copy of the judgment, the same had been downloaded from the web site of the Court and disseminated to the local media. She was apprised by her staff that her 6-month suspension was published in 2 local newspapers and called for her ouster from the judiciary. Thus, Judge Tormis requested for a certified true copy of the judgment but she received a copy of the Resolution requiring the parties to manifest whether they were willing to submit the case for resolution based on the pleadings filed. This led her to conclude that the case had not yet been resolved and the judgment promulgated, thus, she filed a Manifestation on the same date praying for a reinvestigation and to be allowed to present additional evidence. ISSUE: W/N the request for reinvestigation and to be allowed to present additional evidence should be granted? RULING: YES. Remanded to the Office of the Executive Judge of the RTC of Cebu City for further proceedings RATIO: Any administrative complaint leveled against a judge must be examined with a discriminating eye for its consequential effects are by nature penal in character, such that the respondent judge stands to face the sanction of dismissal, disbarment, or suspension. In cases where the charges involved are misconduct in office, willful neglect, corruption or incompetency, the general rules as to admissibility of evidence in criminal trials apply and the culpability of the respondent should be established beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, as in criminal cases where the dictates of due process is observed with utmost stringence, the respondent judge in this administrative complaint should likewise be given full opportunity upon reasonable notice to defend herself and to adduce evidence in support thereof for the Court will not allow itself to be an instrument that would destroy the

reputation of any member of the bench by pronouncing guilt on the basis of incomplete evidence or mere speculation.

19

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

F. RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED 1. CRISOSTOMO v SANDIGANBAYAN


FACTS: Crisostomo, a member of the Philippine National Police, and others were charged with the murder of Renato, a detention prisoner at the Solano Municipal Jail. Crisostomo pleaded not guilty. Trial ensued. The presentation of evidence for Crisostomos defense was deemed waived for his failure to appear at the scheduled hearings despite notice. Crisostomo and 1 co-accused were found guilty by the Sandiganbayan, while the others were still at large. ISSUES: 1. W/N the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the person of Crisostomo? 2. W/N the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion when they found him guilty despite their own admission that there was no direct evidence showing his participation in Renatos death? HELD: 1. YES. Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. Since the crime was committed on 14 February 1989, the applicable provision of law is Section 4 of PD 1606, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1861 (PD 1861), which took effect on 23 March 1983. The amended provision provides that the Sandiganbayan has exclusive jurisdiction over offenses committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office where the penalty is higher than prision correccional. Since the the penalty for murder is reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death, jurisdiction was properly exercised by the Sandiganbayan. 2. YES. Sandiganbayan committed GADALEJ. Crisostomos guilt was actually not proven beyond reasonable doubt. No direct evidence linked Crisostomo to the killing of Renato. The prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence to prove that there was a conspiracy to kill Renato and Crisostomo participated in carrying out the conspiracy. Circumstantial evidence consists of proof of collateral facts and circumstances from which the existence of the main fact may be inferred according to reason and common experience.

In sum, the Sandiganbayan believed that Crisostomo took part in the conspiracy to kill Renato because of these three circumstances: 1) Crisostomo as the jail guard on duty at the time of Renatos killing had in his possession the keys to the main door and the cells; (2) Crisostomo was in such a position that he could have seen or heard the killing of Renato; and (3) there are discrepancies between the list of detainees/prisoners and the police blotter. According to the Sandiganbayan, there is a prima facie case against Crisostomo. Clearly, the Sandiganbayan had no basis to convict Crisostomo because the prosecution failed to produce the evidence necessary to overturn the presumption of innocence. The deafening silence of all of the accused does not necessarily point to a conspiracy. In the first place, not all of the accused remained silent. Calingayan put himself on the witness stand. Calingayan further claimed that the Solano police investigated him and his handwritten statements were taken the morning following Renatos death. Secondly, an accused has the constitutional right to remain silent and to be exempt from being compelled to be a witness against himself. A judgment of conviction must be predicated on the strength of the evidence for the prosecution and not on the weakness of the evidence for the defense. The circumstantial evidence in this case is not sufficient to create a prima facie case to shift the burden of evidence to Crisostomo. The supposed waiver of presentation of evidence did not work against Crisostomo because the prosecution failed to prove Crisostomos guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Crisostomos non-appearance during the 22 June 1995 trial was merely a waiver of his right to be present for trial on such date only and not for the succeeding trial dates. Crisostomos absence on the 22 June 1995 hearing should not have been deemed as a waiver of his right to present evidence. While constitutional rights may be waived, such waiver must be clear and must be coupled with an actual intention to relinquish the right. Crisostomo did not voluntarily waive in person or even through his counsel the right to present evidence. The Sandiganbayan imposed the waiver due to the agreement of the prosecution, Calingayan, and Calingayans counsel.

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

If no waiver of the right to present evidence could be presumed from Crisostomos failure to attend the 22 June 1995 hearing, with more reason that flight could not be logically inferred from Crisostomos absence at that hearing. Crisostomos absence did not even justify the forfeiture of his bail bond. A bail bond may be forfeited only in instances where the presence of the accused is specifically required by the court or the Rules of Court and, despite due notice to the bondsmen to produce him before the court on a given date, the accused fails to appear in person as so required. Crisostomo was not specifically required by the Sandiganbayan or the Rules of Court to appear on the 22 June 1995 hearing. Thus, there was no basis for the Sandiganbayan to order the confiscation of Crisostomos surety bond and assume that Crisostomo had jumped bail.

the SC, Andrada claimed that his right to due process was violated because of the gross negligence/incompetence of his counsel who: 1) Failed to present all the witnesses who could have testified that he is innocent; 2) Failed to present the medical certificate showing the injuries inflicted upon him by the victim; 3) Did not notify him to attend the hearing when one of the policemen was cross-examined, and 4) Failed to submit a memorandum. The OSG counters that there was no violation of his right to due process since he was represented by counsel of his own choosing. If the counsels performance and competence fell short of Andradas expectation, then he should not blame either the trial court or the CA. Issue: Whether Andrada was denied due process due to his counsels gross negligence/incompetence NO

2. ANDRADO v PEOPLE (borrowed)


Facts: An Information was filed with the City Prosecutor of Baguio City charging Andrada with frustrated murder. During the hearing, evidence for the prosecution showed that a group of policemen dropped by a restaurant for a snack. While one of the policemen was talking to a woman who passed by their table, Andrada approached him and scolded him. Andrada was advised to go home because he was drunk. When Adrada left, one of the policemen heard his companion (the one who spoke to the woman) moaning in pain and found him sprawled on the floor while Andrada was hacking him on the head with a bolo. Andrada ran away but was arrested in a waiting shed. They brought him back to the restaurant where they recovered the bolo. Witnesses were interviewed and they pointed to Andrada as the culprit. Andrada interposed self-defense and invoked the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. His version was that while they were drinking beer with a hospitality girl inside the restaurant, three military men occupied the table next to them. Without any warning or provocation, two of them approached him, slapped his face several times and pointed their guns to his head because he was so boastful. Fearing that he might be killed while being dragged outside, Andrada pulled out his bolo (wrapped in newspaper) and swung it at the two men and ran away. The RTC found him guilty. The CA found him to be entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority, as he was only 17 years old at the time of the incident. On a petition for review on certiorari before Ratio: In criminal cases, the negligence or incompetence of counsel to be deemed gross must have prejudiced the constitutional right of an accused to be heard. In this case, however, records show that counsel actively participated in the cross-examination of the witnesses to test their credibility. The fact that he did not choose to present other witnesses did not affect any of Andradas substantial rights. Counsel might have valid reasons for choosing not to. Andrada was present during the hearing. If he believed that his counsel de parte was not competent, he could have secured the services of a new counsel. Having decided to retain the services of his counsel during the entire proceedings, he must be deemed bound by any mistake committed by him. The longstanding rule in this jurisdiction is that a client is bound by the mistakes of his lawyer. Mistakes of attorneys as to the competency of a witness, the sufficiency, relevancy or irrelevancy of certain evidence, the proper defense or the burden of proof, failure to introduce evidence, to summon witnesses, and to argue the case, unless they prejudice the client and prevent him from properly resting his case, do not constituted gross incompetence or negligence. The SC found that the counsel was not so inept or motivated by bad faith or so careless and negligence of his duties so as to seriously prejudice the substantial rights of Andrada.

3. OLIVARES v CA

21

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

Facts: Isidro Olivares was charged with violation of RA 7610 (Anti-Child Abuse) for touching the breast and kissing the lips of Cristina Elitiong, a 16-year old high school student employed by the former in making sampaguita garlands during weekends. The trial court found him guilty; was affirmed by the CA. Petitioner now alleges that his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him was violated for failure to allege in the information the age of the private offended party and the essential elements of the offense for which he is being charged. Issue: Whether Olivares can be charged with violation of RA 7610 considering the alleged violation of the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him? Held: Yes. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused is entitled to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. A complaint is sufficient if it states the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the offense was committed. Thus, while it is necessary to allege the essential elements of the crime in the information, the failure to do so is not an irremediable vice. When the complaint or the resolution by the public prosecutor which contain the missing averments is attached to the information and form part of the records, the defect in the latter is effectively cured, and the accused cannot successfully invoke the defense that his right to be informed is violated. As to the contention that the minority of Cristina was not properly alleged in the information, the SC ruled that: Petitioner was furnished a copy of the Complaint which was mentioned in the information, hence he was adequately informed of the age of the complainant. True, the information herein may not refer to specific section/s of R.A. 7610 alleged to have been violated by the petitioner, but it is all to evident that the body of the information contains an averment of the acts alleged to have been performed by petitioner which unmistakably refers to acts punishable under Section 5 of R.A. 7610. As to which section of R.A. 7610 is being violated by petitioner is inconsequential. What is determinative of the offense is the recital of the ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or information.

4. LIBUIT v PEOPLE (borrowed)


FACTS: Accused Libuit is charged with Estafa with with abuse of confidence. Complainant Domingo del Mundo delivered and brought his car to the motor shop and owned and/or operated by Joel Libuit and Julius Libuit for repair of its damaged parts, which car was received by Jose Bautista, then mechanic in the said motor shop. However, it was alleged that accused Joel Libuit, once in possession of the said car, with intent to defraud and with abuse of confidence, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously misappropriated instead of complying with his obligation or duty to return or deliver the repaired car to Domingo del Mundo. Accused (Libuit) testified on direct examination. However, his defense counsel, Atty. Mendoza, withdrew from the case after his initial crossexamination. On motion of the accused, the continuation of his cross-examination was reset to give him time to engage the services of another counsel. The petitioner eventually secured the services of Atty. Dimayuga. At the subsequent hearings, Atty. Dimayuga failed to appear despite notices. On motion of the prosecution, the trial court issued an Order striking from the records the petitioners direct testimony and declaring the case submitted for decision on the basis of the evidence already on record. In the CA, accused claims that he had been deprived his right to counsel. However, the CA held that the RTC never deprived the petitioner of his right to counsel as he was represented by a counsel de parte, Atty. Mendoza. When said counsel withdrew, the RTC allowed the resetting of the petitioners crossexamination to give him time to engage the services of another counsel. It ordered the striking of his testimony from the records only after his new counsel failed to appear at the subsequent hearings. ISSUE: Was petitioner deprived of his right to counsel? (NO)

HELD: Petitioner contends that the trial court should have appointed a counsel de oficio when his counsel consistently failed to appear for his cross-examination. The duty of the court to appoint a counsel de oficio for the accused who has no counsel of choice and desires to employ the services of one is mandatory only at the time of arraignment. No such duty exists where the accused has proceeded to arraignment and then trial with a counsel of his own choice. Worth noting, when the time for the presentation of evidence for the defense arrived, and the defendant appeared by himself alone, the absence of his counsel was inexcusable.

22

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

In the present case, since the petitioner was represented by counsel de parte at the arraignment and trial, the trial court could not be deemed dutybound to appoint a counsel de oficio for the continuation of his cross-examination. Indeed, after his initial cross-examination, the trial court granted the petitioners motion to postpone, giving him sufficient time to engage the services of another counsel. The failure of Atty. Dimayuga, his newly hired lawyer, to appear at the subsequent hearings without reason was sufficient legal basis for the trial court to order the striking from the records of his direct testimony, and thereafter render judgment upon the evidence already presented. In fact, the repeated failure to appear of defendants counsel at the trial may even be taken as a deliberate attempt to delay the courts proceedings. At the most, the appointment of a counsel de oficio in a situation like the present case would be discretionary with the trial court, which discretion will not be interfered with in the absence of grave abuse. This Court is convinced that the trial court had been liberal in granting postponements asked by the petitioner himself. We think that such liberality removes any doubt that its order was tainted with grave abuse of discretion.

Then, Atty. Madarang called the RTC, pretending to be Laguas relative, and asked for Valdez, who turned out to be the Process Server of the RTC. She was informed that Valdez was not there at the time and reminded her about the her outstanding balance. After making the call, she coordinated with the Acting Chief of the Mailing Section, Ms. Secarro. She got Saluds number from Secarro and started texting him about the same time Sacarro did. Again, she represented herself as a relative of Lagua. Most of Saluds text messages were stored in Atty. Madarangs cellphone. After discovering the corrupt acts of Salud, Atty. Madarang accompanied him to Justice Magtolis, where out of the confrontation, it was discovered that Salud did not properly serve the copies of the Resolution and Order of Release upon Lagua and his counsel. An administrative complaint for inefficiency and gross misconduct was thus filed by Justice Magtolis against Salud. During the hearings, witnesses narrated their experiences with the respondent wherein the latter also tried to help them with their cases after paying a certain amount. ISSUE: W/N Salud should be guilty of inefficiency and gross misconduct. YES. HELD/RATIO: The complainant in administrative proceedings has the burden of proving the allegations in the complaint by substantial evidence. If a court employee is to be disciplined for a grave offense, the evidence against him must be competent and derived from direct knowledge; as such, charges based on mere suspicion and speculation cannot be given credence. Thus, if the complainant fails to substantiate a claim of corruption and bribery, relying on mere conjectures and suppositions, the administrative complaint must be dismissed for lack of merit. However, in administrative proceedings, the quantum of proof required to establish malfeasance is not proof beyond reasonable doubt but substantial evidence, i.e., that amount of relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, is required. The findings of investigating magistrates on the credibility of witnesses are given great weight by reason of their unmatched opportunity to see the manner of the witnesses as they testified. To determine the credibility and probative weight of the testimony of a witness, such testimony must be considered in its entirety and not in truncated parts. To determine which contradicting statements of a witness is to prevail as to the truth, the other evidence received must be considered such as the actuations of the respondent contrary to a normal persons reactions.

5. MAGTOLIS v SALUD (borrowed)


(Actually, hindi ko alam kung ano yung related sa Rights of the Accused sa case na to. More on Evidence siya.) FACTS: In a criminal case, Lagua was found guilty by the RTC of homicide. On appeal, Lagua filed a Very Urgent Petition for Bail, which the CA granted upon posting the required bond. Laguas bond was approved in a Resolution which was brought to the Office of the Division Clerk of Court, Atty. Madarang, for promulgation. Around that time, respondent Saluds unusual interest on the case became noticeable and he started making inquiries about the case. When Atty. Madarang finally directed the typing of the Order of Release Upon Bond, Salud went to the formers office and assisted in arranging and stapling of the papers for release. It was he who ultimately serve the resolution and order of release in the Lagua case to the National Penitentiary. In the meantime, Atty. Madarang received a telephone call from a certain Melchor, who introduced herself as Laguas relative, asking her how much more would they have to give to facilitate Laguas release. The caller also informed her that they had sought the help of a certain Valdez of the RTC where the criminal case originated, but were told that they still had a balance to be paid to Justice Magtolis and Atty. Madarang through Salud.

23

REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

The respondent's claim that the admission of the text messages as evidence against him constitutes a violation of his right to privacy is unavailing. Text messages have been classified as ephemeral electronic communication under Section 1(k), Rule 2 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence, and 'shall be proven by the testimony of a person who was a party to the same or has personal knowledge thereof. Any question as to the admissibility of such messages is now moot and academic, as the respondent himself, as well as his counsel, already admitted that he was the sender of the first three messages on Atty. Madarang's cell phone. As ratiocinated in Nuez v. Cruz-Apao, Ephemeral electronic communications shall be proven by the testimony of a person who was a party to the same or who has personal knowledge thereof ' . In this case, complainant who was the recipient of the said messages and therefore had personal knowledge thereof testified on their contents and import. Respondent herself admitted that the cellphone number reflected in complainant's cellphone from which the messages originated was hers. Moreover, any doubt respondent may have had as to the admissibility of the text messages had been laid to rest when she and her counsel signed and attested to the veracity of the text messages between her and complainant.

Ratio: Section 17, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution provides that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Petitioner asserts that obtaining samples from him for DNA testing violates his right against self-incrimination. Petitioner ignores our earlier pronouncements that the privilege is applicable only to testimonial evidence. As held by the RTCs Order with Approval, obtaining DNA samples from an accused in a criminal case or from the respondent in a paternity case will not violate the right against selfincrimination. This privilege applies only to evidence that is communicative in essence taken under duress. The right against self-incrimination is just a prohibition on the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communication (testimonial evidence) from a defendant, not an exclusion of evidence taken from his body when it may be material. As such, a defendant can be required to submit to a test to extract virus from his body; to submit substance emitting from the body; to put on clothes for size; to submit for pregnancy test, since the gist of the privilege is the restriction on testimonial compulsion.

7. YULO v PEOPLE
FACTS: Sometime in August 1992, Petitioner Yulo and Josefina Dimalanta went to the house of Private Complainant Roque in Caloocan City. Their visit was for Josefina to endorse Petitioner Yulo as a good payor so that the latters checks can be encashed. In view of this endorsement, Private Complainant Roque enashed the following checks: (a) Equitable Bank (EB) Check No. 237936 for P40,000.00, postdated September 30, 1992; (b) EB Check No. 237941 for P16,200.00; and (c) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Check No. 656602 for P40,000.00, postdated November 18, 1992. When Private Complainant Roque presented the checks for payment to the drawee banks, they were dishonored. The EB checks were "Drawn Against Insufficient Funds," while the BPI check was stamped "Account Closed. Since Private Complainant did not know the address of Petitioner Yulo, she immediately informed Josefina about the dishonored checks. The latter repeatedly assured Private Complainant Roque that that she will relay the fact of dishonor to Petitioner Yulo. When there was still no payment, Private Complainant Roque lodged a complaint against Petitioner Yulo and on August 23, 1993, three (3) Informations were filed by the Caloocan City Prosecutor with the RTC Br. 130 for violation of BP 22. When arraigned, Petitioner Yulo pleaded not guilty to the charge. During trial, Petitioner Yulo admitted

6. HERRERA v ALBA
Facts: Alba, represented by his mother, Armi Alba, filed before the RTC a petition for compulsory recognition, support and damages against petitioner. The latter denied that he is the biological father and that he had any physical contact with respondents mother. Alba filed a motion to direct the taking of DNA paternity testing to abbreviate the proceedings. Petitioner opposed DNA paternity testing and contended that it has not gained acceptability. Petitioner further argued that DNA paternity testing violates his right against self-incrimination. RTC granted the motion to conduct the DNA paternity test on petitioner Albas mother. Petitioner filed an MR asserting that under the present circumstances, the DNA test would be inconclusive, irrelevant and the coercive process to obtain the requisite specimen unconstitutional. MR denied. The case reached the SC via Petition for Review. Issue/Ruling: W/N DNA Paternity testing is violative of the rights of an accused against self-incrimination - NO

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

having issued the checks in question but claimed that she merely lent them to Josefina. In turn, Josefina delivered the checks to her friend who showed them to a jeweler as "show money." It was understood that the checks were not to be deposited. Petitioner Yulo vehemently denied having any transaction with Private Complainant Roque. Furthermore, Petitioner Yulo claimed that when she issued the checks, she knew she had no funds in the banks; and that she was aware that the checks would be dishonored if presented for payment. The RTC found Petitioner Yulo guilty. On appeal, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. ISSUE: On appeal to the SC, Petitioner Yulo raised the following issues: 1. Whether or not the CA violated her right to speedy trial (RELEVANT ISSUE) NO 2. Whether or not her guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt YES HELD: 1. Petitioner contends that the CA resolved her motion for reconsideration only after three (3) years from its filing. Such inaction violates her right to a speedy disposition of her case.

for reconsideration filed on March 4, 1997. However, the case was assigned to the Associate Justice Mercedes Gozo-Dadole only on February 28, 2000 and brought to her attention on March 2, 2000. We note that it took Justice Gozo-Dadole only two (2) weeks from notice to resolve the motion. Clearly, she did not incur any delay. We, therefore, rule that there has been no violation of the petitioner's right to a speedy trial. 2. The elements of the offense penalized by Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 are: (1) the making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value; (2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment; and (3) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficient funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment. The prosecution was able to prove all the elements of the case. Petitioner Yulo admitted having issued the three dishonored checks for value. Her purpose was to encash them. She also admitted that at the time she issued the checks, she was aware that she had only P1,000.00 in her account with the Equitable Bank and that her BPI account was already closed. Significantly, what BP 22 penalizes is the issuance of a bouncing check. It is not the non-payment of an obligation which the law punishes, but the act of making and issuing a check that is dishonored upon presentment for payment. The purpose for which the check was issued and the terms and conditions relating to its issuance are immaterial. What is primordial is that the issued checks were worthless and the fact of worthlessness was known to the petitioner at the time of their issuance, as in this case. This is because under Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, the mere act of issuing a worthless check is malum prohibitum.

Under Art. III Sec. 162 of the 1987 Constitution, any party to a case has the right to demand on all officials tasked with the administration of justice to expedite its disposition. However, the concept of speedy disposition is a relative term and must necessarily be a flexible concept. In applying the Constitutional guarantee, particular regard must be taken of the facts and circumstances of each case. The right to a speedy disposition of a case, like the right to speedy trial, is deemed violated only when the proceedings are attended by vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays, or when unjustified postponements of the trial are asked for and secured, or when without cause or justifiable motive a long period of time is allowed to elapse without the party having his case tried. To determine whether the right has been violated, the following factors may be considered: (1) the length of the delay; (2) the reasons for such delay; (3) the assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused; and (4) the prejudice caused by the delay. In this case, the delay was sufficiently explained by the CA: The orginal ponente of the decision of Petitioner Yulos case (Associate Justice Jainal D. Rasul) retired during the pendency of the motion
2
All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies.

8. PETITION FOR RADIO AND TELEVISION COVERAGE OF THE MULTIPLE MURDER CASES AGAINST MAGUINDANAO GOVERNOR AMPATUAN (borrowed)
FACTS: On November 23, 2009, 57 people, including 32 journalists and media practitioners, were killed while on their way to Shariff Aguak in Maguindanao. This tragic incident, which came to be known as Maguindanao Massacre, spawned charges for 57 counts of murder and an additional charge of rebellion against 197 accused. Note that there was a transfer of venue. The cases are being tried by Presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of RTC Quezon City.

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

On November 19, 2010, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, GMA Network, Inc., relatives of the victims, individual journalists from various entities, and members of the academe filed a petition before the SC praying that live television and radio coverage of the trial in these criminal cases be allowed, recording devices (still cameras, tape recorders) be permitted inside the courtroom to assist the working journalists, and reasonable guidelines be formulated to govern the broadcast coverage and the use of devices. In a related move, the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) and Alyansa ng Filipinong Mamamahayag (AFIMA) filed a petition praying that the SC constitute RTC Quezon City as a special court (to focus only on the Maguindanao Massacre Trial), and allow the installation inside the courtroom of a sufficient number of video cameras that shall beam the audio and video signals to the television monitors outside the court. ISSUE: WON the absolute ban on live television and radio coverage of court proceedings should be lifted? YES, but subject to the guidelines to be issued by the SC. RULING: In the case of Re: Live TV and Radio Coverage of the Hearing of President Corazon Aquinos Libel Case, the SC concluded that live radio and television coverage of court proceedings shall not be allowed considering the prejudice it poses to the defendants right to due process as well as to the fair and orderly administration of justice, and considering further that the freedom of the press and the right of the people to information may be served and satisfied by less distracting, degrading, and prejudicial means. The SC had another unique opportunity in the case of Re: Request Radio-TV Coverage of the Trial in the Sandiganbayan of the Plunder Cases Against the Former President Joseph Estrada to revisit the question of live radio and television coverage of court proceedings in a a criminal case. It held that the propriety of granting or denying the instant petition involves the weighing out of the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press and the right to public information, on the one hand, and the fundamental rights of the accused, on the other hand, along with the constitutional power of a court to control its proceedings in ensuring a fair and impartial trial. The petition was denied. However, in resolving the MR, it provided a glimmer of hope when it ordered the

audio-visual recording of the trial for documentary purposes subject to the conditions set by the SC. Note: The indication of serious risks posed by live media coverage to the accuseds right to due process was left unexplained and unexplored in Aquino and Estrada. So the SC thought that compliance with regulations, not curtailment of a right, provides a workable solution to such concern while maintaining the underlying principles held in Aquino and Estrada. One apparent circumstance that sets the Maguindanao Massacre cases apart from these earlier cases is the impossibility of accommodating even the parties to the cases (private complainants/families of the victims and other witnesses) inside the courtroom. In the Estrada case, the SC held that a courtroom should have enough facilities for a reasonable number of the public to observe the proceedings, not too small as to render the openness negligible, and not too large as to distract the trial participants from their proper functions. Even before considering what is a reasonable number of the public who may observe the proceedings, the peculiarity of the subject criminal cases is that the proceedings already necessarily entail the presence of hundreds of families. It cannot be gainsaid that the families of the 57 victims and of the 197 accused have as much interest, beyond mere curiosity, to attend or monitor the proceedings as those of the impleaded parties or trial participants. It bears noting at this juncture that the prosecution and the defense have listed more than 200 witnesses each. The impossibility of holding such judicial proceedings in a courtroom that will accommodate all the interested parties, whether private complainants or accused, is unfortunate enough. What more if the right itself commands that a reasonable number of the general public be allowed to witness the proceeding as it takes place inside the courtroom. Technology tends to provide the only solution to break the inherent limitations of the courtroom, to satisfy the imperative of a transparent, open and public trial. In so allowing pro hac vice the live broadcasting by radio and television of the Maguindanao Massacre cases, the SC lays down the following guidelines toward addressing the concerns mentioned in Aquino and Estrada: (a) An audio-visual recording of the Maguindanao massacre cases may be made both for documentary purposes and for transmittal to live radio and television broadcasting.

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

(b) Media entities must file with the trial court a letter of application, manifesting that they intend to broadcast the audiovisual recording of the proceedings and that they have the necessary technological equipment and technical plan to carry out the same, with an undertaking that they will faithfully comply with the guidelines and regulations and cover the entire remaining proceedings until promulgation of judgment. No selective or partial coverage shall be allowed. No media entity shall be allowed to broadcast the proceedings without an application duly approved by the trial court. (c) A single fixed compact camera shall be installed inconspicuously inside the courtroom to provide a single wideangle full-view of the sala of the trial court. No panning and zooming shall be allowed to avoid unduly highlighting or downplaying incidents in the proceedings. The camera and the necessary equipment shall be operated and controlled only by a duly designated official or employee of the Supreme Court. The camera equipment should not produce or beam any distracting sound or light rays. Signal lights or signs showing the equipment is operating should not be visible. A limited number of microphones and the least installation of wiring, if not wireless technology, must be unobtrusively located in places indicated by the trial court. The Public Information Office and the Office of the Court Administrator shall coordinate and assist the trial court on the physical set-up of the camera and equipment. (d) The transmittal of the audio-visual recording from inside the courtroom to the media entities shall be conducted in such a way that the least physical disturbance shall be ensured in keeping with the dignity and solemnity of the proceedings and the exclusivity of the access to the media entities. The hardware for establishing an interconnection or link with the camera equipment monitoring the proceedings shall be for the account of the media entities, which should employ technology that can (i) avoid the cumbersome snaking cables inside the courtroom, (ii) minimize the

unnecessary ingress or egress of technicians, and (iii) preclude undue commotion in case of technical glitches. If the premises outside the courtroom lack space for the set-up of the media entities facilities, the media entities shall access the audio-visual recording either via wireless technology accessible even from outside the court premises or from one common web broadcasting platform from which streaming can be accessed or derived to feed the images and sounds. At all times, exclusive access by the media entities to the real-time audiovisual recording should be protected or encrypted. (e) The broadcasting of the proceedings for a particular day must be continuous and in its entirety, excepting such portions thereof where Sec. 21 of Rule 119 of the Rules of Court[27] applies, and where the trial court excludes, upon motion, prospective witnesses from the courtroom, in instances where,inter alia, there are unresolved identification issues or there are issues which involve the security of the witnesses and the integrity of their testimony (e.g., the dovetailing of corroborative testimonies is material, minority of the witness). The trial court may, with the consent of the parties, order only the pixelization of the image of the witness or mute the audio output, or both. (f) To provide a faithful and complete broadcast of the proceedings, no commercial break or any other gap shall be allowed until the days proceedings are adjourned, except during the period of recess called by the trial court and during portions of the proceedings wherein the public is ordered excluded. (g) To avoid overriding or superimposing the audio output from the on-going proceedings, the proceedings shall be broadcast without any voice-overs, except brief annotations of scenes depicted therein as may be necessary to explain them at the start or at the end of the scene. Any commentary shall observe the sub judice rule and be subject to the contempt power of the court; (h) No repeat airing of the audio-visual recording shall be allowed until after the

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REMEDIAL LAW REVIEW DIGESTS (CIVPRO) Tranquil Salvador III


Alcisso, Antonio, Arriola, Bernardo, Cajucom, Claudio, Dialino, Dizon, Escueta, Imperial, Martin, Martinez, Mendoza, Raso, Rosales, Sia, Venzuela

finality of judgment, except brief footages and still images derived from or cartographic sketches of scenes based on the recording, only for news purposes, which shall likewise observe the sub judice rule and be subject to the contempt power of the court; (i) The original audio-recording shall be deposited in the National Museum and the Records Management and Archives Office for preservation and exhibition in accordance with law. (j) The audio-visual recording of the proceedings shall be made under the supervision and control of the trial court which may issue supplementary directives, as the exigency requires, including the suspension or revocation of the grant of application by the media entities. (k) The Court shall create a special committee which shall forthwith study, design and recommend appropriate arrangements, implementing regulations, and administrative matters referred to it by the Court concerning the live broadcast of the proceedings pro hac vice, in accordance with the above-outlined guidelines. The Special Committee shall also report and recommend on the feasibility, availability and affordability of the latest technology that would meet the herein requirements. It may conduct consultations with resource persons and experts in the field of information and communication technology. (l) All other present directives in the conduct of the proceedings of the trial court (i.e., prohibition on recording devices such as still cameras, tape recorders; and allowable number of media practitioners inside the courtroom) shall be observed in addition to these guidelines. Indeed, the SC cannot gloss over what advances technology has to offer in distilling the abstract discussion of key constitutional precepts into the workable context. Technology per se has always been neutral. It is the use and regulation thereof that need fine-tuning. Law and technology can work to the advantage and furtherance of the various rights herein involved, within the contours of defined guidelines.

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