Crim Pro Case Digests
PEOPLE VS. NITAFAN FACTS: Three criminal information were filed against Marcos for violation of Central Bank Circular No. 960. Without Without private respondent yet taking any action or filing any motion to quash the information, respondent judge issued an order requiring the prosecution to show cause why the two other criminal information should not be dismissed on the ground that private respondent's right to double jeopardy was violated. It is respondent judge's posture that the three cases form part a series of transactions which are subject of the cases pending before Branch 26-Manila, all these caes constitute one continuous crime. On the same day, respondent judge also dismissed the two remaining cases (92107943 and 92-107944) ruling that the prosecution of private respondent was “part of a sustained political vendetta” by some people peop le in the government go vernment aside from what he considered as a violation of private respondent's right against double jeopardy. jeopardy. ISSUE: Whether a judge can motu propio initiate the dismissal and subsequently dismiss criminal information or complaint without any motion to that effect being filed by the accused based on the alleged violation of the latter's right against double jeopardy. HELD: With respect to the ground of double jeopardy invoked by respondent judge, the same is improper and has neither legal nor factual basis in this case. Respondent judge has no other basis on whether private respondent had already been arraigned, much less entered a plea in those cases pending before the said Branch. Even assuming that there was already arraignment and plea with respect to those cases in Branch 26-Manila which respondent judge used as basis to quash the three information pending in his sala, still the first jeopardy has not yet attached, since all cases are still pending and none of them has yet been terminated nor dismissed. GARCIA VS. CA Facts: Petitioner Jose G. Garcia filed with the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office an "Affidavit of Complaint" charging his wife, private respondent Adela Teodora P. Santos alias "Delia Santos," with Bigamy Bigamy,, Violati iolation on of C.A. C.A. No. 142, as amende amended d by R.A. R.A. No. 6085, 6085, and Falsif Falsifica icatio tion n of Public Public Documents. Documents. However, However, in his letter to Assistant Assistant City Prosecutor Prosecutor George F. Cabanilla, Cabanilla, the petitioner petitioner informed informed the latter latter that he would limit his action to bigamy bigamy. After appropriate appropriate proceedings, proceedings, Assistant Assistant Prosecutor Prosecutor Cabanilla Cabanilla filed with the Regional Regional Trial Court of Quezon City an informatio information n charging charging the private respondent with Bigamy. Bigamy.
On 2 March 1992, the private respondent Adela Teodora Santos ( filed a Motion to Quash allegi alleging ng prescr prescript iption ion of the offense offense as ground ground therefor therefor.. She contended contended that by the petition petitioner' er'ss admissions in his testimony given-on 23 January 1991 in Civil Case No. 90-52730 and in his complaint filed with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on 16 October 1991, the petitioner discovered the commission of the offense as early as 1974. Pursuant then to Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), (RPC), the period of prescription prescription of the offense offense started to run therefrom. therefrom. Thus, since since bigamy was punishable by prision mayor, an afflictive penalty which prescribed in fifteen years pursuant to Article 92 of the RPC, then the offense charged charged prescribed prescribed in 1989, or fifteen years after its discovery by the petitioner. petitioner. The trial court granted the motion to quash and dismissed the criminal criminal case. The Court of Appeals gave credence to the private respondent's evidence and concluded that the petitioner discovered the private respondent's first marriage in 1974. sUndaunted, the petitioner is now before us on a petition for review on certiorari to annul and set aside the decision of the Court of Appea Appeals ls and to comp compel el the the resp respond onden entt court court to rema remand nd the the case case to the the tria triall cour courtt for for furt furthe her r proceedings. Issue: Whether the Court of Appeals committed reversible error in affirming the trial court's order granting the motion to quash the information for bigamy based on prescription. Held: The instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit and the challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. The Court of Appeals gave credence to the private respondent's evidence and
concluded that the petitioner discovered the private respondent's first marriage in 1974. Since the information in this case was filed in court only on 8 January 1992, or eighteen years after the discovery of the offense, then the 15-year prescriptive period had certainly lapsed. It further held that the quash of an information based on prescription of the offense could be invoked before or after arraignment and even on appeal, for under Article 89(5) of the RPC, the criminal liability of a person is "'totally extinguish[ed]' by the prescription of the crime, which is a mode of extinguishing criminal liability." Thus, prescription is not deemed waived even if not pleaded as a defense. GO VS. BSP FACTS: On August 20, 1999, an Information for violation of Section 83 of Republic Act No. 337 (RA 337) or the General Banking Act, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1795, was filed against Go before the RTC. The accused, being then the Director and the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Orient Commercial Banking Corporation (Orient Bank), taking advantage of his position as such officer/director of the said bank, borrow, either directly or indirectly, for himself or as the representative of his other related companies, the deposits or funds of the said banking institution and/or become a guarantor, indorser or obligor for loans from the said bank to others, by then and there using said borrowed deposits/funds of the said bank in facilitating and granting and/or caused the facilitating and granting of credit lines/loans and, among others, to the new zealand accounts loans in the total amount of two billion and seven hundred fifty-four million nine hundred five thousand and eight hundred fifty-seven pesos, without the written approval of the majority of the board of directors of said orient bank and which approval the said accused deliberately failed to obtain and enter the same upon the records of said banking institution and to transmit a copy of which to the supervising department of the said bank, as required by the general banking act. On May 28, 2001, Go pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. After the arraignment, both the prosecution and accused Go took part in the pre-trial conference where the marking of the voluminous evidence for the parties was accomplished. After the completion of the marking, the trial court ordered the parties to proceed to trial on the merits. Before the trial could commence, however, Go filed on February 26, 2003 a motion to quash the Information, which motion Go amended on March 1, 2003. Go claimed that the Information was defective, as the facts charged therein do not constitute an offense under Section 83 of RA 337. Finding Go’s contentions persuasive, the RTC granted Go’s motion to quash the Information on May 20, 2003. It denied on June 30, 2003 the motion for reconsideration filed by the prosecution. The prosecution did not accept the RTC ruling and filed a petition for certiorari to question it before the CA. ISSUE: Whether or not prosecution allow to correct d efect in the insufficient information. HELD: Rules of Court allow amendment of insufficient Information. Assuming that the facts charged in the Information do not constitute an offense, SC find it erroneous for the RTC to immediately order the dismissal of the Information, without giving the prosecution a chance to amend it. Section 4 of Rule 117 states: SEC. 4. Amendment of complaint or information.—If the motion to quash is based on an alleged defect of the complaint or information which can be cured by amendment, the court shall order that an amendment be made. If it is based on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense, the prosecution shall be given by the court an opportunity to correct the defect by amendment. The motion shall be granted if the prosecution fails to make the amendment, or the complaint or information still suffers from the same defect despite the amendment. Although an Information may be defective because the facts charged do not constitute an offense, the dismissal of the case will not necessarily follow. The Rules specifically require that the prosecution should be given a chance to correct the defect; the court can order the dismissal only upon the prosecution’s failure to do so. The RTC’s failure to provide the prosecution this opportunity twice constitutes an arbitrary exercise of power that was correctly addressed by the CA through the certiorari petition. This defect in the RTC’s action on the case, while not central to the issue before us, strengthens our conclusion that this criminal case should be resolved through full-blown trial on the merits. PEOPLE VS. TABIO FACTS: Appellant Jimmy Tabio was charged with three (3) counts of rape in a single Information.
Appellant pleaded not guilty on arraignment before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Baler, Aurora, Branch 96. Trial on the merits ensued. The victim, AAA testified that one night in June 2002, while she was alone in her home, appellant entered her house. He pressed a knife on AAA’s breast, removed her clothing, fondled her breast, undressed himself, and mounted her as she was seated on a bed. He inserted his penis in her vagina and ejaculated. AAA was able to recognize the appellant as her house was lighted with a gas lamp. AAA further testified that the appellant on two succeeding occasions again entered her home and repeated the same acts on her. Other witnesses for the prosecution presented testimony concerning AAA’s mental condition. A doctor who had trained with the National Center for Mental Health testified that he had examined AAA and concluded that while she was 23 years old at the time of the rape, she nonetheless had the mental age of a six-year old child. AAA’s mother and grand aunt also testified on her mental retardation and the occurrences after she had reported the rape to them. On 25 November 2003, the RTC handed down a decision finding appellant guilty and imposing the penalty of death on three (3) counts of qualified rape, defined in Article 266-A, paragraph 1 (d) and penalized under Article 266-B, paragraph 6 (10) of the Revised Penal Code. The records of the case were thereafter forwarded to this Court on automatic review. On 7 June 2005, the Court issued a Resolution transferring the case to the Court of Appeals for appropriate action. The Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the decision of the trial court. The appellate court found appellant guilty of all three (3) counts for simple rape only and not qualified rape.
ISSUE: Whether the RTC erred in finding him guilty of qualified rape with the penalty of death in view of the prosecution’s failure to allege a qualifying circumstance in the information.
HELD: The Court of Appeals properly resolved the first error in appellant’s favor. The information should have warranted a judgment of guilt only for simple, not qualified rape. Supreme Court quote with approval the appellate court when it said: Under Article 266-B(10)of the Revised Penal Code, knowledge by the offender of the mental disability, emotional disorder, or physical handicap at the time of the commission of the rape is the qualifying circumstance that sanctions the imposition of the death penalty. Rule 110[  ] of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure requires both qualifying and aggravating circumstances to be alleged with specificity in the information. In the case at bench, however, the information merely states that the appellant had carnal knowledge with a mentally retarded complainant. It does not state that appellant knew of the mental disability of the complainant at the time of the commission of the crime. It bears stressing that the rules now require that the qualifying circumstance that sanctions the imposition of the death penalty should be specifically stated in the information. Article 266-B (10) of the Revised Penal Code could not, thus, be applied and the supreme penalty of death could not be validly imposed. Rule 110 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure is clear and unequivocal that both qualifying and aggravating circumstances must be alleged with specificity in the information. The Court also observes that there is duplicity of the offenses charged in the information, which is a ground for a motion to quash. Three (3) separate acts of rape were charged in one information only. But the failure of appellant to interpose an objection on this ground constitutes waiver. MIRANDA VS. TULIAO FACTS: On 8 March 1996, two burnt cadavers were discovered in Purok Nibulan, Ramon, Isabela, which were later identified as the dead bodies of Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao, son of private respondent Virgilio Tuliao. Two informations of murder were filed against police officers, one of which remained at large during the trial. The RTC convicted said accused personnel and sentenced reclusion pertua. The Supreme Court, on automatic review, reversed the decision and acquitted the police officers based on reasonable doubts. Sometime in September 1999, SPO2 Maderal was arrested. On 27 April 2001, he executed a sworn confession and identified petitioners Jose C. Miranda, PO3 Romeo B. Ocon, and SPO3 Alberto P. Dalmacio, a certain Boyet dela Cruz and Amado Doe, as the persons responsible for the deaths of Vicente Bauzon and ElizerTuliao. Respondent Tuliao filed a criminal complaint for murder against petitioners, Boyet dela Cruz, and Amado Doe, and submitted the sworn confession of SPO2Maderal. On 25 June 2001, Acting
Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan issued warrants of arrest against petitioners and SPO2 Maderal. On 29 June 2001, petitioners filed an urgent motion to complete preliminary investigation, to reinvestigate, and to recall and/or quash the warrants of arrest. The petition was denied by Judge Tumaliuan on the ground of the absence of petitioners, thus, the court did not acquired jurisdiction over them. Judge Anghad took over the case and ordered the cancellation of the warrant of arrest. Respondent file a petition praying that a temporary restraining order be issued to enjoin Judge Anghad to form proceeding with the case. Two days after the Resolution of the Court granting the prayer of respondent, Judge Anghad dismissed the two Informations for murder against petitioner. ISSUES:
1. Whether of not the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the petitioners on their petition to cancel the warrant of arrest. 2. Whether of not the CA erred in ordering the reinstatement of the cases. 3. Whether or not double jeopardy would attach HELD: 1. Yes. As a general rule, one who seeks an affirmative relief is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. As we held in the past decisions of the Supreme Court, whether in civil or criminal proceedings, constitutes voluntary appearance. After Judge Tumaliuan issued warrants for the arrest of petitioners, petitioner Miranda appealed the assistant prosecutor’s resolution before the Secretary of Justice. Judge Anghad, shortly after assuming office, quashed the warrant of arrest on the basis of said appeal. According to Judge Anghad, “x x x prudence dictates and because of comity, a deferment of the proceedings is but proper. Quashal on this basis is grave abuse of discretion. It is inconceivable to charge Judge Tumaliuan as lacking in prudence and oblivious to comity when he issued the warrants of arrest against petitioners just because the petitioners might, in the future, appeal the assistant prosecutor’s resolution to the Secretary of Justice. But even if the petition for review was filed before the issuance of the warrants of arrest, the fact remains that the pendency of a petition for the review of the prosecutor’s resolution is not a ground to quash the warrants of arrest.
2. No. Court of Appeals likewise declared the proceedings conducted by Judge Anghad void. Certainly, the declaration of nullity of proceedings should be deemed to carry with it the reinstatement of the orders set aside by the nullified proceedings. JudgeAnghad’s order quashing the warrants of arrest had been nullified; therefore those warrants of arrest are henceforth deem ed unquashed. 3. No. In any case, the reinstatement of a criminal case dismissed before arraignment does not constitute double jeopardy. Double jeopardy cannot be invoked where the accused has not been arraigned and it was upon his express motion that the case was dismissed.
PEOPLE VS. GARFIN/ RSP TURINGAN VS. GARFIN FACTS: On June 22, 2001, private respondent was charged with violation of Section 22(a) in relation to Sections 19(b) and 28(e) of Republic Act No. 8282, otherwise known as the “Social Security Act,” That on or about February 1990 and up to the present, in the City of Naga, within the functional jurisdiction of SSS Naga Branch and the territorial jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above named accused, while being the proprietor of Saballegue Printing Press, refuse and fail to remit the premiums due for his employee to the SSS in the amount of P6,533.00, representing SSS and EC premiums for the period from January 1990 to December 1999, and the 3% penalty per month for late remittance in the amount of P11,143.28 computed as of 15 March 2000, despite lawful demands by letter in violation of the above-cited provisions of the law, to the damage and prejudice of the SSS and the public in general.
The case was raffled to Branch 19 of the Regional Trial Court of Naga City presided by respondent judge Hon. Zeida Aurora B. Garfin. The accused Serafin Saballegue pleaded not guilty to the charge and the case was set for pre-trial. Three days thereafter, the accused filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the information was filed without the prior written authority or approval of the city prosecutor as required under Section 4, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Court. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, and it held that the information has not complied with this rule as it has not been
approved by the City Prosecutor. The trial court held that the defendant’s plea to the Information is not a waiver to file a motion to dismiss or to quash on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. By express provision of the rules and by a long line of decisions, questions of want of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the proceedings. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the People contending that as a special prosecutor designated by the regional state prosecutor to handle SSS cases within Region V, State Prosecutor Tolentino is authorized to file the information involving violations of the SSS law without need of prior approval from the city prosecutor. Hence, this petition by the People through Regional State Prosecutor Santiago Turingan and State Prosecutor Romulo SJ. Tolentino. Petitioner attributes grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of respondent judge. ISSUE: Whether the lack of prior written approval of the city, provincial or chief state prosecutor in the filing of an information is a defect in the information that is waived if not raised as an objection before arraignment. HELD: Supreme Court hold that it is not. The provisions in the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure that demand illumination are Sections 3 and 9 of Rule 117 in relation to paragraph 3, Section 4 of Rule 112, to wit:
Rule 117, Section 3. Grounds.—The accused may move to quash the complaint or information on any of the following grounds: (a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense; (b)That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged; (c)That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the person of the accused ; (d)That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so;
(e)That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form; (f) That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law; (g)That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished; (h)That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification; and (i)That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense charged, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent. Section 9. Failure to move to quash or to allege any ground therefor.—The failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of any objections except those based on the grounds provided for in paragraphs (a), (b), (g), and (i) of section 3 of this Rule. (emphasis supplied ) Rule 112, Section 4, paragraph 3 provides, viz : No complaint or information may be filed or dismissed by an investigating prosecutor without the prior written authority or approval of the provincial or city prosecutor or chief state prosecutor or the Ombudsman or his deputy. (emphasis supplied ) Private respondent and the OSG take the position that the lack of prior authority or approval by the city or provincial prosecutor or chief state prosecutor is an infirmity in the information that prevented the court from acquiring jurisdiction over the case. Since lack of jurisdiction is a defect that may be raised as an objection anytime even after arraignment, the respondent judge did not err in granting the motion to dismiss based on this ground. In sum, SC hold that, in the absence of a directive from the Secretary of Justice designating State Prosecutor Tolentino as Special Prosecutor for SSS cases or a prior written approval of the information by the provincial or city prosecutor, the information in Criminal Case No. RTC 2001-0597 was filed by an officer without authority to file the same. As this infirmity in the information constitutes a jurisdictional defect that cannot be cured, the respondent judge did not err in dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction.
BINAY VS. SANDIGANBAYAN FACTS: On May 16, 1995, R.A. No. 7975 took effect vesting in the Sandiganbayan exclusive jurisdiction to try certain criminal cases committed by municipal mayors, among others. On August 11, 1995, despite the new law, the Ombudsman charged accused municipal mayor before the Regional Trial Court of Batangas City with violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019. On february 9, 1996, another information for the same offense was filed by the Ombudsman against the accused, this time before the Sandiganbayan. After pleading guilty to the charge before the Regional Trial Court, accused moved to quash the information in the Sandiganbayan on the ground of double jeopardy. ISSUE: Whether the filing of the information in the Sand iganbayan put the accused in double jeopardy. HELD: The filing of the information in the Sandiganbayan did not put accused in double jeopardy even though he had pleaded “not guilty” to the information earlier filed in the RTC. The first jeopardy never attached in the first place, the RTC not being a court of competent jurisdiction. There can be no double jeopardy where the accused entered a plea in a court that had no jurisdiction. The remedy of the petitioners, therefore, was not to move for the quashal of the information pending in the Sandiganbayan on the ground of double jeopardy. Their remedy should have been to move for the quashal of the information pending in the RTC on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.
PEOPLE V. MAGAT FACTS: This is a case of incestuous rape, two informations were filed against appellant. Upon arraignment, he pleaded guilty but bargained for a lesser penalty for each case. The mother of the complainant and the public prosecutor agreed and an order was issued the same day imposing ten years imprisonment for each case. After three months, the cases were revived at the instance of the complainant on the ground that the penalty was too light. Appellant was re-arraigned and he entered a plea of not guilty. Two months later, he entered anew a plea of guilty. The court then imposed the penalty of death. He now appeals on the ground that there was double jeopardy upon the rearraignment and trial on the same information. ISSUE: Whether there has been double jeopardy. HELD: The first order issued by the trial is void ab initio on the ground that the accused’s plea is not the plea bargaining contemplated by law and the rules of procedure. The only instance where a plea bargaining is allowed under the Rules is when the accused pleads guilty to a lesser offense. Section 2 Rule 116 (note that there is a new set of Rules of Criminal Procedure).Here the reduction of the penalty is only a consequence of the plea of guilt to a lesser penalty. The appellant did not plead to a lesser offense but pleaded guilty to the rape charges and only bargained for a lesser penalty. He did not plea bargain but made conditions on the penalty to be imposed. This is erroneous because by pleading guilty to the offense charged, accused should be sentenced to the penalty to which he pleaded. It is the essence of a plea of guilty that that the accused admits absolutely and unconditionally hid guilt and responsibilty for the offense imputed to him. Hence, an accused may not foist a conditional plea of guilty on the court by admitting his guilt provided that a certain penalty will be meted unto him. Since the judgment of conviction is void, double jeopardy will not lie. Whatever procedural infirmity in the arraignment of the accused was rectified when he was re-arraigned and entered a new plea, he did not question the procedural errors in the first arraignment and having failed to do so, waived the errors in procedure. ARGEL VS. PASCUA FACTS: This is an administrative complaint for Gross Ignorance of the Law filed by Miguel Argel against Judge Herminia M. Pascua. Complainant alleged that Judge Pascua convicted him of murder notwithstanding the fact that he had already been previously acquitted by respondent. Respondent Judge alleged that she rendered the judgment of acquittal dated 22 July 993 because she erroneously thought that there was no witness who positively identified the accused, herein complaint, as the perpetrator of the crime. Her mistake was brought about by the fact that the testimony of the eyewitness
was not attached yo the records at the time she wrote her decision. However, when she re-read her notes after her attention was called by the lawyer of the private complainant that there was such an eyewitness, respondent confirmed that there was indeed one. Hence she “revised” her previous decision and rendered the Decision dated 19 August 1993 finding the accused guilty of murder. ISSUE: Whether the right against double jeopardy of the complainant was violated. HELD: The final judgment becomes the law of the case and is immune from alteration or modification regardless of claims of incorrectness or error. A judgment of acquittal in criminal cases becomes immediately effective upon its promulgation. It cannot be recalled for amendment only in case of any clerical error, clarify any ambiguity caused by omission or mistake in the dispositive portion. The inherent power of the court to modify its decision does not extend to a judgment of acquittal in a criminal case. Complainant herein was already acquitted of murder by respondent and the decision became final and immutable on the same day. Respondent should have known that she could no longer “revise” her decision of acquittal without violating not only an elementary rule of procedure but also the constitutional proscription against double jeopardy. PEOPLE VS. DE LA TORRE FACTS: Wilfredo dela Torre, appellee, has three children from a common-law relationship, the eldest of which is Mary Rose. When Mary Rose was 7 yearsold, her mother left them together with her youngest brother so she and her other brother were left to the care of her father.
Mary Rose was the brightest in her class despite their poverty. However, in January 1997, a sudden change in Mary Rose’s behavior behavior was noticed. She was twelve years old at that time. She appeared sleepy, snobbish and she also urinated on her panty. When confronted by her head teacher, Mary Rose admitted that she was abused repeatedly by her father. Her father, however, denied vehemently the charges being imputed to him by her daughter. The RTC convicted appellee of two counts of acts of lasciviousness and four counts of murder. However, the RTC refused to impose the supreme penalty of death on appellee. It maintained that there were circumstances that mitigated the gravity of the offenses such as the absence of any actual physical violence or intimidation on the commission of the acts, that after the mother of Mary Rose left the conjugal home, for more than five years, Wilfredo, Mary Rose and her brother were living together as a family and Mary Rose was never molested by her father. The prosecution seeks to modify the RTC Decision by imposing the supreme penalty of death of the accused. It argues that it has proven that the victim is the daughter of the accused, and that she was below eighteen years old when the rapes took place. As a consequence, the trial court should have been imposed the penalty of death pursuant to Section 11 of R.A. 7659. ISSUE: Whether or Not the Court erred in penalizing the appellee with reclusion perpetua in each of the four indictments of rape, instead of imposing the supreme penalty of death as mandated by R.A. 7659. HELD: Under Section 1, Rule 122 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure, any party may appeal from a judgment or final order unless the accused will be put in double jeopardy. In People vs. Leones, it declared that: “while it is true that this Court is the Court of last resort, there are allegations of error committed by a lower court which we ought not to look into to uphold the right of the accused. Such is the case in an appeal by the prosecution seeking to increase the penalty imposed upon the accused for this runs afoul of the right of the accused against double jeopardy…When the accused after conviction by the trial court did not appeal his decision, an appeal by the government seeking to increase the penalty imposed by the trial court places the accused in double jeopardy and should therefore be dismissed.”
The ban on double jeopardy primarily prevents the State from using its criminal processes as an instrument of harassment to wear out the accused by a multitude of cases with accumulated trials. It also serves as a deterrent from successively retrying the defendant in the hope of securing a conviction. And finally, it prevents the State, following conviction, from retrying the defendant again in the hope of securing a greater penalty. Being violative of the right against double jeopardy, the appeal of the prosecution cannot prosper.
PEOPLE VS. RONDERO FACTS: On 30 March 1994, Rondero was formally charged with the special complex crime of rape with homicide. Rondero pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. As to the hair specimen sent to the NBI, comparative micro-physical examination on the specimens showed that the hair strands found on the right hand of the victim had similar characteristics to those of accused-appellant's, while the hair specimen taken from the crime scene showed similar characteristics to those of the victim's. On 13 October 1995, the trial court rendered judgment convicting Rondero of the crime of murder and sentencing him to death. Rondero moved for reconsideration. On 10 November 1995, the trial court issued an order modifying its earlier decision, convicting Rondero of the crime of homicide and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua instead, on the ground that under Section 10 of Republic Act 7610, otherwise known as the "Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act," the penalty for homicide is reclusion perpetua when the victim is under 12 years of age. Rondero appealed. ISSUE: May he be convicted of the originl charge and be sentenced to death without violating double jeopardy? HELD: Yes. When an accused appeals from the sentence of the trial court, he waives his right against double jeopardy and throws the whole case open for review of the appellate court, which is then called to render judgment as the law and justice dictate, whether favorable or unfavorable, and whether they are the subject of the assigned errors or not. This precept should be borne in mind by every lawyer of an accused who unwittingly taken the risk involved when he decides to appeal a sentence. IVLER VS. MODESTO-SAN PEDRO FACTS: Following a vehicular collision in August 2004, petitioner Jason Ivler (petitioner) was charged before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 71 (MeTC), with two separate offenses: (1) Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries sustained by the respondent; and (2) Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide and Damage to Property for the death of respondent's husband and damage to the vehicle. Petitioner posted bail for his temporary release in both cases. Subsequently, the petitioner pleaded guilty to the charge or reckless imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries and was meted out the penalty of public censure. Following the conviction, and invoking sain conviction, the petitioner moved to quash the other information for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property for placing him in jeopardy of second punishment for the same offense of recless imprudence. The MeTC refused quashal, finding no identity of offenses in the two cases. After unsuccessfully seeking reconsideration, the petitioner elevated the matter to the Regional trial Court through a petition for certiorari after the MeTC denied a subsequent motion for reconsideration. Without acting on petitioner’s motion, the MeTC proceeded with the arraignment and, because of petitioner’s absence, cancelled his bail and ordered his arrest. Seven days later, the MeTC issued a resolution denying petitioner’s motion to suspend proceedings and postponing his arraignment until after his arrest. Petitioner sought reconsideration but as of the filing of this petition, the motion remained unresolved. Relying on the arrest order against petitioner, respondent Ponce sought in the RTC the dismissal of S.C.A. No. 2803 for petitioner’s loss of standing to maintain the suit. Petitioner contested the motion. ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner was placed in double jeopardy. HELD: The Supreme Court agreed with the petitioner. The petitioner argued that his constitutional right not to be placed twice in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense barred his prosecution in the second information having been previously convicted in the other criminal case for the same offense of reckless imprudence. The Court explained:
“The accused’s constitutional right not to be "twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense" protects him from, among others, post-conviction prosecution for the same offense, with the prior verdict rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction upon a valid information. It is not disputed that petitioner’s conviction in Criminal Case No. 82367 was rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction upon a valid charge. Thus, the case turns on the question whether Criminal Case No. 8236 6 and Criminal Case No. 82367 involve the "same offense." Petitioner adopts the affirmative view,
submitting that the two cases concern the same offense of reckless imprudence. The MeTC ruled otherwise, finding that Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries is an entirely separate offense from Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide and Damage to Property "as the [latter] requires proof of an additional fact which the other does not." The Court emphasized that the two charges against petitioner, arose from the same facts and were prosecuted under the same provision of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, namely Article 365 defining and penalizing quasi-offenses.The doctrine that reckless imprudence under Article 365 is a single quasi-offense by itself and not merely a means to commit other crimes such that conviction or acquittal of such quasi-offense bars subsequent prosecution for the same quasi- offense, regardless of its various resulting acts OLAGUER, ET. AL VS. MILITARY COMMISSION FACTS: In 1979, Olaguer and some others were detained by military personnel and they were placed in Camp Bagong Diwa. Logauer and his group are all civilians. They were charged with (1) unlawful possession of explosives and incendiary devices; (2) conspiracy to assassinate President and Mrs. Marcos; (3) conspiracy to assassinate cabinet members Juan Ponce Enrile, Francisco Tatad and Vicente Paterno; (4) conspiracy to assassinate Messrs. Arturo Tangco, Jose Roño and Onofre Corpus; (5) arson of nine buildings; (6) attempted murder of Messrs. Leonardo Perez, Teodoro Valencia and Generals Romeo Espino and Fabian Ver; and (7) conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, and inciting to rebellion. On August 19, 1980, the petitioners went to the SC and filed the instant Petition for prohibition and habeas corpus. ISSUE1: Whether or not the petition for habeas corpus be granted. HELD: The petition for habeas corpus has become moot and academic because by the time the case reached the SC Olaguer and his companions were already released from military confinement. “When the release of the persons in whose behalf the application for a writ of habeas corpus was filed is effected, the Petition for the issuance of the writ becomes moot and academic. 18 Inasmuch as the herein petitioners have been released from their confinement in military detention centers, the instant Petitions for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus should be dismissed for having become moot and academic.” But the military court created to try the case of Olaguer (and the decision it rendered) still continues to subsist.
ISSUE2: The issue is then shifted to: Whether or not a military tribunal has the jurisdiction to try civilians while the civil courts are open and functioning. HELD: The SC nullified for lack of jurisdiction all decisions rendered by the military courts or tribunals during the period of martial law in all cases involving civilian defendants. A military commission or tribunal cannot try and exercise jurisdiction, even during the period of martial law, over civilians for offenses allegedly committed by them as long as the civil courts are open and functioning, and that any judgment rendered by such body relating to a civilian is null and void for lack of jurisdiction on the part of the military tribunal concerned. PEOPLE VS. BALISACAN FACTS: Aurelio Balisacan was charged with homicide in the CFI of Ilocos Norte. Upon being arraigned, he entered into a plea of guilty. In doing so, he was assisted y counsel. At his counsel de officio, he was allowed to present evidence and consequently testified that he stabbed the deceased in self-defense. In addition, he stated that he surrendered himself voluntarily to the police authorities. On the basis of the testimony of the accused, he was acquitted. Thus, the prosecution appealed. ISSUE:
HELD: The Supreme Court held that it is settled that the existence of plea is an essential requisite to double jeopardy. The accused had first entered a plea of guilty but however testified that he acted in complete self-defense. Said testimony had the effect of vacating his plea of guilty and the court a quo should have required him to plead a new charge, or at least direct that a new plea of not guilty be
entered for him. This was not done. Therefore, there has been no standing of plea during the judgment of acquittal, so there can be no double jeopardy with respect to the appeal herein.
TEEHANKEE VS. MADAYAG FACTS: Claudio Teehankee, Jr. was originally charged for the crime of frustrated murder for shooting Hultman who was comatosed some time. In the course of the trial, Hultman died. The prosecution sought to change the information from frustrated murder to consummated murder. Teehankee Jr. questioned the new charge for lack of preliminary investigation thereon . ISSUES:
1. Was there an amendment of the information or substitution when the information was changed from frustrated murder to consummated murder? 2. What kind of amendment? Formal or substantial? 3. Is there a need of a preliminary investigation on the new charge? HELD:
1. There is an amendment. There is an identity of offenses charged in both the original and the amended information [murder pa rin!]. What is involved here is not a variance of the nature of different offenses charge, but only a change in the stage of execution of the same offense from frustrated to consummated murder. This being the case, we hold that an amendment of the original information will suffice and, consequent thereto, the filing of the amended information for murder is proper. 2. Formal. An objective appraisal of the amended information for murder filed against therein petitioner will readily show that the nature of the offense originally charged was not actually changed. Instead, an additional allegation, that is, the supervening fact of the death of the victim was merely supplied to aid the trial court in determining the proper penalty for the crime. That the accused committed a felonious act with intent to kill the victim continues to be the prosecution's theory. There is no question that whatever defense herein petitioner may adduce under the original information for frustrated murder equally applies to the amended information for murder.´ So halimbawa sabihin ng prosecutor: ³You shot Hultman who almost died.´Teehankee Jr.:³W ala man ako dun ba! I was at home asleep!´ Alibi ang defense niya ba. Now,namatay si Hultman. Ano man ang depensa mo? Mao man gihapon: Wala man ako dun!´ Theaccused is not prejudiced since the same defense is still available to him. 3. No need because you have not changed the crime. If you change the crime or when there is substitution, kailangan ng preliminary investigation. Since it is only a formal amendment, preliminary investigation is not necessary. ³The amended information could not conceivably have come as a surprise to petitioner for the simple and obvious reason that it charges essentially the same offense as that charged under the original information. Furthermore, as we have heretofore held, if the crime originally charged is related to the amended charge such that an inquiry into one would elicit substantially the same facts that an inquiry into the other would reveal, a new preliminary investigation is not necessary. Nota Bene: A substantial amendment consists of the recital of facts constituting the offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the court. All other matters are merely of form. Thus, the following have been held to be merely formal amendments, viz: (1) new allegations which relate only to the range of the penalty that the court might impose in the event of conviction; (2) an amendment which does not charge another offense different or distinct from that charged in the original one; (3) additional allegations which do not alter the prosecution's theory of the case so as to cause surprise to the accused and affect the form of defense he has or will assume; and (4) an amendment which does not adversely affect any substantial right of the accused, such as his right to invoke prescription.
PEOPLE VS. ADIL FACTS: Petition for certiorari to set aside the orders of respondent judge dated September 22, 1975 and October 14, 1975 dismissing Criminal Case No. 5241 of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo
against private respondent Margarito Fama, Jr., said dismissal being predicated on the ground of double jeopardy, in view of the dismissal of a previous charge of slight physical injuries against the same respondent for the same incident by the Municipal Court of Janiuay, Iloilo in Criminal Case No. 3335, notwithstanding that in the information in the first-mentioned case, it was alleged that the injuries sustained by the offended party, aside from possibly requiring medical attendance from 6 to 9 days barring complications", as was alleged in the information in Criminal Case No. 3335, had left "a permanent sear and deform(ed) — the right face of (said offended party) Miguel Viajar." ISSUE: Whether or not the additional allegation of deformity in the information in Case No. 5241 constitutes a supervening element which should take this case out of the ruling in People vs. Silva cited by respondent court. HELD: In Silva, there was no question that the extent of the damage to property and physical injuries suffered by the offended parties therein were already existing and known when the prior minor case was prosecuted, What is controlling then in the instant case is Melo vs. People, 85 Phil. 766, in which it was held: This rule of identity does not apply, however, when the second offense was not in existence at the time of the first prosecution, for the simple reason that in such case there is no possibility for the accused during the first prosecution, to be convicted for an offense that was then inexistent Thus, where the accused was charged with physical injuries and after conviction the injured dies, the charge of homicide against the same accused does not put him twice in jeopardy.
So also is People vs. Yorac, 42 SCRA, 230, to the following effect: Stated differently, if after the first. prosecution 'a new fact supervenes on which defendant may be held liable, resulting in altering the character of the crime and giving rise to a new and distinct offense, 'the accused cannot be said to be in second jeopardy if indicted for the new offense. In People vs. Buling, 107 Phil. 112, SC explained how a deformity may be considered as a supervening fact. Referring to the decision in People vs. Manolong, 85 Phil. 829, SC held: No finding was made in the first examination that the injuries had caused deformity and the loss of the use of the right hand. As nothing was mentioned in the first medical certificate about the deformity and the loss of the use of the right hand, we presumed that such fact was not apparent or could have been discernible at the time the first examination was made. The course (not the length) of the healing of an injury may not be determined before hand; it can only be definitely known after the period of healing has ended. That is the reason why the court considered that there was a supervening fact occurring since the filing of the original information. In other words, in the peculiar circumstances of this case, the plea of double jeopardy of private respondent Fama Jr., cannot hold. It was, therefore, a grave error correctible by certiorari for respondent court to have dismissed Criminal Case No. 524 1.
MELO V. PEOPLE Facts: Conrado Melo was charged in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, on 27 December 1949, with frustrated homicide, for having allegedly inflicted upon Benjamin Obillo, with a kitchen knife and with intent to kill, several serious wounds on different parts of the body, requiring medical attendance for a period of more than 30 days, and incapacitating him from performing his habitual labor for the same period of time. On 29 December 1949, at 8:00 a.m., Melo pleaded not guilty to the offense charged, and at 10:15 p.m. of the same day Benjamin Obillo died from his wounds. Evidence of death was available to the prosecution only on 3 January 1950, and on the following day, 4 January 1950, an amended information was filed charging Melo with consummated homicide. Melo filed a motion to quash the amended information alleging double jeopardy, motion that was denied by the court. Melo filed the petition for prohibition to enjoin the court from further entertaining the amended information. Issue: Whether the second information, filed after the death of the victim, violates the accused’s right against double jeopardy. Held: Rule 106, section 13, 2d paragraph, provides that "If it appears at any time before judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper offense, the court may dismiss the original complaint
or information and order the filing of a new one charging the proper offense, provided the defendant would not be placed thereby in double jeopardy, and may also require the witnesses to give bail for their appearance at the trial." Under this provision, it was proper for the court to dismiss the first information and order the filing of a new one for the reason that the proper offense was not charged in the former and the latter did not place the accused in a second jeopardy for the same or identical offense. There is identity between two offenses not only when the second offense is exactly the same as the first, but also when the second offense is an attempt to commit the first or a frustration thereof, or when it necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the first information. This rule of identity does not apply, however, when the second offense was not in existence at the time of the first prosecution, for the simple reason that in such case there is no possibility for the accused, during the first prosecution, to be convicted for an offense that was then inexistent. Further, when a person who has already suffered his penalty for an offense, is charged with a new and greater offense, said penalty may be credited to him in case of conviction for the second offense.
PEOPLE VS. BULING FACTS: Appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Leyte, Hon. Gaudencio Cloribel, presiding, finding the accused Buenaventura Buling guilty of serious physical injuries and sentencing him to imprisonment of four months of arresto mayor, as minimum, to one year of prision correccional, as maximum, and to indemnify the offended party. On December 7, 1956, the accused was charged in the Justice of the Peace Court of Cabalian, Leyte, with the crime of less serious physical injuries for having inflicted wounds on complaining witness Isidro Balaba, which according to the complaint would "require, medical attendance for a period from 10 to 15 days and will incapacitate the said Isidro Balaba from the performance of his customary labors for the game period of time." The accused pleaded guilty to the complaint and was on December 8, 1957 found guilty of the crime charged and sentenced to 1 month and 1 day of arresto mayor and to pay damages to the offended party in the sum of P20.00, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. On the same day he began to serve his sentence and has fully served the same. However, Balaba's injuries did not heal within the period estimated, and so on February 20, 1957, the Provincial Fiscal filed an information against the accused before the Court of First Instance of Leyte, charging him of serious physical injuries. The information alleges that the wounds inflicted by the accused on Isidro Balaba require medical attendance and incapacitated him for a period of from 1 ½ months to 2 ½ months. After trial the accused was found guilty of serious physical injuries and sentenced in the manner indicated in first paragraph hereof. This is the decision now sough to be set aside and reversed in this appeal. ISSUE: Whether the prosecution and conviction of Balaba for less serious physical injuries is a bar to the second prosecution for serious physical injuries. HELD: SC do not believe that a new fact supervened, or that a new fact has come into existence. Under the circumstances above indicated, SC are inclined to agree with the contention made on behalf of appellant that no new supervening fact has existed or occurred, which has transformed the offense from less serious physical injuries to serious physical injuries. But the Solicitor General cites the case of People vs. Manolong, supra, and argues that our ruling in said case should apply to the case at bar, for the reason that in the said case the first crime with which the accused was charged was less serious physical injuries and the second one was serious physical injuries and yet we held that there was no jeopardy. SC have carefully examined this case and have found that the first examination made of the offended party showed injuries which would take from 20 to 30 days to heal, whereas the subsequent examination disclosed that the wound of the offended party would require medical attendance and incapacitate him for labor for a period of 90 days, "causing deformity and the loss of the use of said member". No finding was made in the first examination that the injuries had caused deformity and the loss of the use of the right hand. As nothing was mentioned in the first medical certificate about the deformity and the loss of the use of the right hand, we presume that such fact was not apparent or could not have been discernible at the time the first examination was made. The course (not the length), of the healing of an injury may not be determined before hand; it can only be definitely known after the period of healing has ended. That is the reason why the court considered that there was a supervening fact occurring since the filing of the original information.
But such circumstances do not exist in the case at bar. If the X-ray examination discloses the existence of a fracture on January 17, 1957, that fracture must have existed when the first examination was made on December 10, 1956. There is, therefore, no now or supervening fact that could be said to have developed or arisen since the filing of the original action, which would justify the application of the ruling enunciated by us in the cases of Melo vs. People and People vs. Manolong, supra. We attribute the new finding of fracture, which evidently lengthened the period of healing of the wound, to the very superficial and inconclusive examination made on December 10, 1956. Had an X-ray examination taken at the time, the fracture would have certainly been disclosed. The wound causing the delay in healing was already in existence at the time of the first examination, but said delay was caused by the very superficial examination then made. As we have stated, we find therefore that no supervening fact had occurred which justifies the application of the rule in the case of Melo vs. People and People vs. Manolong, for which reason we are constrained to apply the general rule of double jeopardy. SC take this opportunity to invite the attention of the prosecuting officers that before filing informations for physical injuries, thorough physical and medical examinations of the injuries should first be made to avoid instances, like the present, where by reason of the important Constitutional provision of double jeopardy, the accused can not be held to answer for the graver offense committed.
PEOPLE VS. YORAC Facts: Rodrigo Yorac was charged with slight physical injuries before the City Court of Bacolod, the offended party being a certain Lam Hock who, according to the medical certificate issued in 10 April 1968 by a Dr. Rogelio Zulueta, a resident physician of the Occidental Negros Provincial Hospital, was confined "since 8 April 1968 up to the present time for head injury." Then came a plea of guilty by Yorac on 16 April 1968 resulting in his being penalized to suffer 10 days of arresto menor. He started serving his sentence forthwith. On 18 April 1968, the provincial fiscal filed an information, this time in the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, charging Yorac with frustrated murder arising from the same act against Lam Hock upon another medical certificate dated 17 April 1968 issued by the same Dr. Zulueta. The later information for frustrated murder was based on a second medical certificate after the lapse of one week from the former previously given by the same physician who, apparently, was much more thorough the second time, to the effect that the victim did suffer a greater injury than was at first ascertained. The lower court, presided by the Honorable Judge Nestor B. Alampay, considering that there was no supervening fact that would negate the defense of double jeopardy, sustained the motion to quash (filed on 10 June 1968) in an order of 21 June 1968. The People appealed. Issue: Whether the new medical findings warrant the filing of the new information against the accused, without violating the rule against double jeopardy. Held: "No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense." A defendant in a criminal case should be adjudged either guilty or not guilty and thereafter left alone in peace, in the latter case the State being precluded from taking an appeal. It is in that sense that the right against being twice put in jeopardy is considered as possessing many features in common with the rule of finality in civil cases. For the accused is given assurance that the matter is closed, enabling him to plan his future accordingly, protecting him from continued distress, not to mention saving both him and the state from the expenses incident to redundant litigation. There is likewise the observation that this constitutional guarantee helps to equalize the adversary capabilities of two grossly mismatched litigants, a poor and impecunious defendant hardly in a position to keep on shouldering the costs of a suit. As ruled in Melo vs. People, the rule of identity does not apply "when the second offense was not in existence at the time of the first prosecution, for the simple reason that in such case there is no possibility for the accused, during the first prosecution, to be convicted for an offense that was then inexistent." Stated differently, if after the first prosecution "a new fact supervenes" on which defendant may be held liable, resulting in altering the character of the crime and giving rise to a new and distinct offense, "the accused cannot be said to be in second jeopardy if indicted for the new offense." There is then the indispensable requirement of the existence of "a new fact [which] supervenes for which the defendant is responsible" changing the character of the crime imputed to him and together with the facts existing previously constituting a new and distinct offense. Herein, if the X-ray examination discloses the existence of a fracture on 17 January 1957, that fracture must have existed when the first examination was made on
10 December 1956. There is, therefore, no new or supervening fact that could be said to have developed or arisen since the filing of the original action. The new finding of fracture, which evidently lengthened the period of healing of the wound, to the very superficial and inconclusive examination made on 10 December 1956. Had an X-ray examination been taken at the time, the fracture would have certainly been disclosed. The wound causing the delay in healing was already in existence at the time of the first examination, but said delay was caused by the very superficial examination then made. No supervening fact had occurred which justifies the application of the rule in the case of Melo vs. People and People vs. Manolong, for which reason the general rule of double jeopardy should be applied. GALMAN VS. PAMARAN FACTS: Assassination of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. He was killed from his plane
that had just landed at the Manila International Airport. His brain was smashed by a bullet fired point blank into the back of his head by an assassin. The military investigators reported within a span of three hours that the man who shot Aquino (whose identity was then supposed to be unknown and was revealed only days later as Rolando Galman) was a communist-hired gunman, and that the military escorts gunned him down in turn. President was constrained to create a Fact Finding Board to investigate due to large masses of people who joined in the ten-day period of national mourning yearning for the truth, justice and freedom. The fact is that both majority and minority reports were one in rejecting the military version stating that "the evidence shows to the contrary that Rolando Galman had no subversive affiliations. Only the soldiers in the staircase with Sen. Aquino could have shot him; that Ninoy's assassination was the product of a military conspiracy, not a communist plot. Only difference between the two reports is that the majority report found all the twenty-six private respondents above-named in the title of the case involved in the military conspiracy; " while the chairman's minority report would exclude n ineteen of them. Then Pres. Marcos stated that evidence shows that Galman was the killer. Petitioners pray for issuance of a TRO enjoining respondent court from rendering a decision in the two criminal cases before it, the Court resolved by nine-to-two votes 11 to issue the restraining o rder prayed for. The Court also granted petitioners a five-day period to file a reply to respondents' separate comments and respondent Tanodbayan a three-day period to submit a copy of his 84-page memorandum for the prosecution. But ten days later, the Court by the same nine-to-two-vote ratio in reverse, resolved to dismiss the petition and to lift the TRO issued ten days earlier enjoining the Sandiganbayan from rendering its decision. The same Court majority denied petitioners' motion for a new 5-day period counted from receipt of respondent Tanodbayan's memorandum for the prosecution (which apparently was not served on them). Thus, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration, alleging that the dismissal did not indicate the legal ground for such action and urging that the case be set for a full hearing on the merits that the people are entitled to due process. However, respondent Sandiganbayan issued its decision acquitting all the accused of the crime charged, declaring them innocent and totally absolving them of any civil liability. Respondents submitted that with the Sandiganbayan's verdict of acquittal, the instant case had become moot and academic. Thereafter, same Court majority denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. Hence, petitioners filed their motion to admit their second motion for reconsideration alleging that respondents committed serious irregularities constituting mistrial and resulting in miscarriage of justice and gross violation of the constitutional rights of the petitioners and the sovereign people of the Philippines to due process of law. ISSUES: Whether or not there was a violation of the double jeopardy clause. HELD: There was no double jeopardy. Courts' Resolution of acquittal was a void judgment for having been issued without jurisdiction. No double jeopardy attaches, therefore. A void judgment is, in legal effect, no judgment at all. By it no rights are divested. It neither binds nor bars anyone. All acts and all claims flowing out of it are void.
Motion to Disqualify/Inhibit should have been resolved ahead. In this case, petitioners' motion for reconsideration of the abrupt dismissal of their petition and lifting of the TRO enjoining the
Sandiganbayan from rendering its decision had been taken cognizance of by the Court which had required the respondents', including the Sandiganbayan's, comments. Although no restraining order was issued anew, respondent Sandiganbayan should not have precipitately issued its decision of total absolution of all the accused pending the final action of this Court. All of the acts of the respondent judge manifest grave abuse of discretion on his part amounting to lack of jurisdiction which substantively prejudiced the petitioner. With the declaration of nullity of the proceedings, the cases must now be tried before an impartial court with an unbiased prosecutor. Respondents accused must now face trial for the crimes charged against them before an impartial court with an unbiased prosecutor with all due process. The function of the appointing authority with the mandate of the people, under our system of government, is to fill the public posts. Justices and judges must ever realize that they have no constituency, serve no majority nor minority but serve only the public interest as they see it in accordance with their oath of office, guided only the Constitution and their own conscience and honor. PEOPLE VS. CA FACTS: Claudio Francisco, Rudy Pacao, Capt. Rodolfo Malbarosa, Pfc. Catalino Bonganay, Sgt. Roberto Cana, Sgt. Virgilio Azucena, Sgt. Nathaniel Interino, Pat. David Valenciano, Pat. Cesar Quiambao, Joseph Pellas, and Gabriel Alosan were charged with Murder for the fatal shooting of one Marcial "Boyet" Azada. All the accused pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. On demurrer to evidence, the trial court dismissed the case against Pfc. Bonganay, Sgt. Cana, Sgt. Azucena, Sgt. Interino, Pat. Valenciano and Pat. Quiambao. Upon the death of Capt. Malbarosa, the case against him was likewise dismissed. Trial on the merits ensued. In a decision dated February 7, 1994, the court a quo exonerated accused Pellas and Alosan and convicted respondents Francisco Jr. and Pacao for homicide and attempted murder. The accused Claudio Francisco Jr., and Rudy Pacao, are credited in full for their preventive detention. On appeal, the trial court’s decision was reversed and respondents Francisco and Pacao were acquitted of the crime charged. ISSUE: Whether or not an appeal of the judgment of acquittal by the Court of Appeals violates the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution. HELD: While petitioner in the case at bar ostensibly alleges grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the discussions therein however ascribe to the Court of Appeals errors of judgment, not errors of jurisdiction. Specifically, petitioner delves on, among others, the testimonies relative to the positions of the victim vis-à-vis the accused, and the opinions of the expert witnesses in respect to certain physical evidence. Obviously, these are errors that goes deeply into the appellate court’s appreciation and assessment of the evidence proffered by the parties. These are findings that impinge on errors of judgment and not errors of jurisdiction, correctible by a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court and not a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the said Rules. On this score alone, the dismissal of the instant petition is called for.
Noteworthy is the case of People v. Velasco16 where the Court likewise dismissed a similar petition not only on the ground that the acquittal of the defendant by the lower court was not reviewable via the extraordinary writ of certiorari, but more importantly, the grant of said petition would constitute a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution. In Velasco, we clarified that in the absence of a finding of mistrial, i.e. the criminal trial was a sham, as in Galman v. Sandiganbayan,17 a judgment of acquittal is final and unappealable on the ground of double jeopardy, whether it happens at the trial court level or at the Court of Appeals.18 We are not inclined to rule differently. Respondents Francisco and Pacao, after having been found not guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction, must be afforded rest and tranquility from repeated attempts by the State at conviction and their anxiety finally laid to rest. Their acquittal must therefore be accorded finality in faithful adherence to the rule against double jeopardy.
PEOPLE VS. LACSON
FACTS: B e f o r e t h e c o u r t i s t h e p e t i t i o n e r ’ s m o t i o n o f reconsideration of the resolution dated May 23, 2002, for the determination of several factual issues relative to the application of Sec. 8 Rule 117 of RRCP on the dismissal of the cases Q-99-81679 and Q-99-81689 against the respondent. The respondent was charged with the shooting and killing of eleven male persons. The court confirmed the express consent of the respondent in the provisional dismissal of the aforementioned cases when he filed for judicial determination. The court also ruled the need to determine whether the other fac ts for its application are a ttendant ISSUES: 1 . WO N t h e r e q ui s it e s f o r t h e a p p li c ab i li t y o f S e c . 8 , R u le 1 1 7 o f 2 0 0 0 R u l e s o n C r i m i n a l P r o c e d u r e w e r e c om pl ie d w it h i n t he K ur at on g B al el eng c as es a. Was express consent give n by the respondent? b . W a s n o t i c e f o r t h e m o t i o n , t h e h e a r i n g a n d t h e subsequent dismissal given to the heirs of the victims?
Section 8, Rule 117 is not applicable to the case since the conditions for its applicability, namely: 1) prosecution with the express consent of the accused or both of them move for provisional dismissal, 2) offended party notified, 3) court grants motion and dismisses cases provisionally, 4) public p r o s e c u t o r s e r v e d w i t h c o p y of orders of provisional dismissal, which is the defendants burden to prove, which in this case has not been done a . T he d e f en da nt n e v er f i l ed a n d d e ni e d u ne qu i vo c al l y i n h i s s t a t e m e n t s , t h r o u g h c o u n s e l a t t h e C o u r t o f Appeals, that he filed for dismissal nor did he agree to a provisional dismissal thereof. b. No no ti ce of mot ion for pr ov is ion al di sm iss al, he ari ng and subsequent dismissal was given to the heirs of the victims. 2 . W O N t i m e - b a r i n S e c 8 R u l e 1 1 7 s h o u l d b e a p p l i e d prospectively or retroactively. Time-bar should not be applied retroactively. Though procedural rules may be applied retroactively, it should not be if to do so would work injustice or would involve intricate problems of due process. Statutes should be construed in li gh t of th e pu rp os es to be ac hi eve d an d the ev il s to be remedied. This is because to do so would be prejudicial to the State since, given that the Judge dismissed the case on Ma rc h 29 ,1 99 9, an d th e Ne w ru le to ok ef fe ct on De c 1,2000, it would only in effect give them 1 year and three months to work instead of 2 years. At that time, they had no knowledge of the said rule and therefore they should not be penalized for that. “Indeed for justice to prevail, the scales must balance; justice is not to be dispensed for the accused alone.”The two-year period fixed in the new rule is for the benefit of b o t h t h e S t a t e a n d t h e a c c u s e d . I t s h o u l d n o t b e emasculated and reduced by an in or di na te re tr oa ct iv e application of the time-bar therein provided merely to benefit the accused. To do so would cause an injustice of hardship to the state and adver sely affect the admin istrat ion of justice. Motion granted