Digested Cases-criminal Law
Some criminal cases we've digested in our review class....
G.R. No. 95136 (October 3, 1991) RAFAEL BAYLOSIS and BENJAMIN DE VERA vs. HON. APOLONIO R. CHAVEZ, JR. et al. FACTS:
The case at bar originated from an information filed in the Regional Trial Court at Pasig charging petitioners Rafael Baylosis and Benjamin de Vera, together with one Marco Palo (all known high ranking officers of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and its military arm, the New People’s Army), with a violation of par. 3, Sec 1 of PD 1866. That provision punishes with the penalty of reclusion perpetua , any person who unlawfully manufactures, deals in, acquires, disposes of, or possesses any firearm, in furtherance of, or incident to, or in connection with the crimes of rebellion, insurrection or subversion. Baylosis, de Vera, and Palo, filed a motion to quash the information on the following grounds: (I) the facts charged do not constitute an offense because they are founded on an unconstitutional/repealed statute, (2) for the same reason, this Honorable Court is devoid of jurisdiction to try this case. However, the Trial Court denied the motion to quash and a motion for reconsideration was also denied. Hence, Baylosis and de Vera instituted this special action of certiorari , prohibition and mandamus. ISSUE: WON PD No. 1866, or at least par. 3 of Section 1 thereof, is unconstitutional for being violative of due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution. HELD:
The issue of constitutionality of Presidential Decree No. 1866 has been laid to rest in the case of Misolas v. Panga, G.R. No. 83341, January 30, 1990 (181 SCRA 648), where this Court held that the declaration of unconstitutionality of the third paragraph of Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 1866 is wanting in legal basis since it is neither a bill of attainder nor does it provide a possibility of a double jeopardy. P.D. No. 1866 does not possess the elements of a bill of attainder. It does not seek to inflict punishment without a judicial trial. Nowhere in the measure is there a finding of guilt and an imposition of a corresponding punishment. What the decree does is to define the offense and provide for the penalty that may be imposed, specifying the qualifying circumstances that would aggravate the offense. The petitioners' invocation of the doctrine of double jeopardy as an argument against the constitutionality of PD 1866 is equally futile. The right against double jeopardy is a matter which the accused may raise in a motion to quash (Sec. 3[h], Rule 117). But, petitioner's motion to quash filed in the trial court did not raise the issue of double jeopardy because it had not arisen. Moreover, even if such a subsequent or second jeopardy does arise, P.D. No. 1866 will not be rendered unconstitutional because such is not a ground to nullify that law. Double jeopardy is merely a defense that an accused may raise to defeat a subsequent prosecution or conviction for the same offense. Hence, the petition is DISMISSED in view of petitioner's failure to clearly and unequivocally establish that the third paragraph of Section 1 of P.D. No. 1866 violates the Constitution.
G.R. No. 128096 (January 20, 1999) PANFILO M. LACSON et al. vs. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY et al. FACTS: On May 18, 1995, alleged eleven (11) members of Kuratong Baleleng gang, an organized crime syndicate involved in bank robberies in Metro Manila were slain by elements of Anti-Bank Robbery and Intelligence Task Group. On media expose however, it was alleged that what actually transpired was a summary execution or rub out. This implicated Lacson among others as guilty for multiple murder. The office of the Ombudsman conducted an investigation and recommended the indictment for multiple murder charged as principals before the Sandiganbayan. This information was amended after re-investigation and petitioner herein was charged as accessory. In 1997, R.A. 8249 was passed which basically expanded the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The law was authored by Lagman and Neptali Gonzales. Lacson assailed the law as it was introduced by the authors thereof in bad faith as it was made to precisely suit the situation in which petitioner’s cases were in at the Sandiganbayan by restoring jurisdiction thereover to it, thereby violating his right to procedural due process and the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Further, from the way the Sandiganbayan has foot-dragged for nine (9) months the resolution of a pending incident involving the transfer of the cases to the Regional Trial Court, the passage of the law may have been timed to overtake such resolution to render the issue therein moot, and frustrate the exercise of petitioner’s vested rights under the old Sandiganbayan law (R.A. 7975). ISSUES: 1. WON the right to equal protection of the law by Lacson et al. has been violated with the passage of R.A. 8249. 2. WON the retroactive application of R.A. 8249 to the Kuratong Baleleng a case constitutes an ex post facto law. 3. WON R.A. 8249 violates the one-title-one-subject provisions of the Constitution. 4. WON the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the multiple murder case. HELD:
1. The SC ruled that R.A. 8249 did not violate the right of Lacson et al. to equal protection of the law. No concrete evidence and convincing argument were presented to warrant a declaration of an act of the entire Congress and signed into law by the highest officer of the coequal executive department as unconstitutional. Every classification made by law is presumed reasonable. Thus, the party who challenges the law must present proof of arbitrariness. Since it is within the power of Congress to define the jurisdiction of courts subject to the constitutional limitations, it can be reasonably anticipated that an alteration of that jurisdiction would necessarily affect pending cases, which is why it has to provide for a remedy in the form of a transitory provision. Thus, Lacson et al. cannot claim that Sections 4 and 7 placed them under a different category from those similarly situated as them. Precisely, par A of Sec 4 provides that it shall apply to “all cases involving” certain public officials and, under the transitory provision in Sec 7, to “all cases pending in any court.” Contrary to petitioner and intervenors’ arguments, the law is not particularly directed only to the Kuratong Baleleng cases. The transitory provision does not only cover cases which are in the Sandiganbayan but also in “any court.” 2. There is nothing ex post facto in R.A. 8249 because as defined, ex post facto law is limited in its score only to matters criminal in nature. R.A. 8249 is a substantive law on jurisdiction which is not penal in character. Penal laws are those acts of the Legislature which prohibit certain acts and establish penalties for their violations; or those that define crimes, treat of their nature, and provide for their punishment. Not being a penal law, the retroactive application of R.A. 8249 cannot be challenged as unconstitutional.
3. R.A. 8249 does not violate the one-title-one-subject provisions of the Constitution. Constitutional provisions relating to the subject matter and titles of statutes should not be so narrowly construed as to cripple or impede the power of legislation. The requirement that the subject of an act shall be expressed in its title should receive a reasonable and not a technical construction. The Court has previously ruled that the one-subject requirement under the Constitution is satisfied if all the parts of the statute are related, and are germane to the subject matter expressed in the title, or as long as they are not inconsistent with or foreign to the general subject and title. There is here sufficient compliance with such requirement, since the title of R.A. 8249 expresses the general subject (involving the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan and the amendment of P.D. 1606, as amended) and all the provisions of the law are germane to that general subject. The Congress, in employing the word “define” in the title of the law, acted within its powers since Section 2, Article VIII of the Constitution itself empowers the legislative body to “define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of various courts”. 4. While Jurisdiction of the court is defined by the Constitution or Statute, the elementary rule is that jurisdiction of a court is determined by allegations in the complaint or information, and not by the evidence presented by the parties at the trial. . The mere allegation in the amended information that the offense was committed by the accused public officers in relation to their office is not sufficient. In determining jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan, what is controlling is the specific factual allegation in the information that would indicate the close intimacy between the discharge of the official duties and the commission of the offense charged. For failure to show in the amended information that the charge of murder was intimately connected with the discharged of official functions of the accused (Sec.4, par. b of R.A. 8249), the offense charged in the subject criminal cases is plain murder and, therefore, within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), not the Sandiganbayan. Hence, the petition is GRANTED and the case was transferred to the RTC.
G.R. No. L-52413, September 26, 1981 MELITON C. GERONIMO vs. COMELEC and JULIAN C. PENDRE FACTS:
On January 8, 1980, private respondent Julian Pendre filed a petition with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to disqualify petitioner Meliton C. Geronimo from running as a candidate for the mayorship of Baras, Rizal on the ground of political turncoatism. After hearing the petition, the COMELEC on January 19. 1980 issued Resolution No. 8305 disqualifying Meliton C Geronimo. On January 22, 1980, Geronimo filed a motion to reconsider the said resolution, and on January 28, 1980 or two days before the elections, he filed with this Court a petition for certiorari to restrain the COMELEC from implementing its resolution to which the former has granted the same day. In the elections of January 30, 1980, Geronimo obtained a margin of 325 votes when he garnered 2,695 votes as against his opponent Bayani Ferrera's 2,370 votes. On March 11, 1980, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 9554, reinstating the proclamation made earlier by the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Baras, Rizal in favor of Geronimo as the winning candidate for mayor but the proclamation was declared temporary subject to the decision of this Court on the petition for certiorari filed by Geronimo. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WON the COMELEC has acted with grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying petitioner from running for the office of mayor of Baras, Rizal, and in refusing to give due course to his certificate of candidacy for the said position. HELD: SC find that there was no grave abuse of discretion committed by the COMELEC in disqualifying petitioner Geronimo since there was substantial evidence in support of the same . The matter of disqualification of petitioner is based on Section 10, Article XIIC of the 1973 Constitution, declaring that: “No elective public officer may change his political party affiliation during his term of office, and no candidate for any elective public office may change his political party affiliation within six months immediately preceding or following an election.” and Batas Pambansa Blg. 52, adopting the aforesaid constitutional prohibition on political turncoatism as one of the special disqualification of local candidates running for elective positions. Petitioner contends that KBL is not a political party, hence, he is not guilty of violating the constitutional and statutory prohibitions on turncoatism when he affiliated to NP; consequently, he should not be disqualified from running for the office of mayor of Baras, Rizal. The contention is without merit. There being a clear showing of petitioner's affiliation with the KBL as a political party as fully established by his three aforequoted letters and his admissions by himself or through his counsel in his pleadings and at the hearing before the COMELEC, and having subsequently affiliated with the Nacionalista Party as shown by his certificate of candidacy for municipal mayor of Baras, subscribed and sworn to , his political turncoatism is undeniable, thus warranting his disqualification as a candidate for the office of mayor of Baras, Rizal. Hence, the petition is DISMISSED and the TRO of January 28, 1980 is hereby lifted.
FACTS: The presidential election of 1992 was clouded with much uncertainty as to who is the real winner. However, Congress sitting as Board of Canvassers proclaimed Fidel V. Ramos as duly elected President of the Republic. Protestant filed before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) for annulment of proclamation on grounds of massive fraud and electoral sabotage among others. While the election contest is still pending, Miriam Defensor-Santiago was elected Senator of the Republic in the mid-term election in 1995. ISSUE: WON by assuming the position of a Senator, did Defensor-Santiago have effectively abandoned her Presidential Election protest? HELD: YES. An election contest involves a public office in which the public has an interest. In the case at bar, when protestant entered into a political contract with the electorate as Senator, she impliedly waives her vested right to the election contest. More so, corollary to her position is the discharge of her functions. In assuming the office of the Senator then, the Protestant has effectively abandoned or withdrawn the protest, or at very least, abandoned her determination to protect or pursue the public interest involved in the matter of who is the real choice of the electorate. Such abandonment or withdrawal operates to render moot and academic the instant case. Moreover, the resolution of this protest would serve public interest as it would dissipate the aura of uncertainty as to the results of the 1992 presidential elections. Petition was DISMISSED.
FACTS: Both Joselito Mendoza and Roberto Pagdanganan vied for the position of Governor of the province ofBulacan. Petitioner was proclaimed winner and assumed the office. Subsequently, protestant filed an election protest with the COMELEC involving contested precinct counts and appreciation of ballots .After strict compliance, the case was thereafter submitted for resolution. However, pursuant to yet another election contest in the Senate, COMELEC transferred ballot boxes to Senate and continue the proceedings after proper coordination with SET.
ISSUE: WON COMELEC has a concurrent jurisdiction on a provincial election protest at the SET premises. HELD: YES. The physical transfer of the ballots and other election materials to the SET for purposes of its own revision becomes a non-issue, given the arrangement between the COMELEC and the SET to coordinate and make arrangements so as not to delay or interrupt the revisions of ballots. The Court ruled that the COMELEC’s action was valid exercise of jurisdiction as it is suitable and reasonable process within the exercise of its jurisdiction over provincial election contest, aimed at expediting the disposition and with no prejudicial effects on the parties. What transpired in the SET premises is not revision or correction but deliberation of the merits of the provincial election contest. The court sees no grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The petition was DISMISSED.
FACTS: Jimmy De Castro was proclaimed mayor of Gloria, Oriental Mindoro in 1995 election. His rival, Nicolas Jamilla filed an election protest before the RTC, however, during the pendency of the case, the latter died. The RTC dismissed the case as the case was rendered moot and academic for the death of the protestant extinguishes the case itself. ISSUE: WON election contest survives the death of the protestant or the protestee. HELD: YES. An election protest is not purely personal and exclusive to the parties such that the death of either would oust the court of all authority to continue the protest proceedings; rather, it is imbued with paramount public interest. Moreover, broad perspectives of public policy impose upon courts the imperative duty to ascertain by all means within their command who the real candidate elected. Finally, the Court ruled that the determination of who among the candidates has been in fact elected is a matter clothed with public interest, wherefore; public policy demands an election contest, duly commenced, be not abated by death of the contestant. The petition was DISMISSED.
FACTS: Claudius Barroso and Emerico Escobillo were candidates for mayor of the municipality of Tampakan, Cotabato in the 1998 elections. Petitioner won the election and subsequently, private respondent protested the result and filed several cases. Among those filed were election protest in the RTC, pre-proclamation protests in COMELEC, disqualification alleging election offenses and criminal complaints with the Law Department of the COMELEC. ISSUE: WON election contest be dismissed on grounds of forum shopping. HELD: NO. An election contest, unlike an ordinary civil action, is clothed with public interest. The purpose of an election protest is to ascertain whether the candidate proclaimed by the Board of Canvassers was the lawful choice of the people. An election protest therefore involves not only the adjudication of private and pecuniary interest of rival candidate but paramount to their claim is the deep public concern involved and the need of dispelling the uncertainty over the real choice of the electorate.Therefore, the Rules on Civil Procedure generally do not apply to election cases. They apply only by analogy or in suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient. More so, it is neither fair nor just to keep in office for an uncertain period of time whose right to it is under suspicion. This can only be achieved upon resolution of the case by brushing aside technicalities of procedure. The petition was DISMISSED.
FACTS: The election of fifteen directors for the ensuing year was taken up during the annual meeting of the stockholders of San Miguel Corporation. Petitioners and respondents were among the nominees to the board but after the canvassed of the vote cast, only those nominated by PCGG under the sequestered assets (recovered ill gotten wealth) were declared to have been elected. Petitioner filed before the Sandiganbayan a petition for quo warranto. ISSUE: WON Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over petitions for quo warranto. HELD:
YES. The rule that Sandiganbayan cannot exercise jurisdiction over petitions for quo warranto is not without exception. It is a well settled jurisprudence that the exclusive jurisdiction conferred on the Sandiganbayan would evidently extend not only to the principal causes of action like recovery of alleged illgotten wealth, but also to all incidents arising from, incidental to, or related to, such cases, such as the dispute over the sale of shares, the propriety of the issuance of ancillary writs thereto, the sequestration thereof. The court ruled that any attempt to remove special actions, similarly involving the powers and functions of the PCGG from the Sandiganbayan’s exclusive jurisdiction would be of no avail. The petition was GRANTED.
FACTS: Edward Serapio was a member of the Board of Trustees and the Legal Counsel of Erap Muslim Youth Foundation. This foundation was established to help provide educational opportunities for the poor and underprivileged but deserving Muslim youth and students. Donations came pouring in from various institutions, organizations and that of Chavit Singson. However, on the latter part of 2000, Chavit accused then President Estrada and his cohorts of engaging in the illegal number game jueteng as protector, beneficiary and recipient. The Ombudsman took the necessary steps and find probable cause, thus the case of plunder before the Sandiganbayan. The accused, herein petitioner took all legal remedy to bail but consequently due to numerous petitions and motion to quash, the same was suspended and counter petitioned. Petitioner also prayed for issuance of habeas corpus. ISSUE: WON petitioner should be arraigned first before hearing his petition for bail; WON petitioner may file a motion to quash during pendency of his petition to bail; and
WON petitioner should instead be released through a writ of habeas
HELD: A. Although he was already arraigned, no plea has yet been entered thereby rendering the case moot. Nonetheless, the court takes cognizance and held that arraignment is not a prerequisite to conduct hearing on petition for bail. B. The court finds no inconsistency between an application of an accused for bail and his filing of motion to quash. Bail, is a security given to release a person in custody of the law. A motion to quash on the other hand is a mode by which
an accused assails the validity of a criminal complaint filed against him for insufficiency of its facts in posits law. This tow has objectives not necessarily antithetical to each other. C. In exceptional cases, habeas corpus may be granted by the court even when the person is detained pursuant to a valid arrest or his voluntary surrender. However, in the case at bar, there is no showing of any basis for the issuance of the writ. The general rule is that the writ does not apply when the person alleged to be restraint of his liberty is in custody of an officer under process issued by competent court; more so, petitioner is under detention pursuant to a valid arrest order. The petition was partly GRANTED on motion to quash. The petition for habeas corpus and bail was DISMISSED.
MELITON C. GERONIMO, petitioner, vs. JULIAN PENDRE, AND THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Permanent Vacancy in the Office of the Governor, City or Municipal Mayor Rule