144 SCRA 43 G.R. No.72670 September 12, 1986 Facts: An investigating committee was created to determine the facts on the case involving the assassination of Ninoy Aquino. It appears that majority and minority reports showed that they are unconvinced on the participation of Galman as the assassin of late Sen. Aquino and branded him instead as the fall guy as opposed to the military reports. Majority reports recommended the 26 military respondents as indictable for the premeditated killing of Aquino and Galman which the Sandiganbayan did not give due consideration.The office of the Tanod Bayan was originally preparing a resolution charging the 26 military accused as principal to the crime against Aquino but was recalled upon the intervention of President Marcos who insist on the innocence of the accused. Marcos however recommended the filing of murder charge and to implement the acquittal as planned so that double jeopardy may be invoked later on.The petitioners filed an action for miscarriage of justice against the Sandiganbayan Sandigan bayan and gross violation of constitutional rights of the petitioners for failure to exert genuine efforts in allowing the prosecution to present vital documentary evidence and prayed for nullifying the bias proceedings before the Sandiganbayan Sandiganbayan and ordering a re -trial before an impartial tribunal.
Issue: Whether or not there was due process in the acquittal of the accused from the charges against them.
Held: The Supreme Court held that t he prosecution was deprived of due process and fair opportunity to prosecute and prove their case which grossly violates the due process clause. There could be no double jeopardy since legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid indictment, (b) before a competent court, (c) after arraignment, (d) a valid plea having been entered; and (e) the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused (People vs. Ylagan, 58 Phil. 851). The lower court that rendered the judgment of acquittal was not competent as it was ousted of its jurisdiction when it violated the right of the prosecution to due process. In effect the first jeopardy was never terminated, and the remand of t he criminal case for further hearing and/or trial before the lower courts amounts merely to a continuation of the first jeopardy, and does not expose the accused to a second jeopardy.The court further contends that the previous trial was a mock trial where the authoritarian President ordered the Sandiganbayan Sandiganbayan and Tanod Bayan to rig and closely monitor the trial which was undertaken with due pressure to the judiciary. judiciary. The court’s decision of acquittal is one void of jurisdiction owing to its f ailure in observing due process during the trial therefore the judgment was also deemed void and double jeopardy cannot cannot be invoked. More so the t rial was one vitiated with lack of due process on the account of collusion between the lower court and Sandiganbayan for the rendition of a pre-determined verdict of the accused.The denial on the motion for reconsideration of the petitioners by the court was set aside and rendered the decision of acquittal of the accused null and void. An order for a re-trial was granted.