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Topic: Demurrer to the evidence

Ocampo v. CA
GR No. 79060
December 8, 1989
Paras, J:
Facts: Aniceto Ocampo built his house illegally inside the UP
grounds. Despite being apprehended several times, he
continued the construction. An information was thereafter filed
against accused Ocampo charging him with violation of PD
No. 772 (Penalizing squatting and other similar acts).

After the prosecution rested its case, petitioner waived the


presentation of his evidence and instead filed a motion to
dismiss (demurrer to evidence) on the ground that the
prosecution did not present Transfer Certificate of Title No.
192689 to prove ownership of the land in question and that it
failed to prove that the land on which the petitioner constructed
his house belongs to the University of the Philippines.

The trial court denied the motion to dismiss for lack of merit.
The trial court found Aniceto Ocampo guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the offense charged.

He appealed the case and argued that the quantum of guilt


was not met and that he was deprived of the opportunity to
adduce evidence in his defense.

Issue: Whether or not the Motion to Dismiss (Demurrer to Evidence)


filed by Ocampo constituted a bar for him to present evidence.

Held: Yes, the motion to dismiss filed by Ocampo constituted a bar


for him to present evidence.
Ratio: Sec. 23, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court provides:
Section 23. Demurrer to evidence. After the prosecution rests its case,
the court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of evidence
(1) on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the opportunity to be
heard or (2) upon demurrer to evidence filed by the accused with or
without leave of court.

If the court denies the demurrer to evidence filed with leave of court, the
accused may adduce evidence in his defense. When the demurrer to
evidence is filed without leave of court, the accused waives the right to
present evidence and submits the case for judgment on the basis of
the evidence for the prosecution. (15a)

The motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence shall specifically
state its grounds and shall be filed within a non-extendible period of five (5)
days after the prosecution rests its case. The prosecution may oppose the
motion within a non-extendible period of five (5) days from its receipt.

If leave of court is granted, the accused shall file the demurrer to evidence
within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from notice. The prosecution
may oppose the demurrer to evidence within a similar period from its receipt.

The order denying the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence
or the demurrer itself shall not be reviewable by appeal or
by certiorari before judgment. (n)

In the case at bar, nowhere does the records show that


accused-petitioner's demurrer to evidence was filed with
prior leave of court. By moving to dismiss on the ground
of insufficiency of evidence, accused-petitioner waives
his right to present evidence to substantiate his defense

and in effect submits the case for judgment on the basis


of the evidence for the prosecution. This is exactly what
petitioner did, and he cannot now claim denial of his right to
adduce his own evidence. As the Solicitor General aptly
opined, "petitioner gambled on securing an acquittal, a gamble
which he lost."