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Allado v. Diokno G.R. No.

113630 May 5, 1994 Facts: The crime alleged to petitioner Allado and Mendoza, by the PACC [Presidential Anti-Crime Commission], is heinous crime of kidnapping with murder of Eugen Alexander Van Twest, a German national, who is reportedly an international fugitive from justice. Other incidental crimes charged were illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, carnapping, and usurpation of authority. The whole investigation was triggered by an extrajudicial confession by a Security Guard Escolastico Umbal, a discharge of the Philippine Constabulary. Based on the confession of Umbal, Judge Barrios of RTC Br 11 issued a search warrant against petitioners. For the institution of criminal proceedings the DOJ took over the case, after a new panel of prosecutors were recommended [cz petitioners claim the first set of prosecutors were affiliated w/ Lacson head of PACC and could not be impartial] and after preliminary investigation found probable cause that accused commited the crime and submitted the case for trial which was assigned to Judge Diokno of Br 62. Judge Diokno after finding probable cause issued warrant of arrest. Issue: WON the judge erred in finding probable cause issuing the search warrant? Ruling: Yes, there is no probable cause in this case. The probable cause test is an objective one, for in order that there be probable cause the facts and circumstances must be such as would warrant a belief by a reasonably discreet and prudent man that the accused is guilty of the crime which has just been committed. There is serious doubt on Van Twests reported death since the corpus delicti has not been established, nor have his remains been recovered. We are reminded of the leading case of U.S. v. Samarin, decided ninety-two years ago where this Court ruled that when the supposed victim is wholly unknown, his body not found, and there is but one witness who testifies to the killing, the corpus delicti is not sufficiently proved. In People v. Inting, we emphasized the important features of the constitutional mandate: (a) The determination of probable cause is a function of the judge; it is not for the provincial fiscal or prosecutor to ascertain. Only the judge and the judge alone makes this determination; (b) The preliminary inquiry made by a prosecutor does not bind the judge. It merely assists him in making the determination of probable cause. The judge does not have to follow what the prosecutor presents to him. By itself, the prosecutors certification of probable cause is ineffectual. It is the report, the affidavits, the transcript of stenographic notes (if any), and all other supporting documents behind the prosecutors certification which are material in assisting the judge in his determination of probable cause; and, (c) Judges and prosecutors alike should distinguish the preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest from the preliminary investigation proper which ascertains whether the offender should be held for trial or released. Even if the two inquiries be conducted in the course of one and the same proceeding, there should be no confusion about their objectives. The determination of probable cause for the warrant is made by the judge. The preliminary investigation proper whether or not there is reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and therefore, whether or not he should be subjected to the expense, rigors and embarrassment of trial is a function of the prosecutor The extrajudicial statement of Umbal suffers from material inconsistencies In Lim v. Felix, where we reiterated Soliven v. Makasiar and People v. Inting, we said The Judge does not have to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. The Prosecutor can perform the same functions as a commissioner for the taking of the evidence. However, there should be a report and necessary documents supporting the Fiscals bare certification. All these should be before the Judge. The extent of the Judges personal examination of the report and its annexes depends on the circumstances of each case. We cannot determine beforehand how cursory or exhaustive the Judges examination should be. The Judge has to exercise sound discretion for, after all, the personal determination is vested in the Judge by the Constitution. It can be as brief or as detailed as the circumstances of each case require. To be sure, the judge must go beyond the Prosecutors certification and investigation report whenever necessary. He should call for the complainant and witnesses

themselves to answer the courts probing questions when the circumstances of the case so require. ____________________________________________________________________________________ TERESITA TANGHAL OKABE, petitioner, vs. HON. PEDRO DE LEON GUTIERREZ, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of RTC, Pasay City, Branch 119; PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES; and CECILIAMARUYAMA, respondents G.R. No. 150185 May 27, 2004 FACTS: Cecilia Maruyama filed a complaint charging Lorna Tanghal and petitioner Teresita Tanghal Okabe, a.k.a. Shiela Okabe, with estafa. Maruyama alleged, that on December 11, 1998, she entrusted Y11,410,000 with the peso equivalent of P3,993,500 to the petitioner, who was engaged in the business of "door-to-door delivery" from Japan to the Philippines. It was alleged that the petitioner failed to deliver the money as agreed upon, and, at first, denied receiving the said amount but later returned only US$1,000 through Lorna Tanghal. During the preliminary investigation, the complainant submitted the affidavit of her witnesses and other documentary evidence. After the requisite preliminary investigation, 2nd Assistant City Prosecutor Joselito J. Vibandor came out with a resolution, finding probable cause for estafa against the petitioner w/c was subsequently approved by the city prosecutor. The trial court then issued a warrant of arrest with a recommended bond of P40,000. Petitioner posted a personal bail bond in the said amount. The petitioner left the Philippines for Japan on June 17, 2000 without the trial courts permission, and returned to the Philippines on June 28, 2000. She left the Philippines anew on July 1, 2000, and returned on July 12, 2000. On July 14, 2000, the private prosecutor filed an urgent ex parte motion for the issuance of the hold departure order. Trial court approved the same. Meanwhile, the petitioner filed a verified motion for judicial determination of probable cause and to defer proceedings/arraignment, alleging that the only documents appended to the Information submitted by the investigating prosecutor were respondent Maruyamas affidavit-complaint for estafa and the resolution of the investigating prosecutor; the affidavits of the witnesses of the complainant, the respondents counter -affidavit and the other evidence adduced by the parties were not attached thereto. On July 19, 2000, the petitioner also filed a Very Urgent Motion To Lift/Recall Hold Departure Order dated July 17, 2000 and/or allow her to regularly travel to Japan for the reason that she have 3 minor children residing there relying on her for support. Petitioner also questioned the irregularity of the determination of probable cause during the preliminary investigation however the respondent judge ruled that the posting of bail and the filing motions for relief estopped the petitioner from questioning the same. Upon arraignment, petitioner refused to enter a plea and w/ leave of court left the court room. Petitioner filed w/ CA a petition for Certiorari. CA set aside the hold departure order however all the other motions were denied, hence this case.

ISSUE: Whether the respondent judge committed a reversible error in determining existence of probable cause despite lack of affidavits of the witnesses of respondent Maruyama and the latters documentary evidence, as well as the counter-affidavit of the petitioner.

HELD: Yes, the rulings of this Court are now embedded in Section 8(a), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure which provides that: SEC. 8. Records. (a) Records supporting the information or complaint. An information or complaint filed in court shall be supported by the affidavits and counter-affidavits of the parties and their witnesses, together with the other supporting evidence and the resolution on the case. The respondent judge is hereby DIRECTED to determine the existence or non-existence of probable cause for the arrest of the petitioner based on the complete records, as required under Section 8(a), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. ___________________________________________________________________________________ THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellant, vs. FAUSTO YADAO, ET AL., defendantsappellees.

G.R. No. L-6835 - March 30, 1954 Office of the Solicitor General Juan R. Liwag and Solicitor Augusto M. Luciano for appellant. Jose T. Cajulis for appellees. Bengzon (Jose), J.: The sole question for decision is whether the information filed against defendant-appellees in the Court of First Instance of Rizal sufficiently describes a violation of section 1 of Republic Act No. 145, which reads as follows: Any person assisting a claimant in the preparation, presentation and prosecution of his claim for benefits under the laws of the United States administered by the United States Veterans Administration, who shall, directly or indirectly, solicit, contract, for charge, or receive, or who shall attempt to solicit, contract for, charge, or receive any fee or compensation exceeding twenty pesos in any one claim, or who shall collect his fee before the claim is actually paid to a beneficiary or claimant, shall be deemed guilty of an offense and upon conviction thereof shall for every offense be fined not exceeding one thousand pesos or imprisoned not exceeding two years, or both, in the discretion of the court. Said information alleges that defendants conspiring together, willfully did offer to assist one Floverto Jazmin in the prosecution and expeditious approval of his legitimate claim of $2,207 for benefits under the laws of the United States administered in the Philippines by the United States Veterans Administration, and as consideration for which, said accused directly solicited and/or charged said Floverto Jazmin as fee or compensation the sum of P800 which is in excess of the lawful charge of P20 in any one claim. The Honorable Julio Villamor, Judge, upheld a motion to quash, on the ground that the facts charged did not constitute a public offense. Hence this appeal by the prosecution, raising the juridical issue above stated. It is clear, in our opinion, that section 1 of Republic Act 145 punishes: (a) Any person assisting a claimant etc., . . . who shall directly or indirectly solicit . . . a fee exceeding twenty pesos; (b) Any person assisting a claimant . . . who shall attempt to solicit, . . . a fee exceeding twenty pesos; and (c) Any person assisting a claimant . . . who shall collect his fee before the claim is actually paid. In all the three instances the person must be one assisting the claimant.1 The principle assisting and the clause assisting a claimant in the preparation etc. qualify any person as antecedent of the pronoun who in the phrases, who shall solicit, who shall attempt to solicit or who shall collect. Examining the information, we find it does not aver that the defendants assisted or were assisting the claimant for veterans benefits. It merely asserts they offered to assist, and it is evident that violation is committed only when a person receives or attempts to solicit etc. more than is permitted by law. One who offers to assist, but does not assist, is not included within the penal prohibition, which by its nature must be restrictively interpreted, or strictly construed against the government.2 Of course there was an attempt to commit the offense described by Republic Act No. 145. But the said statute does not expressly punish attempts to commit the offense, and the provisions of the Penal Code about attempts (tentativas) do not apply.3 The prosecution relies upon Sanchez vs. U.S. 134 Fed. (2nd) 279, 63 S. Ct. 1325, 319 U.S. 768 wherein this was said: A showing that an excessive fee was solicited, contracted for, charged or received for assistance in preparation and execution of necessary papers in any application to Veterans Administration will support a conviction of violation of fee limitation for assistance in such application regardless of whether such assistance was in fact rendered. But such adjudication is not conclusive, because the statute therein construed differs materially from ours. It punishes any person who shall directly or indirectly contract for, charge or receive, or who shall attempt to solicit, contract for excessive compensation. The section does not contain the phrase assisting a

claimant after the words any person and before the words who shall etc. That phrase conditions each and every violation of section 1 of Republic Act No. 145. The appealed decision quashing the indictment is, therefore, affirmed, without costs. Paras, C.J., Pablo, Padilla, Montemayor, Reyes, Jugo, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion and Diokno, JJ., concur. Footnotes 1 Whether assisting includes persons engaged by the veteran to assist him, although not yet actually rendering assistance we do not decide. 2 U. S. vs. Abad Santos, 36 Phil. 243. 3 U. S. vs. Basa, 8 Phil. 89.