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JULIANA P. YAP, petitioner, vs. MARTIN PARAS and ALFREDO D. BARCELONA, SR.

, Judge of the 3rd MTC of Gian Malapatan, South Cotabato, respondents. GR. No. 101236 January 30, 1992 FACTS: On October 31, 1971, According to Yap, Paras sold in 1971 to her his share in the intestate estate for P300.00. The sale was evidenced by a private document. Nineteen years later, (in 1990), Paras sold the same property to Santiago Saya-ang for P5,000.00. This was evidenced by a notarized Deed of Absolute Sale. When Yap learned of the second sale, she filed a complaint for estafa against Paras and Sayaang with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of General Santos City. On the same date, she filed a complaint for the nullification of the said sale with the Regional Trial Court of General Santos City. After investigation, the Provincial Prosecutor instituted a criminal complaint for estafa against Paras with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Gian-Malapatan, South Cotabato, presided by Judge Alfredo D. Barcelona, Sr., who dismissed the criminal case on the ground that the issue in the civil case is prejudicial to the criminal case for estafa.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Judge is correct in motu proprio dismissing the criminal case?

HELD/RULING: No, The judge is wrong. First, he should not have dismissed the criminal case but only suspended it. Second, it was wrong for him to dismiss the criminal case outright, since it requires a motion first from the proper party. The rule provides: Sec. 6. Suspension by reason of prejudicial question. A petition for suspension of the criminal action based upon the pendency of a prejudicial question in a civil action may be filed in the office of the fiscal or the court conducting the preliminary investigation. When the criminal action has been filed in court for trial, the petition to suspend shall be filed in the same criminal action at any time before the prosecution rests. Third, there is actually no prejudicial question here. It was held that "for a civil case to be considered prejudicial to a criminal action as to cause the suspension of the criminal action pending the determination of the civil action, it must appear not only that the civil case involves the same facts upon which the criminal prosecution is based, but also that the resolution of the issues raised in said civil action would be necessarily determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused". Indeed, the civil case at bar does not involve the same facts upon which the criminal action is based. There was no motion for suspension in the case at bar; and no less importantly, the respondent judge had not been informed of the defense. Paras was raising in the civil action. Judge Barcelona could not have ascertained then if the issue raised in the civil action would determine the guilt or innocence of the accused in the criminal case.

MHP GARMENTS, INC., and LARRY C. DE GUZMAN, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, AGNES VILLA CRUZ, MIRASOL LUGATIMAN, and GERTRUDES GONZALES, respondents. G.R. No. 86720 September 2, 1994 FACTS: MHP Garments, Inc., was awarded by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, the exclusive franchise to sell and distribute official Boy Scouts uniforms, supplies, badges, and insignias. Sometime in October 1983, Petitioner Corporation received information that private respondents Agnes Villa Cruz, Mirasol Lugatiman, and Gertrudes Gonzales were selling Boy Scouts items and paraphernalia without any authority. Petitioner de Guzman, an employee of Petitioner Corporation, was tasked to undertake the necessary surveillance and to make a report to the Philippine Constabulary. At about 10:30 am of October 25, petitioner de Guzman, Captain Renato M. Peafiel, and two (2) other constabulary men of the Reaction Force Battalion, Sikatuna Village, Diliman, Quezon City went to the stores of respondents at the Marikina Public Market. Without any warrant, they seized the boy and girl scouts pants, dresses, and suits on display at respondents' stalls. The seizure caused a commotion and embarrassed private respondents. Receipts were issued for the seized items. The items were then turned over by Captain Peafiel to Petitioner Corporation for safekeeping. A criminal complaint for unfair competition was then filed against private respondents. After a preliminary investigation, the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal dismissed the complaint against all the private respondents; he also ordered the return of the seized items. The seized items were not immediately returned despite demands. Private respondents had to go personally to petitioners' place of business to recover their goods. Even then, not all the seized items were returned. The other items returned were of inferior quality. ISSUE: Whether or not the right on unreasonable search and seizures was violated? HELD/RULING: Yes, the right on unreasonable search and seizures was violated. Article III, section 2, of the Constitution protects our people from unreasonable search and seizure. It provides: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. This provision protects not only those who appear to be innocent but also those who appear to be guilty but are nevertheless to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.

MEYNARDO L. BELTRAN , petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, and HON. JUDGE FLORENTINO TUAZON, JR., being the Judge of the RTC, Branch 139, Makati City, respondents. G.R. No. 137567. June 20, 2000 FACTS: Meynardo Beltran and wife Charmaine E. Felix were married on June 16, 1973. After twenty-four years of marriage and four children, Beltran filed a petition for nullity of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code before Branch 87 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. In her Answer to the said petition, petitioner's wife Charmaine Felix alleged that it was petitioner who abandoned the conjugal home and lived with a certain woman named Milagros Salting, Charmaine subsequently filed a criminal complaint for concubinage against petitioner and his paramour before the City Prosecutor's Office of Makati who, in a Resolution dated September 16, 1997, found probable cause and ordered the filing of an Information against them. Petitioner, in order to forestall the issuance of a warrant for his arrest, filed a Motion to Defer Proceedings Including the Issuance of the Warrant of Arrest in the criminal case. Petitioner argued that the pendency of the civil case for declaration of nullity of his marriage posed a prejudicial question to the determination of the criminal case. Judge Alden Vasquez Cervantes denied the foregoing motion. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the said Order of denial was likewise denied. ISSUE: Whether or not the pendency of the petition for declaration of nullity of his marriage based on psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code is a prejudicial question that should merit the suspension of the criminal case for concubinage filed against him by his wife. HELD/RULING: No, the pendency of the case of declaration of nullity of petitioner's marriage is not a prejudicial question to the concubinage case. For a civil case to be considered prejudicial to a criminal action as to cause the suspension of the latter pending the final determination of the civil case, it must appear not only that the said civil case involves the same facts upon which the criminal prosecution would be based, but also that in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the aforesaid civil action, the guilt or innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined. Article 40 of the Family Code provides: "The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void." So that in a case for concubinage, the accused, like the herein petitioner need not present a final judgment declaring his marriage void for he can adduce evidence in the criminal case of the nullity of his marriage other than proof of a final judgment declaring his marriage void. Thus, in the case at bar it must also be held that parties to the marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to judgment of the competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption is that the marriage exists for all intents and

purposes. Therefore, he who cohabits with a woman not his wife before the judicial declaration of nullity of the marriage assumes the risk of being prosecuted for concubinage.