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Villaflor vs.

Post under case digests, Remedial Law at Thursday, March 22, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic
Facts: An information for slight physical injuries was filed agaist Dindo Vivar for beating Gian
Paulo Vivar outside the Fat Tueasday Bar. On his way out, Gian met Dindo who told
that next time, I will use my gun on you. The injuries sustained by Gian turned out to be more
serious than they had appeared so an Information for serious physical injuries was filed and the
charge for slight physical injuries was withdrawn. Another Information for grave threats was filed
against Vivar. Vivar, instead of filing a counter affidavit, he filed a Motion to Quash the
Information for grave threats since it was made in connection with the charge of serious physical
injuries should have been absorbed by the latter, and because the court did not acquire
jurisdiction over it. MTC denied the motion to quash. Vivar filed for a motion for reconsideration
which was again denied. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. Vivar filed a petition for
certiorari in the RTC RTC granted the motion to quash and denied the motion for
reconsideration filed by Villaflor. Villaflor filed a petiton for certiorari with the Supreme Court.
(1) Can the court motu proprio order the dismissal of the case on the ground of lack of
preliminary investigation?
(2) Should the failure of the public prosecutor to conduct preliminary investigation be considered
a ground to quash the informations?
(1) The Court ruled that the absence of a preliminary investigation does not impair the validity of
the information. In the case a bar, a preliminary investigation was for slight physical injuries was
conducted by the assistant city prosecutor. But the Information was however amended when
petitioners injuries turned out to be more serious. However the change in the information was
only a formal amendment and did not violate the right of Vivar against hasty, malicious and
oppressive prosecution, since it still involves the same facts.
(2) Section 3, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedureprovides the grounds on
which an accused can move to quash the complaint or information. Nowhere in the rule mention
of a lack of preliminary investigation as a ground for a motion to quash. When accused failed
to assert any ground for a motion to quash before arraignment, he has deemed waived his right.
183 SCRA 511
PADILLA; March 22, 1990
Appeal from CFI Pangasinan decision
- Criminal complaint filed before the CFI alleged that the accused, conspiring and mutually
helping one another, had sexual intercourse with the 15-yr old Rebecca SORIANO, by means of
force and intimidation. Assisted by counsel, the accused FERNANDEZ and CONRADO pleaded
not guilty on arraignment and underwent trial.
- REBECCA is Teofilo Malongs househelper. Ater she had just taken a bath and still naked, the
two accused, both in short pants, surreptitiously entered the bathroom and sexually abused her.
Fernandez then got a handful of mud near the bathroom and placed it on her vagina. She ran to
the upper floor of the house to report the tragic incident to Amelita, Teofilos daughter.
- TEOFILO stated that upon being informed that his housemaid Rebecca was raped by the
accused, they all proceeded to the office of the INP Police Station of Malasiqui to report the
crime and had Rebecca physically examined in that same afternoon.

- In defense, the 2 denied any involvement in the offense, both claiming they were nowhere at
the scene of the crime when it was committed.
- CFI decision: Each of the accused MELQUIADES FERNANDEZ and FEDERICO CONRADO
is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two crimes of rape, aggravated by cruelty or ignominy.
Court sentences each of them to suffer 2 penalties of death.
- Appeal before SC: The accused filed this appeal to reduce penalty from death to reclusion
perpetua. However, in light of the 1987 Consti specifically Sec 19(1), Art III, under which a death
penalty already imposed is reduced to reclusion perpetua, Fernandez withdrew his appeal. The
lone appellant therefore is Conrado who insists on his appeal, notwithstanding the advice of his
counsel de officio to discontinue.
1. WON CFI erred in convicting them for 2 crimes of rape
2. WON CFI erred in holding that the rape was attended by the aggravating circumstance of
cruelty or ignominy
3. WON CFI erred in sentencing each to suffer 2 penalties of death
1. NO
Ratio The imposition on each of the accused of the penalty corresponding to 2 crimes of rape is
proper, because of the existence of conspiracy. In multiple rape, each defendant is responsible
not only for the rape personally committed by him, but also for the rape committed by the others,
because each of them cooperated in the commission of the rape perpetrated by the others, by
acts without which it would not have been accomplished.
Reasoning CFI is accused of violating the rule against duplicity of offenses in that, the accused
were convicted for 2 crimes of rape even when under the criminal complaint against them, there
is only 1 crime of rape alleged. The rule invoked is Sec 13, Rule 110 of the ROC which states
that there should be only 1 offense charged in a criminal complaint or information, the purpose of
which is to afford the defendant a necessary knowledge of the charge so that he may not be
confused in his defense.
(a) BUT it is likewise the rule that if ever duplicity of offenses is committed, the same constitutes
a ground for a motion to quash the complaint; failure of the accused to interpose the objection
constitutes waiver. Neither can he claim that he was denied information that he was to be tried
for two crimes. The acts complained of were stated in ordinary and concise language that any
person of common intelligence would be able to understand and thereby know what acts he was
to defend himself against.
(b) As clearly found by the trial court: Both accused have, obviously, conspired and
confederated to commit the crime, considering that they entered the bathroom where Rebecca
was, together and at the same time. Accused Fernandez then tied her with a piece of cloth
tightly around her neck, while accused Conrado held her hands placing them behind her body.
Then after Fernandez had raped Rebecca, Conrado raped her. Both fled from the scene of the
crime together and at the same time.
2. NO
- Appreciating the aggravating circumstance of ignominy is correct because of the greater
perversity displayed by the offenders. The act of "plastering" mud on the victim's vagina right
after she was raped is adequately described as "ignominy" (rather than cruelty or ignominy)
3. NO
- The original death sentence was correctly imposed: Art 335 RPC states that when the crime of
rape is committed by 2 or more persons, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death; Art 63
RPC states that when the penalty prescribed is composed of 2 indivisible penalties and the
offense is attended by an aggravating circumstance, the greater penalty shall be applied.
- However, since the original death penalties imposed by the trial court are no longer imposable
under the present Constitution and are reduced to reclusion perpetua, the sentence on appellant
Conrado has to be reduced to 2 penalties of reclusion perpetua. But the indemnity he has to pay
to the victim must be increased to P20T in line with prevailing jurisprudence.
Dispositive Appeal has no merit. Decision affirmed.


- Inasmuch as the crime of estafa through misappropriation or with grave abuse of confidence is
charged, the information must contain these elements:

115 SCRA 729.

GUERRERO; July 30, 1982
- Luz Balitaan owns a baby dresses mending shop. Rita de los Reyes is the manager of her
- Luz, thru Special Counsel Aguila, filed with the MTC of Bauan, Batangas an Information
charging Rita of the crime of estafa. The information contains that Rita misappropriated P127.58,
through grave abuse of confidence, despite of repeated demands of Luz. (See original for exact
wording of Information.)
- During trial at the MTC, Luz testified that Rita delivered the baby dresses to Uniware, and for
this she (Rita) obtained 3 checks totaling P1,632.97. A cash voucher evidencing the receipt of
said amount was entered into evidence. The lawyer for the defense moved:
(1) to strike the testimonies with regard to the voucher evidence on the ground that said
testimonies are at variance with the allegations in the information, that there is no allegation in
the information whatsoever regarding these checks and this cash voucher; and
(2) in the nature of an objection to any other question or questions regarding these checks that
were allegedly received by the herein accused from the Uniware Incorporated because there is
no allegation in the information.
The court overruled such objections as the lawyer of the complainant told the judge that the
evidence was presented to prove that the P127.58 was misappropriated from the P1,632.97.
The testimony thus continued. [It turns out that Rita told Luz that P127.58 was due a Cesar
Dalangin for some of the dresses he made. Luz then instructed Rita to encash the checks and
pay Cesar. Rita gave Luz the encashed amount minus the P127.58. Three weeks later, when
she noticed that many baby dresses were lost, she verified the receipts of the payments. Cesar
said he did not make the baby dresses Rita said he did, and he didnt receive the amount (he
didnt even know Rita). Luz then demanded from Rita the said amount; but Rita kept the money.]

(a) that personal property is received in trust, on commission, for administration or under any
other circumstance involving the duty to make delivery of or to return the same, even though the
obligation is guaranteed by a bond;
(b) that there is conversion or diversion of such property by the person who has so received it;
(c) that such conversion, diversion or denial is to the injury of another and
(d) that there be demand for the return of the property.
- The position of the defense is that the testimonies tend to prove another kind of estafa --- using
false pretenses or fraudulent acts (Art 315 par 2a RPC)--- and not thru abuse of confidence (Art
315 par 1b RPC). The elements of these two are different. Under par 2a, demand is not
necessary and deceit or false representation must be shown. But this doesnt mean that proof of
deceit is not allowed for par 1b. Abuse of confidence and deceit may co-exist. Even if deceit may
be present, the abuse of confidence will characterize the estafa as the deceit will be merely
incidental or, is absorbed by abuse of confidence.
- As long as there is a relation of trust and confidence between the complainant and the accused
and even though such relationship has been induced by the accused thru false representations
and pretense and which is continued by active deceit without truthfully disclosing the facts to the
complainant, the estafa committed is by abuse of confidence although deceit co-exists in its
- The presence of deceit would not change the whole theory of the prosecution that estafa with
abuse of confidence was committed.
Dispositive CFI decision to strike out testimonies is reversed and set aside.


1975 / Antonio

- The defense then filed a petition for certiorari in the CFI of Batangas against the MTC judge for
denying the motions to strike out the testimonies relating to the evidence. CFI granted the
petition and ordered the testimonies stricken out of the record.

Institution of actions arising from crime > Criminal aspect > Form and content > Substantive >



WON the testimonies are at variance with the allegations in the information.

Three informations were filed against Crisanto Matilde, Jr. and others [laborers at Markes Agro-

Cause of accusation

Chemical Enterprises]. They were charged with qualified theft, in relation to PD 133. The
- It is fundamental that every element of which the offense is composed must be alleged in the
complaint or information. What facts and circumstances are necessary to be stated must be
determined by reference to the definitions and the essentials of the specific crimes. The main
purpose of requiring the various elements of a crime to be set out in an information is to enable
the accused to suitably prepare his defense. He is presumed to have no independent knowledge
of the facts that constitute the offense.

items involved were boxes of insecticides belonging to the company.

The informations were amended twice the first, on the value of the
article involved in one case, and the second, on the nature and character of the offense,
changing it from "qualified theft" to "simple theft" by deleting the phrase "with grave abuse of
confidence". In view of said amendments, Matilde withdrew his previous plea of not guilty.
Upon re-arraignment, Matilde pleaded guilty to the crime of simple theft alleged in the three
informations. He was convicted in the three cases. Penalty under each case 6 months & 1
day of prision correccional to 6 years & 1 day of prision mayor.

Matilde filed a motion for reconsideration, contending that in the absence of any

Appropriate penalty: RPC 309 (3). The penalty is prision correccional in its minimum and

allegation in the information alleging specifically all the elements of the offense defined and

medium periods, if the value of the property stolen is more than P200 but does not exceed

penalized under PD 133, he cannot be convicted and penalized under said decree. CFI denied

P6,000. Considering the plea of guilty, CFI should have imposed said penalty in its minimum

the MfR.



WON CFI can validly impose upon Matilde the penalty prescribed by PD 133. NO
Constitution In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him.
RoC Rule 110, Section 8 The acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense
must be stated in an ordinary and concise language so as to enable a person of common
understanding toknow what offense is intended to be charged; and to enable the court to
pronounce proper judgment.
The main purpose of this requirement is to enable the accused to prepare his defense. He is
presumed to be innocent and has no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the
offense with which he is charged.
An accused person cannot be convicted of a higher offense than that with
which he is charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried. He has a right to
be informed as to the nature of the offense with which he is charged before he is put on trial, and
to convict him of a higher offense than that charged in the complaint or information on which he
is tried would be an authorized denial of that right.
The clear import of PD 133 is to eradicate graft and corruption in society and promote
the economic and social welfare of the people, by placing a strong deterrent on workers and
laborers from sabotaging the productive efforts of the industry where they are employed, through
the imposition of heavier penalties for the theft of any material, spare part, product, or article that
he is working on, using or producing. The real nature of the criminal charge is determined by
the actual recital of facts in the information. It is not to be determined from the caption or
preamble of the information, or from the specification of the provision of law allegedly violated,
they being conclusions of law.
The informations charge Matilde simply with theft. Nowhere is it alleged that the
articles stolen were materials or products which Matilde was "working on or using or producing"
as employee or laborer of the complainant. The fact that Matilde is charged with simple theft "in
relation to PD 133" is insufficient.

People vs Edwin Ladrillo

Date: December 8, 1999
Ponente: Bellosillo, J.
Jane Vasquez, 8 year old complainant, accuses her cousin, Edwin Ladrillo, of having
raped her. Jane, however, could not state the month and year she was abused. She could only
narrate that one afternoon she went to the house of Ladrillo in Abanico, Puerto Princesa City,
which was only 5 meters from where she lived. She alleges that on that day she was raped by
Ladrillo 4 times.
Sometime in 1994 Salvacion Ladrillo Vasquez, mother of Jane, noticed that Jane had
difficulty urinating and was feeling pain in her abdomen. Jane told Salvacion of her experience
(Ma, hindi ka maniwala sa akin na 'yung uten ni Kuya Edwin ipinasok sa kiki ko). Salvacion had
Jane physically examined by Dr. Danny Aquino. Dr. Aquino reported that Jane had a non-intact
hymen. He later testified that such could mean either 1) Jane was born without a hymen, or 2) it
could be caused by trauma.
On February 3, 1995 Jane and her mother filed a criminal complaint against Ladrillo.
The Information reads: That on or about the year 1992 at Abanico Road, Brgy. San Pedro,
Puerto Princesa City... the said accused, with the use of force and intimidation did then and
there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously have carnal knowledge with the undersigned five (5)
years of age, minor, against her will and without her consent.
Ladrillo's defense is anchored on alibi and denial. He claims that in 1992, he was still
residing in Liberty, Puerto Princesa City, and did not even know Jane; that he only moved to
Abanico in 1993. He presents as his witnesses Wilfredo Rojas and Teodoro Aquilar, his
neighbors in Liberty. He also presented as witness his father Edito who claimed that the present
criminal case was instituted by Salvacion to exact revenge for their past disagreements.
Trial Court: Ladrillo guilty. No reason to doubt the veracity of the testimony of Jane
given the straightforward clarity and simplicity it was made. It is highly improbable that a young
girl would falsely testify against her cousin.

Issue: Whether Ladrillo's quilt was proved beyond reasonable doubt

- No, his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. There are defects in Jane's testimony
which when assessed in relation to the testimonies of other witnesses exert a powerful
compulsion towards reversal of the assailed judgment.
- Jane had no recollection of the precise date she was sexually assaulted. Although time is not
an essential element of rape, it assumes importance in this case because it creates serious
doubt on the commission of the rape or the sufficiency of the evidence for purposes of
conviction. The Information stated that the crime was committed on or about 1992, but Ladrillo
was not yet living in the area at that time.
- The prosecution is not even sure how it came up with the year 1992. Such date was based on
speculation and conjecture.
- Dr. Aquino testified that a non-intact hymen could be congenital. He cannot make an
unequivocal statement that Jane was actually raped, although he states that it is very likely.
- Jane's statement is that while she was being raped, Ladrillo was holding her hand, covering
her mouth, and gripping his penis all at the same time. This statement is obviously untruthful.
- If the rape happened in 1992, Jane only reported the incident in 1994 or 2 years after its
occurrence. This behaviour hardly conforms to human experience that a child could keep to
herself a traumatic experience for a very long time.
Decision reversed. Edwin Ladrillo is Acquitted
27 Phil 421
MORELAND; March 30, 1914

(Short version: A criminal complaint was filed against Ladrillo which used the phrase on or
about the year 1992 to state the date when the alleged offense was committed. Ladrillo's
defense is that he lived somewhere else on the said date and only came to know of the
complainant in 1993)


Issue: Whether acquittal is proper because the date alleged in the Information is not particular
- Yes
- The peculiar designation of time in the Information clearly violates Sec. 11, Rule 110 of the
Rules of Court which requires that the time of the commission of the offense must be alleged as
near to the actual date as the information or complaint will permit.
- The Information is not sufficiently explicit and certain as to time to inform the accused-appellant
Ladrillo of the date which the criminal act is alleged to have been committed.
- on or about the year 1992 encompasses not only the 12 months of 1992 but includes the
years prior and subsequent to 1992. The failure of the prosecution to allege with particularity the
date of the commission of the offense deprived Ladrillo of his right to intelligently prepare for his
- Citing US vs Dichao: the statement of the time when the crime is alleged to have been
committed is so indefinite and uncertain that it does not give the accused the information
required by law.


Appeal From CFI Davaos Decision

- Said CFI sustained a Demurrer to an INFORMATION and dismissed the case of rape against
Antonio Javier Dichao.
- The Information stated that Dichao committed the crime of rape on or about and during the
interval between October 1910, to August 1912 (vague di ba?) in Davao and that Dichao was,
at that period, the legal guardian, being the stepfather, of Isabel de la Cruz who was under 12
years old when he raped her; that as a result of said carnal knowledge Isabel gave birth to a
child on August 5, 1912.
- The Demurrer alleged that the facts set forth in the Information did not constitute a public
offense and that the criminal complaint did not conform substantially to prescribed form and that
complaint was vague and ambiguous.


WON CFI committed an error in dismissing the case based upon the Demurrer

NO. CFIs decision must be affirmed.
Ratio The allegations of an information should, if possible, be sufficiently explicit and certain as
to TIME to inform the defendant of the date on which the criminal act is alleged to have been
committed. Unless the accused is informed of the day, or about the day, he may be, to an extent
deprived of the opportunity to defend himself.
- While Sec 7 of the Code of CrimPro provides that except when time is a material ingredient of
an offense, the precise time of commission need not be stated in a complaint or information, but
the act may be alleged to have been committed at any time before the filing thereof, - this
DOES NOT MEAN that the prosecuting officer may be careless in fixing the date of the alleged
crime, or that he may omit the date altogether, or that he may make the allegation indefinite as
to amount to the same thing.

when that has been done, any date proved which does not surprise and substantially prejudice
the defense.
- It does not authorize the total omission of a date or such an indefinite allegation with reference
thereto as amounts to the same thing.
- SC: the variance bet the date of the commission of the crime as alleged in the info and that as
proved on trial DOES NO warrant necessarily the acquittal of the accused. IF such variance
occurs and it is shown that the defendant is surprised thereby, and that, by reason of that
surprise, he is unable to defend himself properly, the court may in the exercise of sound
discretion based on ALL circumstances, order the information amended so as to set forth the
correct date and may grant an adjournment for such a length of time as will enable the
defendant to prepare himself to meet the variance in date which was the cause of his surprise.
Dispositive Decision affirmed.

144 SCRA 397

- Where the exact date cannot be fixed, or where the prosecuting officer is NOT thoroughly
satisfied that he can prove a precise date, he should allege in the information that the crime was
committed ON or ABOUT a DATE NAMED.
- Under such an allegation he is not required to prove any precise date but may prove any date
which is NOT SO REMOTE as to surprise and prejudice the defendant.

GUTIERREZ JR.; September 24, 1986

Appeal from decision of CFI

- In case of SURPRISE, the Court may allow an amendment of the information as to time and an
adjournment to the accused, if necessary to meet the amendment.
- SC then cited cases:


US v De Castro~ While it is not necessary, unless time is a material ingredient of the

offense, that the precise time of the commission of the offense should be stated, still the act
should be alleged to have been committed at some time before the filing of the complaint.

- Molero was charged with rape by daughter in complaint filed in CFI Negros Oriental.

US v. Enriquez- question of time as alleged in the information was discussed in an

incidental way for the purpose of determining whether it of itself or in connection with the other
allegations sufficiently identified the transaction which constituted estafa so as to notify the
defendant of the transaction referred to; Time is not a matl ingredient in the crime of estafa.
US v. Cardona- question of time was raised in the demurrer (on appeal) as to the
variance bet the date of the crime in the info and that proved on the trial; Court here said that
time being not an ingredient of the theft of a carabao, it did not have to be proved as laid.
- The question whether the allegations of the info are sufficiently definite as to time and the
question which arises on a variance between the allegations and the proof are different in nature
and legal effect, and are decided on different principles.
- In this case, the statement of the time when the crime was committed is too indefinite to give
the accused an opportunity to prepare his defense, and that indefiniteness is not cured by
setting out the date when a child was born as a result of such crime.
- Sec 7 Rules of CrimPros purpose is to permit the allegation of a date of the commission of a
crime as NEAR to the ACTUAL date as the information of the prosecuting officer will permit and

Molero told daughter to go with him to the river to catch shrimps and fish. She was barely 17.
She was hugged fr behind by Molero and she fell to the ground. He unsheathed his bolo. He
succeeded in having sexual intercourse and warned her not to tell anyone.
- The mother learned of the incident and told daughter to keep quiet for the moment; they were
secretive of their plan to report because Molero is a fierce man.
- Mother and daughter went to Station Commander. They were advised to report to the PC
Headquarters. At the PC Headquarters, complaint was investigated, but accused didnt want
investigation to continue because accdg to him, this was their own problem.
- Internal and external exam of victim showed she had previous sexual intercourse.
- Molero denied the charge, saying he couldnt have done it because he was already committed
in the provincial jail that time. He also denied the sworn statement he made, saying hes
illiterate. He said he was not informed of his rights to remain silent and to counsel; that he was
not assisted by counsel during investigation.
- Moleros alibi was readily refuted.
- Trial court found Molero guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape.


- A double jeopardy issue arose because there were two complaints filed:
- filed March 22, 1977: rape was committed Feb 13, 1976

171 SCRA 277, 283

- filed March 30, 1978: rape was committed Feb 5, 1976

GRINO-AQUINO; March 16, 1989

- Molero was arraigned under the first complaint, he pleaded not guilty. - During trial, the
provincial fiscal filed motion for leave to amend the complaint. This was granted. Thus, the new


- Molero filed motion to quash 2nd criminal complaint on ground of double jeopardy. This was

Petition for review of the Decision of the Trial court



1. WON Molero was under double jeopardy

- Complainant Josephine Dimaunahan was born on January 7, 1967

2. WON Molero committed the rape

- In 1970, her mother separated from her father and started to live with appellant Vicente
Lualhati without the benefit of marriage. She likewise lived with appellant who supported her,
took care of her studies and treated her like his own daughter.


- Sometime in June, 1978, while complainant's mother was at work, appellant and complainant
were alone in the house. Appellant had sexual intercourse with complainant. It appeared that
even prior to June, 1978, appellant had already several sexual relations with complainant

1. NO
- Section 9, Rule 117 of 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure: Conviction or acquittal of the
defendant or the dismissal of the case shall be a bar to another prosecution for the offense
- Here, the case was not terminated because the dispositive portion of the order expressly
directed the Provincial Fiscal and/or prosecuting fiscal to file a new complaint and/or information.
- The case was dismissed for no other reason except to correct the date of the crime.
- This dismissal did not amount to an acquittal.
- There was no need for trial court to have used such procedure. It should just have denied
motion for reconsideration of the order granting the prosecutions motion for leave to amend the
After arraignment and where appellant pleaded not guilty, is it still proper to amend date of
commission of crime? Applying Sections 10 and 13 of Rule 110 of Revised Rules of Court,
amendment sought by prosecution should have been granted. The precise time is not an
essential element of rape. The amendment was only a matter of form and did not prejudice the
rights of the appellant.
2. YES
- Molero argues that if a crime was committed by him at all, it was qualified seduction.
- SC didnt agree. Appellant was shown to have employed force and intimidation against
daughter. Also, he had moral ascendancy and influence over the victim. The victim is illiterate
and unschooled, and Molero threatened her with a bolo and rendered her practically helpless.

- Upon arraignment on, the accused pleaded not guilty

- The defense filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint charged more than one
offense, namely:
That on or about the month of June, 1978, and for sometime prior and subsequent thereto, ...
the accused Vicente Lualhati wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of the
complainant Josephine M. Dimaunahan ...
- Fiscal alleged that the accused was being tried on the Information which charged only one
offense committed "in or about the month of June 1978."
- Trial judge denied motion to dismiss.
- The accused filed another Motion to Dismiss, alleging that he had been pardoned by the
offended party, her mother and grandmother. Attached, to the Motion to Dismiss was the joint
affidavit of desistance signed by the offended party, her mother and grandmother
- -The offended party executed and filed an affidavit alleging that her father abandoned her at
the age of two years and three months, without providing for her support and studies, and that
the same were provided by her mother and grandmother who, on the same date, executed a
joint affidavit to the same effect
- The Prosecuting Fiscal filed an Addendum to the Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss. He
alleged that the express pardon given the accused was invalid for the offended party did not
have "a will of her own," being merely eleven years old when the crime was committed; that the
father of the offended party, executed an affidavit objecting to the pardon given to the accused;
and that, as the father, he still possessed the "patria potestas" over the offended party in spite of
his having abandoned her.

- Trial court denied the motion to dismiss on account of the insistence of the victim's father to
prosecute the accused, absent judicial pronouncement depriving him of parental authority over
the offended party, a child below twelve years old.

extinguishes the penal action and the penalty that may have been imposed, is the marriage
between the offender and the offended party.

- Accused filed Motion to Quash, which was denied by the trial court
- Trial court convicted the accused of rape, and imposed upon him the penalty of reclusion

- The rationale of the law on the prosecution of private crimes is simple: The law deems it the
wiser policy to let the aggrieved woman and her family decide whether to expose to public view
or to heated controversies in court the vices, faults and disgraceful acts occurring in the family.
However, when, as in the case at bar, the pardon is given after the filing of the complaint in
court, it comes too late to hide the shameful occurrence from public notice.


Dispositive Decision of trial court affirmed

1. WON there was a valid complaint against the appellant


2. WON the pardon given to him by the offended party, her mother, and grandmother
extinguished his criminal liability, in spite of the objection of the victim's father.

Rocaberte and two others were charged with the crime of theft. The Information states:

1. YES

That on or about the period from 1977 to December 28, 1983 at the off offshore of West

Ratio Discrepancies between the accusation and the complaint as to time of occurrence of the
carnal copulations in rape do not affect any essential right of the accused, where the acts
occurred within the period of time alleged in both writings and the difference noted in other
respects was of a formal, rather than a substantial, character.

Canayaon, municipal of Garcia-Hernandez, province of Bohol, Philippines, the above-named


carry away the following properties...

- Appellant contends that the complaint is void because it charges at least three crimes of rape,
namely: (1) that which was committed "on or about the month of June, 1978;" (2) that which was
committed "sometime prior to said period;" and (3) that which was committed "subsequent
- Argument has no merit. Attached to Josephine's complaint was her sworn statement wherein,
she categorically affirmed that Vicente abused her before the start of classes in June 1978. That
affidavit, which may be considered part of the complaint required by law, cures any ambiguity in
the complaint regarding the number of offenses committed by the accused.
- Furthermore, Section 10, Rule 110 of the 1964 Rules of Court provided:
Sec. 10. Time of the commission of the offense.-It is not necessary to state in the complaint or
information the precise time at which the offense was committed except when time is a
material ingredient of the offense, but the act may be alleged to have been committed at any
time as near to the actual date at which the offense' was committed as the information or
complaint will permit.

accused, conspiring, confederating and helping each other, with intent to gain and without the
consent of the owner, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and

Rocaberte moved to quash the information, alleging that the statement of the time of
commission of the felony charged, "from 1977 to December 1983, a period of 7 years," or "about
2,551 days," was fatally defective; there was "so great a gap as to defy approximation in the
commission of one and the same offense"; "the variance is certainly unfair to the accused for it
violates their constitutional right to be informed before the trial of the specific charge against
them and deprives them of the opportunity to defend themselves. The trial court denied the
motion. Hence, the appeal.
Is a defect in the averment as to the time of the commission of the crime charged a ground for a
motion to quash?

2. NO
Ratio Art. 344(3) of the Revised Penal Code prohibits a prosecution for seduction, abduction,
rape, or acts of lasciviousness, except upon a complaint made by the offended party or her
parents, grandparents, or guardian, nor, in any case, if the offender has been expressly
pardoned by the above-named persons, as the case may be. It does not prohibit the
continuance of a prosecution if the offended party pardons the offender after the cause has been
instituted, nor does it order the dismissal of said cause. The only act that riding to Article 344

The rules of criminal procedure declare that a complaint or information is sufficient if it states the
approximate time of the commission of the offense. Where, however, the statement of the time
of the commission of the offense is so general as to span a number of years, i.e., "between

October, 1910 to August, 1912," it has been held to be fatally defective because it deprives the


accused an opportunity to prepare his defense.

A defect in the averment as to the time of the commission of the crime charged is not, however,

Whether or not the subsequent filing of a civil action for declaration of nullity of a previous

a ground for a motion to quash under Rule 116 of the Rules of Court. Even if it were, a motion

marriage constitutes a prejudicial question to a criminal case for bigamy

for quashal on that account will be denied since the defect is one that can be cured by



A prejudicial question is one which arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical
antecedent of the issue involved therein.3It is a question based on a fact distinct and separate

The remedy against an indictment that fails to allege the time of the commission of the offense

from the crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the

with sufficient definiteness is a motion for a bill of particulars.

accused. Its two essential elements are:7

(a) the civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal

The information against Rocaberte is indeed seriously defective. It places on him and his co-

action; and

accused the unfair and unreasonable burden of having to recall their activities over a span of

(b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed

more than 2,500 days. It is a burden nobody should be made to bear. The public prosecutor

In Article 40 of the Family Code, respondent, without first having obtained the judicial declaration

must make more definite and particular the time of the commission of the crime of theft attributed

of nullity of the first marriage, can not be said to have validly entered into the second marriage.

to Rocaberte and his co-defendants. If he cannot, the prosecution cannot be maintained, the

In the current jurisprudence, a marriage though void still needs a judicial declaration of such fact

case must be dismissed.

before any party can marry again; otherwise the second marriage will also be void. The reason
is that, without a judicial declaration of its nullity, the first marriage is presumed to be subsisting.


In the case at bar, respondent was for all legal intents and purposes regarded as a married man


at the time he contracted his second marriage with petitioner.

Respondent: ISAGANI D. BOBIS

Any decision in the civil action for nullity would not erase the fact that respondent entered into a


second marriage during the subsistence of a first marriage. Thus, a decision in the civil case is

October 21, 1985, first marriage with one Maria Dulce B. Javier. Not annulled, nullified or

not essential to the determination of the criminal charge. It is, therefore, not a prejudicial



January 25, 1996, second marriage with petitioner Imelda Marbella-Bobis

*Parties to a marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, only competent

Third marriage with a certain Julia Sally Hernandez

courts having such authority. Prior to such declaration of nullity, the validity of the first marriage

February 25, 1998, Imelda Bobis filed bigamy

is beyond question. A party who contracts a second marriage then assumes the risk of being

Sometime thereafter, respondent initiated a civil action for the judicial declaration of absolute

Petitioner argues that respondent should have first obtained a judicial declaration of nullity of

prosecuted for bigamy (Landicho v. Relova)

August 29, 2003
Justice Austria-Martinez

his first marriage before entering into the second marriage


nullity of his first marriage on the ground that it was celebrated without a marriage license

*After petitioner sued for bigamy, its just when the respondent filed a declaration of absolute

Prejudicial question When the civil case is so intimately connected with the subject crime that it
is determinative of the guilt or innocence of the respondents in the criminal cases.
RTC and MTC grants Motion to Withdraw Information without personally determining the
probable cause for the crime charged.
Petitioner: Ark Travel Express, Inc.
Respondents: The Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 150, Hon. Zeus
Abrogar, Violeta Baguio and Lorelei Ira

Ark Travel Express, Inc. (Ark Travel for brevity) filed with the City Prosecutor of Makati
a criminal complaint for False Testimony in a Civil Case against private respondents
Violeta Baguio and Lorelei Ira.
Violeta Baguio and Lorelei Ira was accused as having given false testimony upon a
material fact in a civil complaint for Collection of sum of money, torts and damages
filed by Ark Travel Express against New Filipino Maritime Agencies (NFMA) in the
following manner:
During trial of the said civil case in which one of the principal issues was
whether or not payment of the claim of Ark travel has been made by NFMA,
the accused maliciously testified that the claims of Ark Travel supported by
statements of accounts is baseless and/or been paid, which accused very
well knew and ought to know, by reason of accuseds position as cashier,
was false.
In a resolution dated November 20, 1996, the City Prosecutor found probable cause to
indict private respondents for violation of said law and accordingly filed the respective
Informations against each of them before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC).
In a resolution dated March 9, 1998, Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuo reversed
the City Prosecutors resolution. The prosecution office of Makati then filed with the
MTC a Motion to Withdraw Information.
However, on May 15, 1998, Ark Travel filed an Urgent Petition for Automatic Review
with the DOJ. DOJ then directed the City Prosecutor to proceed with the prosecution
of the criminal cases in a resolution dated May 27, 1998. For this reason, the MTC
issued an Order denying the Motion to Withdraw Information filed by the prosecution.
Meanwhile, Baguio and Ira filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the May 27, 1998
resolution. DOJ Undersecretary Jesus Zozobrado granted the Motion for
Reconsideration dated June 26, 1998, ordering the withdrawal of the informations for
false testimony.
MTC however, denied the Motion to Withdraw Information in an order dated July 21,
1998. It anchors its decision in the Crespo vs. Mogul case where the Supreme Court
held that once an information is filed in court, such filing sets in motion the criminal
action against the accused before the court, and any motion to dismiss or withdraw
information is always addressed to the discretion of the court. The denial or grant of
any motion is done by the court not out of subservience to the secretary of justice but
in faithful exercise of its judicial prerogative.
Private respondents questioned the MTC Orders dated June 10, 1998 and July 21,
1998 with the respondent RTC of Makati.
RTC of Makati held that MTC acted with grave abuse of discretion when it denied the
Motion to Withdraw based solely on its bare and ambiguous reliance on the Crespo

doctrine, since an independent evaluation and assessment of the existence of a

probable cause is necessary before such orders denying the said motions could be
WON the RTC committed a grave abuse of discretion when it nullified the Orders of MTC and
enjoined the said court from hearing the criminal cases
(Supreme Court discussed several points, but I will only include the issue relevant to the topic
which is Prejudicial Question)
To constitute the crime of False Testimony in a Civil Case under Article 182 of the
Revised Penal Code, the following requisites must concur:
1. The testimony must be given in a civil case;
2. The testimony must relate to the issues presented in the case;
3. The testimony is false;
4. The testimony must be given by the defendant knowing the same to be false; and
5. Such testimony must be malicious and given with and intent to affect the issues
presented in the case.
There is no doubt that the first two requisites are extant in this case. The records show
that Ark Travel filed a complaint for collection of sum of money, torts and damages against
NFMA and Angelina T. Rivera. In said civil case, private respondents were presented by NFMA
as witnesses. They executed their respective sworn statements and testified before the trial
court that NFMA has no outstanding obligation with Ark Travel as the same had been paid in full.
The existence of the last three requisites is quite dubious. The falsity of the subject
testimonies of private respondents is yet to be established. It is noted that at the time of the filing
of the criminal complaints, the civil case filed by Ark Travel is still pending decision. Ark Travel
has yet to prove the validity of its monetary claims and damages against NFMA. It is only after
trial that the RTC can assess the veracity or falsity of the testimony and correspondingly render
a decision. Thus, the civil case is so intimately connected with the subject crime that it is
determinative of the guilt or innocence of the respondents in the criminal cases. In other words,
whether or not the testimonies of private respondents in the civil cases are false is a prejudicial
question. It is clear that the elements of a prejudicial question are present as provided in Section
7, Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, to wit:
SEC. 7 Elements of Prejudicial question. The elements of a prejudicial question are:
(a) the previously instituted civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue
raised in the subsequent criminal action; and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether
or not the criminal action may proceed.
Section 6, Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedures 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 prosecutor 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. (Emphasis supplied)

Hence, pending determination of the falsity of the subject testimonies of private

respondents in the civil case, the criminal action for false testimony must perforce be
suspended. As such, under the attendant circumstances, although there is no motion to suspend
proceedings on the part of the private respondents, orderly administration of justice dictates that
the criminal cases should be suspended.

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