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GROUP DIGEST

JULY 13, 2016:


A. JURISDICTION OVER THE TERRITORY RATIONALE
CASE: BELTRAN VS. RAMOS, GR NO. L-6410, November 24, 1954
FACTS:
Petitioner Beltran was charged before the CFI of Occidental Mindoro with the crime of malversation of
public funds alleged to have been committed in the municipality of San Jose, Province of Occidental Mindoro.
The trial commenced in the municipalities of San Jose, Mamburao, and Lubang, all of Occidental Mindoro. The
continuation of the trial was transferred to the municipality of Calapan, Province of Oriental Mindoro, which the
petitioner objected on the ground that it is outside the territorial boundaries of Occidental Mindoro where the
crime was committed.
SUBJECT: WON the contention of the respondent that the judge of the district may hold his sessions in either
of the two provinces since the provinces of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro constitute the Eight Judicial
District.
RULING: This contention is untenable. The Rules of Court expressly provide that a criminal case should be
instituted and tried in the municipality or province where the offense was committed or any of its essential
ingredients took place. This is fundamental for the convenience of the parties and witnesses. Although the
judge of a district may hold the trial in any particular case subject to the specific provisions, or section 14 (a),
Rule 106, in order not to violate the Rules of Court and disregard the fundamental rights of the accused.
B. JURISDICTION OVER THE TERRITORY TRANSFER OF VENUE
CASE: PEOPLE VS. GUTIERREZ, GR NOS. L-32282-83, November 26, 1970
FACTS:
A group of armed persons set fire various inhabited houses in Barrion Ora Centro, municipality of
Bantay, Province of Ilocos Sur one morning. In the afternoon of the same day, several residential houses were
likewise burned by the group, resulting in the destruction of various houses and in the death of an old woman.
Two informations were filed charging the accused with arson and arson with homicide. The prosecution
moved the respondent judge, at the instance of the witnesses, seeking transfer of the hearing from Vigan to
either San Fernando, La Union, or Baguio City, for reasons of security and personal safety, as shown in their
affidavits. The respondent judge denied the motion.
ISSUE: WON the contention of the prosecuting officers that the cases against private respondents should be
transferred because a miscarriage of justice was impending is tenable.
RULING: Yes. The just refusal to testify in Ilocos Sur manifested by the complaining witnesses, who had on a
previous occasion freely given evidence before the investigators in Manila, renders manifest the imperious
necessity of transferring the place of trial to a site outside of Ilocos Sur, if the cases are to be judicially inquired
into conformably to the interest of truth and justice and the State is to be given a fair chance to present its side
of the case.
To compel the prosecution to proceed to trial in a locality where its witnesses will not be at liberty to
reveal what they know is to make a mockery of the judicial process, and to betray the very purpose of Rule
110, Section 14 (a), would result here in preventing a fair and impartial inquiry into the actual facts of the case,
it must be admitted that the exigencies of justice demand that the general rule relied upon by accused
respondents should yield to occasional exceptions wherever there are weighty reasons therefor. Otherwise, the
rigor of the law would become the highest injustice summum jus, summa in juria.
RULE 110: PROSECUTION OF OFFENSES
A. COMPLAINT: Where preliminary investigation is required
CASE: CONQUILLA VS. JUDGE BERNARDO, AM No. MTJ-09-1737, February 9, 2011
FACTS:
A criminal complaint for direct assault was filed against complainant Conquilla. The respondent judge
conducted a preliminary investigation and found probable cause to hold the complainant for trial. Respondent
judge then issued a warrant of arrest and fixed the bail at P12,000 which, upon motion of the complainant, was
reduced to P6,000. Complainant then filed an administrative complaint, alleging that under AM No. 05-08-[2]6SC, first level court judges no longer have the authority to conduct preliminary investigations.
Complainant Conquilla charged respondent judge with usurpation of authority, grave misconduct, and gross
ignorance of the law.

ISSUE: WON the complaint for direct assault requires the conduct of preliminary investigation.
WON the conduct of investigation is within the scope of authority of the first level courts judges.
RULING:
1. Yes. Under Article 148 of the Revised Penal Code, when the assault is committed against a person in
authority while engaged in the performance of his official duties or on the occasion of such performance, the
imposable penalty is prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods. The duration of the penalty is 2
years, 4 months and 1 day to 6 years. Thus, the offense charged against complainant requires the conduct of
preliminary investigation as provided under Section 1 of Rule 112 of the Rules of Court.
2. No. The Court emphasized that when the complaint was filed on 3 January 2006, respondent judge no
longer had authority to conduct preliminary investigation by virtue of AM No. 05-8-26-SC. Thus, the Court held
that respondent judge should have referred the complaint to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor instead of
issuing the subpoena directing complainants to appear before the court.
B. PRESCRIPTION
CASE: PEOPLE V. OLARTE, GR No. L-13027, June 30, 1960
FACTS:
Defendant Olarte was charged with libel. Olarte seasonably moved to quash the information upon the
ground of prescription of the offense; and that, after due hearing, the CFI granted said motion and dismissed
the case. Hence, this appeal by complainant Miss Meris.
ISSUE: WON the statute of limitations was suspended by the filing of the complaint of the peace court on
February 22, 1956, as claimed by appellant, or continued to run until July 3, 1956, when the information was
filed with the court of first instance, as contended by the defendant.
RULING: The Court held that the filing of the complaint with the justice of the peace court interrupted the
running of the statute of limitations, as regards the crime of libel with which defendant herein is charged.
CASE: FRANCISCO VS. CA, GR NO. L-45674, May 30, 1983
FACTS:
This is petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the CA which modified the decision of the lower
court by finding petitioners guilty of the crime of simple slander instead of grave oral defamation as the former
CFI has held. The Sol Gen contends that for the purpose of determining the proper prescriptive period, what
should be considered is the nature of the offense charged in the information which is grave oral defamation,
not the crime committed by the accused, as said crime was found by the court to constitute only simple
slander. Hence, the period of prescription should be six months.
ISSUE: WON the contention of the Sol Gen is tenable.
RULING: The Court held that the true doctrine is, and should be, the one established by the decisions holding
that the filing of the complaint in the Municipal Court, even if it be merely for purposes of preliminary
examination or investigation, should, and does, interrupt the period of prescription of the criminal responsibility,
even if the court where the complaint or information is filed can not try the case on its merits.
Therefore, the filing of the complaint for intriguing against honor by the offended party, later changed by
the Fiscal to grave oral defamation, even if it were in the Fiscals Office, 39 days after the alleged defamatory
remarks were committed (or discovered) by the accused interrupts the period of prescription.