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D.

1st Jeopardy mustve been validly terminated


-Another Prosecution
GEORGE VINCOY,[1] petitioner, vs.
PHILIPPINES, respondents.

HON.

COURT

OF

APPEALS

and

PEOPLE

OF

THE

DECISION
PUNO, J.:
This is a petition for review of the Decision dated December 20, 2002 of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. CR No. 24316[2] affirming that of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Branch 268, in Criminal Case No.
112432 finding petitioner George Vincoy guilty beyond reasonable doubt ofestafa under Art. 315, par. 2(a)
of the Revised Penal Code.
The Information reads:
On or about March 14, 1996, in Pasig City, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
accused, by means of deceit and false pretenses executed to or simultaneously with the commission of
the fraud, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously defraud Lizah C. Cimafranca and
Rolando Flores, in the following manner, to wit: the said accused represented that he could mobilize thirty
(30) dump trucks and two (2) payloaders for use of the complainant[s] subject to the payment
of P600,000.00 mobilization fund and, believing this representation to be true, the said complainants paid
and delivered the said amount to the accused at Banco de Oro Bank, Pasig City Branch, which
representation accused knew well to be false and fraudulent and were (sic) only made to induce the
complainants to give and deliver as in fact they gave and delivered the said amount of P600,000.00 to the
respondent (sic), and accused once in possession of said amount, misappropriated, misapplied and
converted the same to his own personal use and benefit, to the damage and prejudice of the
complainants, Lizah C. Cimafranca and Rolando Flores, in the amount of P600,000.00.
Pasig City, May 28, 1997.[3]
Petitioner pleaded not guilty to the charge. Hence, trial ensued.
The prosecution evidence established that private complainants Rolando Flores and Lizah
Cimafranca are business partners and contractors. They approached petitioner George Vincoy,
proprietor of Delco Industries Phils., Inc., in March 1996 for dump trucks and payloaders which they
needed to haul silica in Bulacan. Petitioner represented that he could mobilize thirty (30) dump trucks
and two (2) payloaders upon payment of a P600,000.00 mobilization fund by complainants at P20,000.00
per dump truck. Pursuant to their verbal agreement, private complainants paid an initial P200,000.00 cash
to the petitioner on March 9 or 10, 1996 for which they were issued a receipt by the petitioner. To pay the
balance of P400,000.00, complainant Rolando Flores, with the help of his wife Carolina, borrowed from a
client of Banco de Oro, Pasig City Branch, of which his wife was the Manager. Carolina personally
guaranteed the loan. For the purpose, Rolando bought a managers check from Banco de Oro which
issued to him Managers Check No. 011543 for P400,000.00. On March 14, 1996, Rolando, Lizah, and
petitioner went to the bank to encash the check. After Rolando encashed the check, Carolina Flores
personally handed over the proceeds to petitioner. Petitioner issued Official Receipt No. 085 but wrote
therein the amount of P600,000.00, not P400,000.00, to include the P200,000.00 which he previously
received from the complainants. The previous receipt for the P200,000.00 was thus cancelled. Despite
the payment, only one (1) dump truck was delivered in the evening of March 14, 1996. Private

complainants demanded the return of their money but they were either ignored or refused entry at
petitioners office premises. After some time, petitioner offered to complainants PCIBank Check No.
022170A as reimbursement. The check was for P715,000.00 issued by one Luzviminda Hernandez
payable to cash and/or to Delco Industries. It was understood that the difference would be turned over to
petitioner. Eager to have their money back and pay their obligation to their creditor, private complainants
accepted the check and returned Official Receipt No. 085 which petitioner requested. The check,
however, was dishonored upon presentment for payment. Private complainants again demanded the
return of their money but petitioner could no longer be contacted. As a result, Carolina Flores was
terminated from her job as Manager of Banco de Oro, Pasig City Branch, for guaranteeing her husbands
loan.
In May 1996, Lizah Cimafranca filed a complaint for estafa against petitioner with the Office of the
City Prosecutor of Pasay City docketed as I.S. No. 96-1946. It was, however, dismissed in a Resolution
dated August 21, 1996 on the ground that petitioners obligation was purely civil in nature and for
complainants failure to attend the hearings. [4] On October 8, 1996, Lizah Cimafranca, joined by Rolando
Flores, re-filed the complaint charging the same offense against petitioner with the Office of the City
Prosecutor of Pasig City which filed the corresponding information in court, root of the present petition.
Petitioner denied that he received P600,000.00 from the private complainants. He alleged that he
was only given a Banco de Oro Managers Check for P400,000.00 which was not even issued in his
name. Failing to notice that the check was not in his name, he issued Official Receipt No.
085[5] for P600,000.00, not P400,000.00, to include the overprice for complainants commission in the
amount of P200,000.00. When he noticed that the check was issued in the name of complainant Rolando
Flores, he arranged for his driver to return the check to complainants for encashment and to take back
O.R. No. 085. As a result, his transaction with the private complainants was cancelled because they did
not turn over the proceeds of the check to him.
The trial court sustained the version of the prosecution. The trial judge found incredible petitioners
averment that he failed to notice that the check in question was not issued in his name. Petitioner was a
seasoned businessman. A judgment of conviction was rendered onFebruary 23, 2000, the dispositive
portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court finds the accused GEORGE VINGCOY guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of ESTAFA defined and penalized under Art. 315 of the Revised Penal
Code and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment from fourteen (14) years, eight (8)
months and one (1) day to twenty (20) years of Reclusion Temporal in its medium and maximum period
(sic) and to indemnify the offended party in the amount of P600,000.00. With costs.
SO ORDERED.[6]
Accused appealed to the Court of Appeals to no avail. [7] Hence, this petition for review.
Petitioner insists that his guilt has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. He contends that the
trial court and the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that he received payment from the private
complainants considering that Official Receipt No. 085 was admittedly returned to him and marked
cancelled while PCIBank Check No. 022170A for P715,000.00 was not presented and marked as an
exhibit and was only surreptitiously included as Exh. B during the prosecutions formal offer of
evidence. He also argues that his identity was not even established since his pictures, [8] although
presented and marked as Exhs. B, B-1 and B-2, were not included in the prosecutions formal offer of
evidence. Further, he points out that the dismissal of the previous complaint for estafa filed by Lizah
Cimafranca by the City Prosecutors Office of Pasay City supports his acquittal.

Petitioners contentions are not well-taken. The fact that his pictures were not formally offered as
evidence although they were presented and marked as exhibits, is not fatal to the prosecutions
cause. There is no question as to petitioners identity as the accused. He himself admitted that he
transacted with the private complainants although the transaction was cancelled for failure of
complainants to pay the mobilization fund. This admission that he personally dealt with the complainants
in regard to the transaction in question renders his identification a non-issue.
The dismissal of a similar complaint for estafa filed by Lizah Cimafranca before the City Prosecutors
Office of Pasay City will not exculpate the petitioner. The case cannot bar petitioners prosecution. It is
settled that the dismissal of a case during its preliminary investigation does not constitute double
jeopardy[9] since a preliminary investigation is not part of the trial and is not the occasion for the full and
exhaustive display of the parties evidence but only such as may engender a well-grounded belief that an
offense has been committed and accused is probably guilty thereof. [10] For this reason, it cannot be
considered equivalent to a judicial pronouncement of acquittal. Hence, petitioner was properly charged
before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasig City which is not bound by the determination made by
the Pasay City Prosecutor who may have had before him a different or incomplete set of evidence than
that subsequently presented before the Pasig City Prosecutor.
Lastly, whether or not petitioner indeed received payment from private complainants is a question of
fact best left to the determination of the trial court. We quote with approval the following observations of
the trial court, viz:
x x x

x x x

x x x

That payment was indeed received by accused can not (sic) be denied as he himself issued a receipt to
evidence such receipt of payment. The receipt, a xerox copy of which, was marked as evidence by
accused (Exhibit 4) indicated that the payment, as explained by the witness Ms. Carolina Flores (TSN,
May 7, 1998, pp. 18-20) was actually received in cash as the amount written in the receipt is P600,000.00
and notP400,000.00. That the number of the Managers (sic) check which was for P400,000.00 was
written on the receipt by way of reference only. This Court gives full credence to the testimony of Ms.
Flores who was eventually terminated from the bank where she worked by reason of her guaranteeing Mr.
Flores loan from a customer of the bank. It is clear that cash was actually paid out and the contention of
the accused that he was only given a managers (sic) check which, according to him, he eventually
returned can not (sic) be sustained. For why would he issue a receipt in his own handwriting if he did not
receive the cash. The receipt is a unilateral admission of a party that he got paid. The receipt, as
admitted by accused Mr. Vincoy was issued by him (TSN, May 7, 1999, pp. 7-8) when he received the
cashiers (sic) check. That he had the cashiers (sic) check returned for encashment as it was not made
payable to his company. Being a businessman, he would have immediately noticed the fact that the
managers (sic) check was made out in the name of Rolando Flores and immediately returned the check
without issuing a receipt or he could have issued a provisional receipt if indeed what was used as
payment was a check. It is highly inconceivable that he would receive the check, issue a receipt then
realize that the check is not made payable to his company. Furthermore, two different copies of the same
receipts were presented. Prosecution presented a copy of Official Receipt 085 without the marking
cancelled while accused presented a copy of the same Official Receipt with cancelled written on its
face.
As testified to by complainant, he returned the original of the Official Receipt upon receipt of a check
endorsed by accused. Thus it is not improbable that the word cancelled was written on said official
receipt by the accused only upon its return to him. The testimonies of prosecution witnesses as to the
cronology (sic) of events are more credible and is thus given more weight by this Court because mere
denial of the accused can not prevail over the positive testimonies of the prosecutions

witnesses. Moreover, private complainant clearly explained that accused came into possession of the
original official receipt when accused Vingcoy endorsed and turned over to him a check made payable to
cash and or Delco Industries by one Luzviminda Hernandez for P715,000.00. However, when said check
was presented for payment it was dishonored for the reason ACCOUNT CLOSED.
x x x

x x x

x x x

This factual finding of the trial court, affirmed by the Court of Appeals, that petitioner indeed received
payment from the private complainants in the form of the mobilization fund, deserves great weight and
respect.
Moreover, the fact that PCIBank Check No. 022170A for P715,000.00 was not presented and
marked as an exhibit during the trial, hence, could not have been formally offered as evidence, [11]is not
fatal to the prosecutions cause. As well pointed out by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), petitioner
was prosecuted not for issuing a worthless check, but for deceiving complainants into parting with
their P600,000.00 on the promise that he would provide them dump trucks and payloaders.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is DENIED. The questioned Decision dated December 20, 2002 of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 24316 affirming that of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Branch
268, in Criminal Case No. 112432, is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-19344

July 27, 1966

AGATON BULAONG, petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
Marcial F. Desiero for petitioner.
Office of the Solicitor General A. A. Alafriz, Assistant Solicitor General P. P. de Castro and Solicitor J. R.
Coquia for respondent.
BENGZON, J.P., J.:
On May 31, 1956 Agaton Bulaong and others were charged before the Court of First Instance
of Laguna with the crime of rebellion. Trial did not proceed with respect to Agaton Bulaong until 1958 for
he was then at large.
Meanwhile Congress enacted the Anti-Subversion Act (Republic Act 1700) which took effect on June 20,
1957.
On September 12, 1958, Agaton Bulaong was arrested.
On October 1, 1958 the information for rebellion filed with the Court of First Instance of Laguna was
amended to read as follows:
The accused above named, ... did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously join the
Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP) and the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan" (HMB),
otherwise known as the Hukbalahaps (HUKS), the latter being the military arms of the former,

whose aims and purposes are to remove people and territory of the Republic of the Philippines
and to overthrow it eventually by the use of force and arms, as in fact said accused together with
other officers and members of said organization have risen publicly and taken up arms, making
armed raids, ambuscades and attacks upon the Philippine Constabulary, Armed Forces of the
Philippines, Police Forces and other military detachments of the government, said accused
AGATON BULAONG alias Ka Era being then an organizer and leader.
On the same date another information was filed before the Court of First Instance of Manila charging
Agaton Bulaong of the crime of subversion defined in Section 4 of the Anti-Subversion Act. We quote the
information hereunder:
That in or about the month of July, 1957, and for the time subsequent thereto in the City of
Manila, Philippines, and the place which he had chosen as the nerve center of all his activities in
the different parts of the Philippines, the said accused, knowingly and by overt acts, did then and
there wilfully and unlawfully become an officer and/or a ranking leader of the Communist Party of
the Philippines (CCP) and its Military Arm, the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB) formerly
known as Hukbalahaps, which organizations have aimed to overthrow the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines by means of force and which organizations have been outlawed and
declared illegal and continued and remained an officer and/or a ranking leader of said
organizations until his arrest in or about September, 1958, without having renounced his
membership therein, as in fact that the said accused together with other officers, members and
affiliates of said outlawed and illegal organizations have taken arms against the Government of
the Philippine Republic, by making and conducting raids, ambuscades and armed attacks against
and upon the Philippine Constabulary, Armed Forces of the Philippines and local police
forces.1wph1.t
The case for subversion is still pending in the Court of First Instance of Manila; while the case for rebellion
has already been decided by the Court of First Instance of Laguna adversely against the
accused.1 Accused Bulaong appealed to the Court of Appeals which in turn affirmed the decision of the
Court of First Instance of Laguna. At bar is his appeal from said judgment of the Court of Appeals.
The issue is whether or not accused Bulaong can interpose the defense of double jeopardy in this case in
view of the filing against him of the information for subversion in the Court of First Instance of Manila
which allegedly involves the same facts obtaining in this case.
Accused contends that rebellion as defined in Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code is a lesser cognate
offense to that defined in Section 4 of Republic Act 1700. And he further contends that since the facts
alleged in the informations for rebellion and subversion are the same he can not be legally prosecuted for
both offenses without being placed twice in jeopardy of being punished for the same acts.
Accused's contention has no merit.2 Under Section 9, Rule 1133 of the Rules of Court, the defense of
double jeopardy is available to the accused only where he was either convicted or acquitted or the case
against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his consent. 4 Such is not the situation in this
case. For accused has not been convicted or acquitted in the case filed in the Court of First Instance
against him for subversion. Neither was the said case dismissed or terminated without his consent, for as
stated, it is still pending in said court. Needless to say, it is the conviction, acquittal of the accused or
dismissal or termination of the case that bars further prosecution for the same offense or any attempt to
commit the same or frustration thereof, or for any offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily
included in the offense charged in the former complaint or information.
Wherefore, the judgment appealed from is affirmed. No costs. So ordered.

-DISMISSAL WITHOUT CONSENT OF ACCUSED


G.R. No. L-38443

November 25, 1933

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellant,


vs.
ELISEA YLAGAN, defendant-appellee.
Attorney-General Jaranilla for appellant.
Eliseo M. Zagala and Conrado V. Sanchez for appellee.

ABAD SANTOS, J.:


Against the appellee, Elisea Ylagan, a complaint for physical injuries in the justice of the peace court of
Batangas, Province of Batangas. After preliminary investigation, the case forwarded to the Court of First
Instance, where the provincial fiscal filed an information charging her with serious physical injuries. Upon
arraignment, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the information; whereupon the private prosecutor, with
the concurrence of the deputy provincial fiscal, moved for the dismissal of the case, which motion was
granted by the court. The attorney for the defendant said nothing about the dismissal of the case.
Eleven days later, the acting provincial fiscal filed another information in the same justice of the peace
court, charging the same defendant with the same offense of serious physical injuries. After another
preliminary investigation, the case was again forwarded to the Court of First Instance, where the
information filed in the justice of the peace court was reproduced. Upon arraignment, the defendant
entered a plea of double jeopardy, based on section 28 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. After hearing,
the court sustained the plea and dismissed the case. From this order of dismissal, an appeal was taken
by the Government.
Section 28 of the Code of Criminal Procedure read as follows:
A person cannot be tried for an offense, nor for any attempt to commit the same or frustration
thereof, for which he has been previously brought to trial in a court of competent jurisdiction, upon
a valid complaint or information or other formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain
a conviction, after issue properly joined, when the case is dismissed or otherwise terminated
before judgment without the consent of the accused.
It seems clear that under the foregoing provisions of law, defendant in a criminal prosecution is in legal
jeopardy when placed on trial under the following conditions: (1) In a court of competent jurisdiction; (2)
upon a valid complaint or information; (3) after he has been arraigned; and (4) after he has pleaded to the
complaint of information. Tested by this standard, we are of the opinion that the appellee has been once
in jeopardy for the offense for which she is now prosecuted. It is true that in United States vs. Ballentine
(4 Phil., 672; 1 Philippine Decisions 575, and in other subsequent cases, including People vs. Belisario
(G.R. No. 33416), 1 this court had held that there is no jeopardy until the investigation of the charges has
actually been commenced by the calling of a witness; but we are now convinced that such a view should
be abandoned. There is no provision or principle of law jeopardy. All that the law requires is that the
accused has been brought to trial "in a court of competent jurisdiction, upon a valid complaint or
information or other formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction, after issue
properly joined." Under our system of criminal procedure, issue is properly joined after the accused has
entered a plea of not guilty. The mere calling of a witness would not add a particle to the danger,

annoyance, and vexation suffered by the accused, after going through the process of being arrested,
subjected to a preliminary investigation, arraigned, and required to plead and stand trial.
The rule against double jeopardy protects the accused not against the peril of second punishment, but
against being again tried for the same offense. This is the principle underlying both section 23 and section
28 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Commenting on said section 23, this court, in Julia vs. Sotto (2
Phil., 247, 252, 253), said: "Without the safeguard this article establishes in favor of the accused, his
fortune, safely, and peace of mind would be entirely at the mercy of the complaining witness, who might
repeat his accusation as often as dismissed by the court and whenever he might see fit, subject to no
other limitation or restriction than his own will and pleasure. The accused would never be free from the
cruel and constant menace of a never-ending charge, which the malice of the complaining witness might
hold indefinitely suspended over his head, were it not that the judiciary is exclusively empowered to
authorize, by an express order to that effect, the repetition of a complaint or information once dismissed in
the cases in which the law requires that this be done. Such is, in our opinion, the fundamental reason of
the article of the law to which we refer. Thanks to this article, the accused, after being notified of the order
rest dismissing the complaint may, as the case may be, either rest assured that he will not be further
molested, or prepare himself for the presentation of a new complaint. In either case, the order gives him
full information as to what he may hope or fear, and prevents his reasonable hopes from being dissipated
as the result of an equivocal and indefinite legal situation. To this much, at least, one who has been
molested, possibly unjustly, by prosecution on a criminal charge, is entitled."
Counsel for the government, however, contends that the previous case brought against the appellee was
dismissed with her consent, on the theory that the phrase "without the consent of the accused", used in
section 28 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, should be construed to mean "over the objection of the
accused" or "against the will of the accused". We can not accept such a theory. We believe it a sound rule
to lay down, that the mere silence of the defendant or his failure to object to the dismissal of the case
does not constitute a consent within the meaning of section 28 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The
right not to be put in jeopardy a second time for the offense is as important as the other constitutional right
of the accused in a criminal case. Its waiver can not, and should not, be predicated on mere
silence.lawphil.net
The order appealed from is affirmed, with costs de oficio. So ordered.

PETRONILA C. TUPAZ, petitioner, vs. HONORABLE BENEDICTO B. ULEP Presiding Judge


of RTC Quezon City, Branch 105, and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
DECISION
PARDO, J.:
The case before us is a special civil action for certiorari with application for temporary restraining
order seeking to enjoin respondent Judge Benedicto B. Ulep of the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City,
Branch 105, from trying Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321, and to nullify respondent judges order reviving
the information therein against petitioner, for violation of the Tax Code, as the offense charged has
prescribed or would expose petitioner to double jeopardy.
The facts are as follows:
On June 8, 1990, State Prosecutor (SP) Esteban A. Molon, Jr. filed with the Metropolitan Trial Court
(MeTC), Quezon City, Branch 33, an information against accused Petronila C. Tupaz and her late

husband Jose J. Tupaz, Jr., as corporate officers of El Oro Engravers Corporation, for nonpayment of
deficiency corporate income tax for the year 1979, amounting to P2,369,085.46, in violation of Section 51
(b) in relation to Section 73 of the Tax Code of 1977. [1] On September 11, 1990, the MeTC dismissed the
information for lack of jurisdiction. On November 16, 1990, the trial court denied the prosecutions motion
for reconsideration.
On January 10, 1991, SP Molon filed with the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, two (2)
informations, docketed as Criminal Case Nos. Q-91-17321 [2] and Q-91-17322,[3] against accused and her
late husband, for the same alleged nonpayment of deficiency corporate income tax for the year
1979. Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321 was raffled to Branch 105, [4] presided over by respondent Judge
Benedicto B. Ulep; Q-91-17322 was raffled to Branch 86, then presided over by Judge Antonio P.
Solano. The identical informations read as follows:
That in Quezon City, Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court and upon
verification and audit conducted by the Bureau of Internal Revenue on the 1979 corporate annual income
tax return and financial statements of El Oro Engravers Corp., with office address at 809 Epifanio delos
Santos Avenue, Quezon City, Metro Manila, it was ascertained that said corporation was found liable to
pay the amount of P2,369,085.46, as deficiency corporate income tax for the year 1979 and that, despite
demand of the payment of the aforesaid deficiency tax by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and received
by said corporation, which demand has already become final, said El Oro Engravers Corp., through
above-named accused, the responsible corporate-officers of said corporation, failed and refused, despite
repeated demands, and still fail and refuse to pay said tax liability.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[5]
On September 25, 1991, both accused posted bail bond in the sum of P1,000.00 each, for their
provisional liberty.
On November 6, 1991, accused filed with the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 86, a motion
to dismiss/quash[6] information (Q-91-17322) for the reason that it was exactly the same as the
information against the accused pending before RTC, Quezon City, Branch 105 (Q-91-17321). However,
on November 11, 1991, Judge Solano denied the motion. [7]
In the meantime, on July 25, 1993, Jose J. Tupaz, Jr. died in Quezon City.
Subsequently, accused Petronila C. Tupaz filed with the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch
105, a petition for reinvestigation, which Judge Ulep granted in an order dated August 30, 1994. [8]
On September 5, 1994, Senior State Prosecutor Bernelito R. Fernandez stated that no new issues
were raised in the request for reinvestigation, and no cogent reasons existed to alter, modify or reverse
the findings of the investigating prosecutor. He considered the reinvestigation as terminated, and
recommended the prompt arraignment and trial of the accused. [9]
On September 20, 1994, the trial court (Branch No. 105) arraigned accused Petronila C. Tupaz in
Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321, and she pleaded not guilty to the information therein.
On October 17, 1994, the prosecution filed with the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 105, a
motion for leave to file amended information in Criminal Case No. Q91-17321 to allege expressly the date
of the commission of the offense, to wit: on or about August 1984 or subsequently thereafter. Despite
opposition of the accused, on March 2, 1995, the trial court granted the motion and admitted the amended

information.[10] Petitioner was not re-arraigned on the amended information. However, the amendment
was only on a matter of form.[11] Hence, there was no need to re-arraign the accused. [12]
On December 5, 1995, accused filed with the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 105, a
motion for leave to file and admit motion for reinvestigation. The trial court granted the motion in its order
dated December 13, 1995.
Prior to this, on October 18, 1995, Judge Ulep issued an order directing the prosecution to withdraw
the information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-17322, pending before Regional Trial Court, Quezon City,
Branch 86, after discovering that said information was identical to the one filed with Regional Trial Court,
Quezon City, Branch 105. On April 16, 1996, State Prosecutor Alfredo P. Agcaoili filed with the trial court
a motion to withdraw information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321. Prosecutor Agcaoili thought that
accused was charged in Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321, for nonpayment of deficiency contractors tax,
but found that accused was exempted from paying said tax.
On May 15, 1996, Prosecutor Agcaoili filed with the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 86, a
motion for consolidation of Criminal Case No. Q-91-17322 with Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321 pending
before the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 105. On the same date, the court [13] granted the
motion for consolidation.
On May 20, 1996, Judge Ulep of Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 105, granted the motion
for withdrawal of the information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321 and dismissed the case, as prayed for
by the prosecution.
On May 28, 1996, Prosecutor Agcaoili filed with the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 105, a
motion to reinstate information in Criminal Case Q-91-17321, [14] stating that the motion to withdraw
information was made through palpable mistake, and was the result of excusable neglect. He thought
that Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321 was identical to Criminal Case No Q-90-12896, wherein accused was
charged with nonpayment of deficiency contractors tax, amounting to P346,879.29.
Over the objections of accused, on August 6, 1996, the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch
105, granted the motion and ordered the information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321 reinstated. [15] On
September 24, 1996, accused filed with the trial court a motion for reconsideration. On December 4,
1996, the trial court denied the motion.
Hence, this petition.
On July 9, 1997, we required respondents to comment on the petition within ten (10) days from
notice. On October 10, 1997, the Solicitor General filed his comment. [16]
On October 26, 1998, the Court resolved to give due course to the petition and required the parties
to file their respective memoranda within twenty (20) days from notice. The parties have complied.
Petitioner submits that respondent judge committed a grave abuse of discretion in reinstating the
information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321 because (a) the offense has prescribed; or (b) it exposes
her to double jeopardy.
As regards the issue of prescription, petitioner contends that: (a) the period of assessment has
prescribed, applying the three (3) year period provided under Batas Pambansa No. 700; (b) the offense
has prescribed since the complaint for preliminary investigation was filed with the Department of Justice

only on June 8, 1989, and the offense was committed in April 1980 when she filed the income tax return
covering taxable year 1979.
Petitioner was charged with nonpayment of deficiency corporate income tax for the year 1979, which
tax return was filed in April 1980. On July 16, 1984, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued a notice
of assessment. Petitioner contends that the July 16, 1984 assessment was made out of time.
Petitioner avers that while Sections 318 and 319 of the NIRC of 1977 provide a five (5) year period of
limitation for the assessment and collection of internal revenue taxes, Batas Pambansa Blg. 700, enacted
on February 22, 1984, amended the two sections and reduced the period to three (3) years. As provided
under B.P. Blg. 700, the BIR has three (3) years to assess the tax liability, counted from the last day of
filing the return, or from the date the return is filed, whichever comes later. Since the tax return was filed
in April 1980, the assessment made on July 16, 1984 was beyond the three (3) year prescriptive period.
Petitioner submits that B.P. Blg. 700 must be given retroactive effect since it is favorable to the
accused. Petitioner argues that Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code, regarding the allowance of
retroactive application of penal laws when favorable to the accused shall apply in this case.
The Solicitor General, in his comment, maintains that the prescriptive period for assessment and
collection of petitioners deficiency corporate income tax was five (5) years. The Solicitor General asserts
that the shortened period of three (3) years provided under B.P. Blg. 700 applies to assessments and
collections of internal revenue taxes beginning taxable year 1984. Since the deficiency corporate income
tax was for taxable year 1979, then petitioner was still covered by the five (5) year period. Thus, the July
16, 1984 tax assessment was made within the prescribed period.
At the outset, it must be stressed that internal revenue taxes are self-assessing and no further
assessment by the government is required to create the tax liability. An assessment, however, is not
altogether inconsequential; it is relevant in the proper pursuit of judicial and extra judicial remedies to
enforce taxpayer liabilities and certain matters that relate to it, such as the imposition of surcharges and
interest, and in the application of statues of limitations and in the establishment of tax liens. [17]
An assessment contains not only a computation of tax liabilities, but also a demand for payment
within a prescribed period. The ultimate purpose of assessment is to ascertain the amount that each
taxpayer is to pay.[18] An assessment is a notice to the effect that the amount therein stated is due as tax
and a demand for payment thereof.[19] Assessments made beyond the prescribed period would not be
binding on the taxpayer.[20]
We agree with the Solicitor General that the shortened period of three (3) years prescribed under
B.P. Blg. 700 is not applicable to petitioner. B.P. Blg. 700, effective April 5, 1984, specifically states that
the shortened period of three years shall apply to assessments and collections of internal revenue taxes
beginning taxable year 1984. Assessments made on or after April 5, 1984 are governed by the five-year
period if the taxes assessed cover taxable years prior to January 1, 1984. [21] The deficiency income tax
under consideration is for taxable year 1979. Thus, the period of assessment is still five (5) years, under
the old law. The income tax return was filed in April 1980. Hence, the July 16, 1984 tax assessment was
issued within the prescribed period of five (5) years, from the last day of filing the return, or from the date
the return is filed, whichever comes later.
Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code finds no application in this case for the simple reason that the
provisions on the period of assessment can not be considered as penal in nature.

Petitioner also asserts that the offense has prescribed. Petitioner invokes Section 340 (now 281 of
1997 NIRC) of the Tax Code which provides that violations of any provision of the Code prescribe in five
(5) years. Petitioner asserts that in this case, it began to run in 1979, when she failed to pay the correct
corporate tax due during that taxable year. Hence, when the BIR instituted criminal proceedings on June
8, 1989, by filing a complaint for violation of the Tax Code with the Department of Justice for preliminary
investigation it was beyond the prescriptive period of five (5) years. At most, the BIR had until 1984 to
institute criminal proceedings.
On the other hand, the Solicitor General avers that the information for violation of the Tax Code was
filed within the prescriptive period of five (5) years provided in Section 340 (now 281 in 1997 NIRC) of the
Code. It is only when the assessment has become final and unappealable that the five (5) year period
commences to run. A notice of assessment was issued on July 16, 1984. When petitioner failed to
question or protest the deficiency assessment thirty (30) days therefrom, or on August 16, 1984, it
became final and unappealable. Consequently, it was from this period that the prescriptive period of five
(5) years commenced. Thus, the complaint filed with the Department of Justice on June 8, 1989 was
within the prescribed period.
We agree with the Solicitor General that the offense has not prescribed. Petitioner was charged with
failure to pay deficiency income tax after repeated demands by the taxing authority. In Lim, Sr. v. Court of
Appeals,[22] we stated that by its nature the violation could only be committed after service of notice and
demand for payment of the deficiency taxes upon the taxpayer. Hence, it cannot be said that the offense
has been committed as early as 1980, upon filing of the income tax return. This is so because prior to the
finality of the assessment, the taxpayer has not committed any violation for nonpayment of the tax. The
offense was committed only after the finality of the assessment coupled with taxpayers willful refusal to
pay the taxes within the allotted period. In this case, when the notice of assessment was issued on July
16, 1984, the taxpayer still had thirty (30) days from receipt thereof to protest or question the
assessment. Otherwise, the assessment would become final and unappealable. [23] As he did not protest,
the assessment became final and unappealable on August 16, 1984. Consequently, when the complaint
for preliminary investigation was filed with the Department of Justice on June 8, 1989, the criminal action
was instituted within the five (5) year prescriptive period.
Petitioner contends that by reinstating the information, the trial court exposed her to double
jeopardy. Neither the prosecution nor the trial court obtained her permission before the case was
dismissed. She was placed in jeopardy for the first time after she pleaded to a valid complaint filed before
a competent court and the case was dismissed without her express consent. When the trial court
reinstated the information charging the same offense, it placed her in double jeopardy.
Petitioner also asserts that the trial court gravely erred when, over her objections, it admitted the
amended information. She submits that the amendment is substantial in nature, and would place her in
double jeopardy.
On the other hand, the Solicitor General contends that reinstating the information does not violate
petitioners right against double jeopardy. He asserts that petitioner induced the dismissal of the
complaint when she sought the reinvestigation of her tax liabilities. By such inducement, petitioner
waived or was estopped from claiming her right against double jeopardy.
The Solicitor General further contends that, assuming arguendo that the case was dismissed without
petitioners consent, there was no valid dismissal of the case since Prosecutor Agcaoili was under a
mistaken assumption that it was a charge of nonpayment of contractors tax.

We sustain petitioners contention. The reinstatement of the information would expose her to double
jeopardy. An accused is placed in double jeopardy if he is again tried for an offense for which he has
been convicted, acquitted or in another manner in which the indictment against him was dismissed
without his consent. In the instant case, there was a valid complaint filed against petitioner to which she
pleaded not guilty. The court dismissed the case at the instance of the prosecution, without asking for
accused-petitioners consent. This consent cannot be implied or presumed. [24] Such consent must be
expressed as to have no doubt as to the accuseds conformity. [25] As petitioners consent was not
expressly given, the dismissal of the case must be regarded as final and with prejudice to the re-filing of
the case.[26]Consequently, the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in reinstating the information
against petitioner in violation of her constitutionally protected right against double jeopardy.
WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. We enjoin the lower court, the Regional Trial Court of
Quezon City, Branch 105, from trying Criminal Case No. Q-91-17321 and order its dismissal. Costs de
oficio.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 102131 August 31, 1992
FRANCO GORION, petitioner,
vs.
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF CEBU, Branch 17, presided by HON. JOSE BURGOS, PEOPLE OF
THE PHILIPPINES, represented by CITY PROSECUTOR RODULFO PEREZ and BONIFACIO
BACALTOS,respondents.
Eutiquiano V. Bilocura for petitioner.

DAVIDE, JR., J.:


May an order dismissing a criminal case after the accused had been arraigned, issued in open court
through inadvertence or mistake during a hearing that had already been cancelled, be set aside by the
court and the case tried without placing the accused in double jeopardy?
This is the issue in this case.
On 17 October 1989, after conducting the appropriate preliminary investigation pursuant to a complaint
filed by one Bonifacio Bacaltos, the Office of the City Prosecutor of Cebu City filed with the Regional Trial
Court of Cebu an information charging the petitioner with the crime of Estafa involving the amount of
P50,000.00. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. CBU-16726 1 and was raffled to Branch 17 of
said court.
Upon his arraignment on 12 March 1990, the petitioner entered a plea of not guilty and the court set the
pre-trial and trial of the case for 17 April 1990. 2
The pleadings of the parties do not reveal what transpired on 17 April 1990. It appears, however, that
hearing was again scheduled for 27 and 28 September 1990.

When the case was called for hearing on 27 September 1990, neither the petitioner nor the accused was
present. Not wanting to take advantage of their absence, and considering that there were other cases to
be heard, the prosecutor moved for the cancellation of the hearing on that date as well as the hearing to
be held the following day, which the court granted. The hearing was reset to 4 October 1990. The
pertinent portions of the transcript of stenographic notes of the proceedings on 27 September 1990 read:
ATTY. GAMELO FAJARDO:
I appear as private prosecutor in this case, Your Honor.
FISCAL RODOLFO PEREZ:
For the Prosecution, Your Honor.
COURT:
Where is (sic) the accused and the defense counsel?
ATTY. FAJARDO:
I have not seen them in the courtroom, Your Honor.
FISCAL PEREZ:
The private complainant is coming, Your Honor, but we do not want to
take advantage of the absence of the accused and his defense counsel.
We are willing to give them opportunity (sic) to present their evidence.
ATTY. FAJARDO:
Inasmuch as there are other cases to be heard by the Court this
morning, we might as well reset the hearing.
FISCAL PEREZ:
I suggest that we cancel the hearing scheduled for today and also for
tomorrow, September 28, 1990.
COURT:
What is your available calendar date?
(NOTE)
(The Fiscal, private prosecutor and the Court, after going over their
available calendar dates, finally agreed to call this case again on October
4, 1990 at 11:00 A.M.)
COURT:

Upon suggestion of the prosecution, cancel the hearing scheduled for


today and tomorrow, September 28, 1990, and reset the same to
October 4, 1990, at 11:00 A.M. in order to give the prosecution the last
opportunity to present its evidence. Fiscal Rodolfo Perez, and private
prosecutor Atty. Gamelo Fajardo are notified in open court. Furnish Atty.
Eutiquiano Bilocura, defense counsel, with a copy of this order. Notify the
accused and the private complainant. 3
Unfortunately, however, the case was still included in the trial calendar of the court for 28 September
1990. When the case was called for hearing on that date, only the Fiscal appeared for the prosecution.
The court then issued the following order dismissing the case:
ORDER
When this case was called for hearing today for the presentation of evidence for the
prosecution, only the Fiscal appeared without his witnesses.
In view thereof, this case is hereby ordered DISMISSED for failure to prosecute with
costs de oficio.
Furnish the private complainant, the private prosecutor, defense counsel and the accused
each with a copy of this Order.
SO ORDERED. 4
Counsel for the petitioner, Atty. Eutiquiano Bilocura, received a copy of this order on 4 October 1990.
However, he received a copy of the 27 September 1990 Order only on 15 June 1992. 5
The pleadings of the parties do not reveal what actually transpired on 4 October 1990. In any event, the
case was called again on 31 May 1991, but the Court reset the hearing to 18, 22, 23 and 25 July 1991 on
the ground that it had not yet received from the Chief Justice of this Court a reply to the Presiding Judge's
request for an extension of the trial dates. 6
On 2 July 1991, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss 7 alleging therein that the dismissal of the case by the
court on 28 September 1990 without his consent amounted to his acquittal; hence, he would be placed in
double jeopardy, prohibited under Section 21, Article III of the New Constitution in relation to Section 3(h),
Rule 117 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, if the case were to be "reopened or continued."
The trial court set aside the dismissal order of 28 September 1990 in its Order of 9 August 1991 on the
ground that the court was only misled in issuing the same due to the stenographer's failure to transcribe
the order given in open court issued the previous day; hence, it was issued without due process.
Also on 9 August 1991, the court denied the petitioner's motion to dismiss on the ground that the order of
dismissal of 28 September 1990 was set aside in the aforesaid order of 9 August 1991. 8
On 16 September 1991, petitioner filed a motion to reconsider the order denying his motion to dismiss; he
alleges therein that he cannot be blamed or faulted for (a) any error in the dismissal of the case, (b) the
failure of the stenographer to type the order, and (c) the inclusion of the case in the calendar of 28
September 1990. And even assuming arguendo that the court erroneously dismissed the information, he
asserts that in accordance with this Court's ruling in People vs. Hernandez, 9 People vs. Ferrer, 10 People

vs. Borja 11 and People vs. Gil, 12 the reopening, continuation thereof or appeal therefrom by the State will
place him in double jeopardy.
In its Order of 18 September 1991, the court denied the aforesaid motion for reconsideration by reiterating
the reasons upon which it anchored its denial order of 9 August 1991, and holding that the cases
abovecited are not applicable since they involve dismissals grounded on lack of jurisdiction. 13
Hence this petition, filed on 2 October 1991, wherein petitioner reiterates the issues raised and the
arguments adduced before the trial court and asks this Court to set aside the Orders of 9 August 1991
denying the motion to dismiss, and 18 September 1991 denying the motion for reconsideration for having
been rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction. 14
On 10 March 1992, after extensions of time were granted them, public respondents, through the Office of
the Solicitor General, filed their Comment to the petition in compliance with the Resolution of 6 November
1991. 15They assert therein that the order of dismissal of 28 September 1990 was a mistake and was thus
issued without due process as there was in fact no hearing on that date; hence, the dismissal was null
and void and of no effect. Besides, petitioner did not object to the dismissal; thus, he cannot invoke
double jeopardy.
Petitioner filed, on 24 February 1992, 16 a Reply to the Comment. In refutation of the public respondents'
assertion that he did not object to the dismissal, petitioner maintains that his silence or failure to object is
not the express consentcontemplated by Section 7, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court that would bar him
from pleading double jeopardy.
We resolved to give due course to the petition, consider the Comment as the Answer and decide this
case on the merits.
The petition must fail.
It is obvious to this Court that the trial court was, on 28 September 1990, divested of jurisdiction, pro hac
vice, to issue any order, much leas one of dismissal, in Criminal Case No. CBU-16727 for the simple
reason that said case was already effectively removed from its trial calendar for that date in view of the
previous day's order cancelling the hearing of the case on 27 and 28 September 1990. Plainly, the court
should not have included the case for hearing in the 28 September 1990 trial calendar. The respondent
Court attributed the mistake to the stenographer's failure to immediately transcribe the order. This, of
course, is passing the buck too far.
The Judge, Clerk of Court and the prosecution should shoulder the blame because unless amnesia
suddenly struck all of them simultaneously, it cannot be imagined that in a brief span of about twenty-four
(24) hours, they had all forgotten about the order dictated in open court cancelling the hearing for 27 and
28 September 1990. For the prosecutor who orally moved for such cancellation and the Judge himself
who dictated the said order, no plausible explanation may be offered for such lapse. Apparently, the latter
did not read the calendar before the start of the session that day, and the branch clerk of court who
probably prepared the same one or two days earlier, did not bother to review it anymore. And in the event
that said clerk of court failed to attend the session, he or she did not read the minutes of the case as
prepared by a subordinate. Upon the other hand, the prosecutor literally slept on his duty when he failed
to immediately inform the court of the previous day's order of cancellation of hearing which obviously
accounted for the absence of both the witness and the private prosecutor, and kept his unusual silence in
the face of the open court dictation of the order of dismissal. This ineptitude cannot be condoned.
Prosecutors should always be mindful of the heavy burden of responsibility which they bear in

prosecuting criminal cases because they represent no less than the People of the Philippines and the
State.
The erroneous dismissal order of 28 September 1990 was then issued capriciously and arbitrarily; it
unquestionably deprived the State of a fair opportunity to present and prove its case. Thus, its right to due
process was violated. The said order is null and void and hence, cannot be pleaded by the petitioner to
bar the subsequent annulment of the dismissal order or a re-opening of the case on the ground of double
jeopardy. This is the rule obtaining in this jurisdiction.
In People vs. Balisacan, 17 the accused at his arraignment pleaded not guilty and was allowed to present
mitigating circumstances; he thus testified that he stabbed the deceased in self-defense. The trial court
thereafter, without receiving the evidence for the prosecution, promulgated a decision acquitting the
accused; the prosecution appealed therefrom. We then rejected the plea of double jeopardy therein not
only because of the of fatal procedural flaw of failure to re-arraign the accused after he, in effect, vacated
his plea of guilty thus resulting in the absence of a plea which is an essential element of double jeopardy,
but also because:
. . . the court a quo decided the case upon the merits without giving the prosecution an
opportunity to present its evidence or even to rebut the testimony of the defendant. In
doing so, it clearly acted without due process of law. And for lack of this fundamental
prerequisite, its action is perforce null and void. The acquittal, therefore, being a nullity for
want of due process, is no acquittal at all, and thus can not constitute a proper basis for a
claim of former jeopardy. (People vs. Cabero, 61 Phil. 121; 21 Am. Jur. 2d. 235; McCleary
vs. Hudspeth, 124 Fed. 2d. 445).
In People vs. Gomez, 18 where the motion of the Assistant City Fiscal to postpone the hearing of a
criminal case because the Special Prosecutor actively handling the cage was not served with a notice
of the said hearing and the former was not ready because the records were with the latter was denied
by the respondent judge in open court, resulting in the eventual dismissal of the case, this Court ruled that
such dismissal was capricious and rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to an excess of
jurisdiction, thus depriving the state of a fair opportunity to prosecute and convict. Such a dismissal order,
made sua sponte, for no proper reason at all, is void for being issued without authority.
In Serino vs. Zosa, 19 where both the Assistant Provincial Fiscal and private prosecutor were readily
available, having merely stepped out of the courtroom when the Judge announced that he would first
finish the trial of another case, but after said trial was completed and the criminal case was called again,
both were not yet around, thus prompting the court to issue an order dismissing the case for failure to
prosecute, which it nevertheless set aside on a motion for reconsideration, this Court rejected the plea of
double jeopardy on the ground that the order of dismissal was null and void for lack of due process, and
hence was correctly set aside by the Judge himself.
In People vs. Navarro, 20 this Court nullified a judgment of acquittal in a criminal case for light threats
which was erroneously decided together with a case for frustrated theft against the same accused in a
joint decision, despite the fact that there was no joint trial in said cases and no hearing had as yet been
conducted in the light threats case, because in rendering the judgment in the latter, the Judge acted with
abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction. It is therefore null and void ab initio.
Having been rendered by a court which had no power to do so, it is as though there had been no
judgment; it is coram non judice.
In People vs. Pablo, 21 this Court struck down as having been issued with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction an order of the court acquitting the accused, later on amended to be

merely one of dismissal of the case, issued when the prosecution asked for a postponement upon its
inability to produce its last but vital and indispensable witness who would have testified on the cause of
death of the victim, the subpoena for whom was received by his secretary, despite the fact that five (5)
witnesses for the prosecution had already testified. Said order could not be used to invoke double
jeopardy.
In People vs. Bocar, 22 where after the accused entered their plea of not guilty, the Judge, instead of
receiving the evidence for the prosecution, conducted a summary investigation by directing questions to
both the complainant and the accused and at the end thereof, issued an order dismissing the case on the
ground that it is more civil than criminal, this Court ruled that since no evidence in law had as yet been
entered into the records of the case, the dismissal order was arbitrary, whimsical and capricious a
veritable abuse of discretion which this Court cannot permit.
In Saldana vs. Court of Appeals, 23 where the trial judge had earlier issued an order sustaining the
objection of the defense to the presentation of one Linel Garcia Cuevas on the ground that being a mere
member of the complaining Valle Verde Bagong Lipunan Community Association, Inc., he cannot be
considered as the complainant, and thereafter not only denied a motion to reconsider the said order but
also barred the prosecution from presenting other members of the association from testifying and
thereupon terminated the presentation of the prosecution, and, acting on a motion to dismiss the case for
insufficiency of evidence, dismissed the case on said ground, this Court sustained the decision of the
Court of Appeals annulling the said order and reinstating the criminal case in a petition
for certiorari brought before the latter.
Coming back to the instant case, the dismissal order of 28 September 1990 being null and void because
the trial court lost its jurisdiction to issue the same and violated the right of the prosecution to due
process, it follows that Criminal Case No. CBU-16726 continues to remain at that stage before the said
order was issued. Consequently, the first jeopardy was not terminated and no second jeopardy
threatened the accused.
The three (3) requisites of double jeopardy are: (1) a first jeopardy must have attached prior to the
second, (2) the first jeopardy must have been validly terminated, and (3) a second jeopardy must be for
the same offense as that in the first. Legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid indictment, (b) before a
competent court, (c) after arraignment, (d) when a valid plea has been entered, and (e) when the case
was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused. 24
It having been shown that in this case, the requisites of a valid termination of the first jeopardy are not
present, the petitioner cannot hide behind the protective mantle of double jeopardy.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The respondent Court is hereby directed to
immediately place in its trial calendar Criminal Case No. CBU-16726 for the reception of the evidence of
the parties and thereafter to decide the name.
Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
A.M. No. RTJ-92-876 September 19, 1994
STATE PROSECUTORS, complainants,
vs.
JUDGE MANUEL T. MURO, Regional Trial Court, Branch 54, Manila, respondent.

PER CURIAM:
In assaying the requisite norms for qualifications and eminence of a magistrate, legal authorities place a
premium on how he has complied with his continuing duty to know the law. A quality thus considered
essential to the judicial character is that of "a man of learning who spends tirelessly the weary hours after
midnight acquainting himself with the great body of traditions and the learning of the law; is profoundly
learned in all the learning of the law; and knows how to use that learning." 1
Obviously, it is the primary duty of a judge, which he owes to the public and to the legal profession, to
know the very law he is supposed to apply to a given controversy. He is called upon to exhibit more than
just a cursory acquaintance with the statutes and procedural rules. Party litigants will have great faith in
the administration of justice if judges cannot justly be accused of apparent deficiency in their grasp of the
legal principles. For, service in the judiciary means a continuous study and research on the law from
beginning to end. 2
In a letter-complaint 3 dated August 19, 1992, respondent Judge Manuel T. Muro of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 54, was charged by State Prosecutors Nilo C. Mariano, George C. Dee
and Paterno V. Tac-an with ignorance of the law, grave misconduct and violations of Rules 2.01, 3.01 and
3.02 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, committed as follows:
1. That on August 13, 1992, respondent judge issued an Order dismissing eleven (11)
cases (docketed as Crim. Cases Nos. 92-101959 to 92- 101969, inclusive) filed by the
undersigned complainant prosecutors (members of the DOJ Panel of Prosecutors)
against the accused Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, for Violation of Central Bank
Foreign Exchange Restrictions, as consolidated in CB Circular No. 960, in relation to the
penal provisions of Sec. 34 of R.A. 265, as amended, . . .;
2. That respondent Judge issued his Order solely on the basis of newspaper reports
(August 11, 1992 issues of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Daily Globe) concerning
the announcement on August 10, 1992 by the President of the Philippines of the lifting by
the government of all foreign exchange restrictions and the arrival at such decision by the
Monetary Board as per statement of Central Bank Governor Jose Cuisia;
3. That claiming that the reported announcement of the Executive Department on the
lifting of foreign exchange restrictions by two newspapers which are reputable and of
national circulation had the effect of repealing Central Bank Circular No. 960, as allegedly
supported by Supreme Court decisions . . ., the Court contended that it was deprived of
jurisdiction, and, therefore, motu, prop(r)io had to dismiss all the eleven cases
aforementioned "for not to do so opens this Court to charges of trying cases over which it
has no more jurisdiction;"
4. That in dismissing aforecited cases on August 13, 1992 on the basis of a Central Bank
Circular or Monetary Board Resolution which as of date hereof, has not even been
officially issued, and basing his Order/decision on a mere newspaper account of the
advance announcement made by the President of the said fact of lifting or liberalizing
foreign exchange controls, respondent judge acted prematurely and in indecent haste, as
he had no way of determining the full intent of the new CB Circular or Monetary Board
resolution, and whether the same provided for exception, as in the case of persons who

had pending criminal cases before the courts for violations of Central Bank Circulars
and/or regulations previously issued on the matter;
5. That respondent Judge's arrogant and cavalier posture in taking judicial notice
purportedly as a matter of public knowledge a mere newspaper account that the
President had announced the lifting of foreign exchange restrictions as basis for his
assailed order of dismissal is highly irregular, erroneous and misplaced. For the
respondent judge to take judicial notice thereof even before it is officially released by the
Central Bank and its full text published as required by law to be effective shows his
precipitate action in utter disregard of the fundamental precept of due process which the
People is also entitled to and exposes his gross ignorance of the law, thereby tarnishing
public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary. How can the Honorable Judge take
judicial notice of something which has not yet come into force and the contents, shape
and tenor of which have not yet been published and ascertained to be the basis of judicial
action? The Honorable Judge had miserably failed to "endeavor diligently to ascertain the
facts" in the case at bar contrary to Rule 3.02 of the Code of Judicial Conduct constituting
Grave Misconduct;
6. That respondent Judge did not even ha(ve) the prudence of requiring first the comment
of the prosecution on the effect of aforesaid Central Bank Circular/Monetary Board
resolution on the pending cases before dismissing the same, thereby denying the
Government of its right to due process;
7. That the lightning speed with which respondent Judge acted to dismiss the cases may
be gleaned from the fact that such precipitate action was undertaken despite already
scheduled continuation of trial dates set in the order of the court (the prosecution having
started presenting its evidence . . .) dated August 11, 1992 to wit: August 31, September
3, 10, 21, & 23 and October 1, 1992, all at 9:30 o'clock in the morning, in brazen
disregard of all notions of fair play, thereby depriving the Government of its right to be
heard, and clearly exposing his bias and partiality; and
8. That, in fact, the motive of respondent Judge in dismissing the case without even
waiting for a motion to quash filed by the counsel for accused has even placed his
dismissal Order suspect.
Pursuant to a resolution of this Court dated September 8, 1992, respondent judge filed his
comment, 4 contending,inter alia, that there was no need to await publication of the Central Bank (CB)
circular repealing the existing law on foreign exchange controls for the simple reason that the public
announcement made by the President in several newspapers of general circulation lifting foreign
exchange controls was total, absolute, without qualification, and was immediately effective; that having
acted only on the basis of such announcement, he cannot be blamed for relying on the erroneous
statement of the President that the new foreign exchange rules rendered moot and academic the cases
filed against Mrs. Marcos, and which was corrected only on August 17, 1992 but published in the
newspapers on August 18, 1992, and only after respondent judge had issued his order of dismissal dated
August 13, 1992; that the President was ill-advised by his advisers and, instead of rescuing the Chief
Executive from embarrassment by assuming responsibility for errors in the latter's announcement, they
chose to toss the blame for the consequence of their failures to respondent judge who merely acted on
the basis of the announcements of the President which had become of public knowledge; that the "saving
clause" under CB Circular No. 1353 specifically refers only to pending actions or investigations involving
violations of CB Circular No. 1318, whereas the eleven cases dismissed involved charges for violations of
CB Circular No. 960, hence the accused cannot be tried and convicted under a law different from that

under which she was charged; that assuming that respondent judge erred in issuing the order of
dismissal, the proper remedy should have been an appeal therefrom but definitely not an administrative
complaint for his dismissal; that a mistake committed by a judge should not necessarily be imputed as
ignorance of the law; and that a "court can reverse or modify a doctrine but it does not show ignorance of
the justices or judges whose decisions were reversed or modified" because "even doctrines initiated by
the Supreme Court are later reversed, so how much more for the lower courts?"
He further argued that no hearing was necessary since the prosecution had nothing to explain because,
as he theorized, "What explanation could have been given? That the President was talking 'through his
hat' (to use a colloquialism) and should not be believed? That I should wait for the publication (as now
alleged by complainants), of a still then non-existent CB circular? . . . As it turned out, CB Circular No.
3153 (sic) does not affect my dismissal order because the said circular's so-called saving clause does not
refer to CB Circular 960 under which the charges in the dismissed cases were based;" that it was
discretionary on him to take judicial notice of the facts which are of public knowledge, pursuant to Section
2 of Rule 129; that the contention of complainants that he acted prematurely and in indecent haste for
basing his order of dismissal on a mere newspaper account is contrary to the wordings of the newspaper
report wherein the President announced the lifting of controls as an accomplished fact, not as an intention
to be effected in the future, because of the use of the present perfect tense or past tense "has lifted," not
that he "intends to lift," foreign exchange controls.
Finally, respondent judge asseverates that complainants who are officers of the Department of Justice,
violated Section 6, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court which provides that "proceedings against judges of first
instance shall be private and confidential" when they caused to be published in the newspapers the filing
of the present administrative case against him; and he emphasizes the fact that he had to immediately
resolve a simple and pure legal matter in consonance with the admonition of the Supreme Court for
speedy disposition of cases.
In their reply 5 and supplemental reply, 6 complainants aver that although the saving clause under Section
16 of CB Circular No. 1353 made specific reference to CB Circular No. 1318, it will be noted that Section
111 of Circular No. 1318, which contains a saving clause substantially similar to that of the new circular, in
turn refers to and includes Circular No. 960. Hence, whether under Circular No. 1318 or Circular No.
1353, pending cases involving violations of Circular No. 960 are excepted from the coverage thereof.
Further, it is alleged that the precipitate dismissal of the eleven cases, without according the prosecution
the opportunity to file a motion to quash or a comment, or even to show cause why the cases against
accused Imelda R. Marcos should not be dismissed, is clearly reflective of respondent's partiality and bad
faith. In effect, respondent judge acted as if he were the advocate of the accused.
On December 9, 1993, this Court issued a resolution referring the complaint to the Office of the Court
Administrator for evaluation, report and recommendation, pursuant to Section 7, Rule 140 of the Rules of
Court, as revised, there being no factual issues involved. The corresponding report and
recommendation, 7 dated February 14, 1994, was submitted by Deputy Court Administrator Juanito A.
Bernad, with the approval of Court Administrator Ernani Cruz-Pao.
The questioned order 8 of respondent judge reads as follows:
These eleven (11) cases are for Violation of Central Bank Foreign Exchange Restrictions
as consolidated in CB Circular No. 960 in relation to the penal provision of Sec. 34 of
R.A. 265, as amended.
The accused Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos pleaded not guilty to all these cases; apparently the
other accused in some of these cases, Roberto S. Benedicto, was not arrested and

therefore the Court did not acquire jurisdiction over his person; trial was commenced as
against Mrs. Marcos.
His Excellency, the President of the Philippines, announced on August 10, 1992 that the
government has lifted all foreign exchange restrictions and it is also reported that Central
Bank Governor Jose Cuisia said that the Monetary Board arrived at such decision (issue
of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 11, 1992 and issue of the Daily Globe of the same
date). The Court has to give full confidence and credit to the reported announcement of
the Executive Department, specially from the highest official of that department; the
Courts are charged with judicial notice of matters which are of public knowledge, without
introduction of proof, the announcement published in at least the two newspapers cited
above which are reputable and of national circulation.
Per several cases decided by the Supreme Court (People vs. Alcaras, 56 Phil. 520,
People vs. Francisco, 56 Phil. 572, People vs. Pastor, 77 Phil. 1000, People vs. Crisanto
Tamayo, 61 Phil. 225), among others, it was held that the repeal of a penal law without
re-enactment extinguishes the right to prosecute or punish the offense committed under
the old law and if the law repealing the prior penal law fails to penalize the acts which
constituted the offense defined and penalized in the repealed law, the repealed law
carries with it the deprivation of the courts of jurisdiction to try, convict and sentence
persons charged with violations of the old law prior to its repeal. Under the aforecited
decisions this doctrine applies to special laws and not only to the crimes punishable in
the Revised Penal Code, such as the Import Control Law. The Central Bank Circular No.
960 under which the accused Mrs. Marcos is charged is considered as a penal law
because violation thereof is penalized with specific reference to the provision of Section
34 of Republic Act 265, which penalizes violations of Central Bank Circular No. 960,
produces the effect cited in the Supreme Court decisions and since according to the
decisions that repeal deprives the Court of jurisdiction, this Court motu propriodismisses
all the eleven (11) cases as a forestated in the caption, for not to do so opens this Court
to charges of trying cases over which it has no more jurisdiction.
This order was subsequently assailed in a petition for certiorari filed with the Court of Appeals, entitled
"People of the Philippines vs. Hon. Manuel T. Muro, Judge, RTC of Manila, Br. 54 and Imelda R. Marcos,"
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 29349. When required to file her comment, private respondent Marcos
failed to file any. Likewise, after the appellate court gave due course to the petition, private respondent
was ordered, but again failed despite notice, to file an answer to the petition and to show cause why no
writ of preliminary injunction should issue. Eventually, on April 29, 1993, the Court of Appeals rendered a
decision 9 setting aside the order of August 13, 1992, and reinstating Criminal Cases Nos. 92-101959 to
92-101969.
In finding that respondent judge acted in excess of jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion in
issuing the order of dismissal, the appellate court held that:
The order was issued motu proprio, i.e., without any motion to dismiss filed by counsel for
the accused, without giving an opportunity for the prosecution to be heard, and solely on
the basis of newspaper reports announcing that the President has lifted all foreign
exchange restrictions.
The newspaper report is not the publication required by law in order that the enactment
can become effective and binding. Laws take effect after fifteen days following the
completion of their publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general

circulation unless it is otherwise provided (Section 1, Executive Order No. 200). The full
text of CB Circular 1353, series of 1992, entitled "Further Liberalizing Foreign Exchange
Regulation" was published in the August 27, 1992 issue of the Manila Chronicle, the
Philippine Star and the Manila Bulletin. Per certification of the CB Corporate Affairs
Office, CB Circular No. 1353 took effect on September 2 . . . .
Considering that respondent judge admittedly had not seen the official text of CB Circular
No. 1353, he was in no position to rule judiciously on whether CB Circular No. 960, under
which the accused Mrs. Marcos is charged, was already repealed by CB Circular No.
1353. . . .
xxx xxx xxx
A cursory reading of the . . . provision would have readily shown that the repeal of the
regulations on non-trade foreign exchange transactions is not absolute, as there is a
provision that with respect to violations of former regulations that are the subject of
pending actions or investigations, they shall be governed by the regulations existing at
the time the cause of action (arose). Thus his conclusion that he has lost jurisdiction over
the criminal cases is precipitate and hasty. Had he awaited the filing of a motion to
dismiss by the accused, and given opportunity for the prosecution to comment/oppose
the same, his resolution would have been the result of deliberation, not speculation.
I. The doctrine of judicial notice rests on the wisdom and discretion of the courts. The power to take
judicial notice is to be exercised by courts with caution; care must be taken that the requisite notoriety
exists; and every reasonable doubt on the subject should be promptly resolved in the negative. 10
Generally speaking, matters of judicial notice have three material requisites: (1) the matter must be one of
common and general knowledge; (2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or
uncertain; and (3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court. 11 The provincial
guide in determining what facts may be assumed to be judicially known is that of notoriety. 12 Hence, it
can be said that judicial notice is limited to facts evidenced by public records and facts of general
notoriety. 13
To say that a court will take judicial notice of a fact is merely another way of saying that the usual form of
evidence will be dispensed with if knowledge of the fact can be otherwise acquired. 14 This is because the
court assumes that the matter is so notorious that it will not be disputed. 15 But judicial notice is not judicial
knowledge. The mere personal knowledge of the judge is not the judicial knowledge of the court, and he
is not authorized to make his individual knowledge of a fact, not generally or professionally known, the
basis of his action. Judicial cognizance is taken only of those matters which are "commonly" known. 16
Things of "common knowledge," of which courts take judicial notice, may be matters coming to the
knowledge of men generally in the course of the ordinary experiences of life, or they may be matters
which are generally accepted by mankind as true and are capable of ready and unquestioned
demonstration. 17 Thus, facts which are universally known, and which may be found in encyclopedias,
dictionaries or other publications, are judicially noticed, provided they are of such universal notoriety and
so generally understood that they may be regarded as forming part of the common knowledge of every
person. 18
Respondent judge, in the guise of exercising discretion and on the basis of a mere newspaper account
which is sometimes even referred to as hearsay evidence twice removed, took judicial notice of the
supposed lifting of foreign exchange controls, a matter which was not and cannot be considered of

common knowledge or of general notoriety. Worse, he took cognizance of an administrative regulation


which was not yet in force when the order of dismissal was issued. Jurisprudence dictates that judicial
notice cannot be taken of a statute before it becomes effective. 19 The reason is simple. A law which is not
yet in force and hence, still inexistent, cannot be of common knowledge capable of ready and
unquestionable demonstration, which is one of the requirements before a court can take judicial notice of
a fact.
Evidently, it was impossible for respondent judge, and it was definitely not proper for him, to have taken
cognizance of CB Circular No. 1353, when the same was not yet in force at the time the improvident order
of dismissal was issued.
II. Central Bank Circular No. 1353, which took effect on September 1, 1992, further liberalized the foreign
exchange regulations on receipts and disbursements of residents arising from non-trade and trade
transactions. Section 16 thereof provides for a saving clause, thus:
Sec. 16. Final Provisions of CB Circular No. 1318. - All the provisions in Chapter X of CB
Circular No. 1318 insofar as they are not inconsistent with, or contrary to the provisions of
this Circular, shall remain in full force and effect: Provided, however, that any regulation
on non-trade foreign exchange transactions which has been repealed, amended or
modified by this Circular, violations of which are the subject of pending actions or
investigations, shall not be considered repealed insofar as such pending actions or
investigations are concerned, it being understood that as to such pending actions or
investigations, the regulations existing at the time the cause of action accrued shall
govern.
Respondent judge contends that the saving clause refers only to the provisions of Circular No. 1318,
whereas the eleven criminal cases he dismissed involve a violation of CB Circular No. 960. Hence, he
insists, Circular No. 960 is deemed repealed by the new circular and since the former is not covered by
the saving clause in the latter, there is no more basis for the charges involved in the criminal cases which
therefore warrant a dismissal of the same. The contention is patently unmeritorious.
Firstly, the second part of the saving clause in Circular No. 1353 explicitly provides that "any regulation on
non-trade foreign transactions which has been repealed, amended or modified by this Circular, violations
of which are the subject of pending actions or investigations, shall not be considered repealed insofar as
such pending actions or investigations are concerned, it being understood that as to such pending actions
or investigations, theregulations existing at the time the cause of action accrued shall govern." The terms
of the circular are clear and unambiguous and leave no room for interpretation. In the case at bar, the
accused in the eleven cases had already been arraigned, had pleaded not guilty to the charges of
violations of Circular No. 960, and said cases had already been set for trial when Circular No. 1353 took
effect. Consequently, the trial court was and is supposed to proceed with the hearing of the cases in spite
of the existence of Circular No. 1353.
Secondly, had respondent judge only bothered to read a little more carefully the texts of the circulars
involved, he would have readily perceived and known that Circular No. 1318 also contains a substantially
similar saving clause as that found in Circular No. 1353, since Section 111 of the former provides:
Sec. 111. Repealing clause. - All existing provisions of Circulars 365, 960 and 1028,
including amendments thereto, with the exception of the second paragraph of Section 68
of Circular 1028, as well as all other existing Central Bank rules and regulations or parts
thereof, which are inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of this Circular, are
hereby repealed or modified accordingly: Provided, however, that regulations, violations

of which are the subject of pending actions or investigations, shall be considered


repealed insofar as such pending actions or investigations are concerned, it being
understood that as to such pending actions or investigations, the regulations existing at
the time the cause of action accrued shall govern.
It unequivocally appears from the section above quoted that although Circular No. 1318 repealed Circular
No. 960, the former specifically excepted from its purview all cases covered by the old regulations which
were then pending at the time of the passage of the new regulations. Thus, any reference made to
Circular No. 1318 necessarily involves and affects Circular No. 960.
III. It has been said that next in importance to the duty of rendering a righteous judgment is that of doing it
in such a manner as will beget no suspicion of the fairness and integrity of the judge. 20 This means that a
judge should not only render a just, correct and impartial decision but should do so in such a manner as
to be free from any suspicion as to its fairness and impartiality and as to his integrity. While a judge
should possess proficiency in law in order that he can competently construe and enforce the law, it is
more important that he should act and behave in such a manner that the parties before him should have
confidence in his impartiality. Thus, it is not enough that he decides cases without bias and favoritism. Nor
is it sufficient that he in fact rids himself of prepossessions. His actuations should moreover inspire that
belief. Like Caesar's wife, a judge must not only be pure but beyond suspicion. 21
Moreover, it has always heretofore been the rule that in disposing of controverted cases, judges should
show their full understanding of the case, avoid the suspicion of arbitrary conclusion, promote confidence
in their intellectual integrity and contribute useful precedents to the growth of the law. 22 A judge should be
mindful that his duty is the application of general law to particular instances, that ours is a government of
laws and not of men, and that he violates his duty as a minister of justice under such a system if he seeks
to do what he may personally consider substantial justice in a particular case and disregards the general
law as he knows it to be binding on him. Such action may have detrimental consequences beyond the
immediate controversy. He should administer his office with due regard to the integrity of the system of
the law itself, remembering that he is not a depository of arbitrary power, but a judge under the sanction of
the law. 23 These are immutable principles that go into the very essence of the task of dispensing justice
and we see no reason why they should not be duly considered in the present case.
The assertion of respondent judge that there was no need to await publication of Circular No. 1353 for the
reason that the public announcement made by the President in several newspapers of general circulation
lifting foreign exchange controls is total, absolute, without qualification, and immediately effective, is
beyond comprehension. As a judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, respondent is supposed to be
well-versed in the elementary legal mandates on the publication of laws before they take effect. It is
inconceivable that respondent should insist on an altogether different and illogical interpretation of an
established and well-entrenched rule if only to suit his own personal opinion and, as it were, to defend his
indefensible action. It was not for him to indulge or even to give the appearance of catering to the at-times
human failing of yielding to first impressions. 24 He having done so, in the face of the foregoing premises,
this Court is hard put to believe that he indeed acted in good faith.
IV. This is not a simple case of a misapplication or erroneous interpretation of the law. The very act of
respondent judge in altogether dismissing sua sponte the eleven criminal cases without even a motion to
quash having been filed by the accused, and without at least giving the prosecution the basic opportunity
to be heard on the matter by way of a written comment or on oral argument, is not only a blatant denial of
elementary due process to the Government but is palpably indicative of bad faith and partiality.
The avowed desire of respondent judge to speedily dispose of the cases as early as possible is no
license for abuse of judicial power and discretion, 25 nor does such professed objective, even if true, justify

a deprivation of the prosecution's right to be heard and a violation of its right to due process of
law. 26
The lightning speed, to borrow the words of complainants, with which respondent judge resolved to
dismiss the cases without the benefit of a hearing and without reasonable notice to the prosecution
inevitably opened him to suspicion of having acted out of partiality for the accused. Regardless of how
carefully he may have evaluated changes in the factual situation and legal standing of the cases, as a
result of the newspaper report, the fact remains that he gave the prosecution no chance whatsoever to
show or prove that it had strong evidence of the guilt of the accused. To repeat, he thereby effectively
deprived the prosecution of its right to due process. 27 More importantly, notwithstanding the fact that
respondent was not sure of the effects and implications of the President's announcement, as by his own
admission he was in doubt whether or not he should dismiss the cases, 28 he nonetheless deliberately
refrained from requiring the prosecution to comment thereon. In a puerile defense of his action,
respondent judge can but rhetorically ask: "What explanation could have been given? That the President
was talking 'through his hat' and should not be believed? That I should wait for the publication of a still
then non- existent CB Circular?" The pretended cogency of this ratiocination cannot stand even the
minutest legal scrutiny.
In order that bias may not be imputed to a judge, he should have the patience and circumspection to give
the opposing party a chance to present his evidence even if he thinks that the oppositor's proofs might not
be adequate to overthrow the case for the other party. A display of petulance and impatience in the
conduct of the trial is a norm of conduct which is inconsistent with the "cold neutrality of an impartial
judge." 29 At the very least, respondent judge acted injudiciously and with unjustified haste in the outright
dismissal of the eleven cases, and thereby rendered his actuation highly dubious.
V. It bears stressing that the questioned order of respondent judge could have seriously and substantially
affected the rights of the prosecution had the accused invoked the defense of double jeopardy,
considering that the dismissal was ordered after arraignment and without the consent of said accused.
This could have spawned legal complications and inevitable delay in the criminal proceedings, were it not
for the holding of the Court of Appeals that respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction. This saved the day for the People since in the absence of jurisdiction,
double jeopardy will not set in. To stress this point, and as acaveat to trial courts against falling into the
same judicial error, we reiterate what we have heretofore declared:
It is settled doctrine that double jeopardy cannot be invoked against this Court's setting
aside of the trial court's judgment of dismissal or acquittal where the prosecution which
represents the sovereign people in criminal cases is denied due process. . . . .
Where the prosecution is deprived of a fair opportunity to prosecute and prove its case,
its right to due process is thereby violated.
The cardinal precept is that where there is a violation of basic constitutional rights, courts
are ousted of their jurisdiction. Thus, the violation of the State's right to due process
raises a serious jurisdictional issue . . . which cannot be glossed over or disregarded at
will. Where the denial of the fundamental right of due process is apparent, a decision
rendered in disregard of that right is void for lack of jurisdiction . . . . 30
It is also significant that accused Marcos, despite due notice, never submitted either her comment on or
an answer to the petition for certiorari as required by the Court of Appeals, nor was double jeopardy
invoked in her defense. This serves to further underscore the fact that the order of dismissal was clearly
unjustified and erroneous. Furthermore, considering that the accused is a prominent public figure with a

record of influence and power, it is not easy to allay public skepticism and suspicions on how said
dismissal order came to be, to the consequent although undeserved discredit of the entire judiciary.
VI. To hold a judge liable for rendering a manifestly unjust order through inexcusable negligence or
ignorance, it must be clearly shown that although he has acted without malice, he failed to observe in the
performance of his duty that diligence, prudence and care which the law is entitled to exact in the
rendering of any public service. Negligence and ignorance are inexcusable if they imply a manifest
injustice which cannot be explained by a reasonable interpretation, and even though there is a
misunderstanding or error of the law applied, it nevertheless results logically and reasonably, and in a
very clear and indisputable manner, in the notorious violation of the legal precept. 31
In the present case, a cursory perusal of the comment filed by respondent judge reveals that no
substantial argument has been advanced in plausible justification of his act. He utterly failed to show any
legal, factual, or even equitable justification for the dismissal of the eleven criminal cases. The
explanation given is no explanation at all. The strained and fallacious submissions therein do not speak
well of respondent and cannot but further depreciate his probity as a judge. On this point, it is best that
pertinent unedited excerpts from his comment 32 be quoted by way of graphic illustration and emphasis:
On the alleged ignorance of the law imputed to me, it is said that I issued the Order
dismissing the eleven (11) cases against Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos on the basis of
newspaper reports referred to in paragraph 2 of the letter complaint without awaiting the
official publication of the Central Bank Circular. Ordinarily a Central Bank
Circular/Resolution must be published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general
circulation, but the lifting of "all foreign exchange controls" was announced by the
President of the Philippines WITHOUT QUALIFICATIONS; as published in the Daily
Globe, August 11, 1992" the government has lifted ALL foreign exchange controls," and in
the words of the Philippine Daily Inquirer report of the same date "The government
yesterday LIFTED the LAST remaining restrictions on foreign exchange transactions, . . ."
(emphasis in both quotations supplied) not only the President made the announcement
but also the Central Bank Governor Jose Cuisia joined in the announcement by saying
that "the Monetary Board arrived at the decision after noting how the "partial
liberalization" initiated early this year worked."
Therefore, because of the ABSOLUTE lifting of ALL restrictions on foreign exchange
transactions, there was no need to await the publication of the repealing circular of the
Central Bank. The purpose of requiring publication of laws and administrative rules
affecting the public is to inform the latter as to how they will conduct their affairs and how
they will conform to the laws or the rules. In this particular case, with the total lifting of the
controls, there is no need to await publication. It would have been different if the circular
that in effect repealed Central Bank Circular No. 960, under which the accused was
charged in the cases dismissed by me, had provided for penalties and/or modified the
provisions of said Circular No. 960.
The Complainants state that the lifting of controls was not yet in force when I dismissed
the cases but it should be noted that in the report of the two (2) newspapers aforequoted,
the President's announcement of the lifting of controls was stated in the present perfect
tense (Globe) or past tense (Inquirer). In other words, it has already been lifted; the
announcement did not say that the government INTENDS to lift all foreign exchange
restrictions but instead says that the government "has LIFTED all foreign exchange
controls," and in the other newspaper cited above, that "The government yesterday lifted

the last remaining restrictions on foreign exchange transactions". The lifting of the last
remaining exchange regulations effectively cancelled or repealed Circular No. 960.
The President, who is the Chief Executive, publicly announced the lifting of all foreign
exchange regulations. The President has within his control directly or indirectly the
Central Bank of the Philippines, the Secretary of Finance being the Chairman of the
Monetary Board which decides the policies of the Central Bank.
No official bothered to correct or qualify the President's announcement of August 10,
published the following day, nor made an announcement that the lifting of the controls do
not apply to cases already pending, not until August 17 (the fourth day after my Order,
and the third day after report of said order was published) and after the President said on
August 17, reported in the INQUIRER's issue of August 18, 1992, that the "new foreign
exchange rules have nullified government cases against Imelda R. Marcos, telling
reporters that the charges against the widow of former President Marcos "have become
moot and academic" because of new ruling(s) which allow free flow of currency in and out
of the country" (Note, parenthetically, the reference to "new rules" not to "rules still to be
drafted"). The INQUIRER report continues: "A few hours later, presidential spokeswoman
Annabelle Abaya said, RAMOS (sic) had "corrected himself'." "He had been belatedly
advised by the Central Bank Governor Jose Cuisia and Justice Secretary Franklin Drilon
that the Monetary Board Regulation excluded from its coverage all criminal cases
pending in court and such a position shall stand legal scrutiny', Mrs. Abaya, said."
I will elaborate on two points:
1. If the President was wrong in making the August 10 announcement (published in
August 11, 1992, newspapers) and in the August 17 announcement, SUPRA, and thus I
should have relied on the Presidential announcements, and there is basis to conclude
that the President was at the very least ILL-SERVED by his financial and legal advisers,
because no one bothered to advise the President to correct his announcements, not until
August 17, 1992, a few hours after the President had made another announcement as to
the charges against Imelda Marcos having been rendered moot and academic. The
President has a lot of work to do, and is not, to my knowledge, a financier, economist,
banker or lawyer. It therefore behooved his subalterns to give him timely (not "belated")
advice, and brief him on matters of immediate and far-reaching concerns (such as the
lifting of foreign exchange controls, designed, among others to encourage the entry of
foreign investments). Instead of rescuing the Chief Executive from embarrassment by
assuming responsibility for errors in the latter's announcement, these advisers have
chosen to toss the blame for the consequence of their failing to me, who only acted on
the basis of announcements of their Chief, which had become of public knowledge.
xxx xxx xxx
The Court strongly feels that it has every right to assume and expect that respondent judge is possessed
with more than ordinary credentials and qualifications to merit his appointment as a presiding judge in the
Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Judicial Region, stationed in the City of Manila itself. It is,
accordingly, disheartening and regrettable to note the nature of the arguments and the kind of logic that
respondent judge would want to impose on this Court notwithstanding the manifest lack of cogency
thereof. This calls to mind similar scenarios and how this Court reacted thereto.

In one case, an RTC Judge was administratively charged for acquitting the accused of a violation of CB
Circular No. 960 despite the fact that the accused was apprehended with US$355,349.00 while boarding
a plane for Hongkong, erroneously ruling that the State must first prove criminal intent to violate the law
and benefit from the illegal act, and further ordering the return of US$3,000.00 out of the total amount
seized, on the mistaken interpretation that the CB circular exempts such amount from seizure.
Respondent judge therein was ordered dismissed from the government service for gross incompetence
and ignorance of the law. 33
Subsequently, the Court dismissed another RTC judge, with forfeiture of retirement benefits, for gross
ignorance of the law and for knowingly rendering an unjust order or judgment when he granted bail to an
accused charged with raping an 11-year old girl, despite the contrary recommendation of the investigating
judge, and thereafter granted the motion to dismiss the case allegedly executed by the complainant. 34
Similarly, an RTC judge who was described by this Court as one "who is ignorant of fairly elementary and
quite familiar legal principles and administrative regulations, has a marked penchant for applying
unorthodox, even strange theories and concepts in the adjudication of controversies, exhibits indifference
to and even disdain for due process and the rule of law, applies the law whimsically, capriciously and
oppressively, and displays bias and impartiality," was dismissed from the service with forfeiture of all
retirement benefits and with prejudice to reinstatement in any branch of the government or any of its
agencies or instrumentalities. 35
Still in another administrative case, an RTJ judge was also dismissed by this Court for gross ignorance of
the law after she ordered, in a probate proceeding, the cancellation of the certificates of title issued in the
name of the complainant, without affording due process to the latter and other interested parties. 36
Only recently, an RTC judge who had been reinstated in the service was dismissed after he acquitted all
the accused in four criminal cases for illegal possession of firearms, on the ground that there was no
proof of malice or deliberate intent on the part of the accused to violate the law. The Court found him
guilty of gross ignorance of the law, his error of judgment being almost deliberate and tantamount to
knowingly rendering an incorrect and unjust judgment. 37
ACCORDINGLY, on the foregoing premises and considerations, the Court finds respondent Judge
Manuel T. Muro guilty of gross ignorance of the law. He is hereby DISMISSED from the service, such
dismissal to carry with it cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits, and
disqualification from reemployment in the government service. 38
Respondent is hereby ordered to CEASE and DESIST immediately from rendering any judgment or order,
or continuing any judicial action or proceeding whatsoever, effective upon receipt of this decision.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-33116 August 31, 1971
WILSON SERINO, petitioner,
vs.
HON. MARIANO A. ZOSA Presiding Judge, Branch 3, Court of First Instance of Misamis Occidental
and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
Alaric P. Acosta and Ruben Ra. Cagas for petitioner.

Office of the Solicitor General Felix Q. Antonio and Solicitor Jaime M. Lantin for respondent.

MAKALINTAL, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction. The petitioner, Wilson Serino, was charged with
murder for the death of one Jose Maghuyop, under an information filed by the Assistant Provincial Fiscal
of Misamis Occidental with Branch III of the Court of First Instance of said province, presided by now
respondent Judge Mariano A. Zosa. After several postponements of the trial, petitioner having been
arraigned and having entered a plea of not guilty, the case was called for hearing on December 9, 1970.
The transcript of the stenographic notes taken of the proceedings, certified by the court stenographerrecorder, reads as follows:
This case was called for trial at about 8:40 on December 9, 1970 and
thereafter
ASST. FISCAL CELSO CONOL: Appearing for the prosecution, Your
Honor. We are ready and that our move is to delegate the handling of our
witnesses to the Private Prosecutor, Ex-Fiscal Diosdado Bacolod,
without, however, relinquishing our control over the same.
ATTY. DIOSDADO BACOLOD: Appearing as private prosecutor, Your
Honor.
ATTY. ALARIC P. ACOSTA: For the defense, we are ready, Your Honor.
COURT: We have to finish first the last evidence for the defendant in civil
case No. 2762; and will call this case after.
ATTY. BACOLOD: We agree, Your Honor.
(The trial of the civil case proceeded)
After the trial of civil case and at about 10:30 A.M., the same date, this case was again
called and
ATTY. ACOSTA: We are ready, Your Honor.
COURT: Where are the prosecution? (Nobody appeared) Go to Fiscal's
office and notify them. (Bailiff went outside and after few minutes):
BAILIFF: Fiscal Conol is in the other sala and Atty. Bacolod is not there.
COURT: Order: For failure of the prosecution to appear this morning, this
case is dismissed with costs de oficio; and the cancellation of the bail
bond posted for the provisional release of the accused.

In the afternoon of the same day, December 9, 1970, the Assistant Provincial Fiscal and the private
prosecutor, filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of dismissal, alleging that after the court
announced that it would first hear the civil case before it and then call the criminal case later they
withdrew from the courtroom, the Fiscal heading for the courtroom of Branch I to handle another case
there, and the private prosecutor for the office of Assistant Provincial Fiscal George L. Siton to interview a
witness who had arrived late, both of them "expecting that the court bailiff would notify (them) as soon as
the trial of the civil case was terminated." They returned to the session hall of respondent Judge after ten
o'clock the same morning, only to find that the case had already been dismissed.
The motion for reconsideration was supported by the affidavits of the court bailiff and of the chief clerk of
Provincial Fiscal's office. The bailiff affirmed that he was instructed by respondent Judge to look for Fiscal
Celso Conol, whom he found in another sala conducting the direct examination of a witness in a criminal
case then being tried there; that the Fiscal told him to look for the private prosecutor, Attorney Diosdado
Bacolod, but that he did not do so because the instruction he had received from the Judge was only to
look for the Fiscal. The chief clerk, on his part, affirmed that when the bailiff came to him and inquired as
to the whereabouts of Fiscal Conol, the private prosecutor was actually in the room of Assistant Fiscal
Siton, but that he did not volunteer such information because the bailiff did not ask him about it.
Respondent Judge, in an order dated December 14, 1970, granted the motion for reconsideration "in the
interest of justice," set aside the previous order of dismissal and reinstated the case. It is from that order
of December 14 that the accused, Wilson Serino, came up to this Court on certiorari, claiming that under
the decisions of this Court 1 the dismissal of the case, made unconditionally and without reservation, was
equivalent to an acquittal, which "became final immediately after promulgation and could no longer be
recalled for correction or reconsideration, with or without good reason." In essence, the ground on which
the petition is based is that the reinstatement of the case placed the petitioner in double jeopardy for the
same offense.
The basis of the dismissal of the case in Lagunilla vs. Reyes was the apparent lack of interest on the part
of the complainant to prosecute the case, counterpoised by the constitutional right of the accused to a
speedy trial. It there appeared that when the case was called the Fiscal asked for postponement on the
ground that the complainant and his witnesses were not present although they had been duly notified of
the trial. The accused thereupon moved for dismissal, but the court waited until later in the morning and
granted the motion only when it became obvious that they would not show up at all. This Court, in holding
that the dismissal was proper and that it had the effect of an acquittal, reviewed previous decisions on this
point and said:
In the case of Gandicela vs. Hon. Lutero, L-4069, May 21, 1951, we held that if the
prosecution asks for the postponement of the hearing and the court believes that the
hearing cannot be postponed without violating the right of the accused to a speedy trial,
the court should deny the postponement and proceed with the trial, and if the fiscal fails
to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the court, upon the motion of
the defendant, should dismiss the case; and that this dismissal is not in reality a dismissal
in the general sense but an acquittal based on the failure of the prosecution to prove the
defendant's guilt, which bars another prosecution for the same offense.
Later, in the case of People vs. Diaz, L-6518, March 30, 1954, wherein the prosecution
was not even present at the trial, we reiterated the Gandicela ruling, pointing out that
there was more reason to dismiss the case upon the instance of the accused because
the prosecution was not even present on the day of the trial so as to be in a position to
proceed with the presentation of evidence to prove the guilt of the accused, and that said
dismissal should likewise be regarded as an acquittal.

Still later, in People v. Tacneng, L-12082, April 30, 1959, wherein the prosecution, after asking for several
postponements, confessed to the court that it was not ready for trial because none of its witnesses had
appeared, and the accused, invoking his constitutional right to a speedy trial, asked for dismissal, and the
court dismissed the case, we also ruled that such dismissal amounted to an acquittal.
Finally, in the case of People vs. Robles, L-12761, June 29, 1959, wherein the court
ordered dismissal of the case upon the motion of the accused because the prosecution
was still not prepared for trial after several postponements, we again held that the
dismissal was tantamount to an acquittal that would bar further prosecution of the
accused for the same offense.
The case at bar presents a different set of facts. The prosecution was ready to enter into trial, as the
transcript of the proceedings herein-above quoted reveals. Both the Assistant Provincial Fiscal and the
private prosecutor were readily available, having merely stepped out of the courtroom when the Judge
announced that he would first finish the trial of another case. What prompted the Judge to dismiss the
case, as stated by him in his subsequent order of reconsideration, was, that "when (he) asked for the
prosecution panel to come to court for trial, he was told to wait for them," and that he considered the
same an "assault on the dignity of the court." This is not borne out by the transcript of record; but
assuming that the statement was true it serves only to emphasize the groundless and precipitate
character of the order of dismissal. The assault on the court's dignity would have justified a citation for
contempt, but certainly not the outright dismissal of the case, considering that there had been no violation
of the right of the accused to a speedy trial and that, consistently with such right, the plea of the
complainant for redress as well as the paramount interests of justice were no less entitled to protection
from the court. Respondent Judge must have realized this when he recalled his order of dismissal and
reinstated the case; and we hold that under the circumstances he did so correctly since the said order did
not amount to an acquittal, having been issued in disregard of the requirements of due process.
In the case of People vs. Hon. Amado Gomez, et al., 20 SCRA 293, May 29, 1967, notice of the trial of a
criminal case in the Cebu Court of First Instance was not served upon the Special Prosecutor who was
actively handling the said case. An Assistant Fiscal appeared and manifested that he was not ready
because the records were with the Special Prosecutor, who was even then attending to another case in
Tacloban City. The Fiscal's request for postponement was denied and the case was dismissed. It was the
first such request made by the prosecution, after a considerable delay in the trial due to several legal
maneuvers on the part of the defense. This Court, speaking through Mr. Justice Jose P. Bengzon, said
that the dismissal was purely capricious, a grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction,
and held:
A purely capricious dismissal of an information as herein involved, moreover, deprives the
State of fair opportunity to prosecute and convict. It denies the prosecution its day in
court. Accordingly, it is a dismissal without due process and, therefore, null and void. A
dismissal invalid for lack of a fundamental requisite, such as due process, will not
constitute a proper basis for the claim of double jeopardy (People vs. Balisacan, L-26376,
August 31, 1966, Tilghman v. Mago [Fla.] 82 So. 2d 136; MaCleary v. Hudspeth, 124 F.
2d 445)
Under the circumstance of the present case there is reason to hold, even more than in the case just cited,
that the order of dismissal issued by respondent Judge was null and void for lack of due process, and
hence was correctly set aside by him thereafter.
WHEREFORE, the writ prayed for is denied and the preliminary injunction is dissolved, without
pronouncement as to costs.

-DISMISSAL WITH CONSENT OF THE ACCUSED


ATTY. REYNALDO P. DIMAYACYAC, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. VICENTE Q.
ROXAS, IRENE AGBADA-CRUZ, SIXTOAGBADA CRUZ, MERCEDES ARISTORENAS and
ROMEO GOMEZ and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
DECISION
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA for
brevity) dated November 13, 1998 in CA-G.R. SP No. 43884, denying Atty. Reynaldo
P.Dimayacyacs petition for certiorari and ruling that the Regional Trial Court (Branch 227) of Quezon City
(RTC for brevity) was correct in denying petitioners motion to quash the information charging petitioner
with falsification of public documents, docketed as Criminal Case No. Q-93-49988.
The antecedent facts as borne out by the records of the case are accurately narrated in the CA
Decision dated November 13, 1998, thus:
An information for falsification of public documents docketed as Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 at the
RTC of Quezon City was filed against petitioner along with some others. That information reads:
The undersigned Assistant City Prosecutor accuses LOURDES ANGELES, ESTRELLA MAPA,
ATTY.PONCIANO R. GUPIT, and ATTY. REYNALDO P. DIMAYACYAC of the crime of FALSIFICATION
OF PUBLIC DOCUMENT (under Article 172, first and last paragraph in relation to Article 171 paragraph 2
of the Revised Penal Code), committed as follows:
That on or about the 5th day of 1986, in Quezon City, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, all private individuals, conspiring together, confederating
with and mutually helping one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously commit the
act of falsification of public documents, by then and there falsifying or causing the falsification of the
following documents, to wit:
a)
Certification dated March 10, 1986 purportedly signed by a certain Fernando Dizon, Record
Management Analyst of the Bureau of Land, Central Office, Manila;
(b)
Report dated May 5, 1986 purportedly signed by a certain Jose Mariano, Chief Record
Management Division of Bureau of Land, Central Office, Manila; and
(c)
Sales Certificate and Deed of Assignment allegedly issued by the Bureau of Land in favor of
Lourdes Angeles; that despite the fact that said accused knew all the time that said documents are fake
and spurious used the same in the Petition for Reconstitution of Records of the technical description of
Lots Nos. 755, 777, 778 and 783 of the Piedad Estate covered by TCT No. 14, Decree No.
667, GLRO Record No. 5975 and the issuance of Title thereto filed by Estrella Mapa over and involving
the aforesaid lots in Land Registration Case docketed as LRC Case No. 3369 (86) before Branch 99,
Regional Trial Court, Quezon City and that by virtue of said falsification and the use of the same as
evidence in Court Honorable Presiding Judge Godofredo Asuncion issued an order dated June 30, 1986
granting said petition, and pursuant thereto the Register of Deeds of Quezon City issued Transfer
Certificates of Titles Nos. 348156, 348291 and 348292 in the name of Estrella Mapa thereby embracing
and/or encroaching the portions of the properties belonging to Romeo D. Gomez, Sixto Agbada,

Irene Agbada-Cruz and Mercedes Aristorenaswhose properties were embraced and included in the said
Transfer Certificates of Titles and in such amount as may be awarded under the provisions of the Civil
Code.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
Before his arraignment, petitioner moved to quash the information on two (2) grounds. First, that the
officer who filed the information had no legal authority to do so, and second, that more than one offense
was charged in the information.
Pending resolution of the motion to quash, petitioner was arraigned.
By Order of August 23, 1991, Judge Benigno T. Dayaw of Branch 80 of the Regional Trial Court ofQuezon
City to whose sala Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 was raffled, holding that the grant or denial of Motion
to Dismiss whether the accused is arraigned or not is discretionary on the part of the Court, it citing
People vs. IAC, L-66939-41, January 10, 1987, granted the petitioners motion to quash upon the second
ground. Accordingly, the information was quashed.
More than two (2) years after the quashal of the information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 or on
October 19, 1993, the Quezon City Prosecutor filed against the same accused including petitioner two (2)
informations for falsification of public documents docketed at the Quezon City RTC as Criminal Case Nos.
Q-93-49988 and 49989. The Informations arose from the questioned acts of falsification subject of the
earlier quashed information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037.
Petitioner later filed with Branch 103 of the RTC of Quezon City to which the informations were raffled a
motion for the quashal thereof on the ground of double jeopardy, citing Section 3(h) of Rule 117 of the
Revised Rules of Court.
Petitioner argued at the court a quo that he would be placed in double jeopardy as he was indicted before
for the same offenses and the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent.
By the assailed Order of December 18, 1996, public respondent, Judge Vicente Q. Roxas of Branch 227
of the RTC of Quezon City to which the two (2) informations against petitioner, et al, were eventually
lodged, held that the information in Criminal Case No. Q-93-49988 involved a different document as that
involved in Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 which had already been quashed. Resolution of the motion to
quash the information in Criminal Case No. Q-93-49989 was stayed pending the submission by petitioner
of the documents required by the court a quo. Public respondent thus denied the motion to quash the
information in Criminal Case No. Q-93-49988 and ordered petitioners arraignment, he holding that said
case did not place petitioner in double jeopardy.[2]
Herein petitioner then filed a petition for certiorari before the CA which denied his petition stating in
its Decision that since the Information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037, on petitioners motion, was
quashed on the ground that more than one offense was charged pursuant to Sec. 3 (e) of Rule 117 of the
Revised Rules of Court,[3] he is not placed in double jeopardy by the filing of another Information for an
offense included in the charge subject of the Information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037. [4]
Hence, herein petition for review on certiorari assigning the following errors of the CA, to wit:

I. That the Honorable Court of Appeals ERRED in disregarding the legal doctrine that THERE
IS DOUBLE JEOPARDY, in the case now pending before Respondent Judge Vicente Q.
Roxas;
II. That the Honorable Court of Appeals ERRED in not adhering to the decisions of this
Honorable Supreme Court, as well as to applicable jurisprudence on the matter;
III. That the Honorable Court of Appeals ERRED in not taking into account that based on the
Manifestation and Motion (To Grant Petition) In Lieu of Comment filed by the Office of the
Solicitor General, the ORDER of dismissal of Honorable Judge Benigno T. Dayaw in
Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 on August 23, 1991 has become final and executory; and
IV. That the Honorable Respondent Court of Appeals ERRED in concluding that an ORDER
sustaining the motion to quash is not a bar to another prosecution for the same offense, as it
has no legal basis.[5]
On the other hand, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) contends that petitioner, by filing the
motion to quash and refusing to withdraw it after he was arraigned, is deemed to have waived his right
against double jeopardy, as his motion to quash constituted his express consent for the dismissal of the
information. However, the OSG advances the view that the criminal case against herein petitioner may
be dismissed for the inordinate delay in the conduct of preliminary investigation for the purpose of filing
the proper information, which is a violation of the accuseds constitutional right to due process of law and
to speedy disposition of cases.
Private respondent complainant Irene Agbada-Cruz, in turn, submits that the Court of Appeals
committed no error since the dismissal or quashal of an information is not a bar to another prosecution
except when the motion to quash is based on the ground that (1) the criminal action or liability has been
extinguished or that (2) the accused has previously been convicted or in jeopardy of being convicted or
acquitted of the offense charged, pursuant to Section 6 in relation to Section 3, Rule 117 of the Rules of
Court, to wit:
Section 6. Order sustaining the motion to quash not a bar to another prosecution; exception. - An order
sustaining the motion to quash is not a bar to another prosecution for the same offense unless the motion
was based on the grounds specified in Section 3, sub-sections (f) and (h) of this Rule.
Section 3. Grounds. The accused may move to quash the complaint or information on any of the
following grounds:
(a)

That the facts charged do not constitute an offense;

(b)

That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense
charged or the person of the accused;

(c)

That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so;

(d)

That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form;

(e)

That more than one offense is charged except in those cases in which
existing laws prescribe a single punishment for various offenses;

(f)

That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;

(g)

That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal


excuse or justification; and

(h)

That the accused has been previously convicted or in jeopardy of


being convicted, or acquitted of the offense charged. (Emphasis
supplied)

Thus, private respondent Cruz argues that since the previous information was quashed on the ground of
duplicity of offenses charged, the subsequent filing of a proper information is, therefore, not barred.
In
their
Memorandum,
private
respondents-complainants
Romeo
Gomez
and
MercedesAristorenas contend that (1) jeopardy does not attach where the dismissal of the information
was effected at the instance of the accused; and (2) there was no violation of petitioners right to a speedy
disposition of his case since he never raised this issue in the trial court nor in the appellate court, hence,
his silence should be interpreted as a waiver of said right to a speedy trial.
The issues boil down to (1) whether or not the prosecution of petitioner under the Information
docketed as Criminal Case No. Q-93-49988 would constitute double jeopardy, considering that when the
Information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 was previously quashed, he had already been arraigned,
and (2) whether or not petitioners constitutional right to a speedy disposition of his case has been
violated.
With regard to the first issue, we are in accord with the ruling of the CA that not all the elements for
double jeopardy exist in the case at bench. In People vs. Tac-An,[6] we enumerated the elements that
must exist for double jeopardy to be invoked, to wit:
Thus, apparently, to raise the defense of double jeopardy, three requisites must be present: (1) a first
jeopardy must have attached prior to the second; (2) the first jeopardy must have been validly terminated;
and (3) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense as that in the first.
Legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid indictment, (b) before a competent court, (c) after
arraignment, (d) a valid plea having been entered; and (e) the case was dismissed or otherwise
terminated without the express consent of the accused (People vs. Ylagan, 58 Phil. 851).
Was the duplicitous information a valid indictment? We answer in the affirmative. In People
vs. Bugayong,[7] we ruled that when an appellant fails to file a motion to quash within the time prescribed
under Section 1, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court, he is thus deemed to have waived the defect in the
Information. In People vs. Manalili,[8] we held that an accused, who fails to object prior to arraignment to a
duplicitous information, may be found guilty of any or all of the crimes alleged therein and duly proven
during the trial, for the allegation of the elements of such component crimes in the said information has
satisfied the constitutional guarantee that an accused be informed of the nature of the offense with which
he or she is being charged. Verily, a duplicitous information is valid since such defect may be waived and
the accused, because of such waiver, could be convicted of as many offenses as those charged in the
information and proved during trial.
The validity of the information having been established, we go on to examine whether the other
requisites for double jeopardy to attach are present. In the present case, although there was a valid
indictment before a competent court and petitioner, as the accused, had already been arraigned therein,

entering a valid plea of not guilty, the last requisite that the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated
without his express consent, is not present.
It should be noted that the termination of Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 was upon motion of
petitioner who, on April 1, 1991, filed with the court an Urgent Motion to Quash which was granted by
Resolution dated August 23, 1991. In Sta. Rita vs. Court of Appeals, [9] we held that the reinstatement of
criminal cases against the accused did not violate his right against double jeopardy since the dismissal of
the information by the trial court had been effected at his own instance when the accused filed a motion to
dismiss on the grounds that the facts charged do not constitute an offense and that the RTC had no
jurisdiction over the case. In this case, considering that since the dismissal of the previous criminal case
against petitioner was by reason of his motion for the quashal of the information, petitioner is thus
deemed to have expressly given his consent to such dismissal. There could then be no double jeopardy
in this case since one of the requisites therefore, i.e., that the dismissal be without accuseds express
consent, is not present.
As to whether the subsequent filing of the two informations docketed as Q-93-49988 and Q-9349989 constitutes a violation of petitioners constitutional right to a speedy disposition of cases, [10] we rule
in the negative. We are not convinced by the OSGs assertion that the cases ofTatad vs.
Sandiganbayan[11] or Angchangco, Jr. vs. Ombudsman,[12] are applicable to the case before us. We see
differently. There is no factual similarity between this case before us and the cases
of Tatad and Angchangco.
In the Tatad case, there was a hiatus in the proceedings between the termination of the proceedings
before the investigating fiscal on October 25, 1982 and its resolution on April 17, 1985. The Court found
that political motivations played a vital role in activating and propelling the prosecutorial
process[13] against then Secretary Francisco S. Tatad. In the Angchangcocase, the criminal complaints
remained pending in the Office of the Ombudsman for more than six years despite the respondents
numerous motions for early resolution and the respondent, who had been retired, was being
unreasonably deprived of the fruits of his retirement because of the still unresolved criminal complaints
against him. In both cases, we ruled that the period of time that elapsed for the resolution of the cases
against the petitioners therein was deemed a violation of the accuseds right to a speedy disposition of
cases against them.
In the present case, no proof was presented to show any persecution of the accused, political or
otherwise, unlike in the Tatad case. There is no showing that petitioner was made to endure any
vexatious process during the two-year period before the filing of the proper informations, unlike in
the Angchangco case where petitioner therein was deprived of his retirement benefits for an
unreasonably long time. Thus, the circumstances present in the Tatad and Angchangcocases justifying
the radical relief granted by us in said cases are not existent in the present case.
We emphasize our ruling in Ty-Dazo vs. Sandiganbayan[14] where we held that:
The right to a speedy disposition of cases, like the right to a speedy trial, is deemed violated only when
the proceedings is attended by vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays; or when unjustified
postponements of the trial are asked for and secured, or when without cause or unjustifiable motive, a
long period of time is allowed to elapse without the party having his case tried. In the determination of
whether or not that right has been violated, the factors that may be considered and balanced are: the
length of the delay the reasons for such delay, the assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused,
and the prejudice caused by the delay.

A mere mathematical reckoning of the time involved, therefore, would not be sufficient. In the application
of the constitutional guarantee of the right to speedy disposition of cases, particular regard must also be
taken of the facts and circumstances peculiar to each case. (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, we shall examine how such aforementioned factors affected herein petitioners right.
As to the length of delay, it is established that the prosecution did not take any action on petitioners
case for two years. From the time that Criminal Case No. Q-91-18037 was dismissed on August 23,
1991, the prosecution failed to effect the very simple remedy of filing two separate informations against
petitioner until October of 1993. Indeed, there was a delay in the refiling of the proper
informations. However, the prosecution was never given the opportunity to explain the circumstances that
may have caused such delay precisely because petitioner never raised the issue of the length of time it
took the prosecution to revive the case. There is nothing on record to show what happened during the
two-year lull before the filing of the proper informations. Hence, it could not be ascertained that peculiar
situations existed to prove that the delay was vexatious, capricious and oppressive, and therefore, a
violation of petitioners constitutional right to speedy disposition of cases.
What the records clearly show is that petitioner never asserted his right to a speedy disposition of his
case. The only ground he raised in assailing the subsequent filing of the two informations is that he will
be subjected to double jeopardy. It was only the OSG that brought to light the issue on petitioners right to
a speedy disposition of his case, and only when the case was brought to the appellate court on
certiorari. Even in this petition before us, petitioner did not raise the issue of his right to a speedy
disposition of his case. Again, it was only the OSG that presented such issue to us in the Brief for the
State which was only then adopted by petitioner through a Manifestation dated August 3, 1999. We are
not convinced that the filing of the informations against petitioner after two years was an unreasonable
delay. Petitioner himself did not really believe that there was any violation of his right to a speedy
disposition of the case against him.
The case which is more in point with the present one before us is Dela Pea vs.
Sandiganbayan[15] where we ruled that petitioner therein, for failing to assert their right to a speedy
disposition of their cases, was deemed to have waived such right and thus, not entitled to the radical
relief granted by the Court in the cases of Tatad and Angchangco. The factual circumstances
surrounding herein petitioners case do not demonstrate that there was any violation of petitioners right to
a speedy disposition of his case.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. The temporary restraining order
issued pursuant to our Resolution dated January 17, 2000 is hereby LIFTED and the Regional Trial Court
of Quezon City (Branch 227) is hereby ORDERED to proceed with dispatch with petitioners arraignment
in Criminal Case No. Q-93-49988.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-49375 February 28, 1979
LEOPOLDO SALCEDO, petitioner,
vs.
HONORABLE JUDGE FILEMON H. MENDOZA and THE PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, respondents.
Atienza Law Office for petitioner.

Office of the Solicitor General for respondents.

MAKASIAR, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari with preliminary injunction of the order of respondent Judge
Filemon H. Mendoza, dated May 8, 1978, setting aside the order of dismissal dated March 28,1978
issued by him in Criminal Case No. C-1061 entitled "People of the Philippines, Plaintiff, versus Leopoldo
Salcedo, Accused."
The record shows that on November 11, 1977, Provincial Fiscal Nestor M. Andrada of Oriental Mindoro
filed a criminal information of homicide through reckless imprudence against the herein petitioner
Leopoldo Salcedo, docketed as Criminal Case No. C-1061 of the Court of First Instance of Oriental
Mindoro, Branch I.
Upon arraignment on December 19, 1977, petitioner entered a plea of not guilty and the case was then
set for trial on the merits on January 25, 1978. When the case was called for trial on that date, Provincial
Fiscal Nestor M. Andrada asked for postponement to February 22, 1978, which was granted, for trial on
February 22, 1978, which was granted, because the accused failed to appear. When the case was called
for trial on February 22, 1978, the prosecution, through Assistant Provincial Fiscal Emmanuel S.
Panaligan, once more moved for its postponement and the case was reset for trial on March 28, 1987.
On March 28, 1987, when the case was called for trial, no prosecuting fiscal appeared for the
prosecution. A private prosecutor, Atty. Juan P. Adzuarra, who withdrew his appearance from the case and
reserved the right to file a separate civil action, moved for its postponement in order to give the
prosecution another chance because they intend to request the Ministry of Justice to appoint a special
prosecutor to handle the case. The trial court, however, denied the said motion. Whereupon, the
petitioner, through counsel, Atty. Edgardo
Aceron, moved for the dismissal of the criminal case against him invoking his constitutional right to
speedy trial and respondent Judge issued an order dismissing the case, the pertinent portion of which
reads as follows:
Atty. Edgardo Aceron moved that considering the fact that this is the third time that this
case was postponed always at the instance of the fiscal although the first postponement
was made by the provincial fiscal in behalf of the accused who failed to appear, the Court
orders the dismissal of this case with costs de officio.
Although the government is interested in the prosecution of this case, the Court must also
take into consideration the interest of the accused for under the Constitution he is entitled
to a speedy administration of justice, hence the dismissal of the case.
IT IS SO ORDERED. (pp. 2-3, Annex A, Petition for Certiorari, pp. 14-14A, rec.).
On the same day, the prosecution, through Assistant Provincial Fiscal Arthur B. Panganiban, filed a
motion to reconsider the above order (Annex B, Petition, p. 15. rec.). In an order dated March 29, 1978,
the trial court denied the motion "for lack of merit, there being no assurance that the procecuting fiscal will
promptly and adequately prosecute the case (Annex C, Petition, p. 16, rec.). His first motion for

reconsideration having been denied, Assistant Provincial Fiscal filed a filed a second motion for
reconsideration which the court set for hearing to April 20, 1978 (Annex D, Petition, p. 17, rec.).
It appears that on April 20, 1978, the trial court issued an order requiring both parties to submit within five
(5) days from that date their respective pleadings (Annex E, Petition, p. 19, rec.). However, the parties
failed to comply with the said order. On May 8, 1978, respondent Judge entered the order here asked to
be reviewed, setting aside the order of dismissal dated March 28, 1978 and ordering that the case be set
for trial on June 5, 1978, as follows:
Considering that both parties failed to comply with the order of the is Court dated April 20,
1978 giving them five to days from that date to submit before the Court their respective
pleadings. theCourt in the interest of justice sets aside the order of this Court dated
March 28, 1978.
Conformably with the above, let the trial of this case be set to June 5, 1978 at 1:30
o'clock in the afternoon.
Let the parties be notified accordingly.
SO ORDERED. (Annex E, Petition, p. 19, emphasis supplied).
Petitioner learned for the first time about the existence of the above order an June 5, 1978, thus he filed
on June 16, 1978 a motion for reconsideration of the said order alleging that the dismissal of the criminal
case against him was equivalent to an acquittal and reinstatement of the same would place him twice in
joepardy for the same offense (Annex F, Petition, p. 20, rec.).
On June 20, 1978, the trial court issued an order denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration and
setting the case for trial on July 20, 1978 (Annex G, Petition, p. 24, rec.). Unable to obtain reconsideration
of the May 8, 1978 order, petitioner filed the present petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction on
November 29, 1978 reiterating his contention that the dismissal of the criminal case. which was upon his
motion, predicate on his constitutional right to a speedy trial, amounts to an acquittal, and therefore the
reinstatement of the same criminal case against him would violate his right against double jeopardy.
In our resolution of December 8, 1978. the Court required the respondents to comment on the petition.
The Solicitor General, on behalf of the respondents, filed his comment on January 26, 1979 agreeing with
the petitioner that "a reinstatement of this case would operate to violate his right against double jeopardy"
(p. 4, Comment, p. 31, rec.).
The Stand of the petitioner and the solicitor General is well taken. Time and again, We have said that the
dismissal of a criminal case predicated on the right of the accused to speedy trial, amounts to an acquittal
on the merits which bars the subsequent prosecution of the accused for the same offense.
Thus, in the case of Gandicela vs. Lutero (88 Phil. 299, 307, May 21, 1951), We said:
If the defendant wants to exercise his constitutional right to a speedy trial, he should ask,
not for the dismissal but for the trial of the case. If the prosecution asks for the
postponement of the hearing and the court believes that the hearing cannot be
postponed anymore without violating the night of the accused to a speedy trial, the court
shall deny the postponement and proceed with the trial and require the fiscal to present
the witnesses for the prosecution; and if the fiscal does not or cannot produce his

evidence and consequently fails to prove the defendant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt,
the Court, upon the motion of the defendant, shall dismiss the case. Such dismissal is
not in reality a mere dismissal although it is generally so called but an acquittal of the
defendant because of the prosecution's .failure to prove the guilt of the defendant, and it
will be a bar to another prosecution for the same offense even though it was ordered by
the Court upon motion or with the express consent of the defendants, in exactly the same
way as a judgment of acquittal obtained upon the defendants motion (People vs. Salico,
84 Phil. 722). (emphasis supplied).
And in the case of People vs. Diaz (94 Phil. 714, 717, March 30, 1954), wherein the prosecution failed to
appear on the day of the trial, We reiterated the Gandicela case, doctrine stating that:
... Here the prosecution was not even present on the day of the trial so as to be in a
position to proceed with the presentation of evidence to prove the guilt of the accused.
The case was set for hearing twice and the prosecution without asking for postponement
or giving any explanation, just failed to appear. So the dismissal of the case, tho at the
Instance of defendant Diaz may, according to what we said in the Gandicela case,be
regarded as an acquittal. (emphasis supplied).
Likewise, in People vs. Abano (97 Phil. 28, May 17, 1955), wherein the court dismissed the case upon the
motion of the accused for failure of the prosecution to produce its evidence, We held that:
The defendant was entitled to a speedy trial, ... The defendant was placed in jeopardy of
punishment for the offense charged in the information and the annulment or setting aside
of the order of dismissal would place him twice in jeopardy of punishment for the same
offense.
Furthermore, in People vs. Tacneng (L-12082, April 30, 1959), where the Court ordered the dismissal of
the case upon the motion of the accused because the prosecution was not ready for trial after several
postponements, this court held that:
... when criminal case No. 1793 was called for hearing for the third time and the fiscal
was not ready to enter into trial due to the absence of his witnesses, the herein appellees
had the right to object to any further postponement and to ask for the dismissal of the
case by reason of their constitutional right to a speedy trial; and if pursuant to that
objection and petitioner for dismissal the case was dismissed, such dismissal amounted
to an acquittal o" the herein appellees which can be invoked as they did, in a second
prosecution for the same offense. (emphasis supplied).
Then, in People vs. Robles (105 Phil. 1016, June 29, 1959), a case with a similar factual setting as that
of People vs, Tacneng, supra We ruled that:
In the circumstances, we find no alternative than to hold that the dismissal of Criminal
Case No. 11065 is not provisional in character but one which is tantamount to acquittal
that would bar further prosecution of the accused for the same offense.
Later, in the 1960 case of People vs. Lasarte (107 Phil, 697, April 27, 1960), this Court pointed out that:
... where the fiscal fails to prosecute and the judge dismiss the case, the termination is
not real dismissal but acquittal because the prosecution failed to prove the case when the
trial ,wherefore came.

And in Lagunilla vs. Honorable Reyes and Motas (1 SCRA 1364, April 29, 1961), where the court
dismissed the case because of the apparent lack of interest of the complainant to prosecute the case, this
Court again ruled that:
Such dismissal made unconditionally and without reservation, after plea of not guilty, and
apparently predicated on the constitutional right of the accused to a speedy trial is, ...
equivalent to an acquittal. And being an order of acquittal, it became final immediately
after promulgation and could no longer be recalled for correction or reconsideration
(People vs. Sison, L-11669, January 30, 1959; Catilo Abaya, 94 Phil. 1014; 50 Off. Gaz.,
[6] 2477; People vs. Yelo, 83 Phil. 618; 46 Off. Gaz. [11th Supp.] 71), with or without good
reason.
In the more recent case of People vs. Cloribel (11 SCRA 805, August 31, 1964) where the Court again
ordered the dismissal of the case upon notion of the accused because of the failure of the prosecution to
appear, WE had occasion again to reiterate Our previous rulings, thus:
... the dismissal here complained of was not truly a a "dismissal" but an acquittal. For it
was entered upon the defendant's insistence on their contitutional right to speedy trial
and by reason of the prosecution's failure to appear on the date of trial.
In the present case, the respondent Judge dismissed the case, upon the motion of the petitioner invoking
his constitutional right to speedy trial, because the prosecution failed to appear on the day of the trial on
March 28, 1978 after it had previously been postponed twice, the first on January 26, 1978 and the
second on February 22, 1978.
The effect of such dismissal is at once clear Following the established jurisprudence, a dismiss predicated
on the right of the accused to speedy trial upon his own motion or express consent, amounts to an
acquittal which will bar another prosecution of the accused for the same offense This is an exception to
the rule that a dismissal upon the motion or with the express consent of the accused win not be a bar to
the subsequent prosecution of the accused for the same offense as provided for in Section 9, Rule 113 of
the Rules of Court. The moment the dismissal of a criminal case is predicated on the right of the accused
to speedy trial even if it is upon his own motion or express consent, such dismissal is equivalent to
acquittal And any attempt to prosecute the accused for the same offense will violate the constitutional
prohibition that "no person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense (New
Constitution, Article IV, Sec 22).
The setting aside by the respondent Judge on May 8, 1978 of the order of dismissal of March 28, 1978
and thereby reviving or reinstating Criminal Case No. C-1061 places the petitioner twice in jeopardy for
the offense The respondent Judge therefore committed a grave abuse of discretion in issuing the order of
May 8, 1978 setting aside the order of dismiss issued on March 28, 1978.
WHEREFORE, THE PETITION IS HEREBY GRANTED AND THE CHALLENGED ORDER DATED MAY
8, 1978, IS HEREBY SET ASIDE AS NULL AND VOID. NO COSTS.
SO ORDERED
G.R. No. L-43790 December 9, 1976
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.

THE CITY COURT OF SILAY, ERNESTO DE LA PAZ, PACIFICO SENECIO, JR. y SEBUSA, ROMEO
MILLAN y DELEJERO and WILFREDO JOCHICO y MAGALONA, respondents.
Acting Solicitor General Hugo E. Gutierrez, Jr., Assistant Solicitor General Octavio R. Ramirez and
Solicitor Enrique M. Reyes for petitioner.
Hilado, Hagad & Hilado as private prosecutors.
Benjamin Z. Yelo, Sr. for private respondent Romeo Millan.
Ciceron Severino and Emeterio Molato for other private respondents.

MUOZ PALMA, J.:


This is a Petition for Review jointly filed by the City Fiscal of Silay City, Marcelino M. Paviera, and the Law
Offices of Hilado, Hagad & Hilado, the latter as private prosecutors, praying that an order of the City Court
of Silay dated December 19, 1975, issued by Judge Reynaldo M. Alon, dismissing Criminal Case No.
7124-C entitled "People vs. Ernesto de la Paz, et al." be set aside and that respondent court be directed
to continue with the trial of the aforementioned case. *
In compliance with Our Resolution of July 21, J976, the Office of the Solicitor General filed its comment
on October 13, 1974, joining the Petitioner's prayer that the order of respondent court of December 19,
1975, be reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.
The record shows that private respondent herein, Ernesto de la Paz, Pacifico Senecio, Jr. y Sebusa
Romeo Millan y Delejero and Wilfredo Jochico y Magalona, were charged with "falsification by private
individuals and use of falsified document" under Par. 2, Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code, alleged to
have been committed as follows.
That sometime on January 4, 1974, at Hawaiian-Philippine Company, Silay City,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused Ernesto de la
Paz, overseer of Hda. Malisbog belonging to Deogracias de la Paz, and the other three
accused, scalers of Hawaiian-Philippine Company, with intent of gain and to cause
damage by conniving, cooperating and mutually helping one another did then and there
wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously alter or falsify the sugar cane weight report card or
"tarjeta", a private document showing the weight of sugarcane belonging to Deogracias
de la Paz, particularly those loaded in cane cars Nos. 1686, 1743 and 1022 by increasing
the total actual weight of 22.005 tons to 27.160 tons for said three cane cars, thereby
causing damage to the central and other cane planters of about 8.68 piculs of sugar
valued in the total amount of P618.19, to the damage and prejudice of Hawaiian Central
and other sugarcane planters adhered thereto in the aforestated amount of P618.19.
IN VIOLATION OF PARAGRAPH 2, ART. 172, R.P.C. (p. 14, rollo) Evidence was
presented by the prosecution showing that:
On January 4, 1974, accused Pacifico Senecio, Jr. Romeo Millan and Wilfredo Jochico
who were then scalers on duty that day at the Hawaiian-Philippine Company, weighed
cane cars Nos. 1743,1686 and 1022 loaded with sugar canes belonging to Deogracias

de la Paz. The weight of the sugar canes were reflected on the weight report cards (H.P.
Co. Lab. Form No. 1) or "tarjetas" showing that for car No. 1743 8.920 tons (Exhibit
"B-1"), for Car No. 1686 8.970 tons (Exhibit "C-1") for car No. 1022 8.875 tons or a
total weight of 26.765 tons. However, they did not submit said "tarjetas" to the laboratory
section, instead, they substituted "tarjetas" showing a heavier weight for car No. 1743
10.515 tons (Exhibit "B"), car No. 1686 10.525 tons (Exhibit "C") and car No. 1022
10.880 tons (Exhibit "D") with a total of 27.160 tons or an additional of 5.155 tons. These
were the "tarjetas" submitted to the laboratory section. Exhibits "B-1", "C-1" and "D-1"
were taken later by the prosecution witness PC Sgt. Rogelio Sevilla from the wife of
Pacifico Senecio, Jr. (pp. 15-16, rollo, Order of December 19, 1975).
After the prosecution had presented its evidence and rested its case, private respondents moved to
dismiss the charge against them on the ground that the evidence presented was not sufficient to establish
their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Acting on this motion, respondent court issued its order of December
19, 1975, dismissing the case with costs de oficio principally on the ground that the acts committed by the
accused as narrated above do not constitute the crime of falsification as charged. Reasoning out his
order, Judge Alon said:
To be convicted under paragraph 2, Article 172, an accused should have committed one
of the eight acts of falsification enumerated under Article 171, R.P.C. Is the act of
substituting the "tarjetas" with higher cane weight for the ones with lower cane weight fall
under one of the acts enumerated. After going over the acts of falsification one by one
and trying to correlate the act of the accused with each of them, the Court finds that the
said act could not possibly be placed under any of them. Inclusio unius est exclusio
alterius, the inclusion of one is the exclusion of the other. Following this maxim, we
cannot just include the act of substitution as among those acts enumerated under Article
171. And, under the rule of statutory construction, penal laws should be liberally
construed in favor of the accused. This Court, therefore, is of the opinion that the accused
have not committed the act of falsification with which they are charmed. Obviously, it
follows that there could be no use of falsified document since there is no falsified
document.
The imputed acts of the accused in making the substitution, if true, is repugnant to the
human sense of right and wrong. But, however reprehensible the act may be, it is not
punishable unless there is a showing that there is a law which defines and penalizes it as
a crime. Unless there be a particular provision in the Penal Code or Special Law that
punishes the act, even if it be socially or morally wrong, no criminal liability is incurred by
its commission. (U.S. vs. Taylor, 28 Phil. 599)
xxx xxx xxx
Wherefore, the motion is hereby granted and the case dismissed with costs de oficio ...
(pp. 17-18, rollo)
In their comment on this Petition, private respondents claim that there was no error committed by
respondent court in dismissing the case against them for insufficiency of evidence and that for this Court
to grant the present petition would place said respondents in double jeopardy.
On the other hand, the People asserts that the plea of double jeopardy is not tenable inasmuch as the
case was dismissed upon motion of the accused, and the dismissal having been made with their consent,

they waived their defense of double jeopardy, citing various cases in support thereof. (pp. 58-59, rollo,
Comment of the Solicitor General)
We disagree with the position taken by the Acting Solicitor General Hugo E. Gutierrez, Jr. that the plea of
double jeopardy is not available in the instant situation.
It is true that the criminal case of falsification was dismissed on motion of the accused; however, this was
a motion filed after the prosecution had rested its case, calling for an appreciation of the evidence
adduced and its sufficiency to warrant conviction beyond reasonable doubt, resulting in a dismissal of the
case on the merits, tantamount to an acquittal of the accused.
Thus, in People vs. Acosta, L-23657, October 29, 1968, this Court dismissed an appeal taken by
the Peopleagainst an order of the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte dismissing a criminal case upon
motion of the accused after the presentation of evidence by the prosecution as such appeal if allowed
would place the accused in double jeopardy. There the accused was charged with estafa by obtaining
from Pedro Miguel a ring valued at P16,500.00 and issuing a check for $5,000.00 in Payment thereof
which turned out later to be counterfeit to the damage and prejudice of said Pedro Miguel in the
aforementioned amount of P16,500.00. After the presentation of the evidence of the prosecution, the
accused moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the evidence showed that the ring belonged to
somebody else, Banang Jaramillo, and not to Pedro Miguel as alleged in the information and that the
element of damage was absent. This motion was opposed by the Assistant Provincial Fiscal but
notwithstanding said opposition, the trial court dismissed the case on the ground that Pedro Miguel was a
mere agent of the true owner of the ring and therefore not the real offended party. The Assistant Provincial
Fiscal appealed to this Court, but the Solicitor General moved for the dismissal of the appeal on the
ground that it would place the accused in double jeopardy, and the Court agreed with the Solicitor
General, stating that it cannot be seriously questioned that the trial court had grievously erred in his
conclusion and application of the law, and in dismissing outright the case; however, the error cannot now
be remedied by an appeal because it would place the accused in double jeopardy. (per Eugenio Angeles,
J., 25 SCRA 823,826)
In the earlier case of Catilo vs. Hon. Abaya, May 14, 1954, petitioner Catilo was charged with murder
before the Court of First Instance of Batangas presided by respondent Judge. Petitioner was arraigned
and after the prosecution had rested its case petitioner moved for the dismissal of the charge for
insufficiency of evidence. This motion was granted by the Judge and his order was promulgated in open
court to the accused. Later in the day, Judge Abaya set aside his order of dismissal motu proprio and
scheduled the case for continuation of the trial on specific dates. A motion for reconsideration was filed by
the defense counsel but because respondent Judge failed to take action, the accused filed an original
action for certiorari with this Court. In granting relief to petitioner Catilo, the Court, through Justice
Marcelino R. Montemayor, held:
From whatever angle we may view the order of dismissal Annex "A", the only conclusion
possible is that it amounted to an acquittal. Whether said acquittal was due to some
"misrepresentation of facts" as stated in the order of reconsideration, which alleged
misrepresentation is vigorously denied by the defendant-petitioner, or to a
misapprehension of the law or of the evidence presented by the prosecution, the fact is
that it was a valid order or judgment of acquittal, and thereafter the respondent Judge
himself advised the accused in open court that he was a free man and could not again be
prosecuted for the same offense.
The inherent powers of a court to modify its order or decision, under section 5, Rule 124
of the Rules of Court claimed for the respondent to set aside his order of dismissal, does

not extend to an order of dismissal which amounts to a judgment of acquittal in a criminal


case; and the power of a court to modify a judgment or set it aside before it has become
final or an appeal has been perfected, under section 7, Rule 116 of the Rules of Court,
refers to a judgment of conviction and does not and cannot include a judgment of
acquittal.
In conclusion, we hold that to continue the criminal case against the petitioner after he
had already been acquitted would be putting him twice in jeopardy of punishment for the
same offense. ... (94 Phil. 1017)
The cases cited by the Acting Solicitor General are not applicable to the situation now before Us because
the facts are different. In Co Te Hue vs. Judge Encarnacion , 94 Phil. 258, the case was dismissed
provisionally with the express consent of the accused. The same occurred in People vs. Togle, 105 Phil.
126 there was a provisional dismissal upon express request of the counsel for the accused, In Gandicela
vs. Lutero, 88 Phil. 299, it was the accused who asked for the dismissal of the case because the private
prosecutor was not in court to present the prosecution's evidence and the Municipal Court of the City of
Iloilo dismissed the case without prejudice to the refiling of the charge against the accused. 1 In People
vs. Romero, 89 Phil. 672, the dismissal was made at the instance of the accused because the
prosecution was also not ready with its evidence. The case of People vs. Belosillo, 9 SCRA 836, is not
applicable either, because the order of dismissal of the Information was made before arraignment, hence,
the accused was not yet placed in jeopardy of punishment for the offense charged.
In the case of the herein respondents, however, the dismissal of the charge against them was one on the
merits of the case which is to be distinguished from other dismissals at the instance of the accused. All
the elements of double jeopardy are here present, to wit: (1) a valid information sufficient in form and
substance to sustain a conviction of the crime charged, (2) a court of competent jurisdiction, and (3) an
unconditional dismissal of the complaint after the prosecution had rested its case, amounting to the
acquittal of the accused. The dismissal being one on the merits, the doctrine of waiver of the accused to a
plea of double jeopardy cannot be invoked.
It is clear to Us that the dismissal of the criminal case against the private respondents was erroneous.
As correctly stated in the Comment of the Acting Solicitor General, the accused were not charged with
substitution of genuine "tarjetas" with false ones. The basis for the accusation was that the accused
entered false statements as to the weight of the sugar cane loaded in certain cane cars in "tarjetas" which
were submitted to the laboratory section of the company. The act of making a false entry in the "tarjetas"
is undoubtedly an act of falsification of a private document, the accused having made untruthful
statements in a narration of facts which they were under obligation to accomplish as part of their dutiesErnesto de la Paz, as overseer of Hda. Malisbog, and the other accused as scalers of the offended party,
the Hawaiian-Philippine Company, thereby causing damage to the latter.
However erroneous the order of respondent Court is, and although a miscarriage of justice resulted from
said order, to paraphrase Justice Alex Reyes in People vs. Nieto, 103 Phil, 1133, such error cannot now
be righted because of the timely plea of double jeopardy.
In Nieto, the background of the case is as follows: On September 21, 1956, an Information for homicide
was filed with the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija against Gloria Nieto who, upon arraignment
pleaded guilty to the charge but -notwithstanding that plea, the trial judge acquitted her on the Page 254
ground that although the accused was a minor "over 9 and under 15 years old" the Information failed to
allege that she acted with discernment. Thereafter the prosecution filed another Information for the same
offense stating therein that the accused Gloria Nieto was "a child between 9 and 15 years" and alleging in

express terms that she acted with discernment. The defense filed a motion to quash this second
Information on grounds of double jeopardy, and the trial court already presided by another Judge, Hon.
Felix V. Makasiar, now Justice of this Court, granted the motion. The prosecution appealed to this Court
from said order. In its Decision, the Court dismissed the appeal and sustained the order of then Judge
Makasiar, deploring that as a result of a mistaken view taken by the trial judge who acquitted the accused
Gloria Nieto despite her plea of guilty there was a miscarriage of justice which cannot be righted and
which leaves the Court no choice bat to affirm the dismissal of the second Information for reasons of
double jeopardy. 2
We cannot but express Our strong disapproval of the precipitate action taken by Judge Alon in dismissing
the criminal case against the private respondents at that stage of the trial. A thorough and searching study
of the law, the allegations in the Information, and the evidence adduced plus a more circumspect and
reflective exercise of judgment, would have prevented a failure of justice in the instant case. We exhort
Judge Alon to take into serious consideration what We have stated so as to avoid another miscarriage of
justice.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, We are constrained to DISMISS this Petition of the People. Without
pronouncement as to costs. Let copy of this Decision be entered in the personal file of Judge Reynaldo
Alon.
So Ordered.
[G.R. No. 134732. May 29, 2002]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. ACELO VERRA, respondent.
DECISION
PUNO, J.:
A day in court is the touchstone of the right to due process in criminal justice. It is an aspect of the
duty of the government to follow a fair process of decision-making when it acts to deprive a person of his
liberty.[1] But just as an accused is accorded this constitutional protection, so is the State entitled to due
process in criminal prosecutions.[2] It must similarly be given the chance to present its evidence in support
of a charge.
In the case at bar, petitioner, People of the Philippines, claims that it was denied its day in court and
its due process right was breached. Filing this Petition under Rule 45, it seeks to set aside, on pure
questions of law, the April 6, 1998 Decision of the Court of Appeals.
On November 14, 1988, respondent Acelo Verra was charged with the crime of murder for killing a
certain Elias Cortezo. A warrant of arrest was issued by the Regional Trial Court against him on
November 21, 1988. He remained at-large until May 24, 1996 when he voluntarily submitted himself to
the jurisdiction of the court accompanied by his counsel. Immediately, arraignment proceeded during
which he entered a plea of Not Guilty.
On the same day, the prosecution called to the witness stand the wife of the victim, private
complainant Damiana Cortezo. She testified that: (1) she has executed an affidavit of desistance; [3] (2)
she is no longer interested in prosecuting the case; and (3) other witnesses of the shooting incident have
turned hostile and have similarly lost concern in pursuing the same. Thereafter, the prosecution, joined by

the counsel for the accused, moved for the dismissal of the case. In light of these developments, the trial
judge issued an Order dated May 24, 1996 granting the motion, thus.:
WHEREFORE, after considering the testimony of the private complainant and the motion of the
prosecution joined by counsel for the accused, this Court is hopeless (sic) in proceeding with this case.
Therefore let this case be considered DISMISSED and the Warrant of Arrest for the accused is hereby
cancelled.
SO ORDERED.[4]
Subsequently, two other witnesses of the shooting incident appeared after learning of the dismissal
of the case and manifested their willingness to testify. Further, two sisters of the victim assailed the
allegation of lack of interest. Consequently, the prosecution filed a Motion to Set Aside the Order of
Dismissal on July 22, 1996 asserting that Damiana and the accused misled the trial court and deprived
the plaintiff, People of the Philippines, its day in court. For which reason, it argued, the Order dismissing
the case should be voided.
On August 21, 1996, the trial court set aside the Order of Dismissal dated May 24, 1996.
Respondent moved for its reconsideration but his motion was denied on September 26, 1996. He then
instituted before the Court of Appeals a Petition for Certiorari challenging the August 21 Order. The
appellate court rendered a Decision on April 6, 1998 granting the petition. It ruled that the dismissal of the
case against petitioner has attained finality, and that its revival requires the filing of a new case or
information, viz:
Thus in the case at bar, when the trial court issued its order of dismissal, as far as the court is
concerned, the case was ended. To revive the case against the same accused or to prosecute him anew
for the same act imputed to him, the government has to file a new case or information for the reason that
the dismissed case had already been terminated, definitely and finally.
xxx

xxx

xxx

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby granted and the orders dated August 21, 1996 and September 26,
1996 are hereby SET ASIDE, and the Order dated May 24, 1996 reinstated. [5]
Hence, the present course of action. In this Petition for Review, petitioner impugns the Decision of
the appellate court in that:
The Court of Appeals decided a question of substance in a way that is not in accord with law and
jurisprudence when it ruled that: (i) the state was not denied its day in court and was not misled by
private complainant in the dismissal of the case; and (ii) the order of the trial court dismissing the case
has attained finality.[6]
The petition is devoid of merit.
I
Petitioner cannot complain that it was denied its day in court. It was, in the first place, represented by
a public prosecutor who was personally present in every stage of the proceeding -- from the arraignment
to the promulgation of the dismissal order -- to protect its interests. It was given the chance to submit its
evidence as it in fact called to the stand its own witness, Damiana (who incidentally was the only witness

presented here), during the day of the hearing. Then, the prosecutor was able to conduct her direct
examination. More importantly, petitioner was the one who jointly moved with accuseds counsel for the
dismissal of this case due to lack of evidence. The Order of Dismissal was given in open court by the
presiding judge without any remonstrance from the prosecution.
II
We are similarly not persuaded by petitioners contention that by reason of the deceit employed by
Damiana, the prosecution and the trial court were misled.
Well settled is the rule that for fraud to cause the annulment of a judgment, it must be established by
clear and convincing evidence. The petitioner must sufficiently prove the specific acts constituting the
deceit on the part of Damiana. It must demonstrate that (1) her statements are untrue, made with
knowledge of their falsity or with reckless and conscious ignorance thereof, especially if parties are not on
equal terms, made with intent that petitioner act thereon or in a manner apparently fitted to induce it to act
thereon, and (2) petitioner must act in reliance on the statements in the manner contemplated, or
manifestly probable to its injury.[7]
Damianas declarations on the witness stand regarding the hostility of the other witnesses and lack
of interest in prosecuting the case may be false, but there is no proof that they were made with knowledge
of its falsity or with reckless and conscious ignorance thereof. It is one thing to allege deceit and fraud but
another to prove by evidence the specific acts constituting the same.
To be sure, fraud as a ground for nullity of a judgment must be extrinsic to the litigation. Were this not
the rule, there would be no end to the litigation, perjury being of such common occurrence in trials. [8]Fraud
is extrinsic or collateral where it prevents a party from having a trial, or real contest, or from presenting all
of his case to the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining, not to the judgment itself, but to the
manner in which it was procured so that there is never a fair submission of the controversy. In other
words, extrinsic fraud refers to any fraudulent act of the prevailing party in the litigation which is
committed outside of trial of the case, whereby the defeated party has been prevented from exhibiting
fully his side of the case, by fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent. [9]
Enlightening are the following examples given by Justice Miller, viz:
x x x. Where the unsuccessful party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his case, by fraud or
deception practiced on him by his opponent, as by keeping him away from court, a false promise of a
compromise; or where the defendant never had knowledge of the suit, being kept in ignorance by the acts
of the plaintiff; or where an attorney fraudulently or without authority assumes to represent a party and
connives at his defeat; or where the attorney regularly employed corruptly sells out his clients interest to
the other side -- these, and similar cases which show that there has never been a real contest in the trial
or hearing of the case, are reasons for which a new suit may be sustained to set aside and annul a former
judgment or decree, or open the case for a new and fair hearing. See, Wells, Res Judicata, sec 499;
Pearce v. Olney, 20 Conn., 544; Wierich v. De Zoya, 7 Ill., (2 Gilm.) 385; Kent v. Richards, 3 Md. Ch., 396;
Smith v. Lowry, 1 Johns. Ch., 320; De Louis v. Meek, 2 Green (Iowa), 55.
In all these cases and many others which have been examined, relief has been granted on the ground
that, by some fraud practiced directly upon the party seeking relief against the judgment or decree, that
party has been prevented from presenting all of his case to the court. [10]
Further, it must be emphasized that the fraud or deceit cannot be of the losing partys own doing, nor
must it contribute to it. The extrinsic fraud must be employed against it by the adverse party, who

because of some trick, artifice, or device naturally prevails in the suit. The end result not only defeats
legitimate rights of the losing party in the lawsuit. On a larger scale, it circumvents the adversarial system
of our litigation process and makes a mockery of our judicial contests. That instead of having two
antagonists who genuinely compete to fully ventilate their cause and demolish that of his opponents,
what transpires is a scripted theatrical drama played before the august hall of an officer of the court.
Examining the facts of the case at bar, we find that no fraud or deceit was properly proved against
the respondent. Indeed, petitioner admits that if there was fraud or deceit here, it was practiced by its own
witness, Damiana, in making her false testimony. As such, it has no reason to protest. Even
assuming,arguendo, that she misled the petitioner and the court, her action should not be taken against
the accused. Petitioner has not proffered any proof that Damiana and the respondent were in collusion.
Allegation of collusion must be established by competent and credible proof.
To be sure, petitioner has only itself to blame for jointly moving for the dismissal of this case too
soon, without first verifying the truth of Damianas statement. It could have easily confirmed whether
indeed the other witnesses to the shooting incident have turned hostile by contacting them. It cannot put
forth the excuse that it did not know their whereabouts or could not get in touch with them, since their
addresses were indicated on the Sworn Statements they executed in connection with the killing on
September 1, 1987 during the period of police investigation. The Sworn Statements actually formed part
of the basis for the filing of the Information against the respondent. Contacts could have similarly been
established with the victims relatives.
III
As there is no vice which taints the Order of Dismissal of the trial court issued in open court on May
24, 1996, subsequently reduced to writing and entered in the Book of Judgment on May 30, 1996, we
hold that it has now attained finality. Petitioners reliance on the cases of Villa v. Lazaro[11] and Paulin v.
Gimenez[12] is misplaced. We held in Villa that a judgment rendered without due process is null and void,
could never become final, and could be attacked in any appropriate proceeding. We ruled in Paulin, on
the other hand, that a violation of the states right to due process ousts courts of their jurisdiction and
warrants a remand of the case to the trial court for further proceeding and reception of evidence. In those
two cases, however, it is clear that the aggrieved parties were denied their day in court. In Villa, petitioner
was not informed of the complaint against her; the administrative inquiry involving her was conducted in
the most informal manner by means only of communication requiring submission of certain documents;
and the documents she submitted were never given consideration on the pretense of lack of compliance.
Similarly, in Paulin, the prosecution was stripped of its right to complete the presentation of its evidence
when the case therein was prematurely terminated and dismissed. Obviously, the facts
in Villa and Paulin are different. That petitioner, to reiterate, was never denied its day in court nor was it
deceived by its own witness is a point already well-belabored.
IV
Finally, we agree with the respondent's claim that to revive the case against him would be violative of
his constitutional right against double jeopardy.
Under Article III, Section 21 of the Constitution, "No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of
punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal
under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act." [13] In a long line of decisions,
we have enumerated the following requisites for double jeopardy to attach: (1) upon a valid indictment; (2)
before a competent court; (3) after arraignment; (4) when a valid plea has been entered; and (5) when the
defendant was acquitted or convicted or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the

express consent of the accused.[14] There are however two occasions when double jeopardy will attach
even if the motion to dismiss the case is made by the accused himself. The first is when the ground is
insufficiency of evidence of the prosecution, and the second is when the proceedings have been
unreasonably prolonged in violation of the right to a speedy trial. [15]
In the case at bar, we find all the above-cited requisites present. First, there was a valid information,
sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction, filed on November 14, 1988 duly signed by
4th Assistant Provincial Fiscal Cesar M. Merin. [16] Second, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 10 of Tacloban
City clearly had jurisdiction to hear and try the murder charge against the respondent. Third, he was
arraigned in open court on May 24, 1996 with the assistance of a counsel de officio. [17] Fourth, during the
arraignment, he entered a plea of not guilty.[18] Finally, there was a valid termination of this case on the
basis of the trial judge's Order to Dismiss the case. While it is true that the respondent joined the
prosecution in praying for its dismissal, double jeopardy will still attach since the basis for the ruling was
the insufficiency of evidence of the prosecution. In view of private complainant's desistance and her
testimony that other witnesses have turned hostile and are also no longer interested in prosecuting this
case, petitioner clearly lacks the evidence to support the charge.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, there being no showing that the Court of Appeals committed any reversible
error, the instant petition is DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.