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Tan vs Matsuura and Tanjutco

G.R. No. 1799003


Tan vs Cua
G.R. No. 195816
February 18, 2013
Facts:
Petitioner Tan filed a complaint with the Office of the City Prosecutor for
the crime of falsification against Petitioners Matsuura, Tanjutco and Cua which
was dismissed by the said office for lack of probable cause. Petitioners Motion
for Reconsideration was as well denied by the same office. Petitioner then filed
a Petition for review with the Department of Justice (DOJ).
In April 2003, then Secretary of Justice Datumanong denied the petition
for lack of evidence. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was
granted by then DOJ Acting Secretary Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez in a
Resolution dated July 1, 2004. Respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration
of the said resolution which was denied by DOJ Undersecretary Pineda on
behalf of the Secretary but with modification. The latter resolution excluded
Respondent Cua from the filing of an information. Petitioner filed for a Partial
Motion for Reconsideration which was later granted by the DOJ.
Respondents filed their Petitions for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals
which were granted by the appellate court.
Petitioner assails the decision of the Court of Appeals granting
Respondents petitions.

Issue:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals can take cognizance of petitions
filed before it where the Department of Justice, through the Secretary of
Justice, has already rendered a resolution where cause has already been
determined and information for such has already been instituted in court?

Ruling:

Despite the established principle that the determination of probable


cause is vested in the public prosecutors and the Secretary of Justice, it is also
a well-settled rule that the courts are vested with the power to review findings
of prosecutors during preliminary investigations in exceptional cases.
While the findings of the prosecutors are reviewable by the DOJ, this
does not mean that the courts cannot intervene and review the findings of the
prosecutors or the DOJ.
In this case, the appellate court can take cognizance of the petitions
considering that several varying resolutions were issued by the DOJ.
The appellate court is merely exercising its power of review to determine
if there was grave abuse of discretion.