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PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v YADAO

FACTS: This case, which involves the alleged summary execution of suspected members of the Kuratong Baleleng
Gang, is being questioned, this time, on the trial courts determination of the absence of probable cause and its
dismissal of the criminal actions.

Based on the following documents and affidavit, the case was dismissed due to lack of probable cause:
1. P/Insp. Ysmael S. Yus affidavit of March 24, 200115 in which he said that on May 17, 1995 respondent Canson,
NCR Command Head, ordered him to form two teams that would go after suspected Kuratong Baleleng Gang
members who were seen at the Superville Subdivision in Paraaque City. Yu headed the assault team while
Marlon Sapla headed the perimeter defense. After the police team apprehended eight men inside the safe
house, it turned them over to their investigating unit. The following day, Yu just learned that the men and
three others were killed in a shoot-out with the police in Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

2. P/S Insp. Abelardo Ramos affidavit of March 24, 200116 in which he said that he was part of the perimeter
defense during the Superville operation. After the assault team apprehended eight male suspects, it brought
them to Camp Crame in two vans. Ramos then went to the office of respondent Zubia, TMC Head, where he
saw respondents Lacson, Acop, Laureles, Villacorte and other police officers.

According to Ramos, Zubia said that the eight suspects were to be brought to Commonwealth Avenue and
killed in a supposed shoot-out and that this action had been cleared with higher authorities, to which remark
Lacson nodded as a sign of approval. Before Ramos left the meeting, Lacson supposedly told him, baka may
mabuhay pa diyan. Ramos then boarded an L-300 van with his men and four male suspects. In the early
morning of May 18, 1995, they executed the plan and gunned down the suspects. A few minutes later, P/S
Insp. Glenn G. Dumlao and his men arrived and claimed responsibility for the incident.

3. SPO1 Wilmor B. Medes affidavit of April 24, 200117 in which he corroborated Ramos statements. Medes said
that he belonged to the same team that arrested the eight male suspects. He drove the L-300 van in going to
Commonwealth Avenue where the suspects were killed.

4. Mario C. Enads affidavit of August 8, 199518 in which he claimed having served as TMC civilian agent. At
around noon of May 17, 1995, he went to Superville Subdivision together with respondents Dumlao, Tannagan,
and Nuas. Dumlao told Enad to stay in the car and observe what went on in the house under surveillance.
Later that night, other police officers arrived and apprehended the men in the house. Enad went in and saw
six men lying on the floor while the others were handcuffed. Enad and his companions left Sucat in the early
morning of May 18, 1995. He fell asleep along the way but was awaken by gunshots. He saw Dumlao and
other police officers fire their guns at the L-300 van containing the apprehended suspects.

5. SPO2 Noel P. Senos affidavit of May 31, 200119 in which he corroborated what Ramos said. Seno claimed that
he was part of the advance party in Superville Subdivision and was also in Commonwealth Avenue when the
suspected members of the Kuratong Baleleng Gang were killed.

6. The PNP ABRITG After Operations Report of May 31, 199520 which narrated the events that took place on May
17 and 18, 1995. This report was submitted by Lacson, Zubia, Acop and Canson.

7. The PNP Medico-Legal Reports21 which stated that the suspected members of the Kuratong Baleleng Gang
tested negative for gunpowder nitrates.

ISSUE: W/N Judge Yadao gravely abused her discretion when she dismissed the criminal actions on the ground of lack
of probable cause and barred the presentation of additional evidence in support of the prosecutions motion for
reconsideration?
The prosecution claims that Judge Yadao gravely abused her discretion when she set the motions for
determination of probable cause for hearing, deferred the issuance of warrants of arrest, and allowed the
defense to mark its evidence and argue its case. The prosecution stresses that under Section 6, Rule 112 of
the Rules of Court Judge Yadaos duty was to determine probable cause for the purpose of issuing the arrest
warrants solely on the basis of the investigating prosecutors resolution as well as the informations and their
supporting documents. And, if she had some doubts as to the existence of probable cause, the rules required
her to order the investigating prosecutor to present additional evidence to support the finding of probable
cause within five days from notice.
Rather than take limited action, said the prosecution, Judge Yadao dug up and adopted the Ombudsmans
findings when the latter conducted its preliminary investigation of the crime of robbery in 1996. Judge Yadao
gave weight to the affidavits submitted in that earlier preliminary investigation when such documents are
proper for presentation during the trial of the cases. The prosecution added that the affidavits of P/S Insp.
Abelardo Ramos and SPO1 Wilmor B. Medes reasonably explained the prior inconsistent affidavits they
submitted before the Ombudsman.

HELD: NO.
The general rule of course is that the judge is not required, when determining probable cause for the issuance of
warrants of arrests, to conduct a de novo hearing. The judge only needs to personally review the initial determination
of the prosecutor finding a probable cause to see if it is supported by substantial evidence.

But here, the prosecution conceded that their own witnesses tried to explain in their new affidavits the inconsistent
statements that they earlier submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman. Consequently, it was not unreasonable for
Judge Yadao, for the purpose of determining probable cause based on those affidavits, to hold a hearing and examine
the inconsistent statements and related documents that the witnesses themselves brought up and were part of the
records. Besides, she received no new evidence from the respondents.

The public prosecutor submitted the affidavits and documents along with the criminal informations to enable Judge
Yadao to determine the presence of probable cause. The Court agrees with Judge Yadao that the above affidavits and
reports, taken together with the other documents of record, fail to establish probable cause against the respondents.

First. Evidently, the case against respondents rests on the testimony of Ramos, corroborated by those of Medes, Enad,
and Seno, who supposedly heard the commanders of the various units plan the killing of the Kuratong Baleleng Gang
members somewhere in Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and actually execute such plan. Yus testimony is
limited to the capture of the gang members and goes no further. He did not see them killed.

Second. Respecting the testimonies of Ramos, Medes, Enad, and Seno, the prosecutions own evidencethe PNP
ABRITGs After Operations Report of May 31, 1995shows that these men took no part in the operations against the
Kuratong Baleleng Gang members. The report included a comprehensive list of police personnel from Task Force
Habagat (Lacson), Traffic Management Command (Zubia), Criminal Investigation Command (Acop), and National
Capital Region Command (Canson) who were involved. The names of Ramos, Medes, Enad, and Seno were not on that
list. Notably, only Yus name, among the new set of witnesses, was on that list. Since an after-battle report usually
serves as basis for commendations and promotions, any omitted name would hardly have gone unchallenged.

Third. Ramos, whose story appeared to be the most significant evidence against the respondents, submitted in the
course of the preliminary investigation that the Office of the Ombudsman conducted in a related robbery charge
against the police officers involved a counter-affidavit. He claimed in that counter-affidavit that he was neither in
Superville Subdivision nor Commonwealth Avenue during the Kuratong Baleleng operations since he was in Bulacan on
May 17, 1995 and at his home on May 18.22 Notably, Medes claimed in a joint counter-affidavit that he was on duty at
the TMC headquarters at Camp Crame on May 17 and 18.23

Fourth. The Office of the Ombudsman, looking at the whole picture and giving credence to Ramos and Medes
statements, dismissed the robbery ase. More, it excluded Ramos from the group of officers that it charged with the
murder of the suspected members of the Kuratong Baleleng Gang. Under the circumstances, the Court cannot be less
skeptical than Judge Yadao was in doubting the sudden reversal after six years of testimony of these witnesses.

Of course, Yu may have taken part in the subject operation but, as he narrated, his role was limited to cornering and
arresting the suspected Kuratong Baleleng Gang members at their safe house in Superville Subdivision. After his team
turned the suspects over to an investigating unit, he no longer knew what happened to them.

Fifth. True, the PNP Medico-Legal Reports showed that the Kuratong Baleleng Gang members tested negative for
gunpowder nitrates. But this finding cannot have any legal significance for the purpose of the preliminary
investigation of the murder cases against the respondents absent sufficient proof that they probably took part in
gunning those gang members down.

The prosecution points out that, rather than dismiss the criminal action outright, Judge Yadao should have ordered the
panel of prosecutors to present additional evidence pursuant to Section 6, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court which
provides:

Sec. 6. When warrant of arrest may issue. (a) By the Regional Trial Court. Within ten (10) days from the
filing of the complaint or information, the judge shall personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and
its supporting evidence. He may immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly fails to
establish probable cause. If he finds probable cause, he shall issue a warrant of arrest, or a commitment order
if the accused has already been arrested pursuant to a warrant issued by the judge who conducted the
preliminary investigation or when the complaint or information was filed pursuant to section 7 of this Rule. In
case of doubt on the existence of probable cause, the judge may order the prosecutor to present additional
evidence within five (5) days from notice and the issue must be resolved by the court within thirty (30) days
from the filing of the complaint of information.

Section 6, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court gives the trial court three options upon the filing of the criminal information:
(1) dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly failed to establish probable cause; (2) issue a warrant of arrest if
it finds probable cause; and (3) order the prosecutor to present additional evidence within five days from notice in case
of doubt as to the existence of probable cause.

But the option to order the prosecutor to present additional evidence is not mandatory. The courts first option under
the above is for it to immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause.
That is the situation here: the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause against the respondents.

It is only in case of doubt on the existence of probable cause that the judge may order the prosecutor to present
additional evidence within five days from notice. But that is not the case here. Discounting the affidavits of Ramos,
Medes, Enad, and Seno, nothing is left in the record that presents some doubtful probability that respondents
committed the crime charged. PNP Director Leandro Mendoza sought the revival of the cases in 2001, six years after it
happened. It would have been ridiculous to entertain the belief that the police could produce new witnesses in the five
days required of the prosecution by the rules.

In the absence of probable cause to indict respondents for the crime of multiple murder, they should be insulated from
the tribulations, expenses and anxiety of a public trial.
VIRGINIA DE LOS SANTOS-DIO, as authorized representative of HS EQUITIES, LTD and WESTDALE ASSETS,
LTD v JUDGE RAMON CAGUIAO

FACTS: Petitioner, the majority stockholder of HS Equities and Westdale was introduced to Desmond, CEO of the Subic
Bay Marine Exploratorium, Inc. (SBMEI), and authorized representative of Active Environments, Inc. and JV China, Inc,
the majority shareholder of SBMEI. Dio, after some discussions, on behalf of HS Equities, decided to invest US 1.150M
in SBMEIs Ocean Adventure. Dio claimed that Desmond led her to believe that SBMEI had a capital of USD5.5M and
also guaranteed substantial returns on investment.

Dio became an elected director of SBMEIs board of directors and further appointed as its treasurer.

After some time, Dio, this time on behalf of Westdale, invested another USD1M in a separate business venture called
the Miracle Beach Hotel Project. They agreed that the said investment would be used to settle SBMEIs P40M loan
obligation to First Metro Investment Corporation and for the construction of 48 lodging units/cabanas. However, when
the corresponding subscription agreement was presented to Dio by SBMEI for approval, it contained a clause stating
that the funds in the Subscription Bank Account were also to be used for the [f]unding of Ocean Adventures
Negative Cash Flow not exceeding [US$200,000.00]. This was in conflict with the exclusive purpose and intent of
Westdales investment in Miracle Beach and as such, Dio refused to sign the subscription agreement.

Dio further claimed that she found out that, contrary to Desmonds representations, SBMEI actually had no capacity to
deliver on its guarantees, and that in fact, as of 2001, it was incurring losses amounting to P62,595,216.00. She
likewise claimed to have discovered false entries in the companys books and financial statements specifically, its
overvaluation of the marine animals and its non-disclosure of the true amount of JV Chinas investment which
prompted her to call for an audit investigation. Consequently, Dio discovered that, without her knowledge and consent,
Desmond made certain disbursements from Westdales special account, meant only for Miracle Beach expenditures
(special account), and diverted a total of US$72,362.78 therein for the operating expenses of Ocean Adventure. When
Desmond refused to execute an undertaking to return the diverted funds, Dio, in her capacity as Treasurer of SBMEI,
suspended the release of the remaining funds in the aforesaid special account.

Eventually, after Dio was ousted as Director and Treasurer of SBMEI, she filed 2 criminal complaints (subject criminal
complaints) for estafa (a) through false pretenses under Article 315(1)(b) of the RPC; and (b) with unfaithfulness or
abuse of confidence through misappropriation or conversion under Article 315(2)(a) of the RPC, both against Desmond
before the Olongapo City Prosecutors Office.

After the preliminary investigation, the City Prosecutor issued a resolution, finding probable cause against Desmond for
the crimes, to wit:

The foregoing clearly applies in the instant two (2) cases as borne out by the following facts, to with [sic]: (1)
Desmond, as the Chairman and Chief Executive Office of SBMEI and in order to persuade Dio to invest,
represented that he possessed the necessary influence, expertise and resources (in terms of credit and
property) for the project knowing the same to be false as he never had the capital for the project as borne out
by his correspondences with Dio; and (2) Dio fell for these misrepresentations and the lure of profit offered by
Desmond, thereby being induced to invest the amounts of $1,150,000.00 and $1,000,000.00 to the damage
and prejudice of her company.

The elements of the crimes charged were thus established in these cases, namely Dio parted with her money
upon the prodding and enticement of respondent on the false pretense that he had the capacity and resources
for the proposed project. In the end, Dio was not able to get her money back, thus causing her damage and
prejudice. Moreover, such defraudation or misappropriation having been committed by Desmond through his
company SBMEI involving funds solicited from Dio as a member of the general public in contravention of the
public interest, the probable cause clearly exists to indict Desmond for the crime of Estafa under Article 315
(1)(b) and (2)(a) of the Revised Penal Code in relation to PD No. 1689.

In view of the foregoing, corresponding criminal informations were filed with the RTC of Olongapo.

Aggrieved, Desmond filed a Motion for Reconsideration, as well as a Motion to Withdraw Filed Informations. He also
filed before the RTC a Motion to Defer Further Proceedings and to Defer Issuance of Warrant of Arrest but subsequently
withdrew the same and filed, instead, a Motion for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause.

RTC ruled in favour of Desmond and declared that no probable cause exists for the crimes charged against him since
the elements of estafa were not all present. Consequently, the RTC denied the issuance of a warrant of arrest and hold
departure order against Desmond and ordered the dismissal of the cases against him.
CA upheld RTCs ruling saying that it finds the evidence on record insufficient to establish probable cause.

ISSUE: W/N CA erred in finding no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC when it dismissed the subject
informations for lack of probable cause?

HELD: YES.

Determination may be either executive or judicial.

Executive Determination of Judicial Determination of Probable Cause


Probable Cause
Made by a public prosecutor, during a Made by the judge to ascertain whether a warrant of arrest should be
preliminary investigation, where he is issued against the accused. In this respect, the judge must satisfy
given broad discretion to determine himself that, on the basis of the evidence submitted, there is a necessity
whether probable causes exists for the for placing the accused under custody in order not to frustrate the ends
purpose of filing a criminal information in of justice.
court
Whether or not that function has been If the judge, therefore, finds no probable cause, the judge cannot be
correctly discharged by the public forced to issue the arrest warrant. Notably, since the judge is already
prosecutor, i.e., whether or not he has duty-bound to determine the existence or non-existence of probable
made a correct ascertainment of the cause for the arrest of the accused immediately upon the filing of the
existence of probable cause in a case, is information, the filing of a motion for judicial determination of probable
a matter that the trial court itself does cause becomes a mere superfluity, if not a deliberate attempt to cut
not and may not be compelled to pass short the process by asking the judge to weigh in on the evidence
upon without a full-blown trial.

In the case of Co v. Republic, the Court emphasized the settled distinction between an executive and a judicial
determination of probable cause, viz:

We reiterate that preliminary investigation should be distinguished as to whether it is an investigation for the
determination of a sufficient ground for the filing of the information or it is an investigation for the
determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The first kind of preliminary
investigation is executive in nature. It is part of the prosecution's job. The second kind of preliminary
investigation which is more properly called preliminary examination is judicial in nature and is lodged with the
judge.

On this score, it bears to stress that a judge is not bound by the resolution of the public prosecutor who
conducted the preliminary investigation and must himself ascertain from the latters findings and
supporting documents whether probable cause exists for the purpose of issuing a warrant of arrest . This
prerogative is granted by no less than the Constitution which provides that no warrant of arrest shall issue except
upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce.

While a judges determination of probable cause is generally confined to the limited purpose of issuing arrest warrants,
Section 5(a), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure explicitly states that a judge may immediately
dismiss a case if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause, viz:

SEC. 5. When warrant of arrest may issue. (a) By the Regional Trial Court. Within ten (10) days from the
filing of the complaint or information, the judge shall personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and
its supporting evidence. He may immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly fails to
establish probable cause. If he finds probable cause, he shall issue a warrant of arrest, or a commitment order
if the accused had already been arrested, pursuant to a warrant issued by the judge who conducted
preliminary investigation or when the complaint or information was filed pursuant to Section 7 of this Rule. In
case of doubt on the existence of probable cause, the judge may order the prosecutor to present additional
evidence within five (5) days from notice and the issue must be resolved by the court within thirty (30) days
from the filing of the complaint or information.

In this regard, so as not to transgress the public prosecutors authority, it must be stressed that the judges
dismissal of a case must be done only in clear-cut cases when the evidence on record plainly fails to
establish probable cause that is when the records readily show uncontroverted, and thus, established
facts which unmistakably negate the existence of the elements of the crime charged. On the contrary, if the
evidence on record shows that, more likely than not, the crime charged has been committed and that respondent is
probably guilty of the same, the judge should not dismiss the case and thereon, order the parties to proceed to trial. In
doubtful cases, however, the appropriate course of action would be to order the presentation of additional evidence.
In other words, once the information is filed with the court and the judge proceeds with his primordial task of
evaluating the evidence on record, he may either: (a) issue a warrant of arrest, if he finds probable cause; (b)
immediately dismiss the case, if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause; and (c) order the
prosecutor to submit additional evidence, in case he doubts the existence of probable cause.

Applying these principles, the Court finds that the RTCs immediate dismissal, as affirmed by the CA, was
improper as the standard of clear lack of probable cause was not observed. In this case, records show that
certain essential facts namely, (a) whether or not Desmond committed false representations that induced Dio to
invest in Ocean Adventure; and (b) whether or not Desmond utilized the funds invested by Dio solely for the Miracle
Beach Project for purposes different from what was agreed upon remain controverted. As such, it cannot be said that
the absence of the elements of the crime of estafa under Article 315(2)(a) and 315(1)(b) of the RPC had already been
established, thereby rendering the RTCs immediate dismissal of the case highly improper.
VINSON YOUNG a.k.a. BENZON ONG and BENNY YOUNG a.k.a. BENNY ONG v PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

FACTS: On separate dates, members of the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RAHTTF) of the PNP
conducted a surveillance operations at Jaguar KTV Bar (Jaguar) in Cebu City, and observed that its customers paid P6k
in exchange for sexual intercourse w/ GROs or P10k as bar fine if they were taken out of the establishment. In the
course of their surveillance, they learned that petitioners were the owners of Jaguar, a certain Tico acted as overall
manager and a certain Ann welcomed customers and offered them GROs.

In the course of an entrapment operation, policemen acted as poseur customers, handed P15k worth of marked money
to the mamasang/manager of Jaguar in exchange for sexual service. At the prearranged signal, the rest of the
RAHTFF raided Jaguar which resulted to multiple arrests, seizure of sexual paraphernalia, recovery of marked money
and rescue of 146 women and minor children. 6 of these women executed affidavits identifying petitioners, Tico and
Ann as Jaguars owners. Accordinly, a criminal complaint for violation of RA 9208 against them before the Office of the
City Prosecutor (OCP).

During the pendency of the preliminary investigation, or on May 31, 2011, the the witnesses submitted affidavits
stating that their previous affidavits were vitiated and not of their own free will and voluntary deed, effectively
recanting the same.

OCP found probable cause and ordered the indictment of petitioners.


It found that the receipt and subsequent recovery of the marked money from Balili constituted prima facie
evidence that there was a transaction to engage in sexual service for a fee. It also held that the documentary
evidence pertaining to Jaguar's business operations, as well as the positive identification made by the AAA
Group, sufficiently established petitioners as its owners. Besides, it noted that Vinson's defense - i.e., that he
had divested his interests in Jaguar - was evidentiary in nature and hence, must be threshed out in a full-blown
trial. Moreover, while the witnesses had since retracted their initial statements, their retractions were found to
hold no probative value. Finally, while the OCP ruled that the crime of human trafficking was qualified for being
committed by a syndicate, or in large scale - carried out by three (3) or more persons - it, however, did not
appreciate the minority of EEE and FFF as a qualifying circumstance, not having been substantiated by
sufficient and competent evidence.

Petitioners filed an omnibus motion 26 for a judicial determination of probable cause, praying that the issuance of the
corresponding warrants of arrest be held in abeyance pending resolution thereof, and for the case against them to be
dismissed for lack of probable cause.

RTC granted the omnibus motion and dismissed the case for lack of probable cause.
It ruled that the affidavits of the RAHTTF members and the AAA Group failed to show that petitioners had
knowledge or participated in the recruitment of the 146 women and minors who were rescued at Jaguar as sex
workers. It also found that the recantations of the AAA Group were fatal to the prosecution's case, since it
effectively cleared petitioners of any knowledge in Jaguar's operations. It further reasoned that the December
14, 2009 Deed of Assignment - the authenticity, due execution, and validity of which were not impugned by
the prosecution - showed that Vinson had already ceded his rights and interests in Jaguar.

CA Ruling: RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the case for lack of probable cause.

ISSUE: W/N CA erred in finding grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC in dismissing the criminal case against
petitioners for lack of probable cause?

HELD: NO. Determination of probable cause is either executive or judicial in nature.

Executive Determination of Probable Cause Judicial Determination of Probable Cause


Pertains to the duty of the public prosecutor during Refers to the prerogative of the judge to ascertain if a warrant
preliminary investigation for the purpose of filing of arrest should be issued against the accused.
an information in court.
At this juncture, the investigating prosecutor At this stage, the judge makes a preliminary examination of
evaluates if the facts are sufficient to engender a the evidence submitted, and on the strength thereof, and
well-founded belief that a crime has been independent from the findings of the public prosecutor,
committed and that the accused is probably guilty determines the necessity of placing the accused under
thereof. immediate custody in order to frustrate the ends of justice.

In People v Inting, the stark between executive and judicial determination of probable cause were aptly explained,
thus:
Judges and Prosecutors alike should distinguish the preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause for
the issuance of a warrant of arrest from the preliminary investigation proper which ascertains whether the
offender should be held for trial or released. Even if the two inquiries are conducted in the course of one and
the same proceeding, there should be no confusion about the objectives. The determination of probable
cause for the warrant of arrest is made by the Judge. The preliminary investigation proper whether or
not there is reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and, therefore,
whether or not he should be subjected to the expense, rigors and embarrassment of trial is the function of the
Prosecutor.

Pertinently, the Court declared in Santos-Dio v. CA (Santos-Dio) that while a judge's determination of probable cause is
generally confined to the limited purpose of issuing arrest warrants, he is nonetheless authorized under Section 5 (a),
Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure to immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly
fails to establish probable cause. Thus:
In this regard, so as not to transgress the public prosecutor's authority, it must be stressed that the
judge's dismissal of a case must be done only in clear-cut cases when the evidence on record
plainly fails to establish probable cause - that is when the records readily show uncontroverted,
and thus, established facts which unmistakably negate the existence of the elements of the crime
charged. On the contrary, if the evidence on record shows that, more likely than not, the crime
charged has been committed and that respondent is probably guilty of the same, the judge should
not dismiss the case and thereon, order the parties to proceed to trial. In doubtful cases, however,
the appropriate course of action would be to order the presentation of additional evidence.

Accordingly, a judge may dismiss the case for lack of probable cause only in clear-cut cases when the evidence on
record plainly fails to establish probable cause - that is when the records readily show uncontroverted, and thus,
established facts which unmistakably negate the existence of the elements of the crime charged.

Applying the standard set forth in Santos-Dio, the evidence on record herein does not reveal the unmistakable and
clear-cut absence of probable cause against petitioners. Instead, a punctilious examination thereof shows that the
prosecution was able to establish a prima facie case against petitioners for violation of Sections 4 (a) and (e) in relation
to Sections 6 (a) and (c) of RA 9208. As it appears from the records, petitioners recruited and hired the AAA Group and,
consequently, maintained them under their employ in Jaguar for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. In view of
this, probable cause exists to issue warrants for their arrest.