Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 11

PEOPLE VS. LACSON G.R. NO.

149453 MAY 28, 2002

FACTS: On June 1, 1995, Chief Superintendent Job A. Mayo, PNP Director for
Investigation, filed murder charges with the Office of the Ombudsman against
ninety-seven (97) officers and personnel of ABRITFG. The next-of-kin of the slain
KBG members also filed murder charges against the same officers and personnel.
The Ombudsman filed before the Sandiganbayan eleven (11) Informations for
MURDER, docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 23047 to 23057, against respondent
Panfilo M. Lacson and twenty-five (25) other accused. All twenty-six (26) of them
were charged as principals. Upon motion of the respondent, the criminal cases were
remanded to the Ombudsman for reinvestigation. On March 1, 1996, Amended
Informations were filed against the same twenty-six (26) suspects but the
participation of respondent Lacson was downgraded from principal to accessory.
Arraignment then followed and respondent entered a plea of not guilty With the
downgrading of charges against him, respondent Lacson questioned the jurisdiction
of theSandiganbayan to hear the criminal cases as none of the "principal" accused
in the Amended Informations was a government official with a Salary Grade (SG) 27
or higher, citing Section 2 of R. A. No. 7975 then prevailing. Accordingly, the
Sandiganbayan ordered the cases transferred to the Regional Trial Court. In Lacson
v. Executive Secretary, respondent Lacson challenged the constitutionality of the
amendment and contended that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the
criminal cases. This Court, while dismissing the constitutional challenge,
nonetheless ordered the transfer of the criminal cases to the Regional Trial Court on
the ground that the Amended Informations for murder failed to indicate that the
offenses charged therein were committed in relation to, or in discharge of, the
official functions of the respondent, as required by R. A. No. 8249. Before the
accused could be arraigned, prosecution witnesses Eduardo de los Reyes, Corazon
de la Cruz, Armando Capili and Jane Gomez recanted their affidavits which
implicated respondent Lacson in the murder of the KBG members.On the other
hand, private also executed their respective affidavits of desistance declaring that
they were no longer interested to prosecute these cases THUS, Judge Agnir issued a
Resolution dismissing Criminal Cases because the Informations in support thereof
have been rendered meaningless, if not absurd, with the recantation of the principal
prosecution witnesses and the desistance of the private complainants. There is no
more evidence to show that a crime has been committed and that the accused are
probably guilty thereof. On March 27, 2001, PNP Director Leandro R. Mendoza
indorsed to the Department of Justice the new affidavits of P/Insp. Ysmael S. Yu and
P/S Insp. Abelardo Ramos regarding the Kuratong Baleleng incident for preliminary
investigation. On the strength of this indorsement, Secretary of Justice Hernando B.
Perez formed a panel to investigate the matter. On April 17, 2001, the respondent
was subpoenaed to attend the investigation of Criminal Cases Nos. Q-99-81679 to
Q-99-81689. On May 28, 2001, respondent Lacson, et al., invoking, among others,
their constitutional right against double jeopardy, filed a petition for prohibition with
application for temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction with
the Regional Trial Court of Manila, primarily to enjoin the State prosecutors from
conducting the preliminary investigation. However, the same was denied by Judge
Pasamba. On June 6, 2001, eleven (11) Informations for murder involving the killing
of the same members of theKuratong Baleleng gang were filed before the Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City and were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 01-101102 to
01-101112. The new Informations charged as principals thirty-four (34) people,
including respondent Lacson and his twenty-five (25) other co-accused. On the
same day, respondent Lacson filed before the Court of Appeals a petition for
certiorari31 against Judge Pasamba, the Secretary of Justice, the PNP Chief, State
Prosecutors Ong and Zacarias, 2nd Assistant City Prosecutor Jamolin, and the People
of the Philippines. The said petition was amended to implead as additional party-
respondents State Prosecutor Claro Arellano and the RTC, Quezon City, Branch 81 in
which the Informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 01-101102 to. . CA found Judge
Pasamba committed grave abuse of discretion. The Court of Appeals (Special Third
Division), rendered the now assailed Decision. It characterized the termination of
Criminal Cases Nos. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689 as "provisional dismissal," and
considered Criminal Cases Nos. 01-101102 to 01-101112 as mere revivals of the
same. Applying Section 8, Rule 117 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure,
it dismissed the criminal cases against the respondent.

ISSUE: Whether Section 8, Rule 117 bars the filing of the eleven (11) informations
against the respondent Lacson involving the killing of some members of the
Kuratong Baleleng gang.

HELD: Like any other favorable procedural rule, this new rule can be given
retroactive effect. However, this Court cannot rule on this jugular issue due to the
lack of sufficient factual bases. Thus, there is need of proof of the following facts,
viz: (1) whether the provisional dismissal of the cases had the express consent of
the accused; (2) whether it was ordered by the court after notice to the offended
party, (3) whether the 2-year period to revive has already lapsed, and (4) whether
there is any justification for the filing of the cases beyond the 2-year period. The
records of the case, however, do not reveal with equal clarity and conclusiveness
whether notices to the offended parties were given before the cases against the
respondent Lacson were dismissed by then Judge Agnir. It appears from the
resolution of then Judge Agnir that the relatives of the victims who desisted did not
appear during the hearing to affirm their affidavits. Their affidavits of desistance
were only presented by Atty. Godwin Valdez who testified that he assisted the
private complainants in preparing their affidavits and he signed them as a witness.
The fact of notice to the offended parties was not raised either in the petition for
prohibition with application for temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary
injunction filed by respondent Lacson in the RTC of Manila, presided by Judge
Pasamba, to enjoin the prosecutors from reinvestigating the said cases against him.
Nor was the fact of notice to the offended parties the subject of proof after the
eleven (11) informations for murder against respondent Lacson and company were
revived in the RTC of Quezon City presided by Judge Yadao. This is not to be
wondered at. The applicability of Section 8, Rule 117 was never considered in the
trial court. It was in the Court of Appeals where respondent Lacson raised for the
first time the argument that Section 8, Rule 117 bars the revival of the multiple
murder cases against him. The reception of evidence on these various issues cannot
be done in this Court but before the trial court. the case at bar is remanded to the
RTC - Quezon City, Branch 81 so that the State prosecutors and the respondent
Lacson can adduce evidence and be heard on whether the requirements of Section
8, Rule 117 have been complied with.

PANAGUITON VS DOJ - 571 SCRA 549 G.R. NO. 167571, NOVEMBER 25, 2008

FACTS: In 1992, Rodrigo Cawili borrowed various sums of money from Luis
Panaguiton. On January 1993, Cawili and his business associate, Ramon C. Tongson
jointly issued in favor of petitioner three checks which bear the signature of both in
payment of the said loans. Upon presentment for payment, the checks were
dishonored. Luis Panaguiton made demands but to no avail and so he filed a
complaint against Cawili and Tongson for violating Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 before
the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office. During the preliminary investigation, only
Tongson appeared and filed his counter-affidavit. Tongson alleged that he himself
filed some complaints against Cawili and they are not associates. Panaguiton
showed documents proving the signatures of Tongson to strengthen his complaint
against Tongson. In a resolution, City Prosecutor found probable cause only against
Cawili and dismissed the charges against Tongson. A case was filed against Cawili
before the proper court but the petitioner filed a partial appeal before the
Department of Justice. The Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuo directed the
City Prosecutor of Quezon City to conduct a reinvestigation of the case against
Tongson and to refer the questioned signatures to the National Bureau of
Investigation. Assistant City Prosecutor Sampaga dismissed the complaint against
Tongson since the offense had already prescribed. An appeal by Panaguiton to the
Department of Justice thru Undersecretary Manuel A.J. Teehankee was dismissed.
But on motion for reconsideration, Undersecretary Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez
declared that the offense had not prescribed. On motion for reconsideration, this
time by Tongson, DOJ reversed and held that the offense had already prescribed. 59
ISSUE: Whether or not that the offense had already prescribed as Act No. 3326
applies to violation of special acts and that Act No. 3326 states that prescription
shall be interrupted when judicial proceedings are instituted.

HELD: No, the offense had not prescribed. We agree that Act. No. 3326 applies to
offenses under B.P. Blg. 22. An offense under B.P. Blg. 22 merits the penalty of
imprisonment of not less than thirty (30) days but not more than one year or by a
fine, hence, under Act No. 3326, a violation of B.P. Blg. 22 prescribes in four (4)
years from the commission of the offense or, if the same be not known at the time,
from the discovery thereof. Nevertheless, we cannot uphold the position that only
the filing of a case in court can toll the running of the prescriptive period. It must be
pointed out that when Act No. 3326 was passed on 4 December 1926, preliminary
investigation of criminal offenses was conducted by justices of the peace, thus, the
phraseology in the law, "institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation and
punishment," and the prevailing rule at the time was that once a complaint is filed
with the justice of the peace for preliminary investigation, the prescription of the
offense is halted. In Ingco v. Sandiganbayan and Sanrio Company Limited v. Lim,
which involved violations of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. No. 3019)
and the Intellectual Property Code (R.A. No. 8293), which are both special laws, the
Court ruled that the prescriptive period is interrupted by the institution of
proceedings for preliminary investigation against the accused. In the more recent
case of Securities and Exchange Commission v. Interport Resources Corporation, et
al., the Court ruled that the nature and purpose of the investigation conducted by
the Securities and Exchange Commission on violations of the Revised Securities Act,
another special law, is equivalent to the preliminary investigation conducted by the
DOJ in criminal cases, and thus effectively interrupts the prescriptive period. The
following disquisition in the Interport Resources case is instructive, thus: While it
may be observed that the term "judicial proceedings" in Sec. 2 of Act No. 3326
appears before "investigation and punishment" in the old law, with the subsequent
change in set-up whereby the investigation of the charge for purposes of
prosecution has become the exclusive function of the executive branch, the term
"proceedings" should now be understood either executive or judicial in character:
executive when it involves the investigation phase and judicial when it refers to the
trial and judgment stage. With this clarification, any kind of investigative proceeding
instituted against the guilty person which may ultimately lead to his prosecution
should be sufficient to toll prescription. Indeed, to rule otherwise would deprive the
injured party the right to obtain vindication on account of delays that are not under
his control. A clear example would be this case, wherein petitioner filed his
complaint-affidavit on 24 August 1995, well within the four (4)-year prescriptive
period. He likewise timely filed his appeals and his motions for reconsideration on
the dismissal of the charges against Tongson. He went through the proper channels,
within the prescribed periods. However, from the time petitioner filed his complaint-
affidavit with the Office of the City Prosecutor (24 August 1995) up to the time the
DOJ issued the assailed resolution, an aggregate period of nine (9) years had
elapsed. Clearly, the delay was beyond petitioner's control. After all, he had already
initiated the active prosecution of the case as early as 24 August 1995, only to
suffer setbacks because of the DOJ's flip-flopping resolutions and its misapplication
of Act No. 3326. Aggrieved parties, especially those who do not sleep on their rights
and actively pursue their causes, should not be allowed to suffer unnecessarily
further simply because of circumstances beyond their control, like the accused's
delaying tactics or the delay and inefficiency of the investigating agencies. We rule
and so hold that the offense has not yet prescribed. Petitioner's filing of his
complaint-affidavit before the Office of the City Prosecutor on 24 August 1995
signified the commencement of the proceedings for the prosecution of the accused
and thus effectively interrupted the prescriptive period for the offenses they had
been charged under B.P. Blg. 22. Moreover, since there is a definite finding of
probable cause, with the debunking of the claim of prescription there is no longer
any impediment to the filing of the information against petitioner.

PEOPLE VS DUMLAO - 580 SCRA 409 G.R. NO. 168918, MARCH 2, 2009

FACTS: An amended information was filed before the Sandiganbayan charging


Dumlao and Lao, Aber P. Canlas, Jacobo C. Clave, Roman A. Cruz, Jr. and Fabian C.
Ver with violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The information alleged
that Hermenegildo C. Dumlao, Aber Canlas, Jacobo C. Clave, Roman A. Cruz, Jr., and
Fabian C. Ver, being then the members of the Board of Trustees of the Government
Service Insurance System, conspired and confederated together and mutually
helped one another, while in the performance of their official functions, entered into
contract of lease-purchase with Emilio G. Lao, a private person whereby the GSIS
agreed to sell to said Emilio G. Lao, a GSIS acquired property consisting of three
parcels of land together with a 5-storey building situated in Ermita, Manila for the
sum of P2,000,000.00 with a down payment of P200,000.00 with the balance
payable in fifteen years at 12% interest per annum compounded yearly, with a
yearly amortization of P264,278.37 including principal and interest granting Emilio
G. Lao the right to sub-lease the ground floor for his own account during the period
of lease, from which he collected yearly rentals in excess of the yearly amortization
which contract is manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government. When
arraigned, Dumlao pleaded not guilty. As agreed by the prosecution and Dumlao, a
stipulation of facts and admission of exhibit was submitted to the court and on the
basis of it, the court issued PreTrial Order. Dumlao then filed a motion to quash on
the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense. Sandiganbayan
dismissed the case..
ISSUE: Whether or not the Sandiganbayan erred in granting the motion to quash
information by the accused after the pre-trial and before the petitioner could
present its witnesses and formally offer its exhibits.

HELD: Yes, Sandiganbayan should not have dismissed the case on the motion to
quash by the accused. From the reasoning given by the Sandiganbayan, it is clear
that it dismissed the case because of insufficiency of evidence. Insufficiency of
evidence is not one of the grounds of a Motion to Quash. The grounds, as
enumerated in Section 3, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, are
as follows: (a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense; (b) That the
court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged; (c) That the court
trying the case has no jurisdiction over the person of the accused; (d) That the
officer who filed the information had no authority to do so; (e) That it does not
conform substantially to the prescribed form; (f) That more than one offense is
charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law;
(g) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished; (h) That it contains
averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification; and (i)
That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense
charged, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his
express consent. Insufficiency of evidence is a ground for dismissal of an action only
after the prosecution rests its case. Section 23, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure provides: Sec. 23. Demurrer to evidence. After the prosecution
rests its case, the court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of
evidence (1) on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the opportunity to be
heard or (2) upon demurrer to evidence filed by the accused with or without leave
of court. In the case under consideration, the Sandiganbayan dismissed the case
against respondent for insufficiency of evidence, even without giving the
prosecution the opportunity to present its evidence. In so doing, it violated the
prosecutions right to due process. It deprived the prosecution of its opportunity to
prosecute its case and to prove the accuseds culpability. It was therefore erroneous
for the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the case under the premises. Not only did it not
consider the ground invoked by respondent Dumlao; it even dismissed the case on a
ground not raised by him, and not at the appropriate time. The dismissal was thus
without basis and untimely.

SORIANO VS PEOPLE - 591 SCRA 244 G.R. NO. 159517-18, JUNE 30, 2009

FACTS: Hilario P. Soriano and Rosalinda Ilagan were the President and General
Manager, respectively, of the Rural Bank of San Miguel, Inc. (RBSM). During their
incumbency as president and manager of the bank, they indirectly obtained loans
from RBSM by falsifying loan applications and other bank records and made it
appear that Virgilio J. Malang and Rogelio Maaol obtained loans of P15,000,000.00
each. The State Prosecutor charged Soriano in the Regional Trial Court for the
violation of General Banking Act or for the violation of the Director, Officer,
Stockholder or Related Interest (DOSRI) Rules. On the same date, an information for
estafa thru falsification of commercial document was also filed against Soriano and
Ilagan covering the amount of loan supposedly made by Virgilio J. Malang. Both
informations were raffled to Branch 14 of the RTC. Another information for violation
of Section 83 of R.A. No. 337, as amended, was filed against Soriano, this time,
covering the loan obtained in the name of Rogelio Maaol. Soriano and Ilagan were
also indicted for estafa thru falsification of commercial document for obtaining said
loan. These information were raffled to Branch 77. The accused moved to quash the
informations in the pending cases before the two branches of the RTC on grounds
that more than one offense is charged and that the facts charged do not constitute
an offense. The accused argued that the prosecutor charged more than one offense
for a single act. Soriano was charged with violation of DOSRI rules and estafa thru
falsification of commercial document for allegedly securing fictitious loans. They
further argued that the facts as alleged in the information do not constitute an
offense. Both denied the motion to quash. They appealed to the Court of Appeals
via certiorari and their appeal was also denied. They went to the Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Whether or not the accused can file a motion to quash information against
them on the ground that more than one offense are charged against them.

HELD: No, their motion will be denied as there are no grounds to quash the
information. Petitioners assail the validity of the informations against them on the
ground that more than one (1) offense is charged. They point that Soriano was
charged with violation of DOSRI Rules and with estafa thru falsification of
commercial document for allegedly obtaining loans from RBSM. Thus, they claim
that the informations were duplicitous; hence, they should be quashed.
Indisputably, duplicity of offenses in a single information is a ground to quash the
Information under Section 3(e), Rule 117 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The Rules prohibit the filing of a duplicitous information to avoid confusing the
accused in preparing his defense. By duplicity of charges is meant a single
complaint or information that charges more than one offense. Section 13 of Rule
110 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure clearly states: Duplicity of Offense. A
complaint or information must charge but one offense, except only in those cases in
which existing laws prescribe a single punishment for various offenses. Otherwise
stated, there is duplicity (or multiplicity) of charges when a single Information
charges more than one offense. In this case, however, Soriano was faced not with
one information charging more than one offense, but with more than one
information, each charging a different offense - violation of DOSRI rules in one, and
estafa thru falsification of commercial documents in the others. Ilagan, on the other
hand, was charged with estafa thru falsification of commercial documents in
separate informations. Thus, petitioners erroneously invoke duplicity of charges as a
ground to quash the Informations.

JOSEPH C. CEREZO VS. PEOPLE G.R. NO. 185230, JUNE 01, 2011

Facts: The petitioner Joseph Cerezo filed a complaint for libel against the
respondents. Finding probable cause to indict them, the Quezon City Prosecutors
Office (OP-QC) filed the corresponding Information against before the RTC. Soon
after they were arraigned and all of them entered a not guilty plea. The Court,
therefore, after hearing and conferring with the fiscal, can dismiss the case if
convinced that there is no reason to continue with the prosecution. As in this case,
the Court finds merit in the motion of the Public Prosecutor. Aggrieved, petitioner
moved for reconsideration of the said Order, arguing that the November 20, 2003
OP-QC resolution has not yet attained finality. Comes now The Secretary of Justice,
which promulgated his resolution reversing and setting aside the OP-QCs
November 20, 2003 resolution, and directing the latter to re-file the earlier
Information for libel. Considering the findings of the Department of Justice reversing
the resolution of the City Prosecutor, the Court gives favorable action to the Motion
for Reconsideration. In the same manner as discussed in arriving at its assailed
order dated 17 March 2004, the Court gives more leeway to the Public Prosecutor in
determining whether it has to continue or stop prosecuting a case. While the City
Prosecutor has previously decided not to pursue further the case, the Secretary of
Justice, however, through its resolution on the Petition for Review did not agree with
him. The Court disagrees with the argument raised by the accused that double
jeopardy sets in to the picture. The order of dismissal as well as the withdrawal of
the Information was not yet final because of the timely filing of the Motion for
Reconsideration. The Court therefore, can still set aside its order. Moreover, there is
no re-filing of the case nor the filing of a new one. The case filed remains the same
and the order of dismissal was merely vacated because the Court finds the Motion
for Reconsideration meritorious. The case was elevated to the CA, which impugned
RTC Orders, and ruled that all the elements of double jeopardy exist.

Issue: Whether there was a valid termination of the case so as to usher in the
impregnable wall of double jeopardy.

Held / Ruling: In resolving a motion to dismiss a case or to withdraw an Information,


the trial court should not rely solely on the findings of the public prosecutor or the
Secretary of Justice. As to the order of the RTC, dismissing the criminal case, that
the RTC judge failed to make his own determination of whether or not there was a
prima facie case to hold respondents for trial. He failed to make an independent
evaluation or assessment of the merits of the case. It is beyond cavil that double
jeopardy did not set in. Double jeopardy exists when the following requisites are
present: (1) a first jeopardy attached prior to the second; (2) the first jeopardy has
been validly terminated; and (3) a second jeopardy is for the same offense as in the
first. A first jeopardy attaches only (a) after a valid indictment; (b) before a
competent court; (c) after arraignment; (d) when a valid plea has been entered; and
(e) when the accused has been acquitted or convicted, or the case dismissed or
otherwise terminated without his express consent. The respondents were not
acquitted nor were there a valid and legal dismissal or termination of the case.
Double Jeopardy has not set in.

RULE 117
Section 7. Former conviction or acquittal; double jeopardy. When an accused has been convicted or acquitted, or
the case against him dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent by a court of competent
jurisdiction, upon a valid complaint or information or other formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain
a conviction and after the accused had pleaded to the charge, the conviction or acquittal of the accused or the
dismissal of the case shall be a bar to another prosecution for the offense charged, or for 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.

People vs De Leon, 754 SCRA 147

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


vs.
BAYANI DE LEON, ANTONIO DE LEON, DANILO DE LEON and YOYONG DE LEON, Accused-Appellants.

G.R. No. 197546


March 23, 2015
Ponente: PEREZ, J.:

Nature of Case:
Petition for Review (Appeal)

BRIEF
For review is the conviction for the crime of Murder of accused-appellants BAYANI DE LEON (Bayani),
ANTONIO DE LEON (Antonio), DANILO DE LEON (Danilo), and YOYONG DE LEON (Yoyong) by the
Regional Trial Court (RTC),1 in Criminal Case No. Q-02-113990, which Decision2 was affirmed with modifications
by the Court of Appeals. The accused-appellants were charged with Robbery with Homicide.

FACTS

The accused-appellants were charged with Robbery with Homicide under an Information which reads:
That on or about the 2nd day of March, 2002, in Quezon City, Philippines, the above-named accused, conspiring
together, confederating with and mutually helping one another, with intent to gain, by means of violence and/or
intimidation against [sic] person, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously rob one EMILIO A.
PRASMO, in the following manner, to wit: on the date and place aforementioned, while victim/deceased Emilio A.
Prasmo was walking along A. Bonifacio Street, Barangay Sta. Lucia, Novaliches, this City, together with his wife
and daughter in-law, accused pursuant to their conspiracy armed with sumpak, samurai, lead pipe and .38 cal.
revolver rob EMILIO A. PRASMO and took and carried away P7,000.00, Philippine currency, and by reason or on
the occasion thereof, with evident premeditation, abuse of superior strength and treachery, accused with intent to
kill[,] attack, assault and employ personal violence upon EMILIOA. PRASMO by then and there shooting and
hacking the victim with the use of said weapons, thereby inflicting upon him serious and grave wounds which were
the direct and immediate cause of his untimely death, to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said Emilio A.
Prasmo.
When arraigned, all the accused-appellants entered a plea of not guilty except accused Antonio. Thus, the RTC
ordered a reverse trial in so far as Antonio is concerned.
The RTC did not find the accused guilty of the crime of robbery with homicide as charged in the Information, but
found all the accused guilty of the crime of murder. According to the RTC, contrary to the charge of robbery with
homicide, the accused is guilty of the crime of murder because the prosecution failed to establish the crime of
robbery. The RTC, citing People v. Nimo,23 ratiocinated that in order to sustain a conviction for robbery with
homicide, robbery must be proven as conclusively as the killing itself.
On the other hand, the Court of Appeals affirmed with modifications the ruling of the RTC and found all of the
accused guilty of the crime of murder. However, contrary to the findings of the RTC with regard to the crime of
robbery, the Court of Appeals reversed the ruling of the RTC and found accused Danilo guilty of the separate crime
of robbery.

ISSUE/S of the CASE


1. Whether or not the accused appellant can be convicted for crime of murder which is different from the
crime filed in the information which is robbery with Homicide. Yes

2. Whether or not the accused appellant Danilo De Leon was placed in double jeopardy when the appellate
court also found him guilty of robbery based on the same information filed where he was already found
guilty of murder. Yes

ACTIONS of the COURT


RTC: Accused appelants are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of MURDER
CA: AFFIRMED in toto with the added MODIFICATION that accused-appellant Danilo de Leon is also found
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery
SC: The decision of the CA is AFFIRMED except for the modification which was aside.

COURT RATIONALE ON THE ABOVE FACTS

1. With regard to the crime charged, accused-appellants are guilty of the crime of Murder instead of Robbery
with Homicide. As borne by the records, the only intent of the accused-appellants was to kill Emilio. The
"accused-appellants had an axe to grind against Emilio x x x. The means used by the accused-appellants as
well as the nature and number of wounds - debilitating, fatal and multiple inflicted by appellants on the
deceased manifestly revealed their design to kill him. The robbery committed by appellant Danilo [was on]
the spur of the moment or [was] a mere afterthought."

As we already held, the nature and location of wounds are considered important indicators which disprove
a plea of self-defense. A perusal of the evidence would depict the presence of a deliberate onslaught against
Emilio. The means used by accused-appellants as shown by the nature, location and number of wounds
sustained by Emilio are so much more than sufficient to repel or prevent any alleged attack of Emilio
against accused-appellant Antonio. Evidently, the accused-appellants intent to kill was clearly established
by the nature and number of wounds sustained by Emilio. The wounds sustained by Emilio indubitably
reveal that the assault was no longer an act of self-defense but a homicidal aggression on the part of
accused-appellants.
2. We find that the appellate court erred for violating the constitutional right of Danilo against double
jeopardy as enshrined in Section 21, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, to wit:

Section 21. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense.1wphi1 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.24

Double jeopardy attaches if the following elements are present: (1) a valid complaint or information; (2) a
court of competent jurisdiction; (3) the defendant had pleaded to the charge; and (4) the defendant was
acquitted, or convicted or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express
consent.25

In case at bar, it is undisputed the presence of all the elements of double jeopardy: (1) a valid Information
for robbery with homicide was filed; (2) the Information was filed in the court of competent jurisdiction;
(3) the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge; and (4) the RTC acquitted Danilo for the crime of robbery
for lack of sufficient evidence, which amounted to an acquittal from which no appeal can be had. Indeed
the conviction for murder was premised on the fact that robbery was not proven. The RTC Decision which
found accused guilty of the crime of murder and not of robbery with homicide on the ground of
insufficiency of evidence is a judgment of acquittal as to the crime of robbery alone.

As the first jeopardy already attached, the appellate court is precluded from ruling on the innocence or guilt
of Danilo of the crime of robbery. To once again rule on the innocence or guilt of the accused of the same
crime transgresses the Constitutional prohibition not to put any person "twice x x x in jeopardy of
punishment for the same offense."26 As it stands, the acquittal on the crime of robbery based on lack of
sufficient evidence is immediately final and cannot be appealed on the ground of double jeopardy.27 A
judgment of acquittal is final and unappealable. In fact, the Court cannot, even an appeal based on an
alleged misappreciation of evidence, review the verdict of acquittal of the trial court28 due to the
constitutional proscription, the purpose of which is to afford the defendant, who has been acquitted, final
repose and safeguard from government oppression through the abuse of criminal processes.29 The crime of
robbery was not proven during the trial. As we discussed, the acquittal of the accused-appellant, including
Danilo, is not reversible.

SUPREME COURT RULING:


WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS. Accused-
Appellants BAYANI DE LEON, ANTONIO DE LEON, DANILO DE LEON and YOYONG DE LEON are hereby
declared guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder and are sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua. The accused-appellants are ordered to pay Emilio Prasmo's heirs the following amounts: P75,000.00 as
civil indemnity for Emilio Prasmo's death, P75,000.00 as moral damages, and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages.

All monetary awards shall earn interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality until fully paid.

SO ORDERED