Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 104

Garchitorena, Edilberto E.

Sandoval, and Catalino Castaeda,


Jr. The Information reads as follows:
[G.R. No. 133289. December 23, 1999] That on or about September 1, 1995, in the Municipality of
Sanchez Mira, Province of Cagayan and within the jurisdiction
of this Honorable Court, the said accused Eliterio Rubiaco,
LICERIO A. ANTIPORDA, JR., ELITERIO RUBIACO, Caesar Talla, Vicente Gascon and Licerio Antiporda, Jr., armed
VICTOR GASCON and CAESAR TALIA petitioners, vs. with guns, conspiring together and helping one another, by
HON. FRANCIS E. GARCHITORENA, HON. means of force, violence and intimidation and without legal
EDILBERTO G. SANDOVAL, HON. CATALINO grounds or any authority of law, did then and there willfully,
CASTAEDA, JR. in their capacity as Presiding Justice and unlawfully and feloniously kidnap and carry away one Elmer
Associate Justices of the Sandiganbayan respondents. Ramos from his residence in Marzan, Sanchez Mira, Cagayan
against his will with the use of a Maroon Tamaraw FX motor
vehicle.

DECISION CONTRARY TO LAW[1]


BUENA, J.:
On November 10, 1997, the Court issued an order giving
This is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with the prosecution represented by Prosecutor Evelyn T. Lucero
Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order to Agcaoili thirty (30) days within which to submit the amendment
restrain the respondent Justices of the First Division of the to the Information.The said order is quoted in full as follows:
Sandiganbayan from further proceeding with Crim. Case No.
24339 and from enforcing the warrants for the arrest of the ORDER
accused named therein (herein petitioners) or to maintain
the status quo until further orders from this Court. This morning, the prosecution represented by Prosecutor Evelyn
T. Lucero Agcaoili appeared in response to this Courts Order of
The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: clarification on the propriety of proceeding with the Information
Accused Licerio A. Antiporda, Jr., Eliterio Rubiaco, Victor as it stands.
Gascon, and Caesar Talla were charged with the crime of
kidnapping one Elmer Ramos in an Information dated On her own, Prosecutor Agcaoili informed the Court that there
September 18, 1997. It was filed with the First Division of the were inadequacies in the allegations in the Information for which
Sandiganbayan comprised of the Honorable Francis E. reason she would beg leave to amend the same. The Court for its
part expressed anxiety as to the Courts jurisdiction over the case

1
considering that it was not clear whether or not the subject matter residence at Marzan, Sanchez Mira, Cagayan against his will,
of the accusation was office related. with the use of a Maroon Tamaraw FX motor vehicle and
subsequently bring and detain him illegally at the residence of
For this purpose, Prosecutor Agcaoili is given thirty (30) days accused Mayor Licerio Antiporda, Jr. for more than five (5)
within which to submit the amendment embodying whatever days.
changes she believes are appropriate or necessary in order for
the Information to effectively describe the offense herein CONTRARY TO LAW.[4]
charged. Within the same period, Prosecutor Agcaoili shall
submit an expansion of the recommendation to file the instant Accused then filed an Urgent Omnibus Motion dated
Information against the accused before this Court indicating November 16, 1997 praying that a reinvestigation of the case be
thereon the office related character of the accusation herein so conducted and the issuance of warrants of arrest be deferred.[5]
that the Court might effectively exercise its jurisdiction over the
An order dated November 26, 1997 was penned by
same.
Prosecutor Evelyn T. Lucero-Agcaoili recommending the denial
of the accuseds Urgent Omnibus Motion[6] was approved by
SO ORDERED.[2]
Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto on January 9, 1998.[7]
The prosecution on even date complied with the said order The accused thereafter filed on March 5, 1998 a Motion for
and filed an Amended Information, which was admitted by the New Preliminary Investigation and to Hold in Abeyance and/or
Sandiganbayan in a resolution dated November 24, 1997.[3] The Recall Warrant of Arrest Issued.[8] The same was denied in an
Amended Information thus reads: order given in open court dated March 12, 1998 "on the ground
that there was nothing in the Amended Information that was
That on or about September 10, 1997, at Sanchez Mira, Cagayan added to the original Information so that the accused could not
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused claim a right to be heard separately in an investigation in the
Licerio Antiporda, Jr., being the Municipal Mayor of Buguey, Amended Information. Additionally, the Court ruled that 'since
Cagayan in the exercise of his official duties as such and taking none of the accused have submitted themselves to the
advantage of his position, ordered, confederated and conspired jurisdiction of the Court, the accused are not in a position to be
with Juan Gallardo, Barangay Captain of San Lorenzo, Buguey, heard on this matter at this time' (p. 245, Record)."[9]
Cagayan (now deceased) and accused Eliterio
Subsequently, the accused filed on March 24, 1998 a
Rubiaco, barangay councilman of San Lorenzo, Buguey,
Motion to Quash the Amended Information for lack of
Cagayan, Vicente Gascon and Caesar Talla with the use of
jurisdiction over the offense charged.[10]
firearms, force, violence and intimidation, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously kidnap and abduct the On March 27, 1998, the Sandiganbayan issued an Order, to
victim Elmer Ramos without any authority of law from his wit:

2
"The Motion to Quash filed in behalf of the accused by Atty. AVERRED IN THE ORIGINAL
Orlando B. Consigna is ignored, it appearing that the accused INFORMATION? and
have continually refused or otherwise failed to submit
b) COROLLARILY, CAN THE AMENDED
themselves to the jurisdiction of this Court. At all events there is
INFORMATION BE ALLOWED WITHOUT
an Amended Information here which makes an adequate
CONDUCTING ANEW A PRELIMINARY
description of the position of the accused thus vesting this Court
INVESTIGATION FOR THE GRAVER
with the office related character of the offense of the accused.
OFFENSE CHARGED THEREIN?
"SO ORDERED."[11] The petition is devoid of merit.
Jurisdiction is the power with which courts are invested for
A motion for reconsideration was filed on April 3, 1998 by
administering justice, that is, for hearing and deciding cases. In
the accused wherein it was alleged that the filing of the Motion
order for the court to have authority to dispose of the case on the
to Quash and the appearance of their counsel during the
merits, it must acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter and
scheduled hearing thereof amounted to their voluntary
the parties.[14]
appearance and invested the court with jurisdiction over their
persons.[12] Section 4, paragraph (a) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by
P.D. No. 1861 provides for the jurisdiction of the
The Sandiganbayan denied the motion for reconsideration
Sandiganbayan:
filed by the accused in its resolution dated April 24, 1998.[13]
Hence, this petition filed by Licerio A. Antiporda, Jr., Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. -- The Sandiganbayan shall exercise:
Eliterio Rubiaco, Victor Gascon, and Caesar Talla.
(a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
The petitioners pose the following questions for the
resolution of this Court.
xxx
a) CAN THE SANDIGANBAYAN, WHICH HAS NO
JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENSE (2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and
CHARGED IN THE ORIGINAL INFORMATION, employees in relation to their office, including those employed
SUBSEQUENTLY ACQUIRE SUCH in government-owned or controlled corporations, whether
JURISDICTION BY THE SIMPLE EXPEDIENT simple or complexed with other crimes, where the penalty
OF AMENDING THE INFORMATION TO prescribed by law is higher than prision correccional or
SUPPLY, FOR THE FIRST TIME, imprisonment for six (6) years, or a fine of P6,000.00. Provided,
JURISDICTIONAL FACTS NOT PREVIOUSLY however, That offenses or felonies mentioned in this paragraph
where the penalty prescribed by law does not exceed prision

3
correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years or a fine They question the assumption of jurisdiction by the
of P6,000.00 shall be tried by the proper Regional Trial Court, Sandiganbayan over their case yet they insist that said court
Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court and Municipal acquired jurisdiction over their motion to quash. The petitioner
Circuit Trial Court. can not have their cake and eat it too.
In the aforementioned case of Arula vs. Espino[17]it was
The Sandiganbayan exercises not only civil but also
quite clear that all three requisites, i.e., jurisdiction over the
criminal jurisdiction. Criminal jurisdiction, as defined in the
offense, territory and person, must concur before a court can
case of People vs. Mariano[15], is necessarily the authority to
acquire jurisdiction to try a case.
hear and try a particular offense and impose the punishment for
it. It is undisputed that the Sandiganbayan had territorial
jurisdiction over the case.
The case of Arula vs. Espino[16]enumerates the
requirements wherein a court acquires jurisdiction to try a And we are in accord with the petitioners when they
criminal case, to wit: contended that when they filed a motion to quash it was
tantamount to a voluntary submission to the Courts
To paraphrase: beyond the pale of disagreement is the legal tenet authority. They cite the case of Layosa vs. Rodriguez[18] in
that a court acquires jurisdiction to try a criminal case only when support of their contention. For therein, it was ruled that the
the following requisites concur: (1) the offense is one which the voluntary appearance of the accused at the pre-suspension
court is by law authorized to take cognizance of, (2) the offense hearing amounted to his submission to the courts jurisdiction
must have been committed within its territorial jurisdiction, and even if no warrant of arrest has yet been issued.
(3) the person charged with the offense must have been brought
To counter this contention of the petitioners the prosecution
in to its forum for trial, forcibly by warrant of arrest or upon his
adverted to case of de los Santos-Reyes vs. Montesa,
voluntary submission to the court.
Jr.[19] which was decided some 28 years after the Layosa case. In
this more recent case, it was held that:
The petitioners argue that the Sandiganbayan had no
jurisdiction to take cognizance of the case because the original
xxx the accused xxx have no right to invoke the processes of the
information did not allege that one of the petitioners, Licerio A.
court since they have not been placed in the custody of the law
Antiporda, Jr., took advantage of his position as mayor of
or otherwise deprived of their liberty by reason or as a
Buguey, Cagayan to order the kidnapping of Elmer
consequence of the filling of the information. For the same
Ramos. They likewise assert that lacking jurisdiction a court can
reason, the court had no authority to act on the petition.
not order the amendment of the information. In the same breath,
they contend however that the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction
We find that the case of Layosa and de los Santos-Reyes are
over the persons of the accused.
not inconsistent with each other since both these cases discussed

4
the rules on when a court acquires jurisdiction over the persons file the corresponding Information as the said case, if evidence
of the accused, i.e., either through the enforcement of warrants warrants, fall exclusively with the jurisdiction of the Honorable
of arrest or their voluntary submission to the court. Sandiganbayan notwithstanding the presence of other public
officers whose salary range is below 27 and notwithstanding the
The only difference, we find, is that the de los Santos-Reyes
presence of persons who are not public officers.
case harped mainly on the warrant of arrest angle while the
Layosa case dealt more on the issue of voluntary submission
It is a well-settled rule that a party cannot invoke the
ruling, that the appearance at the hearing through a lawyer was
jurisdiction of a court to secure affirmative relief against his
a submission to the courts jurisdiction.
opponent, and after obtaining or failing to obtain such relief,
Having discussed the third requirement we now come to the repudiate or question that same jurisdiction.[21]
question of whether or not the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction
We therefore hold that the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction
over the offense charged.
over the case because of estoppel and it was thus vested with the
We answer in the negative. The original Information filed authority to order the amendment of the Information.
with the Sandiganbayan did not mention that the offense
Rule 110, Section 14 of the Rules of Court provides thus:
committed by the accused is office-related. It was only after the
same was filed that the prosecution belatedly remembered that a
Section 14. Amendment. The information or complaint may be
jurisdictional fact was omitted therein.
amended, in substance or form, without leave of court, at any
However, we hold that the petitioners are estopped from time before the accused pleads; and thereafter and during the
assailing the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan for in the trial as to all matters of form, by leave and at the discretion of
supplemental arguments to motion for reconsideration and/or the court, when the same can be done without prejudice to the
reinvestigation dated June 10, 1997[20] filed with the same court, rights of the accused.
it was they who challenged the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial
Court over the case and clearly stated in their Motion for xxx xxx xxx
Reconsideration that the said crime is work connected, which is
Petitioner prayed that a reinvestigation be made in view of
hereunder quoted, as follows:
the Amended Information.
Respondents (petitioners herein) have thoroughly scanned the We hold that the reinvestigation is not necessary
entire records of the instant case and no where is there any anymore. A reinvestigation is proper only if the accuseds
evidence to show that the Honorable Prosecution Office of the substantial rights would be impaired. In the case at bar, we do
Province of Cagayan have been authorized by the Office of the not find that their rights would be unduly prejudiced if the
Honorable Ombudsman to conduct the Preliminary Amended Information is filed without a reinvestigation taking
Investigation much less had the former office been authorized to place. The amendments made to the Information merely

5
describe the public positions held by the accused/petitioners and the Asuncion case: x x x As if it was originally filed with [the
stated where the victim was brought when he was kidnapped. Sandiganbayan]. That Information may be amended at any time
before arraignment before the Sandiganbayan, and indeed, by
It must here be stressed that a preliminary investigation is
leave of court at any time before judgment is rendered by
essentially inquisitorial, and it is often the only means of
the Sandiganbayan, considering that such an amendment would
discovering the persons who may be reasonably charged with a
not affect the juridical nature of the offense charged (i.e.,
crime, to enable the prosecutor to prepare his complaint or
murder), the qualifying circumstances alleged in the
information. It is not a trial of the case on the merits and has no
information, or the defenses that petitioner may assert before
purpose except that of determining whether a crime has been
the Sandiganbayan. In other words, the amendment may be
committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that
made before the Sandiganbayan without surprising the
the accused is guilty thereof, and it does not place the persons
petitioner or prejudicing his substantive rights.[24] (Underscoring
accused in jeopardy. It is not the occasion for the full and
Supplied)
exhaustive display of the parties evidence; it is for the
presentation of such evidence only as may engender a well-
WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the
grounded belief that an offense has been committed and that the
petition is hereby DISMISSED.
accused is probably guilty thereof.[22]
SO ORDERED.
The purpose of a preliminary investigation has been
achieved already and we see no cogent nor compelling reason Bellosillo (Chairman), Mendoza, Quisumbing, and De
why a reinvestigation should still be conducted. Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.
As an aside, an offense is considered committed in relation
to office when it is intimately connected with their respective
offices and was perpetrated while they were in the performance,
though improper or irregular, of their official functions.[23]
In the case of Cunanan vs. Arceo, it was held that:

... the absence in the information filed on 5 April 1991 before


Branch 46 of the RTC of San Fernando, Pampanga, of an
allegation that petitioner had committed the offense charged in
relation to his office is immaterial and easily
remedied. Respondent RTC judges had forwarded petitioners
case to the Sandiganbayan, and the complete records transmitted
thereto in accordance with the directions of this Court set out in

6
G.R. No. L-56158-64 March 17, 1981 On March 4, 1981, the Comment was submitted by Solicitor
General Estelito P. Mendoza. 5 It opened with this preliminary
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, statement: "The present petition was filed by the private
vs. prosecutors in Criminal Cases Nos. 1700-1706, People v. Pablo
MAYOR PABLO SOLA, SANGGUNIANG BAYAN Sola, et al., pending trial before the Court of First Instance of
MEMBER FRANCISCO (ECOT) GARCIA, RICARDO Negros Occidental. Rightly, any petition before this Honorable
(CADOY) GARCIA, JOSE BETHOVEN (ATSONG) Court on behalf of the People of the Philippines can, under the
CABRAL, CAPTAIN FLORENDO BALISCAO, JOHN, law, be instituted only by the Solicitor General. The assertion of
PETER, OSCAR, OMAR, JACK, RICHARD, JAMES, the petitioner private prosecutors that they are instituting the
DONALD, WILLIAM, ROBERT, HOMER, JESSIE, action 'subject to the control and supervision of the Fiscal' will
ANDY, PAUL, all surnamed DOES respondents. not, therefore, improve their legal standing." 6 Nonetheless, it
did not press the legal point but instead adopted "the two-
FERNANDO, C.J.: pronged trusts of the petition: 1. the setting aside, by certiorari,
of the order of the Municipal Court of Kabankalan, presided over
The power of this Tribunal, constitutionally mandated, 1 to order by Judge Rafael Gasataya, granting bail to the accused in the
a change of venue to avoid any miscarriage of justice as well as criminal cases mentioned above, and 2. the petition for a change
the procedure ordained in the implementation of the right to of venue or place of trial of the same criminal cases to avoid a
bail 2 are involved in this petition which, even if not so miscarriage of justice. 7
denominated, partakes of the nature of a certiorari. It must have
been the zeal of private prosecutors Francisco Cruz and Renecio The facts were therein narrated thus: "On September 15, 1980,
Espiritu, 3 no doubt under the conviction that there was no time acting on the evidence presented by the Philippine Constabulary
to lose, that must have led them to devote less than that full commander at Hinigaran, Negros Occidental, the Court of First
measure of attention to certain fundamentals. They ignored the Instance of that province issued a search warrant for the search
principle that the responsibility for the conduct of the and seizure of tile deceased bodies of seven persons believed in
prosecution is with the public officials concerned. Nonetheless, the possession of the accused Pablo Sola in his hacienda at Sta.
the importance of the questions raised, the need for a change of Isabel, Kabankalan, Negros Occidental. * * * On September 16,
venue and the cancellation of the bail bonds, necessitated that 1980 armed with the above warrant, elements of the of the 332nd
further action be taken. Accordingly, in a resolution dated PC/INP Company proceeded to the place of Sola. Diggings
February 12, 1981, one day after the filing of the petition, the made in a canefield yielded two common graves containing the
Court required the comment of the Solicitor General as well as bodies of Fernando Fernandez, Mateo Olimpos, Alfredo Perez,
of the private respondents, 4 the accused in six pending criminal Custodio Juanica, Arsolo Juanica, Rollie Callet and Bienvenido
cases before the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental. Emperado. On September 23 and October 1, 1980, the PC
provincial commander of Negros Occidental filed seven (7)

7
separate complaints for murder against the accused Pablo Sola, Criminal Cases Nos. 4129, 4130, 4131, 4137, 4138, 4139 and
Francisco Garcia, Ricardo Garcia, Jose Bethoven Cabral, 4140, all entitled "People of the Philippines v. Mayor Pablo
Florendo Baliscao and fourteen (14) other persons of unknown Sola. et al."; (2) the petition for a change of venue or place of
names. The cases were docketed as Criminal Cases No. 4129, trial of the same criminal cases to avoid a miscarriage of Justice;
4130, 4131, 4137, 4138, 4139 and 4140 of the Municipal Court (b) [Transfer] the venue of the aforesaid criminal cases to
of Kabankalan. After due preliminary examination of the Branch V of the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental at
complainant's witnesses and his other evidence, the municipal Bacolod City, presided by Executive Judge Alfonso Baguio,
court found probable cause against the accused. It thus issued an considering that District Judge Ostervaldo Emilia of the Court
order for their a. rest. However, without giving the prosecution of First Instance, Negros Occidental, Branch VI at Himamaylan
the opportunity to prove that the evidence of guilt of the accused has an approved leave of absence covering the period from
is strong, the court granted them the right to post bail for their January 12 to March 12, 1981 due to a mild attack of cerebral
temporary release. The accused Pablo Sola, Francisco Garcia, thrombosis and that the said Branch V is the nearest court station
and Jose Bethoven Cabral availed themselves of this right and to Himamaylan: and (c) [Await] the comment of respondents on
have since been released from detention. In a parallel the petition to cancel bail, without prejudice to the public
development. the witnesses in the murder cases informed the officials concerned taking the necessary measures to assure the
prosecution of their fears that if the trial is held at the Court of safety of the witnesses of the prosecution." 9 Thus, the issue of a
First Instance branch in Himamaylan which is but 10 kilometers change of venue has become moot and academic. The comments
from Kabankalan, their safety could be jeopardized. At least two respectively submitted by respondent Florendo Baliscao on
of the accused are officials with power and influence in March 5, 1981, respondent Francisco Garcia on March 11, 1981
Kabankalan and they have been released on bail. In addition, and respondent Pablo Sola on March 16, 1981, dealt solely with
most of the accused remained at large. Indeed, there have been the question of the cancellation of the bail bonds. Such
reports made to police authorities of threats made on the families comments were considered as answers, with the case thereafter
of the witnesses." 8 The facts alleged argue strongly for the deemed submitted for decision.
remedies sought, namely a change of venue and the cancellation
of the bail bonds. The sole remaining issue of the cancellation of the bail bonds of
respondents, there being a failure to abide by the basic
On the very next day, March 15, 1981, this Court issued the requirement that the prosecution be heard in a case where the
following resolution: "The Court Resolved to: (a) [Note] the accused is charged with a capital offense, prior to bail being
comment of the Solicitor General on the urgent petition for granted, must be decided in favor of petitioner. The bail bonds
change of venue and cancellation of bail bonds, adopting the must be cancelled and the case remanded to the sala of Executive
plea of the petition, namely, (1) the setting aside, by certiorari, Judge Alfonso Baguio for such hearing. So we rule.
of the order of the Municipal Court of Kabankalan, presided over
by Judge Rafael Gasataya, granting bail to the accused in

8
1. It may not be amiss to say a few words on the question of there is justification for the procedure followed in view of the
transferring the place of trial, in this case, from Himamaylan to fact that along with the change of venue, the cancellation of the
Bacolod City. The Constitution is quite explicit. The Supreme bail bonds was also sought.
Court could order "a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a
miscarriage of justice." 10 The Constitutional Convention of 2. Equally so the cancellation of the bail bonds is more than
1971 wisely incorporated the ruling in the landmark decision of justified. Bail was granted to the accused in the Order of the
People v. Gutierrez, 11 where Justice J. B. L. Reyes Municipal Court without hearing the prosecution That is to
as ponente vigorously and categorically affirmed: "In the disregard the authoritative doctrine enunciated in People v. San
particular case before Us, to compel the prosecution to proceed Diego. 16 As pointed out by Justice Capistrano, speaking for the
to trial in a locality where its witnesses will not be at liberty to Court: "The question presented before us is, whether the
reveal what they know is to make a mockery of the judicial prosecution was deprived of procedural due process. The answer
process, and to betray the very purpose for which courts have is in the affirmative. We are of the considered opinion that
been established." 12 Why a change of venue is imperative was whether the motion for bail of a defendant who is in custody for
made clear in the Comment of the Solicitor General. Thus: "The a capital offense be resolved in a summary proceeding or in the
exercise by this Honorable Court of its above constitutional course of a regular trial, the prosecution must be given an
power in this case will be appropriate. The witnesses in the case opportunity to present, within a reasonable time, all the evidence
are fearful for their lives. They are afraid they would be killed that it may desire to introduce before the court should resolve
on their way to or from Himamaylan during any of the days of the motion for bail. If, as in the criminal case involved in the
trial. Because of qqqts fear, they may either refuse to testify or instant special civil action, the prosecution should be denied
testimony falsely to save their lives. 13 Respondent Florendo such an opportunity, there would be a violation of procedural
Baliscao was not averse to such transfer, but his preference is for due process, and the order of the court granting bail should be
a court anywhere in Metro Manila. 14 Respondent Francisco considered void on that ground." 17 These words of Justice
Garcia confined his comment to the question of the cancellation Cardozo come to mind: "The law, as we have seen, is sedulous
of the bail bonds. Respondent Pablo Sola made clear that he had in maintaining for a defendant charged with crime whatever
"no objection to the transfer. 15 It may be added that there may forms of procedure are of the essence of an opportunity to
be cases where the fear, objectively viewed, may, to some defend. Privileges so fundamental as to be inherent in every
individuals, be less than terrifying, but the question must always concept of a fair trial that could be acceptable to the thought of
be the effect it has on the witnesses who will testify. The reasonable men will be kept inviolate and inviolable, however
primordial aim and intent of the Constitution must ever be kept crushing may be the pressure of incriminating proof. But justice,
in mind. In case of doubt, it should be resolved in favor of a though due to the accused, is due to the accuser also. The concept
change of venue. As a matter of fact, there need not be a petition of fairness must not be strained till it is narrowed to a filament.
of this character filed before this Court. Such a plea could have We are to keep the balance true." 18 This norm which is of the
been done administratively. In this particular case, however, very essence of due process as the embodiment of justice

9
requires that the prosecution be given the opportunity to prove G.R. No. 90625 May 23, 1991
that there is strong evidence of guilt. It does not suffice, as
asserted herein, that the questions asked by the municipal judge PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
before bail was granted could be characterized as searching. vs.
That fact did not cure an infirmity of a jurisdictional character. 19 BENEDICTO DAPITAN y MARTIN, @ "Benny" and
FRED DE GUZMAN, accused. BENEDICTO DAPITAN y
WHEREFORE, the assailed order of Judge Rafael Gasataya MARTIN @ "Benny", accused-appellant.
granting bail to private respondents is nullified, set aside, and
declared to be without force and effect. Executive Judge Alfonso The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Baguio of the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, to Public Attorney's Office for accused-appellant.
whose sala the cases had been transferred by virtue of the
resolution of this Court of March 5, 1981, is directed forthwith DAVIDE, JR., J.:
to hear the petitions for bail of private respondents, with the
prosecution being duly heard on the question of whether or not This is an appeal from the Decision of the Regional Trial Court
the evidence of guilt against the respondents is strong. This of Rizal (Branch 75, San Mateo) 4th Judicial Region, finding the
decision is immediately executory. No costs. accused-appellant guilty of the crime of Robbery with Homicide
and sentencing him to:
Teehankee, Makasiar, Aquino, Concepcion, Jr., Fernandez,
Guerrero, De Castro and Melencio-Herrera JJ., concur. . . . suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA, and
to pay the heirs of the victim Rolando Amil in the amount
Barredo and Abad Santos, JJ., are on leave. of Thirty Thousand (P30,000.00) Pesos, without
subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency. 1

Only the accused-appellant was tried. His co-accused, Fred de


Guzman, remained at large and the court ordered the archival of
the case as against him, to be revived upon his arrest.

The information filed with the court a quo on 7 August 1986


against accused-appellant and his co-accused reads in part as
follows:

10
That on or about the 16th day of May, 1986, in Barangay When arraigned on 25 November 1986 with the assistance of
San Rafael, Municipality of Rodriguez (formerly counsel de oficio, Atty. Magsanoc, accused entered a plea of not
Montalban), Province of Rizal, Philippines, a place guilty. 3
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused conspiring and confederating At the scheduled hearing on 10 February 1987, new counsel de
together and mutually helping and aiding one another, oficio for the accused, Atty. Gabriel Alberto of the Citizens
with intent to gain, armed with deadly weapon and by Legal Assistance Office (CLAO) of San Mateo, Rizal,
means of force and violence, then and there willfully, manifested that the accused had expressed to him the desire to
unlawfully and feloniously took, robbed/stole and enter a plea of guilty to a lesser offense. The court forthwith
carried (sic) away two (2) pieces of men's watches worth issued an order reading as follows:
One Thousand One Hundred Eighty Eight Pesos
(P1,188.00), one (1) pair of long pants worth Two Atty. Alberto of CLAO and de oficio counsel for the
Hundred Fifty Pesos (P250.00) and cash money in the accused manifested that the accused has manifested his
amount of Seventy Five Pesos (P75.00) belonging to desire to make a plea of guilty to a lesser offense but the
Orencia E. Amil, without the knowledge and consent of circumstances are yet to be made in details. It appears
said owner and to her damage and prejudice in the total that there are two mitigating circumstances that maybe
amount of One Thousand Five Hundred Thirteen Pesos applied. The Prosecuting Fiscal made no objection but
(P1,513.00), Philippine Currency; that on the occasion of also manifested that he has to look into the penalty
the said robbery and for the purpose of enabling them to applicable. The counsel for the accused and the
take, steal and carry away the above-mentioned articles, Prosecuting Fiscal jointly moved that the hearing of this
the herein accused in pursuance of their conspiracy, did case be reset to another date.
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with
evident premeditation and taking advantage of their WHEREFORE, reset the hearing of this case for March
superior strength and with intent to kill, treacherously 9, 1987 at 9:30 A.M. . . . . 4
attack, assault and employ personal violence upon the
person of Rolando Amil (an eight year old child) by The scheduled hearing of 9 March 1987 was cancelled and reset
stabbing him on the neck and hitting him several times to April 13, 1987 in view of the required vacation leave of
on the head with a piece of wood, to prevent him from absence of the judge.
making an outcry, thereby inflicting upon him physical
injuries which directly caused his death. 2 On 13 April 1987, upon motion of the prosecution and the
defense in view of the projected settlement of the civil liability
of this case, the hearing was reset to 19 May 1987. 5 On that date,
however, counsel de oficio for the accused did not appear, hence

11
"a report on the projected settlement of the civil aspect of the Pesos, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of
case cannot be made" and the hearing was reset again to 15 June insolvency.
1987 6 which schedule was later on cancelled due to the
compulsory retirement of the presiding judge (Judge Conrado With respect to the case against FRED DE GUZMAN,
Beltran) which took effect on 7 June 1987. 7 the records of the case insofar as he is concerned is
hereby ordered ARCHIVED to be revived upon his
In the meantime, Judge Francisco C. Rodriguez, Jr. presided arrest when he may be heard to answer for the offense
over the trial court 8 charged.

The initial reception of evidence took place on 24 August 1987 On 11 May 1 989, accused-appellant filed his Notice of Appeal,
with the accused-appellant represented by Atty. Benjamin manifesting therein that he was appealing the decision to this
Pozon, also of the CLAO. Court. 10 However, in the Order of 11 May 1989, Judge Cipriano
de Roma erroneously directed the transmittal of the records of
On various dates thereafter, hearings were had until the parties the case to the Court of Appeals. 11 The Court of Appeals
completed the presentation of their evidence. Witnesses Orencia transmitted to this Court on 4 March 1989 the records which
Amil and Cpl. Rodolfo Rivera for the prosecution testified were erroneously transmitted to it. 12
during the incumbency of Judge Rodriguez. The rest testified
before Judge Edilberto H. Noblejas who succeeded Judge In this appeal accused-appellant assigns only one error:
Rodriguez.
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT APPLYING
On 5 May 1989, the trial court promulgated its Decision 9 the THE INDETERMINATE SENTENCE LAW THAT
dispositive portion of which reads: FAVORS THE ACCUSED APPELLANT. 12

WHEREFORE, premises considered, after appraising He is thus deemed to be in complete agreement with the findings
the evidence presented by the prosecution and the and conclusion of facts by the trial court which We quote:
evidence of the defense, the Court finds the accused
BENEDICTO DAPITAN y MARTIN GUILTY The evidence adduced by the prosecution more than
BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT of the crime of prove with moral certainty the guilt of the accused
ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE, punishable under Benedicto Dapitan for the crime of ROBBERY WITH
Article 294, par. 1 of the Revised Penal Code and HOMICIDE. While there may be no direct evidence
sentences him to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION linking the accused to said crime, the witnesses who
PERPETUA, and to pay the heirs of the victim Rolando testified more than fully satisfy the requirements for
Amil in the amount of Thirty Thousand (P30,000.00) conviction on the basis of circumstancial evidence,

12
because it affords enough basis for a reasonable prosecution witness. He testified that between the hours
inference of the existence of the fact thereby sought to be of 8:00 to 9:00 in the morning of May 16, 1986, he saw
proved, that the accused performed the criminal act. two persons entering the house of Mrs. Orencia Amil,
one of whom he identified as Benedicto Dapitan, (TSN,
Orencia Amil, principal witness for the prosecution pages 4-5, hearing of October 26, 1987). He positively
testified that at around 8:30 in the morning of May 16, identified Benedicto Dapitan who was in Court (TSN,
1986, she left for her farm which was about 50 meters pages 5-6, hearing of October 26, 1987). He likewise
away, leaving behind in her house his adopted son testified that when the two suspects entered the house of
Rolando (the victim) very much alive.(TSN, page 5, Mrs. Amil, he heard the voice of a child. In the statement
hearing of August 24, 1987) who refused to go with her he gave the police investigators (Exhibit B) which he
because he chose to play in the house instead; and that confirmed when he testified, pertinent portions of which
because she heard the barking of her dog which aroused are herein quoted, he said:
her suspicion, she immediately returned and saw the
accused Benedicto Dapitan and his co-accused Fred de xxx xxx xxx
Guzman passing through her fence (TSN, pp. 5-6,
hearing of August 24, 1987); and that when she entered T Noong May 16, 1986, sa pagitan ng ika 8:00 ng
her house calling her child's name, and seeing the umaga, natatandaan mo ba noon kung saan ka
backdoor open, she entered and saw Rolando's body naroroon?
sprawled on the floor and his brain "scattered". Near his
body was a piece of wood, also bloodied. Thinking her S Ako po ay galing sa aming bahay at ako po ay
son to be still alive she took her in her arms, placed him patungo sa bundok para magtanim po ng punong
on the table and that was the time she realized he was saging.
dead. (TSN pages 6-7, hearing of Aug. 24, 1987).
xxx xxx xxx
She likewise testified that she lost two watches worth
P1,180; pants at P250.00 and cash amounting to P75.00; T Noong ikaw ay papadaan sa malapit sa bahay
and after her son's burial she further found that her child's ni Orencia Amil, wala ka bang napansin na tao na
toy worth P500.00, a flashlight and a bolo worth P45.00 nagtungo doon sa kanilang bahay.?
and P120.00, respectively, were missing. (TSN, pages 8-
9, hearing of August 24, 1987). S Mayroon po.

Orencia Amil's testimony is likewise corroborated on its


material points by the testimony of Celo Nilo, another

13
T Nakilala mo ba naman kung sinong tao ang xxx xxx xxx
iyong nakita na dumaan doon sa bahay nina Mrs.
Orencia Amil? T Matapos na makapasok iyong sina Benny
Dapitan doon sa bahay, wala ka ba namang
S Iyon lang pong isang tao ang aking kilala na narinig na sigaw ng isang bata?
dumaan doon sa bahay nina Mrs. Orencia Amil
na si Benny Dapitan na ang tirahan po ay doon S Mayroon po pero hindi ko po pinansin.
po rin sa Sitio Tabak, Brgy. San Rafael, R/R, pero (Emphasis supplied).
iyon pong isa na kasama ni Benny Dapitan ay
hindi ko po kilala sa kanyang tunay na pangalan. xxx xxx xxx

T Ilan bang tao ang iyong nakita na nagpunta The testimonies of these two witnesses, evaluated
doon sa bahay ni Mrs. Orencia Amil? together, on what transpired in the morning of May 16,
1986, between the hours of 8:00-9:00 a.m. attest to the
S Dalawang tao po. existence of the following facts:

T Mayroon ka ba gaano kalayo doon sa dalawang 1. That the victim, Rolando Amil, was alive when her
tao na ang isa ay si Benny Dapitan ng sila ay mother left her as testified to by Orencia Amil and
makita mo na pumunta doon sa bahay ni Mrs. witness Celo Nilo, who cry out when the two suspects
Orencia Amil? entered the house. (Testimony of Orencia Amil)

S Mayroon po lamang na mga 10 metro ang aking 2. That the accused Benedicto Dapitan and an
layo sa kanila. unidentified companion entered the house at a time when
Mrs. Amil had already left, and that the victim, at the
T Matapos na makita mo si na si Benny time, was still alive. (Testimonies of Celo Nilo &
Dapitan at iyong isa niyang kasama ay pumasok Orencia Amil)
doon sa bahay, ano pa ang sunod na pangyayari?
3. That when Mrs. Amil returned at quarter to nine she
S Akin pong nakita na matapos na sila ay saw Benedicto Dapitan and Fred de Guzman leaving the
makapasok sa loob ng bahay ni Mrs. Amil ay premises.(Testimony of Orencia Amil)
kanila pong isinara iyong pintuan noong bahay,
at hindi ko po naman sila pinansin at ako po ay
nagpatuloy na sa aking pupuntahan.

14
4. And that when Mrs. Amil entered her house, the In sum, therefore, there can be no other inference from
victim, Rolando Amil, was already dead. (Testimony of the evidence presented by the prosecution considering
Orencia Amil) the short span of time the victim Rolando Amil was left
alive by his mother, and her return fifteen (15) minutes
As gleaned from the records, witness Orencia Amil was later to find him dead and the testimony that the accused
straightforward in her testimony. She remained steadfast was seen entering and leaving the premises during this
even on cross-examination, and there is nothing on intervening period, except the inevitable conclusion that
record concerning her testimony which would leave the the accused is responsible for the death of Rolando Amil.
court in doubt as to the truth of what she testified to. Her
testimony therefore, relative to the circumstances For his part, the accused Benedicto Dapitan interposes
transpiring at the time she left the house at 8:30 a.m. up the defense of "alibi". This, he sought to establish
to the time she returned at quarter to nine engenders through the testimony of witness Ismael Anacio.
belief. Pertinent portion of the witness' testimony, is herein
quoted, to wit:
Celo Nilo's testimony was likewise made in the same
vein as that of Orencia Amil. This witness was not shown xxx xxx xxx
to have cause to perjure himself on a serious crime
against the accused. As the Court observed during the Q Now, do you remember, Mr. Witness, if this
trial, his testimony, based on his demeanor when he Benedicto Dapitan was present in the said house
testified, is impressed with a ring of veracity. on the period from May 16 to May 19, 1986?

The Court did not give credit to the testimony of A He was there, sir.
Patrolman Rodolfo Rivera except on the fact that he
conducted an investigation. No value whatsoever was Q Was there any occasion when this Benedicto
given to the sworn statement of Benedicto Dapitan, even Dapitan left your house during that period?
as to the portion in said testimony, where Benedicto
Dapitan admitted being present when Fred de Guzman A None, sir.
allegedly hit the victim on the head and that the stolen
articles were in the possession of Fred de Guzman, (TSN, pages 3-5, hearing of September 12, 1988).
because as wisely put by defense counsel, the sworn
statement was taken in violation of the constitutional The testimony of witness Ismael Anacio, a salesman by
rights of the accused. occupation, that defendant Benedicto Dapitan, from May
16 to May 19, 1986, was in his house all the time, and

15
that there was no occasion that he left the place during mitigating circumstances as well as the legal provisions
this period does not spark belief. In the first place, the favorable to the accused-appellant . . . appreciated or . . . taken
witness wants the Court to believe that he was in his advantage for constructive and humanitarian reasons." He
house during all the time so that he could during all the stresses that since mitigating circumstances are based on, among
days alluded to, be in a position to be positive as to the others, the lesser perversity of the offender, such should be
whereabouts of the accused. This circumstance alone appreciated in his favor since he had "a companion then when
generates doubt on his testimony, because it was not he entered Mrs. Orencia Amil's house and perpetrated the
explained why the witness, a salesman by occupation, offense. 15 And it was his companion or mate by the name of
would be in his house from the period beginning May Fred de Guzman who took the personal belongings of Mrs. Amil
16-19, 1986 (TSN, pages 2-3, hearing of September 12, as the men's watch worth P1,188.00. It was Fred de Guzman who
1988). is still at large who stabbed and hit the head of Rolando
Amil. 16 These facts or circumstances reveal that accused-
Assuming though, for the sake of argument, that the appellant had a "lesser perversity than his companion Fred de
witness actually monitored the whereabouts of the Guzman." As evidence of such lesser perversity, "he did not flee
accused during all the time, his testimony sustaining or hide himself from the authorities. . . . within two (2) days' time
Benedicto Dapitan's defense of "alibi" cannot defeat the he surrendered voluntarily to the police authorities . . . ." Thus,
positive identification made of Benedicto Dapitan and of the "mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender must be
his presence in Montalban on May 16, 1986, by witness considered" in his favor. 17
Orencia Amil and Celo Nilo. Even on this score alone,
without taking into consideration that Sampaloc District He prays that he be sentenced to an indeterminate penalty
where he allegedly was, is geographically not so far from ranging from twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion
Montalban, from where he could have commuted temporal, as minimum, to reclusion perpetua as maximum. 18
through the ordinary means of transportation present in
the area, his defense of "alibi" naturally falls, so that his Meeting squarely the points raised by the accused-appellant, the
conviction is reasonably called for. 14 People, in the Brief for Plantiff-Appellee submitted by the
Solicitor General on 9 June 1990, asserts that the same are
In support of the assigned error accused-appellant argues that the without merit for the accused was not deprived of due process as
imposition over him of the penalty of reclusion temporal by the he was, as admitted by him, afforded full opportunity to be
trial court is "tantamount to deprivation of life or liberty without heard; for a penalty to be cruel, degrading or inhuman, "it must
due process of law or is tantamount to a cruel, degrading or take more than merely being harsh, excessive, out of proportion,
inhuman punishment prohibited by the Constitution" and he or severe. . . . ; it must be flagrantly and plainly oppressive,
submits that "the righteous and humane punishment that should disproportionate to the nature of the offense as to shock the
have been meted out should be indeterminate sentence" with "all moral sense of the community 19 or when they involve torture or

16
lingering death" 20 and since the penalty of reclusion In People vs. Castillo, et al., 22 We ruled that if an accused has
perpetuaimposed on him is sanctioned by law, Act No. 3815 as been heard in a court of competent jurisdiction, and proceeded
amended, otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code, said against under the orderly processes of law, and only punished
penalty is not cruel, degrading or inhuman. It further argues that after inquiry and investigation, upon notice to him, with
the special complex crime of robbery with homicide defined opportunity to be heard, and a judgment awarded within the
under Article 294, par. 1, of the Revised Penal Code is authority of the constitutional law, then he has had due process
punishable with reclusion perpetua to death; with the abolition .23
of the death penalty by the 1987 Constitution, the only penalty
imposable upon a person found to have committed such complex We reiterated the above doctrine in People vs. Muit. 24
crime is the single penalty of reclusion perpetua, which is an
indivisible penalty. Under Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code All the requisites or conditions of due process are present in this
it should be applied regardless of the presence of any mitigating case. The records further disclose that accused-appellant was
or aggravating circumstances. given the fullest and unhampered opportunity not only to reflect
dispassionately on his expressed desire to plead guilty to a lesser
As regards the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the People submits offense which prompted the court to cancel the hearing of 10
that the accused-appellant cannot avail of it since Section 2 of February 1987, but also to confront the witnesses presented
the law (Act No. 4103) specifically provides that it shall not against him and to present his own evidence.
apply to, among others, persons convicted of offenses punished
with death penalty or life imprisonment. If indeed accused-appellant had been deprived of due process,
he would have faulted the trial court not just for failure to apply
We find the instant appeal to be totally bereft of merit. the Indeterminate Sentence Law, but definitely for more. Yet, he
found it futile to go any farther.
There was no denial of due process.
Neither is the penalty of reclusion perpetua cruel, degrading,
Due process is satisfied if the following conditions are present: and inhuman.1wphi1 To make that claim is to assail the
(1) there must be a court or tribunal clothed with judicial power constitutionality of Article 294, par. 1 of the Revised Penal
to hear and determine the matter before it; (2) jurisdiction must Code, or of any other provisions therein and of special laws
be lawfully acquired by it over the person of the defendant or imposing the said penalty for specific crimes or offenses. The
over the property which is the subject of the proceeding; (3) the proposition cannot find any support. Article 294, par. 1 of the
defendant must be given an opportunity to be heard; and (4) Revised Penal Code has survived four Constitutions of the
judgment must be rendered upon lawful hearing. 21 Philippines, namely: the 1935 Constitution, the 1973
Constitution, the Freedom Constitution of 1986 and the 1987
Constitution. All of these documents mention life imprisonment

17
or reclusion perpetua as a penalty which may be imposed in WHEREFORE, except as modified above in respect to the civil
appropriate cases.25 As a matter of fact, the same paragraph of indemnity, the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED in toto,
the section of Article III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution with costs against accused-appellant.
which prohibits the imposition of cruel, degrading and inhuman
punishment expressly recognizes reclusion perpetua. Thus: SO ORDERED.

Sec. 19(l). Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor Fernan C.J., Gutierrez, Jr., Feliciano and Bidin, JJ., concur.
cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted.
Neither shall the death penalty be imposed, unless, for
compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the
Congress hereafter provides it. Any death penalty [G.R. No. 131652. March 9, 1998]
already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua.

As to the appreciation of mitigating circumstances, We also BAYANI M. ALONTE, petitioner, vs. HON. MAXIMO A.
agree with the Solicitor General that since robbery with SAVELLANO JR., NATIONAL BUREAU OF
homicide under paragraph 1 of Article 294 of the Revised Penal INVESTIGATION and PEOPLE OF THE
Code is now punishable by the single and indivisible penalty PHILIPPINES, respondents.
of reclusion perpetua in view of the abolition of the death
penalty, it follows that the rule prescribed in the first paragraph
of Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code shall
apply. 26 Consequently, reclusion perpetua must be imposed in [G.R. No. 131728. March 9, 1998]
this case regardless of the presence of mitigating or aggravating
circumstances.
BUENAVENTURA CONCEPCION, petitioner, vs. JUDGE
The trial court correctly imposed on the accused the penalty MAXIMO SAVELLANO, JR., THE PEOPLE OF
of reclusion perpetua. THE PHILIPPINES, and JUVIELYN Y.
PUNONGBAYAN, respondents.
The civil indemnity awarded by the trial court should, in line
with Our decision in People vs. Sison, G.R. No. 86455, 14
DECISION
September 1990, and People vs. Sazon, G.R. No. 89684, 18
September 1970, be increased from P30,000.00 to P50,000.00. VITUG, J.:

18
Pending before this Court are two separate petitions, one The case was docketed Criminal Case No. 9619-B and
filed by petitioner Bayani M. Alonte, docketed G.R. No. 131652, assigned by raffle to Branch 25 of the RTC of Bian, Laguna,
and the other by petitioner Buenaventura Concepcion, docketed presided over by Judge Pablo B. Francisco.
G.R. No. 131728, that assail the decision of respondent Judge
On 13 December 1996, Juvie-lyn Punongbayan, through her
Maximo A. Savellano, Jr., of the Regional Trial Court ("RTC"),
counsel Attorney Remedios C. Balbin, and Assistant Chief State
Branch 53, of Manila finding both petitioners guilty beyond
Prosecutor (ACSP) Leonardo Guiyab, Jr., filed with the Office
reasonable doubt of the crime of rape. The two petitions were
of the Court Administrator a Petition for a Change of Venue
consolidated.
(docketed Administrative Matter No. 97-1-12-RTC) to have the
On 05 December 1996, an information for rape was filed case transferred and tried by any of the Regional Trial Courts in
against petitioners Bayani M. Alonte, an incumbent Mayor of Metro Manila.
Bian, Laguna, and Buenaventura Concepcion predicated on a
During the pendency of the petition for change of venue, or
complaint filed by Juvie-lyn Punongbayan. The information
on 25 June 1997, Juvie-lyn Punongbayan, assisted by her parents
contained the following averments; thus:
and counsel, executed an affidavit of desistance, quoted herein
in full, as follows:
That on or about September 12, 1996, in Sto. Tomas, Bian,
Laguna, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable court, the
AFFIDAVIT OF DESISTANCE
above named accused, who is the incumbent mayor of Bian,
Laguna after giving complainant-child drinking water which
I, JUVIE-LYN YAMBAO PUNONGBAYAN, 17 years of age,
made her dizzy and weak, did then and there willfully,
a resident of No. 5 Uranus Street, Congressional Avenue
unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with said
Subdivision, Quezon City, duly assisted by private legal counsel
JUVIELYN PUNONGBAYAN against her will and consent, to
and my parents, after having duly sworn in accordance with law,
her damage and prejudice.
depose and say:
That accused Buenaventura `Wella Concepcion without having
1. That I am the Complainant in the rape case filed against
participated as principal or accessory assisted in the commission
Mayor Bayani `Arthur Alonte of Bian, Laguna, with the RTC-
of the offense by bringing said complainant child to the rest
Branch 25 of Bian, Laguna;
house of accused Bayani `Arthur Alonte at Sto. Tomas, Bian,
Laguna and after receiving the amount of P1,000.00 left her
2. That the case has been pending for some time, on preliminary
alone with Bayani Alonte who subsequently raped her.
issues, specifically, (a) change of venue, filed with the Supreme
Court; (b) propriety of the appeal to the Court of Appeals, and
Contrary to Law.[1]
after its denial by said court, brought to the Office of the
President, on the veracity of the findings of the Five-Man

19
Investigating Panel of the State Prosecutors Office, and the or any other official of officer, my relatives and friends who
Secretary of Justice, and (c) a hold-departure order filed with the extended assistance to me in whatever way, in my search for
Bian Court; justice.

3. That the legal process moves ever so slowly, and meanwhile, "WHEREOF, I affix my signature this 25 day of June, 1997, in
I have already lost two (2) semesters of my college Quezon City.
residence. And when the actual trial is held after all the
preliminary issues are finally resolved, I anticipate a still "(Sgd)
indefinite suspension of my schooling to attend the hearings; JUVIE-LYN Y. PUNONGBAYAN
C
4. That during the entire period since I filed the case, my family omplainant
has lived a most abnormal life: my father and mother had to give
up their jobs; my younger brother, who is in fourth grade, had to "Assisted by:
stop his schooling, like myself;
(Sgd) ATTY. REMEDIOS C. BALBIN
5. That I do not blame anyone for the long, judicial process, I Private Prosecutor
simply wish to stop and live elsewhere with my family, where
we can start life anew, and live normally once again; "In the presence of:

6. That I pray that I be allowed to withdraw my complaint for (Sgd) PABLO PUNONGBAYAN
rape and the other charge for child abuse wherein the Five-Man Father
Investigating Panel of the Office of the State Prosecutor found a
prima facie case although the information has not been filed, and (Sgd) JULIE Y. PUNONGBAYAN
that I will not at any time revive this, and related cases or file Mother
new cases, whether, criminal, civil, and/or administrative, here
or anywhere in the Philippines; "SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 25 day of
June, 1997, in Quezon City.
7. That I likewise realize that the execution of this Affidavit will
put to doubt my credibility as a witness-complainant; "(Sgd) Illeg
ible
8. That this is my final decision reached without fear or favor, Administerin
premised on a corresponding commitment that there will be no [2]
g Officer"
reprisals in whatever form, against members of the police force

20
On 28 June 1997, Atty. Ramon C. Casino, on behalf of petitioner's desistance in light of the opposition of the public
petitioners, moved to have the petition for change of venue prosecutor, Asst. Chief State Prosecutor Leonardo Guiyab. The
dismissed on the ground that it had become moot in view of branch clerk of court of Br. XXV of the RTC of Bian, Laguna is
complainant's affidavit of desistance. On 22 August 1997, ACSP ordered to personally deliver to the Executive Judge of Manila
Guiyab filed his comment on the motion to dismiss. Guiyab the complete records of Crim. Case No. 9619-B upon receipt of
asserted that he was not aware of the desistance of private this Resolution."[3]
complainant and opined that the desistance, in any case, would
not produce any legal effect since it was the public prosecutor On 17 September 1997, the case, now re-docketed Criminal
who had direction and control of the prosecution of the criminal Case No. 97-159955 by the Clerk of Court of Manila, was
action. He prayed for the denial of the motion to dismiss. assigned by raffle to Branch 53, RTC Manila, with respondent
Judge Maximo A. Savellano, Jr., presiding.
On 02 September 1997, this Court issued a Resolution
(Administrative Matter No. 97-1-12-RTC), granting the petition On 07 October 1997, Juvie-lyn Punongbayan, through
for change of venue. The Court said: Attorney Balbin, submitted to the Manila court a "compliance"
where she reiterated "her decision to abide by her Affidavit of
"These affidavits give specific names, dates, and methods being Desistance."
used to abort, by coercion or corruption, the prosecution of
In an Order, dated 09 October 1997, Judge Savellano found
Criminal Case No. 9619-B. It is thus incorrect for oppositors
probable cause for the issuance of warrants for the arrest of
Alonte and Concepcion to contend that the fear of the petitioner,
petitioners Alonte and Concepcion without prejudice to, and
her private counsel and her witnesses are too generalized if not
independent of, this Courts separate determination as the trier of
fabricated. Indeed, the probability that in desisting from
facts, of the voluntariness and validity of the [private
pursuing her complaint for rape, petitioner, a minor, may have
complainant's] desistance in the light of the opposition of the
succumbed to some illicit influence and undue pressure. To
public prosecutor, Asst. Chief State Prosecutor Leonardo
prevent possible miscarriage of justice is a good excuse to grant
Guiyab.
the petition to transfer the venue of Criminal Case No. 9619-B
from Bian, Laguna to the City of Manila. On 02 November 1997, Alonte voluntarily surrendered
himself to Director Santiago Toledo of the National Bureau of
"IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Petition for Change of Venue from Investigation (NBI), while Concepcion, in his case, posted the
Bian, Laguna to the City of Manila is granted. The Executive recommended bail of P150,000.00.
Judge of RTC Manila is ordered to raffle Crim. Case No. 9619-
On 07 November 1997, petitioners were arraigned and both
B to any of its branches. The judge to whom Crim. Case No.
pleaded not guilty to the charge. The parties manifested that they
9619-B shall be raffled shall resolve the petitioner's Motion to
were waiving pre-trial. The proceedings forthwith went on.Per
Resume Proceedings filed in Br. XXV of the RTC of Bian,
Judge Savellano, both parties agreed to proceed with the trial of
Laguna and determine the voluntariness and validity of

21
the case on the merits.[4] According to Alonte, however, Judge On 10 November 1997, petitioner Alonte filed an "Urgent
Savellano allowed the prosecution to present evidence relative Motion to Admit to Bail." Assistant State Prosecutor
only to the question of the voluntariness and validity of the Campomanes, in a Comment filed on the same date, stated that
affidavit of desistance.[5] the State interposed no objection to the granting of bail and in
fact Justice and Equity dictates that it joins the accused in his
It would appear that immediately following the
prayer for the granting of bail.
arraignment, the prosecution presented private complainant
Juvie-lyn Punongbayan followed by her parents. During this Respondent judge did not act on the application for bail.
hearing, Punongbayan affirmed the validity and voluntariness of
On 17 November 1997, Alonte filed anew an Urgent Plea to
her affidavit of desistance. She stated that she had no intention
Resolve the Motion for Bail. On even date, ASP Campomanes
of giving positive testimony in support of the charges against
filed a Manifestation deeming "it proper and in accord with
Alonte and had no interest in further prosecuting the
justice and fair play to join the aforestated motion.
action. Punongbayan confirmed: (i) That she was compelled to
desist because of the harassment she was experiencing from the Again, the respondent judge did not act on the urgent
media, (ii) that no pressures nor influence were exerted upon her motion.
to sign the affidavit of desistance, and (iii) that neither she nor
The records would indicate that on the 25th November
her parents received a single centavo from anybody to secure the
1997, 1st December 1997, 8th December 1997 and 10th
affidavit of desistance.
December 1997, petitioner Alonte filed a Second, Third, Fourth
Assistant State Prosecutor Marilyn Campomanes then and Fifth Motion for Early Resolution, respectively, in respect
presented, in sequence: (i) Punongbayans parents, who affirmed of his application for bail. None of these motions were acted
their signatures on the affidavit of desistance and their consent upon by Judge Savellano.
to their daughters decision to desist from the case, and
On 17 December 1997, Attorney Philip Sigfrid A. Fortun,
(ii) Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Alberto Nofuente, who
the lead counsel for petitioner Alonte received a notice from the
attested that the affidavit of desistance was signed by
RTC Manila, Branch 53, notifying him of the schedule of
Punongbayan and her parents in his presence and that he was
promulgation, on 18 December 1997, of the decision on the
satisfied that the same was executed freely and
case. The counsel for accused Concepcion denied having
voluntarily. Finally, Campomanes manifested that in light of the
received any notice of the scheduled promulgation.
decision of private complainant and her parents not to pursue the
case, the State had no further evidence against the accused to On 18 December 1997, after the case was called, Atty.
prove the guilt of the accused. She, then, moved for the Sigrid Fortun and Atty. Jose Flaminiano manifested that Alonte
"dismissal of the case" against both Alonte and Concepcion. could not attend the promulgation of the decision because he was
suffering from mild hypertension and was confined at the NBI
Thereupon, respondent judge said that "the case was
clinic and that, upon the other hand, petitioner Concepcion and
submitted for decision."[6]

22
his counsel would appear not to have been notified of the The respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion
proceedings. The promulgation, nevertheless, of the decision amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when he rendered a
proceeded in absentia; the reading concluded: Decision in the case a quo (Annex A) without affording the
petitioner his Constitutional right to due process of law (Article
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered finding the two (2) III, 1, Constitution).
accused Mayor Bayani Alonte and Buenaventura `Wella
Concepcion guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the heinous The respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion
crime of RAPE, as defined and penalized under Article 335(2) amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when he rendered a
in relation to Article 27 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended Decision in the case a quo in violation of the mandatory
by Republic Act No. 7659, for which each one of the them is provisions of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, specifically, in
hereby sentenced to suffer the indivisible penalty the conduct and order of trial (Rule 119) prior to the
of RECLUSION PERPETUA or imprisonment for twenty (20) promulgation of a judgment (Rule 120; Annex A).
years and one (1) day to forty (40) years.
The respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion
In view thereof, the bail bond put up by the accused amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when, in total
Buenaventura `Wella Concepcion for his provisional liberty is disregard of the Revised Rules on Evidence and existing
hereby cancelled and rendered without any further force and doctrinal jurisprudence, he rendered a Decision in the case a
effect. quo (Annex A) on the basis of two (2) affidavits (Punongbayans
and Balbins) which were neither marked nor offered into
SO ORDERED.[7] evidence by the prosecution, nor without giving the petitioner
an opportunity to cross-examine the affiants thereof, again in
On the same day of 18th December 1997, petitioner Alonte violation of petitioners right to due process (Article III, 1,
filed a motion for reconsideration. Without waiting for its Constitution).
resolution, Alonte filed the instant "Ex Abundante Ad
Cautelam" for"Certiorari, Prohibition, Habeas Corpus, Bail, The respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion
Recusation of respondent Judge, and for Disciplinary Action amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when he rendered a
against an RTC Judge." Petitioner Concepcion later filed his Decision in the case a quo without conducting a trial on the facts
own petition for certiorari and mandamus with the Court. which would establish that complainant was raped by petitioner
(Rule 119, Article III, 1, Constitution), thereby setting a
Alonte submits the following grounds in support of his
dangerous precedent where heinous offenses can result in
petition seeking to have the decision nullified and the case
conviction without trial (then with more reason that simpler
remanded for new trial; thus:
offenses could end up with the same result).[8]

23
On the other hand, Concepcion relies on the following "The two (2) accused did not present any countervailing
grounds in support of his own petition; thus: evidence during the trial. They did not take the witness stand to
refute or deny under oath the truth of the contents of the private
1. The decision of the respondent Judge rendered in the course complainant's aforementioned affidavit which she expressly
of resolving the prosecutions motion to dismiss the case is a affirmed and confirmed in Court, but, instead, thru their
patent nullity for having been rendered without jurisdiction, respective lawyers, they rested and submitted the case for
without the benefit of a trial and in total violation of the decision merely on the basis of the private complainant's so
petitioners right to due process of law. called 'desistance' which, to them, was sufficient enough for
their purposes. They left everything to the so-called 'desistance'
2. There had been no valid promulgation of judgment at least as of the private complainant."[10]
far as petitioner is concerned.
According to petitioners, however, there was no such trial
3. The decision had been rendered in gross violation of the right for what was conducted on 07 November 1997, aside from the
of the accused to a fair trial by an impartial and neutral judge arraignment of the accused, was merely a proceeding in
whose actuations and outlook of the case had been motivated by conformity with the resolution of this Court in Administrative
a sinister desire to ride on the crest of media hype that Case No. 97-1-12-RTC to determine the validity and
surrounded this case and use this case as a tool for his ambition voluntariness of the affidavit of desistance executed by
for promotion to a higher court. Punongbayan.
It does seem to the Court that there has been undue
4. The decision is patently contrary to law and the jurisprudence
precipitancy in the conduct of the proceedings. Perhaps the
in so far as it convicts the petitioner as a principal even though
problem could have well been avoided had not the basic
he has been charged only as an accomplice in the information.[9]
procedures been, to the Court's perception, taken lightly. And in
this shortcoming, looking at the records of the case, the trial
The petitions deserve some merit; the Court will disregard,
court certainly is not alone to blame.
in view of the case milieu, the prematurity of petitioners'
invocation, i.e., even before the trial court could resolve Alonte's Section 14, paragraphs (1) and (2), of Article III, of the
motion for reconsideration. Constitution provides the fundamentals.
The Court must admit that it is puzzled by the somewhat
"(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense
strange way the case has proceeded below. Per Judge Savellano,
without due process of law.
after the waiver by the parties of the pre-trial stage, the trial of
the case did proceed on the merits but that -
"(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed
innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to

24
be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature "(b) The accused may present evidence to prove his defense, and
and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy, damages, if any, arising from the issuance of any provisional
impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and remedy in the case.
to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of
witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However, "(c) The parties may then respectively present rebutting
after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the evidence only, unless the court, in furtherance of justice, permits
absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified them to present additional evidence bearing upon the main issue.
and his failure to appear is unjustifiable."
"(d) Upon admission of the evidence, the case shall be deemed
Jurisprudence[11] acknowledges that due process in criminal submitted for decision unless the court directs the parties to
proceedings, in particular, require (a) that the court or tribunal argue orally or to submit memoranda.
trying the case is properly clothed with judicial power to hear
and determine the matter before it; (b) that jurisdiction is "(e) However, when the accused admits the act or omission
lawfully acquired by it over the person of the accused; (c) that charged in the complaint or information but interposes a lawful
the accused is given an opportunity to be heard; and (d) that defense, the order of trial may be modified accordingly."
judgment is rendered only upon lawful hearing.[12]
In Tabao vs. Espina,[14] the Court has underscored the need to
The above constitutional and jurisprudential postulates, by
adhere strictly to the above rules. It reminds that -
now elementary and deeply imbedded in our own criminal
justice system, are mandatory and indispensable. The principles
"x x x each step in the trial process serves a specific purpose. In
find universal acceptance and are tersely expressed in the oft-
the trial of criminal cases, the constitutional presumption of
quoted statement that procedural due process cannot possibly be
innocence in favor of an accused requires that an accused be
met without a "law which hears before it condemns, which
given sufficient opportunity to present his defense. So, with the
proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial."[13]
prosecution as to its evidence.
The order of trial in criminal cases is clearly spelled out
in Section 3, Rule 119, of the Rules of Court; viz: "Hence, any deviation from the regular course of trial should
always take into consideration the rights of all the parties to the
"Sec. 3. Order of trial. - The trial shall proceed in the following case, whether in the prosecution or defense. In the exercise of
order: their discretion, judges are sworn not only to uphold the law but
also to do what is fair and just. The judicial gavel should not be
"(a) The prosecution shall present evidence to prove the charge wielded by one who has an unsound and distorted sense of
and, in the proper case, the civil liability. justice and fairness.[15]

25
While Judge Savellano has claimed in his Comment that - place of honor in our Bill of Rights, is an enshrined and
invaluable right that cannot be denied even to the most
"Petitioners-accused were each represented during the hearing undeserving.
on 07 November 1997 with their respective counsel of
This case, in fine, must be remanded for further
choice. None of their counsel interposed an intention to cross-
proceedings. And, since the case would have to be sent back to
examine rape victim Juvielyn Punongbayan, even after she
the court a quo, this ponencia has carefully avoided making any
attested, in answer to respondent judge's clarificatory questions,
statement or reference that might be misconstrued as
the voluntariness and truth of her two affidavits - one detailing
prejudgment or as pre-empting the trial court in the proper
the rape and the other detailing the attempts to buy her
disposition of the case. The Court likewise deems it appropriate
desistance; the opportunity was missed/not used, hence
that all related proceedings therein, including the petition for
waived. The rule of case law is that the right to confront and
bail, should be subject to the proper disposition of the trial court.
cross-examine a witness 'is a personal one and may be waived.'"
(emphasis supplied) - Nevertheless, it is needful to stress a few observations on
the affidavit of desistance executed by the complainant.
it should be pointed out, however, that the existence of the
Firstly, the affidavit of desistance of Juvie-Lyn
waiver must be positively demonstrated. The standard of waiver
Punongbayan, hereinbefore quoted, does not contain any
requires that it "not only must be voluntary, but must be
statement that disavows the veracity of her complaint against
knowing, intelligent, and done with sufficient awareness of the
petitioners but merely seeks to "be allowed to withdraw" her
relevant circumstances and likely consequences."[16] Mere
complaint and to discontinue with the case for varied other
silence of the holder of the right should not be so construed as a
reasons. On this subject, the case of People vs. Junio,[21] should
waiver of right, and the courts must indulge every reasonable
be instructive. The Court has there explained:
presumption against waiver.[17] The Solicitor General has aptly
discerned a few of the deviations from what otherwise should
The appellants submission that the execution of an Affidavit of
have been the regular course of trial: (1) Petitioners have not
Desistance by complainant who was assisted by her mother
been directed to present evidence to prove their defenses nor
supported the `inherent incredibility of prosecutions evidence is
have dates therefor been scheduled for the purpose;[18] (2) the
specious. We have said in so many cases that retractions are
parties have not been given the opportunity to present rebutting
generally unreliable and are looked upon with considerable
evidence nor have dates been set by respondent Judge for the
disfavor by the courts. The unreliable character of this document
purpose;[19] and (3) petitioners have not admitted the act charged
is shown by the fact that it is quite incredible that after going
in the Information so as to justify any modification in the order
through the process of having accused-appellant arrested by the
of trial.[20] There can be no short-cut to the legal process, and
police, positively identifying him as the person who raped her,
there can be no excuse for not affording an accused his full day
enduring the humiliation of a physical examination of her private
in court.Due process, rightly occupying the first and foremost
parts, and then repeating her accusations in open court by

26
recounting her anguish, Maryjane would suddenly turn around 3. That inasmuch as my father, Leonardo Tacadao, Sr., the
and declare that `[a]fter a careful deliberation over the case, (she) complainant therein, was no longer interested to prosecute the
find(s) that the same does not merit or warrant criminal case as manifested in the Sworn Affidavit of Desistance before
prosecution. the Provincial Prosecutor, I do hereby WITHDRAW and/or
REVOKE my testimony of record to confirm (sic) with my
Thus, we have declared that at most the retraction is an fathers desire;
afterthought which should not be given probative value. It would
be a dangerous rule to reject the testimony taken before the court It is absurd to disregard a testimony that has undergone trial and
of justice simply because the witness who has given it later on scrutiny by the court and the parties simply because an affidavit
changed his mind for one reason or another. Such a rule will withdrawing the testimony is subsequently presented by the
make a solemn trial a mockery and place the investigation at the defense. In the first place, any recantation must be tested in a
mercy of unscrupulous witnesses. Because affidavits of public trial with sufficient opportunity given to the party
retraction can easily be secured from poor and ignorant adversely affected by it to cross-examine the recanting
witnesses, usually for monetary consideration, the Court has witness. In this case, Tessie Asenita was not recalled to the
invariably regarded such affidavits as exceedingly witness stand to testify on her affidavit. Her affidavit is thus
unreliable. [Flores vs. People, 211 SCRA 622, citing De hearsay. It was her husband, Roque Asenita, who was presented
Guzman vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 184 SCRA 128; and the matters he testified to did not even bear on the substance
People vs. Galicia, 123 SCRA 550.][22] of Tessies affidavit. He testified that accused-appellant was not
involved in the perpetration of the crime.
The Junio rule is no different from ordinary criminal
cases. For instance, in People vs. Ballabare,[23] a murder case, In the second place, to accept the new evidence uncritically
the Court has ruled: would be to make a solemn trial a mockery and place the
investigation at the mercy of unscrupulous witnesses. [De
The contention has no merit. To begin with, the Affidavit Guzman vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 184 SCRA 128, 134,
executed by eyewitness Tessie Asenita is not a recantation. To citing People vs. Morales, 113 SCRA 683.] For even assuming
recant a prior statement is to renounce and withdraw it formally that Tessie Asenita had made a retraction, this circumstance
and publicly. [36 WORDS AND PHRASES 683, citing Pradlik alone does not require the court to disregard her original
vs. State, 41-A 2nd, 906, 907.] In her affidavit, Tessie Asenita testimony. A retraction does not necessarily negate an earlier
did not really recant what she had said during the trial. She only declaration. [People vs. Davatos, 229 SCRA 647.] For this
said she wanted to withdraw her testimony because her father, reason, courts look with disfavor upon retractions because they
Leonardo Tacadao, Sr., was no longer interested in prosecuting can easily be obtained from witnesses usually through
the case against accused-appellant. Thus, her affidavit stated: intimidation or for monetary considerations. [People vs. Clamor,
198 SCRA 642.] Hence, when confronted with a situation where

27
a witness recants his testimony, courts must not automatically criminal case. And, affiant did not appear to be serious in
exclude the original testimony solely on the basis of the `signifying (her) intention to refrain from testifying since she
recantation. They should determine which testimony should be still completed her testimony notwithstanding her earlier
given credence through a comparison of the original testimony affidavit of desistance. More, the affidavit is suspect considering
and the new testimony, applying the general rules of that while it was dated `April 1992, it was only submitted
evidence. [Reano vs. Court of Appeals, 165 SCRA 525.] In this sometime in August 1992, four (4) months after the Information
case we think the trial court correctly ruled.[24] was filed before the court a quo on 6 April 1992, perhaps dated
as such to coincide with the actual filing of the case.[26]
It may not be amiss to state that courts have the inherent
power to compel the attendance of any person to testify in a case In People vs. Miranda,[27] applying the pertinent provisions
pending before it, and a party is not precluded from invoking of Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code which, in full, states -
that authority.[25]
"Art. 344. Prosecution of the crimes of adultery, concubinage,
Secondly, an affidavit of desistance by itself, even when
seduction, abduction, rape, and acts of lasciviousness. The
construed as a pardon in the so-called "private crimes," is not a
crimes of adultery and concubinage shall not be prosecuted
ground for the dismissal of the criminal case once the action has
except upon a complaint filed by the offended spouse.
been instituted. The affidavit, nevertheless, may, as so earlier
intimated, possibly constitute evidence whose weight or
"The offended party cannot institute criminal prosecution
probative value, like any other piece of evidence, would be up
without including both the guilty parties, if they are both alive,
to the court for proper evaluation. The decision in Junio went on
nor, in any case, if he shall have consented or pardoned the
to hold -
offenders.
While `[t]he offenses of seduction, abduction, rape or acts of
"The offenses of seduction, abduction, rape or acts of
lasciviousness, shall not be prosecuted except upon a complaint
lasciviousness, shall not be prosecuted except upon a complaint
filed by the offended party or her parents, grandparents, or
filed by the offended party or her parents, grandparents, or
guardian, nor in any case, if the offender has been expressly
guardian, nor, in any case, if the offender has been expressly
pardoned by the above named persons, as the case may
pardoned by the above named persons, as the case may be.
be, [Third par. of Art. 344, The Revised Penal Code.] the pardon
to justify the dismissal of the complaint should have been made
"In cases of seduction, abduction, acts of lasciviousness and
prior to the institution of the criminal action. [People vs. Entes,
rape, the marriage of the offender with the offended party shall
103 SCRA 162, cited by People vs. Soliao, 194 SCRA 250,
extinguish the criminal action or remit the penalty already
which in turn is cited in People vs. Villorente, 210 SCRA
imposed upon him. The provisions of this paragraph shall also
647.] Here, the motion to dismiss to which the affidavit of
desistance is attached was filed after the institution of the

28
be applicable to the coprincipals, accomplices and accessories pardoned by the offended party. To elucidate further, article 435
after the fact of the above-mentioned crimes." - of the old Penal Code provided: 'The husband may at any time
remit the penalty imposed upon his wife. In such case the
the Court said: penalty imposed upon the wife's paramour shall also be deemed
to be remitted.' These provisions of the old Penal Code became
"Paragraph 3 of the legal provision above quoted prohibits a inoperative after the passage of Act No. 1773, section 2, which
prosecution for seduction, abduction, rape, or acts of had the effect of repealing the same. The Revised Penal Code
lasciviousness, except upon a complaint made by the offended thereafter expressly repealed the old Penal Code, and in so doing
party or her parents, grandparents, or guardian, nor, in any case, did not have the effect of reviving any of its provisions which
if the offender has been expressly pardoned by the above-named were not in force.But with the incorporation of the second
persons, as the case may be. It does not prohibit the continuance paragraph of article 344, the pardon given by the offended party
of a prosecution if the offended party pardons the offender after again constitutes a bar to the prosecution for adultery. Once
the cause has been instituted, nor does it order the dismissal of more, however, it must be emphasized that this pardon must
said cause. The only act that according to article 344 come before the institution of the criminal prosecution and must
extinguishes the penal action and the penalty that may have been be for both offenders to be effective - circumstances which do
imposed is the marriage between the offended and the offended not concur in this case."[30]
party."[28]
The decisions speak well for themselves, and the Court need
In People vs. Infante,[29] decided just a little over a month not say more than what it has heretofore already held.
before Miranda, the Court similarly held:
Relative to the prayer for the disqualification of Judge
Savellano from further hearing the case, the Court is convinced
"In this court, after the case had been submitted, a motion to
that Judge Savellano should, given the circumstances, be best
dismiss was filed on behalf of the appellant predicated on an
excused from the case. Possible animosity between the
affidavit executed by Manuel Artigas, Jr., in which he pardoned
personalities here involved may not all be that unlikely. The
his guilty spouse for her infidelity. But this attempted pardon
pronouncement of this Court in the old case of Luque vs.
cannot prosper for two reasons. The second paragraph of article
Kayanan[31]could again be said: All suitors are entitled to
344 of the Revised Penal Code which is in question reads: 'The
nothing short of the cold neutrality of an independent, wholly-
offended party cannot institute criminal prosecution without
free, disinterested and unbiased tribunal. Second only to the duty
including both the guilty parties, if they are both alive, nor, in
of rendering a just decision is the duty of doing it in a manner
any case, if he shall have consented or pardoned the
that will not arouse any suspicion as to the fairness and integrity
offenders.' This provision means that the pardon afforded the
of the Judge.[32] It is not enough that a court is impartial, it must
offenders must come before the institution of the criminal
also be perceived as impartial.
prosecution, and means, further, that both the offenders must be

29
The Court cannot end this ponencia without a simple (c) Judge Maximo A. Savellano, Jr., presiding Judge of Branch
reminder on the use of proper language before the courts. While 53 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, is ENJOINED from
the lawyer in promoting the cause of his client or defending his further hearing Criminal Case No. 97-159935; instead, the case
rights might do so with fervor, simple courtesy demands that it shall immediately be scheduled for raffle among the other
be done within the bounds of propriety and decency. The use of branches of that court for proper disposition.
intemperate language and unkind ascriptions hardly can be
justified nor can have a place in the dignity of judicial No special pronouncement on costs.
forum. Civility among members of the legal profession is a
SO ORDERED.
treasured tradition that must at no time be lost to it.
Melo, Kapunan, Martinez, Quisumbing and Purisima,
Finally, it may be opportune to say, once again, that
JJ., concur.
prosecutors are expected not merely to discharge their duties
Narvasa, C.J., no part. Related to one of counsel.
with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism and skill
Puno, J., see separate opinion.
but also to act each time with utmost devotion and dedication to
Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Mendoza and Panganiban,
duty.[33] The Court is hopeful that the zeal which has been
JJ., joins Justice Puno in his separate opinion.
exhibited many times in the past, although regrettably a
disappointment on few occasions, will not be wanting in the
proceedings yet to follow.
WHEREFORE, conformably with all the foregoing, the
Court hereby RULES that -

(a) The submission of the "Affidavit of Desistance," executed by


Juvie-Lyn Y. Punongbayan on 25 June 1997, having been filed
AFTER the institution of Criminal Case No. 97-159935, DOES
NOT WARRANT THE DISMISSAL of said criminal case;

(b) For FAILURE OF DUE PROCESS, the assailed judgment,


dated 12 December 1997, convicting petitioners is declared
NULL AND VOID and thereby SET ASIDE; accordingly, the
case is REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings;
and

30
The City Prosecutor of Manila charged petitioner with the
crime of Estafa thru Falsification of Public Document before the
Manila Regional Trial Court.[3] Petitioner executed before a
Notary Public in the City of Manila an Affidavit of Self-
Adjudication of a parcel of land stating that she was the sole
surviving heir of the registered owner when in fact she knew
[G.R. No. 123340. August 29, 2002] there were other surviving heirs. Since the offended party did
not reserve the right to file a separate civil action arising from
the criminal offense, the civil action was deemed instituted in
LUTGARDA CRUZ, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF the criminal case.
APPEALS, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and After trial on the merits, the trial court rendered its decision
the HEIRS OF ESTANISLAWA C. REYES, dated January 17, 1994 acquitting petitioner on the ground of
represented by MIGUEL C. REYES, respondents. reasonable doubt. In the same decision, the trial court rendered
judgment on the civil aspect of the case, ordering the return to
DECISION the surviving heirs of the parcel of land located in Bulacan.[4]
CARPIO, J.: On January 28, 1994, petitioner received a copy of the
decision.

The Case On February 10, 1994, petitioner filed by registered mail a


motion for reconsideration dated February 7, 1994, assailing the
trial courts ruling on the civil aspect of the criminal case.
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of Petitioner furnished the City Prosecutor a copy of the motion by
the Rules of Court to reverse the Decision of the Court of registered mail.
Appeals dated March 31, 1995[1] and its Resolution dated
December 1, 1995.[2] The Court of Appeals dismissed for being On April 18, 1994, the trial court denied petitioners motion
insufficient in substance the Petition for Certiorari and for reconsideration stating:
Mandamus, which sought to nullify two orders of the Regional
Trial Court of Manila, Branch 53, dated April 18, 1994 and May Acting on the Motion for Reconsideration dated February 7,
6, 1994. 1994, filed by the accused through counsel and considering that
there is nothing to show that the Office of the City Prosecutor
was actually furnished or served with a copy of the said Motion
for Reconsideration within the reglementary period of fifteen
The Antecedent Facts
(15) days from receipt by the accused on January 28, 1994 of a

31
copy of the Courts decision dated January 17, 1994, so that the SEC. 10. Proof of Service. Proof of personal service shall
same is already final and executory, let the Motion for consist of a written admission of the party served, or the affidavit
Reconsideration be Denied for lack of merit.[5] of the party serving, containing a full statement of the date, place
and manner of service. If the service is by ordinary mail, proof
Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the trial courts thereof shall consist of an affidavit of the person mailing of facts
order of April 18, 1994. The trial court denied the same in an showing compliance with Section 5 of this rule. If service is
order dated May 6, 1994, to wit: made by registered mail, proof shall be made by such affidavit
and the registry receipt issued by the mailing office. The registry
Under the Interim Rules, no party shall be allowed a second return card shall be filed immediately upon receipt thereof by the
motion for reconsideration of a final order or judgment (Sec. 4). sender, or in lieu thereof the letter unclaimed together with the
The motion of accused dated 22 April 1994 is a violation of this certified or sworn copy of the notice given by the postmaster to
rule. the addressee.

WHEREFORE, said motion is DENIED.[6] Patent from the language of the said section is that in case service
is made by registered mail, proof of service shall be made by (a)
Left with no recourse, petitioner filed a petition for affidavit of the person mailing and (b) the registry receipt issued
certiorari and mandamus with the Court of Appeals to nullify the by the mailing office. Both must concur. In the case at bench,
two assailed orders of the trial court. Petitioner also asked the there was no such affidavit or registry receipt when the motion
Court of Appeals to compel the trial court to resolve her motion was considered. Thus, respondent Judge cannot be said to have
for reconsideration of the decision dated February 7, 1994. acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction, in ruling in the manner he did.[7]

The Ruling of the Court of Appeals The Court of Appeals also affirmed the trial courts order of
May 6, 1994 denying the subsequent motion for reconsideration,
as follows:
On March 31, 1995, the Court of Appeals denied due course
to the petition and dismissed the case for being insufficient in xxx, while there is merit in petitioners submission that the
substance. motion for reconsideration dated April 22, 1994 was not a
The Court of Appeals sustained the trial courts order of second motion for reconsideration of a final order or judgment,
April 18, 1994 denying petitioners motion for reconsideration. as contemplated in the Interim Rules because the motion sought
The Court of Appeals declared in part: to impugn the order dated 18 April 1994 not on the basis of the
issues raised in the motion for reconsideration dated 07 February
Section 10, Rule 13, Rules of Court, provides as follows: 1994 but on the erroneous legal conclusion of the order dated

32
May 6, 1994,[8] this is already academic. The decision dated In a resolution dated December 1, 1995, the Court of
January 7, 1994 had long become final when the second motion Appeals denied petitioners motion for reconsideration.[12]
for reconsideration was filed on 03 May 1994. Hence, the
Hence, this petition.
pairing Judge who issued the order on 06 May 1994 had no more
legal competence to promulgate the same.[9]

Finally, the Court of Appeals upheld the assailed decision The Issues
of the trial court on the civil aspect of the case, to wit:
In her Memorandum, petitioner raises the following issues:
x x x, the institution of a criminal action carries with it the civil
action for the recovery of the civil liability arising from the 1. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
offense charged. There was neither reservation nor waiver of the IN NOT FINDING THAT THE PROSECUTION
right to file the civil action separately nor has one been instituted WAS DULY FURNISHED WITH COPY OF THE
to the criminal action. Hence, the civil action for the civil PETITIONERS MOTION FOR
liability has been impliedly instituted with the filing of the RECONSIDERATION WITH RESPECT TO THE
criminal case before respondent Judge. This is the law on the DECISION ON THE CIVIL ASPECT OF
matter. The proposition submitted by petitioner that the court CRIMINAL CASE NO. 87-54773 (SIC) OF THE
presided by respondent Judge had no jurisdiction over the REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MANILA,
property because it is located in Bulacan - outside the territorial BRANCH 53.
jurisdiction of said court -does not hold water. Being a civil 2. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
liability arising from the offense charged, the governing law is IN FINDING THAT THE REGIONAL TRIAL
the Rules of Criminal Procedure, not the civil procedure rules COURT OF MANILA HAD JURISDICTION TO
which pertain to civil action arising from the initiatory pleading RENDER JUDGMENT ON THE CIVIL ASPECT
that gives rise to the suit.[10] OF CRIMINAL CASE NO. 87-57743 FOR
FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENT,
In the dispositive portion of its assailed decision, the Court INVOLVING A PROPERTY LOCATED IN
of Appeals declared: BULACAN.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition not being sufficient in 3. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
substance is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE and the case IN NOT FINDING THAT THE PETITIONER
DISMISSED.[11] WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS WHEN THE
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MANILA,
BRANCH 53, RENDERED DECISION ON THE

33
CIVIL ASPECT OF CRIMINAL CASE NO. 87- Prosecutor by registered mail on February 10, 1994. Petitioner
57743.[13] relies on jurisprudence that the date of mailing is the date of
filing, arguing that the date of mailing of both motions was on
February 10, 1994. Petitioner maintains that the motion was
The Ruling of the Court properly filed within the 15-day period, citing the registry return
card which shows actual receipt on February 22, 1994 by the
City Prosecutor of a copy of the motion.
We grant the petition.
The Court of Appeals, noting that petitioner received a copy
When the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but is of the decision on January 28, 1994, stated that petitioner had
adjudged civilly liable, his motion for reconsideration of the until February 12, 1994 to appeal the decision or file a motion
civil aspect must be served not only on the prosecution, also on for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals ruled that petitioner,
the offended party if the latter is not represented by a private by filing a motion for reconsideration without any proof of
counsel. Moreover, if the trial court has jurisdiction over the service, merely filed a scrap of paper and not a motion for
subject matter and over the accused, and the crime was reconsideration. Hence, the reglementary period of petitioner to
committed within its territorial jurisdiction, it necessarily appeal continued to run and lapsed after the 15-day period,
exercises jurisdiction over all matters that the law requires the making the trial courts decision final and executory.
court to resolve. This includes the power to order the restitution
to the offended party of real property located in another We agree with the Court of Appeals that petitioner patently
province. failed to comply with the mandatory requirements on proof of
service insofar as the public prosecutor is concerned. The Court
has stressed time and again that non-compliance with Sections
Absence of Proof of Service 4, 5 and 6 of Rule 15 is a fatal defect. The well-settled rule is
that a motion which fails to comply with Sections 4, 5, and 6 of
Rule 15 is a useless piece of paper. If filed, such motion is not
The first issue is whether petitioners motion for entitled to judicial cognizance and does not stop the running of
reconsideration dated February 7, 1994 complied with the the reglementary period for filing the requisite pleading.[14]
mandatory requirements of Section 6, Rule 15 on proof of
service. Petitioner submits that the Court of Appeals erred in Section 6 of Rule 15 reads:
sustaining the trial courts finding that the City Prosecutor was
not duly and timely furnished with petitioners motion for SEC. 6. - Proof of service to be filed with motions. No motion
reconsideration of February 7, 1994. shall be acted upon by the court, without proof of service of the
notice thereof.[15] (Emphasis supplied)
Petitioner asserts that both copies of the motion for
reconsideration were sent to the trial court and the City

34
From the language of the rule, proof of service is issue of whether the public prosecutor is the only proper party to
mandatory. Without such proof of service to the adverse party, a be served with petitioners motion for reconsideration. The
motion is nothing but an empty formality deserving no judicial present Rules do not require the accused to serve a copy of his
cognizance. motion for reconsideration on the offended party who may not
be represented by a private counsel. The Rules require service
Section 13 of Rule 13 further requires that:
only on the public prosecutor if the offended party is not
represented by a private counsel.
SEC. 13. Proof of Service. x x x. If service is made by registered
mail, proof shall be made by such affidavit and the registry A judgment of acquittal is immediately final and executory
receipt issued by the mailing office. The registry return card and the prosecution cannot appeal the acquittal because of the
shall be filed immediately upon its receipt by the sender, or in constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. However,
lieu thereof the unclaimed letter together with the certified or either the offended party or the accused may appeal the civil
sworn copy of the notice given by the postmaster to the aspect of the judgment despite the acquittal of the accused. The
addressee.[16] (Emphasis supplied) public prosecutor has generally no interest in appealing the civil
aspect of a decision acquitting the accused.
If service is by registered mail, proof of service consists of
The acquittal ends the work of the public prosecutor and the
the affidavit of the person mailing and the registry receipt, both
case is terminated as far as he is concerned.
of which must be appended to the motion. Absent one or the
other, or worse both, there is no proof of service. The real parties in interest in the civil aspect of a decision
are the offended party and the accused. Thus, any appeal or
In the instant case, an examination of the record shows that
motion for reconsideration of the civil aspect of a decision in a
petitioner received a copy of the trial courts decision of January
criminal case must be served on the other real party in interest.
17, 1994 on January 28, 1994. Within the reglementary period
If the offended party appeals or moves for reconsideration, the
to appeal, petitioner filed on February 10, 1994, by registered
accused is necessarily served a copy of the pleading through his
mail, a motion for reconsideration. However, petitioner failed to
counsel.
attach both the affidavit and the registry receipt to the motion for
reconsideration as required by the Rules. If the accused appeals or moves for reconsideration, a
lacuna arises if the offended party is not represented by a private
The defect of the motion is apparent on its face. Petitioners
counsel. In such a situation, under the present Rules only the
motion for reconsideration was a mere scrap of paper as it did
public prosecutor is served the notice of appeal or a copy of the
not contain the required proof of service.
motion for reconsideration. To fill in this lacuna in the present
However, petitioner is contesting that part of the decision of Rules, we require that henceforth if the accused appeals or
the trial court finding him civilly liable even as he is acquitted moves for reconsideration, he should serve a copy of his
from the criminal charge on reasonable doubt. This raises the pleading on the offended party himself if the latter is not

35
represented by a private counsel. This is in addition to service of jurisdiction over the civil aspect of the criminal case. This
on the public prosecutor who is the counsel of record of the argument is contrary to the law and the rules.
State.
There are three important requisites which must be present
In the instant case, the Court notes that petitioner did not before a court can acquire criminal jurisdiction. First, the court
serve a copy of her motion for reconsideration on the offended must have jurisdiction over the subject matter. Second, the court
party who was not represented by a private counsel in the trial must have jurisdiction over the territory where the offense was
court. In the interest of justice, and considering that the present committed. Third, the court must have jurisdiction over the
Rules are silent on the matter, it is only fair to give petitioner a person of the accused.[18] In the instant case, the trial court had
period of five days from receipt of this decision within which to jurisdiction over the subject matter as the law has conferred on
serve a copy of her motion for reconsideration on the offended the court the power to hear and decide cases involving estafa
party. through falsification of a public document. The trial court also
had jurisdiction over the offense charged since the crime was
committed within its territorial jurisdiction. The trial court also
Trial courts jurisdiction over the civil aspect. acquired jurisdiction over the person of accused-petitioner
because she voluntarily submitted to the courts authority.
Petitioner maintains that the Court of Appeals erred in Where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and
finding that the trial court had jurisdiction to render judgment on over the person of the accused, and the crime was committed
the civil aspect of the criminal case. Petitioner asserts that the within its territorial jurisdiction, the court necessarily exercises
Manila trial court had no jurisdiction over the parcel of land in jurisdiction over all issues that the law requires the court to
Bulacan which is outside the trial courts territorial jurisdiction. resolve. One of the issues in a criminal case is the civil liability
of the accused arising from the crime. Article 100 of the Revised
In upholding the trial courts jurisdiction, the Court of Penal Code provides that [E]very person criminally liable for a
Appeals held: felony is also civilly liable. Article 104 of the same Code states
that civil liability x x x includes restitution.
Being a civil liability arising from the offense charged, the
governing law is the Rules of Criminal Procedure, not the civil The action for recovery of civil liability is deemed instituted
procedure rules which pertain to civil action arising from the in the criminal action unless reserved by the offended
initiatory pleading that gives rise to the suit.[17] party.[19] In the instant case, the offended party did not reserve
the civil action and the civil action was deemed instituted in the
We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals. criminal action. Although the trial court acquitted petitioner of
the crime charged, the acquittal, grounded on reasonable doubt,
Petitioner asserts that the location of the subject property did not extinguish the civil liability.[20] Thus, the Manila trial
outside the courts territorial jurisdiction deprived the trial court court had jurisdiction to decide the civil aspect of the instant case

36
- ordering restitution even if the parcel of land is located in DECISION
Bulacan.
PERALTA, J.:
Consequently, while we find no reversible error in the
decision of the Court of Appeals as to proof of service and the
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari assailing
trial courts jurisdiction on the civil aspect, we remand this case
the Resolution1 of the Third Division2 of the Sandiganbayan
for further proceedings in the interest of justice.
(SB) dated June 2, 2005 which quashed the Information filed
WHEREFORE, petitioner is given five (5) days from against herein respondent for alleged violation of Section 3 (g)
receipt of this decision within which to serve a copy of her of Republic Act No. 3019 (R.A. 3019), otherwise known as the
motion for reconsideration on the offended party. Let this case Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
be remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.
The Information filed against respondent is an offshoot of this
SO ORDERED.
Court's Decision3 in Agan, Jr. v. Philippine International Air
Puno, (Chairman), and Panganiban, JJ., concur. Terminals Co., Inc. which nullified the various contracts
Sandoval-Gutierrez, J., on leave. awarded by the Government, through the Department of
Transportation and Communications (DOTC), to Philippine Air
Terminals, Co., Inc. (PIATCO) for the construction, operation
and maintenance of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport
International Passenger Terminal III (NAIA IPT III).
Subsequent to the above Decision, a certain Ma. Cecilia L.
Pesayco filed a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman
against several individuals for alleged violation of R.A. 3019.
Among those charged was herein respondent, who was then the
Chairman and President of PIATCO, for having supposedly
conspired with then DOTC Secretary Arturo Enrile (Secretary
Enrile) in entering into a contract which is grossly and
manifestly disadvantageous to the government.

G.R. No. 168539 March 25, 2014 On September 16, 2004, the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman
for Luzon found probable cause to indict, among others, herein
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, respondent for violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019. While
vs. there was likewise a finding of probable cause against Secretary
HENRY T. GO, Respondent.

37
Enrile, he was no longer indicted because he died prior to the The prosecution is given a period of ten (10) days from today
issuance of the resolution finding probable cause. within which to show cause why this case should not be
dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused
Thus, in an Information dated January 13, 2005, respondent was considering that the accused is a private person and the public
charged before the SB as follows: official Arturo Enrile, his alleged co-conspirator, is already
deceased, and not an accused in this case.5
On or about July 12, 1997, or sometime prior or subsequent
thereto, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the The prosecution complied with the above Order contending that
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the late ARTURO the SB has already acquired jurisdiction over the person of
ENRILE, then Secretary of the Department of Transportation respondent by reason of his voluntary appearance, when he filed
and Communications (DOTC), committing the offense in a motion for consolidation and when he posted bail. The
relation to his office and taking advantage of the same, in prosecution also argued that the SB has exclusive jurisdiction
conspiracy with accused, HENRY T. GO, Chairman and over respondent's case, even if he is a private person, because he
President of the Philippine International Air Terminals, Co., Inc. was alleged to have conspired with a public officer.6
(PIATCO), did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and
criminally enter into a Concession Agreement, after the project On April 28, 2005, respondent filed a Motion to Quash7 the
for the construction of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Information filed against him on the ground that the operative
International Passenger Terminal III (NAIA IPT III) was facts adduced therein do not constitute an offense under Section
awarded to Paircargo Consortium/PIATCO, which Concession 3(g) of R.A. 3019. Respondent, citing the show cause order of
Agreement substantially amended the draft Concession the SB, also contended that, independently of the deceased
Agreement covering the construction of the NAIA IPT III under Secretary Enrile, the public officer with whom he was alleged to
Republic Act 6957, as amended by Republic Act 7718 (BOT have conspired, respondent, who is not a public officer nor was
law), specifically the provision on Public Utility Revenues, as capacitated by any official authority as a government agent, may
well as the assumption by the government of the liabilities of not be prosecuted for violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019.
PIATCO in the event of the latter's default under Article IV,
Section 4.04 (b) and (c) in relation to Article 1.06 of the The prosecution filed its Opposition.8
Concession Agreement, which terms are more beneficial to
PIATCO while manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the On June 2, 2005, the SB issued its assailed Resolution, pertinent
government of the Republic of the Philippines.4 portions of which read thus:

The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. 28090. Acting on the Motion to Quash filed by accused Henry T. Go
dated April 22, 2005, and it appearing that Henry T. Go, the lone
On March 10, 2005, the SB issued an Order, to wit: accused in this case is a private person and his alleged co-

38
conspirator-public official was already deceased long before this WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY
case was filed in court, for lack of jurisdiction over the person ERRED WHEN, IN COMPLETE DISREGARD OF THE
of the accused, the Court grants the Motion to Quash and the EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE CONSTITUTION,
Information filed in this case is hereby ordered quashed and IT QUASHED THE INFORMATION AND DISMISSED
dismissed.9 CRIMINAL CASE NO. 2809010

Hence, the instant petition raising the following issues, to wit: The Court finds the petition meritorious.

I Section 3 (g) of R.A. 3019 provides:

WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY Sec. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts
ERRED AND DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE IN or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing
A MANNER NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW OR law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public
APPLICABLE JURISPRUDENCE IN GRANTING THE officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE AND IN DISMISSING
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 28090 ON THE GROUND THAT IT xxxx
HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE PERSON OF
RESPONDENT GO. (g) Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or
transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same,
II whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.

WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY The elements of the above provision are:
ERRED AND DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE IN
A MANNER NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW OR (1) that the accused is a public officer;
APPLICABLE JURISPRUDENCE, IN RULING THAT IT
HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE PERSON OF (2) that he entered into a contract or transaction on behalf
RESPONDENT GO DESPITE THE IRREFUTABLE FACT of the government; and
THAT HE HAS ALREADY POSTED BAIL FOR HIS
PROVISIONAL LIBERTY (3) that such contract or transaction is grossly and
manifestly disadvantageous to the government.11
III
At the outset, it bears to reiterate the settled rule that private
persons, when acting in conspiracy with public officers, may be

39
indicted and, if found guilty, held liable for the pertinent of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon found probable cause to
offenses under Section 3 of R.A. 3019, in consonance with the indict Secretary Enrile for infringement of Sections 3 (e) and (g)
avowed policy of the anti-graft law to repress certain acts of of R.A. 3019.14 Were it not for his death, he should have been
public officers and private persons alike constituting graft or charged.
corrupt practices act or which may lead thereto.12 This is the
controlling doctrine as enunciated by this Court in previous The requirement before a private person may be indicted for
cases, among which is a case involving herein private violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019, among others, is that such
respondent.13 private person must be alleged to have acted in conspiracy with
a public officer. The law, however, does not require that such
The only question that needs to be settled in the present petition person must, in all instances, be indicted together with the public
is whether herein respondent, a private person, may be indicted officer. If circumstances exist where the public officer may no
for conspiracy in violating Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019 even if the longer be charged in court, as in the present case where the
public officer, with whom he was alleged to have conspired, has public officer has already died, the private person may be
died prior to the filing of the Information. indicted alone.

Respondent contends that by reason of the death of Secretary Indeed, it is not necessary to join all alleged co-conspirators in
Enrile, there is no public officer who was charged in the an indictment for conspiracy.15 If two or more persons enter into
Information and, as such, prosecution against respondent may a conspiracy, any act done by any of them pursuant to the
not prosper. agreement is, in contemplation of law, the act of each of them
and they are jointly responsible therefor.16 This means that
The Court is not persuaded. everything said, written or done by any of the conspirators in
execution or furtherance of the common purpose is deemed to
It is true that by reason of Secretary Enrile's death, there is no have been said, done, or written by each of them and it makes no
longer any public officer with whom respondent can be charged difference whether the actual actor is alive or dead, sane or
for violation of R.A. 3019. It does not mean, however, that the insane at the time of trial.17 The death of one of two or more
allegation of conspiracy between them can no longer be proved conspirators does not prevent the conviction of the survivor or
or that their alleged conspiracy is already expunged. The only survivors.18 Thus, this Court held that:
thing extinguished by the death of Secretary Enrile is his
criminal liability. His death did not extinguish the crime nor did x x x [a] conspiracy is in its nature a joint offense. One person
it remove the basis of the charge of conspiracy between him and cannot conspire alone. The crime depends upon the joint act or
private respondent. Stated differently, the death of Secretary intent of two or more persons. Yet, it does not follow that one
Enrile does not mean that there was no public officer who person cannot be convicted of conspiracy. So long as the
allegedly violated Section 3 (g) of R.A. 3019. In fact, the Office acquittal or death of a co-conspirator does not remove the bases

40
of a charge for conspiracy, one defendant may be found guilty sovereignty of the State is not outraged and the tranquility of the
of the offense.19 public remains undisturbed.

The Court agrees with petitioner's contention that, as alleged in However, when in resolute execution of a common scheme, a
the Information filed against respondent, which is deemed felony is committed by two or more malefactors, the existence
hypothetically admitted in the latter's Motion to Quash, he of a conspiracy assumes pivotal importance in the determination
(respondent) conspired with Secretary Enrile in violating of the liability of the perpetrators. In stressing the significance
Section 3 (g) of R.A. 3019 and that in conspiracy, the act of one of conspiracy in criminal law, this Court in U.S. vs. Infante and
is the act of all. Hence, the criminal liability incurred by a co- Barreto opined that
conspirator is also incurred by the other co-conspirators.
While it is true that the penalties cannot be imposed for the mere
Moreover, the Court agrees with petitioner that the avowed act of conspiring to commit a crime unless the statute
policy of the State and the legislative intent to repress "acts of specifically prescribes a penalty therefor, nevertheless the
public officers and private persons alike, which constitute graft existence of a conspiracy to commit a crime is in many cases a
or corrupt practices,"20 would be frustrated if the death of a fact of vital importance, when considered together with the other
public officer would bar the prosecution of a private person who evidence of record, in establishing the existence, of the
conspired with such public officer in violating the Anti-Graft consummated crime and its commission by the conspirators.
Law.
Once an express or implied conspiracy is proved, all of the
In this regard, this Court's disquisition in the early case of People conspirators are liable as co-principals regardless of the extent
v. Peralta21 as to the nature of and the principles governing and character of their respective active participation in the
conspiracy, as construed under Philippine jurisdiction, is commission of the crime or crimes perpetrated in furtherance of
instructive, to wit: the conspiracy because in contemplation of law the act of one is
the act of all. The foregoing rule is anchored on the sound
x x x A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an principle that "when two or more persons unite to accomplish a
agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to criminal object, whether through the physical volition of one, or
commit it. Generally, conspiracy is not a crime except when the all, proceeding severally or collectively, each individual whose
law specifically provides a penalty therefor as in treason, evil will actively contributes to the wrong-doing is in law
rebellion and sedition. The crime of conspiracy known to the responsible for the whole, the same as though performed by
common law is not an indictable offense in the Philippines. An himself alone." Although it is axiomatic that no one is liable for
agreement to commit a crime is a reprehensible act from the acts other than his own, "when two or more persons agree or
view-point of morality, but as long as the conspirators do not conspire to commit a crime, each is responsible for all the acts
perform overt acts in furtherance of their malevolent design, the of the others, done in furtherance of the agreement or

41
conspiracy." The imposition of collective liability upon the in furtherance of the common design are liable as co-principals.
conspirators is clearly explained in one case where this Court This rule of collective criminal liability emanates from the
held that x x x it is impossible to graduate the separate liability ensnaring nature of conspiracy. The concerted action of the
of each (conspirator) without taking into consideration the close conspirators in consummating their common purpose is a patent
and inseparable relation of each of them with the criminal act, display of their evil partnership, and for the consequences of
for the commission of which they all acted by common such criminal enterprise they must be held solidarily liable.22
agreement x x x. The crime must therefore in view of the
solidarity of the act and intent which existed between the x x x This is not to say, however, that private respondent should be
accused, be regarded as the act of the band or party created by found guilty of conspiring with Secretary Enrile. It is settled that
them, and they are all equally responsible x x x the absence or presence of conspiracy is factual in nature and
involves evidentiary matters.23 Hence, the allegation of
Verily, the moment it is established that the malefactors conspiracy against respondent is better left ventilated before the
conspired and confederated in the commission of the felony trial court during trial, where respondent can adduce evidence to
proved, collective liability of the accused conspirators attaches prove or disprove its presence.
by reason of the conspiracy, and the court shall not speculate nor
even investigate as to the actual degree of participation of each Respondent claims in his Manifestation and Motion24 as well as
of the perpetrators present at the scene of the crime. Of course, in his Urgent Motion to Resolve25 that in a different case, he was
as to any conspirator who was remote from the situs of likewise indicted before the SB for conspiracy with the late
aggression, he could be drawn within the enveloping ambit of Secretary Enrile in violating the same Section 3 (g) of R.A. 3019
the conspiracy if it be proved that through his moral ascendancy by allegedly entering into another agreement (Side Agreement)
over the rest of the conspirators the latter were moved or which is separate from the Concession Agreement subject of the
impelled to carry out the conspiracy. present case. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No.
28091. Here, the SB, through a Resolution, granted respondent's
In fine, the convergence of the wills of the conspirators in the motion to quash the Information on the ground that the SB has
scheming and execution of the crime amply justifies the no jurisdiction over the person of respondent. The prosecution
imputation to all of them the act of any one of them. It is in this questioned the said SB Resolution before this Court via a
light that conspiracy is generally viewed not as a separate petition for review on certiorari. The petition was docketed as
indictable offense, but a rule for collectivizing criminal liability. G.R. No. 168919. In a minute resolution dated August 31, 2005,
this Court denied the petition finding no reversible error on the
xxxx part of the SB. This Resolution became final and executory on
January 11, 2006. Respondent now argues that this Court's
x x x A time-honored rule in the corpus of our jurisprudence is resolution in G.R. No. 168919 should be applied in the instant
that once conspiracy is proved, all of the conspirators who acted case.

42
The Court does not agree. Respondent should be reminded that Moreover, "[w]here the appearance is by motion for the purpose
prior to this Court's ruling in G.R. No. 168919, he already posted of objecting to the jurisdiction of the court over the person, it
bail for his provisional liberty. In fact, he even filed a Motion for must be for the sole and separate purpose of objecting to said
Consolidation26 in Criminal Case No. 28091. The Court agrees jurisdiction. If the appearance is for any other purpose, the
with petitioner's contention that private respondent's act of defendant is deemed to have submitted himself to the
posting bail and filing his Motion for Consolidation vests the SB jurisdiction of the court. Such an appearance gives the court
with jurisdiction over his person. The rule is well settled that the jurisdiction over the person."
act of an accused in posting bail or in filing motions seeking
affirmative relief is tantamount to submission of his person to Verily, petitioners participation in the proceedings before the
the jurisdiction of the court.27 Sandiganbayan was not confined to his opposition to the
issuance of a warrant of arrest but also covered other matters
Thus, it has been held that: which called for respondent courts exercise of its jurisdiction.
Petitioner may not be heard now to deny said courts jurisdiction
When a defendant in a criminal case is brought before a over him. x x x.28
competent court by virtue of a warrant of arrest or otherwise, in
order to avoid the submission of his body to the jurisdiction of In the instant case, respondent did not make any special
the court he must raise the question of the courts jurisdiction appearance to question the jurisdiction of the SB over his person
over his person at the very earliest opportunity. If he gives bail, prior to his posting of bail and filing his Motion for
demurs to the complaint or files any dilatory plea or pleads to Consolidation. In fact, his Motion to Quash the Information in
the merits, he thereby gives the court jurisdiction over his Criminal Case No. 28090 only came after the SB issued an Order
person. (State ex rel. John Brown vs. Fitzgerald, 51 Minn., 534) requiring the prosecution to show cause why the case should not
be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over his person.
xxxx
As a recapitulation, it would not be amiss to point out that the
As ruled in La Naval Drug vs. CA [236 SCRA 78, 86]: instant case involves a contract entered into by public officers
representing the government. More importantly, the SB is a
"[L]ack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant may be special criminal court which has exclusive original jurisdiction
waived either expressly or impliedly. When a defendant in all cases involving violations of R.A. 3019 committed by
voluntarily appears, he is deemed to have submitted himself to certain public officers, as enumerated in P.D. 1606 as amended
the jurisdiction of the court. If he so wishes not to waive this by R.A. 8249. This includes private individuals who are charged
defense, he must do so seasonably by motion for the purpose of as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the said public
objecting to the jurisdiction of the court; otherwise, he shall be officers. In the instant case, respondent is being charged for
deemed to have submitted himself to that jurisdiction." violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019, in conspiracy with then

43
Secretary Enrile. Ideally, under the law, both respondent and
Secretary Enrile should have been charged before and tried
jointly by the Sandiganbayan. However, by reason of the death
of the latter, this can no longer be done. Nonetheless, for reasons
already discussed, it does not follow that the SB is already
divested of its jurisdiction over the person of and the case
involving herein respondent. To rule otherwise would mean that
the power of a court to decide a case would no longer be based
on the law defining its jurisdiction but on other factors, such as
the death of one of the alleged offenders.

Lastly, the issues raised in the present petition involve matters


which are mere incidents in the main case and the main case has
already been pending for over nine (9) years. Thus, a referral of
the case to the Regional Trial Court would further delay the
resolution of the main case and it would, by no means, promote
respondent's right to a speedy trial and a speedy disposition of
his case.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Resolution of


the Sandiganbayan dated June 2, 2005, granting respondent's
Motion to Quash, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The
Sandiganbayan is forthwith DIRECTED to proceed with
deliberate dispatch in the disposition of Criminal Case No.
28090.

SO ORDERED.

[G.R. No. 134307. December 21, 1998]

44
EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., petitioner vs. connections or relationship with the former President Ferdinand
SANDIGANBAYAN (FIRST DIVISION) and E. Marcos and former First Lady, Imelda Romualdez-Marcos
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. without authority granted a donation in the amount of Two
Million Pesos (P2,000,000.00) to the Philippine Coconut
DECISION Producers Federation (COCOFED), a private entity, using PCA
special fund, thereby giving COCOFED unwarranted benefits,
QUISUMBING, J.: advantage and preference through manifest partiality, evident
bad faith and gross inexcusable negligence to the grave (sic) and
This petition for prohibition under Section 2 of Rule 65 of prejudice of the Filipino people and to the Republic of the
the Rules of Court seeks to dismiss Criminal Case No. 22018 Philippines.[2]
entitled People of the Philippines vs. Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr.,
et al., now pending before respondent Sandiganbayan (First Subsequently, however, this Court ruled that all
Division), and to prohibit said court from further proceeding proceedings in the preliminary investigation conducted by the
with the case. Petitioner invokes his constitutional right to due PCGG were null and void and the PCGG was directed to
process, a speedy trial, and a speedy determination of his cases transmit the complaints and records of the case to the Office of
before all judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative the Ombudsman for appropriate action.[3]
bodies. Further, he prays for the issuance of a Temporary In a Resolution dated June 2, 1992, the panel of
Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction investigators recommended the filing of an Information for
enjoining respondent Sandiganbayan (First Division) from violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, against
further enforcing and/or implementing its order dated February herein petitioner and five other respondents.
20, 1995 which bans petitioner from leaving the country except
upon prior approval by said court.[1] As set out in the Memorandum of the Office of the Special
Prosecutor, subsequently, the following relevant incidents took
Criminal Case No. 22018 is an offshoot of a complaint filed place:
on January 12, 1990, by the Office of the Solicitor General
before the Presidential Commission on Good Government
The above Resolution dated June 2, 1992 was referred by
(PCGG), docketed as I.S. No. 74, against the former
Assistant Ombudsman Abelardo L. Aportadera, Jr. to the Office
Administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and
of the Special Prosecutor for review and if warranted, for the
the former members of the PCA Governing Board, petitioner
preparation of the criminal information.
among them, for violation of Republic Act No. 3019, the Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as amended. In said complaint,
In a Memorandum dated July 15, 1992 the Office of the Special
the respondents were charged for having conspired and
Prosecutor affirmed the recommendation as contained in the
confederated together and taking undue advantage of their
Resolution dated June 2, 1992.
public positions and/or using their powers, authority, influence,

45
However, on August 19, 1992 then Ombudsman Conrado M. together with the case record of OMB-0-90-2806, was
Vasquez ordered the panel of investigators to discuss the merits forwarded to the Office of the Ombudsman on February 10,
of the prejudicial question posed by respondent Lobregat. 1995.

In a Memorandum dated November 18, 1992, the panel of On February 16, 1995 Criminal Case No. 22018 was filed with
investigators found that Civil Case No. 0033 does not pose a the Sandiganbayan and thereafter raffled to the First Division.
prejudicial question which will warrant the suspension of the
filing of the criminal case. On February 17, 1995, an order for the arrest of petitioner was
issued by the respondent Sandiganbayan.
The aforesaid Memorandum was received by Assistant
Ombudsman Abelardo L. Aportadera on December 1, 1992 who On February 19, 1995 petitioner filed with respondent court an
submitted his comment thereto on December 16, 1992 to then Opposition to Issuance of Warrant of Arrest with Motion For
Ombudsman Vasquez. Leave To File Motion For Reconsideration of Ombudsman
Resolutions. In his Opposition, petitioner alleged that since the
On December 23, 1992, then Ombudsman Vasquez ordered the only documents attached to the Information and submitted to
panel of investigators to go to the specifics and not the general respondent Sandiganbayan were the Resolution dated June 2,
averments on issue of prejudicial question. 1992 of the panel of investigators and the Memorandum dated
January 16, 1995 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, the
In a Memorandum dated December 1, 1993 the panel of same were not adequate for the determination of probable cause
investigators recommended that the motion to suspend for the issuance of a warrant of arrest by respondent
proceedings be granted. Sandiganbayan. Hence, petitioner claims the respondent
Sandiganbayan should recall the warrant of arrest already issued
On December 3, 1993 then Ombudsman Vasquez referred for or desist from issuing a warrant of arrest. Petitioner, avers,
comment to the Office of the Special Prosecutor the furthermore that the filing of the Information was premature
Memorandum dated December 1, 1993 of the panel of considering that he was not furnished a copy of the
investigators on the issue of the existence of prejudicial Ombudsmans Resolution in violation of Section 27 of R.A. No.
question. 6770 and prays that he be given leave to file a motion for
reconsideration of the Ombudsmans Resolution dated June 2,
In a Memorandum dated January 16, 1995, Special Prosecution 1992 and the Office of the Special Prosecutors Memorandum
Officer Daniel B. Jovacon, Jr. resolved that no prejudicial dated January 16, 1995.
question exists to warrant the suspension of the criminal
proceedings which recommendation was approved by then On February 22, 1995, petitioner posted bail. On the same day
Ombudsman Vasquez on January 26, 1995. The Information, he likewise filed, through counsel, a Manifestation stating that

46
he was posting bail without prejudice to the Opposition To In a Resolution dated April 3, 1995, the respondent
Issuance of Warrant of Arrest with Motion For Leave To File a Sandiganbayan denied petitioners motion seeking the recall of
Motion For Reconsideration of the Ombudsmans Resolution the issuance of the warrant for his arrest.
which he filed.
On April 7, 1995, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration
In a Resolution dated February 20, 1995, the respondent of the Resolution dated April 3, 1995 of the respondent
Sandiganbayan barred petitioner from leaving the country Sandiganbayan.
except upon approval of the court.
On May 25, 1995, petitioner was conditionally arraigned
In an Order dated February 22, 1995, the respondent pleading not guilty to the Information. The arraignment was
Sandiganbayan gave petitioner and the other accused twenty undertaken solely to accommodate the petitioner in his request
(20) days to file their respective motions for reconsideration of to travel pending the determination of probable cause against
the Ombudsmans Resolution with the Office of the him at the reinvestigation stage. The conditional arraignment is
Ombudsman. PCGG was likewise given a similar period within subject to the condition that if petitioner is exonerated at the
which to file its comment to the motions for preliminary investigation, the arraignment is set aside. On the
reconsideration. Furthermore, the respondent Sandiganbayan other hand, should there be cause against the petitioner either as
ordered petitioner to supplement or amplify his existing motion already charged or a separate charge which might be related to
on the issue of the propriety of the issuance of an Order of Arrest the case pending, the arraignment will not serve as basis for the
based merely on the resolution of the Ombudsman in support of invocation of the right against double jeopardy.
the filing of the Information, among others.
In the meantime, in a Memorandum dated October 22, 1995,
On March 9, 1995, petitioner filed a Memorandum in Special Prosecution Officer Victorio U. Tabanguil found no
Amplification of Opposition To Issuance of Warrant of Arrest. probable cause to warrant the filing against petitioner and the
other accused in Criminal Case No. 22018 and recommended the
In a Resolution dated March 14, 1995, petitioner was granted dismissal of the case. The recommendation for dismissal was
additional fifteen (15) days or until March 29, 1995 within which approved by the Honorable Ombudsman on November 15, 1996.
to file his motion for reconsideration with the Office of the
Ombudsman. On December 6, 1996, Special Prosecutor Officer Victorio U.
Tabanguil filed a Manifestation attaching a copy of the
Petitioner filed his motion for reconsideration on March 28, Memorandum dated October 22, 1995 with the respondent
1995. Sandiganbayan for its consideration.

47
On December 13, 1996 petitioner filed an Urgent Motion To Solicitor General was given fifteen (15) days to submit its
Dismiss alleging that with the reversal of the earlier findings of comment to the Motion to Withdraw Information. The petitioner
the Ombudsman of probable cause, there was therefore nothing and the other accused were given the same period to reply to the
on record before the respondent Sandiganbayan which would comment if they so desire. After which the matter will be
warrant the issuance of a warrant of arrest and the assumption of deemed submitted for resolution.
jurisdiction over the instant case.
On January 17, 1997, the prosecution filed its compliance to the
On December 23, 1996 the Office of the Solicitor General, in Order dated January 9, 1997. On the other hand, the Office of
representation of the PCGG, filed with the Office of the Special the Solicitor General filed its comment on January 24, 1997.
Prosecutor a motion for reconsideration of the Memorandum
dated October 22, 1996 recommending the dismissal of the case In an Order dated February 4, 1997, the respondent
against petitioner and the other accused in Criminal Case No. Sandiganbayan ordered the PCGG lawyers to present
22018. themselves before the respondent court and respond to the claim
of the OSG that the exhibits necessary are with the PCGG so that
In an Order dated January 6, 1997, Special Prosecution Officer the Republic might effectively substantiate its position that
Victorio U. Tabanguil merely noted the motion for probable cause exists. Furthermore, it is as much the function of
reconsideration dated December 23, 1996 of the Office of the the court to determine the existence of probable cause and the
Solicitor General. propriety of the withdrawal of the Information to be assured that
the evidence for the complainant has been properly presented or
On January 13, 1997, petitioner filed a Motion To Strike Out the accused is properly protected at preliminary investigation.
Alternatively, Opposition To Complainants Motion For
Reconsideration dated December 23, 1996 alleging that the In an Order dated February 17, 1997, the respondent
motion was filed out of time. Sandiganbayan, with the agreement of the parties, gave the
Office of the Solicitor General ten (10) days within which to
In an Order dated January 9, 1997, the respondent submit some form of cataloging and explanation of the
Sandiganbayan ordered the prosecution to justify the documents on record to the prosecution. On the other hand, the
relationship that may be established with respect to the prosecution was given fifteen (15) days from receipt of the
COCOFED on one hand and the Philippine Coconut Authority submission within which to review the matter once more and to
on the other, as a basis for justifying the position of the respond thereat.
prosecution in this case. Furthermore, upon information
provided by Prosecutor Tabanguil that the Office of the Solicitor On June 13, 1997, the PCGG filed its Entry of Appearance dated
General has sought a reconsideration on the desire of the June 3, 1997.
prosecution to withdraw the information, the Office of the

48
On June 19, 1997, petitioner filed a Second Motion To Resolve quite often, it becomes necessary for him to attend meetings and
the Urgent Motion To Dismiss dated December 12, 1996. conferences abroad where attendance must be confirmed
promptly.Considering that he must first secure the permission of
On July 3, 1997, petitioner filed a Motion to Strike Out respondent Sandiganbayan before he can travel abroad and abide
(Re: PCGGs Entry of Appearance) dated June 30, 1997. by the conditions imposed by said court upon the grant of such
permission, petitioner contends that it becomes impossible for
On July 16, 1997, the PCGG filed an Opposition to the Motion him to immediately attend to the aforecited tasks.
To Strike Out (Re: PCGGs Entry of Appearance).
On September 2, 1998, the Court noted the respective
comments to the petition filed by the Office of the Special
On July 18, 1997, petitioner filed a Reply to the Opposition to
Prosecutor and the Solicitor General and required petitioner to
Strike Out.
file a consolidated reply within ten (10) days from notice.[7]
On July 31, 1997, the PCGG filed a Rejoinder to the Reply of On September 3, 1998, petitioner filed a Second Motion
petitioner. Reiterating Application for Temporary Restraining Order and/or
Writ of Preliminary Injunction with Urgent Motion for
On January 23, 1998, petitioner filed a Third Motion To Resolve Hearing,[8] arguing among others that the continued
the Urgent Motion To Dismiss dated December 12, 1996. maintenance of the hold-departure order against him has
deleterious consequence not only on him personally but also on
In an Order dated January 26, 1998, respondent Sandiganbayan San Miguel Corporation, a publicly listed stock company, of
duly noted petitioners Motion to Dismiss. [4] which he is now Chairman and Executive Officer.[9]
On September 7, 1998, the Court resolved to defer action on
Hence, the present petition.
the aforementioned second motion reiterating the application for
On July 22, 1998, the Court issued a resolution requiring the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of
respondents to file their respective comments to the petition.[5] preliminary injunction until the filing of petitioners
Consolidated Reply and required the Sandiganbayan to file its
On August 5, 1998, petitioner filed a motion reiterating his own Comment on the petition in view of the Comment filed by
application for temporary restraining order and/or writ of the Office of the Special Prosecutor divergent from the position
preliminary injunction with urgent motion for hearing taken by respondent Sandiganbayan.[10]
thereon[6] citing the urgency of lifting the travel restriction on
him in view of the various problems involving the investments On September 10, 1998, petitioner filed a Consolidated
of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) abroad which must be Reply[11] and prayed that his Second Application for a
immediately attended to by petitioner as duly elected Chairman Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary
and Chief Executive Officer of SMC. Petitioner asserts that

49
Injunction with Urgent Motion for hearing dated September 2, After hearing the arguments of the parties, the Court
1998 be now acted upon. resolved to require them to submit their respective memoranda
on the related issues taken up on the hearing including the merits
On September 17, 1998, respondent Sandiganbayan filed a
of the case within twenty (20) days. The motion of counsel for
motion for extension of time to file its comment to the
petitioner that the issue of lifting the ban on foreign travel
petition. Subsequently, petitioner filed his Third Motion
imposed on petitioner be resolved first, was held under
Reiterating Application for Temporary Restraining Order and/or
advisement.[15]
Writ of Preliminary Injunction with Urgent Motion for
Hearing[12] in view of the urgency of lifting the ban on foreign On November 6, 1998, petitioner filed another Motion to
travel imposed on him by respondent Sandiganbayan. Resolve Petitioners Motion for Issuance of a Temporary
Restraining Order or Writ of Preliminary Injunction Enjoining
After respondent Sandiganbayan filed its comment on
Enforcement of Respondent Sandiganbayans Order dated
October 5, 1998, the Court in its Resolution dated October 7,
February 20, 1995 (Hold Departure Order) with an alternative
1998, noted the aforesaid comment and resolved to set the case
prayer to travel abroad within a period of six (6) months.[16]
for oral argument on October 21, 1998.[13]
In its Resolution dated November 9, 1998, the Court noted
During the oral argument, the Court suggested that the
the aforesaid motion and directed petitioner that in the
parties take up in their arguments the following issues:
meanwhile, he may address his request for permission to travel
abroad to the Sandiganbayan.[17]
(1) whether the warrant of arrest issued by respondent
Sandiganbayan is null and void, or should now On November 12, 1998, petitioner filed a Motion for
be lifted if initially valid; Reconsideration of the Courts resolution dated November 9,
1998 and argued that:
(2) whether petitioners basic rights to due process, speedy
xxxxxxxxx
trial and speedy disposition of the case have been
violated as to warrant dismissal of Criminal Case
(6) While the petitioner may indeed obtain some relief by
No. 22018; and
addressing his prayer for permission to travel abroad to the
Sandiganbayan, to a large extent, this defeats the purpose of
(3) whether the ban on foreign travel imposed on petitioner
the petition because petitioner has precisely come to the
per Order of February 20, 1995 should be vacated
Supreme Court to obtain relief from an oppressive regime
to enable petitioner to go abroad without prior
of authorization to travel abroad that the Order of the
permission of, and other restrictions imposed by,
Sandiganbayan of February 20, 1995 (Annex E, Petition)
the respondent Sandiganbayan.[14]
has imposed. Significantly, not any of the respondents have
opposed petitioners application for the issuance of

50
temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary On the first issue, petitioner and the Office of the Special
injunction or for permission to travel abroad.[18] Prosecutor both argue that the warrant of arrest issued by
respondent Sandiganbayan is null and void for lack of sufficient
On November 20, 1998, petitioner filed a basis upon which it could have personally determined the
Manifestation[19] in support of his motion for reconsideration, existence of probable cause to issue the warrant of arrest against
setting forth the urgency of lifting the ban on foreign travel him. They contend that there was a violation of Section 2,
imposed on him in view of the need to oversee the critical stages Article III of the Constitution because the Information in
in the international operations of SMC as its Chairman and Chief Criminal Case No. 22018 was accompanied only by the
Executive Officer. Resolution dated June 2, 1992 of the Panel of Graft Investigators
of the Office of the Ombudsman recommending the filing of the
On November 20, 1998, the Office of the Solicitor General
information and the Memorandum dated January 16, 1995 of the
filed a Manifestation indicating that it is not interposing any
Office of the Special Prosecutor denying the existence of a
objection to petitioners prayer that he be allowed to travel
prejudicial question which will warrant the suspension of the
abroad.
filing of the criminal case. Their argument is principally
With the submission of the parties respective memoranda, anchored on the pronouncements made in the case of Ho vs.
the Court now proceeds to resolve the petition. People[21] that reliance on the prosecutors report alone is not
sufficient in determining whether there is probable cause for the
As postulated during the oral argument, three main issues issuance of a warrant of arrest. Consequent to the nullity of the
confront us in this petition, to wit: warrant of arrest, petitioner further argues that the
Sandiganbayan has not acquired jurisdiction over him and is
(1) whether the warrant of arrest issued by respondent without power to exercise the same.
Sandiganbayan is null and void, or should now
be lifted if initially valid; However, the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the
Office of the Solicitor General maintain that any infirmity that
(2) whether petitioners basic rights to due process, speedy may have attended the issuance of the warrant of arrest was
trial and speedy disposition of the case have been cured by petitioners voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of
violated as to warrant dismissal of Criminal Case the respondent Sandiganbayan when petitioner posted bail and
No. 22018; and subsequently invoked the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan by
filing numerous motions wherein he sought affirmative reliefs.
(3) whether the ban on foreign travel imposed on petitioner Now, pertinent to the issue at hand is the second clause of
per Order of February 20, 1995 should be vacated Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, which provides
to enable petitioner to go abroad without prior that:
permission of, and other restrictions imposed by,
the respondent Sandiganbayan.[20]

51
Sec. 2. x x x no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue responsibility of determining personally and independently the
except upon a probable cause to be determined personally by the existence or nonexistence of probable cause is lodged in him by
judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the no less than the most basic law of the land. Parenthetically, the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly prosecutor could ease the burden of the judge and speed up the
describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to litigation process by forwarding to the latter not only the
be seized. (Emphasis supplied) information and his bare resolution finding probable cause, but
also so much of the records and the evidence on hand as to
In Ho vs. People,[22] the Court had the opportunity to enable His Honor to make his personal and separate judicial
elucidate on the matter of determining of probable cause to merit finding on whether to issue a warrant of arrest.
the issuance of a warrant of arrest:
Lastly, it is not required that the complete or entire records of the
First, x x x the determination of probable cause by the case during the preliminary investigation be submitted to and
prosecutor is for a purpose different from that which is to be examined by the judge. We do not intend to unduly burden trial
made by the judge. Whether there is reasonable ground to courts by obliging them to examine the complete records of
believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and every case all the time simply for the purpose of ordering the
should be held for trial is what the prosecutor passes upon. The arrest of an accused. What is required, rather, is that the judge
judge, on the other hand, determines whether a warrant of arrest must have sufficient supporting documents (such as the
should be issued against the accused, i.e., whether there is a complaint, affidavits, counter-affidavits, sworn statements of
necessity for placing him under immediate custody in order not witnesses or transcripts of stenographic notes, if any) upon
to frustrate the ends of justice. Thus, even if both should base which to make his independent judgment or, at the very least,
their findings on one and the same proceeding or evidence, there upon which to verify the findings of the prosecutor as to the
should be no confusion as to their distinct objectives. existence of probable cause. The point is: he cannot rely solely
and entirely on the prosecutors recommendation, as Respondent
Second, since their objectives are different, the judge cannot rely Court did in this case. Although the prosecutor enjoys the legal
solely on the report of the prosecutor in finding probable cause presumption of regularity in the performance of his official
to justify the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Obviously and duties and functions, which in turn gives his report the
understandably, the contents of the prosecutors report will presumption of accuracy, the Constitution, we repeat,
support his own conclusion that there is reason to charge the commands the judge to personally determine probable cause in
accused of an offense and hold him for trial. However, the judge the issuance of warrants of arrest. This Court has consistently
must decide independently. Hence, he must have supporting held that a judge fails in his bounden duty if he relies merely on
evidence, other than the prosecutors bare report, upon which to the certification or the report of the investigating officer.[23]
legally sustain his own findings on the existence (or
nonexistence) of a probable cause to issue an arrest order. This

52
As alleged by petitioner, in the case at bar, the could still exercise jurisdiction over the petitioner and proceed
Sandiganbayan had two pieces of documents to consider when with the trial of the case.
it resolved to issue the warrant of arrest against the accused: (1)
As already adverted to, the Office of the Special Prosecutor
the Resolution dated June 2, 1992 of the Panel of Investigators
and the Office of the Solicitor General are in agreement, that
of the Office of the Ombudsman recommending the filing of the
whatever infirmity might have attended the issuance of the
Information and (2) the Memorandum dated June 16, 1995 of
warrant of arrest against petitioner, it was cured by petitioners
the Office of the Special Prosecutor denying the existence of a
subsequent act of voluntarily submitting to respondent courts
prejudicial question which will warrant the suspension of the
jurisdiction by posting his bail and filing the following pleadings
criminal case. The Sandiganbayan had nothing more to support
which sought affirmative relief, to wit: (1) Opposition to
its resolution.
Issuance of Warrant of Arrest with Motion for Leave to File
In Roberts vs. Court of Appeals, [24] we struck down as Motion for Reconsideration; (2) Motion for extension of time to
invalid an order for the issuance of a warrant of arrest which file Motion for Reconsideration; (3) seven Motions to Travel
were based only on the information, amended information and Abroad and two Motions for Extension of time to stay
Joint Resolution, without the benefit of the records or evidence abroad.[27] Hence, they contend that respondent courts
supporting the prosecutors finding of probable cause. And in Ho jurisdiction over petitioner has remained in effect.
vs. People,[25] we declared that respondent palpably committed
Petitioner objects to this contention, and asserts that since
grave abuse of discretion in ipso factoissuing the challenged
the warrant of arrest issued by respondent Sandiganbayan is null
warrant of arrest on the sole basis of the prosecutors findings and
and void, it never acquired jurisdiction over the person of the
recommendation, and without determining on its own the issue
petitioner; as a consequence, it never acquired jurisdiction to
of probable cause based on evidence other than such bare
take of the offense charged and to issue any order adverse to the
findings and recommendation.[26]
rights of petitioner, including an Order restricting his right to
Similarly, we are now constrained to rule that herein travel.[28] According to petitioner, the submission of both the
respondent court failed to abide by the constitutional mandate of Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Office of the Solicitor
personally determining the existence of probable cause before General is not only absurd but also oppressive and offensive to
issuing a warrant of arrest. For the two cited documents were the the Bill of Rights since it would mean that to preserve his right
product of somebody elses determination, insufficient to support against the issuance of a warrant of arrest without probable cause
a finding of probable cause by the Sandiganbayan. Hence, the determined in accordance with Sec. 2, Article III of the
warrant of arrest issued by respondent court on February 17, Constitution, petitioner should have allowed himself to be
1995 against herein petitioner is palpably invalid. incarcerated or imprisoned from the time the warrant of arrest
was issued on February 20, 1995 up to the present, or for more
Consequent to the nullity of the warrant of arrest, the crucial
than three (3) years now, and continue to be imprisoned until the
issue now posed is whether or not respondent Sandiganbayan
Supreme Court decides to declare the arrest void.[29]

53
On this score, the rule is well-settled that the giving or the jurisdiction of the court.If he so wishes not to waive this
posting of bail by the accused is tantamount to submission of his defense, he must do so seasonably by motion for the purpose of
person to the jurisdiction of the court.[30] Thus, it has been held objecting to the jurisdiction of the court; otherwise, he shall be
that: deemed to have submitted himself to that jurisdiction.

When a defendant in a criminal case is brought before a Moreover, [w]here the appearance is by motion for the
competent court by virtue of a warrant of arrest or otherwise, in purpose of objecting to the jurisdiction of the court over the
order to avoid the submission of his body to the jurisdiction of person, it must be for the sole and separate purpose of objecting
the court he must raise the question of the courts jurisdiction to said jurisdiction. If the appearance is for any other purpose,
over his person at the very earliest opportunity. If he gives bail, the defendant is deemed to have submitted himself to the
demurs to the complaint or files any dilatory plea or pleads to jurisdiction of the court. Such an appearance gives the court
the merits, he thereby gives the court jurisdiction over his jurisdiction over the person.[33]
person. (State ex rel. John Brown vs. Fitzgerald, 51 Minn., 534)
Verily, petitioners participation in the proceedings before
the Sandiganbayan was not confined to his opposition to the
xxxxxxxxx
issuance of a warrant of arrest but also covered other matters
which called for respondent courts exercise of its jurisdiction.
Conceding again that the warrant issued in this case was void for
Petitioner may not be heard now to deny said courts jurisdiction
the reason that no probable cause was found by the court before
over him. Nor can we ignore the long line of precedents
issuing it, the defendant waived all his rights to object to the
declaring that where the accused had posted bail, as required, to
same by appearing and giving bond.[31]
obtain his provisional liberty, it becomes futile to assail the
validity of the issuance of the warrants of arrest.[34]
By posting bail, herein petitioner cannot claim exemption
from the effect of being subject to the jurisdiction of respondent As to petitioners contention that he should have just allowed
court. While petitioner has exerted efforts to continue disputing himself to stay in jail pending the resolution of his opposition to
the validity of the issuance of the warrant of arrest despite his the issuance of the warrant of arrest against him, if only to avoid
posting bail, his claim has been negated when he himself waiving his right to question the jurisdiction of respondent court,
invoked the jurisdiction of respondent court through the filing of the Office of the Special Prosecutor has pointed out that
various motions that sought other affirmative reliefs. petitioner is not without a remedy. Petitioner could have filed a
petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for the
As ruled in La Naval Drug vs. CA[32]:
issuance of a temporary restraining order, rather than actively
participate in the proceedings before the Sandiganbayan. And as
[L]ack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant may be
exemplified by the case of Allado vs. Diokno,[35]this remedy has
waived either expressly or impliedly. When a defendant
already proved to be effective.
voluntarily appears, he is deemed to have submitted himself to

54
Against the continued exercise of jurisdiction by respondent Nevertheless, petitioner claims exception to this rule by
Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. 22018, petitioner also making this distinction:
invokes the Memorandum of the Office of the Special
Prosecutor dated October 22, 1995 recommending the dismissal b. The preliminary investigation in Crespo vs. Mogul, supra, was
of the case against him due to the absence of probable cause, conducted by the Office of the Provincial Fiscal and, following
which was later on approved by the Ombudsman on November established procedure with respect to such preliminary
15, 1996. Citing the case of Torralba vs. investigations, the preliminary investigation conducted by the
Sandiganbayan,[36] petitioner argues that this Memorandum is an fiscal, in the language of Crespo, is terminated upon the filing of
integral part of the preliminary investigation and should take the information in the proper court (at p. 470). On the other hand,
precedence notwithstanding the fact that the same was made the instant case involves a preliminary investigation conducted
after the filing of the Information before the Sandiganbayan, for by the Office of the Special Prosecutor pursuant to Sec. 11[4](a),
to deny any efficacy to the finding of the Office of the Special and under Sec. 27 of R.A. No. 6770. In preliminary
Prosecutor would negate the right of the petitioner to a investigations conducted by the Office of the Special Prosecutor,
preliminary investigation. the respondent has the right to file a motion for reconsideration
of any resolution within five (5) days from receipt of written
The well-entrenched rule however, as laid down by the case
notice, and pursuant to Sec. 7, Rule II of Administrative Order
of Crespo vs. Mogul[37] is that:
No. 7 (Rules of Procedure of the Ombudsman), the respondent
has the right to file a motion for reconsideration within fifteen
x x x once a complaint or information is filed in Court any
(15) days from notice of the Resolution of the
disposition of the case as its dismissal or the conviction or
Ombudsman. Until the motion for reconsideration is resolved,
acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the
preliminary investigation is not terminated notwithstanding
Court. Although the fiscal retains the direction and control of the
filing of information in court. In the instant case, no copy of the
prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is already in
Resolution of the Office of the Special Prosecutor which brought
Court he cannot impose his opinion on the trial court. The Court
about the filing of the Information, was served on the petitioner;
is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case before
consequently, when the Information was filed, the preliminary
it. The determination of the case is within its exclusive
investigation had not yet been terminated. It follows that the
jurisdiction and competence. A motion to dismiss the case filed
Resolution of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (approved by
by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who has the option
the Ombudsman) resolving in petitioners favor the Motion for
to grant or deny the same. It does not matter if this is done before
Reconsideration he had filed, now finding no probable cause,
or after the arraignment of the accused or that the motion was
was an integral part of the preliminary investigation, not subject
filed after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary
to review by the Sandiganbayan (see Torralba vs.
of Justice who reviewed the records of the investigation.
Sandiganbayan, 230 SCRA 33 [1994]).[38]

55
Petitioners reliance on Torralba vs. Sandiganbayan is not, Sandiganbayan is to hold in abeyance any further proceedings
in our view, persuasive. In that case the petitioners were not therein and to remand the case to the Office of the Ombudsman
given any chance at all to seek reconsideration from the for the completion of the preliminary investigation, the outcome
Ombudsmans final resolution because they were not furnished of which shall then be indorsed to Sandiganbayan for its
with a copy of the final resolution of the Ombudsman that could appropriate action.[41] (Underscoring supplied)
have enabled them to file a motion for reconsideration. As a
result, the Court declared that petitioners were not only Clearly, consistent with the rule in Crespo vs. Mogul, after
effectively denied the opportunity to file a motion for the filing of the information in court, any disposition of the case
reconsideration of the Ombudsmans final resolution but also as to its dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused
deprived of their right to a full preliminary investigation rests in the sound discretion of the Court.[42]
preparatory to the filing of the information against them.[39]
Proceeding now to the second issue, petitioner maintains
In the case at bar, however, notwithstanding the filing of the that the long delay that characterized the proceedings in
Information before the Sandiganbayan, petitioner was able to Criminal Case No. 22018 before respondent Sandiganbayan has
file a motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsmans Resolution resulted in the violation of his Constitutional right to a speedy
with leave of court, and in fact his two motions for extensions to trial and a speedy determination of his case. Thus, petitioner
file the same were granted by the respondent court.[40] This submits that:
eventually paved the way for the filing of subsequent
Memorandum of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, which was 4.09. It has been more than three (3) years since the Information
later on approved by the Ombudsman, recommending the in Criminal Case No. 22018 was filed with respondent
dismissal of the case against him. However, since the Sandiganbayan. More than one and a half (1/2) years have
Information has already been filed before the Sandiganbayan, elapsed since the Office of the Special Prosecutor filed its
the resolution of the aforesaid recommendation now lies within Manifestation seeking the dismissal of the case. Based on the
the jurisdiction and discretion of respondent Office of the Special Prosecutors finding of the absence of
court. Parenthetically, in the Torralba case, we did not altogether probable cause, petitioner filed on December 13, 1996, an
deprive the Sandiganbayan of its jurisdiction to proceed with the Urgent Motion To Dismiss. Three times, on March 24, 1997,
case, despite the defect in the conduct of the preliminary June 18, 1997 and January 23, 1998, petitioner has sought
investigation, since we declared that: resolution of his Urgent Motion To Dismiss. These
notwithstanding, the dismissal of the information as to petitioner
The incomplete preliminary investigation in this case, however, remains pending and petitioner continues to be under criminal
does not warrant the quashal of the information, nor should it indictment -- constrained to suffer without justification in law
obliterate the proceedings already had. Neither is the courts and the Constitution, the humiliation, the restraints to liberty and
jurisdiction nor validity of an information adversely affected by the tormenting anxieties of an accused.[43]
deficiencies in the preliminary investigation. Instead, the

56
Respondents concede that there has indeed been some delay themselves concede that this case is of paramount importance,
but deny that it amounted to a violation of petitioners right of involving as it does the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth or
speedy disposition of his case. They cite as justification the government funds, unlawfully used or misused by persons close
reorganization of the Sandiganbayan on September 23, 1997 or perceived to be close to the Marcoses.[51] Respondent court
wherein it was reconstituted into five (5) Divisions;[44] (2) the declared in its Order dated February 17, 1997 that the matter
filing of motions by petitioner seeking affirmative reliefs from would be deemed submitted for resolution upon compliance
the Sandiganbayan; (3) the failure of petitioner himself to invoke with the Office of the Special Prosecutor as to whether there is
his right to speedy resolution of his pending motions prior to the indeed no probable cause against petitioner,[52] which
filing of this petition;[45] (4) the heavy caseload of respondent compliance was submitted by the Office of the Special
court.[46] Prosecutor on March 17, 1997.[53] Under these circumstances,
the Court does find the period of more than one year that elapsed
The right to a speedy disposition of a case, like the right to
for resolving petitioners motion to dismiss quite long,
speedy trial, is deemed violated only when the proceeding is
considering that all pertinent pleadings required by the
attended by vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays.[47] It
Sandiganbayan were already submitted.
should be emphasized that the factors that must be taken into
account in determining whether this constitutional rights has Even if petitioner himself might have contributed to said
been violated are as follows: (1) the length of delay, (2) the delay, as contended by respondents, in our view it is best that the
reason for such delay and (3) the assertion or failure to assert case be resolved on the merits by the Sandiganbayan with due
such right by the accused, and the prejudice caused by the regard to petitioners right to due process, speedy trial and speedy
delay.[48] disposition of the case against him and his co-accused.
As in previous occasions, the Court takes judicial Finally, with respect to the issue of whether or not the ban
cognizance of the fact that structural reorganizations[49] and the on foreign travel should be continued, as imposed on petitioner
ever increasing case load of courts have adversely affected the by respondent Sandiganbayan per its Order dated February 20,
speedy disposition of the cases pending before them. 1995 with accompanying restrictions in effect, we resolve to rule
in the negative. The travel ban should be lifted, considering all
In the instant case, however, the Court finds that delay
the circumstances now prevailing.
concerns the resolution of petitioners Urgent Motion to Dismiss,
which is an offshoot of the Memorandum of the Office of the The rule laid down by this Court is that a person facing a
Special Prosecutor recommending the dismissal of the criminal indictment and provisionally released on bail does not
case. Such delay is now far from excusable. Petitioners Motion have an unrestricted right to travel, the reason being that a
to Dismiss has been filed as early as December 13, 1996 and, on persons right to travel is subject to the usual constraints imposed
three occasions, petitioner has moved for the urgent resolution by the very necessity of safeguarding the system of
of this motion.[50] What further militates against further delay in justice.[54] But, significantly, the Office of the Solicitor General
resolving this case is the fact that the government prosecutors in its Manifestation dated November 20, 1998 indicated that it is

57
not interposing any objection to petitioners prayer that he be that his assumption of such vital post has come at a time when
allowed to travel abroad based on the following considerations: the current economic crisis has adversely affected the
international operations of many companies, including San
x x x (1) that it is well within the power of this Court to Miguel. The need to travel abroad frequently on the part of
suspend its own rules, including the second paragraph, petitioner, to formulate and implement the necessary corporate
Section 23, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court; (2) that it has strategies and decisions, could not be forestalled. These
been shown in the past that the petitioner has always considerations affecting the petitioners duties to a publicly held
returned to the Philippines after the expiration of the period company, militate against imposing further restrictions on
of his allowed travel; and (3) that petitioner, now Chairman petitioners right to travel abroad.
of the Board of San Miguel Corporation, may be
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby resolves to DISMISS the
constrained to leave the country for business purposes,
petition insofar as the dismissal of Criminal Case No. 22018
more often than he had done in the past, x x x.[55]
against the petitioner is concerned. Respondent Sandiganbayan
(First Division) is hereby ordered to proceed with the resolution
It however recommended that the period of travel should be
of the pending motions and incidents in Criminal Case No.
reduced to three (3) months instead of six (6) months as
22018 with utmost dispatch. Meanwhile, the Resolution of the
requested by petitioner and that the latter should be required to
Sandiganbayan (First Division), dated February 20, 1995,
post an additional cash bond equivalent to the present cash bond
imposing a ban on petitioners travel abroad without its prior
posted by him.[56]
approval pending the resolution of Criminal Case No. 22018 is,
Moreover, prescinding from our initial declaration that the for the reasons heretofore advanced, hereby LIFTED for a
issuance of warrant of arrest against petitioner by respondent period of three (3) months counted from the finality of this
court is invalid, it now becomes necessary that there be strong decision. Any similar request during the pendency of said case
and compelling reasons to justify the continued restriction on before the Sandiganbayan shall be addressed to that court.
petitioners right to travel abroad. Admittedly, all of petitioners
No pronouncement as to costs.
previous requests to travel abroad has been granted and that, as
confirmed by the Office of the Solicitor General, that petitioner SO ORDERED.
has always returned to the Philippines and complied with the
restrictions imposed on him. The necessity of further denying
JOSE C. MIRANDA, G.R. No. 158763
petitioners right to travel abroad, with attendant restrictions,
ALBERTO P.
appears less than clear. The risk of flight is further diminished in
DALMACIO, and
view of petitioners recent reinstatement as Chairman and Chief
ROMEO B. OCON, Present:
Executive Officer of San Miguel Corporation, though he has
Petitioners,
now more justification to travel so as to oversee the entire
PANGANIBAN, C.J.
operations of that company. In this regard, it has to be conceded

58
Chairperson, acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting
YNARES-SANTIAGO, to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, assailed Orders, the instant petition for certiorari,
- versus - CALLEJO, SR., and mandamus and prohibition is hereby GRANTED
CHICO-NAZARIO, JJ. and GIVEN DUE COURSE, and it is hereby
ordered:
Promulgated:
1. The assailed Joint Order dated
VIRGILIO M. March 31, 2006 August 17, 2001, Order dated
TULIAO, September 21, 2001, Joint Order
Respondent. dated October 16, 2001 and Joint
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Order dated November 14, 2001
- - - - - - - -x dismissing the two
(2) Informations for Murder, all
issued by public respondent
DECISION Judge Anastacio D. Anghad in
Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 and 36-
3524 are hereby REVERSED and
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: SET ASIDE for having been issued
with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction, and another entered
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45
UPHOLDING, AFFIRMING[,] and
of the Rules of Court, assailing the 18 December 2002 REINSTATING the Order dated June
25, 2001 and Joint Order dated July 6,
Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 67770 2001 issued by the then acting
and its 12 June 2003 Resolution denying petitioners Motion for Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan;
Reconsideration. The dispositive portion of the assailed decision 2. Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 and
reads as follows: 36-3524 are hereby ordered
REINSTATED in the docket of active
criminal cases of Branch 36 of the
WHEREFORE, finding public
respondent Judge Anastacio D. Anghad to have

59
Regional Trial Court of Santiago
Agustin, SPO2 Alexander Micu, SPO2 Rodel Maderal, and
City, Isabela; and
SPO4 Emilio Ramirez in the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
3. Public respondent
Judge Anastacio D. Anghad is of Santiago City.
DIRECTED to ISSUE forthwith
Warrants of Arrest for the
apprehension of private respondents The venue was later transferred to Manila. On 22 April
Jose Pempe Miranda, SPO3 Alberto 1999, the RTC of Manila convicted all of the accused and
P. Dalmacio, PO3 Romeo
B. Ocon and sentenced them to two counts of reclusion perpetua except
accused Rodel T. Maderal in said SPO2 Maderal who was yet to be arraigned at that time, being at
Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 and 36-
3524.[2] large. The case was appealed to this Court on automatic review
where we, on 9 October 2001, acquitted the accused therein on
the ground of reasonable doubt.
The factual and procedural antecedents of the case are as
follows:
Sometime in September 1999, SPO2 Maderal was
arrested. On 27 April 2001, he executed a sworn confession and
On 8 March 1996, two burnt cadavers were discovered
identified petitioners Jose C. Miranda, PO3 Romeo B. Ocon, and
in Purok Nibulan, Ramon, Isabela, which were later identified
SPO3 Alberto P. Dalmacio, a certain Boyet dela Cruz
as the dead bodies of Vicente Bauzon and ElizerTuliao, son of
and Amado Doe, as the persons responsible for the deaths of
private respondent Virgilio Tuliao who is now under the witness
Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao.
protection program.

Respondent Tuliao filed a criminal complaint for murder


Two informations for murder were filed against
against petitioners, Boyet dela Cruz, and Amado Doe, and
SPO1 Wilfredo Leao, SPO1 Ferdinand Marzan, SPO1 Ruben B.
submitted the sworn confession of SPO2 Maderal. On 25 June

60
2001, Acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan issued respondent Tuliao moved for the reconsideration of the said
warrants of arrest against petitioners and SPO2 Maderal. Joint Order and prayed for the inhibition of Judge Anghad, but
the motion for reconsideration was denied in a Joint Order
On 29 June 2001, petitioners filed an urgent motion to dated 16 October 2001 and the prayer for inhibition was denied
complete preliminary investigation, to reinvestigate, and to in a Joint Order dated 22 October 2001.
recall and/or quash the warrants of arrest.
On 25 October 2001, respondent Tuliao filed a petition
In the hearing of the urgent motion on 6 July 2001, for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition with this Court, with
Judge Tumaliuan noted the absence of petitioners and issued a prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order, seeking to enjoin
Joint Order denying said urgent motion on the ground that, since Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the case, and
the court did not acquire jurisdiction over their persons, the seeking to nullify the Orders and Joint Orders of
motion cannot be properly heard by the court. In the meantime, Judge Anghad dated 17 August 2001, 21 September 2001, 16
petitioners appealed the resolution of State Prosecutor Leo T. October 2001, and 22 October 2001.
Reyes to the Department of Justice.
On 12 November 2001, this Court issued a Resolution
On 17 August 2001, the new Presiding resolving to grant the prayer for a temporary restraining order
Judge Anastacio D. Anghad took over the case and issued a against Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the criminal
Joint Order reversing the Joint Order of Judge Tumaliuan. cases. Shortly after the aforesaid resolution,
Consequently, he ordered the cancellation of the warrant of Judge Anghad issued a Joint Order dated 14 November
arrest issued against petitioner Miranda. He likewise applied this 2001 dismissing the two Informations for murder against
Order to petitioners Ocon and Dalmacio in an Order dated 21 petitioners.On 19 November 2001, this Court took note of
September 2001. State Prosecutor Leo S. Reyes and respondents cash bond evidenced by O.R. No. 15924532

61
dated 15 November 2001, and issued the temporary restraining
order while referring the petition to the Court of Appeals for The facts of the case being undisputed, petitioners bring
adjudication on the merits. forth to this Court the following assignments of error:

FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR


Respondent Tuliao filed with this Court a Motion to Cite
Public Respondent in Contempt, alleging that With all due respect, the Honorable Court of
Appeals gravely erred in reversing and setting
Judge Anghad deliberately and willfully committed contempt of aside the Joint Order of
court when he issued on 15 November 2001 the Order dated 14 Judge Anastacio D. Anghad dated August 17,
2001, September 21, 2001, October 16, 2001 and
November 2001 dismissing the informations for murder. On 21 November 14, 2001 issued in criminal cases
November 2001, we referred said motion to the Court of Appeals numbered 36-3523 and 36-3524; and, erred in
upholding, affirming and reinstating the Order
in view of the previous referral to it of respondents petition dated July 6, 2001 issued by then Acting
for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus. Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan, on the
alleged rule that an accused cannot seek any
judicial relief if he does not submit his person to
On 18 December 2002, the Court of Appeals rendered the jurisdiction of the court.

the assailed decision granting the petition and ordering the


reinstatement of the criminal cases in the RTC of Santiago City, SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

as well as the issuance of warrants of arrest against petitioners With all due respect, the Honorable Court of
and SPO2 Maderal. Petitioners moved for a reconsideration of Appeals gravely erred in directing the
reinstatement of Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and
this Decision, but the same was denied in a Resolution dated 12 36-3524 in the docket of Active Criminal Cases
June 2003. of Branch 36 of the Regional Trial Court of
Santiago City, Philippines, and in ordering the
public respondent to re-issue the warrants of
Hence, this petition. arrest against herein petitioners.

62
the court. Jurisdiction over the person of the
accused may be acquired either through
THIRD ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR compulsory process, such as warrant of arrest, or
through his voluntary appearance, such as when
Wit all due respect, the Honorable Court of he surrenders to the police or to the court. It is
Appeals committed a reversible error in ordering only when the court has already acquired
the reinstatement of Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 jurisdiction over his person that an accused may
and No. 36-3524 in the docket of active criminal invoke the processes of the court (Pete M. Pico
cases of Branch 36 of the regional trial court of vs. Alfonso V. Combing, Jr., A.M. No. RTJ-91-
Santiago City, Philippines, and in ordering the 764, November 6, 1992). Thus, an accused must
public respondent to issue warrants of arrest first be placed in the custody of the law before the
against herein petitioners, the order of dismissal court may validly act on his petition for
issued therein having become final judicial reliefs.[3]
and executory.

Proceeding from this premise, the Court of Appeals ruled that


Adjudication of a
motion to quash a petitioners Miranda, Ocon and Dalmacio cannot seek any
warrant of arrest judicial relief since they were not yet arrested or otherwise
requires neither deprived of their liberty at the time they filed their Urgent
jurisdiction over
Motion to complete preliminary investigation; to reinvestigate;
the person of the
accused, nor cust to recall and/or quash warrants of arrest.[4]
ody of law over
the body of the Petitioners counter the finding of the Court of Appeals by
accused.
arguing that jurisdiction over the person of the accused is
required only in applications for bail. Furthermore, petitioners
The first assignment of error brought forth by the petitioner deals argue, assuming that such jurisdiction over their person is
with the Court of Appeals ruling that: required before the court can act on their motion to quash the
warrant for their arrest, such jurisdiction over their person was
[A]n accused cannot seek any judicial relief if he
does not submit his person to the jurisdiction of

63
already acquired by the court by their filing of the above Urgent In arguing, on the other hand, that jurisdiction over their person
Motion. was already acquired by their filing of the above
Urgent Motion, petitioners invoke our pronouncement, through
Justice Florenz D. Regalado, in Santiago v. Vasquez[7]:
In arguing that jurisdiction over the person is required only in
The voluntary appearance of the accused,
the adjudication of applications for bail, petitioners quote whereby the court acquires jurisdiction
Retired Court of Appeals Justice Oscar Herrera: over his person, is accomplished either by
his pleading to the merits (such as by
filing a motion to quash or other
Except in applications for bail, it is not necessary pleadings requiring the exercise of the
for the court to first acquire jurisdiction over the courts jurisdiction thereover, appearing
person of the accused to dismiss the case or grant for arraignment, entering trial) or by
other relief. The outright dismissal of the case filing bail. On the matter of bail, since the
even before the court acquires jurisdiction over same is intended to obtain the provisional
the person of the accused is authorized under liberty of the accused, as a rule the same
Section 6(a), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of cannot be posted before custody of the
Criminal Procedure and the Revised Rules on accused has been acquired by the judicial
Summary Procedure (Sec. authorities either by his arrest or
12a). In Allado vs. Diokno (232 SCRA 192), the voluntary surrender.
case was dismissed on motion of the accused for
lack of probable cause without the accused
having been arrested. In Paul Roberts vs. Court Our pronouncement in Santiago shows a distinction
of Appeals (254 SCRA 307), the Court was
between custody of the law and jurisdiction over the
ordered to hold the issuance of a warrant of arrest
in abeyance pending review by the Secretary of person. Custody of the law is required before the court can act
Justice. And in Lacson vs. Executive Secretary upon the application for bail, but is not required for the
(301 SCRA 102[5]), the Court ordered the case
adjudication of other reliefs sought by the defendant where the
transferred from the Sandiganbayan to the RTC
which eventually ordered the dismissal of the mere application therefor constitutes a waiver of the defense of
case for lack of probable cause.[6] lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused.[8] Custody of
the law is accomplished either by arrest or voluntary

64
surrender,[9] while jurisdiction over the person of the accused is the accused before considering the application
for bail.[14]
acquired upon his arrest or voluntary appearance.[10] One can be
under the custody of the law but not yet subject to the jurisdiction
While we stand by our above pronouncement in Pico insofar as
of the court over his person, such as when a person arrested by
it concerns bail, we clarify that, as a general rule, one who seeks
virtue of a warrant files a motion before arraignment to quash
an affirmative relief is deemed to have submitted to the
the warrant. On the other hand, one can be subject to the
jurisdiction of the court.[15] As we held in the aforecited case
jurisdiction of the court over his person, and yet not be in the
of Santiago, seeking an affirmative relief in court, whether in
custody of the law, such as when an accused escapes custody
civil or criminal proceedings, constitutes voluntary appearance.
after his trial has commenced.[11] Being in the custody of the law
signifies restraint on the person, who is thereby deprived of his
Pico deals with an application for bail, where there is the
own will and liberty, binding him to become obedient to the will
special requirement of the applicant being in the custody of the
of the law.[12] Custody of the law is literally custody over the
law. In Feliciano v. Pasicolan,[16] we held that [t]he purpose of
body of the accused. It includes, but is not limited to, detention.
bail is to secure ones release and it would be incongruous to
grant bail to one who is free. Thus, bail is the security required
The statement in Pico v. Judge Combong, Jr.,[13] cited by the
and given for the release of a person who is in the custody of
Court of Appeals should not have been separated from the issue
law. The rationale behind this special rule on bail is that it
in that case, which is the application for admission to bail of
discourages and prevents resort to the former pernicious practice
someone not yet in the custody of the law. The entire paragraph
wherein the accused could just send another in his stead to post
of our pronouncement in Pico reads:
his bail, without recognizing the jurisdiction of the court by his
A person applying for admission to bail must be personal appearance therein and compliance with the
in the custody of the law or otherwise deprived of requirements therefor.[17]
his liberty. A person who has not submitted
himself to the jurisdiction of the court has no
right to invoke the processes of that There is, however, an exception to the rule that filing
court. Respondent Judge should have diligently pleadings seeking affirmative relief constitutes voluntary
ascertained the whereabouts of the applicant and
appearance, and the consequent submission of ones person to
that he indeed had jurisdiction over the body of

65
the jurisdiction of the court. This is in the case of pleadings special jurisdiction of the court applies for bail, he must first
whose prayer is precisely for the avoidance of the jurisdiction of submit himself to the custody of the law.
the court, which only leads to a special appearance.These
pleadings are: (1) in civil cases, motions to dismiss on the In cases not involving the so-called special appearance, the
ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, general rule applies, i.e., the accused is deemed to have
whether or not other grounds for dismissal are included;[18] (2) submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court upon seeking
in criminal cases, motions to quash a complaint on the ground affirmative relief. Notwithstanding this, there is no requirement
of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused; and (3) for him to be in the custody of the law. The following cases best
motions to quash a warrant of arrest.The first two are illustrate this point, where we granted variousreliefs to accused
consequences of the fact that failure to file them would who were not in the custody of the law, but were deemed to have
constitute a waiver of the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the placed their persons under the jurisdiction of the court. Note that
person. The third is a consequence of the fact that it is the very none of these cases involve the application for bail, nor a motion
legality of the court process forcing the submission of the person to quash an information due to lack of jurisdiction over the
of the accused that is the very issue in a motion to quash a person, nor a motion to quash a warrant of arrest:
warrant of arrest. 1. In Allado v. Diokno,[19] on the prayer of the accused
in a petition for certiorari on the ground of lack of
probable cause, we issued a temporary restraining
To recapitulate what we have discussed so far, in criminal cases, order enjoining PACC from enforcing the warrant of
jurisdiction over the person of the accused is deemed waived by arrest and the respondent judge therein from further
proceeding with the case and, instead, to elevate the
the accused when he files any pleading seeking an affirmative
records to us.
relief, except in cases when he invokes the special jurisdiction
of the court by impugning such jurisdiction over his 2. In Roberts, Jr. v. Court of Appeals,[20] upon
the accuseds Motion to Suspend Proceedings and to
person. Therefore, in narrow cases involving special
Hold in Abeyance Issuance of Warrants of Arrest on
appearances, an accused can invoke the processes of the court the ground that they filed a Petition for Review with
even though there is neither jurisdiction over the the Department of Justice, we directed respondent
person nor custody of the law. However, if a person invoking the judge therein to cease and desist from further

66
proceeding with the criminal case and to defer the Moreover, pursuant to the presumption of regularity of official
issuance of warrants of arrests against the accused.
functions, the warrant continues in force and effect until it is
3. In Lacson v. Executive Secretary,[21] on the prayer quashed and therefore can still be enforced on any day and at
of the accused in a petition for certiorari on the any time of the day and night.[22] Furthermore, the continued
ground of lack of jurisdiction on the part of
absence of the accused can be taken against him in the
the Sandiganbayan, we directed the Sandiganbayan
to transfer the criminal cases to the Regional Trial determination of probable cause, since flight is indicative of
Court even before the issuance of the warrants of guilt.
arrest.

In fine, as much as it is incongruous to grant bail to one who is


We hold that the circumstances forcing us to require free, it is likewise incongruous to require one to surrender his
custody of the law in applications for bail are not present in freedom before asserting it. Human rights enjoy a higher
motions to quash the warrant of arrest. If we allow the granting preference in the hierarchy of rights than property
of bail to persons not in the custody of the law, it is foreseeable
rights,[23] demanding that due process in the deprivation of
that many persons who can afford the bail will remain at large,
liberty must come before its taking and not after.
and could elude being held to answer for the commission of the
offense if ever he is proven guilty. On the other hand, if we allow
Quashing a
the quashal of warrants of arrest to persons not in the custody of warrant of arrest
the law, it would be very rare that a person not genuinely entitled based on a
to liberty would remain scot-free. This is because it is the same subsequently
filed petition for
judge who issued the warrant of arrest who will decide whether
review with the
or not he followed the Constitution in his determination of Secretary of
probable cause, and he can easily deny the motion to quash if he Justice and based
on doubts
really did find probable cause after personally examining the
engendered by
records of the case. the political
climate

67
constitutes grave Quashal on this basis is grave abuse of discretion. It is
abuse of
discretion. inconceivable to charge Judge Tumaliuan as lacking in prudence
and oblivious to comity when he issued the warrants of arrest
We nevertheless find grave abuse of discretion in the assailed against petitioners just because the petitioners might, in the
actions of Judge Anghad. Judge Anghad seemed a little too future, appeal the assistant prosecutors resolution to the
eager of dismissing the criminal cases against the Secretary of Justice. But even if the petition for review was filed
petitioners. First, he quashed the standing warrant of arrest before the issuance of the warrants of arrest, the fact remains that
issued by his predecessor because of a subsequently filed appeal the pendency of a petition for the review of the prosecutors
to the Secretary of Justice, and because of his doubts on the resolution is not a ground to quash the warrants of arrest.
existence of probable cause due to the political climate in the
city. Second, after the Secretary of Justice affirmed the In Webb v. de Leon,[25] we held that the petitioners
prosecutors resolution, he dismissed the criminal cases on the therein cannot assail as premature the filing of the information
basis of a decision of this Court in another case with different in court against them on the ground that they still have the right
accused, doing so two days after this Court resolved to issue a to appeal the adverse resolution of the DOJ Panel to the
temporary restraining order against further proceeding with the Secretary of Justice. Similarly, the issuance of warrants of arrest
case. against petitioners herein should not have been quashed as
premature on the same ground.
After Judge Tumaliuan issued warrants for the arrest of
petitioners, petitioner Miranda appealed the assistant The other ground invoked by Judge Anghad for
prosecutors resolution before the Secretary of Justice. the quashal of the warrant of arrest is in order if true: violation
Judge Anghad, shortly after assuming office, quashed the of the Constitution. Hence, Judge Anghad asked and resolved
warrant of arrest on the basis of said appeal. According to the question:
Judge Anghad, x x x prudence dictates (that) and because of
In these double murder cases, did this
comity, a deferment of the proceedings is but proper.[24] Court comply or adhere to the above-quoted
constitutional proscription, which is Sec. 2,

68
Article III Bill of Rights; to Sec. 6(a), Rule 112, According to petitioners:
Rules of Criminal Procedure and to the above-
cited decisional cases? To this query or issue,
after a deep perusal of the arguments raised, this In this case, the nullity of the order of
Court, through [its] regular Presiding Judge, Judge Tumaliuan, for the arrest of the petitioners
finds merit in the contention of herein accused- is apparent from the face of the order itself, which
movant, Jose Pempe Miranda.[26] clearly stated that the determination of probable
cause was based on the certification, under oath,
of the fiscal and not on a separate determination
personally made by the Judge. No presumption
Judge Anghad is referring to the following provision of of regularity could be drawn from the order since
the Constitution as having been violated by Judge Tumaliuan: it expressly and clearly showed that it was based
only on the fiscals certification.[28]
Sec. 2. The right of the people to be
secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects
against unreasonable searches and seizures of Petitioners claim is untrue. Judge Tumaliuans Joint Order
whatever nature and for any purpose shall be contains no such indication that he relied solely on the
inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of
arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to prosecutors certification. The Joint Order even indicated the
be determined personally by the judge after contrary:
examination under oath or affirmation of the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce, Upon receipt of the information and resolution of
and particularly describing the place to be the prosecutor, the Court proceeded to determine
searched and the persons or things to be the existence of a probable cause by personally
seized.[27] evaluating the records x x x.[29]

However, after a careful scrutiny of the records of the The records of the case show that the prosecutors
case, including the supporting evidence to the resolution of the certification was accompanied by supporting documents,
prosecutor in his determination of probable cause, we find that following the requirement under Lim, Sr. v. Felix[30] and People
Judge Anghad gravely abused his discretion. v. Inting.[31] The supporting documents are the following:

69
1. Resolution dated 21 June 2001 of State fugitive for five years; (3) it was given in exchange for an
Prosecutor Leo S. Reyes;
2. Affidavit dated 22 May 2001 of Modesto obvious reward of discharge from the information; and (4) it was
Gutierrez; given during the election period amidst a politically charged
3. Affidavit dated 19 May 2001 of Romeo scenario where Santiago City voters were pitted against each
B. Ocon;
other along the lines of the Miranda camp on one side and former
4. Joint Counter Affidavit dated 23 May
2001 of Mayor Jose C. Miranda and City Mayor Amelita S. Navarro, and allegedly that of DENR
Reynaldo de la Cruz; Secretary Heherson Alvarez on the other.[32]
5. Affidavit dated 19 May 2001 of
Alberto Dalmacio;
6. Decision dated 22 April 1999 of the We painstakingly went through the records of the case and found
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 41 in no reason to disturb the findings of probable cause of
Criminal Case No. 97-160355; Judge Tumaliuan.
7. Sworn statement dated 27 April
2001 of Rodel Maderal;
8. Information dated 22 June 2001; It is important to note that an exhaustive debate on the
9. Affidavit-complaint of Virgilio Tuliao; and credibility of a witness is not within the province of the
10. Medico-legal Reports of the cadavers
of Elezer Tuliao and Vicente Buazon. determination of probable cause. As we held in Webb[33]:

A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on


evidence showing that more likely than not a
Hence, procedurally, we can conclude that there was no crime has been committed and was committed by
violation on the part of Judge Tumaliuan of Article III, Section the suspects. Probable cause need not be based
2, of the Constitution. Judge Anghad, however, focused on the on clear and convincing evidence of guilt, neither
on evidence establishing guilt beyond reasonable
substantive part of said section, i.e., the existence of probable doubt and definitely, not on evidence
cause. In failing to find probable cause, Judge Anghad ruled that establishing absolute certainty of guilt. As well
the confession of SPO2 Maderal is incredible for the following put in Brinegarv. United States, while probable
cause demands more than bare suspicion, it
reasons: (1) it was given after almost two years in the custody of requires less than evidence which would justify
the National Bureau of Investigation; (2) it was given by x x x conviction. A finding of probable cause
someone who rendered himself untrustworthy for being a

70
merely binds over the suspect to stand trial. It is 41, Manila, and based from his sworn statements,
not a pronouncement of guilt. he pinpointed to Mr. Miranda the mastermind
and with him and the other police officers as the
x x x Probable cause merely implies probability direct perpetrators, the October 9, 2001 Decision
of guilt and should be determined in a summary of the Supreme Court absolving the five cops of
manner. Preliminary investigation is not a part of murder, certainly makes his sworn Statements a
trial x x x. narration of falsehood and lies and that because
of the decision acquitting said officers who were
likewise falsely linked by said Rodel Maderal in
Dismissing a his April 27, 2001 statements, it is now beyond
criminal case on doubt that Rodel Maderal made untruthful,
the basis of a fabricated and perjured statements and therefore
decision of this the same is without probable value. This Court
Court in another agrees with the defenses views. Indeed, of what
case with use is Maderals statements when the Supreme
different accused Court rejected the prosecutions evidence
constitutes grave presented and adduced in Criminal Case No. 97-
abuse of 160355. Rodel Maderal is supposed to turn state
discretion. witness in these two (2) cases but with the
Supreme Court decision adverted to, the
probative value of his statements is
Judge Anghad had quashed the warrant of arrest on the ground, practically nil.
among other things, that there was a petition for review of the xxxx
assistant prosecutors resolution before the Secretary of
Justice. However, after the Secretary of Justice affirmed the This Court finds merit to the
manifestation of the accused Miranda dated
prosecutors resolution, Judge Anghad summarily dismissed the
October 18, 2001, praying for the summary
two criminal cases against the petitioners on the basis of the dismissal of the two (2) murder charges in view
following explanation: of the latest decision of the Supreme Court
in People of the Philippines vs. Wilfredo Leao, et
Rodel Maderal was one of the accused in al., G.R. No. 13886, acquitting the accused
therein and in effect disregarding all the evidence
People vs. Wilfredo Leano, et al., RTC, Branch

71
presented by the prosecution in that case. that Rodel Maderal made untruthful, fabricated and perjured
Accordingly, the two (2) informations [for]
murder filed against Jose Miranda are ordered statements and therefore the same is without probable
dismissed.[34] value.[35] On the contrary, if we are to permit the use of our
decision in Leao, an acquittal on the ground of reasonable doubt
actually points to the probability of the prosecutions version of
This is a clear case of abuse of discretion. Judge Anghad had no
the facts therein. Such probability of guilt certainly meets the
right to twist our decision and interpret it to the discredit of
criteria of probable cause.
SPO2 Maderal, who was still at large when the evidence of the
prosecution in the Leao case was presented. A decision, even of
We cannot let unnoticed, too, Judge Anghads dismissal
this Court, acquitting the accused therein of a crime cannot be
the basis of the dismissal of criminal case against different of the informations two days after we resolved to issue, upon
accused for the same crime. The blunder of Judge Anghad is the filing of a bond, a temporary restraining order prohibiting
even more pronounced by the fact that our decision in Leao was him from further proceeding with the case. The bond was filed
based on reasonable doubt. We never ruled in Leao that the the day after the informations were dismissed. While the
crime did not happen; we just found that there was reasonable
dismissal of the case was able to beat the effectivity date of the
doubt as to the guilt of the accused therein, since the prosecution
temporary restraining order, such abrupt dismissal of
in that case relied on circumstantial evidence, which
interestingly is not even the situation in the criminal cases of the the informations (days after this Courts resolve to issue a TRO
petitioners in the case at bar as there is here an against Judge Anghad) creates wild suspicions about the
eyewitness: Rodel Maderal. The accused in Leao furthermore motives of Judge Anghad.
had no motive to kill respondent Tuliaos son, whereas
petitioners herein had been implicated in the testimony of Nullification of a
respondent Tuliao before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. proceeding
necessarily
carries with it the
It is preposterous to conclude that because of our finding reinstatement of
of reasonable doubt in Leao, it is now beyond doubt the orders set

72
aside by the arrest had been nullified; therefore those warrants of arrest are
nullified
proceeding. henceforth deemed unquashed.

In their second assignment of error, petitioners claim that the Even if, however, the Court of Appeals had directed the issuance
Court of Appeals did not recall or reinstate the warrants of arrest of new warrants of arrest based on a determination of probable
issued by Judge Tumaliuan, but instead directed cause, it would have been legally permissible for them to do
Judge Anghad to issue apparently new warrants of so. The records of the preliminary investigation had been
arrest.[36] According to the petitioners, it was an error for the available to the Court of Appeals, and are also available to this
Court of Appeals to have done so, without a personal Court, allowing both the Court of Appeals and this Court to
determination of probable cause. personally examine the records of the case and not merely rely
on the certification of the prosecutor. As we have ruled
We disagree. Whether the Court of Appeals ordered the issuance in Allado v. Diokno and Roberts v. Court of Appeals, the
of new warrants of arrest or merely ordered the reinstatement of determination of probable cause does not rest on a subjective
the warrants of arrest issued by Judge Tumaliuanis merely a criteria. As we had resolved in those cases to overrule the
matter of scrupulous semantics, the slight inaccuracy whereof finding of probable cause of the judges therein on the ground of
should not be allowed to affect the dispositions on the merits, grave abuse of discretion, in the same vein, we can also overrule
especially in this case where the other dispositions of the Court the decision of a judge reversing a finding of probable cause,
of Appeals point to the other direction. Firstly, the Court of also on the ground of grave abuse of discretion.
Appeals had reinstated the 25 June 2001 Order of
There is no
Judge Tumaliuan,[37] which issued the warrants of double jeopardy
arrest. Secondly, the Court of Appeals likewise declared the in the
proceedings conducted by Judge Anghad void. Certainly, the reinstatement of
a criminal case
declaration of nullity of proceedings should be deemed to carry dismissed before
with it the reinstatement of the orders set aside by the nullified arraignment
proceedings. Judge Anghads order quashing the warrants of

73
In their third assignment of error, petitioners claim that the Court
of Appeals committed a reversible error in ordering the
Petitioners must have forgotten that respondent Tuliaos Petition
reinstatement of Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 36-3524,
for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus was filed not with the
alleging that the order of dismissal issued therein had become
Court of Appeals, but with this Court. The Court of Appeals
final and executory. According to petitioners:
decided the case because we referred the same to them in our 19
It is also worthy to point out at this juncture that November 2001 Resolution. Such petition was filed on 25
the Joint Order of Judge Anghad dated October 2001, around three weeks beforethe 14 November
November 14, 2001 is NOT ONE of those 2001 Order. Upon receipt of the 14 November 2001 Order,
Orders which were assailed in the private
respondent TuliaosPetition for Certiorari, however, respondent Tuliao lost no time in filing with this Court
Mandamus and Prohibition filed by the private a Motion to Cite Public Respondent in Contempt, alleging that
respondent before the Court of Appeals. As Judge Anghad deliberately and willfully committed contempt of
carefully enumerated in the first page of the
court when he issued on 15 November 2001 the Order dated 14
assailed Decision, only the following Orders
issued by Judge Anghad were questioned by November 2001 dismissing the informations for murder. On 21
private respondent, to wit: November 2001, we referred said motion to the Court of
Appeals, in view of the previous referral of
1.) Joint Order dated August 17, 2001;
2.) Order dated September 21, 2001; respondent Tuliaos petition for certiorari, prohibition
3.) Joint Order dated October 16, 2001; and mandamus.
and
4.) Joint Order dated October 22, 2001.
Our referral to the Court of Appeals of the Motion to Cite
Obviously, the Joint Order Public Repondent in Contempt places the 14 November
dated November 14, 2001 of Judge Anghad, 2001 Order within the issues of the case decided by the Court of
which ultimately dismissed Criminal Cases Nos.
36-3523 AND 36-3524 is NOT included in the Appeals. In claiming that Judge Anghad committed contempt of
list of the assailed Order/Joint Orders. Hence, the this Court in issuing the 14 November 2001 Order,
Court of Appeals should not have passed upon respondent Tuliao had ascribed to Judge Anghad an act much
the validity or nullity of the Joint Order
more serious than grave abuse of discretion.
of November 14, 2001.[38]

74
As to respondent Tuliaos prayer (in both the original petition
Respondent Tuliao claims that Judge Anghad issued the 14 for certiorari as well as in his motion to cite for contempt) to
November 2001 Order on 15 November 2001, antedating it so disqualify Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the case,
as to avoid the effects of our 12 November 2001Resolution. In we hold that the number of instances of abuse of discretion in
said 12 November 2001 Resolution, we resolved to issue a this case are enough to convince us of an apparent bias on the
temporary restraining order enjoining Judge Anghad from part of Judge Anghad. We further resolve to follow the case
further proceeding with the criminal cases upon the of People v. SPO1 Leao,[41] by transferring the venue of
respondent Tuliaos filing of a bond in the amount Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 36-3524 to the City
of P20,000.00. Respondent Tuliao had filed the bond on 15 of Manila, pursuant to Article VIII, Section 4, of the
November 2005. Constitution.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision
While we cannot immediately pronounce Judge Anghad in dated 18 December 2002 and the Resolution dated 12 June 2003
contempt, seeing as disobedience to lawful orders of a of the Court of Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED, with the
court and abuse of court processes are cases of indirect modification that Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 36-3524
contempt which require the granting of opportunity to be heard be transferred to and raffled in the Regional Trial Court of the
on the part of respondent,[39] the prayer to cite public respondent City of Manila. In this connection,
in contempt and for other reliefs just and equitable under the
premises should be construed to include a prayer for the 1) Let a copy of this decision be furnished the
nullification of said 14 November 2001 Order. Executive Judge of the RTC of the City of
Santiago, Isabela, who is directed to effect the
In any case, the reinstatement of a criminal case dismissed transfer of the cases within ten (10) days after receipt
before arraignment does not constitute double jeopardy. Double hereof;
jeopardy cannot be invoked where the accused has not been 2) The Executive Judge of the RTC of the City
arraigned and it was upon his express motion that the case was of Santiago, Isabela, is likewise directed to report to
dismissed.[40] this Court compliance hereto within ten (10) days
from transfer of these cases;

75
3) The Executive Judge of the City of Manila shall G.R. No. 199113, March 18, 2015
proceed to raffle the criminal cases within ten (10) RENATO M. DAVID, Petitioner, v. EDITHA A. AGBAY
days from the transfer; AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.
4) The Executive Judge of the City of Manila is
DECISION
likewise directed to report to this Court compliance
with the order to raffle within ten (10) days from said VILLARAMA, JR., J.:
compliance; and
5) The RTC Judge to whom the criminal cases are This is a petition for review under Rule 45 seeking to reverse the
Order1 dated October 8, 2011 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
raffled is directed to act on said cases with reasonable of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro, which denied the petition for
dispatch. certiorari filed by Renato M. David (petitioner). Petitioner
6) Finally, Judge Anastacio D. Anghad is directed to assailed the Order2 dated March 22, 2011 of the Municipal Trial
Court (MTC) of Socorro, Oriental Mindoro denying his motion
issue forthwith warrants of arrest for the for redetermination of probable cause.
apprehension of petitioners Jose C. Miranda, Alberto
P. Dalmacio, Romeo B. Ocon, and The factual antecedents:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
accused Rodel T. Maderal, conformably with the
In 1974, petitioner migrated to Canada where he became a
decision of the Court of Appeals dated 18 December Canadian citizen by naturalization. Upon their retirement,
2002. petitioner and his wife returned to the Philippines. Sometime in
2000, they purchased a 600-square meter lot along the beach in
Tambong, Gloria, Oriental Mindoro where they constructed a
The Temporary Restraining Order issued by this Court dated 4 residential house. However, in the year 2004, they came to know
August 2003 is hereby LIFTED. Costs against Petitioners. that the portion where they built their house is public land and
part of the salvage zone.
SO ORDERED.
On April 12, 2007, petitioner filed a Miscellaneous Lease
Application3 (MLA) over the subject land with the Department
of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at the
Community Environment and Natural Resources Office
(CENRO) in Socorro. In the said application, petitioner

76
indicated that he is a Filipino citizen. acquisition of Philippine citizenship did not cure the defect in
his MLA which was void ab initio.8chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Private respondent Editha A. Agbay opposed the application on
the ground that petitioner, a Canadian citizen, is disqualified to In the meantime, on July 26, 2010, the petition for review filed
own land. She also filed a criminal complaint for falsification of by petitioner was denied by the DOJ which held that the
public documents under Article 172 of the Revised Penal presence of the elements of the crime of falsification of public
Code (RPC) (I.S. No. 08-6463) against the petitioner. document suffices to warrant indictment of the petitioner
notwithstanding the absence of any proof that he gained or
Meanwhile, petitioner re-acquired his Filipino citizenship under intended to injure a third person in committing the act of
the provisions of Republic Act No. 9225,4(R.A. 9225) as falsification.9 Consequently, an information for Falsification of
evidenced by Identification Certificate No. 266-10-075 issued by Public Document was filed before the MTC (Criminal Case No.
the Consulate General of the Philippines (Toronto) on October 2012) and a warrant of arrest was issued against the petitioner.
11, 2007.
On February 11, 2011, after the filing of the Information and
In his defense, petitioner averred that at the time he filed his before his arrest, petitioner filed an Urgent Motion for Re-
application, he had intended to re-acquire Philippine citizenship Determination of Probable Cause10 in the MTC. Interpreting the
and that he had been assured by a CENRO officer that he could provisions of the law relied upon by petitioner, the said court
declare himself as a Filipino. He further alleged that he bought denied the motion, holding that R.A. 9225 makes a distinction
the property from the Agbays who misrepresented to him that between those who became foreign citizens during its
the subject property was titled land and they have the right and effectivity, and those who lost their Philippine citizenship before
authority to convey the same. The dispute had in fact led to the its enactment when the governing law was Commonwealth Act
institution of civil and criminal suits between him and private No. 6311 (CA 63). Since the crime for which petitioner was
respondents family. charged was alleged and admitted to have been committed on
April 12, 2007 before he had re-acquired his Philippine
On January 8, 2008,6 the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor citizenship, the MTC concluded that petitioner was at that time
issued its Resolution7 finding probable cause to indict petitioner still a Canadian citizen. Thus, the MTC
for violation of Article 172 of the RPC and recommending the ordered:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
filing of the corresponding information in court. Petitioner WHEREFORE, for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the
challenged the said resolution in a petition for review he filed accused, and for lack of merit, the motion is DENIED.
before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
SO ORDERED.12
On June 3, 2008, the CENRO issued an order rejecting In his motion for reconsideration,13 petitioner questioned the
petitioners MLA. It ruled that petitioners subsequent re- foregoing order denying him relief on the ground of lack of

77
jurisdiction and insisted that the issue raised is purely legal. He ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby DENIED. At any rate
argued that since his application had yet to receive final petitioner is not left without any remedy or recourse because he
evaluation and action by the DENR Region IV-B office in can proceed to trial where he can make use of his claim to be a
Manila, it is academic to ask the citizenship of the applicant Filipino citizen as his defense to be adjudicated in a full blown
(petitioner) who had re-acquired Philippine citizenship six trial, and in case of conviction, to appeal such conviction.
months after he applied for lease of public land. The MTC
denied the motion for SO ORDERED.17
reconsideration.14chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Petitioner is now before us arguing that

Dissatisfied, petitioner elevated the case to the RTC via a A. By supporting the prosecution of the petitioner
petition15 for certiorari under Rule 65, alleging grave abuse of for falsification, the lower court has disregarded
discretion on the part of the MTC. He asserted that first, the undisputed fact that petitioner is a natural-
jurisdiction over the person of an accused cannot be a pre- born Filipino citizen, and that by re-acquiring the
condition for the re-determination of probable cause by the court same status under R.A. No. 9225 he was by legal
that issues a warrant of arrest; and second, the March 22, 2011 fiction deemed not to have lost it at the time of
Order disregarded the legal fiction that once a natural-born his naturalization in Canada and through the time
Filipino citizen who had been naturalized in another country re- when he was said to have falsely claimed
acquires his citizenship under R.A. 9225, his Filipino citizenship Philippine citizenship.
is thus deemed not to have been lost on account of said
naturalization. B. By compelling petitioner to first return from his
legal residence in Canada and to surrender or
In his Comment and Opposition,16 the prosecutor emphasized allow himself to be arrested under a warrant for
that the act of falsification was already consummated as his alleged false claim to Philippine citizenship,
petitioner has not yet re-acquired his Philippine citizenship, and the lower court has pre-empted the right of
his subsequent oath to re-acquire Philippine citizenship will only petitioner through his wife and counsel to
affect his citizenship status and not his criminal act which was question the validity of the said warrant of arrest
long consummated prior to said oath of allegiance. against him before the same is implemented,
which is tantamount to a denial of due process.18
On October 8, 2011, the RTC issued the assailed Order denying
the petition for certiorari after finding no grave abuse of In his Comment, the Solicitor General contends that petitioners
discretion committed by the lower court, argument regarding the retroactivity of R.A. 9225 is without
thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary merit. It is contended that this Courts rulings in Frivaldo v.
Commission on Elections19 and Altarejos v. Commission on
Elections20 on the retroactivity of ones re-acquisition of

78
Philippine citizenship to the date of filing his application R.A. 9225, otherwise known as the Citizenship Retention and
therefor cannot be applied to the case of herein petitioner. Even Re-acquisition Act of 2003, was signed into law by President
assuming for the sake of argument that such doctrine applies in Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on August 29, 2003. Sections 2 and 3
the present situation, it will still not work for petitioners cause of said law read:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
for the simple reason that he had not alleged, much less proved, SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy.It is hereby declared the policy
that he had already applied for reacquisition of Philippine of the State that all Philippine citizens who become citizens of
citizenship before he made the declaration in the Public Land another country shall be deemed not to have lost their
Application that he is a Filipino. Moreover, it is stressed that in Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act.
falsification of public document, it is not necessary that the idea
of gain or intent to injure a third person be present. As to SEC. 3. Retention of Philippine Citizenship.Any provision of
petitioners defense of good faith, such remains to be a defense law to the contrary notwithstanding, natural-born citizens of the
which may be properly raised and proved in a full-blown trial. Philippines who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason
of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby
On the issue of jurisdiction over the person of accused deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship upon
(petitioner), the Solicitor General opines that in seeking an taking the following oath of allegiance to the
affirmative relief from the MTC when he filed his Urgent Republic:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Motion for Re-determination of Probable Cause, petitioner is I ______________________, solemnly swear (or affirm) that I
deemed to have submitted his person to the said courts will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the
jurisdiction by his voluntary appearance. Nonetheless, the RTC Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders promulgated by
correctly ruled that the lower court committed no grave abuse of the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines; and I hereby
discretion in denying the petitioners motion after a judicious, declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the
thorough and personal evaluation of the parties arguments Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto;
contained in their respective pleadings, and the evidence and that I impose this obligation upon myself voluntarily without
submitted before the court. mental reservation or purpose of evasion.
Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who, after the
In sum, the Court is asked to resolve whether (1) petitioner may effectivity of this Act, become citizens of a foreign country
be indicted for falsification for representing himself as a Filipino shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the
in his Public Land Application despite his subsequent re- aforesaid oath. (Emphasis supplied)
acquisition of Philippine citizenship under the provisions of While Section 2 declares the general policy that Filipinos who
R.A. 9225; and (2) the MTC properly denied petitioners motion have become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to
for re-determination of probable cause on the ground of lack of have lost their Philippine citizenship, such is qualified by the
jurisdiction over the person of the accused (petitioner). phrase under the conditions of this Act. Section 3 lays down
such conditions for two categories of natural-born Filipinos

79
referred to in the first and second paragraphs. Under the first they shall retain Philippine citizenship despite having acquired
paragraph are those natural-born Filipinos who have lost their foreign citizenship provided they took the oath of allegiance
citizenship by naturalization in a foreign country who shall re- under the new law.
acquire their Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. The second Petitioner insists we should not distinguish between re-
paragraph covers those natural-born Filipinos who became acquisition and retention in R.A. 9225. He asserts that in
foreign citizens after R.A. 9225 took effect, who shall retain criminal cases, that interpretation of the law which favors the
their Philippine citizenship upon taking the same oath. The accused is preferred because it is consistent with the
taking of oath of allegiance is required for both categories of constitutional presumption of innocence, and in this case it
natural-born Filipino citizens who became citizens of a foreign becomes more relevant when a seemingly difficult question of
country, but the terminology used is different, re-acquired for law is expected to have been understood by the accused, who is
the first group, and retain for the second group. a non-lawyer, at the time of the commission of the alleged
offense. He further cites the letter-reply dated January 31,
The law thus makes a distinction between those natural-born 201122 of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to his query, stating
Filipinos who became foreign citizens before and after the that his status as a natural-born Filipino will be governed by
effectivity of R.A. 9225. Although the heading of Section 3 is Section 2 of R.A. 9225.
Retention of Philippine Citizenship, the authors of the law
intentionally employed the terms re-acquire and retain to These contentions have no merit.
describe the legal effect of taking the oath of allegiance to the
Republic of the Philippines. This is also evident from the title of That the law distinguishes between re-acquisition and retention
the law using both re-acquisition and retention. of Philippine citizenship was made clear in the discussion of the
Bicameral Conference Committee on the Disagreeing
In fine, for those who were naturalized in a foreign country, they Provisions of House Bill No. 4720 and Senate Bill No. 2130 held
shall be deemed to have re-acquired their Philippine citizenship on August 18, 2003, where Senator Franklin Drilon was
which was lost pursuant to CA 63, under which naturalization in responding to the query of Representative Exequiel
a foreign country is one of the ways by which Philippine Javier:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
citizenship may be lost. As its title declares, R.A. 9225 amends REP. JAVIER. I have some questions in Section 3. Here, under
CA 63 by doing away with the provision in the old law which Section 3 of the Senate version, Any provision of law on the
takes away Philippine citizenship from natural-born Filipinos contrary notwithstanding, natural-born citizens of the
who become naturalized citizens of other countries and allowing Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, shall and so
dual citizenship,21 and also provides for the procedure for re- forth, ano, shall retain their Philippine citizenship.
acquiring and retaining Philippine citizenship. In the case of
those who became foreign citizens after R.A. 9225 took effect, Now in the second paragraph, natural-born citizens who have

80
lost their citizenship by reason of their naturalization after the
effectivity of this Act are deemed to have reacquired REP. JAVIER. Well, Im just asking this question because we
are here making distinctions between natural-born citizens.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. DRILON). Prior to the effectivity. Because this is very important for certain government positions,
no, because natural-born citizens are only qualified for a
REP. JAVIER. Well, you have two kinds of natural-born specific
citizens here. Natural-born citizens who acquired foreign
citizenship after the effectivity of this act are considered to have THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. DRILON). That is correct.
retained their citizenship. But natural-born citizens who lost
their Filipino citizenship before the effectivity of this act are REP. JAVIER. ...positions under the Constitution and under the
considered to have reacquired. May I know the distinction? Do law.
you mean to say that natural-born citizens who became, lets say,
American citizens after the effectivity of this act are considered THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. DRILON). Yes. We can get to that
natural-born? later on. Its one of the provisions, yes. But just for purposes of
the explanation, Congressman Javier, that is our
Now in the second paragraph are the natural-born citizens who conceptualization. Reacquired for those who previously lost
lost their citizenship before the effectivity of this act are no [Filipino citizenship] by virtue of Commonwealth Act 63,
longer natural born citizens because they have just reacquired and retention for those in the future. (Emphasis supplied)
their citizenship. I just want to know this distinction, Mr. Considering that petitioner was naturalized as a Canadian citizen
Chairman. prior to the effectivity of R.A. 9225, he belongs to the first
category of natural-born Filipinos under the first paragraph of
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. DRILON). The title of the Senate Section 3 who lost Philippine citizenship by naturalization in a
version is precisely retention and reacquisition. The foreign country. As the new law allows dual citizenship, he was
reacquisition will apply to those who lost their Philippine able to re-acquire his Philippine citizenship by taking the
citizenship by virtue of Commonwealth Act 63. Upon the required oath of allegiance.
effectivity -- assuming that we can agree on this, upon the
effectivity of this new measure amending Commonwealth Act For the purpose of determining the citizenship of petitioner at
63, the Filipinos who lost their citizenship is deemed to have the time of filing his MLA, it is not necessary to discuss the
reacquired their Philippine citizenship upon the effectivity of the rulings in Frivaldo and Altarejos on the retroactivity of such
act. reacquisition because R.A. 9225 itself treats those of his
category as having already lost Philippine citizenship, in
The second aspect is the retention of Philippine citizenship contradistinction to those natural-born Filipinos who became
applying to future instances. So thats the distinction. foreign citizens after R.A. 9225 came into force. In other words,

81
Section 2 declaring the policy that considers Filipinos who (3) that the falsification was committed in a public, official or
became foreign citizens as not to have lost their Philippine commercial document.26
citizenship, should be read together with Section 3, the second Petitioner made the untruthful statement in the MLA, a public
paragraph of which clarifies that such policy governs all cases document, that he is a Filipino citizen at the time of the filing of
after the new laws effectivity. said application, when in fact he was then still a Canadian
citizen. Under CA 63, the governing law at the time he was
As to the letter-reply of BI, it simply quoted Section 2 of R.A. naturalized as Canadian citizen, naturalization in a foreign
9225 without any reference to Section 3 on the particular country was among those ways by which a natural-born citizen
application of reacquisition and retention to Filipinos who loses his Philippine citizenship. While he re-acquired Philippine
became foreign citizens before and after the effectivity of R.A. citizenship under R.A. 9225 six months later, the falsification
9225. was already a consummated act, the said law having no
retroactive effect insofar as his dual citizenship status is
Petitioners plea to adopt the interpretation most favorable to the concerned. The MTC therefore did not err in finding probable
accused is likewise misplaced. Courts adopt an interpretation cause for falsification of public document under Article 172,
more favorable to the accused following the time-honored paragraph 1.
principle that penal statutes are construed strictly against the
State and liberally in favor of the accused.23 R.A. 9225, The MTC further cited lack of jurisdiction over the person of
however, is not a penal law. petitioner accused as ground for denying petitioners motion for
re-determination of probable cause, as the motion was filed prior
Falsification of documents under paragraph 1, Article 17224 in to his arrest. However, custody of the law is not required for the
relation to Article 17125 of the RPC refers to falsification by a adjudication of reliefs other than an application for
private individual, or a public officer or employee who did not bail.27 In Miranda v. Tuliao,28 which involved a motion to quash
take advantage of his official position, of public, private, or warrant of arrest, this Court discussed the distinction between
commercial documents. The elements of falsification of custody of the law and jurisdiction over the person, and held that
documents under paragraph 1, Article 172 of the RPC jurisdiction over the person of the accused is deemed waived
are:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary when he files any pleading seeking an affirmative relief, except
(1) that the offender is a private individual or a public officer or in cases when he invokes the special jurisdiction of the court by
employee who did not take advantage of his official position; impugning such jurisdiction over his person.
Thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
(2) that he committed any of the acts of falsification enumerated In arguing, on the other hand, that jurisdiction over their person
in Article 171 of the RPC; and was already acquired by their filing of the above Urgent Motion,
petitioners invoke our pronouncement, through Justice Florenz

82
D. Regalado, in Santiago v.
Vasquez:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary x x x x
The voluntary appearance of the accused, whereby the court
acquires jurisdiction over his person, is accomplished either by While we stand by our above pronouncement in Pico insofar as
his pleading to the merits (such as by filing a motion to quash or it concerns bail, we clarify that, as a general rule, one who
other pleadings requiring the exercise of the courts jurisdiction seeks an affirmative relief is deemed to have submitted to the
thereover, appearing for arraignment, entering trial) or by filing jurisdiction of the court. As we held in the aforecited case
bail. On the matter of bail, since the same is intended to obtain of Santiago, seeking an affirmative relief in court, whether in
the provisional liberty of the accused, as a rule the same cannot civil or criminal proceedings, constitutes voluntary
be posted before custody of the accused has been acquired by appearance.
the judicial authorities either by his arrest or voluntary
surrender.cralawred x x x x
Our pronouncement in Santiago shows a distinction
between custody of the law and jurisdiction over the person. To recapitulate what we have discussed so far, in criminal
Custody of the law is required before the court can act upon the cases, jurisdiction over the person of the accused is deemed
application for bail, but is not required for the adjudication of waived by the accused when he files any pleading seeking an
other reliefs sought by the defendant where the mere application affirmative relief, except in cases when he invokes the special
therefor constitutes a waiver of the defense of lack of jurisdiction jurisdiction of the court by impugning such jurisdiction over
over the person of the accused. Custody of the law is his person. Therefore, in narrow cases involving special
accomplished either by arrest or voluntary surrender, while appearances, an accused can invoke the processes of the court
jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired upon his even though there is neither jurisdiction over the person nor
arrest or voluntary appearance. One can be under the custody of custody of the law. However, if a person invoking the special
the law but not yet subject to the jurisdiction of the court over jurisdiction of the court applies for bail, he must first submit
his person, such as when a person arrested by virtue of a warrant himself to the custody of the law.29 (Emphasis supplied)
files a motion before arraignment to quash the warrant. On the Considering that petitioner sought affirmative relief in filing his
other hand, one can be subject to the jurisdiction of the court motion for re-determination of probable cause, the MTC clearly
over his person, and yet not be in the custody of the law, such as erred in stating that it lacked jurisdiction over his person.
when an accused escapes custody after his trial has commenced. Notwithstanding such erroneous ground stated in the MTCs
Being in the custody of the law signifies restraint on the person, order, the RTC correctly ruled that no grave abuse of discretion
who is thereby deprived of his own will and liberty, binding him was committed by the MTC in denying the said motion for lack
to become obedient to the will of the law. Custody of the law is of merit.
literally custody over the body of the accused. It includes, but is
not limited to, detention. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Order dated

83
October 8, 2011 of the Regional Trial Court of Pinamalayan,
Oriental Mindoro in Civil Case No. SCA-07-11 (Criminal Case
No. 2012) is hereby AFFIRMED and UPHELD.
Present:
With costs against the petitioner.
PANGANIBAN, CJ,
SO ORDERED. - versus - Chairman,
YNARES -SANTIAGO
Velasco, Jr., (Chairperson), Peralta, Reyes, and Perlas- AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
Bernabe,*JJ., concur.cralawlawlibrary CALLEJ O, SR., and
CHICO-NAZARIO, JJ.

Promulgated:

HON. COURT April 12, 2006


OF APPEALS
R e s p o n d e n
t.
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - x

D E C I S I O N

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

ARNOLD ALVA G.R. No. 157331 Before us is a petition for review


,
P e t i t i o n e r, on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, as

84
That in or about and during the
amended, assailing the twin Resolutions of the Court
period covered between October 18,
of Appeals (CA), dated 18 October 2002 [ 1 ] and 19 1993 up to December 18 , 1993,
inclusive, in the City of Manila,
February 2003, [ 2 ] respectivel y, in CA-G.R. CR No. Philippines, the said accused, did then
24077, entitled People of the Philippines v. Arnold and there willfull y (sic), unlawfull y and
feloniousl y defraud YUM I VERANGA y
Alva. HERVERA in the following manner, to
wit: the said accused, by means of false
manifestation and fr audulent
The CA, in the assailed resolutions, dismissed representation which he made to said
petitioners appeal of the trial courts judgment of YUMI VERANGA y HERVERA to the
effect that he could process the latters
conviction for failing to post a new bail bond to application for U.S. Visa provided she
secure his provisional libert y on appeal. would give the amount of P120,000.00,
and by means of other similar deceit,
induced and succeeded in inducing said
The Facts YUMI VERANGA y HERVERA to give
and deliver, as in fact she gave and
delivered to said accused the amount
The present petition stemmed from an of P120,000.00 on the strength of said
manifestation and representation said
Information [ 3 ] charging petitioner with having accused well knowing that the same were
committed the crime of estafa defined un der Article false and untrue fo r the reason that the
U.S. Visa is not genuine and were made
315, Paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, solel y to obtain, as in fact he did obtain
alleging as follows: the amount of P120,000.00 which
amount once in his possession with
intent to defraud, he wilfull y (sic),
The undersigned accuses unlawfull y and feloniousl y
ARNOLD ALVA of the crime of misappropriated, mis applied and
ESTAFA, committed as follows: converted the said amount to his own
personal use and benefit, to the damage

85
and prejudice of the said YUMI
After the trial on the merits, in an
VERANGA y HERVERA in the aforesaid
amount of P120,000.00, Philippine Order [ 6 ] dated 6 April 1998, the RTC considered the
Currency.
case submitted for decision.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
On 4 May 1999, petitioners counsel filed
an Urgent Motion to Cancel Promulgation [ 7 ] praying
The resultant criminal case was filed and docketed as for the resetting of the 5 May 1999 schedule of
promulgation of the RTCs decision to 17 June
Criminal Case No. 95 -143803 and raffled to the
1999 in view of the fact that sa id counsel already had
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 54,
a prior commitment on subject date. The RTCgranted
presided by Judge Manuel T. Muro. the motion. The promulgation, however, was deferred
onl y until 19 May 1999.
On 5 September 1995, the RTC issued a Recall
Order [ 4 ] of the Warrant of Arrest issued on 18 July A day before the rescheduled date of
promulgation, or on 18 May 1999, petitioners counsel
1995 against petitioner in view of the approval of his
again moved for the deferment of the promulgation,
bail bond by Hon. William Bayhon, then Executive
due to prior undertakings of similar importance. [ 8 ]
Judge of the RTC of Manila.
On 19 May 1999, petitioner and counsel both
Upon arraignment on 7 December 1995, failed to appear in court despite due notice. In his
petitioner, dul y assisted by counsel, [ 5 ] pleaded not stead, claiming to be petitioners representative, a
certain Joey Perez personall y delivered to the RTC a
guilt y to the crime charged.
hand written medical certificate [ 9 ] expressing
petitioners inabilit y to attend the days hearing due to
hypertension.

86
1994 (the amount has been given to the
accused in October and December 1993).
In response to the aforestated acts of petitioner
and counsel, the RTC issued an Order [ 1 0 ] directing the
promulgation of its decision in absentiaand the Meanwhile, as appearing in the records of
issuance of a bench warrant of arrest against the RTC, immediately following an original duplicat e
petitioner for his failure to appear before it despite copy of the aforequoted decision, a document
due notice. entitled Personal Bail Bond [ 1 2 ] dated 21 May 1999
issued by Mega Pacific Insurance Corporation,
In its decision dated 25 March seemed to have been filed before and approved by
1999, [ 1 1 ] the RTC found petitioner guilt y of the crime the RTC as evidenced by the signature of Judge Muro
of estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the on the face of said bail bond. [ 1 3 ] For such reason,
Revised Penal Code, the decretal part of which reads: petitioner appeared to have been admitted to bail
anew after his conviction.
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereb y
rendered: finding the accused guilt y
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Incongruous to the above inference, however,
estafa under Article 315, No. 2(a) of the in an Order [ 1 4 ] dated 25 May 1999, judgment was
RPC and sentences him to an
indeterminate term of imprisonment of rendered against Eastern Insurance and Suret y
nine (9) years and one (1) day as Corporation, the bonding company that issued
minimum of prision mayor to seventeen petitioners original bail bond, in the amount
(17) years as maximum of reclusion
of P17,000.00, for failure to produce the person of
temporal in accordance with the
provisions of Article 315, first, and the petitioner within the 10 day period earlier provided
Indeterminate Sentence Law, and furthe r and to explain why the amount of its undertaking
for the accused to return the P120,000.00
should not be forfeited.
to the complainant with an interest at the
rate of twelve percent (12%)
compounded annually from January 1,

87
In the interregnum, Police Superintendent the services of his counsel and that he was
Ramon Flores De Jesus, Chief of Warrant and currentl y in the process of hiring a new one.
Subpoena Section, [ 1 5 ] manifested to the RTC the
return of the unexecuted Warrant of Arrest issued On 26 Jul y 1999, [ 1 7 ] petitioner filed
on 19 May 1999 for the reason that the address of a Motion for Reconsideration before the RTC.
the accused (petitioner) is not within our area of
responsibilit y. x x x Nevertheless, De Jesus In an Order [ 1 8 ] dated 30 August 1999, the
reassured the RTC that the name of the accused RTC declined to give due course to said motion for
will be included in our list of wanted persons for failure to set it for hea ring; thus, treating it as a
our future reference. Examination of the records of mere scrap of paper.
the case revealed that petitioner already moved out
of his address on record without informing the On 2 September 1999, petitioner received the
above Order. The next day, or on 3 September 1999,
RTC.
petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal [ 1 9 ] before
the RTC.
On 15 Jul y 1999, hand delivered by a certain
Remedios Caneda, petitioner wrote [ 1 6 ] the RTC In an Order [ 2 0 ] dated 20 September 1999, the
requesting for a certified photocopy of his exhibits RTC again declined to give due course to the Notice
submitted to it during trial. of Appeal, ratiocinating thus:

The Notice of Appeal filed b y


On 21 Jul y 1999, a Termination of Legal accused cannot be given due course as it
was filed out of time. Although accused
Services was filed by petitioner before
filed a Motion for Reconsiderat ion dated
the RTC informing it of his decision to terminate 23 Jul y 1999, the Court considered it as

88
a mere scrap of paper and was not acted Because of the pendency of the
upon as the same was not set for hearing, Motion for Reconsideration, the appeal
hence, it did not stop the reglementar y is deemed filed on time, and the appeal
period to file appeal. is given due course.

Let the records of


On 25 November 1999, petitioner filed anew a the case, together with three (3) copies
motion prayin g for the RTCs categorical resolution of the transcripts of stenographic notes
be transmitted to the Hon. Court of
of his 23 Jul y 1999 Motion for Reconsideration . Appeals.

In an Order dated 7 December 1999, On appeal before the Court of Appeals, in a


the RTC granted the abovestated motion, the full text Resolution [ 2 1 ] dated 16 October 2001, the appellate
of which states: court required petitioner to show cause why his
appeal should not be dismissed it appearing that no
The Motion to Resolve the Motion new bail bond for his provisional liberty on appeal
for Reconsideration of the accused,
dated November 20, 1999 is granted in had been posted, to wit:
the interest of justice, considering that
the one who prepared the Motion for Considering the arrest warrant
Reconsideration appears to be the issued by the trial court against the
accused himself, who may not appear to accused who failed to appear at the
be a lawyer and may not be conversant promulgation of the judgment, and it
with the rules, amon g others, governing appearing from the record that no new
motions. bond for his provisional libert y on
appeal has been posted, appellant is
Acting on the said Motion for ORDERED to SHOW CAUSE within ten
Reconsideration itself, same is denied (10) days from notice why his appeal
for lack of merit. The Decision has should not be dismissed outright.
examined and discussed the evidence
presented and the merits of the case.

89
On 29 October 2001, petitioner, through new personal bail bond posted in the lower court had
counsel, filed a Compliance [ 2 2 ] essentiall y stating already expired, x x x.
therein that:
Undaunted, petitioner filed a Motion for
x x x x Reconsideration [ 2 4 ] thereto seeking its reversal.
According to petitioners counsel, he was of the
3. Upon learning of the course of action
taken by the presiding judge, and for understanding that the Show Cause Resolution of 16
purposes of appealing the decision October 2001 merely sought an explanation vis--
subject of the instant case, on May 21, vis the absence of a bail bond guaranteeing
1999, accused immediatel y posted a new
petitioners provisional libert y while his conviction
bond for his provisional libert y. The
presiding judge of the lower court, which was on appeal. All the same, petitioners counsel
issued the questioned decision, dul y manifested that Mega Pacific Insurance Corporation,
approved the new bond. Certified true
had already extended the period covered by its 21
copy of the bond is hereto attached as
Annex 3 and made an integral part May 1999 bail bond. Attached to said motion was
hereof; a Bond Endorsem ent [ 2 5 ] extending the coverage of the
bail bond from 21 May 1999 to 21 May 2003.
x x x x.

Asked to comment on the Motion for


In a Resolution [ 2 3 ] dated 18 October 2002, the Reconsideration , respondent People of
Court of Appeals, nonetheless dismissed the appeal the Philippines (People), through the Office of the
filed by petitioner for appellants failure to post a new Solicitor General (OSG), interposed objections. In its
bond for his provisional libert y on appeal despite our Comment, [ 2 6 ] respondent People raised two
directive as contained in our Resolution dated arguments: 1) that an application for bail can onl y be
October 16, 2001, and in view of the fact that his availed of by a person who is in the custody of the
law or otherwise deprived of his libert y; and 2) that
bail on appeal is a matter of discretion when the

90
penalt y imposed by the trial court is imprisonment Petitioner now comes to this Court via a
exceeding six (6) years. petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the
Rules of Court alleging the following errors: [ 2 8 ]

On 19 February 2003, the Court of Appeals


issued the second assailed Resolution, [ 2 7 ] disposing I.
of petitioners motion as follows:
THE HONORABLE COURT OF
APPEALS HAS DECIDED QUESTIONS
Finding no merit in appellants OF SUBSTANCE IN A WAY NOT IN
motion for reconsideration (citation ACCORD WITH LAW OR WITH
omitted) filed on November 12, 2002, APPLICABLE DECIS IONS OF THIS
the same is hereby DENIED. We agree HONORABLE SUPREME COURT;
with the appellee that appellant has
failed to submit himself under the
jurisdiction of the court or under the II.
custody of the law since his conviction
in 1999 and that there was no valid bail THE HONORABLE COURT OF
bond in place when appellant took his APPEALS ACTED WITH GRAVE
appeal. ABUSE OF DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS
WHEREFORE, appellants motion OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT
for reconsideration is DENIED. DISMISSED THE PETITION
[Emphasis supplied.] DOCKETED AS CA G.R. CR NO. 24077
ON THE GROUND OF ALLEGED
FAILURE TO POST A NEW BOND FOR
Hence, this petition. PETITIONERS
PROVISIONAL LIBERTY AND THAT
THE PERSONAL BAIL BOND POSTED
The Issues IN THE LOWER COURT HAD
ALLEGEDLY ALREADY EXP IRED;

91
DISCRETION WHEN IT RULED THAT
III. THE PETITIONER FAILED TO
SUBMIT TO THE JURISDICTION OF
THE HONORABLE COURT OF THE COURT OR TO THE CUSTODY
APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED OR OF LAW DESPITE THE BAIL BOND
ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF POSTED ON MAY 21, 1999; and
DISCRETION WHEN IT DID NOT
CONS IDER AS SUBSTANTIAL, THE VI.
COMPLAINCE FILED BY THE
PETITIONER WHICH SHOWED THE THE HONORABLE COURT OF
FACT THAT INDEED THERE WAS A APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED OR
BAIL BOND FILED FOR THE ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF
PROVISIONAL LIBERTY OF THE DISCRETION WHEN IT RULED THAT
ACCUSED DURING THE PENDENCY THERE WAS NO VALID BAIL BOND
OF THE APPEAL; IN P LACE WHEN THE PETITIONER
TOOK HIS APPEAL.
IV.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF


APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED OR The bombardment of errors notwithstanding,
ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF onl y two issues are raised in this petition: 1) with the
DISCRETION WHEN IT IGNORED THE exception of the fifth assignment of error, all six can
RECENT BAIL BOND EXTENS ION
be encapsulated in one sol itary question, that
ATTACHED TO THE MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION FILED BY THE is, whether or not the Court of Appeals committed
PETITIONER; reversible error in dismissing the appeal in view
of petitioners alleged failure to post a valid bail bond
V. to secure his provisional libert y on appeal; and
2) whether or not petitioner failed to submit himself
THE HONORABLE COURT OF
APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED OR to the jurisdiction of the court or to the custody of the
ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF law despite the posting of the subject bail bond.

92
Appeals must have been thinking of
another matter beyond the
The Courts Ruling comprehension of the petitioner and
obviousl y outside the matters being
contemplated by law and the Rules of
Petitioner faults the appellate court for Court.
expressing x x x in its questioned resolutions that
herein petitioner did not submit to the jurisdiction of
Equall y, petitioner further posits that:
the court or custody of the law, or that there was no
valid bail bond when the appeal was taken when the x x x Although it is respectfull y
records of the case would readil y prove the submitted that an accused shall be denied
bail or his bail shall be cancelled if
contrary. [ 2 9 ] In issuing said resolution, petitioner sentenced to an imprisonment exceeding
concludes that the Court of Appeals made x x x no six (6) years as provided in Section 5,
Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, just the
careful examination of the records x x x. Petitioner same, there must be a showing by the
rationalizes his deduction in the following manner : prosecution with notice to the
accused of the fact that, the accused is a
recidivist, has previousl y escaped from
x x x [T]he records of the case readil y confinement, evaded sentence, has
reveals (sic) that several pleadings were committed an offense while under
filed by the petitioner before the lower probation, there are circumstances
court even after the promulgation of indicating the probabilit y of flight if
judgment was made. Right after the released on bail, etc. But there was none
promulgation of the decision in the lower of the said instances that may be
court, herein petitioner went to the court attributable to herein petitioner. [ 3 0 ]
and posted a bail bond. If the posting of
the bond which was approved by the
same Regional Trial Court who rendered
the decision subject of appeal is not yet Respondent People, in contrast, counters that
a submission to the jurisdiction of the
court, then the respondent Hon . Court of x x x [a]lthough a personal bail bond dated May 21,

93
1999 was executed in favor of petitioner by Mega
2) the fact that six days after the decision of the RTC
Pacific Insurance Corporation two days after the
was promulgated, or on 25 May 1999, said court
promulgation of the Decision, there is nothing on
rendered judgment against the bail bond issued
record which shows that petitioner
by Eastern Assurance and Suret y
had surrendered, was arrested or otherwise deprived
Corporation executed to secure petitioners
of his libert y after the promulgation of the judgment
provisional libert y du ring the trial, for the bondsmans
of his conviction in his absence. x x x. To illustrate
failure to produce petitioner before the court, to wit:
its point, respondent People cites the following facts:
1) the return of the Warrant of Arrest issued on May
In view of the failure of Eastern
19, 1999 signed by P/Superintendent Ramon Flores Insurance & Suret y Corporation,
bondsman of herein accused, to produce
De Jesus, Chief of Warrant and Subpoena Section, the herein accused within the period
which states in full: granted it by this Cou rt, judgment is
hereby rendered against said bond in the
amount of Seventeen Thousand
Respectfull y returned this (P17,000.00) Pesos. [31]
unexecuted Warrant of Arrest for the
reason that the address of the accused is
not within our area of
responsibilit y. Further request that the
Respondent People explains that th e first two facts
warrant of Arrest be forwarded to the
Police Station which has Jurisdiction make it improbable to conclude that there existed a
over the address of the accused.
valid bail bond securing petitioners provisional
However, the name of the accused libert y even after conviction. Stated in another way,
will be included in our list of wanted
petitioners admission to bail presumes that the latter
persons for our future refere nce.

94
surrendered, was arrested or he had otherwise
submitted himself under the custody of the law. Section 5 of Rule 114 of the 1994 Rules of Court, as
amended, intrinsicall y addresses the foregoing

And, 3) that petitioner belatedl y attached a bond prefatory matter viz:

endorsement to his motion for reconsideration dated


SEC. 5. Bail, when
November 7, 2002 submitted before the Court of discretionary. Upon conviction by the
Appeals, purportedl y to extend the expi red personal Regional Trial Court of an offense not
punishable by death, reclusion perpetua
bond dated May 21, 1999 x x x, did not automaticall y or life imprisonment, the court, on
confer on petitioner the benefits of an effective bail application, may admit the accused to
bail.
bond, [ 3 2 ] as petitioner mad e no extension of the
previous personal bond before the same expired. The court, in its discretion, ma y
allow the accused to continue on
provisional libert y under the same bail
We disagree in petitioners assertions; hence, bond during the period to appeal subject
to the consent of the bondsman.
the petition must fail.
If the court imposed a penalty of
A definitive disposition of the issue relating to imprisonment exceeding six (6) years,
the existence and validit y of petitioners bail bond on but not more than twenty (20) years, the
accused shall be denied bail, or his bail
appeal presupposes that the latter was allowed by law previously granted shall be cancelled,
to post bail notwithstanding the RTCs judgment of upon a showing by the prosecution, with
conviction and the imposition of the penalt y of notice to the accused, of the following or
other similar circumstances :
imprisonment for an indeterminate period of nine (9)
years and one (1) day as minimum of prision mayor to (a) That the accused is a
seventeen (17) years as maximum of reclusion recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual
delinquent, or has commit ted the crime
temporal.

95
aggravated by the circumstances of
(6) years but less than twent y (20) years. However,
reiteration;
the same also provides for the cancellation of bail
(b) That the accused is found to
have previousl y escaped from legal bonds already granted or the denial of a bail bond
confinement, evaded sentence, or has application upon the concurrence of two points: 1) if
violated the conditions of his bail
without valid justification; the judgment of the Regional Trial Court exceeds six
(6) years but not more than twent y (20) years; and 2)
(c) That the accused committed
the offense while on probation, parole, upon a showing by the prosecution, with notice to the
or under conditional pardon; accused, of the presence of any of the five

(d) That the circumstances of the circumstances therein enumerated or other similar
accused or his case indicate the circumstances.
probabilit y of flight if released on bail;
or
In the case at bar, petitioner was convicted by
(e) That there is undue risk that
during the pendency of th e appeal, the the RTC to suffer the penalt y of im prisonment for an
accused may commit another crime. indeterminate term of nine (9) years and one (1) da y
The appellate court may review as minimum of prision mayor to seventeen (17) years
the resolution of the Regional Trial as maximum of reclusion temporal . Quite clearl y, the
Court, on motion and with notice to the
adverse part y. [Emphasis supplied.] approval of petitioners applicationfor bail was
discretionary upon the RTC.
From the preceding quoted provision, the RTC
is given the discretion to admit to bail an accused It is incongruous, to say the least, that the posting of
even after the latter has been convicted to suffer the a bail presupposes that the accused and/ or accused -
penalt y of imprisonment for a term of more than six appellant is detained or in the custody of the

96
law. [ 3 3 ] In the case at bar, the bench warrant issued filed for such purpose nor is there showing that
by the RTC on 19 May 1999 still remains unserved. the RTC issued an Order of Approval or any other
Nothing in the records of the case, neither in court process acknowledging such document. Be that
the RTC nor the Court of Appeals, demonstrates that as it may, even granting for the sake of argument that
petitioner was ever arrested, as there has been no it was indeed approved by Judge Muro, such approval
related Order of Release issued by any court, or that did not render the subject bail bond valid and binding
he voluntaril y surrendered or at the very least placed for it has been established that petitioner was not
himself under the custody of the law. entitled to bail on appeal.

Basic is the principle that that the right to bail can That the prosecution appears not to have been
onl y be availed of by a person who is in cus tody of given the chance to object, as evidentl y required
the law or otherwise deprived of his libert y and it under the quoted rule, to the application or approval
would be premature, x x x, to file a petition for bail of the subject bail bond (with notice to the accused),
for someone whose freedom has yet to be fortifies the declaration as to its invalidity. Nowhere
curtailed. [ 3 4 ] in the original records of the RTC does it even show
that the prosecution was informed of petitioners
All told, no bail should have been granted application for bail, much less the approval of such
petitioner. It is beyond dispute that the subject bail application.
bond issued by Mega Pacific Insurance Corporation
was irregularl y approved. Worth noting is the fact Noting that the raison d'tre for such
that nowhere in the records of th e case is it shown requirement is the discretionary nature of the
that petitioner applied for bail through a motion dul y admission to bail of an accused after co nviction,

97
though discretionary, such assessment must be This is especiall y true in this case as a close
exercised in accordance with applicable legal scrutiny of the original records of the case at bar
principles. As when there is a concurrence of the reveals that petitioner viola ted the conditions of his
enumerated circumstances and the range of penalt y bail without valid justification his failure to appear
imposed, the prosecution must first be accorded an before the RTC, despite due notice, on the day of the
opportunit y to object and present evidence, if promulgation of the latters judgment, absent an y
necessary, with notice to the accused. It is on this justifiable reason. His absence was a clear
basis that judicial discretion is balanced in contravention of the conditi ons of his bail bond to say
determining whether or not an accused -appellant the least. As evidenced by the undertaking printed on
should be admitted to bail pending appeal of his the face of the bond issued by Eastern Insurance and
conviction vis--vis the increased possibilit y or Suret y Corporation and likewise required under
likelihood of flight. Section 6 [ 3 5 ] of Rule 120 of the Rules of Court,
petitioner must present himself before the court for
Approval of an application for bail on appeal, the reading of the judgment of the RTC in order to
absent the knowledge of the prosecution of such render himself to the execution thereof.
application or, at the very least, failing to allow it to
object, is not the product of sound judicial discretion While, indeed, a medical certificate was hand
but of impulse and arbitrariness, not to mention delivered and filed by a certain Joey Perez, allegedl y
violative of respondent Peoples right of procedural a representative of petitioner, stating therein the
due process. reason for the latters absence, the RTC found
insubstantial the explanation proffered.
Appropriatel y, it ordered the promulgatio n of its

98
judgment in absentia. It also issued a bench warrant
of arrest against petitioner. Another telling evidence of the violation of
petitioners original bail bond is revealed by
Upon examination, the subject medical the Process Servers Return , [ 3 8 ] indicated at the dorsal
certificate [ 3 6 ] merel y states that petitioner was portion of the RTCs Produce Order, indicating
diagnosed to be suffering from hypertension. It failed petitioners change of address without prior notice to
to elucidate further any concomitant conditions the RTC, it states:
necessitating petitioners physical incapabilit y to
PROCESS SERVERS RETURN
present himself before the court even for an hour or
two; thus, it considered the absence of petitioner This certifies that on the 17 t h da y
of May, (sic) 1999, undersigned
unjustified. What's more, though notarized, the return (sic) again
subject document failed to indicate evidence of to Fersal Apartelle located at
130 Kalayaan Ave. (sic) Diliman, Quezo
affiants [ 3 7 ] identit y making its due execution nCit y for confirmation and indeed the
doubtful. addressee, Arnold Alva, had
no (sic) longer been residing nor holding
office at the aforementioned address.
Further, it should be recalled as well, that as
earl y as 4 May 1999, petitioner and counsel had
already been notified of the 19 May 1999 schedule of By failing to inform the RTC of his change of
promulgation. The first having been postponed in address, petitioner failed to hold himself amenable to
view of the Urgent Motion to Cancel the orders and processes of the RTC. It was an
Promulgation (on 5 May 1999) filed by petitioners unmistakable arrant breach of the conditions of his
counsel. bail bond.

99
Inexorabl y, having jumped bail and eluded arrest
Prescinding from the above discussion, the until the present, the issue of whether or not
conviction of petitioner to a period beyond six (6) petitioner has lost his right t o appeal his conviction
years but less than twent y (20) years in tandem with now ensues.
attendant circumstances effectivel y violating his bail
without valid justification should have effectivel y The manner of review of petitioners conviction
precluded him from being admitted to bail on appeal. is governed by the Rules of Court. Appropriatel y,
Rule 124 of the Rules of Court presents the
The issue of the validit y of petitioners bail procedural requirements regarding appeals taken to
bond on appeal having been laid to rest by Section 5 the Court of Appeals. Sect ion 8 of said Rule finds
of Rule 114 of the 1994 Rules of Court, as amended, application to the case at bar, viz:
petitioners alleged failure to post a bail bond on
SEC. 8. Dismissal of appeal for
appeal is, therefore, inconsequential as, under the
abandonment or failure to
circumstances, he is disallowed by law to be admitted prosecute. The appellate court may,
upon motion of the appellee or its own
to bail on appeal. Thus, for all legal intents and motion and notice to the appellant,
purposes, there can be no other conclusion than that dismiss the appeal if t he appellant fails
to file his brief within the time
at the time petitioner filed his notice of appeal and prescribed by this Rule, except in case
during the pendency of his appeal even until now he the appellant is represented by a counsel
de oficio.
remains at large, placing himself beyond the pale, and
protection of the law. The court may also, upon motion
of the appellee or on its own
motion, dismiss the appeal if the
appellant escapes from prison or

100
confinement or jumps bail or flees to a
made the judgment of the RTC final and
foreign country during the pendency of
the appeal . [Emphasis supplied.] executory. [ 4 0 ]

By putting himself beyond the reach and


By virtue of the second paragraph of the
application of the legal processes of the land,
abovequoted provision, the act of jumpin g bail,
petitioner revealed his contempt of the law and placed
among otherthings, will result in the outright
himself in a position to speculate at his pleasure his
dismissal of petitioners appeal. As pointed out by the
chances for a reversal. This, we cannot condone.
Court in the case of People v. Mapalao, [ 3 9 ] the reason
Once more, by jumping bail, petitioner has waived his
for said rule is that:
right to appeal. In the case of People v. Ang
[O]nce an accused escapes from prison Gioc, [ 4 1 ] we enunciated that:
or confinement or jumps bail or flees to
a foreign country, he losses his standing
in court and unless he surrenders or There are certain fundamental
submits to the jurisdiction of the court he rights which cannot be waived even b y
is deemed to have waived any right to the accused himself, but the right of
seek relief from the court. appeal is not one of them. This right is
granted solel y for the benefit of the
accused. He may avail of it or not, as he
pleases. He may waive it either expressl y
Thus, the Court of Appeals committed no or by implication. When the accused
flees after the case has been submitted to
reversible error in dismissing petitioners appeal.
the court for decision, he will be deemed
Within the meaning of the principles governing the to have waived his right to appeal from
the judgment rendered against him x x x.
prevailing criminal procedure, petitioner impliedl y
withdrew his appeal by jumping bail and thereby

101
contemplated by law and the Rules of
Coming now to the second issue of whether or
Court.
not petitioner failed to submit himself to the
jurisdiction of the court or to the custody of the law,
For the resolution of the second issue, it should
despite the posting of the subject bail bond, petitioner
have been sufficient to state that for reasons stated in
argues that his act of filing several pleadings after the
the foregoing discussion, the question posed has now
promulgation of the RTCs judgment plus his filing of
become academic. However, to diminish the
the application for his admission to bail sh ould be
confusion brought about by ostensibl y equating the
considered a submission to the courts jurisdiction. He
term jurisdiction of the court (over the person of the
rationalizes that:
accused) with that of custody of the law , it is
fundamental to differentiate the two. The term:
[T]he records of the case readil y reveals
that several pleadings were filed by the
petitioner before the lower court even Custody of the law is accomplished
after the promulgation of judgment was either by arrest or voluntary surrender
made. Right after the promulgation of (citation omitted); whi le (the term)
the decision in the lower court, herein jurisdiction over the person of the
petitioner went to the court and posted a accused is acquired upon his arrest or
bail bond. If the posting of the bond voluntary appearance (citation omitted).
which was approved by the same One can be under the custody of the law
Regional Trial Court who rendered the but not yet subject to the jurisdiction of
decision subject of appeal is not yet a the court over his person, such as when a
submission to the jurisdiction of the person arrested by virtue of a warrant
court, then the respondent Hon. Court of files a motion before arraignment to
Appeals must have been thinking of quash the warrant. On the other hand,
another matter beyond the one can be subject to the jurisdiction of
comprehension of the petitioner and the court over his person, and yet not be
obviousl y outside the matters being in the custody of the law, such as
when an accused escapes custody after

102
his trial has commenced (citation
fugitive, until and unless he submits himself to the
omitted). [ 4 2 ]
custody of the law, in the manner of being under the
jurisdiction of the courts, he cannot be granted any
Moreover, jurisdiction, once acquired, is not lost at
relief by the CA.
the instance of parties, as when an accused escapes
from the custody of the law, but continues until the
Parentheticall y, we cannot end
[43]
case is terminated. Evidentl y, petitioner is correct
this ponencia without calling attention to a ver y
in that there is no doubt that the RTC already acquired
disturbing fact that petitioner admits of being the
jurisdiction over the person of the accused petitioner
author of a falsified public document was treated
when he appeared at the arraignment and pleaded not
nonchalantl y by authorities.
guilt y to the crime charged notwithstanding the fact
that he jumped bail and is now considered a fugitive.
In fine, the petitioner h as remained at large
even as he hopes that his appeal, and consequentl y,
As to whether or not petitioner has placed himself
this petition, will succeed and he can then appear
under the custody of the CA, alas, we cannot say the
before the Court to claim his victory. He hopes in
same for [b]eing in the custody of the law signifies
vain.
restraint on the person, who is thereby deprived of his
own will and libert y, binding him to become obedient WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED
to the will of the law (citation omitted). Custody of for lack of merit. The assailed Resolutions of the
the law is literall y custody over the body of the Court of Appeals, in CA -G.R. CR No. 24077, which
dismissed petitioners appeal, are hereb y
accused. It includes, but is not limited to,
AFFIRMED. In this connection, Judge
detention. [ 4 4 ] In the case at bar, petitioner, being a
Manuel Muro is DIRECTED to issue forthwith a

103
warrant of arrest for the apprehension of Petitioner
Arnold Alva and for proper disposition of the case in
line with the foregoing discussion.
Costs against the petitioner.

SO ORDERED.

104