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VII.

Rule 117: Motion to Quash: Sections 1 to 9;

Section 1. Time to move to quash. At any time before entering his plea, the accused may move to quash the complaint or
information. (1)

Section 2. Form and contents. The motion to quash shall be in writing, signed by the accused or his counsel and shall distinctly specify
its factual and legal grounds. The court shall consider no ground other than those stated in the motion, except lack of jurisdiction over the
offense charged. (2a)

Section 3. Grounds. The accused may move to quash the complaint or information on any of the following grounds:

(a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense;

(b) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged;

(c) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the person of the accused;

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

(e) That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form;

(f) That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law;

(g) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;

(h) That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification; and

(i) That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense charged, or the case against him was dismissed or
otherwise terminated without his express consent. (3a)

Section 4. Amendment of the complaint or information. If the motion to quash is based on an alleged defect of the complaint or
information which can be cured by amendment, the court shall order that an amendment be made. (4a)

If it is based on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense, the prosecution shall be given by the court an opportunity to
correct the defect by amendment. The motion shall be granted if the prosecution fails to make the amendment, or the complaint or
information still suffers from the same defect despite the amendment. (n)

Section 5. Effect of sustaining the motion to quash. If the motion to quash is sustained, the court may order that another complaint or
information be filed except as provided in section 6 of this rule. If the order is made, the accused, if in custody, shall not be discharged unless
admitted to bail. If no order is made or if having been made, no new information is filed within the time specified in the order or within such
further time as the court may allow for good cause, the accused, if in custody, shall be discharged unless he is also in custody for another
charge. (5a)
Section 6. Order sustaining the motion to quash not a bar to another prosecution; exception. An order sustaining the motion to quash
is not a bar to another prosecution for the same offense unless the motion was based on the grounds specified in section 3 (g) and (i) of this
Rule. (6a)

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

However, the conviction of the accused shall not be a bar to another prosecution for an offense which necessarily includes the offense charged
in the former complaint or information under any of the following instances:

(a) the graver offense developed due to supervening facts arising from the same act or omission constituting the former charge;

(b) the facts constituting the graver charge became known or were discovered only after a plea was entered in the former complaint or
information; or

(c) the plea of guilty to the lesser offense was made without the consent of the prosecutor and of the offended party except as provided
in section 1 (f) of Rule 116.

In any of the foregoing cases, where the accused satisfies or serves in whole or in part the judgment, he shall be credited with the same in
the event of conviction for the graver offense. (7a)

Section 8. Provisional dismissal. A case shall not be provisionally dismissed except with the express consent of the accused and with
notice to the offended party.

The provisional dismissal of offenses punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years or a fine of any amount, or both, shall become
permanent one (1) year after issuance of the order without the case having been revived. With respect to offenses punishable by
imprisonment of more than six (6) years, their provisional dismissal shall become permanent two (2) years after issuance of the order without
the case having been revived. (n)

Section 9. Failure to move to quash or to allege any ground therefor. The failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to
quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said
motion, shall be deemed a waiver of any objections based on the grounds provided for in paragraphs (a), (b), (g), and (i) of section 3 of this
Rule. (8)

Extinction of Criminal Liability;


Pardon and Amnesty;

Prescription;

Double jeopardy;

Supervening event;

Provisional dismissal.

CASES:
1. ESMENA VS POGOY, 102 SCRA 862
FACTS: Petitioners Esmea and Alba were charged with grave coercion in the Court of Cebu City for allegedly forcing Fr. Thomas Tibudan to
withdraw a sum of money worth P5000 from the bank to be given to them because the priest lost in a game of chance.

During arraignment, petitioners pleaded Not Guilty.

No trial came in after the arraignment due to the priests request to move it on another date. Sometime later, Judge Pogoy issued an order
setting the trial Aug.16,1979, but the fiscal informed the court that it received a telegram stating that the complainant was sick. The accused
invoked their right to speedy trial.

Respondent judge dismissed the case because the trial was already dragging the accused and that the priests telegram did not have a
medical certificate attached to it in order for the court to recognize the complainants reason to be valid in order to reschedule again another
hearing. After 27 days the fiscal filed a motion to revive the case and attached the medical certificate of the priest proving the fact that the
priest was indeed sick of influenza. On Oct.24,1979, accused Esmea and Alba filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground of double
jeopardy.
ISSUE: W/N the revival of grave coercion case, which was dismissed earlier due to complainants failure to appear at the trial, would place
the accused in double jeopardy?

HELD:
Yes, revival of the case will put the accused in double jeopardy for the very reason that the case has been dismissed already without the
consent of the accused which would have an effect of an acquittal on the case filed. The dismissal was due to complainants incapability to
present its evidence due to non appearance of the witnesses and complainant himself which would bar further prosecution of the defendant
for the same offense.

For double jeopardy to exist these three requisites should be present;


(1) there is a valid complaint or information filed;
(2) that it is done before a court of competent jurisdiction;
(3) that the accused has been arraigned and has pleaded to the complaint or information.

In the case at bar, all three conditions were present, as the case filed was grave coercion, filed in a court of competent
jurisdiction as to where the coercion took place and last the accused were arraigned and has pleaded to the complaint or the
information. When these three conditions are present then the acquittal, conviction of the accused, and the dismissal or termination of the
case without his express consent constitutes res judicata and is a bar to another prosecution for the offense charged.

In the case, it was evidently shown that the accused invoked their right to a speedy trial and asked for the trial of the case and not its
termination which would mean that respondents had no expressed consent to the dismissal of the case which would make the case filed res
judicata and has been dismissed by the competent court in order to protect the respondents as well for their right to speedy trial which will be
equivalent to acquittal of the respondents which would be a bar to further prosecution.

2. QUINTOS VS DIVISION OF PRISONS, 55 PHIL 304


FACTS:
SYLLABUS
1. HABEAS CORPUS; PURPOSE OF WRIT The writ of habeas corpus secures to a prisoner the right to have the cause of his
detention examined and determined by a court of justice, and to have ascertained if he held under lawful authority. The function of
habeas corpus, where the party who has appealed to its aid is in custody under process, does not extend beyond an inquiry into the
jurisdiction of the court by which it was issued and the validity of the process upon its face. It is not a writ of error.
2. ID.; ID.; CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; RELEASE ON ACCOUNT OF FORMER JEOPARDY. The general rule, with certain exceptions, is that
the question of a second jeopardy is not reviewable upon a writ of habeas corpus. The reason is that such a defense does not go to the
jurisdiction of the trial court but involves simply the judgment of the court which, if wrongfully exercised, is but mere error not reviewable
upon habeas corpus.
3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. W was convicted in four cases. Having fled the jurisdiction of the court, the judgments against W
were declared final and his appeal was dismissed. W was eventually placed in prison to serve his sentences. Thereafter, a petition for habeas
corpus was filed, which alleged illegal confinement in prison for three cases arising from the same facts, in violation of the constitutional
guaranty that no person for the same offense shall be twice put in jeopardy. Held: That the trial court had jurisdiction of the offenses
described in the information and that it had jurisdiction to hear and decide upon the defenses by the accused, and that, therefore, the writ of
habeas corpus must be denied.
DECISION
MALCOLM, J p:
In the Court of First Instance of Manila, a petition for habeas corpus was filed by the mother of Joseph L. Wilson on behalf of her
son. The principal allegation of the petition was that Wilson was illegally confined in prison for three cases arising from the same
facts, in violation of the constitutional guaranty "That no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law;
and no person for the same offense shall be twice put in jeopardy; . . ."

The trial judge declined to grant the writ, and from that decision an appeal has been taken to this court.

Joseph L. Wilson was convicted in the Court of First Instance in four cases. He appealed from the judgments in all four cases to
the Supreme Court, and they were there submitted for consideration. The twenty-second assigned error for the appellant advanced the
proposition that the facts alleged in the three complaints in the three cases did not constitute more than one crime.

Before the decisions had been rendered, the appellant fled the jurisdiction of the court. Thereupon, on motion of the Attorney-
General, the judgments against Wilson were declared final and his appeal was dismissed. An attempt was made to take the
cases to the United States Supreme Court and to obtain a stay of execution of the judgments but the motion to this effect was
unsuccessful.

Subsequently, another motion which relied on the point of double jeopardy was denied. Wilson was eventually placed in Bilibid
Prison to serve his sentences.

The writ of habeas corpus secures to a prisoner the right to have the cause of his detention examined and determined by a court
of justice, if he is held under lawful authority. The function of habeas corpus, where the party who has appealed to its aid is in custody
under process, does not extend beyond an inquiry into the jurisdiction of the court by which it was issued and the validity of the
process upon its face. It is not a writ of error. This court has held that a commitment in due from, based on a final judgment,
convicting and sentencing the defendant in a criminal case, is conclusive evidence of the legality of his detention under such
commitment, unless it appears that the court which pronounced the judgment was without jurisdiction or exceeded its jurisdiction in
imposing the penalty (Trono Felipe vs. Director of Prisons [1913]; 24 Phil., 121).

Former jeopardy is a defense which must be pleaded at the time of the arraignment. The general rule, with certain exceptions, is
that the question of a second jeopardy is not reviewable upon a writ of habeas corpus. The reason is that such a defense does not
go to the jurisdiction of the trial court but involves simply the judgment of the court which if wrongfully exercised, is but mere
error not reviewable upon habeas corpus (Ex parte Bigelow [1885], 113 U.S., 328; In the Matter of Cardona [1917], 10 Porto Rico Fed.,
40; 1 Bailey on Habeas Corpus, sec. 40).

Applying the foregoing principles to the facts, the entire lack of merit in appellant's contention is plainly apparent. Judgments of conviction
were properly handed down after a trial in accordance with the law. That appeals from those judgments did not gain the attention of
the appellate court was the fault of the appellant and not of the court. The trial court had jurisdiction of the offenses described in the
informations and it had jurisdiction to hear and decide upon the defenses offered by the accused. The question now submitted is
one of those defenses. The petition savors of an attempt to secure in an indirect manner a ruling from the appellate court on
question which, on account of the dismissal of the appeal, was not passed upon. That cannot be permitted.
Resolving the various errors assigned against the appellant, the judgment of the trial court will be affirmed, with the costs of this
instance against the appellant.
3. LIZARRAGA VS TICO, 24 PHIL 504
SYLLABUS
1. PLEADING AND PRACTICE; SUFFICIENCY OF THE COMPLAINT. While a complaint may be awkwardly drafted, and for this reason be
subject to criticism with respect to incidental particulars, it will be held sufficient if it fairly apprises the defendant of the plaintiff's real claims
and contentions in such manner that the defendant is not misled to his surprise or injury.
2. ID.; ID.; THE DEMURRER, ITS PURPOSE AND SUFFICIENTLY. "The demurrer must distinctly specify the grounds upon which any of
the objection to the complaint, or to any of the causes of action therein stated, are taken." (Sec. 91, Code of Civil Procedure.) When a
demurrer is interposed to a complaint, whether upon one ground or upon another, it should set forth distinctly the ground upon which the
objection is based. It cannot be couched simply in the language of the Code; it must set out clearly the grounds upon which that language is
founded. It is not fair to the plaintiff to interpose simply an objection that the complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of
action, nor is it fair to the court. Neither the plaintiff nor the court should be left to make what may possible be a long and tiresome
examination of the complaint. The real reasons for the objection should be pointed out so that all may see. The demurrer was not invented to
make useless work for the court or to deceive or delude a plaintiff; its purpose is to clarify all ambiguities, to make certain all indefinite
assertions, to bring the plaintiff to a clear expression of his precise grievance, to aid in arriving at the real issue, to promote understanding,
and to prevent surprise.
3. ID.; ID.; A DEFECTIVE COMPLAINT MAY BE CURED BY SUITABLE EVIDENCE ADMITTED AT THE TRIAL WITHOUT OBJECTION. I a
complaint be defective, but the parties go to trial thereon, and the plaintiff, without objection, introduces sufficient evidence to constitute the
particular cause of action which it was intended to allege in the original complaint, and the defendant voluntarily produces witnesses to meet
the cause of action thus established an issue is joined as fully and as effectively as if it had been previously joined by the most perfect
pleadings.
PER TRENT, J., dissenting:
4. ID.; ID. The compliant in this case considered, and it should be held that it does not allege facts sufficient to constitute a cause of
action.
5. ID.; SUFFICIENCY OF A DEMURRER. A demurrer to a complaint, on the ground that it does not allege facts sufficient to constitute a
cause of action, is sufficient if stated in the language of the statute.
6. ID.; VARIANCE BETWEEN PLEADINGS AND PROOF. Where the pleadings are so defective as to wholly fail to show a cause of action,
so that the omitted allegations cannot properly be presumed to have been proved, the defect is not cured by evidence admitted at trial.
DECISION
MORELAND, J p:
The action is one to determine the ownership of certain real property and to secure a permanent injunction restraining the defendants from
levying upon and selling or otherwise invading the same.
There is only one appellant, F.M. Yap Tico. Three questions are raised: one, the sufficiency of the complaint on demurrer; another,
the sufficiency of the complaint to sustain the injunction; third, upon the merits.
The ownership and right to possession of the plaintiffs to the property in question is conceded.
We regard this case as turning upon the question whether the defendant sheriff had levied upon or announced for sale the corpus of the
property in litigation herein or whether he had seized upon and was selling merely the right to repurchase which at the time belonged to the
judgment debtor, Secundino Mendezona, one of the defendants herein. If he had levied upon and was selling the latter only, an injunction
would not lie. If the former, an injunction was proper.
The argument of counsel for the appellants is based upon the theory that the sheriff had levied upon and was about to sell only that interest
in the premises belonging to Mendezona known as the right of repurchase. In such case the action would not lie and injunction was, of
course, improper.
In resolving this question it must be borne in mind that, although there was a trial the introduction of evidence by both parties, such evidence
has not been brought to this court. In deciding this appeal upon the merits we look only to the pleadings and proceedings in the
action and to the facts stated in the opinion of the trial court.
It is true that the complaint seems to allege in a general way that the sheriff proposed selling the "right, interest, and share" which the
judgment debtors had in the premises in litigation; but it does not state that was all that the sheriff had actually seized and levied upon. On
the contrary, it affirmatively alleges that the defendants were actually invading the property, rights and interests of the
plaintiffs. Moreover, the prayer of the complaint indicates that the corpus of the property had actually been seized by the sheriff
under execution, and was being advertised for sale. The prayer is to the effect that the court "issue a preliminary injunction against all
of the defendants and each of them, their agents, servants, lawyers, and other persons, requiring them to abstain from selling, taking
possession of, or seizing any of the property described in the complaint until after final judgment in this case." While the prayer is not strictly
an allegation of the complaint, it may, nevertheless, be used to make clear an allegation which might, rigidly speaking, be susceptible of
different interpretations.
As we have said, the defendants failed to bring here the levy and return of the sheriff, which are primarily the best evidence of the nature and
extent of the levy, and failed also to present on appeal the notice of sale published by the sheriff. We have, however, in addition to the finding
of the court below, the answer of the sheriff in this case. In the absence of the evidence referred to, and, in fact, any other
evidence in the case, we must take this answer, together with the finding of the court on the subject, as conclusive of the
question as to what property was the subject of the levy and the proposed sale.

That answer, so far as material to this question, reads as follows:


"The undersigned appears and respectfully represents:
"1. That he is sheriff of the Province of Nueva Ecija and one of the defendants in the above-entitled action.
"2. That in attempting to sell, as sheriff, the property described in the second paragraph of the complaint, he was doing so by virtue of
the executions issued on the 24th of November, 1906, by the Honorable Court of First Instance of the city of Manila, or, in other words, he
was engaged in the performance of his duties as sheriff."
Paragraph 2 of the complaint describes the property as follows:

"A warehouse of strong materials located on land situated in the pueblo of Cabanatuan of the Province of Nueva Ecija an leased to
Doa Ruperta Garcia, which warehouse measures 126 feet in length and 65 feet in width, with a wing 52 feet in length and 39 feet in
width; a steam engine of 35; a steam engine of 35 nominal English horsepower; 6 mills; 4 sifters; 7 elevators; 3 ventilating cones and
complete accessories for threshing paddy and bleaching and polishing rice with a capacity of 1,500 sacks daily, installed in the said
warehouse, as well as a locomotive of 15 American horsepower; a threshing machine with a capacity of 1,000 cavanes of paddy daily; and 75
carts with iron axles and wheels."
This property, as is readily seen, is not the interest known as the right of repurchase, but is the property, and the whole
thereof, which was purchased by the plaintiffs in this action from Mendezona and his partners and as to which said Mendezona
reserved only the right of repurchase.

This admission of the sheriff that he had levied upon the corpus of the property and was attempting to sell it is of importance
in this action for the reason that he is the person who knew best the nature of the levy and the property that he had actually
seized. We regard this answer as substantially taking the place of the sheriff's levy and return and the published notice of sale, as it shows
the property levied upon and exposed for sale as fully as the levy and return would do.
It is conceded in this case that plaintiffs had a right to the possession and control of this property and that the sheriff had no right to interfere
therewith. It is also conceded that the sheriff had no right to levy upon anything concerning said property except Mendezona's
right to repurchase the same, leaving plaintiffs in the possession and control of the corpus and permitting them to continue the
business in which they were then engaged thereon.

Such being the case, a seizure of and levy upon said property itself was an unwarranted invasion of the rights and interests of
the plaintiffs; and an attempt to sell the property under said levy could be enjoined in the proper action.
It may be true that the terms of the injunction were somewhat broader than the prayer of the complaint. If so, a motion should
have been made to vacate the injunction, or such part of it as was in excess of the remedy demanded. In such case the execution
creditor would have been at liberty to levy upon the right of repurchase and proceed with its sale. The only objection made, however, was
directed against the sufficiency of the complaint as a basis for any injunction whatever. Such objection, in the form of a demurrer, was not
made, however, until the 29th of April, 1907, when the demurrer was filed; while the answer of the sheriff above referred to, showing the
nature of the levy, was filed on the 12th of March, 1907.
While the complaint, from the viewpoint of the draftsman is not well drawn, and while criticism of it in incidental particulars as easy, still the
broad question is, Does it fairly apprise the defendants of the plaintiff's real contentions and claims against them? Would they be misled to
their surprise and injury if they placed faith in its allegations? (Code of Civ. Proc., sec. 106.)
Paragraph 7 of the complaint, so much relied upon those attacking the validity of the judgment below, does not allege what property was
actually seized, or in what manner the execution had been levied, or what methods were being used to carry the levy and sale to completion.

It simply states that the sheriff was offering for sale certain interests defendants. This would, of course, indicate that those interests
were the only property levied upon. But it does not indicate what property had actually been seized, or taken possession of, or invaded, in
order to make such levy and sale. It may well be, and it seems to be, the intention and purpose of paragraph 8 of the complaint to allege
that, in order to sell the right to repurchase plaintiff's property, the sheriff had gone upon and taken possession of the property itself, or, at
least, was attempting to do so. It would not be at all surprising if the sheriff, attempting to levy upon such an indefinite thing as a right to
repurchase, should deem it necessary, for a valid levy, to take possession of or otherwise invade the property to which that right pertained.
Construing paragraphs 7 and 8 together, and considering them in conjunction with the prayer for relief, one is forced to the conclusion that
objection is made not only to the notice of sale, but also to what had been done to carry the proposed sale to completion. It is reasonably
clear that the plaintiffs were complaining to defendants that they were actually invading the plaintiff's property. It matters not whether
that invasion was for the purpose of selling the corpus of the property, or whether it had as its object merely the sale of the right to
repurchase. It was an invasion in either event. Seizing on man's property for the purpose of selling that of another is, in principle, as
illegal and indefensible as it is to seize and sell one man's property to pay the debt of another. Selling property is not the only way of
committing trespass upon it.
For these reasons we believe that the demurrer was properly overruled.
But, granting all that may be said about the deficiency of the complaint, still it is not more deficient than the demurrer urged against it.
Strictly speaking, the demurrer to the complaint in this case is valueless as a pleading, in that it fails in one of the essential
requirements of a demurrer. Section 91 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides:
"The demurrer must distinctly specify the ground upon which any of the objections to the complaint, or to any of the causes of
action therein stated, are taken."

When demurrer is made to a complaint, whether upon one ground or another, it should set out distinctly the grounds upon
which the objection is based. It cannot be couched simply in the language of the code. It must set forth distinctly the grounds upon
which that language is founded. The reason for this is plain. It is not fair to the plaintiff to interpose to a complaint the simple
objection that it does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. Neither is it fair to the court. Neither the plaintiff
nor the court should be left to make, possibly, a long and tiresome examination and investigation and then, perhaps, finally be compelled to
guess. The grounds of the objection should be pointed out so that all may see. A demurrer was not invented to make useless work for
a court, or to deceive or delude a plaintiff. Its purpose was to clarify all aviguties; to make certain all indefinite assertions; to
bring the plaintiff to a clear and clean expression of the precise grievance which he has against the defendant ; to aid in
arriving at a real issue between the parties; to promote understanding and prevent surprise.

To that end, a demurrer should specify, for the benefit of the plaintiff and the court as well, the very weakness which the demurrant believes
he sees in the complaint. It should be so presented and handled as to bring to a quick determination the question whether the plaintiff has, at
bottom, a legal claim against the defendant. To attain this object, the demurrer should be clear, specific, definite, and certain as to
the precise weakness of the complaint. Being an instrument to cure imperfections, it should not itself be imperfect.

To the complaint before us a demurrer was interposed, stating merely that the complaint did not allege facts sufficient to
constitute a cause of action. No particular ground was specified. No specific failure was asserted or named. No. precise
weakness was pointed out.

The order overruling the demurrer does not indicate that the court was informed as to the specific grounds upon which it was based.
Certainly, so far as the records goes, the plaintiffs never knew until after the demurrer was decided precisely what the defendant was driving
at when he presented it.
Under such conditions, we do not feel that we should use our discretion to indulge presumptions in favor of the demurrant in
determining whether or not the allegations of the complaint are sufficient. We do not feel like going out of the beaten path, even if
we could, to search for defects in the complaint when neither the plaintiff nor the court was precisely informed of the alleged defects until it
was too late to be use to either. We do not feel like favoring a demurrer which is as full of defects as the court overruling the
demurrer should be sustained if there is any legal ground upon which it can be, although such ground was not presented by the
court below as one of the reasons for its decision. The fact that the demurrer was worthless as a pleading is one of the strongest
reasons for overruling.

It has been urged that our decision requiring that in all demurrers the specific grounds of the particular objection should be set
out distinctly, is against the weight of authority. We do not think so. But if it were, we should still be forced, in conscience, to stand
upon the proposition as we have stated it, as it seems to us to be fundamentally right and to be fully supported by reason and logic.
In an examination of the authorities which have been urged against the proposition here taken, we have found only one State
which has been shown, to our satisfaction, to have taken a position opposed to ours.

The courts of the State of New York Code of Civil Procedure provides expressly that a demurrer, based upon the ground that the
complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action, may be presented in those words, which are the words of the
statute; and no specific grounds of such objection need be given. Instead, then of requiring the specific grounds upon which the
objection is based to be distinctly stated, as does our statute, the New York are opposed to our decision seems to be unfounded. As a
necessary result, the claim that New York is not in accord with this decision is also unfounded. Most of the decisions presented
from other States, such as those of Indiana, North Dakota, and Missouri, are based, so far as can be ascertained with the material at hand,
upon statutes materially different from our own, and for that reason are not in point.
As highly as we respect the learning the ability of the supreme courts of the States holding contrary views, if there is more than one, we
cannot accept their judgment as to the construction which should be given to section 91 of our Code of Civil Procedure. To our mind, that
section clearly requires two things to be done by the demurrant: (1) He shall make an objection, putting such objection in the
words of the statute, or substantially in t hose words; and (2) he shall specify the grounds of that objection. The construction
given by that section by those who oppose that here set forth requires only one of those things to be done, namely, the making of the
objection in the words of the statute. This construction leaves the other part of the statute, namely, that requiring that the grounds of the
objection shall also be specified, without force and effect. Thus, by what appears to be construction, a very important, in fact the most
important, part of the law has been abrogated. As for us, we do not construe or interpret this law. It does not need it. We apply it.
By applying the law, we conserve both provisions for the benefit of litigants. The first and fundamental duty of courts, in our
judgment, is to apply the law. Construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is
impossible or inadequate without them. They are the very last functions which a court should exercise. The majority of the laws need no
interpretation or construction. They require only application, and if there were more application and less construction, there would be more
stability in the law, and more people would know what the law is.
Some authorities still adhere to the technicalities of the old pleading and procedure in spite of the liberal tendency of procedural laws. They
still cling to the old difference between general and special demurrers, holding with the old authorities that in special demurrers, the precise
defect must be pointed out, while in a general demurrer no defect whatever need be specified. This is distinctly against the tendency of
modern thought and modern legislation. The more general a demurrer is, the worse it is. The assertion that a special demurrer, which
under the old practice was used only as to substance, he may aim at the sky, is not convincing. As we view it, it is not logical to maintain
that, as to form, which, as a rule, is of slight importance, the party must be fully advised and informed of the alleged defect, and to that end
the demurrant must point it out specially; while as to the substance, which, at all times, is the important thing of all, the party need not be
advised or informed as to the precise defect alleged, and that, therefore, the demurrant need not point it out but is fully justified in keeping,
so far as he can, both the court and the party in complete ignorance thereof.
It is claimed, following the old theory, that the general demurrer searches the whole record; but if it searches, it does not discover or
disclose. It may search, but if it finds anything, it puts it carefully away in a dark place, cautiously concealing it from the eyes of the court and
the knowledge of the adversary. The reason for this is that, if the court or the party knew the precise defect that had been "searched," there
would be an immediate amendment. If the party against whom a demurrer is interposed can be kept from discovering the real defect in his
pleading until he is deeply in the meshes of demurrant's net, then the case many times is substantially won. He cannot escape except by loss
of so much time and at so great expense that, many times, it is not worth while to recommence or continue his action.
It has been the policy of modern legislation to do away with these objectionable features, as well as others, and to that end the general
demurrer has been, effect, abolished in a number of States. Our own statute requires that "the demurrer must distinctly specify the grounds
upon which any of the objections to the complaint, or to any of the causes of action therein stated, are taken."
A pleading is not an instrument of deception. It is not something to get parties into trouble. It is not to be used to dig pitfalls or to
lay traps or snares. It is not to be used to deceive but to inform; not to befog but to clarify; not to cause trouble but to obviate it;
not to make expense but to same it. A demurrer, for example, should not leave the court and the party against whose pleading it is aimed
as ignorant of the defect in the offending pleading as before the demurrer is filed. Many times the objection that the complaint does not state
facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action means very little. There are occasions, of course, when it is sufficient. But is certain that no
injury can ever result from naming the precise reason why the complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action; and ,
in the great majority of cases, great good will come of it. Take this very case. Much of the real difficulty and uncertainty would have been
avoided if the demurrer had pointed out the precise defect which it was claimed was found in the complaint. If the demurrer had specified
and stated that the complaint was defective, if it were really so defective, in that it alleged that the defendant had levied
simply upon the interest of Mendezona in the premises known as the right to repurchase, something which he had a right to do
and upon which no cause of action could be predicated, then the plaintiff would have been given a fair opportunity to meet the
objection, either by amending his complaint and alleging a levy by the defendant upon the corpus of the property, or by
standing upon the complaint and submitting to the court the question of law whether the defendant had a right to levy upon
the right of repurchase. If the plaintiff had amended by alleging a levy upon the corpus, then the demurrer and all the questions relating
thereto, now vexing the parties, would have been out of the case. If the plaintiff really intended to allege just what the demurrant
now claims that he did allege, then the question of law above referred to would have been clearly presented and the case
entirely resolved by the decision of that question. Indeed, it is more than probable that the plaintiff, if his complaint was really
defective, would have withdrawn it after full consideration of the objection urged against it.

It is not to be taken, from what we have said, that we will, of our own motion, raise the question of the sufficiency of a demurrer. We treat it
as we do every other pleading. if the parties do not make timely objection to the defect, it will be deemed to have been waived. We take
cognizance of the defect only when it has been duly and properly raised below or when, as in this case, it is necessary to sustain a judgment
of the inferior court.
It must be remembered that, although, according to the record, there was a formal trial, with the introduction of testimony by both parties,
the evidence has not been brought up on this appeal and we are, therefor, limited to the facts stated in the opinion of the trial court, together
with the pleadings and proceedings in the action, in determining whether the judgment should be affirmed or reserved. The trial court, in
its decision, finds as a fact that, "by virtue of two executions issued our to the Court of First Instance of Manila against the
property of Secundino Mendezona, the sheriff of Nueva Ecija announced for public sale the property described in paragraph 2
of complaint." The property there described is concededly the property of the plaintiff. This finding is, of course, fatal to appellant's
contention that only the right to repurchase was levied upon. We must assume this finding to be based upon evidence, as none of it is here
from which we may determine otherwise.

Having these things in mind, we consider the place which a demurrer, as a pleading, occupies in our practice.
In this jurisdiction, the results flowing from the interposition of a demurrer, as a pleading, lack some of the features which pertain to such
interposition in other jurisdictions. It has been uniformly held by this court that an order overruling a demurrer is not separately
appealable, for the reason that is interlocutory in its nature and falls within the prohibition of section 123 of the Code of Civil
Procedure. (Segovia vs. Prov. Board of Albay, 13 Phil. Rep., 331; Averia vs. Reboldera, 10 Phil. Rep., 316; Serrano vs. Serrano, 9 Phil. Rep.,
142.) There are two cases only in which proceedings based upon demurrers are appealable, and then only after final judgment
have been entered, terminating definitely the action in that court.

One case is where a demurrer to a complaint is sustained, the plaintiff refuses to amend and final judgment dismissing the complaint is
entered. This is, however, in one sense, an appeal from a final judgment and not from an order. The other is where a demurrer is
overruled, the defendant declines to answer and a judgment in favor of the plaintiff is entered upon the evidence thereupon offered to
establish the allegations of the complaint. Even this case may partake much of the nature of an appeal from a judgment on the merits. In
every other case, except, of course, where a demurrer is made to an answer, to a cross complaint, or to a counter claim, in which
substantially the same proceedings are had as are described above relative to a demurrer to the original complaint, the order overruling the
demurrer and the exception taken thereto are brought to this court, not separately, but along with and as a part of the appeal from the final
judgment after trial. In such appeal, if no objection has been made to the introduction of plaintiff's evidence, the case is here
considered upon the merits, and, even though it clearly appears that the complaint was and is still fatally defective, the
demurrer thereto is of no consequence in the decision of the appeal, provided the evidence presented by the plaintiff, received
without objection, has cured the defect and established a cause of action.

This court, under such circumstances, has never reversed a case based upon the fact that the demurrer was, in the first instance, well
founded. On the contrary, the appeal has always been, and is now, decided upon the merits as presented by the evidence, and, if the
evidence establishes a cause of action, the judgment is affirmed, no matter how defective the complaint may have been.
The reason for this practice is not far away: To prevent the multiplication of appeals, to secure the speedy termination of litigation, and to
save expense to litigants.
It may be urged that, where the complaint fails to state a cause of action against a defendant, an appeal from an order
overruling the demurrer should be permitted in order that he may not be forced to undergo the expense, trouble, and worry of
a trial when nothing has been alleged against him. This contention, however, overlooks two very important considerations, aside from
the insurmountable one that the Code of Civil Procedure prohibits it. One of them is, "Who is to determine whether or not the
complaint does state a cause of action?" The answer to that question presents the other consideration, namely, that the
decision of the court upon the demurrer holds that the complaint does state a cause of action. Now, the strong probabilities are
that the decision is right. The chances are strongly against the defendant in his appeal from that decision. Why, then, should the plaintiff be
put to the expense of an extra appeal when he has the judgment of a court in his favor, and when, for that reason, the probabilities are in
favor of the proposition that the defendant is wrong in his pleading? To the contention that the defendant ought not to be pressed to
trial if he is right is interposed the reply that the plaintiff ought not to be pressed to an appeal if he is right. The question is,
"Who is right?" The only answer to that question is, "The plaintiff." It is always the one against whom the judgment of the
court runs who is the appellant, and it is always he against whom all the presumptions are indulged.

He cannot be permitted, therefore, to play his one chance of reversal against plaintiff's nine chances of affirmance, and thereby cause the
plaintiff the expense, trouble, and worry of an appeal. It proves nothing to say that the defendant may be right in interposing his demurrer.
The plaintiff may be right also. Having already a judgment in his favor, he has more chances of being right than the defendant.
Moreover, if the demurrer alone cannot be made the basis of an appeal, why should it be made the sole reason for a reversal in an appeal
taken from a judgment on the merits?
It may be asked what, then, is the protection which a demurrer affords a pleader? There are several. In the first place, if a demurrer is well
found, an amendment, generally speaking, immediately results or the action is withdrawn or is dismissed, and the demurrer has
accomplished a real purpose. In the second place, if the demurrer is overruled, the pleader, if the has sufficient faith, may still stand upon it,
with or without answering, and, upon the proof of plaintiff's cause of action if there is no answer, or upon the trial if there is an answer, object
to the introduction of any testimony which tends to surprise him in that it is not within the scope of the allegations of the complaint. Whatever
testimony offered is, in reality, subject to objection must be rejected. This will prevent surprise and protect the demurrant from the
establishment of a cause of action of which he was not appraised by the allegations of the complaint. Moreover, when the case
has reached this point the trial court is given an opportunity to use its sound discretion relative to the allowance of
amendments of the defective pleading, of giving time to other party to procure witnesses to meet the purpose of the
amendments, and of doing all those things necessary to dispose of the case according to the right and prevent an error or
mistake from causing a miscarriage of justice.

It is apparent in this case that the complaint, if defective, was cured by the evidence introduced on the trial, as shown by the
finding of the court, presumably based on the evidence, that the sheriff had levied upon the corpus of the property which
concededly belonged to the plaintiff.

The appeal must, therefore, be decided upon the merits. We are of the opinion that a sufficient case has not been made for reversal.
Much objection has been made to that branch of our decision which provides that, under the Code of Civil Procedure, the introduction of
evidence upon the trial, without objection on the part of the defendant, which establishes a cause of action against the
defendant, will prevent him from thereafter raising the question that the complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute
a cause of action, as well as from taking advantage of an equivalent objection made before the trial. Cases are cited to the effect
that "such a defect is not cured by verdict and judgment, even in the absence of any objection by demurrer or answer in the
lower court, and objection made on account thereof may be made at any time;" and that "pleadings which wholly and
completely fail to state any cause of action or defense, so that the admitted allegations cannot be assumed to have been
proved, is not cured by verdict." (148 Cal., 660; 222 Ill., 232; 149 Ind., 413.)
It must be observed, however, that we are not asserting that a cure of the complaint is brought about by verdict or a judgment. Our
contention is that the cure is brought about by defendant's own act. An issue may be joined as well at the trial as before. The reason
why issues are required by law to be joined before trial is to give all the parties due notice of the claims made against them, thereby offering
full and fair opportunity to produce their witnesses and meet the charges against them. But, where the issue, by some defect in the
complaint or answer, has not really been joined before the trial, the parties may, by mutual consent, join issue at the trial.
Issues may be raised between the parties in other ways than by pleadings. They may be raised on the trial by the evidence of
the parties.

However defective the complaint may be, if the parties go to trial, and, without objection from the defendant, the plaintiff proves facts
sufficient to constitute the particular cause of action which it was intended his complaint should allege and the defendant voluntarily produces
his witnesses to meet the cause of action thus proved, there is then and there joined an issue as fully and effectively as if it had been joined
long before by the most perfect pleadings. As we have already said, the purpose of pleadings is to notify the parties of the claims
which each has against the other and what each expects to prove. This is in order that each may have a fair opportunity to
rebut the evidence of the other by the production of witnesses of his own. If each can be informed of the claims and demands of the
other and can have a fair opportunity to produce his evidence in relation thereto, then the object of pleadings has been subserved. When,
therefore, upon the trial the plaintiff, by his own proof, tenders the issue which the complaint was intended to tender, and the defendant
accepts it and presents his evidence in relation thereto, is it not unreasonable, successfully move to dismiss the whole matter for the reason
that the complaint did not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action? If necessary, may not the complaint be amended to meet the
situation? (Code Civ. Proc., 107, 109, 110.)
It has also been urged that sufficiency of the demurrer under the law was not raised at any time by anyone. It is asserted that
the plaintiffs always accepted the demurrer as sufficient, and that this court, upon its own motion, has taken up the question of its
sufficiency without either of the parties having been heard upon it.

While this objection has been fully answered before, we may here add that we do not regard this objection as sound either in fact or in law.
The judgment of the court below is entitled to be upheld upon any legal ground, and it is of no consequence whether the court
assigned that ground as a basis for its judgment or not. It could very well have dismissed the demurrer upon the sole ground
that it was insufficient in law and that the court would not be moved to exercise its power by a pleading which itself did not
comply with the law. All this court has done in this connection, therefore, if anything, is to add one more ground to the support of the
decision of the lower court.
We are of the opinion that the judgment of the court below overruling the demurrer was, under all the conditions, proper, even
though the complaint were as defective as is now contended. (See 31 Cyc., pp. 317, 318, and cases cited.)
The judgment is accordingly affirmed, without special finding as to costs.

4. SORIANO VS CASANOVA, 486 SCRA 431


FACTS: SYLLABUS
1. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION; LETTERS TRANSMITTED BY THE BANGKO SENTRAL NG
PILIPINAS AND PHILIPPINE DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WERE NOT INTENDED TO BE THE
COMPLAINT ENVISIONED UNDER THE RULES; THE TRANSMITTED AFFIDAVITS SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLIED WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF
SECTION 3 (A), RULE 112 OF THE RULES OF COURT. A close scrutiny of the letters transmitted by the BSP and PDIC to the DOJ shows that
these were not intended to be the complaint envisioned under the Rules. It may be clearly inferred from the tenor of the letters that the
officers merely intended to transmit the affidavits of the bank employees to the DOJ. Nowhere in the transmittal letters is there any averment
on the part of the BSP and PDIC officers of personal knowledge of the events and transactions constitutive of the criminal violations alleged to
have been made by the accused. In fact, the letters clearly stated that what the OSI of the BSP and the LIS of the PDIC did was to
respectfully transmit to the DOJ for preliminary investigation the affidavits and supplemental affidavits of the employees who had personal
knowledge of the acts of the petitioner. These affidavits were subscribed under oath by the witnesses who executed them before a notary
public. Since the affidavits, not the letters transmitting them, were intended to initiate the preliminary investigation, we hold that Section 3
(a), Rule 112 of the Rules of Court was substantially complied with.
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; UNLESS THE OFFENSE SUBJECT THEREOF IS ONE THAT CANNOT BE PROSECUTED DE OFICIO, THE SAME MAY BE
FILED, FOR PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION PURPOSES, BY ANY COMPETENT PERSON; ESTAFA IS A PUBLIC CRIME WHICH CAN BE INITIATED
BY ANY COMPETENT PERSON. Citing the ruling of this Court in Ebarle v. Sucaldito, the Court of Appeals correctly held that a complaint for
purposes of preliminary investigation by the fiscal need not be filed by the offended party. The rule has been that, unless the offense subject
thereof is one that cannot be prosecuted de oficio, the same may be filed, for preliminary investigation purposes, by any competent person.
The crime of estafa is a public crime which can be initiated by "any competent person." The witnesses who executed the affidavits based on
their personal knowledge of the acts committed by the petitioner fall within the purview of "any competent person" who may institute the
complaint for a public crime. Section 18, paragraphs (c) and (d), of R.A. No. 7653 does not apply in this case because the BSP did not
institute the complaint but merely transmitted the affidavits of the complainants to the DOJ.
3. ID.; ID.; ID.; SINCE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE RULES OF COURT WERE SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLIED WITH, THE TRIAL COURT
VALIDLY ACQUIRED JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENSE AND IT DID NOT COMMIT GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT DENIED
PETITIONER'S MOTION TO QUASH. There is no dispute that as a general rule, the remedy of an accused from the denial of his motion to
quash is for him to go to trial on the merits, and if an adverse decision is rendered, to appeal therefrom in the manner authorized by law.
Indeed, basic is the doctrine that "the denial of a motion to dismiss or to quash, being interlocutory, cannot be questioned by certiorari; it
cannot be [the] subject of appeal, until final judgment or order is rendered." Petitioner cites the case of Morales v. Court of Appeals as an
exception to this rule, claiming that certiorari under Rule 65 may be availed of when the lower court has acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in denying a motion to quash. The Morales ruling does not apply. Since the requirements of the
Rules of Court were substantially complied with, the trial court validly acquired jurisdiction over the offense and it did not commit grave abuse
of discretion when it denied petitioner's motion to quash. ACDTcE
DECISION
PUNO, J p:
Before the Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking the reversal of the Decision 1 of the
Honorable Court of Appeals (Fifteenth Division) in CA-G.R. SP No. 70519 dated August 15, 2003, which affirmed the trial court's Order 2
denying the quashal of the four (4) separate informations filed against petitioner for estafa in Criminal Case Nos. 1178-M-2001, 1179-M-
2001, 1180-M-2001 and 1181-M-2001 before Branch 80, Regional Trial Court, Malolos, Bulacan, as well as its Resolution 3 dated April 28,
2004, denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration. The dispositive portion of said decision provides:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, and finding that no grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction was committed
by Branch 80, Regional Trial Court, Malolos, Bulacan, in the issuance of its assailed December 4, 2001 and April 19, 2002 Orders in Criminal
Cases Nos. 1178 to 1181-M-2001, the said Orders are AFFIRMED and UPHELD. Accordingly, the instant petition is DISMISSED for lack of
merit. SEHACI
SO ORDERED.
The factual background of the case is as follows:
Petitioner Hilario P. Soriano was the president of the Rural Bank of San Miguel (Bulacan), Inc. (RBSM), a domestic banking
institution organized under Philippine laws. On May 31, 2000 and June 2, 2000, the Office of Special Investigation (OSI) of the
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Litigation and Investigation Services (LIS) of the Philippine Deposit Insurance
Corporation (PDIC), through their respective officers, transmitted two (2) letters 4 to Hon. Jovencito Zuo, Chief State
Prosecutor of the Department of Justice (DOJ), containing as annexes the sworn affidavits of the following persons: (1) Joan M. Cortez,
Director, Department of Loans and Credit, BSP; (2) Marcos Perez, Jr.; (3) Rosalinda E. Ilagan; (4) Joseph P. Lara; (5) Noli B. Santos; (6)
Lourdes J. Reynaldo; and (7) Belinda C. Benito and Ma. Socorro N. Bartolome (joint affidavit). These affidavits, along with other
documents, contained narrations of how the criminal offense of estafa was committed on various occasions by the petitioner.

The first transmittal letter elaborated upon details concerning petitioner's failure to account for the aggregate amount of P21.0
million RBSM funds, of which P10.0 million was used to purchase five (5) Manager's Checks payable to Soriano Holdings
Corporation (SHC) of which petitioner was Chief Executive Officer and Treasurer-in-Trust and P11.0 million was deposited on various
occasions to the PCI Bank Account of SHC. cEaCTS
The second letter described how petitioner failed to account for the amount of P12.6 million, which was part of the approved
emergency loan granted to RBSM by the BSP, which, upon his instructions, was delivered to him and was never placed under the
custody of RBSM nor reflected on its books.

The letters of transmittal, which were not filed under oath, requested that a preliminary investigation be conducted and the
corresponding criminal charges be filed against petitioner.

Acting on these letters and their annexes, State Prosecutor Josefino A. Subia filed, on May 2, 2001, four (4) separate
informations for estafa as penalized under Article 315, paragraph 2 (a), of the Revised Penal Code against petitioner for allegedly
defrauding RBSM of various amounts through false pretenses and misrepresentations committed on different occasions during the year 1999.

The same were docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 1178 to 1181-M-2001 and raffled off to the Regional Trial Court, Branch 80,
Malolos, Bulacan, presided by respondent Hon. Caesar A. Casanova. TSIEAD

In Criminal Case No. 1178-M-2001, the information alleged that petitioner converted the P12.6 million emergency loan approved by the BSP
to RBSM to his own personal use and which amount was never recorded in the books of RBSM.

In Criminal Case No. 1179-M-2001 and Criminal Case No. 1181-M-2001, petitioner was alleged to have caused the withdrawal of P7.0 million
and P4.0 million, respectively, from the RBSM account on the strength of his representation that said amounts would be invested. Instead of
being invested, these amounts were deposited to SHC, where petitioner was the Treasurer-in-Trust and Chief Executive Officer, and was
purportedly converted by the latter to his own personal use.

In Criminal Case No. 1180-M-2001, petitioner allegedly caused the purchase of P10.0 million worth of manager's checks payable to SHC from
RBSM's account and, instead of using the same for investment purposes, converted the same to his own personal use. DSATCI

On August 27, 2001, petitioner moved to quash these informations on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction over the
offense charged. 5 It was petitioner's contention that the letters sent to the DOJ by the BSP and PDIC constituted the complaint
and hence were fatally defective for not being filed under oath or sworn to before the investigating prosecutor as required
under Section 3(a) of Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. Moreover, he argued that said letters contravened Section 18, paragraphs
(c) and (d) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7653, otherwise known as the New Central Bank Act, which requires that the complaint must be
filed under the delegated authority of the Governor of the BSP or pursuant to a Monetary Board Resolution.
Respondents filed an opposition 6 contending that the letters of transmittal did not constitute the complaint and were merely
transmittal or covering letters. They argued that what comprised the criminal complaints were the affidavits and since these
were made under oath and supported by evidence, there was substantial compliance with the Rules. Moreover, it was their
contention that since estafa is a public crime, any person may institute the complaint and that the letters were mere
indorsements routinely done by one government office to another and need not bear the written authorization of the head of
office. AaSHED

In an order dated December 4, 2001, the trial court denied the motion to quash filed by the petitioner for lack of merit ruling
that it had jurisdiction over the case since from the record there are affidavits and supplemental affidavits executed and sworn
to by complaining witnesses. Thereafter, petitioner's motion for reconsideration was likewise denied on April 19, 2002. 7
Aggrieved, petitioner elevated the matter via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 to the Court of Appeals claiming that the trial court
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the case. 8 On August 15, 2003, the
Court of Appeals dismissed petitioner's petition finding that there was no grave abuse of discretion committed by the trial court and ruled that
the order denying petitioner's motion to quash is an interlocutory order and that the proper remedy in such a case is to appeal after an
adverse decision has been rendered on the merits.
Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied, hence, the present petition. Petitioner contends that the two letters transmitted by
the legal departments of the BSP and PDIC to the DOJ constituted the complaints. The letters were not subscribed under oath and
were signed by BSP and PDIC officers without authorization from the BSP governor. These letter-complaints, petitioner argues, do not comply
with the mandatory requirements of Rule 112, Section 3(a), of the Rules of Court, thus the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the
offense. CHaDIT
Petitioner's contention is not well-taken.
Section 3(a), Rule 112, of the Rules of Court provides:
SEC. 3. Procedure The preliminary investigation shall be conducted in the following manner:
(a) The complaint shall state the address of the respondent and shall be accompanied by the affidavits of the complainant and his
witnesses, as well as other supporting documents to establish probable cause. They shall be in such number of copies as there are
respondents, plus two (2) copies for official file. The affidavit shall be subscribed and sworn to before any prosecutor or government official
authorized to administer oath, or, in their absence or unavailability, before a notary public, each of whom must certify that he personally
examined the affiants and that he is satisfied that they voluntarily executed and understood their affidavits. IEHSDA
While Section 18(c) and (d) of R.A. No. 7653 read:
Section 18 Representation of the Monetary Board and the Bangko Sentral. The Governor of the Bangko Sentral shall be the principal
representative of the Monetary Board and of the Bangko Sentral and, in such capacity and in accordance with the instruction of the Monetary
Board, shall be empowered to:
xxx xxx xxx
(c) represent the Bangko Sentral, either personally or through counsel, including private counsel, as may be authorized by the Monetary
Board, in any legal proceedings, action or specialized legal studies; and
(d) delegate his power to represent the Bangko Sentral, as provided in subsections (a), (b) and (c) of this section, to other officers upon
his own responsibility: Provided, however, that in order to preserve the integrity and the prestige of his office, the Governor of the Bangko
Sentral may choose not to participate in preliminary discussions with any multilateral banking or financial institution on any negotiations for
the Government within or outside the Philippines. During the negotiations, he may instead be represented by a permanent negotiator.
CSIHDA
A close scrutiny of the letters transmitted by the BSP and PDIC to the DOJ shows that these were not intended to be the complaint envisioned
under the Rules. It may be clearly inferred from the tenor of the letters that the officers merely intended to transmit the affidavits of the bank
employees to the DOJ. Nowhere in the transmittal letters is there any averment on the part of the BSP and PDIC officers of
personal knowledge of the events and transactions constitutive of the criminal violations alleged to have been made by the
accused.

In fact, the letters clearly stated that what the OSI of the BSP and the LIS of the PDIC did was to respectfully transmit to the
DOJ for preliminary investigation the affidavits and supplemental affidavits of the employees who had personal knowledge of
the acts of the petitioner. 9 These affidavits were subscribed under oath by the witnesses who executed them before a notary
public. Since the affidavits, not the letters transmitting them, were intended to initiate the preliminary investigation,

SC hold that Section 3(a), Rule 112 of the Rules of Court was substantially complied with.

Citing the ruling of this Court in Ebarle v. Sucaldito, 10 the Court of Appeals correctly held that a complaint for purposes of preliminary
investigation by the fiscal need not be filed by the offended party. The rule has been that, unless the offense subject thereof is one that
cannot be prosecuted de oficio, the same may be filed, for preliminary investigation purposes, by any competent person.

The crime of estafa is a public crime which can be initiated by "any competent person." The witnesses who executed the
affidavits based on their personal knowledge of the acts committed by the petitioner fall within the purview of "any competent
person" who may institute the complaint for a public crime.

Section 18, paragraphs (c) and (d), of R.A. No. 7653 does not apply in this case because the BSP did not institute the complaint
but merely transmitted the affidavits of the complainants to the DOJ. EcATDH

Finally, there is no dispute that as a general rule, the remedy of an accused from the denial of his motion to quash is for him to
go to trial on the merits, and if an adverse decision is rendered, to appeal therefrom in the manner authorized by law. 11
Indeed, basic is the doctrine that "the denial of a motion to dismiss or to quash, being interlocutory, cannot be questioned by
certiorari; it cannot be [the] subject of appeal, until final judgment or order is rendered." 12

Petitioner cites the case of Morales v. Court of Appeals 13 as an exception to this rule, claiming that certiorari under Rule 65 may be
availed of when the lower court has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in denying a motion to quash.
The Morales ruling does not apply. Since the requirements of the Rules of Court were substantially complied with, the trial court
validly acquired jurisdiction over the offense and it did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it denied petitioner's motion
to quash.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed August 15, 2003 Decision and the April 28, 2004 Resolution of the Court
of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP NO. 70519 are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. DAHaTc
SO ORDERED.

5. PEOPLE VS PURISIMA, 86 SCRA 542


FACTS: These twenty-six (26) Petitions for Review filed by the People of the Philippines represented, respectively, by the Office of the City
Fiscal of Manila, the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Samar, and joined by the Solicitor General, are consolidated in this one Decision as they
involve one basic question of law.

The respondent-courts are: CFI of Manila Branches VII and XVIII and CFI of Samar
Several informations were filed before the abovementioned courts charging the accused of Illegal Possession of Deadly
Weapon in violation of Presidential Decree #9. The counsel of the defense filed motions to quash the said informations after
which the respondent-courts passed their own orders quashing the said informations on common ground that the informations
did not allege facts constituting ang offense penalized until PD#9 for failure to state an essential element of the crime, which is,
that the carrying outside of the accuseds residence of a bladed, pointed, or blunt weapon is in furtherance or on the occasion of, connected
with, or related to to subversion, insurrection, or rebellion, organized lawlessness or public disorder.

The respondent courts stand that PD#9 should be read in the context of Proc.1081 which seeks to maintain law and order in the
country as well as the prevention and suppression of all forms of lawless violence. The non-inclusion of the aforementioned
element may not be distinguished from other legislation related to the illegal possession of deadly weapons.

Judge Purisima, in particular, reasoned that the information must allege that the purpose of possession of the weapon was
intended for the purposes of abetting the conditions of criminality, organized lawlessness, public disorder. The petitioners said that
the purpose of subversion is not necessary in this regard because the prohibited act is basically a malum prohibitum or is an
action or conduct that is prohibited by virtue of a statute.

The City Fiscal also added in cases of statutory offenses, the intent is immaterial and that the commission of the act is voluntary is
enough.

ISSUE: W/N the informations filed by the people sufficient in form and substance to constitute the offense of Illegal possession of deadly
weapon penalized under Presidential Decree No. 9?

HELD: DISMISSED
1. It is the constitutional right of any person who stands charged in a criminal prosecution to be informed of the nature and cause
of the accusation against him.

2. Under Sec. 5 Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, for a complaint or information to be sufficient, it must state the designation of
the offense by the statute and the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense. This is essential to avoid surprise on
the accused and to afford him the opportunity to prepare his defense accordingly.

3. The supreme court says that the preamble of PD#9 states that the intention of such decree is to penalize the acts which are related to
Proc.1081 which aim to suppress lawlessness, rebellion, subversive acts, and the like. While the preamble is not a part of the statute, it
implies the intent and spirit of the decree. The preamble and whereas clauses also enumerate the facts or events which justify the
promulgation of the decree and the stiff sanctions provided.

The petition is DISMISSED.

6. PEOPLE VS MERIS, 329 SCRA 33


Labor And Social Legislation; Labor Code; Illegal Recruitment; Recruitment and Placement; Defined. Art. 13, par. (b) of the Labor Code
defines recruitment and placement as "any act of canvassing enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers, and
includes referrals, contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not; Provided that any
person or entity which, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in
recruitment and placement."

Labor And Social Legislation; Labor Code; Illegal Recruitment; Making Referrals to Agency Constitutes Recruitment. In People v. Agustin,
therein appellant argued that she could not be convicted of illegal recruitment because in introducing the complainants to the alleged
recruiters, she merely acted "out of the goodness of her heart." In resolving said case, the Court ruled: The testimonial evidence hereon show
that she indeed further committed acts constitutive of illegal recruitment. All four prosecution witnesses testified that it was Agustin whom
they initially approached regarding their plans of working overseas. It was from her that they learned about the fees they had to pay, as well
as the papers that they had to submit. It was after they had talked to her that they met the accused spouses who owned the placement
agency. As such, the Court concluded that appellant was an employee of the Goce spouses, as she was actually making referrals to the
agency. She was, therefore, engaged in recruitment activities.

Labor And Social Legislation; Labor Code; Illegal Recruitment; Case at Bar. Although accused-appellant was not an employee of the alleged
illegal recruiter Julie Micua, the evidence show that she was the one who approached complainants and prodded them to seek employment
abroad. It was through her that they met Julia Micua. This is clearly an act of referral. Worse, accused-appellant declared that she was
capable of placing them in jobs overseas. Suffice it to say that complainants' recruitment would not have been consummated were it not for
the direct participation of accused-appellant in the recruitment process.

Labor And Social Legislation; Labor Code; Illegal Recruitment In Large Scale; Elements. Illegal recruitment is conducted in a large scale if
perpetrated against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. This crime requires proof that the accused: (1) engaged in the
recruitment and placement of workers defined under Article 13 or in any of the prohibited activities under Article 34 of the Labor Code; (2)
does not have a license or authority to lawfully engage in the recruitment and placement of workers; and (3) committed the infraction against
three or more persons, individually or as a group.

Labor And Social Legislation; Labor Code; Illegal Recruitment In Large Scale; Case at Bar. All these three essential elements are present in
the case at bar. As earlier discussed, accused-appellant recruited the six complainants. Further, the Philippine Overseas Employment
Administration certified that neither accused-appellant nor Julie Micua is licensed to recruit workers for overseas employment. Moreover,
accused-appellant and her husband's acts of receiving almost all the payments of the complainants and issuing receipts signed by Julie Micua
contradict her claim of being a mere applicant. There were even times that accused-appellant herself signed the receipts for the placement
fees. Taken as a whole, the evidence shows that accused-appellant conspired and actively participated in the deceitful plan adopted by her
co-accused Julie Micua, Rico Cordova and her own husband, Renato Meris, to hire without license or authority, gullible and naive applicants
for non-existent overseas jobs.

FACTS: Leonida Meris was convicted of six (6) counts of estafa and one count of illegal recruitment for defrauding the six (6)
complainants, Meris townmates in Pampanga and relatives in large scale in the amount of P30,000.00 each for five complainants and one
complainant for P20,000.00 for alleged overseas employment which did not materialize.

Meris, who voluntarily appeared in court, pleaded not guilty to the charges and actively participated in her defense. She
interposed the defense of denial claiming that she merely introduced complainants to Julie Micua, her recruiter in Manila, with
whom complainants transacted with for their employment abroad upon payment of placement fees denied having represented herself
as having the capacity to deploy workers abroad.
Evidence for the prosecution, however, disclosed, that complainants would not have known Julie Micua were if not for appellant
who even accompanied them to Manila to see Julie Micua. It was appellant and her husband who received almost all the
payments of complainants and who issued receipts signed by Julie Micua. Certification from the POEA showed that Meris and Julie
Micua were not licensed to recruit workers for overseas employment.

In this appeal, appellant assailed the lack of jurisdiction of the trial court over his person because of the warrantless arrest and its findings of
fact.

ISSUE: W/N Meris committed the crimes large-scale illegal recruitment and estafa?

HELD:
Yes, The prosecution undoubtedly proved that Meris, without license or authority, engaged in recruitment and placement
activities. This was done in collaboration with Julie Micua, when they promised complainants employment in Hong Kong. Art. 13,
par. (b) of the Labor Code defines recruitment and placement as any act of canvassing enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or
procuring workers, and includes referrals, contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or
not; Provided that any person or entity which, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment to two or more persons shall be
deemed engaged in recruitment and placement.

Although Meris was not an employee of the alleged illegal recruiter Julie Micua, the evidence show that she was the one who
approached complainants and prodded them to seek employment abroad. It was through her that they met Julia Micua. This is clearly
an act of referral. Worse, accused-appellant declared that she was capable of placing them in jobs overseas. Suffice it to say that
complainants recruitment would not have been consummated were it not for the direct participation of accused-appellant in the recruitment
process.

7. PEOPLE VS GARCIA, 281 SCRA 463


SYNOPSIS
Accused-appellant was sentenced to suffer one hundred eighty-three (183) penalties of reclusion perpetua for having raped Jackielyn Ong, a
minor. Accused-appellant assails his conviction essentially on two grounds, namely, that the information is defective and that the trial court
erred in relying on the credibility of the testimony of the victim. Appellant avers that the information for multiple rape is defective for failure
to state the exact dates and time when the alleged acts of rape were committed since it was merely stated therein that the offense was
committed "from November 1990 up to July 21, 1994. He asserts that each sexual act is a separate crime and, hence, must be proven to
have been committed on a precise date and time. Appellant further contends that the trial court erred in accepting in full complainant's
testimony that she was raped every week during the above-mentioned period. aEIcHA
The Supreme Court ruled that the failure of the appellant to invoke the formal defect in the information through a motion to quash is deemed
a waiver of such objection and he cannot now be heard to seek affirmative relief on that ground. Objections as to matters of form or
substance in the information cannot be made for the first time on appeal. The Court also ruled that on the bases of the evidence adduced by
the prosecution, appellant can be convicted only of two rapes. The indefinite testimonial evidence that complainant was raped every week is
decidedly inadequate and grossly insufficient to establish the guilt of the appellant with the required quantum of evidence. After a careful
examination of the records and applicable laws, the Court declared the accused-appellant guilty of ten (10) felonies of simple rape and
ordered him to serve the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each felony.
SYLLABUS
1. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; TIME OF THE COMMISSION OF THE OFFENSE; RULING IN U.S. VS. DICHAO; NOT SQUARELY
APPLICABLE TO PRESENT CASE DUE TO FACTUAL DIFFERENCES. Assuming that Dichao is still good case law, reliance cannot be placed
thereon by appellant since the dicta are not squarely applicable to the present case due to factual differences. Taking into consideration the
circumstances obtaining herein vis-a-vis the Dichao case, the distinguishing factor which is immediately apparent is the existence of a motion
to quash in that case as pointed out in the aforequoted decision. There is no such motion in the case at bar, and this spells the big
differences. AEIcSa
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; PROPER DISPOSITION OF A CASE WHERE A MOTION TO QUASH IS FILED ON THE GROUND THAT THE ALLEGATION IN
THE INFORMATION AS TO THE DATE OR TIME OF THE COMMISSION OF THE OFFENSE IS SO UNCERTAIN, INDEFINITE OR AMBIGUOUS AS TO
CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RIGHT OF THE ACCUSED TO BE INFORMED OF THE NATURE AND CAUSE OF THE ACCUSATION AGAINST
HIM. Where the allegation in the information as to the date or time of the commission of the offense is so uncertain, indefinite or
ambiguous as to constitute a violation of the right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, the
proper disposition where a motion to quash is filed on that ground, is for the trial court to overrule the motion and order the prosecution to
amend the information by stating the date or time with particularity, within such period as the trial court may deem proper under the
circumstances. This rule finds support in Section 4 of Rule 117 which provides that "if the motion to quash is based on an alleged defect in the
complaint or information which can be cured by amendment, the court shall order the amendment to be made." Corollarily, Section 14 of Rule
110 states that "the information or complaint may be amended, in substance or form, without leave of court, at any time before the accused
pleads; and thereafter and during the trial as to all matters of form, by leave and at the discretion of the court, when the same can be done
without prejudice to the rights of the accused." In the event that the public prosecutor still fails to make the necessary amendment within the
time allowed therefor by the court, only then may the court order the dismissal of the case. Hence, if herein appellant Garcia had filed a
motion to quash, the case would not require an outright dismissal.
3. ID.; ID., ID.; IN RAPE CASES, THE DATE OR TIME IS NOT AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE CRIME AND THEREFORE, NEED NOT BE
ACCURATELY STATED. It bears stressing that Section 11 of Rule 110 does not require that the precise time when the offense was
committed be stated in the information, except when time is a material ingredient of the offense. In rape cases, the date or time is not an
essential element of the crime and, therefore, need not be accurately stated.
4. ID.; EVIDENCE; WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY; REQUIREMENT OF WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY FOR CONVICTION OF ANY CRIMINAL
CHARGE; COMPLIED WITH IN CASE AT BAR. The Court is strongly convinced that, based on the testimonies of complainant and the
prosecution witnesses, appellant Garcia is guilty as charged. Absolute certainty of guilt is not demanded by the law for conviction of any
criminal charge; only moral certainty is required as to every proposition of proof requisite to constitute the offense. Such requirement has
been complied with in the case at bar with respect to the criminal acts hereinafter specified. Besides, a prima facie case affords sufficient
basis for conviction if not overcome by the evidence of the accused.
5. ID.; ID.; CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES; IT IS AN ACCEPTED PRECEPT THAT TESTIMONIES OF RAPE VICTIMS WHO ARE YOUNG AND
OF TENDER AGE ARE CREDIBLE. The Court have thoroughly examined the testimony of complainant Jackielyn Ong and we cannot but
conclude that complainant, in spite of her youth at the time she testified, was very candid, spontaneous and consistent in her testimony in
court, both in the direct and cross-examination. Her testimony is forthright, clear and free from serious contradictions. It is a basic rule,
founded on reason and experience, that when the victim testifies that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that
rape was committed. Thus, if her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof. On this aspect, it
is an accepted precept that testimonies of rape victims who are young and of tender age are credible. Hence, the revelation of an innocent
child whose charity was abused deserves full credence.
6. ID.; ID.; ID.; RAPE AS A HARROWING EXPERIENCE IS USUALLY NOT REMEMBERED IN DETAIL; A RAPE VICTIM IS NOT AND CANNOT
BE EXPECTED TO KEEP AN ACCURATE ACCOUNT OF HER TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE. The alleged inconsistency pointed out by appellant, to
the effect that complainant remembered the details of the first and last acts of rape but failed to expound on the other violations committed
against her, is not sufficient to render her testimony doubtful. Such failure does not necessarily detract from her credibility nor negate the
commission of the rape. The testimony of a witness must be considered and calibrated in its entirety and not by truncated portions thereof or
isolated passages therein. Rape, as a harrowing experience, is usually not remembered in detail. For, such an offense is not something which
enhances one's life experience as to be worth recalling or reliving but, rather, something which causes deep psychological wounds and casts a
stigma upon the victim for the rest of her life, which her conscious or subconscious mind would prefer to forget. Thus, a rape victim is not and
cannot be expected to keep an accurate account of her traumatic experience. With more reason must we have greater compassionate
understanding of herein complainant's plight who, at a very tender age, was mercilessly corrupted by a conscienceless human being with
bestial desires. cTCADI
7. ID.; ID.; JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS; NO COMPELLING REASON IN CASE AT BAR TO WARRANT THE EXCLUSION OR DISREGARD OF THE
ADMISSIONS OF APPELLANT. It is said that although written admissions have sometimes been treated as competent evidence under the
head of one of the exceptions to hearsay evidence, yet they are open to but few of the objections which may be urged against hearsay
testimony. They are, it is true, declarations made out of court and without sanction of an oath, yet they are statements, not of third persons,
but of a party to the litigation; and, where they are offered, against him, it is only fair to presume, until the contrary is shown, that they are
correct. Whatever a party voluntarily admits to be true, though the admission be contrary to his interest, may reasonably be taken for the
truth. No compelling reason exists in the case at bar to warrant the exclusion or disregard of these admissions of appellant. These are
admissions against his own interest which no sane or reasonable man would make if they were not true. He voluntarily and intelligently made
and even put them down in single-spaced handwriting on four full pages of legal size ruled pad. On top of that, he identified the same and
testified thereon, without any repudiation, in open court on January 13, 1995, thus converting such extrajudicial admissions into judicial
admissions.
8. CRIMINAL LAW; RAPE; ELEMENT OF INTIMIDATION; IN CASE AT BAR, A CLEAR SITUATION BESPEAKING ABUSE OF TRANSIENT
AUTHORITY IS ESTABLISHED BY THE RECORDS. The alleged absence of resistance cannot likewise alter the condemnatory verdict against
appellant. This Court has consistently held that rape is committed when intimidation is used on the victim and this includes the moral kind of
intimidation or coercion. Intimidation is a relative term, depending on the age, size and strength of the parties, and their relationship with
each other. It can be addressed to the mind as well. Moreover, the intimidation must be viewed in the light of the victim's perception and
judgment at the time of the rape and not by any hard and fast rule. It is therefore enough that it produces fear fear that if the victim does
not yield to the lustful demands of the accused, something would happen to her at the moment or thereafter. In the instant case, a clear
situation bespeaking abuse of transient authority is established by the records. There can be no doubt that appellant Garcia had a sort of
moral dominance and influence over Jackielyn such that he could easily intimidate and force her to submit to his satyric desires, considering
that she was very young at that time and under his custody. Jackielyn was only eight years old when Garcia started molesting her sexually.
Appellant himself admitted that he was expected to take care of complainant and her brother, and to give them guidance and advice. Hence,
the victim could hardly be expected to use any discretion and discernment as to how she could resist the coercive power of appellant.
ETIDaH
9. ID.; ID.; APPELLANT'S DENIAL CONSTITUTED SELF-SERVING NEGATIVE EVIDENCE WHICH CAN HARDLY BE CONSIDERED AS
OVERCOMING A STRAIGHTFORWARD AND CREDITWORTHY EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT. Time and again we have said that denial, like alibi, is
a weak defense which becomes even weaker in the face of the positive identification of the accused by prosecution witnesses. Appellant's
denial constituted self-serving negative evidence which can hardly be considered as overcoming a straightforward and creditworthy
eyewitness account. As between positive and categorical testimony which has the ring of truth on one hand, and a bare denial on the other,
the former is generally held to prevail, especially given the facts obtaining in this case. cTAaDC
10. ID.; ID.; THE INDEFINITE TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE THAT COMPLAINANT WAS RAPED EVERY WEEK IS DECIDEDLY INADEQUATE AND
GROSSLY INSUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THE GUILT OF APPELLANT THEREFOR WITH REQUIRED QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE. We cannot agree
with the trial court that appellant is guilty of 183 counts of rape because, as correctly asserted by the defense, each and every charge of rape
is a separate and distinct crime so that each of them should be proven beyond reasonable doubt. On that score alone, the indefinite
testimonial evidence that complainant was raped every week is decidedly inadequately and grossly insufficient to establish the guilt of
appellant therefor with the required quantum of evidence. So much of such indefinite imputations of rape, which are uncorroborated by any
other evidence, fall within this category.
11. ID.; ID.; APPELLANT IS GUILTY OF STATUTORY RAPE. We are fully convinced, however, that appellant is guilty of statutory rape for
the sexual act committed in November, 1990 when Jackielyn was only eight years old. Sexual congress with a girl under twelve years of age
is always rape although there might have been consent to the sexual act. Being of such tender age, she is presumed not to have a will of her
own. The law does not consider any kind of consent given by her as voluntary.
12. ID.; ID.; APPELLANT CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS THE GUARDIAN FALLING WITHIN THE AMBIT OF THE AMENDATORY PROVISION
INTRODUCED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7659. The law requires a legal or judicial guardian since it is the consanguineous relation or the
solemnity of judicial appointment which impresses upon the guardian the lofty purpose of his office and normally deters him from violating its
objectives. Such considerations do not obtain in appellant's case or, for that matter, any person similarly circumstanced as a mere custodian
of a ward or another's property. The fiduciary powers granted to a real guardian warrant the exacting sanctions should he betray the trust. It
results, therefore, that appellant cannot be considered as the guardian falling within the ambit of the amendatory provision introduced by
Republic Act No. 7659. He would not fall either in the category of the "common-law spouse of the parent of the victim" in the same
enumeration, since his liaison is with respect to the aunt of Jackielyn. Since both logic and fact conjointly demonstrate that he is actually only
a custodian, that is, a mere caretaker of the children over whom he exercises a limited degree of authority for a temporary period, we cannot
impose the death penalty contemplated for a real guardian under the amendments introduced by Republic Act No. 7659, since he does not fit
into that category.
13. ID.; ID.; QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES MUST BE PROPERLY PLEADED IN THE INDICTMENT. It has long been the rule that
qualifying circumstances must be properly pleaded in the indictment. If the same are not pleaded but proved, they shall be considered only as
aggravating circumstances, since the latter admit of proof even if not pleaded. Indeed, it would be a denial of the right of the accused to be
informed of the charges against him and, consequently, a denial of due process, if he is charged with simple rape and be convicted of its
qualified form punishable with death, although the attendant circumstance qualifying the offense and resulting in capital punishment was not
alleged in the indictment on which he was arraigned. Recapitulating, the information filed against appellant charged only the felony of simple
rape and no attendant qualifying circumstance, specifically that of his being supposedly a guardian of the victim, was alleged. On this
additional consideration, he cannot, therefore, be punished with the penalty of death even assuming arguendo that he is such a guardian.
Neither can that fact be considered to aggravate his liability as the penalty for simple rape is the single indivisible penalty of reclusion
perpetua. The end result, therefore, is that for the ten crimes of rape of which we declare him guilty, only the penalty of reclusion perpetua
can be imposed. cTSDAH
DECISION
REGALADO, J p:
Accused-appellant David Garcia was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of having raped herein complainant Jackielyn Ong, 1 a minor, one
hundred eighty-three (183) times during the period from November, 1990 up to July 21, 1994, and was correspondingly sentenced to suffer
one hundred eighty-three (183) penalties of reclusion perpetua and to indemnify complainant in the amount of P50,000.00 as moral
damages.
In an information dated July 25, 1994, appellant Garcia was charged with the crime of multiple rape allegedly committed as follows:
"That from November 1990 up to July 21, 1994, in the City of Olongapo, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have multiple carnal knowledge of one Jackielyn Ong, a minor
about twelve (12) years old, to the damage and prejudice of the latter." cdrep
Complainant Jackielyn Ong and her younger brother, Darwin, had been abandoned by their mother since birth and when their father Danilo
Ong died, the latter's sister, Elizabeth Ong, took them under her care and custody. Jackielyn, who was born on June 3, 1982, was only eight
years old when she, together with Darwin and a stepbrother, Allan, were left to the care of herein appellant Garcia, who was then the live-in
partner of the victim's aforesaid aunt, when the latter left for the United States sometime in November, 1990. Appellant Garcia stayed with
the children in the house of Elizabeth Ong at Fontaine Street, East Bajac-Bajac, Olongapo City. 2
On that fateful day of November 1990, after Elizabeth Garcia had left for the airport, complainant, who was then playing with Darwin outside
the house, was called by appellant Garcia who told her to go upstairs. Once there, Garcia ordered her to remove her shirt and panty and,
when she refused, the former was the one who removed them. He made her lie on the bed and he then removed his pants and brief.
Thereafter, he climbed into the bed with her, spread her legs apart and inserted his private organ into hers. She felt pain when he forced
himself upon her and he was moving up and down. Jackielyn narrated that Garcia pulled out his organ when a whitish substance was
discharged therefrom. Then he ordered her to put back her shirt and panty. Later, complainant went back to play with her brother.
According to Jackielyn, from November, 1990 up to July 21, 1994, appellant Garcia raped her almost weekly. 3 These incidents happened in
all the three places where they lived, that is, at Fontaine Street, East Bajac-Bajac, at 12th Street, Pag-asa, and at #40 14th Street, East
Tapinac, all in Olongapo City. 4 On July 21, 1994, Jacqueline was sleeping in bed beside her brother, Darwin, when appellant woke her up,
asked her to lie down beside him on the cushion inside the same room where he slept, and had intercourse with her.
Prosecution witness Angelito Ong testified that sometime in May, 1994, his sister Elizabeth Ong called to inform him that their brother in the
States met an accident, and he was requested to support and take care of the children because she would not be able to send them money in
the meantime. Thenceforth, the children would go to Angelito Ong's house for their food and other needs.
In the evening of July 22, 1994, Angelito was already becoming apprehensive because the children had not yet arrived to get their food. He
decided to go to the house where the children were staying but he only saw the children's bags there. The door of the house was locked, and
he found Jackielyn and Darwin at a nearby store. When he asked them why they did not get their food, they answered that the house was
locked and the key was with appellant Garcia. They likewise told him that Garcia scolded them and would not allow them to go out of the
house without the former's permission. Angelito told the children that just because they were getting their food from him, appellant had no
right to be angry at them.
Thereafter, Angelito asked Jackielyn if she was having an affair with appellant or if she had been abused by him. When Jackielyn refused to
answer and merely kept silent, Angelito took it as an admission that what he was asking her was true, so he brought Jackielyn to the
Perpetual Help Clinic for checkup.
It appears that Angelito had already harbored suspicion because sometime in June, 1994, Darwin told him that several times in the past,
although Jackielyn slept beside Darwin at night, the latter would wake up in the morning and see her sleeping beside appellant Garcia. At that
time, Angelito merely warned Jackielyn that it was not proper for her to be sleeping beside appellant because she was already a big girl. He
did not bother to confront appellant about it then because he did not want to appear invidious. Yet even before that, Angelito already thought
it odd and suspicious why appellant would not allow the children's relatives to go to their house.
Since the doctor at the Perpetual Help Clinic was not available, Angelito decided to bring the children home. Along the way, Angelito kept on
asking Jackielyn if she had been raped by appellant Garcia. At first, Jackielyn refused to answer, but due to Angelito's persistence and after
threatening her that he would eventually know once she is examined by a doctor, she finally admitted that she had been raped several times
by appellant. He then brought her to the Olongapo City General Hospital where Jackielyn was examined by Dr. Laila Patricio who thereafter
issued a medicolegal certificate. 5
According to Dr. Patricio, the hymen of Jackielyn was no longer intact and, considering that there was no laceration, it was possible that there
had been sexual contact for more than five times. She discounted the probability that there had been only one or two contacts, or that the
loss of virginity was caused by biking, because otherwise there should have been a laceration. She likewise conducted a "spermatozoa
determination" to see if there had been sexual intercourse during the past 24 hours, but the result was negative, although she clarified that
the sperm normally stays in the vagina for 24 hours unless the woman washes herself very well. Jackielyn told her, during the medical
examination, that she had been raped by the husband of her aunt who was in the States.
From the hospital, Angelito and Jackielyn proceeded to the police station where they filed a complaint for rape 6 against Garcia and later
executed their sworn statements. 7 On the strength thereof, Garcia was apprehended in his house at 32 Jones Street, Olongapo City. At the
time of his arrest, no formal complaint had as yet been filed in court nor had a warrant of arrest been issued. 8
Appellant Garcia could only offer bare denials to the inculpatory testimonies of the victim and the prosecution witnesses that he raped
Jackielyn. He contends, however, that probably the reason why he was being falsely charged was because Elizabeth Ong's family was not
satisfied with the way he managed the house entrusted to him and the money being sent by Elizabeth for the support of the children. He
rationalizes that as the supposed guardian of the children and with the trust reposed in him by Elizabeth, he could not and would never do
such a thing to Jackielyn.
In his cross-examination, however, appellant Garcia admitted having sent a letter addressed to Elizabeth Ong and several others, dated
August 24, 1994, 9 wherein he disclosed that he and Jackielyn were having a relationship and that he was asking for forgiveness from
Elizabeth for what happened between him and Jackielyn.
The conviction of herein appellant is now being controverted and assailed essentially on two grounds, namely, that the information is
defective and that the trial court erred in relying on the credibility of the testimony of the victim. 10
I. Appellant avers that the information for multiple rape filed against him is defective for failure to state the exact dates and time when
the alleged acts of rape were committed since it was merely stated therein that the offense was committed "from November 1990 up to July
21, 1994." He asserts that each sexual act is a separate crime and, hence, must be proven to have been committed on a precise date and
time.
The defense, in support of this argument, relies mainly on Section 11, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, as revised, which provides:
"Sec. 11. Time of the commission of the offense. It is not necessary to state in the complaint or information the precise time at which
the offense was committed except when time is a material ingredient of the offense, but the act may be alleged to have been committed at
any time as near to the actual date at which the offense was committed as the information or complaint will permit."
It invokes the early case of U .S . vs. Dichao 11 wherein an order sustaining a demurrer to an information for failure to conform to the
subscribed form was upheld by the Court, in effect authorizing the outright dismissal of the case, on the ground that:
". . . The allegations of an information should, if possible, be sufficiently explicit and certain as to time to inform the defendant of the date on
which the criminal act is alleged to have been committed. Unless the accused is informed of the day, or about the day, he may be, to an
extent, deprived of the opportunity to defend himself.
While Section 7 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that "except when time is a material ingredient of an offense, the precise time of
commission need not be stated in a complaint or information, but the act may be alleged to have been committed at any time before the filing
thereof," this does not mean that the prosecuting officer may be careless about fixing the date of the alleged crime, or that he may omit the
date altogether, or that he may make the allegation so indefinite as to amount to the same thing. Where the exact date cannot be fixed, or
where the prosecuting officer is not thoroughly satisfied that he can prove a precise date, he should allege in the information that the crime
was committed on or about a date named. Under such an allegation he is not required to prove any precise date but may prove any date
which is not so remote as to surprise and prejudice the defendant. In case of surprise the court may allow an amendment of the information
as to time and an adjournment to the accused, if necessary, to meet the amendment.
In the case before us the statement of the time when the crime is alleged to have been committed is so indefinite and uncertain that it does
not give the accused the information required by law. To allege in an information that the accused committed rape on a certain girl between
October 1910 and August 1912, is too indefinite to give the accused an opportunity to prepare his defense. . . . Section 7 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure does not warrant such pleading. Its purpose is to permit the allegation of a date of the commission of the crime as near to
the actual date as the information of the prosecuting officer will permit, and when that has been done any date may be proved which does not
surprise and substantially prejudice the defense. It does not authorize the total omission of a date or such an indefinite allegation with
reference thereto as amounts to the same thing."
Assuming that this is still good case law, reliance cannot be placed thereon by appellant since the dicta are not squarely applicable to the
present case due to factual differences. Taking into consideration the circumstances obtaining herein vis-a-vis the Dichao case, the
distinguishing factor which is immediately apparent is the existence of a motion to quash in that case as pointed out in the aforequoted
decision. There is no such motion in the case at bar, and this spells the big differences.
The rule is that at any time before entering his plea, the accused may move to quash the information 12 on the ground that it does not
conform substantially to the prescribed form. 13 The failure of the accused to assert any ground for a motion to quash before he pleads to the
information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of the
grounds for a motion to quash, except the grounds of no offense charged, lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged, extinction of the
offense or penalty, and jeopardy. 14
Perforce, a formal defect in the information not being one of the exceptions to the rule, appellant's failure to invoke the same through a
motion to quash is deemed to be a waiver of such objection and he cannot now be heard to seek affirmative relief on that ground. Moreover,
objections as to matters of form or substance in the information cannot be made for the first time on appeal. 15
At any rate, even laying aside procedural technicalities and assuming arguendo that appellant Garcia could validly raise this legal question
before us, we are still not inclined to apply the ruling in Dichao to the case now before us.
It may readily be inferred from the decision in Dichao that where there is such an indefinite allegation in the information as to the time of the
commission of the offense which would substantially prejudice the defense, a motion to quash the information may be granted and the case
dismissed without the benefit of an amendment. On the other hand, where there is a variance between the date of the commission of the
crime alleged in the information and that proved at the trial, and it is shown to the trial court that the accused is surprised thereby, and that
by reason thereof, he is unable to properly defend himself, the court may, in the exercise of sound discretion based on all the circumstances,
order the information amended so as to set forth the correct date. It may further grant an adjournment for such a length of time as will
enable the accused to prepare himself to meet the variance in date which was the cause of his surprise. cdll
Apparently, that distinction was premised on the theory that the question on whether the allegations of the information are sufficiently
definite as to time, and the question which arises from a variance between the particulars of the indictment and the proof, are different in
nature and legal effect, and are decided on different principles.
It would then result that, on the basis of the foregoing disquisition in Dichao, an amendment will not be allowed, and the motion to quash
should instead be granted, where the information is, on its face, defective for failure to state with certainty when the offense was committed,
and such ambiguity is so gross as to deprive the accused of the opportunity to defend himself. For all intents and purposes, however, a strict
adherence thereto would no longer be a sound procedural practice, especially in criminal proceedings which bear the mandate on speedy trial
and wherein the availability of bills of particulars has over time been adopted and recognized.
We believe that the principle laid down in the more recent case of Rocaberte vs. People, et al. 16 involving exactly the same issue, presents
the more logical and realistic interpretation of the rules. While the Court there adverted to the Dichao case, it nevertheless resorted to a less
restrictive application of the rules by disposing of the case in this wise:
"A defect in the averment as to the time of the commission of the crime charged is not, however, a ground for a motion to quash under Rule
116 of the Rules of Court. Even if it were, a motion for quashal on that account will be denied since the defect is one that can be cured by
amendment; instead, the court shall order the amendment to be made by stating the time with particularity.
The remedy against an indictment that fails to allege the time of the commission of the offense with sufficient definiteness is a motion for a
bill of particulars, provided for in Section 6, Rule 116 of the Rules of Court of 1964.
xxx xxx xxx
From all that has been said, the conclusion should be clear. The information against petitioner Rocaberte is indeed seriously defective. It
places on him and his co-accused the unfair and unreasonable burden of having to recall their activities over a span of more than 2,500 days.
It is a burden nobody should be made to bear. The public prosecutor must make more definite and particular the time of the commission of
the crime of theft attributed to Rocaberte and his co-defendants. If he cannot, the prosecution cannot be maintained, the case must be
dismissed.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED, and the writ of certiorari prayed for is ISSUED ANNULLING AND SETTING ASIDE the challenged Orders
of respondent Judge . . ., and DIRECTING the amendment of the information in said case by the prosecution within such time as the
respondent Judge may deem proper, failing which the criminal prosecution against the petitioner and his co-defendants shall be dismissed"
(Emphasis supplied).
Conformably thereto, where the allegation in the information as to the date or time of the commission of the offense is so uncertain, indefinite
or ambiguous as to constitute a violation of the right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, the
proper disposition where a motion to quash is filed on that ground, is for the trial court to overrule the motion and order the prosecution to
amend the information by stating the date or time with particularity, within such period as the trial court may deem proper under the
circumstances.
This rule finds support in Section 4 of Rule 117 which provides that "if the motion to quash is based on an alleged defect in the complaint or
information which can be cured by amendment, the court shall order the amendment to be made." Corollarily, Section 14 of Rule 110 states
that "the information or complaint may be amended, in substance or form, without leave of court, at any time before the accused pleads; and
thereafter and during the trial as to all matters of form, by leave and at the discretion of the court, when the same can be done without
prejudice to the rights of the accused."
In the event that the public prosecutor still fails to make the necessary amendment within the time allowed therefor by the court, only then
may the court order the dismissal of the case. Hence, if herein appellant Garcia had filed a motion to quash, the case would not require an
outright dismissal.
Furthermore, it bears stressing that Section 11 of Rule 110 does not require that the precise time when the offense was committed be stated
in the information, except when time is a material ingredient of the offense. In rape cases, the date or time is not an essential element of the
crime and, therefore, need not be accurately stated. 17
II. The second issue hinges on the credibility of complainant's testimony. Appellant contends that the prosecution failed to prove multiple
rape and that the trial court erred in accepting in full complainant's testimony that she was raped every week during the period earlier stated.
It is averred that while complainant remembered the details of the first and last acts of rape, she failed to narrate with similar clarity the
other acts that allegedly transpired in the interim.
We are strongly convinced that, based on the testimonies of complainant and the prosecution witnesses, appellant Garcia is guilty as charged.
Absolute certainty of guilt is not demanded by the law for conviction of any criminal charge; only moral certainty is required as to every
proposition of proof requisite to constitute the offense. 18 Such requirement has been complied with in the case at bar with respect to the
criminal acts hereinafter specified. Besides, a prima facie case affords sufficient basis for conviction if not overcome by the evidence of the
accused. 19
We have thoroughly examined the testimony of complainant Jackielyn Ong and we cannot but conclude that complainant, in spite of her youth
at the time she testified, was very candid, spontaneous and consistent in her testimony in court, both in the direct and cross-examination.
Her testimony is forthright, clear and free from serious contradictions. It is a basic rule, founded on reason and experience, that when the
victim testifies that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape was committed. 20 Thus, if her testimony
meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof. On this aspect, it is an accepted precept that testimonies of
rape victims who are young and of tender age are credible. Hence, the revelation of an innocent child whose chastity was abused deserves
full credence. 21
Nor have we chosen to merely rely on such doctrinal rules. Our conclusion further resulted from a painstaking analysis of the evidence on
record. The alleged inconsistency pointed out by appellant, to the effect that complainant remembered the details of the first and last acts of
rape but failed to expound on the other violations committed against her, is not sufficient to render her testimony doubtful. Such failure does
not necessarily detract from her credibility nor negate the commission of the rape. The testimony of a witness must be considered and
calibrated in its entirety and not by truncated portions thereof or isolated passages therein. 22
Rape, as a harrowing experience, is usually not remembered in detail. For, such an offense is not something which enhances one's life
experience as to be worth recalling or reliving but, rather, something which causes deep psychological wounds and casts a stigma upon the
victim for the rest of her life, which her conscious or subconscious mind would prefer to forget. Thus, a rape victim is not and cannot be
expected to keep an accurate account of her traumatic experience. 23 With more reason must we have greater compassionate understanding
of herein complainant's plight who, at a very tender age, was mercilessly corrupted by a conscienceless human being with bestial desires.
The failure of complainant to immediately disclose the violations committed against her, and the fact that she went on to play with her
brother after the first rape incident, cannot be considered as absolutely unnatural and contrary to normal human behavior. It must be
remembered that the subject of appellant's lust is an innocent, naive and frail little girl of eight years, extremely ignorant of the ways of the
world and of men. One cannot and should not expect such a wisp of a girl to act like an adult or like a mature and experienced woman who
would know what to do under such difficult circumstances. 24 In fact, her subsequent action is confirmatory of the unreasoning innocence of
childhood which in this case was mercilessly betrayed.
The alleged absence of resistance cannot likewise alter the condemnatory verdict against appellant. This Court has consistently held that rape
is committed when intimidation is used on the victim and this includes the moral kind of intimidation or coercion. Intimidation is a relative
term, depending on the age, size and strength of the parties, and their relationship with each other. 25 It can be addressed to the mind as
well. 26 Moreover, the intimidation must be viewed in the light of the victim's perception and judgment at the time of the rape and not by any
hard and fast rule. It is therefore enough that it produces fear fear that if the victim does not yield to the lustful demands of the accused,
something would happen to her at the moment or thereafter. 27
In the instant case, a clear situation bespeaking abuse of transient authority is established by the records. There can be no doubt that
appellant Garcia had a sort of moral dominance and influence over Jackielyn such that he could easily intimidate and force her to submit to
his satyric desires, considering that she was very young at that time and under his custody. 28 Jackielyn was only eight years old when
Garcia started molesting her sexually. Appellant himself admitted that he was expected to take care of complainant and her brother, and to
give them guidance and advice. Hence, the victim could hardly be expected to use any discretion and discernment as to how she could resist
the coercive power of appellant. 29
Jackielyn disclosed during her direct examination that she was afraid of appellant because sometimes he would get mad at her and beat her.
30 On cross-examination, she declared that she never confided to her older brother about the rape incidents because she feared that if she
did so, appellant might get angry and beat her. 31 Her fear of appellant is vividly illustrated by the testimony of her uncle, Angelito Ong,
about that incident when the victim and her younger brother failed to get their food from his house and he found them in a nearby store
because they were locked out of the house by appellant. 32 So great was the fear instilled by appellant in the victim's mind that she would
rather go hungry, which is an ordeal for young children, than incur his ire.
In sum, complainant's tender age and appellant's custodial control and domination over her, had rendered her so meek and subservient to his
needs and desires, thus becoming an easy prey to appellant's lecherous advances. 33 This psychological predicament, in the mind of the
Court, explains why the offended girl did not give any outcry or offer any resistance when she was being raped, 34 especially when she
became inured to the outrage repeatedly committed over a period of time and which sexual assaults were corroborated by medicolegal
evidence.
Perhaps, though, the most convincing evidence that appellant Garcia committed the acts charged is his very own admission of having had
repeated carnal knowledge of the victim in a letter which he sent on August 24, 1994 from his place of detention to Elizabeth Ong, his live-in
partner and aunt of the victim, wherein he placed that he be given another chance and promised to change for the better. 35 The following
excerpts therefrom, to quote just a few, are indeed revealing and revolting:
". . . OO, tutuong may ng yari sa amin ni Jackylyn. Yon ay alam niya. Kayo mismo ang kumausap. Nitong May at June hanggang July 16,
1994. Yan ay inaamin ko pero hindi ko siya tinakot at ni rape. Alam ni Jacklyn yon. . . . Una halikan lang muna siya panga ang nag-umpisa.
Ng umabot ng June bago magpasukan nitong 1994 lang kami lumag-pas sa hindi dapat. At siya pa nga ang nagsabi sa akin dinadatnan na
siya kaya mag-ingat kami at baka raw mabuntis ko siya. Di kako bahala ka ikaw ang babae. Mga 7 o 8 beses kami naulit. Mula May, June,
July 16, 1994. Tapos kako nga pa sa kanya bakit gustong-gusto mo na ginaganoon ko siya at anong dahilan. Ang sabi niya ay wala. Kako
hindi mo ba alam maraming magagalit at masasaktan. At saka kako hindi ka papayag ipaubaya ang pinakamahalagang bagay na iniingatan
ng babae. Bakit kako mahal mo ba ako sabi naman OO. . . . Humihingi ako sa inyo ng isang pagkakataon na ibalato na lang ninyo ang buhay
ko kay Jackylyn . . . at Beth kung talagang mahal mo rin ako ay pabayaan mo na ang kalayaan ko at sarili kay Jackylyn. . . . Kaya humihingi
ako sa inyong lima ng isa pang pagkakataon na panagutan si Jackylyn. . . . At yong ng yari samin ni Jackylyn ay kapwa namin kagustuhan. . .
. At hindi kunaman talaga ni rape. . . . Handa kunaman panagutan. . . . Kayo ang pag-asa ko para sa kaligtasan ng buhay ko dahil sa
paratang nayan. . . . Kaya nakikiusap ako at humihingi ng awa ninyo at isang pag-kakataon. . . ."
If what appellant claims in his letter that he and Jackielyn were lovers is true, it is paradoxical that he never mentioned that in his testimony
nor did he present any evidence to prove such supposed relationship. His silence on the matter becomes highly suspect, considering that such
a defense was undeniably intended to possibly save the day for him. An elementary knowledge of human nature would expose his pretensions
as merely an afterthought on the part of appellant, in a desperate and vain attempt to exculpate himself from his shameless and heinous
acts.
Besides, it is the height of incredibility that, as appellant would want to suggest in his aforestated letter, the initiative came from the victim
herself, this despite her age and the inbred modesty of a provincial lass. That would be stretching the imagination too far and insulting to the
intelligence and credulity of even an ordinary layman. It has never been shown, nor has an insinuation been made, that Jackielyn was a girl of
loose morals with the capacity to lure a much older man into such indiscretions over an incredible period of time.
It contrast, the defense relied solely on the testimony of appellant which, as earlier observed, leaves very much to be desired as it consists
mainly of bare and pharisaical denials. Time and again we have said that denial, like alibi, is a weak defense which becomes even weaker in
the face of the positive identification of the accused by prosecution witnesses. Appellant's denial constituted self-serving negative evidence
which can hardly be considered as overcoming a straightforward and creditworthy eyewitness account. As between positive and categorical
testimony which has the ring of truth on one hand, and a bare denial on the other, the former is generally held to prevail, 36 especially given
the facts obtaining in this case.
III. Be that as it may, however, on the bases of the evidence adduced by the prosecution, appellant can be convicted only of the two
rapes committed in November, 1990 and on July 21, 1994 as testified to by complainant, and for the eight counts of rape committed in May
and June and on July 16, 1994 as admitted in appellants aforementioned letter of August 24, 1994. We cannot agree with the trial court that
appellant is guilty of 183 counts of rape because, as correctly asserted by the defense, each and every charge of rape is a separate and
distinct crime so that each of them should be proven beyond reasonable doubt. On that score alone, the indefinite testimonial evidence that
complainant was raped every week is decidedly inadequate and grossly insufficient to establish the guilt of appellant therefor with the
required quantum of evidence. So much of such indefinite imputations of rape, which are uncorroborated by any other evidence, fall within
this category.
We are fully convinced, however, that appellant is guilty of statutory rape for the sexual act committed in November, 1990 when Jackielyn
was only eight years old. Sexual congress with a girl under twelve years of age is always rape although there might have been consent to the
sexual act. Being of such tender age, she is presumed not to have a will of her own. The law does not consider any kind of consent given by
her as voluntary. 37
It has likewise been sufficiently established beyond reasonable doubt that Jackielyn was raped by appellant on July 21, 1994. The evidence is
well-nigh conclusive that she was intimidated into submitting to appellant's libidinous craving and loathsome assault by reason of his
authority and predominance over her. Jackielyn may well have been over twelve years of age at that time, but what is the difference in
mental fitness and attitude between a twelve-year old girl and one who is twelve years and one month old? 38
Finally, appellant's admission in his letter of August 24, 1994 that "it happened 7 or 8 times in May, June until July 16, 1994," which was
never explained away nor successfully refuted by the defense, should definitely be taken into consideration. It is said that although written
admissions have sometimes been treated as competent evidence under the head of one of the exceptions to hearsay evidence, yet they are
open to but few of the objections which may be urged against hearsay testimony. They are, it is true, declarations made out of court and
without sanction of an oath, yet they are statements, not of third persons, but of a party to the litigation; and, where they are offered against
him, it is only fair to presume, until the contrary is shown, that they are correct. Whatever a party voluntarily admits to be true, though the
admission be contrary to his interest, may reasonably be taken for the truth. 39
No compelling reason exists in the case at bar to warrant the exclusion or disregard of these admissions of appellant. These are admissions
against his own interest which no sane or reasonable man would make if they were not true. He voluntarily and intelligently made and even
put them down in single-spaced handwriting on four full pages of legal size ruled pad. On top of that, he identified the same and testified
thereon, without any repudiation, in open court on January 13, 1995, thus converting such extrajudicial admissions into judicial admissions.
One might ask why, having been burned the first time, the offended girl did not thereafter stay away from appellant, thereby giving him other
opportunities to inflict his lust on her. The obvious explanation is that we are dealing here not with a worldly-wise woman but with a young
and innocent child of tender age whose acts were dominated more by fear than by reason. 40 This is especially understandable in this case
where the victim is practically an orphan abandoned in the care of a stranger masquerading in the guise of a guardian, and who never felt a
sense of belonging except to such a stranger whom she wrongly believed had a familial concern for her, but whom she realized too late was
devilishly unworthy of her trust and respect.
IV. We now proceed to consider the proper imposable penalty on appellant in light of his proven criminal misdeeds consisting of ten acts
of rape. Having been charged with the simple crime of rape, each of which warrants the imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua, both
the trial court and the People's Tribune agree on that penalty to be imposed for each crime, although both contend that such penalty should
be imposed on 183 acts of rape. We have already explained that appellant can be convicted of only ten crimes of rape, but we have not
answered the unspoken question, since both the trial court and the Solicitor General have passed sub silentio thereover, on whether the ten
convictions we sustain should be for simple rape or for its qualified form under the circumstances stated in Republic Act No. 7659 which
amended Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code.
It is true that the appellant has been charged with simple rape, that the court below found him guilty only of simple rape as charged, and that
no issue over the effect of the amendatory law has been raised. However, it is a long-settled rule in criminal procedure, which is now
enshrined in the Rules of Court, 41 that an appeal throws the criminal case open for review by the appellate court which may thereafter
reverse the decision a quo, or modify the same by reducing or increasing the penalty upon a concomitant modification of the findings on the
nature of the crime committed or the computation of the penalty therefor. Here, we are further confronted by the situation wherein the first
crime of rape in 1990 of which we find appellant guilty is covered by the original provisions of the Revised Penal Code, while the other nine
crimes of rape committed in 1994 are governed by the amendatory provisions of Republic Act No. 7659, with circumstances necessitating
higher penalties, and which took effect on December 31, 1993. 42
Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7659 provides that where the victim of the crime of rape is under eighteen years of age and the offender is,
inter alia, a guardian of the victim, the death penalty shall be imposed. The inevitable query, since the fact is mentioned in passing in the
records, is whether or not appellant is a guardian in the contemplation of this amendment to the law on rape such that, the victim being a
minor, he should be punished with the higher penalty of death for the nine crimes of rape committed by him in May and June, 1994 and on
July 16 and July 21, 1994.
In the law on rape, the role of a guardian is provided for in Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code, specifically as one who, aside from the
offended party, her parents or grandparents, is authorized to file the sworn written complaint to commence the prosecution for that crime. In
People vs. De la Cruz, 43 it was held that the guardian referred to in the law is either a legal or judicial guardian as understood in the rules on
civil procedure.
That holding was rationalized as follows:
"Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code, paragraph 3, is as follows:
"Tampoco puede procederse por causa de estupro, rapto, violacin o abusos deshonestos, sino en virtud de denuncia de la parte agraviada, o
de sus padres, o abuelos o tutor, ni despus de haberse otorgado al ofensor, perdn expreso por dichas partes, segun los casos. Without
passing at this time on the question whether the tutor (legal guardian) may file a complaint in the temporary absence of the parents or
grandparents of the offended party, it suffices to say that we cannot accept the view of the Government that an aunt who has the temporary
custody of a minor in the absence of her father occupies the position of a tutor (legal guardian). The word 'tutor' (guardian) appearing in
article 344, supra, must be given the same meaning as in section 551 of the Code of Civil Procedure, that is to say, a guardian legally
appointed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XXVII of the Code of Civil Procedure."
It would not be logical to say that the word "guardian" in the third paragraph of Article 344 which is mentioned together with parents and
grandparents of the offended party would have a concept different from the "guardian" in the recent amendments of Article 335 where he is
also mentioned in the company of parents and ascendants of the victim. In Article 344, the inclusion of the guardian is only to invest him with
the power to sign a sworn written complaint to initiate the prosecution of four crimes against chastity, while his inclusion in the enumeration
of the offenders in Article 335 is to authorize the imposition of the death penalty on him. With much more reason, therefore, should the
restrictive concept announced in De la Cruz, that is, that he be a legal or judicial guardian, be required in the latter article.
The Court notes from the transcripts of the proceedings in Congress on this particular point 44 that the formulators were not definitive on the
concept of "guardian" as it now appears in the attendant circumstances added to the original provisions of Article 335 of the Code. They took
note of the status of a guardian as contemplated in the law on rape but, apparently on pragmatic considerations to be determined by the
courts on an ad hoc basis, they agreed to just state "guardian" without the qualification that he should be a legal or judicial guardian. It was
assumed, however, that he should at the very least be a de facto guardian. Indeed, they must have been aware of jurisprudence that the
guardian envisaged in Article 335 of the Code, even after its amendment by Republic Act No. 4111, would either be a natural guardian,
sometimes referred to as a legal or statutory guardian, or a judicial guardian appointed by the court over the person of the ward.
They did agree, however, that the additional attendant circumstances introduced by Republic Act No. 7659 should be considered as special
qualifying circumstances specifically applicable to the crime of rape and, accordingly, cannot be offset by mitigating circumstances. The
obvious ratiocination is that, just like the effect of the attendant circumstances theretofore added by Republic Act No. 4111, although the
crime is still denominated as rape such circumstances have changed the nature of simple rape by producing a qualified form thereof
punishable by the higher penalty of death. 45
Coming back to the categorization of the functions of appellant in relation to private complainant and her brother, we are not prepared to say
that, under the particular and peculiar facts obtaining in this case, the former sustained the relation of guardian to the latter, whether as a
natural or legal, or even de facto and, much less, judicial guardian. He cannot be a legal or natural guardian as that refers to parents, nor
even a guardian de son tort (sometimes referred to as a quasi-guardian or guardian by estoppel) since he did not on his own assume to act
as a guardian of, say, a foundling. 46 The fact is that he is not related to and he did not even support the children as it was Elizabeth Ong,
then later her brother who provided the food, other necessities and instructions for the care of the children, and they have been living in
Elizabeth's house wherein appellant was in that respect merely a hanger-on and a freeloader. He was merely expected to carry out Elizabeth's
directions, and Elizabeth continued to be the guardian de facto of the children.
Appellant has not been proven to have exercised any valid act of patria potestas over complainant and her brother, unless we consider
beating and abusing them as within that concept. In fine, at the very most, appellant was only an unwilling custodian and caretaker, not
unlike a domestic majordomo or steward of the house and the children, and for which services he obtained free board and lodging. Ironically,
that amorphous role that he played in the lives of the children, and which enabled him to abuse them, offers him salvation from the death
penalty which he deserves. This is because the Court proceeds only under the dictates of the law and never under errant emotionalism or
maudlin sentimentality.
The law requires a legal or judicial guardian since it is the consanguineous relation or the solemnity of judicial appointment which impresses
upon the guardian the lofty purposes of his office and normally deters him from violating its objectives. Such considerations do not obtain in
appellant's case or, for that matter, any person similarly circumstanced as a mere custodian of a ward or another's property. The fiduciary
powers granted to a real guardian warrant the exacting sanctions should he betray the trust.
It results, therefore, that appellant cannot be considered as the guardian falling within the ambit of the amendatory provision introduced by
Republic Act No. 7659. He would not fall either in the category of the "common-law spouse of the parent of the victim" in the same
enumeration, since his liaison is with respect to the aunt of Jackielyn. Since both logic and fact conjointly demonstrate that he is actually only
a custodian, that is, a mere caretaker of the children over whom he exercises a limited degree of authority for a temporary period, we cannot
impose the death penalty contemplated for a real guardian under the amendments introduced by Republic Act No. 7659, since he does not fit
into that category.
One further observation. Article 335 originally provided only for simple rape punishable by reclusion perpetua, but Republic Act No. 4111
introduced amendments thereto by providing for qualified forms of rape carrying the death penalty, that is, when committed with the use of a
deadly weapon or by two or more persons, when by reason or on the occasion of the rape the victim becomes insane, or, under the same
circumstances, a homicide is committed. The homicide in the last two instances in effect created a special complex crime of rape with
homicide. The first two attendant circumstances are considered as equivalent to qualifying circumstances since they increase the penalties by
degrees, and not merely as aggravating circumstances which effect only the period of the penalty but do not increase it to a higher degree.
The original provisions of Article 335 and the amendments of Republic Act No. 4111 are still maintained.
As earlier observed, Republic Act No. 7659 thereafter introduced seven more attendant circumstances the presence of any of which takes the
case out of the purview of simple rape, and effectively qualifies the same by increasing the penalty one degree higher through the imposition
of the death penalty. All these new attendant circumstances, just like those introduced by Republic Act No. 4111, partake of the nature of
qualifying circumstances, and not merely aggravating circumstances, on the same rationale already explained.
Now, it has long been the rule that qualifying circumstances must be properly pleaded in the indictment. If the same are not pleaded but
proved, they shall be considered only as aggravating circumstances, 47 since the latter admit of proof even if not pleaded. 48 Indeed, it
would be a denial of the right of the accused to be informed of the charges against him and, consequently, a denial of due process, if he is
charged with simple rape and be convicted of its qualified form punishable with death, although the attendant circumstance qualifying the
offense and resulting in capital punishment was not alleged in the indictment on which he was arraigned. cdtai
Recapitulating, the information filed against appellant charged only the felony of simple rape and no attendant qualifying circumstance,
specifically that of his being supposedly a guardian of the victim, was alleged. On this additional consideration, he cannot, therefore, be
punished with the penalty of death even assuming arguendo that he is such a guardian. Neither can that fact be considered to aggravate his
liability as the penalty for simple rape is the single indivisible penalty of reclusion perpetua. 49
The end result, therefore, is that for the ten crimes of rape of which we declare him guilty, only the penalty of reclusion perpetua can be
imposed. He must, however, be further held liable for the corresponding indemnity to the victim, as well as exemplary damages for each
count of rape. 50
WHEREFORE, the challenged judgment of the court a quo is MODIFIED. Accused-appellant David Garcia y Quitorio is hereby declared guilty of
ten (10) felonies of simple rape and ordered to serve the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each felony, subject to the provisions of Article 70
of the Revised Penal Code. He is further ordered to indemnify Jackielyn Ong in the sum of P50,000.00 for each of the ten (10) felonies of
rape, to pay her exemplary damages of P25,000.00 likewise for each of the ten (10) felonies of rape, and to pay the costs in all instances of
this criminal proceeding.
SO ORDERED.

8. PEOPLE VS VILLAMOR, 297 SCRA 763


FACTS: SYNOPSIS
Accused was charged with multiple rape, on a 13-year old complainant whom he allegedly abused 10 times from September 1989 to October
1993, and as a result of which she became pregnant and gave birth on July 2, 1994. Thus, the trial court convicted the accused of 10 counts of
the crime of rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of 10 reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the complainant the sum of P500,000.00
and to support the offspring. Hence, this appeal.

The Supreme Court noted that the information failed to state the age of the complainant considering that the accused was convicted of statutory
rape. This defect notwithstanding, the Court ruled that the trial court did not err in its decision. At the time the crime was committed, the
imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua, and the information was merely defective. The same was cured by evidence during trial and no objection
was raised. Further, the defect cannot be considered a violation of the right of the accused to be informed of the charge against him, as he was
aware that his victim was a mere slip of a girl, unsophisticated and defenseless. Moreover, the Order issued by the investigating judge clearly
stated that the complainant was only nine (9) years old when the crime started.

On the propriety of being charged of ten counts of rape under one information, the accused, before entering his plea, should have moved to
quash the complaint for being duplicitous. For failure therefor, he is deemed to have waived the defect and, hence, the Court could convict him
of as many offenses as are charged and proved, and impose on him the penalty for each and every one of them. ITSCED

The Court after going over the case in its entirety, was convinced about the culpability of the accused. The trial court's decision was affirmed,
with modification that the offended party be paid by the accused an additional amount of P100,000.00 as moral damages.

SYLLABUS

1. CRIMINAL LAW; STATUTORY RAPE; CONVICTION PROPER ALTHOUGH THE INFORMATION FAILED TO STATE THE AGE OF COMPLAINANT;
CASE AT BAR. The accused was convicted of statutory rape, although the information failed to state the age of the complainant. This defect
notwithstanding, the trial court did not err in convicting the accused of statutory rape. First, the crime having occurred prior to the effectivity
of Republic Act No. 7659, the imposable penalty would still be reclusion perpetua. Second, the information was not void, it was merely defective.
A defective information cannot support a judgment of conviction unless the defect was cured by evidence during the trial and no objection
appears to have been raised. In this case, complainant, at the time the first sexual abuse occurred, was only nine years old, a fact not objected
to by the defense. Third, the failure to state the age of the complainant in the information cannot be considered as a violation of the right of
the accused to be informed of the charge against him. After all, it would be illogical not to assume that when accused ravished the complainant,
he was aware that his victim was a mere slip of a girl, unsophisticated and defenseless. Moreover, aside from being his niece, the complainant
lived with him under the same roof. Furthermore, there was substantial compliance with the constitutional mandate that an accused be informed
of the nature of the charge against him when the Order issued by the investigating judge clearly stated that the complainant was nine years
old. Consequently, the defense cannot invoke the element of surprise as to deprive it of the opportunity to suitably prepare for the accused's
defense.

2. ID.; RAPE; GUIDING PRINCIPLES IN DECIDING CASE THEREOF. The following are the principles in deciding crimes of rape: that the
accusation for rape can be made facilely, it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused to disprove; the evidence for the
prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense.
Corollarily, when the victim says that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has been committed, and if
her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof. Therefore, it is necessary that for evidence to
be believed, it must not only proceed from a credible witness, but must be credible in itself, such as the common experience and observation
of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances. CDESIA

3. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; WITNESSES; CREDIBILITY; NOT AFFECTED BY DELAY IN REPORTING THE CRIME. Accused harps on the
fact that it took the complainant more than five (5) years to report the crime. The delay can easily be explained by the fact that from the first
to the last offense, the victim was still a minor living in the house of the accused and dependent on him for shelter and sustenance. To aggravate
the situation, accused threatened the complainant with death. Under such circumstances, a young girl is easily intimidated and would rather
keep quiet than risk physical harm and humiliation. Also, the accused was the uncle of the complainant He was at least 40 years old when the
first assault was committed and must have exercised moral ascendancy, not to mention physical superiority, over the complainant.

4. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; NOT AFFECTED BY FAILURE TO REMEMBER DATES OF THE COMMISSION OF THE OFFENSE. Failure of the
complainant to remember the specific dates of defilements is immaterial. We have held that victims of rape hardly retain in their memories the
dates, number of times and manner they were violated. Suffice it to say, the date of the commission of the rape is not an essential element of
the crime.

5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; TESTIMONIES OF THE RAPE VICTIM, UPHELD. No young and decent Filipina would publicly admit that she was
ravished and her honor tainted unless the same was true, for it would be instinctive on her part to protect her honor and obtain justice for the
wicked acts committed upon her. Plainly, only a woman seeking justice with truth as her weapon could have braved this calvary. Complainant's
testimony, during the direct and cross examination, was straightforward, clear and convincing. The testimony of rape victims who are young
and immature deserve full credence.

6. ID.; ID.; DENIAL; WEAK DEFENSE THAT CANNOT PREVAIL OVER POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION. The accused could only offer, by way
of defense, a mere denial, without even explaining relevant factors. Denial, as a defense, is inherently weak and is viewed with disfavor by the
courts due to the facility with which it can be concocted. The same cannot prevail over the positive identification of the accused by the prosecution
witness.

7. ID.; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; PROSECUTION OF OFFENSES; DUPLICITY OF OFFENSES; CURED BY FAILURE TO QUASH COMPLAINT
BEFORE ENTERING A PLEA. Accused also questions the propriety of being charged of ten (10) counts of rape under one information.
Admittedly, Section 13, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court provides that an information must only charge one offense, except only in those cases
in which existing laws prescribe a single punishment for various offenses. However; under Sections 1 and 3(e) of Rule 117, the accused, before
entering his plea, should have moved to quash the complaint for being duplicitous. Otherwise, he is deemed to have waived the defect. Hence,
the Court could convict him of as many offenses as are charged and proved, and impose on him the penalty for each and every one of them.

8. CRIMINAL LAW; RAPE; PROPER PENALTY AND CIVIL INDEMNITY IN CASE AT BAR. Since the offenses were committed prior to the
effectivity of RA 7659, the penalty of reclusion perpetua should be imposed. Thus, the trial court correctly sentenced the accused to reclusion
perpetua for each count of rape. Furthermore, P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for each count of rape was in line with prevailing jurisprudence
existing at the time the trial court rendered its judgment. Accordingly, the civil indemnity to be awarded to the complainant is P50,000.00 for
each count of rape, or a total of P500,000.00. Also, moral damages may now be awarded to the victim without the need for proving the same
in the pleadings. After all, the anguish and pain that the victim had to endure are so evident that it would be expecting too much for her to
recite in detail her traumatic experience, simply to obtain pecuniary restitution. IHCESD
DECISION

ROMERO, J p:

In an information dated December 23, 1993, 1 accused was charged with multiple rape allegedly committed as follows: cda

"The undersigned 1st Asst. Provincial Prosecutor, accused CARLOS VILLAMOR, of Marintoc, Mobo, Masbate, of the crime of Multiple Rape,
committed as follows:

That sometime in the month of September, 1989 up to October 1993, at Barangay Marintoc, Municipality of Mobo, Province of Masbate,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, by means of force, did then and there wilfully,
unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge many times with Efegin Villamor against the latter's will and without her consent.

Contrary to law."

Thereafter, with the assistance of counsel, accused entered a plea of "not guilty" during his arraignment and the case proceeded to trial in due
course. On January 5, 1996, Judge Manuel S. Pecson of the Regional Trial Court of Masbate, Branch 48, rendered judgment convicting the
accused of ten counts of rape. The dispositive portion of the assailed decision is quoted herein: cda

"WHEREFORE, premises considered, CARLOS VILLAMOR is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of ten (10) counts of rape committed
under Article 335, paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Revised Penal Code. The Court hereby imposes upon the accused the penalty of RECLUSION
PERPETUA for each count or a total of ten (10) RECLUSION PERPETUA. In line with the prevailing jurisprudence, and considering the age of the
victim, the depravity of the crime, and the psychological trauma involved, he is ordered to indemnify the complainant the sum of FIFTY
THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) for each count or a total of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P500,000.00) and to support the offspring.
With costs.

SO ORDERED."

The evidence of the prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of the complainant Efegin Villamor, thirteen (13) years of age. According to
her, sometime in September 1989, while she was at home sleeping in the bedroom, she was awakened by the movements inside the room and
was surprised to see in front of her the accused, her own uncle, with a bolo in his hand. Immediately, the accused removed the complainant's
underwear. However, the complainant resisted his advances, as a result of which she was punched and strangled until she lost consciousness.
2 Upon regaining consciousness soon after, she saw to her dismay the accused still on top of her in the process of consummating his bestial
desire. 3 After satisfying his lust, accused threatened the complainant not to report the incident to anyone. 4

Complainant's harrowing experience continued for four (4) more years or until October 30, 1993, when the accused again sexually assaulted
the complainant. At this point, complainant could no longer take such deprivations that sometime in November 1993, she related her experience
to a certain Donna Thelma Bongais. 5 Thereafter, Bongais reported the matter to Nilda Medina of the Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD) in Masbate. The DSWD, in turn, took custody of the complainant.

The complainant was immediately examined by Dra. Florenda D. Almero, provincial health officer of Masbate, who issued a report entitled
"Physical and Medical Examination" which shows the following:
"EXTERNAL FINDINGS:

LMP August 30, 1993

Breast developed

Pubic hair sparsely grown

no palpable abdominal mass

INTERNAL FINDINGS:

With curdled-mild-like discharge

inside the vaginal canal

Hymen has old-healed laceration

corresponding to 2, 6, and 9:00

o'clock in the face of the clock

Orifice admits three fingers of

the examiner's hand with slight

resistance dctai

SMEAR FOR HUMAN SPERMATOZOA: Pregnancy Test (+)

In addition, the complainant also revealed that she was abused at least ten (10) times from September 1989 to October 1993. 6 As a result of
these abuses, she became pregnant and gave birth on July 2, 1994. 7

The accused, on the other hand, claims that the charge against him was a fabrication by the complainant due to her hostility against him and
upon the inducement of Donna Thelma Bongais. Accused testified that private complainant, at an early age, was already involved with his son
Danilo, as evidenced by the two letters he discovered in his son's wallet. 8 Upon learning of their relationship, he confronted the complainant
and manifested his objections. Moreover, on two (2) occasions, he allegedly caught the complainant and his son having carnal knowledge. 9
These incidents, according to the accused, aroused the anger of the complainant, precipitating her charges against him alleging rape. The
testimony of the accused was corroborated by his wife, Romana, who narrated that she knew the relationship of Danilo and the complainant.
10

Meanwhile, to establish the basis for Bongais' inducement, accused testified that he had a quarrel with the former's brother due to a
misunderstanding concerning an ice box. 11
In resolving the case, the trial court accorded full faith and credence to the testimony of the complainant regarding how she was sexually
molested by the accused. Finding her testimony clear, straightforward and convincing, it dismissed the claim of the accused that the charge
against him was merely a fabrication by both the complainant and Bongais. Thus, the trial court convicted the accused of ten (10) counts of the
crime of rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of ten reclusion perpetua, to indemnify the complainant the sum of P500,000.00 and to
support the offspring. cdasia

Obviously, unable to accept his fate, accused appeals before us raising the sole issue that:

"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF TEN (10) COUNTS OF RAPE." 12

The appeal has no merit.

Before resolving the substantive issue of this appeal, it is worth noting that the information filed against the accused failed to state the age of
the complainant, considering that the accused was convicted of statutory rape.

This defect notwithstanding, we rule that the trial court did not err in convicting the accused of statutory rape. First, the crime having occurred
prior to the effectivity of Republic Act No. 7659, otherwise known as the Death Penalty Law, whether the offense was committed under paragraph
1 using force or intimidation or paragraph 3 statutory rape of Article 335, the imposable penalty would still be the same reclusion
perpetua. Second, the information filed was not void, it was merely defective. In this regard, the general rule is that a defective information
cannot support a judgment of conviction unless the defect was cured by evidence during the trial and no objection appears to have been raised.
13 In this case, complainant Efegin Villamor testified that at the time the first sexual abuse occurred, she was only nine years old, 14 a fact
which was not objected to by the defense. Third, the failure to state the age of the complainant in the information cannot be considered as a
violation of the right of the accused to be informed of the charge against him. After all, it would be illogical not to assume that when accused
ravished the complainant, he was aware that his victim was a mere slip of a girl, unsophisticated and defenseless.

Moreover, aside from being his niece, the complainant lived with him under the same roof. Furthermore, even if the information filed did not
allege that the complainant was nine years old, there was substantial compliance with the constitutional mandate that an accused be informed
of the nature of the charge against him when the Order issued by the investigating judge, a copy of which was attached in the record of the
preliminary investigation, clearly stated that the complainant was nine years old. 15 Consequently, the defense cannot invoke the element of
surprise as to deprive it of the opportunity to suitably prepare for the accused's defense. 16

With respect to the substantive aspect of this case, established by a growing body of jurisprudence are the following principles in deciding
crimes of rape: that the accusation for rape can be made facilely; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused to disprove;
the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence
for the defense. 17 Corollarily, when the victim says that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has
been committed, and if her testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof. 18 Therefore, it is
necessary that for evidence to be believed, it must not only proceed from a credible witness, but must be credible in itself, such as the common
experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances. 19 These doctrines are material and pertinent in
resolving instant appeal. prcd

In the instant petition, accused harps on the fact that it took the complainant more than five (5) years to report the crime. 20 The delay can
easily be explained by the fact that from the first to the last offense in October 1993, the victim was still a minor living in the house of the
accused and dependent on him for shelter and sustenance. To aggravate the situation, accused threatened the complainant with death. Under
such circumstances, a young girl is easily intimidated and would rather keep quiet than risk physical harm and humiliation.

In a plethora of cases, we have ruled that "it is not uncommon for a young girl of tender age to be intimidated into silence by the mildest threat
against her life." 21 Also, the accused was the uncle of the complainant, her father being the brother of the accused. 22 He was at least 40
years old when the first assault was committed and obviously, he must have exercised moral ascendancy, not to mention physical superiority,
over the complainant, a nine-year old ingenue. In addition, the accused stresses the failure of the complainant to remember the specific dates
of the ten (10) other defilements. This is immaterial. We have held that victims of rape hardly retain in their memories the dates, number of
times and manner they were violated. 23 Suffice it to say, the date of the commission of the rape is not an essential element of the crime. 24

It is highly inconceivable that the complainant would accuse appellant of rape just because he allegedly castigated her over her lovelife. No
young and decent Filipina would publicly admit that she was ravished and her honor tainted unless the same was true, for it would be instinctive
on her part to protect her honor and obtain justice for the wicked acts committed upon her. 25 Plainly, only a woman seeking justice with truth
as her weapon could have braved this calvary. 26 In the same light, it stretches the imagination to assert that Bongais urged the complainant
to concoct the charge of rape against the accused on the flimsy ground of a misunderstanding between her brother and the accused over a
trifle dispute involving an ice bucket. LLphil

In like manner, we cannot accept the theory that it was Danilo, the son of the accused, who had intercourse with the complainant. The records
show that the private complainant vehemently denied this allegation. Her testimony, during the direct and cross examination was
straightforward, clear and convincing. 27 Besides, we find it unbelievable that the complainant and Danilo would even have a sexual relationship,
considering that both were less than fourteen (14) years old when the alleged liaison started in 1992. On this score, it has been stressed often
enough that the testimony of rape victims who are young and immature deserve full credence. 28

Accused, in an effort to destroy the credibility of the complainant, contends that the fact that she cannot even remember the exact month and
date of her brother's death casts a serious doubt on the veracity and reliability of her testimony, especially regarding important matters. 29
This alleged "lapse of memory" of the complainant is too inconsequential to merit a discourse on the matter. The complainant cannot be faulted
for her inability to remember the exact date, for after all, her brother died when she was only nine years old.

Finally, accused also questions the propriety of being charged of ten (10) counts of rape under one information. 30 Admittedly, Section 13, Rule
110 of the Rules of Court provides that an information must only charge one offense, except only in those cases in which existing laws prescribe
a single punishment for various offenses. However, under Sections 1 and 3(e) of Rule 117, the accused, before entering his plea, should have
moved to quash the complaint for being duplicitous. Otherwise, he is deemed to have waived the defect. 31 Hence, the Court could convict him
of as many offenses as are charged and proved, and impose on him the penalty for each and every one of them. 32

After going over the complainant's testimony in its entirety, we are convinced about the culpability of the accused for the other nine (9) counts
of rape. The accused could only offer, by way of defense, a mere denial, without even explaining or elucidating relevant factors. 33 Time and
again, we have ruled that denial, as a defense, is inherently weak and is viewed with disfavor by the courts due to the facility with which it can
be concocted. 34 The same cannot prevail over the positive identification of the accused by the prosecution witness. 35
As regards the penalty imposed and damages awarded by the trial court, it must be pointed out that under Republic Act No. 7659, 36 which
amended Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, the relationship of uncle and niece in rape makes the imposition of the death penalty mandatory.
37

However, since the offenses were committed prior to the effectivity of the aforementioned law, then the original penalty which is reclusion
perpetua, a single indivisible penalty, should be imposed. Thus, the trial court correctly sentenced the accused to reclusion perpetua for each
count of rape. 38

In addition, since there was a total of ten separate counts of rape in the instant case, the trial court imposed P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for
each, or a total of P500,000.00. Evidently, the award of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity was in line with prevailing jurisprudence existing at the
time the trial court rendered its judgment. Accordingly, the civil indemnity to be awarded to the complainant should be P50,000.00 for each
count of rape, or a total of P500,000 00. cdtai

In addition to the civil indemnity, in crimes of rape, moral damages may now be awarded to the victim without the need for proving the same
in the pleadings. 39 After all, the anguish and pain that the victim had to endure are so evident that it would be expecting too much for her to
recite in detail her traumatic experience, simply to obtain pecuniary restitution. We need not belabor the fact that a rape victim is a victim many
times over. She is physically, socially, psychologically and emotionally scarred resulting in trauma which may last a lifetime. Simply put, "rape
stigmatizes the victim worse than the perpetrators, as our culture puts premium into purity and virginity as virtues. 40

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Masbate, Branch 48, in Criminal Case No. 7224 is hereby
AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATION that accused Carlos Villamor is ordered to pay the offended party, Efegin Villamor, the additional amount
of P100,000.00 as moral damages, or a total of P600,000.00, with costs.

SO ORDERED.

9. PEOPLE VS BUGAYONG, 299 SCRA 528


FIRST DIVISION
[G.R. No. 126518. December 2, 1998.]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. RODELIO BUGAYONG, accused-appellant.
SYLLABUS
1. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; PROSECUTION OF OFFENSES; THE PRECISE TIME OF THE COMMISSION OF AN OFFENSE
NEED NOT BE ALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION, UNLESS IT IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE CRIME. It is doctrinal that
the precise time of the commission of an offense need not be alleged in the complaint or information, unless time is an essential element of
the crime charged. Section 11, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, buttresses this view: Section 11. Time of the commission of the offense. It
is not necessary to state in the complaint or information the precise time at which the offense was committed except when time is a material
ingredient of the offense, but the act may be alleged to have been committed at any time as near to the actual date at which the offense was
committed as the information or complaint will permit." It bears emphasis that the date is not an essential element of rape, for the gravamen
of the offense is carnal knowledge of a woman. The time-tested rule is that "when the 'time' given in the complaint is not of the essence of
the offense, it need not be proven as alleged and that the complaint will be sustained if the proof shows that the offense was committed at
any time within the period of the statute of limitations and before the commencement of the action." cdasia
2. ID.; ID.; MOTION TO QUASH; MAY BE FILED AT ANYTIME BEFORE ENTERING A PLEA; WHEN DEEMED WAIVED; CASE AT BAR.
Section 1, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court, states that the accused may move to quash the information "at any time before entering his plea."
However, appellant failed, within the prescribed period, to file such motion on the ground of duplicity. He is thus deemed to have waived the
defect in the Information. It is axiomatic that "when the accused fails, before arraignment, to move for the quashal of such information and
goes to trial thereunder, he thereby waives the objection, and may be found guilty of as many offenses as those charged in the information
and proved during the trial."
3. CRIMINAL LAW; RAPE; CIVIL INDEMNITY; MORAL DAMAGES, WHEN AWARDED; CASE AT BAR. The trial court correctly awarded
P50,000 as indemnity ex delicto, an amount which is automatically granted to the offended party without need of further evidence other than
the fact of the commission of rape. Consistent with recent jurisprudence, appellant should also be ordered to pay the victim the additional
amount of P50,000 as moral damages. In People vs. Prades, G.R. No. 127569, July 30, 1998, p. 19, per curiam. See also People vs. Moreno,
G.R. No. 126921, August 28, 1998, the Court resolved that moral damages may additionally be awarded to the victim in the criminal
proceeding, in such amount as the Court deems just, without the need for pleading or proof of the basis thereof as has heretofore been the
practice. SHTcDE
DECISION
PANGANIBAN, J p:
The Information charged appellant with statutory rape committed "before and until October 15, 1994 . . . several times." In the instant
appeal, he asserts that this allegation regarding the date of the commission of the offense violated his constitutional right "to be informed of
the nature and cause of the accusation against him." cdtai
The Case
This is the main question raised before the Court by the appellant who seeks the reversal of the May 29, 1996 Decision 1 of the Regional Trial
Court of Baguio City, which convicted him of rape and acts of lasciviousness.
On January 5, 1995, First Assistant City Prosecutor Herminio C. Carbonell charged appellant with rape in an Information 2 which reads:
"The undersigned 1st Asst. City Prosecutor hereby accuses RODELIO BUGAYONG a.k.a. "BOY" of the crime of RAPE, at the instance, relation
and written complaint of ARLENE CAUAN, a minor, 11 years of age. Copies of her statement are hereto attached and made an integral part of
this INFORMATION, committed as follows:
"That sometime before and until October 15, 1994, in the City of Baguio, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the
above-named accused, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, and by means of force or intimidation, have carnal knowledge
of the said complainant, several times, against her will and consent."
When arraigned on July 10, 1995, 3 appellant, with the assistance of counsel, entered a plea of not guilty. After trial in due course, the court
a quo rendered the assailed Decision, the dispositive portion of which we quote below:
"WHEREFORE, premises considered, the accused RODELIO BUGAYONG is hereby found GUILTY of the crime of Acts of Lasciviousness
committed on October 15, 1994 and he is hereby sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of six (6) months of arresto mayor as
minimum to four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional as maximum, and of the crime of Rape he committed in 1993 for which
he is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua." 4
Hence, this appeal filed directly before this Court. 5
The Facts
Common Version of the Prosecution
and the Defense
Adopted by the lower court and the prosecution, appellant's summation of the facts of the case is reproduced hereunder: 6
"Alberto Cauan and Leticia Yu Cauan got married on May 14, 1978. Out of this marital union they begot three (3) children, namely: ALBERT,
HONEYLET and ARLENE[,] the private complainant herein. The spouses Alberto and Leticia Cauan separated way back in 1983. Albert and
Arlene stayed with their mother Leticia while Honeylet stayed with her grandmother Anita Yu at Slaughter Comp[o]und, Baguio City. Later,
Alberto and Leticia started living together with another woman and another man respectively, [with whom each of them] raised another
family . . . Leticia cohabited with the accused RODELIO BUGAYONG and had one (1) child, a minor by the name of CATHERINE BUGAYONG.
For his part, ALBERTO CAUAN lived in with another woman with whom he has six (6) children.
"In October 1994, Leticia, the accused RODELIO BUGAYONG, ALBERT and the then 11 year old ARLENE (who was born on November 19,
1982) were residing at No. 13 MRR Queen of Peace, Baguio City. On October 15, 1994 accused RODELIO BUGAYONG had ARLENE hold his
penis inside the room he share[d] with Leticia. At that time CATHERINE BUGAYONG who was six (6) years old was also inside the same room
and her father, the accused was letting her sleep. Bugayong threatened to maim Arlene if she [did]- not hold his penis. When the penis was
already hard and stiff, he placed it inside the mouth of Arlene and a white substance came out from the penis. The young girl CATHERINE
BUGAYONG saw this incident. Arlene testified that her stepfather had been doing the same act when she was still in Grade 3 and was nine
years old. She also said that there were occasions when BUGAYONG played first with his penis then touched her vagina with his penis until a
white substance [came] out [of] it and that was the time BUGAYONG would pull back his penis, or in the words of Arlene "idinidikit at pag
may lumabas saka inilalayo." When asked to explain what she meant by "idinidikit", Arlene said that the penis of BUGAYONG partly entered
[her] vagina and she got hurt.
"In any event, when LETICIA arrived home that day, CATHERINE reported to her that her father, RODELIO BUGAYONG, had Arlene hold his
penis and put it inside the mouth of the former. Leticia called for RODELIO BUGAYONG and they talked. While the two (2) were talking,
Alberto, the elder brother of Arlene, called for the latter and they went to the house of their grandmother ANITA YU at Slaughter Compound
for fear that something [would] happen. Arlene reported the incident to her grandmother. Anita Yu told Arlene that she [would] not allow her
to go to her mother and that she (YU) [would] file a case against Bugayong.
"In the morning of October 27, 1994, Arlene Cauan accompanied by her father Alberto Cauan and her aunt Marilyn Yu, Carmelita Yu and
Rosie Yu went to the National Bureau of Investigation to file a complaint. They were advised by an NBI agent to go to the hospital to have
Arlene examined by a Medico-legal Officer. Dr. HUMBELINA HARRIET M. LAZO examined Arlene and issued a certification stating therein her
findings. The medical findings (EXH. "A") are hereunder quoted:
CERTIFICATION
TO WHOM THIS MAY CONCERN:
This is to certify that I have personally seen and examined ARLENE CAUAN, 11 years old, female, child, a Grade V pupil from Slaughter
Compound, who was allegedly sexually assaulted, . . . by father Alberto Cauan.
NOI: Alleged Sexual Assault
POI: #13 Queen of Peace Road, Baguio City
TOI: 3:15 P.M.
DOI: 15 October 1994
G/S: Conscious. coherent. ambulatory, afebrile.
Skin: No abrasion, no hematoma.
C/L: Clear breath sounds.
Extremities: No edema .
Perineal Inspection:
Posterior fourchette not well coaptated.
Labia majora with erythema.
Labia minora with erythema.
Hymen:open with old healed laceration at 5 o'clock
and 8 o'clock position[s].
V[a]gina: Admit one finger with ease.
Laboratory Result:
Sperm Cell Identification: Negative for sperm cell
Gram Stain: Smear shows moderate gram (+) cocci
appearing singly and in pairs with rare (+) rods.
Epithelial cells: few.
Pus cells: 5-8.
"The following day, October 28, 1994 they went back to the NBI office. Arlene gave her sworn statement (EXH. "C"). Alberto Cauan also gave
his sworn statement (EXH "E").
"Pertinent portions of Arlene's statement given to the NBI read
4. Q. Of what nature [is the complaint you are] filing . . . against your stepfather?
A. The nature of my . . . complaint against my "TATAY" (RODELIO BUGAYONG) is [that] he raped me several times ever since I was nine
years old and while I was in Grade 3.
7. Q. Were there other instances that your father sexually molested you?
A. I could no longer remember how many times and everytime he sexually molested me he would threaten to hurt me. There were even
times that he would force me to put his penis into my mouth until something sticky would come out of his penis and inside my mouth. At
times he would play with his penis and when that sticky liquid already c[a]me out [of] his penis, he would put his penis into my vagina and
force it inside and he [would] put the sticky liquid inside my vagina. He did this when I was around 10 years old but lately he would only force
me to lick and swallow his penis until the sticky liquid which comes out of his penis suddenly comes out."
Ruling of the Trial Court
The trial court held that the accused raped the victim in 1993, not in 1994. Notwithstanding the rather encompassing allegation in the
Information that the crime was committed "before and until October 15, 1994," the trial court ruled that it could legally convict the accused
for the crime committed in 1993. The primordial consideration in determining the sufficiency of the averment in the Information as to time is
whether the accused was accorded the opportunity to prepare a defense. In this case, the trial court observed that he was not so deprived.
Furthermore, it noted that the Information charged more than one offense, but that the accused failed to interpose an opposition.
The Issues
In his Brief, appellant raises the following issues:
"I
The lower court erred in convicting the accused-appellant [of] statutory rape that was proved to have been committed in 1993 under an
information alleging that the offense was committed on or before October 15 of the year 1994.
"II
The lower court erred [i]n convicting the accused [of] statutory rape [on] an unspecified date in 1993." 7
In fine, he poses the question of whether he may be convicted of rape committed in 1993, under the present Information, which accused him
of committing the said crime "before and until October 15, 1994 . . . several times." In other words, the issue is whether appellant's
conviction for the said act is warranted under the Information. In resolving this issue, the Court will determine whether the averment in the
Information in respect to the time of the commission of the crime sufficiently apprised appellant of the "nature and cause of the accusation
against him." 8
The Court's Ruling,
The appeal is devoid of merit.
Main Issue: Sufficiency of the Information
Appellant argues that he cannot be convicted of a crime committed in 1993 under the Information that accused him of rape "before or until
October 15, 1994." He insists that the Information "refer[red] to dates shortly before and until October 15, 1994," but that the trial court
unnecessarily stretched the meaning of the phrase . . . to include any date before it." 9 Thus, appellant claims a violation of his constitutional
right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. He maintains that he was unable to prepare properly for his
defense or to anticipate the evidence to be controverted. We disagree.
Precise Date Need Not Be
Alleged in the Information
Although the Information alleged that the crime was committed "before and until October 15, 1994," the trial court did not err in convicting
appellant of rape committed in 1993. It is doctrinal that the precise time of the commission of an offense need not be alleged in the complaint
or information, unless time is an essential element of the crime charged. 10 Section 11, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, buttresses this view:
"Section 11. Time of the commission of the offense. It is not necessary to state in the complaint or information the precise time at which
the offense was committed except when time is a material ingredient of the offense, but the act may be alleged to have been committed at
any time as near to the actual date at which the offense was committed as the information or complaint will permit."
It bears emphasis that the date is not an essential element of rape, for the gravamen of the offense is carnal knowledge of a n woman. 11
The time-tested rule is that "when the 'time' given in the complaint is not of the essence of the offense, it need not be proven as alleged and
that the complaint will be sustained if the proof shows that the offense was committed at any time within the period of the statute of
limitations and before the commencement of the action." 12
Explaining that the specific date or time need not always appear in the complaint or information, the Court held: dctai
"It is true that the complaint must allege a specific time and place when and where the offense was committed. The proof, however, need not
correspond to this allegation, unless the time and place [are] material and of the essence of the offense as a necessary ingredient in its
description. The evidence is admissible and sufficient if it shows that the crime was committed at any time within the period of the statute of
limitations and before or after the time stated in the complaint or indictment and before the action is commenced." 13
In US v. Dichao, 14 the Court also ruled that "the question [of] whether the allegations of the information are sufficiently definite as to time
and the question which arises [from] a variance between the allegations and the proof are different in nature and legal effect, and are decided
on different principles."
Applying the aforecited rule in People v. Borromeo, 15 the Court elucidated: "[A] difference of one (1) year or twelve (12) months [is] merely
a matter of form and does not prejudice the rights of the accused. . . . The phrase 'on or about' employed in the information does not require
the prosecution to prove any precise date but may prove any date which is not so remote as to surprise and prejudice the defendant."
Indeed, the determinative factor in the resolution of the question involving a variance between allegation and proof in respect of the date of
the crime is the element of surprise on the part of the accused and his corollary inability to defend himself properly. The records of this case
belie appellant's claim of surprise.
No Surprise on the
Part of the Accused
The text of the Information filed in the court below clearly alleged that appellant committed rape "before or until October 15, 1994 . . .
several times." If vagueness afflicted the aforementioned text of the Information, it was cured by the victim's Sworn Statement, which was
expressly made an integral part of the Information. The victim categorically alleged that she had been raped by appellant in 1993 when she
was in grade three, as the pertinent portions of the Sworn Statement indicate:
"04. Q Of what nature [is the complaint you are] filing . . . against your stepfather?
A The nature of my filing a complaint against my "TATAY" is [that] he raped me several times ever since I was nine years old and while
I was in Grade 3.
05. Q Could your please narrate to me how this happened?
A Ever since I was [in] Grade 3, my stepfather always forced me to play with his penis and whenever I refused, he would threaten to
hurt me by saying "KUNG HINDI KA PAPAYAG, LULUMPUHIN KITA", so I played with his penis until it was fully erect, then he [would] tell me
to get out of their room.
06. Q Was your mother ever around, when he forced you to play with his penis?
A No sir, he would always make it a point that my mother was out of the house when be molested me.
07. Q [Were] there other instances that your father sexually molested you?
A I could no longer remember how many times sir, the only thing that I could remember is he did it to me many times and ever[y]time
he sexually molested me he would threaten to hurt me. There were even times that he would force me to put his penis into my mouth until
something sticky would come out of his penis and inside my mouth. At times he would play with his penis and when that sticky liquid [would]
already come out [of] his penis. he would put his penis into my vagina, and force it inside and he [would] put the sticky liquid inside my
vagina[:] he did this when I was around 10 years old but lately he would only force me to lick and swallow his penis until the sticky liquid
which comes out of his penis suddenly comes out
08. Q Did he ever repeat the forcing of his penis into your vagina?
A Many times sir, he would always pin me down [o]n the bed and force his penis in[to] my vagina.
09. Q When was the last time he molested you?
A The last time he sexually molested me was when my younger sister, CATHERINE BUGAYONG caught us.
10. Q When was this?
A Last October 15, 1994 sir, my sister CATHERINE caught me while my stepfather was forcing me to swallow his penis and letting me
play with it. My sister CATHERINE told my mother about the incident when she arrive[d], then my mother talked to me and asked me if it was
true[;] at first I denied it because my "TATAY" might hurt me, but after a while I confessed to her so she talked to my stepfather and they
had a fight. When my relatives learned of the incident, they fetched me at home and brought me to my grandmother's house at Slaughter
House Compound." (Emphasis supplied.)
In effect, the Sworn Statement substantiated the averments in the Information. Hence, appellant was sufficiently apprised that the "several"
instances of rape committed "before and until October 15, 1994," which were asserted in the body; of the Information, included the sexual
assault on the victim in 1993 as alleged in the said Statement.
Furthermore appellant could not have been oblivious to the victim's Sworn Statement, for he requested and was given an opportunity to rebut
the same in his Motion for Reinvestigation. Below, we repeat with approval the trial court's astute refutation of appellant's feigned ignorance:
"Besides, it can not be said that the accused was surprised and deprived of the chance to prepare for trial because of the allegations of
several incidents of rape he committed "sometime before and until October 15, 1994." The records will show that before he was arraigned
under the present information the accused moved for a reconsideration of the resolution of the City Prosecutor of Baguio finding probable
cause against him and asked for a re-investigation of the case. The Court granted his motion and ordered the City Prosecutor to conduct a re-
investigation of the case. The accused was given the chance to rebut the sworn statement of the private complainant Arlene Cauan contained
in Exhibit "C". And in this sworn statement, Arlene narrated what happened not only on October 15, 1994; she also related other incidents
occurring before the said date, more specifically the one that took place in 1993 when she was in Grade 3. The accused, therefore, was fully
aware, or at least made aware, that he would be charged with rape committed several times before and until October 15, 1994." 16
In arguing that "before and until October 15, 1994" could only mean "on October 15, 1994 or within a reasonable time before such date" 17
and not 1993, appellant asks rhetorically: "What if the prosecution proved that the rape was committed in 1985?" 18 The question, indeed, is
academic. The Sworn Statement alleged and the appellant is here convicted of a rape committed in 1993, not 1985. There is basis to hold
him liable for the rape committed in 1993, but none for a putative crime committed in 1985.
Waiver of the Right to Object
to the Duplicitous Information
It will be noted that appellant was charged with rape committed "before and until October 15, 1994 . . . several times." Said acts are alleged
in only one Information which, as a general rule, is defective for charging more than one offense. 19
Section 1, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court states that the accused may move to quash the information "at any time before entering his plea."
However, appellant failed, within the prescribed period, to file such motion on the ground of duplicity. He is thus deemed to have waived the
defect in the Information. It is axiomatic that "when the accused fails, before arraignment, to move for the quashal of such information and
goes to trial thereunder, he thereby waives the objection, and may be found guilty of as many offenses as those charged in the information
and proved during the trial." 20
To recapitulate, appellant cannot be said to have been deprived of his constitutional right to be informed of the accusation against him.
Despite the duplicitous nature of the Information, he did not object to such defect. Moreover, he was given the chance to defend himself in
court and to cross-examine the complainant. There was no deprivation of due process here.
Sufficiency of Evidence
In his Brief, appellant did not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence proffered to show that he committed rape in 1993. Notwithstanding
such failure, the Court rigorously examined the records and arrived upon the conclusion that his guilt had been established beyond reasonable
doubt. The victim's clear, categorical and straightforward testimony indubitably demonstrated the culpability of appellant for the dastardly
acts committed before and until October 15 1994, viz.:
"Q. Do you know Arlene, will you please tell the Court if in the month of October Rodelio Bugayong did something to you?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What did he do to you?
A. He had his penis held by me, sir.
Q. Where did this happen?
A. At Queen of Peace. sir.
Q. In your house?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who were the persons there at the time when Bugayong told you to hold his penis, in your house at the time?
A. I was with my younger stepsister.
PROS. DIZON:
Q. How old is this younger sister?
A. Six (6) years old.
Q. In 1994, how old was she?
A. Five (5).
Q. So you mean to say younger stepsister, this stepsister is the daughter of Bugayong?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. I see! Now, what did you do when Bugayong told you to hold his penis?
A. I just held it.
Q. Why did you hold it?
A. Because I was afraid of him.
Q. Why, what did he say, if any, to make you afraid of him?
A. He told me that 'lulumpuhin kita' (I will maim you).
Q. In what place of the house did this incident happen?
A. In their room with my mother.
Q. Who were in the room at the time aside from you and Rodelio?
A. My stepsister.
Q. Your stepsister [was] inside the room at the time or she was outside the room?
A. She was inside the room but my stepfather was letting her sleep.
Q. Was she asleep at that time?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Now, so did you hold the penis of Bugayong the accused?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What else did he tell you to do, if any?
A. He placed his penis in my mouth, sir.
Q. Was the penis hard at that time or stiff?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And what did he do when his penis was already inside your mouth?
A. Whenever his penis [was] . . . placed inside my mouth I [would] go out to drink water because I [would feel] like vomiting, sir.
PROS. DIZON:
Q. You say whenever[;] you mean to say that was not the only time he did that to you?
A. No, sir.
Q. How many times did he do that to you?
A When I was still in Grade 3.
Q. And how young were you when you were in Grade 3?
ATTY. ESTRADA:
At this point in time, Your Honor, we now object to this line of questioning because this was never stated in the information.
PROS. DIZON:
This is preliminary, Your Honor.
ATTY. ESTRADA:
Because what is being elicited now is that incident when she was in Grade 3.
PROS. DIZON:
We have to consider the tender age of the accused.
COURT:
I will allow the prosecution to propound additional questions.
ATTY. ESTRADA:
We submit, Your Honor.
PROS. DIZON:
Q. How old were you when you were in Grade 3?
A. Nine (9) years old.
Q. Now, why did you feel like vomiting whenever he did that thing to you?
A. Because whenever he [put] his penis inside my mouth it seem[ed] like pus [was] coming out [of] his penis.
Q. What [was] the color, if you know?
A. White.
Q. Now, aside from all those things, do you remember if in the month of October, the same month, 1994, he did anything else to you
aside from what you have relayed before this Court?
A. Sometimes he [put] his penis in my vagina and when something sticky . . .
COURT:
Agree on the translation.
ATTY. ESTRADA:
We object to that translation.
INTERPRETER:
Whenever the penis of Rodelio Bugayong touche[d] my vagina something . . .
ATTY. ESTRADA:
May we just have the word 'idinidikit' . . .
COURT:
All right! The word 'dikit' will remain and [the] translation- touch.
INTERPRETER:
Whenever the penis of Rodelio touche[d] my vagina something white [would come] out and he [would take] his penis farther from
me.
PROS. DIZON:
Before [d]oing that he [would] first [play] with his penis and then the moment . . .
COURT:
You agree first on the translation.
PROS. DIZON:
There were occasions when he brought out his penis and touch[ed] . . . my vagina [with it] but before doing so he played with his
penis until the sticky white substance . . . c[a]me out and that [was] the time he touched my vagina, the penis touched my vagina. I think
that is the answer. I do not know if counsel is agreeable.
COURT:
Will you please read back the translation?
Stenographer reading back the answer, as follows:
There were occasions when he brought out his penis and touch[ed] . . . my vagina [with it] but before doing so he playe[d] with his
penis first until the sticky white substance . . . c[a]me out and that [was] the time the penis touched my vagina.
COURT:
If I remember correctly the testimony of the victim in Tagalog was that 'idinidikit at pag may lumabas saka inilalayo'.
PROS. DIZON:
Okay, we submit
INTERPRETER:
Rodelio Bugayong touche[d] my vagina with his penis until such time that a sticky substance [came] out and that [was] the time that
he pull[ed] back.
COURT:
Official translation, Mrs. Lockey?
Stenographer reading back the translation, as follows:
Rodelio Bugayong touche[d] my vagina with his penis until such time that a sticky substance [came] out and that [was] the time that
he pull[ed] back.
ATTY. ESTRADA;
I think the interpretation is not accurate
PROS. DIZON:
May we just be allowed to ask the witness?
Q. Aside from putting his penis in[to] your mouth, what other things did he do to you in the month of October and previous to that, if
any?
COURT:
Defense counsel please assist the interpreter.
INTERPRETER:
The penis of Rodelio touche[d] my vagina and sometimes he . . .
PROS. DIZON:
We really have to ask the assistance of . . .
COURT:
Again!
INTERPRETER:
A. Sometimes his penis touche[d] my vagina but before doing that he played first with his penis until a white substance [came] out of
his penis and after that his penis touche[d] my vagina.
PROS. DIZON:
Q. I see! How may times did he do that to you?
A. Maybe five (5) times or ten (10) times, sir.
Q. During th[o]se times he did that to you[,] were there people in the house?
A. None, sir.
PROS. DIZON:
Q. And in those five (5) or ten (10) times, where did this happen, where did he do that to you, in what place in the house?
A. In our house. sir.
Q. In what particular place in the house?
A. In their room, sir.
Q. The room of Bugayong and your mother?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Why did you not object?
A. Because I was afraid of what he told me that . . .'lulumpuhin niya ako'.
Q. Now, every time he did that thing to you, that is the touching of . . . your vagina [with his penis], what did you feel, if any? Do you
not feel any pain?
A. I got hurt, sir.
Q. Now! you remember the last time he had his penis touch your vagina?
A. I could not remember, sir.
Q. Now, you said that his penis touched your vagina. You mean to say the penis [] we will withdraw that in the meantime. We will
rephrase it rather.
Q. You said that his penis touched your vagina. You said 'idinikit'. Will you please tell the Court what do you mean by idinikit' or touched
your vagina?
A. He had his penis partly enter my vagina that is why I got hurt, sir."21
The foregoing shows that appellant sexually assaulted complainant in 1993 when she was 10 years old. Thus, the trial court correctly
convicted him of statutory rape under Article 335 (3) of the Revised Penal Code. Moreover, appellant is also guilty of acts of lasciviousness
committed on October 15, 1995.
The trial court correctly awarded P50,000 as indemnity ex delicto, an amount which is automatically granted to the offended party without
need of further evidence other than the fact of the commission of rape. 22
Consistent with recent jurisprudence, appellant should also be ordered to pay the victim the additional amount of P50,000 as moral damages.
In People v. Prades, 23 the Court resolved that "moral damages may additionally be an awarded to the victim in the criminal proceeding, in
such amount as the Court deems just, without the need for pleading, or proof of the basis thereof as has heretofore been the practice."
Republic Act 7659, which amended the Revised Penal Code, prescribes, among others, the death penalty where the rape victim is under 18
years of age and the offender is the common-law spouse of her mother. The amendatory law, however, cannot be applied in this case,
because there is no showing that the crime was committed after the effectivity of the said law.
WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision is AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATION that Appellant Rodelio Bugayong
is ordered to pay Complainant Arlene Cauan P50,000 as indemnity and the additional amount of P50,000 as moral damages, or a total of
P100,000. Costs against the appellant.
SO ORDERED. LLjur

10. MANANTAN VS CA, 350 SCRA 387


FACTS: In the evening of September 25, 1982, at the National Highway of Malvar, Santiago, Isabela, George Manantan was driving a Toyota
car going home. At that time, he was with Fiscal Ambrocio, Miguel Tabangin and Ruben Nicolas. Suddenly, a jeepney, coming from the
opposite direction hit the driver side of the car, driven by Manantan. Consequently, Manantan, Ambrocio and Tabangin were injured while
Nicolas died. Trial followed.

The lower court acquitted the accused of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide. The respondents filed their notice of appeal
on the civil aspect of the lower courts judgment. Even if the accused was acquitted from his criminal liability, the Appellate Court held him
civilly liable and ordered him to indemnify the aggrieved party for the death of Nicolas.

ISSUE: W/N the acquittal of petitioner extinguished his civil liability?

HELD:
The acquittal was based on reasonable doubt on the guilt of the accused. Article 29 of the Civil Code provides that a civil liability is not
extinguished in criminal cases. Therefore, the accused cannot be exempted from paying civil damages which may only be proven by
preponderance of evidence.

Manantan claimed that he was placed on double jeopardy but the courts did not give merit to this contention. The following elements must be
present for double jeopardy to exist: (1) A first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second; (2) The first jeopardy must have
terminated; and (3) the third jeopardy must be for the same offense as the first.

In the case at bar, the initially put into jeopardy but he it was terminated by his discharge. When the case was elevated to the Court of
Appeals, the issue was about the civil aspect of the criminal case. Thus, there could be no double jeopardy.

11. VALENCIA VS SB, 73 SCRA 279


RODOLFO G. VALENCIA, PEDRITO REYES, REMEDIOS MARASIGAN, BAYANI ANASTACIO, RUMULADO BAWASANTA, JOSE ENRIQUEZ, NELSON
GABUTERO, JOSE GENILO, JR., JOSE LEYNES AND ALFONSO UMALI, JR., PETITIONERS, VS.
SANDIGANBAYAN, 4TH DIVISION AND OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN/SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, RESPONDENTS

Nature: Petition for Certiorari

SUMMARY: The petitioners in this case are the governor, vice-governor, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, and provincial
administrator of Oriental Mindoro. They were charged with the violation of Section 3 (e) in relation to Section 3 (g) of Republic Act No. 3019,
the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. It was alleged that the said public official entered into a contract of loan granting Engr. Atienza a
loan of 2.5M to the injury of the province. During the pendency of the criminal case, the administrative case against them was dismissed due
to their reelection. The petitioners filed a motion to quash with the Sandiganbayan alleging that the crim case should likewise be dismissed on
account of the dismissal of the admin case. The Sandiganbayan denied the motion so they filed a certiorari case with the SC. The SC ruled
that the dismissal of the motion to quash was proper. The SC further ruled that the dismissal of the admin case does not automatically
warrant the dismissal of the crim case because they have different purposes.
DOCTRINE:
The re-election of a public official extinguishes only the administrative, but not the criminal, liability incurred by him during his
previous term of office
The ruling, therefore, that when the people have elected a man to his office it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge
of his life and character and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct if he had been guilty of any refers only to an action
for removal from office and does not apply to a criminal case, because a crime is a public wrong more atrocious in character than mere
misfeasance or malfeasance committed by a public officer in the discharge of his duties, and is injurious not only to a person or group of
persons but to the State as a whole. This must be the reason why Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code, which enumerates the grounds for
extinction of criminal liability, does not include reelection to office as one of them, at least insofar as a public officer is concerned. Also, under
the Constitution, it is only the President who may grant the pardon of a criminal offense

FACTS:
Petitioners + 4 others (Emmanuel Buenaventura, Cesareo Cueto, Violeta Dakis and Dante Manao) were public officials of Oriental Mindoro,
with Rodolfo Valencia and Pedrito Reyes as the Governor and Vice-Governor, others were members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan. They were
charged with violation of Sec.3(e) in relation to Sec.3(g) of RA3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Information provides that
they were:
o public officials of the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro, while in the performance of their official and/or administrative
functions, and acting in evident bad faith and manifest partiality, conspiring and confederating with private accused Engr. Alfredo M. Atienza,
and mutually helping one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally give said accused Alfredo M. Atienza unwarranted
benefit, privilege and advantage by entering into a grossly disadvantageous contract of loan, whereby the provincial funds of Oriental Mindoro
in the sum of P2.5M was given to Alfredo M. Atienza to finance the cost of repair, operation and maintenance of his vessel, thereby causing
the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro damage and undue injury
Petitioners filed a "Motion for Reinvestigation and Valencia filed a "Motion to Quash". Sandiganbayan granted Motion for
Reinvestigation and ordered Ombudsman to conduct a reinvestigation, but the latter recommended for its denial and the dismissal of the case
with respect to the 4 others (thats why only 10 petitioners in this case). Prosecution accordingly filed an Amended Information.
Petitioners Arguments: (1) the administrative case against them, involving the same subject matter as the criminal case, was
dismissed by the Ombudsman after finding that the contract of loan was entered into in pursuance of the police power of the local chief
executive; (2) delay of 3 years in filing of Information.
Invoking the Resolution of Ombudsman, petitioners filed with the Sandiganbayan a Motion for Reconsideration and/or Motion to
Resolve Motion to Quash Information. Sandiganbayan denied, hence, this case via Rule 65.

ISSUE: # 1: WON the motion to quash information should be granted (No)

HELD: # 1:
Under Rule 117 Sec. 3, the grounds on which a complaint or information may be quashed are:
o That the facts charged do not constitute an offense;
o That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged;
o That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the person of the accused;
o That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so;
o That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form;
o That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law;
o That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;
o That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification; and
o That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense charged, or the case against him was dismissed or
otherwise terminated without his express consent.
Save where the Rules expressly permit the investigation of facts alleged in a motion to quash, the general rule is that in the hearing
of such motion only such facts as are alleged in the information, and those admitted by the prosecutor, should be taken into account in the
resolution thereof. Matters of defense cannot be produced during the hearing of such motions, except where the rules expressly permit, such
as extinction of criminal liability, prescription and former jeopardy.
o Otherwise put, facts which constitute the defense of the accused against the charge under the information must be proved by them
during trial. Such facts or circumstances do not constitute proper grounds for a motion to quash the information on the ground that the
material averments do not constitute the offense.
With respect to the inquiry into facts outside the information
o As a general proposition, a motion to quash on the ground that the allegations of the information do not constitute the offense
charged, or any offense for that matter, should be resolved on the basis alone of said allegations whose truth and veracity are hypothetically
admitted.
o The informations need only state the ultimate facts; the reasons therefor could be proved during the trial. The fundamental test in
reflecting on the viability of a motion to quash under this particular ground is whether or not the facts asseverated, if hypothetically admitted,
would establish the essential elements of the crime defined in the law. In this examination, matters aliunde are not considered. However,
inquiry into facts outside the information may be allowed where the prosecution does not object to the presentation thereof.
In the case at bar:
o A careful scrutiny of the Information shows that all the elements of Sec.3 (e) and (g) are present. So it could not fall under Rule 117
Sec. 3 (a).
o As regards the dismissal of administrative case
SC said that the dismissal of the administrative case does not affect the criminal case on the following grounds:
The basis of administrative liability differs from criminal liability. The purpose of administrative proceedings is mainly to protect the
public service, based on the time-honored principle that a public office is a public trust. On the other hand, the purpose of the criminal
prosecution is the punishment of crime.
The Resolution of Ombudsman was not even offered and admitted as evidence by the Sandiganbayan. It was merely attached to
petitioners "Supplemental Pleading in Support of Motion to Quash Information."
Furthermore, the Resolution does not bear the approval of the Ombudsman. In any event, the Ombudsman subsequently denied
petitioners motion for reinvestigation.
SC then cited the conflicting findings of Ombudsman and ruled that SC is not a trier of facts, Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction on the
matter.
Also, SC discussed the rule that a re-elected local official may not be held administratively accountable for misconduct committed
during his prior term of office, but this applies only to an administrative case, NOT to a criminal case. There is, thus, no reason for the
Sandiganbayan to quash the Information against petitioners on the basis solely of the dismissal of the administrative complaint against them.
o Rationale of the rule that a reelected local official may not be held administratively accountable for misconduct committed during his
prior term of office: when the electorate put him back into office, it is presumed that it did so with full knowledge of his life and character,
including his past misconduct. If, armed with such knowledge, it still reelects him, then such reelection is considered a condonation of his past
misdeeds.
o The ruling, therefore, that when the people have elected a man to his office it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge
of his life and character and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct if he had been guilty of any refers only to an action
for removal from office and does not apply to a criminal case, because a crime is a public wrong more atrocious in character than mere
misfeasance or malfeasance committed by a public officer in the discharge of his duties, and is injurious not only to a person or group of
persons but to the State as a whole. This must be the reason why Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code, which enumerates the grounds for
extinction of criminal liability, does not include reelection to office as one of them, at least insofar as a public officer is concerned. Also, under
the Constitution, it is only the President who may grant the pardon of a criminal offense
o As regards the delay of 3 years citing Tatad v. Sandiganbayan
The Special Prosecutor was able to sufficiently explain the chronology of events. Also, during the preliminary investigation itself,
petitioners sought extensions of time before they filed their counter-affidavits. Thus, the ruling in Tatad does not apply here. In that case, the
delay was exacerbated by the fact that the charges against petitioner were found to be politically motivated. In the case at bar, there is no
indication that the complaint against petitioners was filed to serve political ends. Neither is the delay vexatious, capricious or oppressive.
Disposition: petition dismissed.

12. LONEY VS PEOPLE, 482 SCRA 194


Marcopper Mining has been storing mine tailings from its operations. At the base of the pit, there is a drainage that leads to two rivers.

Marcopper was charged with violation of 3 special laws and reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property.

It is the contention of marcopper that the violations of the special laws are absorbed in reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property.

ISSUE: Whether or not crimes mala inse are absorbed in crimes mala prohibita.

HELD: No. crimes mala inse are not absorbed in crimes mala prohibita.

Distinctions of mala inse (MI) vs mala prohibita (MP):

*my mnemonics are PEGVIMC*

1. AS TO PERFORMANCE

MI-taken into consideration

MP- not taken into consideration

2. AS TO EXECUTION

MI-taken into consideration

MP-not taken into consideration

3. AS TO GOOD FAITH

MI-it is a valid defense


MP-not a valid defense

4. AS TO VIOLATION

MI-it is a violation of the RPC

MP-it is a violation of the special laws

5. AS TO INTENT

MI-intent is material

MP-intent is not material

6. AS TO MORAL

MI- involves moral turpitude

MP- does not involve moral tupitude

7. AS TO CIRCUMSTANCES

MI- taken into consideration

MP-not taken into consideration

13. PEOPLE VS SANDIGANBAYAN 3RD DIVISION, 645 SCRA 726


MANUEL G. BARCENAS, a Vice-Mayor of Toledo City, received cash advances amounting to P61,765.00, by reason of his office, for which he is
duty bound to liquidate the same within the period required by law. However, he did not liquidate the same. He was charged with violation of
Section 89 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 14452 before the Sandiganbayan
Private respondent was arraigned for which he pleaded not guilty. The prosecution presented its lone witness, Manolo Tulibao Villad,
Commission on Audit (COA) State Auditor. Thereafter, the prosecution filed its formal offer of evidence and rested its case.
On April 20, 2006, private respondent filed a motion4 for leave to file demurrer to evidence. On June 16, 2006, the Sandiganbayan issued a
Resolution5 granting the motion. On June 30, 2006, private respondent filed his demurrer6 to evidence. On July 26 2006, the Sandiganbayan
promulgated the assailed Resolution based on the testimony of the witness that accused had indeed liquidated the cash advances, weakening
the cause of action of the prosecution. Hence, Sandiganbayan found that the element of damages is wanting in the case.
Issue: Whether the Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in giving due course to
and eventually granting the demurrer to evidence.
HELD: NO. The Sandiganbayan granted the demurrer to evidence on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove that the government
suffered any damage from private respondents non-liquidation of the subject cash advance because it was later shown, as admitted by the
prosecutions witness, that private respondent liquidated the same albeit belatedly.
However, contrary to the findings of the Sandiganbayan, actual damage to the government arising from the non-liquidation of the cash
advance is not an essential element of the offense punished under the second sentence of Section 89 of P.D. No. 1445 as implemented by
COA Circular No. 90-331. Instead, the mere failure to timely liquidate the cash advance is the gravamen of the offense. Verily, the law seeks
to compel the accountable officer, by penal provision, to promptly render an account of the funds which he has received by reason of his
office.16
Nonetheless, even if the Sandiganbayan proceeded from an erroneous interpretation of the law and its implementing rules, the error
committed was an error of judgment and not of jurisdiction. Petitioner failed to establish that the dismissal order was tainted with grave
abuse of discretion such as the denial of the prosecutions right to due process or the conduct of a sham trial. In fine, the error committed by
the Sandiganbayan is of such a nature that can no longer be rectified on appeal by the prosecution because it would place the accused in
double jeopardy.

14. GALZOTE VS BRIONES, 657 SCRA 535


FACTS: Jose Galzote was charged of robbery. He moved to quash the information by alleging that it was flawed in form and in substance. The
MTC denied the quashal. Galzote then filed a certiorari. Respondent moved to dismiss the certiorari. One of the reasons was that it was not
the proper remedy.

The RTC and the CA also denied the petition. The CA held that petitioner failed to appeal within the 15-day reglementary period under Rule 41
of the Revised Rules of Court. Petitioner should have filed an appeal, instead of a special civil action for certiorari.

ISSUE: W/N the certiorari was correct?

HELD: The SC denied the petition.


As a rule, the denial of a motion to quash is an interlocutory order and is not appealable and it is not a proper subject of a certiorari. A
certiorari is appropriate if the petitioner can establish that the lower court issued the judgment or order without or in excess of jurisdiction or
with grave abuse of discretion.

The SC found that the lower courts did not commit any grave abuse of discretion. The facial examination of the information shows that the
document is valid.

The SC also concurred with the CA that the remedy for petitioner was to file an appeal.