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JUAN PONCE ENRILE v.

PEOPLE of the PHILIPPINES • On July 3, the Sandiganbayan denied the motions and
August 11, 2015 | Brion, J. ordered the issuance of warrants of arrest on the plunder
Purpose of Information – Ultimate Facts vs. Evidentiary Facts – Bill case. Enrile received a notice of hearing on July 8, informing
of Particulars him of arraignment before the Sandiganbayan Third Division
DAP on July 11.
• On July 10, 2014, Enrile filed for a motion for a bill of
DOCTRINE: An information is intended to inform the accused of particulars and a motion to defer arraignment due to
the crime he is facing in sufficient detail for him to prepare his medical examination at the Philippine General Hospital.
defense. Ultimate facts are defined as those facts which the • On July 11, 2014, Enrile was brought to the Sandiganbayan
expected evidence will support while evidentiary facts support per the order and his motion for a bill of particulars was
the existence of another alleged but unproven fact. The former called for hearing. The Court denied the motion as (1) the
is material in the information but the latter is better ventilated details that Enrile desires are "substantial reiterations" of the
during trial. A bill of particulars is the further specification of the arguments he raised in his supplemental opposition to the
charges or claims in an action, which an accused may avail of issuance of warrant of arrest and for dismissal of information
by motion before arraignment, to enable him to properly plead and (2) the details sought are evidentiary in nature and are
and prepare for trial. Failure to ask for it deprives the defendant best ventilated during trial. Atty. Estelito Mendoza orally
of the right to object to pieces of evidence which would have sought a reconsideration of the denial of the motion for bill of
been unacceptable in a more specific information. It is given to particulars but was denied as no new substantial grounds
avoid surprises during trial. were raised for the issuance of the BoP. Atty. Mendoza
CASE SUMMARY: Enrile asked for a bill of particulars as the moved for the deferment of the arraignment and the
information for plunder re: Napoles NGO PDAF scam did not specify, Sandiganbayan asked the doctors to determine if Enrile was
among others, the overt acts that are material to the case. SB denied fit for arraignment. After he was declared it, Enrile did not
as the facts are allegedly all evidentiary. SC reversed as some of the plea, and the Sandiganbayan entered a Not Guilty plea on
facts (incl. the overt acts) are material and should be described with his behalf.
sufficient particularity. • Enrile filed a petition for certiorari alleging grave abuse of
discretion on the part of the Sandiganbayan. He states that
FACTS: the facts he asked are material and the grounds for motion
• On June 5, 2014, the Office of the Ombudsman filed an for bill of particulars was stated in a different context from his
Information for plunder against Enrile, Jessica Lucila Reyes, opposition to the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The People
Janet Lim Napoles, Ronald John Lim and John Raymund de aver that there was no grave discretion as the Information
Asis before the Sandiganbayan. (information in Notes). already contained the ultimate facts. Enrile replied that the
• Enrile responded by filing before the Sandiganbayan (1) an denial of the BoP is a denial of his right to due process and
urgent omnibus motion (motion to dismiss for lack of fairness in trial of the offense charged. The details also
evidence on record to establish probable cause and ad couldn’t be found in the documents of the prosecution during
cautelam motion for bail) on June 10, 2014 and (2) a the preliminary conference. Finally, the motion for bill of
supplemental opposition to issuance of warrant of arrest and particulars was not dilatory.
for dismissal of Information on June 16, 2014. On June 24,
the prosecution filed a consolidated opposition to both ISSUE: WON there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
motions. Sandiganbayan in denying Enrile’s motion for a bill of particulars on


the ground that the facts sought are evidentiary and best ventilated accused is being tried for, in order to avoid
during the trial – YES subsequent attempts to retry him for the same
crime or crimes.
RULING: 2. Ultimate facts as distinguished from evidentiary facts,
1. Purpose of Information only need to be alleged/Evidentiary Facts and Ultimate
(in general)
a. Under the Constitution (Sections, 1 and 14 Facts re: Substantial requirements of an information
(specifically),
Art. III), a person who stands charged of a a. Doctrine
criminal offense has the right to be informed of the i. An information only needs to state the
nature and cause of the accusation against him. It is ultimate facts constituting the offense.
required that the offense charged be stated with Evidentiary and other details (e.g. facts
clarity and with certainty to inform the accused of supporting the ultimate facts) can be
the crime he is facing in sufficient detail for him provided during the trial
to prepare his defense. ii. Ultimate facts are defined as those facts
b. US v. Karelsen: The object of the written accusation which the expected evidence will support.
is (1) see (a), (2) to avail himself of his onciction or The term does not refer to the details of
acquittal for protection against a further prosecution probative matter or particulars of evidence
for the same cause and (3) to inform the court of the by which these material elements are to be
facts alleged so that it can decide whether they are established." It refers to the facts that the
sufficient in law to warrant a conviction. To meet this evidence will prove at the trial. It has also
requirement, facts must be stated, not been defined as the principal, determinative
conclusions of law. In short, the complaint must and constitutive facts on whose existence
contain a specific allegation of every fact and the cause of action rests and without which
circumstances necessary to constitute the crime the judgment would lack support in essential
alleged. particulars.
c. Regarding procedural sufficiency, an information is iii. Evidentiary facts, on the other hand, are
an accusation in writing charging a person with an the facts necessary to establish the ultimate
offense, signed by the prosecutor and filed with the facts; they are the premises that lead to the
court. The requirement of sufficiency aims to enable ultimate facts as conclusion. They are facts
the accused to properly prepare for his defense as supporting the existence of some other
he is presumed to have no independent alleged and unproven fact. Matters of
knowledge of the facts constituting the offense evidence do not need to be alleged, only
charged. facts essential to the nature of the offense
d. It should provide the accused with fair notice. The should be in the Information.
Information must provide some means of 3. Bill of Particulars, purpose and availability/ Bill of
ensuring that the crime for which the accused is particulars re: Substantial requirements of an
brought to trial is in fact one for which he was information
charged, rather than some alternative crime a. Doctrine
seized upon by the prosecution in light of i. In general, a bill of particulars is the further
subsequently discovered evidence. Likewise, it specification of the charges or claims in
must indicate just what crime or crimes an an action, which an accused may avail of


by motion before arraignment, to enable vi. Failure of the accused to move for the
him to properly plead and prepare for trial. specification of the details desired
ii. In criminal cases, a bill of particulars details DEPRIVES him of the RIGHT TO OBJECT
items or specific conduct not recited in TO EVIDENCE that could be introduced
the Information but nonetheless pertain and admitted under an Information of
to or are included in the crime charged. more or less general terms but which
Its purpose is to enable an accused: to know sufficiently charges the accused with a
the theory of the government's case; to definite crime.
prepare his defense and to avoid surprise at vii. The application for a bill of particulars is
the trial; to plead his acquittal or conviction addressed to the discretion of the court
in bar of another prosecution for the same but exercised within context of the facts,
offense; and to compel the prosecution to the nature of the crime charged in each
observe certain limitations in offering case and the right of the assued to be
evidence. informed of the nature and cause of
iii. The motion for the bill of particulars in accusation against him.
criminal proceedings is governed by viii. A motion to quash is filed when the facts
Section 9, Rule 116, Revised Rules of charged do not constitute an offense but a
Criminal Procedure (see notes) bill of particulars involves an information that
iv. The general function of a bill of particulars, is valid but general/vague. The latter is a
whether in civil or criminal proceedings, is to proper remedy for a valid information that is
guard against surprises during trial. It is not ambiguous.
the function of the bill to furnish the accused b. In The Case
with the evidence of the prosecution. Thus,
the prosecutor shall not be required to Element Proper Court’s
include in the bill of particulars matters of Requested Subject for Comment
evidence relating to how the people intend Bill of
to prove the elements of the offense Particulars
charged or how the people intend to prove ?
any item of factual information included in Who among the No The amount of ill-
the bill of particulars. accused gotten wealth
v. The purpose of a bill of particulars is to acquired the ill- acquired by each
supply vague facts or allegations in the gotten wealth? accused is
complaint or information to enable the immaterial for as
accused to properly plead and prepare for long as the total
trial. It presupposes a valid Information, amount is at least
one that presents all the elements of the P50M due to the
crime charged, albeit under vague terms. fact that plunder
Notably, the specifications that a bill of may be
particulars may supply are only formal committed in
amendments to the complaint or Information connivance


which implies the
knowledge and series/combinatio
assent. n of acts that
Under what law No This is evidentiary constitute
is the PDAF as it will support plunder. The
designated as the ultimate fact desired details
Enrile’s/Amoun that the PDAF also weren’t
t of Enrile’s was used to fund found in the
PDAF/Findings spurious or ghost prosecution’s
that PDAF projects, along document
projects were with the exact bundles so
ghosts/spuriou amounts and the reference to it will
s details of the not cure the
COA audits re: defect. There
spurious projects must also be a
Who are the No The others are sum or a ballpark
other people not charged of figure of the
Enrile received conspiracy and amounts involved
kickbacks need not be in each
from? stated with transaction.
particularly. Approximate Yes Given the amount
Making the others dates of each of time in the
known would be act charge (6 years),
premature Enrile should not
disclosure of be left speculating
evidence which ones from
What are the Yes The several acts his numerous
overt acts must be stated PDAF
constituting the with enough transactions were
combination or particularity to covered by the
series and who allow Enrile and indictment to
committed the the co-accused to avoid difficulty in
acts prepare evidence preparation of the
to refute each defense and
alleged overt act. possible
The prosecution surprises.
made little effort Projects Yes Without the
to particularize funded and the project
and clustered the NGOs involved identification,
general view of Enrile couldn’t


have released the par. (b) as the
funds to Napoles, overt acts and the
hence these are specification of
material facts material facts
needed to allow already answer
Enrile to prepare the question.
his defense
evidence on the • Plunder is a crime composed of several
specific predicate criminal acts. To prove plunder,
transaction the prosecution must weave a web out of
pointed to. the six ways of illegally amassing wealth and
Government Yes While the show how the various acts reveal a
agencies to particular persons combination or series of means or schemes
which Enrile are evidentiary, that reveal a pattern of criminality. The
endorsed the the identification interrelationship of the separate acts must
Napoles NGOs of the agency w/c be shown and be established as a scheme
to is an to accumulate ill-gotten wealth amounting to
indispensable at least P50 million.
participant in the • There is nothing wrong with transforming
PDAF scheme the information from an accusation in
will inform Enrile writing to an initiatory pleading alleging a
of the transaction cause of action. We see nothing wrong
referred to. This with such treatment, for a motion for a bill of
together with the particulars in criminal cases is designed to
previous two will achieve the same purpose as the motion for
allow the pattern a bill of particulars in civil cases. In fact,
of overt and certainty, to a reasonable extent, is an
criminal acts to essential attribute of all pleadings, both civil
indicate the and criminal, and is more especially needed
overall unlawful in the latter where conviction is followed by
scheme. penal consequences. More process is due,
Details on par. No The ruling not less.
(b) (how Enrile renders it • The two pleadings (dismiss/bill of
enriched unnecessary to particulars) are different contexts so
himself to the require the there is no reiteration of previously
prejudice of the prosecution to raised grounds. In the first, Enrile says that
People) submit further the information did not state the crime, in the
particulars on the latter, he asserts that it does state a crime
allegations but is ambiguous.
contained under


• That every element constituting the representatives LIM, DE ASIS,
offense had been alleged in the and others, kickbacks or
Information does not preclude the commissions under the following
accused from requesting for more circumstances: before, during
specific details of the various acts or and/or after the project
omissions he is alleged to have identification, NAPOLES gave,
committed. The request for details is and ENRILE and/or REYES
precisely the function of a bill of received, a percentage of the cost
particulars. of a project to be funded from
ENRILE'S Priority Development
Assistance Fund (PDAF), in
DISPOSITION: Motion partially granted/Sandiganbayan ruling set consideration of ENRILE'S
aside, bill of particulars to be furnished within 15 days to Enrile. endorsement, directly or through
REYES, to the appropriate
government agencies, of
NAPOLES' non-government
NOTES: organizations which became the
recipients and/or target
implementors of ENRILE'S PDAF
• INFORMATION
projects, which duly-funded
In 2004 to 2010 or thereabout, in the projects turned out to be ghosts or
Philippines, and within this Honorable Court's fictitious, thus enabling NAPOLES
jurisdiction, above-named accused JUAN to misappropriate the PDAF
PONCE ENRILE, then a Philippine Senator, proceeds for her personal gain;
JESSICA LUCILA G. REYES, then Chief of Staff (b) by taking undue advantage, on several
of Senator Enrile's Office, both public officers, occasions, of their official
committing the offense in relation to their positions, authority, relationships,
respective offices, conspiring with one another connections, and influence to
and with JANET LIM NAPOLES, RONALD unjustly enrich themselves at the
JOHN LIM, and JOHN RAYMUND DE ASIS, did expense and to the damage and
then and there willfully, unlawfully, and criminally prejudice, of the Filipino people
amass, accumulate, and/or acquire ill-gotten and the Republic of the
wealth amounting to at least ONE HUNDRED Philippines.
SEVENTY TWO MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED
THIRTY FOUR THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED CONTRARY TO LAW.
PESOS (Php172,834,500.00) through a
• (re: contents of information) To be considered as sufficient
combination or series of overt criminal acts, as
and valid, an information must state the name of the
follows:
accused, the designation of the offense given by the statute,
(a) by repeatedly receiving from the acts or omissions constituting the offense, the name of
NAPOLES and/or her the offended party, the approximate date of the commission


of the offense and the place where the offense was promise of future employment in any business
committed. If there is no designation, reference should be enterprise or undertaking;
made to the section of the stattue penalizing it. The acts (e) by establishing agricultural, industrial or
must be stated in ordinary and concise language. The Rules commercial monopolies or other combinations
do not require an exact allegation of the date unless the date and/or implementation of decrees and orders
and the place are material ingredients or essential elements intended to benefit particular persons or special
of the offense or are necessary for its identification. interests; or
(f) by taking advantage of official position,
• Section 9. Bill of particulars. — The accused may, before authority, relationship, connection or influence to
arraignment, move for a bill of particulars to enable him unjustly enrich himself or themselves at the
properly to plead and prepare for trial. The motion shall expense and to the damage and prejudice of the
specify the alleged defects of the complaint or information Filipino people and the Republic of the
and the details desired. Philippines; and,
(3) That the aggregate amount or total value of the ill-
gotten wealth amassed, accumulated or acquired is at
• Elements of Plunder: The elements of plunder are: least P50,000,000.00.
(1) That the offender is a public officer who acts by
himself or in connivancewith members of his family,
relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, • CARPIO DISSENT: These particulars do not refer to
subordinates, or other persons; ultimate facts, but rather to evidentiary matters which unduly
(2) That he amassed, accumulated or acquired ill-gotten expand the details specifically required in Section 6, Rule
wealth through acombination or series of the 110 of the Rules of Court for a sufficient Information.
following overt or criminal acts: Petitioner and the ponencia have transformed the nature of
(a) through misappropriation, conversion, misuse, an Information from "an accusation in writing charging a
or malversation of public funds or raids on the person with an offense" to an initiatory pleading alleging "a
public treasury; cause of action." Unlike a complaint in civil proceedings
(b) by receiving, directly or indirectly, any which must contain all the details constituting a cause of
commission, gift, share, percentage, kickback or action, an Information only needs to state, in ordinary and
any other form of pecuniary benefits from any concise language, "the acts or omissions complained of as
person and/or entity in connection with any constituting the offense" such that the accused understands
government contract or project or by reason of the crime he is being charged with and that when he pleads
the office or position of the public officer; to such charge, first jeopardy attaches. In other words, the
(c) by the illegal or fraudulent conveyance or Information only needs to allege the ultimate facts
disposition of assets belonging to the National constituting the offense for which the accused stands
Government or any of its subdivisions, agencies charged, not the finer details of why and how the illegal
or instrumentalities of Government-owned or - acts alleged were committed. This is a longstanding and
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries; deeply entrenched rule, applied by this Court in an unbroken
(d) by obtaining, receiving or accepting directly or line of ever growing jurisprudence. The information, taken
indirectly any shares of stock, equity or any other together with the resolution from the ombudsman,
form of interest or participation including the provide petitioner with the details to enable him properly


to plead and prepare for trial. As an inseparable
complement to the Information, the Resolution must be
read together with the allegations in the Information to
determine whether the allegations in the Information are
vague. It is only when the allegations in the Information,
taken together with the Resolution, leave ambiguities in the
basic facts constituting the elements of the offense of
plunder that a bill of particulars should issue.