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G.R. No. 109149

Quisumbing, J.

Crime Rape

Parties Leoncio Santocildes Jr. – Accused-Appellant

Nature APPEAL of a decision of the RTC of Iloilo City, Br. 33

Events  Santocildes was charged with the crime of rape of a girl less than 9 years old
before Trial  Upon arraignment, he entered a plea of not guilty

RTC of Ilolilo  The prosecution presented:

City, Br. 33  The victim, her mother, her playmate, and the medico-legal officer who
examined the victim
 The defense presented:
 The accused, German Toriales
 Accused denied committing the rape, and claimed that he merely tried to stop the victim
and her playmate from quarreling
 RTC found Santocildes guilty as charged
 Sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua
 Santocildes filed a Notice of Appeal
 Alleged the ff:
o During trial, he was represented by a person named Gualberto C. Ompong,
who acted as his counsel and even conducted the direct examination and
cross-examinations of the witnesses
o On appeal, he secured the services of a new lawyer, Atty. Igmedio S. Prado,
Jr., who discovered that Gualberto C. Ompong is actually NOT a member of
the bar
o The Office of the Bar Confidant confirmed this fact
 Argued that he was denied due process, as he was deprived of his right to be
defended by a person authorized to practice law, through no fault of his own 
such deprivation should result in his acquittal
 OSG’s Arguments
 Notwithstanding the fact that appellant's counsel during trial was not a member
of the bar, appellant was afforded due process since he has been given an
opportunity to be heard
 The records reveal that Ompong "presented the evidence for the defense with
the ability of a seasoned lawyer and in general handled the case of appellant in a
professional and skillful manner."

SC RTC decision is SET ASIDE, and the case is REMANDED to the trial court for new trial


1. W/N Santocildes was denied due process as he was deprived of his right to counsel during trial
 The right to counsel of an accused is enshrined in no less than Article III, Sections 12 and 14
(2) of the 1987 Constitution
 This is reflected in Rule 115, Sec. 1 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, which
declares the right of the accused at the trial to be present in person and by counsel at
every stage of the proceedings from the arraignment to the promulgation of
 In the Court’s view, the right of the accused to be heard by himself and his counsel goes
much deeper than the question of ability or skill, as it guarantees to minimize the imbalance
in the adversarial system where the accused is pitted against the awesome prosecutory
machinery of the State
 Where the interplay of basic rights of the individual may collide with the awesome
forces of the state, what is needed is a professional: (1) learned in the law, and (2)
ethically-committed to defend the accused by all means fair and reasonable
 Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of the law,
particularly in the rules of procedure
o Without counsel, he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because
he does not know how to establish his innocence
 In Delgado v CA, after conviction, Delgado moved to set aside the entry of judgment, as she
found out that her lawyer was not a member of the bar. The SC set aside the assailed
judgment and remanded the case to the trial court for new trial, explaining that she was
denied due process:
 An accused person is entitled to be represented by a member of the bar in a
criminal case led against her
 Unless she is represented by a lawyer, there is great danger that any defense
presented in her behalf will be inadequate considering the legal perquisites and
skills needed in the court proceedings
 To underscore the primordial importance of the right to counsel, the Court notes that it has
also remanded cases where the accused is represented by members of the bar, but fail to
genuinely protect the interests of said accused
 In People v Bermas, the Court ordered the remand of a rape case when it found that
accused was given mere perfunctory representation by three successive counsels
from the PAO
 The due process requirement is a part of a person's basic rights; it is not a mere
formality that may be dispensed with or performed perfunctorily
 CONCLUSION: In the case at bar, since accused was not duly represented by a member of
the Philippine Bar during trial, the trial court’s judgment should be set aside, and the case be
remanded for new trial

WHEREFORE, the assailed judgment is SET ASIDE, and the case is hereby REMANDED to the trial court
for new trial.
With respect to the unauthorized practice of law by the person named Gualberto C. Ompong in
connection with this case, the local Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines of Iloilo City is
DIRECTED to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation regarding this matter and to report its
recommendations to the Court within ninety (90) days from notice of this order. Let all concerned
parties, including the O ce of the Bar Confidant, be each furnished a copy of this Decision for their
appropriate action.

 Section 1 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court explicitly states who are entitled to practice law in
the Philippines
 Section 2 of Rule 138 clearly provides for the requirements for all applicants for admission to
the bar

Justice Powell

Crime Murder

Nature Certiorari to US CA

Parties Willie Barker - Accused; No mention of who Wingo is

Facts ● Silas Manning and Willie Barker were arrested for the murder of an elderly
● Barker was not brought to trial for murder until more than 5 years after he had
been arrested, during which time the prosecution obtained numerous
continuances (a total of around 15), initially for the purpose of first trying his
alleged accomplice, Manning, so that his testimony, if conviction resulted,
would be available at Barker’s trial.
○ Before Manning was finally convicted, he was tried six times.
● Barker posted a bond for his release. In the meantime, the prosecution
obtained further continuances.
● Barker made no objection to the continuances until 3 1/2 years after he was
○ After the Manning was finally convicted, Barker, after further delays
due to the illness of the investigating sheriff, was tried and convicted.
● He is now appealing his conviction on the ground of denial of his right to a
speedy trial.


1. W/N the right of Barker to a speedy trial was violated? NO (See dicta for discussion on the right to
a speedy trial)
● It is clear that the length of delay between arrest and trial -- well over five years -- was
○ Only seven months of that period can be attributed to a strong excuse, the illness of
the ex-sheriff who was in charge of the investigation. Perhaps some delay would
have been permissible under ordinary circumstances so that Manning could be
utilized as a witness in Barker's trial, but more than four years was too long a period,
particularly since a good part of that period was attributable to the
Commonwealth's failure or inability to try Manning under circumstances that
comported with due process.
● Two counterbalancing factors, however, outweigh these deficiencies.
○ The first is that prejudice was minimal. There is no claim that any of Barker's
witnesses died or otherwise became unavailable owing to the delay.
○ More important than the absence of serious prejudice is the fact that Barker did not
want a speedy trial. Despite the fact that counsel had notice of the motions for
continuances, the record shows no action whatever taken between October 21,
1958, and February 12, 1962, that could be construed as the assertion of the speedy
trial right.
■ On the latter date, in response to another motion for continuance, Barker
moved to dismiss the indictment. The record does not show on what ground
this motion was based, although it is clear that no alternative motion was
made for a immediate trial. Instead, the record strongly suggests that, while
he hoped to take advantage of the delay in which he had acquiesced, and
thereby obtain a dismissal of the charges, he definitely did not want to be
tried. The probable reason for Barker's attitude was that he was gambling
on Manning's acquittal. The evidence was not very strong against Manning
and Barker undoubtedly thought that, if Manning were acquitted, he would
never be tried.


Nature/unique qualities of the right
● The right to a speedy trial is different from any other rights enshrined in the Constitution for
the protection of the accused, for the following reasons:
1. This right serves two interests (1) interest of accused persons be treated according to
decent and fair procedures, and (2) a societal interest which includes the following:
a. It prevents a large backlog of cases. A large backlog enables defendants to negotiate
more effectively for pleas of guilty to lesser offenses and otherwise manipulate the
b. Persons released on bond for lengthy periods awaiting trial have an opportunity to
commit other crimes.
c. The longer an accused is free awaiting trial, the more tempting it is to jump bail and
d. Delay between arrest and punishment may have a detrimental effect on
e. If an accused cannot make bail, he is generally confined to a local jail. This
contributes to the overcrowding and generally deplorable state of those institutions.
Lengthy exposure to these conditions "has a destructive effect on human character,
and makes the rehabilitation of the individual offender much more difficult."
f. Lengthy pretrial detention is costly. The cost of maintaining a prisoner in jail
amounts to millions across
g. Society loses wages which might have been earned, and it must often support
families of incarcerated breadwinners.
2. The deprivation of the right may work to the accused's advantage. Delay is not an
uncommon defense tactic.
○ As the time between the commission of the crime and trial lengthens, witnesses
may become unavailable or their memories may fade. If the witnesses support the
prosecution, its case will be weakened, sometimes seriously so. And it is the
prosecution which carries the burden of proof.
3. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the right to speedy trial is a more vague concept
than other procedural rights. It is, for example, impossible to determine with precision when
the right has been denied. We cannot definitely say how long is too long in a system where
justice is supposed to be swift but deliberate.
○ The unique quality of the right also leads to the unsatisfactorily severe remedy of
dismissal of the indictment when the right has been deprived.
Proposed approaches to protect the right
● The first suggestion is that we hold that the Constitution requires a criminal defendant to be
offered a trial within a specified time period. The result of such a ruling would have the
virtue of clarifying when the right is infringed and of simplifying courts' application of it.
○ However, we find no constitutional basis for holding that the speedy trial right can
be quantified into a specified number of days or months.
● The second is the demand-waiver doctrine. This provides that a defendant waives any
consideration of his right to speedy trial for any period prior to which he has not demanded
a trial. Under this rigid approach, a prior demand is a necessary condition to the
consideration of the speedy trial right.
○ However, this rule would result in either an automatic, pro forma demand made
immediately after appointment of counsel or delays which, but for the demand-
waiver rule, would not be tolerated.
○ We reject, therefore, the rule that a defendant who fails to demand a speedy trial
forever waives his right. This does not mean, however, that the defendant has no
responsibility to assert his right.
● The two approaches are rejected by the court. The better rule is that the defendant's
assertion of or failure to assert his right to a speedy trial is one of the factors to be
considered in an inquiry into the deprivation of the right.
○ The approach we accept is a balancing test, in which the conduct of both the
prosecution and the defendant are weighed.

Balancing Test
● A balancing test necessarily compels courts to approach speedy trial cases on an ad hoc
basis. We can do little more than identify some of the factors which courts should assess in
determining whether a particular defendant has been deprived of his right.
○ Though some might express them in different ways, we identify four factors: length
of delay, the reason for the delay, the defendant's assertion of his right, and
prejudice to the defendant.
■ The 4th factor, prejudice to the defendant, should be assessed in the light of
the interests of defendants which the speedy trial right was designed to
protect: (i) to prevent oppressive pretrial incarceration; (ii) to minimize
anxiety and concern of the accused; and (iii) to limit the possibility that the
defense will be impaired.

58 Cal.2d 56
J. Traynor

Crime Rape


Parties Neal Chester Jones – accused

Superior Court of Nevada County – issued the assailed order
Events  Oct. 30, 1961: On the day set for his trial on the charge of rape, Jones filed a motion
for continuance and an affidavit in which he alleged that he was and for a long time
had been impotent and that he needed to gather medical evidence including
medical reports in connection with injuries he suffered in 1953 and 1954. -> motion
 Nov. 3, 1961: District attorney filed a motion for discovery, requesting petitioner
and his attorney to make the ff. available to the prosecution:
o names and addresses of any and all physicians and surgeons subpoenaed
to testify on behalf of Jones with respect to his injuries in 1953 and 1954
and bearing on the question of whether or not petitioner is impotent
o names and addresses of all physicians who treated Jones prior to trial
o reports of doctors or other reports on Jones’ physical condition relating to
said injuries and bearing on the question whether he is impotent
o all X-rays of Jones taken immediately following the 1953 and 1954 injuries.
 The court granted the motion over Jones’ objection. Jones seeks a writ of
prohibition to restrain enforcement of the trial court's order.

WON pretrial discovery in favor of the prosecution is permitted - YES

 Petitioner: The cases permitting discovery by defendants are based on the constitutional mandate
that defendants be given fair trials, and that since there is no constitutional mandate to extend
discovery to the prosecution, the court should not do so absent enabling legislation.
 Court: Pretrial discovery in favor of defendants is not required by due process. Accordingly, when
this court permitted discovery in advance of as well as at the trial, it was not acting under
constitutional compulsion but to promote the orderly ascertainment of the truth. That procedure
should not be a one-way street.
 Discovery is designed to ascertain the truth in criminal as well as in civil cases.
 Absent some governmental requirement that information be kept confidential for the purposes
of effective law enforcement, the state has no interest in denying the accused access to all
evidence that can throw light on issues in the case, and in particular it has no interest in convicting
on the testimony of witnesses who have not been as rigorously cross-examined and as thoroughly
impeached as the evidence permits. To deny flatly any right of production on the ground that an
imbalance would be created between the advantages of prosecution and defense would be to
lose sight of the true purpose of a criminal trial, the ascertainment of the facts.
 Similarly, absent the privilege against self-crimination or other privileges provided by law, the
defendant in a criminal case has no valid interest in denying the prosecution access to evidence
that can throw light on issues in the case. Nor is it any less appropriate in one case than in the
other for the courts to develop the rules governing discovery in the absence of express legislation
authorizing such discovery.

WON the discovery order violates the privilege against self-incrimination – The order can’t be
enforced in its present form.
 When the prosecution has ample evidence of the existence, identity, and authenticity of
documents in the defendant's possession and thus does not need to rely on his knowledge to
locate and to identify them or on his testimony to authenticate them, it may be that his implied
admission alone that the documents produced were those he was ordered to produce would
involve too trivial a degree of incrimination to justify invoking the privilege.
 We are not confronted with such a case, however, for the prosecution has no independent
evidence of the existence of the reports and X-rays it seeks or the names of the witnesses who
have treated or will examine petitioner and who could authenticate any reports or X-rays they
have made or will make. The prosecution seeks more than to require petitioner tacitly to admit
that the materials are those requested; it seeks the benefit of his knowledge of the existence of
possible witnesses and the existence of possible reports and X-rays for the purpose of preparing
its case against him.
 Moreover, insofar as the prosecution seeks reports made or to be made by physicians to whom
petitioner "was sent by his attorney for examination, as distinguished from advice and treatment,"
it would violate the attorney-client privilege, for such reports are communications from petitioner
to his attorneys through such physicians.
 The prosecution, however, is entitled to discover the names of the witnesses petitioner intends
to call and any reports and X-rays he intends to introduce in evidence in support of his particular
affirmative defense of impotence. Although such discovery may require a defendant to disclose
information that would lead to effective rebuttal of his defense, these statutes have uniformly
been upheld against the claim that they violate the privilege against self-crimination.
 The identity of the defense witnesses and the existence of any reports or X-rays the defense offers
in evidence will necessarily be revealed at the trial. The witnesses will be subject to cross-
examination, and the reports and X-rays subject to study and challenge. Learning the identity of
the defense witnesses and of such reports and X-rays in advance merely enables the prosecution
to perform its function at the trial more effectively.
 Thus, "the alibi statutes do not infringe on the privilege against self-incrimination. Rather, they set
up a wholly reasonable rule of pleading which in no manner compels a defendant to give any
evidence other than that which he will voluntarily and without compulsion give at trial. Such
statutes do not violate the right of a defendant to be forever silent. Rather they say to the accused:
If you don't intend to remain silent, if you expect to offer an alibi defense, then advance notice
and whereabouts must be forthcoming; but if you personally and your potential witnesses elect
to remain silent throughout the trial, we have no desire to break that silence by any requirement
of this statute."

DISPOSITIVE: Let a peremptory writ of prohibition issue restraining the trial court from proceeding in
a manner inconsistent with the views expressed herein.

PETERS, J., Concurring and Dissenting.

 Compelling the accused to give testimony prior to the establishment of a prima facie case
against him is a flagrant, shocking and prejudicial invasion of appellant's constitutional rights.
The prosecution has the duty of proving that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,
and until that is done, the accused may remain silent.
 The argument that because this court granted discovery to the defendant, it should grant it to
the prosecution, fails to consider the nature of the defendant's right to pretrial discovery.
While the cases establishing this right, cited by the majority, did hold that such right was not
compelled by the due process clause, they also recognized and held that the defendant was
entitled to such discovery as part of the fair trial impliedly granted to him by article I, section
13, of the state Constitution.

DOOLING, J., Dissenting.

 I dissent from the majority opinion insofar as it authorizes discovery against a defendant in a
criminal case. Admittedly discovery in criminal cases in this state is court-created. Heretofore,
as noted in the majority opinion, it has been limited to discovery by the defendant. Absent
some legislative provision such as those with regard to the defense of alibi referred to in the
majority opinion, a defendant in a criminal case has never been compelled, in advance of the
production of the prosecution's evidence against him, to determine upon what if any defenses
he may ultimately rely.
 The opinion of the majority in this case makes a breach, even if a comparatively small one, in
this right of this defendant and compels him now to commit himself to refrain from
interposing the affirmative defense of impotency unless he makes certain disclosures to the
prosecution in advance of the trial. If the defendant's traditional freedom of action is thus to
be curtailed, that curtailment seems to me to be preeminently a legislative and not a judicial


G.R. L-1642-44 January 29, 1949 J. Perfecto

CYCLE RTC: guilty of murder CA – NONE SUPREME COURT automatic
review bc of
PARTIES  Petitioner: People of the Philippines
 Respondents: Alejandro Mendiola
EVENTS  The deceased (Teofilo Ampil) and his wife Justina Rizal have been fighting for
BEFORE TRIAL quite some time regarding the former’s illicit relationship with other women
 One day, the deceased was kidnapped by Taciano Rizal (brother of Justina or
deceased’s brother-in-law), Alejandro Mendiola, Florentino Zapanta and
Gregorio Reyes.
o As the deceased was about to escape from the kidnap vehicle (an
ambulance), he was shot with a fatal wound, allegedly by Alejandro
o Teofila Ampil passed away two days after
 It appears that the original information for murder committed on the
person of Teofilo Ampil was filed on April 27, 1946, against Taciano V. Rizal
 Alejandro Mendiola, among others was the first one to be arrested, this was
then followed by the arrest of Zapanta and Reyes, while Taciano, was still at
 The information was amended to include Alejandro Mendiola, Florentino
Zapanta and Gregorio Reyes as co-accused.
 The assistant city fiscal Engracio Abasolo filed a motion to discharge
defendant Alejandro Mendiola in order that he may be utilized as witness
for the prosecution, which motion was granted.
 On February 7, 1947 counsel moved to quash the new information against
Alejandro Mendiola in the ground that he has previously been acquitted of
the offense charged (due to becoming a witness)
 The motion was denied and erroneously, the lower court convicted
Mendiola, Zapanta, Reyes and Ampil of the crime of Murder
 This appeal was then brought to the SC to question the conviction of
Mendiola, arguing that he should be entitled to acquittal
WON Mendiola is entitled to the benefits of Sec. 11 Rule 115 – YES
 Defense of Prosecution, arguing that Mendiola is not entitled to
o Because Mendiola, upon developments subsequent to his
discharge on November 6, 1946, appears to be one of the most
guilty, for having fired the fatal shot, his discharge having been
based on the main proposition that by using him as a witness
the prosecution would be enabled to prove it case against the
most guilty accused, and the prosecution no longer wanted to
avail, as it never availed, of his testimony to successfully
prosecute the real and most guilty culprits.
o That the failure to testify mentioned in the proviso of section 11
of Rule 115 comprehends the failure due to the prosecution's
omission or refusal to use the discharged accused as its witness.
o That the discharge, to operate as an acquittal under section 11
of Rule 115, must have taken place after the discharged accused
shall have been arraigned and shall have entered his plea and
after the trial of the case shall have actually begun, and
Mendiola had not even been arraigned when he was discharged
on November 6, 1946.
 SC:
o The above three proposition announced by the prosecution are
not supported either by law or by reason.
o The discharge contemplated in the clear text of section 9 of Rule
115 is the effected or which can be effected a t any stage of the
proceedings, from the filing of the information to the time the
defense starts to offer any evidence.
 clause "any time before they have entered upon their
defense," imply an indefinite period of time limited only
by the time set by a court's jurisdiction and the very
nature of things, and that limit is set at the moment of
the filing of the information.
o Before the discharge is ordered, the prosecution must show and
the trial court must ascertain that the five conditions fixed by
section 9 of Rule 115 are complied with. But once the discharge
is ordered, any future development showing that any or all of
the five conditions have not actually been fulfilled, may not
affect the legal consequences of the discharge, as provided by
section 11 of Rule 115.
 Any writing or unwitting error of the prosecution in
asking for the discharge and of the court in granting the
petition no question of jurisdiction being involved,
cannot deprive the discharged accused of the acquittal
provided by section 11 of Rule 115 and of the
constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy.
o The exception in the proviso of section 11 of Rule 115 against
the defendant who "fails to testify against his co-defendant"
refers exclusively to a failure attributable to defendant's will or
 It is unfair to deprive defendant of an acquittal for a
failure attributable to the prosecution, and it would be
an abhorrent legal policy to place defendant's fate at the
mercy of anyone who may handle the prosecution.
 The willingness or unwillingness of the discharged
defendant is the only test that should be taken into
account to determine whether or not he fails to testify
against this co-defendant and, consequently, whether or
not he should be excluded from the benefits of the
acquittal provided by section 11 of Rule 115.
o In the present case, it is not disputed that Alejandro Mendiola
had always been willing to testify for the prosecution and upon
the same facts bared to the prosecution for which the latter,
among other grounds, decided to move for his discharge from
the information. As a matter of fact, although testifying for
himself, he reiterated substantially in open court what he had
testified before the officers for the prosecution. Under the
circumstances and the law, he is protected by the constitutional
guarantee against double jeopardy.


G.R. No. L-63677
J. Relova


Crime Robbery

Nature Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition

Parties Abelardo Licaros – discharged to become a state witness

Modesto Licaros, Leo Flores, Ramon Dolor, Glicerio Balansin, Rolando
Quejada, Pio Flores, Mario Vito, Rogelio dela Cruz – other accused

Events before Trial  Robbed the Legaspi City branch of Central Bank of the
(commission of the crime Philippines
to Pre-trial)  Abelardo was charged as an accessory
 All of them pleaded not guilty

Sandiganbayan  Tanodbayan filed with the Sandiganbayan “Motion for

Discharge” for Abelardo to serve as a state witness
 Motion was opposed by Leo Flores (one of the accused)
o Reasons given by the Tanodbayan were self serving
o Abelardo is the most guilty of them all
 Sandiganbayan issued a resolution granting the motion and
ordering the discharge
 MR was filed and denied

Supreme Court


1. W/N the SB erred in granting the Motion to Discharge of the Tanodbayan. YES.
a. Fiscal must show the absolute necessity for the testimony of the defendant whose
discharge is requested
i. There were other testimonies that would’ve supported the prosecution
1. Security guards
ii. At most, his probably testimony, would only be corroborative
b. Must comply with Sec. 9, Rule 119 of the ROC
c. ALSO, SB erred in granting the motion before the prosecution has presented all its
other evidence
i. In order to determine w/n his testimony was really needed
ii. Hold the resolution of the motion in the meantime
iii. ALSO, granting the motion early in the case might give the state witness time
to flee, frustrating the reason of his discharge

WHEREFORE, the resolution of respondent Sandiganbayan, dated February 11, 1983, ordering the
discharge from the information of accused Abelardo B. Licaros in Criminal Case No. 6672, as well as its
resolution, dated March 21, 1983, denying petitioners’ motion for reconsideration, are hereby SET

DICTA: Resolution of the motion to discharge is PREFERABLY after the presentation of all of the
prosecution’s other evidence, in order to make sure that the person discharged’s testimony is indeed
G.R. No. 136258 | October 10, 2001


Crime Robbery with homicide

Nature Automatic Review

Parties Carlos Feliciano – accused-appellant: security guard

Rodel de la Cruz – security guard stationed with Feliciano

Events before 1. Information filed against Rodel and Carlos for Robbery with Homicide
Trial  The prosecution sought the discharge of accused Rodel so that the latter
(commission could testify against his co-accused Carlos.
of the crime to 2. Carlos and Rodel were arraigned, pending the resolution of the prosecution’s
Pre-trial) motion. Plea: not guilty.
 RTC granted the motion of the prosecution and the name of Rodel de la
Cruz, an accused turned state witness, was forthwith stricken off from
the Information.

RTC of Roxas 3. During trial, prosecution narrated the incident:

 Rodel de la Cruz testified that before 2 AM of June 5, 1995, Carlos
Feliciano, as security guard of "Superstar" disco pub, told Rodel de la
Cruz to assist him in going after a customer who did not pay his bill.
 He accompanied Feliciano who rented a tricycle from its driver, Ruben
Barte, who stayed behind. But, instead, Feliciano waited for Teresita
Fuentes, poked his gun at her face, dragged her towards the tricycle and
ordered her to board it.
 Feliciano threatened de la Cruz and instructed him where to proceed,
being the driver of the rented tricycle. During the ride, despite de la
Cruz's protest, Feliciano held Fuentes who was crouching, by her hair,
pressing her head down. He also kicked her and struck her head with the
butt of his gun whenever she struggled.
 Later when they reached New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan, Feliciano killed
and robbed Teresita Fuentes.
 Contrarily, Carlos Feliciano, in his testimony, denied the asseverations of
state witness de la Cruz. He claimed that the accusations were motivated
out of pure spite and revenge borne of the hostility between them due
to work-related differences.
 Two additional witnesses for the defense testified that it was de la Cruz
with one male and the other female who were responsible for the death
of Teresita Fuentes.
4. When the trial concluded, RTC of Kalibo, Aklan, found for the prosecution
and pronounced accused Carlos Feliciano guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of Robbery with Homicide and sentenced him to suffer the
extreme penalty of death.

Court of N/A

Supreme WHEREFORE, the judgment of the court a quo is AFFIRMED except insofar as it
Court imposed on appellant Carlos Feliciano the penalty of death which is hereby
reduced to reclusion perpetua.

W/N Trial Court erred in discharging Rodel de la Cruz to be the State witness against co-accused
Carlos, despite strong objections from the offense


1. Rodel de la Cruz appears to be far from being the inculpable young man who has simply been
an unwitting and reluctant accomplice to a gruesome crime. Several incidents disprove his
 The behavior of Rodel de la Cruz during and immediately after the crime could not be that of
a threatened, frightened man. If he indeed wanted to escape, he had in his possession his
own service gun, and he was in control of the tricycle. He had enough advantage and
chances to escape, if he really wanted to, from Feliciano who was at that time engrossed at
restraining a struggling victim.
 The evident attempt, nevertheless, of Rodel, to mitigate his own culpability did not
adversely affect his discharge nor did it render completely weightless the evidentiary value
of his testimony.
2. Also, even if even Rodel appears to be equally as guilty in conspiracy with Carlos Feliciano, the
hands of the State are now stayed and the Court must assure the exemption of the witness
from punishment.
 The rules of procedure allowing the discharge of an accused to instead be a witness for the
state is embodied in General Order No. 58, which highlights the emphasis placed by the new
system on the presumption of innocence in favor of the accused.
o The State must first establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt before an accused can
be called upon to defend himself, and on the proscription against compelling an accused
to be a witness against himself as well as against drawing inferences of guilt from his
o In this jurisdiction, it is the trial court judge who has the exclusive responsibility of
ensuring that the conditions prescribed by the rules exist.
 A discharge, if granted at the stage where jeopardy has already attached, is equivalent to
an acquittal, such that further prosecution would be tantamount to the state reneging on its
part of the agreement and unconstitutionally placing the state witness in double jeopardy.
o Exception: When the accused fails to fulfill his part of the bargain and refuses to testify
against his co-accused, the benefit of his discharge can be withdrawn and he can again
be prosecuted for the same offense.
 Despite an obvious attempt to downgrade his own participation in the crime, state witness
de la Cruz, nevertheless, did not renege from his agreement to give a good account of the
crime, enough to indeed substantiate the conviction of his co-accused.
o On significant points, the damaging testimony of de la Cruz against appellant was
corroborated by 2 other witnesses.


- The rules of procedure allowing the discharge of an accused to instead be a witness for the state
is not a home grown innovation but is one with a long and interesting history.
- It has its origins in the common law of ancient England where faithful performance of such an
agreement with the Crown could entitle a criminal offender to an equitable right to a
recommendation for executive clemency.
- The practice, soon recognized through widespread statutory enactments in offer jurisdictions,
finally has found its way to our own criminal procedure in a short and compact military General
Order No. 58 issued in 1900.
- Its adoption highlights the emphasis placed by the new system on the presumption of innocence
in favor of the accused, on the requirement that the State must first establish its case beyond a
reasonable doubt before an accused can be called upon to defend himself, and on the
proscription against compelling an accused to be a witness against himself as well as against
drawing inferences of guilt from his silence.
- Underlying the rule is the deep-lying intent of the State not to let a crime that has been
committed go unpunished by allowing an accused who appears not to be the most guilty to
testify, in exchange for an outright acquittal, against a more guilty co-accused. It is aimed at
achieving the greater purpose of securing the conviction of the most guilty and the greatest
number among the accused for an offense committed.
G.R. No. 103397
8 Chua v CA
J. Hermosisima Jr.

Crime Falsification of Private Documents

Nature PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the CA

Parties Petitioner: William Chua

Respondent: CA, People of the PH

Events before Trial  Accused Wilson Chua leased several earth moving equipment to
(commission of the crime Tolong Aquaculture Corporation while Arcadio Enriquez is the
to Pre-trial) project accountant of TAC
 Tolong Aquaculture Corporation (TAC) filed a Complaint for
Falsification of Private Documents against Petitioner and Enriquez
alleging that Chua instigated and indorsed Enriquez to make
alteration in the Daily Equipment Utilization Reports (DEUR) to
enable Chua to charge more than what was legally due him for the
use of the equipment. The complaint of TAC was that Chua
instigated and indorsed Enriquez to make alteration and changes
in the Daily Equipment Ultilization Reports (DEUR) to enable Chua
to charge more than what was legally due him for the use of the
 Inquest Prosecutor dismissed the complaint for lack of probable
 On appeal to the DOJ, the prosecutor was ordered to file the
 Provincial Prosecutor filled the information

RTC/MTC  Prosecution filed a motion to discharge accused Arcadio Enriquez

so that he can be utilized as a state witness
 RTC denied the motion on 2 grounds (1) prosecution failed to
adduce evidence that all the requirements for the discharge had
been complied with; and (2) that Enriquez appears to be in
possession of the documents in question and has admitted that he
was the one who falsified the same. Thus, holding the belief that
Enriquez was the most guilty

Court of Appeals  Office of SolGen filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus to
set aside the RTC Decision denying the State’s motion for the
discharge, alleging grave abuse of discretion
 CA granted the petition and set aside RTC’s decision, ordered the
discharge of Enriquez.
 MR was filed  denied

Supreme Court Petition DENIED; CA decision AFFIRMED


1. WON the 5 witnesses listed in the information should have been presented first before the
discharge of Enriquez to be a state witness? NO
 Petitioner Chua contends that CA committed a grave order in ordering the discharge of the
accused Enriquez despite the fact that the prosecution has not presented any of its five
witnesses listed in the information. Chua cites Flores v. Sandiganbayan wherein the SC ruled that
if there is an opposition to the discharge of an accused, the trial court must defer or hold in
abeyance its resolution on the motion until after the prosecution has presented all its other
 In Flores, it was imperative for the Sandiganbayan to hold in abeyance its resolution ordering the
discharge of the accused until after the prosecution had presented all its other evidence because
the testimonies of the three security guards might establish the participation of one of the
accused (A) without needing the testimony of the other accused (B) sought to be a state witness.
Likewise, the evidence might show accused (B) as the most guilty.
 In the case at bar, the Information charges only two defendants of having committed the
offense of falsification of private documents: Chua and Enriquez.
 In the Flores case, the crime of bank robbery was done in public and was witnessed by several
persons. In this case, the crime of falsification of private documents was done clandestinely.
Only Chua and Enriquez had knowledge of the criminal conspiracy. Thus, only one person can
supply the DIRECT evidence required by ROC Sec. 9, Rule 119, that being Enriquez
 Hence, the principle that where a crime is contrived in secret, then the discharge of one of the
conspirators is essential so he can testify against the other conspirators is applicable in this case.
The other witnesses not yet called to the witness stand would not constitute DIRECT evidence of
Chua's guilt because none of the five were privy to the conspiracy between Chua and Enriquez.
Their testimonies would only be corroborative.
 Also, the Rule does not require the prosecution to present all its other evidence before an
accused can be discharged. An accused may be discharged at any time before the defendants
have entered upon their defense. Discharge can be at any stage of the proceedings from the
filing of the information to the time the defense starts to offer any evidence."

2. WON the trial court has exclusive responsibility in the matter of discharging an accused for use
as a state witness?  YES, but with qualification
 As a general rule, the discharge or exclusion of a co-accused from the Information, in order that
he may be utilized as a prosecution witness rests upon the sound discretion of the trial court.
However, this discretion should be strictly exercised on the basis of the conditions set forth in
ROC Rule 119, Section 9
 As to the requisite of absolute necessity for the testimony of the defendant whose discharge is
requested, the trial court has to rely on the suggestions and the information presented by the
public prosecutor. The reason is that the public prosecutor should know better than the court
and the defense as to which of the accused would be best to be qualified to become a state
witness. He is also supposed to know the evidence in his possession and whom he needs to
establish his case

3. WON the motion to discharge fatally inadequate  NO

 3 elements of discharge
(1) Accused is the least guilty
(2) that there is absolute necessity for his testimony; and
(3) that Accused has not been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude
 Petitioner seems to confuse a motion to discharge to that of an information or complaint.
o In an information or a complaint, all the elements necessary to constitute an offense or
to state a cause of action must be alleged and failure to do so will constitute a ground
for a motion to quash, in the case of an information, or a motion to dismiss, in the case
of a complaint.
o The motion to discharge will suffice if the allegations contained therein adequately
inform the adverse party and the court a quo what relief the movant is praying for.
 The only requirement therefore was that a hearing on the motion be had. It is at the hearing
where the movant should show the presence of all the elements required by the rule for the
discharge of an accused to be a state witness. This duty was complied with by the movant, as
Chua never claimed that he was ill-informed of the nature of the motion. He was given the
opportunity to oppose it and he did so.

4. WON there absolute necessity for the testimony of accused Enriquez who is sought to be
discharged  YES
 MEANING of ABSOLUTE NECESSITY: The accused who is sought to be discharged has lone
knowledge of the crime and not when his testimony would simply corroborate or otherwise
strengthen the evidence in the hands of the prosecution. For example, in a conspiracy done in
secret, there is a necessity to discharge one of the accused to provide direct evidence of the
commission of the crime. Only the conspirators can testify on what was concocted between the
 In the case at bar, the Judge denied the motion to discharge Enriquez in spite of the fact that
there were only two paticipes criminis (Chua and Enriquez). Moreover, the conspiracy to defraud
TAC was known only to Chua and Enriquez since the other five witnesses had an involvement
only after the end of the conspiracy

5. WON accused Enriquez the least guilty  YES

 When Enriquez falsified the company records of TAC in order to inflate the work hours of the
equipment of Chua and allow him to inflate his billings for the use thereof, there was as yet no
damage to TAC. Damage was caused when Chua received the bloated checks and encashed
 If one induces another to commit a crime, the influence is the determining cause of the crime.
Without the inducement, the crime would not have been committed. It is the inducer who sets
into motion the execution of the criminal act.
 Without the inducement, accused Enriquez would not have falsified the records of the company.
Thus, Chua is the most guilty as between the two accused.


Enriquez’s testimony
 On February 1989, he was approached at his office by Chua, who engaged him in conversation
inquiring into his work with TAC and then offered to help him out of his financial difficulties.
 Chua induced and persuaded him to alter theDEURs, EORs, and logbooks that were under his
control and possession, and to convert the idle hours to utilization hours so that Chua could collect
larger payments than he was lawfully entitled for the use of his leased equipment by TAC. Chua
offered him a 50/50 cut of all monies received from TAC by reason of such conversion of idle hours
into utilization hours.
 He succumbed to such inducements and blandishments of Chua, and thereafter started making
alterations and changes in the DEURs, EORs, and logbooks in his possession, choosing such
documents that seemed easy to change or alter without much risk of detention.
 When he arrived at the TAC prawn farm on 1989, he had only about P50.00 left in his possession.
He applied for a job with Arnulfo Ilustre and Fernando Juanitez, both of whom he had met before
during several construction projects. He pleaded with Ilustre and Juanitez to give him a job
because he had no money at all, no work during the previous two years, and his family and children
were suffering, especially his eldest son who was seriously ill and in and out of the hospital. Ilustre
and Juanitez took pity on him and hired him.
 The falsifications he made in the records for the rentals of Chua’s equipment between February
16 and February 28, 1989, illegally increased by P50,150. This “bloated amount” was received by
Chua, who gave him his “50/50 share” in the amount of P25,000.
 Aside from the P25,000, he had also received from Chua the sums of P 10,000, P5,000, P5,000,
and P10,000, as his share in the loot extracted by Chua from TAC by means of the falsifications the
latter had induced him to make.
 He had sent to his wife immediately P15,000 out of the first P25,000 he received, and P2,000 to
his sick son, who sadly died anyway. Aside from these amounts, he had also received from Chua
several thousands of pesos for so-called commissions from the rentals paid by TAC for another
bulldozer that he and Mr. Ilustre had been instrumental in convincing TAC to rent from Chua.
 Although the amounts he received from Chua for the falsifications of the DEURs and other
documents were less than the 50/50 share promised him, Chua compensated for it by taking him,
Juanitez, and Ilustre out drinking, nightclubbing, and womanizing on various occasions, all at
respondent Chua’s expense

247 SCRA 652
9 Webb v De Leon
Puno, J.
Crime Rape and Homicide

Nature Petition for writ of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with application for temporary restraining
order and preliminary injunction

Parties Hubert Webb – accused; son of Freddie Webb (actor; basketball player)
Hon. Raul E. de Leon – Presiding Judge, RTC Parañaque br. 258
Hon Zosimo V. Escano

Events  June 30, 1991 – [Vizconde Massacre] rape and killing of Carmela N. Vizconde, her mother
before Estrellita Nicolas- Vizconde, and her sister Anne Marie Jennifer in their home at BF Homes,
Trial Parañ aque, Metro Manila.
 June 19, 1994 – NBI filed with DoJ a letter-complaint charging petitioners Hubert Webb, Michael
Gatchalian, Antonio J. Lejano and six (6) other persons
 DoJ formed a panel of prosecutors headed by Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Jovencio R. Zuñ o
to conduct the preliminary investigation of those charged with the rape and killing. In
Preliminary Investigation, NBI presented various sworn statements and autopsy reports against
Webb & co.
 Before submitting his counter-affidavit, Webb filed with the DOJ Panel a Motion for Production
and Examination of Evidence and Documents for the NBI to produce certifications, sworn
statements, lab reports, photographs, records of arrest and others.
 The motion was granted; NBI was ordered to submit photocopies of the documents.
- It alleged it lost the original of the April 28, 1995 sworn statement of Alfaro. This compelled
Webb to file a civil case in RTC Makati to obtain the original of said sworn statement. A copy
of the original was produced in compliance with a subpoena duces tecum. The original was
then submitted by Webb to the DOJ
- It appears, however, that Webb failed to obtain from the NBI the copy of the FBI Report
despite his request for its production.
 Webb claimed that he did not commit the crime as he went to US on March 1, 1991 and
returned to the Philippines on October 27, 1992.
- Alibi was corroborated by Honesto Aragon, Lecinia Edrosolano, Sylvia Climaco, Gina Roque,
Sonia Rodriguez, Edgardo Ventura and Pamela Francisco.
- Also submitted documentary evidence that he bought a bicycle and a car while in US, and
that he was issued a driver’s license.
- Also submitted a letter dated July 25, 1995 of the Legal Attache of the US Embassy, citing
certain records tending to confirm his arrival at San Francisco on March 1991.
 The other respondents submitted sworn statements, responses, and a motion to dismiss
denying their complicity in the rape-killing of the Vizcondes

 August 8, 1995 – DoJ Panel found probable cause to hold respondents for trial. An information
was filed and case was raffled to Br. 258 presided by Judge Zosimo V. Escano (He later inhibits,
citing that he was part of NBI before being appointed as judge). It was, however, the judge Raul
de Leon, pairing judge of Judge Escano, who issued the warrants of arrest.
 August 11, 1995 –Webb voluntarily surrendered to the police authorities at Camp Ricardo Papa
Sr., in Bicutan, Taguig.



SC Petitioners filed petitions for the issuance of the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus with application for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
 To annul the warrant of arrest
 Enjoin respondents from conducting further proceedings
 Dismiss criminal case or include Jessica Alforo as one of the accused
Petitioners contend:
(1) respondent Judges committed GAD when it failed to conduct a preliminary examination before
issuing warrants of arrest against them;
(2) DOJ Panel also commited GAD in holding that there is probable cause to charge them with the
crime of rape with homicide;
(3) they were denied due process during their preliminary investigation; and
(4) the DOJ Panel unlawfully intruded into judicial prerogative when it failed to charge Jessica Alfaro
in the Information as an accused.


1. W/N respondent Judges committed GAD when it failed to conduct a preliminary examination
before issuing warrants of arrest against them – NO.
 Jessica Alfaro’s sworn statement is inherently weak & uncorroborated because of
o material inconsistencies between her April 28, 1995 and May 22, 1995 sworn statements.
 w/n she has met Carmela before
 w/n she saw the dead bodies
 w/n she saw the act of rape
 w/n she entered the Visconde house
o her misdescription of petitioner Webb’s hair as semi-blonde.
 They also criticize the procedure followed by the DOJ Panel when it did not examine witnesses to
clarify the alleged incredulities & inconsistencies in the sworn statements of witnesses for the NBI.
Supreme Court:
 Purpose of preliminary investigation: “determine whether there is a sufficient ground to engender
a well-grounded belief that a crime has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty
thereof, and should be held for trial”
 Despite the alleged inconsistencies, DOJ Panel ruled that these did not erode the credibility of
Alfaro. In addition, the DOJ Panel evaluated OTHER supporting sworn statements of Nerissa
Rosales and Mila Gaviola, former housemaids of the Webbs, Carlos J. Cristobal, a passenger in
United Airlines Flight No. 808 and Lolita Birrer, a paramour of Gerardo Biong.
 A finding of probable cause merely binds over the suspect to stand trial. It is not a pronouncement
of guilt.
 The decision to call witnesses for clarificatory questions is addressed to the sound discretion of
the investigator and the investigator alone. If the evidence on hand already yields a probable
cause, the investigator need not hold a clarificatory hearing.

2. W/N respondent Judges committed GAD when it failed to conduct a preliminary examination
before issuing warrants of arrest against them – NO.
 it was impossible to conduct a “searching examination of witnesses and evaluation of the
documents” on the part of said judges.
o warrants were issued in only a matter of few hours
o judges failed to issue orders of arrest
o records were incomplete and insufficient from which to base a finding of probable cause
o even Gerardo Biong as a mere accessory had a “NO BAIL” recommendation by the DOJ Panel
Supreme Court
 With respect to warrants of arrest, section 6 of Rule 112 simply provides that “upon filing of an
information, the Regional Trial Court may issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused.” In
contrast, the procedure to be followed in issuing search warrants is more defined, as indicated in
sec 3 (Requisites for issuing search warrant), 4 (examination of complainant) 5 (issuance of search
warrant) of Rule 126.
 There is also no law or rule requiring the issuance of an Order of Arrest prior to a warrant of arrest.
 The sufficiency of the review process cannot be measured by merely counting minutes and hours
o before issuing warrants of arrest, judges merely determine personally the probability, not the
certainty of guilt of an accused. In doing so, judges do not conduct a de novo hearing to
determine the existence of probable cause. They just personally review the initial
determination of the prosecutor finding a probable cause to see if it is supported by
substantial evidence.

3. WN the DOJ Panel denied them their constitutional right to due process during their preliminary
investigation – NO.
 The records will show that the DOJ Panel did not conduct the preliminary investigation with
indecent haste. Petitioners were given fair opportunity to prove lack of probable cause against
them, and petitioners even actively participated in the proceedings.
o It must also be pointed out that despite the declaration by the DOJ Panel that the
preliminary investigation was to be terminated after the hearing held on July 14, 1995,
the panel continued to conduct further proceedings, e.g., comparison of the photo-copies
of the submitted documents with the originals on July 17, 1995.

4. WN the DOJ Panel unlawfully intruded into judicial prerogative when it failed to charge Jessica
Alfaro in the Information as an accused – NO.
 The non-inclusion of Alfaro is anchored on Republic Act No. 6981, Sec 10. (Witness Protection
o Upon qualification of Alfaro to the program, Sec 12 of the said law mandates her non-
inclusion in the criminal Complaint or Information.
 Petitioners: challenge the validity of these provisions; constitute “x x x an intrusion into judicial
prerogative for it is only the court which has the power under the Rules on Criminal Procedure to
discharge an accused as a state witness.”
o Petitioner’s argument is based on Sec 9, Rule 119 which gives the court the prerogative
to approve the discharge of an accused to be a state witness.
 Petitioner’s argument lacks appeal for it lies on the faulty assumption that the decision whom to
prosecute is a judicial function, the sole prerogative of courts and beyond executive and legislative
o In truth, the prosecution of crimes appertains to the executive department of government
whose principal power and responsibility is to see that our laws are faithfully executed.
o A necessary component of this power to execute our laws is the right to prosecute their
violators. The right to prosecute vests the prosecutor with a wide range of discretion—
the discretion of whether, what and whom to charge, the exercise of which depends on a
smorgasbord of factors which are best appreciated by prosecutors.
 We thus hold that it is not constitutionally impermissible for Congress to enact R.A. No. 6981
vesting in the Department of Justice the power to determine who can qualify as a witness in the
program and who shall be granted immunity from prosecution.
o Section 9 of Rule 119 does not support the proposition that the power to choose who
shall be a state witness is an inherent judicial prerogative.
o Under this provision, the court is given the power to discharge a state witness only
because it has already acquired jurisdiction over the crime and the accused. The
discharge of an accused is part of the exercise of jurisdiction but is not a recognition of
an inherent judicial function.
 Moreover, the Rules of Court have never been interpreted to be beyond change by legislation
designed to improve the administration of our justice system.
o R.A. No. 6981 is one of the much sought penal reform laws to help government in its uphill
fight against crime, one certain cause of which is the reticence of witnesses to testify.

5. WN there was prejudicial publicity during their preliminary investigation which caused a denial
of their right to due process – NO.
 The possibility of media abuses and their threat to a fair trial notwithstanding, criminal trials
cannot be completely closed to the press and the public.
 Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia: The historical evidence of the evolution of the criminal
trial in Anglo-American justice demonstrates conclusively that at the time this Nation’s organic
laws were adopted, criminal trials both here and in England had long been presumptively open,
thus giving assurance that the proceedings were conducted fairly to all concerned and
discouraging perjury, the misconduct of participants, or decisions based on secret bias or
o To work effectively, it is important that society’s criminal process ‘satisfy the appearance
of justice,’ which can best be provided by allowing people to observe such process. From
this unbroken, uncontradicted history, supported by reasons as valid today as in centuries
past, it must be concluded that a presumption of openness inheres in the very nature of
a criminal trial under this Nation’s system of justice.
o The First Amendment right to receive information and ideas means, in the context of
trials, that the guarantees of speech and press, standing alone, prohibit government from
summarily closing courtroom doors which had long been open to the public at the time
the First Amendment was adopted.
 Moreover, the right of assembly is also relevant, having been regarded not only
as an independent right but also as a catalyst to augment the free exercise of the
other First Amendment rights with which it was deliberately linked by the
o A trial courtroom is a public place where the people generally—and representatives of
the media—have a right to be present, and where their presence historically has been
thought to enhance the integrity and quality of what takes place.
o The right to attend criminal trials is implicit in the guarantees of the First Amendment:
without the freedom to attend such trials, which people have exercised for centuries,
important aspects of freedom of speech and of the press could be eviscerated.”
 Martelino, et al v Alejandro: to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity there must be allegation
and proof that the judges have been unduly influenced, not simply that they might be, by the
barrage of publicity.
o In the case at bar, we find nothing in the records that will prove that the tone and content
of the publicity that attended the investigation of petitioners fatally infected the fairness
and impartiality of the DOJ Panel.
 Petitioners cannot just rely on the subliminal effects of publicity on the sense of
fairness of the DOJ Panel, for these are basically unbeknown and beyond knowing.
o To be sure, the DOJ Panel is composed of an Assistant Chief State Prosecutor and Senior
State Prosecutors. Their long experience in criminal investigation is a factor to consider in
determining whether they can easily be blinded by the klieg lights of publicity.
 Indeed, their 26-page Resolution carries no indubitable indicia of bias for it does
not appear that they considered any extra-record evidence except evidence
properly adduced by the parties.
 The length of time the investigation was conducted despite its summary nature
and the generosity with which they accommodated the discovery motions of
petitioners speak well of their fairness.
 At no instance, we note, did petitioners seek the disqualification of any member
of the DOJ Panel on the ground of bias resulting from their bombardment of
prejudicial publicity.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petitions are dismissed for lack of showing of grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the respondents. Costs against petitioners.


 Preliminary investigation, unlike trial, is summary in nature, the purpose of which is merely
to determine whether a crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to
believe that the accused is guilty thereof. It is not intended to find guilt beyond reasonable
 Courts should give deference, in the absence of a clear showing of arbitrariness, as in this
case, to the finding and determination of probable cause by prosecutors in preliminary
 The weight or sufficiency of evidence, to my mind, is best assayed in the trial proper. In the
search for truth, a trial has distinct merits over a preliminary investigation. We have had
occasion to stress that trial is to be preferred to ferret out the truth. The validity and merits
of a party’s defense or accusation as well as the admissibility or inadmissibility of testimonies
and evidence are better ventilated during the trial stage than in the preliminary investigation
level. The ineluctable media attention notwithstanding, truth as to their innocence or guilt is
still best determined at the trial.

RA 6981
Sec. 10. State Witness.—Any person who has participated in the commission of a crime and desires to
be a witness for the State, can apply and, if qualified as determined in this Act and by the Department,
shall be admitted into the Program whenever the following circumstances are present:
(a) the offense in which his testimony will be used is a grave felony as defined under the R.P.C.
or its equivalent under special laws;
(b) there is absolute necessity for his testimony;
(c) there is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense
(d) his testimony can be substantially corroborated on its material points;
(e) he does not appear to be most guilty; and
(f) he has not at anytime been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude
Sec. 12. Effect of Admission of a State Witness into the Program.—The certification of admission into
the Program by the Department shall be given full faith and credit by the provincial or city prosecutor
if included therein, to petition the court for his discharge in order that he can be utilized as a State
Witness. The court shall order the discharge and exclusion of the said accused from the information.
Admission into the Program shall entitle such State Witness to immunity from criminal prosecution
for the offense or offenses in which his testimony will be given or used and all the rights and benefits
provided under Section 8 hereof.

G.R. No. 11750
10 US v Catimbang
Carson, J.

Crime Theft of large cattle

Nature Direct appeal

Parties Accused - Miguel Catimbang and Pedro Maluluan

Victims - Antonino Templo

Events before Trial Two cows tied to their owners’ homes had disappeared. While looking
(commission of the crime for the animals, Templo met and asked for help in the search from
to Pre-trial) Catimbang

Next day, when asked whether he had seen the animals, Catimbang
asked P40 as ransom for their return.

Catimbang was soon arrested.

RTC/MTC Lirit brothers testified on how they were approached by the

accused with a third person asking if they could take care of two
cows and their calves for a few days to which they refused.

Catimbang testified in his own behalf, denying the truth of the

testimony of the witnesses in so far as it tended to show that
he had never been in possession of the animals nor had
knowledge of the thef

Trial judge ruled against the accused

Court of Appeals N/A

Supreme Court Counsel for appelants admits jurisprudence on sustaining

convictions of the crime of theft upon proof of the theft and the
further proof that the stolen goods had been found in the
unexplained possession of the accused BUT contends thay the
doctrine is unsound and runs counter to the constitutional
provisions which forbid the accused to testify against himself.


W/N unexplained possession of stolen property creates a presumption of law that the possessor
committed the larceny, and casts the burden of proving the innocent character of the possession upon
the accused | NO

Conviction rests wholly upon an inference of fact as to the guilt of the accused. If as a matter of
probability and reasoning based on the fact of possession of the stolen goods, taken in connection
with other evidence, it may be fairly concluded beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is uilty of
the theft, judgment of conviction may properly be entered.

When the prosecution closes its case there must e enough evidence in the record to establish the guilt
of the accused if nothing further appears; and proof of the possession of recently stolen goods taken
together with proof of the commission of the theft, may be and generally will be sufficient to establish
guilt of the accused, if there is nothing in the record to raise a doubt as to the guilty character of the
possession, though there is no presumption of law to that effect.


Judgment affirmed.


Art. 310. Qualified theft. — The crime of theft shall be punished by the penalties next higher by two
degrees than those respectively specified in the next preceding article, if committed by a domestic
servant, or with grave abuse of confidence, or if the property stolen is motor vehicle, mail matter or
large cattle or consists of coconuts taken from the premises of the plantation or fish taken from a
fishpond or fishery, or if property is taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic
erruption, or any other calamity, vehicular accident or civil disturbance
64 Phil. 483
Diaz, J.


Crime Malpractice (administrative case)

Nature ORIGINAL ACTION in the Supreme Court

Parties Complainant: MARIA BERMUDEZ


Facts  In the course of the investigation which was being conducted

by the office of the Solicitor General against Castillo, the latter
filed six letters which were marked as Exhibits 32, 34, 35, 36
and 37.
 He then contended that the said six letters are the
complainant’s, but the latter denied it while she was testifying
as a witness in rebuttal.
 She admitted, however, that the letters marked as Exhibits 38,
39 and 40 were in her own handwriting.
 Castillo believed that the three letters admitted by the
complainant to be hers were insufficient for purposes of
comparison with those questioned in this case. Hence, he
required her to copy them in her own handwriting in the
presence of the investigator.
 Bermudez, upon advice of her attorney, refused to submit to
the trial to which it was desired to subject her, invoking her
right not to incriminate herself.
 Bermudez also alleged that Exhibits 38, 39 and 40 were more
than sufficient for what he proposed to do.
 The INVESTIGATOR upheld the contention of the complainant.
He did not compel her to submit to the trial required.
Hence, Castillo instituted these proceedings praying that the
investigator and the Solicitor General be ordered to require and compel
the complainant to furnish new specimens of her handwriting by
copying Exhibits 32 to 37.


Court of Appeals N/A

Supreme Court Respondent’s petition is denied.


WON complainant Bermudez may be compelled to copy Exhibits 32 to 37 in her own handwriting?

NO. This is a violation of her privilege against self-incrimination.

 The constitution provides: “No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.” It
should be noted that before it was attempted to require the complainant to copy the six
documents above-stated, she had sworn to tell the truth before the investigator. Under said
oath, she asserted that the documents in question had not been written by her. Were she
compelled to write and were it proven by means of what she might write later that said
documents had really been written by her, it would be impossible for her to evade prosecution
for perjury.
o Respondent’s argument: “The privilege against self-crimination is a personal one. But
the privilege is an option of refusal, not a prohibition of inquiry. Hence, when an
ordinary witness is on the stand, and a self-criminating act relevant to the issue is
desired to be shown by him, the question may be asked, and then it is for the witness
to say whether he will answer it or claim its privilege, for it cannot be known
beforehand what he will do.”
o Supreme Court: The doctrine presented by the respondent is not applicable to the
case of the herein complainant, firstly, because she has made no disclosure; she
confined herself to denying that the letters in question were hers when the
respondent said that they were hers, and presenting other letters which, by reason of
the handwriting, were to all appearances similar thereto; and, secondly, because her
testimony, denying that she was the author of the letters in question, may be attacked
by means of other evidence in the possession of the respondent, which is not precisely
that coming from the complainant herself.
 The purpose of the privilege against self-incrimination is to avoid and prohibit the repetition
and recurrence of the certainly inhuman procedure of compelling a person, in a criminal or
any other case, to furnish the missing evidence necessary for his conviction. If such is its
purpose, then the evidence must be sought elsewhere.
 If it is desired to discover evidence in the person himself, then he must be promised and
assured at least absolute immunity by one authorized to do so legally, or he should be asked,
one for all, to furnish such evidence voluntarily without any condition.

In view of the foregoing considerations and holding, as it is hereby held, that the complainant is
perfectly entitled to the privilege invoked by her, the respondent's petition is denied. So ordered.

DICTA: Separate Opinions

LAUREL, concurring:

• As between two possible and equally rational constructions, that should prevail which is more
in consonance with the purpose intended to be carried out by the Constitiution. The provision, as
doubtless it was designed, should be construed with the utmost liberality in or of the right of the
individual intended to be secured.

• The witness would in effect be forced to punish the means for his own destruction. Unless the
evidence is voluntarily given, the policy of the constitution is one of protection of humanitarian
considerations and grounds of public policy. This is not saying that the constitutional privilege was
intended to shield the witness from the personal disgrace or opprobrium resulting from the exposure
of crime. It was only intended to prevent the disclosure of evidence that may tend to render the
witness liable to prosecution in a criminal case.
• The privilege should not be disregarded merely because it often affords a shelter to the guilty
and may prevent the disclosure of wrongdoing.

• The privilege afforded by the constitution is purely personal to the witness and may be waived
by him either by a failure to claim the privilege on time or by testifying without objection; and a
witness who has waived the privilege is not permitted to stop but must go on and make a full
disclosure of all matters material to the case. In this case, there has not been a waiver. The privilege
was invoked on time. The objection to the question of respondent’s counsel was raised upon the
asking of the question which would subject the witness to the danger of committing perjury. This the
witness had a right to do.

• It was not the complainant but the respondent who offered the letters (Exhibits 32 to 37) in
evidence. The complainant was presented in rebuttal and she simply denied having written the letters.
She should not be made to furnish the other party evidence by which to destroy her own testimony
under circumstances which tend to incriminate her. She was not even presented by the respondent
as his own witness.

• There are already in evidence letters written by the complainant and admitted by her to be
genuine. The purpose then of respondent's counsel can be attained without extracting from the
witness herself evidence which would subject her to punishment for a felony.

ABAD SANTOS, dissenting:

• The petitioner in this case having waived her privilege against self-incrimination by voluntarily
taking the stand and testifying, it was legitimate cross-examination to call on her to write in order that
such writing may be compared with the disputed writing for the purpose of contradicting her, and the
investigating officer erred in sustaining her objection on the ground that she might incriminate herself.
No. L-1748. | September 29, 1948 | J. Perfecto

Crime ??? Killing ???

Nature Appeal

Parties THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff and appellee, vs. MORO MAMACOL,
defendant and appellant.

Events before Doesn’t say exactly what happened, the Court just said he was sentenced “for the
Trial killing of Dagodob in the early morning of October 16, 1946”

RTC Appellant was sentenced by the lower court to reclusión perpetua, to indemnify the
heirs of the deceased in the amount of P2,000 and to pay the costs
 Defendant was not allowed to present evidence after denying a motion for
dismissal made when the prosecution rested, without reserving the right to
present said evidence in the event the motion is denied

Court of N/A

Supreme Court Case was REMANDED to the lower court for further proceedings


WN an accused may still be allowed to present evidence after a motion for dismissal he filed, without
reserving the right to present said evidence, is denied  YES
 Solicitor General: whether the accused reserves or fails to reserve his right to adduce evidence
in making a motion to dismiss, if the motion is denied, he can no longer do so, having elected
to stand or fall on the evidence submitted by the prosecution, and the court should decide the
case on the evidence submitted, and the only question to be resolved on appeal is whether
such evidence is sufficient to sustain a conviction or not
 The Rules are silent on the matter, BUT the ordinary and common day procedure adopted by
trial courts is that with or without reservation made by the defense, said trial courts have
been and are allowing the defense to present evidence after a motion to dismiss has been
o We are of opinion that the procedure which has been practiced and is generally practiced
in trial courts. for a long number of years, is based on sound reason.
 Where the motion to dismiss is denied, there is no harm to the interest of the
administration of justice to allow defendant to present evidence, while to bar
him to present said evidence, which might show his innocence, may lead to a
miscarriage of justice.
o We rule that the denial of a motion to dismiss made by an accused, with or without
reservation to present his evidence, will not impair his right to present it.
 The substantial rights of an accused should not be impaired because of his
counsel’s anxiousness to have him promptly acquitted. The need of applying the
rule appears to be more emphatic in a case like this where life or death or
perpetual imprisonment of the accused are at stake.
Post-conviction review
Gr L-2754
13 Abriol vs Homeres
Ozaeta J.

Fidel Abriol (petitioner-appellant)
Vicente Homeres (Provincial Warden of Leyte, respondent-appellee)

1. At the CFI Leyte, Fidel Abriol, together with six other persons, was accused of illegal possession
of firearms and ammunition.
2. After the prosecution had presented its evidence and rested its case, counsel for the defense
moved to dismiss the case on the ground of insufficiency of the evidence to prove the guilt of
the accused.
3. After hearing the arguments for and against the motion for dismissal, the court held the proofs
sufficient to convict and denied said motion, whereupon counsel for the defense offered to
present evidence for the accused.
4. The provincial fiscal opposed the presentation of evidence by the defense, contending that
the present procedural practice and laws precluded the defense in criminal cases from
presenting any evidence after it had presented a motion for dismissal with or without
reservation and after said motion had been denied, and citing as authority the case of United
States vs. De la Cruz, 28 Phil., 279.
5. His Honor Judge S. C. Moscoso sustained the opposition of the provincial fiscal and, without
allowing the accused to present evidence in their defense, convicted all of them and
sentenced the herein petitioner to suffer seven years of imprisonment and to pay a fine of
6. Petitioner appealed to the CA, but failed to file a Brief on time. The CA dismissed it. Hence,
petitioner afterwards filed a petition for habeas corpus against the provincial warden of Leyte.
7. Judge Rodolfo Baltazar, who heard the petition for habeas corpus, denied it on the ground
that, the judgement of conviction against the petitioner having become final, "this court is
entirely devoid of jurisdiction over and power to modify or in any war alter said decision."
From that decision of Judge Baltazar the petitioner has appealed to this Court.


1. Petition for habeas corpus the proper remedy to review a judgment of conviction here?
 General rule: The function of a writ of habeas corpus in permitting the petitioner to
challenge by collateral attack the jurisdiction under which the process or judgment by
which he is deprived of his liberty was issued or rendered cannot be distorted by
extending the inquiry to mere errors of trial courts acting within their jurisdiction
(Habeas Corpus under American Jurisprudence).
o This principle however has been qualified to not be applied to destroy the
constitutional safeguards of human life and liberty (Johnson v Zerbst –
another Am Juris)
 A writ of habeas corpus is the proper remedy to review a judgment of a conviction.
(from 2015 reviewer)
o Upon the grant, one is restored the right he has been unlawful deprived of. In
this case, it was his right to present evidence as the defense.
o No court of justice under our system of government has the power to deprive
the accused of his right to be heard or to present evidence in his defense
before being sentenced. If the accused does not waive his right to be heard
but on the contrary – as in the instant case – invokes that right, and the court
denies it to him, the court no longer has jurisdiction to proceed; it has no
power to sentence the accused without hearing him in his defense; and the
sentence thus pronounced is void and may be collaterally attacked in a
habeas corpus proceeding.
 However, habeas corpus is not a means of reviewing errors or irregularities during
trial. Therefore it is not a writ of error. It is used technically to safeguard constitutional
rights of human life and liberty. Therefore, not a corrective remedy.

Judgment reversed

14 Griffin v California
Douglas, J. 1965

Crime Murder

Nature Certiorari to the SC of California

Events before Trial Griffin had been invited into the apartment shared by Essie Mae
(commission of the crime Hodson and her boyfriend, Eddie Seay. After going to bed, Eddie was
to Pre-trial) awakened by a noise, and he and saw Griffin and Essie struggling. Essie
said Griffin had tried to force her to have sex.

Eddie locked Griffin outside the apartment, but Griffin broke back into
the apartment and struck Eddie, who ran to a bar for help. Upon
returning, Griffin and Essie were gone.

In the morning, a witness saw Griffin, buttoning up his pants, coming

out of a very large trash box in an alley about 300 feet from the
apartment. The witness found Essie in the trash box, bleeding and
apparently in shock. She died at a hospital the next day from her

California Court Griffin was convicted of murder in the first degree after a jury trial in a
California court. Griffin, who already had multiple felony convictions,
did not testify at the trial on the issue of guilt, though he did testify at
the separate trial on the issue of penalty.

The trial court stated that a defendant has a constitutional right not to
testify, and this did not create a presumption of guilt, but it also told
the jury: "As to any evidence or facts against him which the defendant
can reasonably be expected to deny or explain because of facts within
his knowledge, if he does not testify or if, though he does testify, he fails
to deny or explain such evidence, the jury may take that failure into
consideration as tending to indicate the truth of such evidence and as
indicating that among the inferences that may be reasonably drawn
therefrom those unfavorable to the defendant are the more probable."
(This was essentially an instruction to the jury saying that silence is an
admission of guilt.)

Griffin was sentenced to the death penalty.

California Supreme Affirmed the conviction.


Whether the comment on the defendant’s failure to testify violated the Self-Incrimination Clause of
the Fifth Amendment (“No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against
himself…) Yes, the comment violated defendant’s Fifth Amendment rights

 The Court stated that a prosecutor's or judge's comment to the jury about a defendant's
refusal to testify "is a remnant of the 'inquisitorial system of criminal justice', which the Fifth
Amendment outlaws. It is a penalty imposed by courts for exercising a constitutional privilege.
It cuts down on the privilege by making its assertion costly."
o The Court noted that a jury might find it "natural and irresistible" to infer the guilt of
a defendant who refused to testify while possessing facts about the evidence against
him, and so a judge's commenting upon the refusal did not "magnify that inference
into a penalty for asserting a constitutional privilege," but went on to state that a
judge's comment on the refusal "solemnizes the silence of the accused into evidence
against him."
 Under the Fifth Amendment no defendant could be forced to testify. However, there was a
concern that "the failure of a defendant to testify would be seen as a confession of guilt and
that jurors would draw this inference regardless of any instructions they might receive." To
help reduce the impact or the likelihood of this inference, the federal government passed a
law in 1878 called the "no-comment rule", prohibiting prosecutors from commenting on the
failure to testify, and prohibiting any presumption against the defendant based on his failure
to testify.
o However, the California Constitution explicitly permitted counsel and the judge to
comment on the failure to testify. The US SC already noted in Adamson v. California
(1947) that California's "comment practice" violated the Fifth Amendment.
G.R. No. 143885-86. January 21, 2002
15 Ty-Dazo v Sandiganbayan
J. Kapunan

Crime Violation of Sec. 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 and Presidential Decree No. 705
(Forestry Code)

Nature Petition for certiorari filed by Ty-Dazo and Quiminales assailing the
Sandiganbayan Resolutions in Criminal Cases Nos. 23656 and 22021, and the
Sandiganbayan Joint Resolution denying their motions for reconsideration.

Parties Quiminales, driver of mini-truck, and Ty-Dazo, alleged owner of lumber,

municipal mayor of Salcedo, Eastern Samar
Events before Quiminales was caught driving a mini-truck which was being loaded with sawed
Trial logs near the Salcedo Watershed. The logs were allegedly owned by petitioner
(commission of Ty-Dazo, but without the proper permit or license. These were then confiscated
the crime to Pre- and criminal charges were filed against petitioners.
trial) (Ty-Dazo was, at the time, the municipal mayor of Salcedo, Eastern Samar)
 CC # 22021: The charges against petitioners were referred to the
Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas, and a corresponding complaint was
received for Ty-Dazo’s violation of Sec. 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019.
The information was filed with the SB in 1995, and when Ty-Dazo
moved for a reinvestigation, this was denied. In 1999, petitioner Ty-
Dazo filed a motion to dismiss likewise alleging violation of her rights
to due process and speedy disposition of the case, but this was denied
by the SB.
 CC #23656: information for violation of Presidential Decree No. 705
(Forestry Code) was filed in SB against petitioners in 1997. Petitioners
moved for reinvestigation, and in 1999, the special prosecutor
recommended dismissal of the case for lack of probable cause. The
Ombudsman denied this and directed the special prosecutor to
proceed with trial. The special prosecutor filed his manifestation with
the SB to inform it of the order of the Ombudsman. Petitioners filed
Motion to Dismiss alleging that the delay in the termination of the
preliminary investigation conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman
violated their rights to due process and speedy disposition of their
case, but the SB also denied this.
 Petitioners filed motions for reconsiderations of the aforesaid
resolutions of the SB, but the Sandiganbayan issued a Joint Resolution
in 2000 denying these motions for lack of merit.

SC Petitioners allege that the SB commited GaoD in denying the motions to dismiss
since the delay in the termination of the preliminary investigation conducted by
the Office of the Ombudsman constitutes a violation of their rights to due
process and speedy trial.
 Petitioners allege that the complaints were received in 1997, but the
informations were only filed in 1997. Additionally, when the motion for
reinvestigation was filed with the Sandiganbayan on 1995, it took the
Office of the Ombudsman more than four (4) years to resolve it
 Petitioners relied on Tatad vs. Sandiganbayan where the court ruled
that the long delay in the termination of the preliminary investigation
conducted by the then Tanodbayan violated the constitutional rights of
the accused to due process and to the speedy disposition of cases.

SC dismissed the case for lack of merit.


W/N SB commited GaoD in denying the motions to dismiss since the delay in the termination of the
preliminary investigation conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman constitutes a violation of their
rights to due process and speedy trial - NO

The right to a speedy disposition of cases, like the right to a speedy trial, is deemed violated only when
the proceedings is attended by vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays; or when unjustified
postponements of the trial are asked for and secured, or when without cause or unjustifiable
motive, a long period of time is allowed to elapse without the party having his case tried.
- factors: the length of the delay the reasons for such delay, the assertion or failure to assert
such right by the accused, and the prejudice caused by the delay.
- A mere mathematical reckoning of the time involved would not be sufficient
- Particular regard must also be taken of the facts and circumstances peculiar to each case.
Tatad v SB: political motivation played a vital role in activating and propelling the prosecutorial
process; that there was a blatant departure from the established procedure prescribed by law for the
conduct of a preliminary investigation; and that the long delay in resolving the preliminary
investigation could not be justified on the basis of the facts on record

In the case at bar, there is no showing that the filing of the cases against petitioners was politically
motivated. The established procedure prescribed for the conduct of preliminary investigation was also
observed and petitioners were given the opportunity to submit their respective evidence to refute the
charges against them before the corresponding information was filed with the Sandiganbayan.

Petitioners themselves also contributed to the delay, since notwithstanding their present claim that
the lapse of time from the conduct of the preliminary investigation until the filing of the cases already
violated their constitutional right to due process, accused filed a motion for reinvestigation of this
case, which, admittedly, served to further delay the case.

Petitioners failed to show that the assailed resolutions of respondent Sandiganbayan are tainted by
grave abuse of discretion or jurisdictional defect to warrant the issuance of the writ of certiorari.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.