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In this petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction, the issue raised
is whether or not respondent Sandiganbayan gravely abused its discretion in issuing the resolution,
dated March 5, 1982, which discharged private respondent Delia Preagido as an accused to be
utilized as a state witness against the other accused, among them herein petitioners, in the criminal
cases for estafa thru falsification of public or commercial documents, and the resolution, dated
April 2, 1982, which denied the motion for reconsideration
Petitioners are charged with estafa thru falsification of public/official/commercial
documents in eight (8) different informations. Respondent Delia Preagido is one of the accused in
six (6) cases. After the prosecution had utilized several witnesses and the other witnesses intended
to be presented appeared to be unavailable, a motion to discharge accused Delia Preagido, Alice
Gadiane, and Hilmer Suson to be utilized as state witnesses was presented. Petitioners opposed the
discharge of respondent Delia Preagido, arguing that she could not qualify under any of the
conditions for discharge provided by the Rules, particularly the fact that she has been previously
convicted of the crime of estafa thru falsification of public document which necessarily involves
moral turpitude
If Delia Preagido should not have been discharged as state witness because of 'a previous
final convictions' of crimes involving moral turpitude.
Delia Preagido should not have been discharged as state witness because of 'a previous
final convictions' of crimes involving moral turpitude, suffice it to say that "this Court has time
and again declared that even if the discharged witness should lack some of the qualifications
enumerated by Section 9, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court, his testimony will not, for that reason
alone, be discarded or disregarded. More so, in the case at Bar when "[t]he joint trial of these
criminal cases had already long commenced and eleven (11) witnesses had already testified. In
fact, respondent Delia Preagido already testified on direct examination as a state witness, but the
petitioners, through counsel, deffered the cross-examination, and instead filed the instant petition
with this Honorable Supreme Court (see page 17, Petition). And there are also the documents
presented in the course of the testimonies of said witnesses. Consequently, sufficient proof is
extant in the records of these cases which support the findings and conclusions of the respondent
Sandiganbayan (First Division) in ordering the discharge of respondent Delia Preagido to be used
as state witness"
In this case I learned the principle that such error of the court does not affect the
competency and the quality of the testimony of the discharged defendant. Moreover, Section 9,
Rule 119 of the Rules of Court is a matter that lies within the sound discretion of the trial court .

If the trial court issues an order or renders judgment not only granting the demurrer to
evidence of the accused and acquitting him but also on the civil liability, the judgment on
the civil aspect of the case would be a nullity as it violates the constitutional right to due
In 1997, petitioner Anmer Salazar and Nena Jaucian Timario were charged with estafa
before the Legazpi City Regional Trial Court.
The estafa case allegedly stemmed from the payment of a check worth P214,000 to private
respondent J.Y. Brothers Marketing Corporation (JYBMC) through Jerson Yao for the purchase
of 300 bags of rice.
The check was dishonored by drawee Prudential Bank as it is drawn against a
closed account. Salazar replaced said check with a new one, this time drawn against Solid Bank.
It is again dishonored for being drawn against uncollected deposit (DAUD). The DAUD means
that the account to which the check was drawn had sufficient funds.
However, the fund cannot be used because it was collected against a deposited check which
is yet to be cleared. Trial ensued. After the prosecution presented its evidence, Salazar filed a
demurrer to evidence with leave of court, which the trial court granted.
In 2002, the trial court rendered judgment acquitting Salazar, but ordered her to remit to
JYBMC P214,000. The trial court ruled that the evidence of the prosecution failed to establish the
existence of conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt between the petitioner and the issuer of the
check, Timario. As a mere endorser of the check, Salazar's breach of warranty was a good one and
did not amount to estafa under Article 315 (2)(d) of the Revised Penal Code. Timario remained at
As a result, Salazar filed a motion for reconsideration on the civil aspect of the decision
with a plea to be allowed to present evidence. The trial court denied the motion. Because of the
denial of the motion, she filed petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court alleging
she was denied due process as the trial court did not give her the opportunity to adduce evidence
to controvert her civil liability.
Is Salazar denied due process.
Salazar should have been given by the trial court the chance to present her evidence as
regards the civil aspect of the case. Under the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Court
explained the demurrer to evidence partakes of a motion to dismiss the case for the failure of the
prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In a case where the accused files a
demurrer to evidence without leave of court, thereby waives his right to present evidence and
submits the case for decision on the basis of the prosecution's evidence he has the right to adduce
evidence not only on the criminal aspect, but also on the civil aspect of the case of the demurrer is
denied by the court.
The Supreme Court explained that the trial court erred in rendering judgment on the civil
aspect of the case and ordering the petitioner to pay for her purchases from the private complainant
even before the petitioner could adduce evidence thereon is patently a denial of her right to due
process. Citing Aante vs Savelana, Jr., the Court stressed that Section 14 (1) and (2) of Article III
of the 1987 Constitution which are elementary and deeply imbedded in our own criminal justice
system are mandatory and indispensable. The principles find universal acceptance and are tersely
expressed in the oft-quoted statement that procedural due process cannot possibly be met without
a "law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only
after trial".
In this case I learned that if the demurrer is granted and the accused is acquitted by the
court, the accused has the right to adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the case unless the court
also declares that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist. If the
trial court issues an order or renders judgment not only granting the demurrer to evidence of the
accused and acquitting him but also on the civil liability, the judgment on the civil aspect of the
case would be a nullity as it violates the constitutional right to due process.

Two separate information were filed against respondent Tan for violation of the Revised
Securities Act, when he failed to file with SEC the amount of all BWRC (Best World Resources
Corporation) shares of which he is the beneficial owner within 10 days after he became such
beneficial owner.
During the trial, petitioner made its formal offer of evidence. RTC admitted the pieces of
evidence, but denied admission of all other exhibits. Tan filed Motion for Leave to File Demurrer
to Evidence. Petitioner filed its Opposition to which Tan filed a Reply. In the end, RTC issued an
order granting Tan’s Demurrer to Evidence.
Petitioner filed a petition before the CA assailing the order of RTC which granted Tan’s
motion. CA denied, ruling that the dismissal of a criminal action by the grant of a Demurrer to
Evidence is one on the merits and operates as an acquittal, for which reason, the prosecution cannot
appeal therefrom as it would place the accused in double jeopardy.
Did the court erred in granting Tan’s Demurrer to Evidence.
No.The demurrer to evidence in criminal cases, such as the one at bar, is “filed after the
prosecution had rested its case,” and when the same is granted, it calls “for an appreciation of the
evidence adduced by the prosecution and its sufficiency to warrant conviction beyond reasonable
doubt, resulting in a dismissal of the case on the merits, tantamount to an acquittal of the accused.”
RTC did not violate petitioner’s right to due process as the petitioner was given more than
ample opportunity to present its case which led to grant of Tan’s demurrer. RTC never prevented
petitioner from presenting its case. In fact, one of the main reasons for the RTCs decision to grant
the demurrer was the absence of evidence to prove the classes of shares that the Best World
Resources Corporation stocks were divided into, whether there are preferred shares as well as
common shares, or even which type of shares respondent had acquired,
Petitioner argues that the RTC displayed resolute bias when it chose to grant respondents
demurrer to evidence notwithstanding that it had filed a Motion to Hold in Abeyance the
Resolution of Tan’s Demurrer to Evidence and The Prosecution’s Opposition Thereto. Petitioner
contends that instead of acting on the motion, the RTC peremptorily granted Tan’s demurrer to
evidence which prevented petitioner from its intention to file a petition to question the orders.
While it would have been ideal for the RTC to hold in abeyance the resolution of the
demurrer to evidence, nowhere in the rules, however, is it mandated to do so. Furthermore, even
if this Court were to consider the same as an error on the part of the RTC, the same would merely
constitute an error of procedure or of judgment and not an error of jurisdiction as persistently
argued by petitioner.
As such RTC did not abuse its discretion in the manner it conducted the proceedings of the
trial, as well as its grant of respondent’s demurrer to evidence.
In this case I learned that such dismissal of a criminal case by the grant of demurrer to
evidence may not be appealed, for to do so would be to place the accused in double jeopardy. The
verdict being one of acquittal, the case ends there. The only instance when double jeopardy will
not attach is when the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction, which is not present in this case.