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ABERCA V. VER, G.R. No. L-69866, April 15, 1988, YAP. J.

FACTS: Petitioners Aberca et. al sought damages against respondents Ver and company who effected their arrest and
detention during the Martial Law Regime, alleging various violations of plaintiffs’ constitutional rights as part of a
concerted and deliberate plan to forcibly extract information and incriminatory statements from them and to terrorize,
harass and punish them. Respondents argued that petitioners had no cause of action against them, and that, if there
were any, the respondents are covered by the mantle of state immunity from suit for acts done in the performance of
official duties or functions.

ISSUE: WON respondents Ver et al. may be held liable for damages

RULING: YES. Article 32 of the Civil Code which renders any public officer or employee or any private individual liable in
damages for violating the Constitutional rights and liberties of another, as enumerated therein, does not exempt the
respondents from responsibility. While military authorities are not restrained from pursuing their assigned task or
carrying out their mission with vigor, they must nonetheless, observe constitutional and legal limitations. he linchpin in
that psychological struggle is faith in the rule of law. Once that faith is lost or compromised, the struggle may well be


FACTS: The controversy in the case of De Leon against Juico before the SC concerned whether a documentary evidence
presented by De Leon in support of his allegations was false or not. While the matter was pending, Juico filed a
complaint addressed to Prosecutor Mabanag, against De Leon for falsifying said document. A preliminary investigation
began, hearing the evidence presented by Juico. After such presentation, Mabanag required De Leon to present his
evidence. De Leon objected and requested the former to postpone the investigation until the SC resolved the alleged
falsification of the document on the merits. Mabanag rejected such and informed De Leon that if he did not present his
evidence, he would appear against CFI Manila for falsification of public document. De Leon elevated the matter to CA.
Mabanag argued that the question of whether the document is genuine or false is not a preliminary ruling, nor is the
matter's case before SC an obstacle to De Leon's prosecution for the crime of falsification of said document.

ISSUE: WON the preliminary investigation and the initiation of criminal proceedings should be suspended

RULING: YES. The falsification of document during the course of the trial directly affect the morality of the De Leon as a
member of the forum and it is the duty of the court to determine whether the same is guilty of wrongdoing. Such
determination constitutes in this case the preliminary ruling of an administrative nature that must be resolved
separately in the administrative file. Generally, the power of the Prosecutor and his duty to prosecute crimes should not
be controlled or curtailed by the courts; but there is no doubt that this power can be regulated so that it is not abused.
When a member of the Prosecutor's Office deviates from the law and hinders the correct administration of justice by
prosecuting a person for acts constituting a crime that are sub-judice and for which an administrative preliminary ruling
is proposed, it is the duty of the courts to force him to suspend all criminal action until the administrative preliminary
ruling has finally been decided.
APA VS. FERNANDEZ, G.R. NO. 112381. MARCH 20, 1995, MENDOZA, J.

FACTS: An information was filed alleging that petitioners constructed their houses against the will of the complainant,
and alleged owner of the property, Tigol and in violation of the Anti-Squatting Law. Petitioners moved for the
suspension of their arraignment on the ground that there was a prejudicial question pending resolution in another case
being tried in the same court. In such case, petitioners seek a declaration of the nullity of TCT No. 13250 of Tigol and the
partition of the lot in question among them and Tigol as heirs of Filomeno and Rita Taghoy. The case had been filed in
1990 by petitioners, three years before the criminal case for squatting was filed against them.Trial court proceeded with
the arraignment.

ISSUE: WON the question of ownership of the lot in question, which was pending in in a civil case, is a prejudicial
question justifying suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case against petitioners.

RULING: YES. A prejudicial question is a question which is based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so
intimately connected with it that its resolution is determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused. To justify
suspension of the criminal action, it must appear not only that the civil case involves facts intimately related to those
upon which the criminal prosecution is based but also that the decision of the issue or issues raised in the civil case
would be decisive of the guilt or innocence of the accused. The civil case herein concerned the main question of
ownership; the ultimate resolution of such will be determinative of the guilt or innocence of petitioners in the criminal
case. Surely, if petitioners are co-owners of the lot in question, they cannot be found guilty of squatting because they
are as much entitled to the use and occupation of the land as Tigol and her family.