Sunday, October 21, 2012

estologa celer



This case commenced on December 27, 1971 in the Municipal Court of Lopez, Quezon where a criminal complaint was filed against herein private respondent Edgardo Caballas for Serious Physical Injuries .Upon arraignment on February 5, 1972, the accused Caballas pleaded not guilty. Before the presentation of evidence, the private prosecutor on February 23, 1972 filed an "Urgent Motion to Amend the Complaint" to charge the offense of Frustrated Murder, contending that a perusal of the affidavits of the witnesses for the prosecution patently shows that in the commission of the act complained of, the accused had the manifest intention to kill the offended party. The defense, on the other hand, in its Memorandum argued that since the accused had already entered his plea, the Court could no longer entertain the Motion for amendment of the complaint, the intended amendment being a substantial one for a grave offense with a higher penalty. However, the Motion was denied by the Municipal Court and the case, thereafter, proceeded to trial. Both parties rested their evidence and the case was submitted for decision. No decision on the merits was rendered, however, for in an Order dated November 29, 1972, the Municipal Court ruled the dismissal of the case to give way to the filing of a complaint for frustrated murder.


Whether or not the dismissal by the Municipal Court of the complaint for serious physical injuries against the accused Edgardo Caballas is a dismissal which bars the filing of the information for frustrated murder in the Court of First Instance against the same accused on the ground of double jeopardy.


No. We hold and rule that respondent Judge erred in dismissing the case for serious physical injuries "to give way to the filing of a complaint for frustrated murder." For it is the duty of the respondent Judge to render the decision as the evidence presented warrant under the information as filed for serious physical injuries, and not dismiss the case on his idea or belief that there was evidence of intent to kill the intended victim. The Judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of juris­diction thereby rendering his Order of November 29, 1972 null and void. Since the order of dismissal was without authority and, therefore, null and void, the proceedings before the Municipal Court have not been lawfully terminated. Accordingly, there is no second proceeding to speak of and no double jeopardy.

The constitutional mandate against putting a person twice in jeopardy of pu­nishment for the same offense is to protect the accused from going through a trial a second time. But, since the first proceedings has not yet been terminated, other is no second proceeding to speak of, and, therefore, no double jeopardy.


The assistant provincial fiscal filed in the Court of First Instance of Surigao del Sur, on September 14, 1981, three separate informations for grave oral defamation against Quizada for having disparaged Tranquilan. Upon arraignment on February 18, 1982, the accused pleaded not guilty to all the three informations. Thereafter, she moved to quash the same on the ground that the charges should have been initiated not by the fiscal but upon complaint of the offended party herself. The trial judge agreed and granted the motion. The charges were dismissed and the motion for reconsideration filed by the prosecution was denied.

1.      Whether or not the appeal places the accused in double jeopardy.

The allegation of double jeopardy is plainly without merit. As the court have repeatedly stressed, double jeopardy will attach if (a) a valid complaint or information (b) is filed before a competent court or tribunal, and (c) after the accused shall have been arraigned and entered a plea, (d) he is acquitted or convicted or the case is dismissed without his express consent.
The first three requisites are present in the case at bar but the fourth is not. It was the petitioner herself who moved to quash the charges against her on the ground that the trial court had no jurisdiction. The dismissal was made not only with her express consent but, indeed, upon her own motion.



The criminal prosecutions originated from a letter-complaint of the Provincial Auditor of Quezon requesting the Provincial Fiscal to file the necessary criminal action under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code against Demetrio Jardin for malversation of public funds thru falsification of public documents on six counts. On the first Preliminary Investigation, accused moved to postpone 4 times, and failed to appear everytime the investigation were scheduled. Preliminary Investigation was nevertheless conducted. And the six criminal informations were filed in CFI. On the scheduled arraignment the accused moved to postpone the arraignment 4 times. Failing to appear on the said scheduled arraignment the counsel of the accused however asked for reinvestigation on the ground that the accused was not given the opportunity to present his defense during the preliminary investigation. Court granted said motion. For the second time, when the Preliminary Investigation was again conducted accused moved to postpone many times and failed to appear. But, when he finally appeared with his counsel, they asked for 15 days to file his memorandum. The memorandum was never filed, so the investigating fiscal filed a manifestation before the court that the records of these cases be returned and the trial on the merits of the same be set. The court transferred the case to new branch of CFI Quezon without acting on manifestation. Arraignment date was again set. On the said date, the accused again move for more postponements and thereafter filed again a motion for reinvestigation. Counsel then asked for 5 days to file written sworn statement of accused as defense but no sworn statement was submitted so the records of the case were returned to court. A date was set for arraignment but the accused still failed to appear and again asked for another postponement. The Arraignment finally happened on Sept 8, 1970 where the accused pleaded not guilty and asked for trial to be postponed. On the postponed date, accused asked for another postponement. Finally on Oct 1970, accused and counsel were at trial but no one appeared for prosecution, except for a state witness. Counsel moved (orally) for dismissal, invoking accused right to a speedy trial. Court granted motion and dismissed the cases.


1. Whether or not accused can invoke right to speedy trial.
2. Whether or not this appeal places the accused in double jeopardy.


First Issue

NO. The respondent court committed a grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the cases and in basing the dismissal on the constitutional right of the accused to speedy trial.- The right to a speedy trial means that the accused is free from vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays, its salutary objective being to assure that an innocent person may be free from anxiety and expense of a court litigation or, if otherwise, of having his guilt determined within the shortest possible time compatible with the presentation and consideration of whatever legitimate defense he may interpose. The delays in the prosecution of the offenses were all caused by the accused so he cannot invoke constitutional right to speedy trial. By his own deliberate acts, he is deemed to have waived or abandoned his right to a speedy trial.

Second Issue

NO. The dismissal of the criminal cases against the accused by the respondent court on the ground that this right to speedy trial had been violated was devoid of factual and legal basis. In order that the protection against double jeopardy may inure to the benefit of an accused, the following requisites must be present in the first prosecution:(a) a valid complaint or information;(b) a competent court;(c) the defendant had pleaded to the charge; and (d) the defendant was acquitted, or convicted, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent. The last requisite is not present because the order of the CFI judge was null and void.


[ G.R. NO. 156408, JANUARY 31, 2005 ]


The petitioner was earlier accused of the crime of Falsification of Public Document, defined and penalized under Article 171 of the Revise[d] Penal Code. That on or about February 12, 1992 or sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in the City of Davao, Andres S. Suero being then the Administrative Officer and Property Inspector of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), Region XI, Davao City, with salary grades below grade 27, while in the performance of their official duties, and taking advantage of their official positions, in conspiracy with one another, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously falsify or cause to be falsified an undated Inspection Report affixing their signatures thereto, making it appear that various furniture purchase[d] from, and delivered by Business International Wood Products under Delivery Receipt Nos. 9758, 9759, 9760 and 9761, in the total amount of P1,033,450.00, have all been delivered and duly inspected, thereby justifying the release of the payment to Business International Wood Products in the aforesaid amount, when in truth and in fact, no such complete delivery was made and inspected, to the damage and prejudice of the government.

Whether or not the formal admission of similarity of primordial legal issue as well as identical parties, public documents involved and questioned transactions, would amount to double jeopardy upon the filing of the instant case after the dismissal of the earlier complaint?

We hold that the instant case does not constitute double jeopardy , for which the following requisites must concur: (1) the first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second; (2) the first jeopardy  must have been validly terminated; and (3) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense as that in the first.
It is undisputed that the two charges stem from the same transaction. However, it has been consistently held that the same act may give rise to two or more separate and distinct offenses.  No double jeopardy attaches, as long as there is a variance between the elements of the offenses charged. The constitutional right against double jeopardy protects from a second prosecution for the same offense, not for a different one.
            Indeed, the crime under Section 3(e) of RA 3019 shares two common elements with the felony under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code -- that the offender is a public officer and that the act is related to the officer’s public position. However, the latter offense is not necessarily inclusive of the former. The essential elements of each are not included among or do not form part of those enumerated in the former. For there to be double jeopardy, the elements of one offense should -- like the ribs of an umbrella -- ideally encompass those of the other. The elements of a violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019 fall outside the realm of those of falsification of a public document and vice versa. At most, the two offenses may be considered as two conjoined umbrellas with one or two common ribs. Clearly, one offense does not include the other.

 [ G.R. NO. 172777, OCTOBER 19, 2011 ]

On March 7, 1982, Benjamin, Jr. married Sally Go in Pasig City and they had two children. Later, Sally Go learned that Benjamin, Jr. had taken Resally as his concubine whom he subsequently married on January 5, 2001 under the false name, "Benjamin Z. Sojayco." Benjamin, Jr. fathered two children with Resally. Furthermore, Sally Go discovered that on September 10, 1973, Benjamin, Jr. also married a certain Azucena Alegre in Caloocan City.
            The City Prosecutor of Caloocan recommend the filing of an information for bigamy against Benjamin, Jr. and Resally for having contracted a marriage despite knowing fully well that he was still legally married to Sally Go. 
            In its December 3, 2003 Order, the RTC dismissed the criminal case against Benjamin, Jr. and Resally for insufficiency of evidence. Aggrieved, Sally Go elevated the case to the CA via a petition for certiorari. The CA further stated that Benjamin, Jr. was mistaken in claiming that he could not be guilty of bigamy because his marriage to Sally Go was null and void in light of the fact that he was already married to Azucena. A judicial declaration of nullity was required in order for him to be able to use the nullity of his marriage as a defense in a bigamy charge.

Whether or not the Honorable Court of Appeals in a certiorari proceedings may inquire into the factual matters presented by the parties in the lower court, without violating the constitutional right of herein petitioner against double jeopardy. 

No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.
            Double jeopardy attaches if the following elements are present: (1) a valid complaint or information; (2) a court of competent jurisdiction; (3) the defendant had pleaded to the charge; and (4) the defendant was acquitted, or convicted or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent. However, jurisprudence allows for certain exceptions when the dismissal is considered final even if it was made on motion of the accused, to wit
(1) Where the dismissal is based on a demurrer to evidence filed by the accused after the prosecution has rested, which has the effect of a judgment on the merits and operates as an acquittal.
(2) Where the dismissal is made, also on motion of the accused, because of the denial of his right to a speedy trial which is in effect a failure to prosecute.
            The only instance when the accused can be barred from invoking his right against double jeopardy is when it can be demonstrated that the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, such as where the prosecution was not allowed the opportunity to make its case against the accused or where the trial was a sham. For instance, there is no Double jeopardy (1) where the trial court prematurely terminated the presentation of the prosecution's evidence and forthwith dismissed the information for insufficiency of evidence; and (2) where the case was dismissed at a time when the case was not ready for trial and adjudication.
In this case, all four elements of double jeopardy are doubtless present. A valid information for the crime of bigamy was filed against the petitioners, resulting in the institution of a criminal case against them before the proper court. They pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and subsequently, the case was dismissed after the prosecution had rested its case. Therefore, the CA erred in reversing the trial court's order dismissing the case against the petitioners because it placed them in double jeopardy


That on or about the 17th day of August, 1971, in the municipality of Pasig, province of Rizal, Philippines, the above-named accused, being then private individual did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously falsify a public document by making untruthful statements in a narration of facts, committed as follows: the said accused on August 17, 1971, executed a document entitled "Application For Registration" for parcels of land located at Taytay, Rizal, to the effect that She is the exclusive owner in fee simple of a parcel of land situated in Malaking Bundok, Barrio Dolores, Taytay, Rizal with Psu-248206 and that she "does not know of any mortgage or encumbrance of any kind whatsoever affecting said land or that any person has estate or interest therein, legal or equitable, in possession remainder, reversion or expectancy", as a result of which the Court in its Decision of March 22, 1972 declared the herein accused the true and absolute owner of said parcel of land free from all liens and encumbrances of any nature, when in truth and in fact the herein accused has already sold and encumbered to one Edilberto V. Ilano said parcel of land referred to above as can be gleaned from a document entitled "Kasulatan Ng Bilihan Ng Lupa Na May Pasubali O Condicion" dated August 12, 1969 and said Edilberto V. Ilano has already paid partial amount of P130,850.00 to the herein accused.
On October 28, 1975, private respondent Consolacion Naval moved to quash the information for falsification, premised, among other things, on the apprehension that she is in danger of being condemned for an identical offense. The following day, Naval pleaded not guilty to the charge levelled against her for falsification and on December 22, 1975, the court a quo denied her motion to quash.

Whether or not the court may in its discretion entertain at any time before judgment a motion to quash on the ground of jeopardy.

It would now appear that prior conviction or acquittal in the first case, as long as the accused had entered his plea therein is no longer required in order that the accused may move to quash a second prosecution for the same offense on the ground of double jeopardy."
Legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid indictment, (b) before a competent court, (c) after arraignment, (d) a valid plea having been entered, and (e) the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused."