PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. MARIA LOREN QUIZADA, APPELLANT
Facts: In three separate complaints filed with the office of the provincial fiscal of Surigaodel Sur, Cipriana B. Tranquilan accused Maria L. Quizada of defamation. The accused pleaded not guilty to all the three informations and 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 charges were dismissed and the motion for reconsideration was denied. The prosecution then came to this Court to challenge the dismissal of the case.
Issue: Whether or not the reversal of the dismissal and reinstatement of the cases would violate her right against double jeopardy.
Ruling: The allegation of double jeopardy is plainly without merit. As we 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.
We hold in sum that the criminal informations were validly filed under the procedural rules in force at the time of such filing; that their dismissal for lack of jurisdiction was erroneous; and that their reinstatement will not violate the prohibition against double jeopardy.
ACCORDINGLY, this petition is GRANTED.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. HON. PERLITA J. TRIA-TIRONA, IN HER CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 102, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, QUEZON CITY AND CHIEF INSPECTOR RENATO A. MUYOT, RESPONDENTS.
Facts: Armed with two search warrants, members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted a search on the house of accused-private respondent located on Banawe, Quezon City. The alleged finding of 498.1094 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) thereat led to the filing of an information charging private respondent with Violation of Section 16, Article III of Republic Act No. 6425, as amended by Rep. Act No. 7659. After trial on the merits, public respondent rendered a decision acquitting private respondent on ground of reasonable doubt. Petitioner contends that public respondent, in acquitting private respondent, committed grave abuse of discretion by ignoring material facts and evidence on record which, when considered, would lead to the inevitable conclusion of the latter's guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Issue: Whether or not the government can appeal from a judgment acquitting the accused after trial on the merits without violating the constitutional precept against double jeopardy.
Ruling: To settle the issue of whether or not an acquittal can still be appealed, this Court pronounced in People v. Velasco that as mandated by the Constitution, statutes and jurisprudence, an acquittal is final and unappealable on the ground of double jeopardy, whether it happens at the trial court level or before the Court of Appeals. In general, the rule is that a remand to a trial court of a judgment of acquittal brought before the Supreme Court on certiorari cannot be had unless there is a finding of mistrial, as in Galman v. Sandiganbayan. Only when there is a finding of a sham trial can the doctrine of double jeopardy be not invoked because the people, as represented by the prosecution, were denied due process.
There being no mistrial in the case before us, we find no need to reexamine the evidence, because if we do so, we will be allowing an appeal to be made on an acquittal which would clearly be in violation of the accused's right against double jeopardy.
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. THE HONORABLE BENJAMIN RELOVA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF BATANGAS, SECOND BRANCH, AND MANUEL OPULENCIA, RESPONDENTS.
Facts: In this petition for certiorari and mandamus, People of the Philippines seeks to set aside the orders of Respondent Judge Hon. Relova quashing an information for theft filed against Mr. Opulencia on the ground of double jeopardy and denying the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.. On Feb.1 1975, Batangas police together with personnel of Batangas Electric Light System, equipped with a search warrant issued by a city judge of Batangas to search and examine the premises of the OpulenciaCarpena Ice Plant owned by one Manuel Opulencia. They discovered electric wiring devices have been installed without authority from the city government and architecturally concealed inside the walls of the building. Said devices are designed purposely to lower or decrease the readings of electric current consumption in the plant’s electric meter. The case was dismissed on the ground of prescription for the complaint was filed nine months prior to discovery when it should be 2months prior to discovery that the act being a light felony and prescribed the right to file in court. On Nov 24, 1975, another case was filed against Mr. Opulencia by the Assistant City Fiscal of Batangas for a violation of a Batangas Ordinance regarding unauthorized electrical installations with resulting damage and prejudice to City of Batangas in the amount of P41,062.16. Before arraignment, Opulencia filed a motion to quash on the ground of double jeopardy. The Assistant fiscal’s claim is that it is not double jeopardy because the first offense charged against the accused was unauthorized installation of electrical devices without the approval and necessary authority from the City Government which was punishable by an ordinance, where in the case was dismissed, as opposed to the second offense which is theft of electricity which is punishable by the Revised Penal Code making it a different crime charged against the 1st complaint against Mr.Opulencia.
Issue: Whether or Not the accused Mr. Opulencia can invoke double jeopardy as defense to the second offense charged against him by the assistant fiscal of Batangas on the ground of theft of electricity punishable by a statute against the Revised Penal Code.
Ruling: Mr. Opulencia can invoke double jeopardy as defense for the second offense because as tediously explained in the case of Yap vsLutero, the bill of rights give two instances or kinds of double jeopardy. The first would be that “No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense and the second sentence states that “If an act is punishable by a law or an ordinance, the conviction or acquittal shall bar to another prosecution for the same act”. In the case at bar, it was very evident that the charges filed against Mr. Opulencia will fall on the 2nd kind or definition of double jeopardy wherein it contemplates double jeopardy of punishment for the same act. It further explains that even if the offenses charged are not the same, owing that the first charge constitutes a violation of an ordinance and the second charge was a violation against the revised penal code, the fact that the two charges sprung from one and the same act of conviction or acquittal under either the law or the ordinance shall bar a prosecution under the other thus making it against the logic of double jeopardy. The fact that Mr. Opulencia was acquitted on the first offense should bar the second complaint against him coming from the same identity as that of the first offense charged against Mr.Opulencia.