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302 SCRA 424

February 1, 1999

The People Of The Philippines Represented By The Panel Of Prosecutors, Department Of Justice Vs. Hon. David G. Nitafan, Presiding Judge, Branch 52, Regional Trial Court Of Manila, And Imelda R. Marcos Facts: Three criminal informations, on January 9, 1992, for violation of Section 4 of Central Bank Circular No. 960, as amended, in relation to Section 34 of Republic Act No. 265 were filed against private respondent Imelda R. Marcos. After arraignment, where private respondent pleaded not guilty, the People thru herein petitionerand the Solicitor General filed separate motions for consolidation of the three (3) Informations. The RTC of Pasig granted the motion for consolidation provided there is no objection from the presiding judge. Before the Manila RTC, the three (3) informations were re-raffled and re-assigned instead to Branch 52-Manila presided by public respondent Judge Nitafan wherein the three informations (Criminal Cases Nos. 90384-92, 90385-92 and 90386-92) were re-numbered as Criminal Case Nos. 92-107942; 92107943 and 92-107944. Then, without private respondent yet taking any action or filing any motion to quash the informations, respondent judge issued an order dated July 20, 1992 requiring petitioners to show cause why criminal case number 92-107942 should not be dismissed on the ground that it violates private respondents right against ex post facto law. On the same day, respondent judge issued another order requiring the prosecution to show cause why the two other criminal informations should not be dismissed on the ground that private respondents right to double jeopardy was violated. It is respondent judges posture that the three cases form part of a series of transactions which are subjec t of the cases pending before Branch 26-Manila, all these cases constitute one continuous crime. On August 6, 1992, respondent judge issued an order denying the motion for consolidation of the three informations with those pending before Branch 26-Manila on the ground that consolidation of cases under Rule 31 of civil procedure has no counterpart in criminal procedure, and blamed the panel of prosecutors as apparently not conversant with the procedure in th e assignment of cases. As additional justification, respondent judge stated that since he is more studious and discreet, if not more systematic and methodical, than the prosecution in the handling of cases, it would be unfair to just pull out the cas e when he had already studied it. The next day, August 7, 1992, respondent judge issued an 8-page order dismissing criminal case no. 92-107942 on the ground that the subject CB Circular is an ex post facto law. In a separate 17-page order dated August 10, 1992, respondent judge also dismissed the two remaining criminal cases (92-107943 & 92-107944) ruling that the prosecution of private respondent was part of a sustained political vendetta by some people in the government aside from what he considered as a violation of private respondents right aga inst double jeopardy.[16] From his disquisition regarding continuing, continuous and continued offenses and his discussion of mala prohibita, respondent judge further ratiocinated his dismissal order in that the pendency of the other cases before Branch 26-Manila had placed private respondent in double jeopardy because of the three cases before his sala. The prosecution filed two separate motions for reconsideration which respondent judge denied in a single order for manifest lack of merit. Hence, the petition for certiorari. Issue: Whether or not a judge can motu proprio initiate the dismissal and subsequently dismissed a criminal information or complaint without any motion to that effect being filed by the accused based on the alleged violation of the l atters right against ex post facto law and double jeopardy. Ruling: Section 1, Rule 117 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides:

Time to move to quash. At any time before entering his plea, the accused may move to quash the complaint or information. It is clear from the above rule that the accused may file a motion to quash an information at any time before entering a plea or before arraignment. Thereafter, no motion to quash can be entertained by the court except under the circumstances mentioned in Section 8 of Rule 117 which adopts the omnibus motion rule. In the case at at bench, private respondent pleaded to the charges without filing any motion to quash. As such, she is deemed to have waived and abandoned her right to avail of any legal ground which she may have properly and timely invoke to challenge the complaint or information pursuant to Section 8 of Rule 117 which provides: Failure to move to quash or to allege any ground therefore. The failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in his motion, shall be deemed a waiver of the grounds of a motion to quash, except the grounds of no offense charged, lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged, extinction of the offense or penalty and jeopardy, as provided for in paragraphs (a), (b), (f) and (h) of section 3 of this Rule. On ex post facto law, suffice it to say that every law carries with it the presumption of constitutionality until otherwise declared by this court.To rule that the CB Circular is an ex post facto law is to say that it is unconstitutional. However, neither private respondent nor the Solicitor-General challenges it. This Court, much more the lower courts, will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute or rule nor declare it void unless directly assailed in an appropriate action. With respect to the ground of double jeopardy invoked by respondent judge, the same is improper and has neither legal nor factual basis in this case. Double jeopardy connotes the concurrence of three requisites, which are: (a) the first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second, (b) the first jeopardy must have been validly terminated, and (c) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense as that in the firstor the second offense includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the first information, or is an attempt to commit the same or is a frustration thereof.In this case, it is manifestly clear that no first jeopardy has yet attached nor any such jeopardy terminated. Section 7, Rule 117 provides: When an accused has been convicted or acquitted, or the case against him dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon a valid complaint or information or other formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction and after the accused had pleaded to the charge, the conviction or acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case shall be a bar to another prosecution for the offense charged, or for any attempt to commit the same or frustration thereof, or for any offense which necessarily includes or is necessary included in the offense charged in the former complaint or information. Thus, Petition is granted.

266 SCRA 678

January 27, 1997

Jose G. Garcia Vs. Court Of Appeals, People of The Philippines And Adela Teodora P. Santos Facts: Petitioner Jose G. Garcia, on August 28, 1991, filed with the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office an "Affidavit of Complaint" charging herein, private respondent, his wife Adela Teodora P. Santos alias "Delia Santos," with Bigamy, Violation of C.A. No. 142, as amended by R.A. No.6085, and Falsification of Public Documents. However, in his letter of 10 October 1991 to Assistant City Prosecutor George F. Cabanilla, the petitioner informed the latter that he would limit his action to bigamy. After appropriate proceedings, Assistant Prosecutor Cabanilla filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City an information, dated 15 November 1991, charging the private respondent with Bigamy allegedly committed as follows:

That on or before the 2nd day of February, 1957, in Quezon City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being previously united in lawful marriage with REYNALDO QUIROCA, and without the said marriage having been dissolved, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously contract a second marriage with JOSE G. GARCIA, which marriage has been discovered in 1989, to the damage and prejudice of the said offended party in such amount as may be awarded under the provisions of the Civil Code. Private respondent, on 2 March 1992, filed a Motion to Quash alleging prescription of the offense as ground thereto for. She contended that by the petitioner's admissions in his testimony, the petitioner discovered the commission of the offense as early as 1974. Pursuant then to Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), [4] the period of prescription of the offense started to run therefrom. Thus, since bigamy was punishable by prision mayor, an afflictive penalty which prescribed in fifteen years pursuant to Article 92 of the RPC, then the offense charged prescribed in 1989, or fifteen years after its discovery by the petitioner. The trial court disallowed reconsideration of its 29 June 1992 order, finding "no urgent or justifiable reason to disturb or set it aside. This was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Hence, this petition for review on certiorari to annul and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals and to compel the respondent court to remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings. Issue: Whether or not a motion to quash can go beyond what is stated in the information. Held: The petitioner's contention that a motion to quash cannot go beyond the information which states that the crime was discovered in 1989, is palpably unmeritorious. Even People v. Alagao, which he cites, mentions the exceptions to the rule as provided in paragraphs (f) and (h) of Section 2, and Sections 4 and 5 of the old Rule 117 viz., (a) extinction of criminal liability, and (b) double jeopardy. His additional claim that the exception of extinction can no longer be raised due to the implied repeal of the former Section 4, [25] Rule 117 of the Rules of Court occasioned by its non-reproduction after its revision, is equally without merit. No repeal, express or implied, of the said Section 4 ever took place. While there is no provision in the new Rule 117 that prescribes the contents of a motion to quash based on extinction of criminal liability, Section 2 thereof encapsulizes the former Sections 3,4, and 5 of the old Rule 117. The said Section 2 reads as follows: SEC. 2. Form and contents. - The motion to quash shall be in writing signed by the accused or his counsel. It shall specify distinctly the factual and legal grounds therefor and the court shall consider no grounds other than those stated therein, except lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. (3a, 4a, 5a). (underscoring supplied for emphasis) It is clear from this Section that a motion to quash may be based on factual and legal grounds, and since extinction of criminal liability and double jeopardy are retained as among the grounds for a motion to quash in Section 3 of the new Rule 117, it necessarily follows that facts outside the information itself may be introduced to prove such grounds. As a matter of fact, inquiry into such facts may be allowed where the ground invoked is that the allegations in the information do not constitute the offense charged. Thus, in People v. De la Rosa, [26] this Court stated:

As a general proposition, a motion to quash on the ground that the allegations of the information do not constitute the offense charged, or any offense for that matter, should be resolved on the basis alone of said allegations whose truth and veracity are hypothetically admitted. However, as held in the case of People vs. Navarro, 75 Phil. 516, additional facts not alleged in the information, but admitted or not denied by the prosecution may be invoked in support of the motion to quash. Former Chief justice Moran supports this theory. In Criminal Case No. 92-27272, the trial court, without objection on the part of the prosecution, allowed the private respondent to offer evidence in support of her claim that the crime had prescribed. Consequently, the trial court, upon indubitable proof of prescription, correctly granted the motion to quash. It would have been, to quote De la Rosa, "pure

technicality for the court to close its eyes to the fact of prescription and still give due course to the prosecution of the case" - a technicality which would have meant loss of valuable time of the court and the parties.

G.R. No. 178429

October 23, 2009

Jose C. Go. Vs. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Facts: On Aug. 20, 1999, an Information was filed for violation of Sec. 83 of RA 337 or the General Banking Act, as amended by Presiding Decree No. 1795 was filed against Go before the Regional Trial Court, alleging that the said accused, being then the Director and the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Orient Commercial Banking Corporation(Orient Bank), did then and there willfully, unlawfully and knowingly borrow either directly or indirectly, for himself or as representative of his other related companies, the deposits or funds of the said banking institution and/or become the guarantor, endorser, obligor for loans from the said bank to others, by then and there using said borrowed deposits/funds of the said bank in facilitation and granting and /or caused the granting/facilitating of credit lines or loans, and among others, to the New Zealand Accounts loan in the total of TWO BILLION AND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR MILLION NINE-HUNDRED FIVE THOUSAND AND EIGHT HUNDRED FIFTY SEVEN, said accused knowing fully well that the same has been done by him without the written approval of the majority of the Board of Directors On May 28, 2006, Go pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. After the arraignment, both the prosecution and the accused took part in the pre-trial conference where the marking of the voluminous evidence for the parties was accomplished. Thereafter, the trial court ordered the parties to proceed to trial on merits. However, on Feb. 26, 2003, Go filed a motion to quash the Information which was later amended on March 1, 2003. He claimed that the information was defective, as the facts charged therein do not constitute an offense under Sec. 83 of RA 337. To support his motion to quash, Go averred that based on the facts alleged in the Information, he was being prosecuted for borrowing the deposits or funds of the Orient Bank and/or acting as a guarantor, endorser, or obligor for the banks loan s to other persons. The use of the word and/or meant that he was charges for being both a borrower and guarantor. He further claimed that the information was not any vague, but also did not constitute an offense and that his alleged at of borrowing/and guarantying was not among the exception provided for in the law. The Regional Trail Court granted Gos motion to quash. However, the prosecution did not accept the decision and filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. On Oct. 25, 2006, the appellate court granted the prosecutions petition for certiorari. Hence, the present appeal. Issue: Whether or not the Information was sufficient so as to deem the motion to quash not a proper action Ruling: The Court does not find the petition meritorious and accordingly denied it. Under the Constitution, a person charged with a criminal offense has the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. In implementing this right, the Rules of Court require that the acts or omissions complained of constituting an offense, including the qualifying and aggravating circumstances, must be stated in ordinary and concise language, not necessarily in the language used in the statute, but in terms sufficient to enable a person to know what offense is being charged and the attendant qualifying and aggravating circumstances present, so that the accused can properly defend himself and the court can pronounce judgment. To broaden the scope of the right, the Rules authorize the quashal, upon motion of the accused, of an information that fails to allege the acts constituting the offense. In the case of People vs. Romualdez, the Court provided for the determinative test in appreciating a motion to quash xxx is sufficiently of the averments ion the information, that is, whether the facts alleged, if hypothetically admitted, would establish the essential elements of the offense as defined by law without considering matters aliunde. Sec. 6, Rule 110 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure requires that an information only needs to state the ultimate facts

constituting the offense, not the finer details of why and how the illegal acts alleged amounted to undue injury or damagematters that are appropriate for the trial. In this case, the elements of violation of Sec. 83 of RA 337: 2. c he becomes in any manner an obligor for money borrowed from bank or loaned by it; The element serves as a catch-all phrase that covers any situation when a director or officer of the bank becomes the obligor. The prohibition is directed a bank director or officer who becomes in any manner an obligor for money from or loaned by the bank without the written approval of the majority of the banks board of directors. Banks were not created for the benefit of their directors and officers; they cannot use the assets of the bank for their own benefit, except as may be permitted by law. Congress has thus deemed it essential to impose restrictions on borrowings by bank directors and officers in order to protect the public, especially the depositors. This is contrary to Gos claims Furthermore, the Rules of Court also allows amendment of insufficient information, as provided by Sec. 4 of Rule 117, finding the trial court to have erred in to immediately order the dismissal of the information without giving the prosecution a chance to amend it. If it is based on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense, the prosecution shall be given by the court an opportunity to correct the defect by amendment. The motion shall be granted if the prosecution fails to make the amendment, or the same defect despite the amendment. Although an information may be defective because the facts charged do not constitute an offense, the dismissal of the case will not necessarily follow. The Rules specifically require that the prosecution should be given a chance to correct the defect; the court can order the dismissal only upon the prosecutions failure to do so. The trial court failure to do so constitute s an arbitrary exercise of power that was correctly addressed by the appellate court through petition for certiorari. Petition is DENIED.

544 SCRA 156

February 6, 2008

People of the Philippines vs. Jimmy Tabio Facts: Appellant Jimmy Tabio was charged with three (3) counts of rape in a single Information. That between June 13, 2002 and June 28, 2002 in Aurora, the said accused, did then and there, unlawfully, feloniously and willfully, have carnal knowledge of mentally retarded AAA3 by means of force and intimidation three times all committed while the victim was alone inside their house and during nighttime which was taken advantage of to facilitate the commission of the crime. Before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Baler, Aurora, Branch 96, Appellant pleaded not guilty on arraignment. Trial on the merits ensued. The victim, AAA testified that one night in June 2002, while she was alone in her home, appellant entered her house. He pressed a knife on AAAs breast, removed her clothing, fondled her breast, undressed himself, and mounted her as she was seated on a bed. He inserted his penis in her vagina and ejaculated. AAA was able to recognize the appellant as her house was lighted with a gas lamp. AAA further testified that the appellant on two succeeding occasions again entered her home and repeated the same acts on her. Other witnesses for the prosecution presented testimony concerning AAAs mental condition. A doctor6 who had trained with the National Center for Mental Health testified that he had examined AAA and concluded that while she was 23 years old at the time of the rape, she nonetheless had the mental age of a six-year old child.

Appellant testified in his own behalf, denying that he had raped AAA and offering as alibi that he was up in the mountain at the time of the rape.

The RTC, on 25 November 2003, handed down a decision finding appellant guilty and imposing the penalty of death on three (3) counts of qualified rape, defined in Article 266-A, paragraph 1 (d) and penalized under Article 266-B, paragraph 6 (10) of the Revised Penal Code. The Court of Appeals15 affirmed with modification the decision of the trial court. The appellate court found appellant guilty of all three (3) counts for simple rape only and not qualified rape.Hence, this petition. Issues: Held: The Court ruled in the affirmative. Whether or not the Regional Trial Court erred in finding him guilty of qualified rape with the penalty of death in view of the prosecutions failure to allege a qualifying circumstance in the information. Whether or not the failure to allege a ground for motion to quash, constitutes a waiver of his right.

Under Article 266-B(10) of the Revised Penal Code, knowledge by the offender of the mental disability, emotional disorder, or physical handicap at the time of the commission of the rape is the qualifying circumstance that sanctions the imposition of the death penalty. Rule 110[16 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure requires both qualifying and aggravating circumstances to be alleged with specificity in the information. In the case at bench, however, the information merely states that the appellant had carnal knowledge with a mentally retarded complainant. It does not state that appellant knew of the mental disability of the complainant at the time of the commission of the crime. It bears stressing that the rules now require that the qualifying circumstance that sanctions the imposition of the death penalty should be specifically stated in the information. Article 266-B (10) of the Revised Penal Code could not, thus, be applied and the supreme penalty of death could not be validly imposed. Rule 110 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure is clear and unequivocal that both qualifying and aggravating circumstances must be alleged with specificity in the information. Yes.

The Court also observes that there is duplicity of the offenses charged in the information, which is a ground for a motion to quash.Three (3) separate acts of rape were charged in one information only. But the failure of appellant to interpose an objection on this ground constitutes waiver. Rule 110, Sec. 13. Duplicity of the offense. A complaint or information must charge only one offense, except when the law prescribes a single punishment for various offenses. Rule 117, Sec. 3. Grounds.The accused may move to quash the complaint or informationon any of the following grounds: x xxx (f) That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law; x xxx Rule 117, Sec. 9. Failure to move to quash or to allege any ground therefor. The failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of any objections except those based on the grounds provided for in paragraphs (a), (b), (g), and (i) of section 3 of this Rule.

G.R. No. 158763

March 31, 2006

Jose C. Miranda, Alberto P. Dalmacio, And Romeo B. Ocon vs. Virgilio M. Tuliao Facts: On 8 March 1996, two burnt cadavers were discovered Isabela, which were later identified as the dead bodies of Vicente Bauzon and ElizerTuliao, son of private respondent VirgilioTuliao who is now under the witness protection program. Two informations for murder were filed against SPO1 WilfredoLeao, SPO1 Ferdinand Marzan, SPO1 Ruben B. Agustin, SPO2 Alexander Micu, SPO2 RodelMaderal, and SPO4 Emilio Ramirez in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Santiago City. However, the venue was later transferred to Manila. On 22 April 1999, the RTC of Manila convicted all of the accused and sentenced them to two counts of reclusion perpetua with the exception of SPO2 Maderal who was yet at large and, therefore, was not yet arraigned. The case was appealed to this Court on automatic review, on 9 October 2001, where the accused was acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt. On September 1999, SPO2 Maderal was arrested. He executed a sworn confession and identified petitioners Miranda, PO3 Ocon, and SPO3 Dalmacio, a certain Boyetdela Cruz and Amado Doe, as the persons responsible for the deaths of Vicente Bauzon and ElizerTuliao. Hence, respondent Tuliao filed a criminal complaint against them. A warrant was issued and the petitioners were then arrested. On 29 June 2001, petitioners filed an urgent motion to complete preliminary investigation, to reinvestigate, and to recall and/or quash the warrants of arrest. Judge Tumaliuan noted the absence of petitioners and issued a Joint Order denying said urgent motion on the ground that, since the court did not acquire jurisdiction over their persons, the motion cannot be properly heard by the court. The petitioners appealed the resolution to the Department of Justice. A new Presiding Judge Anastacio D. Anghad took over the case and issued a Joint Order reversing the Joint Order of Judge Tumaliuan. Consequently, he ordered the cancellation of the warrant of arrest issued against petitioner Miranda. He likewise applied this Order to petitioners Ocon and Dalmacio in an Order dated 21 September 2001. State prosecutor and respondent Tuliao moved for a motion for reconsideration but was denied. On 25 October 2001, respondent Tuliao filed a petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition with this Court, with prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order, seeking to enjoin Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the case, and seeking to nullify the Orders and Joint Orders. A Resolution was issued granting such prayer. Respondent Tuliao a Motion to Cite Public Respondent in Contempt, alleging that Judge Anghad, which the Court of Appeals granted. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether there is a need for the court to acquire jurisdiction over the accused and have his custody for motion to quash to apply. Ruling: Except in applications for bail, it is not necessary for the court to first acquire jurisdiction over the person of the accused to dismiss the case or grant other relief. The outright dismissal of the case even before the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused is authorized under Section 6(a), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure (Sec. 12a). In arguing, on the other hand, that jurisdiction over their person was already acquired by their filing of the above Urgent Motion, petitioners invoke the ruling in Santiago v. Vasquez: The voluntary appearance of the accused, whereby the court acquires jurisdiction over his person, is accomplished either by his pleading to the merits (such as by filing a motion to quash or other pleadings requiring the exercise of the court's jurisdiction thereover, appearing for arraignment, entering trial) or by filing bail. On the matter of bail, since the same is intended to obtain the provisional liberty of the accused, as a rule the same cannot be posted before custody of the accused has been acquired by the judicial authorities either by his arrest or voluntary surrender.

The Santiago case shows a distinction between custody of the law and jurisdiction over the person. Custody of the law is required before the court can act upon the application for bail, but is not required for the adjudication of other reliefs sought by the defendant where the mere application therefor constitutes a waiver of the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused. Custody of the law is accomplished either by arrest or voluntary surrender, while jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired upon his arrest or voluntary appearance. One can be under the custody of the law but not yet subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, such as when a person arrested by virtue of a warrant files a motion before arraignment to quash the warrant. On the other hand, one can be subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, and yet not be in the custody of the law, such as when an accused escapes custody after his trial has commenced. Being in the custody of the law signifies restraint on the person, who is thereby deprived of his own will and liberty, binding him to become obedient to the will of the law. Custody of the law is literally custody over the body of the accused. It includes, but is not limited to, detention. There is an exception to the rule that filing pleadings seeking affirmative relief constitutes voluntary appearance, and the consequent submission of one's person to the jurisdiction of the court. This is in the case of pleadings whose prayer is precisely for the avoidance of the jurisdiction of the court, which only leads to a special appearance. These pleadings are: (1) in civil cases, motions to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, whether or not other grounds for dismissal are included; (2) in criminal cases, motions to quash a complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused; and (3) motions to quash a warrant of arrest. The first two are consequences of the fact that failure to file them would constitute a waiver of the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person. The third is a consequence of the fact that it is the very legality of the court process forcing the submission of the person of the accused that is the very issue in a motion to quash a warrant of arrest. In criminal cases, jurisdiction over the person of the accused is deemed waived by the accused when he files any pleading seeking an affirmative relief, except in cases when he invokes the special jurisdiction of the court by impugning such jurisdiction over his person. Therefore, in narrow cases involving special appearances, an accused can invoke the processes of the court even though there is neither jurisdiction over the person nor custody of the law. However, if a person invoking the special jurisdiction of the court applies for bail, he must first submit himself to the custody of the law. In cases not involving the so-called special appearance, the general rule applies, i.e., the accused is deemed to have submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court upon seeking affirmative relief. Notwithstanding this, there is no requirement for him to be in the custody of the law. The circumstances that require custody of the law in applications for bail are not present in motions to quash the warrant of arrest. If it would be allowed that the granting of bail to persons not in the custody of the law, it is foreseeable that many persons who can afford the bail will remain at large, and could elude being held to answer for the commission of the offense if ever he is proven guilty. On the other hand, if it be allowed that the quashal of warrants of arrest to persons not in the custody of the law, it would be very rare that a person not genuinely entitled to liberty would remain scot-free. This is because it is the same judge who issued the warrant of arrest who will decide whether or not he followed the Constitution in his determination of probable cause, and he can easily deny the motion to quash if he really did find probable cause after personally examining the records of the case. Petition is DENIED.

G.R. No. 153176

March 29, 2004

People Of The Philippines vs. Hon. Zeida Aurora B. Garfin, In Her Capacity As Presiding Judge Of RTC, Branch 19, Of The City Of Naga And Serafin Saballegue Facts: On June 22, 2001, private respondent was charged with violation of Sec. 22 (a) in relation to Secs. 19(b) and 28(e) of RA 8282, otherwise known as the Social Security Act.An information was filed and was certified by State Prosecutor Romulo SJ. Tolentino. The case was raffled to Branch 19 of the regional Trial Court of Naga City.

On Sept. 24, 2001, accused SerafinSaballegue pleaded not guilty to the charge and the case was set for pre-trial. Three days thereafter, the accused filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the information was filed without prior written authority or approval of the city prosecutor as required under Sec. 4, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Court. The People, through the State Prosecutor, filed an opposition, against which the accused filed a rejoinder. After considering the arguments raised, the trial court granted the motion to dismiss. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the People contending that as a special prosecutor designated nu the regional state prosecutor to handle SSS cases, Tolentino is authorized to file the information involving violations of the SSS law without need of prior approval from the city prosecutor. On April 3, 2002, the second questioned order was issued by respondent judge still denying Tolentinos authority. Hence, this petition is filed by the People. Issue: Whether an information filed by the state prosecutor without the prior approval of the city or state prosecutor or chief state prosecutor should be dismissed after the accused has entered his plea under the information. Ruling: Under Presidential Decree No. 1275, the powers of a Regional State Prosecutor are as follows:- The regional State Prosecutor shall, under the control of the Secretary of Justice, have the following functions: b.) Exercise immediate administrative supervision over all provincial and city fiscals and other prosecuting officers of provinces and cities within his region. The Regional State Prosecutor is clearly vested only with the power of administrative supervision. As administrative supervisor, he has no power to direct the city provincial prosecutors to inhibit from handling certain cases. At most, he can request for their inhibition. Hence, the said directive of the regional state prosecutor is questionable. Nowhere in P.D. No. 1275 is the regional state prosecutor granted the power to appoint a special prosecutor armed with the authority to file an information without the prior written authority or approval of the city or provincial prosecutor or the chief state prosecutor. In the case at bar, there is no pretense that a directive was issued by the Secretary of Justice to Regional State Prosecutor Turingan to investigate and/or prosecute SSS cases filed within his territorial jurisdiction. In the letter of commendation, it shows that it does not amount to a directive or even recognition to his authority. Thus, Turingan cannot be considered a special prosecutor within the meaning of the law. On the merits of the issue: the provisions of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure Sec. 3, Rule 117 provides: (d) That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so. Since lack of jurisdiction is a defect that may be raised as an objection any time even after arraignment, the respondent judge did not err in granting the motion to dismiss based on this ground. In the Villa case, the court ruled that while a court may have jurisdiction over the subject matter, like a violation of the SSS law, it does not acquire jurisdiction over the case itself until its jurisdiction is invoked with the filing of the information. In the absence of a directive from Secretary of Justice designating State Prosecutor Tolentino as Special Prosecutor for SSS cases or a prior written approval of the provincial or city prosecutor, the information was filed by an officer without authority to file the same. As this infirmity in the information constitutes a jurisdictional defect that cannot be cured, the respondent judge did not err in dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction. Petition is DENIED.

G.R. Nos. 120681-83

October 1, 1999

Jejomar C. Binay vs. Hon. Sandiganbayan (Third Division) and the Department Of Interior And Local Government Facts: Cases were filed by the Ombudsman in the Sandiganbayan (SB for brevity) against Mayor Binay of Makati for Illegal Use of Public Funds(RPC A220) and Violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act(RA 3019) on September 1994. The informations filed constituted crimes which were committed by the petitioner in his incumbency in the year 1987.The petitioner filed a motion to quash alleging that the delay of more than 6 years constituted a violation of his constitutional right of due process. His arraignment therefore was held in abeyance pending the resolution of the motions. Subsequently, the SB issued a resolution denying petitioners motion to quash and further the latters motion for reconsideration. In the meantime, the prosecution filed a motion to suspend the accused pendente lite (benefits) which was later granted and ordered for a 90-day suspension. Petition for certiorari was filed by Mayor Binay in the SC praying that the resolution denying his motion for reconsideration be set aside and claimed that he was denied of his rights when the suspension was ordered even before he could file his reply to the petitioners opposition. SC then, directed the SB to permit petitioner to file said reply. The SB nonetheless reiterated its previous resolutions and order after the submission of the reply. Meanwhile, RA 7975 redefining the jurisdiction of SB took effect on May 1995 so much so that the petitioner filed before SB a motion to refer his cases to the RTC of Makati alleging that the SB has no jurisdiction over said cases when it issued its resolutions and suspension order on June 1995. The SB in a follow-up resolution denied the petitioners motion. Hence this present petition, prohibition and mandamus questioning the jurisdiction of SB over the criminal cases. Issue: Whether or not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the case of after the passage of RA 7975. Ruling: The Supreme Court held in the affirmative. RA 7975 which was further amended by RA 8249 states that the SB shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving violations of Republic Act No. 3019 otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity at the time of the commission of the offense: 1. Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade "27" and higher of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 Under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989, mayors are "local officials classified as Grade 27 and higher.

G.R. No. 153284

April 17, 2007

Regional State Prosecutor Santiago M. Turingan vs. Hon. Zeida Aurora B. Garfin Facts: Accused Muriel C. Apolinar is registered trimobile operator. He was charged for non-remittance of social security and employees compensation premiums of his workers for the period January 1997 to December 1998, and nonpayment of the 3% monthly penalty for late remittance. The Information filed against him was signed by state prosecutor Tolentino

Apolinar filed a motion to quash before arraignment on the ground that Tolentino had no authority to sign the information. Tolentino opposed Apolinars motion - contended that he was clothed with the authority to investigate, file the necessary Information and prosecute SSS cases in view of his designation as special prosecutor for SSS cases in Region V. Issue: Whether or not state prosecutor Tolentino had the authority to file the Information for violation of RA 8282 despite the absence of a written authority or approval of the provincial or state prosecutor Ruling: In this case, state prosecutor Tolentino lacked the authority to file the Information in Criminal Case No. RTC 2001-0582 because there was neither a directive from the Secretary of Justice designating him as special prosecutor for SSS cases nor the written approval of the Information by the city prosecutor. In accordance with Garfin, the Information suffered from a jurisdictional defect. Respondent Judge Garfin correctly dismissed the case against Apolinar for lack of jurisdiction. Petition is DISMISSED.

332 SCRA 381

May 31, 2000

People of the Philippines vs. Antonio Magat y Londonio Facts: The case at bar is a petition for review from the joint decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City finding accused-appellant Antonio Magat y Londonio guilty of raping his daughter, Ann Fideli L. Magat, on two occasions and sentencing him to suffer the extreme penalty of death for each case. Accordingly, upon arraignment on January 10, 1997, accused-appellant pleaded guilty but bargained for a lesser penalty for each case. Complainants mother and the public prosecutor agreed with plea bargain. Consequently, the trial court issued, on that same day, an order, that on arraignment with the assistance of his counsel and upon the request of the accused, that the information was explained to him in a dialect known to him and that he pleads for a lower penalty to which the public prosecutor interpose no objection and that by virtue of that the Trial Court finds the accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced to suffer a jail term of ten (10) years imprisonment for each case. After 3 months, the cases were revived at the instance of the complainant on the ground that the penalty imposed was too light. As a consequence, accused-appellant was re-arraigned on both informations on April 15, 1997 where he entered a plea of not guilty. Trial on the merits ensued and on July 3, 1997, accused-appellant entered anew a plea of guilty. The Court read to him the information in a language known and understood by him and convinced of the voluntariness of his plea of guilty, the court renders judgment finding accused guilty of the crime of rape and sentences him to death by lethal injection on each offenses. The accused filed this instant petition on the ground that the trial court erred in re-arraigning and proceeding into trial despite the fact that he was already convicted on the Trial Courts order dated January 10, 1997 based on his plea of guilt. That the conviction having attained finality can no longer be set aside or modified even if the prosecution later realizes that the penalty imposed was too light. He likewise posits that the re-arraignment and the trial on the same information violated his right against double jeopardy. Further, he argued that assuming that there was proper basis for setting aside the order of January 10, 1997, the trial court erred in not finding that he made an improvident plea of guilty. He faults the trial court in not complying with the procedure laid down in Section 3, Rule 116 of the RRC. He claims that the record of the case fails to support the trial co urts

assertion that it conducted a searching inquiry to determine that the accused-appellant voluntarily entered his plea of guilty with full understanding of the consequences of his plea. He claims that there is no evidence that the trial court conducted searching inquiry in accordance with the rules. Issue: Whether or not the Trial Court erred in sentencing the accused-appellant based on his plea of guilt. Ruling: According to the Supreme Court, the January 10, 1997 order of the trial court convicting the accused-appellant on his own plea of guilt is void ab initio on the ground that the plea is not the plea bargaining contemplated and allowed by law and the rules of procedure. The only instance where a plea bargaining is allowed under the Ruled is when an accused pleads guilty to a lesser offense. In this case, it must me stressed that the accused-appellant did not plead to a lesser offense but pleaded guilty to the rape charges and only bargained for a lesser penalty. In short, he did not plea bargain but made conditions on the penalty to be imposed which is erroneous because by pleading guilty to the offense charged, accused-appellant should be sentenced to the penalty to which he pleaded. Consequently, accused-appellants plea of guilty is undoubtedly a conditional plea. Hence, the trial court should have vacated such a pleas an entered a plea of not guilty for a conditional plea of guilty, or one subject to the proviso that a certain penalty be imposed upon him, is equivalent to a plea of not guilty and would, therefore, require a flown blown trial before judgment may be rendered. In effect, the judgment rendered by the trial court which was based on a void plea bargaining is also void ab initio and cannot be considered to have attained finality for the simple reason that a void judgment has no legality from its inception. This, since the judgment of conviction rendered against accused-appellant is void, double jeopardy will not lie. Moreover, whatever procedural infirmity in the arraignment of the accused-appellant was rectified when he was rearraigned and entered a new plea. He did not question the procedural errors in the first arraignment and having failed to do so, he is deemed to have abandoned his right to question the same and waived the errors in procedure. On his claim that there was no evidence that the trial court conducted searching inquiry in accordance with the rules, the SC said that after thorough review of the record of this instant case, the SC is convinced that the Trial Judge has faithfully discharged his bounden duty as minister of the law to determine the voluntariness and full understanding of the accuseappellants plea of guilty. Accordingly, accused-appellant could have known of the consequences when he pleaded twice to the charges against him. In fact, in the 2 letters sent to the trial judge, accused-appellant not only admitted his sins but also asked for forgiveness and prayed for a chance to reform. Lastly, the prosecution has already presented its evidence. Thus, even assuming that there was an improvident plea of guilt, the evidence on record can sustain the conviction of the accused-appellant.

363 SCRA 381

August 20, 2001

Miguel Argel vs. Judge Herminia M. Pascua, RTC-Br. 25, Vigan, Ilocos Sur Facts: The case at bar is an administrative complaint for Gross Ignorance of the Law filed by Miguel Argel against Judge Herminia M. Pascua, RTC-Br. 25, Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Petitioner was acquitted of murder in a decision dated July 22, 1993 rendered by the respondent judge whose decision was promulgated on August 13, 1993 on the ground that there was no witness who positively identified him as the perpetrator of the crime. However after respondent's attention was called by the private complainant's counsel to the fact that there was such a witness and confirmed by respondent judge upon re-reading her notes, she issued an Order dated 16 August 1993 stating her intention to"revise" the previous judgment of acquittal, branded the same as "uncalled for" and "not final," and reset the case for another "rendering of the decision. The reason given was that the judgment of acquittal was rendered without all the facts and circumstances being brought to her attention. Thus, in a Decision dated 19 August 1993, respondent Judge declared herein complainant Miguel Argel guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder on the basis of the eyewitness, sentenced complainant Argel to seventeen (17) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua. Accordingly, petitioner now contends that the respondent judge is guilty of gross ignorance of the law and violated his constitutional right against double jeopardy. Issue: Whether or not the respondent judge committed grave error. Ruling: The Supreme Court held that respondent judge is guilty of gross ignorance of the law. According to the SC, too elementary is the rule that a decision once final is no longer susceptible to amendment or alteration except to correct errors which are clerical in nature, to clarify any ambiguity caused by an omission or mistake in the dispositive portion, or to rectify a travesty of justice brought about by a moro-moro or mock trial. A final decision is the law of the case and is immutable and unalterable regardless of any claim of error or incorrectness. In criminal cases, a judgment of acquittal is immediately final upon its promulgation. It cannot be recalled for correction or amendment except in the cases already mentioned nor withdrawn by another order reconsidering the dismissal of the case since the inherent power of a court to modify its order or decision does not extend to a judgment of acquittal in a criminal case. Complainant herein was already acquitted of murder by respondent in a decision promulgated on 13 August 1993. Applying the aforestated rule, the decision became final and immutable on the same day. As a member of the bench who is always admonished to be conversant with the latest legal and judicial developments, more so of elementary rules, respondent should have known that she could no longer "revise" her decision of acquittal without violating not only an elementary rule of procedure but also the constitutional proscription against double jeopardy. When the law is so elementary, not to know it constitutes gross ignorance of the law. The fact that respondent never had any intention of having complainant incarcerated on the basis of the second decision but only to make him answer for the civil liabilities arising from the crime, as respondent judge explained, cannot exculpate her from administrative liability. On the contrary, such thinking on the part of respondent judge that she could still "revise" a promulgated decision of acquittal even for such a purpose underscores, not mitigates, her gross ignorance.

380 SCRA 596

April 11, 2002

People of the Philippines vs. Wilfredo dela Torre Facts:

The case at bar is a petition for review on the decisions of the Regional Trial Court of Iba, Zambales branch 69 dated March 31, 1998 and June 3, 1998 which renders a judgment convicting herein respondent guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of acts of lasciviousness and four counts of rape. Accordingly, respondent herein is the father of Mary Rose (victim) who was 12 years old at the time when respondent sexually abused her. Appellants (Mary Rose) and Appellees (respondent Dela Torre) version of the facts were presented and the trial court found herein respondent guilty but refused to impose the supreme penalty of death because of circumstances that mitigated the gravity of the offense. In this instant petition for review, the prosecution asks the SC to modify the RTC Decision by imposing the supreme penalty of death on the accused. It argues that it has proven that the victim is the daughter of the accused, and that she was below eighteen (18) years old when the rapes took place. As a consequence, the trial court should have imposed the penalty of death pursuant to Section 11 of RA 7659. Issue: Whether or not the trial court erred in not sentencing respondent herein to the supreme penalty of death as mandated by R.A.7659. Ruling: According to the Supreme Court it held that, while it is true that this Court is the Court of last resort, there are allegations of error committed by a lower court which we ought not to look into to uphold the right of the accused. Such is the case in an appeal by the prosecution seeking to increase the penalty imposed upon the accused for this runs afoul of the right of the accused against double jeopardy. Moreover, the court applied the Kepner Doctrine (Kepner v. United States 1904) which was clarified in a 1987 case and speaking through Justice Isagani A. Cruz, the Court explained that an appeal of the prosecution from a judgment of acquittal (or for the purpose of increasing the penalty imposed upon the convict) would place him in double jeopardy. Double jeopardy provides three related protections: (1) against a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal, (2) against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction, and (3) against multiple punishments for the same offense. Furthermore, the ban on double jeopardy is deeply rooted in jurisprudence. The doctrine has several avowed purposes. Primarily, it prevents the State from using its criminal processes as an instrument of harassment to wear out the accused by a multitude of cases with accumulated trials. It also serves the additional purpose of precluding the State, following an acquittal, from successively retrying the defendant in the hope of securing a conviction. And finally, it prevents the State, following conviction, from retrying the defendant again in the hope of securing a greater penalty. In the case at hand, being violative of the right against double jeopardy, the instant appeal filed by the prosecution cannot prosper. The rule is clear -- the prosecution cannot appeal on the ground that the accused should have been given a more severe penalty. Besides according to the SC, even assuming that the penalties imposed by the RTC were erroneous, these cannot be corrected by this Court on an appeal by the prosecution. Accordingly, whatever error may have been committed by the lower court was merely an error of judgment and not of jurisdiction. It did not affect the intrinsic validity of the decision. This is the kind of error that can no longer be rectified on appeal by the prosecution no matter how obvious the error may be. The only way to nullify an acquittal or to increase the penalty is through a proper petition for certiorari to show grave abuse of discretion which was explained in People v. CA and Maquiling that, while certiorari may be used to correct an abusive acquittal, the petitioner in such extraordinary proceeding must clearly demonstrate that the lower court blatantly abused its authority to a point so grave as to deprive it of its very power to dispense justice. On the other hand, if the petition, regardless of its nomenclature, merely calls for an ordinary review of the findings of the court a quo, the constitutional right against double jeopardy would be violated. Such recourse is tantamount to converting the petition for certiorari into an appeal, contrary to the express injunction of the Constitution, the Rules of Court and prevailing jurisprudence on double jeopardy.

320 SCRA 383

December 9, 1999

People of The Philippines vs. Delfin Rondero Facts: On the evening of March 25, 1994, MardyDoria came home late from a barrio fiesta. When he noticed that his nine year old sister, Mylene, was not around, he woke up his parents to inquire about his sister's whereabouts. Realizing that Mylene was missing, their father, MaximoDoria, sought the help of a neighbor, Barangay KagawadAndongRondero to search for Mylene. Maximo and Andong went to the house of a Barangay Captain to ask for assistance and also requested their other neighbors in Pugaro, Dagupan to look for Mylene. The group began searching for Mylene at around 1:00 o'clock in the morning of March 26, 1994. They scoured the campus of Pugaro Elementary School and the seashore in vain. They even returned to the school and inspected every classroom but to no avail. Tired and distraught, Maximo started on his way home. When he was about five (5) meters away from his house, Maximo, who was then carrying a flashlight, saw herein accused-appellant DelfinRondero pumping the artesian well about one (1) meter away. Accused-appellant had an ice pick clenched in his mouth and was washing his bloodied hands. Maximo hastily returned to the school and told KagawadAndong what he saw without, however, revealing that the person he saw was the latter's ownson. Maximo and Andong continued their search for Mylene but after failing to find her, the two men decided to go home. After some time, a restless Maximo began to search anew for her daughter. He again sought the help of Andong and the barangay secretary. The group returned to Pugaro Elementary School where they found Mylene's lifeless body lying on a cemented pavement near the canteen. Her right hand was raised above her head, which was severely bashed, and her fractured left hand was behind her back. She was naked from the waist down and had several contusions and abrasions on different parts of her body. Tightly gripped in her right hand were some hair strands. A blue rubber slipper with a tiny leaf painted in red was found beside her body while the other slipper was found behind her back. Half an hour later, five (5) policemen arrived at the scene and conducted a spot investigation. They found a pair of shorts underMylene's buttocks, which Maximo identified as hers. Thereafter, Maximo led the policemen to the artesian well where he had seen accused-appellant earlier washing his hands. The policemen found that the artesian well was spattered with blood. After the investigation, the policemen, together with Maximo, went back to their headquarters in Dagupan City. There, Maximo disclosed that before they found Mylene's body, he saw accused-appellant washing his bloodstained hands at the artesian well. 7 Acting on this lead, the policemen returned to Pugaro and arrested accused-appellant. Issue:

Ruling: The aforesaid rules are set forth in the Constitution as a recognition of the fact that the psychological if not physical atmosphere of custodial investigations in the absence of procedural safeguards is inherently coercive in nature. However, to paraphrase Justice Sanchez in the case of Chavez vs. Court of Appeals, "Compulsion does not necessarily connote the use of violence; it may be the product of unintentional statements. Pressure which operates to overbear his will, disable him from making a free and rational choice or impair his capacity for making rational judgment would be sufficient. So is moral coercion tending to force testimony from the unwilling lips of the defendant." Needless to say, the above-mentioned provisions are an affirmation that "coercion can be mental as well as physical and that the blood of the accused is not the only hallmark of an unconstitutional inquisition." It bears emphasis, however, that under the above-quoted provisions, what is actually proscribed is the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communication from the accused-appellant and not the inclusion of his body in evidence when it may be material. For instance, substance emitted from the body of the accused may be received as evidence in prosecution for acts of lasciviousness and morphine forced out of the mouth of the accused may also be used as evidence against him. Consequently, although accused-appellant insists that hair samples were forcibly taken from him and submitted to the NBI for forensic examination, the hair samples may be admitted in evidence against him, for what is proscribed is the use of testimonial compulsion or any evidence communicative in nature acquired from the accused under duress.

Guilty of the special complex crime of rape with homicide. The absence of sperm does not negate the commission of rape since the mere touching of the pudenda by the male organ is already considered as consummated rape. The presence of physical injuries on the victim strongly indicates the employment of force on her person. Contusions were found on Mylenes face, arms and thighs. Hence, death is the appropriate penalty.

G.R. No. 172716

November 17, 2010

Jason Ivler Y Aguilar vs. Hon. Maria Rowena Modesto-San Pedro, Judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 71, Pasig City, and Evangeline Ponce

The petition seeks the review of the Orders of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City affirming sub-silencio a lower courts ruling finding inapplicable the Double Jeopardy Clause to bar a second prosecution for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide and Damage to Property. This, despite the accuseds previous conviction for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries arising from the same incident grounding the second prosecution. Facts: Following a vehicular collision in August 2004, petitioner Jason Ivler (petitioner) was charged before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasig City (MeTC), with two separate offenses: (1) Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries for injuries sustained by respondent Evangeline L. Ponce (respondent Ponce); and (2) Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide and Damage to Property for the death of respondent Ponces husband Nestor C. Ponce and damage to the spouses Ponces vehicle. Petitioner posted bail for his temporary release in both cases. On 2004, petitioner pleaded guilty to the charge on the first delict and was meted out the penalty of public censure. Invoking this conviction, petitioner moved to quash the Information for the second delict for placing him in jeopardy of second punishment for the same offense of reckless imprudence. The MeTC refused quashal, finding no identity of offenses in the two cases. The petitioner elevated the matter to the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City (RTC), in a petition for certiorari while Ivler sought from the MeTC the suspension of proceedings in criminal case, including the arraignment his arraignment as a prejudicial question. Without acting on petitioners motion, the MeTC proceeded with the arraignment and, because of petitioners absence, cancelled his bail and ordered his arrest. Seven days later, the MeTC issued a resolution denying petitioners motion to suspend proceedings and postponing his arraignment until after his arrest.Petitioner sought reconsideration but as of the filing of this petition, the motion remained unresolved. Issues: Whether petitioner forfeited his standing to seek relief from his petition for certiorari when the MeTC ordered his arrest following his non-appearance at the arraignment in Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries for injuries sustained by respondent; and Whether petitioners constitutional right under the Double Jeopardy Clause bars further proceedings in Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide and Damage to Property for the death of respondent Ponces husband.

Ruling: On Petition for Certiorari.

The RTC dismissed Ivlers petition for certiorari, narrowly grounding its ruling on petitioners forfeiture of standing to maintain said petition arising from the MeTCs order to arrest petitioner for his non -appearance at the arraignment in the second offense. Thus, without reaching the merits of the said petition, the RTC effectively affirmed the MeTC. Petitioner sought reconsideration but this proved unavailing. Respondent Ponce finds no reason for the Court to disturb the RTCs decision forfeiting petitioners standing to maintain his petition in S.C.A. 2803. On the merits, respondent Ponce calls the Courts attention to jurisprudence holding that light offenses (e.g. slight physical injuries) cannot be complexed under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code with grave or less grave felonies (e.g. homicide). Hence, the prosecution was obliged to separate the charge in Criminal Case No. 82366 for the slight physical injuries from Criminal Case No. 82367 for the homicide and damage to property. In the Resolution of 6 June 2007, the Court granted the Office of the Solicitor Generals motion not to file a comment to the petition as the public respondent judge is merely a nominal party and private respondent is represented by counsel. Dismissals of appeals grounded on the appellants escape from custody or violation of the terms of his bail bond are governed by the second paragraph of Section 8, Rule 124, in relation to Section 1, Rule 125, of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure authorizing this Court or the Court of Appeals to "also, upon motion of the appellee or motuproprio, dismiss the appeal if the appellant escapes from prison or confinement, jumps bail or flees to a foreign country during the pendency of the appeal." The "appeal" contemplated in Section 8 of Rule 124 is a suit to review judgments of convictions. On Double Jeopardy.

The accuseds negative constitutional right not to be "twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense" protects him from, among others, post-conviction prosecution for the same offense, with the prior verdict rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction upon a valid information. Petitioner adopts the affirmative view, submitting that the two cases concern the same offense of reckless imprudence. The MeTC ruled otherwise, finding that Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries is an entirely separate offense from Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide and Damage to Property "as the [latter] requires proof of an additional fact which the other does not." The two charges against petitioner, arising from the same facts, were prosecuted under the same provision of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, namely, Article 365 defining and penalizing quasi-offenses. The provisions contained in this article shall not be applicable. Indeed, the notion that quasi-offenses, whether reckless or simple, are distinct species of crime, separately defined and penalized under the framework of our penal laws, is nothing new. The doctrine that reckless imprudence under Article 365 is a single quasi-offense by itself and not merely a means to commit other crimes such that conviction or acquittal of such quasi-offense bars subsequent prosecution for the same quasioffense, regardless of its various resulting acts, undergirded this Courts unbroken chain of jurisprudence on double jeopardy as applied to Article 365. These cases uniformly barred the second prosecutions as constitutionally impermissible under the Double Jeopardy Clause. Our ruling today secures for the accused facing an Article 365 charge a stronger and simpler protection of their constitutional right under the Double Jeopardy Clause. True, they are thereby denied the beneficent effect of the favorable sentencing formula under Article 48, but any disadvantage thus caused is more than compensated by the certainty of nonprosecution for quasi-crime effects qualifying as "light offenses" (or, as here, for the more serious consequence prosecuted belatedly). If it is so minded, Congress can re-craft Article 365 by extending to quasi-crimes the sentencing formula of Article 48 so that only the most severe penalty shall be imposed under a single prosecution of all resulting acts, whether penalized as grave, less grave or light offenses. This will still keep intact the distinct concept of quasi-offenses. Meanwhile, the lenient

schedule of penalties under Article 365, befitting crimes occupying a lower rung of culpability, should cushion the effect of this ruling.

150 SCRA 144

November 17, 2010

Eduardo B. Olaguer vs. Military Commission Facts: In 1979, Olaguer and some others were detained by military personnel and they were placed in Camp BagongDiwa. Logauer and his group are all civilians. They were charged with (1) unlawful possession of explosives and incendiary devices; (2) conspiracy to assassinate President and Mrs. Marcos; (3) conspiracy to assassinate cabinet members Juan Ponce Enrile, Francisco Tatad and Vicente Paterno; (4) conspiracy to assassinate Messrs. Arturo Tangco, Jose Roo and Onofre Corpus; (5) arson of nine buildings; (6) attempted murder of Messrs. Leonardo Perez, Teodoro Valencia and Generals Romeo Espino and Fabian Ver; and (7) conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, and inciting to rebellion. On August 19, 1980, the petitioners went to the SC and filed the instant Petition for prohibition and habeas corpus. Issue: Ruling: The petition for habeas corpus has become moot and academic because by the time the case reached the SC Olaguer and his companions were already released from military confinement. When the release o f the persons in whose behalf the application for a writ of habeas corpus was filed is effected, the Petition for the issuance of the writ becomes moot and academic. 18 Inasmuch as the herein petitioners have been released from their confinement in military detention centers, the instant Petitions for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus should be dismissed for having become moot and academic. But the military court created to try the case of Olaguer (and the decision it rendered) still continues to subsist. The SC nullified for lack of jurisdiction all decisions rendered by the military courts or tribunals during the period of martial law in all cases involving civilian defendants. A military commission or tribunal cannot try and exercise jurisdiction, even during the period of martial law, over civilians for offenses allegedly committed by them as long as the civil courts are open and functioning, and that any judgment rendered by such body relating to a civilian is null and void for lack of jurisdiction on the part of the military tribunal concerned. Whether or not the petition for habeas corpus be granted. Whether or not a military tribunal has the jurisdiction to try civilians while the civil courts are open and functioning.

G.R. No. L-26376

August 31, 1966

The People Of The Philippines vs. Aurelio Balisacan Facts: Aurelio Balisacan was charged with homicide in the CFI of Ilocos Norte. Upon being arraigned, he entered into a plea of guilty. In doing so, he was assisted y counsel. At his counsel de officio, he was allowed to present evidence and consequently testified that he stabbed the deceased in self-defense. In addition, he stated that he surrendered himself voluntarily to the police authorities. On the basis of the testimony of the accused, he was acquitted. Thus, the prosecution appealed.

Issue: Whether or Not the appeal placed the accused in double jeopardy. Ruling: The Supreme Court held that it is settled that the existence of plea is an essential requisite to double jeopardy. The accused had first entered a plea of guilty but however testified that he acted in complete self-defense. Said testimony had the effect of vacating his plea of guilty and the court a quo should have required him to plead a new charge, or at least direct that a new plea of not guilty be entered for him. This was not done. Therefore, there has been no standing of plea during the judgment of acquittal, so there can be no double jeopardy with respect to the appeal herein.

G.R. No. 103102

March 6, 1992

Claudio J. Teehankee, Jr. vs. Hon. Job B. Madayag And People Of The Philippines Facts: Here, Claudio Teehankee, Jr. was originally charged for the crime of frustrated murder for shooting Hultman who was comatosed some time. In the course of the trial, Hultman died. The prosecution sought to change the information from frustrated murder to consummated murder. Teehankee Jr. questioned the new charge for lack of preliminary investigation thereon. Issues: Was there an amendment of the information or substitution when the information was changed from frustrated murder to consummated murder? What kind of amendment? Formal or substantial? Is there a need of a preliminary investigation on the new charge?

Ruling: First Issue: There is an amendment. There is an identity of offenses charged in both the original and the amended information. What is involved here is not a variance of the nature of different offenses charge, but only a change in the stage of execution of the same offense from frustrated to consummated murder. This being the case, we hold that an amendment of the original information will suffice and, consequent thereto, the filing of the amended information for murder is proper. Second Issue: Formal. An objective appraisal of the amended information for murder filed against therein petitioner will readily show that the nature of the offense originally charged was not actually changed. Instead, an additional allegation, that is, the supervening fact of the death of the victim was merely supplied to aid the trial court in determining the proper penalty for the crime. That the accused committed a felonious act with intent to kill the victim continues to be the prosecution's theory. There is no question that whatever defense herein petitioner may adduce under the original information for frustrated murder equally applies to the amended information for murder. The accused is not prejudiced since the same defense is still available to him. Third Issue: No need because you have not changed the crime. If you change the crime or when there is substitution. Since it is only a formal amendment, preliminary investigation is not necessary. The amended information could not conceivably have come as a surprise to petitioner for the simple and obvious reason that it charges essentially the same offense as that charged under the

original information. Furthermore, as we have heretofore held, if the crime originally charged is related to the amended charge such that an inquiry into one would elicit substantially the same facts that an inquiry into the other would reveal, a new preliminary investigation is not necessary.

G.R. No. L-41863

April 22, 1977

People Of The Philippines, and Asst. Prov'l Fiscal F. Visitacion, Jr. vs. Honorable Midpantao L. Adil, Presiding Judge, Court of First Instance of Iloilo, Branch II, and Margarito Fama, Jr. Facts: A petition for certiorari to set aside the orders of respondent judge dated September 22, 1975 and October 14, 1975 dismissing Criminal Case No. 5241 of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo against private respondent MargaritoFama, Jr., said dismissal being predicated on the ground of double jeopardy, in view of the dismissal of a previous charge of slight physical injuries against the same respondent for the same incident by the Municipal Court of Janiuay, Iloilo in Criminal Case No. 3335, notwithstanding that in the information in the first-mentioned case, it was alleged that the injuries sustained by the offended party, aside from possibly requiring medical attendance from 6 to 9 days barring complications", as was alleged in the information in Criminal Case No. 3335, had left "a permanent sear and deform(ed) the right face of (said offended party) Miguel Viajar." In brief, what happened here was that when Case No. 3335 was filed in the inferior court of January, the charge against Fama Jr. had to be for slight physical injuries only, because according to the certification of the attending physician, the injuries suffered by the offended party Viajar, would require medical attendance from 5 to 9 days only "baring complications." Indeed, when the complaint was filed on April 15, 1975, only three days had passed since the incident in which the injuries were sustained took place, and there were yet no indications of a graver injury or consequence to be suffered by said offended party. Evidently, it was only later, after Case No. 3335 had already been filed and the wound on the face of Viajar had already healed, that the alleged deformity became apparent. Issue: Whether or not the additional allegation of deformity in the information in Case No. 5241 constitutes a supervening element. Ruling: What is controlling then in the instant case is Melo vs. People, 85 Phil. 766, in which it was held that the rule of identity does not apply, however, when the second offense was not in existence at the time of the first prosecution, for the simple reason that in such case there is no possibility for the accused during the first prosecution, to be convicted for an offense that was then inexistent Thus, where the accused was charged with physical injuries and after conviction the injured dies, the charge of homicide against the same accused does not put him twice in jeopardy. Stated differently, if after the first. prosecution 'a new fact supervenes on which defendant may be held liable, resulting in altering the character of the crime and giving rise to a new and distinct offense, 'the accused cannot be said to be in second jeopardy if indicted for the new offense. In other words, in the peculiar circumstances of this case, the plea of double jeopardy of private respondent Fama Jr., cannot hold. It was, therefore, a grave error correctible by certiorari for respondent court to have dismissed Criminal Case No. 5241 G.R. No. L-3580 March 22, 1950

Conrado Carmelo vs. The People Of The Philippines And The Court Of First Instance Of Rizal

Facts: Conrado Melo was charged in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, on 27 December 1949, with frustrated homicide, for having allegedly inflicted upon Benjamin Obillo, with a kitchen knife and with intent to kill, several serious wounds on different parts of the body, requiring medical attendance for a period of more than 30 days, and incapacitating him from performing his habitual labor for the same period of time. On 29 December 1949, at 8:00 a.m., Melo pleaded not guilty to the offense charged, and at 10:15 p.m. of the same day Benjamin Obillo died from his wounds. Evidence of death was available to the prosecution only on 3 January 1950, and on the following day, 4 January 1950, an amended information was filed charging Melo with consummated homicide. Melo filed a motion to quash the amended information alleging double jeopardy, motion that was denied by the court. Melo filed the petition for prohibition to enjoin the court from further entertaining the amended information. Issue: Whether the second information, filed after the death of the victim, violates the accuseds right against double jeopardy. Ruling: Rule 106, section 13, 2d paragraph, provides that "If it appears at any time before judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper offense, the court may dismiss the original complaint or information and order the filing of a new one charging the proper offense, provided the defendant would not be placed thereby in double jeopardy, and may also require the witnesses to give bail for their appearance at the trial." Under this provision, it was proper for the court to dismiss the first information and order the filing of a new one for the reason that the proper offense was not charged in the former and the latter did not place the accused in a second jeopardy for the same or identical offense. There is identity between two offenses not only when the second offense is exactly the same as the first, but also when the second offense is an attempt to commit the first or a frustration thereof, or when it necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the first information. This rule of identity does not apply, however, when the second offe nse was not in existence at the time of the first prosecution, for the simple reason that in such case there is no possibility for the accused, during the first prosecution, to be convicted for an offense that was then inexistent. Further, when a person who has already suffered his penalty for an offense, is charged with a new and greater offense, said penalty may be credited to him in case of conviction for the second offense.

G.R. No. L-29270

November 23, 1971

The People of The Philippines vs. Rodrigo Yorac Facts: Rodrigo Yorac was charged with slight physical injuries before the City Court of Bacolod, the offended party being a certain Lam Hock who, according to the medical certificate issued in 10 April 1968 by a Dr. Rogelio Zulueta, a resident physician of the Occidental Negros Provincial Hospital, was confined "since 8 April 1968 up to the present time for head injury." Then came a plea of guilty by Yorac on 16 April 1968 resulting in his being penalized to suffer 10 days of arrestomenor. He started serving his sentence forthwith.

On 18 April 1968, the provincial fiscal filed an information, this time in the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, charging Yorac with frustrated murder arising from the same act against Lam Hock upon another medical certificate dated 17 April 1968 issued by the same Dr. Zulueta.

The later information for frustrated murder was based on a second medical certificate after the lapse of one week from the former previously given by the same physician who, apparently, was much more thorough thesecond time, to the effect that the victim did suffer a greater injury than was at first ascertained. The lower court, presided by the Honorable Judge Nestor B. Alampay, considering that there was no supervening fact that would negate the defense of double jeopardy, sustained the motion to quash (filed on 10 June 1968) in an order of 21 June 1968. The People appealed. Issue: Whether the new medical findings warrant the filing of the new information against the accused, without violating the rule against double jeopardy. Ruling: "No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense." A defendant in a criminal case should be adjudged either guilty or not guilty and thereafter left alone in peace, in the latter case the State being precluded from taking an appeal. It is in that sense that the right against being twice put in jeopardy is considered as possessing many features in common with the rule of finality in civil cases. For the accused is given assurance that the matter is closed, enabling him to plan his future accordingly, protecting him from continued distress, not to mention saving both him and the state from the expenses incident to redundant litigation. There is likewise the observation that this constitutional guarantee helps to equalize the adversary capabilities of two grossly mismatched litigants, a poor and impecunious defendant hardly in a position to keep on shouldering the costs of a suit. As ruled in Melo vs. People, the rule of identity does not apply "when the second offense was not in existence at the time of the first prosecution, for the simple reason that in such case there is no possibility for the accused, during the first prosecution, to be convicted for an offense that was then inexistent." Stated differently, if after the first prosecution "a new fact supervenes" on which defendant may be held liable, resulting in altering the character of the crime and giving rise to a new and distinct offense, "the accused cannot be said to be in second jeopardy if indicted for the new offense." There is then the indispensable requirement of the existence of "a new fact [which] supervenes for which the defendant is responsible" changing the character of the crime imputed to him and together with the facts existing previously constituting a new and distinct offense. Herein, if the X-ray examination discloses the existence of a fracture on 17 January 1957, that fracture must have existed when the first examination was made on 10 December 1956. There is, therefore, no new or supervening fact that could be said to have developed or arisen since the filing of the original action. The new finding of fracture, which evidently lengthened the period of healing of the wound, to the very superficial and inconclusive examination made on 10 December 1956. Had an X-ray examination been taken at the time, the fracture would have certainly been disclosed. The wound causing the delay in healing was already in existence at the time of the first examination, but said delay was caused by the very superficial examination then made. No supervening fact had occurred which justifies the application of the rule in the case of Melo vs. People and People vs. Manolong, for which reason the general rule of double jeopardy should be applied.

G.R. Nos. 71208-09

August 30, 1985

Saturnina Galman And Reynaldo Galman vs. The Honorable Presiding Justice Manuel Pamaran And Associate Justices Facts: On 21 August 1983, Benigno S. Aquino Jr. was killed while being escorted by soldiers from his plane at the Manila International Airport. The military investigators reported within a span of three hours that the man who shot Aquino (whose

identity was then supposed to be unknown and was revealed only days later as Rolando Galman, although he was the personal friend of Col. Arturo Custodio who picked him up from his house on 17 August 1983) was a communist-hired gunman, and that the military escorts gunned him down in turn. The military later filmed a re-enactment of the killing scripted according to this version and continuously replayed it on all TV channels as if it were taken live on the spot. President Marcos instantly accepted the military version and repeated it in a nationally televised press conference that he gave late in the evening of 22 August 1983. President was constrained to create a Fact Finding Board to investigate the killing of Aquino. After two false starts, he finally constituted the Board on 22 October 1983 which held 125 hearing days commencing 3 November 1983 (including 3 hearings in Tokyo and 8 hearings in Los Angeles, California) and heard the testimonies of 194 witnesses recorded in 20,377 pages of transcripts, until the submission of their minority and majority reports to the President on October 23 and 24, 1984. Both majority and minority reports were one in rejecting the military version as propounded by the chief investigator, Maj. Gen. Prospero A. Olivas, that Rolando Galman was the NPA-hired assassin. It opines that Ninoy's assassination was the product of a military conspiracy, not a communist plot. The only difference between the two reports is that the majority report found all the 26 respondents headed by then AFP Chief General Fabian C. Ver involved in the military conspiracy and therefore "indictable for the premeditated killing of Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. and Rolando Galman at the MIA on August 21, 1983;" while the chairman's minority report would exclude 19 of them and limit as plotters "the 6 persons who were on the service stairs while Senator Aquino was descending" and "General Luther Custodio because the criminal plot could not have been planned and implemented without his intervention." On 11 November 1985 SaturninaGalman and Reynaldo Galman, mother and son, respectively, of the late Rolando Galman, and 29 other petitioners, composed of 3 former Justices of the Supreme Court, 5 incumbent and former university presidents, a former AFP Chief of Staff, outstanding members of the Philippine Bar and solid citizens of the community, filed the present action alleging that Tanodbayan and Sandiganbayan committed serious irregularities constituting mistrial and resulting in miscarriage of justice and gross violation of the constitutional rights of the petitioners and the sovereign people of the Philippines to due process of law. They prayed for the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) restraining the Sandiganbayan from rendering a decision on the merits in the pending criminal cases which it had scheduled on 20 November 1985 and that judgment be rendered declaring a mistrial and nullifying the proceedings before the Sandiganbayan and ordering a re-trial before an impartial tribunal by an unbiased prosecutor. At the hearing on 18 November 1985 of Galman, et. al.'s prayer for issuance of a TRO enjoining the Sandiganbayan from rendering a decision in the two criminal cases before it, the Court resolved by 9-to-2 votes to issue the restraining order prayed for. But 10 days later on 28 November 1985, the Court by the same 9-to-2vote ratio in reverse, resolved to dismiss the petition and to lift the temporary restraining order issued 10 days earlier enjoining the Sandiganbayan from rendering its decision. On 29 November 1985, Galman, et. al. filed a motion for reconsideration. On 20 March 1986, Galman, et. al. filed their motion to admit their second motion for reconsideration attached therewith. The thrust of the second motion for reconsideration was the startling and therefore unknown revelations of Deputy Tanodbayan Manuel Herrera that President Marcos had ordered the Sandiganbayan and Tanodbayan Bernardo Fernandez and the prosecution panel headed by Herrera to whitewash the criminal cases against the 26 accused and produce a verdict of acquittal. On 3 April 1986, the Court granted the motion to admit the second motion for reconsideration and ordered the respondents to comment thereon. The accused opposed the second motion for reconsideration and prayed for its denial. As a whole, all the other respondents raised the issue of double jeopardy, and invoked that the issues had become moot and academic because of the rendition of the Sandiganbayan's judgment of acquittal of all accused on 2 December 1985, with counsels for Ver and Tigas, as well as Olivas, further arguing that assuming that the judgment of acquittal is void for any reason, the remedy is a direct action to annul the judgment where the burden of proof falls upon the plaintiff to establish by clear, competent and convincing evidence the cause of the nullity. Issues: Ruling: Whether or not petitioner was deprived of his rights as an accused. Whether or not there was a violation of the double jeopardy clause.

Petitioners' second motion for reconsideration is granted and ordering a re-trial of the said cases which should be conducted with deliberate dispatch and with careful regard for the requirements of due process. Deputy Tanodbayan Manuel Herrera (made his expose 15 months later when former Pres. was no longer around) affirmed the allegations in the second motion for reconsideration that he revealed that the Sandiganbayan Justices and Tanodbayan prosecutors were ordered by Marcos to whitewash the Aquino-Galman murder case. Malacaang wanted dismissal to the extent that a prepared resolution was sent to the Investigating Panel. Malacaang Conference planned a scenario of trial where the former President ordered then that the resolution be revised by categorizing the participation of each respondent; decided that the presiding justice, Justice Pamaran, (First Division) would personally handle the trial. A conference was held in an inner room of the Palace. Only the First Lady and Presidential Legal Assistant Justice Lazaro were with the President. The conferees were told to take the back door in going to the room where the meeting was held, presumably to escape notice by the visitors in the reception hall waiting to see the President. During the conference, and after an agreement was reached, Pres. Marcos told them 'Okay, mag moro-moronalamang kayo;' and that on their way out of the room Pres. Marcos expressed his thanks to the group and uttered 'I know how to reciprocate'. The Court then said that the then President (code-named Olympus) had stage-managed in and from Malacaang Palace "a scripted and predetermined manner of handling and disposing of the Aquino-Galman murder case;" and that "the prosecution in the Aquino-Galman case and the Justices who tried and decided the same acted under the compulsion of some pressure which proved to be beyond their capacity to resist. Also predetermined the final outcome of the case" of total absolution of the twenty-six respondents-accused of all criminal and civil liability. Pres. Marcos came up with a public statement aired over television that Senator Aquino was killed not by his military escorts, but by a communist hired gun. It was, therefore, not a source of wonder that President Marcos would want the case disposed of in a manner consistent with his announced theory thereof which, at the same time, would clear his name and his administration of any suspected guilty participation in the assassination. such a procedure would be a better arrangement because, if the accused are charged in court and subsequently acquitted, they may claim the benefit of the doctrine of double jeopardy and thereby avoid another prosecution if some other witnesses shall appear when President Marcos is no longer in office. More so was there suppression of vital evidence and harassment of witnesses. The disappearance of witnesses two weeks after Ninoy's assassination. According to J. Herrera, "nobody was looking for these persons because they said Marcos was in power. The assignment of the case to Presiding Justice Pamaran; no evidence at all that the assignment was indeed by virtue of a regular raffle, except the uncorroborated testimony of Justice Pamaran himself. The custody of the accused and their confinement in a military camp, instead of in a civilian jail.The monitoring of proceedings and developments from Malacaang and by Malacaang personnel. The partiality of Sandiganbayan betrayed by its decision: That President Marcos had wanted all of the twenty-six accused to be acquitted may not be denied. In rendering its decision, the Sandiganbayan overdid itself in favoring the presidential directive. Its bias and partiality in favor of the accused was clearly obvious. The evidence presented by the prosecution was totally ignored and disregarded. The record shows that the then President misused the overwhelming resources of the government and his authoritarian powers to corrupt and make a mockery of the judicial process in the Aquino-Galman murder cases. "This is the evil of one-man rule at its very worst." Our Penal Code penalizes "any executive officer who shall address any order or suggestion to any judicial authority with respect to any case or business coming within the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of justice." Impartial court is the very essence of due process of law. This criminal collusion as to the handling and treatment of the cases by public respondents at the secret Malacaang conference (and revealed only after fifteen months by Justice Manuel Herrera) completely disqualified respondent Sandiganbayan and voided ab initio its verdict. The courts would have no reason to exist if they were allowed to be used as mere tools of injustice, deception and duplicity to subvert and suppress the truth. More so, in the case at bar where the people and the world are entitled to know the truth, and the integrity of our judicial system is at stake. There was no double jeopardy. Courts' Resolution of acquittal was a void judgment for having been issued without jurisdiction. No double jeopardy attaches, therefore. A void judgment is, in legal effect, no judgment at all. By it no rights are divested. It neither binds nor bars anyone. All acts and all claims flowing out of it are void.

Motion to Disqualify/Inhibit should have been resolved ahead. In this case, petitioners' motion for reconsideration of the abrupt dismissal of their petition and lifting of the TRO enjoining the Sandiganbayan from rendering its decision had been taken cognizance of by the Court which had required the respondents', including the Sandiganbayan's comments. Although no restraining order was issued anew, respondent Sandiganbayan should not have precipitately issued its decision of total absolution of all the accused pending the final action of this Court. All of the acts of the respondent judge manifest grave abuse of discretion on his part amounting to lack of jurisdiction which substantively prejudiced the petitioner. With the declaration of nullity of the proceedings, the cases must now be tried before an impartial court with an unbiased prosecutor. Respondents accused must now face trial for the crimes charged against them before an impartial court with an unbiased prosecutor with all due process. The function of the appointing authority with the mandate of the people, under our system of government, is to fill the public posts. Justices and judges must ever realize that they have no constituency, serve no majority nor minority but serve only the public interest as they see it in accordance with their oath of office, guided only the Constitution and their own conscience and honor.

G.R. No. 149453

April 1, 2003

People of The Philippines vs. Panfilo M. Lacson Facts: Petitioner asserts that retroactive application of penal laws should also cover procedures, and that these should be applied only to the sole benefit of the accused. Petitioner asserts that Sec 8 was meant to reach back in time to provide relief to the accused in line with the constitutional guarantee to the right to speedy trial. Issues: Ruling: The rule should be applied prospectively. The court upheld the petitioners contention that while section 8 secures the rights of the accused, it doesnt & shouldnt preclude the equally important right of the State to public justice. If a procedural rule impairs a vested right, or would work injustice, the said rule may not be given a retroactive application. The Court isnt mandated to apply rules retroactively just because its favorable to the accused. The time-bar under the new rule is intended to benefit both the State & the accused. When the rule was approved by the court, it intended that the rule be applied prospectively and not retroactively, for to do so would be tantamount to the denial of the States right to due process. A retroactive application would result in absurd, unjust & oppressive consequences to the State & to the victims of crimes & their heirs. Whether or not the 5 Associate Justices inhibit themselves from deciding in the Motion for reconsideration given they were only appointed in the SC after his Feb. 19, 2002 oral arguments. Whether or not the application of the time-bar under section 8 of RCP 117 be given a retroactive application without reservations, only & solely on the basis of its being favorable to the accused.