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THIRD DIVISION

TEODORO C. BORLONGAN, JR., G.R. No. 143591


CORAZON M. BEJASA, ARTURO E.
MANUEL, JR., ERIC L. LEE, P.
SIERVO H. DIZON, BENJAMIN DE Present:
LEON, DELFIN C. GONZALEZ, JR.,
and BEN YU LIM, JR., YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.,
Petitioners, Chairperson,
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
- versus - CHICO-NAZARIO,
NACHURA, and
MAGDALENO M. PEA and HON. REYES, JJ.
MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., as Judge
Designate of the Municipal Trial Court in Promulgated:
Cities, Bago City,
Respondents. November 23, 2007

x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x

DECISION

NACHURA, J.:

[1]
For review is the Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated June 20, 2000 in CA-G.R. SP
No. 49666 dismissing the petition for certiorari filed by petitioners Teodoro C. Borlongan, Jr.,
Corazon M. Bejasa, Arturo Manuel, Jr., Benjamin de Leon, P. Siervo Dizon, Delfin C. Gonzalez,
Jr., Eric Lee and Ben T. Lim, Jr.

The factual and procedural antecedents of the case are as follows:

Respondent Magdaleno Pea instituted a civil case for recovery of agents compensation and
[2]
expenses, damages, and attorneys fees, against Urban Bank and the petitioners, before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Negros Occidental, Bago City. The case was raffled to Branch 62
and was docketed as Civil Case No. 754. Respondent anchored his claim for compensation on the
[3]
contract of agency allegedly entered into with the petitioners wherein the former undertook to
perform such acts necessary to prevent any intruder and squatter from unlawfully occupying
Urban Banks property located along Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Petitioners filed a Motion to
[4]
Dismiss arguing that they never appointed the respondent as agent or counsel. Attached to the
[5]
motion were the following documents: 1) a letter dated December 19, 1994 signed by Herman
Ponce and Julie Abad on behalf of Isabela Sugar Company, Inc. (ISCI), the original owner of the
[6]
subject property; 2) an unsigned letter dated December 7, 1994 addressed to Corazon Bejasa
[7]
from Marilyn G. Ong; 3) a letter dated December 9, 1994 addressed to Teodoro Borlongan and
[8]
signed by Marilyn G. Ong; and 4) a Memorandum dated November 20, 1994 from Enrique
Montilla III. Said documents were presented in an attempt to show that the respondent was
appointed as agent by ISCI and not by Urban Bank or by the petitioners.

In view of the introduction of the above-mentioned documents, respondent Pea filed his
[9] [10]
Complaint-Affidavit with the Office of the City Prosecutor, Bago City. He claimed that
said documents were falsified because the alleged signatories did not actually affix their
[11]
signatures, and the signatories were neither stockholders nor officers and employees of ISCI.
Worse, petitioners introduced said documents as evidence before the RTC knowing that they
were falsified.

[12]
In a Resolution dated September 23, 1998, the City Prosecutor concluded that the petitioners
were probably guilty of four (4) counts of the crime of Introducing Falsified Documents
penalized by the second paragraph of Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). The City
Prosecutor concluded that the documents were falsified because the alleged signatories
untruthfully stated that ISCI was the principal of the respondent; that petitioners knew that the
documents were falsified considering that the signatories were mere dummies; and that the
documents formed part of the record of Civil Case No. 754 where they were used by petitioners
as evidence in support of their motion to dismiss, adopted in their answer and later, in their Pre-
[13] [14]
Trial Brief. Subsequently, the corresponding Informations were filed with the Municipal
Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Bago City. The cases were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 6683,
[15]
6684, 6685, and 6686. Thereafter, Judge Primitivo Blanca issued the warrants for the arrest
of the petitioners.

On October 1, 1998, petitioners filed an Omnibus Motion to Quash, Recall Warrants of Arrest
[16]
and/or For Reinvestigation. Petitioners insisted that they were denied due process because of
the non-observance of the proper procedure on preliminary investigation prescribed in the Rules
of Court. Specifically, they claimed that they were not afforded the right to submit their counter-
affidavit. They then argued that since no such counter-affidavit and supporting documents were
submitted by the petitioners, the trial judge merely relied on the complaint-affidavit and
attachments of the respondent in issuing the warrants of arrest, also in contravention of the Rules.
Petitioners further prayed that the information be quashed for lack of probable cause. Lastly,
petitioners posited that the criminal case should have been suspended on the ground that the issue
being threshed out in the civil case is a prejudicial question.

[17]
In an Order dated November 13, 1998, the court denied the omnibus motion primarily on the
ground that preliminary investigation was not available in the instant case --- which fell within
the jurisdiction of the MTCC. The court, likewise, upheld the validity of the warrant of arrest,
saying that it was issued in accordance with the Rules. Besides, the court added, petitioners could
no longer question the validity of the warrant since they already posted bail. The court also
believed that the issue involved in the civil case was not a prejudicial question, and thus, denied
the prayer for suspension of the criminal proceedings. Lastly, the court was convinced that the
Informations contained all the facts necessary to constitute an offense.

Petitioners subsequently instituted a special civil action for Certiorari and Prohibition with
Prayer for Writ of Preliminary Injunction and TRO, before the CA ascribing grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the MTCC in issuing and not
[18]
recalling the warrants of arrest, reiterating the arguments in their omnibus motion. They,
likewise, questioned the courts conclusion that by posting bail, petitioners already waived their
right to assail the validity of the warrant of arrest.

[19]
On June 20, 2000, the CA dismissed the petition. Hence, the instant petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Petitioners now raise before us the following
issues:

A.

Where the offense charged in a criminal complaint is not cognizable by the Regional Trial Court and
not covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure, is the finding of probable cause required for the
filing of an Information in court?

If the allegations in the complaint-affidavit do not establish probable cause, should not the
investigating prosecutor dismiss the complaint, or at the very least, require the respondent to submit
his counter-affidavit?

B.

Can a complaint-affidavit containing matters which are not within the personal knowledge of the
complainant be sufficient basis for the finding of probable cause?

C.

Where the offense charged in a criminal complaint is not cognizable by the Regional Trial Court and
not covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure, and the record of the preliminary investigation does
not show the existence of probable cause, should not the judge refuse to issue a warrant of arrest and
dismiss the criminal case, or at the very least, require the accused to submit his counter-affidavit in
order to aid the judge in determining the existence of probable cause?

D.

Can a criminal prosecution be restrained?

E.

[20]
Can this Honorable Court itself determine the existence of probable cause?
[21]
On August 2, 2000, this Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining the
judge of the MTCC from proceeding in any manner with Criminal Cases Nos. 6683 to 6686,
effective during the entire period that the case is pending before, or until further orders of, this
Court.

With the MTCC proceedings suspended, we now proceed to resolve the issues raised.

Respondents contend that the foregoing issues had become moot and academic when the
petitioners posted bail and were arraigned.

We do not agree.

It appears that upon the issuance of the warrant of arrest, petitioners immediately posted
bail as they wanted to avoid embarrassment being then the officers of Urban Bank. On the
scheduled date for the arraignment, despite the petitioners refusal to enter a plea, the court
entered a plea of Not Guilty.

The earlier ruling of this Court that posting of bail constitutes a waiver of the right to
[22]
question the validity of the arrest has already been superseded by Section 26, Rule 114 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Furthermore, the principle that the accused is precluded
from questioning the legality of his arrest after arraignment is true only if he voluntarily enters
[23]
his plea and participates during trial, without previously invoking his objections thereto.

Records reveal that petitioners filed the omnibus motion to quash the information and warrant of
arrest, and for reinvestigation, on the same day that they posted bail. Their bail bonds likewise
expressly contained a stipulation that they were not waiving their right to question the validity of
[24]
their arrest. On the date of the arraignment, the petitioners refused to enter their plea,
obviously because the issue of the legality of the information and their arrest was yet to be settled
by the Court. This notwithstanding, the court entered a plea of Not Guilty. From these
circumstances, we cannot reasonably infer a valid waiver on the part of the petitioners, as to
preclude them from raising the issue of the validity of the arrest before the CA and eventually
before this Court.

In their petition filed before this Court, petitioners prayed for a TRO to restrain the MTCC from
proceeding with the criminal cases (which the Court eventually issued on August 2, 2000). Thus,
we confront the question of whether a criminal prosecution can be restrained, to which we answer
in the affirmative.

As a general rule, the Court will not issue writs of prohibition or injunction, preliminary or final,
to enjoin or restrain criminal prosecution. However, the following exceptions to the rule have
been recognized: 1) when the injunction is necessary to afford adequate protection to the
constitutional rights of the accused; 2) when it is necessary for the orderly administration of
justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions; 3) when there is a prejudicial question
which is sub judice; 4) when the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority; 5) where
the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation; 6) when double jeopardy is
clearly apparent; 7) where the Court has no jurisdiction over the offense; 8) where it is a case of
persecution rather than prosecution; 9) where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by
the lust for vengeance; and 10) when there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and
[25]
a motion to quash on that ground has been denied.

Considering that the issues for resolution involve the validity of the information and warrant of
arrest, and considering further that no waiver of rights may be attributed to the petitioners as
earlier discussed, we issued a TRO on August 2, 2000 to give the Court the opportunity to
resolve the case before the criminal prosecution is allowed to continue. The nature of the crime
and the penalty involved (which is less than 4 years of imprisonment), likewise, necessitate the
suspension of the case below in order to prevent the controversy from being mooted.

We now proceed with the main issues, viz.: 1) whether petitioners were deprived of their right to
due process of law because of the denial of their right to preliminary investigation and to submit
their counter-affidavit; 2) whether the Informations charging the petitioners were validly filed and
the warrants for their arrest were properly issued; and 3) whether this Court can, itself, determine
probable cause.

As will be discussed below, the petitioners could not validly claim the right to preliminary
investigation. Still, petitioners insist that they were denied due process because they were not
afforded the right to submit counter-affidavits which would have aided the court in determining
[26]
the existence of probable cause. Petitioners also claim that the respondents complaint-
affidavit was not based on the latters personal knowledge; hence, it should not have been used by
[27]
the court as basis in its finding of probable cause. Moreover, petitioners aver that there was
no sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the crime. Specifically, it was not established that
the documents in question were falsified; that petitioners were the ones who presented the
[28]
documents as evidence; and that petitioners knew that the documents were indeed falsified.
Petitioners likewise assert that at the time of the filing of the complaint-affidavit, they had not yet
formally offered the documents as evidence; hence, they could not have introduced the same in
[29]
court. Considering the foregoing, petitioners pray that this Court, itself, determine whether or
[30]
not probable cause exists.
[31]
The pertinent provisions of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, namely, Sections 1, 3 (a)
and 9(a) of Rule 112, are relevant to the resolution of the aforesaid issues:

SECTION 1. Definition. Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding for the purpose of


determining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime
cognizable by the Regional Trial Court has been committed and that the respondent is probably
[32]
guilty thereof, and should be held for trial.

SEC. 3. Procedure. Except as provided for in Section 7 hereof, no complaint or information for an
offense cognizable by the Regional Trial Court shall be filed without a preliminary investigation
having been first conducted in the following manner:

(a) The complaint shall state the known address of the respondent and be accompanied by
affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses as well as other supporting documents, in
such number of copies as there are respondents, plus two (2) copies of the official file.
The said affidavits shall be sworn to before any fiscal, state prosecutor or government
official authorized to administer oath, or, in their absence or unavailability, a notary
public, who must certify that he personally examined the affiants and that he is satisfied
[33]
that they voluntarily executed and understood their affidavits.

SEC. 9. Cases not falling under the original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts not covered by
the Rule on Summary Procedure.

(a) Where filed with the fiscal. If the complaint is filed directly with the fiscal or state prosecutor, the
procedure outlined in Section 3 (a) of this Rule shall be observed. The Fiscal shall take appropriate
[34]
action based on the affidavits and other supporting documents submitted by the complainant.

Petitioners were charged with the offense defined and penalized by the second paragraph
[35]
of Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code. The penalty imposable is arresto mayor in its
maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period, or four (4) months and one (1)
day to two (2) years and four (4) months. Clearly, the case is cognizable by the Municipal Trial
[36]
Court and preliminary investigation is not mandatory.

Records show that the prosecutor relied merely on the complaint-affidavit of the
respondent and did not require the petitioners to submit their counter-affidavits. The prosecutor
should not be faulted for taking this course of action, because it is sanctioned by the Rules. To
reiterate, upon the filing of the complaint and affidavit with respect to cases cognizable by the
MTCC, the prosecutor shall take the appropriate action based on the affidavits and other
supporting documents submitted by the complainant. It means that the prosecutor may either
dismiss the complaint if he does not see sufficient reason to proceed with the case, or file the
information if he finds probable cause. The prosecutor is not mandated to require the submission
of counter-affidavits. Probable cause may then be determined on the basis alone of the affidavits
and supporting documents of the complainant, without infringing on the constitutional rights of
the petitioners.
On the other hand, for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the judge must personally
determine the existence of probable cause. Again, the petitioners insist that the trial judge erred in
issuing the warrant of arrest without affording them their right to submit their counter-affidavits.

Section 2, Article III of the Constitution provides:

SEC. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects
against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be
inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be
determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant
and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the
persons or things to be seized.

What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing
judge to satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause. But the judge is not required to
personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. Following established doctrine and
procedure, he shall (1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by
the prosecutor regarding the existence of probable cause, and on the basis thereof, he may already
make a personal determination of the existence of probable cause; and (2) if he is not satisfied
that probable cause exists, he may disregard the prosecutors report and require the submission of
supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of
[37]
probable cause.

In determining probable cause for the issuance of the warrant of arrest in the case at bench, we
find nothing wrong with the procedure adopted by the trial judge --- he relied on the resolution of
the prosecutor, as well as the supporting documents submitted by the respondent. There is no
provision of law or procedural rule which makes the submission of counter-affidavits mandatory
before the judge can determine whether or not there exists probable cause to issue the warrant.

In light of the foregoing, it appears that the proper procedure was followed by the prosecutor in
determining probable cause for the filing of the informations, and by the trial court judge in
determining probable cause for the issuance of the warrants of arrest. To reiterate, preliminary
investigation was not mandatory, and the submission of counter-affidavit was not necessary.

However, notwithstanding the proper observance of the procedure laid down by the Rules, a
closer scrutiny of the records reveals that the Informations should not have been filed and the
warrants of arrest should not have been issued, because of lack of probable cause.

Probable cause, for purposes of filing a criminal information, has been defined as such facts as
are sufficient to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that the
[38]
accused is probably guilty thereof. It is the existence of such facts and circumstances as
would excite the belief in a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of the
[39]
prosecutor, that the person charged was guilty of the crime for which he is to be prosecuted.
A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that, more likely than not, a
[40]
crime has been committed and that it was committed by the accused.

On the other hand, we have defined probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest as the
existence of such facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent
[41]
person to believe that an offense has been committed by the person sought to be arrested.

To accord respect to the discretion granted to the prosecutor and for reasons of practicality, this
Court, as a rule, does not interfere with the prosecutors determination of probable cause.
Otherwise, courts would be swamped with petitions to review the prosecutors findings in such
[42]
investigations. In the same way, the general rule is that this Court does not review the factual
findings of the trial court, which include the determination of probable cause for the issuance of a
[43]
warrant of arrest. It is only in exceptional cases when this Court may set aside the
conclusions of the prosecutor and the trial judge on the existence of probable cause, that is, when
it is necessary to prevent the misuse of the strong arm of the law or to protect the orderly
[44]
administration of justice. The facts obtaining in the present case warrant the application of
the exception.

Petitioners were charged with violation of par. 2, Article 172 of the RPC or Introduction of
Falsified Document in a Judicial Proceeding. The elements of the offense are as follows:

1. That the offender knew that a document was falsified by another person.

2. That the false document is embraced in Article 171 or in any subdivisions No. 1 or 2 of
Article 172.

[45]
3. That he introduced said document in evidence in any judicial proceeding.

The falsity of the document and the defendants knowledge of its falsity are essential elements of
[46]
the offense.

The Office of the City Prosecutor filed the Informations against the petitioners on the basis of the
complaint-affidavit of the respondent, together with the following attached documents: the
motion to dismiss and answer filed by the petitioners in Civil Case No. 754; petitioners pre-trial
brief in said case; the alleged falsified documents; a copy of the minutes of the regular meeting of
[47]
ISC during the election of the board; and the list of stockholders of ISC. On the basis of these
documents and on the strength of the affidavit executed by the respondent, the prosecutor
concluded that probable cause exists. These same affidavit and documents were used by the trial
court in issuing the warrant of arrest.
Contrary to the findings of the MTCC, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, we find the
complaint-affidavit and attachments insufficient to support the existence of probable cause.
Specifically, the respondent failed to sufficiently establish prima facie that the alleged documents
were falsified. In support of his claim of falsity of the documents, the private respondent stated in
his complaint-affidavit that Herman Ponce, Julie Abad and Marilyn Ong, the alleged signatories
of the questioned letters, did not actually affix their signatures; and that they were not actually
[48]
officers or stockholders of ISCI. He further claimed that Enrique Montillas signature
[49]
appearing in another memorandum addressed to respondent was forged. These are mere
assertions, insufficient to warrant the filing of the complaint or the issuance of the warrant of
arrest.

It must be emphasized that the affidavit of the complainant, or any of his witnesses, shall allege
facts within their (affiants) personal knowledge. The allegation of the respondent that the
signatures of Ponce, Abad, Ong and Montilla were falsified does not qualify as personal
knowledge. Nowhere in said affidavit did respondent state that he was present at the time of the
execution of the documents. Neither did he claim that he was familiar with the signatures of the
signatories. He simply made a bare assertion that the signatories were mere dummies of ISCI and
they were not in fact officers, stockholders or representatives of the corporation. At the very least,
[50]
the affidavit was based on respondents personal belief and not personal knowledge.
Considering the lack of personal knowledge on the part of the respondent, he could have
submitted the affidavit of other persons who are qualified to attest to the falsity of the signatures
appearing in the questioned documents. One cannot just claim that a certain document is falsified
without further stating the basis for such claim, i.e., that he was present at the time of the
execution of the document or he is familiar with the signatures in question. Otherwise, this could
lead to abuse and malicious prosecution. This is actually the reason for the requirement that
affidavits must be based on the personal knowledge of the affiant. The requirement assumes
added importance in the instant case where the accused were not made to rebut the complainants
allegation through counter-affidavits.

Neither can the respondent find support in the documents attached to his complaint-
affidavit. The minutes of the regular meeting, as well as the list of stockholders, could have
possibly shown that the signatories were not officers or stockholders of the corporation.
However, they did not at all show that the questioned documents were falsified. In the letter
allegedly signed by Ponce and Abad, there was no representation that they were the president and
corporate secretary of ISCI. Besides, the mere fact that they were not officers or stockholders of
ISCI does not necessarily mean that their signatures were falsified. They still could have affixed
their signatures as authorized representatives of the corporation.

True, a finding of probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence, or
on evidence beyond reasonable doubt. It does not require that the evidence would justify
conviction. Nonetheless, although the determination of probable cause requires less than
[51]
evidence which would justify conviction, it should at least be more than mere suspicion.
While probable cause should be determined in a summary manner, there is a need to examine the
evidence with care to prevent material damage to a potential accuseds constitutional right to
liberty and the guarantees of freedom and fair play, and to protect the State from the burden of
unnecessary expenses in prosecuting alleged offenses and holding trials arising from false,
[52]
fraudulent or groundless charges. It is, therefore, imperative for the prosecutor to relieve the
accused from the pain and inconvenience of going through a trial once it is ascertained that no
[53]
probable cause exists to form a sufficient belief as to the guilt of the accused.

Considering that the respondent failed to adduce sufficient evidence to support his claim that the
documents were falsified, it follows that the introduction of the questioned documents in Civil
Case No. 754 is not an offense punished by any provision of the Revised Penal Code or any other
law. The petitioners should not be burdened with court proceedings, more particularly a criminal
proceeding, if in the first place, there is no evidence sufficient to engender a well-founded belief
that an offense was committed.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated June
20, 2000, in CA-G.R. SP No. 49666 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Temporary
Restraining Order dated August 2, 2000 is hereby made permanent. Accordingly, the Municipal
Trial Court in Cities, City of Bago, is ORDERED to DISMISS Criminal Case Nos. 6683-86.

SO ORDERED.

ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA


Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice
Chairperson

MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO


Associate Justice Associate Justice

RUBEN T. REYES
Associate Justice
ATTESTATION
I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision were reached in consultation before the case
was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.

CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice
Chairperson, Third Division

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson's
Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation
before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.

REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief Justice

[1]
Penned by Associate Justice Romeo A. Brawner, with Associate Justices Quirino D. Abad Santos, Jr. and Andres B. Reyes, Jr., concurring;
rollo, pp. 50-60.
[2]
Rollo, pp. 61-66.
[3]
The contract was allegedly confirmed in a letter addressed to the respondent, the pertinent portion of which reads:
xxxx
This is to confirm the engagement of your services as the authorized representative of Urban Bank, specifically to hold and
maintain possession of our above [-]captioned property and to protect the same from former tenants, occupants or any other
person who are threatening to return to the said property and/or interfere with your possession of the said property for and in
our behalf.
You are likewise authorized to represent Urban Bank in any court action that you may institute to carry out your
aforementioned duties, and to prevent any intruder, squatter or any other person not otherwise authorized in writing by
Urban Bank from entering or staying in the premises. (Id. at 69).
[4]
Rollo, pp. 72-87.
[5]
Id. at 96.
[6]
Id. at 97.
[7]
Id. at 98.
[8]
Id. at 99.
[9]
Id. at 106-109.
[10]
The case was docketed as I.S. Case No. 9248.
[11]
Rollo, p. 108.
[12]
The dispositive portion of which reads:
Wherefore, In view of all the foregoing, undersigned finds probable cause that the crime of Introducing Falsified Documents in
evidence under par. 2, Article 172, RPC (4 counts) had been committed and that respondents Teodoro Borlongan, Delfin Gonzalez, Jr.,
Benjamin de Leon, P. Siervo Dizon, Eric Lee, Ben Lim, Jr., Corazon Bejasa, and Arturo Manuel are probably guilty.
Let Informations be filed with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, City of Bago, Philippines.
SO RESOLVED. (Id. at 110-114).
[13]
Rollo, pp. 113-114.
[14]
Id. at 115-122.
[15]
Id. at 123-126.
[16]
Id. at 127-142.
[17]
The dispositive portion reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Omnibus Motion to Quash, Recall Warrants of Arrest and/or For reinvestigation is hereby
denied.
Set arraignment of the accused on December 1, 1998 at 8:30 oclock in the morning.
SO ORDERED. (Id. at 143-150).

[18]
Rollo, pp. 151-186.
[19]
Supra note 1.
[20]
Rollo, pp. 13-14.
[21]
Id. at 518-522.

[22]
Sec. 26. Bail not a bar to objections on illegal arrest, lack of or irregular preliminary investigation. An application for or admission to
bail shall not bar the accused from challenging the validity of his arrest or the legality of the warrant issued therefor, or from assailing the
regularity or questioning the absence of a preliminary investigation of the charge against him, provided that he raises them before entering his
plea. The court shall resolve the matter as early as practicable but not later than the start of the trial of the case.
[23]
People v. Vallejo, 461 Phil. 672, 686 (2003); People v. Palijon, 397 Phil. 545, 556 (2000); Go v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 101837,
February 11, 1992, 206 SCRA 138, 154.
[24]
CA rollo, pp. 902-903.

[25]
Andres v. Cuevas, G.R. No. 150869, June 9, 2005, 460 SCRA 38, 51-52; Samson v. Secretary Guingona, Jr., 401 Phil. 167, 172 (2000).
[26]
Rollo, p. 651.
[27]
Id. at 696.
[28]
Id. at 700-702.
[29]
Id. at 714.
[30]
Id. at 725.
[31]
As amended, per Supreme Court Resolutions dated June 17, 1988 and July 7, 1988. The Rules were further revised and approved on
October 3, 2000, which took effect on December 1, 2000.
[32]
RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, Rule 112, Sec. 1 reads:
SECTION 1. Preliminary investigation defined; when required. Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to determine
whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty
thereof, and should be held for trial.
Except as provided in section 7 of this Rule, a preliminary investigation is required to be conducted before the filing of a complaint
or information for an offense where the penalty prescribed by law is at least four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day without regard to
the fine.
[33]
Section 3(a) of the New Rules states:
SECTION 3. Procedure. The preliminary investigation shall be conducted in the following manner:
(a) The complaint shall state the address of the respondent and shall be accompanied by the affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses, as
well as other supporting documents to establish probable cause. They shall be in such number of copies as there are respondents, plus two (2)
copies for the official file. The affidavits shall be subscribed and sworn to before any prosecutor or government official authorized to
administer oath, or, in their absence or unavailability, before a notary public, each of whom must certify that he personally examined the
affiants and that he is satisfied that they voluntarily executed and understood their affidavits.
[34]
Rule 112, Sec. 9 is presently worded as follows:
Cases not requiring a preliminary investigation nor covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure.
(a) If filed with the prosecutor. If the complaint is filed directly with the prosecutor involving an offense punishable by imprisonment of less
than four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day, the procedure outlined in section 3(a) of this Rule shall be observed. The prosecutor shall
act on the complaint based on the affidavits and other supporting documents submitted by the complainant within ten (10) days from its filing.
[35]
Article 172.
xxxx
Any person who shall knowingly introduce in evidence in any judicial proceeding or to the damage of another or who, with the intent
to cause such damage, shall use any of the false documents embraced in the next preceding article or in any of the foregoing subdivisions of
this article, shall be punished by the penalty next lower in degree.
[36]
Villanueva v. Judge Almazan, 384 Phil. 776, 784 (2000); Del Rosario, Jr. v. Judge Bartolome, 337 Phil. 330, 333 (1997).

[37]
AAA v. Carbonell, G.R. No. 171465, June 8, 2007; Ho v. People, 345 Phil. 597, 605-606 (1997); Soliven v. Makasiar, No. L-82585,
November 14, 1988, 167 SCRA 393, 398.
[38]
Sarigumba v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 154239-41, February 16, 2005, 451 SCRA 533, 550.

[39]
Ladlad v. Velasco, G.R. Nos. 172070-72, June 1, 2007.
[40]
Sarigumba v. Sandiganbayan, supra note 38.
[41]
Id; Cuevas v. Muoz, 401 Phil. 752, 773 (2000); Ho v. People, supra note 37, at 608.
[42]
Ladlad v. Velasco, supra note 39.
[43]
De Joya v. Marquez, G.R. No. 162416, January 31, 2006, 481 SCRA 376, 381.
[44]
Id.; Ladlad v. Velasco, supra note 39.
[45]
Reyes, The Revised Penal Code, Book Two, 1998 ed., p. 246.
[46]
Aquino, The Revised Penal Code, Vol. II, 1987 ed., p. 270.
[47]
Rollo, pp. 110-114.

[48]
Id. at 108-109.
[49]
Id. at 109.
[50]
See Nala v. Judge Barroso, Jr., 455 Phil. 999, 1011 (2003) in which the Court held that the affidavit and testimony of the witnesses that
the petitioner had no license to possess a firearm do not qualify as personal knowledge but only personal belief because they did not verify nor
secure a certification from an appropriate government agency that petitioner was not licensed to possess a firearm.
[51]
See AAA v. Carbonell, G.R. No. 171465, June 8, 2007; and Hon. Drilon v. CA, 327 Phil. 916, 922 (1996), where the Court found that
there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the prosecutor in finding probable as the evidence, taken altogether constitute probable
cause.

[52]
Ching v. Secretary of Justice, G.R. No. 164317, February 6, 2006, 481 SCRA 609, 629-630; Preferred Home Specialties, Inc. v. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 163593, December 16, 2005, 478 SCRA 387, 410.
[53]
R.R. Paredes v. Calilung, G.R. No. 156055, March 5, 2007, 517 SCRA 369, 395.