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IN BANC GR No. L- 47006 June 26, 1940 PEDRO DE LEON, appellant, vs. ALEJO

IN BANC

GR No. L-47006 June 26, 1940

PEDRO DE LEON, appellant, vs. ALEJO MABANAG, Prosecutor of the City of Manila, appealed.

D. Pedro de Leon in his own representation. The Prosecutor appealed in his own representation.

IMPERIAL, J .: chanrobles virtual law library

The purpose of this prohibitory injunction is to prevent the District Attorney of the City of Manila from continuing the preliminary investigation against the Complainant for the crime of forgery of a public document and present a complaint against the same appellant, for the aforementioned offense, before the Court of First Instance of the aforementioned city. The request was originally filed with the Court of Appeals of which I certify and endorse the matter to this Supreme Court as it corresponds to its knowledge and ruling.

In case RG No. 46153 of this Court, entitled "Pedro de Leon, plaintiff-appellant, against Felipe Juyco, defendant-appealed", the main and decisive controversy was whether the document marked Exhibit V-1 was genuine or false, presented during the trial held in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga by the appellant. After he had presented his argument, as appellant, the defendant-appellee filed a motion in which I claim that the Exhibit V-1 that was attached to the file was false, because it was not the same Exhibit V-1 that had been presented at trial , and requested that an investigation be carried out by the Tribunal regarding said document and, in the event that it be false, that the prosecution of the persons found guilty be ordered. The Court ruled that the motion would be resolved when the matter is decided on the merits. The defendant-appellee asked for reconsideration of the resolution, but the Tribunal denied the petition stating that the parties abide by what has already been resolved. While the matter was pending, the defendant-appellee appealed to the Prosecutor of the City of Manila and filed a complaint against the appellant for falsifying the Exhibit V-1 document. The accused endorse the complaint to his assistant Francisco B. Albert and this official began the preliminary investigation, hearing the evidence presented by the defendant- appellee. After his presentation, the appellant requested the appellant to present his evidence, to which this object and requested that he postpone the investigation until this Court resolved the alleged falsification of the document. The respondent rejected the proposed postponement and wrote a letter to the appellant informing him that he was convinced of the commission of the crime by the evidence presented by the defendant- appellee, and that if the appellant did not present his evidence, it would be presented against the defendant. the Court of First Instance of Manila the complaint for falsification

of public document. It was then that the appellant went to the Court of Appeals and presented the appeal that is being considered.

In his answer, the respondent alleges that the question of whether the Exhibit V-1 is genuine or false is not prejudicial, nor the pending of the matter before this Tribunal is an obstacle to the prosecution of the appellant for the crime of forgery of said document. He further argues that the power that the law has conferred on him to prosecute crimes can not be contracted or suspended by the courts. We declare that the theory that sustains the respondent, as Prosecutor of the City of Manila, is erroneous.

According to Article 3. , Chapter II, First Title, First Book, of the Spanish Criminal Procedure Law, which still applies in this jurisdiction with a supplementary character and whose provisions are applied as a principle of law in everything that is not opposes or contradicts any positive provision of any law (Almeida Chan Tanco et al., Abaroa, 8 Jur. Fil., 174, Berbari contra Concepcion et al., 40 Jur. Fil., 881) are prejudicial to the proposed civil and administrative issues on the occasion of the facts prosecuted in a criminal case. The Spanish Legal Encyclopedia, volume X, p. 228, edition of Seix, defines the question, prejudicial saying that '

Generally speaking, the power of the Prosecutor and his duty to prosecute crimes should not be controlled and not curtailed by the courts; but there is no doubt that this faculty can be regulated so that it is not abused. When a member of the Public Prosecutor's Office deviates from the law and hinders the proper administration of justice by prosecuting a person for facts constituting a crime that are sub judice and from which an administrative pre-judicial question is proposed, it is the duty of the courts to call him the attention and force him to suspend all criminal action until the administrative preliminary ruling question has finally been decided.

The preliminary investigation that is being practiced by one of his assistants is the procedure prior to the criminal action for the crime of falsification of the V-1 document, and the complaint with which he has threatened the appellant is what will begin to criminal action. For this reason the appeal filed by the appellant is justified and it is appropriate for the appellant to refrain from proceeding with the preliminary investigation and to file a complaint against the appellant for the crime of forgery of the V-1 document, until this Court has definitively resolved the motion to reconsider the decision promulgated in the civil case, motion for reconsideration that is pending until now.

The appeal is granted and the appellant is ordered to refrain from proceeding with the preliminary investigation and to file a complaint against the appellant for the crime of falsification of the V-1 document, until this Court has finally resolved the motion for reconsideration. that has been filed by the defendant-appealed in the case RG No. 46153, without costs. This is how it is ordered.

Avance a, Pres., Diaz and Laurel, MM., Are satisfied. Villa-Real and Concepcion, MM., Did not take part.

Separate Opinions

MORAN, J., dissident: chanrobles virtual law library

The general rule is that when there is a civil and a criminal question about the same crime or offense, the second must be seen before the first one, for the reason that the

forms of a criminal trial are the most appropriate for the investigation of a crime. crime, and not a civil trial. This rule has, however, an exception, and it is the one that refers to

a preliminary civil question. A civil question is of prejudicial nature and must be resolved

before a criminal question, when it is about a different and separate fact of the crime, but so intimately linked to the one that determines the guilt or innocence of the accused. For example, a civil action on the nullity of a second marriage is prejudicial and must be resolved before the criminal action for bigamy. The same a civil action on title of property must be prosecuted before a criminal action for damage to that property. The reason is that in these cases the forms of a civil process, and not those of

a trial or criminal, are the most purpose to prosecute, for example, the question of the

validity or nullity of a marriage. But, in all these cases, the civil law question refers to a

dispute of a purely civil character but linked in such a way to the offense that is the criminal question, which is determinant of the guilt or innocence of the accused. Of which it is deduced that when, as in the present case, the civil question is about the same criminal act to which the criminal question refers, there is no pre-judicial question, and, therefore, The general rule is that the criminal question must be resolved before the civil question. This under the assumption that counterfeiting is a question necessarily involved in the civil matter, which is inaccurate. That question is extraneous to the terms of the controversy that gave rise to the civil matter, which can be decided without needing to declare whether or not there was such a falsification. The criminal process, therefore, can be initiated without the need to suspend the ruling on the civil matter, since the two cases deal with different issues.

I will now proceed to demonstrate the truth of these conclusions.