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What is the rule on duplicity of offenses?

As a general rule, a complaint or information must charge only one offense, except when the law provides only one punishment for various
offenses (compound and complex crimes under Art. 48 of the RPC and special complex crimes).
A complaint or information that charges more than one offense is considered as defective but it can be the basis of a valid conviction.
What is the reason for the rule against duplicitous complaint or information?
The reason for the rule is to enable the accused to have the necessary knowledge of the charge against him and to be able to prepare and
prove his defense.
What is the remedy of the accused against a duplicitous information or complaint?
The remedy of the accused is to file a motion to quash pursuant to Section 3 (f) of Rule 117.
The information remains valid even if it is duplicitous. It is up to the accused to raise or question the defect by filing the proper motion to
quash before he pleads to the charge.

What is the effect of the failure of the accused to object to a duplicitous information?
If the accused fails to object before arraignment, the right is deemed waived, and he may be convicted of as many offenses as there are
charged if proved by the prosecution.
Some situational examples:
X fired his gun once, but the bullet killed two persons. He was charged with two counts of homicide in one information.

Can he be convicted under that information?


Yes. It falls under the exception to the rule. This is a compound crime in which one act results in two or more grave or less grave felonies. The
law provides only one penalty for the two offenses.
X was charged with both robbery and estafa in one information.

Can he be convicted of both offenses?


It depends. If he objects to the duplicitous information before arraignment, he cannot be convicted under the information. But if he fails to
object before arraignment, he can be convicted of as many offenses as there are in the information.
How does this rule on duplicitous informations affect the rules on continuing offenses (delito continuados)?
First lets take a look at the various views on continuing offenses.
Delito Continuado or Continuing offense exists if there is a plurality of acts performed during a period of time, unity of penal provision violated,
and unity of criminal intent or purpose which means that two or more violations of the same penal provisions are united in one and the same
intent or resolution leading to the perpetration of the same criminal purpose or aim.

Delito Continuado or continuing offense consists of several crimes but in reality, there is only one crime in the mind of the perpetrator.

Delito Continuado or continuing offense consists of a series of acts arising from one criminal intent or resolution.

In the above views, since there is only a single criminal intent, even though there is a series of criminal acts, only one information should be
filed against the offender.
Example:
The taking of the accused of several things, whether belonging to the same or different owners, at the same time and place constitutes but
one larceny.
In American jurisprudence, the applicable principle is the Single Larceny Doctrine which looks at the commission of the different criminal
acts as but one continuous act involving the same transaction or as done on the same occasion.

The above doctrine, which we adopted, abandoned the Separate Larceny Doctrine which views that there is as many larceny as there are
properties taken from the victim or victims. Also abandoned was the doctrine that the government has the discretion to prosecute the accused
for one offense or for as many distinct offenses as there are victims.

To stick with the abandoned rules would violate the constitutional guarantee against putting a man in jeopardy twice for the same offense. It
has also been observed that the doctrine of Single Larceny is humane since if a separate charge could be filed for each act, the accused may
be sentenced to jail in perpetuity or for the rest of his life.

The law requires however that where the offense charged in the information is a complex crime as defined by law, every essential element of
each of the crimes constituting the complex felony must be stated in the information.

NOTE: The single larceny rule is commonly applied by our courts to malversation and falsification cases but not so in estafa cases.

In what cases is the name of the offended party indispensable?


Slander, robbery with violence or intimidation.
In what case is the name of the offended party dispensable?
In offenses against property, the name of the offended party may be dispensed with as long as the object taken or destroyed is particularly
described to property identify the offense.
What are the offenses in which the time of the commission of the offense is essential?
o

Infanticide

Violation of Sunday Statutes (Election Law)

Abortion

What are the offenses in which the particular place where the offense was committed is essential?
o

Violation of domicile

Penalty on the keeper, watchman, visitor of opium den

Trespass to dwelling

Violation of election law (prohibiting the carrying of a deadly weapon within a 30-meter radius of polling places)

In what case can an accused not be convicted of a crime different from that designated in the complaint or
information even if the recitals allege the commission of the crime?
o

a change of the theory of the trial

requires of the defendant a different defense

surprises the accused in any way

Some situational examples:


X was accused of illegal possession of firearms, but the information did not allege that X did not have any license to possess the firearm.
Is the information valid?
No. The absence of the license is an essential element of the offense. Therefore, it should be alleged in the complaint or information.
X was charged with illegal possession of opium. X contends that the information was invalid for failure to allege that he did not have a
prescription from a physician.

Is X correct?
No. The absence of the prescription is not an essential element of the offense and is only a matter of defense. It need not be alleged in the
information.
When should the error in the name or identity be raised by the accused?
The error should be raised before arraignment, or else it is deemed waived.
When is the error in the name of the accused not fatal to an information?
Error in the name of the accused will not nullify the information if it contains sufficient description of the person of the accused.
What is a private crime?
Private offenses are those which cannot be prosecuted except upon complaint filed by the aggrieved party. Strictly speaking, there is no such
thing as a private offense since all offenses are an outrage against the State. They are denominated as private offenses only to give
deference to the offended party who may prefer not to file the case instead of going through the scandal of a public trial.
What are the crimes that must be prosecuted upon complaint of the offended party?
o

Adultery and concubinage

Seduction, abduction, acts of lasciviousness

Defamation which consists in the imputation of an offense mentioned above

The above offenses fall under the category of private crimes. They can only be prosecuted at the instance of or upon complaint of the
offended or aggrieved party.

Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code expressly provides that no prosecution for the above offenses can be had unless there is a complaint
executed by the aggrieved party. Such execution of the complaint is a condition precedent. Non-compliance with the condition precedent is
jurisdictional. It is the complaint of the offended party that starts the prosecutor proceeding.
The mere filing of the sworn statement of the complainant upon which information is filed after conduct of preliminary investigation is sufficient
compliance with the law and the rules.

NOTE: The death of the offended party during the pendency of the case does not extinguish the criminal liability of the accused.

Adultery and Concubinage


The crimes of adultery and concubinage can only be prosecuted at the instance of the offended spouse.

If the guilty parties are both alive, the criminal complaint must be instituted against both.

A pardon extended by the offended party in favor of one should be applied to the other party.

In the prosecution of this kind of offenses, the complainant must have the status, capacity, and legal representation at the time of the filing of
the complaint. In short, the complainant must have legal capacity to sue locus standi.

Example:

Teves vs Vamenta (December 26, 1984)

An alleged offended spouse obtained a decree of divorce against the alleged offending spouse. The divorce decree was obtained abroad.
After obtaining said decree, the alleged offended spouse discovered his spouse with someone else.

Can he still file a criminal action against the offending spouse for adultery?
No more. By obtaining the divorce decree, he has lost the legal status or legal capacity to sue. He cannot now be considered as an offended
spouse.
What if the offended spouse died after filing the complaint?
In adultery and concubinage cases, the death of the offended party is not a ground for the extinguishment of the criminal liability, whether
partial or total, of the offending spouse. The participation of the offended party is essential not for the maintenance of the criminal action but
solely for the initiation thereof. The moment the offended party initiates the action, the law will be applied in full force beyond the control of,
and in spite of the complainant, his death notwithstanding.
What if one of the accused died in adultery or concubinage cases?
The death of one of the accused after a complaint for concubinage or adultery has been filed by the offended spouse does not affect the
prosecution against the surviving accused.
Seduction, Abduction, Acts of Lasciviousness

The crimes of seduction, abduction, and acts of lasciviousness may be prosecuted upon complaint of the offended party or her parents,
grandparent, or guardian.

The principle applicable here is parens patriae. (Note that this principle is not applicable to adultery and concubinage cases because in the
latter cases, they can only be prosecuted at the instance of the offended spouse.)
NOTE: If the offended party is already of age, she has the exclusive right to file the complaint unless she becomes incapacitated. The
parents, grandparents, and guardian only have exclusive, successive authority to file the case if the offended party is still a minor.

What if the offended party is a minor?


In cases of seduction, abduction, and acts of lasciviousness where the victim is a minor, the rule is that the minor may still initiate the
prosecution of the case independent of her parents, grandparents, or guardian.
Where the offended party who is a minor cannot file the complaint by reason of her incapacity other than her minority, the parents,
grandparents or guardian may file the complaint. In such case, the right to file the complaint shall be successively and exclusively exercised
by said relatives.

In criminal actions where the civil liability includes support for the offspring, the application for support pendente lite may be filed successively
by the offended party, her parents, grandparents, or guardian, and even the State in the corresponding criminal case during its pendency.

What if the offended party is incapacitated or incompetent?


In cases of seduction, abduction, and acts of lasciviousness where the victim is incapacitated or otherwise incompetent, the complaint may
be filed in her behalf by her parents, grandparents, or guardian.
If the offended party dies or becomes incapacitated before she could file the necessary complaint, and she has no known parents,
grandparents, or guardian, the State shall initiate the criminal action in her behalf.

Defamation involving the imputation of adultery, concubinage, abduction, seduction, or acts of lasciviousness

This may only be prosecuted at the instance of the offended party. There is no successive or exclusive initiation of criminal complaint in this
instance unlike in the other private crimes. The offended party must initiate the complaint herself or himself.

What is the distinction between the control by the prosecution and the control by the court?
Before a case is filed in court, the prosecution has control over the following: (WWMR)

What case to file

Whom to prosecute

The manner of prosecution

The right to withdraw the case before arraignment even without notice and hearing.

After a case is filed in court, the court has control over the following: (TRPDD)

The suspension of arraignment

Reinvestigation

Prosecution by the prosecutor

Dismissal

Downgrading of the offense or dropping of the accused even before plea

May criminal prosecutions be restrained?


The general rule is that no criminal prosecution may be restrained or stayed by any injunctive writ, preliminary or final. Public interest requires
that criminal acts be immediately investigated and prosecuted for the protection of the society.
Can a prosecutor be compelled to file a particular complaint or information?
No. A prosecutor is under no compulsion to file a particular criminal information where he is not convinced that he has evidence to support
the allegations thereof. Neither an injunction, preliminary or final, nor a writ pf prohibition may be issued by the courts to restrain a criminal
prosecution except in the extreme case where it is necessary for the courts to do so for the orderly administration of justice or to prevent the
use of the strong arm of the law in an oppressive and vindictive manner.
The exercise of such judgment and discretion may generally not be compelled by mandamus, except if the prosecutor shows evident bias in
filing the information and refuses to include a co-accused without justification. But before filing for mandamus to compel a fiscal to include
another co-accused in the information, the party must first avail himself of other remedies such as the filing of a motion for inclusion.

Instances when an injunctive writ may issue:


o

To afford protection to the constitutional rights of the accused.

If it is necessary to the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of suits.

To avoid threatened and unlawful arrest.

If there is double jeopardy.

If there is clearly no prima facie case.

If the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority.

When there is a prejudicial question.

When the prosecution is under an invalid law.

Instances when a writ of certiorari may be available in criminal actions:


o

When necessary to afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of the accused.

When necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions.

When there is a pre-judicial question which is sub-judice.

When the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority.

Where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance, or regulation.

When double jeopardy is clearly apparent.

Where the court has no jurisdiction over the offense.

Where it is a case of persecution rather than prosecution.

Where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by the lust of vengeance.

When there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash on that ground has been
denied.

In case of conflict of views between the judge and the prosecutor, whose view should prevail?
In a clash of views between the judge who did not investigate and the prosecutor who did, or between the prosecutor and the offended party
or the defendant, those of the prosecutors should normally prevail.
To whom should you appeal the decision of the prosecutor?
The decision of the prosecutor may be modified by the Secretary of Justice or in special cases by the President of the Philippines.
What is the effect of lack of intervention by the prosecutor in criminal prosecutions?
Ordinarily, the proceedings had thereon without the participation of the government prosecutor may be considered a nullity.
However, a private prosecutor may be allowed to prosecute the case under the authority, supervision and control of the government
prosecutor. And provided all actions, pleadings or motions filed by the private prosecutor is with prior approval of the government prosecutor.

Note that a private prosecutor may be given the authority to prosecute a criminal action in the event that the public prosecutor has been
loaded with a heavy work schedule or if there is a lack of public prosecutors. The authorization shall be in writing by the Chief of the
Prosecution Office or the Regional State Prosecutor subject to the approval of the court (Pursuant to A.M. No. 02-2-07-SC, May 1, 2002).

Is the prosecutor required to be physically present in the trial of a criminal case?


According to People v. Beriales (1976 case), he should be present. If he is not physically present, it cannot be said that the prosecution was
under his direction and control.
But in People v. Malinao and Bravo v. CA, it was held that the proceedings are valid even without the physical presence of the Fiscal who left
the prosecution to the private prosecutor under his supervision and control.

Who prosecutes the criminal action in the absence of the prosecutor?


In the MTC, when the prosecutor assigned is absent or not available, the offended party, any peace officer or public officer charged with the
enforcement of the law violated may prosecute the case. Such authority ceases upon the intervention of the prosecutor or when the case is
elevated to the RTC.
After the case is filed in court, to whom should a motion to dismiss be addressed?
Once the information is filed in court, the court acquires jurisdiction. Whatever disposition the prosecutor may feel should be proper in the

case thereafter should be addressed for the consideration of the court, subject only to the limitation that the court should not impair the
substantial rights of the accused or the right of the people to due process.
Who acts on a motion for reinvestigation of the case after the filing of the information?
A motion for reinvestigation should, after the court has acquired jurisdiction over the case, be addressed to the trial judge and to him alone.
The Secretary of Justice, the State Prosecutor, or the city prosecutor may not interfere with the judges disposition of the case, much less
impose upon the court their opinion regarding the guilt or innocence of the accused once the information is filed in court, the latter being the
sole judge therof.
Once a complaint or information is filed in court, any disposition of the case as to its dismissal or the conviction or the acquittal of the
accused rests upon the sound discretion of the court. It does not matter if it is done before or after the arraignment of the accused or that the
motion is filed after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice.

Although the prosecutor retains the direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases even when the case is already in court, he
cannot impose his opinion on the trial court. The court is the sole judge on what to do with the case before it. The manner of terminating the
case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion to dismiss the case filed by the prosecutor should be addressed to the court
who has the option to grant or deny the same.

If, after he has filed the case, the prosecutor thinks that a prima facie case exists, can he refuse to
prosecute?
No, he cannot refuse to prosecute. He is obliged by law to proceed and prosecute the criminal action. He cannot impose his opinion on the
court.
What are the limitations on the control by the Court? (SINNATRa)
o

The Court has authority to review the Secretarys recommendation and reject if it there is grave abuse of
discretion.

To reject or grant a motion to dismiss, the court must make its own Independent assessment of the evidence.

Prosecution is entitled to Notice of hearing.

Judgment is void if there is No independent assessment and finding of grave abuse of discretion.

The Court must Await the result of a petition for review.

The ultimate Test of the courts independence is where the prosecutor files a motion to dismiss or withdraw the
information.

The prosecutions stand to maintain prosecution should be Respected by the court.

KEY CODE: SINNATRa

When is a complaint required?


A sworn written complaint is required if the offense is
o

one which cannot be prosecuted de officio, or

is private in nature (adultery, concubinage, abduction, seduction, acts of lasciviousness, defamation consisting in
the imputation of any of the above offenses), or

where it pertains to those cases which need to be endorsed by specific public authorities (Anti-Dummy Board with

respect to the Anti-Dummy Law, National Water and Air Pollution Control Commission with respect to the AntiPollution Law).
What is deemed included in the designation of the offense?
It includes all the essential elements composing the offense committed together with the qualifying and aggravating circumstances that
attended the commission of the offense. Matters of evidence need not be alleged in the complaint or information.
What is the scope of the act or omission subject of the complaint or information?
This refers to the cause of accusation. Every person accused of an offense is entitled to be duly informed of the nature and the cause for
which he is charged.
The actual recital of the facts as alleged in the body of the information constituting the gravamen of the offense for which the accused is
apprised of the charge against and not the designation in the title.

This involves, under the new rules, the inclusion in the information not only the essential elements of the offense charged but also the
modifying circumstances attendant in the commission of the offense. It is therefore necessary to allege in the information the qualifying and
aggravating circumstances that attended the commission of the offense. (Sec 8 & 9, Rule 110)

Is the inclusion of the exact date of the commission of the offense mandatory for the validity of the
information?
No. Such failure to include the exact date of the commission of the crime does not render defective the information. It remains valid as long
as it distinctly states the elements of the offense and the acts or omissions constitutive thereof. The exact date of the commission of a crime
is not an essential element of it.
It is only necessary to state the exact date and time of the commission of the offense when the same is an essential ingredient of the crime
charged. It is enough to allege that the crime was committed at any time as near to the actual date on which the crime was committed.

What is the meaning of the term Direction and Control of the prosecutor over the prosecution of criminal
actions?
It simply means that the institution of a criminal action depends upon the sound discretion of the prosecutor, he may or may not file the
complaint or information, follow or not follow that presented by the offended party, according to whether the evidence, in his opinion is
sufficient or not to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
What is the reason for giving the control and supervision to the prosecutor?
The reason for placing the criminal prosecution under the direction and control of the prosecutor is to prevent malicious or unfounded
prosecution by private persons. The prosecution of the criminal action cannot be controlled by the complainant.
Prosecuting officers under the power vested in them by law, not only have the authority but also the duty of prosecuting persons who,
according to the evidence received from the complainant, are shown to be guilty of the crime committed within the jurisdiction of their office.

They have equally the legal duty not to prosecute when after an investigation they become convinced that the evidence adduced is not
sufficient to establish a prima facie case.

In the Regional Trial Court, the prosecution of cases must be under the direction and control of the government prosecutor.

Is there a limitation on the power of discretion and control?


Yes. The power of the prosecutor is not without limitation or control. The same is subject to the approval of the provincial or city fiscal or the
chief state prosecutor as the case maybe. The resolution of the prosecutor maybe elevated for review to the Secretary of Justice who has the
power to affirm, modify, or reverse the action or the opinion of the prosecutor. Consequently, the Secretary of Jutice may direct that a motion

to dismiss the case be filed in court or otherwise, that information be filed in court. The moment the prosecutor files the case in court, any
matter relating to the disposition of the case shall be within the sound discretion of the court.
Supposed the prosecutor believes that that the evidence is not sufficient yet his superiors think otherwise,
can his superiors still compel him to prosecute?
The role of the prosecutor is to see to it that justice is done and not necessarily to secure the conviction of the person accused before the
courts. Thus, in spite of his opinion to the contrary, it is the duty of the prosecutor to proceed with the presentation of evidence of the
prosecution to the court to enable the court to arrive at its own independent judgment as to whether the accused should be convicted or
acquitted.
May the courts interfere with the prosecutors discretion and control of criminal prosecutions?
In general the courts cannot interfere with the prosecutors discretion and control of the criminal prosecution. It is not prudent or even
permissible for a court to compel the prosecutor to prosecute a proceeding originally initiated by him on the information, if he finds that the
evidence relied upon by him is insufficient for conviction. Neither has the court any power to order the prosecutor to prosecute or file the
information within a certain period of time, since this would interfere with the prosecutors discretion and control of criminal prosecutions. A
prosecutor who asks for the dismissal of the case for insufficiency of evidence has authority to do so, and courts that grant the same commit
no error.
The prosecutor may re-investigate a case and subsequently move for the dismissal should the re-investigation show either that the defendant
is innocent or that his guilt may not be established beyond reasonable doubt.

PROSECUTION OF OFFENSES CASES


DOCTRINES
Hunyo 17, 2012 by foobarph

in

Case Digest Criminal Procedure

Criminal Procedure

Macasaet vs People (453 SCRA 255)


o

In criminal actions, it is a fundamental rule that venue is jurisdictional. Thus, the place where the crime was
committed determines not only the venue of the action but is an essential element of jurisdiction.

The possible venues for the institution of the criminal and the civil aspects of said case are concisely outlined in
Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 4363.

In Agbayani v. Sayo, we summarized the foregoing rule in the following manner:


o

1. Whether the offended party is a public official or a private person, the criminal action may be filed in
the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published.

2. If the offended party is a private individual, the criminal action may also be filed in the Court of First
Instance of the province where he actually resided at the time of the commission of the offense.

3. If the offended party is a public officer whose office is in Manila at the time of the commission of the
offense, the action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila.

4. If the offended party is a public officer holding office outside of Manila, the action may be filed in the
Court of First Instance of the province or city where he held office at the time of the commission of the
offense.

It is jurisprudentially settled that jurisdiction of a court over a criminal case is determined by the allegations of the
complaint or information. In resolving a motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction, the general rule is that the
facts contained in the complaint or information should be taken as they are. The exception to this rule is where the
Rules of Court allow the investigation of facts alleged in a motion to quash such as when the ground invoked is the
extinction of criminal liability, prescriptions, double jeopardy, or insanity of the accused. In these instances, it is
incumbent upon the trial court to conduct a preliminary trial to determine the merit of the motion to dismiss. As
the present case obviously does not fall within any of the recognized exceptions, the trial court correctly dismissed
this action.

The OSG is the appellate counsel of the People of the Philippines in all criminal cases. In such capacity, it only
takes over a criminal case after the same has reached the appellate courts.

When a party files a notice of appeal, the trial courts jurisdiction over the case does not cease as a matter of
course; its only effect is that the appeal is deemed perfected as to him. As explained by our former colleague,
JusticeFlorenz Regalado . . [I]n the meantime, the trial court still retains jurisdiction over the case. However,

where all the parties have either thus perfected their appeals, by filing their notices of appeal in due time and the
period to file such notice of appeal has lapsed for those who did not do so, then the trial court loses jurisdiction
over the case as of the filing of the last notice of appeal or the expiration of the period to do so for all the parties.
Agustin vs Pamintuan (467 SCRA 601)
o

Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is
determined by the allegations in the complaint or Information, and the offense must have been committed or any
one of its essential ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

The rules on venue in Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code are as follows:
o

1. Whether the offended party is a public official or a private person, the criminal action may be filed in
the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published.

2. If the offended party is a private individual, the criminal action may also be filed in the Court of First
Instance of the province where he actually resided at the time of the commission of the offense.

3. If the offended party is a public officer whose office is in Manila at the time of the commission of the
offense, the action may be filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila.

4. If the offended party is a public officer holding office outside of Manila, the action may be filed in the
Court of First Instance of the province or city where he held office at the time of the commission of the
offense.

The residence of a person is his personal, actual or physical habitation or his actual residence or place of abode
provided he resides therein with continuity and consistency; no particular length of time of residence is required.
However, the residence must be more than temporary. The term residence involves the idea of something beyond
a transient stay in the place; and to be a resident, one must abide in a place where he had a house therein. To
create a residence in a particular place, two fundamental elements are essential: The actual bodily presence in
the place, combined with a freely exercised intention of remaining there permanently or for an indefinite time.
While it is possible that as the Acting General Manager of the Baguio Country Club, the petitioner may have been
actually residing in Baguio City, the Informations did not state that he was actually residing therein when the
alleged crimes were committed. It is entirely possible that the private complainant may have been actually

residing in another place. One who transacts business in a place and spends considerable time thereat does not
render such person a resident therein. Where one may have or own a business does not of itself constitute
residence within the meaning of the statute. Pursuit of business in a place is not conclusive of residence there for
purposes of venue.
Mobilia Products Inc vs Umezawa (452 SCRA 736)
o

All criminal actions commenced by complaint or information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of
the public prosecutor. When thecivil action for civil liability is instituted in the criminal action pursuant to Rule 111
of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, the offended party may intervene, by counsel, in the prosecution of the
offense. In Ramiscal, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan, we held that under Section 16, Rule 110 of the Rules of Criminal
Procedure, the offended party may intervene in the criminal action personally or by counsel, who will then act as
private prosecutor for the protection of his interests and in the interest of the speedy and inexpensive
administration of justice. A separate action for the purpose would only prove to be costly, burdensome and timeconsuming for both parties and further delay the final disposition of the case. The multiplicity of suits must be
avoided. With the implied institution of the civil action in the criminal action, the two actions are merged into one
composite proceeding, with the criminal action predominating the civil. The prime purpose of the criminal action
is to punish the offender in order to deter him and others from committing the same or similar offense, to isolate
him from society, reform and rehabilitate him or, in general, to maintain social order.

The intervention of the private offended party, through counsel, and his prosecution of the case shall be under the
control and supervision of the public prosecutor until the final termination of the case. A public prosecutor who
has been entrusted by law with the prosecution of criminal cases is duty-bound to take charge thereof until its final
termination, for under the law, he assumes full responsibility for his failure or success since he is the one more
adequately prepared to pursue it to its termination. The prosecution of offenses is a public function. Indeed, the
sole purpose of the civil action is the resolution, reparation or indemnification of the private offended party for the
damage or injury he sustained by reason of the delictual or felonious act of the accused.

The public prosecutor may turn over the actual prosecution of the criminal case, in the exercise of his discretion,
but he may, at any time, take over the actual conduct of the trial. However, it is necessary that the public

prosecutor be present at the trial until the final termination of the case; otherwise, if he is absent, it cannot be
gainsaid that the trial is under his supervision and control.
o

In a criminal case in which the offended party is the State, the interest of the private complainant or the offended
party is limited to the civil liability arising therefrom. Hence, if a criminal case is dismissed by the trial court or if
there is an acquittal, a reconsideration of the order of dismissal or acquittal may be undertaken, whenever legally
feasible, insofar as the criminal aspect thereof is concerned and may be made only by the public prosecutor; or in
the case of an appeal, by the State only, through the OSG. The private complainant or offended party may not
undertake such motion for reconsideration or appeal on the criminal aspect of the case. However, the offended
party or private complainant may file a motion for reconsideration of such dismissal or acquittal or appeal
therefrom but only insofar as the civil aspect thereof is concerned. In so doing, the private complainant or
offended party need not secure the conformity of the public prosecutor. If the court denies his motion for
reconsideration, the private complainant or offended party may appeal or file a petition for certiorari ormandamus,
if grave abuse amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction is shown and the aggrieved party has no right of appeal
or given an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.

It is settled that the jurisdiction of the court is not determined by what may be meted out to the offender after
trial or even by the result of the evidence that would be presented at the trial, but by the extent of the penalty
which the law imposes for the misdemeanor, crime or violation charged in the complaint. If the facts recited in the
complaint and the punishment provided for by law are sufficient to show that the court in which the complaint is
presented has jurisdiction, that court must assume jurisdiction.

Crespo vs Mogul (151 SCRA 462)


o

The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is filed in Court any disposition of the
case as its dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the Court.
Although the fiscal retains the direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is
already in Court he cannot impose his opinion on the trial court. The Court is the best and sole judge on what to do
with the case before it. The determination of the case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion
to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or deny the

same. It does not matter if this is done before or after the arraignment of the accused or that the motion was filed
after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records of the
investigation.
o

The role of the fiscal or prosecutor as We all know is to see that justice is done and not necessarily to secure the
conviction of the person accused before the Courts. Thus, in spite of his opinion to the contrary, it is the duty of
the fiscal to proceed with the presentation of evidence of the prosecution to the Court to enable the Court to arrive
at its own independent judgment as to whether the accused should be convicted or acquitted. The fiscal should
not shirk from the responsibility of appearing for the People of the Philippines even under such circumstances
much less should he abandon the prosecution of the case leaving it to the hands of a private prosecutor for then
the entire proceedings will be null and void. 37 The least that the fiscal should do is to continue to appear for the
prosecution although he may turn over the presentation of the evidence to the private prosecutor but still under
his direction and control.

Pecho vs People (262 SCRA 518)


o

For double jeopardy to exist, there must be such new information and the accused must be able to show that (1)
he has been previously brought to trial, (2) in a court of competent jurisdiction, (3) upon a valid complaint or
information sufficient in form and substance, (4) for the same offense or an attempt to or frustration thereof as
that charged in the new information, and that (5) the case has been dismissed or terminated without his consent
or after he had pleaded to the information but therefore judgment was rendered.

The evidence for the prosecution likewise failed to prove that the petitioner (1) personally represented himself as
an agent of Eversun Commercial Trading; (2) knew of the falsity of any of the public and commercial documents in
question; and (3) had, at any time, possession of all or some of the said documents.

Otherwise stated, there is no sufficient circumstantial evidence to prove conspiracy between the petitioner and
Catre to commit the complex crime of estafa through falsification of public and commercial documents. Neither is
there evidence of petitioners active participation in the commission of the crime. The con-cordant combination
and cumulative effect of the acts of the petitioner as proven by the prosecutions evidence fails to satisfy the
requirements of Section 4, Rule 133 of the Rules of court. There is reasonable doubt as to his guilt. And since his

constitutional right to be presumed innocent unit proven guilty can be over-thrown only by proof beyond
reasonable doubt, the petitioner must then be acquitted even though his innocence may be doubted.
People vs Ave GR 137274-75 Oct 18, 2008
o

The penalty for murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659,[51] is
reclusion perpetua to death while the penalty prescribed for aggravated illegal possession of firearm, i.e., the
killing of a person with the use of an unlicensed firearm, under P.D. No. 1866, is death.

On June 6, 1997, however, Congress approved Republic Act No. 8294. It provides that if homicide or murder is
committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm shall be considered as an
aggravating circumstance.[54] In People v. Molina,[55] we held that where murder or homicide is committed, the
separate penalty for illegal possession shall no longer be meted out inasmuch as it becomes merely a special
aggravating circumstance.

The trial court applied R.A. No. 8294 in the murder case at bar and in line with our ruling in Molina held that the
use of the unlicensed firearm in the killing of Pedro aggravated the commission of the crime. He then meted the
maximum penalty of death to the appellant.

After Molina, however, the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure was promulgated by this Court and became
effective on December 1, 2000. Section 8 of Rule 110 requires that the complaint or information must specify the
qualifying and aggravating circumstances of the offense if they are to be appreciated. In the case at bar, the
special aggravating circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm was not alleged in the informations. The two (2)
informations at bar, for murder and frustrated murder, merely alleged that the appellant used a long firearm.
They did not allege that the firearm used was unlicensed. The failure of the prosecution to allege in the
Information the aggravating circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm in committing the crime of murder prevents
us from imposing the death penalty on the appellant even if the same was proved at the trial. The appellant
should, therefore, suffer the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua.

People vs Costales, et al, GR 141154-56, Jan 15, 2002

On the third issue, accused-appellant decries the Decision of the court a quo in qualifying the crimes of murder
and attempted murder with illegal possession of firearm and at the same time convicting him for violation of PD
1866, as amended.

We agree. Although the prosecution duly established that the crime of illegal possession of firearm under PD 1866
was committed, RA 8294, which took effect 7 July 1997, amended the decree and now considers the use of
unlicensed firearm as a special aggravating circumstance in murder and homicide, and not as a separate offense.

As it should be, possession and use of firearm without license should aggravate the crimes of murder and
frustrated murder as herein charged but, fortunately for accused-appellant, Secs. 8 and 9 of the Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure, which took effect 1 December 2000, now require the qualifying as well as aggravating
circumstances to be expressly and specifically alleged in the complaint or information, otherwise the same will not
be considered by the court even if proved during the trial. Withal, in the absence of any allegation in the
Information in Crim. Case No. T-2057 that accused-appellant committed murder with the use of unlicensed firearm,
the same cannot be appreciated in imposing the proper penalty.

Concededly, the prosecution witnesses gave almost uniform observations on how the malefactors carried out their
detestable crimes, i.e., the identity of the assailants, that Miguel was strangled by both intruders and almost
simultaneously shot on the head, that one of them sprayed a chemical on the other occupants of the house and
after a split second fired at Crispina. Such consistency and uniformity may be irregular at first blush, but accusedappellant failed to take into account the following factors which account for the near flawless statements of the
prosecution witnesses: (a) the one-room shanty was very small with no substantial obstruction to impede the
vision of the occupants; (b) the room was lighted by a kerosene lamp sufficient enough for the occupants to
recognize accused-appellant and his cohort, especially so since the assailants were prominent and venerated
leaders of their church; and, (c) at the time of the incident the Marcelo spouses and their children were lying very
near each other because of the very limited space of their shanty such that every perceived action could be seen,
felt, or at least sensed, by all of them.

In Crim. Case No. T-2056, accused-appellant was charged by the trial court with frustrated murder but was
convicted only for attempted murder. In its Decision, the trial court explained that the failure of the prosecution to
present a medical certificate or competent testimonial evidence showing that Crispina would have died from her
wound without medical intervention, justified the accuseds conviction for attempted murder only.

We call to mind People v. De La Cruz11 where this Court ruled that the crime committed for the shooting of the
victim was attempted murder and not frustrated murder for the reason that his injuries, though no doubt serious,
were not proved fatal such that without timely medical intervention, they would have caused his death. In fact, as
early as People v. Zaragosa,[12] we enunciated the doctrine that where there is nothing in the evidence to show
that the wound would be fatal if not medically attended to, the character of the wound is doubtful; hence, the
doubt should be resolved in favor of the accused and the crime committed by him may be declared as attempted,
not frustrated murder.

People vs Villar GR 132378 Jan 18, 2000


o

We find no competent evidence showing that the victim exhibited no unusual behavior during the one-year period
that she was being sexually abused by accused-appellant. The lack of concrete evidence of any unusual behavior
on record does not prove that there was in fact no such unusual behavior. If accused-appellant wanted the court to
consider such an allegation, it was incumbent upon him to prove the same with competent evidence. The
fundamental rule is that upon him who alleges rests the burden of proof. He cannot simply rely on the lack of
evidence showing the contrary.

The commission of rape was concededly improbable but not impossible. In People vs. Ignacio, we took judicial
notice of the interesting fact that among poor couples with big families living in small quarters, copulation does
not seem a problem despite the presence of other persons around them. Considering the cramped space and
meager room for privacy, couples perhaps have gotten used to quick and less disturbing modes of sexual
congresses which elude the attention of family members; otherwise, under the circumstances, it would be almost
impossible to copulate with them around even when asleep. It is also not impossible nor incredible for the family
members to be in deep slumber and not be awakened while the sexual assault is being committed. One may also
suppose that growing children sleep more soundly than grown-ups and are not easily awakened by adult exertions

and suspirations in the night. There is no merit in appellants contention that there can be no rape in a room where
other people are present. There is no rule that rape can be committed only in seclusion. We have repeatedly
declared that lust is no respecter of time and place, and rape can be committed in even the unlikeliest of places.
o

In People vs. Dela Cuesta (G.R. No. 126134, March 2, 1999), we held: The seven modes of committing rape
introduced under R.A. 7659 and R.A. 4111 which warrant the automatic imposition of death penalty partake of the
nature of a qualifying circumstance under the Revised Penal Code since it increases the penalty or rape to one
degree. As such, this qualifying circumstance, that the child is under eighteen (18) and the offender is a guardian,
should be alleged in the information to be appreciated as such.

Although the circumstances to qualify simple rape to the heinous crime of rape, namely: (a) victim under 18 years
old (the certificate of live birth exhibit A was admitted by the defense), and (b) the offender being a guardian,
were duly proven in the present case, these circumstance cannot considered for purposes of imposing the extreme
penalty of death unless these were alleged in the information. An examination of the two informations in the
present case reveals that only the qualifying circumstance that the child is under 12 was alleged. There was no
allegation that the offender was a guardian of the victim. To consider said circumstance as qualifying, would
constitute denial of the right of accused-appellant to due process and to be informed of the charges against him.
At best, such circumstance may only be treated as a generic aggravating circumstance, which, in the case of
simple statutory rape, however, is inconsequential because the imposable penalty is the singular indivisible
penalty of reclusion perpetua.

People vs Camerino 108 Phil 79


o

Under section 2 of this Rule, the Court may deny or sustain the motion to quash but may not defer it till the trial of
the case on the merits. In sustaining the motion, the court may order the filing of a new information or may
dismiss the case. In the new information, the defects of the previous information may be cured. For instance, if the
motion to quash is sustained on the ground that more than one offense is charged in the information, the court
may order that another information be filed charging only one offense. But the court may or may not issue such
order in the exercise of its discretion. The order may be made if the defects found in the first information may be
cured in a new information. If the order is made, the accused, if he is in custody, should not be discharged, unless

otherwise, admitted to bail. But if no such order is made, or, having been made, the prosecuting attorney fails to
file another information within the time specified by the court, the accused, if in custody must be discharged,
unless he is also in custody for another charge, or if is out on bail, the bail must be exonerated. In such event,
however, the fiscal is free to institute another criminal proceeding since such ground of objection is not a bar to
another prosecution for the same offense. (Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, 1957 ed., Vol. II, pp. 778-779).
o

In conclusion, we hold that the information filed in this case did not charged more than one offense but only that
of sedition; that in specifying the separate and different criminal acts attributed to the defendants, it was not the
purpose or intention of the Government to hold them criminally liable in the present proceedings, but merely to
complete the narration of facts, though specifying different offenses which as a whole, supposedly constitute the
crime of sedition. Consequently, we believe that the information is valid.

People vs Lagon (185 SCRA 442)


o

Doctrine that the subject matter jurisdiction of a court in criminal law matters is properly measure by the law in
effect at the time of the commencement of a criminal action rather than by the law in effect at the time of the
commission of the offense charged firmly settled.

It is firmly settled doctrine that the subject matter jurisdiction of a court in criminal law matters is properly
measured by the law in effect at the time of the commencement of a criminal action, rather than by the law in
effect at the time of the commission of the offense charged. Thus, in accordance with the above rule, jurisdiction
over the instant case pertained to the then Court of First Instance of Roxas City considering that P.D. No. 818 had
increased the imposable penalty for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 to a level-in excess of the
minimum penalty which a city court could impose.

Subject-matter jurisdiction in criminal cases is determined by the authority of the court to impose the penalty
imposable under the applicable statute given the allegations of a criminal information.

In criminal prosecutions, it is settled that the jurisdiction of the court is not determined by what may be meted out
to the offender after trial, or even by the result of the evidence that would be presented at the trial, but by the
extent of the penalty which the law imposes for the misdemeanor, crime or violation charged in the complaint. If

the facts recited in the complaint and the punishment provided for by law are sufficient to show that the court in
which the complaint is presented has jurisdiction, that court must assume jurisdiction.
o

Court of First Instance, taking cognizance of a criminal case coming under its jurisdiction, may, after trial, impose
a penalty that is proper for a crime within the exclusive competence of a municipal or city court as the evidence
would warrant. It may not be said, therefore, that the Court of First Instance would be acting without jurisdiction if
in a simple seduction case, it would impose penalty of not more than six months of imprisonment, if said case, for
the reason already adverted to, be held to fall under the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance, not a city or
municipal court.

People vs Magallanes (149 SCRA 212)


o

Jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information and not by the result of evidence after
trial. It is an elementary rule that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information, and
not by the result of evidence after trial.

Allegation of taking advantage of his position or taking advantage of their respective positions incorporated in
the informations is not sufficient to bring the offenses within the definition of offenses committed in relation to
public office. In Montilla vs. Hilario, such an allegation was considered merely as an allegation of an aggravating
circumstance, and not as one that qualifies the crime as having been committed in relation to public office, It
says:
o

But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an element; and even as an aggravating
circumstance, its materiality arises, not from the allegations but on the proof, not from the fact that
thecriminals are public officials but from the manner of the commission of the crime.

The jurisdiction of a court is determined by the law in force at the time of the commencement of the action.
Under the above assumption then, the cases should have been filed with the Sandiganbayan since at the time the
informations were filed, the governing law was Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861. But,
would that jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan be affected by R.A. No. 7975?

Jurisdiction once acquired is not affected by subsequent legislative enactment placing jurisdiction in another
tribunal. It remains with the court until the case is finally terminated. Hence, the Sandiganbayan or the courts, as

the case may be, cannot be divested of jurisdiction over cases filed before them by reason of R.A. No. 7975. They
retain their jurisdiction until the end of the litigation.
Buaya vs Polo (169 SCRA 471)
o

General rule that the denial of a motio to dismiss or to quash being being nterlocutory in character, cannot be
questioned by certiorari and it cannot be the subject of appeal until final judgment or order rendered (See. 2, Rule
41, Rules of Court). the ordinary procedure to be followed in such a case is to enter a Plea, go to trial and if the
decision is adverse, reiterate the issue on appeal from the final judgment (Newsweek Inc. v. IAC, 142 SCRA 171).

The averments in the complaint or information characterize the crime to be prosecuted and the court before
which it must be tried.

Jurisdiction of the court in criminal cases, the complaint must be examined for the purpose of ascertaining
whether or not the facts set out therein and the punishment provided for by law fall within the jurisdiction of the
court where the complaint is filed. The jurisdiction of courts in criminal cases is determined by the allegations of
the complaint or information, and not by the findings the court may make after the trial.

Fukuzume vs CA (474 SCRA 570)


o

Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of jurisdiction. It is a fundamental rule that for jurisdiction to be
acquired by courts in criminal cases the offense should have been committed or any one of its essential
ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. Territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases is the
territory where the court has jurisdiction to take cognizance or to try the offense allegedly committed therein by
the accused. Thus, it cannot take jurisdiction over a person charged with an offense allegedly committed outside
of that limited territory. Furthermore, the jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is determined by the
allegations in the complaint or information. And once it is so shown, the court may validly take cognizance of the
case. However, if the evidence adduced during the trial show that the offense was committed somewhere else,
the court should dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction.

Jimenez vs Nazareno (160 SCRA 1)


o

Jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of parties but continues until the case is terminated. But
the question is this was that jurisdiction lost when the accused escaped from the custody of the law and failed
to appear during the trial? We answer this question in the negative. As We have consistently ruled in several

earlier cases,6 jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of parties but continues until the case is
terminated.
Paderanga vs CA (247 SCRA 471) - Digested Case
o

The rationale behind the rule is that it discourages and prevents resort to the former pernicious practice whereby
an accused could just send another in his stead to post his bail, without recognizing the jurisdiction of the court by
his personal appearance therein and compliance with the requirements therefor.

A person is considered to be in the custody of the law (a) when he is arrested either by virtue of a warrant of
arrest issued pursuant to Section 6, Rule 112, or by warrantless arrest under Section 5, Rule 113 in relation to
Section 7, Rule 112 of the revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, or (b) when he has voluntarily submitted himself to
the jurisdiction of the court by surrendering to the proper authorities.

The motion for admission to bail was filed not for the purpose or in the manner of the former practice which the
law proscribes for the being derogatory of the authority and jurisdiction of the courts, as what had happened in
Feliciano. There was here no intent or strategy employed to obtain bail in absentia and thereby be able to avoid
arrest should the application therefore be denied.

Santiago vs Vasquez (Not part of Syllabus but a good reference in Paderanga case)
o

In said case, the petitioner who was charged before the Sandiganbayan for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act, filed through counsel what purported to be an Urgent Ex-parte Motion for Acceptance of Cash Bail
Bond. Said petitioner was at the time confined in a hospital recuperating from serious physical injuries which she
sustained in a major vehicular mishap. Consequently, she expressly sought leave that she be considered as
having placed herself under the jurisdiction of (the Sandiganbayan) for purposes of the required trial and other
proceedings. On the basis of said ex-parte motion and the peculiar circumstances obtaining in that incident, the
Sandiganbayan authorized petitioner to post a cash bail bond for her provisional liberty without need of her
personal appearance in view of her physical incapacity and as a matter of humane consideration.

When the Sandiganbayan later issued a hold departure order against her, she question the jurisdiction of that
court over her person in a recourse before this Court, on the ground that she neither been arrested nor has she
voluntarily surrendered, aside from the fact that she has not validly posted bail since she never personally

appeared before said court In rejecting her arguments, the Court held that she was clearly estopped from
assailing the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan for by her own representations in the urgent ex parte motion for
bail she had earlier recognized such jurisdiction. Furthermore, by actually posting a cash bail was accepted by the
court, she had effectively submitted to its jurisdiction over her person. Nonetheless, on the matter of bail, the
Court took pains to reiterate that the same cannot be posted before custody of the accused has been acquired by
the judicial authorities either by his arrest or voluntary surrender.