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RULE 110

LUIS M. ZALDIVIA vs HON. ANDRES REYES, JR, et al., G.R.


No. 102342, July 3, 1992, EN BANC (Cruz, J.)
Facts:
Petitioner Zaldivia is charged with quarrying for commercial
purposes without a mayor'spermit in the municipality of
Rodriguez, Province of Rizal. She moved to quash the information on the
ground that the crime had prescribed but it was denied. She appealed to
the RTC and denial was sustained by the respondent judge.
Petitioner filed for a petition for review on certiorari arguing that
the case filed against her is govern by the provisions on the Rules
of Summary Procedure. She contends that criminal cases like
violations of municipal or city ordinances does not require
preliminary investigation and shall be filed directly to the court
and not in the Prosecutors office. She also invoked ActNo. 3226
An Act to Establish Periods of Prescription for Violations
Penalized by Special Acts and Municipal Ordinances and to
Provide when Prescription Shall Begin to Run. Concluding that
the case should have been dismissed since the case against her
was being filed in court way beyond the 2 month statutory period.
The prosecution contends that when the case was filed on the
Prosecutors office it suspends the prescriptive period.
Issue:
Whether or not the prescription of period ceased to run when the
case was filed in the prosecutors office?
Held:
NO, the case is covered by the Rules of Summary Procedure. The
filing of the case with the fiscals office does not interrupt the
running of the prescriptive period. It should be the filing of the
case before the court which will interrupt.

As it is clearly provided in the Rule on Summary


Procedure that among the offenses it covers are violations
of municipal or city ordinances, it should follow that the
charge against the petitioner, which is for violation of a
municipal ordinance of Rodriguez, is governed by that
rule on summary procedure and not Section 1 of Rule
110.
At any rate, the Court feels that if there be a conflict
between the Rule on Summary Procedure and Section 1 of
Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, the former
should prevail as the special law. And if there be a conflict
between Act. No. 3326 and Rule 110 of the Rules on
Criminal Procedure, the latter must again yield because
this Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power, is not
allowed to "diminish, increase or modify substantive
rights" under Article VIII, Section 5(5) of the
Constitution. Prescription in criminal cases is a
substantive right.

The Court realizes that under the above interpretation, a


crime may prescribe even if the complaint is filed
seasonably with the prosecutor's office if, intentionally or
not, he delays the institution of the necessary judicial
proceedings until it is too late. However, that possibility
should not justify a misreading of the applicable rules
beyond their obvious intent as reasonably deduced from
their plain language. The remedy is not a distortion of the
meaning of the rules but a rewording thereof to prevent
the problem here sought to be corrected.

The courts conclusion is that the prescriptive period for


the crime imputed to the petitioner commenced from its

alleged commission on May 11, 1990, and ended two


months thereafter, on July 11, 1990, in accordance with
Section 1 of Act No. 3326. It was not interrupted by the
filing of the complaint with the Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor on May 30, 1990, as this was not a judicial
proceeding. The judicial proceeding that could have
interrupted the period was the filing of the information
with the Municipal Trial Court of Rodriguez, but this was

done only on October 2, 1990, after the crime had already


prescribed.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED, and the challenged
Order dated October 2, 1991 is SET ASIDE. Criminal Case No.
90-089 in the Municipal Trial Court of Rodriguez, Rizal, is hereby
DISMISSED on the ground of prescription. It is so ordered.