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[Syllabus]

SECONDDIVISION

[G.R.Nos.11625960.February20,1996]

SALVADOR P. SOCRATES, petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN, Third Division,


andPEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES,respondents.

[G.R.Nos.11889697.February20,1996]

SALVADOR P. SOCRATES, petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN and PEOPLE OF


THEPHILIPPINES,respondents.

DECISION
REGALADO,J.:

Beforeusaretwoconsolidatedoriginalactionsforcertiorariandprohibitionfiledbypetitioner
SalvadorP.SocratesassailingtheordersandresolutionissuedbyrespondentSandiganbayanin
Criminal Cases Nos. 18027 and 18028, both entitled People of the Philippines vs. Salvador P.
Socrates.InG.R.Nos.11625960,petitionerassailsthelegalityof(a)theorderdatedFebruary9,
1994 denying petitioners Amended and Consolidated Motion to Quash the Informations1 (b) the
orderdatedMay24,1994denyingtheMotionforReconsiderationand/orReinvestigation2and(c)
theorderdatedJuly20,1994denyingtheMotionforPartialReconsiderationoftheOrderofMay
24, 1994.3 On the other hand, in G.R. Nos. 11889697 petitioner seeks the annulment of the
Resolution dated December 23, 19944 ordering the preventive suspension of petitioner as
Provincial Governor of Palawan for a period of ninety (90) days, and to enjoin respondent court
fromenforcingthesame.
The antecedent facts, as may be culled from the Comment filed by the Solicitor General in
G.R.Nos.11625960,areasfollows:

PetitionerwhoistheincumbentgovernorofPalawan,wasfirstelectedgovernorofthesaidprovincein1968
andwasagainreelectedinboththe1971and1980elections,untilhewasreplacedbyprivatecomplainant
VictorianoRodriguezasOfficerInChargeGovernoraftertheEDSARevolutioninFebruary1986.
Subsequently,bothpetitionerandRodriguezranforgovernorinthe1988electionswherethelatteremerged
victorious.Inthe1992synchronizednationalandlocalelections,thetwoagaincontestedthegubernatorial
postandthistime,itwaspetitionerwhowon.

Meanwhile,atthetimeRodriguezwasstilltheOICGovernoroftheprovince,theProvincialGovernmentof
Palawan,asrepresentedbyRodriguezandtheProvincialBoardMembersofPalawan,filedbeforetheOffice
oftheTanodbayantwo(2)complaintsbothdatedDecember5,1986anddocketedasTBPNo.8601119.The
firstcomplaintchargedpetitionerwithviolationofSection3(b)ofRepublicActNo.3019,otherwiseknown
astheAntiGraftandCorruptPracticesAct,andthesecondchargedpetitioner,togetherwithseveralother
provincialofficers,withviolationofSection3(a)and(g)ofthesamelaw(AnnexesA&AI,respectively,
Petition).

Insteadoffilingacounteraffidavitasdirected,petitionerfiledaMotiontoSuspendPreliminary
investigationdatedSeptember3,1987onthegroundthatupontheratificationofthe1987Constitution,the
presentTanodbayanhasbeentransformedintotheOfficeoftheSpecialProsecutorandhas,therefore,lost
hispowertoconductpreliminaryinvestigation(AnnexC,ibid).

InalettertotheHonorableTanodbayandatedJune23,1988,however,NeliaYapFernandez,theDeputized
TanodbayanProsecutorfromtheOfficeoftheCityProsecutorofPuertoPrincesaCity,requestedthatshebe
allowedtoinhibitherselffromhandlingthepreliminaryinvestigationofthepresentcaseconsideringthat
petitionerappearstobehercoprincipalsponsorinaweddingceremonyheldlastMay28,1988(AnnexC3,
ibid.).

OnJanuary16,1989,theOfficeoftheOmbudsmanreceivedaletterfromRodriguez,whowasthenthe
incumbentgovernoroftheprovince,inquiringaboutthepresentstatusofTBPNo.8601119(AnnexD,
ibid.).Inits4thIndorsementdatedFebruary7,1989,theOmbudsmanreferredthematterofcontinuingand
terminatingtheinvestigationofthepresentcasetothenewlydeputizedTanodbayanProsecutor,Sesinio
BelenfromtheOfficeoftheProvincialProsecutor(AnnexD1,ibid.).However,thelatter,inhis5th
IndorsementdatedFebruary27,1989totheOmbudsman,requestedthatthepresentcasebereassignedto
anotherProsecutorconsideringthatheisalongtimeclosefriendandcompadreofpetitionerandthatoneof
thecomplainantsthereinEustaquioGacott,Jr.,whowasformerlyamemberoftheSangguniang
Panlalawigan,isnowtheProvincialProsecutorofPalawan,hispresentsuperior(AnnexD2,ibid.).

OnApril25,1989,petitionerwasdirectedbytheOmbudsmantocommentonthelettermanifestationdated
April4,1989filedbyRodriguezrequestingthatanamendmentbeeffectedoncertainportionsofthepresent
complaint(AnnexesE&E2,ibid.).NocommenthavingbeenreceivedbytheOmbudsmanasofMay24,
1989,petitioner,onanevendate,wasagaindirectedtocommentthereon(AnnexE1,ibid.).Finally,
petitionerfiledhisrequiredcommentdatedJune2,1989(AnnexE3,ibid.).

BasedontheResolutiondatedAugust27,1992ofSpecialProsecutionOfficerIWendellBarrerasSulit
(AnnexF2,ibid.),whichaffirmedtheResolutiondatedFebruary21,1992renderedbyOmbudsman
InvestigatorErnestoNocosrecommendingthefilingofappropriatechargesagainstpetitioner,theOfficeof
theSpecialProsecutorfiledonSeptember16,1992withtherespondentCourttwo(2)Informationsagainst
petitioner,docketedasCriminalCasesNos.18027and18028.ThefirstwasforviolationofSection3(h)of
RepublicActNo.3019,andthesecondforviolationofSection3(e)ofthesamelaw(AnnexesF&F1,
ibid.).

Beforehisarraignmentcouldbeset,petitionerinitiallyfiledanUrgentMotionforQuashalofInformation
and/orReinvestigationintheLightofSuperveningFacts.However,whenthesaidmotionwassubsequently
calledforhearing,petitionerscounselwasmadetochoosewhichoftheaforesaidtwo(2)conflictingmotions
hepreferredtotakeupwithrespondentCourt.Thus,onJanuary18,1993,petitionerfiledanAmendedand
ConsolidatedMotiontoQuashtheInformationintheAboveentitledCases.AfteranOppositionandaReply
werefiledbytheprosecutionandpetitioner,respectively,respondentcourtissueditsfirstassailedResolution
onFebruary9,1994,denyingthesame(AnnexG,ibid.).

OnMarch15,1994,petitionerfiledaMotionforReconsiderationand/orReinvestigation,whichwas
subsequentlydeniedbyrespondentcourtinitssecondassailedResolutionissuedonMay24,1992(Annex
H1,ibid.).5

Petitionerthenfiledapetitionforcertiorariandprohibition,docketedasG.R.Nos.11625960,
challengingtheaforementionedordersoftheSandiganbayanforallegedlyhavingbeenissuedwith
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. It was likewise prayed that
respondentcourtbeenjoinedfromtakingcognizanceofandfromproceedingwiththearraignment
of petitioner and the trial and hearing of Criminal Cases Nos. 1802728 pending before it.
RespondentsthereafterfiledtheirCommenttowhichaReplywassubmittedbypetitioner.
Inthemeantime,notemporaryrestrainingorderhavingbeenissuedbythisCourtinG.R.Nos.
11625960, respondent court proceeded with the arraignment of herein petitioner on October 5,
1994 wherein a plea of not guilty was entered for him by the court after he refused to do so.
Thereafter,withthedenialofpetitionersmotiontoquashtheinformations,theprosecutionfiledon
October11,1994beforerespondentcourtaMotiontoSuspendAccusedPendenteLite6pursuant
to Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019. Petitioner opposed said motion on the ground that the
validityoftheinformationsfiledagainsthimisstillpendingreviewbeforetheSupremeCourt.He
further contended therein that Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019, on which the motion to
suspendisbased,isunconstitutionalinthatitconstitutesanunduedelegationofexecutivepower
andisarbitraryanddiscriminatory.
In view of the filing of the motion for his suspension, petitioner filed on October 14, 1994 in
G.R.Nos.11625960aSupplementalPetition7questioningtheveracityofandseekingtorestrain
respondent court from acting on said motion to suspend pendentelite,the hearing of which was
scheduledonOctober17,1994.However,beforerespondentscouldfiletheircommenttheretoas
requiredbythisCourt,petitioner,whoinitiallysoughttheholdinginabeyanceoffurtheractionon
his supplemental petition until after respondent court shall have resolved the motion to suspend
pendente lite, eventually decided to withdraw the same purportedly in order not to delay the
disposition of the main petition. Hence, on January 16, 1995, this Court issued a resolution8
grantingthemotiontowithdrawthesupplementalpetitionandconsideringthepetitioninG.R.Nos.
11625960assubmittedforresolution.
In the interim, petitioner filed before respondent court on November 28, 1994 an amended
motion to include as coprincipals: (a) in Criminal Case No. 18028, the members of the
SangguniangPanlalawiganwhoauthorizedthepurchaseandrepairofthevesselinquestionand
(b) in Criminal Case No. 18027, the Board of Directors of ERA Technology and Resources
CorporationwhichenteredintoacontractwiththeProvinceofPalawan.9Petitionerarguedthatthe
noninclusion of these coprincipals violates his right to due process and equal protection of the
laws which thus rendered the informations null and void. It appears that the prosecution did not
opposenorobjecttothisamendedmotion.
OnDecember23,1994, respondent court, without ruling on petitioners motion to include co
principals, issued its questioned resolution granting the motion to suspend pendente lite and
orderingthesuspensionofpetitionerasProvincialGovernorofPalawanforaperiodofninety(90)
daysfromnotice.
His motion for the reconsideration thereof having been denied, another petition for certiorari
and prohibition with prayer for a restraining order was filed by petitioner on February 20, 1995
against the same respondents, docketed as G.R. Nos. 11889697, and which seeks to annul as
wellastoenjoinrespondentcourtfromenforcingitsresolutiondatedDecember23,1994ordering
his suspension pendente lite. On March 8, 1995, the Court resolved to consolidate this second
petitionwithG.R.Nos.11625960.
From the mosaic of the foregoing events and the incidents interjected therein, the following
patternofcontentiousissueshasemerged:
InG.R.Nos.11625960,thevalidityoftheinformationsfiledinCriminalCasesNos.1802728
isbeingcontestedonthreegrounds,viz.:(1)therespondentcourtdidnotacquirejurisdictionover
the case on the ground that an inordinate delay of six (6) years between the conduct of the
preliminaryinvestigationandthesubsequentfilingoftheinformationsagainstpetitionerconstitutes
aviolationofhisconstitutionalrightstoaspeedydispositionofthecaseanddueprocessoflaw
pursuanttotheTataddoctrine(2)thefactschargeddonotconstituteanoffenseand(3)sincethe
acts charged in the complaints filed before the Tanodbayan are different from the charges
containedintheinformations,anotherpreliminaryinvestigationshouldhavebeenconducted,inthe
absenceofwhichthereisadenialofdueprocess.
InG.R.Nos.11889697,petitionerquestionsthevalidityofthesuspensionorderinthat:(1)he
maynotbesuspendedwhiletheissueonthevalidityoftheinformationsfiledagainsthimisstill
pending review before the Supreme Court and (2) Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019, which
formsthebasisoftheorderofsuspension,isunconstitutionalonthegroundthatitconstitutesan
undue delegation of the authority to suspend which is essentially an executive power. Petitioner
contends that the jurisprudential doctrines relied upon by respondent court in upholding the
constitutionalityofSection13arenotapplicabletothecasesatbarwhichinvolveanissuenotyet
passed upon by this Court. In addition, petitioner again attacks the legality of the subject
informationsforhavingbeenfiledinviolationofthedueprocessandequalprotectionclausesby
reason of the noninclusion therein, as coprincipals, of the members of the Sangguniang
Panlalawiganwhoapprovedthepurchaseofthevessel,aswellastheboardofdirectorsofERA
TechnologyandResourceCorporationwhichenteredintoacontractwiththeProvinceofPalawan.
I.G.R.Nos.11625960
1. In asserting that there was a violation of his right to a speedy trial by reason of the
unreasonabledelayofsix(6)yearsbetweentheconductofthepreliminaryinvestigationandthe
filingoftheinformations,petitionerinvokesthedoctrinelaiddownintheleadingcaseofTatadvs.
Sandiganbayan,etal.10Insaidcase,alltheaffidavitsandcounteraffidavitshadalreadybeenfiled
withtheTanodbayanforfinaldispositionasofOctober25,1982butitwasonlyonJune12,1985,
orthree(3)yearsthereafter,thattheinformationsaccusingTatadofaviolationofRepublicActNo.
3019werefiledbeforetheSandiganbayan.TheCourtheldtherethataninordinatedelayofthree
(3) years in the conduct and termination of the preliminary investigation is violative of the
constitutionalrightsoftheaccusedtodueprocessandspeedydispositionofhiscase,byreasonof
which the informations filed against the accused therein were ordered dismissed. It must be
emphasized,however,thatintheTatadcase,noexplanationorratiocinationwasadvancedbythe
prosecutionthereinastothecauseofthedelay.
In the present case, as distinguished from the factual milieu obtaining in Tatad, respondent
courtfoundthatthesixyeardelayintheterminationofthepreliminaryinvestigationwascausedby
petitionersownacts.Thus:

Inthecasesatbar,therecordshowsthatdelayinthefilingoftheInformationsinthesecaseswascaused,not
byinactionoftheprosecution,butbythefollowingactuationsoftheaccused:

(1)SometimeafterthecomplaintofprivatecomplainantwasfiledwiththeOfficeoftheCityFiscalofthe
CityofPuertoPrincesa,preliminaryinvestigationwasheldinabeyanceonaccountofthemotionofaccused
SalvadorP.Socrates,entitledMotiontoSuspendPreliminaryInvestigation.Suspensionwasprayedforuntil
anOmbudsman,asprovidedinExecutiveOrderNo.243,shallhavebeenappointed

(2)Preliminaryinvestigationwasinterruptedwhenprivatecomplainant,thenGovernorVictorianoJ.
Rodriguez,filedonApril24,1989,alettermanifestationcorrectingthecomplaint

(3)OnlyonSeptember22,1989didtheaccusedinthesecasesfilewiththeOfficeoftheOmbudsmana
replytocomplainantsmanifestation

(4)Inviewoftheforegoingactuationsoftheparties,preliminaryinvestigationofthesecaseswasstartedin
earnestonlyonJune25,1990.Respondentsthen,includingtheaccusedherein,wererequiredtosubmit
counteraffidavits

(5)Interruptingpreliminaryproceedingsagain,accusedGovernorSalvadorP.Socrates,onAugust13,1990,
filedamotiontodismissthecomplaintuponthefollowinggrounds:

(a)ThattheHonorableOmbudsmanhasnojurisdictionoverthepersonofrespondentand

(b)Thatthecomplaintdoesnotconformsubstantiallytotheprescribedform.

Theprivatecomplainantwas,asamatterofright,grantedaperiodoftimewithinwhichtoopposethe
motion.Theprosecutionnecessarilyhadtoponderonthemotionafterprotracteddeliberations

(6)OnApril1,1991,counselfortheaccusedfiledanAppearanceandMotionforExtensionofTimetoFile
AppropriatePleading.Counselprayedthatrespondentsbegrantedanextensionoftwenty(20)dayswithin
whichtocomplywiththeorderofMarch11,1991

(7)TheaccusedGovernorSalvadorP.Socrates,throughcounsel,filedamotiontoquash/dismisson
December17,1991.ThispleadingwasreceivedbytheOfficeoftheDeputyOmbudsmanonlyonJanuary
13,1992.Ittooksometimefortheprosecutiontoresolvethemotionandthereneverwasanyintimationon
thepartoftheaccusedthattheaccusedwasinvokinghisrighttoaspeedydispositionofthecomplaint
againsthim.Themotiontoquash/dismisswasinfactdeniedbytheprosecutioninanorderdatedJanuary20,
1990
(8)Amotionforreconsiderationhavingbeenfiledthereafter,theInformationsinthesecaseswereafterall
filedonSeptember16,1992,butonlyaftertherulingoftheprosecutiononthemotiontoquash/dismiss.11

Petitioner,inafutileattempttorefutetheforegoingfactualfindingsofrespondentcourt,could
only raise the defense that the motion to suspend the preliminary investigation did not affect the
proceedings therein that the preliminary investigation really started on February 18, 1987 when
the Tanodbayan issued subpoenas to the respondents that the motion to dismiss/quash the
complaintswaspurposelyfortheearlyterminationofthepreliminaryinvestigationthatthefilingof
the complaint was politically motivated, as may be gleaned from the affidavit of complainant
RodriguezandthatpursuanttoSection3,Rule112oftheRulesofCourt,thecaseshouldhave
beenresolvedwithinten(10)daysfromthetimetheinvestigationwasconcluded.
Clearly,thefactsofthecaseatbararediametricallyopposedtothefactualsituationinTatad
becausetheobviouslydelayingtacticsresortedtobyhereinpetitionerwerenotpresentinthelatter
case.Furthermore,theallegationthatthefilingofthecomplaintwaspoliticallymotivateddoesnot
servetojustifythenullificationoftheinformationswheretheexistenceofsuchmotivehasnotbeen
sufficiently established nor substantial evidence presented in support thereof. The situation in
Tatad was quite to the contrary since the accused therein successfully proved that the charges
werefiledagainsthimonlyafteritbecamewidelyknownthatheactuallyhadafallingoutwiththe
latePresidentMarcos.
ThatscenarioimpelledtheCourttomaketheadmonitionthereinthatprosecutorsshouldnot
allow,andshouldavoid,givingtheimpressionthattheirnobleofficeisbeingusedorprostituted,
wittinglyorunwittingly,forpoliticalendsorotherpurposesaliento,orsubversiveof,thebasicand
fundamentalobjectiveofservingtheinterestofjusticeevenhandedly,withoutfearorfavortoany
andalllitigantsalike,whetherrichorpoor,weakorstrong,powerlessormighty.Suchanexigency
apparentlydoesnotobtaininthecaseatbar.Thereisnothingintherecordsfromwhichitcanbe
conclusively inferred, expressly or impliedly, that the investigating prosecutors were politically
motivatedorevencoercedintofilingthesecriminalchargesagainstpetitioner.
WelikewisedonotadheretopetitionersasseverationthattheordersissuedbyBranches51
and52oftheRegionalTrialCourtofPuertoPrincesaCityquashingtheinformationsfortechnical
malversation filed against herein petitioner, on the ground that the inordinate delay in the
terminationofthepreliminaryinvestigationconstitutesaviolationofpetitionersrighttodueprocess
andspeedydispositionofhiscasewhichtherebyoustedsaidcourtsofjurisdictionthereover,have
becomefinalandconclusivebyreasonoftheprosecutionsfailuretofileanappealtherefrom.We
have carefully scrutinized the orders adverted to and we find and so hold that the same cannot
effectivelydetertheprosecutionhereinfromproceedingwiththetrialbeforetheSandiganbayan.
First, the criminal cases for technical malversation filed before said Regional Trial Court are
differentfromthechargesforviolationofRepublicActNo.3019filedwiththeSandiganbayan.The
formeriscoveredbyagenerallawwhilethelatterinvolvesaspeciallaw,withvariantelementsof
theoffensesbeingrequired,hencedoublejeopardycannotsetin.Second,andmoreimportantly,it
will be noted that the trial court in the malversation case hastily concluded that there was an
inordinatedelayofsix(6)yearsintheterminationofthepreliminaryinvestigationthroughthemere
expedient of counting the number of years that had elapsed from the institution of the complaint
withtheOmbudsmanuntilthefilingoftheinformationsincourt,withoutbotheringtoinquireintothe
pertinentfactualconsiderationsandproceduraltechnicalitiesinvolved.
In arriving at such a selfserving conclusion, the trial court confined itself strictly to a
mathematical reckoning of the time involved, instead of undertaking a more substantive
appreciationofthecircumstancesandparticularswhichcouldhavepossiblycausedthedelay.On
the contrary, herein respondent court has convincingly shown that the preliminary investigation
draggedonforseveralyearsowing,ironically,topetitionersevidentpropensitytoresorttodilatory
tactics.Inthecasesnowbeforeus,itcannotbesuccessfullyandvalidlycontendedthatpetitioners
righttospeedytrialhasbeenviolated.
WehaveonlytoreiteratethedeclarationmadeinTatadtotheeffectthatintheapplicationof
theconstitutionalguarantyoftherighttospeedydispositionofcases,particularregardmustalso
be taken of the facts and circumstances peculiar to each case. It is palpably clear that the
applicationoftheTataddoctrineshouldnotbemadetorelysolelyonthelengthoftimethathas
passedbutequalconcernshouldlikewisebeaccordedtothefactualambianceandconsiderations.
ItcaneasilybededucedfromacompletereadingoftheadjudicatorydiscourseinTatadthat the
threeyear delay was specifically considered visvis all the facts and circumstances which
obtainedtherein.Perforce,evenonthisgroundalone,theinstantpetitionforcertiorarishouldbe
dismissed.
Aspeedytrialisoneconductedaccordingtothelawofcriminalprocedureandtherulesand
regulations,freefromvexatious,capriciousandoppressivedelays.Theprimordialpurposeofthis
constitutionalrightistopreventtheoppressionofanaccusedbydelayingcriminalprosecutionfor
anindefiniteperiodoftime.12Inthecasesatbar,whiletheremayhavebeensomedelay,itwas
petitionerhimselfwhobroughtaboutthesituationofwhichhenowcomplains.
2. Petitioner then questions the sufficiency of the allegations in the informations in that the
samedonotconstituteanoffensesupposedlybecause(a)inCriminalCaseNo.18027,thereisno
statement that herein petitioner actually intervened and participated, as a board member of ERA
TechnologyandResourcesCorporation,inthelatterscontractwiththeProvinceofPalawan,which
is allegedly an element necessary to constitute a violation of Section 3(h) of Republic Act No.
3019and(b)inCriminalCaseNo.18028,theinformationfailedtoshowacausalrelationbetween
theactdonebytheaccusedandtheundueinjurycausedtotheprovincialgovernmentofPalawan.
With respect to the alleged defects in the information filed in Criminal Case No. 18027 for
violationofSection3(h)oftheantigraftlaw,petitionerinvokestherulinginthecaseofTrieste,Sr.
vs.Sandiganbayan13whereitwasheldthatwhatiscontemplatedinSection3(h)oftheantigraft
lawistheactualinterventioninthetransactioninwhichonehasfinancialorpecuniaryinterestin
orderthatliabilitymayattach.Inthecitedcase,however,theCourtfoundthatthepetitionertherein
did not, in any way, intervene in making the awards and payment of the purchases in question
since he signed the voucher only after all the purchases had already been made, delivered and
paidforbythemunicipaltreasurer.
Thepurchasesinvolvedthereinwerepreviouslyorderedbythemunicipaltreasurerwithoutthe
knowledge and consent of the accused municipal mayor, were subsequently delivered by the
supplier,andwerethereafterpaidbythetreasureragainwithouttheknowledgeandconsentofthe
mayor.Theonlyparticipationoftheaccusedmayorinthetransactioninvolvedthemechanicalact
of signing the disbursement vouchers for record purposes only. Thus, the Court did not consider
theactthereinoftheaccusedmayortobecoveredbytheprohibitionunderSection3(h)ofthelaw.
Contrariwise, in the present cases, petitioner Socrates stands charged with a violation of
Section 3(h) for intervening in his official capacity as Governor of Palawan in reviewing and
approving the disbursement voucher dated August 2, 1982 for payment in favor of ERA
Technology Resources Corporation where he was one of the incorporators and members of the
board of directors. Such allegation clearly indicates the nature and extent of petitioners
participation in the questioned transaction. Without petitioners approval, payment could not
possiblyhavebeeneffected.
We likewise do not find any flaw in the information filed in Criminal Case No. 18028, for
violationofSection3(e),whichwouldwarrantthedismissalthereof.Evidentiaryfactsneednotbe
allegedintheinformationbecausethesearemattersofdefense.Informationsneedonlystatethe
ultimatefactsthereasonsthereforcouldbeprovedduringthetrial.14Hence,thereisnoneedto
statefactsintheinformationwhichwouldprovethecausalrelationbetweentheactdonebythe
accused and the undue injury caused to the Province of Palawan. Antipodal to petitioners
contention, a reading of the information in Criminal Case No. 18028 will readily disclose that the
essentialelementsoftheoffensechargedhavebeensufficientlyallegedtherein.Itisnotproper,
therefore, to resolve the charges right at the outset without the benefit of a fullblown trial. The
issuesrequireafullerventilationandexamination.Givenallthecircumstancesofthiscase,wefeel
itwouldbeunwarrantedtocutofftheprosecutoryprocessatthisstageoftheproceedingsandto
dismisstheinformation.15
3. It is likewise asserted by petitioner that the elements of the offenses charged in the
complaints are different from those stated in the informations which were filed before the
Sandiganbayan, and that since there was no preliminary investigation conducted with respect to
thelatter,suchinformationsshouldbedeclarednullandvoidforlackofdueprocess.
ThefirstcomplaintforviolationofSection3(b)becamethebasisforthefilingofaninformation
in Criminal Case No. 18027 for a violation of Section 3(h). In both, petitioner is accused of
intervening in his official capacity as Provincial Governor in the contracts for the installation and
construction of waterwork projects, with the ERA Technology and Resources Corporation, where
he was an incorporator and a member of the board of directors, thereby directly or indirectly
benefiting from said transactions. In Criminal Case No. 18028, petitioner was charged with a
violation of Section 3(e) as a result of the complaint filed against him and several others for a
violationofSection3(a)and(g).Inbothinstances,petitionerischargedwiththedisbursementof
publicfundsforthepurchaseofamotorlaunchwhichwasgrosslyandmanifestlydisadvantageous
to the provincial government of Palawan because the same broke down only after its maiden
voyage.
Itisthusclearlyapparentthatthecomplaintsandtheinformationsarebasedonsubstantially
the same factual settings, except that the respective designations are different. Axiomatic is the
rulethatwhatcontrolsisnotthedesignationoftheoffensebutitsdescriptioninthecomplaintor
information.16 The real nature of the criminal charge is determined not from the caption or
preambleoftheinformationnorfromthespecificationoftheprovisionoflawallegedtohavebeen
violated, they being conclusions of law, but by the actual recital of facts in the complaint or
information.Itisnotthetechnicalnamegivenbythefiscalappearinginthetitleoftheinformation
thatdeterminesthecharacterofthecrimebutthefactsallegedinthebodyoftheinformation.17
ThisCourthasrepeatedlyheldthatwhenthefacts,actsandcircumstancesaresetforthinthe
body of an information with sufficient certainty to constitute an offense and to apprise the
defendantofthenatureofthechargeagainsthim,amisnomerorinnocuousdesignationofacrime
inthecaptionorotherpartsoftheinformationwillnotvitiateit.Insuchacase,thefactssetforthin
thechargecontrolstheerroneousdesignationoftheoffenseandtheaccusedstandsindictedfor
theoffensechargedinthestatementoffacts.Theerroneousdesignationmaybedisregardedas
surplusage.18
Furthermore,itwillbeobservedthatitisthesamesectionofthelawwhichisinvolvedinthe
present case, that is, Section 3 of Republic Act No. 3019, albeit it defines several modes of
committing the same offense. It is an old and wellsettled rule in the appreciation of indictments
thatwhereanoffensemaybecommittedinanyofseveraldifferentmodes,andtheoffense,inany
particularinstance,isallegedtohavebeencommittedintwoormoreofthemodesspecified,itis
sufficienttoprovetheoffensecommittedthroughanyoneofthem,providedthatitbesuchasto
constitute the substantive offense. Thereafter, a judgment of conviction must be sustained if it
appears from the evidence in the record that the accused was guilty as charged of any one of
thesemodesoftheoffense.19
Neitherwilltheabsenceofapreliminaryinvestigation,assumingthatitisnecessarytoconduct
a new one, affect the validity of the informations filed against petitioner. It has been consistently
held that the absence of a preliminary investigation does not impair the validity of the criminal
informationorrenderitdefective.Dismissalofthecaseisnottheremedy.20Itisnotagroundfor
thequashalofacomplaintorinformation.Thepropercourseofactionthatshouldbetakenisfor
theSandiganbayantoholdinabeyancetheproceedingsuponsuchinformationandtoremandthe
case to the office of the Ombudsman for him or the Special Prosecutor to conduct a preliminary
investigation,21iftheaccusedactuallymakesoutacasejustifyingsuchrelief.
On the bases of the foregoing disquisitions, therefore, we rule and so hold that the
informationsfiledagainstpetitionerarevalidandlegal.
II.G.R.Nos.11889697
The main issue submitted herein for resolution is the legality of the petitioners preventive
suspension,whichispremisedonseveralgrounds.
1.Initially,petitionerclaimsthattheSandiganbayancommittedagraveabuseofdiscretionin
orderinghissuspensiondespitethefactthatthevalidityoftheinformationsfiledagainsthimisstill
pending review before the Supreme Court. In support thereof, he invokes the rule laid down in
EternalGardensMemorialParkCorporationvs.CourtofAppeals,etal.22thatevenifnotemporary
restraining order was issued by the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals could have refrained
from taking any action while the petition for certiorari was pending with the Supreme Court.
Petitionerinsiststhatthisiswhatrespondentcourtshouldhavedone.Underthisparticularissue,
petitionerisineffectseekingareviewoftheorderissuedbytheSandiganbayan,datedFebruary
9,1994,denyinghisamendedandconsolidatedmotiontoquashtheinformation.
We have but to reiterate the fundamental rule that an order denying a motion to quash is
interlocutoryandthereforenotappealable,norcanitbethesubjectofapetitionforcertiorari.Such
order may only be reviewed in the ordinary course of law by an appeal from the judgment after
trial.23 In other words, it cannot be the subject of appeal until the judgment or a final order is
rendered.Theordinaryproceduretobefollowedinthateventistoenteraplea,gototrialandif
the decision is adverse, reiterate the issue on appeal from the final judgment.24 Although the
specialcivilactionforcertiorarimaybeavailedofincasethereisagraveabuseofdiscretionor
lackofjurisdiction,thatvitiatingerrorisnotattendantinthepresentcase.
Section13ofRepublicActNo.3019providesthat:

SEC.13.SuspensionandLossofBenefits.Anyincumbentpublicofficeragainstwhomanycriminal
prosecutionunderavalidinformationunderthisActorunderTitle7,BookIIoftheRevisedPenalCodeor
foranyoffenseinvolvingfraudupongovernmentorpublicfundsorpropertywhetherasasimpleoras
complexoffenseandinwhateverstageofexecutionandmodeofparticipation,ispendingincourt,shallbe
suspendedfromoffice.Shouldhebeconvictedbyfinaljudgment,heshallloseallretirementorgratuity
benefitsunderanylaw,butifheisacquitted,heshallbeentitledtoreinstatementandtothesalariesand
benefitswhichhefailedtoreceiveduringsuspension,unlessinthemeantimeadministrativeproceedings
havebeenfiledagainsthim.25

This Court has ruled that under Section 13 of the antigraft law, the suspension of a public
officer is mandatory after the validity of the information has been upheld in a presuspension
hearing conducted for that purpose. This presuspension hearing is conducted to determine
basicallythevalidityoftheinformation,fromwhichthecourtcanhaveabasistoeithersuspendthe
accused and proceed with the trial on the merits of the case, or withhold the suspension of the
latter and dismiss the case, or correct any part of the proceeding which impairs its validity. That
hearingmaybetreatedinthesamemannerasachallengetothevalidityoftheinformationbyway
ofamotiontoquash.26
IntheleadingcaseofLuciano,etal.vs.Mariano,etal.27wehavesetouttheguidelinestobe
followed by the lower courts in the exercise of the power of suspension under Section 13 of the
law,towit:

(c)Bywayofbroadguidelinesforthelowercourtsintheexerciseofthepowerofsuspensionfromofficeof
publicofficerschargedunderavalidinformationundertheprovisionsofRepublicActNo.3019orunderthe
provisionsoftheRevisedPenalCodeonbribery,pursuanttoSection13ofsaidAct,itmaybebrieflystated
thatuponthefilingofsuchinformation,thetrialcourtshouldissueanorderwithpropernoticerequiringthe
accusedofficertoshowcauseataspecificdateofhearingwhyheshouldnotbeorderedsuspendedfrom
officepursuanttothecitedmandatoryprovisionsoftheAct.Whereeithertheprosecutionseasonablyfilesa
motionforanorderofsuspensionortheaccusedinturnfilesamotiontoquashtheinformationorchallenges
thevaliditythereof,suchshowcauseorderofthetrialcourtwouldnolongerbenecessary.Whatis
indispensableisthatthetrialcourtdulyhearthepartiesatahearingheldfordeterminingthevalidityofthe
information,andthereafterhanddownitsruling,issuingthecorrespondingorderorsuspensionshouldit
upholdthevalidityoftheinformationorwithholdsuchsuspensioninthecontrarycase.

(d)Nospecificrulesneedbelaiddownforsuchpresuspensionhearing.Sufficeittostatethattheaccused
shouldbegivenafairandadequateopportunitytochallengethevalidityofthecriminalproceedingsagainst
him,e.g.,thathehasnotbeenaffordedtherightofduepreliminaryinvestigationthattheactsforwhichhe
standschargeddonotconstituteaviolationoftheprovisionsofRepublicActNo.3019orofthebribery
provisionsoftheRevisedPenalCodewhichwouldwarranthismandatorysuspensionfromofficeunder
Section13oftheActorhemaypresentamotiontoquashtheinformationonanyofthegroundsprovidedin
Rule117oftheRulesofCourt.ThemandatorysuspensiondecreedbytheActupondeterminationofthe
pendencyincourtofacriminalprosecutionforviolationoftheAntiGraftActorforbriberyunderavalid
informationrequiresatthesametimethatthehearingbeexpeditious,andnotundulyprotractedsuchasto
thwartthepromptsuspensionenvisionedbytheAct.Hence,ifthetrialcourt,say,findsthegroundallegedin
thequashalmotionnottobeindubitable,thenitshallbecalledupontoissuethesuspensionorderuponits
upholdingthevalidityoftheinformationandsettingthesamefortrialonthemerits.

With the aforequoted jurisprudential authority as the basis, it is evident that upon a proper
determinationofthevalidityoftheinformation,itbecomesmandatoryforthecourttoimmediately
issuethesuspensionorder.Theruleonthematterisspecificandcategorical.Itleavesnoroomfor
interpretation. It is not within the courts discretion to hold in abeyance the suspension of the
accusedofficeronthepretextthattheorderdenyingthemotiontoquashispendingreviewbefore
theappellatecourts.Itsdiscretionliesonlyduringthepresuspensionhearingwhereitisrequired
toascertainwhetherornot(1)theaccusedhadbeenaffordedduepreliminaryinvestigationpriorto
thefilingoftheinformationagainsthim,(2)theactsforwhichhewaschargedconstituteaviolation
of the provisions of Republic Act No. 3019 or of the provisions of Title 7, Book II of the Revised
Penal Code, or (3) the informations against him can be quashed, under any of the grounds
providedinSection2,Rule117oftheRulesofCourt.28
Oncetheinformationisfoundtobesufficientinformandsubstance,thenthecourtmustissue
theorderofsuspensionasamatterofcourse.Therearenoifsandbutsaboutit.Thisisbecausea
preventivesuspensionisnotapenalty.Itisnotimposedasaresultofjudicialproceedings.Infact,
ifacquitted,theofficialconcernedshallbeentitledtoreinstatementandtothesalariesandbenefits
whichhefailedtoreceiveduringsuspension.Inviewofthislatterprovision,theaccusedelective
public officer does not stand to be prejudiced by the immediate enforcement of the suspension
order in the event that the information is subsequently declared null and void on appeal and the
casedismissedasagainsthim.Takingintoconsiderationthepublicpolicyinvolvedinpreventively
suspendingapublicofficerchargedunderavalidinformation,theprotectionofpublicinterestwill
definitelyhavetoprevailovertheprivateinterestoftheaccused.29
To further emphasize the ministerial duty of the court under Section 13 of Republic Act No.
3019,itissaidthatthecourttryingacasehasneitherdiscretionnordutytodeterminewhetheror
notapreventivesuspensionisrequiredtopreventtheaccusedfromusinghisofficetointimidate
witnesses or frustrate his prosecution or continue committing malfeasance in office. The
presumptionisthatunlesstheaccusedissuspended,hemayfrustratehisprosecutionorcommit
furtheractsofmalfeasanceordoboth,inthesamewaythatuponafindingthatthereisprobable
causetobelievethatacrimehasbeencommittedandthattheaccusedisprobablyguiltythereof,
the law requires the judge to issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused. The law does not
requirethecourttodeterminewhethertheaccusedislikelytoescapeorevadethejurisdictionof
thecourt.30
ApplyingnowtheprocedureoutlinedinLuciano,the records of the instant case do not show
thattheproceedingsleadingtothefilingoftheinformationsagainstpetitionerweretaintedwithany
irregularity so as to invalidate the same. Likewise, the informations show that the allegations
contained therein meet the essential elements of the offense as defined by the substantive law.
Therecordisalsobereftofundisputedfactstowarrantthequashaloftheinformationsunderany
ofthegroundsprovidedinSection2,Rule117oftheRulesofCourt.31Finally,acursoryreadingof
theorderdatedFebruary9,1994 issued by respondent court will show that petitioner was given
theopportunitytobeheardonhismotiontoquash.Veritably,theSandiganbayandidnotcommita
graveabuseofdiscretionindenyingthemotiontoquashandorderingthepreventivesuspension
ofhereinpetitioner.
2. Additionally, petitioner avers that the informations filed against him on which the order of
suspension was based, are null and void in view of the noninclusion of his coprincipals which
thusconstitutesaviolationofpetitionersrighttodueprocessandequalprotectionofthelawand,
therefore, ousted respondent court of its jurisdiction over the case. Petitioner alleges that in
CriminalCaseNo.18027,theboardofdirectorsofERATechnologyCorporationshouldhavebeen
included as principals by indispensable cooperation because without them he could not possibly
havecommittedtheoffense.
Also, he claims that in Criminal Case No. 18028, the members of the Sangguniang
Panlalawiganwhoissuedtheresolutionsauthorizingthepurchaseandrepairofthemotorlaunch
should likewise have been included as principals by inducement or indispensable cooperation,
consideringthatpetitionerwasallegedlymerelyimplementingtheirresolutions.Hence,according
to him, since the informations are null and void, the suspension order which is based thereon
shouldnecessarilyalsobedeclarednullandvoid.Wefindnomeritinpetitionersarguments.
First,theruleunderSection1,Rule110oftheRulesofCourt,asreformulatedinSection2,
Rule110ofthe1985RulesonCriminalProcedure,isthatallcriminalactionsmustbecommenced
eitherbycomplaintorinformationinthenameofthePeopleofthePhilippinesagainstallpersons
who appear to be responsible for the offense involved. The law makes it a legal duty for
prosecuting officers to file the charges against whomsoever the evidence may show to be
responsibleforanoffense.Thisdoesnotmean,however,thattheyshallhavenodiscretionatall
theirdiscretionliesindeterminingwhethertheevidencesubmittedjustifyareasonablebeliefthata
person has committed an offense. What the rule demands is that all persons who appear
responsibleshallbechargedintheinformation,whichconverselyimpliesthatthoseagainstwhom
nosufficientevidenceofguiltexistsarenotrequiredtobeincluded.32
Thisnotwithstanding,ithasequallybeenruledthatthefailureofthefiscaltoincludetheother
public officials who appear to be responsible for the offense charged as coaccused in the
information filed against the accused does not in any way vitiate the validity of the information
undertheRules.33
Second,afailuretoincludeotherpersonswhoappeartoberesponsibleforthecrimecharged
is not one of the grounds provided under Section 3, Rule 117 for which a motion to quash the
information against the accused may be filed, most especially in the case at bar where there is
primafacieproofthatpetitionerisprobablyguiltyoftheoffensecharged,asidefromthefactthat
there is no allegation of conspiracy in the informations. Besides, such an infirmity would neither
havetheeffectofextinguishingormitigatingpetitionersliabilityifheissubsequentlyfoundguiltyof
theoffensecharged.Noonewouldcontendthatifforlackofknowledgeofthefacts,bymistakeor
foranyotherreasontheprosecutingofficerfailstoincludethenamesofoneormorepersonsinan
informationfiledbyhim,whowereinfactguiltyparticipantsinthecommissionofthecrimecharged
therein, such persons will be relieved of criminal liability or that those accused who have been
chargedwiththeoffense,broughttotrial,andfoundguiltywillbepermittedtoescapepunishment
merelybecauseitdevelopsinthecourseofthetrial,orafterthetrial,thattherewereotherguilty
participantsinthecrime.34
Grantingarguendothatthisplaintofpetitionermaybeinvokedasagroundforthequashalof
theinformations,themotiontoquashmuststillbedeniedforhavingbeenfiledonlyafterpetitioner
had been arraigned. Section 8, Rule 117 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides that
(t)he failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the
complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the
same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of the grounds of a motion to quash, except the
grounds of no offense charged, lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged, extinction of the
offense or penalty and jeopardy. The failure to include a coaccused is not covered by the
exceptionhence,thesameisdeemedwaived.
Third, where the government prosecutor unreasonably refuses to file an information or to
include a person as an accused therein despite the fact that the evidence clearly warrants such
action,theoffendedpartyhasthefollowingremedies:(1)incaseofgraveabuseofdiscretion,he
may file an action for mandamus to compel the prosecutor to file such information (2) he may
lodgeanewcomplaintagainsttheoffendersbeforetheOmbudsmanandhaveanewexamination
conducted as required by law (3) he may institute administrative charges against the erring
prosecutor,oracriminalcomplaintunderArticle208oftheRevisedPenalCode,oracivilaction
for damages under Article 27 of the Civil Code (4) he may secure the appointment of another
prosecutoror(5)hemayinstituteanothercriminalactionifnodoublejeopardyisinvolved.
Fourth,itissignificantanddemonstrativeofpetitionersstrategythatfromtheinceptionofthe
criminalcomplaintbeforetheOmbudsmanandduringtheconductofthepreliminaryinvestigation,
untilthefilingoftheinformationsbeforetheSandiganbayananduptothedenialofhisamended
and consolidated motion to quash, herein petitioner has not been heard to complain about the
allegednoninclusionoftheothersupposedoffenders.Indeed,itisnowmuchtoolateforpetitioner
toinvokeandexploitthisparticularunfoundedissue.
Prescinding from the averments raised in the complaint and information, from the facts and
evidence of record, we do not deem it necessary to include the members of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan of Palawan and the board members of the ERA Technology and Resources
Corporationascoaccusedintheinformationsfiledagainsthereinpetitioner.Insofarastheboard
members of said corporation are concerned, they may be prosecuted only under Section 4(b) of
RepublicActNo.3019whichprovidesthat(i)tshallbeunlawfulforanypersonknowinglytoinduce
or cause any public official to commit any of the offenses defined in Section 3 thereof. In the
informationfiledinCriminalCaseNo.18027,petitionerstandschargedwithaviolationofSection
3(h).Itdoesnotcontainanyallegationtotheeffectthattheboardmembersknowinglyinducedor
causedhereinpetitionertocommittheoffensedefinedtherein,whichisanessentialelementofthe
crime in Section 4(b). Indubitably, therefore, the board members cannot be included as co
principalsinCriminalCaseNo.18027.
On the other hand, the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan cannot likewise be
included in the information for violation of Section 3(e) filed in Criminal Case No. 18028, for the
simplereasonthatitisnotthevalidityoftheirresolutionwhichisinissuehere.Whileitistruethat
saidsanggunianpassedaresolutionauthorizingtheallocationoffundsforthepurchaseofamotor
launch, and that petitioner merely acted on the strength thereof, it is not the fact of such
authorizationwhichisthesubjectofthechargesagainstpetitionerbutratherthemannerbywhich
thatresolutionwasimplementedbythelatter.Thereisnothingintheavermentsintheinformation
from which it could be inferentially deduced that the members of the sanggunian participated,
directly or indirectly, in the purchase of the vessel, and which fact could be the basis for their
indictment.
3. Lastly,petitioner questions the legality of his suspension on the groundthatSection13of
RepublicActNo.3019,whichisthebasisthereof,isunconstitutionalforbeinganunduedelegation
ofexecutivepowertotheSandiganbayan.Hepostulatesthatthepowerofsuspension,whichisan
incident of the power of removal, is basically administrative and executive in nature. He further
submitsthatthepowerofremovalvestedinthecourtunderSection9ofRepublicActNo.3019is
anincidentofconviction,thatis,itcanonlybeexercisedafteraconvictionhasbeenhandeddown.
Hence, according to petitioner, since the power to suspend is merely incidental to the power of
removal, the former can only be exercised as an incident to conviction. Also, considering that
Section13authorizesthecourttoexercisethepowerofsuspensionevenpriortoconvictionofthe
accused,itcannotbeconsideredasanexerciseofjudicialpowerbecauseitisnotwithintheambit
of the courts power of removal. In addition, petitioner avers that Section 13 is arbitrary and
discriminatory because it serves no purpose at all, in that it does not require a proceeding to
determineifthereissufficientgroundtosuspend,exceptforthefactthatitisrequiredbylaw.
Althoughpresenteddifferently,theissueonthecourtspowerofsuspensionunderSection13
has been squarely and directly raised and adjudicated in the case of Luciano vs. Provincial
Governor,etal.,35thepronouncementswhereinwequoteinextenso:

3.Proceedingfromourholdingthatsuspensionisnotautomatic,whoshouldexercisethemandatoryactof
suspensionunderSection13oftheAntiGraftandCorruptPracticesAct?

Threetheorieshavebeenadvanced.Oneisthatthepowerofsuspensionwhereacriminal
casehasalreadybeenfiledincourtstilliswiththeProvincialGovernor,relyingonSection2188
oftheRevisedAdministrativeCode.Anotheristhat,followingtherulinginSarcosvs.Castilloxxx,
becausethemainrespondentsareelectivemunicipalofficials,thatpowerofsuspensionmustbe
held to repose in the Provincial Board, under Section 5 of the Decentralization Act of 1967
(Republic Act 5185). The third is that, by Section 13 of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act,
solelythecourtinwhichthecriminalcasehasbeenfiledshallwieldthepowerofsuspension.
Weoptforthethird.Commonsenseandtheschemeofthelawsodictate.

ItistruethatnothinginSection13oftheAntiGraftandCorruptPracticesActgrantswithspecificityupon
theCourtofFirstInstancethepowertosuspendanofficialchargedwithaviolationthereof.Itwouldseemto
usthoughthatsuspensionsbyvirtueofcriminalproceedingsareseparateanddistinctfromsuspensionsin
administrativecases.AnaccuratereadingofSection13yieldstwomethodsofinvestigation,oneseparate
fromtheother:onecriminalbeforethecourtsofjustice,andtheotheradministrative.Thisistheplainimport
ofthelastsentenceofSection13,whichsaysthatifacquitted,defendantinanAntiGraftandCorrupt
Practicescaseshallbeentitledtoreinstatementandtothesalariesandbenefitswhichhefailedtoreceive
duringsuspension,unlessinthemeantimeadministrativeproceedingshavebeenfiledagainsthim.Our
interpretationbutpreserves,asitshould,thesubstantialsymmetrybetweenthefirstpartofSection13and
thelastpartthereofjustquoted.

Andso,thereisinthislegalprovisionarecognitionthatonceacaseisfiledincourt,allotheractsconnected
withthedischargeofcourtfunctionswhichhereincludesuspensionshouldbelefttotheCourtofFirst
Instance.

Notthatthisviewfindsnostatutorysupport.BySection9oftheAntiGraftandCorruptPracticesAct,the
courtisempoweredtopunishanypublicofficialcommittinganyoftheunlawfulactsoromissions
enumeratedinSections3,4,5and6ofthelaw,amongstothers,toperpetualdisqualificationfrompublic
office.Here,theMakatielectiveofficialsheretoforenamedhavebeenchargedwithandfoundguiltyofa
violationofSection3(g)oftheAntiGraftandCorruptPracticesActandweresentencedbythecourtbelow,
amongstotherstobeperpetuallydisqualifiedtoholdoffice.Article30oftheRevisedPenalCodedeclares
thatthepenaltyofperpetualabsolutedisqualificationentails(t)hedeprivationofthepublicofficesand
employmentswhichtheoffendermayhaveheld,evenifconferredbypopularelection.Nostretchofthe
imaginationisnecessarytoshowthatperpetualabsolutedisqualificationwhich,ineffect,isencompassed
inthepunishmentsetforthinSection9oftheAntiGraftandCorruptPracticesActcoversthatofremoval
fromtheofficewhicheachoftherespondentmunicipalofficialholds.

Sinceremovalfromofficetheniswithinthepowerofthecourt,noamountofjudiciallegerdemainwould
deprivethecourtofthepowertosuspend.Reasonforthisisthatsuspensionnecessarilyisincludedinthe
greaterpowerofremoval.ItiswithoutdoubtthatCongresshaspowertoauthorizecourtstosuspendpublic
officerspendingcourtproceedingsforremovalandthatthecongressionalgrantisnotviolativeofthe
separationofpowers.For,ourConstitutionbeingsilent,wearenottosaythatfromCongressiswithheldthe
powertodecidethemodeorprocedureofsuspensionandremovalofpublicofficers.

Alookintothelegislativeintent,alongwiththelegislativescheme,convincesusthemorethatthepowerof
suspensionshouldbelodgedwiththecourt.Whilethelawmaynotbeamodelofpreciseverbalstructure,
theintentisthere.Section13requiresasapreconditionofthepowertosuspendthattherebeavalid
information.Validityofinformation,ofcourse,isdeterminedbytheCourtofFirstInstancewherethe
criminalcaseispending.Thatisessentiallyajudicialfunction.Suspensionisasequeltothatfinding,an
incidenttothecriminalproceedingsbeforethecourt.Indeed,whocansuspendexceptonewhoknowsthe
factsuponwhichsuspensionisbased?WedrawsupportfromLacsonvs.Roque,supra,atpage469:Weare
certainthatnoauthorityorgoodreasoncanbefoundinsupportofapropositionthattheChiefExecutivecan
suspendanofficerfacingcriminalchargesforthesolepurposeofaidingthecourtintheadministrationof
justice.IndependentoftheotherbranchesoftheGovernment,thecourtscanwelltakecareoftheirown
administrationofthelaw.

The AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act, an important legislation, should not be artificially
construed so as to exclude the courts from the power to suspend a prime tool designed by
Congresstopreventthepowerwhichanofficialwieldsfromfrustratingthepurityandcertaintyof
the administration of justice. Surely, we should not be pedantically exacting in reading its
provisions. We should rather say that if the courts power of suspension incident to the court
proceedingsistobewithheldornarrowedbyconstruction,Congressshouldhavespelleditoutin
nouncertaintermsxxx.
The Court then hastened to clarify that such a view may not be taken as an encroachment
uponthepowerofsuspensiongivenotherofficials,reiteratingintheprocessthatalineshouldbe
drawnbetweenadministrativeproceedingsandcriminalactionsincourt,thatoneisapartfromthe
other. Elucidating further on the possible danger which may arise if the power of suspension, in
consequenceofacriminalactionunderRepublicActNo.3019isvestedinanyauthorityotherthan
thecourt,itdeclaredthat:

ThereisreasonablegroundtobelievethatCongressdidreallyapprehenddangershouldthepowerof
suspensioninconsequenceofacriminalcaseundertheAntiGraftandCorruptPracticesActbelodgedin
anyauthorityotherthanthecourt.Quiteapartfromthefactthatthecourthasabettergraspofthesituation,
thereisoneotherfactor,andthatis,therightsofthepersonaccused.Thecourtcouldverywellserveasa
levertobalanceinoneequationthepublicinterestsinvolvedandtheinterestsofthedefendant.Andthen,
thereisthedangerthatpartisanpoliticsmaycreepin.Thehandofpoliticaloppressioncannotjustbeignored
especiallyifthemajoritymembersoftheProvincialBoardandthedefendantpubliclocalelectiveofficerare
onoppositesidesofthepoliticalfence.Powermaybeabused.Conversely,ifbothareofthesamepolitical
persuasion,thesuspendingauthoritywilldisplayreluctanceinexercisingthepowerofsuspension.Itisthus
thatthestatuteshouldcatchupwiththerealitiesofpoliticallife.Thereisindeedthedispiritinglessonthatin
aclashbetweenpoliticalconsiderationsandconscienceitisthelatterthatquiteoftengetsdented.xxx

xxxxxxxxx

Therefore,sincesuspensionisincidenttoremovalandshouldproceedfromonewhoshouldlogicallydoso,
andconsideringthatintheoperationofagivenstatutefairnessmusthavebeeninthemindofthelegislators,
webrushasideneedlessrefinements,andrulethatunderSection13oftheAntiGraftandCorruptPractices
Act,onceavalidinformationupontheprovisionsthereofislodgedwiththeCourtofFirstInstance,that
courthastheinescapabledutytosuspendthepublicofficialindictedthereunder.

Thesecaseshavelongbeenontheline,undulystretchedbeyondtheirlogicalparametersand
the permissible time frame. Indeed, it is high time, ironically in fairness to petitioner himself, that
thesamebenowcalcinedinthejudicialcrucibleintotheirultimateconfiguration.
WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered,thepetitionsinG.R.Nos.11625960and11889697are
herebyDISMISSEDforlackofmerit,withcostsagainstthepetitioner.
SOORDERED.
Romero(Chairman),Puno,andMendoza,JJ.,concur.

1AnnexG,Petition,G.R.Nos.11625960Rollo,90.

2AnnexH1,IdIbid.,109.

3Annex1,Id.Ibid.,112.

4AnnexC,Petition,G.R.Nos.11889697Rollo,68.

5Petition,G.R.Nos.11625960Rollo,221225.

6AnnexA,Petition,,G.R.Nos.11889697Rollo,53.

7Petition,G.R.Nos.11625960Rollo,185.

8Id.id.Ibid.,261.

9AnnexB,Petition,G.R.Nos.11889697Rollo,55.

10G.R.Nos.7233539,March21,1988,159SCRA70.

11Petition,G.R.Nos.11625960Rollo,9597.

12Dacanayvs.People,etal.,G.R.No.101302,January25,1995,240SCRA490.

13G.R.Nos.7033243,November13,1986,145SCRA508.

14Gallego,etal.vs.Sandiganbayan,G.R.No.57841,July30,1982,115SCRA793.

15Cruz,Jr.vs.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.83754,February18,1991,194SCRA145.
16Peoplevs.Maravilla,etal.,G.R.No.L47646,September19,1988,165SCRA392.

17Reyesvs.Camilon,etal.,L46198,December20,1990,192SCRA445.

18Peoplevs.Maravilla,etal.,supra,fn.16.

19U.S.vs.Tolentino,5Phil.682(1906).

20Peoplevs.Casiano,L15309,February16,1961,1SCRA478.

21Doromalvs.Sandiganbayan,etal.,G.R.No.85468,September7,1989,177SCRA354.

22G.R.No.50054,August17,1988,164SCRA421.

23Cruz,Jr.vs.CourtofAppeals,supra,fn.15.

24Reyes,Jr.vs.Camilon,supra,fn.17.

25AsamendedbySection5ofB.P.195,approvedonMarch16,1982.

26SeePeoplevs.Albano,etc.,etal.,L4537677,July28,1988,163SCRA511.

27L32950,July30,1971,40SCRA187.

28Peoplevs.Albano,etc.,etal.,supra,fn.26.

29Bayotvs.Sandiganbayan,etal.,G.R.Nos.6177661861,March23,1984,128SCRA383.

30Bolastigvs.Sandiganbayan,etal.,G.R.No.110503,August4,1994,235SCRA103.

31Peoplevs.Albano,etc.,etal.,supra,fn.26.

32Peoplevs.Enriquez,G.R.No.102955,March22,1993,220SCRA325.

33Reyesvs.Camilon,supra,fn.24.

34U.S.vs.Abanzado,37Phil.658(1918).

35L30306,June20,1969,28SCRA517.