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Name: Bugtas, Camille C.

Case: MAGISTRADO v. PEOPLE


Doctrine: A prejudicial question is defined as that which arises in a case the resolution
of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein, and the cognizance of
which pertains to another tribunal. Further, a prejudicial question must be determinative
of the case before the court, but the jurisdiction must be lodged in another court. “It is a
question based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately
connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused.
Facts: Private respondent Elena Librojo filed a criminal complaint against accused
Francisco Magistrado before the Office of the Prosecutor of Quezon City. Thereafter the
prosecutor recommended the filing of the complaint against accused. An Information
was filed against the accused for perjury before the MeTC of Quezon City.
The Information alleged that the accused subscribed and swore to an Affidavit of Loss
before a notary public stating that he lost his Owner’s Duplicate Certificate of TCT.
The same affidavit was used by accused to support his Petition for Issuance of New
Owner’s Duplicate Copy of Certificate of TCT filed with the RTC of Quezon City. A
verification was again signed and sworn into by the accused before the notary public.
However, the contents of the same affidavit, already known to the accused, are false. It
was later found out that the property subject of the TCT was mortgaged to respondent
Librojo as collateral for a loan. As a result, respondent suffered damages and prejudice
due to the deliberate assertion of falsehoods by the accused.
Subsequently, petitioner-accused Magistrado filed a motion to suspend the
proceedings on the ground of a prejudicial question. Petitioner alleged that two civil
cases (for recovery of sum of money and for cancellation of mortgage) were pending
before the RTC of Quezon City, and that they must be resolved first before the present
criminal case. The RTC of Quezon City denied the motion. Hence this petition.
Issue: Whether or not the two civil cases (for Recovery of Sum of Money and for
Cancellation of Mortgage) constitute a prejudicial question that would warrant a
suspension of the criminal case of perjury
Ruling: A prejudicial question is defined as that which arises in a case the resolution
of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein, and the cognizance of
which pertains to another tribunal. Further, a prejudicial question must be
determinative of the case before the court, but the jurisdiction must be lodged in
another court. “It is a question based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime
but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the
accused.” The Court enumerated the requisites of a prejudicial question that would
suspend the criminal proceedings until final resolution of the civil case:
1. The civil case involves facts intimately related to those upon which the criminal
prosecution would be based;
2. The guilt or innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined in resolving
the issues raised in the civil case;
3. Jurisdiction to try the question is lodged in another tribunal.
In conclusion the Court stated—it is evident that the civil cases and the criminal
cases can proceed independently of each other. Regardless of the outcome of the two
civil cases, it will not establish the innocence or guilt of the petitioner in the criminal
case of perjury. The purchase by petitioner of the land or his execution of a real estate
mortgage will have no bearing whatsoever on whether petitioner knowingly and
fraudulently executed a false affidavit of loss of the TCT.

Name: Bugtas, Camille C.


Case: SORIANO v. PEOPLE
Doctrine: The fundamental test in considering a motion to quash anchored on Section
3(a), Rule 117 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, is the sufficiency of the
averments in the information; that is, whether the facts alleged, if hypothetically
admitted, would establish the essential elements of the offense charged as defined by
law. Facts that constitute the defense of the petitioners against the charge under the
information must be proved by them during trial. Such facts or circumstances do not
constitute proper grounds for a motion to quash the information on the ground that the
material averments do not constitute the offense.
Facts: Soriano and Ilagan were the President and General Manager, respectively, of the
Rural Bank of San Miguel (Bulacan), Inc. (RBSM). Allegedly, on June 27, 1997 and
August 21, 1997, during their incumbency as president and manager of the bank,
petitioners indirectly obtained loans from RBSM. They falsified the loan applications
and other bank records, and made it appear that Virgilio J. Malang and Rogelio
Mañaol obtained loans of P15M each, when in fact they did not.
The prosecutor charged Soriano in the RTC with violation of Section 83 of R.A. No. 337
or the General Banking Act, as amended or Violation of the Director, Officer,
Stockholder or Related Interest (DOSRI) Rules (DOSRI Rules). An information for
estafa through falsification of commercial document was also filed against Soriano and
Ilagan.
Petitioners moved to quash the informations arguing that the prosecutor charged more
than one offense for a single act. Soriano was charged with violation of DOSRI rules
and estafa thru falsification of commercial document for allegedly securing fictitious
loans. They further argued that the facts as alleged in the information do not
constitute an offense. RTC denied the motion to quash. CA sustained the denial of
petitioners’ separate motions to quash.
Issue: Whether or not the contention of the petitioner has merit.
Ruling: The contention has no merit.
In Loney v. People, this Court, in upholding the filing of multiple charges against the
accused, held:
As early as the start of the last century, this Court had ruled that a single act or
incident might offend against two or more entirely distinct and unrelated provisions of
law thus justifying the prosecution of the accused for more than one offense. The only
limit to this rule is the Constitutional prohibition that no person shall be twice put in
jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. In People v. Doriquez, we held that two
(or more) offenses arising from the same act are not the same
x x x if one provision [of law] requires proof of an additional fact or element which the
other does not, x x x. Phrased elsewise, where two different laws (or articles of the
same code) define two crimes, prior jeopardy as to one of them is no obstacle to a
prosecution of the other, although both offenses arise from the same facts, if each
crime involves some important act which is not an essential element of the other.
In this case, however, Soriano was faced not with one information charging more than
one offense, but with more than one information, each charging a different offense—
violation of DOSRI rules in one, and estafa thru falsification of commercial documents
in the others. Ilagan, on the other hand, was charged with estafa thru falsification of
commercial documents in separate informations. Thus, petitioners erroneously invoke
duplicity of charges as a ground to quash the Informations.
The fundamental test in considering a motion to quash anchored on Section 3(a), Rule
117 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, is the sufficiency of the averments in
the information; that is, whether the facts alleged, if hypothetically admitted, would
establish the essential elements of the offense charged as defined by law.

Name: Bugtas, Camille C.


Case: COLINARES v. PEOPLE
Doctrine: The Probation Law, said the Court in Francisco, requires that an accused must
not have appealed his conviction before he can avail himself of probation. This
requirement “outlaws the element of speculation on the part of the accused—to wager on
the result of his appeal—that when his conviction is finally affirmed on appeal, the
moment of truth well-nigh at hand, and the service of his sentence inevitable, he now
applies for probation as an ‘escape hatch’ thus rendering nugatory the appellate court’s
affirmance of his conviction.” In a real sense, the Court’s finding that Arnel was guilty,
not of frustrated homicide, but only of attempted homicide, is an original conviction that
for the first time imposes on him a probationable penalty. Had the RTC done him right
from the start, it would have found him guilty of the correct offense and imposed on him
the right penalty of two years and four months maximum. This would have afforded
Arnel the right to apply for probation.
Facts: Arnel Colinares was charged and found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
frustrated homicide by the RTC of Camarines Sur. He was sentenced to suffer
imprisonment from two years and four months of prison correccional, as minimum, to
six years and one day of prison mayor, as maximum. Since the maximum
probationable imprisonment under the law was only up to six years, Arnel did not
qualify for probation. On appeal by Colinares, the Court of Appeals sustained the
RTC’s decision. Unsatisfied with the Court of Appeal’s decision, petitioner then
appealed to the Supreme Court and took the position that he should be entitled to
apply for probation in case the Court metes out a new penalty on him that makes his
offense probationable, which was strongly opposed by the Solicitor General reiterating
that under the Probation Law, no application for probation can be entertained once
the accused has perfected his appeal from the judgment of conviction. The Supreme
Court, however, found that Colinares is guilty of attempted homicide and not of
frustrated homicide.
Issue: Whether or not Arnel Colinares may still apply for probation on remand of the
case to the trial court
Ruling: Yes, The Supreme Court ruled that Colinares may apply for probation upon
remand of his case to the RTC. Ordinarily, an accused would no longer be entitled to
apply for probation, he having appealed from the judgment of the RTC convicting him
for frustrated homicide. But in this case the Supreme Court ruled to set aside the
judgment of the RTC and found him only liable for attempted homicide, if the Supreme
Court follows the established rule that no accused can apply for probation on appeal,
the accused would suffer from the erroneous judgment of the RTC with no fault of his
own, therefore defying fairness and equity.