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CRIM PRO Galvez vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.

October 24, 1994
Galvez vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 114046 October 24, 1994


On November 12, 1993, petitioners Honorato Galvez, the incumbent Mayor of San
Ildefonso, Bulacan, and one Godofredo Diego were charged in three separate
informations with homicide and two counts of frustrated homicide for allegedly shooting
to death Alvin Calma Vinculado and seriously wounding Levi Calma Vinculado and
Miguel Reyes Vinculado, Jr.

On December 15, 1993, before petitioners could be arraigned, respondent prosecutor

filed an Ex Parte Motion to Withdraw Informations of the original informations. This
motion was granted by Judge Villajuan also on December 15, 1993 and the cases were
considered withdrawn from the docket of the court. On the same day, Prosecutor Villa-
Ignacio filed four new informations against herein petitioners for murder, two counts of
frustrated murder, and violation of Presidential Decree No. 1866 for illegal
possession of firearms.
Thereafter, a Motion to Quash the new informations for lack of jurisdiction was filed by
petitioners before Judge Pornillos on January 3, 1994. At the court session set for the
arraignment of petitioners on January 24, 1994, Judge Pornillos issued an order
denying the motion to quash.

In the meantime, and prior to the arraignment of herein petitioners before Judge
Pornillos, an order was issued on January 20, 1994 by Judge Villajuan granting the
motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners, ordering the reinstatementof the
original informations, and setting the arraignment of the accused therein for February 8,
1994. On said date, however, the arraignment was suspended and, in the meanwhile,
petitioners filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with respondent
Court of Appeals, assailing the order dated January 24, 1994 issued by Judge Pornillos
which denied petitioners’ motion to quash filed for the new informations. As earlier
stated, respondent court dismissed the petition in its questioned resolution of February
18, 1994, hence this petition.


Whether the ex parte motion to withdraw the original informations is null and void on the
ground that there was no notice and hearing as required by Sections 4, 5 and 6, Rule
15 of the Rules of Court.


No, considering that in the original cases before Branch 14 of the trial court petitioners
had not yet been placed in jeopardy, and the ex parte motion to withdraw was filed and
granted before they could be arraigned, there would be no imperative need for notice
and hearing thereof. In actuality, the real grievance of herein accused is not the
dismissal of the original three informations but the filing of four new informations, three
of which charge graver offenses and the fourth, an additional offense. Had these new
informations not been filed, there would obviously have been no cause for the instant
petition. Accordingly, their complaint about the supposed procedural lapses involved in
the motion to dismiss filed and granted in Criminal Cases Nos. 3642-M-93 to 3644-M-93
does not impress us as a candid presentation of their real position.

Petitioner’s contention that the dismissal of the original informations and the consequent
filing of the new ones substantially affected their right to bail is too strained and tenuous
an argument. They would want to ignore the fact that had the original informations been
amended so as to charge the capital offense of murder, they still stood to likewise be
deprived of their right to bail once it was shown that the evidence of guilt is strong.
Petitioners could not be better off with amended informations than with the subsequent
ones. It really made no difference considering that where a capital offense is charged
and the evidence of guilt is strong, bail becomes a matter of discretion under either an
amended or a new information.

Contrary to petitioners’ submission, the absence of notice and hearing does not divest a
trial court of authority to pass on the merits of the motion. It has been held that—“The
order of the court granting the motion to dismiss despite absence of a notice of hearing,
or proof of service thereof, is merely an irregularity in the proceedings. It cannot deprive
a competent court of jurisdiction over the case. The court still retains its authority to
pass on the merits of the motion. The remedy of the aggrieved party in such cases is
either to have the order set aside or the irregularity otherwise cured by the court which
dismissed the complaint or to appeal from the dismissal and not certiorari.”



Petitioner Mario Crespo was accused for Estafa in the

Circuit Criminal Court of Lucena City. When the case was
set for arraignment, the accused filed a motion for defer
arraignment on the ground that there was a pending
petition for review filed with the Secretary of Justice.
However, Justice Mogul denied the motion, but the
arraignment was deferred in a much later date to afford
time for the petitioner to elevate the mater to the appellate
The accused filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition
with prayer for a preliminary writ of injunction to the CA.
The CA ordered the trial court to refrain from proceeding
with the arraignment until further orders of the Court.
Undersecretary of Justice, Hon. Catalino Macaraig Jr.,
resolved the petition for review reversed the resolution of
the office of the Provincial Fiscal and directed the Fiscal to
move for immediate dismissal of the information filed
against the accused. Judge Mogul denied the motion for
dismissal of the case ad set the arraignment. The accused
then filed a petition for Certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus with petition for the issuance of preliminary
writ of prohibition and/or temporary restraining order in
the CA. The CA dismissed the order and lifted the
restraining order.
Issue: Whether the trial court may refuse to grant a motion
to dismiss filed by the Fiscal under orders fro, the
Secretary of Justice and insists on arraignment and trial
on the merits.

It is a cardinal principle that all criminal actions either
commenced by complaint or by information shall be
prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal. 17
The institution of a criminal action depends upon the
sound discretion of the fiscal. The reason for placing the
criminal prosecution under the direction and control of
the fiscal is to prevent malicious or unfounded prosecution
by private persons. 19 It cannot be controlled by the

However, the action of the fiscal or prosecutor is not

without any 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 and it maybe elevated
for review to the Secretary of Justice who has the power to
affirm, modify or reverse the action or opinion of the
fiscal. Consequently the Secretary of Justice may direct
that a motion to dismiss the case be filed in Court or
otherwise, that an information be filed in Court.

The filing of a complaint or information in Court initiates a

criminal action. The Court thereby acquires jurisdiction
over the case, which is the authority to hear and determine
the case. The preliminary investigation conducted by the
fiscal for the purpose of determining whether a prima facie
case exists warranting the prosecution of the accused is
terminated upon the filing of the information in the proper