Case Digest: Rule 113 – Teodosio v. CA (G.R. No. 124346, June 8, 2004)

[CRIMINAL PROCEDURE]

Topic: RULE 113

Case Digest: Teodosio v. CA (G.R. No. 124346, June 8, 2004)

FACTS:

Teodosio was charged with selling and delivering drugs (shabu). The police conducted a buy-bust operation after the four-days surveillance on his house because he was suspected of peddling shabu. A team of police officers and the informer went to Teodosio’s house. The informer introduced SPO1 Inciong to Teodosio as shabu buyer while the rest of the team waited outside the house. Teodosio told them that a gram of shabu costs ₱600. He gave SPO1 Inciong one plastic packet and, in turn, Inciong handed six pieces of ₱100 bills treated with ultraviolet powder to Teodosio. After verifying the contents of the packet as shabu, Inciong gave the signal to the other police officers who witnessed the transaction. After introducing himself as a police officer, Inciong, together with his companions, arrested Teodosio. The marked money bills and other packet of shabu were recovered from Teodosio and the presence of ultraviolet powder on his hands was also positive.

Teodosio argued that the police officers raided his house without a search or arrest warrant and claimed that when they found no drugs, they took a bag containing a large sum of money.

RTC found Teodosio guilty relying on the prosecution’s witnesses (police officers). The CA then affirmed the RTC’s decision but modified the penalty. Teodosio insists that the police officers forcibly entered and searched his house without a warrant.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the trial court and CA overlooked certain material and undisputed facts erroneously concluding that the alleged buy-bust operation conducted without a search warrant or warrant of arrest took place outside the residence of the petitioner.

HELD:

Teodosio failed to show any motive why the police officers would illegally raid his house. There was strong evidence gathered from the entrapment certainly beyond reasonable doubt that appellant was engaged in drug-dealing. No warrant was needed considering that the mission was not a search but an entrapment. An arrest made after an entrapment does not require a warrant inasmuch as it is considered a valid warrantless arrest pursuant to Rule 113, Section 5(a) of the Rules of Court. Any search resulting from a lawful warrantless arrest is valid because the accused committed a crime in flagrante delicto, that is, the person arrested (Teodosio) committed a crime in the presence of the arresting officers.

Case Digest: Rule 117 – Los Baños vs. Pedro (G.R. No. 173588, April 22, 2009)

[CRIMINAL PROCEDURE]

Topic: Rule 117

Case Digest: Los Baños vs. Pedro (G.R. No. 173588, April 22, 2009)

FACTS:

Joel Pedro was charged in court for carrying a loaded firearm at a checkpoint in Boac, Marinduque without authorization from the COMELEC, a day before the national and local elections. Pedro filed a Motion for Preliminary Investigation, which the RTC granted. The preliminary investigation, however, did not materialize. Pedro then filed with the RTC a Motion to Quash, arguing that the Information contains facts that do not constitute an offense. Pedro attached to his motion a Comelec Certification stating that he was “exempted” from the gun ban. The RTC granted the motion to quash.

The petitioner alleged that the certificate was falsified and that the prosecution was denied of due process when the judge quashed the information without hearing. The RTC reopened the case for further proceedings in which Pedro objected to citing Rule 117, Sec. 8 on provisional dismissal, arguing that the dismissal had become permanent. The RTC, thus, set Pedro’s arraignment date.

Pedro filed with the CA a petition for certiorari and prohibition to nullify the RTC’s mandated reopening.

The CA, at first granted the reopening of the case but through Pedro’s Motion for Reconsideration, his argument that a year has passed by from the receipt of the quashal order, the CA’s decision was reversed.

Los Baños prays in his petition that the case be remanded to the RTC for arraignment and trial, or that a new charge sheet be filed against Pedro, or that the old information be re-filed with the RTC.

ISSUE:

Whether the rule on provision dismissal (Sec. 8, Rule 117) is applicable.

RULING:

No. The SC granted the petition and remanded the case to the RTC.

The SC differentiated Motion to Quash and Provisional Dismissal. Primarily, they are two separate concepts. In Motion to Quash, the Information itself has deficiency while in Provisional Dismissal, the Information has no deficiencies. It does not follow that a motion to quash results in a provisional dismissal to which Section 8, Rule 117 applies.

In this case, the SC finds that the RTC erred in its initial ruling that a quashal of the Information was in order. Pedro also misappreciated the true nature, functionality, and utility of a motion to quash and provisional dismissal. As a consequence, a valid Information still stands, on the basis of which Pedro should now be arraigned and stand trial.

Case Digest: Union Bank of the Philippines and Tomas v. People (G.R. No. 192565, February 28, 2012)

[CRIMINAL PROCEDURE]

Topic: Proper Venue

Case Digest: Union Bank of the Philippines and Tomas v. People (G.R. No. 192565, February 28, 2012)

FACTS:

Tomas was charged in court for perjury under Article 183 of the RPC for making a false narration in a Certificate against Forum Shopping. Two complaints were filed against petitioners. The first complaint was filed before the RTC, Branch 109, Pasay City on April 3, 1998. The second complaint was filed on March 15, 2000 and raffled to the MeTC, Branch 47, Pasay City. The Certification was notarized in Makati City but was submitted and used in Pasay City. The Information against Union Bank and Tomas was filed in Makati City.

Tomas then filed a Motion to Quash citing that the venue was improperly laid and that the facts do not constitute an offense. Since it is the Pasay City court where the Certificate against Forum Shopping was submitted and used, it should have jurisdiction over the case and not the MeTC–Makati City.

The MeTC-Makati City denied the motion. The case was then elevated to RTC-Makati City with petitioners praying for the MeTC-Makati City ruling be annulled and set aside on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. They also cited cases United States v. Canet and Ilusorio v. Bildner which ruled that venue and jurisdiction should be in the place where the false document was presented.

RTC-Makati City found the petition to have no merit as a recent jurisprudence. The RTC-Makati City cited the case of Sy Tiong Shiou v. Sy as a more recent case that reaffirms the long-standing view on the venue with respect to perjury cases. In this case, the high court ruled that the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality where the perjury was committed, or where any of its essential ingredients occurred.

ISSUE:

Whether the proper venue of the case should be – Makati City, where the Certificate against Forum Shopping was notarized, or Pasay City, where the Certification was presented to the trial court.

HELD:

The court held that MeTC-Makati City is the proper venue and the proper court to take cognizance of the perjury case against the petitioners.

In determining the venue where the criminal action is to be instituted and the court which has jurisdiction over it, Section 15(a), Rule 110 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides:

(a) Subject to existing laws, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court or municipality or territory where the offense was committed or where any of its essential ingredients occurred.

The above provision should be read in light of Section 10, Rule 110 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which states:

Place of commission of the offense. – The complaint or information is sufficient if it can be understood from its allegations that the offense was committed or some of its essential ingredients occurred at some place within the jurisdiction of the court, unless the particular place where it was committed constitutes an essential element of the offense charged or is necessary for its identification.

In other words, the venue of action and of jurisdiction are deemed sufficiently alleged where the Information states that the offense was committed or some of its essential ingredients occurred at a place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.