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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 143044. July 14, 2005
WILLIAM MADARANG a! E"ANS #$O, Petitioners,
vs.
$ON. COURT O% APPEALS a! T$E PEOPLE O% T$E P$ILIPPINES, $ON.
O%ELIA ARELLANO&MAR'UE(, P)*+,!,- Ju!-* o. /0* METROPOLITAN TRIAL
COURT O% 'UE(ON CIT1, 2RANC$ 32 a! JANICE 1OUNG&C$UA,
Respondents.
D E C I S I O N
AUSTRIA&MARTINE(, J.3
Before us is a petition for revie on certiorari under Rule !" of the Rules of Court
hich see#s the reversal of the Decision,
$
dated %pril $&, '(((, of the Court of
%ppeals )C%* in C%+,.R. SP No. "&(-& dis.issin/ petitioners0 petition for certiorari.
1he factual bac#/round of the case is as follos2
On 3ebruar4 $$, $55!, private respondent 6anice 7oun/+Chua and her husband,
Eduardo Chan+Chua, filed a co.plaint for replevin and da.a/es a/ainst petitioners
8illia. 9adaran/ and Evans :ho in the Re/ional 1rial Court of ;ue<on Cit4,
doc#eted as Civil Case No. ;+5!+$5'== and raffled to Branch &! )R1C, Branch &!*.
1he co.plaint alle/ed that private respondent is the oner of a $55( dar# /ra4 :ia
Pride car, evidenced b4 Certificate of Re/istration No. (&=("&((
'
dated 9a4 -$,
$55$> and that on 6anuar4 '5, $55!, petitioners, throu/h force and inti.idation, too#
possession of the sub?ect car b4 virtue of a falsified Deed of Sale dated Dece.ber -,
$55- alle/edl4 e@ecuted b4 private respondent in favor of petitioner 9adaran/.
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On 9a4 $', $55!, upon co.plaint of private respondent, petitioner 9adaran/ as
char/ed ith 3alsification of Public Docu.ent in the 9etropolitan 1rial Court of
;ue<on Cit4 )9e1C* hich as doc#eted as Cri.inal Case No. 5!+'!5-( and raffled
to Branch -'.
!
On the sa.e date, petitioners ere char/ed ith ,rave Coercion in
the sa.e 9e1C hich as doc#eted as Cri.inal Case No. 5!+'!5-$, also raffled to
Branch -'.
"
1he cases ere consolidated and ?ointl4 tried.
On %u/ust &, $55=, a 9otion to Suspend Cri.inal Proceedin/s on the /round of
pre?udicial Auestion as filed b4 petitioner 9adaran/ in the 9e1C, clai.in/ that the
issues presented in the replevin case pendin/ in R1C, Branch &! are inti.atel4
related to the issues pendin/ before the 9e1C, the resolution of hich ould
necessaril4 deter.ine the /uilt of the accused in the cri.inal case for falsification.
=
On October $, $55=, the 9e1C denied petitioner 9adaran/0s .otion to suspend
proceedin/s on the /round that the decision in the civil case for replevin ill not be
deter.inative of the /uilt of the accused in the cri.inal char/e for falsification.
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On 9arch B, $55B, R1C, Branch &! dis.issed the co.plaint for replevin upon findin/
that the deed of sale is /enuine and that private respondent voluntaril4 surrendered
possession of the car to the petitioners.
&
Private respondent filed a ti.el4 appeal ith
the C%, doc#eted as C%+,.R. CV No. "B"5B.
On 6une $-, $55B, petitioner 9adaran/ filed a 9otion to Dis.iss the falsification
case on the /round that the decision dis.issin/ the replevin suit in R1C, Branch &!
involvin/ the sa.e parties absolved hi. of cri.inal liabilit4 in the falsification case.
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On 6anuar4 '', $55&, the 9e1C /ranted the 9otion to Dis.iss of petitioner
9adaran/.
$(
On 3ebruar4 'B, $55&, a 9otion for Reconsideration as filed b4 the
prosecution on the /round that the dis.issal as unarranted since the decision
dis.issin/ the replevin suit in R1C, Branch &! is not 4et final and e@ecutor4, as it is
pendin/ appeal before the C% and the accused deliberatel4 o.itted to send the
private prosecutor a cop4 of said 9otion to Dis.iss.
$$
On 6ul4 'B, $55&, the 9e1C
recalled the dis.issal of the case for falsification.
$'
Petitioners filed a Second O.nibus 9otion to ;uash Cri.inal Case Nos. 5!+'!5-(
and 5!+'!5-$ on the /round that the findin/s of R1C, Branch &! that the si/nature of
private respondent in the deed of sale is not falsified and that private respondent
voluntaril4 surrendered possession of the car to the petitioners bar the prosecution
for falsification and /rave coercion. Petitioners alle/ed that the findin/s of the R1C
are bindin/ and .ust be /iven due respect b4 the 9e1C notithstandin/ the appeal
ta#en b4 private respondent.
$-
In its Opposition, the prosecution alle/ed that2 the .otion to Auash is a .ere scrap of
paper as it is contrar4 to Section $, Rule $$B of the Rules of Court that a 9otion to
;uash .ust be filed before arrai/n.ent of accused and such failure to .ove to
Auash before enterin/ his plea, accused is dee.ed to have aived his ri/ht to file the
sa.e> and, the replevin suit is an independent civil action, separate and distinct fro.
these cases for falsification of public docu.ent and /rave coercion.
$!
On 9arch '=, $555, the 9e1C denied petitioners0 .otion to Auash, rulin/ that the
decision rendered b4 the R1C, Branch &! in the replevin case cannot absolve
petitioners of the char/es in the cri.inal cases as said decision has not attained
finalit4 since it is pendin/ appeal before the C%> and that petitioners aived an4
/rounds of a 9otion to ;uash pursuant to Section $, Rule $$B of the Rules of
Court.
$"
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Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari before the R1C, Branch BB, ;ue<on Cit4
)R1C, Branch BB*, doc#eted as Civil Case No. ;+55+-B-'!. 1he4 assailed the
9e1C0s denial of their .otion to Auash the infor.ations for falsification of public
docu.ent and /rave coercion and alle/ed that the 9e1C should have adopted the
factual findin/s of R1C, Branch &! in the Decision dated 9arch B, $55B in the
replevin case as res judicata.
$=
On October &, $555, the R1C, Branch BB dis.issed petitioners0 petition for certiorari
upon holdin/ that2 res judicata cannot be invo#ed considerin/ that the Decision dated
9arch B, $55B of R1C, Branch &! in the replevin case is not 4et a final and e@ecutor4
?ud/.ent, bein/ on appeal> in an4 event, a final ?ud/.ent rendered in a civil action
absolvin/ the defendant fro. civil liabilit4 is not a bar to cri.inal action> the issues of
falsification and coercion ere not .ade the sub?ect of a full+dressed hearin/ in the
replevin case> and, the .otion to Auash as filed onl4 after their arrai/n.ent in
violation of the ell+settled doctrine that a .otion to Auash .a4 be filed onl4 before
the accused has entered his plea to the accusator4 pleadin/.
$B
Petitioners0 filed a .otion for reconsideration
$&
but as denied in an Order dated
3ebruar4 '5, '(((.
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Cndaunted, petitioners filed a petition for certiorari before the C% hich, on %pril $&,
'(((, as dis.issed. In dis.issin/ the petition, the C% held that the rit of certiorari
is not the proper re.ed4 here a .otion to Auash an infor.ation is denied. It further
held that the People of the Philippines as not i.pleaded as a respondent in the
case nor as the Office of the Solicitor ,eneral furnished a cop4 of the petition hen
the Infor.ations ere filed in the na.e of the People of the Philippines and
necessaril4 it is the part4 interested in sustainin/ the proceedin/s in the court.
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Dence, the present petition for revie on certiorari anchored on the folloin/
/rounds2
1DE DONOR%BEE COCR1 O3 %PPE%ES D%S DECIDED 1DE ISSCES
PRESEN1ED PROB%BE7 NO1 IN %CCORD 8I1D E%8 OR 8I1D 1DE
%PPEIC%BEE DECISIONS O3 1DE SCPRE9E COCR1.
1DE DONOR%BEE COCR1 O3 %PPE%ES D%S SO 3%R DEP%R1ED 3RO9 1DE
%CCEP1ED %ND CSC%E COCRSE O3 6CDICI%E PROCEEDIN,S OR SO 3%R
S%NC1IONED SCCD DEP%R1CRE B7 1DE EO8ER COCR1 %S 1O C%EE 3OR %N
EFERCISE O3 1DE PO8ER O3 SCPERVISION.
'$
Petitioners clai. that the 9e1C 6ud/e co..itted /rave abuse of discretion hen
she denied their .otion to Auash the Infor.ations and refused to dis.iss the
char/es a/ainst the. since the char/es a/ainst the. pendin/ before her court ere
GobliteratedG b4 the positive factual findin/s of R1C, Branch &! in its Decision dated
9arch B, $55B that the si/nature of private respondent in the Deed of Sale dated
Dece.ber -, $55- is /enuine and she voluntaril4 surrendered the car to petitioners.
1he4 .aintain that such factual findin/s of R1C, Branch &! in its Decision dated
9arch B, $55B bar their prosecution in the cri.inal cases for falsification of public
docu.ent and /rave coercion. 1he4 sub.it that once a court of co.petent
?urisdiction puts to finish an issue of fact, it cannot be disturbed b4 the loer court
and, accordin/l4, the factual findin/s of R1C, Branch &! cannot be overturned b4 the
9e1C.
1he Solicitor ,eneral, on the other hand, avers that the decision in the replevin suit
cannot foreclose or suspend the prosecution of the cri.inal cases for falsification and
/rave coercion as replevin is an entirel4 separate and distinct re.ed4 alloed b4 the
rules. De states that res judicata cannot appl4 for lac# of the essential ele.ents of
identit4 of parties and finalit4 of the decision in the replevin suit.
%s for private respondent, she ar/ues that the decision of R1C, Branch &! can not be
conclusive upon the 9e1C because it is not a final and e@ecutor4 ?ud/.ent, bein/ on
appeal in the C%, and, even if final, the rules provide that such final decision does not
foreclose prosecution of the cri.inal action. She insists that the 9e1C 6ud/e did not
act be4ond her ?urisdiction as the denial of the .otion to Auash as in accordance
ith la and ?urisprudence and, thus, petitioners0 resort to certiorari as i.proper
and appropriatel4 dis.issed b4 the R1C and the C%.
%t the outset, e observe that hile the assi/ned errors appear to raise errors of
?ud/.ent co..itted b4 the C%, the ar/u.ents of the petitioners purel4 dell on the
alle/ed /rave abuse of discretion or error of ?urisdiction co..itted b4 the 9e1C in
den4in/ the 9otion to ;uash, the ver4 issue the4 raised in the petition for certiorari
before the R1C, hen the issues that should have been raised in the petition for
revie on certiorari before us are the errors of ?ud/.ent that the C% .a4 have
co..itted in dis.issin/ their petition for certiorari. Petitioners0 utter failure to brin/ up
the .atter concernin/ the C%0s bases in dis.issin/ their petition shos that the4 are
evadin/ the issues.
Nonetheless, e find that the C% is correct in dis.issin/ petitioners0 petition for
certiorari.
First. 8e note that the petitions for certiorari in the R1C and C% are defective since
petitioners failed to i.plead the People of the Philippines as respondent therein. %s
provided in Section ",
''
Rule $$( of the Rules of Cri.inal Procedure, all cri.inal
actions are prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor. 1he
prosecution of offenses is thus the concern of the /overn.ent prosecutors. It
behooved the petitioners to i.plead the People of the Philippines as respondent in
the R1C and in the C% to enable the public prosecutor or Solicitor ,eneral, as the
case .a4 be, to co..ent on the petitions. 1he failure to i.plead is fatal to
petitioners0 cause.
Second. It is settled that a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition is not the
proper re.ed4 to assail the denial of a .otion to Auash an infor.ation. 1he
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established rule is that hen such an adverse interlocutor4 order is rendered, the
re.ed4 is not to resort forthith to certiorari or prohibition, but to continue ith the
case in due course and, hen an unfavorable verdict is handed don to ta#e an
appeal in the .anner authori<ed b4 la.
'-
Onl4 hen the court issued such order
ithout or in e@cess of ?urisdiction or ith /rave abuse of discretion and hen the
assailed interlocutor4 order is patentl4 erroneous and the re.ed4 of appeal ould
not afford adeAuate and e@peditious relief ill certiorari be considered an appropriate
re.ed4 to assail an interlocutor4 order.
'!
No such special circu.stances are present
in the case at bar.
1he declaration of R1C, Branch &! in its Decision dated 9arch B, $55B that the
si/nature of private respondent in the Deed of Sale dated Dece.ber -, $55- is
/enuine and she voluntaril4 surrendered the car to petitioners is not res judicata in
the cri.inal cases for falsification and /rave coercion because there is no identit4 of
parties as the People of the Philippines is not a part4 in the replevin suit and cannot
be bound b4 the factual findin/s therein. Besides, the decision of R1C, Branch &! is
still pendin/ appeal ith the C%. Dence, at the ti.e the 9e1C, the R1C and the C%
rendered their assailed order, decision and resolution, respectivel4, there e@isted no
special circu.stance to arrant a dis.issal of the cases pendin/ in the 9e1C.
It is noted that durin/ the pendenc4 of the case before us, the C% has rendered a
Decision dated %pril $5, '((" .odif4in/ the Decision dated 9arch B, $55B of R1C,
Branch &!, in this ise2
8DERE3ORE, the application for a 8rit of Replevin is hereb4 DENIED, the plaintiff
6anice Chua havin/ e@ecuted a Deed of Sale in favor of defendant 8illia.
9adaran/.
1he Deed of Sale is hoever, hereb4 declared as an eAuitable .ort/a/e and,
therefore, plaintiff 6anice Chua possesses the ri/ht of rede.ption pursuant to %rticle
$=(= of the Ne Civil Code.
SO ORDERED.
Doever, records before us do not sho that this decision had beco.e final and
e@ecutor4. %s a natural or inherent and inevitable conseAuence of said declaration, a
decision hich has not beco.e final and e@ecutor4 has no conclusive effect.
Third. Section -, Rule $$B of the $5&" Rules of Cri.inal Procedure, the /overnin/
la at the ti.e of the filin/ of the indict.ents, provides the /rounds on hich an
accused can .ove to Auash the co.plaint or infor.ation. 1hese are2 )a* the facts
char/ed do not constitute an offense> )b* the court tr4in/ the case has no ?urisdiction
over the offense char/ed> )c* the court tr4in/ the case has no ?urisdiction over the
person of the accused> )d* the officer ho filed the infor.ation had no authorit4 to do
so> )e* the infor.ation does not confor. substantiall4 to the prescribed for.> )f* .ore
than one offense is char/ed, e@cept in those cases in hich e@istin/ las prescribe a
sin/le punish.ent for various offenses> )/* the cri.inal action or liabilit4 has been
e@tin/uished> )h* the infor.ation contains aver.ents hich, if true, ould constitute a
le/al e@cuse or ?ustification> and )i* the accused has been previousl4 convicted or is
in ?eopard4 of bein/ convicted or acAuitted of the offense char/ed.
'"
Section & of the sa.e Rule specificall4 provides2
SEC. &. Failure to move to quash or to allege any ground therefor. H 1he failure of
the accused to assert an4 /round of a .otion to Auash before he pleads to the
co.plaint or infor.ation, either because he did not file a .otion to Auash or failed to
alle/e the sa.e in said .otion, shall be dee.ed a aiver of the /rounds of a .otion
to Auash, e@cept the /rounds of no offense char/ed, lac# of ?urisdiction over the
offense char/ed, e@tinction of the offense or penalt4 and ?eopard4, as provided for in
para/raphs )a*, )b*, )f* and )h* of Section - of this Rule. )$(a*
1hus, a .otion to Auash .a4 still be filed after pleadin/ to the co.plaint or
infor.ation here the /rounds are that no offense is char/ed, lac# of ?urisdiction over
the offense char/ed, e@tinction of the offense or penalt4 and ?eopard4. Nohere in
the enu.erated e@cepted /rounds is there an4 .ention of res judicata as a /round to
Auash an infor.ation.
Fourth. Section !, Rule $$$ of the Rules of Court e@plicitl4 reco/ni<es that Ga final
?ud/.ent rendered in a civil action absolvin/ the defendant fro. civil liabilit4 is no bar
to a cri.inal action.G
'=
Fifth. %rticle --
'B
of the Civil Code provides that in cases involvin/ alle/ed fraudulent
acts, a civil action for da.a/es, entirel4 separate and distinct fro. the cri.inal
action, .a4 be brou/ht b4 the in?ured part4. Such civil action shall proceed
independentl4 of the cri.inal prosecution and shall reAuire onl4 a preponderance of
evidence. It is clear, therefore, that the civil case for replevin .a4 proceed
independentl4 of the cri.inal cases for falsification and /rave coercion, especiall4
because hile both cases are based on the sa.e facts, the Auantu. of proof
reAuired for holdin/ the parties liable therein differs.
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%ll told, the petitioners failed to sho h4 the actions of the 9e1C, R1C and the C%
hich have passed upon the sa.e issue should be reversed. 8e are thus convinced
that the C% co..itted no reversible error in its challen/ed Decision.
W$ERE%ORE, the present petition is DENIED. 1he assailed Decision of the Court of
%ppeals, dated %pril $&, '(((, is %33IR9ED. Costs a/ainst petitioners.
SO ORDERED.
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