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TodayisTuesday,August18,2015

G.R.No.158763

RepublicofthePhilippines

SUPREMECOURT

Manila

FIRSTDIVISION

March31,2006

JOSEC.MIRANDA,ALBERTOP.DALMACIO,andROMEOB.OCON,Petitioners,

vs.

VIRGILIOM.TULIAO,Respondent.

CHICO­NAZARIO,J.:

DECISION

ThisisapetitionforreviewoncertiorariunderRule45oftheRulesofCourt,assailingthe18December2002

Decision 1 oftheCourtofAppealsinCA­G.R.SPNo.67770andits12June2003Resolutiondenyingpetitioners’ MotionforReconsideration.Thedispositiveportionoftheassaileddecisionreadsasfollows:

WHEREFORE,findingpublicrespondentJudgeAnastacioD.Anghadtohaveactedwithgraveabuseofdiscretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed Orders, the instant petition for certiorari, mandamusandprohibitionisherebyGRANTEDandGIVENDUECOURSE,anditisherebyordered:

1.TheassailedJointOrderdatedAugust17,2001,OrderdatedSeptember21,2001,JointOrderdated

October 16, 2001 and Joint Order dated November 14, 2001 dismissing the two (2) Informations for

Murder,allissuedbypublicrespondentJudgeAnastacioD.AnghadinCriminalCasesNos.36­3523and

36­3524areherebyREVERSEDandSET ASIDEfor havingbeenissuedwithgraveabuseofdiscretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and another entered UPHOLDING, AFFIRMING[,] and

REINSTATINGtheOrderdatedJune25,2001andJointOrderdatedJuly6,2001issuedbythethenacting

PresidingJudgeWilfredoTumaliuan;

2.CriminalCasesNos.36­3523 and 36­3524 are herebyordered REINSTATEDin the docketofactive

criminalcasesofBranch36oftheRegionalTrialCourtofSantiagoCity,Isabela;and

3.PublicrespondentJudgeAnastacioD.AnghadisDIRECTEDtoISSUEforthwithWarrantsofArrestfor

theapprehensionofprivaterespondentsJose"Pempe"Miranda,SPO3AlbertoP.Dalmacio,PO3Romeo

B.OconandaccusedRodelT.MaderalinsaidCriminalCasesNos.36­3523and36­3524. 2

Thefactualandproceduralantecedentsofthecaseareasfollows:

On 8 March 1996, two burnt cadavers were discovered in Purok Nibulan, Ramon, Isabela, which were later identifiedasthedeadbodiesofVicenteBauzonandElizerTuliao,sonofprivaterespondentVirgilioTuliaowhois nowunderthewitnessprotectionprogram.

TwoinformationsformurderwerefiledagainstSPO1WilfredoLeaño,SPO1FerdinandMarzan,SPO1RubenB.

Agustin, SPO2 Alexander Micu, SPO2 Rodel Maderal, and SPO4 Emilio Ramirez in the Regional Trial Court (RTC)ofSantiagoCity.

ThevenuewaslatertransferredtoManila.On22April1999,theRTCofManilaconvictedalloftheaccusedand

sentencedthemtotwocountsofreclusionperpetuaexceptSPO2Maderalwhowasyettobearraignedatthat

time,beingatlarge.ThecasewasappealedtothisCourtonautomaticreviewwherewe,on9October2001,

acquittedtheaccusedthereinonthegroundofreasonabledoubt.

SometimeinSeptember1999,SPO2Maderalwasarrested.On27April2001,heexecutedaswornconfession

andidentifiedpetitionersJoseC.Miranda,PO3RomeoB.Ocon,andSPO3AlbertoP.Dalmacio,acertainBoyet

delaCruzandAmadoDoe,asthepersonsresponsibleforthedeathsofVicenteBauzonandElizerTuliao.

RespondentTuliaofiledacriminalcomplaintformurderagainstpetitioners,BoyetdelaCruz,andAmadoDoe, and submitted the sworn confession of SPO2 Maderal. On 25 June 2001, Acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo

TumaliuanissuedwarrantsofarrestagainstpetitionersandSPO2Maderal.

On29June2001,petitionersfiledanurgentmotiontocompletepreliminaryinvestigation,toreinvestigate,andto

recalland/orquashthewarrantsofarrest.

Inthehearingoftheurgentmotionon6July2001,JudgeTumaliuannotedtheabsenceofpetitionersandissued

aJointOrderdenyingsaidurgentmotiononthegroundthat,sincethecourtdidnotacquirejurisdictionovertheir

persons,themotioncannotbeproperlyheardbythecourt.Inthemeantime,petitionersappealedtheresolution

ofStateProsecutorLeoT.ReyestotheDepartmentofJustice.

On17August2001,thenewPresidingJudgeAnastacioD.AnghadtookoverthecaseandissuedaJointOrder

reversingtheJointOrderofJudgeTumaliuan.Consequently,heorderedthecancellationofthewarrantofarrest issuedagainstpetitionerMiranda.HelikewiseappliedthisOrdertopetitionersOconandDalmacioinanOrder

dated21September2001.StateProsecutorLeoS.ReyesandrespondentTuliaomovedforthereconsideration

ofthesaidJointOrderandprayedfortheinhibitionofJudgeAnghad,butthemotionforreconsiderationwas

deniedinaJointOrderdated16October2001andtheprayerforinhibitionwasdeniedinaJointOrderdated22

October2001.

On25October2001,respondentTuliaofiledapetitionforcertiorari,mandamusandprohibitionwiththisCourt,

withprayerforaTemporaryRestrainingOrder,seekingtoenjoinJudgeAnghadfromfurtherproceedingwiththe

case,andseekingtonullifytheOrdersandJointOrdersofJudgeAnghaddated17August2001,21September

2001,16October2001,and22October2001.

On12November2001,thisCourtissuedaResolutionresolvingtogranttheprayerforatemporaryrestraining

order against Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the criminal cases. Shortly after the aforesaid resolution, Judge Anghad issued a Joint Order dated 14 November 2001 dismissing the two Informations for

murderagainstpetitioners.On19November2001,thisCourttooknoteofrespondent’scashbondevidencedby

O.R. No. 15924532 dated 15 November 2001, and issued the temporaryrestraining order while referring the petitiontotheCourtofAppealsforadjudicationonthemerits.

Respondent Tuliao filed with this Court a Motion to Cite Public Respondent in Contempt, alleging that Judge

Anghad"deliberatelyandwillfullycommittedcontemptofcourtwhenheissuedon15November2001theOrder

dated 14 November 2001 dismissing the informations for murder." On 21 November 2001, we referred said motion to the Court of Appeals in view of the previous referral to it of respondent’s petition for certiorari, prohibitionandmandamus.

On18December2002,theCourtofAppealsrenderedtheassaileddecisiongrantingthepetitionandorderingthe

reinstatementofthecriminalcasesintheRTCofSantiagoCity,aswellastheissuanceofwarrantsofarrest

againstpetitionersandSPO2Maderal.PetitionersmovedforareconsiderationofthisDecision,butthesamewas

deniedinaResolutiondated12June2003.

Hence,thispetition.

Thefactsofthecasebeingundisputed,petitionersbringforthtothisCourtthefollowingassignmentsoferror:

FIRSTASSIGNMENTOFERROR

Withallduerespect,theHonorableCourtofAppealsgravelyerredinreversingandsettingasidetheJointOrder

ofJudgeAnastacioD.AnghaddatedAugust17,2001,September21,2001,October16,2001andNovember14,

2001issuedincriminalcasesnumbered36­3523and36­3524;and,erredinupholding,affirmingandreinstating

theOrderdatedJuly6,2001issuedbythenActingPresidingJudgeWilfredoTumaliuan,ontheallegedrulethat

anaccusedcannotseekanyjudicialreliefifhedoesnotsubmithispersontothejurisdictionofthecourt.

SECONDASSIGNMENTOFERROR

With all due respect, the Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in directing the reinstatement of Criminal

CasesNo.36­3523and36­3524inthedocketofActiveCriminalCasesofBranch36oftheRegionalTrialCourt

of Santiago City, Philippines, and in ordering the public respondent to re­issue the warrants of arrest against hereinpetitioners.

THIRDASSIGNMENTOFERROR

Witallduerespect,theHonorableCourtofAppealscommittedareversibleerrorinorderingthereinstatementof

CriminalCasesNo.36­3523andNo.36­3524inthedocketofactivecriminalcasesofBranch36oftheregional

trialcourtofSantiagoCity,Philippines,andinorderingthepublicrespondenttoissuewarrantsofarrestagainst

hereinpetitioners,theorderofdismissalissuedthereinhavingbecomefinalandexecutory.

Adjudicationofamotiontoquashawarrantofarrestrequiresneitherjurisdictionoverthepersonoftheaccused,

norcustodyoflawoverthebodyoftheaccused.

ThefirstassignmentoferrorbroughtforthbythepetitionerdealswiththeCourtofAppeals’rulingthat:

[A]n accused cannot seek any judicial relief if he does not submit his person to the jurisdiction of the court. Jurisdictionoverthepersonoftheaccusedmaybeacquiredeitherthroughcompulsoryprocess,suchaswarrant ofarrest,orthroughhisvoluntaryappearance,suchaswhenhesurrenderstothepoliceortothecourt.Itisonly whenthecourthasalreadyacquiredjurisdictionoverhispersonthatanaccusedmayinvoketheprocessesofthe

court(PeteM.Picovs.AlfonsoV.Combing,Jr.,A.M.No.RTJ­91­764,November6,1992).Thus,anaccused

mustfirstbeplacedinthecustodyofthelawbeforethecourtmayvalidlyactonhispetitionforjudicialreliefs. 3

Proceedingfromthispremise,theCourtofAppealsruledthatpetitionersMiranda,OconandDalmaciocannot seekanyjudicialreliefsincetheywerenotyetarrestedorotherwisedeprivedoftheirlibertyatthetimetheyfiled their "Urgent Motion to complete preliminaryinvestigation; to reinvestigate; to recalland/or quash warrantsof arrest." 4

PetitionerscounterthefindingoftheCourtofAppealsbyarguingthatjurisdictionoverthepersonoftheaccused

isrequiredonlyinapplicationsforbail.Furthermore,petitionersargue,assumingthatsuchjurisdictionovertheir

personisrequiredbeforethecourtcanactontheirmotiontoquashthewarrantfortheirarrest,suchjurisdiction

overtheirpersonwasalreadyacquiredbythecourtbytheirfilingoftheaboveUrgentMotion.

Inarguingthatjurisdictionoverthepersonisrequiredonlyintheadjudicationofapplicationsforbail,petitioners

quoteRetiredCourtofAppealsJusticeOscarHerrera:

Exceptinapplicationsforbail,itisnotnecessaryforthecourttofirstacquirejurisdictionoverthepersonofthe accused to dismiss the case or grant other relief. The outright dismissal of the case even before the court

acquiresjurisdictionoverthepersonoftheaccusedisauthorizedunderSection6(a),Rule112oftheRevised

RulesofCriminalProcedureandtheRevisedRulesonSummaryProcedure(Sec.12a).InAlladovs.Diokno(232

SCRA192),thecasewasdismissedonmotionoftheaccusedforlackofprobablecausewithouttheaccused

havingbeenarrested.InPaulRobertsvs.CourtofAppeals(254SCRA307),theCourtwasorderedtoholdthe

issuance of a warrant of arrest in abeyance pending review by the Secretary of Justice. And in Lacson vs. ExecutiveSecretary(301SCRA102 5 ),theCourtorderedthecasetransferredfromtheSandiganbayantothe RTCwhicheventuallyorderedthedismissalofthecaseforlackofprobablecause. 6

Inarguing,ontheotherhand,thatjurisdictionovertheirpersonwasalreadyacquiredbytheirfilingoftheabove Urgent Motion, petitioners invoke our pronouncement, through Justice Florenz D. Regalado, in Santiago v. Vasquez 7 :

The voluntary appearance of the accused, whereby the court acquires jurisdiction over his person, is accomplishedeitherbyhispleadingtothemerits(suchasbyfilingamotiontoquashorotherpleadingsrequiring theexerciseofthecourt’sjurisdictionthereover,appearingforarraignment,enteringtrial)orbyfilingbail.Onthe matter ofbail,sincethesameisintendedtoobtaintheprovisionallibertyoftheaccused,asarulethesame cannotbepostedbeforecustodyoftheaccusedhasbeenacquiredbythejudicialauthoritieseitherbyhisarrest orvoluntarysurrender.

OurpronouncementinSantiagoshowsadistinctionbetweencustodyofthelawandjurisdictionovertheperson. Custodyofthelawisrequiredbeforethecourtcanactupontheapplicationforbail,butisnotrequiredforthe adjudicationofotherreliefssoughtbythedefendantwherethemereapplicationthereforconstitutesawaiverof thedefenseoflackofjurisdictionoverthepersonoftheaccused. 8 Custodyofthelawisaccomplishedeitherby arrestorvoluntarysurrender, 9 whilejurisdictionoverthepersonoftheaccusedisacquireduponhisarrestor voluntaryappearance. 10 Onecanbeunderthecustodyofthelawbutnotyetsubjecttothejurisdictionofthe courtoverhisperson,suchaswhenapersonarrestedbyvirtueofawarrantfilesamotionbeforearraignmentto quashthewarrant.Ontheotherhand,onecanbesubjecttothejurisdictionofthecourtoverhisperson,andyet notbeinthecustodyofthelaw,suchaswhenanaccusedescapescustodyafterhistrialhascommenced. 11

Beinginthecustodyofthelawsignifiesrestraintontheperson,whoistherebydeprivedofhisownwillandliberty, bindinghimtobecomeobedienttothewillofthelaw. 12 Custodyofthelawisliterallycustodyoverthebodyofthe accused.Itincludes,butisnotlimitedto,detention.

ThestatementinPicov.JudgeCombong,Jr., 13 citedbytheCourtofAppealsshouldnothavebeenseparated fromtheissueinthatcase,whichistheapplicationforadmissiontobailofsomeonenotyetinthecustodyofthe law.TheentireparagraphofourpronouncementinPicoreads:

Apersonapplyingforadmissiontobailmustbeinthecustodyofthelaworotherwisedeprivedofhisliberty.A personwhohasnotsubmittedhimselftothejurisdictionofthecourthasnorighttoinvoketheprocessesofthat court.RespondentJudgeshouldhavediligentlyascertainedthewhereaboutsoftheapplicantandthatheindeed hadjurisdictionoverthebodyoftheaccusedbeforeconsideringtheapplicationforbail. 13

WhilewestandbyourabovepronouncementinPicoinsofarasitconcernsbail,weclarifythat,asageneralrule, onewhoseeksanaffirmativereliefisdeemedtohavesubmittedtothejurisdictionofthecourt. 15 Asweheldin theaforecitedcaseofSantiago,seekinganaffirmativereliefincourt,whether incivilor criminalproceedings, constitutesvoluntaryappearance.

Picodealswithanapplicationforbail,wherethereisthespecialrequirementoftheapplicantbeinginthecustody ofthelaw.InFelicianov.Pasicolan, 16 weheldthat"[t]hepurposeofbailistosecureone’sreleaseanditwould beincongruoustograntbailtoonewhoisfree.Thus,‘bailisthesecurityrequiredandgivenforthereleaseofa person who isin the custodyoflaw.’"The rationale behind thisspecialrule on bailisthatitdiscouragesand preventsresorttotheformerperniciouspracticewhereintheaccusedcouldjustsendanotherinhissteadtopost hisbail,withoutrecognizingthejurisdictionofthecourtbyhispersonalappearancethereinandcompliancewith therequirementstherefor. 17

Thereis,however,anexceptiontotherulethatfilingpleadingsseekingaffirmativereliefconstitutesvoluntary appearance,andtheconsequentsubmissionofone’spersontothejurisdictionofthecourt.Thisisinthecaseof pleadingswhoseprayerispreciselyfortheavoidanceofthejurisdictionofthecourt,whichonlyleadstoaspecial

appearance.Thesepleadingsare:(1)incivilcases,motionstodismissonthegroundoflackofjurisdictionover

thepersonofthedefendant,whetherornotothergroundsfordismissalareincluded; 18 (2)incriminalcases,

motionstoquashacomplaintonthegroundoflackofjurisdictionoverthepersonoftheaccused;and(3)motions

toquashawarrantofarrest.Thefirsttwoareconsequencesofthefactthatfailuretofilethemwouldconstitutea

waiverofthedefenseoflackofjurisdictionovertheperson.Thethirdisaconsequenceofthefactthatitisthe

verylegalityofthecourtprocessforcingthesubmissionofthepersonoftheaccusedthatistheveryissueina

motiontoquashawarrantofarrest.

Torecapitulatewhatwehavediscussedsofar,incriminalcases,jurisdictionoverthepersonoftheaccusedis

deemedwaivedbytheaccusedwhenhefilesanypleadingseekinganaffirmativerelief,exceptincaseswhenhe

invokesthespecialjurisdictionofthecourtbyimpugningsuchjurisdictionoverhisperson.Therefore,innarrow

casesinvolvingspecialappearances,anaccusedcaninvoketheprocessesofthecourteventhoughthereis

neitherjurisdictionoverthepersonnorcustodyofthelaw.However,ifapersoninvokingthespecialjurisdictionof

thecourtappliesforbail,hemustfirstsubmithimselftothecustodyofthelaw.

Incasesnotinvolvingtheso­calledspecialappearance,thegeneralruleapplies,i.e.,theaccusedisdeemedto

havesubmittedhimselftothejurisdictionofthecourtuponseekingaffirmativerelief.Notwithstandingthis,thereis

norequirementforhimtobeinthecustodyofthelaw.Thefollowingcasesbestillustratethispoint,wherewe

grantedvariousreliefstoaccusedwhowerenotinthecustodyofthelaw,butweredeemedtohaveplacedtheir

personsunderthejurisdictionofthecourt.Notethatnoneofthesecasesinvolvetheapplicationforbail,nora

motiontoquashaninformationduetolackofjurisdictionovertheperson,noramotiontoquashawarrantof

arrest:

1.InAlladov.Diokno, 19 ontheprayeroftheaccusedinapetitionforcertiorarionthegroundoflackofprobable cause, we issued a temporary restraining order enjoining PACCfrom enforcing the warrant of arrest and the respondentjudgethereinfromfurtherproceedingwiththecaseand,instead,toelevatetherecordstous.

2. In Roberts, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 20 upon the accused’s Motion to Suspend Proceedings and to Hold in AbeyanceIssuanceofWarrantsofArrestonthegroundthattheyfiledaPetitionforReviewwiththeDepartment ofJustice,wedirectedrespondentjudgethereintoceaseanddesistfromfurtherproceedingwiththecriminal caseandtodefertheissuanceofwarrantsofarrestsagainsttheaccused.

3.InLacsonv.ExecutiveSecretary, 21 ontheprayeroftheaccusedinapetitionforcertiorarionthegroundof lack of jurisdiction on the part of the Sandiganbayan, we directed the Sandiganbayan to transfer the criminal casestotheRegionalTrialCourtevenbeforetheissuanceofthewarrantsofarrest.

Weholdthatthecircumstancesforcingustorequirecustodyofthelawinapplicationsforbailarenotpresentin motionstoquashthewarrantofarrest.Ifweallowthegrantingofbailtopersonsnotinthecustodyofthelaw,itis foreseeablethatmanypersonswhocanaffordthebailwillremainatlarge,andcouldeludebeingheldtoanswer for the commission of the offense if ever he is proven guilty. On the other hand, if we allow the quashal of warrantsofarresttopersonsnotinthecustodyofthelaw,itwouldbeveryrarethatapersonnotgenuinely entitledtolibertywouldremainscot­free.Thisisbecauseitisthesamejudgewhoissuedthewarrantofarrest whowilldecidewhetherornothefollowedtheConstitutioninhisdeterminationofprobablecause,andhecan easilydenythemotiontoquashifhereallydidfindprobablecauseafterpersonallyexaminingtherecordsofthe case.

Moreover,pursuanttothepresumptionofregularityofofficialfunctions,thewarrantcontinuesinforceandeffect until it is quashed and therefore can still be enforced on any day and at any time of the day and night. 22 Furthermore,thecontinuedabsenceoftheaccusedcanbetakenagainsthiminthedeterminationofprobable cause,sinceflightisindicativeofguilt.

Infine,asmuchasitisincongruoustograntbailtoonewhoisfree,itislikewiseincongruoustorequireoneto surrenderhisfreedombeforeassertingit.Humanrightsenjoyahigherpreferenceinthehierarchyofrightsthan propertyrights, 23 demandingthatdueprocessinthedeprivationoflibertymustcomebeforeitstakingandnot after.

QuashingawarrantofarrestbasedonasubsequentlyfiledpetitionforreviewwiththeSecretaryofJusticeand

basedondoubtsengenderedbythepoliticalclimateconstitutesgraveabuseofdiscretion.

WeneverthelessfindgraveabuseofdiscretionintheassailedactionsofJudgeAnghad.JudgeAnghadseemeda littletooeagerofdismissingthecriminalcasesagainstthepetitioners.First,hequashedthestandingwarrantof arrestissuedbyhispredecessorbecauseofasubsequentlyfiledappealtotheSecretaryofJustice,andbecause of his doubts on the existence of probable cause due to the political climate in the city. Second, after the Secretary of Justice affirmed the prosecutor’s resolution, he dismissed the criminal cases on the basis of a decisionofthisCourtinanothercasewithdifferentaccused,doingsotwodaysafterthisCourtresolvedtoissuea temporaryrestrainingorderagainstfurtherproceedingwiththecase.

After Judge Tumaliuan issued warrantsfor the arrestofpetitioners,petitioner Miranda appealed the assistant prosecutor’sresolutionbeforetheSecretaryofJustice.JudgeAnghad,shortlyafterassumingoffice,quashedthe warrantofarrestonthebasisofsaidappeal.AccordingtoJudgeAnghad,"xxxprudencedictates(that)and becauseofcomity,adefermentoftheproceedingsisbutproper." 24

Quashalonthisbasisisgraveabuseofdiscretion.ItisinconceivabletochargeJudgeTumaliuanaslackingin prudence and oblivious to comity when he issued the warrants of arrest against petitioners just because the petitionersmight,inthefuture,appealtheassistantprosecutor’sresolutiontotheSecretaryofJustice.Butevenif thepetitionforreviewwasfiledbeforetheissuanceofthewarrantsofarrest,thefactremainsthatthependency ofapetitionforthereviewoftheprosecutor’sresolutionisnotagroundtoquashthewarrantsofarrest.

InWebbv.deLeon, 25 weheldthatthepetitionersthereincannotassailasprematurethefilingoftheinformation incourtagainstthemonthegroundthattheystillhavetherighttoappealtheadverseresolutionoftheDOJPanel totheSecretaryofJustice.Similarly,theissuanceofwarrantsofarrestagainstpetitionershereinshouldnothave beenquashedasprematureonthesameground.

TheothergroundinvokedbyJudgeAnghadforthequashalofthewarrantofarrestisinorderiftrue:violationof

theConstitution.Hence,JudgeAnghadaskedandresolvedthequestion:

Inthesedoublemurdercases,didthisCourtcomplyoradheretotheabove­quotedconstitutionalproscription,

whichisSec.2,ArticleIIIBillofRights;toSec.6(a),Rule112,RulesofCriminalProcedureandtotheabove­cited

decisionalcases?Tothisqueryorissue,afteradeepperusaloftheargumentsraised,thisCourt,through[its] regularPresidingJudge,findsmeritinthecontentionofhereinaccused­movant,Jose"Pempe"Miranda. 26

Judge Anghad is referring to the following provision of the Constitution as having been violated by Judge Tumaliuan:

Sec.2.Therightofthepeopletobesecureintheirpersons,houses,papersandeffectsagainstunreasonable

searchesand seizuresof whatever nature and for anypurpose shallbe inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examinationunder oathor affirmationofthecomplainantandthewitnesseshemayproduce,andparticularly describingtheplacetobesearchedandthepersonsorthingstobeseized. 27

However,afteracarefulscrutinyoftherecordsofthecase,includingthesupportingevidencetotheresolutionof

theprosecutorinhisdeterminationofprobablecause,wefindthatJudgeAnghadgravelyabusedhisdiscretion.

Accordingtopetitioners:

Inthiscase,thenullityoftheorderofJudgeTumaliuan,forthearrestofthepetitionersisapparentfromtheface oftheorderitself,whichclearlystatedthatthedeterminationofprobablecausewasbasedonthecertification, underoath,ofthefiscalandnotonaseparatedeterminationpersonallymadebytheJudge.Nopresumptionof regularitycould be drawn from the order since it expresslyand clearlyshowed that it wasbased onlyon the fiscal’scertification. 28

Petitioners’claimisuntrue.JudgeTumaliuan’sJointOrdercontainsnosuchindicationthathereliedsolelyonthe

prosecutor’scertification.TheJointOrderevenindicatedthecontrary:

Uponreceiptoftheinformationandresolutionoftheprosecutor,theCourtproceededtodeterminetheexistence

ofaprobablecausebypersonallyevaluatingtherecordsxxx.[29]

The records of the case show that the prosecutor’s certification was accompanied by supporting documents, followingtherequirementunder Lim,Sr.v.Felix 30 andPeoplev.Inting. 31 Thesupportingdocumentsarethe following:

1.Resolutiondated21June2001ofStateProsecutorLeoS.Reyes;

2.Affidavitdated22May2001ofModestoGutierrez;

3.Affidavitdated19May2001ofRomeoB.Ocon;

4.JointCounterAffidavitdated23May2001ofMayorJoseC.MirandaandReynaldodelaCruz;

5.Affidavitdated19May2001ofAlbertoDalmacio;

6.Decisiondated22April1999oftheRegionalTrialCourtofManila,Branch41inCriminalCaseNo.97­

160355;

7.Swornstatementdated27April2001ofRodelMaderal;

8.Informationdated22June2001;

9.Affidavit­complaintofVirgilioTuliao;and

10.Medico­legalReportsofthecadaversofElezerTuliaoandVicenteBuazon.

Hence,procedurally,wecanconcludethattherewasnoviolationonthepartofJudgeTumaliuanofArticleIII,

Section2,oftheConstitution.JudgeAnghad,however,focusedonthesubstantivepartofsaidsection,i.e.,the

existenceofprobablecause.Infailingtofindprobablecause,JudgeAnghadruledthattheconfessionofSPO2

Maderal is incredible for the following reasons: (1) it was given after almost two years in the custody of the

NationalBureauofInvestigation;(2)itwasgivenbysomeonewhorenderedhimselfuntrustworthyforbeinga

fugitiveforfiveyears;(3)itwasgiveninexchangeforanobviousrewardofdischargefromtheinformation;and

(4)itwasgivenduringtheelectionperiodamidsta"politicallychargedscenariowhere"SantiagoCityvoterswere

pitted againsteach other along the linesofthe Miranda camp on one side and former CityMayor Amelita S. Navarro,andallegedlythatofDENRSecretaryHehersonAlvarezontheother." 32

Wepainstakinglywentthroughtherecordsofthecaseandfoundnoreasontodisturbthefindingsofprobable

causeofJudgeTumaliuan.

Itisimportanttonotethatanexhaustivedebateonthecredibilityofawitnessisnotwithintheprovinceofthe determinationofprobablecause.AsweheldinWebb 33 :

Afindingofprobablecauseneedsonlytorestonevidenceshowingthatmorelikelythannotacrimehasbeen committed and was committed by the suspects. Probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidenceofguilt,neitheronevidenceestablishingguiltbeyondreasonabledoubtanddefinitely,notonevidence establishingabsolutecertaintyofguilt.AswellputinBrinegarv.UnitedStates,whileprobablecausedemands more than "bare suspicion," it requires "less than evidence which would justify x x x conviction." Afinding of probablecausemerelybindsoverthesuspecttostandtrial.Itisnotapronouncementofguilt.

x x x Probable cause merely implies probability of guilt and should be determined in a summary manner. Preliminaryinvestigationisnotapartoftrialxxx.

Dismissing a criminal case on the basis of a decision of this Court in another case with different accused constitutesgraveabuseofdiscretion.

JudgeAnghadhadquashedthewarrantofarrestontheground,amongotherthings,thattherewasapetitionfor

reviewoftheassistantprosecutor’sresolutionbeforetheSecretaryofJustice.However,aftertheSecretaryof

Justiceaffirmedtheprosecutor’sresolution,JudgeAnghadsummarilydismissedthetwocriminalcasesagainst

thepetitionersonthebasisofthefollowingexplanation:

RodelMaderalwasoneoftheaccusedinPeoplevs.WilfredoLeano,etal.,RTC,Branch41,Manila,andbased

fromhisswornstatements,hepinpointedtoMr.Miranda–themastermindandwithhimandtheotherpolice

officersasthedirectperpetrators,theOctober9,2001DecisionoftheSupremeCourtabsolvingthefivecopsof

murder, certainly makes his sworn Statements a "narration of falsehood and lies" and that because of the decision acquitting said officers "who were likewise falsely linked by said RodelMaderalin his April27, 2001 statements,itisnowbeyonddoubtthatRodelMaderalmadeuntruthful,fabricatedandperjuredstatementsand thereforethesameiswithoutprobablevalue."ThisCourtagreeswiththedefense’sviews.Indeed,ofwhatuseis Maderal’sstatementswhentheSupremeCourtrejectedtheprosecution’sevidencepresentedandadducedin

CriminalCaseNo.97­160355.RodelMaderalissupposedtoturnstatewitnessinthesetwo(2)casesbutwiththe

SupremeCourtdecisionadvertedto,theprobativevalueofhisstatementsispracticallynil.

xxxx

This Court finds merit to the manifestation of the accused Miranda dated October 18, 2001, praying for the

summarydismissalofthetwo(2)murderchargesinviewofthelatestdecisionoftheSupremeCourtinPeopleof

the Philippines vs. Wilfredo Leaño, et al., G.R. No. 13886, acquitting the accused therein and in effect

disregardingalltheevidencepresentedbytheprosecutioninthatcase.Accordingly,thetwo(2)informations[for]

murderfiledagainstJoseMirandaareordereddismissed. 34

Thisisaclearcaseofabuseofdiscretion.JudgeAnghadhadnorighttotwistourdecisionandinterpretittothe

discreditofSPO2Maderal,whowasstillatlargewhentheevidenceoftheprosecutionintheLeañocasewas

presented.Adecision,evenofthisCourt,acquittingtheaccusedthereinofacrimecannotbethebasisofthe dismissalofcriminalcaseagainstdifferentaccusedforthesamecrime.TheblunderofJudgeAnghadiseven more pronounced by the fact that our decision in Leaño was based on reasonable doubt. We never ruled in Leañothatthecrimedidnothappen;wejustfoundthattherewasreasonabledoubtastotheguiltoftheaccused therein,sincetheprosecutioninthatcasereliedoncircumstantialevidence,whichinterestinglyisnoteventhe situationinthecriminalcasesofthepetitionersinthecaseatbarasthereishereaneyewitness:RodelMaderal. TheaccusedinLeañofurthermorehadnomotivetokillrespondentTuliao’sson,whereaspetitionershereinhad beenimplicatedinthetestimonyofrespondentTuliaobeforetheSenateBlueRibbonCommittee.

ItispreposteroustoconcludethatbecauseofourfindingofreasonabledoubtinLeaño,"itisnowbeyonddoubt that Rodel Maderal made untruthful, fabricated and perjured statements and therefore the same is without probablevalue." 35 On the contrary, if we are to permit the use of our decision in Leaño, an acquittalon the groundofreasonabledoubtactuallypointstotheprobabilityoftheprosecution’sversionofthefactstherein.Such probabilityofguiltcertainlymeetsthecriteriaofprobablecause.

Wecannotletunnoticed,too,JudgeAnghad’sdismissaloftheinformationstwodaysafterweresolvedtoissue, uponthefilingofabond,atemporaryrestrainingorderprohibitinghimfromfurtherproceedingwiththecase.The bondwasfiledthedayaftertheinformationsweredismissed.Whilethedismissalofthecasewasabletobeatthe effectivity date of the temporary restraining order, such abrupt dismissal of the informations (days after this Court’s resolve to issue a TRO against Judge Anghad) creates wild suspicions about the motives of Judge Anghad.

Nullificationofaproceedingnecessarilycarrieswithitthereinstatementoftheorderssetasidebythenullified

proceeding.

In their second assignment of error, petitionersclaim that the Court of Appealsdid not recallor reinstate the warrants of arrest issued by Judge Tumaliuan, but instead directed Judge Anghad to issue apparently new warrantsofarrest. 36 Accordingtothepetitioners,itwasanerrorfortheCourtofAppealstohavedoneso,without apersonaldeterminationofprobablecause.

Wedisagree.WhethertheCourtofAppealsorderedtheissuanceofnewwarrantsofarrestormerelyorderedthe reinstatementofthewarrantsofarrestissuedbyJudgeTumaliuanismerelyamatterofscrupuloussemantics, theslightinaccuracywhereofshouldnotbeallowedtoaffectthedispositionsonthemerits,especiallyinthiscase wheretheotherdispositionsoftheCourtofAppealspointtotheotherdirection.Firstly,theCourtofAppealshad reinstated the 25 June 2001 Order ofJudge Tumaliuan, 37 which issued the warrantsofarrest.Secondly,the CourtofAppealslikewisedeclaredtheproceedingsconductedbyJudgeAnghadvoid.Certainly,thedeclaration ofnullityofproceedingsshouldbedeemedtocarrywithitthereinstatementoftheorderssetasidebythenullified proceedings.JudgeAnghad’sorderquashingthewarrantsofarresthadbeennullified;thereforethosewarrants ofarrestarehenceforthdeemedunquashed.

Even if, however, the Court of Appeals had directed the issuance of new warrants of arrest based on a determinationofprobablecause,itwouldhavebeenlegallypermissibleforthemtodoso.Therecordsofthe preliminaryinvestigationhadbeenavailabletotheCourtofAppeals,andarealsoavailabletothisCourt,allowing boththeCourtofAppealsandthisCourttopersonallyexaminetherecordsofthecaseandnotmerelyrelyonthe certification of the prosecutor. As we have ruled in Allado v. Diokno and Roberts v. Court of Appeals, the determination ofprobable cause doesnotreston a subjective criteria.Aswe had resolved in those casesto overrulethefindingofprobablecauseofthejudgesthereinonthegroundofgraveabuseofdiscretion,inthe samevein,wecanalsooverrulethedecisionofajudgereversingafindingofprobablecause,alsoontheground ofgraveabuseofdiscretion.

Thereisnodoublejeopardyinthereinstatementofacriminalcasedismissedbeforearraignment

In their third assignment of error, petitioners claim that the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in

orderingthereinstatementofCriminalCasesNo.36­3523andNo.36­3524,allegingthattheorderofdismissal

issuedthereinhadbecomefinalandexecutory.Accordingtopetitioners:

ItisalsoworthytopointoutatthisjuncturethattheJointOrderofJudgeAnghaddatedNovember14,2001is

NOT ONE of those Orders which were assailed in the private respondent Tuliao’s Petition for Certiorari, MandamusandProhibitionfiledbytheprivaterespondentbeforetheCourtofAppeals.Ascarefullyenumerated inthefirstpageoftheassailedDecision,onlythefollowingOrdersissuedbyJudgeAnghadwerequestionedby privaterespondent,towit:

1.)JointOrderdatedAugust17,2001;

2.)OrderdatedSeptember21,2001;

3.)JointOrderdatedOctober16,2001;and

4.)JointOrderdatedOctober22,2001.

Obviously, the Joint Order dated November 14, 2001 of Judge Anghad, which ultimately dismissed Criminal

CasesNos.36­3523AND36­3524isNOTincludedinthelistoftheassailedOrder/JointOrders.Hence,theCourt

ofAppealsshouldnothavepasseduponthevalidityornullityoftheJointOrderofNovember14,2001. 38

PetitionersmusthaveforgottenthatrespondentTuliao’sPetitionforCertiorari,ProhibitionandMandamuswas filed not with the Court of Appeals, but with this Court. The Court of Appeals decided the case because we

referredthesametotheminour19November2001Resolution.Suchpetitionwasfiledon25October2001,

around three weeks before the 14 November 2001 Order. Upon receipt of the 14 November 2001 Order, however,respondentTuliaolostnotimeinfilingwiththisCourtaMotiontoCitePublicRespondentinContempt, alleging that Judge Anghad "deliberately and willfully committed contempt of court when he issued on 15

November2001theOrderdated14November2001dismissingtheinformationsformurder."On21November

2001,wereferredsaidmotiontotheCourtofAppeals,inviewofthepreviousreferralofrespondentTuliao’s

petitionforcertiorari,prohibitionandmandamus.

OurreferraltotheCourtofAppealsoftheMotiontoCitePublicRepondentinContemptplacesthe14November

2001 Order within the issues of the case decided by the Court of Appeals. In claiming that Judge Anghad

committedcontemptofthisCourtinissuingthe14November2001Order,respondentTuliaohadascribedto

JudgeAnghadanactmuchmoreseriousthangraveabuseofdiscretion.

Respondent Tuliao claims that Judge Anghad issued the 14 November 2001 Order on 15 November 2001, antedating it so as to avoid the effects of our 12 November 2001 Resolution. In said 12 November 2001 Resolution,weresolvedtoissueatemporaryrestrainingorderenjoiningJudgeAnghadfromfurtherproceeding

withthecriminalcasesupontherespondentTuliao’sfilingofabondintheamountofP20,000.00.Respondent

Tuliaohadfiledthebondon15November2005.

WhilewecannotimmediatelypronounceJudgeAnghadincontempt,seeingasdisobediencetolawfulordersofa courtandabuseofcourtprocessesarecasesofindirectcontemptwhichrequirethegrantingofopportunitytobe heardonthepartofrespondent, 39 theprayertocitepublicrespondentincontemptandforotherreliefsjustand

equitableunderthepremisesshouldbeconstruedtoincludeaprayerforthenullificationofsaid14November

2001Order.

In any case, the reinstatement of a criminal case dismissed before arraignment does not constitute double jeopardy.Doublejeopardycannotbeinvokedwheretheaccusedhasnotbeenarraignedanditwasuponhis expressmotionthatthecasewasdismissed. 40

Asto respondent Tuliao’sprayer (in both the originalpetition for certiorariaswellasin hismotion to cite for contempt) to disqualify Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the case, we hold that the number of instancesofabuseofdiscretioninthiscaseareenoughtoconvinceusofanapparentbiasonthepartofJudge Anghad.WefurtherresolvetofollowthecaseofPeoplev.SPO1Leaño, 41 bytransferringthevenueofCriminal

CasesNo.36­3523andNo.36­3524totheCityofManila,pursuanttoArticleVIII,Section4,oftheConstitution.

WHEREFORE,thepetitionisDENIED.TheDecisiondated18December2002andtheResolutiondated12June

2003oftheCourtofAppealsareherebyAFFIRMED,withthemodificationthatCriminalCasesNo.36­3523and

No.36­3524betransferredtoandraffledintheRegionalTrialCourtoftheCityofManila.Inthisconnection,

1)LetacopyofthisdecisionbefurnishedtheExecutiveJudgeoftheRTCoftheCityofSantiago,Isabela,

whoisdirectedtoeffectthetransferofthecaseswithinten(10)daysafterreceipthereof;

2)TheExecutiveJudgeoftheRTCoftheCityofSantiago,Isabela,islikewisedirectedtoreporttothis

Courtcomplianceheretowithinten(10)daysfromtransferofthesecases;

3)TheExecutiveJudgeoftheCityofManilashallproceedtorafflethecriminalcaseswithinten(10)days

fromthetransfer;

4)TheExecutiveJudgeoftheCityofManilaislikewisedirectedtoreporttothisCourtcompliancewiththe

ordertorafflewithinten(10)daysfromsaidcompliance;and

5)TheRTCJudgetowhomthecriminalcasesareraffledisdirectedtoactonsaidcaseswithreasonable

dispatch.

6)Finally,JudgeAnastacioD.Anghadisdirectedtoissueforthwithwarrantsofarrestfortheapprehension

of petitioners Jose C. Miranda, Alberto P. Dalmacio, Romeo B. Ocon, and accused Rodel T. Maderal,

conformablywiththedecisionoftheCourtofAppealsdated18December2002.

TheTemporaryRestrainingOrderissuedbythisCourtdated4August2003isherebyLIFTED.Costsagainst

Petitioners.

SOORDERED.

MINITAV.CHICO­NAZARIO

AssociateJustice

WECONCUR:

ARTEMIOV.PANGANIBAN

ChiefJustice

Chairperson

CONSUELOYNARES­SANTIAGO

AssociateJustice

MA.ALICIAAUSTRIA­MARTINEZ

AsscociateJustice

ROMEOJ.CALLEJO,SR.

AssociateJustice

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Article VIII, Section 13 of the Constitution, it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above DecisionwerereachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourt’s Division.

ARTEMIOV.PANGANIBAN

ChiefJustice

Footnotes

1 Penned by Associate Justice Sergio L. Pestaño with Acting Presiding Justice (now Supreme Court AssociateJustice)CancioC.GarciaandAssociateJusticeEloyR.Bello,Jr.,concurring.

2 Rollo,pp.109­110.

3 Id.,p.103.

4 Id.

5 Thisshouldhavebeen301SCRA298.

6 OscarHerrera,RemedialLaw,Vol.IV,pp.38­39(2001ed.).

7 G.R.Nos.99289­90,27January1993,217SCRA633,643.

8 Id.

9 Paderanga v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 115407, 28 August 1995, 247 SCRA 741, 750; Dinapol v.

Baldado,A.M.No.RTJ­92­898,5August1993,225SCRA110,116­117.Insomejurisprudence,voluntary

surrender istermed as"voluntarysubmission to the jurisdiction of the court bysurrender to the proper authorities."

10 Layosav.Rodriguez,G.R.No.L­46080,10November1978,86SCRA300,303;Peoplev.Umbrero,

G.R.No.93021,8May1991,196SCRA821,829.

11 Thisisbecauseoftherulethatjurisdiction,onceacquired,attachesuntilthefinaldispositionofthecase. Insuchasituation,theescapee’srighttoconfrontationandcross­examinationofwitnessesaredeemed waivedbyhisfailuretoappearduringthetrialofwhichhehasnotice(Gimenezv.Nazareno,G.R.No.L­

37933,15April1988,160SCRA1,5).

12 SeeLarranagav.CourtofAppeals,351Phil.75,88­89(1998).

13 A.M.No.RTJ­91­764,6November1992,215SCRA421.

14 Id.,at424.

15 Sapugayv.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.86792,21March1990,183SCRA464,471.

16 Felicianov.Pasicolan,112Phil.781,783(1961).

17 Paderangav.CourtofAppeals,supranote9,p.749.ThisiswhattheCourtofAppealserroneously

rephrasedjustbeforequotingPico.Cf.note1.

18 RulesofCourt,Rule15,Section20.

19 G.R.No.113630,5May1994,232SCRA192,198.

20 324Phil.568,590(1996).

21 361Phil.251,284(1999).

22 RulesofCourt,Rule113,Section6.

23 Phil.BloomingMillsEmployeesOrga.v.Phil.BloomingMillsInc.,151­APhil.656,676(1973).

24 JointOrderdated17August2001,rollo,p.204.

25 317Phil.758,796(1995).

26 JointOrderdated17October2001,rollo,p.196.

27 Constitution,Art.III,Sec.2.

28 Petitioner’sMemorandum,rollo,pp.477­478.

29 JudgeTumaliuan’sJointOrderdated6July2001,rollo,p.193.

30 G.R.Nos.94054­57,19February1991,194SCRA292,300.

31 G.R.No.88919,25July1990,187SCRA788,792.

32 JointOrderdated17August2001,rollopp.197­201.

33 Webbv.DeLeon,supranote25,pp.675­676.

34 JointOrderdated14November2001,rollo,pp.271­272.

35 Id.

36 Petitioners’Memorandum,rollo,p.493.

37 Rollo,pp.150­151.

38 Id.,pp.498­499.

39 RulesofCourt,Rule71,Section3(b)and(c).

40 Peoplev.Monteiro,G.R.No.49454,21December1990,192SCRA548,553.

41 419Phil.241(2001).

TheLawphilProject­ArellanoLawFoundation

4 1 419Phil.241(2001). TheLawphilProject­ArellanoLawFoundation