A.M. No. 01-2-04-SC: Proposed Interim Rules of Procedure Governing Intra-Corporate Controversies Under R.A. No. 8799

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

A.M. No. 01-2-04-SC             March 13, 2001

Re: PROPOSED INTERIM RULES OF PROCEDURE GOVERNING INTRA-CORPORATE CONTROVERSIES UNDER R. A. NO. 8799

RESOLUTION

INTERIM RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR INTRA-CORPORATE CONTROVERSIES

RULE 1
GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 1. (a) Cases covered. – These Rules shall govern the procedure to be observed in civil cases involving the following:

    1. Devices or schemes employed by, or any act of, the board of directors, business associates, officers or partners, amounting to fraud or misrepresentation which may be detrimental to the interest of the public and/or of the stockholders, partners, or members of any corporation, partnership, or association;
    2. Controversies arising out of intra-corporate, partnership, or association relations, between and among stockholders, members, or associates; and between, any or all of them and the corporation, partnership, or association of which they are stockholders, members, or associates, respectively;
    3. Controversies in the election or appointment of directors, trustees, officers, or managers of corporations, partnerships, or associations;
    4. Derivative suits; and
    5. Inspection of corporate books.

(b) prohibition against nuisance and harassment suits. – Nuisance and harassment suits are prohibited. In determining whether a suit is a nuisance or harassment suit, the court shall consider, among others, the following:

    1. The extent of the shareholding or interest of the initiating stockholder or member;
    2. Subject matter of the suit;
    3. Legal and factual basis of the complaint;
    4. Availability of appraisal rights for the act or acts complained of; and
    5. Prejudice or damage to the corporation, partnership, or association in relation to the relief sought.

In case of nuisance or harassment suits, the court may, moto proprio or upon motion, forthwith dismiss the case.

SEC. 2. Suppletory application of the Rules of Court. – The Rules of Court, in so far as they may be applicable and are not inconsistent with these Rules, are hereby adopted to form an integral part of these Rules.

SEC. 3. Construction. – These Rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of securing a just, summary, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action or proceeding.

SEC. 4. Executory nature of decisions and orders. – All decisions and orders issued under these Rules shall immediately be executory. No appeal or petition taken therefrom shall stay the enforcement or implementation of the decision or order, unless restrained by an appellate court. Interlocutory orders shall not be subject to appeal.

SEC. 5. Venue. – All actions covered by these Rules shall be commenced and tried in the Regional Trial Court which has jurisdiction over the principal office of the corporation, partnership, or association concerned. Where the principal office of the corporation, partnership or association is registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission as Metro Manila, the action must be filed in the city or municipality where the head office is located.

SEC. 6. Service of pleadings. – When so authorized by the court, any pleading and/or document required by these Rules may be filed with the court and/or served upon the other parties by facsimile transmission (tax) or electronic mail (e-mail. In such cases, the date of transmission shall be deemed to be prima facie the date of service.

SEC. 7. Signing of pleadings, motions and other papers. – Every pleading, motion, and other paper of a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s individual name, whose address shall be stated. A party who is not represented by an attorney shall sign the pleading, motion, or other paper and state his address.

The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certification by the signer that he has read the pleading, motion, or other paper; that to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry, it is well grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing jurisprudence; and that it is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

If a pleading, motion, or other paper is not signed, it shall be stricken off the record unless it is promptly signed by the pleader or movant, after he is notified of the omission.

SEC. 8. Prohibited pleadings. – The following pleadings are prohibited:

    1. Motion to dismiss;
    2. Motion for a bill of particulars;
    3. Motion for new trial, or for reconsideration of judgment or order, or for re-opening of trial;
    4. Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits or any other paper, except those filed due to clearly compelling reasons. Such motion must be verified and under oath; and
    5. Motion for postponement and other motions of similar intent, except those filed due to clearly compelling reasons. Such motion must be verified and under oath.

SEC. 9. Assignment of cases. – All cases filed under these Rules shall be tried by judges designated by the Supreme Court to hear and decide cases transferred from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Regional Trial Courts and filed directly with said courts pursuant to Republic Act No. 8799, otherwise known as the Securities and Regulation Cod

RULE 2
COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION AND PLEADINGS

SECTION 1. Commencement of action. – An action under these Rules is commenced by the filing of a verified complaint with the proper Regional Trial Court.

SEC. 2. Pleadings allowed. – The only pleadings allowed to be filed under these Rules are the complaint, answer, compulsory counterclaims or cross-claims pleaded in the answer, and the answer to the counterclaims or cross-claims.

SEC. 3. Verification. The complaint and the answer shall be verified by an affidavit stating that the affiant has read the pleading and the allegations therein are true and correct based on his own personal knowledge or on authentic records.

SEC. 4. Complaint. – The complaint shall state or contain:

    1. the names, addresses, and other relevant personal or juridical circumstances of the parties;
    2. all facts material and relevant to the plaintiff’s cause or causes of action, which shall be supported by affidavits of the plaintiff or his witnesses and copies of documentary and other evidence supportive of such cause or causes of action;
    3. the law, rule, or regulation relied upon, violated, or sought to be enforced;
    4. a certification that (a) the plaintiff has not theretofore commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency, and, to the best of his knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there is such other action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and (c) if he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending, he shall report that fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court; and
    5. the relief sought.

SEC. 5. Summons. – The summons and the complaint shall be served together not later than five (5) days from the date of filing of the complaint.

    1. Service upon domestic private juridical entities. – If the defendant is a domestic corporation, service shall be deemed adequate if made upon any of the statutory or corporate officers as fixed by the by-laws or their respective secretaries. If the defendant is a partnership, service shall be deemed adequate if made upon any of the managing or general partners or upon their respective secretaries. If the defendant is an association, service shall be deemed adequate if made upon any of its officers or their respective secretaries.
    2. Service upon foreign private juridical entity. When the defendant is a foreign private juridical entity which is transacting or has transacted business in the Philippines, service may be made on its resident agent designated in accordance with law for that purpose, or, if there be no such agent, on the government official designated by law to that effect, or on any of its officers or agents within the Philippines.

SEC. 6. Answer. – The defendant shall file his answer to the complaint, serving a copy thereof on the plaintiff, within fifteen (15) days from service of summons.

In the answer, the defendant shall:

    1. Specify each material allegation of fact the truth of which he admits;
    2. Specify each material allegation of fact the truth of which he does not admit. Where the defendant desires to deny only a part of an averment, he shall specify so much of it as true and material and shall deny only the remainder;
    3. Specify each material allegation of fact as to which truth he has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief, and this shall have the effect of a denial;
    4. State the defenses, including grounds for a motion to dismiss under the Rules of Court;
    5. State the law, rule, or regulation relied upon;
    6. Address each of the causes of action stated in the complaint;
    7. State the facts upon which he relies for his defense, including affidavits of witnesses and copies of documentary and other evidence supportive of such cause or causes of action;
    8. State any compulsory counterclaim/s and cross-claim/s; and
    9. State the relief sought.

The answer to counterclaims or cross-claims shall be filed within ten (10) days from service of the answer in which they are pleaded.

SEC. 7. Effect of failure to answer. – If the defendant fails to answer within the period above provided, he shall be considered in default. Upon motion or motu proprio, the court shall render judgment either dismissing the complaint or granting the relief prayed for as the records may warrant. In no case shall the court award a relief beyond or different from that prayed for.

SEC. 8. Affidavits, documentary and other evidence. – Affidavits shall be based on personal knowledge, shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify on the matters stated therein. The affidavits shall be in question and answer form, and shall comply with the rules on admissibility of evidence.

Affidavits of witnesses as well as documentary and other evidence shall be attached to the appropriate pleading; Provided, however, that affidavits, documentary and other evidence not so submitted may be attached to the pre-trial brief required under these Rules. Affidavits and other evidence not so submitted shall not be admitted in evidence, except in the following cases:

    1. Testimony of unwilling, hostile, or adverse party witnesses. A witness is presumed prima facie hostile if he fails or refuses to execute an affidavit after a written request therefor;
    2. If the failure to submit the evidence is for meritorious and compelling reasons; and
    3. Newly discovered evidence.

In case of (2) and (3) above, the affidavit and evidence must be submitted not later than five (5) days prior to its introduction in evidence.

RULE 3
MODES OF DISCOVERY

SECTION 1. In general.A party can only avail of any of the modes of discovery not later than fifteen (15) days from the joinder of issues.

SEC. 2. Objections. – Any mode of discovery such as interrogatories, request for admission, production or inspection of documents or things, may be objected to within ten (10) days from receipt of the discovery device and only on the ground that the matter requested is patently incompetent, immaterial, irrelevant or privileged in nature.

The court shall rule on the objections not later than fifteen (15) days from the filing thereof.

SEC. 3. Compliance. – Compliance with any mode of discovery shall be made within ten (10) days from receipt of the discovery device, or if there are objections, from receipt of the ruling of the court.

SEC. 4. Sanctions. – The sanctions prescribed in the Rules of Court for failure to avail of, or refusal to comply with, the modes of discovery shall apply. In addition, the court may, upon motion, declare a party non-suited or as in default, as the case may be, if the refusal to comply with a mode of discovery is patently unjustified.

RULE 4
PRE-TRIAL

SECTION 1. Pre-trial conference; mandatory nature. – Within five (5) days after the period for availment of, and compliance with, the modes of discovery prescribed in Rule 3 hereof, whichever comes later, the court shall issue and serve an order immediately setting the case for pre-trial conference and directing the parties to submit their respective pre-trial briefs. The parties shall file with the court and furnish each other copies of their respective pre-trial brief in such manner as to ensure its receipt by the court and the other party at least five (5) days before the date set for the pre-trial.

The parties shall set forth in their pre-trial briefs, among other matters, the following:

    1. Brief statement of the nature of the case, which shall summarize the theory or theories of the party in clear and concise language;
    2. Allegations expressly admitted by either or both parties;
    3. Allegations deemed admitted by either or both parties;
    4. Documents not specifically denied under oath by either or both parties;
    5. Amendments to the pleadings;
    6. Statement of the issues, which shall separately summarize the factual and legal issues involved in the case;
    7. Names of witnesses to be presented and the summary of their testimony as contained in their affidavits supporting their positions on each of the issues;
    8. All other pieces of evidence, whether documentary or otherwise and their respective purposes;
    9. Specific proposals for an amicable settlement;
    10. Possibility of referral to mediation or other alternative modes of dispute resolution;
    11. Proposed schedule of hearings; and
    12. Such other matters as may aid in the just and speedy disposition of the case.

SEC. 2. Nature and purpose of pre-trial conference. – During the pre-trial conference, the court shall, with its active participation, ensure that the parties consider in detail all of the following:

    1. The possibility of an amicable settlement;
    2. Referral of the dispute to mediation or other forms of dispute resolution;
    3. Facts that need not be proven, either because they are matters of judicial notice or expressly or deemed admitted;
    4. Amendments to the pleadings;
    5. The possibility of obtaining stipulations and admissions of facts and documents;
    6. Objections to the admissibility of testimonial, documentary and other evidence;
    7. Objections to the form or substance of any affidavit, or part thereof;
    8. Simplification of the issues;
    9. The possibility of submitting the case for decision on the basis of position papers, affidavits, documentary and real evidence;
    10. A complete schedule of hearing dates; and
    11. Such other matters as may aid in the speedy and summary disposition of the case.

SEC. 3. Termination. – The preliminary conference shall be terminated not later than ten (10) days after its commencement, whether or not the parties have agreed to settle amicably.

SEC. 4. Judgment before pre-trial. – If, after submission of the pre-trial briefs, the court determines that, upon consideration of the pleadings, the affidavits and other evidence submitted by the parties, a judgment may be rendered, the court may order the parties to file simultaneously their respective memoranda within a non-extendible period of twenty (20) days from receipt of the order. Thereafter, the court shall render judgment, either full or otherwise, not later than ninety (90) days from the expiration of the period to file the memoranda.

SEC. 5. Pre-trial order; judgment after pre-trial. – The proceedings in the pre-trial shall be recorded. Within ten (10) days after the termination of the pre-trial, the court shall issue an order which shall recite in detail the matters taken up in the conference, the actions taken thereon, the amendments allowed in the pleadings, and the agreements or admissions made by the parties as to any of the matters considered. The court shall rule on all objections to or comments on the admissibility of any documentary or other evidence, including any affidavit or any part thereof. Should the action proceed to trial, the order shall explicitly define and limit the issues to be tried and shall strictly follow the form set forth in Annex “A” of these Rules.

The contents of the order shall control the subsequent course of the action, unless modified before trial to prevent manifest injustice.

After the pre-trial, the court may render judgment, either full or partial, as the evidence presented during the pre-trial may warrant.

RULE 5
TRIAL

SECTION 1. Witnesses. – If the court deems necessary to hold hearings to determine specific factual matters before rendering judgment, it shall, in the pre-trial order, set the case for trial on the dates agreed upon by the parties.

Only persons whose affidavits were submitted may be presented as witnesses, except in cases specified in section 8, Rule 2 of these Rules. The affidavits of the witnesses shall serve as their direct testimonies, subject to cross-examination in accordance with existing rules on evidence.

SEC. 2. Trial schedule. – Unless judgment is rendered pursuant to Rule 4 of these Rules, the initial hearing shall be held not later than thirty (30) days from the date of the pre-trial order. The hearings shall be completed not later than sixty (60) days from the date of the initial hearing, thirty (30) days of which shall be allotted to the plaintiffs and thirty (30) days to the defendants in the manner prescribed in the rep-trial order. The failure of a party to present a witness on a scheduled hearing date shall be deemed a waiver of such hearing date. However, a party may present such witness or witnesses within his remaining allotted hearing dates.

SEC. 3. Written offer of evidence. – Evidence not otherwise admitted by the parties or ruled upon by the court during the pre-trial conference shall be offered in writing not later than five (5) days from the completion of the presentation of evidence of the party concerned. The opposing party shall have five (5) days from receipt of the offer to file his comments or objections. The court shall make its ruling on the offer within five (5) days from the expiration of the period to file comments or objections.

SEC. 4. Memoranda. – Immediately after ruling on the last offer of evidence, the court shall order the parties to simultaneously file, within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order, their respective memoranda. The memoranda shall contain the following:

    1. A “Statement of the Case,” which is a clear and concise statement of the nature of the action and a summary of the proceedings;
    2. A “Statement of the Facts,” which is a clear and concise statement in narrative form of the established facts, with reference to the testimonial, documentary or other evidence in support thereof;
    3. A “Statement of the issues,” which is a clear and concise statement of the issues presented to the court for resolution;
    4. The “Arguments,” which is a clear and concise presentation of the argument in support of each issue; and
    5. The “Relief,” which is a specification of the order or judgment which the party seeks to obtain.

No reply memorandum shall be allowed.

SEC. 5. Decision after trial. – The court shall render a decision not later than (90) days from the lapse of the period to file the memoranda, with or without said pleading having been filed.

RULE 6

ELECTION CONTESTS

SECTION 1. Cases covered. – The provisions of this rule shall apply to election contests in stock and non-stock corporations.

SEC. 2. Definition. – An election contest refers to any controversy or dispute involving title or claim to any elective office in a stock or non-stock corporation, the validation of proxies, the manner and validity of elections, and the qualifications of candidates, including the proclamation of winners, to the office of director, trustee or other officer directly elected by the stockholders in a close corporation or by members of a non-stock corporation where the articles of incorporation or by-laws so provide.

SEC. 3. Complaint. – In addition to the requirements in section 4, Rule 2 of these Rules, the complaint in an election contest must state the following:

    1. The case was filed within fifteen (15) days from the date of the election if the by-laws of the corporation do not provide for a procedure for resolution of the controversy, or within fifteen (15) days from the resolution of the controversy by the corporation as provided in its by-laws; and
    2. The plaintiff has exhausted all intra-corporate remedies in election cases as provided for in the by-laws of the corporation.

SEC. 4. Duty of the court upon the filing of the complaint. – Within two (2) days from the filing of the complaint, the court, upon a consideration of the allegations thereof, may dismiss the complaint outright if it is not sufficient in form and substance, or, if it is sufficient, order the issuance of summons which shall be served, together with a copy of the complaint, on the defendant within two (2) days from its issuance.

SEC. 5. Answer. – The defendant shall file his answer to the complaint, serving a copy thereof on the plaintiff, within ten (10) days from service of summons and the complaint. The answer shall contain the matters required in section 6, Rule 2 of these Rules.

SEC. 6. Affidavits, documentary and other evidence. – The parties shall attach to the complaint and answer the affidavits of witnesses, documentary and other evidence in support thereof, if any.

 

Acting on the Memorandum of the Committee on SEC Cases submitting for this Court’s consideration and approval the Proposed Interim Rules of Procedure for Intra-Corporate Controversies, the Court Resolved to APPROVE the same.

The Interim Rules shall take effect on April 1, 2001 following its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

March 13, 2001, Manila.

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Case Brief: Apodaca v NLRC

G.R. No. 80039    April 18, 1989
APODACA v. NLRC

 

Facts:
Petitioner was employed in respondent corporation. On August 28, 1985, respondent Jose M. Mirasol persuaded petitioner to subscribe to 1,500 shares of respondent corporation at P100.00 per share or a total of P150,000.00. He made an initial payment of P37,500.00. On September 1, 1975, petitioner was appointed President and General Manager of the respondent corporation. However, on January 2, 1986, he resigned.
On December 19, 1986, petitioner instituted with the NLRC a complaint against private respondents for the payment of his unpaid wages, his cost of living allowance, the balance of his gasoline and representation expenses and his bonus compensation for 1986. Private respondents admitted that there is due to petitioner the amount of P17,060.07 but this was applied to the unpaid balance of his subscription in the amount of P95,439.93. Petitioner questioned the set-off alleging that there was no call or notice for the payment of the unpaid subscription and that, accordingly, the alleged obligation is not enforceable.
In a decision dated April 28, 1987, the labor arbiter sustained the claim of petitioner for P17,060.07 on the ground that the employer has no right to withhold payment of wages already earned under Article 103 of the Labor Code. Upon the appeal of the private respondents to public respondent NLRC, the decision of the labor arbiter was reversed in a decision dated September 18, 1987. The NLRC held that a stockholder who fails to pay his unpaid subscription on call becomes a debtor of the corporation and that the set-off of said obligation against the wages and others due to petitioner is not contrary to law, morals and public policy. Hence, the instant petition.

Issue:
Whether or not private respondents were correct in deducting from the salaries of petitioners the unpaid balance of his subscription?

Held:
No, it is prohibited by law.
The NLRC has no jurisdiction to determine such intra-corporate dispute between the stockholder and the corporation as in the matter of unpaid subscriptions. Assuming arguendo that the NLRC may exercise jurisdiction over the said subject matter under the circumstances of this case, the unpaid subscriptions are not due and payable until a call is made by the corporation for payment. Private respondents have not presented a resolution of the board of directors of respondent corporation calling for the payment of the unpaid subscriptions. It does not even appear that a notice of such call has been sent to petitioner by the respondent corporation.
Assuming further that there was a call for payment of the unpaid subscription, the NLRC cannot validly set it off against the wages and other benefits due petitioner. Article 113 of the Labor Code allows such a deduction from the wages of the employees by the employer, only in three instances, to wit: ART. 113. Wage Deduction. — No employer, in his own behalf or in behalf of any person, shall make any deduction from the wages of his employees, except: (a) In cases where the worker is insured with his consent by the employer, and the deduction is to recompense the employer for the amount paid by him as premium on the insurance; (b) For union dues, in cases where the right of the worker or his union to checkoff has been recognized by the employer or authorized in writing by the individual worker concerned; and(c) In cases where the employer is authorized by law or regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor.
The petition is GRANTED and the questioned decision of the NLRC dated September 18, 1987 is hereby set aside and another judgment is hereby rendered ordering private respondents to pay petitioner the amount of P17,060.07 plus legal interest computed from the time of the filing of the complaint on December 19, 1986, with costs against private respondents.

Case Brief: Fenequito v Vergara

July 18, 2012

FENEQUITO

v.

VERGARA, JR.

 

FACTS:

On February 11, 2004, an information for falsification of public documents was filed with the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Manila by the Assistant City Prosecutor of Manila (representing Bernardo Vergara Jr.) against Rosa Fenequito, Corazon E. Hernandez, and Lauro H. Rodriquez. On April 23, 2004, Fenequito, et al. filed a Motion to Dismiss the Case Based on Absence of Probable Cause. The MeTC issued an order granting the said motion. Upon appeal by the public prosecutor, however, the RTC set aside the MeTC’s order and directed the latter to trial. Fenequito, et al, filed an appeal before the CA, which subsequent ruled that the RTC’s assailed decision was interlocutory in nature and was therefore not appealable. Hence, the instant petition for review.

Issue:

WON RTC’s decision was interlocutory and can be appealed.

RULING:

RTC’s decision was interlocutory in nature.  As such, it cannot be appealed.

One of the grounds for the CA’s outright dismissal of Fenequito et al.’s petition for review was because of the latter’s failure to submit copies of pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent to the petition filed, as required under Section 2, Rule 42 of the Rules of Court.

It is settled rule that the right to appeal is neither a natural right nor a part of due process; it is merely a statutory privilege, and may be exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the provisions of law. An appeal being a purely statutory right, an appealing party must strictly comply with the requisites laid down in the Rules of Court. The rationale for this strict attitude is not difficult to appreciate as the Rules are designed to facilities the orderly disposition of appealed cases.

But even if the Court bends its Rules to allow the present petition, the Court still finds no cogent reason to depart from the assailed ruling of the CA. This is because Fenequito et al. erroneously assumed that the RTC Decision is final and appealable, when in fact it is interlocutory. An order is interlocutory if it does not dispose of a case completely, but leaves something more to be done upon its merits. In contrast, a final order is one that which dispose of the whole subject matter or terminates a particular proceeding or action, leaving nothing to be done but to enforce by execution what has been determined.

Granted, the assailed Decision of the RTC set aside the Order of the MeTC and directed the court a quo to proceed to trial by allowing the prosecution to present its evidence. Hence, it is clear that the RTC Decision is interlocutory as it did not dispose of the case completely, but left something more to be done on its merits.

Case Brief: Balaba v People

G.R. No. 169519   July 17, 2009

Balaba

vs.

People

Facts:

Accused Balaba, Assistant Municipal Treasurer of Guindulman, Bohol, was charged and convicted with Malversation of Public Funds by the RTC on it’s decision dated December 9, 2002. On January 14, 2003 filed his Notice of Appeal before the CA which was dismissed on its December 14, 2004 decision on the ground that it had no jurisdiction to act on the appeal because

SB has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over the case. Hence this appeal on the ground that CA erred in dismissing his appeal instead of certifying the case to the proper court.

Issue:

WON CA erred in dismissing his appeal instead of certifying the case to the proper court?

Held:

No. An error in designating the appellate court is not fatal to the appeal. However, the correction in designating the proper appellate court should be made within the 15-day period to appeal. Once made within the said period, the designation of the correct appellate court may be allowed even if the records of the case are forwarded to the Court of Appeals. An appeal erroneously taken to the Court of Appeals shall not be transferred to the appropriate court but shall be dismissed outright. In this case, Balaba sought the correction of the error in filing the appeal only after the expiration of the period to appeal.

Case Brief: Quidet v People

G.R. No. 170289   April 8, 2010

QUIDET 

VS.

PEOPLE

FACTS

Quidet and the other two accused were charged with homicide for the death of a victim and frustrated homicide for the stab wounds sustained by another victim. The RTC convicted all of them for the said offense. Of the three accused, only Quidet appealed. The CA confirmed the decision of RTC but with modification. The CA convicted them for attempted homicide instead of frustrated homicide.

ISSUE

Whether or not the favorable appeal of Quidet will extend to the other two accused who did not appeal.

HELD

YES. Although they did not appeal their conviction, this part of the appellate courts judgment is favorable to them, thus, they are entitled to a reduction of their prison terms. The rule is that an appeal taken by one or more of several accused shall not affect those who did not appeal except insofar as the judgment of the appellate court is favorable and applicable to the latter.

Case Brief: Estino v People

G.R. NOS. 163957-58    APRIL 7, 2009

ESTINO 

vs

PEOPLE 

FACTS:

For review before the Court under Rule 45 are the April 16, 2004 Decision and June 14, 2004 Resolution of the Sandiganbayan in the consolidated Criminal Case Nos. 26192 and 26193 entitled People of the Philippines v. Munib S. Estino and Ernesto G. Pescadera.

In G.R. Nos. 163957-58, petitioners Munib S. Estino and Ernesto G. Pescadera appeal their conviction of violation of Section 3(e), Republic Act No. (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for failure to pay the Representation and Transportation Allowance (RATA) of the provincial government employees of Sulu. In G.R. Nos. 164009-11, petitioner Pescadera alone appeals his conviction of malversation of public funds under Article 217 Of the Revised Penal Code for failure to remit the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) contributions of the provincial government employees amounting to PhP 4,820,365.30.

In these consolidated appeals, petitioners pray for their acquittal.

ISSUE:

Whether a new trial is proper in the determination the guilt of the petitioners in non-payment of RATA in violation of Sec 3(e) of RA 3019.

RULING:

YES. Petitioner’s defense is anchored on their payment of RATA, and for this purpose, they submitted documents which allegedly show that they paid the RATA under the 1998 reenacted budget. They also claim that the COA Report did not sufficiently prove that they did not pay the RATA because the alleged disbursement vouchers, which were supposed to be annexed to the COA Report as proof of nonpayment of RATA, were not submitted with said report. Rule 121 of the Rules of Court allows the conduct of a new trial before a judgment of conviction becomes final when new and material evidence has been discovered which the accused could not with reasonable diligence have discovered and produced at the trial and which if introduced and admitted would probably change the judgment. Although the documents offered by petitioners are strictly not newly discovered, it appears to us that petitioners were mistaken in their belief that its production during

Rule 121 of the Rules of Court allows the conduct of a new trial before a judgment of conviction becomes final when new and material evidence has been discovered which the accused could not with reasonable diligence have discovered and produced at the trial and which if introduced and admitted would probably change the judgment. Although the documents offered by petitioners are strictly not newly discovered, it appears to us that petitioners were mistaken in their belief that its production during trial was unnecessary.

Case Brief: Tiu v Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 162370     April 21, 2009

DAVID TIU

v. 

COURT OF APPEALS 

Facts:

The case stemmed from a criminal charge for slight physical injuries filed by Edgardo Postanes (Postanes) against Remigio Pasion (Pasion). On the other hand, David Tiu (Tiu) filed a criminal charge for grave threats against Postanes. Upon motion of Pasion, the two criminal cases were consolidated and jointly heard before the MeTC of Pasay City.

After trial, MeTC rendered judgment dismissing both charges on ground of insufficiency of evidence.

Tiu filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the MeTC. Afterwards, Tiu, through his counsel, filed a petition for certiorari with the RTC of Pasay City. The RTC of Pasay City rendered a decision declaring void the judgment of the MeTC and ordered the case to be remanded in the MeTC. Postanes moved for reconsideration, which was denied by the RTC.

Postanes filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari (with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order), challenging the decision of the RTC. The Court of Appeals reversed the RTC Decision and affirmed the dismissal of the two cases. In annulling the RTC decision, the Court of Appeals held that the RTC has granted upon the State, through the extraordinary remedy of certiorari, the right to appeal the decision of acquittal which right the government does not have.

Issue:

Whether there was double jeopardy when Tiu filed a petition for certiorari questioning the acquittal of Postanes by the MeTC.

Held:

Yes. At the outset, the Court finds that the petition is defective since it was not filed by the Solicitor General. Instead, it was filed by Tiu, the private complainant, through his counsel.

Settled is the rule that only the Solicitor General may bring or defend actions on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, or represent the People or State in criminal proceedings before this Court and the Court of Appeals. Tiu, the offended party in the criminal case is without legal personality to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeals before the Supreme Court. Nothing shows that the Office of the Solicitor General represents the People in this appeal before the Court. On this ground alone, the SC says the petition must fail.

However, the Court opts to resolve the question of double jeopardy.

The elements of double jeopardy are (1) the complaint or information was sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction; (2) the court had jurisdiction; (3) the accused had been arraigned and had pleaded; and (4) the accused was convicted or acquitted or the case was dismissed without his express consent.

These elements are present here: (1) the Information filed in the criminal case against Postanes was sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction; (2) the MeTC had jurisdiction over the criminal case (3) Postanes was arraigned and entered a non-guilty plea; and (4) the MeTC dismissed the Criminal Case on the ground of insufficiency of evidence amounting to an acquittal from which no appeal can be had. Clearly, for the court to grant the petition and order the MeTC to reconsider its decision, just what the RTC ordered the MeTC to do, is to transgress the Constitutional proscription not to put any person twice in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense.