Case Brief: Hipos v Bay

G.R. Nos. 174813-15     581 SCRA 320

Hipos

vs

Bay

Facts:  

Two Informations for the crime of rape and one Information for the crime of acts of lasciviousness were filed against petitioners Darryl Hipos et al., before Branch 86 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Petitioners filed their Joint Memorandum to Dismiss the Case[s] before the City Prosecutor. They claimed that there was no probable cause to hold them liable for the crimes charged. The Office of the City Prosecutor issued a Resolution on the reinvestigation affirming the Informations.

2nd Assistant City Prosecutor Lamberto C. de Vera, treating the Joint Memorandum to Dismiss the Case as an appeal of the 10 August 2004 Resolution, reversed the Resolution dated 10 August 2004, holding that there was lack of probable cause. On the same date, the City Prosecutor filed a Motion to Withdraw Informations before Judge Bay. Judge Bay denied the Motion to Withdraw Informations in an Order of even date.

Issue:

Can the Supreme Court compel respondent judge bay to dismiss the case through a writ of mandamus.

Held:

The rule is settled that once a criminal complaint or information is filed in court, any disposition thereof, such as its dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused, rests in the sound discretion of the court. While the prosecutor retains the discretion and control of the prosecution of the case, he cannot impose his opinion on the court. The court is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case. Accordingly, a motion to dismiss the case filed by the prosecutor before or after the arraignment, or after a reinvestigation, or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice who reviewed the records upon reinvestigation, should be addressed to the discretion of the court. The action of the court must not, however, impair the substantial rights of the accused or the right of the People to due process of law.

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