Effect of Affidavit of Desistance in Criminal Case


Nature: Petition for review of a decision of the Manila RTC Facts: On June 18, 1999 the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark Jimenez to the U.S. The Grand Jury Indictment, the warrant for his arrest, and other supporting documents for said extradition were attached along with the request.

Charges include:

  1. Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the US
  2. Attempt to evade or defeat tax
  3. Fraud by wire, radio, or television
  4. False statement or entries
  5. Election contribution in name of another

The Department of Justice (DOJ), through a designated panel proceeded with the technical evaluation and assessment of the extradition treaty which they found having matters needed to be addressed. Respondent, then requested for copies of all the documents included in the extradition request and for him to be given ample time to assess it.

The Secretary of Justice denied request on the ff. grounds:

  1. He found it premature to secure him copies prior to the completion of the evaluation. At that point in time, the DOJ is in the process of evaluating whether the procedures and requirements under the relevant law (PD 1069—Philippine Extradition Law) and treaty (RP-US Extradition Treaty) have been complied with by the Requesting Government. Evaluation by the DOJ of the documents is not a preliminary investigation like in criminal cases making the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the accused in criminal prosecution inapplicable.
  2. The U.S. requested for the prevention of unauthorized disclosure of the information in the documents.
  3. Finally, country is bound to Vienna convention on law of treaties such that every treaty in force is binding upon the parties. The respondent filed for petition of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition.

The RTC of NCR ruled in favor of the respondent. Secretary of Justice was made to issue a copy of the requested papers, as well as conducting further proceedings. Issues:

  1. WON private is respondent entitled to the two basic due process rights of notice and hearing Yes. §2(a) of PD 1086 defines extradition as “the removal of an accused from the Philippines with the object of placing him at the disposal of foreign authorities to enable the requesting state or government to hold him in connection with any criminal investigation directed against him in connection with any criminal investigation directed against him or the execution of a penalty imposed on him under the penal or criminal law of the requesting state or government.”

Although the inquisitorial power exercised by the DOJ as an administrative agency due to the failure of the DFA to comply lacks any judicial discretion, it primarily sets the wheels for the extradition process which may ultimately result in the deprivation of the liberty of the prospective extradite. This deprivation can be effected at two stages: The provisional arrest of the prospective extradite pending the submission of the request & the temporary arrest of the prospective extradite during the pendency of the extradition petition in court. Clearly, there’s an impending threat to a

prospective extraditee’s liberty as early as during the evaluation stage. Because of such consequences, the evaluation process is akin to an administrative agency conducting an investigative proceeding, the consequences of which are essentially criminal since such technical assessment sets off or commences the procedure for & ultimately the deprivation of liberty of a prospective extradite. In essence, therefore, the evaluation process partakes of the nature of a criminal investigation.

There are certain constitutional rights that are ordinarily available only in criminal prosecution. But the Court has ruled in other cases that where the investigation of an administrative proceeding may result in forfeiture of life, liberty, or property, the administrative proceedings are deemed criminal or penal, & such forfeiture partakes the nature of a penalty. In the case at bar, similar to a preliminary investigation, the evaluation stage of the extradition proceedings which may result in the filing of an information against the respondent, can possibly lead to his arrest, & to the deprivation of his liberty.

Thus, the extraditee must be accorded due process rights of notice & hearing according to A3 §14(1) & (2), as well as A3 §7—the right of the people to information on matters of public concern & the corollary right to access to official records & documents The court held that the evaluation process partakes of the nature of a criminal investigation, having consequences which will result in deprivation of liberty of the prospective extradite. A favorable action in an extradition request exposes a person to eventual extradition to a foreign country, thus exhibiting the penal aspect of the process.

The evaluation process itself is like a preliminary investigation since both procedures may have the same result – the arrest and imprisonment of the respondent. The basic rights of notice & hearing are applicable in criminal, civil & administrative proceedings. Non-observance of these rights will invalidate the proceedings. Individuals are entitled to be notified of any pending case affecting their interests, & upon notice, may claim the right to appear therein & present their side. Rights to notice and hearing: Dispensable in 3 cases:

a.When there is an urgent need for immediate action (preventive suspension in administrative charges, padlocking filthy restaurants, cancellation of passport). b.Where there is tentativeness of administrative action, & the respondent isn’t prevented from enjoying the right to notice & hearing at a later time (summary distraint & levy of the property of a delinquent taxpayer, replacement of an appointee) c.

Twin rights have been offered, but the right to exercise them had not been claimed. 2. WON this entitlement constitutes a breach of the legal commitments and obligation of the Philippine Government under the RP-US Treaty? No. The U.S. and the Philippines share mutual concern about the suppression and punishment of crime in their respective jurisdictions. Both states accord common due process protection to their respective citizens.

The administrative investigation doesn’t fall under the three exceptions to the due process of notice and hearing in the Sec. 3 Rules 112 of the Rules of Court. WON there’s any conflict between private respondent’s basic due process rights & provisions of RP-US Extradition treaty No. Doctrine of incorporation under international law, as applied in most countries, decrees that rules of international law are given equal standing with, but are not superior to national

legislative acts. Treaty can repeal statute and statute can repeal treaty. No conflict. Veil of secrecy is lifted during trial. Request should impose veil at any stage. Judgment: Petition dismissed for lack of merit. Kapunan, separate concurring opinion: While the evaluation process conducted by the DOJ is not exactly a preliminary investigation of criminal cases, it is akin to a preliminary investigation because it involves the basic constitutional rights of the person sought to be extradited. A person ordered extradited is arrested, forcibly taken from his house, separated from his family and delivered to a foreign state.

His rights of abode, to privacy, liberty and pursuit of happiness are taken away from him—a fate as harsh and cruel as a conviction of a criminal offense. For this reason, he is entitled to have access to the evidence against him and the right to controvert them. Puno, dissenting: Case at bar does not involve guilt or innocence of an accused but the interpretation of an extradition treaty where at stake is our government’s international obligation to surrender to a foreign state a citizen of its own so he can be tried for an alleged offense committed within that jurisdiction. Panganiban, dissenting: Instant petition refers only to the evaluation stage.

PESIGAN v. ANGELES [129 SCRA 174 (1984)]

Nature: Petition to review the order of the Caloocan City RTC Facts: Anselmo and Marcelo Pesigan transported in the evening of April 2, 1982 twenty-six carabaos and a calf from Camarines Sur with Batangas as their destination. They were provided with three certificates:

  1. a health certificate from the provincial veterinarian,
  2. permit to transfer/transport from the provincial commander; and
  3. three certificates of inspections. In spite of the papers, the carabaos were confiscated by the provincial veterinarian and the town’s police station commander while passing through Camarines Norte.

Confiscation was based on EO No. 626-A which prohibits transportation of carabaos & carabeef from one province to another. Issue: WON EO No. 626-A, providing for the confiscation and forfeiture by the government of carabaos transported from one province to another, dated October 25, 1980 is enforceable before publication in the Official Gazette on June 14, 1982 Held: No. The said order isn’t enforceable against the Pesigans on April 2, 1982 because it’s a penal regulation published more than 2 mos. later in the OG. It became effective only fifteen days thereafter as provided in A2 of the CC & §11 of the Revised Administrative Code. The word “laws” in article 2 includes circulars & regulations which prescribe penalties. Publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of the regulations & make the said penalties binding on the persons affected thereby.

Commonwealth Act No. 638 requires that all Presidential EOs having general applicability should be published in the OG. It provides that “every order or document which shall prescribe a penalty shall be deemed to have general applicability and legal effect. This applies to a violation of EO No. 626-A because its confiscation & forfeiture provision or sanction makes it a penal statute. It results that they have cause of action for the recovery of the carabaos. The summary confiscation wasn’t in order. The recipients of the carabaos should return them to the Pesigans.

However, they cannot transport the carabaos to Batangas because they are now bound by the said executive order. Neither can they recover damages. Doctor Miranda & Zenerosa acted in good faith in ordering the forfeiture and dispersal of the carabaos. Judgment: Order of dismissal and confiscation and dispersal of the carabaos, reversed and set aside. Respondents to restore carabaos, with the requisite documents, to petitioners for their own disposal in Basud or Sipocot, Camarines Sur. No costs. Important point: Publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of the regulations & make the said penalties binding on the persons affected hereby.

Justice & fairness dictate that the public must be informed of that provision by means of the publication on the Gazette. necessary constructive notice & is thus the cure for ignorance as an excuse. Ignorance will not even mitigate the crime. or the restaurant department. Indeed, they knew they would not receive any such notice before entering the store, for they were invited to purchase everything except food there. So far as the words of the statute were concerned, petitioners were given not only no "fair warning," but no warning whatever, that their conduct in Eckerd's Drug Store would violate the statute.

BOUIE v. COLUMBIA [378 U.S. 347 (1964)]

Nature: Certiorari to the Supreme Court of South Carolina Facts: 2 Negro college students took seats in a booth in the restaurant dept of Eckerds & waited to be served. As they were seated, the employee of the store put up a no trespassing sign. The store manager called the police. When the police arrived, the manager asked them to leave but they didn’t. They were convicted by South Carolina SC on the grounds of resisting arrest & criminal trespass.

Petitioners now contend that to construe the statute as such is violative of due process clause since state has punished them for conduct which was not criminal at the time they have committed it. Issue: WON petitioners were denied due process of law because the statute failed to afford fair warning that the conduct for which they have been convicted had been made a crime. Held: Decision of the South Carolina SC was reversed. The crime for which these petitioners stand convicted was "not enumerated in the statute" at the time of their conduct. It follows that they have been deprived of liberty and property without due process of law.

To be convicted of criminal trespassing, the law statute states: “entry upon the lands of another after notice from the owner prohibiting such entry.” The petitioners should have first been warned prior to entering the restaurant that to do so would constitute criminal trespassing. No prior warning was made. They were only asked to leave when they were inside. The South Carolina SC construed the statute to cover also the act of remaining on the premises of another after receiving notice to leave. A criminal statute must give fair warning of the conduct that it makes a crime. Since the statue was specific, there was no reason to broaden its scope, for this is like an ex post facto law.

Ex post facto law has two instances:

  1. It makes an action done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal & punishes such action.
  2. It aggravates a crime and makes it greater than it was when committed.

When an unforeseeable state-court construction of a statute is applied retroactively and subjects a person to criminal liability, it deprives that person of due process in the sense of fair warning. Applying those principles to this case, we agree with petitioners that 16-386 of the South Carolina Code did not give them fair warning, at the time of their conduct in Eckerd's Drug Store in 1960, that the act for which they now stand convicted was rendered criminal by the statute. By its terms, the statute prohibited only "entry upon the lands of another…after notice from the owner…prohibiting such entry…" There was nothing in the statute to indicate that it also prohibited the different act of remaining on the premises after being asked to leave. Petitioners did not violate the statute as it was written; they received no notice before entering either the drugstore

U.S. v. SWEET [1 Phil. 18 (1901)]

Nature: Appeal from an order of the City of Manila CFI Facts: Sweet was employed by the United States military who committed an offense against a POW. His case is filed with the CFI, who is given original jurisdiction in all criminal cases for which a penalty of more than 6 months is imposed. He is now contending that the courts are without jurisdiction because he was “acting in the line of duty.” Issues:

1. WON this case is within the jurisdiction of the CFI. Yes. By Act No. 136 of the US-Phil Commission, the CFIs are given original jurisdiction in all criminal cases in which a penalty more than 6 months imprisonment or a fine greater than $100 may be imposed. Furthermore, CFIs have jurisdiction to try offenders charged with violation of the Penal Code within their territorial limits, regardless of the military character of the accused. The defendant and his acts are within the jurisdiction of the CFI because he failed to prove that he was indeed acting in the line of duty.

2. WON an assault committed by a soldier or military employee upon a prisoner of war is not an offence under the penal code? Yes. Though assault by military officer against a POW isn’t in the RPC, physical assault charges may be pressed under the RPC. Assuming that it is an offence under the penal code, WON the military character sustained by the person charged with the offence at the time of its commission exempts him from the ordinary jurisdiction of the civil tribunals? No.

The application of the general principle that the jurisdiction of the civil tribunals is unaffected by the military or other special character brought before them for trial (R.A. No. 7055). Appellant claims that the act was service connected. If this were true, it may be used as a defense but this cannot affect the right of the Civil Court to takes jurisdiction of the case.”

TAÑADA v. TUVERA [136 SCRA 27 (1985)]

Nature: Petition to review the decision of the Executive Assistant to the President. Facts: Invoking the people’s right to be informed on matters of public concern, a right recognized in Section 6, Article IV of the 1973 constitution, petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish, and/or cause the publication in the Official Gazette, of various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders.

The respondents would have this case dismissed on the ground that petitioners have no legal personality to bring this petition. Petitioners maintain that since the subject of the petition concerns a public right and its object is to compel public duty, they need not show any specific interest. Respondents further contend that publication in the OG is not a sine qua non requirement for the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves provide for their own effectivity dates. Issue: WON publication in the Official Gazatte is an indispensable requirement for the effectivity of the PDs, LOIs, general orders, EOs, etc. where laws themselves provide for their own effectivity dates.

Held: Yes. It is the people’s right to be informed on matters of public concern & corollarily access to official records, & to documents & papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, shall be afforded the citizens subject to such limitation as may be provided by law (§6 AIV, 1973 Constitution). Laws, to be valid & enforceable, must be published in the OG or otherwise effectively promulgated. The fact that a PD or LOI states its date of effectivity does not preclude their publication in the OG as they constitute important legislative acts. The publication of presidential issuances “of public nature” or “of general applicability” is a requirement of due process.

Before a person may be bound by law, he must first be officially informed of its contents. Judgment: Respondents ordered to publish in Official Gazette all unpublished presidential issuances of general application, and unless so published shall have no binding force and effect. Impt Point: It illustrates how decrees & issuances issued by one man—Marcos—are in fact laws of gen’l application & provide for penalties. The constitution afforded Marcos both executive & legislative powers. The generality of law (CC A14) will never work w/o constructive notice. The ruling of this case provides the publication constitutes the

Judgment: Judgment thereby affirmed “An offense charged against a military officer in consequence of an act done in obedience to an order is clearly shown on the face, where such offense is against the military law, is not within the jurisdiction of the courts of the Civil Government.” ––Per Cooper, J., concurring

SCHNECKENBURGER v. MORAN [63 Phil. 249 (1943)]

Nature: Original action in the Supreme Court. Prohibition. Facts: Schneckenburger, who is an honorary consul of Uruguay at Manila was subsequently charged in CFI-Manila with the crime of falsification of a private document. He objected to this saying that under the US and Philippine Constitution, the CFI has no jurisdiction to try him. After his objection was overruled, he filed a petition for a writ of prohibition to prevent the CFI from taking cognizance of the criminal action filed against him. Aside from this, he contended that original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors and consuls is conferred exclusively upon the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

Issues: 1. WON the US SC has Original Jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, consuls, et. al & such jurisdiction excludes courts of the Phils. No. First of all, a consul is not entitled to the privilege of diplomatic immunity. A consul is not exempt from criminal prosecution for violations of the laws of the country where he resides. The inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth on Nov. 15, 1935 caused the Philippine Constitution to go into full force and effect. This Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It also provides that the original jurisdiction of this court “shall include all cases affecting ambassadors, consuls et.al.” 2. WON original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, consuls, et. al. is conferred exclusively upon the Supreme Court of the Philippines “The Supreme Court shall have original and appellate jurisdiction as may be possessed and exercised by the Supreme Court of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution.”

According to Sec. 17. of Act No. 136 and by virtue of it, jurisdiction to issue writs of quo warranto, certiorari, mandamus, prohibition and habeas corpus was also conferred on the CFI’s. As a result, the original jurisdiction possessed and exercised by the Supreme Court of the Philippines at the time the Constitution was adopted was not exclusive of, but concurrent with, that of the CFI’s. The original jurisdiction conferred to SC by the Constitution was not an exclusive jurisdiction. under custody of the US Army has already begun doesn’t mean that the war has, in the legal sense, already terminated, w/c clearly it hasn’t. Delivery w/in power of military authorities to make even before was terminated.

2. WON this court has jurisdiction or legal power to afford relief to the petitioners in the sad and sorry plight to which they have been and are being subjected? No. Civil Courts shouldn’t interfere. A foreign army permitted to march through a friendly country or to be stationed in it, is exempt from civil & criminal jurisdiction of the place. Grant of free passage implies a waiver of all jurisdiction over troops during passage (let them exercise their own discipline). Any attempt by our civil Courts to exercise jurisdiction over US troops would be a violation of our country’s faith. On the other hand, petitioners may have recourse to proper military authorities.

them on board the steamship and had them in his possession during the trip from Saigon to Cebu. When the steamer anchored in the port of Cebu, the authorities on making the search found the cans of opium hidden in the ashes below the boiler of the steamer's engine. The defendant confessed that he was the owner of the opium and that he had purchased it in Saigon. He did not confess, however, as to his purpose in buying the opium. He did not say that it was his intention to import the prohibited drug. Issue: WON the crime of illegal importation of opium into the Philippine Islands has been proven?

Held: Yes. It is the onus of the government to prove that the vessel from which the drug discharged came into Philippine waters from a foreign country with the drug on board. In this case, it is to be noted that §4 of Act No. 2381 begins, “Any person who shall unlawfully import or bring any prohibited drug into the Philippine Islands…” Import and bring should be construed as synonymous terms. The mere act of going into a port, without breaking bulk, is prima facie evidence of importation. The importation is not the making entry of goods at the customhouse, but merely the bringing them into the port, and the importation is complete before the entry to the customhouse. Moreover, possession for personal use is unlikely, judging from the size of the amount brought.

LIANG v. PEOPLE [323 SCRA 652 (2000)]

Nature: Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Br. 160. Facts: Petitioner is an economist for ADB who was charged by the Metropolitan TC of Mandaluyong City for allegedly uttering defamatory words against her fellow worker w/ 2 counts of grave oral defamation. MeTC judge then received an office of protocol from the Department of Foreign Affairs, stating that petitioner is covered by immunity from legal process under section 45 of the agreement bet ADB & the gov’t. MeTC judge, w/o notice, dismissed the two criminal cases. Prosecution filed writ of mandamus & certiorari and ordered the MeTC to enforce the warrant of arrest.

Issues: WON the petitioner is covered by immunity under the agreement and that no preliminary investigation was held before the criminal cases were filed in court. Ratio: He is not covered by immunity because the commission of a crime is part of the performance of official duty. Courts cannot blindly adhere and take on its face the communication from the DFA that a certain person is covered by immunity. That a person is covered by immunity is preliminary. Due process is right of the accused as much as the prosecution. Slandering a person is not covered by the agreement because our laws do not allow the commission of a crime such as defamation in the name of official duty. Under Vienna convention on Diplomatic Relations, commission of a crime is not part of official duty.

On the contention that there was no preliminary investigation conducted, suffice it to say that preliminary investigation isn’t a matter of right in cases cognizable by the MeTC such as the one at bar. Being purely a statutory right, preliminary investigation may be invoked only when specifically granted by law. The rule on criminal procedure is clear than no preliminary investigation is required in cases falling w/in the jurisdiction of the MeTC. Besides, the absence of preliminary investigation doesn’t affect the court’s jurisdiction nor does it impair the validity of the information or otherwise render it defective.


Nature: Original Action in the Supreme Court. Habeas corpus. Facts: Miquiabas is a Filipino citizen and civilian employee of the US army in the Philippines who had been charged of disposing in the Port of Manila Area of things belonging to the US army in violation of the 94th article of War of the US. He was arrested and a General Court-Martial was appointed. He was found guilty. As a rule, the Philippines being a sovereign nation has jurisdiction over all offenses committed within its territory but it may, by treaty or by agreement, consent that the US shall exercise jurisdiction over certain offenses committed within said portions of territory. Issues:

1. WON the offense has been committed within a US base thus giving the US jurisdiction over the case. No. The Port of Manila Area where the offense was committed is not w/in a US base for it is not names in Annex A or B of AXXVI of the Military Base Agreement (MBA) & is merely part of the temporary quarters located w/in presented limits of the city of Manila. Moreover, extended installations & temporary quarters aren’t considered to have the same jurisdictional capacity as permanent bases & are governed by AXIII pars. 2 & 4.

The offence at bar, therefore is in the beyond the jurisdiction of military courts. 2. WON the offender is a member of the US armed forces No. Under the MBA, a civilian employee is not considered as a member of the US armed forces. Even under the articles of war, the mere fact that a civilian employee is in the service of the US Army does not make him a member of the armed forces. Judgment: CFI has jurisdiction to try the petitioner, and the petition for a writ of prohibition must be denied.

RAQUIZA v. BRADFORD [75 Phil. 50 (1948)]

Nature: Original action in the SC. Habeas corpus. Facts: By virtue of the proclamation issued by General of the Army MacArthur, petitioners were arrested by the 306 CIC and detained under security commitment order No 385. The petitioners Raquiza, Tee Han Kee, and Infante were charged with Espionage activity with the Japanese & active collaboration with the enemy respectively. Power of Commander of the US Army to proclaim by virtue of military necessity is not questioned. He based proclamation on reasons that apprehended have violated due allegiance to US and it is a military necessity. Petitioners move for writ of Habeas Corpus.

Issues: 1. WON the war terminated within the meaning of that part in the proclamation? [Note: The power of commander in chief of the US Army to issue a proclamation providing for military measures to be taken upon the apprehension of Filipino citizens who voluntarily have given aid, comfort and sustenance to the enemy, cannot be seriously questioned.] No. “The war, in the legal sense, continues until, and terminated at the same time of, some formal proclamation of peace by an authority competent to proclaim it. It is the province of the political dept, & not the judicial dept, to determine if war has ended. Fact that delivery of certain persons

U.S. v. AH SING [36 Phil. 978 (1917)] Cf. French vs. English rule

Facts: The defendant is a subject of China employed as a fireman on a steamship. The steamship is a foreign steamer which arrived the port of Cebu on April 25, 1917, after a voyage direct from the port of Saigon. The defendant bought 8 cans of opium in Saigon, brought