Q. Right against double jeopardy

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Lawyer, Author, Mentor
No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. (Section 21, Article III, 1987 Constitution)

Frequency: ★★☆☆☆

1. Requisites and limitations

No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. (Section 21, Article III, 1987 Constitution)

If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act. (Section 21, Article III, Ibid.)

a. CONCEPT

The constitutional right against double jeopardy protects one against a second or later prosecution for the same offense, and that when the subsequent information charges another and different offense, although arising from the same act or set of acts, there is no prohibited double jeopardy. (People v. Tac-An, G.R. Nos. 76338-39, 26 February 1990)

b. REQUISITES

1) Defense of jepoardy

To raise the defense of jeopardy, the following requisites must be present:

1) A first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second;

2) The first jeopardy must have been validly terminated; and,

3) The second jeopardy must be for the same offense as that in the first. (Saldana v. CA, G.R. No. 88889, 11 October 1990)

2) Legal jeopardy

For legal jeopardy to attach, the following elements must concur:

1) A valid information sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction of the crime charged;

2) A court of competent jurisdiction;

3) The accused has been arraigned and had pleaded; and,

4) The accused was convicted or acquitted or the case was dismissed without his express consent. (Chiok v. People, G.R. Nos. 179814 and 180021, 07 December 2015)

Case Law

1) In People v. Pimentel, all the elements were present. There was a valid information for two counts of rape over which the RTC had jurisdiction and to which the accused-appellant entered a plea of not guilty. After the trial, a judgment of acquittal was thereafter rendered and promulgated on July 25, 2011. What is peculiar in this case is that a judgment of acquittal was rendered based on the mistaken notion that the private complainant failed to testify; allegedly because of the mix-up of orders with a different case involving the same accused-appellant. This, however, does not change the fact that a judgment of acquittal had already been promulgated. Indeed, a judgment of acquittal, whether ordered by the trial or the appellate court, is final, unappealable, and immediately executory upon its promulgation. (People v. Alejandro, G.R. No. 223099, 11 January 2018)

a) Finality-of-acquittal rule

In order to give life to the rule on double jeopardy, our rules on criminal proceedings require that a judgment of acquittal, whether ordered by the trial or the appellate court, is final, unappealable, and immediately executory upon its promulgation. This is referred to as the “finality-of-acquittal” rule. (Ibid.)

b) Duplicitous Information

A duplicitous information is a valid indictment. (Dimayacyac v. CA, G.R. No. 136264, 28 May 2004)

Case Law

1) In People vs. Bugayong, when an appellant fails to file a motion to quash within the time prescribed under Section 1, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court, he is thus deemed to have waived the defect in the Information.

2) In People vs. Manalili, an accused, who fails to object prior to arraignment to a duplicitous information, may be found guilty of any or all of the crimes alleged therein and duly proven during the trial, for the allegation of the elements of such component crimes in the said information has satisfied the constitutional guarantee that an accused be informed of the nature of the offense with which he or she is being charged. (Ibid.)

Verily, a duplicitous information is valid since such defect may be waived and the accused, because of such waiver, could be convicted of as many offenses as those charged in the information and proved during trial. (Ibid.)

c) Court Martial or Military Tribunal

Where an act transgresses both civil and military law and subjects the offender to punishment by both civil and military authority, a conviction or an acquittal in a civil court cannot be pleaded as a bar to a prosecution in the military court, and vice versa. But the rule “is strictly limited to the case of a single act which infringes both the civil and the military law in such a manner as to constitute two distinct offenses, one of which is within the cognizance of the military courts and the other a subject of civil jurisdiction”, and it does not apply where both courts derive their powers from the same sovereignty. It therefore, has no application where the military court that convicted the petitioner and the civil court which proposes to try him again derive their powers from one sovereignty. (Crisologo v. People, En Banc, G.R. No. L-6277, 26 February 1954 citing 15 Am. Jur., 72 and 22 C. J. S., 449.)

Case Law

1) In Crisologo v. People, it appearing that the offense charged in the military court and in the civil court is the same – i.e. treason, that the military court had jurisdiction to try the case and that both courts derive their powers from one sovereignty, the sentence meted out by the military court to the petitioner should be a bar to petitioner’s further prosecution for the same offense. (Ibid.)

•••••

BAR EXAM QUESTION

(Question XIV, Political Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

Amoroso was· charged with treason before a military court martial. He was acquitted.

He was later charged with the same offense before a Regional Trial Court. He asks that the information be quashed on the ground of double jeopardy.

The prosecution objects, contending that for purposes of double jeopardy, the military court martial cannot be considered as a “competent court.”

Should the Regional Trial Court grant Amoroso’s motion to quash on the ground of double jeopardy? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

Yes. Answer

Under jurisprudence, double jeopardy extends to cases already tried by military tribunals and thereafter the same case for the same offense is filed in a civilian court. Rule

In the case at bar, Amoroso was already tried and acquitted by a military court martial. He cannot be subsequently charged in a civilian court for the same offense as double jeopardy already attached. Apply

Thus, the Regional Trial Court should grant Amoroso’s motion to quash on the ground of double jeopardy. Conclusion

•••••

c. RIGHT TO SPEEEDY TRIAL

A dismissal of the case pursuant to the right of the accused to speedy trial is tantamount to acquittal. As a consequence, an appeal or a reconsideration of the dismissal would amount to a violation of the principle of double jeopardy. (Villareal v. People, G.R. No. 151258, 01 February 2012)

•••••

BAR EXAM QUESTION

(Question A.10, Political Law, 2019 Bar Exam)

An Information for Estafa was filed against the accused, Mr. D. During the course of the trial, Mr. D filed a motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute the case for a reasonable length of time. Opposing the motion, the prosecution argued that its failure to present its witnesses was due to circumstances beyond its control. Eventually, the trial court dismissed the case with finality on the ground that Mr. D’s right to speedy trial was violated.

A month after, the same criminal case for Estafa was refiled against Mr. D, prompting him to file a motion to dismiss invoking his right against double jeopardy. The prosecution opposed the motion, arguing that the first criminal case for Estafa was dismissed with the express consent of the accused as it was, in fact, upon his own motion. Moreover, it was already able to secure the commitments of its witnesses to appear; hence, it would be prejudicial for the State if the case were to be dismissed without trial.

(a) For double jeopardy to attach, what requisites must exist? (2%)

(b) Rule on Mr. D’s present motion. (3%)

(a) The requisites are:

1) A valid information sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction of the crime charged;

2) A court of competent jurisdiction;

3) The accused has been arraigned and had pleaded; and,

4) The accused was convicted or acquitted or the case was dismissed without his express consent.

(b) Motion to dismiss is granted. Answer

Under the jurisprudence, a dismissal of the case pursuant to the right of the accused to speedy trial is tantamount to acquittal. As a consequence, an appeal or a reconsideration of the dismissal would amount to a violation of the principle of double jeopardy. Rule

In the case at bar, the first case filed against Mr. D was dismissed on the ground of right to speedy trial and thus amounted to an acquittal. Accordingly, Mr. D cannot anymore be tried for the same offense as double jeopardy has already attached. Apply

Thus, Mr. D’s motion to dismiss should be granted due to double jeopardy. Conclusion

•••••

2. Limitations

The rule on double jeopardy, however, is not without exceptions, which are:

1) Where there has been deprivation of due process and where there is a finding of a mistrial; or

2) Where there has been a grave abuse of discretion under exceptional circumstances. We find that these exceptions do not exist in this case. (People v. Alejandro, supra.)

Share:

WhatsApp
Telegram
Facebook
Twitter
Subjects

Political Law, Labor Law

Question 15, 2018 Labor Law Bar Exam

XV. (Question XV, Labor Law, 2018 Bar Exam) Nexturn Corporation employed Nini and Nono, whose tasks involved directing and supervising rank-and-file employees engaged in company

B. Judicial Review

Frequency: ★★★★☆ 1. Requisites Requisites for the exercise of the power of judicial review: 1) There must be an actual case or justiciable controversy before

Question 13, 2017 Political Law Bar Exam

XIII. (Question XIII, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam) Command responsibility pertains to the responsibility of commanders for crimes committed by subordinate members of the armed

Q. Swindling by Syndicate

Frequency: ★★☆☆☆ 1. Crime Swindling by a syndicate: Swindling (estafa) by syndicate is committed by a syndicate consisting of five or more persons formed with

G. Anti-Plunder Act

Frequency: ★★★★★ “Public Officer” – means any person holding any public office in the Government of the Republic of the Philippines by virtue of an

L. Crimes against honor

Frequency: ★★★★★ GENERAL PROVISIONS 1) Persons responsible Any person who shall publish, exhibit, or cause the publication or exhibition of any defamation in writing or

Question 4, 2017 Civil Law Bar Exam

IV. (Question IV, Civil Law, 2017 Bar Exam) (a) Distinguish antichresis from usufruct? (3%) (b) Distinguish commodatum from mutuum. (3%) Suggested Answer: (a) By the

error: Content is protected.