Tuesday, February 21, 2012

People vs. Tanada [G.R. No. L-3221,5 October 17, 1988]

Facts: This is a petition to reverse the decision of the respondent Judge Tanada dismissing the Criminal Case No. V-13048 entitled "People v. Postrero" whereby accused Romulo Postrero was acquitted of the rape charged by the victim Victoria Capillan. Such dismissal was supported on the ground that the court did not acquire jurisdiction over the offense charged, as the information filed by the fiscal is not a complaint signed by the offended party as required by the provisions of Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code and Section 4, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court to the effect that 'the offenses of seduction, abduction, rape or acts of lasciviousness, shall not be prosecuted except upon a complaint filed by the offended party 

Accused Postrero reiterated that the information filed is only the sworn letter-complaint for rape filed by Victoria Capillan with the Office of the City Fiscal, Cebu City, on September 16, 1968, o the effect that unless the same is filed in court, a "salaysay" or sworn statement of the offended party, which prompted the fiscal to conduct a preliminary investigation and then to file an information in court, is not the complaint required by Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code, as ruled in the case of People v. Santos (101 Phil. 798.) 

Issue: Whether or not the initial decision of dismissal should be set aside. 

Held: Yes. Clearly, the letter-complaint filed by the offended party Capillan contains all the elements of a valid complaint as it "states the names of the defendants, the designation of the offense by the statute, the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party, the approximate time of the commission of the offense, and the place wherein the offense was committed 

Accordingly, the procedure taken by the offended party in the instant case of filing first a complaint before the Office of the City Fiscal, which complaint was adopted by the fiscal and attached to and made part of the corresponding information filed after investigation, sufficiently complies with the requirement of Article 344 of the Penal Code and Section 4, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court in accordance with our pronouncement in the ValdepeƱas case.

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