Sunday, March 04, 2012

Crespo vs. Mogul [151 SCRA 462 (1987)]

Facts: An information for Estafa was filed by the Fiscal against Crespo in the Criminal Circuit Court of Lucena. When the case was set for arraignment, Crespo filed a Motion To Defer Arraingment on the ground that there was a pending Petition for Review with the Department of Justice. Said Motion was denied by Judge Mogul. Crespo’s Motion For Reconsideration also having been denied, he filed a TRO with the CA, which granted the same. Thereafter, the CA granted Crespo’s Writ of Injucntion and perpetually restrained Judge Mogul from having Crespo arrainged until the Sec. of Justice finally made his decision and ordered the Fiscal to move for dismissal of the case. The Fiscal then filed a Motion attaching the Secretary’s Resolution calling for the dismissal of the case. Judge Mogul denied the Motion and set Crespo’s arraignment. Hence, his recourse to the SC. 

Issue: Whether or not the trial court may refuse to grant a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Fiscal under orders from the Secretary of Justice and instead insist on arraignment. 

Held: The petition must fail. The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is filed in court, the ultimate disposition thereof lies solely on its sound discretion. Therefore, the Secretary of Justice should refrain from entertaining a petition for review when the complaint or information has already been filed in court. 

Petition dismissed. 

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