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Doromal vs Sandiganbayan

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  Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT ManilaEN BANC G.R. No. 85468 September 7, 1989QUINTIN S. DOROM!, petitioner, vs. SNDIGN #N, OM UDSMN ND SPECI! PROSECUTOR, respondents.  GRI$O%QUINO, J.: Brought up for review before this Court is the order dated August 1, 1!! of the andiganba#an den#ing petitioner$s %otion to &uash the infor%ation against hi% in Cri%inal Case No. 1'!(, entitled)People of the Philippines vs. *on. +uintin . oro%al,) and the andiganba#an$s order suspending hi% fro% office during the pendenc# of the case.-n ctober 1!/, pecial Prosecution fficer --, ionisio A. Caoili, conducted a preli%inar# investigation of the charge against the petitioner, +uintin . oro%al, a for%er Co%%issioner of the Presidential Co%%ission on 0ood 0overn%ent PC002, for3 violation of the Anti30raft and Corrupt Practices Act RA (412, ec. (h2, in connection with his shareholdings and position as president and director of the oro%al -nternational 5rading Corporation -5C2 which sub%itted bids to suppl# P61 %illion worth of electronic, electrical, auto%otive, %echanical and airconditioning e&uip%ent to the epart%ent of Education, Culture and ports or EC 2 and the National Manpower and 7outh Council or NM7C2.n 8anuar# '9,1!!, with the approval of pecial Prosecutor Raul 0on:ales, Caoili filed in the andiganba#an an infor%ation against the petitioner Cri%inal Case No. 1'/662 alleging ;5hat in or about the period fro% April '!, 1!66 to ctober 16, 1!/, in Metro Manila, Philippines and within the <urisdiction of this *onorable Court, the above3na%ed accused, a public officer, being then Co%%issioner of the Presidential Co%%ission on 0ood 0overn%ent, did then and there wilfull# and unlawfull#  have direct or indirect financial interest in the Doromal International Trading Corporation, an entity which transacted or entered into a business transaction or contract with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and the National Manpower and outh Council  , both agencies of the govern%ent which business, contracts or transactions he is prohibited b# law and the constitution fro% having an# interest. pp. '=63'=/, Rollo> E%phasis supplied.25he petitioner filed a petition for certiorari   and prohibition in this Court &uestioning the <urisdiction of the )5anodba#an) to file the infor%ation without the approval of the %buds%an after the effectivit# of the 1!/ Constitution 0.R. No. !1/66, entitled )oro%al vs. andiganba#an)2.n 8une (4, 1!!, this Court annulled the infor%ation in accordance with its decision in the consolidated cases of  !aldivar vs Sandiganbayan,  0.R. Nos. /643/4/ and !aldivar vs #on$ales,  0.R. No. !49/!, April '/, 1!! 164 CRA !=(2, where it ruled that;  ... the incu%bent 5anodba#an called pecial Prosecutor under the 1!/ Constitutionand who is supposed to retain powers and duties N5 0-?EN to the %buds%an2 isclearl# without authorit# to conduct preli%inar# investigations and to direct the filing of cri%inal cases with the andiganba#an, e@cept upon orders of the %buds%an. 5his right to do so was lost effective ebruar# ', 1 !/. ro% that ti%e, he has been divested of such authorit#.pon the annul%ent of the infor%ation against the petitioner, the pecial Prosecutor sought clearance fro% the %buds%an to refile it.-n a Me%orandu% dated 8ul# !,1!!, the %buds%an, *onorable Conrado ?as&ue:, granted clearance but advised that )so%e changes be %ade in the infor%ation previousl# filed.) p. 14/, Rollo.2Co%pl#ing with that Me%orandu%, a new infor%ation, dul# approved b# the %buds%an, was filed in the andiganba#an Cri%inal Case No. 1'!(2, alleging that;..., the above3na%ed accused oro%alD a public officer, being then a Co%%issioner of the Presidential Co%%ission on 0ood 0overn%ent, did then and there wilfully and unlawfully, participate in a business through the Doromal International Trading Corporation, a family corporation of which he is the %resident, and which company  participated in the biddings conducted by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and the National Manpower & outh Council  , which act or participation is prohibited b# law and the constitution. p. 6!, Rollo> E%phasis supplied.2n 8ul# '9, 1!!, petitioner filed a )Motion to +uash) the infor%ation for being;a2 invalid because there had been no preli%inar# investigation> andb2 defective because the facts alleged do not constitute the offense charged Anne@ C2.5he andiganba#an denied the %otion to &uash in its orders dated 8ul# '9,1!! and August 1,1!! Anne@es , N and 4, pp. !1,1/(  1/, Rollo2.n August '', 1!!, the pecial Prosecutor filed a )Motion to uspend Accused Pendente Fite) pursuant to ection 1( of the Anti3 0raft and Corrupt Practices Act R.A. (412. ver the petitioner$s ob<ection because the President had earlier approved his application for indefinite leave of absence as PC00 co%%issioner )effective i%%ediatel# and until final decision of the courts in #our case) Anne@ 31, p. 1!, RolloD2, the andiganba#an on epte%ber 9, 1!! ordered his suspension  pendente lite  fro% his position as PC00 Co%%issioner and fro% an# other office he %a# be holding Anne@ 52. *is %otion for reconsideration of that order was also denied b# the Court Anne@ 72. *ence, this petition for certiorari   and prohibition alleging that the andiganba#an gravel# abused its discretion; 12 in den#ing the petitioner$s %otion to &uash the infor%ation in Cri%inal CaseNo. 1'!(> and, '2 in suspending the petitioner fro% office despite the President$s having previousl#approved his indefinite leave of absence ) until final decision) in this case.5he petitioner contends that as the preli%inar# investigation that was conducted prior to the filing of the srcinal infor%ation in Cri%inal Case No. 1'/66 was nullified b# this Court, another preli%inar# investigation should have been conducted before the new infor%ation in Cri%inal Case No. 1'!(  was filed against hi%. 5he denial of his right to such investigation allegedl# violates his right to due process and constitutes a ground to &uash the infor%ation.n the other hand, the public respondent argues that another preli%inar# investigation is unnecessar# because both old and new infor%ations involve the sa%e sub<ect %atter a violation of ection ( *2 of R.A. No. (41 the Anti30raft and Corrupt Practices Act2 in relation to ection 1(,  Article ?-- of the 1!/ Constitution. Moreover, the petitioner allegedl# waived the second preli%inar# investigation b# his failure to co%pl# with the Court$s rder dated August 1', 1!! directing hi% to sub%it a state%ent of new or additional facts, dul# supported b# photo copies of docu%ents which he would present should a new preli%inar# investigation be ordered Anne@ *, p. =, Rollo2.5he petition is %eritorious. A new preli%inar# investigation of the charge against the petitioner is in order not onl# because the first was a nullit# a dead li%b on the <udicial tree which should be loppedoff and wholl# disregarded)3Anuran vs. A&uino, (! Phil. '2 but also because the accused de%ands it as his right. Moreover, the charge against hi% had been changed, as directed b# the %buds%an.5hus, while the first infor%ation in Cri%inal Case No. 1'/66 charge that the -5C3entered into a business transaction or contract with the epart%ent of Education, Culture and ports and the National Manpower and 7outh Council, ... which business, contracts or transactions he petitionerD is prohibited b# law and the constitution fro% having an# interest. P. /4, Rollo.2the new infor%ation in Cri%inal Case No. 1'!!( alleges that the petitioner;unlawfull# participatedD in a business through the oro%al -nternational 5rading Corporation, a fa%il# corporation of which he is the President, and which co%pan# participated in the biddings conducted b# the epart%ent of Education, Culture and ports and the National Manpower  7outh Council, which act or participation is prohibited b# law and the constitution. p. 6!, Rollo.25he petitioner$s right to a preli%inar# investigation of the new charge is secured to hi% b# the following provisions of Rule 11' of the 1!9 Rules on Cri%inal Procedure; EC. (. %rocedure . ... no complaint or information  for an offense cogni:able b# the Regional 5rial Court shall be filed without a preliminary investigation having been first conducted  . ..... EC. /. 'hen accused lawfully arrested without warrant  .3 Ghen a person is lawfull# arrested without a warrant for an offense cogni:able b# the Regional 5rial Court, the co%plaint or infor%ation %a# be filed b# the offended part#, peace officer or fiscal without a preli%inar# investigation having been first conducted> on the basis of the affidavit of the offended part# or arresting officer or person.*owever, before the filing of such complaint or information, the person arrested may as( for a preliminary investigation  b# a proper officer in accordance with this Rules ....-f the case has been filed in court without a preli%inar# investigation having been firstconducted, the accused may   within five 92 da#s fro% the ti%e he learns of the filing  of the infor%ation, as( for a preliminary investigation  with the sa%e right to adduce evidence in his favor in the %anner prescribed in this Rule.5hat right of the accused is )a substantial one.) -ts denial over his opposition is a )pre<udicial error, inthat it sub<ects the accused to the loss of life, libert#, or propert# without due process of law) . . vs. Marfori, (9 Phil. 6662.5he need to conduct a new preli%inar# investigation when the defendant de%ands it and the allegations of the co%plaint have been a%ended, has been %ore than once affir%ed b# this Court;---. a2 ..., the Court finds that since the infor%ation for alleged violation of the Anti30raft Faw was filed without an# previous notice to petitioners and due preli%inar# investigation thereof, and despite the dis%issal of the srcinal charge for falsification as being $without an# factual or legal basis, $  petitioners are entitled to a new  preliminary investigation for the graft charge,  with all the rights to which the# are entitled under section 1 of Republic Act No. 91!4, approved epte%ber !, 16/, as invoHed b# the% anew fro% respondent court, vi:, the sub%ittal of the testi%onies in affidavit for% of the co%plainant and his witnesses dul# sworn to before the investigating fiscal, and the right of accused, through counsel, to cross3e@a%ine the%and to adduce evidence in their defense. -n line with the settled doctrine as restated in %eople vs )be*uela  (! CRA ('=2, respondent court shall hold in abe#ance all proceedings in the case before it until after the outco%e of such new preli%inar# investigation. Fuciano vs. Mariano, =4 CRA 1!/, '41> e%phasis ours2.5he right of the accused not to be brought to trial e@cept when re%anded therefor as a result of a preli%inar# e@a%ination before a co%%itting %agistrate, it has been heldis a substantial one. -ts denial over the ob<ections of the accused is pre<udicial error in that it sub<ects the accused to the loss of life, libert# or propert# without due process of law. Conde vs. 8udge of Court of irst -nstance of 5a#abas, =9 Phil. 1/(,1/6.25he absence of a preli%inar# investigation if it is not waived %a# a%ount to a denial of due process.  an iego vs. *ernande:, '= CRA 114, 11=.2-n this <urisdiction, the preli%inar# investigation in cri%inal cases is not a creation of the Constitution> its srcin is statutory and it e+ists and the right thereto can be invo(ed when so established and granted by law  Mariano Marcos, et al. vs. Ro%an  A. Cru:, 6! Phil. 6> E%phasis supplied.25he olicitor 0eneral$s argu%ent that the right to a preli%inar# investigation %a# be waived and wasin fact waived b# the petitioner, i%pliedl# ad%its that the right e@ists. ince the right belongs to the accused, he alone %a# waive it. -f he de%ands it, the tate %a# not withhold it.*owever, as the absence of a preli%inar# investigation is not a ground to &uash the co%plaint or infor%ation  ec. (, Rule 11/, Rules of Court2, the proceedings upon such infor%ation in the andiganba#an should be held in abe#ance and the case should be re%anded to the office of the %buds%an for hi% or the pecial Prosecutor to conduct a preli%inar# investigation. 5hus did Ge rule in Fuciano vs. Mariano, =4 CRA 1!/, '41> -lagan vs. Enrile 1( CRA (= and %ore recentl# in anciangco, 8r. vs. People, 1= CRA 1, (3=;5he absence of preli%inar# investigation does not affect the court$s <urisdiction over the case. Nor do the# i%pair the validit# of the infor%ation or otherwise render it
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