Rule 120 Judgment

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  on the 2000 Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure 2002 Edition Rule 120 Judgment Rule 120 JUDGMENTQ: What is the definition of  judgment  in criminal cases? A: Section 1:SECTION 1.  Judgment; definition and form.  – Judgment is the adjudication by thecourt that the accused is guilty or not guilty of the offense charged and the impositionon him of the proper penalty and civil liability, if any. It must be written in the officiallanguage, personally and directly prepared by the judge and signed by him and shallcontain clearly and distinctly a statement of the facts and the law upon which it is based. (1a)Q: What does it contain? A: Section 2: SEC. 2. Contents of the judgment.  – If the judgment is of conviction, it shall state (1)the legal qualification of the offense constituted by the acts committed by the accusedand the aggravating or mitigating circumstances which attended its commission; (2) theparticipation of the accused in the offense, whether as principal, accomplice, oraccessory after the fact; (3) the penalty imposed upon the accused; and (4) the civilliability or damages caused by his wrongful act or omission to be recovered from theaccused by the offended party, if there is any, unless the enforcement of the civilliability by a separate civil action has been reserved or waived.In case the judgment is of acquittal, it shall state whether the evidence of theprosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or merely failed to provehis guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In either case, the judgment shall determine if theact or omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. (2a) There is something wrong in convicting somebody without even a clear statement of why he isguilty. According to the SC, why is it that the law requires, especially in criminal cases, the judgeshould be careful in rendering a judgment? Why must it be clearly stated why you are guilty underSection 1 & 2. Why is it that under Sections 1 and 2, the judgment must clearly state why you areguilty? In the following cases ofPEOPLE vs . CAYAGO312 SCRA 623 [1999]HELD: “A strict compliance with the mandate of the said provision is imperative in the writing of every decision. Otherwise, the rule would simply a tool for speculations, whichthis Court will not countenance specifically in criminal cases involving the possibledeprivation of human life.”PEOPLE vs. BUGARIN273 SCRA 384 [1997]  J.  MendozaHELD: “The requirement that the decisions of courts must be in writing and that theymust set forth clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which they are based servesmany functions. It is intended, among other things, to inform the parties of the reason orreasons for the decision so that if any of them appeals, he can point out to the appellatecourt the findings of facts or the rulings on points of law with which he disagrees. Morethan that, the requirement is an assurance to the parties that, in reaching judgment, the judge did so through the processes of legal reasoning. It is, thus, a safeguard against theimpetuosity of the judge, preventing him from deciding by ipse dixit  [by instinct] .  Vouchsafed neither the sword nor the purse by the Constitution but nonetheless vested with the sovereign prerogative of passing judgment on the life, liberty or property of hisfellowmen, the judge must ultimately depend on the power of reason for sustained public  on the 2000 Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure 2002 Edition Rule 120 Judgment confidence in the justness of his decision. The decision of the trial court in this casedisrespects the judicial function.”In other words, among the three branches of government, the judiciary is the weakest. It has nopower of the purse or the sword. Purse  – congress holds the budget. Sword  – the judiciary has no armyto enforce decisions unlike the executive where the executive is already the commander-in-chief of the AFP. So how can the judiciary command the respect of the people? There is only one way – the force ofits decisions – that its decisions are well argued and logical. This is the only way to have the people believe in the judiciary. If it cannot cope with this, it is an insult, an attack to judges who do not knowhow to write decisions, because this is how the judiciary earns the respect of the people. Otherwise, baka wala ng maniwala sa korte. That is how the SC explained that idea in the case of Bugarin .One interesting case in relation to Section 2 which dealt with the double jeopardy rule was thecase of  ABAY, SR. vs. GARCIA162 SCRA 665FACTS: On the day of trial, the accused was there with his lawyer. The offended party was not in court. The judge asked the fiscal what action he wanted to proceed with. Thefiscal said, “We will look at the records, whether the offended party were properly informed.” Finding that the offended party was properly informed, the fiscal said [oral motion], “In thatcase your honor, we are moving for the dismissal of the criminal case for lack of evidence nowupon us – wala ang offended party eh.”  The judge dictated in open court, “Alright, the caseis dismissed for failure to prosecute.”  With that, the accused went home happy. After the accused left and shortly thereafter, the offended party arrived with his lawyer. After they learned of the dismissal they explained that they had to travel far, had a flat tireand got caught in traffic. The judge found their earlier non-appearance as justified andordered the revocation or reconsidered the earlier decision of dismissal, consequentlyresetting the trial. The accused learned of the succeeding events and protested that this was a case ofdouble jeopardy. He contends that all the necessary elements of double jeopardy arepresent: valid complaint, valid information filed in a competent court; had an arraignment;and the case was dismissed without his express consent.HELD: The order of dismissal was equivalent to an acquittal but  a judgment of acquittalunder Rule 120 must be in writing. The order dismissing the case was not in writing but was dictated in open court. It was never reduced into writing. What was reduced to writing was the second order which revoked the first order. Since it was never in writing, there wasno judgment of acquittal. Therefore, there is no double jeopardy. “However, this order of dismissal must be written in the official language, personallyand directly prepared by the judge and signed by him conformably with the provisions ofRule 120, section 2 of the Rules of Court. In the instant case, it is very clear that the order was merely dictated in open court by the trial judge. There is now showing that this verbalorder of dismissal was ever reduced to writing and duly signed by him. Thus, it did not yetattain the effect of a judgment of acquittal, so that it was still within the powers of the judge to set it aside and enter another order, now in writing and duly signed by him,reinstating the case.”  This is how the Supreme Court skirted the double jeopardy rule by applying Rule 120, Sections 1and 2.  The 2nd paragraph of Section 2 is new and it radically changed the language of the previous rule.Section 2, second paragraph:In case the judgment is of acquittal, it shall state whether the evidence of theprosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or merely failed to provehis guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In either case, the judgment shall determine if theact or omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. (2a)  on the 2000 Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure 2002 Edition Rule 120 Judgment  This is just a repetition of Rule 111, Section 2 [last paragraph] when the judgment acquits theaccused, the judgment should state whether the evidence of the prosecution absolutely failed to provethe guilt of the accused or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In either case, the judgment shall determine if the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise does not exist.Because generally if you are acquitted on reasonable doubt, it will not bar the filing of a separate civilaction. But if the fact from which the civil liability might arise does not exist, then the acquittal isalready a bar to a future civil liability.Compare this with the language of the 1985 Rules, Rule 120, Section 2, last paragraph:In case of acquittal, unless there is a clear showing that the act from which the civilliability might arise did not exist, the judgment shall make a finding on the civil liabilityof the accused in favor of the offended party. According to the 1985 Rules, if the accused is acquitted based on reasonable doubt, the court mayorder the accused to satisfy civil liability because the cause of action in the civil case is already provenalthough the accused is acquitted. It is possible for the accused to be acquitted and yet is found to becivilly liable based on the 85 Rules.  The rule under the 1985 Rules was taken from decided cases such as the case of METROBANK VS.CA (188 SCRA 259). In this case, the accused was charged with estafa. After trial, the court said thatthere was no estafa. It is only a simple loan – so there is no crime. Normally, the next step is to let theoffended party file a civil case to demand payment of the loan. But in the case of Metrobank, the SCsaid that it is a double effort. The Supreme Court said, “While it is true that petitioner Metrobank canno longer collect private respondent's civil liability on the basis of the criminal case filed, it couldnonetheless collect the said civil liability prayed for on the basis of the non-payment of the loancontracted by respondent spouses from the bank. There appear to be no sound reasons to require aseparate civil action to still be filed considering that the facts to be proved in the civil case have already been established in the criminal proceedings where the accused was acquitted. To require a separatecivil action simply because the accused was acquitted would mean needless clogging of court docketsand unnecessary duplication of litigation with all its attendant loss of time, effort, and money on thepart of all concerned.” This was the 1985 Rules.Q: Now, is that rule still valid under the 2000 Rules? A: The new rule is silent. There is nothing here that says that the accused may be acquitted butfound civilly liable unlike the 1985 Rules. It only says that in case of acquittal, the judgment shouldstate whether the acquittal is based merely on reasonable doubt or the prosecution absolutely failed toprove the guilt of the accused. In either case, the judgment shall determine if the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise does not exist. But as it is worded now, it would seem, you shouldfile a separate civil case. And the practice of holding the accused liable civilly in a criminal case wherehe is acquitted, seems to be no longer possible.Under the new rules, just acquit – let him file a separate civil case. The old rule is simplier: Noneed! Dun na mismo sa criminal case – acquit him but make him civilly liable. But now, the languageis different. It is a radical departure from the 1985 rules.SEC. 3.  Judgment for two or more offenses . – When two or more offenses are chargedin a single complaint or information but the accused fails to object to it before trial, thecourt may convict him of as many offenses as are charged and proved, and impose onhim the penalty for each offense, setting out separately the findings of fact and law ineach offense. (3a)Let’s go back to Rule 110 on duplicitous complaint or information. Under Section 3 of Rule 110,this is defined as a complaint or information which charges more than one offense. This is not allowed. And the remedy here is you file a Motion to Quash under Section 3 [f], Rule 117.  on the 2000 Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure 2002 Edition Rule 120 Judgment But the defect is waivable because if you do not file a Motion to Quash, the trial can proceed and if you are found guilty for committing 2 or more crimes, then there will be 2 or more penalties. UnderSection 3, the court may convict the accused of as many offenses as are charged and proved andimpose on him the penalty for each offense if the accused fails to object the duplicitous complaint before the trial.SEC. 4.  Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof.  – When there is variance between the offense charged in the complaint or information and that proved,and the offense as charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved, theaccused shall be convicted of the offense proved which is included in the offensecharged, or of the offense charged which is included in the offense proved. (4a) We will go to this basic principle:Mr. Calizo is charged in an information of committing one crime. However, during the trial, what was proven is another crime. What will happen now? Well, we will have to ask this question – Q: Is the offense proven included in the offense charged or does the offense proven includes theoffense charged? A: If YES, then apply Section 4. You convict the accused of the offense proved which is included inthe offense charged, or of the offense charged which is included in the offense proved.Q: What if kung malayong-malayo? The crime proved is different from the crime charged like forexample: The crime charged is homicide and what is proved is robbery. What will happen? Will youapply Section 14 of Rule 110 on substitution of information? A: No, you will not apply Rule 110 Section 14 because we are already through with that stage. Weare now in the trial stage where the crime proved is different from the crime charged. Therefore, theproper remedy here is Section 19 of Rule 119, last paragraph:RULE 119, SEC. 19. When mistake has been made in charging the proper offense.  – When it becomes manifest at any time before judgment that a mistake has been madein charging the proper offense and the accused cannot be convicted of the offensecharged or any other offense necessarily included therein, the accused shall not bedischarged if there appears good cause to detain him. In such case, the court shallcommit the accused to answer for the proper offense and dismiss the original case uponthe filing of the proper information. (11a)[Editor: Try to correlate this with Section 14, Rule 110. They are similar. But for clearerunderstanding, please go back to Section 19, Rule 119 in the case of GALVEZ  on the distinctions between these two provisions. Thanks!]SEC. 5. When an offense includes or is included in another.  – An offense chargednecessarily includes the offense proved when some of the essential elements oringredients of the former, as alleged in the complaint or information, constitute thelatter. And an offense charged is necessarily included in the offense proved, when theessential ingredients of the former constitute or form part of those constituting thelatter. (5a)Q: When does an offense include another, or when is it included in the other? A: Section 5, Rule 120.For example , Mr. Tiamzon is charged with MURDER and what is established is HOMICIDE.Homicide is included in the crime of murder. The elements are identical. The only difference is thatthere are no qualifying circumstances in homicide. Or, THEFT is included in ROBBERY. The onlymissing element in theft is violence or intimidation. Or, LESS PHYSICAL INJURY is included inSERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY.
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