G.R. No. L-13354 December 29, 1959
APOLINARIO DE LA CRUZ, ET AL., petitioners-appellants, vs. THE CITY FISCAL, ET AL., respondents-appellees.
Raymundo Meris-Morales for appellants.
Petitioner-appellants Apolinario de la Cruz, et al. are appealing the order of the Court of First Instance of Dagupan of October 29, 1957, denying their petition for prohibition sought to restrain the City Fiscal of Dagupan City from filling an information against them or further prosecuting them for falsification of public document.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
Carmelita de la Cruz filed in the Court of First Instance of Lingayen, Pangasinan, a complaint dated August 22, 1957, against Apolinario de la Cruz, for the purpose of declaring null and void the affidavit of adjudication executed by him, wherein he declared that he was the only heir of Francisca Bandong and adjudicated unto himself a parcel of land left by her. Carmelita claims that said parcel belongs to her, having inherited the same from her father Ludovico de la Cruz, to whom it had been donated by Francisca. In his answer, Apolinario alleged that the affidavit of adjudication was made by him in good faith, the same having been executed with the consent of all the heir of Francisca. In his cross-complaint, he claimed that the deed of donation invoked by Carmelita was fictitious, and so should be declared null and void.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
On September 20, 1957, petitioner-appellants were summoned by the Dagupan City Fiscal to appear before him for investigation of the charge of falsification of public document in connection with the affidavit of adjudication made by Apolinario. Counsel for petitioners-appellants informed the fiscal that there were two pending civil cases in the Court of First Instance of Lingayen, Pangasinan, one for the annulment of the deed of adjudication above-referred to, and the other for annulment of the deed of donation said to have been made by Francisca in favor of Ludovico de la Cruz, and that this constituted a prejudicial question which warranted the criminal action being held in abeyance. Inasmuch as the Fiscal proposed to continue with his investigation, petitioner-appellants filed their petition for prohibition, which as already stated, was denied by the trial court. We reproduce that portion of the appealed order of trial court, which gives its reason for the denial of the petition:
Prejudicial question has been defined and explained as follows:
As regards the annulment of the deed of donation sought by petitioner Apolinario in his cross-complaint before the Court of First Instance of Lingayen, Pangasinan, we agree with the trial court that it has no intimate relation to the criminal investigation being conducted by respondent Fiscal, Apolinario not even being a party to said deed of donation; consequently, it may by no means be regarded as a prejudicial question.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
Now, with respect to the annulment of the affidavit of adjudication sought Carmelita, the execution by Apolinario of said affidavit with narration of facts, is intimately related to his guilt or innocence of the charge of falsification being investigated by the Fiscal, it is true; however, resolution of the petition for annulment of the affidavit of adjudication, affirmative or otherwise, does not and will not determine criminal responsibility in the falsification case. Regardless of the outcome of the pending civil case annulment of the affidavit of adjudication, determination of the charge of falsification would be based on the truth or falsity of the narration of facts in the affidavit of adjudication, specially with reference to the existence of heirs of Francisca besides Apolinario. Therefore, the civil case aforementioned does not involve a prejudicial question.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
In view of the foregoing, the appealed order is hereby affirmed, with costs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
Paras, C.J., Padilla, Concepcion, Endencia, Barrera and Gutierrez David, JJ., concur.
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