[G. R. No. 116027.October 24, 2001]
MARCOS vs. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN (1ST
DIV.) & PEOPLE
Quoted hereunder, for your information,
is a resolution of this Court dated OCT 24 2001.
G.R. No. 116027 (Imelda R. Marcos vs.
Hon. Sandiganbayan (First Division) and People of the Philippines.)
The case before the court
is a special civil action of certiorari and prohibition with preliminary
injunction or temporary restraining order assailing the resolutions of the
Sandiganbayan, First Division, 1 In Crim. Case No. 18742, promulgated on March 21, 1994, Rollo,
pp. 52-62, Garchitorena, J., ponente, Balajadia and
Chico-Nazario, JJ., concurring.that
denied petitioner's motion to quash the information charging her and Jose
Conrado Benitez with violation of Section 3 (h) of Republic Act No. 3019.
On April 26, 1993, upon
arraignment, petitioner assisted by counsel de oficio, entered a plea of
not guilty. 2 Petition,
Rollo, p. 9.
On October 8, 1993, petitioner filed
with the Sandiganbayan a motion to quash the information on the grounds that:
I. THE FACTS CHARGED OR ALLEGED DO
NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFENSE.
II. ASSUMING GRATIS ARGUMENTI
THAT THE FACTS CHARGED OR ALLEGED CONSTITUTE AN OFFENSE, THE OFFENSE NO LONGER
EXISTS NOR IS PUNISHED.
III. THE CRIMINAL ACTION
OR LIABILITY IF ANY, HAS BEEN EXTINGUISHED.
IV. THE OFFENSE CHARGED, IF ANY, HAD
LONG PRESCRIBED. 3 Petition,
Annex "F", Rollo, pp. 82-115.
On November 5, 1993,
the prosecution filed an opposition to the motion to quash. 4
Petition, Annex "G", Rollo, pp.
On March 21, 1994, the
Sandiganbayan denied the motion to quash.
On April 7, 1994,
petitioner filed with the Sandiganbayan a motion for reconsideration
reiterating the grounds raised in the motion to quash. 5
Petition, Annex "I", Rollo, pp.
On June 27, 1994, the
Sandiganbayan denied the motion for lack of merit. 6
Petition, Annex "B", Rollo, pp.
Hence, this petition. 7
Filed on July 15, 1994, Rollo,
pp. 2-50. On April 5, 1995, we gave due course to the petition, Rollo,
At issue is whether the Sandiganbayan
acted with grave abuse of discretion in denying petitioner's motion to dismiss
the information against petitioner on the ground that the facts alleged do not
constitute an offense under Section 3 (h). of Republic Act No. 3019, as
The elements of R A No 3019, Section (h)
are as follows:
"a) The public officer has financial or pecuniary
interest in a business, contract or transaction;
"b) In connection with which he
intervenes in his official capacity." 8 Tieste v. Sandiganbayan, 229 Phil. 501, 510 ,
(quoting the Solicitor General's Comment dated November 4, 1986).
The concurrence of both
elements is necessary to convict the public officer as the absence of one will
not warrant conviction.
What is contemplated in
Section 3 (h) of the Anti-Graft law is the actual intervention in the transaction
in which the accused has financial or pecuniary interest in order that
liability may attach. 9 Opinion
No. 306, Series 1961 and Opinion No. 94, Series 1972 of the Secretary of Justice.
Cf. Trieste v. Sandiganbayan, supra, at p. 516.
Nevertheless, the consistent
doctrine of this Court is that from a denial of a motion to quash, the
appropriate remedy is for petitioner to go to trial on the merits, and if an
adverse decision is rendered, to appeal therefrom in the manner authorized by
law. 10 Bulaong
v. Court of Appeals, 181 SCRA 618 ; Gamboa v. Cruz, 162
SCRA 642 ; Buaya v. Polo, 169 SCRA 471 ; Reyes v.
Camilon, 192 SCRA 445 ; Martinez v. Sandiganbayan, 312 SCRA 806
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the
Court hereby DISMISSES the petition for certiorari and prohibition. The
Court directs the Sandiganbayan to proceed with the final disposition of
Criminal Case No. 18742, in accordance with the mandates of Republic Act No.
8493, with all deliberate dispatch.
The Sandiganbayan must
decide the case within three (3) months from notice of this resolution, and
inform this Court of the decision within ten (10) days from promulgation
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.) VIRGINIA ANCHETA-SORIANO
Clerk of Court