Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1984 > April 1984 Decisions > G.R. No. 60033 April 4, 1984 - TEOFISTO GUINGONA, JR., ET AL. v. CITY FISCAL OF MANILA, ET AL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 60033. April 4, 1984.]

TEOFISTO GUINGONA, JR., ANTONIO I. MARTIN, and TERESITA SANTOS, Petitioners, v. THE CITY FISCAL OF MANILA, HON. JOSE B. FLAMINIANO, ASST. CITY FISCAL FELIZARDO N. LOTA and CLEMENT DAVID, Respondents.

Feliciano C. Tumale, for Petitioners.

Asuncion, Gomez & de Leon for Private Respondents.

The Solicitor General for Respondents.


SYLLABUS


1. CIVIL LAW; OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; SIMPLE LOAN; FAILURE OF BANK TO RETURN THE AMOUNT DEPOSITED, NOT A CASE OF ESTAFA. — When private respondent David invested his money on time and savings deposits with the aforesaid bank, the contract that was perfected was a contract of simple loan or mutuum and not a contract of deposit governed by the provisions concerning simple loan (Article 1980, Civil Code). Hence, the relationship between the private respondent and the Nation Savings and Loan Association is that of creditor and debtor; consequently, the ownership of the amount deposited was transmitted to the Bank upon the perfection of the contract and it can make use of the amount deposited for its banking operations, such as to pay interests on deposits and to pay withdrawals. While the Bank has the obligation to return the amount deposited, it has, however, no obligation to return or deliver the same money that was deposited. And, the failure of the Bank to return the amount deposited will not constitute estafa through misappropriation punishable under Article 315, par. 1(b) of the Revised Penal Code, but it will only give rise to civil liability over which the public respondents have no jurisdiction.

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; OBLIGATION OF BANK UNDER ORIGINAL TIME AND SAVINGS DEPOSIT IN CASE AT BAR DEEMED NOVATED. — But even granting that the failure of the bank to pay the time and savings deposits of private respondent David would constitute a violation of paragraph 1(b) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, nevertheless any incipient criminal liability was deemed avoided, because when the aforesaid bank was placed under receivership by the Central Bank, petitioners Guingona and Martin assumed the obligation of the bank to private respondent David, thereby resulting in the novation of the original contractual obligation arising from deposit into a contract of loan and converting the original trust relation between the bank and private respondent David into an ordinary debtor-creditor relation between the petitioners and private Respondent. Consequently, the failure of the bank or petitioners Guingona and Martin to pay the deposits of private respondent would not constitute a breach of trust but would merely be a failure to pay the obligation as a debtor.

3. ID.; ID.; NOVATION; EFFECTS; MAY PREVENT RISE OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY; CASE AT BAR. — While it is true that novation does not extinguish criminal liability, it may however, prevent the rise of criminal liability as long as it occurs prior to the filing of the criminal information in court. (Gonzales v. Serrano (25 SCRA 64, 69 [1968]; Ong v. Court of Appeals, L-058476, 124 SCRA 578, 580-581 [1983]; People v. Nery, 10 SCRA 244 [1964]. In the case at bar, there is no dispute that petitioners Guingona and Martin executed a promissory note on June 17, 1981 assuming the obligation of the bank to private respondent David; while the criminal complaint for estafa was filed on December 23, 1981 with the Office of the City Fiscal. Hence, it is clear that novation occurred long before the filing of the criminal complaint with the Office of the City Fiscal.

4. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; AS A RULE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION MAY NOT BE SUBJECT OF PROHIBITION AND INJUNCTION; EXCEPTION; CASE AT BAR. — Considering that the liability of the petitioners is purely civil in nature and that there is no clear showing that they engaged in foreign exchange transactions, We hold that the public respondents acted without jurisdiction when they investigated the charges against the petitioners. Consequently, public respondents should be restrained from further proceeding with the criminal case for to allow the case to continue, even if the petitioners could have appealed to the Ministry of Justice, would work great injustice to petitioners and would render meaningless the proper administration of justice.


D E C I S I O N


MAKASIAR, J.:


This is a petition for prohibition and injunction with a prayer for the immediate issuance of restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction filed by petitioners on March 26, 1982.

On March 31, 1982, by virtue of a court resolution issued by this Court on the same date, a temporary restraining order was duly issued ordering the respondents, their officers, agents, representatives and/or person or persons acting upon their (respondents’) orders or in their place or stead to refrain from proceeding with the preliminary investigation in Case No. 81-31938 of the Office of the City Fiscal of Manila (pp. 47-48, rec.). On January 24, 1983, private respondent Clement David filed a motion to lift restraining order which was denied in the resolution of this Court dated May 18, 1983.

As can be gleaned from the above, the instant petition seeks to prohibit public respondents from proceeding with the preliminary investigation of I.S. No. 81-31938, in which petitioners were charged by private respondent Clement David, with estafa and violation of Central Bank Circular No. 364 and related regulations regarding foreign exchange transactions principally, on the ground of lack of jurisdiction in that the allegations of the charged, as well as the testimony of private respondent’s principal witness and the evidence through said witness, showed that petitioners’ obligation is civil in nature.

For purposes of brevity, We hereby adopt the antecedent facts narrated by the Solicitor General in its Comment dated June 28, 1982, as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"On December 23, 1981, private respondent David filed I.S. No. 81-31938 in the Office of the City Fiscal of Manila, which case was assigned to respondent Lota for preliminary investigation (Petition, p. 8).

"In I.S. No. 81-31938, David charged petitioners (together with one Robert Marshall and the following directors of the Nation Savings and Loan Association, Inc., namely Homero Gonzales, Juan Merino, Flavio Macasaet, Victor Gomez, Jr., Perfecto Mañalac, Jaime V. Paz, Paulino B. Dionisio, and one John Doe) with estafa and violation of Central Bank Circular No. 364 and related Central Bank regulations on foreign exchange transactions, allegedly committed as follows (Petition, Annex ‘A’):jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"‘From March 20, 1979 to March, 1981, David invested with the Nation Savings and Loan Association, (hereinafter called NSLA) the sum of P1,145,546.20 on time deposits, P13,531.94 on savings account deposits (jointly with his sister, Denise Kuhne), US$10,000.00 on time deposit, US$15,000.00 under a receipt and guarantee of payment and US$50,000.00 under a receipt dated June 8, 1980 (all jointly with Denise Kuhne), that David was induced into making the aforestated investments by Robert Marshall, an Australian national who was allegedly a close associate of petitioner Guingona Jr., then NSLA President, petitioner Martin, then NSLA Executive Vice-President and petitioner Santos, then NSLA General Manager; that on March 21, 1981 NSLA was placed under receivership by the Central Bank, so that David filed claims therewith for his investments and those of his sister; that on July 22, 1981 David received a report from the Central Bank that only P305,821.92 of those investments were entered in the records of NSLA; that, therefore, the respondents in I.S. No. 81-31938 misappropriated the balance of the investments, at the same time violating Central Bank Circular No. 364 and related Central Bank regulations on foreign exchange transactions; that after demands, petitioner Guingona Jr. paid only P200,000.00, thereby reducing the amounts misappropriated to P959,078.14 and US$75,000.00.

"Petitioners, Martin and Santos, filed a joint counter-affidavit (Petition, Annex ‘B’) in which they stated the following:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"‘That Martin became President of NSLA in March 1978 (after the resignation of Guingona, Jr.) and served as such until October 30, 1980, while Santos was General Manager up to November 1980; that because NSLA was urgently in need of funds and at David’s insistence, his investments were treated as special accounts with interests above the legal rate, and recorded in separate confidential documents only a portion of which were to be reported because he did not want the Australian government to tax his total earnings (nor) to know his total investments; that all transactions with David were recorded except the sum of US$15,000.00 which was a personal loan of Santos; that David’s check for US$50,000.00 was cleared through Guingona, Jr.’s dollar account because NSLA did not have one, that a draft of US$30,000.00 was placed in the name of one Paz Roces because of a pending transaction with her; that the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation had already reimbursed David within the legal limits; that majority of the stockholders of NSLA had filed Special Proceedings No. 82-1695 in the Court of First Instance to contest its (NSLA’s) closure; that after NSLA was placed under receivership, Martin executed a promissory note in David’s favor and caused the transfer to him of a nine and one half (9 1/2) carat diamond ring with a net value of P510,000.00; and, that the liabilities of NSLA to David were civil in nature.’

"Petitioner, Guingona, Jr., in his counter-affidavit (Petition, Annex ‘C’) stated the following:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"‘That he had no hand whatsoever in the transactions between David and NSLA since he (Guingona Jr.) had resigned as NSLA president in March 1978, or prior to those transactions; that he assumed a portion of the liabilities of NSLA to David because of the latter’s insistence that he placed his investments with NSLA because of his faith in Guingona, Jr.; that in a Promissory Note dated June 17, 1981 (Petition, Annex "D") he (Guingona, Jr.) bound himself to pay David the sums of P668.307.01 and US$37,500.00 in stated installments; that he (Guingona, Jr.) secured payment of those amounts with second mortgages over two (2) parcels of land under a deed of Second Real Estate Mortgage (Petition, Annex" E") in which it was provided that the mortgage over one (1) parcel shall be cancelled upon payment of one half of the obligation to David; that he (Guingona, Jr.) paid P200,000.00 and tendered another P300,000.00 which David refused to accept, hence, he (Guingona, Jr.) filed Civil Case No. Q-33865 in the Court of First Instance of Rizal at Quezon City, to effect the release of the mortgage over one (1) of the two parcels of land conveyed to David under second mortgages.’

"At the inception of the preliminary investigation before respondent Lota, petitioners moved to dismiss the charges against them for lack of jurisdiction because David’s claims allegedly comprised a purely civil obligation which was itself novated. Fiscal Lota denied the motion to dismiss (Petition, p. 8)

"But, after the presentation of David’s principal witness, petitioners filed the instant petition because: (a) the production of the Promissory Notes, Banker’s Acceptance, Certificates of Time Deposits and Savings Account allegedly showed that the transactions between David and NSLA were simple loans, i.e., civil obligations on the part of NSLA which were novated when Guingona, Jr. and Martin assumed them; and (b) David’s principal witness allegedly testified that the duplicate originals of the aforesaid instruments of indebtedness were all on file with NSLA, contrary to David’s claim that some of his investments were not recorded (Petition, pp. 8-9).

"Petitioners alleged that they did not exhaust available administrative remedies because to do so would be futile (Petition, p. 9)" [pp. 153-157, rec.]

As correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General, the sole issue for resolution is whether public respondents acted without jurisdiction when they investigated the charges (estafa and violation of CB Circular No. 364 and related regulations regarding foreign exchange transactions) subject matter of I.S. No. 81-31938.

There is merit in the contention of the petitioners that their liability is civil in nature and therefore, public respondents have no jurisdiction over the charge of estafa.chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library

A casual perusal of the December 23, 1981 affidavit-complaint filed in the Office of the City Fiscal of Manila by private respondent David against petitioners Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Antonio I. Martin and Teresita G. Santos, together with one Robert Marshall and the other directors of the Nation Savings and Loan Association, will show that from March 20, 1979 to March, 1981, private respondent David, together with his sister, Denise Kuhne, invested with the Nation Savings and Loan Association the sum of P1,145,546.20 on time deposits covered by Bankers Acceptances and Certificates of Time Deposits and the sum of P13,531.94 on savings account deposits covered by passbook nos. 6-632 and 29-742, or a total of P1,159,078.14 (pp. 15-16, rec.). It appears further that private respondent David, together with his sister, made investments in the aforesaid bank in the amount of US$75,000.00 (p. 17, rec.).

Moreover, the records reveal that when the aforesaid bank was placed under receivership on March 21, 1981, petitioners Guingona and Martin, upon the request of private respondent David, assumed the obligation of the bank to private respondent David by executing on June 17, 1981 a joint promissory note in favor of private respondent acknowledging an indebtedness of P1,336,614.02 and US$75,000.00 (p. 80, rec.). This promissory note was based on the statement of account as of June 30, 1981 prepared by the private respondent (p. 81, rec.). The amount of indebtedness assumed appears to be bigger than the original claim because of the added interest and the inclusion of other deposits of private respondent’s sister in the amount of P116,613.20.

Thereafter, or on July 17, 1981, petitioners Guingona and Martin agreed to divide the said indebtedness, and petitioner Guingona executed another promissory note antedated to June 17, 1981 whereby he personally acknowledged an indebtedness of P668,307.01 (1/2 of P1,336,614.02) and US$37,500.00 (1/2 of US$75,000.00) in favor of private respondent (p. 25, rec.). The aforesaid promissory notes were executed as a result of deposits made by Clement David and Denise Kuhne with the Nation Savings and Loan Association.

Furthermore, the various pleadings and documents filed by private respondent David before this Court indisputably show that he has indeed invested his money on time and savings deposits with the Nation Savings and Loan Association.

It must be pointed out that when private respondent David invested his money on time and savings deposits with the aforesaid bank, the contract that was perfected was a contract of simple loan or mutuum and not a contract of deposit. Thus, Article 1980 of the New Civil Code provides that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Article 1980. Fixed, savings, and current deposits of money in banks and similar institutions shall be governed by the provisions concerning simple loan."cralaw virtua1aw library

In the case of Central Bank of the Philippines v. Morfe (63 SCRA 114, 119 [1975], We said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"It should be noted that fixed, savings, and current deposits of money in banks and similar institutions are not true deposits. They are considered simple loans and, as such, are not preferred credits (Art. 1980 Civil Code: In re Liquidation of Mercantile Bank of China: Tan Tiong Tick v. American Apothecaries Co., 65 Phil. 414; Pacific Coast Biscuit Co. v. Chinese Grocers Association, 65 Phil. 375; Fletcher American National Bank v. Ang Cheng Lian, 65 Phil. 385; Pacific Commercial Co. v. American Apothecaries Co., 65 Phil. 429; Gopoco Grocery v. Pacific Coast Biscuit Co., 65 Phil. 443)."cralaw virtua1aw library

This Court also declared in the recent case of Serrano v. Central Bank of the Philippines (96 SCRA 96, 102 [1980]) that:chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library

"Bank deposits are in the nature of irregular deposits. They are really loans because they earn interest. All kinds of bank deposits, whether fixed, savings, or current are to be treated as loans and are to be covered by the law on loans (Art. 1980, Civil Code; Gullas v. Phil. National Bank, 62 Phil. 519). Current and savings deposits are loans to a bank because it can use the same. The petitioner here in making time deposits that earn interests with respondent Overseas Bank of Manila was in reality a creditor of the respondent Bank and not a depositor. The respondent Bank was in turn a debtor of petitioner. Failure of the respondent Bank to honor the time deposit is failure to pay its obligation as a debtor and not a breach of trust arising from a depository’s failure to return the subject matter of the deposit" (Emphasis supplied).

Hence, the relationship between the private respondent and the Nation Savings and Loan Association is that of creditor and debtor; consequently, the ownership of the amount deposited was transmitted to the Bank upon the perfection of the contract and it can make use of the amount deposited for its banking operations, such as to pay interests on deposits and to pay withdrawals. While the Bank has the obligation to return the amount deposited, it has, however, no obligation to return or deliver the same money that was deposited. And, the failure of the Bank to return the amount deposited will not constitute estafa through misappropriation punishable under Article 315, par. 1(b) of the Revised Penal Code, but it will only give rise to civil liability over which the public respondents have no jurisdiction.

WE have already laid down the rule that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"In order that a person can be convicted under the above-quoted provision, it must be proven that he has the obligation to deliver or return the same money, goods or personal property that he received. Petitioners had no such obligation to return the same money, i.e., the bills or coins, which they received from private respondents. This is so because as clearly stated in criminal complaints, the related civil complaints and the supporting sworn statements, the sums of money that petitioners received were loans.

"The nature of simple loan is defined in Articles 1933 and 1953 of the Civil Code.

"‘Art. 1933. — By the contract of loan, one of the parties delivers to another, either something not consumable so that the latter may use the same for a certain time and return it, in which case the contract is called a commodatum; or money or other consumable thing, upon the condition that the same amount of the same kind and quality shall be paid in which case the contract is simply called a loan or mutuum.

"‘Commodatum is essentially gratuitous.

"‘Simple loan may be gratuitous or with a stipulation to pay interest.

"‘In commodatum the bailor retains the ownership of the thing loaned, while in simple loan, ownership passes to the borrower.

"‘Art. 1953. — A person who receives a loan of money or any other fungible thing acquires the ownership thereof, and is bound to pay to the creditor an equal amount of the same kind and quality.’

"It can be readily noted from the above quoted provisions that in simple loan (mutuum), as contrasted to commodatum, the borrower acquires ownership of the money, goods or personal property borrowed. Being the owner, the borrower can dispose of the thing borrowed (Article 248, Civil Code) and his act will not be considered misappropriation thereof" (Yam v. Malik, 94 SCRA 30, 34 [1979]; Emphasis supplied).

But even granting that the failure of the bank to pay the time and savings deposits of private respondent David would constitute a violation of paragraph 1(b) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, nevertheless any incipient criminal liability was deemed avoided, because when the aforesaid bank was placed under receivership by the Central Bank, petitioners Guingona and Martin assumed the obligation of the bank to private respondent David, thereby resulting in the novation of the original contractual obligation arising from deposit into a contract of loan and converting the original trust relation between the bank and private respondent David into an ordinary debtor-creditor relation between the petitioners and private Respondent. Consequently, the failure of the bank or petitioners Guingona and Martin to pay the deposits of private respondent would not constitute a breach of trust but would merely be a failure to pay the obligation as a debtor.

Moreover, while it is true that novation does not extinguish criminal liability, it may however, prevent the rise of criminal liability as long as it occurs prior to the filing of the criminal information in court. Thus, in Gonzales v. Serrano (25 SCRA 64, 69 [1968]) We held that:cralawnad

"As pointed out in People v. Nery, novation prior to the filing of the criminal information — as in the case at bar — may convert the relation between the parties into an ordinary creditor-debtor relation, and place the complainant in estoppel to insist on the original transaction or ‘cast doubt on the true nature’ thereof."cralaw virtua1aw library

Again, in the latest case of Ong v. Court of Appeals (L-58476, 124 SCRA 578, 580-581 [1983]), this Court reiterated the ruling in People v. Nery (10 SCRA 244 [1964]), declaring that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The novation theory may perhaps apply prior to the filing of the criminal information in court by the state prosecutors because up to that time the original trust relation may be converted by the parties into an ordinary creditor-debtor situation, thereby placing the complainant in estoppel to insist on the original trust. But after the justice authorities have taken cognizance of the crime and instituted action in court, the offended party may no longer divest the prosecution of its power to exact the criminal liability, as distinguished from the civil. The crime being an offense against the state, only the latter can renounce it (People v. Gervacio, 54 Off. Gaz. 2898; People v. Velasco, 42 Phil. 76; U.S. v. Montañes, 8 Phil. 620).

"It may be observed in this regard that novation is not one of the means recognized by the Penal Code whereby criminal liability can be extinguished; hence, the role of novation may only be to either prevent the rise of criminal liability or to cast doubt on the true nature of the original basic transaction, whether or not it was such that its breach would not give rise to penal responsibility, as when money loaned is made to appear as a deposit, or other similar disguise is resorted to (cf. Abeto v. People, 90 Phil. 581; U.S. v. Villareal, 27 Phil. 481)."cralaw virtua1aw library

In the case at bar, there is no dispute that petitioners Guingona and Martin executed a promissory note on June 17, 1981 assuming the obligation of the bank to private respondent David; while the criminal complaint for estafa was filed on December 23, 1981 with the Office of the City Fiscal. Hence, it is clear that novation occurred long before the filing of the criminal complaint with the Office of the City Fiscal.

Consequently, as aforestated, any incipient criminal liability would be avoided but there will still be a civil liability on the part of petitioners Guingona and Martin to pay the assumed obligation.

Petitioners herein were likewise charged with violation of Section 3 of Central Bank Circular No. 364 and other related regulations regarding foreign exchange transactions by accepting foreign currency deposit in the amount of US$75,000.00 without authority from the Central Bank. They contend however, that the US dollars intended by respondent David for deposit were all converted into Philippine currency before acceptance and deposit into Nation Savings and Loan Association.chanrobles law library

Petitioners’ contention is worthy of belief for the following reasons:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

1. It appears from the records that when respondent David was about to make a deposit of bank draft issued in his name in the amount of US$50,000.00 with the Nation Savings and Loan Association, the same had to be cleared first and converted into Philippine currency. Accordingly, the bank draft was endorsed by respondent David to petitioner Guingona, who in turn deposited it to his dollar account with the Security Bank and Trust Company. Petitioner Guingona merely accommodated the request of the Nation Savings and Loan Association in order to clear the bank draft through his dollar account because the bank did not have a dollar account. Immediately after the bank draft was cleared, petitioner Guingona authorized Nation Savings and Loan Association to withdraw the same in order to be utilized by the bank for its operations.

2. It is safe to assume that the U.S. dollars were converted first into Philippine pesos before they were accepted and deposited in Nation Savings and Loan Association, because the bank is presumed to have followed the ordinary course of the business which is to accept deposits in Philippine currency only, and that the transaction was regular and fair, in the absence of a clear and convincing evidence to the contrary (see paragraphs p and q, Sec. 5, Rule 131, Rules of Court).

3. Respondent David has not denied the aforesaid contention of herein petitioners despite the fact that it was raised in petitioners’ reply filed on May 7, 1982 to private respondent’s comment and in the July 27, 1982 reply to public respondents’ comment and reiterated in petitioners’ memorandum filed on October 30, 1982, thereby adding more support to the conclusion that the US$75,000.00 were really converted into Philippine currency before they were accepted and deposited into Nation Savings and Loan Association. Considering that this might adversely affect his case, respondent David should have promptly denied petitioners’ allegation.

In conclusion, considering that the liability of the petitioners is purely civil in nature and that there is no clear showing that they engaged in foreign exchange transactions, We hold that the public respondents acted without jurisdiction when they investigated the charges against the petitioners. Consequently, public respondents should be restrained from further proceeding with the criminal case for to allow the case to continue, even if the petitioners could have appealed to the Ministry of Justice, would work great injustice to petitioners and would render meaningless the proper administration of justice.

While as a rule, the prosecution in a criminal offense cannot be the subject of prohibition and injunction, this court has recognized the resort to the extraordinary writs of prohibition and injunction in extreme cases, thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"On the issue of whether a writ of injunction can restrain the proceedings in Criminal Case No. 3140, the general rule is that ‘ordinarily, criminal prosecution may not be blocked by court prohibition or injunction.’ Exceptions, however, are allowed in the following instances:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"‘1. for the orderly administration of justice;

"‘2. to prevent the use of the strong arm of the law in an oppressive and vindictive manner;

"‘3. to avoid multiplicity of actions;

"‘4. to afford adequate protection to constitutional rights;

"‘5. in proper cases, because the statute relied upon is unconstitutional or was held invalid’" (Primicias v. Municipality of Urdaneta, Pangasinan, 93 SCRA 462, 469-470 [1979]; citing Ramos v. Torres, 25 SCRA 557 [1968]; and Hernandez v. Albano, 19 SCRA 95, 96 [1967]).

Likewise, in Lopez v. The City Judge, Et. Al. (18 SCRA 616, 621-622 [1966]), We held that:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

"The writs of certiorari and prohibition, as extraordinary legal remedies, are in the ultimate analysis, intended to annul void proceedings; to prevent the unlawful and oppressive exercise of legal authority and to provide for a fair and orderly administration of justice. Thus, in Yu Kong Eng v. Trinidad, 47 Phil. 385, We took cognizance of a petition for certiorari and prohibition although the accused in the case could have appealed in due time from the order complained of, our action in the premises being based on the public welfare and the advancement of public policy, In Dimayuga v. Fajardo, 43 Phil. 304, We also admitted a petition to restrain the prosecution of certain chiropractors although, if convicted, they could have appealed. We gave due course to their petition for the orderly administration of justice and to avoid possible oppression by the strong arm of the law. And in Arevalo v. Nepomuceno, 63 Phil. 627, the petition for certiorari challenging the trial court’s action admitting an amended information was sustained despite the availability of appeal at the proper time."cralaw virtua1aw library

WHEREFORE, THE PETITION IS HEREBY GRANTED; THE TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER PREVIOUSLY ISSUED IS MADE PERMANENT. COSTS AGAINST THE PRIVATE RESPONDENT.

SO ORDERED.

Concepcion, Jr., Guerrero, De Castro and Escolin, JJ., concur.

Aquino, J., took no part.

Abad Santos, J., concurs in the result.




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