- Borlongan, Jr. v. Peña
- G.R. No. 143591
- NACHURA, J :
- Decision Date
G.R. No. 143591. November 23, 2007.
TEODORO C. BORLONGAN, JR., CORAZON M. BEJASA, ARTURO E. MANUEL, JR., ERIC L. LEE, P. SIERVO H. DIZON, BENJAMIN DE LEON, DELFIN C. GONZALEZ, JR., and BEN YU LIM, JR., petitioners, vs. MAGDALENO M. PE A and HON. MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., as Judge Designate of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Bago City, respondents.
D E C I S I O N
NACHURA, J p:
For review is the Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated June 20, 2000 in CA-G.R. SP No. 49666 dismissing the petition for certiorari filed by petitioners Teodoro C. Borlongan, Jr., Corazon M. Bejasa, Arturo Manuel, Jr., Benjamin de Leon, P. Siervo Dizon, Delfin C. Gonzalez, Jr., Eric Lee and Ben T. Lim, Jr.
The factual and procedural antecedents of the case are as follows:
Respondent Magdaleno Pe a instituted a civil case for recovery of agent's compensation and expenses, damages, and attorney's fees, against Urban Bank and the petitioners, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Negros Occidental, Bago City. The case was raffled to Branch 62 and was docketed as Civil Case No. 754. Respondent anchored his claim for compensation on the contract of agency allegedly entered into with the petitioners wherein the former undertook to perform such acts necessary to prevent any intruder and squatter from unlawfully occupying Urban Bank's property located along Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing that they never appointed the respondent as agent or counsel. Attached to the motion were the following documents: 1) a letter dated December 19, 1994 signed by Herman Ponce and Julie Abad on behalf of Isabela Sugar Company, Inc. (ISCI), the original owner of the subject property; 2) an unsigned letter dated December 7, 1994 addressed to Corazon Bejasa from Marilyn G. Ong; 3) a letter dated December 9, 1994 addressed to Teodoro Borlongan and signed by Marilyn G. Ong; and 4) a Memorandum dated November 20, 1994 from Enrique Montilla III. Said documents were presented in an attempt to show that the respondent was appointed as agent by ISCI and not by Urban Bank or by the petitioners.
In view of the introduction of the above-mentioned documents, respondent Pe a filed his Complaint-Affidavit with the Office of the City Prosecutor, Bago City. He claimed that said documents were falsified because the alleged signatories did not actually affix their signatures, and the signatories were neither stockholders nor officers and employees of ISCI. Worse, petitioners introduced said documents as evidence before the RTC knowing that they were falsified. HSIDTE
In a Resolution dated September 23, 1998, the City Prosecutor concluded that the petitioners were probably guilty of four (4) counts of the crime of Introducing Falsified Documents penalized by the second paragraph of Article 172 of the Subsequently, the corresponding Informations were filed with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Bago City. The cases were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 6683, 6684, 6685, and 6686. Thereafter, Judge Primitivo Blanca issued the warrants for the arrest of the petitioners.
On October 1, 1998, petitioners filed an Omnibus Motion to Quash, Recall Warrants of Arrest and/or For Reinvestigation. Petitioners insisted that they were denied due process because of the non-observance of the proper procedure on preliminary investigation prescribed in the Rules. Petitioners further prayed that the information be quashed for lack of probable cause. Lastly, petitioners posited that the criminal case should have been suspended on the ground that the issue being threshed out in the civil case is a prejudicial question.
In an Order dated November 13, 1998, the court denied the omnibus motion primarily on the ground that preliminary investigation was not available in the instant case which fell within the jurisdiction of the MTCC. The court, likewise, upheld the validity of the warrant of arrest, saying that it was issued in accordance with the Rules. Besides, the court added, petitioners could no longer question the validity of the warrant since they already posted bail. The court also believed that the issue involved in the civil case was not a prejudicial question, and thus, denied the prayer for suspension of the criminal proceedings. Lastly, the court was convinced that the Informations contained all the facts necessary to constitute an offense.
Petitioners subsequently instituted a special civil action for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for Writ of Preliminary Injunction and TRO, before the CA ascribing grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the MTCC in issuing and not recalling the warrants of arrest, reiterating the arguments in their omnibus motion. They, likewise, questioned the court's conclusion that by posting bail, petitioners already waived their right to assail the validity of the warrant of arrest.
On June 20, 2000, the CA dismissed the petition. Hence, the instant petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the
Where the offense charged in a criminal complaint is not cognizable by the Regional Trial Court and not covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure, is the finding of probable cause required for the filing of an Information in court?
If the allegations in the complaint-affidavit do not establish probable cause, should not the investigating prosecutor dismiss the complaint, or at the very least, require the respondent to submit his counter-affidavit?
Can a complaint-affidavit containing matters which are not within the personal knowledge of the complainant be sufficient basis for the finding of probable cause? SEIacA
Where the offense charged in a criminal complaint is not cognizable by the Regional Trial Court and not covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure, and the record of the preliminary investigation does not show the existence of probable cause, should not the judge refuse to issue a warrant of arrest and dismiss the criminal case, or at the very least, require the accused to submit his counter-affidavit in order to aid the judge in determining the existence of probable cause?
Can a criminal prosecution be restrained?
Can this Honorable Court itself determine the existence of probable cause?
On August 2, 2000, this Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining the judge of the MTCC from proceeding in any manner with Criminal Cases Nos. 6683 to 6686, effective during the entire period that the case is pending before, or until further orders of, this Court.
With the MTCC proceedings suspended, we now proceed to resolve the issues raised.
Respondents contend that the foregoing issues had become moot and academic when the petitioners posted bail and were arraigned.
We do not agree.
It appears that upon the issuance of the warrant of arrest, petitioners immediately posted bail as they wanted to avoid embarrassment being then the officers of Urban Bank. On the scheduled date for the arraignment, despite the petitioners' refusal to enter a plea, the court entered a plea of "Not Guilty."
The earlier ruling of this Court that posting of bail constitutes a waiver of the right to question the validity of the arrest has already been superseded by Section 26, Rule 114 of the
Records reveal that petitioners filed the omnibus motion to quash the information and warrant of arrest, and for reinvestigation, on the same day that they posted bail. Their bail bonds likewise expressly contained a stipulation that they were not waiving their right to question the validity of their arrest. On the date of the arraignment, the petitioners refused to enter their plea, obviously because the issue of the legality of the information and their arrest was yet to be settled by the Court. This notwithstanding, the court entered a plea of "Not Guilty." From these circumstances, we cannot reasonably infer a valid waiver on the part of the petitioners, as to preclude them from raising the issue of the validity of the arrest before the CA and eventually before this Court.
In their petition filed before this Court, petitioners prayed for a TRO to restrain the MTCC from proceeding with the criminal cases (which the Court eventually issued on August 2, 2000). Thus, we confront the question of whether a criminal prosecution can be restrained, to which we answer in the affirmative. caITAC
As a general rule, the Court will not issue writs of prohibition or injunction, preliminary or final, to enjoin or restrain criminal prosecution. However, the following exceptions to the rule have been recognized: 1) when the injunction is necessary to afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of the accused; 2) when it is necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or multiplicity of actions; 3) when there is a prejudicial question which is sub judice; 4) when the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority; 5) where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation; 6) when double jeopardy is clearly apparent; 7) where the Court has no jurisdiction over the offense; 8) where it is a case of persecution rather than prosecution; 9) where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by the lust for vengeance; and 10) when there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash on that ground has been denied.
Considering that the issues for resolution involve the validity of the information and warrant of arrest, and considering further that no waiver of rights may be attributed to the petitioners as earlier discussed, we issued a TRO on August 2, 2000 to give the Court the opportunity to resolve the case before the criminal prosecution is allowed to continue. The nature of the crime and the penalty involved (which is less than 4 years of imprisonment), likewise, necessitate the suspension of the case below in order to prevent the controversy from being mooted.
We now proceed with the main issues, viz.: 1) whether petitioners were deprived of their right to due process of law because of the denial of their right to preliminary investigation and to submit their counter-affidavit; 2) whether the Informations charging the petitioners were validly filed and the warrants for their arrest were properly issued; and 3) whether this Court can, itself, determine probable cause.
As will be discussed below, the petitioners could not validly claim the right to preliminary investigation. Still, petitioners insist that they were denied due process because they were not afforded the right to submit counter-affidavits which would have aided the court in determining the existence of probable cause. Petitioners also claim that the respondent's complaint-affidavit was not based on the latter's personal knowledge; hence, it should not have been used by the court as basis in its finding of probable cause. Moreover, petitioners aver that there was no sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the crime. Specifically, it was not established that the documents in question were falsified; that petitioners were the ones who presented the documents as evidence; and that petitioners knew that the documents were indeed falsified. Petitioners likewise assert that at the time of the filing of the complaint-affidavit, they had not yet formally offered the documents as evidence; hence, they could not have "introduced" the same in court. Considering the foregoing, petitioners pray that this Court, itself, determine whether or not probable cause exists.
The pertinent provisions of the 1985 namely, Sections 1, 3 (a) and 9(a) of Rule 112, are relevant to the resolution of the aforesaid issues:
SECTION 1. Definition. Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime cognizable by the Regional Trial Court has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial. 32
SEC. 3. Procedure. Except as provided for in Section 7 hereof, no complaint or information for an offense cognizable by the Regional Trial Court shall be filed without a preliminary investigation having been first conducted in the following manner: SaCIDT
(a) The complaint shall state the known address of the respondent and be accompanied by affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses as well as other supporting documents, in such number of copies as there are respondents, plus two (2) copies of the official file. The said affidavits shall be sworn to before any fiscal, state prosecutor or government official authorized to administer oath, or, in their absence or unavailability, a notary public, who must certify that he personally examined the affiants and that he is satisfied that they voluntarily executed and understood their affidavits. 33
SEC. 9. Cases not falling under the original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts not covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure.
(a) Where filed with the fiscal. If the complaint is filed directly with the fiscal or state prosecutor, the procedure outlined in Section 3 (a) of this Rule shall be observed. The Fiscal shall take appropriate action based on the affidavits and other supporting documents submitted by the complainant. 34
Petitioners were charged with the offense defined and penalized by the second paragraph of Article 172 of thearresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period, or four (4) months and one (1) day to two (2) years and four (4) months. Clearly, the case is cognizable by the Municipal Trial Court and preliminary investigation is not mandatory.
Records show that the prosecutor relied merely on the complaint-affidavit of the respondent and did not require the petitioners to submit their counter-affidavits. The prosecutor should not be faulted for taking this course of action, because it is sanctioned by the Rules. To reiterate, upon the filing of the complaint and affidavit with respect to cases cognizable by the MTCC, the prosecutor shall take the appropriate action based on the affidavits and other supporting documents submitted by the complainant. It means that the prosecutor may either dismiss the complaint if he does not see sufficient reason to proceed with the case, or file the information if he finds probable cause. The prosecutor is not mandated to require the submission of counter-affidavits. Probable cause may then be determined on the basis alone of the affidavits and supporting documents of the complainant, without infringing on the constitutional rights of the petitioners.
On the other hand, for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the judge must personally determine the existence of probable cause. Again, the petitioners insist that the trial judge erred in issuing the warrant of arrest without affording them their right to submit their counter-affidavits.
Section 2, Article III of the Constitution provides:
SEC. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause. But the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. Following established doctrine and procedure, he shall (1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the prosecutor regarding the existence of probable cause, and on the basis thereof, he may already make a personal determination of the existence of probable cause; and (2) if he is not satisfied that probable cause exists, he may disregard the prosecutor's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of probable cause. ASaTHc
In determining probable cause for the issuance of the warrant of arrest in the case at bench, we find nothing wrong with the procedure adopted by the trial judge he relied on the resolution of the prosecutor, as well as the supporting documents submitted by the respondent. There is no provision of law or procedural rule which makes the submission of counter-affidavits mandatory before the judge can determine whether or not there exists probable cause to issue the warrant.
In light of the foregoing, it appears that the proper procedure was followed by the prosecutor in determining probable cause for the filing of the informations, and by the trial court judge in determining probable cause for the issuance of the warrants of arrest. To reiterate, preliminary investigation was not mandatory, and the submission of counter-affidavit was not necessary.
However, notwithstanding the proper observance of the procedure laid down by the Rules, a closer scrutiny of the records reveals that the Informations should not have been filed and the warrants of arrest should not have been issued, because of lack of probable cause.
Probable cause, for purposes of filing a criminal information, has been defined as such facts as are sufficient to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof. It is the existence of such facts and circumstances as would excite the belief in a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of the prosecutor, that the person charged was guilty of the crime for which he is to be prosecuted. A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that, more likely than not, a crime has been committed and that it was committed by the accused.
On the other hand, we have defined probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest as the existence of such facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent person to believe that an offense has been committed by the person sought to be arrested.
To accord respect to the discretion granted to the prosecutor and for reasons of practicality, this Court, as a rule, does not interfere with the prosecutor's determination of probable cause. Otherwise, courts would be swamped with petitions to review the prosecutor's findings in such investigations. In the same way, the general rule is that this Court does not review the factual findings of the trial court, which include the determination of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. It is only in exceptional cases when this Court may set aside the conclusions of the prosecutor and the trial judge on the existence of probable cause, that is, when it is necessary to prevent the misuse of the strong arm of the law or to protect the orderly administration of justice. The facts obtaining in the present case warrant the application of the exception.
Petitioners were charged with violation of par. 2, Article 172 of the
1. That the offender knew that a document was falsified by another person.
2. That the false document is embraced in Article 171 or in any subdivisions No. 1 or 2 of Article 172.
3. That he introduced said document in evidence in any judicial proceeding. aTHASC
The falsity of the document and the defendant's knowledge of its falsity are essential elements of the offense. 46
The Office of the City Prosecutor filed the Informations against the petitioners on the basis of the complaint-affidavit of the respondent, together with the following attached documents: the motion to dismiss and answer filed by the petitioners in Civil Case No. 754; petitioners' pre-trial brief in said case; the alleged falsified documents; a copy of the minutes of the regular meeting of ISC during the election of the board; and the list of stockholders of ISC. On the basis of these documents and on the strength of the affidavit executed by the respondent, the prosecutor concluded that probable cause exists. These same affidavit and documents were used by the trial court in issuing the warrant of arrest.
Contrary to the findings of the MTCC, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, we find the complaint-affidavit and attachments insufficient to support the existence of probable cause. Specifically, the respondent failed to sufficiently establish prima facie that the alleged documents were falsified. In support of his claim of falsity of the documents, the private respondent stated in his complaint-affidavit that Herman Ponce, Julie Abad and Marilyn Ong, the alleged signatories of the questioned letters, did not actually affix their signatures; and that they were not actually officers or stockholders of ISCI. He further claimed that Enrique Montilla's signature appearing in another memorandum addressed to respondent was forged. These are mere assertions, insufficient to warrant the filing of the complaint or the issuance of the warrant of arrest.
It must be emphasized that the affidavit of the complainant, or any of his witnesses, shall allege facts within their (affiants) personal knowledge. The allegation of the respondent that the signatures of Ponce, Abad, Ong and Montilla were falsified does not qualify as personal knowledge. Nowhere in said affidavit did respondent state that he was present at the time of the execution of the documents. Neither did he claim that he was familiar with the signatures of the signatories. He simply made a bare assertion that the signatories were mere dummies of ISCI and they were not in fact officers, stockholders or representatives of the corporation. At the very least, the affidavit was based on respondent's "personal belief" and not "personal knowledge." Considering the lack of personal knowledge on the part of the respondent, he could have submitted the affidavit of other persons who are qualified to attest to the falsity of the signatures appearing in the questioned documents. One cannot just claim that a certain document is falsified without further stating the basis for such claim, i.e., that he was present at the time of the execution of the document or he is familiar with the signatures in question. Otherwise, this could lead to abuse and malicious prosecution. This is actually the reason for the requirement that affidavits must be based on the personal knowledge of the affiant. The requirement assumes added importance in the instant case where the accused were not made to rebut the complainant's allegation through counter-affidavits.
Neither can the respondent find support in the documents attached to his complaint-affidavit. The minutes of the regular meeting, as well as the list of stockholders, could have possibly shown that the signatories were not officers or stockholders of the corporation. However, they did not at all show that the questioned documents were falsified. In the letter allegedly signed by Ponce and Abad, there was no representation that they were the president and corporate secretary of ISCI. Besides, the mere fact that they were not officers or stockholders of ISCI does not necessarily mean that their signatures were falsified. They still could have affixed their signatures as authorized representatives of the corporation.
True, a finding of probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence, or on evidence beyond reasonable doubt. It does not require that the evidence would justify conviction. Nonetheless, although the determination of probable cause requires less than evidence which would justify conviction, it should at least be more than mere suspicion. While probable cause should be determined in a summary manner, there is a need to examine the evidence with care to prevent material damage to a potential accused's constitutional right to liberty and the guarantees of freedom and fair play, and to protect the State from the burden of unnecessary expenses in prosecuting alleged offenses and holding trials arising from false, fraudulent or groundless charges. It is, therefore, imperative for the prosecutor to relieve the accused from the pain and inconvenience of going through a trial once it is ascertained that no probable cause exists to form a sufficient belief as to the guilt of the accused.
Considering that the respondent failed to adduce sufficient evidence to support his claim that the documents were falsified, it follows that the introduction of the questioned documents in Civil Case No. 754 is not an offense punished by any provision of the TCIHSa
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated June 20, 2000, in CA-G.R. SP No. 49666 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Temporary Restraining Order dated August 2, 2000 is hereby made permanent. Accordingly, the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, City of Bago, is ORDERED to DISMISS Criminal Case Nos. 6683-86.
Ynares-Santiago, Austria-Martinez, Chico-Nazario and Reyes, JJ., concur.
1. Penned by Associate Justice Romeo A. Brawner, with Associate Justices Quirino D. Abad Santos, Jr. and Andres B. Reyes, Jr., concurring; rollo, pp. 50-60.
2. Rollo, pp. 61-66.
3. The contract was allegedly confirmed in a letter addressed to the respondent, the pertinent portion of which reads:
xxx xxx xxx
This is to confirm the engagement of your services as the authorized representative of Urban Bank, specifically to hold and maintain possession of our above -captioned property and to protect the same from former tenants, occupants or any other person who are threatening to return to the said property and/or interfere with your possession of the said property for and in our behalf.
You are likewise authorized to represent Urban Bank in any court action that you may institute to carry out your aforementioned duties, and to prevent any intruder, squatter or any other person not otherwise authorized in writing by Urban Bank from entering or staying in the premises. (Id. at 69).
4. Rollo, pp. 72-87.
5. Id. at 96.
6. Id. at 97.
7. Id. at 98.
8. Id. at 99.
9. Id. at 106-109.
10. The case was docketed as I.S. Case No. 9248.
11. Rollo, p. 108.
12. The dispositive portion of which reads:
Wherefore, In view of all the foregoing, undersigned finds probable cause that the crime of Introducing Falsified Documents in evidence under par. 2, Article 172,
Let Informations be filed with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, City of Bago, Philippines.
SO RESOLVED. (Id. at 110-114).
13. Rollo, pp. 113-114.
14. Id. at 115-122.
15. Id. at 123-126.
16. Id. at 127-142.
17. The dispositive portion reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Omnibus Motion to Quash, Recall Warrants of Arrest and/or For reinvestigation is hereby denied.
Set arraignment of the accused on December 1, 1998 at 8:30 o'clock in the morning.
SO ORDERED. (Id. at 143-150).
18. Rollo, pp. 151-186.
19. Supra note 1.
20. Rollo, pp. 13-14.
21. Id. at 518-522.
22. Sec. 26. Bail not a bar to objections on illegal arrest, lack of or irregular preliminary investigation. An application for or admission to bail shall not bar the accused from challenging the validity of his arrest or the legality of the warrant issued therefor, or from assailing the regularity or questioning the absence of a preliminary investigation of the charge against him, provided that he raises them before entering his plea. The court shall resolve the matter as early as practicable but not later than the start of the trial of the case.
23. , 461 Phil. 672, 686 (2003); , 397 Phil. 545, 556 (2000); , G.R. No. 101837, February 11, 1992, 206 SCRA 138, 154.
24. CA rollo, pp. 902-903.
25. , G.R. No. 150869, June 9, 2005, 460 SCRA 38, 51-52; , 401 Phil. 167, 172 (2000).
26. Rollo, p. 651.
27. Id. at 696.
28. Id. at 700-702.
29. Id. at 714.
30. Id. at 725.
31. As amended, per Supreme Court Resolutions dated June 17, 1988 and July 7, 1988. The Rules were further revised and approved on October 3, 2000, which took effect on December 1, 2000.
SECTION 1. Preliminary investigation defined; when required. Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial.
Except as provided in section 7 of this Rule, a preliminary investigation is required to be conducted before the filing of a complaint or information for an offense where the penalty prescribed by law is at least four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day without regard to the fine.
33. Section 3 (a) of the New Rules states:
SECTION 3. Procedure. The preliminary investigation shall be conducted in the following manner:
(a) The complaint shall state the address of the respondent and shall be accompanied by the affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses, as well as other supporting documents to establish probable cause. They shall be in such number of copies as there are respondents, plus two (2) copies for the official file. The affidavits shall be subscribed and sworn to before any prosecutor or government official authorized to administer oath, or, in their absence or unavailability, before a notary public, each of whom must certify that he personally examined the affiants and that he is satisfied that they voluntarily executed and understood their affidavits.
34. Rule 112, Sec. 9 is presently worded as follows:
Cases not requiring a preliminary investigation nor covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure.
(a) If filed with the prosecutor. If the complaint is filed directly with the prosecutor involving an offense punishable by imprisonment of less than four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day, the procedure outlined in section 3 (a) of this Rule shall be observed. The prosecutor shall act on the complaint based on the affidavits and other supporting documents submitted by the complainant within ten (10) days from its filing.
35. Article 172.
xxx xxx xxx
Any person who shall knowingly introduce in evidence in any judicial proceeding or to the damage of another or who, with the intent to cause such damage, shall use any of the false documents embraced in the next preceding article or in any of the foregoing subdivisions of this article, shall be punished by the penalty next lower in degree.
36. , 384 Phil. 776, 784 (2000); , 337 Phil. 330, 333 (1997).
37. , G.R. No. 171465, June 8, 2007; , 345 Phil. 597, 605-606 (1997); , No. L-82585, November 14, 1988, 167 SCRA 393, 398.
38. , G.R. Nos. 154239-41, February 16, 2005, 451 SCRA 533, 550.
39. , G.R. Nos. 172070-72, June 1, 2007.
40. note 38.
41. Id; , 401 Phil. 752, 773 (2000); note 37, at 608.
42. note 39.
43. , G.R. No. 162416, January 31, 2006, 481 SCRA 376, 381.
44. Id.; note 39.
45. Reyes, The, Book Two, 1998 ed., p. 246.
46. Aquino, The, Vol. II, 1987 ed., p. 270.
47. Rollo, pp. 110-114.
48. Id. at 108-109.
49. Id. at 109.
50. See , 455 Phil. 999, 1011 (2003) in which the Court held that the affidavit and testimony of the witnesses that the petitioner had no license to possess a firearm do not qualify as "personal knowledge" but only "personal belief" because they did not verify nor secure a certification from an appropriate government agency that petitioner was not licensed to possess a firearm.
51. See , G.R. No. 171465, June 8, 2007; and , 327 Phil. 916, 922 (1996), where the Court found that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the prosecutor in finding probable as the evidence, taken altogether constitute probable cause.
52. , G.R. No. 164317, February 6, 2006, 481 SCRA 609, 629-630; , G.R. No. 163593, December 16, 2005, 478 SCRA 387, 410.
53. , G.R. No. 156055, March 5, 2007, 517 SCRA 369, 395.