See - 206357.pdf
"x x x.
An evaluation of the foregoing jurisprudence24 on the matter reveals
the following guidelines in the determination of the reckoning point for the
period of prescription of violations of RA 3019, viz:
1. As a general rule, prescription begins to run from the date of the
commission of the offense.
2. If the date of the commission of the violation is not known, it shall
be counted form the date of discovery thereof.
3. In determining whether it is the general rule or the exception that
should apply in a particular case, the availability or suppression of
the information relative to the crime should first be determined.
If the necessary information, data, or records based on which the
crime could be discovered is readily available to the public, the
general rule applies. Prescription shall, therefore, run from the date
of the commission of the crime.
Otherwise, should martial law prevent the filing thereof or should
information about the violation be suppressed, possibly through
connivance, then the exception applies and the period of
prescription shall be reckoned from the date of discovery thereof.
In the case at bar, involving as it does the grant of behest loans which
We have recognized as a violation that, by their nature, could be concealed
from the public eye by the simple expedient of suppressing their
documentation,25 the second mode applies. We, therefore, count the running
of the prescriptive period from the date of discovery thereof on January 4,
1993, when the Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee reported to the
President its findings and conclusions anent RHC’s loans. This being the
case, the filing by the PCGG of its Affidavit-Complaint before the Office of
the Ombudsman on January 6, 2003, a little over ten (10) years from the date
of discovery of the crimes, is clearly belated. Undoubtedly, the ten-year
period within which to institute the action has already lapsed, making it
proper for the Ombudsman to dismiss petitioner’s complaint on the ground
Simply put, and as correctly held by the Ombudsman, prescription has
already set in when petitioner PCGG filed the Affidavit-Complaint on
January 6, 2003.
x x x."