"x x x.
When the civil action for the recovery of civil liability ex delicto is instituted with the criminal action, whether by choice of private complainant (i.e., no reservation is made or no prior filing of a separate civil action) or as required by the law or rules, the case will be prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor.63 The civil action cannot proceed independently of the criminal case. This includes subsequent proceedings on the criminal action such as an appeal. In any case, Ferro Chemicals, Inc. joined the public prosecutor in filing the petition for certiorari before this court. Ramon Garcia, President of Ferro Chemicals, Inc., signed the verification and certification of non-forum shopping of the petition for certiorari.64
We must clarify, however, that private complainants in criminal cases are not precluded from filing a motion for reconsideration and subsequently an appeal on the civil aspect of a decision acquitting the accused. An exception to the rule that only the Solicitor General can bring actions in criminal proceedings before the Court of Appeals or this court is "when the private offended party questions the civil aspect of a decision of a lower court."65 As discussed in Mobilia Products, Inc. v. Hajime Umezawa:66
In a criminal case in which the offended party is the State, the interest of the private complainant or the offended party is limited to the civil liability arising there from. Hence, if a criminal case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an acquittal, a reconsideration of the order of dismissal or acquittal may be undertaken, whenever legally feasible, insofar as the criminal aspect there of is concerned and may be made only by the public prosecutor; or in the case of an appeal, by the State only, through the OSG. The private complainant or offended party may not undertake such motion for reconsideration or appeal on the criminal aspect of the case.However, the offended party or private complainant may file a motion for reconsideration of such dismissal or acquittal or appeal therefrom but only insofar as the civil aspect thereof is concerned. In so doing, the private complainant or offended party need not secure the conformity of the public prosecutor. If the court denies his motion for reconsideration, the private complainant or offended party may appeal or file a petition for certiorarior mandamus,if grave abuse amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction is shown and the aggrieved party has no right of appeal or given an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.67 (Citations omitted)
This is in consonance with the doctrine that:
[T]he extinction of the penal action does not necessarily carry with it the extinction ofthe civil action, whether the latter is instituted with or separately from the criminal action. The offended party may still claim civil liability ex delictoif there is a finding in the final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the liability may arise exists. Jurisprudence has enumerated three instances when, notwithstanding the accused’s acquittal, the offended party may still claim civil liability ex delicto: (a) if the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required; (b) if the court declared that the liability of the accused is only civil;and (c) if the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based upon the crime of which the accused is acquitted.68
However, if the state pursues an appeal on the criminal aspect of a decision of the trial court acquitting the accused and private complainant/s failed to reserve the right to institute a separate civil action,the civil liability ex delictothat is inherently attached to the offense is likewise appealed. The appeal of the civil liability ex delictois impliedly instituted with the petition for certiorari assailing the acquittal of the accused. Private complainant cannot anymore pursue a separate appeal from that of the state without violating the doctrine of non-forum shopping.
On the other hand, the conclusion isdifferent if private complainant reserved the right to institute the civil action for the recovery of civil liability ex delicto before the Regional Trial Court orinstitute a separate civil action prior to the filing of the criminal case in accordance with Rule 111 of the Rules of Court. In these situations, the filing of an appealas to the civil aspect of the case cannot be considered as forum shopping.1âwphi1 This is not the situation here.
x x x."
G.R. No. 172505, October 1, 2014
ANTONIO M. GARCIA, Petitioner,
vs. FERRO CHEMICALS, INC., Respondent.
vs. FERRO CHEMICALS, INC., Respondent.