Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Private complainant may file motion for reconsideration and file a petition for certiorari in a criminal case by himself, even without the conformity of the public prosecutor or the OSG; when allowed.

GERARDO A. MOSQUERA vs. HON. DELIA H. PANGANIBAN, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 64, City of Makati, Metro Manila, HON. FELICIDAD Y. NAVARRO-QUIAMBAO, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 65, City of Makati, Metro Manila, and MARK F. JALANDONI, G.R. No. 121180, July 5, 1996.

“x x x.

Petitioner's contention is that, because the direction and control of criminal prosecutions are vested in the public prosecutor, the motion for reconsideration of the order of October 13, 1994, which the private prosecutor filed without the conformity by the public prosecutor, was a nullity and did not prevent the order of dismissal from becoming final. Consequently, the MeTC gravely abused its discretion in afterward reinstating the information.

Undoubtedly private respondent, as complainant, has an interest in the maintenance of the criminal prosecution. The right of offended parties to appeal an order of the trial court which deprives them of due process has always been recognized, the only limitation being that they cannot appeal any adverse ruling if to do so would place the accused in double jeopardy. 6  x x x.  In Martinez vCourt of Appeals, 7 where, through the Chief Justice, we held:

Under Section 2, Rule 122 of the 1988 Rules of Criminal Procedure, the right to appeal from a final judgment or order in a criminal case is granted to "any party," except when the accused is placed thereby in double jeopardy.

In People vGuido, [57 Phil. 52 (1932)] this Court ruled that the word "party" must be understood to mean not only the government and the accused, but also other persons who may be affected by the judgment rendered in the criminal proceeding. Thus, the party injured by the crime has been held to have the right to appeal from a resolution of the court which is derogatory to his right to demand civil liability arising from the offense. The right of the offended party to file a special civil action of prohibition and certiorari from an [interlocutory] order rendered in a criminal case was likewise recognized in the cases of Paredes v. Gopengco [29 SCRA 688 (1969)] and People v. Calo, Jr., [186 SCRA 620 (1990)] which held that "offended parties in criminal cases have sufficient interest and personality as "person(s) aggrieved" to file the special civil action of prohibition and certiorari under Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 65 in line with the underlying spirit of the liberal construction of the Rules of Court in order to promote their object. . . .

Petitioner cites the following statement in Cabral vPuno 8 in support of his contention that private respondent has no personality to file the motion in question:

While it is true that the offended party, Silvino San Diego, through the private prosecutor, filed a motion for reconsideration within the reglementary fifteen-day period, such move did not stop the running of the period for appeal [from the order of dismissal of the information]. He did not have the legal personality to appeal or file the motion for reconsideration on his behalf. The prosecution in a criminal case through the private prosecutor is under the direction and control of the Fiscal, and only the motion for reconsideration or appeal filed by the Fiscal could have interrupted the period for appeal.

The case of Cabral, however, differs materially from this case. In Cabral, the offended party had lost his right to intervene because prior to the filing of the criminal case, he had instituted a civil action arising from the same act subject of the criminal case. On the other hand, in the case at bar, the right of private respondent to intervene in the criminal prosecution is well nigh beyond question as he had neither instituted a separate civil action nor reserved or waived the right to do so. 9

For the foregoing reasons, we hold that private respondent has the legal personality to file the motion for reconsideration in the trial court.

X x x.”