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Digest: Ladlad v. Velasco

Ladlad v. Velasco
G.R. Nos. 172070-72, June 01, 2007



        On February 24, 2006, PGMA signed Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 declaring a “State of National Emergency.” Following that, police officers arrested Crispin Beltran on while he was en route to Marilao, Bulacan, and detained him in Camp Crame.

        Beltran was arrested without a warrant and the arresting officers did not inform Beltran of the crime for which he was arrested.

Petitioners all face charges for Rebellion under Article 134 in relation to Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code in two criminal cases pending with the RTC Makati.

Based on Yolanda Tanigue and Rodolfo Mendoza's unsubscribed letters, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent subpoenas to petitioners requiring them to appear at the DOJ Office to get copies of the complaint and its attachment. During the preliminary investigation, the counsel for the CIDG presented a masked man, later identified as Jaime Fuentes, who claimed to be an eyewitness against petitioners. Fuentes subscribed to his affidavit before respondent prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco who then gave copies of the affidavit to media members present during the proceedings. The panel of prosecutors gave petitioners 10 days within which to file their counter-affidavits but the petitioners were furnished the complete copies of documents supporting the CIDG's letters much later.

Petitioners moved for the inhibition of the members of the prosecution panel for lack of impartiality and independence, considering the political milieu under which petitioners were investigated, the statements that the President and the Secretary of Justice made to the media regarding petitioners' case, and the manner in which the prosecution panel conducted the preliminary investigation. The DOJ panel of prosecutors denied petitioners' motion. In his separate Comment to the Maza petition, the Solicitor General submits that the preliminary investigation of petitioners was not tainted with irregularities.


Whether or not respondent prosecutors should be enjoined from continuing with the prosecution of the criminal case because the preliminary investigation was tainted with irregularities



          Yes. Instead of following scrupulously the procedure for preliminary investigation of offenses punishable by at least four years, two months, and one day outlined in Section 3, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, as what the Court had mandated so that the constitutional right to liberty of a potential accused can be protected from any material damage, respondent prosecutors nonchalantly disregarded it. Respondent proecutors failed to comply with Section 3(a) of Rule 112 which provides that the complaint (which, with its attachment, must be of such number as there are respondents) be accompanied by the affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses, subscribed and sworn to before any prosecutor or government official authorized to administer oath, or, in their absence or unavailability, before a notary public. Respondent prosecutors treated the unsubscribed letters of Tanigue and Mendoza of the CIDG, PNP as complaints and accepted the affidavits attached to the letters even though some of them were notarized by a notary public without any showing that a prosecutor or qualified government official was unavailable as required by Section 3(a) of Rule 112. 


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