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Digest: Tandoc v. Resultan

Tandoc v. Resultan
G.R. Nos. 59241-44, July 5, 1989



The Office of the City Fiscal recommended the dropping of the charges of serious oral defamation, grave threats, and physical injuries filed by Arnulfo Payopay and Manuel Cancino against petitioners on the ground that they were found to be in the nature of a countercharge.

Respondents Arnulfo Payopay, Conrado Payopay, Sr., and Manuel Cancino, directly lodged criminal complaints with the City Court of San Carlos City against petitioners for serious physical injuries, trespass to dwelling, less serious physical injuries, and grave threats to kill. The City Court of San Carlos City issued several Orders whereby the court a quo, after conducting a preliminary examination of the four aforementioned cases, found reasonable ground to believe that the offenses charged may have been committed by the petitioners and that the latter were probably guilty thereof.



Whether or not petitioners were placed in jeopardy when the city court conducted anew a preliminary examination of charges which were previously the subject of a preliminary investigation.



No. A preliminary investigation does not place the person against whom it is taken in jeopardy because it is merely inquisitorial and it is often the only means of discovering the persons who may be reasonably charged with a crime, to enable the fiscal to prepare his complaint or information. It is not a trial of the case on the merits and has no purpose except that of determining whether a crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty thereof.


The result of a preliminary investigation can neither constitute nor give rise to the defense of double jeopardy in any case, because such preliminary investigation is not and does not in itself constitute a trial or even any part thereof. The only purpose of a preliminary investigation is to determine, before the presentation of evidence by the prosecution and by the defense, if the latter party should wish to present any, whether or not there are reasonable grounds for proceeding formally and resolutely against the accused. In order that the defense of jeopardy may lie, there must be a former judgment, either of acquittal or of conviction, rendered by a court competent to render the same, not only by reason of the offense committed, which must be the same or at least comprised within it, but also by reason of the place where it was committed. Under the established facts it cannot be stated that the same circumstances exist in the case under consideration. Consequently, the defense of double jeopardy is untenable.










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