Criminal Procedure: RULE 110 – Prosecution of Offenses


  • RULE 110 – Prosecution of Offenses
  1. Institution of Criminal Actions (Sec. 1)
    1. How is criminal action instituted
      1. For offenses where the Preliminary Investigation is Required (sec 1, par 1)
        1. For Offenses where a preliminary investigation is required pursuant to Sec 1 of Rule 112, by filing the Complaint with the proper officer for the purpose of conducting the requisite preliminary Investigation.
          1. Preliminary Investigation (Rule 112 Sec 1 par 1) – is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial.
          2. When is Preliminary Investigation is Required – (Rule 112 Sec 1 par 2) – Preliminary Investigation is required to be conducted before filing of a complaint or information for an offense where the penalty prescribed by law is at least Four (4) years, Two (2) months and One (1) days without regard to the fine.
          3. Exception (Rule 112 Sec 6) *Renumbered formerly Sec 7 – When the accused lawfully arrested without a warrant. – When a person is lawfully arrested without warrant involving the offense which requires a preliminary investigation, the complaint or information may be filed a prosecutor without need of such investigation provided an inquest has been conducted in accordance with existing rules.
      2. For All other offense not requiring Preliminary Investigation
        2. When is it deemed instituted
        3. Who is qualified to institute it:
        a. By complainant, de parte
        b. By information, de officio
        (a) Jimenez vs Sorongon, 687 SCRA 151 (Full Text)
  2. Sufficiency of Complaint or Information (Sec. 6) (COCA-DP)
    1. Name of the accused
    2. Name of the offended party
    3. Name of the offense(Crime)
      1. People vs Valdez, 663 SCRA 272 (Full Text)
        1. For complaint or information to be sufficient, it must state the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate time of the commission of the offense, and the place wherein the offense was committed. What is controlling is not the title of the complaint, nor the designation of the offense charged or the particular law or part thereof allegedly violated, these being mere conclusions of law made by the prosecutor, but the description of the crime charged and the particular facts therein recited. The acts or omissions complained of must be alleged in such form as is sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is intended to be charged, and enable the court to pronounce proper judgment.
      2. Miguel vs Sandiganbayan, 675 SCRA 560 (Full Text)
        1. The test of the information’s sufficiency is whether the crime is described in intelligible terms and with such particularity with reasonable certainty so that the accused is duly informed of the offense charged. In particular, whether an information validly charges an offense depends on whether the material facts alleged in the complaint or information shall establish the essential elements of the offense charged as defined in the law. The raison d’etre of the requirement in the Rules is to enable the accused to suitably prepare his defense.
      3. People vs Soria, 685 SCRA 483 (Full Text)
        1. “[W]here an offense may be committed in any of the different modes and the offense is alleged to have been committed in two or more modes specified, the indictment is sufficient, notwithstanding the fact that the different means of committing the same offense are prohibited by separate sections of the statute. The allegation in the information of the various ways of committing the offense should be regarded as a description of only one offense and the information is not thereby rendered defective on the ground of multifariousness.”
    4. Cause of accusation: qualifying and aggravating circumstances
      1. Serapio vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148468, January 28, 2003
        1. The acts or omissions complained or must be alleged in such form as is sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is intended to be charged and enable the court to know the proper judgment. The Information must allege clearly and accurately the elements of the crime charged. What facts and circumstances are necessary to be included therein must be determined by reference to the definition and elements of the specific crimes. The purpose of the requirement of alleging all the elements of the crime in the Information is to inform an accused of the nature of the accusation against him so as to enable him to suitably prepare for his defense. Another purpose is to enable accused, if found guilty, to plead his conviction in a subsequent prosecution for the same offense.
      2. People Of The Philippines Vs. Tampus, G.R. No. 181084, June 16, 2009,
        1. In the case at bar, although the victim’s minority was alleged and established, her relationship with the accused as the latter’s daughter was not properly alleged in the Information, and even though this was proven during trial and not refuted by the accused, it cannot be considered as a special qualifying circumstance that would serve to increase the penalty of the offender. Under the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure, which should be given retroactive effect following the rule that statutes governing court proceedings will be construed as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage, every Information must state the qualifying and the aggravating circumstances attending the commission of the crime for them to be considered in the imposition of the penalty. Since in the case at bar, the Information did not state that the accused is the mother of the victim, this circumstance could not be appreciated as a special qualifying circumstance. She may only be convicted as an accomplice in the crime of simple rape, which is punishable by reclusion perpetua.
      3. Place of commission
    5. Date of commission
  3. Amendment vs Substitution (Sec. 14)
    1. Distinguish
      1. Section 14. Amendment or substitution. — A complaint or information may be amended, in form or in substance, without leave of court, at any time before the accused enters his plea. After the plea and during the trial, a formal amendment may only be made with leave of court and when it can be done without causing prejudice to the rights of the accused.

        However, any amendment before plea, which downgrades the nature of the offense charged in or excludes any accused from the complaint or information, can be made only upon motion by the prosecutor, with notice to the offended party and with leave of court. The court shall state its reasons in resolving the motion and copies of its order shall be furnished all parties, especially the offended party. (n)

        If it appears at any time before judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper offense, the court shall dismiss the original complaint or information upon the filing of a new one charging the proper offense in accordance with section 19, Rule 119, provided the accused shall not be placed in double jeopardy. The court may require the witnesses to give bail for their appearance at the trial. (14a)

        1. Rule 19 Sec 19. When mistake has been made in charging the proper offense. — When it becomes manifest at any time before judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper offense and the accused cannot be convicted of the offense charged or any other offense necessarily included therein, the accused shall not be discharged if there appears good cause to detain him. In such case, the court shall commit the accused to answer for the proper offense and dismiss the original case upon the filing of the proper information. (11a)

      2. Compare with Rule 10
  4. Place where the action is to be instituted (Sec. 15)
    1. Venue is jurisdictional in criminal cases
      1. the venue of criminal cases is not only in the place where the offense was committed, or
      2. where any of its essential ingredients took place.
    2. Union Bank vs People, 667 SCRA 113 (Full Text)
  5. Intervention of the offended party (Sec. 16)
    1. Sec 16. Intervention of the offended party in criminal action. — Where the civil action for recovery of civil liability is instituted in the criminal action pursuant to Rule 111, the offended party may intervene by counsel in the prosecution of the offense.

    2. Compare with Rule 19, Sec 1, Who may intervene. — A person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof may, with leave of court, be allowed to intervene in the action. The court shall consider whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties, and whether or not the intervenor’s rights may be fully protected in a separate proceeding. (2[a], [b]a, R12)


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