Alvizo V Sandiganbayan
Alvizo v. Sandiganbayan
G.R. No. 101689, March 17, 1993
Facts: Petitioner was charged with malversation of public funds in 1990 after PI , petitioner had been dismissed as Clerk of Court of the Court of First Instance of Surigao del Sur when he was found to have incurred a deficiency in his accounts in the amount of P31,612.50. Petitioner filed a motion to quash the information for failure of the same to include a certification by the investigating fiscal that he conducted a personal examination of the complainant and his witnesses during the preliminary investigation in contravention of the requirement under Section 4, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court which provides:
â€œSec. 4. Duty of the investigating fiscal. – If the investigating fiscal finds cause to hold the respondent for trial he shall prepare the resolution and corresponding information. He shall certify under oath that he has examined the complainant and his witnesses, . . .â€
Petitioner also filed a supplemental motion to quash this time contending that the filing of the information in this case is violative of his constitutional rights to due process and the speedy disposition of the case against him, as enunciated in Tatad vs. Sandiganbayan since it took eleven years for him to be charged.
1. WON a certification by the investigating fiscal is an essential procedure in the filing of criminal charge.
2. WON the filing of the information violated petitioners constitutional rights to due process and speedy trial.
Ruling: 1. A certification is not an essential part of the information itself and its absence cannot vitiate it as such. What is not allowed is the filing of the information without a preliminary investigation having been previously conducted and the injunction that there should be a certification is only a consequence of the requirement that a preliminary investigation should first be conducted. That the fact was not stated in the Information itself is merely a formal defect which does not prejudice the substantial rights of the accused and, hence, does not warrant the quashal of the information .
2. No. There was no violation of petitionerâ€™s right to speedy trial for the simple reason that a fair and rational consideration on both counts of the aforestated evidence on records shows that the preliminary investigation in the present case was begun not in 1979 but only in 1989, and the corresponding information was in due time filed in 1990. The affidavit of Prosecutor Quintin E.L. Paredes alleging conducting PI in 1980 is considered hearsay because he was not presented on the witness stand to be cross-examined by the prosecution The doctrinal rule is that in the determination of whether or not that right has been violated, the factors that may be considered and balanced are the length of delay, the reasons for such delay, the assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused, and the prejudice caused by the delay. Considering the confusion and handicaps under which they had to operate and with which they had to contend under a marital law regime during the parlous period material to this case.