Bar Q and A #28

NO. Alienmae cannot invoke her right against self-incrimination even if the fear of incrimination is in regard to her foreign law. Under the territoriality principle, the general rule is that a state has jurisdiction over all persons and property within its territory. The jurisdiction of the nation within its own territory is necessary, exclusive, and absolute. However, there are a few exceptions on when a state cannot exercise jurisdiction even within its own territory, to wit:

1) foreign states, head of states, diplomatic representatives, and consults to a certain degree;
2) foreign state property; 3) acts of state; 4) foreign merchant vessels exercising rights of innocent passage or arrival under stress; 5) foreign armies passing through or stationed in its territories with its permission; and 6) such other persons or property, including organisations like the United Nations, over which it may, by agreement, waive jurisdiction.

Seeing that the circumstances surrounding Alienmae do not fall under those exceptions, that she is a foreign tourist who received a complaint for fraud, such principle of territoriality can be exercised by the State to get the information it needs to proceed with the case.

NO, Section 13 of Presidential Decree No. 115 does not violate the constitutional right against imprisonment for non-payment of a debt. As held in Lee v. Rodil, 175 SCRA 100, P.D. 115 is a valid exercise of police power and is not repugnant to the constitutional provision on non-imprisonment for non-payment of debt. The non-payment of debt is not the one being punish in the said law, but the violation of a trust receipt committed by disposing of the goods covered thereby and failing to deliver the proceeds of such sale. This act constitutes violation Art. 315 (1)
(b) of the Revised Penal Code.

Article III (21) of the New Constitution reads: "No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act."

The first sentence sets forth the general rule: the constitutional protection against double jeopardy is not available where the second prosecution is for an offense that is different from the offense charged in the first or prior prosecution, although both the first and second offenses may be based upon the same act or set of acts. The second sentence embodies an exception to the general proposition: the constitutional protection, against double jeopardy is available although the prior offense charged under an ordinance be different from the offense charged subsequently under a national statute such as the Revised Penal Code, provided that both offenses spring from the same act or set of acts.

Double jeopardy exists when the following requisites are present:

a. a first jeopardy attached prior to the second;
b. the first jeopardy has been validly terminated; and
c. a second jeopardy is for the same offense as in the first.

A first jeopardy attaches only:

a. after a valid indictment;
b. before a competent court;
c. after arraignment;
d. when a valid plea has been entered; and
e. when the accused has been acquitted or convicted, or the case dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent (Cerezo v. People, G.R. No. 185230, June 1, 2011).

Geralde’s invocation of double jeopardy is improper. Although the two crimes may have arisen from the same set of facts, they are not identical offenses as would make applicable the rule on double jeopardy. The gravamen of the offense of the abduction of a woman with her own consent, who is still under the control of her parents or guardians is "the alarm and perturbance to the parents and family" of the abducted person, and the infringement of the rights of the parent or guardian. In cases of seduction, the gravamen of the offense is the wrong done the young woman who is seduced.

Moreover, Virginia's filing of a subsequent case against the accused belies his allegation that she has waived or is estopped from filing the second charge against him. Neither could she be deemed to have pardoned him, for the rules require that in cases of seduction, abduction, rape and acts of lasciviousness, pardon by the offended party, to be effective, must be expressly given (Rule 110, Sec. 4 of the Rules of Court, Ruled 110, Sec. 5 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure). Moreover the length of time it took her to file the second case is of no moment considering that she filed it within the ten (10)-year prescriptive period (Art. 90, RPC; Perez v. CA, G.R. No. L-80838, November 29, 1988).

NO,  the reversal of the trial court’s assailed dismissal of the case would not place the accused in double jeopardy. While generally, dismissal of cases on the ground of failure to prosecute predicated on the clear right of the accused to speedy trial is equivalent to an acquittal that would bar further prosecution of the accused for the same offense, the same rule is not applicable in this case considering that the right of the accused to speedy trial has not been violated by the State. For this reason, Pablo cannot invoke his right against double jeopardy (People v. Tampal, G.R. No. 102485, May 22, 1995).

YES, there was double jeopardy. The constitutional protection against double jeopardy is available so long as the acts which constitute or have given rise to the first offense under a municipal ordinance are the same acts which constitute or have given rise to the offense charged under a statute. In this case, the same act is involved in the two cases. The reckless imprudence which resulted in physical injuries arose from the same act of driving under the influence of liquor. The fact that the two charges sprung from one and the same act of conviction or acquittal under either the law or the ordinance shall bar a prosecution under the other thus making it against the logic of double jeopardy.