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Criminal Procedure: Rule 110 - Prosecution of Offenses


RULE 110
Prosecution of Offenses

Section 1. Institution of criminal actions. — Criminal actions shall be instituted as follows:

(a) For offenses where a preliminary investigation is required pursuant to section 1 of Rule 112, by filing the complaint with the proper officer for the purpose of conducting the requisite preliminary investigation.

(b) For all other offenses, by filing the complaint or information directly with the Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, or the complaint with the office of the prosecutor. In Manila and other chartered cities, the complaint shall be filed with the office of the prosecutor unless otherwise provided in their charters.

The institution of the criminal action shall interrupt the running period of prescription of the offense charged unless otherwise provided in special laws. (1a)

Section 2. The Complaint or information. — The complaint or information shall be in writing, in the name of the People of the Philippines and against all persons who appear to be responsible for the offense involved. (2a)

Section 3. Complaint defined. — A complaint is a sworn written statement charging a person with an offense, subscribed by the offended party, any peace officer, or other public officer charged with the enforcement of the law violated. (3)

Section 4. Information defined. — An information is an accusation in writing charging a person with an offense, subscribed by the prosecutor and filed with the court. (4a)

Section 5. Who must prosecute criminal actions. — All criminal actions commenced by a complaint or information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the prosecutor. However, in Municipal Trial Courts or Municipal Circuit Trial Courts when the prosecutor assigned thereto or to the case is not available, the offended party, any peace officer, or public officer charged with the enforcement of the law violated may prosecute the case. This authority cease upon actual intervention of the prosecutor or upon elevation of the case to the Regional Trial Court.       (This Section was repealed by A.M. No. 02-2-07-SC effective May 1, 2002)

The crimes of adultery and concubinage shall not be prosecuted except upon a complaint filed by the offended spouse. The offended party cannot institute criminal prosecution without including the guilty parties, if both alive, nor, in any case, if the offended party has consented to the offense or pardoned the offenders.

The offenses of seduction, abduction and acts of lasciviousness shall not be prosecuted except upon a complaint filed by the offended party or her parents, grandparents or guardian, nor, in any case, if the offender has been expressly pardoned by any of them. If the offended party dies or becomes incapacitated before she can file the complaint, and she has no known parents, grandparents or guardian, the State shall initiate the criminal action in her behalf.

The offended party, even if a minor, has the right to initiate the prosecution of the offenses of seduction, abduction and acts of lasciviousness independently of her parents, grandparents, or guardian, unless she is incompetent or incapable of doing so. Where the offended party, who is a minor, fails to file the complaint, her parents, grandparents, or guardian may file the same. The right to file the action granted to parents, grandparents or guardian shall be exclusive of all other persons and shall be exercised successively in the order herein provided, except as stated in the preceding paragraph.

No criminal action for defamation which consists in the imputation of the offenses mentioned above shall be brought except at the instance of and upon complaint filed by the offended party. (5a)

The prosecution for violation of special laws shall be governed by the provisions thereof. (n)

Section 6. Sufficiency of complaint or information. — A complaint or information is sufficient if it states 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 date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the offense was committed.

When an offense is committed by more than one person, all of them shall be included in the complaint or information. (6a)

Section 7. Name of the accused. — The complaint or information must state the name and surname of the accused or any appellation or nickname by which he has been or is known. If his name cannot be ascertained, he must be described under a fictitious name with a statement that his true name is unknown.

If the true name of the accused is thereafter disclosed by him or appears in some other manner to the court, such true name shall be inserted in the complaint or information and record. (7a)

Section 8. Designation of the offense. — The complaint or information shall state the designation of the offense given by the statute, aver the acts or omissions constituting the offense, and specify its qualifying and aggravating circumstances. If there is no designation of the offense, reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the statute punishing it. (8a)

Section 9. Cause of the accusation. — The acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense and the qualifying and aggravating circumstances must be stated in ordinary and concise language and not necessarily in the language used in the statute but in terms sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is being charged as well as its qualifying and aggravating circumstances and for the court to pronounce judgment. (9a)

Section 10. Place of commission of the offense. — The complaint or information is sufficient if it can be understood from its allegations that the offense was committed or some of the essential ingredients occurred at some place within the jurisdiction of the court, unless the particular place where it was committed constitutes an essential element of the offense or is necessary for its identification. (10a)

Section 11. Date of commission of the offense. — It is not necessary to state in the complaint or information the precise date the offense was committed except when it is a material ingredient of the offense. The offense may be alleged to have been committed on a date as near as possible to the actual date of its commission. (11a)

Section 12. Name of the offended party. — The complaint or information must state the name and surname of the person against whom or against whose property the offense was committed, or any appellation or nickname by which such person has been or is known. If there is no better way of identifying him, he must be described under a fictitious name.

(a) In offenses against property, if the name of the offended party is unknown, the property must be described with such particularity as to properly identify the offense charged.

(b) If the true name of the of the person against whom or against whose properly the offense was committed is thereafter disclosed or ascertained, the court must cause the true name to be inserted in the complaint or information and the record.

(c) If the offended party is a juridical person, it is sufficient to state its name, or any name or designation by which it is known or by which it may be identified, without need of averring that it is a juridical person or that it is organized in accordance with law. (12a)

Section 13. Duplicity of the offense. — A complaint or information must charge but one offense, except when the law prescribes a single punishment for various offenses. (13a)

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)

Section 15. Place where action is to be instituted. —

(a) Subject to existing laws, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or territory where the offense was committed or where any of its essential ingredients occurred.

(b) Where an offense is committed in a train, aircraft, or other public or private vehicle while in the course of its trip, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of any municipality or territory where such train, aircraft or other vehicle passed during such its trip, including the place of its departure and arrival.

(c) Where an offense is committed on board a vessel in the course of its voyage, the criminal action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the first port of entry or of any municipality or territory where the vessel passed during such voyage, subject to the generally accepted principles of international law.

(d) Crimes committed outside the Philippines but punishable under Article 2 of the Revised Penal Code shall be cognizable by the court where the criminal action is first filed. (15a)

Section 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.

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