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Go vs. Looyuko Case Digest


The matter of deciding who to present as a witness for the prosecution is not for the defendant or the trial court to decide, as it is the prerogative of the prosecutor.


Facts: 

Go filed a criminal case for  estafa against  Looyuko, alleging that the latter misappropriated the stock certificates belonging to him by causing the transfer of the aforementioned stock certificates to Looyuko’s name after receiving the same in trust from Go. Suring the pendency of the criminal case, the prosecution on behalf of Go, wanted to present certain witnesses to strengthen the case of the prosecution. However, the trial court felt no need for the testimonies of the aforementioned witnesses. This prompted Go to file a petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 alleging that the trial court committed grave  abuse  of  discretion  amount  to  lack  or  excess  in  jurisdiction  by  not allowing  the prosecution’s witnesses to testify for their case.


Issue:

Did the trial court gravely abused its discretion in disallowing the prosecution’s witnesses to testify?


Held:

Yes. The matter of deciding who to present as a witness for the prosecution is not for the defendant or the trial court to decide, as it is the prerogative of the prosecutor. It cannot be overemphasized that the trial court must accord full opportunity for the prosecution, more so in criminal cases, to adduce evidence to prove its case and to properly ventilate the issues absent patent showing of dilatory or delaying tactics. The reason is obvious: it is tasked to produce and adduce evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Sans such evidence, a dismissal of the criminal case on a demurrer to the evidence is proper. In the case at bar, there was no showing that the presentation of the three (3) witnesses previously approved by the trial court would be dilatory and manifestly for delay.

First, the testimonies of of  the  witnesses would bolster and tend to prove whatever fact the prosecution is trying to establish. Second, the superfluity of a testimony vis-a-vis what has already been proven can be determined with certainty only after it has been adduced. (Go vs. Looyuko, G.R. No. 147923, October 26, 2007)

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