People of the Philippines vs Dionisio Mabong

December 6, 2017
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100 Phil. 1069 – Criminal Law – Crimes Against the Fundamental Law of the State– Article 125 – Delay in the Delivery of Detained Persons to the Proper Judicial Authorities – 12-18-36 Rule

On 20 May 1955, Dionisio Mabong was arrested without warrant for stabbing two persons. Mabong was arrested by Police Officer Rufo Verano. Mabong was detained thereafter. On 23 May 1955, Mabong was  charged with two counts of murder as his victims died.  Later, Mabong filed a motion to quash the informations on the ground that they were filed beyond the prescribed period.

ISSUE: Whether or not the informations for murder should be quashed.

HELD: No. In the first place, the filing of an information beyond the period prescribed by the law is not one of the grounds enumerated for the quashal of an information.

Second, the late filing of the informations does not make the criminal proceeding against Mabong invalid. It however renders the public officer concerned liable under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code which provides:

Art. 125. Delay in the delivery of detained persons to the proper judicial authorities. The penalties privided in the next preceeding article shall be imposed upon the public officer or employee who shall detain any person for some legal ground and shall fail to deliver such person to the proper judicial authorities within the period of six hours, for crimes or offenses punishable by light penalties, or their equivalent; nine hours, for crimes or offenses punishable by correccional penalties, or their equivalent; and eighteen hours, for crimes or offenses punishable by afflictive or capital penalties, or their equivalent. (NOTE this was amended into the 12-18-36 Rule by E.O. Nos. 59 and 272, Nov. 7, 1986 and July 25, 1987, respectively)

In this case, Mabong should have been criminally charged through a written information/s filed in court (brought to the proper judicial authorities) within eighteen (18) hours from the time of his arrest (NOTE: it was known as the 6-9-18 Rule then). However, he was only criminally charged three (3) days after arrest or well beyond the prescribed 18 hours. As ruled by the Supreme Court, no practical good will come out of quashing the information presented and setting Mabong free because that will only mean a complaint will have to be filed anew against Mabong, that the judge would issue a warrant for his arrest and start all over again with the case.

 

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