Consti-II-W-X.docx - W. Double jeopardy PEOPLE VS. RELOVA...

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W. Double jeopardyPEOPLE VS. RELOVA[149 SCRA 292; G.R. NO.L-45129; 6 MAR 1987]FACTS: In this petition for certiorari and mandamus, People of the Philippines seeks to set aside theorders of Respondent Judge Hon. Relova quashing an information for theft filed against Mr. Opulencia onthe ground of double jeopardy and denying the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. On Feb.1 1975,Batangas police together with personnel of Batangas Electric Light System, equipped with a searchwarrant issued by a city judge of Batangas to search and examine the premises of the Opulencia CarpenaIce Plant owned by one Manuel Opulencia. They discovered electric wiring devices have been installedwithout authority from the city government and architecturally concealed inside the walls of thebuilding. Said devices are designed purposely to lower or decrease the readings of electric currentconsumption in the plant’s electric meter. The case was dismissed on the ground of prescription for thecomplaint was filed nine months prior to discovery when it should be 2months prior to discovery thatthe act being a light felony and prescribed the right to file in court. On Nov 24, 1975, another case wasfiled against Mr. Opulencia by the Assistant City Fiscal of Batangas for a violation of a Batangas Ordinanceregarding unauthorized electrical installations with resulting damage and prejudice to City of Batangas inthe amount of P41,062.16. Before arraignment, Opulencia filed a motion to quash on the ground ofdouble jeopardy. The Assistant fiscal’s claim is that it is not double jeopardy because the first offensecharged against the accused was unauthorized installation of electrical devices without the approval andnecessary authority from the City Government which was punishable by an ordinance, where in the casewas dismissed, as opposed to the second offense which is theft of electricity which is punishable by theRevised Penal Code making it a different crime charged against the 1st complaint against Mr.Opulencia.Issue:Whether or Not the accused Mr. Opulencia can invoke double jeopardy as defense to the secondoffense charged against him by the assistant fiscal of Batangas on the ground of theft of electricitypunishable by a statute against the Revised Penal Code.Held:Yes, Mr. Opulencia can invoke double jeopardy as defense for the second offense because astediously explained in the case of Yap vs Lutero, the bill of rights give two instances or kinds of doublejeopardy. The first would be that “No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the sameoffense and the second sentence states that “If an act is punishable by a law or an ordinance, theconviction or acquittal shall bar to another prosecution for the same act”. In the case at bar, it was veryevident that the charges filed against Mr. Opulencia will fall on the 2nd kind or definition of doublejeopardy wherein it contemplates double jeopardy of punishment for the same act. It further explains

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Term
Fall
Professor
Atty. Zamora
Tags
Supreme Court of the United States, Appellate court, Ex post facto law

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