their determination of probable cause “has not measured up to the standard”, she encroached upon the exclusive functions of the prosecutors. Pemberton vs De Lima, G.R. No. 217508, April 18, 2016 - REHNE FACTS: A complaint for murder was filed by the Philippine National Police - Olongapo City Police Office and private respondent Marilou Laude y Serdoncillo against petitioner Joseph Scott Pemberton. On October 17, 2014, Pemberton received a Subpoena issued by the City Prosecutor of Olongapo City. Laude filed an Omnibus Motion directing Pemberton to present himself, and the PNP Crime Laboratory to subject Pemberton to forensic examination and analysis, including DNA testing. Pemberton opposed this in his Opposition dated October 27, 2014. During the preliminary investigation on the same day, the City Prosecutor stated that Pemberton’s right to file a counter-affidavit was deemed waived. The City Prosecutor continued to evaluate the evidence and conducted ocular inspections. Through the Resolution dated December 15, 2014 , it found probable cause against Pemberton for the crime of murder. An Information for murder was then filed before the RTC of Olongapo City. On December 18, 2014 , Pemberton filed his Petition for Review before the Department of Justice. In the Resolution dated January 27, 2015, Secretary De Lima denied Pemberton’s Petition for Review and stated that based on the evidence on record, there was no reason to alter, modify, or reverse the resolution of the City Prosecutor. His Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied. Thus , Pemberton directly resorted to the Court for a Petition for Certiorari with application for the ex-parte issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Pemberton argues that De Lima committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or absence of jurisdiction in sustaining the finding of probable cause against him, thereby denying him due process of law .. Secretary De Lima countered that the Petition is procedurally infirm in that in directly filing before the Court, and not to the Court of Appeals, Pemberton violated the principle of hierarchy of courts . ISSUE: Procedural: Whether or not petitioner violated the principle of hierarchy of courts by filing his petition before the Court instead of the Court of Appeals. Substantive: Whether or not respondent Secretary De Lima committed grave abuse of discretion in sustaining the finding of probable cause against petitioner, thereby denying him due process of law. HELD: Yes. Petitioner violated the principle of hierarchy of courts by filing his petition before the Court instead of the Court of Appeals. In The Diocese of Bacolod v. Commission on Elections citing Banez, Jr. v. Concepcion, the Court stated that they “may act on petitions for the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus only when absolutely necessary or when serious and important reasons exist to justify an exception to the policy.” A direct invocation of the Court’s original jurisdiction to issue these writs should be
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