Unsatisfied Ligaya filed a motion for reconsideration The Court finally

Unsatisfied ligaya filed a motion for reconsideration

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September 1, 2004. Unsatisfied, Ligaya filed a motion for reconsideration. The Court finally resolved petitioners’ motion for reconsideration, holding that the RTC, Branch 258, must make an independent evaluation of the records before allowing the withdrawal of the Informations against petitioners. This impelled Ligaya to file before the RTC, Branch 257, an Urgent Motion to Resolve Anew and on the Merits Previous Motion to Withdraw Criminal Informations Pursuant to the DOJ Finding on Lack of Probable Cause. On September 30, 2005, the RTC issued an Order 14 dismissing the case for murder, ratiocinating that no probable cause existed to indict them for their crime. Consequently, it lifted the warrants for their arrests and ordered their immediate release from detention. Upon appeal by the respondent, the CA granted the petition. In disregarding the evidence presented by the prosecution, the CA declared that, indeed, the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion. Issue: whether a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is the correct remedy in assailing the RTC decision allowing the withdrawal of the Informations and consequently dismissing the case for lack of probable cause? Whether or not the the CA erred in finding that there is probable cause in the case? Held: No. It bears stressing that the Order of the RTC, granting the motion of the prosecution to withdraw the Informations and ordering the case dismissed, is final because it disposed of the case and terminated the proceedings therein, leaving nothing to be done by the court. Thus, the proper remedy is appeal. Yes. The task of the Presiding Judge when an Information is filed with the court is first and foremost to determine the existence or non-existence of probable cause for the arrest of the accused. Probable cause is such set of facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that the offense charged in the Information or any offense included therein has been committed by the person sought to be arrested. In determining probable cause, the average man weighs the facts and circumstances without resorting to the calibrations of the rules of evidence of which he has no technical knowledge. He relies on common sense. A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that, more likely than not, a crime has been
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committed and that it was committed by the accused. Probable cause demands more than suspicion; it requires less than evidence that would justify conviction. Moreover, when confronted with a motion to withdraw an Information on the ground of lack of probable cause based on a resolution of the DOJ Secretary, the bounden duty of the trial court is to make an independent assessment of the merits of such motion.
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