Page 12 RULE 112 SEC 3 The trial court is not bound to adopt the resolution of

Page 12 rule 112 sec 3 the trial court is not bound

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[RULE 112, SEC. 3] The trial court is not bound to adopt the resolution of the Secretary of Justice to withdraw the informations for lack of probable cause since it is mandated to independently evaluate or assess the merits of the case; in the exercise of its discretion, it may agree or disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice. SR. REMY ANGELA JUNIO, ET AL. VS. JUDGE MARIVIC A. CACATIANBELTRAN January 13, 2014 A.M. No. RTJ-14-2367 BRION, J. FACTS: Claire Ann Campos, a 17-year old student, filed an affidavit complaint for violation of Republic Act No. 7610 (the Child Abuse Law) and R.A. No. 7277 (the Magna Carta for the Disabled) before the Tuguegarao City Prosecution Office against Sr. Remy Angela Junio and Dr. Josephine D. Lorica, the President and the Dean of the School of Health Services, respectively, of St. Paul University of the Philippines (SPUP). Claire alleged that she was refused enrolment by SPUP for the B.S. Nursing course in her sophomore year because of her cleft palate; she alleged that the refusal was made despite her completion of SPUP’s College Freshmen Program Curriculum. The prosecutor’s office in its resolution found probable cause to indict Junio and Lorica of the crimes charged, and recommended the filing of the corresponding informations against them. Junio and Lorica appealed the resolution of the prosecutor’s office, but Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar of the Department of Justice ( DOJ ) denied their petition for review. Afterward, DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima granted Junio and Lorica’s motion for reconsideration and set aside the resolution of Undersecretary Salazar. Accordingly, in her resolution dated August 8, 2011, she directed the Cagayan Provincial Prosecutor to immediately cause the withdrawal of the informations for violations of R.A. Nos. 7610 and 7277 against Junio and Lorica for lack of probable cause. Subsequently, the prosecutor’s office still filed two informations against Junio and Lorica for violations of Section 10(a), Article VI, in relation with Article 3(a) and (b) of R.A. No. 7610, and Section 12 of R.A. No. 7277 before the Regional Trial Court ( RTC ) in Tuguegarao City presided by Judge Marivic A. Cacatian-Beltran. This prompted the accused to file a joint motion to withdraw informations in view of Secretary De Lima’s resolution. They also filed an administrative complaint before the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) alleging that Judge Beltran "arrogated unto herself the role of a prosecutor and a judge" when she insisted that they stand for trial although she did not find any grave abuse of discretion on the part of Justice Secretary De Lima. Page | 13
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ISSUE: (1) Whether the respondent arbitrarily denied the joint motion to withdraw informations. (2) Whether the respondent arrogated unto herself the role of a prosecutor and a judge.
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