Madrinian v. Domingo (G.R. No. 232845. August 14, 2017)


CASE DIGEST: [G.R. No. 232845, August 14, 2017]. MICHELLE MADRINIAN, A DETENTION PRISONER, JOINED BY HER FATHER, VICENTE MADRINIAN VS. HON. LORNA NAVARRO DOMINGO, PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 201, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, LAS PIHAS CITY, THE JAIL WARDEN, LAS PIÑAS CITY JAIL, APRIL NERY Y AGUILAR, AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

FACTS: The RTC denied petitioner Michelle Madrinian's motion for the deferment of her arraignment in the criminal case for qualified theft lodged against her by April Nery Aguilar.

HELD: The Supreme Court DENIED the petition.

Section 4, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court provides that the remedy of certiorari is available within sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order, or resolution that was allegedly issued in grave abuse of discretion. In the instant recourse, petitioner failed to state the material dates that could have proven compliance with this procedural requirement.

Noteworthy is that no written copies of the motion for deferment of arraignment and of the questioned Order were attached to the petition because the motion was allegedly orally made and the Order was allegedly given in open court. Be that as it may, this does not excuse petitioner from at least stating precisely when the motion hearing was held and when the Order was issued. Without this material date, the Court is left at a quandary on when to reckon the sixty-day reglementary period provided under the rules.

Moreover, petitioners' immediate resort to the Supreme Court is violative of the doctrine on hierarchy of courts. The principle provides that the concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, shared as it is by the Court with the Regional Trial Court and Court of Appeals, does not grant parties unrestrained freedom in choosing the forum to which the application for the writ will be directed. Rather, petitions for the issuance of extraordinary writs against first level courts should be filed with the Regional Trial Court, and those against the latter, with the Court of Appeals.

A direct invocation of the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari should be allowed only when there are special and important reasons therefor, clearly and specifically set out in the petition. However, none of the recognized exceptions obtains in this case.

In any event, the petition is not impressed with merit.Petitioners claim that they are entitled to the relief prayed for on the ground that the case "is replete with illegalities and irregularities, from petitioner's arrest, inquest and subsequent detention." The bareness of this allegation, severely lacking as it were in specifics, effectively contradicts its very content. And if, indeed, there were certain legal formalities that were not observed in the conduct of the investigation, the proper remedy is not to file a petition for certiorari before this Court but to file a motion to quash against the information for qualified theft. A petition for review before the Secretary of Justice questioning the determination of probable cause by the City Prosecutor of Las Pinas could have likewise been availed of.

There were then plain, speedy, adequate remedies available to the accused which she had foregone. Without offering any acceptable explanation on why these remedies were not earlier sought, the accused is precluded from coming to the Court to seek the issuance of the extraordinary writ of certiorari. The dismissal of the petition is, therefore, warranted for violation of Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

[1] Section A. When and where petition filed. — The petition shall be filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the sixty (60) day period shall be counted from notice of the denial of said motion

[2] Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Associations, Inc. (CREBA) v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, G.R. No. 183409, June 18, 2010, 621 SCRA 295, 310.

[3] The Diocese of Bacolod v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 205728, January 21, 2015, 747 SCRA1.

[4] Section 1. Petition for certiorari. — When any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.

Popular Posts