Torres v. People (G.R. No. 228566. August 09, 2017)


JORGE TORRES Y GOMEZ VERSUS PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE-ANTI-ILLEGAL DRUGS SPECIAL OPERATIONS TASK FORCE (PNP-AIDSOTF), REPRESENTED BY SPO1 JERRY BARIT. [ G.R. No. 228566, August 09, 2017 ].

The appellate court committed no error in affirming the Order of the trial court finding probable cause against petitioner for the offenses charged. The issuance by the trial court of the warrant of arrest upon filing of the information and supporting papers implies the determination of probable cause for the offense charged. It is then superfluous for the accused to seek the judicial determination of probable cause on the pretext that the trial court should still act and proceed independently of the executive determination of probable cause to charge the proper offense.

Anent petitioner's claim that he was denied due process, records show that he was sent subpoenas to his two addresses. The Rules on Criminal Procedure do not require as a condition sine qua non to the validity of the proceedings in the preliminary investigation the presence of the accused for as long as efforts to reach him were made, and an opportunity to controvert the evidence of the complainant is accorded him. Otherwise, respondents could easily invalidate the proceedings by deliberately failing to attend the preliminary investigation.

[1] Balindong v. Court of Appeals, 111 Phil. 456,458 and 470 (2015).
[2] Mercado v. CA, 315 Phil. 657, 662 (1995).

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