Supreme Court Resolutions


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 2010 > January 2010 Resolutions > [A.M. No. 10-1-06-RTC : January 12, 2010] RE: PETITION FOR CHANGE OF TRIAL VENUE OF CRIMINAL CASE NO. SA-198, PEOPLE V. DATA ANDAL AMPATUAN, SR., ET AL. FOR REBELLION FROM THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF COTABATO CITY TO THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF QUEZON CITY.:




EN BANC

[A.M. No. 10-1-06-RTC : January 12, 2010]

RE: PETITION FOR CHANGE OF TRIAL VENUE OF CRIMINAL CASE NO. SA-198, PEOPLE V. DATA ANDAL AMPATUAN, SR., ET AL. FOR REBELLION FROM THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF COTABATO CITY TO THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF QUEZON CITY.

Sirs/Mesdames:

Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the Court En Banc dated January 12, 2010

"A.M. No. 10-1-06-RTC (Re: Petition for Change of Trial Venue of Criminal Case No. SA-198, People v. Data Andal Ampatuan, Sr., et al. for Rebellion from the Regional Trial Court of Cotabato City to the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.)

For consideration of the Court are the following:

1. Letter dated December 23, 2009 of Acting Secretary Agnes VST Devanadera, Department of Justice, requesting for transfer of venue of Criminal Case No. SA-198, entitled "People of the Philippines v. Data Andal Ampatuan, Sr., et al.," for rebellion from the Regional Trial Court of Cotabato City to the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, citing the following as grounds therefor:
a. The  events  occurring   in  the aftermath  of the  Maguindanao Massacre reinforce the notion that the Philippines is now the most dangerous place for journalists;

b. This is considered by media organizations as a flagship case because of the interest it has generated in the local and international press due to the perceived clout of the suspects who belong to very influential and powerful political clans that virtually rule Maguindanao as its fiefdom;

c. Although a panel of prosecutors composed of city, provincial and state prosecutors has been formed to prosecute this case, witnesses remain reluctant to fully disclose what they know if the case will be tried in the very heart of the accused's territory; and

d. These factors do not instill confidence in the mind of potential witnesses, court  personnel  and complainants that their security  will  not  be compromised if trial is held in Maguindanao.
2. Letter dated January 4, 2010 of Atty. Philip Sigfrid A. Fortun of Fortun Narvasa & Salazar Law Offices, counsel for the accused, opposing the request for change of venue arguing that it will be practical and protective of the accused's right to due process if venue be maintained in Mindanao for accessibility to the courts and convenience to those charged. He thus requests that venue be maintained in Cotabato City or any other appropriate place in Mindanao, such as Davao City or General Santos City. Paragraph 4, Section 5, Article VIII of the Constitution provides that the Court may order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a miscarriage of justice.

The purpose of the provision is to ferret out the truth from the opposing claims of the parties in a controversy by means of a fair and impartial inquiry. Consequently, where there are serious and weighty reasons present that would prevent the court of original jurisdiction from conducting a fair and impartial trial, this Court has been mandated to order a change of venue so as to prevent a miscarriage of justice.[1] Among the reasons sufficient to justify a change of venue is the reluctance of witnesses to testify-out of fear for their personal security. Corrolarily, a hostile sentiment against the accused at the place of the trial, giving rise to the possibility that his life could be placed in clanger, is sufficient and justifiable cause to order a change of venue of the trial.[2]

In view of the foregoing considerations and the proximity of Camp Crame to the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, the Court deems it best that the hearing of the case be lodged before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City provided that the proceedings be conducted in an appropriate place in Camp Crame, with adequate equipment and facilities sufficient to accommodate the court personnel, counsels of the parties and the parties and witnesses to ensure the safety and security of the Presiding judge, the court personnel and the parties and their counsels and witnesses.

CONSIDERING THE FOREGOING, the Court RESOLVES to:
1. NOTE and GRANT the Letter dated December 23, 2009 of Acting Secretary Agnes VST Devanadera, Department of Justice;

2. NOTE the Letter dated January 4, 2010 of Atty. Philip Sigfrid A. Fortun of Fortun Narvasa & Salazar Law - Offices, counsel for the accused;

3. DIRECT the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Cotabato City to IMMEDIATELY FORWARD the records of the case to the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City;

4. DIRECT the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City to IMMEDIATELY RAFFLE the case to a branch thereat and COORDINATE with the authorities of Camp Crame for the proper conduct of trial in an appropriate place in Camp Crame sufficient to accommodate the court personnel, counsels of the parties, the parties and then-witnesses; and

5. DIRECT the judge to whom the case is raffled to try and hear Criminal Case No. SA-198 with dispatch; and

6. DIRECT the Office of the Court Administrator to ensure the proper implementation of this Resolution."
Very truly yours,

(Sgd.) MA. LUISA D. VILLARAMA
Clerk of Court

Endnotes:


[1] Mondiguing v. Abaci, G.R. No. 4131 3. November 6, 1975,68 SCRA 14.

[2] People v. Pilotin, G.R. Nos. 35377-78, July 31, 1975, 65 SCRA 635.



Back to Home | Back to Main


ClubJuris.Com



January-2010 Jurisprudence                 

  • [G.R. No. 166679 : January 27, 2010] TAGAYTAY CITY, REPRESENTED BY ITS HONORABLE MAYOR, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES ERNESTO DE LOS REYES AND MILAGROS DE LOS REYES, RESPONDENTS.

  • Name[G.R. No. 171450 : January 25, 2010] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE V. FERDILINA MANUEL, ACCUSED-APPELLANT

  • [G.R. No. 190470 : January 25, 2010] MARIA TANYA ROSE B. CRESPO V. ALFRED JOSEPH R. CAMPAÑER

  • [G.R. No. 185256 : January 20, 2010] JOSE JOTA FOR HIMSELF AND AS REPRESENTATIVE OF EMMA JOTA, PETITIONERS, VS. LEONIDA M. GARCIA AND ALEX GARCIA, RESPONDENTS

  • [G.R. No. 189463 : January 20, 2010] EDWIN FERRER Y PAED AND FRANKLIN CASTRO Y QUILANG VERSUS PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

  • [G.R. No. 188109 : January 20, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VERSUS ALLAN ESTRELLA SELUDO ALIAS "BUKNOY".

  • [G.R. No. 188807 : January 18, 2010] JUDGE VICENTE S. PULIDO, PETITIONER VS. HI-WOOD AGRI-INDUSTRIES, INC. AND ENGR. LEONARDO P. DIMACULANGAN, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 170364 : January 13, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. JONIE DELA CRUZ @ JONJON

  • [G.R. No. 165543 : January 13, 2010] DAVID RONDERO Y OZAETA, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189736 : January 13, 2010] SPS. LORNA VILLAROSA AND ANDREW VILLAROSA V. SPS. LAWRENCE MCAFFERIY AND BENILDA MCAFFERTY

  • [G.R. No. 186153 : January 13, 2010] PREMIER CREATIVE PACKING, INC. AND ESTHER DE LEON, PETITIONERS, VS. PHILIPPINE LABOR ALLIANCE COUNCIL, LOCAL 438 PREMIER CREATIVE CHAPTER, REPRESENTED BY VIRGILIO TOMAS, IN HIS CAPACITY AS UNION PRESIDENT, RESPONDENT

  • [G.R. No. 177964 : January 13, 2010] HERCULES P. GUZMAN V. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • [A.M. No. 10-1-06-RTC : January 12, 2010] RE: PETITION FOR CHANGE OF TRIAL VENUE OF CRIMINAL CASE NO. SA-198, PEOPLE V. DATA ANDAL AMPATUAN, SR., ET AL. FOR REBELLION FROM THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF COTABATO CITY TO THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF QUEZON CITY.

  • [G.R. No. 190529 : January 12, 2010] PHILIPPINE GUARDIANS BROTHERHOOD, INC., (PGBI) REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY-GENERAL GEORGE "FGBF GEORGE" DULDULAO V. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.

  • [G.R. No. 183283 : January 12, 2010] JESUS GERMODO V. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS FIRST DIVISION, MANAGER OF THE ELECTORAL CONTESTS ADJUDICATION DEPARTMENT. COMELEC, AND GERRY ZAMORA

  • [G.R. No. 174070 : January 12, 2010] REXLON GATCHALIAN, PETITIONER, V. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL AND JOSE EMMANUEL CARLOS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 175888 : January 12, 2010] SUZETTE NICOLAS Y SORNBILON VS. ALBERTO RORNULO, ET AL); G.R. NO. 176051 (JOVITO R. SALONGA, ET AL. VS. DANIEL SMITH, ET AL); AND G.R. NO. 176222 (BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN, ET AL. VS. PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, ET AL.

  • [A.M. No. 08-6-352-RTC : January 12, 2010] QUERY OF ATTY. KAREN M. SILVERIO-BUFFE, FORMER CLERK OF COURT - BRANCH 81, ROMBLON, ROMBLON ON THE PROHIBITION FROM ENGAGING IN THE PRIVATE PRACTICE OF LAW

  • [G.R. No. 180741 : January 11, 2010] JEREMIAS I. DOLINO V. BENJAMIN R. VILLANUEVA

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-09-1747 [formerly OCA IPI No. 08-2009-MTJ] : January 11, 2010] DIEGO V. CUEVAS V, HON. AZNAR D. LINDAYAG, ASSISTING JUDGE, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, BULACAN

  • [G.R. No. 172469 : January 11, 2010] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE VERSUS WALTER ED BACCAY Y POVADORA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT

  • [G.R. No. 181091 : January 11, 2010] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES V. RAFAEL M. CONCEPCION

  • [G.R. No. 188131 : January 11, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. CUSTODIO ROXAS Y CALLES

  • [A.C. No. 8352 : January 11, 2010] NOEL CRUZ BAYONA V. ATTY. EVANGELINE MENDOZA FRANCISCO

  • [G.R. No. 161736 : February 24, 2010] FIDELA B. MARABE, PETITIONER, V. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM AND CLARA VELIGANIO, RESPONDENTS.