People v. Tan
Dante Tan was charged of two Informations for violation of Revised Securities Act. Respondent pleaded not guilty to both charges and the trial ensued. On November 24, 2003, petitioner made its formal offer of evidence. The RTC issued an Order admitting some exhibits. In the meantime, on December 18, 2003, respondent filed an Omnibus Motion for Leave to File Demurrer to Evidence and to admit the attached Demurrer to Evidence which was granted by the Court. The RTC also ordered petitioner to file an opposition. Petitioner filed its Opposition to the Demurrer to Evidence. Respondent then filed a Reply. On March 16, 2004, the RTC issued an Order granting respondent’s Demurrer to Evidence. Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari before the CA; however, denied on the ground that the grant of a Demurrer to Evidence is one on the merits and operates as an acquittal, for which reason, the prosecution cannot appeal therefrom as it would place the accused in double jeopardy.
Whether or not the dismissal of the RTC by the grant of a Demurrer to Evidence operates as an acquittal.
Yes. The demurrer to evidence is "filed after the prosecution had rested its case," and when the same is granted, it calls "for an appreciation of the evidence adduced by the prosecution and its sufficiency to warrant conviction beyond reasonable doubt, resulting in a dismissal of the case on the merits, tantamount to an acquittal of the accused." Such dismissal of a criminal case by the grant of demurrer to evidence may not be appealed, for to do so would be to place the accused in double jeopardy. The verdict being one of acquittal, the case ends there. In this case, it is clear that the RTC never prevented petitioner from presenting its case. Petitioner was given the opportunity to present its case, formally offer its evidence and oppose respondent’s demurrer. It even bears to point out that the RTC even allowed petitioner to withdraw its formal offer of evidence after having initially rested its case and then continue its presentation by introducing additional witnesses. The grant of a demurrer to evidence operates as an acquittal and is, thus, final and unappealable.