Soriano v People
591 SCRA 244
State Prosecutor Josefino Subia charged Soriano in the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, with violation of Section 83 of Republic Act 334 or the General Banking Act, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1795, or violation of the Director, Officer, Stockholder or Related Interest (DOSRI) rules.
An information for estafa thru falsification of commercial document was also filed against Soriano and Ilagan. The information was docketed as Criminal Case No. 1719-M-2000 and 1720-M-2000, respectively, and were raffled to Branch 14, presided by Judge Petrita Braga Dime.
Another information for violation of Section 83 of RA 337 was filed against Soriano, this time covering the P15 million loan obtained in the name of Rogelio Mañaol. Soriano and Ilagan were also indicted for estafa thru falsification of commercial document for obtaining said loan. The cases were docketed as 1980-M-2000 and 1981-M-2000, respectively, and were raffled to Branch 77, presided by Judge Aurora Santiago-Lagman.
Petitioners Soriano and Ilagan filed a Motion to Quash before both salas. Petitioners argued that the prosecutor charged more than one offense for a single act.
Both salas of RTC denied Motion to Quash. Petitioners filed a Rule 65 before the CA but it was dismissed. Petitioners filed Rule 45 before the Supreme Court.
Whether the two judges correctly denied the Motion to Quash.
Yes. Petitioners assail the validity of the information against them on the ground that more than one offense is charged. They point that Soriano was charged with violation of DOSRI Rules and with estafa thru falsification of commercial document for allegedly obtaining loans. Thus, they claim that the information were duplicitous. The found no merit in petitioner's argument that the violation of the DOSRI law and the commission of estafa thru falsification of commercial documents are inherently inconsistent with each other.
Indisputably, duplicity of offense in a single information is a ground to quash the information under the Rules of Criminal Procedure with states that a complaint or information must charge but one offense except only those cases in which existing laws prescribe a single punishment for various offenses.