2014 (Remedial Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 1

[Answer / discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Remedial Law Instructions; 2014 Remedial Law essay and multiple choice Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

I.

Ludong, Balatong, and Labong were charged with murder. After trial, the court announced that the case was considered submitted for decision. Subsequently, the Clerk of Court issued the notices of promulgation of judgment which were duly received. On promulgation day, Ludong and his lawyer appeared. The lawyers of Balatong and Labong appeared but without their clients and failed to satisfactorily explain their absence when queried by the court. Thus, the judge ordered the Clerk of Court to proceed with the reading of the judgment convicting all the accused. With respect to Balatong and Labong, the judge ordered that the judgment be entered in the criminal docket and copies be furnished their lawyers. The lawyers of Ludong, Balatong, and Labong filed within the reglementary period a Joint Motion for Reconsideration. The court favorably granted the motion of Ludong downgrading his conviction from murder to homicide but denied the motion as regards Balatong and Labong. (4%)

(A) Was the court correct in taking cognizance of the Joint Motion for Reconsideration?

(B) Can Balatong and Labong appeal their conviction in case Ludong accepts his conviction for homicide?