2016 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 16

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2016 Political Law Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 1517, 18, 19, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

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Jojo filed a criminal complaint against Art for theft of a backpack worth P150.00 with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila. The crime is punishable with arresto mayor to prision correccional in its minimum period, or not to exceed 4 years and 2 months. The case was assigned to Prosecutor Tristan and he applied Sec. 8(a) of Rule 112 which reads: “(a) If filed with the prosecutor. – If the complaint is filed directly with the prosecutor involving an offense punishable by imprisonment of less than four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day, the procedure outlined in Sec. 3(a) of this Rule shall be observed. The Prosecutor shall act on the complaint within ten (10) days from its filing.”

On the other hand, Sec. 3(a) of Rule 112 provides: “(a) The complaint shall state the address of the respondent and shall be accompanied by affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses as well as other supporting documents to establish probable cause. x x x”

Since Sec. 8(a) authorizes the Prosecutor to decide the complaint on the basis of the affidavits and other supporting documents submitted by the complainant, Prosecutor Tristan did not notify Art nor require him to submit a counter-affidavit. He proceeded to file the Information against Art with the Metropolitan Trial Court. Art vehemently assails Sec. 8(a) ofRule 112 as unconstitutional and violative of due process and his rights as an accused under the Constitution for he was not informed of the complaint nor was he given the opportunity to raise his defenses thereto before the Information was filed. Rule on the constitutionality of Sec. 8(a) of Rule 112. Explain. (5%)

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