RULE 120 - JUDGMENT
Section 1. Judgment; definition and form. – Judgment is the adjudication by the court that the accused is guilty or not guilty of the offense charged and the imposition on him of the proper penalty and civil liability, if any. It must be written in the official language, personally and directly prepared by the judge and signed by him and shall contain clearly and distinctly a statement of the
facts and the law upon which it is based.
WHAT IS A JUDGMENT?
Adjudication by the court that the accused is guilty or not guilty of the offense charged and the imposition on him of the proper penalty and civil liability, if any
WHAT IS THE FORM REQUIRED FOR THE JUDGMENT?
1. It must be written in the official language
2. Personally and directly prepared by the judge
3. Signed by him
4. It shall contain clearly and distinctly a statement of the facts and the law upon which it is based.
Sec. 2. Contents of the judgment. – If the judgment is of conviction, it shall state (1) the legal qualification of the offense constituted by the acts committed by the accused and the aggravating or mitigating circumstances which attended its commission; (2) the participation of the accused in the offense, whether as principal, accomplice, or accessory after the fact; (3) the penalty imposed upon the accused; and (4) the civil liability or damages caused by his wrongful act or omission to be recovered from the accused by the offended party, if there is any, unless the enforcement of the civil liability by a separate civil action has been reserved or waived.
In case the judgment is of acquittal, it shall state whether the evidence of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In either case, the judgment shall determine if the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist.
IF THE JUDGE HAS VERY STRONG BELIEFS AGAINST THE IMPOSITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY, CAN HE REFUSE TO IMPOSE IT UPON AN ACCUSED WHO IS GUILTY OF AN OFFENSE PUNISHABLE WITH DEATH?
No, the judge must impose the proper penalty provided for by the law, even if he is against it.
If he refuses to do so, it is grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
WHAT ARE THE CONTENTS OF THE JUDGMENT?
1. If the judgment is of conviction, it shall state the following:
a. The legal qualification of the offense constituted by the acts committed by the accused and the aggravating and mitigating circumstances which attended the commission
b. The participation of the accused as principal, accomplice, or accessory
c. The penalty imposed upon the accused
d. The civil liability or damages, if any, unless the enforcement of the civil liability has been reserved or waived by the offended party.
2. If the judgment is of acquittal
a. Whether the evidence of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or merely failed to proved it beyond reasonable doubt
b. If the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise doesn’t exist
IS IT NECESSARY FOR THE VALIDITY OF THE JUDGMENT THAT THE DECISION BE PROMULGATED BY THE SAME JUDGE WHO HEARD THE CASE?
No, a judgment promulgated by a judge other than the one who heard the case is valid, provided that the judge who rendered the judgment relied on the records taken during the trial as basis for his decision
WHY SHOULD THE DECISION BE IN WRITING, SETTING FORTH THE FACTS AND THE LAW ON WHICH IT IS BASED?
The decision should be in writing to inform the parties the reason for the decision so that in case any of them appeals, such party can point out to the appellate court the findings of facts or the
rulings on point of law with which he disagrees
The written decision also becomes the basis of the appellate court to pass judgment upon
Finally, it will assure the parties the judge reached judgment by going through the process of legal reasoning
IS A VERBAL JUDGMENT VALID?
No, a verbal judgment is incomplete because it doesn’t contain findings of fact, and it is not signed by the judge
It may however be corrected by putting it in writing and in the prescribed form
When it is put in writing, it becomes a full blown judgment
IS AN ERRONEOUS JUDGMENT VALID?
Yes. An error in judgment will not invalidate a decision, so long as it conforms with the requirements of the law
IS IT VALID FOR A JUDGE TO RENDER A JUDGMENT WHICH IMPOSES A PENALTY THAT DOESN’T EXIST OR ONE THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FULFILL?
Such judgment is void
The error goes into the very essence of the penalty and doesn’t merely arise from the misapplication thereof
DOES THE JUDGE NEED TO DESIGNATE THE PARTICULAR PROVISION OF LAW VIOLATED?
If possible, he should
But if he fails to do so, the judgment is not void, as long as his conclusions are based on some provision of law
CAN THE JUDGE IMPOSE AN ALTERNATIVE PENALTY OF EITHER RECLUSION PERPETUA OR A FINE OF P10,000?
No, the judge cannot impose alternative penalties
The penalty imposed must be definite
When the judge imposes alternative penalties, giving the defendant the right to choose which to serve, he gives discretion belonging to the court to the accused
CAN THE JUDGE IMPOSE THE PENALTY OF RECLUSION PERPETUA AND A FINE OF P10,000?
Yes, because in this case, the penalty is definite
The difference here with the example above is the use of the word “and” instead of “or”
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF USING THE PROPER TERMINOLOGY IN THE IMPOSITION OF IMPRISONMENT PENALTIES?
The judge should use the proper terminology of the penalties since each penalty has its distinct accessory penalties and effects
DOES THE FAILURE TO USE THE PROPER TERMINOLOGY IN THE IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES RENDER THE JUDGMENT VOID?
No, this doesn’t go to the essence of the penalty itself
WHAT IS THE REMEDY OF THE OFFENDED PARTY IF THE JUDGMENT FAILS TO AWARD CIVIL LIABILITY?
The offended party can appeal (Rule 45—errors of judgment, findings of fact, and errors of law), file certiorari (Rule 65—jurisdiction), or file for mandamus
WHAT CONSTITUTES CIVIL LIABILITY ARISING FROM CRIME?
Civil liability arising from crime includes actual damages, moral damages, exemplary damages, and loss of earning capacity
WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF A JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL ON THE CIVIL ASPECT OF THE CASE?
It will not prevent a judgment against the accused on the civil aspect of the case where—
o The acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required
o Where the court declared that the liability of the accused is only civil
o Where the civil liability of the accused doesn’t arise from or isn’t based upon the crime of which the accused is acquitted
WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF THE FAILURE OF THE ACCUSED TO OBJECT TO A COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION THAT CHARGES MORE THAN ONE OFFENSE BEFORE HE IS ARRAIGNED?
The court may convict him of as many offenses as are charged and proved and impose on him the penalty of each offense
The court must set out separately the findings of fact and law in each offense
Sec. 4. Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof.
– When there is variance between the offense charged in the complaint or information and that proved, and the offense as charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved, the accused shall be convicted of the offense proved which is included in the offense charged, or of the offense charged which is included in the offense proved.
WHAT IS THE RULE IN CASE THE OFFENSE CHARGED IS DIFFERENT FROM THE OFFENSE PROVED?
The accused can only be convicted of the lesser offense which is included in the graver offense either proved or charged
The reason for this is that the accused can only be convicted of the offense which is both charged and proved
For example, if the offense charged is rape and the offense proved is acts of lasciviousness, the accused can only be convicted of acts of lasciviousness
If the offense charged is less serious physical injuries and the offense proved is serious physical injuries, then the defendant should only be convicted of the offense charged
X WAS CHARGED WITH WILLFUL HOMICIDE. WHAT WAS PROVED WAS HOMICIDE THROUGH RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE. UNDER WHICH SHOULD X BE CONVICTED?
X should be convicted of homicide through reckless imprudence
The offense done through negligence is lesser than one done willfully
X WAS CHARGED WITH RAPE BY FORCE AND INTIMIDATION. AT THE TRIAL, IT WAS PROVED THAT X RAPED A MENTAL RETARDATE. CAN X BE CONVICTED OF RAPE OF A MENTAL RETARDATE?
THERE ARE CONFLICTING DECISIONS
People v. Abiera says that the accused charged with rape through one mode of commission may still be convicted of the crime if the evidence shows another mode of commission, provided that the
accused didn’t object to such evidence
People v. Padilla says on the other hand that the accused cannot be convicted of rape of a mental retardate if the commission of such is not alleged in the information
The latter ruling is a better ruling because to convict the accused would violate his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him
X WAS CHARGED WITH RAPE. WHAT WAS PROVED AT THE TRIAL WAS QUALIFIED SEDUCTION. CAN X BE CONVICTED OF QUALIFIED SEDUCTION?
No, although qualified seduction is a lesser offense than rape, the elements of two are different.
Qualified seduction is not included in the crime of rape.
Therefore if the court convicts him of qualified seduction, it will violate his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, since some elements of qualified seduction were not charged
Sec. 5. When an offense includes or is included in another. – An offense charged necessarily includes the offense proved when some of the essential elements or ingredients of the former, as alleged in the complaint or information, constitute the latter. And
an offense charged is necessarily included in the offense proved, when the essential ingredients of the former constitute or form part of those constituting the latter.
WHEN DOES AN OFFENSE CHARGED NECESSARILY INCLUDE THE OFFENSE PROVED?
An offense charged necessarily includes an offense proved when some of the essential elements or ingredients of the offense charged constitute the offense proved
For example, when the offense charged is homicide and what is proven is physical injuries, then the offense charged necessarily includes the offense proved
Some of the essential elements of homicide constitute physical injuries
WHEN IS AN OFFENSE CHARGED NECESSARILY INCLUDED IN THE OFFENSE PROVED?
An offense charged is necessarily included in the offense proved, when the essential ingredients of the former constitute or form part of those constituting the latter
For example when the offense charged is acts of lasciviousness and the offense proved is rape, the essential elements of acts of lasciviousness is necessarily included in the crime of rape.
Therefore, the offense charged is necessarily included in the crime proved
MAY AN ACCUSED CHARGED OF MURDER BE CONVICTED OF RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE RESULTING IN HOMICIDE?
Quasi-offense of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide is necessarily included in the charge of murder