THE SUPREME Court has directed the municipal trial court of Ozamiz City to resume the trial of cases filed by the Philippine National Bank (PNB) against a lawyer for P12.8 million worth of checks issued without sufficient funds.
The country’s highest court, acting on a petition filed by PNB, overturned the June 1, 2015 decision of the Court of Appeals (CA), which voided the criminal cases against respondent Henry S. Oaminal.
In its 2015 decision, the CA nullified the proceedings before the Ozamiz City court for having been conducted without jurisdiction because the criminal accusations were signed only by the previous prosecutor and not by the prosecutor in-charge of the case.
However, the Supreme Court, in its decision dated February 17 and published on June 22, held that the CA erred in dismissing the cases because the “informations” signed by the previous prosecutor were valid.
Informations are “accusation(s) in writing charging a person with an offense, subscribed by the prosecutor and filed with the court,” according to the Supreme Court.
It said the reinstatement of the informations by Heronimo S. Marave, Jr., the first prosecutor in-charge of the case, was “already sufficient to vest upon the trial court jurisdiction over the subject matter of the criminal cases.”
It added that Roberto A. Lao, the acting city prosecutor designated by the Department of Justice in August 2002, did not have to refile the exact same documents with his signature as it would “impose a redundant and pointless requirement on the prosecution.” — Bianca Angelica D. Añago