Consing, Jr. vs. People

FACTS

Petitioner & his mother obtained loan with Unicapital for 18M. The loans were secured by real estate mortgage wherein the title is under the name of “de la Cruz”. Half of the property was purchased by Unicapital & other half was purchased by Plant Builders. However before they can finally develop the property, they found out that the title is spurious. Unicapital demanded for the return of the payment, but petitioner ignored the demand.

Consing filed a civil case in RTC Pasig for injunctive relief, thereby seeking to enjoin Unicapital from proceeding against him for the collection of the P41,377,851.48 on the ground that he had acted as a mere agent of his mother.

Unicapital initiated a criminal complaint for estafa through falsification of public document against Consing and de la Cruz in the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office.

Unicapital sued Consing in the RTC in Makati City for the recovery of a sum of money and damages, with an application for a writ of preliminary attachment. (Civil Case)

The City Prosecutor of Makati City filed against Consing and De la Cruz an information for estafa through falsification of public document in the RTC in Makati City

Consing moved to defer his arraignment on the ground of existence of a prejudicial question due to the pendency of the Pasig and Makati civil cases. The RTC issued an order suspending the proceedings in the Makati criminal case on the ground of the existence of a prejudicial question

Meanwhile, Plus Builders commenced its own suit for damages against Consing (Civil Case No. 99-95381) in the RTC in Manila. An information for estafa through falsification of public document was filed against Consing and De la Cruz in the RTC in Imus, Cavite,

Consing filed a motion to defer the arraignment on the ground of the existence of a prejudicial question. However, the RTC handling the Cavite criminal case denied Consing’s motion. The CA granted the reversal of its prior judgment affirming the decision of RTC.

ISSUE

WON there the resolution of the Pasig civil case prejudicial to the Cavite and Makati criminal cases?

No.

Unicapital’s complaint in the Makati civil case reveals that the action was predicated on fraud.

It is well settled that a civil action based on defamation, fraud and physical injuries may be independently instituted pursuant to Article 33 of the Civil Code, and does not operate as a prejudicial question that will justify the suspension of a criminal case.

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