People v Inting; G.R. No. 88919; 25 Jul 1990; 187 SCRA 788

in Legal Chyme by

A permanent Nursing Attendant, Grade I, filed a complaint with the Commission on Elections against the OIC-Mayor for allegedly transferring her to a very remote barangay without prior permission or clearance from the COMELEC. Finding a prima facie case, the Provincial Election Supervisor filed with the respondent trial court a criminal case for violation of Section 261, Paragraph (h), Omnibus Election Code against the OIC-Mayor. The respondent court issued a warrant of arrest against the accused OIC-Mayor and fixed the bail at five thousand pesos. However, the trial court set aside the warrant on the ground that the Provincial Election Supervisor is not authorized to determine probable cause pursuant to Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution.

Whether or not the Provincial Election Supervisor may determine probable cause.

NO. The determination of probable cause is a function of the Judge. It is not for the Provincial Fiscal or Prosecutor nor for the Election Supervisor to ascertain. Only the Judge and the Judge alone makes this determination.

Petition is GRANTED. The questioned orders are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondent trial court’s order is REINSTATED and respondent court is ORDERED to PROCEED hearing the case with deliberate speed until its termination.

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