Bogo-Medellin Milling Co. v Son; G.R. No. 80268; 27 May 1992; 209 SCRA 329

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Petitioner Robert Hermosa and private respondent were charged with the crime of qualified theft of a large rubber tire. After their arraignment but before the prosecution could commence, the original judge discharged petitioner Hermosa from the information on the instance of petitioner Bogo-Medellin that he be utilized as a state witness against his co-accused. Before the hearing, original judge was replaced by respondent judge who ordered the reinstatement of petitioner Hermosa as co-accused in the case for qualified theft.

Whether or not the reinstatement of petitioner as co-accused would place him in double jeopardy considering that his discharge from the information amounted to his acquittal.

YES. – The discharge from the information of a co-accused who is to be utilized as a government witness must be considered solid for purposes of determining whether a second prohibited jeopardy would attach upon reinstatement as a co-accused. Petitioner Hermosa having been acquitted of the charge of qualified theft, could not be subsequently reinstated as a co-accused in the same information without a prohibited second jeopardy arising under the circumstances, absent satisfactory proof that he had refused or failed to testify against his co-accused.

Petition for certiorari is GRANTED DUE COURSE. Order of respondent judge are SET ASIDE and order of original judge REINSTATED.

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