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    Republic of the Philippines

    SUPREME COURT

    Manila

    EN BANC

    G.R. No. 93177 August 2, 1991

    B/GEN. JOSE COMENDADOR, B/GEN, MARIELO BLANDO, CAPT. DANILO PIZARRO, CAPT. MANUEL ISON, COL.

    LUISITO SANCHEZ, LTC. ROMELINO GOJO, LTC. ARSENIO TECSON, LTC. RAFAEL GALVEZ, LTC. TIBURCIO

    FUSILLERO, LTC. ERICSON AURELIO, LTC. JACINTO LIGOT LTC. FRANKLIN BRAWNER, MAJ. ALFREDO OLIVEROS,MAJ. CESAR DE LA PERA, MAJ. LEUVINO VALENCIA, CAPT. FLORENCIO FLORES, CAPT. JAIME JUNIO, CAPT. DANILO

    LIM, CAPT . ELMER AMON, CAPT. VERGEL NACINO, and LT. JOEY SARROZA, petitioners,

    vs.

    GEN. RENATO S. DE VILLA, CHIEF OF STAFF, AFP, THE PTI INVESTIGATING PANEL COMPOSED OF: COL. MANUEL S.

    MENDIOLA, COL. VIRTUD NORBERTO L. DAGZA MAJ. FELIX V. BALDONADO and MAJ. ESTELITO L. PORNEA and

    GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL NO. 14 COMPOSED OF: B/GEN. DEMETRIO CAMUA COL. HERMINIO A. MENDOZA,

    COL. ERNESTO B. YU, COL. ROMEO ODI, COL. WILLY FLORENDO, COL. DIONY A. VENTURA and CAPT. FRANCISCO

    T. MALLILLIN, respondents.

    No. 95020 August 2, 1991

    B/GEN. DEMETRIO CAMUA, COL. HERMIMO A. MENDOZA, COL. ERNESTO B. YU, COL. ROMEO ODI, COL. WILLY

    FLORENDO, COL. DIONY A. VENTURA, and CAPT . FRANCISCO T. MALLILLIN, petitioners,

    vs.

    HON. MIANO C. ASUNCION, Presiding Judge, Branch 104, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, Q.C., LTC. JACINTO LIGOT

    PA., respondents.

    No. 96948 August 2, 1991

    B/GEN. JOSE COMENDADOR, B/GEN. MARCELO BLANDO, CAPT. DANILO PIZARRO PN, CAPT. MANUEL ISON PN,

    LTC. ROMELINO GOJO PN (M), LTC. ARSENIO TECSON PA, LTC. RAFAEL GALVEZ PA, LTC. TIBURCIO FUSILLERO PA,

    LTC. ERICSON AURELIO PA, LTC. JACINTO LIGOT PA, LTC. FRANKLIN BRAWNER PA, MAJ. ALFREDO OLIVEROS PA,

    MAJ. CESAR DE LA PENA PN (M): MAJ. LEUVINO VALENCIA PA, CAPT. FLORENCIO FLORES PA, CAPT. JAIME JUNIO

    PA, CAPT. DANILO LIM PA, CAPT. ELMER AMON PAF CAPT. VERGEL NACINO, and LT. JOEY SARROZA, petitioners,

    vs.

    B/GEN. DEMETRIO CAMUA COL. HERMINIO A. MENDOZA, COL. ERNESTO B. YU, COL. ROMEO ODI COL. WILLY

    FLORENDO, COL. DIONY A. VENTURA, and CAPT. FRANCISCO T. MALLILLIN PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF

    GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL NO. 14, respondents.

    No. 97454 August 2, 1991

    AFP CHIEF OF STAFF LT. GEN. RODOLFO BIAZON, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF MAJOR GEN. ALEXANDER AGUIRRE,

    PNP DIRECTOR GENERAL MAJOR GEN. CESAR NAZARENO and LT. COL. ALBERTO OLARIO, Commanding Officer of

    the PNP/INP Detention Center/Jail, pet

    vs.

    HON. ANTONIO P. SOLANO, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 86, CAPTAIN REYN

    RAFAEL, 1 LT SERVANDO A. BAOANAN PN(M), 1 LT. WILFREDO JIMENEZ PAF 1 LT. ATANACIO T. MACA

    PMM 2LT ELISEO T. RASCO PC, 2LT JONAS CALLEJA PC, 2LT JAIRUS JS GELVEZON III PMM 2LT JOSELITO CA

    PMM 2LT MEMEL ROJAS PN(M) and 2LT HERMINIO L. CANTACO PC, respondents.

    Armando M. Marcelo and Rainier L. Madrid for petitioners Luisito Sanchez, Tiburcio Fusillero, Ericson

    Levino Valencia, Danilo Arnon Vergel Nacino, Florencio Flores, Benigno Junio and Joey Sarroza.

    Manuel Q. Malvar for Rafael Galvez and Danny Lim.

    Manuel E. Valenzuela for Arsenio Tecson

    Mariano R. Santiago for Alfredo Oliveros.

    Ricardo J.M. Rivera for Manuel Ison.

    Castillo, Laman, Tan and Pantaleon for Danilo Pizarro.

    Alfredo Lazaro for Romelino Gojo.

    Manuel A. Barcelona, Jr. for Jose Comendador.

    Jonathan B.S. Rebong and Efren C. Carag for Marcelo Blando.

    Pablito V. Sanidad for Franklin Brawner and Ericson Aurelio.

    Efren C. Moncupa for All Tecson.

    M.M. Lazaro & Associates for respondents Ligot and Ison .

    Baldomero S.P. Gatbonton, Jr. for Jacinto Ligot.

    Salvador B. Britanico for Cesar de la Pena.

    Gilbert R.T. Reyes for Danilo Pizarro.

    Ponce Enrile, Cayetano, Reyes & Manalastas for petitioners in G.R. No. 93177.

    The Solicitor General for respondents.

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    CRUZ, J.:p

    These four cases have been consolidated because they involve practically the same parties and related issues

    arising from the same incident.

    The petitioners in G.R. Nos. 93177 and 96948 and the private respondents in G.R. Nos. 95020 and 97454 are

    officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines facing prosecution for their alleged participation in the failed coup

    d' etat that took place on December 1 to 9, 1989.

    The charges against them are violation of Articles of War (AW) 67 (Mutiny), AW 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an

    Officer and a Gentleman) and AW 94 (Various Crimes) in relation to Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code

    (Murder).

    In G.R. No. 93177, which is a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, they are questioning the conduct

    of the Pre-Trial Investigation PTI Panel constituted to investigate the charges against them and the creation of

    the General Court Martial GCM convened to try them.

    In G.R. No. 96948, the petitioners, besides challenging the legality of GCM No. 14, seek certiorari against its

    ruling denying them the right to peremptory challenge as granted by Article 18 of Com. Act No. 408.

    In G.R. No. 95020, the orders of the respondent judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City are assailed

    oncertiorari on the ground that he has no jurisdiction over GCM No. 14 and no authority either to set aside its

    ruling denying bail to the private respondents.

    In G.R. No. 97454, certiorari is also sought against the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City in a

    petition for habeas corpus directing the release of the private respondents. Jurisdictional objections are likewise

    raised as in G.R. No. 95020.

    I

    Before the charges were referred to GCM No. 14, a Pre-Trial Investigation PTI Panel had been constituted

    pursuant to Office Order No. 16 dated January 14, 1990, to investigate the petitioners in G.R. Nos. 93177 and

    96948. The PTI Panel issued a uniform subpoena dated January 30, 1990, individually addressed to the

    petitioners, to wit:

    You are hereby directed to appear in person before the undersigned Pre-Trial Investigating

    Officers on 12 Feb 90 9:00 a.m. at Kiangan Hall, Camp Crame Quezon City, then and there tosubmit your counter-affidavit and the affidavits of your witnesses, if any, in the pre-trial

    investigation of the charge/charges against you for violence of AWs _______________. DO

    NOT SUBMIT A MOTION TO DISMISS.

    Failure to submit the aforementioned counter-affidavits on the date above specified

    deemed a waiver of your right to submit controverting evidence.

    On the same date, the petitioners acknowledged receipt of a copy of the charge sheet, sworn statem

    witnesses, and death and medical certificates of victims of the rebellion.

    At the first scheduled hearing, the petitioners challenged the proceedings on various grounds, promptin

    Panel to grant them 10 days within which to file their objections in writing This was done through a Mo

    Summary Dismissal dated February 21, 1990.

    In a resolution dated February 27,1990, the PTI Panel denied the motion and gave the petitioners 5 danotice to submit their respective counter-affidavits and the affidavits of their witnesses.

    On March 7, 1990, the petitioners verbally moved for reconsideration of the foregoing denial and the P

    gave them 7 days within which to reduce their motion to writing. This was done on March 14,1990.

    The petitioners now claim that there was no pre-trial investigation of the charges as mandated by Articl

    71, which provides:

    Art. 71. Charges Action upon. Charges and specifications must be signed by a

    subject to military law, and under the oath either that he has personal knowledge o

    investigated, the matters set forth therein and that the same are true in fact, to the

    his knowledge and belief.

    No charge will be referred to a general court-martial for trial until after a thoroimpartial investigation thereof shall have been made. This investigation will include i

    as to the truth of the matter set forth in said charges, form of charges, and what dis

    of the case should be made in the interest of justice and discipline. At such investiga

    opportunity shall be given to the accused to cross-examine witnesses against him if t

    available and to present anything he may desire in his own behalf, either in def

    mitigation, and the investigating officer shall examine available witnesses requeste

    accused. If the charges are forwarded after such investigation, they shall be accompa

    a statement of the substance of the testimony taken on both sides. (Emphasis supplie

    They also allege that the initial hearing of the charges consisted merely of a roll call and that no pro

    witnesses were presented to reaffirm their affidavits. while the motion for summary dismissal was den

    motion for reconsideration remains unresolved to date and they have not been able to submit their c

    affidavits.

    At the hearing of May 15, 1990, the petitioners in G.R. No. 96948 manifested that they were exercis

    right to raise peremptory challenges against the president and members of GCM No.14. They invoked A

    of Com. Act No. 408 for this purpose. GCM No. 14 ruled, however, that peremptory challenges ha

    discontinued under P.D. No. 39.

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    In G.R. No. 95020, Ltc Jacinto Ligot applied for bail on June 5, 1990, but the application was denied by GCM

    No.14. He thereupon filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a petition

    for certiorari and mandamus with prayer for provisional