Primacy of Criminal Action over Civil Action After the filing of the
criminal action, the civil action which has been reserved cannot be
instituted until final judgment has been rendered in the criminal
If the civil action is instituted before the criminal action and the
criminal action is subsequently commenced, the pending civil action
shall be suspended until final judgment of the criminal action has
1. In cases of independent civil actions based upon Article 32, 33,
34 and 2176 of the Civil Code;
2. In cases where the civil action presents a prejudicial question; and
3. Where the civil action is not one intended to enforce the civil
liability arising from the offense.
CONSOLIDATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CASES
- Before judgment on the merit is rendered in the civil action,
the same may, upon motion of the offended party be consolidated
with the criminal action in the court trying the criminal action.
This is a modification on the rule on primacy of criminal action.
The consolidation must be effected in the criminal court, irrespective
of the nature of the offense, the amount of the civil claim or the rank
of the court trying the civil case.
In cases where consolidation is given due course, the evidence presented
and admitted in the civil case shall be deemed automatically reproduced
in the criminal action.
The consolidated criminal and civil cases shall be tried and decided
NOTE: Article 29 of the Civil Code merely emphasizes that a civil
action for damages is not precluded by the acquittal of an accused
for the same criminal act or omission. It does not state that the
remedy can be availed of only in a separate civil action.
ACQUITTAL IN A CRIMINAL CASE DOES NOT BAR THE FILING OF
THE CIVIL CASE WHERE:
1. The acquittal is based on reasonable doubt, if the civil case
has been reserved.
2. The decision contains a declaration that the liability is not
criminal but only civil in nature.
3. The civil liability is not derived from or based on the criminal
act of which the accused is acquitted. (Sapiera v. Court of
Appeals, 314 SCRA 370)