Section 1. Judgment; definition and form
- It is an adjudication by the court that the accused is guilty or
not guilty of the offense charged and the imposition of the proper
penalty and civil liability, if any. It is a judicial act which
settles the issues, fixes the rights and liabilities of the
parties, and determines the proceeding, and is regarded as the
sentence of the law pronounced by the court on the action or
question before it.
REQUISITES OF A JUDGMENT:
1. Written in official language
2. Personally and directly prepared by the judge
3. Signed by him
4. Contains clearly and distinctly a statement of the facts and the
law upon which it is based.
A verbal order does not meet the requisites. As such, it can be
rescinded without prejudicing the rights of the accused. It has no
legal force and effect.
If judgment is not put in writing, the proper remedy would be to file
a petition for mandamus to compel the judge to put in writing the
decision of the court.
Article VIII, Section 14, par. 1 of the Constitution requires that
the decisions of the court shall contain the facts and the law on
which they are based. The rationale is that the losing party is
entitled to know why he lost, so he may appeal to a higher court.
The judge who penned the decision need not be the one who heard the
case. The judge can rely on the transcript of stenographic notes
taken during the trial.
Section 2. Contents of judgment
CONTENTS OF A JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION:
1. The legal qualifications of the offense constituted by the acts
committed by the accused and the aggravating and mitigating
circumstances which attended its commission.
2. Participation of the accused either as principal, accomplice
3. Penalty imposed on the accused
4. Civil liability or damages, if any, unless a separate civil action
has been reserved or waived.
- A judge cannot impose alternative penalties (reclusion perpetua or
P10,000 fine) because this would allow the accused to choose which
penalty to serve, giving the accused discretion properly belonging
to the court.
CONTENTS OF A JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL:
1. Whether the evidence absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the
accused or merely failed to prove it beyond reasonable doubt
2. If the act or omission from which civil liability may arise did
Barbers vs Laguio, Jr., 351 SCRA 606 (2001)
- It is well settled that acquittal, in a criminal case is
immediately final and executory upon its promulgation, and that
accordingly, the State may not seek its review without placing
the accused in double jeopardy.
Effect of Acquittal on Civil Liability
- Acquittal of an accused based on reasonable ground does not bar
the offended party from filing a separate civil action based on
a quasi-delict. In fact, the court may hold an accused civilly
liable even when it acquits him.