The Supreme Court has dismissed for double jeopardy the criminal information against Jason Aguilar Ivler for the death of Nestor Ponce in 2004.
In a 28-page decision penned by Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio, the Court granted Ivler’s petition to reverse the orders dated February 2, 2006 and May 2, 2006 of the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 157. The RTC had upheld the Pasig City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), Branch 71’s denial of Ivler’s motion to quash the information for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide and Damage to Property (Criminal Case No. 82366) against him. Earlier, Ivler had pleaded guilty to the charge of Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Slight Physical Injuries (Criminal Case No. 82367) and was meted the penalty of public censure arising out of the same August 2004 vehicular collision which also resulted in Ponce’s death.
The Court stressed that reckless Imprudence is a single crime and its consequences on persons and property are material only to determine the penalty. Further, it stressed that “prior conviction or acquittal of reckless imprudence bars subsequent prosecution for the same quasi-offense.” It held that the doctrine that reckless imprudence under Article 365 is a single quasi-offense by itself and not merely a means to commit other crimes such that conviction or acquittal of such quasi-offense bars subsequent prosecution for the same quasi-offense, regardless of its various resulting acts.
The Court also held that petitioner Ivler’s non-appearance at the arraignment in CC No. 82366 “did not divest him of personality to maintain the petition for certiorari” before the RTC and that the protection afforded by the Constitution shielding him from prosecutions placing him in jeopardy of second punishment for the same offense bars further proceedings in said case. (GR No. 172716, Ivler v. Judge San Pedro, November 17, 2010)