01 Jurisdiction Cases

  • Uploaded by: Paul Villarosa
  • 0
  • 0
  • March 2021
  • PDF

This document was uploaded by user and they confirmed that they have the permission to share it. If you are author or own the copyright of this book, please report to us by using this DMCA report form. Report DMCA


Overview

Download & View 01 Jurisdiction Cases as PDF for free.

More details

  • Words: 55,556
  • Pages: 92
Loading documents preview...
Jurisdiction 1. People v. Lagon....................................................................................................................................... 2 2. Legados v. De Guzman........................................................................................................................... 6 3. People v. MTC of Quezon City................................................................................................................. 8 4. People v. Sandiganbayan...................................................................................................................... 12 5. Lacson v. Sandiganbayan...................................................................................................................... 17 6. Montilla v. Hilario.................................................................................................................................... 37 7. People v. Montejo.................................................................................................................................. 39 8. Bartolome v. People............................................................................................................................... 44 9. People v. Magallanes............................................................................................................................. 48 10. Escobal v. Garchitorena....................................................................................................................... 65 11. Quindoza vs Banzon............................................................................................................................ 71 12. Inding v. Sandigang Bayan.................................................................................................................. 75 13. Uy v. Sandiganbayan........................................................................................................................... 86

1. People v. Lagon THIRD DIVISION [G.R. No. 45815. May 18, 1990.] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. LIBERTAD LAGON AND HON. JUDGE ISIDRO O. BARRIOS, AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE CITY COURT OF ROXAS CITY, respondents. SYLLABUS 1. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; SUBJECT-MATTER JURISDICTION OF COURT IN CRIMINAL LAW MATTERS; MEASURED BY THE LAW IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE COMMENCEMENT OF CRIMINAL ACTION. — At the time of the institution of the criminal prosecution on 7 July 1976, the penalty imposable for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 had been increased by P.D. No. 818 (effective 22 October 1975) to prision mayor in its medium period. It is firmly settled doctrine that the subject matter jurisdiction of a court in criminal law matters is properly measured by the law in effect at the time of the commencement of a criminal action, rather than by the law in effect at the time of the commission of the offense charged. Thus, in accordance with the above rule, jurisdiction over the instant case pertained to the then Court of First Instance of Roxas City considering that P.D. No. 818 had increased the imposable penalty for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 to a level in excess of the maximum penalty which a city court could impose. 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; APPLICATION OF DOCTRINE NOT A DISREGARD OF THE RULE AGAINST RETROACTIVITY OF PENAL LAWS; RATIONALE. — The real question raised by the petitioner is: would application of the above-settled doctrine to the instant case not result in also applying Presidential Decree No. 818 to the present case, in disregard of the rule against retroactivity of penal laws? Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code permits penal laws to have retroactive effect only "insofar as they favor the person guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, . . . ." We do not believe so. In the first place, subjectmatter jurisdiction in criminal cases is determined by the authority of the court to impose the penalty imposable under the applicable statute given the allegations of a criminal information. In People v. Purisima, 69 SCRA 341 (1976), the Court stressed that: ". . . The issue here is one of jurisdiction, of a court's legal competence to try a case ab origine. In criminal prosecutions, it is settled that the jurisdiction of the court is not determined by what may be meted out to the offender after trial, or even by the result of the evidence that would be presented at the trial, but by the extent of the penalty which the law imposes for the misdemeanor, crime or violation charged in the complaint. If the facts recited in the complaint and the punishment provided for by law are sufficient to show that the court in which the complaint is presented has jurisdiction, that court must assume jurisdiction." (Citations omitted; emphasis supplied.) The same rule was set forth and amplified in People v. Buissan (105 SCRA 547 [1981]) in the following terms: ". . . [i]n criminal prosecutions, jurisdiction of the court is not determined by what may be meted out to the offender after trial (People v. Cuello, 1 SCRA 814) or even by the result of the evidence that would be presented during the trial (People v. Co Hiok, 62 Phil. 503) but by the extent of the penalty which the law imposes, together with other legal obligations, on the basis of the facts as recited in the complaint or information (People v. Purisima, 69 SCRA 347) constitutive of the offense charged, for once jurisdiction is acquired by the court in which the information is filed, it is retained regardless whether the evidence proves a lesser offense than that charged in the information (People v. Mision, 48 O.G. 1330)" (Emphasis supplied.) Thus, it may be that after trial, a penalty lesser than the maximum imposable under the statute is proper under the specific facts and circumstances proven at the trial. In such a case, that lesser penalty may be imposed by the trial court (provided it had subject-matter jurisdiction under the rule above referred to) even if the reduced penalty otherwise falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of an inferior court. 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID. — In the case at bar, the increased penalty provided for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 by P.D. No. 818 (prision mayor in its medium period) is obviously heavier than the penalty provided for the same offense originally imposed by paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code (up to prision correccional in its minimum period). Should the criminal information be refiled in the proper court, that is, the proper Regional Trial Court, that court may not impose that more onerous penalty upon private respondent Libertad Lagon (assuming the evidence shows that the offense was committed before 22 October 1975). But the Regional Trial Court would remain vested with subject-matter jurisdiction to try and decide the (refiled) case even though the penalty

properly imposable, given the date of the commission of the offense charged, should be the lower penalty originally provided for in paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code which is otherwise within the exclusive jurisdiction of the City Court of Roxas City. In other words, the circumstance that P.D. No. 818 would be inapplicable to the refiled case would not result in the Regional Trial Court losing subject-matter jurisdiction, nor in the case falling back into the City Court's exclusive jurisdiction. RESOLUTION FELICIANO, J p: On 7 July 1976, a criminal information was filed with the City Court of Roxas City and docketed as Criminal Case No. 7362, charging private respondent Libertad Lagon with the crime of estafa under paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. The information charged that the accused had allegedly issued a check in the amount of P4,232.80 as payment for goods or merchandise purchased, knowing that she did not have sufficient funds to cover the check, which check therefore subsequently bounced. cdrep The case proceeded to trial and the prosecution commenced the presentation of its evidence. However, in an Order dated 2 December 1976, the City Court dismissed the information upon the ground that the penalty prescribed by law for the offense charged was beyond the court's authority to impose. The judge held that the jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal action is determined by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action, and not by the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime. At the time of the alleged commission of the crime in April 1975, jurisdiction over the offense was vested by law in the City Court. However, by the time the criminal information was filed, paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code had already been amended and the penalty imposable upon a person accused thereunder increased, which penalty was beyond the City Court's authority to impose. Accordingly, the court dismissed the information without prejudice to its being refiled in the proper court. Hence this Petition for Review brought by the People, arguing that the City Court of Roxas City had jurisdiction over Criminal Case No. 7362 and that it had erred in issuing its Order dismissing the case. Because the Petition for Review was signed by the City Fiscal and Assistant City Fiscal of Roxas City as counsel for the People, the Court referred the petition to the Office of the Solicitor General for comment. Responding to the Court's resolution, the then acting Solicitor General Vicente Mendoza stated that the Office of the Solicitor General, having been previously consulted by the Assistant City Fiscal of Roxas City, agreed with the position taken by the latter that the City Court had jurisdiction over the criminal case involved, and asked that the petition be given due course. After deliberation on the instant Petition for Review, the Court considers that petitioner has failed to show that the City Court had committed reversible error in dismissing the criminal information in Criminal Case No. 7362 without prejudice to its refiling in the proper court. Under the penultimate paragraph of Section 87 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, the law governing the subject matter jurisdiction of municipal and city courts in criminal cases in 1975 and 1976, "[m]unicipal judges in the capitals of provinces and sub-provinces and judges of city courts shall have like jurisdiction as the Court of First Instance to try parties charged with an offense within their respective jurisdictions, in which the penalty provided by law does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for not more than six (6) years or fine not exceeding P6,000.00 or both . . . ." It appears that at the time of the commission of the offense charged on 5 April 1975, the penalty imposable for the offense charged under paragraph 2(d) in relation to the third sub-paragraph of the first paragraph, Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, was arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period; at that time therefore, the offense clearly fell within the jurisdiction of the City Court of Roxas City. At the time of the institution of the criminal prosecution on 7 July 1976, the penalty imposable for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 had been increased by P.D. No. 818 (effective 22 October 1975) to prision mayor in its medium period. cdphil It is firmly settled doctrine that the subject matter jurisdiction of a court in criminal law matters is properly measured by the law in effect at the time of the commencement of a criminal action, rather than by the law in effect at the time of the commission of the offense charged. 1 Thus, in accordance with the above

rule, jurisdiction over the instant case pertained to the then Court of First Instance of Roxas City considering that P.D. No. 818 had increased the imposable penalty for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 to a level in excess of the maximum penalty which a city court could impose. The real question raised by the petitioner is: would application of the above-settled doctrine to the instant case not result in also applying Presidential Decree No. 818 to the present case, in disregard of the rule against retroactivity of penal laws? Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code permits penal laws to have retroactive effect only "insofar as they favor the person guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, . . . ." We do not believe so. In the first place, subject-matter jurisdiction in criminal cases is determined by the authority of the court to impose the penalty imposable under the applicable statute given the allegations of a criminal information. In People v. Purisima, 2 the Court stressed that: xxx

xxx

xxx

. . . The issue here is one of jurisdiction, of a court's legal competence to try a case ab origine. In criminal prosecutions, it is settled that the jurisdiction of the court is not determined by what may be meted out to the offender after trial, or even by the result of the evidence that would be presented at the trial, but by the extent of the penalty which the law imposes for the misdemeanor, crime or violation charged in the complaint. If the facts recited in the complaint and the punishment provided for by law are sufficient to show that the court in which the complaint is presented has jurisdiction, that court must assume jurisdiction. 3 (Citations omitted; emphasis supplied.) The same rule was set forth and amplified in People v. Buissan, 4 in the following terms: xxx

xxx

xxx

. . . [i]n criminal prosecutions, jurisdiction of the court is not determined by what may be meted out to the offender after trial (People v. Cuello, 1 SCRA 814) or even by the result of the evidence that would be presented during the trial (People v. Co Hiok, 62 Phil. 503) but by the extent of the penalty which the law imposes, together with other legal obligations, on the basis of the facts as recited in the complaint or information (People v. Purisima, 69 SCRA 347) constitutive of the offense charged, for once jurisdiction is acquired by the court in which the information is filed, it is retained regardless whether the evidence proves a lesser offense than that charged in the information (People v. Mision, 48 O.G. 1330)" 5 (Emphasis supplied.) Thus, it may be that after trial, a penalty lesser than the maximum imposable under the statute is proper under the specific facts and circumstances proven at the trial. In such a case, that lesser penalty may be imposed by the trial court (provided it had subject-matter jurisdiction under the rule above referred to) even if the reduced penalty otherwise falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of an inferior court. In People v. Buissan, 6 the Court also said: xxx

xxx

xxx

. . . It is unquestionable that the Court of First Instance, taking cognizance of a criminal case coming under its jurisdiction, may, after trial, impose a penalty that is proper for a crime within the exclusive competence of a municipal or city court as the evidence would warrant. It may not be said, therefore, that the Court of First Instance would be acting without jurisdiction if in a simple seduction case, it would impose penalty of not more than six months of imprisonment, if said case, for the reason already adverted to, be held to fall under the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance, not a city or municipal court." 7 (Emphasis supplied.) In the case at bar, the increased penalty provided for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 by P.D. No. 818 (prision mayor in its medium period) is obviously heavier than the penalty provided for the same offense originally imposed by paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code (up to prision correccional in its minimum period). LLjur Libertad Lagon (assuming the evidence shows that the offense was committed before 22 October 1975). But the Regional Trial Court would remain vested with subject-matter jurisdiction to try and decide the (refiled) case even though the penalty properly imposable, given the date of the commission of the offense charged, should be the lower penalty originally provided for in paragraph 2(d)

of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code which is otherwise within the exclusive jurisdiction of the City Court of Roxas City. In other words, the circumstance that P.D. No. 818 would be inapplicable to the refiled case would not result in the Regional Trial Court losing subject-matter jurisdiction, nor in the case falling back into the City Court's exclusive jurisdiction. WHEREFORE, the Court Resolved to DENY the Petition for Review for lack of merit. The Order dated 2 December 1976 of the public respondent Presiding Judge of the City Court of Roxas City is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs. Fernan, C.J., Gutierrez, Jr., Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur. Footnotes 1. People v. Pegarum, 58 Phil. 715 [1933]; People v. Romualdo, 90 Phil. 739 [1952]; People v. Pecson, 92 Phil. 172 [1952]; Lee v. Presiding Judge, 145 SCRA 408 [1986]; Dela Cruz v. Moya, 160 SCRA 838 [1988]. 2.

69 SCRA 341 (1976).

3.

69 SCRA at 347.

4.

105 SCRA 547 (1981).

5.

105 SCRA at 552-553.

6.

Supra.

7.

105 SCRA at 551-552.

2. Legados v. De Guzman FIRST DIVISION [G.R. No. L-35825. February 20, 1989.] CORA LEGADOS, represented by ROSA LEGADOS, and HON. JESUS ANGELES, petitioners, vs. HON. DOROTEO DE GUZMAN, Judge, CFI, Br. II, Zamboanga, VILMOR ICAO, represented by his mother, SOFIA L. ICAO, respondents. Lacaya & Tabiliran Law Office for petitioners. Felipe G. Tac-an an respondents. SYLLABUS 1. REMEDIAL LAW; SECTION 32, BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 129; EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION VESTED ON METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS. — Section 32 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, effective August 14, 1981, grants to Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts "(e)xclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment of not exceeding four years and two months, or a fine of not more than four thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment, regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value, or amount thereof." 2. ID.; ID.; COMPLAINT FOR SIMPLE SEDUCTION IS NOW COGNIZABLE BY THE INFERIOR COURTS. — The writ of prohibition was, of course, correctly issued by the respondent Judge, being consistent with the doctrine obtaining at the time, i.e., that an inferior court had no jurisdiction over the crime of simple seduction. But, as already pointed out, the doctrine has SINCE BEEN CHANGED. Now, the offense is explicitly declared by law to be within the exclusive original jurisdiction, no longer of Courts of First Instance (since abolished and replaced by Regional Trial Courts) , but of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. DECISION NARVASA, J p: Section 32 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, effective August 14, 1981, grants to Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts 1 "(e)xclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment of not exceeding four years and two months, or a fine of not more than four thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment, regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value, or amount thereof." 2 The proviso altered and superseded the long standing doctrine first laid down in a 1911 case, 3 that an inferior court had no jurisdiction over the crime of simple seduction — although the penalty imposed is arresto mayor — because conviction thereof carried with it the liability imposed by Article 345 of the Revised Penal Code to acknowledge and give support to the offspring. The doctrine was made applicable whatever the peculiar circumstances of the offender and offended party might be, it not being permitted, upon considerations of consistency and orderliness, "to speculate on whether or not an offspring may still arise from the crime, whether or not the complainant or the accused may be sterile or incapable of procreation, whether or not the complaint was already pregnant by another man when the crime was committed and various other factual considerations before the jurisdiction may be fixed." 4 In the case at bar, long before the passage of B.P. Blg. 129, 5 a complaint for simple seduction 6 was filed with the then City Court of Dipolog (Branch II) 7 against Vilmor Icao. The complaint was presented by the offended girl, Cora Legados, represented by her mother, Rosa, and was subsequently made the basis of an information filed by the First Assistant City Fiscal. 8 After entering a plea of not guilty on arraignment, Icao moved to quash the information on the ground that the City Court had no jurisdiction to try the offense, and the fiscal who filed the information had no authority to do so. The Court denied the motion and scheduled the case for trial on the merits. Icao thereupon instituted an action of prohibition 9 with the then Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City 10 which, in due course, granted the petition and permanently enjoi ned the proceedings in the City Court. It is this Order which is

now assailed in this Court as having been rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. LLjur The writ of prohibition was, of course, correctly issued by the respondent Judge, being consistent with the doctrine obtaining at the time, i.e., that an inferior court had no jurisdiction over the crime of simple seduction. But, as already pointed out, the doctrine has since been changed. Now, the offense is explicitly declared by law to be within the exclusive original jurisdiction, no longer of Courts of First Instance (since abolished and replaced by Regional Trial Courts), but of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. WHEREFORE, the disputed Order of respondent Judge of October 9, 1972 is SET ASIDE, and the case is REMANDED to the Municipal Trial Court of Dipolog City (which replaced the City Court) for further proceedings. This decision is immediately executory. No costs. Cruz, Gancayco, Griño-Aquino and Medialdea, JJ ., concur. Footnotes 1. "Except in cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts and of the Sandiganbayan." 2.

Italics supplied.

3. U.S. v. Bernardo, 19 Phil. 265; see also, Luansing v. People, 27 SCRA 308 (1969); People v. Buissan, 105 SCRA 552 (1981). 4.

Dioquino v. Cruz, Jr., 116 SCRA 457 (1982).

5.

On March 6, 1972, to be exact.

6.

Docketed as Criminal Case No. 19189.

7.

Then presided over by Hon. Jesus O. Angeles.

8.

Fiscal Gaquipo La. Adriatico.

9.

Docketed as Sp. Civil Case No. 2319.

10.

Presided over by herein respondent, Hon. Doroteo de Guzman.

3. People v. MTC of Quezon City THIRD DIVISION [G.R. No. 123263. December 16, 1996.] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT OF QUEZON CITY, Branch 32, and ISAH V. RED, respondents. The Solicitor General for petitioner. Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz for private respondent. SYLLABUS 1. REMEDIAL LAW; REGIONAL TRIAL COURT; HAS EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OVER LIBEL CASES. — This Court has already had occasion to resolve the issue, substantially in line with the position taken by the People, account having been taken of substantially the same arguments adduced by the opposing parties in this case. In G.R. No. 122126 entitled Lydia Caro vs. Court of Appeals and Violeta Sarigumba, involving the same jurisdiction issue as that specifically presented in the case at bar, this Court promulgated a Resolution on June 19, 1996 pertinently reading as follows: "Anent the question of jurisdiction, we ** find no reversible error committed by public respondent Court of Appeals in denying petitioner's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The contention ** that R.A. No. 7691 divested the Regional Trial Courts of jurisdiction to try libel cases cannot be sustained. While libel is punishable by imprisonment of six months and one day to four years and two months (Art. 360 Revised Penal Code) which imposable penalty is lodged within the Municipal Trial Courts' jurisdiction under R.A. No. 7691 (Sec. 32 [2]), said law, however, excludes therefrom' ** cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts **.' The Court in Bocobo vs. Estanislao, 72 SCRA 520 and Jalandoni vs. Endaya, 55 SCRA 261, correctly cited by the Court of Appeals, has laid down the rule that Regional Trial Courts have the exclusive jurisdiction over libel cases, hence, the expanded jurisdiction conferred by R.A. 7691 to inferior courts cannot be applied to libel cases." Moreover, Administrative Order No. 104-96 — treating of the subject: "** DESIGNATION OF SPECIAL COURTS FOR KIDNAPPING, ROBBERY, CARNAPPING, DANGEROUS DRUGS CASES AND OTHER HEINOUS CRIMES; INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND JURISDICTION IN LIBEL CASES" — issued on October 21, 1996 by the Chief Justice upon the advice and consent of the Court En banc, inter alia, provides, in categorical acknowledgment of the validity of the doctrine just adverted to, that "LIBEL CASES SHALL BE TRIED BY THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS HAVING JURISDICTION OVER THEM TO THE EXCLUSION OF THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS." TaDSCA 2. ID.; COURT ORDERS; FINAL ORDERS DISTINGUISHED FROM INTERLOCUTORY ORDERS. — Concerning respondents' contention that the challenged orders are now immutable, having become final and executory for failure of the prosecution to take an appeal therefrom, it suffices to advert to the familiar and uniformly applied axiom that only final orders — i.e., those that finally dispose of a case, leaving nothing more to be done by the court respecting the merits of a case — can become final and executory — in the sense of becoming unalterable through an appeal or review proceeding. Interlocutory orders, on the other hand — i.e., those which resolve incidental motions or collateral matters but do not put an end to the case — never become final in the sense of becoming unchangeable and impervious to impugnation after expiration of the period prescribed for taking an appeal from a final judgment. 3. ID.; VENUE; JURISDICTIONAL IN CRIMINAL CASES. — Respecting respondents' claim that venue is merely procedural, suffice it to point out that unlike in civil cases, in criminal cases venue is jurisdictional. EIaDHS DECISION NARVASA, C.J p: Whether it is the Regional Trial Court, or the Metropolitan Trial Court or other first level court which has exclusive original jurisdiction over criminal actions of libel, is the issue raised by the People of the

Philippines, as petitioner in the special civil action of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus at bar. The fairly simple facts from which the issue has arisen are hereunder briefly narrated. On January 30, 1995 an information for libel was filed against Isah V. Red in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. The case thereby initiated was docketed as Criminal Case No. 95-60134 and raffled to Branch 82. Red filed a motion to quash the information on the ground that the RTC had no jurisdiction of the offense. The Judge found merit in the motion and by an Order dated March 29, 1995, remanded the case to the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City "for proper action/disposition in the premises." His Honor declared that "(u)nder Section 2 of R.A. No. 7691, which took effect on April 15, 1994, exclusive original jurisdiction over 'all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years, irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value or amount thereof' is vested in the Municipal Trial Court. **" The case was accordingly transferred to the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court where it was docketed as Case No. 43-00548 and raffled to Branch 43. Thereafter, the private prosecutor, "under the control and supervision of the Fiscal," filed a "Manifestation and Motion to Remand" dated August 1, 1995 praying that the case be returned to the RTC. The movant invoked Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, which pertinently provides that: 1 "xxx

xxx

xxx

The criminal action and civil action for damages in case of written defamation, as provided for in this chapter, shall be filed simultaneously or separately with the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published or where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense." ** and argued that — "** Laws vesting jurisdiction exclusively with a particular court (such as the Court of Tax Appeals) are special in character, and should prevail over the Judiciary Act defining the jurisdiction of other courts (such as the Court of First Instance) which is a general law. (De Joya vs. Lantin, 19 SCRA 893). Moreover, a general law cannot repeal or amend by implication a specific provision or a special law. Otherwise stated: a subsequent statute, general in character as to its terms and operation, is not to be construed as repealing a special or specific enactment, unless the legislative purpose to do so is manifested. This is so, even if the provisions of the latter are sufficiently comprehensive to include what was set forth in the special act. (Philippine Railway Co. vs. CIR, 91 Phil. 35; Villegas vs. Subido, 41 SCRA 190; Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. CA, 207 SCRA 487)." The MetroTC denied the motion by Order dated August 14, 1995. It opined that "Rep. Act No. 7691, which took effect on April 15, 1994, would partake of the nature of a 'modern' law which impliedly repeals an 'ancient' law (the Revised Penal Code) which is of 1932 vintage, which is inconsistent with the later law **; (and that) if the repeal makes the penalty lighter in the new law, the new law shall be applied." 2 Later, the MetroTC also denied the private prosecutor's motion for reconsideration, by Order dated September 7, 1995. Still later, in an Order dated October 18, 1995, it denied another motion by the same counsel reiterating the plea to remand the case back to the RTC, and further directed "the prosecution to present ** (its) next witness," trial having in the meantime commenced. Now, in this proceeding, the State prays for judgment: "(1) declaring the questioned Orders dated August 14, 1995, September 7, 1995, and October 18, 1995 as null and void for having been issued by the respondent court acting without jurisdiction; (2) enjoining the respondent court from further conducting trials in Criminal Case No. 43-00548; and (3) commanding the respondent court to remand Criminal Case No. 43-00548 to the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for proper disposition." It cites Jalandoni v. Endaya (55 SCRA 261 [1974], where this Court (a) drew attention to the categorical language of Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code to the effect that "it is a court of first instance that is specifically designated to try a libel case," and (b) indicated "thirteen (13) cases, from People v. Topacio, 59 Phil. 356 (1934) to Time, Inc. v. Reyes, 39 SCRA 303 (1971), wherein this ** Court ruled that municipal courts do not have jurisdiction over libel cases." 3 It further argues that in light of Jalandoni, and Berces v. Guingona (241 SCRA 539 [1995]) — to the effect that a subsequent statute, general in character as to its terms and application, is not to be construed as repealing a special or specific enactment unless the

legislative purpose to do so is manifest or an irreconcilable inconsistency and repugnancy exists between them — Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code may not be deemed to have been superseded by Republic Act No. 7691. This Court has already had occasion to resolve the issue, substantially in line with the position taken by the People, account having been taken of substantially the same arguments adduced by the opposing parties in this case. In G.R. No. 122126 entitled Lydia Caro vs. Court of Appeals and Violeta Sarigumba, involving the same jurisdictional issue as that specifically presented in the case at bar, this Court promulgated a Resolution on June 19, 1996 pertinently reading as follows: "Anent the question of jurisdiction, we ** find no reversible error committed by public respondent Court of Appeals in denying petitioner's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The contention ** that R.A. No. 7691 divested the Regional Trial Courts of jurisdiction to try libel cases cannot be sustained. While libel is punishable by imprisonment of six months and one day to four years and two months (Art. 360, Revised Penal Code) which imposable penalty is lodged within the Municipal Trial Courts' jurisdiction under R.A. No. 7691 (Sec. 32 [2]), said law, however, excludes therefrom 'cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts .' The Court in Bocobo vs. Estanislao, 72 SCRA 520 and Jalandoni vs. Endaya, 55 SCRA 261, correctly cited by the Court of Appeals, has laid down the rule that Regional Trial Courts have the exclusive jurisdiction over libel cases , hence, the expanded jurisdiction conferred by R.A. 7691 to inferior courts cannot be applied to libel cases." Moreover, Administrative Order No. 104-96 — treating of the subject: "** DESIGNATION OF SPECIAL COURTS FOR KIDNAPPING, ROBBERY, CARNAPPING, DANGEROUS DRUGS CASES AND OTHER HEINOUS CRIMES; INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND JURISDICTION IN LIBEL CASES" — issued on October 21, 1996 by the Chief Justice upon the advice and consent of the Court En Banc, inter alia provides, in categorical acknowledgment of the validity of the doctrine just adverted to, that "LIBEL CASES SHALL BE TRIED BY THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS HAVING JURISDICTION OVER THEM TO THE EXCLUSION OF THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS." The proposition is hereby reaffirmed, the Court perceiving no argument advanced by respondents justifying its abrogation or modification. Concerning respondents' contention that the challenged orders are now immutable, having become final and executory for failure of the prosecution to take an appeal therefrom, it suffices to advert to the familiar and uniformly applied axiom that only final orders — i.e., those that finally dispose of a case, leaving nothing more to be done by the court respecting the merits of a case — can become final and executory — in the sense of becoming unalterable through an appeal or review proceeding. 4 Interlocutory orders, on the other hand — i.e., those which resolve incidental motions or collateral matters but do not put an end to the case — never become final in the sense of becoming unchangeable and impervious to impugnation after expiration of the period prescribed for taking an appeal from a final judgment. 5 Respecting respondents' claim that venue is merely procedural, suffice it to point out that unlike in civil cases, in criminal cases venue is jurisdictional. 6 WHEREFORE, the petition is granted; the respondent Court's Orders dated August 14, 1995, September 7, 1995, and October 18, 1995 are declared null and void for having been issued without jurisdiction; and said Court is enjoined from further taking cognizance of and proceeding with Criminal Case No. 4300548, which it is commanded to remand to the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for proper disposition. IT IS SO ORDERED. Davide, Jr., Melo, Francisco and Panganiban, JJ ., concur. Footnotes 1.

Emphasis, movant's.

2.

Emphasis in original text.

3.

Rollo, p. 11.

4. In Re: Joaquin T. Borromeo. Ex Rel. Cebu City Chapter, IBP, 241 SCRA 405 (1995), citing Garbo v. C.A., 226 SCRA 250 (1993), GSIS v. Gines, 219 SCRA 724; Gesulgon v. NLRC, 219 SCRA 561 (1993); Paramount Insurance Corporation v. Japson, 211 SCRA 879 (1992); Cachola v. C.A., 208 SCRA 496 (1992); Enriquez v. C.A., 202 SCRA 487 (1991); Alvendia v. IAC, 181 SCRA 252 (1990); Turqueza v. Hernando, 97 SCRA 483 (1980); Lee Gun Tin v. Aligaen, 76 SCRA 416 (1977); SEE also Javier v. C.A., 224 SCRA 774 (1993), citing Gabaya v. Mendoza, 113 SCRA 400 (1982); Ceniza v. C.A., 218 SCRA 390 (1993). 5. Denso (Phils.) Inc. v. IAC, et al., 148 SCRA 280 (1987); Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan (First Division), et al., 244 SCRA 152 (1995); Dizon v. C.A., 210 SCRA 107 (1992). 6. Peo. v. Mercado, 65 Phil. 665; Alfelor, et al. v. Intia, et al., 70 SCRA 460, citing Lopez v. City Judge, 18 SCRA 616, in turn citing US v. Pagdayuman, 5 Phil. 265; Beltran v. Ramos, 96 Phil. 149; Ragpala v. Justice of the Peace of Tubod, 109 Phil. 373; Peo. v. Yumang, 11 SCRA 279; Peo. v. San Antonio, 14 SCRA 63; Bala v. Martinez, 181 SCRA 459, 569, citing Ragpala v. Tubod, 109 Phil. 373.

4. People v. Sandiganbayan THIRD DIVISION [G.R. Nos. 147706-07. February 16, 2005.] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (Fifth Division) and EFREN L. ALAS, respondents. DECISION CORONA, J p: Does the Sandiganbayan have jurisdiction over presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations organized and incorporated under the Corporation Code for purposes of the provisions of RA 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act? The petitioner, represented by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), takes the affirmative position in this petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Respondent Efren L. Alas contends otherwise, together with the respondent court. DEICHc Pursuant to a resolution dated September 30, 1999 of the Office of the Ombudsman, two separate informations 1 for violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, were filed with the Sandiganbayan on November 17, 1999 against Efren L. Alas. The charges emanated from the alleged anomalous advertising contracts entered into by Alas, in his capacity as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB), with Bagong Buhay Publishing Company which purportedly caused damage and prejudice to the government. On October 30, 2002, Alas filed a motion to quash the informations for lack of jurisdiction, which motion was vehemently opposed by the prosecution. After considering the arguments of both parties, the respondent court ruled that PPSB was a private corporation and that its officers, particularly herein respondent Alas, did not fall under Sandiganbayan jurisdiction. According to the Sandiganbayan: After a careful consideration of the arguments of the accused-movant as well as of that of the prosecution, we are of the considered opinion that the instant motion of the accused is well taken. Indeed, it is the basic thrust of Republic Act as well as (sic) Presidential Decree No. 1606 as amended by President Decree No. 1486 and Republic Act No. 7975 and Republic Act No. 8249 that the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction only over public officers unless private persons are charged with them in the commission of the offenses. DcCEHI The records disclosed that while Philippine Postal Savings Bank is a subsidiary of the Philippine Postal Corporation which is a government owned corporation, the same is not created by a special law. It was organized and incorporated under the Corporation Code which is Batas Pambansa Blg. 68. It was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under SEC No. AS094-005593 on June 22, 1994 with a lifetime of fifty (50) years. Under its Articles of Incorporation the purpose for which said entity is formed was primarily for business, . . . Likewise, a scrutiny of the seven (7) secondary purposes of the corporation points to the conclusion that it exists for business. Obviously, it is not involved in the performance of a particular function in the exercise of government power. Thus, its officers and employees are not covered by the GSIS and are under the SSS law, and actions for reinstatement and backwages are not within the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission but by the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). cAEaSC The Supreme Court, in the case of Trade Unions of the Philippines and Allied Services vs. National Housing Corp., 173 SCRA 33, held that the Civil Service now covers only government owned or controlled corporations with original or legislative charters, those created by an act of Congress or by special law, and not those incorporated under and pursuant to a general legislation. The Highest Court categorically ruled that the Civil Service does not include government-owned or controlled corporation which are organized as subsidiaries of government-owned or controlled corporation under the general corporation law. In Philippine National Oil Company — Energy Development Corporation vs. Leogardo, 175 SCRA 26, the Supreme Court emphasized that:

The test in determining whether a government-owned or controlled corporation is subject to the Civil Service Law is the manner of its creation such that government corporation created by special charter are subject to its provision while those incorporated under the general corporation law are not within its coverage. aAHISE Likewise in Davao City Water District vs. Civil Service Commission, 201 SCRA 601 it was held that "by government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter we mean government-owned or controlled corporation created by a special law and not under the Corporation Code of the Philippines" while in Llenes vs. Dicdican, et al., 260 SCRA 207, a public officer has been ruled, as a person whose duties involve the exercise of discretion in the performance of the function of government. Clearly, on the basis of the foregoing pronouncements of the Supreme Court, the accused herein cannot be considered a public officer. Thus, this Court may not exercise jurisdiction over his act. 2 Dissatisfied, the People, through the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), filed this petition 3 arguing, in essence, that the PPSB was a government-owned or controlled corporation as the term was defined under Section 2(13) of the Administrative Code of 1987. 4 Likewise, in further defining the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, RA 8249 did not make a distinction as to the manner of creation of the governmentowned or controlled corporations for their officers to fall under its jurisdiction. Hence, being President and Chief Operating Officer of the PPSB at the time of commission of the crimes charged, respondent Alas came under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. TaCDIc Quoting at length from the assailed resolution dated February 15, 2001, respondent Alas, on the other hand, practically reiterated the pronouncements made by the respondent court in support of his conclusion that the PPSB was not created by special law, hence, its officers did not fall within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. 5 We find merit in the petition. Section 2(13) of EO 292 6 defines government-owned or controlled corporations as follows: Sec. 2. General Terms Defined — Unless the specific words of the text or the context as a whole or a particular statute, shall require a different meaning: xxx

xxx

xxx

(13) government owned or controlled corporations refer to any agency organized as a stock or nonstock corporation vested with functions relating to public needs whether governmental or proprietary in nature, and owned by the government directly or indirectly or through its instrumentalities either wholly, or where applicable as in the case of stock corporations to the extent of at least 51% of its capital stock: provided, that government owned or controlled corporations may be further categorized by the department of the budget, the civil service commission and the commission on audit for the purpose of the exercise and discharge of their respective powers, functions and responsibilities with respect to such corporations. DACaTI From the foregoing, PPSB fits the bill as a government-owned or controlled corporation, and organized and incorporated under the Corporation Code as a subsidiary of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHILPOST). More than 99% of the authorized capital stock of PPSB belongs to the government while the rest is nominally held by its incorporators who are/were themselves officers of PHILPOST. The creation of PPSB was expressly sanctioned by Section 32 of RA 7354, otherwise known as the Postal Service Act of 1992, for purposes of, among others, "to encourage and promote the virtue of thrift and the habit of savings among the general public, especially the youth and the marginalized sector in the countryside . . ." and to facilitate postal service by "receiving collections and making payments, including postal money orders." 7 It is not disputed that the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters whenever charges of graft and corruption are involved. However, a question arises whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the same officers in government-owned or controlled corporations organized and incorporated under the Corporation Code in view of the delimitation provided for in Article IX-B Section 2(1) of the 1987 Constitution which states that:

SEC. 2. (1) The Civil Service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters. aEcHCD It should be pointed out however, that the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is separate and distinct from the Civil Service Commission. The same is governed by Article XI, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution which provides that "the present anti-graft court known as the Sandiganbayan shall continue to function and exercise its jurisdiction as now or hereafter may be provided by law." This provision, in effect, retained the jurisdiction of the anti-graft court as defined under Article XIII, Section 5 of the 1973 Constitution which mandated its creation, thus: Sec. 5. The Batasang Pambansa shall create a special court, to be known as Sandiganbayan, which shall have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases involving graft and corrupt practices and such other offense committed by public officers and employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, in relation to their office as may be determined by law. (Italics ours) EICSDT On March 30, 1995, Congress, pursuant to its authority vested under the 1987 Constitution, enacted RA 7975 8 maintaining the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations without any distinction whatsoever. Thereafter, on February 5, 1997, Congress enacted RA 8249 9 which preserved the subject provision: Section 4. involving:

Jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases

a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense, IDAEHT (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director, and higher, otherwise classified as grade "27" and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758) specifically including: xxx

xxx

xxx

(g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations.(Italics ours) The legislature, in mandating the inclusion of "presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations" within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, has consistently refrained from making any distinction with respect to the manner of their creation. CaHcET The deliberate omission, in our view, clearly reveals the intention of the legislature to include the presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of both types of corporations within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan whenever they are involved in graft and corruption. Had it been otherwise, it could have simply made the necessary distinction. But it did not. It is a basic principle of statutory construction that when the law does not distinguish, we should not distinguish. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemos. Corollarily, Article XI Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, on the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman (the government's prosecutory arm against persons charged with graft and corruption), includes officers and employees of government-owned or controlled corporations, likewise without any distinction. TCIHSa In Quimpo v. Tanodbayan, 10 this Court, already mindful of the pertinent provisions of the 1987 Constitution, ruled that the concerned officers of government-owned or controlled corporations, whether created by special law or formed under the Corporation Code, come under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan for purposes of the provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Otherwise, as we emphasized therein, a major policy of Government, which is to eradicate, or at the very least minimize, the graft and corruption that has permeated the fabric of the public service like a malignant social cancer, would be seriously undermined. In fact, Section 1 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act embodies this policy of the government, that is, to repress certain acts not only of public officers but also of private persons constituting graft or corrupt practices or which may lead thereto.

The foregoing pronouncement has not outlived its usefulness. On the contrary, it has become even more relevant today due to the rampant cases of graft and corruption that erode the people's faith in government. For indeed, a government-owned or controlled corporation can conceivably create as many subsidiary corporations under the Corporation Code as it might wish, use public funds, disclaim public accountability and escape the liabilities and responsibilities provided by law. By including the concerned officers of government-owned or controlled corporations organized and incorporated under the Corporation Code within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, the legislature evidently seeks to avoid just that. IDAESH WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby GRANTED and the assailed resolution dated February 15, 2001 of the respondent court is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. SO ORDERED. Panganiban, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio-Morales and Garcia, JJ., concur. Footnotes 1.

Docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 25750-25751.

2.

Resolution dated February 15, 2001, Annex "A", Rollo, pp. 18-22.

3.

Rollo, pp. 2-17.

4.

EO No. 292.

5.

Comment, Rollo, pp. 38-49.

6.

Administrative Code of 1987.

7.

Articles of Incorporation of PPSB, Annex "C", Rollo, pp. 27-35.

8. Entitled: ACT TO STRENGTHEN THE FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN, AMENDING FOR THAT PURPOSE PD 1606, AS AMENDED. 9. Entitled: AN ACT FURTHER DEFINING THE JURISDICTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN. AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1606, AS AMENDED, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. 10.

230 Phil. 232 (1986).

5. Lacson v. Sandiganbayan EN BANC [G.R. No. 128096. January 20, 1999.] PANFILO M. LACSON, petitioner, vs. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE SANDIGANBAYAN, OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, MYRNA ABALORA, NENITA ALAP-AP, IMELDA PANCHO MONTERO, and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. ROMEO M. ACOP and FRANCISCO G. ZUBIA, JR., petitioners-intervenors. Fortun Narvasa & Salazar for petitioner. Chavez Laureta & Associates for petitioners-intervenors. The Solicitor General for public respondents. Free Legal Assistance Group for private respondents. SYNOPSIS This is a petition for prohibition and mandamus filed by petitioner Panfilo M. Lacson and petitionersintervenors Romeo Acop and Francisco Zubia, Jr. questioning the constitutionality of Sections 4 and 7 of Republic Act 8249 — an Act which further defines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. They also seek to prevent the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with the trial of Criminal Cases Nos. 23047-23057 against them on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. They further argued that if the case is tried before the Sandiganbayan, their right to procedural due process would violate as they could no longer avail of the two-tiered appeal to the Sandiganbayan, which they acquired under RA 7975, before recourse to the Supreme Court. TSEcAD The Court ruled that the challengers of Sections 4 and 7 of RA 8249 failed to rebut the presumption of constitutionality and reasonableness of the questioned provisions. The classification between those pending cases involving the concerned public officials whose trial has not yet commenced and whose cases could have been affected by the amendments of the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction under RA 8249, as against those cases where trial had already started as of the approval of the law, rests on substantial distinction that makes real differences. Since it is within the power of the Congress to define the jurisdiction of courts subject to the constitutional limitations, it can be reasonably anticipated that an alteration of that jurisdiction would necessarily affect pending cases, which is why it has to provide for a remedy in the form of a transitory provision. Thus, petitioner and intervenors cannot now claim that Sections 4 and 7 placed them under a different category from those similarly situated as them. Moreover, petitioner's and intervenor's contention that their right to a two-tiered appeal which they acquired under RA 7975 has been diluted by the enactment of RA 8249 is incorrect. The same contention had already been rejected by the Court considering that the right to appeal is not a natural right but statutory in nature that can be regulated by law. The mode of procedure provided for in the statutory right to appeal is not included in the prohibition against ex post facto law. RA 8249 pertains only to matters of procedure, and being merely an amendatory statute it does not partake the nature of an ex post facto law. Anent the issue of jurisdiction, the Court ruled that for failure to show in the amended informations that the charge of murder was intimately connected with the discharge of official functions of those accused PNP officers, the offense charged in the subject criminal cases is plain murder and therefore, within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court, not the Sandiganbayan. Accordingly, the constitutionality of Sections 4 and 7 of RA 8249 is sustained and the Addendum to the March 5, 1997 resolution of the Sandiganbayan is reversed. CaEIST SYLLABUS 1. REMEDIAL LAW; JURISDICTION; SANDIGANBAYAN; REQUISITES TO FALL UNDER ITS EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION. — A perusal of the aforequoted Section 4 of R.A. 8249 reveals that to fall under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, the following requisites must concur: (1) the offense committed is a violation of (a) R.A. 3019, as amended (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), (b) R.A. 1379 (the law on ill-gotten wealth), (c) Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code (the law on bribery), (d) Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14, and 14-A, issued in 1986 (sequestration cases), or (e) other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes;

(2) the offender committing the offenses in items (a), (b), (c) and (e) is a public official or employee holding any of the positions enumerated in paragraph a of Section 4; and (3) the offense committed is in relation to the office. ICASEH 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; WHAT DETERMINES THE SANDIGANBAYAN'S JURISDICTION IS THE OFFICIAL POSITION OR RANK OF THE OFFENDER. — Considering that herein petitioner and intervenors are being charged with murder which is a felony punishable under Title VIII of the Revised Penal Code, the governing provision on the jurisdictional offense is not paragraph a but paragraph b, Section 4 of R.A. 8249. This paragraph b pertains to "other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of [Section 4, R.A. 8249] in relation to their office." The phrase "other offenses or felonies" is too broad as to include the crime of murder, provided it was committed in relation to the accused's official functions. Thus, under said paragraph b, what determines the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction is the official position or rank of the offender — that is, whether he is one of those public officers or employees enumerated in paragraph a of Section 4. The offenses mentioned in paragraphs a, b and c of the same Section 4 do not make any reference to the criminal participation of the accused public officer as to whether he is charged as a principal, accomplice or accessory. In enacting R.A. 8249, the Congress simply restored the original provisions of P.D. 1606 which does not mention the criminal participation of the public officer as a requisite to determine the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. 3. CRIMINAL LAW; EX POST FACTO LAW; DEFINED; REPUBLIC ACT 8249 NOT AN EX POST FACTO LAW. — Again, this contention is erroneous. There is nothing ex post facto in R.A. 8249. In Calder v. Bull, an ex post facto law is one — (a) which makes an act done criminal before the passing of the law and which was innocent when committed, and punishes such action; or (b) which aggravates a crime or makes it greater than when it was committed; or (c) which changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than the law annexed to the crime when it was committed, (d) which alters the legal rules of evidence and receives less or different testimony than the law required at the time of the commission of the offense in order to convict the defendant, (e) every law which, in relation to the offense or its consequences, alters the situation of a person to his disadvantage. This Court added two more to the list, namely: (f) that which assumes to regulate civil rights and remedies only but in effect imposes a penalty or deprivation of a right which when done was lawful; (g) deprives a person accused of crime of some lawful protection to which he has become entitled, such as the protection of a former conviction or acquittal, or a proclamation of amnesty. Ex post facto law, generally, prohibits retrospectively of penal laws. R.A. 8249 is not a penal law. It is a substantive law on jurisdiction which is not penal in character. Penal laws are those acts of the Legislature which prohibit certain acts and establish penalties for their violations; or those that define crimes, treat of their nature and provide for their punishment. R.A. 7975, which amended P.D. 1606 as regards the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction, its mode of appeal and other procedural matters, has been declared by the Court as not a penal law, but clearly a procedural statute, i.e. one which prescribes rules of procedure by which courts applying laws of all kinds can properly administer justice. Not being a penal law, the retroactive application of R.A. 8249 cannot be challenged as unconstitutional. 4. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; RIGHT TO APPEAL IS NOT A NATURAL RIGHT BUT STATUTORY IN NATURE THAT CAN BE REGULATED BY LAW. — Petitioner's and intervenors' contention that their right to a two-tiered appeal which they acquired under R.A. 7975 has been diluted by the enactment of R.A. 8249, is incorrect. The same contention has already been rejected by the court several times considering that the right to appeal is not a natural right but statutory in nature that can be regulated by law. The mode of procedure provided for in the statutory right of appeal is not included in the prohibition against ex post facto laws. R.A. 8249 pertains only to matters of procedure, and being merely an amendatory statute it does not partake the nature of an ex post facto law. It does not mete out a penalty and, therefore, does not come within the prohibition. Moreover, the law did not alter the rules of evidence or the mode of trial. It has been ruled that adjective statutes may be made applicable to actions pending and unresolved at the time of their passage. In any case, R.A. 8249 has preserved the accused's right appeal to the Supreme Court to review questions of law. On the removal of the intermediate review of facts, the Supreme Court still has the power of review to determine if the presumption of innocence has been convincingly overcome. ESTDIA

5. ID.; SANDIGANBAYAN; JURISDICTION; DEFINED; SECTION 4 OF REPUBLIC ACT 8249 REQUIRES THAT THE OFFENSE CHARGED MUST BE COMMITTED BY THE OFFENDER IN RELATION TO HIS OFFICE IN ORDER FOR THE SANDIGANBAYAN TO HAVE JURISDICTION OVER IT. — The jurisdiction of a court is defined by the Constitution or statute. The elements of that definition must appear in the complaint or information so as to ascertain which court has jurisdiction over a case. Hence the elementary rule that the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information, and not by the evidence presented by the parties at the trial. As stated earlier, the multiple murder charge against petitioner and intervenors falls under Section 4 [paragraph b] of R.A. 8249. Section 4 requires that the offense charged must be committed by the offender in relation to his office in order for the Sandiganbayan to have jurisdiction over it. This jurisdictional requirement is in accordance with Section 5, Article XIII of the 1973 Constitution which mandated that the Sandiganbayan shall have jurisdiction over criminal cases committed by public officers and employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, "in relation to their office as may be determined by law." This constitutional mandate was reiterated in the new [1987] Constitution when it declared in Section 4 thereof that the Sandiganbayan "shall continue to function and exercise its jurisdiction as now or hereafter may be provided by law." 6. ID.; ID.; ID.; MERE ALLEGATION IN THE INFORMATION THAT THE OFFENSE WAS COMMITTED BY THE ACCUSED PUBLIC OFFICER IN RELATION TO HIS OFFICE IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO FALL UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF SANDIGANBAYAN. — The stringent requirement that the charge be set forth with such particularity as will reasonably indicate the exact offense which the accused is alleged to have committed in relation to his office was, sad to say, not satisfied. We believe that the mere allegation in the amended information that the offense was committed by the accused public officer in relation to his office" is not sufficient. That phrase is merely a conclusion of law, not a factual averment that would show the close intimacy between the offense charged and the discharge of the accused's official duties. In People vs. Magallanes, where the jurisdiction between the Regional Trial Court and the Sandiganbayan was at issue, we ruled: "It is an elementary rule that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information and not by the result of evidence after trial. "In (People vs. Montejo (108 Phil. 613 [1960]), where the amended information alleged Leroy S. Brown City Mayor of Basilan City, as such, has organized groups of police patrol and civilian commandoes consisting of regular policemen and . . . special policemen appointed and provided by him with pistols and high power guns and then established a camp . . . at Tipo-tipo which is under his command . . . supervision and control where his co-defendants were stationed, entertained criminal complaints and conducted the corresponding investigations as well as assumed the authority to arrest and detain person without due process of law and without bringing them to the proper court, and that in line with this set-up established by said Mayor of Basilan City as such, and acting upon his orders his co-defendants arrested and maltreated Awalin Tebag who died in consequence thereof. We held that the offense charged was committed in relation to the office of the accused because it was perpetrated while they were in the performance, though improper or irregular of their official functions and would not have been committed had they not held their office, besides, the accused had no personal motive in committing the crime thus, there was an intimate connection between the offense and the office of the accused. "Unlike in Montejo the informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 in the court below do not indicate that the accused arrested and investigated the victims and then killed the latter in the course of the investigation. The informations merely allege that the accused, for the purpose of extracting or extorting the sum of P353,000.00 abducted, kidnapped and detained the two victims, and failing in their common purpose, they spot and killed the said victims. For the purpose of determining jurisdiction, it is these allegations that shall control, and not the evidence presented by the prosecution at the trial." In the aforecited case of People vs. Montejo, it is noteworthy that the phrase committed in relation to public office does not appear in the information, which only signifies that the said phrase is not what determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. What is controlling is the specific factual allegations in the information that would indicate the close intimacy between the discharge of the accused's official duties and the commission of the offense charged, in order to qualify the crime as having been committed in relation to public office. Consequently, for failure to show in the amended informations that the charge of murder was intimately connected with the discharge of official functions of the accused PNP officers, the offense charged in the subject criminal cases is plain murder and, therefore, within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court, not the Sandiganbayan.

DECISION MARTINEZ, J p: The constitutionality of Sections 4 and 7 of Republic Act No. 8249 — an act which further defines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan — is being challenged in this petition for prohibition and mandamus. Petitioner Panfilo Lacson, joined by petitioners-intervenors Romeo Acop and Francisco Zubia, Jr., also seeks to prevent the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with the trial of Criminal Cases Nos. 23047-23057 (for multiple murder) against them on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. LLphil The antecedents of this case, as gathered from the parties' pleadings and documentary proofs, are as follows: In the early morning of May 18, 1995, eleven (11) persons believed to be members of the Kuratong Baleleng gang, reportedly an organized crime syndicate which had been involved in a spate of bank robberies in Metro Manila, were slain along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City by elements of the Anti-Bank Robbery and Intelligence Task Group (ABRITG) headed by Chief Superintendent Jewel Canson of the Philippine National Police (PNP). The ABRITG was composed of police officers from the Traffic Management Command (TMC) led by petitioner-intervenor Senior Superintendent Francisco Zubia, Jr.; Presidential Anti-Crime Commission — Task Force Habagat (PACC-TFH) headed by petitioner Chief Superintendent Panfilo M. Lacson; Central Police District Command (CPDC) led by Chief Superintendent Ricardo de Leon; and the Criminal Investigation Command (CIC) headed by petitionerintervenor Chief Superintendent Romeo Acop. Acting on a media expose of SPO2 Eduardo delos Reyes, a member of the CIC, that what actually transpired at dawn of May 18, 1995 was a summary execution (or a rub out) and not a shoot-out between the Kuratong Baleleng gang members and the ABRITG, Ombudsman Aniano Desierto formed a panel of investigators headed by the Deputy Ombudsman for Military Affairs, Bienvenido Blancaflor, to investigate the incident. This panel later absolved from any criminal liability all the PNP officers and personnel allegedly involved in the May 18, 1995 incident, with a finding that the said incident was a legitimate police operation. 1 However, a review board led by Overall Deputy Ombudsman Francisco Villa modified the Blancaflor panel's finding and recommended the indictment for multiple murder against twenty-six (26) respondents, including herein petitioner and intervenors. This recommendation was approved by the Ombudsman, except for the withdrawal of the charges against Chief Supt. Ricardo de Leon. Thus, on November 2, 1995, petitioner Panfilo Lacson was among those charged as principal in eleven (11) informations for murder 2 before the Sandiganbayan's Second Division, while intervenors Romeo Acop and Francisco Zubia, Jr. were among those charged in the same informations as accessories afterthe-fact. Upon motion by all the accused in the 11 informations, 3 the Sandiganbayan allowed them to file a motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsman's action. 4 After conducting a reinvestigation, the Ombudsman filed on March 1, 1996 eleven (11) amended informations 5 before the Sandiganbayan, wherein petitioner was charged only as an accessory, together with Romeo Acop and Francisco Zubia, Jr. and others. One of the accused 6 was dropped from the case. On March 5-6, 1996, all the accused filed separate motions questioning the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, asserting that under the amended informations, the cases fall within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court pursuant to Section 2 (paragraphs a and c) of Republic Act No. 7975. 7 They contend that the said law limited the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan to cases where one or more of the "principal accused" are government officials with Salary Grade (SG) 27 or higher, or PNP officials with the rank of Chief Superintendent (Brigadier General) or higher. The highest ranking principal accused in the amended informations has the rank of only a Chief Inspector, and none has the equivalent of at least SG 27. cda Thereafter, in a Resolution 8 dated May 8, 1996 (promulgated on May 9, 1996), penned by Justice Demetriou, with Justices Lagman and de Leon concurring, and Justices Balajadia and Garchitorena dissenting, 9 the Sandiganbayan admitted the amended information and ordered the cases transferred to

the Quezon City Regional Trial Court which has original and exclusive jurisdiction under R.A. 7975, as none of the principal accused has the rank of Chief Superintendent or higher. prLL On May 17, 1996, the Office of the Special Prosecutor moved for a reconsideration, insisting that the cases should remain with the Sandiganbayan. This was opposed by petitioner and some of the accused. While these motions for reconsideration were pending resolution, and even before the issue of jurisdiction cropped up with the filing of the amended informations on March 1, 1996, House Bill No. 2299 10 and No. 1094 11 (sponsored by Representatives Edcel C. Lagman and Neptali M. Gonzales II, respectively), as well as Senate Bill No. 844 12 (sponsored by Senator Neptali Gonzales), were introduced in Congress, defining/expanding the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Specifically, the said bills sought, among others, to amend the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan by deleting the word "principal" from the phrase "principal accused" in Section 2 (paragraphs a and c) of R.A. No. 7975. These bills were consolidated and later approved into law as R.A. No. 8249 13 by the President of the Philippines on February 5, 1997. Subsequently, on March 5, 1997, the Sandiganbayan promulgated a Resolution 14 denying the motion for reconsideration of the Special Prosecutor, ruling that it "stands pat in its resolution dated May 8, 1996." On the same day, 15 the Sandiganbayan issued an ADDENDUM to its March 5, 1997 Resolution, the pertinent portion of which reads: "After Justice Lagman wrote the Resolution and Justice Demetriou concurred in it, but before Justice de Leon, Jr. rendered his concurring and dissenting opinion, the legislature enacted Republic Act 8249 and the President of the Philippines approved it on February 5, 1997. Considering the pertinent provisions of the new law, Justices Lagman and Demetriou are now in favor of granting, as they are now granting, the Special Prosecutor's motion for reconsideration. Justice de Leon has already done so in his concurring and dissenting opinion. xxx

xxx

xxx

"Considering that three of the accused in each of these cases are PNP Chief Superintendents: namely, Jewel T. Canson, Romeo M. Acop and Panfilo M. Lacson, and that trial has not yet begun in all these cases — in fact, no order of arrest has been issued — this court has competence to take cognizance of these cases. "To recapitulate, the net result of all the foregoing is that by the vote of 3 to 2, the court admitted the Amended Informations in these cases and by the unanimous vote of 4 with 1 neither concurring nor dissenting, retained jurisdiction to try and decide the cases." 16 [Emphasis supplied] Petitioner now questions the constitutionality of Section 4 of R.A. No. 8249, including Section 7 thereof which provides that the said law "shall apply to all cases pending in any court over which trial has not begun as of the approval hereof." Petitioner argues that: "a) The questioned provisions of the statute were introduced by the authors thereof in bad faith as it was made to precisely suit the situation in which petitioner's cases were in at the Sandiganbayan by restoring jurisdiction thereover to it, thereby violating his right to procedural due process and the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Further, from the way the Sandiganbayan has footdragged for nine (9) months the resolution of a pending incident involving the transfer of the cases to the Regional Trial Court, the passage of the law may have been timed to overtake such resolution to render the issue therein moot, and frustrate the exercise of petitioner's vested rights under the old Sandiganbayan law (RA 7975). "b) Retroactive application of the law is plain from the fact that it was again made to suit the peculiar circumstances in which petitioner's cases were under, namely, that trial had not yet commenced, as provided in Section 7, to make certain that those cases will no longer be remanded to the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, as the Sandiganbayan alone should try them, thus making it an ex post facto legislation and a denial of the right of petitioner as an accused in Criminal Case Nos. 23047-23057 to procedural due process. "c) The title of the law is misleading in that it contains the aforesaid "innocuous" provisions in Sections 4 and 7 which actually expands rather than defines the old Sandiganbayan law (RA 7975),

thereby violating the one-title one-subject requirement for the passage of statutes under Section 26(1), Article VI of the Constitution." 17 For their part, the intervenors, in their petition-in-intervention, add that "while Republic Act No. 8249 innocuously appears to have merely expanded the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, the introduction of Sections 4 and 7 in said statute impressed upon it the character of a class legislation and an ex-post facto statute intended to apply specifically to the accused in the Kuratong Baleleng case pending before the Sandiganbayan." 18 They further argued that if their case is tried before the Sandiganbayan their right to procedural due process would be violated as they could no longer avail of the two-tiered appeal to the Sandiganbayan, which they acquired under R.A. 7975, before recourse to the Supreme Court. Both the Office of the Ombudsman and the Solicitor General filed separate pleadings in support of the constitutionality of the challenged provisions of the law in question and praying that both the petition and the petition-in-intervention be dismissed. This Court then issued a Resolution 19 requiring the parties to file simultaneously within a nonextendible period of ten (10) days from notice thereof additional memoranda on the question of whether the subject amended informations filed in Criminal Cases Nos. 23047-23057 sufficiently allege the commission by the accused therein of the crime charged within the meaning Section 4 b of Republic Act No. 8249, so as to bring the said cases within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The parties, except for the Solicitor General who is representing the People of the Philippines, filed the required supplemental memorandum within the nonextendible reglementary period. The established rule is that every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality, and to justify its nullification there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not a doubtful and argumentative one. 20 The burden of proving the invalidity of the law lies with those who challenge it. That burden, we regret to say, was not convincingly discharged in the present case. The creation of the Sandiganbayan was mandated in Section 5, Article XIII of the 1973 Constitution, which provides: "SEC. 5. The Batasang Pambansa shall create a special court, to be known as Sandiganbayan, which shall have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases involving graft and corrupt practices and such other offenses committed by public officers and employees including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, in relation to their office as may be determined by law." The said special court is retained in the new (1987) Constitution under the following provision in Article XI, Section 4: "Section 4. The present anti-graft court known as the Sandiganbayan shall continue to function and exercise its jurisdiction as now or hereafter may be provided by law." Pursuant to the constitutional mandate, Presidential Decree No. 1486 21 created the Sandiganbayan. Thereafter, the following laws on the Sandiganbayan, in chronological order, were enacted: P.D. No. 1606, 22 Section 20 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, 23 P.D. No. 1860, 24 P.D. No. 1861, 25 R.A. No. 7975, 26 and R.A. No. 8249. 27 Under the latest amendments introduced by Section 4 of R.A. No. 8249, the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the following cases: "SEC. 4. Section 4 of the same decree [P.D. No. 1606, as amended] is hereby further amended to read as follows: "SEC. 4. Jurisdiction. — The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: "a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense: (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as Grade '27' and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including:

(a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial department heads; (b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city department heads; (c)

Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;

(d)

Philippine Army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;

(e) Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank of senior superintendent or higher; cdphil (f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor; (g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations; (2) Members of Congress or officials thereof classified as Grade '27' and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989; (3)

Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;

(4) Chairman and members of the Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; (5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade '27' or higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. "b. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in Subsection a of this section in relation to their office. "c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986. "In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary Grade '27' or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act 6758, or military and PNP officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended. "The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments, resolutions or orders of regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction as herein provided. "The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions of the issuance of the writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, injunctions, and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and over petitions of similar nature, including quo warranto, arising or that may arise in cases filed or which may be filed under Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986: Provided, That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme Court. "The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as well as the implementing rules that the Supreme Court has promulgated and may hereafter promulgate, relative to appeals/petitions for review to the Court of Appeals, shall apply to appeals and petitions for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan and from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court, the Office of the Ombudsman, through its special prosecutor, shall represent the People of the Philippines, except in cases filed pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986. "In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over them. xxx

xxx

xxx." (Emphasis supplied)

Section 7 of R.A. No. 8249 states:

"SEC. 7. Transitory provision. — This act shall apply to all cases pending in any court over which trial has not begun as of the approval hereof." (Emphasis supplied) The Sandiganbayan law prior to R.A. 8249 was R.A. 7975. Section 2 of R.A. 7975 provides: "SEC. 2. Section 4 of the same decree [Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended] is hereby further amended to read as follows: "SEC. 4. Jurisdiction — The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: "a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the principal accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense: (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as Grade '27' and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including: (a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial department heads; (b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city department heads; (c)

Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;

(d)

Philippine Army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;

(e)

PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher rank;

(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor; (g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations; (2) Members of Congress or officials thereof classified as Grade '27' and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989; (3)

Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;

(4) Chairman and members of the Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; (5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade '27' or higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. "b. Other offenses or felonies committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in Subsection a of this section in relation to their office. "c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A. "In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary Grade '27' or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act 6758, or PNP officers occupying the rank of superintendent or higher, or their equivalent, exclusive jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. "The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction on appeals from the final judgments, resolutions or orders of regular courts where all the accused are occupying positions lower than grade '27,' or not otherwise covered by the preceding enumeration. xxx

xxx

xxx

"In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall have exclusive jurisdiction over them. xxx

xxx

xxx." (Emphasis supplied)

Section 7 of R.A. No. 7975 reads: "SEC. 7. Upon the effectivity of this Act, all criminal cases in which trial has not begun in the Sandiganbayan shall be referred to the proper courts." Under paragraphs a and c, Section 4 of R.A. 8249, the word "principal" before the word "accused" appearing in the above-quoted Section 2 (paragraphs a and c) of R.A. 7975, was deleted. It is due to this deletion of the word "principal" that the parties herein are at loggerheads over the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Petitioner and intervenors, relying on R.A. 7975, argue that the Regional Trial Court, not the Sandiganbayan, has jurisdiction over the subject criminal cases since none of the principal accused under the amended information has the rank of Superintendent 28 or higher. On the other hand, the Office of the Ombudsman, through the Special Prosecutor who is tasked to represent the People before the Supreme Court except in certain cases, 29 contends that the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction pursuant to R.A. 8249. A perusal of the aforequoted Section 4 of R.A. 8249 reveals that to fall under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, the following requisites must concur: (1) the offense committed is a violation of (a) R.A. 3019, as amended (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), (b) R.A. 1379 (the law on ill-gotten wealth), (c) Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code (the law on bribery), 30 (d) Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14, and 14-A, issued in 1986 (sequestration cases), 31 or (e) other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes; (2) the offender committing the offenses in items (a), (b), (c) and (e) is a public official or employee 32 holding any of the positions enumerated in paragraph a of Section 4; and (3) the offense committed is in relation to the office. Considering that herein petitioner and intervenors are being charged with murder which is a felony punishable under Title VIII of the Revised Penal Code, the governing provision on the jurisdictional offense is not paragraph a but paragraph b, Section 4 of R.A. 8249. This paragraph b pertains to "other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of [Section 4, R.A. 8249] in relation to their office." The phrase "other offenses or felonies" is too broad as to include the crime of murder, provided it was committed in relation to the accused's official functions. Thus, under said paragraph b, what determines the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction is the official position or rank of the offender — that is, whether he is one of those public officers or employees enumerated in paragraph a of Section 4. The offenses mentioned in paragraphs a, b and c of the same Section 4 do not make any reference to the criminal participation of the accused public officer as to whether he is charged as a principal, accomplice or accessory. In enacting R.A. 8249, the Congress simply restored the original provisions of P.D. 1606 which does not mention the criminal participation of the public officer as a requisite to determine the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Petitioner and intervenors' posture that Sections 4 and 7 of R.A. 8249 violate their right to equal protection of the law 33 because its enactment was particularly directed only to the Kuratong Baleleng cases in the Sandiganbayan, is a contention too shallow to deserve merit. No concrete evidence and convincing argument were presented to warrant a declaration of an act of the entire Congress and signed into law by the highest officer of the co-equal executive department as unconstitutional. Every classification made by law is presumed reasonable. Thus, the party who challenges the law must present proof of arbitrariness. 34 It is an established precept in constitutional law that the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws is not violated by a legislation based on reasonable classification. The classification is reasonable and not arbitrary when there is concurrence of four elements, namely: (1)

it must rest on substantial distinction;

(2)

it must be germane to the purpose of the law;

(3)

must not be limited to existing conditions only, and

(4)

must apply equally to all members of the same class. 35

all of which are present in this case. The challengers of Sections 4 and 7 of R.A. 8249 failed to rebut the presumption of constitutionality and reasonableness of the questioned provisions. The classification between those pending cases involving the concerned public officials whose trial has not yet commenced and whose cases could have been affected by the amendments of the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction under R.A. 8249, as against those cases where trial had already started as of the approval of the law, rests on substantial distinction that makes real differences. 36 In the first instance, evidence against them were not yet presented, whereas in the latter the parties had already submitted their respective proofs, examined witnesses and presented documents. Since it is within the power of Congress to define the jurisdiction of courts subject to the constitutional limitations, 37 it can be reasonably anticipated that an alteration of that jurisdiction would necessarily affect pending cases, which is why it has to provide for a remedy in the form of a transitory provision. Thus, petitioner and intervenors cannot now claim that Sections 4 and 7 placed them under a different category from those similarly situated as them. Precisely, paragraph a of Section 4 provides that it shall apply to "all cases involving" certain public officials and, under the transitory provision in Section 7, to "all cases pending in any court." Contrary to petitioner and intervenors' argument, the law is not particularly directed only to the Kuratong Baleleng cases. The transitory provision does not only cover cases which are in the Sandiganbayan but also in "any court." It just happened that the Kuratong Baleleng cases are one of those affected by the law. Moreover, those cases where trial had already begun are not affected by the transitory provision under Section 7 of the new law (R.A. 8249). In their futile attempt to have said sections nullified, heavy reliance is premised on what is perceived as bad faith on the part of a Senator and two Justices of the Sandiganbayan 38 for their participation in the passage of the said provisions. In particular, it is stressed that the Senator had expressed strong sentiments against those officials involved in the Kuratong Baleleng cases during the hearings conducted on the matter by the committee headed by the Senator. Petitioner further contends that the legislature is biased against him as he claims to have been selected from among the 67 million other Filipinos as the object of the deletion of the word "principal" in paragraph a, Section 4 of P.D. 1606, as amended, and of the transitory provision of R.A. 8249. 39 R.A. 8249, while still a bill, was acted, deliberated, considered by 23 other Senators and by about 250 Representatives, and was separately approved by the Senate and House of Representatives and, finally, by the President of the Philippines. On the perceived bias that the Sandiganbayan Justices allegedly had against petitioner during the committee hearings, the same would not constitute sufficient justification to nullify an otherwise valid law. Their presence and participation in the legislative hearings was deemed necessary by Congress since the matter before the committee involves the graft court of which one is the head of the Sandiganbayan and the other a member thereof. The Congress, in its plenary legislative powers, is particularly empowered by the Constitution to invite persons to appear before it whenever it decides to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. 40 Petitioner and intervenors further argued that the retroactive application of R.A. 8249 to the Kuratong Baleleng cases constitutes an ex post facto law 41 for they are deprived of their right to procedural due process as they can no longer avail of the two-tiered appeal which they had allegedly acquired under R.A. 7975. Again, this contention is erroneous. There is nothing ex post facto in R.A. 8249. In Calder v. Bull, 42 an ex post facto law is one — (a) which makes an act done criminal before the passing of the law and which was innocent when committed, and punishes such action; or (b)

which aggravates a crime or makes it greater than when it was committed; or

(c) which changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than the law annexed to the crime when it was committed; (d) which alters the legal rules of evidence and receives less or different testimony than the law required at the time of the commission of the offense in order to convict the defendant; 43

(e) Every law which, in relation to the offense or its consequences, alters the situation of a person to his disadvantage. 44 This Court added two more to the list, namely: (f) that which assumes to regulate civil rights and remedies only but in effect imposes a penalty or deprivation of a right which when done was lawful; (g) deprives a person accused of crime of some lawful protection to which he has become entitled, such as the protection of a former conviction or acquittal, or a proclamation of amnesty. 45 Ex post facto law, generally, prohibits retrospectivity of penal laws. 46 R.A. 8249 is not a penal law. It is a substantive law on jurisdiction which is not penal in character. Penal laws are those acts of the Legislature which prohibit certain acts and establish penalties for their violations; 47 or those that define crimes, treat of their nature, and provide for their punishment. 48 R.A. 7975, which amended P.D. 1606 as regards the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction, its mode of appeal and other procedural matters, has been declared by the Court as not a penal law, but clearly a procedural statute, i.e. one which prescribes rules of procedure by which courts applying laws of all kinds can properly administer justice. 49 Not being a penal law, the retroactive application of R.A. 8249 cannot be challenged as unconstitutional. cdpr Petitioner's and intervenors' contention that their right to a two-tiered appeal which they acquired under R.A. 7975 has been diluted by the enactment of R.A. 8249, is incorrect. The same contention has already been rejected by the court several times 50 considering that the right to appeal is not a natural right but statutory in nature that can be regulated by law. The mode of procedure provided for in the statutory right of appeal is not included in the prohibition against ex post facto laws. 51 R.A. 8249 pertains only to matters of procedure, and being merely an amendatory statute it does not partake the nature of an ex post facto law. It does not mete out a penalty and, therefore, does not come within the prohibition. 52 Moreover, the law did not alter the rules of evidence or the mode of trial. 53 It has been ruled that adjective statutes may be made applicable to actions pending and unresolved at the time of their passage. 54 In any case, R.A. 8249 has preserved the accused's right to appeal to the Supreme Court to review questions of law. 55 On the removal of the intermediate review of facts, the Supreme Court still has the power of review to determine if the presumption of innocence has been convincingly overcome. 56 Another point. The challenged law does not violate the one-title-one-subject provision of the Constitution. Much emphasis is placed on the wording in the title of the law that it "defines" the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction when what it allegedly does is to "expand" its jurisdiction. The expansion in the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, if it can be considered as such, does not have to be expressly stated in the title of the law because such is the necessary consequence of the amendments. The requirement that every bill must only have one subject expressed in the title 57 is satisfied if the title is comprehensive enough, as in this case, to include subjects related to the general purpose which the statute seeks to achieve. 58 Such rule is liberally interpreted and should be given a practical rather than a technical construction. There is here sufficient compliance with such requirement, since the title of R.A. 8249 expresses the general subject (involving the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan and the amendment of P.D. 1606, as amended) and all the provisions of the law are germane to that general subject. 59 The Congress, in employing the word "define" in the title of the law, acted within its powers since Section 2, Article VIII of the Constitution itself empowers the legislative body to "define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of various courts." 60 There being no unconstitutional infirmity in both the subject amendatory provision of Section 4 and the retroactive procedural application of the law as provided in Section 7 of R.A. No. 8249, we shall now determine whether under the allegations in the Informations, it is the Sandiganbayan or Regional Trial Court which has jurisdiction over the multiple murder case against herein petitioner and intervenors. The jurisdiction of a court is defined by the Constitution or statute. The elements of that definition must appear in the complaint or information so as to ascertain which court has jurisdiction over a case. Hence the elementary rule that the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information, 61 and not by the evidence presented by the parties at the trial. 62

As stated earlier, the multiple murder charge against petitioner and intervenors falls under Section 4 [paragraph b] of R.A. 8249. Section 4 requires that the offense charged must be committed by the offender in relation to his office in order for the Sandiganbayan to have jurisdiction over it. 63 This jurisdictional requirement is in accordance with Section 5, Article XIII of the 1973 Constitution which mandated that the Sandiganbayan shall have jurisdiction over criminal cases committed by public officers and employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations "in relation to their office as may be determined by law." This constitutional mandate was reiterated in the new (1987) Constitution when it declared in Section 4 thereof that the Sandiganbayan "shall continue to function and exercise its jurisdiction as now or hereafter may be provided by law." The remaining question to be resolved then is whether the offense of multiple murder was committed in relation to the office of the accused PNP officers. In People vs. Montejo, 64 we held that an offense is said to have been committed in relation to the office if it (the offense) is "intimately connected" with the office of the offender and perpetrated while he was in the performance of his official functions. 65 This intimate relation between the offense charged and the discharge of official duties "must be alleged in the information." 66 As to how the offense charged be stated in the information, Section 9 Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Court mandates: "SEC. 9. Cause of accusation. — The acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense must be stated in ordinary and concise language without repetition, not necessarily in the terms of the statute defining the offense, but in such form as is sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is intended to be charged, and enable the court to pronounce proper judgment." (Emphasis supplied) As early as 1954, we pronounced that "the factor that characterizes the charge is the actual recital of the facts." 67 "The real nature of the criminal charge is determined not from the caption or preamble of the information nor from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, they being conclusions of law, but by the actual recital of facts in the complaint or information." 68 The noble object of written accusations cannot be overemphasized. This was explained in U.S. v. Karelsen: 69 "The object of this written accusations was — First. To furnish the accused with such a description of the charge against him as will enable him to make his defense; and second, to avail himself of his conviction or acquittal for protection against a further prosecution for the same cause; and third, to inform the court of the facts alleged, so that it may decide whether they are sufficient in law to support a conviction, if one should be had. In order that this requirement may be satisfied, facts must be stated, not conclusions of law. Every crime is made up of certain acts and intent; these must be set forth in the complaint with reasonable particularity of time, place, names (plaintiff and defendant), and circumstances. In short, the complaint must contain a specific allegation of every fact and circumstance necessary to constitute the crime charged." (Emphasis supplied) It is essential, therefore, that the accused be informed of the facts that are imputed to him, as "he is presumed to have no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense." 70 Applying these legal principles and doctrines to the present case, we find the amended informations for murder against herein petitioner and intervenors wanting of specific factual averments to show the intimate relation/connection between the offense charged and the discharge of official function of the offenders. In the present case, one of the eleven (11) amended informations 71 for murder reads: "AMENDED INFORMATION "The undersigned Special Prosecution Officer III, Office of the Ombudsman, hereby accuses, CHIEF INSP. MICHAEL RAY AQUINO, CHIEF INSP. ERWIN T. VILLACORTE, SENIOR INSP. JOSELITO T. ESQUIVEL, INSP. RICARDO G. DANDAN, SPO4 VICENTE P. ARNADO, SPO4 ROBERTO F. LANGCAUON, SPO2 VIRGILIO V. PARAGAS, SPO2 ROLANDO R. JIMENEZ, SPO1 WILFREDO C. CUARTERO, SPO1 ROBERTO O. AGBALOG, SPO1 OSMUNDO B. CARINO, CHIEF SUPT. JEWEL F. CANSON, CHIEF SUPT. ROMEO M. ACOP, CHIEF SUPT. PANFILO M. LACSON, SENIOR SUPT.

FRANCISCO G. ZUBIA, JR., SUPT. ALMARIO A. HILARIO, CHIEF INSP. CESAR O. MANCAO III, CHIEF INSP. GIL L. MENESES, SENIOR INSP. GLENN DUMLAO, SENIOR INSP. ROLANDO ANDUYAN, INSP. CEASAR TANNAGAN, SPO3 WILLY NUAS, SPO3 CICERO S. BACOLOD, PO2 NORBERTO LASAGA, PO2 LEONARDO GLORIA and PO2 ALEJANDRO G. LIWANAG of the crime of Murder as defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code committed as follows: "That on or about May 18, 1995, in Mariano Marcos Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused CHIEF INSP. MICHAEL RAY AQUINO, CHIEF INSP. ERWIN T. VILLACORTE, SENIOR INSP. JOSELITO T. ESQUIVEL, INSP. RICARDO G. DANDAN, SPO4 VICENTE P. ARNADO, SPO4 ROBERTO F. LANGCAUON, SPO2 VIRGILIO V. PARAGAS, SPO2 ROLANDO R. JIMENEZ, SPO1 WILFREDO C. CUARTERO, SPO1 ROBERTO O. AGBALOG and SPO1 OSMUNDO B. CARINO, all taking advantage of their public and official positions as officers and members of the Philippine National Police and committing the acts herein alleged in relation to their public office, conspiring, with intent to kill and using firearms, with treachery, evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior strengths, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously shoot JOEL AMORA, thereby inflicting upon the latter mortal wounds which caused his instantaneous death to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of the said victim. "That accused CHIEF SUPT. JEWEL F. CANSON, CHIEF SUPT. ROMEO M. ACOP, CHIEF SUPT. PANFILO M . LACSON, SENIOR SUPT. FRANCISCO G. ZUBIA, JR., SUPT. ALMARIO A. HILARIO, CHIEF INSP. CESAR O. MANCAO II, CHIEF INSP. GIL L. MENESES, SENIOR INSP. GLENN DUMLAO, SENIOR INSP. ROLANDO ANDUYAN, INSP. CEASAR TANNAGAN, SPO3 WILLY NUAS, SPO3 CICERO S. BACOLOD, PO2 ALEJANDRO G. LIWANAG, committing the acts in relation to office as officers and members of the Philippine National Police, are charged herein as accessories after-the-fact for concealing the crime herein above alleged by, among others, falsely representing that there were no arrests made during the raid conducted by the accused herein at Superville Subdivision, Parañaque, Metro Manila, on or about the early dawn of May 18, 1995. "CONTRARY TO LAW" While the above-quoted information states that the above-named principal accused committed the crime of murder "in relation to their public office," there is, however, no specific allegation of facts that the shooting of the victim by the said principal accused was intimately related to the discharge of their official duties as police officers. Likewise, the amended information does not indicate that the said accused arrested and investigated the victim and then killed the latter while in their custody. Even the allegations concerning the criminal participation of herein petitioner and intervenors as among the accessories after-the-fact, the amended information is vague on this. It is alleged therein that the said accessories concealed "the crime herein-above alleged by, among others, falsely representing that there were no arrests made during the raid conducted by the accused herein at Superville Subdivision, Parañaque, Metro Manila, on or about the early dawn of May 18, 1995." The sudden mention of the "arrests made during the raid conducted by the accused" surprises the reader. There is no indication in the amended information that the victim was one of those arrested by the accused during the "raid." Worse, the raid and arrests were allegedly conducted "at Superville Subdivision, Parañaque, Metro Manila" but, as alleged in the immediately preceding paragraph of the amended information, the shooting of the victim by the principal accused occurred "in Mariano Marcos Avenue, Quezon City." How the raid, arrests and shooting happened in two places far away from each other is puzzling. Again, while there is the allegation in the amended information that the said accessories committed the offense "in relation to office as officers and members of the (PNP)," we, however, do not see the intimate connection between the offense charged and the accused's official functions, which, as earlier discussed, is an essential element in determining the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. prcd The stringent requirement that the charge be set forth with such particularity as will reasonably indicate the exact offense which the accused is alleged to have committed in relation to his office was, sad to say, not satisfied. We believe that the mere allegation in the amended information that the offense was committed by the accused public officer "in relation to his office" is not sufficient. That phrase is merely a conclusion of law, not a factual averment that would show the close intimacy between the offense charged and the discharge of the accused's official duties.

In People vs. Magallanes, 72 where the jurisdiction between the Regional Trial Court and the Sandiganbayan was at issue, we ruled: "It is an elementary rule that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information, and not by the result of evidence after trial. "In (People vs.) Montejo (108 Phil. 613 [1960]), where the amended information alleged: Leroy S. Brown, City Mayor of Basilan City, as such, has organized groups of police patrol and civilian commandoes consisting of regular policemen and . . . special policemen, appointed and provided by him with pistols and high power guns and then established a camp . . . at Tipo-tipo, which is under his command . . . supervision and control, where his co-defendants were stationed, entertained criminal complaints and conducted the corresponding investigations, as well as assumed the authority to arrest and detain persons without due process of law and without bringing them to the proper court, and that in line with this set-up established by said Mayor of Basilan City as such, and acting upon his orders, his codefendants arrested and maltreated Awalin Tebag, who died in consequence thereof. we held that the offense charged was committed in relation to the office of the accused because it was perpetrated while they were in the performance, though improper or irregular, of their official functions and would not have been committed had they not held their office; besides, the accused had no personal motive in committing the crime; thus, there was an intimate connection between the offense and the office of the accused. "Unlike in Montejo, the informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 in the court below do not indicate that the accused arrested and investigated the victims and then killed the latter in the course of the investigation. The informations merely allege that the accused, for the purpose of extracting or extorting the sum of P353,000.00, abducted, kidnapped, and detained the two victims, and failing in their common purpose, they shot and killed the said victims. For the purpose of determining jurisdiction, it is these allegations that shall control, and not the evidence presented by the prosecution at the trial." In the aforecited case of People vs. Montejo, it is noteworthy that the phrase "committed in relation to public office" does not appear in the information, which only signifies that the said phrase is not what determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. What is controlling is the specific factual allegations in the information that would indicate the close intimacy between the discharge of the accused's official duties and the commission of the offense charged, in order to qualify the crime as having been committed in relation to public office. Consequently, for failure to show in the amended informations that the charge of murder was intimately connected with the discharge of official functions of the accused PNP officers, the offense charged in the subject criminal cases is plain murder and, therefore, within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court, 73 not the Sandiganbayan. WHEREFORE, the constitutionality of Sections 4 and 7 of R.A. 8249 is hereby sustained. The Addendum to the March 5, 1997 Resolution of the Sandiganbayan is REVERSED. The Sandiganbayan is hereby directed to transfer Criminal Cases Nos. 23047 to 23057 (for multiple murder) to the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City which has exclusive original jurisdiction over said cases. LLphil SO ORDERED. Davide, Jr., C.J., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Purisima, Pardo, Buena and Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., concur. Footnotes 1.

Rollo, p. 43.

2.

Docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 23047 to 23057; Annex "B," Petition; Rollo, pp. 32-34. 44.

3. Their motion states that they have been deprived of their right to file their respective motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsman's final resolution. 4.

Annex "C," Petition — Sandiganbayan Order dated November 27, 1995, Rollo, pp. 37-38.

5.

Annex "D," Petition; Rollo, pp. 39-41.

6.

Inspector Alvarez.

7. Entitled "An Act To Strengthen The Functional And Structural Organization Of The Sandiganbayan, Amending For That Purpose Presidential Decree 1606, As Amended." 8.

Annex "E," Petition; Rollo, p. 42.

9. Presiding Justice Garchitorena and Justice De Leon were designated as special members of the Division pursuant to SB Administrative Order No. 121-96 dated March 26, 1996. 10.

Annex "F," Petition; Rollo, pp. 113-123.

11.

Annex "F-1," Petition; Rollo, pp. 124-134.

12.

Annex "G," Petition; Rollo, pp. 135-145.

13. Annex "A," Petition; Rollo, pp. 28, 31. The law is entitled, "AN ACT FURTHER DEFINING THE JURISDICTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1606, AS AMENDED, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES." It took effect on February 25, 1997. 14.

Rollo, pp. 162-171.

15.

March 5, 1997.

16.

Rollo, pp. 214, 216-219.

17.

Petition, pp. 8-9; Rollo, pp. 10-11.

18.

Petition-In-Intervention, p. 9; Rollo, p. 236.

19.

Dated December 15, 1998.

20. Justice Ricardo J. Francisco in Padilla v. Court of Appeals and People, 269 SCRA 402, citing Peralta v. COMELEC, 82 SCRA 30. 21.

Took effect on June 11, 1978; See Republic v. Asuncion, 231 SCRA 229 [1994].

22.

Took effect on December 10, 1978; Republic v. Asuncion, ibid.

23. "Sec. 20. Jurisdiction in criminal cases. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body, except those now falling under the exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter. (See also Natividad vs. Felix, 229 SCRA 685686 [1994].) 24.

Took effect on January 14, 1983; Republic v. Asuncion, ibid.

25.

Took effect on March 23, 1983; Republic v. Asuncion, ibid.

26. Approved on March 30, 1995 and took effect on May 16, 1995; People v. Magallanes, 249 SCRA 224 [1995]; Azarcon vs. Sandiganbayan, 268 SCRA 757 [1997]. 27.

Approved on February 5, 1995.

28. This is the rank stated in paragraph c (second par.), Section 2 of R.A. 7975, while in paragraph a (1) (e) of said Section 2, the rank is "chief superintendent" or higher. 29.

Section 4, P.D. 1606, as amended by R.A. 7975 and 8249.

30.

Items (a), (b), and (c) are taken from paragraph a, Section 4 of R.A. 8249.

31.

Paragraph c, Section 4, R.A. 8249.

32. The Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over a private individual when the complaint charges him either as a co-principal, accomplice or accessory of a public officer or employee who has been charged with a crime within its jurisdiction. 33. "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of law nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws" (Section 1, Article III, 1987 Constitution). 34.

Sison, Jr. v. Ancheta, 130 SCRA 164.

35. Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, 175 SCRA 343; People v. Cayat, 68 Phil. 12 (1939); People v. Vera, 65 Phil. 56; Philippine Judges Association v. Prado, 227 SCRA 703; Philippine Association of Service Exporters v. Drilon, 163 SCRA 386 (1988). 36.

Sison, Jr. v. Ancheta, 130 SCRA 164.

37.

See Fabian v. Aniano A. Desierto, as Ombudsman, G.R. No. 129742, Sept. 16, 1998.

38. Senator Raul Roco and Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francis Garchitorena and Justice Jose Balajadia. 39.

Petition, p. 17.

40. Section 21, Article VI, 1987 Constitution provides: "The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected." 41. "No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted" (Section 22, Article VI, 1987 Constitution). 42. Penned by Chief Justice Chase (3 Dall. 386, 390.); Black, Constitutional law, 595, cited in Cruz, Constitutional Law, 1995 ed. p. 247. 43. Mekin v. Wolfe, 2 Phil. 74 (1903) and U.S. v. Diaz Conde, 42 Phil. 766, 770, cited in Bernas, Constitutional Rights and Social Demands, Part II, 1991 ed., p. 513. 44. This kind of ex post facto law appeared in Wilensky v. Fields, Fla., 267 So. 2d 1, 5 (Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed., p. 520) cited in People v. Sandiganbayan, 211 SCRA 241. 45. En banc cases of In Re Kay Villegas Kami, 35 SCRA 429 (1970); Mejia v. Pamaran, 160 SCRA 457; Tan v. Barrios, 190 SCRA 686; People v. Sandiganbayan, 211 SCRA 241. 46. Wright v. CA, 235 SCRA 341; Juarez, v. CA, 214 SCRA 475; Pascual v. Board of Medical Examiners, 28 SCRA 344; See also Katigbak v. Solicitor General, 180 SCRA 540 citing Cabal v. Kapunan, Jr. 6 SCRA 1059; Republic v. Agoncillo, 40 SCRA 579, and dela Cruz v. Better Living, Inc., 78 SCRA 274. 47.

Lorenzo v. Posadas, 64 Phil. 353, 367 (1937).

48.

Hernandez v. Albano, 19 SCRA 95, 102;

49.

Subido, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan, 334 Phil. 346.

50. Rodriguez v. Sandiganbayan, 205 Phil. 567; Alviar v. Sandiganbayan, 137 SCRA 63; Nuñez v. Sandiganbayan, 111 SCRA 433; De Guzman v. People, December 15, 1982. 51.

Nuñez v. Sandiganbayan, Supra.

52.

People v. Nazario, 165 SCRA 186.

53.

Virata v. Sandiganbayan, 202 SCRA 680.

54.

Oñas v. Sandiganbayan, 178 SCRA 261.

55.

Thompson v. Utah, 170 U.S. 343 cited in Nuñez v. Sandiganbayan, supra.

56.

Rodriguez v. Sandiganbayan, 205 Phil. 567; Alviar v. Sandiganbayan, 137 SCRA 63.

57. Section 26 (1), Article VI, 1987 Constitution reads "Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof." 58.

Tio v. Videogram Regulatory Board, 151 SCRA 208.

59.

Sumulong v. COMELEC, 73 Phil. 288, 291.

60. Sec. 2, Art VI, 1987 Constitution provides: "The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section 5 hereof.

61. People vs. Magallanes, 249 SCRA 212, 222 [1995], citing Republic vs. Asuncion, 231 SCRA 211 [1994] 62. People vs. Magallanes, ibid., citing U.S. vs. Mallari, 24 Phil. 366 [1913]; People vs. Co Hiok, 62 Phil. 501 [1935]; People vs. Ocaya, 83 SCRA 218 [1978]. 63.

Republic vs. Asuncion, supra., pp. 232-233; People vs. Magallanes, supra., p. 220.

64.

108 Phil. 613 [1960].

65. See also Republic vs. Asuncion, 231 SCRA 233 [1994] and People vs. Magallanes, 249 SCRA 221 [1995]. 66.

See Republic vs. Asuncion, supra., and People vs. Magallanes, supra.

67.

People vs. Cosare, 95 Phil. 657, 660 [1954].

68.

People vs. Mendoza, 175 SCRA 743.

69. 3 Phil. 223, 226 [1904]. See also Matilde v. Jobson, 68 SCRA 456, [December 29, 1975]; People v. Labado, 98 SCRA 730, 747 [July 24, 1980], cited in Bernas. The Constitution of the Philippines — A Commentary, Vol. I, 1987 Edition, p. 386. 70. Francisco, The Revised Rules of Court, Criminal Procedure, p. 77, cited in Balitaan vs. Court of First Instance of Batangas, 115 SCRA 739 [1982]. 71. The eleven (11) amended informations were couched uniformly except for the names of the victims. 72.

249 SCRA 212, 222-223 [1995].

73. Section 20 of B.P. Blg. 129 provides: "Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, or body, except those now falling under the exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter." See also People v. Magallanes, 249 SCRA 223 [1995].

6. Montilla v. Hilario EN BANC [G.R. No. L-4922. September 24, 1951.] MANUEL MONTILLA, as Provincial Fiscal of Ilocos Sur, and FAUSTINO S. TOBIA, petitioners, vs. HON. ZOILO HILARIO, as District Judge of the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur, and HON. FLORO CRISOLOGO, respondents. Dominador D. Pichay and Manuel D. Villanueva for petitioners. Ernesto Ricolcol for respondents. SYLLABUS 1. ATTORNEY'S-AT-LAW; DISQUALIFICATION OF CONGRESSMEN FROM APPEARING AS COUNSEL IN CRIMINAL CASES. — From the context of section 17, article VI, of the Constitution and the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention, the relation between the crime and the office contemplated by the disqualification in the Constitution, must be direct and not accidental. To fall into the intent of the Constitution, the relation has to be such that, in the legal sense, the offense can not exist without the office. In other words, the office must be a constituent element of the crime as defined in the statute, such as, for instance the crime defined and penalized in Chapters 2 to 6, Title 7, of the Revised Penal Code. The fact that, as alleged, the accused public officers made use of firearms which they were authorized to carry or possess by reason of their positions, could not supply the required connection between the office and the crime charged (murder). Firearms however and wherever obtained are not an ingredient of murder or homicide. Incidentally, this might serve as a warning against disqualifying a lawyer-legislator on the basis of what is alleged and not on the nature of the offense itself. The prosecutor could do this by the simple expedient of making the necessary averments, even though, as a matter of fact, there was no evidence that the office held by the defendant had anything to do with the offense. DECISION TUASON, J p: Section 17, Article VI, of the Constitution bars Senators and Members of the House of Representatives from, among other inhibitions, appearing as counsel before any court "in any criminal case wherein an officer or employee of the government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office." This case comes before us on a writ of certiorari to the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur, and involves the consideration of the scope of the aforequoted constitutional provision. The provincial fiscal and the private counsel for the complainants seek to have set aside an order of Judge Zoilo Hilario of that court overruling their objection to Congressman Floro Crisologo's intervention as defense counsel in Criminal Case No. 129 "for murder with (and) frustrated murder" against the municipal mayor and three members of the police force of Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur. The information charges that the defendants, "taking advantage of their respective public positions conspiring together . . ., did then and there . . . assault, attack and shoot with their firearms" several persons "with the intent to kill" and did kill one Claudio Ragasa and inflict physical injuries on three others. From the allegations of the information it does not appear that the official positions of the accused were connected with the offenses charted. In fact, the attorneys for the prosecution stated that the motives for the crimes were "personal with political character." It does not even appear, nor is there assertion, that the crimes were committed by the defendants in line of duty or in the performance of their official functions. Judged by the context of section 17 of Article VI, supra, and the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention, the relation between the crime and the office contemplated by the Constitution is, in our opinion, direct and not accidental. To fall into the intent of the Constitution, the relation has to be such that, in the legal sense, the offense can not exist without the office. In other words, the office must be a constituent element of the crime as defined in the statute, such as, for instance, the crimes defined and punished in Chapter Two to Six, Title Seven, of the Revised Penal Code.

Public office is not of the essense of murder. The taking of human life is either murder or homicide whether done by a private citizen or public servant, and the penalty is the same except when the perpetrator, being a public functionary, took advantage of his office, as alleged in this case, in which event the penalty is increased. But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an element; and even as an aggravating circumstance, its materiality arises, not from the allegations but on the proof, not from the fact that the criminals are public officials but from the manner of the commission of the crime. Incidentally, this might serve as a warning against disqualifying a lawyer-legislator on the basis of what is alleged and not on the nature of the offense itself. Were the petitioners' proposition sustained, the result would be that in every case in which the accused is a public officer or employee, the prosecution could at will keep a member of Congress from entering an appearance as attorney for the defense. The prosecutor could do this by the simple expedient of making the necessary averments, even though, as a matter of fact, there was no evidence that the office held by the defendant had anything to do with the offense. By the same token, the fact that, as alleged, the defendants made use of firearms which they were authorized to carry or possess by reason of their positions, could not supply the required connection between the office and the crime. Firearms however and wherever obtained are not an ingredient of murder or homicide. The crime in question, for example, could have been committed by the defendants in the same or like manner and with the same ease if they had been private individuals and fired with unlicensed weapons. Murders or homicides by private persons with guns, licensed or unlicensed are the general rule and by public officers the exception. Tested by its consequences, the petitioners contention on this point is, like the contention discussed in the preceding paragraphs, untenable. Little reflection will show that by this contention the right of legislators to appear as counsel would depend on whether the weapons used were the offenders' property or part of their official equipment; and since this matter is extraneous to the definition of the crime of murder, the attorneys' qualification or disqualification would lie at the mercy of the prosecuting officer. Surely, it could not have been the intention of the framers of the Constitution to make the operation of the provision in question hang on a factual consideration so slender and uncertain; on a contingency that could only be determined after the trial was over, when the attorneys' services were no longer needed. The petition is denied without costs. Paras, C.J., Feria, Pablo, Bengzon, Padilla, Reyes, Jugo and Bautista Angelo, JJ., concur.

7. People v. Montejo EN BANC [G.R. No. L-14595. May 31, 1960.] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HONORABLE GREGORIO MONTEJO, Judge, Court of First Instance, Zamboanga City and Basilan City, MAYOR LEROY S. BROWN, DETECTIVE JOAQUIN R. POLLISCO, PATROLMAN GRACIANO LACERNA alias DODONG, PATROLMAN MOHAMAD HASBI, SPECIAL POLICEMAN DIONISIO DINGLASA, SPECIAL POLICEMAN HADJARATIL, SPECIAL POLICEMAN ALO, and SEVERAL JOHN DOES, respondents. Acting City Atty. Perfecto B. Querubin for petitioner. Hon. Gregorio Montejo in his own behalf. C. A. S. Sipin, Jr. for the other respondents. SYLLABUS 1. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; LATITUDE OF PARTIES IN THEIR PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE; CASE AT BAR. — It is elemental that all parties in a criminal action are entitled to a reasonable opportunity to establish their respective theories. In the case at bar, the issue of the guilt or innocence of the accused is bound to hinge heavily upon the veracity of the opposing witnesses and the weight attached to their respective testimony. Hence, the parties should be allowed a certain latitude in the presentation of their evidence, lest they may be so hampered that the ends of justice may eventually be defeated or appear to be defeated. The danger of landing to such result must be avoided. 2. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; PROHIBITION AGAINST SENATORS AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM APPEARING AS COUNSEL IN CERTAIN CRIMINAL CASES; WHEN PROHIBITION APPLIES EVEN IF THE CRIME CHARGED IS MURDER. — Although public office is not an element of the crime of murder in abstract, where the offense charged in the information is intimately connected with the respective offices of the accused, and was allegedly perpetrated while they were in the performance, though improper or irregular, of their official functions, the constitutional provision that no Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall "appear as counsel . . . in any criminal case wherein an officer or employee of the Government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office . . . (Article VI, Section 17, Constitution of the Philippines), is applicable thereto. DECISION CONCEPCION, J p: This is a special civil action for certiorari, with mandamus and preliminary injunction, against Hon. Gregorio Montejo, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of the cities of Zamboanga and Basilan, and the defendants in Criminal Case No. 672 of said court. In the petition herein, which was filed by the prosecution in said criminal case, it is prayed that, pending the final determination thereof, a writ of preliminary injunction issue, enjoining respondent Judge from proceeding with the trial of said case; that, after due hearing, the rulings of respondent Judge, rejecting some evidence for the prosecution therein and not permitting the same to propound certain questions, be set aside; that said respondent Judge be ordered to admit the aforementioned evidence and permit said questions; and that Senator Roseller Lim be declared, contrary to another ruling made by respondent Judge, disqualified by the Constitution from appearing as counsel for the accused in said criminal case. Soon, after the filing of the petition, we issued the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for, without bond. In their respective answers, respondents alleged, in substance, that the ruling complained of are in conformity with law. Respondents Leroy S. Brown, Mayor of Basilan City, Detective Joaquin R. Pollisco, Patrolman Graciano Lacerna (alias Dodong) and Mohamad Hasbi, Special Policemen Dionisio Dinglasa, Moro Yakan, Hadjaratil, Moro Alo, and several John Does, are charged, in said Criminal Case No. 672, with murder. It is alleged in the information therein that, during May and June, 1958, in the sitio of Tipo-Tipo, district of Lamitan, City of Basilan, Mayor Brown "organized groups of police patrol and civilian commandoes", consisting of regular and special policemen, whom he "armed with pistols and high power

guns", and then "established a camp", called sub-police headquarters — hereinafter referred to as substation — at Tipo-Tipo, Lamitan, which was placed under his command, orders, direct supervision and control, and in which his codefendants were stationed; that criminal complaints were entertained in said sub-station, in which defendant Pollisco acted as investigating officer and exercised authority to order the apprehension of persons and their detention in the camp, for days or weeks, without due process of law and without bringing them to the proper court; that, on or about June 4, and 5, 1958; one Yakan Awalin Tebag was arrested by order of Mayor Brown, without any warrant or complaint filed in court, and then brought to, and detained in, the aforementioned sub-station; that while on the way thereto, said Awalin Tebag was maltreated, pursuant to instructions of Mayor Brown, concurred in by Pollisco, to the effect that Tebag be mauled until such time as he shall surrender his gun; that, once in the sub-station, Tebag, whose hands were securely tied, was subjected, by defendants Lacerna, Hasbi, Pollisco, Dinglasa, and other special policemen, to further and more severe torture, in consequence of which Tebag died; that, in order to simulate that Tebag had been killed by peace officers in the course of an encounter between the latter and a band of armed bandits of which he formed part, the body of Tebag was brought, early the next morning, to a nearby isolated field, where defendant Hasbi fired twice at said dead body from behind, and then an old Japanese rifle, supplied by Mayor Brown, was placed beside said body; and that, in furtherance of the aforementioned simulation, a report of said imaginary encounter, mentioning Tebag as the only member of a band of armed bandits whose identity was known, was submitted and respondent Hasbi caused one of his companions to shoot him on the left arm. During the trial of said criminal case, respondent Judge rejected the following evidence for the prosecution therein: 1. Exhibit A — A report of Capt. F. G. Sarrosa, Commanding Officer of the PC Detachment in Basilan City, who investigated the case, showing that on June 5, 1958, he and Lt. Clemente Antonio, PAF, found nine (9) detainees in the Tipo-Tipo sub-station. This was part of the chain of evidence of the prosecution to prove that persons used to be detained in the aforementioned sub-station by the main respondents herein, without either a warrant or arrest or a complaint filed in court. 2. Exhibit C — Letter of Atty. Doroteo de Guzman to the officer in charge of the sub-station, dated June 4, 1958, inquiring as to the whereabouts of Awalin Tebag, who, according to the letter, was arrested in his house, by policemen, on June 4, 1958. Capt. Sarrosa took possession of this letter in the course of his aforementioned investigation. 3. Exhibits G, G-1, G-2 and G-3 — These are the transcript of the testimony of Tebag's mother, before the City Fiscal of Basilan City, when she asked an autopsy of the body of her son. 4. Exhibits J to V — Consisting of the following, namely: a sketch of the sub-station; pictures of several huts therein, including their relative positions and distances; a picture depicting how the body of Tebag was taken from a camarin in the sub-station; a picture showing how Patrolman Hasbi was shot by a companion, at his request; and a picture, Exhibit T, demonstrating how Mayor Brown allegedly gave the Japanese rifle, Exhibit Y, to Hasbi, to be planted beside Tebag's body. Although referred to by Yakan Carnain, Arit, Lianson, Kona Amenola, and Asidin, in the course of their testimony as witnesses for the prosecution, these exhibits were not admitted in evidence, which were presented to show how they were able to observe the movements in the sub-station, the same being quite small. 5. Exhibits X (a "barong") and X-1 (a scabbard) — Amenola said that these effects were given to him by Mayor Brown in the latter's office, and that he then saw therein the Japanese rifle, Exhibit Y, which was later placed beside the dead body of Awalin Tebag. 6. Exhibits DD, DD-1, FF, JJ, KK and LL — These show that on April 28, 1958, Yakan Kallapattoh and Fernandez (Pilnandiz) executed affidavits admitting participation in a given robbery; that an information therefor (Exh. KK) was filed against them on May 2, 1958, with the municipal court of Basilan City (Criminal Case No. 1774); and that, in compliance with warrants for their arrest then issued, they were apprehended and detained in the sub-station, thus corroborating the testimony of prosecution witness Yakans Amenola, Carnain Asidin and Arip to the effect that Kallapattoh and Fernandez (Pilnandiz) were, together with them, in the aforementioned sub-station, when Tebag was maltreated and died therein, on June 4, 1958, as well as confirming Pollisco's statement, Exhibit TT-18, before the City Fiscal of Basilan City, on June 21, 1958, admitting that Fernandez was in the sub-station on June 5, 1958, on

account of the warrant of arrest adverted to. Through the exhibits in question the prosecution sought, also, to bolster up it theory that Kallapattoh and Fernandez disappeared from the sub-station after Tebag's death, because the main respondents herein illegally released them to prevent them from revealing the circumstances surrounding said event. 7. Exhibits II, II-1, and MM — These are sketches of a human body and pictures purporting to show the points of entrance, as well as of exit, of two (2) bullet wounds found on the body of Tebag. Respondent Judge rejected these exhibits and did not allow Dr. Rosalino Reyes, Chief of the MedicoLegal Section of the National Bureau of Investigation, to answer questions asked by the prosecution, to establish that the trajectories of said bullet wounds were parallel to each other, which, the prosecution claims, would have been impossible had Tebag been alive when he sustained said wounds. 8. Respondent Judge sustained, also, the objections to certain questions propounded to said Dr. Reyes, to show that the injuries sustained by Tebag in the large intestines must have been inflicted when Tebag was dead already, and did not allow Dr. Reyes to draw lines on Exhibits II and MM, indicating the connection between the points of entrance and those of exit of said wounds. 9. Exhibits Z, Z-1, Z-2 — These are records of the office of the City Fiscal of Basilan City showing that the Japanese rifle, Exhibit Y, two rounds of ammunitions and one empty shell were received by said Office from the Police Department of Basilan City on June 17, 1958. These exhibits were presented to show that said rifle tallies with the description thereof given by prosecution witness Kona Amenola, in his affidavit, dated June 14, 1958, when said weapon was still in the possession of respondent Pollisco, and, hence, to establish Amenola's veracity. Likewise, the following rebuttal evidence for the prosecution were rejected by respondent Judge, viz: 1. Exhibits OO to OO-8 — These are daily records of events of the police department, Lamitan District, Basilan City, including the Tipo- Tipo region. They do not mention the killing therein, by the police patrol, of any outlaw on June 5, 1958, thereby contradicting the reports (Exhs. 12 and 12-A) of respondent Pollisco and Hasbi about it. Respondent Judge did not allow the record clerk of the City Fiscal's office to identify said exhibits, upon the ground that it was too late to present him although when the exhibits were marked by the prosecution it reserved the right to identify them as part of official records. 2. Exhibits PP, QQ to QQ-3 — Respondent Pollisco had testified that on June 4, 1958, Hadji Aisa inquired about one Awalin; that he told Aisa that Awalin was taken by Mayor Brown to the seat of the city government; and that he (Pollisco) suggested that Datu Unding be advised not to worry, because there was no evidence against Awalin. To impeach the veracity of Pollisco, the prosecution presented the exhibits under consideration, for the same show that one Dong Awalin (who is different from Awalin Tebag) was apprehended on May 27, 1958, and released on bail on June 23, 1958; that Pollisco could not have truthfully informed Aisa on June 4, 1958, what Dong Awalin had been taken by Mayor Brown to the seat of the city government and that there was no evidence against him; for he was then a detention prisoner; and that Pollisco could not have had in mind, therefore, said Dong Awalin as the Awalin about whom Aisa had inquired. Indeed, Exhibits TT-13 to TT-16 show that, testifying before the City Fiscal, respondent Pollisco said that he twice ordered Patrolman Lacerna on June 4, 1958, to bring Awalin Tebag to him (Pollisco) for investigation. 3. Exhibits SS to SS-7 — These are the testimonies before the City Fiscal, of defense witness Mohammad Sali who, on cross examination by the prosecution, denied having given it. Thus the predicate thereof was established by the prosecution which sought thereby to impeach Sali's veracity. 4. Exhibits TT, TT-1 to TT-25 — These are the testimonies, before the City Fiscal of the main respondents herein, who gave a different story before respondent Judge. The prosecution thus sought to impeach their veracity as witnesses in their own behalf, after laying down the predicate in the course of their cross examination. 5. Exhibits UU, UU-1 to UU-3 — These are sworn statements made by defendant Hasbi before the City Fiscal. They were presented in rebuttal, after laying down the predicate, to impeach his testimony in court. 6. Exhibits RR, RR-1, XX and XX-1 — With these exhibits the prosecution tried to rebut Pollisco's testimony to the effect that prosecution witness Lianson Arip had a grudge against him, he (Pollisco)

having charged him with theft in the City Fiscal's Office. It appears from said exhibits that Arip's affidavit, implicating Pollisco, was dated June 8, 1958, whereas Pollisco's affidavit, charging Arip with theft, was dated June 20, 1958, so that said statement of Arip could not have been influenced by Pollisco's subsequent act. In contrast with the severe and rigorous policy used by respondent Judge in dealing with the aforementioned evidence for the prosecution, petitioner herein cites the liberality with which the lower court admitted, as evidence for the defense, records of supposed achievements of the Tipo-Tipo substation (Exhibits 9 to 9-G, 10 to 10-I, 17 to 17-C, 19 to 19-A, 20 to 20-I, 21 and 22), a congratulatory communication (Exh. 24), and a letter of commendation to a peace officer assigned thereto (Exh. 7), including an article in the Philippine Free Press (Exhs. 23 and 23 A). Upon a review of the record, we are fully satisfied that the lower court had, not only erred, but, also, committed a grave abuse of discretion in issuing the resolutions complained of, in rejecting the aforementioned direct and rebuttal evidence for the prosecution, and in not permitting the same to propound the questions already adverted to. It is obvious to us that said direct and rebuttal evidence, as well as the aforementioned questions, are relevant to the issues involved in Criminal Case No. 672. Although it is not possible to determine with precision, at this stage of the proceedings, how far said exhibits may affect the outcome of that case, it is elemental that all parties therein are entitled to a reasonable opportunity to establish their respective pretense. In this connection it should be noted that, in the light of the allegations of the amended information in said case and of the records before us, the issue of the guilt or innocence of the accused therein is bound to hinge heavily upon the veracity of the opposing witnesses and the weight attached to their respective testimony. Hence, the parties should be allowed a certain latitude in the presentation of their evidence lest they may be so hampered that the ends of justice may eventually be defeated or appear to be defeated. The danger of leading to such result must be avoided, particularly in cases of the nature, importance and significance of the one under consideration. With respect to the question whether or not Senator Roseller Lim may appear as counsel for the main respondents herein, as defendants in said criminal case, the Constitution provides that no Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall "appear as counsel . . . in any criminal case wherein an officer or employee of the Government is accused of an offense committed in relation of his office . . . (Art. VI, Sec. 17, Const. of the Phil.). The issue, therefore, is whether the defendants in Criminal case No. 672 are "accused of an offense committed in relation" to their office. A mere perusal of the amended information therein readily elicits an affirmative answer. It is alleged in said amended information that "Leroy S. Brown, City Mayor of Basilan City, as such, has organized groups of police patrol and civilian commandoes consisting of regular policemen and . . . special policemen, appointed and provided by him with pistols and high power guns" and then "established a camp . . . at Tipo-Tipo," which is under his "command, . . . supervision and control," where his codefendants were stationed, entertained criminal complaints and conducted the corresponding investigations, as well as assumed the authority to arrest and detain persons without due process of law and without bringing them to the proper court, and that, in line with this set-up established by said Mayor of Basilan City as such, and acting upon his orders, his codefendants arrested and maltreated Awalin Tebag, who died in consequence thereof. It is apparent from these allegations that, although public office is not an element of the crime of murder in abstract, as committed by the main respondents herein, according to the amended information, the offense therein charged is intimately connected with their respective offices and was perpetrated while they were in the performance, though improper or irregular, of their official functions. Indeed, they had no personal motive to commit the crime and they would not have committed it had they not held their aforesaid offices. The co-defendants of respondent Leroy S. Brown, obeyed his instructions because he was their superior officer, as Mayor of Basilan City. The case of Montillo vs. Hilario and Crisologo, 90 Phil., 49, relied upon by respondent Judge, in overruling the objection of the prosecution to the appearance of Senator Roseller Lim, is not in point, for, as stated in the decision therein:

"From the allegations of the information it does not appear that the official positions of the accused were connected with the offense charged. In fact, the attorneys for the prosecution stated that the motives for the crimes were personal with political character. It does not even appear, nor is there assertion, that the crimes were committed by the defendants in line of duty or in the performance of their official functions." (Italics supplied.) Such is not the situation obtaining in the case at bar. Wherefore, the rulings complained of are set aside and reversed and respondent Judge is hereby enjoined to admit the aforementioned direct and rebuttal evidence for the prosecution, as well as to permit the formulation, of the questions already referred to, with costs against the respondents herein. It is so ordered. Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Montemayor, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Barrera and Gutierrez David, JJ., concur.

8. Bartolome v. People EN BANC [G.R. No. L-64548. July 7, 1986.] ROLANDO P. BARTOLOME, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, and HONORABLE SANDIGAN-BAYAN, respondents. [G.R. No. L-64559.] ELINO CORONEL Y SANTOS, petitioner, vs. SANDIGAN-BAYAN, respondent. Jesus L. Santos Law Office for petitioner in L-64548. Prudencio Cruz for petitioner in L-64559. The Solicitor General for respondents. DECISION CRUZ, J p: Before us is a decision of the Sandiganbayan convicting the petitioners in G. R. No. 64548 and G.R. No. 64559 of the crime of Falsification of a Public Document, as defined and penalized under Article 171, paragraph 4, of the Revised Penal Code. The charge in this case reads in full as follows: "INFORMATION The undersigned Tanodbayan Special Prosecutor accuses ROLANDO BARTOLOME Y PEREZ and ELINO CORONEL Y SANTOS of the crime of Falsification of Official Document as defined and penalized under paragraph 4, Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code, committed as follows: That on or about the 12th day of January, 1977, in the City of Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused ROLANDO BARTOLOME Y PEREZ, a public officer having been duly appointed and qualified as Senior Labor Regulation Officer and Chief of the Labor Regulations Section, Ministry of Labor, National Capital Region, Manila, conspiring and conniving with the other accused ELINO CORONEL Y SANTOS, also a public officer having been duly appointed and qualified as Labor Regulation Officer of the same office, taking advantage of their official positions, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously prepare and falsify an official document, to wit: the CS Personal Data Sheet (Civil Service Form No. 212) which bears the Residence Certificate No. A-9086374 issued at Manila on January 12, 1977, by making it appear in said document that accused ROLANDO BARTOLOME Y PEREZ had taken and passed the 'Career Service (Professional Qualifying Examination)' on 'May 2, 1976' with a rating of '73.35% in Manila' and that he was a '4th Year AB' student at the Far Eastern University (FEU), when in truth and in fact, as both accused well knew, accused ROLANDO BARTOLOME Y PEREZ had not taken and passed the same nor was he a '4th Year AB' student, thereby making untruthful statements in a narration of facts. CONTRARY TO LAW. Manila, Philippines, January 21, 1982. RICARDO A. BUENVIAJE Special Prosecutor" We hold that the proceedings in the court a quo are null and void ab initio. The Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the case. Under Section 4 of P.D. 1606, which created this special court: "Sec. 4. Jurisdiction — The Sandiganbayan shall have jurisdiction over: (a) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Republic Act No. 1379;

(b) Crime committed by public officers and employees, including those employed in governmentowned or controlled corporations, embraced in Title VII of the Revised Penal Code, whether simple or complexed with other crimes; and (c) Other crimes or offenses committed by public officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, in relation to their office." (Emphasis supplied). A careful reading of Republic Act No. 3019 and Republic Act No. 1379 will reveal that nowhere in either statute is falsification of an official document mentioned, even tangentially or by implication. Title VII, Book Two, of the Revised Penal Code defines and penalizes a wide range of offenses committed by public officers, from knowingly rendering an unjust judgment under Article 204 to abuses against chastity in Article 245, but falsification of an official document is not included. This is punished in Article 171 under Title IV, Book Two, on Crimes against Public Interest. The nearest approach to the claimed jurisdiction is paragraph (c) of the above-quoted section, which speaks of crimes committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office. Under existing jurisprudence, however, the crime imputed to the petitioners cannot come under this heading. The pertinent case is Montilla v. Hilario, 1 where a municipal mayor and three policemen charged with murder and frustrated murder retained Rep. Floro Crisologo as their counsel. The prosecution sought to disqualify him on the ground that a member of Congress could not appear as counsel "in any criminal case wherein an officer or employee of the Government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office," 2 The Supreme Court allowed his appearance, interpreting the underscored phrase in this wise: "The information charges that the defendants, 'taking advantage of their respective public positions conspiring together . . . did then and there . . . assault, attack and shoot with their firearms' several persons 'with the intent to kill' and did kill one Claudio Ragasa and inflict physical injuries on three others. "From the allegations of the information it does not appear that the official positions of the accused were connected with the offenses charged, In fact, the attorneys for the prosecution stated that the motives for the crimes were 'personal with political character.' It does not even appear, nor is there assertion, that the crimes were committed by the defendants in line of duty or in the performance of their official functions. "Judged by the context of section 17 of Article VI, supra, and the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention, the relation between the crime and the office contemplated by the Constitution is, in our opinion, direct and not accidental. To fall into the intent of the Constitution, the relation has to be such that, in the legal sense, the offense cannot exist without the office. In other words, the office must be a constituent element of the crime as defined in the statute, such as, for instance, the crimes defined and punished in Chapter Two to Six, Title Seven, of the Revised Penal Code. "Public office is not of the essence of murder. The taking of human life is either murder or homicide whether done by a private citizen or public servant, and the penalty is the same except when the perpetrator, being a public functionary, took advantage of his office, as alleged in this case, in which event the penalty is increased. "But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an element; and even as an aggravating circumstance, its materiality arises, not from the allegations but on the proof, not from the fact that the criminals are public officials but from the manner of the commission of the crime." Montilla must be read with People v. Montejo 3 which laid down the exception to the basic rule. In this case, a city mayor and several members of the police were also accused of murder. They retained as their counsel Sen. Roseller Lim who was also challenged on the basis of the same Article VI, Section 17, of the 1936 Constitution. The legislator was disqualified because, as the Court put it, there was on the face of the information an intimate connection between the commission of the offense and the discharge of public office that made the crime an offense committed in relation to the office of the accused. "With respect to the question whether or not Senator Roseller Lim may appear as counsel for the main respondents herein, as defendants in said criminal case, the Constitution provides that no Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall 'appear as counsel . . . in any criminal case wherein an officer or employee of the Government is accused of an offense committed in relation of his office . . . (Art.

VI Sec. 17, Const. of the Phil.). The issue, therefore, is whether the defendants in Criminal case No. 672 are 'accused of an offense committed in relation' to their office. "A mere perusal of the amended information therein readily elicits an affirmative answer. It is alleged in said amended information that 'Leroy S. Brown, City Mayor of Basilan City, as such, has organized groups of police patrol and civilian commandoes consisting of regular policemen and . . . special policemen, appointed a . . . at Tipo-Tipo,' which is under his 'command, . . . supervision and control,' where his codefendants were stationed, entertained criminal complaints and conducted the corresponding investigations, as well as assumed the authority to arrest and detain persons without due process of law and without bringing them to the proper court, and that, in line with this set-up established by said Mayor of Basilan City as such, and acting upon his orders, his codefendants arrested and maltreated Awalin Tebag, who died in consequence thereof. "It is apparent from these allegations that, although public office is not an element of the crime of murder in abstract, as committed by the main respondents herein, according to the amended information, the offense therein charged is intimately connected with their respective offices and was perpetrated while they were in the performance, though improper or irregular, of their official functions. Indeed, they had no personal motive to commit the crime and they would not have committed it had they not held their aforesaid offices. The co-defendants of respondent Leroy S. Brown, obeyed his instructions because he was their superior officer, as Mayor of Basilan City." The difference between Montilla and Montejo is that whereas in the former the murder was committed outside office hours and for personal or political motives, the victim in the latter case was killed while he was undergoing custodial investigation in the police substation. The crime in Montejo would not have been committed were it not for the fact that the accused were actually discharging official functions at the time. "The case of Montilla vs. Hilario and Crisologo, 90 Phil., 49, relied upon by respondent Judge, in overruling the objection of the prosecution to the appearance of Senator Roseller Lim, is not in point, for, as stated in the decision therein: 'From the allegations of the information it does not appear that the official positions of the accused were connected with the offense; charged. In fact, the attorneys for the prosecution stated that the motives for the crimes were personal with political character. It does not even appear, nor is there assertion, that the crimes were committed by the defendants in line of duty or in the performance of their official functions.' "Such is not the situation obtaining in the case at bar." In the instant case, there is no showing that the alleged falsification was committed by the accused, if at all, as a consequence of, and while they were discharging, official functions. The information does not allege that there was an intimate connection between the discharge of official duties and the commission of the offense. Besides, falsification of an official document may be committed not only by public officers and employees but even by private persons only. To paraphrase Montilla, public office is not an essential ingredient of the offense such that the offense cannot exist without the office. Clearly, therefore, as the alleged falsification was not an offense committed in relation to the office of the accused, it did not come under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. It follows that all its acts in the instant case are null and void ab initio. 4 WHEREFORE, the petitions are granted and the decision of the Sandiganbayan is set aside, without any pronouncement as to costs. It is so ordered. Teehankee, C . J ., Abad Santos, Feria, Yap, Fernan, Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Alampay, Gutierrez, Jr. and Paras, JJ ., concur. Footnotes 1.

90 Phil. 49.

2.

Art. VI, Section 17, 1935 Constitution.

3.

108 Phil. 613.

4. Trimsica Inc. vs. Polaris Mktg. Corp., 60 SCRA 821; Urbayan vs. Salvoro, 8 SCRA 74; Reyes vs. Paz, 60 Phil. 440; Echevarria vs. Parsons, 51 Phil. 980; Cañeda vs. C. A., 5 SCRA 1131.

9. People v. Magallanes FIRST DIVISION [G.R. Nos. 118013-14. October 11, 1995.] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HON. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 54, Bacolod City, and P/COL. NICOLAS M. TORRES, P/INSP. ADONIS C. ABETO, PO MARIO LAMIS Y FERNANDEZ, PO JOSE PAHAYUPAN, PO VICENTE CANUDAY, JR., JEANETTE YANSON-DUMANCAS, CHARLES DUMANCAS, DOMINADOR GEROCHE Y MAHUSAY, JAIME GARGALLANO, ROLANDO R. FERNANDEZ, EDWIN DIVINAGRACIA, TEODY DELGADO, CESAR PECHA, and EDGAR HILADO, respondents. The Solicitor General for petitioner. Alfonso B. Manayon and Wilson P. Gamboa for respondent Vicente Canuday, Jr. and Jose Pahayupan. Luis V . Sison for respondent Nicolas M. Torres. Rosslyn T . Morana for respondents Mario Lamis, Jaime Gargallano, Rolando Fernandez, Edwin Divinagracia and Teody Delgado. Emmanuel G. Vinco for respondent Cesar Pecha. Rolando M. Antiquera and Roem J . Arbolado for respondent Adonis Abeto. Geocadin & Sabig Law Office for respondent Dominador Geroche. Amado, Parreno Law Offices for respondents Charles Dumancas and Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas. Salvador Sabio for respondent Edgar Hilado. dctai SYLLABUS 1. REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; CERTIORARI; NO GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION COMMITTED IN CASE AT BAR. — Public respondent Judge Magallanes committed no grave abuse of discretion in holding that it is his court and not the Sandiganbayan which has jurisdiction over the two cases for kidnapping for ransom with murder. At the time the informations in the said cases were filed, the law governing the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan was Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861, which pertinently provides for its exclusive original jurisdiction and exclusive appellate jurisdiction. 2. ID.; JURISDICTION; SANDIGANBAYAN; FELONIES COMMITTED BY PUBLIC OFFICERS; REQUISITE. — We held in Aguinaldo vs. Domagas (G.R. No. 98452, En Banc Resolution, 26 September 1991) that for the Sandiganbayan to have exclusive original jurisdiction over offenses or felonies committed by public officers or employees under Section 4(a) (2), of PD No. 1606, as amended by PD 1861, it is not enough that the penalty prescribed therefor is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six years, or a fine of P6,000.00; it is also necessary that the offenses or felonies were committed in relation to their office. We reiterated this pronouncement in Sanchez vs. Demetriou, (G.R. Nos. 111771-77, 9 November 1993, 227 SCRA 627) Natividad vs. Felix, (G.R. No. 111616, 4 February 1994, 229 SCRA 680) and Republic vs. Asuncion. (G.R. No. 108208, 11 March 1994, 231 SCRA 211). In Sanchez, we restated the principle laid down in Montilla vs. Hilario (90 Phil. 49 [1951]) that an offense may be considered as committed in relation to the office if it cannot exist without the office, or if the office is a constituent element of the crime as defined in the statute, such as, for instance, the crimes defined and punished in Chapter Two to Six, Title Seven, of the Revised Penal Code. We also reiterated the principle in People vs. Montejo (108 Phil. 613 [1960]) that the offense must be intimately connected with the office of the offender, and we further intimated that the fact that the offense was committed in relation to the office must be alleged in the information. 3. ID.; ID.; DETERMINED BY ALLEGATIONS IN INFORMATION. — It is an elementary rule that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information, and not by the result of evidence after trial. The informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 in the court below do not indicate that the accused arrested and investigated the victims and then killed the latter in the course of the investigation. The informations merely allege that the accused, for the purpose of extracting or extorting the sum of P353,000.00, abducted, kidnapped and detained the two victims, and failing in their

common purpose, they shot and killed the said victims. For the purpose of determining jurisdiction, it is these allegations that shall control and not the evidence presented by the prosecution at the trial. 4. ID.; ID.; 'TAKING ADVANTAGE OF POSITION' DOES NOT MEAN 'OFFENSES COMMITTED IN RELATION TO PUBLIC OFFICE.' — The allegation of "taking advantage of his position" or "taking advantage of their respective positions" incorporated in the informations is not sufficient to bring the offenses within the definition of "offenses committed in relation to public office." In Montilla vs. Hilario, such an allegation was considered merely as an allegation of an aggravating circumstance, and not as one that qualifies the crime as having been committed in relation to public office. It says: But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an element; and even as an aggravating circumstance, its materiality arises, not from the allegations but on the proof, not from the fact that the criminals are public officials but from the manner of the commission of the crime. Also, in Bartolome vs. People of the Philippines, (142 SCRA 459 [1986]) despite the allegation that the accused public officers committed the crime of falsification of official document by "taking advantage of their official positions," this Court held that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the case because "[t]he information [did] not allege that there was an intimate connection between the discharge of official duties and the commission of the offense. Accordingly, for lack of an allegation in the informations that the offenses were committed in relation to the office of the accused PNP officers or were intimately connected with the discharge of the functions of the accused, the subject cases come within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court and not of the Sandiganbayan as insisted by the petitioner. 5. ID.; ID.; SANDIGANBAYAN; JURISDICTION MODIFIED UNDER RA 7975. — In view of the amendments to Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended, introduced by R.A. No. 7975, approved on 30 March 1995, the Sandiganbayan partly lost its exclusive original jurisdiction in cases involving violations of R.A. No. 3019, as amended; R.A. No. 1379; and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code; it retains only cases where the accused are those enumerated in subsection a, Section 4 of RA 7975 and, generally, national and local officials classified as Grade "27" and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (R.A. No. 6758). Moreover, its jurisdiction over other offenses or felonies committed by public officials and employees in relation to their office is no longer determined by the prescribed penalty, viz., that which is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six years or a fine of P6,000.00; it is enough that they are committed by those public officials and employees enumerated in said subsection a, Section 4. However, it retains its exclusive original jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to or in connection with E.O. Nos. 1, 2, 14, and 14-A. 6. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; APPLICATION ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE CRIME WAS COMMITTED IN RELATION TO OFFICE; CASE AT BAR. — Assuming then for the sake of argument that the informations in the said cases allege that the crimes charged were committed by the PNP officers in relation to their office, it would appear indubitable that the cases would fall within the jurisdiction of the court a quo. Under Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as further amended by R.A. No. 7975. In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying the positions corresponding to salary grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers occupying the rank of superintendent or higher, or their equivalent, exclusive jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129." However, the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the law in force at the time of the commencement of the action. Under the above assumption then, the cases should have been filed with the Sandiganbayan since at the time the informations were filed, the governing law was Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861. But, would that jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan be affected by R.A. No. 7975? Ordinarily, jurisdiction once acquired is not affected by subsequent legislative enactment placing jurisdiction in another tribunal. It remains with the court until the case is finally terminated. Hence, the Sandiganbayan or the courts, as the case may be, cannot be divested of jurisdiction over cases filed before them by reason of R.A. No. 7975. They retain their jurisdiction until the end of the litigation. In the instant case, the Sandiganbayan has not yet acquired jurisdiction over the subject criminal cases, as the informations were filed not before it but before the Regional Trial Court. Even if we labor under the foregoing assumption that the informations in the subject cases do charge the respondent PNP officers with offenses committed in relation to their office so that jurisdiction thereof would fall under the Sandiganbayan, and assuming further that the informations had already been filed with the said

tribunal but hearing thereon has not begun yet, the Sandiganbayan can no longer proceed to hear the cases in view of the express provision of Section 7 of R.A. No. 7975. That Section provides that upon the effectivity of the Act, all criminal cases in which trial has not yet begun in the Sandiganbayan shall be referred to the proper courts. Hence, cases which were previously cognizable by the Sandiganbayan under P.D. No. 1606, as amended, but are already under the jurisdiction of the courts by virtue of the amendment introduced by R.A. No. 7975, shall be referred to the latter courts if hearing thereon has not yet been commenced in the Sandiganbayan. It would, therefore, be a futile exercise to transfer the cases to the Sandiganbayan because the same would anyway be transferred again to the Regional Trial Court pursuant to Section 7 of the new law in relation to Section 2 thereof. 7. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; BAIL; MOTION REJECTED FOR FAILURE TO QUESTION WITHIN A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME DENIAL OF APPLICATION IN THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. — As regards the motion for bail of accused-respondents, the same must fail. The motions for bail filed by the accused-respondents with the Regional Trial Court where the cases against them are pending were denied sometime in February, 1994. In Enrile vs. Salazar, (186 SCRA 217 [1990]) as reiterated in Galvez vs. Court of Appeals, (237 SCRA 685 [1994]) this Court said: "Only after that remedy [petition to be admitted to bail] was denied by the trial court should the review jurisdiction of this Court [be] invoked, and even then, not without first applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate relief was also available there." There is no showing that the said accused-respondents have questioned the denial of their applications for bail in a petition for certiorari either before the Court of Appeals or this Court. It was only on 26 December 1994, when they filed their respective comments on the instant petition, that they challenged the denial premised on the ground that the evidence of guilt against them was not strong. Even if their respective Comment and Reiteration of Motion for Bail and respondent Dumanca's Motion for Bail filed on 22 March 1995, were treated as petitions for certiorari, still the same would not prosper for not having been seasonably filed. While the Rules of Court does not fix a timeframe for the filing of a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, existing jurisprudence requires that the same be filed within a reasonable period of time from receipt of the questioned judgment or order. And, in Philec Workers' Union vs. Hon. Romeo A. Young (G.R. No. 101734, 22 January 1992) it was held that a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court should be filed within a reasonable period of three months from notice of the decision or order. Here, about nine to ten months had already elapsed before the respondents assailed the denial of their motions for bail. In any event, the private respondents who were denied bail are not precluded from reiterating before the trial court their plea for admission to bail. cdll PADILLA, J ., concurring and dissenting: 1. REMEDIAL LAW; JURISDICTION; PD 1606; SANDIGANBAYAN; OFFENSES COMMITTED BY PUBLIC OFFICERS IN RELATION TO THEIR OFFICE AS ALLEGED IN INFORMATION. — The accused PNP personnel committed the crime alleged in the two (2) informations in relation to their office. The wording of the informations clearly shows that P/Col. Torres used his authority over his subordinate officers when he ordered them to arrest the two (2) swindling suspects/victims in connection with the complaint of the Dumancas spouses. This act of Torres is "intimately connected" with his position as Station Commander of the PNP, Bacolod Station. In turn, the other accused PNP personnel who detained the two (2) victims were performing their functions as law enforcers under orders from their direct superior. Under such circumstances, the two (2) informations would have been properly filed with the Sandiganbayan since the law in force at the time was P.D. No. 1606 which gave the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction over offenses committed by public officers in relation to their office where the penalty prescribed by law is higher than prision correctional or imprisonment of six (6) years or a fine of P6,000.00. 2. ID.; ID.; REPUBLIC ACT 7975; REGIONAL TRIAL COURT AS PROPER TRIBUNAL. — Rep. Act No. 7975 has revised the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Under said revised jurisdiction, the Regional Trial Courts now have jurisdiction over offenses committed by PNP officers with ranks below that of superintendent or its equivalent, whether or not the offenses are committed in relation to their office. In the present case, none of the accused PNP officers has the rank of superintendent or higher. Section 7 of Rep. Act No. 7975 also provides that upon effectivity of said Act, all criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan under P.D. No. 1606 where trial has not begun in said court, shall be referred to the proper courts. In the present case, even if the criminal cases were then within the

jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, the offenses having been committed in relation to the accuseds' office, as earlier discussed, yet, the cases were not filed in said court. Since the cases now fall within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court under the express provisions of Rep. Act. No. 7975, they can remain in said regional trial court. 3. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; BAIL; PROPER IN CASE AT BAR. — Whether accused Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas should be granted bail, I agree with Mr. Justice Kapunan that the Court should exercise its discretion, disregard technicalities and rule on the motion for bail filed with this Court. Accused Jeanette should, in my view, be released on bail for the following reasons: 1. The spouses Dumancas were included in the informations as accused merely because they were the ones who complained to the police that the two (2) victims had swindled them. There is no showing that the spouses knew, much less instigated, the kidnapping and murder of the victims. 2. The situation of Jeanette is no different from that of her husband who was granted bail by the trial court. 3. Jeanette came back from abroad even after the charges against her had been filed. Certainly, this is not indicative of a probability of her later jumping bail should she be released on bail. 4. To deny bail to a mother of two (2) minor children in the absence of direct evidence that she was indeed a principal by inducement as alleged in the two (2) informations, is antagonistic not only to her constitutional right to bail but also to the ideals and demands of a just and humane society. KAPUNAN, J .; concurring and dissenting: 1. REMEDIAL LAW; CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; BAIL; PETITION PROPER FOR HUMANITARIAN REASONS. — At least with respect to petitioner Jeanette Dumancas, this Court, mainly for humanitarian reasons, should exercise its discretion to grant said petitioner her constitutional right to bail, pending the determination of her guilt or innocence in the trial court. The facts so far established in the case at bench with respect to the spouses Dumancas as narrated in the court's opinion clearly casts enough doubt regarding the strength of the evidence of guilt against Mrs. Dumancas, which ought to be sufficient for us to exercise our discretion to grant bail in her case. The trial court has already refused to grant her petition for bail, which under the facts and circumstances so far available to the lower court, constitutes a grave abuse of discretion, subject to this court's action. While normally, a motion for reconsideration should be addressed to the trial court or to the Court of Appeals (if the said motion were denied by the lower court), I see no reason why we should not exercise our discretion to grant Mrs. Dumancas her right to bail. DECISION DAVIDE, JR., J p: At issue in this special civil action for certiorari is whether it is the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City or the Sandiganbayan that has jurisdiction over the two criminal cases for kidnapping for ransom with murder wherein some of the accused implicated as principals are members of the Philippine National Police (PNP). On 13 January 1994, two informations for kidnapping for ransom with murder were filed with the RTC of Bacolod City against fourteen persons, five of whom are members of the PNP, namely, P/Col. Nicolas M. Torres, P/Insp. Adonis C. Abeto, Police Officers Mario Lamis, Jose Pahayupan, and Vicente Canuday, Jr.; the other nine are civilians. The informations, later docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 in Branch 47 of the said court, are similarly worded, except as to the names of the victims, who are Rufino Gargar, Jr. in the first case and Danilo Lumangyao in the second, thus: The undersigned hereby accuses JEANETTE YANSON-DUMANCAS, CHARLES DUMANCAS (BOTH AS PRINCIPALS BY INDUCTION), POLICE COL. NICOLAS M. TORRES (AS PRINCIPAL BY INDUCTION AND BY DIRECTION AND/OR INDISPENSABLE COOPERATION), POLICE INSPECTOR ADONIS C. ABETO, POLICE OFFICERS MARIO LAMIS Y FERNANDEZ, JOSE PAHAYUPAN, VICENTE CANUDAY, JR., DOMINADOR GEROCHE Y MAHUSAY, JAIME GARGALLANO, ROLANDO R. FERNANDEZ, EDWIN DIVINAGRACIA, TEODY DELGADO, ALL AS PRINCIPALS BY PARTICIPATION, CESAR PECHA AND EDGAR HILADO, BOTH AS ACCESSORIES, of the crime of KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM WITH MURDER, committed as follows: That during the period beginning in the late afternoon of August 6, 1992 and ending the late evening of the following day in Sitio Pedrosa, Barangay Alijis, Bacolod City, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and concurring in a common

criminal intent and execution thereof with one another, save for the accessories for the purpose of extracting or extorting the sum of P353,000.00, did, then and there wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously to wit: Acting upon the inducement of spouses Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas and Charles Dumancas, under the direction cooperation and undue influence, exerted by P/Col. Nicolas M. Torres, taking advantage of his position as Station Commander of the Philippine National Police, Bacolod City Station, with the direct participation and cooperation of Police Inspector Adonis C. Abeto, other police officers Vicente Canuday, Jr., Jose Pahayupan, Mario Lamis, civilian (police) agents Rolando R. Fernandez, Edwin Divinagracia, Teody Delgado, Jaime Gargallano, also taking advantage of their respective positions, and Dominador Geroche, concurring and affirming in the said criminal design, with the use of motor vehicle abduct, kidnap and detain one RUFINO GARGAR, JR. (Criminal Case No. 94-15562) and DANILO LUMANGYAO (Criminal Case No. 94-15563), shortly thereafter at around 11:00 o'clock in the evening of August 7, 1992, failing in their aforesaid common purpose to extort money and in furtherance of said conspiracy, with evident premeditation and treachery nocturnity and the use of motor vehicle, did then and there shot and kill the said victims, while being handcuffed and blindfolded; that accused Cesar Pecha and Edgar Hilado, with knowledge that the said Gargar [and Lumangyao, in Crim. Case No. 94-15563 were victims] of violence, did then and there secretly bury the corpses in a makeshift shallow grave for the purpose of concealing the crime of murder in order to prevent its discovery for a fee of P1500.00 each; aforesaid act or acts has caused damage and prejudice to the heirs of said victims, to wit: P 50,000.00

-

as indemnity for death;

50,000.00

-

actual damages;

300,000.00

-

compensatory damages

(Lost income); 100,000.00

-

moral damages;

50,000.00

-

exemplary damages.

CONTRARY TO LAW (Articles 268 and 248 in relation to Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code). 1 These cases were consolidated. Each of the accused pleaded not guilty upon arraignment. Later, they filed their respective motions for bail. At the hearings thereof, the prosecution presented state witness Moises Grandeza, the alleged lone eyewitness and co-conspirator in the commission of the complex crimes. After the completion of his testimony, the trial court, per Judge Edgar G. Garvilles, granted bail in favor of only six of the accused, namely, P/Insp. Adonis Abeto, Police Officers Jose Pahayupan and Vicente Canuday, Jr., Charles Dumancas, Edgar Hilado, and Cesar Pecha. The other eight accused who were denied bail are now detained at the City Jail of Bacolod City. 2 Through the testimony of Grandeza, the prosecution established that in response to the complaint of spouses Charles and Jeanette Dumancas, P/Col. Nicolas Torres instructed his men to look for Rufino Gargar and Danilo Lumangyao who were allegedly members of the group that had swindled the Dumancas spouses. On 6 August 1992, Police Officer Mario Lamis, together with civilian agents, namely, Teody Delgado, Edwin Divinagracia, Jaime Gargallano, Rolando Fernandez, and Moises Grandeza, arrested and abducted the two swindling suspects. Conformably with Torres's order, the two suspects were brought to Dragon Lodge Motel. There, they were investigated by Police Inspector Adonis Abeto and Police Officers Jose Pahayupan and Vicente Canuday, Jr. They were then taken to the Ceres Compound, where Jeanette Dumancas identified Lumangyao as a member of the group that had swindled her. She then asked about the money that the group had received from her. Upon being told by Lumangyao that the money had already been divided among his partners long time ago, she said to the accused, specifically to Dominador Geroche: "Doming, bring these two to the PC or police and I will call Atty. Geocadin so that proper cases could be filed against them." Thereafter, the two suspects were transferred to D' Hacienda Motel, then to Moonlit Inn, then to Casa Mel Lodge, and back to D' Hacienda Motel, where the two were shot and killed. The team forthwith went to the office of P/Col. Torres and reported that the killing had been done. The latter told them: "You who are here inside, nobody knows what you have done, but you have to hide because the NBI's are after you." 3

Thereafter, the prosecution rested its case and the trial court started to receive the evidence for the accused. Accused Torres and Abeto presented their respective evidence. Presentation of evidence by the other accused was, however, suspended because of the motions of several accused for the inhibition of Judge Garvilles. Despite opposition by the prosecution, Judge Garvilles voluntarily inhibited himself from further hearing both cases, which were thereafter re-raffled to Branch 54, presided by herein public respondent Judge Demosthenes L. Magallanes. On 24 June 1994, the private prosecutors moved for the transmittal of the records of the cases to the Sandiganbayan on the ground that, pursuant to our decision of 11 March 1994 in Republic of the Philippines vs. Asuncion, 4 the trial court has no jurisdiction over the cases because the offenses charged were committed in relation to the office of the accused PNP officers. In his Manifestation with Urgent Motion to Transmit Records, the State Prosecutor adopted the motion of the private prosecutors. 5 In its order of 15 August 1994, 6 the trial court, thru the respondent Judge, ruled that the Sandiganbayan does not have jurisdiction over the subject cases because the informations do not state that the offenses were committed in relation to the office of the accused PNP officers. Citing People vs. Montilla, 7 it held that the allegation in the informations that the accused PNP officers took advantage of their office in the commission of the offense charged is merely an allegation of an aggravating circumstance. It further stated that a public office is not a constituent element of the offense of kidnapping with murder nor is the said offense intimately connected with the office. It then denied the motion for transfer of the records to the Sandiganbayan and declared that the trial of the case should continue. Relying on People vs. Montejo, 8 the prosecution moved to reconsider the said order. 9 On 7 September 1994, 10 the trial court issued an order denying the motion because People vs. Montejo is not applicable, since in that case there was (a) an intimate connection between the offense charged and the public position of the accused and (b) a total absence of personal motive; whereas, in these cases, no such intimate connection exists and the informations emphasize that the accused were moved by selfish motives of ransom and extortion. dctai The respondent Judge then resumed the reception of the evidence for the other accused. Accused Gargallano, Fernandez, Lamis, Delgado, and Geroche, as well as his three witnesses, had already completed their respective testimonies when, upon motion of the prosecution, the respondent Judge voluntarily inhibited himself on 15 September 1994. The cases were then re-raffled to Branch 49 of the RTC of Bacolod City. On 5 December 1994, the prosecution, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, filed with us a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus with a prayer for a temporary restraining order challenging the refusal of the respondent Judge to transfer the cases to the Sandiganbayan. On 12 December 1994, we required the respondents to comment on the petition and issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the public respondent or his successor to desist from proceeding with the trial of the subject cases. 11 On 27 February 1995, after considering the allegations, issues, and arguments adduced in the petition as well as in the comments of the private respondents, we gave due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their respective memoranda. Most of them submitted their memoranda, while the petitioner and some of the private respondents adopted their initiatory pleadings as their memoranda. On 22 March 1995, private respondent Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas filed an urgent motion for the grant of bail, 12 which we noted on 15 May 1995. 13 Deliberating on the arguments adduced by the parties, we are convinced that public respondent Judge Magallanes committed no grave abuse of discretion in holding that it is his court and not the Sandiganbayan which has jurisdiction over the two cases for kidnapping for ransom with murder. At the time the informations in the said cases were filed, the law governing the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan was Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861, which pertinently provides as follows: SECTION 4. (a)

Jurisdiction. — The Sandiganbayan shall exercise:

Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:

(1) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code; (2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, whether simple or complexed with other crimes, where the penalty prescribed by law is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years, or a fine of P6,000.00: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that offenses, or felonies mentioned in this paragraph where the penalty prescribed by law does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment of six (6) years or a fine of P6,000.00 shall be tried by the proper Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court and Municipal Circuit Trial Court. (b)

Exclusive appellate jurisdiction:

(1) On appeal, from the final judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in cases originally decided by them in their respective territorial jurisdiction. (2) By petition for review, from the final judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over cases originally decided by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, in their respective jurisdiction. xxx

xxx

xxx

In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees. Applying this section, we held in Aguinaldo vs. Domagas 14 that for the Sandiganbayan to have exclusive original jurisdiction over offenses or felonies committed by public officers or employees under Section 4 (a) (2) above, it is not enough that the penalty prescribed therefor is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six years, or a fine of P6,000.00; it is also necessary that the offenses or felonies were committed in relation to their office. We reiterated this pronouncement in Sanchez vs. Demetriou, 15 Natividad vs. Felix, 16 and Republic vs. Asuncion. 17 In Sanchez, we restated the principle laid down in Montilla vs. Hilario 18 that an offense may be considered as committed in relation to the office if it cannot exist without the office, or if the office is a constituent element of the crime as defined in the statute, such as, for instance, the crimes defined and punished in Chapter Two to Six, Title Seven, of the Revised Penal Code. We also reiterated the principle in People vs. Montejo 19 that the offense must be intimately connected with the office of the offender, and we further intimated that the fact that the offense was committed in relation to the office must be alleged in the information. 20 There is no dispute that the prescribed penalties for the offenses charged in Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 before the court below are higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for more than six years. The only question that remains to be resolved then is whether the said offenses were committed in relation to the office of the accused PNP officers. prLL Relying on its evidence and on the Montejo case, the petitioner submits that the crimes charged in the subject cases were connected with public office because the accused PNP officers, together with the civilian agents, arrested the two swindling suspects in the course of the performance of their duty and not out of personal motive, and if they demanded from the two suspects the production of the money of the Dumancas spouses and later killed the two, they did so in the course of the investigation conducted by them as policemen. The petitioner further asserts that the allegations in the informations reading "taking advantage of his position as Station Commander of the Philippine National Police" and "taking advantage of their respective positions" presuppose the exercise of the functions attached to the office of the accused PNP officers and are sufficient to show that the offenses charged were committed in relation to their office. The petitioner then concludes that the cases below fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. It is an elementary rule that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information, 21 and not by the result of evidence after trial. 22 In Montejo 23 where the amended information alleged: Leroy S. Brown, City Mayor of Basilan City, as such, has organized groups of police patrol and civilian commandoes consisting of regular policemen and . . . special policemen, appointed and provided by him

with pistols and high power guns and then established a camp . . . at Tipo-tipo, which is under his command . . . supervision and control, where his codefendants were stationed, entertained criminal complaints and conducted the corresponding investigations, as well as assumed the authority to arrest and detain persons without due process of law and without bringing them to the proper court, and that in line with this set-up established by said Mayor of Basilan City as such, and acting upon his orders, his codefendants arrested and maltreated Awalin Tebag, who died in consequence thereof. we held that the offense charged was committed in relation to the office of the accused because it was perpetrated while they were in the performance, though improper or irregular, of their official functions and would not have been committed had they not held their office; besides, the accused had no personal motive in committing the crime; thus, there was an intimate connection between the offense and the office of the accused. Unlike in Montejo, the informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 in the court below do not indicate that the accused arrested and investigated the victims and then killed the latter in the course of the investigation. The informations merely allege that the accused, for the purpose of extracting or extorting the sum of P353,000.00, abducted, kidnapped, and detained the two victims, and failing in their common purpose, they shot and killed the said victims. For the purpose of determining jurisdiction, it is these allegations that shall control, and not the evidence presented by the prosecution at the trial. The allegation of "taking advantage of his position" or "taking advantage of their respective positions" incorporated in the informations is not sufficient to bring the offenses within the definition of "offenses committed in relation to public office." In Montilla vs. Hilario, 24 such an allegation was considered merely as an allegation of an aggravating circumstance, 25 and not as one that qualifies the crime as having been committed in relation to public office. It says: But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an element; and even as an aggravating circumstance, its materiality arises, not from the allegations but on the proof, not from the fact that the criminals are public officials but from the manner of the commission of the crime. Also, in Bartolome vs. People of the Philippines, 26 despite the allegation that the accused public officers committed the crime of falsification of official document by "taking advantage of their official positions," this Court held that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the case because "[t]he information [did] not allege that there was an intimate connection between the discharge of official duties and the commission of the offense." Accordingly, for lack of an allegation in the informations that the offenses were committed in relation to the office of the accused PNP officers or were intimately connected with the discharge of the functions of the accused, the subject cases come within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court 27 and not of the Sandiganbayan as insisted by the petitioner. In Dumancas's and Torres's motions for the early resolution of this case and in Abeto's Supplement to Comment with Motion to Dismiss all filed in July 1995, it is contended that even assuming that the informations do charge the accused PNP officers with crimes committed in relation to their office, still the Regional Trial Court would have jurisdiction over the subject cases in view of the amendments to Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended, introduced by R.A. No. 7975, which was approved on 30 March 1995, whose Section 2 provides: SECTION 2. Section 4 of the same decree [Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended] is hereby further amended to read as follows: "SECTION 4. involving:

Jurisdiction. — The Sandiganbayan shall exercise original jurisdiction in all cases

a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the principal accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense:

(1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade 27 and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including: (a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sanggunian panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial department heads; (b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city department heads; (c)

Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;

(d)

Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;

(e)

PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher rank;

(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor; (g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations; (2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade "27" and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989; (3)

Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;

(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and (5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade "27" and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. b. Other offenses or felonies committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection (a) of this section in relation to their office. c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A. In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying the positions corresponding to salary grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers occupying the rank of superintendent or higher, or their equivalent, exclusive jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction on appeals from the final judgments, resolutions or orders of regular courts where all the accused are occupying positions lower than grade "27," or not otherwise covered by the preceding enumeration. xxx

xxx

xxx

In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall have exclusive jurisdiction over them. (Emphasis supplied.) As a consequence of these amendments, the Sandiganbayan partly lost its exclusive original jurisdiction in cases involving violations of R.A. No. 3019, 28 as amended; R.A. No. 1379; 29 and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code; 30 it retains only cases where the accused are those enumerated in subsection a, Section 4 above and, generally, national and local officials classified as Grade "27" and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (R.A. No. 6758). Moreover, its jurisdiction over other offenses or felonies committed by public officials and employees in relation to their office is no longer determined by the prescribed penalty, viz., that which is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six years or a fine of P6,000.00; it is enough that they are committed by those public officials and employees enumerated in said subsection a,

Section 4 above. However, it retains its exclusive original jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to or in connection with E.O. Nos. 1, 31 2, 32 14, 33 and 14-A. 34 The respondents maintain that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 because none of the five PNP officers involved therein occupy the rank of chief superintendent or higher, or are classified as Grade "27" or higher under R.A. No. 6758 and of the five, P/Col. Nicolas Torres has the highest rank, viz., Senior Superintendent whose salary grade under the said Act is Grade "18." Assuming then for the sake of argument that the informations in the said cases allege that the crimes charged were committed by the five PNP officers in relation to their office, it would appear indubitable that the cases would fall within the jurisdiction of the court a quo. Under Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as further amended by R.A. No. 7975: "In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying the positions corresponding to salary grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers occupying the rank of superintendent 35 or higher, or their equivalent, exclusive jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129." However, the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the law in force at the time of the commencement of the action. 36 Under the above assumption then, the cases should have been filed with the Sandiganbayan since at the time the informations were filed, the governing law was Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861. But, would that jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan be affected by R.A. No. 7975? Ordinarily, jurisdiction once acquired is not affected by subsequent legislative enactment placing jurisdiction in another tribunal. It remains with the court until the case is finally terminated. 37 Hence, the Sandiganbayan or the courts, as the case may be, cannot be divested of jurisdiction over cases filed before them by reason of R.A. No. 7975. They retain their jurisdiction until the end of the litigation. In the instant case, the Sandiganbayan has not yet acquired jurisdiction over the subject criminal cases, as the informations were filed not before it but before the Regional Trial Court. Even if we labor under the foregoing assumption that the informations in the subject cases do charge the respondent PNP officers with offenses committed in relation to their office so that jurisdiction thereof would fall under the Sandiganbayan, and assuming further that the informations had already been filed with the said tribunal but hearing thereon has not begun yet, the Sandiganbayan can no longer proceed to hear the cases in view of the express provision of Section 7 of R.A. No. 7975. That section provides that upon the effectivity of the Act, all criminal cases in which trial has not yet begun in the Sandiganbayan shall be referred to the proper courts. Hence, cases which were previously cognizable by the Sandiganbayan under P.D. No. 1606, as amended, but are already under the jurisdiction of the courts by virtue of the amendment introduced by R.A. No. 7975, shall be referred to the latter courts if hearing thereon has not yet been commenced in the Sandiganbayan. It would, therefore, be a futile exercise to transfer the cases to the Sandiganbayan because the same would anyway be transferred again to the Regional Trial Court pursuant to Section 7 of the new law in relation to Section 2 thereof. As regards the motions for bail of accused-respondents Jeanette Dumancas and Nicolas Torres, the same must fail. Section 17, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court provides: SECTION 17. Bail, where filed. — (a) Bail in the amount fixed may be filed with the court where the case is pending, or, in the absence or unavailability of the judge thereof, with another branch of the same court within the province or city. If the accused is arrested in a province, city or municipality other than where the case is pending, bail may be filed also with any regional trial court of said place, or, if no judge thereof is available, with any metropolitan trial judge, municipal trial judge or municipal circuit trial judge therein. (b) Whenever the grant of bail is a matter of discretion, or the accused seeks to be released on recognizance, the application therefor may be filed only in the particular court where the case is pending, whether for preliminary investigation, trial, or on appeal.

(c) Any person in custody who is not yet charged in court may apply for bail with any court in the province, city or municipality where he is held. In the instant case, the motions for bail filed by the said accused-respondents with the Regional Trial Court where the cases against them are pending were denied sometime in February, 1994. dcaisa In Enrile vs. Salazar, 38 as reiterated in Galvez vs. Court of Appeals, 39 this Court said: "only after that remedy [petition to be admitted to bail] was denied by the trial court should the review jurisdiction of this Court [be] invoked, and even then, not without first applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate relief was also available there." There is no showing that the said accused-respondents have questioned the denial of their applications for bail in a petition for certiorari either before the Court of Appeals or this Court. It was only on 26 December 1994, when they filed their respective comments on the instant petition, that they challenged the denial premised on the ground that the evidence of guilt against them was not strong. Even if their respective Comment and Reiteration of Motion for Bail 40 and respondent Dumancas's Motion for Bail 41 filed on 22 March 1995, were treated as petitions for certiorari, still the same would not prosper for not having been seasonably filed. While the Rules of Court does not fix a time-frame for the filing of a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, existing jurisprudence requires that the same be filed within a reasonable period of time from receipt of the questioned judgment or order. 42 And, in Philec Workers' Union vs. Hon. Romeo A. Young 43 it was held that a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court should be filed within a reasonable period of three months from notice of the decision or order. Here, about nine to ten months had already elapsed before the respondents assailed the denial of their motions for bail. In any event, the private respondents who were denied bail are not precluded from reiterating before the trial court their plea for admission to bail. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The challenged orders are AFFIRMED, and the motions for bail of accused-respondents Jeanette Dumancas and Nicolas Torres are DENIED. The temporary restraining order issued on 12 December 1994 is LIFTED, and the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City is directed to immediately resume the hearings of Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 and to thereafter resolve them with reasonable and purposeful dispatch. This decision is immediately executory. SO ORDERED. Llibris Bellosillo and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur. Padilla and Kapunan, JJ., see separate opinion. Separate Opinions PADILLA, J., concurring and dissenting: While I agree with the ponencia of Mr. Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. that the two (2) informations subject of the present petition should remain in the Regional Trial Court, I arrive at this conclusion based solely on the provisions of Rep. Act No. 7975. It is my considered opinion, unlike the majority, that the accused PNP personnel committed the crime alleged in the two (2) informations in relation to their office. The wording of the two (2) informations clearly shows that P/Col. Nicolas M. Torres used his authority over his subordinate officers when he ordered them to arrest the two (2) swindling suspects/victims in connection with the complaint of the Dumancas spouses. This act of Torres is undoubtedly "intimately connected" with his position as Station Commander of the PNP, Bacolod Station. In turn, the other accused PNP personnel who detained the two (2) victims were performing their functions as law enforcers under orders from their direct superior. Under such circumstances, the two (2) informations would have been properly filed with the Sandiganbayan since the law in force at the time was P.D. No. 1606 which gave the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction cover offenses committed by public officers in relation to their office where the penalty prescribed by law is higher than prision correctional or imprisonment of six (6) years or a fine of P6,000.00. The above view notwithstanding, Rep. Act No. 7975 has revised the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Under said revised jurisdiction, the Regional Trial Courts now have jurisdiction over offenses committed

by PNP officers with ranks below that of superintendent or its equivalent, whether or not the offenses are committed in relation to their office. In the present case, none of the accused PNP officers has the rank of superintendent or higher. Section 7 of Rep. Act No. 7975 also provides that upon effectivity of said Act, all criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan under P.D. No. 1606 where trial has not begun in said court, shall be referred to the proper courts. LLjur In the present case, even if the criminal cases were then within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, the offenses having been committed in relation to the accuseds' office, as earlier discussed, yet, the cases were not filed in said court. Since the cases now fall within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court under the express provisions of Rep. Act No. 7975, they can remain in said regional trial court. On the issue of whether accused Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas should be granted bail, I agree with Mr. Justice Santiago M. Kapunan that the Court should exercise its discretion, disregard technicalities and rule on the motion for bail filed with this Court. Accused Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas should, in my view, be released on bail for the following reasons: 1. The spouses Dumancas were included in the informations as accused merely because they were the ones who complained to the police that the two (2) victims had swindled them. There is no showing that the spouses knew, much less instigated, the kidnapping and murder of the victims. Of note is a portion of the testimony of the alleged lone eyewitness and co-conspirator turned state witness, Moises Grandeza, where he declared that Jeanette Dumancas told accused Dominador Geroche to bring the two (2) swindling suspects to the police station and that she would call a certain Atty. Geocadin so the proper cases could be filed against them. Such statements of Dumancas indicate lack of any criminal intent unless the contrary is later proven during the trial. 2. The situation of Jeanette Dumancas is no different from that of her husband who was granted bail by the trial court. 3. Jeanette Dumancas came back from abroad even after the charges against her had been filed. Certainly, this is not indicative of a probability of her later jumping bail should she be released on bail. 4. To deny bail to a mother of two (2) minor children in the absence of direct evidence that she was indeed a principal by inducement as alleged in the two (2) informations, is antagonistic not only to her constitutional right to bail but also to the ideals and demands of a just and humane society. KAPUNAN, J., concurring and dissenting: I fully agree with much of what my esteemed colleague, Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. has written in this case. However, at least with respect to petitioner Jeanette Dumancas, I think this Court, mainly for humanitarian reasons, should exercise its discretion to grant said petitioner her constitutional right to bail, pending the determination of her guilt or innocence in the trial court. The facts so far established in the case at bench with respect to the spouses Dumancas as narrated in the court's opinion simply show that they were civilians who complained to the authorities (respondents herein) to the effect that they were swindled by Rufino Gargar and Danilo Lumangyao, the alleged murder-kidnapping victims. After respondent Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas identified them, the lone witness for the prosecution in this case testified that she requested the accused, specifically Domingo Geroche to "bring (the two men) to the PC or police" so that she could in the meantime locate her attorney for the purpose of filing the proper charges against them. Possibly out of sheer overzealousness, or for reasons not yet established in the trial court, both men were brought elsewhere and shot. Thus, apparently, the only reason why the spouses were charged as principals by inducement was because, as possible victims of a group of alleged swindlers, they initiated — through their apparently legitimate complaint — the chain of events, which led to the death of the victims in the case at bench. This narration clearly casts enough doubt regarding the strength of the evidence of guilt against Mrs. Dumancas, which ought to be sufficient for us to exercise our discretion to grant bail in her case. The trial court has already refused to grant her petition for bail, which under the facts and circumstances so far available to the lower court, constitutes a grave abuse of discretion, subject to this court's action. While I agree that normally, a motion for reconsideration should be addressed to the trial court or to the Court of Appeals (if the said motion were denied by the lower court), I see no reason why, here and now, we

should not exercise our discretion, for compelling humanitarian reasons, to grant Mrs. Dumancas her constitutional right to bail. Firstly, she is the mother of two minor children, aged seven (7) and one (1) years old, who have been deprived of her care for over a year. Second, even with the knowledge that she would face possible arrest, she came back to the country from abroad, risking incarceration in order to face the charges against her. Without prejudice to whatever the lower court would in the course of hearing the case, deem appropriate, I vote to grant Mrs. Dumancas petition for bail. cdlex Footnotes 1.

Rollo, 5-7, 49-51.

2.

Id., 324-325.

3.

TSN, 14 February 1994, 6-9, 30, 43, 52-59; 9 March 1994, 43.

4.

G.R. No. 108208, 11 March 1994, 231 SCRA 211.

5.

Annex "A" of Petition; Rollo, 26.

6.

Annex "B," Id.; Id., 30.

7.

90 Phil. 49 [1951].

8.

108 Phil. 613 [1960].

9.

Annex "C" of Petition; Rollo, 34.

10.

Annex "D", Id.; Id., 49.

11.

Rollo, 59 & 66.

12.

Id., 263.

13.

Id., 320.

14.

G.R. No. 98452, En Banc Resolution, 26 September 1991.

15.

G.R. Nos. 111771-77, 9 November 1993, 227 SCRA 627.

16.

G.R. No. 111616, 4 February 1994, 229 SCRA 680.

17.

Supra note 4.

18.

Supra note 7.

19.

Supra note 8.

20.

See Republic vs. Asuncion, supra note 4, at 233.

21.

Republic vs. Asuncion, supra note 4.

22. U.S. vs. Mallari, 24 Phil. 366 [1913]; People vs. Co Hiok, 62 Phil. 501 [1935]; People vs. Ocaya, 83 SCRA 218 [1978]. 23.

Supra note 8.

24.

Supra note 7.

25.

Article 14(1), Revised Penal Code.

26.

142 SCRA 459 [1986].

27. Section 20 of B.P. Blg. 129, which provides: "Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body, except those now falling under the exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter." 28.

Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

29. Entitled, "An Act Declaring Forfeiture in Favor of the State Any Property Found to Have Been Unlawfully Acquired by Any Public Officer or Employee and Providing for the Proceeding Therefor."

30. Article 210, Direct Bribery; Article 211, Indirect Bribery; and Article 212, Corruption of Public Officials. 31.

Creating the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

32. Regarding the Funds, Moneys, Assets, and Properties Illegally Acquired or Misappropriated by Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos, Their Close Relatives, Subordinates, Business Associates, Dummies, Agents or Nominees. 33. Defining the Jurisdiction Over Cases Involving the Ill-gotten Wealth of Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos, Members of Their Immediate Family, Close Relatives, Subordinates, Close and/or Business Associates, Dummies, Agents, and Nominees. 34.

Amending E.O. No. 14.

35. Should be read as chief superintendent in view of Section 4(a) 1(e) of P.D. No. 1606, as further amended by R.A. No. 7975. 36. People vs. Pegarum, 58 Phil. 715 [1933]; People vs. Paderna, 22 SCRA 273 [1968]; People vs. Mariano, 71 SCRA 600 [1976]; Tiongson vs. Court of Appeals, 214 SCRA 197 [1992]. 37. Iburan vs. Labes, 87 Phil. 234 [1950]; Uypaunco vs. Leuterio, 27 SCRA 776 [1969]; Paulino vs. Belen, 37 SCRA 357 [1971]; Bengson vs. Inciong, 91 SCRA 248 [1979]. 38.

186 SCRA 217 [1990].

39.

237 SCRA 685 [1994].

40.

Rollo, 84 & 102.

41.

Id., 263.

42. Tupas vs. Court of Appeals, 193 SCRA 597 [1991]; Allied Leasing & Finance Corp. vs. Court of Appeals, 197 SCRA 71 [1991]; People vs. Court of Appeals, 199 SCRA 539 [1991]; Torres vs. NLRC, 200 SCRA 424 [1991]. 43.

G.R. No. 101734, 22 January 1992.

10. Escobal v. Garchitorena SECOND DIVISION [G.R. No. 124644. February 5, 2004.] ARNEL ESCOBAL, petitioner, vs. HON. FRANCIS GARCHITORENA, Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan, Atty. Luisabel Alfonso-Cortez, Executive Clerk of Court IV of the Sandiganbayan, Hon. David C. Naval, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Naga City, Branch 21, Luz N. Nueca, respondents. DECISION CALLEJO, SR., J p: This is a petition for certiorari with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction filed by Arnel Escobal seeking the nullification of the remand by the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan of the records of Criminal Case No. 90-3184 to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Naga City, Branch 21. The petition at bench arose from the following milieu: On March 16, 1990, the petitioner was conducting surveillance operations on drug trafficking at the Sa Harong Café Bar and Restaurant located along Barlin St., Naga City. He somehow got involved in a shooting incident, resulting in the death of one Rodney Rafael N. Nueca. On February 6, 1991, an amended Information was filed with the RTC of Naga City, Branch 21, docketed as Criminal Case No. 903184 charging the petitioner and a certain Natividad Bombita, Jr. alias "Jun Bombita" with murder. The accusatory portion of the amended Information reads: DcCITS That on or about March 16, 1990, in the City of Naga, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court by virtue of the Presidential Waiver, dated June 1, 1990, with intent to kill, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping each other, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and maul one Rodney Nueca and accused 2Lt Arnel Escobal armed with a caliber .45 service pistol shoot said Rodney Nueca thereby inflicting upon him serious, mortal and fatal wounds which caused his death, and as a consequence thereof, complainant LUZ N. NUECA, mother of the deceased victim, suffered actual and compensatory damages in the amount of THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-SEVEN THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED SEVEN & 95/100 (P367,107.95) PESOS, Philippine Currency, and moral and exemplary damages in the amount of ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND (P135,000.00) PESOS, Philippine Currency. 1 On March 19, 1991, the RTC issued an Order preventively suspending the petitioner from the service under Presidential Decree No. 971, as amended by P.D. No. 1847. When apprised of the said order, the General Headquarters of the PNP issued on October 6, 1992 Special Order No. 91, preventively suspending the petitioner from the service until the case was terminated. 2 The petitioner was arrested by virtue of a warrant issued by the RTC, while accused Bombita remained at large. The petitioner posted bail and was granted temporary liberty. When arraigned on April 9, 1991, 3 the petitioner, assisted by counsel, pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. Thereafter, on December 23, 1991, the petitioner filed a Motion to Quash 4 the Information alleging that as mandated by Commonwealth Act No. 408, 5 in relation to Section 1, Presidential Decree No. 1822 and Section 95 of R.A. No. 6975, the court martial, not the RTC, had jurisdiction over criminal cases involving PNP members and officers. Pending the resolution of the motion, the petitioner on June 25, 1993 requested the Chief of the PNP for his reinstatement. He alleged that under R.A. No. 6975, his suspension should last for only 90 days, and, having served the same, he should now be reinstated. On September 23, 1993, 6 the PNP Region V Headquarters wrote Judge David C. Naval requesting information on whether he issued an order lifting the petitioner's suspension. The RTC did not reply. Thus, on February 22, 1994, the petitioner filed a motion in the RTC for the lifting of the order of suspension. He alleged that he had served the 90-day preventive suspension and pleaded for compassionate justice. The RTC denied the motion on March 9, 1994. 7 Trial thereafter proceeded, and the prosecution rested its case. The petitioner commenced the presentation of his evidence. On July 20, 1994, he filed a Motion to Dismiss 8 the case. Citing Republic of

the Philippines v. Asuncion, et al., 9 he argued that since he committed the crime in the performance of his duties, the Sandiganbayan had exclusive jurisdiction over the case. On October 28, 1994, the RTC issued an Order 10 denying the motion to dismiss. It, however, ordered the conduct of a preliminary hearing to determine whether or not the crime charged was committed by the petitioner in relation to his office as a member of the PNP. In the preliminary hearing, the prosecution manifested that it was no longer presenting any evidence in connection with the petitioner's motion. It reasoned that it had already rested its case, and that its evidence showed that the petitioner did not commit the offense charged in connection with the performance of his duties as a member of the Philippine Constabulary. According to the prosecution, they were able to show the following facts: (a) the petitioner was not wearing his uniform during the incident; (b) the offense was committed just after midnight; (c) the petitioner was drunk when the crime was committed; (d) the petitioner was in the company of civilians; and, (e) the offense was committed in a beerhouse called "Sa Harong Café Bar and Restaurant." 11 For his part, the petitioner testified that at about 10:00 p.m. on March 15, 1990, he was at the Sa Harong Café Bar and Restaurant at Barlin St., Naga City, to conduct surveillance on alleged drug trafficking, pursuant to Mission Order No. 03-04 issued by Police Superintendent Rufo R. Pulido. The petitioner adduced in evidence the sworn statements of Benjamin Cariño and Roberto Fajardo who corroborated his testimony that he was on a surveillance mission on the aforestated date. 12 On July 31, 1995, the trial court issued an Order declaring that the petitioner committed the crime charged while not in the performance of his official function. The trial court added that upon the enactment of R.A. No. 7975, 13 the issue had become moot and academic. The amendatory law transferred the jurisdiction over the offense charged from the Sandiganbayan to the RTC since the petitioner did not have a salary grade of "27" as provided for in or by Section 4(a)(1), (3) thereof. The trial court nevertheless ordered the prosecution to amend the Information pursuant to the ruling in Republic v. Asuncion 14 and R.A. No. 7975. The amendment consisted in the inclusion therein of an allegation that the offense charged was not committed by the petitioner in the performance of his duties/functions, nor in relation to his office. CDISAc The petitioner filed a motion for the reconsideration 15 of the said order, reiterating that based on his testimony and those of Benjamin Cariño and Roberto Fajardo, the offense charged was committed by him in relation to his official functions. He asserted that the trial court failed to consider the exceptions to the prohibition. He asserted that R.A. No. 7975, which was enacted on March 30, 1995, could not be applied retroactively. 16 The petitioner further alleged that Luz Nacario Nueca, the mother of the victim, through counsel, categorically and unequivocably admitted in her complaint filed with the People's Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) that he was on an official mission when the crime was committed. On November 24, 1995, the RTC made a volte face and issued an Order reversing and setting aside its July 31, 1995 Order. It declared that based on the petitioner's evidence, he was on official mission when the shooting occurred. It concluded that the prosecution failed to adduce controverting evidence thereto. It likewise considered Luz Nacario Nueca's admission in her complaint before the PLEB that the petitioner was on official mission when the shooting happened. The RTC ordered the public prosecutor to file a Re-Amended Information and to allege that the offense charged was committed by the petitioner in the performance of his duties/functions or in relation to his office; and, conformably to R.A. No. 7975, to thereafter transmit the same, as well as the complete records with the stenographic notes, to the Sandiganbayan, to wit: WHEREFORE, the Order dated July 31, 1995 is hereby SET ASIDE and RECONSIDERED, and it is hereby declared that after preliminary hearing, this Court has found that the offense charged in the Information herein was committed by the accused in his relation to his function and duty as member of the then Philippine Constabulary. Conformably with R.A. No. 7975 and the ruling of the Supreme Court in Republic v. Asuncion, et al., G.R. No. 180208, March 11, 1994:

(1) The City Prosecutor is hereby ordered to file a Re-Amended Information alleging that the offense charged was committed by the Accused in the performance of his duties/functions or in relation to his office, within fifteen (15) days from receipt hereof; (2) After the filing of the Re-Amended Information, the complete records of this case, together with the transcripts of the stenographic notes taken during the entire proceedings herein, are hereby ordered transmitted immediately to the Honorable Sandiganbayan, through its Clerk of Court, Manila, for appropriate proceedings. 17 On January 8, 1996, the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan ordered the Executive Clerk of Court IV, Atty. Luisabel Alfonso-Cortez, to return the records of Criminal Case No. 90-3184 to the court of origin, RTC of Naga City, Branch 21. It reasoned that under P.D. No. 1606, as amended by R.A. No. 7975, 18 the RTC retained jurisdiction over the case, considering that the petitioner had a salary grade of "23." Furthermore, the prosecution had already rested its case and the petitioner had commenced presenting his evidence in the RTC; following the rule on continuity of jurisdiction, the latter court should continue with the case and render judgment therein after trial. Upon the remand of the records, the RTC set the case for trial on May 3, 1996, for the petitioner to continue presenting his evidence. Instead of adducing his evidence, the petitioner filed a petition for certiorari, assailing the Order of the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan remanding the records of the case to the RTC. The threshold issue for resolution is whether or not the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan committed a grave abuse of his discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in ordering the remand of the case to the RTC. The petitioner contends that when the amended information was filed with the RTC on February 6, 1991, P.D. No. 1606 was still in effect. Under Section 4(a) of the decree, the Sandiganbayan had exclusive jurisdiction over the case against him as he was charged with homicide with the imposable penalty of reclusion temporal, and the crime was committed while in the performance of his duties. He further asserts that although P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861 and by R.A. No. 7975 provides that crimes committed by members and officers of the PNP with a salary grade below "27" committed in relation to office are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the proper RTC, the amendment thus introduced by R.A. No. 7975 should not be applied retroactively. This is so, the petitioner asserts, because under Section 7 of R.A. No. 7975, only those cases where trial has not begun in the Sandiganbayan upon the effectivity of the law should be referred to the proper trial court. The private complainant agrees with the contention of the petitioner. In contrast, the Office of the Special Prosecutor contends that the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan acted in accordance with law when he ordered the remand of the case to the RTC. It asserts that R.A. No. 7975 should be applied retroactively. Although the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over the crime committed by the petitioner when the amended information was filed with the RTC, by the time it resolved petitioner's motion to dismiss on July 31, 1995, R.A. No. 7975 had already taken effect. Thus, the law should be given retroactive effect. EHTIcD The Ruling of the Court The respondent Presiding Justice acted in accordance with law and the rulings of this Court when he ordered the remand of the case to the RTC, the court of origin. The jurisdiction of the court over criminal cases is determined by the allegations in the Information or the Complaint and the statute in effect at the time of the commencement of the action, unless such statute provides for a retroactive application thereof. The jurisdictional requirements must be alleged in the Information. 19 Such jurisdiction of the court acquired at the inception of the case continues until the case is terminated. 20 Under Section 4(a) of P.D. No. 1606 as amended by P.D. No. 1861, the Sandiganbayan had exclusive jurisdiction in all cases involving the following: (1) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code;

(2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, whether simple or complexed with other crimes, where the penalty prescribed by law is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years, or a fine of P6,000.00 . . . . 21 However, for the Sandiganbayan to have exclusive jurisdiction under the said law over crimes committed by public officers in relation to their office, it is essential that the facts showing the intimate relation between the office of the offender and the discharge of official duties must be alleged in the Information. It is not enough to merely allege in the Information that the crime charged was committed by the offender in relation to his office because that would be a conclusion of law. 22 The amended Information filed with the RTC against the petitioner does not contain any allegation showing the intimate relation between his office and the discharge of his duties. Hence, the RTC had jurisdiction over the offense charged when on November 24, 1995, it ordered the re-amendment of the Information to include therein an allegation that the petitioner committed the crime in relation to office. The trial court erred when it ordered the elevation of the records to the Sandiganbayan. It bears stressing that R.A. No. 7975 amending P.D. No. 1606 was already in effect and under Section 2 of the law: In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers occupying the rank of superintendent or higher, or their equivalent, exclusive jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. Under the law, even if the offender committed the crime charged in relation to his office but occupies a position corresponding to a salary grade below "27," the proper Regional Trial Court or Municipal Trial Court, as the case may be, shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the case. In this case, the petitioner was a Police Senior Inspector, with salary grade "23." He was charged with homicide punishable by reclusion temporal. Hence, the RTC had exclusive jurisdiction over the crime charged conformably to Sections 20 and 32 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Section 2 of R.A. No. 7691. The petitioner's contention that R.A. No. 7975 should not be applied retroactively has no legal basis. It bears stressing that R.A. No. 7975 is a substantive procedural law which may be applied retroactively. 23 IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DISMISSED. No pronouncement as to costs. ITcCSA SO ORDERED. Puno, Quisumbing, Austria-Martinez and Tinga, JJ., concur. Footnotes 1.

Rollo, p. 193.

2.

Id. at 240-241.

3.

Id. at 117.

4.

Annex "A," Petition; Rollo, pp. 113-116.

5.

Otherwise known as Articles of War of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

6.

Rollo, p. 248.

7.

Id. at 241-242.

8.

Annex "C," Petition; Rollo, pp. 120-124.

9.

231 SCRA 211 (1994).

10.

Annex "D," Petition; Rollo, pp. 125-126.

11.

Rollo, p. 127.

12.

Id. at 130-131.

13. Republic Act No. 7975, "An Act to Strengthen the Functional and Structural Organization of the Sandiganbayan, amending for that purpose Presidential Decree No. 1605, as amended, took effect on May 6, 1995. 14.

See note 8.

15.

Annex "G," Petition; Rollo, pp. 132-133.

16.

Id. at 132-133.

17.

Id. at 136-137.

18.

Took effect on May 6, 1995.

19.

Lacson v. Executive Secretary, 301 SCRA 298 (1999).

20.

Baritua v. Mercader, 350 SCRA 86 (2001).

21.

Sanchez v. Demetriou, 227 SCRA 627 (1993). (Emphasis supplied).

22.

See note 17.

23.

Lacson v. Executive Secretary, supra.

11. Quindoza vs Banzon SECOND DIVISION [A.M. No. MTJ-04-1552. December 16, 2004.] [Formerly OCA IPI No. 02-1317-MTJ] DANTE M. QUINDOZA, complainant, vs. JUDGE EMMANUEL G. BANZON, respondent. DECISION TINGA, J p: On August 9, 2002, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) received the Letter-Complaint 1 dated August 1, 2002 filed by complainant Dante M. Quindoza against Judge Emmanuel G. Banzon, Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Mariveles, Bataan. Complainant charges respondent with gross ignorance of the law and grave abuse of discretion in connection with respondent's disposition of Criminal Cases Nos. 02-7325, 02-7326, and 02-7332, all entitled "People of the Philippines v. Dante Quindoza, et al." for Qualified Trespass to Dwelling and Light Coercion. DHAcET The antecedents follow. On May 8 and 22, 2002 respectively, complainant ordered the disconnection of the water and electrical service of the housing unit illegally occupied by Renato Caralipio (Caralipio), 2 and the electrical services of the housing unit of Hermito de Asis (de Asis) for non-settlement of accounts with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and expiration of lease. 3 Because of the incidents, criminal cases were filed against the complainant with the court of respondent judge. Criminal Cases Nos. 02-7325 and 02-7326 stemmed from the incident involving Caralipio's house, 4 while Criminal Case No. 02-7332 related to the disconnection of electric service in the house occupied by de Asis.5 On June 4, 2002, the complainant filed an Urgent Motion to Quash in the three criminal cases on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and failure to allege an offense. Complainant averred that he is the incumbent Zone Administrator of the Bataan Economic Zone (BEZ) and that his position has a salary grade "28" under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6758. 6 He contended that it is not respondent's court but the Sandiganbayan which has jurisdiction over the three criminal cases. HAEDCT Complainant claims that in open court during the hearing of his motion to quash in Criminal Cases Nos. 02-7325 and 02-7326 on June 20, 2002, respondent ordered his incarceration, without right to file bail, until such time that he shall have ordered the reconnection of the water and electrical services of Caralipio and de Asis. According to the complainant, respondent should not have ordered the reconnection of electricity in de Asis's housing unit during the hearings in Criminal Cases Nos. 02-7325 and 02-7326 because the disconnection incident relating to de Asis is the subject of the third case, Criminal Case No. 02-7332, and the motion to quash therein was to be conducted on June 27, 2002 yet. 7 He also points out that it was erroneous for the respondent judge to include the reconnection of the water services in de Asis's house because only the disconnection of electricity was complained of in Criminal Case No. 02-7332. 8 Complainant further avers that he made a formal written request 9 for a copy of the transcript of stenographic notes of the June 20, 2002 hearing in Criminal Cases Nos. 02-7325 and 02-7326 to avail of the proper judicial remedies but respondent refused to release the transcript. He prays that his pending cases be reassigned to another court and that respondent judge be ordered to inhibit himself from handling any case involving BEZ or any of its officers and employees. 10 The OCA indorsed the complaint and required respondent to file his comment thereon. 11 Thereafter, respondent submitted his Comment dated September 20, 2002 and another Comment on November 29, 2002. Respondent has not disputed complainant's allegations in the latter's September 20, 2002 Comment. He argues, however, that it is improper and premature for complainant to insinuate bias and improper conduct on his part when the issues which gave rise to the Letter-Complaint are still being ventilated in court. 12 He asserts that complainant should have appealed the assailed order instead of filing an administrative case against him because as the Court held in Barroso v. Arche, 13 when a litigant disagrees with a ruling of the judge the proper remedy is not to file an administrative complaint but an appeal which points out the errors in the decision. 14 Respondent further claims that complainant was arbitrary in effecting the disconnection of water and electrical services of residents within the BEZ alleging

that complainant disconnected the electrical and water supplies of the occupants who could not afford to file a case against him, without even bothering to explain the disconnections although they were effected in violation of due process of law. 15 Respondent prays that the complaint against him be dismissed and that complainant instead be held administratively and criminally liable for his illegal acts. 16 Complainant submitted on October 25, 2002 his Reply, pointing out that respondent judge failed to refute the charges against him but instead made unsubstantiated allegations against the complainant. aTEHIC On March 3, 2004, the OCA submitted its Memorandum, recommending that respondent be fined Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) for oppression and abuse of authority, and gross ignorance of the law. On August 4, 2004, the Court required the parties to manifest whether they would be willing to submit the case based on the pleadings filed within ten (10) days from notice. Both parties complied and replied in the affirmative, 17 with respondent adducing additional documents and arguments in his defense. The Court agrees with the findings and recommendation of the OCA. Section 4(1) of Presidential Decree No. 1606 as amended by R.A. No. 8249 18 clearly provides that employees of the executive branch classified as Grade "27" or higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 are within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan and not of the MTC. Clearly, any crime committed by complainant, a salary grade "28" employee, in relation to his office falls under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The record shows that the crimes allegedly committed by complainant were in relation to his office as director of the BEZ. When the law is so elementary, not to know it or to act as if one does not know it constitutes gross ignorance of the law. 19 Respondent judge undeniably erred in denying complainant's motion to quash in Criminal Cases Nos. 02-7325, 02-7326 and 02-7332 on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. Moreover, as the OCA correctly observed, respondent judge's act of ordering the incarceration of complainant and threatening not to grant him bail at the hearing of Criminal Cases Nos. 02-7325, 02-7326 and 02-7332 until he shall have reconnected the water and electric supply connections of Caralipio and de Asis indubitably constitutes oppression and abuse of authority — This is a clear case of oppression and abuse of authority. Respondent acted like a petty tyrant requiring obedience from those around. He had no authority to order the incarceration of complainant even if the latter refused to comply. In criminal cases, a court can only do three things: (1) convict the accused and sentence him accordingly; (2) acquit the accused and release him from detention if he is detained or cancel his bail if he is bonded; or (3) he can dismiss the case for any of the grounds provided by law. 20 Under Section 8, Rule 140 of the Revised Rules of Court, gross ignorance of the law or procedure and gross misconduct constituting violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct 21 are considered serious offenses which may be penalized with either dismissal from the service with forfeiture of benefits, suspension from office for more than three (3) months but not exceeding six (6) months or a fine of more than Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00), but not exceeding Forty Thousand Pesos (P40,000.00), may be imposed. However, as recommended by the OCA, 22 a fine of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) is appropriate. This is the first offense of respondent. TDcEaH In his Manifestation 23 dated September 24, 2004, respondent claims that during the pendency of the instant case, complainant has been charged with several criminal complaints for violation of Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code involving the ex-parte demolition of several houses in Mariveles, as well as complaints for qualified trespass to dwelling and light coercion, all of which were assigned to his sala. Complainant has been charged, respondent adds, with violations of human rights before the Commission on Human Rights. Moreover, while asserting that complainant was high-handed and tyrannical in the performance of his duties respondent stresses that complainant filed the instant case to get even with and force him to be lenient with complainant in the cases pending before his court. The Court finds the cases adverted to irrelevant to the resolution of the instant administrative complaint. If there is merit in the cases against the complainant, then the same should be decided in the courts concerned, but not in this forum at this time. Complainant seeks to disqualify the respondent judge from handling his pending cases and those that may be filed against the BEZ or any of its employees and officers. The Court grants the inhibition sought

with respect to the pending cases, including the cases mentioned by respondent in his Manifestation dated September 24, 2004. Considering the animosity generated by this administrative complaint between complainant and respondent judge, it would be in the best interest of justice to remove any doubt that may be cast upon respondent judge's ability to resolve said cases with impartiality. However, there is no basis for respondent's inhibition from hearing any other case involving the BEZ or any of its officers and employees. However, with regard to cases still to be filed the recusal sought is premature and therefore should be denied. WHEREFORE, the Court orders respondent Judge Emmanuel G. Banzon, Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court, Mariveles, Bataan, to pay a FINE in the amount of TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS (P20,000.00), with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely. He is also ordered to inhibit himself from hearing Criminal Cases Nos. 02-7325, 02-7326, 027332, and 03-7760, 03-7761, 03-7762, 03-7763, 03-7764, 03-7765, 03-7766 and 03-7781 of the Municipal Trial Court of Mariveles, Bataan involving complainant Dante M. Quindoza. DHCcST SO ORDERED. Puno, Austria-Martinez and Chico-Nazario, JJ ., concur. Callejo, Sr., J ., is on leave. Footnotes 1.

Rollo, pp. 1-3.

2.

Id. at 22.

3.

Id. at 24.

4.

Id. at 1.

5.

Ibid.

6.

The Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989.

7.

Rollo, p. 2.

8. Id. at 10. Complainant attached to his Letter-Complaint an Order issued by respondent in Criminal Case No. 01-7006 (People v. Hipolito Bautista, et al.) on July 23, 2001 ordering the withdrawal of the complaint filed by de Asis therein. The subject of that case was the disconnection of the water supply in the housing unit occupied by de Asis in 1998. 9.

Id. at 2 and 11.

10.

Id. at 3.

11.

Id. at 10.

12.

Id. at 19.

13.

67 SCRA 161 (1965).

14.

Ibid.

15.

Id. at 20-21.

16.

Id. at 21. Respondent reiterates the arguments in his November 29, 2002 Comment. Id. at 50-52.

17.

Id. at 76-110, 113.

18. AN ACT FURTHER DEFINING THE JURISDICTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1606, AS AMENDED, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, February 9, 1997. 19.

Domondon v. Lopez, A.M. No. RTJ-02-1696, June 20, 2002, 383 SCRA 376.

20.

Memorandum of the Office of the Court Administrator, Rollo, p. 71.

21. The provision of the Code of Judicial Conduct violated by the respondent judge when he ordered the incarceration of the complainant and threatened not to grant him bail until he shall have reconnected Caralipo and de Asis's water and electric supply connections is Rule 3.01 thereof which states that "[a] judge shall be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence." 22.

Ibid.

23.

Rollo, pp. 73-110.

12. Inding v. Sandigang Bayan EN BANC [G.R. No. 143047. July 14, 2004.] RICARDO S. INDING, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. DECISION CALLEJO, SR., J p: This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure for the nullification of the September 23, 1999 Resolution 1 of the Sandiganbayan (Second Division), which denied the petitioner's omnibus motion with supplemental motion, and its Resolution dated April 25, 2000, denying the petitioner's motion for the reconsideration of the same. The Antecedents On January 27, 1999, an Information was filed with the Sandiganbayan charging petitioner Ricardo S. Inding, a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dapitan City, with violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, 2 committed as follows: cDIHES That from the period 3 January 1997 up to 9 August 1997 and for sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Dapitan City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused Ricardo S. Inding, a high-ranking public officer, being a Councilor of Dapitan City and as such, while in the performance of his official functions, particularly in the operation against drug abuse, with evident bad faith and manifest partiality, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and criminally, faked buy-bust operations against alleged pushers or users to enable him to claim or collect from the coffers (funds) of the city government a total amount of P30,500.00, as reimbursement for actual expenses incurred during the alleged buy-bust operations, knowing fully well that he had no participation in the said police operations against drugs but enabling him to collect from the coffers of the city government a total amount of P30,500.00, thereby causing undue injury to the government as well as the public interest. 3 The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. 25116 and raffled to the Second Division of the Sandiganbayan. On June 2, 1999, the petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion 4 for the dismissal of the case for lack of jurisdiction over the officers charged or, in the alternative, for the referral of the case either to the Regional Trial Court or the Municipal Trial Court for appropriate proceedings. The petitioner alleged therein that under Administrative Order No. 270 which prescribes the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991, he is a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dapitan City with Salary Grade (SG) 25. He asserted that under Republic Act No. 7975, which amended Presidential Decree No. 1606, the Sandiganbayan exercises original jurisdiction to try cases involving crimes committed by officials of local government units only if such officials occupy positions with SG 27 or higher, based on Rep. Act No. 6758, otherwise known as the "Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989." He contended that under Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, the RTC, not the Sandiganbayan, has original jurisdiction over the crime charged against him. The petitioner urged the trial court to take judicial notice of Adm. Order No. 270. In its comment on the omnibus motion, the Office of the Special Prosecutor asserted that the petitioner was, at the time of the commission of the crime, a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte, one of those public officers who, by express provision of Section 4 a.(1)(b) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Rep. Act No. 7975, 5 is classified as SG 27. Hence, the Sandiganbayan, not the RTC, has original jurisdiction over the case, regardless of his salary grade under Adm. Order No. 270. On September 23, 1999, the respondent Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution denying the petitioner's omnibus motion. According to the court, the Information alleged that the petitioner has a salary grade of 27. Furthermore, Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, which amended Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, provides that the petitioner, as a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dapitan City, has a salary grade of 27. 6

On October 27, 1999, the petitioner filed a Supplemental Motion to his omnibus motion, 7 citing Rep. Act No. 8294 and the ruling of this Court in Organo v. Sandiganbayan, 8 where it was declared that Rep. Act No. 8249, the latest amendment to the law creating the Sandiganbayan, "collated the provisions on the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan," and that "the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as a trial court was made to depend not on the penalty imposed by law on the crimes and offenses within its jurisdiction but on the rank and salary grade of accused government officials and employees." In the meantime, the petitioner was conditionally arraigned on October 28, 1999 and entered a plea of not guilty. 9 On November 18, 1999, the petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Sandiganbayan's September 23, 1999 Resolution. 10 The motion was, however, denied by the Sandiganbayan in a Resolution promulgated on April 25, 2000. 11 Dissatisfied, the petitioner filed the instant petition for certiorari, contending as follows: A. That Republic Act [No.] 8249 which took effect last 05 February 1997 made the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as a trial court depend not only on the penalty imposed by law on the crimes and offenses within its jurisdiction but on the rank and salary grade of accused government officials and employees. B. That the ruling of the Supreme Court in "Lilia B. Organo versus The Sandiganbayan and the People of the Philippines," G.R. No. 133535, 09 September 1999, settles the matter on the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as a trial court which is over public officials and employees with rank and salary grade 27 and above. The petitioner contends that, at the time the offense charged was allegedly committed, he was already occupying the position of Sangguniang Panlungsod Member I with SG 25. Hence, under Section 4 of Rep. Act No. 8249, amending Rep. Act No. 7975, it is the RTC and not the Sandiganbayan that has jurisdiction over the offense lodged against him. He asserts that under Adm. Order No. 270, 12 Dapitan City is only a component city, and the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod are classified as Sangguniang Panlungsod Members I with SG 25. Thus, Section 4 a.(1)(b) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, and retained by Section 4 of Rep. Act No. 8249, does not apply to him. On the other hand, the respondents, through the Office of the Special Prosecutor, contend that Section 4 a.(1)(b) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, expressly provides that the Sandiganbayan has original jurisdiction over violations of Rep. Act No. 3019, as amended, committed by the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, without qualification and regardless of salary grade. They argue that when Congress approved Rep. Act No. 7975 and Rep. Act No. 8249, it was aware that not all the positions specifically mentioned in Section 4, subparagraph (1) were classified as SG 27, and yet were specifically included therein, viz: It is very clear from the aforecited provisions of law that the members of the sangguniang panlungsod are specifically included as among those falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. A reading of the aforesaid provisions, likewise, show that the qualification as to Salary Grade 27 and higher applies only to such officials of the executive branch other than the regional director and higher and those specifically enumerated. To rule, otherwise, is to give a different interpretation to what the law clearly is. Moreover, had there been an intention to make Salary Grade 27 and higher as the sole factor to determine the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan then the lawmakers could have simply stated that the officials of the executive branch, to fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, should have been occupying the positions with a Salary Grade of 27 and higher. But the express wordings in both RA No. 7975 and RA No. 8249 specifically including the members of the sangguniang panlungsod, among others, as those within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan only means that the said sangguniang members shall be within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the said court regardless of their Salary Grade. In this connection too, it is well to state that the lawmakers are very well aware that not all the positions specifically mentioned as those within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan have a Salary Grade of 27 and higher. Yet, the legislature has explicitly made the officials so enumerated in RA

No. 7975 and RA No. 8249 as falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan because of the nature of these officials' functions and responsibilities as well as the power they can wield over their respective area of jurisdiction. 13 The threshold issue for the Court's resolution is whether the Sandiganbayan has original jurisdiction over the petitioner, a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dapitan City, who was charged with violation of Section 3(e) of Rep. Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Court rules in the affirmative. Rep. Act No. 7975, entitled "An Act to Strengthen the Functional and Structural Organization of the Sandiganbayan, Amending for that Purpose Presidential Decree No. 1606," took effect on May 16, 1995. Section 2 thereof enumerates the cases falling within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Subsequently, Rep. Act No. 7975 was amended by Rep. Act No. 8249, entitled "An Act Further Defining the Jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, Amending for the Purpose Presidential Decree No. 1606, as Amended, Providing Funds Therefor, and for Other Purposes." The amendatory law took effect on February 23, 1997 and Section 4 thereof enumerates the cases now falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. For purposes of determining which of the two laws, Rep. Act No. 7975 or Rep. Act No. 8249, applies in the present case, the reckoning period is the time of the commission of the offense. 14 Generally, the jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is to be determined by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action, not at the time of the commission of the crime. 15 However, Rep. Act No. 7975, as well as Rep. Act No. 8249, constitutes an exception thereto as it expressly states that to determine the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in cases involving violations of Rep. Act No. 3019, the reckoning period is the time of the commission of the offense. This is plain from the last clause of the opening sentence of paragraph (a) of these two provisions which reads: Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. — The Sandiganbayan shall exercise [exclusive] 16 original jurisdiction in all cases involving: a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, [Book II] 17 of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the principal accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense: xxx

xxx

xxx

In this case, as gleaned from the Information filed in the Sandiganbayan, the crime charged was committed from the period of January 3, 1997 up to August 9, 1997. The applicable law, therefore, is Rep. Act No. 7975. Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975 expanded the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as defined in Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, thus: Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. — The Sandiganbayan shall exercise original jurisdiction in all cases involving: 18 a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code, 19 where one or more of the principal accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense: (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade 27 and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including: (a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial department heads; (b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city department heads; 20 (c)

Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;

(d)

Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;

(e)

PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher rank; 21

(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor; (g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations; (2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade "27" and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989; (3)

Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;

(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and (5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade "27" and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. b. Other offenses or felonies committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection (a) of this section in relation to their office. 22 c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A. ATCEIc In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers occupying the rank of superintendent or higher, or their equivalent, exclusive jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. 23 A plain reading of the above provision shows that, for purposes of determining the government officials that fall within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in cases involving violations of Rep. Act No. 3019 and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code, Rep. Act No. 7975 has grouped them into five categories, to wit: (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade 27 and higher . . . (2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade "27" and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989; (3)

Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;

(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and (5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade "27" and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. With respect to the first category, i.e., officials of the executive branch with SG 27 or higher, Rep. Act No. 7975 further specifically included the following officials as falling within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan: (a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial department heads; (b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city department heads; (c)

Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;

(d)

Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;

(e)

PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher rank;

(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor; (g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations; The specific inclusion of the foregoing officials constitutes an exception to the general qualification relating to officials of the executive branch as "occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade 27 and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989." In other words, violation of Rep. Act No. 3019 committed by officials in the executive branch with SG 27 or higher, and the officials specifically enumerated in (a) to (g) of Section 4 a.(1) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, regardless of their salary grades, likewise fall within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Had it been the intention of Congress to confine the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan to violations of Rep. Act No. 3019 only to officials in the executive branch with SG 27 or higher, then it could just have ended paragraph (1) of Section 4 a. of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, with the phrase "officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade 27 and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989." Or the category in paragraph (5) of the same provision relating to "[a]ll other national and local officials classified as Grade '27' and up under the Compensation and Classification Act of 1989" would have sufficed. Instead, under paragraph (1) of Section 4 a. of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, Congress included specific officials, without any reference as to their salary grades. Clearly, therefore, Congress intended these officials, regardless of their salary grades, to be specifically included within the Sandiganbayan's original jurisdiction, for had it been otherwise, then there would have been no need for such enumeration. It is axiomatic in legal hermeneutics that words in a statute should not be construed as surplusage if a reasonable construction which will give them some force and meaning is possible. 24 That the legislators intended to include certain public officials, regardless of their salary grades, within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is apparent from the legislative history of both Rep. Acts Nos. 7975 and 8249. In his sponsorship speech of Senate Bill No. 1353, which was substantially adopted by both Houses of Congress and became Rep. Act No. 7975, Senator Raul S. Roco, then Chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, explained: Senate Bill No. 1353 modifies the present jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan such that only those occupying high positions in the government and the military fall under the jurisdiction of the court. As proposed by the Committee, the Sandiganbayan shall exercise original jurisdiction over cases assigned to it only in instances where one or more of the principal accused are officials occupying the positions of regional director and higher or are otherwise classified as Grade 27 and higher by the Compensation and Classification Act of 1989, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity at the time of the commission of the offense. The jurisdiction, therefore, refers to a certain grade upwards, which shall remain with the Sandiganbayan. The President of the Philippines and other impeachable officers such as the justices of the Supreme Court and constitutional commissions are not subject to the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan during their incumbency. The bill provides for an extensive listing of other public officers who will be subject to the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. It includes, among others, Members of Congress, judges and justices of all courts. 25 More instructive is the sponsorship speech, again, of Senator Roco, of Senate Bill No. 844, which was substantially adopted by both Houses of Congress and became Rep. Act No. 8249. Senator Roco explained the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in Rep. Act No. 7975, thus: SPONSORSHIP OF SENATOR ROCO xxx

xxx

xxx

By way of sponsorship, Mr. President — we will issue the full sponsorship speech to the members because it is fairly technical — may we say the following things:

To speed up trial in the Sandiganbayan, Republic Act No. 7975 was enacted for that Court to concentrate on the "larger fish" and leave the "small fry" to the lower courts. This law became effective on May 6, 1995 and it provided a two-pronged solution to the clogging of the dockets of that court, to wit: It divested the Sandiganbayan of jurisdiction over public officials whose salary grades were at Grade "26" or lower, devolving thereby these cases to the lower courts, and retaining the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan only over public officials whose salary grades were at Grade "27" or higher and over other specific public officials holding important positions in government regardless of salary grade; 26 Evidently, the officials enumerated in (a) to (g) Section 4 a.(1) of P.D. No. 1606, amended Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, were specifically included within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan because the lawmakers considered them "big fish" and their positions important, regardless of their salary grades. This conclusion is further bolstered by the fact that some of the officials enumerated in (a) to (g) are not classified as SG 27 or higher under the Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary Grades issued by the Department of Budget and Management in 1989, then in effect at the time that Rep. Act No. 7975 was approved. For example: Category

New Position Title

Grade

16. FOREIGN RELATIONS SERVICE ... Foreign Service ... Foreign Service Officer, Class II 27

23

28

Foreign Service Officer, Class I 29

24

30

City Government Department Head I

24

31

City Government Department Head II

26

32

... 18. EXECUTIVE SERVICE ... Local Executives ...

... Provincial Government Department Head

25

... City Vice Mayor I

26

City Vice Mayor II

28

City Mayor I

28

City Mayor II

30

34

19. LEGISLATIVE SERVICE Sangguniang Members ... Sangguniang Panlungsod Member I

25

33

Sangguniang Panlungsod Member II

27

Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member

26

35

Office of the City and Provincial Prosecutors 36 Prosecutor IV

29

Prosecutor III

28

Prosecutor II

27

Prosecutor I

26

Noticeably, the vice mayors, members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and prosecutors, without any distinction or qualification, were specifically included in Rep. Act No. 7975 as falling within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Moreover, the consuls, city department heads, provincial department heads and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, albeit classified as having salary grades 26 or lower, were also specifically included within the Sandiganbayan's original jurisdiction. As correctly posited by the respondents, Congress is presumed to have been aware of, and had taken into account, these officials' respective salary grades when it deliberated upon the amendments to the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction. Nonetheless, Congress passed into law Rep. Act No. 7975, specifically including them within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. By doing so, it obviously intended cases mentioned in Section 4 a. of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, when committed by the officials enumerated in (1)(a) to (g) thereof, regardless of their salary grades, to be tried by the Sandiganbayan. Indeed, it is a basic precept in statutory construction that the intent of the legislature is the controlling factor in the interpretation of a statute. 37 From the congressional records and the text of Rep. Acts No. 7975 and 8294, the legislature undoubtedly intended the officials enumerated in (a) to (g) of Section 4 a. (1) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by the aforesaid subsequent laws, to be included within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Following this disquisition, the paragraph of Section 4 which provides that if the accused is occupying a position lower than SG 27, the proper trial court has jurisdiction, 38 can only be properly interpreted as applying to those cases where the principal accused is occupying a position lower than SG 27 and not among those specifically included in the enumeration in Section 4 a. (1)(a) to (g). Stated otherwise, except for those officials specifically included in Section 4 a. (1)(a) to (g), regardless of their salary grades, over whom the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction, all other public officials below SG 27 shall be under the jurisdiction of the proper trial courts "where none of the principal accused are occupying positions corresponding to SG 27 or higher." By this construction, the entire Section 4 is given effect. The cardinal rule, after all, in statutory construction is that the particular words, clauses and phrases should not be studied as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and every part of the statute must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts and in order to produce a harmonious whole. 39 And courts should adopt a construction that will give effect to every part of a statute, if at all possible. Ut magis valeat quam pereat or that construction is to be sought which gives effect to the whole of the statute — its every word. 40 In this case, there is no dispute that the petitioner is a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dapitan City and he is charged with violation of Section 3(e) of Rep. Act No. 3019. Members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod are specifically included as among those within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in Section 4 a.(1)(b) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, 41 or even Section 4 of Rep. Act No. 8249 42 for that matter. The Sandiganbayan, therefore, has original jurisdiction over the petitioner's case docketed as Criminal Case No. 25116. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DISMISSED. The Resolutions of the Sandiganbayan dated September 23, 1999 and April 25, 2000 are AFFIRMED. No costs. SO ORDERED. AaDSEC

Davide, Jr., C .J ., Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Azcuna and Tinga, JJ ., concur. Footnotes 1. Penned by Associate Justice Godofredo L. Legaspi with Associate Justices Minita V. ChicoNazario, Chairman of the Fifth Division, and Narciso S. Nario, Sr., concurring. 2.

Otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

3.

Records, pp. 1–2.

4.

Id. at 48–52.

5.

Further amended by Section 4 of Republic Act No. 8249 which took effect on February 23, 1997.

6.

Annex "D," Rollo, pp. 33–34.

7.

Annex "C," Id. at 29–32.

8.

314 SCRA 135 (1999).

9.

Annex "G," Rollo, p. 44.

10.

Annex "E," Id. at 35–42.

11.

Annex "O," Id. at 61.

12. Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991. This was published in the March 23, 1992 issue of the Official Gazette. 13.

Rollo, pp. 82–83.

14.

Subido, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan, 266 SCRA 379 (1997).

15.

Morales v. People, 385 SCRA 259 (2002).

16.

Inserted in Rep. Act No. 8249.

17.

Ibid.

18.

Amended in Rep. Act No. 8249 to read:

Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. — The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: . . . 19. The phrase "Book II" was added after Title VII to read ". . . Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code in Rep. Act No. 8249. 20.

Emphasis ours.

21.

Amended in Rep. Act No. 8249 to read:

(e) Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank of senior superintendent or higher. 22.

Amended in Rep. Act No. 8249 to read:

b. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office. 23.

Amended in Rep. Act No. 8249 to read:

In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military and PNP officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended. 24. Associated Communications & Wireless Services-United Broadcasting Networks v. National Telecommunications Commission, 397 SCRA 574 (2003).

25.

Record of the Senate, Vol. IV, No. 60, February 8, 1995, p. 701.

26.

Record of the Senate, Vol. I, No. 24, September 25, 1996, p. 799.

27. Section 8 of Rep. Act No. 7157 provides that a "Foreign Service Officer, Class II, shall be assigned as second secretary in a diplomatic mission or consul in a consular establishment." 28.

Increased to SG 24 per 1997 Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary Grades.

29. Section 8 of Rep. Act No. 7157 provides that a "Foreign Service Officer, Class I, shall be assigned as first secretary in a diplomatic mission or consul in a consular establishment." 30.

Increased to SG 25 per 1997 Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary Grades.

31.

Increased to SG 25 per 1997 Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary Grades.

32. Retained, however, a new classification, City Department Head III with SG 27 was added, per 1997 Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary Grades. 33.

Increased to SG 26 per 1997 Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary Grades.

34. Only one classification for City Mayor with SG 30 has been retained per 1997 Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary Grades. 35.

Increased to SG 27 per 1997 Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary Grades.

36. Under Position Allocation List pursuant to National Compensation Circular No. 58 issued by the Department of Budget and Management implementing Sections 6 and 23 of Rep. Act No. 6758. 37.

Commission on Audit of the Province of Cebu v. Province of Cebu, 371 SCRA 196 (2001).

38.

The pertinent paragraph of Section 4 reads:

In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers occupying the rank of superintendent or higher, or their equivalent, exclusive jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. 39. AGPALO, STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION, 1995 Edition, p. 197 also cited in National Tobacco Administration v. Commission on Audit, 311 SCRA 755 (1999). 40.

Id. at 199.

41.

Supra.

42.

Supra.

13. Uy v. Sandiganbayan Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. Nos. 105965-70

August 9, 1999

GEORGE UY, petitioner, vs. SANDIGANBAYAN, OMBUDSMAN and ROGER C. BERBANO, SR., Special Prosecution Officer III, Office of the Special Prosecutor, respondents. PARDO, J.: This petition for certiorari and prohibition seeks to annul and set aside the resolution 1 of the Sandiganbayan denying petitioner's motion to quash the six (6) informations charging him with violation of Section 3 (e), R.A. No. 3019, as amended, and to permanently enjoin the respondents from proceeding with the criminal cases insofar as petitioner is involved. At times material hereto, petitioner was Deputy Comptroller of the Philippine Navy. He was designated by his immediate supervisor, Captain Luisito F. Fernandez, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Comptrollership, to act on the latter's behalf, during his absence, on matters relating to the activities of the Fiscal Control Branch, O/NG. This included the authority to sign disbursement vouchers relative to the procurement of equipment needed by the Philippine Navy. On July 2, 1991, six (6) informations for estafa through falsification of official documents and one (1) information for violation of Section 3 (e), R.A. No. 3019, as amended, were filed with the Sandiganbayan against petitioner and nineteen (19) co-accused, namely: (Ret.) Bgen. Mario S. Espina (then Assistant Secretary for Installations and Logistics, Department of National Defense), (Ret.) Rear Admiral Simeon M. Alejandro (then Flag Officer in Command, Philippine Navy), CDR Rodolfo Guanzon, CDR Erlindo A. Erolin, CAPT. Manual Ison (then Commander of the Naval Supply Center, Philippine Navy), CAPT. Andres Andres, LCDR Gilmer B. Batestil, LCDR Jose Alberto I. Velasco, Jr., LTSG Edgar L. Abogado, LT. Teddy O. Pan, LT. Ronald O. Sison, Reynaldo Paderna (Chief Accountant), Antonio Guda (Supply Accountable Officer, Fort San Felipe, Cavite, Philippine Navy), Loida T. Del Rosario (Typist), Marissa Bantigue (owner of MAR GEN Enterprise), Avelina Avila (owner of Avelina Avila General Merchandise), Jenis B. Bantigue (owner of JAB GEN Merchandise), Maria M. Capule (owner of MM Capule Enterprise) and Andrea C. Antonio (owner of AC Antonio Enterprise). On September 20, 1991, the Sandiganbayan issued an Order 2 directing a comprehensive re-investigation of the cases against all the twenty (20) accused. After conducting the re-investigation, the Special Prosecutor issued an Order 3 dated November 14, 1991 recommending that the informations for estafa through falsification of official documents be withdrawn and in lieu thereof, informations for violation of Section 3 (e) of R. A. No. 3019, as amended, be filed against eleven (11) accused,4 which included the petitioner. In a Memorandum5 dated December 5, 1991, Special Prosecutor Aniano A. Desierto reduced the number of those to be charged under R.A. No. 3019, as amended, to five (5), 6 including petitioner. Acting on the separate motions for reconsideration of the five (5) remaining accused, the Special Prosecutor issued an Order7 dated February 18, 1992 dropping two (2) more names8 from the five (5) officers recommended for prosecution, and recommending that six (6) separate informations for violation of Section 3 (e), R.A. 3019, as amended, be filed against the petitioner, LCMDR. Rodolfo Guanzon and LT. Teddy Pan. Except for the variance in the Purchase Order numbers involved and the Payees, 9 the six (6) amended informations10 filed by Special Prosecutor Officer III Roger C. Berbano, Sr. recite identical allegations, viz: That on or about November 1985, and for sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Metro Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, CDR.

Rodolfo Guanzon, being then the Procurement Officer, Philippine Navy, LCDR. George Uy, being then the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Comptrollership, Philippine Navy and Lt. Teddy O. Pan, being then the Naval Group Inspector, Philippine Navy, all public officials, and committing the offense in relation to their office, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and criminally, through evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence, cause undue injury to the Government, and in the exercise of their separate official functions, to wit: accused Guanzon initiated/prepared the Abstract of Canvass and Recommendation of Awards, Certificate of Emergency Purchase and Reasonableness of Price, signed the PO, DV, validated PO No. . . ., accused Uy signed the DV in behalf of the Assistant Chief of Naval Comptrollership, accused Pan as N6 conducted the preaudit and affixed his signature on the same P.O., the Sales Invoice and Technical Inspection Report � which documents said accused had the duty to check/verify/examined, thereby "acting or omitting to act" in a situation where there is a duty to act, in that only 100 seal rings were ordered at a unit price of P98.70, yet 1,000 pieces appear to have been sold with total price of P98,700.00, hence there was gross error in multiplication as shown on the face of the aforesaid PO and other supporting documents, resulting to an overpayment of P88,930.00 to . . ., thereby depriving the Government/Philippine Navy of the use thereof until its remittance/return to the Government/Philippine Navy by . . . in December, 1991. On April 21, 1992, the petitioner filed with the Sandiganbayan a motion to quash 11 the informations on the following grounds: 1. The Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over the offense charged or the person of the accused. 2. The officer who has filed the informations had no authority to do so. 3. The facts charged do not constitute an offense. 4. More than one (1) offense is charged. On June 10, 1992, the Sandiganbayan issued the now-assailed Resolution denying petitioner's motion to quash for lack of merit. It passed upon the grounds set forth by petitioner in this wise: On the first issue raised by accused-movant, we are not inclined to rule that this Court has no jurisdiction over the person of accused-movant or over the offenses charged herewith. As intimated by the prosecution, this Court has several cases pending before it involving crimes committed by military officers in relation to their office. Unless and until the Highest Tribunal rules otherwise, this Court has no judicious recourse but to entertain and try the various criminal cases filed by the Office of the Special Prosecutor involving military officers and men accused of committing crimes "in relation to their office," and those involving violation of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Be that as it may, being prosecuted for violation of R.A. 3019, as amended, accused-movant axiomatically is subject to the jurisdiction of this Court. We cannot likewise sustain accused-movant's stance that the officer who has filed the informations in the cases at bar had no authority to do so. Both the offense charged and the person of accused-movant being within the exclusive jurisdiction of this Court, it stands to reason that the preliminary investigation and prosecution of the instant criminal charges belong to, and are the exclusive prerogatives of, the Office of the Ombudsman, as provided for in Section 15(1) of Republic Act No. 6770. Neither are we impressed with the asseveration that the acts charged in the amended informations at bar do not constitute an offense. Such a claim cannot stand in the face of unequivocal rulings of the Supreme Court, thus: The fundamental rule in considering a motion to quash on the ground that the averments of the information are not sufficient to constitute the offense charged is whether the facts alleged, if hypothetically admitted, would meet the essential elements of the offense, as defined in the law. (People v. Segovia, 103 Phil. 1162). As a general proposition, too, a motion to quash on the ground that the allegations in the information do not constitute the offense charged, or of any offense for that matter, should

be resolved on the basis alone of said allegations whose truth and veracity are hypothetically admitted. (People v. Navarro, 75 Phil. 516). The general rule is that in resolving the motion to quash a criminal complaint or information, the facts alleged therein should be taken as they are. This is especially so if the motion to quash is based on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute offense, but he court may consider additional facts which the fiscal admits to be true. (People v. Navarro, supra). In consonance with the foregoing doctrinal pronouncements, the quashal of the informations at bar cannot be sustained since they are sufficient in form and substance to charge indictable offenses. Parenthetically, some of the arguments relied upon by accused-movant refer more to evidentiary matters, the determination of which are not yet legally feasible at this juncture and should only be raised during the trial on the merits. Finally, We find no merit in the argument that more than one offense is charged in the criminal informations at bar. Precisely, the prosecution split the original information into six (6) distinct amended informations pertaining to six (6) criminal violations of Section 3 (e) of R.A. 3019, as amended. Such is but proper under the premises considering that the acts subject of the criminal cases at bar were allegedly committed on six (6) different purchase orders and there is no showing that they were committed on similar dates or singular occasion. In the instant petition, petitioner raises the following issues: 1) Whether or not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the subject criminal cases or the person of the petitioner; 2) Whether or not the respondents Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor have the authority to file the questioned amended information; 3) Whether or not the act or omission charged constitutes an offense. On the issue of jurisdiction, petitioner and the Solicitor General submit that it is the court-martial, not the Sandiganbayan, which has jurisdiction to try petitioner. Emphasizing the fundamental doctrine that the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the statute in force at the time of the commencement of the action, they claim that at the time the amended informations were filed on July 2, 1991, the controlling law on the jurisdiction over members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is P.D. 1850, "Providing for the trial by courts-martial of members of the Integrated National Police and further defining the jurisdiction of courtsmartial over members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines" (which took effect on October 4, 1982), as amended by P. D. 1952 (which took effect in September of 1984), more particularly Section 1(b) thereof provides: Sec. 1. Court Martial Jurisdiction over Integrated National Police and Members of the Armed Forces. � Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, (a) uniformed members of the Integrated National Police who commit any crime or offense cognizable by the civil courts shall henceforth be exclusively tried by courts-martial pursuant to and in accordance with Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended, otherwise known as the Articles of War; (b) all persons subject to military law under Article 2 of the aforecited Articles of War who commit any crime or offense shall be exclusively tried by courts-martial or their case disposed of under the said Articles of War; Provided, that, in either of the aforementioned situations, the case shall be disposed of or tried by the proper civil or judicial authorities when court-martial jurisdiction over the offense has prescribed under Article 38 of Commonwealth Act Numbered 408, as amended, or court-martial jurisdiction over the person of the accused military or Integrated National Police personnel can no longer be exercised by virtue of their separation from the active service without jurisdiction having duly attached beforehand unless otherwise provided by law: Provided, further, that the President may, in the interest of Justice, order or direct, at any time before arraignment, that a particular case be tried by the appropriate civil court. As used herein, the term uniformed members of the Integrated National Police shall refer to police officers, policemen, firemen, and jail guards. (emphasis ours).

Since petitioner is a regular officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he falls squarely under Article 2 of the Articles of War (C.A. 408, as amended) mentioned in the aforecited Section 1(b) of P.D. 1850. Article 2 reads: Art. 2: Persons subject to Military Law. � The following persons are subject to these Articles and shall be understood as included in the term "any person subject to military law" or "person subject to military law; whenever used in these articles: (a) All officers, members of the Nurse Corps and soldiers belonging to the Regular Force of the Philippine Army; all reservists, from the dates of their call to active duty and while on such active duty; all trainees undergoing military instruction; and all other persons lawfully called, drafted, or ordered into, or to duty or for training in, the said service, from the dates they are required by the terms of the call, draft, or order to obey the same; . . . . Petitioner and the Solicitor General concede the subsequent passage of Republic Act No. 7055, "An Act Strengthening Civilian Supremacy over the military by returning to the civil courts the jurisdiction over certain offenses involving members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, other persons subject to military law, and the members of the Philippine National Police, repealing for the purpose certain presidential decrees" (which took effect on July 13, 1991) which expressly repealed P.D. 1850. Section 1 of R. A. No. 7055 reads: Sec. 1. Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other persons subject to military law, including members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Units, who commit crimes or offenses penalized under the Revised Penal Code, other special penal law, or local government ordinances, regardless of whether or not civilians are co-accused, victims, or offended parties which may be natural or judicial persons, shall be tried by the proper civil court, except when the offense, as determined before arraignment by the civil court, is service-connected, in which case the offense shall be tried by court-martial: Provided, That the President of the Philippines may, in the interest of justice, order or direct at any time before arraignment that any such crimes or offenses be tried by the proper civil courts. If you violate penal law, maski military ka civil court exception is if it is service connected. Which is As used in this Section, service-connected crimes or offenses shall be limited to those defined in Articles 54 to 70, Articles 72 to 92 and Articles 95 to 97 of Commonwealth Act No. 408 (Articles of War), as amended. This is a case of falsification, ordered 100 lang then report is 1000, overcharged. P88k – overcharging. In imposing the penalty for such crimes or offenses, the court-martial may take into consideration the penalty prescribed therefor in the Revised Penal Code, other special laws, or local government ordinances. They nonetheless argue that petitioner's case falls within the exception provided for in said Section 1 of R. A. No. 7055, and, therefore, still cognizable by courts-martial, since the alleged commission of the offense for which petitioner is charged with is "service-connected ." We rule that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over petitioner, at the time of the filing of the informations, and as now prescribed by law. Republic Act No. 8249,12 the latest amendment to P. D. 160613 creating the Sandiganbayan (otherwise known as the "Sandiganbayan Law"), provides the prevailing scope of the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction. The pertinent portions of Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law read: Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. � The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following

positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense: xxx

xxx

xxx

(d.) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank; xxx

xxx

xxx

It can be deduced from said provisions of law that both the nature of the offense and the position occupied by the accused are conditions sine qua non before the Sandiganbayan can validly (exercise original jurisdiction) take cognizance of the case. In the instant case, while petitioner is charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R. A. No. 3019, as amended, which is an offense covered by Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law, his position as Lieutenant Commander (LCMDR.) of the Philippine Navy is a rank lower than "naval captains and all officer of higher rank" as prescribed under sub-paragraph (d) of Section 4. Under the Promotions System in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the hierarchy in the position/rank of the officers of the Philippine Navy is as follows: 1. Admiral 2. Vice-Admiral 3. Rear Admiral 4. Commodore 5. Captain 6. Commander 7. Lieutenant Commander 8. Lieutenant Senior Grade 9. Lieutenant Junior Grade 10. Ensign Thus, not falling within the "rank" requirement stated in Section 4, exclusive jurisdiction over petitioner is vested in the regular courts pursuant to the provision of Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law, as amended by R.A. No. 8249, which states that "In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military and PNP officers mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended. Consequently, it is the regional trial court that has jurisdiction over the offense charged. Under Section 9 of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, the commission of any of the unlawful acts or omissions enumerated in Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than SIX YEARS AND ONE MONTH or FIFTEEN YEARS. The indictment against petitioner cannot fall within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts and municipal circuit trial courts because under Republic Act No. 7691 which amended certain provisions of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 by expanding the jurisdiction of said inferior courts, they "exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value or amount thereof . . . ." This draws the case into the domain of the regional trial courts which, under Section 20 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, "shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body, except those now falling under the exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter." It is not correct that under R. A. No. 7055, the courts-martial retain jurisdiction over petitioner's case since the offense for which he is charged is "service-connected." The second paragraph of Section 1 of R. A.

No. 7055 limits the nature of "service-connected crimes or offenses" to those defined only in Articles 54 to 70, 72 to 92 and 95 to 97 of Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended, 14 to wit: Fraudulent enlistment, making Unlawful Enlistment, False Muster, False Returns, Desertion, Advising or Aiding Another to Desert, Entertaining a Deserter, Absence Without Leave, Disrespect towards the President, VicePresident and National Assembly, Disrespect towards Superior Officer, Mutiny or Sedition, Failure to Suppress Mutiny of Sedition, Quarrels; Frays; Disorders, Breaking an Arrest or Escaping from Confinement, Refusal to Receive and Keep Prisoners, Failure to make a Report of Prisoners Received, Releasing prisoners without proper authority, Failure to Deliver offenders to Civil Authorities, Misbehavior Before the Enemy, Subordinates Compelling Commander to Surrender, Improper Use of Countersign, Forcing a Safeguard, Neglect or Wrongful Appropriation of Captured Property, Dealing in Captured or Abandoned Property, Relieving, Corresponding with, or Aiding the Enemy, Spies, Damage/Wrongful Disposition of Military Property, Waste or Unlawful Disposition of Military Property, Drunk on Duty, Misbehavior of Sentinel, Personal Interest in Sale of Provisions, Intimidation of Persons Bringing Provisions, Good Order to be Maintained and Wrong Redressed, Provoking Speeches or Gestures, Dueling, Fraud against the Government Affecting Matters and Equipment, Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman, and All Disorders and Neglects to the Prejudice of Good Order and Military Discipline and All Conduct of a Nature of Bring Discredit Upon the Military Services. None of these offenses relates to acts or omissions constituting a violation of Section 3 (e), R. A. No. 3019, as amended which reads: Sec. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. � In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: xxx

xxx

xxx

(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. In this connection, it is the prosecutor, not the Ombudsman, who has the authority to file the corresponding information/s against petitioner in the regional trial court. The Ombudsman exercises prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan.15 WHEREFORE, the Resolution of the Sandiganbayan dated June 10, 1992 in Criminal Cases Nos. 1690516910, is hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. In lieu thereof, the Sandiganbayan is ordered to dismiss Criminal Cases Nos. 16905-16910, and to inform this Court of the action taken hereon within fifteen (15) days from finality of this decision.1�wphi1.n�t No costs. SO ORDERED. Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Purisima, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur. Footnotes 1

Penned by Justice Romeo M. Escareal and concurred in by Justices Augusto M. Amores and Sabino R. De Leon, Jr., Rollo, Annex "A", pp. 36-47. 2

Records, Vol. 2, pp. 614 615.

3

Rollo, Annex "C", pp. 62-80.

4

LCDR Rodolfo Guanzon, CMDR. Erlindo Erolin, CAPT. Manuel Izon, CAPT. Andres Andres, LCMDR. Jose Velasco, Reynaldo Paderna, LCMDR. George Uy, LCMDR. Gilmer Batestil, LT. Edgar Abogado, LT. Teddy Pan and LT. Ronaldo Sison.

5

Records, Vol. 2, pp. 724-731.

6

BGEN. Mario Espina, REAR ADMIRAL Simeon Alejandro, LCMDR. Rodolfo Guanzon, LCMDR; George Uy and LT. Teddy Pan. 7

Rollo, Annex "B", pp. 48-50.

8

BGEN. Mario Espina and Rear Admiral Simeon Alejandro.

9

In Criminal Case No. 16905, the information involves Purchase Order No. ICE-0173-E-85 [C] and the payee is Maria Capule; In Criminal Case No. 16906, the information involves Purchase Order No. ICE -0173-E-85 [B] and the payee is Jenis Bantigue; In Criminal Case No. 16907, the information involves Purchase Order No. ICE-0173-E-85 [A] and the payee is Andrea C. Antonio; In Criminal Case No. 16908, the information involves Purchase Order No. ICE-0171-E-85 [B] and the payee is Marissa Bantigue; In Criminal Case No. 16909, the information involves Purchase Order No. ICE-0171-E-85 [C] and the payee is Avelina Avila; In Criminal Case No. 16910, the information involves Purchase Order No. ICE-0171-E-85 [A] and the payee is Andrea C. Antonio. 10

Rollo, Annexes D, E, F, G, H and I, pp. 82-99.

11

Rollo Annex "J", pp. 100-119.

12

Which took effect in February of 1997.

13

Took effect on December 10, 1978. P.D. 1606 expressly repealed P.D. 1486 which originally created the Sandiganbayan. 14

BY R.A. Nos. 242 and 516.

15

See Section 15, Republic Act No. 6770, "An Act Providing for the Functional and Structural Organization of the Office of the Ombudsman, and for other purposes." EN BANC [G.R. Nos. 105965-70. March 20, 2001.] GEORGE UY, petitioner, vs. THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN, THE HON. OMBUDSMAN AND THE HON. ROGER C. BERBANO, SR., SPECIAL PROSECUTION OFFICER III, OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, respondents. RESOLUTION PUNO, J p: Before the Court is the Motion for Further Clarification filed by Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto of the Court's ruling in its decision dated August 9, 1999 and resolution dated February 22, 2000 that the prosecutory power of the Ombudsman extends only to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and that the Ombudsman has no authority to prosecute cases falling within the jurisdiction of regular courts. HDIaST The Court stated in its decision dated August 9, 1999: "In this connection, it is the prosecutor, not the Ombudsman, who has the authority to file the corresponding information/s against petitioner in the regional trial court. The Ombudsman exercises prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan." It explained in the resolution of February 22, 2000 that: "(t)he clear import of such pronouncement is to recognize the authority of the State and regular provincial and city prosecutors under the Department of Justice to have control over prosecution of cases falling within the jurisdiction of the regular courts. The investigation and prosecutorial powers of the Ombudsman relate to cases rightfully falling within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan under Section 15 (1) of R.A. 6770 ("An Act Providing for the Functional and Structural Organization of the Office of the Ombudsman, and for other purposes") which vests upon the Ombudsman " primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. . ." And this is further buttressed by Section 11 (4a) of R.A. 6770 which emphasizes that the Office of the Special Prosecutor shall have the power to "conduct preliminary

investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan." Thus, repeated references to the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction clearly serve to limit the Ombudsman's and Special Prosecutor's authority to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan." Seeking clarification of the foregoing ruling, respondent Ombudsman raises the following points: "(1) The jurisdiction of the Honorable Sandiganbayan is not parallel to or equated with the broader jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman; (2) The phrase "primary jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan" is not a delimitation of its jurisdiction solely to Sandiganbayan cases; and (3) The authority of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to prosecute cases before the Sandiganbayan cannot be confused with the broader investigatory and prosecutorial powers of the Office of the Ombudsman." Thus, the matter that needs to be discussed herein is the scope of the power of the Ombudsman to conduct preliminary investigation and the subsequent prosecution of criminal offenses in the light of the provisions of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (Republic Act [RA] 6770). We held that the Ombudsman is clothed with authority to conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute all criminal cases involving public officers and employees, not only those within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, but those within the jurisdiction of the regular courts as well. The authority of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute offenses committed by public officers and employees is founded in Section 15 and Section 11 of RA 6770. Section 15 vests the Ombudsman with the power to investigate and prosecute any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient, thus: "SECTION 15. Powers, Functions and Duties. — The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions and duties: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases; xxx

xxx

xxx

Section 11 grants the Office of the Special Prosecutor, an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman under the latter's supervision and control, the power to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. It states: "SECTION 11. Structural Organization. — . . . xxx

xxx

xxx

(3) The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall be composed of the Special Prosecutor and his prosecution staff. The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall be an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman and shall be under the supervision and control of the Ombudsman. cSaATC (4) The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall, under the supervision and control and upon authority of the Ombudsman, have the following powers: (a) To conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan; (b)

To enter into plea bargaining agreements; and

(c)

To perform such other duties assigned to it by the Ombudsman."

The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified. It pertains to any act or omission of any public officer or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. The law does not make a distinction between cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts. It has been held that the clause "any

illegal act or omission of any public official" is broad enough to embrace any crime committed by a public officer or employee. 1 The reference made by RA 6770 to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, particularly in Section 15 (1) giving the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and Section 11 (4) granting the Special Prosecutor the power to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, should not be construed as confining the scope of the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to such cases. Section 15 of RA 6770 gives the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. The law defines such primary jurisdiction as authorizing the Ombudsman "to take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of the government, the investigation of such cases." The grant of this authority does not necessarily imply the exclusion from its jurisdiction of cases involving public officers and employees cognizable by other courts. The exercise by the Ombudsman of his primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan is not incompatible with the discharge of his duty to investigate and prosecute other offenses committed by public officers and employees. Indeed, it must be stressed that the powers granted by the legislature to the Ombudsman are very broad and encompass all kinds of malfeasance, misfeasance and non-feasance committed by public officers and employees during their tenure of office. 2 Moreover, the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman should not be equated with the limited authority of the Special Prosecutor under Section 11 of RA 6770. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is merely a component of the Office of the Ombudsman and may only act under the supervision and control and upon authority of the Ombudsman. 3 Its power to conduct preliminary investigation and to prosecute is limited to criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Certainly, the lawmakers did not intend to confine the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to these types of cases. The Ombudsman is mandated by law to act on all complaints against officers and employees of the government and to enforce their administrative, civil and criminal liability in every case where the evidence warrants. 4 To carry out this duty, the law allows him to utilize the personnel of his office and/or designate any fiscal, state prosecutor or lawyer in the government service to act as special investigator or prosecutor to assist in the investigation and prosecution of certain cases. Those designated or deputized to assist him work under his supervision and control. 5 The law likewise allows him to direct the Special Prosecutor to prosecute cases outside the Sandiganbayan's jurisdiction in accordance with Section 11 (4c) of RA 6770. The prosecution of offenses committed by public officers and employees is one of the most important functions of the Ombudsman. In passing RA 6770, the Congress deliberately endowed the Ombudsman with such power to make him a more active and effective agent of the people in ensuring accountability in public office. 6 A review of the development of our Ombudsman laws reveals this intent. The concept of Ombudsman originated in Sweden in the early 19th century, referring to an officer appointed by the legislature to handle the people's grievances against administrative and judicial actions. He was primarily tasked with receiving complaints from persons aggrieved by administrative action or inaction, conducting investigation thereon, and making recommendations to the appropriate administrative agency based on his findings. He relied mainly on the power of persuasion and the high prestige of the office to effect his recommendations. 7 In this jurisdiction, several Ombudsman-like agencies were established by past Presidents to serve as the people's medium for airing grievances and seeking redress against abuses and misconduct in the government. These offices were conceived with the view of raising the standard in public service and ensuring integrity and efficiency in the government. In May 1950, President Elpidio Quirino created the Integrity Board charged with receiving complaints against public officials for acts of corruption, dereliction of duty and irregularity in office, and conducting a thorough investigation of these complaints. The Integrity Board was succeeded by several other agencies which performed basically the same functions of complaints-handling and investigation. These were the Presidential Complaints and Action Commission under President Ramon Magsaysay, the Presidential Committee on Administration Performance Efficiency under President Carlos Garcia, the Presidential Anti-Graft Committee under President Diosdado Macapagal, and the Presidential Agency on Reform and Government Operations and the Office of the Citizens Counselor, both under President Ferdinand Marcos. It was observed, however, that these

agencies failed to realize their objective for they did not enjoy the political independence necessary for the effective performance of their function as government critic. Furthermore, their powers extended to no more than fact-finding and recommending. 8 Thus, in the advent of the 1973 Constitution, the members of the Constitutional Convention saw the need to constitutionalize the office of the Ombudsman, to give it political independence and adequate powers to enforce its recommendations. 9 The 1973 Constitution mandated the legislature to create an office of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan. Its powers shall not be limited to receiving complaints and making recommendations, but shall also include the filing and prosecution of criminal, civil or administrative case before the appropriate body in case of failure of justice. Section 6, Article XIII of the 1973 Constitution read: THacES "SECTION 6. The Batasang Pambansa shall create an office of the Ombudsman, to be known as Tanodbayan, which shall receive and investigate complaints relative to public office, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, make appropriate recommendations, and in case of failure of justice as defined by law, file and prosecute the corresponding criminal, civil or administrative case before the proper court or body." Implementing this constitutional provision, President Marcos, on June 11, 1978, exercising his power under Proclamation 1081, enacted Presidential Decree (PD) 1487 creating the Office of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanodbayan. Its principal task was to "investigate, on complaint, any administrative act 10 of any administrative agency 11 including any government-owned or controlled corporation." 12 The Tanodbayan also had the duty to file and prosecute the corresponding criminal, civil, or administrative case before the Sandiganbayan or the proper court or body if he has reason to believe that any public official, employee, or other person has acted in a manner resulting in a failure of justice. 13 It should be noted, however, that the prosecution of cases falling within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan was to be done by the Tanodbayan through the Special Prosecutor who, according to PD 1486, 14 had the exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation, file information for and prosecute cases within the jurisdiction of said court. The Special Prosecutor was then under the control and supervision of the Secretary of Justice. 15 Shortly after its enactment, PD 1487 was amended by PD 1607 which took effect on December 10, 1978. The amendatory law broadened the authority of the Tanodbayan to investigate administrative acts of administrative agencies by authorizing it to conduct an investigation on its own motion or initiative, even without a complaint from any person. 16 The new law also expanded the prosecutory function of the Tanodbayan by creating the Office of the Chief Special Prosecutor in the Office of the Tanodbayan and placing under his direction and control the Special Prosecutor who had the "exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation of all cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan; to file informations therefor and to direct and control the prosecution of said cases therein." 17 Thus, the law provided that if the Tanodbayan has reason to believe that any public official, employee, or other person has acted in a manner warranting criminal or disciplinary action or proceedings, he shall cause him to be investigated by the Office of the Chief Special Prosecutor who shall file and prosecute the corresponding criminal or administrative case before the Sandiganbayan or the proper court or before the proper administrative agency. 18 On July 18, 1979, PD 1630 was enacted further amending PD 1487 and PD 1607. PD 1630 reorganized the Office of the Tanodbayan and transferred the powers previously vested in the Special Prosecutor to the Tanodbayan himself. Thus, the Tanodbayan was empowered to directly conduct preliminary investigation, file information and prosecute cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan and other courts. The amendment gave the Tanodbayan the exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation of all cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan; to file information therefor and to direct and control the prosecution of said cases. 19 Section 10 of PD 1630 provided: "SECTION 10. Powers. — The Tanodbayan shall have the following powers: (a) He may investigate, on complaint by any person or on his own motion or initiative, any administrative act whether amounting to any criminal offense or not of any administrative agency including any government-owned or controlled corporation; xxx

xxx

xxx

(e) If after preliminary investigation he finds a prima facie case, he may file the necessary information or complaint with the Sandiganbayan or any proper court or administrative agency and prosecute the same." Section 18 further stated: "SECTION 18. Prosecution of Public Personnel or Other Person. — If the Tanodbayan has reason to believe that any public official, employee or other person has acted in a manner warranting criminal or disciplinary action or proceedings, he shall conduct the necessary investigation and shall file and prosecute the corresponding criminal or administrative case before the Sandiganbayan or the proper court or before the proper administrative agency." With the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, a new Office of the Ombudsman was created. The present Ombudsman, as protector of the people, is mandated to act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and to notify the complainants of the action taken and the result thereof. 20 He possesses the following powers, functions and duties: "1. Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient; DcCIAa 2. Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any public official or employee of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as of any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. 3. Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith. 4. Direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law, to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties, and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action. 5. Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent records and documents. 6. Publicize matters covered by its investigation when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence. 7. Determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape, mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency. 8. Promulgate its rules of procedure and exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law." 21 As a new Office of the Ombudsman was established, the then existing Tanodbayan became the Office of the Special Prosecutor which continued to function and exercise its powers as provided by law, except those conferred on the Office of the Ombudsman created under the 1987 Constitution. 22 The frameworks for the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Special Prosecutor were laid down by President Corazon Aquino in Executive Order (EO) 243 and EO 244, both passed on July 24, 1987. In September 1989, Congress passed RA 6770 providing for the functional and structural organization of the Office of the Ombudsman. As in the previous laws on the Ombudsman, RA 6770 gave the present Ombudsman not only the duty to receive and relay the people's grievances, but also the duty to investigate and prosecute for and in their behalf, civil, criminal and administrative offenses committed by government officers and employees as embodied in Sections 15 and 11 of the law. Clearly, the Philippine Ombudsman departs from the classical Ombudsman model whose function is merely to receive and process the people's complaints against corrupt and abusive government

personnel. The Philippine Ombudsman, as protector of the people, is armed with the power to prosecute erring public officers and employees, giving him an active role in the enforcement of laws on anti-graft and corrupt practices and such other offenses that may be committed by such officers and employees. The legislature has vested him with broad powers to enable him to implement his own actions. Recognizing the importance of this power, the Court cannot derogate the same by limiting it only to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. It is apparent from the history and the language of the present law that the legislature intended such power to apply not only to cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan but also those within the jurisdiction of regular courts. The Court observed in the case of Republic vs. Sandiganbayan : 23 "A perusal of the law originally creating the Office of the Ombudsman then (to be known as the Tanodbayan), and the amendatory laws issued subsequent thereto will show that, at its inception, the Office of the Ombudsman was already vested with the power to investigate and prosecute civil and criminal cases before the Sandiganbayan and even the regular courts. xxx

xxx

xxx

Presidential Decree No. 1630 was the existing law governing the then Tanodbayan when Republic Act No. 6770 was enacted providing for the functional and structural organization of the present Office of the Ombudsman. This later law retained in the Ombudsman the power of the former Tanodbayan to investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. . . . ." Finally, it must be clarified that the authority of the Ombudsman to prosecute cases involving public officers and employees before the regular courts does not conflict with the power of the regular prosecutors under the Department of Justice to control and direct the prosecution of all criminal actions under Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Rules of Court must be read in conjunction with RA 6770 which charged the Ombudsman with the duty to investigate and prosecute all illegal acts and omissions of public officers and employees. The Court held in the case of Sanchez vs. Demetriou 24 that the power of the Ombudsman under Section 15 (1) of RA 6770 is not an exclusive authority but rather a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged. Thus, Administrative Order No. 8 issued by the Office of the Ombudsman provides: THEDcS "The prosecution of case cognizable by the Sandiganbayan shall be under the direct exclusive control and supervision of the Office of the Ombudsman. In cases cognizable by regular Courts, the control and supervision by the Office of the Ombudsman is only in Ombudsman cases in the sense defined (therein). 25 The law recognizes a concurrence of jurisdiction between the Office of the Ombudsman and other investigative agencies of government in the prosecution of cases cognizable by regular courts." IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court's ruling in its decision dated August 9, 1999 and its resolution dated February 20, 2000 that the Ombudsman exercises prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan is SET ASIDE. SO ORDERED. Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes, YnaresSantiago and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur. Kapunan, J., concurs in the result. Quisumbing, J., is on leave. Separate Opinions PARDO, J., dissenting: I am constrained to dissent. Our submission is that the Ombudsman exercises investigatory and prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan in its original jurisdiction. The Constitution and the law did not create the office of Ombudsman to be a super prosecutor or fiscal of offenses committed by public officers and employees. That is not the concept of an Ombudsman. His powers are only those expressly granted by the Constitution or the law, nothing more. We explain why.

"The Constitution as well as RA 6770, 1 has endowed the Ombudsman with a wide latitude of investigatory and prosecutory powers virtually free from legislative, executive or judicial intervention" of offenses committed by public officers. 2 Thus, the Ombudsman "has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases." 3 "The powers, functions and duties of the Office of the Ombudsman are clearly provided in Section 13, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, as follows: "(1) [to] investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient. "(2) [to] direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any public official or employee of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as of any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. "xxx

xxx

xxx

"In line with the aforestated constitutional provisions, then President Corazon C. Aquino signed Executive Order No. 244 limiting the Special Prosecutor's authority, thus: "Section 2 — The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall exercise powers presently exercised by the Tanodbayan except those conferred on the Office of the Ombudsman under the Constitution. "Then, too, Section 17 of P. D. No. 1630 provides that: "The Office of Tanodbayan (now, Office of the Special Prosecutor) shall have the exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation of all cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan . . .; "Section 11, subparagraph 4 (c) of R.A. No. 6770, states that: "The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall, under the supervision and control and upon the authority of the Ombudsman, have the following powers: (a) To conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan." 4 "It is confuted by relevant provisions of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (RA 6770) which inter alia (1) confers on the Office of the Special Prosecutor — "an organic component of the Office of the Ombudsman under the supervision and control of the Ombudsman" — the power to "conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan" (Sec. 11), and (2) recognizes the primary jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman "over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and (its power) in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, to take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases" (Sec. 15). Moreover, pursuant to Department Circular No. 50, dated November 6, 1991, jointly promulgated by Ombudsman Conrado M. Vasquez and Acting Secretary Silvestre Bello III of the Department of Justice, it is the Ombudsman's responsibility and prerogative to approve the resolution of the investigating prosecutor who conducts the preliminary investigation of a crime cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and to file the corresponding information with said court. TAacHE "Also germane is Administrative Order No. 8 of the Ombudsman, dated November 8, 1990, viz: "For purposes of investigation and prosecution, Ombudsman cases involving criminal offenses may be subdivided into two classes, to wit: (1) those cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and (2) those falling under the jurisdiction of the regular courts, the difference between the two, aside, from the category of the courts wherein they are filed is on the authority to prosecute, such cases. "The power to investigate or conduct a preliminary investigation in any Ombudsman case may be exercised by an investigator or prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman, or by any Provincial or City Prosecutor or their assistants, either in their regular capacities or as deputized Ombudsman prosecutors. "The prosecution of cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan shall be under the direct exclusive control and supervision of the Office of the Ombudsman. In cases cognizable by the regular courts, the control

and supervision by the Office of the Ombudsman is only in Ombudsman cases in the sense defined above. The law recognizes a concurrence of jurisdiction between the Office of the Ombudsman and other investigation agencies of the government in the prosecution of the cases of the government in the prosecution of cases cognizable by regular courts." 5 (1) The Ombudsman has exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigations, file and prosecute criminal cases falling within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. "The Office of the Ombudsman has the sole power to 'investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient."' 6 The Special Prosecutor, "an organic component of the office of the Ombudsman . . . under the supervision and control of the Ombudsman, 7 has the power to conduct preliminary investigation, file and prosecute cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. 8 In Zaldivar v. Sandiganbayan, 9 the Court held that it is the Ombudsman and no other who has the right to conduct preliminary investigations and direct the filing of criminal cases with the Sandiganbayan. The prosecution may be undertaken by the Office of the Special Prosecutor, under the supervision and control of the Ombudsman. Under the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, 10 the Ombudsman has authority to conduct preliminary investigation of all cases and approve the filing of complaint or information cognizable by the Sandiganbayan in the exercise of its original jurisdiction. 11 (2) The power of the Ombudsman to investigate cases cognizable by the regular courts is shared with public prosecutors. The Ombudsman may investigate criminal cases involving public officials regardless of whether the cases fall within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan or the regular courts. He may, however, not directly file informations with the regular courts. He must refer the result of his preliminary investigation to the proper city or provincial prosecutor or chief state prosecutor for the filing of the proper information with the regular courts. 12 (3) The Ombudsman's power to prosecute is limited to all cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. In cases filed with or cognizable by the regular courts, even so called "Ombudsman cases", 13 only public prosecutors have the express power to prosecute such cases. Generalia specialibus non derogant. — Where there is a particular or special provision in the statute and also a general one, the special provision prevails in the sense that the general provisions cannot derogate from the special. 14 Thus, we construe R. A. 6770, the Ombudsman law. The Ombudsman shall investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency over cases within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. This way, every word contained in Sec. 15, R. A. 6770, is given effect. It is a "well-established rule in legal hermeneutics that in interpreting a statute, care should be taken that every part or word thereof be given effect since the lawmaking body is presumed to know the meaning of the words employed in the statute and to have used them advisedly." 15 The meaning of any law is not to be extracted from any single part or from an isolated clause or sentence. There must be a general consideration of the act as a whole. Every part of the statute must be considered together and kept subservient to the general intent of the enactment, not separately and independently. 16 The cardinal rule in statutory construction is "that the particular words, clauses and phrases should not be studied as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and every part of the statute must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts and in order to produce a harmonious whole. A statute must be so construed as to harmonize and give effect to all its provisions whenever possible." 17 Under the Article XI, Section 13 of the Constitution, the powers of the Office of the Ombudsman can be categorized as investigatory, directory and recommendatory. The power to investigate includes only the power to conduct "an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts concerning the matter or matters involved." 18 The power to direct involves the power to "guide, order, command or instruct." 19 The power to recommend includes the power to give "advice, exhortation or indorsement, which is essentially persuasive in character, not binding upon the party to whom it is made." 20 This grant

of powers by the Constitution is consistent with the function of an "Ombudsman," to wit: "It is an independent, high level officer who receives complaints, who pursues inquiries into the matters involved and who makes recommendations for suitable action. He makes periodic reports. His remedial weapons are persuasion, criticism and publicity." 21 "[B]eholden to no one, [he] acts as the champion of the people and the preserver of the integrity of public service." 22 However, the grant of power outside the essential powers prescribed in the Constitution (i.e. investigatory, directory and recommendatory) must be express and strictly construed. 23 Thus, the power to prosecute cases cognizable by regular courts can not be implied. When a power is not essential to the accomplishment of the principal purposes for which that power was created, it cannot be granted by implication. 24 We note that the while the Ombudsman law 25 grants the Ombudsman the power to prosecute criminal cases within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, it is silent as to whether the Ombudsman can prosecute cases within the jurisdiction of the regular courts. The Ombudsman law expressly identifies the Sandiganbayan as the venue where it can exercise prosecutorial powers of cases involving public officers within its original jurisdiction. TIHCcA Clearly then, the Ombudsman does not have the power to prosecute criminal cases within the original jurisdiction of the regular courts. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan and from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court, the Office of the Ombudsman, through its special prosecutor, shall represent the People of the Philippines, except in cases filed pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A, issued in 1986. 26 IN VIEW WHEREOF, I vote to DENY the Ombudsman's "Motion For Leave to Admit Motion for Further Clarification." De Leon, Jr., J., dissent. Footnotes 1.

Deloso vs. Domingo, 191 SCRA 545 (1990).

2.

Section 16, RA 6770.

3. Zaldivar vs. Sandiganbayan, 160 SCRA 843 (1988); Acop vs. Office of the Ombudsman, 248 SCRA 566 (1995). 4.

Section 13, RA 6770.

5.

Section 31, RA 6770; Lastimosa vs. Vasquez, 243 SCRA 497 (1995).

6.

Sponsorship Speech of Senator Edgardo Angara, Senate Bill 543, June 8, 1988.

7.

Rowat, The Ombudsman Plan. Essays on the Worldwide Spread of an Idea (1973).

8. Cortes, Redress of Grievances and the Philippine Ombudsman (Tanodbayan), Philippine Law Journal, vol. 57, March 1982, pp. 1-24. 9. Tuason, A Commitment to Official Integrity (Background, Rationale and Explanation of Article XIII, Sandiganbayan and Tanodbayan), Philippine Law Journal, vol. 48, nos. 4 & 5, September and December 1973, pp. 548-626. 10. The law defined "administrative act" as "any action including decisions, omissions, recommendations, practices, or procedures of an administrative agency." (Section 9[b], PD 1487). 11. The law defined "administrative agency" as "any department or other governmental unit including any government-owned or controlled corporation, any official, or any employee acting or purporting to act by reason of connection with the government but it does not include (1) any court or judge, or appurtenant judicial staff, (2) the members, committees, or staffs of the National Assembly, or (3) the President or his personal staff, or (4) the members of the Constitutional Commissions and their personal staffs." (Section 9[a], PD 1487). 12.

Section 10 (a), PD 1487.

13.

Section 17, id.

14.

Creating a Special Court to be known as "Sandiganbayan" and for other Purposes.

15.

Section 12, PD 1486.

16.

Section 10 (a), PD 1607.

17.

Section 17, id.

18.

Section 19, id.

19.

Section 17, PD 1630.

20.

Section 12, Article XI, 1987 Constitution.

21.

Section 13, id.

22.

Section 7, id.

23.

200 SCRA 667 (1991).

24.

227 SCRA 627 (1993).

25. A complaint filed or taken cognizance of by the Office of the Ombudsman charging any public officer or employee including those in government owned or controlled corporations with an act or omission alleged to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient is an Ombudsman case. PARDO, J., dissenting: 1.

An Act Providing for the Functional and Structural Organization of the Office of the Ombudsman.

2.

Espinosa v. Ombudsman, G. R. No. 135775, October 19, 2000.

3.

R. A. 6770, Section 15.

4.

Velasco v. Hon. Casaclang, 355 Phil. 815, 828-829 [1998].

5.

Quiñon v. Sandiganbayan, 338 Phil. 290, 303-304 [1997].

6.

Espinosa v. Ombudsman, supra, Note 2.

7.

Quiñon v. Sandiganbayan, supra, Note 5, p. 303.

8.

R A. 6770, Section 11(4) (a); Quiñon v. Sandiganbayan, supra, Note 5.

9.

160 SCRA 843 [1988].

10.

Effective December 1, 2000.

11.

Rule 112, Sec. 4, Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

12.

R. A. No. 6770, Sec. 15 (3).

13. "Ombudsman cases" are those cases cognizable by the regular courts, not falling under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan but which involves "any act or omission of any public official, employees, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient." (R A. 6770, Sec. 15 [1]) Under Administrative Order No. 8, dated November 8, 1990 of the Office of the Ombudsman, "For purposes of investigation and prosecution, Ombudsman cases involving criminal offenses may be subdivided into two classes, to wit: those cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and (2) those falling under the jurisdiction of the regular courts." (Gozos v. Tac-an, 300 SCRA 265, 275 [1998]). 14. Lichauco v. Apostol, 44 Phil. 138 [1922]; Manila Railroad Co. v. Collector of Customs, 52 Phil. 950 [1929]. 15. Marsaman Manning Agency, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission, 313 SCRA 88, 90 [1999], citing Aparri v. Court of Appeals, 127 SCRA 231, 241 [1984]. 16.

Tamayo v. Gsell, 35 Phil. 953 [1916].

17.

National Tobacco Administration v. Commission on Audit, 311 SCRA 755, 769 [1999].

18.

Anti-Graft League of the Philippines, Inc. v. Oreta, 99 SCRA 648 [1980].

19.

Black's Law Dictionary, Fourth Edition, p. 546.

20.

Cuyegkeng v. Cruz, 108 Phil. 1155 [1960].

21. Ruperto G. Martin quoting "The Ombudsman, by Delegate Rodolfo P. Robles of the 1987 Constitutional Convention, p. 1", Law and Jurisprudence on the Freedom Constitution of the Philippines, 1986, Manila, p. 706." 22.

Espinosa v. Ombudsman, supra, Note 2.

23. Hector S. de Leon, The Law on Public Officers and Election Law, Third Edition, 1997, Rex Book Store, Manila, p. 125. 24.

Lo Cham v. Ocampo, 77 Phil. 635 [1946].

25.

R.A. No. 6770.

26.

R.A. No. 8249, Sec. 4.

Related Documents


More Documents from "dbush2778"

01 Jurisdiction Cases
March 2021 0
Deber 3 Fisica
January 2021 1
Kaos
January 2021 5
January 2021 2