Case No. 2.
MACASAET v. PEOPLE
: Alfie Lorenzo, Allen Macasaet, Nicolas Quijano, Jr.,and Roger Parajes, columnist, publisher, managing editor,and editor, respectively of the newspaper '
MAGALLANES TRINIDAD a.k.a. J
EYTRINIDAD a.k.a. T
: one information stating that theresidence of the victim was in Marikina.
Contention of the accused
: Trial court did not have jurisdiction over the offense charged as the informationdiscloses that the residence of private respondent was inMarikina, the RTC of Quezon City did not have jurisdictionover the case pursuant to Article 360 of the Revised PenalCode.
Contention of the victim/prosecutor
: RTC, Quezon City, had jurisdiction over the case. He maintained that during thetime material to this case, private respondent (privatecomplainant below) was a resident of both 28-D Matino St.corner Malumanay St., Sikatuna Village, Quezon City andKaren St., Paliparan, Sto. Nio, Marikina, Metro , as shown inhis Reply-Affidavit.
Counter-argument of accused:
it was incorrect for thepublic prosecutor to refer to the affidavit purportedlyexecuted by private respondent as it is 'axiomatic that theresolution of a motion to quash is limited to a considerationof the information as filed with the court, and no other.Further, as both the complaint-affidavit executed by privaterespondent and the information filed before the court statethat private respondent's residence is in Marikina City, thedismissal of the case is warranted for the rule is that jurisdiction is determined solely by the allegations containedin the complaint or information. Petitioners presentedcertifications issued by
Malaya, Quezon City and
Sto. Niño,Marikina City showing that no records exist for victim as aresident and another one showing that Trinidad is a residentof Marikina and also presented was the editorial boxappearing in page 18 of
indicating that the tabloidmaintains its editorial and business offices at Rm. 301/305,3/F BF Condominium Bldg., Solana cor. A. Soriano Sts.,Intramuros.
Rejoinder of victim/prosecutor
: that the certification issuedby the barangay captain of Barangay Malaya was issuedafter he had already moved out of the apartment unit hewas renting in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City; that owners ofresidential houses do not usually declare they rent out roomsto boarders in order to avoid payment of local taxes; andthat there is no showing that a census was conductedamong the residents of Barangay Malaya during the timehe resided therein.
: Rendered an
rder dismissing the case due tolack of jurisdiction. The court
noted that although theinformation alleged the venue of this case falls within the jurisdiction of Quezon City, the evidence submitted for itsconsideration indicated otherwise.
: Reversed RTC decision. RTC had jurisdiction.
: W/N QC RTC has jurisdiction.
Contention of the victim/prosecutor:
at the time the allegedlibelous article was published, he was actually residing inQuezon City. According to him, he mistakenly stated thathe was a resident of Marikina City at the time of publicationof the claimed defamatory article because he understoodthe term 'address' to mean the place where he originallycame from. Nevertheless, the error was rectified by hissupplemental affidavit which indicated Quezon City as hisactual residence at the time of publication of the 13 July1996 issue of
He attached an affidavit executed bya certain Cristina B. Del Rosario, allegedly the owner of thehouse and lot in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, whereprivate respondent supposedly lived from July 1996 untilMay 1997
: Reversed CA Decision and Reinstated RTCdecision. Victim should have filed his complaint in Manila(where Abante was published) or Marikina (where heresides)
: In criminal actions, it is a fundamental rule that venueis jurisdictional. Thus, the place where the crime wascommitted determines not only the venue of the action butis an essential element of jurisdiction.The law, however, is more particular in libel cases. Thepossible venues for the institution of the criminal and the civilaspects of said case are concisely outlined in Article 360 ofthe Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No.4363.
e summarized the foregoing rule in the following manner:1. Whether the offended party is a public official or a privateperson, the criminal action may be filed in the Court of FirstInstance of the province or city where the libelous article isprinted and first published.2. If the offended party is a private individual, the criminalaction may also be filed in the Court of First Instance of theprovince where he actually resided at the time of thecommission of the offense.3. If the offended party is a public officer whose office is inManila at the time of the commission of the offense, theaction may be filed in the RTC of Manila.4. If the offended party is a public officer holding officeoutside Manila, the action may be filed in the RTC of theprovince or city where he held office at the time of thecommission of the offense.In the case at bar, private respondent was a private citizenat the time of the publication of the alleged libelous article,hence, he could only file his libel suit in the City ofwhere
was first published or in the province or citywhere he actually resided at the time the purported libelousarticle was printed.A perusal, however, of the information involved in this caseeasily reveals that the allegations contained therein areutterly insufficient to vest jurisdiction on the RTC of QuezonCity.
ther than perfunctorily stating 'Quezon City at thebeginning of the information, the assistant city prosecutor who prepared the information did not bother to indicatewhether the jurisdiction of RTC Quezon City was invokedeither because
was printed in that place or privaterespondent was a resident of said city at the time theclaimed libelous article came out. As these matters dealwith the fundamental issue of the court's jurisdiction, Article360 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, mandatesthat either one of these statements must be alleged in theinformation itself and the absence of both from the veryface of the information renders the latter fatally defective.Sadly for private respondent, the information filed beforethe trial court falls way short of this requirement. The assistantcity prosecutor's failure to properly lay the basis for invoking