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The Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure Annotated
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The Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure were annotated with pertinent provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, legislations, jurisprudence and issuances by the Supreme Court, administrative issuances of the Department of Justice, and opinions of legal luminaries.

This book was first published in 2004 and underwent two revisions. The third edition (2009), consisting of 609 pages, was reprinted in 2011 and is now currently available at some leading bookstores in the Philippines. The lay-out of this edition was slightly modified and its contents were updated, though the updates of this Smashwords edition are not significant.

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Smashwords.

In memory of

My late great grandparents

ALONTO and LAWANEN

for the rare privilege of

growing under their

caring and caressing hands.

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, The Merciful

Preface To The Third Edition

This third edition is updated with the recent decisions and issuances of the Supreme Court. Relevant laws recently promulgated by the Congress of the Philippines, particularly R.A. No. 9346 prohibiting the imposition of the death penalty, and R.A. No. 9344 raising the ages of absolute and qualified irresponsibility of juvenile offenders, are integrated in this meager volume. As an added feature, the Rules on Juvenile in Conflict with the Law is appended in this edition.

This edition is printed not for worldly gains but as a divine worship for the wider dissemination of knowledge. Any suggestion for its improvement, which may be sent to marvin_gubat@yahoo.com, is highly appreciated.

It is hoped that judges, lawyers, and students will find this work a worthy reference material.

Mangontawar M. Gubat

February 9, 2009

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Preface To The Second Edition

The promulgation of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure did not end up the continuing changes being made to the Rules of Court. The Supreme Court came out with A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC and A.M. No. 05-8-26-SC amending certain provisions of Rules 112, 114, 122 and 124 of the Revised Rules. In addition, the decision handed down by the Court in Neypes vs. Court of Appeals, [G.R. 141524, Sept. 15, 2005], adopting the ‘fresh period rule’ affects the reglementary period for appeal.

These circulars and jurisprudence required a revision of the affected portions of this work. But in order to salvage the copies still available on the stand, we have decided to just pull out the affected rules and replace them with the revisions.

In passing, we take this opportunity to apologize for the undue hyphenations in the text – a product of human and software imperfections.

May our Lord continue to give us guidance, strength and vigor to keep up-to-date and improve this humble work.

Mangontawar M. Gubat

May 6, 2006

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Preface To The First Edition

In the name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. Glory be to Him, the King, the Holy, the All-Mighty, and the All-Wise. He is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger, reciting to them His Verses, and teaching them His Book. Thanks be to Him for giving me the strength and courage to come up with this humble work, a guide for those who seek the knowledge about criminal procedure.

Remedial law keeps on changing and the high tribunal does not hesitate to make the change whenever it sees fit to meet recent needs and development. The Supreme Court promulgated the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which became effective on December 1, 2000, incorporating therein changes based on pertinent legislations, judicial pronouncements and issuances, as well as innovations deemed necessary to ensure a smooth operation of the criminal justice system. The revised rules were further amended by A.M. Circular No. 02-2-07-SC and Administrative Matter No. 00-5-03-SC which took effect on May 1, 2002 and October 15, 2004, respectively.

This book is an annotation on the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. The provisions of the revised rules are annotated with citations from recent case law, pertinent legislations, Supreme Court circulars and administrative issuances as a mode of explaining and interpreting them. Relevant selected decisions of the Supreme Court are digested and presented as illustrative cases. In citing from judicial decisions, the original phrases and sentence structures are, whenever practicable, preserved for their beauty, intent and wisdom.

It is my fervent hope that this humble work, a product of pain and rigor, will cater to the special needs of law students and bar candidates alike. It is also hoped that judges, lawyers and mentors will find this work as an additional reference material. If it proves useful in the smallest degree, then my painstaking efforts in its writing and preparation are not in vain.

My special acknowledgment goes to Justice Florenz Regalado whose compendious work in the subject served as my guidepost in keeping track with the trail of the labyrinthine adjective law; to Dean Basari D. Mapupuno, for his trust and confidence in assigning to me the course Criminal Procedure; to our law librarian Mr. Macapanton Tanggo, for the unlimited access to various reference materials under his custody; and finally, to all the members of my family, for their help, kindness and understanding.

Our Lord! Count this humble work for me and my family as one good deed from which we will derive Eternal benefit.

Mangontawar M. Gubat

April 3, 2004

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INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER

Preliminary considerations.

Jurisdiction of courts in criminal cases.

Supreme Court.

Court of Appeals.

Sandiganbayan.

Court of Tax Appeals.

Regional Trial Courts.

Family Courts.

Municipal Trial Courts.

Shari'a District Courts.

Shari'a Circuit Courts.

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PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS

Criminal procedure, defined.

Criminal procedure has been defined as the rules of law governing the procedures by which crimes are investigated, prosecuted, adjudicated, and punished. (Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th ed., p. 374).

Criminal procedure and criminal

law, distinguished.

Criminal procedure, being remedial in nature, provides for the manner by which crimes are investigated, prosecuted, adjudicated and punished. It is the generic term to describe the network of laws and rules which govern the procedural administration of criminal justice (Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th ed., p. 374).

On the other hand, criminal law, being substantive, defines crimes, treats of their nature and provides for their punishment (12 Cyc. 129). It refers to statutes imposing penalty, fine or punishment for certain offenses of a public nature or wrongs committed against the state (Black’s Law Dictionary, supra, p. 1133).

But where a statute is both penal and remedial, as where it is in penal in one part and remedial in the other, it should be considered as a penal statute when it is sought to enforce the penalty, and as a remedial statute, when it is sought to enforce the remedy (Collins vs. Kidd, D.C. Tex., 38 F. Supp. 634, 637 cited in Black’s Law Dictionary, Ibid.).

Goal of criminal law

and procedure.

The great goal of our criminal law and procedure is not to send people to the gaol but to do justice. The prosecution's job is to prove that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Conviction must be based on the strength of the prosecution and not on the weakness of the defense—the obligation is upon the shoulders of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused, not on the accused to prove his innocence. Thus, when the evidence for the prosecution is not enough to sustain a conviction, it must be rejected and the accused absolved and released at once (People vs. Mamalias, 328 SCRA 760, 773 [2000]).

Due process in criminal

proceedings.

Jurisprudence acknowledges that due process in criminal proceedings, in particular, require (a) that the court or tribunal trying the case is properly clothed with judicial power to hear and determine the matter before it; (b) that jurisdiction is lawfully acquired by it over the person of the accused; (c) that the accused is given an opportunity to be heard; and (d) that judgment is rendered only upon lawful hearing (Alonte vs. Savellano, Jr. 287 SCRA 245, 261 [1998]; People vs. Dapitan, 197 SCRA 378). These constitutional and jurisprudential postulates, by now elementary and deeply imbedded in our own criminal justice system, are mandatory and indispensable. The principles find universal acceptance and are tersely expressed in the oft-quoted statement that procedural due process cannot possibly be met without a law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial. (Alonte vs. Savellano, Jr. 287 SCRA 245, 261 [1998]).

Criminal jurisdiction, defined.

Criminal jurisdiction is the power and authority to hear and try a particular offense and impose the punishment for it (see Antiporda, Jr. vs. Garchitorena, 321 SCRA 551, 558 [1999] citing People vs. Mariana, 71 SCRA 600)

Requisites of criminal jurisdiction.

A court acquires jurisdiction to try a criminal case only when the following requisites concur: (1) the offense is one which the court is by law authorized to take cognizance of, (2) the offense must have been committed within its territorial jurisdiction, and (3) the person charged with the offense must have been brought in to its forum for trial, forcibly by warrant of arrest or upon his voluntary submission to the court. (Antiporda, Jr. vs. Garchitorena, 321 SCRA 551, 558 [1999] citing Arula vs. Espino, 28 SCRA 540, 567 [1969]; see also Cruz vs. CA, 388 SCRA 72, 83 [2002]).

A fourth requisite should be added, that is, the court must have acquired jurisdiction over the issues in the case. Such jurisdiction is acquired by arraignment and plea. By the accused’s plea to the offense charged, which partakes the nature of an answer in a civil case, issues in the case are joined and the court acquires jurisdiction thereof. It is for this reason that there can be no trial in absentia unless the accused is arraigned. Mere acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the accused does not suffice to confer jurisdiction to the court to try and decide the case.

Jurisdiction over the

offense charged.

Jurisdiction over the offense charged in the complaint or information is conferred by law or statute (People vs. Garfin, G.R. 153176, Mar. 29, 2004). A court has jurisdiction over the offense charged if the following requisites concur: (a) the offense charged is one which the court is by law conferred to take cognizance of; and (b) the offense must have been committed within its territorial jurisdiction (see Cruz vs. CA, 388 SCRA 72, 83 [2002]; Antiporda, Jr. vs. Garchitorena, 321 SCRA 551, 558 [1999]; Arula vs. Espino, 28 SCRA 540, 567 [1969]).

Jurisdiction over the accused,

how acquired.

Jurisdiction over the person of the accused or defendant is obtained by his lawful arrest or voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the court (Cojuangco, Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan, 300 SCRA 367, 387 [1998]; Velasco vs. CA, 245 SCRA 677, 686 [1995]).

What constitutes voluntary

Submission to the jurisdiction

of the court.

When the accused is unlawfully arrested but he entered a plea on arraignment without invoking his right to question any irregularity which might have accompanied his arrest, he voluntarily submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court and the judicial process (see People vs. Conde, 356 SCRA 415, 426 [2001]; People vs. Legaspi, 331 SCRA 95, 123 [2000]; People vs. Codilla, 224 SCRA 104 [1993]; (People vs. Galvez, 355 SCRA 246, 259 [2001]; People vs. Robles, 333 SCRA 107, 117 [2000; People vs. Alojado, 305 SCRA 236 [1999]; People vs. Tidula, 292 SCRA 596. 611 [1998]). So also, as a general rule, one who seeks an affirmative relief by filing pleadings or motions is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. In other words, seeking an affirmative relief in court, whether in civil or criminal proceedings, constitutes voluntary appearance (Miranda vs. Tuliao, G.R. 158763, Mar. 31, 2006).

There is, however, an exception to the rule that filing pleadings or motions seeking affirmative relief constitutes voluntary appearance, and the consequent submission of one’s person to the jurisdiction of the court. This is in the case of pleadings or motions whose prayer is precisely for the avoidance of the jurisdiction of the court, which only leads to a special appearance. These are: (1) in civil cases, motions to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant, whether or not other grounds for dismissal are included; (2) in criminal cases, motions to quash a complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused; and (3) motions to quash a warrant of arrest. The first two are consequences of the fact that failure to file them would constitute a waiver of the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person. The third is a consequence of the fact that it is the very legality of the court process forcing the submission of the person of the accused that is the very issue in a motion to quash a warrant of arrest. (see Miranda vs. Tuliao, G.R. 158763, Mar. 31, 2006).

The principles on voluntary submission may be summarized as follows:

(1) When the accused is unlawfully arrested but he entered a plea on arraignment without invoking his right to question the legality of his arrest, or he filed a motion to the court seeking affirmative relief other than to question the court’s jurisdiction over his person, he is deemed to have voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the court (see People vs. Conde, 356 SCRA 415 [2001]; Larranaga vs. CA, 287 SCRA 581 [1998]).

(2) When the accused is unlawfully arrested and he files a motion to quash the complaint or information, or to quash the warrant of arrest solely questioning the jurisdiction of the court over his person, the filing of such motion only leads to special appearance, and he has not thereby voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the court (see Miranda vs. Tuliao, op. cit.).

(3) When the accused is not under the custody of the law, the court does not acquire jurisdiction over his person; his filing of any motion does not constitute voluntary submission, and the court has no authority to rule on his motion except: (a) a motion to quash grounded on lack of jurisdiction over his person; and (b) a motion to quash the warrant for his arrest (see Ibid.).

Jurisdiction over the person and

Custody of the law, distinguished.

There is a distinction between custody of the law and jurisdiction over the person. Custody of the law is required before the court can act upon the application for bail, but is not required for the adjudication of other reliefs sought by the accused where the mere application therefor constitutes a waiver of the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused. Custody of the law is accomplished either by arrest or voluntary surrender, while jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired upon his arrest or voluntary appearance. One can be under the custody of the law but not yet subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, such as when a person arrested by virtue of a warrant files a motion before arraignment to quash the warrant. On the other hand, one can be subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, and yet not be in the custody of the law, such as when an accused escapes custody after his trial has commenced. Being in the custody of the law signifies restraint on the person, who is thereby deprived of his own will and liberty, binding him to become obedient to the will of the law. Custody of the law is literally custody over the body of the accused. It includes, but is not limited to, detention (Miranda vs. Tuliao, G.R. 158763, Mar. 31, 2006).

Territorial jurisdiction

in criminal cases.

It is a fundamental rule that for jurisdiction to be acquired by courts in criminal cases the offense should have been committed or any one of its essential ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the court (Abalos vs. People, 389 SCRA 135, 141 [2002]). Territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases is the territory where the court has jurisdiction to take cognizance or to try the offense allegedly committed therein by the accused. Hence, it cannot take jurisdiction over a person charged with an offense allegedly committed outside of that limited territory (Uy vs. CA, 276 SCRA 367, 374-375 [1997]; US vs. Cunanan, 26 Phil. 376 [1913]; Macasaet vs. People, G.R. 156747, Feb. 23, 2005).

It is thus a rule that in all criminal prosecutions, the action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or territory wherein the offense was committed or where any one of the essential ingredients thereof took place (Barrameda vs. CA, 313 SCRA 477, 484 [1999] citing People vs. Tomio, 202 SCRA 77 [1991]). The specific crime charged must in fact have been committed at a place within the jurisdiction of the court (see People vs. Ferolino, 329 SCRA 719, 729 [2000]). Venue in criminal cases is jurisdictional, being an essential element of jurisdiction (Cudia vs. CA, 284 SCRA 173, 180 [1998]; Agbayani vs. Sayo, 89 SCRA 699 [1979]; Macasaet vs. People, G.R. 156747, Feb. 23, 2005). Stated otherwise, the place of the commission of the offense is an element of criminal jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information. And once it is so shown, the court may validly take cognizance of the case. However, if the evidence adduced during the trial show that the offense was committed somewhere else, the court should dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction (Uy vs. CA, 276 SCRA 367, 374-375 [1997]).

Exceptions to the rule. There are two (2) kinds of exceptions to the territorial jurisdiction of courts. The first kind are those offenses committed outside Philippine territory under Article 2 of the Revised Penal Code, viz: (1) offenses committed on a Philippine ship or airship; (2) forging or counterfeiting any coin or currency note of the Philippines or obligations and securities issued by the Government of the Philippines; (3) acts connected with the introduction into the Philippines of such obligations and securities; (4) offenses committed by public officers or employees in the exercise of their functions; and (5) crimes against national security and the law of nations defined in Title One of Book Two of the Revised Penal Code (Art. 2, Revised Penal Code).

The second kind are those offenses committed within Philippine territory but expressly allowed by law to be instituted in a place other than their place of commission. These are the following: (1) criminal offenses of libel, which may be instituted in the place where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense (Art. 260, Revised Penal Code); and (2) a criminal action arising from illegal recruitment as defined under RA 8042, which may be filed with the Regional Trial Court of the province or city where the offended party actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense (Sec. 9, RA 8042).

Criminal jurisdiction,

governing law.

It is well established that the jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is determined by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action. Once the court acquires jurisdiction over a controversy, it shall continue to exercise such jurisdiction until the final determination of the case and it is not affected by subsequent legislation vesting jurisdiction over such proceedings in another tribunal. A recognized exception to this rule is when the statute expressly provides, or is construed to the effect that it is intended to operate upon actions pending before its enactment. However, where such retroactive effect is not provided for, statutes altering the jurisdiction of a court cannot be applied to cases already pending prior to their enactment. (People vs. Cawaling, 293 SCRA 267 [1998]; Azarcon vs. Sandiganbayan, 268 SCRA 747 [1997]; People vs. Velasco, 252 SCRA 135 [1996]; People vs. Mariano, 71 SCRA 600 [1976]; People vs. Paderna, 22 SCRA 273 [1968]; Binay vs. Sandiganbayan, 316 SCRA 65, 99 [1999]).

Jurisdiction, how determined.

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, it is an elementary rule that the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information (Alarilla vs. Sandiganhayan, 338 SCRA 485, 496, 498 [2001]; People vs. Magallanes, 249 SCRA 219, 222-223 [1995]; People vs. Cawaling, 293 SCRA 267 [1998]; Lim vs. CA, 251 SCRA 408 [1995]; Tamano vs. Ortiz, 291 SCRA 584 [1998]; Chico vs. CA, 284 SCRA 33 [1998]; Esteban vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 146646-49, Mar. 11, 2005), and not by the evidence presented by the parties at the trial. (Lacson vs. Executive Secretary, 301 SCRA 298, 325 [1999]; People vs. Magallanes, Ibid. citing US vs. Mallari, 24 Phil. 366 [1913]; People vs. Co Hiok, 62 Phil. 501 [1935]; People vs. Ocaya 83 SCRA 218 (1978]).

Moreover, the jurisdiction of the court in criminal cases is not determined by what may be meted out to the offender or accused after trial (People v. Cuello, 1 SCRA 814 [1961]), or even by the result of the evidence that would be presented during the trial (People v. Co Hiok, supra), 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 vs. Purisima, 69 SCRA 341, 347 [1976]) constitutive of the offense charged (Dioquino vs. Cruz, L-39951, Sept. 9, 1982).

Extent of the exercise

of jurisdiction.

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 (Quindoza vs. Bandon, A.M. No. MTJ-04-1552. Dec. 16, 2004).

Nevertheless, where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and over the person of the accused, and the crime was committed within its territorial jurisdiction, the court necessarily exercises jurisdiction over all issues that the law requires the court to resolve (Cruz vs. CA, 388 SCRA 72, 83 [2002]). The issues include the civil liability of accused arising from the crime which is deemed instituted with the criminal action unless reserved or waived by the offended party.

In a case, the Regional Trial Court in Manila acquitted the accused of the charge of estafa thru falsification of official document but rendered a judgment on the civil aspect of the case ordering the return to the surviving heirs of the parcel of land located in Bulacan. The accused questioned the propriety of the decision on the civil aspect arguing that the Manila court had no jurisdiction over the parcel of land in Bulacan which is outside the trial court’s jurisdiction. It was held that the Manila trial court had jurisdiction to decide the civil aspect of the case—ordering restitution even if the parcel of land is located in Bulacan (Cruz vs. CA, Ibid., p. 84).

Court’s retention of jurisdiction.

The settled doctrine is that once a court has assumed jurisdiction over a case, its jurisdiction shall continue until the case is finished and it may not be ousted from its jurisdiction by a co-equal or coordinate court (Al-Awadhi vs. Astih, G.R. 81969, Sept. 26, 1988; People vs. Layao, 111 SCRA 20 [1982]; People vs. Ocampo, 83 SCRA 218 [1976]; Denila vs. Bellosillo, 64 SCRA 63 [1975]). Corollarily, once a complaint or information is filed in court, any disposition of the case such as its dismissal or its continuation rests on the sound discretion of the court (Jalandoni vs. Drilon, 327 SCRA 107, 122 [2000] citing Crespo vs. Mogul, 151 SCRA 462 [1987]; Pilapil vs. Garchitorena, 299 SCRA 343, 357-358 [1998]).

This rule does not foreclose a reinvestigation or a review by a superior authority of the resolution finding probable cause. Nevertheless, once a motion to dismiss or withdraw information is thereafter filed, the court may grant or deny it in faithful exercise of judicial prerogative, not out of subservience to the prosecution arm, i.e., the Office of the Special Prosecutor or the Ombudsman, or the Department of Justice, as the case may be (Pilapil vs. Garchitorena, Ibid,p. 358).

Effect of lack of jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that a judgment rendered by a court without jurisdiction is null and void and may be attacked anytime. It creates no rights and produces no effect. (Limpangog vs. CA, 319 SCRA 341, 345 [1999]). Thus, the rule provides that the failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of the grounds of a motion to quash, except inter alia the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged (Sec. 9, Rule 117; Uy vs. CA, 276 SCRA 367, 377 [1997]).

It follows that, as a rule, the filing of a complaint with one court which has no jurisdiction over it does not prevent the plaintiff from filing the same complaint later with the competent court. The plaintiff is not estopped from doing so simply because it made a mistake before in the choice of the proper forum. In such a situation, the only authority the first court can exercise is to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. This has to be so as a contrary conclusion would allow a party to divest the competent court of its jurisdiction, whether erroneously or even deliberately, in derogation of the law. (Binay vs. Sandiganbayan, 316 SCRA 65, 99 [1999]; Zamora vs. Court of Appeals (183 SCRA 279 [1990]; see also China Banking Corporation vs. Court of Appeals. 270 SCRA 503 [1997]).

Jurisdiction by estoppel.

Jurisdiction is determined by law, not by the consent or agreement of the parties or by estoppel (Tolentino vs. Court of Appeals, 280 SCRA 226 [1997]). The Court has, however, ruled in certain cases (e.g., Ramirez vs. Commission on Elections, 270 SCRA 590 [1997]; Quintanilla vs. Court of Appeals, 279 9CRA 397 [1997]; Sia vs. Court of Appeals, 272 SCRA 141 [1997]) that estoppel prevents a party from questioning the jurisdiction of the court that the party himself invoked. Nevertheless, estoppel remains the exception rather than the rule, the rule being that jurisdiction is vested by law (Calimlim vs. Ramirez, 118 SCRA 399 [1982]; see also Dy vs. NLRC, 145 SCRA 211 [1986]; People vs. Eduarte. 182 SCRA 750 [1990]; Corona vs. CA, 214 SCRA 378 [1992]).

In those instances where estoppel is applied, the party estopped consistently invoked the jurisdiction of the court and actively participated in the proceedings, impugning such jurisdiction only when faced with an adverse decision (Binay vs. Sandiganbayan, 316 SCRA 65, 99 [1999]). It is a well-settled rule that a party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a court to secure affirmative relief against his opponent, and after obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question that same jurisdiction. (Security Agency vs. De la Serna, 182 SCRA 472 [1990]; People vs. Munar, 53 SCRA 278 [1973]).

Thus, in a case, the original Information filed with the Sandiganbayan did not mention that the offense committed by the accused is office-related. It was only after the same was filed that the prosecution belatedly remembered that such a jurisdictional fact was omitted therein. It appears, however, in the supplemental arguments to motion for reconsideration and/or reinvestigation filed by accused with the same court that accused challenged the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court over the case and clearly stated in their Motion for Reconsideration that the offense charged is work-connected. The Supreme Court held that the accused are estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan (Antiporda, Jr. vs. Garchitorena, 321 SCRA 551-560-561 [1999]).

Concurrent criminal

jurisdiction of courts.

As a rule, there is no confluent or coordinate jurisdiction of courts of different ranks over criminal cases except in cases affecting ambassadors, public ministers and consuls. However, courts of equal rank are vested with concurrent jurisdiction over the following offenses: (1) felonies stated in Article 2 of the Revised Penal Code; (2) continuing crimes committed in different judicial regions (see U.S. vs. Cunanan, 26 Phil. 376; People vs. Zapata, 88 Phil. 688); (3) offenses wherein any of their essential ingredients occurred in different municipalities or territories (Sec. 15(a), Rule 110); (4) offenses committed in a train, aircraft, or other public or private vehicle in the course of its trip (Sec. 15(b), Rule 110); (5) offenses committed on board a vessel in the course of its voyage (Sec. 5(c), Rule 110); and (6) libel and written defamation (Art. 360, Revised Penal Code)(see Regalado, Vol. 2, 9th ed., pp. 196-197).

With regard to cases affecting ambassadors, public ministers and consuls, jurisdiction is concurrently lodged with the Supreme Court and the Regional Trial Courts (Sec. 21, BP 129 and Sec. 5(1), Art. VIII, Const.).

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JURISDICTION OF COURTS

IN CRIMINAL CASES

Supreme Court.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court has, among other things, the following powers:

(1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls (Sec. 5[1], Art. VIII, Ibid.);

(2) Exercise original jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus (Ibid.);

(3) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:

(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question;

(b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto;

(c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue;

(d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher;

(e) All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved (Sec. 5[2], Ibid.).

(4) Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid miscarriage of justice (Sec. 5[4], Ibid.);

(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court (Sec. 5[5], Ibid.).

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Court of Appeals.

Exclusive original jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgments of Regional Trial Courts (Sec. 9, B.P. Blg. 129 as amended by RA No. 7902; Prudence Realty & Dev't. Corp. vs. CA, G.R. 110274, March 21, 1994, 49 SCAD 724; Goldloop Properties, Inc. vs. CA, 212 SCRA 498, 505 [1992]).

Concurrent original jurisdiction. It shall exercise original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, and quo warranto, and auxiliary writs and processes, whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction (Sec. 9, BP 129 as amended). Its power over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus extends to courts or quasi-judicial agencies, boards, instrumentalities or commissions over which it has exclusive appellate jurisdiction and all other courts and quasi-judicial agencies, not falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

Appellate jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, order, or awards of the:

(1) Family courts (Sec. 14, RA 8369); and

(2) Regional Trial Courts (Sec. 9, BP Blg. 129) except those which are falling under the appellate jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan (Sec. 4, PD 1606 as amended by RA 8249) and the Court of Tax Appeals (Sec. 7, RA 9282).

In the exercise of its jurisdiction, the Court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings. Trials or hearings in the Court of Appeals must be continuous and must be completed within three (3) months, unless extended by the Chief Justice (Sec. 9, B.P. Blg. 129 as amended).

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Sandiganbayan.

Original 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 (An Act Declaring Forfeiture in Favor of the State Unlawfully Acquired Properties), and Chapter Two, 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 and 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 panglungsod, 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;

(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, whether created by special law or formed under the Corporation Code (see People vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. 147706-07, Feb. 16, 2005; Quimpo vs. Tanodbayan, 230 SCRA 232 [1986]).

(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 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 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 (Sec. 4, PD 1606 as amended by RA 8249).

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 (Sec. 4, PD 1606, Ibid).

To determine whether an official is within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, reference should be made to R.A. No. 6758 and the Index of Occupational Services, Position Titles and Salary Grades. Salary level is not determinative (Binay vs. Sandiganbayan, infra, pp. 84-85).

In a case, it was held that municipal mayors come within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Mayors are local officials classified as Grade ‘27’ and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989, under the catch-all provision, Section 4a(5) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by R.A. No. 7975) (Binay vs. Sandiganbayan, 316 SCRA 65 [1999]; see Conrado B. Rodrigo. Jr., et al. vs. The Honorable Sandiganbayan (First Division), et al., 303 SCRA 309 [1999]).

[D]. Petitions for 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 (Sec. 4, PD 1606, supra).

Appellate jurisdiction. 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 (Sec. 4, PD 1606 as amended by RA 8249) in offenses involving public officers and employees committed in relation to their office.

It shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction on appeals from the judgments, resolutions or orders of regular courts where all the accused are occupying positions lower than salary grade 27 or not otherwise covered by the enumeration Section 4 of PD 1606, as amended (see Sec. 2, RA 7975; Moll vs. Buban, 388 SCRA 63, 67-68 [2002]).

The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as well as the implementing rules that the Supreme Court has promulgated and may thereafter 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 (Sec. 4, PD 1606 as amended by RA 8249).

Jurisdiction over civil actions. It must be noted that the Sandiganbayan exercises not only civil but also criminal jurisdiction. (Antiporda, Jr. vs. Garchitorena, 321 SCRA 551, 558 [1999]).

However, any provisions of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability shall at all times be simultaneously instituted with, and jointly determined in, the same proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts, the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action, and no right to reserve the filing of such civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized. (Sec. 4, PD 1606 supra).

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Court of Tax Appeals.

Original jurisdiction. The Court of Tax Appeals shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all criminal offenses arising from violations of the National Internal Revenue Code or Tariff and Customs Code and other laws administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue or the Bureau of Customs; Provided, however, That offenses or felonies mentioned in this paragraph where the principal amount of taxes and fees, exclusive of charges and penalties, claimed is less than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) or where there is no specified amount claimed shall be tried by the regular courts and the jurisdiction of the CTA shall be appellate (Sec. 7(b), RA 9282).

Appellate jurisdiction. The CTA shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction in criminal offenses:

(1) Over appeals from the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in tax cases originally decided by them, in their respective territorial jurisdiction;

(2) Over petitions for review of the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over tax cases decided by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in their respective jurisdiction (Sec. 7(b), RA 9282).

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Regional trial Courts.

Original jurisdiction. The regional trial court shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over 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 be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter (Sec, 20, BP 129).

The cases falling under the jurisdiction of the regional trial court are determined by the process of exclusion it being a court of general jurisdiction. All criminal cases not falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body fall under its jurisdiction. However, there are criminal cases which, by express provision of law, fall under the jurisdiction of the regional trial court regardless of the penalty prescribed by law for the offense, such as:

(1) Criminal action or proceedings for violation of the Omnibus Election Code (Sec. 268, OEC);

(2) Cases of written defamations (see Arts. 355 and 360, Revised Penal Code; Morales vs. CA, 283 SCRA 211, 225 [1997]; People vs. MTC of Quezon City, 265 SCRA 645, 650 [1997]; Bocobo vs. Estanislao, 72 SCRA 520 [1976]; Time, Inc. vs. Reyes, 39 SCRA 303 [1971]);

(3) All actions, suits or proceedings involving infringement of the Intellectual Property Law (Secs. 29 and 57, PD 49 as amended; RA 8293; Morales vs. CA, Ibid.; Samson vs. Daway, G.R. 160054-55, July 21, 2004);

(4) All criminal actions involving violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Sec. 90, RA 9165); and

(5) All criminal actions involving violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (Sec. 5, RA 9160).

Appellate jurisdiction. The regional trial courts shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over judgments or final orders of metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts, municipal trial courts in cities, and municipal circuit trial courts in their respective territorial jurisdiction (Sec. 22, BP Blg. 129).

Designation of regional trial courts. The Supreme Court shall designate special courts from among the existing regional trial courts in each judicial region to exclusively try and hear cases involving violations of the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002 (Sec. 90, RA 9165). Moreover, pending the establishment of the Family Courts, the Supreme Court shall designate from among the branches of the regional trial courts at least one family court in particular cities and in such places as the Court may deem necessary (Sec. 17, RA 8369). See Supreme Court Adm. Circ. No. 20-2003, May 19, 2003, which harmonizes the supposed conflicting provisions of RA 9165 and RA 8369 on the jurisdiction over drugs cases involving minors.

Certain branches of the court are likewise designated as special commercial courts to try and decide cases involving violations of the Intellectual Property Rights which fall within their jurisdiction (SC Resolution, June 17, 2003).

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Family Courts.

The Family Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide the following cases:

(1) Criminal cases where one or more of the accused is below eighteen (18) years of age but not less than nine (9) years of age, or where one or more of the victims is a minor at the time of the commission of the offense; Provided, That if the minor is found guilty, the court shall promulgate sentence and ascertain any civil liability which the accused may have incurred. The sentence shall, however, be suspended without need of application pursuant to PD No. 603 otherwise known as the Child and Youth Welfare Code;

(2) Cases against minors cognizable under the Dangerous Drugs Act as amended;

(3) Violations of RA 7610 otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, as amended by RA 7658;

(4) Cases of domestic violence against: (a) Women -- which are acts of gender-based violence that results, or are likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women; and other forms of physical abuse such as battering or threats and coercion which violate a woman's personhood, integrity and freedom of movement; and (b) Children - which include the commission of all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, violence, and discrimination and all other conditions prejudicial to their development (Sec. 5, RA 8369); and

(5) Cases of violence against women and their children under Republic Act No. 9262 (Sec. 5, RA 9262).

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Municipal Trial Courts.

Except in cases falling within the exclusive original Jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court and of the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:

(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of city or municipal ordinances committed within their respective territorial jurisdiction; and

(2) 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; Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence, they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction. (Sec. 2, RA 7691 amending Sec. 32, BP 129).

The exception in the opening sentence is of special significance which should not be disregarded. By virtue thereof, the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in criminal cases does not cover those cases which by provision of law fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts and of the Sandiganbayan regardless of the prescribed penalty. Otherwise put, even if such cases are punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six years (i.e., prision correccional, arresto mayor, arresto menor), jurisdiction thereon is retained by the Regional Trial Courts or the Sandiganbayan, as the case may be (Morales vs. CA, 283 SCRA 211, 224-225 [1997]). Examples of these cases which fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts regardless of the prescribed penalty are: (1) Criminal action or proceedings for violation of the Omnibus Election Code (Sec. 268, OEC); (2) Cases of written defamations (see Arts. 355 and 360, Revised Penal Code; Morales vs. CA, 283 SCRA 211, 225 [1997]; People vs. MTC of Quezon City, 265 SCRA 645, 650 [1997]; Bocobo vs. Estanislao, 72 SCRA 520 [1976]; Time, Inc. vs. Reyes, 39 SCRA 303 [1971]); (3) All actions, suits or proceedings involving infringement of the Intellectual Property Law (Secs. 29 and 57, PD 49 as amended; RA 8293; Morales vs. CA, Ibid.; Samson vs. Daway, G.R. 160054-55, July 21, 2004); and (4) All criminal actions involving violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Sec. 90, RA 9165).

The term ‘Municipal Trial Courts’ as used in the Rules of Court includes Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts (Sec. 2, Rule 5, Rules of Civil Procedure).

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Shari’a District Courts.

Appellate jurisdiction. The Shari’a District Courts shall have appellate jurisdiction over all cases tried in the Shari’a Circuit Courts within their territorial jurisdiction. They shall decide every case appealed to them on the basis of the evidence and records transmitted as well as such memoranda, briefs or oral arguments as the parties may submit (Art. 144, PD 1083). These courts have no original jurisdiction over criminal cases.

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Shari’a Circuit Courts.

The Shari'a Circuit Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all cases involving all offenses defined and punished under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws (Art. 155. PD 1083) namely:

(1) Illegal solemnization of marriage; (Art. 181, PD 1083)

(2) Marriage before expiration of 'idda; (Art, 182, Ibid.)

(3) Offenses relative to subsequent marriage, divorce, and revocation of divorce; (Art. 183, Ibid.)

(4) Failure to report for registration; (Art.184, Ibid.)

(5) Neglect of duty by registrars. (Art. 185, Ibid.)*

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RULE 110. PROSECUTION OF OFFENSES

SEC. 1. Institution of criminal actions.

SEC. 2. The complaint or information.

SEC. 3. Complaint defined.

SEC. 4. Information defined.

SEC. 5. Who must prosecute criminal actions.

SEC. 6. Sufficiency of complaint or information.

SEC. 7. Name of the accused.

SEC. 8. Designation of the offense.

SEC. 9. Cause of the accusation.

SEC. 10. Place of commission of the offense.

SEC. 11. Date of commission of the charge.

SEC. 12. Name of the offended party.

SEC. 13. Duplicity of the offense.

SEC. 14. Amendment or substitution.

SEC. 15. Place where action is to be instituted.

SEC. 16. Intervention of the offended party.

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SECTION 1. Institution of criminal actions. — Criminal actions shall be instituted as follows:

(a) For offenses where a preliminary investigation is required pursuant to section 1 of Rule 112, by filing the complaint with the proper officer for the purpose of conducting the requisite preliminary investigation.

(b) For all other offenses, by filing the complaint or information directly with the Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, or the complaint with the office of the prosecutor. In Manila and other chartered cities, the complaint shall be filed with the office of the prosecutor unless otherwise provided in their charters. The institution of the criminal action shall interrupt the running of the period of prescription of the offense charged unless otherwise provided in special laws. (la)

ANNOTATIONS:

Criminal action, defined.

A criminal action is one by which the State prosecutes a person for an act or omission punishable by law (Sec. 3, Rule 1, Rules of Civil Procedure).

Criminal action, how instituted.

Criminal action is instituted by filing the complaint or information with the proper officer or directly with the court, as the case may be (see Sec. 1, Rule 110). In cases requiring preliminary investigation, by filing the complaint with the proper officer for the purpose of conducting the requisite preliminary investigation. For all other offenses, by filing the complaint or information directly with the Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, or the complaint with the office of the prosecutor. In Manila and other chartered cities, the complaint shall be filed with the office of the prosecutor unless otherwise provided in their charters (Sec. 1, Rule 110).

If an accused is arrested without warrant involving an offense requiring preliminary investigation, in the absence or unavailability of an inquest prosecutor, the complaint may be filed by the offended party or a peace officer directly with the proper court on the basis of the affidavit of the offended party or arresting officer or person (Sec. 7, Rule 112).

It must be noted that cases requiring preliminary investigation are those charging offenses where the penalty prescribed by law is at least four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day without regard to the fine (Sec. 1, Rule 112).

Preliminary investigation, defined.

Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial (Sec. 1, Rule 112).

Meaning of proper officer.

Proper officer under this rule refers to the officers authorized to conduct preliminary investigations. They are the following: (a) Provincial or City prosecutors and their assistants; (b) National and Regional State Prosecutors; and (c) Other officers as may be authorized by law (Sec. 2, Rule 112).

Interruption of prescription; exception.

The institution of the criminal action shall interrupt the running of the period of prescription of the offense charged unless otherwise provided in special laws (Sec. 1, Rule 110). Thus, the filing of the complaint with the prosecutor’s office (Arambulo vs. Laqui, Sr, Ibid., pp. 747-748 citing Fransisco vs. Court of Appeals 122 SCRA 538 [1983]; Calderon-Bargas vs. RTC of Pasig, Metro Manila, 227 SCRA 56 [1993] or before the Ombudsman (Ingco vs. Sandiganbayan, 272 SCRA 563, 572 [1997]) or with his Deputies such as the Ombudsman-Visayas (Llenes vs. Dicdican, G.R. 122274, July 31, 1996) suspends the running of the prescriptive period. The prescriptive period remains tolled from the time the complaint is filed with the Office of the Prosecutor until such time that respondent is either convicted or acquitted by the proper court (People vs. Bautista, G.R. 168641, April 27, 2007).

It has been held under the old rule that the filing of the complaint with the Municipal Court, even if it be merely for purposes of preliminary examination or investigation, interrupts the period of prescription of the criminal responsibility, even if the court, where the complaint or information is filed can not try the case on the merits (Arambulo vs. Laqui, Sr., 342 SCRA 740, 747 [2000] reiterating People vs. Olarte, 19 SCRA 494 [1967]).

Exception to the rule. The exception to this rule is when a special law provides otherwise (Sec. 1, Rule 110). Under Act No. 3326, as amended, entitled An Act to Establish Periods of Prescription for Violations Penalized by Special Acts and Municipal Ordinances and to Provide When Prescription Shall Begin to Run, the prescriptive periods for offenses punished by special laws and municipal ordinances are not interrupted by the institution of the criminal action before the office of the prosecutor. In interpreting the provision of Section 2 of the Act, the Supreme Court said that the proceedings referred to therein are judicial proceedings. Thus, in a case involving violation of a municipal ordinance, it was held that the prescriptive period was not interrupted by the filing of the complaint with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, as such did not constitute a judicial proceeding; what could have tolled the prescriptive period there was only the filing of the information in the proper court. (Zaldivia vs. Reyes, Jr., 211 SCRA 277, 284-285 [1992]; Reodica vs. CA, G.R. 125066, July 8, 1998). But surprisingly, the high court held in a recent case that the filing of the complaint-affidavit before the DOJ against the respondent for violation of the Intellectual Property Code tolled the running of the prescriptive period (Sanrio Company Limited vs. Lim, 546 SCRA 303, 312 [2008]; Brilliantes vs. CA, 440 SCRA 541 [2004]).

Parenthetically, the applicable provisions of law on prescription of offenses are found in Article 90 and Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code for offenses punishable thereunder and Act No. 3326 for those penalized by special laws and municipal ordinances (Republic vs. Desierto, G.R. 136506, Aug. 23, 2001; People vs. Pacificador, G.R. No. 139405. March 13, 2001). Thus, it was held in a case that since the law alleged to have been violated, i.e., paragraphs (e) and (g) of Section 3, R.A. No. 3019, as amended, is a special law, the applicable rule in the computation of the prescriptive period is Section 2 of Act No. 3326, as amended (Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans v. Desierto, 317 SCRA 272, 296 (1999), cited in People vs. Pacificador, G.R. No. 139405. March 13, 2001).

SEC. 2. The complaint or information. — The complaint or information shall be in writing, in the name of the People of the Philippines and against all persons who appear to be responsible for the offense involved. (2a)

ANNOTATIONS:

Parts of a complaint or information.

The parts of a complaint or information are the following:

Caption. The caption sets forth the name of the court, the title of the action, and the docket number if assigned. The title of the action indicates the phrase People of the Philippines as plaintiffs, and the persons against whom the criminal action is filed as accused (see Sec. 2, Rule 7, Rules of Civil Procedure). In addition, the designation of the offense given by the statute must be indicated.

Body. The body of the complaint or information sets forth the following: (a) the preamble; (b) statement of the acts or omissions constituting the offense charged; (c) specification of the law violated; and (d) the date.

Signature. The complaint must be signed by the offended party, peace officer, or other officer charged with the enforcement of the law, or in the case of the information, by the prosecutor.

Jurat. The complaint must be sworn before a prosecutor or any government official authorized to administer oath. The information need not be sworn by the subscribing prosecutor but it must be accompanied by a sworn certification.

Complaint and information,

distinguished.

A complaint is distinguished from an information as follows:

(1) A complaint is signed by the offended party, peace officer, or other officer charged with the enforcement of the law; an information is signed by a prosecutor;

(2) A complaint is under oath; an information need not be under oath;