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ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO.

09-94 June 14, 1994 TO: THE COURT OF APPEALS, SANDIGANBAYAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, ALL MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT PROSECUTION SERVICE AND ALL MEMBERS OF THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES SUBJECT: GUIDELINES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7691. ENTITLED "AN ACT EXPANDING THE JURISDICTION OF THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS AND MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 129, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE 'JUDICIARY REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1980." For the guidance of the bench and the Bar, the following guidelines are to be followed in the implementation of Republic Act No. 7691, entitled "An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, Amending for the Purpose Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Otherwise Known as the 'Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980": 1. The new jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in civil and original cases, and in cadastral and land registration cases, under Section 19, 32, 33 and 34 of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691. Was effective on April 15, 1994, fifteen (15) days after the publication in the Malaya and in the Times Journal on March 30, 1994, pursuant to Section 8 of the R.A. No. 7691. 2. The exclusion of the term "damages of whatever kind" in determining the jurisdictional amount under Section 19 (8) and Section 33 (1) of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691, applies to cases where the damages are merely incidental to or a consequence of the main cause of action. However, in cases where the claim for damages is the main cause of action, or one of the causes of action, the amount of such claim shall be considered in determining the jurisdiction of the court. 3. The criminal jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Trial Courts under Section 32 (2) of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691, has been increased to cover offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of the fine. As a consequence, the Regional Trial Courts have no more original jurisdiction over offenses committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office, where the offense is punishable by more than four (4) years and two (2) months up to six (6) years. 4. The provisions of Section 32 (2) of B.P. 129 as amended by R.A. No. 7691, apply only to offenses punishable by imprisonment or fine, or both, in which cases the amount of the fine is disregarded in determining the jurisdiction of the court. However, in cases where the only penalty provided by law is a fine, the amount thereof shall determine the jurisdiction of the court in accordance with the original provisions of Section 32 (2) of B.P. Blg. 129 which fixed original exclusive jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts over offenses punishable with a fine of not more than four thousand pesos. If the amount of the fine exceeds four thousand pesos, the Regional Trial Court shall have jurisdiction, including offenses committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office, where the amount of the fine does not exceed six thousand pesos. However, this rule does not apply to offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence which are under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, irrespective of the amount of the imposable fine. Manila, June 14, 1994. (Sgd.) ANDRES R. NARVASA Chief Justice

CIRCULAR NO. 21-99. CIRCULAR NO. 21-99 TO: ALL JUDGES OF THE REGIONALTRIAL COURTS, THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES, THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS AND THE MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS.

SUBJECT: EFFECTIVITY OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONI 5 OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7691 FURTHER INCREASING THE JURISDICTIONAL AMOUNTS PRESCRIBED BY CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 129, AS AMENDED. The provisions of Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7691 prescribe that "After five years [5] from the effectivity of this Act, the jurisdictional amounts mentioned in Sec. 19 (3), [1] (4), [2] and (8), [3] and Sec. 33(1) [4] of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 as amended by this Act, shall be adjusted to Two hundred thousand pesos [P200,000.00]. Five (5) years thereafter, such jurisdictional amounts shall be adjusted further to Three hundred thousand pesos [P300,000.00]: Provided, However, That in the case of Metro Manila, the abovementioned jurisdictional amounts shall be adjusted after five [5] years from the effectivity of this Act to Four hundred thousand pesos [P400,000.00]." Section 8 of the same law states that "This Act shall take effect fifteen [15] days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in two [2] national newspapers of general circulation." Republic Act No. 7691 was published simultaneously in the 30 March 1994 issues for the Philippine Journal and Malaya. The law took effect on 15 April 1994.cralaw Considering the provisions of Section 31, [5] Chapter 8 Book I of the 1987 Administrative Code, Section 5 of R. A.

No. 7691 took effect on 20 March 1999.cralaw For information and guidance.

[Sgd.] ALFREDO L. BENIPAYO Court Administrator

ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. 04-94 February 8, 1994 TO: COURT OF APPEALS, SANDIGANBAYAN, COURT OF TAX APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS, THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE COUNSEL, ALL MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT PROSECUTION SERVICE, AND ALL MEMBERS OF THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. SUBJECT: ADDITIONAL REQUISITES FOR CIVIL COMPLAINTS, PETITIONS AND OTHER INITIATORY PLEADINGS FILED IN ALL COURTS AND AGENCIES, OTHER THAN THE SUPREME COURT AND THE COURT OF APPEALS, TO PREVENT FORUM SHOPPING OR MULTIPLE FILING OF SUCH PLEADINGS. Revised Circular No. 28-91, dated February 8, 1994, applies to and governs the filing of petitions in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals and is intended to prevent the multiple filing of petitions or complaints involving the same issues in other tribunals or agencies as a form of forum shopping. Complementary thereto and for the same purpose, the following requirements, in addition to those in pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court and existing circulars, shall be strictly complied with in the filing of complaints, petitions, applications or other initiatory pleadings in all courts and agencies other than the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals and shall be subject to the sanctions provided hereunder. 1. The plaintiff, petitioner, applicant or principal party seeking relief in the complaint, petition, application or other initiatory pleading shall certify under oath in such original pleading, or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith, to the truth of the following facts and undertakings: (a) he has not the same issue in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency; (b) to the best of his knowledge, no such action or proceedings is pending in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency; (c) if there is any such action or proceeding which is either pending or may have terminated, he must state the status thereof; and (d) if he should thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or any other tribunal or agency, he undertakes to report that fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court or agency wherein the original pleading and sworn certification contemplated herein have been filed. The complaint and the initiatory pleadings referred to and the subject of this Circular are the original civil complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, third (fourth, etc.) party complaint, or complaint-in-intervention, petition, or application wherein a party asserts his claim for relief. 2. Any violation of this Circular shall be a cause for the dismissal of the complaint, petition, application or other initiatory pleading, upon motion and after hearing. However, any clearly willful and deliberate forum shopping by any party and his counsel through the filing of multiple complaints or other initiatory pleadings to obtain favorable action shall be a ground for summary dismissal thereof and shall constitute direct contempt of court. Furthermore, the submission of false certification or non-compliance with the undertakings therein, as provided in Paragraph 1 hereof, shall constitute indirect contempt of court, without prejudice to disciplinary proceeding against the counsel and the filing of a criminal action against the guilty party. This Circular shall take effect on April 1, 1994. February 8, 1994. (Sgd.) ANDRES R. NARVASA Chief Justice