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The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is perhaps one of the most often amended provi sion from the 1973

Constitution to RA 8249 of 1997. Before RA 8249, jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan was determined on the basis of the penalty imposable on the offense charged. Then, it was amended such that regardless of the penalty, so long as the offe nse charged was committed by a public officer, the Sandiganbayan was vested with juri sdiction. Under RA 8249, to determine whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction, la wyers must look into two (2) criteria, namely:
 

The nature of the offense and The salary grade of the public official.

Thus, Sec.4 of RA 8249 provides that the Sandiganbayan shall have original exclusive ju risdiction over: 1.) Violations of RA 3019 (Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Law); 2.) RA 1379 (Forfeiture of Illegally Acquired Wealth); 3.) Crimes by public officers or employees embraced in Ch. II, Sec.2 Title VII, Book II o f the RPC (Crimes committed by Public Officers) namely: a. Direct Bribery (Art. 210 as amended by BP 871, May 29, 1985); b. Indirect Bribery (Art. 211 as amended by BP 871, May 29, 1985); c. Qualified Bribery (Art. 211-A as amended by RA 7659, Dec. 13, 1993); d. Corruption of public officials (Art. 212) 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 co mmission of the offense: A. Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and hig her, otherwise classified as Grade 27 and higher, of the Compensation and Position Cla ssification Act of 1989 Republic Act No. 6758) specifically including: (a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan an d 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 ran k; (e) Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial

) PD 46 referred to as the gift-giving decree which makes it punishable for any offici al or employee to receive directly or indirectly and for the private person to give or off er to give any gift. C. RA 3019. 14 & 14-A issued in 1986 6. Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions. 2. present or other valuable thing on any occasion including Christmas. Members of Congress and Officials thereof classified as Grade 27 and up under the Compensation and Classification Act of 1989. All other national and local officials classified as Grade 27 and higher under the Com pensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. D. state universities or educational institutions or foundations. rules and regulations penalizing graft. Members of the Judiciary without prejudice to the provision of the Constitution.) Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes commit ted in relation to their office by the public officials and employees mentioned above.) PD 749 which grants immunity from prosecution to any person who voluntarily giv es information about any violation of Art.Violation of The Anti-Money Laundering Law when committed by a publi c officer e. 211 or 212 of the RPC. 5.) RA 9160 .THE PLUNDER LAW c. (f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants.210. f.) Civil and Criminal Cases filed pursuant to and in connection with EO 1.) Violation of RA 7659 .The Heinous Crime Law d. without prejudice to the pr ovision of the Constitution. . Sec. and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor. 3604 of the Customs and Tariff Code and other provisions of the said Codes penalizing abuse or dishonesty on the part of the public officials concerned and other laws. E. directors or trustees. rega rdless of whether or not the same is for past favors or the giver hopes or expects to rec eive a favor or better treatment in the future from the public official or employee conc erned in the discharge of his official functions. Sec.) Violation of RA 7080 . when such gift.) OTHERS provided the accused belongs to SG 27 or higher: a.) Violation of RA 6713 . B. (g) Presidents. corruption and other forms of official abuse and who willingly testifies against the public official or employee subject to cert ain conditions. 4. or managers of government-owned or -controlled corporations. present or valuable thing is given by reason of his official position.345 of the NIRC.Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards b. Included within the prohibition is the th rowing of parties or entertainment in honor of the official or employee or his immediat e relatives.director and those holding the rank of senior superintendent or higher.

REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS X X X.00) except actions for forcible entry into and unlawfu .000. No. G.It should be noted that private individuals can be sued in cases before the Sandiganbay an if they are alleged to be in conspiracy with the public officer. No.00) or for civil actions in Metro Manila.R. jurisdiction is not exclusive of the Supreme Court  Quo Warranto arising in cases falling under said EO 1. Sandiganbayan. 128096 . where such the value exce eds Fifty thousand pesos (50. Meaning of crime committed "in relation to their office" ● The offense need not be connected with the official duties. (2) In all civil actions which involve the title to. Provided. 2. Executive Secretary. ● A public official and employee commits a crime"in relation to their office" if the offe nse was intimately connected with the office of the offender and perpetuated while he is in the performance of his official function. Mere allegation in the information that t he offense was commited by the accused public officer in relation to his office is not su fficient. Section 19. January 20. 14 & 14. or any in terest therein. Jurisdiction in civil cases. where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty thou sand pesos (P20. What is controlling is the specific factual allegations in the information that wo uld indicate the close intimacy between the discharge of the accused's official duties a nd the commission of the offense charged.A The Sandiganbayan is vested with Appellate Jurisdiction over final judgments. prohibition. certiorari.R. 1999). It is enough that it is in r elation to office (Lecaroz vs. March 22. G. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive or iginal jurisdiction: (1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary esti mation. 1984). L-56384. real property. habeas corpus. resolutio ns or orders of the RTC whether in the exercise of their original or appellate jurisdictio n over crimes and civil cases falling within the original exclusive jurisdiction of the Sand iganbayan but which were committed by public officers below Salary Grade 27. or possession of. in order to qualify the crime as having been committed in relation to public office (Lacson vs. injunction and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. Concurrent with Supreme Court:  Petitions for issuance of Writ of mandamus.000.

person or body exercising judicial or qua si-judicial functions. original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon Metr opolitan Trial Courts. No. Municipal Trial Courts. tribunal. where such gross value exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos (200.00) or.00) . where such dem and or claim exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos (200. and (8) In all other cases in which the demand. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusiv e original jurisdiction in all criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any co urt. a nd . (4) In all matters of probate. habeas corpus and injunction which may be enforced in any part of their respective regions. Original jurisdiction in other cases. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise or iginal jurisdiction: (1) In the issuance of writs of certiorari. quo warranto. damages of whatever kind. person or bod y exercising jurisdiction or any court. and costs or the value of the property in cont roversy exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (100.00) or . mandamus. except those now falling under the exclusive and concurrent juris diction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of by the latter.A .000. tribunal. (3) In all actions in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where he demand or claim exce eds One hundred thousand pesos (P100. in such other aboveme ntioned items exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos (200. (as amended by R. where the gross value of the e state exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (P100. (5) In all actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations. litigation expenses. prohibition.00). and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. in Metro Manila.000. (7) In all civil actions and special proceedings falling within the exclusive original jurisdi ction of a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and of the Courts of Agrarian Relation s as now provided by law.00) or.000. (6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court. in probate matters in Me tro Manila. Section 21. Jurisdiction in criminal cases.000.000.00). tribunal or body. attorney's fees. exclusive of interest.000. 7691*) Section 20.l detainer of lands or buildings. both testate and intestate.

The decision of the Regional Trial Courts in such cases shal l be appealable by petition for review to the Court of Appeals which may give it due course only when the petition shows prima faci e that the lower court has committed an error of fact or law that will warrant a reversa l or modification of the decision or judgment sought to be reviewed. Special jurisdiction to try special cases. Such cases shal l be decided on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings had in the court of ori gin and such memoranda and/or briefs as may be submitted by the parties or required by the Regional Trial Courts. and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: (1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of city or municipal ordinances com mitted within their respective territorial jurisdiction. and (2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not ex . Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts. agrarian cases. — Whenever a Regional Trial Court takes cogni zance of juvenile and domestic relation cases and/or agrarian cases. Section 24. METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS. Section 32. Section 23. Municipal Trial Courts.(2) In actions affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and consuls. Municipal Trial Courts and Munici pal Circuit Trial Courts in criminal cases. u nless subsequently amended by law or by rules of court promulgated by the Supreme Court. AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS X x x. MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS. Special Rules of Procedure. Section 22. and/or such other sp ecial cases as the Supreme Court may determine in the interest of a speedy and efficie nt administration of justice. urban land reform cases which do n ot fall under the jurisdiction of quasi-judicial bodies and agencies. — The Supreme Court may designat e certain branches of the Regional Trial Courts to handle exclusively criminal cases. — Except in cases falling within the exclusive o riginal jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts and of the Sandiganbayan. juv enile and domestic relations cases. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise appellate juris diction over all cases decided by Metropolitan Trial Courts. and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in their respective territorial jurisdictions. Municipal Trial Courts. Appellate jurisdiction. the Metropolitan Trial Courts. the special rules o f procedure applicable under present laws to such cases shall continue to be applied.

Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts.000. in Metro Manila where such personal property.A.A. No.00) or. (as amended by R. (as amended by R. in such cases. or amount of the demand does not exceed Two hundred thousand pesos (P20 0. — Metropolitan Trial Courts. and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts may be assig ned by the Supreme Court to hear and determine cadastral or land registration cases c overing lots where there is no controversy or opposition. the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession. the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issu e of ownership. the amount of which must be specifically alleged: Provided.ceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of fine. the amount of the demand shall be the totality of the claims in all the causes of action. No. damages of whatever kind. in civil actions in Metro Manila. irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out of the same or different transactions. estate. nature. litigation exp enses. including the civil liability arising from such offenses o r predicated thereon. Delegated jurisdiction in cadastral and land registration cases. or amount thereof: Provided. 7691) Section 34. e mbodied in the same complaint. or possession of. value. and regardless of other imposa ble accessory or other penalties. irrespective of kind.000. or amount of the demand does not exceed One hun dred thousand pesos (P100. (3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve title to. and costs. including the grant of provisional remedies in proper cases. That when.000. attorney's fees.00) exclusive of interest. That in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence th ey shall have exclusive original jurisdiction thereof.000. Municipal Trial Courts and Munici pal Circuit Trial Courts in civil cases. That value of such property shall be determined by the ass essed value of the adjacent lots.00) exclusive of interest damages of whatever kind. and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: (1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings. (2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer: Pro vided. or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or in terest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20. attorney's fees. Municipal Trial Courts.00) or. testate an d intestate. where the valu e of the personal property. — Metropoli tan Trial Courts. real property. or contested lots the where t . Municipal Trial Court s. That whe re there are several claims or causes of action between the same or different parties. however. where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P5 0. estate. 7691) Section 33. litigation ex penses and costs: Provided.

unless after an examination in writing and under oath or affirmation of the complainant and his witnesses. That if after the preliminary investigation the Judge finds a prima faci e case. or from the corresponding tax declaration of th e real property. The Supreme Court shall adopt special rules or procedures applicable to su ch cases in order to achieve an expeditious and inexpensive determination thereof wit hout regard to technical rules. however. paragraphs (a). Municipal Trial Judge. (c). and (d). and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall have authority to conduct preliminary investigation of crimes alleged to h ave been committed within their respective territorial jurisdictions which are cognizabl e by the Regional Trial Courts. Such simplified procedures may provide that affidavits a nd counter-affidavits may be admitted in lieu of oral testimony and that the periods fo r filing pleadings shall be non-extendible. any Metropolitan Trial Judge. Section 36.A. and such other cases requiring summary disposition as the Supreme Court may determine. — In the absence of all the Regional Tri al Judges in a province or city. he finds that a pro bable cause exists. rules and regulations. Mu nicipal Circuit Trial Judge may hear and decide petitions for a writ of habeas corpus or applications for bail in criminal cases in the province or city where the absent Regional Trial Judges sit. Their decisions in these cases shall be appealable in the same manner as decisions of the Regional Trial Courts. of Presidential Decree No.00). The preliminary investigation shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure pre scribed in Section 1. No warrant of arrest shall be issued by the Judge in connection with any criminal comp laint filed with him for preliminary investigation. Section 37. the Supreme Court may designate o ne or more branches thereof to try exclusively forcible entry and unlawful detainer cas es. of Municipal Trial Courts. such v alue to be ascertained by the affidavit of the claimant or by agreement of the respectiv e claimants if there are more than one. — Judges of Metropolitan Trial Courts. Preliminary investigation. 911: Pr ovided. Summary procedures in special cases. . those involving violations of traffic laws. 7691) Section 35. violations of the rent al law. except th ose in the National Capital Region. No. he shall forward the records of the case to the Provincial/City Fiscal for the filin g of the corresponding information with the proper court. (b). (as amended by R.he value of which does not exceed One hundred thousand pesos (P100. — In Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts with at least two branches.000. Special jurisdiction in certain cases.

demotion. agency or instrumentality thereof. Such judgment shall be appealable to the Regional Trial Courts in accordan ce with the procedure now prescribed by law for appeals to the Court of First Instance. unjust. suspension.A. Sec 13(2) Article XI. and subject to such limitations as it may provide in its rules of procedure. to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law. stating clearly the facts and the law on which they were based. demote. and by such rules as the Supreme Court may hereafter pr escribe. from any investigatory agency of Government. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and. Judgments and processes. or to stop. to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions . any act or omission of any public officer or employee. see also Sec. or prosecute an officer or employee who is at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law shall be ground for disciplinary action against said officer (Sec. see also Sec 13(3). any officer or employee of the Government. may be served any where in the Philippines without the necessity of certification by the Judge of the Regio nal Trial Court. Article XI. Direct. and recommend his removal. or prosecution.A. 2. censure. 1987 Constitution). No. and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties (Sec. Powers. office or agency. at any stage. in any appropriate case. 15(2) R. and ensure compliance therewith. — (1) All judgments determining the merits of cases shall be in writing. No. (2) All processes issued by the Metropolitan Trial Courts. functions and duties 1. fine. That the refusal by any officer without just cause to comply with an order of the Ombudsman to remove. 4. it may take over. 1987 Constitution). as well as any government-owned or controlled corporations with original charter. improper or inefficient. No. Article XI. censure.A. 6770. upon complaint or at its own instance. Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person. 13(1). Section 38. when such act or omission appears to be illegal. 15(1) R. by the provisions of this Act. Municipal Trial Courts and M unicipal Circuit Trial Courts. in cases falling within their jurisdiction. signed by the Judge and filed with the Cle rk of Court. 6770. 15(3) R. Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public officer or employee at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law. Direct the officer concerned. 6770. suspend.Any warrant of arrest issued in accordance herewith may be served anywhere in the P hilippines. Functions and Duties Ombudsman The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers. or of any subdivision. or enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21 or this Act: Provided. in the exercise of his primary jurisdiction. fine. prevent. the investigation of such cases (Sec. 3. 1987 Constitution).

A. 6770). including the power to examine and have access to bank accounts and records (Sec 15(8).A. No.A. .A. see also Sec 13(7). Article XI. (2). R. see also Sec. or its investigators or representatives such authority or duty as shall ensure the effective exercise of performance of the powers. 9. 15(5). and take testimony in any investigation or inquiry. functions. 7. fair. Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities. 6770). No. Article XI. 6770. No. Article XI.6770. see also Sec. No. 6770). R. (3) and (4) hereof. Article XI.entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties. 11. 1987 Constitution). No. Delegate to the Deputies. and true (Sec 15(6) R. and to examine. see also Sec. 6770). 10. if necessary.A.A. pertinent records and documents (Sec. That any publicity issued by the Ombudsman shall be balanced. Determine the causes of inefficiency. R. No. 12. R. No. Promulgate its rules of procedure and exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law (Sec 13(7).A. issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum. R. Administer oaths. 5. 1987 Constitution). Publicize matters covered by its investigation of the matters mentioned in paragraphs (1). see also Sec 13(6). Investigate and initiate the proper action for the recovery of ill-gotten and/or unexplained wealth amassed after February 25. and duties herein or hereinafter provided (Sec 15(10).A. 15(4) R. 13(5). 1987 Constitution). 8. fraud. mismanagement. and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action (Sec. 1987 Constitution). 1986 and the prosecution of the parties involved therein (Sec 15(11). and corruption in the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency (Sec 15(7) R. 1987 Constitution. Article XI. 6. No. 6770. when circumstances so warrant and with due determine what cases may not be made public: Provided further. No. red tape. 6770). Punish for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court and under the same procedure and with the same penalties provided therein (Sec 15(9). 6770. 18.A. R. 13(4).