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Tapiador vs Office of the Ombudsman and Ledesma -EUNICE

DOCTRINE:
the Ombudsman has no authority to directly dismiss the petitioner from the government service, more
particularly from his position in the BID. Under Section 13, subparagraph (3), of Article XI of the 1987
Constitution, the Ombudsman can only recommend the removal of the public official or employee found
to be at fault, to the public official concerned.

FACTS:
Walter H. Beck, a US citizen, filed a complaint against petitioner Renato Tapiador, BID Special
Investigator ans assigned as Technical Assistant in the office of the then Associate Commissioner Bayani
M. Subido, Jr.. The complaint alleged that petitioner Tapiador demanded and received from Walter Beck
the amount of Php10,000 in exchange for the issuance of an alien certificate of registration which was
subsequently withheld deliberately by the petitioner despite repeated demands by Beck, unless the latter
pay additional amount of Php7,000.
Petitioner categorically denied it and he stated that he never received any amount of money from Walter
Beck. In fact, petitioner, in his flow of facts, Monica Beck came to the office to follow up on his visa
application. When petitioner advised the couple to accomplish first of all the requirements for a visa
application, Beck and his wife made a scene and charged petitioner with having demanded money from
them. Petitioner was prompted to file a criminal case against them for oral defamation. The BID resident
Ombudsman Ronaldo Ledesma found petitioner guilty for violating existing civil service rules and
regulations as well as penal laws, and thus, recommended that criminal and administrative charges be
filed against the petitioner.
Upon review of the case, the criminal charge was DISMISSED by the Ombudsman for lack of evidence,
however, the Ombudsman found the petitioner liable for grave misconduct in the administrative aspect of
the case and imposed the penalty of dismissal from the government service.

ISSUE: W/N the Ombudsman had the authority to directly dismiss petitioner from the government
service? NO.

HELD:
the Office of the Solicitor General filed a Manifestation and Motion In Lieu of Commenton February 20,
1998 which essentially recommended that the petitioner be exonerated from the subject administrative
charge on the ground that the assailed resolution of the Ombudsman was rendered in violation of
procedural due process and that it was not supported by substantial evidence.
the Ombudsman asserts that the sworn statements of Walter Beck a and his witness, Purisima Terencio,
substantially established the administrative liability of the petitioner for grave misconduct by demanding
from complainant Beck a sum of money in exchange for the issuance of the latters ACR; and for that
offense, petitioner should be imposed the corresponding penalty of dismissal from the government
service.
The petitioner reiterated that the Office of the Ombudsman found no evidence against him in its
investigation of the criminal aspect of the case and thus, he argued that the instant administrative charge
should also have been dismissed.
In administrative proceedings, the complainant has the burden of proving, by substantial evidence, the
allegations in the complaint. Substantial evidence does not necessarily import preponderance of evidence
as is required in an ordinary civil case; rather, it is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion
A thorough review of the records, however, showed that the subject affidavits of Beck and Terencio were
not even identified by the respective affiants during the fact-finding investigation conducted by the BID
Resident Ombudsman at the BID office in Manila. Neither did they appear during the preliminary
investigation to identify their respective sworn statements despite prior notice before the investigating
officer who subsequently dismissed the criminal aspect of the case upon finding that the charge against
the petitioner was not supported by any evidence. Hence, Becks affidavit is hearsay and inadmissible in
evidence. On this basis alone, the Administrative Adjudication Bureau of the Office of the Ombudsman
should have dismissed the administrative complaint against the petitioner in the first instance.
Nonetheless, a perusal of the affidavit executed by Walter Beck does not categorically state that it was
petitioner Tapiador who personally demanded from Beck the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos
(P10,000.00) in consideration for the issuance of the latters ACR. On the other hand, it appears that
Walter Beck and his wife sought the assistance of Purisima Terencio sometime in the later part of 1992 in
facilitating the issuance of his ACR and in the process, Terencio allegedly informed the couple that Beck
could be granted the same and would be allowed to stay in the Philippines permanently with the help of
the petitioner and a certain Mr. Angeles who was also with the BID, for a fee of Ten Thousand Pesos
(P10,000.00). Hence, Beck and his wife did not appear to have any direct or personal knowledge of the
alleged demand of the petitioner except through the information allegedly relayed to them by Terencio.
Likewise, although Beck claimed to have subsequently paid Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00), his
affidavit is silent as to the identity of the person who actually received the said amount from him.
Walter Beck could have easily stated in his affidavit that he paid the said amount directly to the petitioner
if it were indeed the latter who actually received the same, but he did not.
Anent the affidavit of Purisima Terencio, the Ombudsman gave full faith and credit to her statement that
the spouses paid the full amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) on February 23, 1992 to Mr.
Tapiador as payment for the Alien Certificate of Registration with the promise for the immediate release of
the same on the mere assumption that there is no apparent reason for her to impute false statements
against the petitioner who is employed with the government for more than thirty (30) years. On the
contrary, the rule that witnesses are presumed to tell the truth until proven otherwise does not apply to the
case at bar for the reason that Terencio had the motive to impute falsities to avoid the inevitable wrath of
the Beck spouses for reneging on her promise to send them by mail the subject ACR. The Ombudsman
should have been more prudent in according credence to the allegations of Terencio coming as they do
from a supposed fixer.
Besides, Purisima Terencio was adroit enough to make it appear in her affidavit that the Beck spouses
had paid Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) in grease money to the petitioner on February 23, 1992
even without categorically stating that she had personal knowledge or had actually witnessed the alleged
pay off. A close scrutiny of the allegations in her affidavit show that the alleged pay off had taken place as
early as February 23, 1992. However, Beck claimed in his own affidavit that he was informed by Terencio
only between the period from September to October 1992 that the processing of his ACR could be
facilitated through the assistance of the petitioner and a certain Mr. Angeles. This glaring inconsistency
more than sufficiently impeached Terencios credibility thereby belying the assessment of the
Ombudsman in the assailed resolution.
In view of the foregoing, it is not necessary anymore to pass upon the other grounds raised by the
petitioner in his petition. The complainant clearly failed to present the quantum of proof necessary to
prove the charge in the subject administrative case, that is, with substantial evidence. Besides, assuming
arguendo, that petitioner were administratively liable, the Ombudsman has no authority to directly dismiss
the petitioner from the government service, more particularly from his position in the BID. Under Section
13, subparagraph (3), of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, the Ombudsman can only recommend the
removal of the public official or employee found to be at fault, to the public official concerned.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED.



*Ledesma vs CA - JEROME
Petitioner Atty. Ronaldo P. Ledesma is the Chairman of the First Division of the Board of Special Inquiry
(BSI) of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID). In a letter-complaint filed by Augusto Somalio
with the Fact Finding and Intelligence Bureau (FIIB) of the Office of the Ombudsman, an investigation
was requested on alleged anomalies surrounding the extension of the Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs)
of two (2) foreign nationals. The FIIB investigation revealed seven (7) other cases of TRV extensions
tainted with similar irregularities.

As a result, the FIIB, as nominal complainant, filed before the Administrative Adjudication Bureau
(AAB) of the Office of the Ombudsman a formal complaint against herein petitioner. Also charged
administratively were Atty. Arthel Caronongan and Ma. Elena P. Ang, Board Member and Executive
Assistant, respectively, in petitioners division. With respect to petitioner, the complaint was treated as
both a criminal and an administrative charge and docketed as OMB-0-98-0214 (criminal aspect), for nine
(9) counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and for falsification of public documents,
and OMB-ADM-0-98-0038 (administrative aspect), for nine (9) counts of Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct,
Falsification of Public Documents and Gross Neglect of Duty.
Graft Investigation Officer Marlyn M. Reyes resolved the administrative cases filed against petitioner,
Caronongan and Ang, as follows
Petitioner suspended 1 year
Carnongan moot and academic
Ang dismiss case lack of evidence
Respondent Assistant Ombudsman Abelardo L. Aportadera, Jr. reviewed the Joint Resolution which was
approved by respondent Ombudsman Desierto
In the meantime, on July 9, 1999, respondent Ombudsman approved a Resolution[8] dated June 22,
1999 of Graft Investigation Officer Marilou B. Ancheta-Mejica, dismissing the criminal charges against
petitioner for insufficiency of evidence
In an Order[11] dated February 8, 2000, Graft Officer Reyes recommended the denial of the motion for
reconsideration which was approved by respondent Ombudsman on March 24, 2000 but reduced the
period of suspension from one (1) year to nine (9) months without pay.

On April 13, 2000, petitioner filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals, which included a
prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary prohibitory mandatory injunction and/or temporary
restraining order to enjoin public respondents from implementing the order of suspension. The Court of
Appeals issued the TRO on April 19, 2000.

In its Decision dated August 28, 2003, the Court of Appeals affirmed petitioners suspension but
reduced the period from nine (9) months to six (6) months and one (1) day without pay.

Hence this case
ISSUE: WON the approval of the BOC ratified the irregularities made by petitioner?
WON the findings of the ombudsman is merely recommendatory?

HELD: Petitioner insists that it was the BOC which approved the questioned applications for the extension
of the TRVs. He denies that he misled or deceived the BOC into approving these applications and
argues that the BOC effectively ratified his actions and sanctioned his conduct when it approved the
subject applications. Petitioner adds that he acted in good faith and the government did not suffer any
damage as a result of his alleged administrative lapse.
We are not persuaded. In his attempt to escape liability, petitioner undermines his position in the
BID and his role in the processing of the subject applications. But by his own admission,[14] it appears
that the BSI not only transmits the applications for TRV extension and its supporting documents, but more
importantly, it interviews the applicants and evaluates their papers before making a recommendation to
the BOC. The BSI reviews the applications and when it finds them in order, it executes a Memorandum
of Transmittal to the BOC certifying to the regularity and propriety of the applications.
2
nd
issue:
Petitioner questions the Court of Appeals pronouncement that the findings of the Ombudsman may not
be said to be merely recommendatory upon the Immigration Commissioner. He argues that to uphold
the appellate courts ruling expands the authority granted by the Constitution to the Office of the
Ombudsman and runs counter to prevailing jurisprudence on the matter, particularly Tapiador v. Office of
the Ombudsman.[16] Petitioner submits that the Ombudsmans findings that the TRV applications were
illegal constitutes an indirect interference by the Ombudsman into the powers of the BOC over
immigration matters.
We do not agree. The creation of the Office of the Ombudsman is a unique feature of the 1987
Constitution.[17] The Ombudsman and his deputies, as protectors of the people, are mandated to act
promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against officers or employees of the Government, or
of any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled
corporations.
The point of contention is the binding power of any decision or order that emanates from the Office of the
Ombudsman after it has conducted its investigation. Under Section 13(3) of Article XI of the 1987
Constitution, it is provided:

Section 13. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions, and duties:
...(3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at
fault, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure
compliance therewith. (Emphasis supplied)
Petitioner insists that the word recommend be given its literal meaning; that is, that the Ombudsmans
action is only advisory in nature rather than one having any binding effect as held in the case of
TAPIADOR blabla scra
For their part, the Solicitor General and the Office of the Ombudsman argue that the word recommend
must be taken in conjunction with the phrase and ensure compliance therewith. The proper
interpretation of the Courts statement in Tapiador should be that the Ombudsman has the authority to
determine the administrative liability of a public official or employee at fault, and direct and compel the
head of the office or agency concerned to implement the penalty imposed. In other words, it merely
concerns the procedural aspect of the Ombudsmans functions and not its jurisdiction.
We agree with the ratiocination of public respondents. Several reasons militate against a literal
interpretation of the subject constitutional provision. Firstly, a cursory reading of Tapiador reveals that the
main point of the case was the failure of the complainant therein to present substantial evidence to prove
the charges of the administrative case. The statement that made reference to the power of the
Ombudsman is, at best, merely an obiter dictum and, as it is unsupported by sufficient explanation, is
susceptible to varying interpretations, as what precisely is before us in this case. Hence, it cannot be
cited as a doctrinal declaration of this Court nor is it safe from judicial examination.


*Garcia-Rueda vs Pascasio - EUMIR

FACTS - Florencio V. Rueda, husband of petitioner Leonila Garcia-Rueda,
underwent surgical operation at the UST hospital for the removal of a stone
blocking his ureter. He was attended by Dr. Domingo Antonio, Jr. who was the
surgeon, while Dr. Erlinda Balatbat-Reyes was the anaesthesiologist. Six
hours after the surgery, however, Florencio died of complications of unknown
cause, according to officials of the UST Hospital.
[2]

Not satisfied with the findings of the hospital, petitioner requested the
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an autopsy on her husbands
body. Consequently, the NBI ruled that Florencios death was due to lack of
care by the attending physician in administering anaesthesia. Pursuant to
its findings, the NBI recommended that Dr. Domingo Antonio and Dr. Erlinda
Balatbat-Reyes be charged for Homicide through Reckless Imprudence before the
Office of the City Prosecutor.

During the preliminary investigation, what transpired was a confounding
series of events which we shall try to disentangle. The case was initially
assigned to Prosecutor Antonio M. Israel, who had to inhibit himself because
he was related to the counsel of one of the doctors. As a result, the case
was re-raffled to Prosecutor Norberto G. Leono who was, however, disqualified
on motion of the petitioner since he disregarded prevailing laws and
jurisprudence regarding preliminary investigation. The case was then
referred to Prosecutor Ramon O. Carisma, who issued a resolution recommending
that only Dr. Reyes be held criminally liable and that the complaint against
Dr. Antonio be dismissed.

The case took another perplexing turn when Assistant City Prosecutor Josefina
Santos Sioson, in the interest of justice and peace of mind of the parties,
recommended that the case be re-raffled on the ground that Prosecutor Carisma
was partial to the petitioner. Thus, the case was transferred to Prosecutor
Leoncia R. Dimagiba, where a volte face occurred again with the endorsement
that the complaint against Dr. Reyes be dismissed and instead, a
corresponding information be filed against Dr. Antonio. Petitioner filed a
motion for reconsideration, questioning the findings of Prosecutor Dimagiba.

Pending the resolution of petitioners motion for reconsideration regarding
Prosecutor Dimagibas resolution, the investigative pingpong continued when
the case was again assigned to another prosecutor, Eudoxia T. Gualberto, who
recommended that Dr. Reyes be included in the criminal information of
Homicide through Reckless Imprudence. While the recommendation of Prosecutor
Gualberto was pending, the case was transferred to Senior State Prosecutor
Gregorio A. Arizala, who resolved to exonerate Dr. Reyes from any wrongdoing,
a resolution which was approved by both City Prosecutor Porfirio G. Macaraeg
and City Prosecutor Jesus F. Guerrero.
Aggrieved, petitioner filed graft charges specifically for violation of
Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019
[3]
against Prosecutors Guerrero,
Macaraeg, and Arizala for manifest partiality in favor of Dr. Reyes before
the Office of the Ombudsman.

In fine, petitioner assails the exercise of the discretionary power of the
Ombudsman to review the recommendations of the government prosecutors and to
approve and disapprove the same. Petitioner faults the Ombudsman for,
allegedly in grave abuse of discretion, refusing to find that there exists
probable cause to hold public respondent City Prosecutors liable for
violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019.

While the Ombudsman has the full discretion to determine whether or not a
criminal case should be filed, this Court is not precluded from reviewing the
Ombudsmans action when there is an abuse of discretion, in which case Rule
65 of the Rules of Court may exceptionally be invoked pursuant to Section I,
Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution[E1] .
[6]

In this regard, grave abuse of discretion has been defined as where a
power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or
personal hostility so patent and gross as to amount to evasion of positive
duty or virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by, or in contemplation of
law.
[7]


From a procedural standpoint, it is certainly odd why the successive
transfers from one prosecutor to another were not sufficiently explained in
the Resolution of the Ombudsman. Being the proper investigating authority
with respect to misfeasance, non-feasance and malfeasance of public
officials, the Ombudsman should have been more vigilant and assiduous in
determining the reasons behind the buckpassing to ensure that no
irregularity took place.

Whether such transfers were due to any outside pressure or ulterior motive is
a matter of evidence. One would have expected the Ombudsman, however, to
inquire into what could hardly qualify as standard operating procedure,
given the surrounding circumstances of the case.

While it is true that a preliminary investigation is essentially
inquisitorial, and is often the only means to discover who may be charged
with a crime, its function is merely to determine the existence of probable
cause.

In the instant case, no less than the NBI pronounced after conducting an
autopsy that there was indeed negligence on the part of the attending
physicians in administering the anaesthesia.
[11]
The fact of want of competence
or diligence is evidentiary in nature, the veracity of which can best be
passed upon after a full-blown trial for it is virtually impossible to
ascertain the merits of a medical negligence case without extensive
investigation, research, evaluation and consultations with medical experts.
Clearly, the City Prosecutors are not in a competent position to pass
judgment on such a technical matter, especially when there are conflicting
evidence and findings. The bases of a partys accusation and defenses are
better ventilated at the trial proper than at the preliminary investigation.

Why did the complainant, petitioner in instant case, elect to charge
respondents under the above law?
While a party who feels himself aggrieved is at liberty to choose the
appropriate weapon from the armory, it is with no little surprise that this
Court views the choice made by the complainant widow.

To our mind, the better and more logical remedy under the circumstances would
have been to appeal the resolution of the City Prosecutors dismissing the
criminal complaint to the Secretary of Justice under the Department of
Justices Order No. 223,
[21]
otherwise known as the 1993 Revised Rules on
Appeals From Resolutions In Preliminary Investigations/Reinvestigations, as
amended by Department Order No. 359, Section 1 of which provides:

Section 1. What May Be Appealed. - Only resolutions of the Chief State
Prosecutor/Regional State Prosecutor/Provincial or City Prosecutor dismissing
a criminal complaint may be the subject of an appeal to the Secretary of
Justice except as otherwise provided in Section 4 hereof.

What action may the Secretary of Justice take on the appeal? Section 9 of
Order No. 223 states: The Secretary of Justice may reverse, affirm or
modify the appealed resolution. On the other hand, He may motu proprio or
on motion of the appellee, dismiss outright the appeal on specified grounds.
[22]


In exercising his discretion under the circumstances, the Ombudsman acted
within his power and authority in dismissing the complaint against the
Prosecutors and this Court will not interfere with the same.


Power of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute

Uy v Sandiganbayan

Facts: Petitioner was Deputy Comptroller of the Philippine Navy. He was designated by his
immediate supervisor to act on the latters behalf, during his absence, on matters relating
to the activities of the Fiscal Control Branch, O/NG. This included the authority to sign
disbursement vouchers relative to the procurement of equipment needed by the Philippine
Navy.

On July 2, 1991, six (6) informations for estafa through falsification of official documents
and one (1) information for violation of Section 3 (e), R.A. No. 3019, as amended, were
filed with the Sandiganbayan against petitioner and nineteen (19) co-accused. On
September 20, 1991, the Sandiganbayan issued an Order
[2]
directing a comprehensive re-
investigation of the cases against all the twenty (20) accused.

After conducting the re-investigation, the Special Prosecutor issued an Order
[3]
dated
November 14, 1991 recommending that the informations for estafa through falsification of
official documents be withdrawn and in lieu thereof, informations for violation of Section 3
(e) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, be filed against eleven (11) accused,
[4]
which included
the petitioner.

In a Memorandum
[5]
dated December 5, 1991, Special Prosecutor Aniano A. Desierto
reduced the number of those to be charged under R.A. No. 3019, as amended, to five 5,
[6]

including petitioner.

Acting on the separate motions for reconsideration of the five (5) remaining accused, the
Special Prosecutor issued an Order
[7]
dated February 18, 1992 dropping two (2) more
names
[8]
from the five (5) officers recommended for prosecution, and recommending that
six (6) separate informations for violation of Section 3(e), R.A. 3019, as amended, be filed
against the petitioner and to another. Thereafter, the six (6) amended informations
[10]
was
filed by Special Prosecutor Officer III Roger C. Berbano, Sr.

On April 21, 1992, the petitioner filed with the Sandiganbayan a motion to quash the
informations on the following grounds:
1. The Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over the offense charged or the person of
the accused.
2. The officer who has filed the informations had no authority to do so.

On June 10, 1992, the Sandiganbayan issued the now-assailed Resolution denying
petitioners motion to quash for lack of merit. It passed upon the grounds set forth by
petitioner in this wise:

On the first issue raised by accused-movant, we are not inclined to rule that this
Court has no jurisdiction over the person of accused-movant or over the offenses
charged herewith. As intimated by the prosecution, this Court has several cases
pending before it involving crimes committed by military officers in relation to their
office. Unless and until the Highest Tribunal rules otherwise, this Court has no
judicious recourse but to entertain and try the various criminal cases filed by the
Office of the Special Prosecutor involving military officers and men accused of
committing crimes in relation to their office, and those involving violation of
Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act. Be that as it may, being prosecuted for violation of R.A. 3019, as
amended, Accused-movant axiomatically is subject to the jurisdiction of this Court.

We cannot likewise sustain accused-movants stance that the officer who has filed
the informations in the cases at bar had no authority to do so. Both the offense
charged and the person of accused-movant being within the exclusive jurisdiction of
this Court, it stands to reason that the preliminary investigation and prosecution of
the instant criminal charges belong to, and are the exclusive prerogatives of, the
Office of the Ombudsman, as provided for in Section 15(1) of Republic Act No.
6770.

Issue:
(1) whether or not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the person and over the
offense contained in the information filed before it

(2) whether or not the special prosecutor who filed the information in this case has
the authority to do so (issue related to the topic assigned)

Held:
(1) We rule that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over petitioner, at the time of
the filing of the informations, and as now prescribed by law.

Republic Act No. 8249,

the latest amendment to P.D. 1606 creating the Sandiganbayan
(otherwise known as the Sandiganbayan Law), provides the prevailing scope of the
Sandiganbayans jurisdiction. The pertinent portions of Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law
read:

Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original
jurisdiction in all cases involving:
a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2,
Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are
officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in a
permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense:

x x x x x x x x x

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

It can be deduced from said provisions of law that both the nature of the offense and the
position occupied by the accused are conditions sine qua non before the Sandiganbayan can
validly take cognizance of the case.

In the instant case, while petitioner is charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No.
3019, as amended, which is an offense covered by Section 4 of the Sandiganbayan Law, his
position as Lieutenant Commander (LCMDR.) of the Philippine Navy is a rank lower than
naval captains and all officer of higher rank as prescribed under sub-paragraph (d) of
Section 4. Under the Promotions System in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the
hierarchy in the position/rank of the officers of the Philippine Navy is as follows:

1. Admiral
2. Vice-Admiral
3. Rear Admiral
4. Commodore
5. Captain
6. Commander
7. Lieutenant Commander
8. Lieutenant Senior Grade
9. Lieutenant Junior Grade
10. Ensign

Thus, not falling within the rank requirement stated in Section 4, exclusive jurisdiction
over petitioner is vested in the regular courts pursuant to the provision of Section 4 of the
Sandiganbayan Law, as amended by R.A. No. 8249, which states that In cases where none
of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade 27 or higher, as
prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military and PNP officers mentioned above,
exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court,
metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, and municipal circuit trial court, as the case
may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129,
as amended.

Consequently, it is the regional trial court that has jurisdiction over the offense charged.

(2) In this connection, it is the prosecutor, not the Ombudsman, who has the authority
to file the corresponding information/s against petitioner in the regional trial court. The
Ombudsman exercises prosecutorial powers only in cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan.


*Office of the Ombudsman vs Enoc - JEZ

Doctrine: The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is plenary and
unqualified. The law does not make a distinction between cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and
those cognizable by regular courts.

Facts: Respondents were employed at the Office of the Southern Cultural Communities (OSCC), Davao
del Sur, Provincial Office, Digos, Davao del Sur with salaries below grade 27
They were charged with 11 counts of malversation through falsification, based on alleged purchases of
medicine and food assistance for cultural community members, and one count of violation of R.A. No.
3019, 3(e), in connection with the purchases of supplies for the OSCC without bidding/canvass. As
none of the respondents has the rank required under R.A. No. 8249
[3]
to be tried for the said crimes in
the Sandiganbayan, the informations were filed by the Ombudsman in the Regional Trial Court of Digos,
Davao del Sur. Respondents moved to quash the informations invoking the ruling in Uy v. Sandiganbayan
that the Ombudsman has no authority to prosecute graft cases falling within the jurisdiction of regular
courts. This motion was granted by the RTC and the cases were dismissed without prejudice, however,
to their refiling by the appropriate officer.

Hence the case

Issue: Whether the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction to investigate, file information, and prosecute cases
before the regular courts.

Held: No, this Court has reconsidered the said ruling in Uy v. Sandiganbayan
[4]
and held that the
Ombudsman has powers to prosecute not only graft cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
but also those cognizable by the regular courts. It held:

The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is plenary and unqualified.
It pertains to any act or omission of any public officer or employee when such act or omission appears to
be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. The law does not make a distinction between cases cognizable
by the Sandiganbayan and those cognizable by regular courts. It has been held that the clause any
illegal act or omission of any public official is broad enough to embrace any crime committed by a public
officer or employee.
The reference made by RA 6770 to cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, particularly in Section 15(1)
giving the Ombudsman primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and Section
11(4) granting the Special Prosecutor the power to conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute
criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, should not be construed as confining the
scope of the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to such cases.

First in Sec 15 of RA 6770, the law defines such primary jurisdiction as authorizing the Ombudsman to
take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of the government, the investigation of such
cases. The grant of this authority does not necessarily imply the exclusion from its jurisdiction of cases
involving public officers and employees cognizable by other courts.

Second, the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman should not be equated with the limited authority
of the Special Prosecutor under Section 11 of RA 6770. The Special prosecutor is merely a proponent of
the ombudsman. It cannot be the intention of the lawmakers that the same limitations is limited to the
Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is mandated by law to act on all complaints against officers and
employees of the government and to enforce their administrative, civil and criminal liability in every case
where the evidence warrants. To carry out this duty, the law allows him to utilize the personnel of his
office and/or designate any fiscal, state prosecutor or lawyer in the government service to act as special
investigator or prosecutor to assist in the investigation and prosecution of certain cases.

The Ombudsman therefore has the authority to prosecute the cases of the respondents.



*Gozos vs Tac-an - WIL
G.R. No. 123191 December 17, 1998
OSCAR L. GOZOS, Presiding Prosecutor of Batangas, EDNA DYOGI, et al., petitioners,
vs.
HON. PATERNO C. TAC-AN, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 84, Batangas City; SPO2
JAIME V. BLANCO, SPO3 PEDRO CASTILLO, SPO3 CIRIANO S. SULIT, SPO4 ANIANO ATIENZA, and
SPO1 ILDEFONZO CASTILLO, respondent.
G.R. No. 123442 December 17, 1998
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the Provincial Prosecutor of Batangas, petitioner,
vs.
HON. PATERNO C. TAC-AN, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court Branch 84, Batangas City, and
SPO2 JAIME V. BLANCO, respondent.

MENDOZA, J.:
FACTS:
On February 9 1995, during a school party by the Concepcion Aguila Memorial College, several men who
appeared drunk came to the school premises and were forcing their way through the gate. The police
(respondents) soon arrived where they asked one of the men (vicitm, who was armed) to surrender his
weapon and produce the license and permit. He did so willingly but when he asked for his weapon and
documentation back, the police refused to return the same.
What exactly followed is unclear. Before long the two were grappling for possession of the gun.
Apparently, Blanco pulled out his sidearm and fired at Gilbert Dyogi twice.
In connection with the fatal incident, Gerald Varez, Investigator in the Office of the Ombudsman for the
Military, charged private respondents with murder in an information filed with the Regional Trial Court of
Batangas City.
Private respondents Blanco, Pedro Castillo, Sulit, Atienza, and Ildefonso Castillo filed a Motion to Hold
Issuance of Warrant and Motion to Quash with Motion to Set Incidents for Hearing in which they prayed
that the court first dermine whether or not there is probable cause.
Petitioner Edna Dyogi opposed the motion. She maintained that there was probable cause for the filing of
the case against private respondents. Respondent Tac-an heard the parties on their motion after which,
in an order dated October 18, 1995, he ruled in favor of the Ombudsman and Petitioner and found
probably cause but declared it to be Homicide.
Petitioner Dyogi moved for a reconsideration, arguing that the crime committed was murder, and not
homicide, and that there was probable cause to believe that private respondents were guilty of the
offense. In his order, dated November 22, 1995, respondent judge partially reconsidered his order by
directing the inclusion of respondent Pedro Castillo in the information not as principal but only as an
accomplice. In all other respect, he affirmed his previous order. The dispositive portion of his order.
On December 8, 1995, petitioner Edna Dyogi filed another motion for reconsideration, contending that the
power to determine the nature of the offense to be charged was vested in the Provincial Prosecutor and
not in the Regional Trial Court. However, petitioner's motion was denied by the court in its order, dated
January 3, 1996, on the ground that it was actually a second motion for reconsideration which is not
allowed to be filed. Hence, these petitions for certiorari filed by the Solicitor General and by the
complainant in the criminal case, Edna Dyogi.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not Respondent Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion when he conducted a
preliminary investigation in a proceeding to determine probable cause for the issuance of the warrants of
arrest. (YES)
2. Whether or not Respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion when he ordered the
amendment of the crime charged from murder to homicide and the nature of the particiation of the
accused. (YES)

HELD:
We find both petitions to be meritorious.
Rule 112, 1 of the Rules of Court defines a preliminary investigation as "an inquiry or proceeding for the
purpose of determining whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime
cognizable by the Regional Trial Court has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty
thereof, and should be held for trial." Rule 112, 2 of the Rules of Court enumerates the officers
authorized to conduct preliminary investigations, as follows:
The following may conduct a preliminary
investigation:
(c) xxx
(d) Such other officers as may be authorized by law.
Their authority to conduct preliminary investigation shall include all
crimes cognizable by the proper court in their respective territorial
Jurisdictions.
Thus, as provided in Rule 112, 2(d), other officers may be authorized by law to conduct preliminary
investigations. Indeed, under R.A. No. 6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989,
investigators of the Office of the Ombudsman may conduct preliminary investigations of cases involving
public officers. Thus, 15 (1) of the said law provides:
The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions
and duties:
(1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person,
any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency,
when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient.
It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and,
in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from
any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such
cases.
The investigators of the Office of the Ombudsman have concurrent jurisdiction with public prosecutors to
conduct preliminary investigations in all cases involving public officers, whether falling under the
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan or the regular courts. For this purpose, Administrative Order No. 8,
dated November 8, 1990, of the Office of the Ombudsman provides:
For purposes of investigation and prosecution. Ombudsman cases
involving criminal offenses may be subdivided into two classes to
wit: (1) those cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and (2) those falling
under the jurisdiction of the regular courts. . . .
The power to investigate or conduct a preliminary investigation in any
Ombudsman case may be exercised by an investigator or prosecutor of
the Office of the Ombudsman, or by any Provincial or City
Prosecutor or their assistants, either in their regular capacities or as
deputized Ombudsman Prosecutors.
Thus, while the power of an investigator of the Office of the Ombudsman for the Military is undoubted, no
similar authority is vested in judges of Regional Trial Courts as they are not among those mentioned in
Rule 112, 2 as authorized to conduct preliminary investigations.
As explained in Salta v. Court of Appeals, the preliminary investigation proper is,
therefore, not a judicial function. It is a part of the prosecution's job, a function of the
executive.
Hence, notwithstanding the contrary opinion of the judge regarding the designation of the offense
committed, for as long as he finds probable cause for the offense charged, he should issue a warrant of
arrest against the accused for the crime charged in the information.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby granted and the orders, dated October 18, 1995, November 22,
1995, and January 3, 1996, of respondent Judge Paterno Tac-an are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE.


Deloso vs Domingo - ALI

QUICKIE: Governor Deloso was charged with multiple murder. In this petition, Deloso wants to stop
Domingo, Deputy Ombudsman from conducting a preliminary investigation. Deloso argues that the
Ombudsmans jurisdiction is confined to the investigation of acts or omissions that are connected with the
performance of his duties as governor. His petition was denied. The clause any [illegal] act or omission
of any public official is broad enough to embrace any crime committed by a public official. It does not
require that the act or omission be related to or be connected with or arise from the performance of official
duty. Since the law does not distinguish, neither should we.

FACTS:
Deloso Governor of Zambales
Domingo Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon
Delosos convoy of 3 motor vehicles was allegedly ambushed. Deloso jumped out of the car and
during a lull in the shooting was rushed home by his official staff. Deloso later learned that 3 supposed
ambushers were killed while his own group suffered no casualties.
However, according to testimonies of eyewitnesses, the governors group was not ambushed but was
the ambusher.
The military servicemen in the Governors security service force were charged with murder in the
Judge Advocate Generals Office; the civilian security men were investigated by the Provincial Fiscal of
Zamboanga
Deloso was charged with multiple murder before the Special Prosecutor Raul M. Gonzales who,
without a referral from the Ombudsman, supposedly handpicked Juan Templonuevo to conduct the
preliminary investigation of the case.
Albeit reluctantly, it may be imagined, Special presecutor Gonzales referred the case to the
Ombudsman for preliminary investigation.
Feb 20, 1989 = Deloso filed motion to dismiss (Ombudsmans jurisdiction is limited to crimes related
to or connected with an officials discharge of his public functions)
June 19, 1989 = Domingo denied Delosos motion to dismiss because the Constitution empowers
the Ombudsman to investigate any act or omission of any official without any qualification that the said
act or omission must have been committed or incurred in relation to his office.

ISSUE:
Whether the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate the charge of multiple murder allegedly
committed by Deloso as provincial governor

HELD:
YES. The clause any [illegal] act or omission of any public official is broad enough to embrace any
crime committed by a public official. The law does not qualify the nature of the illegal act or omission of
the public official or employee that the Ombudsman may investigate. It does not require that the act or
omission be related to or be connected with or arise from the performance of official duty. Since the law
does not distinguish, neither should we.

The Ombudsman Act makes perfectly clear that the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman encompasses all
kinds of malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance that have been committed by any officer or
employeeduring his tenure of office.

The murder of 3 persons is without any doubt, an illegal act. Since it was allegedly committed by the
petitioner as provincial governor of Zambales, the crime lies within the pale of the Ombudsmans
investigative authority.
The Ombudsman Act of 1989 which took effect on December 7, 1989 vests in the Ombudsman primary
jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan.
The Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over offenses committed by public officials when the penalty
prescribed by law for the offense is higher than prision correccional. The murder charge against Deloso
carries the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death hence it is cognizable by the
Sandiganbayan and the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction to investigate it.

Concurrent authority of the Ombudsman
*Quinon vs Sandiganbayan - VANESSA
TOPIC: Concurrent Authority of the Ombudsman
Quinon v Sandiganbayan
DOCTRINE: The law recognizes a concurrence of jurisdiction between the Office of the Ombudsman and
other investigation agencies of the government in the prosecution of the cases of the government in the
prosecution of cases cognizable by regular courts.
FACTS:
CRIMINAL CASE 16279
1. November 5, 1990 An Information was filed in the Sandiganbayan against Pablo Quinon, then
Station Commander of Calinog, Iloilo PC/INP, charging him with the felony of Malversation of Public
Properties under Article 271 of the RPC.
2. The Information alleged that came into his possession and control in his official capacity 2 pistols
and magazines and 1 shotgun, he applied and converted the firearms to his personal use and benefit to
the damage and prejudice of the Government.
3. On Arraignment: He pleaded NOT GUILTY.
4. The Court issued an Order which, observing that Quion had put in an appearance only once, at
his arraignment, and had been absent during all the 6 times that the case had been set for pre-trial and
trial, required him to show cause in 10 days why he should not be held in contempt for failing to appear;
and reset the case for pre-trial and trial subpoena was served on Quion, again through both his wife,
Leticia, and his bondsmen.
5. November 5, 1992 - Quion put in an appearance, but without his lawyer. Quion advised the
Court that his lawyer was down with typhoid fever The Sandiganbayan acceded.
6. Quion failed to present himself adverting to his "severe dizziness".
7. The Sandiganbayan issued an Order dated February 24, 1993, in which it deemed the affidavit to
be "in fact ** a request for postponement of the case on account of an alleged illness of the accused;"
noted the prosecution's objection thereto; recalled that in prior "settings, accused and counsel had asked
for postponement of trial on the same ground;" agreed with the prosecution's observation that "it takes
time, energy and great expense for witnesses to come all the way from Iloilo and so, if they come only to
find that the accused has asked for postponement of trial, it engenders disappointment to the prosecution
and embarrassment to the Court;" remarked that "the excuses put up by the accused ** were flimsy and
obviously designed to delay trial;" considered the accused "to have waived his presence during trial
today" and authorized the "prosecution ** (to) proceed to present evidence in accordance with law."
8. The prosecution presented its proofs and then rested its case, after which the Sandiganbayan
issued another Order to the effect that "the accused Pablo Quion may present evidence in his defense
on July 22 and 23, 1993, at 8:30 o'clock in the morning."
9. Neither Quion nor his counsel came to the Court on the appointed date. The Sandiganbayan
issued an Order in open Court declaring the case submitted for decision, Quion's "failure to appear
notwithstanding ** that notice was given to him and that he was given the opportunity to present evidence
today ** (being) considered a waiver of his right to present evidence;" directing the prosecutor "to present
a memorandum for the prosecution within ten (10) days;" and commanding that Quion be arrested, his
bond confiscated, and his bondsmen required to produce him within thirty (30) days and "show cause in
writing why judgment on the bond shall not be rendered under the circumstances." As directed, the
prosecution filed on July 28, 1993 a memorandum recommending conviction of Quion of the felony
charged.
10. Ten weeks or so afterwards, or on October 8, 1993, Quion filed a motion seeking reconsideration
of the Sandiganbayan's Orders claiming denial of due process.
11. Quion filed with this Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition docketed as G.R. No. 13908. The
petition alleged:
i. That the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction to try the case
against him;
ii. That the facts charged do not constitute an offense; and
iii. That the Sandiganbayan was gravely abusing its jurisdiction
"in denying petitioner's motion to re-open the case and present evidence after the prosecution ** rested its
case.
Criminal Case No. 19561
12. Another event occurred. This was the filing in the Office of the Iloilo Provincial Prosecution of
another criminal complaint against Quion, resulting in the filing by the Office of the Ombudsman, after
preliminary investigation, of an information dated August 2, 1993 also charging him with "malversation of
public property."
13. Quion filed a motion to quash the on the ground that:
a. the information did not charge an offense as it did not allege that he was an accountable public
officer having "custody of subject firearms and in-charge of their safekeeping," and not being an
accountable officer, he may not be charged with malversation under Article 217 of the RPC;
b. the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction to try the felony because the complaint was originally filed
with the Iloilo prosecution office which consequently acquired jurisdiction over it to the exclusion of the
Ombudsman; and
c. under Section 4, Rule 112 of the ROC, it was not the Special Prosecutor of the Sandiganbayan,
but the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor that had authority to file the information.
14. Quion thereafter submitted a "Supplemental Motion to Quash" dated March 3, 1994, invoking
another ground for dismissal of the case against him: that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction in
view of Section 46, R.A. No. 6975 conferring jurisdiction over the crime in question on "regular
courts," thus excluding the Sandiganbayan which is a "special court."
15. The Sandiganbayan denied both motions.
16. Consolidation of G.R. Nos. 114819 and 113908.
ISSUE: Whether or Not Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over the cases? YES!
HELD:
Sandiganbayan has Jurisdiction Over Offenses Charged.
17. Petitioner's first contention is that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over the cases
because under the law, R.A. 6975, criminal actions involving members of the Philippine National
Police are "within the exclusive jurisdiction of the regular courts;" and since the Sandiganbayan is not
a regular, but a special, court, it follows that it is not competent to take cognizance of the accusations
against petitioner, a member of the PNP.
18. The terms civil courts and regular courts were used interchangeably or were considered as
synonymous hence, the term regular courts in Section 46 of R.A. No. 6975 means civil courts. There
could have been no other meaning intended since the primary purposes of the law is to remove from
courts-martial the jurisdiction over criminal cases involving members of the PNP and to vest it in the
courts within our judicial system, i.e., the civil courts which, as contradistinguished from courts-
martial, are the regular courts. Courts-martial are not courts within the Philippine judicial system; they
pertain to the executive department of the government and are simply instrumentalities of the
executive power. Otherwise stated, courts-martial are not regular courts.
19. 'Regular courts are those within the judicial department of the government, namely, the Supreme
Court and such lower courts as may be established by law.
20. The Sandiganbayan was created by P.D. No. 1486 pursuant to the mandate of section 5, Article XIII
of the 1973 Constitution. This was revised by P.D. No. 1606. The latter was amended by P.D. No. 1861.
Under the amendments introduced by P.D. No. 1861, 'the Sandiganbayan has ** (e)xclusive original
jurisdiction in all cases involving:
** ** **
(2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office,
including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations, whether simple or complexed
with other crimes, where the penalty prescribed by law is higher than prision correctional or imprisonment
for six (6) years or a fine of P6,000.00 ** .'
21. "Undoubtedly then, the Sandiganbayan is a regular court and is thus included in the term
regular courts in Section 46 of R.A. No. 6975."
Informations Filed By Proper Authorized Officers
22. Petitioner next theorizes that the complaint which initiated Criminal Case No. 16279 was originally
filed with the Iloilo prosecution office; consequently, this office acquired jurisdiction over it to the exclusion
of the Ombudsman; and under Section 4, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, it is not the Special Prosecutor
of the Sandiganbayan, but the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor who had authority to file the information.
UNTENABLE!
23. It is confuted by relevant provisions of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (RA 6770) which inter alia
a. confers on the Office of the Special Prosecutor -- "an organic component of the Office of the
Ombudsman . . . under the supervision and control of the Ombudsman" -- the power to "conduct
preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan" (Sec.
11), and
b. recognizes the "primary jurisdiction" of the Office of the Ombudsman "over cases cognizable by
the Sandiganbayan and (its power) in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, ** to take over, at any
stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases" (Sec. 15).
24. Moreover, pursuant to Department Circular No. 50, it is the Ombudsman's responsibility and
prerogative to approve the resolution of the investigating prosecutor who conducts the preliminary
investigation of a crime cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and to file the corresponding information with
said court.
25. Administrative Order No. 8 of the Ombudsman:
"For purposes of investigation and prosecution, Ombudsman cases involving criminal offenses may
be subdivided into two classes, to wit: (1) those cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, and (2) those
falling under the jurisdiction of the regular courts. The difference between the two, aside from the
category of the courts wherein they are filed, is on the authority to prosecute, such cases.
26. "The power to investigate or conduct a preliminary investigation in any Ombudsman case may
be exercised by an investigator or prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman, or by any Provincial or
City Prosecutor or their assistants, either in their regular capacities or as deputized Ombudsman
prosecutors.
27. "The prosecution of cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan shall be under the direct exclusive
control and supervision of the Office of the Ombudsman. In cases cognizable by the regular courts,
the control and supervision by the Office of the Ombudsman is only in Ombudsman cases in the
sense defined above. The law recognizes a concurrence of jurisdiction between the Office of the
Ombudsman and other investigation agencies of the government in the prosecution of the cases of
the government in the prosecution of cases cognizable by regular courts."
28. In light of the broad powers conferred by law on the Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor, it is
thus completely inconsequential that the complaint by which Criminal Case No. 16279 was instituted --
charging a crime cognizable by the Sandiganbayan -- might have been originally filed with the Iloilo
Prosecution Office, or the preliminary investigation therein conducted.
Information in Either Case Adequately Charges Offense
29. Next, petitioner Quion postulates that the informations in both cases do not charge an offense.
30. The information in Criminal Case No 16279 dated November 5, 1990 pertinently alleges that
a. Quion "was a public officer, being then the Station Commander of Calinog, Iloilo PC/PNP;"
b. that "by reason of the duties of his office ** (he was) accountable for public properties that come to
his possession and control;"
c. that he "received in his official capacity ** (specifically described) firearms;" and
d. that thereafter, "with grave abuse of confidence, (he) did then feloniously apply and convert to his
personal use and benefit the said firearms to the damage and prejudice of the government in total amount
of Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000.00), Philippine currency."
31. On the other hand, the information in Criminal Case No. 19561 dated August 2, 1993 relevantly
avers that:
a. Quion was the station Police Commander at Janiuay, Iloilo;
b. by reason of his office, there were issued to him government properties consisting of particularly
described firearms;
c. once in possession of the above-described properties, ** (Quion), with abuse of trust and
confidence, malversed, misappropriated and converted to his own personal use and benefit said
properties ** thereby causing damage and prejudice to the government in the aforementioned sum of
P16,000.00, Philippine Currency.
32. It can hardly be doubted that the first indictment (in Criminal Case No 16279) explicitly and
adequately sets out all the familiar elements of the felony of malversation under Article 217 of the Revised
Penal Code, viz.:
a. That the offender be a public officer.
b. That he had the custody of control of funds or property by reason of the duties of his office.
c. That those funds or property were public funds or property for which he was accountable.
d. That he appropriated, took, misappropriated, or consented or, through abandonment or
negligence, permitted another person to take them."
33. The second information states that there were issued to Quion by reason of his office as Police
Station Commander of Janiuay, Iloilo, government properties consisting of particularly described firearms.
The delivery to Quion, by reason of the duties of his office as PNP Station Commander, of the firearms
belonging to the Government, necessarily and inescapably entailed the implicit obligation on his part to
safely keep the firearms, use them for the purposes for which they were obviously entrusted to him, and
to return them to the proper authority at termination of his tenure as commander, or on demand by the
owner: the duty, in other words, to account for said firearms. And his act -- also expressly stated in the
information -- of malversing, misappropriation and converting the firearms to his own personal use and
benefit, with abuse of trust and confidence -- completed the basic description of the crime of malversation
attributed to him.

No error can therefore be imputed to the ruling of the respondent Sandiganbayan.


*Sanchez vs Demetriou - EM
DOCTRINE: The Ombudsman is indeed empowered under Section 15, paragraph (1) of R.A. 6770 to
investigate and prosecute, any illegal act or omission of any public official. However, as we held only two
years ago in the case of Aguinaldo v. Domagas, this authority "is not an exclusive authority but rather a
shared or concurrent authority in. respect of the offense charged."
FACTS:
On July 28, 1993, the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission requested the filing of appropriate charges
against several persons, including the petitioner, in connection with the rape-slay of Mary Eileen
Sarmenta and the killing of Allan Gomez.
Acting on this request, the Panel of State Prosecutors of the Department of Justice conducted a
preliminary investigation on August 9, 1993. Petitioner Sanchez was not present but was represented by
his counsel, Atty. Marciano Brion, Jr.
On August 12, 1993, PNP Commander Rex Piad issued an "invitation" to the petitioner requesting him to
appear for investigation at Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang, Laguna. It was served on Sanchez in the
morning of August 13,1993, and he was immediately taken to the said camp.
At a confrontation that same day, Sanchez was positively identified by Aurelio Centeno, and SPO III
Vivencio Malabanan, who both executed confessions implicating him as a principal in the rape-slay of
Sarmenta and the killing of Gomez. The petitioner was then placed on "arrest status" and taken to the
Department of Justice in Manila.
The respondent prosecutors immediately conducted an inquest upon his arrival, with Atty. Salvador
Panelo as his counsel.
After the hearing, a warrant of arrest was served on Sanchez. This warrant was issued on August 13,
1993, by Judge Enrico A. Lanzanas of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 7, in connection with
Criminal Cases Nos. 93-124634 to 93-124637 for violation of Section 8, in relation to Section 1, of R.A.
No. 6713. Sanchez was forthwith taken to the CIS Detention Center, Camp Crame, where he remains
confined.
On August 16, 1993, the respondent prosecutors filed with the Regional Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna,
seven informations charging Antonio L. Sanchez, Luis Corcolon, Rogelio Corcolon, Pepito Kawit, Baldwin
Brion, Jr., George Medialdea and Zoilo Ama with the rape and killing of Mary Eileen Sarmenta.
On August 26, 1993, Judge Eustaquio P. Sto. Domingo of that court issued a warrant for the arrest of all
the accused, including the petitioner, in connection with the said crime.
The respondent Secretary of Justice subsequently expressed his apprehension that the trial of the said
cases might result in a miscarriage of justice because of the tense and partisan atmosphere in Laguna in
favor of the petitioner and the relationship of an employee, in the trial court with one of the accused. This
Court thereupon ordered the transfer of the venue of the seven cases to Pasig, Metro Manila, where they
were raffled to respondent Judge Harriet Demetriou.
On September 10, 1993, the seven informations were amended to include the killing of Allan Gomez as
an aggravating circumstance.
On that same date, the petitioner filed a motion to quash the informations substantially on the grounds
now raised in this petition. On September 13, 1993, after oral arguments, the respondent judge denied
the motion. Sanchez then filed with this Court the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer
for a temporary restraining order/writ of injunction.
The petitioner argues that the seven informations filed against him should be quashed because: 1) he
was denied the right to present evidence at the preliminary investigation; 2) only the Ombudsman had the
competence to conduct the investigation; 3) his warrantless arrest is illegal and the court has therefore
not acquired jurisdiction over him, 4) he is being charged with seven homicides arising from the death of
only two persons; 5) the informations are discriminatory because they do not include Teofilo Alqueza and
Edgardo Lavadia; and 6) as a public officer, he can be tried for the offense only by the Sandiganbayan.
ISSUE:
Whether or not it is the Office of the Ombudsman that is vested with the power to conduct the
investigation of all cases involving public officers like him, as the municipal mayor of Calauan, Laguna.
HELD:
The Ombudsman has authority to investigate charges of illegal or omissions on the part of any public
official, i.e., any crime imputed to a public official. It must, however, be pointed out that the authority of the
Ombudsman to investigate "any [illegal] act or omission of any public official" (191 SCRA at 550) is not an
exclusive authority but rather a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense here charged, i.e.,
the crime of sedition. Thus, the non-involvement of the office of the Ombudsman in the present case does
not have any adverse legal consequence upon the authority the panel of prosecutors to file and prosecute
the information or amended information.
In fact, other investigatory agencies, of the government such as the Department of Justice, in connection
with the charge of sedition, and the Presidential Commission on Good Government, in ill-gotten wealth
cases, may conduct the investigation.

*Fabian vs Desierto - EUNICE
DOCTRINE:
Section 27 of RA 6770 cannot validly authorize an appeal to the SC from decisions of the Office of the
Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases. It consequently violates the proscription in Sec. 30, Art.
VI of the Constitution against a law which increases the appellate jurisdiction of the SC.

FACTS:
Fabian was the major stockholder and president of PROMAT Construction Development Corporation
(PROMAT) which was engaged in the construction business w/ Agustin. Agustin was the incumbent
District Engineering District (FMED) when he allegedly committed the offenses for which he was
administratively charged in the Office in the office of the Ombudsman. PROMAT participated in the
bidding for government construction projects, and private respondent, reportedly taking advantage of his
official position, inveigled petitioner into an amorous relationship. Their affair lasted for some time, in the
course of which, private respondent gifted PROMAT with public works contracts and interceded for it in
problems concerning the same in his office. Misunderstanding and unpleasant incidents developed
between the parties and when Fabian tried to terminate their relationship, Agustin refused and resisted
her attempts to do so to the extent of employing acts of harassment, intimidation and threats. She
eventually filed the aforementioned administrative case against him. A case ensued which eventually led
an appeal to the Ombudsman who inhibited himself later the case led to the deputy Ombudsman. The
deputy ruled in favor of Agustin and he said the decision is final and executory. Fabian appealed the case
to the SC. She averred that Section 27 of Republic Act No. 6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989)1 [Effective
November 17, 1989.] pertinently provides that -In all administrative disciplinary cases, orders, directives
or decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman may be appealed to the Supreme Court by filing a petition
for certiorari within ten (10) days from receipt of the written notice of the order, directive or decision or
denial of the motion for reconsideration in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE: Whether or not sec 27 of the Ombudsman Act is valid.

HELD:
The revised Rules of Civil Procedure preclude appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the SC via a
petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. Under the present Rule 45, appeals may be brought
through a petition for review on certiorari but only from judgments and final orders of the courts
enumerated in Sec. 1 thereof. Appeals from judgments and final orders of quasi-judicial agencies are now
required to be brought to the CA on a verified petition for review, under the requirements and conditions
in Rule 43 which was precisely formulated and adopted to provide for a uniform rule of appellate
procedure for quasi-judicial agencies.

Section 27 of RA 6770 cannot validly authorize an appeal to the SC from decisions of the Office of the
Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases. It consequently violates the proscription in Sec. 30, Art.
VI of the Constitution against a law which increases the appellate jurisdiction of the SC. No countervailing
argument has been cogently presented to justify such disregard of the constitutional prohibition. That
constitutional provision was intended to give this Court a measure of control over cases placed under its
appellate Jurisdiction. Otherwise, the indiscriminate enactment of legislation enlarging its appellate
jurisdiction would unnecessarily burden the Court.

*Panlilio vs Sandiganbayan - JEROME
REBECCO E. PANLILIO and TRINIDAD DIAZ-ENRIQUEZ, petitioners,
vs.
SANDIGABAYAN, Second Division, and PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT,
respondents.
DOCTRINE: the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction to investigate ill-gotten wealth cases. The
Ombudsman, however, may decline in exercising its primary jurisdiction, as in the case at bar, thereby
giving the concurrent government agency concerned, the PCGG, the task of conducting the preliminary
investigation
On August 10, 1989, the PCGG filed with respondent Sandiganbayan an information against petitioners
Rebecco E. Panlilio and Trinidad Diaz-Enriquez for violation of Section 4 (b) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act,
The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. 13784.
After posting bail, petitioners filed a motion to quash the information on the grounds that (1) the facts
charged do not constitute an offense: (2) respondent court has no jurisdiction over the persons of the
accused, nor over the offense charged; (3) the preliminary investigation of PCGG I.S. No. 056 has not
been terminated, and (4) the PCGG had no authority to file the information.
In a resolution promulgated on November 29, 1989, the Sandiganbayan denied petitioners' motion to
quash but granted their prayer for reinvestigation, ordering (1) the PCGG to conduct the reinvestigation,
(2) allow petitioners to submit their counter-affidavits and supporting evidence within a reasonable period
under the circumstances, and (3) submit the proper resolution and/or manifestation as to the results
thereof on January 4, 1990. The arraignment of petitioners scheduled on December 8, 1989 was reset to
January 4, 1990 in the event of an adverse resolution.
On December 26, 1989, petitioners filed with the PCGG a "Motion for Extension of Time to Submit
Counter-Affidavit" on several grounds, among which, petitioners would seek a clarification from the
Sandiganbayan as to whether the PCGG had jurisdiction to reinvestigate the case in view of the
enactment of Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989.
On January 2, 1990, petitioners filed a "Motion for Clarification" with the Sandiganbayan seeking to
determine whether the PCGG had the jurisdiction to reinvestigate their case. In an Order dated January
4, 1990, the Sandiganbayan held that the PCGG retained the jurisdiction to file and prosecute the instant
case, there being no showing that the Ombudsman had indicated its authority to take over the
prosecution of the same pursuant to Section 15 (1) of the Ombudsman Act of 1989.
In a letter dated January 9, 1990, petitioner Panlilio requested the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct
the reinvestigation of Criminal Case No. 13784 pursuant to Section 15 (1) of the Ombudsman Act. In its
reply dated January 19, 1990, the Ombudsman denied the request, stating that the exercise of its
authority over the aforementioned case is inappropriate.
On February 15, 1990, petitioners moved for the reconsideration of the Sandiganbayan Order dated
January 4, 1990. During the hearing on petitioners' motion, the PCGG did not appear but asked time to
react to the motion. On February 20, 1990, petitioners received a copy of PCGG's Order dated February
19, 1990 holding that for failure of petitioners to file their respective counter-affidavits, the reinvestigation
of the case is deemed terminated.
ISSUE: On March 6, 1990, petitioners filed the instant petition, averring that (1) the Ombudsman, and not
the PCGG, has the primary jurisdiction to reinvestigate Criminal Case No. 13784; (2) PCGG does not
possess "the cold neutrality of an impartial judge" and is incompetent in proceeding with the
reinvestigation; and (3) petitioners did not waive their right to reinvestigation.
HELD:
While Section 15 (1) of Republic Act No. 6770 gave the Ombudsman the primary jurisdiction over cases
cognizable by the Sandiganbayan it did not specifically revoke the PCGG's power of investigation. In
Cojuangco, Jr. vs. Presidential Commission on Good Government, 1 We held that said provision merely
gave the Ombudsman concurrent authority to investigate offenses involving public officers or employees
with similarly authorized agencies or the government, such as the PCGG, with the qualification that the
Ombudsman may take over at any stage of such investigation in the exercise of its primary jurisdiction.
The authority of the PCGG to conduct preliminary investigation in ill-gotten wealth cases is provided for in
Section 2 (b) and 3 (a) Executive Order No. 1 and Sections 1 and 2 of Executive Order No. 14. In
Cojuangco, supra, We have held that these provisions grant the PCGG
. . . the power to investigate and prosecute such ill-gotten wealth cases of the former President, his
relatives and associates, and graft and corruption cases that may be assigned by the President to the
PCGG to be filed with the Sandiganbayan. No doubt, the authority to investigate extended to the PCGG
includes the authority to conduct a preliminary investigation.
We also noted in the aforementioned case that under Section 15 (11) of Republic Act No. 6770, the
Ombudsman was vested only with the power to investigate and to initiate the proper action for the
recovery of ill-gotten wealth and/or unexplained wealth amassed after February 25, 1986 and the
prosecution of the parties therein, thereby implicitly maintaining the authority of the PCGG to conduct
preliminary investigation of ill-gotten wealth and/or unexplained wealth amassed before February 25,
1986.
This does not mean, however, that the Ombudsman does not have primary jurisdiction over ill-gotten
wealth and/or unexplained wealth amassed before February 25, 1986, It has, and We reiterate Our ruling
in Cojuangco, that despite Section 15 (11) of Republic Act No. 6770, the Ombudsman has primary
jurisdiction to investigate such cases. The Ombudsman, however, may decline in exercising its primary
jurisdiction, as in the case at bar, thereby giving the concurrent government agency concerned, the
PCGG, the task of conducting the preliminary investigation

Regarding the issue of whether PCGG possessed the "cold neutrality of an impartial judge," We find for
the petitioners.

We agree with the petitioners that it is impossible for the PCGG to possess the cold neutrality of an
impartial judge in conducting the preliminary investigation of I.S. No. 056 when the PCGG itself gathered
the evidence in said case and filed the complaint against petitioners. It cannot both be a prosecutor and a
judge at the same time.
Moreover, the PCGG has already shown a marked bias against petitioners when it abruptly terminated
the preliminary investigation and resolved the case against them without even notifying petitioners of its
adverse resolution, thereby preventing petitioners from filing a motion for reconsideration or moving that
they be given additional time to file counter-affidavits and supporting evidence. This is the primary reason
why the Sandiganbayan granted the petitioners' request for the reinvestigation of the case against them.
Therefore, to ensure a just and fair administration of justice, the PCGG should be disqualified from
conducting a reinvestigation of PCGG I.S. No. 056 and should transmit the records of the same to the
Ombudsman.
On the issue of whether petitioners had waived their right to a preliminary investigation, We likewise find
for the petitioners.
The Sandiganbayan erred in considering that the petitioners have waived their right to a preliminary
investigation for their failure to submit their counter-affidavits on December 28, 1989. Petitioners' failure to
submit their counter-affidavits was because of the pendency of their "Motion for Clarification" with the
Sandiganbayan at the time. When said motion was denied by the Sandiganbayan in its Order dated
January 4, 1990, the petitioners went directly to the Ombudsman to ask for its intervention. It was only
when the Ombudsman declined, did the petitioners seek a reconsideration of the Sandiganbayan's Order
of January 4, 1990. During all this time, petitioners repeatedly told the PCGG Prosecutor that they would
submit their counter-affidavits and supporting evidence once the issue of the Ombudsman's jurisdiction
over the case had been determined with finality. Clearly, there is no waiver of petitioners' right to
preliminary investigation.


*Office of the Ombudsman vs Valera - EUMIR

FACTS - Before the Court is the petition for review on certiorari filed by
the Office of the Ombudsman and Dennis M. Villa-Ignacio, in his capacity as
the Special Prosecutor, Office of the Ombudsman, seeking the reversal of
the Decision
[1]
dated June 25, 2004 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP
No. 83091. The assailed decision set aside the Order dated March 17, 2004
issued by petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio[E1] in OMB-C-A-03-
0379-J placing respondent Atty. Gil A. Valera, Deputy Commissioner, Office of
the Revenue Collection Monitoring Group, Bureau of Customs, under preventive
suspension for a period of six months without pay.[E2]

Respondent Valera was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs
by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on July 13, 2001. He took his oath of
office on August 3, 2001 and assumed his post on August 7, 2001

On August 20, 2003, the Office of the Ombudsman received the Sworn Complaint
dated July 28, 2003 filed by then Director Eduardo S. Matillano of the
Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-
CIDG). In the said sworn complaint, Director Matillano charged respondent
Valera with criminal offenses involving violation of various provisions of
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019,
[2]
the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines
(TCCP), Executive Order No. 38,
[3]
Executive Order No. 298
[4]
and R.A. No.
6713
[5]
as well as administrative offenses of Grave Misconduct and Serious
Irregularity in the Performance of Duty. Likewise subject of the same sworn
complaint was respondent Valeras brother-in-law Ariel Manongdo for violation
of Section 4 of R.A. No. 3019.

Prior to Director Matillanos sworn complaint, criminal and administrative
charges were also filed with the Office of the Ombudsman by Atty. Adolfo
Casareo against respondent Valera. The complaint of Atty. Casareo
contained similar allegations as those in the complaint of Director
Matillano.

The cases against respondent Valera before the Ombudsman were docketed as
follows:........... On November 12, 2003, Ombudsman Simeon V. Marcelo issued
a Memorandum
[9]
inhibiting himself from the foregoing criminal cases as well as
the related administrative case and directing petitioner Special Prosecutor
Villa-Ignacio to act in his (the Ombudsmans) stead and place.

On March 17, 2004, pursuant to the above memorandum, petitioner
Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio, in the administrative case OMB-C-A-0379-J,
issued the Order placing respondent Valera under preventive suspension for
six months without pay. In the said order, petitioner Special Prosecutor
Villa-Ignacio found that respondent Valera entered into the compromise
agreement with Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp. in Civil Case No. 01-102504
without being duly authorized to do so by the Commissioner of Customs and
without the approval of the Secretary of Finance in violation of Section
2316
[10]
of the TCCP.

Petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio made the finding that by entering
into the said compromise agreement whereby Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp.
shall pay the overdue taxes and duties in thirty (30) monthly installments of
P1,239,862 from January 2002 to June 2004, respondent Valera may have made
concessions that may be deemed highly prejudicial to the government, i.e.,
waiver of the legal interest from the amount demanded, penalty charges
imposed by law, litigation expenses and exemplary damages. Further, by the
terms of the compromise agreement, respondent Valera had virtually exonerated
Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp. of its fraudulent acts of using spurious tax
credit certificates.

.the CA held mainly that petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio is
not authorized by law to sign and issue preventive suspension orders. It
cited Section 24 of R.A. No. 6770, otherwise known as The Ombudsman Act of
1989, which vests on the Ombudsman and his Deputy the power to
preventively suspend any government officer or employee under the Ombudsmans
authority pending investigation subject to certain conditions. In relation
thereto, Section 5, Article XI of the Constitution was also cited as it
states that the Office of the Ombudsman is composed of the Ombudsman to be
known as the Tanodbayan, one overall Deputy, and at least one Deputy each for
Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. A separate Deputy for the military
establishment may likewise be appointed.

Relying on these two provisions of law, the CA declared that petitioner
Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio has no authority to issue a preventive
suspension order since he is neither the Ombudsman nor one of the Deputy
Ombudsmen.

However, according to the CA, by virtue of the Memorandum dated November 12,
2003 of Ombudsman Marcelo where he stated that he was inhibiting himself and
directing petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio to act in his place and
stead, the latter (petitioner Special Prosecutor) officially stepped into the
position of the Ombudsman insofar as the subject case is concerned. In
effect, petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio would act as the
Ombudsman. The CA opined that this is not the kind of duties contemplated
under Section 11(4)(c) of R.A. No. 6770.

In addition, the CA refuted the finding of petitioner Special Prosecutor
Villa-Ignacio that the evidence of guilt against respondent Valera is strong
to warrant his preventive suspension

ISSUE: The basic issue for the Courts resolution is whether petitioner
Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio has the authority to place respondent Valera
under preventive suspension in connection with the administrative case OMB-C-
A-03-0379-J pending before the Office of the Ombudsman.

HELD: Preliminarily, it is noted that petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-
Ignacio anchors his authority to conduct the administrative investigation in
OMB-C-A-03-0379-J on the Memorandum dated November 12, 2003 issued by
Ombudsman Marcelo inhibiting himself therefrom and directing petitioner
Special Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio to act in his place and stead.

Significantly, Ombudsman Marcelo did not state in the said
memorandum the reason for his inhibition. On this point, the rule on
voluntary inhibition of judges finds application to the Ombudsman in the
performance of his functions particularly in administrative proceedings like
OMB-C-A-03-0379-J. Like judges, the decision on whether or not to inhibit is
admittedly left to the Ombudsmans sound discretion and conscience.However,
again similar to judges, Ombudsman Marcelo has no unfettered discretion to
inhibit himself. The inhibition must be for just and valid causes.No such
cause was proffered by Ombudsman Marcelo for his inhibition in OMB-C-A-03-
0379-J.[E1]

R.A. No. 6770 was enacted to provide for the functional and structural
organization of the Office of the Ombudsman. It substantially reiterates the
constitutional provisions relating to the Office of the Ombudsman. In
addition, R.A. No. 6770 granted to the Office of the Ombudsman prosecutorial
functions
[26]
and made the Office of the Special Prosecutor an organic
component of the Office of the Ombudsman.
[27]
As such, R.A. No. 6770 vests on
the Office of the Special Prosecutor, under the supervision and control and
upon the authority of the Ombudsman, the following powers:

(a) To conduct preliminary investigation and prosecute criminal cases
within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan;

(b) To enter into plea bargaining agreement; and

(c) To perform such other duties assigned to it by the Ombudsman.
[28]


Based on the pertinent provisions of the Constitution and R.A. No. 6770, the
powers of the Ombudsman have generally been categorized into the following:
investigatory power; prosecutory power; public assistance functions;
authority to inquire and obtain information; and function to adopt, institute
and implement preventive measures.
[29]
The Ombudsmans investigatory and
prosecutory power has been characterized as plenary and unqualified:

The power to investigate and to prosecute granted by law to the Ombudsman is
plenary and unqualified. It pertains to any act or omission of any public
officer or employee when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust,
improper or inefficient
[30]



On the other hand, the authority of the Office of the Special Prosecutor has
been characterized as limited:
Moreover, the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman should not be
equated with the limited authority of the Special Prosecutor under Section 11
of R.A. 6770. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is merely a component of
the Office of the Ombudsman and may act only under the supervision and
control and upon the authority of the Ombudsman. Its power to conduct
preliminary investigation and prosecute is limited to criminal cases within
the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Certainly, the lawmakers did not
intend to confine the investigatory and prosecutory power of the Ombudsman to
these types of cases. The Ombudsman is mandated by law to act on all
complaints against officers and employees of the government and to enforce
their administrative, civil and criminal liability in every case where the
evidence warrants. To carry out this duty, the law allows him to utilize the
personnel in his office and/or designate any fiscal, state prosecutor or
lawyer in the government service to act as special investigator or prosecutor
to assist in the investigation and prosecution of certain cases. Those
designated or deputized to assist him work under his supervision and control.
The law likewise allows him to direct the Special Prosecutor to prosecute
cases outside the Sandiganbayans jurisdiction in accordance with Section
11(4c) of R.A. 6770.
[31]



The Court has consistently held that the Office of the Special Prosecutor is
merely a component of the Office of the Ombudsman and may only act under the
supervision and control and upon authority of the Ombudsman

Pursuant to its power of supervision and control, the Office of the Ombudsman
is empowered under Section 15(10) of R.A. No. 6770 to:

(10) Delegate to the Deputies, or its investigators or representatives such
authority or duty as shall ensure the effective exercise or performance of
the powers, functions, and duties herein or hereinafter provided;



Complementary thereto, Section 11(4)(c) thereof requires the latter to:
(c) [p]erform such other duties assigned to it by the
Ombudsman.


Hence, under the foregoing provisions, the Ombudsman may delegate his
investigatory function, including the power to conduct administrative
investigation, to the Special Prosecutor.

Section 24 of R.A. No 6770, however, grants
the power to preventively suspend only to the
Ombudsman and the Deputy Ombudsmen


Section 24 of R.A. No. 6770 reads:
Sec. 24. Preventive Suspension. The Ombudsman and his Deputy may
preventively suspend any officer or employee under his authority pending an
investigation, if in his judgment the evidence of guilt is strong, and (a)
the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression
or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; (b) the charges
would warrant removal from the service; or (c) the respondents continued
stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him.

The preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the
Office of the Ombudsman but not more than six months, without pay, except
when the delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman
is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, in which case
the period of such delay shall not be counted in computing the period of
suspension herein provided.


It is observed that R.A. No. 6770 has invariably mentioned the Special
Prosecutor alongside the Ombudsman and/or the Deputy Ombudsmen with respect
to the manner of appointment,
[34]
qualifications,
[35]
term of office,
[36]

grounds for removal from office,
[37]
prohibitions and disqualifications
[38]
and
disclosure of relationship requirement.
[39]
However, with respect to the grant
of the power to preventively suspend, Section 24 of R.A. No 6770 makes no
mention of the Special Prosecutor. The obvious import of this exclusion is
to withhold from the Special Prosecutor the power to preventively suspend.

The petitioners contention that since the Special Prosecutor is of the same
rank as that of a Deputy Ombudsman, then the former can rightfully perform
all the functions of the latter, including the power to preventively suspend,
is not persuasive. Under civil service laws, rank classification determines
the salary and status of government officials and employees.
[41]
Although there
is substantial equality in the level of their respective functions, those
occupying the same rank do not necessarily have the same powers nor perform
the same functions

While R.A. No. 6770 accords the Special Prosecutor the same rank as that of
the Deputy Ombudsmen, Section 24 thereof expressly grants only to the
Ombudsman and the Deputy Ombudsmen the power to place under preventive
suspension government officials and employees under their authority pending
an administrative investigation.
[43]


However, if the Ombudsman delegates his authority to conduct administrative
investigation to the Special Prosecutor and the latter finds that the
preventive suspension of the public official or employee subject thereof is
warranted, the Special Prosecutor may recommend to the Ombudsman to place the
said public officer or employee under preventive suspension.

Ombudsman Marcelo designated the Special Prosecutor to conduct the
administrative investigation. In the course thereof, petitioner Special
Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio found that the preventive suspension of respondent
Valera was warranted under Section 24 of R.A. No. 6770. However, since under
the said provision only the Ombudsman or his Deputy may exercise the power
of preventive suspension, petitioner Special Prosecutor Villa-
Ignacio could only recommend to the Ombudsman or, in this case because of the
latters inhibition, to the designated Deputy Ombudsman to place respondent
Valera under preventive suspension.

Stated differently, with respect to the conduct of administrative
investigation, the Special Prosecutors authority, insofar as preventive
suspension is concerned, is akin to that of the PIAB-A, i.e., recommendatory
in nature. It bears stressing that the power to place a public officer or
employee under preventive suspension pending an investigation is lodged only
with the Ombudsman or the Deputy Ombudsmen.

It is well to mention, at this point, that after the appellate court rendered
its decision nullifying the March 17, 2004 Order of petitioner Special
Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio and directing him to desist from taking any further
action in OMB-C-A-03-0379-J, the said case was next assigned to the Office of
the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices
(MOLEO), headed by Mr. Orlando C. Casimiro.
[50]
The hearings in OMB-C-A-03-
0379-J were, thus, continued by the Deputy Ombudsman for MOLEO. On August
30, 2004, a Decision was rendered in the said administrative case finding
petitioner Valera guilty of grave misconduct and decreeing his dismissal from
the service. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the
Deputy Ombudsman for MOLEO. Petitioner Valera subsequently filed a petition
for review with this Court assailing the said decision of the appellate
court. The said petition, docketed as G.R. No. 167278, is now pending with
the Court.



Romualdez v Sandiganbayan

Facts: Petitioner Benjamin Romualdez began his career in the government service spanning
more than two decades as a technical consultant in the Department of Foreign Affairs. At
the time of the institution of the proceeding at bench in 1989, he was holding at least two
(2) offices simultaneously: that of Philippine ambassador to the United States of America
and of governor of his home province of Leyte.

The proceeding concerns the mandatory duty imposed on every person in the government
service by Section 7 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,
1
i.e., the annual filing of
statements of assets and liabilities. Upon the theory that Romualdez had failed to comply
with said requirement for twenty-four (24) years, i.e., from 1962 to 1985, and after
conducting a preliminary investigation
2
and finding prima facie that there had indeed been
such culpable omissions, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) filed on
February 22, 1989 twenty-four (24) identically worded informations against Romualdez for
transgression of said Section 7 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act differing in text
only as to the years corresponding to the violation, and as regards the nature of
Romualdez's public office in a given year, whether that of Foreign Affairs officer or Provincial
Governor of Leyte.

In due course, the Sandiganbayan issued warrants for the arrest of Romualdez; but these
could not be executed since the latter was out of the country. On October 21, 1991,
Romualdez filed, through counsel, a "Motion to Recall Warrants of Arrest." He prayed that
the informations against him be nullified, no valid preliminary investigation having been
conducted as predicate for said indictments.
3
Citing Cojuangco, Jr. v. PCGG,
4
he argued
that the power of the PCGG to conduct preliminary investigations is limited to cases
involving ill-gotten wealth only, investigation of all others involving government officials
being within the competence of the Ombudsman and other duly authorized investigating
agencies.
5

Prosecutor Cesario L. del Rosario, 2nd Assistant City Prosecutor of Manila, acting as "PCGG
Investigating Prosecutor and Deputized Special Attorney, Office of the Solicitor General,
alleged inter alia that the Cojuangco ruling was inapplicable, the juridical situation therein
being different from that in the Romualdez cases; that it was in fact he (del Rosario) who
had "conducted the preliminary investigation of I.S. No. 12, under which the instant criminal
cases were filed;"
14
that the "provisions of Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal
Procedure were followed;" that his "resolution was reviewed by a review committee and
thereafter, it was submitted for the consideration of the Commission en banc which
eventually approved the recommendation that appropriate informations be filed in the
Sandiganbayan."

At about this time, too, the Sandiganbayan acted on Romualdez's aforesaid Motion to Recall
Warrants of Arrest.
16
It denied the motion by Resolution dated January 29, 1992,
17
It
declared the Cojuangco ruling inapplicable, pointing out that the rationale therefor was the
PCGG's inability to conduct the preliminary investigation of the criminal complaints therein
involved "with the 'cold neutrality of an impartial judge,'" in view of its demonstrated pre-
judgment of the cases in question, shown by its having earlier filed, after gathering
evidence, a civil complaint "alleging substantially the same illegal or criminal acts subject of
the subsequent criminal complaints," and of its having also earlier issued sequestration and
freeze orders on substantially the same basis: that the properties and assets were "ill-
gotten and/or acquired in relation to the illegal disposition of coconut levy funds." It
postulated that the case of Romualdez was different, for as to it no such pre-judgment
existed. The Romualdez cases did not refer to acquisition of wealth under a crony status,
but "solely . . (to) his bare physical non-compliance with his mechanical duty to file his
statement of assets and liabilities over a period of twenty-four (24) . . ;" and the omissions
have no bearing on Civil Case No. 0035 against Romualdez involving transactions in which
he "allegedly took advantage of his relationship with the spouses Ferdinand and Imelda
Marcos."

As just intimated, the petition seeks to make the following points:

(a) that the PCGG had no authority to conduct the preliminary investigation of the
charges against Romualdez of violations of Section 7 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act, conformably with Cojuangco v. PCGG, 190 SCRA 226, and Cruz v.
Sandiganbayan, 194 SCRA 474; hence the investigation conducted through its
authorized deputy, Fiscal Cesareo del Rosario, was invalid because beyond its
jurisdiction;
25
and

(b) as a necessary consequence, the Sandiganbayan "acted without jurisdiction
and/or with grave abuse of discretion . . in taking cognizance of the twenty-four
cases . . filed by PCGG against petitioner based on . . (such) preliminary
investigation," it appearing on "the face of the informations themselves . . that the
party filing the information does not have the authority to file the same.

Issue:
Whether or not the PCGG and the Sandiganbayan have acted "without jurisdiction and/or
with grave abuse of discretion:" the former in conducting a preliminary investigation of
cases not within its competence; and the latter, in taking cognizance of the cases thereafter
filed by the PCGG, issuing warrants of arrest, fixing bail, and confiscating petitioner's cash
bond, despite the absence of a valid preliminary investigation.

Held: Undoubtedly, the PCGG has the power, under Section 2(a) of Executive Order No. 1,
to investigate and prosecute "offenses committed in the acquisition of . . ill-gotten wealth"
amassed before or after February 25, 1986.
30
It does not seem, however, that this power
extends to other acts or omissions not involving "ill-gotten wealth" penalized by the Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. So did this Court hold in Cruz v. Sandiganbayan,
31
viz.:
A close reading of Sections 2(a) and 3, of Executive Order No. 1, in relation (to)
Sections 1, 2, and 3 of Executive Order 14, show that what the authority of the
respondent PCGG to investigate and prosecute covers are:

(a) The investigation and prosecution of the civil action for the recovery of ill-
gotten wealth under Republic Act No. 1379, accumulated by former President
Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates,
whether located in the Philippines or abroad, including the takeover or
sequestration of all business enterprises and entities owned or controlled by
them, during his administration, directly or through his nominees, by taking
undue advantage of their public office and/or using their powers, authority
and influence, connections or relationship; and

(b) The investigation and prosecution of such offenses committed in the
acquisition of said ill-gotten wealth as contemplated under Section 2(a) of
Executive Order No. 1.

However, other violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act not otherwise
falling under the foregoing categories, require a previous authority of the President
for the respondent PCGG to investigate and prosecute in accordance with Section
2(b) of Executive Order No. 1. Otherwise, jurisdiction over such cases is vested in
the Ombudsman and other duly authorized investigating agencies . . .

Thus for a penal violation to fall under the jurisdiction of the respondent PCGG under
Section 2(a) of Executive Order No. 1, the following elements must concur:
(1). It must relate to alleged ill-gotten wealth;
(2). Of the late President Marcos, his immediate family, relatives,
subordinates and close associates;
(3). Who took undue advantage of their public office and/or used their power,
authority, influence, connections or relationship.

Now, the crimes ascribed to Romualdez (failure to file his annual statements of assets and
liabilities) do not "relate to alleged ill-gotten wealth" amassed by him. No such relation may
be perceived in the indictments themselves, which in fact merely state that there was no
justifiable cause for Romualdez's refusal or failure to file his annual statements. Moreover,
the Sandiganbayan itself made the finding that the cases against Romualdez did not refer to
acquisition of wealth under a crony status, but "solely . . (to) his bare physical non-
compliance with his mechanical duty to file his statement of assets and liabilities over a
period of twenty-four (24) years . . ;" and that the omissions have no bearing on Civil Case
No. 0035 against Romualdez involving transactions in which he "allegedly took advantage of
his relationship with the spouses Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos." These considerations also
call for rejection of the Solicitor General's theory that Romualdez's "non-filing of statements
of assets and liabilities . . (was) a means of concealing . . (his) assets and frustrating the
efforts of the Government to determine the actual value or extent of . . (his) wealth."
32


The Court therefore declares invalid the preliminary investigation conducted by the PCGG
over the 24 offenses ascribed to Romualdez (of failure to file annual statements of assets
and liabilities), for lack of jurisdiction of said offenses.

The invalidity or absence of a preliminary investigation does not however affect the
jurisdiction of the Trial Court which may have taken cognizance of the information. As
regards proceedings in the Sandiganbayan, particularly, another author (the other author
they cited was Regalado as the latter commented substantially the same thing but with
respect to regular courts) observes that

Since absence of preliminary investigation is not a ground to quash the complaint or
information (Sec. 3, Rule 117, Rules of Court), proceedings upon such information in the
Sandiganbayan should be held in abeyance and the case remanded to the Ombudsman, for
him or the Special Prosecutor to conduct a preliminary investigation (Luciano vs. Mariano,
40 SCRA 187, 201; Ilagan vs. Enrile, 139 SCRA 349; Sanciangco, Jr. vs. People, 149 SCRA
1, 3-4).

The principle was applied despite the fact that trial on the merits had begun and the
prosecution had already presented four witnesses. The trial was ordered suspended pending
the preliminary investigation (Go vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 101837, February 11,
1992).

Considering that the invalidity of the preliminary investigation "did not impair the validity of
the informations or otherwise render it defective, . . (m)uch less did it affect the jurisdiction
of the Court . . ," the only effect, to repeat, being the imposition on the latter of the
obligation to suspend the proceedings and require the holding of a proper preliminary
investigation,"
37
it follows that all acts done by the Court prior thereto must be accorded
validity and effect, subject to the outcome of the preliminary investigation yet to be
conducted.


*Honasan II vs Panel of Investigating Prosecutor of DOJ - JEZ

*Natividad vs Felix - WIL
G.R. No. 111616 February 4, 1994
MAYOR ARNULFO NATIVIDAD, petitioner,
vs.
HON. AUGUSTO N. FELIX, Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 64, Tarlac, Tarlac and HON. PROVINCIAL
PROSECUTOR OF TARLAC, respondents.
Villareal Law Offices and Mauricio Law Office for petitioner.

ROMERO, J.:

FACTS:
The PNP requested the Provincial Prosecutor of Tarclac to investigate the petitioner who is the Municipal
Mayor of Tarlac for the death of Severino Aquino at the Police Station on the night of Februrary 20, 1989.
During the pendency of the first request, the PNP filed another complaint with the MCTC who directed the
petitioner's arrest with a bail.
After conducting the requisite preliminary investigation, the MCTC, through a resolution dated July 29,
1993 opining that there was probable cause to hold accused for murder. On the same date, the Provincial
Prosecutor approved the filing of an information for murder but with no bail recommended.
Consequently, an information against petitioner and Sesinando "Boy" Llerina was filed before the sala of
Judge Augusto Felix of Regional Trial Court of Tarlac where a warrant of arrest was subsequently issued.
On August 16, 1993, petitioner was ordered to file his counter-affidavit. On August 25, 1993, a resolution
was issued by a panel of prosecutors holding that probable cause exists. The same day, respondent
judge admitted the amended information and directed the issuance of a warrant of arrest without bail on
petitioner.
The next day, August 26, 1993, petitioner moved to remand his case for preliminary investigation with
motion to quash warrant alleging that there was no preliminary investigation and contending that
respondent judge had no jurisdiction over the case because it was the Ombudsman and not the
Provincial Prosecutor who had jurisdiction to conduct the preliminary investigation. Petitioner vigorously
contended that the proper court which had jurisdiction over the case was the Sandiganbayan and not
respondent judge.
On September 6, 1993, respondent judge denied petitioner's motion to remand and committed petitioner
to the Tarlac Penal Colony where petitioner is now detained.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the it is the Ombudsman and not the provincial fiscal who has the authority to conduct a
preliminary investigation over his case for the alleged murder of Severino Aquino. (NO, the Ombudsman
does not have exclusive jurisdiction)

HELD:
Section 15 states:
Sec. 15. Powers, Functions and Duties. The Office of the
Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions and duties:
(1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any
person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or
agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper
or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the
Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take
over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the
investigation of such cases. (Emphasis ours)
Citing Deloso v. Domingo where, in determining the power of the Ombudsman to conduct preliminary
investigation, we relied principally on Sections 12 and 13, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution and Section
15 (1) of the Ombudsman Act of 1989. In the Deloso case, we said that the clause "any illegal act or
omission of any public official," is broad enough to encompass any crime committed by a public official.
We continued: "The law does not qualify the nature of the illegal act or omission of the public official or
employee that the Ombudsman may investigate. It does not require that the act or omission be related to
or be connected with or arise from, the performance of official duty. Since the law does not distinguish,
neither should we." On this aforequoted pronouncement is anchored petitioner's contentions.
The Deloso case has already been re-examined in two cases, namely Aguinaldo v. Domagas
11
and
Sanchez v. Demetriou.
12
However, by way of amplification, we feel the need for tracing the history of the
legislation relative to the jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan since the Ombudsman's primary jurisdiction is
dependent on the cases cognizable by the former.
In the process, we shall observe how the policy of the law, with reference to the subject matter, has been
in a state of flux.
These laws, in chronological order, are the following: (a) Pres. Decree No. 1486,
13
the first law on the
Sandiganbayan; (b) Pres. Decree No. 1606
14
which expressly repealed Pres. Decree No. 1486; (c)
Section 20 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129;
15
(d) Pres. Decree No. 1860;
16
and (e) Pres. Decree
No. 1861.
17

The latest law on the Sandiganbayan, Sec. 1 of Pres. Decree No. 1861 reads as follows:
Sec. 1. Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606 is hereby amended to
reads as follows:
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan shall exercise:
(a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
xxx xxx xxx
(2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public
officers and employees in relation to their office,
including those employed in government-owned or
controlled corporations, whether simple or complexed
with other crimes, where the penalty prescribed by law is
higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for
six (6) years, or a fineof P6,000: PROVIDED,
HOWEVER, that offenses or felonies mentioned in this
paragraph where the penalty prescribed by law does not
exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6)
years or a fine of P6,000 shall be tried by the proper
Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal
Trial Court and Municipal Circuit Trial Court. (Emphasis
provided)


Two requirements must concur under Sec. 4 (a) (2) for an offense to fall under the Sandiganbayan's
jurisdiction, namely: the offense committed by the public officer must be in relation to his office and the
penalty prescribed be higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years, or a fine of
P6,000.00.
Applying the law to the case at bench, we find that although the second requirement has been met, the
first requirement is wanting. The crime committed by public officers or employees must be "in relation to
their office" if it is to fall within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. This phrase which is traceable to
Pres. Decree No. 1486, has been retained by Pres. Decree No. 1861 as a requirement before the
Ombudsman can acquire primary jurisdiction on its power to investigate.
It cannot be denied that Pres. Decree No. 1861 is in pari materia to Article XI, Sections 12 and 13 of the
1987 Constitution and the Ombudsman Act of 1989 because, as earlier mentioned, the Ombudsman's
power to investigate is dependent on the cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. Statutes are in pari
materia when they relate to the same person or thing or to the same class of persons or things, or object,
or cover the same specific or particular subject matter.
Assuming arguendo that petitioner's act satisfied the requirement that the same must be in performance
of official functions, still it cannot be overlooked that the Ombudsman has only primary jurisdiction over
cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, not exclusive original jurisdiction as specified under Section 15
(1) of Rep. Act No. 6770 aforecited. As we held in Aguinaldo v. Domagas and recently, Sanchez v.
Demetriou, such authority of the Ombudsman "is not an exclusive authority but rather a shared or
concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged," in other words, concurrent with similarly
authorized agencies of the government. Accordingly, the Ombudsman may take over the investigation of
such case at any stage from any investigative agency of the Government.
A careful scrutiny of Sec. 15 (1) of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 will reveal that the word "may" is used in
regard to the Ombudsman's assumption of its primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the
Sandiganbayan. The word "may," being generally permissive and since it operates to confer discretion, it
follows that the Ombudsman's investigatory powers are but directory in nature.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. Case REMANDED to the trial court for further
proceedings.
SO ORDERED.