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Gregorio Honasan II petitioner vs.

The Panel of Investigating Prosecutors of the


Department of Justice
G.R.No. 159747
April 13,2004
Lessons Applicable: Rule on Interpretative Regulations (persons), Powers of the
Ombudsman (consti), concurrent jurisdiction of the Ombudsman and the DOJ to conduct
preliminary investigation (consti)
Law Applicable: Section 13, Article XI of the Constitution, Art. 2 Civil Code

o
o
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Facts:
August 4, 2003: CIDG-PNP/P Director Edguardo Matillano filed an affidavit-complaint
with the Department of Justice (DOJ) which contains the following in part:
July 27, 2003: crime of coup d etat was committed by military personnel who occupied
Oakwood and Senator Gregorio Gringo Honasan, II
On or about 11 p.m. June 4,2003: A meeting was held and presided by Senator Honasan in
a house located in San Juan, Metro Manila
Early morning of July 27, 2003: Capt. Gerardo Gambala, in behalf of the military rebels
occupying Oakwood, made a public statement aired on national television, stating their
withdrawal of support to the chain of command of the AFP and the Government of
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Willing to risk their lives to achieve the National
Recovery Agenda (NRA) of Senator Honasan which they believe is the only program that
would solve the ills of society.

Sworn statement of AFP Major Perfecto Ragil stated that:


o June 4, 2003 about 11 pm: Senator Gregorio Gringo Honasan arrived with Capt. Turinga
to hold the NRP meeting where they concluded the use of force, violence and armed
struggle to achieve the vision of NRP where a junta will be constituted which will run the
new government. They had a blood compact and that he only participated due to the
threat made by Senator Honasan when he said Kung kaya nating pumatay sa ating mga
kalaban, kaya din nating pumatay sa mga kasamahang magtataksil.
o July 27, 2003: He saw on TV that Lieutenant Antonio Trillanes, Captain Gerardo
Gambala, Captain Alejano and some others who were present during the NRP meeting he
attended, having a press conference about their occupation of the Oakwood Hotel. He
saw that the letter "I" on the arm bands and the banner is the same letter "I" in the banner
is the same as their blood compact wound.
August 27, 2003: Senator Honasan appeared with counsel at the DOJ to file a a Motion
for Clarification questioning DOJ's jurisdiction over the case since the imputed acts were
committed in relation to his public office by a group of public officials with Salary
Grade 31 which should be handled by the Office of the Ombudsman and the
Sandiganbayan

Senator Honasan then filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court
against the DOJ Panel and its members, CIDG-PNP-P/Director Eduardo Matillano and
Ombudsman Simeon V. Marcelo, attributing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
DOJ Panel in issuing the aforequoted Order of September 10, 2003 directing him to file
his respective counter-affidavits and controverting evidence on the ground that the DOJ
has no jurisdiction to conduct the preliminary investigation
Issues:
1. Whether in regards to Ombudsman-DOJ Circular no. 95-001, the office of the
Ombudsman should deputize the prosecutors of the DOJ to conduct the
preliminary investigation.
2. Whether the Ombudsman-DOJ Joint Circular no. 95-001 is ineffective on the
ground that it was not published
3. Whether the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to conduct the preliminary investigation
because the petitioner is a public officer with salary grade 31 (Grade 27 or Higher)
thereby falling within the jurisdiction of the Sandigan Bayan.
Held: Wherefore, the petition for certiorari is DISMISSED for lack of merit

1. No.
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
investigate as distinguished from the authority to prosecute
The power to investigate or conduct a preliminary investigation on 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 assistance,
either in their regular capacities or as deputized Ombudsman prosecutors.
circular supports the view of the respondent Ombudsman that it is just an internal
agreement between the Ombudsman and the DOJ
The Constitution, The Ombudsman Act of 1989, Administrative order no. 8 of the
office of the Ombudsman. The prevailing jurisprudence and under the Revised
Rules on Criminal Procedure, All recognize and uphold the concurrent jurisdiction

of the Ombudsman and the DOJ to conduct preliminary investigation on charges


filed against public officers and employees.
The DOJ Panel need not be authorized nor deputized by the Ombudsman to
conduct the preliminary investigation for complaints filed with it because the
DOJ's authority to act as the principal law agency of the government and
investigate the commission of crimes under the Revised Penal Code is derived
from the Revised Administrative Code which had been held in the Natividad
case13 as not being contrary to the Constitution. Thus, there is not even a need to
delegate the conduct of the preliminary investigation to an agency which has the
jurisdiction to do so in the first place. However, the Ombudsman may assert its
primary jurisdiction at any stage of the investigation.
2. No.

In the case of People vs. Que Po Lay, 94 Phil. 640 (1954). The only circulars and
regulations which prescribe a penalty for its violation should be published before
becoming effective.
In the case of Taada V. Tuvera, 146 Scra 453 (1986), The Honorable Court rules that:
o Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in nature, that is regulating only the
personnel of the administrative agency and not the public, need not be published. Neither
is publication required of the so called letters of instructions issued by the administrative
superiors concerning the rules on guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in
performance of their duties.
OMB-DOJ Joint Circulars no. 95-001 is merely an internal circular between the
DOJ and the office of the Ombudsman, Outlining authority and responsibilities
among prosecutors of the DOJ and of the office of the Ombudsman in the conduct
of preliminary investigation. It does not regulate the conduct of persons or the
public, in general.
3. No. Whether or not the offense is within exclusive jurisdiction or not will not resolve the
present petition so as not to pre-empt the result of the investigation conducted by the DOJ
Panel.