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Secs.

44 and 87, Judiciary Act country, or within any of the (1) Gambling and management
of 1948 (Rep. Act No. 296) navigable waters of the or operation of lotteries;
Philippines, on board a ship or
Section 44. Original water craft of any kind (2) Assaults where the intent to
jurisdiction. - Courts of First registered or licensed in the kill is not charged or evident
Instance shall have original Philippines in accordance with upon the trial;
jurisdiction: the laws thereof. The
jurisdiction herein conferred (3) Larceny, embezzlement and
(a) In all civil actions in which may be exercised by the Court estafa where the amount of
the subject of the litigation is not of First Instance in any province money or property stolen,
capable of pecuniary estimation into which the ship or water embezzled, or otherwise
craft upon which the crime or involved, does not exceed the
offense was committed shall sum or value of two hundred
(b) In all civil actions which
come after the commission pesos;
involve the title to or possession
thereof: Provided, That the court
of real property, or any interest
first lawfully taking cognizance (4) Sale of intoxicating liquors;
therein, or the legality of any
thereof shall have jurisdiction of
tax, impost or assessment,
the same to the exclusion of all (5) Falsely impersonating an
except actions of forcible entry
other courts in the Philippines; officer;
into and detainer of lands or
and
buildings, original jurisdiction
of which is conferred by this Act (6) Malicious mischief;
upon justice of the peace courts (h) Said courts and their judges,
and municipal courts; or any of them, shall have the
(7) Trespass on Government or
power to issue writs of
private property; and
injunction, mandamus,
(c) In all cases in which the
certiorari, prohibition, quo
demand, exclusive of interest, or (8) Threatening to take human
warranto and habeas corpus in
the value of the property in life
their respective provinces and
controversy, amounts to more
districts, in the manner provided
than two thousand pesos; Said justices of the peace and
in the Rules of Court.
judges of municipal courts may
(d) In all actions in admiralty also conduct preliminary
Section 87. Original
and maritime jurisdiction, investigations for any offense
jurisdiction to try criminal
irrespective of the value of the alleged to have been committed
cases. - Justices of the peace and
property in controversy or the within their respective
judges of municipal courts of
amount of the demand; municipalities and cities,
chartered cities shall have
original jurisdiction over: without regard to the limits of
(e) In all matters of probate, both punishment, and may release, or
of testate and intestate estates, commit and bind over any
(a) All violations of municipal
appointment of guardians, person charged with such
or city ordinances committed
trustees and receivers, and in all offense to secure his appearance
within their respective territorial
actions for annulment of before the proper court.
jurisdictions;
marriage, and in all such special
cases and proceedings as are not Justices of the peace in the
otherwise provided for; (b) All offenses in which the
capitals of provinces may, by
penalty provided by law is
assignment of the respective
imprisonment for not more than
(f) In all criminal cases in which district judge in each case, have
six months, or a fine of not more
the penalty provided by law is like jurisdiction as the Court of
than two hundred pesos, or both
imprisonment for more than six First Instance to try parties
such fine and imprisonment;
months, or a fine of more than charged with an offense
two hundred pesos; committed within the province
(c) All criminal cases arising in which the penalty provided
under the laws relating to: by law does not exceed
(g) Over all crimes and offenses
committed on the high seas or imprisonment for two years and
beyond the jurisdiction of any four months, or a fine of two
thousand pesos, or both such liability arising from such the purchase of Unit No. C-108
imprisonment and fine, and, in offenses or predicated thereon, of the said condominium
the absence of the district judge, irrespective of kind, nature, project. Petitioner made a
shall have like jurisdiction value, or amount downpayment and several
within the province as the Court thereof: Provided, installment payments, totaling
of First Instance to hear however, That in offenses P1,114,274.30.[2] Primetown,
applications for bail. involving damage to property however, failed to finish the
through criminal negligence condominium project. Thus, on
o Secs. 20 and 32 (2\, Batas they shall have exclusive March 22, 1999, petitioner
Pambansa Blg. 129 (1980), as original jurisdiction thereof. (as demanded for the refund of her
amended by R.A, No. 7691) payments from Primetown,
Section 20. Jurisdiction in pursuant to Section 23[3] of
criminal cases. Regional Trial Dazon v. Yap, G.R. No. Presidential Decree (PD) No.
Courts shall exercise exclusive 157095,15 January 2010 957 (1976), otherwise known as
original jurisdiction in all "The Subdivision and
MA. LUISA G. DAZON, Condominium Buyers'
criminal cases not within the
exclusive jurisdiction of any PETITIONER, VS. Protective Decree". Primetown
court, tribunal or body, except KENNETH Y. YAP AND failed to refund petitioner's
those now falling under the PEOPLE OF THE payments.
exclusive and concurrent
The primordial function of the On October
jurisdiction of the
Housing and Land Use 26,2000,[4] petitioner filed a
Sandiganbayan which shall
Regulatory Board (HLURB) is criminal complaint with the
hereafter be exclusively taken
the regulation of the real estate Office of the City Prosecutor of
cognizance of by the latter
trade and business. Though the Lapu-Lapu City against
agency's jurisdiction has been respondent as president of
Section 32. Jurisdiction of expanded by law, it has not Primetown for violation of
Metropolitan Trial Courts, grown to the extent of Section 23 in relation to Section
Municipal Trial Courts and encompassing the conviction 39[5] of PD 957. Subsequently,
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts and punishment of criminals. after a finding of probable
in criminal cases. Except in
cause, an Information[6] was
cases falling within the The present Petition for Review filed with the RTC of Lapu-
exclusive original jurisdiction of on Certiorari assails the Orders Lapu City docketed as Criminal
Regional Trial Courts and of the of the Regional Trial Court Case No. 015331-L.
Sandiganbayan, the (RTC) of Lapu-Lapu City,
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Branch 54 dated October 2, Meanwhile, respondent, in
Municipal Trial Courts, and 2002 and January 13,2003, connection with the resolution
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts which granted the Motion to finding probable cause filed a
shall exercise: Withdraw Information filed by Petition for Review with the
the public prosecutor and denied Department of Justice
(1) Exclusive original the motion for reconsideration (DOJ). On June 14,2002, the
jurisdiction over all violations of filed by petitioner, respectively. DOJ rendered a
city or municipal ordinances Resolution[8]ordering the trial
committed within their Factual Antecedents prosecutor to cause the
respective territorial withdrawal of the Information.
jurisdiction; and Respondent Kenneth Y. Yap Hence, the prosecutor filed a
was the president of Primetown Motion to Withdraw
(2) Exclusive original Property Group, Inc., Information[9] with the RTC.
jurisdiction over all offenses (Primetown) the developer of
punishable with imprisonment Kiener Hills Mactan The RTC disposed of the matter
not exceeding six (6) years Condominium, a low-rise as follows:
irrespective of the amount of condominium project. In
fine, and regardless of other November 1996, petitioner Ma. Wherefore, in view of the
imposable accessory or other Luisa G. Dazon entered into a foregoing, the Motion to
penalties, including the civil contract[1] with Primetown for Withdraw Information filed by
[the] public prosecutor is hereby Our Ruling practices under PD 957. This
granted. Accordingly, the The petition has merit. ruling is reiterated in several
information' filed against the The DOJ Resolution dated June subsequent cases, to name a few
herein accused is ordered 14, 2002 which ordered the of them, Union Bank of the
withdrawn and to be transmitted withdrawal of the information Philippines-versus-HLURB,
back to the City Prosecutor's was based on the finding that G.R. No. 953364, June 29,
Office of Lapu-Lapu City. the HLURB, and not the 1992; C.T. Torres Enterprises
regular court, has jurisdiction vs. Hilionada, 191 SCRA 286;
Furnish copies of this order to over the case. Villaflor vs. Court of Appeals,
Prosecutor Rubi, Attys. Valdez 280 SCRA 297; Marina
and Pangan. Both the respondent[13] and the Properties Coip. vs. Court of
OSG[14] agree with the petitioner Appeals, 294 SCRA 273; and
SO ORDERED.[10] Petitioner's that the regular courts and not Raet vs. Court of Appeals, 295
motion for reconsideration was the HLURB have jurisdiction SCRA 677. Of significant
denied.[11] over the criminal aspect of PD relevance is the following
957. The parties, however, pronouncement of the Supreme
Issue disagree on the basis of the Court in Raet vs. Court of
directive of the DOJ for the Appeals (supra), as follows:
Hence, the present Petition for withdrawal of the
Review on Certiorari raising the Information. Was it, as argued xxx The contention has
following issue: ''Whether or not by petitioner, lack of merit. The decision in the
a regional trial court has jurisdiction of the RTC or was it, ejectment suit is conclusive only
jurisdiction over a criminal as argued by respondent, lack of on the question of possession of
action arising from violation of probable cause? We perused the the subject premises. It does not
PD 957".[12] DOJ Resolution dated June 14, settle the principal question
2002 and we find that the basis involved in the present case,
Petitioner's Arguments of the resolution was, not that namely, whether there was
Petitioner contends that there was lack of probable cause perfected contract of sale
jurisdiction is conferred by law but, the finding that it is the between petitioners and private
and that there is no law HLURB that has jurisdiction respondent PVDHC involving
expressly vesting on the over Hie case. Pertinent the units in question. Under
HLUKB exclusive jurisdiction portions of the said DOJ 8(100) of E.O. No. 648 dated
over criminal actions arising Resolution provide: February 7, 1981, as amended
from violations of PD 957. by E.O. No. 90 dated December
The petition is impressed with 17, 1986 this question is for the
Respondent's Arguments merit. HLURB to decide. The said
Respondent, on the other hand, A perusal of the allegations in provision of law gives that
contends that there is no error of the complaint-affidavit would agency the power to
law involved in this case and show complainant's grievance
that petitioner failed to give due against respondent was the Hear and decide cases of
regard to the hierarchy of courts failure of the latter's firm to unsound real estate business
by filing the present petition refund the payments she made practices; claims involving
directly with the Supreme Court for one of the units in the refijnd filed against project
instead of with the Court of aborted Mactan condominium owners, developers, dealers,
Appeals. He further argues that project in the total amount of brokers, or salesmen; and cases
the real issue is not of P1,114,274.30. of specific performance.
jurisdiction but the existence of
probable cause. The Secretary As early as in the case of Solid This jurisdiction of the HLURB
of Justice, according to Homes, Inc. vs. Payawal, 177 is exclusive. It has been held to
respondent, found no probable SCRA 72, the Supreme Court extend to the determination of
cause to warrant the filing of the had ruled that the Housing and the question whether there is a
Information, hence its directive Land Use Regulatory Board perfected contract of sale
to cause the withdrawal of the (HLURB) has exclusive between condominium buyers
Information. jurisdiction over cases involving and [the] developer x x x.
real estate business and
following nature: bodies quasi-judicial powers
In fine, the Rule of Law dictates involving the exercise of
that we should yield to this a) Unsound real estate business judgment and discretion, as
judicial declaration upholding practices; incident to the performance of
the jurisdiction of the HLURB administrative functions. But in
over cases of this nature. b) Claims involving refund and so doing, the legislature must
any other claims filed by state its intention in express
Hence, there is a need for the subdivision lot or condominium terms that would leave no doubt,
Court to make a definite ruling unit buyer against the project as even such quasi-judicial
on a question of law - the matter owner, developer, dealer, broker prerogatives must be limited, if
of jurisdiction over the criminal or salesman; and they are to be valid, only to
aspect of PD 957. those incidental to or in
c) Cases involving specific connection with the
Jurisdiction over criminal performance of contractual and performance of administrative
actions statutory obligations filed by duties, which do not amount to
arising from violations of PD buyers of subdivision lot or conferment of jurisdiction over
957 condominium unit against the a matter exclusively vested in
is vested in the regular courts. owner, developer, dealer, broker the courts".[21]
or salesman. (Italics supplied)
Jurisdiction is" conferred by law Administrative agencies being
and determined by the material It is a settled rule of statutory tribunals of limited jurisdiction
averments in the complaint as construction that the express can only wield such powers as
well as the character of the relief mention of one thing in the law are specifically granted to them
sought.15 The scope and means the exclusion of others by their enabling statutes. PD
limitation of the jurisdiction of not expressly mentioned. This 957 makes the following
the HLURB are well-defined.'6 rule is expressed in the familiar specific grant of powers to the
Its precusor, the National maxim expressio unius est NHA (now HLURB) for the
Housing Authority (NHA),17 exclusio alterius[19]. Where a imposition
was vested under PD 957 with statute, by its terms, is expressly of administrative fines, and it
exclusive jurisdiction to limited to certain matters, it may also mentions penalties for
regulate the real estate trade and not, by interpretation or criminal cases, to wit:
business,18 specifically the construction, be extended to
Sec. 38. Administrative
registration of subdivision or others. The rule proceeds from
Fines.- The Authority may
condominium projects and the premise that the legislature
prescribe and impose fines not
dealers, brokers and salesmen of would not have made specified
exceeding ten thousand pesos
subdivision lots or enumerations in a statute had the
for violations of the provisions
condominium units, issuance intention been not to restrict its
of this Decree or any rule or
and suspension of license to sell; meaning and to confine its terms
regulation thereunder. Fines
and revocation of registration to statute had the intention been
shall be payable to the Authority
certificate and license to sell. Its not to restrict its meaning and to
and enforceable through writs of
jurisdiction was later expanded confine its terms to those
execution in accordance with
under PD 1344 (1978) to expressly
the provisions of the Rules of
include adjudication of certain mentioned.[20] Noticeably, cases
Court (Italics supplied)
cases, to wit: that are criminal in nature are
not mentioned in the
Sec. 1. In the exercise of its Sec. 39. Penalties.- Any person
enumeration quoted above. The
functions to regulate the real who shall violate any of the
primordial function of the
estate trade and business and in provisions of this Decree and/or
HLURB, after all, is
addition to its powers provided any rule or regulation that may
the regulation of the real estate
for in Presidential Decree No. be issued pursuant to this
trade and business and not the
957, the National Housing Decree shall, upon conviction,
conviction and punishment of
Authority shall have the be punished by a fine of not
criminals. "It may be conceded
exclusive jurisdiction to hear more than twenty thousand
that the legislature may confer
and decide cases of the (P20,000.00) pesos and/or
on administrative boards or
imprisonment of not more than
ten years: Provided, That in the the Sandiganbayan which shall PEOPLE OF THE
case of corporations, hereafter be exclusively taken PHILIPPINES Respondent.
partnership, cooperatives, or cognizance of by the latter.
associations, the President, For review is the Decision of the
Manager or Administrator or the Based on the above-quoted Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
person who has charge of the provision, it is the RTC that has CR No. 21879 dated September
administration of the business jurisdiction over criminal cases 17, 2001,1 affirming the
shall be criminally responsible arising from violations of PD September 23, 1997 Decision of
for any violation of this/Decree 957. the Regional Trial Court of
and/or the rules and regulations Makati City, Branch 63, in
promulgated pursuant thereto, In the present case, the affidavit- Criminal Case No. 91-5617
complaint[23] alleges the convicting petitioner Isidro
Having limited, under Section violation of Section 23 oFTD Pablito Palana with violation of
38 of PD 957, the grant of power 957 and asks for the institution Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 22
to the former NHA, now of a criminal action against otherwise known as the
HLURB, over the imposition of respondent Yap, as President of "Bouncing Checks Law".
fines to those which do not Primetown. The Office of the
exceed ten thousand pesos, it is City Prosecutor found probable On August 19, 1991, petitioner
clear that the power in relation cause for the filing of was charged with violation of
to criminal liability mentioned an'Information for the subject B.P. Blg. 22 in an Information
in the immediately succeeding offense. The DOJ made no which reads as follows:
provision, to impose, upon reversal of such finding of
conviction, fines above ten probable cause. Instead, it That on or about September
thousand pesos directed the withdrawal of the 1987, in the Municipality of
and/or imprisonment, was not information on the erroneous Makati, Metro Manila,
conferred on it. Section 39, premise that it is the HLURB Philippines, a place within the
unlike Section 38, which has jurisdiction over the jurisdiction of this Honorable
conspicuously does not state case. However, as above- Court, the above-named accused
that it is the MIA that may discussed, and contrary to the did, then and there, willfully,
impose the punishment resolution of the Secretary of unlawfully and knowingly make
specified therein. Justice, it is not the HLURB but or draw and issue to Alex B.
the RTC that has jurisdiction to Carlos to apply on account or for
Not having been specifically hear the said criminal action. the value the check described
conferred with power to hear below:
and decide cases which are WHEREFORE, the petition
criminal in nature, as well as to is GRANTED. The assailed
Check 326317P
impose penalties therefor, we October 2, 2002 and January 13, :
No. R
find that the HLURB has no 2003 Orders of the Regional
jurisdiction over criminal Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City, Drawn : Asian
actions arising from violations Branch 54, Agains Savings
of PD 957. are REVERSED and SET t Bank
ASIDE. The said Court Paseo de
On the other hand, BP Big. 129 is DIRECTED to proceed with Roxas
states: the arraignment of the Branch
respondent and to hear the case
Sec. 20. Jurisdiction in Criminal with dispatch. In the
590,000
Cases. - Regional Trial Courts amoun :
.00
shall exercise exclusive original t of
jurisdiction in all criminal cases o Palana v. People, G.R. No.
not within the exclusive L49995,28 September 2O07 Postdat February
:
jurisdiction of any court, ed 15, 1988
tribunal or body, except those ISIDRO PABLITO M. Payabl Dr. Alex
now falling under the exclusive PALANA, Petitioner, :
e to B. Carlos
and concurrent jurisdiction of vs.
said accused well knowing that the subject check was not issued registered on December 1, 1987
at the time of issue, he did not in September 1987 to guarantee only in the name of
have sufficient funds in or credit the payment of a loan since his petitioner.13 The Court of
with the drawee bank for the checking account was opened Appeals also held that the act of
payment in full of the face only on December 1, 1987.8 He lending money does not
amount of such check when claimed that private necessarily amount to an
presented for payment within complainant cajoled him to investment of capital.
(90) days from the date thereof, issue a check in his favor
was subsequently dishonored by allegedly to be shown to a textile Hence, the instant petition
the drawee bank for the reason supplier who would provide the raising the following issues:
Drawn Against Insufficient partnership with the necessary
Funds and despite receipt of raw materials. Petitioner alleged THE COURT OF APPEALS
notice of such dishonor, the that when the check was issued ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE
accused failed to pay said payee sometime in February FINDING OF THE LOWER
the face amount of said check or 1988,9 complainant knew that COURT DISREGARDING
make arrangement for full the same was not funded.10 THE DEFENSE OF THE
payment within five (5) banking ACCUSED THAT THE
days after receiving notice.2 After trial on the merits, the ISSUANCE OF THE
Regional Trial Court rendered SUBJECT ASIAN BANK
On January 30, 1992, the case on September 23, 1997 a CHECK, WAS NOT FOR A
was archived due to petitioners Decision11 finding petitioner CONSIDERATION OR FOR
non-apprehension despite the guilty as charged, the VALUE, AS THE ACCUSED
issuance of a warrant for his dispositive portion of which WAS ONLY TRICKED BY
arrest.3 On June 27, 1995, the reads: THE PRIVATE
warrant of arrest was recalled COMPLAINANT TO ISSUE
and set aside4 after petitioner Wherefore, this court finds the THE SAID CHECK AS A
posted the required bail. He was accused Isidro Pablito M. MEANS OF BINDING THE
arraigned on July 25, 1995 when Palana guilty as charged and ACCUSED TO RETURN HIS
he pleaded not guilty to the sentences him to a prison term INVESTMENT IN THE
offense charged.5 of Six (6) months and to PARTNERSHIP WHICH WAS
indemnify the private THEN SUFFERING FROM
Private complainant Alex B. complainant the sum of BUSINESS REVERSALS.
Carlos testified that sometime in 590,000.00 plus legal interest
September 1987, petitioner and from filing of this case until full THE COURT OF APPEALS
his wife borrowed money from payment. ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE
him in the amount of FINDINGS OF THE LOWER
590,000.00. To secure the SO ORDERED. COURT THAT THE
payment of the loan, petitioner REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
issued a postdated check for the Petitioner appealed but it was HAS JURISDICTION OVER
same amount in favor of the dismissed by the Court of THE CASE, DESPITE THE
complainant.6 However, when Appeals which affirmed the trial FACT THAT AT THE TIME
the check was presented for courts decision in toto.12 THE ACCUSED WAS
payment, it was dishonored by ARRAIGNED ON JULY 25,
the bank for insufficiency of Both the trial court and the 1995 R.A. 7691 EXPANDING
funds. Subsequent demand Court of Appeals found that the THE JURISDICTION OF THE
notwithstanding, petitioner check was issued as a guaranty METROPOLITAN TRIAL
failed to make good the said for the loan, thereby rejecting COURT WAS ALREADY IN
dishonored check.7 petitioners "investment EFFECT.14
theory". In ruling against the
Petitioner alleged that the existence of a partnership The issues to be resolved are: 1)
amounts given to him by private between them, the trial court whether petitioner was guilty of
complainant was an investment noted that the so-called violation of B.P. Blg. 22; and 2)
by the latter who was his partnership venture, Palanas whether the Regional Trial
business partner. He argued that General Merchandising, was
Court has jurisdiction over the of not exceeding four years controversy, its jurisdiction to
case. and two months, or a fine of proceed to the final
not more than four thousand determination of the cause is not
Petitioners argument that it is pesos, or both such fine and affected by new legislation
the Metropolitan Trial Court and imprisonment, regardless of placing jurisdiction over such
not the Regional Trial Court other imposable accessory or proceedings in another tribunal
which has jurisdiction over the other penalties, including the unless the statute expressly
case pursuant to R.A. 7691 is civil liability arising from such provides, or is construed to the
without merit. offenses or predicated thereon, effect that it is intended to
irrespective of kind, nature, operate on actions pending
It is hornbook doctrine that value or amount thereof: before its enactment. Indeed,
jurisdiction to try a criminal Provided, however, That in R.A. No. 7691 contains
action is determined by the law offenses involving damage to retroactive provisions.
in force at the time of property through criminal However, these only apply to
the institution of the negligence they shall have civil cases that have not yet
action15 and not during the exclusive original jurisdiction reached the pre-trial stage.
arraignment of the accused. The where the imposable fine does Neither from an express proviso
Information charging petitioner not exceed twenty thousand nor by implication can it be
with violation of B.P. Blg. 22 pesos. construed that R.A. No. 7691
was filed on August 19, 1991. has retroactive application to
At that time, the governing law Violation of B.P. Blg. 22 is criminal cases pending or
determinative of jurisdiction is punishable with imprisonment decided by the Regional Trial
B.P. Blg. 12916 which provides: of not less than 30 days but not Courts prior to its
more than one year or by a fine effectivity.20 The jurisdiction of
Sec. 20. Jurisdiction in criminal of not less than but not more the RTC over the case attached
cases. Regional Trial Courts than double the amount of the upon the commencement of the
shall exercise exclusive original check which fine shall in no case action by the filing of the
jurisdiction in all criminal exceed 200,000.00, or both Information and could not be
cases not within the exclusive fine and imprisonment17 at the ousted by the passage of R.A.
jurisdiction of any court, discretion of the court. In the No. 7691 reapportioning the
tribunal or body, except those present case, the fine imposable jurisdiction of inferior courts,
now falling under the exclusive is 200,000.00 hence, the the application of which to
and concurrent jurisdiction of Regional Trial Court properly criminal cases is prospective in
the Sandiganbayan which shall acquired jurisdiction over the nature.21
hereafter be exclusively taken case.18 The Metropolitan Trial
cognizance by the latter. Court could not acquire After a careful review of the
jurisdiction over the criminal records, this Court sustains
Sec. 32. Jurisdiction of action because its jurisdiction is petitioners conviction for
Metropolitan Trial Courts, only for offenses punishable violation of B.P. Blg. 22. The
Municipal Trial Courts and with a fine of not more than elements of the offense
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts 4,000.00. penalized under B.P. Blg. 22 are
in Criminal Cases. Except in as follows: (1) the accused
cases falling within the The subsequent amendment of makes, draws, or issues any
exclusive original jurisdiction of B.P. 129 by R.A. No. 7691, "An check to apply on account or for
Regional Trial Courts and the Act Expanding the Jurisdiction value; (2) the accused knows at
Sandiganbayan, the of the Municipal Trial Courts, the time of issue that he does not
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Circuit Trial Courts have sufficient funds in or credit
Municipal Trial Courts, and and the Metropolitan Trial with the drawee bank for the
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts Court"19 on June 15, 1994 payment of such check in full
shall exercise: cannot divest the Regional Trial upon its presentment; and (3)
Court of jurisdiction over the check is subsequently
1 (2) Exclusive original petitioners case. Where a court dishonored by the drawee bank
jurisdiction over all offenses has already obtained and is for insufficiency of funds or
punishable with imprisonment exercising jurisdiction over a credit or would have been
dishonored for the same reason
had not the drawer, without any subject check was a loan and not absence of criminal intent are
valid reason, ordered the bank to an investment.23 unavailing.
stop payment.
Upon issuance of a check, in the The checks issued, even
Each element of the offense was absence of evidence to the assuming they were not
duly proven by the prosecution. contrary, it is presumed that the intended to be encashed or
Petitioner admitted that at the same was issued for valuable deposited in a bank, produce the
time he issued the subject check, consideration, which may same effect as ordinary checks.
he knew that he does not have consist either in some right, What the law punishes is the
sufficient funds in or credit with interest, profit or benefit issuance of a rubber check itself
the drawee bank for payment of accruing to the party who makes and not the purpose for which
such check. Consequently, the contract, or some the check was issued nor the
when the check was presented forbearance, detriment, loss or terms and conditions relating to
for payment, it was dishonored some responsibility, to act, or its issuance. This is not without
by the drawee bank for labor, or service given, suffered good reasons. To determine the
insufficiency of funds. or undertaken by the other side. purpose as well as the terms and
Thereafter, he received demand Since it was established that conditions for which checks are
letters to pay the amount of the petitioner received money from issued will greatly erode the
check from private complainant private complainant in various faith the public reposes in the
but he did not comply with it.22 amounts,24 petitioner cannot stability and commercial value
now claim that the checks were of checks as currency
In ruling that the amount of the not issued for value.25 substitutes, and bring about
check was for consideration or havoc in the trading and banking
value, both the trial court and the The allegation that the check communities. Besides, the law
Court of Appeals upheld private was intended to be shown to does not make any distinction as
complainants claim that the potential suppliers is not a valid to the kind of checks which are
check was issued as a guaranty defense. In Cueme v. the subject of its provisions,
for the loan and rejected People,26 the Court held thus: hence, no such distinction can
petitioners "investment be made by means of
theory". The issue as to whether The allegation of petitioner that interpretation or application.
the amount of the subject check the checks were merely intended What is important is the fact that
represents the amount of the to be shown to prospective petitioner deliberately issued the
money loaned by private investors of her corporation is, checks in question and those
complainant to petitioner or as to say the least, not a defense. checks were dishonored upon
an investment in the alleged The gravamen of the offense presentment for payment.
partnership is a factual question punished under B.P. Blg. 22 is
involving the credibility of the act of making or issuing a Hence, the agreement
witnesses. Where the issue is worthless check or a check that surrounding the issuance of a
one of credibility, the appellate is dishonored upon its check is irrelevant to the
court will not generally disturb presentment for payment. The prosecution and conviction of
the findings of the lower court law has made the mere act of the petitioner.27
considering that it is in a better issuing a bad check malum
position to settle that issue since prohibitum, an act proscribed by The alleged inconsistency in the
it had the advantage of hearing the legislature for being deemed date of issuance of the subject
the witnesses and observing pernicious and inimical to check is likewise
their conduct during the trial, public welfare. Considering the immaterial.1wphi1 Issuance,
which circumstances carry great rule in mala prohibita cases, the as defined under the Negotiable
weight in assessing their only inquiry is whether the law Instruments Law, is the first
credibility. In the present case, has been breached. Criminal delivery of the check.28 In the
we see no reason to reverse the intent becomes unnecessary case at bar, the Information
finding of the trial court as where the acts are prohibited for alleged that the check was
affirmed by the Court of reasons of public policy, and the postdated February 15, 1988
Appeals that the amount of the defenses of good faith and although issued in or about
September 1987. During trial,
petitioner testified that the 2001, the alternative penalty of Act of 1972, as amended, when
Checking Account was opened fine may be imposed in lieu of the imposable penalty is not
only on December 1, 1987 and imprisonment considering that more than six (6) years.
that the check was issued the prosecution failed to prove
sometime in February 1988. or allege that petitioner is not a The petitioner was charged with
first-time offender.30 Hence, in the violation of Section 15 in
The rule is that a variance lieu of imprisonment, a fine of relation to Section 20 of R.A.
between the allegation in the 200,000.00 shall be imposed No. 6425, as amended by R.A.
information and proof adduced upon petitioner.31 No. 7659, in an information
during trial shall be fatal to the filed before the Regional Trial
criminal case if it is material and WHEREFORE, the assailed Court (RTC) of Pasay City on
prejudicial to the accused so decision of the Court of Appeals 13 March 1996. The accusatory
much so that it affects his in CA-G.R. CR No. 21879 dated portion of the said information
substantial rights.29 In a September 17, 2001, finding reads as follows:
prosecution for violation of B.P. petitioner ISIDRO PABLITO
22, the time of the issuance of M. PALANA guilty of violating That on or about the 11th day of
the subject check is material Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, is March 1996, in Pasay, Metro
since it forms part of the second AFFIRMED with Manila, Philippines, and within
element of the offense that at the MODIFICATION. Petitioner is the jurisdiction of this
time of its issuance, petitioner ordered to pay private Honorable Court, the above-
knew of the insufficiency of complainant the amount of named accused, Ernesto
funds. However, it cannot be 590,000.00, representing the Morales y De la Cruz, without
said that petitioner was value of the check, with six (6%) authority of law, did then and
prejudiced by such variance nor percent interest from date of there wilfully, unlawfully and
was surprised by it. Records filing of the Information until feloniously sell and deliver to
show that petitioner knew at the the finality of the decision, the another 0.4587 grams of
time he issued the check that he amount of which, inclusive of Metamphetamine
does not have sufficient funds in the interest, is subject to twelve Hydrochloride (shabu), a
the bank to cover the amount of percent (12%) interest, from regulated drug.
the check. Yet, he proceeded to finality of the decision until
issue the same claiming that the fully paid. In lieu of CONTRARY TO LAW. 4
same would only be shown to imprisonment, petitioner is
prospective suppliers, a defense ordered to pay a fine of The case was docketed as
which is not valid. 200,000.00. Criminal Case No. 96-8443 and
raffled to Branch 116 of the said
Moreover, there is no merit in o Morales v. Court of Appeals, court.
petitioners allegation that G.R. No' 126623,12
private complainant knew that Upon his arraignment, the
the check is not funded. Both the ERNESTO MORALES y petitioner entered a plea of not
trial court and the Court of DELA CRUZ, petitioner, guilty. 5 Subsequently, on 30
Appeals found that the subject vs.COURT OF APPEALS, April 1996, the petitioner filed a
check was issued as guaranty for HON. ALFREDO J. Motion to Dismiss6 on the
payment of the loan hence, was GUSTILO, as Presiding Judge ground that the RTC had no
intended to apply for account or of RTC, Pasay City, Branch jurisdiction to try the case
for value. As such, it was 116 and PEOPLE OF THE considering that pursuant to
incumbent upon petitioner to see Section 20 of R.A. No. 7659 as
to it that the check is duly The key issue in this case is construed in People v.
covered when presented for whether, in light of R.A. No. Simon, 7 the penalty imposable
payment. 7659 1 as interpreted in People for the offense charged should
v. Simon, 2 and R.A. No. not exceed prision
Pursuant to Supreme Court 7691, 3 Regional Trial Courts correccional or six (6) years and
Administrative Circular No. 12- have jurisdiction over violations under R.A. No. 7691 it is the
2000, as clarified by of R.A. No. 6425, otherwise Metropolitan Trial Court which
Administrative Circular No. 13- known as the Dangerous Drugs has jurisdiction over the case.
In its Order 8 of 9 May 1996, the hence, cognizable by the the Supreme Court has
RTC denied the motion. It held: Supreme Court alone pursuant exclusive jurisdiction to review,
to Section 9 of Batas Pambansa revise, reverse, modify or affirm
It is true that under the Bilang 129, in connection with on certiorari final judgments
aforementioned provision, cases Section 5(2)(c), Article VIII of and decrees of inferior courts in
punishable with penalties of not the 1987 Constitution and all cases in which the
more than six (6) years are Section 17 of Republic Act No. jurisdiction of any inferior court
within the exclusive jurisdiction 5440. The OSG then is on issue. It is hereby stressed
of the Metropolitan Trial recommended that the case be that the issue in the petition at
Courts. However, the elevated to the Supreme Court bench is purely a question of
exceptions are "cases falling for disposition, or that the Court jurisdiction which is resolvable
within the exclusive original of Appeals grant the petition and on the basis of the records.
jurisdiction of the Regional set aside the challenged order of
Trial Court. . ." Under Section the RTC should it rule that it had After the denial 14 on 13
39 of Republic Act No. 6425, jurisdiction over petition. September 1996 of his motion
the Dangerous Drugs Act of for reconsideration, 15 the
1972, the Court of First Instance In its Resolution 13 of 8 August petitioner came to this Court via
now the Regional Trial Court 1996, the Court of Appeals this petition for review wider
and the Juvenile and Domestic dismissed the petition Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
Relations Court, which no for certiorari for lack of raising the following issues:
longer exist, "shall have jurisdiction over the action.
concurrent original jurisdiction Explaining its ruling, it I. WHETHER OR NOT THE
over all cases involving offenses declared: COURT OF APPEALS HAS
punishable under this Act." It is JURISDICTION TO
therefore clear that this case, In his Comment to the petition, ENTERTAIN A PETITION
which is a violation of Republic the Solicitor General, inter alia, FOR CERTIORARI UNDER
Act No. 6425, although contended that this Court has no RULE 65 OF THE RULES OF
punishable by a penalty of less jurisdiction over the petition for COURT WHERE THE ISSUE
than six (6) years, falls within it properly falls within the IS THE JURISDICTION OF
the jurisdiction of the Regional exclusive jurisdiction of the RESPOND NT RTC JUDGE
Trial Court. Supreme Court. TO TRY THE ALLEGED
VIOLATION OF R.A. 6425;
His motion for the We fully agree. AND.
reconsideration 9 of the order
having been denied, 10 the Section 5, Article VIII of the II. WHETHER OR NOT
petitioner filed with respondent Constitution provides: RESPONDENT RTC
Court of Appeals a petition for JUDGE/COURT HAS
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Sec. 5. The Supreme Court shall JURISDICTION TO TRY
Rules of Court. 11 The case was have the following powers; . . . ALLEGED VIOLATION OF
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. SECTION 15, IN RELATION
40670. (2) Review, revise, reverse, TO SECTION 20, ART. III OF
modify, or affirm on appeal R.A. 6425, AS AMENDED,
In its Comment 12 in CA-G.R. or certiorari as the law or the INVOLVING ONLY 0.4587
SP No. 40670, the Office of the Rules of Court may provide, GRAMS OF SHABU.
Solicitor General (OSG) agreed final judgments and orders of
with the petitioner that the RTC lower courts in: . . . As to the first, the petitioner
had no jurisdiction to try the insists that respondent Court of
criminal case. It, however, (c) All cases in which the Appeals has concurrent original
asserted that the Court of jurisdiction of any lower court is jurisdiction with this Court over
Appeals had no jurisdiction over in issue. . . . petitions for certiorari under
the special civil action Rule 65 of the Rules of Court
for certiorari, as the same involving decisions or orders of
Section 17 of R.A. 5446
involved only the question of Regional Trial Courts pursuant
otherwise known as the
jurisdiction of an inferior court, to Section 9(1) 16 of B.P. Blg.
Judiciary Act of 1948 says that
129 in relation to Section imprisonment not exceeding six metropolitan trial court for
5(1) 17 of Article VIII of the years now fall under the further proceedings."
Constitution. He cites De Jesus jurisdiction of the Metropolitan
v. Court of Appeals 18 wherein Trial Courts, Municipal Trial We resolved to give due course
this Court held that the original Courts, and Municipal Circuit to this petition.
jurisdiction of the Court of Trial Courts. Since on the basis
Appeals under Section 9 of B.P. of the quantity of the regulated The Court of Appeals erred in
Blg. 129 is concurrent with that drug involved in this case the holding that it had no
of the Supreme Court, and with penalty imposable does not jurisdiction over petitioner's
that of Regional Trial Courts for exceed prision correccional, it special civil action
writs enforceable within their is the Metropolitan Trial Court for certiorariunder Rule 65 of
respective regions. The of Pasay City which has the Rules of Court.
petitioner further maintains that jurisdiction over the case. It
Section 5(2)(c) of Article VIII of disagreed with the opinion of Under Section 9(1) of B.P. Blg.
the Constitution and Section 17 the RTC that violations of R.A. 129, the Court of Appeals has
of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as No. 6425, as amended, still fall concurrent original jurisdiction
amended by R.A. No. 5440, within the jurisdiction of the with the Supreme Court
relied upon by the Court RTC because the latter's pursuant to Section 5(1) of
Appeals are not applicable jurisdiction thereon mandated Article VIII of the Constitution
inasmuch as they relate to by Section 39 of R.A. No. 6425 and Section 17(1) of the
the appellate jurisdiction of this has been preserved by the Judiciary Act of 1948, and with
Court and not to an original exception provided for in the the Regional Trial Court
action under Rule 65 of the opening sentence of Section 32 pursuant to Section 21(7) of
Rules of Court. of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by B.P. Blg. 129 to issue writs
Section 2 of R.A. No. 7691. It of certiorari, mandamus,
As regards the second issue, the submits that Section 39 of R.A. prohibition, habeas corpus,
petitioner asserts that the RTC No. 6425 was repealed by and quo warranto. 24 These are
below has no jurisdiction over Section 6 of R.A. No. 7691, original actions, not modes
the offense charged considering which provides: of appeals.
that only 0.4587 grams of
methamphetamine Sec. 6. All laws, decrees, and Since what the petitioner filed in
hydrochloride (shabu) is orders inconsistent with the CA-G.R. SP No. 40670 was a
involved. In light of Section 20 provisions of this Act shall be special civil action
of R.A. No. 7659, 19 as considered amended or for certiorari under Rule 65, the
interpreted in People modified accordingly. original jurisdiction of the Court
v. Simon 20 and further of Appeals thereon is beyond
explained in People In support of its submission, it doubt.
v. Santos 21 and Ordoez cites this Court's resolution
v. Vinarao, 22 the imposable in Gulhoran v. Escao, Jr. 23 This error of the Court of
penalty therefor would not Appeals was due to its
exceed prision correccional, The OSG further contends that misapplication of Section
whose maximum period is six respondent Court of Appeals 5(2)(c) of Article VIII of the
(6) years. Hence, under R.A. was correct in dismissing the Constitution and of that portion
No. 7691 exclusive original petition for certiorari for lack of of Section 17 of the Judiciary
jurisdiction therein is vested in jurisdiction in view of Section Act of 1948 vesting upon the
Metropolitan Trial Courts, 9(3) of B.P. Blg. 129; Sec. Supreme Court exclusive
Municipal Trial Courts, and 5(2)(c) of Article VIII of the jurisdiction to review, revise,
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. Constitution; and Section 17 of reverse, modify, or affirm
the Judiciary Act of 1948, as on certiorari as the law or rules
In its Comment on the petition, amended by R.A. No. 5440. of court may provide, final
the OSG submits that all Nevertheless, it prays that this judgments and decrees of
violations of R.A. No. 6425, as petition "be given due course inferior courts in all cases in
further amended by R.A. No. and that Criminal Case No. 96- which the jurisdiction of any
7659, which are punishable by 8443 be remanded to the proper inferior court is in issue. It
forgot that this constitutional We now address the second day to six (6) years. Does it
and statutory provisions pertain issue. follow then that, as the
to the appellate petitioner insists, the RTC has
not original jurisdiction of Applying by analogy the ruling no jurisdiction thereon in view
the Supreme Court, as correctly in People v. Simon, 27 People of the amendment of Section 32
maintained by the petitioner. v. De Lara, 28 People of B.P. Blg. 129 by R.A. No.
An appellate jurisdiction refers 29
v. Santos, and Ordoez 7691, which vested upon
to a process which is but a v. Vinarao, 30 the imposable Metropolitan Trial Courts,
continuation of the original suit, penalty in this case which Municipal Trial Courts, and
not a commencement of a new involves 0.4587grams of shabu Municipal Circuit Trial Courts'
action, such as that of a special should not exceed prision exclusive original jurisdiction
civil action for certiorari. The correccional. We say over all offenses punishable
general rule is that a denial of a by analogy because these cases with imprisonment not
motion to dismiss or to quash in involved marijuana, not exceeding six (6) years
criminal cases is interlocutory methamphetamine irrespective of the amount of
and cannot be the subject of an hydrochloride (shabu). In fine and regardless of other
appeal or of a special civil action Section 20 of R.A. No. 6425, as imposable accessory or other
for certiorari. Nevertheless, this amended by Section 17 of R.A. penalties? This section 32 as
Court has allowed a special civil No. 7659, the maximum thus amended now reads:
action for certiorari where a quantities of marijuana and
lower court has acted without or methamphetamine Sec. 32. Jurisdiction of
in excess of jurisdiction or with hydrochloride for purposes of Metropolitan Trial Courts,
grave abuse of discretion in imposing the maximum Municipal Trial Courts and
denying a motion to dismiss or penalties are not the same. For Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
to quash. 25 The petitioner the latter, if the quantity in Criminal Cases. Except in
believed that the RTC below did involved is 200 grams or more, cases falling within the
so; hence, the special civil the penalty of reclusion exclusive original jurisdiction of
action for certiorari before the perpetua to death and a fine Regional Trial Court and of the
Court of Appeals appeared to be ranging from P500,000 to P10 Sandiganbayan, the
the proper remedy. million shall be imposed. Metropolitan Trial Courts,
Accordingly, if the quantity Municipal Trial Courts, and
The next most logical step then involved is below 200 grams, Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
is for us to simply set aside the the imposable penalties should shall exercise:
challenged resolutions and to be as follows:
direct the Court of Appeals to (2) Exclusive original
resolve on the merits the petition a) reclusion temporal if the jurisdiction over all offenses
in CA-G.R. SP No. 40670. But, quantity involved is punishable with imprisonment
that would further delay the from 134 to 199 grams; not exceeding six (6) years
case. Considering the special irrespective of the amount of
importance of the lone legal b) prision mayor if the fine, and regardless of other
issue raised, which can be quantity involved is imposable accessory or other
resolved on the basis of the from 66 to 133 grams; penalties, including the civil
pleadings heretofore filed, and liability arising from such
the fact that this Court has c) prision correccional if the offender or predicated thereon,
concurrent jurisdiction over quantity involved is 65 irrespective of kind, nature,
petitioner's special action in CA- grams or below. value or amount thereof:
G.R. SP No. 40670, we deem it Provided, however, That in
more practical and in the greater Clearly, the penalty which may offenses involving damage to
interest of justice not to remand be imposed for the offense property through criminal
the case to the Court of Appeals charged in Criminal Case No. negligence, they shall have
but, instead, to take direct 96-8443 would at most be exclusive original jurisdiction
cognizance thereof and resolve only prision thereof.
it once and for all. 26 correccional whose duration is
from six (6) months and one (1)
The exception in the opening over all cases involving by the repealing clause (Section
sentence is of special violations of said Act. 6) of R.A. No. 7691.
significance which we cannot
disregard. By virtue thereof, the Jurisdiction is, of course, Neither can it be successfully
exclusive original jurisdiction of conferred by the Constitution or argued that Section 39 of R.A.
the Metropolitan Trial Courts, by Congress. Outside the cases No. 6425, as amended by P.D.
Municipal Trial Courts, and enumerated in Section 5(2) of No. 44, is no longer operative
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts Article VIII of the Constitution, because Section 44 of B.P. Blg.
in criminal cases does not cover Congress has the plenary power 129 abolished the Courts of First
those cases which by provision to define, prescribe and Instance, Circuit Criminal
of law fall within the exclusive apportion the jurisdiction of Courts, and Juvenile and
original jurisdiction of Regional various courts. 32 Accordingly, Domestic Relations Courts.
Trial Courts and of the Congress may, by law, provide While, indeed, Section 44
Sandiganbayan regardless of the that a certain class of cases provides that these courts were
prescribed penalty. Otherwise should be exclusively heard and to be "deemed automatically
put, even if such cases are determined by one court. Such abolished" upon the declaration
punishable by imprisonment not would be a special law and must by the President that the
exceeding six years (i.e., prision be construed as an exception to reorganization provided in B.P.
correccional, arresto mayor, the general law on jurisdiction Blg. 129 had been completed,
or arresto menor), jurisdiction, of courts, namely, the Judiciary this Court should not lose sight
thereon is retained by the Act of 1948 as amended, or the of the fact that the Regional
Regional Trial Courts or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of Trial Courts merely replaced the
Sandiganbayan, as the case may 1980. In short, the special law Courts of First Instance as
be. prevails over the general law. clearly borne out by the last two
sentences of Section 44, to wit:
The aforementioned exception R.A. No. 7691 can by no means
refers not only to Section 20 of be considered another special Upon such declaration, the said
B.P. Blg. 129 providing for the law on jurisdiction but merely courts shall be deemed
jurisdiction of Regional Trial an amendatory law intended to automatically abolished and the
Courts in criminal cases,31 but amend specific sections of the incumbents thereof shall cease
also to other laws which Judiciary Reorganization Act of to hold office. The cases
specifically lodge in Regional 1980. Hence, it does not have pending in the old Courts shall
Trial Courts exclusive the effect of repealing or be transferred to the appropriate
jurisdiction over specific modifying Article 360 of the Courts constituted pursuant to
criminal cases, e.g., (a) Article Revised Penal Code; Section 57 this Act, together with the
360 of the Revised Penal Code, of the Decree on Intellectual pertinent functions, records,
as amended by R.A. Nos. 1289 Property; and Section 39 of R.A. equipment, property and
and 4363 on written defamation No. 6425, as amended by P.D. necessary personnel.
or libel; (b) Decree on No. 44. In a manner of speaking,
intellectual Property (P.D. No. R.A. No. 7691 was absorbed by In short, there was a change in
49, as amended), which vests the mother law, the Judiciary name only from Courts of
upon Courts of First Instance Reorganization Act of 1980. First Instance to Regional Trial
exclusive jurisdiction over the Courts. The Interim Rules and
cases therein mentioned That Congress indeed did not Guidelines Relative to the
regardless of the imposable intend to repeal these special Implementation of B.P. Blg. 129
penalty; and (c) more laws vesting exclusive promulgated by this Court on 11
appropriately for the case at bar, jurisdiction in the Regional Trial January 1983 also provides that
Section 39 of R.A. No. 6425, as Courts over certain cases is the reference to the courts of
amended by P.D. No. 44, which clearly evident from the first instance in the Rules of
vests on Courts of First Instance, exception provided for in the Court shall be deemed changed
Circuit Criminal Courts, and the opening sentence of Section 32 to the regional trial courts.
Juvenile and Domestic of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by
Relations Courts concurrent R.A. No. 7691. These special Consequently, it is not accurate
exclusive original jurisdiction laws are not, therefore, covered to state that the "abolition" of
the Courts of First Instance 421-RTC, 35 resolved as WHEREFORE, the petition is
carried with it the abolition of follows: GRANTED, but only insofar as
their exclusive original the issue of jurisdiction of
jurisdiction in drug cases vested . . . to AMEND Administrative respondent Court of Appeals in
by Section 39 of R.A. No. 6425, Order No. 104-96, dated CA-G.R. SP No. 40670 is
as amended by P. D. No. 44. If October 21, 1996, with respect concerned. The Resolutions of 8
that were so, then so must it be only to the violation of the August and 13 September 1996
with respect to Article 360 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, of the Court of Appeals are SET
Revised Penal Code and Section as amended, if the imposable ASIDE, while the challenged
57 of the Decree on Intellectual penalty is reclusion perpetua to orders in Criminal Case No. 96-
Property. On the contrary, in the death. Thus, if the imposable 8443 of the Regional Trial Court
resolution of 19 June 1996 penalty is below reclusion of Pasay City, Branch 116, are
in Caro v. Court of perpetua the drug related cases AFFIRMED. The trial court is
Appeals 33 and in the resolution will be raffled among the regular hereby DIRECTED to proceed
of 26 February 1997 in Villalon courts as ordinary criminal with the trial of Criminal Case
v. Baldado, 34 this Court cases. No. 96-8443 with all reasonable
expressly ruled that Regional dispatch.
Trial Courts have the exclusive Thereafter, in Circular No. 31-
original jurisdiction over libel 97 dated 15 May 1997, the Court o People v. Hon. Eduarte, G.R.
cases pursuant to Article 360 of Administrator directed Judges No. 88232,25 February 1990
the Revised Penal Code. In of "special courts for
Administrative Order No. 104- Kidnapping, Robbery, PEOPLE OF THE
96 this Court mandates that: Carnapping, Dangerous Drugs PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
and other Heinous Crimes" to vs.HON. HENEDINO P.
LIBEL CASES SHALL BE comply with the aforesaid EDUARTE, in his capacity as
TRIED BY THE REGIONAL amendment to Administrative Acting Presiding Judge of the
TRIAL COURTS HAVING Order No. 104-96. To avoid any RTC, Br. 22, Cabagan,
JURISDICTION OVER THEM further confusion or Isabela; ELVINO AGGABAO
TO THE EXCLUSION OF misunderstanding, we hereby and VILLA SURATOS,
THE METROPOLITAN declare that the term "regular
TRIAL COURTS, courts" found in the above Assailed in this petition is the
MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS amendment refers exclusively to order of the Regional Trial
IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL the Regional Trial Courts and Court of Cabagan, Isabela,
TRIAL COURTS AND was not intended to include Branch 22, dismissing the
MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL Metropolitan Trial Courts, criminal information for
COURT. Municipal Trial Courts and concubinage filed against
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. private respondents, on the
It likewise provides that ground of lack of jurisdiction.
jurisdiction over cases involving In view of the foregoing, the The antecedent facts are as
violations of intellectual Court hereby abandons the follows:
property rights are "confined resolution in Gulhoran
exclusively to the Regional Trial v. Escao 36 where, through the Upon complaint by Alma T.
Courts." Second Division, we ruled, in Aggabao, the Office of the
effect, that Section 39 of R.A. Provincial Fiscal of Cabagan,
The same Administrative Order No. 6425, as amended, was Isabela filed on July 25, 1986
recognizes that violations of repealed by virtue of the with the Regional Trial Court of
RA. No. 6426, as amended, repealing clause of R.A. No. Cabagan, Isabela, Branch 22, an
regardless of the quantity 7691. information against private
involved, are to be tried and respondents Elvino Aggabao
decided by the Regional Trial The RTC then did not commit and Villa Suratos for the crime
Courts therein designated as any error in denying petitioner's of concubinage [Annex "A" to
special courts. As to the latter, motion to dismiss Civil Case the Petition; Rollo, p. 17.]
this Court in its Resolution of 15 No. 96-8443. allegedly committed in
April 1997 in A.M. No. 96-11- September 1983. Upon being
arraigned, private respondents prosecutor filed a separate accordance with Rule 141, Sec.
entered a plea of not guilty motion for reconsideration. In 16 of the Revised Rules of
[Annex "B" to the Petition; these motions, the Solicitor Court.
Rollo, p. 19]. The complainant General and the private
was represented before the trial prosecutor submitted additional Petitioner first contends that
court by a private prosecutor. arguments to support their private respondents are
During the trial, private position that the Regional Trial estopped from raising the issue
respondents filed a motion to Court has jurisdiction over the of jurisdiction after the
dismiss on the ground of lack of crime of concubinage. prosecution has rested its case
jurisdiction. They argued that and the defense has started to
concubinage, under Art. 334 of At the outset, it must be stated present its evidence.
the Revised Penal Code (RPC) that the petition is defective Furthermore, petitioner
is punishable with prision since it was not filed by the complains that "it took two (2)
correccional in its minimum Solicitor General. Instead, it was years and six (6) months before
and medium periods, which is filed by the private prosecutor anyone to take (sic) notice of the
equivalent to imprisonment of and the assistant provincial jurisdictional infirmity
six (6) months and one (1) day prosecutor of Ilagan, Isabela, [Petition, p. 5; Rollo, p. 12].
to four (4) years and two (2) with the offended party, Alma Hence, according to petitioner,
months, well within the T. Aggabao, being named co- private respondents are barred
exclusive original jurisdiction of petitioner of the People of the from raising the issue of
the Municipal Trial Court, and Philippines. The Court has jurisdiction, estoppel having
not of the Regional Trial Court. already ruled that while it is the already set in.
The prosecution filed an fiscal who represents the People
opposition to the motion of the Philippines in the The contention is without merit.
contending that the Regional prosecution of offenses before In our legal system, the question
Trial Court has jurisdiction over the trial courts, when such of jurisdiction may be raised at
the crime of concubinage criminal actions are brought to any stage of the proceedings
because destierro, the the Court of Appeals or to the [Rule 117, Sec. 8, Revised Rules
imposable penalty on the Supreme Court, it is the on Criminal Procedure; U.S. v.
concubine [Art. 334, RPC] has a Solicitor General who must Castanares, 18 Phil. 210
duration of six (6) months and represent the People of the (1911)]. It is true that in Vera
one (1) day to six (6) years [Art. Philippines, not the fiscal [City v. People, G.R. No. L-31218,
27, RPC]. The trial court Fiscal of Tacloban v. Espina, February 18, 1970, 31 SCRA
sustained private respondent's G.R. No. 83996, October 21, 711 and in People v.
position and granted the motion 1988, 166 SCRA 614] nor the Munar, G.R. No. L-37642,
to dismiss. private prosecutor, even with October 22, 1973, 53 SCRA
the conformity of the assistant 278, cases cited by the Solicitor
Private prosecutor, together provincial prosecutor [People v. General and private prosecutor
with the assistant provincial Dacudao, G.R. No. 81389, in their pleadings, the Court held
prosecutor of Ilagan, Isabela, February 21, 1989]. that jurisdiction cannot be raised
filed on June 16, 1989 the Nevertheless, considering that for the first time on appeal.
instant petition assailing the the Solicitor General has However, these cases can
order of the trial court granting intervened in this case by filing readily be distinguished from
the motion to dismiss the a motion for reconsideration of the case at bar by the fact that
criminal information against the Court resolution dated July the issue of jurisdiction was
private respondents. In a 17, 1989 denying the petition, raised only on appeal. In the
resolution dated July 17, 1989, the Court has decided to forego instant case, the private
this Court denied the petition technicalities and to resolve the respondents made the
due to late payment of docket issues raised. Moreover, since it jurisdictional challenge pending
and legal research fees and for is now apparent that the only the trial and before the trial court
lack of merit. The Solicitor petitioner in this case is the has rendered any judgment on
General filed a motion for People of the Philippines as the merits.
reconsideration of the order of represented by the Solicitor
the Court denying the petition. General, payment of the legal
Subsequently, the private fees is not necessary in
Moreover, the ruling in Vera v. In Calimlim v. Ramirez, G.R. jurisdiction is not lost by waiver
People and People v. No. L-34362, November 19, or by estoppel.
Munar that jurisdiction may not 1982, 118 SCRA 399 [See also
be raised for the first time on Dy v. NLRC, G.R. No. 68544, In Sibonghanoy, the defense of
appeal, is the exception rather October 27, 1986, 145 SCRA lack of jurisdiction of the court
than the general rule. 211], the Court held that the that rendered the questioned
ruling in Tijam v. ruling was held to be barred by
The doctrine in those cases was Sibonghanoy is an exception to estoppel by laches. It was ruled
first enunciated in Tijam v. the general rule that the lack of that the lack of jurisdiction
Sibonghanoy, G.R. No. L- jurisdiction of a court may be having been raised for the first
21450, April 15, 1968, 23 raised at any stage of the time in a motion to dismiss filed
SCRA 29, 35-36, where the proceedings, even on appeal. almost fifteen (15) years after
Court stated that: The Court stated further the questioned ruling had been
that Tijam v. Sibonghanoy is an rendered, such a plea may no
. . . a party can not invoke the exceptional case because of the longer be raised for being barred
jurisdiction of a court to secure presence of laches. The Court by laches. As defined in said
affirmative relief against his said: case, laches is "failure or
opponent and, after obtaining or neglect, for an unreasonable and
failing to obtain such relief, A rule that had been settled by unexplained length of time, to
repudiate or question that same unquestioned acceptance and do that which, by exercising due
jurisdiction (Dean vs. Dean, 136 upheld in decisions so numerous diligence, could or should have
Or. 694, 86 A.L.R. 79). In the to cite is that the jurisdiction of been done earlier; it is
case just cited, by way of a court over the subject-matter negligence or omission to assert
explaining the rule, it was of the action is a matter of law a right within a reasonable time,
further said that the question and may not be conferred by warranting a presumption that
whether the court had consent or agreement of the the party entitled to assert has
jurisdiction either of the subject- parties. The lack of jurisdiction abandoned it or declined to
matter of the action or of the of a court may be raised at any assert it.
parties is barred from such stage of the proceedings, even
conduct not because the on appeal. This doctrine has The circumstances of the
judgment or order of the court is been qualified by recent present case are very different
valid and conclusive as an pronouncements which from Tijam v. Sibonghanoy No
adjudication, but for the reason stemmed principally from the judgment has yet been rendered
that such a practice can not be ruling in the cited case by the trial court in this case.
tolerated obviously for of Sibonghanoy. It is to be And as soon as the accused
reasons of public policy. regretted, however, that the discovered the jurisdictional
holding in said case had been defect, they did not fail or
Furthermore, it has also been applied to situations which were neglect to file the appropriate
held that after voluntarily obviously not contemplated motion to dismiss. Hence,
submitting a cause and therein. The exceptional finding the pivotal element of
encountering an adverse circumstance involved laches to be absent, the Court
decision on the meats, it is too in Sibonghanoy which justified holds that the ruling in Tijam v.
late for the loser to question the the departure from the accepted Sibonghanoy, Vera v.
jurisdiction or power of the concept of non-waivability of People and People v.
court ... And in Littleton vs. objection to jurisdiction has Munar does not control the
Burges, 16 Wyo. 58, the Court been ignored and, instead a present controversy. Instead, the
said that it is not right for a party blanket doctrine had been general rule that the question of
who has affirmed and invoked repeatedly upheld that rendered jurisdiction of a court may be
the jurisdiction of a court in a the supposed ruling raised at any stage of the
particular matter to secure an in Sibonghanoy not as the proceedings, must apply.
affirmative relief, to afterwards exception, but rather the general Private respondents are not
deny that same jurisdiction to rule, virtually overthrowing estopped from questioning the
escape a penalty. altogether the time-honored jurisdiction of the trial court.
principle that the issue of
Having disposed of the jurisdiction in all criminal cases of destierro is within the
procedural issue, the Court will not within the exclusive jurisdiction of the inferior
now proceed with the main issue jurisdiction of any court, courts. This is so because in the
of whether or not the Regional tribunal, or body. . ." [Sec. 20. scale of penalties outlined in
Trial Court has original B.P. Blg. 129]. Art. 71, destierro comes
jurisdiction over the crime of after arresto mayor. * And
concubinage. The penalty imposable on the since under the Judiciary Act of
husband who commits 1948 [Republic Act No. 296],
The crime of concubinage is concubinage crimes punishable with arresto
penalized by Art. 334 of the is prision correccional in its mayor are within the
Revised Penal Code which reads minimum and medium periods, jurisdiction of the inferior
as follows: which ranges from six (6) courts, it follows that crimes
months and one (1) day to four punishable with destierro are
Art. 334. Concubinage. Any (4) years and two (2) months. also within the jurisdiction of
husband who shall keep a Hence, as regards the husband, such courts. In explaining its
mistress in the conjugal there is no question that conclusion that destierro is
dwelling, or, shall have sexual concubinage is within the lighter than arresto mayor and
intercourse, under scandalous exclusive original jurisdiction of therefore cognizable by the
circumstances, with a woman the inferior courts. The problem inferior courts, the Court, in Uy
who is not his wife, or shall concerns the concubine upon Chin Hua v. Dinglasan, supra at
cohabit with her in any other whom the imposable penalty p. 619, stated the following:
place shall be punished is destierro.
by prision correccional in its Destierro is not a higher penalty
minimum and medium periods. The Solicitor General and the than arresto mayor. Arresto
private prosecutor point out that mayor means imprisonment or
The concubine shall suffer the the duration of destierro, which complete deprivation of liberty,
penalty of destierro. (Emphasis is between six (6) months and whereas destierro means
supplied.) one (1) day to six (6) years [Art. banishment or only a prohibition
27, RPC], is beyond the from residing within a radius of
According to Sec. 32 of B.P. jurisdiction of the inferior courts 25 kilometers from the actual
Blg. 129, otherwise known as to impose. Thus, they conclude residence of the accused for a
the Judiciary Reorganization that either (1) the Regional Trial specified length of time. The
Act of 1980, the Metropolitan Courts and the inferior courts respective severities of arresto
Trial Courts, Municipal Trial have concurrent jurisdiction mayor and destierro must not
Courts and Municipal Circuit over the crime of concubinage be judged by the duration of
Trial Courts (hereinafter [Solicitor General's Motion for each of these penalties, but by
referred to as the inferior courts) Reconsideration, p. 11; Rollo, p. the degree of deprivatin of
shall exercise "[e]xclusive 521; or (2) the Regional Trial liberty involved. Penologists
original jurisdiction over all Courts and the inferior courts have always
offenses punishable with have "split jurisdiction," the considered destierro lighter
imprisonment of not exceeding latter having jurisdiction over than arresto mayor. Such
four years and two months, or a the crime as regards the husband criterion is reflected both in the
fine of not more than four and the former as regards the old Spanish Penal Code and in
thousand pesos, or both such concubine [Private Prosecutor's our Revised Penal Code. In the
fine and imprisonment, Motion for Reconsideration, p. graduated scale of article 71 the
regardless of other imposable 3; Rollo, p. 58]. lawmaker has placed destierro
accessory or other penalties, below arresto mayor. There is,
including the civil liability These propositions are both therefore, no basis in fact or in
arising from such offenses or untenable. It has already been law for holding that destierro is
predicated thereon, irrespective held by the Court in Uy Chin a higher penalty than arresto
of kind, nature, value or amount Hua v. Dinglasan, 86 Phil. 617 mayor and that an offense
thereof . . ." On the other hand, (1950) and People v. Santos, 87 penalized with destierro falls
the "Regional Trial Courts shall Phil. 687 (1950) that a crime under the jurisdiction of the
exercise exclusive original punishable with the penalty court of first instance.
The Court is well-aware of the after a careful reading of B.P. erring husband before the
fact that Uy Chin Hua v. Blg. 129, is of the considered inferior courts. The legislature
Dinglasan and People opinion that there was no could not have intended to allow
v. Santos were decided under intention to overturn the the absurd situation wherein the
the Judiciary Act of 1948 doctrine laid down in Uy Chin inferior court has jurisdiction
pursuant to which justices of the Hua v. Dinglasan and People v. over the crime of concubinage
peace and judges of municipal Santos. It is quite evident that only as regards the husband
courts of chartered cities had among the important factors while the Regional Trial Court
original jurisdiction over "all considered in the allocation of has jurisdiction over the same
offenses in which the penalty jurisdiction between the crime with respect to the
provided by law is Regional Trial Courts and the concubine.
imprisonment for not more than inferior courts are the gravity of
six months" [Sec. 87 (b)] while both the offense and the In fine, the Court, after a careful
Courts of First Instance had imposable penalty. It is not, consideration of the pertinent
original jurisdiction "in all therefore unreasonable to state laws, as well as the
criminal cases in which the that the legislature granted to the jurisprudence on the matter,
penalty provided by law is Regional Trial Courts holds that the crime of
imprisonment for more than six jurisdiction over crimes whose concubinage is within the
months" [Sec. 44 (f)]. There penalties are harsher than those exclusive original jurisdiction of
being no mention in said Act of vested in the inferior courts. the inferior courts. The Regional
crimes for which the penalty is And since it is already a settled Trial Courts have no original
not imprisonment, these rule that destierro, by its nature, jurisdiction over the said crime.
aforecited cases were decided is a lighter penalty than Hence, the court a
on the premise that "there exists imprisonment [Uy Chin Hua v. quo committed no reversible
a gap in the law as to which Dingalasan, supra], it follows error in dismissing the criminal
court shall have original that even under the Judiciary information against private
jurisdiction over offenses Reorganization Act of 1980, respondents. At any rate,
penalized with destierro or jurisdiction over crimes considering that the dismissal of
banishment" [Uy Chin Hua v. punishable with destierro is the case by the court a quo on
Dinglasan, supra, at p. 620]. vested not in the Regional Trial the ground of lack of
Courts but in the inferior courts. jurisdiction is not a bar to
Under the Judiciary another prosecution for the same
Reorganization Act of 1980 More particularly in this case, offense [Rule 117, Secs. 6 and 7,
(B.P. Blg. 129), the inferior the crime of concubinage has Revised Rules on Criminal
courts shall exercise exclusive two penalties, one for the Procedure] and considering
original jurisdiction over "all husband and another for the further that the crime has not yet
offenses punishable with concubine. The penalty for the prescribed [See Art. 90, RPC],
imprisonment of not exceeding husband, prision correccional i the offended wife is not
four (4) years and two (2) n its minimum and medium precluded from initiating the
months [Sec. 32 (2)] while the periods, which ranges from six filing of another criminal
Regional Trial Courts shall have (6) months and one (1) day to information against private
exclusive original jurisdiction" four (4) years and two (2) respondents before the proper
in all criminal cases not within months, is unquestionably court.
the exclusive jurisdiction of any within the jurisdiction of the
court, tribunal or body" [Sec. inferior courts. Considering that WHEREFORE, the Court
20]. Ostensibly, Sec. 20 of B. P. Art. 344 of the Revised Penal Resolved to DENY the petition
Blg. 129 would grant to the Code states that "[t]he offended for lack of merit. The
Regional Trial Courts party [in the crime of reimbursement of the legal fees
jurisdiction over crimes concubinage] cannot institute paid by the private prosecutor
punishable with destierro, such criminal prosecution without for the filing of this petition is
as concubinage, since destierro including both the guilty hereby ORDERED.
is not an offense punishable parties," it is clearly in the
with imprisonment of not interest of the orderly
exceeding four (4) years and two administration of justice that the
(2) months. However, the Court, concubine be tried with the
o Mobilia Products v. After orders from customers are Singapore on March 6 to 10,
Umezawa, G'R. No. 1'49357,4 booked at the mother company 1995.
March in Japan, the same are coursed
through Mobilia Philippines for One of the requirements of such
MOBILIA PRODUCTS, implementation and production, Fair was that the furniture
INC., Petitioners, vs. after which, the ordered items exhibits must arrive and be
HAJIME UMEZAWA, are shipped to Japan through the received at Singapore not later
mother company. than February 23, 1995. Pressed
G.R. No. 149403. March 04, for time, with less than one
2005 Mobilia Products Japan sent month to prepare and while
Hajime Umezawa to the Astem had yet no equipment
Philippines in order to head and machinery, no staff and no
PEOPLE OF THE
Mobilia Products, Inc. as ready personnel, Umezawa,
PHILIPPINES, Petitioners,
President and General Manager. with grave abuse of the
vs. HON. JUDGE
To qualify him as such and as a confidence reposed on him as
RUMOLDO R.
Board Director, he was President and General Manager
FERNANDEZ and HAJIME
entrusted with one nominal of Mobilia Products, Inc., and in
UMEZAWA,
share of stock. conspiracy with his wife, his
sister Mitsuyo Yaguchi,
Before the Court are two
Sometime in the last week of Yoshikazu Hayano and Justin
consolidated petitions: a petition
January 1995, Umezawa, then Legaspi, all with intent to gain
for review on certiorari filed by
the President and General for themselves and for their
the People of the Philippines, company Astem Philippines
Manager of Mobilia Products,
docketed as G.R. No. 149403 of
Inc., organized another Corporation, stole prototype
the Resolution1 of the Court of
company with his wife Kimiko, furniture from petitioner
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP Mobilia so that the said pieces of
and his sister, Mitsuyo Yaguchi,
No. 52440 which reversed its
to be known as Astem furniture would be presented
decision and granted the petition and exhibited as belonging to
Philippines
for certiorari, prohibition and
Corporation, without the Astem in the International
mandamus filed by respondent
knowledge of the Chairman Furniture Fair 95 in Singapore.
Hajime Umezawa; and the
petition for review and Chief Executive Officer
Susumo Kodaira and the In order to avoid detection,
on certiorari docketed as G.R.
other members of the Board of Umezawa contacted Henry
No. 149357 filed by petitioner
Directors of Mobilia. Chua, the owner of Dew Foam,
Mobilia Products, Inc. (MPI),
one of the suppliers of Mobilia,
the intervenor in the CA,
The said company would be for that the latter to load several
assailing the same Resolution of
engaged in the same business as pieces of prototype furniture
the appellate court.
Mobilia. Spouses Umezawa into a Dew Foam truck and store
recruited Justin Legaspi, former them at the Dew Foam
The Antecedents warehouse. The first batch of
Production Manager of Mobilia,
to act as Manager and one furniture was stolen on February
The antecedents were amply 8, 1995, when Mr. Henry Chua,
Yoshikazu Hayano of Phoenix
summarized by the Office of the upon the request of respondent
Marble Corporation to serve as
Solicitor General (OSG) in the Umezawa, caused to be loaded
investors [sic].
petition at bar, to wit: into his Dew Foam truck two
Pending formal organization, prototype sofa models worth
Mobilia Products, Inc. is a 500,000.00, after which, the
Spouses Umezawa, Justin
corporation engaged in the Legaspi and Yoshikazu Hayano same were spirited from the
manufacture and export of Mobilia compound, then
wanted to accelerate the market
quality furniture which caters transported and stored in Henry
potentials of Astem by
only to the purchase orders participating in the International Chuas warehouse.
booked and placed through
Furniture Fair 1995 held at the
Mobilia Products Japan, the Word Trade Centre of Again, on February 18, 1995,
mother company which does all Umezawa, with grave abuse of
the marketing and booking.
confidence and taking Umezawa, Hayano and Legaspi. The Board of Directors of MPI,
advantage of his position as The foregoing furniture models consisting of its Chairman
President and General Manager, were finally shipped for Susumo Kodaira and members
unlawfully stole expensive exhibition at the International Yasushi Kato and Rolando
furniture from Mobilias factory Furniture Fair 95 in Singapore Nonato, approved a Resolution
worth 2,964,875.00. In order to as furniture belonging to Astem on May 2, 1995 authorizing the
avoid detection, the said Philippines Corporation. filing of a complaint against
furniture were loaded in the Umezawa for two counts of
truck belonging to Dew Foam, Sometime in March 1995, based qualified theft allegedly
with respondent Umezawa on orders booked for Astem, committed on February 18 and
personally supervising the Umezawa, with unfaithfulness 19, 1995. Attached to the
loading, the carting and spiriting and abuse of confidence reposed complaint was the Joint
away of the said furniture. Thus, on him as the President and Affidavit of Danilo Lallaban,
taking advantage of his position General Manager of petitioner George del Rio and Yasushi
as General Manager, he Mobilia, ordered and caused the Kato. The case was docketed as
managed to have the said manufacture of eighty-nine (89) I.S. No. 95-275.
furniture taken out of the pieces of furniture with a total
company premises and passed value of 17,108,500.00. The On May 15, 1995, the public
the company guard without any said pieces of furniture were prosecutor filed an Information
problem and difficulty. made with Mobilia supplies, for qualified theft against
materials and machineries, as Umezawa with the Regional
Further, on February 19, 1995, well as with Mobilia time and Trial Court (RTC) of Lapu-Lapu
around 1 oclock in the personnel, all of which were City. The accusatory portion of
afternoon, respondent Umezawa under the administration and the Information, docketed as
again loaded into his motor control of Umezawa as Criminal Case No. 013231-L,
vehicle, and took away from President and General Manager. reads:
company premises under the The said materials and supplies,
same irregular and unlawful the time and labor, were That during or about the period
circumstances, an expensive supposed to be used for the comprised between the 18th and
three-seater sofa worth manufacture and production of 19th day of February 1995, in
255,000.00. quality furniture for the the City of Lapu-Lapu,
EXCLUSIVE USE of Mobilia. Philippines, within the
The taking out of the said However, Umezawa, in jurisdiction of this Honorable
furniture was effected in violation of his duty to apply the Court, the accused, while being
violation of the standard same for the use of Mobilia and then the President and General
procedures established by the duty to account for the same, Manager of Mobilia Products,
petitioner corporation which converted their use for the Inc., a corporation engaged in
requires that every shipment or benefit of Astem or for the use the manufacture and export of
taking out of the furniture be and benefit of Umezawa, his furniture, holding office and
checked and reviewed by wife and sister, Yoshikazu doing business in the Mactan
Mobilias Production, Planning, Hayano and Legaspi, much to Export Processing Zone, Lapu-
Inventory Costing and Control the damage and prejudice of Lapu City, with grave abuse of
(PPICC) Division. All the Mobilia Products. the confidence reposed upon
foregoing furniture were him by his employer, with intent
transported to and stored at The same furniture could also to gain, did then and there
Henry Chuas warehouse. After have been taken out of the willfully, unlawfully and
sometime, the foregoing company premises by Umezawa feloniously take, steal and carry
furniture were photographed for and cohorts for shipment and away from the corporations
slide photos at Photo Folio at the delivery to Astem customers factory in Mactan Export
Reclamation Area, Cebu City had it not been for the timely Processing Zone, Lapu-Lapu
and then finally catalogued for discovery of the previous theft. City, expensive pieces of
use in the Singapore Fair for the 2 furniture, to wit:
use of Astem and its supposed
owners, namely: spouses 1) 1 set, Model No. 3, 2-seater
German leather sofa, worth - - - No. 6, Italian marble pedestal, prejudice of Mobilia Products,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - Inc., in the said amount of
208,125.00 150,000.00 3,219,875.00.

2) 1 set, Model No. 8, 2-seater 11) 1 piece, Model Column Contrary to law.3

German leather sofa, worth - - - Standard No. 11, Italian marble On motion of the prosecution,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - worth - - - - - - - - - - - - the trial court issued a writ of
315,000.00 93,750.00 preliminary attachment
covering the properties of
3) 1 set, Model No. 5, 2-seater 12) 1 piece, Model Table No. 1, Umezawa.

German leather sofa, worth - - - Italian marble table, worth - - - - Umezawa then filed an
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Omnibus Motion to quash the
108,000.00 105,000.00 information filed against him,
the discharge of the writ of
4) 1 set, Model No. 4, 2-seater 13) 1 piece, Model High Table attachment issued by the trial
court, and to set the case for
German leather sofa, worth - - - No. 10, Italian marble, worth - - preliminary investigation. MPI,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----------------- the private complainant therein,
277,500.00 187,500.00 opposed the motion.

5) 1 set, Model No. 6, 1-seater 14) 1 piece, Model Table No. 8, In the meantime on July 21,
1995, MPI filed another
German leather sofa, worth - - - Italian marble table, worth - - - - criminal complaint for qualified
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - theft against Umezawa, his wife
146,250.00 187,500.00 Kimiko Umezawa, Mitsuyo
Yaguchi, Justin Legaspi,
Yoshikazu Hayano and Henry
6) 1 set, Model No. 2, 2-seater 15) 1 piece, Model Table No. 7
Chua allegedly committed in
March 1995, with the Office of
German leather sofa, worth - - - Italian marble table, worth - - - - the City Prosecutor. The case
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - was docketed as I.S. No. 95-
225,000.00 187,500.00 442.

7) 1 set, Model No. 1, 2-seater 16) 1 piece, Model Table No. 5 On July 25, 1995, the trial court
issued an Order in Criminal
German leather sofa, worth - - - Italian marble table, worth - - - - Case No. 013231-L denying the
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - omnibus motion. On joint
275,000.00 112,500.00 motion of Umezawa and the
public prosecutor, the trial court
8) 1 piece, Model Table No. 2, 17) 1 piece, Model Table No. 9, ordered a reinvestigation of the
case. Conformably, the public
Italian marble table, worth - - - - Italian marble table, worth - - - - prosecutor conducted a
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - reinvestigation of Criminal Case
93,750.00 187,500.00 No. 013231-L jointly with I.S.
No. 95-442.
9) 1 piece, Model Table No. 4, 18) 3-seater sofa, worth- - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - 255,000.00 On September 25, 1995,
Italian marble table, worth - - - - Umezawa filed a petition with
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - with an aggregate value of the Securities and Exchange
105,000.00 3,219,875.00, Philippine Commission (SEC), docketed as
currency, without the consent of SEC Case No. 002919, for the
10) 2 pieces, Model Pedestal his employer, to the damage and nullification of the Resolution
issued by the three alleged leather sofa, all valued at... . company or firm engaged in the
members of MPI Board of 225,000.00 same business as that of Mobilia
Directors, authorizing the filing Products, Inc., which is, [in] the
of criminal complaints against 2) 1 set, Model No. 1, 2-seater manufacture and production of
him in behalf of the corporation. German quality furniture for export,
owned by the accused, to the
On January 3, 1996, the public leather sofa, all valued at. . . . . . damage and prejudice of
prosecutor issued a Joint . . 275,000.00 Mobilia Products, Inc.
Resolution finding probable
cause for qualified theft and one with an aggregate value of CONTRARY TO LAW.5
count of estafa against 500,000.00 Philippine
Umezawa, and dismissing the Currency, to the damage and On April 25, 1996, Umezawa
case against the other accused. prejudice of Mobilia Products, filed a motion for the suspension
The Prosecutor maintained his Inc. of the proceedings on the
finding of probable cause ground of the pendency of his
against Umezawa in Criminal CONTRARY TO LAW.4 petition with the SEC in Case
Case No. 013231-L. No. 002919. The trial court,
Another Information for estafa however, issued an Order on
On February 20, 1996, the was thereafter filed against the May 21, 1996, denying the said
public prosecutor filed an same accused, docketed as motion. It held that the filing and
Information for qualified theft Criminal Case No. 013424-L. the pendency of a petition before
with the RTC of Lapu-Lapu The accusatory portion reads: the SEC did not warrant a
City against Umezawa, suspension of the criminal
docketed as Criminal Case No. That sometime in March 1995, cases.
013423-L. The accusatory in the City of Lapu-Lapu,
portion reads: Philippines, within the On September 25, 1998,
jurisdiction of this Honorable Umezawa was arraigned and
That on the 8th day of February Court, the above-named pleaded not guilty.
1995, in the City of Lapu-Lapu, accused, by means of
Philippines, within the unfaithfulness and abuse of On September 30, 1998,
jurisdiction of this Honorable confidence reposed upon him as Umezawa filed anew a Joint
Court, the above-named the President and General Motion to Quash the
accused, while being the Manager of Mobilia Products, Informations in Criminal Cases
President and General Manager Inc., did then and there willfully, Nos. 013231-L and 013423-L,
of Mobilia Products, Inc., a unlawfully and feloniously on the ground that the facts
corporation engaged in the misappropriate and convert to alleged therein did not constitute
manufacture and export of his own personal use and benefit the felony of qualified theft.
quality furniture, whose the amount of Seventeen Umezawa claimed that based on
principal place of business is at Million One Hundred Eight the Joint Affidavit of the
the Mactan Export Processing Thousand Five Hundred witnesses for the prosecution
Zone, Lapu-Lapu City, with (17,108,500.00) Pesos, submitted during the
intent to gain, without the Philippine Currency, which was preliminary investigation,
consent of his employer, and the total value of the furnitures Yasushi Kato and George del
with grave abuse of confidence, ordered and manufactured by Rio, MPI Vice-President and the
did then and there willfully, the accused or at his instance head of the Upholstery
unlawfully and feloniously take, using Mobilia supplies, Department, respectively, the
steal and carry away from the materials and machineries, as appropriate charge should
corporations factory the well as time and personnel be estafa and not qualified theft.
following expensive pieces of which were supposed to be for Umezawa further claimed that
furniture, to wit: the exclusive use of Mobilia for their failure to object to and
Products, Inc. but were resist his alleged delictual acts,
1) 1 set, Model No. 2, 2-seater converted for the use and benefit the said witnesses were as guilty
German of the accused and Astem as he was and should have been
Philippines Corporation, a included in the Information. He
also asserted that there was, Order8 dismissing the cases for on cases over which the SEC has
likewise, no allegation in the lack of jurisdiction. It held that original and exclusive
Informations as to who was the the dispute between the private jurisdiction. A copy of the
owner of the articles stolen; complainant and the accused motion was served on the public
hence, there was no offended over the ownership of the prosecutor for his approval.
party. He noted that the properties subject of the charges However, the public prosecutor
Informations merely alleged is intra-corporate in nature, and did not affix his conformity to
that MPI was his employer. He was within the exclusive the motion, and instead opted to
further posited that there was no jurisdiction of the SEC. It ruled appear before the trial court
valid charge against him that Umezawa, as a member of during the hearing of the same.
because the resolution the board of directors and During the hearing, both the
authorizing the filing of the president of MPI, was also a public and private prosecutors
cases against him was approved stockholder thereof. While appeared. In support of his
by a mere minority of the Umezawa claimed to be motion, the private prosecutor
members of the MPI Board of the bona fide owner of the argued that the trial of the case
Directors.6 properties subject of the must be done in the presence of
Informations which he and under the control and
Umezawa, likewise, filed a appropriated for himself, the supervision of the public
Motion to Quash7 the private complainant disputes the prosecutor.10
Information in Criminal Case same; hence, according to the
No. 013424-L on the ground trial court, the conflicting claims The trial court denied the
that the facts alleged in the of the parties should be resolved motion in an Order dated April
Information did not constitute by the SEC. The private and 19, 1999. It held that the SEC,
the felony of estafa. He posited public prosecutors received not the trial court, had
that the Information did not their respective copies of the jurisdiction over intra-corporate
contain any allegation that any Joint Order on February 2, 1999. controversies. It also ruled that
demand was made for him to the motion of the private
return the goods. Furthermore, The MPI, through the private complainant was pro forma, it
the owner of the said articles prosecutor, filed a motion for appearing that the public
was not specified. He noted that reconsideration of the joint prosecutor had not approved the
as gleaned from the Joint order of the court and for the same.
Affidavit of the witnesses for reinstatement of the cases on
the prosecution, there was no February 15, 1999. The MPI The public prosecutor received a
lawful private complainant. He relied on the following grounds: copy of the Order on April 20,
reiterated that the MPI board 1999. On April 26, 1999, the
resolution authorizing the filing a. The Honorable Court has People of the Philippines,
of the charge against him was jurisdiction and must exercise it through the OSG, filed a petition
not approved by the majority of over these cases; for certiorari and mandamus wi
the members of its board of th the CA against Presiding
directors. Umezawa also alleged b. The above-entitled case is not Judge Rumuldo R. Fernandez
that the charge for estafa with an intra-corporate controversy; and Umezawa, docketed as CA-
abuse of confidence was already G.R. SP No. 52440. The CA
included in the charge for and allowed the MPI to intervene as
qualified theft, where it was petitioner, and admitted its
alleged that he committed theft c. The accused could not claim petition- in-intervention.
with abuse of confidence; ownership nor co-ownership of
hence, the charge for estafa the properties of private The People of the Philippines, as
should be quashed, otherwise, complainant corporation.9 the petitioner therein, raised the
he would be placed in double following issues:
jeopardy. The motion was duly
The MPI maintained that the
opposed by the prosecution. WHETHER OR NOT IT IS
trial court had jurisdiction over
the cases and cited Section 5 of THE LEGAL AND
On January 29, 1999, the trial Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. MINISTERIAL DUTY OF
court issued a Joint 902-A, which provides the rules THE REGIONAL TRIAL
COURT TO TAKE corporate dispute. It held that certiorari, raising the following
COGNIZANCE AND Umezawa, although president issues:
JURISDICTION OF THESE and general manager of the MPI
SUBJECT CRIMINAL and a stockholder thereof, was WHETHER OR NOT THE
CASES; not a joint owner or co-owner of SECURITIES AND
the personal properties subject EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WHETHER OR NOT THE of the charges. It also held that HAS JURISDICTION OVER
SECURITIES AND the dispute between a private THE CRIMINAL CASES
EXCHANGE COMMISSION corporation and any of its AGAINST UMEZAWA.
HAS JURISDICTION OVER stockholders relative to the
THE CRIMINAL CASES ownership of properties does WHETHER OR NOT ALL
AGAINST RESPONDENT not ipso facto negate the THE NECESSARY
HAJIME UMEZAWA; jurisdiction of the RTC over the ELEMENTS OF THE CRIMES
criminal cases under B.P. Blg. OF QUALIFIED THEFT
WHETHER OR NOT 129, as amended. It also AND ESTAFAARE
RESPONDENT JUDGE declared that the material SUFFICIENTLY ALLEGED
COMMITTED GRAVE averments of the Informations IN THE INFORMATIONS.
ABUSE OF DISCRETION sufficiently charged qualified
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR theft and estafa. EVEN
EXCESS OF JURISDICTION ASSUMING ARGUENDO TH
IN DISMISSING THE Umezawa filed a motion for the AT THE FACTS ALLEGED
CRIMINAL CASES AND reconsideration of the decision DO NOT CONSTITUTE AN
DENYING PETITIONERS of the CA. In a complete volte OFFENSE THE CORRECT
MOTION FOR face, the appellate court issued a RULING IS NOT TO DISMISS
RECONSIDERATION. 11 Resolution on August 8, 2001, THE CASE BUT TO ORDER
granting the motion and AMENDMENT.
The People asserted that the reversing its decision. It
controversy involving the affirmed the ruling of the RTC WHETHER OR NOT THE
criminal cases was not between that the dispute between STATE HS LOST ITS RIGHT
Umezawa and the other Umezawa and the other TO APPEAL.
stockholders of MPI, but one stockholders and officers over
between him as the accused the implementation of the MPIs WHETHER OR NOT THE
therein and the People of the standard procedure is intra- MOTION FOR
Philippines. It averred that corporate in nature; hence, RECONSIDERATION OF
under Section 20(b) of Batas within the exclusive jurisdiction UMEZAWA IS PRO
Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 129, the of the SEC. Citing Section FORMA.13
RTC has exclusive jurisdiction 5(a)(b) of P.D. No. 902-A, and
over the cases against the ruling of this Court in Alleje
The People of the Philippines
Umezawa. It also alleged that in v. Court of Appeals,12 the
filed a separate petition for
dismissing the criminal cases appellate court ruled that based
review on certiorari, contending
against Umezawa on the ground on the material allegations of the
that:
that it had no jurisdiction over Solicitor General in the petition
the crimes charged, the RTC before the CA, the SEC had
exclusive jurisdiction over the THE COURT OF APPEALS
committed grave abuse of its COMMITTED SERIOUS
discretion amounting to excess conflicting claims of the parties.
It likewise affirmed the ruling of ERRORS OF LAW AND
or lack of jurisdiction. GRAVE ABUSE OF
the RTC that the absence of any
allegation in the Information DISCRETION IN FINDING
On September 2, 1999, the CA THAT THE PETITION FOR
rendered judgment granting the that the MPI was the owner of
the properties subject of the MANDAMUS, CERTIORARI
petition and nullifying the AND INJUNCTION WAS
assailed Orders of the RTC. It Information is fatal.
FILED OUT OF TIME AND
ruled that the issue of ownership THAT PETITIONER HAS
of the properties subject of the The petitioner MPI filed the
LOST ITS RIGHT TO
Informations was not an intra- instant petition for review on
APPEAL;
2. THE COURT OF APEALS reconsideration of the trial conformed to the said motion
COMMITTED SERIOUS courts January 29, 1999 Joint for reconsideration.
ERRORS OF LAW IN Order dismissing the cases, that
RULING THAT NOT ALL is, within fifteen days from In his comment on the petitions,
THE ELEMENTS OF receipt of a copy of the said respondent Umezawa maintains
QUALIFIED THEFT AND order on February 2, 1999; that the motion for
ESTAFA ARE PRESENT; neither did the People appeal the reconsideration of the joint
said Order within the period order of the trial court filed by
3. THE COURT OF APPEALS therefor. Thus, according to the the private prosecutor did not
COMMITTED BLATANT CA, the People filed its petition interrupt the period within
AND SERIOUS ERRORS OF for certiorari, prohibition which the People could appeal,
LAW IN FINDING THAT THE and mandamus assailing the citing the ruling of this Court
SECURITIES AND January 29, 1999 Joint Order of in Cabral v. Puno.15 The
EXCHANGE COMMISSION the trial court only on April 26, respondent posits that the
(SEC) HAS JURISDICTION 1999, well beyond the 60-day finding of the trial court, which
OVER THE SUBJECT period therefor. The appellate was affirmed by the CA, that the
CRIMINAL CASES; court, likewise, held that the public prosecutor did not
filing of the motion for conform to the motion for
4. THE COURT OF APPEALS reconsideration of the said Joint reconsideration of the private
COMMITTED SERIOUS Order by the private prosecutor prosecutor, is binding on this
ERRORS OF LAW AND without the conformity of the Court. The respondent also
GRAVE ABUSE OF Public Prosecutor did not toll avers that the petitioner has no
DISCRETION IN GIVING the period for the People to file personality to file the petition.
DUE COURSE TO THE PRO- its motion for reconsideration Moreover, he insists that
FORMA MOTION FOR thereof, or to appeal therefrom, whether the public prosecutor
RECONSIDERATION OF or to file a petition conformed to the private
UMEZAWA.14 for certiorari, prohibition or prosecutors motion for
mandamus. It ruled that, having reconsideration is a question of
The two petitions were lost its right to appeal in due fact which is not proper in a
consolidated in the Second course, the People was petition for review on certiorari.
Division of the Court. proscribed from filing a petition
for certiorari, prohibition or The Courts Ruling
The threshold issues for mandamus. The CA declared
resolution are the following: (a) that the motion for The contention of the petitioner
whether or not the petition reconsideration filed by People of the Philippines is not
for certiorari of the People of petitioner MPI of the Joint correct. All criminal actions
the Philippines in the CA Order of the RTC is pro forma, commenced by complaint or
assailing the January 29, 1999 the public prosecutor not having information shall be prosecuted
Joint Order of the trial court was signified his written conformity under the direction and control
time-barred; (b) whether the thereto. of the public prosecutor.16 When
RTC has jurisdiction over the the civil action for civil liability
crimes charged in the said On the other hand, the petitioner is instituted in the criminal
Informations; (c) whether the People of the Philippines insists action pursuant to Rule 111 of
Informations sufficiently charge that while the public prosecutor the Rules on Criminal
the felonies of qualified theft did not expressly conform to the Procedure, the offended party
and estafa; and (d) if in the motion for reconsideration of may intervene, by counsel, in
affirmative, whether all the the January 29, 1999 Joint Order the prosecution of the
elements of qualified theft and of the trial court filed by the offense.17 In Ramiscal, Jr. v.
estafa are alleged in the private prosecutor, through the Sandiganbayan,18 we held that
Informations. public prosecutors presence under Section 16, Rule 110 of
during the hearing of the said the Rules of Criminal
On the first issue, the CA held motion, his supervision and Procedure, the offended party
that the Public Prosecutor failed control over the private may intervene in the criminal
to file a motion for the prosecutor during the said action personally or by counsel,
hearing, he in effect adopted and
who will then act as private the Revised Penal Code, the prosecutor; or in the case of an
prosecutor for the protection of following are the civil liabilities appeal, by the State only,
his interests and in the interest of of the accused: through the OSG. The private
the speedy and inexpensive complainant or offended party
administration of justice. A ART. 104. What is included in may not undertake such motion
separate action for the purpose civil liability. The civil for reconsideration or appeal on
would only prove to be costly, liability established in Articles the criminal aspect of the
burdensome and time- 100, 101, 102 and 103 of this case.24 However, the offended
consuming for both parties and Code includes: party or private complainant
further delay the final may file a motion for
disposition of the case. The 1. Restitution; reconsideration of such
multiplicity of suits must be dismissal or acquittal or appeal
avoided. With the implied 2. Reparation of the damage therefrom but only insofar as the
institution of the civil action in caused; civil aspect thereof is
the criminal action, the two concerned.25 In so doing, the
actions are merged into one 3. Indemnification for private complainant or offended
composite proceeding, with the consequential damages. party need not secure the
criminal action predominating conformity of the public
the civil. The prime purpose of prosecutor. If the court denies
Thus, when the offended party,
the criminal action is to punish his motion for reconsideration,
through counsel, has asserted
the offender in order to deter the private complainant or
his right to intervene in the
him and others from committing offended party may appeal or
proceedings, it is error to
the same or similar offense, to file a petition
consider his appearance merely
isolate him from society, reform for certiorari or mandamus, if
as a matter of tolerance.22
and rehabilitate him or, in grave abuse amounting to
general, to maintain social excess or lack of jurisdiction is
order.19 The public prosecutor may turn shown and the aggrieved party
over the actual prosecution of has no right of appeal or given
the criminal case, in the exercise an adequate remedy in the
The intervention of the private
of his discretion, but he may, at ordinary course of law.
offended party, through counsel,
any time, take over the actual
and his prosecution of the case
conduct of the trial. However, it
shall be under the control and The public and private
is necessary that the public
supervision of the public prosecutors are not precluded,
prosecutor be present at the trial
prosecutor until the final whenever feasible, from filing a
until the final termination of the
termination of the case. A public joint motion for the
case; otherwise, if he is absent,
prosecutor who has been reconsideration of the dismissal
it cannot be gainsaid that the
entrusted by law with the of the case or the acquittal of the
trial is under his supervision and
prosecution of criminal cases is accused, on the criminal and
control.23
duty-bound to take charge civil aspects of the cases.
thereof until its final
termination, for under the law, In a criminal case in which the
In the present case, only
he assumes full responsibility offended party is the State, the
petitioner MPI, through counsel,
for his failure or success since interest of the private
filed a motion for the
he is the one more adequately complainant or the offended
reconsideration of the trial
party is limited to the civil
prepared to pursue it to its courts Joint Order dated
termination.20 The prosecution liability arising therefrom.
January 29, 1999, praying for
of offenses is a public function. Hence, if a criminal case is
the reinstatement of the cases
Indeed, the sole purpose of the dismissed by the trial court or if
insofar as the civil aspect thereof
civil action is the resolution, there is an acquittal, a
is concerned. The public
reparation or indemnification of reconsideration of the order of
prosecutor did not approve nor
the private offended party for dismissal or acquittal may be
conform to the said motion.
the damage or injury he undertaken, whenever legally
Although petitioner MPI
sustained by reason of the feasible, insofar as the criminal
provided ample space for the
delictual or felonious act of the aspect thereof is concerned and
said conformity of the public
accused. 21 Under Article 104 of may be made only by the public
prosecutor, the latter did not do that of the State. As ruled by this the State is not estopped by the
so; he merely appeared during Court in Cabral v. Puno:26 mistakes of its officers and
the hearing of the said motion employees. Indeed, in Cruz, Jr.
with the private prosecutor While it is true that the offended v. Court of Appeals,29 the Court
when the latter presented his party, Silvino San Diego, declared:
oral arguments in support of the through the private prosecutor,
said motion. filed a motion for Estoppel does not lie against
reconsideration within the the government because of the
The fact that the public reglementary fifteen-day period, supposedly mistaken acts or
prosecutor did not conform to such move did not stop the omissions of its agents. As we
the said motion, however, does running of the period for appeal. declared in People v. Castaeda,
not mean that the same is pro He did not have the legal "there is the long familiar rule
forma. It must be stressed that personality to appeal or file the that erroneous application and
the propriety and efficacy of the motion for reconsideration on enforcement of the law by
motion, insofar as the civil his behalf. The prosecution in a public officers do not block
aspect of the cases is concerned, criminal case through the subsequent correct application
is not dependent upon the private prosecutor is under the of the statute and that the
conformity of the public direction and control of the government is never estopped
prosecutor. Hence, the filing of Fiscal, and only the motion for by mistake or error on the part of
the joint motion for reconsideration or appeal filed its agents."
reconsideration effectively by the Fiscal could have
suspended the running of the interrupted the period for The Court also held in Chua v.
period for petitioner MPI to appeal.27 Court of Appeals:30
assail the joint order in the
CA via an appeal or a special We agree with the ruling of the While ordinarily, certiorari is
civil action CA that the petition for unavailing where the appeal
for certiorari or mandamus und certiorari filed by the petitioner period has lapsed, there are
er Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. People of the Philippines with exceptions. Among them are (a)
the CA on April 26, 1999 was when public welfare and the
However, since the public filed beyond the 60-day period advancement of public policy
prosecutor did not file any as provided in Section 4, Rule dictates; (b) when the broader
motion for the reconsideration 65 of the Rules of Court,28 it interest of justice so requires; (c)
of the joint order nor conform to appearing that the public when the writs issued are null
the motion of petitioner MPI, prosecutor received a copy of and void; or (d) when the
insofar as the criminal aspect of the joint order of the trial court questioned order amounts to an
the cases is concerned, the on February 2, 1999, and, thus, oppressive exercise of judicial
period for the State to assail the had only until April 3, 1999 authority. 31
said joint order was not within which to file the said
suspended. Only the motion for petition. On the second issue, the
reconsideration filed by the petitioners assert that the CA
public prosecutor of the joint Even then, the Court still holds erred in holding that the dispute
order of dismissal of the cases that the CA erred in dismissing between it and the respondent is
could have tolled the period the petition of the People of the intra-corporate in nature; hence,
within which the State could Philippines simply because the within the exclusive jurisdiction
appeal, insofar as the criminal public prosecutor erred in not of the SEC. As gleaned from the
aspect of the cases was himself filing a motion for material allegations of the
concerned. The bare fact that the reconsideration of the joint Informations, the RTC had
public prosecutor appeared for order of the trial court, on his exclusive jurisdiction over the
the State during the hearing of perception that by being present crimes charged. Petitioner MPI
the motion for reconsideration during the hearing of the motion further avers that even if there is
of petitioner MPI does not for reconsideration of petitioner no allegation in the Informations
amount to or constitute his MPI, he thereby adopted the identifying it as the owner of the
adoption of the said motion as said motion as that of the personal properties described in
States. The settled rule is that the Informations, its ownership
of the properties can be inferred city or municipal ordinances the court is not determined by
from the other allegations. The committed within their what may be meted out to the
petitioners maintain that even if respective territorial offender after trial or even by
the Informations are deficient, jurisdiction; and the result of the evidence that
the remedy is the amendment of would be presented at the
the Informations and not the (2) Exclusive original trial, but by the extent of the
dismissal of the cases. jurisdiction over all offenses penalty which the law
punishable with imprisonment imposes for the misdemeanor,
For his part, the respondent not exceeding six (6) years crime or violation charged in the
avers that the assailed irrespective of the amount of complaint. If the facts recited in
Resolution of the CA is correct, fine, and regardless of other the complaint and
and that it is the appellate imposable accessory or other the punishment provided for by
courts decision which is penalties, including the civil law are sufficient to show that
erroneous. liability arising from such the court in which the complaint
offenses or predicated thereon, is presented has jurisdiction,
We agree with the petitioners. irrespective of kind, nature, that court must assume
value or amount thereof: jurisdiction.
According to Section 20 of B.P. Provided, however, That in
Blg. 129 offenses involving damage to In Criminal Case No. 013231-L,
property through criminal the value of the properties
SEC. 20. Jurisdiction in negligence, they shall have subject of qualified theft is
criminal cases. Regional exclusive original jurisdiction 3,219,875.00, while in
Trial Courts shall exercise thereof. Criminal Case No. 013423-L,
exclusive original jurisdiction in the value of the property was
all criminal cases not within the Case law has it that in order to pegged at 255,000.00. Under
exclusive jurisdiction of any determine the jurisdiction of the Article 309 of the Revised Penal
court, tribunal or body, except court in criminal cases, the Code, the penalty for theft when
those now falling under the complaint or Information must the value of the stolen property
exclusive and concurrent be examined for the purpose of exceeds 22,000.00 is as
jurisdiction of the ascertaining whether or not the follows:
Sandiganbayan which shall facts set out therein and the
hereafter be exclusively taken prescribed period provided for 1. The penalty of prision
cognizance of by the latter. by law are within the mayor in its minimum and
jurisdiction of the court, and medium periods, if the value of
Section 32 thereof was later where the said Information or the thing stolen is more than
amended by Section 2 of complaint is filed. It is settled 12,000 pesos but does not
Republic Act No. 7691, as that the jurisdiction of the court exceed 20,000 pesos; but if the
follows: in criminal cases is determined value of the thing stolen exceeds
by the allegations of the the latter amount, the penalty
Sec. 32. Jurisdiction of complaint or Information and shall be the maximum period of
Metropolitan Trial Courts, not by the findings based on the the one prescribed in this
Municipal Trial Courts and evidence of the court after paragraph and one year of each
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts trial.32 Jurisdiction is conferred additional ten thousand pesos,
in Criminal Cases. Except in only by the Constitution or by but the total of the penalty which
cases falling within the the law in force at the time of the may be imposed shall not
exclusive original jurisdiction of filing of the Information or exceed twenty years. In such
the Regional Trial Court and of complaint. Once jurisdiction is cases, and in connection with
the Sandiganbayan, the vested in the court, it is retained the accessory penalties which
Metropolitan Trial Courts, and up to the end of the litigation. may be imposed and for the
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts Indeed, in People v. purpose of the other provisions
shall exercise: Purisima,33 this Court held that: of this Code, the penalty shall be
termed prision
In criminal prosecutions, it is mayor or reclusion temporal, as
(1) Exclusive original
settled that the jurisdiction of the case may be.
jurisdiction over all violations of
Article 310 of the Revised Penal reclusion temporal, as the case Miller, 104 U.S., 521; Jones v.
Code further provides for the may be. Davis, 35 Ohio St., 474). The
penalty for qualified theft: stockholder is not a co-owner or
Patently, then, based on the tenant in common of the
Art. 310. Qualified theft. The material allegations of the corporate property (Harton v.
crime of theft shall be punished Informations in the three cases, Johnston, 166 Ala., 317, 51 So.,
by the penalties next higher by the court a quo had exclusive 992) "36
two degrees than those jurisdiction over the crimes
respectively specified in the charged. As early as the case of Fisher v.
next preceding article, if Trinidad,37 the Court already
committed by a domestic The bare fact that the respondent declared that "[t]he distinction
servant, or with grave abuse of was the president and general between the title of a
confidence, or if the property manager of the petitioner corporation, and the interest of
stolen is motor vehicle, mail corporation when the crimes its members or stockholders in
matter or large cattle or consists charged were allegedly the property of the corporation,
of coconuts taken from the committed and was then a is familiar and well-settled. The
premises of a plantation, fish stockholder thereof does not in ownership of that property is in
taken from a fishpond or fishery itself deprive the court a quo of the corporation, and not in the
or if property is taken on the its exclusive jurisdiction over holders of shares of its stock.
occasion of fire, earthquake, the crimes charged. The The interest of each stockholder
typhoon, volcanic eruption, or property of the corporation is consists in the right to a
any other calamity, vehicular not the property of the proportionate part of the profits
accident or civil disturbance. stockholders or members or of whenever dividends are
its officers who are declared by the corporation,
On the other hand, in Criminal 34
stockholders. As the Court during its existence, under its
Case No. 013424-L for estafa, held in an avuncular case:35 charter, and to a like proportion
the amount of the fraud involved of the property remaining, upon
is 500,000.00, and under ... Properties registered in the the termination or dissolution of
Article 315 of the Revised Penal name of the corporation are the corporation, after payment
Code, the penalty for such crime owned by it as an entity separate of its debts."38
is and distinct from its members.
While shares of stock constitute We also agree with the ruling of
1st. The penalty of prision personal property, they do not the CA in its decision that the
correccional in its maximum represent property of the SEC (now the Regional Trial
period to prision mayor in its corporation. The corporation Court) had no jurisdiction over
minimum period, if the amount has property of its own which the cases filed in the court a quo.
of the fraud is over 12,000 pesos consists chiefly of real estate The appellate courts reliance in
but does not exceed 22,000 (Nelson v. Owen, 113 Ala., 372, the assailed Resolution issued
pesos; and if such amount 21 So. 75; Morrow v. Gould, by the Board of Directors of the
exceeds the latter sum, the 145 Iowa, 1, 123 N.W. 743). A petitioner corporation, on
penalty provided in this share of stock only typifies an Section 5(b) of P.D. No. 902,
paragraph shall be imposed in aliquot part of the corporations has no factual and legal basis.
its maximum period, adding one property, or the right to share in
year for each additional 10,000 its proceeds to that extent when Section 5 of P.D. No. 902-A
pesos; but the total penalty distributed according to law and provides that the SEC39 shall
which may be imposed shall not equity (Hall & Faley v. Alabama have original and exclusive
exceed twenty years. In such Terminal, 173 Ala., 398, 56 So. jurisdiction to hear and decide
cases, and in connection with 235), but its holder is not the cases involving the following:
the accessory penalties which owner of any part of the capital
may be imposed and for the of the corporation (Bradley v. (a) devices or schemes
purpose of the other provisions Bauder, 36 Ohio St., 28). Nor is employed by, or any acts of, the
of this Code, the penalty shall be he entitled to the possession of board of directors, business
termed prision mayor or any definite portion of its associates, its officers or
property or assets (Gottfried v. partners, amounting to fraud and
misrepresentation which may be the civil/intra-corporate case Article 315 of the Revised Penal
detrimental to the interest of the before the SEC does not Code on estafa.43
public and/or of the preclude the simultaneous and
stockholders, partners, members concomitant filing of a criminal We agree with the
of association or organizations action before the regular courts; encompassing disquisitions of
registered with the Commission, such that, a fraudulent act may the CA in its decision, to wit:
and give rise to liability for violation
of the rules and regulations of A dispute involving the
(b) controversies arising out of the SEC cognizable by the SEC corporation and its stockholders
intra-corporate or partnership itself, as well as criminal is not necessarily an intra-
relations, between and among liability for violation of corporate dispute cognizable
stockholders, members or the Revised Penal only by the Securities and
associates; between any or all of Code cognizable by the regular Exchange Commission. Nor
them and the corporation, courts, both charges to be filed does it ipso facto negate the
partnership or association of and proceeded independently, jurisdiction of the Regional
which they are stockholders, and may be simultaneously with Trial Court over the subject
members or associates, the other.41 cases. The Supreme Court citing
respectively. the case of Viray v. Court of
Thus, the filing of a petition in Appeals (G.R. No. 92481, 191
In Fabia v. Court of the SEC for the nullification of SCRA 308 [1990]) in Torio v.
Appeals,40 the Court explained the Resolution of May 2, 1995 Court of Appeals (G.R. No.
that Section 5 of P.D. No. 902- issued by the Chairman and two 107293, March 2, 1994, 230
A should be taken in members of the Board of SCRA 626) held:
conjunction with Section 6 of Directors of petitioner MPI,
the law. It then proceeded to which authorized the filing of "It should be obvious that not
explain: criminal cases against every conflict between a
respondent Umezawa, was not a corporation and its stockholders
In synthesis, Sec. 5 of PD 902- bar to his prosecution for estafa involves corporate matters that
A mandates that cases involving and qualified theft for his only the SEC can resolve in the
fraudulent actions and devices alleged fraudulent and delictual exercise of its adjudicatory or
which are detrimental to the acts. The relationship of the quasi-judicial powers."
interest of stockholders, party-litigants with each other or
members or associates and the position held by petitioner as As the Supreme Court further
directors of the corporation are a corporate officer in respondent ruled in the Torio case that "a
within the original and exclusive MPI during the time he contrary interpretation would
jurisdiction of the SEC. Taken committed the crime becomes distort the meaning and intent of
in conjunction with Sec. 6 of the merely incidental and holds no P.D. 902-A, the law re-
same law, it will be gathered that bearing on jurisdiction. What is organizing the Securities and
the fraudulent acts/schemes essential is that the fraudulent Exchange Commission. The
which the SEC shall exclusively acts are likewise of a criminal better policy in determining
investigate and prosecute are nature and hence cognizable by which body has jurisdiction over
those "in violation of any law or the regular courts.42 Thus, a case would be to consider not
rules and regulations notwithstanding the fact that only the relationship of the
administered and enforced by respondent Umezawa was the parties but also the nature of the
the Commission" alone. This president and general manager questions raised in the subject of
investigative and prosecutorial of petitioner MPI and a the controversy.44
powers of the SEC are further stockholder thereof, the latter
"without prejudice to any may still be prosecuted for the On the last issue, we find and so
liability for violation of any crimes charged. The alleged hold that the Informations state
provision of The Revised Penal fraudulent acts of respondent all the essential elements of
Code." Umezawa in this case constitute estafa and qualified theft. It was
the element of abuse of adequately alleged that
From the foregoing, it can thus confidence, deceit or fraudulent respondent Umezawa, being the
be concluded that the filing of means, and damage under President and General Manager
of petitioner MPI, stole and officio." The resolution of the simple or complexed with other
misappropriated the properties office of the prosecutor on the crimes; and
of his employer, more preliminary investigation as
specifically, petitioner MPI. As well as the re-investigation (c) Other crimes or offenses
expostulated by the CA in its conducted on the letter- committed by public officers or
decision: complaint filed by private employees, including those
complainant company employed in government-owned
In any event, the allegations sufficiently established prima or controlled corporations, in
in the informations, if facie case against the accused relation to their office.
hypothetically admitted, are and the legality or illegality of
sufficient to bind Umezawa to the constitution of the board The jurisdiction herein
the charges of qualified theft and which authorized the filing of conferred shall be original and
estafa. As aptly ruled by the the complaint does not exclusive if the offense charged
court a quo in its Order of July materially affect either the is punishable by a penalty
25, 1995, all the elements of the informations filed against higher than prision correccional,
offense of qualified theft are Umezawa or the pending or its equivalent, except as
present. There is no basis for criminal proceedings. As herein provided; in other
claiming otherwise. petitioners contend, the action is offenses, it shall be concurrent
Furthermore, the private now between the People of the with the regular courts.
offended party, as well as the Philippines and herein private
subject matter of the felonious respondent.45 In case private individuals are
taking and the ownership charged as co-principals,
thereof, have been adequately IN LIGHT OF ALL THE accomplices or accessories with
indicated or identified leaving FOREGOING, the petitions the public officers or employees
no room for any doubt on these are GRANTED. The Resolution including those employed in
matters. Considering that the of the Court of Appeals in CA- government-owned or
motions to quash of September G.R. SP No. 52440 dated controlled corporations, they
30, 1998 are fundamentally August 8, 2001 is REVERSED shall be tried jointly with said
rehash of the motion to quash and SET ASIDE. The Decision public officers and employees.
filed on May 29, 1995 and the of the Court of Appeals dated
culpable acts subject of the new September 2, 1999 is Where an accused is tried for
informations are virtually the AFFIRMED. any of the above offenses and
same as the first information the evidence is insufficient to
filed against Umezawa, there is o Sec, 4, Presidential Decree establish the offense charged, he
no conceivable reason why the No. 1606, as amended by Rep. may nevertheless be convicted
court a quo abandoned its Act and sentenced for the offense
previous stand and controverted proved, included in that which is
itself in regard the sufficiency of charged.
Section 4. Jurisdiction. The
the informations.
Sandiganbayan shall have
jurisdiction over: Any provision of law or the
In our considered view, and as Rules of Court to the contrary
the court a quo had correctly notwithstanding, the criminal
(a) Violations of Republic Act
held in its Order of May 26, action and the corresponding
No. 3019, as amended,
1996, "even a SEC ruling civil action for the recovery of
otherwise, known as the Anti-
voiding the resolution civil liability arising from the
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,
authorizing the filing of criminal offense charged shall at all times
and Republic Act No. 1379;
charges versus the accused be simultaneously instituted
Hajime Umezawa can have no with, and jointly determined in
(b) Crimes committed by public
bearing on the validity of the the same proceeding by, the
informations filed in these three officers and employees
including those employed in Sandiganbayan, the filing of the
criminal cases as pointed out by criminal action being deemed to
private complainant, the public government-owned or
controlled corporations, necessarily carry with it the
offenses of qualified theft and filing of the civil action, and no
estafa can [be] prosecuted de embraced in Title VII of the
Revised Penal Code, whether right to reserve the filing of such
action shall be recognized; "a. Exclusive appellate "5. Decisions of the Central
Provided, however, that, in jurisdiction to review by appeal, Board of Assessment Appeals in
cases within the exclusive as herein provided: the exercise of its appellate
jurisdiction of the jurisdiction over cases involving
Sandiganbayan, where the civil "1. Decisions of the the assessment and taxation of
action had therefore been filed Commissioner of Internal real property originally decided
separately with a regular court Revenue in cases involving by the provincial or city board of
but judgment therein has not yet disputed assessments, refunds of assessment appeals;
been rendered and the criminal internal revenue taxes, fees or
case is hereafter filed with the other charges, penalties in "6. Decisions of the Secretary of
Sandiganbayan, said civil action relation thereto, or other matters Finance on customs cases
shall be transferred to the arising under the National elevated to him automatically
Sandiganbayan for Internal Revenue or other laws for review from decisions of the
consolidation and joint administered by the Bureau of Commissioner of Customs
determination with the criminal Internal Revenue; which are adverse to the
action, otherwise, the criminal Government under Section 2315
action may no longer be filed "2. Inaction by the of the Tariff and Customs Code;
with the Sandiganbayan, its Commissioner of Internal
exclusive jurisdiction over the Revenue in cases involving "7. Decisions of the Secretary of
same notwithstanding, but may disputed assessments, refunds of Trade and Industry, in the case
be filed and prosecuted only in internal revenue taxes, fees or of nonagricultural product,
the regular courts of competent other charges, penalties in commodity or article, and the
jurisdiction; Provided, further, relations thereto, or other Secretary of Agriculture in the
that, in cases within the matters arising under the case of agricultural product,
concurrent jurisdiction of the National Internal Revenue Code commodity or article, involving
Sandiganbayan and the regular or other laws administered by dumping and countervailing
courts, where either the criminal the Bureau of Internal Revenue, duties under Section 301 and
or civil action is first filed with where the National Internal 302, respectively, of the Tariff
the regular courts, the Revenue Code provides a and Customs Code, and
corresponding civil or criminal specific period of action, in safeguard measures under
action, as the case may be, shall which case the inaction shall be Republic Act No. 8800, where
only be filed with the regular deemed a denial; either party may appeal the
courts of competent jurisdiction. decision to impose or not to
"3. Decisions, orders or impose said duties.
Excepted from the foregoing resolutions of the Regional Trial
provisions, during martial law, Courts in local tax cases "b. Jurisdiction over cases
are criminal cases against originally decided or resolved involving criminal offenses as
officers and members of the by them in the exercise of their herein provided:
armed forces in the active original or appellate
service. jurisdiction; "1. Exclusive original
jurisdiction over all criminal
o Sec. 7(b), Rep. Act No. 1- "4. Decisions of the offenses arising from violations
L25, as amended by Rep. Act Commissioner of Customs in of the National Internal Revenue
No. 9282 cases involving liability for Code or Tariff and Customs
customs duties, fees or other Code and other laws
Section 7. Section 7 of the same money charges, seizure, administered by the Bureau of
Act is hereby amended to read detention or release of property Internal Revenue or the Bureau
as follows: affected, fines, forfeitures or of Customs: Provided, however,
other penalties in relation That offenses or felonies
"Sec. 7. Jurisdiction. - The CTA thereto, or other matters arising mentioned in this paragraph
shall exercise: under the Customs Law or other where the principal amount o
laws administered by the Bureau taxes and fees, exclusive of
of Customs; charges and penalties, claimed
is less than One million pesos
(P1,000,000.00) or where there Provided, however, That Executive Judges and Defining
is no specified amount claimed collection cases where the Their Powers, Prerogatives and
shall be tried by the regular principal amount of taxes and Duties" issued by this Court on
Courts and the jurisdiction of fees, exclusive of charges and 27 January 2004, in relation to
the CTA shall be appellate. Any penalties, claimed is less than Section 90 of the
provision of law or the Rules of One million pesos Comprehensive Dangerous
Court to the contrary (P1,000,000.00) shall be tried
Drugs Act of 2002.
notwithstanding, the criminal by the proper Municipal Trial
action and the corresponding Court, Metropolitan Trial Court
civil action for the recovery of and Regional Trial Court.
civil liability for taxes and The antecedent facts are as
penalties shall at all times be "2. Exclusive appellate follows:
simultaneously instituted with, jurisdiction in tax collection
and jointly determined in the cases:
same proceeding by the CTA, On 7 February 2009, petitioner
the filing of the criminal action . Over appeals from the filed two (2) Informations1
being deemed to necessarily judgments, resolutions or orders before the Regional Trial Court
carry with it the filing of the of the Regional Trial Courts in
civil action, and no right to (RTC) of Iloilo City against
tax collection cases originally
reserve the filling of such civil private respondent John Rey
decided by them, in their
action separately from the respective territorial Prevendido for Violation of
criminal action will be jurisdiction. petitions for review Article II, Sections 5 and 11 of
recognized of the judgments, resolutions or Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9165 or
orders of the Regional Trial the Comprehensive Dangerous
"2. Exclusive appellate Courts in the Exercise of their Drugs Act of 2002. The cases
jurisdiction in criminal offenses: appellate jurisdiction over tax were raffled to Branch 36, a
collection cases originally designated special court
. Over peals from the judgments, decided by the Metropolitan pursuant to R.A. 9165, presided
resolutions or orders of the Trial Courts, Municipal Trial by Judge Victor E. Gelvezon.
Regional Trial Courts in tax Courts and Municipal Circuit Soon after, however, Judge
cases originally decided by Trial Courts, in their respective Gelvezon disclosed that Coreen
them, in their respected jurisdiction."
Gemarino, the Philippine Drug
territorial jurisdiction.
Enforcement Agency (PDEA)
Sec. 90, Rep. Act No.9165
operative who conducted the
"b. Over petitions for review of
the judgments, resolutions or o Peoplev. Hon. Azarraga, entrapment operation against
orders of the Regional Trial G.R.Nos. L87717 &187L27,L2 private respondent, had close
Courts in the exercise of their family ties with him. Thus, in
PEOPLE OF THE order to preserve the integrity of
appellate jurisdiction over tax
cases originally decided by the PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, the court, Judge Gelvezon
Metropolitan Trial Courts, vs.HON. JOSE D. issued an Order2 dated 17
Municipal Trial Courts and AZARRAGA and JOHN REY February 2009 inhibiting
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts PREVENDIDO, Respondents. himself from trying the case.
in their respective jurisdiction. The cases were then reassigned
In the present Petition for
Prohibition with Prayer for to the other special court,
"c. Jurisdiction over tax Branch 25, presided by Judge
collection cases as herein Temporary Restraining
Order/Preliminary Mandatory Evelyn E. Salao.
provided:
Injunction under Rule 65 of the On 24 February 2009, Judge
"1. Exclusive original Rules of Court, petitioner Salao also issued an Order3
jurisdiction in tax collection questions the legality of Chapter whereby she inhibited herself
cases involving final and V, Section 9 of A.M. No. 03-8- for the reason that Coreen
executory assessments for taxes, 02-SC or the "Guidelines on the Gemarino was a cousin; thus,
fees, charges and penalties: Selection and Appointment of the cases were endorsed to the
Office of the Executive Judge February 2008. He directed the present petition before this
for reassignment. city prosecutor to assign an Court.
assistant city prosecutor to
Citing Chap. V, Sec. 9 of A.M. On 27 March 2009, while the
handle the case effective 20
No. 03-8-02-SC, Executive Petition for Prohibition was
March 2009.
Judge Antonio M. Natino pending, respondent judge
ordered the Clerk of Court to Prosecutor Amamanglon, issued an Order11 inhibiting
forward the entire records of the however, moved for a himself from hearing the case
cases to Branch 37 presided reconsideration8 of respondent after private respondent alleged
over by public respondent, the judges Order, contending that that the former was biased for
pairing judge of Branch 36, the trial court needed a special the prosecution. The cases were
which was the special court that designation from this Court in thereafter transferred to Branch
originally handled the cases.4 order to have jurisdiction over 35, also a regular court, presided
the cases. Thus, Prosecutor by Judge Fe Gallon-Gayanilo.
On 16 March 2009, however, as
Amamanglon concluded, absent
soon as public respondent
the special designation,
proceeded with the cases,
respondent court should remand Absent a temporary restraining
Prosecutor Kenneth John
the cases to the Office of the order from this Court, the trial
Amamanglon filed a Motion to
Executive Judge for re-raffling court proceeded to hear the
Transfer Case to a Branch of
to another court specially cases.
Competent Jurisdiction.5 He
designated pursuant to R.A.
questioned the jurisdiction of The present petition raises two
9165. To support its contention,
public respondent to hear the (2) issues, to wit:
petitioner further cited this
cases, citing Sec. 90 of R.A.
Courts 11 October 2005 I. WHETHER OR NOT
9165. Prosecutor Amamanglon
Resolution in A.M. No. 05-9- RESPONDENT JUDGE HAS
also claimed that, as the
03-SC, which clarified whether JURISDICTION OVER THE
prosecutor assigned to Branch
drug courts should be included DRUG CASES IN CRIMINAL
37, he was not among the
in the regular raffle. CASE NOS. 09-68815/16
prosecutors who had been
designated to handle cases Respondent judge denied the DESPITE HIS ASSIGNMENT
exclusively involving violations Motion for Reconsideration in TO A REGULAR COURT
of R.A. 9165. its Order dated 20 March 2009.9 II. WHETHER OR NOT A.M.
He held that A.M. No. 03-8-02- NO. 03-8-02-SC IS IN
On the same day, respondent
SC should be deemed to have CONFORMITY WITH
judge denied the motion on
modified the designation of SECTION 90 OF REPUBLIC
three grounds, to wit:
special courts for drug cases. He ACT NO. 9165, MANDATING
1. This motion ought not to have declared that, under the THE DESIGNATION OF
been filed in this court for lack circumstances enumerated in SPECIAL COURTS TO
of legal basis; A.M. No. 03-8-02-SC, Branch EXCLUSIVELY TRY AND
37 itself became a special court. HEAR DRUG CASES12
2. This court is not without He further ruled that A.M. No.
jurisdiction to hear the instant 05-9-03-SC was inapplicable. At the outset, it is an established
case; policy that parties must observe
On 23 March 2009, the city the hierarchy of courts before
3. The matter about the prosecutor endorsed the assailed they can seek relief directly
appearance of Trial Prosecutor Orders of respondent judge to from this Court. The rationale
Kenneth John Amamanglon the Office of the Solicitor for this rule is twofold: (a) it
should have been addressed to General for the appropriate would be an imposition upon the
the Department concerned.6 review and filing of the limited time of this Court; and
Respondent judge thus set the necessary action.10 Thus, on 24 (b) it would inevitably result in
hearing on the Motion for March 2009, petitioner filed the a delay, intended or otherwise,
Admission to Bail7 filed on 10 in the adjudication of cases,
which in some instances, had to speedy disposition of cases, in Chap. V, Sec. 9 of A.M. No. 03-
be remanded or referred to the conformity with the right of all 8-02-SC provides:
lower court as the proper forum persons to a speedy disposition
Raffle and re-assignment of
under the rules of procedure, or of their cases before all judicial,
cases in special courts where
as better equipped to resolve the quasi-judicial, or administrative
judge is disqualified or
issues because this Court is not bodies.15 As this Court stated in
voluntarily inhibits
a trier of facts.13 It is only for San Ildefonso Lines v. Court of
himself/herself from hearing
special and compelling reasons Appeals,16 there must be a
case. (a) Where a judge in a
that this Court shall exercise its renewed adherence to the time-
court designated to try and
primary jurisdiction over the honored dictum that procedural
decide
extraordinary remedy of writ of rules are designed not to defeat,
prohibition. However, in the but to safeguard, the ends of xxx xxx xxx
case at bar, since it is only the substantial justice.
Supreme Court itself that can (3) cases involving violations of
Petitioner grounds its assertion the Dangerous Drugs Act, or ...
clarify the assailed guidelines,
on Sec. 90 of R.A. 9165, which
petitioner is exempted from this is disqualified or voluntarily
states:
rule. inhibits himself/herself from
Jurisdiction. The Supreme hearing a case, the following
The petition, however, must fail.
Court shall designate special guidelines shall be observed:
The crux of the matter in the courts from among the existing
present case is whether or not Regional Trial Courts in each xxx xxx xxx
this Court violated Sec. 90 of judicial region to exclusively try (ii) Where there are more than
R.A. 9165 when it issued A.M. and hear cases involving two special courts of the same
03-8-02-SC, particularly Chap. violations of this Act. The nature in the station, the
V, Sec. 9, which prescribes the number of courts designated in Executive Judge shall
manner in which the executive each judicial region shall be immediately assign the case by
judge reassigns cases in based on the population and the raffle to the other or another
instances of inhibition or number of cases pending in their special court of the same nature.
disqualification of judges sitting respective jurisdiction. In case the Presiding Judge of
in special courts. Petitioner the other special court is also
xxx xxx xxx
insists that should respondent disqualified or inhibits
judge (now Judge Fe Gallon- Trial of the case under this himself/herself, the case shall be
Gayanilo of Branch 35) Section shall be finished by the forwarded to the pairing judge
continue hearing and trying the court not later than sixty (60) of the special court which
case, it "would result in the days from the date of the filing originally handled the said case.
circumvention of the legislative of the information. Decision on If the pairing judge is also
conferment of jurisdiction to a said cases shall be rendered disqualified or inhibits
court to exclusively try and hear within a period of fifteen (15) himself/herself, the case shall be
drug offenses only."14 days from the date of raffled to the other regular
submission of the case for courts. At the next raffle, an
Contrary to the assertion of
resolution. additional case shall be assigned
petitioner, this Court did not
commit any violation of R.A. to the disqualified or inhibiting
Petitioner interprets the above
9165 when it issued the assailed judge/s to replace the case so
provision to mean that a court
guidelines. Rather, it merely removed from his/her/their
must be specifically designated
obeyed Article VIII, Sec. 5(5) of court... (Emphasis supplied.)
by the Supreme Court as a
the 1987 Constitution, which special court. But what is Chap. Under R.A. 9165, Congress
mandates that the rules V, Sec. 9 of A.M. No. 03-8-02- empowered this Court with the
promulgated by this Court SC if not an express designation full discretion to designate
should provide a simplified and of a special court? special courts to hear, try and
inexpensive procedure for the decide drug cases. It was
precisely in the exercise of this Undoubtedly, petitioners so that people with legitimate
discretionary power that the unwarranted suggestion would medical needs are not prevented
powers of the executive judge entail the use of precious from being treated with
were included in Chap. V, Sec. resources, time and effort to adequate amounts of
9 of A.M. No. 03-8-02-SC vis- transfer the cases to another appropriate medications, which
-vis Sec. 5(5) of Article VIII of station. On the other hand, the include the use of dangerous
the 1987 Constitution. Thus, in assailed guidelines provide for a drugs.
cases of inhibition or much more practical and
It is further declared the policy
disqualification, the executive expedient manner of hearing
of the State to provide effective
judge is mandated to assign the and deciding the cases. To
mechanisms or measures to re-
drug case to a regular court in reiterate, over and above
integrate into society
the following order: first, to the utilizing the expertise of trial
individuals who have fallen
pairing judge of the special judges, the rationale behind Sec.
victims to drug abuse or
court where the case was 90 of R.A. 9165 and Chap. V,
dangerous drug dependence
originally assigned; and, Sec. 9 of A.M. No. 03-8-02-SC
through sustainable programs of
second, if the pairing judge is is to effect an efficient
treatment and rehabilitation.
likewise disqualified or has administration of justice and
(Emphasis supplied.)
inhibited himself, then to speedy disposition of cases, as
another regular court through a well as to breathe life into the As a matter of fact, this Court
raffle. Under these exceptional policy enunciated in Sec. 2 of also issued similar guidelines
circumstances, this Court R.A. 9165, to wit: with regard to environmental
designated the regular court, cases,17 election cases
Declaration of policy. It is the
ipso facto, as a special court involving elective municipal
policy of the State to safeguard
but only for that case. Being a officials,18 and cases that
the integrity of its territory and
"designated special court," it is involve killings of political
the well-being of its citizenry
likewise bound to follow the activists and members of
particularly the youth, from the
relevant rules in trying and media.19 Foremost in its mind is
harmful effects of dangerous
deciding the drug case pursuant the speedy and efficient
drugs on their physical and
to R.A. 9165. administration of justice.
mental well-being, and to
Petitioner also contends that the defend the same against acts or Petitioner further points out that
legislative intent of R.A. 9165 is omissions detrimental to their this Court issued A.M. No. 05-
"to make use of the expertise of development and preservation. 9-03-SC to define the phrase "to
trial judges in complicated and In view of the foregoing, the exclusively try and hear cases
technical rules of the special State needs to enhance further involving violations of this Act"
drug law." Thus, petitioner the efficacy of the law against to mean "...[c]ourts designated
suggests that in instances in dangerous drugs, it being one of as special courts for drug cases
which all the judges of special today's more serious social ills. shall try and hear drug-related
courts have inhibited cases only, i.e., cases involving
Toward this end, the
themselves or are otherwise violations of RA 9165, to the
government shall pursue an
disqualified, the venue for the exclusion of other courts."
intensive and unrelenting
affected drug cases should be Hence, petitioner submits, drug
campaign against the trafficking
transferred to the nearest station cases should not be assigned to
and use of dangerous drugs and
that has designated special regular courts according to the
other similar substances through
courts. procedure provided in A.M. No.
an integrated system of
03-8-02-SC; in other words, the
planning, implementation and
two issuances contradict each
enforcement of anti-drug abuse
Petitioners suggestion is ill- other.
policies, programs, and projects.
advised. To subscribe to this
The government shall however Again, this Court disagrees.
suggestion is to defeat the
aim to achieve a balance in the
purpose of the law.
national drug control program
Petitioner underestimates the 4. If, in the opinion of Executive more of the victims is a minor at
rule-making power of this Judges, the caseload of certain the time of the commission of
Court. Nothing in A.M. No. 05- drug courts allows their the offense: Provided, That if
9-03-SC or in A.M. No. 03-8- inclusion in the regular raffle the minor is found guilty, the
03-SC suggests that they without adversely affecting their court shall promulgate sentence
contradict each other. In fact, ability to expeditiously resolve and ascertain any civil liability
which the accused may have
both were issued with a the drug cases assigned to them
incurred.
common rationale, that is, to and their inclusion in the regular
"expeditiously resolve criminal raffle becomes necessary to
The sentence, however, shall be
cases involving violations of decongest the caseload of other suspended without need of
R.A. 9165," especially in the branches, the concerned application pursuant to
light of the strict time frame Executive Judges shall Ptesidential Decree No. 603,
provided in Sec. 90 of R.A. recommend to this Court the otherwise known as the "Child
9165. Both provide for the inclusion of drug courts in their and Youth Welfare Code";
guidelines regarding the jurisdiction in the regular raffle.
assignment of drug cases to The concerned drug courts shall b) Petitions for guardianship,
special courts. Thus, A.M. No. remain exempt from the regular custody of children, habeas
05-9-03-SC provides for the raffle until the recommendation corpus in relation to the latter;
exemption of special courts is approved. (Emphasis
from the regular raffle under supplied.) c) Petitions for adoption of
normal circumstances, while children and the revocation
A.M. No. 03-8-02-SC provide thereof;
for the assignment of drug cases In conclusion, the two sets of
to special courts except under d) Complaints for annulment of
guidelines are examples of this marriage, declaration of nullity
special circumstances that Courts foresight and prudence of marriage and those relating to
would warrant reassignment to a in the exercise of its rule- marital status and property
regular court. making power. These guidelines relations of husband and wife or
were issued to prevent or those living together under
Moreover, the exemption of
address possible scenarios that different status and agreements,
special courts from the regular
might hinder the proper and petitions for dissolution of
raffle was not established as an
administration of justice. conjugal partnership of gains;
ironclad rule.1avvphi1 A.M.
No. 05-9-03-SC does in fact WHEREFORE, in view of the e) Petitions for support and/or
allow special courts to acquire foregoing, the Petition for acknowledgment;
jurisdiction over cases that are Prohibition is DISMISSED for
not drug cases. In the interest of lack of merit. f) Summary judicial
justice, executive judges may proceedings brought under the
recommend to the Supreme o Secs. 5(a), (j), and (k), Rep. provisions of Executive Order
Court the inclusion of drug Act No. 8369 No. 209, otherwise known as
courts in the regular raffle, and the "Family Code of the
this Court has the discretion to Section 5. Jurisdiction offamily Philippines";
approve the recommendation, as Courts. - The Family Courts
the Resolution states: shall have exclusive original g) Petitions for declaration of
jurisdiction to hear and decide status of children as abandoned,
WHEREFORE, Executive the following cases: dependent o neglected children,
Judges and presiding judges of petitions for voluntary or
special courts for drug cases a) Criminal cases where one or involuntary commitment of
shall hereby observe the more of the accused is below children; the suspension,
following guidelines: eighteen (18) years of age but termination, or restoration of
not less than nine (9) years of parental authority and other
xxx xxx xxx age but not less than nine (9) cases cognizable under
years of age or where one or Presidential Decree No.603,
Executive Order No. 56, (Series o Sec. 21-, Rep. Act No. 1OL75 For determination in this
of 1986), and other related laws; petition is a question in
JURISDICTION procedural law - - - whether an
h) Petitions for the constitution information filed by a state
of the family home; Section 21. Jurisdiction. The prosecutor without the prior
Regional Trial Court shall have written authority or approval of
i) Cases against minors jurisdiction over any violation the city or provincial prosecutor
cognizable under the Dangerous of the provisions of this Act. or chief state prosecutor should
Drugs Act, as amended; including any violation be dismissed after the accused
committed by a Filipino national has entered his plea under the
j) Violations of Republic Act regardless of the place of information.
No. 7610, otherwise known as commission. Jurisdiction shall
the "Special Protection of lie if any of the elements was Petitioner comes before us with
Children Against Child Abuse, committed within the a petition for certiorari and
Exploitation and Discrimination Philippines or committed with mandamus under Rule 65 of the
Act," as amended by Republic the use of any computer system Revised Rules of Court, seeking
Act No. 7658; and wholly or partly situated in the to declare as null and void the
country, or when by such Orders issued by the Regional
k) Cases of domestic violence commission any damage is Trial Court of Naga City,
against: caused to a natural or juridical Branch 19 dated February 26,
person who, at the time the 20021 and April 3, 20022 which
1) Women - which are acts of offense was committed, was in dismissed for lack of
gender based violence that the Philippines. jurisdiction the case of People
results, or are likely to result in vs. Serafin Saballegue, Criminal
physical, sexual or There shall be designated Case No. RTC 2001-0597, and
psychological harm or suffering special cybercrime courts denied petitioners motion for
to women; and other forms of manned by specially trained reconsideration.
physical abuse such as battering judges to handle cybercrime
or threats and coercion which cases. The antecedent facts are
violate a woman's personhood, undisputed.
integrity and freedom B. The People of the Philippines
movement; and On June 22, 2001, private
o Sec. 2, Rule 1-10 (unless respondent was charged with
2) Children - which include the otherwise specified, citation of a violation of Section 22(a) in
commission of all forms of Rule relation to Sections 19(b) and
abuse, neglect, cruelty, 28(e) of Republic Act No. 8282,
refers to the 2000 Rules of otherwise known as the "Social
exploitation, violence, and
Criminal Procedure) Security Act," in an information
discrimination and all other
conditions prejudicial to their which reads:
o Sec. 4, Rule l-10
development.
o Presidential Decree No. l-275, The undersigned State
If an act constitutes a criminal as amended Prosecutor of the Office of the
offense, the accused or batterer Regional State Prosecutor,
shall be subject to criminal o People v. Hon. Garfin, G.R. Legazpi City, accuses
proceedings and the No. L53176,29 March 2004 SERAFIN SABALLEGUE, as
corresponding penalties. proprietor of Saballegue
PEOPLE OF THE Printing Press with business
If any question involving any of PHILIPPINES, petitioner, address at 16 San Mateo St.,
the above matters should arise vs.HON. ZEIDA AURORA B. Peafrancia Ave., Naga City for
as an incident in any case GARFIN, In her capacity as Violation of Section 22(a) in
pending in the regular courts, Presiding Judge of RTC, relation to Sections 19(b) and
said incident shall be Branch 19, of the City of Naga 28(e) of R.A. 8282 otherwise
determined in that court. and SERAFIN known as the Social Security
SABALLEGUE, respondents.
Act of 1997, committed as I hereby certify that the required with Section 4, par. 3 of Rule
follows: investigation in this case has 112 of the 2000 Rules on
been conducted by the Criminal Procedure, thus:
That on or about February 1990 undersigned Special Prosecutor
and up to the present, in the City in accordance with law and Rule 112, Section 4 x x x x x x
of Naga, Philippines, within the under oath as officer of the
functional jurisdiction of SSS court, that there is reasonable No complaint or information
Naga Branch and the territorial ground to believe that the may be filed or dismissed by an
jurisdiction of this Honorable offense has been committed, investigating prosecutor without
Court, the above named that the accused is probably the prior written authority or
accused, while being the guilty thereof and that the filing approval of the provincial or
proprietor of Saballegue of the information is with the city prosecutor or chief state
Printing Press, did then and prior authority and approval of prosecutor or the Ombudsman
there willfully, unlawfully, and the Regional State Prosecutor.4 or his deputy.
criminally refuse and fail and
continuously refuse and fail to The case was raffled to Branch Expresio unius est exclusio
remit the premiums due for his 19 of the Regional Trial Court of alterius.
employee to the SSS in the Naga City presided by
amount of SIX THOUSAND respondent judge Hon. Zeida The Information will readily
FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY- Aurora B. Garfin. On September show that it has not complied
THREE PESOS (6,533.00), 24, 2001, accused Serafin with this rule as it has not been
Philippine Currency, Saballegue pleaded not guilty to approved by the City
representing SSS and EC the charge and the case was set Prosecutor.
premiums for the period from for pre-trial.5 Three days
January 1990 to December 1999 thereafter, the accused filed a This Court holds that the
(n.i.), and the 3% penalty per motion to dismiss6 on the defendants plea to the
month for late remittance in the ground that the information was Information is not a waiver to
amount of ELEVEN filed without the prior written file a motion to dismiss or to
THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED authority or approval of the city quash on the ground of lack of
FORTY-THREE PESOS and prosecutor as required under jurisdiction. By express
28/100 (11,143.28) computed Section 4, Rule 112 of the provision of the rules and by a
as of 15 March 2000, despite Revised Rules of Court.7 long line of decisions, questions
lawful demands by letter in of want of jurisdiction may be
violation of the above-cited The People, through State raised at any stage of the
provisions of the law, to the Prosecutor Tolentino, filed an proceedings (People vs.
damage and prejudice of the opposition,8 against which the Eduarte, 182 SCRA 750).
SSS and the public in general. accused filed a rejoinder.9The
People filed a reply to the The Supreme Court in Villa vs.
CONTRARY TO LAW. rejoinder10 on December 21, Ibaez (88 Phil 402) dwelt on
2001. A rejoinder to the lack of authority of the officer
Legazpi City for Naga City. 22 reply11 was filed by the accused who filed the information and
June 2001. on January 21, 2002. on jurisdiction at the same time,
pertinent portions run as
(sgd.) ROMULO SJ. After considering the arguments follows:
TOLENTINOState Prosecutor raised, the trial court granted the
Special Prosecutor on SSS motion to dismiss in its first The defendant had pleaded to
Cases in Region V3 questioned Order dated the information before he filed a
February 26, 2002, to wit: motion to quash, and it is
The information contains a contended that by his plea he
certification signed by State After considering the respective waived all objections to the
Prosecutor Romulo SJ. arguments raised by the parties, information. The contention is
Tolentino which states: the Court believes and so correct as far as formal
resolves that the Information has objections to the pleadings are
not been filed in accordance concerned. But by clear
implication, if not by express append the following prior approval from the city
provision of section 10 of Rule NOTATION after the prosecutor. 13 Letters of
113 of the Rules of Court, and certification in the Information commendation from Chief State
by a long line of uniform for filing. Prosecutor Jovencito
14
decisions, questions of want of Zuo and Secretary Hernando
jurisdiction may be raised at any NOTATION: The herein Perez15 were offered as proof to
stage of the proceedings. Now, City/Provincial Prosecutor is show that State Prosecutor
the objection to the respondents inhibiting from this case and the Tolentinos authority to file the
actuations goes to the very Special Prosecution Team on information was recognized. In
foundations of jurisdiction. It is SSS Cases in Region V is response, the defense pointed
a valid information signed by a authorized to dispose of the case out in its opposition that the
competent officer which, among without my approval in view of motion for reconsideration
other requisites, confers the request for inhibition of the lacked a notice of hearing, hence
jurisdiction on the court over the SSS Regional Manager as it is pro forma or a mere scrap of
person of the accused and the granted by the Regional State paper. 16
subject matter of the accusation. Prosecutor.
In consonance with this view, an On April 3, 2002, respondent
infirmity of the nature noted in A perusal of the Information, judge issued the second
the information cannot be cured however, would readily show questioned Order which reads:
by silence, acquiescence, or that nowhere in the Information
even by express consent. has the City Prosecutor of Naga Acting upon the Motion for
City appended the above-quoted Reconsideration filed by State
Prosecutor Tolentino also notation/inhibition. At most, the Prosecutor Romulo SJ.
contends that having been duly authority of the special Tolentino, Special Prosecutor
designated to assist the City prosecutor is only for the on SSS cases in Region V, and it
Prosecutor in the investigation conduct of preliminary appearing that the same has
and prosecution of all SSS cases investigations and the failed to comply with the
by the Regional State prosecutor prosecution of cases after they requirement of notice prescribed
as alter ego of the Secretary of are filed. The Court, however, in Sections 4 and 5, Rule 15 of
Justice in Region V, then that believes that the filing of this the Rules of Court, the same is
authority may be given to other Information must be in hereby DENIED for being a
than the City Prosecutor. The conformity with the Rules on mere scrap of paper.
Court finds this contention to be Criminal Procedure, particularly
devoid of merit. The Regional Section 4 of Rule 112. SO ORDERED.17
State Prosecutor is not the alter
ego of the Secretary of Justice WHEREFORE, premises Hence, this petition by the
but a mere subordinate official considered and for lack of People through Regional State
and if ever the former files jurisdiction, the Court hereby Prosecutor Santiago Turingan
cases, it is by virtue of a resolves to DISMISS this case and State Prosecutor Romulo
delegated authority by the without pronouncement as to SJ. Tolentino. Petitioner
Secretary of Justice. Potestas cost. attributes grave abuse of
delegada non potesta delegare discretion amounting to lack or
(sic) what has been delegated SO ORDERED.12 excess of jurisdiction on the part
cannot be redelegated. of respondent judge, viz:18
A motion for reconsideration
In his opposition, the state was filed by the People 1. RESPONDENT JUDGE
prosecutor also attached a contending that as a special DISMISSED THE
memorandum dated June 22, prosecutor designated by the INFORMATION WITHOUT
2001 by Regional State regional state prosecutor to THE REQUIRED
Prosecutor Santiago M. handle SSS cases within Region SUPPORTING FACTUAL
Turingan addressed to V, State Prosecutor Tolentino is AND LEGAL BASES;
Provincial Prosecutor and City authorized to file the
Prosecutors of Region V information involving violations 2. RESPONDENT JUDGE
directing them to inhibit and to of the SSS law without need of DELIBERATELY AND
CAPRICIOUSLY IGNORED handling SSS cases nor signing from notice of the judgment,
THE PRESUMPTION OF the information. order or resolution. In case a
REGULARITY IN FAVOR OF motion for reconsideration or
THE PROSECUTION We shall first resolve the new trial is timely filed, whether
WITHOUT THE REQUIRED procedural issues. Respondent such motion is required or not,
SUFFICIENCY OF contends that the motion for the sixty (60)- day period shall
REBUTTAL EVIDENCE. THE reconsideration filed on April 1, be counted from notice of the
WORD "MAY" IN SEC. 4, 2002 is late because it was filed denial of said motion.
RULE 112 OF THE RULES OF eighteen days after March 14,
COURT IS NOT 2002, the date when petitioner xxxxxxxxx
MANDATORY; received the first questioned
order. Respondent has As shown by the records,
3. RESPONDENT JUDGE overlooked that the 15th day petitioner received the first
COMMITTED GRAVE after March 14 is a Good Friday. questioned order dated February
ERROR IN DELIBERATELY Hence, petitioners last day to 26, 2002 on March 14,
IGNORING THE file the motion for 2002.23 A motion for
JUDICIALLY KNOWN reconsideration was on the next reconsideration was timely filed
INHIBITION OF THE CITY working day after Good Friday, on April 1, 200224 which was
PROSECUTOR AND THE April 1.22 dismissed for lack of notice of
SETTLED JURISPRUDENCE hearing in an Order dated April
ON THE MATTER; Next, respondent argues that 3, 2002.25 This second
having been considered as a questioned order was received
4. RESPONDENT JUDGE mere scrap of paper, the motion by petitioner on April 11,
GRAVELY ABUSED HER for reconsideration of the 2002.26 A motion for extension
DISCRETION IN petitioner did not toll the of time to file a petition for
INTERFERING WITH THE running of the reglementary review on certiorari was filed on
PURELY EXECUTIVE period. Respondent, however, April 18, 2002.27 A motion for
FUNCTION OF FILING AN erroneously assumes that the leave to file and admit the
INFORMATION BY RULING present case is an appeal by instant petition for certiorari and
ON THE AUTHORITY OF certiorari under Rule 45. As mandamus was filed on May 29,
THE FILING OFFICER TO stated at the outset, this is an 2002.28Having been filed within
FILE THE INFORMATION. original petition for certiorari the reglementary period,
and mandamus under Rule 65. petitioners motion for leave to
The Office of the Solicitor file the instant petition was
General (OSG) filed its Sec. 2, Rule 37 of the Rules of granted in this Courts
comment19 in compliance with Court is clear. It provides that Resolution dated July 15,
this Courts Resolution dated "(a) pro forma motion for new 2002.29
September 23, 2002.20 It opines trial or reconsideration shall not
that the dismissal of the toll the reglementary period of We now come to the other issue:
information is mandated under appeal." (emphases supplied) whether the prior written
Section 4, Rule 112 of the Rules Hence, the same provision has authority and approval of the
of Criminal Procedure. no application in the case at bar. city or provincial prosecutor or
chief state prosecutor is
Private respondent contends The reckoning date is the receipt necessary in filing the
that:21 1) the instant petition was of the second questioned Order information at bar.
filed out of time; 2) the special and not the receipt of the first.
State Prosecutor is only Section 4, Rule 65, as amended Petitioner takes the unbending
authorized to conduct by En Banc Resolution A.M. view that the approval of the city
preliminary investigation and No. 00-2-03-SC, September 1, or provincial prosecutor is no
prosecution of SSS cases and 2000, provides, viz: longer required. It is contended
not to sign the information; and that the Regional State
3) the City Prosecutor did not Sec. 4. When and where petition Prosecutor has already directed
expressly inhibit himself from filed.-- The petition may be filed the city or provincial prosecutor
not later than sixty (60) days to inhibit from handling SSS
cases.30 Petitioner cites the letter d) With respect to his regional as may be necessary for the
of Regional State Prosecutor office and the offices of the proper performance of official
Santiago M. Turingan to SSS provincial and city fiscals within functions, including
Regional Director in Naga City his region, he shall: rectification of violations,
dated June 6, 199731 and copies abuses and other forms of
of Regional Orders No. 97-024- 1) Appoint such member of maladministration; and to
A32 and 2001-03333 dated July subordinate officers and review and pass upon budget
14, 1997 and September 28, employees as may be necessary; proposals of such agencies but
2001, respectively, showing the and approve transfers of may not increase or add to
designation of State Prosecutor subordinate personnel within them."36 This is distinguished
Tolentino as special prosecutor the jurisdiction of the regional from the power of "supervision
for SSS cases in Region V. office. and control" which includes the
Petitioner relies on Galvez, et al. authority "to act directly
v. Court of Appeals, et al.34 and 2) Investigate administrative whenever a specific function is
Sanchez v. Demetriou, et al.35 to complaints against fiscals and entrusted by law or regulation to
prop up its contention that given other prosecuting officers a subordinate; direct the
the designation of State within his region and submit his performance of duty; restrain
Prosecutor Tolentino, the city recommendation thereon to the the commission of acts; review,
prosecutor need not participate Secretary of Justice who shall, approve, reverse or modify acts
in the filing and prosecution of after review thereof, submit the and decisions of subordinate
the information in the case at appropriate recommendation to officials or units; determine
bar. the Office of the President: priorities in the execution of
Provided, that where the plans and programs; and
We disagree. Under Presidential Secretary of Justice finds prescribe standards, guidelines,
Decree No. 1275, the powers of insufficient grounds for the plans and programs."37
a Regional State Prosecutor are filing of charges, he may render
as follows: a decision of dismissal thereof. The Regional State Prosecutor is
clearly vested only with the
Sec. 8. The Regional State 3) Investigate administrative power of administrative
Prosecution Office: Functions complaints against subordinate supervision. As administrative
of Regional State Prosecutor. - personnel of the region and supervisor, he has no power to
The Regional State Prosecutor submit his recommendations direct the city and provincial
shall, under the control of the thereon to the Secretary of prosecutors to inhibit from
Secretary of Justice, have the Justice who shall have the handling certain cases. At most,
following functions: authority to render decision he can request for their
thereon. (emphases supplied) inhibition. Hence, the said
a) Implement policies, plans, directive of the regional state
programs, memoranda, orders, The power of administrative prosecutor to the city and
circulars and rules and supervision is limited to "the provincial prosecutors is
regulations of the Department of authority of the department or questionable to say the least.
Justice relative to the its equivalent to generally
investigation and prosecution of oversee the operations of such Petitioner cannot lean on the
criminal cases in his region. agencies and to insure that they cases of Galvez and Sanchez. In
are managed effectively, those cases, the special
b) Exercise immediate efficiently and economically but prosecutors were acting under
administrative supervision over without interference with day- the directive of the Secretary of
all provincial and city fiscals to-day activities; or require the Justice. They were appointed in
and other prosecuting officers of submission of reports and cause accordance with law. Nowhere
provinces and cities comprised the conduct of management in P.D. No. 1275 is the regional
within his region. audit, performance evaluation state prosecutor granted the
and inspection to determine power to appoint a special
c) Prosecute any case arising compliance with policies, prosecutor armed with the
within the region. standards and guidelines of the authority to file an information
department; to take such action without the prior written
authority or approval of the city In the case at bar, there is no Within five (5) days from his
or provincial prosecutor or chief pretense that a directive was resolution, he (investigating
state prosecutor. P.D. No. 1275 issued by the Secretary of prosecutor) shall forward the
provides the manner by which Justice to Regional State record of the case to the
special prosecutors are Prosecutor Turingan to provincial or city prosecutor or
appointed, to wit: investigate and/or prosecute chief state prosecutor, or to the
SSS cases filed within his Ombudsman or his deputy in
Sec. 15. Special Counsels. - territorial jurisdiction. A bare cases of offenses cognizable by
Whenever the exigencies of the reading of the alleged letter of the Sandiganbayan in the
service require the creation of commendation by then exercise of its original
positions of additional counsel Secretary Hernando Perez jurisdiction. They shall act on
to assist provincial and city would show that it does not the resolution within ten (10)
fiscals in the discharge of their amount to a directive or even a days from their receipt thereof
duties, positions of Special recognition of this authority. In and shall immediately inform
Counsels may be created by any fact, while the letter of Secretary the parties of such action.
province or city, subject to the Perez commends the efforts of (emphasis supplied)
approval of the Secretary of Regional State Prosecutor
Justice, and with salaries Turingan in successfully Having settled that the prior
chargeable against provincial or prosecuting SSS cases, it also authority and approval of the
city funds. The Secretary of negates his authority to city, provincial or chief state
Justice shall appoint said prosecute them. Secretary Perez prosecutor should have been
Special Counsels, upon called the Regional State obtained, we shall now resolve
recommendation of the Prosecutors attention to DOJ the more important issue:
provincial or city fiscal and Circular No. 27, series of 2001, whether the lack of prior written
regional state prosecutors which states that all important approval of the city, provincial
concerned, either on permanent cases of the SSS should be or chief state prosecutor in the
or temporary basis. referred to the Office of the filing of an information is a
Government Corporate defect in the information that is
39
Special Counsel shall be Counsel. Thus, Regional State waived if not raised as an
appointed from members of the Prosecutor Turingan cannot be objection before arraignment.
bar and shall be allowed not considered a special prosecutor
more than the salary rate within the meaning of the law. We hold that it is not.
provided in this Decree for the
lowest rank or grade of assistant Petitioner argues that the word The provisions in the 2000
fiscal in the province or city "may" is permissive. Hence, Revised Rules of Criminal
where assigned. (emphases there are cases when prior Procedure that demand
supplied) written approval is not required, illumination are Sections 3 and
and this is one such instance. 9 of Rule 117 in relation to
Under Department Order No. This is too simplistic an paragraph 3, Section 4 of Rule
318,38 "Defining the authority, interpretation. Whether the 112, to wit:
duties and responsibilities of word "may" is mandatory or
regional state prosecutors," then directory depends on the context Rule 117, Section 3. Grounds.
Acting Secretary of Justice of its use. We agree with the The accused may move to quash
Silvestre H. Bello III ordered the OSG that the use of the the complaint or information on
appointed regional state permissive word "may" should any of the following grounds:
prosecutors (which included be read together with the other
Regional State Prosecutor provisions in the same section of (a) That the facts charged do not
Turingan for Region V) to, the Rule. The paragraph constitute an offense;
among others, "(i)nvestigate immediately preceding the
and/or prosecute, upon the quoted provision shows that the
(b) That the court trying the case
directive of the Secretary of word "may" is mandatory. It
has no jurisdiction over the
Justice, specific criminal cases states:
offense charged;
filed within the region."
(emphasis supplied) Sec. 4, Rule 112. x x x
(c) That the court trying the case investigating prosecutor without cannot be cured by silence,
has no jurisdiction over the the prior written authority or acquiescence, or even by
person of the accused; approval of the provincial or express consent.41 (emphasis
city prosecutor or chief state supplied)
(d) That the officer who filed prosecutor or the Ombudsman
the information had no or his deputy. (emphasis The case of Villa is authority for
authority to do so; supplied) the principle that lack of
authority on the part of the filing
(e) That it does not conform Private respondent and the OSG officer prevents the court from
substantially to the prescribed take the position that the lack of acquiring jurisdiction over the
form; prior authority or approval by case. Jurisdiction over the
the city or provincial prosecutor subject matter is conferred by
(f) That more than one offense is or chief state prosecutor is an law while jurisdiction over the
charged except when a single infirmity in the information that case is invested by the act of
punishment for various offenses prevented the court from plaintiff and attaches upon the
is prescribed by law; acquiring jurisdiction over the filing of the complaint or
case. Since lack of jurisdiction is information.42 Hence, while a
(g) That the criminal action or a defect that may be raised as an court may have jurisdiction over
liability has been extinguished; objection anytime even after the subject matter, like a
arraignment, the respondent violation of the SSS Law, it does
(h) That it contains averments judge did not err in granting the not acquire jurisdiction over the
which, if true, would constitute motion to dismiss based on this case itself until its jurisdiction is
a legal excuse or justification; ground. As basis, they cite the invoked with the filing of the
and case of Villa v. Ibaez, et information.
al.40 where we held, viz:
(i) That the accused has been In the United States, an
previously convicted or The defendant had pleaded to an information has been held as a
acquitted of the offense charged, information before he filed a jurisdictional requirement upon
or the case against him was motion to quash, and it is which a defendant stands trial.
dismissed or otherwise contended that by his plea he Thus, it has been ruled that in
terminated without his express waived all objections to the the absence of probable cause,
consent. informations. The contention is the court lacks jurisdiction to try
correct as far as formal the criminal offense.43 In our
objections to the pleadings are jurisdiction, we have similarly
Section 9. Failure to move to
concerned. But by clear held that:
quash or to allege any ground
implication, if not by express
therefor.The failure of the
provision of section 10 of Rule While the choice of the court
accused to assert any ground of
113 of the Rules of Court (now where to bring an action, where
a motion to quash before he
Section 9 of Rule 117), and by a there are two or more courts
pleads to the complaint or
long line of uniform decisions, having concurrent jurisdiction
information, either because he
questions of want of jurisdiction thereon, is a matter of procedure
did not file a motion to quash or
may be raised at any stage of the and not jurisdiction, as
failed to allege the same in said
proceeding. Now, the objection suggested by appellant, the
motion, shall be deemed a
to the respondents actuations moment such choice has been
waiver of any objections except
goes to the very foundation of exercised, the matter becomes
those based on the grounds
the jurisdiction. It is a valid jurisdictional. Such choice is
provided for in paragraphs (a),
information signed by a deemed made when the
(b), (g), and (i) of section 3 of
competent officer which, among proper complaint or
this Rule. (emphasis supplied)
other requisites, confers information is filed with the
jurisdiction on the court over the court having jurisdiction over
Rule 112, Section 4, paragraph 3 person of the accused and the the crime, and said court
provides, viz: subject matter of the accusation. acquires jurisdiction over the
In consonance with this view, an person of the defendant, from
No complaint or information infirmity in the information which time the right and
may be filed or dismissed by an
power of the court to try the subject to orders by, mutually an information. The Court found
accused attaches. (citations independent superiors having, that the crime alleged in the
omitted) It is not for the possibly, antagonistic interests. information was not among
defendant to exercise that Referring particularly to the those which PCGG was
choice, which is lodged upon case at hand for illustration, authorized to investigate under
those who may validly file or Attorney Subido could be Executive Orders No. 1 and 14
subscribe to the complaint or recalled or his time and attention of then President Corazon
information under sections 2 be required elsewhere by the Aquino and ruled that the
and 3 of Rule 106 of the Rules Secretary of Interior or the City information was null and void.
of Court. 44 (emphasis Mayor while he was discharging Of similar import is Romualdez
supplied) his duties as public prosecutor, v. Sandiganbayan, et al.47 where
and the Secretary of Justice we ruled that the information
A closer look at Villa would be would be helpless to stop such having been filed by an
useful in resolving the issue at recall or interference. An unauthorized party (the PCGG),
hand. In that case, Atty. eventuality or state of affairs so the information was fatally
Abelardo Subido, Chief of the undesirable, not to say flawed. We noted that this
Division of Investigation in the detrimental to the public service defect is not a mere remediable
Office of the Mayor of Manila, and specially the administration defect of form, but a defect that
was appointed by the Secretary of justice, the Legislature wisely could not be cured.1awphi1.net
of Justice as special counsel to intended to avoid.
assist the City Fiscal of Manila In Cudia v. Court of Appeals, et
in the cases involving city The application of the 1951 al.,48 we also reiterated the Villa
government officials or Villa ruling is not confined to ruling. The accused in that case
employees. Pursuant to his instances where the person who was apprehended in Mabalacat,
appointment, Atty. Subido filed filed the information is Pampanga for illegal possession
an information against Pedro disqualified from being a special of firearms and was brought to
Villa for falsification of a prosecutor under Section 1686 Angeles City where the
payroll. Atty. Subidos authority of the Revised Administrative headquarters of the arresting
to file the information was Code, as amended, but has been officers was located. The City
challenged on the ground that he extended to various cases where Prosecutor of Angeles City filed
was disqualified for the information was filed by an an information in the Regional
appointment under Section 1686 unauthorized officer as in the Trial Court of Angeles City. We
of the Revised Administrative case at bar. In Cruz, Jr. v. invalidated the information filed
Code, as amended by Section 4 Sandiganbayan, et al.,46 the by the City Prosecutor because
of Commonwealth Act No. 144, Court held that it is a he had no territorial jurisdiction,
to wit: fundamental principle that when as the offense was committed in
on its face the information is Mabalacat, Pampanga and his
SEC. 1686. Additional counsel null and void for lack of territorial jurisdiction was only
to assist fiscal. The Secretary authority to file the same, it in Angeles City. We held that an
of Justice may appoint any cannot be cured nor resurrected information, when required by
lawyer, being either a by amendment. In that case, the law to be filed by a public
subordinate from his office or a Presidential Commission on prosecuting officer, cannot be
competent person not in the Good Government (PCGG) filed by another.49 Otherwise,
public service, temporarily to conducted an investigation and the court does not acquire
assist a fiscal or prosecuting filed an information with the jurisdiction.50 It is a valid
attorney in the discharge of his Sandiganbayan against information signed by a
duties, and with the same petitioner Roman Cruz, Jr. competent officer which, among
authority therein as might be charging him with graft and other requisites, confers
exercised by the Attorney corruption. The petitioner jurisdiction on the court over the
General or Solicitor General.45 sought to quash the information person of the accused and the
on the ground that the crime subject matter thereof. The
We held, viz: charged did not constitute a accuseds plea to an information
"Marcos crony related crime" may be a waiver of all formal
over which the PCGG had objections to the said
authority to investigate and file information but not when there
is want of jurisdiction. filing of information similar to the case has no jurisdiction over
Questions relating to lack of the above provisions of the 1940 the offense charged; (c) that the
jurisdiction may be raised at any Rules.53 criminal action or liability has
stage of the proceeding. An been extinguished; and (d) that
infirmity in the information, Then came the 1985 Rules of the accused has been previously
such as lack of authority of the Criminal Procedure. Lack of convicted or acquitted of the
officer signing it, cannot be authority of the officer who filed offense charged, or the case
cured by silence, acquiescence, the information was also a against him was dismissed or
or even by express consent.51 ground for a motion to quash otherwise terminated without
under these rules. The 1985 his express consent. Under the
Despite modifications of the Rules also provided for waiver regime of the 2000 Revised
provisions on unauthorized of the grounds for a motion to Rules, we reiterated the Villa
filing of information contained quash under Rule 117, Section ruling in the above-cited
in the 1940 Rules of Criminal 8, but enumerated the following Romualdez case. With the
Procedure under which Villa exceptions to the waiver: (a) the enumeration of the four
was decided, the 1951 Villa facts charged do not constitute exceptions, which was almost a
ruling continues to be the an offense; (b) the court trying replica of the enumeration in the
prevailing case law on the the case has no jurisdiction over 1985 Rules, the 2000 Rules did
matter.52 the offense charged or the not intend to abandon Villa. The
person of the accused; (c) the Villa ruling subsisted alongside
The 1940 Rules of Court criminal action or liability has the enumerated exceptions
provided in Rule 113, Section been extinguished; and (d) the under the 1985 Rules, and it
10 that, if the defendant fails to accused has been previously remains to do so under the
move to quash the complaint or convicted or in jeopardy of enumerated exceptions under
information before he pleads being convicted, or acquitted of the 2000 Rules. Neither the
thereto, he shall be taken to have the offense charged. Rationale of the 2000 Revised
waived all objections which are Apparently, the want of Rules of Criminal Procedure nor
grounds for a motion to quash jurisdiction under the 1985 the Minutes of the Meeting of
except (1) "when the complaint Rules refers to jurisdiction over the Committee on the Revision
or information does not charge the offense and the person, and of the Rules of Court evinces
an offense" or (2) "the court is not over the case as in Villa any intent to abandon the
without jurisdiction of the where the court did not acquire doctrine enunciated in Villa.
same." (emphasis ours) Among jurisdiction over the case for
the enumerated grounds for a lack of authority of the officer In sum, we hold that, in the
motion to quash under Section 2 who filed the information. Still, absence of a directive from the
of the same Rule was "(t)hat the despite the enumeration, the Secretary of Justice designating
fiscal has no authority to file the Court continued to apply the State Prosecutor Tolentino as
information." With only the Villa ruling as shown in the Special Prosecutor for SSS
above two exceptions provided afore-cited Cruz and Cudia cases or a prior written approval
by the 1940 Rules, the Court cases. of the information by the
nevertheless made the Villa provincial or city prosecutor, the
ruling that if the filing officer The 1985 Rules was amended in information in Criminal Case
lacks authority to file the 2000. The 2000 Revised Rules No. RTC 2001-0597 was filed
information, jurisdiction is not of Criminal Procedure also by an officer without authority
conferred on the court and this provide for lack of authority of to file the same. As this infirmity
infirmity cannot be cured by the filing officer as among the in the information constitutes a
silence or waiver, acquiescence, grounds for a motion to quash jurisdictional defect that cannot
or even by express consent. and the waiver of these grounds. be cured, the respondent judge
Similar to the 1985 Rules, the did not err in dismissing the case
The 1940 Rules of Court was Revised Rules enumerate the for lack of jurisdiction.
amended in 1964. With only exceptions from the waiver,
minimal changes introduced, the namely: (a) that the facts WHEREFORE, premises
1964 Rules of Court contained charged do not constitute an considered, the petition is
provisions on unauthorized offense; (b) that the court trying DENIED. The respondent
courts orders dated February (3) Coordinate the programs and Office of the Chief State
26, 2002 and April 3, 2002 are projects of the Department for Prosecutor shall have the
AFFIRMED. Criminal Case No. efficient and effective following functions:
RTC 2001-0597 is DISMISSED administration;
without prejudice to the filing of (1) Assist the Secretary in the
a new information by an (4) Serve as deputy for the performance of powers and
authorized officer. Secretary; functions of the Department
relative to its role as the
o Chapter 2, Title lll, Book lV, (5) Perform, when so prosecution arm of the
Administrative Code of 1987 designated, the powers and government;
functions of the Secretary,
Department Proper during the latters absence or (2) Implement the provisions of
incapacity; and laws, executive orders and rules,
SECTION 5. The Department and carry out the policies, plans,
Proper.The Department (6) Perform such other functions programs and projects of the
Proper shall be composed of the as may be provided by law or Department relative to the
Office of the Secretary and the assigned by the Secretary to investigation and prosecution of
Undersecretaries, Technical and promote efficiency and criminal cases;
Administrative Service, effectiveness in the delivery of
Financial Management Service, frontline services. (3) Assist the Secretary in
Legal Staff and the Office of the exercising supervision and
Chief State Prosecutor. SECTION 7. Legal Staff. control over the National
The Legal Staff shall have the Prosecution Service as
SECTION following functions: constituted under P.D. No. 1275
6. Undersecretaries.The and/or otherwise hereinafter
Secretary shall be assisted by (1) Assist the Secretary in the provided; and
three (3) Undersecretaries. The performance of his duties as
Secretary is hereby authorized Attorney General of the (4) Perform such other functions
to delineate and assign the Philippines and as ex-officio as may be provided by law or
respective functional areas of legal adviser of government- assigned by the Secretary.
responsibility of the owned or controlled
Undersecretaries, provided, that corporations or enterprises and SECTION 9. Provincial/City
such responsibility shall be with their subsidiaries; Prosecution Offices.The
respect to the mandate and Provincial and City Fiscals
objectives of the Department; (2) Prepare and finally act for Office established in each of the
and provided, further, that no and in behalf of the Secretary on provinces and cities pursuant to
Undersecretary shall be all queries and/or requests for law, is retained and renamed
assigned primarily legal advice or guidance coming Provincial/City Prosecution
administrative responsibilities. from private parties, and minor Office. It shall be headed by a
Within his functional area of officials and employees of the Provincial Prosecutor or City
responsibility, an government; Prosecutor, as the case may be,
Undersecretary shall have the assisted by such number of
following functions: (3) Maintain and supervise the Assistant Provincial/City
operation of the Department Prosecutors as fixed and/or
(1) Advise and assist the Law Library as well as its authorized by law. The position
Secretary in the formulation and personnel; and titles of Provincial and City
implementation of the Fiscal and of Assistant
Departments policies, plans, (4) Perform such other functions Provincial and City Fiscal are
programs and projects; as are now or may hereafter be hereby abolished.
provided by law or assigned by
(2) Oversee the operational the Secretary. All provincial/city prosecution
activities of the Department; offices shall continue to
SECTION 8. Office of the discharge their functions under
Chief State Prosecutor.The existing law.
All provincial and city and private detectives, for the superintendent or a higher rank
prosecutors and their assistants practice of their professions; and can be created unless provided
shall be appointed by the by law.
President upon the (h) Perform such other duties
recommendation of the and exercise all other functions Administrative Support Units.
Secretary. as may be provided by law. (1) Crime Laboratory. There
shall be established a central
In addition, the PNP shall Crime Laboratory to be headed
absorb the office of the National by a Director with the rank of
r Sec.24and 35, Rep. Act Action Committee on Anti- chief superintendent, which
No.6975 Hijacking (NACAH) of the shall provides scientific and
Department of National technical investigative aid and
Section 24. Powers and Defense, all the functions of the support to the PNP and other
Functions. The PNP shall present Philippine Air Force government investigative
have the following powers and Security Command agencies.
functions: (PAFSECOM), as well as the
police functions of the Coast It shall also provide crime
(a) Enforce all laws and Guard. In order to perform its laboratory examination,
ordinances relative to the powers and functions efficiently evaluation and identification of
protection of lives and and effectively, the PNP shall be physical evidences involved in
properties; provided with adequate land, crimes with primary emphasis
sea, and air capabilities and all on their medical, chemical,
(b) Maintain peace and order necessary material means of biological and physical nature.
and take all necessary steps to resources.
ensure public safety; There shall be likewise be
Section 35. Support Units. established regional and city
(c) Investigate and prevent The PNP shall be supported by crime laboratories as may be
crimes, effect the arrest of administrative and operational necessary in all regions and
criminal offenders, bring support units. The cities of the country.
offenders to justice and assist in administrative support units
their prosecution; shall consist of the Crime (2) Logistic Unit. Headed by a
Laboratory, Logistic Unit, Director with the rank of chief
(d) Exercise the general powers Communications Unit, superintendent, the Logistics
to make arrest, search and Computer Center, Finance Unit shall be responsible for the
seizure in accordance with the Center and Civil Security Unit. procurement, distributions and
Constitution and pertinent laws; The operational support units management of all the logistical
shall be composed of the requirements of the PNP
(e) Detain an arrested person for Maritime Police Unit, Police including firearms and
a period not beyond what is Intelligence Unit, Police ammunition.
prescribed by law, informing the Security Unit, Criminal
person so detained of all his Investigation Unit, Special Communications Unit.
rights under the Constitution; Action Force, Narcotics units, Headed by a Director with the
Aviation Security Unit, Traffic rank of chief superintendent, the
(f) Issue licenses for the Management Unit, the Medical Communications Unit shall be
possession of firearms and and Dental Centers and the Civil responsible for establishing an
explosives in accordance with Relations Unit. To enhance effective police
law; police operational efficiency communications network.
and effectiveness, the Chief of
the PNP may constitute such Computer Center. Headed by
(g) Supervise and control the
other support units as may be a Director with the rank of chief
training and operations of
necessary subject to the superintendent, the Computer
security agencies and issue
approval of the Commission: Center shall be responsible for
licenses to operate security
Provided, That no support unit the design, implementation and
agencies, and to security guards
headed by a chief
maintenance of a database rank of chief superintendent, rank of chief superintendent, the
system for the PNP. Police Security Unit shall Aviation Security Unit, in
provide security for government coordination with airport
(5) Finance Center. Headed by officials, visiting dignitaries and authorities, shall secure all the
a Director with the rank of chief private individuals authorized to country's airports against
superintendent, the Finance be given protection. offensive and terroristic acts that
Center shall be responsible for threaten civil aviation, exercise
providing finance services to the (4) Criminal Investigation Unit. operational control and
PNP. Headed by a Director with the supervision over all agencies
rank of chief superintendent, the involved in airport security
(6) Civil Security Unit. Criminal Investigation Unit operation, and enforce all laws
Headed by a Director with the shall undertake the monitoring, and regulations relative to air
rank of chief superintendent, the investigation and prosecution of travel protection and safety.
Civil Security Unit shall provide all crimes involving economic
administrative services and sabotage, and other crimes of (8) Traffic Management Unit.
general supervision over such magnitude and extent as to Headed by a Director with the
organization, business operation indicate their commission by rank of chief superintendent, the
and activities of all organized highly placed or professional Traffic Management Unit shall
private detectives, watchmen, criminal syndicates and enforce traffic laws and
security guard agencies and organizations. regulations.
company guard houses.
This unit shall likewise (9) Medical and Dental Centers.
The unit shall likewise supervise investigate all major cases Headed by a Director with the
the licensing and registration of involving violations of the rank of chief superintendent, the
firearms and explosives. Revised Penal Code and operate Medical and Dental Centers
against organized crime groups, shall be responsible for
The approval applications for unless the President assigns the providing medical and dental
licenses to operate private case exclusively to the National services for the PNP.
security agencies, as well as the Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
issuance of licenses to security (10) Civil Relations Units.
guards and the licensing of (5) Special Action Force. Headed with a Director with the
firearms and explosives, shall be Headed by a Director with the rank of chief superintendent, the
decentralized to the PNP rank of chief superintendent, the Civil Relations Unit shall
regional offices. Special Action Force shall implement plans and programs
function as a mobile strike force that will promote community
(b) Operational Support Units. or reaction unit to augment and citizens' participation in the
(1) Maritime Police Unit. regional, provincial, municipal maintenance of peace and order
Headed by a Director with the and city police forces for civil and public safety.
rank of chief superintendent, the disturbance control,
Maritime Police Unit shall counterinsurgency, hostage- r Republic Act No. 757, as
perform all police functions taking rescue operations, and amended
over Philippine territorial waters other special operations.
and rivers. o Cabarrus, Jr. v. BernaS A.C.
(6) Narcotics Unit. Headed by No. 4634, 24 September L997
(2) Police Intelligence Unit. a Director with the rank of chief
Headed by a Director with the superintendent, the Narcotics JESUS CABARRUS,
rank of chief superintendent, the Unit shall enforce all laws JR., complainant, vs.JOSE
Police Intelligence Unit shall relative to the protection of the ANTONIO S.
serve as the intelligence and citizenry against dangerous and BERNAS, respondent.
counterintelligence operating other prohibited drugs and
unit of the PNP. substances. On August 30, 1996, Mr. Jesus
Cabarrus, Jr. filed an
(3) Police Security Unit. (7) Aviation Security Unit. administrative complaint for
Headed by a Director with the Headed by a Director with the disbarment against Atty. Jose
Antonio Bernas for alleged pending before the Supreme Annexes A, B, C, D, inclusive of
violations of Article 172 of the Court or any other Tribunal submarkings knowingly
Revised Penal Code and Code agency, he undertake to report to subverted and perverted the
of Professional Responsibility. (sic) that fact within Five (5) truth when he falsify certified
In his complaint-affidavit1 dated days from notice to this notice (sic) and verified under oath in
August 12, 1996, complainant (sic) to this Honorable Court. the verification and certification
alleged as follows: Emphasis supplied. of non-forum shopping, that:

A. That on April 16, 1996, C. That the cause of action relied He has not commenced any
respondent Ramon B. Pascual, upon by the respondent in Civil other action or proceeding
Jr., subscribed under oath before Case No. 65646 is fraud, involving the same issues in any
Marie Lourdes T. Sia Bernas, a facilitated by forgery as gleaned court, including the Supreme
notary public in Makati City, from paragraphs 15, 16, and 22; Court, the Court of Appeals, or
wife of lawyer Jose Antonio any other Tribunal or agency."
Bernas, a verification and D. That contrary to the tenor, Where verification-certification
certification of non-forum import and meanoing (sic) of the was placed under oath and was
shopping which was appended allegation under 1-B of the conveniently notarized by the
to a complaint for reconveyance instant complaint, respondent wife of the counsel of
of property and damages, and his counsel Jose Antonio respondent in both cases at
denominated as Civil Case No. Bernas caused the preparation Branch 159 of the RTC in Pasig
65646, filed before the Regional and filing of a criminal and at the NBI, an agency within
Trial Court in National Capital complaint for falsification of a the ambis (sic) and purview of
Region, RTC, which case was public document on April 11, the circulus (sic) of the Supreme
raffled to RTC Branch 159 in 1996, (three days before the Court prohibiting forum
Pasig City. A photocopy of said filing of the aforecited Civil shopping.
complaint is hereto attached and Case) at the AOED of the
marked as Annexex (sic) A, A- National Bureau of F. That Jose Antonio Bernas, the
1, A-3, A-4, A-5 and A-6; Investigation if (sic) Taff (sic) counsel on record of the
Ave., a xerox copy of said respondents in Civil Case No.
B. That as basis for the instant complaint is hereto attached and 65646 is the same lawyer who
complaint for falsification of marked as Annex "B". instigated a criminal complaint
public document, I am hereto at the NBI for forgery and
quoting verbatim, the test (sic) D-1. That as stated in Annex respondents themselves
of Annex A-6, the verification "B", the gravaman of the conspired and confabulated with
and certification of non-forum affidavit complaint of the each other in facilitating and
shopping which states: respondent is forgery, the same insuring the open, blatant and
legal issue in Civil Case No. deliberate violation of Art. 172
Ramon B. Pascual, Jr., under 65646; of the Revised Penal Code
oath, depose and states: which states:
D-2. That as early as August 14,
He is the plaintiff in this case, 1995, respondent counsel, Jose Art. 172. Falsification by private
and certify that he cause the Antonio Bernas filed a written individual and use of falsified
preparation of the foregoing complaint at the NBI for the documents. The penalty
pleading, the content of which same cause of action which was of prision correccional in its
are true to his personal reiterated in another letter medium and maximum periods
knowledge and that he has not submitting to the NBI standard and a fine of not more than
commenced any other action or specimen signatures dated P5,000 pesos shall be imposed
proceeding involving the same October 1995, copies of said upon:
issues in any court, including letter complaint are hereto
the Supreme Court, the Court of attached and marked as Annexes 1. Any private individual who
Appeals, or any other tribunal (sic) "C". shall commit any of the
or agency. If he should learn that falsifications enumerated in the
a similar action of (sic) E. That respondent Ramon B. next preceding article in any
proceeding has been filed or is Pascual, Jr., on the basis of public or official document or
letter of exchanged (sic) or any CANON 3. A. LAWYER IN complaint for falsification of
other kind of commercial MAKING KNOWN HIS public documents against
document; and LEGAL SERVICES SHALL complainant. Likewise,
USE ONLY TRUE, HONEST, respondent by counsel reiterates
2. Any person who, to the FAIR, DIGNIFIED AND that the letter transmitted to the
damage of a third party, or with OBJECTIVE INFORMATION NBI cannot constitute an action
the intent to cause such damage, OF (sic) STATEMENT OF or proceeding because the NBI's
shall in any private document FACTS. functions are merely
commit any of the acts of investigatory and informational
falsification enumerated in the Rule 3.01 A lawyer shall not in nature. NBI has no
next preceding article. use or permit the use of any prosecutorial functions or quasi-
false, fraudulent, misleading, judical powers and is incapable
Any person who shall deceptive, undignified, self- of granting relief or remedy. The
knowingly introduce in laudatory or unfair statement or NBI cannot be an agency
evidence in any judicial claim regarding his qualified contemplated by the circular.
proceeding or to the damage of (sic) or legal services.
another or who, with the intent The core issue to be resolved
to cause such damage, shall use CANON 10. A LAWYER here is whether respondent Atty.
any of the false documents OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS Bernas transgressed Circular
embraced in the next preceding AND GOOD FAITH TO THE No. 28-91, Revised Circular No.
article, or in any of the foregoing COURT. 28-91, and Administrative
subdivisions of this article, shall Circular No. 04 - 94 on forum
be punished by the penalty next In his Comment,2 respondent shopping.
lower in degree. Jose Antonio Bernas avers that
he has not committed forum After a careful scrutiny of the
G. That Atty. Jose Antonio shopping because the criminal records, we find the
Bernas should be disbarred for action is not an action that administrative complaint bereft
having instigated, abetted and involves the same issue as those of merit and should be
facilitated the perversion and in a civil action and both suits dismissed.
subversion of truth in the said can exist without constituting
verification and certification of forum shopping so long as the There is forum-shopping
non-forum shopping. Contrary civil aspect has not been whenever, as a result of an
to Canon 1, Rule 1.01, 1.02, prosecuted in the criminal case. adverse opinion in one forum, a
Canon 3, 3.01, Canon 10 of the He emphasized that forum party seeks a favorable opinion
Code of Professional shopping only exists when (other than by appeal
Responsibility for Lawyers, the identical reliefs are issued by the or certiorari) in another.
pertinent provisions of which same parties in multiple fora. Therefore, a party to a case
are herein below quoted and a resorts to forum shopping
copy of said code is hereto In his Supplemental because "by filing another
attached and marked as Annex Comment,3 respondent further petition involving the same
"E"; contends that neither he or his essential facts and
client Pascual has commenced circumstances, . . . , respondents
CANON 1. A. LAWYER any criminal action. Pascual approached two different fora in
SHALL UPHOLD THE merely requested the NBI to order to increase their chances
CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE assist in the investigation or of obtaining a favorable
LAWS OF THE LAND prosecution, and left it to the decision or action.4 In this case,
PROMOTE RESPECT FOR NBI to determine whether the there is no forum shopping to
LAW AND LEGAL filing of an endorsement to the speak of. Atty. Bernas, as
PROCESSES. prosecutor, who would counsel of Mr. Pascual, Jr.,
determine probable cause, merely requested the assistance
or decietful (sic) conduct.) at would be appropriate. It was of the NBI to investigate the
defiance of the law or at only upon request of the NBI alleged fraud and forgery
lessening confidence in the legal that he assisted Ramon Pascual committed by Mr. Jesus
system. in drafting an affidavit- Cabarrus.5 The filing of a civil
case for reconveyance and use of all prosecuting and law- incapable of granting any relief
damages before the Regional enforcement entities of the to a party. It cannot even
Trial Court of Pasig City does Philippines, identification determine probable cause. It is
not preclude respondent to records of all persons without an investigative agency whose
institute a criminal action. The criminal convictions, records of findings are merely
rule allows the filing of a civil identifying marks, recommendatory. It undertakes
case independently with the characteristics, and ownership investigation of crimes upon its
criminal case without violating or possession of all firearms as own initiative and as public
the circulars on forum shopping. well as of test bullets fired welfare may require. It renders
It is scarcely necessary to add therefrom; assistance when requested in the
that Circular No. 28-91 must be investigation or detection of
so interpreted and applied as to (d) To give technical aid to all crimes which precisely what
achieve the purposes projected prosecuting and law- Atty. Bernas sought in order to
by the Supreme Court when it enforcement officers and prosecute those persons
promulgated that Circular. entities of the Government as responsible for defrauding his
Circular No. 28-91 was well as the courts that may client.
designed to serve as an request its services;
instrument to promote and The courts, tribunals and
facilitate the orderly (e) To extend its services, agencies referred to under
administration of justice and whenever properly requested in Circular No. 28-91, Revised
should not be interpreted with the investigation of cases of Circular No. 28-91 and
such absolute literalness as to administrative or civil nature in Administrative Circular No. 04-
subvert its own ultimate and which the Government is 94 are those vested with judicial
legitimate objective or the goal interested; powers or quasi-judicial powers
of all rules of procedure and those who not only hear and
which is to achieve substantial (f) To undertake the instruction determine controversies
justice as expeditiously as and training of representative between adverse parties, but to
possible.6 number of city and municipal make binding orders or
peace officers at the request of judgments. As succinctly put it
Adjunct to this, Act No. 1577, their respective superiors along by R.A. 157, the NBI is not
specifically section 1 hereof effective methods of crime performing judicial or quasi-
provides, viz: investigation and detection in judicial functions. The NBI
order to insure greater efficiency cannot therefore be among those
Sec. 1. There is hereby created a in the discharge of their duties; forums contemplated by the
Bureau of Investigation under Circular that can entertain an
the Department of Justice which (g) To establish and action or proceeding, or even
shall have the following maintain an up-to-date grant any relief, declaratory or
functions: scientific crime laboratory and otherwise.
to conduct researches in
(a) To undertake investigation furtherance of scientific WHEREFORE, premises
of crimes and other offenses knowledge in criminal considered, the instant
against the laws of the investigation; complaint is hereby
Philippines, upon its initiative DISMISSED.
and as public interest may (h) To perform such other
require; related functions as the o Atty. Dizon v. Atty.
Secretary of Justice may assign Lambino, A.C. No. 5968, 9
(b) To render assistance, from time to time. August 2006
whenever properly requested in
the investigation or detection of Explicitly, the functions of the ATTY. ORLANDO V.
crimes and other offenses; National Bureau of DIZON, Complainant,
Investigations are merely vs. ATTY. MARICHU C.
(c) To act as a national clearing investigatory and informational LAMBINO, Respondent.
house of criminal and other in nature. It has no judicial or
informations for the benefit and quasi-judicial powers and is
ATTY. MARICHU C. The suspects lawyer, one Atty. 1. Whether the act of Atty.
LAMBINO, Complainant, Villamor, later also showed up Lambino in refusing to turn over
vs. ATTY. ORLANDO V. at the office of Col. Bentain and the suspected students to the
DIZON, Respondent. after what appeared to be a group of Atty. Dizon constitutes
heated discussion between Atty. violation of Code of
The killing during a rumble on Dizon and the UP officials, the Professional Responsibility.
December 8, 1994 of University students were allowed to go
of the Philippines (UP) back to their dormitories, with 2. Whether the act of Atty.
graduating student Dennis Atty. Villamor undertaking to Dizon in trying to arrest the
Venturina, the chairperson of accompany them to the NBI the student-suspects constitutes
the UP College of Public following morning. violation of the Code of
Administration Student Professional Responsibility.
Council, drew the then The two student-suspects were
Chancellor of UP Diliman eventually indicted in court. By Report and
Roger Posadas to seek the Recommendation submitted to
assistance of the National Hence, spawned the filing of a the Board of Governors of the
Bureau of Investigation (NBI). complaint by Atty. Dizon IBP on June 20, 2005, CBD
against Atty. Lambino before Investigating Commissioner
Acting on the request of the Integrated Bar of the Siegfrid B. Mison
Chancellor Posadas, Atty. Philippines (IBP), for violation recommended the dismissal of
Orlando Dizon, then Chief of of Canon 1, Rules 1.1 to 1.3 of the complaint against Atty.
the Special Operations Group the Code of Professional Lambino in light of a finding
(SOG) of the NBI, together with Responsibility, docketed that she "acted within her
his men, repaired to the Office as CBD Case No. 346. official duties as she
of Col. Eduardo Bentain, head safeguarded the rights of the
of the UP Security Force on Atty. Dizon had earlier filed a students in accordance with the
December 12, 1994. criminal complaint also against schools substitute parental
Atty. Lambino, together with authority" and "within the
As two student-suspects in the Chancellor Posadas and Vice bounds of the law as the NBI
killing, Francis Carlo Taparan Chancellor Torres-Yu and Col. agents had no warrants of
and Raymundo Narag, were at Bentain, before the arrest."
the time in the office of Col. Ombudsman, for violation of
Bentain, Atty. Dizon requested P.D. 1829 which makes it With respect to the complaint
to take them into his custody. unlawful for anyone to obstruct against Atty. Dizon, the
Atty. Marichu Lambino, Legal the apprehension and Commissioner recommended to
Counsel of UP Diliman, who prosecution of criminal reprimand him for violating the
repaired to the Office of Col. offenses. Code of Professional
Bentain, advised against Atty. Responsibility in "recklessly
Dizons move, however, he not Atty. Lambino in turn charged tr[ying] to arrest" the suspects
being armed with a warrant for Atty. Dizon before the IBP with without warrant.
their arrest. violation of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, The IBP Board of Governors, by
Chancellor Posadas and Vice specifically Canon 1, Rule 1.01, Resolution of October 22, 2005,
Chancellor for students Rosario 1.02, and 1.03; Canon 6, Rules adopted and approved the
Torres-Yu, who also repaired to 6.01 and 6.02; and Canon 8, Commissioners Report. The
the office of the colonel, joined Rule 8.01, docketed as CBD IBP thereupon transferred to this
Atty. Lambino in opposing the Case No. 373. Court its Notice of Resolution,
turn-over of the suspects to Atty. together with the records of the
Dizon, despite the latters claim The administrative cases were, cases which this Court noted by
that under its Charter the NBI on motion of Atty. Lambino, Resolution of February 1, 2006.
was authorized to make consolidated. Before the IBP
warrantless arrests. Commission on Bar Discipline As earlier stated, the issue
(CBD), the issues were defined against Atty. Lambino is
as follows: whether she violated the Canons
of Professional Ethics in suspects] without a warrant was at lessening confidence in the
"refusing to turn over the illegal."4 legal system. (Emphasis
suspected students to the group supplied).
of Atty. Dizon." In the main, Atty. Dizon
invoked Section 1 (a) of WHEREFORE, CBD Case No.
When the complaint of Atty. Republic Act 157 (The NBI 346 against Atty. Marichu C.
Dizon before the Ombudsman Charter) which empowers the Lambino is DISMISSED.
against Chancellor Posadas, NBI "to undertake
Vice Chancellor Torres-Yu and investigations of crimes and Atty. Orlando V. Dizon is, in
Atty. Lambino was elevated on other offenses against the laws CBD Case No. 373, found guilty
Certiorari and Prohibition, this of the Philippines, upon its own of violation of Canon 1 of Rule
Court addressing in the negative initiative and as public interest 1.02 of the Code of Professional
the two issues raised therein, to may require"5 and to make Responsibility and is
wit: arrests. The invocation does not REPRIMANDED and
impress. Said section does not WARNED that a repetition of
(1) Whether the attempted arrest grant the NBI the power to make the same or similar infraction
of the student suspects by the warrantless arrests. The NBI shall be dealt with more
NBI could be validly made Charter clearly qualifies the severely.
without a warrant; and (2) power to make arrests to be "in
Whether there was probable accordance with existing laws Let a copy of this Decision be
cause for prosecuting petitioner and rules." furnished the Office of the Bar
for violation of P.D. No. 1829. x Confidant, the National Bureau
x x,1 Members of the investigation of Investigation, and the
staff of the Bureau of Department of Justice.
held that the objection of the Investigation shall be peace
said UP officials to the arrest of officers, and as such have the SO ORDERED.
the students "cannot be following powers:
construed as a violation of P.D. o Sec. 11 (3), Ll (4), & L5, Rep.
No. 1829, Sec. 1 (c) without (a) To make arrests, searches Act No. 6770
rendering it and seizures in accordance
unconstitutional,"2 they having with existing laws and rules.6 The Office of the Special
"a right to prevent the arrest [of Prosecutor shall be composed of
the students] at the time because x x x x (Emphasis supplied) the Special Prosecutor and his
their attempted arrest was prosecution staff. The Office of
illegal."3 By persisting in his attempt to the Special Prosecutor shall be
arrest the suspected students an organic component of the
Indeed, Atty. Lambino was without a warrant, Atty. Dizon Office of the Ombudsman and
legally justified in advising violated Rule 1.02 of Canon 1 of shall be under the supervision
against the turn over of the the Code of Professional and control of the Ombudsman.
suspects to Atty. Dizon, there Responsibility which provides:
being no basis for him to effect
a warrantless arrest. Atty. (4) The Office of the Special
CANON 1 A LAWYER
Dizons administrative Prosecutor shall, under the
SHALL UPHOLD THE
complaint against her must then supervision and control and
CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE
be dismissed. upon the authority of the
LAWS OF THE LAND AND
Ombudsman, have the
PROMOTE RESPECT FOR
Respecting the complaint following powers:
LAW AND LEGAL
against Atty. Dizon, this Court, PROCESSES.
also in Posadas v. Ombudsman, (a) To conduct preliminary
held that "[f]or the failure of the investigation and prosecute
xxxx
NBI agents to comply with the criminal cases within the
constitutional and procedural jurisdiction of the
Rule 1.02 A lawyer shall not Sandiganbayan;
requirements, . . . their attempt counsel or abet activities
to arrest [the two student- aimed at defiance of the law or
(b) To enter into plea bargaining recommend his removal, (7) Determine the causes of
agreements; and suspension, demotion, fine, inefficiency, red tape,
censure, or prosecution, and mismanagement, fraud, and
(c) To perform such other duties ensure compliance therewith; or corruption in the Government,
assigned to it by the enforce its disciplinary authority and make recommendations for
Ombudsman. as provided in Section 21 of this their elimination and the
Act: provided, that the refusal observance of high standards of
The Special Prosecutor shall by any officer without just cause ethics and efficiency;
have the rank and salary of a to comply with an order of the
Deputy Ombudsman. Ombudsman to remove, (8) Administer oaths, issue
suspend, demote, fine, censure, subpoena and subpoena duces
Section 15. Powers, Functions or prosecute an officer or tecum, and take testimony in
and Duties. The Office of the employee who is at fault or who any investigation or inquiry,
Ombudsman shall have the neglects to perform an act or including the power to examine
following powers, functions and discharge a duty required by law and have access to bank
duties: shall be a ground for accounts and records;
disciplinary action against said
(1) Investigate and prosecute on officer; (9) Punish for contempt in
its own or on complaint by any accordance with the Rules of
person, any act or omission of (4) Direct the officer concerned, Court and under the same
any public officer or employee, in any appropriate case, and procedure and with the same
office or agency, when such act subject to such limitations as it penalties provided therein;
or omission appears to be may provide in its rules of
illegal, unjust, improper or procedure, to furnish it with (10) Delegate to the Deputies, or
inefficient.t has primary copies of documents relating to its investigators or
jurisdiction over cases contracts or transactions entered representatives such authority or
cognizable by the into by his office involving the duty as shall ensure the effective
Sandiganbayan and, in the disbursement or use of public exercise or performance of the
exercise of this primary funds or properties, and report powers, functions, and duties
jurisdiction, it may take over, at any irregularity to the herein or hereinafter provided;
any stage, from any Commission on Audit for
investigatory agency of appropriate action; (11) Investigate and initiate the
Government, the investigation proper action for the recovery of
of such cases; (5) Request any government ill-gotten and/or unexplained
agency for assistance and wealth amassed after February
(2) Direct, upon complaint or at information necessary in the 25, 1986 and the prosecution of
its own instance, any officer or discharge of its responsibilities, the parties involved therein.
employee of the Government, or and to examine, if necessary,
of any subdivision, agency or pertinent records and The Ombudsman shall give
instrumentality thereof, as well documents; priority to complaints filed
as any government-owned or against high ranking
controlled corporations with (6) Publicize matters covered by government officials and/or
original charter, to perform and its investigation of the matters those occupying supervisory
expedite any act or duty required mentioned in paragraphs (1), positions, complaints involving
by law, or to stop, prevent, and (2), (3) and (4) hereof, when grave offenses as well as
correct any abuse or impropriety circumstances so warrant and complaints involving large sums
in the performance of duties; with due prudence: provided, of money and/or properties.
that the Ombudsman under its
(3) Direct the officer concerned rules and regulations may C. The Accused
to take appropriate action determine what cases may not
against a public officer or be made public: provided, o Secs. 14 & 16-D, Chapter 5,
employee at fault or who neglect further, that any publicity issued Title lll, Book lV,
to perform an act or discharge a by the Ombudsman shall be Administrative
duty required by law, and balanced, fair and true;
Code of 1987, as amended by Attorneys shall be appointed by JOSE G. GARCIA, petitioner,
Rep. Act No.9406 the President upon the vs.COURT OF APPEALS,
recommendation of the PEOPLE OF THE
Public Attorneys Office Secretary. PHILIPPINES and ADELA
TEODORA P. SANTOS,
SECTION 14. Public D. The Offended Party
Attorneys Office (PAO).The The issue here is whether the
Sec. 12, Rule L10 Court of Appeals committed
Citizens Legal Assistance
Office (CLAO) is renamed reversible error in affirming the
Public Attorneys Office (PAO). Section 12. Name of the trial court's order granting the
It shall exercise the powers and offended party. The motion to quash the information
functions as are now provided complaint or information must for bigamy based on
by law for the Citizens Legal state the name and surname of prescription.
Assistance Office or may the person against whom or
hereafter be provided by law. against whose property the On 28 August 1991, petitioner
offense was committed, or any Jose G. Garcia filed with the
appellation or nickname by (Quezon City Prosecutor's
SECTION 15. Organizational
which such person has been or is Office an "Affidavit of
Structure.The PAO shall
known. If there is no better way Complaint"1 charging his wife,
consist of the following
of identifying him, he must be private respondent Adela
constituent units:
described under a fictitious Teodora P. Santos alias "Delia
name. Santos," with Bigamy, Violation
(1) Office of the Chief Public
Attorney and two (2) Deputy of C.A. No. 142, as amended by
(a) In offenses against property, R.A. No. 6085, and Falsification
Chief Public Attorneys;
if the name of the offended party of Public Documents. However,
is unknown, the property must in his letter of 10 October 1991
(2) Five (5) line divisions in the be described with such to Assistant City Prosecutor
Central Office, namely: particularity as to properly George F. Cabanilla, the
Administrative, Financial and identify the offense charged. petitioner informed the latter
Management, Special and
that he would limit his action to
Appealed Cases, Legal
(b) If the true name of the of the bigamy.2
Research and Statistics, and
person against whom or against
Field Services Divisions; and
whose properly the offense was After appropriate proceedings,
committed is thereafter Assistant Prosecutor Cabanilla
(3) Regional and disclosed or ascertained, the filed on 8 January 1992 with the
Provincial/District Offices. court must cause the true name Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
to be inserted in the complaint or (Quezon City an
SECTION 16. The Chief information and the record. information,3 dated 15
Public Attorney and Other PAO November 1991, charging the
Officials.The PAO shall be (c) If the offended party is a private respondent with Bigamy
headed by a Chief Public juridical person, it is sufficient allegedly committed as follows:
Attorney and shall be assisted to state its name, or any name or
by two (2) Deputy Chief Public designation by which it is That on or before the 2nd day of
Attorneys. Each PAO Regional known or by which it may be February, 1957, in Quezon City,
Office established in each of the identified, without need of Philippines, and within the
administrative regions of the averring that it is a juridical jurisdiction of this Honorable
country shall be headed by a person or that it is organized in Court, the above-named
Regional Public Attorney who accordance with law. (12a) accused, being previously
shall be assisted by an Assistant
united in lawful marriage with
Regional Public Attorney.
o Garcia v. Court of Appeals, REYNALDO QUIROCA, and
G.R. No. 11-9063, 27 January without the said marriage
The Chief Public Attorney, having been dissolved, (or
Deputy Chief Public Attorneys, 1997
before the absent spouse has
Regional Public Attorneys and been declared presumptively
Assistant Regional Public
dead by a judgment rendered in A That she has been married 1951 wherein she used the name
the proper proceedings), did previously in case I don't know of "ADELA SANTOS" which
then and there wilfully, it. But she said she has been was part of her true name
unlawfully and feloniously previously married, in fact I saw "ADELA TEODORA P.
contract a second marriage with her husband Rey, a few days SANTOS" as per her genuine
JOSE G. GARCIA, which ago and they said, "Baka Baptismal Certificate issued by
marriage has [sic] discovered in magkasama pa silang muli." the Parish of San Guillermo,
1989, to the damage and Bacolor, Pampanga, a copy of
prejudice of the said offended A'ITY. EVANGELISTA: the said Baptismal Certificate is
party in such amount as may be hereto attached as ANNEX "D";
awarded under the provisions of Q When did Eugenia R. Balingit
the Civil Code. told [sic] that private respondent 6. . . .
was already married to another
CONTRARY TO LAW. man? 7. These facts were discovered
only by the herein complainant
The information was docketed A That was when I told her that in the year 1974 where they
as Criminal Case No. Q-92- we are Separating now. I told separated from each other
27272 and assigned to Branch her in tagalog, "na because of her illicit relations
83 of the said court. On 2 March maghihiwalay na kami ni Delia with several men continued use
1992, the private respondent ngayon." "Ang unang tanong of her alias name "DELIA",
filed a Motion to Quash alleging niya sa akin, "si Rey ba ang without proper authority from
prescription of the offense as dahilan," ang alam ko po, Rey the Courts; and committing a
ground therefor. She contended ang dating boyfriend niya, kaya series of fraudulent acts; her
that by the petitioner's ang sabi ko, "hindi po, Mario, previous marriage to a certain
admissions in his testimony ang panga!an," napabagsak po "Reynaldo Quiroca" is
given on 23 January 1991 in siya sa upuan, sabi niya, "hindi evidenced by a certification
Civil Case No. 90-52730, na nagbago." issued by the Local Civil
entitled "Jose G. Garcia v. Delia Registrar of Manila, a copy of
S. Garcia," and in his complaint Q When was that when you which is hereto attached as
filed with the Civil Service came to know from Eugenia ANNEX "F",9
Commission (CSC) on 16 Balingit, the judicial guardian,
October 1991, the petitioner that private respondent was In its 29 June 1992 order,10 the
discovered the commission of already married to another man trial court granted the motion to
the offense as early as 1974. when she married you? quash and dismissed the
Pursuant then to Article 91 of criminal case, ruling in this
the Revised Penal Code A That was when the affair was wise:
(RPC),4 the period of happening and I found out.
prescription of the offense This court believes that since the
started to run therefrom. Thus, Q What year? penalty prescribed under Article
since bigamy was punishable 349 of the Revised Penal Code
by prision mayor,5 an afflictive for the offense of bigamy
A 1974.8
penalty6 which prescribed in is prision mayor, which is
fifteen years pursuant to Article classified as an afflictive penalty
92 of the RPC, then the offense The portion of the complaint
filed on 16 October 1991 before under Article 25 of the same
charged prescribed in 1989, or Code, then said offense should
fifteen years after its discovery the CSC which the private
respondent alluded to, reads as prescribe in fifteen (15) years as
by the petitioner. provided in Article 92 of the
follows:
Code. The complainant having
The private respondent discovered the first marriage of
quoted7 the petitioner's 5. At the time the respondent
the accused to one Reynaldo
testimony in Civil Case No. 90- married the herein complainant
Quiroca in 1974 when he was
52730 as follows: she never informed him that she
informed of it by one Eugenia
was previously married to a
Balingit, the offense charged
certain REYNALDO
the private respondent? has already prescribed when the
QUIROCA" on December 1,
information was filed in this Arrived from GUM on 06/14/80 offended party is not the first or
case on November 15, 1991. aboard PA second (innocent) spouse but the
The argument presented by the Arrived from MEL on 07/17/81 State whose law/policy was
prosecution that i was difficult aboard PR transgressed." He tried to
for the complainant to obtain Arrived from TYO on 05/20/83 distinguish bigamy from private
evidence of the alleged first aboard PA offenses such as adultery or
marriage, hence, the Departed for HKG on 09/22/83 concubinage "where the private
prescriptive period should be aboard PR complainant is necessarily the
counted from the time the Arrived from SIN on 09/28/83 offended party," thus, the
evidence was secured will not aboard PR prescriptive period for the
hold water. Article 91 of the Departed for TYO on 04/30/84 former should commence from
Revised Penal Code specifically aboard PA the day the State, being the
provides, thus: Arrived from SFO on 07/03/84 offended party, discovered the
aboard PA offense, which in this case was
"The period of prescription shall Departed for TYO on 11/19/84 on 28 August 1991 when the
commence to run from the day aboard PA petitioner filed his complaint
on which the crime is Departed for TYO on 08/05/85 before the Prosecutor's Office.
discovered. . . ." aboard PA The petitioner added that the
Departed for TYO on 11/1 7/86 "interchanging use" in Article
it did not state "on the day aboard UA 91 of the RPC of the terms
sufficient evidence was Arrived from LAX on 12/12/87 "offended party," "authorities,"
gathered," thus this Court aboard UA and "their agents" supports his
cannot change the requirements Departed for LAX on 11/30/87 view that the State is the
of the law. aboard UA offended party in public
Departed for CHI on 11/14/88 offenses.
The petitioner moved for aboard UA
reconsideration of the above Additionally, the petitioner
order on 26 August 1992,11 to The trial court disallowed referred to the general rule
which he filed "numerous" reconsideration of its 29 June stated
supplements thereto, focusing 1992 order, finding "no urgent in People v. Alagao15 "that in
on the private respondent's or justifiable reason to disturb or resolving the motion to quash a
many trips abroad which the set [it] aside." As to the sojourns criminal complaint or
petitioner claimed suspended abroad of the private respondent information[,] the facts alleged
the running of the prescriptive as shown in the certification, the in the complaint or information
period. These trips were trial court held that the same "is should be taken as they are."
enumerated in the not that kind of absence from the The information in this case
certification12 issued by Philippines which will interrupt mentioned that the bigamy was
Associate Commissioner the period of prescription of the discovered in 1989. He
Ramon M. Morales of the offense charged. . ."13 admitted, however, that this rule
Bureau of Immigration (BID), admits of exceptions, such as
which reads as follows: The petitioner then appealed to when the ground for the motion
the Court of Appeals which to quash is prescription of the
This is to certify that the name docketed the appeal as CA-G.R. offense, as provided in Section 4
GARCIA/DELIA/S. appears in CR No. 14324. He contended of the old Rule 117 of the Rules
the Bureau's files of Arrivals therein that: (a) the trial court of Criminal Procedure.
and Departures as having the erred in quashing the Nonetheless, he advanced the
following travel records: information on the ground of view that this exception is no
prescription; and (b) the counsel longer available because of the
Departed for HKG on 06/03/77 for the accused was barred from implied repeal of Section 4, as
aboard PR filing the motion to quash the the amended Rule 117 no longer
Arrived from HKG on 07/02/77 information against the contains a similar provision
aboard PA accused.14 As to the first, the under the rule on motions to
Arrived from SYD on 07/09/77 petitioner argued that bigamy quash; and that granting there
aboard PR was a public offense, hence "the was no repeal, the private
respondent failed to introduce
evidence to "support her factual private respondent's numerous the case to the trial court for
averment in her motion to trips abroad. further proceedings. He submits
quash," which is required by the following assignment of
Rule 117. He further asserted As regards his second errors:
that the factual bases of the contention, the petitioner argued
motion to quash, viz., the that the counsel for the private I
petitioner's testimony in Civil respondent had already stated
Case No. 90-52730 and his that he represented only Delia S. BIGAMY IS A PUBLIC
complaint filed with the CSC Garcia and not Adela Teodora P. OFFENSE,
are not conclusive because the Santos. Consequently, the CONSEQUENTLY,
testimony is hearsay evidence, private respondent's counsel PRESCRIPTION SHOULD
hence inadmissible, while the could not ask for the quashal of HAVE BEEN COUNTED
complaint is vague, particularly the information in favor of FROM THE TIME THE
the following portion quoted by Adela Teodora P. Santos alias STATE DISCOVERED ITS
the private respondent: Delia Santos. The petitioner COMMISSION;
opined that the counsel for the
7. These facts where discovered private respondent should have II A MOTION TO QUASH
only by the herein complainant sought a dismissal of the case in
in the year 1974 when they favor of Delia Garcia alone. CANNOT ALSO GO
separated from each other BEYOND WHAT IS STATED
because of her illicit relations The Court of Appeals gave IN THE INFORMATION;
with several men continued use credence to the private
of her alias name "DELIA", respondent's evidence and III
without proper authority from concluded that the petitioner
the Courts; and committing a discovered the private BY THEMSELVES, THE
series of fraudulent acts; her respondent's first marriage in FACTUAL BASES OF THE
previous marriage to a certain 1974. Since the information in MOTION TO QUASH ARE
"Reynaldo Quiroca" is this case was filed in court only NOT ALSO CONCLUSIVE;
evidenced by a certification on 8 January 1992, or eighteen
issued by the Local Civil years after the discovery of the
Registrar of Manila, a copy of IV
offense, then the 15-year
which is hereto attached a prescriptive period had certainly
ANNEX "F"; lapsed.16 It further held that the ASSUMING THE
quashal of an information based PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD
The petitioner alleged that the on prescription of the offense STARTED IN 1974, SAID
phrase "These facts" in said could be invoked before or after PERIOD HOWEVER WAS
paragraph 7 does not clearly arraignment and even on INTERRUPTED SEVERAL
refer to his discovery of the appeal,17 for under Article 89(5) TIMES.
private respondent's first of the RPC, the criminal liability
marriage. Moreover, he doubted of a person is "totally We notice that except for the
whether the term "discovered" extinguish[ed]' by the first two pages of the petition,
in the said paragraph was used prescription of the crime, which the deletion of a few paragraphs,
in the sense contemplated by is a mode of extinguishing the substitution of the term
law. At best, the petitioner criminal liability." Thus, "petitioner" for "appellant," and
theorized, the discovery only prescription is not deemed the deletion of the contention on
referred to the "initial, waived even if not pleaded as a the' counsel for the private
unconfirmed and uninvestigated defense.18 respondent being barred from
raw, hearsay information" filing a motion to quash, the
which he received from Undaunted, the petitioner is now herein petition is a reproduction
Balingit. before us on a petition for of the Appellant's Brief filed by
review on certiorari to annul the petitioner with the Court of
Finally, the petitioner reiterated and set aside the decision of the Appeals. Verily then, the instant
that the prescriptive period was Court of Appeals and to compel petition is a rehash of an old tale.
interrupted several times by the the respondent court to remand However, the Court of Appeals
failed to sufficiently address
several issues raised by the committed.19 The said Section same act or omission of the
petitioner, most probably reads as follows: accused. . . .
prompting him to seek redress
from this Court. Sec. 12. Name of the offended It is settled that in bigamy, both
party. A complaint or the first and the second spouses
We resolved to give due course information must state the name may be the offended parties
to the petition and required the and surname of the person depending on the
parties to submit their respective against whom or against whose circumstances.21
memoranda. The Office of the property the offense was
Solicitor General was the last to committed, or any appellation or The petitioner even admits that
submit a Memorandum for the nickname by which such person he is the offended party in
public respondent. Both the has been or is known, and if Criminal Case No. (Q-92-
private and public respondents there is no better way of 27272. The information
ask for the dismissal of this identifying him, he must be therein,22 which he copied in
petition and the affirmance of described under a fictitious full in the petition in this case,
the challenged decision. name. describes him as the "offended
party" who suffered "damage
Petitioner's position is More specifically, it is and prejudice . . . in such amount
untenable. Denial then of this reasonable to assume that the as may be awarded under the
petition is all it merits. offended party in the provisions of the Civil Code."23
commission of a crime, public
We shall take up the assigned or private, is the party to whom The distinction he made
errors in seriatim. the offender is civilly liable, in between public crimes and
light of Article 100 of the RPC, private crimes relates not to the
It is true that bigamy is a public which expressly provides that discovery of the crimes, but to
offense. But, it is entirely [e]very person criminally liable their prosecution. Articles 344
incorrect to state, as the for a felony is also civilly and 360 of the RPC, in relation
petitioner does, that only the liable."20 Invariably then, the to Section 5, Rule 110 of the
State is the offended party in private individual to whom the Rules of Court, are clear on this
such case, as well as in other offender is civilly liable is the matter.
public offenses, and, therefore; offended party.
only the State's discovery of the II
crime could effectively This conclusion is strengthened
commence the running of the by Section 1, Rule 111 of the The petitioner's contention that a
period of prescription therefor. Rules of Court which reads: motion to quash cannot go
Article 91 of the RPC provides beyond the information in
that "[t]he period of prescription Sec. 1. Institution of criminal Criminal Case No. Q-92-27272
shall commence to run from the and civil actions. When a which states that the crime was
day on which the crime is criminal action is instituted, the discovered in 1989, is palpably
discovered by the offended civil action for the recovery of unmeritorious. Even People
party, the authorities, or their civil liability is impliedly v. Alaga,24 which he cites,
agents. . . ." This rule makes no instituted with a criminal action, mentions the exceptions to the
distinction between a public unless the offended party waives rule as provided in paragraphs
crime and a private crime. In the civil action, reserves his (f) and (h) of Section 2, and
both cases then, the discovery right to institute it separately, or Sections 4 and 5 of the old Rule
may be by the "offended party, institutes the civil action prior to 117, viz., (a) extinction of
the authorities, or their agents." the criminal action. criminal liability, and (b) double
jeopardy. His additional claim
Article 91 does not define the Such civil action includes that the exception of extinction
term "offended party." We find recovery of indemnity under the can no longer be raised due to
its definition in Section 12, Rule Revised Penal Code, and the implied repeal of the former
110 of the Rules of Court as "the damages under Articles 32, 33, Section 4,25 Rule 117 of the
person against whom or against 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of Rules of Court occasioned by its
whose property, the offense was the Philippines arising from the non-reproduction after its
revision, is equally without said allegations whose truth and Besides, he never denied having
merit. No repeal, express or veracity are hypothetically given the pertinent testimony.
implied, of the said Section 4 admitted. However, as held in He did, however, term it vague
ever took place. While there is the case of People vs. Navarro, in that it was not clear whether
no provision in the new Rule 75 Phil. 516, additional facts not the prior marriage which
117 that prescribes the contents alleged in the information, but Eugenia Balingit disclosed to
of a motion to quash based on admitted or not denied by the him was that entered into by the
extinction of criminal liability, prosecution may be invoked in private respondent with
Section 2 thereof encapsulizes support of the motion to quash. Reynaldo Quiroca. It is
the former Sections 3, 4, and 5 Former Chief justice Moran immaterial to whom the private
of the old Rule 117. The said supports this theory.27 respondent was first married;
Section 2 reads as follows: what is relevant in this case is
In Criminal Case No. 92-27272, that the petitioner was informed
Sec. 2. Foms and contents. the trial court, without objection of a prior marriage contracted by
The motion to quash shall be in on the part of the prosecution, the private respondent.
writing signed by the accused or allowed the private respondent
his counsel. It shall specify to offer evidence in support of Neither may the petitioner be
distinctly the factual and legal her claim that the crime had heard to cast doubt on the
grounds therefor and the court prescribed. Consequently, the meaning of his statements in his
shall consider no grounds other trial court, upon indubitable sworn complaint filed before the
than those stated therein, except proof of prescription, correctly CSC. We find no hint of
lack of jurisdiction over the granted the motion to quash. It vagueness in them. In any event,
offense charged. (3a, 4a, 5a). would have been, to quote De la he has not denied that he in fact
(underscoring supplied for Rosa, "pure technicality for the discovered in 1974 that the
emphasis) court to close its eyes to [the fact private respondent had been
of prescription) and still give previously married.
It is clear from this Section that due course to the prosecution of
a motion to quash may be based the case" a technicality which Finally, the petitioner draws our
on factual and legal grounds, would have meant loss of attention to the private
and since extinction of criminal valuable time of the court and respondent's several trips abroad
liability and double jeopardy are the parties. as enumerated in the
retained as among certification of the Bureau of
the grounds for a motion to As noted by Dr. Fortunato Immigration, and cites the
quash in Section 3 of the new Gupit, Jr., consultant of the second paragraph of Article 91
Rule 117, it necessarily follows Rules of Court Revision of the RPC, viz.: "[t]he term of
that facts outside the Committee, the aforequoted prescription shall not run when
information itself may be Section 2 of the new Rule 117 the offender is absent from the
introduced to grove such on "factual and legal grounds" Philippine Archipelago." We
grounds. As a matter of fact, of a motion to quash is based on agree with the Court of Appeals
inquiry into such facts may be the De la Rosa case.28 that these trips abroad did not
allowed where the ground constitute the "absence"
invoked is that the allegations in III contemplated in Article 91.
the information do not constitute These trips were brief, and in
the offense charged. Thus, The petitioner likewise claims every case the private
in People v. De la Rosa,26 this that the factual bases of the respondent returned to the
Court stated: private respondent's motion to Philippines. Besides, these were
quash are inconclusive. The made long after the petitioner
As a general proposition, a petitioner cannot be allowed to discovered the offense and. even
motion to quash on the ground disown statements he made if the aggregate number of days
that the allegations of the under oath and in open court of these trips are considered,
information do not constitute the when it serves his purpose. This still the information was filed
offense charged, or any offense is a contemptible practice which well beyond the prescriptive
for that matter, should be can only mislead the courts and period.
resolved on the basis alone of thereby contribute to injustice.
WHEREFORE, the instant willfully, unlawfully and sale or return the unsold jewelry
petition is DENIED for lack of feloniously fail to remit within the given period.7
merit and the challenged proceeds of the sale of said
decision of 13 February 1995 of items or to return any of the Thus, in a letter dated October 4,
the Court of Appeals in CA- items that may have been unsold 2001, Rita demanded from
G.R. CR No. 14324 is to said Cynthia Jaime but Senador the return of the unsold
AFFIRMED. instead has willfully, unlawfully jewelry or the remittance of the
and feloniously proceeds from the sale of
o Senador vs. People, G.R. No. misappropriated, misapplied jewelry entrusted to her. The
20L62O,6 March 2013 and converted the same to demand fell on deaf ears
his/her own use and benefit to prompting Rita to file the instant
RAMONCITA O. the damage and prejudice of said criminal complaint against
SENADOR, Petitioner, Cynthia Jaime in the Senador.8
vs.PEOPLE OF THE aforementioned amount of
PHILIPPINES and 705,685.00.4 (Emphasis During the preliminary
CYNTHIA JAIME, supplied.) investigation, Senador tendered
to Rita Keppel Bank Check No.
This is a Petition for Review on Upon arraignment, petitioner 0003603 dated March 31, 2001
Certiorari under Rule 45 seeking pleaded "not guilty." Thereafter, for the amount of PhP
the reversal of the May 17, 2011 trial on the merits ensued. 705,685,9 as settlement of her
Decision1 and March 30, 2012 obligations. Nonetheless, the
Resolution2 of the Court of The prosecutions evidence check was later dishonored as it
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR. sought to prove the following was drawn against a closed
No. 00952. facts: Rita Jaime (Rita) and her account.10
daughter-in-law, Cynthia Jaime
In an Information dated August (Cynthia), were engaged in a Senador refused to testify and so
5, 2002, petitioner Ramoncita jewelry business. Sometime in failed to refute any of the
O. Senador (Senador) was the first week of September foregoing evidence of the
charged before the Regional 2000, Senador went to see Rita prosecution, and instead, she
Trial Court (RTC), Branch 32 in at her house in Guadalupe relied on the defense that the
Dumaguete City with the crime Heights, Cebu City, expressing facts alleged in the Information
of Estafa under Article 315, par. her interest to see the pieces of and the facts proven and
1 (b) of the Revised Penal jewelry that the latter was established during the trial
Code,3 viz: selling. On September 10, 2000, differ. In particular, Senador
Ritas daughter-in-law and asserted that the person named
business partner, Cynthia, as the offended party in the
That on or about the 10th day of
delivered to Senador several Information is not the same
September 2000 in the City of
pieces of jewelry worth seven person who made the demand
Dumaguete, Philippines, and
hundred five thousand six and filed the complaint.
within the jurisdiction of this
hundred eighty five pesos (PhP According to Senador, the
Honorable Court, the
705,685).5 private complainant in the
said accused, having obtained
and received from Information went by the name
one Cynthia Jaime various In the covering Trust Receipt "Cynthia Jaime," whereas,
kinds of jewelry valued in the Agreement signed by Cynthia during trial, the private
total amount of and Senador, the latter complainant turned out to be
705,685.00 for the purpose of undertook to sell the jewelry "Rita Jaime." Further, Cynthia
selling the same on consignment thus delivered on commission Jaime was never presented as
basis with express obligation to basis and, thereafter, to remit the witness. Hence, citing People v.
account for and remit the entire proceeds of the sale, or return Uba, et al.11 (Uba) and United
proceeds of the sale if sold or to the unsold items to Cynthia States v. Lahoylahoy and
return the same if unsold within within fifteen (15) days from the Madanlog
an agreed period of time and delivery.6 However, as events (Lahoylahoy),12 Senador would
despite repeated demands turned out, Senador failed to insist on her acquittal on the
therefor, did, then and there turn over the proceeds of the postulate that her constitutional
right to be informed of the business partners, Rita and substantial rights of the
nature of the accusation against Cynthia; and (3) Senador failed accused.15
her has been violated. to return the pieces of jewelry
despite demand made by Rita. As correctly held by the
Despite her argument, the trial appellate court, Senadors
court, by Decision dated June Further, the CAfinding that reliance on Uba is misplaced. In
30, 2008, found Senador guilty Uba13 is not applicable since Uba, the appellant was charged
as charged and sentenced as Senador is charged with estafa, with oral defamation, a crime
follows: a crime against property and not against honor, wherein the
oral defamation, as in Uba identity of the person against
WHEREFORE, the Court finds ruled: whom the defamatory words
RAMONCITA SENADOR were directed is a material
guilty beyond reasonable doubt WHEREFORE, the June 30, element. Thus, an erroneous
of the crime of ESTAFA under 2008 Judgment of the Regional designation of the person
Par. 1 (b), Art. 315 of the Trial Court, Branch 32, injured is material. On the
Revised Penal Code, and is Dumaguete City, in Criminal contrary, in the instant case,
hereby sentenced to suffer the Case No. 16010, finding Senador was charged with
penalty of four (4) years and one accused appellant guilty beyond estafa, a crime against property
(1) day of prision correccional reasonable doubt of Estafa is that does not absolutely require
as minimum to twenty (20) hereby AFFIRMED in toto. as indispensable the proper
years of reclusion temporal as designation of the name of the
maximum and to indemnify the SO ORDERED. offended party. Rather, what is
private complainants, RITA absolutely necessary is the
JA[I]ME and CYNTHIA Senador filed a Motion for correct identification of the
JAIME, the following: 1) Actual Reconsideration but it was criminal act charged in the
Damages in the amount of denied in a Resolution dated information.16 Thus, in case of
695,685.00 with interest at the March 30, 2012. Hence, the an error in the designation of the
legal rate from the filing of the present petition of Senador. offended party in crimes against
Information until fully paid; 2) property, Rule 110, Sec. 12 of
Exemplary Damages in the The sole issue involved in the the Rules of Court mandates the
amount of 100,000.00; and 3) instant case is whether or not an correction of the information,
the amount of 50,000 as error in the designation in the not its dismissal:
Attorneys fees. Information of the offended
party violates, as petitioner SEC. 12. Name of the offended
Senador questioned the RTC argues, the accuseds party.The complaint or
Decision before the CA. constitutional right to be information must state the name
However, on May 17, 2011, the informed of the nature and cause and surname of the person
appellate court rendered a of the accusation against her, against whom or against whose
Decision upholding the finding thus, entitling her to an property the offense was
of the RTC that the prosecution acquittal. committed, or any appellation or
satisfactorily established the nickname by which such person
guilt of Senador beyond The petition is without merit. has been or is known. If there is
reasonable doubt. The CA no better way of identifying
opined that the prosecution was him, he must be described under
At the outset, it must be
able to establish beyond a fictitious name.
emphasized that variance
reasonable doubt the following between the allegations of the
undisputed facts, to wit: (1) information and the evidence (a) In offenses against property,
Senador received the pieces of offered by the prosecution does if the name of the offended party
jewelry in trust under the not of itself entitle the accused is unknown, the property must
obligation or duty to return to an acquittal,14 more so if the be described with such
them; (2) Senador variance relates to the particularity as to properly
misappropriated or converted designation of the offended identify the offense charged.
the pieces of jewelry to her party, a mere formal defect,
benefit but to the prejudice of which does not prejudice the
(b) If the true name of the person in this case would not be The holdings in United States v.
against whom or against whose sufficiently identified. A Kepner,18 Sayson v.
property the offense was complaint stating, as does the People,19 and Ricarze v. Court
committed is thereafter one now before us, that the of Appeals20 support the
disclosed or ascertained, the defendants "took and doctrine that if the subject
court must cause such true name appropriated to themselves with matter of the offense is specific
to be inserted in the complaint or intent of gain and against the or one described with such
information and the record. x x will of the owner thereof the particularity as to properly
x (Emphasis supplied.) sum of 100" could scarcely be identify the offense charged,
sustained in any jurisdiction as a then an erroneous designation of
It is clear from the above sufficient description either of the offended party is not
provision that in offenses the act of robbery or of the material and would not result in
against property, the materiality subject of the robbery. There is the violation of the accuseds
of the erroneous designation of a saying to the effect that money constitutional right to be
the offended party would has no earmarks; and generally informed of the nature and cause
depend on whether or not the speaking the only way money, of the accusation against her.
subject matter of the offense was which has been the subject of a Such error would not result in
sufficiently described and robbery, can be described or the acquittal of the accused.
identified. identified in a complaint is by
connecting it with the individual In the 1902 case of Kepner, this
Lahoylahoy cited by Senador who was robbed as its owner or Court ruled that the erroneous
supports the doctrine that if the possessor. And clearly, when designation of the person
subject matter of the offense is the offense has been so injured by a criminal act is not
generic or one which is not identified in the complaint, the material for the prosecution of
described with such proof must correspond upon this the offense because the subject
particularity as to properly point with the allegation, or matter of the offense, a warrant,
identify the offense charged, there can be no was sufficiently identified with
then an erroneous designation of conviction.17 (Emphasis such particularity as to properly
the offended party is material supplied.) identify the particular offense
and would result in the violation charged. We held, thus:
of the accuseds constitutional In Lahoylahoy, the subject
right to be informed of the matter of the offense was money The allegation of the complaint
nature and cause of the in the total sum of PhP 100. that the unlawful
accusation against her. Such Since money is generic and has misappropriation of the
error, Lahoylahoy teaches, no earmarks that could properly proceeds of the warrant was to
would result in the acquittal of identify it, the only way that it the prejudice of Aun Tan may be
the accused, viz: (money) could be described and disregarded by virtue of section
identified in a complaint is by 7 of General Orders, No. 58,
The second sentence of section connecting it to the offended which declares that when an
7 of General Orders No. 58 party or the individual who was offense shall have been
declares that when an offense robbed as its owner or described in the complaint with
shall have been described with possessor. Thus, the identity of sufficient certainty to identify
sufficient certainty to identify the offended party is material the act, an erroneous allegation
the act, an erroneous allegation and necessary for the proper as to the person injured shall be
as to the person injured shall be identification of the offense deemed immaterial. In any
deemed immaterial. We are of charged. Corollary, the event the defect, if defect it was,
the opinion that this provision erroneous designation of the was one of form which did not
can have no application to a case offended party would also be tend to prejudice any substantial
where the name of the person material, as the subject matter of right of the defendant on the
injured is matter of essential the offense could no longer be merits, and can not, therefore,
description as in the case at bar; described with such under the provisions of section
and at any rate, supposing the particularity as to properly 10 of the same order, affect the
allegation of ownership to be identify the offense charged. present proceeding.21 (Emphasis
eliminated, the robbery charged supplied.)
In Sayson, this Court upheld the that the offended party was Thus, it is the doctrine
conviction of Sayson for actually Mever Films and not elucidated in Kepner, Sayson,
attempted estafa, even if there Ernesto Rufino, Sr. nor Bank and Ricarze that is applicable to
was an erroneous allegation as of America as alleged in the the present case, not the ruling
to the person injured because the information." 22 (Emphasis in Uba or Lahoylahoy. The
subject matter of the offense, a supplied.) error in the designation of the
check, is specific and offended party in the
sufficiently identified. We held, In Ricarze, We reiterated the information is immaterial and
thus: doctrine espousing an erroneous did not violate Senadors
designation of the person constitutional right to be
In U.S. v. Kepner x x x, this injured is not material because informed of the nature and cause
Court laid down the rule that the subject matter of the offense, of the accusation against her.
when an offense shall have been a check, was sufficiently
described in the complaint with identified with such Lest it be overlooked, Senador
sufficient certainty as to identify particularity as to properly offered to pay obligations
the act, an erroneous allegation identify the particular offense through Keppel Check No.
as to the person injured shall be charged.23 0003603, which was dishonored
deemed immaterial as the same because it was drawn against an
is a mere formal defect which Interpreting the previously already closed account. The
did not tend to prejudice any discussed cases, We conclude offer indicates her receipt of the
substantial right of the that in offenses against property, pieces of jewelry thus described
defendant. Accordingly, in the if the subject matter of the and an implied admission that
aforementioned case, which had offense is generic and not she misappropriated the
a factual backdrop similar to the identifiable, such as the money jewelries themselves or the
instant case, where the unlawfully taken as proceeds of the sale. Rule 130,
defendant was charged with in Lahoylahoy, an error in the Section 27 states:
estafa for the misappropriation designation of the offended
of the proceeds of a warrant party is fatal and would result In criminal cases. except those
which he had cashed without in the acquittal of the accused. involving quasi-offenses
authority, the erroneous However, if the subject matter (criminal negligence) or those
allegation in the complaint to of the offense is specific and allowed by law to be
the effect that the unlawful act identifiable, such as a warrant, compromised. an offer of
was to the prejudice of the as in Kepner, or a check, such as compromise by the accused may
owner of the cheque, when in in Sayson and Ricarze, an he received in evidence as
reality the bank which cashed it error in the designation of the implied admission of guilt.
was the one which suffered a offended party is immaterial. (Emphasis supplied.)
loss, was held to be immaterial
on the ground that the subject In the present case, the subject Taken together, the C A did not
matter of the estafa, the warrant, matter of the offense does not err in affirming petitioner's
was described in the complaint refer to money or any other conviction for the crime of
with such particularity as to generic property. Instead, the estafa.1wphi1
properly identify the particular information specified the
offense charged. In the instant subject of the offense as In light of current
suit for estafa which is a crime "various kinds of jewelry valued jurisprudence,25 the Court,
against property under the in the total amount of however, finds the award of
Revised Penal Code, since the 705,685.00." The charge was exemplary damages
check, which was the subject- thereafter sufficiently fleshed excessive.1wphi1 Art. 2229 of
matter of the offense, was out and proved by the Trust the Civil Code provides that
described with such Receipt Agreement24signed by exemplary damages may be
particularity as to properly Senador and presented during imposed by way of example or
identify the offense charged, it trial, which enumerates these correction for the public good.
becomes immaterial, for "various kinds of jewelry valued Nevertheless, "exemplary
purposes of convicting the in the total amount of PhP damages are imposed not to
accused, that it was 705,685," viz: enrich one party or impoverish
established during the trial
another, but to serve as a (c) Where an offense is Where life or liberty is affected
deterrent against or as a negative committed on board a vessel in by its proceedings, courts must
incentive to curb socially the course of its voyage, the keep strictly within the limits of
deleterious actions."26 On this criminal action shall be the law authorizing them to take
basis, the award of exemplary instituted and tried in the court jurisdiction and to try the case
damages in the amount of PhP of the first port of entry or of any and render judgment thereon.1
100,000 is reduced to PhP municipality or territory where
30,000. the vessel passed during such This is a Petition for Review on
voyage, subject to the generally Certiorari under Rule 45 of the
WHEREFORE, the Decision accepted principles of 1997 Revised Rules of Civil
dated May 17, 2011 and international law. Procedure, seeking to annul and
Resolution dated March 30, set aside the Court of Appeals
2012 of the Court of Appeals in (d) Crimes committed outside (CA) Decision dated 9 July
C A-G.R. CJ.C No. 00952, the Philippines but punishable 20102 and Resolution dated 4
finding Ramoncita Senador under Article 2 of the Revised January 2011.
guilty beyond reasonable doubt Penal Code shall be cognizable
of the crime of ESTAFA under by the court where the criminal Statement of the Facts and of the
par. 1 (b), Art. 315 of the action is first filed. (15a) Case
Revised Penal Code, are hereby
AFFIRMED with Sec.18, B.P.129r Presidential The pertinent facts, as found by
MODIFICATION that the Decree No. 1069 (Extradition the CA, are as follows:
award of exemplary damages he Law)
reduced to PhP 30,000. Sometime in December 1999,
Section 18. Costs and Margarita Alocilja (Margarita)
SO ORDERED. Expenses; By Whom wanted to buy a house-and-lot in
Paid. Except when the relevant Iloilo City covered by TCT No.
lll. Venue (18 July 2015) extradition treaty provides 109266. It was then mortgaged
otherwise, all costs or expenses with Maybank. The bank
. Rule L10, Sec.15, RCP incurred in any extradition manager Joselito Palma
proceeding and in recommended the appellant
Section 15. Place where action apprehending, securing and Hector Treas (Hector) to
is to be instituted. private complainant Elizabeth,
transmitting an accused shall be
paid by the requesting state or who was an employee and niece
(a) Subject to existing laws, the of Margarita, for advice
government. The Secretary of
criminal action shall be regarding the transfer of the title
Justice shall certify to the
instituted and tried in the court in the latters name. Hector
of the municipality or territory Secretary of Foreign Affairs the informed Elizabeth that for the
where the offense was amounts to be paid by the titling of the property in the
committed or where any of its requesting state or government name of her aunt Margarita, the
essential ingredients occurred. on account of expenses and following expenses would be
costs, and the Secretary of incurred:
(b) Where an offense is Foreign Affairs shall cause the
committed in a train, aircraft, or amounts to be collected and P20,000.00- Attorneys fees,
other public or private vehicle transmitted to the Secretary of
while in the course of its trip, the Justice for deposit in the P90,000.00- Capital Gains Tax,
criminal action shall be National Treasury of the
instituted and tried in the court Philippines. P24,000.00- Documentary
of any municipality or territory Stamp,
where such train, aircraft or o Treas v People, G.R. No.
other vehicle passed during such 195002, 25 January 2012
its trip, including the place of its
departure and arrival. HECTORTREAS, Petitioner P10,000.00- Miscellaneous
vs.PEOPLE Respondent. Expenses.
Thereafter, Elizabeth gave ELIZABETH LUCIAJA the the Revised Penal Code, and
P150,000.00 to Hector who amount of P150,000.00 which which offense was committed in
issued a corresponding receipt money was given to her by her the manner described in the
dated December 22, 1999 and aunt Margarita Alocilja, with aforementioned information. As
prepared [a] Deed of Sale with the express obligation on the a consequence of this judgment,
Assumption of Mortgage. part of the accused to use the accused Hector Trenas is
Subsequently, Hector gave said amount for expenses and sentenced to suffer a penalty of
Elizabeth Revenue Official fees in connection with the Ten (10) Years and One (1) Day
Receipt Nos. 00084370 for purchase of a parcel of land of Prision Mayor to Seventeen
P96,000.00 and 00084369 for covered by TCT No. T-109266, (17) Years and Four (4) Months
P24,000.00. However, when she but the said accused, once in of Reclusion Temporal.
consulted with the BIR, she was possession of the said amount, Moreover, he is ordered to
informed that the receipts were with the intent to gain and abuse indemnify private complainant
fake. When confronted, Hector of confidence, did then and there Elizabeth Luciaja the amount of
admitted to her that the receipts willfully, unlawfully and P130,000.00 with interest at the
were fake and that he used the feloniously misappropriate, legal rate of 12% per annum,
P120,000.00 for his other misapply and convert to his own reckoned from the date this case
transactions. Elizabeth personal use and benefit the was filed until the amount is
demanded the return of the amount of P130,000.00 less fully paid.
money. attorneys fees and the said
accused failed and refused and SO ORDERED.6
To settle his accounts, appellant still fails and refuses to do so, to
Hector issued in favor of the damage and prejudice of We note at this point that
Elizabeth a Bank of Commerce complainant Elizabeth Luciaja petitioner has been variably
check No. 0042856 dated and Margarita Alocilja in the called Treas and Trenas in the
November 10, 2000 in the aforementioned amount of pleadings and court issuances,
amount of P120,000.00, P130,000.00. but for consistency, we use the
deducting from P150,000.00 the name "Treas", under which he
P30,000.00 as attorneys fees. CONTRARY TO LAW.4 was accused in the Information.
When the check was deposited
with the PCIBank, Makati During arraignment on 26 April On 24 August 2007, petitioner
Branch, the same was 2002, petitioner, acting as his filed a Motion for
dishonored for the reason that own counsel, entered a plea of Reconsideration,7 which was
the account was closed. "Not Guilty." Allegedly due to denied by the RTC in a
Notwithstanding repeated old age and poor health, and the Resolution dated 2 July 2008.8
formal and verbal demands, fact that he lives in Iloilo City,
appellant failed to pay. Thus, the petitioner was unable to attend On 25 September 2008,
instant case of Estafa was filed the pre-trial and trial of the case. petitioner filed a Notice of
against him.3 Appeal before the RTC.9 The
On 8 January 2007, the RTC appeal was docketed as CA-
On 29 October 2001, an rendered a Decision5 finding G.R. CR No. 32177. On 9 July
Information was filed by the petitioner guilty of the crime of 2010, the CA rendered a
Office of the City Prosecutor Estafa under section 1, Decision10 affirming that of the
before the Regional Trial Court paragraph (b), of Article 315 of RTC. On 4 August 2010,
(RTC), both of Makati City. The the Revised Penal Code (RPC), petitioner filed a Motion for
Information reads as follows: with the dispositive portion as Reconsideration, which was
follows: denied by the CA in a
That on or about the 23rd day of Resolution dated 4 January
December, 1999, in the City of WHEREFORE, in view of the 2011.11
Makati, Metro Manila, foregoing, judgment is rendered
Philippines and within the finding accused Hector Trenas On 25 January 2011, petitioner
jurisdiction of this Honorable guilty of the crime of Estafa filed a Motion for Extension of
Court, the above-named with abuse of confidence as Time to File Petition for Review
accused, received in trust from penalized under Article 315 of on Certiorari12 before this Court.
He asked for a period of 15 days delivered to him in Iloilo City, On 30 May 2011, this Court
within which to file a petition especially since his residence issued a Resolution directing the
for review, and the Court and office were situated there as Office of the Solicitor General
granted his motion in a well. Absent any direct proof as (OSG) to file the latters
Resolution dated 9 February to the place of delivery, one Comment on the Petition. On 27
2011. must rely on the disputable July 2011, the OSG filed a
presumption that things Motion for Extension, praying
On 3 February 2011, petitioner happened according to the for an additional period of 60
filed his Petition for Review on ordinary course of nature and days within which to submit its
Certiorari before this Court, the ordinary habits of life. The Comment. This motion was
with the following assignment only time Makati City was granted in a Resolution dated 12
of errors: mentioned was with respect to September 2011. On 23
the time when the check September 2011, the OSG filed
1. THE COURT OF APPEALS provided by petitioner was a Motion for Special Extension,
ERRED IN RULING THAT dishonored by Equitable-PCI requesting an additional period
AN ACCUSED HAS TO Bank in its De la Rosa-Rada of five days. On 29 September
PRESENT EVIDENCE IN Branch in Makati. Petitioner 2011, it filed its Comment on the
SUPPORT OF THE DEFENSE asserts that the prosecution Petition.
OF LACK OF JURISDICTION witness failed to allege that any
EVEN IF SUCH LACK OF of the acts material to the crime In its Comment, the OSG asserts
JURISDICTION APPEARS IN of estafa had occurred in Makati that the RTC did not err in
THE EVIDENCE OF THE City. Thus, the trial court failed convicting petitioner as charged.
PROSECUTION; to acquire jurisdiction over the The OSG notes that petitioner
case. does not dispute the factual
2. THE COURT OF APPEALS findings of the trial court with
ERRED IN RULING THAT Petitioner thus argues that an respect to the delivery of
DEMAND MADE BY A accused is not required to 150,000 to him, and that there
PERSON OTHER THAN THE present evidence to prove lack was a relationship of trust and
AGGRIEVED PARTY of jurisdiction, when such lack confidence between him and
SATISFIES THE is already indicated in the Elizabeth. With respect to his
REQUIREMENT OF prosecution evidence. claim that the Complaint should
DEMAND TO CONSTITUTE have been filed in Iloilo City, his
THE OFFENSE OF ESTAFA;13 As to the second issue, claim was not supported by any
petitioner claims that the piece of evidence, as he did not
On the first issue, petitioner amount of P150,000 actually present any. Further, petitioner
asserts that nowhere in the belongs to Margarita. Assuming is, in effect, asking the Court to
evidence presented by the there was misappropriation, it weigh the credibility of the
prosecution does it show that was actually she not Elizabeth prosecution witness, Elizabeth.
150,000 was given to and who was the offended party. However, the trial courts
received by petitioner in Makati Thus, the latters demand does assessment of the credibility of a
City. Instead, the evidence not satisfy the requirement of witness is entitled to great
shows that the Receipt issued by prior demand by the offended weight, unless tainted with
petitioner for the money was party in the offense of estafa. arbitrariness or oversight of
dated 22 December 1999, Even assuming that the demand some fact or circumstance,
without any indication of the could have been properly made which is not the case here.
place where it was issued. by Elizabeth, the demand
Meanwhile, the Deed of Sale referred to the amount of With respect to the second issue,
with Assumption of Mortgage P120,000, instead of P150,000. the OSG stresses that the
prepared by petitioner was Finally, there is no showing that defense of "no valid demand"
signed and notarized in Iloilo the demand was actually was not raised in the lower
City, also on 22 December received by petitioner. The court. Nevertheless, the demand
1999. Petitioner claims that the signature on the Registry Return letter sent to Elizabeth suffices,
only logical conclusion is that Receipt was not proven to be as she is also one of the
the money was actually that of petitioners. complainants alleged in the
Information, as an agent of (5) When the appellate court, in so that he could misappropriate
Margarita. Moreover, no proof making its findings, went for his own personal benefit the
was adduced as to the beyond the issues of the case, amount entrusted to him for
genuineness of petitioners and such findings are contrary to payment of the capital gains tax
signature in the Registry Return the admissions of both appellant and documentary stamp tax.
Receipt of the demand letter. and appellee;
As clearly narrated by private
The OSG, however, submits that (6) When the judgment of the complainant Luciaja, after
the Court may recommend Court of Appeals is premised on accused Trenas had obtained the
petitioner for executive misapprehension of facts; amount of P150,000.00 from
clemency, in view of his her, he gave her two receipts
advanced age and failing health. (7) When the Court of Appeals purportedly issued by the
failed to notice certain relevant Bureau of Internal Revenue, for
The Courts Ruling facts which, if properly the fraudulent purpose of
considered, would justify a fooling her and making her
The Petition is impressed with different conclusion; believe that he had complied
merit. with his duty to pay the
(8) When the findings of fact are aforementioned taxes.
Review of Factual Findings themselves conflicting; Eventually, private complainant
Luciaja discovered that said
While the Petition raises (9) When the findings of fact are receipts were fabricated
questions of law, the resolution conclusions without citation of documents.15
of the Petition requires a review the specific evidence on which
of the factual findings of the they are based; and In his Motion for
lower courts and the evidence Reconsideration before the
upon which they are based. (10) When the findings of fact of RTC, petitioner raised the
the Court of Appeals are argument that it had no
As a rule, only questions of law premised on the absence of jurisdiction over the offense
may be raised in a petition for evidence but such findings are charged. The trial court denied
review under Rule 45 of the contradicted by the evidence on the motion, without citing any
Rules of Court. In many record.14 specific evidence upon which its
instances, however, this Court findings were based, and by
has laid down exceptions to this In this case, the findings of fact relying on conjecture, thus:
general rule, as follows: of the trial court and the CA on
the issue of the place of That the said amount was given
(1) When the factual findings of commission of the offense are to [Treas] in Makati City was
the Court of Appeals and the conclusions without any citation incontrovertibly established by
trial court are contradictory; of the specific evidence on the prosecution. Accused
which they are based; they are Treas, on the other hand, never
grounded on conclusions and appeared in Court to present
(2) When the conclusion is a
conjectures. countervailing evidence. It is
finding grounded entirely on
only now that he is suggesting
speculation, surmises or
The trial court, in its Decision, another possible scenario, not
conjectures;
ruled on the commission of the based on the evidence, but on
offense without any finding as mere "what ifs". x x x
(3) When the inference made by
the Court of Appeals from its to where it was committed:
Besides, if this Court were to
findings of fact is manifestly
Based on the evidence presented seriously assay his assertions,
mistaken, absurd or impossible;
by the prosecution through the same would still not warrant
private complainant Elizabeth a reversal of the assailed
(4) When there is grave abuse of judgment. Even if the Deed of
discretion in the appreciation of Luciaja, the Court is convinced
that accused Trenas had Sale with Assumption of
facts; Mortgage was executed on 22
committed the offense of Estafa
by taking advantage of her trust December 999 in Iloilo City, it
cannot preclude the fact that the The instant case is thus an In a criminal case, the
P150,000.00 was delivered to exception allowing a review of prosecution must not only prove
him by private complainant the factual findings of the lower that the offense was committed,
Luciaja in Makati City the courts. it must also prove the identity of
following day. His reasoning the the accused and the fact that the
money must have been Jurisdiction of the Trial Court offense was committed within
delivered to him in Iloilo City the jurisdiction of the court.
because it was to be used for The overarching consideration
paying the taxes with the BIR in this case is the principle that, In Fukuzume v. People,19 this
office in that city does not in criminal cases, venue is Court dismissed a Complaint for
inspire concurrence. The jurisdictional. A court cannot estafa, wherein the prosecution
records show that he did not exercise jurisdiction over a failed to prove that the essential
even pay the taxes because the person charged with an offense elements of the offense took
BIR receipts he gave to private committed outside its limited place within the trial courts
complainant were fake territory. In Isip v. People,18 this jurisdiction. The Court ruled:
documents. Thus, his Court explained:
argumentation in this regard is More importantly, we find
too specious to consider The place where the crime was nothing in the direct or cross-
favorably.16 committed determines not only examination of Yu to establish
the venue of the action but is an that he gave any money to
For its part, the CA ruled on the essential element of jurisdiction. Fukuzume or transacted
issue of the trial courts It is a fundamental rule that for business with him with respect
jurisdiction in this wise: jurisdiction to be acquired by to the subject aluminum scrap
courts in criminal cases, the wires inside or within the
It is a settled jurisprudence that offense should have been premises of the Intercontinental
the court will not entertain committed or any one of its Hotel in Makati, or anywhere in
evidence unless it is offered in essential ingredients should Makati for that matter. Venue in
evidence. It bears emphasis that have taken place within the criminal cases is an essential
Hector did not comment on the territorial jurisdiction of the element of jurisdiction. x x x
formal offer of prosecutions court. Territorial jurisdiction in
evidence nor present any criminal cases is the territory In the present case, the criminal
evidence on his behalf. He failed where the court has jurisdiction information against Fukuzume
to substantiate his allegations to take cognizance or to try the was filed with and tried by the
that he had received the amount offense allegedly committed RTC of Makati. He was charged
of P150,000.00 in Iloilo City. therein by the accused. Thus, it with estafa as defined under
Hence, Hectors allegations cannot take jurisdiction over a Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of
cannot be given evidentiary person charged with an offense the Revised Penal Code, the
weight. allegedly committed outside of elements of which are as
that limited territory. follows: x x x
Absent any showing of a fact or Furthermore, the jurisdiction of
circumstance of weight and a court over the criminal case is The crime was alleged in the
influence which would appear to determined by the allegations in Information as having been
have been overlooked and, if the complaint or information. committed in Makati. However,
considered, could affect the And once it is so shown, the aside from the sworn statement
outcome of the case, the factual court may validly take executed by Yu on April 19,
findings and assessment on the cognizance of the case. 1994, the prosecution presented
credibility of a witness made by However, if the evidence no other evidence, testimonial
the trial court remain binding on adduced during the trial shows or documentary, to corroborate
appellate tribunal. They are that the offense was committed Yu's sworn statement or to
entitled to great weight and somewhere else, the court prove that any of the above-
respect and will not be disturbed should dismiss the action for enumerated elements of the
on review.17 want of jurisdiction. (Emphasis offense charged was committed
supplied.) in Makati. Indeed, the
prosecution failed to establish
that any of the subsequent convicting Fukuzume of the HECTOR TREAS, the latter
payments made by Yu in the crime of estafa should be set failed to transfer the title of
amounts of P50,000.00 on July aside for want of jurisdiction, aforesaid property to MRS.
12, 1991, P20,000.00 on July without prejudice, however, to MARGARITA ALOCILJA. He
22, 1991, P50,000.00 on the filing of appropriate charges also failed to pay the capital
October 14, 1991 and with the court of competent gains tax, documentary stamps
P170,000.00 on October 18, jurisdiction. (Emphasis and BIR-related expenses. What
1991 was given in Makati. supplied) ATTY. HECTOR TREAS
Neither was there proof to show accomplished was only the
that the certifications purporting In this case, the prosecution preparation of the Deed of Sale
to prove that NAPOCOR has in failed to show that the offense of covering aforesaid property. A
its custody the subject estafa under Section 1, copy of said Deed of Sale is
aluminum scrap wires and that paragraph (b) of Article 315 of hereto attached as Annex "C",
Fukuzume is authorized by the RPC was committed within
Furukawa to sell the same were the jurisdiction of the RTC of 6. THAT in view of my
given by Fukuzume to Yu in Makati City. persistent follow-ups, ATTY.
Makati. On the contrary, the HECTOR TREAS issued to
testimony of Yu established that That the offense was committed me a check for refund of the sum
all the elements of the offense in Makati City was alleged in given to him less the attorneys
charged had been committed in the information as follows: fee of P20,000.00 and the sum
Paraaque, to wit: that on July of P10,000.00 allegedly paid to
12, 1991, Yu went to the house That on or about the 23rd day of BIR or in the net sum of
of Fukuzume in Paraaque; that December, 1999, in the City of P120,000.00. x x x
with the intention of selling the Makati, Metro Manila,
subject aluminum scrap wires, Philippines and within the 7. THAT when said check was
the latter pretended that he is a jurisdiction of this Honorable deposited at EQUITABLE PCI
representative of Furukawa who Court, the above-named BANK dela Rosa-Rada Branch
is authorized to sell the said accused, received in trust from at Makati City, the same was
scrap wires; that based on the ELIZABETH LUCIAJA the dishonored by the drawee bank
false pretense of Fukuzume, Yu amount of P150,000.00 x x x. for the reason: ACCOUNT
agreed to buy the subject (Emphasis supplied.)20 CLOSED. x x x21
aluminum scrap wires; that Yu
paid Fukuzume the initial Ordinarily, this statement would Aside from the lone allegation
amount of P50,000.00; that as a have been sufficient to vest in the Information, no other
result, Yu suffered damage. jurisdiction in the RTC of evidence was presented by the
Stated differently, the crime of Makati. However, the Affidavit prosecution to prove that the
estafa, as defined and penalized of Complaint executed by offense or any of its elements
under Article 315, paragraph Elizabeth does not contain any was committed in Makati City.
2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, allegation as to where the
was consummated when Yu and offense was committed. It Under Article 315, par. 1 (b) of
Fukuzume met at the latter's provides in part: the RPC, the elements of estafa
house in Paraaque and, by are as follows: (1) that money,
falsely pretending to sell goods or other personal property
4. THAT on 23 December 1999,
aluminum scrap wires, is received by the offender in
[Elizabeth] personally entrusted
Fukuzume was able to induce trust or on commission, or for
to ATTY. HECTOR TREAS
Yu to part with his money. administration, or under any
the sum of P150,000.00 to be
expended as agreed and ATTY. other obligation involving the
From the foregoing, it is evident HECTOR TREAS issued to duty to make delivery of or to
that the prosecution failed to me a receipt, a photo copy of return the same; (2) that there be
prove that Fukuzume committed which is hereto attached as misappropriation or conversion
the crime of estafa in Makati or Annex "B", of such money or property by
that any of the essential the offender, or denial on his
ingredients of the offense took part of such receipt; (3) that such
5. THAT despite my several
place in the said city. Hence, the misappropriation or conversion
follow-ups with ATTY.
judgment of the trial court
or denial is to the prejudice of documentary sum (sic) and TEN Indeed, other than the lone
another; and (4) there is demand THOUSAND PESOS is for allegation in the information,
by the offended party to the other expenses for BIR. there is nothing in the
offender.22 prosecution evidence which
Q And did you give him this even mentions that any of the
There is nothing in the ONE HUNDRED FIFTY elements of the offense were
documentary evidence offered THOUSAND? committed in Makati. The rule is
by the prosecution23 that points settled that an objection may be
to where the offense, or any of A Yes, sir. raised based on the ground that
its elements, was committed. A the court lacks jurisdiction over
review of the testimony of Q Did he issue a receipt? the offense charged, or it may be
Elizabeth also shows that there considered motu proprio by the
was no mention of the place A Yes, sir. court at any stage of the
where the offense was allegedly proceedings or on
committed: appeal.25 Moreover, jurisdiction
Q If shown to you a receipt
over the subject matter in a
issued by Atty. Treas for this
Q After the manager of criminal case cannot be
ONE HUNDRED FIFTY
Maybank referred Atty. Treas conferred upon the court by the
THOUSAND, will you be able
to you, what happened next? accused, by express waiver or
to identify it?
otherwise. That jurisdiction is
A We have met and he conferred
A Yes, sir.
explained to the expenses and
what we will have to and she by the sovereign authority that
Q I am showing to you a organized the court and is given
will work for the Deed of Sale. document, madam witness, only by law in the manner and
already identified during the form prescribed by law.26
Q And did he quote any amount pre-trial as exhibit "B". This
when you got to the expenses? appears to be a receipt dated
It has been consistently held by
December 22, 1999. Will you
A Yes. I gave him ONE this Court that it is unfair to
please go over this document
HUNDRED FIFTY require a defendant or accused
and inform this court what
THOUSAND. to undergo the ordeal and
relation has this to the receipt
expense of a trial if the court has
which you said Atty. Treas
Q What was the amount quoted no jurisdiction over the subject
issued to you?
to you? matter or offense or it is not the
court of proper venue.27 Section
A This is the receipt issued by 15 (a) of Rule 110 of the
A ONE HUNDRED FIFTY Atty. Hector Treas. Revised Rules on Criminal
THOUSAND.
Procedure of 2000 provides that
Q Now, after the amount of "[s]ubject to existing laws, the
Q Did he give a breakdown of ONE HUNDRED FIFTY criminal action shall be
this ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND was given to Atty. instituted and tried in the court
THOUSAND? Treas by you, what happened of the municipality or territory
next? where the offense was
A Yes, sir. committed or where any of its
A We made several follow-ups essential ingredients occurred."
Q And what is the breakdown of but he failed to do his job.24 This fundamental principle is to
this ONE HUNDRED FIFTY ensure that the defendant is not
THOUSAND? Although the prosecution compelled to move to, and
alleged that the check issued by appear in, a different court from
A TWENTY THOUSAND is petitioner was dishonored in a that of the province where the
for his Attorneys fee, NINETY bank in Makati, such dishonor is crime was committed as it
THOUSAND is for the capital not an element of the offense of would cause him great
gain tax TWENTY FOUR estafa under Article 315, par. 1 inconvenience in looking for his
THOUSAND is intended for (b) of the RPC. witnesses and other evidence in
another place.28 This principle Code of Professional the Court of Appeals in CA-
echoes more strongly in this Responsibility.31 G.R. CR No. 32177 are SET
case, where, due to distance ASIDE on the ground of lack of
constraints, coupled with his Moreover, a lawyer has the duty jurisdiction on the part of the
advanced age and failing health, to deliver his client's funds or Regional Trial Court, Branch
petitioner was unable to present properties as they fall due or 137, Makati City. Criminal Case
his defense in the charges upon demand.32 His failure to No. 01-2409 is DISMISSED
against him. return the client's money upon without prejudice. This case is
demand gives rise to the REFERRED to the IBP Board
There being no showing that the presumption that he has of Governors for investigation
offense was committed within misappropriated it for his own and recommendation pursuant
Makati, the RTC of that city has use to the prejudice of and in to Section 1 of Rule 139-B of the
no jurisdiction over the case.29 violation of the trust reposed in Rules of Court.
him by the client.33 It is a gross
As such, there is no more need violation of general morality as o Lopez v. Cityludge, G.R. No.
to discuss the other issue raised well as of professional ethics; it L-25795, 29 October 1966
by petitioner. impairs public confidence in the
legal profession and deserves ANGELINA MEJIA LOPEZ,
At this juncture, this Court sees punishment.34 AURORA MEJIA
it fit to note that the Code of VILLASOR, ROY P.
Professional Responsibility In Cuizon v. Macalino,35 this VILLASOR,
strongly militates against the Court ruled that the issuance of vs.THE CITY JUDGE,
petitioners conduct in handling checks which were later CESAR L. PARAS,
the funds of his client. Rules dishonored for having been TRINIDAD T. LAZATIN,
16.01 and 16.02 of the Code drawn against a closed account and TERRA
provides: indicates a lawyer's unfitness for DEVELOPMENT
the trust and confidence reposed CORPORATION,
Rule 16.01 A lawyer shall on him, shows lack of personal
account for all money or honesty and good moral In the month of February 1964,
property collected or received character as to render him petitioners Roy P. Villasor, as
for or from the client.1wphi1 unworthy of public confidence, administrator of the intestate
and constitutes a ground for estate of the spouses Manuel M.
Rule 16.02 A lawyer shall disciplinary action. Mejia and Gloria Lazatin
keep the funds of each client (Special Proceedings No. 48181
separate and apart from his own This case is thus referred to the of the Court of First Instance of
and those others kept by him. Integrated Bar of the Philippines Manila), together with his co-
(IBP) for the initiation of petitioners Angelina Mejia
When a lawyer collects or disciplinary proceedings against Lopez and Aurora Mejia
receives money from his client petitioner. In any case, should Villasor and other heirs of said
for a particular purpose (such as there be a finding that petitioner spouses, entered into a contract
for filing fees, registration fees, has failed to account for the with respondent Trinidad T.
transportation and office funds received by him in trust, Lazatin for the development and
expenses), he should promptly the recommendation should subdivision of three parcels of
account to the client how the include an order to immediately land belonging to said intestate
money was spent.30 If he does return the amount of 130,000 estate. Subsequently Lazatin
not use the money for its to his client, with the transferred his rights under the
intended purpose, he must appropriate rate of interest from contract to the Terra
immediately return it to the the time of demand until full Development Corporation.
client. His failure either to payment. Months later, petitioners and
render an accounting or to return other co-heirs filed an action in
the money (if the intended WHEREFORE, the Petition is the Court of First Instance of
purpose of the money does not GRANTED. The Decision dated Quezon City (Civil Case No. Q-
materialize) constitutes a blatant 9 July 2010 and the Resolution 8344) for the rescission of said
disregard of Rule 16.01 of the dated 4 January 2011 issued by contract for alleged gross and
willful violation of its terms. secured from said court several the judicial guardian of said
Thereafter, Lazatin and the postponements of the minors.
Terra Development arraignment.
Corporation, in turn, filed with It is settled law in criminal
the Fiscal's Office of the City of Finally, in view of the City actions that the place where the
Angeles a complaint against Fiscal's continued failure to act criminal offense was committed
petitioners for an alleged on the motion to dismiss the not only determines the venue of
violation of the provisions of case, petitioners filed on the action but is an essential
Article 172 in relation to those November 26, 1965 with the element of jurisdiction (U.S. vs.
of Article 171, paragraph 4, of City Court a motion to quash Pagdayuman 5 Phil. 265). Thus,
the Revised Penal Code. After upon the ground that said court under the provisions of Section
conducting a preliminary had no jurisdiction over the 86 of the Judiciary Act of 1948,
examination in connection offense charged. The municipal courts have original
therewith, the City Fiscal of complainants in the case with jurisdiction only over criminal
Angeles filed with the Court of the conformity of the City Fiscal offenses committed within their
said City an information filed an opposition thereto, respective territorial
charging petitioners with the and on February 3, 1966 the jurisdiction.
crime of falsification of a private respondent judge denied said
document upon the allegation motion to quash and reset the In the present case, it is the
that they made it appear in the arraignment of all the claim of petitioners a claim
contract mentioned heretofore defendants on March 5 of the supported by the record that
that Aurora M. Villasor was the same year. In view thereof, Angelina M. Lopez and Aurora
"guardian" of the minor George petitioners filed the present M. Villasor signed the private
L. Mejia and that Angelina M. action for certiorari and document wherein they are
Lopez was similarly the prohibition. alleged to have made a false
"guardian" of the minor statement of fact, the first within
Alexander L. Mejia, when in Upon the foregoing facts the the territorial jurisdiction of
truth and in fact they knew that only question to be resolved is Makati, and the second within
they were not the guardians of whether or not the City Court of the territorial jurisdiction of
said minors on the date of the Angeles City has jurisdiction to Quezon City, both within the
execution of the document try and decide Criminal Case province of Rizal.
(Criminal Case No. C-2268). No. C-2268 for alleged
falsification of a private We now come to consider the
Upon petition of the parties thus document by the parties named question of when and where is
charged, the City Fiscal of in the information. the offense of falsification of a
Angeles reinvestigated the case private document deemed
on March 7, 1965 to give them It is clear that petitioners are not consummated or committed.
an opportunity to present charged with having used a Upon this point, We have ruled
exculpatory evidence, and after falsified document, in violation clearly and definitely in U.S. vs.
the conclusion of the of the last paragraph of Article Infante, 36 Phil. 146, that the
reinvestigation the parties 172 of the Revised Penal Code. crime of falsification of a private
charged moved for the dismissal The charge against them is that document defined and penalized
of the case mainly on the ground of having falsified a private by Article 304 of the Penal Code
that the City Court of Angeles document by knowingly and (now paragraph 2, Article 172 of
had no jurisdiction over the willfully stating therein that the Revised Penal Code) is
offense because the private Aurora M. Villasor and consummated when such
document that contained the Angelina M. Lopez were the document is actually falsified
alleged false statement of fact "guardians" of their minor with the intent to prejudice a
was signed by them outside the brothers George and Alexander, third person, whether such
territorial limits of said city. As respectively, when in fact they falsified document is or is not
the resolution of this motion to knew that, at the time they made thereafter put to the illegal use
dismiss was delayed and in the such written statement, it was for which it was intended.
meantime the City Court had set Carolina M. de Castro who was
Criminal Case No. C-2268 for
arraignment, the defendants
Again in U.S. vs. Barretto, 36 thereafter put or not put to the In the present case, the portion
Phil. p. 207, We said: illegal use for which it was of the record of the
intended, or was signed by the reinvestigation which was
. . . The contention of counsel other contracting party within submitted to the respondent
would seem to be that the the territorial jurisdiction of the judge for consideration in
information was defective, in City of Angeles is in no wise a connection with the resolution
that it fails to set forth expressly material or essential element of of the motion to quash filed by
the place where improper and the crime of falsification of the the defendants shows beyond
illegal use was made of the private document, nor could it in question that the offense
falsified document, an any way change the fact that the charged was committed far
allegation which counsel for act of falsification charged was beyond the territorial
appellant insists was absolutely committed outside the territorial jurisdiction of Angeles City.
essential for the proper jurisdiction of Angeles City.
determination of the court Thus, that the City Court of On the propriety of the writs
clothed with jurisdiction over Angeles has, no jurisdiction prayed for, it may be said that,
the alleged offense. But under over the offense charged is as a general rule, a court of
the definition of the crime of beyond question. equity will not issue a writ of
falsification of a private certiorari to annul an order of a
document as set forth in Article Respondents, however, contend lower court denying a motion to
304 of the Penal Code, the that the motion to quash filed by quash, nor issue a writ of
offense is consummated at the the defendants necessarily prohibition to prevent said court
time when and at the place assumes the truth of the from proceeding with the case
where the document is falsified allegation of the information to after such denial, it being the
to the prejudice of or with the the effect that the offense was rule that upon such denial the
intent to prejudice a third committed within the territorial defendant should enter his plea
person, and this whether the jurisdiction of Angeles City and of not guilty and go to trial and,
falsified document is or is not that they may not be allowed to if convicted, raise on appeal the
put to the improper or illegal use disprove this at this early stage same legal questions covered by
for which it was intended. It is of the proceedings. This is not his motion to quash. In this as
evident, therefore, that the place exactly the law on the matter at well as in other jurisdictions
where the crime is committed is present. It was the law however, this is no longer the
the place where the document is applicable to a demurrer hard and fast rule.
actually falsified, and that the now obsolete to an
improper or illegal use of the information. The motion to The writs of certiorari and
document thereafter is in no quash now provided for in Rule prohibition, as extra-ordinary
wise a material or essential 117 of the Rules of Court is legal remedies, are, in the
element of the crime of manifestly broader in scope than ultimate analysis, intended to
falsification of a private the demurrer, as it is not limited annul void proceedings; to
document; . . . . to defects apparent upon the face prevent the unlawful and
of the complaint or information oppressive exercise of legal
Applying the above ruling to the but extends to issues arising out authority and to provide for a
facts before Us, it would appear of extraneous facts, as shown by fair and orderly administration
that if the private document the circumstance that, among of justice. Thus, in Yu Kong Eng
subject of the information was the grounds for a motion to vs. Trinidad, 47 Phil. 385, We
falsified by the persons therein quash, Section 2 of said Rule took cognizance of a petition
charged, the act of falsification provides for former jeopardy or for certiorari and prohibition
the signing of the document acquittal, extinction of criminal although the accused in the case
and the coetaneous intent to action or liability, insanity of the could have appealed in due time
cause damage was accused etc., which necessarily from the order complained of,
committed and consummated involve questions of fact in the our action in the premises being
outside the territorial determination of which a based on the public welfare and
jurisdiction of the City of preliminary trial is required. the advancement of public
Angeles, and that whether the policy. In Dimayuga vs.
falsified private document was Fajardo, 43 Phil. 304, We also
admitted a petition to restrain constitutional rights, and that, Metropolitan Trial Court
the prosecution of certain on appeal to this Court, we (MeTC) of Pasig City with
chiropractors although, if would, therefore, have to set perjury arising from their filing,
convicted, they could have aside the judgment of conviction on behalf of Lakeridge
appealed. We gave due course to of the lower court. This would, Development Corp.(LDC), of a
their petition for the orderly obviously, be most unfair and petition in the Makati City
administration of justice and to unjust. Under the circumstances Regional Trial Court (RTC) for
avoid possible oppression by the obtaining in the present case, the issuance of new owners
strong arm of the law. And flaw in the procedure followed duplicate copy of Certificate of
in Arevalo vs. Nepomuceno, 63 by petitioner herein may be Condominium Title (CCT) No.
Phil. 627, the petition for overlooked, in the interest of a 21578 covering a condominium
certiorari challenging the trial more enlightened and unit in Makati. The Information
court's action admitting an substantial justice. reads:
amended information was
sustained despite the availability Indeed, the lack of jurisdiction On or about November 4, 1999,
of appeal at the proper time. of the City Court of Angeles in Pasig City, and within the
over the criminal offense jurisdiction of this Honorable
More recently, We said the charged being patent, it would Court, the accused, conspiring
following in Yap vs. the Hon. D. be highly unfair to compel the and confederating together and
Lutero, etc., G.R. No. L-12669, parties charged to undergo trial mutually helping and aiding one
April 30, 1959: in said court and suffer all the another, did then and there
embarrassment and mental willfully, unlawfully,
Manifestly, the denial, by anguish that go with it. feloniously and
respondent herein, of the motion falsely subscribe and swear to
to quash the information in case WHEREFORE, judgment is a Petition for Issuance of a
No. 16443, may not be hereby rendered declaring that New Owners Duplicate Copy
characterized as "arbitrary" or the offense charged in the of Condominium Certificate
"despotic", or to be regarded as information filed in Criminal of Title No. 21578 before
amounting to "lack of Case No. C-2268 of the City Rafael Arsenio S. Dizon, a
jurisdiction". The proper Court of Angeles City is not notary public in and for Pasig
procedure, in the event of denial within the jurisdiction of said City, duly appointed, qualified
of a motion to quash, is for the court and that, therefore, said and acting as such, and in which
accused, upon arraignment, to court is hereby restrained and Petition said accused subscribed
plead not guilty and reiterate his prohibited from further and swore to, among other
defense of former jeopardy, and, proceedings therein. Costs things, facts known to them to
in case of conviction, to appeal against the private respondents. be untrue, that is: That the
therefrom, upon the ground that Petitioners claim that the title
he has been twice put in . llusorio v. Bildner, G.R. No. was lost, which fact was
jeopardy of punishment, either 173935-38, 23 December 2008 material matter and required by
for the same offense, or for the law to be stated in said Petition,
same act, as the case may be. when in truth and in fact as the
ERLINDA K.
However, were we to require said accused very well knew at
ILUSORIO, petitioner,
adherence to this pretense, the the time they swore to and
vs. MA. ERLINDA I.
case at bar would have to be signed the said petition for
BILDNER, LILY F.
dismissed and petitioner Issuance of a New Owners
RAQUEO, SYLVIA K.
required to go through the Duplicate Copy of
ILUSORIO, MA. CRISTINA
inconvenience, not to say the Condominium Certificate of
A. ILUSORIO, AND
mental agony and torture, of Title No. 21578, that said
AURORA I.
submitting himself to trial on the statement appearing in
MONTEMAYOR
merits in case No. 16443, apart paragraph 4 of said Petition:
from the expenses incidental
Respondents Ma. Erlinda
thereto, despite the fact that his "4. Pending registration of the
Bildner and Lily Raqueo were
trial and conviction therein mortgage document with the
charged by Erlinda K. Ilusorio
would violate one of his Registry of Deeds of Makati
(petitioner) before the
City, the petitioners had their owners duplicate copies of law, should be in the actual
respective offices, renovated titles over properties located in possession of the registered
and by reason thereof, Makati City and Tagaytay City owner thereof and it is
documents were moved from after the owners copies thereof indubitable that LAKERIDGE
their usual places and thereafter, could no longer be found DEVELOPMENT
sometime in the early part of the "despite earnest and diligent CORPORATION is the
second quarter of this year, efforts" to locate the same. registered owner entitled to the
when petitioners were ready to possession and control of the
have the mortgage documents Petitioner, alleging that she, evidence of ownership of all
registered, the said owners as bona fide chairman and corporate properties;
duplicate copy of CCT No. president of LDC,5 has in her
21578 could no longer be possession those titles, filed her 7. The respondents have no
located at the places where opposition to respondents authority nor legal basis to take
they may and should likely be petitions.6 Respondents and continue to have possession
found despite earnest and forthwith amended their of said CCT No. 21578, not one
diligent efforts of all the respective petitions,7 the of them being a corporate officer
petitioners to locate the same;" amendments reading, according of LAKERIDGE
to petitioner, as follows: DEVELOPMENT
was false and untrue because the CORPORATION, the
said title was in the possession 4. On November 4, 1999, in the registered owner of said
of the complainant, Erlinda K. belief that the aforesaid owners property;
Ilusorio, and the above false duplicate copy of CCT No.
statement was made in order 21578 had been lost and can no . The respondents, in the
to obtain a New Owners longer be recovered, the absence of any authority or right
Duplicate Copy of petitioners filed before the to take possession of CCT No.
Condominium Certificate of Regional Trial Court of Makati 21578, should be ordered by this
Title No. 21578, to the damage City a petition for the Honorable Court to surrender
and prejudice of complainant cancellation and issuance of a the owners duplicate copy
Erlinda K. Ilusorio. new owners duplicate copy of thereof, which they continue to
CCT No. 21578 in lieu of the hold without legal and/or
Contrary to law.1 (Emphasis and lost copy; justifiable reasons, not only for
underscoring supplied) the purpose of causing the
5. However, after the registration of the mortgage
Three similarly worded jurisdictional facts and evidence thereof in favor of the
Informations for perjury were had been presented before the mortgagee/petitioner, Ma.
also filed against said court, the above-named Erlinda I. Bildner, but also for
respondents Sylvia Ilusorio, Ma respondents, through their the reason that it is the
. Cristina Ilusorio and Aurora counsel, filed their opposition to corporation, as owner of the
Montemayor also before the petition on the ground that property, who [sic] is entitled to
the Pasig City MeTC arising the said owners duplicate copy possession and control and
from their filing of three of Condominium Certificate of therefore, said CCT must,
petitions, also on behalf of LDC, Title No. 21578 allegedly is not pursuant to law, be kept at the
before the Tagaytay City lost and is actually in their corporations principal place of
RTC for issuance of new possession and, thereafter, in a business.
owners duplicate copy of subsequent hearing held on
Transfer Certificates of Title February 10, 2000, said (Underscoring in the original;
(TCT) Nos. 17010,2 170113 and respondents, through counsel, emphasis supplied)
170124 covering properties presented before this
located in Tagaytay City. Honorable Court the Using as bases the contents of
duplicate copy of said CCT the original petitions filed in the
As the purported corporate No. 21578; Makati and Tagaytay
8
officers of LDC, respondents RTCs, petitioner filed charges
filed the above-mentioned 6. The owners duplicate copy of falsification of public
petitions for issuance of new of CCT No. 21578, pursuant to documents and perjury against
respondents before the Pasig crime was committed in the before the Regional Trial Courts
City Prosecutors Office.9 place where the court has of Makati and Tagaytay Cities
jurisdiction, then that court has which are relevant to the case
By Resolution of April 6, 2000, jurisdiction to hear and decide the same being for the issuance
Investigating Prosecutor the case. (Colmenares vs. Villar, of a new owners duplicate copy
Edgardo Bautista, with the 33 SCRA 186). In other words, of a certificate of title alleged to
imprimatur of the City what is important is the be lost.
Prosecutor, dismissed the allegation in the complaint that
falsification charges but found the crime was committed in the As the facts charged herein do
probable cause to indict place which is within the courts not constitute an offense and/or
respondents for perjury.10 Four jurisdiction (Mediante vs. Ortiz, the information contains
informations for perjury were 19 SCRA 832). averments which, if true, would
accordingly filed before nonetheless constitute a legal
the MeTC Pasig, one against In the instant cases, the excuse or jurisdiction [sic],
respondents Ma. Erlinda I. information [sic] allege that the quashal of the Information[s] is
Bildner and Lily F. Raquero; offenses were committed in thus in order.
another against respondents Pasig City. Hence, pursuant to
Sylvia K. Ilusorio, Maria the aforecited doctrinal rulings, (Underscoring in the original;
Cristina A. Ilusorio and Aurora this court has the venue or emphasis supplied)
Montemayor; still another territorial jurisdiction over these
against respondents Sylvia K. cases. (Underscoring supplied) Reconsideration of the quashal
Ilusorio, Maria Cristina A. of the Informations having been
Ilusorio and Aurora Nonetheless, finding that denied,15 petitioner appealed to
Montemayor; and the last respondents petitions are the Pasig City RTC Branch 263
against respondents Sylvia K. privileged, the MeTC, of which, by Decision16 of
Ilusorio, Maria Cristina Ilusorio citing Flordelis v. Judge January 25, 2006, affirmed the
and Aurora Montemayor, Himalalaon13 and People v. ruling of the MeTC. After the
docketed as Criminal Case Nos. Aquino, et al.,14 granted the denial of her motion for
121496, 121497, 121498 and Motions to Quash, viz: reconsideration,17 petitioner
121499, respectively. filed with this Court the present
However, the Court finds the petition for review
After the consolidation of the third ground[-privileged on certiorari,18 contending that:
Informations, respondents character of the pleadings]
moved for their quashal on the meritorious. In the case of THE COURT A QUO ERRED
grounds of lack of jurisdiction Flordelis vs. Himalaloan, (84 IN RELYING ON THE CASES
due to improper venue, lack of SCRA 477) which is also a OF FLORDELI[S] VS.
bases of the charges as prosecution for Perjury, the HIMALALOAN (84 SCRA
the original petitions had Supreme Court held: 477) AND PEOPLE VS.
already been withdrawn, and AQUINO (18 SCRA 555) [IN
privileged character of the Moreover, it is likewise clear HOLDING] THAT
pleadings.11 that any statement contained in STATEMENTS MADE IN
an appropriate pleading filed in PLEADINGS, EVEN IF
Branch 72 of the Pasig City court that is relevant to the PERJURIOUS OR FALSE,
MeTC, by Order12 of June 13, issues in the case to which it ARE ABSOLUTELY
2001, ruled that venue was relates is absolutely priveleged PRIVILEGED AND NOT
properly laid, viz: [sic] and it is the law that the SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL
same may not be made the PROSECUTION.
To determine the correct venue subject of a criminal (Underscoring supplied)
(territorial jurisdiction)[,] the prosecution. (People vs.
vital point is the allegations [sic] Aquino, 18 SCRA 555.)" Petitioner is of the view
in the complaint or information that People v. Aquino19 cited by
of the situs of the offense Similarly, the alleged perjurious the RTC does not apply in the
charged. If the complaint or statements in the instant cases present controversy as that case
information alleges that the are contained in a Petition filed involved a libel case and "there
is no authority which states that review in accordance with Rule of a New Owners Duplicate
the rules on absolute privileged 45."24 Indubitably, the issue Copy of Transfer Certificate of
statements in pleadings apply to tendered in this case is Title Nos. 17010, 17011 and
both crimes of perjury and a question of law, hence, there is 17012 before the Regional
libel."20 no violation of the principle of Trial Court, Branch
hierarchy of courts. 18, Tagaytay City x x x x.
Neither, petitioner posits, does (Emphasis, italics and
the also cited case of Flordelis On the merits, the Court denies underscoring supplied)
v. Himalaloan21 apply wherein the petition on the ground that,
the Court sustained the quashal contrary to the lower courts The allegation in each of the
of the therein information for ruling, venue of the four similarly-worded
perjury as the answer to the Informations was improperly Informations that perjury was
complaint containing the laid in Pasig. committed in Pasig is neither
alleged false allegations did not controlling nor sufficient to
have to be under oath. The allegations in each of the show that the Pasig MeTC has
Informations indicate Pasig as jurisdiction over them. The
In their Comment, respondents the situs of the offense charged purported perjurious petition
initially burrow into the where respondents petitions quoted in each of the
petitions alleged procedural were notarized. Albeit the Informations in fact indicates
crack by underscoring the Informations referred to that, with respect to the CCT of
apparent disregard by petitioner the "subscribed and sworn" the Registry of Deeds of Makati
of the established policy of petitions of respondents as bases the TCTs of the Registry of
judicial hierarchy of courts, of the charges, there is no Deeds of Tagaytay, venue of the
pointing out that the petition mention therein that those criminal action arising
should have been first filed with petitions were filed in Makati therefrom is in Makati and
the Court of Appeals.22 City and Tagaytay City. The Tagaytay, respectively.
Complaint-Affidavits,25 which
On the merits, respondents initiated the criminal actions, Perjury is committed as follows:
reiterate, in the main, the reflect such jurisdictional
congruent rulings of the MeTC details. Consider this allegation: Article 183, Revised Penal
and RTC that allegations made Code.
by the parties or their counsel in 6. On November 4, 1999, MA.
a pleading are privileged in ERLINDA I. BILDNER and False Testimony in other cases
nature. Moreover, they contend LILY F. RAQUENO allegedly and perjury in solemn
that since they had amended the representing affirmations. The penalty of
original petitions, there were no LAKERIDGE filed a verified arresto mayor in its maximum
more bases for the charges of Petition for Issuance of a New period to prision correccional in
perjury."23 Owners Duplicate Copy of its minimum period shall be
Condominium Certificate of imposed upon any person
A word first on the procedural Title No. 21578 before the who, knowingly making
question raised by respondents. Regional Trial Court untruthful statements and not
The present petition is one for of Makati City x x x x, being included in the provisions
review on certiorari under Rule (Emphasis, italics and of the next preceding articles,
45 of the Rules of Court, not a underscoring supplied) shall testify under oath, or make
special civil action an affidavit, upon any material
for certiorari under Rule 65. as well as this: matter before a competent
Rule 41 of the Rules of Court person authorized to administer
(APPEAL FROM THE 06. On November 10, 1999, an oath in cases in which the law
REGIONAL TRIAL AURORA I. MONTEMAYOR, so requires.
COURTS), Section 2(c) SYLVIA ILUSORIO, and MA.
provides that in all cases where CRISTINA A. ILUSORIO x x x x26 (Italics in the original;
only questions of law are raised, allegedly representing underscoring supplied)
the appeal "shall be to the LAKERIDGE filed three (3)
Supreme Court by petition for verified Petitions for Issuance
There are thus four elements to petitions were subscribed and with civil actions for libel and
be taken into account "in sworn in Pasig is immaterial, the slander." x x x x.
determining whether there is gist of the offense of perjury
a prima facie case" of being the intentional giving of The Flordelis case is likewise
perjury, viz: false statement. So United not in point.
States v. Caet 32teaches, viz: There, Flordelis was charged
(a) that the accused made a with perjury for having alleged
statement under oath or It is immaterial where the false statements in his
executed an affidavit upon a affidavit was subscribed and verified answer. This Court held
material matter; (b) that the sworn, so long as it appears from that no perjury could be
statement or affidavit was made the information that the committed by Flordelis because
before a competent officer, defendant, by means of such "an answer to a complaint in an
authorized to receive and affidavit, "swore to" and ordinary civil action need not be
administer oath; (c) that in the knowingly submitted false under oath," thus, "it is at once
statement or affidavit, the evidence, material to a point at apparent that one element of the
accused made a willful and issue in a judicial proceeding crime of perjury is absent x x x,
deliberate assertion of a pending in the Court of First namely, that the sworn
falsehood; and (d) that the Instance of Iloilo Province. The statement complained of must
sworn statement or affidavit gist of the offense charged is not be required by law." 35 (Italics in
containing the falsity is required the making of the affidavit in the original; underscoring
by law or made for a legal Manila, but the intentional supplied)
purpose.27(Citation omitted) giving of false evidence in the
Court of First Instance of Iloilo Verily, both the MeTC and the
It is the deliberate making of Province by means of such RTC misappreciated this
untruthful statements upon any affidavit.33 (Emphasis and Courts rulings
material matter, however, underscoring supplied) in Flordelis and Aquino as
before a competent person respondents petitions-bases of
authorized to administer an oath While the Court finds that, the subject Informations for
in cases in which the law so contrary to the MeTC and RTC perjury are required by law to be
requires,28 which is imperative ruling, venue of the under oath.
in perjury29 Informations was improperly
laid, and on that score the Court WHEREFORE, the petition is,
Venue, in criminal cases, being denies the present petition as on the ground that the
jurisdictional,30 the action for priorly stated, it is confronting Metropolitan Trial Court of
perjury must be instituted and the sole issue raised by Pasig has no jurisdiction over
tried in the municipality or petitioner whether the the Informations for perjury
territory where the deliberate questioned petitions of against respondents, DENIED.
making of an untruthful respondents are, as the MeTC
statement upon any matter was held and which the RTC . lJnion Bank v. People, G.R.
made, in this case, in Makati and affirmed, absolutely privileged No. L92565,28 February 2012
Tagaytay.31 on the basis of Flordelis and
Aquino.
UNION BANK OF THE,
It was in Makati and Tagaytay PHILIPPINES and DESI
where the intent to assert an The issue had already been TOMAS, Petitioners,
alleged falsehood became addressed by the Court in Choa vs.PEOPLE
manifest and where the alleged v. People,34 in this wise:
untruthful statement finds We review in this Rule 45
relevance or materiality in Sison and Aquino both involve petition, the decision1 of the
deciding the issue of whether libel cases. In Sison, this Court Regional Trial Court, Branch
new owners duplicate copies of categorically stressed that the 65, Makati City (RTC-Makati
the CCT and TCTs may issue. term "absolute privilege" (or City) in Civil Case No. 09-1038.
"qualified privilege") has an The petition seeks to reverse and
Whether the perjurious "established technical set aside the RTC-Makati City
statements contained in the four meaning, in connection decision dismissing the petition
for certiorari of petitioners The accusation stemmed from court when the second
Union Bank of the Philippines petitioner Union Banks two (2) complaint was filed; and (c) she
(Union Bank) and Desi Tomas complaints for sum of money was charged with perjury by
(collectively, the petitioners). with prayer for a writ of replevin giving false testimony while the
The RTC found that the against the spouses Eddie and allegations in the Information
Metropolitan Trial Court, Eliza Tamondong and a John make out perjury by making a
Branch 63, Makati City (MeTC- Doe. The first complaint, false affidavit.
Makati City) did not commit docketed as Civil Case No. 98-
any grave abuse of discretion in 0717, was filed before the RTC, The MeTC-Makati City denied
denying the motion to quash the Branch 109, Pasay City on April the Motion to Quash, ruling that
information for perjury filed by 13, 1998. The second complaint, it has jurisdiction over the case
Tomas. docketed as Civil Case No. 342- since the Certificate against
000, was filed on March 15, Forum Shopping was notarized
The Antecedents 2000 and raffled to the MeTC, in Makati City.4 The MeTC-
Branch 47, Pasay City. Both Makati City also ruled that the
Tomas was charged in court for complaints showed that Tomas allegations in the Information
perjury under Article 183 of the executed and signed the sufficiently charged Tomas with
Revised Penal Code (RPC) for Certification against Forum perjury.5 The MeTC-Makati
making a false narration in a Shopping. Accordingly, she was City subsequently denied
Certificate against Forum charged of deliberately violating Tomas motion for
Shopping. The Information Article 183 of the RPC by reconsideration. 6

against her reads: falsely declaring under oath in


the Certificate against Forum The petitioners filed a petition
That on or about the 13th day of Shopping in the second for certiorari before the RTC-
March 2000 in the City of complaint that she did not Makati City to annul and set
Makati, Metro Manila, commence any other action or aside the MeTC-Makati City
Philippines and within the proceeding involving the same orders on the ground of grave
jurisdiction of this Honorable issue in another tribunal or abuse of discretion. The
Court, the above-named agency. petitioners anchored their
accused, did then and there petition on the rulings in United
willfully, unlawfully and Tomas filed a Motion to States v. Canet7 and Ilusorio v.
feloniously make untruthful Quash,3 citing two grounds. Bildner8 which ruled that venue
statements under oath upon a First, she argued that the venue and jurisdiction should be in the
material matter before a was improperly laid since it is place where the false document
competent person authorized to the Pasay City court (where the was presented.
administer oath which the law Certificate against Forum
requires to wit: said accused Shopping was submitted and The Assailed RTC Decision
stated in the used) and not the MeTC-Makati
Verification/Certification/Affid City (where the Certificate In dismissing the petition for
avit of merit of a complaint for against Forum Shopping was certiorari, the RTC-Makati City
sum of money with prayer for a subscribed) that has jurisdiction held:
writ of replevin docketed as over the perjury case. Second,
[Civil] Case No. 342-00 of the she argued that the facts charged [I]nsofar as the petitioners
Metropolitan Trial Court[,] do not constitute an offense stance is concerned[,] the more
Pasay City, that the Union Bank because: (a) the third element of recent case of [Sy Tiong Shiou
of the Philippines has not perjury the willful and v. Sy] (GR Nos. 174168 &
commenced any other action or deliberate assertion of falsehood 179438, March 30, 2009)
proceeding involving the same was not alleged with however, reaffirms what has
issues in another tribunal or particularity without specifying been the long standing view on
agency, accused knowing well what the other action or the venue with respect to perjury
that said material statement was proceeding commenced cases. In this particular case[,]
false thereby making a willful involving the same issues in the high court reiterated the rule
and deliberate assertion of another tribunal or agency; (b) that the criminal action shall be
falsehood.2 there was no other action or instituted and tried in the court
proceeding pending in another
of the municipality or territory Makati City subsequently Forum Shopping was notarized,
where the offense was denied the petitioners motion or Pasay City, where the
committed, or where any of its for reconsideration.10 Certification was presented to
essential ingredients occurred. It the trial court.
went on to declare that since the The Petition
subject document[,] the The Courts Ruling
execution of which was the The petitioners pray that we
subject of the charge[,] was reverse the RTC-Makati City We deny the petition and hold
subscribed and sworn to in decision and quash the that the MeTC-Makati City is
Manila[,] then the court of the Information for perjury against the proper venue and the proper
said territorial jurisdiction was Tomas. The petitioners contend court to take cognizance of the
the proper venue of the criminal that the Ilusorio ruling is more perjury case against the
action[.] applicable to the present facts petitioners.
than our ruling in Sy Tiong
xxxx Shiou v. Sy Chim.11 They Venue of Action and Criminal
argued that the facts in Ilusorio Jurisdiction
x x x Given the present state of showed that the filing of the
jurisprudence on the matter, it is petitions in court containing the Venue is an essential element of
not amiss to state that the city false statements was the jurisdiction in criminal cases. It
court of Makati City has essential ingredient that determines not only the place
jurisdiction to try and decide the consummated the perjury. In Sy where the criminal action is to
case for perjury inasmuch as the Tiong, the perjurious statements be instituted, but also the court
gist of the complaint itself were made in a General that has the jurisdiction to try
which constitute[s] the charge Information Sheet (GIS) that and hear the case. The reason for
against the petitioner dwells was submitted to the Securities this rule is two-fold. First, the
solely on the act of subscribing and Exchange Commission jurisdiction of trial courts is
to a false certification. On the (SEC). limited to well-defined
other hand, the charge against territories such that a trial court
the accused in the case of Interestingly, Solicitor General can only hear and try cases
Ilusorio v. Bildner, et al., based Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz shared involving crimes committed
on the complaint-affidavits the petitioners view. In his within its territorial
therein[,] was not simply the Manifestation and Motion in jurisdiction.12 Second, laying
execution of the questioned lieu of Comment (which we the venue in the locus criminis is
documents but rather the hereby treat as the Comment to grounded on the necessity and
introduction of the false the petition), the Solicitor justice of having an accused on
evidence through the subject General also relied on Ilusorio trial in the municipality of
documents before the court of and opined that the lis mota in province where witnesses and
Makati City.9 (emphasis ours) the crime of perjury is the other facilities for his defense
deliberate or intentional giving are available.13
The RTC-Makati City ruled that of false evidence in the court
the MeTC-Makati City did not where the evidence is material. Unlike in civil cases, a finding
commit grave abuse of The Solicitor General observed of improper venue in criminal
discretion since the order that the criminal intent to assert cases carries jurisdictional
denying the Motion to Quash a falsehood under oath only consequences. In determining
was based on jurisprudence later became manifest before the the venue where the criminal
than Ilusorio. The RTC-Makati MeTC-Pasay City. action is to be instituted and the
City also observed that the facts court which has jurisdiction
in Ilusorio are different from the The Issue over it, Section 15(a), Rule 110
facts of the present case. Lastly, of the 2000 Revised Rules of
the RTC-Makati City ruled that The case presents to us the issue Criminal Procedure provides:
the Rule 65 petition was of what the proper venue of
improper since the petitioners perjury under Article 183 of the (a) Subject to existing laws, the
can later appeal the decision in RPC should be Makati City, criminal action shall be
the principal case. The RTC- where the Certificate against instituted and tried in the court
or municipality or asserting a claim or relief; it may (b) That the statement
territory where the offense was also be in a sworn certification or affidavit was made
committed or where any of its annexed to the complaint or before a competent
essential ingredients occurred. initiatory pleading. In both officer, authorized to
[emphasis ours] instances, the affiant is required receive and administer
to execute a statement under oath.
The above provision should be oath before a duly
read in light of Section 10, Rule commissioned notary public or (c) That in the statement
110 of the 2000 Revised Rules any competent person or affidavit, the accused
of Criminal Procedure which authorized to administer oath made a willful and
states: that: (a) he or she has not deliberate assertion of a
theretofore commenced any falsehood.
Place of commission of the action or filed any claim
offense. The complaint or involving the same issues in any (d) That the sworn
information is sufficient if it can court, tribunal or quasi-judicial statement or affidavit
be understood from its agency and, to the best of his or containing the falsity is
allegations that the offense was her knowledge, no such other required by law or made
committed or some of its action or claim is pending for a legal
essential ingredients occurred at therein; (b) if there is such other 15
purpose. (emphasis
some place within the pending action or claim, a ours)
jurisdiction of the court, unless complete statement of the
the particular place where it was present status thereof; and (c) if Where the jurisdiction of the
committed constitutes an he or she should thereafter learn court is being assailed in a
essential element of the offense that the same or similar action or criminal case on the ground of
charged or is necessary for its claim has been filed or is improper venue, the allegations
identification. pending, he or she shall report in the complaint and
that fact within five days information must be examined
Both provisions categorically therefrom to the court wherein together with Section 15(a),
place the venue and jurisdiction his or her aforesaid complaint or Rule 110 of the 2000 Revised
over criminal cases not only in initiatory pleading has been Rules of Criminal Procedure.
the court where the offense was filed. In relation to the crime of On this basis, we find that the
committed, but also where any perjury, the material matter in a allegations in the Information
of its essential ingredients took Certificate against Forum sufficiently support a finding
place. In other words, the venue Shopping is the truth of the that the crime of perjury was
of action and of jurisdiction are required declarations which is committed by Tomas within the
deemed sufficiently alleged designed to guard against territorial jurisdiction of the
where the Information states litigants pursuing simultaneous MeTC-Makati City.
that the offense was committed remedies in different fora.14
or some of its essential The first element of the crime of
ingredients occurred at a place In this case, Tomas is charged perjury, the execution of the
within the territorial jurisdiction with the crime of perjury under subject Certificate against
of the court. Article 183 of the RPC for Forum Shopping was alleged in
making a false Certificate the Information to have been
Information Charging Perjury against Forum Shopping. The committed in Makati City.
elements of perjury under Likewise, the second and fourth
Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Article 183 are: elements, requiring the
Rules of Civil Procedure, as Certificate against Forum
amended, contains the (a) That the accused Shopping to be under oath
requirement for a Certificate made a statement under before a notary public, were also
against Forum Shopping. The oath or executed an sufficiently alleged in the
Certificate against Forum affidavit upon a Information to have been made
Shopping can be made either by material matter. in Makati City:
a statement under oath in the
complaint or initiatory pleading
That on or about the 13th day of not true. Thus, Makati City is statement found relevance or
March 2000 in the City of the proper venue and MeTC- materiality. We cited as
Makati, Metro Manila, Makati City is the proper court jurisprudential authority the
Philippines and within the to try the perjury case against case of United States. v.
jurisdiction of this Honorable Tomas, pursuant to Section Caet18 which ruled:
Court, the above-named 15(a), Rule 110 of the 2000
accused, did then and there Revised Rules of Criminal It is immaterial where the
willfully, unlawfully and Procedure as all the essential affidavit was subscribed and
feloniously make untruthful elements constituting the crime sworn, so long as it appears from
statements under oath upon a of perjury were committed the information that the
material matter before a within the territorial jurisdiction defendant, by means of such
competent person authorized to of Makati City, not Pasay City. affidavit, "swore to" and
administer oath which the law knowingly submitted false
requires to wit: said accused Referral to the En Banc evidence, material to a point at
stated in the issue in a judicial proceeding
Verification/Certification/Affid The present case was referred to pending in the Court of First
avit x x x.16 the En Banc primarily to address Instance of Iloilo Province. The
the seeming conflict between gist of the offense charged is not
We also find that the third the division rulings of the Court the making of the affidavit in
element of willful and deliberate in the Ilusorio case that is cited Manila, but the intentional
falsehood was also sufficiently as basis of this petition, and the giving of false evidence in the
alleged to have been committed Sy Tiong case that was the basis Court of First Instance of Iloilo
in Makati City, not Pasay City, of the assailed RTC-Makati City Province by means of such
as indicated in the last portion of ruling. affidavit. [emphasis and
the Information: underscoring deleted]
The Cited Ilusorio and Sy Tiong
[S]aid accused stated in the Cases In Sy Tiong, the perjured
Verification/Certification/Affid statements were made in a GIS
avit of merit of a complaint for The subject matter of the perjury which was subscribed and
sum of money with prayer for a charge in Ilusorio involved false sworn to in Manila. We ruled
writ of replevin docketed as statements contained in verified that the proper venue for the
[Civil] Case No. 342-00 of the petitions filed with the court for perjury charges was in Manila
Metropolitan Trial Court[,] the issuance of a new owners where the GIS was subscribed
Pasay City, that the Union Bank duplicate copies of certificates and sworn to. We held that the
of the Philippines has not of title. The verified petitions perjury was consummated in
commenced any other action or containing the false statements Manila where the false
proceeding involving the same were subscribed and sworn to in statement was made. As
issues in another tribunal or Pasig City, but were filed in supporting jurisprudence, we
agency, accused knowing well Makati City and Tagaytay City. cited the case of Villanueva v.
that said material statement was The question posed was: which Secretary of Justice19 that, in
false thereby making a willful court (Pasig City, Makati City turn, cited an American case
and deliberate assertion of and/or Tagaytay City) had entitled U.S. v. Norris.20 We
falsehood.17 (underscoring ours) jurisdiction to try and hear the ruled in Villanueva that
perjury cases?
Tomas deliberate and Perjury is an obstruction of
intentional assertion of We ruled that the venues of the justice; its perpetration well may
falsehood was allegedly shown action were in Makati City and affect the dearest concerns of the
when she made the false Tagaytay City, the places where parties before a tribunal.
declarations in the Certificate the verified petitions were filed. Deliberate material falsification
against Forum Shopping before The Court reasoned out that it under oath constitutes the crime
a notary public in Makati City, was only upon filing that the of perjury, and the crime is
despite her knowledge that the intent to assert an alleged complete when a witness'
material statements she falsehood became manifest and statement has once been made.
subscribed and swore to were where the alleged untruthful
The Crime of Perjury: A the rules on prosecution of committed by the act of
Background criminal offenses were found in representing a false document in
Section 3, Act No. 1697 of the a judicial proceeding.28 The
To have a better appreciation of Philippine Commission, and in venue of action was held by the
the issue facing the Court, a look Subsection 4, Section 6 of Court to be at the place where
at the historical background of General Order No. 5823 for the the false document was
how the crime of perjury procedural aspect. presented since the presentation
(specifically, Article 183 of the was the act that consummated
RPC) evolved in our Section 3 of Act No. 1697 reads: the crime.
jurisdiction.
Sec. 3. Any person who, having The annotation of Justices
The RPC penalizes three forms taken oath before a competent Aquino and Grio-Aquino in
of false testimonies. The first is tribunal, officer, or person, in their textbook on the
false testimony for and against any case in which a law of the RPC29 interestingly explains the
the defendant in a criminal case Philippine Islands authorizes an history of the perjury provisions
(Articles 180 and 181, RPC); the oath to be administered, that he of the present RPC and traces as
second is false testimony in a will testify, declare, depose, or well the linkage between Act
civil case (Article 182, RPC); certify truly, or that any written No. 1697 and the present Code.
and the third is false testimony testimony, declaration, To quote these authors:30
in other cases (Article 183, disposition, or certificate by him
RPC). Based on the Information subscribed is true, willfully and Art. 180 was taken from art. 318
filed, the present case involves contrary to such oath states or of the Old Penal Code and art.
the making of an untruthful subscribes any material matter 154 of Del Pans Proposed
statement in an affidavit on a which he does not believe to be Correctional Code, while art.
material matter. true, is guilty of perjury, and 181 was taken from art. 319 of
shall be punished by a fine of not the old Penal Code and Art. 157
These RPC provisions, more than two thousand pesos of Del Pans Proposed
however, are not really the bases and by imprisonment for not Correctional Code. Said arts.
of the rulings cited by the parties more than five years; and shall 318 and 319, together with art.
in their respective arguments. moreover, thereafter be 321 of the old Penal Code, were
The cited Ilusorio ruling, incapable of holding any public impliedly repealed by Act 1697,
although issued by this Court in office or of giving testimony in the Perjury Law, passed on
2008, harked back to the case of any court of the Philippine August 23, 1907, which in turn
Caet which was decided in Islands until such time as the was expressly repealed by the
1915, i.e., before the present judgment against him is Administrative Code of 1916,
RPC took effect.21 Sy Tiong, on reversed. Act 2657. In view of the express
the other hand, is a 2009 ruling repeal of Act 1697, arts. 318 and
that cited Villanueva, a 2005 This law was copied, with the 321 of the old Penal Code were
case that in turn cited United necessary changes, from deemed revived. However, Act
States v. Norris, a 1937 Sections 539224 and 539325 of 2718 expressly revived secs. 3
American case. Significantly, the Revised Statutes of the and 4 of the Perjury Law. Art.
unlike Canet, Sy Tiong is United States.26 Act No. 1697 367 of the Revised Penal Code
entirely based on rulings was intended to make the mere repealed Act Nos. 1697 and
rendered after the present RPC execution of a false affidavit 2718.
took effect.22 punishable in our jurisdiction.27
It should be noted that perjury
The perjurious act in Caet In turn, Subsection 4, Section 6 under Acts 1697 and 2718
consisted of an information of General Order No. 58 includes false testimony,
charging perjury through the provided that the venue shall be whereas, under the Revised
presentation in court of a motion the court of the place where the Penal Code, false testimony
accompanied by a false sworn crime was committed. includes perjury. Our law on
affidavit. At the time the Caet false testimony is of Spanish
ruling was rendered, the As applied and interpreted by origin, but our law on perjury
prevailing law on perjury and the Court in Caet, perjury was (art. 183 taken from sec. 3 of Act
1697) is derived from American affidavit, not an actual sworn petitions. The Court ruled
statutes. The provisions of the testimony in a proceeding that is that the proper venue should be
old Penal Code on false neither criminal nor civil. From the Cities of Makati and
testimony embrace perjury this perspective, the situs of the Tagaytay because it was in the
committed in court or in some oath, i.e., the place where the courts of these cities "where the
contentious proceeding, while oath was taken, is the place intent to assert an alleged
perjury as defined in Act 1697 where the offense was falsehood became manifest and
includes the making of a false committed. By implication, the where the alleged untruthful
affidavit. The provisions of the proper venue would have been statement finds relevance or
Revised Penal Code on false the City of Mandaluyong the materiality in deciding the issue
testimony "are more severe and site of the SEC had the charge of whether new owners
strict than those of Act 1697" on involved an actual testimony duplicate copies of the
perjury. [italics ours] made before the SEC. [Certificate of Condominium
Title] and [Transfer Certificates
With this background, it can be In contrast, Caet involved the of Title] may issue."31 To the
appreciated that Article 183 of presentation in court of a motion Court, "whether the perjurious
the RPC which provides: supported and accompanied by statements contained in the four
an affidavit that contained a petitions were subscribed and
The penalty of arresto mayor in falsity. With Section 3 of Act sworn in Pasig is immaterial, the
its maximum period to prision No. 1697 as basis, the issue gist of the offense of perjury
correccional in its minimum related to the submission of the being the intentional giving of
period shall be imposed upon affidavit in a judicial false statement,"32citing Caet
any person, who knowingly proceeding. This came at a time as authority for its statement.
makes untruthful statements and when Act No. 1697 was the
not being included in the perjury law, and made no The statement in Ilusorio may
provisions of the next preceding distinction between judicial and have partly led to the present
articles, shall testify under oath, other proceedings, and at the confusion on venue because of
or make an affidavit, upon any same time separately penalized its very categorical tenor in
material matter before a the making of false statements pointing to the considerations to
competent person authorized to under oath (unlike the present be made in the determination of
administer an oath in cases in RPC which separately deals venue; it leaves the impression
which the law so requires. with false testimony in criminal, that the place where the oath
[emphasis supplied; emphases civil and other proceedings, was taken is not at all a material
ours] while at the same time also consideration, forgetting that
penalizing the making of false Article 183 of the RPC clearly
in fact refers to either of two affidavits). Understandably, the speaks of two situations while
punishable acts (1) falsely venue should be the place where Article 182 of the RPC likewise
testifying under oath in a the submission was made to the applies to false testimony in
proceeding other than a criminal court or the situs of the court; it civil cases.
or civil case; and (2) making a could not have been the place
false affidavit before a person where the affidavit was sworn to The Ilusorio statement would
authorized to administer an oath simply because this was not the have made perfect sense had the
on any material matter where the offense charged in the basis for the charge been Article
law requires an oath. Information. 182 of the RPC, on the
assumption that the petition
As above discussed, Sy Tiong The case of Ilusorio cited the itself constitutes a false
decided under Article 183 of the Caet case as its authority, in a testimony in a civil case. The
RPC essentially involved situation where the sworn Caet ruling would then have
perjured statements made in a petitions filed in court for the been completely applicable as
GIS that was subscribed and issuance of duplicate certificates the sworn statement is used in a
sworn to in Manila and of title (that were allegedly lost) civil case, although no such
submitted to the SEC in were the cited sworn statements distinction was made under
Mandaluyong City. Thus, the to support the charge of perjury Caet because the applicable
case involved the making of an for the falsities stated in the
law at the time (Act No. 1697) In the present case, the proceeding that is neither
did not make any distinction. Certification against Forum criminal nor civil, venue is at the
Shopping was made integral place where the testimony under
If Article 183 of the RPC were parts of two complaints for sum oath is given. If in lieu of or as
to be used, as what in fact of money with prayer for a writ supplement to the actual
appears in the Ilusorio ruling, of replevin against the testimony made in a proceeding
then only that portion of the respondent spouses Eddie that is neither criminal nor civil,
article, referring to the making Tamondong and Eliza B. a written sworn statement is
of an affidavit, would have been Tamondong, who, in turn, filed submitted, venue may either be
applicable as the other portion a complaint-affidavit against at the place where the sworn
refers to false testimony in other Tomas for violation of Article statement is submitted or where
proceedings which a judicial 183 of the RPC. As alleged in the oath was taken as the taking
petition for the issuance of a the Information that followed, of the oath and the submission
new owners duplicate copy of a the criminal act charged was for are both material ingredients of
Certificate of Condominium the execution by Tomas of an the crime committed. In all
Title is not because it is a civil affidavit that contained a falsity. cases, determination of venue
proceeding in court. As a shall be based on the acts
perjury based on the making of Under the circumstances, alleged in the Information to be
a false affidavit, what assumes Article 183 of the RPC is indeed constitutive of the crime
materiality is the site where the the applicable provision; thus, committed.
oath was taken as this is the jurisdiction and venue should be
place where the oath was made, determined on the basis of this WHEREFORE, premises
in this case, Pasig City. article which penalizes one who considered, we hereby DENY
"make[s] an affidavit, upon any the petition for lack of merit.
Procedurally, the rule on venue material matter before a Costs against the petitioners.
of criminal cases has been competent person authorized to
subject to various changes from administer an oath in cases in
the time General Order No. 58 which the law so requires." The
was replaced by Rules 106 to constitutive act of the offense is o People v. Grospe, G.R. No. L-
122 of the Rules of Court on the making of an affidavit; thus, 74053-54, 20 January 1988
July 1, 1940. Section 14, Rule the criminal act is consummated
106 of the Rules of Court when the statement containing a PEOPLE OF THE
provided for the rule on venue of falsity is subscribed and sworn PHILIPPINES and SAN
criminal actions and it expressly before a duly authorized person. MIGUEL
included, as proper venue, the CORPORATION, petitioners,
place where any one of the Based on these considerations, vs.
essential ingredients of the we hold that our ruling in Sy NATHANIEL M. GROSPE,
crime took place.1wphi1 This Tiong is more in accord with Presiding Judge, Branch 44,
change was followed by the Article 183 of the RPC and Regional Trial Court of
passage of the 1964 Rules of Section 15(a), Rule 110 of the Pampanga and MANUEL
Criminal Procedure,33 the 1985 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal PARULAN, respondents.
Rules of Criminal Procedure. To reiterate for the
34
Procedure, and the 2000 guidance of the Bar and the -HERRERA, J.:
Revised Rules of Criminal Bench, the crime of perjury
Procedure which all adopted the committed through the making A special civil action for
1940 Rules of Criminal of a false affidavit under Article certiorari seeking to set aside the
Procedures expanded venue of 183 of the RPC is committed at Decision of respondent
criminal actions. Thus, the the time the affiant subscribes Presiding Judge of Branch 44,
venue of criminal cases is not and swears to his or her affidavit Regional Trial Court of
only in the place where the since it is at that time that all the Pampanga, dismissing Criminal
offense was committed, but also elements of the crime of perjury Case No. 2800 for Violation of
where any of its essential are executed. When the crime is B.P. Blg. 22, and Criminal Case
ingredients took place. committed through false No. 2813 for Estafa, for being
testimony under oath in a "bereft of jurisdiction to pass
judgment on the accused on the From the welter of evidence Bank, at Santa Maria, Bulacan,
basis of the merits of these adduced in these two , this Court has come to the conclusion that
cases." is convinced that the two checks it is bereft of jurisdiction to pass
involved herein were issued and judgment on the accused on the
Respondent-accused, Manuel signed by the accused in basis of the merits of these
Parulan, is an authorized connection with the beer cases.
wholesale dealer of petitioner purchases made by him on
San Miguel Corporation (SMC, various occasions at the which he reasoned out, thus:
for short) in Bulacan. Guiguinto, sales office of SMC
at Guiguinto, Bulacan and Deceit and damage are the two
In Criminal Case No. 2800 of which checks he handed and essential elements that make up
the Regional Trial Court of delivered to the sales Supervisor the offenses involving
Pampanga, he was charged with of SMC, Mr. Ruben Cornelio, dishonored checks. And in order
Violation of the Bouncing who holds office in that that this Court may have
Checks Law (B.P. Blg. 22 for municipality. The Court finds it jurisdiction to try these cases, it
having issued a check on 13 rather difficult to believe the must be established that both or
June 1983 for P86,071.20) in claim and testimony of the any one of these elements
favor of SMC but which was accused that these checks which composing the offenses charged
dishonored for having been he admittedly signed and which must occur or take place within
drawn against 'insufficient funds he delivered to Mr. Cornelio in the area over which this Court
and, in spite of repeated blank were filled up without his has territorial jurisdiction. Here,
demands, for having failed and knowledge particularly the however, it is clear that none of
refused to make good said check amounts appearing therein these elements took place or
to the damage and prejudice of which in the case of the check occurred within the
SMC. involved in Criminal Case No. jurisdictional area of this Court.
2800 amounted to P86,071.20,
In Criminal Case No. 2813 of and, in the case of the check As gleaned from the evidence,
the same Court, Respondent- involved in Criminal Case No. the two checks involved herein
accused was charged with 2813, amounted to Pl1,918.80. were issued by the accused at
Estafa under Article 315, The accused had been engaged Guiguinto, Bulacan. They were
paragraph 2(d) of the Revised in business for some time delivered and handed to
Penal Code for having made out involving amounts that are quite Supervisor Ruben Cornelio of
a check on 18 June 1983 in the considerable, and it is hard to San Miguel Corporation in his
sum of P11,918.80 in favor of believe that he will agree to this capacity as the representative of
SMC in payment of beer he had kind of arrangement which the company holding office in
purchased, but which check was placed or exposed him to too that municipality where the
refused payment for much risks and uncertainties. transactions of the accused with
"insufficient funds" and, in spite SMC took place. It was before
of repeated demands, for having But even as this Court is Supervisor Cornelio at
failed and refused to redeem convinced that the accused had Guiguinto, Bulacan that false
said check to the damage and issued these checks to the assurances were made by the
prejudice of SMC. representative of SMC on the accused that the checks issued
occasions testified to in these by him were good and backed
The two cases were tried jointly, cases by the witnesses for the by sufficient funds in his bank,
the witnesses for both prosecution which two checks the Planters Development Bank,
prosecution and defense being were subsequently dishonored at Santa Maria, Bulacan, only to
the same for the two suits. due to lack of funds resulting in turn out later on that this was not
damage to SMC, the offended so.
Based on the facts and the party herein, this Court, after
evidence, Respondent Judge considering the totality of the The other element of damage
arrived at the following evidence and the circumstances pertaining to the offenses
"Findings and Resolution:" that attended the issuance of charged in these cases was
these two checks until they were inflicted on the offended party,
both dishonored by the drawee the SMC, right at the moment
bank, the Planters Development
the checks issued by the accused Respondent-accused adopts the SMC Finance Officer, who then
were dishonored by the Planters contrary proposition and argues deposited the check with the
Development Bank, the drawee that the order of dismissal was, Bank of the Philippine Islands
bank, at Santa Maria, Bulacan in effect, an acquittal not (BPI), San Fernando Branch,
which received them from the reviewable by certiorari, and which is the SMC depository
BPI, San Fernando, Pampanga that to set the order aside after bank. On July 8,1983, the SMC
branch for clearing purposes. plea and trial on the merits, depository bank received a
The argument advanced by the would subject Respondent- notice of dishonor of the said
prosecution in its memorandum accused to double jeopardy. check for "insufficiency of
filed herein that the two checks funds" from the PDB, the
were deposited by SMC at the Upon the attendant facts and drawee bank in Santa Maria,
BPI, San Fernando, Branch, San circumstances we uphold the Bulacan. This dishonored check
Fernando, Pampanga, where it Petition. is the subject of the charge of
maintained its accounts after Violation of the Bouncing
receiving these checks from its The principal ground relied Checks Law (BP Blg. 22) in
Guiguinto Sales Office which upon by Respondent Judge in Criminal Case No. 2800 of the
bank later on made the dismissing the criminal cases is lower Court (hereafter, the
corresponding deductions from that deceit and damage, the two Bouncing Checks Case).
the account of SMC in the essential elements that make up
amounts covered by the the offenses involving (2) On June 18, 1983,
dishonored checks upon dishonored checks, did not Respondent-accused likewise
receiving information that the occur within the territorial issued PDB Check No.
checks so issued by the accused jurisdiction of his Court in 19040872 in the amount of
had been dishonored by the Pampanga, but rather in Bulacan P11,918.80 in favor of SMC,
drawee bank at Santa Maria, where false assurances were which was received also by the
Bulacan, is inconsequential. As given by Respondent-accused SMC Supervisor at Guiguinto,
earlier stated, the element of and where the checks he had Bulacan, as direct payment for
damage was inflicted on the issued were dishonored. The the spot sale of beer. That check
offended party herein right at the People maintain, on the other was similarly forwarded by the
moment and at the place where hand, that jurisdiction is SMC Supervisor to the SMC
the checks issued in its favor properly vested in the Regional Regional Office in San
were dishonored which is in Trial Court of Pampanga. Fernando, Pampanga, where it
Santa Maria, Bulacan. was delivered to the Finance
At the outset, it should be Officer thereat and who, in turn
Respondent Judge then decreed: pointed out, as the Solicitor deposited the check with the
General has aptly called SMC depository bank in San
WHEREFORE, and in view of attention to, that there are two Fernando, Pampanga. On July
all the foregoing, judgment is dishonored checks involved, 8,1983, the SMC depository
hereby rendered dismissing each the subject of different bank received a notice of
these cases for lack of penal laws and with different dishonor for "insufficiency of
jurisdiction. basic elements: (1) On June 13, funds" from the drawee bank,
1983, Respondent-accused the PDB, in Santa Maria,
The bail bond posted by the issued Planters Development Bulacan. This dishonored check
accused in these cases are Bank (Santa Maria, Bulacan is the subject of the prosecution
ordered cancelled. Branch) [PDB] Check No. for Estafa by postdating or
19040865 in the sum of issuing a bad check under
This Petition for certiorari P86,071.20 in favor of SMC, Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of
challenges the dismissal of the which was received by the SMC the Revised Penal Code in
two criminal cases on the Supervisor at Guiguinto, Criminal Case No, 2813 of the
ground that they were issued Bulacan. The check was lower Court (briefly, the Estafa
with grave abuse of discretion forwarded to the SMC Regional Case).
amounting to lack of Office at San Fernando,
jurisdiction. Pampanga, where it was In the crime of Estafa by
delivered to and received by the postdating or issuing a bad
check, deceit and damage are SEC. 14. Place where action is entertained by either the
essential elements of the offense to be instituted Bulacan Court or the Pampanga
(U.S. vs. Rivera, 23 Phil. 383- Court.
390) and have to be established (a) In all criminal prosecutions
with satisfactory proof to the action shall be instituted and For while the subject check was
warrant conviction. tried in the court of the issued in Guiguinto, Bulacan, it
municipality or province was not completely drawn
For Violation of the Bouncing wherein the offense was thereat, but in San Fernando,
Checks Law, on the other hand, committed or any one of the Pampanga, where it was uttered
the elements of deceit and essential ingredients thereof and delivered. "What is of
damage are not essential nor took place. decisive importance is the
required. An essential element delivery thereat The delivery of
of that offense is knowledge on In other words, a person charged the instrument is the final act
the part of the maker or drawer with a transitory crime may be essential to its consummation as
of the check of the insufficiency validly tried in any municipality an obligation" (People vs.
of his funds (Lozano vs. Hon. or province where the offense Larue, 83 P. 2d 725, cited in
Martinez, Nos. L-63419, etc., was in part committed. In People vs. Yabut, supra). For
December 18, 1986; 146 SCRA transitory or continuing offenses although the check was received
323; Dingle vs. IAC, G.R. No. in which some acts material and by the SMC Sales Supervisor at
75243, March 16, 1987,148 essential to the crime and Guiguinto, Bulacan, that was
SCRA 595). The Anti-Bouncing requisite to its consummation not the delivery in
Checks Law makes the mere act occur in one province and some contemplation of law to the
of issuing a worthless check a in another, the Court of either payee, SMC. Said supervisor
special offense punishable province has jurisdiction to try was not the person who could
thereunder (Cruz vs. IAC, No. the case, it being understood that take the check as a holder, that
I,66327, May 28,1984,129 the first Court taking cognizance is, as a payee or indorsee
SCRA 490. Malice and intent in of the Case will exclude the thereof, with the intent to
issuing the worthless check are others (Tuzon vs. Cruz. No. L- transfer title thereto. The rule is
immaterial, the offense 27410, August 28, 1975, 66 that the issuance as well as the
being malum prohibitum (Que SCRA 235). However, if an the delivery of the check must be to
vs. People of the Philippines, et. acts material and essential to the a person who takes it as a holder,
al., G.R. Nos. 75217-18, crime and requisite of its which means "the payee or
September 21, 1987). The consummation occurred in one indorsee of a bill or note, who is
gravamen of the offense is the municipality or territory, the in possession of it, or the bearer,
issuance of a check, not the non- Court of that municipality or thereof" (Sec. 190, Negotiable
payment of an obligation territory has the sole jurisdiction Instruments Law, cited in
(Lozano vs. Hon. to try the case (People vs. Yabut, People vs. Yabut, supra.) Thus,
Martinez, supra). L-42902, April 29, 1977, 76 said representative had to
SCRA 624). forward the check to the SMC
A. With the distinction clarified, Regional Office in San
the threshold question is Estafa by postdating or issuing a Fernando, Pampanga, which
whether or not venue was bad check, may be a transitory was delivered to the Finance
sufficiently conferred in the or continuing offense. Its basic Officer thereat who, in turn,
Regional Trial Court of elements of deceit and damage deposited it at the SMC
Pampanga in the two cases. may arise independently in depository bank in San
separate places (People vs. Fernando, Pampanga. The
Section 14(a) of Rule 110 of the Yabut, supra). In this case, element of deceit, therefore,
Revised Rules of Court, which deceit took place in San took place in San Fernando,
has been carried over in Section Fernando, Pampanga, while the Pampanga, where the rubber
15(a) of Rule 110 of the 1985 damage was inflicted in Bulacan check was legally issued and
Rules of Criminal Procedure, where the cheek was dishonored delivered so that jurisdiction
specifically provides: by the drawee bank in that place could properly be laid upon the
(See People vs. Yabut, supra). Court in that locality.
Jurisdiction may, therefore, be
The estafa charged in the two an obligation when the offender jurisdiction or venue is
informations involved in the had no funds in the bank, or his determined by the allegations in
case before Us appears to be funds deposited therein were not the Information, which are
transitory or continuing in sufficient to cover the amount of controlling (Arches vs.
nature. Deceit has taken place in the check," Clearly, therefore, Bellosillo, 81 Phil. 190, 193,
Malolos, Bulacan, while the the element of deceit thru the cited in Tuzon vs. Cruz, No. L-
damage in Caloocan City, where issuance and delivery of the 27410, August 28, 1975, 66
the checks were dishonored by worthless checks to the SCRA 235). The Information
the drawee banks there. complainant took place in filed herein specifically alleges
Jurisdiction can, therefore, be Malolos, Bulacan, conferring that the crime was committed in
entertained by either the upon a court in that locality San Fernando, Pampanga, and,
Malolos court or the Caloocan jurisdiction to try the case. therefore, within the jurisdiction
court. While the subject checks of the Court below.
were written, signed, or dated in In respect of the Bouncing
Caloocan City, they were not Checks Case, the offense also B. The dismissal of the subject
completely made or drawn appears to be continuing in criminal cases by Respondent
there, but in Malolos, Bulacan, nature. It is true that the offense Judge, predicated on his lack of
where they were uttered and is committed by the very fact of jurisdiction, is correctable by
delivered. That is the place of its performance (Colmenares vs. Certiorari. The error committed
business and residence of the Villar, No. L-27126, May 29, is one of jurisdiction and not an
payee. The place where the bills 1970, 33 SCRA 186); and that error of judgment on the merits.
were written, signed or dated the Bouncing Checks Law Well-settled is the rule that
does not necessarily fix or penalizes not only the fact of questions covering
determine the place where they dishonor of a check but also the jurisdictional matters may be
were executed. What is of act of making or drawing and averred in a petition for
decisive importance is the issuance of a bouncing check certiorari, inclusive of matters
delivery thereof. The delivery of (People vs. Hon. Veridiano, II, of grave abuse of discretion,
the instrument is the final act No. L-62243, 132 SCRA 523). which are equivalent to lack of
essential to its consummation as The case, therefore, could have jurisdiction (City of Davao vs.
an obligation (People vs. Larue, been filed also in Bulacan. As Dept. of Labor, No. L-19488,
83 P. 2d 725). An undelivered held in Que vs. People of the January 30, 1965, 13 SCRA
bill or note is inoperative. Until Philippines, G.R. Nos. 75217- 111, 115). An error of
delivery, the contract is 18, September 11, 1987 "the jurisdiction renders whatever
revocable (Ogden, Negotiable determinative factor (in order of the Trial Court nun and
Instruments, 5th ed., at 107). determining venue) is the place void.
And the issuance as well as the of the issuance of the check".
delivery of the check must be to However, it is likewise true that C. The present petition for
a person who takes it as a holder, knowledge on the part of the certiorari seeking to set aside the
which means "(t)he payee or maker or drawer of the check of void Decision of Respondent
indorsee of a bill or note, who is the insufficiency of his funds, Judge does not place
in possession of it, or the bearer which is an essential ingredient Respondent-accused in double
thereof" (Sec. 190, Negotiable of the offense is by itself a jeopardy for the same offense. It
Instruments Law). Delivery of continuing eventuality, whether will be recalled that the
the check signifies transfer of the accused be within one questioned judgment was not an
possession, whether actual or territory or another (People vs. adjudication on the merits. It
constructive, from one person to Hon. Manzanilla, G.R. Nos. was a dismissal upon
another with intent to transfer 66003-04, December 11, 1987). Respondent Judge's erroneous
title thereto (Bailey, Brady on Accordingly, jurisdiction to take conclusion that his Court had no
Bank Checks, 3rd ed. at 57-59; cognizance of the offense also "territorial jurisdiction" over the
Sec. 190, Negotiable lies in the Regional Trial Court cases. Where an order
Instruments Law). Thus, the of Pampanga dismissing a criminal case is not
penalizing clause of the a decision on the merits, it
provision of Art. 315, par. 2(d) And, as pointed out in cannot bar as res judicata a
states: "By postdating a check, the Manzanilla case, subsequent case based on the
or issuing a check in payment of
same offense (People vs. Before us is a Petition for repeated demands made by
Bellosillo, No. L-18512, Review on Certiorari under Rule Leonardo A. Jose for the return
December 27, 1963, 9 SCRA 45 of the Rules of Court, which of the jewelry or the delivery of
835, 837). seeks to set aside the the proceeds of the sale thereof,
Decision1 of the Court of failed to do so, to the damage
The dismissal being null and Appeals dated 26 October 2004 and prejudice of the aforesaid
void the proceedings before the in CA-G.R. CR No. 21275 Leonardo A. Jose in the
Trial Court may not be said to entitled, "People of the abovestated amount of
have been lawfully terminated. Philippines v. Manuel S. Isip 200,000.00, Philippine
There is therefore, no second and Marietta M. Isip" to the Currency.3
proceeding which would subject extent that it affirmed with
the accused to double jeopardy. modifications petitioner Manuel Petitioners wife, Marietta M.
S. Isips conviction for Estafa in Isip, was indicted before the
Since the order of dismissal was Criminal Case No. 136-84 of the same court for seven counts of
without authority and, therefore, Regional Trial Court (RTC), Violation of Batas Pambansa
null and void, the proceedings Branch XVII, Cavite City, and Blg. 22, otherwise known as the
before the Municipal Court have its Amended Decision2 dated 26 Bouncing Checks Law. The
not been lawfully terminated. October 2005 denying his cases were docketed as Criminal
Accordingly, there is no second Partial Motion for Cases No. 146-84, 147-84, 148-
proceeding to speak of and no Reconsideration. 84, 149-84, 155-84, 156-84 and
double jeopardy. A continuation 157-84. The accusatory portion
of the proceedings against the The antecedents are the of the information in Criminal
accused for serious physical following: Case No. 146-84 reads:
injuries is in order. (People vs.
Mogol, 131 SCRA 306, 308). Petitioner was charged with That on or about March 27,
Estafa in Criminal Case No. 1984, in the City of Cavite,
In sum, Respondent Judge had 136-84 before Branch XVII of Republic of the Philippines and
jurisdiction to try and decide the the RTC of Cavite City, under within the jurisdiction of this
subject criminal case, venue the following information: Honorable Court, the above-
having been properly laid. named accused, knowing fully
That on or about March 7, 1984, well that her account with the
WHEREFORE, the Decision of in the City of Cavite, Republic bank is insufficient, did, then
Respondent Judge of February of the Philippines and within the and there, willfully, unlawfully,
17, 1986 is hereby set aside and jurisdiction of this Honorable feloniously and knowingly issue
he is hereby ordered to reassume Court, the above-named Pacific Banking Corporation
jurisdiction over Criminal Cases accused, received from Check No. 518672 in the
Nos. 2800 and 2813 of his Court Leonardo A. Jose one (1) seven amount of 562,000.00, in
and to render judgment of either carat diamond (mens ring), payment for assorted pieces of
conviction or acquittal in valued at 200,000.00, for the jewelry, received from
accordance with the evidence purpose of selling the same on Leonardo A. Jose, which check
already adduced during the joint commission basis and to deliver upon presentation with the
trial of said two cases. the proceeds of the sale thereof drawee bank for payment was
or return the jewelry if not sold, dishonored for insufficiency of
on or before March 15, 1984, funds and notwithstanding
but the herein accused once in repeated demands made by
o lsip v. People, G.R. No. possession of the above- Leonardo A. Jose for the
described articles, with intent to redemption of the said check,
170298,26 )une2007 defraud and with grave abuse of accused refused and still refuses
confidence, did, then and there, to do so, to the damage and
MANUEL S. ISIP, petitioner, willfully, unlawfully and prejudice of the aforesaid
vs.PEOPLE OF THE feloniously misappropriate, Leonardo A. Jose in the above-
PHILIPPINES, misapply and convert the same stated amount of 562,000.00,
to his own personal use and Philippine Currency.4
benefit and notwithstanding
The six other Informations are with intent to defraud and with The versions of the prosecution
similarly worded except for the grave abuse of confidence, did, and the defense, as taken by the
date when the offense was then and there, willfully, Court of Appeals in the parties
committed, the number and unlawfully and feloniously respective briefs, are the
amount of the check. The misappropriate, misapply and following:
pertinent data in the other convert them to their own
informations are as follows: personal use and benefit and i) Prosecution Version.
paid the same with Check Nos.
Crim. Case No. 518646 and No.
Date of Commission 518669,
of Checkdated Sometime Amount in of1982,
Checkappellant
March 29, 1984 and April 1, spouses Manuel and Marietta
147-84 17 March1984,
1984 respectively,
518644 in the Isip 50,000.00 were introduced to
amount of 90,000 and complainant Atty. Leonardo
148-84 30 March25,000,
1984 respectively,
518645 which Jose. 50,000.00 The introduction was
upon presentation with the bank made by complainants father,
was dishonored 5 for Nemesio, business associate of
149-84 12 March 1984 030086 150,000.00
insufficiency of funds and the Isips. Nemesio and the Isips
notwithstanding repeated were then engaged in the buy
155-84 25 Marchdemands
1984 by Leonardo A. and 95,000.00
made 518674 sell of pledged and
Jose for the redemption of the unredeemed jewelry pawned by
156-84 29 Marchsaid
1984check, failed
518646
to do so, to his gambling90,000.00
habitus (pp. 8-16,
damage and prejudice in the tsn, June 8, 1993).
157-84 1 April 1984
abovestated 518669 amount of 25,000.00
120,000.00, Philippine Needing a bigger capital to
The spouses Isip were likewise Currency.6 finance the growing operation,
charged before the same court the Isips convinced complainant
with five (5) counts of Estafa. Except for the description and to be their capitalist, a
The cases were docketed as value of the pieces of jewelry proposition to which
Criminal Cases No. 256-84, involved, date of receipt and complainant acceded to (p. 14,
257-84, 260-84, 261-84 and agreed date of return, and the ibid).
378-84. The Estafa charged in number, date and amount of the
Crim. Case No. 256-84 was checks issued in payment Thus, the operation went
allegedly committed as follows: thereof, the four other smoothly that was before
informations are similarly February, 1984 (pp. 14-18, tsn,
That on or about March 20, worded. The specifics thereof ibid).
1984, in the City of Cavite, are as follows:
Republic of the Philippines and On February 3, 1984, at
within the jurisdiction of this Crim. Case No. Value of Date of Agreed
complainants Date of Check
residence in No./Date
Honorable Court, the above- Jewelry Receipt Return
Caridad, Cavite City, appellant
named accused, conspiring, 257-84 spouses received 030086/03-12-84
from
confederating together and 150,000 03-07-84
complainant 03-30-84
a 6 carat mens ring
mutually helping one another, 260-84 valued at 200,000.00 with the 518647/03-25-84
received from one Leonardo A. 95,000 condition that
03-20-84 they are going to
03-27-84
Jose the following pieces of sell said jewelry x x x 518672/03-27-84
on
261-84
jewelry, to wit: one (1) set dome
562,000 03-20-84
commission 03-27-84 basis for
shape ring and earrings valued at 200,000.00 and if they are not
120,000.00, with the 378-84 able to sell the
518644/03-17-84
same, they have
obligation of selling the same on 200,000 02-03-84 -
to return the ring if sold on 518645/03-30-84
or
commission basis and deliver before March 3, 1984 (p. 8, tsn,
the proceeds of the sale thereof October 15, 1993).
or return them if not sold, on or When arraigned on the charges,
before March 21, 1984, but the petitioner and Marietta Isip
On March 3, 1984, the Isips did
herein accused, once in pleaded not guilty. There being
not return the ring or the
possession of the said jewelry only one complainant in all the
proceeds thereof. Instead,
by means of false pretenses, cases, joint trial of the cases
Marietta Isip issued two (2)
followed.
personal checks dated March 17 on or before March 15, 1984. 90,000.00 (pp. 3-5, tsn,
and 30, 1984, respectively, for March 15, 1984 came, but Mr. October 22, 1993).
50,000.00 each as partial Isip sought an extension which
payment for the jewelry. The fell due on April 7, 1984. April The subject pieces of jewelry are
receipt of the jewelry was 7, 1984 came and went by, but the subject of Criminal Case No.
acknowledged by Marietta Isip Mr. Isip defaulted (pp. 41-46, 260-84 for Estafa against the
with Manuel acting as a witness tsn, ibid). The above is the Isip couple and Criminal Case
(pp. 9-11, tsn, ibid). subject matter of Criminal Case No. 155-84 for Violation of BP
No. 136-84 for Estafa against 22 against Marietta Isip.
This particular mens ring is the Manuel Isip.
subject of Criminal Case No. Again, in the early evening of
378-84 for Estafa while Check On March 20, 1984, the Isips March 20, 1984, the Isips went
Nos. 518644 and 518645 went again to Cavite City and to complainant informing him
(Pacific Banking Corp.) dated got from complainant one (1) that Balikbayan doctors are
March 17 and 30, respectively, Dome shaped ring with having a convention in Vigan,
are the subject of Criminal Case matching earring with diamonds Ilocos Sur saying that, that was
Nos. 147-84 and 148-84. valued at 120,000.00. As with the most opportune time to sell
their previous agreement, the jewelries. Assorted pieces of
In the morning of March 7, item was to be returned or the jewelry were delivered to Mrs.
1984, the Isip couple went again proceeds of the sale be delivered Isip as reflected in a receipt duly
to complainants residence in on March 21, 1984 (pp. 48-52, signed by her (Exhibit O)
Caridad, Cavite City where tsn, ibid). The following acknowledging the value
complainant delivered one (1) morning, however, Mrs. Isip thereof to the tune of
Choker Pearl with 35 pieces of issued two (2) personal checks 562,000.00.
south sea pearls with diamond (Check Nos. 518646 and
worth 150,000.00. The 518669 dated March 29, 1984 Exhibit O contained the
condition was that the proceeds for 90,000.00 and 25,000.00, promise that the jewelry or
be turned over to complainant respectively) in payment for the proceeds thereof will be
on or before March 30, 1984 Dome shaped ring (p. 53, tsn, delivered on March 27, 1984.
(pp. 27-29, tsn, ibid). March 30, ibid). Inspite of the promise contained
1984 came, but instead of in Exhibit O, Mrs. Isip issued
turning over the proceeds or This is the subject of Criminal a postdated check (Check No.
return the Choker Pearl, Mrs. Case No. 256084 for Estafa 51867) dated March 27, 1984 in
Isip issued a check dated March against the spouses Isip and the amount of 562,000.00 as
12, 1984 for 150,000.00 Criminal Case Nos. 156-84 and payment for the assorted pieces
(RCBC check No. 030086) as and (sic) 157-84 for Violation of of jewelry (pp. 8-12, tsn,
payment (p. 34, ibid). BP 22 against Marietta Isip. October 22, 1993).

This is the subject of Criminal At noontime on the same day, This is the subject matter of
Case No. 254-84 for Estafa the Isip couple went back to the Criminal Case No. 261-84 for
against the spouses and residence of complainant and Estafa against the couple and
Criminal Case No. 149-84 for got from him one (1) collar heart Criminal Case No. 146-84
violation of BP 22 against shaped necklace and one (1) against Marietta Isip for
Marietta Isip. baguette necklace worth Violation of BP 22.
95,000.00 (p. 60, tsn, ibid). As
In the afternoon of the same day, agreed upon, Marietta Isip All of the checks covered by the
Mr. Manuel Isip went to signed a receipt with the above transactions were
complainants residence in condition that the jewelry or the deposited on April 6, 1984 (p.
Cavite City and got from the proceeds thereof be delivered to 14, tsn, ibid), but all of them
latter a mens ring (7 carats) complainant on March 27, 1984. bounced for being drawn against
worth 200,000.00. Mr. Isip The Isips defaulted and instead, insufficient funds. Demand
signed a receipt with the Mrs. Isip issued a check (Check letters sent to the couple proved
condition that he return the ring No. 518647) dated March 27, futile (pp. 15-20, ibid).
or deliver the proceeds, if sold, 1984 in the amount of
ii) Defense Version. Manila, appellant Marietta, in payment and complainant
accompanied by her husband suspected that she would not be
During all the times material to who participated only as a able to redeem the checks or pay
these cases, complainant witness, started having for the pledged jewelry,
Leonardo Jose, who had his transactions with complainant complainant demanded that
residence at Room 411, 4th who, on different dates in appellants sign certain
Floor, Plaza Towers February, March and April, documents to avoid any
Condominium on (sic) 3375 1984, extended various amounts misunderstanding, with threat of
Guerrero Street, Ermita, Manila, to her for which appellant prosecution before the Cavite
but claims he had his ancestral Marietta pledged jewelry which, courts if they do not comply
home at 506 P. Burgos Street, in turn, were agreed between her (Tr., Idem, 19-20; Tr., 3/4/96, 5-
Caridad, Cavite, was an and complainant to be sold on 6). So, in order to maintain good
employee of the Bureau of commission and to turn over the relations with complainant,
Customs, having been so since proceeds thereof or return the appellant Marietta signed the
1964 (Tr., 6/8/93, 7). Upon the jewelry to complainant (Tr., document acknowledging
other hand, appellants Manuel Idem, 16-18). In the course of obligations to him in one sitting,
S. Isip (Manuel hereafter) and the transactions, appellant which appellant Manuel
Marietta M. Isip (Marietta Marietta had issued several witnessed (Tr., Idem, 21-22).
hereafter) are spouses, residents checks to complainant as Later, appellants learned that,
at 3635 M. Arellano Street, guarantee for the payment of the although all the transactions
Bacood, Sta. Mesa, Manila (Tr., subject jewelry which have were entered into in Manila,
8/29/93, 4) and engaged in either been paid or redeemed, complainant filed the cases
various business undertakings in had returned the unsold jewelry herein before the Cavite
Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Baguio to complainant and had Regional Trial Court (Tr., Idem,
City, Olongapo City and Bataan conveyed, by way of payment 23-24).7
(Tr., Idem, 9; Tr., 10/2/95, 13) for other jewelry, some personal
appellant Manuel, in the properties, like brass and antics, On November 25, 1996, the trial
brokerage and trucking and real properties in Balanga, court rendered its decision, the
business; while appellant Bataan and Mabalacat, dispositive portion thereof
Marietta, in that of selling Pampanga, to complainant who reading:
jewelry and financing, as well as caused the same to be registered
in PX goods, real estate and in the names of his son, WHEREFORE, in view of the
cars, which she started when she Christian Jose, and his wife, foregoing, the Court finds the
was still single (Tr., Idem, 9-10; Zenaida Jose (Exhibits 1, 2, 2-A, accused Dra. Marietta M. Isip
Tr., 10/2/95, 12). In 1982, at the 3, 4, 5, 6, 6-A, 7, 7-A), with the guilty beyond reasonable doubt
casino in Olongapo City, result that all the obligations of of a (sic) violation of B.P. 22 in
appellant Marietta started appellants to complainant have Crim. Cases Nos. 146-84, 147-
obtaining jewelry from losing or already been paid for or offset 84, 148-84, 149-84, 155-84,
financially-strapped players (Tr., Idem, 23; Tr., Idem, 24, 34- 156-84 and 157-84 and she is
which she repledged as security 36, 37-39; Tr., 3/4/96, 7-8). hereby sentenced to undergo
for financing she obtained from Also, all the checks that imprisonment of One (1) year of
one Nemesio Jose, father of appellant Marietta issued which prision correctional (sic) in each
complainant Leonardo Jose (Tr., were initially dishonored have case; and of Estafa in the
Idem, 11-12; Tr., Idem, 14). already been (sic) (Tr., 10/2/95, following Crim. Cases: No. 256-
After about a year, when 25-30; Tr., 3/4/96, 8-9). In fact, 84 where she is sentenced to
Nemesio Jose ran short of complainant caused the undergo imprisonment of, from
capital, he referred appellants to dismissal of some cases he filed Twelve (12) years of prision
his son, complainant Leonardo against appellants. Complainant mayor, as minimum, to Twenty
Jose, with address at the Plaza however failed to return some of (20) years of reclusion temporal,
Towers Condominium aforesaid the redeemed and/or paid checks as maximum, and to indemnify
for needed financing (Tr., Idem, issued to him by appellant the complainant Atty. Leonardo
13-14; Tr., Idem, 17-19). Marietta on the pretext that he Jose the amount of 120,000.00
Beginning early 1983, at did not bring them (Tr., 3/4/96, for the value of the articles
complainants residence at 20). Inasmuch as appellant misappropriated; Crim. Case
Plaza Tower Condominium in Marietta incurred some default
No. 257-84 where she is Jose in the amount of 22 when she issued the checks
sentenced to undergo 200,000.00 value of the mentioned in Criminal Cases
imprisonment of, from Twelve jewelry misappropriated, and to No. 146-84, 147-84, 148-84,
(12) years of prision mayor, as pay the costs.8 149-84, 155-84, 156-84 and
minimum, to Twenty (20) years 157-84. As to petitioner, the trial
of reclusion temporal, as In ruling the way it did, the RTC court acquitted him in Criminal
maximum, and to indemnify the found that the transactions Cases No. 256-84, 257-84, 260-
complainant Atty. Leonardo involved in these cases were 84, 261-84 and 378-84 finding
Jose the amount of 150,000.00; sufficiently shown to have taken him to have acted as a mere
Crim. Case No. 260-84 where place at complainant Atty. witness when he signed the
she is sentenced to undergo Leonardo Joses ancestral house receipts involved in said cases,
imprisonment of, from Eight (8) in Cavite City when the latter but found him liable in Criminal
years and One (1) day of prision was on leave of absence from Case No. 136-84 for
mayor, as minimum, to the Bureau of Customs where he misappropriating a 7-carat
Seventeen (17) years of was connected. It said the diamond mens ring which he
reclusion temporal, as defense failed to substantially secured from the complainant.
maximum, and to indemnify the prove its allegations that the
complainant Atty. Leonardo transactions occurred in Manila, Aggrieved, petitioner and
Jose the amount of 95,000.00; particularly in the Towers spouse appealed to the Court of
Crim. Case No. 261-84 where Condominium, and that Appeals assigning the following
she is sentenced to undergo complainant is a resident of as errors:
imprisonment of, from Twelve Bigasan, Makati. It added that
(12) years and One (1) day of the testimony of Marietta Isip -I-
reclusion temporal, as that the money with which the
minimum, to Twenty (20) years complainant initially agreed to THE TRIAL COURT ERRED
of reclusion temporal, as finance their transactions was IN TAKING COGNIZANCE
maximum, and to indemnify the withdrawn from the Sandigan OF AND DECIDING THE
complainant Atty. Leonardo Finance in Cavite City further CASES AGAINST
Jose the amount of 562,000.00; refuted the defenses claim that APPELLANTS AND IN NOT
Crim. Case No. 378-84 where the transactions happened in DISMISSING THE SAME
she is sentenced to undergo Manila. The trial court likewise UPON THE GROUND THAT
imprisonment of, from Twelve found the defenses contention, NONE OF THE ESSENTIAL
(12) years and One (1) day of that the obligations were already INGREDIENTS OF THE
reclusion temporal, as paid and set-off with the OFFENSES CHARGED
minimum, to Twenty (20) years turnover to complainant of THEREIN WAS
of reclusion temporal, as personal and real properties, to COMMITTED WITH (SIC)
maximum, and to indemnify the be untenable for it is contrary to ITS TERRITORIAL
complainant Atty. Leonardo human nature to demand JURISDICTION.
Jose the amount of 200,000.00 payment when the same had
and to pay the costs. already been made and the - II -
alleged set-offs were for other
Likewise, accused Manuel Isip cases which were settled THE TRIAL COURT,
is acquitted in Crim. Cases Nos. amicably and subsequently ASSUMING IT HAD
256-84, 257-84, 260-84, 261-84 dismissed upon motion of the JURISDICTION OVER THE
and 378-84. However, in Crim. City Prosecutors Office at the CASES BELOW, ERRD IN
Case No. 136-84, he is hereby instance of the complainant. NOT HOLDING THAT NO
found guilty of Estafa and he is CRIMINAL LIABILITY
hereby sentenced to undergo The trial court was convinced UNDER BATAS PAMBANSA
imprisonment of, from Twelve that accused Marietta Isip BLG. 22 WAS INCURRED BY
(12) years and One (1) day of misappropriated the pieces of APPELLANT MARIETTA M.
reclusion temporal, as jewelry involved in Criminal ISIP FOR THE ISSUANCE OF
minimum, to Twenty (20) years Cases No. 256-84, 257-84, 260- THE SUBJECT CHECKS
of reclusion temporal, as 84, 261-84 and 378-84 and INASMUCH AS SAID
maximum, to indemnify the violated Batas Pambansa Blg. CHECKS WERE ISSUED AS
complainant Atty. Leonardo
MERE GUARANTY FOR Appeals disposed of the case as complainants ancestral home in
OBLIGATIONS INCURRED. follows: Cavite City, and that,
consequently, the offenses
- III - WHEREFORE, the appealed charged took place within its
decision of the Regional Trial territorial jurisdiction. With
THE TRIAL COURT, Court of Cavite City (Branch respect to the seven counts of
ASSUMING ANY INCIPIENT XVII) violation of Batas Pambansa
LIABILITY FOR THE CRIME Blg. 22, the appellate court
OF ESTAFA HAD BEEN 1. In Crim. Case No. 136-84 is acquitted Marietta Isip of the
INCURRED BY AFFIRMED with the charges on the ground that since
APPELLANTS IN THE MODIFICATIONS that the the checks involved were issued
PREMISES, ERRED IN NOT sentence imposed on accused- prior to 8 August 1984, the
HOLDING THAT SUCH appellant Manuel S. Isip shall be dishonor thereof did not give
INCIPIENT LIABILITY HAD two (2) years of prision rise to a criminal liability
BEEN EXTINGUISHED BY correccional, as minimum, to pursuant to Ministry Circular
PAYMENTS/REDEMPTIONS twenty (20) years of reclusion No. 4 of the Ministry of Justice.
MADE AND/OR NOVATION temporal, as maximum, and that
ENTERED INTO BETWEEN the sum of 200,000.00 he was As to the Estafa cases (Criminal
COMPLAINANT AND SAID ordered to pay to Leonardo A. Cases No. 256-84, 257-84, 260-
APPELLANTS. Jose shall bear interest at the 84, 261-84 and 378-84), the
legal rate from filing of the Court of Appeals ruled that
- IV - information until fully paid; since the checks issued by
Marietta Isip as payment for the
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED 2. In Crim. Cases Nos. 146-84, pieces of jewelry were
IN FINDING APPELLANTS 147-84, 148-84, 149-84, 155- dishonored, there was no
MANUEL S. ISIP AND 84, 156-84 and 157-84 is payment to speak of. It also
MARIETTA M. ISIP GUILTY REVERSED and accused- found the defenses claim of
BEYOND REASONABLE appellant Marietta M. Isip redemption/dacion en pago
DOUBT OF THE CRIMES OF ACQUITTED of the crimes that real and personal properties
ESTAFA AND VIOLATION charged; and were conveyed to complainant
OF BATAS PAMBANSA who executed affidavits of
BLG. 22 RESPECTFULLY 3. In Crim. Cases Nos. 256-84, desistance and caused the
IMPUTED UPON THEM AND 257-84, 260-84, 261-84 and dismissal of some of the cases
IN NOT ACQUITTING THEM 378-84 is REVERSED and to be unmeritorious. However,
UPON THE GROUND THAT accused-appellants Manuel S. the appellate court ruled that
THEIR GUILT THEREOF, OR Isip and Marietta M. Isip though novation does not
OF ANY CRIME FOR THAT ACQUITTED of the crimes extinguish criminal liability, it
MATTER, HAD NOT BEEN charged, but ordering them to may prevent the rise of such
ESTABLISHED BEYOND pay to Leonardo A. Jose, jointly liability as long at it occurs prior
REASONABLE DOUBT and severally, the sums of to the filing of the criminal
AND/OR THAT THE 120,000.00, 150,000.00, information in court. In these
LIABILITY INCURRED BY 95,000.00, 562,000.00 and five cases, it ruled that there was
THEM, IF ANY, IS MERELY 200,000.00 representing the novation because complainant
CIVIL.9 amounts involved in said cases, accepted the checks issued by
plus interest thereon at the legal Marietta Isip as payment for the
Before the Court of Appeals rate from filing of the pieces of jewelry involved in
could have decided the case, information until fully paid.10 said cases. Consequently, the
Marietta Isip died thereby Court of Appeals acquitted
extinguishing her criminal and The Court of Appeals upheld the Marietta and petitioner,11 but
civil liability, if any. lower courts finding that the held them liable to complainant
venue was properly laid and that for the value of the jewelry
the checks were delivered by the involved.
In a decision promulgated 26
October 2004, the Court of two accused and/or that the
transactions transpired at
As regards Criminal Case No. Petitioner is now before us Manila. He adds that the source
136-84 for estafa against appealing his conviction in of the fund used to finance the
petitioner, the appellate court Criminal Case No. 136-84. He transactions is likewise
affirmed the trial courts ruling raises the following issues: inconsequential because it is
of conviction. It found where the subject item was
petitioners claims that he did First WHETHER OR NOT delivered and received by
not receive the jewelry worth THE TRIAL COURT HAD petitioner and/or where it was to
200,000.00 mentioned in the JURISDICTION OVER THE be accounted for that determines
information; that the receipt he OFFENSE IMPUTED TO venue where Estafa, if any, may
issued for said jewelry was PETITIONER AND FOR be charged and tried. Second, he
among those documents which WHICH HE WAS further argues that it does not
were forced upon him to sign CONVICTED; follow that because complainant
under threat of criminal may have been on leave from
prosecution; and that he signed Second WHETHER THE the Bureau of Customs, the
the same to preserve his EVIDENCE SUFFICIENTLY transactions were necessarily
friendship with complainant, to SHOWS THAT PETITIONER entered into during that leave
be not persuasive. RECEIVED THE SUBJECT and in Cavite City. He asserts
OF SAID OFFENSE OR THAT that there is no competent proof
On 17 November 2004, HE RECEIVED IT IN CAVITE showing that during his leave of
petitioner, for himself and in CITY; and absence, he stayed in Cavite
representation of his deceased City; and that the transactions
wife, Marietta Isip, filed a Third, WHETHER THE involved, including the subject
Partial Motion for INCIPIENT CRIMINAL of Criminal Case 136-84
Reconsideration insofar as it LIABILITY ARISING FROM covering roughly the period
affirmed his conviction in SAID OFFENSE, IS (sic) ANY, from February to April 1984,
Criminal Case No. 136-84 and WAS EXTINGUISHED BY coincided with his alleged leave.
adjudged him civilly liable, NOVATION.
jointly and severally, with The concept of venue of actions
Marietta Isip in Criminal Cases On the first issue, petitioner in criminal cases, unlike in civil
No. 256-84, 257-84, 260-84, maintains that the RTC had no cases, is jurisdictional.14 The
261-84 and 378-84.12 jurisdiction over the estafa place where the crime was
charge in Criminal Case No. committed determines not only
On 26 October 2005, the Court 136-84 and it is pure speculation the venue of the action but is an
of Appeals, taking into account and conjectural, if not altogether essential element of
the death of Marietta M. Isip improbable or manifestly jurisdiction.15 It is a
prior to the promulgation of its absurd, to suppose that any of fundamental rule that for
decision, rendered an Amended the essential elements of the jurisdiction to be acquired by
Decision with the following Estafa charged in Criminal Case courts in criminal cases, the
dispositive portion: No. 136-84 took place in Cavite offense should have been
City. First, he states that the committed or any one of its
WHEREFORE, the decision residence of the parties is essential ingredients should
dated October 26, 2004 is immaterial and that it is the situs have taken place within the
AMENDED in respect to par. 3 of the transaction that counts. territorial jurisdiction of the
of the dispositive portion thereof He argues that it is non sequitur court. Territorial jurisdiction in
which shall now read as follows: that simply because criminal cases is the territory
complainant had an alleged where the court has jurisdiction
"3. In Crim. Cases Nos. 256-84, ancestral house in Caridad, to take cognizance or to try the
257-84, 260-84, 261-84 and Cavite, complainant actually offense allegedly committed
378-84 is REVERSED, lived there and had the therein by the accused. Thus, it
accused-appellants Manuel S. transactions there with him cannot take jurisdiction over a
Isip and Marietta M. Isip when he and his late wife were person charged with an offense
ACQUITTED of the crimes actual residents of Manila. Mere allegedly committed outside of
charged and the civil aspect of convenience suggests that their that limited territory.
those cases DISMISSED."13 transaction was entered into in Furthermore, the jurisdiction of
a court over the criminal case is
determined by the allegations in improbable or impossible for On the second issue, petitioner
the complaint or information. petitioner and his wife to have contends that the Court of
And once it is so shown, the gone, not once, but twice in one Appeals holding that the ring
court may validly take day, to Cavite City if that is the subject of Crim. Case No. 136-
cognizance of the case. number of times they received 84 was delivered to and received
However, if the evidence pieces of jewelry from by petitioner is seriously flawed.
adduced during the trial shows complainant. Moreover, the fact He argues that assuming he
that the offense was committed that the checks issued by signed the receipt evidencing
somewhere else, the court petitioners late wife in all the delivery of the ring, not due to
should dismiss the action for transactions with complainant the threat of prosecution but
want of jurisdiction.16 were drawn against accounts merely to preserve his
with banks in Manila or Makati friendship with complainant, the
In the case at bar, we, like the likewise cannot lead to the fact remains that there is no
RTC and the Court of Appeals, conclusion that the transactions showing that the ring was
are convinced that the venue were not entered into in Cavite actually delivered to him.
was properly laid in the RTC of City. Petitioner insists there is no
Cavite City. The complainant competent evidence that the ring
had sufficiently shown that the It is axiomatic that when it subject of Criminal Case No.
transaction covered by Criminal comes to credibility, the trial 136-84 was ever actually
Case No. 136-84 took place in courts assessment deserves received by, or delivered to,
his ancestral home in Cavite great weight, and is even him.
City when he was on approved conclusive and binding, if not
leave of absence17 from the tainted with arbitrariness or We find his contentions
Bureau of Customs. Since it has oversight of some fact or untenable. The finding of the
been shown that venue was circumstance of weight and Court of Appeals that petitioner
properly laid, it is now influence. The reason is received the ring subject of
petitioners task to prove obvious. Having the full Criminal Case No. 136-84 is
otherwise, for it is his claim that opportunity to observe directly supported by the evidence on
the transaction involved was the witnesses deportment and record. The acknowledgment
entered into in Manila. The age- manner of testifying, the trial receipt21 executed by petitioner
old but familiar rule that he who court is in a better position than is very clear evidence that he
alleges must prove his the appellate court to evaluate received the ring in question.
allegations applies. 18
properly testimonial Petitioners claim that he did not
evidence.19 It is to be pointed receive any ring and merely
In the instant case, petitioner out that the findings of fact of executed said receipt in order to
failed to establish by sufficient the trial court have been preserve his friendship with the
and competent evidence that the affirmed by the Court of complainant deserves scant
transaction happened in Manila. Appeals. It is settled that when consideration.
Petitioner argues that since he the trial courts findings have
and his late wife actually resided been affirmed by the appellate Petitioner, an astute
in Manila, convenience alone court, said findings are businessman as he is, knows the
unerringly suggests that the generally conclusive and significance, import and
transaction was entered into in binding upon this Court.20 In the obligation of what he executed
Manila. We are not persuaded. case at bar, we find no and signed. The following
The fact that Cavite City is a bit compelling reason to reverse the disputable presumptions weigh
far from Manila does not findings of the trial court, as heavily against petitioner,
necessarily mean that the affirmed by the Court of namely: (a) That a person
transaction cannot or did not Appeals, and to apply the intends the ordinary
happen there. Distance will not exception. We so hold that there consequences of his voluntary
prevent any person from going is sufficient evidence to show act; (b) That a person takes
to a distant place where he can that the particular transaction ordinary care of his concerns;
procure goods that he can sell so took place in Cavite City. (c) That private transactions
that he can earn a living. This is have been fair and regular; and
true in the case at bar. It is not (d) That the ordinary course of
business has been caused the dismissal of some of dismissed when they delivered
followed 22Thus, it is presumed the cases filed. He maintains properties as payment.27 It
that one does not sign a that the Court of Appeals did not follows then that the obligations
document without first apply the rule of novation as incurred by petitioner and his
informing himself of its contents regards the ring subject of spouse were not yet settled
and consequences. We know Criminal Case No. 136-84 when the criminal cases herein
that petitioner understood fully because it rejected his denial of tried were filed.
well the ramification of the receipt of said ring and his claim
acknowledgment receipt he that he signed the receipt His contention, that the Court of
executed. It devolves upon him supposedly covering the same Appeals did not apply the rule of
then to overcome these under threat of prosecution and novation in Criminal Case No.
presumptions. We, however, merely to preserve their good 136-84 because it rejected or did
find that he failed to do so. relations. He claims the Court not believe his (alternative)
Aside from his self-serving should not have denied the defense of denial, is untenable.
allegation that he signed the application of the rule of The main reason why the Court
receipt to preserve his friendship novation on said case because of Appeals did not apply
with complainant, there is no the rejected initial claim (that he novation in said case was that
competent evidence that would did not receive the ring and that not all the elements of novation
rebut said presumptions. It is he signed the receipt to preserve are present. For novation to take
clear from the evidence that their good relations) was but an place, four essential requisites
petitioner signed the alternative defense and its have to be met, namely, (1) a
acknowledgment receipt when rejection is not a reason to deny previous valid obligation; (2) an
he received the ring from the application of the novation agreement of all parties
complainant in Cavite City. rule in said case. concerned to a new contract; (3)
the extinguishment of the old
Petitioners argument that he did We agree with the Court of obligation; and (4) the birth of a
not receive the subject ring23 is Appeals that novation25 cannot valid new obligation. In
further belied by the testimony be applied in Criminal Case No. Criminal Case No. 136-84, only
of his wife when the latter 136-84. The claim of petitioner the first element is extant. What
testified that said ring was that the personal and real distinguishes this case from
borrowed by him on 7 March properties conveyed to Criminal Cases No. 256-84,
1984.24 In all, the delivery of the complainant and/or to his family 257-84, 260-84, 261-84 and
ring and the transaction were more than sufficient to 378-84, where the Court of
regarding the same occurred in cover or offset whatever balance Appeals applied the rule of
Cavite City. remained of the obligations novation, was that there were
incurred has no basis. If it were checks issued as payment,
Anent the third issue, petitioner true that the properties delivered though subsequently
argues that, assuming gratia to complainant were sufficient, dishonored, for the pieces of
argumenti that any criminal the latter would have caused the jewelry involved. In Criminal
liability was incurred by dismissal of all, not some as in Case No. 136-84, it is very clear
petitioner respecting the ring this instance, the cases against that neither petitioner nor his
subject of Criminal Case No. petitioner and his late wife. wife issued any check as
136-84, the same was incipient, This, complainant did not do for payment for the subject ring that
at best, and was effectively the simple reason that the could have extinguished his old
extinguished by novation. The properties conveyed to him were obligation and brought to life a
personal and real properties not enough to cover all the new obligation.
delivered/conveyed to obligations incurred by
complainant were more than petitioner and his deceased wife. From the allegations of the
sufficient to cover or offset Complainant testified that the information in Criminal Case
whatever balance remained of properties he received were in No. 136-84, it is clear that
the obligations incurred as settlement of cases other than petitioner was charged with
shown by the fact that the cases being tried herein.26 In Estafa under Article 315,
complainant executed particular, he said that petitioner paragraph 1(b), of the Revised
Affidavits of Desistance and and his spouse settled eight Penal Code. The elements of
cases which were subsequently
estafa with abuse of confidence WENEFREDO the Oroquieta court has
are: (1) the offender receives the CALME, petitioner, jurisdiction over the offense
money, goods or other personal vs. charged against petitioner.
property in trust, or on COURT OF APPEALS,
commission, or for former 10th Division with Petitioner asserts that, although
administration, or under any HON. ANTONIO M. the alleged crime took place
other obligation involving the MARTINEZ as chairman and while the vessel was in transit,
duty to deliver, or to return, the HON. CANCIO C. GARCIA the general rule laid down in par.
same; (2) the offender and HON. RAMON (a) of Sec. 15 (now Section 14),
misappropriates or converts MABUTAS as Rule 110 of the Revised Rules
such money or property or members, respondents of Court is the applicable
denies receiving such money or provision in determining the
property; (3) the KAPUNAN, J.:p proper venue and jurisdiction
misappropriation or conversion and not Sec. 15(c) (now Section
or denial is to the prejudice of Petitioner Wenefredo Calme 14) thereof since the exact
another; and (4) the offended appeals from the decision of the location where the alleged crime
party demands that the offender Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP occurred was known.1
return the money or No. 28883 dated 10 December
property.28 All these are present 1993 and its resolution dated 14 Petitioner thus claims that the
in this case. Petitioner received July 1994 upholding the proper venue is Siquijor
from complainant a seven-carat jurisdiction of the Regional because, according to the
diamond (mens ring), valued at Trial Court, Branch 12, Marine Protest filed by the
200,000.00, for the purpose of Oroquieta City over the vessel's captain, Elmer
selling the same on commission information for murder filed Magallanes, the ship was 8.0
basis and to deliver the proceeds against him (Calme). miles off Minalonan Point,
of the sale thereof or return the Siquijor Island, when he (Capt.
jewelry if not sold. Petitioner Petitioner and four other persons Magallanes) received the report
misappropriated or converted were accused of killing Edgardo that "a passenger jumped
said ring for his own benefit and Bernal by allegedly throwing overboard."2
even denied receiving the same. him overboard the M/V "Cebu
Despite repeated demands from City," an interisland passenger Petitioner's contention is
complainant, petitioner failed to ship owned and operated by unmeritorious. The exact
return the ring or the proceeds of William Lines, Inc., while the location where the alleged
the sale thereof causing damage vessel was sailing from Ozamis offense was committed was not
and prejudice to complainant in City to Cebu City on the night of duly established. The Marine
the amount of 200,000.00. 12 May 1991. Petitioner protest simply adverted that the
impugned the Oroquieta RTC's vessel was within the waters of
As to the penalty imposed by the jurisdiction over the offense Siquijor Island when the captain
Court of Appeals on petitioner, charged through a motion to was informed3 of the incident,
we find the same to be in order. quash which, however, was which does not necessarily
denied by Judge Celso Conol of prove that the alleged murder
WHEREFORE, the decision RTC, Branch 12, Oroquieta took place in the same area. In
and amended decision of the City. Petitioner Calme's petition any case, where the crime was
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. for certiorari and prohibition actually committed is
No. 21275 dated 26 October was denied due course and immaterial since it is undisputed
2004 dated 26 October 2005, dismissed by the Court of that it occurred while the
respectively, are AFFIRMED. Appeals in its decision dated 10 vessel was in transit. "In transit"
December 1993. Petitioner's simply means "on the way or
motion for reconsideration of passage; while passing from one
said decision was denied in the person or place to another. In the
c Calme v. Court of Appeals, Court of Appeals's resolution 14 course of
G.R. No. 116688, 30 August July 1994. Hence, the present transportation."4 Hence,
1996 appeal wherein the only issue undoubtedly, the applicable
for resolution is whether or not provision is par. (c) of Sec. 15
(now Section 14), Rule 110 which according to him is the . People v. Panlilio, G.R. Nos.
which provides that "(w)here an spirit behind the present Sec. L135!9-20,29 March 1996
offense is committed on board a 15(c), Rule 110. The said Act
vessel in the course of its specifically provides, among PEOPLE OF THE
voyage, the criminal action may other things, that for crimes PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-
be instituted and tried in the committed within the navigable appellee,
proper court of the first port of waters of the Philippine vs.
entry or of any municipality or Archipelago, on board a ship or DANILO PANLILIO y
territory through which the water craft of Philippine FRANCISCO, defendant-
vessel passed during such registry, jurisdiction may be appellant.
voyage subject to the generally exercised by the Court of First
accepted principles of Instance in any province in Danilo Panlilio y Francisco was
international law." which the vessel shall come charged before the Regional
after the commission of the Trial Court of Valenzuela,
Petitioner further contends that crime. Metro Manila, with kidnapping
even if Sec. 15(c), Rule 110 under Art. 267 of the Revised
governs, Oroquieta City would Petitioner's reliance on Act 400 Penal Code (Crim. Case No.
still be excluded as a proper is erroneous. The provision of 2351-V-93) and violation of
venue because the reckoning said Act vesting jurisdiction in P.D. 532 known as the "Anti-
point for determining the venue the province where the vessel Piracy and Anti-Highway
under the aforementioned shall come after the commission Robbery Law of 1974" (Crim.
paragraph is the first port of of the crime is not carried in the Case No. 2352-V-93). In the
entry or the present Rule. first, case, the Information
municipalities/territories alleged that on or about 17
through which the ship It is a basic rule in statutory March 1993 in Valenzuela,
passed after the discovery of the construction that where the Metro Manila, the accused
crime, relying on Act No. 400.5 provisions of the law or rule is kidnapped Leah Marie Jordan y
clear and unequivocal, its Villato and detained her for
We disagree. Obviously, Act meaning must be determined more than an hour. In the second
No. 400 was amended by Sec. from the language employed. It case, the Information alleged
15(c), Rule 110 of the Revised must be given its literal meaning that on the same occasion, with
Rules of Court in that under the and applied without attempted intent to gain and by means of
former law, jurisdiction was interpretation (Globe Mackay force and intimidation, the
conferred to the CFI of any Cable and Radio Corp. vs. accused took a pair of gold
province into which the ship or NLRC, 206 SCRA [7]01; earrings worth P700.00 from the
water craft upon which the Pascual vs. Pascual-Bautista, same complaining witness while
crime or offense was committed 207 SCRA 561). they were walking along St.
shall come after the commission Jude St., Malinta, Valenzuela, a
thereof, while the present rule The words of Sec. 15(c) being public highway.
provides that jurisdiction is clear, there is no reason to rely
vested "in the proper court of the on Act 400 in determining its Ranged against the denial and
first port of entry or of any true meaning, regardless of alibi of the accused, the trial
municipality or territory through whether said Act was indeed the court found the testimony of
which the vessel passed during moving spirit behind it. In fact, Leah Marie positive and
such voyage . . . ." This is the it does not seem that convincing hence its joint
applicable provision and since it the provision of Act 400 was decision of 15 June 1993
does not contain any carried into the present rule, as it convicting the accused in both
qualification, we do not qualify is now worded.6 cases as charged. In the
the same. We fully concur with kidnapping case the accused
the findings of the Court of IN VIEW OF THE was sentenced to reclusion
Appeals, thus: FOREGOING, the petition for perpetua and to pay the costs,
review is hereby DENIED. while in the highway robbery he
To support his arguments, was sentenced to an
petitioner relies on Act 400, indeterminate prison term from
ten (10) years and one (1) day towards a vacant lot where, (1) in not dismissing the case for
of prision mayor as minimum to according to him, every girl he highway robbery on the ground
thirteen (13) years and two (2) brought there was made to of lack of jurisdiction; and, (2)
months of reclusion temporal as choose between rape and death. in finding that for the crimes
maximum, with the accessory Upon hearing this, she struggled charged his guilt has been
penalties prescribed by law, to hard to free herself from his proved beyond reasonable
pay complainant the value of the hold. Luckily, at this juncture, doubt.
pair of earrings and to pay the she saw policemen coming
costs.1 towards their direction so she Appellant argues that the
shouted for help. One of the robbery, according to the
The evidence shows that at policemen fired a warning shot complaining witness herself,
about eleven-forty in the which prompted Danilo to run was perpetrated in Navotas2 so
morning of 17 March 1993 Leah away. The policemen pursued that the Regional Trial Court of
Marie Jordan y Villato, a 10- him until they caught up with Valenzuela has no jurisdiction
year old student, was waiting for him and brought him together over the case. He also claims
her younger sister outside the with Leah Marie to the Navotas that the prosecution failed to
premises of St. Jude School in Police Station for investigation. present evidence that she indeed
Malinta, Valenzuela. There she owned any pair of earrings. It is
was approached by Danilo Meanwhile, policemen from his thesis that it is simply
Panlilio who inquired if she Valenzuela went to the house of incredible that a knife was
knew a certain "Aling Rosa." Leah and informed her parents continually poked at her neck all
After she replied that she did not that their daughter was in the the way from St. Jude School in
know her and that she was only Navotas Police Station. The Malinta to Navotas for an hour
there to fetch her younger sister, couple then rushed to the Station or so without anyone noticing,
Danilo suddenly poked a knife, where they saw Leah and otherwise, she could have
which was concealed inside a brought her to the Valenzuela shouted and asked for help; but
hat, at the right side of her neck, Police Station to file a complaint she did not. Furthermore, he
handed her an empty cigarette against Panlilio. The mother of claims that Leah Marie could
pack with a note and ordered her Leah noticed that the earrings of have only been coached into
to give it to "Aling Ester." When Leah were missing. When asked testifying that she was alone
she told him that she did not about her earrings Leah told her outside the school premises in a
know where to find "Aling mother that Panlilio forcibly feeble attempt to explain the
Ester," he said that he would took them from her. puzzling situation that nobody
lead her to the place where came to her rescue when he
"Aling Ester" could be found. The version of the appellant is allegedly abducted her at
that on the day of the incident he knifepoint in broad daylight
While Danilo and Leah Marie left his residence at Barrio during school dismissal time
were walking side by side the Magdaragat, Tondo, Manila, at when parents, guardians and
former continued to poke his past ten o'clock in the morning others usually converge to fetch
knife at the latter's neck. He told to go to Waywan Missionary at their children or wards. Under
her to be quiet otherwise he San Rafael Village, Tondo, the circumstances, we are urged
would kill her. Then they both Manila. However he defecated to consider as more credible the
boarded a passenger jeepney first on a vacant lot in Navotas version of the defense.
with the knife still effectively before proceeding. Then he saw
serving as a contrivance to keep a young girl in the area and Section 2, par. (e), of P.D. 532
her mute. Aside from the driver warned her not to pass through defines the crime of highway
they were the only passengers the garbage because she might robbery/brigandage as the
on board the jeepney. While in sink. It was at this point when "seizure of any person for
the jeepney Danilo forcibly took policemen arrived and readily ransom, extortion or other
Leah Marie's pair of earrings. accused him of being the rapist unlawful purposes, or the taking
in the area. away of the property of another
Upon reaching Navotas Danilo by means of violence against or
and Leah Marie alighted from The accused contends in this intimidation of person force
the jeepney. He dragged her appeal that the trial court erred upon things or other unlawful
means, committed by any remove my earrings 4 (emphasis But the testimony of
person on any Philippine supplied). complainant that upon boarding
Highway," and under Sec. 2, the jeepney the accused ordered
par. (c), of the same decree, But thereafter she clung to the her to remove her earrings and
"Philippine Highway" is "any same statement for the entire give them to him is material in
road, street, passage, highway course of her cross-examination determining whether the
and bridge or other parts thereof which appears to be her correct Regional Trial Court of
or railway or railroad within the narration of events Valenzuela had jurisdiction over
Philippines used by persons, or the highway robbery. Was
vehicles, or locomotives or Q And it was there that while Valenzuela their place of
trains for the movement or you were already in the vacant departure or the municipality
circulation of persons or lot that the accused told you to where their jeepney passed
transportation of goods, articles, remove your earrings, is that it? during the trip? Here lies the
or property or both." We problem. The complainant was
correlate these provisions with A We were not yet there. uncertain of their place of
Sec. 15, par. (b), of Rule 110 of departure
the Rules of Court which Q Where were you?
provides that "[w]here an Q If you will be requested to
offense is committed on a point to the place where you
A when we boarded the jeep, he
railroad train, in an aircraft, or in boarded, you could point the
instructed me to remove my
any other public or private place where you bearded the
earrings5 (Emphasis supplied).
vehicle while in the course of its jeepney?
trip, the criminal action may be
instituted and tried in the court Q And it was there in the
Navotas area when he told you A No, sir, I cannot. I do not
of any municipality or territory know that place because I was
where such train, aircraft or to remove your earrings?
(just) instructed to board.9
other vehicle passed during
such trip, including the place of A I do not know, sir.
Q You want to impress the
departure and Court that you boarded a
arrival (emphasis supplied). Q Where?
passenger jeepney and you do
With the foregoing as not know the place where you
guideposts we are now asked: A From the time we boarded the boarded the jeep?
Did the Regional Trial Court of jeep.
Valenzuela have jurisdiction A No, sir.10
over the highway robbery? Q That was the time when you
removed your earrings and gave
Q When you were already
In her direct examination the it to him?
traveling from the place, is (sic)
complaining witness testified that in Valenzuela where you
that when she and the accused A Yes, sir6 (Emphasis supplied). boarded the jeep?
alighted from the jeepney in
Navotas he forcibly took her The most candid witnesses A I do not know, sir.11
pair of earrings.3 However, oftentimes make mistakes and
during the cross-examination fall into confused and
she changed her testimony thus Neither did Leah Marie mention
inconsistent statements, but
the place or places where their
such honest lapses do not
vehicle passed. We could have
necessarily affect their
relied on the evidence that St.
Q So you want to impress to the credibility.7 More importantly,
Jude School is in Malinta,
Court that even in front of St. ample margin of error and
Valenzuela, in order to establish
Jude he already asked you to understanding should be
the fact that they also boarded
remove your earrings? accorded to young witnesses
the jeepney in Valenzuela. Yet,
who much more than adults
her other testimony is damaging
A Not yet. When we were would be gripped with tension

already aboard the jeep, that due to the novelty of testifying
was the time when he told me to before a court.8
Q So you want to impress that 2. If it shall have been rejected by the court a quo.
from St. Jude you were led by committed simulating public They were inherently weak and
the accused to a place where authority. could not prevail over the
there was a passenger jeepney? positive testimony of
3. If any serious physical complainant that the accused
A Yes, sir. injuries shall have been inflicted detained her and took her
upon the person kidnapped or earrings against her will.17
Q You walked or you took a detained; or if threats to kill him
tricycle because that is the shall have been made. WHEREFORE, the decision
means of transportation finding the accused-appellant
available in the place? 4. If the person kidnapped or Danilo Panlilio y Francisco
detained shall be a minor, guilty of kidnapping in Crim.
A We did not board a tricycle. female or a public officer. Case No. 2351-V-93 and
We just walked. imposing upon him a prison
The penalty shall be death where term of reclusion perpetua, and
Q And from St. Jude, how long the kidnapping or detention was to pay the costs, is AFFIRMED.
did it take you to walk or committed for the purpose of
negotiate the distance? extorting ransom from the As regards Crim. Case No.
victim or any other person, even 2352-V-93 for highway
A A long time because, as a if none of the circumstances robbery, the case is
matter of fact, I got tired.12 abovementioned were present in DISMISSED on the ground of
the commission of the offense. lack of jurisdiction of the
From the foregoing, it would Regional Trial Court of
seem that the prosecution failed The poking by appellant of a Valenzuela, without prejudice to
to establish the precise place knife at the complainant could its refiling with the court of
where the highway robbery was have indeed passed unnoticed proper jurisdiction.
supposedly committed other because, as mentioned distinctly
than Navotas. Hence, we agree in her testimony, the knife was
with the defense that the concealed in a hat, 13 and that
Regional Trial Court of she did not shout for help
Valenzuela had no jurisdiction because all along he was poking
over the Offense of highway his knife at her 14 and telling her
robbery, although based on a not to resist or shout otherwise
different ground. she would be killed.15

As regards the charge of The testimony of Leah Marie


kidnapping, Art. 267 of the that she was alone in the vicinity
Revised Penal Code provides of St. Jude School waiting for
her sister is not hard to believe.
Art. 267. Kidnapping and It is highly probable that she
serious illegal detention. arrived there too early or way
Any private individual who beyond dismissal time.
shall kidnap or detain another, Anyway, it is clear that the
or in any other manner deprive arguments raised by accused-
him of his liberty, shall suffer appellant pertain to the
the penalty of reclusion credibility of the complainant,
perpetuato death: and the appraisal by the trial
court of her credibility is
1. If the kidnapping or detention entitled to great respect from the
shall have lasted more than five appellate courts which do not
days. deal with live witnesses but only
with the cold pages of a written
record. 16 Hence the appellant's
denial and alibi were properly