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ISIP VS PEOPLE credibility, the trial court’s assessment deserves great

FACTS weight, and is even conclusive and binding, if not tainted

Petitioner Manuel Isip (and his wife Marietta) was with arbitrariness or oversight of some fact or
convicted of Estafa before the RTC of Cavite City. circumstance of weight and influence.
Marites, however, died during the pendency of the appeal 2. LANDBANK of the PHILIPPINES v BELISTA
before the CA. The spouses were engaged in the buying FACTS
and selling of pledged and unredeemed jewelry pawned Belista is the owner of 8 parcels of land placed by the
by gambling habitués. However, in their dealings with Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under
Complainant Atty. Leonardo Jose, they failed to account theComprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (PD No.
for the jewelries given to them to be sold on commission. 27 &EO No. 228). He and DAR/LBP disagreed on the
Also, certain checks they’ve issued in favor of Jose amount of just compensation he deserved, which caused
bounced. Procedurally, petitioner contends that the RTC him to file a Petition for Valuation and Payment of Just
of Cavite has no jurisdiction over the case since the Compensation before the DARAB-Regional Adjudicator
elements of the crime did not occur there. Instead, he for Region V (RARAD-V). The RARAD-V decided in his
argues that the case should have been filed in Manila favor. Aggrieved, LBP filed an original Petition for
where their supposed transactions took place. Determination of Just Compensation at the same sala of
ISSUE: the RTC sitting as SAC. It was dismissed on the ground
Whether the RTC of Cavite has jurisdiction over the of failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
case. ISSUE
RULING: Whether it is necessary that in cases involving claims for
YES. The concept of venue of actions in criminal cases, just compensation under RA No. 6657 that the decision
unlike in civil cases, is jurisdictional. The place where the of the Adjudicator must first be appealed to the DARAB
crime was committed determines not only the venue of before a party can resort to the RTC sitting as SAC.
the action but is an essential element of jurisdiction. It is RULING
a fundamental rule that for jurisdiction to be acquired by Sections 50 and 57 of RA No. 6657 provide: Section 50.
courts in criminal cases the offense should have been Quasi-judicial Powers of the DAR. – TheDAR is hereby
committed or any one of its essential ingredients should vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and
have taken place within the territorial jurisdiction of the adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have
court. The jurisdiction of a court over the criminal case exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving
is determined by the allegations in the complaint or the implementation of agrarian reform, except those
information. And once it is so shown, the court may falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the
validly take cognizance of the case. However, if the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of
evidence adduced during the trial shows that the offense Environment and Natural Resources(DENR) x section
was committed somewhere else, the court should dismiss 57. Special Jurisdiction. – The Special Agrarian Court
the action for want of jurisdiction. Complainant had shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction overall
sufficiently shown that the transaction covered by the petitions for the determination of just compensation to
case took place in his ancestral home in Cavite City when landowners, and the prosecution of all criminal offenses
he was on approved leave of absence from the Bureau of under this Act. x clearly, under Section 50, DAR has
Customs. Since it has been shown that venue was primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate
properly laid, it is now petitioner's task to prove agrarian reform matters and exclusive original
otherwise, since he claims that the transaction was jurisdiction over all matters involving the
entered into in Manila. He who alleges must prove his implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling
allegations apply. Here, petitioner failed to prove that the under the exclusive jurisdiction of the DA and the
transaction happened in Manila. He argues that since he DENR. Further exception to the DAR's original and
and his late wife actually resided in Manila, convenience exclusive jurisdiction are all petitions for the
suggests that the transaction was entered there. The determination of just compensation to landowners and
Court wasn’t persuaded. The fact that Cavite is a bit far the prosecution of all criminal offenses under RANo.
from Manila doesn’t necessarily mean that the 6657, which are within the jurisdiction of the RTC
transaction cannot or did not happen there. Distance will sitting as a SAC. Thus, jurisdiction on just compensation
not prevent any person from going to a distant place cases for the taking of lands under RANo. 6657 is vested
where he can procure goods that he can sell so that he in the courts. Here, the trial court properly acquired
can earn a living. It is not improbable or impossible them jurisdiction over Wycoco’s complaint for determination
to have gone, not once, but twice in one day, to Cavite if of just compensation. It must be stressed that although
that is the number of times they received pieces of no summary administrative proceeding was held before
jewelry from complainant. Also, the fact that the checks the DARAB, LBP was able to perform its legal mandate
issued were drawn against accounts with banks in of initially determining the value of Wicca’s land
Manila or Makati doesn’t mean that the transactions pursuant to Executive Order No. 405, Series of 1990.In
were not entered into in Cavite City. When it comes to accordance with settled principles of administrative law,
primary jurisdiction is vested in the DAR to determine That a certain Lita Payunan consulted with Dr.
in a Portigo\ that she had rectum momma and had to
Preliminary undergo an operation. Even after surgery she still
Manner the just compensation for the lands taken under experienced difficulty in urinating and defecating. On her
the agrarian reform program, but such determination is 2
subject to challenge before the courts. The resolution of Nd
just compensation cases for the taking of lands under operation, she woke to find that her anus and vagina were
agrarian reform is, after all, essentially a judicial closed and hole with a catheter punched on her right
function. side.\ she found out she had cancer.\ they spent
B. JURISDICTION TO ISSUE HOLDDEPARTURE P150,000 for wrong diagnosis ate agrarian reform
ORDERS1. MONDEJAR v BUBAN matters and was affirmed by the CA hence this petition
FACTS: for review. Foz and Fajardo raised for the first time that
Mondejar seeks to hold Judge Buban of the Tacloban the information charging them with libel did not contain
City MTCC administratively liable for gross ignorance allegations sufficient to vest jurisdiction in the RTC of
of the law, partiality, serious irregularity and grave Iloilo City.
misconduct, in relation to a BP 22 case against Mondejar. Issue:
Judge Buban allegedly issued a “hold departure order” W/N the RTC of Iloilo had jurisdiction over the offense
against her, in violation of SC Circular No. 39-97, which Held:
says that “hold departure orders”may only be issued in NO Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of
criminal cases within theexclusive jurisdiction of the jurisdiction. The offense should have been committed or
RTC. She also claims that said order was issued without any one of its essential elements took place within the
giving her an opportunity to be heard. The judge territorial jurisdiction of the court. The jurisdiction of
responded, stating that he was only made aware of said the court is determined by the allegations in the
order when he instructed his staff to secure a copy from complaint or information. The rules on venue for written
the Executive Judge of the RTC of Taliban. After which, defamation are as follows:
he immediately issued an order setting aside and lifting 1.
the “hold departure order”. As regards the supposed due When offended party is a public official or private person
process, he sent a notice of hearing to her and her = filed in RTC of province or city where the libelous
counsel, but neither appeared. Court Administrator article is printed and first published
recommended a severe reprimand with a stern warning 2.
that should it happen again, he would be dealt with more When offended party is a private individual =filed in
severely. RTC of province where he actually resided at the time of
ISSUE: commission of offense
W/N the judge is administratively liable? 3.
HELD: When offended party is a public officer whose office is in
YES. The judge is administratively liable. Circular No. Manila = filed in RTC of Manila4.When offended party
39-97 limits the authority to issue hold-departure orders is a public officer holding office outside Manila = filed in
to criminal cases within the jurisdiction of second level RTC of province or city where he held office at the time
courts. Paragraph No. 1 of the said circular specifically of commission of the offense Dr. Portigo is a private
provides that “hold-departure orders shall be issued only individual at the time of thepublication of the libelous
in criminal cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of the article, the venue may bethe RTC of the province/city
regional trial courts.” Clearly then, criminal cases within where the libelous articlewas printed and first published
the exclusive jurisdiction of first level courts do not fall OR where he actuallyresided at the time of the
within the ambit of the circular, and it was an error on commission of the offense. The Information [relevant to
the part of respondent judge to have issued one in the REM] states only that “x xx both the accused as
instant case. columnists and editor-publisher, respectively of Panay
C. JURISDICTION DETERMINED BY News, a daily publication with considerable circulation in
ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT1. FOZ v the City of Iloilo and throughout the region x”. Such did
PEOPLE not establish that the said publication was printed and
Facts: published in Iloilo City. As cited in 2 other cases, the SC
Vicente Foz (columnist) and Danny Fajardo (editor- held that if it would be held that the information
publisher) of Panay News were charged with libel for sufficiently vests jurisdiction on the allegation that the
writing and publishing an article against Dr. Edgar publication was in general circulation in [place where
Portigo case is filed], there would be no impediment to the filing
1 of the libel action in other location where the publication
.The RTC found them guilty as charged which is in general circulation. Such was not the intent of RA
1 4363.On residence – the information failed to allege the
residence of Dr. Portigo. While the information alleges
that “Dr. Portigo is a physician and medical practitioner amended on February 5, 1997 by R.A. No. 8249. The
in Iloilo City”, it did not clearly and positively indicate alleged commission of the offense, as shown in the
that he was actually residing in Iloilo City at the time of Information was on or about December 19, 1995 and the
the commission of the offense. It was possible that he was filing of the Information was on May 21, 2004. The
actually residing in another place. Residence of a person jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is to be
is his personal, actual or physical habitation or his actual determined at the time of the institution of the action, not
residence or place of abode provided he resides therein at the time of the commission of the offense. The
with continuity and consistency; no particular length of exception contained in R.A. 7975, as well as R.A.
time is required. Residence must be more than 8249,where it expressly provides that to determine the
temporary. jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in cases involving
violations of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, R.A. No.
D. JURISDICTION OF SANDIGANBAYAN1. 1379,and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised
PEOPLE v SANDIGANBAYAN Penal Code is not applicable in the present case as the
FACTS: offense involved herein is a violation of The Auditing
Victoria Amante was a member of the Code of the Philippines. The last clause of the opening
Sangguniang Panlungsod sentence of paragraph (a) of the said two provisions
Of Toledo City, Province of Cebu at the time pertinent states:Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. -- The Sandiganbayan shall
to this case. On January 14, 1994, she was able to get exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases
hold of a cash advance in the amount of P71,095.00 under involving: A. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as
a disbursement voucher in order to defray seminar amended, other known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
expenses of the Committee on Health and Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II,
Environmental Protection, which she headed. As of Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code,
December 19, 1995, or after almost two years since she where one or more of the accused are officials occupying
obtained the said cash advance, no liquidation was made. the following positions in the government, whether in a
Commission on Audit sent a report to Office of the permanent, acting or interim capacity,
Deputy Ombudsman, which then issued a resolution At the time of the commission of the offense
recommending the filing of Information for violating the The present case falls under Section 4(b) where other
Auditing Code of the Philippines against respondent offenses and felonies
Amante. The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), Committed by public officials or employees in relation to
upon review of the OMB-Visayas' Resolution, on April 6, their office are involved.
2001, prepared a memorandum finding probable cause to Under the said provision, no exception is contained.
indict respondent Amante. The OSP filed Information Thus, the general rule that jurisdiction of court to try a
with the Sandiganbayan accusing Victoria Amante of criminal case is to be determined at the time of the
violating Section 89 of P.D.No. 1445 alleging that “with institution of the action, not at the time of the
deliberate intent and intent to gain, did then and there, commission of the offense applies in this present case.
willfully, unlawfully and criminally fail to liquidate said Since the present case was instituted on May 21,2004,
cash advances of P71,095.00.” The OSP filed an the provisions of R.A. No. 8249 shall govern.
Information with the Sandiganbayan accusing Victoria This Court had ruled that as long as the offense charged
Amante of violating Section 89 of P.D. No. 1445,Amante in the information is intimately connected with the office
countered by saying amongst others that Sandiganbayan and is alleged to have been perpetrated while the accused
had no jurisdiction over the said criminal case because was in the performance, though improper or irregular, of
respondent Amante was then local official who was his official functions, there being no personal motive to
occupying a position of salary grade 26, whereas Section commit the crime and had the accused not have
4 of Republic Act (R.A.) No.8249 provides that the committed it had he not held the aforesaid office, the
Sandiganbayan shall have original jurisdiction only in accused is held to have been indicted for "an offense
cases where the accused holds a position otherwise committed in relation" to his office
classified as Grade 27 and higher, of the Compensation .
and Position Classification Act of 1989, R.A. No. 6758. Note also that: Those that are classified as Grade 26 and
ISSUE: below may still fall within the jurisdiction of the
Whether or not a member of the Sandiganbayan provided that they hold the positions
Sangguniang Panlungsod thus enumerated by R.A. No. 3019. Particularly and
Under Salary Grade 26 who was charged with violation exclusively enumerated are provincial governors, vice-
of The Auditing Code of the Philippines falls within the governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan,
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and
RULING: other provincial department heads; city mayors, vice-
The applicable law in this case is Section 4 of P.D. mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city
No.1606, as amended by Section 2 of R.A. No. 7975 treasurers, assessors, engineers , and other city
which took effect on May 16, 1995, which was again department heads; officials of the diplomatic service
occupying the position as consul and higher; Philippine 2. Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the offense of
army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all estafa.
officers of higher rank; PNP chief superintendent and Section 4(B) of P.D. No. 1606 reads’. Other offenses or
PNP officers of higher rank; City and provincial felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes
prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and committed by the public officials and employees
prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to
prosecutor; and presidents, directors or trustees, or their office.
managers of government-owned or controlled The jurisdiction is simply subject to the twin
corporations, state universities or educational requirements that (a) the offense is committed by public
institutions or foundations. In connection therewith, officials and employees and that (b) the offense is
Section 4(b) of the same law provides that other offenses committed in relation to their office. Plainly, estafa is one
or felonies committed by public officials and employees of those other felonies.
mentioned in subsection (a) in relation to their office also 3. Petitioner UP student regent is a public officer.
fall under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Petitioner claims that she is not a public officer with
Salary Grade 27; she is, in fact, a regular tuition fee-
2. SERRANA v SANDIGANBAYAN paying student. This is likewise bereft of merit. It is not
Facts: only the salary grade that determines the jurisdiction of
Serana was a senior student and a government scholar of the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan also has
UP-Cebu. She was appointed by then President Estrada jurisdiction over other officers enumerated in P.D.
as a student regent of UP, to serve a one-year term. She No.1606.While the first part of Section 4(A) covers only
discussed with President Estrada the renovation of officials with Salary Grade 27 and higher, its second part
Vinson’s Hall Annex in UP Diliman. With her siblings specifically includes other executive officials whose
and relatives, Serana registered with the SEC the Office positions may not be of Salary Grade 27 and higher but
of the Student Regent Foundation, Inc. (OSRFI). One of who are by express provision of law placed under the
the projects of the OSRFI was the renovation of the jurisdiction of the said court. Petitioner falls under the
Vinson’s Hall Annex. President Estrada gave P15M to jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as she is placed there
the OSRFI as financial assistance for the proposed by express provision of law. As the Sandiganbayan
renovation. The source of the funds, according to the pointed out, the BOR performs functions similar to those
information, was the Office of the President .However, of a board of trustees of anon-stock Corporation.
the renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex failed to Moreover, it is well established that compensation is not
materialize. Hence, the succeeding student regent, filed a an essential element of public office. At most, it is merely
complaint for Malversation of Public Funds and incidental to the public office.
Property with the Office of the Ombudsman. And the 4. The offense charged was committed in relation to
Ombudsman, after due investigation, found probable public office, according to the Information.
cause to indict Serana and her brother for estafa. Serana It is axiomatic that jurisdiction is determined by the
moved to quash the information. She claimed that the averments in the information. In the case at bench, the
Sandiganbayan does not have any jurisdiction over the information alleged, in no uncertain terms that
offense charged or over her person, in her capacity as UP petitioner, being then a student regent of U.P., "while in
student regent. the performance of her official functions, committing the
Issue: offense in relation to her office and taking advantage of
Whether Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction to try her position, with intent to gain…”
government scholar and a student regent, along wither 3. ESQUIVEL vSANDIGANBAYAN(borrowed from C)
brother (a private individual), of swindling government
funds? YES FACTS:
Ratio:1. The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is set by PO2 Eduardo and SPO1 Catacutan are assigned to the
P.D. No. 1606, as amended, not by R.A. No.3019, as Regional Intelligence and Investigation Division of San
amended. Fernando Pampanga. They filed their complaint-
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. - The Sandiganbayan shall exercise affidavits with the CIDG against petitioners
exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: A. AntonioEsquivel (the municipal mayor Jaen, Nueva
xxx (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the Ecija) and his brother Eboy Esquivel. They crimes
positions of regional director and higher, otherwise complained of were illegal arrest, arbitrary detention,
classified as Grade "27" and higher, of the Compensation maltreatment, attempted murder and grave threats.
and Position Classification Act of 989(Republic Act No. Several other police officers were accused with the
6758), specifically including: xxx " (g) Presidents, Esquivels. The initial investigation showed that on
directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned March1998, Eduardo was in his parents’ house, about to
or controlled corporations, state universities or eat lunch when Equivels arrived with other police
educational institutions or foundations. officers. They disarmed Eduardo and forced him to board
their vehicle and brought him to the municipal hall. On
the way, Mayor Esquivel mauled him and threatened to accused(underscoring supplied) are occupying positions
kill him while pointing a gun at Eduardo. Upon arrival corresponding to salary grade ‘27’ or higher" that
at the town hall, Mayor Esquivel ordered a certain SPO1 “exclusive original jurisdiction shall be vested in the
Espiritu to kill Eduardo butSPO1 Catacutan arrived to proper regional trial court, metropolitan trial court,
verify what happened to Eduardo. The mayor threatened municipal trial court, and municipal circuit court, as the
him as well. The mayor continued to harass, threaten and case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as
inflict physical injuries upon Eduardo until he lost provided in Batas Pampanga Blog. 129, as amended."
consciousness. When he woke up, he was released button Note that under the 1991 Local Government Code,
before he signed a statement in a police blotter that he Mayor Esquivel has a salary grade of 27. Since
was in good physical condition. The alleged motive for Barangay
this was because the mayor believed Eduardo and Captain Esquivel is the co-accused in Criminal Case No.
Catacutan were among the law enforcers who raided a 24777 of Mayor Esquivel,whose position falls under
jueteng den connected to the mayor. After investigation, salary grade 27, theSandiganbayan committed no grave
the CIDG forwarded the findings to the Office of the abuse of discretion in assuming jurisdiction over said
Deputy Ombudsman, which conducted a preliminary criminalcase, as well as over Criminal Case No.
investigation and required the submission of counter- 24778,involving both of them. Hence, the writ of
affidavits. In their counter-affidavits, the Esquivels certioraricannot issue in petitioners’ favor.
allege that Eduardo was actually a fugitive with a
warrant of arrest for malversation and they just
confiscated his gun for illegal possession.
In June 1998, the Deputy Ombudsman issued a
resolution recommending that both Esquivels be
indicted for less serious physical injuries and grave
threats. As to the charges against other petitioners, they
were dismissed. Then Ombudsman Desierto approved
this. So, the separate informations were filed against the
Esquivels in the Sandiganbayan. Accused filed an MR
but this was denied. Esquivels were arraigned, pleaded
not guilty. With the denial of their MR, they elevate the
matter to the SC alleging GADLEJ in the issuance of the
resolution of the deputy ombudsman. Petitioners
theorize that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over
their persons as they hold positions excluded in Republic
Act No. 7975. As the positions of municipal mayors and
Captains are not mentioned therein, they claim they are
not covered by said law under the principle of
Expressio unius est exclusio alterius
W/N the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the cases
against both Mayor Esquivel and Eboy Esquivel.
HELD/RATIO: Yes, Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction.
Esquivels are wrong!
Petitioners’ claim lacks merit. In
Rodrigo, Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan
Binary vs. Sandiganbayan
, and
Layus vs. Sandiganbayan
, we already held that municipal mayors fall under the
original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
Nor can
Captain Mark Anthony Esquivel claim that since he is
not a municipal mayor, he is outside the Sandiganbayan’s
jurisdiction. R.A. 7975, as amended by R.A. No. 8249,
provides that it is only in cases where "none of the