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Bayani Subido Jr. and Rene Parina, petitioners vs. Sandiganbayan, respondent G.R. No. 122641, 20 January 1997, 266 SCRA 379.

Doctrine The reckoning point for the Sandiganbayan to have jurisdiction over the accused and the offense charged is the time of the commission of the crime. The information filed in Criminal Case 22825 alleged that petitioners Subido and Parina committed acts constituting Arbitrary Detention while they were performing their official functions. Moreover, the penalty for Arbitrary Detention due to Maksimuk’s detention of forty-three (43) days is prision mayor (6 years 1 day 12 years) and under E.O. 184, the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over such offenses.

A procedural and curative statute may validly be given retroactive effect, there being no

impairment of contractual or vested rights.

Type of Appeal/Action Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 on ground of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Petitioners Bayani Subido Jr. and Rene Parina sought to set aside the Sandiganbayan’s Resolution (dated 25 October 1995) denying their Motion to Quash and its Order (dated 10 November 1995) denying their Motion for Reconsideration.

Facts Petitioners Subido and Parina were charged with Arbitrary Detention (penalized under Revised Penal Code) in an information filed on 28 July 1995. The case was docketed as Criminal Case 22825. The information alleged that then Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation Bayani Subido Jr. and then BID Special Agent Rene Parina willfully, unlawfully and feloniously caused the issuance and implementation of an arrest warrant dated 25 June 1992 against James J. Maksimuk, in conspiracy with each other and while performing their official functions. The said warrant caused Maksimuk’s detention for forty-three (43) days.

The petitioners then filed on 28 August 1995 a Motion to Quash, where they alleged that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over their person and the offense charged and they should be tried in RTC of Manila, as Arbitary Detention (penalized under the Revised Penal Code) is not covered under R.A. No. 7975. Also, they argued that R.A. 7975 should be given prospective application because when the case was filed, Subido was already a private person since he separated from government service on 28 February 1995 while Parina did not hold a position corresponding to Salary Grade 27.

The prosecution filed their opposition to the Motion to Quash on 28 September 1995, contending that under Sec. 4(b) of R.A. 7975, the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over the petitioners and

the offense charged and that the basis of Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction is “the position of the accused in the government service when the offense charged was committed and not the nature

of the offense charged, provided the offense committed by the accused was in the exercise of his

duties and in relation to his office.”

The petitioners’ Motion to Quash was denied by the Sandiganbayan (in its Resolution dated 25 October 1995). The Sandiganbayan ruled that it has jurisdiction over the case, as stated in Sec. 4 (a)e of R.A. 7975.

/archibald.manansala Archibald Jose T. Manansala CEU School of Law and Jurisprudence

Bayani Subido Jr. and Rene Parina, petitioners vs. Sandiganbayan, respondent G.R. No. 122641, 20 January 1997, 266 SCRA 379.

As the arraignment was 10 November 1995, the petitioners filed on 9 November 1995 Motion

for Reconsideration, but the Sandiganbayan that motion through its Order dated 10 November

1995.

Hence, this petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 on ground of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.

Issues W/N the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over the petitioners and the offense of Arbitrary Detention charged against them?

Legal Provisions

Section 2 of Rep. Act. 7975 states that the Sandiganbayan shall exercise original jurisdiction in all cases involving:

a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the principal accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government, whether in permanent, acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense:

(1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade 27 and higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including:

(a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang

panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial department heads;

(b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod,

city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city department heads;

(c) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul

and higher;

(d) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers

of higher rank;

(e)

PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher rank;

(f)

City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and

prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor;

(g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or

controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations;

/archibald.manansala Archibald Jose T. Manansala CEU School of Law and Jurisprudence

Bayani Subido Jr. and Rene Parina, petitioners vs. Sandiganbayan, respondent G.R. No. 122641, 20 January 1997, 266 SCRA 379.

(2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade "27" and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989;

(3)

Constitution;

Members

of

the

judiciary

without

prejudice

to

the

provisions

of

the

(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and

(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade "27" and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989;

b. Other offenses or felonies committed by the public officials and employees mentioned

in subsection (a) of this section in relation to their office.

c. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A.

In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade "27" or higher, as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers occupying the rank of superintendent or higher, or their equivalent, exclusive jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, as the case may be, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129.

Further, section 7 of the same law states upon the effectivity of this Act, all criminal cases in which trial has not begun in the Sandiganbayan shall be referred to the proper courts.

Held The petition of Subido and Parina was DISMISSED by the Supreme Court.

Ruling The Court ruled that as per Sections 2 and 7 of Rep. Act 7975, the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the offense, as the information in Criminal Case 22825 stated that the petitioners “willfully, unlawfully and feloniously caused the issuance and implementation of an arrest warrant dated 25 June 1992 against James J. Maksimuk, in conspiracy with each other and while performing their official functions.” Moreover, the penalty for the Arbitrary Detention due to Maksimuk’s detention of forty-three (43) days is prision mayor (6 years 1 day 12 years), and under E.O. 184, the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over such offense. It also stated that the petitioners overlooked that the reckoning point for the Sandiganbayan to have jurisdiction over them and the offense charged is the time of the commission of the crime. Moreover, Subido never denied in the lower court that at time when he committed the offense, he was classified under Salary Grade 27 for the position of Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation.

Contrary to the petitioner’s argument, the Court also ruled that the Sandiganbayan Law (PD 1606, as amended by RA 7975) is not a penal law which defines crimes and provide punishment for such acts, but a procedural law which prescribes rules and forms of procedure of enforcing rights or obtaining redress for their invasion. Thus, as a procedural and curative statute, R.A. No.

/archibald.manansala Archibald Jose T. Manansala CEU School of Law and Jurisprudence

Bayani Subido Jr. and Rene Parina, petitioners vs. Sandiganbayan, respondent G.R. No. 122641, 20 January 1997, 266 SCRA 379.

7975 may validly be given retroactive effect, there being no impairment of contractual or vested rights

/archibald.manansala Archibald Jose T. Manansala CEU School of Law and Jurisprudence