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People vs. Montejo, 108 Phil.

Mayor Leroy Brown of Basilan City and several detectives were
charged with murder for the killing of Yakan Awalin Tebag.
Mayor Brown ordered his men to arrest and detain Tebag. He
was also subjected to severe torture during the course of his
investigation held at a police substation which later resulted to
his death. The Mayor and his men then brought him to a nearby
isolated field to make it appear that Tebag had been killed during
an encounter.
Was the offense committed in relation to their public office?
YES. The offense was committed in relation to their public office.
While public office is not an element of the crime of murder, the
offense charged in the amended information is intimately
connected with their respective offices and was perpetrated
while they were in the performance, though improper or
irregular, of their official functions. Indeed, they had no personal
motive to commit the crime and they would not have committed
it had they not held their aforesaid offices. The co-defendants of
Mayor Brown obeyed his instructions because he was their
superior officer as Mayor of Basilan City.

Sanchez vs. Demetriou, 207 SCRA 627

Mayor Sanchez of Calauan, Laguna was charged for the crime of
rape with homicide for the rape-slay of Mary Eileen Sarmenta
and the killing of Allan Gomez. The information against him was
filed with the Regional Trial Court. Mayor Sanchez moves to
quash the information on the ground that as the incumbent
Mayor at the time of the alleged commission of the crime, his
case should only be tried under the jurisdiction of
Sandiganbayan, and not of the regular courts. The law provides
that the Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original
jurisdiction over (1) graft and corruption cases and (2) offenses
committed in relation to the office of the petitioner.
Does the Regional Trial Court have jurisdiction in his case?
YES. The case should be tried under the RTC and not
Sandiganbayan. The case of Mayor Sanchez was NOT considered
in relation to his public office. In the case at bar, there is no
direct relation between the commission of the crime of rape with
homicide and Mayor Sanchez's office because public office is not
an essential element of the crime charged. The offense can stand
independently of the office. Moreover, it is not even alleged in
the information that the commission of the crime charged was
intimately connected with the performance of the petitioner's
official functions.

Lacson vs. Executive Secretary, 301 SCRA 298

Petitioners Chief Superintendent Panfilo Lacson and other police
officers were charged as principal accused in eleven (11)
informations for multiple murder before the Sandiganbayan for
the killing of eleven (11) persons, who are alleged members of
the Kuratong Baleleng gang. In the amended informations,
Lacson and others were later charged as accessory accused
before the Sandiganbayan. Nevertheless, Panfilo Lacson and
others questioned the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan,
asserting that under the amended informations, the cases fall
within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court pursuant to RA
7975 (old Sandiganbayan law) because the law limits the
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan to cases where the "principal
accused has the rank of Chief Superintendent or higher. The
cases were transferred to the Regional Trial Court since none of
the principal accused has the rank of Chief Superintendent or
higher. When RA 8249, defining and expanding the
Sandiganbayans jurisdiction, was approved into law, the
Sandiganbayan declared that it has jurisdiction to try and decide
offenses committed by public officers in relation to their office.

Does the Sandiganbayan have jurisdiction in this case?

NO. The case is within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
Regional Trial Court, not the Sandiganbayan because the
amended informations failed to show that the offense was
intimately connected with the discharge of official functions of
the accused PNP officers. While the information states that the
crime of murder was committed in relation to their public office,
there is, however, no specific allegation of facts that the shooting
of the victim was intimately related to the discharge of the
official duties of police officers.
Likewise, the amended
information does not indicate that the said accused arrested and
investigated the victim and then killed the latter while in their
custody. Mere allegation in the amended information that the
offense was committed by the accused public officer in relation
to his office is not sufficient. That phrase is merely a conclusion
of law, not a factual averment that would show the close
intimacy between the offense charged and the discharge of the
accuseds official duties.

Corpuz vs. Tanodbayan, April 25, 1987

FACTS: Petitioners Natividad Corpuz and several COMELEC
officials were charged with violation of the 1978 Election Code
for electioneering and campaigning inside the voting centers
during the election. The complaint was initially filed before the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC). The COMELEC then
conducted a formal investigation but later dismissed the
complaint for insufficiency of evidence. The complaint was refiled
with the Tanodbayan and the latter started a preliminary
investigation. Petitioners moved for the dismissal of the
complaint but were denied by the Tanodbayan as it asserts
exclusive authority to prosecute the case. The Tanodbayan also

contends that only the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over

offenses committed by public officers and employees in relation
to their office.
Does the Sandiganbayan have jurisdiction over election offenses
committed by a public officer in relation to his office?
NO. Under the Constitution and 1978 Election Code, it is the
COMELEC, not the Tanodbayan or Sandiganbayan which has the
exclusive jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute election
offenses committed by any person, whether private individual or
public officer or employee, and irrespective of whether the
offense is committed in relation to his official duties or not. In
other words, it is the nature of the offense and not the
personality of the offender that matters. As long as the offense is
an election offense, jurisdiction over the same rests exclusively
with the COMELEC, in view of its all-embracing power over the
conduct of elections.

Bondoc vs. Sandiganbayan, November 9, 1990


Two government employees of the Central Bank (now Bangko

Sentral ng Pilipinas) and several private individuals were
charged with several counts of estafa thru falsification of public
documents filed before the Sandiganbayan. The cases were
assigned in the Second Division of the Sandiganbayan. Two years
later, Carlito Bondoc who was an Assistant Manager of
CITIBANK and another private individual, were charged as coprincipals by indispensable cooperation due to their alleged
conspiracy with the government employees. The case was
assigned to the Third Division of the Sandiganbayan. The Third
Division later referred Bondocs case to the Second Division to
consolidate it with the case against the government employees.
But it turned out that the case against the government
employees has already been terminated leaving Bondocs case on
its own. The Sandiganbayan then seeks to try Bondoc separately
from the government employees. Bondoc argues that as a private
individual charged as co-principal with the government
employees, the law requires that he should be tried jointly with
the government employees involved in the same offenses. Since a
joint trial was then already impossible, the Sandiganbayan
cannot exercise jurisdiction over his case.
Does the Sandiganbayan still have jurisdiction even if joint trial
is no longer feasible?
DECISION: YES. These crimes are still within the exclusive,
original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan since the crimes
charged are "offenses or felonies committed by public officers
and employees in relation to their office," in confabulation and
conspiracy with Bondoc and other private persons. Private
individuals accused in the Sandiganbayan must be tried jointly
together with the public officer unless the attendant
circumstances have made impossible or impracticable such a
joint trial, as in the cases at bar, in which event the trial of said

private persons may proceed separately from the public officers

or employees whose own trials have been concluded. The
inability of the Sandiganbayan to hold a joint trial of Bondocs
cases and those of the government employees separately
charged for the same crimes, has not altered the nature of the
offenses charged committed by government employee in
conspiracy with private persons, including Bondoc.
Azarcon vs. Sandiganbayan, 268 SCRA 747
Petitioner Azarcon, a private businessman involved in earthmoving business, was in possession of an Isuzu dump truck
owned by Jaime Ancla. It turned out that Jaime Ancla was a
delinquent taxpayer. So, the Bureau of Internal Revenue seized
Anclas properties to satisfy his tax liabilities. However, Azarcon
was later authorized by the BIR to keep the dump truck since he
voluntarily offered to act as its custodian. When Ancla
surreptitiously took away the dump truck from Azarcons
custody, Azarcon was then charged and later found guilty before
the Sandiganbayan with the crime of malversation of public
funds or property under the Revised Penal Code (RPC) for
allowing accused Ancla to withdraw the Isuzu dump truck from
his custody. Azarcon contends that the Sandiganbayan has no
jurisdiction over him since he is not a public officer.
ISSUE: Does the Sandiganbayan have jurisdiction over a private
individual like Azarcon?
NO. The Sandiganbayan does not have the jurisdiction over him.
The Sandiganbayan will only have jurisdiction over a private
individual when the complaint charges the private individual
either as a co-principal, accomplice or accessory of a public
officer or employee who has been charged with a crime within its

jurisdiction. The complaint, in this case, does not charge Azarcon

as such. Thus, unless Azarcon is proven a public officer, the
Sandiganbayan will have no jurisdiction over the crime charged.
Hence, the Decision rendered by Sandiganbayan, are null and
void for lack of jurisdiction.