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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. L-40527 June 30, 1976
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
HERMOGENES MARIANO and HON. AMBROSIO M. GERALDEZ, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of
the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, Branch V, respondents.
Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza, Assistant Solicitor General Nathanael P. Pano, Jr., Solicitor Oswaldo D.
Agcaoili, Provincial P.C. Kliachko and Assistant Provincial Fiscal C. G. Perfecto for petitioner.
Eustaquio Evangelista for respondent Hermogenes Mariano.

MUOZ PALMA, J:
This petition for certiorari postulates a ruling on the question of whether or not civil courts and military
commissions exercise concurrent jurisdiction over the offense of estafa of goods valued at not more than six
thousand pesos and allegedly committed by a civilian. 1
On December 18, 1974, the office of the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan filed an Information (Criminal Case No. SM649) accusing private respondent herein Hermogenes Mariano of estafa alleged to have been committed as follows:
That on or about and during the period from May 11 and June 8, 1971, in the municipality of San
Jose del Monte, province of Bulacan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the said accused Hermogenes Mariano, being then appointed as Liaison Officer by the then
incumbent Municipal Mayor, Constantino Nolasco, acting for and in behalf of the municipality of
San Jose del Monte, Bulacan and authorized to receive and be receipted for US excess property of
USAID/NEC for the use and benefit of said municipality, received from the said USAID/NEC the
following items, to wit:
150 ft. electric cable valued
at $15 or P100.50
525 ft. cable power valued at
$577-50 or P3,859.35
250 ft. electric cable at
$125.00 or P837.50
with a total value of $717.50 or P4,797.35, involving the duty of making delivery of said items to
the said Municipal Mayor, but the said accused Hermogenes Mariano once in possession of the
said items and far from complying with his aforesaid obligation and in spite of repeated demands,
did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with grave abuse of confidence and with
deceit, misappropriate, misapply and convert to his own personal use and benefit the said items
valued at $717.50 or P4,797.35, belonging to the said USAID/NEC, to the damage and prejudice
of the said owner in the said sum of $717,50 or P4,797.35. (pp. rollo).
On February 19, 1975, Hermogenes Mariano thru his counsel Filed a motion to quash the Information on the
following grounds:
1. That the court trying the cause has no jurisdiction of the offense charged or of the person of the
defendant;

2. That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;


3. That it contains averments which , if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification. (p.
19, rollo)
In his motion to quash, Mariano claimed that the items which were the subject matter of the Information against him
were the same items for which Mayor Constantino A. Nolasco of San Jose del Monte, province of Bulacan, was
indicted before a Military Commission under a charge of malversation of public property, and for which Mayor
Nolasco had been found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment at hard labor for ten (10) years and one (1) day to
fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months with perpetual disqualification plus a fine of P19,646.15 (see pp. 23-24,
rollo), and that inasmuch as the case against Mayor Nolasco had already been decided by the Military Tribunal, the
Court of First Instance of Bulacan had lost jurisdiction over the case against him. (pp. 19-20, Ibid)
On March 14, 1975 respondent Judge issued an Order granting the motion to quash on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction reasoning as follows:
Considering that the Military Commission had already taken cognizance of the malversation case
against Mayor Nolasco involving the same subject matter in its concurrent jurisdiction with this
Court, the case involving the subject properties had already been heard and decided by a
competent tribunal, the Military Commission, and as such this Court is without jurisdiction to pass
upon anew the same subject matter. (pp. 30-31, rollo, emphasis supplied)
Respondent Judge did not rule on the other grounds invoked in the motion to quash.
The people now seeks a review of the aforesaid Order and presents the sole issue of jurisdiction of respondent Court
over the estafa case filed against respondent Mariano.
"Jurisdiction" is the basic foundation of judicial proceedings. 2 The word "jurisdiction" is derived from two Latin
words "juris" and "dico" "I speak by the law" which means fundamentally the power or capacity given by the
law to a court or tribunal to entertain, hear, and determine certain controversies. 3 Bouvier's own definition of the
term "jurisdiction" has found judicial acceptance, to wit: "Jurisdiction is the right of a Judge to pronounce a sentence
of the law in a case or issue before him, acquired through due process of law;" it is "the authority by which judicial
officers take cognizance of and decide cases." 4
In Herrera vs. Barretto, September 10, 1913, 25 Phil. 245, 251, this Court, in the words of Justice Moreland,
invoking American jurisprudence, defined "jurisdiction" simply as the authority to hear and determine a cause the
right to act in a case. "Jurisdiction" has also been aptly described as the right to put the wheels of justice in
notionand to proceed to the final determination of a cause upon the pleadings and evidence. 5
"Criminal Jurisdiction" is necessarily the authority to hear and try a particular offense and impose the punishment
for it. 6
The conferment of jurisdiction upon courts or judicial tribunals is derived exclusively from the constitution and
statutes of the forum. Thus, the question of jurisdiction of respondent Court of First Instance over the case filed
before it is to be resolved on the basis of the law or statute providing for or defining its jurisdiction. That, We find in
the Judiciary Act of 1948 where in its Section 44 (f) it is provided:
SEC. 44. Original jurisdiction. Courts of First Instance shall have original jurisdiction:
xxx xxx xxx
(f) In all criminal cases in which the penalty provided by law is imprisonment for more than six
months, or a fine of more than two hundred pesos, (emphasis supplied)
The offense of estafa charged against respondent Mariano is penalized with arresto mayor in its maximum period
to prision correccional in its minimum period, or imprisonment from four (4) months and one (1) day to two (2)
years and four (4) months. 7 By reason of the penalty imposed which exceeds six (6) months imprisonment, the
offense alleged to have been committed by the accused, now respondent, Mariano, falls under the original
jurisdiction of courts of first instance.
The above of course is not disputed by respondent Judge; what he claims in his Order is that his court exercises
concurrent jurisdiction with the military commission and because the latter tribunal was the first to take cognizance
of the subject matter, respondent court lost jurisdiction over it .That statement of respondent court is incorrect.

In People vs. Fontanilla, this Court speaking through then Justice now Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro, categorically
reiterated the settled rule that the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the statute in force at the time of the
commencement of the action. 8 In the case at bar, it is rightly contended by the Solicitor General that at the time
Criminal Case No. SM-649 was filed with the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, that was December 18, 1974, the
law in force vesting jurisdiction upon said court was the Judiciary Act of 1948, the particular provision of which was
not affected one way or the other by any Presidential issuances under Martial Law. General Order No. 49
dated October 4, 1974, which repeals General Order No. 12 and the latter's amendments and related General Orders
inconsistent with the former, redefines the jurisdiction of military tribunals over certain offense, and estafa and
malversation are not among those enumerated therein. 9 In other words the Military Commission is not vested with
jurisdiction over the crime of estafa. 9*
Respondent court therefore gravely erred when it ruled that it lost jurisdiction over the estafa case against
respondent Mariano with the filing of the malversation charge against Mayor Nolasco before the Military
Commission. Estafa and malversation are two separate and distinct offenses and in the case now before Us the
accused in one is different from the accused in the other. But more fundamental is the fact that We do not have here
a situation involving two tribunals vested with concurrent jurisdiction over a particular crime so as to apply the rule
that the court or tribunal which first takes cognizance of the case acquires jurisdiction thereof exclusive of the
other. 10 The Military Commission as stated earlier is without power or authority to hear and determine the particular
offense charged against respondent Mariano, hence, there is no concurrent jurisdiction between it and respondent
court to speak of. Estafa as described in the Information filed in Criminal Case No. SM-649 falls within the sole
exclusive jurisdiction of civil courts.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the appealed Order dated March 14, 1975, is set aside and respondent Judge is directed
to proceed with the trial of Criminal Case No. SM- 649 without further delay.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 71989 July 7, 1986
AVELINA CONDE, petitioner,
vs.
HON. FELIX MAMENTA JR., as Presiding Judge of Branch LXX of the Regional Trial Court, Third
Judicial Region (Zambales), and the PEOPLE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
RESOLUTION

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
The sole legal issue in this case certified to us by the Intermediate Appellate Court is whether or not petitioner,
Avelina E. Conde, can be prosecuted criminally for her failure to pay the increased monthly rental of a market stall
leased to her by a municipal (public) corporation,
Petitioner was one of the stall holders in the public market of Masinloc, Zambales, paying a monthly rental of
P27.00. On June 28, 1980, the Sangguniang Bayan of Masinloc passed Municipal Ordinance No. 3-A, series of
1980, fixing the rates of monthly rentals of market stalls. The new rates increased petitioner's rental to P 140.02. The
Municipal Treasurer tried to collect the new rental fees from petitioner but she refused to pay on the ground that the
increased rate was excessive and she had questioned the increase before the Ministry of Local Government and
Community Development.

On February 1, 1982, a criminal complaint was filed against petitioner by the Acting Station Commander of the INP,
Masinloc, Zambales, before the 2nd Municipal Circuit Court of Masinloc and Palauig, Zambales, charging her with
violation of Section 5 B.05, Article B, Chapter V, Revenue Code of Masinloc, Zambales, as amended, allegedly
committed as follows:
That on or about October 1, 1980 up to December 31, 1981 at Public Market, Masinloc, Zambales and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused with deliberate intent inspite of several demands
from the Municipal Treasurer for her co pay did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously refuse and
ignore to pay the monthly dues of the stall she occupies/operates at a total amount of Two Thousand Six Hundred
Forty and 37/100 Pesos (P 2,640.37) Philippine Currency, to include surcharge to the damage and prejudice of the
Municipal Government of Masinloc, Zambales.
The Trial Court considered petitioner's refusal to pay the monthly stall rentals and to vacate the space as "tantamount
to economic sabotage to the Municipal Government of Masinloc, Zambales" and "convicted" her in a Decision dated
July 15, 1983, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, prosecution having proven beyond reasonable doubt the violation by the accused of Section 5B.05,
Article B, Chapter V, Revenue Code of Masinloc, Zambales and Municipal Ordinance No. 3-A, Series of 1980,
accused Avelina Conde is hereby ordered to:
a. Immediately vacate the stalls and premises she is occupying within the Public Market of the
Municipality of Masinloc, Zambales:
b. To pay to the Municipal Treasurer of the Municipality of Masinloc, Zambales the amount of
Four Thousand Seven Hundred One Pesos and Sixty Four Centavos (P4,701.64) representing the
monthly rental and surcharges of the stalls occupied by the accused from October 1, 1980 to
December 31, 1982;
c. To pay a monthly rental and surcharges of P140.82 from January 1, 1983 up to the time she
actually vacate the premises or stalls in the Public Market.
Without pronouncement as to cost.
Petitioner appealed to the Regional Trial Court of Zambales, which, on May 9, 1984, affirmed in toto the appealed
Decision.
Further appealing to the Intermediate Appellate Court, the latter Court, in turn, evated the case to us as one within
this Court's exclusive jurisdiction.
Was the criminal prosecution in order?
We rule in the negative.
Municipal Ordinance No. 3-A, Series of 1980, of the Municipality of Masinloc, Zambales, increasing the monthly
rentals of market stalls, reads in full:
ORDINANCE NO. 3-A
Series of 1980
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ARTICLE B (MARKET FEES) SECTION 5803 (IMPOSITION
OF FEES) OF THE MASINLOC REVENUE CODE.
Be it ordained by the Sangguniang Bayan of Masinloc, Zambales that:
Section 1. All stalls and space occupants in the Masinloc Public Market shall pay to the duly
authorized market collector of the municipality a monthly rental at a fixed rates as follows:
PUBLIC MARKET (NEW)

Front Side............................................................ P 80.00/month


South Side ..............................................................60.00/month
North Side............................................................... 80.00/month
INSIDE STALLS
6 sq. m. - standard size............................................ P 30.00/month
and P 3.00 for every sq. m.
in excess thereof.
OUTSIDE STALLS
6 sq. m. standard size .............................................P 22.00/month
and P 2.00 for every sq. m.
in excess thereof.
Rice Dealers ...........................................................P 20.00/month
FOR OLD NEW MARKET
6 sq. m. standard size ..............................................P 30.00/month
and P 3.00 for every sq. m.
in excess thereof.
Section 2. This Ordinance shall take effect on October 1, 1980.
On motion of Vice-mayor Porfirio F. Elamparo, duly seconded by A B Kagawad Aquilino O.
Edao Jr., the foregoing ordinance was unanimously approved.
While Section 5 B.05, Article B, Chapter V, Revenue Code of Masinloc, Zambales, specifically alleged in the
criminal Complaint as having been violated, provides:
Section 5 B.05 Surcharge for late or non-payment of fees.
a) The lessee of space,stall tienda or booth who fails to pay the monthly rental fee shall pay a
surcharge of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total rent due. Failure to pay the rental fee for three
(3) consecutive months shall cause automatic cancellation of the contract of lease of space or stall
The space or stall shall then be declared vacant and subject to adjudication to any interested
applicant.
b) Any person occupying or using space than what is duly leased to him shall pay twice the regular
rate for the space so occupied
c) Any person occupying more space than what is duly leased to him shall pay twice the regular
rate for such extra space. 1
It should be noted that neither one of the following enactments makes non-payment of fees an offense nor provides
for punishment for violation. The judgment itself is bereft of any criminal sanction. The surcharge imposed by
Section 5 B.05 for late or non-payment of monthly rentals is not a penalty under criminal law but an additional

amount added to the usual charge. It is more of an administrative penalty, which should be recoverable only by civil
action.
There being no offense defined nor punishment prescribed, a criminal action will not lie, and the Municipal Circuit
Trial Court was without criminal jurisdiction over the matter. Criminal jurisdiction is the authority to hear and try a
particular offense and impose the punishment provided by law. 2
ACCORDINGLY, the criminal complaint against petitioner is hereby ordered dismissed, without prejudice to the
right of the Municipal Government of Masinloc, Zambales, to collect, in a civil action if need be, the unpaid rentals
and surcharge due from petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
Abad Santos (Chairman), Yap, Narvasa and Cruz, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 75256 January 26, 1989
JOHN PHILIP GUEVARRA, petitioner,
vs.
HONORABLE IGNACIO ALMODOVAR, respondent.
Teresita Dy-Liacco and Roberto Madrid for petitioner.

PARAS, J.:
Presented before Us is a special civil action for certiorari against the Honorable Judge Ignacio Almodovar of the
City Court of Legaspi, Branch 1, Legaspi City, raising beautiful questions of law which We are tasked to resolve.
Considering the issues and arguments raised by petitioner, We impleaded the People of the Philippines as party
respondents herein in a resolution dated 17 September 1986 (p. 41, Rollo).
The relevant facts gathered from the records are as follows:
Petitioner John Philip Guevarra, then 11 years old, was playing with his best friend Teodoro Almine, Jr. and three
other children in their backyard in the morning of 29 October 1984. They were target-shooting a bottle cap (tansan)
placed around fifteen (15) to twenty (20) meters away with an air rifle borrowed from a neighbor. In the course of
their game, Teodoro was hit by a pellet on his left collar bone which caused his unfortunate death.
After conduct a preliminary investigation, the examining Fiscal exculpated petitioner due to his age and because the
unfortunate occurrence appeared to be an accident. The victim's parents appealed to the Ministry of Justice, which
ordered the Fiscal to file a case against petitioner for Homicide through reckless Imprudence. The information dated
9 October 1985 was consequently filed, which narrated in part:
. . . the above-named accused, who is over 9 years but below 15 years of age and acting with
discernment, did then and there, without taking the necessary precautions to prevent and/or avoid
accident or injuries to persons, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously operate and cause to be fired,
in a reckless and imprudent manner, an air rifle with .22 caliber bore with rifling, oxygen and bolt
operated thereby hitting as a result of said carelessness and imprudence one TEODORICO

PABLO ALMINE at the left side of the body with its pellet, causing injuries which directly caused
his untimely death; . . . (p. 8, Rollo)
On 25 October 1985, petitioner moved to quash the said information on the following grounds:
I
THAT THE FACTS CHARGED DO NOT CONSTITUTE OFFENSE.
II
THAT THE INFORMATION CONTAINS AVERMENTS WHICH IF TRUE WOULD
CONSTITUTE A LEGAL EXCUSE OR JUSTIFICATION.
III
THAT THIS HONORABLE COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENSE
CHARGED AND THE PERSON OF THE DEFENDANT. (p. 9, Rollo)
This motion, in an Order dated 4 April 1986, was denied with respect to the first and third grounds relied upon.
However, the resolution of the second ground was deferred until evidence shall have been presented during trial.
On 26 July 1986, this present petition for certiorari was filed, raising two (2) issues, to wit:
I
WHETHER AN ELEVEN (11) YEAR OLD BOY COULD BE CHARGED WITH THE CRIME
OF HOMICIDE THRU RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE, AND
II
WHETHER THE COURT HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE NOTWITHSTANDING
THE FACT THAT IT DID NOT PASS THRU THE BARANGAY LUPON. (Petition, p. 3, Rollo)
Going through the written arguments of the parties, the surfacing of a corollary controversy with respect to the first
issue raised is evident, that is, whether the term "discernment", as used in Article 12(3) of the Revised Penal Code
(RPC) is synonymous with "intent." It is the position of the petitioner that "discernment" connotes 'intent' (p. 96,
Rollo), invoking the unreported case of People vs. Nieto, G.R. No. 11965, 30 April 1958. In that case We held that
the allegation of "with intent to kill . . ." amply meets the requirement that discernment should be alleged when the
accused is a minor between 9 and 15 years old. Petitioner completes his syllogism in saying that:
If discernment is the equivalent of 'with intent', then the allegation in the information that the
accused acted with discernment and willfully unlawfully, and feloniously, operate or cause to be
fired in a reckless and imprudent manner an air rifle .22 caliber' is an inherent contradiction
tantamount to failure of the information to allege a cause of action or constitute a legal excuse or
exception. (Memorandum for Petitioner, p. 97, Rollo)
If petitioner's argument is correct, then no minor between the ages of 9 and 15 may be convicted of a quasi-offense
under Article 265 of the RPC.
On the contrary, the Solicitor General insists that discernment and intent are two different concepts. We agree with
the Solicitor General's view; the two terms should not be confused.
The word "intent" has been defined as
(a) design; a determination to do a certain things; an aim; the purpose of the mind, including such
knowledge as is essential to such intent;. . .; the design resolve, or determination with which a
person acts.' (46 CJS Intent p. 1103.)

It is this intent which comprises the third element of dolo as a means of committing a felony, freedom and
intelligence being the other two. On the other hand, We have defined the term discernment, as used in Article 12(3)
of the RPC, in the old case of People vs. Doquena, 68 Phil. 580(1939), in this wise:
The discernment that constitutes an exception to the exemption from criminal liability of a minor
under fifteen years of age but over nine, who commits an act prohibited by law, is his mental
capacity to understand the difference between right and wrong . . . (Emphasis supplied) p. 583
From the foregoing, it is clear that the terms "intent" and "discernment" convey two distinct thoughts. While both
are products of the mental processes within a person, the former refers to the desired of one's act while the latter
relates to the moral significance that person ascribes to the said act. Hence a person may not intend to shoot another
but may be aware of the consequences of his negligent act which may cause injury to the same person in negligently
handling an air rifle. It is not connect, therefore, to argue, as petitioner does, that since a minor above nine years of
age but below fifteen acted with discernment, then he intended such act to be done. He may negligently shoot his
friend, thus did not intend to shoot him, and at the same time recognize the undesirable result of his negligence.
In further outlining the distinction between the words "intent" and "discernment," it is worthy to note the basic
reason behind the enactment of the exempting circumstances embodied in Article 12 of the RPC; the complete
absence of intelligence, freedom of action, or intent, or on the absence of negligence on the part of the accused. 1 In
expounding on intelligence as the second element of dolus, Albert 2 has stated:
The second element of dolus is intelligence; without this power, necessary to determine the
morality of human acts to distinguish a licit from an illicit act, no crime can exist, and because ...
the infant 3(has) no intelligence, the law exempts (him) from criminal liability. (Emphasis
supplied)
lt is for this reason, therefore, why minors nine years of age and below are not capable of performing a criminal act.
On the other hand, minors above nine years of appeal but below fifteen are not absolutely exempt. However, they
are presumed to be without criminal capacity, but which presumption may be rebutted if it could be proven that they
were "capable of appreciating the nature and criminality of the act, that is, that (they) acted with discernment. " 4 The
preceding discussion shows that "intelligence" as an element of dolo actually embraces the concept of discernment
as used in Article 12 of the RPC and as defined in the aforecited case of People vs. Doquena, supra. It could not
therefore be argued that discernment is equivalent or connotes 'intent' for they refer to two different concepts.
Intelligence, which includes discernment, is a distinct element of dolo as a means of committing an offense.
In evaluating felonies committed by means of culpa, three (3) elements are indispensable, namely, intelligence,
freedom of action, and negligence. Obviously, intent is wanting in such felonies. However, intelligence remains as
an essential element, hence, it is necessary that a minor above nine but below fifteen years of age be possessed with
intelligence in committing a negligent act which results in a quasi-offense. For him to be criminally liable, he must
discern the rightness or wrongness of the effects of his negligent act. Indeed, a minor over nine years of age but
below fifteen may be held liable for a quasi-offense under Article 365 of the RPC. A reading of the said Article
would reveal such fact as it starts off with the phrase "Any person. . ." without any distinction or exception made.
Ubi lex non distinquit nec nos distinguere debemos.
In his last attempt to justify his position equating the words "intent" and "discernment" used under the law, he cites
the case of People vs. Nieto, supra. However, petitioner failed to present the qualifying sentence preceding the
ruling he now invokes, which reads:
That requirement should be deemed amply met with the allegation in the information that
she. . ."with the intent to kill, did then and there wilfully, criminally and feloniously push one
Lolita Padilla . . ." into a deep place of the Pearanda River and as a consequence thereof Lolita
Padilla got drowned and died right then and there.' This allegation clearly conveys the Idea that
she knew what would be the consequence of her unlawful act of pushing her victim into deep
water and that she knew it to be wrong. (Emphasis supplied)
From the above, it is clear that We did not mean to equate the words "intent" and "discernment." What We meant
was that the combined effect of the words used in the information is to express a knowledge, on the part of the
accused Nieto, of the wrongness or rightness of her act. Hence, petitioner may not validly contend that since the

information now in question alleged "discernment", it in effect alleged "intent." The former may never embrace the
Idea of the latter; the former expresses the thought of passivity while the latter signifies activity.
Coming now to the second issue of jurisdiction, it is contended by the petitioner that the case against him should
have first been brought before the Lupong Tagapayapa pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1508, Section 2(3). He
submits that, considering his entitlement to a two-degree privileged mitigating circumstance due to his minority, P.D.
1508 applies to his case because the penalty imposable is reduced to not higher than arresto menor from an
original arresto mayor maximum to prision correccional medium as prescribed in Article 365 of the RPC. This is
not correct. The jurisdiction of a court over a criminal case is determined by the penalty imposable under the law for
the offense and not the penalty ultimately imposed (People vs. Caldito, 72 Phil. 263; People vs. Purisima, 69 SCRA
314; Dioquino vs. Cruz and People vs. Savellano, 116 SCRA 451). The same principle applies in construing Section
2(3) of P.D. 1508, which states:
xxx xxx xxx
(3) Offense punishable by imprisonment exceeding 30 day , or a fine exceeding P 200.00; ...
(emphasis supplied)
Expounding on the above provision, a member of the committee that drafted P.D. 1508 has said:
The law says 'punishable,' not 'punished.' One should therefore consider the penalty provided for
by law or ordinance as distinguished from the penalty actually imposed in particular cases after
considering the attendant circumstances affecting criminal liability. 5
The foregoing finds support in our jurisprudence as above cited. We therefore rule that, in construing Section 2(3) of
P.D. 1508, the penalty which the law defining the offense attaches to the latter should be considered. Hence, any
circumstance which may affect criminal liability must not be considered.
The petitioner, in his arguments, asserts that since P.D. 1508 has not been complied with, the trial court has no
jurisdiction over the case. This erroneous perception has been corrected long before. As intimated in the case
ofRoyales vs. IAC, 127 SCRA 470, and categorically stated in Ebol vs. Amin, 135 SCRA 438, P.D. 1508 is not
jurisdictional.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, this petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit and the
Temporary Restraining Order effective 17 September 1986 is LIFTED. Let this case be REMANDED to the lower
court for trial on the merits. No cost.
SO ORDERED.
Melencio-Herrera, (Chairperson), Padilla, Sarmiento and Regalado, JJ., concur.

Footnotes
1 Reyes, The Revised Penal Code, Book 1, 12th Ed., 1981, p. 213.
2 Albert, the Revised Penal Code, Manila: University Publishing Co., Inc., 1946, p. 22.
3 Ibid., referring to article 12, Number 2. See footnote, p. 22.
4 Ibid., P. 82.
5 Pe Cecillio and Tadiar, Alfredo, 'Katarungang Pambarangay': Dynamics of Compulsory
Conciliation. Manila': UST Press, 1979 p. 65-66.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 45815 May 18, 1990


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
LIBERTAD LAGON and HON. JUDGE ISIDRO O. BARRIOS, AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE CITY
COURT OF ROXAS CITY, respondents.

FELICIANO, J.:
On 7 July 1976, a criminal information was filed with the City Court of Roxas City and docketed as Criminal Case
No. 7362, charging private respondent Libertad Lagon with the crime of estafa under paragraph 2(d) of Article 315
of the Revised Penal Code. The information charged that the accused had allegedly issued a check in the amount of
P4,232.80 as payment for goods or merchandise purchased, knowing that she did not have sufficient funds to cover
the check, which check therefore subsequently bounced.

The case proceeded to trial and the prosecution commenced the presentation of its evidence. However, in an Order
dated 2 December 1976, the City Court dismissed the information upon the ground that the penalty prescribed by
law for the offense charged was beyond the court's authority to impose. The judge held that the jurisdiction of a
court to try a criminal action is determined by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action, and not by
the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime. At the time of the alleged commission of the crime in
April 1975, jurisdiction over the offense was vested by law in the City Court. However, by the time the criminal
information was filed, paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code had already been amended and the
penalty imposable upon a person accused thereunder increased, which penalty was beyond the City Court's authority
to impose. Accordingly, the court dismissed the information without prejudice to its being refiled in the proper court.
Hence this Petition for Review brought by the People, arguing that the City Court of Roxas City had jurisdiction
over Criminal Case No. 7362 and that it had erred in issuing its Order dismissing the case. Because the Petition for
Review was signed by the City Fiscal and Assistant City Fiscal of Roxas City as counsel for the People, the Court
referred the petition to the Office of the Solicitor General for comment. Responding to the Court's resolution, the
then acting Solicitor General Vicente Mendoza stated that the Office of the Solicitor General, having been
previously consulted by the Assistant City Fiscal of Roxas City, agreed with the position taken by the latter that the
City Court had jurisdiction over the criminal case involved, and asked that the petition be given due course.
After deliberation on the instant Petition for Review, the Court considers that petitioner has failed to show that the
City Court had committed reversible error in dismissing the criminal information in Criminal Case No. 7362 without
prejudice to its refiling in the proper court.
Under the penultimate paragraph of Section 87 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, the law governing the
subject matter jurisdiction of municipal and city courts in criminal cases in 1975 and 1976, "[municipal judges in the
capitals of provinces and sub-provinces and judges of city courts shall have like jurisdiction as the Court of First
Instance to try parties charged with an offense within their respective jurisdictions, in which the penalty provided by
law does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment for not more than six (6) years or fine not exceeding
P6,000.00 or both . . . ." It appears that at the time of the commission of the offense charged on 5 April 1975, the
penalty imposable for the offense charged under paragraph 2(d) in relation to the third sub-paragraph of the first
paragraph, Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, was arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional
in its minimum period; at that time therefore, the offense clearly fell within the jurisdiction of the City Court of
Roxas City.
At the time of the institution of the criminal prosecution on 7 July 1976, the penalty imposable for the offense
charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 had been increased by P.D. No. 818 (effective 22 October 1975) to prision
mayor in its medium period.
It is firmly settled doctrine that the subject matter jurisdiction of a court in criminal law matters is properly measured
by the law in effect at the time of the commencement of a criminal action, rather than by the law in effect at the time
of the commission of the offense charged. 1 Thus, in accordance with the above rule, jurisdiction over the instant
case pertained to the then Court of First Instance of Roxas City considering that P.D. No. 818 had increased the
imposable penalty for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 to a level-in excess of the minimum penalty
which a city court could impose.
The real question raised by the petitioner is: would application of the above-settled doctrine to the instant case not
result in also applying Presidential Decree No. 818 to the present case, in disregard of the rule against retroactivity
of penal laws? Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code permits penal laws to have retroactive effect only "insofar as
they favor the person guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, . . . " We do not believe so.
In the first place, subject-matter jurisdiction in criminal cases is determined by the authority of the court to impose
the penalty imposable under the applicable statute given the allegations of a criminal information. In People
v.Purisima, 2 the Court stressed that:
xxx xxx xxx
. . . The issue here is one of jurisdiction, of a court's legal competence to try a case ab origine. In
criminal prosecutions, it is settled that the jurisdiction of the court is not determined by what may
be meted out to the offender after trial, or even by the result of the evidence that would be
presented at the trial, but by the extent of the penalty which the law imposes for the misdemeanor,

crime or violation charged in the complaint. If the facts recited in the complaint and the
punishment provided for by law are sufficient to show that the court in which the complaint is
presented has jurisdiction, that court must assume jurisdiction. 3 (Citations omitted; Emphasis
supplied.)
The same rule was set forth and amplified in People v. Buissan, 4 in the following terms:
xxx xxx xxx
. . . in criminal prosecutions, jurisdiction of the court is not determined by what may be meted out
to the offender after trial (People v. Cuello, 1 SCRA 814) or even by the result of the evidence that
would be presented during the trial (People v. Co Hick 62 Phil. 503) but by the extent of the
penalty which the law imposes, together with other legal obligations, on the basis of the facts as
recited in the complaint or information (People v. Purisima, 69 SCRA 347) constitutive of the
offense charged, for once jurisdiction is acquired by the court in which the information is filed, it
is retained regardless whether the evidence proves a lesser offense than that charged in the
information (People v. Mision, 48 O.G. 1330) 5 (Emphasis supplied.)
Thus, it may be that after trial, a penalty lesser than the maximum imposable under the statute is proper under the
specific facts and circumstances proven at the trial. In such a case, that lesser penalty may be imposed by the trial
court (provided it had subject-matter jurisdiction under the rule above referred to) even if the reduced penalty
otherwise falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of an inferior court.
In People v. Buissan, 6 the Court also said:
xxx xxx xxx
. . . It is unquestionable that the Court of First Instance, taking cognizance of a criminal case
coming under its jurisdiction, may, after trial, impose a penalty that is proper for a crime within
the exclusive competence of a municipal or city court as the evidence would warrant. It may not
be said, therefore, that the Court of First Instance would be acting without jurisdiction if in a
simple seduction case, it would impose penalty of not more than six months of imprisonment, if
said case, for the reason already adverted to, be held to fall under the jurisdiction of the Court of
First Instance, not a city or municipal court. 7 (Emphasis supplied.)
In the case at bar, the increased penalty provided for the offense charged in Criminal Case No. 7362 by P.D. No. 818
(prison mayor in its medium period) is obviously heavier than the penalty provided for the same offense originally
imposed by paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code (up to prision correccional in its minimum
period).
Should the criminal information be refiled in the proper court, that is, the proper Regional Trial Court, that court
may not impose that more onerous penalty upon private respondent Libertad Lagon (assuming the evidence shows
that the offense was committed before 22 October 1975). But the Regional Trial Court would remain vested with
subject-matter jurisdiction to try and decide the (refiled) case even though the penalty properly imposable, given the
date of the commission of the offense charged, should be the lower penalty originally provided for in paragraph 2(d)
of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code which is otherwise within the exclusive jurisdiction of the City Court of
Roxas City. In other words, the circumstance that P.D. No. 818 would be inapplicable to the refiled case would not
result in the Regional Trial Court losing subject-matter jurisdiction, nor in the case falling back into the City Court's
exclusive jurisdiction.
WHEREFORE, the Court Resolved to DENY the Petition for Review for lack of merit. The Order dated 2
December 1976 of the public respondent Presiding Judge of the City Court of Roxas City is hereby AFFIRMED. No
costs.
Fernan, C.J., Gutierrez, Jr., Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.

Footnotes

1 People v. Pegarum 58 Phil. 715 [1933]; People v. Romualdo, 90 Phil. 739 [1952]; People v.
Pecson, 92 Phil. 172 [1952]; Lee v. Presiding Judge, 145 SCRA 408 [1986]; Dela Cruz v. Moya,
160 SCRA 838 [1988].
2 69 SCRA 341 (1976).
3 69 SCRA at 347.
4 105 SCRA 547 (1981).
5 105 SCRA at 552-553.
6 Supra.
7 105 SCRA at 551-552.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-46896

January 15, 1940

EL PUEBLO DE FILIPINAS, querellante-apelado,


vs.
PABLO SAN JUAN y MONTEROSA, acusado-apelante.

D. Matias E. Vergara en representacion del apelante.


El Procurador General Sr. Ozaeta y el Procurador General Auxiliar Sr. Torres en representacion del Gobierno.
VILLA-REAL, J.:
El acusado Pablo San Juan y Monterosa lo fue en el Juzgado Municipal de Manila del delito de hurto de cinco (5)
sacos de arroz valorados en P32. Enjuiciado, fue sentenciado a sufrir una pena principal de 6 meses de arresto
mayor y a indemnizar al ofendido en la referida suma de P32. Fue tambien sentenciado a sufrir una pena adicional
de siete aos, cuatro meses y un dia de prision mayor por ser delincuente habitual, y a pagar las costas. Habiendo
apelado al Juzgado de Primera Instancia de Manila, fue hallado culpable del delito de que se le acusaba y
sentenciado a la misma pena. Ante esta Corte, en alzada, suscita los siguientes supuestos errores como cometidos
por el Tribunal a quo en su referida sentencia, a saber:
1. That the penalty imposed upon the accused-appellant for the crime of theft alleged in the information
should have been at most, arresto mayor in its medium degree that if from two months and one day to four
months;
2. That the additional penalty of seven years, four months and one day of prision mayor for habitual
delinquency imposed by the Municipal Court and as affirmed by the Court of First Instance of Manila is
illegal.
Pretendese por el apelante que, no habiendose probado que en la comision del delito haya concurrido alguna
circunstancia atenuante o agravante, la pena de arresto mayor en toda su extension, prevista en el articulo 39, caso
5., del Codigo Penal Revisado, o sea de un mes y un dia a seis meses de arresto mayor, debe ser impuesta en su
grado medio o sea de dos meses y un dia a cuatro meses de arresto mayor, en vez del grado maximo de la
mencionada pena, que ha impuesto el Tribunal inferior. Como quiera que el acusado y apelante es delincuente
habitual, lo cual presupone reincidencia que es una circunstancia agravante modificativa de responsabilidad
criminal, debe apreciarse la concurrencia de dicha circunstancia por lo que la repetida pena prevista por la ley debe
ser impuesta en su grado maximo. No habiendo concurrido ninguna circunstancia atenuante que la compense, la
pena principal impuesta por el Tribunal sentenciador, la cual es objeto de la presente apelacion, esta ajustada a
derecho.
Sostienese tambien por el apelante en su segundo sealamiento de supuesto error que la pena adicional de siete aos,
cuatro meses y un dia de prision mayor, impuesta por el Juzgado Municipal de Manila por ser dicho acusado y
apelante delincuente habitual, es contraria a la ley, puesto que dicho Juzgado Municipal de Manila no tenia
jurisdiccion para imponer dicha pena adicional. En la causa del Pueblo de Filipinas contra Liberato del Mundo, R.
G. No. 46531, esta Corte en sentencia promulgada el 18 de octubre de 1939, dijo lo siguiente:
Hemos declarado en la causa de "El Pueblo de Filipinas contra Jesus Acha y Rivera" (R. G. No. 46714) que
la jurisdiccion del Juzgado Municipal de Manila, en los casos de hurto, se determina, no por la pena, sino
por la cuantia de lo hurtado y, cuando esta no excede P200, dicho Juzgado tiene jurisdiccion cualquiera que
sea la pena sealada al delito.
De acuerdo con esta ultima sentencia, el hecho de que el acusado y apelante es delincuente habitual, condicion que
le hace acreedor a una pena adicional, no descualifica al Juzgado Municipal de Manila para conocer de una causa en
que se alega tal condicion, siempre y cuando el delito de que se le acusa es de hurto y el valor de la cosa hurtada no
excede de P200.
Pretendese asimismo por el acusado y apelante que su participacion en la comision del delito de hurto, del cual se le
habia acusado por segunda vez y por el cual habia sido condenado, no fue en concepto de autos sino simplemente de
encubridor, y, por consiguiente, tal segunda condena no puede, con la condena en la presente causa, intregrar el
concepto de delincuencia habitual. En la causa del Pueblo de las Islas Filipinas contra Manuel Abuyen y Elais (52
Jur. Fil., 749), esta Corte declaro que ". . . las disposiciones de la Ley No. 3397 sobre delincuencia habitual son
aplicables a los delitos en ella enumerados, previstos y penados por el Codigo Penal no solamente en grado de
consumado sino tambien en el de frustrado y de tentativa."
Por las consideraciones arriba expuestas, y no encontrando ningun error en la sentencia apelada, la confirmamos en
todas sus partes con las costas al apelante. Asi se ordena.

Avancea, Pres., Imperial, Diaz, Laurel y Concepcion, MM., estan conformes.

FIRST DIVISION
[G.R. No. 119000. July 28, 1997]

ROSA UY, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
DECISION
BELLOSILLO, J.:
This is an appeal by certiorari from the decision of respondent Court of Appeals [1] which affirmed in toto the
decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Br. 32, [2] finding the accused ROSA UY guilty of violating B.P. Blg.
22 in Crim. Cases Nos. 84-32335 to 84-32340, inclusive, and acquitting her of estafa under Art. 315, par. 2 (a), of
the Revised Penal Code in Crim. Case No. 84-32334.
Rosa Uy was employed as an accountant in Don Tim Shipping Company owned by the husband of
complaining witness Consolacion Leong. During Rosas employment she was regarded by the Leongs as an efficient
and hardworking employee. On 15 March 1982, a few months before she was to give birth, Rosa resigned. In the
meantime, she helped her husband manage their lumber business. The friendly relations between Rosa and
Consolacion continued. The two later agreed to form a partnership with Consolacion to contribute additional capital
for the expansion of Rosas lumber business and the latter as industrial partner. Various sums of money amounting
to P500,000.00 were claimed to have been given by Consolacion for the business; however, because of the trust they
had for each other, no receipt was ever issued.
Thereafter a lumber store with warehouse was constructed in Bulacan, Bulacan, with the funds contributed by
Consolacion evidenced by various receipts. But, unfortunately, the friendship between Consolacion and Rosa turned
sour when the partnership documents were never processed. As a result, Consolacion asked for the return of her
investment but the checks issued by Rosa for the purpose were dishonored for insufficiency of funds.
The preceding events prompted Consolacion to file a complaint for estafa and for violation of the Bouncing
Checks Law before the Regional Trial Court of Manila.
On 10 December 1984 an Information for estafa[3] and several other Informations[4] for violation of B.P. Blg. 22
were filed against petitioner. The offenses were subsequently consolidated and tried jointly.
Through Consolacion Leong and Alexander D. Bangit the prosecution tried to establish that petitioner Rosa Uy
employed deceit in obtaining the amount of P500,000.00 from complainant with respect to Crim. Case No. 8432334. As regards Crim. Cases Nos. 84-32335 to 84-32340, Alexander D. Bangit, manager of the Commercial Bank
of Manila, Malabon Branch, where Rosa Uy maintained an account, testified on the following transactions with
respect to the six (6) checks referred to in Crim. Cases Nos. 84-32335 to 84-32840 which were dishonored:
CHECK NO. DATE PRESENTED REASON FOR DISHONOR
(1) 068604 16 December 1983 Drawn Against Insufficient Fund
(DAIF)/Payment Stopped
(Exh. G)
(2) 068605 16 December 1983 Drawn Against Insufficient Fund
(DAIF)/Payment Stopped
(Exh. H)
(3) 068603 16 December 1983 Drawn Against Insufficient Fund
(DAIF)/Payment Stopped
(Exh. F)
(4) 068601 16 December 1983 Drawn Against Insufficient Fund

(DAIF)/Payment Stopped
(Exh. E)
(5) 043122 3 January 1984 Drawn Against Insufficient Fund
(DAIF)/Payment Stopped
(Exh. A)
(6) 068660 24 January 1984 Drawn Against Insufficient Fund
(DAIF)/Payment Stopped
(Exh. I)
For her part, petitioner and her witnesses Fernando Abad and Antonio Sy maintained that no misrepresentation
was committed and that the funds were utilized to construct the building in Bulacan, Bulacan. With respect to the
issuance of the subject checks, petitioner did not deny their existence but averred that these were issued to evidence
the investment of complainant in the proposed partnership between them.
After a joint trial, the Manila Regional Trial Court acquitted petitioner of estafa but convicted her of the
charges under B.P. Bldg. 22.[5]
On appeal, respondent appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court.
Petitioner now raises the following issues before us in this petition for review on certiorari: (a) whether the
RTC of Manila acquired jurisdiction over the violations of the Bouncing Checks Law, and (b) whether the checks
had been issued on account or for value.[6]
As regards the first issue, petitioner contends that the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over the offenses
under B.P. Blg. 22 and that assuming for the sake of argument that she raised the matter of jurisdiction only upon
appeal to respondent appellate court, still she cannot be estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the trial court.
It is a fundamental rule that for jurisdiction to be acquired by courts in criminal cases the offense should have
been committed or any one of its essential ingredients took place within the territorial jurisdiction of the
court. Territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases is the territory where the court has jurisdiction to take cognizance or
to try the offense allegedly committed therein by the accused. Thus, it cannot take jurisdiction over a person charged
with an offense allegedly committed outside of that limited territory. [7] Furthermore, the jurisdiction of a court over
the criminal case is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information. [8] And once it is so shown, the
court may validly take cognizance of the case. However, if the evidence adduced during the trial show that the
offense was committed somewhere else, the court should dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction. [9]
In the case at bar, the complaint for estafa and the various charges under B.P. Blg. 22 were jointly tried before
the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Petitioner challenges the jurisdiction of the lower court stating that none of the
essential elements constitutive of violation of B.P. Blg. 22 was shown to have been committed in the City of
Manila. She maintains that the evidence presented established that (a) complainant was a resident of Makati; (b)
petitioner was a resident of Caloocan City; (c) the place of business of the alleged partnership was located in
Malabon; (d) the drawee bank was located in Malabon; and, (e) the checks were all deposited for collection in
Makati. Taken altogether, petitioner concludes that the said evidence would only show that none of the essential
elements of B.P. Blg. 22 occurred in Manila. Respondent People of the Philippines through the Solicitor General on
the one hand argues that even if there is no showing of any evidence that the essential ingredients took place or the
offense was committed in Manila, what is critical is the fact that the court acquired jurisdiction over theestafa case
because the same is the principal or main case and that the cases for violations of the Bouncing Checks Law are
merely incidental to the estafa case.
We disagree with respondent. The crimes of estafa and violation of the Bouncing Checks Law are two (2)
different offenses having different elements and, necessarily, for a court to acquire jurisdiction each of the essential
ingredients of each crime has to be satisfied.

In the crime of estafa, deceit and damage are essential elements of the offense and have to be established with
satisfactory proof to warrant conviction. [10] For violation of the Bouncing Checks Law, on the other hand, the
elements of deceit and damage are neither essential nor required. Rather, the elements of B.P. Blg. 22 are (a) the
making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply to account or for value; (b) the maker, drawer or issuer knows
at the time of issuance that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of
such check in full upon its presentment; and, (c) the check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for
insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without valid
reason, ordered the bank to stop payment. [11] Hence, it is incorrect for respondent People to conclude that in as much
as the Regional Trial Court of Manila acquired jurisdiction over the estafa case then it also acquired jurisdiction over
the violations of B.P. Blg. 22. The crime of estafa and the violation of B.P. Blg. 22 have to be treated as separate
offenses and therefore the essential ingredients of each offense have to be satisfied.
In this regard, the records clearly indicate that business dealings were conducted in a restaurant in Manila
where sums of money were given to petitioner; hence, the acquisition of jurisdiction by the lower court over
the estafa case. The various charges for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 however are on a different plain. There is
no scintilla of evidence to show that jurisdiction over the violation of B.P. Bldg. 22 had been acquired. On the
contrary, all that the evidence shows is that complainant is a resident of Makati; that petitioner is a resident of
Caloocan City; that the principal place of business of the alleged partnership is located in Malabon; that the drawee
bank is likewise located in Malabon and that all the subject checks were deposited for collection in Makati. Verily,
no proof has been offered that the checks were issued, delivered, dishonored or knowledge of insufficiency of funds
occurred in Manila, which are essential elements necessary for the Manila Court to acquire jurisdiction over the
offense.
Upon the contention of respondent that knowledge on the part of the maker or drawer of the check of the
insufficiency of his funds is by itself a continuing eventuality whether the accused be within one territory or another,
the same is still without merit. It may be true that B.P. Blg. 22 is a transitory or continuing offense and such being
the case the theory is that a person indicted with a transitory offense may be validly tried in any jurisdiction where
the offense was in part committed. We note however that knowledge by the maker or drawer of the fact that he has
no sufficient funds to cover the check or of having sufficient funds is simultaneous to the issuance of the
instrument. We again find no iota of proof on the records that at the time of issue, petitioner or complainant was in
Manila. As such, there would be no basis in upholding the jurisdiction of the trial court over the offense.
In an attempt to salvage the issue that the RTC of Manila had jurisdiction over the violations of B.P. Blg. 22,
respondent relies on the doctrine of jurisdiction by estoppel. Respondent posits that it took some five (5) years of
trial before petitioner raised the issue of jurisdiction.
The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, under Rule 117, Sec. 3, provides that the accused may move to
quash the complaint or information on any of the following grounds: x x x (b) that the court trying the case has no
jurisdiction over the offense charged or over the person of the accused. Moreover, under Sec. 8 of the same Rule it
is provided that the failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the
complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion,
shall be deemed a waiver of the grounds of a motion to quash, except the grounds of x x x lack of jurisdiction over
the offense charged x x x as provided for in paragraph x x x (b) x x x of Section 3 of this Rule.[12]
After a careful perusal of the records, it is crystal clear that petitioner timely questioned the jurisdiction of the
court in a memorandum[13] before the Regional Trial Court and thereafter in succeeding pleadings. On this finding
alone, we cannot countenance the inadvertence committed by the court. Clearly, from the above-quoted law, we can
see that even if a party fails to file a motion to quash, he may still question the jurisdiction of the court later
on. Moreover, these objections may be raised or considered motu propio by the court at any stage of the proceedings
or on appeal.[14]
Assuming arguendo that there was a belated attempt to question the jurisdiction of the court and hence, on the
basis of the Tijam v. Sibonghanoy case[15] in which respondent seeks refuge, the petitioner should be estopped. We
nonetheless find the jurisprudence of the Sibonghanoy case not in point.
In Calimlim v. Ramirez,[16] the Court held that the ruling in the Sibonghanoy case is an exception to the general
rule that the lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on appeal. The Court
stated further that Tijam v. Sibonghanoy is an exceptional case because of the presence of laches. The Court said:

A rule that had been settled by unquestioned acceptance and upheld in decisions so numerous to cite is that the
jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter of the action is a matter of law and may not be conferred by consent or
agreement of the parties. The lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on
appeal. This doctrine has been qualified by recent pronouncements which stemmed principally from the ruling in the
cited case of Sibonghanoy. It is to be regretted, however, that the holding in said case had been applied to situations
which were obviously not contemplated therein. The exceptional circumstance involved in Sibonghanoy which
justified the departure from the accepted concept of non-waivability of objection to jurisdiction has been ignored
and, instead a blanket doctrine had been repeatedly upheld that rendered the supposed ruling in Sibonhanoy not as
the exception, but rather the general rule, virtually overthrowing altogether the time-honored principle that the issue
of jurisdiction is not lost by waiver or by estoppel.[17]
In Sibonghanoy, the defense of lack of jurisdiction of the court that rendered the questioned ruling was held to
be barred by laches. It was ruled that the lack of jurisdiction having been raised for the first time in a motion to
dismiss filed almost fifteen (15) years after the questioned ruling had been rendered, such a plea may no longer be
raised for being barred by laches.As defined in said case, laches is failure or neglect for an unreasonable and
unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier; it
is the negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party
entitled to assert has abandoned it or declined to assert it.[18]
The circumstances of the present case are very different from Tijam v. Sibonghanoy. No judgment has yet been
rendered by the trial court in this case. As a matter of fact, as soon as the accused discovered the jurisdictional
defect, she did not fail or neglect to file the appropriate motion to dismiss. They questioned the jurisdiction of the
trial court in a memorandum before the lower court. Hence, finding the pivotal element of laches to be absent, we
hold that the ruling in Tijam v. Sibonghanoy does not control the present controversy. Instead, the general rule that
the question of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings must apply. Petitioner is
therefore not estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the trial court.[19]
WHEREFORE, finding the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Br. 32, to have no jurisdiction over Crim. Case
Nos. 84-32335 to 8432340, inclusive, the assailed decision of respondent Court of Appeals affirming the decision of
the trial court dated 24 September 1991 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE, without prejudice to the filing of
appropriate charges against petitioner with the court of competent jurisdiction when warranted.
SO ORDERED
Padilla, (Chairman), and Vitug, JJ., concur.
Kapunan, and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., on leave.

THIRD DIVISION
[G.R. No. 123340. August 29, 2002]
LUTGARDA CRUZ, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and the
HEIRS OF ESTANISLAWA C. REYES, represented by MIGUEL C. REYES, respondents.
DECISION
CARPIO, J.:
The Case
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to reverse the Decision of the
Court of Appeals dated March 31, 1995[1] and its Resolution dated December 1, 1995. [2] The Court of Appeals
dismissed for being insufficient in substance the Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus, which sought to nullify two
orders of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 53, dated April 18, 1994 and May 6, 1994.

The Antecedent Facts


The City Prosecutor of Manila charged petitioner with the crime of Estafa thru Falsification of Public
Document before the Manila Regional Trial Court. [3] Petitioner executed before a Notary Public in the City of
Manila an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication of a parcel of land stating that she was the sole surviving heir of the
registered owner when in fact she knew there were other surviving heirs. Since the offended party did not reserve
the right to file a separate civil action arising from the criminal offense, the civil action was deemed instituted in the
criminal case.
After trial on the merits, the trial court rendered its decision dated January 17, 1994 acquitting petitioner on the
ground of reasonable doubt. In the same decision, the trial court rendered judgment on the civil aspect of the case,
ordering the return to the surviving heirs of the parcel of land located in Bulacan. [4]
On January 28, 1994, petitioner received a copy of the decision.
On February 10, 1994, petitioner filed by registered mail a motion for reconsideration dated February 7, 1994,
assailing the trial courts ruling on the civil aspect of the criminal case. Petitioner furnished the City Prosecutor a
copy of the motion by registered mail.
On April 18, 1994, the trial court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration stating:
Acting on the Motion for Reconsideration dated February 7, 1994, filed by the accused through counsel and
considering that there is nothing to show that the Office of the City Prosecutor was actually furnished or served with
a copy of the said Motion for Reconsideration within the reglementary period of fifteen (15) days from receipt by
the accused on January 28, 1994 of a copy of the Courts decision dated January 17, 1994, so that the same is already
final and executory, let the Motion for Reconsideration be Denied for lack of merit.[5]
Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the trial courts order of April 18, 1994. The trial court denied the
same in an order dated May 6, 1994, to wit:
Under the Interim Rules, no party shall be allowed a second motion for reconsideration of a final order or judgment
(Sec. 4). The motion of accused dated 22 April 1994 is a violation of this rule.
WHEREFORE, said motion is DENIED.[6]
Left with no recourse, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus with the Court of Appeals to
nullify the two assailed orders of the trial court. Petitioner also asked the Court of Appeals to compel the trial court
to resolve her motion for reconsideration of the decision dated February 7, 1994.
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals
On March 31, 1995, the Court of Appeals denied due course to the petition and dismissed the case for being
insufficient in substance.
The Court of Appeals sustained the trial courts order of April 18, 1994 denying petitioners motion for
reconsideration. The Court of Appeals declared in part:
Section 10, Rule 13, Rules of Court, provides as follows:
SEC. 10. Proof of Service. Proof of personal service shall consist of a written admission of the party served, or the
affidavit of the party serving, containing a full statement of the date, place and manner of service. If the service is by
ordinary mail, proof thereof shall consist of an affidavit of the person mailing of facts showing compliance with
Section 5 of this rule. If service is made by registered mail, proof shall be made by such affidavit and the registry
receipt issued by the mailing office. The registry return card shall be filed immediately upon receipt thereof by the
sender, or in lieu thereof the letter unclaimed together with the certified or sworn copy of the notice given by the
postmaster to the addressee.
Patent from the language of the said section is that in case service is made by registered mail, proof of service shall
be made by (a) affidavit of the person mailing and (b) the registry receipt issued by the mailing office. Both must

concur. In the case at bench, there was no such affidavit or registry receipt when the motion was considered. Thus,
respondent Judge cannot be said to have acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, in
ruling in the manner he did.[7]
The Court of Appeals also affirmed the trial courts order of May 6, 1994 denying the subsequent motion for
reconsideration, as follows:
xxx, while there is merit in petitioners submission that the motion for reconsideration dated April 22, 1994 was not a
second motion for reconsideration of a final order or judgment, as contemplated in the Interim Rules because the
motion sought to impugn the order dated 18 April 1994 not on the basis of the issues raised in the motion for
reconsideration dated 07 February 1994 but on the erroneous legal conclusion of the order dated May 6, 1994,[8] this
is already academic. The decision dated January 7, 1994 had long become final when the second motion for
reconsideration was filed on 03 May 1994. Hence, the pairing Judge who issued the order on 06 May 1994 had no
more legal competence to promulgate the same.[9]
Finally, the Court of Appeals upheld the assailed decision of the trial court on the civil aspect of the case, to
wit:
x x x, the institution of a criminal action carries with it the civil action for the recovery of the civil liability arising
from the offense charged. There was neither reservation nor waiver of the right to file the civil action separately nor
has one been instituted to the criminal action. Hence, the civil action for the civil liability has been impliedly
instituted with the filing of the criminal case before respondent Judge. This is the law on the matter. The proposition
submitted by petitioner that the court presided by respondent Judge had no jurisdiction over the property because it
is located in Bulacan - outside the territorial jurisdiction of said court -does not hold water. Being a civil liability
arising from the offense charged, the governing law is the Rules of Criminal Procedure, not the civil procedure rules
which pertain to civil action arising from the initiatory pleading that gives rise to the suit. [10]
In the dispositive portion of its assailed decision, the Court of Appeals declared:
WHEREFORE, the instant petition not being sufficient in substance is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE and the case
DISMISSED.[11]
In a resolution dated December 1, 1995, the Court of Appeals denied petitioners motion for reconsideration.[12]
Hence, this petition.
The Issues
In her Memorandum, petitioner raises the following issues:
1. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE PROSECUTION
WAS DULY FURNISHED WITH COPY OF THE PETITIONERS MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION WITH RESPECT TO THE DECISION ON THE CIVIL ASPECT OF
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 87-54773 (SIC) OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MANILA,
BRANCH 53.
2. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE REGIONAL TRIAL
COURT OF MANILA HAD JURISDICTION TO RENDER JUDGMENT ON THE CIVIL ASPECT
OF CRIMINAL CASE NO. 87-57743 FOR FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENT,
INVOLVING A PROPERTY LOCATED IN BULACAN.
3. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE PETITIONER WAS
DENIED DUE PROCESS WHEN THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MANILA, BRANCH 53,
RENDERED DECISION ON THE CIVIL ASPECT OF CRIMINAL CASE NO. 87-57743.[13]
The Ruling of the Court
We grant the petition.

When the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but is adjudged civilly liable, his motion for reconsideration
of the civil aspect must be served not only on the prosecution, also on the offended party if the latter is not
represented by a private counsel. Moreover, if the trial court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and over the
accused, and the crime was committed within its territorial jurisdiction, it necessarily exercises jurisdiction over all
matters that the law requires the court to resolve. This includes the power to order the restitution to the offended
party of real property located in another province.
Absence of Proof of Service
The first issue is whether petitioners motion for reconsideration dated February 7, 1994 complied with the
mandatory requirements of Section 6, Rule 15 on proof of service. Petitioner submits that the Court of Appeals erred
in sustaining the trial courts finding that the City Prosecutor was not duly and timely furnished with petitioners
motion for reconsideration of February 7, 1994.
Petitioner asserts that both copies of the motion for reconsideration were sent to the trial court and the City
Prosecutor by registered mail on February 10, 1994. Petitioner relies on jurisprudence that the date of mailing is the
date of filing, arguing that the date of mailing of both motions was on February 10, 1994. Petitioner maintains that
the motion was properly filed within the 15-day period, citing the registry return card which shows actual receipt on
February 22, 1994 by the City Prosecutor of a copy of the motion.
The Court of Appeals, noting that petitioner received a copy of the decision on January 28, 1994, stated that
petitioner had until February 12, 1994 to appeal the decision or file a motion for reconsideration. The Court of
Appeals ruled that petitioner, by filing a motion for reconsideration without any proof of service, merely filed a
scrap of paper and not a motion for reconsideration. Hence, the reglementary period of petitioner to appeal
continued to run and lapsed after the 15-day period, making the trial courts decision final and executory.
We agree with the Court of Appeals that petitioner patently failed to comply with the mandatory requirements
on proof of service insofar as the public prosecutor is concerned. The Court has stressed time and again that noncompliance with Sections 4, 5 and 6 of Rule 15 is a fatal defect. The well-settled rule is that a motion which fails to
comply with Sections 4, 5, and 6 of Rule 15 is a useless piece of paper. If filed, such motion is not entitled to judicial
cognizance and does not stop the running of the reglementary period for filing the requisite pleading.[14]
Section 6 of Rule 15 reads:
SEC. 6. - Proof of service to be filed with motions. No motion shall be acted upon by the court, without proof of
service of the notice thereof.[15] (Emphasis supplied)
From the language of the rule, proof of service is mandatory. Without such proof of service to the adverse
party, a motion is nothing but an empty formality deserving no judicial cognizance.
Section 13 of Rule 13 further requires that:
SEC. 13. Proof of Service. x x x. If service is made by registered mail, proof shall be made by such affidavit and
the registry receipt issued by the mailing office. The registry return card shall be filed immediately upon its receipt
by the sender, or in lieu thereof the unclaimed letter together with the certified or sworn copy of the notice given by
the postmaster to the addressee.[16] (Emphasis supplied)
If service is by registered mail, proof of service consists of the affidavit of the person mailing and the registry
receipt, both of which must be appended to the motion. Absent one or the other, or worse both, there is no proof of
service.
In the instant case, an examination of the record shows that petitioner received a copy of the trial courts
decision of January 17, 1994 on January 28, 1994. Within the reglementary period to appeal, petitioner filed on
February 10, 1994, by registered mail, a motion for reconsideration. However, petitioner failed to attach both the
affidavit and the registry receipt to the motion for reconsideration as required by the Rules.
The defect of the motion is apparent on its face. Petitioners motion for reconsideration was a mere scrap of
paper as it did not contain the required proof of service.

However, petitioner is contesting that part of the decision of the trial court finding him civilly liable even as he
is acquitted from the criminal charge on reasonable doubt. This raises the issue of whether the public prosecutor is
the only proper party to be served with petitioners motion for reconsideration. The present Rules do not require the
accused to serve a copy of his motion for reconsideration on the offended party who may not be represented by a
private counsel. The Rules require service only on the public prosecutor if the offended party is not represented by a
private counsel.
A judgment of acquittal is immediately final and executory and the prosecution cannot appeal the acquittal
because of the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. However, either the offended party or the accused
may appeal the civil aspect of the judgment despite the acquittal of the accused. The public prosecutor has generally
no interest in appealing the civil aspect of a decision acquitting the accused.
The acquittal ends the work of the public prosecutor and the case is terminated as far as he is concerned.
The real parties in interest in the civil aspect of a decision are the offended party and the accused. Thus, any
appeal or motion for reconsideration of the civil aspect of a decision in a criminal case must be served on the other
real party in interest. If the offended party appeals or moves for reconsideration, the accused is necessarily served a
copy of the pleading through his counsel.
If the accused appeals or moves for reconsideration, a lacuna arises if the offended party is not represented by a
private counsel. In such a situation, under the present Rules only the public prosecutor is served the notice of appeal
or a copy of the motion for reconsideration. To fill in this lacuna in the present Rules, we require that henceforth if
the accused appeals or moves for reconsideration, he should serve a copy of his pleading on the offended party
himself if the latter is not represented by a private counsel. This is in addition to service on the public prosecutor
who is the counsel of record of the State.
In the instant case, the Court notes that petitioner did not serve a copy of her motion for reconsideration on the
offended party who was not represented by a private counsel in the trial court. In the interest of justice, and
considering that the present Rules are silent on the matter, it is only fair to give petitioner a period of five days from
receipt of this decision within which to serve a copy of her motion for reconsideration on the offended party.
Trial courts jurisdiction over the civil aspect.
Petitioner maintains that the Court of Appeals erred in finding that the trial court had jurisdiction to render
judgment on the civil aspect of the criminal case. Petitioner asserts that the Manila trial court had no jurisdiction
over the parcel of land in Bulacan which is outside the trial courts territorial jurisdiction.
In upholding the trial courts jurisdiction, the Court of Appeals held:
Being a civil liability arising from the offense charged, the governing law is the Rules of Criminal Procedure, not the
civil procedure rules which pertain to civil action arising from the initiatory pleading that gives rise to the suit. [17]
We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals.
Petitioner asserts that the location of the subject property outside the courts territorial jurisdiction deprived the
trial court of jurisdiction over the civil aspect of the criminal case. This argument is contrary to the law and the rules.
There are three important requisites which must be present before a court can acquire criminal jurisdiction.
First, the court must have jurisdiction over the subject matter. Second, the court must have jurisdiction over the
territory where the offense was committed. Third, the court must have jurisdiction over the person of the accused.
[18]
In the instant case, the trial court had jurisdiction over the subject matter as the law has conferred on the court the
power to hear and decide cases involving estafa through falsification of a public document. The trial court also had
jurisdiction over the offense charged since the crime was committed within its territorial jurisdiction. The trial court
also acquired jurisdiction over the person of accused-petitioner because she voluntarily submitted to the courts
authority.
Where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and over the person of the accused, and the crime was
committed within its territorial jurisdiction, the court necessarily exercises jurisdiction over all issues that the law
requires the court to resolve. One of the issues in a criminal case is the civil liability of the accused arising from the

crime. Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code provides that [E]very person criminally liable for a felony is also
civilly liable. Article 104 of the same Code states that civil liability x x x includes restitution.
The action for recovery of civil liability is deemed instituted in the criminal action unless reserved by the
offended party.[19] In the instant case, the offended party did not reserve the civil action and the civil action was
deemed instituted in the criminal action. Although the trial court acquitted petitioner of the crime charged, the
acquittal, grounded on reasonable doubt, did not extinguish the civil liability. [20] Thus, the Manila trial court had
jurisdiction to decide the civil aspect of the instant case - ordering restitution even if the parcel of land is located in
Bulacan.
Consequently, while we find no reversible error in the decision of the Court of Appeals as to proof of service
and the trial courts jurisdiction on the civil aspect, we remand this case for further proceedings in the interest of
justice.
WHEREFORE, petitioner is given five (5) days from receipt of this decision within which to serve a copy of
her motion for reconsideration on the offended party. Let this case be remanded to the trial court for further
proceedings.
SO ORDERED.
Puno, (Chairman), and Panganiban, JJ., concur.
Sandoval-Gutierrez, J., on leave.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 71855 January 20, 1988
RIZALITO VELUNTA, petitioner,
vs.
THE CHIEF, PHILIPPINE CONSTABULARY AND COLONEL SIMEON KEMPIS JR., PRESIDENT
GCM, Recom. VIII, Palo, Leyte, respondents.

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:


This is a petition for prohibition to prevent the General Court Martial, RECOM VIII, from assuming jurisdiction
over a criminal case for homicide wherein the petitioner is indicted for the death of one Romeo Lazano.
The petitioner is a regular member of the Integrated National Police of Tacloban City with the rank of Patrolman.
On April 16, 1982 at about 6:00 o'clock in the evening, while directing traffic at the intersection of Burgos-TarcelaLucente Streets, Tacloban City, the petitioner tried to apprehend Romeo Lozano, a motorized tricycle driver, for
violations of traffic rules and regulations. An altercation occurred between them which resulted in the shooting and
death of Romeo Lozano.
On October 30,1982, Mrs. Anacorita Lozano, widow of Romeo Lozano, filed an administrative complaint against
the petitioner with the National Police Commission NAPOLCOM, Region VIII, Tacloban City for grave
misconduct. After hearings on the merits, the Adjudication Board No. 8, NAPOLCOM, Manila rendered a decision
dated August 9,1984 finding the petitioner guilty of grave misconduct and meted the penalty of "Dismissal from the
Service." On a motion for reconsideration, the Adjudication Board modified its decision by finding the petitioner
guilty only of Less Grave Misconduct and modified the penalty from dismissal to suspension from service for six
months without pay.
During the pendency of the administrative case, Mrs. Lozano also filed a complaint for homicide with the City
Fiscal's Office of Tacloban.
On May 14,1982, the First Assistant City Fiscal of Tacloban City issued a resolution in I.S. No. 82-203 finding the
existence of prima facie evidence that the petitioner, then a member of the Integrated National Police stationed in
Tacloban City "with deliberate intent and with intent to kill," shot with his service pistol one Romeo Lozano, a
tricycle driver at the left cheek causing the latter's death. Finding that the offense was committed during the
performance of official duties, the City Fiscal recommended that the case be referred to the Tanod-bayan for further
investigation.
With the approval of Tanodbayan Bernardo P. Fernandez, Second Assistant Fiscal Jose B. Sano of Tacloban City, as
deputized Tanodbayan Prosecutor, endorsed the filing of an information for homicide against the petitioner. The case
was referred to the military authorities pursuant to P.D. 1850 which authorizes the Chief of the Philippine
Constabulary to convene court martials to try, hear, and decide cases for criminal acts committed by members of the
Integrated National Police.
As stated at the outset, the petitioner challenges the assumption of jurisdiction by the General Court Martial over the
criminal case for homicide against him. According to the petitioner, the General Court Martial has no more
jurisdiction to continue the hearing against him as a result of the provisions of Executive Order No. 1040, in relation
to Executive Order No. 1012, which became effective last July 10, 1985 whereby supervision and control over all

units and members of the Integrated National Police have been transferred to NAPOLCOM and placed directly
under the Office of the President of the Philippines, thereby removing police officers from the supervision and
control of the Chief of the Philippine Constabulary under the Department of National Defense.
It is further argued by the petitioner that P.D. 1850 which authorized the Chief of the Philippine Constabulary to
convene courts martial to hear and try cases against members of the Integrated National Police for offenses
committed while in the performance of their duties has been expressly repealed by Section 3 of Executive Order No.
1040 as of July 10, 1985.
We find the contention of the petitioner to be ummeritorious.
Jurisdiction is the power with which courts are invested for administering justice, that is, for hearing and deciding
cases. (Conchada v. Director of Prisons, 31 Phil. 94). As early as 1914, it was declared that the courts of the
Philippine Islands have no common law jurisdiction or power, but only those expressly conferred by the
Constitution and statutes and those necessarily implied to make the express powers effective. (West Coast Life
Insurance Co. v. Hurd, 27 Phil. 401) We have to look for an express provision of law to resolve the issue raised by
the petitioner.
In the instant case, P.D. No, 1850 which vests jurisdiction on courts martial over criminal cases involving the
members of the Integrated National Police, provides:
SECTION 1. Court Martial Jurisdiction over Integrated National Police and Members of the
Armed Forces. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding (a) uniformed members
of the Integrated National Police who commit any crime or offense cognizable by the civil courts
shall henceforth be exclusively tried by courts-martial pursuant to and in accordance with
Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended, otherwise known as the Articles of War; (b) all persons
subject to military law under Article 2 of the aforecited Articles of War who commit any crime or
offense shall be exclusively tried by courts martial or their case disposed of under the said Articles
of War; Provided, that, in either of the aforementioned situations, the case shall be disposed of or
tried by the proper civil or judicial authorities when court martial jurisdiction over the offense has
prescribed under Article 38 of Commonwealth Act Numbered 408, as amended, or court martial
jurisdiction over the person of the accused military or Integrated National Police personnel can no
longer be exercised by virtue of their separation from the active service without jurisdiction
having duly attached before hand unless otherwise provided by law.
As used herein, the term uniformed members of the Integrated National Police shall refer to police
officers, policemen, firemen and jail guards.
Executive Order Nos. 1012 and 1040, on the other hand, are invoked by the petitioner.
Section 1 of Executive Order No. 1012 states:
The provision of special or general laws to the contrary notwithstanding, the operational
supervision and direction exercised by the Philippine Constabulary over all units of the Integrated
National Police (INP) force stationed or assigned in the different cities and municipalities all over
the country, is hereby transferred to the city or municipal government concerned until further
orders from the President of the Philippines. The term "operational control and direction" shall be
as defined in Section 1 (e) of Presidential Decree No. 1162.
Whenever the power of operational supervision and direction is abused, such that the effectiveness
of the overall peace and order campaign is negated, the President of the Philippines motu proprio,
or upon recommendation of the provincial commander, provincial superintendent with the
concurrence of the Regional Unified Commander, may terminate the authority of the local
executive(s) to exercise operational supervision and direction over units of the Integrated National
Police, however the judgment of the President the exigencies as require. (sic).
Section 1 of Executive Order No. 1040 provides:

The National Police Commission shall henceforth be under the Office of the President of the
Philippines as may be directed by and under the control of the President of the Philippines, it shall
exercise administrative control and supervision over all units of the Integrated National Police
(INP) force throughout the country.
It is specifically stated under Executive Order No. 101 2 that it is only the "operational supervision and direction"
over all units of the Integrated National Police force stationed or assigned in the different cities and municipalities
that was transferred from the Philippine Constabulary to the city or municipal government concerned. Likewise,
under Executive Order No. 1040 it is the exercise of "administrative control and supervision" over all units of the
Integrated National Police forces throughout the country that was transferred to the President of the Philippines. The
latter executive order also defines operational supervision and direction in P.D. No. 1160, 1 (e) as follows:
(e). Operational Supervision and Direction. It is the power to see to it that the units or elements
of the Integrated National Police perform their duties properly according to existing laws and the
rules, regulations and policies promulgated by competent authority, and the power to employ or
deploy such units or elements, in coordination with the Provincial or District Police
Superintendent, Station Commander or Officer-in-Charge to insure public safety and the effective
maintenance of peace and order within the locality.
The distinction between operational supervision and direction over the Integrated National Police and jurisdiction or
authority of a court-martial to hear, try and decide a criminal proceeding against a police officer so that the
appropriate penalty for the commission of a crime or offense may be imposed is easily discernible. One refers to
how the police will perform their functions and who shall direct such performance while the other refers to the
tribunals vested with power to try criminal cases against them.
The allegation of the petitioner that P.D. 1850 has been expressly repealed by the clear and precise provision of
Section 3 of Executive Order No. 1040 is inaccurate, Section 3 of the executive order provides:
All laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations and other enactments, or parts thereof,
inconsistent with the provisions of tills Executive Order are hereby repealed, amended and
modified accordingly.
The aforecited provision does not repeal in express terms, P.D. No. 1850. Neither is there any inconsistency between
P.D. No. 1850, which confers upon courts-martial, jurisdiction over crimes and offenses involving members of the
Integrated National Police, and Executive Order No. 1040 which gives the city and municipal governments, (as the
case may be), operational supervision and direction over members of the Integrated National Police. Repeals by
implication are not favored and will not be so declared unless the intent of the legislators is manifest. (PAFLU v.
Bureau of Labor Relations, 72 SCRA 396; Jalandoni v. Endaya, 85 SCRA 261; Villegas v. Enrile, 50 SCRA 10; and
The Philippine American Management Co., Inc., v. The Philippine American Management Employees Asso. (49
SCRA 149).
When the case was filed in 1982, there can be no question that the respondent General Court Martial had
jurisdiction. Since jurisdiction had properly been exercised from the start, it remains with the military court martial
unless a law expressly divests it of that jurisdiction. It is an established rule that jurisdiction once acquired remains
until validly transferred by the proper authority according to law.
The provision of the Constitution, Article XVI, Section 6, on the State maintaining a police force national and
civilian in character is still in the process of being implemented. Police forces continue to remain part of the PC-INP
until the civilian police force is finally set-up as contemplated by the fundamental law. (Barcellano v. Major General
Renato de Villa, et al., G.R. No. 75952, October 20,1987)
WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
Fernan, (Chairman), Feliciano, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. L-65192 April 27, 1988
RODOLFO DELA CRUZ, petitioner,
vs.
Hon. FELIX L. MOYA, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch II of the Court of First Instance of
Davao, and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
Rolando C. Rama for petitioner.
The Solicitor General for respondents.

CORTES, J.:
Involving as it does a purely legal question, the present petition for certiorari and mandamus was certified to this
Court by the then Intermediate Appellate Court in its resolution dated August 30, 1983.
On February 23, 1979, Rodolfo Dela Cruz, a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines assigned to the
Intelligence and Operations Section of the 432nd PC Company, together with other PC men, received a mission
order to proceed to Barangay Pangi, Maco, Sto. Tomas, Davao for the purpose of verifying and apprehending
persons who were allegedly engaged in illegal cockfighting. In compliance with said mission order, Dela Cruz and
company proceeded to Maco, Davao del Norte and caught in flagrante the operators of said illegal cockfighting, but
said operators resisted arrest. The soldiers left the place but they brought with them to the PC Headquarters the
evidence of the crime, such as gaffs and fighting cocks. The operators of the illegal cockfights, including the
deceased Eusebio Cabilto, followed the soldiers on their way back to the PC Headquarters, catching up with them on
the Tagum-Mati National Highway. Fighting ensued and in the scuffle, Dela Cruz shot Cabilto.
On August 2, 1979, Dela Cruz was charged with homicide in the Court of First Instance of Davao, in an information
filed by the Provincial Fiscal. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. 40080.

While the case was pending trial, Presidential Decree Nos. 1822 and 1822-A were promulgated by the President of
the Philippines on January 16, 1981, vesting in courts-martial jurisdiction over crimes committed by members of the
Armed Forces or of the Philippine Constabulary in performance of their duties.
Claiming that the crime for which he was charged was committed in relation to the performance of his duties, Dela
Cruz filed with the Court of First Instance of Davao a motion to transfer the case to the military authorities so he
could be tried by court martial. The motion was denied. Hence, the present petition.
At issue is whether the civil courts have jurisdiction over the subject matter of Criminal Case No. 40080.
One of the essential requisites of a valid court proceeding is that the court hearing the case must have jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the case. If the court is acting without jurisdiction, then the entire proceedings are null and
void.
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the statute in force at the time of the commencement of the
action. [Silvestre v. Military Commission, L-48366, March 8, 1978, 82 SCRA 10; People v. Romualdo, 90 Phil. 739
(1952); Rilloraza v. Arciaga, 128 Phil. 799 (1967), 21 SCRA 717.] And once jurisdiction is vested in the court, it is
retained up to the end of the litigation. [Pamintuan v. Tiglao, 53 Phil. 1, (1929); Phil. Land-Air-Sea Labor Union
(PLASLU), Inc. v. CIR, 93 Phil. 747 (1953); Tuvera v. De Guzman, 121 Phil. 706 (1965),13 SCRA 729; Rilloraza v.
Arciaga, supra: Rizal Surety and Insurance Co. v. Manila Railroad Co., et al., 123 Phil. 766 (1966),16 SCRA908).
In the instant case, the information was filed on August 2, 1979. On such date, by virtue of General Order No. 59,
dated June 24, 1977, published in 73 Official Gazette (Supplement) #28, pages 6373-1 to 6373-3. (July 11, 1977),
military tribunals created under General Order No. 8 exercised exclusive jurisdiction over "(a)ll offenses committed
by military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines while in the performance of their official duty or which
arose out of any act or omission done in the performance of their official duty; Provided, that for the purpose of
determining whether an offense was committed while in the performance of official duty or whether it arose out of
an act or omission done in the performance of official duty, a certificate issued by the Secretary of National Defense
to that effect shall be conclusive unless modified or revoked by the President. . . " (Section 1.) As no amendatory
law was ever published in the Official Gazette between the time G.R. No. 59 was published until the information in
Criminal Case No. 40080 was filed on August 2,1979, then said General Order No. 59 remained in force on said
date.
In the case at bar, it is not disputed that at the time of the commission of the alleged offense, petitioner Dela Cruz
was a member of the Philippine Constabulary, and that the shooting of the deceased Cabilto was committed while
petitioner was executing the Mission Order.
But what is the significance of the proviso regarding the certificate to be issued by the Secretary of National
Defense?
The proviso merely states that the certificate issued by the Secretary of National Defense is conclusive for the
purpose of determining whether an offense was committed while in the performance of official duty, or arose out of
an act or omission done in the performance of official duty. It does not in any way preclude the courts from making
any finding as to whether an offense is duty-connected. Nor does it make the certificate a condition precedent for the
exercise by either civilian courts or military tribunals of their jurisdiction over offenses committed by members of
the AFP.
In the instant case, even as no certificate issued by the Secretary of National Defense was presented in court, the
record contains a copy of Mission Order No. 7, signed by a certain Lieutenant Huerta, directing Dela Cruz, among
others, to proceed to Barangay Pangi, Maco, Sto. Tomas, Davao to verify and apprehend persons reportedly engaged
in illegal cockfighting. The evidence of the prosecution presented in court likewise shows that Cabilto was shot
while petitioner was executing the mission order. These undisputed facts compel this Court to declare that
respondent court was without jurisdiction to try the case against petitioner Dela Cruz.
The Solicitor General points out that at the time the information was filed, Presidential Decrees Nos. 1822 and 1822A which vest in the courts-martial jurisdiction over offenses committed by members of the AFP in the performance
of their duties were not yet in effect, the same having been promulgated only in 1981.
Truly, PD 1822 and 1822-A are inapplicable to the case at bar. However, General Order No. 59 cited above applies.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The in Criminal Case No. 4008 are declared null and void but without
prejudice to the filing of another action in the proper forum. Let a copy of this decision be furnished the Judge
Advocate of the Philippine Constabulary, Camp Crame, Quezon City, for appropriate action.
Fernan, Gutierrez, Jr., Feliciano and Bidin, JJ., concur.

SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. 110226. June 19, 1997]
ALBERTO S. SILVA, EDILBERTO VIRAY, ANGELES BARON, CEFERINO ROMERO, JAIME
ACEVEDO, RODOLFO JUAN, ANDREW DE LA ISLA, BAYANI PILAR, ULDARICO GARCIA,
ANANIAS HERMOCILLA, WALLY LEONES, PABLO ALULOD, RODOLFO MARIANO,
HERNANI ABOROT, CARLITO CHOSAS, VALERIANO MAUBAN, RENAN HALILI,
MANOLITO CUSTODIO, NONILON DAWAL, RICARDO ESCUETA, SEVERINO ROSETE,
ERNESTO LITADA, ERNESTO BARENG, BONIFACIO URBANO, VICENTE SANTOS, MARIO
CREDO, BERNABE GERONIMO, ERNESTO BANAY, PASTOR VELUZ, RICARDO CUEVAS,
FELOMENO BALLON, ORLANDO MENDOZA, ANICETO ARBAN, GERONIMO ESPLANA,
VICENTE CHAVEZ, STEVE VELECINA, and RICARDO B. VENTURA, petitioners, vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and PHILTREAD (FIRESTONE) TIRE AND
RUBBER CORPORATION, respondents.
DECISION
ROMERO, J.:
Petitioners, all former employees of private respondent Philtread (Firestone) Tire and Rubber Corporation
(Philtread, for brevity), impute grave abuse of discretion on the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) [1] for
issuing two resolutions, dated April 7, 1993, and November 18, 1992, which reconsidered a resolution it rendered on
April 15, 1992. They allege that its resolution of April 15, 1992 became final and executory when Philtread failed to
seasonably file a motion for reconsideration within the ten-day reglementary period required by Article 223 of the
Labor Code.

The record unfolds the following facts:


Sometime in 1985, petitioners, then rank-and-file employees and members of Philtread Workers Union (PWU),
volunteered for, and availed of, the retrenchment program instituted by Philtread with the understanding that they
would have priority in re-employment in the event that the company recovers from its financial crisis, in accordance
with Section 4, Article III of the Collective Bargaining Agreement concluded on July 5, 1983.[2]
In November 1986, Philtread, apparently having recovered from its financial reverses, expanded its operations
and hired new personnel. Upon discovery of this development, petitioners filed their respective applications for
employment with Philtread, which however, merely agreed to consider them for future vacancies. Subsequent
demands for re-employment made by petitioners were ignored. Even the request of the incumbent union for
Philtread to stop hiring new personnel until petitioners were first hired failed to elicit any favorable response.
Thus, on December 5, 1988, petitioners lodged a complaint [3] with the National Capital Region Arbitration
Branch of the NLRC for unfair labor practice (ULP), damages and attorneys fees against Philtread.
Both parties submitted their respective position papers. On its part, Philtread moved for the dismissal of the
complaint based on two grounds, namely: (1) that the NLRC lacked jurisdiction, there being no employer-employee
relationship between it and petitioners and that the basic issue involved was the interpretation of a contract, the
CBA, which was cognizable by the regular courts; and (2) that petitioners had no locus standi, not being privy to the
CBA executed between the union and Philtread.
Petitioners, however, challenging Philtreads motion to dismiss, stressed that the complaint was one for unfair
labor practice precipitated by the unjust and unreasonable refusal of Philtread to re-employ them, as mandated by
the provisions of Section 4, Article III of the 1986 and 1983 CBAs. Being one for unfair labor practice, petitioners
concluded that the NLRC had jurisdiction over the case, pursuant to Article 217 (a) (1) of the Labor Code.
On August 31, 1989, Labor Arbiter Edgardo M. Madriaga rendered a decision dismissing the complaint but
directing Philtread to give petitioners priority in hiring, as well as those former employees similarly situated for
available positions provided they meet the necessary current qualifications. [4] In dismissing the complaint, the Labor
Arbiter, however, did not tackle the jurisdictional issue posed by Philtread in its position paper. Instead, he dwelt
solely on the question whether the petitioners were entitled to priority in re-employment on the basis of the CBA.
Petitioners duly appealed the decision of the Labor Arbiter to the NLRC. Philtread opted not to interpose an
appeal despite the Labor Arbiters failure to rule squarely on the question of jurisdiction.
On April 15, 1992, the NLRC issued a resolution reversing the decision of the Labor Arbiter. It directed
Philtread to re-employ petitioners and other employees similarly situated, regardless of age qualifications and other
pre-employment conditions, subject only to existing vacancies and a finding of good physical condition. This
resolution was received by Atty. Abraham B. Borreta of the law firm of Borreta, Gutierrez and Leogardo on May 5,
1992, as shown by the bailiffs return.
Subsequently, Atty. Borreta filed with the NLRC on May 20, 1992, an ex parte manifestation explaining that he
was returning the copy of the resolution rendered on April 15, 1992, which, according to him, was erroneously
served on him by the process server of the NLRC. He alleged that in the several conciliation conferences held, it was
Atty. Daniel C. Gutierrez who exclusively handled the case on behalf of Philtread and informed the Labor Arbiter
and petitioners that the law firm of Borreta, Gutierrez and Leogardo had already been dissolved.
Being of the impression that the April 15, 1992 resolution of the NLRC had been properly served at the address
of the law firm of Atty. Gutierrez and that no seasonable motion for reconsideration was ever filed by Philtread,
petitioners moved for its execution.
On November 18, 1992, the NLRC, acting on a motion for reconsideration filed by Atty.
Gutierrez, promulgated one of its challenged resolutions dismissing the complaint of petitioners.It ruled that while
petitioners had standing to sue, the complaint should have been filed with the voluntary arbitrator, pursuant to
Article 261 of the Labor Code, since the primary issue was the implementation and interpretation of the CBA.
Dismayed by the NLRCs sudden change of position, petitioners immediately moved for reconsideration. They
pointed out that the NLRCs reliance on Article 261 of the Labor Code was patently erroneous because it was the

amended provision which was being cited by the NLRC. They added that the amendment of Article 261 introduced
by Republic Act No. 6715 took effect only on March 21, 1989, or after the filing of the complaint on December 5,
1988. This being the case, petitioners argued that the subsequent amendment cannot retroactively divest the Labor
Arbiter of the jurisdiction already acquired in accordance with Articles 217 and 248 of the Labor Code. Petitioners
further stressed that the resolution of April 15, 1992, had already become final and executory since Philtreads
counsel of record did not file any motion for reconsideration within the period of ten (10) days from receipt of the
resolution on May 5, 1992.
The NLRC, however, was not convinced by petitioners assertions. In another resolution issued on April 7,
1993, it affirmed its earlier resolution dated November 18, 1992, ruling that even before the amendatory law took
effect, matters involving bargaining agreements were already within the exclusive jurisdiction of the voluntary
arbitrator, as set forth in Article 262 of the Labor Code. Hence, this petition.
As stated at the outset, petitioners fault the NLRC for issuing the assailed resolutions even when the resolution
sought to be reconsidered had already attained finality upon Philtreads failure to timely move for its
reconsideration. They posit that since the bailiffs return indicated May 5, 1992, as the date of receipt of the April 15,
1992 resolution by the law firm of Borreta, Gutierrez and Leogardo, Philtreads counsel of record, then Philtread
only had ten (10) calendar days or until May 15, 1992, within which to file a motion for reconsideration. Since
Philtread indisputably failed to file any such motion within said period, petitioners deemed it highly irregular and
capricious for the NLRC to still allow reconsideration of its April 15, 1992 resolution.
The petition is impressed with merit.
Time and again, this Court has been emphatic in ruling that the seasonable filing of a motion for
reconsideration within the 10-day reglementary period following the receipt by a party of any order, resolution or
decision of the NLRC, is a mandatory requirement to forestall the finality of such order, resolution or decision.
[5]
The statutory bases for this is found in Article 223 of the Labor Code [6] and Section 14, Rule VII of the New Rules
of Procedure of the National Labor Relations Commission.[7]
In the case at bar, it is uncontroverted that Philtreads counsel filed a motion for reconsideration of the April 15,
1992 resolution only on June 5, 1992,[8] or 31 days after receipt of said resolution. [9] It was thus incumbent upon the
NLRC to have dismissed outright Philtreads late motion for reconsideration. By doing exactly the opposite, its
actuation was not only whimsical and capricious but also a demonstration of its utter disregard for its very own
rules. Certiorari, therefore, lies.
To be sure, it is settled doctrine that the NLRC, as an administrative and quasi-judicial body, is not bound by
the rigid application of technical rules of procedure in the conduct of its proceedings. [10] However, the filing of a
motion for reconsideration and filing it ON TIME are not mere technicalities of procedure. These are jurisdictional
and mandatory requirements which must be strictly complied with. Although there are exceptions to said rule, the
case at bar presents no peculiar circumstances warranting a departure therefrom.
The Court is aware of Philtreads obvious attempt to skirt the requirement for seasonable filing of a motion for
reconsideration by persuading us that both the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC have no jurisdiction over petitioners
complaint. Jurisdiction, Philtread claims, lies instead with the voluntary arbitrator so that when the Labor Arbiter
and the NLRC took cognizance of the case, their decisions thereon were null and void and, therefore, incapable of
attaining finality. In short, Philtread maintains that the ten-day reglementary period could not have started running
and, therefore, its motion could not be considered late.
The argument is not tenable. While we agree with the dictum that a void judgment cannot attain finality, said
rule, however, is only relevant if the tribunal or body which takes cognizance of a particular subject matter indeed
lacks jurisdiction over the same. In this case, the rule adverted to is misapplied for it is actually the Labor Arbiter
and the NLRC which possess jurisdiction over petitioners complaint and NOT the voluntary arbitrator, as
erroneously contended by Philtread.
In this regard, we observe that there is a confusion in the minds of both Philtread and the NLRC with respect to
the proper jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrator. They appear to share the view that once the question involved is
an interpretation or implementation of CBA provisions, which in this case is the re-employment clause, then the
same necessarily falls within the competence of the voluntary arbitrator pursuant to Article 261 of the Labor Code.

Respondents posture is too simplistic and finds no support in law or in jurisprudence. When the issue concerns
an interpretation or implementation of the CBA, one cannot immediately jump to the conclusion that jurisdiction is
with the voluntary arbitrator. There is an equally important need to inquire further if the disputants involved are the
union and the employer; otherwise, the voluntary arbitrator cannot assume jurisdiction. To this effect was the ruling
of the Court in Sanyo Philippines Workers Union - PSSLU v. Canizares,[11] where we clarified the jurisdiction of the
voluntary arbitrator in this manner:
In the instant case, however, We hold that the Labor Arbiter and not the Grievance Machinery provided for in the
CBA has the jurisdiction to hear and decide the complaints of the private respondents. While it appears that the
dismissal of the private respondents was made upon the recommendation of PSSLU pursuant to the union security
clause provided in the CBA, We are of the opinion that these facts do not come within the phrase grievances arising
from the interpretation or implementation of (their) Collective Bargaining Agreement and those arising from the
interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies, the jurisdiction of which pertains to the Grievance
Machinery or thereafter, to a voluntary arbitrator or panel of voluntary arbitrators. Article 260 of the Labor Code on
grievance machinery and voluntary arbitrator states that (t)he parties to a Collective Bargaining Agreement shall
include therein provisions that will ensure the mutual observance of its terms and conditions. They shall establish a
machinery for the adjustment and resolution of grievances arising from the interpretation or implementation of their
Collective Bargaining Agreement and those arising from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel
policies. It is further provided in said article that the parties to a CBA shall name or designate their respective
representatives to the grievance machinery and if the grievance is not settled in that level, it shall automatically be
referred to voluntary arbitrators (or panel of voluntary arbitrators) designated in advance by the parties. It need not
be mentioned that the parties to a CBA are the union and the company. Hence, only disputes involving the union and
the company shall be referred to the grievance machinery or voluntary arbitrators. (Underscoring supplied)
Since the contending parties in the instant case are not the union and Philtread, then pursuant to
the Sanyo doctrine, it is not the voluntary arbitrator who can take cognizance of the complaint, notwithstanding
Philtreads claim that the real issue is the interpretation of the CBA provision on re-employment.
The Court, however, does not write finis to the discussion. A more important question arises: If the voluntary
arbitrator could not have assumed jurisdiction over the case, did the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC validly acquire
jurisdiction when both of them entertained the complaint?
A brief review of relevant statutory provisions is in order.
We note that at the time petitioners filed their complaint for unfair labor practice, damages and attorneys fees
on December 5, 1988, the governing provision of the Labor Code with respect to the jurisdiction of the Labor
Arbiter and the NLRC was Article 217 which states:
ART. 217. Jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the Commission. (a) The Labor Arbiters shall have the
original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide within thirty (30) working days after submission of
the case by the parties for decision, the following cases involving all workers, whether agricultural or nonagricultural:
1. Unfair labor practice cases;
2. Those that workers may file involving wages, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment;
3. All money claims of workers, including those based on non-payment or underpayment of wages, overtime
compensation, separation pay and other benefits provided by law or appropriate agreement, except claims for
employees compensation, social security, medicare and maternity benefits;
4. Cases involving household services; and
5. Cases arising from any violation of Article 265 of this Code, including questions involving the legality of strikes
and lockouts.
(b) The Commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Labor Arbiters.
Articles 261 and 262, on the other hand, defined the jurisdiction of the voluntary arbitrator, viz.:

ART. 261. Grievance machinery. - Whenever a grievance arises from the interpretation or implementation of a
collective agreement, including disciplinary actions imposed on members of the bargaining unit, the employer and the
bargaining representative shall meet to adjust the grievance. Where there is no collective agreement and in cases
where the grievance procedure as provided herein does not apply, grievances shall be subject to negotiation,
conciliation or arbitration as provided elsewhere in this Code.
ART. 262. Voluntary arbitration. - All grievances referred to in the immediately preceding Article which are not
settled through the grievance procedure provided in the collective agreement shall be referred to voluntary arbitration
prescribed in said agreement: Provided, That termination disputes shall be governed by Article 278 of this Code, as
amended, unless the parties agree to submit them to voluntary arbitration.
Under the above provisions then prevailing, one can understand why petitioners lodged their complaint for
ULP with the Labor Arbiter. To their mind, Philtreads refusal to re-employ them was tantamount to a violation of the
re-employment clause in the 1983 CBA which was also substantially reproduced in the 1986 CBA. At the time, any
violation of the CBA was unqualifiedly treated as ULP of the employer falling within the competence of the Labor
Arbiter to hear and decide. Thus:
ART. 248. Unfair labor practices of employers. - It shall be unlawful for an employer to commit any of the
following unfair labor practice:
xxxxxxxxx
(i) To violate a collective bargaining agreement.
On March 21, 1989, however, Republic Act 6715, [12] or the so-called Herrera-Veloso Amendments, took effect,
amending several provisions of the Labor Code, including the respective jurisdictions of the Labor Arbiter, the
NLRC and the voluntary arbitrator. As a result, the present jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC is as
follows:
ART. 217. Jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the Commission. - (a) Except as otherwise provided under this Code the
Labor Arbiters shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide, within thirty (30) calendar days after
the submission of the case by the parties for decision without extension, even in the absence of stenographic notes,
the following cases involving all workers, whether agricultural or non-agricultural:
1. Unfair labor practice cases;
2. Termination disputes;
3. If accompanied with a claim for reinstatement, those cases that workers may file involving
wages, rates of pay, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment;
4. Claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of damages arising from the employeremployee relations;
5. Cases arising from any violation of Article 264 of this Code, including questions involving the
legality of strikes and lockouts; and
6. Except claims for Employees Compensation, Social Security, Medicare and maternity benefits, all
other claims, arising from employer-employee relations, including those of persons in domestic or
household service, involving an amount exceeding five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) regardless of whether
accompanied with a claim for reinstatement.
(b) The Commission shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by
Labor Arbiters.
(c) Cases arising from the interpretation or implementation of collective bargaining agreements and those arising
from the interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies shall be disposed of by the Labor Arbiter by
referring the same to the grievance machinery and voluntary arbitration as may be provided in said agreements.

while that of the voluntary arbitrator is defined in this wise:


ART. 261. Jurisdiction of Voluntary Arbitrators or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators. - The Voluntary Arbitrator or panel
of Voluntary Arbitrators shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide all unresolved grievances
arising from the interpretation or implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and those arising from the
interpretation or enforcement of company personnel policies referred to in the immediately
preceding article. Accordingly, violations of a Collective Bargaining Agreement, except those which are gross in
character, shall no longer be treated as unfair labor practice and shall be resolved as grievances under the Collective
Bargaining Agreement. For purposes of this article, gross violations of Collective Bargaining Agreement shall mean
flagrant and/or malicious refusal to comply with the economic provisions of such agreement. x x x. (Underscoring
supplied)
ART. 262. Jurisdiction over other labor disputes. - The Voluntary Arbitrator or panel of Voluntary Arbitrators, upon
agreement of the parties, shall also hear and decide all other labor disputes including unfair labor practices and
bargaining deadlocks.
With the amendments introduced by RA 6715, it can be gleaned that the Labor Arbiter still retains jurisdiction
over ULP cases. There is, however, a significant change: The unqualified jurisdiction conferred upon the Labor
Arbiter prior to the amendment by RA 6715 has been narrowed down so that violations of a Collective Bargaining
Agreement, except those which are gross in character, shall no longer be treated as unfair labor practice but as
grievances under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It is further stated that gross violations of Collective
Bargaining Agreement shall mean flagrant and/or malicious refusal to comply with the economic provisions of such
agreement. Hence, for a ULP case to be cognizable by the Labor Arbiter, and the NLRC to exercise its appellate
jurisdiction, the allegations in the complaint should show prima facie the concurrence of two things, namely: (1)
gross violation of the CBA; AND (2) the violation pertains to the economic provisions of the CBA.
In several instances prior to the instant case, the Court already made its pronouncement that RA 6715 is in the
nature of a curative statute. As such, we declared that it can be applied retroactively to pending cases. Thus, in Briad
Agro Development Corporation v. Dela Cerna,[13] we held:
Republic Act No. 6715, like its predecessors, Executive Order No. 111 and Article 217, as amended, has retroactive
application. Thus, when this new law divested Regional Directors of the power to hear money claims, the
divestment affected pending litigations. It also affected this particular case. (Note that under par. 6, where the claim
does not exceed P5,000.00, regional directors have jurisdiction).
In Garcia v. Martinez, we categorically held that amendments relative to the jurisdiction of labor arbiters (under
Presidential Decree No. 1367, divesting the labor arbiter of jurisdiction) partake of the nature of curative statutes,
thus:
It now appears that at the time this case was decided the lower court had jurisdiction over Velascos complaint
although at the time it was filed said court was not clothed with such jurisdiction. The lack of jurisdiction was cured
by the issuance of the amendatory decree which is in the nature of a curative statute with retrospective application to
a pending proceeding, like Civil Case No. 9657 (See 82 C.J.S. 1004).
Garcia has since been uniformly applied in subsequent cases. Thus, in Calderon v. Court of Appeals, reiterated that
PD No. 1367 [is] curative and retrospective in nature.
The Decision of this case, finally, acknowledged the retrospective characteristics of Executive Order No. 111. x x x.
With the Briad ruling in place, the implication is that the qualified jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter and the
NLRC should have been applied when the ULP complaint was still pending.This means that petitioners should have
been required to show in their complaint the gross nature of the CBA violation, as well as the economic provision
violated, without which the complaint would be dismissible. Herein lies the problem. The Courts appreciation of
petitioners cause of action is that, while it would make out a case for ULP, under present law, however, the same
falls short of the special requirements necessary to make it cognizable by the Labor Arbiter and the
NLRC. Unsubstantiated conclusions of bad faith and unjustified refusal to re-employ petitioners, to our mind, do not
constitute gross violation of the CBA for purposes of lodging jurisdiction with the Labor Arbiter and the
NLRC. Although evidentiary matters are not required (and even discouraged) to be alleged in a complaint, still,
sufficient details supporting the conclusion of bad faith and unjust refusal to re-employ petitioners must be

indicated.Furthermore, it is even doubtful if the CBA provision on re-employment fits into the accepted notion of an
economic provision of the CBA. Thus, given the foregoing considerations, may theBriad doctrine be applied to the
instant case and cause its dismissal for want of jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC?
Upon a careful and meticulous study of Briad, the Court holds that the rationale behind it does not apply to the
present case. We adopt instead the more recent case of Erectors, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission,
[14]
where we refused to give retroactive application to Executive Order No. 797 which created the Philippine
Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Under said law, POEA was vested with original and exclusive
jurisdiction over all cases, including money claims, involving employer-employee relations arising out of or by
virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino workers for overseas employment, [15] which jurisdiction was
originally conferred upon the Labor Arbiter. As in the instant case, the Labor Arbiters assumption of jurisdiction
therein was likewise questioned in view of the subsequent enactment of E.O. 797. In ruling against the retroactive
application of the law, the Court explained its position as follows:
The rule is that jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the law in force at the time of the
commencement of the action. On March 31, 1982, at the time private respondent filed his complaint against the
petitioner, the prevailing laws were Presidential Decree No. 1691 and Presidential Decree No. 1391 which vested
the Regional Offices of the Ministry of Labor and the Labor Arbiters with original and exclusive jurisdiction over all
cases involving employer-employee relations including money claims arising out of any law or contracts involving
Filipino workers for overseas employment. At the time of the filing of the complaint, the Labor Arbiter had clear
jurisdiction over the same.
E.O. No. 797 did not divest the Labor Arbiters authority to hear and decide the case filed by private respondent prior
to its effectivity. Laws should only be applied prospectively unless the legislative intent to give them retroactive
effect is expressly declared or is necessarily implied from the language used. We fail to perceive in the language of
E.O. No. 797 an intention to give it retroactive effect.
The case of Briad Agro Development Corp. vs. Dela Cerna cited by the petitioner is not applicable to the case at
bar. In Briad, the Court applied the exception rather than the general rule. In this case, Briad Agro Development
Corp. and L.M. Camus Engineering Corp. challenged the jurisdiction of the Regional Director of the Department of
Labor and Employment over cases involving workers money claims, since Article 217 of the Labor Code, the law in
force at the time of the filing of the complaint, vested in the Labor Arbiters exclusive jurisdiction over such
cases. The Court dismissed the petition in its Decision dated June 29, 1989. It ruled that the enactment of E.O. No.
111, amending Article 217 of the Labor Code, cured the Regional Directors lack of jurisdiction by giving the Labor
Arbiter and the Regional Director concurrent jurisdiction over all cases involving money claims. However, on
November 9, 1989, the Court, in a Resolution, reconsidered and set aside its June 29 Decision and referred the case
to the Labor Arbiter for proper proceedings, in view of the promulgation of Republic Act (R.A.) 6715 which
divested the Regional Directors of the power to hear money claims. It bears emphasis that the Court accorded E.O.
No. 111 and R.A. 6715 a retroactive application because as curative statutes, they fall under the exceptions to the
rule on prospectivity of laws.
E.O. No. 111, amended Article 217 of the Labor Code to widen the workers access to the government for redress of
grievances by giving the Regional Directors and Labor Arbiters concurrent jurisdiction over cases involving money
claims. This amendment, however, created a situation where the jurisdiction of the Regional Directors and the Labor
Arbiters overlapped. As a remedy, R.A. 6715 further amended Article 217 by delineating their respective
jurisdictions. Under R.A. 6715, the Regional Director has exclusive original jurisdiction over cases involving money
claims provided: (1) the claim is presented by an employer or person employed in domestic or household service, or
househelper under the Code; (2) the claimant, no longer being employed, does not seek reinstatement; and (3) the
aggregate money claim of the employee or househelper does not exceed P5,000.00. All other cases within the
exclusive and original jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter. E.O. No. 111 and R.A. 6715 are therefore curative
statutes. A curative statute is enacted to cure defects in a prior law or to validate legal proceedings, instruments or
acts of public authorities which would otherwise be void for want of conformity with certain existing legal
requirements.
The law at bar, E.O. No. 797, is not a curative statute. x x x.
We do not find any reason why the Court should not apply the above ruling to the case at bar, notwithstanding
the fact that a different law is involved. Actually, this is not the first time that the Court refused to apply RA 6715
retroactively.[16] Our previous decisions on whether to give it retroactive application or not depended to a great extent

on what amended provisions were under consideration, as well as the factual circumstances to which they were
made to apply. In Briad, the underlying reason for applying RA 6715 retroactively was the fact that prior to its
amendment, Article 217 of the Labor Code, as amended by then Executive Order No. 111, created a scenario where
the Labor Arbiters and the Regional Directors of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had
overlapping jurisdiction over money claims. This situation was viewed as a defect in the law so that when RA No.
6715 was passed and delineated the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiters and Regional Directors, the Court deemed it a
rectification of such defect; hence, the conclusion that it was curative in nature and, therefore, must be applied
retroactively.
The same thing cannot be said of the case at bar. Like in Erectors, the instant case presents no defect in the law
requiring a remedy insofar as the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter and the Voluntary Arbitrator is concerned. There
is here no overlapping of jurisdiction to speak of because matters involving interpretation and implementation of
CBA provisions, as well as interpretation and enforcement of company personnel policies, have always been
determined by the Voluntary Arbitrator even prior to RA 6715. Similarly, all ULP cases were exclusively within the
jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter. What RA 6715 merely did was to re-apportion the jurisdiction over ULP cases by
conferring exclusive jurisdiction over such ULP cases that do not involve gross violation of a CBAs economic
provision upon the voluntary arbitrator. We do not see anything in the act of re-apportioning jurisdiction curative of
any defect in the law as it stood prior to the enactment of RA 6715. The Court view it as merely a matter of change
in policy of the lawmakers, especially since the 1987 Constitution adheres to the preferential use of voluntary modes
of dispute settlement.[17] This, instead of the inherent defect in the law, must be the rationale that prompted the
amendment. Hence, we uphold the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter which attached to this case at the time of its
filing on December 5, 1988.
Finally, the contention that it was Atty. Gutierrez who exclusively represented Philtread and that the law firm
of Borreta, Gutierrez and Leogardo had been dissolved, are lame excuses to cast doubt on the propriety of service to
Atty. Borreta. It must be noted that the complaint of petitioners was filed on December 5, 1988. Presumably, the
preliminary conferences adverted to by Atty. Borreta, where Atty. Gutierrez supposedly declared that he was
exclusively representing Philtread, transpired at around that date. The Court, however, is surprised to discover that
the record bears a Notice of Change of Address dated March 12, 1990, filed by Atty. Gutierrez, indicating therein
that the counsel for respondent (Philtread) was Borreta, Gutierrez and Leogardo whose address could be found at the
3rd Floor, Commodore Condominium Arquiza corner M. Guerrero Streets, Ermita, Manila. If, indeed, Atty.
Gutierrez declared during the Labor Arbiters proceedings that he was exclusively representing Philtread, why then
did he use the firms name, and its new address at that, in the aforementioned notice to the NLRC?Moreover, why
did Atty. Borreta take fifteen days to file his Manifestation and inform the NLRC of the improper service of the
resolution to him? Why did he not object immediately to theservice by the bailiff? Considering that Atty. Gutierrez
and Atty. Borreta were once partners in their law firm, it behooves Atty. Borreta to have at least advised his former
partner of the receipt of the resolution. As a lawyer, his receipt of the adverse resolution should have alerted him of
the adverse consequences which might follow if the same were not acted upon promptly, as what in fact happened
here. As for Atty. Gutierrez, if the law firm of Borreta, Gutierrez, and Leogardo were really dissolved, it was
incumbent upon him not to have used the firms name in the first place, or he should have withdrawn the appearance
of the firm and entered his own appearance, in case the dissolution took place midstream. By failing to exercise
either option, Atty. Gutierrez cannot now blame the NLRC for serving its resolution at the address of the firm still on
record.[18] To our mind, these excuses cannot camouflage the clever ploy of Philtreads counsel to earn a last chance
to move for reconsideration. This Court, it bears emphasizing, is not impressed, but looks incredulously at such
superficial moves.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. The assailed resolutions of the NLRC dated
November 18, 1992, and April 7, 1993, are SET ASIDE, while its resolution dated April 15, 1992, is REINSTATED
for immediate execution.
SO ORDERED.
Regalado, (Chairman), Puno, Mendoza, and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-19568

March 31, 1964

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
JOSE L. CHUPECO, defendant-appellant.
Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
J. Gonzales Orense for defendant-appellant.
REYES, J.B.L., J.:
Appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila (in its Crim. Case No. 14786) to the Court of
Appeals, but which the latter court, pursuant to Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, had certified
the Supreme Court as a case in which the jurisdiction of an inferior court is in issue.
The accused-appellant, Jose L. Chupeco, was charged on 2 February 1951 before the Court of First Instance of
Manila under the following information:

That on or about the 28th day of November, 1947, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused
being the owner of, and, having previously on the 24th day of July, 1946, executed a Chattel Mortgage on
the following properties:
An open shed under construction to be used sawmill building, containing an area of 350 sq. m.
more or less, located at Sitio Saguing, Dinalupihan, Bataan.1wph1.t
SAWMILL MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT:
One "Wheland" Circular sawmill No. 3 complete with carriage and w/60" inserted circular saw
(new);
One Gray Marine Full Diesel Engine 225 H.P. Serial No. 13835, Engine No. C-17040;
One RD-14 Tractor with Bulldozer, motor No. 6719028;
One D-6 Caterpilar tractor motor 626-134;
One Clitract International Caterpilar Motor No. 2398-D;
One Air compressor (Aray type);
One complete set of welding instruments (local made);
One Lathe machine F.E. Reed Co. Length 8' swing 8";
One planer for iron and steel F. E. Reed & Co.;
One tracing machine and one vise (local made);
TRANSPORTATION UNITS:
One Chevrolet truck Model 1941 Motor No. KR-214658 1946 Plate No. 9794;
One International Baby truck Model 1938 Motor No. ND-13-6470;
One G.M.C. Army truck 6 x 6 Motor No. 70485739-Plate No. 10239;
One Willy's jeep Motor No. DP 2977-Plate No. 1512.
located at sitio Saguing, Dinalupihan, Bataan in favor of the Agricultural and Industrial Bank, whose
capital, assets, accounts, contracts and choses in action were subsequently transferred to the herein
complainant Rehabilitation Finance Corporation an institution created and operating pursuant to the
provisions of Republic Act No. 85, with principal office at the City of Manila, Philippines, to secure a loan
of P20,000.00, from said Agricultural and Industrial Bank, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously (on the aforesaid date of 28th day of November, 1947, with intent to defraud the said
Rehabilitation Finance Corporation, pledge and incumber, or cause to be pledged and incumbered the same
personal properties to one Mateo B. Pinile without having fully satisfied the mortgage and during the term
thereof and without the consent of the mortgagee bank written on the back of the mortgage, and, thereafter)
knowingly transfer and remove, or cause to be transferred and removed the said properties to the
municipality of Subic, Zambales, also without the written consent of the mortgagee bank, to the damage
and prejudice of the said Rehabilitation Finance Corporation in the sum of P15,935.80, Philippine currency,
representing the unpaid balance of the aforesaid mortgage.
The accused moved to quash the foregoing information on the ground that more than one offense is charged and that
the court had no jurisdiction. Upon denial of the motion, the accused was arraigned, and he entered a plea of not
guilty. After the case was partly tried, the defense counsel and the fiscal entered into an agreement to have the
information amended to the effect that the charge be only for removal of properties mortgaged, eliminating the

portion referring to pledging already pledged property. The information, however, remained un-amended. The
accused then filed a motion to dismiss involving the agreement, but the court denied it, and ordered that the case be
tried on the charge "of having pledged property which had been previously pledged or mortgaged". After trial, the
court found the accused guilty of the said offense, and imposed a penalty of two months and one day ofarresto
mayor.
Not satisfied, the accused interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals, but the said court certified the case to the
Supreme Court, as formerly stated.
The accused attacks the jurisdiction of the trial court on the strength of the agreement with the fiscal to discard the
charge of repledging or remembering the chattels already mortgaged to the Agricultural and Industrial Bank thus
leaving in force only the accusation of having transferred the encumbered property from Bataan to Zambales
without the consent of the mortgagee. It is argued that since the place where the chattels were, as well as the site to
which they were moved, are both outside of Manila, the courts of the latter acquired no jurisdiction to try the case,
because the offense was not committed within the Manila territory.
We find this stand without merit. The original terms of the charge averred (and it is not disputed) the crime of
repledging already encumbered property without the creditor's consent, and one of the essential ingredients of the
offense (the execution of the first mortgage) having been alleged, to have taken place in Manila, the court of first
instance of that city acquired jurisdiction over the offense under the Rules of Court (People vs. Mission, 48 O.G.,
1331; Rule 110, section 9). It is well-established that once vested, the jurisdiction is not tolled by subsequent
amendment or stipulation (McClain vs. Kansas City Bridge Co., 83 SW 2d, 132; Shankle vs. Ingram, 45 S.E. 578;
Walton vs. Mardeville Dowling & Co., 5 NW 776), which in this case amounted to no more than an avowal by the
prosecution that it could not establish the other elements of the offense.
Furthermore, the court actually rejected the defense motion to dismiss, and directed that the cue be tried on the
original charge of repledging property already encumbered. The accused obeyed that directive, and by so doing it
renounced the claim that the information had been so amended as to discard that particular averment.
But the fatal error in the decision appealed from is its disregard of the fact that the evidence fails to show that the
properties mortgaged to the bank are the same one encumbered afterwards to Mateo Pinili. In fact, the Office of the
Solicitor General recommends the acquittal of the accused on this very ground Brief, pp. 10-11).
There is no question that the herein accused execute in the City of Manila a Chattel Mortgage, Exhibit "D", on the
properties located in Bataan and listed in the in formation in favor of the Agricultural and Industrial Bank on 24 July
1946, and that the accused pledged or encumbered in the City of Manila, on 28 November 1947 the properties listed
in Exhibit "E", which are as follows:
One (1) sawmill with gray marine engine 125 H.P. circular law and all appurtenances, implements and
parts, also building, camarin and housing improvements under Tax No. 1260-V for 1947, assessed at
P8,000.00 paid under O.R. No. 59318, dated May 14, 1947, Dinalupihan, Bataan;
One (1) bulldozer H.D.-14, with dozer, Make: Allis-Chalmers, Eng. No. 3251541;
Two (2) cargo trucks (6 x 6), Eng. No. 220314218-Reg. No. 17094 and Eng. No. 220359225-Reg. No.
17093.
However, there is nothing in the evidence to show that the properties listed in Exhibit "D" and in the information are
the same properties listed in Exhibit "E". The descriptions are materially different.
An assential element common to the two acts punished under Article 319 of the Revised Penal Code is that the
property removed or repledged, as the case may be should be the same or identical property that was mortgaged or
pledged before such removal or repledging. Therefore, even if the Court of First Instance of Manila had jurisdiction
over the case, the accused cannot be found guilty on the evidence on record of the crime for which he stands
indicted.
FOR THE FOREGOING REASON, the appealed decision is hereby reversed, and another one entered acquitting
the accused Jose L. Chupeco. No pronouncement as to costs.

Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Barrera, Parades, Dizon, Regala and Makalintal,
JJ., concur.

SECOND DIVISION
AMANDO G. SUMAWANG, G.R. No. 150106
Petitioner,
Present:
PUNO, J., Chairman,
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,*
- versus - CALLEJO, SR.,
TINGA, and
CHICO-NAZARIO, JJ.

Promulgated:
ENGR. ERIC D. DE GUZMAN,
Respondent. September 8, 2004
x--------------------------------------------------x
DECISION
CALLEJO, SR., J.:

On June 8, 1999, Engineer Eric de Guzman, as plaintiff, filed a complaint in the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of
Guimba, Nueva Ecija, against Amando G. Sumawang, for unlawful detainer with damages. The case was docketed
as Civil Case No. 3778. The plaintiff alleged therein that the President of the Philippines issued, on August 19, 1988,
Emancipation Patent No. 288843 in his favor, over a parcel of agricultural land, designated as Lot 33, with an area
of 9,970 square meters, located in Macatcatuit, Guimba, Nueva Ecija; on December 12, 1988, the Register of Deeds
issued
Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) EP No. 31683 over the landholding; thereafter, he leased a portion of the property
to the defendant where the latter constructed a small hut, and remitted the rentals therefor; in the early part of 1999,
the defendant failed to pay the agreed rentals for the landholding based on said patent; despite his demand on March
10, 1999, the defendant failed to vacate the property; and no amicable settlement of the matter was arrived at by the
parties in the Office of the Barangay Captain.
The plaintiff prayed that judgment be rendered ordering the defendant to vacate the property and to pay
damages and attorneys fees. In his answer to the complaint, the defendant alleged that Gloria Zulueta Rominquit was
the owner of a large tract of agricultural land, designated as Lot 1402, which was placed under the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law; he cultivated a portion of the property and was one of the farmers-beneficiaries of the
landholding, as listed in the Office of the Municipal Agrarian Reform; sometime in 1965, he swapped the portion of
the property he was cultivating with Lot 33 which was cultivated by Antonio Ferrer and, thenceforth, he had been
cultivating the same lot; in 1994, he built a house of strong materials in the property where he and his family
resided; he sought the assistance of his first cousin, Judge Felix de Guzman, the father of the plaintiff, to secure a
patent and title over the property in his name but the plaintiff, who was the son of Judge De Guzman and an
engineer by profession and a non-resident of Guimba, secured through fraud an emancipation patent and title over
the property in his name.

The defendant interposed the defense of lack of jurisdiction of the trial court over the action and the subject
matter thereof, and prayed that the complaint be dismissed on those grounds; and that he be awarded damages and
attorneys fees.
The plaintiff adduced evidence that per Parcellary Mapping Survey (PMS) No. 067, the subject property owned by
Rominquit was designated Lot 12011, with an area of 9,100 square meters, covered by Certificate of Land Title
(CLT) No. 0114427 issued to Antonio Ferrer, the farmer-beneficiary thereof; but per final survey, the property was
designated as Lot 33, with an area of 9,970 square meters; he was granted Emancipation Patent No. 288843 over Lot

33 and on the basis of said patent, TCT EP No. 31683 was issued by the Register of Deeds. He declared the property
under his name under Tax Declaration No. 94-10032-00515, free of any encumbrance, after paying the amortizations
due to the Land Bank of the Philippines; and that, during the period from 1991 to 1997, he employed the plaintiff as
farmer-worker to whom he remitted sums of money for the expenses for the cultivation of the property such as soil,
fertilizer, seedlings, rentals for a rotorator, etc. The defendant, for his part, presented certifications from the
former barangay captains that, since 1969, he had been the tenant on the farmland covered by CLT No. 0114427
under the name of Antonio Ferrer, the beneficiary of the property; and that, in 1987, he built a house of strong
materials thereon; in 1991, the plaintiff, through his father, Judge Felix de Guzman, suggested a sharing system
between the plaintiff and the defendant, whereby the plaintiff will provide monetary assistance for the expenses for
the cultivation of the property by the defendant and would share in the produce thereof and net of expenses.
On June 27, 2000, the trial court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the
defendant. The fallo of the decision reads:
WHEREFORE, foregoing considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiff and
against defendant, ordering the latter to:
1. Vacate the property and to remove his hut/house erected thereon;
2. Pay plaintiff reasonable rental for the use of the property at the rate of P500.00 per month from
March 12, 1999 until he finally vacates the same;
3. Reimburse plaintiff P170.00 representing the amount spent for filing fees; and
4. Pay the costs of suit.[1]

The trial court ruled that the defendant was not the legitimate tenant-beneficiary over the property, as certified by the
Office of the Municipal Agrarian Reform, but Antonio Ferrer, who transferred the property to the plaintiff; and that
there was no landlord-tenant relationship over the property between the plaintiff and the defendant; hence, it had
jurisdiction over the action.
The defendant appealed the decision to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) which rendered judgment on October 9,
2000, reversing the decision of the MTC. The RTC ruled that, based on the facts on record, the controversy between
the plaintiff and the defendant was an agrarian dispute within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of
Agrarian Reform Adjudicatory Board (DARAB).
The plaintiff, then the petitioner, filed a petition for review of the decision with the Court of Appeals (CA), which
rendered judgment on September 25, 2001, reversing the decision of the RTC and reinstating the decision of the
MTC. The appellate court held that it was not prepared, based on the record, to hold that the petitioner was the
agricultural tenant of the respondent therein.
The respondent therein, now the petitioner, filed a petition for review on certiorari with this Court contending that:
1. The respondent Honorable Court of Appeals erred in its conclusion, that it is not prepared to
declare petitioner-appellant not (sic) a tenant (p. 128, Records), concluding that petitioners
occupation of subject land is by mere tolerance of private respondent and without any contract
between them, petitioner-appellant is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate
upon demand (p. 129, Records) (italics, ours);

2. The respondent Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in not taking cognizance of the
doctrine of estoppel, as against the private respondent-appellee (pp. 7-8, Comments to Petition for
Review);
3. The respondent Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in not applying the provisions of
R.A. 6657 (New CARP Law), as applied by the court ad quem, considering that the petitionerappellant has met the six (6) requirements that concur to make a tenancy relationship (pp. 6-8,
Comments to Petition for Review).[2]

The petitioner asserts that he had been a farmer-beneficiary of the land since 1965 and even after the respondent
fraudulently secured title over the property, the latter allowed him to cultivate the property and supplied him with
farm inputs and implements; the respondent also shared with him the harvests therefrom on a 50-50 basis, net of
costs of production. The petitioner asserts that, under the factual milieu, he was the agricultural tenant
of the respondent and not merely his farm worker. Hence, the dispute between them is within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the DARAB as held by the RTC, and not the MTC, as ruled by the CA.
The threshold issue is whether or not the MTC had jurisdiction over the action of the respondent. The resolution of
the issue is anchored on our resolution of the issue of whether or not the petitioner was the agricultural tenant of the
respondent or merely the latters farm worker.
The petition has no merit.
The well-entrenched principle is that the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter on the existence of the
action is determined by the material allegations of the complaint and the law, irrespective of whether or not the
plaintiff is entitled to recover all or some of the claims or reliefs sought therein. [3] In Basco Integrated Port Services,
Inc. v. Cyborg Leasing Corporation,[4] we had ruled that the jurisdiction of the court over the nature of the action and
the subject matter thereof cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the court or upon a motion to
dismiss for, otherwise, the question of jurisdiction would depend almost entirely on the defendant. [5] Once
jurisdiction is vested, the same is retained up to the end of the litigation. [6] The Municipal Trial Court does not lose
its jurisdiction over an ejectment case by the simple expedient of a party raising as a defense therein the alleged
existence of a tenancy relationship between the parties. [7] But it is the duty of the court to receive evidence to
determine the allegations of tenancy.[8]If, after hearing, tenancy had, in fact, been shown to be the real issue, the
court should dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.[9]
In VHJ Construction and Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals,[10] we held that:
Indeed, a tenancy relationship cannot be presumed. There must be evidence to prove this
allegation. The principal factor in determining whether a tenancy relationship exists is
intent. Tenancy is not a purely factual relationship dependent on what the alleged tenant does upon
the land. It is also a legal relationship. As we ruled in Chico v. Court of Appeals:
Each of the elements hereinbefore mentioned is essential to create a de
jure leasehold or tenancy relationship between the parties. This de
jure relationship, in turn, is the terra firma for a security of tenure between the
landlord and the tenant. The leasehold relationship is not brought about by a
mere congruence of facts but, being a legal relationship, the mutual will of the
parties to that relationship should be primordial.
Thus, the intent of the parties, the understanding when the farmer is installed, and their written
agreements, provided these are complied with and are not contrary to law, are even more
important.

The requisites of a tenancy relationship are as follows: (1) the parties are the landowner and the
tenant; (2) the subject is agricultural land; (3) there is consent by the landowner; (4) the purpose is
agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of the
harvests. All these requisites are necessary to create tenancy relationship, and the absence of one
or more requisites will not make the alleged tenant a de facto tenant. This is so because unless a
person has established his status as a de jure tenant, he is not entitled to security of tenure nor is he
covered by the Land Reform Program of the Government under existing tenancy laws. The
security of tenure guaranteed by our tenancy laws may be invoked only by tenants de jure, not by
those who are not true and lawful tenants.[11]

In this case, the petitioner failed to prove his claim that he had been installed by the respondent as agricultural tenant
on the landholding. He relied solely on his bare claim that he and the respondent, through the latters father, Judge
Felix de Guzman, had agreed for the petitioner to be the agricultural tenant of the respondent, sharing the produce
therefrom on a 50-50 basis, net of costs of production. There is no evidence on record that, indeed, the respondent
had authorized his father to enter into such an agreement with the petitioner. In Valencia v. Court of Appeals,[12] we
held that the right to hire a tenant is basically a personal right of a landowner. For Judge de Guzman to be able to
install the petitioner as agricultural tenant, he must be specifically authorized by the respondent. The petitioner
failed to adduce a morsel of evidence that he received a share of the produce of the property from the respondent.
The petitioners reliance on the lists of expenses, incurred by the respondent for the cultivation of the property, is
misplaced. In VHJ Construction and Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals,[13] citing Berenguer, Jr. v. Court
of Appeals,[14] we emphasized that:
The respondents self-serving statements regarding tenancy relations could not establish the
claimed relationship. The fact alone of working on anothers landholding does not raise a
presumption of the existence of agricultural tenancy. There must be substantial evidence on record
adequate enough to prove the element of sharing. Thus:
Nor is there any basis for petitioners claim that he is an agricultural tenant. One
of the essential requisites for the existence of a tenancy relationship is sharing,
by the landowner and tenant, of the produce and no proof of this fact has been
shown in this case. As we have held:

All these requisites are necessary in order to create tenancy


relationship between the parties and the absence of one or
more requisites does not make the alleged tenant a de
jure tenant as contra-distinguished from a de facto tenant.
To prove such sharing of harvests, a receipt or any other evidence must be presented. Self-serving
statements are deemed inadequate; competent proof must be adduced. [15]

IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

SECOND DIVISION

YUSUKE FUKUZUME,*
Petitioner,

G.R. No. 143647

Present:

- versus -

PUNO, Chairman,**
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
CALLEJO, SR.,
TINGA, and
CHICO-NAZARIO,*** JJ.
Promulgated:

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Respondent.

November 11, 2005

x-----------------------------------------------------------x
DECISION
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:

Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assailing the
Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated March 13, 2000 in CA-G.R. CR No. 21888, which affirmed with
modification the judgment of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, Branch 146 dated October 21, 1996 in
Criminal Case No. 95-083, finding herein accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa,
sentencing him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for twenty (20) years and to pay private complainant the sum
of P424,000.00; and the CA Resolution dated June 16, 2000 denying petitioners motion for reconsideration.[2]
[1]

The facts of the case are as follows:

Private complainant Javier Ng Yu (Yu) is a businessman engaged in buying and selling aluminum scrap
wires. Sometime in July 1991, Yu, accompanied by a friend, Mr. Jovate, [4] who was the vice-president of Manila
Electric Company, went to the house of herein accused-appellant Yusuke Fukuzume (Fukuzume) in Paraaque.
[5]
Jovate introduced Fukuzume to Yu telling the latter that Fukuzume is from Furukawa Electric Corporation
(Furukawa) and that he has at his disposal aluminum scrap wires. [6]Fukuzume confirmed this information and told
Yu that the scrap wires belong to Furukawa but they are under the care of National Power Corporation
(NAPOCOR).[7] Believing Fukuzumes representation to be true, Yu agreed to buy the aluminum scrap wires from
Fukuzume.[8] The initial agreed purchase price was P200,000.00.[9] Yu gave Fukuzume sums of money on various
dates which eventually totaled P290,000.00, broken down as follows: P50,000.00, given on July 12,
1991; P20,000.00, given on July 22, 1991;P50,000.00, given on October 14, 1991; and, P170,000.00, given on
October 18, 1991.[10] Fukuzume admitted that he received the same from Yu and that he still owes him the amount
of P290,000.00.[11] To support his claim that the aluminum scrap wires being sold are indeed owned by Furukawa,
that these scrap wires are with NAPOCOR, and that Furukawas authorized representatives are allowed to withdraw
and dispose of said scrap wires, Fukuzume gave Yu two certifications dated December 17, 1991 and December 27,
1991 purportedly issued by NAPOCOR and signed by its legal counsel by the name of R. Y. Rodriguez. [12] At the
time that Fukuzume gave Yu the second certification, he asked money from the latter telling him that it shall be
given as gifts to some of the people in NAPOCOR. Yu gave Fukuzume money and, in exchange, the latter issued
two checks, one for P100,000.00 and the other for P34,000.00.[13] However, when Yu deposited the checks, they
were dishonored on the ground that the account from which the checks should have been drawn is already closed.
[14]
Subsequently, Yu called up Fukuzume to inform him that the checks bounced. [15] Fukuzume instead told him not
to worry because in one or two weeks he will give Yu the necessary authorization to enable him to retrieve the
aluminum scrap wires from NAPOCOR.[16] On January 17, 1992, Fukuzume gave Yu a letter of even date, signed by
the Director of the Overseas Operation and Power Transmission Project Divisions of Furukawa, authorizing
Fukuzume to dispose of excess aluminum conductor materials which are stored in their depots in Tanay and
Bulacan.[17] Thereafter, Fukuzume agreed to accompany Yu when the latter is going to take the aluminum scrap wires
[3]

from the NAPOCOR compound.[18] When Yu arrived at the NAPOCOR compound on the scheduled date, Fukuzume
was nowhere to be found.[19]Hence, Yu proceeded to show the documents of authorization to NAPOCOR personnel.
However, the people from NAPOCOR did not honor the authorization letter issued by Furukawa dated January 17,
1992.[20] NAPOCOR also refused to acknowledge the certifications dated December 17, 1991 and December 27,
1991 claiming that these are spurious as the person who signed these documents is no longer connected with
NAPOCOR as of December 1991.[21] Unable to get the aluminum scrap wires from the NAPOCOR compound, Yu
talked to Fukuzume and asked from the latter the refund of the money he paid him. [22] Fukuzume promised to return
Yus money.[23] When Fukuzume failed to comply with his undertaking, Yu sent him a demand letter asking for the
refund of P424,000.00 plus loss of profits.[24] Subsequently, Yu filed a complaint with the National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI).[25]

In an Information, dated November 4, 1994, filed with the RTC of Makati, Fukuzume was charged with
estafa committed as follows:

That sometime in the month of July, 1991 up to September 17, 1992, in the Municipality
of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, with intent to prejudice and defraud Javier Yu y Ng, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make false representation and fraudulent manifestation that
he is the duly authorized representative of Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd., in the Philippines, and was
authorized to sell excess aluminum conductor materials not being used by Napocor and Furukawa,
the accused knowing full well that those representations were false and were only made to induce
and convince said Javier Yu y Ng to buy said materials, who believing said representations to be
true, gave and delivered the total amount of P424,000.00 but the accused once in possession of the
money, far from complying with his obligation to deliver said aluminum conductor materials to
herein complainant, with intent of gain, unfaithfulness and abuse of confidence, applied and used
for his own personal use and benefit the said amount and despite repeated demands failed and
refused and still fails and refuses to account for, to the damage and prejudice of Javier Yu y Ng in
the aforementioned amount of P424,000.00.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[26]
Upon being arraigned on February 28, 1995, Fukuzume pleaded not guilty.[27] Trial ensued.

In its Decision dated October 21, 1996, the trial court found Fukuzume guilty as charged. The dispositive
portion of the RTC decision reads:

WHEREFORE, all the foregoing premises considered, the Court hereby finds the accused
GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa and hereby orders him to suffer the
maximum penalty of imprisonment for twenty (20) years. With respect to his civil liability,
accused is hereby ordered to pay complainant the amount of P424,000.00 plus legal interest from
the date of demand until fully paid.
SO ORDERED.[28]

Aggrieved by the trial courts decision, Fukuzume filed an appeal with the CA.

On March 13, 2000, the CA promulgated its decision affirming the findings and conclusions of the trial
court but modifying the penalty imposed, thus:

although the trial court correctly imposed the maximum penalty of imprisonment for
twenty (20) years, it failed to determine the minimum penalty for the offense committed ( prision
correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its minimum period but imposed in the
maximum period), hence, the penalty is modified to six (6) years and one (1) day of prision
mayor in its minimum period, as the minimum, to not more than twenty (20) years of reclusion
temporal in its maximum period, as maximum.[29]
Accordingly, the dispositive portion of the CA Decision reads:

WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from, except for the aforementioned modification
in the prison term of appellant, is hereby AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.[30]

Hence, herein petition filed by Fukuzume based on the following grounds:

THE DECISION OF THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS THAT THE TRIAL COURT
OF MAKATI HAS JURISDICTION IS NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW OR WITH THE
APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS HAD DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE
IN A WAY NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW OR WITH THE APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF
THE SUPREME COURT WHEN IT CONCLUDED THAT THE ALLEGED FALSE PRETENSE
WAS EXECUTED PRIOR TO OR SIMULTANEOUS WITH THE ALLEGED COMMISSION
OF THE FRAUD.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS HAD DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE
IN A WAY NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW OR WITH THE APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF
THE SUPREME COURT BY FAILING TO CONSIDER THAT THE ORIGINAL
TRANSACTION BETWEEN THE PETITIONER AND PRIVATE COMPLAINANT HAD
BEEN NOVATED AND CONVERTED INTO A MERE DEBTOR-CREDITOR RELATIONSHIP,
THEREBY EXTINGUISHING THE INCIPIENT CRIMINAL LIABILITY THEREOF, IF ANY.
[31]

We agree with Fukuzumes contention that the CA erred in ruling that the RTC of Makati has jurisdiction
over the offense charged. The CA ruled:

The trial court of Makati has jurisdiction. Subject to existing laws, in all criminal
prosecutions, the action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or territory
wherein the offense was committed or any one of the essential ingredients thereof took place (Rule
110, Sec. 15, Rules of Court). Although the false representation and verbal contract of sale of the
aluminum scrap wires took place at appellants residence in Paraaque, appellant and private
complainant nevertheless admitted that the initial payment of P50,000.00 for said transaction was
made at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City (Record, pp. 15, 68). Hence, an element of the
crime that the offended party was induced to part with his money because of the false pretense
occurred within the jurisdiction of the lower court giving it jurisdiction over the instant case.

The CA ruled on the basis of the sworn statement of Yu filed with the NBI on April 19, 1994 [32] and the affidavit of
Fukuzume which was subscribed on July 20, 1994.[33]

With respect to the sworn statement of Yu, which was presented in evidence by the prosecution, it is clear
that he alleged therein that on July 12, 1991, he gave Fukuzume the amount of P50,000.00 at the Intercontinental
Hotel in Makati. However, we agree with Fukuzumes contention that Yu testified during his direct examination that
on July 12, 1991 he gave the amount of P50,000.00 to Fukuzume in the latters house. It is not disputed that
Fukuzumes house is located in Paraaque. Yu testified thus:

Q Mr. Witness, you testified the last time that you know the accused in this case, Mr.
Yusuke Fukuzume?
A Yes, sir.
Q Now, would you enlighten us under what circumstance you came to know the accused?
A I know the accused Mr. Yusuke Fukuzume through Mr. Hubati.
Q And why or how did Mr. Hubati come to know the accused, if you know?
A Mr. Hubati came to my place dealing with the aluminum scrap wires.
ATTY. N. SERING
Your Honor, may I move to strike out the answer. It is not responsive to the question.
COURT
Please wait until the answer is completed.
Q Now, you met this Mr. Hubati. How?
A He came to me offering me aluminum scrap wires.
FISCAL E. HIRANG
Q When was that, Mr. Witness?
A That was in 1991, sir.
COURT
When?
FISCAL E. HIRANG
Your Honor please, may the witness be allowed to consult his memorandum.
A July 12, 1991, sir.
Q And what transpired during that time you met Mr. Hubati?
A We went to the house of Mr. Fukuzume and game (sic) him some amount of money.
Q Now, would you tell the Court the reason why you parted to the accused in this case
the amount of money?
A In payment of the aluminum scrap wires and we have documents to that effect.
Q Now, please tell us what really was that transaction that took place at the house of Mr.
Fukuzume on that particular date?
A Our agreement with Mr. Hubati and with Mr. Fukuzume is that, I am going to give
money in payment of the aluminum scrap wires coming from Furukawa Eletric
Company.
Q How much is the amount of money which you agreed to give to the accused?
A Our first agreement was for P200,000.
Q Where is that aluminum scrap located?

A The electric aluminum scrap wires was or were under the care of the National Power
Corporation but according to Mr. Fukuzume it belongs to Furukawa Electric
Company.
Q In short, Mr. Witness, on July 12, 1991, you only gave to the accused the amount
of P50,000?
ATTY. N. SERING
Objection, Your Honor.
FISCAL E. HIRANG
The complainant testified he gave P50,000. I am asking how much the complainant gave
to the accused on that particular date.
A On July 12, I gave him P50,000 on that date.
Q Not P200,000?
A No, sir.[34]

Settled is the rule that whenever there is inconsistency between the affidavit and the testimony of a witness in court,
the testimony commands greater weight considering that affidavits taken ex parte are inferior to testimony given in
court, the former being almost invariably incomplete and oftentimes inaccurate.[35]

More importantly, we find nothing in the direct or cross-examination of Yu to establish that he gave any
money to Fukuzume or transacted business with him with respect to the subject aluminum scrap wires inside or
within the premises of the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati, or anywhere in
Makati for that matter. Venue in criminal cases is an essential element of jurisdiction. [36] Citing Uy vs. Court of
Appeals,[37] we held in the fairly recent case of Macasaet vs. People[38] that:

It is a fundamental rule that for jurisdiction to be acquired by courts in criminal cases the
offense should have been committed or any one of its essential ingredients took place within the
territorial jurisdiction of the court. Territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases is the territory where
the court has jurisdiction to take cognizance or to try the offense allegedly committed therein by
the accused. Thus, it cannot take jurisdiction over a person charged with an offense allegedly
committed outside of that limited territory. Furthermore, the jurisdiction of a court over the
criminal case is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information. And once it is so
shown, the court may validly take cognizance of the case. However, if the evidence adduced
during the trial show that the offense was committed somewhere else, the court should
dismiss the action for want of jurisdiction.[39] (Emphasis supplied)

Where life or liberty is affected by its proceedings, the court must keep strictly within the limits of the law
authorizing it to take jurisdiction and to try the case and to render judgment.[40]

In the present case, the criminal information against Fukuzume was filed with and tried by the RTC of
Makati. He was charged with estafa as defined under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, the
elements of which are as follows:

1. That there must be a false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means.


2. That such false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means must be made or executed
prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud.
3. That the offended party must have relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act, or
fraudulent means, that is, he was induced to part with his money or property because of the false
pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent means.
4. That as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage.[41]

The crime was alleged in the Information as having been committed in Makati. However, aside from the sworn
statement executed by Yu on April 19, 1994, the prosecution presented no other evidence, testimonial or
documentary, to corroborate Yus sworn statement or to prove that any of the above-enumerated elements of the
offense charged was committed in Makati. Indeed, the prosecution failed to establish that any of the subsequent
payments made by Yu in the amounts of P50,000.00 on July 12, 1991, P20,000.00 on July 22, 1991, P50,000.00 on
October 14, 1991 and P170,000.00 on October 18, 1991 was given in Makati. Neither was there proof to show that
the certifications purporting to prove that NAPOCOR has in its custody the subject aluminum scrap wires and that
Fukuzume is authorized by Furukawa to sell the same were given by Fukuzume to Yu in Makati. On the contrary,
the testimony of Yu established that all the elements of the offense charged had been committed in Paraaque, to wit:
that on July 12, 1991, Yu went to the house of Fukuzume in Paraaque; that with the intention of selling the subject
aluminum scrap wires, the latter pretended that he is a representative of Furukawa who is authorized to sell the said
scrap wires; that based on the false pretense of Fukuzume, Yu agreed to buy the subject aluminum scrap wires; that
Yu paid Fukuzume the initial amount ofP50,000.00; that as a result, Yu suffered damage. Stated differently, the
crime of estafa, as defined and penalized under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, was
consummated when Yu and Fukuzume met at the latters house in Paraaque and, by falsely pretending to sell
aluminum scrap wires, Fukuzume was able to induce Yu to part with his money.

The Office of the Solicitor General argues that Fukuzume himself alleged in his affidavit dated July 20,
1994 that in an unspecified date, he received P50,000.00 from Yu at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati. However,
we cannot rely on this affidavit for the reason that it forms part of the records of the preliminary investigation and,
therefore, may not be considered evidence. It is settled that the record of the preliminary investigation, whether
conducted by a judge or a prosecutor, shall not form part of the record of the case in the RTC. [42] In People vs.
Crispin,[43] this Court held that the fact that the affidavit formed part of the record of the preliminary investigation
does not justify its being treated as evidence because the record of the preliminary investigation does not form part
of the record of the case in the RTC. Such record must be introduced as evidence during trial, and the trial court is
not compelled to take judicial notice of the same. [44] Since neither prosecution nor defense presented in evidence
Fukuzumes affidavit, the same may not be considered part of the records, much less evidence.

From the foregoing, it is evident that the prosecution failed to prove that Fukuzume committed the crime of
estafa in Makati or that any of the essential ingredients of the offense took place in the said city. Hence, the
judgment of the trial court convicting Fukuzume of the crime of estafa

should be set aside for want of jurisdiction, without prejudice, however, to the filing of appropriate charges with the
court of competent jurisdiction.

It is noted that it was only in his petition with the CA that Fukuzume raised the issue of the trial courts
jurisdiction over the offense charged. Nonetheless, the rule is settled that an objection based on the ground that the
court lacks jurisdiction over the offense charged may be raised or considered motu propio by the court at any stage
of the proceedings or on appeal. [45] Moreover, jurisdiction over the subject matter in a criminal case cannot be
conferred upon the court by the accused, by express waiver or otherwise, since such jurisdiction is conferred by the
sovereign authority which organized the court, and is given only by law in the manner and form prescribed by law.
[46]

While an exception to this rule was recognized by this Court beginning with the landmark case of Tijam vs.

Sibonghanoy,[47] wherein the defense of lack of jurisdiction by the court which rendered the questioned ruling was
considered to be barred by laches, we find that the factual circumstances involved in said case, a civil case, which
justified the departure from the general rule are not present in the instant criminal case.

Thus, having found that the RTC of Makati did not have jurisdiction to try the case against Fukuzume, we
find it unnecessary to consider the other issues raised in the present petition.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The assailed decision and resolution of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 21888
are SET ASIDE on ground of lack of jurisdiction on the part of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 146.
Criminal Case No. 95-083 is DISMISSED without prejudice.

SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION

G.R. Nos. 118013-14 October 11, 1995


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
HON. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 54,
Bacolod City, and P/COL. NICOLAS M. TORRES, P/INSP. ADONIS C. ABETO, PO MARIO LAMIS Y
FERNANDEZ, PO JOSE PAHAYUPAN, PO VICENTE CANUDAY, JR., JEANETTE YANSONDUMANCAS, CHARLES DUMANCAS, DOMINADOR GEROCHE Y MAHUSAY, JAIME

GARGALLANO, ROLANDO R. FERNANDEZ, EDWIN DIVINAGRACIA, TEODY DELGADO, CESAR


PECHA, and EDGAR HILADO,respondents.

DAVIDE, JR., J.:


At issue in this special civil action for certiorari is whether it is the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City or
the Sandiganbayan that has jurisdiction over the two criminal cases for kidnapping for ransom with murder wherein
some of the accused implicated as principals are members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
On 13 January 1994, two informations for kidnapping for ransom with murder were filed with the RTC of Bacolod
City against fourteen persons, five of whom are members of the PNP, namely, P/Col. Nicolas M. Torres, P/Insp.
Adonis C. Abeto, Police Officers Mario Lamis, Jose Pahayupan, and Vicente Canuday, Jr.; the other nine are
civilians. The informations, later docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 in Branch 47 of the said court,
are similarly worded, except as to the names of the victims, who are Rufino Gargar, Jr. in the first case and Danilo
Lumangyao in the second, thus:
The undersigned hereby accuses JEANETTE YANSON-DUMANCAS, CHARLES DUMANCAS
(BOTH AS PRINCIPALS BY INDUCTION), POLICE COL. NICOLAS M. TORRES (AS
PRINCIPAL BY INDUCTION AND BY DIRECTION AND/OR INDISPENSABLE
COOPERATION), POLICE INSPECTOR ADONIS C. ABETO, POLICE OFFICERS MARIO
LAMIS Y FERNANDEZ, JOSE PAHAYUPAN, VICENTE CANUDAY, JR., DOMINADOR
GEROCHE Y MAHUSAY, JAIME GARGALLANO, ROLANDO R. FERNANDEZ, EDWIN
DIVINAGRACIA, TEODY DELGADO, ALL AS PRINCIPALS BY PARTICIPATION, CESAR
PECHA AND EDGAR HILADO, BOTH AS ACCESSORIES, of the crime of KIDNAPPING
FOR RANSOM WITH MURDER, committed as follows:
That during the period beginning in the late afternoon of August 6, 1992 and ending the late
evening of the following day in Sitio Pedrosa, Barangay Alijis, Bacolod City, Philippines and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring,
confederating and concurring in a common criminal intent and execution thereof with one another,
save for the accessories for the purpose of extracting or extorting the sum of P353, 000.00, did,
then and there wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously to wit:
Acting upon the inducement of spouses Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas and Charles
Dumancas, under the direction cooperation and undue influence, exerted by
P/Col. Nicolas M. Torres, taking advantage of his position as Station
Commander of the Philippine National Police, Bacolod City Station, with the
direct participation and cooperation of Police Inspector Adonis C. Abeto, other
police officers Vicente Canuday, Jr., Jose Pahayupan, Mario Lamis, civilian
(police) agents Rolando R. Fernandez, Edwin Divinagracia, Teody Delgado,
Jaime Gargallano, also taking advantage of their respective positions, and
Dominador Geroche, concurring and affirming in the said criminal design, with
the use of motor vehicle abduct, kidnap and detain one RUFINO GARGAR, JR.
(Criminal Case No. 94-15562 and DANILO LUMANGYAO (Criminal Case
No. 94-15563), shortly thereafter at around 11:00 o'clock in the evening of
August 7, 1992, failing in their aforesaid common purpose to extort money and
in furtherance of said conspiracy, with evident premeditation and treachery
nocturnity and the use of motor vehicle, did then and there shot and kill the said
victims, while being handcuffed and blindfolded; that accused Cesar Pecha and
Edgar Hilado, with knowledge that the said Gargar [and Lumangyao, in Crim.
Case No. 94-15563 were victims] of violence, did then and there secretly bury
the corpses in a makeshift shallow grave for the purpose of concealing the crime
of murder in order to prevent its discovery for a fee of P500.00 each; aforesaid
act or acts has caused damage and prejudice to the heirs of said victims, to wit:

P 50,000.00 as indemnity for death;

50,000.00 actual damages;

300,000.00 compensatory damages

(Lost income);

100,000.00 moral damages;

50,000.00 exemplary damages.

CONTRARY TO LAW (Articles 268 and 248 in relation to Article 48 of the


Revised Penal Code). 1
These cases were consolidated.
Each of the accused pleaded not guilty upon arraignment. Later, they filed their respective motions for bail. At the
hearings thereof, the prosecution presented state witness Moises Grandeza, the alleged lone eyewitness and coconspirator in the commission of the complex crimes. After the completion of his testimony, the trial court, per
Judge Edgar G. Garvilles, granted bail in favor of only six of the accused, namely, P/Insp. Adonis Abeto, Police
Officers Jose Pahayupan and Vicente Canuday, Jr., Charles Dumancas, Edgar Hilado, and Cesar Pecha. The other
eight accused who were denied bail are now detained at the City Jail of Bacolod City. 2
Through the testimony of Grandeza, the prosecution established that in response to the complaint of spouses Charles
and Jeanette Dumancas, P/Col. Nicolas Torres instructed his men to look for Rufino Gargar and Danilo Lumangyao
who were allegedly members of the group that had swindled the Dumancas spouses. On 6 August 1992, Police
Officer Mario Lamis, together with civilian agents, namely, Teody Delgado, Edwin Divinagracia, Jaime Gargallano,
Rolando Fernandez, and Moises Grandeza, arrested and abducted the two swindling suspects. Conformably with
Torres's order, the two suspects were brought to Dragon Lodge Motel. There, they were investigated by Police
Inspector Adonis Abeto and Police Officers Jose Pahayupan and Vicente Canuday, Jr.. They were then taken to the
Ceres Compound, where Jeanette Dumancas identified Lumangyao as a member of the group that had swindled her.
She then asked about the money that the group had received from her. Upon being told by Lumangyao that the
money had already been divided among his partners long time ago, she said to the accused, specifically to
Dominador Geroche: "Doming, bring these two to the PC or police and I will call Atty. Geocadin so that proper
cases could be filed against them." Thereafter, the two suspects were transferred to D' Hacienda Motel, then to
Moonlit Inn, then to Casa Mel Lodge, and back to D' Hacienda Motel, where the two were shot and killed. The team
forthwith went to the office of P/Col. Torres and reported that the killing had been done. The latter told them: "You
who are here inside, nobody knows what you have done, but you have to hide because the NBI's are after you." 3
Thereafter, the prosecution rested its case and the trial court started to receive the evidence for the accused. Accused
Torres and Abeto presented their respective evidence. Presentation of evidence by the other accused was, however,
suspended because of the motions of several accused for the inhibition of Judge Garvilles. Despite opposition by the
prosecution, Judge Garvilles voluntarily inhibited himself from further hearing both cases, which were thereafter reraffled to Branch 54, presided by herein public respondent Judge Demosthenes L. Magallanes.
On 24 June 1994, the private prosecutors moved for the transmittal of the records of the cases to the Sandiganbayan
on the ground that, pursuant to our decision of 11 March 1994 in Republic of the Philippines vs. Asuncion, 4 the trial
court has no jurisdiction over the cases because the offenses charged were committed in relation to the office of the
accused PNP officers. In his Manifestation with Urgent Motion to Transmit Records, the State Prosecutor adopted
the motion of the private prosecutors. 5
In its order of 15 August 1994, 6 the trial court, thru respondent Judge, ruled that the Sandiganbayan does not have
jurisdiction over the subject cases because the informations do not state that the offenses were committed in relation
to the office of the accused PNP officers. Citing People vs. Montilla, 7 it held that the allegation in the informations
that the accused PNP officers took advantage of their office in the commission of the offense charged is merely an
allegation of an aggravating circumstance. It further stated that a public office is not a constituent element of the
offense of kidnapping with murder nor is the said offense intimately connected with the office. It then denied the
motion for transfer of the records to the Sandiganbayan and declared that the trial of the case should continue.
Relying on People vs. Montejo, 8 the prosecution moved to reconsider the said order. 9

On 7 September 1994, 10 the trial court issued an order denying the motion because People vs. Montejo is not
applicable, since in that case there was (a) an intimate connection between the offense charged and the public
position of the accused and (b) a total absence of personal motive; whereas, in these cases, no such intimate
connection exists and the informations emphasize that the accused were moved by selfish motives of ransom and
extortion.
The respondent Judge then resumed the reception of the evidence for the other accused. Accused Gargallano,
Fernandez, Lamis, Delgado, and Geroche, as well as his three witnesses, had already completed their respective
testimonies when, upon motion of the prosecution, the respondent Judge voluntarily inhibited himself on 15
September 1994. The cases were then re-raffled to Branch 49 of the RTC of Bacolod City.
On 5 December 1994, the prosecution, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, filed with us a petition
for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus with a prayer for a temporary restraining order challenging the refusal of
the respondent Judge to transfer the cases to the Sandiganbayan.
On 12 December 1994, we required the respondents to comment on the petition and issued a temporary restraining
order enjoining the public respondent or his successor to desist from proceeding with the trial of the subject cases. 11
On 27 February 1995, after considering the allegations, issues, and arguments adduced in the petition as well as in
the comments of the private respondents, we gave due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their
respective memoranda. Most of them submitted their memoranda, while the petitioner and some of the private
respondents adopted their initiatory pleadings as their memoranda.
On 22 March 1995, private respondent Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas filed an urgent motion for the grant of
bail, 12which we noted on 15 May 1995. 13
Deliberating on the arguments adduced by the parties, we are convinced that public respondent Judge Magallanes
committed no grave abuse of discretion in holding that it is his court and not the Sandiganbayan which has
jurisdiction over the two cases for kidnapping for ransom with murder.
At the time the informations in the said cases were filed, the law governing the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan
was Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861, which pertinently provides as follows:
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan shall exercise:
(a) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
(1) 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;
(2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in
relation to their office, including those employed in government-owned or
controlled corporations, whether simple or complexed with other crimes, where
the penalty prescribed by Law is higher than prision correccional or
imprisonment for six (6) years, or a fine of 16,000.00:PROVIDED, HOWEVER,
that offenses or felonies mentioned in this paragraph where the penalty
prescribed by law does not exceed prision correccional or imprisonment of six
(6) years or a fine of P6,000.00 shall be tried by the proper Regional Trial Court,
Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court and Municipal Circuit Trial
Court.
(b) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction:
(1) On appeal, from the final judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional
Trial Courts in cases originally decided by them in their respective territorial
jurisdiction.
(2) By petition for review, from the final judgments, resolutions or orders of the
Regional Trial Courts in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over cases
originally decided by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and
Municipal Circuit Trial Court, in their respective jurisdiction.
xxx xxx xxx

In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public
officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations,
they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees.
Applying this section, we held in Aguinaldo vs. Domagas 14 that for the Sandiganbayan to have exclusive original
jurisdiction over offenses or felonies committed by public officers or employees under Section 4(a) (2) above, it is
not enough that the penalty prescribed therefor is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six years, or
a fine of P6,000.00; it is also necessary that the offenses or felonies were committed in relation to their office. We
reiterated this pronouncement in Sanchez vs. Demetriou, 15 Natividad vs. Felix, 16 and Republic vs. Asuncion, 17 In
Sanchez, we restated the principle laid down in Montilla vs. Hilario 18 that an offense may be considered as
committed in relation to the office if it cannot exist without the office, or if the office is a constituent element of the
crime as defined in the statute, such as, for instance, the crimes defined and punished in Chapter Two to Six, Title
Seven, of the Revised Penal Code. We also reiterated the principle in People vs. Montejo 19 that the offense must be
intimately connected with the office of the offender, and we further intimated that the fact that the offense was
committed in relation to the office must be alleged in the information. 20
There is no dispute that the prescribed penalties for the offenses charged in Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563
before the court below are higher than prision correcional or imprisonment for more than six years. The only
question that remains to be resolved then is whether the said offenses were committed in relation to the office of the
accused PNP officers.
Relying on its evidence and on the Montejo case, the petitioner submits that the crimes charged in the subject cases
were connected with public office because the accused PNP officers, together with the civilian agents, arrested the
two swindling suspects in the course of the performance of their duty and not out of personal motive, and if they
demanded from the two suspects the production of the money of the Dumancas spouses and later killed the two; they
did so in the course of the investigation conducted by them as policemen. The petitioner further asserts that the
allegations in the informations reading "taking advantage of his position as Station Commander of the Philippine
National Police" and "taking advantage of their respective positions" presuppose the exercise of the functions
attached to the office of the accused PNP officers and are sufficient to show that the offenses charged were
committed in relation to their office. The petitioner then concludes that the cases below fall within the exclusive
original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
It is an elementary rule that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint or information, 21 and not
by the result of evidence after trial. 22
In Montejo 23 where the amended information alleged:
Leroy S. Brown, City Mayor of Basilan City, as such, has organized groups of police patrol and
civilian commandoes consisting of regular policemen and . . . special policemen, appointed and
provided by him with pistols and high power guns and then established a camp . . . at Tipo-tipo,
which is under his command . . . supervision and control, where his codefendants were stationed,
entertained criminal complaints and conducted the corresponding investigations, as well as
assumed the authority to arrest and detain persons without due process of law and without
bringing them to the proper court, and that in line with this set-up established by said Mayor of
Basilan City as such, and acting upon his orders, his codefendants arrested and maltreated Awalin
Tebag, who died in consequence thereof.
we held that the offense charged was committed in relation to the office of the accused because it was
perpetrated while they were in the performance, though improper or irregular, of their official functions and
would not have peen committed had they not held their office; besides, the accused had no personal motive
in committing the crime; thus, there was an intimate connection between the offense and the office of the
accused.
Unlike in Montejo, the informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 in the court below do not indicate that
the accused arrested and investigated the victims and then killed the latter in the course of the investigation. The
informations merely allege that the accused, for the purpose of extracting or extorting the sum of P353,000.00,
abducted, kidnapped, and detained the two victims, and failing in their common purpose, they shot and killed the
said victims. For the purpose of determining jurisdiction, it is these allegations that shall control, and not the
evidence presented by the prosecution at the trial.
The allegation of "taking advantage of his position" or "taking advantage of their respective positions" incorporated
in the informations is not sufficient to bring the offenses within the definition of "offenses committed in relation to
public office." In Montilla vs. Hilario, 24 such an allegation was considered merely as an allegation of an aggravating
circumstance, 25 and not as one that qualifies the crime as having been committed in relation to public office, It says:

But the use or abuse of office does not adhere to the crime as an element; and even as an
aggravating circumstance, its materiality arises, not from the allegations but on the proof, not from
the fact that the criminals are public officials but from the manner of the commission of the crime.
Also, in Bartolome vs. People of the Philippines, 26 despite the allegation that the accused public officers committed
the crime of falsification of official document by "taking advantage of their official positions," this Court held that
the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the case because "[t]he information [did] not allege that there was an
intimate connection between the discharge of official duties and the commission of the offense."
Accordingly, for lack of an allegation in the informations that the offenses were committed in relation to the office
of the accused PNP officers or were intimately connected with the discharge of the functions of the accused, the
subject cases come within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court 27 and not of the Sandiganbayan as insisted by
the petitioner.
In Dumancas's and Torres's motions for the early resolution of this case and in Abeto's Supplement to Comment with
Motion to Dismiss all filed in July 1995, it is contended that even assuming that the informations do charge the
accused PNP officers with crimes committed in relation to their office, still the Regional Trial Court would have
jurisdiction over the subject cases in view of the amendments to Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended, introduced
by R.A. No. 7975, which was approved on 30 March 1995, whose Section 2 provides:
Sec. 2. Section 4 of the same decree [Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended] is hereby further
amended to read as follows:
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. 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 a 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 sanggunian
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;
(a) 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;
(2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade "27" and up under the
Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989;
(3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution;
(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 the 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.
The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction on appeals from the final
judgments, resolutions or orders of regular courts where all the accused are occupying positions
lower than grade "27," or not otherwise covered by the preceding enumeration.
xxx xxx xxx
In case private individuals are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories with the public
officers or employees, including those employed in government-owned or controlled
corporations, they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper
courts which shall have exclusive jurisdiction over them. (emphasis supplied).
As a consequence of these amendments, the Sandiganbayan partly lost its exclusive original jurisdiction in cases
involving violations of R.A. No. 3019, 28 as amended; R.A. No. 1379; 29 and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the
Revised Penal Code; 30 it retains only cases where the accused are those enumerated in subsection a, Section 4 above
and, generally, national and local officials classified as Grade "27" and higher under the Compensation and Position
Classification Act of 1989 (R.A. No. 6758). Moreover, its jurisdiction over other offenses or felonies committed by
public officials and employees in relation to their office is no longer determined by the prescribed penalty, viz., that
which is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six years or a fine of P6,000.00; it is enough that they
are committed by those public officials and employees enumerated in subsection a, Section 4 above. However, it
retains its exclusive original jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to or in connection with E.O.
Nos. 1, 31 2, 32 14, 33 and 14-A. 34
The respondents maintain that the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563
because none of the five PNP officers involved therein occupy the rank of chief superintendent or higher, or are
classified as Grade "27" or higher under R.A. No. 6758 and of the five, P/Col. Nicolas Torres has the highest
rank,viz., Senior Superintendent whose salary grade under the said Act is Grade "18."
Assuming then for the sake of argument that the informations in the said cases allege that the crimes charged were
committed by the five PNP officers in relation to their office, it would appear indubitable that the cases would fall
within the jurisdiction of the court a quo. Under Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as further amended by R.A. No. 7975:
In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying the 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 35 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 jurisdiction as
provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129.
However, the jurisdiction of a court is determined by the law in force at the time of the commencement of the
action. 36 Under the above assumption then, the cases should have been filed with the Sandiganbayan since at the
time the informations were filed, the governing law was Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by P.D. No. 1861.
But, would that jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan be affected by R.A. No. 7975?
Ordinarily, jurisdiction once acquired is not affected by subsequent legislative enactment placing jurisdiction in
another tribunal. It remains with the court until the case is finally terminated. 37 Hence, the Sandiganbayan or the
courts, as the case may be, cannot be divested of jurisdiction over cases filed before them by reason of R.A. No.
7975. They retain their jurisdiction until the end of the litigation.
In the instant case, the Sandiganbayan has not yet acquired jurisdiction over the subject criminal cases, as the
informations were filed not before it but before the Regional Trial Court. Even if we labor under the foregoing

assumption that the informations in the subject cases do charge the respondent PNP officers with offenses committed
in relation to their office so that jurisdiction thereof would fall under the Sandiganbayan, and assuming further that
the informations had already been filed with the said tribunal but hearing thereon has not begun yet, the
Sandiganbayan can no longer proceed to hear the cases in view of the express provision of Section 7 of R.A. No.
7975. That section provides that upon the effectivity of the Act, all criminal cases in which trial has not yet begun in
the Sandiganbayan shall be referred to the proper courts. Hence, cases which were previously cognizable by the
Sandiganbayan under P.D. No. 1606, as amended, but are already under the jurisdiction of the courts by virtue of the
amendment introduced by R.A. No. 7975, shall be referred to the latter courts if hearing thereon has not yet been
commenced in the Sandiganbayan.
It would, therefore, be a futile exercise to transfer the cases to the Sandiganbayan because the same would anyway
be transferred again to the Regional Trial Court pursuant to Section 7 of the new law in relation to Section 2 thereof.
As regards the motions for bail of accused-respondents Jeanette Dumancas and Nicolas Torres, the same must fail.
Section 17, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court provides:
Sec. 17 Bail, where filed. (a) Bail in the amount fixed may be filed with the court where the
case is pending, or, in the absence or unavailability of the judge thereof, with another branch of the
same court within the province or city. If the accused is arrested in a province, city or municipality
other than where the case is pending, bail may be filed also with any regional trial court of said
place, or, if no judge thereof is available, with any metropolitan trial judge, municipal trial judge
or municipal circuit trial judge therein.
(b) Whenever the grant of bail is a matter of discretion, or the accused seeks to be released on
recognizance, the application therefor may be filed only in the particular court where the case is
pending, whether for preliminary investigation, trial, on appeal.
(c) Any person in custody who is not yet charged in court may apply for bail with any court in the
province, city or municipality where he is held.
In the instant case, the motions for bail filed by the said accused-respondents with the Regional Trial Court where
the cases against them are pending were denied sometime in February, 1994
In Enrile vs. Salazar, 38 as reiterated in Galvez vs. Court of Appeals, 39 this Court said: "Only after that remedy
[petition to be admitted to bail] was denied by the trial court should the review jurisdiction of this Court [be]
invoked, and even then, not without first applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate relief was also available
there."
There is no showing that the said accused-respondents have questioned the denial of their applications for bail in a
petition for certiorari either before the Court of Appeals or this Court. It was only on 26 December 1994, when they
filed their respective comments on the instant petition, that they challenged the denial premised on the ground that
the evidence of guilt against them was not strong. Even if their respective Comment and Reiteration of Motion for
Bail 40 and respondent Dumancas's Motion for Bail 41 filed on 22 March 1995, were treated as petitions forcertiorari,
still the same would not prosper for not having been seasonably filed. While the Rules of Court does not fix a timeframe for the filing of a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, existing jurisprudence
requires that the same be filed within a reasonable period of time from receipt of the questioned judgment or
order. 42 And, in Philec Workers' Union vs. Hon. Romeo A. Young 43 it was held that a petition for certiorari under
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court should be filed within a reasonable period of three months from notice of the decision
or order. Here, about nine to ten months had already elapsed before the respondents assailed the denial of their
motions for bail. In any event, the private respondents who were denied bail are not precluded from reiterating
before the trial court their plea for admission to bail.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The challenged orders are AFFIRMED, and the motions for bail of
accused-respondents Jeanette Dumancas and Nicolas Torres are DENIED.
The temporary restraining order issued on 12 December 1994 is LIFTED, and the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod
City is directed to immediately resume the hearings of Criminal Cases Nos. 15562 and 15563 and to thereafter
resolve them with reasonable and purposeful dispatch.
This decision is immediately executory.
SO ORDERED.
Bellosillo and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.

Separate Opinions

PADILLA, J., concurring and dissenting:


While I agree with the ponencia of Mr. Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. that the two (2) informations subject of the
present petition should remain in the Regional Trial Court, I arrive at this conclusion based solely on the provisions
of Rep. Act No. 7975.
It is my considered opinion, unlike the majority, that the accused PNP personnel committed the crime alleged in the
two (2) informations in relation to their office. The wording of the two (2) informations clearly shows that P/Col.
Nicolas M. Torres used his authority over his subordinate officers when he ordered them to arrest the two (2)
swindling suspects/victims in connection with the complaint of the Dumancas spouses. This act of Torres is
undoubtedly "intimately connected" with his position as Station Commander of the PNP, Bacolod Station. In turn,
the other accused PNP personnel who detained the two (2) victims were performing their functions as law enforcers
under orders from their direct superior. Under such circumstances, the two (2) informations would have been
properly filed with the Sandiganbayan since the law in force at the time was P.D. No. 1606 which gave the
Sandiganbayan jurisdiction over offenses committed by public officers in relation to their office where the penalty
prescribed by law is higher than prision correctional or imprisonment of six (6) years or a fine of P6,000.00.
The above view notwithstanding, Rep. Act No. 7975 has revised the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Under said
revised jurisdiction, the Regional Trial Courts now have jurisdiction over offenses committed by PNP officers with
ranks below that of superintendent or its equivalent, whether or not the offenses are committed in relation to their
office. In the present case, none of the accused PNP officers has the rank of superintendent or higher.
Section 7 of Rep. Act No. 7975 also provides that upon effectivity of said Act, all criminal cases within the
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan under P.D. No. 1606 where trial has not begun in said court, shall be referred to
the proper courts.
In the present case, even if the criminal cases were then within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, the offenses
having been committed in relation to the accuseds' office, as earlier discussed, yet, the cases were not filed in said
court. Since the cases now fall within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court under the express provisions of
Rep. Act No. 7975, they can remain in said regional trial court.
On the issue of whether accused Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas should be granted bail, I agree with Mr. Justice
Santiago M. Kapunan that the Court should exercise its discretion, disregard technicalities and rule on the motion for
bail filed with this Court.
Accused Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas should, in my view, be released on bail for the following reasons:
1. The spouses Dumancas were included in the informations as accused merely because they were the ones who
complained to the police that the two (2) victims had swindled them. There is no showing that the spouses knew,
much less instigated, the kidnapping and murder of the victims. Of note is a portion of the testimony of the alleged
lone eyewitness and co-conspirator turned state witness, Moises Grandeza, where he declared that Jeanette
Dumancas told accused Dominador Geroche to bring the two (2) swindling suspects to the police station and that
she would call a certain Atty. Geocadin so the proper cases could be filed against them. Such statements of
Dumancas indicate lack of any criminal intent unless the contrary is later proven during the trial.
2. The situation of Jeanette Dumancas is no different from that of her husband who was granted bail by the trial
court.
3. Jeanette Dumancas came back from abroad even after the charges against her had been filed. Certainly, this is not
indicative of a probability of her later jumping bail should she be released on bail.
4. To deny bail to a mother of two (2) minor children in the absence of direct evidence that she was indeed a
principal by inducement as alleged in the two (2) informations, is antagonistic not only to her constitutional right to
bail but also to the ideals and demands of a just and humane society.
KAPUNAN, J., concurring and dissenting:

I fully agree with much of what my esteemed colleague, Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. has Mitten in this
case. However, at least with respect to petitioner Jeanette Dumancas, I think this Court, mainly for
humanitarian reasons, should exercise its discretion to grant said petitioner her constitutional right to bail,
pending the determination of her guilt or innocence in the trial court.
The facts so far established in the case at bench with respect to the spouses Dumancas as narrated in the court's
opinion simply show that they were civilians who complained to the authorities (respondents herein) to the effect
that they were swindled by Rufino Gangar and Danilo Lumangyao, the alleged murder-kidnapping victims. After
respondent Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas identified them, the lone witness for the prosecution in this case testified that
she requested the accused, specifically Domingo Geroche to "bring (the two men) to the PC or police" so that she
could in the meantime locate her attorney for the purpose of filing the proper charges against them. Possibly out of
sheer overzealousness, or for reasons not yet established in the trial court, both men were brought elsewhere and
shot. Thus, apparently, the only reason why the spouses were charged as principals by inducement was because, as
possible victims of a group of alleged swindlers, they initiated-through their apparently legitimate complaint the
chain of events which led to the death of the victims in the case at bench.
This narration clearly casts enough doubt regarding the strength of the evidence of guilt against Mrs. Dumancas,
which ought to be sufficient for us for us to exercise our discretion to grant bail in her case. The trial court has
already refused to grant her petition for bail, which under the facts and circumstances so far available to the lower
court, constitutes a grave abuse of discretion, subject to this court's action. While I agree that normally, a motion for
reconsideration should be addressed to the trial court or to the Court of Appeals (if the said motion were denied by
the lower court), I see no reason why, here and now, we should not exercise our discretion, for compelling
humanitarian reasons, to grant Mrs. Dumancas her constitutional right to bail. Firstly, she is the mother of two minor
children, aged seven (7) and one (1) years old, who have been deprived of her care for over a year. Second, even
with the knowledge that she would face possible arrest, she came back to the country from abroad, riskingincarceration in order to face the charges against her.
Without prejudice to whatever the lower court would in the course of hearing the case, deem appropriate, I vote to
grant Mrs. Dumancas' petition for bail.

Separate Opinions
PADILLA, J., concurring and dissenting:
While I agree with the ponencia of Mr. Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. that the two (2) informations subject of the
present petition should remain in the Regional Trial Court, I arrive at this conclusion based solely on the provisions
of Rep. Act No. 7975.
It is my considered opinion, unlike the majority, that the accused PNP personnel committed the crime alleged in the
two (2) informations in relation to their office. The wording of the two (2) informations clearly shows that P/Col.
Nicolas M. Torres used his authority over his subordinate officers when he ordered them to arrest the two (2)
swindling suspects/victims in connection with the complaint of the Dumancas spouses. This act of Torres is
undoubtedly "intimately connected" with his position as Station Commander of the PNP, Bacolod Station. In turn,
the other accused PNP personnel who detained the two (2) victims were performing their functions as law enforcers
under orders from their direct superior. Under such circumstances, the two (2) informations would have been
properly filed with the Sandiganbayan since the law in force at the time was P.D. No. 1606 which gave the
Sandiganbayan jurisdiction over offenses committed by public officers in relation to their office where the penalty
prescribed by law is higher than prision correctional or imprisonment of six (6) years or a fine of P6,000.00.
The above view notwithstanding, Rep. Act No. 7975 has revised the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Under said
revised jurisdiction, the Regional Trial Courts now have jurisdiction over offenses committed by PNP officers with
ranks below that of superintendent or its equivalent, whether or not the offenses are committed in relation to their
office. In the present case, none of the accused PNP officers has the rank of superintendent or higher.
Section 7 of Rep. Act No. 7975 also provides that upon effectivity of said Act, all criminal cases within the
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan under P.D. No. 1606 where trial has not begun in said court, shall be referred to
the proper courts.
In the present case, even if the criminal cases were then within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, the offenses
having been committed in relation to the accuseds' office, as earlier discussed, yet, the cases were not filed in said
court. Since the cases now fall within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court under the express provisions of
Rep. Act No. 7975, they can remain in said regional trial court.

On the issue of whether accused Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas should be granted bail, I agree with Mr. Justice
Santiago M. Kapunan that the Court should exercise its discretion, disregard technicalities and rule on the motion for
bail filed with this Court.
Accused Jeanette Yanson-Dumancas should, in my view, be released on bail for the following reasons:
1. The spouses Dumancas were included in the informations as accused merely because they were the ones who
complained to the police that the two (2) victims had swindled them. There is no showing that the spouses knew,
much less instigated, the kidnapping and murder of the victims. Of note is a portion of the testimony of the alleged
lone eyewitness and co-conspirator turned state witness, Moises Grandeza, where he declared that Jeanette
Dumancas told accused Dominador Geroche to bring the two (2) swindling suspects to the police station and that
she would call a certain Atty. Geocadin so the proper cases could be filed against them. Such statements of
Dumancas indicate lack of any criminal intent unless the contrary is later proven during the trial.
2. The situation of Jeanette Dumancas is no different from that of her husband who was granted bail by the trial
court.
3. Jeanette Dumancas came back from abroad even after the charges against her had been filed. Certainly, this is not
indicative of a probability of her later jumping bail should she be released on bail.
4. To deny bail to a mother of two (2) minor children in the absence of direct evidence that she was indeed a
principal by inducement as alleged in the two (2) informations, is antagonistic not only to her constitutional right to
bail but also to the ideals and demands of a just and humane society.

FIRST DIVISION

ISIDRO OLIVAREZ, G.R. No. 163866


Petitioner,
Present:
Davide, Jr., C.J. (Chairman),
- versus - Quisumbing,
Ynares-Santiago,
Carpio, and
Azcuna, JJ.
COURT OF APPEALS and
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondents. Promulgated:
July 29, 2005
x ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- x

DECISION

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

For review is the Court of Appeals decision in CA-G.R. CR No. 22860 [1] which affirmed the
judgment[2] rendered by the Regional Trial Court of San Pedro, Laguna, Branch 93, [3] in Crim. Case No. 0505-SPL
finding petitioner Isidro Olivarez guilty of violating Section 5, Republic Act No. 7610; [4] and its resolution denying
reconsideration thereof.[5]

The case originated from a complaint filed by the offended party with the Municipal Trial Court of San
Pedro, Laguna which was the basis upon which an information for violation of R.A. 7610 was filed against Isidro
Olivarez, to wit:

The undersigned 4th Assistant Provincial Prosecution (sic) of Laguna upon a sworn complaint filed
by the private complainant, CRISTINA B. ELITIONG, hereby accuses ISIDRO OLIVAREZ of
the crime of VIOLATION OF RA 7610, committed as follows:

That on or about July 20, 1997, in the Municipality of San Pedro, Province of
Laguna, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, said accused actuated
by lewd design did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously by means
of force and intimidation commit acts of lasciviousness on the person of one
CRISTINA B. ELITIONG, by touching her breasts and kissing her lips, against
her will, to her damage and prejudice.

CONTRARY TO LAW.[6]

The established facts of this case are as follows:

... The offended party Cristina Elitiong was a 16-year old high school student who with her
brothers were employed by the accused, 64-year old Isidro Olivarez, in the making of sampaguita
garlands. For one year she had been reporting for work during weekends at the residence of the
accused. Within the compound and at about three armslength from the main door of the house was
her workplace.

At about 11:30 oclock in the morning of July 20, 1997, Cristina, her two brothers Macoy and
Dodong, and one named Liezel were at their work when the accused who was near the main door
called for her. She dutifully approached him. The accused asked her if she had told her mother that
he gave her money, and when she said that she did not, he embraced her and held her breast. The
workers were facing the street so that the two were not seen. He pulled her to the kitchen and,
closing the kitchen door, kissed her on the lips. She pushed him away and went back to her station.
Her brother Macoy saw her crying when she came out of the house. She did not say a word, but
went to the faucet and washed her face.

The offended party continued to finish the garlands she was working on, and waited until the
afternoon for her wages. When she arrived at her home, she first told her mother that she no longer
wished to go back. When pressed for a reason, she said basta po mama ayaw ko ng magtuhog.
Finally, she told her mother what happened.

Aurora Elitiong, the mother, accompanied the offended party to the San Vicente Barangay Hall on
July 26 to report the incident and give a statement. Days later, Cristina gave another statement to
the local police.

In the defense version, the offended party and her brothers had slept overnight in the house of the
accused. When Isidro woke up in the early morning to relieve himself, he saw the girl sleeping on
the sofa. He admonished her to join her brothers in the basement. He went back to his room and
slept until 8 A.M. Two hours later, at 10 A.M., he left for the Caltex Service Station which was
only a five minute ride from his home by tricycle. His daughter Analee Olivarez was staying in
another house in the compound and attended a morning mass. When she returned at 10:30 A.M.,
she no longer saw her father. Maritess Buen, the laundrywoman, who was washing clothes outside
the kitchen, saw the accused earlier. By 10 A.M., when she entered the house, he already left. He
returned by noontime.

The accused testified that he was at the Caltex station for two and a half hours waiting for the
shipment of flowers from Pampanga. The goods arrived at 12:15 P.M. He left shortly thereafter
and passed by the market before going home. He arrived at 12:30 P.M. The next several days were
uneventful for him until his laundrywoman Maritess told him that there was a complaint against
him at the barangay office. A meeting took place between him and the girls family in the presence
of the barangay authorities. The girls mother was demanding P30,000 for the settlement of the
case, but he refused to cave in and told a barangay official Jaime Ramos that he would rather see
his accusers in court than give a centavo because he did not commit the crime. [7]

The trial court found Olivarez guilty of violating Section 5 of R.A. 7610 and sentenced him to suffer an
indeterminate penalty of imprisonment from eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum to
seventeen (17) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as maximum, to indemnify the minor
Cristina Elitiong in the amount of P15,000.00 as moral damages and to pay the costs.

On appeal, the decision of the trial court [8] was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The motion for
reconsideration[9] filed by the accused was denied.[10] Hence, this petition for review[11] on the following grounds:

I. The Honorable Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in not holding that the
essential elements in Violation of Section 5, Article III of Republic Act 7610, which are
age of the offended party and that she is an abused or exploited child as defined in the
law, not having been alleged in the Information, petitioner/accused cannot be found guilty
of said offense and must be acquitted.

II. The Honorable Court of Appeals erred and committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that
the Information charging petitioner/accused of Violation of Section 5, Republic Act 7610,
but failing to allege the essential elements of said offense, had substantially complied
with the requirements of due process for the accused.

III. The Honorable Court of Appeals erred and gravely abused its discretion in not reversing the
judgment of the trial court convicting the accused/petitioner and sentencing him to suffer
the penalty of imprisonment for alleged Violation of Section 5, Republic Act 7610, which
was not alleged in the Information.[12]

Petitioner alleges that his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him was
violated for failure to allege in the information the essential elements of the offense for which he is being charged.

Section 5, Article III of R.A. 7610 states:

SEC. 5. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. Children, whether male or female,
who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult,
syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children
exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse.

The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be
imposed upon the following:

...
(b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child
exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse: Provided, That when the victim is
under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph
3, for rape and Article 336 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, for rape or
lascivious conduct, as the case may be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the
victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period; ...
(Italics supplied)

The elements of sexual abuse under Section 5, Article III of R.A. 7610 are as follows:

1. The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct.


2. The said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual
abuse.
3. The child, whether male or female, is below 18 years of age.[13]

Section 32, Article XIII, of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 7610 defines lascivious
conduct as follows:

[T]he intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, anus,
groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or
mouth, of any person, whether of the same or opposite sex, with an intent to abuse, humiliate,
harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, bestiality, masturbation,
lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person.[14] (Emphasis supplied)

The first element obtains in this case. It was established beyond reasonable doubt that petitioner kissed
Cristina and touched her breasts with lewd designs as inferred from the nature of the acts themselves and the
environmental circumstances.[15]

The second element, i.e., that the act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to
other sexual abuse, is likewise present. As succinctly explained inPeople v. Larin:[16]

A child is deemed exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse, when


the child indulges in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct (a) for money, profit, or any other
consideration; or (b) under the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group. ...

It must be noted that the law covers not only a situation in which a child is abused for
profit, but also one in which a child, through coercion or intimidation, engages in lascivious
conduct. (Emphasis supplied)

We reiterated this ruling in Amployo v. People:[17]

... As we observed in People v. Larin, Section 5 of Rep. Act No. 7610 does not merely cover a
situation of a child being abused for profit, but also one in which a child engages in any lascivious
conduct through coercion or intimidation...

Thus, a child is deemed subjected to other sexual abuse when the child indulges in lascivious conduct under
the coercion or influence of any adult. In this case, Cristina was sexually abused because she was coerced or
intimidated by petitioner to indulge in a lascivious conduct. Furthermore, it is inconsequential that the sexual abuse
occurred only once. As expressly provided in Section 3 (b) of R.A. 7610, the abuse may be habitual or not. It must
be observed that Article III of R.A. 7610 is captioned as Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse because
Congress really intended to cover a situation where the minor may have been coerced or intimidated into lascivious
conduct, not necessarily for money or profit. The law covers not only child prostitution but also other forms of
sexual abuse. This is clear from the deliberations of the Senate:

Senator Angara. I refer to line 9, who for money or profit. I would like to amend this, Mr.
President, to cover a situation where the minor may have been coerced or intimidated into this
lascivious conduct, not necessarily for money or profit, so that we can cover those situations and
not leave loophole in this section.

The proposal I have is something like this: WHO FOR MONEY, PROFIT, OR ANY
OTHER CONSIDERATION OR DUE TO THE COERCION OR INFLUENCE OF ANY ADULT,
SYNDICATE OR GROUP INDULGE, et cetera.

The President Pro Tempore. I see. That would mean also changing the subtitle of Section
4. Will it no longer be child prostitution?

Senator Angara. No, no. Not necessarily, Mr. President, because we are still talking of the
child who is being misused for sexual purposes either for money or for consideration. What I am
trying to cover is the other consideration. Because, here, it is limited only to the child being
abused or misused for sexual purposes, only for money or profit.

I am contending, Mr. President, that there may be situations where the child may not have
been used for profit or ...

The President Pro Tempore. So, it is no longer prostitution. Because the essence of
prostitution is profit.

Senator Angara. Well, the Gentleman is right. Maybe the heading ought to be
expanded. But, still, the President will agree that that is a form or manner of child abuse.

The President Pro Tempore. What does the Sponsor say? Will the Gentleman kindly
restate the amendment?

ANGARA AMENDMENT

Senator Angara. The new section will read something like this, Mr. President: MINORS,
WHETHER MALE OR FEMALE, WHO FOR MONEY, PROFIT, OR ANY OTHER
CONSIDERATION OR INFLUENCE OF ANY ADULT, SYNDICATE OR GROUP INDULGE
IN SEXUAL INTERCOURSE, et cetera.

Senator Lina. It is accepted, Mr. President.

The President Pro Tempore. Is there any objection? [Silence] Hearing none, the
amendment is approved.

How about the title, Child Prostitution, shall we change that too?

Senator Angara. Yes, Mr. President, to cover the expanded scope.

The President Pro Tempore. Is that not what we would call probable child abuse?

Senator Angara. Yes, Mr. President.

The President Pro Tempore. Subject to rewording. Is there any objection? [Silence]
Hearing none, the amendment is approved. x x x. (Italicization supplied)[18]

Petitioner makes much of the failure to allege in the information that Cristina was a child below 18 years of
age at the time the offense was committed. He insists that the Court of Appeals mistakenly relied on the case

of People v. Rosare[19] because unlike in Rosare, he had no personal knowledge of Cristinas age, which he claims
was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused is entitled to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation
against him.[20] A complaint is sufficient if it states the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by
the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the
approximate date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the offense was committed.[21]

The complaint or information shall state the designation of the offense given by the statute, aver the acts or
omissions constituting the offense, and specify its qualifying and aggravating circumstances. If there is no
designation of the offense, reference shall be made to the section or subsection of the statute punishing it. [22] The acts
or omissions complained of as constituting the offense and the qualifying and aggravating circumstances must be
stated in ordinary and concise language and not necessarily in the language used in the statute but in terms sufficient
to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is being charged as well as its qualifying and
aggravating circumstances and for the court to pronounce judgment.[23]

In the present case, the Court of Appeals found the information to be sufficient. Relying on the principle
laid down in People v. Rosare, it held:

Before us is an information for violation of RA 7610 that, as in Rosare, fails to mention an


indispensable element of the offense, the age of the offended party, but makes allusion to another
document, the sworn complaint of the offended party, and declares it to be the basis upon which
the information was filed. This instrument is the complaint filed by the offended party with the
Municipal Trial Court of San Pedro, Laguna in which she stated that she was 16 years old at the
time of the offense. It forms part of the initial records of the case and comes before the posting of
bail and entry of the plea of not guilty before the RTC. It appears that after the charge was filed
with the MTC, and as the preliminary investigation went underway, the accused filed a
manifestation stating that he had filed a counter-affidavit to the charge and reserved the right to
file a motion to quash the information if it was filed. The MTC found probable cause against him
and elevated the records to the provincial prosecutor for filing of the information.

A complaint is under the Rules one of the two charging instruments for the offense of which the
accused was tried and convicted here. While the criminal action was instituted by the complaint of
the offended party, the information signed only by the fiscal ushered in the formal trial process.
But both are accusations in writing against the accused and serve the purpose of enabling him to
take the necessary legal steps for his defense. What is important is that the information states that
the accused is being charged of an offense under RA 7610 based on the complaint of the offended
party, to which the accused had adequately responded. Under these conditions, the accused was
fully apprised of the accusation against him. The purpose and objective of the constitutional
mandate are discharged and satisfied. The accused may not be said to be taken by surprise by the
failure of the information to state the age of the offended party, when he had received the initiatory
complaint where he was told how old the offended party was.[24]

We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals. In People v. Rosare, the information did not allege that
the victim was a mental retardate which is an essential element of the crime of statutory rape. This Court however
sustained the trial courts judgment of conviction holding that the resolution of the investigating prosecutor which
formed the basis of the information, a copy of which is attached thereto, stated that the offended party is suffering
from mental retardation. It ruled that there was substantial compliance with the mandate that an accused be informed
of the nature of the charge against him. Thus:

Appellant contends that he cannot be convicted of statutory rape because the fact that the
victim was a mental retardate was never alleged in the information and, absent this element, the
acts charged negate the commission of the offense for which he was convicted by the lower court.

Pursuant to Section 8, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, we have decided to motu
proprio take cognizance of the resolution issued by the investigating prosecutor in I.S. No. 920197 dated June 2, 1992, which formed the basis of and a copy of which was attached to the
information for rape filed against herein appellant. Therein, it is clearly stated that the offended
party is suffering from mental retardation. We hold, therefore, that this should be deemed a
substantial compliance with the constitutional mandate that an accused be informed of the nature
of the charge against him. ...[25]

In People v. Villamor,[26] the information failed to allege the age of the offended party but since a copy of
the order issued by the investigating judge was attached in the record of the preliminary investigation clearly stating
that the complainant was nine years old, it was held that there was substantial compliance with the mandate to
inform the accused of the nature of the accusation. It was also declared that the defense cannot invoke the element of
surprise as to deprive it of the opportunity to suitably prepare for the accuseds defense, thus:

... Furthermore, even if the information filed did not allege that the complainant was nine years
old, there was substantial compliance with the constitutional mandate that an accused be informed
of the nature of the charge against him when the Order issued by the investigating judge, a copy of
which was attached in the record of the preliminary investigation, clearly stated that the
complainant was nine years old. Consequently, the defense cannot invoke the element of surprise
as to deprive it of the opportunity to suitably prepare for the accuseds defense.[27]

In People v. Galido,[28] the information for rape failed to allege the element of force or intimidation. The
Court ruled that this omission is not fatal since the complaint specifically charged the accused with three counts of
rape committed by means of force and intimidation. Thus:

Appellant avers that because the Informations on which he was arraigned and convicted
did not allege the element of force or intimidation, he was deprived of his constitutional right to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. He insists that such failure was a
fatal defect that rendered the Informations void.

As a rule, the accused cannot be convicted of an offense, unless it is clearly charged in


the complaint or information. Otherwise, their constitutional right to be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against them would be violated.

In the present case, appellant correctly pointed out that the element of force or
intimidation should have been expressly alleged in the Informations. This omission is not fatal,
however, because the Complaint specifically accused him of three counts of rape committed by
means of force and intimidation...[29]

The same ground was adopted in People v. Mendez[30] which involved an information for rape that failed to
allege force or intimidation. We ruled therein that it was not a fatal omission because it was stated in the complaint
that accused Rosendo raped Virginita by means of force.

In People v. Torellos,[31] the Court treated the information for rape which failed to allege force and
intimidation as merely defective and that the deficiency was cured by the failure of the accused to assail the
insufficiency of the allegations in the Information and by competent evidence presented during trial.

Thus, while it is necessary to allege the essential elements of the crime in the information, the failure to do
so is not an irremediable vice. When the complaint or the resolution by the public prosecutor which contain the
missing averments is attached to the information and form part of the records, the defect in the latter is effectively
cured, and the accused cannot successfully invoke the defense that his right to be informed is violated.

In the instant case, the missing averment in the information is supplied by the Complaint which reads in
full:

COMPLAINT

The undersigned complainant, accuses ISIDRO OLIVAREZ, of the crime of


VIOLATION OF RA 7610, committed as follows:

That on or about 11:30 A.M. of July 20, 1997 at Brgy. San Vicente, San Pedro, Laguna,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the said accused with lewd design
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously commit an act of lasciviousness against
one CRISTINA ELITIONG Y BALDONO, 16 years old, by kissing and touching her private parts
and embracing her against her will.

CONTRARY TO LAW.[32]

Petitioner was furnished a copy of the Complaint which was mentioned in the information, hence he was
adequately informed of the age of the complainant. The prosecution has also established the minority of the offended
party through competent evidence. Cristina testified that she was 16 years old and a certification from the Office of
the Local Registrar of San Pedro, Laguna was presented showing that she was born on October 17, 1980. [33] The
third element of sexual abuse is therefore present.

The information merely states that petitioner was being charged for the crime of violation of R.A. 7610
without citing the specific sections alleged to have been violated by petitioner. Nonetheless, we do not find this
omission sufficient to invalidate the information. The character of the crime is not determined by the caption or
preamble of the information nor from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, they
may be conclusions of law, but by the recital of the ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or information.
[34]

The sufficiency of an information is not negated by an incomplete or defective designation of the crime in the

caption or other parts of the information but by the narration of facts and circumstances which adequately depicts a
crime and sufficiently apprise the accused of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.

True, the information herein may not refer to specific section/s of R.A. 7610 alleged to have been violated
by the petitioner, but it is all to evident that the body of the information contains an averment of the acts alleged to
have been performed by petitioner which unmistakably refers to acts punishable under Section 5 of R.A. 7610. As to
which section of R.A. 7610 is being violated by petitioner is inconsequential. What is determinative of the offense is
the recital of the ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or information.
The prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that petitioner committed acts of sexual abuse against
Cristina. The trial court found Cristinas testimony to be clear, candid, and straightforward. [35] Her testimony, given in
a categorical, straightforward, spontaneous and candid manner, is worthy of faith and belief. [36] In the face of the
accusations against him, petitioner could only interpose uncorroborated alibi and denial. Denial, like alibi, is an
inherently weak defense and cannot prevail over the positive and categorical identification provided by
eyewitnesses.[37] Not only did Cristina identify the petitioner as her assailant but no ill-motive was adduced why she
would impute against him so grave a charge. This Court will not interfere with the trial courts assessment of the
credibility of witnesses, absent any indication that some material fact was overlooked or a grave abuse of discretion
committed. None of the exceptions obtain in the instant case.[38]

In addition to moral damages, a fine in the amount of P15,000.00 should likewise be imposed pursuant to
our ruling in Amployo v. People:[39]

It does not end there. In People v. Abadies, and with respect specifically to lascivious
conduct amounting to child abuse under Section 5(b) of Rep. Act No. 7610, we imposed a fine of
P30,000 for each count of lascivious conduct in addition to the award of moral damages on the
justification that

It will be noted that Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 7610


provides for the penalty of imprisonment. Nevertheless, Section 31(f), Article
XII (Common Penal Provisions) thereof allows the imposition of a fine subject
to the discretion of the court, provided that the same is to be administered as a
cash fund by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and disbursed
for the rehabilitation of each child victim, or any immediate member of his
family if the latter is the perpetrator of the offense. This provision is in accord
with Article 39 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the
Philippines became a party on August 21, 1990, which stresses the duty of states
parties to ensure the physical and psychological recovery and social
reintegration of abused and exploited children in an environment which fosters
their self-respect and human dignity.

With the case of Abadies as guidepost, we impose a fine of Fifteen Thousand Pesos
(P15,000.00) on petitioner.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals dated January 9, 2004 in
CA-G.R. CR No. 22860 and its resolution dated June 4, 2004, areAFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. In addition
to the award of P15,000.00 as moral damages, petitioner Isidro Olivarez is also ordered to pay a fine in the amount
of P15,000.00.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. L-75079 January 26, 1989
SOLEMNIDAD M. BUAYA, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE WENCESLAO M. POLO, Presiding Judge, Branch XIX, Regional Trial) Court of
Manila and the COUNTRY BANKERS INSURANCE CORPORATION, respondents.
Apolinario M. Buaya for petitioner.
Romeo G. Velasquez for respondent Country Bankers Insurance Corporation.

PARAS, J.:
Petitioner, Solemnidad M. Buaya, in the instant petition for certiorari, seeks to annul and set aside the orders of
denial issued by the respondent Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XIX on her Motion to
Quash/Dismiss and Motion for Reconsideration in Criminal Case No. L-83-22252 entitled "People of the
Philippines vs. Solemnidad M. Buaya." The Motion to Dismiss was anchored on the following grounds (a) the court
has no jurisdiction over the case and (b) the subject matter is purely civil in nature.
It appears that petitioner was an insurance agent of the private respondent, who was authorized to transact and
underwrite insurance business and collect the corresponding premiums for and in behalf of the private respondent.
Under the terms of the agency agreement, the petitioner is required to make a periodic report and accounting of her
transactions and remit premium collections to the principal office of private respondent located in the City of
Manila. Allegedly, an audit was conducted on petitioner's account which showed a shortage in the amount of
P358,850.72. As a result she was charged with estafa in Criminal Case No. 83-22252, before the Regional Trial
Court of Manila, Branch XIX with the respondent Hon. Wenceslao Polo as the Presiding Judge. Petitioner filed a
motion to dismiss. which motion was denied by respondent Judge in his Order dated March 26, 1986. The
subsequent motion for reconsideration of this order of denial was also denied.
These two Orders of denial are now the subject of the present petition. It is the contention of petitioner that the
Regional trial Court of Manila has no jurisdiction because she is based in Cebu City and necessarily the funds she
allegedly misappropriated were collected in Cebu City.

Petitioner further contends that the subject matter of this case is purely civil in nature because the fact that private
respondent separately filed Civil Case No. 83-14931 involving the same alleged misappropriated amount is an
acceptance that the subject transaction complained of is not proper for a criminal action.
The respondents on the other hand, call for adherence to the consistent rule that the denial of a motion to dismiss or
to quash, being interlocutory in character, cannot be questioned by certiorari and it cannot be the subject of appeal
until final judgment or order rendered (See. 2, Rule 41, Rules of Court). the ordinary procedure to be followed in
such a case is to enter a Plea, go to trial and if the decision is adverse, reiterate the issue on appeal from the final
judgment (Newsweek Inc. v. IAC, 142 SCRA 171).
The general rule is correctly stated. But this is subject to certain exceptions the reason is that it would be unfair to
require the defendant or accused to undergo the ordeal and expense of a trial if the court has no jurisdiction over the
subject matter or offense or it is not the court of proper venue.
Here, petitioner questions the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court of Manila to take cognizance of this criminal
case for estafa.
It is well-settled that the averments in the complaint or information characterize the crime to be prosecuted and the
court before which it must be tried (Balite v. People, L-21475, Sept. 30,1966 cited in People v. Masilang, 142 SCRA
680).
In Villanueva v. Ortiz, et al . (L-15344, May 30, 1960, 108 Phil, 493) this Court ruled that in order to determine the
jurisdiction of the court in criminal cases, the complaint must be examined for the purpose of ascertaining whether
or not the facts set out therein and the punishment provided for by law fall within the jurisdiction of the court where
the complaint is filed. The jurisdiction of courts in criminal cases is determined by the allegations of the complaint
or information, and not by the findings the court may make after the trial (People v. Mission, 87 Phil. 641).
The information in the case at reads as follows:
The undersigned accuses Solemnidad Buaya of the crime of estafa, committed as follows:
That during the period 1980 to June 15, 1982, inclusive, in the City of Manila,
Philippines, the said accused did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously defraud the Country Bankers Insurance Corporation represented by
Elmer Banez duly organized and earth under the laws of the Philippine with
principal address at 9th floor, G.R. Antonio Bldg., T.M. Kalaw, Ermita, in said
City, in the following manner, to wit. the said having been authorized to act as
insurance agent of said corporation, among whose duties were to remit
collections due from customers thereat and to account for and turn over the same
to the said Country Bankers Insurance Corporation represented by Elmer Banez,
as soon as possible or immediately upon demand, collected and received the
amount of P368,850.00 representing payments of insurance premiums from
customers, but herein accused, once in possession of said amount, far from
complying with her aforesaid obligation, failed and refused to do so and with
intent to defraud, absconded with the whole amount thereby misappropriated,
misapplied and converted the said amount of P358,850.00 to her own personal
used and benefit, to the damage and prejudice of said Country Bankers
Insurance Corporation in the amount of P358,850.00 Philippine Currency.
CONTRARY TO LAW. (p. 44, Rollo)
Section 14(a), Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: In all criminal prosecutions the action shall be
instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or province wherein the offense was committed or any of the
essential elements thereof took place.
The subject information charges petitioner with estafa committed "during the period 1980 to June 15, 1982
inclusive in the City of Manila, Philippines . . . ." (p. 44, Rollo)
Clearly then, from the very allegation of the information the Regional Trial Court of Manila has jurisdiction.

Besides, the crime of estafa is a continuing or transitory offense which may be prosecuted at the place where any of
the essential elements of the crime took place. One of the essential elements of estafa is damage or prejudice to the
offended party. The private respondent has its principal place of business and office at Manila. The failure of the
petitioner to remit the insurance premiums she collected allegedly caused damage and prejudice to private
respondent in Manila.
Anent petitioners other contention that the subject matter is purely civil in nature, suffice it to state that evidentiary
facts on this point have still to be proved.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit The case is remanded to the Regional Trial Court of
Manila, Branch XIX for further proceedings.
SO ORDERED.
Melencio-Herrera, (Chairperson), Padilla, Sarmiento and Regalado JJ., concur.

SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. 149357. March 04, 2005]
MOBILIA PRODUCTS, INC., petitioner, vs. HAJIME UMEZAWA, respondent.
[G.R. No. 149403. March 04, 2005]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HON. JUDGE RUMOLDO R. FERNANDEZ and HAJIME
UMEZAWA, respondents.
DECISION
CALLEJO, SR., J.:
Before the Court are two consolidated petitions: a petition for review on certiorari filed by the People of the
Philippines, docketed as G.R. No. 149403 of the Resolution [1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No.
52440 which reversed its decision and granted the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus filed by
respondent Hajime Umezawa; and the petition for review on certiorari docketed as G.R. No. 149357 filed by
petitioner Mobilia Products, Inc. (MPI), the intervenor in the CA, assailing the same Resolution of the appellate
court.
The Antecedents
The antecedents were amply summarized by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) in the petition at bar, to
wit:
Mobilia Products, Inc. is a corporation engaged in the manufacture and export of quality furniture which caters only
to the purchase orders booked and placed through Mobilia Products Japan, the mother company which does all the
marketing and booking. After orders from customers are booked at the mother company in Japan, the same are

coursed through Mobilia Philippines for implementation and production, after which, the ordered items are shipped
to Japan through the mother company.
Mobilia Products Japan sent Hajime Umezawa to the Philippines in order to head Mobilia Products, Inc. as President
and General Manager. To qualify him as such and as a Board Director, he was entrusted with one nominal share of
stock.
Sometime in the last week of January 1995, Umezawa, then the President and General Manager of Mobilia
Products, Inc., organized another company with his wife Kimiko, and his sister, Mitsuyo Yaguchi, to be known
as Astem Philippines Corporation, without the knowledge of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Susumo
Kodaira and the other members of the Board of Directors of Mobilia.
The said company would be engaged in the same business as Mobilia. Spouses Umezawa recruited Justin Legaspi,
former Production Manager of Mobilia, to act as Manager and one Yoshikazu Hayano of Phoenix Marble
Corporation to serve as investors [sic].
Pending formal organization, Spouses Umezawa, Justin Legaspi and Yoshikazu Hayano wanted to accelerate the
market potentials of Astem by participating in the International Furniture Fair 1995 held at the Word Trade Centre of
Singapore on March 6 to 10, 1995.
One of the requirements of such Fair was that the furniture exhibits must arrive and be received at Singapore not
later than February 23, 1995. Pressed for time, with less than one month to prepare and while Astem had yet no
equipment and machinery, no staff and no ready personnel, Umezawa, with grave abuse of the confidence reposed
on him as President and General Manager of Mobilia Products, Inc., and in conspiracy with his wife, his sister
Mitsuyo Yaguchi, Yoshikazu Hayano and Justin Legaspi, all with intent to gain for themselves and for their
company Astem Philippines Corporation, stole prototype furniture from petitioner Mobilia so that the said pieces of
furniture would be presented and exhibited as belonging to Astem in the International Furniture Fair 95 in
Singapore.
In order to avoid detection, Umezawa contacted Henry Chua, the owner of Dew Foam, one of the suppliers of
Mobilia, for that the latter to load several pieces of prototype furniture into a Dew Foam truck and store them at the
Dew Foam warehouse. The first batch of furniture was stolen on February 8, 1995, when Mr. Henry Chua, upon the
request of respondent Umezawa, caused to be loaded into his Dew Foam truck two prototype sofa models
worth P500,000.00, after which, the same were spirited from the Mobilia compound, then transported and stored in
Henry Chuas warehouse.
Again, on February 18, 1995, Umezawa, with grave abuse of confidence and taking advantage of his position as
President and General Manager, unlawfully stole expensive furniture from Mobilias factory worth P2,964,875.00. In
order to avoid detection, the said furniture were loaded in the truck belonging to Dew Foam, with respondent
Umezawa personally supervising the loading, the carting and spiriting away of the said furniture. Thus, taking
advantage of his position as General Manager, he managed to have the said furniture taken out of the company
premises and passed the company guard without any problem and difficulty.
Further, on February 19, 1995, around 1 oclock in the afternoon, respondent Umezawa again loaded into his motor
vehicle, and took away from company premises under the same irregular and unlawful circumstances, an expensive
three-seater sofa worth P255,000.00.
The taking out of the said furniture was effected in violation of the standard procedures established by petitioner
corporation which requires that every shipment or taking out of the furniture be checked and reviewed by Mobilias
Production, Planning, Inventory Costing and Control (PPICC) Division. All the foregoing furniture were transported
to and stored at Henry Chuas warehouse. After sometime, the foregoing furniture were photographed for slide
photos at Photo Folio at the Reclamation Area, Cebu City and then finally catalogued for use in the Singapore Fair
for the use of Astem and its supposed owners, namely: spouses Umezawa, Hayano and Legaspi. The foregoing
furniture models were finally shipped for exhibition at the International Furniture Fair 95 in Singapore as furniture
belonging to Astem Philippines Corporation.
Sometime in March 1995, based on orders booked for Astem, Umezawa, with unfaithfulness and abuse of
confidence reposed on him as the President and General Manager of petitioner Mobilia, ordered and caused the
manufacture of eighty-nine (89) pieces of furniture with a total value of P17,108,500.00. The said pieces of furniture

were made with Mobilia supplies, materials and machineries, as well as with Mobilia time and personnel, all of
which were under the administration and control of Umezawa as President and General Manager. The said materials
and supplies, the time and labor, were supposed to be used for the manufacture and production of quality furniture
for the EXCLUSIVE USE of Mobilia. However, Umezawa, in violation of his duty to apply the same for the use of
Mobilia and the duty to account for the same, converted their use for the benefit of Astem or for the use and benefit
of Umezawa, his wife and sister, Yoshikazu Hayano and Legaspi, much to the damage and prejudice of Mobilia
Products.
The same furniture could also have been taken out of the company premises by Umezawa and cohorts for shipment
and delivery to Astem customers had it not been for the timely discovery of the previous theft. [2]
The Board of Directors of MPI, consisting of its Chairman Susumo Kodaira and members Yasushi Kato and
Rolando Nonato, approved a Resolution on May 2, 1995 authorizing the filing of a complaint against Umezawa for
two counts of qualified theft allegedly committed on February 18 and 19, 1995. Attached to the complaint was the
Joint Affidavit of Danilo Lallaban, George del Rio and Yasushi Kato. The case was docketed as I.S. No. 95-275.
On May 15, 1995, the public prosecutor filed an Information for qualified theft against Umezawa with the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Lapu-Lapu City. The accusatory portion of the Information, docketed as Criminal
Case No. 013231-L, reads:
That during or about the period comprised between the 18th and 19th day of February 1995, in the City of Lapu-Lapu,
Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused, while being then the President and General
Manager of Mobilia Products, Inc., a corporation engaged in the manufacture and export of furniture, holding office
and doing business in the Mactan Export Processing Zone, Lapu-Lapu City, with grave abuse of the confidence
reposed upon him by his employer, with intent to gain, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take,
steal and carry away from the corporations factory in Mactan Export Processing Zone, Lapu-Lapu City, expensive
pieces of furniture, to wit:
1) 1 set, Model No. 3, 2-seater
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 208,125.00
2) 1 set, Model No. 8, 2-seater
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 315,000.00
3) 1 set, Model No. 5, 2-seater
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 108,000.00
4) 1 set, Model No. 4, 2-seater
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 277,500.00
5) 1 set, Model No. 6, 1-seater
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 146,250.00
6) 1 set, Model No. 2, 2-seater
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 225,000.00
7) 1 set, Model No. 1, 2-seater
German leather sofa, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 275,000.00
8) 1 piece, Model Table No. 2,

Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 93,750.00


9) 1 piece, Model Table No. 4,
Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 105,000.00
10) 2 pieces, Model Pedestal
No. 6, Italian marble pedestal, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 150,000.00
11) 1 piece, Model Column
Standard No. 11, Italian marble worth - - - - - - - - - - - - P 93,750.00
12) 1 piece, Model Table No. 1,
Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 105,000.00
13) 1 piece, Model High Table
No. 10, Italian marble, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 187,500.00
14) 1 piece, Model Table No. 8,
Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 187,500.00
15) 1 piece, Model Table No. 7
Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 187,500.00
16) 1 piece, Model Table No. 5
Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 112,500.00
17) 1 piece, Model Table No. 9,
Italian marble table, worth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 187,500.00
18) 3-seater sofa, worth- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - P 255,000.00
with an aggregate value of P3,219,875.00, Philippine currency, without the consent of his employer, to the damage
and prejudice of Mobilia Products, Inc., in the said amount of P3,219,875.00.
Contrary to law.[3]
On motion of the prosecution, the trial court issued a writ of preliminary attachment covering the properties of
Umezawa.
Umezawa then filed an Omnibus Motion to quash the information filed against him, the discharge of the writ
of attachment issued by the trial court, and to set the case for preliminary investigation. MPI, the private
complainant therein, opposed the motion.
In the meantime on July 21, 1995, MPI filed another criminal complaint for qualified theft against Umezawa,
his wife Kimiko Umezawa, Mitsuyo Yaguchi, Justin Legaspi, Yoshikazu Hayano and Henry Chua allegedly
committed in March 1995, with the Office of the City Prosecutor. The case was docketed as I.S. No. 95-442.
On July 25, 1995, the trial court issued an Order in Criminal Case No. 013231-L denying the omnibus motion.
On joint motion of Umezawa and the public prosecutor, the trial court ordered a reinvestigation of the case.

Conformably, the public prosecutor conducted a reinvestigation of Criminal Case No. 013231-L jointly with I.S. No.
95-442.
On September 25, 1995, Umezawa filed a petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),
docketed as SEC Case No. 002919, for the nullification of the Resolution issued by the three alleged members of
MPI Board of Directors, authorizing the filing of criminal complaints against him in behalf of the corporation.
On January 3, 1996, the public prosecutor issued a Joint Resolution finding probable cause for qualified theft
and one count of estafa against Umezawa, and dismissing the case against the other accused. The Prosecutor
maintained his finding of probable cause against Umezawa in Criminal Case No. 013231-L.
On February 20, 1996, the public prosecutor filed an Information for qualified theft with the RTC of LapuLapu City against Umezawa, docketed as Criminal Case No. 013423-L. The accusatory portion reads:
That on the 8th day of February 1995, in the City of Lapu-Lapu, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the above-named accused, while being the President and General Manager of Mobilia Products, Inc., a
corporation engaged in the manufacture and export of quality furniture, whose principal place of business is at the
Mactan Export Processing Zone, Lapu-Lapu City, with intent to gain, without the consent of his employer, and with
grave abuse of confidence, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away from
the corporations factory the following expensive pieces of furniture, to wit:
1) 1 set, Model No. 2, 2-seater German
leather sofa, all valued at . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P 225,000.00
2) 1 set, Model No. 1, 2-seater German
leather sofa, all valued at . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P 275,000.00
with an aggregate value of P500,000.00 Philippine Currency, to the damage and prejudice of Mobilia Products, Inc.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[4]
Another Information for estafa was thereafter filed against the same accused, docketed as Criminal Case No.
013424-L. The accusatory portion reads:
That sometime in March 1995, in the City of Lapu-Lapu, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the above-named accused, by means of unfaithfulness and abuse of confidence reposed upon him as the
President and General Manager of Mobilia Products, Inc., did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
misappropriate and convert to his own personal use and benefit the amount of Seventeen Million One Hundred Eight
Thousand Five Hundred (P17,108,500.00) Pesos, Philippine Currency, which was the total value of the furnitures
ordered and manufactured by the accused or at his instance using Mobilia supplies, materials and machineries, as
well as time and personnel which were supposed to be for the exclusive use of Mobilia Products, Inc. but were
converted for the use and benefit of the accused and Astem Philippines Corporation, a company or firm engaged in
the same business as that of Mobilia Products, Inc., which is, [in] the manufacture and production of quality
furniture for export, owned by the accused, to the damage and prejudice of Mobilia Products, Inc.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[5]
On April 25, 1996, Umezawa filed a motion for the suspension of the proceedings on the ground of the
pendency of his petition with the SEC in Case No. 002919. The trial court, however, issued an Order on May 21,
1996, denying the said motion. It held that the filing and the pendency of a petition before the SEC did not warrant a
suspension of the criminal cases.
On September 25, 1998, Umezawa was arraigned and pleaded not guilty.
On September 30, 1998, Umezawa filed anew a Joint Motion to Quash the Informations in Criminal Cases
Nos. 013231-L and 013423-L, on the ground that the facts alleged therein did not constitute the felony of qualified
theft. Umezawa claimed that based on the Joint Affidavit of the witnesses for the prosecution submitted during the

preliminary investigation, Yasushi Kato and George del Rio, MPI Vice-President and the head of the Upholstery
Department, respectively, the appropriate charge should be estafa and not qualified theft. Umezawa further claimed
that for their failure to object to and resist his alleged delictual acts, the said witnesses were as guilty as he was and
should have been included in the Information. He also asserted that there was, likewise, no allegation in the
Informations as to who was the owner of the articles stolen; hence, there was no offended party. He noted that the
Informations merely alleged that MPI was his employer. He further posited that there was no valid charge against
him because the resolution authorizing the filing of the cases against him was approved by a mere minority of the
members of the MPI Board of Directors.[6]
Umezawa, likewise, filed a Motion to Quash [7] the Information in Criminal Case No. 013424-L on the ground
that the facts alleged in the Information did not constitute the felony of estafa. He posited that the Information did
not contain any allegation that any demand was made for him to return the goods. Furthermore, the owner of the
said articles was not specified. He noted that as gleaned from the Joint Affidavit of the witnesses for the prosecution,
there was no lawful private complainant. He reiterated that the MPI board resolution authorizing the filing of the
charge against him was not approved by the majority of the members of its board of directors. Umezawa also
alleged that the charge for estafa with abuse of confidence was already included in the charge for qualified theft,
where it was alleged that he committed theft with abuse of confidence; hence, the charge for estafa should be
quashed, otherwise, he would be placed in double jeopardy. The motion was duly opposed by the prosecution.
On January 29, 1999, the trial court issued a Joint Order [8] dismissing the cases for lack of jurisdiction. It held
that the dispute between the private complainant and the accused over the ownership of the properties subject of the
charges is intra-corporate in nature, and was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the SEC. It ruled that Umezawa, as
a member of the board of directors and president of MPI, was also a stockholder thereof. While Umezawa claimed
to be the bona fide owner of the properties subject of the Informations which he appropriated for himself, the private
complainant disputes the same; hence, according to the trial court, the conflicting claims of the parties should be
resolved by the SEC. The private and public prosecutors received their respective copies of the Joint Order on
February 2, 1999.
The MPI, through the private prosecutor, filed a motion for reconsideration of the joint order of the court and
for the reinstatement of the cases on February 15, 1999. The MPI relied on the following grounds:
a. The Honorable Court has jurisdiction and must exercise it over these cases;
b. The above-entitled case is not an intra-corporate controversy;
and
c. The accused could not claim ownership nor co-ownership of the properties of private complainant corporation.[9]
The MPI maintained that the trial court had jurisdiction over the cases and cited Section 5 of Presidential
Decree (P.D.) No. 902-A, which provides the rules on cases over which the SEC has original and exclusive
jurisdiction. A copy of the motion was served on the public prosecutor for his approval. However, the public
prosecutor did not affix his conformity to the motion, and instead opted to appear before the trial court during the
hearing of the same. During the hearing, both the public and private prosecutors appeared. In support of his motion,
the private prosecutor argued that the trial of the case must be done in the presence of and under the control and
supervision of the public prosecutor.[10]
The trial court denied the motion in an Order dated April 19, 1999. It held that the SEC, not the trial court, had
jurisdiction over intra-corporate controversies. It also ruled that the motion of the private complainant was pro
forma, it appearing that the public prosecutor had not approved the same.
The public prosecutor received a copy of the Order on April 20, 1999. On April 26, 1999, the People of the
Philippines, through the OSG, filed a petition for certiorari and mandamuswith the CA against Presiding Judge
Rumuldo R. Fernandez and Umezawa, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 52440. The CA allowed the MPI to intervene as
petitioner, and admitted its petition- in-intervention.
The People of the Philippines, as the petitioner therein, raised the following issues:
I

WHETHER OR NOT IT IS THE LEGAL AND MINISTERIAL DUTY OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT TO
TAKE COGNIZANCE AND JURISDICTION OF THESE SUBJECT CRIMINAL CASES;
II
WHETHER OR NOT THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE
CRIMINAL CASES AGAINST RESPONDENT HAJIME UMEZAWA;
III
WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT JUDGE COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING
TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN DISMISSING THE CRIMINAL CASES AND DENYING
PETITIONERS MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION.[11]
The People asserted that the controversy involving the criminal cases was not between Umezawa and the other
stockholders of MPI, but one between him as the accused therein and the People of the Philippines. It averred that
under Section 20(b) of Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 129, the RTC has exclusive jurisdiction over the cases against
Umezawa. It also alleged that in dismissing the criminal cases against Umezawa on the ground that it had no
jurisdiction over the crimes charged, the RTC committed grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or lack of
jurisdiction.
On September 2, 1999, the CA rendered judgment granting the petition and nullifying the assailed Orders of
the RTC. It ruled that the issue of ownership of the properties subject of the Informations was not an intra-corporate
dispute. It held that Umezawa, although president and general manager of the MPI and a stockholder thereof, was
not a joint owner or co-owner of the personal properties subject of the charges. It also held that the dispute between
a private corporation and any of its stockholders relative to the ownership of properties does not ipso facto negate
the jurisdiction of the RTC over the criminal cases under B.P. Blg. 129, as amended. It also declared that the material
averments of the Informations sufficiently charged qualified theft and estafa.
Umezawa filed a motion for the reconsideration of the decision of the CA. In a complete volte face, the
appellate court issued a Resolution on August 8, 2001, granting the motion and reversing its decision. It affirmed the
ruling of the RTC that the dispute between Umezawa and the other stockholders and officers over the
implementation of the MPIs standard procedure is intra-corporate in nature; hence, within the exclusive jurisdiction
of the SEC. Citing Section 5(a)(b) of P.D. No. 902-A, and the ruling of this Court in Alleje v. Court of Appeals,[12] the
appellate court ruled that based on the material allegations of the Solicitor General in the petition before the CA, the
SEC had exclusive jurisdiction over the conflicting claims of the parties. It likewise affirmed the ruling of the RTC
that the absence of any allegation in the Information that the MPI was the owner of the properties subject of the
Information is fatal.
The petitioner MPI filed the instant petition for review on certiorari, raising the following issues:
I
WHETHER OR NOT THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE
CRIMINAL CASES AGAINST UMEZAWA.
II
WHETHER OR NOT ALL THE NECESSARY ELEMENTS OF THE CRIMES OF QUALIFIED THEFT
AND ESTAFA ARE SUFFICIENTLY ALLEGED IN THE INFORMATIONS.
III
EVEN ASSUMING ARGUENDO THAT THE FACTS ALLEGED DO NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFENSE THE
CORRECT RULING IS NOT TO DISMISS THE CASE BUT TO ORDER AMENDMENT.
IV
WHETHER OR NOT THE STATE HS LOST ITS RIGHT TO APPEAL.

V
WHETHER OR NOT THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF UMEZAWA IS PRO FORMA.[13]
The People of the Philippines filed a separate petition for review on certiorari, contending that:
1. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERRORS OF LAW AND GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION IN FINDING THAT THE PETITION FOR MANDAMUS, CERTIORARI AND INJUNCTION
WAS FILED OUT OF TIME AND THAT PETITIONER HAS LOST ITS RIGHT TO APPEAL;
2. THE COURT OF APEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERRORS OF LAW IN RULING THAT NOT ALL THE
ELEMENTS OF QUALIFIED THEFT AND ESTAFA ARE PRESENT;
3. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED BLATANT AND SERIOUS ERRORS OF LAW IN FINDING
THAT THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC) HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE
SUBJECT CRIMINAL CASES;
4. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS ERRORS OF LAW AND GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION IN GIVING DUE COURSE TO THE PRO-FORMA MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF
UMEZAWA.[14]
The two petitions were consolidated in the Second Division of the Court.
The threshold issues for resolution are the following: (a) whether or not the petition for certiorari of the People
of the Philippines in the CA assailing the January 29, 1999 Joint Order of the trial court was time-barred; (b)
whether the RTC has jurisdiction over the crimes charged in the said Informations; (c) whether the Informations
sufficiently charge the felonies of qualified theft and estafa; and (d) if in the affirmative, whether all the elements of
qualified theft and estafa are alleged in the Informations.
On the first issue, the CA held that the Public Prosecutor failed to file a motion for the reconsideration of the
trial courts January 29, 1999 Joint Order dismissing the cases, that is, within fifteen days from receipt of a copy of
the said order on February 2, 1999; neither did the People appeal the said Order within the period therefor. Thus,
according to the CA, the People filed its petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus assailing the January 29,
1999 Joint Order of the trial court only on April 26, 1999, well beyond the 60-day period therefor. The appellate
court, likewise, held that the filing of the motion for reconsideration of the said Joint Order by the private prosecutor
without the conformity of the Public Prosecutor did not toll the period for the People to file its motion for
reconsideration thereof, or to appeal therefrom, or to file a petition for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus. It ruled
that, having lost its right to appeal in due course, the People was proscribed from filing a petition for certiorari,
prohibition or mandamus. The CA declared that the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner MPI of the Joint
Order of the RTC is pro forma, the public prosecutor not having signified his written conformity thereto.
On the other hand, the petitioner People of the Philippines insists that while the public prosecutor did not
expressly conform to the motion for reconsideration of the January 29, 1999 Joint Order of the trial court filed by
the private prosecutor, through the public prosecutors presence during the hearing of the said motion, his supervision
and control over the private prosecutor during the said hearing, he in effect adopted and conformed to the said
motion for reconsideration.
In his comment on the petitions, respondent Umezawa maintains that the motion for reconsideration of the
joint order of the trial court filed by the private prosecutor did not interrupt the period within which the People could
appeal, citing the ruling of this Court in Cabral v. Puno.[15] The respondent posits that the finding of the trial court,
which was affirmed by the CA, that the public prosecutor did not conform to the motion for reconsideration of the
private prosecutor, is binding on this Court. The respondent also avers that the petitioner has no personality to file
the petition. Moreover, he insists that whether the public prosecutor conformed to the private prosecutors motion for
reconsideration is a question of fact which is not proper in a petition for review on certiorari.
The Courts Ruling
The contention of the petitioner People of the Philippines is not correct. All criminal actions commenced by
complaint or information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor.[16] When the

civil action for civil liability is instituted in the criminal action pursuant to Rule 111 of the Rules on Criminal
Procedure, the offended party may intervene, by counsel, in the prosecution of the offense. [17] In Ramiscal, Jr. v.
Sandiganbayan,[18] we held that under Section 16, Rule 110 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, the offended party
may intervene in the criminal action personally or by counsel, who will then act as private prosecutor for the
protection of his interests and in the interest of the speedy and inexpensive administration of justice. A separate
action for the purpose would only prove to be costly, burdensome and time-consuming for both parties and further
delay the final disposition of the case. The multiplicity of suits must be avoided. With the implied institution of the
civil action in the criminal action, the two actions are merged into one composite proceeding, with the criminal
action predominating the civil. The prime purpose of the criminal action is to punish the offender in order to deter
him and others from committing the same or similar offense, to isolate him from society, reform and rehabilitate him
or, in general, to maintain social order.[19]
The intervention of the private offended party, through counsel, and his prosecution of the case shall be under
the control and supervision of the public prosecutor until the final termination of the case. A public prosecutor who
has been entrusted by law with the prosecution of criminal cases is duty-bound to take charge thereof until its final
termination, for under the law, he assumes full responsibility for his failure or success since he is the one more
adequately prepared to pursue it to its termination. [20] The prosecution of offenses is a public function. Indeed, the
sole purpose of the civil action is the resolution, reparation or indemnification of the private offended party for the
damage or injury he sustained by reason of the delictual or felonious act of the accused. [21] Under Article 104 of the
Revised Penal Code, the following are the civil liabilities of the accused:
ART. 104. What is included in civil liability. The civil liability established in Articles 100, 101, 102 and 103 of this
Code includes:
1. Restitution;
2. Reparation of the damage caused;
3. Indemnification for consequential damages.
Thus, when the offended party, through counsel, has asserted his right to intervene in the proceedings, it is
error to consider his appearance merely as a matter of tolerance.[22]
The public prosecutor may turn over the actual prosecution of the criminal case, in the exercise of his
discretion, but he may, at any time, take over the actual conduct of the trial. However, it is necessary that the public
prosecutor be present at the trial until the final termination of the case; otherwise, if he is absent, it cannot be
gainsaid that the trial is under his supervision and control.[23]
In a criminal case in which the offended party is the State, the interest of the private complainant or the
offended party is limited to the civil liability arising therefrom. Hence, if a criminal case is dismissed by the trial
court or if there is an acquittal, a reconsideration of the order of dismissal or acquittal may be undertaken, whenever
legally feasible, insofar as the criminal aspect thereof is concerned and may be made only by the public prosecutor;
or in the case of an appeal, by the State only, through the OSG. The private complainant or offended party may not
undertake such motion for reconsideration or appeal on the criminal aspect of the case. [24] However, the offended
party or private complainant may file a motion for reconsideration of such dismissal or acquittal or appeal therefrom
but only insofar as the civil aspect thereof is concerned. [25] In so doing, the private complainant or offended party
need not secure the conformity of the public prosecutor. If the court denies his motion for reconsideration, the
private complainant or offended party may appeal or file a petition for certiorari or mandamus, if grave abuse
amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction is shown and the aggrieved party has no right of appeal or given an
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
The public and private prosecutors are not precluded, whenever feasible, from filing a joint motion for the
reconsideration of the dismissal of the case or the acquittal of the accused, on the criminal and civil aspects of the
cases.
In the present case, only petitioner MPI, through counsel, filed a motion for the reconsideration of the trial
courts Joint Order dated January 29, 1999, praying for the reinstatement of the cases insofar as the civil aspect
thereof is concerned. The public prosecutor did not approve nor conform to the said motion. Although petitioner
MPI provided ample space for the said conformity of the public prosecutor, the latter did not do so; he merely

appeared during the hearing of the said motion with the private prosecutor when the latter presented his oral
arguments in support of the said motion.
The fact that the public prosecutor did not conform to the said motion, however, does not mean that the same
is pro forma. It must be stressed that the propriety and efficacy of the motion, insofar as the civil aspect of the cases
is concerned, is not dependent upon the conformity of the public prosecutor. Hence, the filing of the joint motion for
reconsideration effectively suspended the running of the period for petitioner MPI to assail the joint order in the
CA via an appeal or a special civil action for certiorari or mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
However, since the public prosecutor did not file any motion for the reconsideration of the joint order nor
conform to the motion of petitioner MPI, insofar as the criminal aspect of the cases is concerned, the period for the
State to assail the said joint order was not suspended. Only the motion for reconsideration filed by the public
prosecutor of the joint order of dismissal of the cases could have tolled the period within which the State could
appeal, insofar as the criminal aspect of the cases was concerned. The bare fact that the public prosecutor appeared
for the State during the hearing of the motion for reconsideration of petitioner MPI does not amount to or constitute
his adoption of the said motion as that of the State. As ruled by this Court in Cabral v. Puno:[26]
While it is true that the offended party, Silvino San Diego, through the private prosecutor, filed a motion for
reconsideration within the reglementary fifteen-day period, such move did not stop the running of the period for
appeal. He did not have the legal personality to appeal or file the motion for reconsideration on his behalf. The
prosecution in a criminal case through the private prosecutor is under the direction and control of the Fiscal, and
only the motion for reconsideration or appeal filed by the Fiscal could have interrupted the period for appeal. [27]
We agree with the ruling of the CA that the petition for certiorari filed by the petitioner People of the
Philippines with the CA on April 26, 1999 was filed beyond the 60-day period as provided in Section 4, Rule 65 of
the Rules of Court,[28] it appearing that the public prosecutor received a copy of the joint order of the trial court on
February 2, 1999, and, thus, had only until April 3, 1999 within which to file the said petition.
Even then, the Court still holds that the CA erred in dismissing the petition of the People of the Philippines
simply because the public prosecutor erred in not himself filing a motion for reconsideration of the joint order of the
trial court, on his perception that by being present during the hearing of the motion for reconsideration of petitioner
MPI, he thereby adopted the said motion as that of the States. The settled rule is that the State is not estopped by the
mistakes of its officers and employees. Indeed, in Cruz, Jr. v. Court of Appeals,[29] the Court declared:
Estoppel does not lie against the government because of the supposedly mistaken acts or omissions of its agents. As
we declared in People v. Castaeda, there is the long familiar rule that erroneous application and enforcement of the
law by public officers do not block subsequent correct application of the statute and that the government is never
estopped by mistake or error on the part of its agents.
The Court also held in Chua v. Court of Appeals:[30]
While ordinarily, certiorari is unavailing where the appeal period has lapsed, there are exceptions. Among them are
(a) when public welfare and the advancement of public policy dictates; (b) when the broader interest of justice so
requires; (c) when the writs issued are null and void; or (d) when the questioned order amounts to an oppressive
exercise of judicial authority. [31]
On the second issue, the petitioners assert that the CA erred in holding that the dispute between it and the
respondent is intra-corporate in nature; hence, within the exclusive jurisdiction of the SEC. As gleaned from the
material allegations of the Informations, the RTC had exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes charged. Petitioner MPI
further avers that even if there is no allegation in the Informations identifying it as the owner of the personal
properties described in the Informations, its ownership of the properties can be inferred from the other allegations.
The petitioners maintain that even if the Informations are deficient, the remedy is the amendment of the
Informations and not the dismissal of the cases.
For his part, the respondent avers that the assailed Resolution of the CA is correct, and that it is the appellate
courts decision which is erroneous.
We agree with the petitioners.

According to Section 20 of B.P. Blg. 129


SEC. 20. Jurisdiction in criminal cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all
criminal cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or body, except those now falling under the
exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan which shall hereafter be exclusively taken cognizance of
by the latter.
Section 32 thereof was later amended by Section 2 of Republic Act No. 7691, as follows:
Sec. 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in
Criminal Cases. Except in cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court and of
the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:
(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all violations of city or municipal ordinances committed within their
respective territorial jurisdiction; and
(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years
irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil
liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value or amount thereof:
Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence, they shall have
exclusive original jurisdiction thereof.
Case law has it that in order to determine the jurisdiction of the court in criminal cases, the complaint or
Information must be examined for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the facts set out therein and the
prescribed period provided for by law are within the jurisdiction of the court, and where the said Information or
complaint is filed. It is settled that the jurisdiction of the court in criminal cases is determined by the allegations of
the complaint or Information and not by the findings based on the evidence of the court after trial. [32] Jurisdiction is
conferred only by the Constitution or by the law in force at the time of the filing of the Information or complaint.
Once jurisdiction is vested in the court, it is retained up to the end of the litigation. Indeed, in People v. Purisima,
[33]
this Court held that:
In criminal prosecutions, it is settled that the jurisdiction of the court is not determined by what may be meted out to
the offender after trial or even by the result of the evidence that would be presented at the trial, but by the extent of
the penalty which the law imposes for the misdemeanor, crime or violation charged in the complaint. If the facts
recited in the complaint and the punishment provided for by law are sufficient to show that the court in which the
complaint is presented has jurisdiction, that court must assume jurisdiction.
In Criminal Case No. 013231-L, the value of the properties subject of qualified theft is P3,219,875.00, while in
Criminal Case No. 013423-L, the value of the property was pegged atP255,000.00. Under Article 309 of the Revised
Penal Code, the penalty for theft when the value of the stolen property exceeds P22,000.00 is as follows:
1. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the thing stolen is more than
12,000 pesos but does not exceed 20,000 pesos; but if the value of the thing stolen exceeds the latter amount, the
penalty shall be the maximum period of the one prescribed in this paragraph and one year of each additional ten
thousand pesos, but the total of the penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, and
in connection with the accessory penalties which may be imposed and for the purpose of the other provisions of this
Code, the penalty shall be termed prision mayor orreclusion temporal, as the case may be.
Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code further provides for the penalty for qualified theft:
Art. 310. Qualified theft. The crime of theft shall be punished by the penalties next higher by two degrees than those
respectively specified in the next preceding article, if committed by a domestic servant, or with grave abuse of
confidence, or if the property stolen is motor vehicle, mail matter or large cattle or consists of coconuts taken from
the premises of a plantation, fish taken from a fishpond or fishery or if property is taken on the occasion of fire,
earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other calamity, vehicular accident or civil disturbance.
On the other hand, in Criminal Case No. 013424-L for estafa, the amount of the fraud involved is P500,000.00,
and under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty for such crime is

1st. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its minimum period, if the
amount of the fraud is over 12,000 pesos but does not exceed 22,000 pesos; and if such amount exceeds the latter
sum, the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each
additional 10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases,
and in connection with the accessory penalties which may be imposed and for the purpose of the other provisions of
this Code, the penalty shall be termed prision mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case may be.
Patently, then, based on the material allegations of the Informations in the three cases, the court a quo had
exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes charged.
The bare fact that the respondent was the president and general manager of the petitioner corporation when the
crimes charged were allegedly committed and was then a stockholder thereof does not in itself deprive the court a
quo of its exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes charged. The property of the corporation is not the property of the
stockholders or members or of its officers who are stockholders. [34] As the Court held in an avuncular case:[35]
... Properties registered in the name of the corporation are owned by it as an entity separate and distinct from its
members. While shares of stock constitute personal property, they do not represent property of the corporation. The
corporation has property of its own which consists chiefly of real estate (Nelson v. Owen, 113 Ala., 372, 21 So. 75;
Morrow v. Gould, 145 Iowa, 1, 123 N.W. 743). A share of stock only typifies an aliquot part of the corporations
property, or the right to share in its proceeds to that extent when distributed according to law and equity (Hall &
Faley v. Alabama Terminal, 173 Ala., 398, 56 So. 235), but its holder is not the owner of any part of the capital of
the corporation (Bradley v. Bauder, 36 Ohio St., 28). Nor is he entitled to the possession of any definite portion of its
property or assets (Gottfried v. Miller, 104 U.S., 521; Jones v. Davis, 35 Ohio St., 474). The stockholder is not a coowner or tenant in common of the corporate property (Harton v. Johnston, 166 Ala., 317, 51 So., 992) [36]
As early as the case of Fisher v. Trinidad,[37] the Court already declared that [t]he distinction between the title
of a corporation, and the interest of its members or stockholders in the property of the corporation, is familiar and
well-settled. The ownership of that property is in the corporation, and not in the holders of shares of its stock. The
interest of each stockholder consists in the right to a proportionate part of the profits whenever dividends are
declared by the corporation, during its existence, under its charter, and to a like proportion of the property
remaining, upon the termination or dissolution of the corporation, after payment of its debts. [38]
We also agree with the ruling of the CA in its decision that the SEC (now the Regional Trial Court) had no
jurisdiction over the cases filed in the court a quo. The appellate courts reliance in the assailed Resolution issued by
the Board of Directors of the petitioner corporation, on Section 5(b) of P.D. No. 902, has no factual and legal basis.
Section 5 of P.D. No. 902-A provides that the SEC[39] shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and
decide cases involving the following:
(a) devices or schemes employed by, or any acts of, the board of directors, business associates, its officers or
partners, amounting to fraud and misrepresentation which may be detrimental to the interest of the public and/or of
the stockholders, partners, members of association or organizations registered with the Commission, and
(b) controversies arising out of intra-corporate or partnership relations, between and among stockholders, members
or associates; between any or all of them and the corporation, partnership or association of which they are
stockholders, members or associates, respectively.
In Fabia v. Court of Appeals,[40] the Court explained that Section 5 of P.D. No. 902-A should be taken in
conjunction with Section 6 of the law. It then proceeded to explain:
In synthesis, Sec. 5 of PD 902-A mandates that cases involving fraudulent actions and devices which are detrimental
to the interest of stockholders, members or associates and directors of the corporation are within the original and
exclusive jurisdiction of the SEC. Taken in conjunction with Sec. 6 of the same law, it will be gathered that the
fraudulent acts/schemes which the SEC shall exclusively investigate and prosecute are those in violation of any law
or rules and regulations administered and enforced by the Commission alone. This investigative and prosecutorial
powers of the SEC are further without prejudice to any liability for violation of any provision of The Revised Penal
Code.

From the foregoing, it can thus be concluded that the filing of the civil/intra-corporate case before the SEC does not
preclude the simultaneous and concomitant filing of a criminal action before the regular courts; such that, a
fraudulent act may give rise to liability for violation of the rules and regulations of the SEC cognizable by the SEC
itself, as well as criminal liability for violation of the Revised Penal Code cognizable by the regular courts, both
charges to be filed and proceeded independently, and may be simultaneously with the other.[41]
Thus, the filing of a petition in the SEC for the nullification of the Resolution of May 2, 1995 issued by the
Chairman and two members of the Board of Directors of petitioner MPI, which authorized the filing of criminal
cases against respondent Umezawa, was not a bar to his prosecution for estafa and qualified theft for his alleged
fraudulent and delictual acts. The relationship of the party-litigants with each other or the position held by petitioner
as a corporate officer in respondent MPI during the time he committed the crime becomes merely incidental and
holds no bearing on jurisdiction. What is essential is that the fraudulent acts are likewise of a criminal nature and
hence cognizable by the regular courts.[42] Thus, notwithstanding the fact that respondent Umezawa was the
president and general manager of petitioner MPI and a stockholder thereof, the latter may still be prosecuted for the
crimes charged. The alleged fraudulent acts of respondent Umezawa in this case constitute the element of abuse of
confidence, deceit or fraudulent means, and damage under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code on estafa. [43]
We agree with the encompassing disquisitions of the CA in its decision, to wit:
A dispute involving the corporation and its stockholders is not necessarily an intra-corporate dispute cognizable only
by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nor does it ipso facto negate the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial
Court over the subject cases. The Supreme Court citing the case of Viray v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 92481, 191
SCRA 308 [1990]) in Torio v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 107293, March 2, 1994, 230 SCRA 626) held:
It should be obvious that not every conflict between a corporation and its stockholders involves corporate matters
that only the SEC can resolve in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers.
As the Supreme Court further ruled in the Torio case that a contrary interpretation would distort the meaning and
intent of P.D. 902-A, the law re-organizing the Securities and Exchange Commission. The better policy in
determining which body has jurisdiction over a case would be to consider not only the relationship of the parties but
also the nature of the questions raised in the subject of the controversy.[44]
On the last issue, we find and so hold that the Informations state all the essential elements of estafa and
qualified theft. It was adequately alleged that respondent Umezawa, being the President and General Manager of
petitioner MPI, stole and misappropriated the properties of his employer, more specifically, petitioner MPI. As
expostulated by the CA in its decision:
In any event, the allegations in the informations, if hypothetically admitted, are sufficient to bind Umezawa to the
charges of qualified theft and estafa. As aptly ruled by the court a quo in its Order of July 25, 1995, all the elements
of the offense of qualified theft are present. There is no basis for claiming otherwise. Furthermore, the private
offended party, as well as the subject matter of the felonious taking and the ownership thereof, have been adequately
indicated or identified leaving no room for any doubt on these matters. Considering that the motions to quash of
September 30, 1998 are fundamentally rehash of the motion to quash filed on May 29, 1995 and the culpable acts
subject of the new informations are virtually the same as the first information filed against Umezawa, there is no
conceivable reason why the courta quo abandoned its previous stand and controverted itself in regard the sufficiency
of the informations.
In our considered view, and as the court a quo had correctly held in its Order of May 26, 1996, even a SEC ruling
voiding the resolution authorizing the filing of criminal charges versus the accused Hajime Umezawa can have no
bearing on the validity of the informations filed in these three criminal cases as pointed out by private complainant,
the public offenses of qualified theft and estafa can [be] prosecuted de officio. The resolution of the office of the
prosecutor on the preliminary investigation as well as the re-investigation conducted on the letter-complaint filed by
private complainant company sufficiently established prima facie case against the accused and the legality or
illegality of the constitution of the board which authorized the filing of the complaint does not materially affect
either the informations filed against Umezawa or the pending criminal proceedings. As petitioners contend, the
action is now between the People of the Philippines and herein private respondent.[45]

IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petitions are GRANTED. The Resolution of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 52440 dated August 8, 2001 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision of the
Court of Appeals dated September 2, 1999 is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Puno, (Chairman), Austria-Martinez, Tinga, and Chico-Nazario, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. L-38634 June 20, 1988
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, (PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES), petitioner,
vs.
HON. DELFIN VIR. SUNGA, as Presiding Judge, CFI Branch I, Camarines Sur, ARISTON ANADILLA,
RAFAEL ANADILLA and JOSE ANADILLA, respondents.

PADILLA, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the order * of the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur, 10th Judicial
District, Branch I, dated 20 March 1974, dismissing motu proprio Criminal Case No. L-244, entitled "People of the
Philippines, Complainant versus Ariston Anadilla, Rafael Anadilla and Jose Anadilla, Accused," as well as of the
order dated 22 April 1974 of the same court denying the motion for reconsideration of said earlier order.
The facts are not disputed.
On 10 August 1964, an information for Attempted Homicide was filed by the Provincial Fiscal of Camarines Sur
against accused-private respondents Rafael Anadilla, Ariston Anadilla and Jose Anadilla. Trial of the case was set on
11 and 12 March 1974. The hearing set on 11 March 1974 was, however, postponed in view of the absence of one of
the accused, respondent Rafael Anadilla who had not yet been arrested by the police authorities. On the same date,
the court a quo issued an order for the arrest of said accused, and at the same time set the trial of the case for 29 and
30 July 1974.
On 20 March 1974, the court a quo issued the now assailed order which reads:
Considering that the offended party, Jose Dadis is no longer interested in the further prosecution of
this case and there being no objection on the part of the accused Ariston Anadilla, Rafael Anadilla
and Jose Anadilla, this case is hereby DISMISSED with costs de oficio.
Consequently, the order of arrest issued by this Court against the accused Rafael Anadilla dated
March 11, 1974, is hereby ordered lifted and has no force and effect.

The bail bond posted for the provisional liberty of the accused is hereby ordered cancelled.
In the case of Ariston Anadilla and Jose Anadilla, the Provincial Warden is hereby ordered to
release said accused from their detention immediately upon receipt of this order.
SO ORDERED. 1
The affidavit of desistance, relied upon by the aforequoted order, was executed by the offended party on 20 March
1974 and subscribed and sworn to before the branch Clerk of Court Atty. R.B. Torrecampo. It alleged, among others,
that:
That he was the complainant in Criminal Case No. L-244, entitled, People vs. Ariston Anadilla, et
al., for Attempted Homicide, which case is pending before the first branch of this Court; that he is
no longer interested in the further prosecution of this case and that he has already forgiven the
accused for their acts; that his material witnesses could no longer be contacted and that without
their testimonies, the guilt of the accused cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, and that in
view of these circumstances, he requests the Prosecuting Fiscal for the dismissal of the said case. 2
The Provincial Fiscal moved to reconsider the order of dismissal. This was denied by the court a quo in an order
dated 22 April 1974. 3 This petition was thereupon filed before this Court.
The issue in this petition is whether the courta a quo may dismiss a criminal case on the basis of an affidavit of
desistance executed by the offended party, but without a motion to dismiss filed by the prosecuting fiscal.
The issue presented is not novel. In Crespo v. Mogul, 4 promulgated on 30 June 1987, the Court had occasion to state
the rule in regard to the respective powers of the prosecuting fiscal and the court, after the complaint or information
has been filed in court. In said case, the issue raised was whether the trial court, acting on a motion to dismiss a
criminal case filed by the Provincial Fiscal upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice to whom the case was
elevated for review, may refuse to grant the motion and insist on the arraignment and trial of the case on the merits.
In the Crespo case, an information for Estafa had already been filed by the Assistant Fiscal before the Circuit
Criminal Court of Lucena City. Arraignment of the accused and trial of the case were, however, deferred because of
a pending appeal by the accused/respondent to the Secretary of Justice. Reversing the resolution of the Office of the
Provincial Fiscal, the Undersecretary of Justice directed the fiscal to move for immediate dismissal of the
information filed against the accused. Upon such instructions, the Provincial Fiscal filed a motion to dismiss for
insufficiency of evidence. The Judge denied the motion and set the arraignment. On a certiorari recourse to the Court
of Appeals, the petition was dismissed. Review of the Court of Appeals decision was then sought by the accused
with this Court, raising the issue previously stated herein, Resolving, the Court held:
xxx xxx xxx
The filing of a complaint or information in Court initiates a criminal action. The Court thereby
acquires jurisdiction over the case, which is the authority to hear and determine the case. When
after the filing of the complaint or information a warrant for the arrest of the accused is issued by
the trial court and the accused either voluntarily submitted himself to the Court or was duly
arrested, the Court thereby acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accused.
The preliminary investigation conducted by the fiscal for the purpose of determining whether a
prima facie case exists warranting the prosecution of the accused is terminated upon the filing of
the information in the proper court. In turn, as above stated, the filing of said information sets in
motion the criminal action against the accused in Court. Should the fiscal find it proper to conduct
a reinvestigation of the case, at such stage, the permission of the Court must be secured. After such
reinvestigation the finding and recommendations of the fiscal should be submitted to the Court for
appropriate action. While it is true that the fiscal has the quasi-judicial discretion to determine
whether or not a criminal case should be filed in court or not [sic], once the case had already been
brought to Court whatever disposition the fiscal may feel should be proper in the case thereafter
should be addressed for the consideration of the Court. The only qualification is that the action of
the Court must not impair the substantial rights of the accused or the right of the People to due
process of law.

xxx xxx xxx


The rule therefore in this jurisdiction is that once a complaint or information is filed in Court any
disposition of the case as its dismissal or the conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in the
sound discretion of the Court. Although the fiscal retains the direction and control of the
prosecution of criminal cases even while the case is already in Court he cannot impose his
opinion on the trial court. The Court is the best and sole judge on what to do with the case before
it. The determination of the case is within its exclusive jurisdiction and competence. A motion to
dismiss the case filed by the fiscal should be addressed to the Court who has the option to grant or
deny the same. It does not matter if this is done before or after the arraignment of the accused or
that the motion was filed after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice
who reviewed the records of the investigation." (Emphasis supplied). 5
In the case at bar, the Court has taken note that before the case was set for trial, almost ten (10) years had elapsed
from the date of filing of the information. It was not, therefore, unusual that the complainant-offended party, in his
affidavit of desistance manifested that his material witnesses could no longer be contacted, but, without their
testimony, the guilt of the accused could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
The prosecuting fiscal in his motion for reconsideration of the order dismissing the case, obviously believed that
despite such manifestation of the complainant, he (fiscal) could prove the prosecution's case.
To avoid similar situations, the Court takes the view that, while the Crespo doctrine has settled that the trial court is
the sole judge on whether a criminal case should be dismissed (after the complaint or information has been filed in
court), still, any move on the part of the complainant or offended party to dismiss the criminal case, even if without
objection of the accused, should first be referred to the prosecuting fiscal for his own view on the matter. He is, after
all, in control of the prosecution of the case and he may have his own reasons why the case should not be dismissed.
It is only after hearing the prosecuting fiscal's view that the Court should exercise its exclusive authority to continue
or dismiss the case.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED. Without costs.
SO ORDERED.
Yap, C.J., Melencio-Herrera, Paras and Sarmiento, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 157331

April 12, 2006

ARNOLD ALVA, Petitioner,


vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, Respondent.
DECISION
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, as amended, assailing the twin
Resolutions of the Court of Appeals (CA), dated 18 October 20021 and 19 February 2003,2 respectively, in CA-G.R.
CR No. 24077, entitled People of the Philippines v. Arnold Alva.
The CA, in the assailed resolutions, dismissed petitioners appeal of the trial courts judgment of conviction for
failing to post a new bail bond to secure his provisional liberty on appeal.
The Facts
The present petition stemmed from an Information3 charging petitioner with having committed the crime of estafa
defined under Article 315, Paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, alleging as follows:
The undersigned accuses ARNOLD ALVA of the crime of ESTAFA, committed as follows:
That in or about and during the period covered between October 18, 1993 up to December 18, 1993, inclusive, in the
City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused, did then and there willfully (sic), unlawfully and feloniously defraud
YUMI VERANGA y HERVERA in the following manner, to wit: the said accused, by means of false manifestation
and fraudulent representation which he made to said YUMI VERANGA y HERVERA to the effect that he could
process the latters application for U.S. Visa provided she would give the amount of P120,000.00, and by means of
other similar deceit, induced and succeeded in inducing said YUMI VERANGA y HERVERA to give and deliver, as
in fact she gave and delivered to said accused the amount of P120,000.00 on the strength of said manifestation and
representation said accused well knowing that the same were false and untrue for the reason that the U.S. Visa is not
genuine and were made solely to obtain, as in fact he did obtain the amount ofP120,000.00 which amount once in
his possession with intent to defraud, he wilfully (sic), unlawfully and feloniously misappropriated, misapplied and
converted the said amount to his own personal use and benefit, to the damage and prejudice of the said YUMI
VERANGA y HERVERA in the aforesaid amount of P120,000.00, Philippine Currency.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
The resultant criminal case was filed and docketed as Criminal Case No. 95-143803 and raffled to the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 54, presided by Judge Manuel T. Muro.
On 5 September 1995, the RTC issued a Recall Order4 of the Warrant of Arrest issued on 18 July 1995 against
petitioner in view of the approval of his bail bond by Hon. William Bayhon, then Executive Judge of the RTC of
Manila.
Upon arraignment on 7 December 1995, petitioner, duly assisted by counsel, 5 pleaded not guilty to the crime
charged.
After the trial on the merits, in an Order6 dated 6 April 1998, the RTC considered the case submitted for decision.
On 4 May 1999, petitioners counsel filed an Urgent Motion to Cancel Promulgation7 praying for the resetting of the
5 May 1999 schedule of promulgation of the RTCs decision to 17 June 1999 in view of the fact that said counsel
already had a prior commitment on subject date. The RTC granted the motion. The promulgation, however, was
deferred only until 19 May 1999.
A day before the rescheduled date of promulgation, or on 18 May 1999, petitioners counsel again moved for the
deferment of the promulgation, due to prior "undertakings of similar importance."8

On 19 May 1999, petitioner and counsel both failed to appear in court despite due notice. In his stead, claiming to be
petitioners representative, a certain Joey Perez personally delivered to the RTC a hand written medical
certificate9 expressing petitioners inability to attend the days hearing due to hypertension.
In response to the aforestated acts of petitioner and counsel, the RTC issued an Order 10 directing the promulgation of
its decision in absentia and the issuance of a bench warrant of arrest against petitioner for his failure to appear before
it despite due notice.
In its decision dated 25 March 1999,11 the RTC found petitioner guilty of the crime of estafa under Article 315,
paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, the decretal part of which reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered: finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
estafa under Article 315, No. 2(a) of the RPC and sentences him to an indeterminate term of imprisonment of nine
(9) years and one (1) day as minimum of prision mayor to seventeen (17) years as maximum of reclusion
temporal in accordance with the provisions of Article 315, first, and the Indeterminate Sentence Law, and further for
the accused to return the P120,000.00 to the complainant with an interest at the rate of twelve percent (12%)
compounded annually from January 1, 1994 (the amount has been given to the accused in October and December
1993).
Meanwhile, as appearing in the records of the RTC, immediately following an original duplicate copy of the
aforequoted decision, a document entitled Personal Bail Bond12 dated 21 May 1999 issued by Mega Pacific
Insurance Corporation, seemed to have been filed before and approved by the RTC as evidenced by the signature of
Judge Muro on the face of said bail bond.13 For such reason, petitioner appeared to have been admitted to bail anew
after his conviction.
Incongruous to the above inference, however, in an Order14 dated 25 May 1999, judgment was rendered against
Eastern Insurance and Surety Corporation, the bonding company that issued petitioners original bail bond, in the
amount of P17,000.00, for failure to produce the person of petitioner within the 10 day period earlier provided and
to explain why the amount of its undertaking should not be forfeited.
In the interregnum, Police Superintendent Ramon Flores De Jesus, Chief of Warrant and Subpoena
Section,15manifested to the RTC the return of the unexecuted Warrant of Arrest issued on 19 May 1999 "for the
reason that the address of the accused (petitioner) is not within our area of responsibility. x x x" Nevertheless, De
Jesus reassured the RTC that "the name of the accused will be included in our list of wanted persons for our future
reference." Examination of the records of the case revealed that petitioner already moved out of his address on
record without informing the RTC.
On 15 July 1999, hand delivered by a certain Remedios Caneda, petitioner wrote16 the RTC requesting for a certified
photocopy of his exhibits submitted to it during trial.
On 21 July 1999, a Termination of Legal Services was filed by petitioner before the RTC informing it of his decision
to terminate the services of his counsel and that he was currently in the process of hiring a new one.
On 26 July 1999,17 petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration before the RTC.
In an Order18 dated 30 August 1999, the RTC declined to give due course to said motion for failure to set it for
hearing; thus, treating it as a mere scrap of paper.
On 2 September 1999, petitioner received the above Order. The next day, or on 3 September 1999, petitioner filed a
Notice of Appeal19 before the RTC.
In an Order20 dated 20 September 1999, the RTC again declined to give due course to the Notice of Appeal,
ratiocinating thus:
The "Notice of Appeal" filed by accused cannot be given due course as it was filed out of time. Although accused
filed a "Motion for Reconsideration" dated 23 July 1999, the Court considered it as a mere scrap of paper and was
not acted upon as the same was not set for hearing, hence, it did not stop the reglementary period to file appeal.

On 25 November 1999, petitioner filed anew a motion praying for the RTCs categorical resolution of his 23 July
1999 Motion for Reconsideration.
In an Order dated 7 December 1999, the RTC granted the abovestated motion, the full text of which states:
The Motion to Resolve the Motion for Reconsideration of the accused, dated November 20, 1999 is granted in the
interest of justice, considering that the one who prepared the Motion for Reconsideration appears to be the accused
himself, who may not appear to be a lawyer and may not be conversant with the rules, among others, governing
motions.
Acting on the said Motion for Reconsideration itself, same is denied for lack of merit. The Decision has examined
and discussed the evidence presented and the merits of the case.
Because of the pendency of the Motion for Reconsideration, the appeal is deemed filed on time, and the appeal is
given due course.
Let the records of the case, together with three (3) copies of the transcripts of stenographic notes be transmitted to
the Hon. Court of Appeals.
On appeal before the Court of Appeals, in a Resolution21 dated 16 October 2001, the appellate court required
petitioner to show cause why his appeal should not be dismissed it appearing that no new bail bond for his
provisional liberty on appeal had been posted, to wit:
Considering the arrest warrant issued by the trial court against the accused who failed to appear at the promulgation
of the judgment, and it appearing from the record that no new bond for his provisional liberty on appeal has been
posted, appellant is ORDERED to SHOW CAUSE within ten (10) days from notice why his appeal should not be
dismissed outright.
On 29 October 2001, petitioner, through new counsel, filed a Compliance22 essentially stating therein that:
xxxx
3. Upon learning of the course of action taken by the presiding judge, and for purposes of appealing the decision
subject of the instant case, on May 21, 1999, accused immediately posted a new bond for his provisional liberty. The
presiding judge of the lower court, which issued the questioned decision, duly approved the new
bond.1avvphil.netCertified true copy of the bond is hereto attached as Annex "3" and made an integral part hereof;
x x x x.
In a Resolution23 dated 18 October 2002, the Court of Appeals, nonetheless dismissed the appeal filed by petitioner
for "appellants failure to post a new bond for his provisional liberty on appeal despite our directive as contained in
our Resolution dated October 16, 2001, and in view of the fact that his personal bail bond posted in the lower court
had already expired, x x x."
Undaunted, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration24 thereto seeking its reversal. According to petitioners
counsel, he was of the understanding that the "Show Cause" Resolution of 16 October 2001 merely sought an
explanation vis--vis the absence of a bail bond guaranteeing petitioners provisional liberty while his conviction
was on appeal. All the same, petitioners counsel manifested that Mega Pacific Insurance Corporation, had already
extended the period covered by its 21 May 1999 bail bond. Attached to said motion was a Bond
Endorsement25 extending the coverage of the bail bond from 21 May 1999 to 21 May 2003.
Asked to comment on the Motion for Reconsideration, respondent People of the Philippines (People), through the
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), interposed objections. In its Comment,26 respondent People raised two
arguments: 1) that "an application for bail can only be availed of by a person who is in the custody of the law or
otherwise deprived of his liberty;" and 2) that "bail on appeal is a matter of discretion when the penalty imposed by
the trial court is imprisonment exceeding six (6) years."
On 19 February 2003, the Court of Appeals issued the second assailed Resolution,27 disposing of petitioners motion
as follows:

Finding no merit in appellants motion for reconsideration (citation omitted) filed on November 12, 2002, the same
is hereby DENIED. We agree with the appellee that appellant has failed to submit himself under the
jurisdiction of the court or under the custody of the law since his conviction in 1999 and that there was no
valid bail bond in place when appellant took his appeal.
WHEREFORE, appellants motion for reconsideration is DENIED. [Emphasis supplied.]
Hence, this petition.
The Issues
Petitioner now comes to this Court via a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
alleging the following errors:28
I.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS HAS DECIDED QUESTIONS OF SUBSTANCE IN A WAY NOT IN
ACCORD WITH LAW OR WITH APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THIS HONORABLE SUPREME COURT;
II.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING
TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT DISMISSED THE PETITION DOCKETED AS CA G.R.
CR NO. 24077 ON THE GROUND OF ALLEGED FAILURE TO POST A NEW BOND FOR PETITIONERS
PROVISIONAL LIBERTY AND THAT THE PERSONAL BAIL BOND POSTED IN THE LOWER COURT HAD
ALLEGEDLY ALREADY EXPIRED;
III.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED OR ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION WHEN IT DID NOT CONSIDER AS SUBSTANTIAL, THE COMPLAINCE FILED BY THE
PETITIONER WHICH SHOWED THE FACT THAT INDEED THERE WAS A BAIL BOND FILED FOR THE
PROVISIONAL LIBERTY OF THE ACCUSED DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE APPEAL;
IV.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED OR ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION WHEN IT IGNORED THE RECENT BAIL BOND EXTENSION ATTACHED TO THE MOTION
FOR RECONSIDERATION FILED BY THE PETITIONER;
V.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED OR ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION WHEN IT RULED THAT THE PETITIONER FAILED TO SUBMIT TO THE JURISDICTION OF
THE COURT OR TO THE CUSTODY OF LAW DESPITE THE BAIL BOND POSTED ON MAY 21, 1999; and
VI.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED OR ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION WHEN IT RULED THAT THERE WAS NO VALID BAIL BOND IN PLACE WHEN THE
PETITIONER TOOK HIS APPEAL.
The bombardment of errors notwithstanding, only two issues are raised in this petition: 1) with the exception of the
fifth assignment of error, all six can be encapsulated in one solitary question, that is, whether or not the Court of
Appeals committed reversible error in dismissing the appeal in view of petitioners alleged failure to post a valid
bail bond to secure his provisional liberty on appeal; and 2) whether or not petitioner failed to submit himself to the
jurisdiction of the court or to the custody of the law despite the posting of the subject bail bond.
The Courts Ruling

Petitioner faults the appellate court for expressing "x x x in its questioned resolutions that herein petitioner did not
submit to the jurisdiction of the court or custody of the law, or that there was no valid bail bond when the appeal was
taken when the records of the case would readily prove the contrary."29 In issuing said resolution, petitioner
concludes that the Court of Appeals made "x x x no careful examination of the records x x x." Petitioner rationalizes
his deduction in the following manner:
x x x [T]he records of the case readily reveals (sic) that several pleadings were filed by the petitioner before the
lower court even after the promulgation of judgment was made. Right after the promulgation of the decision in the
lower court, herein petitioner went to the court and posted a bail bond. If the posting of the bond which was
approved by the same Regional Trial Court who rendered the decision subject of appeal is not yet a submission to
the jurisdiction of the court, then the respondent Hon. Court of Appeals must have been thinking of another matter
beyond the comprehension of the petitioner and obviously outside the matters being contemplated by law and the
Rules of Court.
Equally, petitioner further posits that:
x x x Although it is respectfully submitted that an accused shall be denied bail or his bail shall be cancelled if
sentenced to an imprisonment exceeding six (6) years as provided in Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, just
the same, there must be a showing by the prosecution with notice to the accused of the fact that, the accused is a
recidivist, has previously escaped from confinement, evaded sentence, has committed an offense while under
probation, there are circumstances indicating the probability of flight if released on bail, etc. But there was none of
the said instances that may be attributable to herein petitioner.30
Respondent People, in contrast, counters that "x x x [a]lthough a personal bail bond dated May 21, 1999 was
executed in favor of petitioner by Mega Pacific Insurance Corporation two days after the promulgation of the
Decision, there is nothing on record which shows that petitioner had surrendered, was arrested or otherwise deprived
of his liberty after the promulgation of the judgment of his conviction in his absence. x x x." To illustrate its point,
respondent People cites the following facts: 1) the return of the Warrant of Arrest issued on May 19, 1999 signed by
P/Superintendent Ramon Flores De Jesus, Chief of Warrant and Subpoena Section, which states in full:
Respectfully returned this unexecuted Warrant of Arrest for the reason that the address of the accused is not within
our area of responsibility. Further request that the warrant of Arrest be forwarded to the Police Station which has
Jurisdiction over the address of the accused.
However, the name of the accused will be included in our list of wanted persons for our future reference.
2) the fact that six days after the decision of the RTC was promulgated, or on 25 May 1999, said court rendered
judgment against the bail bond issued by Eastern Assurance and Surety Corporation executed to secure petitioners
provisional liberty during the trial, for the bondsmans failure to produce petitioner before the court, to wit:
In view of the failure of Eastern Insurance & Surety Corporation, bondsman of herein accused, to produce the herein
accused within the period granted it by this Court, judgment is hereby rendered against said bond in the amount of
Seventeen Thousand (P17,000.00) Pesos.31
Respondent People explains that the first two facts make it improbable to conclude that there existed a valid bail
bond securing petitioners provisional liberty even after conviction. Stated in another way, petitioners admission to
bail presumes that the latter surrendered, was arrested or he had otherwise submitted himself under the custody of
the law.
And, 3) "that petitioner belatedly attached a bond endorsement to his motion for reconsideration dated November 7,
2002 submitted before the Court of Appeals, purportedly to extend the expired personal bond dated May 21, 1999 x
x x, did not automatically confer on petitioner the benefits of an effective bail bond,"32 as petitioner made no
extension of the previous personal bond before the same expired.
We disagree in petitioners assertions; hence, the petition must fail.
A definitive disposition of the issue relating to the existence and validity of petitioners bail bond on appeal
presupposes that the latter was allowed by law to post bail notwithstanding the RTCs judgment of conviction and

the imposition of the penalty of imprisonment for an indeterminate period of nine (9) years and one (1) day as
minimum of prision mayor to seventeen (17) years as maximum of reclusion temporal.
Section 5 of Rule 114 of the 1994 Rules of Court, as amended, intrinsically addresses the foregoing prefatory matter
viz:
SEC. 5. Bail, when discretionary. Upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not punishable by
death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, the court, on application, may admit the accused to bail.
The court, in its discretion, may allow the accused to continue on provisional liberty under the same bail bond
during the period to appeal subject to the consent of the bondsman.
If the court imposed a penalty of imprisonment exceeding six (6) years, but not more than twenty (20) years, the
accused shall be denied bail, or his bail previously granted shall be cancelled, upon a showing by the prosecution,
with notice to the accused, of the following or other similar circumstances:
(a) That the accused is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual delinquent, or has committed the crime
aggravated by the circumstances of reiteration;
(b) That the accused is found to have previously escaped from legal confinement, evaded sentence, or has
violated the conditions of his bail without valid justification;
(c) That the accused committed the offense while on probation, parole, or under conditional pardon;
(d) That the circumstances of the accused or his case indicate the probability of flight if released on bail; or
(e) That there is undue risk that during the pendency of the appeal, the accused may commit another crime.
The appellate court may review the resolution of the Regional Trial Court, on motion and with notice to the adverse
party. [Emphasis supplied.]
From the preceding quoted provision, the RTC is given the discretion to admit to bail an accused even after the latter
has been convicted to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for a term of more than six (6) years but less than twenty
(20) years. However, the same also provides for the cancellation of bail bonds already granted or the denial of a bail
bond application upon the concurrence of two points: 1) if the judgment of the Regional Trial Court exceeds six (6)
years but not more than twenty (20) years; and 2) upon a showing by the prosecution, with notice to the accused, of
the presence of any of the five circumstances therein enumerated or other similar circumstances.
In the case at bar, petitioner was convicted by the RTC to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for an indeterminate
term of nine (9) years and one (1) day as minimum of prision mayor to seventeen (17) years as maximum
ofreclusion temporal. Quite clearly, the approval of petitioners application for bail was discretionary upon the RTC.
It is incongruous, to say the least, that the posting of a bail presupposes that the accused and/ or accused-appellant is
detained or in the custody of the law.33 In the case at bar, the bench warrant issued by the RTC on 19 May 1999 still
remains unserved. Nothing in the records of the case, neither in the RTC nor the Court of Appeals, demonstrates that
petitioner was ever arrested, as there has been no related Order of Release issued by any court, or that he voluntarily
surrendered or at the very least placed himself under the custody of the law.
Basic is the principle that that the right to bail can only be availed of by a person who is in custody of the law or
otherwise deprived of his liberty and it would be premature, x x x, to file a petition for bail for someone whose
freedom has yet to be curtailed.34
All told, no bail should have been granted petitioner. It is beyond dispute that the subject bail bond issued by Mega
Pacific Insurance Corporation was irregularly approved. Worth noting is the fact that nowhere in the records of the
case is it shown that petitioner applied for bail through a motion duly filed for such purpose nor is there showing that
the RTC issued an Order of Approval or any other court process acknowledging such document. Be that as it may,
even granting for the sake of argument that it was indeed approved by Judge Muro, such approval did not render the
subject bail bond valid and binding for it has been established that petitioner was not entitled to bail on appeal.

That the prosecution appears not to have been given the chance to object, as evidently required under the quoted
rule, to the application or approval of the subject bail bond (with notice to the accused), fortifies the declaration as to
its invalidity. Nowhere in the original records of the RTC does it even show that the prosecution was informed of
petitioners application for bail, much less the approval of such application.
Noting that the raison d'tre for such requirement is the discretionary nature of the admission to bail of an accused
after conviction, though discretionary, such assessment must be exercised in accordance with applicable legal
principles. As when there is a concurrence of the enumerated circumstances and the range of penalty imposed, the
prosecution must first be accorded an opportunity to object and present evidence, if necessary, with notice to the
accused. It is on this basis that judicial discretion is balanced in determining whether or not an accused-appellant
should be admitted to bail pending appeal of his conviction vis--vis the increased possibility or likelihood of flight.
Approval of an application for bail on appeal, absent the knowledge of the prosecution of such application or, at the
very least, failing to allow it to object, is not the product of sound judicial discretion but of impulse and arbitrariness,
not to mention violative of respondent Peoples right of procedural due process.
This is especially true in this case as a close scrutiny of the original records of the case at bar reveals that petitioner
violated the conditions of his bail without valid justification his failure to appear before the RTC, despite due
notice, on the day of the promulgation of the latters judgment, absent any justifiable reason. His absence was a clear
contravention of the conditions of his bail bond to say the least. As evidenced by the undertaking printed on the face
of the bond issued by Eastern Insurance and Surety Corporation and likewise required under Section 635 of Rule 120
of the Rules of Court, petitioner must present himself before the court for the reading of the judgment of the RTC in
order to render himself to the execution thereof.
While, indeed, a medical certificate was hand delivered and filed by a certain Joey Perez, allegedly a representative
of petitioner, stating therein the reason for the latters absence, the RTC found insubstantial the explanation
proffered. Appropriately, it ordered the promulgation of its judgment in absentia. It also issued a bench warrant of
arrest against petitioner.
Upon examination, the subject medical certificate36 merely states that petitioner was diagnosed to be suffering from
hypertension. It failed to elucidate further any concomitant conditions necessitating petitioners physical incapability
to present himself before the court even for an hour or two; thus, it considered the absence of petitioner unjustified.
What's more, though notarized, the subject document failed to indicate evidence of affiants37 identity making its due
execution doubtful.
Further, it should be recalled as well, that as early as 4 May 1999, petitioner and counsel had already been notified
of the 19 May 1999 schedule of promulgation. The first having been postponed in view of the Urgent Motion to
Cancel Promulgation (on 5 May 1999) filed by petitioners counsel.
Another telling evidence of the violation of petitioners original bail bond is revealed by the Process Servers
Return,38 indicated at the dorsal portion of the RTCs Produce Order, indicating petitioners change of address
without prior notice to the RTC, it states:
PROCESS SERVERS RETURN
This certifies that on the 17th day of May, (sic) 1999, undersigned return (sic) again to Fersal Apartelle located at
130 Kalayaan Ave. (sic) Diliman, Quezon City for confirmation and indeed the addressee, Arnold Alva, had no (sic)
longer been residing nor holding office at the aforementioned address.
By failing to inform the RTC of his change of address, petitioner failed to hold himself amenable to the orders and
processes of the RTC. It was an unmistakable arrant breach of the conditions of his bail bond.
Prescinding from the above discussion, the conviction of petitioner to a period beyond six (6) years but less than
twenty (20) years in tandem with attendant circumstances effectively violating his bail without valid justification
should have effectively precluded him from being admitted to bail on appeal.
The issue of the validity of petitioners bail bond on appeal having been laid to rest by Section 5 of Rule 114 of the
1994 Rules of Court, as amended, petitioners alleged failure to post a bail bond on appeal is, therefore,
inconsequential as, under the circumstances, he is disallowed by law to be admitted to bail on appeal. Thus, for all

legal intents and purposes, there can be no other conclusion than that at the time petitioner filed his notice of appeal
and during the pendency of his appeal even until now he remains at large, placing himself beyond the pale, and
protection of the law.
Inexorably, having jumped bail and eluded arrest until the present, the issue of whether or not petitioner has lost his
right to appeal his conviction now ensues.
The manner of review of petitioners conviction is governed by the Rules of Court. Appropriately, Rule 124 of the
Rules of Court presents the procedural requirements regarding appeals taken to the Court of Appeals. Section 8 of
said Rule finds application to the case at bar, viz:
SEC. 8. Dismissal of appeal for abandonment or failure to prosecute. The appellate court may, upon motion of the
appellee or its own motion and notice to the appellant, dismiss the appeal if the appellant fails to file his brief within
the time prescribed by this Rule, except in case the appellant is represented by a counsel de oficio.
The court may also, upon motion of the appellee or on its own motion, dismiss the appeal if the appellant escapes
from prison or confinement or jumps bail or flees to a foreign country during the pendency of the appeal. [Emphasis
supplied.]
By virtue of the second paragraph of the abovequoted provision, the act of jumping bail, among otherthings, will
result in the outright dismissal of petitioners appeal. As pointed out by the Court in the case of People v.
Mapalao,39 the reason for said rule is that:
[O]nce an accused escapes from prison or confinement or jumps bail or flees to a foreign country, he losses his
standing in court and unless he surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction of the court he is deemed to have waived
any right to seek relief from the court.
Thus, the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in dismissing petitioners appeal. Within the meaning of
the principles governing the prevailing criminal procedure, petitioner impliedly withdrew his appeal by jumping bail
and thereby made the judgment of the RTC final and executory.40
By putting himself beyond the reach and application of the legal processes of the land, petitioner revealed his
contempt of the law and placed himself in a position to speculate at his pleasure his chances for a reversal. This, we
cannot condone. Once more, by jumping bail, petitioner has waived his right to appeal. In the case of People v. Ang
Gioc,41 we enunciated that:
There are certain fundamental rights which cannot be waived even by the accused himself, but the right of appeal is
not one of them. This right is granted solely for the benefit of the accused. He may avail of it or not, as he pleases.
He may waive it either expressly or by implication. When the accused flees after the case has been submitted to the
court for decision, he will be deemed to have waived his right to appeal from the judgment rendered against him x x
x.
Coming now to the second issue of whether or not petitioner failed to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the court
or to the custody of the law, despite the posting of the subject bail bond, petitioner argues that his act of filing
several pleadings after the promulgation of the RTCs judgment plus his filing of the application for his admission to
bail should be considered a submission to the courts jurisdiction. He rationalizes that:
[T]he records of the case readily reveals that several pleadings were filed by the petitioner before the lower court
even after the promulgation of judgment was made. Right after the promulgation of the decision in the lower court,
herein petitioner went to the court and posted a bail bond. If the posting of the bond which was approved by the
same Regional Trial Court who rendered the decision subject of appeal is not yet a submission to the jurisdiction of
the court, then the respondent Hon. Court of Appeals must have been thinking of another matter beyond the
comprehension of the petitioner and obviously outside the matters being contemplated by law and the Rules of
Court.
For the resolution of the second issue, it should have been sufficient to state that for reasons stated in the foregoing
discussion, the question posed has now become academic. However, to diminish the confusion brought about by
ostensibly equating the term "jurisdiction of the court (over the person of the accused)" with that of "custody of the
law", it is fundamental to differentiate the two. The term:

Custody of the law is accomplished either by arrest or voluntary surrender (citation omitted); while (the term)
jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired upon his arrest or voluntary appearance (citation omitted).
One can be under the custody of the law but not yet subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, such as
when a person arrested by virtue of a warrant files a motion before arraignment to quash the warrant. On the other
hand, one can be subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, and yet not be in the custody of the law,
such as when an accused escapes custody after his trial has commenced (citation omitted). 42
Moreover, jurisdiction, once acquired, is not lost at the instance of parties, as when an accused escapes from the
custody of the law, but continues until the case is terminated.43 Evidently, petitioner is correct in that there is no
doubt that the RTC already acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accused petitioner when he appeared at the
arraignment and pleaded not guilty to the crime charged notwithstanding the fact that he jumped bail and is now
considered a fugitive.
As to whether or not petitioner has placed himself under the custody of the CA, alas, we cannot say the same for
"[b]eing in the custody of the law signifies restraint on the person, who is thereby deprived of his own will and
liberty, binding him to become obedient to the will of the law (citation omitted). Custody of the law is literally
custody over the body of the accused. It includes, but is not limited to, detention."44 In the case at bar, petitioner,
being a fugitive, until and unless he submits himself to the custody of the law, in the manner of being under the
jurisdiction of the courts, he cannot be granted any relief by the CA.
Parenthetically, we cannot end this ponencia without calling attention to a very disturbing fact that petitioner
admits of being the author of a falsified public document was treated nonchalantly by authorities.
In fine, the petitioner has remained at large even as he hopes that his appeal, and consequently, this petition, will
succeed and he can then appear before the Court to claim his victory. He hopes in vain.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The assailed Resolutions of the Court of Appeals,
in CA-G.R. CR No. 24077, which dismissed petitioners appeal, are hereby AFFIRMED. In this connection, Judge
Manuel Muro is DIRECTED to issue forthwith a warrant of arrest for the apprehension of Petitioner Arnold Alva
and for proper disposition of the case in line with the foregoing discussion.
Costs against the petitioner.

SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 158763

March 31, 2006

JOSE C. MIRANDA, ALBERTO P. DALMACIO, and ROMEO B. OCON, Petitioners,


vs.
VIRGILIO M. TULIAO, Respondent.
DECISION
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assailing the 18 December 2002
Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 67770 and its 12 June 2003 Resolution denying petitioners
Motion for Reconsideration. The dispositive portion of the assailed decision reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, finding public respondent Judge Anastacio D. Anghad to have acted with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed Orders, the instant petition for certiorari,
mandamus and prohibition is hereby GRANTED and GIVEN DUE COURSE, and it is hereby ordered:
1. The assailed Joint Order dated August 17, 2001, Order dated September 21, 2001, Joint Order dated
October 16, 2001 and Joint Order dated November 14, 2001 dismissing the two (2) Informations for
Murder, all issued by public respondent Judge Anastacio D. Anghad in Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 and
36-3524 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and another entered UPHOLDING, AFFIRMING[,] and
REINSTATING the Order dated June 25, 2001 and Joint Order dated July 6, 2001 issued by the then acting
Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan;
2. Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 and 36-3524 are hereby ordered REINSTATED in the docket of active
criminal cases of Branch 36 of the Regional Trial Court of Santiago City, Isabela; and
3. Public respondent Judge Anastacio D. Anghad is DIRECTED to ISSUE forthwith Warrants of Arrest for
the apprehension of private respondents Jose "Pempe" Miranda, SPO3 Alberto P. Dalmacio, PO3 Romeo B.
Ocon and accused Rodel T. Maderal in said Criminal Cases Nos. 36-3523 and 36-3524. 2
The factual and procedural antecedents of the case are as follows:
On 8 March 1996, two burnt cadavers were discovered in Purok Nibulan, Ramon, Isabela, which were later
identified as the dead bodies of Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao, son of private respondent Virgilio Tuliao who is
now under the witness protection program.
Two informations for murder were filed against SPO1 Wilfredo Leao, SPO1 Ferdinand Marzan, SPO1 Ruben B.
Agustin, SPO2 Alexander Micu, SPO2 Rodel Maderal, and SPO4 Emilio Ramirez in the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
of Santiago City.
The venue was later transferred to Manila. On 22 April 1999, the RTC of Manila convicted all of the accused and
sentenced them to two counts of reclusion perpetua except SPO2 Maderal who was yet to be arraigned at that time,
being at large. The case was appealed to this Court on automatic review where we, on 9 October 2001, acquitted the
accused therein on the ground of reasonable doubt.
Sometime in September 1999, SPO2 Maderal was arrested. On 27 April 2001, he executed a sworn confession and
identified petitioners Jose C. Miranda, PO3 Romeo B. Ocon, and SPO3 Alberto P. Dalmacio, a certain Boyet dela
Cruz and Amado Doe, as the persons responsible for the deaths of Vicente Bauzon and Elizer Tuliao.
Respondent Tuliao filed a criminal complaint for murder against petitioners, Boyet dela Cruz, and Amado Doe, and
submitted the sworn confession of SPO2 Maderal. On 25 June 2001, Acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan
issued warrants of arrest against petitioners and SPO2 Maderal.
On 29 June 2001, petitioners filed an urgent motion to complete preliminary investigation, to reinvestigate, and to
recall and/or quash the warrants of arrest.
In the hearing of the urgent motion on 6 July 2001, Judge Tumaliuan noted the absence of petitioners and issued a
Joint Order denying said urgent motion on the ground that, since the court did not acquire jurisdiction over their
persons, the motion cannot be properly heard by the court. In the meantime, petitioners appealed the resolution of
State Prosecutor Leo T. Reyes to the Department of Justice.
On 17 August 2001, the new Presiding Judge Anastacio D. Anghad took over the case and issued a Joint Order
reversing the Joint Order of Judge Tumaliuan. Consequently, he ordered the cancellation of the warrant of arrest
issued against petitioner Miranda. He likewise applied this Order to petitioners Ocon and Dalmacio in an Order
dated 21 September 2001. State Prosecutor Leo S. Reyes and respondent Tuliao moved for the reconsideration of the

said Joint Order and prayed for the inhibition of Judge Anghad, but the motion for reconsideration was denied in a
Joint Order dated 16 October 2001 and the prayer for inhibition was denied in a Joint Order dated 22 October 2001.
On 25 October 2001, respondent Tuliao filed a petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition with this Court,
with prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order, seeking to enjoin Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the
case, and seeking to nullify the Orders and Joint Orders of Judge Anghad dated 17 August 2001, 21 September 2001,
16 October 2001, and 22 October 2001.
On 12 November 2001, this Court issued a Resolution resolving to grant the prayer for a temporary restraining order
against Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the criminal cases. Shortly after the aforesaid resolution, Judge
Anghad issued a Joint Order dated 14 November 2001 dismissing the two Informations for murder against
petitioners. On 19 November 2001, this Court took note of respondents cash bond evidenced by O.R. No. 15924532
dated 15 November 2001, and issued the temporary restraining order while referring the petition to the Court of
Appeals for adjudication on the merits.
Respondent Tuliao filed with this Court a Motion to Cite Public Respondent in Contempt, alleging that Judge
Anghad "deliberately and willfully committed contempt of court when he issued on 15 November 2001 the Order
dated 14 November 2001 dismissing the informations for murder." On 21 November 2001, we referred said motion
to the Court of Appeals in view of the previous referral to it of respondents petition for certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus.
On 18 December 2002, the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed decision granting the petition and ordering the
reinstatement of the criminal cases in the RTC of Santiago City, as well as the issuance of warrants of arrest against
petitioners and SPO2 Maderal. Petitioners moved for a reconsideration of this Decision, but the same was denied in
a Resolution dated 12 June 2003.
Hence, this petition.
The facts of the case being undisputed, petitioners bring forth to this Court the following assignments of error:
FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
With all due respect, the Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in reversing and setting aside the Joint Order of
Judge Anastacio D. Anghad dated August 17, 2001, September 21, 2001, October 16, 2001 and November 14, 2001
issued in criminal cases numbered 36-3523 and 36-3524; and, erred in upholding, affirming and reinstating the
Order dated July 6, 2001 issued by then Acting Presiding Judge Wilfredo Tumaliuan, on the alleged rule that an
accused cannot seek any judicial relief if he does not submit his person to the jurisdiction of the court.
SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
With all due respect, the Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in directing the reinstatement of Criminal Cases
No. 36-3523 and 36-3524 in the docket of Active Criminal Cases of Branch 36 of the Regional Trial Court of
Santiago City, Philippines, and in ordering the public respondent to re-issue the warrants of arrest against herein
petitioners.
THIRD ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
Wit all due respect, the Honorable Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in ordering the reinstatement of
Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 36-3524 in the docket of active criminal cases of Branch 36 of the regional
trial court of Santiago City, Philippines, and in ordering the public respondent to issue warrants of arrest against
herein petitioners, the order of dismissal issued therein having become final and executory.
Adjudication of a motion to quash a warrant of arrest requires neither jurisdiction over the person of the accused, nor
custody of law over the body of the accused.
The first assignment of error brought forth by the petitioner deals with the Court of Appeals ruling that:
[A]n accused cannot seek any judicial relief if he does not submit his person to the jurisdiction of the court.
Jurisdiction over the person of the accused may be acquired either through compulsory process, such as warrant of

arrest, or through his voluntary appearance, such as when he surrenders to the police or to the court. It is only when
the court has already acquired jurisdiction over his person that an accused may invoke the processes of the court
(Pete M. Pico vs. Alfonso V. Combing, Jr., A.M. No. RTJ-91-764, November 6, 1992). Thus, an accused must first
be placed in the custody of the law before the court may validly act on his petition for judicial reliefs. 3
Proceeding from this premise, the Court of Appeals ruled that petitioners Miranda, Ocon and Dalmacio cannot seek
any judicial relief since they were not yet arrested or otherwise deprived of their liberty at the time they filed their
"Urgent Motion to complete preliminary investigation; to reinvestigate; to recall and/or quash warrants of arrest." 4
Petitioners counter the finding of the Court of Appeals by arguing that jurisdiction over the person of the accused is
required only in applications for bail. Furthermore, petitioners argue, assuming that such jurisdiction over their
person is required before the court can act on their motion to quash the warrant for their arrest, such jurisdiction over
their person was already acquired by the court by their filing of the above Urgent Motion.
In arguing that jurisdiction over the person is required only in the adjudication of applications for bail, petitioners
quote Retired Court of Appeals Justice Oscar Herrera:
Except in applications for bail, it is not necessary for the court to first acquire jurisdiction over the person of the
accused to dismiss the case or grant other relief. The outright dismissal of the case even before the court acquires
jurisdiction over the person of the accused is authorized under Section 6(a), Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure and the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure (Sec. 12a). In Allado vs. Diokno (232 SCRA
192), the case was dismissed on motion of the accused for lack of probable cause without the accused having been
arrested. In Paul Roberts vs. Court of Appeals (254 SCRA 307), the Court was ordered to hold the issuance of a
warrant of arrest in abeyance pending review by the Secretary of Justice. And in Lacson vs. Executive Secretary
(301 SCRA 1025), the Court ordered the case transferred from the Sandiganbayan to the RTC which eventually
ordered the dismissal of the case for lack of probable cause.6
In arguing, on the other hand, that jurisdiction over their person was already acquired by their filing of the above
Urgent Motion, petitioners invoke our pronouncement, through Justice Florenz D. Regalado, in Santiago v.
Vasquez7:
The voluntary appearance of the accused, whereby the court acquires jurisdiction over his person, is accomplished
either by his pleading to the merits (such as by filing a motion to quash or other pleadings requiring the exercise of
the courts jurisdiction thereover, appearing for arraignment, entering trial) or by filing bail. On the matter of bail,
since the same is intended to obtain the provisional liberty of the accused, as a rule the same cannot be posted before
custody of the accused has been acquired by the judicial authorities either by his arrest or voluntary surrender.
Our pronouncement in Santiago shows a distinction between custody of the law and jurisdiction over the person.
Custody of the law is required before the court can act upon the application for bail, but is not required for the
adjudication of other reliefs sought by the defendant where the mere application therefor constitutes a waiver of the
defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused.8 Custody of the law is accomplished either by arrest or
voluntary surrender,9 while jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired upon his arrest or voluntary
appearance. 10 One can be under the custody of the law but not yet subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his
person, such as when a person arrested by virtue of a warrant files a motion before arraignment to quash the warrant.
On the other hand, one can be subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, and yet not be in the custody of
the law, such as when an accused escapes custody after his trial has commenced. 11Being in the custody of the law
signifies restraint on the person, who is thereby deprived of his own will and liberty, binding him to become
obedient to the will of the law. 12 Custody of the law is literally custody over the body of the accused. It includes, but
is not limited to, detention.
The statement in Pico v. Judge Combong, Jr., 13 cited by the Court of Appeals should not have been separated from
the issue in that case, which is the application for admission to bail of someone not yet in the custody of the law. The
entire paragraph of our pronouncement in Pico reads:
A person applying for admission to bail must be in the custody of the law or otherwise deprived of his liberty. A
person who has not submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court has no right to invoke the processes of that
court. Respondent Judge should have diligently ascertained the whereabouts of the applicant and that he indeed had
jurisdiction over the body of the accused before considering the application for bail. 13

While we stand by our above pronouncement in Pico insofar as it concerns bail, we clarify that, as a general rule,
one who seeks an affirmative relief is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. 15 As we held in the
aforecited case of Santiago, seeking an affirmative relief in court, whether in civil or criminal proceedings,
constitutes voluntary appearance.
Pico deals with an application for bail, where there is the special requirement of the applicant being in the custody of
the law. In Feliciano v. Pasicolan, 16 we held that "[t]he purpose of bail is to secure ones release and it would be
incongruous to grant bail to one who is free. Thus, bail is the security required and given for the release of a person
who is in the custody of law." The rationale behind this special rule on bail is that it discourages and prevents resort
to the former pernicious practice wherein the accused could just send another in his stead to post his bail, without
recognizing the jurisdiction of the court by his personal appearance therein and compliance with the requirements
therefor. 17
There is, however, an exception to the rule that filing pleadings seeking affirmative relief constitutes voluntary
appearance, and the consequent submission of ones person to the jurisdiction of the court. This is in the case of
pleadings whose prayer is precisely for the avoidance of the jurisdiction of the court, which only leads to a special
appearance. These pleadings are: (1) in civil cases, motions to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the
person of the defendant, whether or not other grounds for dismissal are included; 18 (2) in criminal cases, motions to
quash a complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused; and (3) motions to quash a
warrant of arrest. The first two are consequences of the fact that failure to file them would constitute a waiver of the
defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person. The third is a consequence of the fact that it is the very legality of the
court process forcing the submission of the person of the accused that is the very issue in a motion to quash a
warrant of arrest.
To recapitulate what we have discussed so far, in criminal cases, jurisdiction over the person of the accused is
deemed waived by the accused when he files any pleading seeking an affirmative relief, except in cases when he
invokes the special jurisdiction of the court by impugning such jurisdiction over his person. Therefore, in narrow
cases involving special appearances, an accused can invoke the processes of the court even though there is neither
jurisdiction over the person nor custody of the law. However, if a person invoking the special jurisdiction of the
court applies for bail, he must first submit himself to the custody of the law.
In cases not involving the so-called special appearance, the general rule applies, i.e., the accused is deemed to have
submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court upon seeking affirmative relief. Notwithstanding this, there is no
requirement for him to be in the custody of the law. The following cases best illustrate this point, where we granted
various reliefs to accused who were not in the custody of the law, but were deemed to have placed their persons
under the jurisdiction of the court. Note that none of these cases involve the application for bail, nor a motion to
quash an information due to lack of jurisdiction over the person, nor a motion to quash a warrant of arrest:
1. In Allado v. Diokno, 19 on the prayer of the accused in a petition for certiorari on the ground of lack of probable
cause, we issued a temporary restraining order enjoining PACC from enforcing the warrant of arrest and the
respondent judge therein from further proceeding with the case and, instead, to elevate the records to us.
2. In Roberts, Jr. v. Court of Appeals,20 upon the accuseds Motion to Suspend Proceedings and to Hold in Abeyance
Issuance of Warrants of Arrest on the ground that they filed a Petition for Review with the Department of Justice, we
directed respondent judge therein to cease and desist from further proceeding with the criminal case and to defer the
issuance of warrants of arrests against the accused.
3. In Lacson v. Executive Secretary,21 on the prayer of the accused in a petition for certiorari on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction on the part of the Sandiganbayan, we directed the Sandiganbayan to transfer the criminal cases to the
Regional Trial Court even before the issuance of the warrants of arrest.
We hold that the circumstances forcing us to require custody of the law in applications for bail are not present in
motions to quash the warrant of arrest. If we allow the granting of bail to persons not in the custody of the law, it is
foreseeable that many persons who can afford the bail will remain at large, and could elude being held to answer for
the commission of the offense if ever he is proven guilty. On the other hand, if we allow the quashal of warrants of
arrest to persons not in the custody of the law, it would be very rare that a person not genuinely entitled to liberty
would remain scot-free. This is because it is the same judge who issued the warrant of arrest who will decide
whether or not he followed the Constitution in his determination of probable cause, and he can easily deny the
motion to quash if he really did find probable cause after personally examining the records of the case.

Moreover, pursuant to the presumption of regularity of official functions, the warrant continues in force and effect
until it is quashed and therefore can still be enforced on any day and at any time of the day and night.22Furthermore,
the continued absence of the accused can be taken against him in the determination of probable cause, since flight is
indicative of guilt.
In fine, as much as it is incongruous to grant bail to one who is free, it is likewise incongruous to require one to
surrender his freedom before asserting it. Human rights enjoy a higher preference in the hierarchy of rights than
property rights,23 demanding that due process in the deprivation of liberty must come before its taking and not after.
Quashing a warrant of arrest based on a subsequently filed petition for review with the Secretary of Justice and
based on doubts engendered by the political climate constitutes grave abuse of discretion.
We nevertheless find grave abuse of discretion in the assailed actions of Judge Anghad. Judge Anghad seemed a
little too eager of dismissing the criminal cases against the petitioners. First, he quashed the standing warrant of
arrest issued by his predecessor because of a subsequently filed appeal to the Secretary of Justice, and because of his
doubts on the existence of probable cause due to the political climate in the city. Second, after the Secretary of
Justice affirmed the prosecutors resolution, he dismissed the criminal cases on the basis of a decision of this Court
in another case with different accused, doing so two days after this Court resolved to issue a temporary restraining
order against further proceeding with the case.
After Judge Tumaliuan issued warrants for the arrest of petitioners, petitioner Miranda appealed the assistant
prosecutors resolution before the Secretary of Justice. Judge Anghad, shortly after assuming office, quashed the
warrant of arrest on the basis of said appeal. According to Judge Anghad, "x x x prudence dictates (that) and because
of comity, a deferment of the proceedings is but proper."24
Quashal on this basis is grave abuse of discretion. It is inconceivable to charge Judge Tumaliuan as lacking in
prudence and oblivious to comity when he issued the warrants of arrest against petitioners just because the
petitioners might, in the future, appeal the assistant prosecutors resolution to the Secretary of Justice. But even if
the petition for review was filed before the issuance of the warrants of arrest, the fact remains that the pendency of a
petition for the review of the prosecutors resolution is not a ground to quash the warrants of arrest.
In Webb v. de Leon,25 we held that the petitioners therein cannot assail as premature the filing of the information in
court against them on the ground that they still have the right to appeal the adverse resolution of the DOJ Panel to
the Secretary of Justice. Similarly, the issuance of warrants of arrest against petitioners herein should not have been
quashed as premature on the same ground.
The other ground invoked by Judge Anghad for the quashal of the warrant of arrest is in order if true: violation of
the Constitution. Hence, Judge Anghad asked and resolved the question:
In these double murder cases, did this Court comply or adhere to the above-quoted constitutional proscription, which
is Sec. 2, Article III Bill of Rights; to Sec. 6(a), Rule 112, Rules of Criminal Procedure and to the above-cited
decisional cases? To this query or issue, after a deep perusal of the arguments raised, this Court, through [its] regular
Presiding Judge, finds merit in the contention of herein accused-movant, Jose "Pempe" Miranda. 26
Judge Anghad is referring to the following provision of the Constitution as having been violated by Judge
Tumaliuan:
Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches
and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest
shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or
affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be
searched and the persons or things to be seized.27
However, after a careful scrutiny of the records of the case, including the supporting evidence to the resolution of
the prosecutor in his determination of probable cause, we find that Judge Anghad gravely abused his discretion.
According to petitioners:

In this case, the nullity of the order of Judge Tumaliuan, for the arrest of the petitioners is apparent from the face of
the order itself, which clearly stated that the determination of probable cause was based on the certification, under
oath, of the fiscal and not on a separate determination personally made by the Judge. No presumption of regularity
could be drawn from the order since it expressly and clearly showed that it was based only on the fiscals
certification.28
Petitioners claim is untrue. Judge Tumaliuans Joint Order contains no such indication that he relied solely on the
prosecutors certification. The Joint Order even indicated the contrary:
Upon receipt of the information and resolution of the prosecutor, the Court proceeded to determine the existence of a
probable cause by personally evaluating the records x x x.[29]
The records of the case show that the prosecutors certification was accompanied by supporting documents,
following the requirement under Lim, Sr. v. Felix30 and People v. Inting.31 The supporting documents are the
following:
1. Resolution dated 21 June 2001 of State Prosecutor Leo S. Reyes;
2. Affidavit dated 22 May 2001 of Modesto Gutierrez;
3. Affidavit dated 19 May 2001 of Romeo B. Ocon;
4. Joint Counter Affidavit dated 23 May 2001 of Mayor Jose C. Miranda and Reynaldo de la Cruz;
5. Affidavit dated 19 May 2001 of Alberto Dalmacio;
6. Decision dated 22 April 1999 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 41 in Criminal Case No. 97160355;
7. Sworn statement dated 27 April 2001 of Rodel Maderal;
8. Information dated 22 June 2001;
9. Affidavit-complaint of Virgilio Tuliao; and
10. Medico-legal Reports of the cadavers of Elezer Tuliao and Vicente Buazon.
Hence, procedurally, we can conclude that there was no violation on the part of Judge Tumaliuan of Article III,
Section 2, of the Constitution. Judge Anghad, however, focused on the substantive part of said section, i.e., the
existence of probable cause. In failing to find probable cause, Judge Anghad ruled that the confession of SPO2
Maderal is incredible for the following reasons: (1) it was given after almost two years in the custody of the National
Bureau of Investigation; (2) it was given by someone who rendered himself untrustworthy for being a fugitive for
five years; (3) it was given in exchange for an obvious reward of discharge from the information; and (4) it was
given during the election period amidst a "politically charged scenario where "Santiago City voters were pitted
against each other along the lines of the Miranda camp on one side and former City Mayor Amelita S. Navarro, and
allegedly that of DENR Secretary Heherson Alvarez on the other."32
We painstakingly went through the records of the case and found no reason to disturb the findings of probable cause
of Judge Tumaliuan.
It is important to note that an exhaustive debate on the credibility of a witness is not within the province of the
determination of probable cause. As we held in Webb33:
A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that more likely than not a crime has been
committed and was committed by the suspects. Probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence
of guilt, neither on evidence establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt and definitely, not on evidence establishing
absolute certainty of guilt. As well put in Brinegar v. United States, while probable cause demands more than "bare
suspicion," it requires "less than evidence which would justify x x x conviction." A finding of probable cause merely
binds over the suspect to stand trial. It is not a pronouncement of guilt.

x x x Probable cause merely implies probability of guilt and should be determined in a summary manner.
Preliminary investigation is not a part of trial x x x.
Dismissing a criminal case on the basis of a decision of this Court in another case with different accused constitutes
grave abuse of discretion.
Judge Anghad had quashed the warrant of arrest on the ground, among other things, that there was a petition for
review of the assistant prosecutors resolution before the Secretary of Justice. However, after the Secretary of Justice
affirmed the prosecutors resolution, Judge Anghad summarily dismissed the two criminal cases against the
petitioners on the basis of the following explanation:
Rodel Maderal was one of the accused in People vs. Wilfredo Leano, et al., RTC, Branch 41, Manila, and based
from his sworn statements, he pinpointed to Mr. Miranda the mastermind and with him and the other police
officers as the direct perpetrators, the October 9, 2001 Decision of the Supreme Court absolving the five cops of
murder, certainly makes his sworn Statements a "narration of falsehood and lies" and that because of the decision
acquitting said officers "who were likewise falsely linked by said Rodel Maderal in his April 27, 2001 statements, it
is now beyond doubt that Rodel Maderal made untruthful, fabricated and perjured statements and therefore the same
is without probable value." This Court agrees with the defenses views. Indeed, of what use is Maderals statements
when the Supreme Court rejected the prosecutions evidence presented and adduced in Criminal Case No. 97160355. Rodel Maderal is supposed to turn state witness in these two (2) cases but with the Supreme Court decision
adverted to, the probative value of his statements is practically nil.
xxxx
This Court finds merit to the manifestation of the accused Miranda dated October 18, 2001, praying for the summary
dismissal of the two (2) murder charges in view of the latest decision of the Supreme Court in People of the
Philippines vs. Wilfredo Leao, et al., G.R. No. 13886, acquitting the accused therein and in effect disregarding all
the evidence presented by the prosecution in that case. Accordingly, the two (2) informations [for] murder filed
against Jose Miranda are ordered dismissed.34
This is a clear case of abuse of discretion. Judge Anghad had no right to twist our decision and interpret it to the
discredit of SPO2 Maderal, who was still at large when the evidence of the prosecution in the Leao case was
presented. A decision, even of this Court, acquitting the accused therein of a crime cannot be the basis of the
dismissal of criminal case against different accused for the same crime. The blunder of Judge Anghad is even more
pronounced by the fact that our decision in Leao was based on reasonable doubt. We never ruled in Leao that the
crime did not happen; we just found that there was reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused therein, since the
prosecution in that case relied on circumstantial evidence, which interestingly is not even the situation in the
criminal cases of the petitioners in the case at bar as there is here an eyewitness: Rodel Maderal. The accused in
Leao furthermore had no motive to kill respondent Tuliaos son, whereas petitioners herein had been implicated in
the testimony of respondent Tuliao before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
It is preposterous to conclude that because of our finding of reasonable doubt in Leao, "it is now beyond doubt that
Rodel Maderal made untruthful, fabricated and perjured statements and therefore the same is without probable
value."35 On the contrary, if we are to permit the use of our decision in Leao, an acquittal on the ground of
reasonable doubt actually points to the probability of the prosecutions version of the facts therein. Such probability
of guilt certainly meets the criteria of probable cause.
We cannot let unnoticed, too, Judge Anghads dismissal of the informations two days after we resolved to issue,
upon the filing of a bond, a temporary restraining order prohibiting him from further proceeding with the case. The
bond was filed the day after the informations were dismissed. While the dismissal of the case was able to beat the
effectivity date of the temporary restraining order, such abrupt dismissal of the informations (days after this Courts
resolve to issue a TRO against Judge Anghad) creates wild suspicions about the motives of Judge Anghad.
Nullification of a proceeding necessarily carries with it the reinstatement of the orders set aside by the nullified
proceeding.
In their second assignment of error, petitioners claim that the Court of Appeals did not recall or reinstate the
warrants of arrest issued by Judge Tumaliuan, but instead directed Judge Anghad to issue apparently new warrants

of arrest.36 According to the petitioners, it was an error for the Court of Appeals to have done so, without a personal
determination of probable cause.
We disagree. Whether the Court of Appeals ordered the issuance of new warrants of arrest or merely ordered the
reinstatement of the warrants of arrest issued by Judge Tumaliuan is merely a matter of scrupulous semantics, the
slight inaccuracy whereof should not be allowed to affect the dispositions on the merits, especially in this case where
the other dispositions of the Court of Appeals point to the other direction. Firstly, the Court of Appeals had reinstated
the 25 June 2001 Order of Judge Tumaliuan,37 which issued the warrants of arrest. Secondly, the Court of Appeals
likewise declared the proceedings conducted by Judge Anghad void. Certainly, the declaration of nullity of
proceedings should be deemed to carry with it the reinstatement of the orders set aside by the nullified proceedings.
Judge Anghads order quashing the warrants of arrest had been nullified; therefore those warrants of arrest are
henceforth deemed unquashed.
Even if, however, the Court of Appeals had directed the issuance of new warrants of arrest based on a determination
of probable cause, it would have been legally permissible for them to do so. The records of the preliminary
investigation had been available to the Court of Appeals, and are also available to this Court, allowing both the
Court of Appeals and this Court to personally examine the records of the case and not merely rely on the
certification of the prosecutor. As we have ruled in Allado v. Diokno and Roberts v. Court of Appeals, the
determination of probable cause does not rest on a subjective criteria. As we had resolved in those cases to overrule
the finding of probable cause of the judges therein on the ground of grave abuse of discretion, in the same vein, we
can also overrule the decision of a judge reversing a finding of probable cause, also on the ground of grave abuse of
discretion.
There is no double jeopardy in the reinstatement of a criminal case dismissed before arraignment
In their third assignment of error, petitioners claim that the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in
ordering the reinstatement of Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and No. 36-3524, alleging that the order of dismissal
issued therein had become final and executory. According to petitioners:
It is also worthy to point out at this juncture that the Joint Order of Judge Anghad dated November 14, 2001 is NOT
ONE of those Orders which were assailed in the private respondent Tuliaos Petition for Certiorari, Mandamus and
Prohibition filed by the private respondent before the Court of Appeals. As carefully enumerated in the first page of
the assailed Decision, only the following Orders issued by Judge Anghad were questioned by private respondent, to
wit:
1.) Joint Order dated August 17, 2001;
2.) Order dated September 21, 2001;
3.) Joint Order dated October 16, 2001; and
4.) Joint Order dated October 22, 2001.
Obviously, the Joint Order dated November 14, 2001 of Judge Anghad, which ultimately dismissed Criminal Cases
Nos. 36-3523 AND 36-3524 is NOT included in the list of the assailed Order/Joint Orders. Hence, the Court of
Appeals should not have passed upon the validity or nullity of the Joint Order of November 14, 2001.38
Petitioners must have forgotten that respondent Tuliaos Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus was filed
not with the Court of Appeals, but with this Court. The Court of Appeals decided the case because we referred the
same to them in our 19 November 2001 Resolution. Such petition was filed on 25 October 2001, around three weeks
before the 14 November 2001 Order. Upon receipt of the 14 November 2001 Order, however, respondent Tuliao lost
no time in filing with this Court a Motion to Cite Public Respondent in Contempt, alleging that Judge Anghad
"deliberately and willfully committed contempt of court when he issued on 15 November 2001 the Order dated 14
November 2001 dismissing the informations for murder." On 21 November 2001, we referred said motion to the
Court of Appeals, in view of the previous referral of respondent Tuliaos petition for certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus.
Our referral to the Court of Appeals of the Motion to Cite Public Repondent in Contempt places the 14 November
2001 Order within the issues of the case decided by the Court of Appeals. In claiming that Judge Anghad committed

contempt of this Court in issuing the 14 November 2001 Order, respondent Tuliao had ascribed to Judge Anghad an
act much more serious than grave abuse of discretion.
Respondent Tuliao claims that Judge Anghad issued the 14 November 2001 Order on 15 November 2001, antedating
it so as to avoid the effects of our 12 November 2001 Resolution. In said 12 November 2001 Resolution, we
resolved to issue a temporary restraining order enjoining Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the criminal
cases upon the respondent Tuliaos filing of a bond in the amount of P20,000.00. Respondent Tuliao had filed the
bond on 15 November 2005.
While we cannot immediately pronounce Judge Anghad in contempt, seeing as disobedience to lawful orders of a
court and abuse of court processes are cases of indirect contempt which require the granting of opportunity to be
heard on the part of respondent,39 the prayer to cite public respondent in contempt and for other reliefs just and
equitable under the premises should be construed to include a prayer for the nullification of said 14 November 2001
Order.
In any case, the reinstatement of a criminal case dismissed before arraignment does not constitute double jeopardy.
Double jeopardy cannot be invoked where the accused has not been arraigned and it was upon his express motion
that the case was dismissed.40
As to respondent Tuliaos prayer (in both the original petition for certiorari as well as in his motion to cite for
contempt) to disqualify Judge Anghad from further proceeding with the case, we hold that the number of instances
of abuse of discretion in this case are enough to convince us of an apparent bias on the part of Judge Anghad. We
further resolve to follow the case of People v. SPO1 Leao,41 by transferring the venue of Criminal Cases No. 363523 and No. 36-3524 to the City of Manila, pursuant to Article VIII, Section 4, of the Constitution.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated 18 December 2002 and the Resolution dated 12 June
2003 of the Court of Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED, with the modification that Criminal Cases No. 36-3523 and
No. 36-3524 be transferred to and raffled in the Regional Trial Court of the City of Manila. In this connection,
1) Let a copy of this decision be furnished the Executive Judge of the RTC of the City of Santiago, Isabela,
who is directed to effect the transfer of the cases within ten (10) days after receipt hereof;
2) The Executive Judge of the RTC of the City of Santiago, Isabela, is likewise directed to report to this
Court compliance hereto within ten (10) days from transfer of these cases;
3) The Executive Judge of the City of Manila shall proceed to raffle the criminal cases within ten (10) days
from the transfer;
4) The Executive Judge of the City of Manila is likewise directed to report to this Court compliance with
the order to raffle within ten (10) days from said compliance; and
5) The RTC Judge to whom the criminal cases are raffled is directed to act on said cases with reasonable
dispatch.
6) Finally, Judge Anastacio D. Anghad is directed to issue forthwith warrants of arrest for the apprehension
of petitioners Jose C. Miranda, Alberto P. Dalmacio, Romeo B. Ocon, and accused Rodel T. Maderal,
conformably with the decision of the Court of Appeals dated 18 December 2002.
The Temporary Restraining Order issued by this Court dated 4 August 2003 is hereby LIFTED. Costs against
Petitioners.
SO ORDERED.